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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Chad

    The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) monitors trends in staple food prices in countries vulnerable to food insecurity. For each FEWS NET country and region, the Price Bulletin provides a set of charts showing monthly prices in the current marketing year in selected urban centers and allowing users to compare current trends with both five-year average prices, indicative of seasonal trends, and prices in the previous year.

    Sorghum, millet, white maize, and local and imported rice are the most important food commodities. Millet is most heavily consumed in the eastern and northern regions of the country. Local rice is another basic food commodity, especially for poorer households. Imported rice and white maize are most commonly consumed in and around the capital. The Marché d'Atrone in N’Djamena, the capital city, is the largest market for cereals. Moundou is an important consumer center for sorghum and the second largest market after the capital. The Abéché market is located in a northern production area. The Sarh market is both a local retail market and a cross-border market.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Burkina Faso

    Une situation alimentaire préoccupante dans l’extrême nord du pays

    MESSAGES CLÉS

    • Après trois mois de dépendance entière des marchés pour leur alimentation, les ménages pauvres de l’extrême nord du pays (communes de Nassoumbou, Koutougou et TinAkoff), sont en phase d’érosion accélérée de leurs animaux et sont confrontés à déficits de la consommation alimentaire. Ils vivent en ce moment une situation alimentaire de Crise (Phase 3 de l’IPC).

    • La situation pastorale est préoccupante dans le Nord notamment dans la province de l’Oudalan et environnant et est marquée par l’inexistence de pâturage, l’asséchement des derniers points d’eau de surface, des animaux en très mauvais état, une mortalité et des abatages d’urgence trois à cinq fois plus élevés que la normale.

    • La saison agricole commence précocement dans certaines localités des provinces du Séno et du Soum (dans la région du Sahel) à la faveur de quelques pluies enregistrées en fin mai et début juin occasionnant des semis. Toutefois, à l’ouest et dans le sud du pays où la saison s’installe habituellement avant le 15 juin, les pluies reçues n’ont pas encore permis le démarrage effective des semis pour la plupart des producteurs de ces zones.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tajikistan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

    KEY MESSAGES

    • In West Africa, market availability was adequate in May, with supplies from recent 2014/15 harvests and international rice and wheat imports. Staple food prices were stable or declining, except in areas directly and indirectly affected by the conflict in northeastern Nigeria. The recent opening of borders among Ebola-affected countries contributed to improved trade flows in some areas, following disruptions over the second half of 2014.

    • In East Africa, maize prices increased seasonally in surplus-producing Uganda and in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya. Maize prices were stable or began decreasing in Tanzania with the onset of the May-to-August harvests. Sorghum prices were stable in Sudan and Somalia. Staple food prices were high and variable in the Greater Upper Nile States of South Sudan.
      Conflict and insecurity continued to disrupt markets in parts of South Sudan, Somalia, the Darfur and South Kordofan States in Sudan, and across Yemen.

    • In Southern Africa, regional staple food availability increased in May as fresh supplies from recent harvests arrived onto markets across the region. Production during the 2014/15 production year is estimated to be below-average in the region’s surplus-producing countries and at the regional level. Maize prices varied across the region, decreasing seasonally in Zambia and Mozambique, and varying considerably elsewhere.

    • In Central Asia, wheat availability remained good in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Prices remained stable in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan after increasing over the last quarter of 2014.

    • International maize, rice, wheat, and soybean prices were stable and below their respective 2014 levels. Global markets are wellsupplied global markets from record or near-record global production in 2014 and overall favorable prospects for 2015 crops. Crude oil prices increased again in May, but remained belowaverage.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Senegal

    KEY MESSAGES

    • Poor agropastoral households in central and northern areas of the country are unable to meet their food needs without resorting to atypical coping strategies and cutting the size and/or number of their daily meals. These households will face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity through September 2015.

    • The sharp deterioration in pastoral conditions in the groundnut basin and southeastern areas of the country, due to the shortage of pasture and scarcity of watering holes, is heightening the severity of the lean season for pastoral populations. In particular, livestock are in poor physical condition, which is driving a higher than usual livestock mortality risk and resulting in reduced pastoral incomes, limiting market access for affected households.

    • Thus far, cumulative rainfall totals have been below average, delaying the start-up of farming activities in certain areas. While rainfall levels are expected to increase during the next couple of weeks, certain seasonal forecasts show an increased probability of below-average rainfall between July and September. Thus, rainfall levels and agricultural conditions need to be closely monitored.


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    Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies
    Country: Mauritania

    Summary of current response

    An initial CHF 100,000 was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support start-up the early stages of the response operation in Mauritania. The IFRC Sahel Regional Office is providing support to the Mauritanian Red Crescent in the preparation of the MoU and provision of DREF funds (to support the nutrition activities to 2,000 children under 2, pregnant and lactating women), along with the deployment of a Regional Disaster Response Team (RDRT) delegate to support the operation.

    Through the financial support from British Red Cross, between 20 June and 1 July the Senegalese Red Cross and British Red Cross will co-facilitate a National Disaster Response Team training to Mauritanian Red Crescent staff and volunteers in food security, nutrition, livelihoods and cash transfer programming. The training builds and reinforces technical capacity amongst key MRC staff and volunteers, and is an important preparatory step towards delivering a high quality set of emergency response and medium term support activities within the framework of this operation.

    An operations Coordinator for Sahel regional office has been recruited and will be starting as of last week of June and will take charge of the current and upcoming management of the emergency appeal. Another delegate will be deployed to the IFRC Sahel region to provide technical support to food security sector.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network, World Food Programme, Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel, Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Burkina Faso, Chad, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo

    The market situation is characterised by a good supply in the region. The global cereal supply was also reinforced by carry-over stocks in the Central commercial Basin and cross-border trade flows. However, low supply levels were observed in some markets, mainly in areas of conflict in Northern Mali, Northern Nigeria and Lake Chad Basin. Prices of major commodities remained close to the last five-year average, with downward trends in the Eastern and Central Basins. On the other hand, in Ghana, strong price hikes are observed in a context of persistent inflation associated with the depreciation of the national currency. Price increases of over 30% compared to average are also observed in Mauritania and in the Lake Chad area. Moreover, the price of rice has remained stable because of the good level of global stocks and favourable prospects of the international market. In terms of cash crops (groundnuts, cowpea and sesame), prices are generally up compared to the average of the past five years, except for cowpea which is experiencing large declines in Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Togo. In terms of livestock markets, prices are generally stable with a downward trend compared to last year but with levels higher than the last five-year average. However, a decline in the prices of livestock compared to the average of the past five years is observed in Chad because of the slowdown in trade with Nigeria.

    The pastoral situation remains worrisome due to the low emergence of pasture resulting from late onset of the rainy season and especially the depletion of residual pastures in Mauritania, Senegal, northern Burkina Faso and in the Sahelian zone of Mali, Niger and Chad. This has caused a slowdown in the movement of transhumant animals to the pastoral areas; which could lead to conflicts between pastoralists and farmers. So, much of the livestock water supply is provided by boreholes and permanent water points.

    The 2015-2016 cropping season is characterised by a late installation of crops, especially in the agricultural strip covering Mali, northern Burkina Faso and the western half of Niger. Moreover, river flows below or close to normal levels are observed, especially for the Niger and Senegal Rivers.

    Pending the update of the rainfall and hydrological seasonal forecasts, it was noted the persistence of the El Nino phenomenon in the equatorial Pacific. However, this would have limited impact on the rainy season in West Africa, because of the favourable climatic outlook in the Atlantic ocean that promises improved rainfall.

    The Cadre Harmonisé (Harmonised Framework) analysis on the food and nutritional situation in the Sahel and West Africa, updated in June 2015, confirms that about 7.5 million people, including 4.5 million in the Sahel, will be in food and nutrition crisis between June and August 2015.

    The persistent security crises could exacerbate food and nutrition insecurity in Northern Mali and in the Lake Chad basin (Niger, Nigeria, Chad). Indeed, according to OCHA, nearly 2.8 million displaced persons, returnees and refugees (Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Chad) have been recorded to date, in the region.

    Faced with this situation, the Sahel countries, including Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Chad have developed, with the support of partners, national response plans. Such plans that vary from one country to another fall into three intervention areas, namely: (i) food assistance, (ii) prevention and management of malnutrition (iii) rehabilitation and protection of livelihoods. However, it is noted low levels of implementation of the response plans due to insufficient funding mobilised by the States and their partners.


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    Highlights

    · In Cameroon in May, WFP reached 50,000 beneficiaries. In June, WFP extended support to cover all the targeted beneficiary groups – 80,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), 40,000 refugees and 20,000 people amongst the host populations.

    · In Chad in May, WFP delivered General Food Distributions (GFD) to 8,000 beneficiaries.

    · In Niger in May, WFP reached over 85,000 beneficiaries in the Diffa region.

    · The mobile Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (mVAM) project has now been extended to the Diffa region. Food security data is being collected from households through short mobile phone surveys, using live telephone interviews and an Interactive Voice Response system. Some 320 beneficiaries are taking part in the survey and are currently being inter-viewed through phone calls.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network, World Food Programme, Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel, Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Burkina Faso, Chad, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo

    Jul 2015

    A la suite des travaux de la réunion restreinte du dispositif régional de veille sur la sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle au Sahel et en Afrique de l’Ouest, qui s’est tenue les 22 et 23 juin 2015, à Bamako au Mali, les participants font la déclaration suivante :

    1. La situation des marchés est caractérisée par un bon approvisionnement dans la région. L’offre globale en céréales s’est renforcée également par des stocks de report dans le Bassin commercial Centre et par des flux transfrontaliers. Cependant, de faibles niveaux d'approvisionnement ont été observés sur certains marchés essentiellement dans les zones de conflits du Nord Mali, du Nord Nigéria et du bassin du lac Tchad. Les prix des principaux produits sont restés proches de la moyenne des cinq dernières années avec des tendances à la baisse dans les Bassins Est et Centre. Par contre au Ghana, de fortes hausses de prix sont observées dans un contexte d’inflation persistante liée à la dépréciation de la monnaie nationale. Des hausses de prix, de plus de 30% par rapport à la moyenne, sont également observées en Mauritanie et dans la zone du Lac Tchad. Par ailleurs, le prix du riz est resté stable à cause du bon niveau des stocks mondiaux et des perspectives favorables du marché international. Au niveau des produits de rente (arachide, niébé et sésame), les prix sont globalement en hausse par rapport à la moyenne des cinq dernières années excepté le niébé qui enregistre des baisses importantes au Niger, au Nigeria, au Burkina Faso et au Togo. Au niveau des marchés à bétail, les prix sont globalement stables avec une tendance à la baisse comparativement à l’année dernière mais avec des niveaux plus élevés que la moyenne des cinq dernières années. Toutefois, au niveau du Tchad une baisse des prix du bétail par rapport à la moyenne des cinq dernières années, est observée à cause du ralentissement des échanges avec le Nigéria.

    2. La situation pastorale demeure préoccupante en raison de la faible émergence des pâturages consécutive à l’installation non effective de l’hivernage et surtout de l’épuisement des pâturages résiduels en Mauritanie, au Sénégal, au Nord du Burkina Faso et dans la zone sahélienne du Mali, du Niger et du Tchad. Cette situation a occasionné un ralentissement du mouvement des animaux transhumants vers les zones pastorales, ce qui pourrait être source de conflits entre les éleveurs et les agriculteurs. Aussi, l’essentiel de l’alimentation en eau du cheptel se fait au niveau des forages et des points d’eaux permanents.

    3. La campagne agricole 2015-2016 est caractérisée par une amorce de retard dans l’installation des cultures, en particulier dans la bande agricole couvrant le Mali, le Nord Burkina Faso et la moitié Ouest du Niger. Par ailleurs, des écoulements de cours d’eau en dessous ou proches de la normale sont observés notamment pour les fleuves Niger et Sénégal.

    4. En attendant la mise à jour des prévisions saisonnières pluviométriques et hydrologiques, il a été noté la persistance du phénomène El Nino dans le pacifique équatorial. Ceci aurait, cependant, un impact réduit sur la saison pluvieuse en Afrique de l’Ouest, en raison des perspectives climatiques favorables dans l’atlantique qui laissent présager une amélioration des précipitations.

    5. L’analyse Cadre Harmonisé sur la situation alimentaire et nutritionnelle au Sahel et en Afrique de l’Ouest, mise à jour en juin 2015, confirme qu’environ 7,5 millions de personnes, dont 4,5 millions au Sahel, seront en crise alimentaire et nutritionnelle entre juin et août 2015.

    6. La persistance des crises sécuritaires pourrait aggraver l’insécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle au Nord Mali et dans le bassin du Lac Tchad (Niger, Nigeria, Tchad). En effet dans la région, selon OCHA, près de 2,8 millions de personnes déplacées, retournées et réfugiées (Mauritanie, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria et Tchad) ont été enregistrées à ce jour.

    7. Face à cette situation, les pays du Sahel notamment le Burkina Faso, le Mali, la Mauritanie, le Niger, le Sénégal et le Tchad, avec l’appui des partenaires ont élaboré des plans nationaux de réponse. Ces plans variables selon les pays se déclinent en trois domaines d’intervention : (i) assistance alimentaire, (ii) prévention et prise en charge de la malnutrition, (iii) réhabilitation et protection des moyens d’existence. Toutefois, on note de faibles niveaux de mise en oeuvre de ces plans e réponses en raison de l’insuffisance des financements mobilisés par les Etats et leurs partenaires.


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    Source: UN Human Rights Council
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    Mr President,
    Distinguished Members of the Council,
    Excellencies,

    Following this Council's request that my Office document and report on Boko Haram's violations and abuses of human rights, members of our staff have swiftly deployed. Our teams have travelled to the Far North Region of Cameroon, southern Niger and the north-eastern regions of Nigeria, and will be in Chad in the coming days. In carrying out this mandate given to us by the Council, they will continue to rely on the close cooperation of all concerned States, including through facilitating full access to collect information in the field.

    As requested, we will provide a full written report to the Council in September. However, it has already become clear that the violations committed by Boko Haram are extensive and far-reaching, demanding a response of commensurate magnitude.

    It is encouraging to see governmental control being re-established over key areas of Nigeria. These improvements in the immediate security situation give us hope for peace, and that the authorities will be able to address the root causes of this crisis – including, as we discussed during the Special Session of this Council in April, acute underlying poverty, socio-economic deprivation and discrimination, and allegations of poor governance.

    Interviews by my staff with former captives and survivors of Boko Haram attacks in northeast Nigeria indicate a pattern of vicious and indiscriminate attacks stretching back months, and even years. They include massacres; the burning down of entire villages; attacks on protected sites such as places of worship and schools, and the slaughter of people taking refuge in such sites; torture; cruel and degrading treatment following sentences in so-called "courts"; abduction on a massive scale, including of children; forced displacement; child recruitment; and extremely severe and widespread violations of the rights of women and girls, including sexual slavery, sexual violence, forced so-called "marriages", and forced pregnancy in violation of human rights and international humanitarian law principles.

    Survivors in Nigeria have given my staff distressing witness accounts of gruesome mass killings of men and boys whom Boko Haram grouped together and gunned down or hacked to death with sadistic cruelty, before the female inhabitants of villages were abducted. OHCHR interviews have also confirmed that during their captivity – lasting in many cases for months or even years – women and girls have been sexually enslaved, raped and forced into so-called "marriages". Many survivors of these horrific experiences are now pregnant by their rapists. It is vital that the authorities ensure that every person who has been responsible for such crimes will be held to account in a court of law.

    Over the past year, pitiless attacks on towns and villages in Cameroon, Niger and Chad have also generated terrible suffering. People have been burned to death in their own homes, beheaded, enslaved, raped, tortured, and forcibly recruited. My staff have interviewed victims and witnesses of attacks on the Niger islands of Lake Chad in April, which triggered the forced displacement of around 40,000 civilians to the cities of Bosso and Diffa, under the orders of the Niger authorities. As in Nigeria, Boko Haram fighters killed civilians, burned villages and, abducted women and children. Another Boko Haram raid in Niger two weeks ago – in which at least 38 civilians were killed in villages in the region of Diffa – and the 15 June bombings that targeted police forces in the Chadian capital, are bloody reminders that Boko Haram retains its capacity to cause significant harm.

    Moreover, in most of the towns and villages that have recently been recaptured by the regional forces, Boko Haram fighters reportedly looted and burned down houses, shops and schools; destroyed hospitals and health centres and smashed water points and water systems. In several cases they methodically destroyed bridges and other infrastructure vital to people's lives and livelihoods. Coupled with the massive displacement generated by this movement, this destruction has had a major impact on the economy of the region; there are now severe food shortages, in a region that has traditionally produced crops for trade across the Sahel.

    This economic impact has been exacerbated by security measures taken by regional authorities that limit circulation – including closure of borders, banning of motorbikes, imposed curfews, seizure of truckloads of goods on the grounds that they may be intended for Boko Haram, and restrictions on access to farmland and fishing areas. Similarly, the forced displacement of 40,000 islanders in Niger, following Boko Haram attacks on several villages, has generated great hardship. These measures have sharply increased the risk of poverty for the population of the entire region. They have also generated understandable ill-feeling among the affected communities, and may ultimately contribute to support for Boko Haram. It is vital that in the conduct of their operations, the regional security forces refrain from adding to the suffering of the people.

    I am dismayed by reports that adults, and even children, who have been held captive and even enslaved by Boko Haram for months – and who have been delivered from captivity by government forces – are being subjected to detention, sometimes for lengthy periods, without charges. The case of 84 children from what was initially said to be a Boko Haram training camp in Girvidig, in Cameroon, has been a particularly shocking example. These boys, aged between 7 and 15, were apprehended by the security forces in December 2014, and were sent for evaluation by the Institut Camerounaise de l’Enfance in Maroua. Only last Friday -- after six months of detention in near-starvation conditions -- were some 30 of these children released to their families. I urge the authorities to resolve the situations of the remaining boys as swiftly as possible. We will be following up on these cases, as well as the detention of 43 adults who were arrested in Girvidig with these boys. We are also seeking to clarify the nature of this alleged Boko Haram training camp, which some witnesses describe as an ordinary Koranic school, unrelated to any Boko Haram activity or ideology.

    Many women and children who had been abducted and enslaved by Boko Haram are reportedly being held for lengthy periods by Nigerian security forces, reportedly for screening and rehabilitation. My Office will be requesting access to these women and children to ensure that their needs and choices are being respected.

    Many formerly captive women and young girls are pregnant, some by their rapists, and several reportedly wish to terminate these unwanted pregnancies. I note that abortion is legal in Nigeria only when the life of the woman is at risk. Human rights mechanisms have consistently called for ensuring access to safe abortion services beyond the protection of the woman's life, including in cases of rape and to preserve the health of the woman. Taking this into account, I strongly urge the most compassionate possible interpretation of the current regulations in Nigeria, to include the risk of suicide and risks to mental health for women and young girls who have suffered such appalling cruelty.

    My staff have also relayed to me a number of reports indicating that security forces and local populations have viewed with deep suspicion returning Boko Haram captives, and that a very large number of apparently arbitrary arrests have taken place. In some areas, all people from the Kanuri ethnic group appear to be suspected of complicity with the movement. This heavy-handed and unjustifiable discrimination against internally displaced people and the Kanuri will damage the region's ability to revive a sense of community, with the cross-community bonds that drive prosperity and peace. The Federal Government of Nigeria and the European Union have signed a €1.5 million agreement to implement community based psychosocial support and protection services for child victims and returnees; this work is vital, and it should begin by refraining from further damage to their rights, and the rights of their families.

    I must insist on the need for greater attention to human rights by both the military and the police forces in concerned countries when carrying out security operations against Boko Haram. Protection of civilians must be a paramount concern in all military operations, with respect for the strict rules of engagement that protect human rights and international humanitarian law. My Office stands ready to assist with detailed and practical training regarding non-discriminatory policing, conditions of detention, protection of civilians, the establishment of accountability mechanisms and respect for international humanitarian and human rights law. Failure to uphold these principles could jeopardize recent successes against Boko Haram, by driving more people into justifiable mistrust for the authorities.

    I am pained to note the detailed report by Amnesty International which alleged that serious human rights violations were committed by the Nigerian Military Forces. While my Office is not able to confirm these allegations, we sadly share the concerns regarding the arbitrary or discriminatory nature of many arrests in the context of the struggle against Boko Haram since 2009, and the often shocking conditions of detention in north-eastern Nigeria, including torture and lack of food or water.

    Indeed, such conditions are not necessarily limited to Nigeria. My Office has also established details of 27 December 2014 raids by Cameroonian armed forces on the villages of Magdeme and Doublei in the Far North Region, following an ambush the previous day with at least one soldier killed. The Government has claimed 70 persons were arrested, though 25 of those are now dead; allegedly a large number of those arrested died from inhumane detention conditions at the gendarmerie detention facility in Maroua. To date, my Office has found that at least 88 persons had been arrested, though other reliable sources allege a figure as high as 260. I commend the Cameroonian authorities for having launched an investigation into the deaths in custody, and I encourage them also to investigate the conduct of the armed forces in the two affected villages.

    I am also heartened by President Buhari's pledge, in his inaugural speech, that his administration will “overhaul the rules of engagement to avoid human rights violations in operations (and)... improve operational and legal mechanisms so that disciplinary steps are taken against proven human rights violations by the armed forces.” This is a strong and positive signal, and we stand ready to assist.

    As the Nigerian government and regional forces continue to gain territory, I believe it is time to give proper consideration to the need for a profound policy response that is grounded in the need for accountability and reconciliation, with measures to promote socio-economic rights and improve governance. Trust must be rebuilt, and this includes trust in the authorities and between communities. The authorities must also assist women and girl survivors of Boko Haram, including encouraging their reintegration into their community, establishing accountability for sexual violence, and ensuring greater respect for women's rights. We will assist the authorities of the region in every possible way to enable their people to recover full enjoyment of their human rights. Meanwhile, Member States, donors and the UN Country Teams can and should begin focusing programmes to meet the needs of the people of the sub-region – to repair the damage caused by Boko Haram, and to ensure that such a movement can never again take hold.

    ENDS

    For more information and media requests, please contact please contact Rupert Colville (+41 22 917 9767 / rcolville@ohchr.org) or mailto:/rcolville@ohchr.orgmailto:rshamdasani@ohchr.org Cécile Pouilly (+41 22 917 9310 / cpouilly@ohchr.org)


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Maiduguri, Nigeria | AFP | Wednesday 7/1/2015 - 13:57 GMT

    A man and a woman apparently trying to target a hospital in northeast Nigeria were killed Wednesday when explosives strapped to their bodies blew up, witnesses said.

    The explosions took place in the village of Molai not far from the restive city of Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, where Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo was on a surprise visit.

    According to witness Babayo Ismail, one of the pair was a woman aged around 18 who was trying to find her way into Molai General Hospital.

    "She covered herself with a hijab and wanted to enter the hospital but was forced to stop while approaching the facility," he said.

    "I strongly feel that the explosives in her body were remotely controlled because while guards at the gate of the hospital were shouting at her, we heard a loud bang and that was the end of the whole thing, she was completely decapitated by her own explosive."

    A security official at the hospital who requested anonymity said the woman was also accompanied by a man aged around 20 on a bicycle.

    "When they were denied (entry), the explosives on their bodies detonated and killed them," he said.

    There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Boko Haram has used both men and young women and girls as human bombs in the past.

    The same hospital was also targeted Saturday when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside, killing at least five people and leaving 10 wounded.

    Borno state has been the hardest hit by the Boko Haram insurgency, which has left at least 15,000 people dead and forced more than 1.5 million people to flee their homes since 2009.

    Boko Haram, which has been fighting to establish a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria, has intensified its campaign of violence in the last month.

    More than 250 people have been killed in violence since May 29 when President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office vowing to crush the insurgency, according to an AFP toll.

    str-mbx/phz/ach


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    Source: UN Human Rights Council
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Niger, Nigeria

    Human Rights Council
    MORNING
    1st July 2015

    Human Rights Council Concludes Interactive Dialogue on Côte d’Ivoire

    The Human Rights Council this morning heard an oral update from Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, on human rights violations and abuses committed by Boko Haram, followed by an interactive dialogue. The Council also concluded its interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert on capacity-building and technical cooperation with Côte d’Ivoire in the field of human rights.

    High Commissioner Zeid said violations by Boko Haram were extensive and far-reaching, demanding a response of commensurate magnitude. It was encouraging to see governmental control being re-established over key areas of Nigeria, which gave hope that the authorities would address the root causes of this crisis, including poverty, socio-economic deprivation and poor governance. Coupled with massive displacement, destruction and abuses by Boko Haram had had a major impact on the economy of the region, causing severe food shortages, and this was exacerbated by security measures taken by regional authorities, such as restriction of circulation and forced displacement. Such measures had generated understandable ill-feeling among the affected communities, and could ultimately contribute to support for Boko Haram. It was time to give proper consideration to the need for a profound policy response that was grounded in the need for accountability and reconciliation, with measures to promote socio-economic rights and improve governance.

    Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria spoke as concerned countries.

    In the discussion, speakers condemned in the strongest terms atrocities by Boko Haram, and particularly attacks against civilians and abuses of women and girls. They regretted the negative impact of Boko Haram’s activities on the region’s stability and humanitarian situation, and expressed solidarity with the affected populations. Speakers recalled States’ obligations to respect international human rights and humanitarian law while countering terrorism, called for the investigation of all alleged violations, and underlined the importance of accountability. They encouraged the High Commissioner to continue monitoring human rights abuses by all parties.

    Speaking were the European Union, Algeria on behalf of the African Group, Sierra Leone, United States, Poland, Spain, Togo, Ecuador, Iran, France, Australia, Mali, Gabon, Germany, Gabon, Canada, Egypt, United Kingdom, Morocco, New Zealand, Algeria, Ireland, Venezuela, China, African Union, Sudan, Switzerland, Burundi, Benin, Libya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Mauritania and Republic of Congo.

    Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Centre for Reproductive Rights, International Movement against All Forms of Racism and Discrimination (in a joint statement with Women’s Consortium of Nigeria), International Federation of Human Rights Leagues, Arab Commission for Human Rights, and Rencontre africaine pour la défense des droits de l’homme (in a joint statement with North South XXI) also spoke.

    At the beginning of the meeting, the Council concluded its interactive dialogue with Mohammed Ayat, the Independent Expert on capacity-building and technical cooperation with Côte d’Ivoire in the field of human rights. The Council started this dialogue on 30 June, and a summary is available here.

    In the interactive dialogue, delegations noted with satisfaction the progress made in institution building and welcomed the establishment of the Reconciliation Commission, the National Human Rights Institute, the National Programme for Social Cohesion and the Victim Reparation Fund. All sides in Côte d’Ivoire should intensify their efforts to combat impunity and ensure that perpetrators of crimes against humanity were held accountable regardless of their political, ethnic, tribal or religious affiliation. Security risks in border and forest areas, and the continued sources of instability, remained issues of concern, as well as ongoing human rights violations including torture, arbitrary arrests, and sexual violence.

    Speaking were United States, Belgium, Niger, Egypt, Republic of Congo, Algeria, Ghana, Togo, Mali, Senegal, Morocco, Botswana, Chad, United Kingdom, Mozambique, Benin, Gabon, China, France, Ireland, and New Zealand.

    Also speaking were International Federation for Human Rights Leagues, International Service for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, United Nations Watch, and International Child Catholic Bureau (in a joint statement with Mouvement International d’Apostolate des Milieux Sociaux Indépendants, Company of the Daughters of Charity of Vincent de Paul, Pax Romana and Dominicans for Justice and Peace – Order of Preachers).

    In the afternoon meeting, the Council will hear the presentation of reports on technical cooperation and capacity building, and then start its general debate on technical cooperation and capacity building in the field of human rights.

    Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Côte d’Ivoire

    United States expressed continued concern regarding the ongoing challenges faced by Côte d’Ivoire, especially in light of upcoming elections. Only inclusive and ongoing dialogue and the persecution of perpetrators on all sides would bring stability. The United States called for national reconciliation and peaceful elections next year. Belgium commended the major progress achieved by Côte d’Ivoire and welcomed the abolition of the death penalty. Elections would be a test for the future of the country. Belgium called upon the authorities to continue current reforms in human rights. Cooperation with the International Criminal Court was crucial. Niger commended the Independent Expert for his excellent work, and congratulated the authorities for their cooperation with him. Niger praised the Government’s efforts towards the revival of the economy and underscored the progress achieved in reconciliation following the electoral crisis of 2011. Niger welcomed the work of the Reconciliation Commission and the dialogue achieved thus far. Egypt urged the Independent Expert to provide the necessary cooperation to improve human rights and commended the progress achieved in the field of human rights, as well as the establishment of the National Human Rights Institution, the Victims Reparation Fund and the Reconciliation Commission. Egypt congratulated the country for building the capacity of the justice system and the reform of courts as well as the adoption of a number of laws in line with these policies.

    Republic of Congo commended the significant breakthrough in the establishment of national human rights institutions in Côte d’Ivoire, in particular the setting up of the Reconciliation Commission, and the legislative reforms to bring those responsible for violations to justice and to combat impunity. Algeria encouraged the Government to continue with the institutional reforms it was undertaking and to strengthen the capacity of the judiciary. Those measures should help to fight impunity for serious violations of human rights. Ghana welcomed the establishment of the Reconciliation Commission, the National Human Rights Institute and the Victims Reparation Fund, which it said would improve the human rights situation in the country, and called for further legislative reforms in order to bring its national human rights institution in line with the Paris Principles. Togo noted with satisfaction the progress made in the justice sector and the reforms in the Penal and Civil Codes and called upon Côte d’Ivoire to continue the prosecution of all those responsible for human rights violations in the fight against impunity. Togo called upon the Council to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert.

    Mali commended the establishment of a number of institutions, including the Victims Reparation Fund and the National Social Cohesion Programme and the abolition of the death penalty. It marked the considerable efforts in the judicial arena, particularly the rehabilitation of the courts, and the fight against impunity. Senegal commended the authorities for having quickly picked up the economy and for having established major mechanisms, including the Reconciliation Commission as well as the Victims Reparation Fund and the Social Cohesion Programme. In light of the progress achieved on the ground, Senegal welcomed the extension of the United Nations mandate and said it would help ensure free elections. Morocco welcomed the Independent Expert’s high level of interaction with the Government of Côte d’Ivoire. Acknowledging the complexity of the situation in the region, including the threat of Boko Haram and the Sahelian crisis, Morocco welcomed the renewal of Côte d’Ivoire’s pre-crisis peace-making role in West Africa. It also welcomed the social and economic progress made by the Government. Rwanda commended the country for the establishment of the universal social security coverage and for the abolition of the death penalty. Rwanda continued to share solidarity and support with Côte d’Ivoire and called on the international community to strengthen its support for the country.

    Botswana noted with concern security risks in border and forest areas in Côte d’Ivoire and was worried about continued human rights violations, including torture, arbitrary arrests, and sexual violence. Poverty remained a key challenge, and Botswana welcomed the adoption of the national social protection strategy. Chad noted with satisfaction the progress achieved in the respect for human rights, in particular in improving the security situation, even though some risks of instability remained. Chad also welcomed the concerted efforts to achieve disarmament, demobilization and rehabilitation, to strengthen the rule of law, and to combat impunity. United Kingdom welcomed the establishment of the national human rights institution and the setting up of the Reconciliation Commission. All sides should intensify their efforts to combat impunity and to ensure that perpetrators of crimes against humanity were held accountable regardless of their political, ethnic or religious affiliation. Mozambique welcomed the efforts of Côte d’Ivoire to address the shortcomings identified in the Independent Expert’s report, its ratification of a number of international human rights instruments, and the efforts towards the abolition of the death penalty.

    Benin welcomed the improvement of the security situation and progress in combatting impunity. Benin encouraged the Government to continue efforts, and welcomed the ongoing cooperation with international organizations. It noted with satisfaction the gradual return of the country to its proper role and urged the international community to continue to support the efforts of the country. Gabon welcomed Côte d’Ivoire’s laudable efforts to boost social cohesion and to promote and protect human rights, as well as activities undertaken in the field of security and the judiciary. It regretted that firearms were still held by some ex-combatants and that impunity remained in some areas, making the country fragile. It urged Côte d’Ivoire to continue its efforts. China commended the Government’s efforts in promoting national security, economic development, and the protection of human rights. It recognized the numerous challenges, and called upon the international community to provide constructive assistance after considering fully the needs of the country. Peace, security and stability were the basis for the enjoyment of human rights, and China was ready to join the efforts in contributing to them. France thanked the Independent Expert for his report and welcomed his cooperation with the Government. It encouraged the authorities to pursue free, transparent, fair, and inclusive elections in autumn 2015, and to undertake further efforts in human rights. A clear commitment was vital in order to consolidate progress thus far. Sexual violence had to be persecuted. The National Human Rights Commission was a positive step forward.

    Ireland was concerned about delays in addressing the reported serious human rights abuses committed during the post-election crisis in 2010 and the previous 10 years and called upon Côte d’Ivoire to widen the scope of investigations already underway. Addressing questions surrounding impunity and equitable justice were central to national reconciliation. New Zealand noted that 30,000 persons still had to be effectively disarmed and urged Côte d’Ivoire to accelerate effective disarmament, demobilization and reintegration activities. University premises were still occupied by former combatants and New Zealand encouraged Côte d’Ivoire to comply with the obligations it accepted in the Oslo Declaration on Safe Schools.

    International Federation for Human Rights Leagues welcomed the establishment of the Reconciliation Commission and stressed the importance of linking compensation for victims with judicial decisions in order to avoid misappropriation of funds. International Service for Human Rights welcomed the adoption by Côte d’Ivoire of the 2014 law on the promotion and protection of human rights defenders, the first of its kind in Africa, and called upon the Government to adopt a decree for its application to ensure the full enjoyment of the human rights contained in the law.

    Human Rights Watch agreed with the Independent Expert’s conclusions that serious human rights violations, including those that occurred during the post-election crisis, should not go unpunished. Victims of these crimes were entitled to impartial and equitable justice. United Nations Watch continued to be concerned about the lack of protection for human rights defenders, of accountability among security forces, and of impartial justice. Members of security forces continued to be involved in widespread violence. Progress was one sided. While 150 pro-Gbagbo civilian and military leaders had been charged for abuses committed during the turmoil, not one member of Ouattara’s forces had been prosecuted. International Child Catholic Bureau, in a joint statement with Mouvement International d’Apostolate des Milieux Sociaux Indépendants, Company of the Daughters of Charity of Vincent de Paul, Pax Romana et Dominicans for Justice and Peace – Order of Preachers, was concerned about the silence around the issue of children victims during the conflict. There was a lack of ongoing specialized assistance in the form of doctors, lawyers and specialized judges. Although the opening of the hotline had helped, the protection for children victims and victims of sexual violence was needed.

    Closing Remarks

    Côte d’Ivoire, in concluding remarks, welcomed the quality of this interactive debate and its constructive spirit, and commended the Independent Expert for understanding the situation on the ground. Côte d’Ivoire welcomed the trust that the Human Rights Council placed upon it and reiterated its commitment to do what it promised to do. Côte d’Ivoire called upon the Human Rights Council to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert.

    MOHAMMED AYAT, Independent Expert on capacity-building and technical cooperation with Côte d’Ivoire in the field of human rights, in concluding remarks, congratulated Côte d’Ivoire for its constructive approach and said that his mission needed the attention and comments of the Council Members to drive the process and make changes happen. Mr. Ayat said that many delegations had taken positive note of the progress made in Côte d’Ivoire and how quickly the changes had happened. It was obvious that people wanted to turn a new leaf, for which the support of the international community was needed. Areas of concern were how to consolidate peace, strengthening the democratic process underway, and how to consolidate human rights achievements. In terms of priorities, the Independent Expert stressed the consolidation of peace and democracy, building a solid foundation of civil and political rights, and completing disarmament. Justice was essential and was the basis for the consolidation of democracy; there was a need to be careful not to destroy what had already been achieved. Civil society was one of the watchdogs which could raise alarms and point out weaknesses. Mr. Ayat also stressed the need to promote economic, social and cultural rights which were closely interlinked with civil and political rights. Côte d’Ivoire was well on the road and the international community had a responsibility to support this process. The law on the protection of human rights defenders, which was quite unique in Africa, needed to be more effective, and Côte d’Ivoire should promulgate a decree to implement that law.

    Oral Update by the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Boko Haram

    ZEID RA’AD AL HUSSEIN, High Commissioner for Human Rights, said violations by Boko Haram were extensive and far-reaching, demanding a response of commensurate magnitude. It was encouraging to see governmental control being re-established over key areas of Nigeria, which gave hope that the authorities would address the root causes of this crisis, including poverty, socio-economic deprivation and poor governance. Interviews with survivors indicated a pattern of vicious and indiscriminate attacks including massacres; the burning down of villages; attacks on places of worship and schools, and the slaughter of people taking refuge in such sites; torture; abduction on a massive scale, including of children; forced displacement; child recruitment; and extremely severe and widespread violations of the rights of women and girls, including sexual slavery, sexual violence, forced so-called "marriages", and forced pregnancy. It was vital that perpetrators of such crimes were held accountable. Coupled with massive displacement, destruction and abuses by Boko Haram had had a major impact on the economy of the region, causing severe food shortages. This had been exacerbated by security measures taken by regional authorities that restricted circulation. The forced displacement of 40,000 islanders in Niger had generated great hardship. These measures had sharply increased the risk of poverty for the population of the entire region, had generated understandable ill-feeling among the affected communities, and could ultimately contribute to support for Boko Haram.

    It was vital that the regional security forces refrained from adding to the suffering of the people. The High Commissioner was dismayed by reports that people, including women and children, who had been held captive or enslaved by Boko Haram – and who had fled or been delivered by government forces – were being subjected to detention, sometimes for lengthy periods, without charges. High Commissioner Zeid strongly urged the most compassionate possible interpretation of the current regulations on abortion, to include the risk of suicide and risks to mental health for women and young girls pregnant as a result of rape. The High Commissioner expressed concerns at alleged serious human rights violations by the Nigerian Military Forces and the Cameroonian armed forces as well as by shocking detention conditions, and insisted on the need for greater attention to human rights by both the military and the police when carrying out security operations against Boko Haram. It was time to give proper consideration to the need for a profound policy response that was grounded in the need for accountability and reconciliation, with measures to promote socio-economic rights and improve governance. The authorities also had to assist women and girl survivors of Boko Haram, including encouraging their reintegration into their communities, establishing accountability for sexual violence, and ensuring greater respect for women's rights.

    Statements by Concerned Countries

    Cameroon welcomed the Human Rights Council’s initiative to hold a Special Session on 20 April 2015 on Boko Haram, and noted that the mission deployed with a view to gathering information on atrocities committed by Boko Haram was a clear implementation of the session’s resolution. Cameroon commended the support received by the mission and said that experts had carried out several safe and secure visits throughout the country and met with refugees, as well as with ministerial and regional authorities, and non-governmental organizations. Cameroon hoped to continue its collaboration with the Human Rights Council and with countries concerned. Regarding the notion of State responsibility, Cameroon noted that its policy was in full accordance with human rights, which was taught in military schools and which instructed on how to treat prisoners. Thus Cameroon regretted that non-governmental organizations aimed to tarnish the reputation of the military. Following the death of 25 persons in a cell in a region, discipline measures had been taken against the perpetrators and these had been relieved of their duties. The 84 detained child soldiers had been released. Cameroon appealed to the international community to continue its efforts to help, especially with regard to the refugees.

    Chad thanked the High Commissioner for his oral update on the abuses and violations perpetrated by Boko Haram, following the Special Session held by the Human Rights Council and the resolution thereof, which had called for a report on the situation. Chad noted with satisfaction that the oral report had just been delivered. Boko Haram had been born in Nigeria but all countries of the Lake Chad Basin were concerned. Its activities had various ramifications. Thousands of Nigerian refugees had fled into Chad. Thousands of Chad’s citizens had been living and working in areas where Boko Haram was operating. There were economic consequences as well, the trade with Nigeria which had been intense, had completely stopped. People living along the lake had fled to the interior, leaving their fisheries and other activities. There were also serious social consequences, including employment and lives of the people. Chad was on the frontline of combatting Boko Haram and had suffered a suicide attack in Ndjamena on June 15, in which over 100 people had been injured. The Government’s response had been immediate, and the rapid reaction had succeeded in destroying Boko Haram’s weapons and bombs.

    Niger firmly condemned human rights violations committed by Boko Haram and said that this terrorist group had not yet been beaten and continued to raid villages and massacre civilians with unprecedented violence. Niger had been combatting Boko Haram since February 2015 and rapid deployment of security forces coupled with movement control had helped protect the population. With the support of numerous humanitarian agencies, the Government provided support to refugees and displaced persons, but more resources were needed for food, health care and sanitation. The members of the Lake Chad Commission had stepped up their joint efforts to combat Boko Haram and had put in place a multinational mixed force with a budget of $ 30 million. The countries of the Lake Chad Basin had a legitimate right to start a war in order to protect themselves and their population from Boko Haram.

    Nigeria said that the activities of Boko Haram threatened the peace and stability of Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Niger and its pledge of allegiance to ISIL was a wake-up call and indicated wider security implications on the region and the world. Nigeria was aware that the solution to terrorism was not only found in the military campaign, and that was why it had embarked on a comprehensive and holistic counter-terrorism programme, aimed at limiting the pool of potential recruitments by providing job opportunities for the youth and shutting down sources of funding, while a mechanism for systemic monitoring of activities in the affected areas had been established. Nigeria would do all that was necessary to protect the rights of citizens in the affected areas and said that it had been necessary to declare a state of emergency in three states most affected by terrorism, giving the military the right to arrest and detain.

    Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Boko Haram

    European Union strongly condemned abuses by Boko Haram, and continued to assist the Nigerian Government and affected countries to address the humanitarian crisis. It reaffirmed the primary responsibility of States to protect their populations, including from acts of terror, and expressed concerns over allegations of violations by Nigerian security forces. Algeria, speaking on behalf of the African Group, welcomed the Council’s unanimity regarding Boko Haram, and expressed concern about the humanitarian situation in affected regions, including mass displacement. It called on the international community to provide the Multinational Force with necessary support for ensuring accountability for Boko Haram terrorists. Sierra Leone said terrorism had never been so pervasive; it led to humanitarian crises and was a major obstacle to development. Countries had to work together to develop strategies and policies to combat and prevent the criminal activities of terrorist groups, block their sources of funding and hold perpetrators accountable. United States encouraged the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to maintain a balanced and objective focus on atrocities committed both by Boko Haram and State-sponsored groups. It hoped the final report would stress the need for accountability for all perpetrators, and insisted that lasting stability and security required respect for human rights, including an independent judiciary and the rule of law.

    Poland condemned in the strongest terms the grave abuses of human rights committed by Boko Haram. It was imperative that the Nigerian forces maintained their proactive stance against terrorists and fulfilled their duties in protecting the civilian population. Poland hoped that the new administration in Nigeria would do its utmost to tackle not only the security dimension of the Boko Haram challenge but the social root causes of this phenomenon, such as the development of northern provinces. Spain said that victims of terrorism suffered social stigma and psycho-social consequences and stressed the need for the protection of victims and the respect of their rights to recognition and reparation. The fight against terrorism must respect obligations arising from international law, particularly human rights, humanitarian and refugee laws. Togo welcomed the commitment of the new President of Nigeria who had invested into developing regional cooperation to fight Boko Haram, including the setting up of the mixed multinational force. Although weakened, Boko Haram had continued its murderous attacks and had now joined Daesh, so it was imperative to limit their sources of funding. Ecuador expressed its particular indignation at the use of children as suicide bombers, forced marriages, sexual violence, slavery and forced recruitment. The international community should unite efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by Boko Haram.

    Iran strongly condemned atrocities, war crimes and crimes against humanity by Boko Haram, and said terrorist acts violated human rights and threatened States’ stability and territorial integrity. National governments and the international community should do their utmost to address the root causes of terrorism through a comprehensive approach and actions to put an end to financial support to extremists. France was concerned that civilians were the daily victims of atrocities by Boko Haram, and most strongly condemned these acts. France underlined the necessity to hold perpetrators accountable, and stressed the obligations of all parties to respect international human rights and international law. It therefore welcomed recent pledges to investigate alleged violations by security forces.

    Australia remained deeply disturbed over attacks by Boko Haram, and sexual violence against women and girls, and stressed the need for accountability. Australia was concerned at the impact that Boko Haram had on stability in the region, and said measures to counter terrorism had to comply with international human rights and humanitarian law. Mali said despicable activities by Boko Haram shocked the human conscience, and paid tribute to the commitment of affected countries to overcome this criminal organization. Mali also paid tribute to all partners providing assistance to the victims. No country was safe from terrorism, and Mali was still paying a heavy price.

    Gabon said Boko Haram’s activities undoubtedly violated human rights and international humanitarian law. Gabon expressed its solidarity with its brothers from the concerned countries, and welcomed the regional and sub-regional groups’ initiatives. It regretted, however, that despite efforts, the fight was far from won, and called upon the international community to remain firm in fighting the scourge. Germany regretted that since the Human Rights Council Special Session in April, attacks by Boko Haram had continued. Germany conveyed its condolences to all friends and relatives of victims and commended the efforts of the Nigerian Army and the armed forces of Niger, Cameroon and Chad to fight Boko Haram and free hostages. Germany encouraged the countries to continue their fight against Boko Haram and urged the Nigerian President to continue the investigations of human rights violations. Legal processes were part of the process. Canada firmly condemned the widespread violations of international humanitarian law by Boko Haram. Now that a growing number of women and children were being saved from these horrors, the international community needed to ensure that they received continued support. Canada fully supported the High Commissioner’s for investigations into all infringements on human rights. The terrorists had to be brought to justice. Egypt said that Boko Haram’s activities were extensive and far reaching. It was concerned that the phenomenon of terrorism had undergone reforms in past months which represented a growing threat to States, destabilizing legitimate governments and presenting a threat to international security. Boko Haram’s activities had expanded from West to Central Africa, and affected all of Africa. Regional and international cooperation was needed to combat this group and combat impunity.

    United Kingdom said it was deeply concerned about the ongoing attacks by Boko Haram, and was appalled by the atrocities against those who did not follow their extremist and intolerant views. It noted that all operations against Boko Haram must be fully compliant with international human rights law and international humanitarian law. It urged States to meet the needs of those affected. Morocco noted that it had been drawing attention to security risks in the Sahara region and Western Africa during the past decade. Boko Haram posed a global challenge and a challenge to State authority; it endangered human rights and posed a threat to international peace and security. New Zealand stated that the atrocities committed by Boko Haram shocked the conscience and demanded the strongest possible response. It welcomed the endorsement by Nigeria and Niger of the Safe Schools Declaration at the recent Oslo Conference, and encouraged Cameroon and Chad to do so, in order to ensure that countering terrorism was in accordance with international human rights standards. Algeria regretted that the atrocities committed by Boko Haram were ongoing in several countries, in particular in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad, and welcomed the efforts by those countries in combatting Boko Haram. The threat of terrorism generally extended beyond the borders of affected countries, which was why the international community had to provide assistance to those countries.

    Ireland said Boko Haram constituted a threat to peace and security in the region, and was appalled by the discovery of mass graves and by allegations of violations and abuses against women and girls. Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon should consider the valuable guidance of Special Procedures on protecting human rights while countering terrorism. Venezuela expressed its consternation at violence by Boko Haram, including the abduction of women and girls, and condemned actions to exterminate religious groups. Venezuela called for tolerance and respect, and said the crisis engendered by this group had to gather together the international community in supporting efforts to achieve stability and combat terrorism, while respecting the principle of non-interference in domestic affairs. China said terrorism, and particularly acts by Boko Haram, affected stability, development, territorial integrity and the humanitarian situation in the whole region, and said the international community had to support African countries’ efforts in favour of peace and development. African Union expressed its support to the victims of atrocities by Boko Haram, particularly women and girls. Terrorist acts by Boko Haram required joint actions to combat this scourge. The multidimensional nature of these crimes required a pluri-disciplinary approach by the international community.

    Sudan said that the activities of Boko Haram emphasized that the rule of law was mandatory for countering terrorism. Sudan was deeply concerned by the violations committed by Boko Haram and encouraged the international community to combat it and to provide assistance and funding to the African Union to effectively fight Boko Haram. Switzerland welcomed the importance of the dialogue and condemned the forced violence and sexual abuse committed by Boko Haram. The fact that children were involved was unacceptable. States had the main responsibility in combatting this scourge, and had to take all necessary measures to ensure that violators of human rights were persecuted. It was important for the High Commissioner’s report to be adopted in September in order to identify accountability and assistance needs.

    Burundi welcomed the organization of the interactive dialogue on such a thorny matter, and thanked the High Commissioner for having updated the Council on the worrying activities of Boko Haram. The atrocities committed by that group were beyond description and had an appalling effect on human rights. Burundi reiterated its solidarity with the affected countries. Benin said that despite the efforts of affected countries, Boko Haram continued to cause the death of tens of thousands of people, with enormous consequences for the economy of those countries. It welcomed the efforts of the international community to pursue initiatives on behalf of the affected countries. It was necessary to redouble efforts to fight Boko Haram. Libya shared the worries of the affected countries and expressed concern that more atrocities and violations were being committed by Boko Haram. It expressed solidarity with the affected families in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad, noting that no place in the world was immune to the acts of terrorist groups. The international community had to provide assistance to affected countries in order to combat terrorism. Rwanda condemned abuses of human rights and atrocities committed by Boko Haram in the affected countries, and stressed the need for a concerted response to end the threat of Boko Haram. It welcomed the commitment and progress made in combatting that terrorist group by the affected countries.

    Ethiopia strongly condemned acts by Boko Haram, which remained a huge challenge to global peace and security and required a united response from the international community. There was a need to support affected countries’ efforts to combat terrorism and address the needs of the affected population, including through technical assistance. Mauritania firmly condemned terrorism in all its forms, and appalling acts against civilians by Boko Haram. The international community had to remain firm, determined and supportive, and increased solidarity was needed as terrorism threatened peace around the world. Republic of Congo said Boko Haram was continuing to defy the international community with its cruelty, and called on all States to continue their support to affected countries. Boko Haram’s acts had had a negative impact on development and on the humanitarian situation in those countries, and constituted a threat to global security. International solidarity was strongly needed to address these challenges.

    Human Rights Watch said greater respect for human rights was essential in Nigeria. Boko Haram had targeted civilians, particularly women and girls, and attacked villages. In response to Boko Haram, Nigerian security forces had been perpetrating serious violations of human rights law, including arbitrary detention, in total impunity. Human Rights Watch called for investigations and accountability for these allegations. Amnesty International said that it continued to document and report war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated by Boko Haram and referred the Council to its report “Our job is to shoot, slaughter and kill:” Boko Haram’s reign of terror in north east Nigeria. Amnesty informed on the violations by forces fighting on behalf of the Government of Nigeria to protect the people from Boko Haram. Centre for Reproduction Rights was extremely concerned by the human rights violations and abuses perpetrated by Boko Haram targeting women and girls in Nigeria and neighbouring countries. Abductions, sexual slavery and trafficking, child, early and forced marriages, rape and forced pregnancies were only the tip of the iceberg. Boko Haram had abducted over 2000 girls since 2014, and out of the 234 women released by the Nigerian Army, 214 were pregnant. International Movement against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism, in a joint statement with Women’s Consortium of Nigeria, condemned the heinous crimes committed by Boko Haram, and regretted that most of the girls abducted from Chibok last year were still missing. It called upon the Human Rights Council members to support the Government of Nigeria to combat the terrorist group and restore peace and religious harmony in the country.

    International Federation for Human Rights Leagues condemned in the strongest terms the grave violations of international human rights committed by Boko Haram in Nigeria, and recently in Niger and Chad. It was estimated that almost 13,000 persons had been killed by that group since 2009, whereas 1.5 million people were refugees or internally displaced by the conflict. Arab Commission for Human Rights expressed appreciation for the efforts made by the Office of the High Commissioner to investigate human rights violations. Donor countries could and should carry out careful examinations in order to assess the needs to local populations and try to repair the damage done by Boko Haram. Special rapporteurs and mandate holders should take part in the investigations in the field. Rencontre africaine pour la défense des droits de l’homme, in a joint statement with North South XXI, noted that since the special session on Boko Haram held by the Council on 1 April, Nigeria had lived in an atmosphere of tension and successive acts of terror perpetrated by Boko Haram, which sent young kamikaze into villages in border zones of Cameroon, Chad and Niger in order to spread terror among defenceless civilian populations. It expressed concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the north-east of Nigeria.

    Concluding Remarks

    ZEID RA’AD AL HUSSEIN, High Commissioner for Human Rights, thanked all those delegations who had welcomed his oral update and had commented on the report. He was grateful for the comments extended to his office and the team in the field. He expressed appreciation for the unison of opinion and expression of support for the affected countries. As for the measures to be taken against regeneration of Boko Haram in the future, the High Commissioner explained there were three basic components: full provisions of government services while honouring human rights; development activity and the effort of the international donor community to rebuild the affected areas; and the international community’s actions to undo the thought mechanism that underpinned the ideology of Boko Haram, and efforts to counter it through education. As for mentioned difficulties in the drafting of the report, The High Commissioner Zeid expressed hope that concerned States would continue to cooperate in the drafting process.


    For use of the information media; not an official record


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Chad, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Sierra Leone, World

    TCHAD
    11 TUÉS DANS UN RAID POLICIER

    Le 29 juin, 11 personnes (cinq policiers et six insurgés présumés) ont été tuées lors d'une opération de police contre des éléments présumés du groupe Boko Haram à N'Djamena. La police a saisi plusieurs ceintures d'explosifs et d'autres engins explosifs. L'opération intervient deux semaines après qu’un double attentat visant des bureaux de la police dans la capitale a tué 34 personnes. Séparément, dans une explosion contrôlée, la police a détruit un véhicule rempli d'explosifs dans le marché central de N'Djamena.

    MESURES DE SÉCURITÉ RENFORCÉES A LA SUITE D’ATTAQUES

    A la suite des attaques du 15 juin, les autorités tchadiennes ont mis en place une série de mesures de sécurité dont la délivrance de nouveaux passeports et cartes d'identité. Le port du voile intégral ainsi que la circulation de véhicules à vitres teintées ont déjà été interdits. Boko Haram est soupçonné d'être derrière les récentes attaques au Tchad et au Niger, dont les armées, aux côtés de celles du Cameroun et du Nigéria, luttent contre les militants. Environ 1,8 million de personnes ont été déplacées par l'insurrection de Boko Haram dans la région. Au Tchad, ce nombre est estimé à 48 000.

    LIBERIA
    PREMIER CAS ÉBOLA DEPUIS SEPT SEMAINES

    Le 30 juin, le Libéria a annoncé le premier décès causé par le virus depuis que l’épidémie a pris fin le 9 mai. Le jeune homme de 17 ans était originaire d'un village du comté de Margibi, situé à l'est de la capitale Monrovia. La réponse des autorités et des partenaires humanitaires dans la région et le suivi des contacts sont en cours. Le gouvernement et les partenaires de santé ont récemment soulevé des inquiétudes sur la possible résurgence du virus Ébola en raison de l'augmentation des rapports non confirmés faisant état de cas suspects ces dernières semaines.

    MALI
    NOUVELLES ATTAQUES AU SUD ET À L’EST

    Le 28 juin, des assaillants armés ont attaqué et détruit des bâtiments du gouvernement dans la région de Fakola, près de la frontière avec la Côte d'Ivoire. Le 27 juin, des militants ont attaqué un camp militaire dans la région de Nara près de la frontière mauritanienne. Trois soldats et neuf assaillants ont été tués lors de l'agression. Les incidents se sont produits une semaine après la signature d’un accord de paix entre le principal groupe de rebelles Touaregs du nord du Mali et le gouvernement. Selon des sources médiatiques, les insurgés d’Ansar Dine auraient revendiqué les attaques.

    NIGER
    5 TUÉS LORS D’INCURSIONS DANS DES VILLAGES

    Cinq personnes ont été tuées et quatre autres blessées dans la nuit du 23 au 24 juin lors d’une attaque sur un village près de la ville de Bosso, dans le sud du Niger, à proximité de la frontière avec le Nigéria. Les assaillants, soupçonnés d'être des militants de Boko Haram, ont mis le feu à plus de 100 maisons et 100 motos ainsi qu’au marché local. Selon les premières estimations, environ 1000 personnes auraient été affectées. Une évaluation menée par le gouvernement est en cours afin d’identifier les besoins de la population touchée et une assistance humanitaire a été apportée avec la fourniture de produits alimentaires et non-alimentaires. Dans la nuit du 17 au 18 juin, des assaillants armés avaient tué 38 personnes lors de raids sur trois villages dans la même zone.

    REGIONAL/ MALADIE A VIRUS EBOLA (MVE)
    COUVRE-FEU EN SIERRA LEONE

    Le 30 juin, le Libéria a signalé son premier cas de MVE depuis sept semaines. En date du 25 juin, trois nouveaux cas confirmés et six cas suspects avaient été signalés en Guinée, où l'hostilité envers les travailleurs de la santé continue d'entraver les efforts visant à freiner le virus Ébola. En Sierra Leone, un couvre-feu de 21 jours a été imposé dans certaines parties des districts de Kambia et de Port Loko où des cas de MVE continuent d'être signalés. La semaine précédant le 21 juin, un total de 20 cas a été signalé en Guinée et en Sierra Leone.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Chad, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Sierra Leone, World

    CHAD
    11 KILLED IN POLICE RAID

    On 29 June, 11 people (five police officers and six suspected insurgents) were killed during a police operation against suspected Boko Haram elements in N’Djamena. Police seized several suicide belts and other explosive devices. The operation comes two weeks after twin attacks targeting police offices in the capital killed 34 people. Separately, in a controlled explosion, police destroyed a vehicle laden with explosives in N’Djamena’s central market.

    SECURITY MEASURES TIGHTENED AFTER ATTACKS

    Following the 15 June attacks, Chadian authorities have introduced a raft of security measures including the issuance of new passports and IDs. Wearing of full-face turbans and veils as well as having tinted car windows have already been outlawed. Boko Haram is suspected to be behind the recent attacks in Chad and Niger, whose armies, alongside those of Cameroon and Nigeria, have been battling the militants. Around 1,8 million people have been displaced in the region following the Boko Haram insurgency. In Chad, an estimated 48,000 people have been uprooted.

    LIBERIA
    FIRST EBOLA CASE IN SEVEN WEEKS

    On 30 June, Liberia announced the first Ebola death since the outbreak was declared over in the country on 9 May. The deceased, a 17 year-old boy, was from a village in Margibi County located in the east of the capital Monrovia. Response by authorities and humanitarian partners in the area and the tracing of contacts are underway. The government and health partners have recently raised concern over the possible resurgence of Ebola due to increased unconfirmed reports of suspected cases in the past weeks.

    MALI
    NEW ATTACKS IN SOUTH AND EAST

    On 28 June, armed attackers raided and destroyed government buildings in Fakola area close to the border with Côte d'Ivoire. On 27 June, militants attacked a military camp in Nara area near Mali’s border with Mauritania. Three soldiers and nine assailants were killed during the attack. The incidents happened a week after northern Mali’s main Tuareg rebels signed a peace agreement with the government. Ansar Dine insurgents claimed responsibility for the attacks, according to media reports.

    NIGER
    5 KILLED IN VILLAGE RAID

    Five people were killed and four others injured on the night of 24 June in an attack on a village near Bosso town in the southeast of Niger close to the border with Nigeria. The attackers, suspected to be Boko Haram militants, also torched more than 100 homes and 100 motorcycles as well as the local market. According to initial estimates some 1000 people have been affected. A Government-led assessment is ongoing to evaluate needs and both food and NFIs have been distributed to the affected population.On the night of 17-18 June, armed attackers killed 38 people during raids on three villages in the same area.

    EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE (EVD) / REGIONAL
    CURFEW IN SIERRA LEONE

    Liberia reported its first EVD case in seven weeks on 30 June. As of 25 June, three new confirmed and six suspected cases were reported in Guinea, where hostility towards health workers still hampers efforts to curb Ebola. In Sierra Leone, a 21-day daytime curfew has been imposed in parts of Kambia and Port Loko districts where EVD cases continue to be reported. In the week to 21 June, a total of 20 cases were reported in Guinea and Sierra Leone.


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    Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    Country: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda

    • A slight decrease in rainfall was observed over West Africa during the past week.

    • Parts of Eastern Africa have received below-average rain since the beginning of the season.

    1) A delayed onset of the rainy season, followed by poorly-distributed rainfall, has led to abnormal dryness across Burkina Faso, the northern parts of Ghana, Togo, and Benin, western and southern Niger, and northern Nigeria, The lack of rainfall over the past several weeks has delayed planting and has already negatively affected cropping activities over many local areas.


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria


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    Source: Action Contre la Faim
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    REGIONAL HUMANITARIAN CONTEXT

    The Boko Haram induced crisis has led to massive population displacements in Nigeria and neighboring countries around the Lake Chad area (Chad, Niger and Cameroon), and is now turning into one of the largest humanitarian crisis to occur in the region. Since 2014, there has been an upsurge in acts of violence in Nigeria, targeting primarily the civilian population while devastating local communities.
    More recently, attacks have also been carried out in the neighboring countries, on the Nigerien, Cameroonian and Chadian side of Nigeria’s northeastern borders. Boko Haram’s escalating violence has caused both internal displacement and cross border population movements leading to dramatic humanitarian consequences and widespread suffering. According to UNHCR, there are about 1.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nigeria and over 230,000 people who have sought refuge in neighboring countries, exacerbating an already precarious situation by creating shortages of food and increasing the risk of outbreaks of infectious diseases such as cholera. Protection, food, shelter, health, nutrition and water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH) needs remain largely unmet in the affected areas and these needs are expected to considerably rise during the looming lean season. Moreover, as the insecurity lingers, humanitarian organizations are facing great difficulties accessing to affected population but also to adequately assess the extent of the needs in the remote areas.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network, World Food Programme, Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel, Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Burkina Faso, Chad, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo

    The following declaration was issued by participants in the restricted meeting of the regional food and nutrition security monitoring system in the Sahel and West Africa, held on 22 and 23 June 2015 in Bamako, Mali:

    1. The market situation is characterised by a good supply in the region. The global cereal supply was also reinforced by carry-over stocks in the Central commercial Basin and cross-border trade flows.
      However, low supply levels were observed in some markets, mainly in areas of conflict in Northern Mali, Northern Nigeria and Lake Chad Basin. Prices of major commodities remained close to the last five-year average, with downward trends in the Eastern and Central Basins. On the other hand, in Ghana, strong price hikes are observed in a context of persistent inflation associated with the depreciation of the national currency. Price increases of over 30% compared to average are also observed in Mauritania and in the Lake Chad area. Moreover, the price of rice has remained stable because of the good level of global stocks and favourable prospects of the international market. In terms of cash crops (groundnuts, cowpea and sesame), prices are generally up compared to the average of the past five years, except for cowpea which is experiencing large declines in Niger,
      Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Togo. In terms of livestock markets, prices are generally stable with a downward trend compared to last year but with levels higher than the last five-year average.
      However, a decline in the prices of livestock compared to the average of the past five years is observed in Chad because of the slowdown in trade with Nigeria.

    2. The pastoral situation remains worrisome due to the low emergence of pasture resulting from late onset of the rainy season and especially the depletion of residual pastures in Mauritania, Senegal, northern Burkina Faso and in the Sahelian zone of Mali, Niger and Chad. This has caused a slowdown in the movement of transhumant animals to the pastoral areas; which could lead to conflicts between pastoralists and farmers. So, much of the livestock water supply is provided by boreholes and permanent water points.

    3. The 2015-2016 cropping season is characterised by a late installation of crops, especially in the agricultural strip covering Mali, northern Burkina Faso and the western half of Niger. Moreover, river flows below or close to normal levels are observed, especially for the Niger and Senegal Rivers.

    4. Pending the update of the rainfall and hydrological seasonal forecasts, it was noted the persistence of the El Nino phenomenon in the equatorial Pacific. However, this would have limited impact on the rainy season in West Africa, because of the favourable climatic outlook in the Atlantic ocean that promises improved rainfall.

    5. The Cadre Harmonisé (Harmonised Framework) analysis on the food and nutritional situation in the Sahel and West Africa, updated in June 2015, confirms that about 7.5 million people, including 4.5 million in the Sahel, will be in food and nutrition crisis between June and August 2015.

    6. The persistent security crises could exacerbate food and nutrition insecurity in Northern Mali and in the Lake Chad basin (Niger, Nigeria, Chad). Indeed, according to OCHA, nearly 2.8 million displaced persons, returnees and refugees (Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Chad) have been recorded to date, in the region.

    7. Faced with this situation, the Sahel countries, including Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Chad have developed, with the support of partners, national response plans. Such plans that vary from one country to another fall into three intervention areas, namely: (i) food assistance, (ii) prevention and management of malnutrition (iii) rehabilitation and protection of livelihoods.
      However, it is noted low levels of implementation of the response plans due to insufficient funding mobilised by the States and their partners.

    At the end of its deliberations, the meeting recommends:

    • to the States and their partners, * To set up early warning systems in those countries that do not have any; * To reinforce development, coordination, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms of response plans; * To continue mobilising financial resources to implement response plans for the benefit of vulnerable populations.

    • To CILSS, * To support States in the implementation of EWSs; * To support States in the preparation of contingency plans; * Continue supporting States in the establishment, reinforcement and integration of sectoral information systems.

    • To ECOWAS and UEMOA * To make the Cadre Harmonisé (Harmonised Framework) a community regulation instrument for ECOWAS and UEMOA.

    Done at Bamako, on 23 June 2015

    The Meeting


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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    1 juillet 2015 – Face à l'ampleur des exactions commises par Boko Haram, le Haut-Commissaire des Nations Unies aux droits de l'homme, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, a appelé mercredi à une réponse de grande envergure, tout en exhortant les gouvernements de la région du lac Tchad à veiller au respect des droits humains dans les mesures prises contre le groupe extrémiste.

    S'exprimant au siège du Conseil des droits de l'homme de l'ONU à Genève, le Haut-Commissaire a affirmé que ses équipes ont été en mesure de documenter des violations des droits de l'homme « étendues et de grande envergure » perpétrées par Boko Haram.

    Des experts du Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies aux droits de l'homme (HCDH) se sont rendus sur le terrain, notamment dans le nord du Cameroun, le nord-est du Nigéria et le sud du Niger, afin de recueillir des preuves en vue d'élaborer un rapport sur la question qui sera présenté au Conseil en septembre prochain. Une visite au Tchad est également prévue dans les jours à venir, a-t-il précisé.

    « Les entretiens réalisés par mes équipes avec d'ancien captifs et des survivants de Boko Haram au nord-est du Nigéria indiquent une tendance à mener des attaques vicieuses et aveugles qui remonte à plusieurs mois, voire même plusieurs années », a déclaré M. Zeid.

    Les rescapés font notamment état d'actes de torture, de destructions, d'incendies et de pillages de villages, d'écoles et d'hôpitaux, de traitements cruels, dégradants et inhumains, d'enlèvements, d'esclavage sexuel, de viols et de mariages forcés, d'enrôlement d'enfants soldats et de massacres d'hommes, de femmes et d'enfants, a déploré le Haut-Commissaire.

    « Au cours de la dernière année, des attaques impitoyables sur les villes et villages du Cameroun, du Niger et du Tchad ont également généré de terribles souffrances. Les gens ont été brûlés vifs dans leur propre maison, décapités, asservis, violés, torturés, et recrutés de force », a-t-il ajouté.

    Il est évident que les autorités doivent faire tout ce qui est en leur pouvoir pour que les auteurs de tels actes rendent des comptes, a insisté M. Zeid.

    Les exactions de Boko Haram ont également de lourdes répercussions économiques en raison des destructions de ponts, des routes coupées, des destructions de champs agricoles et des déplacements de populations qui traditionnellement produisent des denrées alimentaires, a-t-il ajouté.

    Les mesures de sécurité adoptées par les autorités des pays de la région pour limiter la circulation, y compris la fermeture des frontières, l'interdiction des engins à deux roues, les couvre-feux, la saisie de chargements de camions soupçonnés d'être destinés à Boko Haram et les restrictions d'accès aux zones de chasse et de pêche, aggravent cette situation et font peser la menace de la pauvreté sur les population de toute la région. De telles mesures nourrissent par ailleurs des sentiments hostiles au sein de la population et favorisent les sympathies envers Boko Haram, a regretté le Haut-Commissaire.

    « Il est essentiel que les opérations de sécurité n'ajoutent pas à la souffrance des populations », a-t-il insisté.

    M. Zeid s'est également déclaré préoccupé par le sort des anciens captifs de Boko Haram, dont certains se retrouvent en détention, « parfois pour de longues périodes et sans motif ».

    C'est le cas notamment au Cameroun, a-t-il expliqué, où 84 enfants libérés, âgés de 7 à 15 ans, ont été envoyés pour évaluation depuis décembre dernier à l'Institut camerounais de l'enfance, dans la ville de Maroua. Après 6 mois, seulement 30 de ces enfants ont rejoint leurs familles, a déploré le Haut-Commissaire, appelant les autorités camerounaises à prendre les dispositions qui s'imposent pour garantir le retour des enfants restants.

    Au Nigéria, ce sont des femmes libérées après avoir été victimes d'esclavage sexuel qui sont détenues. Nombre de ces femmes sont par ailleurs enceintes suite à des viols. Or, l'avortement n'est légal au Nigéria qu'en cas de risque pour la vie de la future mère, a dit le Haut-Commissaire, appelant les autorités à avoir une lecture la plus large possible de cette législation, pour prendre en compte notamment les risques psychologiques des femmes souhaitant avorter.

    Les équipes de terrain de M. Zeid font par ailleurs état d'informations attestant que les forces de sécurité nigérianes voient d'un mauvais œil les anciens captifs de Boko Haram, qui sont souvent arrêtés arbitrairement.

    Les forces de sécurité doivent respecter les droits de l'homme dans le cadre de leur lutte contre le groupe terroriste, a rappelé le Haut-Commissaire, ajoutant que la protection des civils doit être la priorité.

    « Il faut reconstruire la confiance, et notamment la confiance dans les autorités et entre les communautés. Les autorités doivent également aider les femmes et les filles victimes de Boko Haram, notamment en favorisant leur réinsertion dans leur communauté, en garantissant la reddition de comptes pour les violences sexuelles et en assurant un plus grand respect des droits des femmes », a dit M. Zeid.


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    Source: African Development Bank, ECOWAS, Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, World

    2 July 2015, Rome - West Africa has unprecedented opportunities for agricultural growth, but making the most of them will require more effective regional integration, says a new report by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

    To be competitive with large global actors, West African agriculture needs to capture some of the economies of scale that those countries enjoy in the markets for fertilizers and seeds as well as in agricultural research and technology development, adds the report.

    While important progress towards regional integration has been made over the past two decades, effective implementation at national level has remained a challenge, as evidenced by roadblocks and trade bans hindering intraregional trade, along with continued use of disparate national standards for seeds and fertilizers despite regionally agreed-upon common protocols.

    The report, "Agricultural Growth in West Africa: Market and Policy Drivers" (AGWA), comes at a time of great dynamism in the patterns of food demand in Africa.

    West Africa's population, now 300 million, is expected to grow to 490 million by 2030. The subregion is already the most urbanized part of Sub-Saharan Africa, with nearly half the population living in urban centres, and the urban population is projected to continue to grow at a rate of 3.8 percent per year between 2015 and 2030.

    That, along with an expanding middle class, is catalysing greater diversity in consumer food demands, with convenience, nutritional quality, food safety and presentation gaining importance alongside affordability. Serving this growing demand provides great opportunities for value addition, job creation, economic integration and diversification and import substitution, says the report.

    Many West African countries have been increasingly relying on food imports to meet their burgeoning urban food markets, reflecting the inability of their domestic food value chains to meet the evolving consumer demand in terms of quality, volumes, prices and consistency of supply.

    A growing proportion of the West African population is made up of net food buyers who spend large shares of their incomes on food. The only way to ensure these consumers' access to low-priced food while simultaneously enhancing producers' incomes is through raising productivity and efficiency throughout the agrifood system. Achieving these gains in efficiency and productivity requires a more stable and predictable policy environment, refocussing of public investments on the critical building blocks for sustainable long-term growth, and stepping up implementation capacity.

    Adding more value after harvest

    The report stresses that while increasing agricultural yields is essential, more attention needs to be placed on the downstream segment of the agrifood system: assembly, storage, processing, wholesaling and retail.

    For example, domestic food processing companies often prefer to import raw materials such as fruit juice concentrate, wheat and vegetable oil rather than sourcing them domestically or developing substitutes based on local raw materials because local supply chains are too weak and fragmented to provide them reliably.

    Appropriate policies will vary by country and market segment, but broad efforts to upgrade small and medium enterprises in food processing should be a policy priority, along with strengthening the linkages between market-oriented family farms and their organizations with agribusiness of all sizes to enhance access to markets, inputs and support services. Special attention should be placed in supporting women entrepreneurs, who play a key role in the agrifood system from farming through retail, and to youth.

    As the post-harvest segments of the agrifood system grow ever-more important, addressing the varied demands on the system will require going beyond the traditional mandates of Ministries of Agriculture to focus on interconnections among issues as diverse as research, transport investments, trade policies, and nutrition education.

    The report contains in-depth analysis highlighting these interconnections. For example, transport prices for farm produce in West Africa are much higher than in other developing regions, hampering intraregional trade and harming producers and consumers alike. Addressing this situation requires a combination of measures ranging from investments in road infrastructure through improved road governance to reforming trucking regulations to instill greater competition.

    More public goods, fewer subsidies

    Based on a detailed analysis of the drivers and trends shaping the development of West Africa's agrifood system and the system's response so far, the study identifies key implications for policies and agricultural investments. These findings will help inform the deliberations on and new orientations of "ECOWAP-10", ECOWAS' forthcoming update to the current West African agriculture policy, ECOWAP/CAADP.

    Improving the mix of public investments in agriculture in the region is as important as increasing their level, the report finds. It encourages governments to shift spending towards public goods such as roads, reliable electricity supply, research and schooling rather than towards subsidizing private goods such as fertilizer and tractors.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    INCIDENTS REPORTED

    In Nigeria and neighbouring countries, since October 2014

    216 Boko Haram related incidents attacks

    4,720 fatalities


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