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ReliefWeb - Updates

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

    Faits saillants

    • 41 000 nouveaux déplacés internes dans la région du Lac entre le 21 juillet et le 21 août 2015, portant le nombre total de réfugiés, déplacés internes et retournés à plus de 75 000 personnes dans la région depuis janvier 2015.

    • La situation est extrêmement volatile. Les sites spontanés de déplacés internes se sont multipliés depuis une semaine alors que des attaques sporadiques continuent d’avoir lieu sur les îles, notamment à Kadjirom, près de Tchoukoutalia le 13 août dernier (cinq personnes égorgées).

    • Le manque de financements et les déplacements continues impactent fortement la réponse humanitaire dans un contexte sécuritaire difficile.


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


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    Source: Reuters - AlertNet
    Country: Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    LONDON, Aug 21 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Around 40,000 people have fled their homes in Chad in the past two weeks following attacks by Islamist militant group Boko Haram, according to an aid agency, as the insurgency stokes an escalating humanitarian crisis in the region around Lake Chad.

    Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said many of the displaced people have gathered in makeshift camps where its staff were treating patients with diarrhoea, malaria and respiratory infections, as well as malnourished children.''

    Read the full article on Reuters


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    Source: UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali
    Country: Mali

    Ce matin, un véhicule de la MINUSMA qui escortait un convoi logistique a heurté une mine ou un engin explosif sur l'axe Ansongo - Ménaka, 70 km à l'Est de Ansongo.

    L'explosion a détruit le véhicule et grièvement blessé deux soldats de la MINUSMA dont l' évacuation médicale est en cours.

    La MINUSMA condamne fermement de tels actes ayant pour but de paralyser les opérations de la Mission au Mali et de toucher indistinctement le personnel des Nations unies, ou des civils innocents.


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    Source: UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali
    Country: Mali

    22 August 2015 – The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) today condemned the use of landmines or explosive ordnance, which gravely injured this morning two of its peacekeepers.

    “The MINUSMA strongly condemns such acts, aimed at paralyzing its operations in Mali and which indiscriminately affects UN personnel or innocent civilians,” stated a press release issued by the Mission.

    A MINUSMA vehicle escorting a logistics convoy hit a mine or an explosive device on the axis Ansong–Menaka, about 70 kilometers east of Ansongo, says the Mission. The blast destroyed the vehicle and seriously injured two MINUSMA soldiers who are currently evacuated.


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, REACH Initiative
    Country: Niger


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Abuja, Nigeria | AFP | Sunday 8/23/2015 - 20:54 GMT |

    by Ola Awoniyi

    UN chief Ban Ki-moon began a two-day visit to Nigeria Sunday in the wake of a suspected Boko Haram ambush on the army chief, saying it was "a time of hope" despite the rise of extremism.

    Combating Islamist violence is expected to be high on the agenda as the secretary-general holds talks with President Muhammadu Buhari, whose inauguration in May sparked a massive upsurge in jihadist attacks.

    "Across our world, we see insecurity, inequality, growing divides," Ban told a private meeting of state governors in Abuja, according to a UN statement.

    "Here in Nigeria, you know the challenges all too well –- including the rise of extremism and the lack of equal opportunity.

    "I know this is a deep and vital challenge in particular for the governors of the northeast... This is also a time of hope. I want to commend you and all of Nigeria's leaders for the peaceful democratic transition of power."

    Ban touched down at Abuja's international airport just hours after the military revealed Boko Haram fighters had ambushed a convoy carrying Nigeria's army chief-of-staff Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai.

    The senior officer, who was unharmed, was visiting troops Saturday when insurgents attacked in Faljari village, 45 kilometres (28 miles) east of Borno State capital Maiduguri, army spokesman Sani Usman said in a statement.

    • 'Overwhelming firepower' -

    "The terrorists encountered an overwhelming firepower from the troops in which 10 of them were killed. The troops captured five terrorists," he said.

    "During the encounter, sadly, we lost a soldier, while an officer and four soldiers sustained gunshot wounds."

    Boko Haram has stepped up its attacks in Borno and two neighbouring states in its northeastern heartland since Buhari came to power in May.

    The Islamists have also carried out deadly ambushes across Nigeria's borders and in recent weeks suicide bombers, many of them women, have staged several attacks in Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad.

    The fresh wave of violence has claimed more than 1,000 lives over the last three months, dealing a setback to a four-country offensive launched in February that had chalked up a number of victories against the jihadists.

    An 8,700-strong Multi-National Joint Task Force, drawing in Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin, is expected to go into action soon.

    Military officials have said it will be more effective than the current alliance in the battle to end Boko Haram's six-year insurgency, which has claimed at least 15,000 lives.

    "This a crucial moment for Nigeria," said Ban, on his second visit to Africa's largest economy since taking office in 2007.

    "You face many serious challenges but you have also taken a hugely important step to move forward in a way that can respond to the aspirations of the country's people."

    • Deadly UN bombing -

    Before his departure the UN chief will lay a wreath to commemorate the fourth anniversary of a Boko Haram bombing at Abuja's United Nations House, the headquarters for around 400 UN employees, that left 21 dead in June 2011.

    He is also due to dine with captains of industry and discuss "democracy, human rights and countering violent extremism" in a meeting at the foreign ministry.

    Ban last visited Nigeria in May 2011 to discuss the crises in southern Sudan and Libya with then leader Goodluck Jonathan.

    Buhari, who came to power on May 29 vowing to destroy Boko Haram, replaced his military leaders earlier in August, ordering his new chiefs-of-staff to end the insurgency within three months.

    The military under Jonathan was heavily criticised for poor handling of the insurgency and its failure to free more than 200 schoolgirls abducted from the northeastern town of Chibok in April last year.

    Ban is due to head to France late on Monday to discuss preparations for a major climate change conference to be held in Paris in December.

    ft/mfp

    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    Bamako, Mali | AFP | Sunday 8/23/2015 - 20:44 GMT

    Tuareg rebels in northern Mali said Sunday they were pulling out of an international committee set up to monitor a peace accord between them and pro-government forces in the restive region, after deadly clashes between the rival groups sent tensions soaring.

    Sidi Brahim Ould Sidati, a representative of the rebel Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA) said his grouping was "suspending our participation in the monitoring group" until loyalist forces pull out of the town of Anefis, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of the CMA stronghold Kidal.

    Pro-government militants seized the town on Monday after three days of bitter fighting which left at least 10 people dead, according to a source with MINUSMA, the UN mission in the country.

    Both sides accused each other of starting the fighting, described by the government as the first deliberate violation of the recently agreed peace deal seen as key to returning stability to the vast northern region.

    After the outbreak of violence UN peacekeepers set up a "security zone" around the northern town of Kidal, some 1,500 km northeast of the capital Bamako, in a bid to curb tensions.

    The monitoring committee, chaired by Algeria, was put in place after holdouts the CMA agreed to sign the peace deal in June, to oversee its implementation.

    Ould Sidati said however that the CMA "would remain part of dialogue as long as there are no more ceasefire violations on the ground."

    A UN security source confirmed to AFP that the CMA, which represents several rebel groups, had announced to international mediators it was boycotting the monitoring group.

    The rebels have agreed to attend a meeting of the monitoring group on Monday, but only to announce the suspension of their participation, said Ould Sidati.

    The move highlights the fragility of the deal which seeks to end decades of ethnic divisions and uprisings by Mali's Tuareg, a traditionally nomadic people whose 2012 rebellion sparked a coup and plunged the country into chaos.

    The Tuareg allied with Al-Qaeda-linked groups to seize towns across Mali's north, however they were cast out by the extremists who installed a brutal form of sharia law in towns under their control for 10 months until they were ousted in a French-led offensive.

    Bamako has yet to gain full control of the north which is overrun with competing armed groups and remains threatened by a jihadist insurgency.

    sd-fb/mfp


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    Bamako, Mali | AFP | dimanche 23/08/2015 - 20:26 GMT

    La rébellion à dominante touareg dans le nord du Mali a suspendu dimanche sa participation au comité de suivi de l’accord de paix d’Alger, après des heurts armés, a annoncé dimanche un de ses représentants à l'AFP.

    “Nous venons de rencontrer la médiation internationale au siège de la mission de l’ONU au Mali. Jusqu’à ce que les groupes de la plateforme (pro-gouvernementaux) quittent la ville d’Anéfis (sous leur contrôle depuis mi-août), nous suspendons notre participation aux travaux du comité de suivi des accords d’Alger“, a déclaré Sidi Brahim Ould Sidati, représentant de la coordination des mouvements de l’Azawad (CMA).

    L'accord de paix d'Alger a été signé au printemps pour mettre fin au conflit au Mali. Il a été signé par le gouvernement et les groupes rebelles touareg du nord du Mali.

    Mais de nouveaux accrochages ont opposé le 15 août dernier des groupes armés pro-gouvernementaux aux rebelles de la CMA, faisant 10 morts selon l'ONU, chaque partie accusant l’autre d’avoir violé le cessez-le-feu. Les groupes pro-Bamako ont notamment pris le contrôle d'Anéfis, à 120 kilomètres au sud de Kidal, bastion des rebelles touareg.

    La mission de l'ONU au Mali, la Minusma, a établi après ces incidents une "zone de sécurité" autour de Kidal (située à 1.500 km au nord-est de la capitale Bamako), pour tenter de faire baisser la tension.

    Le comité de suivi, dirigé par l'Algérie, avait été mis en place en juin, après la signature de l'accord de paix d'Alger par la CMA, afin de superviser sa mise en application.

    Sidi Brahim Ould Sidati a néanmoins ajouté que son mouvement armé "reste pour le dialogue, tant que sur le terrain, il n’y a pas d’autres violations de cessez-le-feu".

    Une source sécuritaire au sein de la mission de l’ONU au Mali, qui a assisté à la même réunion, a confirmé l’information du retrait de la CMA, mais s'est cependant déclarée "optimiste".

    Une rencontre de la médiation élargie avec le gouvernement malien était prévue dimanche dans la nuit "pour arrondir les angles", selon la même source. "Après cette rencontre, la médiation va sortir un communiqué d'apaisement et de clarification dimanche nuit ou lundi matin. Avec cette décrispation, on espère voir lundi la CMA assister à la réunion du comité de suivi', a précisé la source.

    Selon Sidi Brahim Ould Sidati, son groupe participera bien lundi à la réunion du comité de suivi, mais seulement "pour annoncer" la suspension de sa participation.

    Malgré l'accord de paix, le nord du Mali reste instable et sous la menace d'attaques de groupes jihadistes liés à Al-Qaïda, malgré l'intervention armée internationale en cours depuis 2013.

    sd/de


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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Cameroon, Nigeria

    By Sylvestre Tetchiada

    YAOUNDE, 21 August 2015 (IRIN) - In a move some say violates international law and that Nigeria’s government called “inhumane,” Cameroon has forcibly sent home as many as 15,000 Nigerians who entered its territory fleeing attacks by the Islamist group Boko Haram.

    The Nigerians, who had not formerly applied for asylum in Cameroon, had been living within host communities or had taken up temporary shelter in fields along the border region, in the hope of returning when the violence subsided.

    See: Refugees pour into Cameroon fearing Boko Haram
    But days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, and in July, security forces began deporting them, ostensibly over fears that they could have ties to Boko Haram, which has been responsible for a recent string of suicide bombings and other deadly attacks in Cameroon’s Far North Region.

    “At least five [Boko Haram] suicide attacks have been recorded in the region since 12 July,” Hans Heungoup, an analyst with International Crisis Group (ICG), told IRIN. “And the security situation remains precarious. It is the latter which made the government decide to send home Nigerians, who were themselves fleeing Boko Haram.”

    See: Cameroon pays high price for joining Boko Haram fight

    Cameroonian government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary said the decision was for the good of the country.

    “We are protecting ourselves,” he told IRIN. “We are preventing penetration into our territory of anyone who does not inspire confidence in us. If, within our territory, we realise that there are accomplices, disguised as Boko Haram, our responsibility is to send them back to their own country.”

    Is it right?

    But local and international rights groups said the deportation of Nigerians who had fled their own country due to violence was neither legal nor compassionate.

    "Where is traditional African solidarity?” asked Georges Mandjeck, a member of the Cameroon Organisation for the Promotion of Rights, an NGO based in Yaoundé. "Refugees’ right to protection is being trampled (on)."

    "Everyone should be able to enjoy refugee protection status,” Mandjeck told IRIN. “It seems that the government, in its rage to end terrorism, put them – asylum seekers awaiting permits to enter and persons in transit – in the same boat [as terrorists].”

    Odile Yetna from Tribes Without Borders, another Yaoundé-based rights group, said: "It's hard, but it would have been wiser to call for help to resettle newcomers.”

    "These refugees are people who have crossed an international border. Their return is a huge risk for them,” Yetna said, adding that she was afraid of them falling into the hands of Boko Haram and being persecuted.

    The UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, said Cameroon needed to respect the rights of those seeking refuge.

    "We share their [Cameroonian authorities] commitment to ensure the safety and protection of Nigerians in need, while ensuring at the same time, the safety of their own citizens and the border areas," Khassim Diagne, the head of UNHCR in Cameroon, told IRIN.

    Diagne said UNHCR had been encouraging Nigerian refugees who crossed into Cameroon to settle further inland, and more importantly, to register in camps where they could receive assistance and protection. They have also been advocating on behalf of those who can’t or won’t go to the camps.

    "We remind the government that there are international principles and norms that must be respected, even in the face of serious security problems," he said. "UNHCR will continue to monitor the situation of refugees and returnees, while stressing that the protection and humanitarian assistance for returnees is becoming increasingly difficult because of difficulties of access and security."

    Anger in Nigeria

    Cameroon’s decision to forcibly return the Nigerian refugees could damage already fragile ties between the two countries.

    “Expulsions of undocumented Nigerian migrants in Cameroon could have an impact, in the short term, on the relations between the two countries, over priority differences in the fight against Boko Haram and the enforcement of border regulations,” ICG’s Heungoup said.

    In the longer term, the deportations could also negatively affect economic relations and trade flows between the two countries.

    Nigerian authorities claimed they were never warned that their citizens would be sent back and deplored the way in which it was done.

    “Our compatriots were expelled because of the intensification of Boko Haram activities in Nigeria,” said Sa’ad Bello, head of the National Agency for Disaster Management (NEMA) in Nigeria. “We were never informed of the transfer of refugees and now we see that many have been abused, transported in trucks like animals and then dumped at home in inhumane conditions.”

    Christopher Nyaneh, a Nigerian entrepreneur living in Yaoundé, told IRIN: “Since Boko Haram began killing, they [Cameroon authorities] now treat our brothers, who have chosen to take refuge in Cameroon, like terrorists. This is putting even more of our brothers on the road to exile and wandering.”

    st/jl/ag


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    Bamako, Mali | AFP | 8/24/2015 - 01:24 GMT

    Tuareg rebels in northern Mali said Sunday they were pulling out of an international committee set up to monitor a peace accord between them and pro-government forces in the restive region, after deadly clashes between the rival groups sent tensions soaring.

    Sidi Brahim Ould Sidati, a representative of the rebel Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA) said his grouping was "suspending our participation in the monitoring group" until loyalist forces pull out of the town of Anefis, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of the CMA stronghold Kidal.

    Pro-government militants seized the town on Monday after three days of bitter fighting which left at least 10 people dead, according to a source with MINUSMA, the UN mission in the country.

    Both sides accused each other of starting the fighting, described by the government as the first deliberate violation of the recently-agreed peace deal seen as key to returning stability to the vast northern region.

    After the outbreak of violence UN peacekeepers set up a "security zone" around the northern town of Kidal, some 1,500 km northeast of the capital Bamako, in a bid to curb tensions.

    The monitoring committee, chaired by Algeria, was put in place to oversee the implementation of the deal signed in May by loyalist groups and in June by the reluctant CMA, an umbrella group for the separatist Tuareg.

    Ould Sidati said however that the CMA "would remain part of dialogue as long as there are no more ceasefire violations on the ground".

    A UN security source confirmed to AFP that the CMA, which represents several rebel groups, had announced to international mediators it was boycotting the monitoring group.

    The rebels have agreed to attend a meeting of the committee on Monday, but only to announce the suspension of their participation, said Ould Sidati.

    International mediators in Mali voiced concern over the country's "deteriorating security situation" in a statement, urging "strict compliance" with the peace deal.

    The move highlights the fragility of the deal which seeks to end decades of ethnic divisions and uprisings by Mali's Tuareg, a traditionally nomadic people whose 2012 rebellion sparked a coup and plunged the country into chaos.

    The Tuareg allied with Al-Qaeda-linked groups to seize towns across Mali's north, but they were cast out by the extremists who installed a brutal form of sharia law in towns under their control for 10 months until they were ousted in a French-led offensive.

    Bamako has yet to gain full control of the north which is overrun with competing armed groups and remains threatened by a jihadist insurgency.

    The Algerian-led mediation team condemned the recent "flagrant violation" of the peace accord after a meeting with the Malian government late Sunday and demanded the warring parties immediate return to the positions held on June 20 when the accord was wrapped up.

    In a statement the mediators called for the implementation of "confidence-building measures, notably the freedom of people detained" during the recent fighting.

    sd-fb/psr/fa

    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Mali

    BAMAKO, 24 août 2015 (IRIN) - La ratification d’un accord de paix historique entre le gouvernement malien et la rébellion à dominante touareg a suscité l’espoir qu’un terme soit enfin mis à des années de troubles. Mais plus de huit semaines plus tard, force est de constater que peu de choses ont été faites pour mettre fin au conflit, et le militantisme regagne du terrain.

    Ces derniers mois, le Mali a connu quelques-uns de ses pires épisodes de violence depuis que les forces internationales ont repoussé les combattants islamistes hors de leurs bastions du nord en janvier 2013. Ce regain de violence a notamment été marqué par une attaque de haut vol menée par des islamistes liés à Al-Qaïda dans un hôtel fréquenté par des fonctionnaires des Nations Unies, qui s’est soldée par un bilan de 13 morts.

    « Malheureusement, pour l’instant, il a davantage été question de célébrer l’accord lui-même que de véritables progrès dans sa mise en œuvre », a dit Susanna Wing, professeure agrégée de sciences politiques à l’Haverford College, en Californie. « Il va falloir avancer de manière continue et progressive vers sa mise en œuvre. »

    Cependant, comme l’a expliqué Mme Wing, le Comité international de suivi de l'Accord de paix et de réconciliation – qui sera présidé par l’Algérie et dont la mission consistera à garantir l’application de l’accord – n’a même pas encore nommé ses membres.

    Voir : Le processus de paix malien est-il menacé ?

    Tant que le comité ne se sera pas attelé à sa tâche, l’accord n’est guère plus qu’un morceau de papier. Et même si le comité devenait opérationnel, la paix est loin d’être garantie, surtout compte tenu de la diversité des motivations au sein de la Coordination des mouvements de l’Azawad (CMA) et de la multiplicité des factions rebelles touareg et arabes et des groupes séparatistes peuls avec lesquels l’accord a été négocié.

    « La mise en œuvre de l’accord de paix peut contribuer à contenir un certain militantisme et à écarter le risque d’affrontements continus entre les forces de la CMA et les milices progouvernementales ainsi qu’avec le gouvernement malien », a dit Andrew Lebovich, chercheur et collaborateur émérite du Conseil européen en matière de relations internationales, à IRIN. « Cependant, même une mise en œuvre réussie de l’accord incitera les groupes à se fragmenter davantage, ce qui pourrait attiser les tensions et engendrer des violences permanentes de la part de tous les groupes armés opérant dans le nord. »

    « Le Mali se dirige moins vers une paix durable que vers une nouvelle phase de confrontations », a averti l’International Crisis Group dans un rapport du mois de mai.

    Recrudescence des violences

    Dans le nord du Mali, plusieurs factions rebelles ont non seulement accéléré la cadence des attaques, mais également redoublé leur intensité. Des groupes autrefois disséminés ou maintenus à distance par les forces internationales se sont également regroupés. Depuis le début de l’année, les attaques ont gagné le centre, puis le sud du pays – à la frontière avec la Côte d’Ivoire et le Burkina Faso – en juin.

    Bien que la présence de troupes internationales ait permis d’entraver l’action des groupes armés, les attaques ont redoublé tant à l’encontre de cibles militaires que civiles. Plus tôt ce mois-ci, le 7 août, des hommes armés ont lancé une attaque audacieuse contre un hôtel de Sévaré, une ville de garnison située à 600 km au nord de Bamako. La prise d’otages s’est dénouée 24 heures plus tard, lorsque des troupes maliennes - appuyées par des forces spéciales françaises, semblerait-il - ont pris le bâtiment d’assaut. Quatre soldats, cinq combattants et cinq employés des Nations Unies (deux Ukrainiens, un Népalais, un Sud-africain et un Malien) sont morts dans l’opération. L’attaque a été revendiquée par des combattants islamistes liés au groupe al-Mourabitoune rattaché à Al-Qaïda.

    Au moins 20 « séparatistes » de la CMA auraient été tués par une milice progouvernementale plus tôt cette semaine, au cours de trois jours d’affrontements dans la région septentrionale de Kidal.

    À la suite des attaques, la mission de maintien de la paix des Nations Unies au Mali, la MINUSMA, a mis en place une « zone de sûreté » de 20 kilomètres autour de la ville de Kidal le 18 août, dans une tentative de rétablir la paix.

    Une cause perdue ?

    L’optimisme qu’affichaient de nombreux Maliens à la libération des villes du nord par les forces internationales en 2013, puis à nouveau lors de la ratification de l’accord de paix en juin, s’est aujourd’hui dissipé.

    Voir : Espoirs de réconciliation à Tombouctou

    Il a laissé place à un doute profond quant à l’engagement des parties belligérantes en faveur de la paix. L’accord négocié par les Nations Unies ne mentionne que brièvement des sujets tels que l’éducation, l’emploi ou la justice, qui sont pourtant chers à de nombreux habitants du nord et indispensables à des progrès durables.

    « La priorité donnée à la sécurité éclipse la nécessité de restaurer la fonction sociale de l’État à l’échelle du territoire malien », a dit Bruce Whitehouse, professeur agrégé d’anthropologie à l’université Lehigh.

    Les services sociaux de base et les institutions gouvernementales restent à rétablir dans tout le nord du Mali, et il y a peu de chance qu’ils ne reprennent tant que les affrontements perdureront.

    Les Nations Unies et les autorités maliennes estiment à environ 3 millions le nombre de personnes manquant de nourriture.

    Et des différends subsistent, même au sujet de l’accord lui-même. De nombreux séparatistes déplorent le fait que bien que l’accord contemple la création d’assemblées régionales élues, il n’y soit pas question d’autonomie ou de fédéralisme, ce que les rebelles réclament de longue date.

    « Même le MNLA, le Mouvement national de libération de l’Azawad, est divisé au sujet de l’accord », a dit Mme Wing. « Bien que le gouvernement ait clairement fait comprendre que l’intégrité territoriale n’était pas négociable, l’autonomie du nord reste un objectif pour certains… Il n’y aura pas de paix tant que toutes les parties ne se prononceront pas en faveur de la paix. »

    kh/jl/aq-xq/amz


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    Source: Assessment Capacities Project
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    Key Findings

    Scope and scale of crisis

    Borno, Yobe and Adamawa state are most affected by the Boko Haram insurgency. The northeastern states are hosting the majority of IDPs. 1.3 million IDPs are in Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, and Yobe states. The entire resident population of these states (16 million) are considered affected by the Boko Haram insurgency. Humanitarian needs are severe and access is limited, particularly in Borno state.

    Priorities for humanitarian intervention

    Food security and livelihood support is the priority need among the affected population in the northeast. At least 3.5 million people are considered food insecure. Households in much of Borno state and parts of Adamawa and Yobe are facing Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3 and 4) food security outcomes.
    Protection: Women and children are particularly vulnerable. Main concerns include targeting of civilians, abductions, sexual violence, forced recruitment, arbitrary arrests, and extrajudicial killings. Public spaces such as schools, markets, and bus stops are frequently targeted by Boko Haram.
    Health: The health system has collapsed in the most affected LGAs. Many health facilities have been the target of Boko Haram attacks, particularly in Borno and Yobe states. Access to healthcare is further limited by a lack of staff and medication, and capacity is overstretched in host communities.

    Access constraints

    Access is constrained due to continued insecurity and damaged infrastructure. Most of Borno and parts of Adamawa and Yobe cannot be reached by humanitarian actors.


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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Nigeria

    24 August 2015 – Commemorating the 4th anniversary of the “vicious terrorist attack” that killed 23 United Nations employees in Abuja, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today also paid tribute to the “extraordinary fortitude” and determination of the survivors, many of whom suffered terrible injury and trauma.

    “Our fallen colleagues and partners will be remembered this morning with moments of silence in many places. But nowhere are the memories of these colleagues more immediate, more vivid and more compelling than here in Abuja. We will remember them forever as truly the best of humanity,” Mr. Ban stated in his remarks during a wreath-laying ceremony.

    The Secretary-General also met with the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, whose peaceful election sent a “strong global message of respect for democracy and the rule of law” throughout the country and the continent.

    Both men, he told the press, discussed a full range of issues covering development, human rights and peace and security, including the troubling levels of violence and terror perpetrated by Boko Haram in north-eastern Nigeria and in the sub-region, as “terrorism knows no bounds or boundaries.”

    This week will witness another grim anniversary, noted the UN chief, noting that it has been 500s day since the kidnapping of the Chibok school girls. “I once again call in the strongest possible terms on those responsible to unconditionally release these girls and the many other abducted children.”

    Women and girls are not caught simply in the crossfire – they are being “deliberately” targeted through brutal physical and sexual assault, child and forced marriages, sexual slavery and abduction on a massive scale, he emphasized.

    “I am appealing as UN Secretary-General and personally as a father and grandfather. Think about your own daughters. How would you feel if your own daughters and sisters were abducted by others?” Asking all those who might have information about those innocent abducted girls to help them, he urged communities to work hard to reintegrate all abductees and their families.

    Against that backdrop, “more than ever,” Mr. Ban stressed, collaboration is indispensable in addressing this menace and in addressing these crimes. This is why he said that he was looking forward to the rapid operationalization of the Multinational Joint Task Force.

    “No country can tackle this threat on its own. I welcome Nigeria’s increased cooperation with countries of the region. We know this battle will not be won by military force alone. Weapons may kill terrorists. But good governance will kill terrorism.”

    Also delivering remarks to a dialogue about today’s interlinked challenges, the Secretary-General underlined how development deficits – economic marginalization, lack of opportunities, and climate stress – have greatly aggravated security challenges. “The Boko Haram insurgency emerged from the seeds of grievances,” he observed.

    This is why the development challenge must be addressed by tackling the root causes and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals Member States agreed on and will approve at a summit in New York late September, Mr. Ban went on to say.

    “To achieve our global goals, we must be people-centred and planet-friendly. People-centred means poverty eradication, safe schools, good health care, decent jobs. And it must mean empowering women and girls. Planet-sensitive means taking on the threat of climate change and living harmoniously with nature.”

    Explaining that climate change was a “moral issue,” as much as an economic and political concern, the UN chief presented sustainable development as “putting the economic, the social and the environmental on an equal level,” in “one integrated agenda.”

    “We have a financing framework that was approved last month in Addis Ababa. We have the new transformative Goals that will be adopted by world leaders next month in New York. And in December in Paris, the world’s governments have committed to approve a universal, fair, and meaningful climate change agreement.”

    Ban Ki-moon also noted that all actions, including in the field of counter-terrorism, must rest on a “strong foundation” of human rights and honest institutions. “Surely we can all agree: counter-terror should not be counter-productive.”

    Commending the President Buhari for his determination that military operations adopt a human rights-centred approach, he offered the United Nations’ assistance, positioned to support Nigeria through training and other measures to ensure that such operations strictly comply with international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law.

    “We also stand ready to respond to the increasing humanitarian challenges associated with Boko Haram violence”, the Secretary-General assured, requesting his UN team to “scale up” humanitarian presence.

    Considering Nigeria as a UN key partner and leader on the international stage, Mr. Ban said that the country’s leadership was needed on many fronts, “from strong public health policies for women and girls to people-centred development, including peace and security in the region and internationally.”


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    Source: Reuters - AlertNet
    Country: Burkina Faso

    OUAGADOUGOU, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Unidentified gunmen attacked a police post in northern Burkina Faso, a police statement said on Monday, underscoring the dangers of growing violence in Mali for neighbouring countries.

    Read the full article


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Nigeria


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

    The recent insurgent attacks continue to cause population displacements within Nigeria and neighbouring countries, and across borders. Round V of the Displacement Tracking Matrix (due at the end of August) is not yet available.

    60% of the IDP population continue to shelter in schools, and this will likely affect the smooth resumption of school activities in September. Food insecurity combined with the lack of safe drinking water and health services are also likely to cause malnutrition rates to rise.

    Additionally, recent heavy rains - particularly in Maiduguri - are causing living conditions for IDPs in camps to deteriorate, resulting in an urgent need to improve camp management, health, shelter, sanitation and hygiene.

    Since 1 August, 10,775 former refugees returned in Nigeria, 1,143 of them were relocated to Borno state


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    Source: Voice of America
    Country: Nigeria

    Chris Stein

    August 24, 2015 2:00 PM

    LAGOS, NIGERIA— In recent years, mobs have repeatedly set fire to this Evangelical Church of West Africa in the Tudun Fawa neighborhood of Kaduna, Nigeria's fifth most populous city.

    But on Sunday night, Muslims and Christians sat together in the pews for an interfaith service meant to mark an end to years of conflict between the two communities.

    “The essence of today’s service is to tell the world that peace is possible, and that Christians and Muslims can coexist," said Reverend Yunusa Madu, general overseer of the church. "So we have called our Muslim friends so that we can come and worship together.”

    Damaged by outbreaks of religiously-fueled violence, the northern Nigerian city — just like the state that shares its name — is religiously mixed, with Muslims dominating the city and the state’s northern half, and Christians dominating the southern part.

    The bloodiest clash came after the 2011 presidential election, when rioting across Nigeria left 800 people dead — many of them in Kaduna.

    With this year's election of President Muhammadu Buhari, Kaduna faith leaders say it's time to put the rioting behind them.

    “This is a stepping stone," said Abubakar Miki, a local youth leader who has offered to protect the church, even though he’s a Muslim. "By the grace of God, in doing this, I project that in five years time, things will be far better than what we are in the past.”

    Nigeria’s approximately 173 million people are about evenly split between Muslims and Christians.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Nigeria


    0 0

    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Kano, Nigeria | Tuesday 8/25/2015 - 14:43 GMT

    by Aminu ABUBAKAR

    A child bomber killed six people and wounded dozens on Tuesday outside a bus station in the heartland of the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency in northeastern Nigeria.

    Witnesses reported seeing a "young girl" approaching the station in the Yobe state capital Damaturu around 7:00am (0600 GMT) and refusing to be searched by security guards at the gate before blowing herself up.

    "A private taxi... drove out of the park. As soon as the car came close, she detonated the explosives. Six people in the car were killed. She was also killed," bystander Sani Dankamasho told AFP.

    State police told AFP the bomber was aged around 14 but Dankamasho and other witnesses said she looked closer to 12.

    The attack came just hours after United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon wrapped up two-day a visit to Africa's largest economy during which he hailed its "greater stability and peace" under its new leader as he commemorated a deadly 2011 attack on the global body by Boko Haram militants.

    Police and witnesses reported a second attack 10 minutes after the bus park bombing, in which a suicide bomber managed only to kill himself and slightly wound a bystander on the outskirts of Damaturu.

    "There were two suicide blasts in Damaturu today. The first one happened outside the motor park and the second one occurred in Pompomari on the outskirts of Damaturu. But only the bomber has died in the second blast," said Toyin Gbadegesin, a spokesman for Yobe state police.

    • Deadly ambushes -

    "In the first blast outside the motor park, six people were killed and 42 others were injured by a female suicide bomber. The injured are receiving treatment in hospital," he said.

    No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bus park bombing but it bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram, which has in recent weeks used young women to carry out bloody suicide attacks in the restive northeast.

    "The dead have been evacuated to a mortuary while the injured victims are currently being attended to by health and emergency workers," local government spokesman Abdulahhi Bego said in a statement.

    Boko Haram has stepped up attacks in Yobe and two other states in its northeastern bastion since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power on May 29 raising hopes he could tackle the worsening security situation.

    The Islamists have also carried out deadly ambushes across Nigeria's borders and in recent weeks suicide bombers, many of them women, have staged several attacks in Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad.

    The fresh wave of violence has claimed more than 1,000 lives over the last three months, dealing a setback to a four-country offensive launched in February that had chalked up a number of victories against the jihadists.

    • Jihadist bloodshed -

    An 8,700-strong Multi-National Joint Task Force, drawing in Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin, is expected to go into action soon.

    Military spokesman Colonel Rabe Abubakar said the chief of defence staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, had met regional military chiefs in Chad's capital N’Djamena. He gave no date for the meeting but said the generals "finalised details of deployment".

    Buhari has vowed to destroy Boko Haram, and replaced his military leaders earlier in August, ordering his new chiefs-of-staff to end the jihadist bloodshed within three months.

    The military under his predecessor Goodluck Jonathan was heavily criticised for its poor handling of the insurgency and its failure to free more than 200 schoolgirls abducted from the northeastern town of Chibok in April last year.

    The "Bring Back Our Girls" campaign will on Thursday mark 500 days since the girls were captured and is due to meet the country's new chief of defence staff Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin later on Tuesday.

    "I want to reiterate my support for the Chibok girls, and so many other innocent abducted girls and boys, whose names and fate remain unknown," Ban said before leaving for France late on Monday.

    "It is intolerable that their lives and schooling has been disrupted in this way. The whole world has been moved by their fate."

    abu-ade-ft/hmw


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