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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: Emergency Nutrition Network
    Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo (the), Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, United Republic of Tanzania (the)
    preview


    • Food, goats & cash for assets in Kenya

    • SMART anaemia analysis in Bolivia

    • Cross-sectoral approach to Konzo in DRC

    • Food security in Afghanistan

    • Early warning system in Somalia

    • Integrating IYCF support in Ethiopia

    • Mitigating soil salinity effects in Bangladesh


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Mali

    BAMAKO – Recent video and stills photos highlight the plight of conflict-affected people in Mali, West Africa, where the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is working to provide food and fight malnutrition.

    Insecurity following a coup earlier this year has displaced an estimated 200,000 people in Mali, while about the same number have fled to neighbouring countries. Mali is also recovering from a severe drought.

    The situation has made it challenging for humanitarian organizations to maintain full access to the North of the country. Video images show people lining up to receive food assistance in the North, displaced people living in a tented camp near the central town of Mopti and displaced children eating school meals.

    For recent video images from Mali and a shotlist, please click on this link: http://www.yousendit.com/download/WUJZY05xU1BFd2UwYjhUQw

    For recent photo images from Timbuktu region, click on this link (please credit Omar Barry/Islamic Relief): https://www.yousendit.com/download/WUJiYUlpVnNCSnB2TzhUQw

    In the coming months, WFP is aiming to help more than 400,000 food-insecure people in the North who are struggling to feed their families, and more than 130,000 people in the South, of whom most have either been displaced for months or are hosting displaced families. This year, WFP has reached 1.2 million people in Mali with assistance, including 260,000 people in conflicted-affected areas. This includes internally displaced people (IDPs).

    WFP is working with nine international NGO partners in Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal: ACTED, Action Contre la Faim, Africare, CARE, Handicap International, Islamic Relief, OXFAM, Solidarités International and Norwegian Church Aid.

    WFP is especially concerned about preventing malnutrition in the North and launched a programme in September to boost nutrition among children aged six months to five years old. So far, more than 30,000 children have been provided with specialized, ready-to-use, nutrition products such as Plumpy’sup and around 10,000 pregnant women and nursing mothers have also received specialized nutrition support.

    WFP also runs an Emergency School Feeding programme, responding to increased numbers of children from displaced families in primary schools. Children receive breakfast as well as their regular school lunch.

    Interviews with WFP staff in the region can be arranged by contacting: Daouda Guirou, WFP/Bamako, Mob. +223 20794577, daouda.guirou@wfp.org Malek Triki, WFP/Dakar, Mob. +221 77 6375964, malek.triki@wfp.org


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    Source: Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik
    Country: Mali, Sudan (the), World, South Sudan (Republic of)

    Peacebuilding – understood as a broad range of activities to solidify peace and avoid the relapse into violent conflict – has become central to the self-conception of the EU as a foreign policy actor. The concept has been making inroads into different EU policy areas such as security and defence, development cooperation, enlargement and the European Neighbourhood Policy. At the same time, the dominant approach to peacebuilding has increasingly come under fire because of its failure to produce durable peace in many countries. The European Union has reacted to these challenges by adapting its concepts, but translation of these into practice – as currently witnessed in the Sahel and the two Sudans – is proving more difficult.


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Mali, World

    Progress Report highlights challenges to reaching all those in need

    DAKAR/GENEVA, 11 December 2012 – A UNICEF progress report says that more than 850,000 children are expected to have received life-saving treatment for severe acute malnutrition across nine countries in the Sahel region during the course of 2012.

    This is a projected figure based on the more than 730,000 children under 5 treated at centres between January and the end of September.

    UNICEF warned in December 2011 that 1.1 million children would suffer from severe acute malnutrition in the Sahel and would need specialized help. With governments, other UN agencies and humanitarian organizations one of the biggest humanitarian efforts of its kind in the region was mounted with support from major donors and funding appeals through UNICEF National Committees.

    The report says early funding by donors such as the Swedish and Danish Governments, the European Union and USAID meant crucial supplies of ready-to-use therapeutic food were purchased in good time and pre-positioned. However, there were significant challenges in the year due to people being displaced into neighbouring countries because of conflict in Mali, insecurity and severe flooding.

    “With our experience in the region we knew that we would be facing acute challenges in reaching all children,” said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF’s acting Regional Director. “A major catastrophe was averted. But we should not be complacent because there were still some children dying from avoidable causes.”

    “In addition 2012 suggests that we may be regularly underestimating the true number of children suffering. All of us have to look seriously at more dynamic solutions to make communities more resilient and better able to cope with multiple shocks,” Fontaine added.

    Though the rains appear to be producing better crops in most parts of the sub-region it can take two years for families to recover from the loss of animals and having to pay high prices for food over an extended period. In addition, childhood malnutrition is a condition that steadily erodes the ability to absorb nutrients even if food is available that adults see as acceptable.

    “Unfortunately severe acute malnutrition cannot be vaccinated against,” says Fontaine. “Many children from the poorest families in the Sahel may face cycles that will regularly put their lives in jeopardy. In 2012 a tremendous effort meant we were able to give every child who was able to arrive at a treatment centre appropriate care. But we need to get to the state where more robust systems are in place and treatment centres see far fewer children.”

    About UNICEF
    UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

    For more information, please contact:
    Martin Dawes, UNICEF West and Central Africa Regional Office,
    Tel + 221 77 74 04 679,
    mdawes@unicef.org

    Fatou Bintou Dia, UNICEF West and Central Africa Regional Office,
    Tel + 221 77 655 44 16,
    Fbdia@unicef.org

    Marixie Mercado, UNICEF Geneva,
    Tel + 4179 756 7703,
    mmercado@unicef.org

    Peter Smerdon, UNICEF New York,
    Tel + 1 917 213 5188,
    psmerdon@unicef.org


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo (the), Mali, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic (the), World, Yemen, South Sudan (Republic of)

    GENÈVE, 11 décembre (HCR) – Confrontés à des crises humanitaires croissantes au Moyen-Orient ainsi que dans certaines régions d'Afrique saharienne et sub-saharienne, les pays donateurs se sont engagés aujourd'hui à verser la somme de 550 millions de dollars au HCR en 2013 pour aider des millions de personnes déracinées à travers le monde. Une somme de 169 millions de dollars a par ailleurs été annoncée par les donateurs pour 2014 et au-delà.

    Ce montant ne représente qu'une partie des besoins financiers du HCR pour 2013, qui s'élèvent actuellement à 3,92 milliards de dollars. Cependant, il fournit au HCR des indicateurs à la fois sur le budget avec lequel commencer l'année 2013 ainsi que sur le montant global des ressources probablement alloué pour cette année 2013. En comparaison, l'année dernière, les annonces de contributions des donateurs s'élevaient à 482 millions de dollars pour 2012.

    Ces fonds seront utilisés pour aider des millions de personnes déracinées et apatrides à travers le monde. Le Haut Commissaire pour les réfugiés António Guterres a remercié les pays donateurs pour leur soutien.

    « Les nouvelles crises humanitaires de ces derniers mois ont créé des centaines de milliers d'autres réfugiés et déplacés », a indiqué António Guterres. « Cela nous rend particulièrement reconnaissants envers les donateurs qui ont annoncé aujourd'hui des contributions initiales pour notre travail en 2013. Etant donnée l'incertitude générale qui marque l'économie mondiale, c'est réconfortant. »

    Les 18 derniers mois ont vu des crises majeures en termes de déplacements de populations, y compris pour la Syrie et les pays voisins, le Mali, le Soudan du Sud et en République démocratique du Congo. Parallèlement, de nouvelles demandes ont apparu pour le HCR – comme l'aide au retour des personnes déplacées dans le sud du Yémen – alors que des situations de déplacement prolongé à grande échelle – comme en Afghanistan ou en Somalie – n'ont pas disparu.

    Pour le HCR, qui est financé en quasi-totalité par des contributions volontaires, provenant pour la plupart des gouvernements, cela a plusieurs fois signifié des révisions à la hausse pour les budgets de plusieurs parmi ses principales opérations, car le nombre de personnes déracinées est en hausse. Par exemple, un nouvel appel supplémentaire pour la situation en Syrie sera publié d'ici quelques jours.

    Le budget annuel du HCR est basé sur une évaluation minutieuse des besoins des personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR auxquels l'agence pourra répondre. Comme les années précédentes, la majeure partie du budget du HCR est consacrée à répondre aux besoins des réfugiés et des demandeurs d'asile, avec un montant de 3,07 milliards de dollars sur les 3,92 milliards de dollars nécessaires (soit 78%). L'Afrique demeure le bénéficiaire le plus important pour l'assistance du HCR, avec la moitié des besoins.

    Sur les 42,5 millions de personnes qui étaient déracinées à la fin 2011, près de 26 millions recevaient du HCR protection et assistance. Le HCR consacre également une attention accrue à la prévention et la réduction des cas d'apatridie qui, selon certaines estimations, affectent quelque 12 millions d'apatrides.


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    Source: Catholic Relief Services
    Country: Ethiopia

    Ethiopia is a beautiful country, rich in culture and history but also a place where droughts frequently devastate harvests, leading to severe hunger. CRS helps communities in crisis get the water they need and also works on long-term approaches to keep the water flowing.

    Listen to the story


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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Mali

    11 December 2012 – The arrest of Mali’s Prime Minister by members of the country’s armed forces, which led to his resignation and the dismissal of the Government, has prompted condemnation by the United Nations Security Council and a call by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for an end to military interference in politics.

    Mr. Ban is “troubled” by the circumstances leading to the resignation of Cheick Modibo Diarra, his spokesperson said in a statement, adding that “the Secretary-General calls again for a cessation of military interference in politics and urges the Malian leadership to resolve any issues through peaceful means.”

    Soldiers reportedly arrested Mr. Diarra at his residence in the capital, Bamako, last night – the latest development in the ongoing crisis in the West African nation, which has been dealing with a range of security, political and humanitarian problems since the start of the year.

    Fighting between Government forces and Tuareg rebels broke out in the country’s north in January, following which radical Islamists have seized control of the area. The renewed clashes in the north, as well as the proliferation of armed groups in the region, drought and political instability in the wake of a military coup d’état in March have uprooted hundreds of thousands of civilians this year.

    “These latest developments underscore the importance of sustained national and international efforts to address the political crisis in Bamako,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson stated.

    The Security Council condemned the arrest in a statement read out to the press by Ambassador Mohammed Loulichki of Morocco, which holds the Council’s presidency for December. It also expressed its readiness “to consider appropriate measures, including targeted sanctions, against those who prevent the restoration of the constitutional order and take actions that undermine stability in Mali.”

    Both the Council and the Secretary-General called on the Interim President of Mali, Dioncounda Traoré, to move swiftly to form a broad-based inclusive government.

    In addition, the Council urged the transitional authorities of Mali to expedite the establishment of a transitional roadmap, through broad-based and inclusive political dialogue, to fully restore constitutional order and national unity, including through the holding of peaceful, inclusive and credible elections as soon as possible.

    The Council also stressed its commitment to authorizing as soon as possible the deployment of the African-led so-called International Support Mission in Mali. UN military and police planners have worked closely with the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union, in consultation with Malian authorities, in developing a framework for the proposed force.


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Mali

    BAMAKO – De récentes photos et vidéos témoignent de la détresse des personnes touchées par le conflit au Mali, en Afrique de l'Ouest, où le Programme alimentaire mondial des Nations Unies (PAM) travaille à acheminer de la nourriture et lutter contre la malnutrition.
    L'insécurité suite d'un coup plus tôt cette année a déplacé environ 200.000 personnes au Mali, alors qu’autant ont fui vers les pays voisins. De plus, le Mali se remet actuellement d'une grave sécheresse.

    La situation est rendue encore plus problématique par les contraintes d’accès rencontrées par les organisations humanitaires au nord du pays. Les images que nous vous envoyons montrent des files de personnes attendant de recevoir une assistance alimentaire dans le Nord, des personnes déplacées vivant dans un camp à proximité de la ville de Mopti, au centre du pays, et d’enfants déplacés bénéficiant de repas scolaires.

    Pour télécharger des vidéos récentes du Mali et une liste des plans, veuillez cliquer sur le lien ci-dessous:

    http://www.yousendit.com/download/WUJZY05xU1BFd2UwYjhUQw

    Pour des photographies récentes de la région de Timbouctou, veuillez cliquer sur le lien ci-dessous (crédits Omar Barry/Secours islamique): https://www.yousendit.com/download/WUJiYUlpVnNCSnB2TzhUQw

    Dans les prochains mois, le PAM vise à aider plus de 400 000 personnes souffrant d'insécurité alimentaire dans le Nord du pays et qui luttent pour nourrir leurs familles, et plus de 130 000 personnes au Sud, dont la plupart a été déplacée pendant des mois ou accueille des déplacés. Cette année, le PAM a porté assistance à 1,2 million de personnes au Mali, dont 260 000 personnes dans les zones touchées par le conflit. Ce chiffre comprend les personnes déplacées internes.

    Le PAM collabore avec neuf ONG internationales à Tombouctou, Gao et Kidal: ACTED, Action Contre la Faim, Africare, CARE, Handicap International, le Secours islamique, OXFAM, Solidarités International et la Norwegian Church Aid.

    Le PAM lutte en particulier contre la malnutrition dans le Nord et a lancé un programme en septembre afin d’améliorer la nutrition des enfants âgés entre six mois et cinq ans. A ce jour, plus de 30 000 enfants ont reçu une assistance avec des produits nutritifs spécialisés et prêts à l’emploi comme le Plumpy'sup et près de 10 000 femmes enceintes et mères allaitantes ont également reçu un appui nutritionnel spécifique.

    Le PAM a également mis en place un programme d'alimentation scolaire d'urgence, en réponse à un nombre croissant d’enfants déplacés. Les enfants reçoivent un petit déjeuner et leur repas scolaire au quotidien.

    Les interviews avec des membres du PAM présents sur le terrain peuvent être réalisées en contactant:

    Daouda Guirou, PAM/Bamako, Mob. +223 20794577, daouda.guirou@wfp.org

    Malek Triki, PAM/Dakar, Mob. +221 77 6375964, malek.triki@wfp.org


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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Mali

    11 décembre 2012 – Le Secrétaire général et le Conseil de sécurité ont condamné mardi l'arrestation, hier par les Forces armées maliennes, du Premier Ministre du Mali, Cheik Modibo Diarra, ce qui a entraîné sa démission et la dissolution de son gouvernement.

    Dans une déclaration communiquée par son porte-parole, Ban Ki-moon se dit troublé par les circonstances ayant entouré la démission de M. Diarra et appelle de nouveau à ce que cesse « l'interférence du militaire dans le politique » dans cette nation d'Afrique de l'Ouest.

    Selon lui, ces derniers événements en date soulignent l'importance des efforts nationaux et internationaux à déployer pour résoudre la crise politique à Bamako. « Le Secrétaire général appelle le Président par intérim, Dioncounda Traore, à entamer dès que possible des consultations sur la nomination d'un Premier Ministre de consensus et la formation d'un gouvernement inclusif », indique son porte-parole.

    De leur côté, les membres du Conseil de sécurité soulignent que l'arrestation du Premier Ministre est contraire aux appels répétés lancés dans ses résolutions 2056 (2012) et 2071 (2012) aux forces armées pour qu'elles cessent de perturber les activités des autorités de transition maliennes.

    Dans une déclaration faite à la presse, ils se déclarent prêts à envisager des mesures appropriées, y compris l'imposition de sanctions ciblées, à l'encontre de ceux qui empêchent le rétablissement de l'ordre constitutionnel et dont les agissements compromettent la stabilité du pays.

    « Les membres du Conseil en appellent aux autorités de transition maliennes pour qu'elles achèvent rapidement d'établir un plan de route pour la transition, en tenant un dialogue politique à large participation et sans exclusive, visant à rétablir l'ordre constitutionnel et l'unité nationale, notamment par la tenue, dès que possible, d'élections pacifiques, ouvertes à tous et crédibles. »

    Leur déclaration souligne enfin qu'ils sont « déterminés à autoriser le plus tôt possible le déploiement au Mali d'une mission d'appui internationale sous bannière africaine. »


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    12/12/2012 02:34 GMT

    Par Serge DANIEL

    BAMAKO, 12 déc 2012 (AFP) - Le Premier ministre malien Cheick Modibo Diarra a été contraint mardi à la démission par d'anciens officiers putschistes hostiles à une intervention étrangère contre les islamistes qui occupent le Nord du Mali, et le président par intérim a désigné son successeur.

    Selon un décret lu par la chaîne de télévision publique malienne ORTM, le président par intérim, Dioncounda Traoré, a nommé au poste de Premier ministre le médiateur de la République, Diango Cissoko.

    Agé de 62 ans, M. Cissoko était médiateur de la République depuis mai 2011.

    "La priorité, c'est la récupération du nord et l'organisation des élections (...) Je veux faire un gouvernement d'union nationale", a affirmé mardi soir à l'AFP le nouveau Premier ministre.

    M. Diarra a annoncé à l'aube sa démission et celle de son gouvernement après avoir été arrêté dans la nuit par une vingtaine de militaires, sur ordre du capitaine Amadou Haya Sanogo, chef de l'ex-junte qui avait renversé en mars le président Amadou Toumani Touré.

    M. Diarra a fait cette annonce au cours d'une brève allocution à la télévision malienne, sans fournir d'explications. Il se trouvait mardi en résidence surveillée chez lui à Bamako, selon un membre de sa famille. Les habitants de la capitale vaquaient normalement à leurs occupations.

    Le départ forcé du Premier ministre survient au lendemain de la décision de l'Union européenne d'envoyer au Mali 400 militaires début 2013 pour former l'armée malienne en vue de rétablir le contrôle de Bamako sur le Nord du pays, occupé depuis huit mois par des islamistes armés.

    Cet envoi sera la première concrétisation d'un engagement étranger sur le terrain, alors qu'est attendu avant Noël un feu vert de l'ONU sur le déploiement d'une force internationale.

    Le capitaine Sanogo, chef des putschistes, a justifié son action mardi soir dans un entretien à la télévision publique malienne.

    "Rien ne marchait" avec M. Diarra comme Premier ministre, "au lieu d'être le chef d'équipe pour conduire, il était quand même le point de blocage", a affirmé le capitaine Sanogo à l'antenne de l'ORTM.

    Le capitaine Sanogo assure que l'ex-Premier ministre "va très bien", "qu'il est chez lui depuis hier soir". Il dément que M. Diarra ait été placé en résidence surveillée à son domicile comme l'a affirmé à l'AFP mardi matin un membre de la famille de M. Diarra. "Il n'est ni arrêté ni en résidence surveillée", a déclaré l'officier.

    Le capitaine Sanogo a par ailleurs démenti être "opposé" au déploiement d'une force internationale dans le nord du Mali. "Nous ne nous sommes jamais opposés à quoi que soit (...) Nous en avons besoin tant que ça peut sauver des populations maliennes", a-t-il déclaré.

    Le nouveau coup de force des putschistes survient alors que le Mali et la Communauté économique des Etats d'Afrique de l'Ouest (Cédéao) ont demandé au Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU d'autoriser rapidement le déploiement d'une force internationale de 3.300 hommes dans le pays.

    Lundi, l'UE a mis sur les rails sa mission de 400 militaires, dont 250 formateurs qui devront dès le premier trimestre 2013 réorganiser une armée malienne en piteux état depuis sa débâcle face aux groupes armés.

    Alors que M. Diarra s'était prononcé à plusieurs reprises en faveur d'une intervention étrangère rapide, le capitaine Sanogo, devenu chef d'un comité de réforme de l'armée, l'avait acceptée du bout des lèvres, disant préférer compter sur l'armée malienne pour reconquérir le Nord.

    La démission de M. Diarra sous la pression des putschistes a suscité la réprobation en Afrique et en Occident.

    La Cédéao "condamne tout agissement, en particulier celui de militaires, contre toute personnalité de la transition" au Mali, a déclaré à Abidjan le président de la commission de cette organisation, Désiré Kadré Ouédraogo.

    Elle a appelé à ce que la sécurité de M. Diarra soit assurée. "Nous tenons ceux qui entraveraient ses mouvements pour responsables de sa sécurité", a déclaré à l'AFP M. Ouédraogo.

    Le secrétaire général de l'ONU Ban Ki-moon s'est lui déclaré "troublé" par le coup de force et a "appelé une nouvelle fois à la fin de l'ingérence des militaires dans la politique".

    Le Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU s'est dit "prêt à envisager des mesures appropriées, dont des sanctions ciblées contre ceux qui empêchent la restauration de l'ordre constitutionnel et agissent pour miner la stabilité du Mali".

    Sur la même ligne, le département d'Etat américain a "condamné cet acte commis par la junte militaire", qu'il a exhortée à "cesser ses ingérences perpétuelles dans les affaires politiques et gouvernementales maliennes".

    L'UE a appelé l'armée "à cesser d'interférer dans la vie politique", et la France a demandé la formation rapide d'un "nouveau gouvernement représentatif".

    Ce nouvel épisode de la crise au Mali prouve la fragilité des autorités civiles de transition.

    La France et les Africains souhaitent une adoption rapide à l'ONU de la résolution sur le déploiement de la force internationale, mais Washington doute des capacités du Mali et de ses voisins à mener à bien l'opération.

    bur-jb/stb/lbx/plh/sym/mc

    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: African Development Bank
    Country: Kenya

    An estimated 150,000 people from pastoral communities, including students and teachers from six schools based in Kenya’s Baringo, Kiambu West and Laikipia districts, are to benefit from a €690,000 grant from the African Water Facility (AWF) signed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) on Friday, December 7, after being approved on July 6, 2012.

    “The goal of this project is to contribute to the mainstreaming of rainwater harvesting and management in response to rural development challenges posed by climate in drought prone regions,” said Gabriel Negatu, AfDB’s East Africa Regional Director, shortly after signing the grant agreement. “The project also perfectly aligns with Kenya’s objective to achieve the Millennium Development Goals for water supply and sanitation.”

    The grant will support a Kenya Rainwater Association (KRA) pilot program designed to help communities build resilience to droughts and adapt to climate change through Integrated Rainwater Harvesting Management (IRHM), with potential for greater reach in the Horn of Africa.

    More specifically, the AWF grant will be used to finance the implementation of various activities in Kenya’s three semi-arid districts, including RHM infrastructure development for domestic and productive use; the utilisation of complementary water harvesting technologies to improve livelihoods and generate income; knowledge sharing between community members; and policy advocacy based on tangible benefits and impacts to encourage government and development partners to scale up at national and regional levels.

    “This project promises to help some of the most vulnerable and isolated communities better manage rainwater to reduce the known severe water stress experienced in the drylands and to achieve water security,” said Akissa Bahri, Coordinator of the African Water Facility. “We hope the results will serve as reference for governments to scale up to reach more communities and improve their lives and livelihoods.”

    Details of the project’s activities involve:

    • Improving water storage by installing roof catchment tanks, farm ponds and earth dams;

    • Raising awareness in the communities on rainwater harvesting techniques to cope with extreme water, hygiene and sanitation conditions;

    • Promoting an improved water management model for increased yields and crop diversification;

    • Applying watershed conservation and rangeland rehabilitation to minimize conflict over water;

    • Building capacity at community level and assessing national policies for pro-poor reforms.

    The Kenya project is one of six case studies conducted in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda designed to evaluate the performance of rainwater harvesting systems in the region with the aim of promoting “best practices” in water management for improving water supply and food security.

    The Kenya project will be implemented by the Kenya Rainwater Association (KRA), the Government of Kenya and targeted communities.


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    Source: World Health Organization
    Country: Mali

    Introduction :

    Faisant suite à sa participation au convoi de solidarité qui avait permis d’acheminer des intrants alimentaires et médicaux vers les régions du nord du Mali sous occupation, l’OMS a entrepris une seconde mission humanitaire afin d’apporter un appui au système de santé dans les régions occupées. Cette initiative réalisée en partenariat avec l’ordre des médecins du Mali a déjà été rééditée deux fois. Le deuxième redéploiement des volontaires s’est étendu jusqu’à la région de Kidal couvrant un paquet d’activité variés : médico-chirurgicales, gynéco-obstétricale et préventive.

    En effet, depuis le début de janvier 2012, les régions de Gao, Kidal et Tombouctou et une partie de la région de Mopti, sont sous contrôle des groupes armés. Cette situation a entraîné non seulement le déplacement massif des populations, mais aussi le pillage des structures de santé de ces localités, le départ du personnel socio-sanitaire et l’arrêt des programmes sanitaires prioritaires. Outre l’accès très limité aux soins, les conséquences de cette catastrophe demeurent dramatiques pour la population :

    • des conditions de vie précaire,

    • des femmes qui meurent en donnant la vie,

    • des malades grabataires qui meurent par faute d’assistance médicale,

    • des femmes victimes de viol avec risque d’infection sexuellement transmissible et le VIH/SIDA - des patients sous traitement antirétroviral qui n’ont plus accès aux médicaments

    • le risque de maladies épidémiques lié aux conditions de vie précaire (absence d’eau potable, absence d’antigènes et de chaîne de froid par manque d’électricité).

    Cette crise survenant en une période hivernale et à haut risque épidémique, avec crainte d’éclosion des épidémies de méningite, cholera, rougeole, gastroentérite, la mise en place d’équipes médicochirurgicales d’assistance humanitaire s’est avérée nécessaire.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    12/12/2012 04:03 GMT

    by Fran Blandy

    DAKAR, Dec 12, 2012 (AFP) - In 2012 Mali went from a stable democracy to a country facing a war with jihadists occupying over half its territory, backed by Western powers who fear the arid zone may become a new haven for terrorism.

    While considered one of west Africa's flagship democracies, the tinder for Mali's implosion was long at the ready: A vast, restive desert north inhabited by disgruntled Tuareg nomads and used as a playground by Al-Qaeda operatives.

    Several hundred kilometres south of its desert towns, Bamako has long ignored rumblings of discontent from marginalised northern communities, and its poorly-equipped army was no match for an uprising which began in January.

    Tuareg rebels calling themselves the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) launched a fresh revolt, following several in recent decades, this time bolstered by an arsenal brought back from Libya, where many of them had fought for slain dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

    Simmering anger amongst soldiers over the pounding they were experiencing at the hands of the rebels prompted a March 22 coup by a group of officers led by Captain Amadou Sanogo who accused ousted leader Amadou Toumani Toure of "incompetence" in handling the rebellion.

    Two weeks later he handed power to an interim government, but political paralysis and bickering continued as did the Tuareg juggernaut, aided by armed Islamist groups who appeared fighting on their flanks in an unclear alliance.

    --- Islamic law and disorder --

    Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith in Arabic) -- one of three armed Islamist groups now controlling northern Mali -- was led by kaleidoscopic desert master Iyad Ag Ghaly.

    He had led a Tuareg rebellion in 1990, later becoming a government mediator with Al-Qaeda hostage takers and serving as a Malian diplomat in Saudi Arabia.

    Having become radicalised over the years, Ag Ghaly declared as fighting waged: "I am not for independence, I want sharia (Islamic law) for my people."

    Together the fighters seized the key towns of Kidal, Timbuktu and Gao, where they were joined by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) offshoot the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO).

    It later emerged that the Islamists were closely tied to AQIM, whose top leaders were seen at Ag Ghaly's side. The north African Al-Qaeda franchise has long been involved in drug trafficking, attacks and kidnapping foreigners for ransom in the Sahel and were known to have bases in northern Mali.

    With the northern triangle of the bow-tie shaped nation under the fighters' control, the MNLA declared independence for Azawad, but conflicting views on what would become of the occupied zone created divisions between the Tuareg and the Islamists.

    By the end of June the jihadists had chased the secular MNLA from all its key positions and imposed their brutal version of sharia law on the populations.

    Transgressors were flogged, stoned to death or had their hands amputated and the Islamists set about destroying ancient religious monuments in the fabled city of Timbuktu which were seen as "idolatrous", prompting outrage around the world.

    In the meantime some 400,000 people had been displaced from their homes in the midst of the fighting, creating a humanitarian crisis compounded by one of the worst droughts in years as they fled to neighbouring towns and countries.

    In Bamako, authorities remained deadlocked and powerless.

    --- To intervene, or not to intervene ---

    Alarmed by the growing threat of having "terrorist groups" occupying an area larger than France, western powers' interest in driving out the Islamists grew.

    The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) proposed a force of 3,300 regional troops to intervene, and European countries as well as the United States offered logistical support and training.

    The United Nations approved the plan in principle, but remains lukewarm amid misgivings over the risks of such an intervention force, its capabilities, financing of the mission and its start date.

    Many of Mali's neighbours favour negotiation, and regional mediator Burkina Faso has begun talks with the Islamist groups, but ECOWAS is pushing hard for the mission to go ahead.

    UN experts warn that any deployment is unlikely for another nine months.

    Chad's President Idriss Deby Itno recently described the planned mission as being in "total confusion".

    This confusion only deepened on Tuesday as still-influential coup leader Sanogo sent soldiers to arrest interim premier Cheick Modibo Diarra, who later announced his resignation in what one analyst described as a "quasi-coup".

    Sanogo is fiercely opposed to the intervention while Diarra has urged the UN to give it the green-light.

    Mali's hastily installed new prime minister, Diango Cissoko, said his priorities are to regain control of the north from the Islamists, hold elections and bring the country together under a government of national unity.

    However from north to south Malians stuck in limbo feel a growing sense of desperation, and abandoned by the international community.

    Mali is a "patchwork of religious crazies, crazies in uniform and those crazy for power," one citizen said on a social network recently.

    stb-fb/pvh

    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


    0 0

    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia (the), Mali, Mauritania, Niger (the), Senegal

    HIGHLIGHTS

    • The growing season in the Sahel is coming to an end with good crop prospects. Still, the situation in the region remains difficult with the erosion of livelihoods during the 2012 crisis, owing to the uneven pastoral situation, flooding, the Desert Locust threat and high grain prices combined with widespread poverty and high vulnerability, in particular for those households that could not benefit from livelihood support during the past season.

    • During the 2012 Sahel crisis an estimated 18.7 million people have faced food and nutrition insecurity. More than 1 million children under five were at risk of severe acute malnutrition. Despite humanitarian assistance, millions may remain food insecure in 2013, especially as a result of the limited support to livelihoods in 2012 and cereal prices remaining at high level.

    • The humanitarian and security situation in Mali is deteriorating, due to the conflict in the northern part of the country, with serious repercussions on the region and beyond. An estimated 413 731 people have left their homes; 203 843 are internally displaced and 209 888 have crossed the borders to neighbouring countries, primarily Burkina Faso, Mauritania and the Niger.

    • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has requested USD 112 million for urgent action in 2012, to improve the food and nutrition security of 7.8 million vulnerable people in the Sahel.

    • To date, FAO has received USD 41.2million. With this amount, FAO has assisted or is assisting more than 4.6 million beneficiaries by supporting food and livestock production, animal protection and related technical assistance.

    • As of now, funding has not been enough to adequately address the crisis in a timely manner and a funding gap of USD 70.8 million remains in order to address food and nutrition insecurity in the region.

    • Moreover, a Desert Locust threat, the most serious since 2005, is placing the livelihoods of 50 million people in the Sahel at risk.

    • An additional USD 10 million was requested to address the Desert Locust threat. In response to the appeal, FAO has received a total of USD 7.2 million, and USD 1 million has been committed bilaterally toward components identified within the requirements for the Niger.

    • Another USD 1.8 million is still needed to control the Desert Locust threat in the region.


    0 0

    Source: IFRC
    Country: Gambia (the)
    preview


    GLIDE n° OT-2012-00046-GMB
    6-month summary update

    Period covered by this Ops Update: June to November 2012 (cumulative narrative and financial). The emergency appeal has been extended by one month bringing the timeframe to 9 months instead of 8 to enable the completion of planned activities. The date for the submission of the final report remains unchanged and will be available at the end of March 2013.

    Appeal target (current): CHF 1,100,051.

    Appeal coverage: 64% (excluding DREF allocation of CHF 185,974)

    Appeal history:

    • This Emergency Appeal was initially launched on 27 April 2012 for CHF 1,859,746 in cash, kind, or services to support Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) to assist 8,500 households (51,000 beneficiaries) for 8 months and to be completed by the end of December 2012. As a start up of the operation CHF 185,974 was allocated from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ (IFRC) Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support this operation. Un-earmarked funds to replenish DREF are encouraged.

    • The Revised Emergency Appeal launched on 2 July 2012 reduced the budget to CHF 1,100,051 to assist a reduced number of 5,778 households/34,668 beneficiaries within the same timeframe.

    • This Operation Update reports on the progress made from April to November 2012 and informs of the extension of operation timeframe by one more month to the end of January 2013 (a total of 9 months) in order to finalise the implementation of the vegetable communal gardens and other planned activities.

    Summary:

    Following the launch of the Emergency Appeal in April, funding arrived in June and subsequently the first activity to take place was the training of 48 Red Cross volunteers on data collection, beneficiary registration and relief distribution including 15 local community members that were also trained during the relief distribution.

    The objective was to reach 34,668 beneficiaries/5,778 households to receive rice seeds and fertilizer vouchers in the North Bank and Lower River regions in the month of July, in time for planting during the main rainy season.

    However, an additional 8,191 beneficiaries received this support as well; bringing the total figure of beneficiaries to 42,859 instead of 34,668. The reasons are due to some households being much larger than the six person head count that was estimated per family and also includes some students from religious schools and some vulnerable beneficiaries that had been left out during the beneficiary identification process.

    For the health activities 146 volunteers were trained to follow up on the malnutrition activities. The operations are now in the recovery period and activities are focused on women-run community vegetable gardens. These vegetable gardens will allow them to diversify their nutritional intake and also be an opportunity for income generating activities to help build household resilience. 120 volunteers were also trained on hygiene promotion, screening and referrals to health facilities and of malnourished children up to 5 years old, using the mid upper arm circumference (MUAC); a total number of household visited was 12,537 in which 25,918 children have been screened for malnutrition.


    0 0

    Source: IRIN
    Country: Senegal

    ZIGUINCHOR, 12 December 2012 (IRIN) - Peanut farmers and peanut oil producers in Senegal’s southern province of Casamance have threatened to block exports of locally grown peanuts, saying there are insufficient nuts for the home market, and that such a move will affect local livelihoods.

    Peanuts have been available for export for two years, the top three importers in 2006-2009 being the UK, the Netherlands, and Mauritania, but producers are concerned that exports are set to soar given increased interest from buyers in China, Russia and the Republic of Korea.

    Under an ambitious initiative to boost agricultural output, entitled GOANA, the government promised to increase the production of peanuts to one million tons each year. Following a soar in production in 2010 that led to a surplus of nuts, the government decided to open the sector to exporters.

    At a press conference on 4 December in the provincial capital Ziguinchor, local peanut oil producer SUNEOR called on the government to revise its decision to open up the peanut market.

    “Opening of borders for peanut exports will threaten jobs. Production this year will not even meet local needs,” said Bernard Kamony, general secretary of SUNEOR, who spoke at the press conference.

    SUNEOR, which processes the vast majority of Senegalese peanuts, says they have enough capacity to process the entire peanut crop, but with the nuts being diverted for export, they will have to lay off the seasonal workers they had hired.

    “National production is under 800,000 tons, while demand is running at one million tons. Local industry… is capable of purchasing the entire peanut output of farmers and more,'' said Kamony.

    Farmers had accepted the increase in producer prices last year (from 175 CFA francs to 190 CFA francs) on condition that there would be no peanut exports, he said.

    “If the authorities open the borders, our jobs are threatened because last season in Ziguinchor, we worked only one month during the season and thousands of fathers have been unemployed since March 2012...

    Border closure threat

    “WTO rules ensure the protection of local industry and the authorities must take this into account in their decisions.''

    Kamony was adamant: “If this decision to open the borders is upheld, we will confront the state. We have the means and human resources to close the borders,'' he said.

    Peanuts are one of Senegal's most important cash crops and some 40 percent of the country's cultivated land is used to produce them, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

    SUNEOR head Samuel Ndour said the state can open the borders once production reaches one million tons. But he warned: “We have sent a letter to the authorities. If they do not reply we will show them what local farmers are made of... We have been in this business some 30 years, and we know… how to ensure that the seeds stay where they are… The state must respond to our demands. If not, we are prepared to block trucks leaving with the nuts."

    He continued: "We are also prepared to confront foreigners to ensure they leave the seeds where they are. And if that means finding them in the villages to hunt them down... we will do it… We are not going to accept the demise of local industry,” he said.

    However, a dissident group within SUNEOR favours foreign exports, believing farmers can benefit from higher prices and more immediate payments.

    md/cb/aj


    0 0

    Source: IFRC
    Country: Gambia (the)
    preview


    GLIDE n° OT-2012-00046-GMB
    6-month summary update

    Period covered by this Ops Update: June to November 2012 (cumulative narrative and financial). The emergency appeal has been extended by one month bringing the timeframe to 9 months instead of 8 to enable the completion of planned activities. The date for the submission of the final report remains unchanged and will be available at the end of March 2013.

    Appeal target (current): CHF 1,100,051.

    Appeal coverage: 64% (excluding DREF allocation of CHF 185,974)

    Appeal history:

    • This Emergency Appeal was initially launched on 27 April 2012 for CHF 1,859,746 in cash, kind, or services to support Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) to assist 8,500 households (51,000 beneficiaries) for 8 months and to be completed by the end of December 2012. As a start up of the operation CHF 185,974 was allocated from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ (IFRC) Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support this operation. Un-earmarked funds to replenish DREF are encouraged.

    • The Revised Emergency Appeal launched on 2 July 2012 reduced the budget to CHF 1,100,051 to assist a reduced number of 5,778 households/34,668 beneficiaries within the same timeframe.

    • This Operation Update reports on the progress made from April to November 2012 and informs of the extension of operation timeframe by one more month to the end of January 2013 (a total of 9 months) in order to finalise the implementation of the vegetable communal gardens and other planned activities.

    Summary:

    Following the launch of the Emergency Appeal in April, funding arrived in June and subsequently the first activity to take place was the training of 48 Red Cross volunteers on data collection, beneficiary registration and relief distribution including 15 local community members that were also trained during the relief distribution.

    The objective was to reach 34,668 beneficiaries/5,778 households to receive rice seeds and fertilizer vouchers in the North Bank and Lower River regions in the month of July, in time for planting during the main rainy season.

    However, an additional 8,191 beneficiaries received this support as well; bringing the total figure of beneficiaries to 42,859 instead of 34,668. The reasons are due to some households being much larger than the six person head count that was estimated per family and also includes some students from religious schools and some vulnerable beneficiaries that had been left out during the beneficiary identification process.

    For the health activities 146 volunteers were trained to follow up on the malnutrition activities. The operations are now in the recovery period and activities are focused on women-run community vegetable gardens. These vegetable gardens will allow them to diversify their nutritional intake and also be an opportunity for income generating activities to help build household resilience. 120 volunteers were also trained on hygiene promotion, screening and referrals to health facilities and of malnourished children up to 5 years old, using the mid upper arm circumference (MUAC); a total number of household visited was 12,537 in which 25,918 children have been screened for malnutrition.


    0 0

    Source: ECOWAS
    Country: Mali

    N°: 351/2012

    12 décembre 2012 [Abuja - Nigeria]

    La CEDEAO a appris avec préoccupation les évènements qui ont conduit à la démission ce jour de Mr Cheik Modibo DIARRA, Premier Ministre du Gouvernement de transition du Mali.

    En effet le Président de la Commission rappelle que conformément à la décision du Sommet Extraordinaire de la CEDEAO qui s’est tenu à Abidjan le 26 Avril 2012, le pouvoir exécutif au Mali est investi dans Son Excellence Monsieur Dioncounda TRAORE, qui agit au titre de Chef de l’État et Chef Suprême des Armées, représentant légitime du peuple malien en vertu des dispositions de la constitution de février 1992 et reconnu comme tel aussi bien par la CEDEAO, l’Union Africaine que par la Communauté internationale.

    Par conséquent la CEDEAO condamne fermement tout agissement qui va à l’encontre de la transition au Mali, en particulier l’action des militaires contre toute autorité de la transition ainsi que toute forme d’interférence de leur part dans le processus politique.

    La CEDEAO réaffirme enfin son soutien au Président de la transition et l’exhorte à prendre les mesures urgentes nécessaires pour former dans les meilleurs délais, un gouvernement représentatif et inclusive capable de poursuivre l’oeuvre de sortie de crise et de rassembler les Maliens autour de l’essentiel c’est-à-dire, la restauration de l’intégrité territoriale et l’unité du pays, le démantèlement des réseaux terroristes qui occupent le Nord ainsi que l’organisation d’élections libres, transparentes et inclusives.

    Abuja, 11 Décembre 2012
    Kadré Désiré OUEDRAOGO
    Président de la Commission


    0 0

    Source: ECOWAS
    Country: Mali

    N°: 351/2012

    12 December 2012 [Abuja - Nigeria]

    ECOWAS has learnt today with concern the events that led to the resignation of Mr. Cheik Modibo DIARRA, Prime Minister of the transitional Government of Mali.

    Indeed, the President of the Commission wishes to recall that, by virtue of the Decision of the Extraordinary Summit of ECOWAS held in Abidjan on 26 April 2012, executive power in Mali is vested in the interim President, H.E Dioncounda TRAORE, who acts as the Head of State and Commander in-Chief of the Malian Armed Forces, in line with the provisions of the Constitution of February 1992, and recognized as such by ECOWAS, the African Union, and the entire International Community.

    Consequently ECOWAS strongly condemns any act that goes against the Transition in Mali, in particular, military action against the constituted Authority of the Transition, as well as any form of interference by the military in the political process.

    Finally, ECOWAS reaffirms its support to the Interim President and urges him to take all necessary and immediate measures to form a representative and inclusive government as soon as possible in order to pursue the ongoing efforts to end the crisis and to bring together all Malians around the common cause of restoring the territorial integrity and unity of the country, dismantling terrorist networks in the North, and organizing free, transparent and inclusive elections.

    Kadré Désiré OUEDRAOGO
    President of the Commission Abuja, 11 December 2012


    0 0

    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    12/12/2012 16:09 GMT

    Par Serge DANIEL

    BAMAKO, 12 déc 2012 (AFP) - Le nouveau Premier ministre du Mali, Diango Cissoko, nommé après le départ forcé de Cheick Modibo Diarra, s'attelait mercredi à former un gouvernement d'union ayant pour mission de mettre fin à l'instabilité politique et d'aider une intervention armée internationale contre les islamistes.

    L'espoir est que M. Cissoko, considéré comme neutre à l'égard du président intérimaire Dioncounda Traoré, du Premier ministre démis et du chef des putschistes du 22 mars, le capitaine Amadou Haya Sanogo, renforce la stabilité du régime de transition à Bamako et facilite ainsi le déploiement d'une force internationale pour libérer le Nord occupé par les islamistes liés à Al-Qaïda.

    Il devra notamment convaincre le capitaine Sanogo, qui, s'il a démenti mardi être opposé à l'envoi d'une force étrangère "tant que ça peut sauver des populations maliennes", est réticent à un un tel déploiement, préférant l'option d'une intervention malienne avec un soutien logistique international.

    "La priorité, c'est la récupération du Nord et l'organisation des élections. Je veux faire un gouvernement d'union nationale", a déclaré juste après sa nomination le nouveau Premier ministre.

    Mercredi, l'Union européenne a salué la "nomination rapide" de M. Cissoko, dont elle a souligné la "personnalité consensuelle", les "dons de négociateur" et la "bonne connaissance de la vie politique malienne".

    Le président burkinabè Blaise Compaoré, médiateur dans la crise, a dit espérer la formation rapide d'un gouvernement qui "va s'atteler avec beaucoup de détermination à assurer un dialogue intérieur beaucoup plus fécond, à mobiliser réellement l'ensemble des composantes politiques et sociales du Mali pour gérer cette crise", et "à se mettre à notre disposition dans le processus de paix".

    Diango Cissoko, grand commis de l'Etat, plusieurs fois ministre sous les régimes du dictateur Moussa Traoré et du président déchu Amadou Toumani Touré (ATT), a été nommé mardi soir par décret à la tête de l'exécutif.

    Cette nomination a eu lieu moins de 24 heures après la démission forcée de Cheick Modibo Diarra, en poste depuis huit mois, sous la pression l'ex-junte militaire, déjà à l'origine en mars du renversement d'ATT.

    Le capitaine Sanogo a justifié le départ de M. Diarra, un "ambitieux" qui ne reconnaissait pas l'autorité du président Traore, en l'accusant d'avoir été le "point de blocage" dans la résolution de la crise au Mali.

    "Plus compétent et désintéressé"

    La communauté internationale, inquiète des conséquences de cette nouvelle crise, a condamné les interférences de l'armée dans les affaires politiques maliennes, et le Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU a renouvelé ses menaces de "sanctions ciblées" contre les putschistes.

    Le secrétaire général de l'ONU Ban Ki-moon a appelé "à la fin de l'ingérence des militaires dans la politique". La présidente de la Commission de l'Union africaine, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a rappelé l’exigence de la subordination totale de l’armée et des forces de sécurité au pouvoir civil.

    Mais, selon Gilles Yabi, du groupe de réflexion International Crisis Group (ICG) pour l'Afrique du l'Ouest, "Cheick Modibo Diarra était un obstacle aux progrès de la transition, dans tous ses aspects, qu'ils soient politiques ou qu'ils concernent la préparation d'une intervention militaire au nord".

    Un sentiment largement partagé en Afrique de l'Ouest où les ambitions politiques de M. Diarra étaient mal perçues.

    "La nomination d'un nouveau Premier ministre pourrait débloquer la situation. Diango Cissoko est un interlocuteur plus fiable, compétent, désintéressé que ne l'était Modibo Diarra", estime M. Yabi.

    Ce changement à la tête de l'exécutif malien intervient alors qu'est attendu avant Noël le feu vert du Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU sur l'envoi d'une force armée internationale de 3.300 hommes. Dans une déclaration mardi, les 15 pays membres du Conseil de sécurité ont souligné leur engagement "à autoriser dès que possible" ce déploiement.

    L'armée malienne, sous-équipée et humiliée par les groupes armés islamistes dans le nord où elle a été défaite et n'est plus présente, ne contrôle plus que le sud du pays, dont la capitale Bamako.

    bur-jb/stb/sba

    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


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