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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Mali

    1 octobre 2015 – A l'occasion d'une réunion ministérielle consultative sur le processus de paix malien en marge de l'Assemblée générale des Nations Unies, le Vice-Secrétaire général de l'ONU, Jan Eliasson, a rappelé jeudi aux parties signataires de l'accord de paix qu'elles devaient renoncer à la violence.

    « Cet accord est l'aboutissement d'un long processus », a dit M. Eliasson dans un discours lors de cette réunion, en présence notamment des Ministres des affaires étrangères du Mali et de l'Algérie. « Le Mali a enregistré des progrès considérables, principalement grâce à la détermination du peuple malien, qui est resté fidèle, malgré les épreuves, à ses valeurs de tolérance et de dignité ».

    Le Vice-Secrétaire général a toutefois condamné que l'application de l'accord ait été retardée par de récentes offensives, dans lesquelles les mouvements politico-militaires la Plateforme et la Coordination des mouvements de l'Azawad (CMA) étaient parfois impliquées.

    « Les participants à cette réunion ministérielle doivent envoyer un message fort aux parties signataires, surtout aux mouvements politico-militaires. Ceux-ci doivent renoncer à toute action qui violerait l'Accord et le cessez-le-feu. Ils doivent également s'engager à régler leurs différends dans le cadre des mécanismes prévus par l'Accord et à en appliquer les dispositions relatives à la défense et à la sécurité », a dit M. Eliasson.

    « Il est tout aussi important que le gouvernement mène à bien les réformes institutionnelles prévues par l'Accord. Cela permettra de renforcer la confiance des parties signataires et des habitants du nord du pays envers le processus de paix », a-t-il ajouté.

    Selon le Vice-Secrétaire général, la protection des droits de l'homme et la lutte contre l'impunité sont également essentielles pour rétablir la confiance de la population envers les institutions de l'État. « Il faut aussi que les femmes soient associées le plus possible aux mécanismes de suivi », a-t-il ajouté.

    Il a souhaité que les partenaires du Mali qui participeront à la Conférence pour le développement du Mali, qui se tiendra le 22 octobre à Paris sous l'égide de l'Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques, s'engagent à apporter un soutien accru au relèvement et au développement du nord du pays.

    « Tous les participants ici présents doivent être à la hauteur des attentes et honorer la confiance que le peuple malien a placée en nous », a conclu M. Eliasson. « Je tiens à vous dire de nouveau que l'Organisation des Nations Unies est déterminée à œuvrer à vos côtés pour rattraper le temps perdu ces derniers mois et progresser dans l'application de l'Accord. Je suis résolument attaché à sa mise en œuvre ».


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Mauritania

    2 October 2015

    You travel through the countryside in southern Mauritania, heading to Kaedi – about 400 kilometres away from the capital, towards the border with Senegal. You have five to six hours to take in the world unfolding around you. The rolling hills. The dunes of sand. The brightly coloured houses dotting the desert. A camel. Not giving a ride but taking one – in the back of a jeep. The sky. In the bluest shade you can imagine, with big, fluffy clouds gliding across it.

    It is just two days before the Tabaski and there is great bustle in each small town you pass through. Colourful silhouettes queue up to buy food for the family, new clothes for the children. There are sheep everywhere, many standing motionless, as if already resigned to the fate that awaits them.

    Noontime arrived, the heat is terrifying. It intensifies every minute, the burning air quivering and undulating.

    You stop in a village on the outskirts of Kaedi town. You walk past mudbrick houses; constructions in ruins (the villagers cannot afford to repair them); outdoor terraces (an area covered with thick fabric to block out the sun). People and animals mingle on the path to the school. A group of girls – aged six to 14 – wearing bright dresses with matching scarves gather in the school yard. The summer holiday is not quite over yet, but the girls say that they are eager for the classes to resume.

    You ask their names. Kadjima, Ramata, Paulele, Dianouba, roll the answers. Kadijma, 13, reveals later on that she would like to become a midwife/nurse. Asked why, she raises her shoulders. The answer is simple. There are no midwives in the village, and there is a great need for one.

    Aisatta, one of the moms gathered in the schoolyard, says that there are more and more girls going to school now, unlike the time when she was a young girl. The principal echoes her words. More than half of the students are girls, and the number of students nearly doubled in the past five-six years.

    Do WFP school meals help? It is one of the main reasons children come to school, says another parent. In a country where nearly one in three people do not have enough food to lead a healthy life, the daily hot meals at school are a lifesaver for the school children.

    The new school year is to start mid-October, and WFP is getting ready to reach more than 150,000 students like Kadijma and her friends. But without urgent support, WFP will only be able to sustain its school meals programme for two months.

    “This will make life more difficult for us, the parents,” says Aisatta. “For many children, the meals they receive at school – breakfast and lunch – are their sole, regular food per day. No school canteen means more expenses for families who are already struggling to feed their children.”

    The village of Betieck, about 40 kilometres from Kaedi, is not that different from the previous village, except that it is isolated. When it rains, as it does on the day of the visit, even the four-wheel drive battles to cut across the muddy fields surrounding the village. In view of its insularity, the villagers, not surprisingly, are curious to come and meet you.

    Women and young children sit on the floor, outside a small building which serves as a centre for malnutrition treatment. All children between six months to two years (about 80 children) receive fortified nutritional supplements aimed to prevent malnutrition.

    So do the pregnant and nursing women (about 110 women). Malnutrition rates are high in this region (Gorgol), with global acute malnutrition rates surpassing WHO’s critical emergency threshold, at 18 percent. Moderately malnourished children also benefit from WFP’s nutritional products so that they can recover.

    To help families cope during the lean season, WFP is providing cash to more than half of Betieck’s families so that they can buy food and cover other essential costs. There is food in the market but with little buying power, the villagers are struggling to have enough food.

    Tutu, a young expecting mom with five children, benefits from both cash and nutritional support.

    “We had little harvest last year,” she says. “Food is scarce both for us and for the animals. We lost some of our cattle because of this. It’s been difficult. This is why my husband went to the capital during the lean season - to work and send money to the family. Even so, I have been having debts at the food store. This is why I was happy when I heard that I would be receiving support. When I got the first cash installment, I went to pay the debts, I bought food and I was able to go to the hospital. I’ve been sick and worried about this as I am pregnant but could not afford to go to the doctor…I am waiting impatiently to receive this month’s distribution as I have nothing left now.”

    Tutu is in front of her hut, pouring the nutritious flour she has just received into a boiling pot of water. With every stir, the porridge is getting thicker and soon it is ready to eat.

    Sheena, anther villager - elderly widow with 14 children - adds: “I’ve been living in this village since a young girl. Things are getting worse every year. We are getting poorer and poorer, and it is becoming more difficult to survive. The cash that I received enabled me to cover my essential needs – mainly food. We are doing our best to manage the little that we have. God willing.”

    The rain sets in. It pours down heavily like a wall – a wall of rain. People run inside for shelter, and as you look around at the muddy pools of water widening and deepening with every minute passed, you cannot help wondering: how will help arrive the following days when the cash distributions are scheduled?

    Distances, difficulty in accessing remote places especially during the rainy season are only additional challenges that WFP faces when coming to the aid of communities in need. Yet, you sense a great will, desire to help coming from dedicated, compassionate staff. If only all the financial means were available. In a context where Mauritania continues to bear the brunt of reoccurring food crises, chronic malnutrition, and instability spilling over from neighbouring Mali, lack of funding is severely hampering WFP’s work with drastic consequences on the lives of the most vulnerable.


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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Algeria, Chad, Eritrea, India, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Pakistan, Sudan, World, Yemen


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

    FAITS SAILLANTS

    • Plus de 1 400 000 bénéficiaires de l’assistance alimentaire en août

    • Des productions bonnes à moyennes de 43 pour cent et de 80 pour cent selon les hypothèses d’arrêt des pluies respectivement le 15 ou le 30 septembre

    • Tendance à la baisse de l’ampleur des inondations entre 2013 et 2015.

    • Le budget du SRP réduit de 5 pour cent suite à sa révision à mi-parcours


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


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

    In the month of September, large scale displacement persists in Nigeria (about 2.1 million IDPs) and the neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger (178,314).

    On 11 September a bomb exploded in Makholi camp, Yola, capital of Adamawa state, killing about 12 people. Due to military pressure in Nigeria, BH has tried to create rear-based camps in Cameroon and Lake Chad areas. This has destabilized the areas even more and has been translated into multiple suicide attacks and violence against villages in Far Northern Cameroon.

    Population movements in the Lake Chad Basin have been growing in complexity, with multiple displacements and returns within countries and across borders. According to the results of the latest displacement assessment by NEMA and IOM the majority of displaced in Nigeria are children which constitute 58% of the IDP population, with more than half under five years. The cholera outbreak in three IDPs camps within Maiduguri, Borno State is now under control however, prevention measures and WASH interventions need to be strengthened. As of 10 September, UNHCR reported 10,943 Nigerian returnees from Cameroon. Relocation efforts are underway and emergency food, household items and healthcare have been provided by the government and humanitarian partners. In Chad, since July, over 41,000 people are reported to have fled Lake Chad islands to safer areas. New spontaneous IDP sites emerged in the southern Lake region in September, bringing the total number of IDP sites to 17 around Bol and Baga Sola alone. On 25 September, an attack by insurgents took place in the village of N’Gourtoua in the Diffa region killing fifteen civilians.

    The attack caused a mass movement of about 3,000 people. In the Far North region of Cameroon, food insecurity has dramatically spiked in recent months, currently affecting one in every three people, a figure three times higher than two years ago.


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


    0 0

    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    Niamey, Niger | AFP | vendredi 02/10/2015 - 21:21 GMT

    Au moins deux militaires nigériens ont été tués dans la nuit de jeudi à vendredi, dans une attaque du groupe islamiste Boko Haram dans un village du sud-est du Niger proche du Nigeria, a annoncé l'armée nigérienne vendredi.

    "Le bilan global provisoire de cette attaque est de deux militaires tués et sept blessés", précise un communiqué du ministère nigérien de la Défense lu à la télévision d'Etat.

    Les assaillants ont "détruit" un véhicule de l'armée, déplore le communiqué. L'incident est intervenu lorsque l'armée, stationnée dans la zone, a été "alertée vers 22H30" (21H30 GMT) de "l'imminence d'une attaque" contre le village de Baroua, et a dépêché ses éléments afin qu'ils se rendent sur les lieux, explique le texte. 

    En route pour Baroua, l'équipe d'intervention est "tombée dans une embuscade" tendue par "des éléments présumés de Boko Haram", souligne le communiqué.

    Selon la radio privée Anfani, la fusillade entre l'armée et les insurgés a duré "plus de cinq heures". Les assaillants ont pillé des magasins et "emporté d'importantes quantités de vivres", selon cette radio.

    Cette attaque marque une reprise des raids de Boko Haram, après près de deux mois d'accalmie dans cette zone.

    Le 24 septembre, quinze civils, dont un chef de village, avaient déjà été tués dans une attaque de Boko Haram contre un village situé sur les bords de la rivière Komadougou Yobé, qui sert de frontière naturelle entre le Niger et le Nigeria.

    Depuis février, Boko Haram et ses éléments locaux ont perpétré des attaques meurtrières dans la zone de Diffa (sud), frontalière du nord-est du Nigeria, fief des insurgés islamistes. 

    L'ONU a répertorié, depuis le 6 février, 54 attaques de Boko Haram ou affrontements impliquant ses combattants avec l'armée nigérienne dans le sud-est nigérien.

    Les armées du Nigeria, du Tchad, du Niger et du Cameroun luttent ensemble contre les insurgés désormais affiliés à l'organisation Etat islamique (EI), auxquels elles ont infligé de sérieux revers ces derniers mois. Mais les  violences et les attentats du mouvement armé n'ont pas cessé. 

    Pour combattre Boko Haram, les quatre pays et le Bénin ont mis sur pied une Force d'intervention conjointe multinationale (MNJTF) dotée de 8.700 militaires, policiers et civils, avec un quartier général à N'Djamena au Tchad. 

    La coalition "a sans conteste affaibli la nébuleuse" islamiste mais "pour autant elle ne s'avoue pas vaincue", a reconnu le président du Tchad Idriss Déby Itno lors d'une récente visite au Niger.

    bh/ck/ger

    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: UN Women
    Country: Nigeria, World

    Date: 2 October 2015

    Over the past two years, Boko Haram has grown in influence and spread across the West African region with specific impacts on the rights of women and girls. The 500th day anniversary of the kidnapping of the Chibok girls in Nigeria recently passed. Despite a global movement calling for their return, most remain missing, with more women and girls abducted by Boko Haram each week. Millions have been displaced as a result of Boko Haram violence.

    In light of this ongoing and deepening insecurity, UN Women welcomes the release of the report this week by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on violations committed by Boko Haram. We underline the call to affected States and the international community to place gender equality at the heart of interventions. This is the only sustainable, systemic way to prevent and respond to the spread of violent extremism. Empowered women and empowered communities are the best defense against radicalization and further violence. We must engender counter-terrorism.

    The OHCHR report’s findings include disturbing accounts of widespread and targeted violations against women and girls, from forced marriages and sexual slavery, to forced pregnancies and forced abortions. Recognizing that the acts committed by Boko Haram, and the strategies used to counter them are profoundly gendered, the report recommends that governments of affected States ensure a gender sensitive approach to analysing and responding to extremist violence “by ensuring effective participation of affected persons”. Practically, that is a strong call to act to empower women, and women’s movements, to participate. These messages are in line with the key findings of a 15- year review of women’s role in peace and security that is soon to be released. The report’s findings provide strong evidence of the dramatic positive effect of women’s engagement on the durability and success of response to conflict and achievement of settlement. Our efforts must also involve building the capacity of women’s civil society groups to actively engage, and strengthening our knowledge of the drivers of extremist violence.

    Alongside this strategic role, there is the immediate urgent need to involve women in the design and provision of humanitarian response that addresses the specific needs of women and girls. They must be involved as equal partners. Protecting civilians, providing remedies for women and girls whose rights have been violated and ensuring they have access to comprehensive and integrated services is critical. In this respect, the report recommends a number of measures including establishing a mechanism for nullifying forced marriages, provision of psychosocial counselling, rehabilitation and social reintegration, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services including HIV treatment and access to safe abortion, and measures to address stigma experienced by women and girl victims of sexual violence and their children.

    The report brings to light the negative consequences of both terror and anti-terror activities. UN Women calls on affected states to give more consideration to the negative impacts of counter- terrorism strategies on civilian populations, particularly women and girls. Motorcycle bans, for example, have limited movement of teachers and children trying to go to school. For girls, the interruption in their education has increased their exposure to further rights violations including child marriage and trafficking. Schools must be kept going, not only for the education they give, but for the strength, security and solidity that their routines provide to children whose world is being so profoundly disrupted.

    UN Women supported OHCHR with the provision of a sexual and gender crimes investigator, and welcomes the quality of the report’s gender analysis and findings on gender-based violations. We join OHCHR in calling for affected States to take up the recommendations in this report, as well as those in the 15-year review of women, peace and security, and stand ready to support these efforts. Together, these actions provide us with a strong foundation to build the resilience of communities and the region against the influence of Boko Haram, and permanently address the root causes of extremist violence.

    UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. For more information, visit www.unwomen.org. UN Women, 220 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017, New York. Tel: +1 646 781-4400. Fax: +1 646 781-4496.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    10/3/2015 - 02:50

    by Kunle BABS

    Two bomb blasts ripped through the outskirts of Nigeria's capital Abuja on Friday, including one target hit twice before by Boko Haram, after separate strikes in the northeast that killed at least 21.

    Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) warned of casualties from the simultaneous explosions in Kuje and Nyanya and likened the explosives used to those in areas worst-hit by the six-year insurgency.

    "It was not an accidental explosion... definitely it was a bomb," NEMA spokesman Manzo Ezekiel told AFP.

    "At this time we can only confirm the explosions. Our officers are on the ground. There are a number of dead but we can't say anything about numbers now."

    The attacks came a day after at least 10 people were killed when four suicide bombers blew themselves up in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, and 11 villagers died in neighbouring Adamawa state.

    The bombings underscored the persistent threat posed by the Islamist militants, despite claims of military successes in recent weeks in driving them out of captured territory, arrests and mass surrenders.

    An AFP tally puts the death toll at more than 1,260 since President Muhammadu Buhari took office on May 29.

    Casualties feared

    Friday's explosions happened near a police station in Kuje and at a bus stop in Nyanya at about 10:30 pm (2130 GMT). 

    Kuje, near Abuja's airport, is some 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of the city centre and seat of government. Its prison is reportedly holding dozens of Boko Haram prisoners captured by troops.

    The same bus station in Nyanya, to the east, was hit twice last year. The first attack, on April 14 2014, left at least 75 dead and was claimed by the Islamists; the second, on May 1, left at least 16 dead. 

    Ezekiel said the latest blasts happened almost simultaneously and appeared to use "the same kind of explosives used in the insurgency" in Nigeria's northeast. 

    Abuja was last attacked on June 25 last year, when 22 people were killed in a blast at a popular shopping centre in the heart of the capital. 

    Boko Haram later claimed the attack and a separate strike later that day in the Apapa port district of the financial capital, Lagos, in the southwest. 

    Civilian targets

    Buhari came to power vowing to crush the insurgency, criticising what he said was poor leadership by his predecessor Goodluck Jonathan, that had created a demoralised and under-equipped military.

    He has given his top commanders until early November to end the fighting, which has claimed at least 17,000 lives and made more than 2.5 million homeless since 2009, creating a major humanitarian crisis.

    But the threat to civilians remains and Amnesty International said this week more needed to be done to protect ordinary people, putting the death toll this year alone at some 3,500.

    The rebels, who earlier this year aligned themselves to the Islamic State group which controls swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, have increasingly reverted to guerrilla-style urban warfare tactics.

    Targets have included crowded bus stations, places of worships and markets, spreading fear among local populations.

    Buhari himself has accepted preventing such attacks will be a challenge and recognised the need to tackle the root causes of the insurgency -- namely social and economic deprivation in the mainly Muslim north.

    De-radicalisation programmes, including at Kuje prison, are part of the strategy to re-integrate former Boko Haram members into society.

    But the group's shadowy leader, Abubakar Shekau, recently dismissed army claims it was a spent force and in "disarray".

    A five-nation force comprising troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin is due to deploy soon, in recognition of the regional threat posed by the group after repeated cross-border attacks.

    Niger itself suffered an alleged Boko Haram attack late on Thursday, with two of the country's soldiers being killed in a militant ambush near its border with Nigeria, according to the defence ministry.

    str-phz/psr/jom

    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Abuja, Nigeria | AFP | Saturday 10/3/2015 - 17:50 GMT

    by Kunle Babs with Joel Olatunde Agoi in Lagos

    Two explosions that ripped through the outskirts of Nigeria's capital Abuja left 18 people dead and 41 wounded, rescue officials said Saturday, in the latest bloodshed blamed on Boko Haram Islamists.

    Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the attacks, as did the US embassy in Abuja.

    "The death toll is now 18 because three people died in the hospitals this morning while 41 others were injured and are receiving treatment in the hospitals," Sani Datti, spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency, told AFP.

    The blasts took place late on Friday near a police station in Kuje and at a bus stop in Nyanya, in an area previously targeted by Boko Haram militants.

    Police said Saturday "preliminary investigations revealed the bomb blasts were carried out by two suicide bombers -- a male and a female."

    The Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, had ordered massive stop-and-search activities in the city and advised residents not to panic, the force said in a statement.

    "Following the incidents the police high command ordered an immediate deployment of police explosives ordnance disposal units to the scenes to prevent further destructions," it said.

    An AFP reporter saw four wounded patients at Kuje hospital with 18 more injured at other medical facilities. Kuje residents were shocked over the tragedy as a heavy military presence surrounded the bomb site.

    A witness account of the Kuje blast said the attackers had walked any from the scene.

    Idris Abdulkareem said "a lady and a guy" who came on a motorcyle had set off the blast. He said the "guy" left the bike and said he would be back in a few minutes.

    "The moment he left the bomb sparked (went) off," Abdulkareem told AFP.

    Kuje, near Abuja's airport, is around 40 kilometres (24 miles) from the city centre and seat of government.

    The Kuje prison has been reported to be holding dozens of Boko Haram prisoners captured by troops.

    The bus station in Nyanya had previously been hit twice last year. The first attack,on April 14 left at least 75 dead and was claimed by the Islamists; the second on May 1 left at least 16 dead.

    Abuja was last attacked on June 25 last year, when 22 people were killed in a blast at a popular shopping centre.

    Boko Haram later claimed the attack and a separate strike later that day in the Apapa port district of the financial capital, Lagos.

    The Abuja blasts came a day after at least 10 people were killed when four suicide bombers blew themselves up in Maiduguri, the restive capital of northern Borno state and 11 villagers died in neighbouring Adamawa state.

    • Hitting soft targets -

    Since losing most of the territory it took over earlier this year, Boko Haram has reverted to hitting soft targets like markets, bus stations and places of worship as well as hit-and-run attacks on villages in the northeast.

    An AFP tally puts the death toll at more than 1,260 since Buhari took office on May 29 with a pledge to crush the insurgency.

    He has given his top commanders until early November to end the fighting, which has claimed at least 17,000 lives and made more than 2.5 million homeless since 2009.

    Buhari on Saturday condemned the bombings after being briefed by officials who had visited the victims, saying "we must tackle the prevalence of violent extremism."

    The United States also "strongly condemns the dual explosions in the Nyanya and Kuje areas of Abuja on October 2, and the suicide bombings and militant attacks in Maiduguri and Adamawa on October 1," the US embassy said in a statement in Abuja.

    Boko Haram, which seeks to carve out an Islamic state in mainly-Muslim northeast Nigeria, has also carried out cross-border attacks in Chad, Cameroon and Niger.

    A regional force involving 8,700 troops from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin is due to deploy to fight the extremists.

    bur-joa/boc


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Cameroon, Nigeria

    Une fille nigériane, séparée de sa famille quand elle s’est enfuie à la suite d’une attaque contre son village, trouve sécurité et soutien dans un camp de réfugiés du Cameroun et espère toujours retrouver ses frères et ses sœurs.

    MINAWAO, Cameroun, 28 septembre 2015 – Tina*, 11 ans, joue avec une autre fille dans le camp de réfugiés de Minawao, dans la région de l’Extrême-Nord du Cameroun. Elle traite cette fille comme une sœur. Pendant quelques minutes, Tina peut alors oublier qu’elle a fui les violences au Nigéria sans ses propres frères et sœurs.

    La « sœur » de Tina est le plus jeune enfant d’une famille d’accueil nigériane qui vit dans le camp et qui l’a recueillie. C’est à travers des programmes de soutien comme celui-ci que les enfants nigérians trouvent un peu de réconfort à la suite de leurs éprouvantes odyssées.

    « Je me suis simplement enfuie »

    Neuf mois se sont écoulés depuis que Tina a franchi la frontière, au nord du Cameroun, sans sa famille. « Des hommes armés ont attaqué notre village et ils ont brûlé nos maisons, se souvient-elle. Je me suis simplement enfuie et j’ai suivi les autres. »

    Au bout de plusieurs jours, elle est parvenue au camp de Minawao. « Nous avons fait un voyage long et difficile, dit-elle. « J’étais avec des hommes, des femmes et des enfants fuyant la guerre. Je devais les suivre et j’étais vraiment effrayée en pensant à ce qui était arrivé à notre village. »

    Localisation et protection des enfants

    Le Cameroun accueille environ 46 000 réfugiés nigérians, dont près de 30 000 enfants, dans le camp de Minawao. En partenariat avec l’ONG locale ALDEPA (Action Locale pour un Développement Participatif et Autogéré), l’UNICEF aide les enfants réfugiés en leur offrant un soutien psychosocial, des activités récréatives, des vêtement et une orientation vers les services de regroupement familial ainsi que des infrastructures pour la santé et l’hygiène.

    À ce jour, plus de 140 enfants non accompagnés ont été immatriculés dans le camp. Aux côtés d’autres agences des Nations Unies et du Gouvernement camerounais, l’UNICEF aide ces enfants grâce à un soutien psychosocial et un placement provisoire dans des familles d’accueil, comme celle où se trouve Tina. Les partenaires effectuent un suivi des progrès de la réinsertion des enfants dans le milieu familial et l’environnement.

    « Des enfants comme Tina se sont enfuis pour sauver leurs vies, dit Félicité Tchibindat, Représentante de l’UNICEF au Cameroun. Souvent, dans la panique, ils sont séparés de leur famille et se retrouvent seuls dans le camp. Ils ont été témoins de scènes atroces. »

    « En l’absence de leurs propres parents, ils ne savent pas à qui s’adresser et à qui parler, poursuit-elle. Ils ne peuvent pas retourner chez eux mais nous pouvons les rapprocher de la vie familiale et de la protection dont ils ont besoin. »

    « Je suis protégée par une autre famille »

    Quand Tina a été identifiée comme étant non accompagnée, elle a reçu des vêtements, un soutien psychosocial et des articles d’hygiène personnelle indispensables puis elle a été conduite vers sa famille d’accueil tandis que des efforts étaient entrepris pour retrouver sa vraie famille. Aujourd’hui, Tina fréquente les espaces amis des enfants appuyés par l’UNICEF. Elle participe également à des activités de formation professionnelle comme la couture, le jardinage et la cuisine. Elle est heureuse de coudre et de faire la cuisine et, dit-elle, elle est impatiente de montrer un jour à ses parents ce qu’elle sait faire.

    « Le fait que, en l’absence de ma propre famille, je sois protégée par une autre famille me rend heureuse », dit-elle.

    Les travailleurs sociaux qui s’occupent des enfants réfugiés non accompagnés échangent les informations nécessaires concernant des enfants comme Tina avec le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge pour pouvoir localiser leurs familles.

    « J’ai trois frères et deux sœurs et j’espère pouvoir les retrouver bientôt », dit Tina.

    *Son nom a été modifié


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    Bamako, Mali | AFP | Sunday 10/4/2015 - 01:00 GMT

    Mali's government and a major Tuareg-led rebel alliance exchanged prisoners this week, the two sides and a UN source have said, in a move hailed as a step forward for the country's fledgling peace process.

    A total of 47 prisoners were traded between the government and the Coordination of Movements of Azawad (CMA), and marks a key bright spot for a country that despite a months-old peace deal has yet to see stability firmly entrenched.

    "The Malian government freed 31 rebel prisoners and the rebels freed 16 Malian military prisoners," an official from MINUSMA, the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, told AFP on condition of anonymity.

    The official said the prisoner exchange took place on Thursday and was carried out in an effort to "ease the peace process".

    Sources in the defence ministry and the CMA confirmed the swap.

    It was not immediately clear how long the prisoners were held for, or their identities.

    Despite a peace deal having been signed this year, Mali has been hit by violence in August and September between pro-government armed groups and rebel forces.

    Divided into rival armed factions, plagued by drug trafficking and at the mercy of jihadism, Mali's desert north has struggled for stability since the west African nation gained independence in 1960.

    In spring 2012 northern Mali fell under the control of jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda who imposed a brutal interpretation of sharia law on the region, with the country reeling from a military coup.

    The Islamists were largely ousted by the French-led Operation Serval launched in January 2013, although they have since launched sporadic attacks from desert hideouts on security forces.

    There were hopes of a return to stability in May when northern-based loyalist militias signed a peace deal with Tuareg rebels in the area, but the deal remains fragile.

    sd-cs/jr/psr/jom

    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Guardian
    Country: Nigeria

    Conflict can be both a cause of disability and a devastating complication for those already living with disabilities. Although all disabled people are affected, women face intersecting discrimination because of their gender and disability.

    Read the story on Guardian


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  • 10/12/15--21:02: Mali: UNMAS response in Mali
  • Source: UN Mine Action Service
    Country: Mali

    BACKGROUND

    Since the outbreak of conflict in 2012, explosive hazards have presented a new threat in Mali, with a broad ranging detrimental impact on safety and freedom of movement in the central and northern parts of the country.

    Civilians living in areas now affected by Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) as a result of clashes, returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been exposed to potential loss of life and injury (2012: 51 victims; 2013: 54 victims; 2014: 34 victims; Jan-July 2015: 19 victims). This contamination also impedes the delivery of humanitarian assistance to civilians, as well as access to livelihoods, freedom of movement and economic recovery for the population. Improvised explosive devices (IED) have emerged as a weapon of choice for perpetrators of violence in Mali, especially targeting the Malian government and French and MINUSMA troops. Since the deployment of the Mission in July 2013, UNMAS recorded 256 IED incidents which have resulted in the death of 73 people, and the injury of 371 more. Among the victims, the majority have been MINUSMA troops (42.8%). Civilians (31.5%), Malian armed forces (17.8%) and French forces (7.9%) were also impacted. IED have made MINUSMA the most dangerous UN peacekeeping mission in the world, impeding the implementation of the mandate. In addition, the number of civilian victims of IEDs has increased significantly thus far during 2015.

    Despite the efforts of the Mali authorities, the national capacities for mitigating the explosive risks and responding to the threat remain limited, while efforts are needed to ensure safe and secure storage of weapons and ammunition, as well as disposal of obsolete and unsafe ammunition to prevent accidental explosions.


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    Source: African Union
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    Addis Abéba, le 12 octobre 2015 : La Présidente de la Commission de l’Union africaine (UA), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, condamne dans les termes les plus énergiques les attaques barbares perpétrées par le groupe terroriste Boko Haram contre des civils innocents dans un marché et un camp de réfugiés situés dans le village de Baga Sola, à l’ouest du Tchad, et dans le village de Kangaleri, dans l'extrême nord du Cameroun, respectivement les 10 et 11 octobre 2015. Ces attaques ont fait 50 morts et blessé plusieurs autres.

    La Présidente de la Commission exprime les condoléances de l'UA aux familles des victimes et souhaite prompt rétablissement aux blessés. Elle réitère la solidarité de l'UA avec les peuples et les Gouvernements du Tchad et du Cameroun, ainsi que des deux autres pays touchés par les activités du groupe terroriste Boko Haram, à savoir le Niger et le Nigéria.

    La Présidente de la Commission renouvelle l’engagement de l’UA à continuer à œuvrer avec les pays de la Commission du Bassin du Lac Tchad – CBLT (Cameroun, Niger, Nigéria et Tchad), ainsi qu'avec le Bénin, en vue de l’opérationnalisation intégrale de la Force multinationale mixte (FMM) chargée de lutter contre le groupe terroriste Boko Haram. Elle lance un appel à la communauté internationale pour qu’elle renforce son appui aux pays de la région, afin de neutraliser le groupe terroriste Boko Haram.


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    Source: UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
    Country: Japan, Mali

    Bamako le 29 septembre 2015 : Un forum sur le thème « Education à la culture de la paix et le vivre ensemble » s’est tenu à Bamako les 28 et 29 septembre 2015. Cette importante rencontre a réuni plus d’une centaine de participants représentant les services centraux de l’éducation, les directions des académies d’enseignement, et les Centres d’animation pédagogique (CAP), venus des zones d’intervention du projet, ainsi que le corps diplomatique, la société civile, les partenaires techniques et financiers actifs dans le secteur de l’éducation, les députés de l’Assemblée Nationale du Mali, et d’éminents experts du monde éducatif tant national qu’international, en provenance de la Côte d’Ivoire, de l’Ethiopie, de la République démocratique du Congo, et du Tchad, qui ont dialogué sur les concepts clés relatifs à l’éducation à la culture de la paix.

    La cérémonie d’ouverture était présidée par S.E M. Kénékouo dit Barthélémy Togo, Ministre de l’Education nationale, en présence de Mme Mbaranga Gasarabwe, Représentante spéciale adjointe du Secrétaire général des Nations Unies pour la MINUSMA et Coordinatrice résidente du Système des Nations Unies au Mali, S.E M. Akira Matsubara, Ambassadeur du Japon au Mali, M. Lazare Eloundou, Représentant de l’UNESCO au Mali, Dr Baba Hakib Haïdara, Médiateur de la République, Professeur Adama Samassékou, Président des travaux du forum, le Président du Haut conseil des collectivités locales, et la Présidente de la commission Education de l’Assemblée Nationale.

    Dans son message au forum, lu par M. Lazare Eloundou, la Directrice du bureau régional de l’UNESCO à Dakar, Mme Ann Therese Ndong Jatta, a rappelé l’importance que l’UNESCO accorde à l’éducation à la culture de la paix, qui donne à chaque être humain la maîtrise de soi-même, et la reconnaissance des droits de l’autre, fondement de tout bon jugement. « La paix constitue l’épine dorsale de l’action de l’UNESCO dans le monde et plus particulièrement dans notre sous-région du Sahel » a-t-elle rappelé.

    Au cours de son intervention, M. Akira Matsubara a réitéré l‘importance que le gouvernement du Japon accorde à la question de l’éducation au Mali depuis une vingtaine d’années. « Pour la période 2013-2018, les actions du programme du gouvernement du Japon au Mali ont identifié des domaines clés de besoins, pour lesquels nous souhaitons nous engager pour aider à la reconstruction de l’école malienne. Il s’agit notamment de l’amélioration des apprentissages au niveau de l’éducation de base, de l’enseignement technique et de la formation professionnelle », a-t-il souligné.

    Mme Mbaranga Gasarabwe, quant à elle, a salué la tenue de ce forum au moment même où les Nations Unies célèbrent leur 70e anniversaire, et adoptent les objectifs pour le développement durable (ODD) qui privilégient le rôle de l’éducation pour le développement durable des pays. « L’action des Nations Unies au Mali se traduirait par une présence plus marquée dans les régions du nord. Les efforts continueront d’être entrepris et soutenus pour le retour de l ‘école avec un accent particulier sur le renforcement de capacités sur le long terme » a-t-elle affirmé.

    Le ministre de l’Education nationale, dans son allocution d’ouverture, a à son tour rappelé que ce forum se tenait dans un contexte marqué par la mise en œuvre de l’Accord pour la paix et la réconciliation du 20 juin 2015, dont la tenue, à quelques jours de la rentrée scolaire, revêtait une importance particulière. Il a notamment souligné qu’« il est aujourd’hui attendu du système éducatif malien qu’il joue un rôle majeur, de soutien à cet accord, particulièrement celui de faire véhiculer une culture de la paix et du vivre ensemble, par les acteurs et partenaires de l’école ».

    A l’issue des travaux, les participants ont fait l’état des lieux des domaines considérés comme possibles vecteurs de la culture de la paix dans l’espace scolaire, notamment l’alphabétisation, gage de compréhension mutuelle, la consolidation de la paix et de l’unité nationale ; l’implication des communautés dans la gestion de l’école ; les valeurs socioculturelles et la promotion du dialogue inter-religieux et interculturel comme moyens de cohésion sociale et de consolidation de la paix ; et enfin l’entraide. Il est ressorti que les valeurs socioculturelles ont un grand rôle à jouer dans la prise en charge par l’école des concepts d’éducation à la paix et que, le contexte post-crise impose la définition d’un projet de société pertinent, visant à mieux définir les mécanismes qui permettraient de pacifier de manière durable l’espace scolaire. Enfin, le forum a lancé un appel pour que l’éducation à la culture de la paix soit placée au cœur de la refonte en cours du système éducatif malien. Les participants ont ainsi considéré cet espace de dialogue comme un important point de réveil et de mire.

    Le forum sur l’éducation à la culture de la paix et le vivre ensemble est le couronnement du projet, «Education en situation d’urgence en vue de renforcer la résilience au Sahel : Appui au Mali», financé par le gouvernement japonais à hauteur de 500 000 dollars US (245 millions de francs CFA), et mis en œuvre par le bureau de l’UNESCO à Bamako en partenariat avec le ministère de l’Education nationale.


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    Source: Institute for Security Studies
    Country: Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, World

    In this issue

    On the Agenda

    Special Focus: United Nations General Assembly

    Relations between the UN and the AU have ‘improved considerably’ in the last few years.

    A PSC summit meeting was held on the margins of the UN General Assembly to discuss the crisis in South Sudan.

    African leaders advocated for greater investment by the UN in the fi ght against terrorism.

    Situation Analysis

    Stakes are high as a series of elections looms across Africa.

    The situation in Mali remains ‘dangerously volatile’ despite the signing of a peace agreement.

    Addis Insight

    As AMISOM suffers huge losses, questions are being asked about the AU’s policy not to release details of casualties


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Sudan

    GENEVA, Oct 13 (UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency today strongly condemned two suicide attacks last weekend in western Chad in which a total of 47 people, including many people uprooted as a result of violence in northern Nigeria, were killed and dozens more injured.

    "UNHCR deplores the violence and mourns the loss of life caused by suicide attacks at the weekend in the western Chad town of Baga Sola," UNHCR spokesperson Leo Dobbs told a press briefing in Geneva.

    Dobbs said UNHCR was particularly concerned about the attack at the Kousseri site for internally displaced Chadians in Baga Sola.

    "(This) left at least 22 people dead in an area where UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies have been trying to help provide protection and assistance to tens of thousands of people displaced from their homes by the conflict with Boko Haram," he added.

    Dobbs said local and UN security reports indicated five suicide bombers, three women and two children, had attacked both the market and then the Kousseri site on the outskirts of Baga Sola on Saturday afternoon. At least, 25 people were killed in the market attack.

    The latest toll at the two locations stands at 47 people dead with dozens injured. The most serious cases were flown by helicopter to the Chadian capital, N'Djamena.

    UNHCR works with other agencies in a refugee camp known as Dar Es Salam, 10 kilometres from Baga Sola.

    "All our staff in the area and the 7,139 refugees from Nigeria and Niger in the Dar Es Salam camp are safe, but we have suspended travel to and within the Lake Chad region. UN flights are on standby to evacuate people or bring in emergency supplies," Dobbs said.

    In recent weeks, UNHCR has stepped up assistance to some 60,000 internally displaced people in the lake area, distributing vital non-food items to more than 32,800.

    "Many of these people were relocated from their island homes earlier this year as Lake Chad effectively became a war zone," Dobbs explained, adding that living conditions overall were dire.

    "Most are short of food, shelter and medical attention. Their makeshift shelters, some made with flimsy mosquito nets, provide little protection against insects or the elements during the current rainy season."

    He said other agencies including MSF, WFP, UNICEF and the Red Cross Movement were also responding to the humanitarian needs of IDPs. Aside from aid distributions, UNHCR has also supported the government by transporting food items from the capital for the displaced in the lake area, including rice, oil and sugar.

    Dobbs said the attack on Baga Sola had shown how vulnerable and isolated the displaced were in the lake area, but said UNHCR welcomed the government's determination to improve security.

    "UNHCR remains committed to help the displaced in western Chad and we urge the international community to support Chad as it addresses this," he declared.

    The attack in Baga Sola, the first on the town, came a day before female suicide bombers killed another nine people in Kangaleri, northern Cameroon.

    Chad hosts some 438,000 refugees, including 350,000 Sudanese, 90,000 from Central African Republic and some 13,000 Nigerians.


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    Source: Belgian Technical Cooperation
    Country: Belgium, Mali

    Droit à l'éducation, à la santé, à l'héritage, plein exercice du droit de vote, ou encore acquisition de la personnalité juridique, sont conditionnés par l'obtention des actes de naissance, de mariage et de décès. Dans les villages du Mali, l'accès difficile à ces pièces d'état civil constitue à terme une réelle entrave à l'exercice de la citoyenneté formelle.

    Pour remédier à cette situation, la Direction nationale de l'état civil a expérimenté une approche novatrice à travers les Plans d'amélioration des services de l'état civil (PASEC), avec le soutien du Projet d'appui à l'état civil dans la région de Koulikoro (PAEC). Les plans d'amélioration définissent dans le temps et dans l'espace communal les opérations à réaliser en vue d'améliorer l'accès et la qualité du service d'état civil. Suite à l'élaboration de ces plans, les communes ont doté en matériels les villages disposant de centres de déclaration et ont organisé des formations sur la tenue de registres de déclaration et l'utilité de l'enregistrement des faits d'état civil.

    Dramane Coulibaly, 23 ans, est l'agent de déclaration du village de Tiendobougou. Scolarisé jusqu'à l'âge de 14 ans, il est ensuite devenu cultivateur. Il y a deux ans, Tiendobougou ne disposait ni d'un agent de déclaration capable de lire et écrire en français, ni d'un centre de déclaration. Seul lettré disponible, il a alors été choisi par le chef de village :

    « C'est de façon bénévole, je ne reçois rien. Mais comme on m'a accordé la confiance, je m'adonne vraiment à ce travail. On m'a choisi parmi tout le village pour le faire. Cette année, il y a eu des changements. Avant, tous les actes d'état civil se faisaient dans ma chambre et je les gardais dans mon sac. Il n'y avait pas de jour fixe. Ça dépendait de ma disponibilité... Puis, tout le village s'est cotisé pour construire un centre. Maintenant, il y a un lieu fixe où les papiers sont déposés. Pendant deux jours par semaine, du début de la journée jusqu'à la fin, je reste là. »

    En juin dernier, Dramane a suivi un stage de formation avec une vingtaine d'autres relais communautaires de sa commune. L'objectif du stage, appuyé par le PAEC, était d'apprendre aux participants à informer leur propre communauté sur l'importance des actes d'état civil et sur les procédures à suivre pour les obtenir. L'outil pédagogique privilégié était une boîte à images de 14 planches que les participants étaient invités à manipuler lors de différents jeux de rôles. Quelques semaines plus tard, c'est dans son village que Dramane présentait la boîte à images, sous le regard intéressé de ses voisins.

    L'une des conditions premières pour asseoir un système d'état civil pleinement fonctionnel, statistiquement utile et adapté au contexte de décentralisation territoriale reste son appropriation et sa fréquentation par les populations. Grâce à la mise en œuvre des Plans d'amélioration des services de l'état civil et à une communication de proximité, c'est l'accessibilité du service public de l'état civil qui se trouve grandement améliorée.

    Faits et chiffres

    • Financement : Mali, Belgique

    • Budget : 1.129.389 €

    • Depuis le début du PAEC, plus de 400 centres de déclaration et centres d'état civil ont été dotés en chaises, tables, armoires et matériel d'archivage.

    • En deux ans, le taux de couverture géographique des centres d'état civil au regard des normes nationales est passé de 39 % à 69 % dans la région de Koulikoro.

    • Depuis avril 2015, 20 stages ont été dispensés dans 20 communes pour un total de 400 relais communautaires formés à l'utilisation de la boîte à images. Cette activité devrait avoir des effets positifs sur les taux d'enregistrement des actes d'état civil, inférieurs à 35 % en début de projet.


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