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- 12/10/15--22:59: _Mali: GIEWS Country...
- 12/11/15--01:28: _Mauritania: Maurita...
- 12/11/15--02:53: _Mali: Le genre et l...
- 12/11/15--02:57: _Cameroon: 7 civils ...
- 12/11/15--03:47: _Cameroon: At least ...
- 12/11/15--04:15: _Mali: Sahel 2016 - ...
- 12/11/15--04:35: _Chad: Sahel 2016 - ...
- 12/11/15--05:06: _Nigeria: Humanitari...
- 12/11/15--05:19: _Niger: Lancement d’...
- 12/11/15--08:30: _Mali: Mali: Tableau...
- 12/11/15--08:41: _Nigeria: 14 killed ...
- 12/11/15--08:46: _Mali: Mali: 2015 Hu...
- 12/11/15--09:18: _Mali: Mali : aider ...
- 12/11/15--11:22: _Cameroon: New pipel...
- 12/11/15--18:57: _Nigeria: UNDP to co...
- 12/11/15--23:10: _Niger: Niger Govern...
- 12/12/15--02:03: _Nigeria: Nigeria pl...
- 12/12/15--09:42: _Mali: 10 faits à sa...
- 12/13/15--01:01: _World: Conflict Tre...
- 12/13/15--12:04: _Nigeria: Military, ...
- 12/10/15--22:59: Mali: GIEWS Country Brief Mali 04-December-2015
Preliminary estimates for 2015 harvest point to record cereal production
Increased supplies from 2015 harvests put downward pressure on coarse grain prices in most regions
Humanitarian assistance still needed despite improved civil security situation
In December, UNHCR Representatives for Mali and for the three main countries of asylum for Malian refugees, namely Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger, finalized a 2016-2017 UNHCR Regional Strategy for protection and assistance to Malian displaced. The strategy lays out concrete solutions for a coordinated and harmonized response to the Malian crisis among concerned countries. According to this strategy, while the security situation in Mali remains volatile, UNHCR will continue to maintain protection for Malian displaced and reinforce access to essential services. Increased efforts will also be made towards strengthening people of concern’s self-reliance. UNHCR will also work towards durable solutions for refugees, including voluntary repatriation. Interventions in the host population in countries of asylum are also among UNHCR’s main priorities to maintain peaceful coexistence between the refugee and the host communities.
More than 500 refugees have been mobilized during the 16 Days of Activism campaign “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All!” which was launched on 25 December. Sensitization events were organized both in Nouakchott and Mberra camp in order to drive attention on the importance of education as a fundamental right, particularly for girls.
To promote social inclusion and support for people living with disabilities, in November UNHCR carried out several training and sensitization initiatives both in Nouakchott and Mberra camp. More than a hundred humanitarian workers were trained on a better understanding of disability-related issues and actors ranging from local NGOs to local governmental agencies dealing with disable people were involved through capacity building sessions.
- 12/11/15--04:15: Mali: Sahel 2016 - Aperçu du Plan de Réponse Humanitaire
- 12/11/15--04:35: Chad: Sahel 2016 - An Overview of the Humanitarian Response Plan
- 12/11/15--05:06: Nigeria: Humanitarian Bulletin Nigeria Issue 08 | November 2015
Over 17,000 Nigerian refugees have been returned from Cameroon.
Prima facie refugee status granted to Nigerians in Cameroon by Cameroonian Government.
Cash interventions help empower affected communities in urban areas.
- 12/11/15--08:30: Mali: Mali: Tableau de bord humanitaire 2015 (Décembre 2015)
- 12/11/15--08:46: Mali: Mali: 2015 Humanitarian Dashboard (December 2015)
- 12/11/15--09:18: Mali: Mali : aider la population du nord du Mali à rester autonome
- 12/12/15--02:03: Nigeria: Nigeria planning return of Boko Haram displaced
- 'Huge challenge' -
- Security threat -
- 12/12/15--09:42: Mali: 10 faits à savoir au sujet la faim au Mali
Malgré l'émergence constante du Mali des crises de ces dernières années, 2,5 millions de Maliens ont encore du mal à se nourrir et à nourrir leurs familles. En 2015, le PAM vise à soutenir 1,1 millions de personnes à travers le pays.
315 000 personnes ont un besoin urgent d’assistance alimentaire. Le PAM fournit une assistance à ces communautés vulnérables à travers de la nourriture, des espèces et des bons alimentaires.
Le PAM travaille avec les communautés pour renforcer la résilience aux chocs climatiques en soutenant des projets tels que la construction de barrages, de bassins et d'autres infrastructures.
3 enfants Maliens de moins de 2 ans sur 10 souffrent de malnutrition chronique. Les programmes de nutrition du PAM à travers le Mali visent à résoudre ce problème.
Au Mali, 4 enfants sur 5 et plus de la moitié des femmes du pays souffrent d’anémie. En fournissant les bons aliments au bon moment aux femmes enceintes, aux nouvelles mères et aux enfants, le PAM travaille à réduire la malnutrition et à briser le cycle intergénérationnel de la faim.
Historiquement, le Mali faisait face à la sécheresse tous les 10 à 15 ans. Le changement climatique a accéléré cette tendance : il y a eu trois sécheresses dans la dernière décennie uniquement.
Le PAM contribue à améliorer la sécurité alimentaire au Mali en aidant les organisations paysannes locales à augmenter leurs revenus. En 2014, le PAM a acheté 6 000 tonnes de vivres à de petits exploitants agricoles au Mali.
Le lourd conflit au Mali en 2012-2013 a déraciné des centaines de milliers de personnes. En octobre 2015, il reste encore 139 000 réfugiés maliens dans les pays voisins et 62 000 personnes déplacées dans le pays ont besoin d'aide. De vastes zones du nord du Mali demeurent instables. Les groupes armés contrôlent de vastes zones et le banditisme et la criminalité sont monnaie courante.
Le Bureau du PAM au Mali achète en moyenne 30% de sa nourriture localement, dépassant l'objectif mondial du PAM de 10%. En 2014, cela a contribué 18 millions dollars à l'économie locale.
En 2015, le PAM aidera à atténuer la malnutrition infantile et à améliorer l'accès à l'éducation en fournissant des repas scolaires à 162 000 enfants au Mali. C’est souvent le seul repas de la journée pour ces enfants.
- 12/13/15--12:04: Nigeria: Military, Shiite Muslims clash in northern Nigeria
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Abundant rains contribute to bumper 2015 harvest for second consecutive year
Harvesting of maize, millet and sorghum is almost complete, while harvesting of rice will continue until January. According to preliminary findings, a record cereal output is anticipated following beneficial rains since July over the main producing areas of the country. A joint CILSS/FAO/FEWSNET/WFP Crop Assessment Mission that visited the country in November estimated the 2015 aggregate cereals production at some 8 million tonnes (including off-season crop harvest forecasts), about 15 percent higher than the 2014 bumper crop and 27 percent above the average of the previous five years. Production of millet, the most important staple, is estimated to increase by 17 percent, while rice production increased by 13 percent to about 2.4 million tonnes. Pastoral conditions have also been satisfactory. The filling levels of most water points are adequate and animals are in good condition. A bumper crop was already gathered last year. The 2014 output was officially estimated at some 6.9 million tonnes, about 22 percent higher than the 2012 drought-affected output and 13 percent above the average of the previous five years. The increase in cereal production was driven mostly by the good rainfall conditions, the larger planted area (17 percent increase), the use of selected seeds and the exploitation of new rice lands.
Coarse grain prices are stable or declining in most parts of the country
Increased supplies from the 2015 harvests put downward pressure on coarse grain prices in most regions. In Bamako, prices of sorghum and millet declined in November by 12 percent and 10 percent, respectively, and were generally lower than their year-earlier levels.
Livestock prices are above average and expected to remain high due to the good conditions of the livestock as well as relatively strong demand from neighboring countries.
Agricultural production hampered by civil strife in recent years
Agriculture has been seriously damaged in recent years in parts of the country due to the civil strife. Labour shortages due to population displacements, lack of agricultural support services in the northern half, fragmentation of the markets and other difficulties related to civil security have had serious negative impact on agricultural production and food markets. According to International Organization for Migration (IOM), as of September 2015, there are an estimated 61 920 internal displaced people (IDPs) in Mali with about 26 526 residing in Timbuktu the most affected region.
Continued assistance is still needed for vulnerable people
The lingering effects of recent food crisis combined with the disruptions caused by the recent civil strife have had very adverse, longer-term impact on household assets and savings, notably in the northern part of the country. Several segments of the population still need food and non-food assistance to restore their livelihoods and enable them to have better access to food. About 115 000 people located mostly in Timbuktu, Mopti and Sikasso regions, are estimated to be in Phase: 3 “Crisis” and above, according to the November 2015 Cadre Harmonisé analysis conducted in the country.
Ce rapport s’efforce de méthodiquement documenter le statut de l’intégration du genre au sein des institutions du secteur de la sécurité au Mali.
Ce rapport est conçu pour être une ressources pour les personnes travaillant dans, ou avec, les institutions du secteur de la sécurité ; pour ceux intéressés par les questions de gouvernance et de développement au Mali; et pour ceux impliqués dans des problématiques liées au genre. Il regroupe les informations recueillies par des chercheurs sur le terrain, des interviews, des analyses de documents et des recherches documentaires. Une grande partie des données présentes dans ce rapport n’ont jamais été publiées auparavant.
L’étude est guidée par les deux questions suivantes : 1. L’institution du secteur de la sécurité est-elle équitable, représentative et non discriminatoire sur le plan interne ? 2. L’institution du secteur de la sécurité fournit-elle les services adéquats pour répondre aux différents besoins des femmes, des hommes, des filles et des garçons en matière de sécurité et de justice ?
Ce rapport contient deux (2) sections principales : une introduction, et un chapitre individuels pour chaque secteur de la sécurité impliqué dans l’étude. L’introduction fournit des éléments de contexte sur les justifications, la méthodologie, les définitions et les défis rencontrés durant les recherches pour l’étude. La section suivante présentent de manière facile à lire, bien que détaillée les informations structurées autour des indicateurs sur la gouvernance nationale, les services de police, la protection civile, les forces armées et de sécurité, le système judicaire et les services pénitentiaires.
Yaoundé, Cameroun | AFP | vendredi 11/12/2015 - 11:25 GMT |
Au moins sept civils ont été tués vendredi matin dans un attentat-suicide à Kolofata, localité de l'Extrême-Nord du Cameroun où le groupe islamiste nigérian Boko Haram est très actif, a appris l'AFP de sources locales.
"Un kamikaze est arrivé sur un lieu de vente de beignets et il a actionné sa charge", a affirmé une source sécuritaire de la région. "On a enregistré huit morts sur place, dont le kamikaze", a-t-elle ajouté, sans préciser si le porteur de l'explosif était un homme ou une femme. Les attentats-suicides menés par Boko Haram sont de plus en plus commis par des femmes, souvent très jeunes.
Ce nouvel attentat a été confirmé à l'AFP par une source proche des autorités régionales qui a également fait état "de huit morts", intégrant à ce bilan l'auteur de l'attaque.
C'est la deuxième fois en quelques mois que Kolofata, cible d'attaques régulières attribuées à Boko Haram, est visée par un attentat mené par un kamikaze. Le 13 septembre, au moins sept personnes y avaient péri dans un double attentat-suicide.
Kolofata est située non loin de Kerawa, une ville camerounaise frontalière du Nigeria qui avait enregistré le 3 septembre l'un des attentats les plus meurtriers perpétré sur le sol camerounais. L'attaque avait fait au moins 20 morts.
Depuis juillet, l'Extrême-Nord du Cameroun est secoué par une succession d'attentats, attribués aux islamistes nigérians qui ne les revendiquent cependant jamais.
L'attentat de Kolofata survient alors que l'armée camerounaise mène depuis fin novembre, dans cette zone et dans d'autres localités frontalières, des opérations "de ratissage" pour affaiblir les jihadistes nigérians qui restent très actifs entre le nord-est du Nigeria et l'Extrême-Nord du Cameroun.
Le ministre camerounais de la Défense, Joseph Beti Assomo, a annoncé début décembre que l'armée avait tué "une centaine" de membres de Boko Haram au cours de ces opérations.
Il a aussi affirmé que l'armée a libéré près de 900 otages, sans autre précision sur la nature de ces "otages" mais qui sont vraisemblablement des habitants enrôlés de force par les islamistes.
Après avoir laissé passer pendant des années les combattants de Boko Haram actifs dans le nord-est du Nigeria, et qui se servaient de la région comme base arrière et lieu d'approvisionnement en armes, véhicules et marchandises, le Cameroun a renforcé sa présence militaire au long de la frontière nigériane, dans le cadre de la coalition régionale militaire (Cameroun, Nigeria, Niger, Tchad) qui combat les islamistes.
© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse
Yaoundé, Cameroon | AFP | Friday 12/11/2015 - 15:42 GMT
At least seven civilians were killed Friday in a suicide attack in Kolofata, northern Cameroon, a region where Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamists are highly active, local officials said.
"A suicide bomber went to a place selling doughnuts and blew up," a regional security source told AFP.
"We have eight dead at the site, including the bomber," the source said, without stating whether the attacker was male or female.
Another source also confirmed details of the attack and gave the same toll.
Kolofata, which lies 10 kilometres (six miles) from the border with Nigeria, is located in a region of the same name which has been regularly targeted by Boko Haram extremists. At least seven people were killed in a double suicide attack on the town in September.
It is close to Kerawa, another town on the Nigerian border where between 20 and 40 people lost their lives in a September 3 double suicide bombing -- one of the deadliest attacks on Cameroonian territory.
Since July, Cameroon's far north has been hit by a series of attacks blamed on Nigeria's Boko Haram which earlier this year pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.
The Kolofata attack came as Cameroonian troops have been sweeping the border area in order to weaken the jihadists who are very active in northeastern Nigeria and the far north of Cameroon.
Cameroon, Chad and Niger have formed a military alliance with Nigeria and Benin to battle the extremists, who this year declared allegiance to the Islamic State.
The Islamists' grip on the region has suffered as a result of offensives launched by local armies.
Last week, Cameroon claimed its troops had dealt a major blow to Boko Haram, killing around 100 fighters and freeing 900 hostages in a three-day operation at the end of November.
Over the past year, Boko Haram has stepped up cross-border attacks in Niger, Chad and Cameroon while also continuing to mount shooting and suicide assaults on markets, mosques and other mostly civilian targets within Nigeria itself.
For many years there was little to no surveillance of the border with Nigeria by Cameroon, enabling the jihadists to use the remote region as a rear base to stock its weapons, vehicles and supplies.
But Cameroon, which is part of a regional coalition helping Nigeria combat the jihadists, now has stepped up border surveillance.
© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse
La vulnérabilité élevée persiste au Sahel. En 2016, on estime que l’insécurité alimentaire affectera 23.5 millions de personnes dans la région. Parmi elles, au moins 6 millions de personnes seront confrontées à une insécurité alimentaire sévère. La malnutrition aigüe menacera les vies et le développement de 5.9 millions d’enfants de moins de cinq ans. Les conflits et l’insécurité ont poussé 4.5 millions de personnes à fuir leurs foyers, soit un triplement en moins de deux ans.
Lire le Plan de Réponse Humanitaire
High levels of vulnerability persist in the Sahel. For 2016, 23.5 million people are expected to be food insecure in the region. Of them, at least 6 million people will face severe food insecurity and require urgent life-saving assistance. Acute malnutrition will threaten the lives and development of 5.9 million children under ve years of age. Conicts and insecurity caused 4.5 million people to ee from their homes, a three-fold increase in less than two years. Here is how humanitarian teams plan to support the Sahel's most vulnerable
Read the Humanitarian Response Plan
Over 17,000 Nigerian refugees forcibly returned from Cameroon
On 16 November, Sani Ahmed, 55, woke up before dawn to collect firewood in the northern Cameroonian town of Fotokol, near the Nigerian border. His wife and three children, aged between 8 and 13, were still asleep inside their makeshift hut, when suddenly, armed soldiers and heavy vehicles surrounded the village. Pointing their guns at the villagers, the soldiers ordered the people to follow them, roughly pushing anyone who would not comply. Before Sani realized what had happened, he and dozens of other Nigerian refugees were being packed into cattle trucks.
“I didn’t know anything,” he said. “They just came and collected us like animals for slaughter.”
Once in the truck, they travelled for days. They were given no information. They did not know where they were going, how long it would be or what would happen to them when they arrived at their destination.
A total of 966 people were forcibly transported in cattle trucks from Cameroon back to Nigeria that day. The three-day journey from Fotokol to Sahuda was a traumatic experience. Elderly people, children and pregnant women were so tightly packed into the trucks that there was no space to breathe. There was little food or water, no toilet, and no shade to protect them from the burning sun.
During transit Sani was separated from his wife and children. He does not even know which country they are in.
“I have no news from them and I am very worried,” he laments. “In the night I sleep for an hour and I wake up thinking where they might be. I dream of them, day and night.”
Sani is one of the thousands of Nigerians who sought refuge in Cameroon when their communities were attacked by Boko Haram.
A regional refugee crisis
The flow of asylum seekers from Nigeria to neighbouring countries increased in May 2014, when the Nigerian government declared a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. At that time, Cameroon hosted around 3,000 Nigerian refugees, who had left their country due to inter-ethnic conflict circa 2003, and had settled in the Adamaoua, Southwest and Northwest regions. By November 2015 the number of Nigerian refugees who had crossed into Cameroon had reached 64,000 people.
For the village communities living along the Cameroonian/Nigerian border, mobility and migration are a lifestyle of long standing, and a means of coping with a challenging environment. For generations people have crossed and re-crossed borders in order to trade, or to find water and grass for their cattle.
For these communities to move on this scale, compromising age-old relationships of inter-marriage and shared cultural affinities, it took a manmade disaster: the intensification of the Boko Haram conflict.
Cameroon maintains an open border policy for Nigerian asylum seekers, and is signatory to all major legal instruments on refugees, including the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1969 OAU Refugee Convention.
But the increased insecurity in northeastern Nigeria and the Lake Chad region has led to a surge of refugees fleeing Boko Haram. Cameroon has seen the number of refugees from neighbouring countries double since January 2014.while, according to IOM, some 124,000 Cameroonians have been internally displaced as a result of the spillover of the Boko Haram conflict into the wider Lake Chad region.1 The influx of people fleeing violence in their home countries has overstretched the already-limited natural resources and services in the host communities, which, even before the arrival of the refugees, were facing chronic shortages and had to compete for sufficient access to land, water, firewood and basic services.
Prima facie refugee status granted
Since the beginning of the crisis, UNHCR has been negotiating with the Cameroonian authorities to declare the Nigerian refugees prima facie refugees. Because of their large numbers and the generalized violence from which they fled, conducting individual asylum interviews has been almost impossible. Cameroon granted prima facie status to all Nigerians escaping the conflict, both those living in the camps and in the host communities. Nigerians from the three affected states of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe already living in Cameroon were also granted refugee sur place status, because the conflict prevented them from returning to their areas of origin.
Bulamar Bakkari, a 55-year-old cattle trader from the border town of Gamburu in Borno, fled to Cameroon with his family of eight and a further thirty relatives when, in August 2014, Boko Haram attacked his village, stealing most of his cattle and burning houses and crops to the ground. Bakkari’s family, like most of the villagers in the region, had long-lasting trade relationships with the communities on both sides of the border. When they first arrived in Cameroon they were welcomed by the local authorities and the army, and were given a place to stay and animals to herd.
Three quarters of the Nigerian refugees - some 48,000 people - have been registered at Minawao camp in the Far North region. UNHCR has been encouraging Nigerian refugees to settle further inland and, more importantly, to register in camps where they could receive assistance and be better protected. But the number of those living outside the camps is increasing: in addition to the 17,000 returned refugees, current figures estimate there are a further 16,000 Nigerian refugees who are not registered in official camps, but live with nearby host communities on the Nigerian border, or have set up temporary camps in the bush.
Bakkari’s family, like many others, decided not to move into a refugee camp and formerly apply for asylum but to camp in the border region, in the hope that the violence in Nigeria would subside quickly.
But days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, and since the beginning of August more than 17,000 Nigerian refugees living outside of formal camps have been forcibly returned to Nigeria. Deportations began following a series of suicide bombings and other deadly attacks by Boko Haram in Cameroon’s Far North region, ostensibly because authorities feared links between Nigerian nationals and the armed group.
Attacks and fear of attack increase in the Lake Chad Basin
While Boko Haram has been pushed into hiding in most of North-East Nigeria, the rate of suicide bombings and attacks across the wider Lake Chad Basin has escalated over the course of 2015. In Cameroon’s Far North region, attacks increased in the summer of 2015, with a total of 27 attacks and 180 civilian fatalities across the region, when the first of a series of regular suicide bombings took place. Fear of attack grew, and with it, suspicion of Nigerians, and displaced people in general.
The refugees who refused to enter the camps began to be perceived as potential supporters of Boko Haram, and somehow linked to the increasing attacks.
When Cameroonian soldiers encircled Bakkari’s community near Fotokol on 16 November, this time they had not come to offer assistance, but to deport them. “They first grabbed the children and locked them in the cattle trucks. Then they came for the adults,” Bakkari said.
He could not bear the thought of losing his cattle for a second time, and begged the soldiers to let him and his family take some animals with them. They too travelled for three days with little food or water before they crossed the border at Sahuda, where they were received by the Nigerian army.
From the border they were taken to a makeshift transit centre on the outskirts of Mubi town in Adamawa, where the Nigerian army conducted an initial screening process. A few days later they were transferred to IDP camps in Adamawa.
But without strong screening mechanisms and systematic registration of all refugees across the Lake Chad Basin, determining the origin and the status of the displaced is a very challenging exercise. Many people in the Far North of Cameroon do not possess any civil documentation. What they do have are strong cultural, linguistic ethnic and religious ties that cross the borders.
A fragile socio-economic context
Elizabeth is a 20-year-old mother, from Goza, in Borno. She was eight months pregnant when Boko Haram attacked her village last October. With her husband and other family members, she fled to Zelewit town in Cameroon, where another 3,000 Nigerian refugees had also sought protection. They were allowed to farm maize and onions in the surrounding hills and sell it in the market to buy food.
When the Cameroonian army came to her community, it was clear to Elizabeth that attitudes towards them had changed. The army asked the refugees to gather in another village, saying that they wanted to make an announcement. Some people, fearing that they were going to be deported, refused to follow. Elizabeth and her son were locked into the cattle trucks and driven through the neighboring villages, where the soldiers continued to collect people. When the truck was full, the three-day journey to the border crossing at Sahuda began.
According to UNHCR, under international conventions, the majority of the returnees from Cameroon are refugees and asylum seekers, and thus require international protection.
UNHCR has repeatedly emphasized that such return operations, if not voluntary, disrupt asylum space and the protection of refugees, and may in some cases be in contravention of international protection principles and even constitute an act of refoulement. UNHCR has been advocating on behalf of those who can’t or won’t go the camps, and has been negotiating with the Cameroonian authorities to allow Nigerians living outside of the camps to enter the camps to seek safety from the risk of transportation.
Cameroon’s decision to forcibly return the Nigerian refugees could not only affect relations between the two countries, but could in the longer term be detrimental to the centuries-long tradition of economic, religious and cultural ties that the cross-border communities have shared.
So far, social cohesion and peaceful coexistence have been maintained between refugees and host communities, and between cross-border communities, but the volatile security situation poses the risk of increased harassment and stigmatization for Nigerians, some displaced, and others from border villages. When paired with the fragile socioeconomic context of the broader Sahel region and its environmental catalysts - chronic food insecurity, recurring epidemics, limited natural resources, an arid climate and frequent droughts - this could fuel further tensions among the communities.
Humanitarian assistance is not enough to mitigate the risks the refugees face, if the assistance is not complemented by development initiatives that will strengthen the resilience of the overall population. Sustainable support and investment in infrastructure that benefits both host communities and refugees are essential in order to avoid potential inter-communal conflicts and to strengthen social cohesion between host populations and refugees. To this end, it is essential that host communities continue to be included in livelihood programmes and interventions supporting local basic services in order to preserve peaceful coexistence and asylum space.
Niamey, le 11 décembre 2015 : Le Gouvernement du Niger et ses partenaires humanitaires ont lancé, le 11 novembre 2015 à Niamey, un appel de fonds pour le financement du Plan de réponse humanitaire 2016. La cérémonie de lancement a été présidée par son Excellence M. Brigi Rafini, Premier Ministre, Chef du Gouvernement en présence de M. Fodé Ndiaye, Coordonnateur Humanitaire pour le Niger, de membres du Gouvernement, ainsi que de représentants des donateurs, des organisations humanitaires et des médias.
A travers le Plan de réponse humanitaire, les organisations humanitaires recherchent 316 millions de dollars pour répondre aux besoins de 1,5 million de personnes. Ces fonds permettront de sauver des vies en fournissant une aide d'urgence tout en renforçant la résilience des communautés affectées par les crises. « Le Gouvernement du Niger est aujourd’hui plus que jamais engagé à accompagner les populations vulnérables à recevoir l’aide et la protection dont elles ont besoin, » a dit le Premier Ministre, M. Brigi Rafini. « Nous saluons les efforts de nos partenaires humanitaires qui continuent à nous soutenir dans la recherche de solutions immédiates et durables pour alléger les souffrances des populations vulnérables».
Le Plan de réponse humanitaire a été élaboré à travers un processus participatif impliquant le Gouvernement, les ONG, les agences des Nations Unies et les bailleurs de fonds. Il identifie les besoins prioritaires, les objectifs, le ciblage des personnes ayant le plus grand besoin d’assistance, ainsi que les secteurs et les zones d’interventions prioritaires.
Les principaux défis humanitaires sont liés à l’assistance aux déplacés, aux retournés, aux réfugiés et aux migrants, à l’insécurité alimentaire, à la malnutrition, aux épidémies et aux inondations.
L’arrivée continue de personnes fuyant les violences dans le bassin du Lac Tchad, dans le nord-est du Nigeria et au nord du Mali accroît les besoins humanitaires au Niger, notamment l’insécurité alimentaire et la malnutrition. En outre, depuis février 2015, les déplacements internes de populations se sont intensifiés à la suite des premières attaques terroristes dans la région de Diffa. Ces mouvements de populations vont probablement se poursuivre en 2016 au regard de la persistance des activités des groupes armés.
Les activités prévues dans le domaine de la protection à travers le Plan ciblent 304 000 personnes, y compris les déplacées internes, les réfugiés, les retournés, les migrants et les communautés hôtes. Les enfants représentent plus de 60 pour cent des personnes ciblées. En outre, les organisations humanitaires prévoient de fournir des abris et des biens non alimentaires à 237 000 personnes.
Les projections du Plan de Réponse Humanitaire indiquent qu’en 2016, environ 2 millions de personnes auront besoin d’assistance alimentaire tandis que plus de 1,2 million d’enfants seront touchés par la malnutrition aiguë. Les besoins humanitaires sont importants dans toutes les régions du Niger et particulièrement à Diffa qui compte, à elle seule, environ 30 pour cent des personnes en insécurité alimentaire pour le dernier trimestre de l’année 2015 selon le cadre harmonisé et où le taux de malnutrition aiguë globale dépasse le seuil d’urgence fixé par l’OMS à 15 pour cent.
Le Niger reste confronté à des épidémies et des inondations qui affectent chaque année des milliers de personnes. Le Plan de réponse vise à assister plus de 700 000 personnes vivant dans les zones à risque d’épidémie et environ 52 500 personnes dans les zones inondables. « La majorité des populations vulnérables au Niger compte sur l’assistance humanitaire, y compris celle fournie par les communautés et le Gouvernement, pour subvenir à leurs besoins. Cette assistance vitale contribue grandement à préserver leur dignité mais également à les rendre plus résistantes aux chocs, » a dit M. Fodé Ndiaye, Coordonnateur Humanitaire pour le Niger. « Pour réduire de façon significative la vulnérabilité des populations, la réponse d’urgence doit être soutenue par davantage d’actions visant à atténuer les conséquences humanitaires des crises et à renforcer la résilience des communautés. Cela permettra au Niger d’assurer à sa population un développement économique et social inclusif comme s’y est engagé le Gouvernement en établissant ses priorités et en mettant en œuvre l’agenda post 2015 de développement durable».
Au total, 28 organisations humanitaires ont soumis 80 projets à travers l’appel de fonds pour 2016 dans les différents secteurs de l’assistance humanitaire, à savoir la sécurité alimentaire, la nutrition, la santé, l’eau, l’hygiène et l’assainissement, les abris et les biens non alimentaires, la protection, l’éducation, la logistique et le multi-secteur pour les réfugiés.
Tenant compte de la nécessaire coordination avec d’autres acteurs sur le terrain, les fonds recherchés par les organisations humanitaires pour 2016 qui s’élèvent à 316 millions de dollars américains montrent une baisse de 16 pour cent par rapport à 2015. Sur les 376 millions de dollars recherchés en 2015, un total de 168 millions de dollars a été mobilisé au 8 décembre, soit un taux de financement de 45 pour cent. Le Coordinateur Humanitaire a remercié les donateurs de leur confiance et émis le vœu qu’ils apportent à nouveau leur contribution financière cette année pour sauver des vies et appuyer ainsi la résilience des communautés.
APERÇU DE LA SITUATION
La présence de restes explosifs de guerre, l’usage d’engins explosifs improvisés, le banditisme et les autres formes de criminalité continuent à limiter l’accès aux populations vulnérables malgré la signature de l'accord de paix et la fin des hostilités sur le terrain. Il est estimé que 477 000 personnes qui avaient fui le conflit sont maintenant rentrées chez elles (en date du 31 octobre 2015). Plus de 139 000 Maliens demeurent toutefois réfugiés dans les pays voisins, et 62 000 autres sont toujours déplacés à l’intérieur du pays. Selon le Cadre Harmonisé de novembre, à l’échelle nationale, 2 millions de personnes souffrent actuellement d’insécurité alimentaire dont environ 119 000 en besoin d’aide immédiate. Près de 709 000 cas de malnutrition aigüe globale d’enfants de moins de cinq ans sont attendus en 2016, dont 180 000 atteints de la forme la plus sévère.
Kano, Nigeria | AFP | Friday 12/11/2015 - 17:02 GMT |
Fourteen people were killed, some of them decapitated, in a Boko Haram raid on a village in northeast Nigeria, a resident and a civilian vigilante assisting the military said on Friday.
The attack happened at about 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) on Thursday in the village of Kamuya in Borno State, near where Nigeria's most senior army officer Tukur Yusuf Buratai has a home.
The Islamist gunmen arrived on foot and by bicycle, witnesses said.
Hit-and-run attacks were once a trademark of the Islamic State group affiliate but have decreased in recent months in the face of a sustained Nigerian army counter-attack.
The latest raid again underlined the threat posed by the rebels, particularly in hard-to-reach rural areas, despite military claims they are a spent force and in disarray.
It also took the number of civilian casualties since President Muhammadu Buhari took office on May 29 to more than 1,500, according to an AFP tally.
Since 2009, at least 17,000 have been killed.
Ibrahim Babagana, who lives in Kamuya, said he and other locals fled the attack to the town of Biu, some 30 kilometres (18.5 miles) away, as Boko Haram fighters set fire to the village.
He initially gave a death toll of nine but later told AFP: "This morning (Friday), some of us went back to the village.
"We found 14 dead bodies. Some of them were decapitated and their heads placed on their torso.
"Seven others were shot dead. They have all been buried. The entire village has been razed."
Mustapha Karimbe, a member of a civilian militia involved in fighting Boko Haram, gave a similar account and said half-a-dozen people were injured.
"The six injured victims are receiving treatment at the General Hospital in Biu," he added.
Kamuya is the hometown of Buratai's mother and was previously attacked in a similar raid in July. Nearby Buratai village, 10 kilometres away, was also hit.
Residents of Kamuya had returned to cultivate their farms after the July attacks.
Nigeria's government said this week it expects many of the 2.1 million people displaced by the six years of conflict to begin returning home from next year and reconstruction work had started.
But the latest attack -- and a similar one in Bam-Buratai on November 28 that left at least four dead -- will add to fears about returnees' safety.
Last weekend, Boko Haram fighters torched almost an entire village near the Borno town of Chibok, from where more than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped in April last year.
Babagana said: "We believe these (latest) attacks are connected with the chief of army staff who has put pressure on Boko Haram since he took over."
© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse
The presence of explosive remnants of war, the use of improvised explosive devices, banditry and other forms of criminality continue to limit access to vulnerable populations despite the signing of the peace agreement and the end of hostilities on the ground. It is estimated that 477,000 people who fled the conflict have now returned home (as of 31 October 2015). However, there are more than 139,000 Malian refugees in neighboring countries, and 62,000 people are still displaced within the country. According to the Harmonized Framework of November, nationwide, 2 million people currently suffer from food insecurity, including approximately 119,000 in need of immediate aid. In 2016, about 709,000 cases of global acute malnutrition are expected among children under the age of five, including 180,000 cases of the most severe form
La sécheresse, les inondations, la violence et l'instabilité rendent la vie très difficile dans le nord du Mali. Beaucoup ont dû fuir de chez eux et 2 millions de personnes subissent les conséquences des mauvaises récoltes et d'une économie perturbée. Le CICR aide la population de la région à rester autonome en vaccinant le bétail et en distribuant des produits alimentaires, des articles ménagers et des semences.
Dans le nord du Mali, l'insécurité et l'instabilité politique renforcent la vulnérabilité des populations déjà durement frappées par les mauvaises conditions climatiques. « Elles sont parfois obligées de fuir leur village, pour s'installer dans d'autres localités jugées plus sûres, et se retrouvent dans un état de dénuement total. Elles ne sont plus en mesure d'aller cultiver ou nourrir leur bétail. Les marchés ne sont plus fréquentés, ni suffisamment approvisionnés, causant ainsi un ralentissement des activités économiques », explique Jean-Pierre Nereyabagabo, responsable du programme de sécurité économique du CICR au Mali.
Avec le retour des pluies, quelle est la situation humanitaire dans le nord du Mali ?
Cette année, les pluies ont été abondantes, mais elles ont été inégalement réparties. Certaines zones en ont reçu plus et voire même trop, provoquant par endroit des inondations ainsi que la destruction des maisons et des cultures. Cela a été le cas notamment dans la zone de Ménaka et dans certaines localités de Tombouctou et de Mopti. D'autres localités telles que la commune Salaam, la ville de Faguibine dans la région de Tombouctou et certaines parties de Kidal n'ont eu que très peu de pluies, ce qui a accentué la détérioration des pâturages, qui étaient déjà dans un mauvais état.
Qu'en est-il des récoltes cette année ?
Les récoltes ont été légèrement supérieures à celles de l'année dernière, particulièrement dans les zones rizicoles aménagées de Tombouctou. Par contre, les récoltes des cultures pluviales comme le sorgho et le mil ont été médiocres et celles des cultures maraîchères en général ont été moyennes. Ceci a eu pour conséquence, l'augmentation du nombre de ménages en insécurité alimentaire dans les régions concernées.
A titre d'exemple, on est passé de 240 000 personnes confrontées à une insécurité alimentaire considérable au mois de mars 2015 à plus de 460 000 personnes vers mai-juin 2015. En général, la population dont les moyens de production sont sérieusement affectés est estimée à plus de 2 million de personnes sur l'ensemble des régions du nord.
Comment les populations ainsi affectées font-elles face à cette situation ?
Les communautés étant très appauvries et la nature peu clémente, les populations renforcent encore davantage leur solidarité pour pouvoir tenir. Par exemple, ceux qui réussissent malgré tout à trouver quelque chose à manger la partagent avec les autres. Nous avons pu l'observer lorsque nous faisons des distributions de vivres à certaines catégories plus vulnérables qui, par solidarité les partagent avec les autres membres de la communauté, pourtant moins vulnérables qu'eux.
Que fait le CICR pour assister ces populations ?
Afin de renforcer l'autonomie des populations, le CICR a décidé de mettre l'accent sur le renforcement de leurs capacités de production agricole ou pastorale et sur leurs moyens de subsistance. Dans le domaine de l'élevage, nous avons procédé à la vaccination du bétail, ainsi qu'à la distribution d'aliments pour bétail. De mars à juillet 2015, plus de 1 930 000 animaux ont été vaccinés contre la peste des petits ruminants, la péripneumonie contagieuse bovine, le charbon bactéridien et la clavelée.
Du matériel de première nécessité a été distribué aux déplacés et/ou retournés vulnérables ainsi qu'aux victimes des inondations : 4 123 kits composés de bâches, moustiquaires imprégnées, nattes, couvertures, ustensiles de cuisine, seaux, vêtements, savon et matériel d'hygiène féminine ont été distribués d'avril à août 2015.
Pendant la période de soudure, nous avons procédé à des distributions de semences aux agriculteurs vulnérables. Nous avons également distribué des vivres aux populations affectées pour leur permettre de mieux se consacrer aux activités de production.
MINAWAO CAMP, Cameroon, Dec 11 (UNHCR) – Every day, seven Médecins Sans Frontières trucks trundle up to the Minawao refugee camp in Cameroon's Far North Region with a precious but costly cargo – potable water.
The water is needed to meet the needs of the camp's almost 50,000 refugees from north-east Nigeria, who fled their homes and crossed the border into neighbouring Cameroon to escape the Boko Haram insurgency. In the current dry season, the rivers disappear and it becomes more and more difficult to find water reserves.
But that is set to change soon: earlier this month, UNHCR Africa Bureau Director Valentin Tapsoba and provincial governor, Midjiyawa Bakari, took part in a colourful launch ceremony for the construction of a pipeline that will carry water to Minawao under a joint project by the UN refugee agency and the state-run Camwater utility.
The 28-kilometre-long pipeline and distribution network will take four to six months to complete and will bring in water from a reservoir near the town of Mokolo to the sprawling Minawao camp, where water provision has always been a problem. MSF spends tens of thousands of dollars to bring in supplies daily.
Aside from the 49,968 Nigerian refugees in Minawao, the pipeline built by Camwater will benefit some 150,000 locals in villages along its route. Clean water will also help prevent or contain the outbreak of diseases common in the remote region, including cholera.
"The construction of this important infrastructure is, for UNHCR, recognition of the government and Cameroonian people's hospitality towards refugees," said Tapsoba, while noting how it will also benefit the local community.
Currently, 21 boreholes provide barely enough water to provide 14 litres per person per day compared to the recommended 20 litres per day. That is why MSF's help is vital. Camwater's director general, Jean Williams Sollo, believes the new pipeline will eventually bring water to some 200,000 people.
In another sign of UNHCR's commitment to helping members of host communities in need, UNHCR's Tapsoba had earlier in the day laid the foundation stone for a new primary school in the nearby village of Zamai.
Dozens of children lined up to watch the first brick of their new school put in place by the veteran UNHCR official. The building replaces ramshackle huts made from wood and palm leaves and will vastly improve the learning environment for these vulnerable youngsters. UNHCR believes education is vital for all children.
Cameroon is caught between two displacement crises – Nigeria to the north and Central African Republic to the east. The West African nation hosts some 65,000 refugees from Nigeria and 254,000 from Central African Republic. Fighting in Nigeria and cross-border attacks have also left more than 90,000 people internally displaced and in need of help.
Statement delivered at a seminar to commemorate International Anti-Corruption Day 2015
On behalf of our Country Director, I am honoured for the opportunity to deliver this Goodwill Message at this auspicious occasion, as we commemorate International Anti-Corruption Day, to raise awareness on the ills of corruption, and the significant role that Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) can, should and continue to play in holding institutions, systems and individuals to account. The timeliness of this Seminar cannot be over-emphasized, especially when anti-corruption and accountability is a critical priority for the Government and people of Nigeria, and CSOs’ are setting the agenda and advocacy to enhance the fight against corruption.
The support of the UNDP to this event, which is being implemented within the framework of the EU-funded Project on “Support to Anti-corruption in Nigeria”, is aimed at strengthening CSOs’ coordination in the fight against corruption in Nigeria. UNDP and its partners, UNODC and the EU are therefore excited to continue working with all relevant CSO stakeholders in expanding the scope of their engagements with anti-corruption agencies, and law enforcement institutions. Our main goal is to expand opportunities for them to make a positive impact in the anti-corruption crusade.
UNDP in implementing the project has so far engaged with non-government actors involved in social mobilization against corruption, ranging from relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies to civil society networks and has assisted to give technical assistance to coordinate and support the CSO networks and relevant stakeholders.
The expected result of the project is that the supported Civil Society Organizations will be empowered, and their participation in anticorruption activities will be enhanced with the ultimate objective that the Nigerian population will benefit from better delivery of public services through improved management of public resources and reduced corruption.
The recent adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, which were crafted in a far more consultative manner than the Millennium Development Goals, has shown the importance of good governance and accountability in shaping the world we want. This is enshrined in the goals on prosperity (Goals 7 - 11) – in which all human beings have the right to enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives, and in Goal 16 – which is to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”. The specific reference of peaceful, just and inclusive societies in the SDGs recognizes that corruption, lack of transparency and accountability in governance remain critical challenges to development goals.
We as UNDP remain committed in supporting CSOs, Government and the people of Nigeria in addressing this critical challenge through a multi-dimensional and integrated approach.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I wish to congratulate you and urge us to use this year’s event as another opportunity to explore the new and emerging opportunities available to support the fight against corruption, by working hand in hand with the Government, particularly through the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption.
Let me conclude by reaffirming that the UNDP and its partners, UNODC and the EU will continue to strengthen this anti-corruption programme with CSOs and the Government of Nigeria. Together, we will continue to work towards a corruption- free Nigeria.
Thank you for your kind attention.
Niger is well regarded as a country with an ‘open door policy’ in terms of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers who are fleeing conflicts or persecution in their country of origin. Over 54,000 Malian refugees currently enjoy prima facie recognition (which means that they are recognized as refugees on a group basis and do not need to undergo individual refugee status determination procedures) while Nigerian refugees fleeing the conflict in Northern Nigeria enjoy temporary protection status and can still formally apply for refugee status if they so wish.
In addition, there are 121 asylum seekers from a wide range of other countries (even though the majority hails from the Central African Republic) who are currently awaiting decisions on their application for refugee status. Once granted, they would join 366 already recognized (on the basis of individual procedures) refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, the Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Somalia, Cameroon, Sudan, Libya and other countries as far away as Iran, Iraq and Syria. Most of these refugees live in the nation’s capital Niamey.
The institution responsible for refugee status determination in Niger is the National Eligibility Commission (or in French: Commission Nationale d’Eligibilité, CNE) which brings together representatives of various ministries but also the Human Rights Commission and UNHCR as an observer. The Department for Civil Registry and Refugee matters (or in French: Direction Générale de l’Etat Civil et des Réfugiés, DGECR) in the Ministry of Interior registers and interviews asylum seekers, thus supporting the decision making of the Commission.
UNHCR is working closely with these institutions so as to improve and accelerate the refugee status determination procedures. Here the key issue remains the length of time that applicants must wait for a decision, which currently takes an average of 18 months. A legal reform is underway and should shorten the length of the process, among other improvements. Last week, 11 asylum seekers from the Central African Republic received the news that they have been recognized as refugees in Niger. This secures their stay, entitles them to international protection and gives access to services provided for by the government of Niger, such as education and health care at the same level as nationals.
Asylum seekers and refugees address themselves often to the “One Stop Shop” for urban refugees (or in French: Guichet Unique ) in Niamey, where the government, UNHCR and NGO partners receive and assist them in a single place. Lately, a webpage was launched where asylum seekers and refugees can access information on their rights and services available to them. The government has granted the Guichet Unique a toll free telephone line so that (hopefully soon) asylum seekers and refugees can more conveniently call rather than spending time and money on commuting.
The increasing numbers of migrants passing through Niger might lead to an increase of applications for asylum as well. To be ready for such an eventuality, UNHCR has assured the government of its continued support so that procedures and services remain on a high standard and keep pace with demand.
Abuja, Nigeria | AFP | Saturday 12/12/2015 - 09:37 GMT
by Ola AWONIYI with Aminu ABUBAKAR in Kano
Nigeria expects many of the 2.1 million people internally displaced by Boko Haram's insurgency to return home in the coming year, amid claims the Islamists are in disarray and a spent force.
President Muhammadu Buhari said the return would begin "in earnest" in 2016 and his government "will do all within its powers to facilitate the quick return and resettlement" of IDPs.
Military commanders and the government believe they are on track to meet a year-end deadline to curb the group's fighting capacity, despite continued suicide and bomb attacks targeting civilians.
Abuja is, however, appealing for help, with homes and businesses destroyed by six years of fighting and infrastructure, from clean water and electricity to health clinics and schools, severely hit.
Information minister Lai Mohammed said after a recent visit to Bama, in northeastern Borno state, he was "astounded at the level of destruction and devastation".
"Not a single building was unaffected by the activities of the terrorists and no building is being occupied by its original resident," he said on Tuesday.
AFP visited Bama with the Nigerian military in March after it was recaptured by troops. Corrugated iron roofs lay ripped off among charred debris and houses were blackened with soot or in ruins.
Decomposing bodies could be seen around the town, 71.5 kilometres (44 miles) southeast of the state capital, Maiduguri.
Mohammed said a "clean-up" of Bama, as well as nearby Konduga and Kaure, was already under way, with plans for the start of rebuilding an initial 1,000 homes due to begin in January.
Babagana Umara, commissioner of the newly established Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement in Borno, said the violence had left 17 local government areas completely deserted.
As well as Bama and Konduga, reconstruction has also begun in Benisheik, west of Maiduguri, and nearby villages, as well as in Mafa and Gwoza, where Boko Haram proclaimed a caliphate last year.
"This is the first phase of the reconstruction project. Everyone knows the destruction wrought by Boko Haram is enormous," he told AFP, describing the rebuilding project as a "huge challenge".
"The reconstruction of Bama alone will require around 40 billion naira ($200 million, 182 million euros) which is well beyond the capacity of the state government," he added.
Nigeria, whose crude-reliant economy has been hit by the global oil shock, last week announced a 15-percent increase in capital expenditure in its proposed 6.0 trillion naira budget for 2016.
But with infrastructure projects desperately needed across the country, it is not yet clear how much will go to the Boko Haram-affected northeast.
Reconstruction also does not end in bricks and mortar. The UN said last month some 1,100 schools were destroyed this year alone in the Lake Chad region, where Nigeria meets Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
Nigeria's National Union of Teachers estimates more than 600 teachers have been killed since 2009 and another 19,000 have fled, in a region already short of qualified staff.
Fears have already been voiced about the effect of lengthy school closures in the region, with illiteracy and poverty seen as key drivers of radicalisation.
Doctors have also fled and healthcare services collapsed, exacerbating historically poor indicators in areas such as maternal and infant mortality.
Many people who returned to the north of Adamawa state, which borders Borno, told AFP in May no food supplies were getting through, with roads and bridges bombed in the area.
Farmers have missed this year's planting season and there was also the added danger of landmines planted in fields.
Umara said displaced residents from Konduga and Mafa could return home as early as next month but people from further afield will "be returned gradually" once reconstruction was complete.
Supporting the IDPs in camps in Maiduguri is a huge financial burden for the state government, he added, calling for help from the international community.
Security, however, remains an issue, with sporadic Boko Haram raids still occurring and indications the Islamic State group affiliate is biding its time on islands on Lake Chad.
The Nigerian military's capacity to prevent attacks in remote rural areas remains unclear.
On Thursday, 14 people who returned to the Borno village of Kumiya to farm after fleeing a previous attack in July were killed in a raid that saw some decapitated.
Last month, eight were killed when a suicide bomber blew herself up among a crowd of IDPs arriving in Maiduguri from Dikwa because of a lack of food.
© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse
Voici dix faits sur la situation alimentaire au Mali, un pays qui peine à sortir d'une série de crises. Aidez le Programme alimentaire mondial des Nations Unies (PAM) dans sa mission de sensibilisation en partageant ces faits sur Twitter.
Welcome to the December issue of the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project’s (ACLED)
Conflict Trends report. Each month, ACLED researchers gather, analyse and publish data on political violence in Africa in realtime. Weekly updates to realtime conflict event data are published on the ACLED website, and are also available through our research partners at Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS).
This month’s issue focuses on Boko Haram violence and general elections in Nigeria, xenophobic riots and tuition fee protests in universities in South Africa, the trajectory of conflict in South Sudan as it enters its third year of civil war, an increase in ethnic and communal violence as progovernment militias scaled down attacks in Sudan, and riot and protest activity and strategic shifts in Islamist violence in Tunisia. A special report highlights Political Developments and Unexpected Trends across Africa in 2015.
Elsewhere on the continent, socio-economic protests escalated in Algeria, anti-government protests transformed into armed resistance in Burundi,
Islamic State militants ramped up attacks on Ajdabiya in Libya, and battles declined in Somalia.
Kano, Nigeria | AFP | Sunday 12/13/2015 - 19:46 GMT
Deadly clashes erupted between the military and Shiite Muslims in Zaria, northern Nigeria, which also left the group's headquarters and the home of its leader destroyed, witnesses said Sunday.
Armed soldiers carried out crackdowns on the pro-Iranian Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) following an incident on Saturday involving the convoy of the chief of army staff.
The IMN, which seeks to establish an Islamic state through an Iranian-styled revolution, has been at loggerheads with Nigeria's secular authorities, leading to occasionally violent confrontations.
The group's leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky, has periodically been incarcerated for alleged incitement and subversion.
Northern Nigeria is majority Muslim and largely Sunni.
IMN spokesman Ibrahim Musa claimed dozens of the group's members were killed when soldiers opened fire and "hundreds more were injured and arrested" when Zakzaky's home and the sect's mosque were attacked.
Zakzaky's deputy and the group's head of security were among the dead but the whereabouts of Zakzaky and his family was unknown, he added.
There was no independent confirmation of the death toll, although army spokesman Colonel Sani Usman said Sunday evening there was "loss of lives", without specifying numbers.
Local residents said soldiers backed by tanks invaded the Gyallesu area of Zaria and fought running battles through the night with hundreds of IMN members trying to block troops from reaching Zakzaky's home.
Hundreds of sect members had mobilised from different parts of the north in response to an appeal on social media from the IMN leader for protection.
"Throughout the night gunfire rang all over the neighbourhood as soldiers kept opening fire on hundreds of Shia followers who kept trooping to the house of their leader to guard it," said local Balarabe Gwargwaje.
"The house has since been demolished," he added.
On Saturday, Shiite faithful blocked the main road outside their Husseiniyya religious centre, where hundreds had gathered for a ceremony.
The crowds obstructed traffic, including the convoy of Nigeria army chief Tukur Yusuf Buratai, witnesses and the military said.
The military claimed the Shiites attacked Buratai, which left soldiers no option but to retaliate.
The army said IMN members, who set barricades and bonfires on the road, were armed with "dangerous weapons" in a "deliberate attempt to assassinate the chief of army staff and members of his entourage".
"The troops responsible for the safety and security of the Chief of Army Staff on hearing explosion and firing were left with no choice than to defend him and the convoy at all cost as well as open up the barricaded road for law abiding citizens," it added.
Buratai was on an official visit to the city, the statement issued late Saturday said.
IMN spokesman Musa, however, said there was "no reason" for opening fire and the group was made up of "defenceless people out to perform a religious ceremony".
© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse