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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: UN Special Envoy for the Sahel
    Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal

    Lu par Mme Hiroute Guebre Sellassie, Envoyée spéciale du Secrétaire général pour le Sahel

    Je remercie la République du Mali d’avoir organisé cette quatrième réunion de la Plateforme Ministérielle de coordination des stratégies Sahel, et salue les efforts entrepris par la présidence malienne et les partenaires régionaux et internationaux pour renforcer la coordination entre les diverses initiatives visant à améliorer les conditions de vie des populations du Sahel.

    Je me réjouis de l’étroite collaboration qui prévaut entre les Nations Unies, les pays de la région et les partenaires régionaux et internationaux, et qui a permis le lancement d’un certain nombre de projets phares dans les domaines de la gouvernance, de la sécurité et de la résilience. D’autres projets sont en cours de finalisation et seront lancés dans les prochains mois.

    Je suis encouragé par l’engagement des pays du Sahel à promouvoir la paix, la sécurité et le développement à travers leur région. L’établissement du G5 Saheltémoigne de la forte mobilisation des cinq pays qui le constituent et de leur volonté d’agir de manière résolue et en synergie avec les autres organisations régionales et internationales, les acteurs bilatéraux et les institutions financières. Cette forte appropriation régionale et la mobilisation de tous les partenaires seront nécessaires pour résoudre les multiples défis structurels auxquels la région fait face.

    En effet, le Sahel connait une aggravation de nombreux défis tels que la radicalisation et l’extrémisme violent, les trafics illégaux et le terrorisme. La région fait également face à une augmentation des flux migratoires et des déplacements forcés de personnes, au chômage des jeunes ainsi qu’au défi de la pleine intégration des femmes dans le développement socio- économique. De tels défis prennent place dans un contexte régional de vulnérabilités chroniques où la malnutrition, l’insécurité alimentaire et les épidémies ne cessent de causer des pertes en vies humaines.

    Il est impératif que la communauté internationale accentue son soutien, notamment financier et technique, pour aider efficacement les pays du Sahel à mettre fin à une insécurité multiforme qui se nourrit de l’absence de perspectives concrètes de développement.

    Les Nations Unies, à travers mon Envoyée spéciale pour le Sahel, restent déterminées à promouvoir une bonne collaboration avec les partenaires nationaux, régionaux et internationaux telle que formulée dans la feuille de route adoptée lors de la dernière réunion ministérielle de la Plateforme de coordination des stratégies pour le Sahel.

    Les activités des Nations Unies au Sahel continueront à être guidées par les priorités des pays de la région afin de promouvoir la paix, la sécurité, le développement et les droits humains pour les populations du Sahel.

    Je vous remercie.


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    Source: International Committee of the Red Cross
    Country: Gambia, Senegal

    Ce document résume certaines activités saillantes sur le terrain, notamment une vaste opération de reboisement de la forêt par les villageois de retour à Kouram.

    Il donne également la parole à des victimes du conflit en Casamance qui bénéficient d'une aide du CICR pour lancer des activités génératrices de revenus.


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    Source: UN Population Fund
    Country: Chad

    Avec l'appui financier de l'UNFPA, le Centre de Support en Santé International a réalisé une enquête auprès des « fonctionnaires de la rue de 40 » dans le 1er, 7ième et 9ième Arrondissements de la ville de N'Djamena. L'objectif principal de l'étude était d'identifier les connaissances, aptitudes et pratiques (CAP) de ces jeunes gens en matière de santé de la reproduction.

    A noter que les « fonctionnaires de la rue de 40 », c'est le nom (péjoratif) donné aux jeunes tchadiens qui effectuent, de façon informelle, des travaux domestiques chez des particuliers à N'Djaména, dans les quartiers Nord/Est, situés aux alentours de la rue de 40m. Ces jeunes (garçons et filles) sont, pour la plupart, le produit de l'exode rural qui constitue de nos jours, un fléau social au Tchad. A N'Djaména, ces jeunes vivent dans les quartiers périphériques (Est et Sud-Est de la ville), et sont souvent entassés à plusieurs (garçons et filles parfois) dans une même chambre. Le nombre exact des « fonctionnaires de la rue de 40 » est méconnu, mais il se chiffre probablement à plusieurs milliers de personnes.

    A cet effet, un échantillon de 418 personnes a été retenu pour cette étude dont les résultats démontrent une certaine méconnaissance du groupe cible sur les questions liées à la santé de la reproduction. Cette méconnaissance se justifie par leur niveau d'instruction en moyenne très bas et leur exclusion des autres groupes de la société. En effet :

    • Plus de la moitié (53,5%) de l'échantillon méconnait la provenance du VIH/SIDA.

    • 65% des personnes enquêtées n'utilisent aucune méthode de contraception.

    • 10,5% des femmes de l'échantillon ont eu leur première grossesse avant l'âge de 15 ans.
    L'enquête a recommandé, dans ses conclusions, des approches à adopter dans le futur en faveur de ce groupe cible qui sont notamment:

    • des services SR à leur offrir à travers les ONG/Associations de terrain en collaboration avec les structures sanitaires des zones de responsabilité sanitaire dont dépendent ces « fonctionnaires de la rue de 40 » ;

    • des émissions radio en langues locales, des focus group et des sketchs de rue sur des thèmes comme : la contraception, la prévention et la prise en charge des MST/VIH, la CPN.

    L'UNFPA, qui appui le Gouvernement du Tchad dans la fourniture des soins de santé sexuelle et de reproduction tout au long du cycle de vie des femmes et des jeunes, et qui a commandité cette enquête CAP auprès de ce groupe social, a signé un Plan de Travail Annuel (PTA) avec le CSSI afin de mettre en œuvre ces recommandations très pertinentes. Le calendrier de mise en œuvre dudit programme, a prévu l'organisation d'une Assemblée Générale (AG) avec les partenaires et acteurs concernés ainsi que la population cible.

    L'objectif général de cette enquête est d'interpeller la conscience des décideurs politiques sur le phénomène des « fonctionnaires de la rue de 40 » et sur la nécessité de les prendre en compte dans l'élaboration et la mise en œuvre des programmes et projets nationaux de développement.


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    Source: Government of Nigeria
    Country: Nigeria

    National Emergency management Agency NEMA has provided drugs and medical consumables for the treatment of people injured in the bombings which occurred recently in maiduguri the Borno state capital. The drugs were presented to the pharmaceutical department of the following hospitals in Maiduguri

    1. General hospital
    2. Umaru Shehu Hospital
    3. Nursing home (General shuwa memorial hospital
    4. Nigerian Air force clinic Dalori

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    Source: Government of Nigeria
    Country: Nigeria

    Nema North East officials today delivered food and non food relief materials and medical consumables for Internally Displaced persons living in temporary camps set up by the Agency and Borno state Government in Bama LGA of Borno state. The IDPS are from communities recently liberated from insurgents control by the Nigerian military. The communities include Khadadamamari, Ladin Buta, Hilmari, Kashauri, Keshan Ngala, Aiwa, Masu Kura, Mabirni, Grza 1 and 2, Mashuari, Dubenge, Tauba and Majande.


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    Source: Government of Finland
    Country: Chad, Finland, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Yemen

    In the last humanitarian aid funding allocation of the current year, Finland has awarded with the decision by the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Lenita Toivakka a total of EUR 17.4 million to two UN organizations – The World Food Program WFP and the refugee organization UNHCR – for their work concerning long-running and underfunded crises in Middle East and Africa.

    Most of the aid, a total of EUR 8.9 million, is targeted at the humanitarian needs resulting from the Syrian conflict, which has already continued for five years. A total of EUR 4.5 million is granted to the regional work conducted by the UNHCR in Syria’s neighboring countries; a sum amounting to EUR 4.4 million is awarded to the WFP, of which EUR 2 million will be channeled to meet the food requirements in Syria.

    Many of the humanitarian crises in Africa have been forgotten and suffer from underfunding. In this funding allocation, Finland grants a total of EUR 8.5 million to the crises in Africa; of this amount, EUR 1.5 million is directed to Chad through the UNHCR. Chad is one of the poorest countries in the world, and the work of the UN refugee organization in the country has expanded rapidly due to the deteriorating situations in the neighboring countries.

    In addition, Finland’s aid is channeled through the WFP to Somalia, the Sahel region in Western Africa and South Sudan. The situation in Somalia is deteriorating because of the threatening El Niño phenomenon, which is becoming more intense due to climate change. The situation is equally critical in the poor Sahel region, which suffers from drought. South Sudan is suffering from civil war, and 3.9 million people in the country currently suffer from a serious lack of food security.

    “The need for humanitarian aid has increased this year, and, unfortunately, the trend will continue through next year. Most of the need is caused by man-made conflicts. Globally, some 60 million people have had to leave their homes. They need external aid to survive. Finland is currently providing aid to those who need it the most, and will continue to do so,” states Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Lenita Toivakka.

    Largest share of Finland’s humanitarian aid this year to the Syrian crisis

    The most recent decision issued on humanitarian aid raises the total amount of humanitarian aid from Finland this year to EUR 97.8 million. This year, the largest share of the aid, a total of EUR 18.9 million, has been targeted at the Syrian crisis. Other significant recipients of the aid include the crises in South Sudan (EUR 8.4 million), Somalia (EUR 7.15 million) and Yemen (EUR 6.7 million). The aid is granted from the humanitarian aid budget, which is part of Finland’s development cooperation. Last year, the humanitarian aid granted by Finland amounted to EUR 105.7 million.

    On 7 December, the UN launched a general appeal with the aim of meeting the humanitarian needs of next year. It is estimated that a total of EUR 18.4 billion will be needed next year to provide aid to the 87.6 million people who are most in need. Currently, the total funding for this year’s humanitarian aid remains at slightly over EUR 9 million, which is approximately one half of what is required.

    Additional information: Claus Jerker Lindroos, Director, Unit for Humanitarian Assistance and Policy, tel. +358 40 132 1416, and Juha Kirstilä, Special Adviser to Lenita Toivakka, tel. +358 40 552 8200.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Niger

    REPUBLIQUE CENTRAFRICAINE

    LES ÉLECTIONS SE SONT DÉROULÉES DANS LE CALME

    Le 30 décembre, les élections présidentielles et législatives se sont tenues sous haute sécurité, un vote précédé d’un référendum sur une modification constitutionnelle qui a été soutenue par 93% des électeurs. Trois candidats étaient pressentis comme favoris dans une course comprenant 30 candidats au total. Les observateurs prévoient qu’un second tour sera nécessaire dans la course présidentielle et estiment qu’il devrait se tenir d’ici la fin du mois de janvier 2016.

    TCHAD

    LE CERF OCTROIE PRÈS DE 7 MILLIONS $ US

    Le 29 décembre, le Fonds Central d’Intervention d’Urgence des Nations Unies (CERF) a octroyé un montant total de près de 7 millions de $ US pour répondre à la crise humanitaire dans la région du Lac Tchad. Cette aide profitera aux personnes déplacées, aux réfugiés et populations d'accueil touchés par les conséquences de la violence et de l'insécurité attribuées à Boko Haram. Un total de neuf projets a été approuvé et sera exécuté par les agences onusiennes et leurs partenaires. Ils comprendront l'assistance en appui vital à la sécurité alimentaire, la nutrition, la protection d'urgence, l’accès à la santé, y compris la santé reproductive et le soutien psychologique, ainsi que l'éducation.

    NIGER

    NOUVEL AFFLUX DE RÉFUGIÉS EN PROVENANCE DU MALI

    Du 21 au 27 décembre, 1 222 réfugiés maliens nouvellement arrivés, dont 57% de femmes et 43% d’hommes, ont été enregistrés dans la zone d’accueil d’Intikane, dans la région de Tahoua, en bordure de la région de Gao. Le HCR les assiste déjà en fournissant des abris, des couvertures et d'autres articles non alimentaires et le PAM fournira une aide alimentaire. Avec ces nouveaux arrivants, le nombre total de réfugiés dans la zone d’accueil d’Intikane atteint maintenant les 16 072 personnes.

    RDC

    INONDATIONS DANS LE SUD-KIVU

    Les 28 et 30 décembre, de fortes pluies à Lulingu et Tanganyika, au Sud-Kivu, ont touché plus de 13 000 personnes.
    En décembre 2015, la République démocratique du Congo a été particulièrement touchée par des précipitations supérieures à la moyenne notamment le long du bassin du fleuve Congo, Maniema Tshopo Mongala, Equateur, Mai Dombe, Kinshasa et BasCongo, ainsi que dans le Haut-Uélé et le long de la frontière orientale. Ces fortes pluies ont entraîné la destruction de maisons, de routes et d'autres infrastructures. Les partenaires humanitaires évaluent actuellement la situation.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Niger

    CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

    ELECTIONS HELD PEACEFULLY ON 30 DECEMBER

    On 30 December, presidential and parliamentary elections were held under tight security, a vote which followed a referendum on constitutional change that was backed by 93 per cent of voters.
    Three candidates have been tipped as front-runners in a race with 30 other presidential candidates. Observers anticipate that a second round will prove necessary in the presidential race and expect it to be held by the end of January.

    CHAD

    CERF GRANTS NEARLY US$7 MILLION

    On 29 December, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) granted a total amount of nearly US$7 million to respond to the humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad region. This assistance will benefit internally displaced people, refugees and host populations affected by the consequences of insecurity and violence attributed to Boko Haram. A total of nine projects were approved and will be implemented by UN agencies and their partners. The projects will include assistance in life-saving food security support, nutrition, emergency protection, access to health - including reproductive health and psychological support - and education.

    NIGER

    NEW REFUGEE INFLUX FROM MALI

    From 21 to 27 December, 1,222 newly arrived Malian refugees, including 57 per cent of women and 43 per cent of men, were registered at Intikane in the region of Tahoua bordering the Gao region. UNHCR has already assisted them with shelters, blankets and other non-food items and WFP will provide food assistance. With these new arrivals, the total number of refugees in Intikane has now reached 16,072 people.

    DRC

    FLOODS IN SOUTH KIVU

    On 28 and 30 December, heavy rains in Lulingu and Tanganyika, in South Kivu, affected more than 13,000 people. In December 2015, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been particularly impacted with above average precipitation particularly along the Congo River Basin - Maniema Tshopo Mongala, Ecuador, Mai Dombe,
    Kinshasa and Kongo Central - as well as in Haut Uélé and along the eastern border. These heavy rains have led to the destruction of houses, roads, and other infrastructures. Humanitarian partners are currently assessing the situation.


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

    Highlights

    • The security situation in north-eastern Nigeria and particularly in Borno State is volatile as suicide bombings against civilians and military installations continue to occur on a regular basis. Sweeping operations carried out by the Nigerian military have an equally disruptive effect on every-day life and further disrupt humanitarian actors' activities in the region.
    • There have been seven attacks in Niger's Diffa department over the past month, which have resulted in 43 civilian deaths. In their wake, the populations of numerous villages have been forced to flee while others have left pre-emptively.
    • In Cameroon, the security situation has deteriorated during the reporting period due to an increasing amount of kamikaze incursions that have resulted in 56 civilian deaths. The insurgent group is being targeted on multiple fronts by the Nigerian and Cameroonian MJTF forces and is increasingly resorting to guerrilla warfare as a result.
    • Attacks continue to take place in Chad's Lake region. On 5 December, three suicide bombers detonated their explosives at a local market in Kelfoua, a town located 60 Km from Bagasola, killing 30 and wounding 200. In response to the growing climate of insecurity, the Chadian Government had placed the Lake Region under a state of emergency on 9 November, which is planned to end on 22 March 2016.

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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen

    Déclin des opérations de lutte en Mauritanie

    Fin décembre, les opérations de lutte ont diminué contre des groupes de larves et d’ailés qui s’étaient formés suite à une résurgence dans l’ouest de la Mauritanie. Néanmoins, les infestations et la reproduction se sont étendues plus au nord dans le pays ainsi qu’aux zones adjacentes du Sahara occidental, où des opérations de lutte localisées ont été entreprises. Il persiste un risque de que la reproduction se poursuive ce qui entraînerait une augmentation des effectifs acridiens et la formation de davantage de groupes et peut-être de quelques petites bandes larvaires.

    Bien qu’une reproduction à petite-échelle ait eu lieu dans le nord du Mali (zone du Timétrine) et dans le nord du Niger (Tamesna), où quelques petits groupes se sont formés en décembre, seuls des ailés en faibles effectifs vont probablement persister dans ces deux zones au cours des prochains mois.

    La situation reste calme dans les zones de reproduction hivernale situées le long des deux rives de la mer Rouge. Jusqu’à présent, seuls des ailés solitaires en faibles effectifs ont été signalés sur la côte de l’Arabie saoudite, du Soudan et du Yémen. Une reproduction localisée a eu lieu au Yémen. Les conditions écologiques sont favorables dans le nord-est du Soudan et sur la côte nord-ouest de la Somalie, où on s’attend à une reproduction à petite échelle dans les prochains mois.

    La situation reste calme en Asie du sud-ouest.


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    Source: International Crisis Group
    Country: Afghanistan, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Colombia, Iraq, Libya, Niger, Nigeria, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, World, Yemen

    Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Foreign Policy

    Pulling together a list of the wars most in need of international attention and support in 2016 is challenging for all the wrong reasons. For 20 years after the end of the Cold War, deadly conflict was in decline. Fewer wars were killing fewer people the world over. Five years ago, however, that positive trend went into reverse, and each year since has seen more conflict, more victims, and more people displaced. 2016 is unlikely to bring an improvement from the woes of 2015: It is war — not peace — that has momentum.

    That said, there are conflicts whose urgency and importance rise above. This year’s list of 10 is weighted toward wars with the worst humanitarian consequences: Syria and Iraq, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and the Lake Chad basin. It includes those in influential and functioning states, like Turkey, as well as those that have collapsed, like Libya. It features conflicts that are already bad but are poised to get much worse without intelligent intervention, such as Burundi, as well as tensions, such as those in the South China Sea, that are simmering but have yet to boil over. The list also considers the hopeful example presented by Colombia, where considerable progress is being made toward ending a 51-year insurgency.

    Half of the conflicts on this year’s list involve extremist groups whose goals and ideologies are difficult to accommodate through negotiated settlement, complicating efforts to plot a path to peace. Looking ahead to 2016, it’s time to dispense with the notion that fighting against violent extremism suffices as a plan for world order — or even the basis of a solution for a single country like Syria. To be sure, stopping the abominations of the Islamic State and other jihadis is vital, but it also exposes policy dilemmas: The fear of what follows the demise of authoritarians (Iraq and Libya being prime exhibits) creates a strong incentive to back repressive regimes, but order based solely on state coercion is not sustainable. The dramatic increase in the reach and influence of jihadis over the past few years is a symptom of deeper trends in the Middle East: mounting sectarianism, a crisis of legitimacy of existing states, and escalating geopolitical competition, particularly between Saudi Arabia and Iran. When the enemy comes from within a given region, military action directed from abroad is more likely to aggravate than assuage.

    There is an alternative to this approach: States could work pragmatically at managing differences rather than overcoming them while leaving political space open for local actors to speak up. This will require courage, patience, and creative diplomacy, but the two most important diplomatic successes of 2015 — the Iran nuclear deal and the agreement on climate change — give reason to believe an international approach based on finding common interests could work. There are other glimmers of hope, too: major strides forward in Colombia’s peace talks, a cease-fire in Ukraine bolstered by the Minsk process, progress in Myanmar’s democratic transition, and a welcome, if long overdue, resolution from the U.N. Security Council on Syria.

    Most of the conflicts listed here require action at several levels — between major powers, regionally and locally — and none are amenable to a quick fix. Given the challenges of ending conflicts amid the upheaval of a revolutionary era, it is all the more urgent to provide humanitarian aid and to mitigate the human toll of violence — evidenced starkly in the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled toward Europe in the past year. States must also redouble efforts to forge political agreements, taking advantage of even the narrowest openings to find opportunities for compromise. The fluidity of the present moment can and must be used to shape a new, better-balanced order.

    Syria and Iraq

    At the close of the year, the war in Syria is the world’s gravest, with its effects stretching across the region and sucking in major powers. More than a quarter of a million Syrians have been killed and almost 11 million — about half the country’s population — displaced in or outside the country. The rise of the Islamic State, which now controls a large swath of eastern Syria and northwest Iraq, has drawn in firepower from countries including the United States, France, the United Kingdom, and Russia. As yet, however, none of these countries has articulated a coherent strategy to defeat the Islamic State.

    Worse still, Moscow and Western powers have been working at cross-purposes, with Russian jets bombing anti-Islamic State rebels that Washington considers partners against the jihadi group. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime continues to use indiscriminate aerial bombardment and other methods of collective punishment, inflicting civilian casualties in Sunni-majority areas that dwarf the numbers of victims claimed by the Islamic State’s violence. Assad’s tactics fuel continued cycles of radicalization, in Syria in particular, but also across the region, by fanning sectarian flames and feeding the sense of Sunni victimization from which the Islamic State profits.

    The pace of diplomatic action has quickened, spurred in part by Russia’s military intervention in Syria in September and the Islamic State-sponsored terrorist attacks in Paris in November. While the growing internationalization of the conflict presents many dangers, it may also open possibilities for diplomacy. In December, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a cease-fire and political solution in Syria. The resolution sets forth an ambitious timetable, with talks between the government and the opposition to start in January; a Syrian-led political process to establish “credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance” within six months; and elections within a year-and-a-half. Questions about Assad’s future — which provoke the most vehement disagreement between major powers on the Security Council, rival regional powers, and Syrian factions — remain unaddressed.

    Despite many reasons to be skeptical, it is worth hoping that this latest initiative marks the beginning of a meaningful effort to resolve the conflict. A conference in Riyadh in December exceeded expectations by bringing together an unprecedented range of the opposition’s armed and political factions to agree on a negotiating team. Participants pledged their commitment to a pluralistic Syrian future and conditional willingness to engage in the peace process. For a national cease-fire to work, however, there must be a strategy for dealing with spoilers — especially al Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front, which is geographically, and often operationally, integrated into the non-jihadi opposition in much of western Syria.

    In Iraq, meanwhile, the Western strategy to defeat the Islamic State relies largely on military offensives by Iraqi Kurds, a mostly Shiite Iraqi army, and Iran-backed Shiite militias. This risks feeding the resentment of Sunni Arabs in areas currently under Islamic State control. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s government is under pressure from rival Shiite factions for a host of reasons — including anger over corruption, the state’s failure to provide basic services and security, resistance to his reform agenda, and intramural jockeying for power. Shiite militias are not only fighting the Islamic State, but have organized to fill the security vacuum and defend Baghdad and Shiite holy sites. The militias’ partial success resonates with many unemployed youth, who have been at the forefront of street protests. The Islamic State rules partly through brutal coercion but also by exploiting fear of the Shiite-dominated government and by empowering formerly marginalized segments within the Sunni community. Iraqi forces have spent months trying to retake Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, after a humiliating withdrawal last May, and in the last week of the year managed to finally gain control of the city. The next priority will be to oust the Islamic State from Mosul, the northern city where it is perhaps best entrenched.

    Turkey

    Recent photographs from the southeastern city of Diyarbakir show young militants with assault rifles manning sandbagged roadblocks and engaging in bloody urban battles. Such images capture a dangerous escalation in Turkey’s long conflict with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a confrontation that has killed more than 30,000 people since 1984. Many factors have fueled the sharp upsurge in violence following the end of peace talks last spring and the collapse of the cease-fire in July. Turkey’s Kurdish movement backs the PKK’s Syrian affiliate, the PYD, which has made gains in fighting against the Islamic State. Ankara worries that cross-border Kurdish solidarity will further strengthen demands for a separate state. This perceived threat has weakened Turkey’s focus on the fight against the Islamic State, leading many Turkish Kurds to conclude that Ankara supports the terrorist group that is ostensibly their common enemy.

    Over the past six months, the conflict has escalated to its most violent point in two decades. Both sides know that there is no military solution; however, each wants to weaken the other as much as possible while waiting for the Syria quagmire to settle. To prevent the Middle East’s ethno-sectarian violence from spilling further into Turkey, both sides should urgently end violence, agree on cease-fire conditions, and restart peace talks. Free from electoral pressures for four years, the new Justice and Development Party (AKP) government should formulate a concrete reform agenda to address demands for Kurdish rights — including decentralization and mother-tongue education — that can be advanced within a democratic framework.

    Yemen

    The Saudi-led war in Yemen — backed by the United States, Britain, and allies in the Gulf — has been grinding on since March 2015, with no end in sight. U.N.-sponsored peace talks in Switzerland in mid-December yielded only an agreement to resume negotiations on Jan. 14. Nearly 6,000 people have reportedly been killed, almost half of them civilians. More than 2 million people have been uprooted from their homes; an additional 120,000 have fled the country. The war has destroyed the country’s already weak infrastructure, deepened political divides, and introduced a narrative of sectarianism where previously there had been little or none. The conflict threatens the security of the Arabian Peninsula, particularly Saudi Arabia itself, by feeding the growth of terrorist networks like al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

    The violence has its roots in a botched political transition following the departure of longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was forced out amid protests in 2011. After years of indecision about the country’s political future, Houthi militias took matters into their own hands and captured the capital, Sanaa, in September 2014. The Houthis — a predominantly Zaydi Shiite movement rooted in the north — began moving south in alliance with forces loyal to Saleh. On March 25, 2015, they seized a strategic military base near Aden and held the defense minister hostage. The next day, Saudi Arabia launched a major military campaign — Operation Decisive Storm — to roll back the Houthi advance and restore the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. The Houthis bear much of the responsibility for triggering the war, but the Saudi-led campaign has only escalated the violence and thus far proved largely counterproductive.

    Saudi Arabia sees the Houthis as proxies for Iran. While Iran’s role has been minimal, Tehran has not hesitated to make political hay of Houthi successes, thereby further raising the stakes in a volatile region. The perception that it is meddling has alarmed Saudi Arabia, which sees Iran as ascendant and having hegemonic ambitions. A peaceful solution to the Yemen war may well require a prior accommodation between these two regional superpowers, currently a remote possibility.

    Libya

    The Islamic State’s apparent consolidation of its base around Sirte, on Libya’s Mediterranean coast, has brought fresh urgency to international efforts to end a political crisis that has left the country in a shambles.

    Following NATO’s military intervention and the ouster of longtime dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi in 2011, assorted political parties, tribes, and militias have been fighting for power and control over the nation’s vast oil and gas riches. Since mid-2014, the country has been governed by two rival factions — another way of saying that no one is really in charge. A U.N.-brokered deal to form a national unity government emerged in December, thanks to heavy lifting from the United States and Italy. Members of both factions signed up, but many powerful constituents still oppose the deal. The unity government may not be able to govern much, especially if opponents prevent it from taking a seat in Tripoli.

    Meanwhile, lawlessness continues to take a heavy toll. Thousands of detainees languish in prisons without proper judicial review while kidnappings and targeted killings are rampant. Libya is also a major transit hub for refugees and migrants trying to reach Europe from other parts of the Middle East and Africa. The unchecked flow of arms and fighters through Libya has fueled conflicts across the Sahel, including in Mali and the Lake Chad basin (see below). Western intelligence officials say that the impoverished Fezzan region in the south is swiftly becoming a haven for criminal networks and radical groups. On top of all this, economic collapse looms on the horizon unless oil production increases and officials act to maintain the integrity of Libya’s core financial institutions, which the two rival administrations have been squabbling over.

    The first task for the new Libyan government, and its international partners, must be to bring aboard those Libyans who currently oppose it. At best, the recently signed agreement should be seen as a beginning, not an end, to the peace process.

    Lake Chad basin

    Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon face an evolving threat from the jihadi militant group Boko Haram. Over the past six years, the group has transformed itself from a small protest movement in northern Nigeria to a powerful force capable of mounting devastating attacks across the Lake Chad basin. Last March, it pledged allegiance to the Islamic State — an affiliation that appears to have had little impact beyond improving Boko Haram’s online presence.

    This past summer, Cameroon experienced the greatest increase in attacks by Boko Haram, followed closely by Niger and Chad. Nigeria, however, remains the epicenter of the conflict. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who took office in May, ambitiously pledged to end the insurgency by December. While this remains a distant goal, Buhari — a former army major general — has shaken up his country’s security establishment and joined with regional forces to drive Boko Haram from the areas in northeastern Nigeria it had seized earlier in 2015.

    Boko Haram is, however, resilient, adaptable, and mobile. Military efforts, to date, have had limited success in countering its use of suicide bombers, who are often young women and girls. Its terrorist attacks on remote and unprotected villages — and even on regional capitals, like N’Djamena — continue. Indiscriminate responses by state security forces and insufficient efforts to win over the affected communities only pour fuel on the fire. Regional governments are still failing to address the factors behind radicalization. Decades of political corruption, festering grievances, and poor access to basic social services have bred deep anger and alienation. These issues are compounded by rapid population growth and environmental degradation, which drive social tension and migration.

    South Sudan

    Yet again, the world’s newest country is at risk of descending into full-blown civil war. The peace agreement reached between the government and the largest armed opposition group in August after intensive African-led mediation is on the brink of collapse. Meanwhile, independent armed groups outside the deal are proliferating.

    The roots of the conflict date back to internecine competition among various factions during South Sudan’s decades-long independence struggle. South Sudan won independence from Sudan, only to explode into civil war on Dec. 15, 2013, as divisions within the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement led to fighting and targeted ethnic killings in the capital of Juba. Only hours after the conflict erupted, tens of thousands of people sought refuge at U.N. bases to escape ethnic massacres and sexual violence. Today, nearly 200,000 people live under the direct protection of U.N. peacekeepers.

    Over the past two years, more than 2.4 million people have been displaced, and tens of thousands have been killed. A report released by the African Union in October detailed atrocities by both sides, including mass killings and rapes. Now, with an increasing number of the country’s more than 24 armed groups aligned with neither the government nor the main opposition forces, the prospect of a multipolar war is real. Regional actors, especially members of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which mediated the peace agreement, and international powers, including IGAD partners China, Norway, the United States, and the United Kingdom, must take urgent, united action to push South Sudan’s leaders to respect their commitments to the peace deal and avert a catastrophic return to war.

    Burundi

    Almost daily, dead bodies appear on the streets of Bujumbura, with the circumstances surrounding their deaths often unknown. More than 300 people have been killed since last April, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced plans to seek a third term in office despite widespread opposition. Nkurunziza’s re-election in July, following a failed coup attempt, sparked a season of confrontation between government forces and armed opposition fighters. Escalating violence raises fears of a return to conflict after a decade of relative peace. At least 300,000 people died during Burundi’s 12-year civil war, which ended in 2005 after dogged peace-building efforts led by former Presidents Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and Nelson Mandela of South Africa.

    In December, the African Union Peace and Security Council took the bold step of authorizing an African Prevention and Protection Mission in Burundi to halt the slide toward civil war and mass atrocities. Nkurunziza reacted angrily and said Burundians would “stand up and fight” against foreign troops. The African Union has reached out to the government and is calling on both sides to cooperate with peace talks, with the next round scheduled for Jan. 6. It is not clear if the African Union has sufficient member support to impose a mission against the will of the Burundian government.

    The humanitarian situation is dire. More than 200,000 people have fled the country, and U.N. officials have warned that without immediate action there is a risk of “catastrophic violence.” So far, the crisis is more political than ethnic. However, some leaders appear to be exploiting ethnic divisions, and there is a risk of mass atrocities if violence continues unchecked. It also threatens to further destabilize the fragile Great Lakes region, with increasing numbers of refugees fleeing to Rwanda, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    Afghanistan

    U.S. President Barack Obama’s endgame in Afghanistan seems ever more remote, as the country remains mired in conflict more than 14 years after the United States intervened to oust the Taliban and destroy al Qaeda. Today, the Taliban, despite internal splits, are still a formidable force; al Qaeda maintains a presence, and the Islamic State has established a foothold. A short-lived breakthrough in Pakistan-brokered peace talks last July was scuttled after opponents of the talks disclosed that the Taliban’s reclusive leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, had died in 2013. The Taliban eventually confirmed these reports and announced that longtime deputy Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour had taken over. Mullah Mansour, who reportedly has close ties to Pakistan’s intelligence services, consolidated his leadership position with a string of military victories, including the temporary capture of Kunduz in late September. Yet factionalism continues to bedevil the Taliban movement. Unconfirmed reports surfaced in early December indicating that Mullah Mansour may have been injured or killed in a firefight with rivals in Pakistan. A handful of field commanders throughout the year declared allegiance to the Islamic State.

    Fighting across multiple provinces continues to inflict heavy civilian casualties — one reason that Afghanistan is second only to Syria as a leading source of refugees. Rampant corruption and abuse of power by local authorities continue to be the chief drivers of support for the insurgency. The United States now says that it will maintain troop levels at 9,800 for most of 2016, and NATO’s Resolute Support Mission is committed to providing financial support for Afghan security forces until 2020. But given the potency of the insurgency, there is clearly no military solution to the conflict. And the splintering and proliferation of militant groups threaten future efforts to broker peace. President Ashraf Ghani’s attempts to resume negotiations with the Taliban are controversial and strain the cohesion of his national unity government. For talks to succeed, they must be broadly Afghan-led and owned, and driven more by the interests of the Afghan people than by those of powerful external players like Pakistan and the United States.

    South China Sea

    The South China Sea risks becoming a theater of big-power competition, as the United States challenges China’s large-scale land reclamation and construction on several disputed reefs. China’s aggressive assertion of its territorial claims sets it on a collision course with several Southeast Asian nations with competing sovereignty claims in one of the world’s busiest waterways, an area rich with fisheries and possible oil and gas reserves. Tensions flared in May, when a U.S. spy plane flew near Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly archipelago, where China is building an airfield. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter called for an immediate and lasting halt to land reclamation in the disputed area and announced that the United States “will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows.” In October, a U.S. Navy warship approached another disputed reef in the Spratlys, prompting a sharp rebuke from Beijing that the action was illegal and posed a threat to its national security. In November, Obama announced an aid package worth $259 million over two years to boost the maritime security of Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia, all rival claimants to China.

    In what could prove a landmark case, a tribunal in The Hague is considering an arbitration request filed by the Philippines accusing China of violating international law in the South China Sea. Beijing refuses to participate or accept the court’s jurisdiction, but the case could still help unite international opinion and nudge China toward greater cooperation. A decision is expected in 2016.

    Beijing should realize that its use of sharp elbows diminishes confidence in regional self-governance and encourages its neighbors to turn to the United States for protection. In turn, Washington must use its words and actions to defend the global commons and support multilateral diplomacy, rather than merely asserting its military supremacy. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations should drive negotiations with China to commit all parties to a code of conduct to manage maritime disputes before small ripples grow into big waves.

    Colombia

    Peace talks in Havana between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) achieved a series of breakthroughs in recent months, raising hopes that the country may finally see an end to its 51-year-old armed conflict in 2016. The conflict has claimed the lives of an estimated 220,000 people; 50,000 have been “disappeared,” and a staggering 7.6 million people have registered as victims of the conflict.

    In December, the two sides announced a milestone agreement on transitional justice, one of the toughest issues on the agenda. They had previously reached agreements — with some matters left open for discussion — on rural development, political participation, and drug policy.

    President Juan Manuel Santos has declared an ambitious March 23 deadline for reaching a final agreement, but he has pushed back the date for a bilateral cease-fire. Sensitive questions continue to dog the disarmament and reintegration of rebel forces, as well as monitoring mechanisms to ensure implementation. Other complex issues include how to confirm the peace agreement: The government has committed to a popular vote, while the FARC has long called for a constituent assembly. A smaller rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), must also join the peace process. And the huge challenge of healing the scars left by decades of war in a country still plagued by illegal armed groups remains. All that said, there are positive signs that the continent’s longest-running, and last-remaining, armed conflict will soon come to a conclusion.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Kano, Nigeria | AFP | Wednesday 1/6/2016 - 17:27 GMT

    by Aminu ABUBAKAR

    Boko Haram gunmen have mounted their first attacks since Nigeria's government declared the Islamist group "technically" defeated, killing seven people in a raid and suicide bombing, residents told AFP Wednesday.

    The attacks happened on Tuesday in the northeastern state of Borno, near the group's Sambisa Forest hideout, where the army is looking to flush out remnants of the rebel group.

    President Muhammadu Buhari, who has made crushing the rebellion a priority, in December said a sustained counter-offensive had reduced the group's ability to strike effectively.

    The first attack happened in Izgeki village, said one resident, who gave his name as Isyaku, from the town of Mubi in neighbouring Adamawa state.

    "I received information from my relatives who fled the attack... that some Boko Haram gunmen on bicycles attacked Izgeki across the river from Izghe on Tuesday morning where they killed two people.

    "The attack forced villagers to cross the river into Izghe. The gunmen pursued them. One of them who had a suicide belt on him blew himself up near the market, killing five people."

    Izghe was previously attacked in February 2014 where more than 100 people were killed as the rebels torched homes, opened fire and set off explosives.

    Thousands of residents fled the attack into Adamawa towards the town of Madagali and elsewhere but following the army's recapture of territory, some managed to return and begin reconstruction.

    Izghe is in the district of Gwoza, which Boko Haram captured in August 2014 and which the group's shadowy leader Abubakar Shekau declared the centre of its self-styled caliphate.

    Ayuba Chibok, an elder in the town of the same name, said there was also an attack in the nearby village of Nchiha at about 10:00 pm (2100 GMT) on Tuesday.

    "Luckily no-one was hurt but they (Boko Haram gunmen) looted food and burnt a large part of the village," he added. Residents managed to flee.

    Boko Haram kidnapped some 276 girls from their school in Chibok in April 2014 in a daring raid that captured world attention. Fifty seven escaped soon afterwards but 219 are still being held.

    • On the back foot - Buhari set his military commanders a deadline to end the insurgency by December 31, after six years of fighting that have left at least 17,000 dead and made more than 2.6 million homeless.

    AFP reporting of attacks indicated at least 1,624 people were killed since Buhari was sworn in as president on May 29 to the end of 2015.

    The wisdom of setting a time limit, however, has been questioned with Boko Haram still conducting suicide and bomb attacks against civilian targets in towns and cities across the northeast.

    Continued raids on remote rural villages have been seen as a sign the group's supply lines have been cut.

    On December 24, Buhari said in an interview the Islamic State group affiliate was now unable to mount effective "conventional attacks".

    "I think technically we have won the war because people are going back into their neighbourhoods," the former army general and military ruler told the BBC.

    Jacob Zenn, an Africa security analyst at the Jamestown Foundation in Washington, said Buhari's strategy was working but warned the group was not defeated.

    "Even if the Islamists appear to be on the back foot in Nigeria, this does not mean permanent defeat," he wrote on the African Arguments website on Tuesday.

    "Boko Haram may go into hiding like it did after the State of Emergency offensive in 2013 in anticipation that the security forces will let down their guard over time...

    "The threat from Boko Haram has ebbed and flowed in the past five years and while Boko Haram is now on the downturn, the military group may have new tactics and strategies as well as a plan to return stronger than before.

    "Nigeria's security forces will need to anticipate this."

    abu-phz/sf/wdb


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    Source: Government of the United States of America
    Country: Niger

    This post was written by Fleur Wouterse, Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute

    Niger is a hot landlocked country, mostly covered by the Sahara desert with a rainy season of only three months. Despite this unforgiving environment, it has made impressive economic progress lately. In 2014, economic growth accelerated to 6.5 percent, thanks to a rebound in agriculture and large public investment projects. However, the country lags considerably in gender equality and social inclusion, especially in political empowerment and economic participation.

    Discriminatory family codes, customary laws, and practices limit and restrict women’s reproductive rights as well as their access to services, resources, and entitlements. As my recent research shows, this disempowerment of women critically affects the country’s agricultural production and productivity.

    Measuring empowerment for rural smallholders

    Agriculture in Niger remains largely smallholder based with women playing an important role in the production, processing, and commercialization of commodities, whether as individuals within households, heads of households, and/or as owners of small or informal businesses. The disempowerment they experience, however, means they are often invisible in agriculture: women usually do not receive extension services, agriculture and market information, or inputs to increase their productivity. In my study, I used the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI)—a survey-based tool designed to measure the empowerment, agency, and inclusion of women in the agricultural sector—to calculate in what ways women and men in farming communities are disempowered.

    Gender disparity in empowerment exists

    The index comprises five domains of empowerment: decisions about agricultural production, access to and decisionmaking power about productive resources, control of use of income, leadership in the community, and time allocation.

    My colleagues and I collected individual data on empowerment, using the WEAI tool, in 500 households in the Tahoua region of Niger. We find, as shown in Figure 1, that women are significantly more disempowered in all but one domain. Figure 1 also shows that leadership— group membership and ability to speak in public—and access to and decisionmaking power about productive resources are particularly important contributors to disempowerment of women.

    Empowerment matters

    We also used the WEAI to assess the role of empowerment of both males and females in agricultural production at the household level and find that more empowered households are also more productive. When we interact empowerment with traditional inputs—land, labor, fertilizer, and agricultural equipment—in an agricultural production function, we see that this is because empowerment positively affects returns to labor and equipment. For example, membership in a producer organization, a contributor to empowerment, would give a household access to information, allowing it to use its labor and equipment more efficiently.

    Disempowered within the family

    The WEAI can also be used to compare intra-household gender parity in households that contain both a male and a female adult, usually husband and wife. What we see for Niger is that in households with both an adult male and female, women are comparatively much less empowered than their counterparts in households containing only an adult female, for example households in which the husband has passed away. In fact, we find that average empowerment affects agricultural production more in households containing both an adult male and an adult female. This means that the relatively disempowered status of women in these households has particularly negative repercussions for agricultural production and productivity.

    Lessons to take away

    Empowerment matters for agricultural production. Less empowered households experience lower returns to their labor and use their traction equipment and animals in a less effective manner. Women are much less empowered in so-called dual households where a primary male is also present. Increasing the empowerment of these women, for example, through leadership training or encouraging membership in groups (rotating savings schemes or producer organizations) will ultimately generate benefits in terms of increased food production.


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    Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office, Department for International Development, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, World Food Programme, US Agency for International Development, UN Children's Fund, International Rescue Committee, UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Niger, Nigeria

    • Cette semaine, il a été constaté une diminution des mouvements internes. Cependant, une nouvelle attaque survenue le 22 décembre dans un village aux environs de Bosso a entrainé le déplacement de près de 250 personnes vers des sites assez sécurisés.

    • Le 23 décembre 2015, IRC a mis à la disposition de la Direction Régionale de la Population, de la Promotion de la Femme et de la Protection de l’Enfant de Diffa 15 kits de réunification familiale des enfants séparés et non accompagnés. Ces kits acquis sous financement de l’UNICEF ont servi à assister 15 enfants détenus à la prison civile de Diffa puis relâchés et réunifiés avec leur famille.


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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Western Sahara, Yemen

    Control operations decline in Mauritania

    Control operations against hopper and adult groups that formed as a result of an outbreak in western Mauritania declined in late December. Nevertheless, infestations and breeding have spread further north in the country as well as to adjacent areas of Western Sahara where limited control was undertaken. There remains a risk of further breeding that could cause locust numbers to increase and more groups and perhaps a few small hopper bands to form.

    Although small-scale breeding occurred in northern Mali (Timetrine area) and in northern Niger (Tamesna) where a few small groups formed in December, only low numbers of adults are likely to persist in both areas during the coming months.

    The situation remains calm in the winter breeding areas along both sides of the Red Sea. So far, only low numbers of solitarious adults have been reported on the coast of Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Limited breeding occurred in Yemen. Ecological conditions are favourable in northeast Sudan and on the northwest coast of Somalia where small-scale breeding is expected in the coming months.

    The situation remains calm in southwest Asia.


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    Source: Médecins Sans Frontières
    Country: Nigeria

    January 06, 2016

    On the evening of December 27, Islamist militants launched a large-scale attack in Maiduguri, the capital of northern Nigeria's Borno State; a wave of suicide bombings were carried out the following day as well. Responding to the high numbers of people wounded in these attacks, a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) team working in Umaru Shehu Hospital in Maiduguri began performing trauma surgery and treated about 40 patients, including seven critical cases, over three days.

    "While many adults were treated, our team was struck by the number of children presenting with shrapnel wounds," said Peter Orr, MSF emergency coordinator. "The addition of our surgical team allowed us to treat patients on site rather than refer them to the one city hospital with trauma surgery capacity, from the International Committee of the Red Cross, which was also handling many cases."

    The MSF team began working in the emergency room at Umaru Shehu hospital on September 28, 2015, treating patients referred from smaller health structures and providing care to people wounded during attacks. Just three days after arriving, in fact, MSF staff and the hospital’s teams treated 20 patients (including 6 children and 11 women) wounded by suicide attacks on October 1.

    Every week, MSF receives about 200 patients in the hospital's emergency room. MSF has also provided essential medicines and medical materials to the hospital, refitted the operating theater, and set up a mass casualty plan.

    Violence and attacks in the area have driven roughly a million people into Maiduguri. Other MSF activities in the city include primary health care, maternal health care, therapeutic feeding for severely malnourished children, epidemic and health surveillance, and water and sanitation projects.


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Niger

    NIAMEY- Le Programme alimentaire mondial a lancé aujourd’hui, pour la quatrième année consécutive, son programme national d’achats locaux de vivres auprès des groupements de petits producteurs agricoles au Niger.

    La cérémonie s’est déroulée à Sokorbé dans la Région de Dosso, en présence du Haut-Commissaire à l’Initiative 3N (Les Nigériens Nourrissent les Nigériens), du Représentant de la FAO (Organisation des Nations-Unies pour l’Alimentation et l’Agriculture), du Représentant du PAM ainsi que des autorités régionales et locales.

    4000 tonnes de vivres, contre 1780 tonnes en 2014, seront achetés aux petits producteurs à travers 69 organisations paysannes pour près de 3,5 millions de dollars (plus de 2 milliards de francs CFA), afin de stimuler l’économie locale.

    « L’objectif est de contribuer au renforcement de la résilience des petits producteurs vulnérables et à l’amélioration de la sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle de manière durable.» a déclaré Benoit Thiry, représentant du PAM au Niger. « A travers ces achats, le PAM permet ainsi aux petits producteurs, en particulier les femmes, d’accroitre leur production agricole en leur garantissant un marché et un prix rémunérateur et de devenir ainsi des acteurs plus compétitifs sur le marché local.»

    Le PAM, par son expertise en logistique, en analyse des marchés, en réduction des pertes post-récolte et surtout avec son pouvoir d’achat de vivres, crée des débouchés économiques pour la production locale au Niger, notamment dans le cadre du programme « Achats des Africains pour l’Afrique (PAA Africa – Purchase from Africans for Africa) soutenu et inspiré par l’expérience brésilienne.

    Ainsi, les denrées achetées (céréales, légumineuses) auprès des petits producteurs membres d’Organisation paysannes bien structurées permettent d’approvisionner les programmes d’assistance alimentaire du PAM, notamment les cantines scolaires.

    « De plus, en favorisant les circuits courts de production-consommation, les achats locaux favorisent la participation communautaire et son autonomisation économique, laissant entrevoir une manière concrète et durable de stratégie de sortie des interventions du PAM » a continué Benoit Thiry.

    D’autres impacts de ce programme ont été constatés tels que la réduction de la migration des hommes et le développement d’activités génératrices de revenus.

    L’activité est mise en œuvre depuis 2012, sous la direction du Gouvernement nigérien à travers le Haut-Commissariat à l’Initiative 3N et en partenariat avec la FAO qui fournit des engrais, des semences et une assistance technique et organisationnelle aux Unions pour améliorer le rendement des petits producteurs agricoles.

    Le PAM soutient également le gouvernement dans l’élaboration et la mise en œuvre de stratégies nationales d’achats locaux aux petits producteurs notamment pour l’alimentation scolaire et pour une mise à l’échelle de cet outil efficace de développement local.

    Le PAM achète de plus en plus de vivres auprès de petits producteurs, de 790 tonnes en 2012 à 4000 tonnes en 2015.

    Avec le soutien de la communauté des donateurs, le PAM au Niger entend renforcer davantage dans les années à venir sa capacité à accroître l'approvisionnement alimentaire local à travers le renforcement des associations de petits agriculteurs et de leur production agricole.

    Le PAM est la plus grande agence humanitaire qui lutte contre la faim dans le monde en distribuant une assistance alimentaire dans les situations d'urgence et en travaillant avec les communautés pour améliorer leur état nutritionnel et renforcer leur résilience. Chaque année, le PAM apporte une assistance à quelques 80 millions de personnes dans près de 80 pays.

    Suivez nous sur Twitter @wfp_fr @wfp_media et @WFP_WAfrica

    Pour plus d’informations, veuillez contacter (adresse email : prénom.nom@wfp.org) :

    Vigno Hounkanli, WFP Niger, +227 91205585

    Fabien Moncade, WFP Niger, +227 91208543


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    Source: UN Office for West Africa
    Country: Niger

    Niamey, le 06 janvier 2016

    Bonjour mesdames et messieurs,

    Tout d’abord, je vous souhaite une bonne et heureuse année 2016.

    Lors de notre dernière rencontre en septembre 2015, j’avais annoncé que je reviendrais à Niamey pour continuer d’apporter ma contribution à la réalisation de notre objectif commun, celui de la consolidation des acquis démocratiques au Niger. Aujourd’hui, c’est chose faite.

    Je suis arrivé à Niamey le lundi 4 janvier quelque temps après que les autorités ont dénoncé une tentative de coup d’état. Comme je l’ai rappelé à l’époque, la communauté internationale, y compris l’Union africaine et la CEDEAO, rejette la prise du pouvoir par l’utilisation de méthodes anti-constitutionnelles, conformément au principe de tolérance zéro à l’égard des coups d’état. Je réitère ici mon appel à tous les Nigériens pour qu’ils sauvegardent la stabilité de leur pays dans une région en proie à des défis sécuritaires importants.

    Je suis heureux que ma visite ait coïncidé avec la présentation des conclusions du contrôle du fichier électoral effectué par des experts de l’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). C’est ainsi une étape importante du processus qui est franchie mais elle n’est certainement pas la dernière. Aussi, j’en appelle à tous les acteurs concernés pour qu’ils mettent en œuvre sans délai les recommandations à application immédiate, en vue de la poursuite du processus électoral dans la sérénité. Je note aussi que les experts ont fait des recommandations à moyen terme qui sont tout aussi importantes à exécuter en temps voulu.

    Au cours de ma mission, je me suis entretenu avec les principaux acteurs politiques (majorité, opposition et partis non affiliés), les représentants des institutions de la République et des structures en charge des élections, ainsi que les partenaires techniques et financiers. J’ai également été reçu en audience par le Premier Ministre, le Président de l’Assemblée Nationale et le Président de la République. J’ai pu ainsi mesurer les avancées enregistrées depuis le mois de septembre dernier en ce qui concerne la préparation des élections du 21 février prochain. Je note aussi avec satisfaction la décision prise par le Gouvernement du Niger de mettre à la disposition de la Commission électorale nationale indépendantes (CENI) les ressources financières nécessaires à la bonne tenue des élections.

    Ce séjour m’a également permis d’apprécier le travail qu’il reste à accomplir en vue de l’organisation d’élections libres, transparentes, crédibles et inclusives, répondant aux normes internationales. Avec l’appui du Système des Nations Unies sur le terrain, de l’OIF et des autres partenaires, et la bonne volonté de toutes les parties prenantes, je suis confiant que le Niger saura relever ce défi et tenir des élections réussies dont les résultats seront acceptés par tous, à l’instar des élections récentes dans d’autres pays de la région.

    Ainsi, je me félicite du fait que les Nigériens soient disposés à travailler au maintien de la cohésion sociale et de la stabilité dans leur pays. Je les exhorte à adopter, comme par le passé, une attitude constructive dans leur quête de solutions à leurs divergences politiques. A cet égard, je note la volonté exprimée de part et d’autre de tenir une réunion du Conseil National du Dialogue Politique (CNDP) et encourage les acteurs concernés à le faire dans les meilleurs délais afin de régler les dernières questions en suspens tenant compte du calendrier électoral et des impératifs constitutionnels.

    Les enjeux sont d’autant plus grands que les élections législatives et présidentielle du 21 février seront les premiers scrutins à se tenir en Afrique de l’Ouest et sur tout le continent africain en 2016. Le monde aura les yeux tournés vers vous. Il est donc crucial que ces élections se déroulent dans un climat serein et consensuel et permettent de doter le Niger d’institutions légales, légitimes et solides, à même de relever les nombreux défis auxquels fait face le pays.

    Je tiens à réaffirmer la disponibilité des Nations Unies à continuer d’appuyer ce processus, ainsi que notre soutien constant à tout ce qui concourt à l’amélioration du bien-être des populations nigériennes.

    Je vous remercie de votre attention.


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    Source: International Crisis Group
    Country: Burkina Faso

    SYNTHÈSE

    La victoire de Roch Marc Christian Kaboré à l’élection présidentielle du 29 novembre montre que les Burkinabè aspirent autant au changement qu’à la continuité. Ancien dauphin de Blaise Compaoré, il incarne à la fois la stabilité qui caractérisait l’ancien régime et le désir de changement à travers sa rupture avec Compaoré. Des défis considérables attendent le nouveau gouvernement : fortes demandes socioéconomiques, exigence de justice, lutte contre la corruption et l’impunité, réforme de l’armée et insécurité régionale. Il lui faudra se garder de tout triomphalisme, reconnaitre que la tâche à venir est considérable et, surtout, résister à la tentation de recréer un système Compaoré bis marqué par l’hégémonie d’un seul parti, faute de quoi les Burkinabè redescendront en masse dans la rue, comme en octobre 2014 et en septembre 2015, replongeant le pays dans l’instabilité.

    L’heure est pour l’instant au soulagement : la longue et fragile transition s’est achevée dans le calme. En organisant dans les règles de l’art les élections du 29 novembre, elle a rempli sa principale mission. Elle n’a toutefois pas permis de solder le contentieux des années Compaoré : la justice n’a pas été rendue pour les crimes économiques et de sang commis sous l’ancien régime. La tentative de putsch de septembre 2015 lui a au moins permis de se débarrasser du Régiment de sécurité présidentielle (RSP), l’ancienne garde présidentielle. La dissolution du RSP est un pas de plus vers le démantèlement du système Compaoré, mais elle ne règle pas la difficile question de l’avenir des partisans politiques de l’ancien régime. C’est maintenant, avec l’installation des nouvelles autorités, que commence la vraie transition, celle qui devra conduire à la consolidation démocratique et à la mise en place d’une nouvelle forme de gouvernance.

    L’état de grâce sera de courte durée. Le nouveau président pourra difficilement satisfaire immédiatement les immenses attentes de la population, surtout en matière socioéconomique, avec une situation budgétaire critique. La présence de groupes extrémistes violents dans les pays voisins du Burkina fait planer une menace sur sa stabilité. L’attaque d’un poste de gendarmerie dans l’Ouest en octobre 2015, la première de cette ampleur au Burkina Faso, est révélatrice de ce nouvel environnement sécuritaire dégradé. L’installation des nouvelles autorités pourrait être rapidement suivie d’une détérioration du climat social qui, combinée à ces menaces sécuritaires, pourrait créer un cocktail explosif et entraver l’action du nouveau gouvernement. En outre, le coup d’Etat de septembre 2015 a montré que les forces armées tiennent toujours une place importante dans la vie politique du pays. Le spectre d’une immixtion de l’armée dans la sphère politique, une constante dans l’histoire du Burkina depuis 1966, n’a pas disparu avec le démantèlement du RSP.

    A terme, la classe politique devra régler ses contentieux. Il sera particulièrement difficile pour certains partisans de l’ancien parti au pouvoir, le Congrès pour la démocratie et le progrès (CDP), d’accepter la victoire de leurs anciens camarades devenus leurs pires ennemis depuis la démission de ces derniers en janvier 2014 pour créer leur propre parti, le Mouvement du peuple pour le progrès (MPP). Cette animosité pourrait créer de nouvelles tensions, surtout si le nouveau pouvoir cède à la tentation d’une chasse aux sorcières contre des membres de l’ancien régime et si certains partisans de Compaoré choisissent la déstabilisation pour montrer qu’ils pèsent toujours sur la vie de leur pays.

    Si ces derniers utilisent la Côte d’Ivoire comme base arrière, comme cela semble avoir été le cas lors du coup d’Etat et du projet d’attaque de la prison militaire de Ouagadougou en décembre dernier, les relations ivoiro-burkinabè risquent de se détériorer rapidement. En deux mois, le contentieux entre les deux pays n’a cessé de grandir. Aux soupçons d’implication de hauts responsables ivoiriens dans le putsch de septembre est venu s’ajouter le mandat d’arrêt contre Compaoré. Lancé par la justice burkinabé le 4 décembre, ce mandat a été ignoré par les autorités ivoiriennes.

    L’insurrection d’octobre 2014, qui a chassé Compaoré après 27 ans au pouvoir, a constitué un séisme majeur pour le Burkina, et le coup d’Etat de septembre 2015 en constitue une première réplique. Malgré le bon déroulement des élections, le pays n’est pas à l’abri de futures secousses à mesure que s’écrit une nouvelle page de son histoire. Plusieurs mesures, à court et à moyen terme, peuvent réduire les risques d’instabilité future.

    • Les nouvelles autorités devraient organiser un dialogue constructif avec les syndicats et prendre rapidement des mesures d’apaisement social en se concentrant sur les jeunes et les régions les plus pauvres du pays.

    • Les nouvelles autorités devraient engager rapidement la réforme de l’armée et développer une stratégie globale de défense et de sécurité à travers la publication d’un livre blanc. La réforme de l’armée devra s’effectuer sous contrôle parlementaire et la commission en charge de celle-ci devra intégrer des civils et des retraités des forces de sécurité.

    • La fonction du Haut Conseil national des sages devrait être consacrée dans la Constitution, tel que recommandé par la Commission de réconciliation, afin que cet organisme au service de la résolution et de la prévention des crises politiques et sociales soit établi en tant qu’institution à part entière.

    • La Côte d’Ivoire et le Burkina Faso devraient continuer à renforcer leurs relations dans le cadre du Traité d’amitié et de coopération signé en 2008. Les dirigeants ivoiriens doivent dépasser leurs amitiés politiques avec les dignitaires du régime Compaoré et faire de la stabilité du Burkina une priorité, si besoin en coopérant avec la justice burkinabè.

    • Les partenaires internationaux devraient rester mobilisés pour fournir un soutien financier adéquat, notamment pour aider le gouvernement à répondre aux revendications sociales, d’autant plus que le Burkina est l’un des derniers points de stabilité dans une région de plus en plus troublée.

    Dakar/Bruxelles, 7 janvier 2016


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    Source: International Crisis Group
    Country: Burkina Faso

    The full report is currently available in: French.

    OVERVIEW

    Roch Marc Christian Kaboré’s victory in the 29 November presidential election shows that Burkinabes aspire as much to change as to continuity. A former heir apparent to Blaise Compaoré, Kaboré symbolises both the stability of the former regime and, given his split from Compaoré, the desire for change. The new government must deliver on many challenges: major socio-economic needs, demands for justice, the fight against corruption and impunity, army reform and growing regional threats. The government will have to refrain from triumphalism, recognise the formidable challenges ahead and, most importantly, resist the temptation to recreate a Compaoré-like system of one-party hegemony. Without this, Burkinabes will massively return to the streets, as in October 2014 and September 2015, which could plunge the country back into crisis.

    For now, however, a sense of relief is in order: the long and fragile transition was completed peacefully. By organising the free and fair 29 November elections, the transition fulfilled its principal purpose. It did not, however, manage to resolve all outstanding issues of the Compaoré years: economic crimes and acts of violence committed under the former regime have gone unpunished. The September 2015 attempted coup allowed the country to rid itself of at least the presidential guard (RSP). While the RSP’s dissolution is another step toward dismantling the Compaoré system, it does not solve the thorny issue of the future of the former regime’s partisans. The real transition – the one that should lead to the consolidation of democracy and the introduction of a new form of governance – begins now, with the installation of the new authorities.

    The grace period will not last. Dire budgetary realities mean the new president will struggle to meet immediately the population’s high expectations, especially their socioeconomic demands. The presence of violent extremist groups in neighbouring countries is another threat. The October 2015 attack on a gendarmerie post in the west of the country, the first of its kind in Burkina Faso, is evidence of the worsening security environment. The inauguration of new authorities could be followed by a rapid deterioration of the social climate, which, combined with regional security threats, could create an explosive cocktail and block the new government’s scope for action. Furthermore, the September coup attempt demonstrated that the armed forces remain a key actor in the country’s political life. The military’s ability to interfere in political affairs, a constant feature of Burkina Faso’s history since 1966, did not disappear with the RSP’s dissolution.

    The political class will eventually have to solve its own disputes. It will be particularly difficult for some of Compaoré affiliates to accept the accession to power of their ex-comrades-turned-enemies of the Movement of People for Progress (MPP) – founded in January 2014 as an outgrowth of the former ruling Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) party. This animosity could generate further tensions, especially if the new government succumbs to the temptation of a witch hunt against members of the former regime, and if some Compaoré followers choose destabilisation as their strategy to demonstrate that they remain a force to be reckoned with.

    If Compaoré associates decide to use neighbouring Côte d’Ivoire as a rear base, as was allegedly the case during the September coup and the foiled attack against the Ouagadougou military prison last December, relations between Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire could rapidly deteriorate. The bone of contention between the two countries has grown over the last two months. In addition to the suspected involvement of some Ivorian dignitaries in the September coup, the Ivorian authorities have so far ignored an arrest warrant against Compaoré issued on 4 December by a Burkinabè military court.

    The October 2014 uprising that ousted Compaoré after 27 years in power marked a major upheaval in Burkina Faso, and the September 2015 coup was the first aftershock. Despite the peaceful elections, the country is not immune to future trouble as it opens a new chapter of its history. Many short- and long-term measures could be adopted to reduce the risk of future instability.

    • The new authorities should organise a constructive dialogue with unions, and quickly adopt social appeasement measures, focusing on youth and the country’s poorest regions.

    • The new authorities should rapidly begin to reform the army and develop a global defence and security strategy through the publication of a white paper. Army reform should be carried out under parliamentary supervision and the commission in charge of it should include civilians and retired military officers.

    • The role of the National High Council of Elders should be constitutionalised, as was recommended by the reconciliation commission, so that its function as an institution supporting the resolution and prevention of social and political crises is fully established.

    • Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso should continue to strengthen their relationship as part of the 2008 Friendship and Cooperation Treaty. Ivorian leaders should move past their political ties with former Compaoré regime officials and make Burkina Faso’s stability a priority, if necessary by cooperating with Burkina Faso’s courts.

    • Burkina Faso’s international partners should stay mobilised to provide adequate financial assistance, in particular to help the government deal with social demands. This support is particularly important given Burkina Faso’s position as one of the last islands of stability in an increasingly troubled region.

    Dakar/Brussels, 7 January 2016


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