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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Maiduguri, Nigeria | AFP | Saturday 2/6/2016 - 18:41 GMT

    Suspected Boko Haram Islamists have killed four people following raids on villages in Nigeria's northeastern Borno state, a local official and residents said on Saturday.

    The motorcycle-riding Islamists late Friday raided two communities, setting homes ablaze, and killing three women and a man in the village of Mairi, they said.

    The raids came barely a week after the attack on the village of Dalori, just outside Maiduguri, capital of the restive state, which left at least 85 people dead.

    The senator representing the area, Babakaka Garbai, confirmed the killings.

    "They killed four persons... and burnt all the houses," he said during a condolence visit to the two affected communities.

    One Mairi resident, Baana Bukar, said the attackers rode into the community "and started shooting sporadically."

    Residents were "taken unawares as many people were relaxing after the late night Muslim prayers," he said.

    "We took to our heels to escape the attack. When we returned in the morning we discovered four persons died," he said.

    The women died when their homes were set on fire, "but the man was shot dead with a gun," he added.

    Ahmed Tijjani, a senior local vigilante, said in the second raided village of Malari "the people had escaped after hearing gun shots before their arrival."

    The attackers also set ablaze all private and public buildings in Malari, he added.

    Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari had in December claimed that Nigeria had largely won the fight against Boko Haram.

    Boko Haram which seeks a hardline Islamic state in northern Nigeria has killed some 17,000 people and forced more than 2.6 million others to flee their homes since the start of its insurgency in 2009.

    str-ade/boc

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: International Peace Institute
    Country: Nigeria, World

    Introduction

    L’International Peace Institute (Institut international pour la paix, IPI), en partenariat avec l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) et le Centre pourles Stratégies de sécurité dansle Sahel-Sahara (Centre 4S), a organisé une rencontre intitulée : « L’extrémisme violent : Vers une stratégie de prévention dans l’espace francophone » à Tunis, Tunisie, les 7 et 8 décembre 2015.

    L’objectif était de développer une meilleure compréhension commune de la radicalisation et de l’extrémisme violent et de ses causes sous-jacentes dans l’espace francophone et de s'accorder sur les réponses idoines pour y faire face. Il s’agissait de commencer par faire un état des lieux de la problématique, d’évaluer les approches et politiques passées, et de développer des pistes stratégiques pour les pays qui ont le français en partage.

    La rencontre a rassemblé 45 participants venant d’Algérie, du Burkina Faso, du Cameroun, du Canada, de France, de Libye, du Mali, du Maroc, de Mauritanie, du Niger, des Pays-Bas, du Sénégal, de Suisse, du Tchad et de Tunisie, y compris des femmes, des jeunes, des religieux et des autorités coutumières, des représentants des gouvernements et du secteur privé de ces pays, ainsi que des représentants des organisations sous régionales, régionales et internationales.

    Ce séminaire s’inscrit dans le cadre de la mise en œuvre de la Déclaration de Dakar du 30 Novembre 2014, et en préparation de la conférence de Paris de 2016 sur la lutte contre le terrorisme. Les conclusions présentées dans cette note serviront au développement d'éléments d'un nouveau Plan d’action global de la Francophonie pour lutter contre l’extrémisme violent et le terrorisme.


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


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    Bamako, Mali | AFP | dimanche 07/02/2016 - 13:15 GMT

    L'ex-rébellion à dominante touareg du nord du Mali et une coalition armée alliée au gouvernement sont tombées d'accord pour cohabiter pacifiquement à Kidal, bastion des insurgés où les pro-régime sont récemment entrés sans heurts, selon un communiqué commun reçu dimanche par l'AFP.

    Des centaines de membres de la Plateforme, coalition de groupes armés soutenant le gouvernement malien, sont entrés sans violences le 2 février à Kidal (extrême nord-est), sous contrôle de la Coordination des mouvements de l'Azawad (CMA, ex-rébellion).

    La Plateforme et la CMA avaient assuré agir en bonne intelligence, sans toutefois lever des craintes de violences entre leurs hommes, qui se sont dans le passé affrontés en dépit de la signature par les deux camps, en mai-juin 2015, de l'accord de paix au Mali conclu après des mois de négociations à Alger.

    Les combats ont cependant cessé depuis la conclusion de "pactes d'honneur" entre les belligérants le 16 octobre 2015, au terme de trois semaines de rencontres à Anéfis, près de Kidal.

    Samedi, des représentants de la Plateforme et de la CMA se sont réunis à Kidal et, à l'issue "de longs débats", les deux parties ont notamment "réaffirmé leur engagement à résoudre tout différend entre elles par la voie du dialogue", selon leur communiqué commun signé notamment par Hanoune Ould Ali pour la Plateforme et Alghabass Ag Intalla pour la CMA.

    Le texte est aussi signé par le général El Hadj Ag Gamou, officier touareg loyaliste de l'armée réputé proche de la Plateforme, et Mohamed Ag Najim, un chef militaire de l'ex-rébellion.

    Alghabass Ag Intalla, chef d'une des principales composantes de la CMA, avait réclamé le 3 février le retrait de la Plateforme de Kidal, en attendant les discussions avec leurs responsables, pour éviter tout risque de reprise des hostilités.

    "La Plateforme allègera son dispositif militaire présent à Kidal", indique le communiqué commun, précisant que "les deux parties restent fermement attachés à l'accord de paix et de réconciliation au Mali", et que "des éléments de la Plateforme intègreront les commission chargées de la gestion de la ville".

    Le nord du Mali était tombé en mars-avril 2012 sous la coupe de groupes jihadistes après la déroute de l'armée face à la rébellion, d'abord alliée à ces groupes qui l'ont ensuite évincée.

    Les mouvements islamistes en ont été en grande partie chassés par l'intervention militaire internationale lancée en janvier 2013 à l'initiative de la France, qui se poursuit actuellement. Mais des zones entières échappent encore au contrôle des forces maliennes et étrangères.

    sd/cs/cyj


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Abuja, Nigeria | AFP | 2/8/2016 - 00:23 GMT

    Nigeria's army on Sunday said it has launched a probe into recent attacks by Boko Haram militants which claimed dozens of lives of lives near Maiduguri, capital of northeast Borno state.

    At least 85 people died when insurgents stormed and torched a village on January 30, the third attack in four days defying President Muhammadu Buhari's claim Nigeria had largely defeated the jihadist group.

    "The recent unfortunate attacks by Boko Haram terrorists on communities close to Maiduguri, despite our successes, call for concern," the army said.

    "The Nigerian Army has already commenced investigation into the attacks... All cases of indiscipline and related acts of misconduct including human rights abuse in the operations will be tried by the Special Court Martial," said the statement said, without clarifying what the probe was investigating.

    Thousands of people have fled their homes near Maiduguri for the capital and many are afraid to return, despite government assurances of their safety, after the recent attacks.

    Buhari in December claimed that Nigeria had largely won the fight against Boko Haram, but since then the militants have killed dozens in raids and suicide attacks, including across the border in Cameroon.

    Rights group Amnesty International has also accused the military itself of committing war crimes and possible crimes against humanity in the course of its operations against the group.

    Boko Haram, which seeks a hardline Islamic state in northern Nigeria, has killed some 17,000 people and forced more than 2.6 million others to flee their homes since the start of its insurgency in 2009.

    ola-ade/cah

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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

    HIGHLIGHTS

    • Thousands of people are being displaced in inaccessible areas of Borno State as the conflict between Boko Haram and the Nigerian Army continues.

    • Settlements in inaccessible parts of Borno have been completely destroyed.

    • Pilot relocations from schools due to take place on 4 February stalled following attack on Dalori village on 30 January.

    • Feedback from IDPs reveals complex attitudes towards relocations.

    FIGURES

    • people in need 7 m

    • food insecure people 4 m

    • IDPs 2.2 m

    • malnourished children 1.5 m

    • Nigerian refugees 230,000

    • returned refugees from Cameroon (since 1 Aug) 21,799

    FUNDING

    248 million HRP requirement (US$) 4% funded (as of 29 January)

    Behind the access lines in Borno State

    While still complex, humanitarian access to and inside Borno State has increased over the course of the last 12 months: the survey teams for the Displacement Tracking Matrix, for example, increased their access in the state from zero in December 2014 to 10 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in December 2015. International humanitarian partners are tackling the access issue by increasing use of national and local partnerships.

    As a result of these partnerships, information from these areas trickles in with increasing frequency, including information about population movements. Behind the access lines, people continue to move across borders in both directions, from inaccessible areas to Maiduguri, and within their own LGAs, largely as a result of Boko Haram activities and military clearance operations, or in search of resources.

    Over the course of January, OCHA has been informed of over 50,000 more people being displaced in the northeast of Borno State: approximately 1,600 have fled Marte and Mafa LGAs for Maiduguri following military clearance operations, and 50,000 have crossed international borders to return to Gamboru town in Gamboru-Ngala LGA. Some of the former refugees were brought back by Cameroonian authorities, but the vast majority returned to Gamboru voluntarily to escape deplorable living conditions in their places of refuge, despite ongoing insecurity, following news that much of the LGA had been recaptured. Ngala has seen almost complete destruction. In Gamboru town there are no services at all, and eyewitness accounts describe it as a ghost town.

    In Dikwa, the number of people taking refuge in a military camp in Dikwa town increased from 7,500 in September to 30,000 in November, according to humanitarian and government partners who have reached the LGA with ad-hoc assistance through national NGOs and local government partners. By mid-January, the figure had reached 80,000.
    Ongoing insecurity means that assistance can only be provided sporadically and needs cannot be properly assessed, so with ongoing displacements within the LGA, each delivery of food and other sundry items falls far short of meeting the rapidly-increasing needs of the escalating numbers. Even within these camps people are not safe, as military encampments are regularly targeted by Boko Haram.

    Internally displaced people (IDPs) from Dikwa have taken refuge in camps and host communities in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State. Some have arrived in the capital in the last couple of months. Their stories paint a picture of life behind the access lines


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Chad

    N'Djamena, Tchad | AFP | lundi 08/02/2016 - 08:29 GMT

    Le chef de file de l'opposition tchadienne, Saleh Kebzabo, a dénoncé l'arrestation d'une vingtaine de manifestants samedi par la police à N'Djamena, réclamant leur "libération immédiate", dans un communiqué reçu lundi par l'AFP.

    La marche pacifique, organisée par des associations en faveur de la jeunesse, "avait été préalablement annoncée, le parcours connu et les responsables identifiés. C'est donc une activité légale, qui n'a du reste connu aucun dérapage ni porté atteinte à l'ordre public", affirme M. Kebzabo, affirmant que des manifestants "auraient été brutalisés" par la police.

    Le responsable d'un petit parti d'opposition, Mahamat Barh (RPR), fait également partie des 23 personnes arrêtées, dont la majorité font partie du Collectif des Associations et Mouvements de jeunes du Tchad (CAMOJET), selon le leader de l'opposition.

    Le communiqué "condamne fermement ces pratiques anti-démocratiques dignes d'une république bananière et exige du gouvernement la libération immédiate de ces détenus politiques", ainsi que la "cessation de toute poursuite judiciaire à leur encontre".

    "A la veille de l'élection présidentielle du 10 avril 2016, le pouvoir-MPS montre une fois encore son vrai visage despotique, qu'incarne le président Idriss Déby Itno", affirme Saleh Kebzabo.

    La marche, organisée pour protester contre "la répression de toutes formes de violences dont (la jeunesse) est victime depuis 25 ans", intervenait après la dispersion violente par la police anti-émeute d'un sit-in organisé jeudi dans la capitale tchadienne par une centaine de jeunes diplômés devant le ministère de l'Education nationale.

    Ils étaient venus exiger leur intégration dans la Fonction publique, alors que la loi de finances pour 2016 suspend toute intégration pour les trois ans à venir.

    Selon le porte-parole de la police nationale, Paul Manga, les manifestants ont été arrêtés pour "trouble à l'ordre publique, la marche n'ayant pas été autorisée" et doivent être déférés devant la justice.

    Le Tchad, dirigé depuis 25 ans par le président Idriss Deby Itno, est classé parmi les 10 pays les plus pauvres du monde malgré sa rente pétrolière, selon l'indice de développement humain (IDH) des Nations unies.

    Après la découverte de gisements de pétrole en 2003, les revenus pétroliers lui ont permis de moderniser son armée, de se doter d'un meilleur réseau routier et de construire de nombreux bâtiments publics. Mais l'amélioration des conditions de vie de la population n'a pas suivi.

    Les fonctionnaires, notamment les enseignants, font grève régulièrement pour percevoir leurs arriérés de salaire.

    cl/sba

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Oxfam
    Country: Chad

    Avant propos par le Directeur Pays

    Depuis mon arrivée en octobre 2014 pour la première fois dans la famille Oxfam, et la première fois au Tchad, je continue à être inspiré par la manière dont cette organisation aide les personnes vivant dans la vulnérabilité à se prendre en charge et subvenir à leurs besoins.
    Lors de la visite dans le Bahr El Gazal en février 2015 j’ai rencontré des groupements des femmes productrices d’Oignons dans la zone de Chadra, braves femmes qui, avec l’appui d’Oxfam ont réussi á booster leur production.

    J’ai été aussi particulièrement marqué par l’émergence du leadership féminin rural très solide construit sous les auspices du collège des femmes membres du CNCPRT de Doba, un des partenaires d’Oxfam au Tchad.

    Le dynamisme de ces femmes conscientes des injustices et des inégalités qu’elles subissent, disposent désormais de connaissances et des compé-tences pour provoquer des changements en ayant une bonne connaissance des voies de recours possibles. Ces femmes sont désormais outillées pour user des compétences acquises afin de briser les résistances à leur émancipation. Elles ont dé-veloppé une assurance à aborder le dialogue avec les décideurs, une certaine confiance en soi dans les débats, et même une fierté à apporter de la valeur-ajoutée dans les processus décisionnels.
    Notre programme dans le cadre duquel ces femmes sont formées, combine des facteurs politiques et économiques pour garantir une durabilité des résultats obtenus avec la présence de plus en plus croissante du leadership féminin rural dans les processus décisionnels.

    J´ai le même sentiment d´encouragement lorsque je converse avec les vendeuses de poissons de N’Djamena, encadrées et formées par Oxfam, ou le groupement de productrices du village de Gormolo à Mangalme, qui ne parcourent plus des dizaines de km pour moudre leurs graines. Ou lorsque Idriss assistant vétérinaire du village de Dirbeye qui a créé son troupeau et son verger qui lui rapportent en moyenne prés de 6 millions CFA par an, bien loin au dessus du seuil de pauvreté.

    Pour plus d´efforts en faveur des pauvres au Tchad Le Tchad, connait ces dernières années une croissance économique soutenue; cependant comme les autres pays pétroliers africains, le Tchad reste un pays de contrastes avec des défis humanitaires majeurs.

    D’importantes ressources pétrolières sont engrangées, mais le pays connait une pauvreté élevée.
    Son Indice sur le Développement Humain est parmi les plus bas du monde.

    Sur le chemin du changement Présent au Tchad depuis plus de 45 ans, Oxfam continue à s'adopter aux contextes constamment changeants afin de rester efficace, efficient et pertinent .C’est ainsi, que dans le cadre de ses efforts pour être une organisation véritablement mondiale d’ici 2020, Oxfam a fait des progrès importants vers une structure unifiée au Tchad.

    Les deux affiliés actifs au Tchad (Oxfam Intermon et Oxfam GB) continuent de mettre en œuvre des programmes conformément à la vision stratégique.
    Les changements et résultats tangibles signifient aussi que nous allons travailler pour promouvoir le partenariat avec les organisations tchadiennes tant au niveau stratégique qu’opérationnel.

    En dépit de ces processus de changement, les défis externes et internes restent majeurs, notamment l’accès aux ressources financières.
    Toutefois, nous continuons à produire des succès importants tel que expliqué dans le présent rapport.
    Je tiens à remercier tous les employés, les partenaires, les bailleurs et les autorités pour leur soutien sans faille à Oxfam.

    À travers les différentes sections de ce rapport, je vous invite à découvrir le travail d'Oxfam au Tchad, réalisé sous nos quatre programmes à savoir le Moyen d’Existence et la Sécurité Alimentaire, l’Action Humanitaire, la Bonne Gouvernance Economique et le Programme droits de femme Je vous en souhaite une bonne lecture

    Mamadou Cire DIALLO Directeur Pays Oxfam au Tchad


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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal

    Nairobi, 8 février 2016 (IRIN) - Depuis quelques semaines, les forces de l’ordre sont sur le qui-vive dans la capitale sénégalaise, Dakar. La police et l’armée, présentes dans les rues, procèdent à des fouilles de voiture et appréhendent les militants islamistes présumés.

    Read the full article


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Nigeria

    Highlights

    Humanitarian Context

    • Due to the security situation, humanitarian access to people in need remains highly difficult in the Far North Region and in some areas close to the border with Central Africa Republic. This results in difficulties for UNICEF and humanitarians partners to procure assistance to people in need.

    • The humanitarian crisis in the Far North region continues to deteriorate; the increasing number of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), on top of the pre-existing nutrition crisis and increasing food insecurity is resulting in a complex humanitarian emergency.

    • The humanitarian situation related to refugees coming across the border from the Central African Republic (CAR) does not evolve.

    • 123 choleras cases (6 deaths) and 9,874 measles cases (39 deaths) have been reported in 2015.

    In figures

    • In the context of the deteriorating crisis in the Far North, more than 58,000 children benefited from psychosocial support and 1,261 children under 5 years old with severe acute malnutrition were admitted to nutritional centres, exceeding planned targets for 2015.

    • In 2015, more than 16,000 refugee children from CAR in Eastern Cameroon received access to education in temporary learning spaces, and 72,400 children benefited from learning and teaching supplies, reaching respectively 73% and 105% of the planned 2015 targets.

    • In response to the nutrition crisis, over 55,000 children under 5 with severe acute malnutrition (95% of the planned target) were admitted for therapeutic care.

    • In response to the measles outbreak, UNICEF supported the measles campaign organized by the Ministry of health in 189 health districts; almost 9,230,000 children from 9 months to 14 years (97.8% of the target) were immunized against measles and rubella.


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Mali, Niger

    Aperçu général

    Des accords de Paix ont été signés en Juin 2015, entre le Gouvernement du Mali et les groupes armés du nord Mali. Toutefois, jusqu’à présent, la signature des accords de paix au nord Mali n’a pas notablement influencé le mouvement de rapatriement des réfugiés Maliens vivant au Niger, comme l’indiquent les chiffres de retour depuis Juin 2015. Le Gouvernement du Niger et l’UNHCR considèrent que la situation actuelle n'est pas encore propice à la promotion du retour des réfugiés dans la sécurité et la dignité. Le Gouvernement du Niger et l'UNHCR continuent toutefois de partager avec les réfugiés les informations en leur possession, concernant la situation au nord Mali, pour permettre aux réfugiés de prendre des décisions informées.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Maiduguri, Nigeria | AFP | Tuesday 2/9/2016 - 03:27 GMT | 756 words

    by Phil HAZLEWOOD

    Bitrus Yakubu has an uplifting story about how he was reunited with his pregnant wife weeks after they were separated fleeing from Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria.

    His wife, Maryam, then gave birth to twins Grace and Sidi seven months ago. They all now live together in a tent in one of more than a dozen camps that dot Maiduguri for those made homeless by the conflict.

    But ask the 45-year-old farmer whether he will return to his home town of Baga, on the shores of Lake Chad in the far north of Borno state, and he shakes his head.

    "How can I take myself to death?" he asked. "Only when (Baga) is secure and everything has been put back in place, that's when we will go back."

    The yearning for home is understandably strong in the camp, where life revolves around communal tents and long days are spent chatting under trees or seeking shade from the harsh sun in any available shadow.

    Martina Sumaila, originally from Monguno, 60 kilometres (37 miles) from Baga, and Ramatu John, who comes from Gwoza, in the southeast of Borno state, both managed to go home last year.

    But they returned to Maiduguri soon afterwards and painted a bleak picture of burnt and looted houses, polluted water supplies, stolen livestock and a lack of food supplies.

    "There are soldiers on the road and in the town but in the surrounding villages, the gunmen are there and they make incursions," Sumaila, a 45-year-old mother of eight, told AFP.

    "We dare not go into the bush. If somebody drives with his vehicle, they will kill him and take the vehicle."

    • 'Boko Haram are everywhere' -

    Nigeria's government maintains it now has the upper hand against Boko Haram, nearly seven years after the start of the Islamist insurgency that has killed at least 17,000 and displaced some 2.6 million.

    "Life is getting better," advertisements on the state-run television station NTA proclaim. "All occupied territories have been recovered. Nigeria is winning the war against Boko Haram."

    Certainly the Borno state capital Maiduguri, with its heavy military presence, checkpoints and security patrols, appears relatively calm and its inhabitants seem more positive about the future.

    But attacks such as that on January 31 near one of the camps for displaced people 10 kilometres from the city that left at least 85 dead suggest Boko Haram is still an active and deadly force.

    John, a 49-year-old mother of five, returned to her village of Goshe near Gwoza with a military convoy in July last year, only to come back to Maiduguri three months later.

    She dismisses outright the suggestion of another trip.

    "Boko Haram are in my village," she said. "If our people return with Boko Haram everywhere in my village, how do we get in?"

    • False sense of security -

    Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari declared in December that Boko Haram were "technically defeated", fulfilling a promise that got him elected of a swift end to the insurgency.

    He had promised to bring the conflict to a close by the end of last year.

    Focus has since switched to the future of the two million or so internally displaced. Last week the Borno state government said it plans to return 50,000 to their homes this month.

    But foreign agencies involved in providing shelter, food and healthcare for IDPs in Maiduguri privately voice doubts about the wisdom of the policy. One called it "suicide mission".

    Mohammed Kanar, northeast coordinator for Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency, indirectly suggested not everywhere may be safe.

    Internally displaced people (IDPs) being escorted home by soldiers were only being taken to holding camps "wherever there's a military presence", he told AFP.

    Then there is the cost of reconstruction in an already chronically under-developed region, heaping an enormous financial burden on a struggling national economy hit by the fall in global oil prices.

    Theophilus Danjuma, who heads a presidential committee on resettlement and reconstruction, has put the short-term cost of reconstruction at more than two trillion naira ($1 billion).

    For now, life remains on hold for the tens of thousands of IDPs still in Maiduguri.

    Naomi Danjuma, a 30-year-old mother of five, says she will eventually return to Baga, where Boko Haram killed her father, an elder brother, her uncles and a cousin.

    But the conditions have to be right: food has to be available, help at hand for reconstructing homes, plus schools and healthcare for her children.

    "They need to give us... some incentive to rebuild our lives," she said.

    abu-phz/sf/ach

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Assessment Capacities Project
    Country: Afghanistan, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guatemala, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

    Syria: The military offensive in Aleppo governorate has displaced more than 40,000 people since late January, and the number of displaced is reported to be increasing. There is concern that a siege of opposition-held areas of Aleppo city is imminent. An estimated 20,000 newly displaced Syrians are stuck at the Bab al Salam crossing along the Syria–Turkey border, as Turkey has denied them entry into Turkish territory.

    Iraq: Conflict in Anbar province continues to drive severe humanitarian needs. As government and Popular Mobilisation Forces strengthen their positions around Falluja, besieged citizens face worsening shortages of food, fuel and medicines. Basic food prices have soared over 500% since December.

    Ukraine: Conflict is escalating again, mostly around Donetsk, Gorlovka, Azov and Mariupol. As a result of fighting and restricted access, 290,000 people are severely food insecure. In addition, more than 3.2 million cases of swine flu have been reported since the end of September: epidemic thresholds have been exceeded in 19 of 27 regions. Medical shortages are being reported, and over 120 people have died because they did not receive timely medical assistance.

    Zimbabwe: A typhoid outbreak has been reported in the capital Harare, with over 800 suspected and confirmed cases recorded as of 7 February. The outbreak is likely related to the water shortage in many reservoirs, caused by the ongoing drought, which is forcing people to use water from unsafe sources. Many areas in eastern Zimbabwe have been experiencing less than a quarter of normal rainfall, since the beginning of January.

    Global Emergency Overview Web Interface


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


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Ibadan, Nigeria | AFP | Wednesday 2/10/2016 - 03:56 GMT

    by Aderogba OBISESAN

    Cassava, the starch rusty-coloured root that is a staple in Nigeria, is a paradigm of the problem the import-dependent nation now faces as the plunge in oil prices crimps the economy.

    The root is used to make "eba" and "fufu" -- filling pastes that are beloved dishes in Nigerian homes -- but there are a myriad of uses for cassava, including making flour and beer.

    The problem -- and opportunity -- that cassava production presents is that Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, does not produce as much as it could, nor of the quality to make it a thriving business.

    To enable Nigeria to wean itself off imports of rice and wheat, a project aims to help farmers ramp up cassava production through a new scheme with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

    "Nigeria spends 635 billion naira ($3.2 billion) annually on wheat importation," a leading agronomist and representative of the agriculture minister, Comfort Doyin Awe, said.

    Cassava should emerge as a wheat substitute instead, with Nigerians baking loaves of cassava bread, she told experts at a meeting organised by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in the southwestern city of Ibadan late last month.

    As it is eaten across west Africa, cassava could even become a much-needed foreign currency earner, if Nigerian farmers and processors can improve the quality of their production.

    "We don't add value to our cassava. It will help Nigeria if we do that. We need good quality cassava flour," Awe said.

    -\ Need finance, fertiliser, tools -

    While prices are high Nigeria's oil exports bring in plenty of foreign exchange earnings, helping underpin an exchange rate for the naira that allows the country to import major amounts of wheat flour.

    But as prices have crashed from above $100 per barrel in July 2014 to around $30 now the country can no longer afford to do so.

    So far the leaders have preferred to limit access to foreign currency to support the exchange rate for the naira, but that approach will soon choke off imports and many see the government ultimately being forced to devalue the unit, making imported wheat unaffordable for many.

    That means Nigerians will increasingly look to cassava farmers like Sifawu Safiu.

    But that hope looks forlorn as she yanks out tubers from the red soil in a village on the outskirts of Ibadan, shaking her head with disappointment.

    "I am not happy with the cassava my farm is yielding," the 61-year-old told AFP.

    "I don't use fertiliser. I need financial help to improve my yield."

    Fatima Taju, another farmer working on a nearby farm, said she needs better tools.

    Unable to afford machines to do the heavy work, small farmers use hoes and machetes to harvest their crops.

    The mostly illiterate farmers have scarce funds to buy fertilisers or pesticides and often cannot access resources to learn better cultivation methods.

    As a result, cassava output in sub-Saharan Africa stands at 10 tonnes per hectare, far below potential yields of more than 30 tonnes.

    - 'Improve yields, quality, supply, incomes' -

    Decades of neglect of the farming industry will have to be overcome quickly if the nation of about 170 million people is to dodge an impending food crisis due to a reliance on rice and wheat imports.

    That is where the African Cassava Agronomy Initiative steps in with $14.4 million in funding from the Gates' foundation.

    It aims to improve cassava yields in Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo through teaching farmers modern ways of planting and weeding, and linking them up to loan and fertiliser sources.

    "This will massively improve the yield and income of farmers," IITA spokesman Godwin Atser said, with improving quality also a goal of the programme.

    Up to 150,000 households across the five countries are expected to benefit from the cassava cultivation scheme during its five-year timeframe, said IITA's director for central Africa, Bernard Vanlauwe.

    "The value of benefits from this project ... is expected to rise to at least $40 million" during its five-year span, he said.

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    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Cameroon, Nigeria

    Yaoundé, Cameroun | AFP | mercredi 10/02/2016 - 09:12 GMT

    Au moins six civils ont été tués et une trentaine blessés mercredi matin dans un double attentat-suicide à Nguetchewe, village de l'extrême-nord du Cameroun, région frontalière du Nigeria régulièrement attaquée par les islamistes de Boko Haram, selon une source sécuritaire.

    "Six civils ont été tués, plus deux kamikazes qui se sont fait exploser" lors d'une veillée de deuil à Nguetchewe, a affirmé une source sécuritaire sur place à l'AFP, faisant état de "30 à 50 blessés", dont les plus graves ont été évacués vers l'hôpital régional de Maroua.

    "Les villageois étaient rassemblés sur un lieu de deuil lorsque deux kamikazes se sont infiltrées comme si elles faisaient partie de la famille", a expliqué cette source.Les deux filles "se sont fait exploser vers 6H20 du matin, au moment où les personnes qui avaient passé la nuit sur place s'apprêtaient à prendre leur repas", a précisé la source.

    Selon un responsable de la police camerounaise basé dans la région, plusieurs enfants font partie des tués, notamment un garçon âgé de six ans et un jeune de 15 ans. Au moins un villageois membre du comité local de vigilance (créé en réaction à la multiplication des attaques islamistes dans le nord, ndlr) a été également été tué.

    Le 18 janvier, quatre fidèles avaient déjà été tués dans un attentat-suicide à la mosquée de Nguetchewe.

    C'est le cinquième attentat-suicide perpétré dans l'Extrême-Nord depuis le début de l'année 2016.

    Depuis que les islamistes nigérians ont commencé à attaquer le territoire camerounais en 2013, près de 1.200 personnes ont été tuées dans des attaques et des attentats perpétrés par les jihadistes dans la région de l'Extrême-Nord, selon le gouvernement camerounais.

    Nguetchewe est un petit village proche de la frontière avec le Nigeria où un prêtre français, le père Georges Vandenbeusch, avait été enlevé en novembre 2013 avant d'être libéré au bout de 50 jours de captivité.

    Cet enlèvement avait été attribué au groupe Boko Haram qui a depuis rallié l'organisation de l'Etat islamique (EI).

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    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development
    Country: Chad, Niger

    Le lac Tchad, dont la superficie atteignait les 25 000 km2 en 1963, couvre aujourd’hui moins de 2500km2. Pourtant, la catastrophe avait été prévue et annoncée, et une Commission du Bassin du Lac Tchad avait été créée dès 1964 par ses quatre pays limitrophes, le Cameroun, le Tchad, le Niger et le Nigeria, afin de gérer ses eaux de manière durable et coopérative. Aujourd’hui, les eaux ont reculé au point que seuls le Cameroun et le Tchad comptent encore une rive au sein de leurs frontières. Selon les prévisions climatiques de la « National Aeronautics and Space Administration » (NASA), le lac pourrait bien se tarir dans les vingt prochaines années si rien n’est fait.

    Le changement climatique, facteur de tensions sociales, de conflits et de migrations

    Le retrait du lac Tchad a aggravé une situation déjà périlleuse, dans une zone où l’indice de développement humain est parmi les plus faibles au monde. La combinaison du changement climatique, des pressions démographiques, de l'activité humaine, et de la mauvaise gestion des ressources hydriques restantes conduit à la catastrophe écologique.

    L'impact est sévère sur la vie de millions de personnes qui dépendent du lac Tchad pour leurs moyens de subsistance, mais aussi sur la paix et la sécurité dans la région, et les jeunes sont désœuvrés face à la pauvreté et le chômage qui en résultent.

    L’assèchement du lac Tchad, un facteur d’aggravation de la pauvreté dans la région

    Des millions de personnes ont vu leurs moyens de subsistance détruits par le rétrécissement du lac Tchad. La plupart manquent d'éducation ou de compétences pour gagner leur vie autrement qu’à travers l'agriculture, l'élevage et la pêche, activités qui ne sont aujourd’hui plus ou difficilement praticables du fait de l’assèchement du lac. Il n’y a par ailleurs pas d’industries de taille importante, ni suffisamment d’emplois rémunérés pour ceux qui ont reçu une éducation formelle. Ainsi, avec les menaces écologiques auxquelles la région est confrontée, la pauvreté ne fait qu'empirer : 5 millions de personnes ont aujourd’hui besoin d’une assistance alimentaire et plus de 200 000 enfants de moins de 5 ans souffrent de malnutrition aigüe.

    La baisse des niveaux d'eau, la conséquente déforestation et la désertification ont également affecté les pâturages traditionnels de bergers et pasteurs nomades, qui ont été forcés de se déplacer vers de nouvelles zones pour faire paître leur bétail, aggravant les conflits avec les propriétaires fonciers locaux.

    Au Niger, une étude récente effectuée par ACTED a montré que l’assèchement des points d’eau, la modification des couloirs de transhumance et l’insécurité, qui empêchent les troupeaux dans le nord de la région de descendre vers le Nigeria et entraînent la fuite de ceux qui se trouvaient au sud vers le nord, se traduit par une inhabituelle concentration des troupeaux dans certaines zones, en particulier autour du lac Tchad, augmentant la pression sur les points d’eau et zones de pâturage déjà insuffisants en temps normal.

    Des populations déplacées par les conséquences du changement climatique

    La violence continue d'alimenter les déplacements à grande échelle dans la région du lac Tchad. En raison de l’insécurité de la zone et du manque de pâturage, de nombreuses personnes ont modifié leurs déplacements depuis 2013. Depuis juillet 2015, plus de 71 000 personnes ont fui le Nigeria et le nord du Cameroun pour s’installer sur les rives du lac Tchad. Actuellement, le niveau du lac est si bas que les violences se multiplient sur ses rives, si bien que ces villages sont à leur tour en train de se vider. Début novembre, près de 900 ménages ont fui vers l’intérieur des terres au Niger. Tous ces déplacés font face à des besoins pressants en abris d'urgence, en nourriture, ainsi qu’en accès à l’eau et aux structures d’assainissement et de santé.

    Au total, 2,5 millions de personnes sont aujourd’hui déplacés dans cette région du monde. Leur installation sur les rives du lac Tchad au Niger et au Tchad accentue la compétition pour les terres et les ressources naturelles entre les communautés.

    Le bassin du lac Tchad fournit également une importante vague de migrants qui quittent la région vers les pays voisins ou plus loin à la recherche d’opportunités que leur région d'origine ne fournit pas ou plus.

    ACTED intervient au Niger et au Tchad pour renforcer la sécurité alimentaire et soutenir les populations déplacées

    Dans ce cadre, ACTED déploie divers projets dans la région en vue d’appuyer les populations déplacées. Avec l’appui du Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés (UNHCR) et du Fonds des Nations Unies pour l’enfance (UNICEF), ACTED gère notamment les sites d’accueil des réfugiés et des déplacés au sud du Niger et renforce l’accès aux infrastructures sanitaires dans ces camps et dans les villages hôtes.

    Puis, avec l’appui du Programme alimentaire mondial (PAM), ACTED organise dans la région du lac des distributions de vivres à destination des populations réfugiées ou déplacées, et de farine enrichie pour les femmes enceintes et les enfants de moins de deux ans, afin de renforcer la situation alimentaire et nutritionnelle des plus vulnérables dans ce contexte de crise, de faible disponibilité et de pression sur les ressources.

    ACTED a également soutenu la mise en place des activités génératrices de revenus alternatives à la pêche, au maraîchage et au pastoralisme pour les réfugiés et déplacés.

    L'histoire récente de la région fournit ainsi un instantané de la façon dont le changement climatique entraîne déjà des tensions sociales, des conflits et des migrations. Sans une action urgente et décisive, les chances d’une quelconque amélioration de l’état du lac Tchad et des conditions de vie des 30 millions de personnes qui en dépendent s’éloignent. Et sans action, les perspectives de stabilité dans la région s’assombrissent.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Cameroon, Nigeria

    Yaoundé, Cameroon | AFP | Wednesday 2/10/2016 - 09:35 GMT

    At least six civilians were killed and over 30 injured Wednesday in a double suicide attack in Cameroon's northern border region with Nigeria, which is regularly attacked by Boko Haram fighters, security sources said.

    The attackers, who were also killed, were both female, said a source.

    "Six civilians were killed as well as two suicide bombers who blew themselves up" during a funeral wake in the village of Nguetchewe, a source told AFP, adding that between 30-50 people were injured.

    "The villagers were gathered for the wake when two suicide attackers joined them, pretending to be family members," said the source.

    The two female bombers "blew themselves up at 6:20 am, just when people who had spent the night there were preparing for a meal."

    A police source in the region said several children, including a boy aged six and a 15-year-old, were among the victims. At least one member of a local committee set up in response to the upsurge in Islamic attacks was also killed.

    The most seriously injured were evacuated to a regional hospital in Maroua.

    It is the fifth suicide attack in Cameroon's far north region since the start of the year. On January 18 four people were killed in an attack at Nguetchewe's mosque.

    Nearly 1,200 people have been killed since Nigerian Islamists began staging attacks in neighbouring Cameroon in 2013, according to government figures.

    Nguetchewe is a small village near the border with Nigeria where a French priest, Georges Vandenbeusch, was kidnapped in November 2013. He was held for 50 days before being released.

    The kidnapping were blamed on Boko Haram, which has since sworn allegiance to the Islamic State group based in Syria and Iraq.

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    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Institute for Security Studies
    Country: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali

    Haile Menkerios, head of the United Nations (UN) office to the African Union (AU), speaks to the PSC Report about the ‘division of labour’ between the UN and the AU when it comes to peacekeeping.

    He also addresses the issue of UN funding for AU peacekeeping missions and whether the two institutions see eye to eye on the issues of human rights and robust peace enforcement.

    Who is responsible for peace and security and fighting terrorism in Africa, the UN or the AU?

    The UN Security Council (UNSC) has the primary responsibility for global peace and security, but at the same time the regional organisations and countries also do have the authority and definitely the responsibility to address threats within their region. This is particularly when it comes to any intervention on the basis of Chapter 8 of the UN Charter.

    How pro-active is the AU in this regard?

    There has been a proliferation of threats to international peace and security in Africa and the continent has been actively engaged in trying to solve them, to the point of establishing a Peace and Security Council (PSC) at the AU. It engages in every threat to peace and security in Africa and it is only when there is a decision or a need to intervene militarily that it has to get the endorsement of the UNSC. The AU, as well as the RECs (regional economic communities), has been getting engaged in situations where peace enforcement is needed, in other words, intervention when there is violent confrontation. The UN has generally intervened when there is peace to keep.

    Both the AU and the UN are involved in mediation, but African countries, because they are more affected by these conflicts directly, are then more prepared to intervene and stop wars. They are next door and therefore the consequences of violent conflict influences every aspect – economic, political and social – of their situation. The UN intervenes with political means.

    How strong is the AU–UN partnership?

    There has been growing recognition both in the AU and in the UNSC that it would be very difficult for either one of them to address the threats and challenges of peace and security alone. Therefore there has been the realisation of the need for collaboration and for partnership.

    This partnership has been developing more or less ad hoc. When a threat or an issue becomes paramount then we address it. We ask, what is the AU PSC’s thinking on it? What is the UN’s thinking on it? Then we try to find a means to address it.

    Now, with time, I think we’ve reached a level where both recognise their interdependency. There is a need to systematise this partnership and make it more strategic. Perhaps move to a partnership, a division of labour where Africa is prepared to intervene at the earlier stages of conflict when there is no peace to keep and for the UN to sort of take over when it is necessary with a much broader multi-faceted intervention.

    This has been happening in Mali and the Central African Republic?

    Yes, in reality this has developed as a matter of course and this division of labour has been the pattern lately, with the AU starting and then the UN taking over. So you can say, whereas there is no question about who is primarily responsible [for peace and security] – the primacy still rests with the UNSC – all African countries are members of the UN also and in practice there has been more delegation, more recognition that African countries’ taking action is very positive. They are contributing to international peace.

    The AU would like to access UN-assessed contributions to fund its peacekeeping operations. This issue of predictable funding was discussed at the UN General Assembly in September 2015. Is there a final decision? Is this now going to happen?

    It is still under discussion. First of all, in principle it is agreed that collaboration between the two [UN and AU] is needed. What form this collaboration should take is an issue not yet finalised.

    Number two is financing. How can we utilise the relative advantages that both organisations have? Africa is ready to intervene, but it doesn’t have the resources. The rest of the world has the resources but troop contributors are not ready to send people to fight wars in Africa. Therefore there is an interdependent relationship.

    So support to finance has generally come from voluntary contributions and some in the form of assessed contributions. For example in Somalia, there are some contributions [to the African Mission in Somalia] from assessed contributions and some still from bilateral contributions. But there is now an attempt to see how we can formalise this, particularly when Africa came up with the decision that it would raise 100% of the funds necessary for the management of the AU and its work, 75% of projects and 25% of peacekeeping.

    I think this has encouraged others also to then consider that the UNSC could pay the 75% [needed for peacekeeping] from assessed contributions. But then it would require that the AU would spend it and engage in peace enforcement and peacekeeping on the same bases and principles that the UN does. It would be required to adhere to the same stringent control mechanisms as well and this is being discussed.

    What are the timelines or deadlines for this?

    The secretary general has said that in pursuing the proposal of the High Level Panel on Peace Operations (the Hippo report) it was decided that the AU and UN, at secretariat level, would sign a new framework for cooperation. That would then define the relationship, which has already been part of the draft that my office has prepared along with the Peace and Security Department of the AU. We have agreed on these principles and it is a question now of trying to expand on these principles to be UN-wide and AU-wide. In his report to the General Assembly, he said that he would like to see such a framework signed within the coming year. Once that is done, it will be the basis for everything, including financing.

    Does it contain institutional changes?

    Well, it is a framework. It is not a programme. A framework for cooperation. Once we agree on the framework there will be a plan of action on how to implement it.

    People say the UN doesn’t want to fund the AU’s Multinational Joint Task Force against Boko Haram because of the fear that the force might not adhere to the UN’s requirements on respect for human rights, etc. How do you get around that?

    The question is not just that alone. Yes, it is an issue, but I think once the framework is there you can agree on the basis for intervention – for human rights, accountability, and all that. Once that framework is established it becomes easier to establish a common basis for engagement.

    The AU has a misconception that the UN – and the UNSC – doesn’t want to get involved in fighting terrorism. It does and it has been supportive of countries that are fighting against terrorism.

    It’s just that the UNSC has not yet decided to get engaged in peace enforcement and this is peace enforcement. So when others are getting engaged in peace enforcement, it would like to see it on the same standards and principles that the UN stands for – that there would be no support for those who abuse human rights in any way and also accountability.

    Has this been the problem with cooperation between the UN and the Congolese forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo?

    That is one problem. There should be consistency when it comes to international law. If people had committed international crimes, crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide, etc., then they have to be brought to justice.

    When countries don’t want to do that or if the AU doesn’t want to enforce it on the same level then the partnership becomes selective. And it is those kinds of principles that we would have to agree on before there could be smooth support to Africa’s engagement. There is growing recognition in the UN that you can’t stick to this old idea of peacekeeping when there is no peace to keep. There is increasing realities on the ground that even if 60% or 75% of a conflict is resolved, most wars don’t simply end, because these wars are not being fought between two nations, not between two organisations but between a multiplicity of actors. Therefore you can’t say ‘we have to wait until there is 100% peace’. If there is 80% you have to keep it. What happens with the 20%? How do you assist? I think there is increasing recognition in the UN as well to assist countries and governments to establish durable peace.

    Your office in Addis Ababa has been strengthened. What is your role?

    Our role is not to do everything that has to be done for partnership with the AU. It is a facilitator of dialogue. To facilitate and enhance the relationship and not necessarily getting engaged with the AU to implement what has been decided. The [entire] UN office represents the peace and security architecture of the whole UN, which includes the Department of Political Affairs, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support.

    So whatever actual work has to be done, is done by these departments. This is a liaison office that actually proposes and studies the AU and then proposes that this is how the AU sees it and then gets New York’s positions and views. And [it] builds this relationship, including the relationship between the two councils.

    Are the UNSC members in agreement on this strategy?

    We represent the secretary general, not the UNSC, but the secretary general works with the UNSC. There is growing recognition in the UNSC as a whole that on the threats to international peace in Africa they cannot do it without the collaboration of the AU.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, Sierra Leone, Togo

    BENIN

    12 DEAD IN LASSA FEVER OUTBREAK

    As of 5 February, 25 suspected cases of Lassa fever including 12 deaths had been reported in the country. The disease was first detected on 5 January following the death of a patient at a hospital in the central Tchaourou locality. Among other prevention measures, the Government and health partners are registering contacts, have set up isolations units and are stocking up on medication and equipment.

    CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

    US$ 9 MILLION FOR URGENT NEEDS RELEASED

    The country-based Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) has allocated US$ 9 million for life-saving assistance to internally displaced people (IDPs), returnees, refugees and vulnerable host communities. The funds will support projects responding to urgent needs such as improving access of affected populations to basic services and contribute to reducing violence in and among communities. Projects that include knowledge transfer to national NGOs will be prioritized.

    TOGO

    MENINGITIS OUTBREAK KILLS 13 IN NORTHERN REGION

    In a meningitis outbreak in the northern Kara region 162 cases were reported as of 6 February, killing 13 people. Medical treatment and sensitization on preventive measures are underway, as a vaccination drive is awaited.

    CHAD

    OVER 56,000 NEWLY IDENTIFIED IDPs

    More than 56,000 IDPs have been newly identified in 22 different sites in Liwa and Daboua districts in the north of the Lac region. According to a recent inter-cluster assessment, the majority of IDPs settled in the areas in November 2015 after fleeing their homes on Lake Chad islands near the Niger border. Other IDPs were already displaced in June and July 2015 due to Boko Haram attacks as well as large scale military operations. The displaced families so far have received little to no assistance, and humanitarian partners are looking into covering their most urgent needs.

    EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE

    MOST CONTACTS LEAVE QUARANTINE IN SIERRA LEONE

    No new Ebola cases were reported in the week ending 7 February. As of 3 February, only four contacts arising from the mid-January flare-up in Tonkolili district remained in quarantine. In Kambia district, efforts at the chiefdom level to trace missing contacts and search for any missed cases are ongoing.


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