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    Source:  US Department of State
    Country:  World, Afghanistan, Kenya, United States of America (the)

    POSTED BY MARGARET POLLACK / OCTOBER 11, 2012

    Margaret Pollack serves as Senior Advisor on Population Issues in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.

    Today, on the first International Day of the Girl Child, it's important to remember some of the most vulnerable girls in the world -- those living in post-conflict or other humanitarian settings. The special vulnerabilities of young women and girls -- to early marriage, unplanned pregnancies, gender-based violence and abuse -- can all be exacerbated when the normal protections of organized societies break down during times of conflict or crisis. Humanitarians have a special responsibility to meet the needs of these girls, and the United States is working with our international and non-governmental organization partners to ensure those most in need of protection are not forgotten.

    Our humanitarian assistance -- including the provision of health, shelter, nutrition, and water and sanitation programs -- supports the community, the family, and through this the whole child. To supplement this broad assistance, we support targeted activities, including the promotion of birth registration, education programs, programs to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, including eliminating harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM), and the provision of sexual and reproductive health services. In addition to this work on the ground, we are constantly striving to do better and be smarter in reaching out to and assisting the girls and young women living in refugee camps. Last year we helped fund the development and roll-out of special guidelines on caring for child survivors of sexual assault in humanitarian settings.

    Birth registration programs help ensure that every child is counted -- regardless of sex. Education programs provide protection and serve as an investment in future peace and stability. Providing access to education for refugee girls can be particularly challenging. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), only five girls were enrolled in school in 2011 for every ten boys in the East and Horn of Africa. Keeping adolescent girls in school is especially important as it is linked to lower rates of early marriage. Yet, adolescent girls often encounter unique challenges pursuing an education, including the simple lack of sanitary materials or the ability to purchase school supplies. In Kenya, we support primary education and vocational training programs for girls and other underserved populations in the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps to help improve access to education for all children. Girls who are married early or who become mothers while they are still very young themselves need particular support in order to continue their education. One program that's trying to address this in Afghanistan provides daycare to young mothers who participate in trainings on literacy, healthcare awareness and safe health practices, and women(tm)s rights within Islam and the Afghan Constitution -- thereby improving their health and the health of their children and families.

    In addition, we also work to support implementation of the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) for Reproductive Health, a set of priority life-saving activities to be implemented by humanitarian organizations such as UNHCR, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and non-governmental organization partners during the initial response to every humanitarian crisis. The MISP also serves as the basis for building comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services throughout protracted crises and through the recovery phase, including preventing sexual violence and providing assistance to survivors.

    The Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) supports a significant number of gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response programs globally. In Fiscal Year 2011 PRM provided an estimated $19.9 million to prevent and respond to GBV globally. Most PRM programs address not just sexual assault, but also harmful traditional practices, including early and forced marriage and FGM. The U.S. government has also provided over $160 million to UNFPA since 2009 to support reproductive health programs worldwide. UNFPA takes the lead among international organizations in addressing GBV and providing reproductive health care and services in many humanitarian settings, including reproductive health kits that contain essential supplies and equipment to partner organizations providing services in crisis settings.

    Through funding to international and non-governmental organization partners, PRM programming aims to help refugee and conflict affected children -- especially female children who face unique challenges -- thrive.


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    Source:  International Fund for Agricultural Development
    Country:  Ethiopia

    ROME, Italy, 11 October 2012 – A new collaboration between UN Women and the Rome-based UN agencies focuses on pooling best practices to accelerate women's economic empowerment. As the co-lead agency for Ethiopia, IFAD will be sharing and expanding some of its most successful approaches and innovations to help women gain more equal standing at home and in the community.

    Economic empowerment for women means three things: more money, more status and more decision-making power. With up to 45 per cent of the poorest women in developing countries exercising no control over their income, economic empowerment is a crucial first step towards greater equality.

    A new joint initiative for women's empowerment brings together the expertise and innovations of UN Women and the three Rome-based UN agencies: the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

    The joint programme, entitled ‘Accelerating Progress toward the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women', will be implemented in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Nepal, Niger and Rwanda.

    As the co-lead agency for Ethiopia, IFAD will oversee collaboration between the four agencies in-country, working in partnership with the government. The activities in Ethiopia will be in line with the special focus of Ethiopia's Growth and Transformation Plan (2010-2015) on promoting greater gender empowerment and equity, as well as the current joint initiative under the United Nations Development Assistance Framework with the government.

    "With this partnership we are bringing together the strengths and experience of each agency so that we can generate faster, broader and more durable changes for rural women and their families," says Clare Bishop-Sambrook, IFAD Senior Technical Adviser on Gender.

    "Our focus is particularly on improving women's access to resources, their status and rights both in the home and in the community, and promoting their leadership roles. We'll be collaborating through knowledge exchange, advocacy, policy dialogue and joint practical initiatives on the ground."

    Complementing each other's work

    IFAD has been working in Ethiopia since 1980. The country has the largest IFAD loan and grant portfolio in the East and Southern Africa region at US$387.9 million. IFAD-funded projects directly benefit more than 10 million households throughout the country, with activities that range from raising productivity for smallholder farmers and pastoral communities, to small-scale irrigation development, natural resource management and improving the access of poor rural people to financial services. The newly launched joint programme presents an opportunity to develop synergies through ongoing initiatives with the other Rome-based agencies, UN Women and the government.

    There are many areas of complementarity between the four agencies in Ethiopia where gender is concerned.

    The IFAD-funded Rural Financial Intermediation Programme introduced rural savings and credit cooperatives (RUSACCOs), a key source of finance for poor smallholder farmers, with a high success rate among rural women and their enterprises. Through its food security and nutrition programme, FAO also establishes RUSACCOs, with a particular emphasis on targeting women, and has reached a participation rate of about 58 per cent in target areas. The programme promotes the production and marketing of fuel-saving stoves, as well as poultry and other small livestock.

    WFP initiatives – the Purchase for Progress (P4P) and Purchase from Africans for Africa programme – are promoting food and nutrition security for women smallholder farmers and their families by helping them participate in agricultural markets, generate income, and improve skills, knowledge and access to credit. Collaboration through the joint programme will allow farmers participating in IFAD-supported programmes access to the same food markets set up by WFP. This will benefit two initiatives in particular: the new second phase of the Rural Financial Intermediation Programme and the ongoing Agricultural Marketing Improvement Programme. By the same token, P4P participants will have the opportunity to join the RUSACCOs set up by IFAD and FAO.

    UN Women collaborates with FAO and WFP under the Household Asset Building Programme to provide support for women. It works with other UN and international organizations in Ethiopia, creating new opportunities to support gender equality, strengthen women's voices, participation and leadership, and end violence against women and girls.

    Through the joint programme, the four agencies will work with the same target group of rural women and men in selected areas. The participants will gain new skills to boost their incomes, and benefit from access to markets, inputs and credit through the rural credit and savings system.

    "There will be challenges to face in working together," says Bishop-Sambrook. "But the great advantage we have in Ethiopia is that we have already spontaneously begun to collaborate and share best practices between agencies."

    The joint programme kicks off with a series of planning workshops in each of the seven countries participating in the programme, to be held between October and December. These meetings will bring together key stakeholders, including rural women and men, farmers' organizations, government officials and implementing partners. Each agency will offer its innovations and areas of complementarity, and workshop participants will decide on the final choice of activities to be included in the joint initiative.

    Securing land rights for women

    One innovation that IFAD has introduced recently in Ethiopia is helping to create greater equality for women and reduce their vulnerability.

    A community-based natural resource management project has introduced land certificates as a way of securing equal rights to land for all. The project, implemented within the Lake Tana watershed in central Ethiopia, introduces sustainable community-owned resource management – especially soil and water conservation – as well as new skills for diversified livelihood options. The land certificates have been introduced as part of the project's goal to include disadvantaged groups such as women, landless and young people in the community discourse on resource management.

    Traditionally in Ethiopia, ownership of land is granted only to men. This means that a married or divorced woman, a widow or single woman heading a household has no effective independent rights to land. Ethiopia's laws state otherwise, but traditional practices often prevail. Now land certification is changing that. Households run by women no longer run the risk of losing what is rightfully theirs to the claims of male tenants or relatives. Women heading households can now fully assert their right to use and transfer a landholding through heredity, donation or rent.

    Yekoye Asfaw, married with two children, is one of the women in the Amhara region who has benefited from the land registration and certification procedure. She and her husband now have a booklet declaring joint ownership of their land. Over 50 per cent of women heading households in the target area have received land certificates.

    Like other women who have received documentation asserting their rights as landholders, she feels secure and confident in the knowledge that the land also belongs to her.

    "Since we received the land certification, we have had no land-related disputes," she says. "With my name next to my husband's and our photographs, plus the names of our neighbours, I have confidence that my husband and I are rightful landowners. I can now make decisions equally with my husband on issues to do with our land and other home matters."

    Rural communities, and women in particular, are benefiting from secure land tenure. When women and men know that they are not going to lose their land, they are more likely to manage it sustainably and apply costly or labour-intensive techniques to improve its productivity. Land certification has undoubtedly created a more favourable environment for these long-term investments. And the investments are paying back through income improvements and more resilient livelihoods.

    With her newly affirmed sense of ownership, Asfaw has constructed small earth embankments or bunds that will help protect her land from soil erosion.

    Contributing to community issues

    In Ethiopia, women are still under-represented when it comes to making decisions about the management of resources – water and land – that are essential to livelihoods. Reaching women and mobilizing them to participate in development initiatives is always a challenge. As a result of multiple cultural restrictions and also simple logistics, women are either not allowed or not available to participate in this kind of initiative, being otherwise engaged with their household and livelihood tasks. But with the project's help, their number is growing.

    Asfaw has become a member of the land administration committee at the kebele or village level. She and two other women committee members assist other women who are seeking justice over land disputes. There had been some concern that men would object to this move for greater equality, but this has not been Asfaw's experience.

    "If anything, things are easier now between me and my husband," says Asfaw. "He feels positive about the joint titling of our land rights, and he believes that together we can strengthen our economic standing."

    At present, at least three of the seven members of each land administration and watershed committee are women.

    "We want to see more women participating in watershed committees and committees for land administration and use," says Robson Mutandi, IFAD Country Programme Director for Ethiopia. "And women themselves are expressing their desire to receive training and take on more roles in decision-making bodies at local level. It takes time to shift cultural norms that prevent women from taking on these roles, but we are working on opening this dialogue for women."


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    Source:  UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country:  Somalia, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania (the), Yemen

    UNHCR Operation highlights

    • Somalia is the country generating the third highest number of refugees in the world, after Afghanistan and Iraq.

    • Somali people are facing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world today. One in three Somalis is in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and one in every three children living in the South-Central region is malnourished.

    • UNHCR leads protection and emergency relief interventions targeting almost 1.36 million IDPs, in addition to delivering protection and assistance to over 2,100 refugees in Somalia.

    General Situation Somalia generates the third highest number of refugees in the world (after Afghanistan and Iraq). As at 11 October 2012, there were 1,028,267 Somali refugees in the region, mainly hosted in Kenya, Yemen, Egypt,

    Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Tanzania and Uganda and almost 1.36 million Somalis internally displaced within the country, settled mainly in the South-Central region. 62,657 Somalis have so far sought refuge in neighboring countries in 2012. As of 11 October 2012, 1,600 people were internally displaced while in September alone, another 24,000 were internally displaced, mainly in South Central Somalia, in particular from the coastal city of Kismayo.

    Somalia is the most affected country within the Horn of Africa by the ongoing drought, widely regarded as the worst in 60 years. Consecutive seasonal rain failures have led to sky-rocketing food prices, in a country already devastated by two decades of civil war.
    An estimated 3.7 million Somalis are now in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Increasingly, Somalis are leaving their homes, walking thousands of kilometres in search of food, most of them ending up in IDP settlements within Somalia and refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia, in extremely malnourished conditions.

    With the term of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) having ended in August 2012, a new parliament has since been created, electing Hassan SheikhMohamud as President. President Hassan then named Abdi Farah Shirdon as Prime Minister. Since the fall of the Siad Barre’s regime in 1991, Somalia fell into the hands of armed opposition groups , who divided the country along clan lines, and still continue to control large parts of the county.

    Most of Somalia continues to be in security level 5 (high), with Mogadishu and other areas on level 6 (extreme). Ongoing conflict continues to restrict humanitarian access and hamper delivery of lifesaving assistance. Distribution of emergency / temporary shelter materials and other relief items and protection cum livelihood interventions are the activities carried out by UNHCR in favour of IDPs.

    As of 28 September, UNHCR has distributed 33,578 emergency assistance packages (EAPs) for 201,642 people in Mogadishu and other districts within southern Somalia. These EAPs include kitchen sets, sleeping mats and plastic sheeting that would aid the most vulnerable population in crisis.


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    Source:  International Monetary Fund
    Country:  World, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, South Africa, South Sudan (Republic of)

    Press Release No. 12/390

    October 12, 2012

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) today released the October 2012 Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa. Ms. Antoinette Monsio Sayeh, Director of the IMF's African Department, commented on the report's main findings:

    “Economic conditions in sub-Saharan Africa have remained generally robust against the backdrop of a sluggish global economy. Most low-income countries continued to grow soundly in 2012, although drought in many Sahel countries and political instability in Mali and Guinea-Bissau undermined economic activity. Middle-income countries, especially South Africa, slowed further, reflecting closer links to European markets. Inflation fell, as pressures on food and fuel prices eased following a surge during 2011.

    “The near-term outlook for the region remains broadly positive, with growth projected above 5 percent a year in 2012–13. Strong domestic demand, including from investment, is expected to support growth in many low-income countries, but a weak external environment, particularly in Europe, will continue to be a drag on middle-income countries’ growth. With global commodity prices projected to remain soft and domestic climatic conditions improving, inflation is expected to decline to about 8 percent through end 2012, and about 7 percent through end 2013. The recent surge in international cereal prices is likely to exacerbate food insecurity in some places, and could be a threat to inflation if it intensifies.

    “Downside risks have increased. Further deterioration in the world economy could quickly spill over into slower growth in sub-Saharan Africa, potentially reducing the regional growth rate by about 1 percent a year. The impact would be most severe in countries where exports are undiversified and policy buffers low.

    “Policy settings should reflect country-specific conditions. For now, policymakers should rebuild fiscal and external buffers where these remain low. In the event of a significant global downturn, with knock-on effects on sub-Saharan Africa, pro-cyclical fiscal contraction should be avoided provided that wider fiscal and external deficits can be financed. Monetary and exchange rate levers should be utilized where policy space is available.

    Ms Sayeh also drew attention to key messages of the two background papers in the Regional Economic Outlook on potential economic spillovers from Nigeria and South Africa and on structural transformation in sub-Saharan Africa: “1) There are important trade, investment, and financial linkages between South Africa and other countries in the region, especially those which are members of the Southern African Development Community and the South African Customs Union; Nigeria’s financial linkages with countries further afield are growing as Nigeria-based banks expand throughout the region. 2) During the last 15 years, albeit at different speeds and following different paths, most countries in the region have experienced some degree of structural transformation, with a shift of workers from lower to higher average productivity activities and sectors. Depending on resource endowments, labor skills, and logistical and infrastructural features, some sub-Saharan African countries may find it easier to follow the Asian structural transformation path through manufacturing, whereas others may transform through services, and still others through agriculture.”

    The full text of the October 2012 Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa can be found on the IMF's website, www.imf.org.


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  • 10/12/12--04:37: Smart cooking in Abala
  • Source:  Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development
    Country:  Niger (the), Mali

    Improving stoves: improving household finances, preserving the environment and preventing conflicts.

    At the beginning of October 2012, the refugee camp in Abala, managed and coordinated by ACTED for the last seven months, hosted more than 16,000 refugees. Following the social economic survey carried out last April by ACTED in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, certain needs had been identified, notably in terms of energy sources and income generating activities. As a result, ACTED in partnership with the French Embassy and the Dutch NGO SNV, decided to respond to these needs by distributing improved stoves (to be used with wood or coal) to the populations living in the camp and to the host communities. This project, that links energy saving and the preservation of the environment, also participates in the prevention of conflicts in the refugee camp at Abala and in the surrounding villages. In addition to the distribution of these stoves, training is also being carried out in order to ensure that the refugees know as much as possible about how to make these stoves and maintain them.

    Clever cooking, calm cooking

    In the shade of her tent Tazoua, a 30 year old refugee, waits, the UNHCR card in her hand, as the town crier, armed with his megaphone, calls people to collect their stoves. Abdou, the person in charge of the distribution explains that “Every family receives a stove adapted to the size of the family”. Having waited her turn, Tazoua, heads towards the camp shop where the new stoves are piled high and shine in the sunlight. “With this stove I can choose to prepare food either using wood or coal. We are lucky to have this choice as here, wood is very expensive for us.” Souhana, a sixty year old man is delighted with his new stove, “This is a great new addition to my household, because my wife will no longer suffer from the smoke when she cooks. Until now, her eyes were red from the smoke as she had to repeatedly light the stove as she prepared our meals. Now, all she has to do is put the logs under the pot.” His neighbour points out another positive aspect of the new stove saying, “Before, I used a lot of wood and it took me a long time to prepare my meals. Today, one log and a few twigs suffice.”

    Mid September, 2, 648 improved stoves were distributed by ACTED’s teams for all of the families living in the camp. Faced with an increasing influx of refugees, the different partners working in the camp have discussed the importance of providing new stoves and therefore allowing for the needs of the population to be satisfied, relative to the maximum holding capacity of the camp.

    In order to facilitate a significant sharing of resources without creating tensions, ACTED has increased the distribution of stoves to those living in the town of Abala (that is to say, ACTED has increased the distribution to a further 2, 556 households), as well as to 8 neighbouring communities (a further 1, 515 households in total). The distribution has already begun in Tamizguida, a nomadic village about 8 kilometres away from Abala, known for its houses made of straw and clay. At the beginning of October, 300 families were given these stoves under the watchful eye of the village leader. Women, men and children hurried home with their new stoves, truly a helping hand for these farming families.

    In this way the farming families act together to fight against accelerated deforestation and the drastic impoverishment of this source of energy, from now on shared. “The objective of this initiative is dual”, insists the person in charge of the distribution of the stoves. “We aim at improving the quality of life and saving the flora from the abusive cutting of wood.”

    Practice makes perfect

    Blacksmith training, including how to make and look after these stoves, is being carried out at the same time as the distribution. The objective of this training is to ensure that the populations living in the camps can make these stoves themselves and so the hope is that this will become a source of revenue for the camp.

    It is 8 o’clock in the morning and Ibrahim the teacher is already at work in order to teach, in less than a week, all that needs to be known about the stoves. Abdallah, a new intern, has joined the centre to learn how to make the stoves. He doesn’t quite yet have the necessary skills and hesitantly imitates the maneuvers taught by Ibrahim, despite being equipped with his new tools: a chisel and a hammer. Ibrahim draws the outline and cuts directly from the sheet metal. Next, its Abdallah’s turn! As his hands tremble, he cuts the four pieces of metal to make the mutli-use stove, « MaïSouki ». A few hours later, by 11 o’clock, Abdallah has got the hang of the job and demonstrates a certain dexterity in his gests. He cuts the sheet metal and bends it in order to make a stove. All that he has left to do is to add the handles and the shelf. Having applied himself to this training, he now says he is comfortable making these stoves and will do so in the future. These training sessions also take place in Abala for those living outside the camp who wish to learn how to make these stoves.

    On to the next stage…

    The distribution of these stoves also responds to the debt issue in the camp when families acquire household goods. However, the families must from now on use wood and coal that is expensive as resources are scarce.

    The refugees are now equipped with stoves and trained to know how to use them and maintain them, but they will have to make these stoves last with accessible fuel and new pots, while purchasing power remains limited. ACTED is aware of the needs of this population and hopes to soon be able to develop income generating activites and mobilise actors who are prepared to provide the much needed fuel ressources.


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    Source:  Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country:  Somalia

    Rainfall Performance (4th to 11th Oct. 2012)

    • There was a reduction of rainfall activities in most parts of the country over the last one week. The Juba and Shabelle River Basins within Somalia and the Ethiopian highland received light to moderate rains over the period in review. Currently observed river levels along the Shabelle River which have been high in the previous two weeks have stabilized with minimal risk of flooding.

    Rainfall Forecast (12th to 18th Oct. 2012)

    • The three day rainfall forecast (map 1) calls for continued rainfall activities in most parts of the country apart from the northern parts. The rainfall is expected to intensify as the week progresses as seen on the seven day rainfall forecast (map 2)

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    Source:  Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country:  Chad, Algeria, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger (the), Western Sahara

    DESERT LOCUST WARNING! Swarms forming in the Sahel

    Desert Locust swarms are present in Chad and should start forming shortly in Niger and Mali. The swarms are expected to move towards North-West Africa in the coming weeks. Although unusually favourable ecological conditions allowed two generations of breeding this summer, the rains have ended and vegetation is drying out. This will cause locusts to concentrate and group in those areas that are still green in the Sahel and form hopper bands and swarms during the remainder of October and in November.

    In Chad, immature swarms are present in the northeast near Fada where control operations are underway. Hopper bands are forming there and in central areas of the country. In Niger, hoppers and adults are forming groups on the Tamesna Plains and in the Air Mountains; control teams have treated 870 ha so far this month. In Mali, the situation is less clear in the north due to the prevailing insecurity but it is likely to be similar to the current situation in Niger and Chad. In Mauritania, hoppers and adults are forming groups in the northwest near Akjoujt and in the centre near Tidjikja; control teams treated 250 ha during the past week.

    Once the swarms form, they are expected to migrate north and west from Chad, Mali and Niger and arrive in western and central Libya, southern and central Algeria, and northwest Mauritania during the second half of October. Some swarms could reach western Algeria, southern Morocco and Western Sahara. The swarms will settle in areas that receive rainfall, mature and lay eggs in about December. There is also a risk that a few swarms could move towards cropping areas in central and western Mali.

    All countries in the Region should be on high alert from now onwards. Algeria, Libya, Mauritania and Morocco should immediately take the necessary precautions to prepare for survey and control operations. In Chad, Mali and Niger, all efforts should continue to maintain and expand survey and control operations in the infested areas.


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    Source:  Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre
    Country:  Mali

    To see this news Alert with links to the sources click here

    During a high-level United Nations conference on the Sahel, Mali and other members called for the UN Security Council (UNSC) to deploy an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) force in Islamist-controlled northern Mali so as to regain territorial integrity. However, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned that such action could increase the risk of secondary displacement and further restrict humanitarian access. This takes place against a backdrop of daily, and increasingly atrocious, human rights violations condemned recently by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay.

    According to the Commission on Population Movements, which completed an IDP tracking exercise throughout the country, 118,795 people were displaced inside Mali as of 18 September, including 35,300 in the occupied northern regions of Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu. Earlier estimates citing 174,000 people as internally displaced were based on vulnerability assessments made in April when restricted humanitarian access in the north did not allow for comprehensive IDP profiling exercises. Most IDPs and host families are facing the effects of a deeply entrenched political crisis which prevents most from meeting their very basic needs, such as food.

    For more information on the background of the conflict in Mali and the current situation of IDPs there, see IDMC’s new country overview.


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    Source:  Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country:  Chad, Algeria, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger (the), Western Sahara

    ALERTE: formation d’essaims de Criquet pèlerin au Sahel

    Des essaims de Criquet pèlerin sont présents au Tchad et devraient commencer à se former sous peu au Niger et au Mali. On s’attend à ce que ces essaims se déplacent vers l’Afrique du Nord-Ouest au cours des prochaines semaines. Bien que les conditions écologiques exceptionnellement favorables aient permis deux générations de reproduction cet été, les pluies ont pris fin et la végétation est en cours de desséchement. Cela entraînera une concentration et un regroupement des effectifs acridiens dans les zones du Sahel encore vertes puis la formation de bandes larvaires et d'essaims le reste du mois et en novembre.

    Au Tchad, des essaims immatures et des bandes larvaires sont présents dans le nord-est, près de Fada, où des opérations de lutte sont en cours. Des bandes larvaires et des essaims ont également été signalés plus à l’ouest, près de Kouba Oulanga. Au Niger, les larves et les ailés forment des groupes dans les plaines du Tamesna et les montagnes de l’Aïr ; les équipes de lutte ont jusqu’à présent traité 870 ha ce mois-ci. Au Mali, la situation est moins claire dans le nord en raison de l’insécurité qui y règne, mais est probablement similaire à l’actuelle situation au Niger et au Tchad. En Mauritanie, les larves et les ailés forment des groupes dans le nord-ouest, près d’Akjoujt, et dans le centre, près de Tidjikja ; les équipes de lutte ont traité 250 ha la semaine dernière.

    Une fois les essaims formés, on s’attend à ce qu’ils se déplacent vers le Nord et l’Ouest à partir du Mali, du Niger et du Tchad et arrivent dans l’ouest et le centre de la Libye, le sud et le centre de l’Algérie et le nord-ouest de la Mauritanie au cours de la seconde quinzaine d’octobre. Certains essaims pourraient atteindre l’ouest de l’Algérie, le sud du Maroc et le Sahara occidental. Ces essaims iront dans les zones recevant des pluies, y effectueront leur maturation et pondront vers décembre. Il existe également un risque que quelques essaims se déplacent vers les zones cultivées du centre et de l’ouest du Mali.

    Tous les pays de la Région devraient être en alerte maximum à partir de maintenant. L’Algérie, la Libye, le Maroc et la Mauritanie devraient prendre immédiatement les précautions nécessaires pour se préparer aux opérations de prospection et de lutte. Au Mali, au Niger et au Tchad, tous les efforts devraient se poursuivre pour maintenir et renforcer les opérations de prospection et de lutte dans les zones infestées.


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    Source:  Afrique Verte
    Country:  Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger (the)

    Espoirs suite aux bonnes pluies : Baisse sensible du prix des céréales au Niger, marché hésitant au Mali, faibles baisses de prix au Burkina.


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    Source:  Adeso
    Country:  Somalia

    In Northern Somalia, sustained conflict, recurrent drought, immense charcoal burning, water trucking and overgrazing are only some of the factors that have led to significant deterioration of rangeland and livestock conditions in most pastoral areas. Over time, vegetation has been depleted and many previously vegetated areas have turned into deserts, becoming unproductive. Intense water trucking has led to the formation of large tracks that become streams during the rainy season and further drain water from the rangelands. This environmental depletion has also led to the formation of numerous gullies, some of which form cliffs that can measure anywhere between 30m and 100m in height. Combined, these realities have undermined pastoralists’ and vulnerable small scale farmers’ ability to sustain their traditional livelihoods and their capacity to quickly recover from environmental shocks.

    Based on our firm belief that communities are best placed to find solutions to the problems that affect their livelihoods, we have worked closely with communities in the Sannag and Mudug regions of Northern Somalia to reduce vulnerability to chronic food insecurity by rehabilitating community assets such as water sources, feeder roads, and rangeland areas. Combined with the provision of local seeds for fodder production, rehabilitation of water sources, and provision of cash relief, this has allowed households to limit the adverse effects of the numerous hazards affecting their livelihoods.

    Through Cash-for-Work (CFW) activities, communities have focused on rehabilitating their livelihood assets, including rangelands. Specifically, land rehabilitation activities have sought to restore the rangeland back to its natural glory where communities can cohabit more easily, reducing resource-based conflicts, and restoring balance to the ecosystem. In practice, interventions have included: gully control structures; rock dams; drains; earth check dams; and soil earth bands.

    Around the town of Elbuh, community members constructed a 2km long, 4m wide and 1m high rock dam to slowdown the runoff of water and increase the time for water infiltration into the ground. Rock dams are simple in nature and made of medium to heavy stones placed in a systematic manner to reverse and avoid destruction caused by floods and create the conditions needed for plants, shrubs and small trees to germinate. In this particular case, an area which had turned into a desert has now become a settlement and grazing area for pastoralists during the dry spell.

    Meanwhile, in Kulmiye, communities put in place gully terraces and rock dams that eventually filled and restored a 22m deep and 2km wide gully. Today, when visiting the area, you can see farmers cultivating their vegetables and fruits, allowing them recover their lost livelihoods.

    Given the realities of the funding system, or environment, in Somalia at the time, we used humanitarian funding, through Cash-for-Work, to undertake DRR activities, as an innovative way to contribute to longer-term development goals. The rehabilitation of rangeland and the harvesting of rainwater reduce the risks experienced from droughts and harsh dry spells, including the loss of livestock and livelihood assets, and increase water retention, vegetation, grazing land, and water access for livestock. When these livelihood assets are depleted, these communities become destitute and depend on emergency aid – something our interventions are trying to reverse.

    Communities actively took part in the process of restoring their natural environment, earned income while doing so, and are now better able to cope with hazards and future environmental shocks. Through the Somalia Emergency Response Project, an estimated 40,000 people have benefited from these interventions.

    The Somalia Emergency Response Project was implemented from May 2010 to September 2012, and funded by the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).


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    Source:  Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country:  Sudan (the), Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan (Republic of), Uganda

    Access to food improved in many parts of the region following onset of harvests

    There are currently 16 million food insecure people in Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti and Rwanda facing Stressed (IPC phase 2) to Emergency (IPC phase 4) levels of food insecurity. Food security is expected to improve over the coming six months.

    • Seasonal crop harvests have begun in most parts of Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia and parts of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Somalia. Availability of food at the household level has improved and prices of staples have declined seasonably, although prices remain above average in most of these countries.

    • The secondary lean season is peaking in pastoral and agropastoral parts of southern Somalia, southern and southeastern Ethiopia and northern and northeastern Kenya. Performance of the April to June rainy season was below average in most of these areas resulting in below average crop harvest and shortages of water and pasture.

    • According to the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum 32 (GHACOF 32) the September to December rainy season is expected to be mostly above normal in the pastoral and agropastoral parts of southern Somalia, southern and southeastern Ethiopia northern and northeastern Kenya. The rains are expected to bring about improvement in pasture and water availability and overall pastoral conditions.


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    Source:  UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country:  Chad, Central African Republic (the)

    FAITS SAILLANTS:

    Inondations à N’Djaména P.1
    Inondations entravent la rentrée scolaire P.2
    Nouvelle stratégie contre le paludisme P.3
    Le Coordinateur Humanitaire Régional discute la résilience au Sahel P.4


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    Source:  Télécoms Sans Frontières
    Country:  Niger (the), Burkina Faso, Mali

    For over 6 months on the Mali borders, TSF is reinforcing the coordination among the humanitarian actors working with Malian refugees.

    In the Sahel region, the security conditions have significantly deteriorated in March 2012 with the massive arrival in Mali neighboring countries of refugees fleeing the fighting between the Tuareg rebels and the regular army. According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees there are more than 52,600 refugees in Niger, and more than 108,000 in Burkina Faso.

    According to WFP, since last August, humanitarian support is the main means of survival for most of the Sahel people. In order to reinforce the assistance to vulnerable populations, TSF is providing reliable and rapid satellite communications for a better coordination of the organisations in the field.

    Given the extremely complex geographic and security context in the Sahel region, TSF is using both fixed and mobile satellite equipment to connect its humanitarian Hubs and the teams during their trips.

    TSF IN NIGER

    • Abala refugee camp:

    On 24th April 2012, TSF installed a Vsat satellite antenna in the coordination offices of ACTED and UNHCR within the Abala camp which is now hosting more than 14,300 refugees. The humanitarian hub offers a secured Wifi connection to the 30 humanitarian workers who come daily to connect: MSF Switzerland, MSF France, CARE International, Islamic Relief, CADEV, HELP, VSF Belgium, ACTED and UNHCR…

    The 55Mb exchanged from the TSF humanitarian hub allow a more efficient daily management of the information and a coordinated response of all the actors in the area.

    Camp Manager Assistant/ACTED: With the problem encountered on the local network, without TSF it would have been impossible to communicate our reports with the office in Niamey and the partners. Thanks to the action of TSF, the constant communication is ensured, as well as the quality of the coordination.

    Head of Communication and Information/ACTED: The TSF connection in the Abala camp is an essential support for the development and the implementation of our project, notably in a region where telecommunication is underdeveloped. The connection is also important for all the agencies working in the area! It is indeed the unique mean of communication when the GSM network is unavailable. The cuts can last for two days.

    • Banibangou:

    Since 13th June, the Vsat satellite antenna installed by TSF within the offices of CARE International is supporting the actions of the NGOs VSF, Oxfam, Karkara, Banibangou city hall and prefecture and the RFI Hausa radio. In this locality situated only few kilometers from the Mali border is facing for several months the massive arrival of refugees fleeing violence in Mali. This rise in population put additional pressure on already insufficient food resources in the region.

    Humanitarian workers are using the TSF connection to assess and monitor the evolution of critical living conditions among refugees. The telecom services offered by TSF enable them to collect quality and reliable data for a rapid decision making and an appropriate response. To date, 14 Mb of data have been exchanged.

    • Tillia region:

    On 10th July, TSF provided a Bgan satellite terminal and a Wifi router to Action Contre la Faim Espagne (ACF-E) for its activities against malnutrition and food insecurity. The TSF satellite connection allows ACF-E to implement, in collaboration with the Hed Tamat NGO, emergency humanitarian help mechanisms, notably for access to potable water and sanitation facilities.

    The permanent insecurity in this region close to the Mali border is a major constraint to emergency aid deliveries in the affected areas. TSF satellite equipment enables ACF-E teams to keep in contact with their headquarters during assessment missions of food situation and prevalence of malnutrition in the area.

    To date, more than 139 Mb have been used for these emergency communications.

    In the region of Tillia, the situation is critical. It is essential to reinforce the resilience of Malian refugee populations to face their current precarious living conditions. Most of the refugees are coming from pastoral and rural regions of Mali, and are waiting to come back so as to start the harvest before the rainy season and care for their flocks which are their unique mean of livelihood. The intense fighting in Mali prevents these populations from leaving Niger, where their survival only depends on humanitarian aid.

    • North Dakoro:

    Since 5th June, the Bgan and Isatphone Pro satellite connections as well as the laptops provided by TSF to Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium, allow mobile teams to maintain communication with their headquarters during long lasting missions in isolated and often dangerous areas.

    The vital data collected on the food situation in the remote villages are thus rapidly transferred an analysed for the setting up of more efficient nutritional interventions. More than 103 Mb have been exchanged between these teams and their headquarters. The satellite phone enabled them to make more than 17 hours of priority calls.

    • TSF community telecom centre of Dakoro, Maradi region:

    The TSF community centre created in Niger in 2007 contributes to bridging the digital divide for vulnerable populations by providing the local community with constant Internet access. Since the beginning of armed conflict in Mali, several Malian refugees in Niger have reached the community centre to rebuild family links and ask for personalised assistance.

    Story:

    Coordinator of the TSF centre in Abalak: There are also displaced people from Libya, Mali and the Ivory Coast in the area, all of them use the centre for their communication (seek for support of help).

    TSF IN BURKINA FASO

    • Gorom-Gorom:

    The installation by TSF of the Vsat satellite connection on 11th July 2012 within the offices of Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium (VSF-B) in Gorom-Gorom, north-eastern Burkina Faso, enabled the NGOs and United Nations agencies working in the area to exchange 25 Mb of data.

    The connection is benefitting to VSF-B, A2N, UNHCR, Red Cross, Save the Children, HELP, AEC, TASSATH, Afrique Verte and AGED. The DPASSN and the Discrict Direction of Health also regularly use the humanitarian hub.

    Before the intervention of TSF, the organisations in the area were forced to cover every week the 57 km separating Gorom-Gorom from Dori, the departmental capital, to find a good Internet access. Since then, the TSF connection supports the implementation of emergency activities which notably increased since May 2012, and facilitates the communication between the field and the central services at national and international levels.

    • Djibo:

    On 19th July, the TSF satellite connection in the offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is reinforcing the actions of all the NGOs in the area (Oxfam…) with refugees in the camps north of Djibo, where more than 15,000 people are living. 26 Mb of data have been exchanges.

    In the region of Gorom-Gorom, few kilometers from the Mali border, the mobile network is operational but the Internet access is only possible through Edge network or 3G keys, thus the connection is very slow and not reliable at all.

    The precarious security conditions in Sahel are making emergency humanitarian intervention even more difficult and jeopardizing vulnerable populations’ survival. TSF satellite communications allow a better coordination of field teams and thus reinforce their actions with Sahel people.


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    Source:  Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country:  Mali

    Markets in northern Mali continue to be adequately supplied; household food access improving

    KEY MESSAGES

    • Throughout the Sahel, local cereal prices remain higher than the five‐year average. However, following typical seasonal trends, prices were stable or began decreasing in September with the increased availability of maize from coastal countries and in anticipation of this year’s harvest. For rural households, food needs are increasingly met through early season crops and wild foods.

    • Conflict and subsequent localized civil insecurity during the first half of 2012 severely disrupted normal trade flows that typically support cereals supply in Northern Mali. However, the marketing system adapted to these changes and quickly increased the importance of otherwise tertiary market systems (e.g., Algeria). Adequate supplies of staple foods continue to be available on markets.

    • Household purchasing power has improved since August with the reestablishment of informal cash transfer systems and livestock trade flows and with the increased availability income earning opportunities. The seasonal availability of wild foods, early season harvests and livestock products as well as the availability of humanitarian assistance have further improved household food access. Physical access to markets is only occasionally disrupted due to localized conflict.

    • Between October and December, IPC Phase 3: Crisis levels of food insecurity in Zone 6 (Niger Delta Lakes) and Zone 3 (Fluvial Rice and Transhumant Livestock Rearing) should gradually improve to Stress (IPC Phase 2) with the September‐December cereal harvests, increases in income earning opportunities, and with the expansion of humanitarian assistance programs in the north. IPC Phase 2: Stress levels of acute food insecurity in agro‐pastoral areas, particularly in Zone 4 (Millet and Transhumant Livestock Rearing) will evolve to minimal levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) as market dependence decreases.


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    Source:  Famine Early Warning System Network, US Geological Survey
    Country:  Somalia

    First Deyr 2012 rains light to moderate in many parts of southern and central Somalia

    Slightly earlier than normal Deyr 2012 rains started between October 1 and 10, the first dekad of October, with mixed trends in terms of amount, temporal distribution and spatial distribution across the southern and central regions. The light to moderate rains ranged from 10 to 75 millimeters (mm) (Figure 1). Comparing the actual rainfall estimate for October 1 to 10 and the longterm mean (1983 to 2011) shows that the rainfall received in most areas of the North, the Juba Valley, Lower Shabelle, Gedo, and southern Bay has been between zero to 20 percent of normal (Figure 2).

    In the Northwest, despite the moderate and generalized rains received during the last dekad of September, most livelihood zones had dry weather during the first dekad of October. However parts of the Hawd pastoral livelihood zone in Hargeysa District and west Golis pastoral livelihood zone in Togdheer Region received moderate rains. Dry weather had hampered pasture regeneration and caused deteriorating water conditions, but water was replenished by the late September rains.
    Similarly, in the Northeast most areas remained dry during the reporting period with the exceptions of pockets in Bari and Nugal Regions, the Hawd pastoral livelihood zone in Nugal Region, and northern Mudug Region where moderate rains fell.
    Accordingly, a slight improvement in pasture and water conditions is expected in these areas over the coming days.

    In many parts of central regions, light to moderate rains were received. Light rains with average spatial distribution fell in the cowpea belt and coastal Deeh livelihood zones of Galgaduud and southern Mudug Regions. Parts of the Adun and Hawd pastoral livelihood zones received moderate rains. These rains have further supported the germination process for cowpea and sorghum and have had a noticeable impact on water and pasture regeneration. Rain gauges in the central regions recorded 24– 48.7 mm of rain with one to three rainy days during the first dekad of October.

    In the South, during this dekad, satellite-derived rainfall estimates (RFE2) and field reports indicate that most pastoral and agricultural areas recorded no to light rains ranging from zero to 10 mm with poor coverage. Field reports confirmed that, generally, rains are localized and poorly distributed in both pastoral and agricultural areas. However, localized areas of Lower Shabelle, Bay, Bakol, and Hiran received moderate rains. During the first dekad of October, rain gauges in Baidoa in Bay Region and Hudur in Bakol Region recorded 70 mm and 135 mm of rainfall. In Middle Shabelle region, most areas received light to moderate rains, except in Aden Yabal District where there were localized, light showers. In Jowhar, the rain gauge recorded 45 mm of rain in one day. Similarly, in some riverine, agricultural areas of Hiran Region and Buale District, light to moderate rains were received with various intensities and varied coverage. Rain gauges in Beletweyne and also in Halgan in Buloburte District recorded 20 mm and 64.5 mm in one day, respectively. Rains have encouraged riverine farmers to start planting and have regenerated pasture and replenished water sources.

    The current satellite-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) shows poor levels (Figure 3) in most parts of the country due to the effect of the especially dry Hagaa season, the failure of Kalahan rains in the last third of September, and continued dry weather in many areas during the first third of October. The seven-day weather forecast, valid through October 18, indicates that most parts of Bari, Nugal, and Sool Regions, most of the central regions of Galgadud and southern Mudug, and the southern regions of Bay, Bakol, Hiran, Gedo, Lower and Middle Shabelle, and Lower and Middle Juba will experience moderate rains between 20 and 50 mm (Figure 4). FEWS NET in collaboration with FSNAU, SWALIM, and other partners will closely monitor the progress of the October to December Deyr rains and will issue an updated rain watch every ten days.


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    Source:  UN News Service
    Country:  Mali

    12 October 2012 – Citing the threat to regional peace from terrorists and Islamic militants in rebel-held northern Mali, the United Nations Security Council today held out the possibility of endorsing, within the next 45 days, an international military force to restore the unity of the West African country.

    In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body called on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to provide, at once, military and security planners to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU) and other partners to help frame a response to a request by Mali’s transitional authorities for such a force, and to report back within 45 days.

    Upon receipt of the report, and acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Council said it was ready “to respond to the request of the Transitional authorities of Mali regarding an international military force assisting the Malian Armed Forces in recovering the occupied regions in the north of Mali.”

    Chapter VII of the Charter allows the Council to use force in the face of a threat to peace or aggression, taking “such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security,” including blockades and other operations by the forces of Member States.

    In August, the Council urged ECOWAS, in cooperation with the transitional authorities, the AU Commission and regional countries, to prepare detailed proposals for a stabilization force to restore the territorial integrity of the country.

    Fighting between Malian Government forces and Tuareg rebels broke out in the country’s north in January. The instability and insecurity resulting from the renewed clashes, as well as the proliferation of armed groups in the region, drought and political instability in the wake of a military coup d’état in March, have led over 250,000 Malians to flee to neighbouring countries, with another 174,000 Malians estimated to be internally displaced.

    In addition, Islamist militants currently control the country’s north and have imposed strict Sharia law, including amputation of limbs as punishment.

    The Council called on Malian rebel groups to cut off all ties to terrorist organizations, notably Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and affiliated groups, and expressed its readiness to adopt targeted sanctions against those groups which do not do so.

    It also urged the Transitional authorities, rebels and other legitimate representatives of the local population in the northern Mali to engage, as soon as possible, in credible negotiations to seek a sustainable political solution in conformity with the country’s unity, and demanded that all groups in the north cease all human rights violations such as attacks against civilians, sexual violence, recruitments of child soldiers and forced displacements.

    Today’s Council resolution reiterated “grave concern” at the continuing deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in the north of Mali, the increasing entrenchment of terrorist elements including AQIM, affiliated groups and other extremist groups, and its consequences for the countries of the Sahel and beyond.

    In addition, it strongly condemned the abuses of human rights committed “by armed rebels, terrorist and other extremist groups, including violence against its civilians, notably women and children, killings, hostage-taking, pillaging, theft, destruction of cultural and religious sites and recruitment of child soldiers,” and stressed that some of these acts might amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.


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    Source:  NATO Civil-Military Fusion Centre
    Country:  Mali, Iraq, Syrian Arab Republic (the)

    Iraq (pg 1-2)
    Mali (pg 2-3)
    Syria (pg 3-4)
    IED & Demining (pg 4)


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    Source:  NATO Civil-Military Fusion Centre
    Country:  Sudan (the), Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Morocco, Somalia, South Sudan (Republic of), Tunisia

    INSIDE THIS ISSUE

    In Focus 1
    North Africa 2
    Northeast Africa 4
    Horn of Africa 6


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    Source:  Agence France-Presse
    Country:  Mali

    10/12/2012 20:35 GMT

    by Jo Biddle

    WASHINGTON, Oct 12, 2012 (AFP) - As the UN Security Council paved the way for military intervention against Islamic militants in Mali, the United States is pushing for a broader solution to the multi-headed crisis facing the nation.

    The council approved a resolution on Friday that gives West African nations 45 days to put forward a plan for bringing together an international force to flush out the militants in the north.

    But experts and analysts warned that boots on the ground will not resolve all the challenges facing the west African nation.

    "We want to see the territorial integrity of Mali fully restored. We want to see democracy, stability and development fully restored," the top US diplomat for Africa, Johnnie Carson, told AFP in an exclusive interview.

    He stressed however that the west African nation is facing "four separate, but over-arching, problems. Which makes it one of the most complex and difficult situations in Africa today facing resolution."

    Carson highlighted the lack of a democratic and credible government; the marginalization of the Tuareg people dating back to the early days of French colonial rule and the threat posed by Islamist militants.

    The area is also plagued by a food crisis caused by drought and political instability in the Sahel region, a vast semi-desert on the southern Sahara.

    The US supports the initiative for an African-led force to oust Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) militants from northern Mali.

    The militants have attempted to impose a harsh version of Islamic sharia law, imposing punishments from amputations to summary executions.

    On Friday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton again accused the militants of "seeking to exploit periods of instability" and "trying to expand their reach from a stronghold in northern Mali."

    But Carson stressed that, while a security response was needed in the north, all the issues facing Mali should be worked on in parallel.

    "They need to be looked at as a set of challenges that must be dealt with" together, he said, suggesting that recent success in finally restoring a government in Somalia after two decades of civil war could prove a model.

    "One should take a look at why it's successful and see if it has applicability for what needs to be done," the assistant secretary said. "I think it's important that we take a comprehensive approach.

    "It does not mean that one of these issues should derail or slow down movement in the other areas... there are some areas that are going to move much faster and require much more energy, activity, resources."

    Washington is pushing the transitional government and interim president Dioncounda Traore to move towards restoring democracy -- which would also mean the resumption of US funded programs slashed in the wake of the coup.

    "First and foremost, the political problems in Bamako need solving before you can even think about any kind of security operations directed against the North," said Richard Downie, an expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

    The United States has said it will support a well-planned and well-resourced African-led intervention, and while it has not ruled out any direct US military intervention, analysts believe that is unlikely.

    "Of course all contingencies are being considered, but I really don't see the very strong likelihood of a US direct intervention," Downie said.

    "The emphasis is very much on the traditional AFRICOM approach which is building up capacities of host nations in the region, maybe providing some background support and things like intelligence.

    "You might see some drones involved in this area but more likely on sort of surveillance capacity."

    UN chief Ban and aid groups have warned a military operation needs careful planning, as pouring arms and weaponry into the region could worsen the plight of millions of people.

    "The crisis is multi-dimensional and there are many risks still associated to a possible deployment of a regional force in the north," Gilles Yabi, West Africa Project Director for the International Crisis Group, told AFP.

    "It is not going to be a peacekeeping operation, but a military operation in a very difficult terrain targeting mobile groups."

    He also highlighted issues such as the collapse of state institutions, and the co-existence of many different communities.

    "It can't be: 'let's just send in the military to the north and then everything will be OK'," agreed Jon Temin, director of the Sudan and South Sudan program at the US Institute of Peace.

    "There are a lot of root causes as to why this rebellion happened in the north and why it was successful and until you really start to get at some of these root causes ... you are just treating it superficially."


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