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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia (the), Mali, Mauritania, Niger (the), Nigeria, Senegal
    preview


    HIGHLIGHTS

    • Despite good harvest prospects and good conditions for pastoralists, the situation in the Sahel remains critical. Approximately 8.5 million people remain food insecure and over 1 million children at risk of severe acute malnutrition in 2013.

    • The humanitarian and security situation in Mali is deteriorating, due to the conflict in the northern part of the country, with serious repercussions on the region and beyond. An estimated 412 149 people have left their homes; 204 687 are internally displaced and 210 212 have crossed the borders to neighbouring countries, primarily Burkina Faso, Mauritania and the Niger.

    • In 2012, FAO requested USD 112 million for urgent action to improve the food and nutrition security of 7.8 million vulnerable people in the Sahel. USD 49.8 million have been received, enabling assisting almost 5 million beneficiaries by supporting food and livestock production, animal protection, water and soil conservation and rehabilitation. However, a USD 62.2 million funding gap has remained that hampered timely and adequate support for a large share of affected population.

    • An additional USD 10 million was requested to address the Desert Locust threat, the most serious since 2005, which is placing the livelihoods of 50 million people in the Sahel at risk. A funding gap of USD 1.8 million remains to continue control and monitoring operations.

    • Through the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) 2013, FAO is requesting USD 93.2 million for livelihood interventions in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and the Niger. Requirements for non-CAP Sahel countries (Senegal, The Gambia, Cameroon and Nigeria) are being estimated under the “Regional Chapeau” of the Sahel Strategy 2013, being formulated by humanitarian partners at the regional level.

    • An additional USD 24 million is estimated to address the consequences of the Malian conflict.

    • Repeated crisis (2005, 2010 and 2012) have eroded the copying strategies and livelihoods of the most vulnerable people. Time is of the essence for acting on resilience to address both the chronic and acute vulnerabilities in the region.


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

    • During the past six months, the Sahel in West Africa has been facing the most serious Desert Locust threat since 2005. More than 50 million people were potentially affected in Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

    • The situation is now gradually returning to normal in the northern Sahel where breeding has ended in Mali, Niger and Chad. As a result of control operations, only a few swarms formed in Niger and Chad and only small groups of adults moved to Algeria and Libya. Ground control operations are in progress in Niger, Mauritania and Morocco.

    • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) requested USD 10 million in June 2012 for urgent action to coordinate the emergency campaign and allow national locusts control units to undertake the required operations.

    • With the USD 7.2 million received so far (from Belgium, the Central Emergency Response Fund [CERF], France, United Kingdom and USA), FAO ensures overall campaign coordination and technical support through:

    • A Regional Strategic Response Framework for the Desert Locust threat in the Sahel.
    • Regular update of the Regional Action Plan.
    • Strengthened the operational capacity of national survey and control teams in Niger, Chad and Mali.
    • Triangulation of pesticides (airlifting pesticides from a country in the region with available stocks to a recipient country).
    • Enhanced preparedness for potential upscale of interventions in Niger, Mauritania, Chad, Mali and Senegal.

    • Bilateral assistance of USD 1 million to Niger has allowed the country to further strengthen its survey and control capacity.

    • Current funding gap is USD 1.8 million. Consequences of unmet requirements: reduction of field survey teams, less control, increased risk to crops, and more locusts will move to other countries.


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    Source: World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger (the), Nigeria, Senegal

    Key points

    • Good crop prospects confirmed by PREGEC

    • Locust situation remains of concern

    • Grain prices in West Africa and on the international market: millet prices remain high but other coarse grain prices are normalizing in West Africa

    • Households whose livelihoods remain affected by the 2011-2012 crisis might face food difficulties in 2013


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    12/21/2012 12:21 GMT

    Par Serge DANIEL

    BAMAKO, 21 déc 2012 (AFP) - Une majorité de Maliens étaient soulagés vendredi à Bamako au lendemain du feu vert du Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU à l'envoi d'une force internationale pour chasser les islamistes du nord du pays, en dépit de conditions qui ne devraient pas rendre possible son déploiement avant des mois.

    Le Conseil de sécurité a approuvé jeudi le déploiement d'une force armée internationale au Mali, mais par étapes et sans fixer de calendrier précis, tout en insistant sur la nécessité de dialoguer avec les groupes armés du Nord qui rejettent le terrorisme et la partition du pays.

    Au Mali, l'impatience montait ces dernières semaines devant les tergiversations de la communauté internationale sur l'envoi de cette force qui sera composée et commandée par des Africains et appuyée par les Occidentaux.

    "Nous sommes reconnaissants à la communauté internationale, un consensus s'est dégagé sur la situation malienne" s'est réjoui un conseiller du président malien par intérim, Dioncounda Traoré, saluant "un jour important".

    "C'est une excellente nouvelle, ce vote marque la volonté de la communauté internationale de ne pas abandonner le Mali à son sort", s'est félicité Mustapha Cissé, membre du Front pour la démocratie et la République (FDR), formé après le coup d'Etat du 22 mars contre le président Amadou Toumani Touré mené par des officiers putschistes, qui a précipité la chute du Nord aux mains de groupes islamistes armés.

    Menés par le capitaine Amadou Haya Sanogo, ces officiers se sont toujours montrés hostiles à la participation de combattants étrangers à une opération de libération du Nord, totalement occupé depuis six mois par des groupes islamistes armés, dont Al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (Aqmi).

    Sans surprise, la Coordination des organisation patriotiques du Mali (Copam) favorable aux putschistes, a réitéré son opposition à l'envoi de cette force. "Le Mali doit prendre son destin en main et trouver lui-même la solution", a déclaré Oumar Coulibaly, membre d'une branche de la Copam.

    Engager des négociations "crédibles"

    Si le feu vert au déploiement des 3.300 soldats de la Mission internationale de soutien au Mali sous conduite africaine (Misma), que réclamaient l'Union africaine (UA) et la Communauté économique des Etats d'Afrique de l'Ouest (Cédéao), marque une étape importante dans le processus de reconquête du Nord, il reste toutefois assorti de conditions qui pourraient retarder son déploiement.

    La résolution 2085, adoptée à l'unanimité, appelle d'abord les autorités de transition à Bamako à rétablir l'ordre constitutionnel et à organiser des élections avant avril 2013. Elle les invite aussi à engager des négociations "crédibles" avec les groupes présents dans le Nord, essentiellement les Touareg.

    Sur le plan militaire, la remise en marche de l'armée malienne, ébranlée par le coup d'Etat du 22 mars et humiliée par sa défaite face aux islamistes armés, sera également nécessaire, repoussant une éventuelle offensive à l'automne 2013.

    Et ce n'est que lorsqu'il s'estimera "satisfait" de l'état de préparation de la Misma que le Conseil permettra son déploiement.

    Sur tous ces points, l'ONU demande à l'UA de lui faire rapport tous les soixante jours sur les progrès accomplis.

    Dans la perspective d'une offensive armée, les ONG et organisations de défense des droits de l'Homme ont appelé l'ONU et la communauté internationale à prendre en compte les éventuelles conséquences humanitaires et sur les droits de l'Homme.

    "Nous craignons que l'intensification des violences affecte les populations civiles, augmentant les besoins humanitaires et accentuant les déplacements de population", met en garde un collectif de dix ONG internationales présentes au Mali.

    Le vote à l'ONU intervient alors qu'un ingénieur français a été enlevé mercredi par des hommes armés dans le nord du Nigeria, frontalier du Niger, "sans doute en lien avec Aqmi", selon le président français François Hollande. Sept Français sont déjà retenus en otages par des groupes islamistes au Sahel.

    bur-jb/stb/ej

    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Norwegian Refugee Council, Tearfund, CARE, Christian Aid, Handicap International, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, Refugees International, World Vision
    Country: Mali

    20 December (New York): A military offensive in northern Mali would have serious humanitarian consequences and requires serious safeguards to be put in place warns a coalition of ten non-governmental organisations today. As the United Nations Security Council considers a resolution to authorise an international military force to restore territorial integrity, humanitarian NGOs operating in Mali have come together to sound a note of caution.

    The ten NGOs call on the Security Council to give high priority to finding a peaceful political solution to achieve long-term stability in Mali, whilst ensuring that any military action would come with strong measures to mitigate harm to civilians.

    “The deployment of a military operation could have significant humanitarian consequences as many families have already been badly affected by fighting and the severe food crisis. We fear any intensification of violence could affect the civilian population with an increase in humanitarian needs and the continued displacement of people. Throughout its decision-making process, the Security Council must make sure that any military planning includes humanitarian consideration to minimize harm to civilians at all stages,” said Michael Quinn, Country Director of Oxfam in Mali.

    According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, a total of 412,000 persons had been forced to flee their homes. This figure includes some 208,000 refugees who are currently hosted in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mauritania, the Niger and Togo. An additional 204,000 Malians have been internally displaced and living in tough conditions, reliant on humanitarian assistance as well as the solidarity of host communities.

    “Women and children are among the most vulnerable groups when military operations are launched. In some parts of Mali we already have alarming reports of sexual violence against women and girls and we ought to protect the rights especially for women, children, persons with disabilities and elderly who are the most vulnerable,” said Chance Briggs, National Director of World Vision Mali.

    The ten agencies are calling on the UN Security Council to implement a series of recommendations including:

    1. Give high priority to negotiating a peaceful solution to the crisis, while linking any authorization for the deployment of armed forces to a clear and feasible long-term strategy focused on strengthening social cohesion and inclusive governance in Mali.

    2. Require that any military force authorised by the Security Council would receive training on international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law and would take all measures necessary to prevent harm to civilians and their property during hostilities.

    3. Ensure the authorised forces would report to the Security Council in a timely and transparent way on steps they take to comply with international law and mitigate civilian harm.

    4. Call upon donors to increase their support for humanitarian assistance to meet urgent needs, currently estimated at $214 million, and be prepared to provide further support as necessary.

    5. Ensure the UN leads humanitarian contingency planning and requests sufficient additional funding to meet all the needs of affected civilians, including additional needs arising as a result of military operations.

    Signatory organisations: CARE International, Christian Aid, Handicap International, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), International Rescue Committee, Oxfam, Norwegian Refugee Council, Refugees International, Tearfund, World Vision International.

    For more information or to organize an interview, contact:

    Louis Belanger, Oxfam International (New York) on +1 917 224 0834 / louis.belanger@oxfaminternational.org (French and English)

    (Mr) Andrea Lari, Refugees International (New York) +1 202 828 0110 x215 andrea@refugeesinternational.org

    Justin Douglass, World Vision International (Mali) +223 66 74 1902 justin_douglass@wvi.org

    Mathilde Magnier, Oxfam France, +33 177 35 7600 mmagnier@oxfamfrance.org

    (for French interviews)


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia (the), Mali, Mauritania, Niger (the), Nigeria, Senegal
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    Source: British Broadcasting Corporation
    Country: Kenya

    At least 39 people have been killed in fresh clashes between rival communities in the Tana River district in Kenya's Coast province, police say.

    The attack by ethnic Pokomo farmers on an Orma village, Kipao, came in the early hours of the morning, they say.

    Thirteen children and six women were among those killed.

    Read the Full Report


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    Source: Government of Malawi
    Country: Malawi

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    Introduction

    The Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MoAFS) is seeking support from World Bank to implement an Agricultural Productivity Programme in Southern Africa (APPSA) with the objective of increasing the productivity of maize, rice and legumes through the introduction of improved varieties and modern farming technologies. The proposed APPSA programme will support agricultural technology generation and dissemination by supporting the strengthening and scaling up of regional centres of research leadership on programs of regional importance through regional collaboration. For identified regional priority programs, APPSA would support efforts to scale up and develop national research centres into regional centres of leadership. The total project cost for Malawi is approximately US$30 million.


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    Source: Small Arms Survey
    Country: Kenya

    A recent survey on perceptions of security in Kenya found that the highest area of concern among household respondents was safety during electioneering periods. Specifically, 48.4 per cent felt most unsafe during political campaigns: an understandable anxiety, given Kenya’s recent political history and its recurrent electoral violence.

    A new Issue Brief from the Small Arms Survey—Political Conflict and Vulnerabilities: Firearms and electoral violence in Kenya—examines the phenomenon of electoral violence, tracing its roots to a history of politically instigated ethnic violence dating back to the reintroduction of pluralist democracy in the 1990s, and further back to the colonial era. It also discusses the largely overlooked connections between hotspots for political violence and armed violence in other areas, such as that associated with cattle raids by pastoralist communities.

    Read the Issue Brief


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

    Swarms and bands on the Red Sea coast

    The Desert Locust situation is threatening along both sides of the Red Sea where winter breeding is in progress in Egypt, Sudan and Saudi Arabia. Groups of adults and small swarms arrived on the coast last month from summer breeding areas in the interior of Sudan and laid eggs. Hatching occurred recently and hoppers are forming small groups and bands in sub coastal areas of Wadi Diib in northeast Sudan and southeast Egypt and in nearby coastal areas of Egypt. Egg-laying is continuing in Egypt and control operations are in progress. So far, infestations are confined only to the aforementioned areas. Elsewhere, low numbers of adults are present in the Tokar Delta, Sudan. In Saudi Arabia, egg-laying and hatching occurred on the coast north of Jeddah, and control operations are in progress against hopper bands that are forming. More hatching is expected in the coming weeks.

    In the Western Region, locust infestations continue to decline in the northern Sahel of Mali, Niger and Chad. Nevertheless, groups of hoppers and adults persist in northern Niger where control operations continue. Control operations also continue in western Mauritania against hopper and adult groups. In Morocco, small-scale breeding continues in the southern part of the Western Sahara where small groups of egg-laying adults were treated. More hatching and the formation of small hopper groups and bands are expected in the coming weeks. In Algeria, control teams treated small groups of hoppers and egg-laying adults in the extreme south along the border of Mali and Niger.

    Strict vigilance should continue in Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria and Libya during the coming weeks to detect any groups of swarms arriving from the Sahel. Thereafter, the threat should subside.


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


    HIGHLIGHTS

    • During the past six months, the Sahel in West Africa has been facing the most serious Desert Locust threat since 2005. More than 50 million people were potentially affected in Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

    • The situation is now gradually returning to normal in the northern Sahel where breeding has ended in Mali, Niger and Chad.
    As a result of control operations, only a few swarms formed in Niger and Chad and only small groups of adults moved to Algeria and Libya. Ground control operations are in progress in Niger, Mauritania and Morocco.

    • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) requested USD 10 million in June 2012 for urgent action to coordinate the emergency campaign and allow national locusts control units to undertake the required operations.

    • With the USD 7.2 million received so far (from Belgium, the Central Emergency Response Fund [CERF], France, United Kingdom and USA), FAO ensures overall campaign coordination and technical support through:

    o A Regional Strategic Response Framework for the Desert Locust threat in the Sahel.

    o Regular update of the Regional Action Plan.

    o Strengthened the operational capacity of national survey and control teams in Niger, Chad and Mali.

    o Triangulation of pesticides (airlifting pesticides from a country in the region with available stocks to a recipient country).

    o Enhanced preparedness for potential upscale of interventions in Niger, Mauritania, Chad, Mali and Senegal.

    • Bilateral assistance of USD 1 million to Niger has allowed the country to further strengthen its survey and control capacity.

    • Current funding gap is USD 1.8 million. Consequences of unmet requirements: reduction of field survey teams, less control, increased risk to crops, and more locusts will move to other countries.


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    Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department
    Country: Angola, Lesotho, Malawi, Zimbabwe

    21/12/2012 - The European Commission is allocating €15 million from the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) to help the most vulnerable people affected by persistent drought in the Southern African countries of Angola, Lesotho, Malawi and Zimbabwe. The new funding brings the Commission's humanitarian aid in the region to €33 million for this year.

    "We need to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to prevent a critical situation from getting even worse. But we also need to ensure that the people at risk can recover and build up their resilience so that they could cope with future natural disasters," said Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

    Five million people in need, especially children suffering from malnutrition and related diseases, will benefit from this decision by getting food assistance, emergency nutrition and recovery aid.

    Southern African countries are among the poorest in the world, according to the Human Development Report 2011. Vulnerability is further compounded by negative socio-economic factors such as the highest rates of HIV/AIDS.

    Background

    The European Commission has been supporting life-saving activities in Southern Africa since 1994. A team of humanitarian experts of the Commission is on the ground monitoring the situation, assessing needs and overseeing the use of EU funds. The European Commission is working with humanitarian organisations that are best placed to deliver assistance in the countries concerned, such as the World Food Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, UNICEF and World Vision.


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali

    GOUDEBOU, Burkina Faso, December 21 (UNHCR) – Mother of two, Mariam, is quite well travelled in the Sahel region, but not from choice. Over the past two decades, insecurity and conflict has forced the 49-year-old to flee her native Mali and seek shelter in Algeria in 1994, Mauritania in 2006 and Burkina Faso last February.

    She recently moved again, but this time she was happy about it after the most traumatic few months of her life, starting in January with the killing of her husband by government troops in northern Mali's Gao region and including nine months of hardship and uncertainty in Burkina Faso's isolated Fererio refugee camp, located in arid country some 25 kilometres from Mali.

    Mariam, her two daughters and her blind father were among the first to be moved by UNHCR to the Goudebou camp, 150 kilometres from the border, under a programme to relocate people away from the Fererio and Gandafabou camps, which respectively housed some 7,675 and 2,974 refugees when the exercise began in late October. Security is a concern at both sites, while Gandafabou suffers from water supply problems.

    UNHCR and other humanitarian aid agencies at Fererio have provided shelter, life-saving assistance and basic services to thousands of Malian refugees since government forces and an ethnic Tuareg rebel movement began fighting in January and triggered a population displacement.

    But the refugees at Fereiro have not felt safe there because of its proximity to the border at a time when the north of Mali has come under the strict control of Islamic militants, causing more people to flee. "I am very scared of the news coming from northern Mali," Mariam said, referring to reports of human rights abuses and the imposition of strict Islamic rule. "In Fererio, I knew they were not far away. So I feared about what could happen to me and my two girls [if fighting spilled over the border]."

    Angele Djohossou, UNHCR's deputy representative in Mali, adds that the closeness of the border "places the refugees at risk of being forcibly recruited, especially the young ones who do not have activities to occupy their time."

    At Goudebou, the security is much better and it is easier to provide protection, shelter, general assistance and access to basic services than the isolated camp near the border. The new camp is located on the outskirts of Dori, capital of Burkina Faso's Sahel r1egion.

    UNHCR is working with experienced international partners to provide a wide range of facilities, assistance and opportunities, including protection, shelter, animal husbandry and veterinarian services for those bringing their livestock, income-generation activities and access to health care and education.

    To date, more than 2,680 refugees have been relocated to Goudebou from Fererio and Gandafabou, including 445 particularly vulnerable people who were transported separately. Most of the refugees are nomads and many have brought along their livestock: UNHCR has relocated more than 1,700 animals, mainly goats and cattle, to the new site. Mariam had to leave her sheep and goats behind in the rush to flee.

    She had quickly volunteered to move to Goudebou and, because of the difficulty and vulnerability of their situation, the UN refugee agency moved her and her relatives on special four-wheel drive ambulances along with older people, those living with disabilities, pregnant women and the seriously ill. The others being relocated travel on UNHCR trucks.

    In Goudebou, the refugees are given shelter kits by the Norwegian Refugee Council to build homes, though construction workers help the most vulnerable. They are also briefed on the activities and services available in the camp from UNHCR and its partners.

    For the first time in months, Mariam says she is now enjoying a "life that resembles normality," where her father can get medical care from Medicos del Mundo and her children can attend schools run by Plan Burkina. In January, when she heard that her husband had been mistaken for a rebel and killed, she felt as though her life had fallen apart. "Luckily I had my children to give me courage and hope," she said.

    Today in Goudebou, she is seizing every opportunity even though the future remains uncertain. She is participating in activities organized by Oxfam (Spain), such as helping to promote good hygiene practices. And despite the bad memories, she has one goal: "What I most wish for today is for peace to come back to Mali, so that I can return one day and lead the life that I miss," she said, while adding: "A life that I am not sure I will ever have again."

    By Hugo Reichenberger in Goudebou, Burkina Faso


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    12/21/2012 19:26 GMT

    ALGER, 21 déc 2012 (AFP) - Les groupes armés MNLA et Ansar Dine se sont dits prêts vendredi à Alger à cesser les hostilités au Mali et à négocier avec les autorités, au lendemain du feu vert du Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU à l'envoi d'une force internationale pour chasser les islamistes du nord du pays.

    Ansar Dine (Défenseurs de l'islam), essentiellement composés de Touareg maliens, et la rébellion touareg du Mouvement national de libération de l'Azawad (MNLA), se sont engagés sous l'égide de l'Algérie à "s'abstenir de toute action susceptible d'engendrer des situations de confrontation et toute forme d'hostilité dans les zones qui sont sous leur contrôle".

    Le MNLA avait lancé en janvier l'offensive dans le nord du Mali, avant d'en être évincé peu après par les groupes islamistes armés Al Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (Aqmi), le Mouvement pour l'unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l'Ouest (Muajo) et Ansar Dine.

    Les deux groupes, qui avaient entamé une amorce de dialogue avec Bamako début décembre à Ouagadougou, ont aussi convenu de "conjuguer et coordonner" leur action pour "toute démarche visant la recherche d'une situation pacifique et durable" avec les autorités de transition, tout en dénonçant un éventuel déploiement militaire étranger.

    "Ce n'est pas la solution", a déclaré à Alger le représentant d'Ansar Dine, Mohamed Ag Akharib.

    Les deux groupes ont promis "d'aider à la libération" des otages détenus dans le Sahel par Aqmi et le Mujao, dix Européens, dont sept Français, et au moins trois algériens.

    "Il appartient maintenant au pays médiateur (l'Algérie) de fixer un calendrier des négociations. C'est un processus qu'on vient d'engager, il faut qu'on aille vite", a déclaré, au nom d'Ansar Dine, Mohamed Ag Akharib.

    Il a en revanche dit que son groupe refusait "catégoriquement de renoncer à la charia", la loi islamique appliquée avec rigueur dans tout le nord du Mali.

    L'engagement d'Ansar Dine et du MLNA intervient au lendemain du vote au Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU d'une résolution approuvant le déploiement d'une Mission internationale de soutien au Mali (Misma), tout en insistant sur la nécessité de dialoguer avec les groupes armés du Nord qui rejettent le terrorisme et la partition du pays.

    La résolution, qui autorise par étapes et sans fixer de calendrier précis le déploiement de cette force composée et commandée par des Africains, avec l'appui logistique Occidentaux, a satisfait la majorité des Maliens.

    "Nous sommes reconnaissants à la communauté internationale, un consensus s'est dégagé sur la situation malienne" s'est réjoui un conseiller du président malien par intérim, Dioncounda Traoré.

    Rapport tous les 60 jours

    Si le feu vert à l'envoi de cette force de 3.300 hommes que réclamaient l'Union africaine (UA) et la Communauté économique des Etats d'Afrique de l'Ouest (Cédéao), marque une première étape dans le processus de reconquête du Nord, il reste toutefois assorti de conditions qui pourraient retarder son déploiement.

    La résolution 2085, adoptée à l'unanimité, appelle d'abord les autorités de transition à Bamako à rétablir l'ordre constitutionnel et à organiser des élections avant avril 2013. Elle les invite aussi à engager des négociations "crédibles" avec les groupes présents dans le Nord, essentiellement les Touareg.

    Outre ces conditions, sur le plan militaire, la remise en marche de l'armée malienne, ébranlée par le coup d'Etat du 22 mars et humiliée par sa défaite face aux islamistes armés, sera également nécessaire, repoussant une éventuelle offensive à l'automne 2013.

    Et ce n'est que lorsqu'il s'estimera "satisfait" de l'état de préparation de la Misma que le Conseil permettra son déploiement. En attendant, l'ONU a demandé à l'UA de lui faire rapport tous les soixante jours sur les progrès accomplis dans ces domaines, avant toute décision.

    En visite à Bamako au moment du vote à New York, le représentant de l'ONU pour l'Afrique de l'Ouest, Saïd Djinnit a exprimé vendredi "la disponibilité des Nations Unies" pour assister les autorités de transition dans l'application de la résolution.

    Dans le même temps, des ONG et organisations de défense des droits de l'Homme ont appelé l'ONU et la communauté internationale à prendre en compte les conséquences humanitaires d'une éventuelle intervention armée et à s'assurer que les militaires africains qui la composeront seront formés pour éviter les violations des droits de l'homme envers les civils.

    bur-jb/stb/de


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    Source: UN Human Rights Council
    Country: Somalia

    GENEVA (21 December 2012) - “The plight and suffering of Somali boat people must stop,” says the UN Independent Expert on the situation of Human Rights in Somalia, Shamsul Bari, following a recent boat disaster in the Gulf of Aden, which claimed the lives of 55 Somali refugees and migrants.

    The 55 people from Somalia and the Horn of Africa drowned or went missing on December 18, after their boat capsized off the Somali coast.

    “This tragic incident shows the level of desperation of the people living in areas of Somalia which are still stricken by insecurity and the lack of enjoyment of basic economic, social and cultural rights,” said the human rights expert.

    “Despite the recent security developments in the post-transition period, it is critical to find lasting and sustainable peace in Somalia to stop people from putting their lives at risk by undertaking dangerous journeys across the Gulf of Aden,” noted Bari.

    “I urge Somali authorities at the national, regional and local levels to renew their efforts to address the root causes of the smuggling and trafficking in persons in Somalia, with the collaboration of the international community and the United Nations,” he said.

    “In particular, I urge UN organizations on the ground to increase their efforts in raising awareness about the dangers of the perilous journey across the Gulf of Aden,” Bari said.

    END

    For further information and media requests, please contact: Alicia Londono ( +41 22 928 92 58 / alondono@ohchr.org)

    For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:

    Cécile Pouilly, UN Human Rights – Media Unit ( + 41 22 917 93 10 / cpouilly@ohchr.org)

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    Source: Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit
    Country: Somalia
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    Overview

    Current Update of the Nutrition Situation in IDP Settlements of Northern and Central regions

    Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in North and Central regions of Somalia remain vulnerable to food insecurity and undernutrition due to lack of sustainable livelihoods. Over the past five years, the nutrition situation of the IDPs has ranged from Serious to Very Critical, with the poor situation mainly attributed to high morbidity rates, and poor access to adequate and nutritious meals. These factors have been underpinned by limited access to health care services and food at the household level, together with sub-optimal child feeding and care practices.

    In November 2012, FSNAU, Ministry of Health (MoH) and partners conducted eight nutrition surveys in IDPs settlements among children aged 6-59 months in Hargeisa, Burao and Berbera (Somaliland); Bossaso, Qardho, Garowe, Galkayo (Puntland); and Dusamareb Town in Central, based on the SMART methodology. The objective was to estimate the nutrition situation of the IDPs. Survey results indicate Critical – Very Critical nutrition situation among all the assessed IDPs with the exception of Hargeisa and Garowe IDPs in Serious phase. The rates of global and severe acute malnutrition are nonetheless within the seasonal levels for these populations.


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    Source: Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit
    Country: Somalia
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    Highlights

    • Inflation: The November Consumer Price Index (CPI) was mixed increasing slightly in the North Somali Shilling (SoSh) zone, slowing down in Central while remaining relatively stable in the South as well as in Somaliland shilling (SlSh) regions. Annual inflation rates are significantly lower than their levels a year ago in all areas except in SlSh zone where it is relatively stable. The cost of living is significantly elevated when compared to the base period (March 2007) in SoSh areas; it is moderately high in SlSh areas.

    • Exchange rates between local currencies and the USD remained relatively stable over the reporting month. Compared to the same period a year ago, SlSh depreciated against the USD, whereas SoSh gained considerable value. The annual appreciation of the SoSh is attributed to supply of dollars through humanitarian interventions; dollar proceeds from Hajj livestock exports; renewed investments in infrastructure rebuilding and reconstruction in Mogadishu; increased port functioning and emerging new economic and business opportunities particularly in Mogadishu. The weakened SlSh is due to increased supply and circulation of new currency notes.

    • Local grain prices were mixed- they remained stable in most markets in Juba and Hiran; increased slightly in most Sorghum Belt markets but declined somewhat in Shabelle, Banadir, Central and Northern Regions. Diminished cereal stocks as a consequence of below average Gu 2012 crop production and restricted trade flows due to insecurity and impassable roads (following recent Deyr rains) were the main factors that drove local cereal prices on the upside over the past month. On the other hand, the combined effects of reduced prices of imported food and off-season maize production and humanitarian food have mitigated the cost of cereals. Compared to a year ago, cereal prices are significantly lower in the South, Central and North SoSh zones but stable in the North SlSh areas.

    • Prices of most imported commodities were generally stable in most markets over the month of November but declined in Banadir. Compared to the same period last year, imported commodity prices are significantly lower. The decline in prices of imported food is mainly attributed to the strengthened SoSh and improved port operations.

    • Livestock prices were mixed; declining slightly in most markets but at the same time remaining stable and increasing in pockets of other regions. The reductions in monthly prices were due to reduced demand with the end of Hajj. Compared to the same month last year, livestock prices are significantly higher across all regions. The price appreciation was mainly due to improved body conditions, high export and local demand and low supply of saleable stock.

    • Labour wages sustained their levels or increased in all regions; supported by Deyr seasonal agricultural activities. Labour wages are significantly higher compared to their levels a year ago in most markets.

    • Terms of Trade (ToT) between labour wage and cereals were mixed in November, mostly improving on the backdrop of increased labour wages. The purchasing power has improved when compared to a year ago due to lower cereal prices, improved local quality goat prices and higher labour wages.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    12/21/2012 17:37 GMT

    ALGIERS, Dec 21, 2012 (AFP) - Ansar Dine and MNLA, armed rebel groups active in northern Mali, announced on Friday their commitment to suspending hostilities and negotiating with the Malian authorities to end the crisis.

    The representatives of Ansar Dine, one of three Islamist groups now controlling northern Mali, and the Tuareg National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), made the announcement after meeting in Algeria.

    They agreed "to refrain from all action likely to generate confrontations and all forms of hostility in the zones under their control and to do everything necessary to get this commitment respected," they said in a statement to journalists.

    abh/bmk/al


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali

    GOUDEBOU, Burkina Faso, 21 décembre (HCR) – Une mère de deux enfants, Mariam, a déjà sillonné bien malgré elle la région du Sahel. Durant les deux dernières décennies, l'insécurité et le conflit ont forcé cette femme de 49 ans à fuir son pays, le Mali, et à chercher abri en Algérie en 1994, en Mauritanie en 2006 et au Burkina Faso en février dernier.

    Elle a récemment voyagé à nouveau mais, cette fois, c'était avec joie car ces derniers mois ont été les plus traumatisants de sa vie. En janvier, son mari a été tué par les troupes gouvernementales dans la région de Gao au nord du Mali. Puis elle a vécu neuf mois dans des conditions précaires et difficiles dans le camp de réfugiés isolé de Férério, au Burkina Faso. Ce camp de réfugiés est situé dans une région aride à environ 25 kilomètres du Mali.

    Mariam, deux de ses filles et son père aveugle ont été parmi les premiers réfugiés à être transférés par le HCR vers le camp de réfugiés de Goudébou, à 150 kilomètres de la frontière, dans le cadre d'un programme pour transférer les personnes hors des camps de Férério et Gandafabou, qui hébergeaient respectivement 7 675 et 2 974 réfugiés au début de l'opération de transfert fin octobre. La situation de sécurité est préoccupante dans les deux sites, alors que Gandafabou connaît des problèmes d'approvisionnement en eau.

    Le HCR et d'autres agences humanitaires à Férério ont fourni des abris, une assistance vitale et des services essentiels à des milliers de réfugiés maliens depuis l'éruption des combats entre les forces gouvernementales et un mouvement rebelle touareg qui a provoqué un déplacement de population.

    Toutefois, les réfugiés à Férério ne sentaient pas en sécurité du fait de la proximité du camp avec la frontière à un moment où le nord du Mali est tombé aux mains des militants islamiques et de leur contrôle strict, causant la fuite en exil d'encore davantage d'habitants. « J'avais très peur en entendant les nouvelles qui arrivaient du nord du Mali », a expliqué Mariam, en faisant référence aux informations sur les abus des droits humains et la stricte application de la charia (loi islamique). « A Férério, je savais qu'ils n'étaient pas loin. Alors j'avais peur de ce qu'il pouvait se passer pour moi et mes deux filles [si les combats se propageaient au-delà de la frontière]. »

    Angèle Djohossou, Représentante adjointe du HCR au Mali, ajoute que la proximité de la frontière « fait porter sur les réfugiés un risque de recrutement forcé, spécialement pour les jeunes qui sont oisifs car ils n'ont pas d'activités pour les occuper. »

    A Goudébou, la sécurité est bien meilleure et il est plus facile de fournir la protection, les abris, l'assistance et d'assurer un accès aux services essentiels que dans le camp isolé près de la frontière. Le nouveau camp est situé à la périphérie de Dori, le chef-lieu de la région du Sahel, au Burkina Faso.

    Le HCR travaille avec des partenaires internationaux expérimentés pour fournir un large éventail de services, une assistance, la protection, des abris ainsi que des zones d'élevage et des services vétérinaires pour ceux qui apportent leur bétail, et enfin des activités génératrices de revenus et l'accès aux soins de santé et l'éducation.

    À ce jour, plus de 2 680 réfugiés ont été transférés depuis Goudébou, Férério et Gandafabou, et parmi eux 445 personnes particulièrement vulnérables qui ont été transportées séparément. La plupart des réfugiés sont des nomades et beaucoup ont apporté leur bétail : Le HCR a transféré également plus de 1 700 animaux, principalement des chèvres et des bovins, vers le nouveau site. Mariam avait dû laisser derrière elle ses moutons et chèvres dans la course éperdue pour fuir les combats.

    Elle s'était rapidement portée volontaire pour rejoindre Goudébou et, en raison de la difficulté et de la vulnérabilité de cette famille, le HCR a transféré sa famille dans des ambulances spéciales équipées de quatre roues motrices pour les personnes âgées, les handicapés, les femmes enceintes et les personnes gravement malade. Les autres ont été transférés dans des camions du HCR.

    A Goudébou, les réfugiés reçoivent des kits d'abris fournis par le Conseil norvégien pour les réfugiés pour qu'ils construisent leur maison. Des maçons aident les plus vulnérables. Les réfugiés sont également informés sur les activités et les services offerts dans le camp par le HCR et ses partenaires.

    Pour la première fois depuis des mois, Mariam dit qu'elle a aujourd'hui retrouvé un « semblant de vie normale », où son père reçoit des soins médicaux de l'ONG Medicos del Mundo et ses enfants peuvent fréquenter les écoles gérées par Plan Burkina. En janvier dernier, quand elle a appris que son mari avait été tué car on l'avait pris pour un rebelle, c'était comme si sa vie avait volé en éclats. « Heureusement, j'ai mes enfants pour me donner du courage et de l'espoir », a-t-elle dit.

    Aujourd'hui, à Goudébou, elle profite de tous les services assurés, même si son avenir demeure incertain. Elle participe à des activités organisées par Oxfam (Espagne), par exemple en aidant à promouvoir des pratiques d'hygiène. Et, malgré les mauvais souvenirs, elle n'a qu'un but : « Ce que je souhaite le plus aujourd'hui, c'est que la paix revienne au Mali, afin que je puisse y retourner un jour et retrouver ma vie d'avant », dit-elle, tout en ajoutant : « Ce qui est peu probable. »

    Par Hugo Reichenberger à Goudébou, Burkina Faso


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger (the), Togo
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