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    Source: UN Secretary-General
    Country: Mali

    SG/SM/17694-AFR/3364

    The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

    The Secretary-General strongly condemns the violent demonstrations that have taken place on Monday, 18 April, in Kidal, in the north of Mali, and regrets the loss of life and injury. According to preliminary information two protesters died and several were injured.

    The Secretary-General also regrets the unacceptable damage to the Kidal airfield, a crucial asset for the delivery of services and support to the people in the region, including by the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

    The Secretary-General presents his sincere condolences to the families of those who have died and wishes a prompt recovery to the injured. He is committed to establishing the facts surrounding the loss of life and injury.

    The Secretary-General urgently calls on all concerned and local leaders, including the leaders of the Coordination des mouvements de l’Azawad, to cooperate in defusing tensions and exercising restraint so as to allow for a prompt investigation into the events. A return to calm and order in the area would facilitate a resumption of the functioning of the airfield in Kidal and promote common efforts in support of the peace agreement.

    The Secretary-General reiterates the United Nations commitment to supporting the stabilization of Mali and implementation of the peace agreement.

    For information media. Not an official record.


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    Source: UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali
    Country: Mali

    A violent demonstration took place yesterday morning in Kidal at around 10 am. Demonstrators, some equipped with molotov cocktails, broke onto the airstrip secured by MINUSMA, ransacking and setting fire to secured facilities.

    Two demonstrators were killed, four others wounded by gunfire from unknown origine. MINUSMA strongly deplores the loss of lives, offers its condolences to the bereaved families and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured.

    MINUSMA remains committed to establishing the facts. A board of inquiry has been set up, its work is currently underway and the conclusions should enable to identify the origine of gunfires. MINUSMA intends to take its share of responsibility, if applicable.

    Kidal's airstrip is an essential asset for supplying humanitarian aid, providing support to local communities, as well as supporting the operations of MINUSMA and its partners. The airstrip and the airport facilities had been rehabilitated by MINUSMA earlier this year, following months of work and heavy financial investments.

    MINUSMA calls to everyone’s sense of responsibility. The mission has regular contacts with Malian authorities and leaders of local communities in order to ease tensions, and notes the appeal for calm issued by the CMA.

    MINUSMA renews its call for calm and its commitment to the implementation of the peace process alongside Malians.


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Nigeria


    0 0

    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    Baga Sola, Chad | AFP | Thursday 4/21/2016 - 03:02 GMT

    by Jean-Pierre CAMPAGNE

    Sitting on a mat in the shade cradling a six-month baby, Falmata Marara touches her mouth, her stomach, and then her mouth and stomach again. The message couldn't be clearer, she's hungry.

    A gold ring in her nose and wearing a vibrantly coloured scarf and dress, Marara, a member of the Bodoma people, five months ago fled her Lake Chad island home after an attack by Nigeria's feared Boko Haram Islamists.

    Fougo, her home island, is one of 85 scattered across Lake Chad that have been emptied of people since Boko Haram's six-year campaign of terror began, said UN humanitarian affairs officer Florent Mehaule.

    Some 110,000 people displaced by the violence live in makeshift camps around the immense waterway straddling Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria that supplies millions of people with water, Mehaule added.

    But if safe for now, all live in fear of fresh Boko Haram terror -- and most suffer from hunger.

    "I've run out of sorghum" or cereal, mumbles mother of six Marara, whose baby is feverish after a bout of diarrhoea and who had walked that day to Baga Sola from her reed hut refuge to a mobile clinic run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

    - Body searches -

    Set up not far from the invisible underwater border separating the four Lake Chad nations, the clinic deals daily with a stream of people with malaria or respiratory problems, but also reports a spike in cases linked to malnutrition.

    Fear of Boko Haram runs high in Baga Sola where a triple suicide attack in October killed 41 people.

    MSF is taking no risks.

    Because the extremists are increasingly resorting to female suicide bombers, women seeking medical help first are body-searched in an area well away from the mobile MSF centre.

    They're then submitted five by five to a second search before being allowed into the waiting room -- a carpet thrown on the ground.

    Some 10 kilometres (six miles) away across parched and sandy terrain, MSF runs a tiny mental health centre to help those displaced overcome the trauma of rape, violence and flight.

    - 'Acute paranoia' -

    "Some people become anorexic and no longer eat, others just close up on themselves," said Charlot Serferbe Dabo, a clinical psychologist.

    "Depression can be immediate or surface months later," he added.

    One patient suffered from acute paranoia, convinced he was being hunted night and day by Boko Haram fighters.

    The doctor said he believed he was also taking a powerful painkiller called Tramadol which is widely sold to addicts on the black market.

    Nigeria-based Boko Haram has left thousands dead and 2.6 million homeless in that country alone since 2009.

    Moving back and forth across Lake Chad it has brought its war to set up an Islamic state across the borders as well.

    Now the four border nations as well as neighbouring Benin have banded together to rout the Islamists and cut supply lines.

    Among the refugees around the lake are fishermen deprived of food and income after the authorities banned fishing in a bid to flush out and starve the Islamists.

    - 'Throats slit' -

    "Many have returned home to their islands, despite the threat of Boko Haram attacks," said an MSF doctor.

    "They say they'd rather risk being killed on a full stomach than dying of hunger bit by bit. But recently, three of them had their throats slit on their return."

    Around Baga Sola, local civilian vigilante groups keep a watchful eye on comings and goings, specially on market day.

    Crowded mosques and markets are favoured targets for Boko Haram, though nowadays, with traffic stopped across Lake Chad, there's little for sale at the stalls.

    There are no fresh fish, no Chad beef in Nigeria and no dried Nigerian fish in Chad.

    "The security situation is a little better," said Ocha's Mehaule. "But people are still not going home which indicates there is still a risk."

    jpc/mc/ccr/ser

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Djibouti, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tajikistan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Projected Food Assistance Needs for October 2016

    This brief summarizes FEWS NET’s most forward-looking analysis of projected emergency food assistance needs in FEWS NET coverage countries. The projected size of each country’s acutely food insecure population (IPC Phase 3 and higher) is compared to last year and the recent five-year average and categorized as Higher, Similar, or Lower. Countries where external emergency food assistance needs are anticipated are identified. Projected lean season months highlighted in red indicate either an early start or an extension to the typical lean season. Additional information is provided for countries with large food insecure populations, an expectation of high severity, or where other key issues warrant additional discussion. Analytical confidence is lower in remote monitoring countries, denoted by “RM”. Visit www.fews.net for detailed country reports.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Nigeria

    Kaduna, Nigeria | AFP | Thursday 4/21/2016 - 10:29 GMT

    Suspected Boko Haram gunmen on horseback killed at least 11 people in northeast Nigeria this week, two civilian vigilantes assisting the military told AFP on Thursday.

    The attack on Zango village, in the Gulani district some 150 kilometres (94 miles) south of the Yobo state capital, Damaturu, happened overnight on Tuesday to Wednesday, said Aisami Mamman.

    It came two weeks after a similar attack on two nearby villages left at least 20 dead, he added.

    "They (Boko Haram) came around midnight (2300 GMT Tuesday) and started firing gunshots in the village. This prompted residents to flee into the bush," said Mamman.

    "They pursued them, shooting at them while others set fire to the whole village. The whole village was burnt. Eleven people were killed and several others were injured, six of them critically.

    "They were brought here to Damaturu where they are receiving treatment for gunshot wounds."

    The motive for the attack was not immediately clear but previous strikes have seen Boko Haram steal cattle or foodstuffs.

    The hit-and-run attack has been a trademark of the Islamic State group affiliate but such incidents have become rarer because of a concerted military counter-offensive in the northeast.

    Troops have over the last year wrested back territory lost to the militants in 2014, scattering fighters and cutting off their supply lines.

    Boko Haram fighters have conducted a number of attacks on remote villages after arriving on horseback and even bicycles because of a shortage of fuel for vehicles or motorbikes.

    Mamman suggested the attackers in Zango came from the Sambisa Forest area of neighbouring Borno, where Boko Haram has long had camps.

    "Exactly two weeks ago there was a similar attack on two villages nearby. They attacked Gurum and Dokshi villages," he said in an account of both incidents supported by another militia member.

    "They burnt them completely and killed more than 20 residents."

    Boko Haram has killed nearly 1,900 people since President Muhammadu Buhari took office in May last year, according to AFP reporting.

    Overall, an estimated 20,000 people have been killed since the start of the insurgency in 2009.

    abu-phz/sf/wdb


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Chad

    N'Djamena, Tchad | AFP | jeudi 21/04/2016 - 23:51 GMT

    Le chef de l'Etat tchadien Idriss Deby Itno, au pouvoir depuis 26 ans, a été réélu sans surprise pour un cinquième mandat au premier tour de la présidentielle du 10 avril avec 61,56% des voix, loin devant le chef de l'opposition, Saleh Kebzabo, qui dénonce un "hold-up électoral".

    Saleh Kebzabo arrive en effet en deuxième position avec seulement 12,80 % des voix, a annoncé jeudi soir la Commission électorale nationale indépendante (CENI).

    Laokein Kourayo Medar, maire de Moundou, capitale économique située dans le sud, est en troisième position avec 10,69 % des suffrages.

    Ces résultats provisoires doivent être avalisés dans un délai de 15 jours par le Conseil constitutionnel.

    Plus de six millions d'électeurs étaient inscrits et le taux de participation a été de 71,11 %.

    Au total, 13 candidats se présentaient à cette élection dont Idriss Deby, disposant des structures d'Etat et de moyens financiers nettement supérieurs à ses adversaires, était le grand favori.

    Sa victoire a été saluée par des coups de canon et des rafales de fusil automatique par les militants de son parti, le Mouvement patriotique du salut (MPS), qui s'étaient donné rendez-vous sur la vaste place de la Nation de N'Djamena, face au palais présidentiel.

    Toute la journée, comme d'ailleurs le jour du premier tour, la capitale a été quadrillée par nombre de policiers, de gendarmes et de bérets rouges de la garde présidentielle, présents à tous les carrefours, a constaté l'AFP.

    Cette démonstration de force et d'intimidation d'un pouvoir omnipotent, qui ne supporte pas la contestation, s'illustre aussi par la victoire dès le premier tour d'Idriss Deby.

    Car, au vu du nombre de candidats, la question était surtout de savoir si Deby passerait au premier ou bien au second tour.

    Avant la publication des résultats, jeudi, huit candidats dont le chef de l'opposition avaient accusé le pouvoir de fraude et de "hold-up électoral", estimant qu'aucun candidat "ne peut l'emporter au premier tour" au vu des résultats dans les régions dont ils disent disposer.

    Les signataires dénonçaient "la disparition de centaines d'urnes et de milliers de procès-verbaux", ajoutée notamment au "trafic de cartes d'électeurs" de la part du MPS.

    Ils dénonçaient également la disparition de militaires qui n'auraient pas voté pour Idriss Deby et dont certains, "arrêtés et emprisonnés", sont "à ce jour portés disparus".

    • 'Hold-up électoral' -

    Ils mettaient aussi "solennellement en garde" la CENI et le Conseil constitutionnel "contre toute tentative d'avaliser le hold-up électoral du MPS".

    Plusieurs de ces candidats, notamment dans les quartiers pauvres de N'Djamena, et dans le sud, région la plus peuplée, disposent effectivement d'une implantation solide, censée leur rallier un nombre important d'électeurs.

    Dans l'hypothèse d'une victoire au premier tour d'Idriss Deby, dont le slogan de campagne était "1er tour, KO", les huit candidats envisageaient enfin de "ne pas reconnaître toute institution issue de ce hold-up électoral" et de "mettre en place un gouvernement de salut public".

    L'élection de Deby intervient au moment où plusieurs administrations, hôpitaux, écoles et universités sont en grève depuis de longues semaines: pour des arriérés de salaires, de bourses, toujours pour les moyens de survie quotidienne.

    Mais la société civile n'a pas le droit de manifester pour une alternance démocratique. Pour avoir enfreint cette interdiction, quatre leaders de la société civile ont été emprisonnés trois semaines avant d'être condamnés à quatre mois de prison avec sursis.

    A cette lourde tension sociale, s'ajoute la menace d'attentats par les islamistes du groupe nigérian Boko Haram, qui ont frappé deux fois N'Djamena en 2015, et qui légitime d'autant plus l'imposant déploiement sécuritaire d'un régime guerrier qui, en 26 ans de pouvoir, s'est maintenu par les armes.

    Malgré la manne pétrolière depuis 2003, le Tchad est classé par l'ONU parmi les cinq pays les plus pauvres au monde. Soixante-dix pour cent de ses 13 millions d'habitants sont analphabètes.

    yas-jpc/jpa

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Togo


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Togo


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    Source: AlertNet
    Country: Mali

    Author: Kieran Guilbert

    DAKAR, April 21 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The kidnapping of three Red Cross staff and damage to an airstrip by violent protesters in northern Mali have hindered humanitarian operations in a region which has been slowly stabilising, aid agencies said on Thursday.

    Read the full story here.


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    Source: International Organization for Migration, Government of Chad, CCCM Cluster
    Country: Chad, Nigeria


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Mali

    Highlights

    • In March, WFP’s General Food Distributions (GFD) provided assistance to 102,000 people.

    • Results from the Cadre Harmonise show that 423,500 people will be in need of food assistance during the lean season (June-September), a significant reduction compared to 2015.

    • WFP provided vital support in Kidal - by providing school meals to the 13 schools that re-opened for the first time since the beginning of the crisis in February 2012.

    WFP Assistance

    WFP aims to save lives, promote stability and achieve Zero Hunger in vulnerable communities throughout the country. It maintains emergencyresponse capacity (especially in northern Mali), protects beneficiaries and promotes women’s participation. In 2016, WFP is aiming to assist up to 1.1 million people through targeted distributions (food and cash), specialized nutritional products, blanket and targeted supplementary feeding programmes for children and pregnant and nursing women.

    At the same time, as the situation allows, WFP is scaling up activities to rebuild livelihoods and strengthen the preparedness and response capacity of communities to future shocks. These programmes are critical to safeguarding the gains made in previous years and ensuring the link between development and emergency operations. Safety net programmes target poor households and improve food security through food for assets and school meals programmes. These activities support nutrition, education and rural development.

    WFP is currently implementing two innovative pilot nutrition programmes. The Community Based Nutritional Health Programme in the Kayes Region (SNACK) is a community based approach to nutritional health that addresses the critical 1,000 days of a child’s life. In addition, a pilot project with Médecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) supports operational research on nutritional supplements ability to treat moderate acute malnutrition and prevent chronic malnutrition. In parallel, WFP is implementing pilot project with the Aga Khan Foundation to measure the effectiveness of local nutrition supplements.

    To monitor developments in Kidal, WFP is supporting all schools that re-opened for the first time since the beginning of the crisis in February 2011. WFP also successfully sends staff to Kidal and provides the humanitarian community flights to the region.

    The Purchase for Progress project supports the marketing capacities of 17 farmer’s organizations, with a strong gender component. The project is not only increasing smallholder farmer’s productivity and income but is also reducing producer food loses.
    WFP co leads the Food Security Cluster with FAO.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Chad

    N'Djamena, Tchad | AFP | vendredi 22/04/2016 - 12:08 GMT

    AJOUTE CALME DANS N'DJAMENA, DÉCLARATION DEBY, RÉUNION OPPOSITION

    par Jean-Pierre CAMPAGNE à Libreville Stéphane Yas à N'Djamena

    Le calme régnait dans N'Djamena vendredi matin après la réélection sans surprise du chef de l'Etat tchadien Idriss Deby Itno, au pouvoir depuis 26 ans, pour un cinquième mandat dès le 1er tour de la présidentielle du 10 avril, même si l'opposition dénonce un "hold-up électoral".

    Le chef de l'opposition Saleh Kebzabo arrive en deuxième position avec seulement 12,80 % des voix contre 61,56 % au chef de l'Etat, selon les résultats provisoires annoncés jeudi soir par la Commission électorale nationale indépendante (CENI).

    Toute la nuit, la victoire du président Deby a été saluée par des coups de canon et des rafales de fusils automatiques tirées par les militants de son parti, le Mouvement patriotique du salut (MPS), qui s'étaient donné rendez-vous sur la vaste place de la Nation de N'Djamena, face au palais présidentiel.

    "Cette victoire est la victoire du peuple tchadien, la victoire des jeunes, des femmes et de nos compatriotes de l'arrière pays. Savourez votre victoire en attendant la confirmation par le conseil constitutionnel mais n'occupez pas la rue", a lancé à ses partisans le président au cours d'une apparition dans la nuit sur la place de la Nation.

    Vendredi, comme la veille et le jour du premier tour, la capitale était quadrillée par nombre de policiers, gendarmes et bérets rouges de la garde présidentielle, présents à tous les carrefours, a constaté l'AFP.

    Le groupe de huit candidats opposants, qui accuse depuis plusieurs jours de fraudes le pouvoir et a envisagé la constitution "d'un gouvernement de salut public", était en réunion vendredi dans la capitale.

    Les résultats provisoires doivent être avalisés dans un délai de 15 jours par le Conseil constitutionnel.

    Plus de six millions d'électeurs étaient inscrits et le taux de participation a été de 71,11 %.

    Au total, 13 candidats se présentaient à cette élection dont Idriss Deby, disposant des structures d'Etat et de moyens financiers nettement supérieurs à ses adversaires, était le grand favori.

    La bonne opération est celle du troisième, Laokein Kourayo Medar, maire de Moundou, capitale économique située dans le sud, qui remporte 10,69 % des suffrages pour une première participation à une présidentielle. "Il a eu une bonne gestion dans sa ville, les électeurs l'ont soutenu", commente un journaliste

    Au vu du nombre de candidats, la question était surtout de savoir si Deby passerait au premier ou bien au second tour.

    Avant la publication des résultats, jeudi, le groupe des huit candidats avaient accusé le pouvoir de fraude et de "hold-up électoral", estimant qu'aucun candidat "ne peut l'emporter au premier tour" au vu des résultats dans les régions dont ils disaient disposer.

    Les signataires dénonçaient "la disparition de centaines d'urnes et de milliers de procès-verbaux", ajoutée notamment au "trafic de cartes d'électeurs" de la part du MPS.

    Ils dénonçaient également la disparition de militaires qui n'auraient pas voté pour Idriss Deby et dont certains, "arrêtés et emprisonnés", sont "à ce jour portés disparus".

    '1er tour KO'

    Ils mettaient aussi "solennellement en garde" la CENI et le Conseil constitutionnel "contre toute tentative d'avaliser le hold-up électoral du MPS".

    Plusieurs de ces candidats, notamment dans les quartiers pauvres de N'Djamena, et dans le sud, région la plus peuplée, disposent effectivement d'une implantation solide, censée leur rallier un nombre important d'électeurs.

    Dans l'hypothèse d'une victoire au premier tour d'Idriss Deby, dont le slogan de campagne était "1er tour, KO", les huit candidats envisageaient enfin de "mettre en place un gouvernement de salut public".

    L'élection de Deby intervient au moment où plusieurs administrations, hôpitaux, écoles et universités sont en grève depuis de longues semaines: pour des arriérés de salaires, de bourses, toujours pour les moyens de survie quotidienne.

    Mais la société civile n'a pas le droit de manifester pour une alternance démocratique. Pour avoir enfreint cette interdiction, quatre de ses leaders ont été emprisonnés trois semaines avant d'être condamnés à quatre mois de prison avec sursis.

    A cette tension sociale, s'ajoute la menace d'attentats par les islamistes du groupe nigérian Boko Haram, qui ont frappé deux fois N'Djamena en 2015, et qui légitime d'autant plus l'imposant déploiement sécuritaire d'un régime guerrier qui, en 26 ans de pouvoir, s'est maintenu par les armes.

    Malgré la manne pétrolière depuis 2003, le Tchad est classé par l'ONU parmi les cinq pays les plus pauvres au monde. Soixante-dix pour cent de ses 13 millions d'habitants sont analphabètes.

    yas-jpc/jlb

    © 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse


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


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic

    Highlights

    • In the Far North region, the ongoing violence continues to fuel new displacement – as of February 2016, the number of internally displaced persons (IDP) is estimated at 169,970 individuals, including some 30,600 persons displaced by flooding and other natural disasters (IOM February 2016).

    • In eastern Cameroon, WFP was forced to reduce the food ration for C.A.R. refugees in March due to resourcing gaps.

    • In April, WFP plans to launch its first cash assistance programmes in Cameroon, targeting C.A.R. refugees in the East region and IDPs in select areas of the Far North, where markets are functioning and capable of supporting a cash-based response.

    Operational Updates

    • Far North region (EMOP 200777): In March WFP stepped up assistance, reaching some 115,000 IDPs and vulnerable local populations through food assistance. Additionally, 54,000 Nigerian refugees in the Minawao refugee camp received food support. In February, WFP expanded the malnutrition prevention programme from initially targeting refugees in the Minawao camp, to IDPs and host populations in five priority districts of the Far North; in March, 30,000 children under five benefited from malnutrition prevention activities and 24,900 malnourished children and pregnant and nursing women from treatment activities.

    • Food security Monitoring: The food security situation remains critical in the Far North due to ongoing violence and continued displacements. WFP is regularly monitoring food security and market developments in the Far North, using mobile Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (mVAM) as a tool to gather more timely food security information in difficult-to-access communities where regular face-to-face surveys are not possible due to insecurity. Findings from the Far North region confirm a precarious food insecurity situation of populations in the affected areas.

    • Eastern Cameroon (EMOP 200799): WFP continues to provide food and nutrition support to 156,000 C.A.R. refugees registered by UNHCR, including 18,000 refugees who arrived prior 2014.
      Due to resourcing gaps, WFP had to cut the number of general food distribution ration days in March to 15 days instead of the usual 30 days. Nutrition treatment and prevention activities continued as planned.

    • Country Programme (CP 200330): WFP and the government have initiated delivery of food to primary schools in most food insecure districts in northern Cameroon, to benefit students through the school semester. However, due to lack of resources, a significantly lower number of schools than foreseen will be assisted.


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Mauritania

    Highlights

    • Funding shortfalls will continue to force WFP to reduce food and nutritional assistance to vulnerable host population.

    • WFP is introducing the cash component to meet the requests and needs of the refugees residing in the Mberra camp.

    • In March, WFP launched their food for assets programme in the regions of Hodh El Gharbi, Hodh El Chargui and Assaba.

    Operational Updates

    • In March, WFP continued to provide food and nutritional assistance targeting the host population and refugees in six of the most vulnerable regions of Mauritania.

    • WFP launched the Food for Assets (FFA) programme in the vulnerable regions of Hodh El Charghi, Hodh El Gharbi and Assaba. Operations will start in April to assist building of resilience and assets for the local populations.

    • WFP is introducing a cash component as part of the food rations for refugees in the Mberra camp, meeting the request of the people. In March, the feasibility and technical studies were conducted, the distributions are planned from April onwards. The cash component will represent 30 percent of the food ration and will enable refugees to meet their dietary needs based on their food preferences.

    • Starting from March, all implementation and monitoring of WFP activities is conducted through the utilization of smartphones. This will allow WFP to generate accurate real time data, and also introduce the possibility of GPS monitoring and photo collection of ongoing activities.

    • Preliminary results of the food security monitoring (FSM) conducted in January have highlighted considerable improvements of the food security situation. This is the concrete result of a good harvesting period (October-December) and coordinated intervention led by the government with its partners, including WFP.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Cameroon, United States of America

    YAOUNDE – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a contribution of nearly 15,000 metric tons of food, worth US$21 million or CFA 12 billion, from USAID’s Food for Peace Program to Cameroon. This food will bring vital support to 300,000 people−refugees, internally displaced people (IDPs) and vulnerable food insecure populations−over the next three months, just when they need it most, at the onset of the lean season.

    “This much-needed food−rice, split peas, vegetable oil and super cereals−comes at a critical time as the Boko Haram crisis in the north and the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) refugee crisis in the east have generated increased needs and disrupted people’s lives in already fragile areas. It will help people cope over the next three months when they are most vulnerable as the lean season gets underway, and food insecurity worsens,” said Felix B.F. Gomez, WFP Country Director in Cameroon.

    In addition to some 260,000 refugees from C.A.R. who have been taking shelter for the past few years in Cameroon’s eastern regions, the Boko Haram violence continues to uproot families from their homes, disrupt the economy, agriculture and cross-border trade in the north of the country. More than 200,000 people–Nigerian refugees and Cameroonians–have been displaced due to the Boko Haram violence; in the worst-affected areas along the border with Nigeria, 1.4 million people face hunger.

    “Without this support from our long-standing partner, USAID, we would not be able to continue providing the food and nutrition assistance that people need to survive. It’s an essential contribution to stave off hunger among those who need help most over the next months, but we are concerned that without additional international support, WFP will not be able to maintain its assistance as of June/July to the refugee and IDP populations,” said Gomez.

    USAID is the largest single donor to WFP’s emergency programmes in Cameroon, covering up to 25 percent of the food assistance costs in 2016, and has been one of WFP’s key supporters over the years.

    While this substantial contribution enables WFP to continue its support for another three months, an additional US$36 million is needed to sustain assistance to vulnerable communities until the end of the year.

    /###

    WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

    Follow us on Twitter: @WFP_WAfrica; @wfp_media

    For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
    Sofia Engdahl, WFP/Cameroon, Mob: (+237) 690308963


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    Source: Afrique Verte
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger

    Début avril la tendance générale de l’évolution des prix des céréales est à la hausse au Burkina et à la stabilité au Mali et au Niger.

    Syntèse par pays

    Au Niger la tendance générale des prix des céréales est à la hausse pour le mil et à la stabilité pour les autres céréales. Les hausses ont été enregistrées : i) pour le mil à Agadez (+8%), Zinder (+7%), Maradi (+3%) et Dosso (+3%), ii) pour le sorgho à Maradi (+7%) et iii) pour le maïs à Agadez (+8%) et à Niamey (+6%). Seul le prix du maïs a enregistré une baisse à Zinder (-11%).

    Au Mali la tendance générale de l’évolution des prix des céréales est à la stabilité à quelques exceptions près. Des mouvements à la hausse sont observés : i) pour le riz importé à Kayes (+3%), ii) pour le mil à Kayes (+3%), iii) pour le sorgho à Kayes (+3%) et Sikasso (+4%), iv) pour le maïs à Kayes (+4%), Sikasso (+4%) et Bamako (+4%). Seul le riz local a enregistré une baisse sur les marchés de Kayes (-5%), Bamako (-3%) et Gao (-1%).

    Au Burkina la tendance générale des prix est à la hausse pour les céréales sèches et à la stabilité pour le riz. Les hausses ont été enregistrés, i) pour le mil à Nouna (+14%), Ouagadougou (+9%), Dédougou (+7%) et à Pouytenga et Kongoussi (+3%), ii) pour le sorgho à Ouagadougou (+28%), Bobo (+20%), Dédougou et Nouna (+12%), Fada (+10%) et à Tenkodogo / Pouytenga (+7%), iii) pour le maïs à Tenkodogo / Pouytenga (+14%), Nouna (+8%), Ouagadougou (+7%) et à Bobo et Dédougou (+4%). Une seule baisse a été enregistrée sur le marché de Kongoussi pour le sorgho (-3%).


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    Source: Amnesty International
    Country: Nigeria

    Nigeria: Military cover-up of mass slaughter at Zaria exposed

    Mass slaughter of hundreds of men, women and children by soldiers in Zaria and the attempted cover-up of this crime demonstrates an utter contempt for human life and accountability, said Amnesty International as it publishes evidence gathered on the ground revealing how the Nigerian military burned people alive, razed buildings and dumped victims’ bodies in mass graves.

    The report, Unearthing the truth: Unlawful killings and mass cover-up in Zaria, contains shocking eyewitness testimony of large-scale unlawful killings by the Nigerian military and exposes a crude attempt by the authorities to destroy and conceal evidence.

    “The true horror of what happened over those two days in Zaria is only now coming to light. Bodies were left littered in the streets and piled outside the mortuary. Some of the injured were burned alive,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for Africa.

    “Our research, based on witness testimonies and analysis of satellite images, has located one possible mass grave. It is time now for the military to come clean and admit where it secretly buried hundreds of bodies.”

    More than 350 people are believed to have been unlawfully killed by the military between 12 and 14 December, following a confrontation between members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) and soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna state.

    IMN supporters - some armed with batons, knives, and machetes - had refused to clear the road near their headquarters, the Hussainiyya, for a military convoy to pass. The army has claimed that IMN supporters attacked the convoy in an attempt to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff. IMN members deny this.

    Following an initial confrontation the military surrounded other locations where IMN supporters had gathered, notably at the residential compound of IMN leader Ibrahim Al-Zakzaky. Some people were killed as a result of indiscriminate fire. Others appeared to have been deliberately targeted.

    All available information indicates that the deaths of protesters were the consequence of excessive, and arguably, unnecessary use of force.

    Children injured and killed

    Zainab, a 16-year-old schoolgirl, told Amnesty International: “We were in our school uniforms. My friend Nusaiba Abdullahi was shot in her forehead. We took her to a house where they treated the injured but, before reaching the house, she already died.” A 10-year-old boy who was shot in the leg told Amnesty International how his older brother was shot in the head as they tried to leave the compound. “We went out to try to shelter in a nearby house but we got shot.”

    Shot and burned alive

    On 13 December, two buildings within Ibrahim Al-Zakzaky’s compound, one of which was being used as a makeshift medical facility and mortuary, were attacked by soldiers. Alyyu, a 22-year-old student, told Amnesty International that he was shot in the chest outside the compound and was taken inside for treatment: “There were lots of injuredpeople in several rooms. There were dead bodies in a room and also in the courtyard. Around 12-1pm soldiers outside called on people to come out, but people were too scared to go out. We knew they would kill us. Soldiers threw grenades inside the compound. I saw one soldier on the wall of the courtyard shooting inside.”

    One mother described a phone conversation with one of her 19-year-old sons before he was killed alongside his twin brother and their step brother and sister in the compound. “They are shooting those injured one by one,” he told her.

    As soldiers set fire to the makeshift medical facility in the compound that afternoon, Yusuf managed to escape despite serious gunshot wounds: “Those who were badly injured and could not escape were burned alive,” he told Amnesty International. “I managed to get away from the fire by crawling on my knees until I reached a nearby house where I was able to hide until the following day. I don’t know how many of the wounded were burned to death. Tens and tens of them.”

    Footage believed to have been shot on mobile phone by IMN supporters after the incident shows bodies with gunshot wounds as well as charred bodies strewn around the compound.

    Cover-up

    After the incident the military sealed off the areas around al-Zakzaky’s compound, the Hussainiyya and other locations. Bodies were taken away, sites were razed to the ground, the rubble removed, bloodstains washed off, and bullets and spent cartridge removed from the streets.

    Witnesses saw piles of bodies outside the morgue of Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital in Zaria. A senior medical source told Amnesty International that the military sealed off the area around the morgue for two days. During that time he saw army vehicles “coming and going”.

    A witness described to Amnesty International what he saw outside the hospital mortuary on the evening of 14 December: “It was dark and from far I could only see a big mound but when I got closer I saw it was a huge pile of corpses on top of each other. I have never seen so many dead bodies. I got very scared and run away. It was a terrible sight and I can’t get it out of my mind.”

    Another witness told the organisation how he had seen diggers excavating holes at the site of the suspected mass grave: “There were five or six large trucks and several smaller military vehicles and they spent hours digging and unloading the trucks’ cargo into the hole they dug and then covered it again with the earth they had dug out. They were there from about 1 or 2 am until about 5 am. I don’t know what they buried. It looked like bodies, but I could not get near.”

    Amnesty International identified and visited the location of a possible mass grave near Mando. Satellite images of the site taken on 2 November and 24 December 2015 show disturbed earth spanning an area of approximately 1000 square metres. Satellite pictures also show the complete destruction of buildings and mosques.

    “It is clear that the military not only used unlawful and excessive force against men, women and children, unlawfully killing hundreds, but then made considerable efforts to try to cover-up these crimes,” said Netsanet Belay.

    “Four months after the massacre the families of the missing are still awaiting news of their loved ones. A full independent forensic investigation is long overdue. The bodies must be exhumed, the incident must be impartially and independently investigated and those responsible must be held to account.”

    BACKGROUND

    On Monday 25 April, the military are expected to give evidence to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry established by the Kaduna State Government in January 2016. On 11 April, a Kaduna State government official told the Judicial Commission of Inquiry that the bodies of 347 members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) were collected from the hospital mortuary and an army depot in Zaria and buried secretly in a mass grave near Mando (outside the town of Kaduna) on the night of 14-15 December. The IMN claim a further 350 people who went missing during the incidents in Zaria remain unaccounted for.

    During field research carried out in Kaduna state and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in February 2016, Amnesty International delegates interviewed 92 people, including victims and their relatives, eyewitnesses, lawyers and medical personnel. Attempts were made to interview members of the military.

    IMN leader Al-Zakzaky and his wife Zeinat Al-Zakzaky were arrested and held incommunicado. They were only allowed access to their lawyer for the first time on 1 April 2015, three and a half months after their arrest. Amnesty International has not had access to those who remain in detention but has received information from medical sources that some of the detainees were not allowed access to necessary medical care for several weeks after their arrest.

    Amnesty International is calling for those IMN supporters charged in connection with this incident to be tried promptly and fairly and for those still held in detention without charge to be either immediately charged or released.


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