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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    Country: South Sudan

    An increasing number of South Sudanese will continue to face difficulty in meeting daily food needs in the coming months despite harvests, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization has warned. The end of the lean season and start of harvests in South Sudan are traditionally associated with a reduction in food insecurity due to more food stocks and lower food prices in the markets, bringing much needed relief. According to recent FAO assessments, the number of severely food insecure people at this time is 3.7 million people – 31 percent of the country’s estimated population and an increase of an overall 1 million people compared to the same period last year.

    Though harvests have provided some reprieve, FAO experts warn that the benefits will be short lived as local stocks will deplete rapidly. Following seasonal patterns food insecurity levels in 2017 is destined to rapidly deteriorate to massive proportions. The risk of famine is increasingly real, especially for South Sudan’s most vulnerable communities.

    “The renewed violence has had severe repercussions on agricultural production and stability needs to be restored to enable farmers to return to their fields. We are seeing an unprecedented number of food insecure people at harvest time and many more people at risk of starvation in the months to come as stocks run out. There is a need to act now to prevent a catastrophe,” warns Serge Tissot, FAO Representative.

    The Equatoria region which is responsible for over half of the country’s net cereal production has been severely impacted by the recent violence. In active conflict areas, an estimated 50 percent of all harvests have been lost and even more farmers were unable to plant for the second season due to insecurity. The displacement of people from those areas is also due to have profound effects on agricultural production, FAO experts warn.

    Moreover, of grave concern is the most fragile areas Northern Bahr el Ghazal where the structural drivers of food insecurity - including the protracted economic crisis, market failure and the loss or depletion of livelihood assets - have continued to escalate. FAO’s harvest assessments findings show that farmers in this area have produced less than last year, with some areas being hard-hit by flooding and dry spells, raising their vulnerability. The report highlights Aweil East where sorghum production almost halved, dropping from 0.9 to 0.5 tonnes.

    Since the outbreak of fighting in South Sudan’s capital Juba and other parts of the country, cereal prices have increased by more than 500 percent compared to the same period last year. Trade has been crippled by rampant insecurity along the main trade routes and traders’ inability to access hard currency for imports forcing them to close-down their businesses. “With the market collapsing and many families having little to no safety nets to cope, we must empower them with the means to produce their own food. With this we want to structurally strengthen their livelihoods and boost their resilience,” explains Tissot, FAO Representative.

    During the forthcoming dry season campaign, FAO aims to target 1.2 million people with distributions of vegetable and fishing kits and provision of trainings to farmers on modern farming techniques to increase yields. At the same time, FAO is preparing to meet the country’s greatest needs for the main planting season; this includes the provision of much needed agricultural inputs so that the most vulnerable can produce their own food. For this to happen, the food agency requires US $ 28 million by the end of the year.


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

    La région est assujettie à des chocs environnementaux récurrents tels que la sécheresse et les invasions acridiennes. Les espaces cultivables (les Ouadis) sont aussi affectés par l’ensablement et la baisse de la nappe phréatique. Il est essentiel d’associer l’amélioration des pratiques et technique culturales à une gestion efficace des aménagements et de l’environnement afin de sauver les terres fertiles pour l’agriculture.

    La situation alimentaire de la région se détériore. Les campagnes agropastorales sont déficitaires depuis plusieurs années à cause notamment de l’insuffisance et la mauvaise répartition des pluies. Celle de 2015/2016 affiche une baisse de la production céréalière de 54% par rapport à la moyenne des cinq dernières années. Cette situation risque de perdurer voire de s’aggraver à cause de divers facteurs, notamment les crises dans les pays voisins (Nigeria, Libye) qui constituent un blocage pour les sources de revenus et la détérioration continue des termes de l’échange entre agriculteurs et éleveurs.

    La situation nutritionnelle reste alarmante. Le taux de malnutrition aigüe sévère de 2,7% (au-delà du seuil d’urgence de 2 %) et les complications qui peuvent en découler sont responsables de la plupart des décès d’enfants. Les actions de prévention et de dépistage des cas modérés doivent être renforcées parallèlement aux prises en charge des cas identifiés comme sévères afin d’améliorer l’état nutritionnel de la population.

    L’accès à la santé, l’eau et l’assainissement est faible. Les centres de santé sont insuffisants et mal répartis sur l’étendue de la région. L’accès aux soins est difficile du fait de l’éloignement des centres de santé (de 50 à 80 km à parcourir) et de l’absence de moyens de transport. 40% des ouvrages hydrauliques sont en mauvais état et 20% hors d'usage. La défécation à l’air libre constitue un véritable problème de santé publique. Les efforts visant à améliorer l’accès aux services essentiels de base et l’hygiène doivent être renforcés.


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    Source: Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
    Country: Burundi, Germany, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, World

    Countries targeted by Germany's move are ridden by chronic conflict, disastrous climate change and poverty

    (Adds plans to open German-East African university in Kenya)

    BERLIN, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Germany on Monday pledged a 61-million-euro ($67.44 million) hike in funding for U.N. relief operations in Africa so that fewer of its people undertake perilous odysseys to Europe, which has struggled to absorb an influx of migrants since last year.

    Read more on Thomson Reuters Foundation


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Nigeria

    Highlights

    • The recent IOM DTM, dated 31 October, identifies 93 per cent of IDPs are living in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states; 55 per cent are children.

    • The mass measles vaccination integrated with Vitamin A supplementation and screening for malnutrition was interrupted in IDP camps in Maiduguri along with other emergency response activities due to the suicide bombing last Friday at the entrance of Bakassi IDP camp.

    • Over 114,000 children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) have been admitted to therapeutic feeding programmes in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, reaching nearly 29 per cent of the 2016 target (398,188).

    • Integrated primary healthcare services have benefitted over three million people to date.

    • Nearly 592,000 people (48.5 per cent of the target of 1.2 million) have access to safe water.

    • Psychosocial support benefitted 167,096 children including through CFS based recreational activities for vulnerable, unaccompanied and separated children, and children associated with armed forces/group.

    • Through the ongoing school enrolment drive in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, 89,811 children have access to safe learning spaces with UNICEF’s support.

    Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

    IOM’s recently completed DTM identifies over 1.82 million IDPs and 958,549 returnees in need of humanitarian assistance in the north east. Of these 55 per cent are children and 53.6 per cent are women. Majority of the IDPs and returnees are in Borno (1.39 million), Adamawa (170,070) and Yobe (124,706) states. The maximum number of IDPs, 76.4 per cent, are in Borno state, with Maiduguri Metropolitan Council –MMC accommodating 528,765 IDPs. There are almost 122 camp/camp-like sites in Borno. Food has been identified has the major unmet need, followed by non-food items, shelter, medical services and water.

    The security situation has deteriorated in Maiduguri and surrounding areas. There was resurgence of suicide bombing/attacks during the past week, with three attacks and one attempt to detonate a bomb, which resulted in several deaths and injuries of civilians. Of concern is the attack at the entrance of an IDP camp (Bakassi camp & Dalori 1 & 2) where UN agencies provide humanitarian assistance to IDPs; and reports of attempts by the insurgents to target other IDP camps. UN activities were temporarily suspended to two IDP camps (Bakassi camp & Dalori 1 & 2) but will be resuming next week.

    According to inter-agency joint assessments mission on 25 October to return area of Gulani Local Government Area (LGA), 56 schools re-opened in Gulani. Finding from rapid assessment identify urgent education support including TLS, supplies, teaching and learning materials, water and toilets facilities at schools. In addition there is urgent need for trained teachers especially to provide psychosocial support to children. Children in these communities are in dire need of urgent psychological support. Health and nutrition services’ capacity needs to be expanded urgently including infrastructure and human resources.


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    Source: UN Secretary-General
    Country: Mali

    SG/SM/18255-AFR/3482-PKO/608

    La déclaration suivante a été communiquée, aujourd’hui, par le Porte-parole de M. Ban Ki-moon, Secrétaire général de l’ONU:

    Le Secrétaire général condamne dans les termes les plus forts l’attaque meurtrière qui a eu lieu aujourd’hui au nord de Douentza, dans la région de Mopti, qui a coûté la vie à deux civils maliens et a tué un Casque bleu du Togo en plus d’en blesser sept autres.

    Le Secrétaire général présente ses sincères condoléances aux familles des défunts ainsi qu’aux gouvernements et aux peuples du Mali et du Togo. Il souhaite un prompt et complet rétablissement aux Casques bleus blessés.

    Le Secrétaire général réitère que les attaques contre des Casques bleus des Nations unies pourraient constituer des crimes de guerre selon le droit international et demande que les auteurs de ces crimes soient traduits en justice. Il rappelle que les attaques perpétrées contre la MINUSMA n’affaibliront pas la détermination de la Mission d’appliquer pleinement son mandat de soutien aux efforts du Gouvernement malien, des parties signataires de l’accord de paix et du peuple malien pour parvenir à une paix et une stabilité durables.

    Le Secrétaire général souligne que la paix et la sécurité demeurent la responsabilité primordiale des parties maliennes. Il les exhorte à continuer d’œuvrer pour l’application intégrale des dispositions de l’accord de paix et de faire tout ce qui est en leur pouvoir pour prévenir de telles attaques contre les civils maliens, les parties signataires et les forces internationales.

    À l’intention des organes d’information • Document non officiel.


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    Source: African Development Bank
    Country: Cameroon

    Le Représentant résident de la BAD au Cameroun, Racine Kane, et le Ministre de l’Economie, de la Planification et de l’Aménagement du Territoire et Gouverneur de la Banque pour le pays, Louis Paul Motaze ont signé, vendredi 21 octobre 2016, à Yaoundé, deux accords de financement pour un total d’environ 90,7 millions d’euros.

    Le financement du Projet de développement des chaines de valeurs agricoles (PD-CVA) s’élève à 89,291 millions d’Euros, soit environ 58,57 milliards de FCFA et cible le développement des filières palmier à huile, bananier plantain et ananas qui touchent directement plus de 45% des producteurs agricoles du Cameroun. L’approbation de ce financement par la Banque confirme son engagement à appuyer le Gouvernement dans la mise en œuvre du plan national d’investissement agricole (PNIA) validé en avril 2014.

    Le projet PEMVEP bénéficie du financement de la Facilité africaine de l’Eau à hauteur de 1.413.143 d’Euros, soit environ 927 millions de F CFA, et sera mis en œuvre par le Ministère de l’Eau et de l’Energie (MINEE) pour une durée de 19 mois. Cette opération vise à long terme à réduire la pauvreté et à lutter contre la sécheresse dans un contexte de changement climatique marqué par la baisse de la pluviométrie qui affecte particulièrement les activités agro-sylvo-pastorales, le revenu des agriculteurs et la sécurité alimentaire des populations de cette zone.

    Ces deux opérations viennent renforcer un portefeuille de 727,4 millions d’unités de compte, soit près de 600 milliards de FCFA, que la Banque met en œuvre actuellement au Cameroun.


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    Source: UN Security Council
    Country: Mali

    SC/12579-AFR/3483-PKO/610

    The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Fodé Seck (Senegal):

    The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the complex attack that occurred on 6 November 2016 near Douentza, in the centre of Mali, during which two Malian civilians and one Togolese peacekeeper of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) were killed and others injured.

    The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims, as well as to the Government of Mali and Togo and to MINUSMA. They paid tribute to the peacekeepers who risk their lives.

    The members of the Security Council called on the Government of Mali to swiftly investigate these attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice. They underlined that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law.

    The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice. They stressed that those responsible for these killings should be held accountable, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with all relevant authorities in this regard.

    The members of the Security Council reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed. They reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.

    The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support for MINUSMA and the French forces that support it. They reiterated their strong support for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Mali, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, and for MINUSMA to assist the Malian authorities and the Malian people in their efforts to bring lasting peace and stability to their country, including through MINUSMA’s support to the implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali.

    The members of the Security Council expressed their concern about the security situation in Mali, including the recent violations of the ceasefire arrangements. They urged the Malian parties to fully implement the Agreement without further delay. They noted that the full implementation of the Agreement and the intensification of efforts to overcome asymmetric threats can contribute to improving the security situation across Mali.

    The members of the Security Council further stressed the importance that MINUSMA has the necessary capacities to fulfil its mandate and promote the safety and security of the United Nations peacekeepers, pursuant to Security Council resolution 2295 (2016).

    For information media. Not an official record.


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    Source: Government of Germany
    Country: Burundi, Chad, Germany, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, World

    Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement today (7 November) following his meeting with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi in Berlin:

    “More than 60 million people – never before have so many people been forced to flee their homes. Of course, the humanitarian crisis in Syria and the neighbouring countries is a special focus of our aid efforts.

    Yet looking beyond the situation in the Middle East, we also have a responsibility not to lose sight of crises that are currently not getting global attention and do not appear daily on our television screens. I am thinking of the Lake Chad region, South Sudan, Somalia and Burundi. The situation in these countries has recently worsened dramatically due to the escalation of existing conflicts and the flaring up of new ones, as well as climate-related natural disasters. The countries of sub‑Saharan Africa are currently sheltering the largest number of refugees in the world.

    These countries urgently need our help! Thanks to support provided by the German Bundestag, I have been able to confirm to Filippo Grandi today that before the end of the year we will be making available to the UNHCR 61 million euros for additional humanitarian aid, to respond to the acute crises in Africa. With this funding, people can be given assistance close to their home regions and will not feel compelled to set out on a dangerous journey to Europe.

    In recent years, Germany has increased its humanitarian assistance funding many times over and also consistently expanded its financial support for the UN Refugee Agency. We want to continue to set a good example so that other members of the international community will follow in our footsteps or step up their existing engagement.”


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    Source: GFDRR
    Country: United Republic of Tanzania

    Project Description

    In many regions of central and northern Tanzania, lives and livelihoods suffer from periodic weather-related stress, particularly from below-normal rainfall. The resulting crop failures and loss of livestock increases economic hardship, forcing thousands of families to skip meals, sell assets, cut back on medical care, or stop attending school. While these strategies help populations live through difficult times, they dampen quality of life and limit opportunities for development.

    To address this challenge, a $674,000 grant to UNICEF for the period from September 2013 through August 2015 was awarded in the framework of the Africa Caribbean Pacific (ACP) - EU Natural Disaster Risk Reduction (NDRR) Program, an initiative of the ACP Group of States, funded by the EU and managed by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR).

    The grant targeted populations in two vulnerable districts: Same and Kishapo. The project, entitled Strengthening Community Capacity for DRR Interventions in Drought Prone Regions through Children, enabled UNICEF to increase awareness of disaster risk reduction (DRR) and support community pilot programs to increase resilience during periods of low rainfall. The two districts, located in different regions, have since enhanced their capacity to mitigate the impact of drought conditions.

    Results

    • The initiative successfully built the capacity of local officials and communities in the targeted districts, each located in different regions. Work with communities focused on increasing resilience for women and youth.

    • The project directly supported over 11,000 beneficiaries and indirectly reached an additional 12,000, through improved access to water for drinking, new livestock for greater food production, and access to drought resistant seed varieties.

    • Over 130 officials at regional, district and village levels improved their capacity to plan, launch, and manage risk reduction initiatives in collaboration with partners and stakeholders. Communities learned to identify, address and report on risks and vulnerabilities to integrate into resilience efforts.


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen, Zimbabwe


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tajikistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, World, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Seasonal rainfall very delayed and well below average in Somalia, eastern Kenya, and southern Ethiopia

    Africa Weather Hazards

    1. Below-average rainfall since late September has increased moisture deficits and worsened ground conditions across eastern Kenya, southern Somalia, and southeastern Ethiopia.

    2. Below-average rainfall since late September has strengthened moisture deficits and led to abnormal dryness in north-central Angola and southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

    3. Locusts have been reported in North Kordofan and northwest of Khartoum regions, according to local authorities of Sudan. Control operations are in progress.

    4. Locusts have been reported in western Mauritania. Ground control operations are in progress, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization.

    Central Asia Weather Hazards

    1. A heavy snow hazard has been posted for a swath of precipitation greater than 25mm liquid equivalent in northeastern Kazakhstan.

    Central America and the Caribbean Weather Hazards

    1. Several consecutive weeks of below-normal rainfall in October and increasing moisture deficits have led to abnormal dryness in central Guatemala and northern Honduras, which may affect Postrera crops.

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

    Besoins Humanitaires et Chiffres Clés

    La situation sécuritaire reste encore précaire dans les régions du nord et du centre du Mali où de nombreux actes de banditisme et de terrorisme sont toujours signalés. L’insécurité sur les principaux axes routiers entrave la circulation des personnes et des biens, l’accès des populations aux services sociaux de base, ainsi que l’accès des humanitaires aux populations vulnérables. Jusqu’en juillet 2016 des affrontements ont opposé des groupes armés signataires de l’accord de paix dans la région de Kidal. Aussi, les conflits inter communautaires notamment dans les régions de Mopti et Ménaka, la présence de groupes radicaux et des actes de terrorisme au centre du pays constituent une menace pour la sécurité des populations. Ensemble, ces facteurs ont conduit au courant de 2016, à de nouveaux mouvements forcés de populations et freiné les intentions de retour de certains anciens déplacés. Ainsi, à la date du 31 août 2016, 33 042 (soit 6 992 ménages) personnes sont encore déplacées à l’intérieur du Mali tandis que 134 811 maliens sont réfugiés dans les pays limitrophes. Par ailleurs, 52 028 rapatriés et 474 231 retournés1 ont été enregistrés depuis le début de la crise en 2012.

    Selon les résultats du cadre harmonisé, l’insécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle touche 16% de la population malienne soit près de 3 030 000 de personnes (dont 423 500 en situation d’insécurité alimentaire sévère et 2 605 885 en situation d’insécurité alimentaire modérée). Selon les résultats de l’enquête SMART de 2016, les taux de Malnutrition Aigüe Globale (MAG) et de Malnutrition Aigüe Sévère (MAS) sont de 11,5% et 2,3% contre des seuils d’alerte respectifs de 10 et 2% fixés par l’OMS.

    En outre, le Mali est sujet à de fréquents épisodes de catastrophes naturelles avec 60 000 personnes à risque d’inondation sur l’ensemble du territoire. En 2016, plus de 18 000 personnes ont été affectées par les inondations.

    Sécurité alimentaire:

    L’insécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle affecte plus de 3 millions de personnes au Mali, dont 18% sont situées dans les régions du nord (Tombouctou, Gao et Kidal). L’accès aux zones agricoles et les mouvements de transhumance du bétail dans ces zones sont encore perturbé par les mouvements des groupes armés. Par ailleurs, même si la campagne agricole est annoncée bonne, la déstructuration de certains marchés agricoles, la défaillance des services agricoles et d’élevage de proximité et la forte perturbation des approvisionnements en intrants agricoles restent des facteurs qui pourraient empêcher les ménages ruraux de profiter de la bonne campagne agricole.

    Nutrition:

    Exacerbée par l’insécurité alimentaire, l’accès inadéquat aux services de santé et à l’eau l’hygiène et l’assainissement, la malnutrition est un problème majeur de santé publique au Mali. 61 % des enfants de moins de 5 ans et près de la moitié des femmes en âge de procréer souffrent d’anémie. Près de 852 000 personnes ont besoin d’assistance préventive et curative soit respectivement 680 500 enfants et femmes enceintes et femmes allaitantes (FEFA) touchés par la MAG et 171 278 enfants et FEA à risque dans les régions à forte prévalence de malnutrition (Gao, Tombouctou, Ségou,…).

    Eau, Hygiène et Assainissement (EHA):

    Selon le Cluster EHA, près de 1,2 million de personnes ont besoin d’appui en eau, hygiène et assainissement. La situation est particulièrement préoccupante dans la région de Kidal où la Société Malienne de Gestion de l’Eau Potable n’est pas présente depuis mai 2014 et où la recrudescence des branchements anarchiques nuit à l’approvisionnement en eau des populations1. En 2016, plusieurs localités notamment dans le Gourma (région de Tombouctou) ont connu des tarissements des ressources en eaux anormales, ayant causé des situations d’urgences localisées pour les populations et le bétail habitant dans ces localités.

    Protection:

    L’instabilité de la situation sécuritaire a un impact important sur la protection des populations. Ainsi, 791 cas de violences basées sur le genre, dont 861 cas de viols, ont été rapportés depuis janvier 2016. En raison de l’indisponibilité des services, 54% des survivants(es) n’ont pas accès aux services de réinsertion socio-économique, 45% des survivants ont besoin d’assistance juridique, 32% des survivants en besoin d’appui psycho social et 17% n’ont pas accès aux services d’hébergement en lieu sûr. La protection de l’.enfance constitue également une préoccupation particulière avec notamment plus de 60% (125/196) 2 des victimes de restes explosifs de guerre qui sont des enfants.


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    Source: Institute for Security Studies
    Country: Central African Republic, Mali, Somalia, World

    Since 2006 the African Union (AU) Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD) and partners have developed policy frameworks that pave the way for the operationalisation of the civilian component of the African Standby Force (ASF).

    These are staff working at the political, humanitarian, gender, civil affairs, public information, administration and security and safety units of peace operations.

    In Somalia, the civilian component of the African Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) already works closely with the government and civil society to assist with state building.

    Last month the AU also launched the Civilian Strategic Support Group (CSSG) to enhance the role of civilians in peace operations. The PSC Report spoke about this to Dr Jide Martyns Okeke, Head of Policy Development and Civilian Coordinator at the PSOD.

    What progress has been made with the ASF, especially its civilian component?

    The ASF should not be understood as an end in itself. Rather, it should be seen as part of a political process that provides options for AU policy organs, especially the Peace and Security Council, to prevent, manage and resolve crises. At present, we have moved to a post-full operational capacity of the ASF.

    The milestones reached in setting up the civilian component can be understood in relation to the progress made in the development of the ASF as a whole.

    The AU and regional economic communities and regional mechanisms [RECs and RMs] have held a series of command exercises, as well as the first ever AMANI-Africa II field training exercise in December 2015. This confirmed the operational capacity of the ASF, although there are outstanding activities required to boost the rapid deployment capability of the force.

    What timelines are you working towards?

    On the basis of the confirmation of the operational readiness of the ASF, member states directed the AU Commission to develop a five-year strategic work plan of the ASF. The recent validation workshop of the draft Maputo strategic five-year work plan on 19–20 October 2016 was aimed at ensuring a comprehensive approach in the development of the work plan that will define the post-full operational capability phase of the ASF. The work plan includes indicators, deliverables and timelines for the ASF civilian, police and military components, including recommendations on partnership, harmonious work plans and the mobilisation of resources by the AU, member states and RECs and RMs.

    The report of the independent panel of experts’ assessment of the ASF in 2013 had indicated that the civilian component is the least developed component of the ASF. This is in part because the component is generated from a broad spectrum of specialities, unlike other components. Over the years, however, we have made remarkable progress in developing the civilian component. Relevant policy documents have also been developed to enhance the operational capacity of the civilian component of the ASF, including the African Standby Capacity selection guideline manual and the civilian standby roster, among others. These documents provide required guidelines for the continued training, rostering and staffing of civilians for ASF missions.

    Given the AU’s peacekeeping experiences in Somalia, the Central African Republic and Mali, what has been the major contribution of the civilian component in peace operations?

    The AU deploys civilians as part of high-intensity operations as in the case of Mali in 2013, the Central African Republic in 2013 and 2014, and Somalia, which is ongoing. This is unlike the United Nations, whose peace operations are conducted in regions where ceasefires and peace agreements have been secured.

    In the volatile security context of Somalia, the AU has been mandated to deploy 70 civilian officers in AMISOM, including substantive mission support staff, with enormous impact on the peace operation.

    We have staff working at the various civilian units of AMISOM. They have been working closely with the government and civil society to support efforts to consolidate and extend the state’s services across Somalia. There is, however, more work needed in the recruitment and training of civilian officers going into mission to ensure more enhanced productivity.

    What is the role of the recently launched Civilian Strategic Support Group (CSSG)?

    The CSSG was established in May 2015 and launched in October 2016 to enable the articulation and enhancement of the role of the civilian component. The CSSG is to provide technical and advisory support on matters relating to civilian tasks in AU peace operations. The CSSG will also help to enhance the visibility and coordination of the component at the AU and RECs and RMs.

    The CSSG is multi-dimensional in that it comprises patrons such as the former special representative to the chairperson of the AU Commission and heads of state, as well as senior management of the AU Commission, focal officers of the civilian component in the five regions of the continent, civil society partners, training institutions – especially the African Peace Support Trainers’ Association – and relevant experts. Through the CSSG, we can then assess and measure progress and areas for further development.

    What are the main challenges faced by the civilian component of the ASF?

    The after-action review of Amani Africa-II revealed that the ASF is operational but, without the cooperation of member states and the RECs and RMs, it will be difficult to deploy. The political buy-in and commitment of the member states and the RECs and RMs is particularly key for the enhancement of the capacities of the civilian component in the area of rostering, staffing and eventual deployment.

    What do you require from AU member states?

    Notably, more highly qualified staff are needed, both at the AU Commission and in field missions. This is necessary because of some specialised tasks that civilians are required to undertake in peace support operations. Member states should therefore be consistently encouraged to second suitable and highly competent experts to support the AU Commission in peace support operations and elsewhere. Training centres have a role to play in completing the training of civilians who meet the minimum eligibility criteria for various civilian functions.

    Unfortunately, there is limited knowledge in academic and policy circles about the functions of civilians in peace operations. This highlights the need to popularise the role of the civilians in peace operations to enable open recruitment of qualified and competent civilian officers from across the continent. In this regard, member states and RECs and RMs could play a useful role in investing in opportunities for the capacity building of civilians.


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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Nigeria

    Highlights

    • Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Round XII report was released. As of 31 October, nearly 2.1million IDPs have been identified across six states. Biometric registration continued in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe, where 333,936 IDPs have been registered.

    • IOM has completed the construction of 140 emergency shelters in Gwoza (43) and Bama (97) in order to ensure that 700 affected people have access to shelter. The construction of 1,500 emergency shelters has also started in Banki.

    • IOM’s psychosocial team reached 4,210 displaced people in Maiduguri, Yola, Chibok and five newly accessible areas through lay counselling, recreational activities, focus group discussions, and sensitization on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).

    Situation Overview

    In North–East Nigeria, as well as in the surrounding regions of Niger, Chad and Cameroon, security and humanitarian conditions continue to deteriorate as populations flee violence and conflict. There are nearly 1,9 million people displaced by the conflict, with the largest IDP populations located in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States, corresponding to 93% of the total IDP population. The vast majority of IDPs identified during the assessments live in host communities (78.12%)

    In the last few months, the Government of Nigeria reported over 15 newly accessible areas in Borno State with 300,000 additional people in need of immediate humanitarian assistance. The last Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) assessments show that food is the biggest unmet need by nearly half the surveyed people (49.5%). Non‐food items (NFIs) came in at second place with 20% citing it as their most unmet need. Other urgent unmet needs included shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene and security.

    Moreover, the security situation has deteriorated in Maiduguri and surrounding areas. There was resurgence of suicide bombing/attacks during the past weeks, with three attacks and one attempt to detonate a bomb, which resulted in several deaths and injuries of civilians. Of concern is the attacks at the entrance of an IDP camps where the humanitarian community provides humanitarian assistance to IDPs.


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    Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation
    Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Nigeria

    Why have the refugees fled from home in Central African Republic? How are their living conditions in Cameroon?

    By Kieran Guilbert

    GADO-BADZERE, Cameroon, Nov 8 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - More than 250,000 refugees from the Central African Republic are living in eastern Cameroon, having fled unrest, violence and civil war in the country in several waves since the early 2000s.

    Dwindling humanitarian funds for Cameroon, and the prospect of a huge influx of arrivals if Central African Republic plunges back into full-blown conflict, are fuelling fears among aid agencies for the future of the country's refugees.

    Here are 10 facts about the situation:

    • Eastern Cameroon is home to nearly 260,000 refugees from Central African Republic, around 60 percent of whom arrived after sectarian violence erupted in 2013.

    • Several waves of refugees from Central African Republic have arrived in Cameroon since unrest and civil war in the early 2000s.

    • Some 7,000 refugees have crossed the border this year amid continuing conflict and insecurity.

    • The population of eastern Cameroon is around one million people, meaning that refugees from Central African Republic account for one in five people in the region.

    • Around one third of the refugees live in camps, with the majority residing in communities spread across hundreds of villages in eastern Cameroon.

    • There are 130,000 child refugees, and 90,000 of them are out of class. Only one in eight of them went to school in Central African Republic before fleeing the country.

    • The east of Cameroon, along with north, has some of the country's highest rates of child marriage - half of girls under 18 married.

    • At least seven in 10 refugees do not want to go home due to frequent fighting, ethnic and religious tensions, and fears that their homes and land may have been seized or destroyed.

    • Cameroon is home in total to 350,000 refugees, with around 70,000 in the Far North having fled Boko Haram in Nigeria.

    • Conflict erupted in Central African Republic in 2013, when mainly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power, triggering revenge attacks by Christian militias. Violence has reduced since an election in February but fighting remains frequent.

    Sources: UNHCR, UNICEF

    (Reporting By Kieran Guilbert, Editing by; Ros Russell Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)


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    Source: Assessment Capacities Project
    Country: Iraq, Nigeria, World

    Weekly picks

    IRAQ

    The number of displaced from from Mosul has doubled in the past week, from 17,000 on 31 October to 34,000 on 7 November. October was the deadliest month of 2016, with 1,120 fatalities compared to 609 in the previous month.

    NIGERIA

    13.4 million people are projected to be in need, a significant increase from the present figure of 7 million. Access to assistance in parts of Borno state is still extremely limited: the 80,000 people in Ngala's IDP camp, Borno state, are reported to have less than 0.5L of water per person per day.

    Updated: 08/11/2016. Next update: 15/11/2016.


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    Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation
    Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Nigeria

    For refugee girls from Central African Republic, hospitality in Cameroon comes at a price

    By Kieran Guilbert

    GADO-BADZERE, Cameroon, Nov 8 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Alone, hungry and traumatised having watched her parents die in war-torn Central African Republic, 14-year-old Koulsoumi believed the worst was behind her when she was taken in by a family in Cameroon after fleeing across the border last year.

    The young refugee was warmly welcomed by the family in the village of Tongo Gandima. But their hospitality came at a price.

    "They had a man for me to marry," Koulsoumi told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, cradling her four-month-old baby, Hamadou.

    "I was not happy but the family took me in ... what choice did I have?" she said, adding that her 18-year-old husband was abusive and violent, and disappeared after having sex with her.

    Koulsoumi is one of 260,000 refugees - half of whom are children - from Central African Republic living in eastern Cameroon, a region with a population of around one million.

    Around six in 10 of these refugees have crossed the border since conflict erupted in 2013, when mainly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power, triggering revenge attacks by Christian militias.

    Violence has lessened since a February election touted as a step toward reconciliation - France ended its peacekeeping mission in its former colony last week - but outbreaks of fighting are frequent, leaving most refugees afraid to go home.

    This influx has strained aid agencies and communities across eastern Cameroon, where more than 90,000 child refugees are out of school, and prey to violence, sexual abuse and early marriage, according to the U.N. children's agency (UNICEF).

    While refugee camps provide free education, most of the refugees - two-thirds - live in villages where they struggle to afford enrolment fees of up to 2,000 CFA francs ($3). Many end up sending their sons to work and forcing their daughters to marry.

    Dwindling humanitarian funding for Cameroon, and the prospect of huge waves of arrivals if Central African Republic plunges back into full-blown conflict, are stoking fears among aid agencies for the future of the country's young refugees.

    "This is a forgotten crisis, one that is weighing heaviest on the shoulders of young girls," said Felicite Tchibindat, UNICEF's representative for Cameroon. "Protecting them from early marriage, and broken lives full of misery, is a priority."

    GIRLS CAST ASIDE

    In a public school in the lush, leafy yet impoverished Gado village, a class of teenage refugees from nearby Gado-Badzere camp shouted and laughed as they discussed early marriage.

    "My family wanted me to marry at 14, but I said: 'No, I'm getting an education'", yelled one 15-year-old girl, before grinning at the applause and cheers of the mostly male class.

    But many young girls in eastern Cameroon, a region where around half of girls under 18 are married, are not so fortunate.

    In another school in nearby Abo Boutila, headmistress Sylvie Ndoume sighed as she handed over a register showing only one female student over the age of 14.

    "Once girls reach 13 or 14, the parents cast them aside and throw them in the dustbin - that's it," Ndoume said. "For some girls, they might be in school, but in their mind, they are just waiting to be taken out and married."

    Many of the refugees are from herding or farming communities and do not value education for their children, aid agencies say. Only around one in eight child refugees in eastern Cameroon have been to school in Central African Republic, according to UNICEF.

    In Gado-Badzere - the biggest of the seven camps in eastern Cameroon with 24,000 refugees - 13-year-old Aissatou turned away as she recalled her family's attitude to school back home.

    "My parents didn't want me to go ... I was meant to be married," she said shyly, covering her face with her shawl.

    "But now they see that education is important, and don't insist that I get married anymore," added Aissatou, relaxing as she spoke of having learnt to read, write and count in the camp.

    NO MONEY MEANS MARRIAGE

    The rural region faces a shortage of state teachers, with many prefering to work in cities and a recent government freeze on the recruitment of public sector workers, UNICEF said.

    Local parent associations are paying to hire teachers to fill the gap and to alleviate the pressure on those who often have to deal with more than 100 children in crowded classrooms.

    But some of the costs are being passed onto parents, and for refugees with very little or no money, a few hundred francs can mean choosing between feeding their children or schooling them.

    Mother-of-ten Salamatou Victorine, who lives in Abo Boutila, said although she had married off three of her six girls - aged between 13 and 17 - she hoped that the others - aged 6, 8, and 12 - would be able to stay in school and avoid early marriage.

    "But if our money dries up as a family, I will instantly take them out and marry them," she said. "It is a question of means, I will have no other choice if we are going to get by."

    FORGOTTEN CRISIS?

    In the Gado-Badzere camp, hundreds of children in makeshift classrooms recited phrases in French and English, from "Salut" to "How are you?", and counted in both languages from one to 20.

    The level of education across the refugee camps has improved hugely since 2013, according to social worker Salimanu Umarou.

    "But these temporary classes in the camps are being overwhelmed with pupils coming back from public schools in the area as their families cannot afford the fees," Umarou said.

    While half of child refugees in camps go to school, only three in 10 of those living in communities do so, UNICEF said.

    Aid agencies said a lack of funding is the main obstacle to delivering a range of services from education and healthcare to water and sanitation and psychosocial support across the region.

    Cameroon's humanitarian response plan for 2016 has only been one third funded - $77 million - down from half - $129 million - last year, the U.N.'s Financial Tracking Service (FTS) shows..

    Humanitarians say the crisis in the east is being overlooked due to 70,000 Boko Haram refugees from Nigeria in Cameroon's Far North region, while the government said it was stretched thin by the 350,000 refugees it is hosting across the country.

    "These refugees are not just the duty of Cameroon, but the duty of the whole world," said local member of parliament Antoinette Ngbanbaye, calling for more international aid.

    But for many young Central African Republic refugees living in eastern Cameroon, like Koulsoumi, it may already be too late.

    "I love my baby so much, he is beautiful," Koulsoumi said, securing him to her back with a bright yellow and blue shawl. "But because of him, to go to school would be impossible."

    (Reporting By Kieran Guilbert, Editing by Ros Russell; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)


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    Source: African Development Bank
    Country: Nigeria

    Executive Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) on Friday, November 4, 2016 approved a US $1-million emergency assistance grant to support the fight against malnutrition in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno.

    The Nigerian Health Ministry had in June 2016 declared a nutrition emergency in Borno. The West and Central Africa Regional Food Security and Nutrition Working Group had called for urgent response by the international community in order to prevent the situation from deteriorating further. The AfDB intervention will strengthen the Government efforts with support from relief organisations such as UNICEF, World Food Programme (WFP), and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the northeast region of the country.

    The Bank’s support would focus on reducing mortality due to severe acute malnutrition among children under five years of age in Borno State by 46% and infant mortality by 20%. The specific objectives are to treat 11,468 children in Borno State with Ready to Use Therapeutic Food; provide 60,000 children aged 6-23 months in the affected areas with multiple micronutrient powder; and strengthen sector coordination and monitoring at state level to provide effective coordination of nutrition response.

    The operation would involve community mobilization, capacity building, coordination and partnership (with international non-governmental organizations) as well as the strengthening of information management systems to achieve large coverage, quality service and high impact. These, in addition to monitoring and surveillance systems using quarterly surveys and mobile technology for real-time reporting and data collection.

    “The nutrition sector in Nigeria estimates a burden of 296,601 cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in Borno State in 2017. If these children are left untreated, it is envisaged that an estimated 59,320 would die. This intervention will augment efforts at attaining the target to reach 80% of the estimated SAM cases in the region by 2017,” AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina told the Board.

    Nigeria is currently in economic recession which has stretched the Government’s capacity to address vulnerability. Over 2.5 million children under five years are severely malnourished across the country and are nine times more likely to die than their counterparts in developed countries. In the midst of these challenges, the humanitarian situation in the northeast of Nigeria continues to deteriorate, with an estimated 7 million people in need humanitarian assistance, while about 2.2 million people are internally displaced. The conflict in the region continues to restrict farming and other income-earning activities due to insecurity. Children and residents in the rural parts are most affected and Internally Displaced Persons continue to be negatively impacted by the food and nutrition deficiencies. According to the August 2016 “Cadre Harmonisé analysis” there are 4.4 million food-insecure people in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States, 3.2 million of them in Borno State alone. The conflict has affected the food and health supply systems and left the health sector with very limited health workers available to provide services.

    This intervention is aligned with one of the operational priorities of the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy, 2013-2022, namely, governance and accountability, which is reiterated in two of the High 5s: Feed Africa and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.


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

    Refugees and host community struggle to cope after thousands cross the border in the wake of attacks by Boko Haram militants in north-eastern Nigeria.

    By: Oualid Khelifi in Bagasola, Chad

    Nigerian refugee Hawali Oumar woke up to the sound of gunfire and the sight of his neighbourhood in flames when Boko Haram attacked his home town of Baga in north-eastern Nigeria.

    The 43-year-old fisherman desperately looked for members of his family and discovered his father had been shot dead. Despite being unable to round up all his offspring, Oumar fled across the border to safety in Chad.

    “It was heartbreaking when Boko Haram attacked our homes,” he said. “We scattered with nothing but the clothes we had on. I learnt later that more than 10 people in my extended family were killed. Some of the survivors amongst us ended up in Cameroon, others in Chad, but it took over a year to re-establish contact with everybody.”

    More than 5,000 Nigerians have found refuge In Dar es Salam camp on the Chadian side of Lake Chad after fleeing horrific violence in December 2014. A total of 2.4 million people in north-eastern Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger have been displaced as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency.

    Thousands of families are separated and unaware of the whereabouts of loved ones. Oumar was relieved to be reunited two months ago with his 18-year-old daughter Miriam. “I never thought I was going to see her again, but here we are all together,” he said. “She is back at school and we are all hoping to gradually restore an ordinary life.”

    While the Chadian army and a joint regional task force continue to combat Boko Haram in provinces around the lake, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is focusing on protection, shelter and education. This involves extending livelihood programmes and enlarging the pool of refugees who have benefited from assistance to resume economic activity and achieve self-reliance.

    The livelihood programmes consist of providing the means for lake fishermen to resume work. Beneficiaries have so far received canoes, nets and basic fishing equipment.

    The influx of refugees has stabilized since last year, but the economy in the lake area has been dramatically affected. The closure of the lake borders with the other three countries of the basin – Nigeria, Cameroon and Niger – has depressed fishing, herding and farming, and brought regional trade almost to a standstill. These are vital sectors in and around Bagasola, the Chadian town that hosts Dar es Salam camp and most of the refugees who have fled Chad to escape the Boko Haram threat.

    “I can’t go back home,” said Oumar. “I lost my father and many others in the attacks. I think about it all the time. It feels like it happened just yesterday.”

    “Now, even if I am told peace is gradually returning to my village, I prefer to stay in Chad. I am afraid to go back after everything I saw and experienced.”

    Because of the region’s volatility and little prospect of the refugees returning home in the near future, UNHCR hopes to step up livelihood programmes for refugees in the camp and for the host community in and around Bagasola.

    So far, UNHCR has assisted 150 households with fishing boats and materials. Beneficiaries make an average of US$10 a week which helps sustain their families. However, the programme covers only 8 percent of refugees in the camp and around Bagasola.

    More funding is needed so that more fishermen, farmers, herders and traders from the refugee and local communities can be included.

    Oumar is one of the beneficiaries. “I am grateful to be given the tools to resume my work,” he said. “I am a fisherman, so if I could survive fishing in Nigeria, I can do it here in Chad. But if we had more manpower in this programme, bigger nets and better equipment, we would quickly grow independent of aid, and lift the entire town, refugees and locals together, from economic depression.”

    For UNHCR and its partners, providing livelihood support so that the limited resources around Bagasola are shared out is essential to achieving sustainability and cohesion between refugees and the host community. A survey has been conducted to log skill sets and the previous professions of refugees.

    According to Docteur Koussoumbi, livelihood associate officer at the UNHCR office in Bagasola, the self-reliance programme has been successful for the 150 households that have benefited so far. They now have expertise in all aspects of fishing, from operating the equipment to selling and distributing the produce.

    “The challenge now is twofold,” he said. “First, to enroll more households into the programme and provide them with basic canoes and tools to jump-start their activities. Second, to meet the demands of existing beneficiaries whose operations have been going very well, hence the need for bigger boats and nets to increase their output and strive towards full self-reliance. We are looking at these options, but we are facing significant funding constraints.”

    Climate change is also having a profound effect on communities around Lake Chad, including refugees. Because of the vulnerability of the lake’s environment and fluctuation in rainfall, livelihood programmes are a priority for the humanitarian community in both policy and funding.

    The surface area of the lake has shrunk to less than one twentieth of its size in the 1960s and invasive plant species cover about 50 percent of what is left. The vegetation takes root on the lake floor during dry seasons and when the water level rises after rainfall, it blocks off the shore, preventing communities from sailing their boats.

    “This is a new worrying phenomenon,” said Koussoumbi. “It is becoming more difficult for fishermen to go out in the lake. The plants also break the nets and disrupt fishing activities.”


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Central African Republic, Ghana, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria

    CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

    ARMED ATTACK EMPTIES 145 VILLAGES

    Some 145 villages in Koui locality in the western Bocaranga prefecture remain deserted since an invasion in late September by armed militants. All schools and health facilities are closed and more than 3,000 displaced families are living along the main roads in Bocaranga. Around 440 people have sought refuge at a site near the local Catholic Church. Others are staying with host families. Additional health, food, education and sanitation assistance is required. The UN Humanitarian Coordinator led a mission to Bocaranga to seek ways of enabling aid workers deliver assistance to those in need.

    GHANA

    CHOLERA INFECTIONS IN CAPE COAST REACH 175

    As of 3 November, there were 175 cholera cases and no deaths in the ongoing outbreak in the southern Cape Coast district. After a sudden upsurge in cases, the outbreak is showing a downward trend owing to control and preventive measures being undertaken by the authorities, humanitarian organizations and the affected communities. Case detection, recording and reporting at the health facility level is also ongoing.

    MAURITANIA

    LOCUST CONTROL COVERS 8,500 HECTARES

    Locust control has so far covered nearly 8,500 hectares since the operations began in late September, FAO reported on 3 November. The outbreak is currently confined to the western part of the country where widespread breeding by scattered adults, groups and a few swarms in October resulted in the formation of hopper groups and bands. It is likely that the outbreak will extend into areas that received heavy rains in the north of the country.

    NIGER

    TWENTY KILLED IN FARMER HERDER CLASHES

    Violent clashes erupted on 1 November between farmers and herders in Bangui town in the western Tahoua region, killing 20 and wounding 40 others, according to security sources. Fifteen houses were also burned down in the incident triggered after a herd of cattle wandered into a farm and destroyed crops. The authorities have deployed security forces to the rural town and investigations are underway. Administrative authorities and traditional leaders are mediating a peaceful solution.

    NIGERIA

    MORE THAN 50 KILLED IN SPATE OF ATTACKS

    More than 50 people were killed between 3 and 6 November in a series of Boko Haram attacks targeting military positions in Abaddam, Mobbar, Marte and Chibok localities in the north-east of the country. The onset of the dry season has eased the armed group’s movement, leading to a spike in attacks. Persistent violence in northeastern Nigeria continues to hinder access to hundreds of thousands of people in need of humanitarian assistance.


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