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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania (the), Yemen
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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    01/18/2013 17:06 GMT

    CITE DU VATICAN, 18 jan 2013 (AFP) - L'archevêque de Bamako, Mgr Jean Zerbo, a demandé vendredi l'ouverture immédiate de couloirs humanitaires pour permettre d’envoyer des aides aux populations privées de nourriture et de médicaments, a annoncé l'agence missionnaire du Vatican Fides.

    Mgr Zerbo, qui est aussi président de Caritas Mali, a fait parvenir cet appel à l'agence du Vatican: "Une nouvelle période de souffrance a commencé pour la population du Mali, et nous accueillons avec joie toute aide afin d’aider le nombre croissant d’évacués et de réfugiés".

    Ces populations, a-t-il dit, "ont besoin de nourriture, d’eau potable, de kits pour l’hygiène personnelle, de médicaments contre le paludisme et autres afin de faire face aux besoins de base alors que la situation s’aggrave". Le prélat malien a observé que le Mali est "à la saison froide et qu'il fait également humide, ce qui rend la situation humanitaire encore plus compliquée".

    Caritas International estime approximativement à 400.000 le nombre des personnes ayant fui le nord du Mali et les zones de combat pour se réfugier dans le sud ou dans des pays limitrophes.

    Selon l'Eglise malienne, la situation humanitaire déjà dramatique, s’est aggravée cette semaine après le début des combats. Des aides internationales sont nécessaires de manière urgente.

    De son côté, l'archevêque d'Accra, Mgr Charles Palmer-Buckle, a rappelé "la coexistence très pacifique" qui prévalait encore récemment entre les chrétiens et les musulmans d'Afrique de l'Ouest et a attribué le changement depuis dix ans notamment au fait que "beaucoup de musulmans africains sont allés étudier en Arabie Saoudite, en Egypte, au Koweit, au Libye et en Iran".

    Interrogé sur Radio vatican le prélat ghanéen a critiqué la France: "je voudrais demander: quel est l'objectif réel de l'implication militaire française? Est-ce une recolonisation?"

    "Hélas la France s'était impliquée aussi dans la situation en Côte d'Ivoire et nous en avons vu les résultats: c'est un pays qui n'a pas la paix et ne l'aura pas pour les 25 prochaines années", a-t-il estimé, faisant référence aux différentes interventions militaires françaises dans ce pays voisin du Ghana.

    jlv/mle/sba

    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Kenya
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    Maize and beans are the most important commodities consumed, with maize availability considered synonymous with food security.

    Beans are very often consumed with maize. The Nairobi market is indicative for urban consumers. Eldoret is a producing area and located in the “grain basket zone.” Kisumu is a large market located in a deficit area with marginal agricultural productivity. Kitui is prone to droughts and is a marginal producing area. Lodwar market is located in Turkana, a highly food insecure pastoral district which is poorly integrated with other markets. Mandera is a food insecure area and cross border market with inadequate trade infrastructure. Marsabit is a conflict affected area that is highly food insecure and poorly integrated with other markets.


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    Source: UN Radio
    Country: Mali

    Écouter / Télécharger

    Exécutions sommaires, viols, actes de torture, recrutements d'enfants soldats, violations de la liberté d'expression et du droit à l'information, ainsi que des atteintes aux droits à l'éducation et à la santé. La liste des abus commis dans le Nord Mali est loin d'être exhaustive. Dans un rapport rendu public ce vendredi à Genève, le Haut Commissariat est revenu sur les conclusions d'une mission conduite du 11 au 20 novembre 2012 au Mali, au Burkina Faso, en Mauritanie et au Niger. Mais le rapport fait également des exactions commises par les forces gouvernementales. Et au vu des témoignages reçus, la Haut-Commissaire souligne le « risque de représailles et de conflits interethniques en cas d'une intervention militaire au nord du Mali ».

    Le rapport met en exergue les violations des droits de l'homme qui ont été commises depuis les attaques de l'armée malienne par le Mouvement National de Libération de l’Azawad (MNLA) dans un premier temps et par Al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (AQMI), Ansar Dine et le Mouvement pour l'unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l'Ouest (MUJAO) en janvier 2012. La Mission a été informée par diverses sources concordantes que la population du nord continuait à être exposée à des traitements dégradants par les groupes armés, qui, au nom d'une interprétation extrême de la charia, harcèlent, flagellent et matraquent les femmes non ou insuffisamment voilées, ainsi que les hommes impliqués dans la vente ou la consommation de cigarettes et d'alcool, et toutes autres pratiques et comportements qu'ils jugent non conformes à la charia.

    Dix cas d'amputations, au nom d'une certaine interprétation de la charia, ont été recensés depuis la prise du nord par les groupes armés extrémistes.

    En outre, la Mission a collecté « des informations crédibles indiquant que le MNLA, AQMI, Ansar Dine et le MUJAO recruteraient et entraineraient des enfants dans des camps ». Suite aux défaites du MNLA, la majorité de ses éléments mineurs aurait rejoint les autres groupes armés. Des enfants parfois âgés entre 10 et 12 ans, recrutés par le MUJAO à Gao et par Ansar Dine à Niafounké, auraient été vus aux postes de contrôle dans la périphérie des villes contrôlées par ces groupes et effectueraient des patrouilles au nom de la «police islamique ».

    La Mission a récolté un nombre significatif d'informations d'allégations de violences sexuelles exercées par tous les groupes armés contrôlant le nord. Certains témoignages indiquent que des viols seraient motivés par des considérations ethniques, notamment durant les offensives des groupes armés. Les victimes sont généralement issues des populations à la « peau foncée », qui sont considérées comme inférieures par leurs agresseurs à la « peau claire ».

    Ce rapport montre également que, dans les territoires sous contrôle du Gouvernement, la situation demeure préoccupante au niveau de l'administration de la justice, de la liberté d'expression et du droit à l'information. Le rapport signale des cas de militaires et policiers qui seraient détenus et torturés à Bamako, sans garanties judiciaires réelles. Malgré la bonne foi exprimée par les autorités, les enquêtes judiciaires piétinent de manière inquiétante.

    Au vu des témoignages reçus, la Haut-Commissaire souligne le risque de représailles et de conflits interethniques en cas d'une intervention militaire au nord du Mali. Enfin, le rapport fait des recommandations aux divers acteurs impliqués dans la résolution de la crise en vue de protéger les populations civiles et de promouvoir la réconciliation nationale.

    (Interview : Cécile Pouilly, porte-parole du Haut Commissariat de l'ONU aux droits de l'homme ; propos recueillis par Alpha Diallo)


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    Source: Caritas
    Country: Mali

    L’attaque surprise de Konna par les groupes armés qui occupent le nord du Mali et l’entrée en jeu des troupes de la France ont précipité la mobilisation du contingent de la CEDEAO dont les premiers éléments commencent à arriver à Bamako où sera basé vraisemblablement l’état major de ce contingent.

    1.Situation actuelle sur le terrain La réunion des Chefs d’Etat Major des armées de la CEDEAO à Bamako cette semaine a abouti au déclenchement de la mise en place de la MISMA. Ainsi, après l’arrivée des français dès les premières heures de la reprise des combats, certains éléments des contingents devant constituer la MISMA sont arrivés à Bamako ce jeudi 17 janvier 2013. Il s’agit de 40 soldats Togolais, 50 Nigérians et quelques 200 Tchadiens, pré positionnés au Niger (certainement selon le plan stratégique d’intervention). A terme, c’est-à-dire d’ici le milieu de la semaine prochaine, tout les contingents devront être à Bamako pour prendre le chemin des théâtres d’opération : le nord (Douentza, Gao, Tombouctou, Kidal) et le nord-ouest du pays (Diabali, Léré, Nampala).
    Au total près de 5000 soldats sont attendus sur le sol malien.

    S’agissant des combats actuellement en cours, il faut signaler l’engagement des troupes au sol de l’armée Française dans la localité de Diabali, toujours aux mains de groupes armés. Sur ce terrain des combats, il est très important de relever que les combattants des groupes armés se sont fondus à la population locale. Ce qui amène à se poser la question suivante :

    Que se passera-t-il (conséquences d’une telle stratégie) si l’armée Nationale, appuyée par les troupes de la MISMA décident de lancer une offensive d’envergure contre les groupes armés.
    D’autre part, les routes entre les zones occupées par les groupes armés et le reste du pays sont entièrement coupées.

    Il en est de même pour les communications téléphoniques (fixe et mobile). Il est donc actuellement très difficile pour les agences humanitaires de collecter les informations sans lesquelles un suivi de la situation humanitaire est pratiquement impossible. Les seules possibilités résident au niveau des téléphones satellitaires dont ne dispose pas encore Caritas Mali.

    Au plan économique, en plus de la destruction des infrastructures déjà signalées (bombardement du Centre d’Aptitude Pédagogique de Douentza, la Douane de Gao, le Camp militaire de Gao, etc.), il faut mentionner l’arrêt des activités de contre-saison dans la zone Office du Niger (Markala, Kolongo, Dougabougou Niono Diabali). Ce qui va causer des pertes très importantes de revenus pour les ménages concernés et contribuer davantage à leur vulnérabilité.

    2.Situation humanitaire et tendance Les affrontements entre l’armée nationale, soutenue par le contingent français et les groupes armés continuent dans la zone de Diabali. Pour le moment, les difficultés de communication limitent la possibilité d’avoir des chiffres sur les pertes en vies humaines ainsi que le nombre des blessés. Et le silence des militaires n’est pas pour faciliter la circulation de l’information.

    Quant aux déplacements des populations, ils continuent et on note l’arrivée de milliers de familles dans les localités de Bamako, San, Ségou et Koutiala. De nombreuses autres familles ont préféré traverser les frontières pour se réfugier dans les pays voisins[1].
    Nos équipes s’activent également à la collecte de données qui pourront être communiquées dans la prochaine note d’information.
    Comme indiqué dans la note d’information n°1, les besoins des populations s’expriment en termes de :

    • Santé : civiles et militaires blessés ainsi que les populations déplacées et celles retenues sur les champs de combat ;

    • Alimentation ;

    • Approvisionnement en eau et articles essentiels d’hygiène ;

    • Abris et couvertures ;

    En outre, la stratégie de fonte des combattants des groupes armés dans la population amène indubitablement les volets Protection et Plaidoyer qu’il convient d’envisager au même titre que les autres volets.

    3.Réaction des agences: Cluster sécurité alimentaire Le cluster sécurité alimentaire, après sa première réunion du dimanche 13 janvier 2013, a tenu une seconde le jeudi 17 janvier 2013, à laquelle Caritas Mali a participé. Il est ressorti de cette rencontre essentiellement des informations sur les déplacements de populations, le risque de détérioration de la situation humanitaire dans les zones actuellement privées d’approvisionnement du fait de la fermeture des routes par les autorités militaires.

    4.Actions entreprises par Caritas Mali Dans le cadre de la préparation de son intervention, Caritas Mali a eu une rencontre avec CRS le mercredi 16 janvier 2013, dans les locaux du Secrétariat National. Cette rencontre a débouché sur la nécessité de réaliser un assessment rapide afin de pouvoir apprécier l’ampleur des besoins d’intervention et tracer le mode d’intervention.

    D’autre part, Caritas Mali tiendra une rencontre (Secrétariat National + Coordinations diocésaines) de validation de sa stratégie d’intervention les 24 et 25 janvier 2013.
    De cette rencontre sortira le dispositif à activer, en tenant compte des prévisions du plan de contingence.
    Afin de permettre la mobilisation des ressources nécessaires à l’intervention de Caritas Mali, le Secrétariat National a revu le budget de son EA 38/2012 Sahel relevant de sa gestion :

    • Formation : Gestion de la sécurité ;

    • Pré positionnement : Vivres (riz, mil/sorgho, haricot,: 1900 tonnes prévues pour la prise en charge de 46913 personnes déplacées pendant 3 mois ; : tentes (350), nattes (30000), couvertures (15000), kits de santé (1000) ;

    • Coordination.
      Les tonnages de vivres prévus sont actuellement disponibles sur les marchés de la place (et même dans les marchés de certaines de ces localités). S’agissant du transport, les localité de pré positionnement se situent toutes sur des axes bitumés et donc facilement accessibles et hors zone de combat. Les transporteurs sont également disponibles pour les opérations de transport.
      Dans chacune de ces localité de pré positionnement, il existe des magasins (privés) de grande capacité de stockage qui peuvent accueillir les tonnages prévus.
      Le processus de mise à jour complète du EA et du plan de contingence continue et les deux documents seront validés lors de la rencontre avec les coordinations diocésaines les 24 et 25 janvier 2013.

    5.Attentes de Caritas Mali vis-à-vis des partenaires Les budgets adaptés au nouveau contexte du EA 2013, du EA 38/2012 Sahel relevant de la gestion de Caritas Mali montrent l’ampleur des attentes de Caritas Mali. Ces attentes se situent essentiellement à deux niveaux :

    • Mise en capacité d’intervention de Caritas Mali ;

    • Pré positionnement de vivres et NFI dans les cinq localités les plus affectées actuellement (Bamako, Ségou, San, Koutiala et Mopti).


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

    (Bamako, 18 January 2013): Ongoing military operations in northern and central Mali have caused the humanitarian situation to deteriorate, leading to the displacement of at least 10,000 people in just one week. Humanitarian actors have raised serious concerns about the conditions of people in northern and central Mali, where access is still limited.

    “The United Nations system reiterates its support to the Government of Mali at this moment, when everyone’s solidarity is necessary to alleviate the suffering of people affected by the crisis. However, to enable rapid response to people in need, it is crucial to ensure the safety of the humanitarian space,” said Mr. Aurélien Agbenonci, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Mali.

    Before the recent armed activities began on 10 January, more than 2 million people were at risk of food insecurity in Mali. They included 510,000 people in immediate need of food and 1 million people at risk of food insecurity in northern regions. According to humanitarian actors, 660,000 children are now at risk of acute malnutrition and more than 200,000 people are internally displaced. About 1.5 million people are at risk of epidemics due to weak water and-sanitation facilities. Additional humanitarian needs related to the current context will increase the vulnerability of people already struggling to survive.

    Due to security reasons, the humanitarian actors who were intervening in the northern regions and in Mopti have either temporarily relocated their staff to safer areas or reduced their activities in the field. However, the humanitarian situation will deteriorate if actions to restore the provision of vital assistance are not carried out immediately.

    “The respect of the rights and the dignity of civilians are among the key elements that need to be preserved in the current context. Civilians should be protected in line with the International Humanitarian Law,” added Mr. Agbenonci.

    Humanitarian actors in Mali are seeking US$370 million in 2013 through the Consolidated Appeal Process for programmes to help more than 4.6 million people. So far, only $2 million (less than 1 per cent) has been secured. If necessary, the appeal will be revised to take into account additional identified needs.


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

    (Bamako, 18 janvier 2013): Les opérations militaires en cours dans le nord et le centre du Mali ont aggravé la situation humanitaire et provoqué le déplacement d'au moins 10.000 personnes en une semaine. Les acteurs humanitaires ont fait part de leurs graves préoccupations concernant les conditions de vie des personnes qui vivent dans le nord et dans le centre du pays, où l'accès humanitaire est encore limité.

    « Le système des Nations Unies réaffirme son soutien au gouvernement du Mali à un moment où la solidarité de chacun est nécessaire pour alléger les souffrances des personnes affectées par la crise. Cependant, pour permettre une réponse rapide aux personnes dans le besoin, il est crucial d'assurer la sécurité de l'espace humanitaire », a déclaré le Coordonnateur humanitaire au Mali, Aurélien Agbenonci.

    Avant le début des opérations militaires le 10 janvier, plus de 2 millions de personnes étaient menacées d'insécurité alimentaire au Mali, y compris 510.000 personnes ayant un besoin immédiat d’assistance alimentaire et un million de personnes menacées par l'insécurité alimentaire dans les régions du nord. Selon les acteurs humanitaires, 660.000 enfants sont menacés de malnutrition aiguë et plus de 200.000 personnes sont déplacées dans le pays. Environ 1,5 million de personnes sont menacées par des épidémies dues à l’insuffisance des installations en eau et assainissement. D'autres besoins humanitaires liés au contexte actuel augmentent la vulnérabilité de personnes qui luttent pour leur survie.

    Pour des raisons de sécurité, les acteurs humanitaires actifs dans les régions du nord et de Mopti ont temporairement relocalisé leur personnel dans des zones plus sûres ou réduit leurs activités sur le terrain. Toutefois, la situation humanitaire se détériorera si des mesures ne sont pas prises immédiatement pour apporter une assistance vitale.

    « Le respect des droits et de la dignité des civils est un des éléments essentiels qui doivent être préservés dans le contexte actuel. Il doit être protégé conformément au droit international humanitaire » a ajouté M. Agbenonci.

    Les acteurs humanitaires au Mali ont demandé 370 millions de dollars pour l’année 2013 dans le cadre du processus d'Appel Consolidé (CAP) pour des programmes visant à aider plus de 4,6 millions de personnes. Jusqu'à présent, seuls 2 millions de dollars (moins de 1 pour cent) ont été obtenus. Si nécessaire, cet appel sera révisé pour tenir compte des besoins supplémentaires identifiés.


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    Source: Refugees International
    Country: Mali

    The French military intervention in Mali is just a few days old, and there is plenty of uncertainty about the operation’s strategy and potential outcomes. But one thing is clear: as this campaign escalates, more civilians are being forced to flee their homes – exacerbating a humanitarian crisis that has plagued Mali for more than a year. Governments and aid agencies in the region must be prepared for the worst and take steps immediately to assist this new wave of displaced Malians.

    First, Mali’s neighbors must help civilians in the conflict zone get out of harm’s way. Though there is a need to limit the mobility of jihadist groups, there is no excuse for keeping civilian families penned into dangerous areas. Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Niger all must keep their borders open, and they must help Malian refugees register and get the aid they need.

    Second, Malians who are fleeing fighting in the north must be allowed to enter the south of the country unmolested. There are already alarming reports of jihadist groups keeping civilians from leaving conflict areas. And while such inexcusable behavior on their part is not surprising, there are also indications that Malian authorities have engaged in similar tactics. For a sovereign state to behave this way is completely unacceptable. If these reports are confirmed, then France, the United States, and the United Nations must pressure their Malian counterparts to halt these abuses.

    Third, aid agencies and state authorities in neighboring countries must help refugees to move away from the Malian border. While refugees should not be forced to move, tens of thousands of individuals will want to relocate and will need help. The U.N. and its partners have facilitated these movements for months, but the process must now be sped up dramatically: the danger to vulnerable families will only grow as Mali’s borders become more militarized.

    Finally, aid agencies and their donors should be ready for the worst and anticipate that thousands more displaced Malians will seek refuge in the south of the country. In October, a colleague and I visited Mali to meet with those already displaced by the conflict and assess their situation. We found that humanitarian needs in the south were largely unmet and growing at that time, but now they will swell even more. Aid groups will need to address a wide range of issues, but their immediate focus should be identifying people in need and providing shelter, food, healthcare, and other lifesaving interventions. Many displaced Malians will also be seeking help from relatives and friends in urban areas. These host communities – already strained by previous waves of new arrivals – must be supported as well.

    Action on these four issues is urgent. Whatever course Mali’s conflict might take in the coming days, governments and aid agencies must work together now to meet the needs of displaced Malians, ensure that their rights are respected, and limit the human toll of this ongoing crisis.


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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Mali

    18 January 2013 – A United Nations team is set to arrive in the Malian capital of Bamako tomorrow to support the national authorities in their quest to restore constitutional order and territorial integrity.

    The advance team, led by Joao Honwana of the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), will start its consultations with the Malian authorities on Monday, UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky told reporters in New York.

    “The role of the advance team is to engage with the Malian authorities to ensure full UN support in the implementation of resolution 2085 on both its political and security tracks,” he stated.

    Resolution 2085, adopted by the Security Council in December 2012, authorized the deployment of an African-led International Support Mission in Mali, known as AFISMA, for an initial period of one year to assist the authorities in recovering rebel-held regions in the north and restoring the unity of the country.

    The resolution also requested Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to establish, in consultation with the national authorities and for an initial period of one year, a “multidisciplinary United Nations presence in Mali” to provide coordinated and coherent support to the ongoing political and security processes in the country.

    The initial team includes representatives of the Departments of Field Support, Peacekeeping Operations, Public Information, Safety and Security, as well as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

    It was also announced today that the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa, Said Djinnit, was in Bamako yesterday and met with the President of Mali, Dioncounda Traoré.

    “They shared views about the fast evolving situation on the ground. Mr. Djinnit also stressed the importance of the political process,” Mr. Nesirky told reporters.

    Mr. Djinnit is in Abidjan today, attending the Mediation and Security Council of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). He will participate in the ECOWAS Heads of States Summit on Saturday.

    Fighting between Government forces and Tuareg rebels broke out in northern Mali last January, following which radical Islamists seized control of the area. The renewed clashes in the North, as well as the proliferation of armed groups in the region, drought and political instability in the wake of a military coup d’état in March have uprooted hundreds of thousands of civilians over the course of 2012.


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    Source: US Agency for International Development
    Country: Kenya

    The Rift Valley region of Kenya has favorable climatic conditions for production of horticultural crops. However, this opportunity was not fully exploited for decades namely due to drought, lack of education on horticultural produce, and low private sector investment.

    By partnering with Canken International Ltd., a cargo handling export company at the Eldoret International Airport, USAID’s Kenya Horticultural Competitiveness Program (USAID-KHCP) has enabled the horticultural industry in the Rift to build its reputation and commercial success by exporting a variety of fruits and vegetables to the European and Middle East countries. Through the improved competitiveness of the horticulture industry, the region now exports more than 750 tons of fresh produce compared to 226 tons when the company was first established in 2007. There has also been an increase in the number of smallholder farmers from 600 to nearly 4,000.

    With support from USAID-KHCP, Canken International trained farmers on land preparation, crop maintenance, harvesting, and post harvesting technology. Farmers were also linked with banks and other micro and credit finance institutions whose loans enable them to purchase seeds and manure and afford crop maintenance among other farming activities.

    To enable an all-year production of fresh produce despite the dry spells, farmers are receiving training on irrigation and water harvesting techniques from the 75 demonstration plots which have been installed with irrigation kits and 30 water harvesting demonstration tanks which have been set up. In addition, nine collection points with grading shades charcoal coolers have been constructed where farmers deliver their produce for collection by Canken International, who also sorts, grades, packs and exports twice a week.

    “These interventions have enabled the horticultural industry to realize an increase in sales and profits of more than 200 percent. Previously, a farmer earned $48 per month but, to date, they earn more than $240," said Dominic Biwot, general manager at Canken International. "Increased income from horticultural exports from the smallholder farmers has provided a lasting foundation for progress against malnutrition and food security. The farmers are now able to purchase foods and other nutritional products which they couldn’t afford before. They are also able to diversity into producing other commercial crops, increasing food security in the region—thanks to USAID for supporting the interventions.”

    This USAID project is part of the U.S. Government's Feed the Future global hunger and food security initiative, which addresses the root causes of hunger and poverty. With a focus on smallholder farmers, particularly women, Feed the Future supports countries in developing their agriculture sectors as a catalyst to generate broad-based economic growth and to reduce hunger.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    01/18/2013 20:21 GMT

    COTONOU, 18 jan 2013 (AFP) - Un groupe d'environ trente soldats a quitté vendredi le Bénin pour se rendre au Mali en vue d'intégrer la force africaine chargée d'aider l'armée malienne à combattre les forces islamistes, a constaté un journaliste de l'AFP.

    Ces soldats font partie d'une unité d'infanterie de l'armée, a déclaré à des journalistes le chef d'état-major de l'armée béninoise, le contre-amiral Denis Houssou Gbessemehlan, à l'aéroport.

    Le Benin s'était engagé à envoyer environ 300 soldats pour prendre part à la force africaine chargée de déloger les groupes islamistes armés qui occupent le nord du Mali depuis plus de neuf mois.

    Les premiers éléments de la force d'intervention ouest-africaine (Misma), une centaine de Togolais et de Nigérians, sont arrivés jeudi soir à Bamako.

    La Communauté économique des Etats d'Afrique de l'Ouest (Cédéao) a affiché vendredi à Abidjan sa volonté d'"accélérer" le déploiement de sa force militaire au Mali.

    Le calendrier du déploiement sera au coeur du sommet extraordinaire de la Cédéao, consacré au Mali, samedi à Abidjan.

    Quelque 2.000 membres de cette force, dirigée par un général nigérian, Shehu Abdulkadir, doivent être déployés au Mali d'ici le 26 janvier.

    Huit pays ouest-africains - Nigeria, Togo, Bénin, Sénégal, Niger, Guinée, Ghana et Burkina Faso - plus le Tchad ont annoncé leur contribution à la Misma.

    Au total, ce seront quelque 5.500 soldats du continent africain qui seront déployés au Mali, pour prendre à terme le relais de l'armée française.

    str-ade/sba/lbx

    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat
    Country: Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan (the), Uganda, Yemen, South Sudan (Republic of)
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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Mali

    NEW YORK, 18 January 2013 - With military operations ongoing in Mali, UNICEF is calling on commanders of all armed forces, groups and militias in Mali to take every possible measure to protect children from the impact of hostilities – to stop the recruitment and use of children in their ranks and keep children out of harm’s way.

    “Commanders are obligated to immediately release any child under the age of 18 who is currently associated with their group to minimize children’s exposure to the dangers of combat,” said Pernille Ironside, a specialist with Child Protection in Emergencies at UNICEF in New York.

    “The Malian Armed Forces and allies must do their utmost to avoid civilian casualties, including women and children,” she added.

    UNICEF is gravely concerned about children being used in fighting. There is a high risk of separation from their families, which can make children much more vulnerable to many forms of abuse, including recruitment, sexual abuse, child trafficking and other forms of violence against children.

    There is also the danger that in the event of the armed groups retreating or fleeing, children will be left behind and vulnerable to revenge attacks.

    #

    For more information, please contact: Peter Smerdon, New York, Tel + 1 212 303 7984 / Mobile: + 1 917 213 5188, psmerdon@unicef.org

    Martin Dawes, UNICEF West and Central Africa, Tel + 221 338 69 58 58 / Mobile: + 221 77 74 04 679, mdawes@unicef.org


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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Mali

    18 January 2013 – The ongoing crisis in Mali has led to serious human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, rape and torture, says a United Nations report released today, which warns that increasing ethnic tensions could have alarming consequences on the North African nation.

    The report, released by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), was compiled by a mission deployed to Mali and its neighbouring countries in November, and details how rights violations have been taking place since January 2012, when fighting between Government forces and Tuareg rebels broke out in the country’s north, later resulting in radical Islamists seizing control of the area.

    The report shows that the current human rights situation is linked to longstanding and unresolved issues, and that human rights violations have been committed both in the North, and in the area under Government control.

    Members of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad allegedly used students as human shields to force military forces to surrender and later executed 94 of the 153 captured soldiers. Several Tuareg soldiers were also victims of reprisals by members of the Malian army in the North, who reportedly killed nine soldiers in Timbuktu in February.

    The report stresses that women in particular have suffered degrading treatment by extremist groups based on an extreme interpretation of Sharia law. They have suffered from harassment, abuses and sexual violence due to accusations of being improperly veiled or dressed, or for riding a motorbike.

    “Rapes of women and girls, at times in front of family members and often apparently carried out on an ethnic basis, have been repeatedly used in the North to intimidate people and break any form of resistance, in a culture where rape is considered as taboo and victims often suffer from social exclusion,” OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva, adding that girls as young as 12 or 13 have been forcibly married to radical Islamists and sexually abused.

    Other reported human rights violations described in the report include amputations, arbitrary detentions, torture, forced disappearances and the recruitment of child soldiers.

    The OHCHR mission highlighted the increasing presence of self-defence militia and expressed alarm at the growing ethnic tensions in Mali, which could also lead to possible acts of revenge against the Tuareg and Arab communities perceived as being linked to the armed groups.

    OHCHR called on all parties “to abide by international human rights and humanitarian law standards,” and welcomed the announcement on Wednesday by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that she has opened an investigation into the situation in Mali.

    “This is an important step for victims of human rights violations, and also sends an important message to perpetrators of human rights violations that they will be held accountable for the crimes committed,” Mr. Colville said.

    “We also call for the initiation of a reconciliation process to address current human rights challenges as well as long-standing unresolved issues, and urge the Malian army and its supporters to take extreme care not to carry out further reprisals as and when they retake territory in the North,” he added, reiterating OHCHR’s readiness to assist the Government by supporting the establishment of a transitional justice mechanism to facilitate national reconciliation.

    The clashes in the North, as well as the proliferation of armed groups in the region, drought and political instability have uprooted hundreds of thousands of civilians over the course of 2012.

    During the same briefing in Geneva, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced that it is reinforcing its resources in the country in anticipation of further new displacement.

    UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming said the agency is estimating there will be an additional displacement of 300,000 inside Mali, while a further 407,000 Malians will flee to neighbouring Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania.

    “In Burkina Faso, we have sent staff from Ouagadougou to monitor the border and to boost assistance in the refugee camps in Burkina’s Sahel administrative region,” Ms. Fleming said.

    “The refugees said they fled the recent military intervention, the lack of any means of subsistence, and fear of the strict application of Sharia law. They reported having witnessed executions and amputations, and mentioned that large amounts of money are being offered to civilians to fight against the Malian army and its supporters.”

    In Niger, UNHCR continues to provide help to the 52,875 refugees in camps and sites in Mangaize, Banibangou, Ayorou, Abala and Tillia areas.

    Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) said that its presence had been reduced to a minimum in northern Mali due to violence and the limited humanitarian presence, but that it would resume its food distribution as soon as the situation allows it and would continue to explore ways to deliver assistance.

    In the meantime, the agency continues to distribute food assistance to internally displaced persons in Bamako, the Malian capital, where it is assisting a total of 12,000 persons in cooperation with its partners.


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    Source: World Vision
    Country: Mali
    • Relatively low numbers of people arriving in the south leads to concerns that many remain trapped in conflict areas
    • Reports of child soldiers being recruited by armed groups
    • Limited humanitarian access in north barring people from getting help

    Bamako, MALI (January 18, 2013) – As the conflict escalates in Mali between government and international troops and armed groups, World Vision is concerned that a growing number of people are trapped in the conflict, unable to flee and without access to humanitarian aid. Because of almost no access to the north, it is extremely difficult to calculate how many have fled.

    "In just the past two weeks, we’ve had reports of up to than 30,000 people fleeing to the southern part of Mali to escape the violence in the North,” said Chance Briggs, Director of World Vision in Mali. “Though significant, these numbers are still much lower than we would expect, especially in the past few days since the conflict has intensified. We’re worried about the thousands of children and families who remain in the north, right in the crosshairs of conflict, cut off from any hope of assistance.”

    Also concerning are reports of armed groups recruiting child soldiers. UNICEF estimates that hundreds of boys are being recruited into armed groups, and the reality is this number is likely to be much higher. The United Nations stated in a recent report that children as young as 10 have been seen manning checkpoints.

    “Conflict brings so much more than just the obvious threat of bombs or bullets and the physical and psychological effects they have on to children. We’re worried about the other consequences in the chaos of families forced to quickly flee their homes, especially if they are unable to reach help,” said Briggs. “We’ve received reports of children separated from their families, which leaves them highly vulnerable to other unseen dangers like sexual violence, forced recruitment by armed groups, and fatal diseases such as cholera and malaria.”

    World Vision has called on all those involved in the conflict to ensure that fleeing civilians are offered safe passage.

    "We want all involved to respect their responsibilities under international humanitarian law. We urge the governments involved to use all influence to ensure human rights are respected and that safe passage is given,” said Briggs.

    Almost five million Malians are affected by the three crises hitting the country namely, food, nutrition and conflict. More than 400,000 people have already been forced to flee their homes, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Humanitarian organizations in Mali estimate that if the conflict continues to escalate, the number of displaced people could reach 700,000, out of a pre-conflict Northern population of less than 1 million.

    "Numbers that become more concerning given the low levels of funding for humanitarian aid in the region. With a funding shortage even before this new fighting, there is a risk that if tens of thousands of people flee to safe areas already strained, communities will be overwhelmed and the newly displaced will suffer without adequate resources. World Vision urges governments, private citizens, companies, foundations, and others, to continue their commitment and properly fund this important response, so that an even worse humanitarian crisis can be prevented."

    To assist the most vulnerable in this conflict, World Vision has been distributing food to host communities where displaced people have settled. This lessens the burdens for those communities already hit hard by last year’s food crisis. World Vision has sent teams to affected areas to distribute information about how to keep children safe as the conflict continues. Through schools, churches and mosques, children are being advised not to talk to strangers and not to play with strange objects, which could be landmines or unexploded ordinance. In the coming weeks, the organization hopes to expand its efforts to target a wider number of displaced people, providing them with food, hygiene kits and kitchen sets.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    01/19/2013 13:24 GMT

    Par Thomas MORFIN et Christophe KOFFI

    ABIDJAN, 19 jan 2013 (AFP) - Les dirigeants ouest-africains réunis samedi à Abidjan ont appelé à une mobilisation internationale "plus large" dans les opérations militaires au Mali, où soldats français et maliens combattent des groupes islamistes armés, dans l'attente du déploiement d'une force africaine.

    "L'heure a sonné pour un engagement plus large (...) afin qu'une plus grande solidarité se noue autour de la France et de l'Afrique dans la guerre totale et multiforme contre le terrorisme au Mali", a déclaré le chef de l'Etat ivoirien Alassane Ouattara.

    Il faut "aller au-delà de nos effectifs actuels" grâce à des soutiens internationaux, a-t-il ajouté.

    Président en exercice de la Communauté économique des Etats d'Afrique de l'Ouest (Cédéao), M. Ouattara s'exprimait à l'ouverture d'un sommet qui doit accélérer le déploiement de la force régionale au Mali, en présence du président malien par intérim Dioncounda Traoré.

    Le président tchadien Idriss Deby - dont le pays ne fait pas partie de la Cédéao mais qui a promis d'envoyer 2.000 soldats - et le ministre français des Affaires étrangères Laurent Fabius y participent également.

    La force régionale, baptisée Mission internationale de soutien au Mali (Misma), a reçu mandat de l'ONU pour aider le Mali à reprendre le contrôle du nord du pays, occupé depuis plus de neuf mois par des groupes armés islamistes qui y ont multiplié les exactions.

    L'opération française "n'a pas vocation à se substituer à l'action de la Misma" qui doit se déployer "le plus vite possible, et c'est l'objet de notre réunion", a dit M. Fabius au sommet.

    Depuis Londres, le secrétaire américain à la Défense Leon Panetta a rendu "hommage"à la France qui a "pris l'initiative de tenter de bloquer Aqmi" (Al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique) au Mali, ajoutant: "Nous essaierons de l'aider dans cet effort". Washington a fourni des renseignements et des moyens de transport aérien à la France.

    "la France n'est au Mali que pour appuyer le Mali et l'Afrique", a insisté de son côté le président nigérien Mahamadou Issoufou, dans une interview publiée par le quotidien français Le Parisien.

    MM. Fabius et Ouattara ont insisté sur la nécessité d'une dimension politique pour résoudre la crise malienne, déclenchée en janvier par une offensive de rebelles autonomistes touareg, ensuite évincés du nord du Mali par les islamistes.

    Laurent Fabius a aussi jugé "impérieux que les autorités civiles reprennent la totalité des choses en main", au Mali, alors que l'ex-junte du capitaine Amadou Haya Sanogo - un temps au pouvoir après le putsch de mars 2012 - reste très influente à Bamako.

    Quelque 2.000 membres de la Misma doivent être déployés d'ici au 26 janvier. Une centaine de soldats togolais et nigérians sont déjà arrivés à Bamako, et une trentaine de Béninois sont en route.

    "Peut-être" plus de 2.500 soldats français

    Huit pays ouest-africains - Nigeria, Togo, Bénin, Sénégal, Niger, Guinée, Ghana et Burkina Faso - ainsi que le Tchad ont annoncé leur contribution à la Misma qui comprendra quelque 5.800 soldats pour prendre le relais de la France.

    Celle-ci poursuit son intervention aux côtés d'une armée malienne sous-équipée: 2.000 soldats français sont présents au Mali et ils devraient passer à 2.500, selon Paris. "Peut-être qu'on les dépassera", a indiqué le ministre français de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian.

    Bamako a annoncé avoir repris jeudi Konna, localité à 700 km au nord-est de Bamako, tombée le 10 janvier aux mains des combattants islamistes, précipitant l'intervention française.

    La chute de Konna lors de cette offensive surprise le 10 janvier avait déclenché l'intervention de la France - qui redoutait une percée des jihadistes vers le sud et Bamako.

    Dans la région de Diabali (ouest), le colonel malien commandant ce secteur, a affirmé samedi à l'AFP que les islamistes avaient "fui" la ville qu'ils avaient prise lundi et que l'armée malienne s'apprêtait à y faire son entrée.

    Ses déclarations confirment celles d'habitants qui avaient affirmé vendredi que les jihadistes avaient abandonné Diabali après plusieurs bombardements de l'aviation française.

    Mais de son côté, le ministère français de la Défense avait laissé entendre que le ville n'avait pas été reprise.

    En Algérie, l'agence de presse officielle APS affirme que douze otages et dix-huit ravisseurs ont été tués dans l'assaut donné au commando islamiste qui avaient pris des centaines de personnes en otages mercredi sur un site gazier dans le Sahara. Ceux-ci détenaient encore vendredi sept étrangers à In Amenas, à 1.300 km au sud-est d'Alger, selon des sources islamistes citées par l'agence mauritanienne ANI.

    Les ravisseurs demanderaient à la France de "négocier" la fin de la guerre au Mali et proposent de libérer des "otages américains" contre des islamistes détenus aux Etats-Unis. Paris et Washington ont confirmé la mort d'un de leurs ressortissants.

    bur-thm/stb/lbx

    © 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: African Commission on Human and People's Rights
    Country: Mali

    The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) has been closely monitoring the human rights situation in the north of the Republic of Mali since the beginning of 2012. The Commission is deeply concerned by the increased fighting as terrorist groups advance towards the south.

    The Commission is concerned by the continuous occupation of the north of Mali by terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI), Ansar Dine and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), which commit massive human rights violations with impunity against civilian populations.

    The Commission notes with concern the recent increase in the movement of people fleeing areas of fighting to the interior and out of the country as a result of the worsening security and humanitarian situation caused by fighting.

    The Commission condemns the illegal occupation of parts of northern Mali by the various armed groups, and strongly condemns all human rights violations committed in Mali and all attempts at the Balkanization of the country which undermine the country’s territorial integrity, national unity and social cohesion, as well as the peace of the populations.

    The Commission commends the efforts of ECOWAS and the international community to stop rebels from advancing, fight terrorist groups and recover the northern territory of Mali.

    The Commission underscores that human rights must be respected at all times, and calls on all the parties to the conflict to fully respect international humanitarian law and protect civilian populations and their property.

    The Commission urges the Malian Armed Forces, military intervention forces and the armed groups to take the necessary measures to ensure that human rights are protected, including the right to life and physical integrity, the right to human dignity, and the right to freedom of the people guaranteed by the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other international and regional human rights instruments.

    The Commission calls for the facilitation of the work of humanitarian organisations assisting the Malian populations, and expects to see available and safe humanitarian corridors providing access to internally displaced persons.

    The Commission encourages Mali’s neighbours to continue to welcome refugees arriving in their territories and to provide them the necessary protection and assistance.

    The Commission welcomes the decision by the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes committed in the north of Mali by all the parties to the conflict. The Commission underscores that such crimes cannot go unpunished and calls on all the parties to work with the ICC towards bringing the perpetrators of serious crimes to justice.

    The Commission calls on the African Union and the international community to continue their efforts to find a solution to the crisis in Mali towards restoring peace, the territorial integrity and political stability of the Republic of Mali.

    The Commission reiterates its resolutions ACHPR/RES.209 (EXT.OS/XI) 2012 and ACHPR/RES.217 on the human rights situation in the north of Mali and Resolution ACHPR/RES.210 (EXT.OS/XI) 2012 on refugees and internally displaced persons fleeing the conflict in the north of Mali.

    Banjul, The Gambia, 18 January 2013


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    Source: UN Office of the SRSG for Children and Armed Conflict
    Country: Somalia

    New York, 18 January 2013 – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Leila Zerrougui is deeply concerned about the killing of several children during military operations by the African Union peacekeepers (AMISOM) in Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region on Tuesday.

    The same day of the event, Major General Salvatore Harushimana, acting AMISOM Force Commander, committed to open an investigation on the facts and circumstances which led to the incident. “I welcome the proactive stance taken by AMISOM to acknowledge the tragedy and to open a thorough and timely investigation. I hope that this examination will result in concrete measures to prevent further violations.”

    “I also urge the African Union to further strengthen its efforts to minimize child casualties in their operations and to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law. My Office stands ready to provide the necessary support in this regard, if requested,” Ms. Leila Zerrougui said.

    Special Representative Zerrougui also stressed that the protection of children must be a central aspect of the African Union’s peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations, such as in Mali and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army.

    #

    For further information, please contact:
    Muriel Gschwend
    Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
    +1 917 367 35 62
    +1 347 749 52 76
    gschwend@un.org


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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Somalia

    18 January 2013 – The United Nations envoy to Somali and an independent human rights expert have urged authorities in the East African country to investigate the brutal murder of a local radio journalist, the latest incident of violence against media workers there.

    According to media reports, Abdihared Osman Adan, a newscaster with Radio Shabelle in the country’s capital of Mogadishu, was gunned down on 18 January by a group of unidentified armed men as he left his home to broadcast the morning news.

    “The targeted killing of journalists and media workers in Somalia and the continuing impunity for these cases has been a long-standing concern,” the UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, Shamsul Bari, said in a news release.

    Mr. Adan is the latest victim of media-related violence in Somalia where at least 10 journalists and media workers have been killed since 2012.

    In addition, reporters working for Radio Shabelle have been a frequent target of violence with Mr. Adan being the ninth journalist from the radio station to be killed since 2007. Most recently, on 24 May 2012, Mr. Adan’s colleague, Ahmed Addow Anshur, was shot by unidentified gunmen after receiving death threats for his reports on corruption.

    Last November, the spate of killings prompted Somali President Hassan Sheikh to delegate Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon with the role of instituting a Task Force aimed at bringing those responsible for the murders to justice.

    The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Augustine P. Mahiga, urged the Task Force to expedite its investigative work while calling for a greater Government role in stopping the series of “heinous killings targeting the Somali media community.”

    “It’s deplorable that the perpetrators continue to enjoy impunity, while the Somali media community continues to be targeted,” Mr. Mahiga declared.

    “Every violent attack against the media is an attack against transparent governance,” he continued, adding that freedom of expression was “guaranteed under Somalia’s provisional constitution as well as Somalia’s international commitments.”

    Turning his attention to related human rights issues affecting the Horn of Africa nation, Mr. Bari also condemned the Government’s recent execution of two soldiers, Jamal Ahmed Alqadir and Abdi Isman Ali Magan.

    Both men had been sentenced to death by a military court in September 2011 for a series of crimes, including murder and rape. They were shot on 16 January.

    “The executions raise concern in relation to the level of compliance of military justice in Somalia with international fair trial standards,” warned Mr. Bari, while calling on the Government to renew a moratorium on the death penalty which had been in effect prior to the current administration’s mandate.

    The executions in Somalia diverge from the growing trend of countries who have acknowledged the inhumane nature of the death penalty. In late December last year, the UN General Assembly adopted a non-binding resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty by a recorded vote of 111 in favour to 41 against, with 34 abstentions.

    In it, the Assembly expressed its deep concern about the application of the death penalty, and called on States to respect international standards providing safeguards guaranteeing the protection of the rights of persons facing the death penalty.

    There are currently 150 countries around the world that have abolished capital punishment or have instituted a moratorium on the practice.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Ethiopia
    preview


    Maize is the most widely consumed cereal by the rural poor. Sorghum is generally one of the cheapest cereals. Teff is also very important throughout the country. The most important markets for teff are the large cities including Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Mekele, and Dire Dawa. Addis Abada is the capital city, and Dire Dawa, Mekele, and Jijiga are major towns in the eastern, mainly food insecure, parts of the country. Bahir Dar is a major town in a surplus producing area. Sodo is an urban center located in the Wolayita zone, and is one of the most chronically food insecure parts of the region. Karati is in the Konso special woreda, a densely populated chronically food insecure area in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region. Yabelo and Guradamole are in Borena and Bale zones of southern Oromia Region respectively. These are chronically food insecure, lowland zones.


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