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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: UN Mission in South Sudan
    Country: South Sudan

    Patricia Okoed/Filip Andersson

    The UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous has called for an immediate cessation of hostilities to allow humanitarian assistance to reach communities in need.

    Ladsous arrived in the country this morning and met with First Vice President Taban Deng Gai in Juba.

    Addressing journalists after the meeting, the UN Peacekeeping chief said that aid delivery can only resume fully when there is no fighting.

    “The sincere hope is that aid delivery can restart, and that have to start with the cessation of hostilities. A national dialogue as proposed by the president can certainly help, but it cannot be a substitute to the resumption of the peace process,” Mr. Ladsous said.

    The press secretary of the first vice president, Gai Choul Laam, said the meeting between the UN Peacekeeping chief and Taban Deng Gai covered the implementation of the peace agreement and other issues pertaining to the peace process. Their discussion also included the security situation, the issue of access to different parts of the country and possible UN support to the national dialogue initiative.

    “The first vice president gave his assurance that the government would like the UN to support the government in the issues pertaining to the implementation [of the peace agreement] as well as the basic understanding that the government will implement the peace agreement," Gai Choul Laam said.

    Under-Secretary-General Ladsous is in the country for a two-day official visit before he leaves his office at the end of this month, after six years on his post. He arrived in Juba with the Under-Secretary-General designate, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, who takes office on 1st April. The two top officials also had a meeting with the UNMISS leadership.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: South Sudan

    Background

    On 2 January 2017, fighting between Government and opposition forces broke out at Ketbek in Nasir County, Upper Nile, and spread to Nor-Deng, Wecjoak, Kuerengke, Wangbup, Nayguen and Wathmalual bomas resulting in displacement of the entire population of these areas. Armed clashes resumed the following week, forcing people to flee from Mandeng, Nyatot, Nyariew 2, NorThok, Benytik, Nyakang and Torkech towards the south– east and north-east of Nasir County, along the border with Ethiopia. A larger number of internally displaced people (IDP) concentrated in Burebeiy, Nyienygog, Malual (Makak) and Koap (Jikmir). Some also fled to the neighbouring county of Ulang. Humanitarian organizations based in Madeng relocated to Jikmir.

    Nasir County is generally under the control of opposition forces. However, government forces have been in control of Nasir town since May 2014.

    From 28 to 29 January 2017, an inter-agency rapid needs assessment (IRNA) and response mission travelled to Jikmir to assess the humanitarian needs.

    Key overview of findings

    Fighting in Nasir County in January 2017 displaced an estimated 33,000 people, including around 22,110 who were staying in the four locations near the border with Ethiopia that were visited by the Inter-Agency Rapid Needs Assessment (IRNA) team. The first attack on 2 January reportedly happened during the morning hours as people were going about their daily chores. During the fighting, homes were reportedly looted and burned, ten people, including six children, were reportedly killed, more than 20 children were reported as missing or separated, and cases of sexual violence were reported. The majority of people displaced by the fighting were women, children and the elderly, including persons with specific needs.

    IDPs in the four sites reported their main needs to be food and/or livelihoods (particularly fishing supplies), healthcare, and water, sanitation and hygiene. Most people from locations attacked on 2 January fled with nothing, while others in locations that were subsequently attacked managed to carry minimal food and non-food items. Most IDPs fled with their cattle and goats and took them to the cattle camps. However, some livestock were reportedly lost during the fighting and a livestock disease outbreak was reported. The IDPs reported receiving some support from the host communities, and supplemented this with fishing and eating wild leaves. Some IDPs were depending on their livestock for milk, meat and sales to buy grain. Lack of fishing gear and limited grain supplies in the market were cited as key food security concerns.

    The assessment team carried out nutrition screening across all four displacement sites, finding relatively stable nutrition status amongst displaced children under age 5. Nine children were found to be moderately malnourished of which six were new cases and three old cases who were no longer accessing nutrition services due to displacement. Two children were found to be severely malnourished. All cases were referred to outpatient therapeutic programme (OTP) sites.
    Malaria, respiratory infections and diarrhoea were noted as the most common diseases among the IDP population. The IRNA team carried with them a two week supply of emergency medicines for the Jikmir referral centre and more drugs have been requested for mobile community health workers who continue to provide basic medical services.

    There were no latrines in the areas of displacement, forcing IDPs to practice open defecation among several other poor hygiene practices. Although the IDPs have access to adequate water supply for domestic use from the river, the water is untreated. General lack of hygiene supplies, including sanitary items for women and girls, was also noted.

    Although schools were expected to open early February 2017, lack of education material and space in the existing schools was reported. There is only one school in Jikmir, and the primary school in Maker is not operational. Teachers, who were available among the displaced communities, requested education material and temporary learning spaces to ensure that the displaced children could access education.


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    Source: World Health Organization, Government of Nigeria, Health Cluster
    Country: Nigeria

    HIGHLIGHTS

    • On 14 March 2017, the 2017/8 Health Sector strategy was presented in Abuja to the donor and wider community by WHO on behalf of the Health Sector with support from representatives of Borno State Ministry of Health and health sector partners. The strategy has been informed by and supports the MOH NE Health Sector Response Plan, the HRP 2017,
      State MOH Health Sector Operations Plans and health sector partner strategies.

    • The confirmed case of Lassa fever in Maiduguri has been discharged. Clinical monitoring of the identified 59 contacts is on-going until 21st March 2017. Two new suspected deaths cases haven tested negative.

    • The draft Cholera Preparedness Plan has been finalized with identifications of “hot-spots” by LGA and IDPs camps for timely interventions in case of cholera outbreak. The prepositioning of kits and supplies is already in process.

    • A mortality survey was conducted by WHO teams in Monguno LGA, analysis is ongoing.

    • As indicated by the UN Security Council mission leader, Mathew Rycroft, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, UK mission to the United Nations in New York, the crisis in the North-east will no longer be a neglected crisis, as the UN Security Council have assessed the situation on ground, describing it as one of the world worst humanitarian crisis in recent times.

    Situation update:

    The prolonged humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad Basin has had a devastating impact in North-East Nigeria. Food and nutritional insecurity has reached extreme levels, especially in parts of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, with 5.1 million people severely food insecure. The crisis has evolved over the years leading to widespread displacement and devastation and a desperate shortage of essential health care. In the worst-affected and least accessible areas of Borno and Yobe states, severe forms of hunger have been registered, with 55,000 people estimated to be experiencing famine-like conditions. This figure is projected to increase to 120,000 by June 2017. Some 450,000 children under 5 (300,000 of them are located in Borno State) will suffer from severe acute malnutrition this year and require specialized treatment.

    The health sector partners are scaling up and reaching more people with life-saving support every month. However, they require protection of the affected populations and humanitarian access to ensure that all vulnerable households in need of urgent humanitarian assistance are reached safely on a regular basis. Humanitarian actors are currently reaching 2.1 million people with food assistance as they continue to scale up. Food security and nutrition are at the heart of the humanitarian response with a special focus on women, children and youth. It is also key to provide agricultural inputs to enable affected people to plant ahead of the next rainy season in May. However, to achieve these goals, focusing on averting famine, immediate funding is urgently required. Without early action and sustained humanitarian assistance, lives and livelihoods will not be saved.

    Humanitarians have one goal – and one goal only – to reach all people in need of assistance. However, due to restricted access and high levels of insecurity, reaching people in need remains one of the key challenges facing partners who are working to provide lifesaving aid. All parties to conflict must abide by international humanitarian law and allow aid workers access to those in need. Without full, safe and unhindered access hundreds of thousands of people could die.

    For the first time in the history of the country, the United Nations Security Council visited Nigeria, albeit from Sunday, March 5 to Monday, March 6 2017.The UN delegation visited the cities of Maiduguri in Borno State and Abuja in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). On arriving Maiduguri on Sunday, the Security Council Visiting Mission to the Lake Chad Basin Region met local officials and civil society organizations before visiting an IDP camp. As indicated by the UN Security Council mission leader, Mathew Rycroft, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, UK mission to the United Nations in New York, the crisis in the North-east will no longer be a neglected crisis, as the UN Security Council have assessed the situation on ground, describing it as one of the world worst humanitarian crisis in recent times.

    According to news reports, Boko Haram militants raided the town of Magumeri, looting food supplies and burning homes after overwhelming with Nigerian military. The attack late on 15 March 2017 came after a lull in raids on major towns in the remote region following sweeping military offensives which Nigeria has claimed has severely weakened the jihadists to the point of defeat.

    Scores of Boko Haram fighters arrived in Magumeri at about 6:30 pm in vans, motorcycles and on foot, firing heavy weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, forcing residents to flee. According to media reports they broke into shops and homes and took away every food item they came across. They set fire to homes and shops as they looted them before heading into the bush hours later. Before looting, the fighters attacked a military base and a police station where there was a shoot-out, according to a civilian militia member assisting troops with security. Militants overpowered the security personnel who withdrew, allowing them to loot and burn down the base and the police station.


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Yemen

    HIGHLIGHTS

    811,555 Number of refugees registered in the country

    17,919 Number of refugees newly registered in January and February 2017

    9,839 Number of refugees newly registered in February

    42,109 Number of unaccompanied and separated children

    WORKING WITH PARTNERS

    • The Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) is UNHCR’s main government counterpart with which close cooperation is maintained to ensure the protection of refugees in Ethiopia.

    • UNHCR is fully engaged in coordination fora to mainstream the needs of refugees within humanitarian and national plans. These coordination mechanisms include the UN Country Team, the Humanitarian Country Team, the Refugee Task Force, and donor, NGO and inter-agency meetings at the national, field and camp levels. This has ensured an effective coordination environment in the context of the Level 3 Emergency for South Sudanese refugees as well as the development of a regional response plan for the same situation in 2017.

    • The number of new arrivals from Somalia has shown a marked increase at the beginning of 2017, with a total of 4,106 people crossing the border through Dollo Ado between 1 January and 28 February 2017. This figure represents a sharp rise compared to the trend last year. 71% are children whilst 88% are women and children. The new arrivals, mostly originating from the Bay,
      Middle Juba and Gedo regions, report to have fled conflicts, exacerbated by food insecurity in Somalia. UNHCR, ARRA and partners are responding to their needs.

    • Over 5,500 South Sudanese refugees and 2,680 Eritrean refugees were registered in Ethiopia during the month.

    • ARRA and UNHCR jointly organized two meetings with external stakeholders to discuss the roadmap and the associated structures meant to create a legal environment conducive to the implementation of the set of pledges the Ethiopian government made at the Leaders’ Summit in New York in September 2016. The meetings were attended by senior officials representing the donor community, Government line ministries, NGOs, UN agencies and other stakeholders who also provided valuable inputs for the roadmap and the draft regulation that would be submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval. Once adopted, the Regulation will complement the 2004 Refugee Proclamation and serve as a roadmap for the implementation of the pledges.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Niger

    Food insecurity is observed locally as a result of poor pastoral performance and security crisis.

    Key Messages
    - Cereal availabilities remain at average to below average levels due to weak trade flows due to product exit restrictions that cause high prices in Nigeria’s source markets. Prices in Niger markets remained broadly stable between January and February 2017, but in March are generally higher than the February levels as well as the average.
    - For livestock, the availability of fodder is low and the need for complementary feed is estimated at 35,000 tones, of which 2,000 tones are being sold at moderate prices by the Government. This operations makes it possible to stabilize the price of a bag of livestock feed at 4,000 FCFA, which is an average price for this time of the year. Livestock prices continue their downward trend compared to the average, a situation unfavorable to pastoralists who are net buyers of cereals.
    - Food insecurity will remain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) until September in the majority of households, but some pockets of certain livelihood zones, will experience Stressed (IPC Phase 2) between March and July 2017, as a result of the deterioration of purchasing power for food and the insufficiency of financial means to ensure essential needs. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is possible for poor households from June to July in the absence of assistance.
    - Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity will persist in the Diffa region until September 2017. The persistent security crisis has severely reduced food and income access for poor households and has resulted in the displacement of many households that are now dependent on humanitarian aid. In some parts of the region, humanitarian access difficulties result in inadequate aid coverage and inadequate food availability that are likely to worsen nutritional outcomes over the coming months.


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Mali

    Decline in rice production has led to an early lean season along the Niger River

    Key Messages
    - Average to above-average availability of foodstuffs in markets favors good market sourcing across the country. Prices of staple foods are slightly below average which is favorable for average access to food at markets by the majority of households.
    - Pasture conditions are worse than usual and unusual concentrations of herds from Niger and Burkina Faso, will adversely affect livestock weight and productivity. The resulting drop in prices and production will reduce the income and the availability of animal products for households that do not have the means to maintain their livestock.
    - The early lean season, due to the significant decline in rice production in the Niger Delta of Mopti, and the river valley of Timbuktu and Gao, is causing poor households to resort atypically manual labor, forest product production, and reduction of non-food expenses. As a result, they will be in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity from March until September.
    - Residual insecurity in the regions of Timbuktu Gao, and northern Mopti and Segou regions continues to affect trade flows and the normal provisioning of markets. The resultant internal displacement weakens the livelihoods of about 45,766 people (DTM, March 2017), who are at least in Stressed (IPC Phase 2).


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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Mali

    20 mars 2017 – A l'occasion d'une visite ce weekend au Mali, le Secrétaire général adjoint des Nations Unies pour les opérations de maintien de la paix, Hervé Ladsous, s'est félicité des progrès accomplis sur le chemin de la paix, près de quatre ans après la création de la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation au Mali (MINUSMA).

    M. Ladsous, dont le mandat arrive à terme à la fin du mois, a saisi l'occasion de cette visite pour présenter aux autorités maliennes, dont le Président Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, son successeur Jean-Pierre Lacroix qui prendra la relève le 1er avril à la tête du Département des opérations de maintien de la paix (DOMP).

    « Depuis cette année, il y a eu une série d'annonces qui montrent qu'enfin les choses bougent et qu'elles bougent dans le bon sens », s'est félicité Hervé Ladsous lors d'une conférence de presse organisée samedi soir dans la capitale malienne Bamako.

    « Nous avons constaté que la réunion de haut niveau du Comité de suivi des accords en février a pris une série de décisions très importantes qui ont commencé à se traduire dans les faits », a-t-il ajouté, citant pour exemple le déploiement des administrations intérimaires dans le nord, « qui est encore un processus en cours, je ne vous l'apprends pas, puisqu'il y a encore Tombouctou et Taoudéni », et le lancement des patrouilles conjointes.

    « Le but de tout cela, c'est d'asseoir la crédibilité de ce processus lancé par les accords de paix, et de montrer aux populations du Mali, notamment dans le nord du pays, que l'Accord de paix se traduit par des dividendes », a souligné M. Ladsous. « Des dividendes en termes de stabilisation sur le plan de la sécurité et le fait que ces patrouilles conjointes aient commencé à se déployer est une première indication positive. Les administrations intérimaires, ça signifie le retour de l'État et de tout ce qu'il apporte aux populations aussi en termes de différence du niveau de leurs conditions de vie, d'amélioration des services de base, santé, éducation ».

    Le chef des opérations de maintien de la paix a rappelé que la philosophie profonde de l'intervention de l'ONU au cours de ces dernières années a été de favoriser et d'aider par tous les moyens le rétablissement de l'Etat malien dans toutes ses prérogatives sur l'ensemble du territoire. « Un Etat républicain, un Etat démocratique, un Etat laïc », a-t-il déclaré.

    S'il s'est félicité de la prochaine tenue de la Conférence d'entente nationale, « un élément très important pour montrer là aussi à la population du Mali que les choses évoluent vers un règlement de fond des problèmes », M. Ladsous a également évoqué les points qui restent complexes, rappelant notamment l'importance de faire avancer le processus de désarmement, démobilisation et réintégration (DDR).

    Pour le Secrétaire général adjoint la situation sécuritaire reste globalement préoccupante notamment dans le nord du pays. « Nous sommes beaucoup trop fréquemment attaqués par les groupes armés non-signataires, les groupes terroristes pour les appeler par leur nom. (…) Cette insécurité s'est déplacée vers le sud et le centre du pays », a-t-il dit, ajoutant que la sécurité dans la région de Mopti est également une source de préoccupation pour l'ONU.

    M. Ladsous a cependant salué les efforts régionaux avec le G5 Sahel et avec ses Etats membres pour essayer de mieux coordonner l'échange de renseignements sur les opérations sur le terrain visant à contrôler l'action des groupes armés et des trafiquants.

    Il a indiqué que l'examen du mandat de la MINUSMA devant le Conseil de sécurité dans le courant du printemps sera l'occasion de mesurer le chemin parcouru et celui qu'il reste à parcourir.

    Après le Mali, M. Ladsous et M. Lacroix se sont rendus lundi matin au Soudan du Sud.


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Ethiopia, South Sudan

    KEY FIGURES

    68,858 South Sudanese arrivals since 3 September 2016, based on reports from Gambella (as of 11 March 2017)

    356,304 Total South Sudanese refugees and asylum-seekers in Ethiopia (both in Gambella and Assosa as of 11 March 2017) – This is an estimated figure; confirmed numbers will be provided at the end of the month

    FUNDING (as of 7 March 2017)

    USD 160.8 M Requested by UNHCR for the South Sudan Situation in Ethiopia

    HIGHLIGHTS

    • Between 1 and 11 March 2017, a total of 7,258 South Sudanese refugees have arrived in Gambella, Ethiopia, bringing the total who arrived since September 2016 to 68,858. Of these, 3,967 arrived in the week of 6 to 11 March, representing a daily average arrival rate of 660 people. All of them have been registered (level1) and most of them were relocated to Nguenyyiel refugee camp. 192 level1 registered new arrivals remain in Pagak, awaiting relocation. The daily arrival rate has significantly jumped from 103 person in February and 199 in February to 660 so far in March.

    • 65% of the total registered new arrivals are children, including 15,488 unaccompanied and separated children.

    • According to a recent sample survey conducted in Pagak, the new arrivals originated mainly from Upper Nile State (Nasir, Longechuk or Mathiang, Ulang and Maiwut Counties) and Jonglie State (Uror, Akobo and Ayod Counties). Conflict and food insecurity were cited as the main reasons for leaving South Sudan

    • As of 15 March, Ethiopia hosted more than 356,000 South Sudanese refugees. They originate mostly from Upper Nile and Jonglie States, as well as some from the Unity states.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Mali, Niger

    CHAD

    FIRE DESTROYS SHELTERS AT REFUGEE CAMP

    A rapid humanitarian response is underway following a fire at Dosseye refugee camp in southern Chad on 15 March. The fire, whose cause is still unknown, destroyed several huts, food stocks and household items. No casualties were reported. Dosseye camp hosts more than 12,000 refugees from the Central African Republic.

    CONGO

    MONKEYPOX INFECTS 20, KILLS THREE

    An outbreak of monkeypox has infected 20 people and caused three deaths in the northern Likouala department, the Ministry of Health confirmed on 16 March. Patients are receiving free medical care and the authorities have ramped up epidemiological surveillance and banned the handling of monkeys and other wild animals. Monkeypox is transmitted from an infected monkey to humans and then from one person to another. There is no vaccine against the virus and only the symptoms are treated. The country’s last outbreak was in 2003 in the same department.

    NIGER

    OVER 500 SUSPECTED MENINGITIS CASES

    Four health districts (Niamey 2, Niamey 3, Ouallam and Tillabéry) have reached the alert threshold for meningitis with more than 5 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per week. In total, health authorities have registered 511 suspected cases and 34 deaths between 2 January and 12 March. The meningitis epidemiological season runs from December to June.

    NIGER

    INSECURITY IMPEDES EDUCATION IN DIFFA

    School attendance continues to be hampered by insecurity and population movements in the southern Diffa region.

    Thirty schools hosting 1,280 students remain closed, while 121 schools were re-opened in October 2016 with the support of the Ministry of Education.

    MALI

    ARMED GROUP SIGNS CHILD PROTECTION DEAL

    On 17 March, the Coordination des Mouvements de l’Azawad (CMA), a coalition of armed movements signatory to the June 2015 peace agreement, signed an action plan with the UN to end and prevent the recruitment and use, sexual violence and all other grave violations against children. The plan is binding on all CMA entities and includes concrete measures to end and prevent child recruitment and abuse.

    AID WORKERS ATTACKED

    Several attacks against local and international humanitarian workers have been reported between 11 and 13 March in Gao, Timbuktu and Mopti regions, killing one person and leaving several injured. Gunmen hijacked vehicles and equipment and ambushed trucks transporting food aid. The incidents have prompted affected organisations to seek alternative means to assist those in need.


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

    This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

    UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is concerned by continuing forced return of hundreds of refugees from Cameroon’s far north region to north-eastern Nigeria despite the recent signing of the tripartite agreement aimed at, among other things, ensuring the voluntary nature of returns. So far this year, Cameroon has forcefully returned over 2,600 refugees back to Nigerian border villages against their will.

    UNHCR is particularly concerned as these forced returns have continued unabated after the governments of Nigeria and Cameroon signed a tripartite agreement with UNHCR in Yaounde on March 2 to facilitate the voluntary return of Nigerian refugees when conditions were conducive. Inside Nigeria, UNHCR teams have heard and documented accounts about Cameroonian troops returning refugees against their will - without allowing them time to collect their belongings. In one incident on March 4, some 26 men, and 27 women and children, were sent back from the Cameroonian border town of Amtide, in Kolofata district, where they had sought refuge, according to UNHCR monitoring teams in the border regions.

    In Nigeria’s Borno State some refugees were rounded up during a military offensive against Boko Haram insurgents in the Mandara Mountains on the Cameroonian side of the border and were taken in trucks to a camp for displaced people in Banki. Those returned included a one-year-old child and a nine-month pregnant woman, who gave birth the day after her arrival in Banki.

    During the chaos families were separated and some women were forced to leave their young children behind in Cameroon, including a child less than three years old. Returnees were given food and water by aid agencies and are now settled in the Banki camp for internally displaced people. UNHCR staff also recorded about 17 people who claimed to be Cameroonian nationals, and also reported that they were deported by mistake to Banki. It is common in this region to find people who lack documentary proof of their nationality.

    While acknowledging the generosity of the Government of Cameroon and local communities who host over 85,000 Nigerian refugees, UNHCR calls on the Government of Cameroon to honour to its obligations under international and regional refugee protection instruments, as well as Cameroonian law.

    The forced return of asylum seekers and refugees is refoulement, or forced return, and constitutes a serious violation of the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1969 OAU Convention, both of which Cameroon has ratified.

    In 2016, other groups of Nigerian refugees were deported to north-eastern Nigeria. On 14 June 2016 for instance, 338 Nigerian asylum-seekers, mainly women and children, were returned by the Cameroonian authorities of the Far North region from Kolofata back to Nigeria. The incident occurred just days after Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria adopted the Abuja Action Statement on protection in the Lake Chad Basin crisis, and reaffirmed among others, the importance of the principle of non-refoulement (non-return).

    While recognizing the legitimate national security concerns of the Cameroon Government, UNHCR reminds authorities that refugees are themselves fleeing violence and attacks from Boko Haram and that their access to asylum and protection must be ensured.

    In recent talks with the Cameroonian government, UNHCR has expressed the deep concern of the Organisation over the forced returns and sought reassurances from the Government about its commitment to the tripartite agreement. We also hope Cameroonian authorities will take the necessary steps to comply with international standards on the right to asylum and protection from refoulement. Insecurity persists in parts of north-eastern Nigeria, and access to basic services remains limited. Most returning refugees find themselves in situations of internal displacement upon return and are unable to return to their places of origin.

    The crisis in the Lake Chad Basin has displaced over 2.7 million people - including some 200,000 refugees into the neighbouring countries.

    UNHCR calls upon Nigeria’s neighbours to continue keeping their borders open so as to allow access to territory and asylum procedures to persons fleeing the crisis in search of safety. UNHCR also continues to monitor the situation of refugees and returnees on both sides of the border.

    For more information on this topic, please contact:

    In Geneva, Babar Baloch, baloch@unhcr.org, +41 79 513 95 49


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Mali, Niger

    TCHAD

    UN INCENDIE DÉTRUIT DES ABRIS DANS UN CAMP DE RÉFUGIÉS

    Une réponse humanitaire rapide est en cours à la suite d'un incendie, le 15 mars, dans le camp de réfugiés de Dosseye, au sud du Tchad. Le feu, dont la cause est encore inconnue, a détruit plusieurs abris, des vivres et des articles ménagers. Aucune victime n'a été signalée. Le camp de Dosseye accueille plus de 12 000 réfugiés de la République centrafricaine.

    CONGO

    20 PERSONNES INFECTÉES PAR LA VARIOLE DU SINGE, 3 DÉCÈS

    Une flambée de variole du singe a infecté 20 personnes et causé trois décès dans le département de Likouala, au nord, a confirmé le ministère de la Santé le 16 mars.
    Les patients reçoivent des soins médicaux gratuits et les autorités ont intensifié la surveillance épidémiologique et interdit la manipulation des singes et autres animaux sauvages. La variole du singe est transmise d'un singe infecté à l'homme, puis d'une personne à l'autre. Il n’existe pas de vaccin contre le virus et seuls les symptômes sont traités. La dernière épidémie a eu lieu en 2003 dans le même département.

    NIGER

    PLUS DE 500 CAS SUSPECTS DE MÉNINGITE

    Quatre districts sanitaires (Niamey 2, Niamey 3, Ouallam et Tillabéry) ont atteint le seuil d'alerte pour la méningite avec plus de 5 cas pour 100 000 habitants par semaine. Au total, les autorités sanitaires ont enregistré 511 cas suspects et 34 décès entre le 2 janvier et le 12 mars. La saison épidémiologique de la méningite s'étend de décembre à juin.

    L’INSÉCURITÉ ENTRAVE L’ACCÈS À L’ÉDUCATION À DIFFA

    La scolarisation continue d'être entravée par l'insécurité et les mouvements de population dans la région sud de Diffa. Trente écoles accueillant 1 280 écoliers restent fermées, tandis que 121 écoles ont été rouvertes en octobre 2016 avec le soutien du ministère de l'Éducation.

    MALI

    UN GROUPE ARMÉ SIGNE UN ACCORD DE PROTECTION DES ENFANTS

    Le 17 mars, la Coordination des Mouvements de l'Azawad (CMA), une coalition de mouvements armés signataires de l'accord de paix de juin 2015, a signé un plan d'action avec l'ONU pour mettre fin et empêcher le recrutement et l'utilisation, la violence sexuelle et toutes les autres graves violations des droits de l'enfant. Le plan est contraignant pour toutes les entités de la CMA et comprend des mesures concrètes pour mettre fin et prévenir le recrutement et l'abus des enfants.

    DES TRAVAILLEURS HUMANITAIRES ATTAQUÉS

    Plusieurs attaques contre des travailleurs humanitaires locaux et internationaux ont été signalées entre le 11 et le 13 mars dans les régions de Gao, Tombouctou et Mopti, tuant une personne et faisant plusieurs blessés. Des hommes armés ont détourné des véhicules et des équipements et ont pris en embuscade des camions transportant de l'aide alimentaire.
    Les incidents ont incité les organisations concernées à chercher d'autres moyens d'aider les personnes affectées.


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Nigeria

    Key messages for decision makers

    • The distribution of food assistance has impacted positively on beneficiaries in Monguno leading to a decrease in the proportion of households with poor food consumption from 44% at baseline to 5% in February 2017.

    • On average, households with acceptable food consumption consumed cereals for 7 days, pulses for 4 days, vegetable for 7 days and meat for 2 days, with the consumption of sugar and oil improving to 4 and 7 days from 2 and 6 days respectively compared to the baseline.

    • The proportion of poor food consumption households is higher for households that consumed one meal per day (34%).

    • In spite of the substantial decrease in the proportion of households with poor food consumption as compared to the baseline, the use of coping strategies remain high among all households.

    • There has been an improvement in the global acute malnutrition rate based on a rapid MUAC screening of children 6-59 months; about 6.24% in January 2017 compared to 27.3% findings of the August 2016 rapid assessment.

    Introduction

    According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, more than 146 people have been killed by Boko Haram insurgents in Mungono and its surrounding communities since the beginning of 2015 and this has forced many residents to seek refuge in the safety of displaced persons camps in Maiduguri.

    The round 14 of the Displacement Tracking matrix (DTM) revealed that a total of 46,813 individuals moved from communities in the Monguno, notably, Soye, Kumshe, Gulumba and Walasa to safer places in Bama and Banki towns.

    The tense security situation associated with the ongoing violence continue to disrupt the livelihoods of the local population as well as the functioning of markets.

    A second round of Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) was conducted to Monguno from the 19th to the 25th of February 2017 and a total of 988 tons of food items were distributed to 96,402 beneficiaries in three IDP camp and the host community. A total of 66.505 tons of the food items was plumpy sup meant to support Blanket Supplementary Feeding in the three camps. Nutrition screening was conducted for 13,267 children aged 6-59 months in order to determine the prevalence of acute malnutrition.


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    Source: European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
    Country: Mali

    • The security situation in northern and central Mali continues to be very difficult. This was illustrated last week by a criminal attack on an international humanitarian organisation in Gao, leaving one aid worker dead and another severely injured. Violence and insecurity, in a context of broad impunity, affect local populations on a permanent basis and are the main reasons why Malian refugees (estimated total: 141 450) do not return.

    • A ban on the use of motorcycles in the district of Macina, Segou region, has been issued by the Malian authorities in an attempt to reduce radical militants’ mobility and the expansion of radical armed groups in central Mali. This ban has already severely impacted the population's access to basic services and humanitarian operations. Less than a month after this ban was decided, according to humanitarian organisations, admissions to treatment centres for Severe Acute Malnutrition have dropped by 50% and to paediatric health consultations by 34%. In addition, outreach strategies for vaccination campaigns as well as ante- and post-natal care of mothers have completely stopped in this area. Finally, this ban also has a negative impact on local social and economic dynamics, with a significant risk of reducing livelihood opportunities.


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    Source: UN Human Rights Council
    Country: Central African Republic, Mali

    Human Rights Council
    MIDDAY
    21 March 2017

    The Human Rights Council during its midday meeting held separate interactive dialogues with the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic, Marie-Thérèse Keita Bocoum, and with the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali, Suliman Baldo.

    Presenting her report, Ms. Keita Bocoum commended the Government of the Central African Republic for the progress made in drawing up the legislative and institutional framework, including appointing the Prosecutor to the Special Criminal Court. This was in stark contrast with the reality on the ground, where local conflicts were proliferating with surprising alliances forming in which nationalist and foreign groups opposed each other with dangerous ethnic connotations. Insecurity was the greatest problem for the civilian population, as armed groups ruled more than 60 per cent of the territory with total impunity. There had been no progress in restoring the effective authority of the State outside of Bangui. More than half the population was in acute need of humanitarian assistance, and more than 470,000 people were internally displaced. The Independent Expert regretted delays in the implementation of the national plan for the restauration and consolidation of peace, which risked the disengagement of the people and attempts to install peace by force of arms.

    Speaking as the concerned country, the Central African Republic stated that it needed the help and assistance of the international community. However, the international community’s concern should not win because the expert’s report was of concern. The effective restoration of the State’s authority was slow in coming about. The crisis that the Central African Republic was experiencing seemed to have been put on the back burner by the international community, and the situation could escalate into an unspeakable ethnic war.

    In the ensuing discussion speakers welcomed the determination of the democratically elected authorities to end impunity in the Central African Republic, and the progress made since the Bangui forum on reconciliation. However, they remained concerned about the heightened level of violence and clashes between armed groups. The Government was encouraged to combat impunity, strengthen the judiciary, and to prosecute all those guilty of human rights violations, especially of crimes against children. Speakers stressed that good governance and the rule of law were key to achieving reconciliation and stability in the country. They called on armed groups to cease hostilities and to join the Government’s disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme. Several delegations appealed to the international community to provide urgent aid to the Central African Republic for development and for setting up a criminal court.

    Speaking were European Union, Tunisia on behalf of the African Group, France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Egypt, Netherlands, Benin, Algeria, United States, Sudan, Portugal, Togo, Congo, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire and Morocco.

    Also taking the floor were the following civil society organizations: World Evangelical Alliance, International Federation for Human Rights Leagues, and Rencontre Africaine pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme.

    During the meeting, the Council also discussed the situation of human rights in Mali with the Independent Expert, Suliman Baldo.

    Presenting his report, Mr. Baldo noted that although there had been positive developments in Mali, the security situation in the north remained volatile and it deprived many children of their right to education. Civilians were exposed to risks because of armed groups and bandits who were not controlled. This was also due to the terrorist groups who carried out abuses towards the civilians and preached radical Islam in central and northern Mali. The immediate response of the Government forces sometimes strayed from international standards. The consequence of all this was displacement of the population and the radicalization of youth who thought that injustice was carried out by the State. Impunity for violations and abuses remained a serious concern, and it had to end. Some progress had been made in transitional justice, with the opening of the regional office of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission. But, the justice system was not able to attack impunity.

    Mali, speaking as the concerned country, expressed gratitude to the Human Rights Council for the assistance it had provided to the country in the field of the promotion and protection of human rights since the crisis it had faced in 2012. It explained that judicial authorities were making efforts to provide a response to all cases brought to their attention. All the incidents brought to judicial authorities were investigated and prosecuted, including cases involving the armed forces. The violations of human rights mentioned in the report were largely attributed to jihadi groups.

    In the discussion speakers welcomed the efforts of the Government of Mali in the area of human rights despite many challenges, such as the establishment of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, as well as tangible results made to relaunch economic development in the north of the country. They condemned the violations of human rights by extremist groups which had continued, particularly in the north and centre of the country. Poverty, inequalities and weak State authority had led to the expansion of extreme violence. Some speakers deplored the lack of a law that forbade female genital mutilation. The slow implementation of the 2015 Algiers peace accords had allowed the continued grave violations of children’s rights committed by armed groups. Human rights had to be at the core of the development of the country to achieve sustainable peace and stability.

    Speaking were European Union, Tunisia on behalf of the African Group, United Nations Children’s Fund, Denmark, France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Egypt, Netherlands, Benin, Algeria, Libya, United States, Sudan, Togo, Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, Spain, Central African Republic, Morocco and Mozambique.

    Also taking the floor were the following non-governmental organizations: International Federation for Human Rights Leagues, International Service for Human Rights, and Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l’homme.

    The Council is having a full day of meetings today. At 1 p.m., it will hold an interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti, Gustavo Gallon. It will then hear the presentation of the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Libya, including on the investigation by the Office of the High Commissioner, followed by an interactive discussion.

    Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in the Central African Republic

    Presentation of the Report

    MARIE-THERESE KEITA BOCOUM, Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic, presenting her report, commended the Government of the Central African Republic for the progress made in the drawing up of a legislative and institutional framework, including appointing the Prosecutor to the Special Criminal Court. This was in stark contrast with the reality on the ground, where local conflicts were proliferating with surprising alliances forming in which nationalist and foreign groups opposed each other with dangerous ethnic connotations. Insecurity was the greatest problem for the civilian population, as armed groups ruled more than 60 per cent of the territory with total impunity. There had been no progress in restoring the effective authority of the State outside of Bangui, where authority was taken over by armed groups. More than half the population was in acute need of humanitarian assistance, and more than 470,000 people were internally displaced. The return of refugees from Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Chad, an essential component of national reconciliation, remained a major challenge; it must be executed with dignity, in security and on a voluntary basis.

    The Independent Expert regretted delays in the implementation of the national plan for the restoration and consolidation of peace, which risked disengagement of the people and attempts to install peace by force of arms. Ms. Keita Bocoum hailed the establishment of the first company of the Central African Republic Armed Forces and the ongoing recruitment of 500 police officers, as deployment of professional national security forces was a pre-condition to security and restoration of effective State control. The authorities were determined to fight against impunity, which was a structural cause of violence in the country. In that sense, the establishment of the Special Criminal Court was eagerly awaited and the Independent Expert welcomed the appointment of the Special Prosecutor and encouraged the Government to accelerate the appointment of judges and magistrates. The progressive establishment of local committees for peace and reconciliation must be extended to areas outside of Bangui to facilitate peace and amnesty initiatives.

    In conclusion, Ms. Keita Bocoum stressed that the situation in the country was very fragile, and short and long-term challenges were numerous. Institutional and legislative progress must be consolidated through improvements in security and restoration of the effective control of the State over the territory; the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process; fight against impunity; and through national reconciliation.

    Statement by the Concerned Country

    Central African Republic, speaking as the concerned country, said that the Central African Republic needed the help and assistance of the international community. The international community’s concern should not win, though, because the Independent Expert’s statement was of concern. The effective restoration of the State’s authority was slow in coming about. The crisis that the Central African Republic was experiencing seemed to have been put on the back burner by the international community, and the situation could become an unspeakable ethnic war. For justice to be done, the Central African Republic needed assistance. Security determined all aspects of national life, and without peace there could be no development.

    Interactive Dialogue on the Central African Republic

    European Union regretted the alarming security situation in the Central African Republic, where armed groups had maintained a high level of violence and had used the weakness of the justice system to pursue criminal activities. It encouraged the Government to make efforts to fight impunity and adopt measures for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration. Tunisia, speaking on behalf of the African Group, noted that the situation in the Central African Republic required new steps to put an end to the crisis. Some armed groups were determined to go against the trend of the recommendations of the international community and the will of the people. France welcomed the determination of the democratically elected authorities to end impunity in the Central African Republic. The ongoing clashes between the armed groups were very worrying. France called on these groups to cease hostilities and to join the Government’s disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme.

    United Kingdom remained gravely concerned by the deteriorating security situation in the Central African Republic. Incidents of arbitrary killings, kidnappings and sexual violence perpetrated by armed groups persisted. What progress had been observed in the implementation of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme so far? Belgium welcomed the cooperation of the Central African Republic with the Independent Expert. However, it shared concern over the worsening security in some parts of the country. Belgium encouraged the Government to address impunity and to prosecute all those guilty of human rights violations, especially of crimes against children. Egypt noted the progress made in the Central African Republic since the Bangui Forum on reconciliation. It urged the Government to combat impunity, strengthen the judiciary and promote the rights of women. Good governance and the rule of law were key to achieving reconciliation and stability in the country.

    Netherlands welcomed the work of the Independent Expert and called on the authorities to continue demobilization, disarmament and reintegration measures. The Independent Expert was asked to elaborate on the current situation in the Central African Republic regarding justice in the country. Benin thanked the Independent Expert for her update, noting that there had been institutional progress by the authorities though acts of violence were still cause for concern. The technical and financial partners of the Government should continue their assistance to the Central African Republic. Algeria welcomed the cooperation of the Central African Republic with various human rights mechanisms, but highlighted that violence and violations of human rights continued, which was worrying. The international community was urged to provide urgent support to end the crisis that the Central African Republic was experiencing.

    United States supported the efforts of the Government of the Central African Republic to ensure that those who directed and perpetrated mass atrocities were held to account, and expressed alarm that armed groups controlled swaths of the country. The Independent Expert was asked what additional actions the Government could take to document abuses. Sudan thanked the Independent Expert for her report and welcomed positive measures taken to improve the situation on the ground. The demobilization, disarmament and reintegration programme was essential to restore security; the international community was called on to continue to support the Central African Republic. Portugal expressed concern about the overall human rights situation in the Central African Republic, saying it was essential that the international community remained committed and did not disengage prematurely from the Central African Republic. The Independent Expert was asked for more details on her assertion that conflicts in the country were assuming ethnic connotations and what actions should be taken to address that worrying trend.

    Togo welcomed the Government’s efforts, but underlined its concern at the presence of armed groups in the Central African Republic which committed serious human rights violations on a daily basis, including recruitment of children and sexual violence towards children. It encouraged the Government to bring the perpetrators to justice. Congo said the situation in the Central African Republic was worrying and the peace process was not taking effect. A sentiment of widespread fear reigned in the country, which showed that peacebuilding required disarmament. Mali congratulated the Central African authorities for their excellent cooperation with the human rights mechanisms. Mali condemned the serious human rights violations committed by armed groups, and said that disarmament and demobilization were crucial to the peace process.

    Côte d’Ivoire encouraged the Central African Republic to fight against impunity and to embrace disarmament, demobilization and national reconciliation. It appealed to the international community to provide urgent aid for development and for the setting up of a criminal court. Morocco welcomed the constitutional order in the Central African Republic and congratulated the Government’s cooperation with international mechanisms and steps taken to fight against impunity.

    World Evangelical Alliance, in a joint statement with Caritas Internationalis, said that as the Independent Expert had underlined, the Central African Republic had to renew its social contract and promote peaceful co-existence. The international community was called on to, among other measures, step up its financial and logistical support to the Central African Republic. International Federation for Human Rights Leagues said sustainable peace required a steadfast fight against impunity for the perpetrators of crimes. The Council was called on to support Central African Republic Government efforts, and the Independent Expert and the international community were called on to support the fight against impunity and for justice in the Central African Republic. Rencontre Africaine pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme said the Central African Republic should not be forgotten, noting that the country was currently not able to support the people on its territory. Half the population depended on humanitarian aid, and the Independent Expert was asked for strategies to alleviate the suffering of displaced children.

    Concluding Remarks by the Concerned Country

    Central African Republic, in concluding remarks, said since the donor conference held in Brussels in 2016, the Central African Republic had not shelved its responsibilities. Nevertheless, against the backdrop of this crisis, the international community had remained powerless. The country had shown will, but if the State did not have resources for its policies, such diagnoses would continue. The international community had to stop merely making pledges and transfer funding to the State if the State was to play a role. All the promises made and the solutions envisaged would not come to fruition unless the international community provided support.

    Concluding Remarks by the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in the Central African Republic

    MARIE-THÉRÈSE KEITA BOCOUM, Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic, in concluding remarks, noted that if justice was not working in the Central African Republic, there would be no peace, reconciliation, justice and sustainable development in the country. A national criminal court had to be put in place. Efforts had been made to train police and prison officers. However, there were no judges or members of the judiciary. The Government had to build the judiciary throughout the country in order to prosecute perpetrators of crimes. Trust had to be built so that victims would come forward. There had been few arrests so far, but the most emblematic cases had not been prosecuted. Civilians were afraid because every day they crossed the path of those who were suspected of having committed crimes. MINUSCA was not fulfilling its entire role so police had to be put in place. MINUSCA also had to carry out the necessary investigation of the committed crimes. Full implementation of reconciliation and justice required the involvement of civil society. Without documentation perpetrators would not be tried.

    As for the security situation, there were threats across the country and conflicts had taken on an ethnic component. Armed groups were linked with different ethnic groups across the country’s borders which could escalate the conflict in the whole of the sub-region. As for cattle routes, regions could play an important role in discussing that issue. Regarding the protection of children, measures had been taken and strategies had been developed with international agencies to set up a reintegration programme for the children released by armed groups. Birth registration would be an important step forward in that respect. Parents’ awareness should be raised about the need for children to remain children and to return to schools. As for sexual violence, mapping would show what measures should be taken to address the issue. Not many funds had arrived in the Central African Republic, which was a problem. Pledges made in Brussels had not yet been honoured. The international community had to ensure that the humanitarian needs in the country were met. The number of displaced persons and refugees was increasing, so there should be an appropriate humanitarian response in line with the country’s needs. It was vital that the Government pursued reconciliation, justice and sustainable development. The Government had to ensure that the Special Criminal Court, which should become operational in about 18 to 20 months, was properly resourced. Victims should be able to find justice; otherwise, they would try to seek justice on their own, Ms. Keita Bocoum concluded.

    Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Mali

    Documentation

    The Council has before it the report of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali (A/HRC/34/72).

    Presentation of the Report

    SULIMAN BALDO, Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali, presented his fourth report on the situation of human rights in Mali since he had taken office in August 2013. His mandate had been established by the Council for a period of one year in an effort to help the Government of Mali to put in place the recommendations of the Human Rights Council. Mr. Baldo said he had undertaken his seventh visit to Mali in November 2016, including visits to Bamako and Timbuktu, the report of which was available on the website of the Council. His most recent visit had occurred from 26 February to 8 March 2017, whereby he had visited the center of the country, namely in the region of Gao. The addendum to his report in January reflected the evolution of the situation of human rights since his previous visit. During the visits, he had heard from numerous victims of violations of human rights in Bamako and Gao.

    Mr. Baldo thanked the Government of Mali for its cooperation. He had met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Public Security, and other high-ranking officials. He had also met with the Representative of the Secretary-General for Mali, as well as representatives of non-governmental originations, media, international organizations, United Nations agencies, and armed groups. His mission would not have been possible without their input and without the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

    During his most recent mission, his goal had been to evaluate the human rights situation among the civilians, and whether there was room for peace and reconciliation. Regarding the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation, there had been positive developments in some parts of the country. However the security situation in the north remained volatile, depriving many children from their right to education. Additionally, civilians were exposed to risks because of armed groups and bandits who were not controlled, who stole and attacked people, and who sowed fear and terror. This was also due to the terrorist groups who carried out abuses towards the civilians and preached radical Islam in the centre and the north of Mali. The immediate response of the Government forces sometimes strayed from international standards. The consequence of all this was the displacement of the population and the radicalization of youth who thought that injustice was carried out by the State. Impunity for violations and abuses committed in the past and today remained a concern in Mali. Impunity must come to an end. The justice system was not able to attack impunity.

    There was progress in some areas in transitional justice, with the opening of the regional office of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission. Mr. Baldo called on the Commission to implement a policy of communication which was more active. He had saluted, in July 2016, the promulgation of a law on the reform of the national human rights commission in Mali, bringing this institution in line with international principles. The peacekeeping operation in Mali was one of the deadliest in the world today. In conclusion, Mr. Baldo paid tribute to those who had given their lives to bring peace and stability to Mali and welcomed the solidarity the international community had shown towards Mali. In particular, he saluted the African Union, European Union, African Community of West African States, and Organization for Islamic Cooperation, for reiterating their firm engagement in supporting the Algiers Peace Agreement, as well as the efforts by Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali in Niamey in January to set up an interregional force to secure the border regions. He highly recommended the Human Rights Council to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert, so as to allow continuous assistance, as well as to oversee and evaluate the progress made in the promotion and protection of human rights in Mali.

    Statement by the Concerned Country

    Mali, speaking as the concerned country, expressed gratitude to the Human Rights Council for the assistance it had provided to Mali in the field of the promotion and protection of human rights since the crisis it had faced in 2012. Mali was fully committed to all human rights, throughout its national territory. Making some clarifications, it was stated that judicial authorities were making efforts to provide a response to all cases brought to their attention. All the incidents brought to judicial authorities were investigated and prosecuted, including cases involving the armed forces. The violations of human rights mentioned in the report were largely attributed to jihadi groups. The population was split up, and the State was trying to work with partners to provide protection for the people. Since the thirty-first session of the Human Rights Council, the Government had undertaken an agreement for peace in Mali, taking measures including among others the adoption of a document on a national policy on transitional justice and a draft law on human rights defenders. But the situation for human rights remained worrying because of terrorist attacks. The Government would like complete information on the victims to combat human rights abuses in Mali.

    Interactive Dialogue on Mali

    European Union welcomed the efforts of the Government of Mali in the area of human rights despite many challenges. It condemned the violations of human rights by extremist groups which had continued, particularly in the north and centre of the country. Poverty, inequalities and weak State authority had led to the expansion of extreme violence.

    Tunisia, speaking on behalf of the African Group, shared the concern over the increase of violence by terrorist groups in Mali. The gravity of the situation had led Mali to adopt the relevant laws to protect human rights and to ensure peace and reconciliation. Tangible results had been made to relaunch economic development in the north of the country. United Nations Children’s Fund noted that despite years of advocacy for a legal ban of harmful practices that affected the lives of the vast majority of girls in Mali, there was no law that forbade female genital mutilation. The slow implementation of the 2015 Algiers peace accords had allowed the continued grave violations of children’s rights committed by armed groups.

    Denmark noted that the implementation of the peace agreement in Mali had been slow and challenging, and had overall not improved the human rights situation in the country. The rights of women and girls remained a concern. Human rights had to be at the core of the development of the country to achieve sustainable peace and stability. France welcomed the cooperation of Mali with the Independent Expert. Effective implementation of the peace agreement still needed to take place, in spite of the return to constitutional order with the recent local elections. Schools, health care centres and security forces should be re-established in order to achieve peace and reconciliation. United Kingdom regretted that the overall pace of the implementation of the peace process was too slow. Restoring basic services, particularly the provision of education and health services, and improving the security situation, remained the greatest challenges. It called on the Government to increase efforts to combat violent extremism and to effectively tackle modern slavery and human trafficking.

    Belgium commended the adoption of the national policy on human rights and the law to protect human rights defenders. Nevertheless it lamented the failure to implement the peace agreement. Violence against women, including sexual violence and gender-based violence, were of high concern. Egypt praised the efforts by the Independent Expert and Mali’s cooperation with the mandate. It noted the efforts made by the Government to bring about dialogue and reconciliation, ensure peace in the country, as well as promote human rights, and urged Mali to address the terrorist attacks which compromised these efforts. Netherlands said it had long warned about the deteriorating situation in the central regions of Segou and Mopti. It was necessary to allow the return of the State authorities in order to make all Malian people feel that the State worked on their behalf, particularly in central Mali, which was excluded from the peace agreement.

    Benin was concerned about acts of violence perpetrated in the north and centre of Mali. It welcomed the commitment of Mali and the international community to return peace and security to the country. The implementation of the peace and reconciliation agreement represented a necessary guarantee affording protection of civilians. Algeria, speaking on behalf of the African Group, was concerned about the unstable situation in the north and centre of Mali due to terrorist attacks. It shared the view that the situation required a global response that would allow for lasting peace and human rights, indulging constitutional order in Mali. Algeria urged the international community to provide technical assistance and capacity building in this direction. Libya commended the Government of Mali for the efforts and progress made through the signing of the peace and reconciliation agreement in 2015. It encouraged the Government to implement the 2016 agreement which considered all aspects and fostered human rights in the country.

    United States agreed that the human rights situation in Mali was of great concern, particularly as violence continued and progress on implementing the peace accord was slow. What could be done to encourage parties to the peace accords to be accountable to their commitments and end violence, and what other actions could be taken to document violations and abuses? Sudan commended the progress made in the constitutional review process and said that promoting dialogue and national reconciliation in the settlement of the crisis would aid the restoration of the rule of law. Togo noted with satisfaction the adoption of the national human rights policy, the establishment of the national human rights commission, and welcomed the establishment of the fund for assistance to victims of conflict-related grave human rights violations.

    Angola was concerned about delays in the implementation of the peace accords which had contributed to the worsening human rights situation in Mali, and urged the Government to strengthen its cooperation with the United Nations system to ensure stability, security and effective peace. Côte d’Ivoire noted that Mali had worked at establishing institutions and welcomed positive developments in operationalizing the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission. Lack of trust between parties to the peace agreement was an issue of concern, as it aggravated the political and security situation in the country. Spain was very concerned about the insecurity affecting the population in some areas of Mali, as well as the phenomenon of trafficking in persons. The commitment to improve the situation in detention centres, and to ensure access to justice had not been realized yet.

    Central African Republic encouraged all Malian stakeholders to implement the peace and reconciliation process. It encouraged Mali to prosecute systematically all perpetrators of human rights violations. Morocco welcomed the progress and efforts made by Mali in bringing security to the country. Despite difficulties, the authorities had maintained their commitment to human rights. Mali needed international support to help its efforts. Mozambique welcomed the Independent Expert’s report, and noted that the peace process had been challenged by the lack of cooperation by the armed groups. The situation in the north hindered the human rights of the Malian people. There was a need to speed up the implementation of the peace agreement.

    International Federation for Human Rights Leagues called on the Human Rights Council to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert. It was concerned about the failure to implement the peace agreement of 2016 in the northern and central areas of the country. Over 330 persons had been killed in 2016. International Service for Human Rights welcomed the publication of the law establishing the national human rights commission in line with the Paris Principles. It commended Mali for being the second country in Africa to take measures to protect human rights defenders, and encouraged the implementation of the law on this subject. Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l’homme was concerned about the escalation of the security situation in the north and centre of Mali due to the failure to implement the peace agreement. It was concerned about the recent announcement of extremist groups under the banner of Al-Qaeda to undermine the peace process. International Catholic Child Bureau, in a joint statement with MIAMSI (Mouvement International d'Apostolate des Milieux Sociaux Independants, said children suffered most in Mali as they had been recruited, subjected to exploitation, and abused sexually. The fight against impunity had been weakened due to the inaccessibility of the justice system for girls and the unaffordable complaints mechanism.

    Concluding Remarks by the Concerned Country

    Mali, speaking as the concerned country, reaffirmed its commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights and peace. Mali urged the international community to continue to provide assistance, including through supporting the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), supporting the State administration in its tasks, and renewing the mandate of the Independent Expert.

    Concluding Remarks by the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Mali

    SULIMAN BALDO, Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali, responding to concerns raised about delays in the implementation of the peace accords, said that indeed, they contributed to the worsening security situation in the country, and the tendency of militias to exploit ethnic dimensions in recruitment and establishing support for their groups. Today, there was a trend for extremist groups operating in the centre of Mali to exploit tensions and rivalries between local communities linked to limited resources. Another issue was the reluctance of some parties to the peace agreement due to their feeling of under-representation in future institutions, which then led to conflict in some areas of Mali, for example in Gao, where buildings of interim authorities had been occupied. Those incidents showed the lack of ability of some parties to ensure discipline among their ranks. It was in the interest of the enemies of the peace to destabilize Mali and weaken the peace agreement so that they could strengthen their position and spread radical ideology.

    Another concern was the increasing phenomenon of international trafficking of arms and people by extremist groups, which was an evidence of the regional dimension of this situation, and which could only be addressed by Mali’s neighbours and the international community. Mali alone could not address those complex trans-regional challenges. The security situation in the north of the country was worsening; it was partly due to the absence of the State, but also because this absence meant that very few basic services were provided to the population, making them susceptible to calls of the extremists. Addressing this problem was not an easy task and Mali needed the support of the international community in order to succeed.

    The Independent Expert stressed that one thing Mali could do on its own and in the short-term, was to strengthen the political will to improve the judiciary and increase the allocation to the justice sector from less than one per cent of its gross domestic product to up to three per cent. This increase would be a clear demonstration of Mali’s commitment to strengthening the fight against impunity and reinstating the rule of law. Until the financing of the judiciary as a whole was resolved, Mali could invest in mobile justice systems, with teams visiting areas of concern such as the north and centre of the country, and dealing with terrorism-related cases. There was also a need to ensure access to justice to women victims of conflict-related gender-based violence, as currently, a very small proportion of cases had been heard.

    Finally, Mr. Baldo urged the international community to address the threat of the alliance of the five extremist and terrorist groups, currently operating in the heart of Mali, which had declared its intention to truly become firmly rooted in the country, and also spread its influence throughout the Sahel and even North Africa. Additionally, there must be concerted effort to ensure access of children to education as 400 schools had been closed throughout the country, but most were situated in the three insecure counties.

    For use of the information media; not an official record

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    Source: Assessment Capacities Project
    Country: Nigeria

    Key findings

    Crisis Impact

    In 2016 alone, at least 800 people were killed in southern Kaduna, and 1,269 in Benue state, where herders invaded at least 14 of the 23 local government areas (LGAs).

    Since 2015, at least 62,000 people have been displaced in Kaduna, Plateau, and Benue states. IDPs have sheltered in poor communities, placing additional strain on scarce resources.

    Priority Needs

    • Food: Approximately 132, 818 are said to be facing IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) levels of food insecurity in Benue, 167,561 in Plateau and 212,348 in Kaduna states.

    • Shelter: IDPs are exposed to harsh weather conditions and in need of shelter due to the destruction of their houses.

    • Protection: Rape, abduction and attacks have been reported for years by farming communities against Fulani herders. Many communities in affected states are living under the threat of severe insecurity.

    • Livelihoods: Expanses of farmland have been destroyed, although no estimated are available, disrupting the livelihoods of thousands of farmers and farming households.

    Outlook

    The conflict, which was previously limited to the Middle Belt, is spreading. The humanitarian impacts are expected to worsen.


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    Source: UN Human Rights Council
    Country: Central African Republic, Mali

    ​Conseil des droits de l'homme
    MI JOURNÉE
    21 mars 2017

    Le Conseil des droits de l'homme a commencé, ce matin, l'examen des questions liées à l'assistance technique et au renforcement des capacités en entendant les exposés de l'Experte indépendante sur la situation des droits l'homme en République centrafricaine et de l'Expert indépendant sur la situation des droits de l'homme au Mali, avec lesquels il a eu des débats séparés.

    Dans une mise à jour orale, Mme Marie-Thérèse Keita-Bocoum, Experte indépendante sur la situation des droits de l'homme en République centrafricaine, a constaté que, depuis sa dernière visite en juin 2016, le Gouvernement, avec l'appui de ses partenaires, avait fait des avancées significatives dans l'élaboration d'un cadre législatif et institutionnel, avec notamment l'adoption de lois organiques, l'accession à des conventions internationales relatives aux droits de l'homme, l'adoption d'un plan de relèvement et la nomination d'un procureur de la Cour pénale spéciale. L'Experte indépendante a souligné cependant que la situation demeurait fragile et que les avancées institutionnelles et législatives devaient être consolidées au plus vite par des actions tangibles en matière de rétablissement de la sécurité et de l'autorité de l'État, de démobilisation et désarmement, de lutte contre l'impunité et de réconciliation nationale – au péril de «voir les populations se faire justice elles-mêmes et le cycle de violence recommencer».

    Au cours du débat qui a suivi la mise à jour orale de Mme Keita-Bocoum, plusieurs pays* et organisations non gouvernementales** ont salué la tenue, l'an dernier, d'élections libres, transparentes et crédibles en République centrafricaine. Toutefois, une majorité d'intervenants s'est inquiétée de la dégradation de la situation humanitaire et sécuritaire dans le pays. Plusieurs orateurs, à commencer par la délégation centrafricaine elle-même, ont regretté le sous-financement des programmes humanitaires destinés à la République centrafricaine.

    M. Suliman Baldo, Expert indépendant sur la situation des droits de l'homme au Mali, y a noté une évolution positive ces derniers mois, avec l'installation des autorités à Kidal, à Gao et à Menaka. Cependant, la situation sécuritaire dans le nord et le centre du Mali reste extrêmement volatile, comme en témoigne le nombre très élevé de fermetures d'école dans les zones affectées, a précisé M. Baldo. Les civils y sont exposés à d'énormes risques, du fait des groupes armés et extrémistes qui s'en prennent tant aux civils qu'aux autorités maliennes et aux forces internationales. Quant à la riposte du Gouvernement malien et des forces internationales, elle ne respecte pas toujours les normes internationales en matière de droits de l'homme dans la lutte contre le terrorisme, a observé l'Expert indépendant. Il a cependant salué les progrès du Mali dans le domaine de la justice transitionnelle et s'est félicité de l'appui et de la solidarité dont la communauté internationale fait preuve aux côtés du Mali.

    S'exprimant suite à la présentation de M. Baldo, de nombreux intervenants ont dit leur inquiétude quant au regain de tensions observable au Mali. La recrudescence des actes terroristes a été jugée particulièrement préoccupante par de nombreux orateurs alors que, comme l'avait relevé l'Expert indépendant, plusieurs groupes terroristes se sont récemment coalisés. Dans ce contexte, de nombreux appels ont été lancés pour l'application rapide de l'Accord de paix et de réconciliation issu du processus d'Alger. Plusieurs États et représentants d'ONG ont cependant dénoncé les violations des droits de l'homme commises dans le cadre de la lutte antiterroriste au Mali.

    Le Conseil entame, à la mi-journée, un débat sur la situation des droits de l'homme à Haïti et en Lybie.

    Assistance technique et renforcement des capacités

    Examen de la situation des droits de l'homme en République centrafricaine

    Mise à jour orale

    Dans une mise à jour orale, MME MARIE-THERESE KEITA-BOCOUM, Experte indépendante sur la situation des droits de l'homme en République centrafricaine, a indiqué qu'elle s'était rendue dans le pays du 25 janvier au 3 février. Elle y a constaté que, depuis sa dernière visite en juin 2016, le Gouvernement, avec l'appui de ses partenaires, avait fait des avancées significatives dans l'élaboration d'un cadre législatif et institutionnel, dont l'adoption de lois organiques, l'accession à des conventions internationales relatives aux droits de l'homme, l'adoption d'un plan de relèvement et la nomination d'un Procureur de la Cour pénale spéciale. L'Experte indépendante a souligné que la situation demeure fragile et que les avancées institutionnelles et législatives doivent être consolidées au plus vite par des actions tangibles en matière de rétablissement de la sécurité et de l'autorité de l'État, de démobilisation et désarmement, de lutte contre l'impunité et de réconciliation nationale, au risque de «voir les populations se faire justice elles-mêmes et le cycle de violence recommencer».

    Malheureusement, a poursuivi Mme Keita-Bocoum, les développements positifs contrastent avec la réalité sur le terrain, la situation sécuritaire s'étant fortement détériorée dans les préfectures de Ouaka, Haute Kotto, Nana Gribizi, Ouham et Ouham Pende, avec des conséquences terribles pour les civils. Des tensions et des violences persistent également dans le quartier PK5 de Bangui, la capitale.

    L'Experte indépendante a ajouté que le conflit centrafricain connaît une mutation rapide car le pays est en proie à une série de conflits locaux mettant aux prises des groupes armés ayant des alliances surprenantes, selon elle. En effet, les conflits qui semblaient opposer les communautés chrétiennes et musulmanes auparavant ont évolué vers des conflits entre des groupes qui seraient nationalistes, et d'autres qui seraient étrangers, avec parfois une connotation ethnique dangereuse. De l'avis de Mme Keita-Bocoum, la préoccupation principale des Centrafricains qu'elle a rencontrés demeure l'insécurité liée à la présence ou aux actions de ces groupes armés qui règnent en maîtres sur plus de 60% du territoire et bénéficient d'une totale impunité. Leur présence limite considérablement la liberté de mouvement des populations.

    S'agissant de la restauration effective de l'autorité de l'État en dehors de Bangui et récemment de Bambari, l'Experte indépendante a constaté que peu de progrès ont été enregistrés, les préfets, sous-préfets, procureurs, magistrats, gendarmes, policiers et autres fonctionnaires ayant fui leurs zones d'affectation, ou ne s'y étant jamais rendus, pour des raisons sécuritaires. Lorsque ces autorités sont présentes, leurs prérogatives sont confisquées par les groupes armés dans les zones sous leur contrôle. Ces groupes exercent la justice d'une manière illégale, se rendant responsables d'exactions contre les personnes accusées de sorcellerie, de détentions illégales, de tortures et de mauvais traitements.

    Quant à la situation humanitaire, Mme Keita-Bocoum a déclaré qu'elle a connu un net recul dans les zones touchées par la recrudescence de la violence. Près de la moitié de la population aurait besoin d'une assistance humanitaire. À la fin de février 2017, plus de 470 000 Centrafricains avaient trouvé refuge dans les pays voisins, et plus de 400 000 étaient déplacés à l'intérieur du pays. D'autre part, l'insécurité et l'infrastructure routière défectueuse ne permettent pas l'accès des organisations humanitaires à toutes les populations dans le besoin. Mme Keita-Bocoum a appelé les donateurs à financer le Plan de réponse humanitaire pour 2017-2019 pour la République centrafricaine présenté à Genève en décembre dernier.

    L'Experte indépendante a affirmé que le retour des Centrafricains réfugiés au Cameroun, en République démocratique du Congo, au Tchad et au Congo constitue un défi majeur et une composante essentielle de la réconciliation nationale. Ce retour doit se faire dans la dignité, la sécurité et sur une base volontaire. Elle a regretté par ailleurs les retards dans la concrétisation des activités prioritaires du Plan national de relèvement et de consolidation de la paix issu de la Conférence des bailleurs de fonds à Bruxelles, en novembre 2016.

    De son côté, le programme de démobilisation et de désarmement (DDRR) a suscité un engouement des groupes armés mais, là encore, les moyens promis par les bailleurs de fonds pour mettre en œuvre les activités prioritaires tardent à être décaissées. Saluant l'initiative africaine pour la paix et la réconciliation sous l'égide de l'Union africaine, la CEEAC, et la Conférence internationale sur la région des Grands Lacs (CIRGL), soutenue par l'Angola, le Congo et le Tchad, qui consolide les efforts de paix jusque-là éparpillés, Mme Keita-Bocoum a appelé à un processus de paix transparent, inclusif et respectueux de la souveraineté nationale. Elle a également recommandé de tourner la page de l'impunité et d'entrer dans l'ère de l'État de droit, de la paix et du développement.

    Dans cette optique, la mise en place de la Cour pénale spéciale, attendue impatiemment, donnera un signal fort, en particulier avec la nomination du procureur Toussaint Muntazini Mukimapa. L'Experte indépendante a noté, lors de sa visite à Bambari, que dans la Ouaka et la Haute-Kotto, les combats et cycles de représailles ont engendré de nombreuses violations des droits de l'homme, des communautés ayant été attaquées parce qu'assimilées à des groupes armés en raison de leur appartenance ethnique. L'Experte indépendante a également été informée d'exactions contre des musulmans arabes et goulas.

    Mme Keita-Bocoum a salué l'intervention musclée de la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée de stabilisation des Nations Unies en Centrafrique pour stopper l'avancée sur Bambari des éléments du Front populaire pour la renaissance de Centrafrique (FPRC) et le départ négocié des chefs de guerre de l'UPC («Mouvement pour l'unité et la paix en Centrafrique»), du FPRC et des anti-Balaka. Elle a appelé les groupes armés à cesser le feu définitivement et à s'engager de bonne foi dans le DDRR et le processus de paix. Mme Keita-Bocoum a enfin attiré l'attention du Conseil sur la situation dans la ville de Birao, enclavée et avec des services inexistants.

    Pays concerné

    La République Centrafricaine a reconnu avoir besoin une fois encore de l'aide et de l'assistance internationales. Malgré des efforts incontestables, la récupération de la pleine souveraineté de l'État n'est pas achevée, ce qui empêche le Gouvernement d'exercer pleinement son pouvoir régalien. Les groupes armés ne sont pas assez inquiétés, a regretté la délégation centrafricaine. La République centrafricaine a besoin d'aide et d'assistance concrètes afin d'assurer la reddition de compte. Des promesses avaient été faites dans ce sens par la communauté internationale, mais elle n'ont pas été tenues, a déploré la délégation.

    Débat interactif

    L'Union européenne a affirmé que le niveau de violence restait très élevé en République centrafricaine. Toutefois, certains progrès en matière de protection des civils sont à noter. L'objectif est la stabilisation durable du pays, via une cessation des violences et une réintégration des bandes armées. La Tunisie, s'exprimant au nom du Groupe africain, a souligné que les pillages et les violations des droits de l'homme persistaient en République centrafricaine. Certains groupes armés n'écoutent pas la volonté de la communauté internationale et des Centrafricains eux-mêmes. La récente nomination du procureur du tribunal spécial (cour pénale spéciale) est une bonne chose; ce tribunal doit être opérationnel le plus rapidement possible, a ajouté la Tunisie.

    Le Royaume-Uni a salué les élections pacifiques et crédibles qui se sont tenues l'an dernier en République centrafricaine. Toutefois, le niveau des violences reste très préoccupant. Le plan de construction de la paix doit être mis en œuvre, par le biais de la démobilisation, du désarmement et de la réintégration. Le plan d'action humanitaire est sous-financé, a en outre regretté la délégation britannique. L'Égypte a également salué la tenue d'élections pacifiques et crédibles dans le pays. Le Gouvernement de la République centrafricaine doit poursuivre ses efforts dans la reddition de compte. Abondant dans le même sens, la France a salué la volonté des autorités démocratiquement élues de République centrafricaine d'assurer la reddition de compte. La France est très préoccupée par la persistance de la violence armée, à des fins souvent criminelles. La protection des civils est une priorité et doit être menée sous l'égide de la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée de stabilisation des Nations Unies en Centrafrique (MINUSCA). L'appui et la coordination de la communauté internationale restent essentiels.

    La Belgique a salué la coopération de la République centrafricaine avec l'Experte indépendante. La dégradation de la situation sécuritaire et humanitaire est très préoccupante, a ajouté la délégation belge. La Belgique s'est en outre engagée à fournir une assistance financière à la stabilisation de la République centrafricaine. Le recrutement des enfants dans les groupes armés est extrêmement préoccupant et doit être une priorité, a-t-elle ajouté.

    La faiblesse du système judiciaire est une des causes des violences qui se perpétuent en République centrafricaine, ont estimé les Pays-Bas, qui ont indiqué participer à la Cour pénale spéciale. La délégation néerlandaise demande aux autorités centrafricaines de faire davantage pour lutter contre l'impunité. Cette justice est essentielle pour garantir la paix, ont poursuivi les États-Unis, ajoutant que toute tentative d'amnistie ne serait pas la bienvenue si la République centrafricaine souhaite assurer la paix et la justice. Dans ce contexte, les États-Unis déplorent que les autorités ne mènent pas d'enquêtes appropriées concernant les actes de violences et les violations des droits de l'homme commises par les forces de police et de sécurité.

    Parmi les autres défis auxquels la République centrafricaine doit faire face, il y a la sécurité et la restauration de l'autorité de l'État, a souligné le Portugal, observant que la sécurité n'est effective que dans la capitale, Bangui. Par ailleurs, le Portugal souhaite savoir comment faire en sorte de prévenir les affrontements, qui semblent prendre une tournure ethnique, comme le relève l'Experte indépendante. Le Togo est quant à lui préoccupé par la présence en République centrafricaine de groupes armés qui, en plus de commettre toutes sortes d'exactions contre les civils, recrutent des enfants. Le pays et la communauté internationale doivent lutter contre ces groupes, y compris par des programmes de désarmement, de démobilisation et de réinsertion (DDR), a indiqué la délégation togolaise. Il faut en effet que ce processus de désarmement, démobilisation et réinsertion soit accéléré, a déclaré le Mali, rejoint sur ce point par la Côte d'Ivoire, cette dernière précisant connaître, sur la base de son expérience, les efforts à déployer pour sortir d'un conflit.

    Le Bénin, qui a indiqué appuyer lui aussi l'impératif de justice, a demandé à la communauté internationale d'aider la République centrafricaine. L'Algérie et le Soudan aussi estiment que l'aide et l'accompagnement de la communauté internationale sont plus qu'urgents pour restaurer la paix et la réconciliation nationale. Cette aide est d'autant plus urgente que l'appui actuel n'est pas à la hauteur des besoins «légitimes» de la République centrafricaine, a déclaré la République du Congo, avant de demander aux bailleurs de fonds de tenir leurs engagements vis-à-vis de ce pays. Si l'on veut éviter l'implosion de la République centrafricaine, avec de graves conséquences pour toute la région, il est temps d'agir, a insisté la République du Congo. Du point de vue du Maroc, il faut en effet que les promesses de la conférence des donateurs de novembre 2016 soient tenues.

    Au nombre des organisations non gouvernementales qui se sont exprimées, World Evangelical Alliance, au nom également de la Confédération internationale d'organismes catholiques d'action charitable et sociale (Caritas Internationalis), a soutenu les efforts déployés par les leaders chrétiens et musulmans en République centrafricaine pour promouvoir une paix et un dialogue authentiques. Ces efforts ont abouti à des résultats tangibles, même si la situation dans le pays reste très fragile et volatile. Le processus de reconstruction repose fortement sur la capacité de l'État centrafricain à assurer la protection de ses citoyens car, malgré la présence de la MINUSCA, l'insécurité reste forte dans l'ensemble du pays et la population en fait les frais. Dès lors, l'établissement, à moyen terme, d'une armée nationale efficace, bien formée et qui bénéficie de la pleine confiance de la population est indispensable. Pour cette raison, les Forces armées centrafricaines doivent être dotées des ressources, des compétences et d'une composition représentative de la population, afin de reprendre le flambeau d'une MINUSCA qui a beaucoup perdu de son crédit dans le pays.

    La Fédération internationale des droits de l'homme (FIDH) a rappelé que l'établissement d'une paix durable en République centrafricaine passe en priorité par une lutte constante et résolue contre l'impunité des auteurs de crimes internationaux et de violations graves des droits de l'homme. La FIDH a également jugé indispensable le renforcement du système judiciaire, alors que persistent les violences au nord et au centre du pays. Les enquêtes conduites par la Ligue centrafricaine des droits de l'homme et l'Observatoire centrafricain des droits de l'homme sur l'ensemble du territoire ont permis d'identifier des dizaines de victimes des crimes les plus graves, notamment de meurtres, de violences sexuelles et de torture; il ne s'agit que d'une partie des victimes, qui se rajoutent aux centaines encore anonymes.

    La Rencontre africaine pour la défense des droits de l'homme (RADDHO) a déclaré que la République centrafricaine revient de loin mais reste incapable de faire face aux problèmes de sécurité. Le pays dépend presqu'entièrement de l'assistance humanitaire, a ajouté l'ONG, avant de se demander comment renforcer le fonctionnement de la cour pénale spéciale dans la lutte contre l'impunité.

    Réponses et conclusions de la République Centrafricaine et de l'Experte indépendante

    La République centrafricaine a regretté que la communauté internationale reste impuissante face à la situation dans le pays. Les promesses et les diagnostics doivent cesser, l'assistance financière doit être maintenant effective pour garantir que l'État puisse exercer la plénitude de son rôle.

    MME KEITA-BOCOUM a relevé que les juridictions nationales se trouvaient en République centrafricaine dans un véritable état de déliquescence. Pourtant, malgré la création d'un tribunal spécial (cour pénale spéciale), ces juridictions nationales seront en première ligne pour assurer la reddition de compte. La population n'a pas confiance en la justice, a insisté l'Experte indépendante. L'administration pénitentiaire doit être démilitarisée et les juges déployés sur l'ensemble du territoire, a-t-elle poursuivi. La société civile doit également être renforcée pour assurer la protection des victimes et des témoins. La question de la transhumance doit également être abordée, afin que le conflit ne dégénèrent pas dans les pays voisins. La MINUSCA doit renforcer son rôle, a ajouté Mme Keita-BocouM. Un programme de réinsertion des jeunes et des enfants enrôlés dans les forces armées est indispensable, a-t-elle indiqué. Le droit à l'éducation et à la santé doivent être assurés et un volet consacré aux violences sexuelles doit être créé.

    Il faut continuer de financer le plan humanitaire, a poursuivi l'Experte indépendante. L'an dernier, seulement 36% de ce plan a été financé, alors que le conflit se poursuit et que le nombre de personnes déplacées et de réfugiés continue d'augmenter. Les fonds qui ont été promis à Bruxelles n'ont toujours pas été décaissés, notamment ceux dévolus à la réinsertion des jeunes, a insisté Mme Keita-BocouM. Une accentuation des financements pour les juridictions nationales est absolument nécessaire, a-t-elle ajouté.

    Il y a eu d'immenses progrès en République centrafricaine, a salué Mme Keita-BocouM. Ces efforts doivent être encouragés et appuyés par la communauté internationale, a-t-elle souligné. En conclusion, l'Experte indépendante a mis en garde contre un conflit qui prend des contours ethniques après avoir été avant tout religieux.

    Examen de la situation des droits de l'homme au Mali

    Le Conseil est saisi du rapport de l'Expert indépendant sur la situation des droits de l'homme au Mali (A/HRC/34/72).

    Présentation du rapport

    M. SULIMAN BALDO, Expert indépendant sur la situation des droits de l'homme au Mali, a indiqué que ses voyages de novembre 2016 et mars 2017 avaient eu pour but d'évaluer la mise en œuvre de l'Accord pour la paix et la réconciliation au Mali issu du processus d'Alger. Si le rapport de novembre observait un retard dans la mise en œuvre de cet accord, celui de mars au contraire note une évolution positive, avec l'installation des autorités à Kidal, à Gao et à Menaka. Le rapport note aussi le lancement des patrouilles mixtes à Gao.

    Cependant, la situation sécuritaire dans le nord et le centre du Mali reste extrêmement volatile, comme en témoigne le nombre très élevé de fermetures d'école dans les zones affectées, a précisé M. Baldo. Les civils y sont exposés à d'énormes risques, du fait des groupes armés et extrémistes qui s'en prennent tant aux civils qu'aux autorités maliennes et aux forces internationales. La riposte du Gouvernement malien et des forces internationales ne respecte pas toujours les normes internationales en matière de droits de l'homme dans la lutte contre le terrorisme, a observé l'Expert indépendant. Le Mali est par ailleurs confronté à une impunité, tant pour les crimes commis dans le passé et ceux commis aujourd'hui. Son système judiciaire n'est pas à même de s'attaquer aux problèmes à cause de sa faible présence, ou de son absence, dans des étendues entières du pays.

    En revanche, le Mali a fait des avancées significatives dans les domaines de la justice transitionnelle, avec l'ouverture officielle des antennes régionales de la Commission de vérité, justice et réconciliation et le début des dépositions, en janvier. Le Mali a également promulgué, en juillet dernier, la loi sur la reformation de la Commission nationale des droits de l'homme, conforme aux normes internationales, s'est réjoui l'Expert indépendant. M. Baldo s'est enfin félicité de l'appui et de la solidarité dont la communauté internationale fait preuve aux côtés du Mali.

    Pays concerné

    Le Mali a précisé que, face aux abus des droits de l'homme commis dans les zones contrôlées par l'État, les autorités judiciaires déploient des efforts importants pour donner une réponse judiciaire à tous les cas rapportés. Elles ouvrent des enquêtes et poursuivent en justice, y compris les éléments des forces armées. Le Mali a également souligné que les abus de droits de l'homme mentionnés dans le rapport sont, dans une large majorité, le fait des groupes armés djihadistes, à savoir la Coordination des mouvements de l'Azawad (CMA), le Groupe autodéfense touareg Imghad et alliés (GATIA) et Ansar Eddine. En ce qui les concerne, les autorités mettent en œuvre l'Accord pour la paix et la réconciliation, a assuré la délégation malienne.

    Débat

    La Tunisie, au nom du Groupe africain, s'est inquiétée du nombre élevé d'exécutions sommaires commises par des groupes islamistes armés dans le sud et le centre du Mali. Ces groupes terroristes ont enrôlent des enfants, occupent des villages et menacent de mort toute personne qui collaborerait avec les forces de l'ordre, et cherchent à imposer leur version de la loi islamique. Le Groupe africain a toutefois enregistré des progrès en matière de droits économiques, sociaux et culturels au Mali, notamment à travers la mise en œuvre du Programme d'urgence pour la relance du développement des régions du Nord et du programme de reconstruction et de relance économique.

    L'Égypte a encouragé le gouvernement malien à poursuivre sa coopération avec l'Expert indépendant. Elle a affirmé que les attaques terroristes continuent à mettre à mal la stabilité et la sécurité du Mali, qui aurait besoin d'une assistance supplémentaire pour garantir la primauté de la loi, la cohésion sociale et la réconciliation. Partageant les préoccupations citées par M. Baldo, les Pays-Bas ont fait part de leur inquiétude croissante face à l'insécurité occasionnée par les groupes extrémistes, en particulier dans les régions de Segou et Mopti, qui menace la paix et la stabilité de tout le pays. Manifestant la même préoccupation, le Bénin a salué le lancement en février 2017 des premières patrouilles mixtes constituées par les combattants représentant les parties à l'Accord pour la paix et la réconciliation au Mali. Il s'est également félicité des progrès réalisés par le Gouvernement malien dans le domaine de la justice transitionnelle.

    L'Algérie est revenue à son tour sur l'insécurité qui prévaut au nord et au centre du Mali, jugeant que ce pays nécessite une approche globale et holistique avec la participation de toutes les parties prenantes nationales. L'Algérie a appelé le Conseil à offrir l'assistance technique nécessaire au pays. Le Libye a encouragé le Gouvernement malien à appliquer le plan d'action pour la mise en œuvre de l'Accord pour la paix et la réconciliation, et à redoubler d'efforts en ce qui concerne la redevabilité de tous les acteurs de crimes et de violations des droits de l'homme, notamment les responsables de l'enrôlement forcé d'enfants. Le Soudan a appelé tous les signataires de l'Accord à le mettre en œuvre en toute bonne foi, et la communauté internationale, à apporter assistance technique et renforcement des capacités au Mali.

    De l'avis de la France, la prise en compte des droits de l'homme dans la mise en œuvre de l'Accord pour la paix et la réconciliation, en particulier pour la lutte contre l'impunité, est indispensable pour permettre une stabilisation durable du pays. La France a ainsi encouragé les parties signataires à intensifier leurs efforts pour l'installation d'autorités intérimaires dans toutes les régions du nord du Mali. La France a en outre salué l'opérationnalisation de la Commission vérité, justice et réconciliation et la nomination des chefs d'antennes régionales, de même que la promulgation de la loi portant création de la Commission nationale des droits de l'homme au Mali.

    L'Union européenne a vivement condamné les violations et atteintes aux droits de l'homme que les groupes extrémistes et terroristes continuent de perpétrer contre les civils et les acteurs humanitaires, en particulier au nord et au centre du Mali. Parallèlement, la pauvreté, les inégalités et la faiblesse du redéploiement de l'autorité et des services de l'État favorisent l'expansion de l'extrémisme violent. Pour l'Union européenne, la lutte antiterroriste doit être menée dans le respect du droit international des droits de l'homme et du droit international humanitaire. L'Union européenne a aussi jugé essentiel de renforcer la confiance entre populations locales et forces de sécurité, et de soutenir le retour de l'autorité.

    Le Fonds des Nations Unies pour l'enfance (UNICEF) a regretté que la loi du Mali n'interdise pas les pratiques traditionnelles préjudiciables aux jeunes filles, en particulier les mutilations génitales et le mariage précoce. L'UNICEF a prié le Gouvernement malien d'honorer ses engagements en adoptant une loi sur la violence fondée sur le sexe. Le Danemark a appelé à l'amélioration du système de justice malien en ce qui concerne les exactions à l'égard des femmes et des filles. Les droits de l'homme doivent figurer au cœur des efforts tendant à une paix durable. Quel rôle la communauté internationale peut-elle encore jouer dans cette perspective, s'est demandé le Danemark.

    La Belgique a estimé urgent que l'ensemble des parties au Mali redoublent d'efforts pour mettre en œuvre l'Accord pour la paix et la réconciliation, notamment ses dispositions essentielles relatives aux droits de l'homme. Les violences faites aux femmes, y compris sexuelles et fondées sur le sexe, sont elles aussi préoccupantes: les victimes de ces violences devraient pouvoir obtenir justice et réparation en toutes circonstances. La Belgique soutient le Mali à hauteur d'1,5 millions d'euros dans le cadre du troisième Plan d'action pour la résolution 1325 du Conseil de sécurité, sur «les femmes, la paix et la sécurité».

    Les États-Unis ont souligné que malgré l'accord signé en juin 2015, les conflits violents se poursuivent dans le nord du Mali avec des allégations d'exécutions extrajudiciaires, d'enlèvements et de détention arbitraires, d'abus sexuels et de torture dans le contexte des hostilités entre la Plateforme des milices du nord et la Coordination des mouvements de l'Azawad. Les États-Unis ont demandé quelles mesures supplémentaires les pays pourraient envisager de prendre pour répertorier les violations des droits de l'homme et exiger que leurs auteurs en rendent compte. Le Royaume-Uni a, comme d'autres délégations, invité le Gouvernement à dénoncer l'esclavage moderne qui persiste au Mali par le truchement de la traite des personnes et qui toucherait plus de cent mille personnes.

    Le Togo, l'Angola, la Côte d'Ivoire, l'Espagne et le Maroc ont salué la coopération des autorités du Mali avec l'Expert indépendant, ainsi que leurs progrès en matière de protection et de promotion des droits de l'homme. Le Maroc a déclaré qu'il fallait reconnaître que, malgré des moyens limités, les autorités maliennes tiennent leurs engagements en matière de droits de l'homme. Le Togo a salué l'adoption d'une loi sur les droits de l'homme et la création d'un mécanisme de soutien aux victimes. L'Angola et le Mozambique ont regretté que la mise en œuvre de l'accord de paix ait pris du retard, ce qui a des répercussions sur la protection des droits de l'homme au Mali.

    La République centrafricaine a invité la communauté internationale à procurer aux autorités maliennes une assistance technique et des fonds afin d'aider le Mali dans son combat pour la protection des droits de l'homme. La communauté internationale doit faire barrage à toutes velléités afin que le Mali puisse défendre son intégrité territoriale, a souligné la Côte d'Ivoire. L'Angola a encouragé les autorités maliennes à renforcer sa coopération avec les mécanismes des droits de l'homme des Nations Unies. Le Mozambique a expliqué que la situation sécuritaire est source de préoccupations car la population malienne ne peut exercer l'ensemble de ses droits de l'homme.

    La République centrafricaine s'est déclarée fortement préoccupée par les tensions persistantes dans le nord et le centre du Mali. Elle a rappelé que la protection des droits de l'homme et la lutte contre l'impunité sont essentielles pour une réconciliation durable. Pour l'Espagne, il reste des efforts à faire concernant le soutien des victimes de violences sexuelles. Il est nécessaire d'asseoir l'autorité de l'État sur tout le territoire.

    Plusieurs organisations non gouvernementales ont aussi participé au débat. La Fédération internationale des ligues de droits de l'homme (FIDH) s'est dite inquiète de la continuation des violences sur le terrain et, dans le centre du Mali, du désengagement de l'État en parallèle à la montée de l'insécurité. La réponse de l'armée malienne s'est accompagnée de nombreuses violations des droits de l'homme et la plupart des procédures judiciaires à l'encontre des auteurs de violations des droits de l'homme dans le centre et le nord du pays ne sont pas assez efficaces, a regretté la FIDH. La Rencontre africaine pour la défense des droits de l'homme a elle aussi souligné que la situation sur le terrain devenait préoccupante. L'insécurité croissante met en péril les efforts déployés pour la mise en œuvre de l'accord de paix.

    Le Service international pour les droits de l'homme s'est réjoui de la promulgation de la loi portant création de la Commission nationale des droits de l'homme qui est conforme aux Principes de Paris.

    Le Bureau international catholique de l'enfance a souligné que les enfants étaient les plus grandes victimes du conflit. Ils sont enrôlés dans les groupes armés et privés d'éducation. L'abandon scolaire est la cause des mariages précoces et des violences sexuelles, notamment. La plupart des victimes ne portent pas plainte en raison de la méfiance des familles à l'égard du système de justice.

    Réponses et conclusions du Mali et de l'Expert indépendant

    Le Mali a réaffirmé son engagement pour la promotion et la défense des droits de l'homme et contre l'impunité. À cette fin, le Mali coopérera plus étroitement avec la MINUSMA. Il a demandé le renouvellement du mandat de l'Expert indépendant.

    M. BALDO a pour sa part souligné que le retard dans l'application du processus de paix d'Alger contribue de manière dramatique à la dégradation de la situation humanitaire au Mali. On observe des tentatives, de la part des groupes extrémistes, d'exploiter les tensions sociales liées aux faibles ressources disponibles les régions du centre du Mali. Des dissidences parmi les groupes signataires de l'accord de paix sont à déplorer, car elles ont causé des violences. Le manque de discipline parmi les groupes armés est un véritable problème pour la consolidation de la paix. Les groupes terroristes cherchent à profiter des retards dans la mise en application de l'Accord de paix pour s'implanter. De surcroît, les trafics en tous genres bénéficient aux groupes extrémistes, ce qui démontre que la question malienne est également régionale. Malheureusement, le Mali ne peut pas faire face seul à ces problèmes transfrontaliers, a poursuivi l'Expert indépendant. La montée de l'insécurité n'excuse pas la faiblesse de la présence de l'État sur des étendues entières du pays, ce qui expose les populations locales aux appels aux armes des groupes armés.

    Par ailleurs, le Mali peut et doit investir davantage dans la magistrature et le système judiciaire. Le secteur de la justice malien dispose de moins d'1% des ressources budgétaires de l'État. Il s'agit donc aussi d'une question de volonté politique. Une grève importante de la magistrature malienne et des greffiers est venue symboliser ces difficultés. Le Mali peut également investir dans le déploiement d'équipes judicaires dans les territoires, là où se font tous les trafics. L'Expert indépendant a observé en outre que si certaines décisions prises par le Mali démontrent la volonté du Gouvernement de protéger les droits des femmes, toutefois, dans les faits, les femmes restent victimes de nombreuses discriminations au Mali.


    *Les délégations et organisations non gouvernementales suivantes ont pris la parole dans le cadre du débat sur l'examen de la situation des droits de l'homme en République centrafricaine: Union européenne; Tunisie (au nom du Groupe africain); Royaume-Uni; Égypte; France; Belgique; Pays-Bas; États-Unis; Portugal; Togo; Mali; Côte d’Ivoire; Bénin; Algérie; Soudan; République du Congo; Maroc; World Evangelical Alliance (au nom également de la Confédération internationale d'organismes catholiques d'action charitable et sociale - Caritas Internationalis); Fédération internationale des droits de l’homme (FIDH); et la Rencontre Africaine pour la défense des droits de l'homme.

    **Les délégations et organisations non gouvernementales suivantes ont pris la parole dans le cadre du débat sur l'examen de la situation des droits de l'homme au Mali: Tunisie (au nom du Groupe africain); Égypte; Pays-Bas; Bénin; Algérie; Libye; Soudan; France; Union européenne; Fonds des Nations Unies pour l'enfance (UNICEF); Danemark; Belgique; États-Unis; Royaume-Uni; Togo; Angola; Côte d’Ivoire; Espagne; Maroc; Mozambique; République centrafricaine; Fédération internationale des ligues de droits de l’homme (FIDH); Rencontre africaine pour la défense des droits de l’homme; Service international pour les droits de l'homme; et le Bureau international catholique de l'enfance.

    Ce document est destiné à l'information; il ne constitue pas un document officiel

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    Source: UN Mission in South Sudan
    Country: South Sudan

    UNMISS Spokesperson – Daniel Dickinson:

    So, good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, my name is Daniel Dickinson spokesperson for UNMISS and I have met many of you before. I would like to welcome you and the listeners of Radio Miraya to this press conference with the Undersecretary General for Department of Peacekeeping Operation of the UN Hervé Ladsous am sure many of you have met before, and our USG designate Jean-Pierre Lacroix.

    Mr. Ladsous first of all on behalf of UNMISS thank you very much for your service to the UN and the support you have given to UNMISS and Mr. Lacroix we look forward to working with you.

    Mr. Ladsous is going to make a statement and then take questions, there will only be Mr. Ladsous on this occasion, we will have hopefully in the near future a chance to meet again with Mr. Lacroix.

    Mr. Ladsous will make a short statement and then we’ll take Q & A, so could you please identify yourselves and the organizations you are working for, and because of time limitations, we’ll be wrapping up in about 20 minutes so thank you very much.

    Under Secretary-General for Department of Peacekeeping Operation - Hervé Ladsous:

    Thank you very much indeed Daniel and good afternoon to all of you. Pleasure to see many of you again.

    First why did I decide to come just less than 10 days before the end of my tenure to Juba, because this has been I think a very important part of my job you know the issues of South Sudan and UNMISS and I thought it appropriate to come and take stock of the situation and also take leave of excellent colleagues here and our South Sudanese interlocutors and take the opportunity to introduce my successor to this very important mission.

    Also because as you know, the situation in the country remains a source of many concerns an issues that the Secretary-General since he came in the UN in January has put amongst his chief concerns and on which he has already personally engaged many actors, South Sudanese and foreign actors and of course one that remains constantly under the close scrutiny of the Security Council.

    So I was very pleased that yesterday and today, there were opportunities to discuss this problems with His Excellency the President, the First Vice President, with several ministers, and opportunity of course to listen to them and at the same time to convey messages from the United Nations’ point of view.

    What are our messages? Our message is first and foremost that, in the very dire circumstances that South Sudan has faced for a while now, and that are illustrated by the very serious humanitarian situation, the very worrisome security issue, fighting that takes place in many parts of the country and because of either or perhaps both issues.

    Both the humanitarian situation and the security situation, the large numbers of South Sudanese who elect to leave their place and either displace themselves within the country, or become refugees abroad and the numbers are very large, and we see no sign of these numbers dwindling or stopping all together.

    In this context, it is very clear that there can only be a political solution, the continuation of hostilities is not a solution because there will always be a group or subgroup and we do not fail to notice that there are further divisions, further defections, that the picture is getting very complex indeed.

    So you cannot hope that a solution will come by the use of weapons, the solution has to be political and I know that there is work being done on the 2015 peace agreement. I know that a number of partners, especially African partners are engaged to find that political solution, I am thinking of IGAD and I am thinking a lot about the African Union. President Konaré the Special Representative of the AU was here recently and is engaging actively, and let me assure you that the UN supports President Konaré very actively.

    So all this is taking place and of course, we cannot but notice and I said so to the President today that he himself President Salva Kiir has offered a National Dialogue which I think is something that deserves close following up, in the knowledge that it cannot be a substitute for the political solution but that it can play a very important role to move along towards that solution.

    I must say the meeting with Mr. President was a good one, he offered a lot of clarification and he also assured me that because that is an issue that we have been facing for some time, he assured me that the government wanted to support the action of the UN to help us do our job and that is very important because as you know we have faced at various points impediments in terms of freedom of movement, in terms of freedom of getting clearances. Very importantly, the humanitarian actors have been severely impeded in their action on the ground and I think South Sudan is one of the countries in the world where we had the most incidents of humanitarian workers being prevented from doing their work, for humanitarian workers being actually killed or injured while on the job.

    So I welcomed of course the reassurances of the president that this is not going to happen further.

    Let me finish by one very important point from the point of view of UNMISS and also it is a very high priority item for the Security Council, and for the government, it is the deployment of the Regional Protection Force. We are working actively on it, we did lose time because there were number of slowness’s in getting clearance, authorizations here, but we are sparing no effort to speed up and I think I can say that in the next few weeks you will see the first vanguard of the Regional Protection Force being deployed here in Juba and that I think will be a very important signal that things are moving ahead. Actually tomorrow afternoon almost straightway from the plane landing in New York from here, I will chair yet another meeting of troop contributors to check where we are on these deployments, they are very important and you will see that before long, actually quite quickly.

    So maybe I will stop there and take a few questions.

    Questions from the media and Answers

    Q: (DPA News Agency) – Recently famine was declared in parts of South Sudan. As Under Secretary for Peacekeeping Operations in South Sudan, the UN and the world says that it is a man-made crisis. Why is UNMISS not deploying Peacekeepers or troops in affected areas which are not reached by aid due to prevention on the ground?

    Secondly, you have talked about the Regional Force, you said that they will be deployed soon, can you give us a timeline? And which countries will the troops be from?

    A: USG Hervé Ladsous – Thank you, yes indeed, it is the observation we all have made, that the famine in South Sudan is man-made. It is the result of several years of fighting, of displacements, of farmers not being in a position to tend to their lands, to their animals. It is a tragic situation and I believe that two counties in Unity, Mayendit and Leer, have been formally declared a state of famine. That is not going to improve because right now would be normally the crop planting season but farmers are simply not there, they are moving around, they have gone abroad and so the mitigation of the famine after the next cropping season is not going to happen in a satisfactory way.

    You also asked why we are not deploying, well, I tell you, we are deploying, we are ready to deploy but sometimes, quite often, we are prevented from deploying because precisely in those areas where there is fighting, the authorities or the other side tell us you should not deploy because we do not want you there, or we are attacked, of course humanitarian workers are not soldiers, they are humanitarian workers and they are prevented from doing their job. Whenever we can we do go with them and we try to help them to provide security, but then in a country this large, this wide, what can you expect with 12,000 uniformed personnel? We simply cannot have a blue helmet behind every South Sudanese citizen. And don’t forget that we have the IDP sites here in Juba, in Bentiu and other places and that takes up a lot of staff to ensure their safety. It’s not an easy situation but certainly we are seeking and I like to think that I got assurances that the hindrances to the deployment both of UNMISS units and of humanitarian workers will improve and that is how it should be because it is international humanitarian law that aid workers should be allowed to perform their tasks.

    About the Regional Protection Force, as I said, it’s a vanguard of several units that will be deploying in the next few weeks. Units from Rwanda, Nepal, Bangladesh, and others will follow, Ethiopians and others. We are as I said sparing no effort to make it happen as quickly as possible.

    Q: (VoA) – You did say that the current situation in South Sudan requires a political solution but we already have a Peace Agreement in place, are you referring to the 2015 Peace Agreement? You did talk about engagements that are taking place, the AU, the UN leadership is involved. Are these engagements working towards a new process or is it trying to see how the Peace Agreement can be best implemented?

    Also, what is your take on the National Dialogue declared by the President? The government believes that it is the solution to the problem in South Sudan. What is your comment on this?

    A: USG Hervé Ladsous – On the Peace Agreement, I think the 2015 ACRSS as it was called I recall… That agreement is there, we are not looking at an alternative, but the problem mostly is with implementation. What has happened towards implementation of that agreement which is soon going to be two years old? So I take heart to assurances given by members of the government, that they are working hard towards implementing various chapters of this agreement although we know the constraints, but I think this is a process that has to move on, one that is actively supported by the Special Representative of the African Union, President Konaré, and we are bringing every support possible to President Konaré, as we did and continue to do to the President of JMEC, the President Mogae, through CTSAMM for instance, to perform their duties.

    National dialogue, I said in my earlier remarks that it is a very useful concept. It cannot be a substitute for the political solution that we advocate and it’s true that the National Dialogue to be, and we say that on the basis of experience in many other [inaudible] elsewhere on the continent and beyond. A National Dialogue is most usefully held in a context where hostilities have ceased, where there is no more fighting, where the humanitarian context is not perhaps as bad as it is right now. When people are concerned about their very basic livelihood, maybe they don’t have so much time to spare for political dialogue. Lastly, it is of course very important that the process be as inclusive as possible, and if it can be accompanied by a widening of the political space because at the end of the day what you want from a National Dialogue is a consensus on the way ahead.

    Q: (Bakhita Radio) – The Japanese Self Defence Force said that once their contract ends in May, I will not be renewed. Is there any other country that will replace Japan? And why is this happening when the country is in need of UN personnel in the country?

    The second question is about the Regional Protection Force [RPF], this is not the first time that the UN is calling for the deployment of the Regional Protection Force, they have been calling since last year and it has not happened, so how are you going to assure the citizens that this time it will happen?

    A: USG Hervé Ladsous – About the Japanese Self Defence Forces, off course you have to ask the Japanese. It’s not for me to speak in the name of Japan, but what I can tell you is that we have to recognise that the Japanese Engineering Unit worked for almost five years here in South Sudan and did very useful things for the benefit of the people, building roads, bridges and facilities, and that we have to be thankful for. Of course, yes, we are looking for a replacement, but engineering units take some time because they need heavy equipment, they move in and it’s not going to happen overnight.

    On the RPF I think I’ve already responded, you will see in the very next few weeks, the first units of the RPF and then others will follow as they bring along the equipment and set up. It’s not for lack of wanting them earlier but I have to say that there was time lost because it took time for the government of South Sudan to metabolise the resolution voted on last summer by the Security Council, it took time for the government of South Sudan to give us the land we need to deploy those people, we need to build camps, facilities, we need to sort out the details, we need the clearances to get the equipment in, and all that was painfully slow here. So now we are clearing the obstacles, and it is my hope that now we will be able to proceed much more quickly.

    Q: (Al Jazeera) – One of the main points about the RPF that the government rejected is protecting the airport, have you reached some kind of compromise with the government regarding that? And the RPF is supposed to be comprised of 4,000 on top of the 12,000 personnel that you have here, do you think that the 12,000 and the 4,000 additional troops have peace to keep on the ground here in South Sudan?

    A: USG Hervé Ladsous – On the airport we are still requesting joint work to define precisely what it is that we can best do together to make it so the International Airport of Juba remains open and functional, but that is still under discussion.

    About the RPF, the goal is once the Force is deployed here in Juba, it will free a number of units of UNMISS that are presently here, and make them available for other duties, in particular to project themselves in the countryside to better protect the civilians and do a number of tasks that we are somewhat constraint at present to do. Never forget that Protection of Civilians is the heart of the mandate of UNMISS, as many other Peacekeeping Missions. So the more people we have able to project… And we are doing that in the North, in Unity… We are doing that in Upper Nile, we do everything we can when we get information to try and do the best job that we can. But as I said, we cannot have one blue helmet behind every single South Sudanese citizen. The responsibly to protect its own citizens is that of the government. And we are here to support, to facilitate, to help the government of the sovereign country of South Sudan.

    Thank you.

    For media enquiries, please contact Spokesperson: Daniel Dickinson – dickinsond@un.org +211912177770

    United Nations Mission in South Sudan – Communications & Public Information Section https://unmiss.unmissions.org/


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


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

    The eight-year conflict in Nigeria’s northeast has created a deepening humanitarian crisis. Boko Haram violence and military operations continue to affect millions of people across the region. Nearly 1.9 million people have been forced to flee their homes; more than half of these people are children. Currently 5.1 million people are estimated in urgent need of food assistance in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.

    Despite massive funding deficits and challenging humanitarian access in some areas, mainly in Borno State, humanitarian partners have scaled up efforts to assist 6.9 million of the most vulnerable people. From January until end of February this year, at least 1.9 million people received life-saving assistance. However, timely fulfillment of pledges (including US $458 million pledged in Oslo Humanitarian Conference) from international partners and Nigerian government is critical to providing the needed humanitarian assistance.


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    Source: World Bank
    Country: Nigeria

    ABUJA, March 20, 2017—The World Bank’s Board today approved a $200 million credit to support the Government of Nigeria’s response to the acute humanitarian and forced-displacement crisis triggered by the Boko Haram conflict in North East Nigeria. The project will provide multi-sectoral crisis recovery in the states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, including service delivery restoration and infrastructure rehabilitation in health, education, transport, water, and sanitation sectors.

    “Communities affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in the region are experiencing a particularly wide range of profound challenges,” said Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director, Nigeria. “Their vulnerability is multidimensional, including severe damage to their social fabric, the extensive destruction of property and infrastructure, and significant basic survival and socio-economic needs that remain largely unmet. As such, responses should be multi-sectoral, offering avenues to self-reliance and following international standards on safe and voluntary return or reintegration.”

    The conflict has led to the loss of more than 20,000 lives, the displacement of two million people, and has negatively affected the livelihoods of six million more people. The Multi-Sectoral Crisis Recovery Project, approved by the Board today, forms a key part of the World Bank’s support to the Government of Nigeria towards the implementation of the Buhari Plan and the Recovery and Peace Building Assessment, prepared by the Government of Nigeria over 2016, with support from the Bank, EU, UNDP, DFID and other development partners.

    The project will contribute to resolve constraints to restoring livelihoods and access to food, including road rehabilitation, technical assistance and program management support and will positively impact over 150,000 people including forcibly displaced populations, host communities and other conflict-affected communities in the states. Up to $5 million of the approved funds will help farming families combat the food security crisis in the region. Activities related to promoting food security include restoring access to productive assets by providing agricultural inputs including, but not limited to, seeds of local staple crops, fertilizers and tools. The project is a part of the larger multi-partner solution to crisis recovery in the region.

    Media Contacts

    In Abuja
    Olufunke Olufon
    Tel : +234 703 583 0641
    oolufon@worldbank.org

    In Washington
    Ekaterina Svirina
    Tel : (202) 458-1042
    esvirina@worldbank.org


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