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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    Highlights

    • On 24 February, international donors at the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin pledged USD 458 million for relief in 2017 and an additional USD 214 million for 2018 and beyond.

    • In Nigeria, preliminary Cadre Harmonisé results for Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States indicate that 4.7 million are estimated to be currently food insecure (phase 3-5) and the number is likely to increase to 5.1 million during the lean season, between June and August. Some 44,000 people are estimated to be facing famine-like conditions (phase 5) in Borno and Adamawa States

    Situation Update

    • In Nigeria, the fragile security situation is likely the most significant impediment to humanitarian aid access and often requires military escorts on roads and increased air transportation for field missions where threats of attack remain high. Attacks on civilian sites remain a serious threat to stability and mitigation measures are undertaken at each distribution point. The prolonged humanitarian crisis has had a devastating impact on food and nutrition security in the region leading to famine-like conditions in some areas. Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States are predominantly sustained by subsistence farming and small-scale seasonal-dependent agriculture. For a third consecutive year, these livelihoods were disrupted by sporadic insurgent attacks resulting in inadequate harvests. As a result, the annual lean season is expected to start earlier in May, instead of July. By not having safe access to land and with their depleted purchasing power and household stocks, IDPs, returnees and vulnerable host communities are likely to remain severely food insecure until October 2017.

    • During a press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, UNHCR stated that in 2017, Cameroon has – so far – forcefully returned over 2,600 refugees back to the Nigerian border villages. The Mora-Kousseri axis remains prohibited to UN staff missions due to insecurity while the security situation on both sides of the border in Mayo Sava region has significantly improved in February, due to military operations in the area.

    • In Niger, the security situation remained volatile in the Diffa region, along the border with Nigeria, particularly in the departments of Bosso, Nguigmi and Diffa due to the military operations at both Lake Chad and Nigeria/Niger borders. February was also marked by new inter-community clashes in the Diffa region. Several ethnic clashes were observed in recent months. The Governor of the Diffa region is taking the necessary measures to put an end to the ethnic confrontations.


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    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Nigeria

    In Numbers

    1.9 m people displaced, of which 1.5 million in Borno and 0.11 million in Yobe States (IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix, January 2017)

    4.7 m people food insecure in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States and projected to increase to 5.2 m between June and August 2017 (Phases 3, 4 & 5, preliminary results – Cadre Harmonisé, March 2017)

    Highlights

    • During March, across Borno and Yobe States, 1.2 million beneficiaries - most of them internally displaced, in camps or in host communities – benefitted from WFP food assistance.

    • In April, WFP will be targeting over 1.3 million people, expanding its food assistance to Adamawa State in line with the findings of the March Cadre Harmonisé.

    • For the critical implementation and expansion of the project, WFP has established partnerships with 15 local and international humanitarian organisations.

    • Food pipeline breaks continue to constrain the scale-up of WFP response.

    Situation Update

    • The conflict in Northeast Nigeria continues to contribute to large-scale population displacement (1.9 million people displaced), limit market activity and restrict normal livelihoods.

    • The prolonged humanitarian crisis has had a devastating impact on food and nutrition security in the region leading to famine-like conditions in some areas.

    • The security situation remains fragile and unpredictable and is a significant impediment to humanitarian access.

    • There are conflict-impacted areas that remain inaccessible, with growing concern for the plight of those trapped in these hard to reach places. The March 2017 Cadre Harmonisé (CH) analysis reported pockets of people in Borno and Adamawa States experiencing extreme food insecurity (around 44,000 individuals).

    • On 31 March WFP conducted a security assessment to Mishika and Magadali LGAs in Adamawa State, while a vulnerability and targeting assessment will be conducted in the first week of April, potentially leading to programmatic activities.

    • In Northeast Nigeria, a region already suffering from chronic poverty, communities have been acting as the first line of humanitarian response and are hosting Internally Displaced People (IDPs). An Emergency Food Security Assessment conducted by WFP and its partners (including the Government, FEWSNet, FAO) showed that 27% of host communities have hosted IDPs in the past three months.

    • The three most-affected states are predominantly agricultural, and insecurity has prevented farmers from accessing their fields, resulting in poor harvests. As a result, the annual lean season is expected to start early in May, instead of July. By not having safe access to land and with their depleted purchasing power and household stocks, IDPs, returnees and vulnerable host communities are likely to remain severely food insecure until October 2017.


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

    Sécurité

    La situation sécuritaire dans la région de l’Extrême-Nord connaît une relative accalmie. Aucun incident majeur n’a été reporté. Les autorités militaires continuent les opérations de ratissage dans les zones frontalières avec le Nigéria.

    Développements majeurs

    Un groupe de journalistes basés à Yaoundé a été formé le vendredi 31 mars sur le mandat du HCR, les actions humanitaires au Cameroun et les principes fondamentaux de la protection internationale. L’objectif de cette formation était de permettre aux vingt journalistes présents de maîtriser davantage les concepts qui entourent la protection et l’assistance des réfugiés et autres personnes relevant du mandat du HCR afin de mieux cerner les concepts et problématiques sur lesquelles ils sont appelés à communiquer.

    Le gouvernement camerounais et ses partenaires (Banque Mondiale, Système des Nations Unies et Union Européenne) ont organisé le 28 mars à Bertoua un atelier sur la compréhension commune du processus de relèvement et de consolidation de la paix (RCP) au Cameroun, notamment dans les régions de l’Est, de l’Adamaoua, du Nord et de l’Extrême-Nord qui accueillent les réfugiés et déplacés internes dans un environnement déjà en proie à des défis structurels. Le gouvernement a sollicité de ses partenaires un appui pour la conduite d’une évaluation conjointe et une priorisation stratégique des besoins en vue de juguler de façon durable ces défis. Les principaux objectifs du processus RCP sont de i) mettre en place un processus inclusif et établir une compréhension mutuelle à la fois des causes sous-jacentes des crises qui touchent le Cameroun ainsi que des défis structurels auxquels le Cameroun doit répondre pour le relèvement et la consolidation de la paix ; ii) identifier les besoins et formuler une stratégie sur une période de 05 ans et iii) développer un cadre de redevabilité mutuelle qui encouragera une coordination et une mise en œuvre plus efficace. Le processus reposera sur cinq principales thématiques, à savoir : la sécurité, le déplacement forcé et la protection ; la gouvernance et les services sociaux de base ; l’intégration économique et territoriale ; l’accès à la terre et la production agricole ; et l’engagement et inclusion de la jeunesse. Les parties prenantes à ce processus élaboreront, d’ici juin 2017, une stratégie pour l’atteinte de ces objectifs, et les activités et programmes seront mis en œuvre à partir du second semestre de l’année en cours.

    Région de l’Extrême-Nord

    ** Statistiques**

    Le camp de Minawao compte un total de 62 829 individus (16 900 ménages) enregistrés au 31 Mars.
    Par ailleurs, un total de 353 individus (120 ménages) est arrivé spontanément au centre de transit de Gourounguel en provenance des villages frontaliers avec le Nigéria où ils fuient les risques de reconduite à la frontière. Ils ont été screenés, enregistrés et transférés vers le camp de Minawao.

    Protection

    Un total de 182 personnes est arrivé à Kolofata sur la période du 30 mars au 01er avril en provenance des localités de Djabari, Blamassa, Abudja, Gumba, Yerwa, Bargino, Daradjaman, et Bomari de l’Etat de Borno où ils fuient les menaces des combattants de Boko Haram. Ces nouveaux arrivants, composés principalement de femmes, disent avoir été séparées en chemin de leurs maris qui sont pour certains dans le camp IDP de Banki et pour d’autres à Maiduguri. Ils sont tous installés dans le bâtiment de la douane à Kolofata et présentent des signes de sous-alimentation, de déshydratation et de santé fragile.

    Une mission conjointe HCR, INTERSOS et comité mixte de protection s’est rendue à Kolofata le 27 mars et a fait le constat de la situation critique dans laquelle se trouvent les réfugiés nigérians présents dans la zone. La mission a recommandé: i) que le comité mixte appuie le HCR dans son plaidoyer pour non seulement avoir accès aux réfugiés de Kolofata et Kerawa, mais aussi pour que l’armée accepte qu’un screening de sécurité et de protection soit effectué afin de permettre aux réfugiés qui en remplissent les conditions, de bénéficier de meilleures conditions d’accueil ; ii) que le HCR participe à l’amélioration de l’espace d’accueil de ces réfugiés si le site de la douane est reconnu comme point de regroupement et de screening et iii) que soit mise en place une équipe de screening comme celle du centre de transit, en anticipation à la réponse des autorités sur l’accès et le screening des réfugiés.

    Un total d’environ 110 camerounais présumés combattants de Boko Haram sont retournés le 28 mars dans la localité de Mozogo dans l’arrondissement du Mayo Moskota d’où ils sont originaires, en provenance de Tchenene au Nigeria où ils fuient les attaques conjointes des forces armées camerounaise et nigériane. Les forces armées camerounaises procèdent à leur screening de sécurité au poste de gendarmerie de Mozogo.

    L’armée camerounaise a effectué un bouclage dans le site des personnes déplacées de Kolofata le 29 mars et a interpellé 164 personnes qu’elle a reconduites à la frontière nigériane. Parmi ces personnes, on dénombre 35 nigérians et 129 camerounais n’ayant pas de documents d’identification. Ces opérations augmentent sensiblement les risques d’apatridie dans la région. Le 27 mars, un autre groupe de 100 demandeurs d’asile a également été reconduit à la frontière à partir de Bia et du site de la douane à Kolofata.

    Dans le but de mieux assurer la protection des réfugiés, un total de 21 forces de maintien de l’ordre et 80 éléments du comité de vigilance du camp de Minawao a été formé sur la protection internationale des réfugiés et leur rôle dans la sécurisation du camp. Ces formations qui se sont multipliées aussi bien dans le camp que dans les localités de la région de l’Extrême-Nord, ainsi que les séances de sensibilisation des réfugiés sur leurs devoirs à respecter les lois du pays d’accueil améliorent la protection des réfugiés, dans la mesure où on compte de moins en moins des réfugiés détenus dans les centres de détention de la région.


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    Source: Voice of America
    Country: South Sudan, Uganda

    Jill Craig

    ARUA, KOBOKO, YUMBE, UGANDA— The buses keep rolling in, bringing more South Sudanese from border points in northern Uganda to refugee settlements, their new homes for the foreseeable future. Africa’s biggest refugee crisis is becoming bigger by the day.

    One of those border crossings is in Busia, where only a short footbridge separates South Sudan from Uganda. Rebel soldiers keep watch on the South Sudanese side, while Ugandan security forces directly opposite them check that refugees aren’t bringing weapons into the country. Men with motorcycles and bicycles make a bit of money ferrying luggage across this unassuming border. The newcomers often arrive malnourished, thirsty and exhausted.

    One of the new arrivals is 30-year-old Abui John Tadeo, who was a mathematics teacher before he fled on foot with his wife and three children. As he waited for a bus to take him and his family to Kuluba, a collection point, before heading to a refugee settlement, he told VOA why he left South Sudan.

    “I need to leave Yei because there is a lot of shooting, looting, so we are tired,” said Tadeo. “That is why we need to leave Yei, so that we rest a little bit.”

    Like Tadeo, many of these new arrivals are from Yei and other places in the Equatoria region, which has experienced intense fighting. More than 816,000 South Sudanese refugees have come to Uganda fleeing violence.

    “I came to Uganda because life is hard and risky,” said Susan Gune, who stays with her family in the Imvepi refugee settlement. “We don’t move because people were killing us, chasing us to the bush, burning us inside our houses. Here, we have a secure life.”

    Gune adds that sexual violence is another worry in South Sudan.

    “They rape the women, and after they rape you, sometimes they kill you. Sometimes, after raping you, they remove all your clothes, to leave you naked. Then they go,” she said.

    The United Nations says that more than 86 percent of new arrivals are women and children.

    Esther Akujo is a 24-year-old refugee from Yei who traveled alone with her three children to Uganda. She says her husband was arrested before they left and she still doesn’t know his whereabouts.

    “There’s no more food; people are starving; there’s no medical access,” said Akujo. “There are no roads for the food to get into town. When people are bringing the food from the rural areas, the armed men collect it and the people are suffering in the town.”

    While life at home was difficult, Rose Nyonga said so too was the journey to Uganda.

    “For 14 days, we walked day and night, surviving on wild fruits and stagnant water,” she said.

    Fabian Richard Wani trekked for 10 days with his wife, children and a group of orphans from Yei. Despite the challenges, he said he still has hope for his country.

    “I am looking for the future of the country,” said Wani. “And for us to receive the peace, we need to be Godly fearing people and the leaders should also accept their mistakes and see the suffering of their own citizens so that the future of the country will be very bright.”

    Refugees in the Ugandan settlements are given a 50-meter by 50-meter plot of land to be used for shelter and small cultivation, in addition to food, water, non-food items, health services and children’s education. They also enjoy freedom of movement and are permitted to start their own businesses.


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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    Key messages

    • Restoring agricultural livelihoods is a priority to avoid a further deterioration of the food security situation of displaced people and host communities in the coming months.

    • Limited funding received in 2016 for livelihood interventions is a major concern, especially in northeastern Nigeria where 5.2 million people will suffer from severe food insecurity in 2017 (Cadre Harmonisé, June‒August 2017).

    • Without agriculture and livestock support, many farmers and herders will resort to negative and sometimes irreversible coping mechanisms with long-lasting impact on their livelihoods. This may result in an increase of humanitarian needs in 2017 and beyond.

    • Special attention to women and youth is given in all FAO interventions. This is crucial to offer livelihoods alternatives and income generation opportunities, and support women that are particularly vulnerable during conflict.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    Background

    Around 17 million people live in the affected areas across the four Lake Chad basin countries. The number of displaced people has tripled over the last two years. Most of the displaced families are sheltered by communities that count among the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. Food insecurity and malnutrition have reached critical levels.

    Recent developments

    Food insecurity across the region is projected to worsen in the coming months as communities already struggling with severe food shortages and adversity traverse the lean season. The latest food security assessments show that more than 50,000 people risk famine in Nigeria’s north-eastern Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states between June and August. Some 5.2 million people are projected to suffer severe food scarcity, a third of them at “emergency” levels.

    Across the Lake Chad Basin, almost seven million people are struggling with food insecurity. Timely funding will be required to provide agricultural inputs for communities during the upcoming lean season and ease the scale of food insecurity.

    At the end of March, only 11.2 per cent of the US$1.5 billion required to cover the most urgent needs have been funded. In March, UNHCR reported that since January more than 2,600 Nigerian refugees were forcefully returned from Cameroon. Humanitarian partners have urged Nigeria’s neighbours to continue keeping their borders open to grant access and asylum to people fleeing the conflict. On 2 March, Cameroon and Nigeria together with UNHCR have signed a tripartite agreement on the voluntary repatriation of Nigerian refugees in Cameroon.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria

    Regional Highlights

    • More than 50,000 people risk famine in Nigeria’s north-eastern Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states between June and August. Some 5.2 million people are projected to suffer severe food scarcity, a third of them will face “emergency” levels of hunger.

    • Timely and effective agricultural support is required to see families and communities in the region’s conflict-hit areas through the upcoming lean season. Planting is expected to start in May.

    • A surge in Boko Haram attacks displaces thousands of people in several localities in north-eastern Nigeria. Military operations and poor living conditions have also forced some to flee.

    • Fear of insecurity after military withdrawal prompts thousands of people to flee Lake Chad islands in Bol locality in western Chad.

    • Suspected Boko Haram fighters attack a village in south-eastern Niger, breaking a two-month lull in Diffa region.

    • Since the start of the year, Cameroon has forcefully returned more than 2,600 Nigerian refugees, prompting concerns over civilian protection and calls on Nigeria’s neighbours to keep their borders open and grant asylum to those fleeing conflict.

    Situation overview

    Population movement

    • A recent surge of Boko Haram attacks, especially in Nigeria’s north-eastern region, has forced thousands of civilians to flee their communities or areas of refuge. Military operations have also forced families to flee.

    • Following a spike in Boko Haram attacks between late February and early March, more than 8,000 people were displaced anew in several localities of Borno state.

    • Several thousands of people have been displaced in areas around the Cameroon-Nigeria border following the recent raid by Nigeran military on the Sambisa forest hideout of Boko Haram.

    • The latest displacement tracking in March showed that the number of IDPs in Cameroon’s Far North now stands at more than 200,000 people, an increase by 17 per cent since January.

    • New displacements have also been reported in Chad’s western Lac region due to fear of insecurity following the withdrawal of troops to other areas of operation. Some 7,000 people have fled several Lake Chad islands since January.


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


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    Source: UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
    Country: Mali

    From March 28-30th in Bamako Mali, a training of 26 trainers from the Ministry of Security and Civil Protection, the Peacekeeping School (Ecole de Maintien de la Paix-EMP), and Media professionals was held at the EMP. The objective of the training was to strengthen the skills of pedagogues to train Malian security forces on how to guarantee the rights of citizens to freedom of expression and access to information and ensure the safety of journalists in the country. The three-day training occurred following four previous trainings of Malian security forces on freedom of expression and the safety of journalists held in June and November 2016. The training, developed following the recommendation of previous participants to reinforce the capacity of pedagogues on the subject in order to officially adopt the UNESCO curriculum on freedom of expression and public order at the Peacekeeping School and Ministry of Security and Civil Protection, was coordinated by UNESCO in partnership with the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), the West Africa Regional Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). The project received additional technical support from the Kingdom of Norway.

    Integral to the mandate of the United Nations is the promotion of an environment conducive to freedom of expression, press freedom and the safety of journalists, as well as the facilitation of media pluralism and sustainable and independent media institutions. This training workshop occurred in the framework of the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, led by UNESCO and endorsed by the United Nations Chief Executive Board on April 12 2012 and welcomed by the UN General Assembly Resolution (A/RES/68/163) (2013). The UN Plan of Action was developed with the aim of coordinating the efforts of various actors in this field. “We must recall that the promotion and protection of human rights, including those of journalists and women human rights defenders, contributes to ensuring access to information in all societies, particularly in conflict and post-conflict situations. The protection of human rights, in the long term, ensures the consolidation of peace, democratic governance, sustainable development, and the fight against impunity” underlined Guillaume Ngefa, representing the West Africa Regional Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. “This is why security forces must be conscious of fundamental principles of human rights, including the protection and safety of journalists in a democracy, as well as their important role in ensuring an enabling environment for security so essential to guaranteeing freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and human rights at large” underlined Pierre Saye, representing the UNESCO Office in Mali.

    During the three day training, participants discussed how to train security forces on managing relations with the media and journalists and developed practical exercises based on the UNESCO curriculum for officers and members of the press on how to solve specific cases that could generate incidents. Furthermore, participants were trained on international standards concerning freedom of expression and access to information, the jurisprudence of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and national legislation concerning freedom of expression and access to information in Mali.

    “I appreciated the pragmatic approach of the training, with concrete examples and practical exercises based on the curriculum that allowed us as trainers to easily adapt the content to the Malian context and ensure sustainable dialogue between media and security forces. Following the trainings in June and November where I was a participant and then an assistant pedagogue, I can feel the difference in my daily work and at the police station regarding my relationship with the media. This training of trainers is important to ensure institutional continuity so that our relationship continues to grow” underlined Kaly Diakité, Police Sergeant and pedagogue of the Ministry of Security and Civil Protection. “Through this training, I understood the importance of ensuring that stakeholders see that media professionals and security forces have the same objective of ensuring access to public information, despite our different approaches. This training is an important step in ensuring platforms for cooperation between us. I also understand that professional standards for both journalists and security forces, and training in this regard, are essential in ensuring respectful relations between us. Journalists and security forces, through this training, have understood that they are not adversaries, but collaborators that work for the same community” underlined Seydou Traore, Media Professional from Mikado FM Radio. “Both security forces and media professionals are indispensable and complementary in safeguarding the development dynamic and stability in West Africa” said Kouider Zerrouk, Chief Communications and Public Information at UNOWAS.

    On March 31st, a technical meeting was held between UNESCO and OHCHR representatives, pedagogues from the Ministry of Security and Civil Protection, and pedagogues of the Peacekeeping School. The main outcome of the meeting was the official adoption by the Peacekeeping School and Ministry of Security and Civil Protection of the UNESCO produced training manual on Freedom of Expression and Public Order. “All components necessary for cooperation exist, but often media professionals and security forces don’t understand each other. These trainings and the adoption of the curriculum are an opportunity to ensure that stakeholders and defenders of freedom of expression dialogue with one another, with a shared objective which is the construction of peace, a condition sine qua non of security” underlined Colonel Joseph Calvez, representing the Director General of the Peacekeeping School in Bamako. Reflecting on the importance of ensuring the sustainability of trainings for security forces on freedom of expression and human rights in Mali, Colonel Deh, Representative of the Minister of Security and Civil Protection underlined, citing Koffi Annan, that “there is no development without security, and no security without development. There is neither security or development without human rights.” Evoking that, since 1993, Mali has celebrated annually World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd, the Ministry recalled that Mali guarantees freedom of expression and freedom of the press in Article 7 of its Constitution adopted in 1992, and applauded the adoption of the UNESCO curriculum as another step in guaranteeing fundamental human rights in the country.

    As follow up, plans are underway to ensure further training, in partnership with the Ministry of Security and Civil Protection and the EMP, of pedagogues of Malian security forces on freedom of expression and human rights to ensure the availability of the training in other regions in Mali, the translation of relevant modules of the curriculum into Bambara, and the development of a module specifically concerning regional and national regulation and legislaton on freedom of expression and access to information. With high level pedagogues at the Peacekeeping School and Ministry of Security and Civil Protection now trained in the domain, UNESCO will continue to accompany the school and the Ministry in the integration of the course in their core curricula, and ensure pedagogues are equipped to train other security force members from the sub-region.

    To listen to the debate (in French) on Radio Mikado FM between security forces, the media, and UNESCO on the impact of the training click here:

    https://soundcloud.com/mikado-fm/table-ronde-de-formation-des-journalistes-sur-les-forces-de-securite


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    Source: UN Security Council
    Country: Mali

    SC/12779

    SECURITY COUNCIL
    7917TH MEETING (AM)

    Foreign Minister Outlines Challenges, Including Fragile Security in Central Region

    Despite progress since the 2015 signing of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, significant challenges — such as the accelerated activities of terrorists and the transnational networks funding them — continued to require international support, including possible changes to the United Nations operation there, the Organization’s new peacekeeping chief told the Security Council today.

    Delivering his first briefing as Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix called for enhanced efforts to combat transnational organized crime, and welcomed the decision by the “Group of 5” (G5) Sahel countries to establish a regional force to combat such activities. The Council could also consider adjusting the mandate of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), or imposing sanctions on “spoilers”, he said.

    Presenting the Secretary-General’s latest report (document S/2017/271, he provided an update on the situation in Mali, recent positive developments, among them. They included the recent appointment of transitional authority officials in Mali’s northern region and the successful conclusion of the Conference of National Understanding, all of which had proceeded in spite of the dastardly attack against the Operational Coordination Mechanism camp in Gao, northern Mali, in January. Emphasizing the critical importance of international efforts in maintaining that momentum, he cited, among other challenges, the convergence of various armed factions under the Al-Qaida banner.

    As Council members took the floor, many voiced support for those options, with France’s representative emphasizing the prospect of sanctions as an indispensable option in efforts to remove impediments to the peace process. A sanctions regime would target those involved in drug trafficking or in hindering implementation of the Peace Agreement, he noted.

    Other speakers disagreed, with the Russian Federation’s representative emphasizing instead the need for a development strategy in northern Mali. The north remained a major source of terrorist activity, with new groups and leaders constantly emerging, he said, underlining the need to combat extremist ideologies and improve the Sahel region’s socioeconomic conditions. Pointing out that radicals had only appeared in the region after the destabilization of Libya, he stressed that Mali’s stability could not be achieved without first resolving the situation in that neighbouring country.

    Mali’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and African Integration reinforced that point, saying that the threats arising from insecurity in Libya persisted. As the current President of the “G5 Sahel” (Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso) Mali was working to put a regional counter-terrorism force together as soon as possible, he said. Calling for speedy approval of its deployment, with United Nations support, he said the goal was not to become embroiled in an endless war but to create an environment more conducive to the successful execution of MINUSMA’s mandate.

    Other speakers offered differing visions of that mandate, with some expressing support for MINUSMA’s unique counter-terrorism efforts and others voicing concern that those endeavours deviated from established peacekeeping principles. Uruguay’s representative pointed out that the current mandate overstepped the Council’s original intention. Although Uruguay had voted in favour of establishing MINUSMA in light of Mali’s unique situation, such an action should not be replicated in future peacekeeping mandates.

    Speakers also called for greater urgency, citing the forthcoming 2018 elections and the rapidly approaching end of the Peace Agreement’s interim period. In that regard, Senegal’s representative said that with the end of the interim period approaching, the presence of MINUSMA and France’s Barkhane operation was reassuring and must be reinforced by the national army, he said, urging better training and equipment for the troops.

    Japan’s representative emphasized that the Council must correctly assess the severity of the situation in Mali as MINUSMA’s mandate entered its final months, declaring: “The picture is not good.” In considering the mandate, the Council must also study closely how the proposed joint force would interact with MINUSMA, he said.

    Members conveyed condolences to France and Mali, both of which had lost a number of peacekeepers in attacks or military operations during the past week.

    Also speaking today were representatives of Sweden, China, Italy, Ethiopia, Egypt, United Kingdom, Bolivia, Kazakhstan and the United States.

    The meeting began at 10:02 a.m. and ended at 11:58 a.m.

    Briefing

    JEAN-PIERRE LACROIX, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, addressed the Council for the first time in that capacity, paying tribute to his predecessor, Hervé Ladsous. Recalling his visit to Mali two weeks ago and his meetings with various Government officials and others on the ground, he cited the Secretary-General’s latest report (document S/2017/271), which states that progress in Mali continued during the period under review, despite the dastardly attack against the Operational Coordination Mechanism camp in Gao on 18 January. The committee charged with implementing the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali had appointed a number of transitional authorities, signalling a gradual stabilization of the situation in the north. However, the importance of providing actors with sufficient resources to sustain that momentum on the ground was critical, he emphasized.

    Noting that the recently concluded Conference of National Understanding had provided a unique opportunity to bring together Malians from various regions and parties, he went on to stress the need to preserve such gains, with the 2018 elections looming. However, a number of challenges remained, including the fact that the criteria for integrating combatants from the various armed groups had not yet been agreed. “We must look to the future of the reconstituted national army,” he said, underlining the alarming security situation as armed factions continued to attack. A new alliance bringing such groups together had recently been created under the Al-Qaida banner, while Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) was gradually gaining ground in the country. “The Peace Agreement needs to be reflected in tangible results on the ground,” he stressed in that regard.

    Outlining a number of additional challenges, he said transnational organized crime also continued in the region, with profits often financing terrorist operations. In that regard, he welcomed efforts by the “Group of 5” (G5) Sahel countries to put a regional force in place to combat those activities, while emphasizing that all such efforts must be carried out within the framework of the Peace Agreement. For its part, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) would continue to support national forces while playing its role as one of the main providers of security in northern and central Mali. Noting that he was exploring new partnership options for the Mission, he said that although some 2,049 troops and 480 police authorized by Council resolution 2295 (2016) had not yet been deployed, efforts to do so were under way. He concluded by underscoring three main challenges: strongly encouraging the parties to redouble efforts to accelerate implementation of the Peace Agreement and clarify the next steps once the interim period expired in June; addressing transnational organized crime, including through the possible imposition of sanctions on spoilers; and adjusting MINUSMA’s priorities and posture in accordance with the prevailing political and security situation on the ground.

    Statements

    FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France), noting that Mali still faced threats from terrorist groups, including Al-Qaida in the Sahel, urged stakeholders at the political level to implement the Peace Agreement, including by establishing interim authorities in the north. Progress in that regard remained fragile, he said, noting that people in the north had not seen any noticeable improvement in their living conditions. The fight against impunity remained inadequate, as did the reintegration of former combatants. The prospect of sanctions was indispensable to lifting impediments to the peace process, he emphasized, adding such a regime would target those involved in drug trafficking or in hindering implementation of the Peace Agreement.

    Turning to the security front, he said time lost by the signatories had been gained by terrorist groups, while inversely, the redeployment of a State presence in the north would provide hope. MINUSMA must be provided with the troops and equipment authorized by the Council in resolution 2295 (2016), he stressed, calling for the engagement of new troop-contributing countries in Mali, while pointing out that his country’s Barkhane operation, launched in 2014, had extended support to MINUSMA. Welcoming the G5 Sahel initiative to create a joint force to address the regional terrorist threat, he recalled that a French soldier had died in Mali on 5 April, the nineteenth in the Sahel since 2013. “We are determined to help countries in the Sahel to strengthen their capacity to fight the terrorist threat,” he said.

    FODÉ SECK (Senegal) said mutual trust among signatories was the only way to ensure lasting peace, calling the Conference of National Understanding a step in that direction. With the end of the interim period approaching, progress in Gao and elsewhere was welcome, he said, noting that joint patrols were needed for security, and that Kidal and Timbuktu must follow Gao’s example, which already had one. Equally important was constitutional reform, which would facilitate restructuring of the armed forces. The presence of MINUSMA and the French Barkhane presence was reassuring and must be reinforced by the republican army, he said, urging better training and equipment for the troops.

    On deployment of the proposed rapid intervention force, he said that would be carried out as soon as possible, adding that his country was taking appropriate measures in that direction. In two weeks’ time, a reconnaissance mission would be conducted to determine how Senegal’s helicopters could be brought to bear on the situation. Pointing out that MINUSMA clearly could not be considered a classic peacekeeping operation because of its multidimensional character, he emphasized the need to provide the Mission with substantial equipment, pointing out that his country had deployed a reserve battalion.

    OLOF SKOOG (Sweden) welcomed the establishment of interim authorities and the launch of mixed patrols, emphasizing that progress on implementing the Peace Agreement was all the more pressing with only three months of its interim period remaining. He encouraged the Government to redouble efforts to deliver on the December benchmarks and on the peace accord, pressing all actors to acknowledge that time would be needed beyond the interim period to consolidate progress, not least in relation to the interim authorities. Encouraging the Government also to ensure inclusive consultations between citizens and the State during the constitutional review, he emphasized the urgent need to address the dire security situation in the central regions, a factor that should be considered in the next MINUSMA mandate, which in turn should strengthen use of the United Nations good offices function. More broadly, the Organization must invest the right resources to ensure adequate support for political solutions, he said, adding that Sweden encouraged context-sensitive conflict and political analysis from the Secretariat before mandate renewals. He concluded by describing the G5 Sahel joint force as a positive step in addressing the regional dimension of the challenges in Mali.

    KORO BESSHO (Japan) emphasized that the Council must correctly assess the severity of the situation in Mali as MINUSMA’s mandate entered its final months. “The picture is not good,” he said, citing slow implementation of the Peace Agreement, lack of inclusiveness, lack of centralization and the state of the interim authorities in the north, and the minimal progress made on security-sector reform. As the Council considered the mandate, it must ask how the United Nations could better support the overriding goal of implementing all 20 chapters of the Peace Agreement, complete with annexes. Its mutually reinforcing elements must be implemented in a balanced manner, he said, reiterating the need for movement on security-sector reform. Progress was also needed on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration; and cantonment and redeployment of Mali’s defence and security forces, which was crucial for building confidence in the country’s north and centre. The Council must also closely study how the G5 Sahel joint force would interact with MINUSMA, he said.

    PETR V. ILIICHEV (Russian Federation) welcomed the positive trends in the implementation of the Peace Agreement but nevertheless voiced concerned about Mali’s remaining security challenges, including attacks by jihadists on MINUSMA peacekeepers, as well as local civilians. Warning against imposing sanctions, he emphasized instead the need for a development strategy in the north, pointing out that the region remained a major source of terrorist activity, with new groups and leaders constantly emerging. The security situation was also negatively influenced by borders that were open to drug smuggling and other forms of transnational crime, he noted. Recalling that radicals had only appeared in the region after the destabilization of Libya, he emphasized that Mali’s stability could not be achieved without first resolving the situation in the neighbouring country. “Simply using military measures will not be enough,” he added, underlining the need to combat extremist ideologies and improve the region’s socioeconomic situation. The Russian Federation was concerned that MINSUMA still had fewer military forces troops than mandated, he said, emphasizing the need to complete the Mission’s deployment and to ensure that it was properly resourced.

    LUIS BERMÚDEZ (Uruguay) expressed concern that very little of the Council’s previous closed-session discussions had been conveyed to the parties in Mali, emphasizing that the main responsibility for security and order in the country lay with the national authorities. Urging Member States to continue to support Mali as a sovereign nation, he stressed the need to establish a set of priorities for building institutional stability. “The entire Malian population must feel like it is part of a single State,” he said, explaining that any territory abandoned by the State would become fertile ground for terrorist groups. Voicing concern about reported human rights violations committed by Malian security forces, he underlined that troops musts act in strict accordance with international norms. Concerning the possibility of imposing sanctions, he encouraged the Council to examine the genuine impact of such measures and to take the Government’s position into account. Pointing out that MINUSMA’s current mandate overstepped the Council’s intention by undertaking counter-terrorism measures, he said that although his delegation had voted in favour, given the unique situation in Mali, that type of action should not be replicated in future peacekeeping mandates.

    YURIY VITRENKO (Ukraine) expressed extreme concern over the deteriorating security situation in Mali, noting that the scale of terrorist attacks in the country’s centre and north had reached an unprecedented level. Emphasizing the need for the parties to uphold their security commitments, he welcomed the launch of mixed patrols in Gao as a positive step forward and encouraged both the Government and signatory armed groups to expedite the launch of similar patrols in Kidal and Timbuktu. Ukraine also supported the G5 Sahel initiative to establish a regional force. On the political process, he said it had been limited and urged the parties to redouble their efforts to complete the installation of an interim administration in the north and engage in inclusive national consultations to resolve differences. “The ultimate goal of these efforts should be the comprehensive reform of national institutions.” He urged a focus on enhancing the safety and security of MINUSMA personnel and on addressing the Mission’s capability gaps, he said, adding that as a troop- and police-contributing country, notably in Africa, Ukraine was exploring ways in which to do its part to that end.

    WU HAITAO (China) welcomed the launch of joint patrols and the convening of the Conference of National Understanding. Urging international support for the peace and reconciliation process, he also welcomed the pledge by the Peace Agreement signatories to promote the peace process, urging them to advance an inclusive political dialogue covering all regions and ethnic groups. The Council’s actions should be conducive to maintaining the outcome of the peace process, he said, welcoming the mediation team’s efforts to foster the peace talks. Urging international support for Mali’s security forces so that the Government could strengthen its presence in the northern and central regions, he called upon all parties to provide assistance, particularly in the areas of intelligence, military training and weapons management. Noting that counter-terrorism efforts required an integrated approach based on regional cooperation, he welcomed the G5 Sahel joint force initiative. He concluded by underlining that MINUSMA must strengthen its communications with troop-contributing countries in order to assure the resources and mandate it needed to carry out its work, noting that 400 Chinese peacekeepers were deployed with the Mission.

    SEBASTIANO CARDI (Italy) said that the deteriorating the security situation and growing terrorist threat in Mali meant the Council must do more, and faster, to improve the situation on the ground. “The stability of the Sahel depends, to a large extent, on the security of Mali,” he pointed out, echoing concerns about transnational crime networks and trafficking, which continued to undermine the peace process. Pledging to continue Italy’s bilateral assistance for combating those threats and to help the Council explore its options, he emphasized the importance of combating the destruction of cultural heritage. Strong international cooperation remained critical, as illustrated by the G5 Sahel’s decision to establish a counter-terrorism force and the European Union’s training support for Malian personnel. While MINUSMA continued to face major challenges, and had already paid a high human price in lost human lives, the Mission was demonstrating leadership and should be supported, he said.

    TEKEDA ALEMU (Ethiopia) welcomed efforts to address the root causes of the conflict in Mali, noting that the National Charter for Peace, Unity and Reconciliation had injected momentum into the Peace Agreement’s implementation and must be supported. However, Mali continued to confront enormous peace and security challenges with only three months left before the end of the interim period, he said. Insecurity in the north had prevented the effective deployment of State officials, while terrorism, violent extremism and transnational organized crime remained major obstacles to implementation of the Peace Agreement. Mali’s efforts to combat violent extremism and organized crime, alongside those of the G5 Sahel, deserved support, as did MINUSMA, he said.

    AMR ABDELLATIF ABOULATTA (Egypt) pointed out that the situation in Mali had major repercussions for the region and had spilled over into Europe, while achievements on the ground so far fell short of the Malian people’s expectations. Urging the various parties on the ground to unite against the common terrorist threat, he said the national army bore the primary responsibility for maintaining peace and security. While there was a consensus on such issues among international partners, the path towards providing full support was not yet agreed. The Council, in particular, shouldered responsibility for dealing with the situation in Mali in a realistic and practical manner, based on previous lessons learned. Any attempt to exceed established peacekeeping principles would not be in the interest of the Malian people, he cautioned, urging Member States to offer their clear support to the G5 Sahel as the partner best able to deal with the challenges facing the region.

    PETER WILSON (United Kingdom) said the establishment of interim authorities in three of five regions, the launch of joint patrols and the Conference of National Understanding reconciliation conference had been successful. However, he expressed concern about the lack of political will among signatories to implement the Algiers peace accord, describing progress as “slow” and “slender”. The human rights situation also merited close attention, amid reports of summary executions and enforced disappearances perpetrated by Malian security forces, the Coordination des mouvements de l’Azawad and another group. “Addressing impunity is an essential component of reconciliation and of peace,” he emphasized, noting the danger of a reversal of security gains posed by criminal gangs exploiting the country’s ungoverned spaces. Alongside Al-Qaida affiliates, there was a new threat from groups aligned with ISIL/Da’esh, he said, adding that the representatives of France and Italy had set out the strategic context of that threat, which could be grave for the region if left unchecked. He also noted the threat posed to United Nations personnel by spoilers, saying the task of MINUSMA and the Barkhane operation had become more difficult due to the shortfall in troop numbers and equipment. There was a particular need for armoured personnel carriers, he stressed, urging countries to follow up on their offers in that regard. It was unacceptable for MINUSMA to work so hard to maintain stability if the parties did not deliver on their promises, he said.

    SACHA SERGIO LLORENTTY (Bolivia) said MINUSMA’s mandate had shifted because of the activities of affiliates of such extremist groups as Al-Qaida and ISIL/Da’esh. Their unabated violence had weakened the efforts of the Government, United Nations partner countries and regional organizations that had pledged to support peace in Mali. Condemning attacks by rogue groups on Malian security and defence forces, and on MINUSMA peacekeepers, he rejected the use of landmines and similar weapons that imperilled civilians. Rogue groups had also perpetrated the sexual abuse of women and minors, as well as summary executions and enforced disappearances. Calling on them to demobilize, he also urged sectarian interests of any nature to ensure that the dialogue was fruitful. Spotlighting Mali’s efforts to achieve harmony, he called on MINUSMA to work in greater coordination with the Government so as to ensure the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Meanwhile, the international community must find adequate means to ensure the success of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of armed groups through political initiatives.

    KAIRAT UMAROV (Kazakhstan) emphasized the importance of engaging armed groups in the peace process and integrating them into State structures. The presence of Malian forces in Gao could gradually be extended, but attempts by armed groups to derail the process must be diverted through disarmament, demobilization and reintegration. He recalled that his country had agreed with the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United Nations and the European Union that placing the Peace Agreement within the framework of the Algiers process was the only path to peace. As such, Kazakhstan reiterated its support for efforts by the African Union, ECOWAS and countries of the Sahara and Sahel to strengthen border security and cooperation, he said, encouraging the G5 Sahel countries to proceed with the creation of a regional force to tackle terrorism. Pointing out that the emergence of five jihadist entities had increased the terrorist threat in Mali and the region, he said that as Chair of the Security Council’s 1267 Committee, Kazakhstan strongly urged the Malian armed forces to upgrade their anti-terrorist capabilities. The grievances of different communities, especially at-risk youth who had not benefited from the Peace Agreement and remained vulnerable to recruitment by armed groups, presented another urgent challenge, he said.

    NIKKI HALEY (United States), Council President for April, spoke in her national capacity, saying that the Council would hold a meeting on United Nations peacekeeping this afternoon. “We need to give peacekeeping missions a mandate that they can actually achieve,” she said, adding that MINUSMA — the most dangerous mission in the world — currently faced a number of critical challenges. In many parts of Mali there was no peace for the Mission to keep, while implementation of the Peace Agreement faced “delay after delay”. Government forces were absent from many parts of the country, while terrorists were deepening their mutual cooperation and becoming more sophisticated, she noted. Describing MINUSMA’s equipment as “simply not up to standard”, she emphasized: “We can and we must do better.” Calling upon the Government to extend State authority and shoulder its responsibility to end violence, she said countries contributing troops to the Mission must provide their personnel with the appropriate training, adding that her country would be taking a closer look at MINUSMA’s mandate in the coming months.

    ABDOULAYE DIOP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and African Integration of Mali, described the substantial progress in the political, security, human rights and development arenas, as well as in restoring State authority throughout the national territory, most of which was outlined in the Secretary-General’s report. Warning that progress was still fragile, he said many challenges remained, with the security situation in central Mali a source of particular concern. Noting that an integrated security plan would require substantial support from all of Mali’s partners, he expressed regret that, 10 months after the signing of the Algiers accord, difficulties in implementing the agreement remained, due in part to MINUSMA’s lack of resources.

    Turning to the threats posed by the re-emergence of terrorist attacks and continuing drug trafficking in the region — the major challenges to implementation of the Peace Agreement — he said the problem was global in scope and nature. The threats arising from Libya’s insecurity persisted, but Mali, as the current President of the G5 Sahel, was working to bring a regional counter-terrorism force together as soon as possible. Calling upon the Council for speedy approval of deployment for that force, with United Nations support, he said the goal was not to become embroiled in an endless war but to create an environment more conducive to the successful execution of MINUSMA’s mandate. On human rights questions, he said that alleged violations attributed to Government troops had occurred in areas without investigative and judiciary authorities due to insecurity, but vowed nevertheless to investigate such reports and hold the perpetrators accountable.

    For information media. Not an official record.


    0 0

    Source: UN Security Council
    Country: Mali

    CS/12779

    CONSEIL DE SÉCURITÉ
    7917E SÉANCE – MATIN

    En dépit de progrès tangibles dans la mise en œuvre de l’Accord pour la paix et la réconciliation au Mali, que soutient la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation dans ce pays (MINUSMA), des défis considérables continuent de s’y poser, en particulier sur le plan sécuritaire, a déclaré, ce matin, le nouveau Secrétaire général adjoint aux opérations de maintien de la paix, M. Jean-Pierre Lacroix.

    Pour sa toute première intervention devant le Conseil de sécurité, auquel il présentait le dernier rapport* en date du Secrétaire général sur la question, M. Lacroix a fait état d’attaques terroristes « de plus en plus sophistiquées », avant de rendre hommage à la mémoire du soldat français de l’opération française Barkhane tué hier.

    « Comme vous le savez, une nouvelle alliance regroupant les groupes terroristes les plus actifs au Mali s’est créée sous la bannière d’Al-Qaida et de la direction d’Iyad ag Ghali (chef d’Ansar Eddine), tandis que Daech fait lentement son apparition dans la bande sahélienne », a relaté le haut fonctionnaire, en exprimant sa préoccupation devant une telle convergence de menaces dans un contexte où, souvent, la présence de l’État est faible, voire « inexistante » dans le nord et le centre du pays.

    C’est pourquoi la MINUSMA, a expliqué M. Lacroix, prend actuellement les mesures nécessaires afin d’ajuster ses « priorités et sa posture ». « Si nous ne sommes toujours pas arrivés à déployer les 2 049 personnels militaires et 480 personnels de police autorisés par le Conseil de sécurité, des perspectives très concrètes de progrès existent », a-t-il assuré, en faisant allusion au redéploiement, au Mali, de la « force de réaction rapide » de l’Opération des Nations Unies en Côte d’Ivoire, entre mai et octobre de cette année.

    Le Ministre des affaires étrangères du Mali, M. Abdoulaye Diop, s’est rangé à l’analyse du patron des opérations de maintien de la paix, en rappelant que les chefs d’État du G5 Sahel avaient décidé de la création d’une force conjointe dont le « concept stratégique » sera examiné le 13 avril par le Conseil de paix et de sécurité de l’Union africaine, qui le soumettra ensuite pour approbation au Conseil de sécurité.

    Si elle a été favorablement accueillie par la plupart des membres du Conseil, certains ont recommandé d’examiner cette proposition avec attention, comme le Japon, pour qui il faudra réfléchir aux moyens d’interagir avec la MINUSMA. Abondant en ce sens, la Suède a estimé qu’« assurer une bonne coopération avec les autres acteurs sécuritaires et garantir une différenciation entre acteurs humanitaires et militaires, et entre militaires et éléments policiers, devront être des priorités ».

    Le Secrétaire général adjoint a ensuite souligné que l’opérationnalisation des patrouilles mixtes dans cette ville était effective depuis le 20 février, une nouvelle accueillie avec satisfaction par les membres du Conseil, de même que l’installation des autorités intérimaires à Taoudénit et à Tombouctou, le 13 avril, « après celles de Kidal le 28 février puis celles de Gao et Ménaka le 2 mars », a précisé le Ministre malien.

    Alors que la Conférence d’entente nationale s’est achevée dimanche à Bamako, M. Diop a expliqué qu’elle avait vu la participation de toutes les parties prenantes à l’Accord de paix, à savoir le Gouvernement, la Coordination des mouvements de l’Azawad (CMA), la Plateforme et les partis politiques de la majorité comme de l’opposition. Les recommandations qui en sont issues serviront de base à l’élaboration de la « charte pour la paix, l’unité et la réconciliation nationales », s’est-il encore félicité, de conserve avec M. Lacroix.

    Cependant, avec les élections de 2018 « en ligne de mire », impossible d’ignorer les retards importants enregistrés et la « fragilité » des gains réalisés jusqu’à présent, a reconnu ce dernier. La mise en œuvre de l’Accord demeure, dans l’ensemble, « lente » et la stratégie nationale de réforme du secteur de la sécurité n’est toujours pas finalisée, a-t-il constaté.

    La représentante des États-Unis a déploré ces retards, de même que le « déficit chronique » d’équipements de la MINUSMA, qui ne possède que 62% des véhicules blindés dont elle a besoin pour effectuer ses patrouilles et n’a toujours pas le nombre d’hélicoptères nécessaires. Elle a été rejointe par son homologue du Royaume-Uni, qui a lancé un appel en faveur de l’élargissement du nombre des pays contributeurs de troupes.

    Dans son rapport, le Secrétaire général de l’ONU demande aux États Membres de « remédier » à ce manque de moyens, notamment en fournissant à la Mission les unités d’hélicoptères nécessaires, « mais aussi une compagnie de renseignement, de surveillance et de reconnaissance, des groupes d’appui aéroportuaire, une compagnie de forces spéciales, une compagnie de neutralisation des explosifs et munitions, et un bataillon spécialisé en convois de combats ».

    Le Secrétaire général adjoint a apporté son soutien au principe de l’établissement d’un régime de sanctions ciblées du Conseil de sécurité à l’encontre des groupes extrémistes violents opérant au Mali, le représentant de la France affirmant qu’un tel régime devait viser ceux, « signataires ou non » de l’Accord de paix, qui s’adonnent à des trafics illicites.

    Son collègue de l’Uruguay a penché de son côté pour une analyse préalable de l’efficacité de telles sanctions.

    LA SITUATION AU MALI

    Rapport du Secrétaire général sur la situation au Mali (S/2017/271)

    Lettre datée du 5 avril 2017, adressée au Président du Conseil de sécurité par le Secrétaire général (S/2017/285)

    Déclarations

    Pour sa toute première intervention devant le Conseil de sécurité en sa qualité de Secrétaire général adjoint aux opérations de maintien de la paix, M. JEAN-PIERRE LACROIX a déclaré qu’il avait eu l’occasion, la semaine dernière, de se rendre au Mali avec son prédécesseur, M. Hervé Ladsous. Au cours des derniers mois, a-t-il dit, des progrès ont été enregistrés dans la mise en œuvre de l’Accord de paix. « Malgré l’attaque ignoble perpétrée contre le camp du Mécanisme opérationnel de coordination à Gao le 18 janvier, l’opérationnalisation des patrouilles mixtes dans cette ville est effective depuis le 20 février », a ainsi noté le haut fonctionnaire.

    De plus, après Gao, Kidal et Ménaka, le Comité de suivi de l’Accord a annoncé hier l’installation des autorités intérimaires à Taoudénit et à Tombouctou avant le 13 avril. Ces avancées illustrent le retour graduel de l’autorité de l’État dans le nord du Mali dans le cadre des arrangements intérimaires, avec l’appui de la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation au Mali (MINUSMA), a assuré M. Lacroix.

    « Nous devons, cependant, nous assurer que ces nouvelles autorités et unités mixtes disposent des moyens adéquats pour remplir leurs responsabilités et que les services de base soient mis rapidement à la disposition des populations », a-t-il prévenu. Il est en outre, selon lui, primordial de clarifier la durée de ces arrangements intérimaires compte tenu du retard pris, ainsi que le statut des groupes dissidents vis-à-vis de la Coordination des mouvements de l’Azawad (CMA) et de la Plateforme dans le cadre des mécanismes de suivi.

    Le Secrétaire général adjoint a estimé que la Conférence d’entente nationale, qui s’est conclue le 2 avril, fut une occasion unique de rassembler les différents segments de la population malienne ainsi que les parties signataires.

    « Malgré une participation tardive de certains acteurs clefs, tels que la CMA et de l’opposition politique, Maliens et Maliennes ont pu se parler pour la première fois depuis la crise de 2012. Nous espérons que les avancées réalisées serviront de socle à l’élaboration d’une charte pour la paix, l’unité et la réconciliation nationale et enrichiront le processus de révision constitutionnelle, conformément aux dispositions fixés dans l’Accord de paix. »

    Cependant, avec les élections de 2018 en ligne de mire et en dépit des avancées des derniers mois, impossible d’ignorer les retards importants enregistrés et de la fragilité des gains réalisés, a reconnu M. Lacroix. Dans l’ensemble, la mise en œuvre de l’Accord demeure « lente » et la stratégie nationale de réforme du secteur de la sécurité n’est pas finalisée, a-t-il constaté.

    En outre, les critères d’intégration des combattants issus des groupes signataires n’ont pas été encore déterminés et les huit sites de cantonnement construits par la MINUSMA demeurent vides. Pour le Secrétaire général adjoint, des réformes institutionnelles et sécuritaires durables sont nécessaires, notamment concernant l’avenir de l’armée nationale reconstituée.

    Sur le front sécuritaire, la situation demeure préoccupante, les attaques des groupes terroristes « de plus en plus sophistiquées » se poursuivant, a-t-il souligné, avant de rendre hommage à la mémoire du soldat français de l’Opération Barkhane tué hier.

    « Comme vous le savez, une nouvelle alliance regroupant les groupes terroristes les plus actifs au Mali s’est créée sous la bannière d’Al-Qaida et de la direction d’Iyad ag Ghali (chef d’Ansar Eddine), tandis que le groupe Daech fait lentement son apparition dans la bande sahélienne. Une telle convergence de menaces est « particulièrement préoccupante » dans un contexte où souvent la présence de l’État est faible, voire « inexistante », et où la mise en œuvre de l’Accord de paix doit encore se traduire en des résultats tangibles sur le terrain.

    De plus, le centre du pays demeure le théâtre de vives tensions intercommunautaires, elles-mêmes attisées par des groupes extrémistes. En réponse à cette situation, les autorités maliennes ont élaboré un plan de sécurisation intégrée des régions du centre, avec le soutien de la MINUSMA.

    Mais, en toile de fond, les réseaux transfrontaliers criminels demeurent très actifs. Les revenus générés de ces trafics illicites sont une aubaine financière pour les groupes terroristes sévissant dans le nord du Mali, a prévenu le Secrétaire général adjoint. « Cette situation est intenable et doit cesser. » Compte tenu de la nature transfrontalière de ces réseaux, une approche régionale est nécessaire, a-t-il préconisé.

    La MINUSMA prend actuellement les mesures nécessaires afin d’ajuster ses priorités et sa posture selon les enjeux et les progrès réalisés sur le terrain. « Si nous ne sommes toujours pas arrivés à déployer les 2 049 personnels militaires et 480 personnels de police autorisés par le Conseil de sécurité, des perspectives très concrètes de progrès existent et nous sommes déterminés à tout faire pour qu’elles se matérialisent au plus vite: « le déploiement de la force de réaction rapide de la Mission en Côte d’Ivoire au Mali, initialement prévu pour février, devrait intervenir entre mai et octobre cette année ».

    Quant au bataillon de combat logistique, Sri Lanka déploiera une compagnie en juillet et l’Égypte déploiera trois compagnies entre les mois de juillet et décembre. De plus, le Secrétaire général adjoint a apporté son soutien au principe de l’établissement d’un régime de sanctions ciblées, actuellement envisagé par le Conseil de sécurité.

    Enfin, la MINUSMA continuera d’ajuster ses priorités et positions afin de fournir le meilleur soutien, avant que soit envisagé, en temps voulu, le réajustement de son mandat.

    M. FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France) a convenu que le Mali était dans une situation difficile, près de deux ans après la signature de l’Accord de paix. Il a jugé urgent que les parties maliennes mettent pleinement en œuvre l’Accord de paix. Des avancées réelles ont été récemment enregistrées après de longs mois de stagnation, a-t-il dit, citant notamment le lancement de patrouilles mixtes à Gao et l’installation de certaines autorités intérimaires dans le nord du pays.

    Soulignant la fragilité de ces réalisations, il a demandé aux parties signataires de démontrer leur sincérité à mettre en œuvre l’Accord de paix. Il est indispensable d’adopter des sanctions contre ceux qui entravent la mise en œuvre de l’Accord de paix, a poursuivi M. Delattre. Il a ajouté que la création d’un régime de sanctions du Conseil devrait viser ceux, signataires ou non, qui s’adonnent au trafic.

    Le délégué de la France a estimé que le temps perdu par les parties maliennes signataires de l’Accord était du temps gagné par les terroristes. La MINUSMA, qui est, avec l’Opération Barkhane, en première ligne face aux groupes terroristes, doit impérativement être renforcée, a-t-il dit. Il a souhaité que de nouveaux pays contributeurs s’engagent au Mali à l’occasion de la conférence extraordinaire de génération de force de la MINUSMA qui se tiendra le 8 mai à New York.

    Sans la présence de la Mission et de l’opération Barkhane pour appuyer l’État malien, les groupes terroristes seraient en mesure de reconstituer un sanctuaire capable d’accueillir des terroristes du monde entier, a-t-il insisté.

    M. Delattre a salué l’initiative des États du G5 Sahel de constituer une force conjointe pour lutter contre l’expansion de la menace terroriste au niveau régional avec, dans un premier temps, un accent sur la sécurisation des zones frontalières. Cette force antiterroriste a vocation à s’inscrire dans le cadre du processus de paix malien, a-t-il dit, ajoutant qu’elle compléterait l’action de la Mission.

    Le délégué a rappelé que le soldat français décédé hier était le dix-neuvième soldat français mort au Sahel depuis janvier 2013. « Nous souhaitons que le Conseil de sécurité apporte son soutien au projet du G5. »

    M. FODÉ SECK (Sénégal) a estimé que les informations fournies par le Secrétaire général adjoint aujourd’hui témoignent du chemin qui reste à parcourir pour rétablir paix et stabilité au Mali. L’engagement pris par le Gouvernement malien à ne ménager aucun effort dans la mise en œuvre de l’Accord de paix donne des raisons de croire que seule la confiance mutuelle entre les signataires constituera un gage de réussite à cet égard.

    Le représentant s’est félicité de la mise en place des arrangements intérimaires, qu’il a dit considérer comme une nécessité dans l’ensemble des régions concernées, de même que le déploiement des patrouilles mixtes. M. Seck a cependant plaidé en faveur d’une accélération des réformes institutionnelles, soulignant qu’il est temps de restructurer les forces armées maliennes pour répondre aux défis sécuritaires qui se posent avec acuité dans le nord du Mali.

    Voilà pourquoi le Sénégal insiste sur la formation et l’équipement des personnels militaires sur place, a-t-il dit. Le délégué a donc annoncé que le déploiement de la force d’intervention rapide se ferait « dans les meilleurs délais », le Sénégal prenant des mesures en ce sens. Ainsi, dans une dizaine de jours, une mission de reconnaissance se rendra dans le nord du pays pour déterminer les moyens d’abriter les hélicoptères de combat.

    Dakar, qui continue de plaider en faveur d’équipements conséquents pour les personnels de la MINUSMA, fournit des contingents à cette opération de maintien de la paix, notamment un bataillon de réserve de 425 soldats, a précisé M. Seck.

    M. OLOF SKOOG (Suède) a exhorté le Gouvernement malien à redoubler d’efforts en vue de la mise en œuvre de l’Accord de paix, afin que les Maliens puissent toucher les dividendes de la stabilité. Il a appelé les acteurs à reconnaître que le pays aura encore besoin de temps, après l’expiration de la période intérimaire, pour consolider les gains enregistrés. L’engagement continu de l’Algérie sera un élément crucial de ce processus, a-t-il dit.

    M. Skoog a estimé que le mandat révisé de la Mission devait renforcer ses capacités, ainsi que l’emploi de bons offices en vue de promouvoir la sécurité. L’ambition du Gouvernement de rétablir son autorité dans tout le pays, en particulier à Mopti et Ségou, doit aller au-delà d’une simple présence physique et s’articuler autour d’une approche de gouvernance centrée sur les habitants, a-t-il avancé.

    Au Mali comme ailleurs, la primauté du politique doit être le principe directeur de l’engagement de l’ONU, a-t-il poursuivi. M. Skoog a encouragé le Secrétariat à mener une analyse politique fine, en lien avec tout le système onusien, avant tout renouvellement de mandat, en vue notamment d’assurer une plus grande cohérence entre les composantes civile et militaire de la MINUSMA.

    S’agissant de l’initiative du G5, le délégué a indiqué qu’un certain nombre de difficultés devaient être réglées avant que la force prévue ne devienne opérationnelle, notamment son lien avec la MINUSMA ou bien encore les règles d’engagement. Assurer une bonne coopération avec les autres acteurs sécuritaires et garantir une différenciation entre acteurs humanitaires et militaires, et entre militaires et éléments policiers, devront être des priorités, a conclu le délégué de la Suède.

    M. KORO BESSHO (Japon) a indiqué que la situation n’était pas « bonne » au Mali, en raison d’une lente mise en œuvre de l’Accord, d’un manque d’inclusion des femmes et des jeunes et de retards dans l’établissement de l’autorité de l’État dans le pays. Le délégué a demandé une application des 20 chapitres de l’Accord, lesquels, a-t-il fait remarquer, se renforcent mutuellement.

    Il a en outre jugé crucial le redéploiement des Forces de défense et de sécurité maliennes pour restaurer la confiance dans les régions du nord et du centre du pays. Il a dit apprécier l’établissement par le G5 Sahel d’une force régionale pour lutter contre le terrorisme au Mali et dans la région. Ce conseil doit examiner attentivement cette proposition afin de voir comment elle peut interagir avec la Mission, a-t-il dit.

    Enfin, M. Bessho a affirmé que le moment était venu pour ce conseil de discuter de la meilleure manière avec laquelle la Mission pourrait appuyer le processus politique et le renforcement des institutions au Mali.

    M. PETR V. ILIICHEV (Fédération de Russie) est parti du principe que la stabilité au Mali ne pourra être réalisée que par la mise en œuvre intégrale de l’Accord de paix par l’ensemble des parties signataires. Comme d’autres membres du Conseil avant lui, il s’est félicité de la mise en place des arrangements intérimaires et du déploiement de patrouilles mixtes dans les cinq régions du nord du pays, se disant toutefois préoccupé par les activités des groupes terroristes, de plus en plus sophistiquées, et qui se propagent vers le centre du pays.

    L’adoption de mesures sécuritaires, a-t-il estimé, doit donc être secondée par l’opérationnalisation de la stratégie de développement du nord, sur laquelle planche actuellement Bamako. Pour la délégation russe, le terrorisme demeure la principale menace à la paix et à la stabilité dans la bande sahélienne, en raison des alliances conclues par plusieurs organisations et leur volonté manifeste d’étendre leur théâtre d’opérations.

    Aussi le représentant s’est-il dit convaincu de l’importance de mobiliser les États de la région et la communauté internationale dans son ensemble à l’appui du Gouvernement malien. Il a notamment fait référence à la force régionale du G5 Sahel, même si la solution militaire doit, selon lui, aller de pair avec une lutte contre l’idéologie radicale et le développement économique des régions concernées.

    Dans ce contexte, la délégation s’est dite préoccupée par le fait que les effectifs militaires et policiers de la MINUSMA ne soient pas complètement équipés.

    M. LUIS BERMÚDEZ (Uruguay) a déploré la détérioration de la situation au Mali, avant de rappeler que le maintien de l’ordre incombe, au premier chef, au Gouvernement malien. Il a plaidé pour un engagement ferme de l’État malien, selon un ordre de priorités clair, la première priorité étant la mise en œuvre de l’Accord. Tout le peuple malien doit sentir qu’il fait partie d’un seul État, a-t-il indiqué, ajoutant que tout territoire abandonné au Mali devenait un terreau fertile pour les groupes terroristes.

    Le délégué s’est dit préoccupé par les violations des droits de l’homme commises par les Forces de sécurité maliennes. Il a souligné le rôle essentiel du Gouvernement malien dans les efforts en vue du renforcement de l’efficacité de la Mission.

    S’agissant de l’adoption d’un régime de sanctions, il a demandé une analyse de l’efficacité de ces sanctions. Enfin, il a souligné le caractère unique du mandat de la MINUSMA, lequel ne saurait servir de modèle pour d’autres missions.

    M. YURIY VITRENKO (Ukraine) s’est dit extrêmement préoccupé par la détérioration de la situation sécuritaire au Mali. L’ampleur des attaques terroristes dans le centre et le nord du Mali est sans précédent, a-t-il dit, ajoutant que la MINUSMA était désormais l’une des missions les plus dangereuses. Il a encouragé le Gouvernement malien et les groupes armés signataires à accélérer le lancement de patrouilles mixtes à Kidal et à Tombouctou et appuyé l’établissement, par le G5 Sahel, d’une force régionale pour lutter contre le terrorisme au Mali et dans la région.

    Le délégué a regretté la lenteur des progrès sur le plan politique, soulignant la nécessité d’achever l’installation des administrations intérimaires dans le nord et de tenir des consultations nationales inclusives pour surmonter les divergences. Le but ultime est une réforme profonde des institutions nationales afin de répondre aux causes profondes du conflit et d’instaurer la paix, a-t-il dit.

    Enfin, il a souligné le rôle crucial de la Mission pour instaurer la paix et demandé qu’il soit remédié aux lacunes capacitaires de la MINUSMA.

    S’il a salué les progrès accomplis au Mali au cours de la période à l’examen, M. WU HAITAO (Chine) n’en a pas moins noté les difficultés posées par la multiplication des actes terroristes à travers le pays. Il a vivement encouragé les parties à accélérer la mise en œuvre de l’Accord, en demandant à la communauté internationale de leur fournir un appui constructif, mais aussi d’aider les Forces de sécurité maliennes dans les régions du nord et du centre, où les activités terroristes sont monnaie courante.

    La Chine s’est en conclusion félicitée de la décision des chefs d’État du G5 Sahel de créer une « force de lutte antiterroriste » dans cette partie du Mali, tout en regrettant les « lacunes » importantes de la MINUSMA en termes d’équipements.

    M. SEBASTIANO CARDI (Italie) a déploré la détérioration du cadre sécuritaire au Mali et demandé la pleine mise en œuvre de l’Accord d’Alger. Il a estimé que les efforts devront se poursuivre après la fin de la période intérimaire pour consolider les gains enregistrés. La stabilité au Mali est cruciale pour la stabilité du Sahel, a-t-il dit, ajoutant que les activités des groupes criminels étaient des obstacles aux efforts de stabilisation.

    Il a rappelé que la protection du patrimoine culturel faisait partie du mandat de la MINUSMA et insisté sur l’importance de la résolution 2347 (2017) et de la récente décision de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) s’agissant de la destruction des mausolées de Tombouctou.

    Enfin, le délégué italien a appuyé la création d’une force antiterroriste par les pays du G5 et demandé une bonne coopération entre tous les acteurs concourant au retour de la sécurité au Mali.

    M. TEKEDA ALEMU (Éthiopie) s’est dit encouragé par les progrès dans la mise en œuvre de l’Accord de 2015, se félicitant des efforts déployés en ce sens par le Comité de suivi de l’Accord, du déploiement de patrouilles mixtes dans le nord du pays et de l’adoption récente de la Charte nationale pour la paix et la réconciliation.

    Il ne reste plus que trois mois avant l’expiration de la période de transition prévue pour la mise en œuvre de l’Accord, s’est toutefois inquiété le représentant, en notant la gravité des défis posés par des groupes terroristes regroupés en alliance et l’expansion des réseaux criminels dans la région.

    C’est la raison pour laquelle il a salué la décision du G5 Sahel de déployer une force d’intervention rapide, avant de dire que la prochaine prorogation du mandat de la MINUSMA serait l’occasion de se pencher sur la nécessité de la doter d’effectifs et d’équipements suffisants.

    M. AMR ABDELLATIF ABOULATTA (Égypte) a déclaré que la situation au Mali avait des répercussions en Afrique du Nord et en Europe. Il a demandé la pleine mise en œuvre de l’Accord, avant de rappeler que l’armée malienne avait la responsabilité première du maintien de la sécurité dans le pays. Il a souligné la nécessité d’une restructuration des forces maliennes à cette fin. Le Conseil a la responsabilité de traiter la situation au Mali de manière réaliste, a-t-il affirmé, en appelant à pleinement utiliser les outils à disposition.

    S’il a salué le rôle indispensable joué par la MINUSMA, il a mis en garde contre toute tentative d’aller au-delà de ce mandat. L’initiative des pays du G5 de créer une force antiterroriste doit être avalisée par ce Conseil, a déclaré M. Aboulatta, ajoutant que ces pays étaient les mieux placés pour restaurer la stabilité dans la région.

    Après avoir pris acte des progrès déjà identifiés par les membres du Conseil ayant pris la parole avant lui, M. PETER WILSON (Royaume-Uni) s’est dit gravement préoccupé par les réticences des signataires à pleinement mettre en œuvre l’Accord d’Alger.

    Considérant qu’il est de son devoir de se montrer aussi « franc » en séance plénière que lors des consultations à huis clos, le représentant a attiré l’attention sur les informations dont le dernier rapport en date du Secrétaire général fait état concernant des violations des droits de l’homme, notamment par des membres des forces maliennes et de la Coordination des mouvements de l’Azawad (CMA).

    En outre, en dépit d’améliorations, les défis sécuritaires restent considérables au Mali, en raison de la « porosité » des frontières, notamment avec le Niger. Les composantes militaires de la MINUSMA opèrent donc dans des conditions très difficiles, sous la menace d’actions de ceux qui veulent remettre en cause l’Accord de paix.

    C’est pourquoi le représentant britannique a lancé un appel aux pays contributeurs de troupes potentiels pour qu’ils fournissent à la Mission les effectifs dont elle a besoin pour s’acquitter de son mandat.

    M. SACHA SERGIO LLORENTTY SOLÍZ (Bolivie) a condamné les agissements d’Al-Qaida et de Daech dans le nord du pays et les attaques conduites par les groupes terroristes contre la MINUSMA. Il a rejeté le recours aux mines antipersonnel au Mali et déploré les violences exercées contre les civils par les groupes armés. Ces derniers devraient déposer leurs armes afin que le dialogue prévale au Mali, en vue de la résolution du conflit, a poursuivi le représentant bolivien.

    Enfin, il a exhorté les pays donateurs et la communauté internationale dans son ensemble à mobiliser les moyens adéquats en vue d’appuyer le processus de désarmement, de démobilisation et de réintégration au Mali, ainsi que les diverses initiatives de stabilisation du pays.

    M. KAIRAT UMAROV (Kazakhstan) a abondé en faveur d’une stratégie régionale intégrée, selon lui le moyen le plus efficace de faire progresser la paix au Mali. Il s’est donc félicité de l’intention déclarée du G5 Sahel d’aller de l’avant avec la création d’une force régionale de lutte contre le terrorisme et la criminalité transnationale. L’émergence du « Groupe de soutien à l’islam et aux musulmans » a en effet considérablement renforcé la menace terroriste dans le pays et la région, a noté le représentant. ´

    En tant que Président du Comité du Conseil de sécurité créé par les résolutions 1267 (1999) sur Daech et Al-Qaida, le Kazakhstan a vivement encouragé les forces internationales déployées au Mali, ainsi que les forces armées de ce pays, à perfectionner leurs capacités de lutte antiterroristes.

    Il a souhaité en conclusion savoir quelles mesures sont prises par le Gouvernement malien pour atténuer les conflits interethniques entre les « nationalités » fulani et bambara.

    Mme NIKKI R. HALEY (États-Unis) a souligné la nécessité que les missions de l’ONU disposent de mandats réalistes et rendent des comptes s’agissant de leur action. Exprimant l’intention de son pays d’examiner attentivement le mandat de la MINUSMA, elle a indiqué que celle-ci faisait face à un défi de taille: « Il n’y a pas de paix au Mali que les Casques bleus puissent préserver. »

    Elle a déploré l’accumulation des retards dans la mise en œuvre de l’Accord de paix. Le deuxième défi auquel la Mission est confronté est le déficit chronique dans son équipement, a-t-elle dit. Mme Haley a précisé que la Mission ne possédait que 62% des transports blindés dont elle a besoin pour conduire ses patrouilles. LA MINUSMA n’a pas non plus le nombre d’hélicoptères nécessaires, a-t-elle dit.

    La déléguée a exhorté le Gouvernement malien à en faire davantage dans la mise en œuvre de l’Accord, avant de souligner la nécessité de combler les lacunes capacitaires de la Mission. La MINUSMA est moins bien dotée que la force onusienne déployée dans le sud du Liban par rapport à leurs tâches respectives, a remarqué la déléguée.

    Enfin, Mme Haley a souhaité que les missions de maintien de la paix disposent de mandats visant à les rendre le plus efficaces possible.

    M. ABDOULAYE DIOP, Ministre des affaires étrangères, de la coopération internationale et de l’intégration africaine du Mali, a été heureux de confirmer, qu’outre les nombreuses réformes institutionnelles en cours dans son pays, la Conférence d’entente nationale venait de se tenir, avec succès, du 27 mars au 2 avril derniers, à Bamako.

    Elle a été inclusive de toutes les parties prenantes à l’Accord de paix, à savoir le Gouvernement, la Coordination des mouvements de l’Azawad (CMA), la Plateforme, les partis politiques de la majorité comme de l’opposition, et « l’ensemble des forces vives de la nation ». Les recommandations qui en sont issues serviront de base à l’élaboration de la charte pour la paix, l’unité et la réconciliation nationales, a précisé le chef de la diplomatie malienne.

    Autre action majeure dans la mise en œuvre de l’Accord selon lui, le compromis trouvé par les parties autour de la désignation des présidents des autorités intérimaires pour l’ensemble des régions du nord du Mali, lors de la réunion de haut niveau du Comité de suivi de l’Accord tenue à Bamako, le 10 février 2017.

    Tandis que celles de Kidal ont été installées le 28 février, et celles de Gao et Ménaka le 2 mars, il sera procédé, le 13 avril, à la mise en place des autorités de Tombouctou et de Taoudénit. Dans le domaine de la défense et de la sécurité, les patrouilles mixtes ont été opérationnalisées, tandis que le processus de révision constitutionnelle suit son cours, l’objectif principal à ce stade étant de mettre en place une deuxième chambre du Parlement, a relevé le Ministre.

    Au-delà de ces mesures, le Gouvernement poursuit ses actions de développement sur le terrain, là où les conditions le permettent, grâce notamment au « Programme d’urgence pour la relance du développement des régions du nord » et de la « Programme de reconstruction et de relance économique ».

    Pour faire face à la situation sécuritaire dans les régions, le Gouvernement malien a pris trois mesures importantes, a dit le Ministre, en faisant tout d’abord valoir un plan de sécurisation intégré de ces régions qui vise entre autres à assurer la présence et l’opérationnalité de l’administration publique à tous les niveaux, lutter contre la prolifération des armes légères et coordonner la stratégie de lutte contre l’insécurité et le terrorisme.

    M. Diop a en outre indiqué que des mécanismes traditionnels de prévention et de gestion des conflits étaient mis en œuvre, tandis qu’un pôle de magistrats travaille avec les leaders traditionnels dans le cadre de la justice transitionnelle.

    Le chef de la diplomatie malienne a toutefois regretté que, 10 mois après son adoption, les dispositions de la résolution 2295 (2016) peinaient à se matérialiser, en raison des « lacunes » dans les capacités opérationnelles de la Mission, demandant au Conseil de sécurité de se saisir de cette question.

    Reconnaissant que l’un des défis majeurs à la mise en œuvre de l’Accord de paix au Mali reste la recrudescence des attaques des groupes terroristes, le Ministre a rappelé que les chefs d’État du G5 Sahel avaient décidé de la création d’une force conjointe dont le concept stratégique sera examiné le 13 avril par le Conseil de paix et de sécurité de l’Union africaine, qui le soumettra ensuite pour approbation au Conseil de sécurité.

    Revenant sur la situation des droits de l’homme dans le pays, évoquée par le Secrétaire général dans son rapport, M. Diop a assuré que les cas d’allégations de violations qui y figurent et sont « imputés au Gouvernement » sont commis dans des zones où les services judiciaires et d’enquêtes sont absents pour cause d’insécurité. Il a toutefois réitéré la détermination des autorités maliennes à prendre les mesures appropriées pour prévenir, et au besoin, punir les auteurs de tels actes.

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


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    Source: Government of Germany
    Country: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Germany, Kenya, Niger, Somalia, South Sudan

    East Africa has been hit by the worst drought it has seen for fifty years. Federal Development Minister Gerd Müller has pledged an additional 100 million euros for those facing hunger. At a conference on Wednesday, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel urged the international community to make available more money.

    The Somali region in eastern Ethiopia has been particularly hard hit by drought. The nomadic population have practically no more grazing land for their livestock; their livelihoods are acutely threatened. Some 1.7 million people in this region are already dependent on food aid. In Ethiopia 5.6 million people are suffering acute hunger.

    Permanent UN crisis fund should be established

    "Ethiopia has learned from previous droughts and has taken far-reaching precautions this time," said Federal Development Minister Gerd Müller. He is currently visiting the Somali region, one of the areas suffering worst under the drought. One stop on his trip was a settlement where people who have been forced to flee their homes by the drought are being provided with the bare essentials. Safe drinking water, food and medical care are the priorities. In spite of improved preparations, the scale of this drought is overstretching the capacities not only of Ethiopia but of the region as a whole, said Gerd Müller.

    "In South Sudan, Somalia, Niger, Kenya and Cameroon, people are dying of hunger because the international community has reacted too late, because the cash is taking too long to get where it is needed, and because funds are only forthcoming when it is far too late to avert the disaster," criticised Gerd Müller. The Federal Development Minister thus called for a permanent UN crisis fund to be established as swiftly as possible.

    Conference brings together international donors

    On Wednesday, speaking in Brussels, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel launched an urgent appeal along with European Union and United Nations representatives. The international community, he said, must accept responsibility and provide funds to prevent famine. "Nobody has the excuse that they do not know what the people there are facing," he stated.

    In order to mobilise support worldwide, Germany will be working hard at international donor conferences and networking with aid organisations over the coming weeks. There are also plans to increase aid payments from Germany. The German government will be asking the Bundestag to approve more funds, reported Sigmar Gabriel.

    This year, the Federal Development Ministry will be providing a total of 300 million euros to fight the consequences of drought in East Africa. To this sum must be added 120 million euros for humanitarian aid from the budget of the Federal Foreign Office. The Federal Foreign Office has earmarked 40 million euros for South Sudan, while another 15 million euros worth of aid is to go to the Horn of Africa. Thursday, 6 April 2017


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    Source: Famine Early Warning System Network
    Country: Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen

    Elevated risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) continues in South Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia

    KEY MESSAGES

    • In January, the South Sudan IPC Technical Working Group (TWG) raised concerns that Famine (IPC Phase 5) could be ongoing in parts of central Unity. Upon reviewing the analysis, the IPC’s Emergency Review Committee (ERC) concluded that while available evidence was insufficient to make a Famine determination following IPC protocols, Famine (IPC Phase 5) was likely occurring in Leer, possibly occurring in Koch, and that humanitarian assistance was preventing Famine (IPC Phase 5) in Mayendit. Based on these ERC conclusions, the South Sudan TWG declared that Famine (IPC Phase 5) was the most likely outcome in Leer and Mayendit during the February-July period.

    • Yemen continues to face the largest food security emergency in the world, with large populations in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity, the latter of which is associated with an increased risk of excess mortality. In a worst-case scenario, where food imports drop significantly below requirement levels or where conflict prevents trade and humanitarian access to populations for an extended period of time, Famine (IPC Phase 5) is possible.

    • Large areas of Somalia, southeastern Ethiopia, and northeastern Kenya are expected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between February and September 2017, with some areas of Somalia in Emergency (IPC Phase 4), due to impacts of drought in 2016 on agriculture and livestock. In January, FEWS NET and FSNAU released joint statements on deteriorating food security in Somalia and the risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) in a worst-case scenario in which the April to June 2017 Gu season performs very poorly, purchasing power declines to levels seen in 2010/11, and humanitarian assistance is unable to reach populations in need.

    • Displacement and restrictions on trade and livelihoods activities will likely lead to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) in parts of Jebel Marra in some Darfur areas of Sudan, as well as in South Kordofan where 2016 harvests were also below average. Below-average harvests in 2016 are likely to lead to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes in parts of Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania, as well as areas of Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in parts of Uganda.


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


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

    In this issue

    LCB crisis: action urged to avert famine P.1

    Huge needs amid fresh clashes in CAR P.3

    Gambia’s post-poll crisis response P.4

    Shaping up the New Way of Working P.6

    Regional epidemics highlights P.7

    Regional funding update P.8

    HIGHLIGHTS

    • International action urged to ward off looming famine in north-east Nigeria.

    • Mounting incidents of armed violence worsen the Central African Republic’s longrunning crisis.

    • Election risk preparedness and lessons learnt from The Gambia’s crisis.

    • Post-World Humanitarian Summit policy shift towards collective preparedness and response to alleviate human suffering begins to take shape.

    Lake Chad crisis: quick action needed to avert famine

    Tens of thousands of people are threatened by famine in parts of north-eastern Nigeria, which alongside other regions in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger are stricken by a long-running conflict that has displaced 2.4 million people and left 6.7 million critically food insecure.

    In Nigeria’s north-east alone, 4.7 million people are struggling with extreme food shortages, and in the worst-affected and least accessible areas of Borno and Yobe states, severe forms of hunger have been registered, with more than 40,000 people estimated to be experiencing famine-like conditions.

    UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, on 10 March urged international action to assist the millions of people grappling with hunger and prevent the situation from worsening.

    “An immediate injection of funds plus safe and unimpeded access are required to enable partners to avert a catastrophe, otherwise many people will predictably die from hunger, livelihoods will be lost, and political gains that have been hard-won over the last few years will be reversed,” Mr. O’Brien said in a briefing to the Security Council on the threats of famine or declared famine in parts of Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.

    Timely funding

    In the Lake Chad Basin, what began as a protection crisis has also become a major food and nutrition emergency and one of the world’s most severe crises. Nearly half of the US$1.5 billion needed for humanitarian assistance in the region in 2017 is earmarked for food assistance (US$645 million). The bulk of those struggling with alarming levels of food insecurity are in Nigeria’s north-east.

    Oslo conference

    At the 24 February Oslo conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin region, 14 donors pledged US$458 million for assistance in 2017 and an additional US$214 million was announced for 2018 and beyond.

    Humanitarian organizations have ramped up operations over the past year, but persistent insecurity and funding shortfalls remain the major obstacles to adequate relief aid.

    “Sustained and timely financial support is needed to maintain the scale-up in operations desperately needed in the north-east of Nigeria,” Peter Lundberg, the UN deputy humanitarian coordinator for Nigeria, said at the Oslo conference.

    Supporting the mainstay

    Ahead of the May planting season across the region, timely funding will be critical in shoring up agriculture and ease the burden of hunger through the June - August lean season.

    Agriculture is the main source of livelihood of up to 90 per cent of rural households in the Lake Chad Basin. Communities here continue to suffer Boko Haram attacks. The raids and destruction have decimated livelihoods, and those who have fled the violence are struck by adversity in displacement sites and other areas of refuge.

    With farming, trade and movement disrupted, prices of staple foods in most markets have risen in comparison with the past five-year average: by 50 - 150 percent for maize and by about 76 - 204 per cent for sorghum, according to FAO. Ahead of this year’s planting season, the agency is underscoring the importance of providing tools, seeds and livestock in time to help stave off a possible deterioration of the crisis.

    In Nigeria, FAO has budgeted US$20 million which is needed by mid-March at the latest, as distribution of inputs is to take place between April and June. For the 2017 main season, FAO is targeting 1.35 million people in Nigeria to be assisted through the distribution of fast-maturing nutrient-rich cereal and pulse seeds, fertilizers, seed production assistance, post-harvest storage, vegetable and fruit production, food processing and agricultural infrastructure rehabilitation.


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    Source: Assessment Capacities Project
    Country: South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda

    Crisis overview

    671 cholera cases have been reported in Awerial county, Lakes, since June 2016, of which at least 117 are new cases since 6 March. Most new cases have been reported in Mingkaman IDP camp. The case fatality rate (CFR) is 1.49% - or ten deaths.

    A lack of WASH facilities has been reported, further spreading the outbreak. The upcoming rainy season, from May/June onwards, will also likely further deteriorate the WASH situation and result in an increased number of cholera cases.

    Neighbouring Yirol East county has also experienced an increase of cholera cases, as reported below. Movement of population between the two counties may trigger a wider spread of the outbreak.

    Anticipated scope and scale

    Given the high density of population in the camp, the lack of WASH facilities, and the recent increase of cholera cases, a wider spread of cholera outbreak is expected. Floods, as a consequence of the upcoming rainy season (May-June to October) will further deteriorate the situation within the camp, with expected new cholera cases.

    Priorities for humanitarian intervention

    WASH: Need for clean/drinking water distribution points, sanitation facilities
    Health: Enhance response capacity to suspected and confirmed cholera cases, ensure cholera vaccination campaigns

    Humanitarian constraints Access in Awerial county is relatively better than in conflict-affected areas. However, recent attacks against humanitarian workers in neighbouring areas may affect access. Upcoming rainy season will further constrain access logistically, as Mingkaman is located near the Nile.

    Limitations

    Lack of information regarding the state of WASH facilities. Breakdown between the different locations of Mingkaman IDP camps would be useful.
    Lack of information regarding health response, capacity, medicine available.
    Lack of information regarding the location outside the camp of the new cases reported since 6 March.


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda

    HIGHLIGHTS

    • UNHCR issues ID cards and proof of registration certificates to asylum seekers and refugees: In Juba, UNHCR issued 160 documents consisting of 113 Asylum Seekers Certificates, 25 ID cards and 22 Proof of Registration documents to asylum seekers and refugees in Juba respectively. Furthermore, UNHCR renewed 41 ID cards in Gorom refugee settlement.

    • UNHCR enrolls refugees into the Biometrics Identity Management System: In Juba,
      UNHCR enrolled 122 persons into the Biometrics Identity Management System (BIMS) during the reporting period as part of the continuous registration activities. BIMS is a multi-modular biometric system that allows the capture of 10 fingers and two iris scans, in addition to the picture, providing support to the operation in preserving and protection of identities, thus strengthening the provision of protection services such as assistance to refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR.

    • UNHCR trains community protection team in Gorom. In Gorom refugee settlement, from 30 to 31 March, UNHCR facilitated a two-day information session to 14 members of community protection team. The training focused on Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and child protection including life skills which are critical for the identification and referral of SGBV and child protection cases in the camp.

    • Relocation of Yida refugees and new arrivals continues: During the reporting period,
      UNHCR relocated 402 refugees including 32 refugees previously settled in Yida and 370 new arrivals to Pamir. Cumulatively, Pamir is now home to 9,792 refugees since opening in September 2016.

    • Displaced Maban Refugees Move to Extension Site: In Doro refugee camp, UNHCR and its partners in coordination with the Commission for Refugee Affairs (CRA) relocated 1,252 individuals/243 households of 8,000 refugees affected by December 2016 conflict between refugees and host communities to news extension site. Each household is provided a standard plot of 15 x 20 meters size which is adequate for both backyard gardening and shelter and sanitation needs of households.

    • UNHCR distributes relief items to IDPs in Lakes: In Yirol East, UNHCR distributed core relief items to 496 households (1,984 individual IDPs). Items included; blankets, jerry cans, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, kitchen sets, and soap. These IDPs fled from Unity’s Leer, Mayendit and Panijar counties due to conflict and famine in late February this year.

    OPERATIONAL CONTEXT

    • $10,000 permit fee for Aid Workers in South Sudan Put on Hold – The Government of South Sudan has put on hold the proposed increase of fees for work permits from $100 to $10,000 as announced in early March. Finance Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau noted that “the ministry of finance acknowledges these significant issues... and steps are being taken to formulate the best way forward”. Parliament will however review the proposed increase, and may institute raised fees at a later date pending further discussions. The Government announced the increase among an array of additional taxes and fees a few weeks ago. It caused significant concern among UN agencies, humanitarian organisations and other agencies which require skilled foreign labour from neighbouring countries for their operations.

    • President of South Sudan Accepts Unilateral Ceasefire; Troika Welcomes Initiative: Following the conclusion of the 30th Extraordinary Summit of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and the Government of South Sudan on 25 March in Kenya, the chairperson for the African Union Commission (AUC) Moussa Faki Mahamat announced that “the President of South Sudan assured the AUC Chairperson that he accepted to proclaim unilaterally a ceasefire and grant general amnesty to promote participation in the National Dialogue, which he equally accepted to be inclusive and led by an independent and respective personality”. Mr Mahamat also undertook a two day mission to South Sudan, which included a visit to Ganylel in famine hit Southern Unity state. In a statement released on 30 March, the Governments of Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States (the Troika) welcomed the move, underlining that “the dire humanitarian crisis in South Sudan is the direct result of the conflict and demands that all parties cease violence against humanitarian workers and obstruction of humanitarian assistance. Military offensives and the obstruction of lifesaving assistance must stop immediately in order to end the suffering and severe food shortages inflicted upon millions across South Sudan.” They also urged support for the deployment of the Regional Protection Force and encouraged further progress by the AU toward the rapid establishment of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan.

    • Six aid workers killed along Juba-Pibor road — On Saturday 25 March, six aid workers were killed in an ambush along the Juba-Pibor road in South Sudan. Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) Mr. David Shearer has urged the government to carry an investigation. The bodies of the slain aid workers were found on the road by other members of the convoy who were some way behind. “The United Nations condemns this appalling and pointless loss of life,” Shearer said. “This coldblooded killing is utterly reprehensible, not least, because these aid workers were dedicated to alleviating the ongoing suffering of the people of South Sudan. At least 80 aid workers have been killed so far in the country since its civil war began in December 2013. “This is an indication that the country is one of the most dangerous places in the world in which to be a humanitarian worker,” said Shearer. The head of the UN mission in South Sudan urged the government to investigate the incident and apprehend the offenders.

    • Yei government signs peace deal with armed group in Kampala — The State Government of Yei River reached a peace deal with an armed group affiliated to Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) led by former first vice president Riek Machar in Uganda’s capital, Kampala on 6 March. The deal was brokered by Evangelical Presbyterian Bishop Elias Taban with support from the US-based organization His Voice Global. According to the Bishop, the armed group which is based in Morobo and the state government agreed to bring about peace and stability through dialogue so as to end the ongoing war and pave the way for development in the state. “We are South Sudanese and it is a shame for us when we agreed to separate from the Khartoum government in 2011. However, we have agreed with both the state government and the armed opposition group that it is useless to continue fighting, but lay down the arms because they have seen the suffering of our people in the camps,” he said.
      However, SPLM-IO have distanced themselves from armed rebel groups that signed the peace deal with the Juba government in Kampala. Paul Gabriel Lam, a rebel deputy spokesman was quoted by the local media as saying the groups that meet in Uganda’s capital were individual of refugees status who fled to Uganda and denied they had connection with the main armed opposition faction allied to ex-First Vice President Riek Machar.“ It’s unfortunate that refugees in Uganda have become targets of Juba regime to help further the current war in South Sudan. This is a new tactic that the government of Juba is used to strengthen its depleting forces


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    Source: Action on Armed Violence
    Country: Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen

    Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) records incidents of explosive violence as they occur around the world. In the first month of 2017, there were at least 3,565 casualties of explosive violence (people killed and injured). Civilians made up 68% of all the people who were recorded killed or injured around the world by explosive weapons in January.

    The average monthly civilian casualty toll in 2016 was 2,674. This means the first month fell just short of this average – with 2,442 civilian deaths and injuries.

    The five most impacted countries/territories in January were: Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Yemen, and Afghanistan.

    For the first month since March 2016, Syria dropped from the position of the country worst impacted by explosive violence, according to civilian deaths and injuries. In January 2017, AOAV recorded 879 deaths and injuries in Syria caused by such weaponry, of which 606 (69%) were civilians. This is significantly lower than the average civilian deaths and injuries recorded per month in 2016 in Syria – 1,109. However, it is largely similar to the levels recorded in January of last year, where 684 civilian casualties were recorded.

    This January, 2017, Iraq claimed the position as the country worst impacted by explosive violence, with 661 civilian deaths and injuries from explosive violence. This is similar to the levels seen over the last few months of 2016, though significantly higher than the level seen in January of last year where 263 civilian deaths and injuries were recorded. Since September 2016, the number of civilian deaths and injuries from explosive violence have been consistently high. In October 2016, Iraq and international forces began their offensive to retake Mosul.

    In January, 52% of the deaths and injuries recorded in Iraq occurred in Baghdad, whilst a further 24% took place in Mosul. Many of the attacks launched by ISIS in Baghdad are generally considered as responsive to loss of ground in other areas, such as Mosul.

    Nigeria saw a significant rise in civilian deaths and injuries in January. 87% of the civilian casualties were caused in just one event, which saw the Nigerian military conduct airstrikes on what they reportedly thought was a militant camp, but was in fact a camp for the displaced in Nigeria. The five other incidents were suicide attacks, most likely launched by Boko Haram militants.

    Last year, Yemen saw an average of 226 civilian deaths and injuries a month, therefore the violence seen in January is largely in-keeping with this trend. One of the most significant attacks in Yemen in January, saw a US airstrike kill women and children during the first airstrike by US forces in Yemen under the Trump administration.

    92% of the civilian deaths and injuries occurred in populated areas in January. AOAV strongly condemns the use of violence against civilians and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. All actors should refrain from using such weapons where there is likely to be a high concentration of civilians.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal


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    Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation
    Country: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, World, Yemen

    Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    "People aren't interested in rainfall projections for the next 100 years - they want to understand what's happening to them now”

    More than 20 million people are at risk of dying from starvation within six months, the U.N. World Food Programme warned several weeks ago. Persistent armed conflict and prolonged droughts have crippled the economies of Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen and northern Nigeria, where communities are suffering the worst hunger.

    That means we need to change the way we look at climate risk, Maarten van Aalst, director of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, told a meeting in Nairobi this week.

    Experts at the gathering called for the U.N.’s climate science panel to change the way it works, and examine how climate risk plays out locally and interlinks with other factors like the economy and health

    “Rising levels of food insecurity are not just due to a lack of rainfall, but also because people are vulnerable to conflict,” van Aalst told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Kenya. “Climate is only one piece of a much bigger puzzle.”

    He urged scientists and policy makers to focus on what matters to people in highly vulnerable places. “They aren’t interested in rainfall projections for the next 100 years - they want to understand what is happening to them now,” he told the event convened by the Climate Centre and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    KNOWLEDGE VALUE CHAIN

    Debra Roberts, chief resilience officer for the South African city of Durban and co-chair of an IPCC working group on climate adaptation and vulnerability, sees a growing gap between local climate action and the scientific work of the U.N. panel.

    “Most of the time, our assessment just doesn’t find its way down to the communities who need it most,” she said.

    Van Aalst said knowledge needs to be organised “in a way that is helpful to people and allows them to make better decisions”.

    Roberts called for a “value chain of actors to take these messages down so they can be refined and interpreted in the local context”. “Think of the IPCC as a stone we throw into a pond: What other organisations form the ripples?”

    International NGOs, for example, can play a role as intermediaries between governments and the population, she added.

    But the exchange of information must be two-way, she emphasised, with knowledge also being passed upwards by those working on the ground.

    Ultimately it is local people who must manage climate risks - and they can help fill gaps in understanding as well as map out solutions, said van Aalst.

    The Paris climate change agreement acknowledges its vision to curb global warming cannot not be achieved by national governments alone, he noted, but requires a “climate action agenda”, bringing in local governments, NGOs, businesses and individuals.

    LOCAL CONTEXT

    Roberts underlined the need for a better understanding of local contexts, both in rural areas and cities.

    In Durban, for example, the poorest and most vulnerable residents live far from jobs and services, and are particularly exposed to environmental degradation such as worsening coastal erosion and water shortages.

    “That is something policymakers cannot ignore when designing urban policies and trying to tackle climate risk,” she said.

    Cities – which are responsible for an estimated three-quarters of planet-warming emissions, according to the U.N. Environment Programme – are key to bridging the gap between local climate risk and global policy decisions, she said.

    But making that happen will take time, she added, not least because local communities tend to see themselves as recipients of expert knowledge rather than as “generators of knowledge themselves”.


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