Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Showcase


Channel Catalog


Channel Description:

ReliefWeb - Updates

older | 1 | .... | 83 | 84 | (Page 85) | 86 | 87 | .... | 728 | newer

    0 0

    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    02/07/2013 22:36 GMT

    NEW YORK (Nations unies), 7 fév 2013 (AFP) - Le secrétaire général de l'ONU Ban Ki-moon a souligné jeudi les risques d'une guérilla au Mali tout en se réjouissant du succès de l'offensive militaire française.

    "Les opérations militaires ont jusqu'ici été efficaces et réussies", a-t-il estimé devant quelques journalistes, soulignant que "les jihadistes, les groupes armés et les éléments terroristes ont semble-t-il fui".

    "Mais notre préoccupation est qu'ils pourraient revenir. Comme vous l'avez vu hier, ils ripostent dans certaines zones (...) et cela pourrait affecter les pays de la région", a-t-il ajouté.

    L'armée française a confirmé des "accrochages" près de Gao mardi et mercredi, quatre soldats maliens ont péri dans l'explosion d'une mine au passage de leur véhicule entre Douentza et Gao.

    Pour M. Ban, l'intervention militaire française a adressé "un message de fermeté" signalant que "la communauté internationale ne tolérera jamais de tels terroristes".

    Evoquant le projet de mettre sur pied une opération de maintien de la paix de l'ONU au Mali, il a indiqué que "le secrétariat général (de l'ONU) n'a pas encore pris de décision". "Nous allons continuer à discuter et analyser la situation", a-t-il dit.

    Ce processus, a-t-il expliqué, "prendra quelques semaines parce que les Français eux-mêmes disent qu'ils ont besoin d'évaluer la situation sur le terrain avant de décider de passer le relais"à un autre dispositif. "Je ne pense pas que le Conseil de sécurité prendra de décision immédiatement" en passant une nouvelle résolution, a-t-il prédit.

    Avant de déployer des Casques bleus au Mali, il faudra une nouvelle résolution du Conseil et l'accord des Maliens. "Ils n'ont pas encore dit qu'ils étaient prêts à accueillir une opération de maintien de la paix", a noté M. Ban.

    Le secrétaire général a salué la décision du Président malien par intérim Dioncounda Traoré de tenir des élections avant le 31 juillet. "J'espère que la sécurité sera assurée pour ces élections", a-t-il souhaité.

    tw-avz/jca

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


    0 0

    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    02/08/2013 00:12 GMT

    Par Serge DANIEL et Marc BASTIAN

    GAO (Mali), 08 fév 2013 (AFP) - Des soldats français et tchadiens sont arrivés jeudi soir à Aguelhok, dans l'extrême nord-est du Mali, dans la région de Kidal qui constitue le dernier fief des groupes islamistes armés, près de la frontière algérienne.

    Cette nouvelle avancée des forces françaises survient alors que les islamistes, qui ont abandonné presque sans combats le nord du Mali, ont affirmé jeudi avoir ouvert un nouveau front, en posant des mines qui ont tué quatre civils maliens mercredi dans une explosion.

    "Des militaires français et tchadiens ont quitté Kidal et patrouillent actuellement à Aguelhok", a déclaré à l'AFP le capitaine Aliou Touré, de l'état-major de l'armée malienne.

    L'information a été confirmée par un fonctionnaire au gouvernorat de Kidal: "les soldats français et tchadiens sont partis en nombre par la route. Ils sont arrivés à Aguelhok et vont ensuite se diriger vers Tessalit", a précisé cette source.

    Les régions d'Aguelhok et de Tessalit, à 200 km au nord de Kidal, sont la cible depuis plusieurs jours d'intenses frappes aériennes françaises, visant des dépôts logistiques et des centres d'entraînement des groupes islamistes.

    Aguelhok, à moins de 300 km de la frontière algérienne, avait été le théâtre, en janvier 2012, du massacre d'une centaine de soldats et de civils maliens, peu après la prise de la ville par des rebelles touareg et des islamistes armés.

    Elle se situe dans le massif des Ifoghas, vaste zone de montagnes et de grottes où selon des experts et des sources de sécurité, une bonne partie des chefs et des combattants des groupes islamistes se sont réfugiés.

    Parmi eux, se trouveraient l'Algérien Abou Zeïd, un des émirs les plus radicaux d'Al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (Aqmi) et Iyad Ag Ghaly, chef d'Ansar Dine (Défenseurs de l'islam), un ex-rebelle touareg malien des années 1990, originaire de Kidal qui connaît parfaitement la région.

    C'est aussi dans cette région que les sept otages français au Sahel seraient détenus.

    Les forces françaises ont repris le week-end dernier le contrôle de l'aéroport de Kidal, à 1.500 km de Bamako, ancien bastion islamiste, où quelque 1.800 soldats tchadiens sont entrés depuis pour sécuriser la ville.

    Mais, avant même l'arrivée des soldats français, Kidal était passée sous le contrôle du Mouvement islamique de l'Azawad (MIA, groupe islamiste dissident d'Ansar Dine) et du Mouvement national pour la libération de l'Azawad (MNLA, rébellion touareg).

    Ces deux groupes ont assuré la France de leur soutien, mais ils ont exigé qu'aucun soldat malien, ni ouest-africain, ne soit déployé à Kidal, berceau traditionnel des rébellions touareg contre le pouvoir de Bamako, craignant notamment des exactions visant les communautés arabe et touareg.

    "champs de mines"

    Aucun combat n'a été signalé à Aguelhok. Mais un porte-parole du Mouvement pour l'unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l'Ouest (Mujao) a assuré jeudi avoir ouvert un nouveau front face aux soldats français, maliens et africains en minant massivement les routes qu'ils doivent emprunter.

    "Nous avons réussi à créer une nouvelle zone de conflit, à organiser des attaques de convois et organiser des kamikazes", a déclaré dans un communiqué adressé à l'AFP Abu Walid Sahraoui.

    "Nous appelons les citoyens à ne pas se déplacer sur les routes nationales parce qu'il y a danger de champs de mines", a-t-il souligné, tout en "exhortant au jihad (guerre sainte) contre les régimes infidèles, pour établir la charia (loi islamique) et libérer les musulmans".

    Le Mujao, l'un des groupes islamistes armés qui ont contrôlé le Nord du Mali pendant plus de neuf mois, multipliant les exactions, a ainsi revendiqué deux récentes explosions de mines qui ont frappé des véhicules de civils et de soldats maliens.

    Mercredi, un véhicule "a sauté sur une mine posée par les criminels islamistes entre Douentza et Gao. Il y a eu quatre morts", a déclaré à l'AFP un officier de la gendarmerie de Douentza, à 800 km au nord-est de Bamako.

    Dans un premier temps, cet officier avait affirmé que les quatre victimes étaient des soldats maliens. "C'étaient des civils qui revenaient d'une foire, sur un marché hebdomadaire dans la région", a ensuite précisé le responsable de la gendarmerie. Cette dernière information a été confirmée par un membre du syndicat local des transporteurs.

    Les militaires français ont fait part à plusieurs reprises de leur vigilance à l'égard d'éventuelles mines ou bombes artisanales, que les islamistes auraient pu dissimuler avant de prendre la fuite.

    En particulier, le trajet entre Douentza et Gao (environ 400 km) est dangereux en raison des mines qui y ont été dissimulées. Le 31 janvier, deux soldats maliens avaient déjà été tués dans une explosion, sur la même route.

    A New York, le secrétaire général de l'ONU Ban Ki-moon a d'ailleurs souligné jeudi les risques d'une guérilla au Mali tout en se réjouissant du succès de l'offensive militaire française.

    "Les opérations militaires ont jusqu'ici été efficaces et réussies", a-t-il estimé devant quelques journalistes, soulignant que "les jihadistes, les groupes armés et les éléments terroristes ont semble-t-il fui".

    "Mais notre préoccupation est qu'ils pourraient revenir. Ils ripostent dans certaines zones (...) et cela pourrait affecter les pays de la région", a-t-il ajouté.

    bur-thm/tj

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


    0 0

    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    by Serge Daniel

    GAO, Mali, Feb 8, 2013 (AFP) - French and Chadian troops have pushed to the far northeast of Mali, up to the mountain range where Islamist fighters are thought to be holed up with seven French hostages.

    The joint force arrived late Thursday at the town of Aguelhok, 160 kilometres (100 miles) north of the town of Kidal, near Mali's border with Algeria, Malian sources said.

    Nearly a month after France sent in the first fighter jets and attack helicopters, it has largely driven the rebels into remote mountains in the far northeast. But the threat from the rebels is still real.

    "French and Chadian soldiers have left Kidal and are currently patrolling in Aguelhok," Malian Captain Aliou Toure told AFP.

    "The French and Chadian soldiers left in strength by road," said an official with the administration in Kidal. "They arrived at Aguelhok and are then heading for Tessalit." Tessalit lies even closer to the Algerian border.

    Both towns had been targeted with repeated French air strikes over the past few days aimed at knocking out Islamist bases, French military spokesman Colonel Thierry Burkhard said.

    The two towns lie in the Adrar des Ifoghas massif, in the far northeast, a craggy mountain landscape honeycombed with caves, where the insurgents are believed to have fled with seven French hostages.

    One of the Islamist groups, the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), said in a message to AFP Thursday that it had "created a new combat zone" by organising attacks on military convoys and placing landmines.

    A landmine blast on Wednesday between the northern towns of Douentza and Gao killed four civilians returning from market, an officer with Mali's paramilitary police said.

    That explosion came after a similar blast in the same area on January 31 claimed the lives of two Malian soldiers.

    "MUJAO is behind the explosion of two Malian army cars," the group's spokesman Abu Walid Sahraoui said in a text message to AFP.

    He called on Malians to stay away from main roads, which he said had been heavily mined.

    French-led forces continue to come under attack in reclaimed territory, including rocket fire directed at them Tuesday in Gao, the largest city in the north.

    The shift to guerrilla tactics by the Al Qaeda-linked groups, which for 10 months occupied Mali's vast desert north, came as France sought to hand over to UN peacekeepers.

    France had moved in as the rebels pushed south, sparking fears that they might try to take the capital, Bamako.

    Large numbers of troops from France, Mali and Niger have been patrolling Gao and French helicopters have been monitoring the road between Gao and Douentza, 400 kilometres (250 miles) to the southwest.

    In New York, UN leader Ban Ki-moon expressed concern at the risk of a guerrilla fightback.

    "I think these military operations so far have been effective and successful," Ban said on Thursday.

    "All these jihadis and armed groups and terrorist elements -- seemingly they have fled," he added. "Our concern is that they may come back."

    Paris is keen to hand over the military burden of an operation the defence ministry said had already cost France 70 million euros ($95 million), with the figure rising by 2.7 million euros every day.

    France now has 4,000 troops in Mali, as many as it had in Afghanistan at the peak of its deployment in 2010.

    After announcing plans to start withdrawing its soldiers in March, France on Wednesday called for a United Nations peacekeeping force to take over.

    But Ban warned it would take weeks for the UN Security Council to decide the international community's next move and UN officials stressed that Mali's interim government had yet to accept a UN force.

    The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is slowly deploying 6,000 troops in Mali, joined by another 2,000 from Chad.

    In Cairo, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation backed efforts to help Mali "regain its territorial integrity", in what appeared to be an endorsement of France's military intervention.

    burs-jhb/jj/jw


    0 0

    Source: Télécoms Sans Frontières
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger

    Au Mali, les 14 lignes satellites de Télécoms Sans Frontières ont permis d’établir 550 connexions au profit de 4 200 bénéficiaires, pour qui il s’agit souvent du premier appel depuis plusieurs mois. En effet, le réseau mobile a été rétabli mais ne fonctionne que partiellement.

    Regardez l'interview de notre équipe au Mali sur i>Télé

    Grâce à Télécoms Sans Frontières, les habitants peuvent effectuer des appels internationaux (États-Unis, Sénégal, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Liberia…) pour dire à leurs proches qu’ils sont sains et saufs. Le maire de Tombouctou témoigne : "L'armée nous a libéré, Télécoms Sans Frontières nous a reconnecté! J'ai pu joindre Bamako et informer directement les autorités locales de la situation ici à Tombouctou."

    Les experts TSF ont également installé une connexion Internet satellite à la mairie, au bénéfice des ONG, de la cellule de crise, du personnel de l’hôpital et des autorités locales.

    Les équipements satellites de TSF renforcent les capacités des humanitaires dans la région de Tombouctou leur permettant d’échanger des informations essentielles à la gestion de la situation humanitaire très critique dans cette zone.

    La communication est très perturbée au nord du Mali, où les réseaux téléphoniques fixes et mobiles ont été coupés dans plusieurs villes, et les activités des ONG dans cette zone sont très limitées suite à la dégradation des conditions de sécurité.

    Au Sahel, les conditions de sécurité se sont nettement dégradées en mars 2012 avec l’arrivée massive dans les pays frontaliers du Mali de réfugiés fuyant les combats entre rebelles Touaregs et armée régulière. Selon l’Office du Haut-Commissaire des Nations Unies aux réfugiés on compte plus de 144 400 réfugiés dans les pays voisins.

    Selon le PAM, depuis août dernier, la survie de la majorité des populations du Sahel ne dépend plus que de l’aide humanitaire. Afin de renforcer l’aide apportée aux populations vulnérables, TSF fournit des communications satellites fiables et rapides pour une meilleure coordination des organisations sur le terrain.

    Etant donné les contextes sécuritaire extrêmement complexes au Sahel, TSF utilise à la fois des dispositifs satellites fixes pour connecter les hubs humanitaires, et mobiles pour connecter les équipes lors de leurs déplacements.

    • Camp de réfugiés d’Abala, à 400 km de Gao :

    Le 24 avril 2012, TSF a installé une antenne satellite fixe Vsat dans le bureau de coordination ACTED et UNHCR au sein du camp d’Abala accueillant à présent plus de 14 300 réfugiés. Le hub humanitaire offre une connexion Wifi sécurisée aux 30 travailleurs humanitaires qui viennent se connecter quotidiennement : MSF Suisse, MSF France, CARE International, Islamic Relief, CADEV, HELP, VSF Belgique, ACTED et UNHCR… Les 94 Go échangés depuis le hub humanitaire TSF permettent une gestion de l’information plus efficace au quotidien et une réponse coordonnée de tous les acteurs sur zone.

    • Camp de réfugiés de Gorom-Gorom, à 200 km de Gao :

    L’installation de la connexion satellite Vsat par TSF le 11 juillet 2012 dans les locaux de Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgique (VSF-B) à Gorom-Gorom, au nord-est du Burkina Faso, a permis aux ONG et agences des Nations Unies travaillant dans la zone d’échanger 41 Go de données.

    La connexion bénéficie notamment à VSF-B, A2N, UNHCR, la Croix Rouge burkinabé, Save the Children, HELP, AEC, TASSATH, Afrique Verte et AGED. Les services étatiques de la Direction provinciale de la Santé Publique et la Direction provinciale de la Solidarité Nationale fréquentent également le hub humanitaire très régulièrement.

    Avant l’intervention de TSF, les organisations de la zone étaient forcées de parcourir chaque semaine les 57km qui séparent Gorom-Gorom de Dori, chef-lieu du département, pour trouver un accès à Internet correct. Depuis, la connexion TSF améliore la mise en œuvre des activités d’urgence qui, depuis mai 2012, se sont intensifiées, et facilite la communication entre le terrain et les services centraux aux niveaux national et international.

    • Camp de Djibo, à 330 km de Tombouctou :

    Depuis le 19 juillet, la connexion satellite de TSF dans les bureaux de l’Office du Haut-Commissaire des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés (UNHCR) renforce les actions de toutes les ONG de la zone (Oxfam...) auprès des réfugiés dans les camps au nord de Djibo, où vivent plus de 15 000 personnes. 59 GO de données ont déjà été échangés.

    Dans la région de Gorom-Gorom, à quelques kilomètres de la frontière malienne, le réseau mobile fonctionne mais l’accès à Internet se fait par réseau Edge ou clé 3G, la connexion est donc très lente et peu fiable.

    Les conditions de sécurité précaires rendent les interventions humanitaires d’urgence difficiles et mettent en péril la survie des populations déjà très vulnérables. Les moyens de communication satellite de TSF permettent une meilleure coordination des équipes terrain et améliorent ainsi leurs actions auprès des populations du Sahel.


    0 0

    Source: UN Human Rights Council
    Country: Mali

    Summary

    In its resolution 21/25, the Human Rights Council renewed its request to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to submit, to its twenty-second session, a written report on the situation of human rights in Mali. For this purpose, from 11 to 20 November 2012, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) deployed a Mission to collect information in Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger. The Mission was assisted by two officials from the offices of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the fight against Sexual Violence in Conflict and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.

    This report highlights the human rights violations that have been committed since the attacks against the Malian army carried out initially by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and by Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Ansar Dine and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) in January 2012. The three main regions of northern Mali — Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu — are under the control of extremist groups, which are imposing the strict application of sharia on the population. This leads to serious human rights violations, including summary executions, rape, torture, the recruitment of child soldiers, violations of freedom of expression and of right to information and violations of the right to education and health.

    This report also shows that, in the territories under Government control, the situation with regard to the administration of justice, freedom of expression and the right to information remains a matter of concern. The report refers to cases of members of the military and police force who have allegedly been detained and tortured in Bamako, without any real judicial guarantees. Despite the good faith expressed by the authorities, alarmingly, judicial inquiries are at a standstill.

    In view of the testimony received, the High Commissioner emphasizes the risk of reprisals and inter-ethnic conflicts in the event of military intervention in northern Mali. Lastly, the report makes a number of recommendations to the various actors involved in resolving the crisis with the aim of protecting the civilian population and promoting national reconciliation.


    0 0

    Source: IFRC
    Country: Mali, Niger
    preview


    Period covered by this Ops Update: October 2012 to January 2013 cumulative narrative and financial.

    Appeal target (current): CHF 3,375,048

    Appeal coverage: 51%

    Appeal history:

    • CHF 126,768 was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 21 December, 2011 to support RCSN to provide initial assistance to assist some 6,500 most vulnerable households in the affected villages in four regions (Tillabéry, Tahoua, Dosso, and Diffa), and to assess the needs of the population in the most affected six regions (Tillabéry, Tahoua, Dosso, Diffa, Zinder and Maradi). DREF has been refunded with unearmarked funding.

    • The Emergency Appeal Niger: Food Insecurity was initially launched on 30 January 2012 for CHF 3,756,836 for nine months to assist 350,000 beneficiaries in six regions: Diffa, Tahoua, Dosso,
      Tillabéry, Maradi and Zinder.

    • A Revised Emergency Appeal was launched on 28 August 2012 and became Niger: Complex Emergency (formerly Food Insecurity) to support the Red Cross Society of Niger (RCSN) to deliver assistance to 32,000 households (224,000 beneficiaries) which include 17,000 Malian refugees and people affected by cholera outbreak. The timeframe was extended to 12 months and was to be completed by the end of February 2013. The delayed funding of the appeal led to a prioritization of the urgent needs and scaling down some of the food security activities that were no longer appropriate at the end of the planting season. The revised appeal also represented a six month operations update and beyond, and aims to concentrate on recovery with counter season food security activities in the regions of Tillabéry and Diffa. Supplementing these activities, an emergency nutritional (in partnership with UNICEF) programme targeting children below 5 years and women will continue in Dosso, Diffa and Niamey regions and monthly food distribution to some 20,000 Malian refugees and host families in Tillabéry and Tahoua regions planned to continue until end of December 2012.

    • A 10-month summary report was issued on 7 December, and reported on progress from the start of the operations until November 2012.

    • This Operation Update reports on subsequent progress, updates the dynamic situation and announces a three month extension, bringing the total operational timeframe to 15 months. The operation will now be over by the end of May and the final report will be made available three months later in August 2013.


    0 0

    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    02/08/2013 04:57 GMT

    by Stephane Barbier

    DAKAR, Feb 08, 2013 (AFP) - The Tuareg rebels who unleashed Mali's descent into chaos are seeking to reassert themselves on the political scene now that French-led troops have routed the Islamists who hijacked their rebellion.

    The Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA) precipitated Mali's unravelling on January 17, 2012, when its members -- many armed with weapons recently brought back from Libya, where they fought for slain dictator Moamer Kadhafi -- launched a rebellion in the north.

    It was the latest in a long line of uprisings among the Tuareg, a traditionally nomadic North African people who have fought Mali's central government on and off since the country gained independence from France in 1960.

    After teaming up with armed Islamist extremists in the region and humiliating the Malian army -- so badly that a group of mid-level officers staged a coup d'etat on March 22, exacerbating the chaos -- the MNLA declared independence for the new state of Azawad, the Tuareg name for their homeland.

    But their alliance with the Islamists was short-lived.

    More interested in sharia than independence, the Al-Qaeda-linked groups overpowered the MNLA and planted their own black flags across the north, ruling their territory with brutal repression until France sent in fighter jets, attack helicopters and 4,000 troops to drive them out.

    Amid the ongoing conflict, the MNLA has sought to re-assert its relevance, claiming to have "chased the terrorists from several towns in Azawad" and passed along intelligence to French forces "top terrorist officials" it said it had arrested.

    The group also said it had welcomed French troops in "full brotherhood" into the northeastern town of Kidal, the last Islamist bastion to fall.

    The MNLA called on France not to let Mali's own troops secure Kidal, a request Paris appeared to grant, giving the job to 1,800 Chadian soldiers.

    French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France had "functional relations" with the MNLA but that fighting terrorists alongside them was "not our objective".

    The MNLA runs a vigorous public relations campaign from France and Burkina Faso.

    Observers say it gets a boost -- particularly in France -- from the mythic image of the Tuareg, or Kel Tamasheq, a fiercely independent people who have lived in the region for 2,000 years and are known as the "masters of the desert".

    Some say the MNLA has hijacked that mystique.

    "Why do the media get so carried away when they talk about the Tuareg community?" asked Foreign Minister Mohammed Bazou of Niger, which also has a large Tuareg population.

    "The MNLA doesn't represent the Tuareg. They've never been elected by anyone. The Tuareg community in Mali is beyond these people's grasp."

    Historian Gregory Mann, a West Africa specialist at Columbia University, warned France it would be risky to ally with the MNLA, as Paris, eager to map an exit strategy, looks for partners to share the peacekeeping burden in Mali.

    "This idea of allying to some extent with the MNLA... might be somewhat short-sighted in so far as it's going to be extremely difficult for (Mali's) central government to negotiate with the MNLA," he said.

    "There are legitimate concerns on both sides about recent war crimes and atrocities, and also about a long history of aggression."

    But Mali, a country of 14 million people whose bow-tie-shaped map circumscribes a vast sprawl of territory and peoples, will have to address the grievances of its estimated 300,000 to 500,000 Tuareg to escape the current crisis.

    Interim president Dioncounda Traore has offered the MNLA a place at the negotiating table in return for renouncing its demand for an independent state.

    The MNLA may also be able to help negotiate the release of seven French hostages kidnapped in Mali and Niger by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in 2011 and 2012 who the Islamists are believed to be holding in the Kidal region, said Alain Antil of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI).

    "They are going to give advice, information, hoping to be at the negotiating table in the political process," he said.

    "The MNLA obviously have a card to play."

    bur-stb/jhb/fb/wat

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


    0 0

    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Botswana, Comoros, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Zambia, Zimbabwe
    preview


    Highlights:

    • Since October 2012, floods in Mozambique have killed a total of 97 people, of which 69 people have been killed since the major flooding began in January 2013.

    • In total, an estimated 213,000 people have been affected by floods in Mozambique since October 2012, the majority having been affected since January 2013. The total number temporarily displaced people in the most affected province, Gaza, is around 140,000.

    • The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) disbursed $5.13 million to UN agencies to provide immediate life-saving assistance in Mozambique. The CERF allocation will form part of the larger Response and Recovery Proposal, which seeks $30.6 million from the international community to support the Government of Mozambique to help 150,000 people affected by the floods for six months.

    • Floods in southern Malawi have displaced over 33,000 people, leaving many without shelter or clothing. Crops have been destroyed, while over 20 schools have been disrupted, affecting thousands of children.

    • In Madagascar, Tropical Cyclone Felleng caused the deaths of 9 people, affected 4,958 people, and displaced 1,303 people, all of whom have since returned to their homes. Furthermore, an estimated 162 houses were totally destroyed, 54 partially destroyed, and 670 houses flooded.

    • This is only the beginning of the peak of the flood and cyclone season, which stretches from January to April. Even though national disaster management agencies have improved their systems throughout the region, if there was to be a significant increase in the number of people affected, greater support from the international humanitarian community would be needed, as government recourses are limited and levels of relief stocks low.


    0 0

    Source: IRIN
    Country: Mali

    ACCRA, 8 février 2013 (IRIN) - Lors du lancement de la nouvelle Commission sur l'impact du trafic de drogue sur la gouvernance, la sécurité et le développement en Afrique de l'Ouest, basée au Ghana, son président, Olusegun Obasanjo, ancien président du Nigéria, a dit que la situation au Mali devrait faire office de « signal d'alarme » sur les risques d'un développement incontrôlé du crime organisé.

    M. Obasanjo a qualifié le nord du pays de « repaire de narcotrafiquants, d'extrémistes et de criminels ».

    Plusieurs groupes de recherche ont révélé des liens entre les trafiquants et les mouvements extrémistes du Sahel, qui utilisent les profits réalisés pour acheter des armes et financer des activités de terrorisme. Selon un rapport publié en 2012 par le Centre d'études stratégiques de l'Afrique, Al-Qaida au Maghreb islamique (AQMI) finance depuis une dizaine d'années une partie de ses activités au Nord-Mali grâce au trafic de drogue et de cigarettes et à des prises d'otage pour rançon.

    Les analystes estiment qu'environ 60 tonnes de cocaïne passent chaque année par l'Afrique de l'Ouest. Selon les chiffres de l'Office des Nations Unies contre la drogue et le crime (UNODC), 400 kg d'héroïne auraient transité par la région en 2011. D'après l'agence, ce commerce rapporterait environ 900 millions de dollars par an aux réseaux criminels.

    Toujours selon l'UNODC, environ 15 pour cent des cigarettes fumées dans la région sont achetées sur le marché noir et transitent par l'Afrique de l'Ouest. AQMI et, dans une certaine mesure, le groupe dissident Mouvement pour l'unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l'Ouest (MUJAO) taxent les trafiquants en échange de protection lors de leur passage.

    « Les réseaux de crime organisé sont profondément impliqués dans le trafic. L'expérience d'autres régions du monde tend à démontrer que ces groupes essayent généralement d'infiltrer les institutions politiques, sécuritaires et financières pour protéger leurs profits », a dit l'ancien secrétaire général des Nations Unies, Kofi Annan, lors de la cérémonie d'ouverture de la Commission dans la capitale ghanéenne la semaine dernière.

    Au cours des dix dernières années, de nombreux États d'Afrique de l'Ouest ont fait des progrès en faveur de la paix et de la croissance économique. La région est prête à combler 25 pour cent des besoins en pétrole des États-Unis en 2015. Mais ces progrès sont menacés par le trafic de stupéfiants, a averti M. Annan.

    La majeure partie de la cocaïne est transportée d'Afrique du Sud en Europe par voie aérienne ou maritime, tandis que les opiacés proviennent généralement du Pakistan ou d'Afghanistan.

    Une quantité croissante de drogue est pourtant fabriquée dans la région. Selon l'UNODC, les services de police ont récemment découvert des laboratoires de méthamphétamine au Nigéria.

    Toxicomanie en hausse

    Le rapport de l'UNODC pour 2012 compte 2,3 millions de consommateurs de cocaïne en Afrique de l'Ouest et en Afrique centrale et signale une hausse de la consommation de méthamphétamine et d'héroïne. « Les faits démontrent un problème croissant de dépendance dans notre région qui nécessite une attention urgente », a dit M. Obasanjo.

    « Auparavant, l'Afrique de l'Ouest était considérée comme un lieu de transit, mais aucun pays ne reste un lieu de transit bien longtemps. La population finit toujours par consommer », a signalé M. Annan.

    Composée de dix membres, la Commission a pour objectif de mieux faire connaître les conséquences du trafic de drogue, de conseiller les dirigeants et de mettre au point des recommandations stratégiques afin d'aider les gouvernements à lutter contre ce commerce.

    Avec ses frontières vastes et perméables, ses institutions faibles et facilement corruptibles et ses réseaux criminels déjà bien établis, l'Afrique de l'Ouest est un environnement idéal pour les narcotrafiquants. Il est facile, dans ces pays pauvres, de soudoyer des fonctionnaires et des agents de sécurité mal payés et désabusés. « Les policiers sont corrompus. Actuellement, dans un pays africain relativement pauvre, 100 dollars représentent beaucoup d'argent pour un agent de police. Tout ce qu'il a à faire, c'est détourner le regard », a dit M. Obasanjo.

    Il a ajouté que les réseaux criminels pouvaient facilement faire passer des marchandises clandestinement dans la région en soudoyant les fonctionnaires et les agents de sécurité aux frontières lorsqu'ils traversent des régions reculées du Sahel et du Sahara.

    Des réseaux insaisissables

    Les réseaux de trafiquants sont internationaux et très mobiles, a expliqué l'UNODC, il est donc difficile de lutte contre eux. Selon un rapport conjoint publié en avril 2012 par la Communauté économique des États d'Afrique de l'Ouest (CEDEAO), le Centre pour la coopération internationale, la Fondation Kofi Annan et le Centre international Kofi Annan de formation au maintien de la paix, les réseaux criminels locaux et étrangers qui ont accès à d'importantes ressources collaborent pour transporter la drogue à travers la région et adaptent leurs opérations en fonction des mesures de répression.

    « Les réseaux de crime organisé d'Afrique de l'Ouest ont des cellules partout dans le monde pour faciliter leur approvisionnement. Les communautés issues de la diaspora (la diaspora nigériane au Brésil, par exemple) jouent un rôle important. Comme les mouvements criminels partout ailleurs, ils infiltrent ou menacent les élites politiques et des fonctionnaires démotivés pour protéger et étendre leur trafic », est-il écrit dans le rapport.

    Comme l'illustre la myriade de sites de construction abandonnés dans de nombreux États d'Afrique de l'Ouest, les trafiquants créent des sociétés-écrans dans le domaine de la construction, de l'extraction minière ou de la location de voitures pour blanchir les profits de leurs activités illicites.

    Les réseaux de narcotrafiquants ont déjà pris le contrôle du gouvernement et des forces de sécurité de Guinée-Bissau, ce qui vaut à ce pays le nom de « narco-État».

    Selon un rapport publié en 2010 par le groupe de recherche français Sahel Intelligence, des membres d'AQMI auraient rencontré des barons de la drogue colombiens en Guinée-Bissau. Selon M. Annan, le trafic continue à se développer dans le pays et les narcotrafiquants progressent de plus en plus le long de la côte et à l'intérieur des terres à travers le Sahel. « Nous n'avons pas agi assez rapidement lorsque le problème a commencé en Guinée-Bissau. C'était le point d'entrée et le trafic s'étend maintenant à toute la côte et à travers le Sahel jusqu'en Europe par bateau et par avion, » a dit M. Annan aux journalistes. D'autres initiatives sont en cours pour tenter de limiter les impacts du trafic de drogue dans la région. La CEDEAO a notamment mis sur pied un plan visant à trouver une solution à ce problème. »

    L'UNODC a récemment fait équipe avec l'Organisation mondiale des douanes afin d'améliorer la communication entre les services de police et les aéroports.

    La Commission devrait publier un rapport et proposer des recommandations stratégiques aux dirigeants de la région avant fin 2013.

    lb/aj/cb - ld/amz

    [FIN]


    0 0

    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Kenya, Somalia
    preview


    HIGHLIGHTS

    • People in food security crisis reduced by half, but gains could reverse without humanitarian support.

    • The Government of Somalia plans to relocate internally displaced people from centre of Mogadishu.

    • Aid workers visit and deliver aid in areas where access has been limited.


    0 0

    Source: Overseas Development Institute, Institute of Development Studies
    Country: Ethiopia

    Mengistu Dessalegn, Likimyelesh Nigussie, Wondwosen Michago, Josephine Tucker, Alan Nicol and Roger Calow

    This assessment explores local water security in two very different sites in rural Ethiopia – a pastoral district in the eastern Somali region (Shinile), and a somewhat remote agricultural district in the south (Konso). The following questions were addressed using a combination of field research and analysis of available secondary data and literature:

    • What are the physical, social, economic and political drivers of water insecurity in different locations in Ethiopia?
    • How have different communities responded to situations of water stress?
    • What should be the public policy and institutional priorities to improve resilience to water stress at a local level, and reduce the negative impacts on communities?

    The study initially focused on access to water supply (for domestic and productive uses). However, the impact of high rainfall variability on both agricultural and livestock production emerged as the most important dimension of water insecurity for most communities.

    People respond to this pressure, where they can, by diversifying livelihoods or migrating to more promising areas. Both of these responses may be temporary or permanent, and may be either a planned accumulation strategy or a survival response.

    Livelihoods are thus highly dynamic over time in both of the districts studied. Some new activities are non water-dependent – such as wage labour – while in other cases people are exploiting previously untapped water availability to increase irrigation.

    Survival-type diversification may involve further degradation of the natural environment, for example firewood sales and charcoal production contribute to deforestation. In the first sections of this report, these pressures on livelihoods and household-level responses are discussed in detail.

    This is followed by an examination of government responses at local and national level, and discussion of possible ways forward.

    It emerges that local government is highly constrained in terms of its ability to respond to the complex water security situation in an integrated, livelihoods-based fashion. National policy makes some interesting and ambitious proposals, and is increasingly paying attention to ensuring the sustainability of water schemes and exploring possibilities to better support households’ own water investments by enabling and regulating self-supply.

    Outstanding gaps include linkage of water service provision with resource management for buffering of groundwater supply, and greater clarity on the various water- and livelihood-related thresholds of water security which would inform more locally-responsive planning and drought response.

    Read the report


    0 0

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



    0 0

    Source: Guardian
    Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia

    Refugees who once fled to Kenya for safety claim extortion and threats rife since government ordered them to move to camps.

    Read the full report on the Guardian.


    0 0

    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Senegal
    preview


    Highlights

    • The total number of children admitted for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in Senegal was 13,628 in 2012. This figure represents 68% of the UNICEF and sectoral target of 20,000.

    • A monitoring and reporting mechanism was successfully negotiated with the MoH and with the medical regions early in the response, providing weekly data updates.

    • 97% of health facilities in the Regions of Matam and Diourbel have tap water and toilets. In addition, 3,500 families of children treated for severe acute malnutrition received hygiene kits and hygiene promotion activities.

    • Vaccination coverage in priority regions affected by the nutritional crisis was reinforced, with the full vaccine package provided while vaccinating SAM children in nutritional facilities for measles.

    • In responding to the August and September floods, UNICEF distributed hygiene kits to over 22,000 affected households and to 150 schools, benefitting 22,500 affected students.

    • For 2013, UNICEF Senegal estimates a burden of 63,323 under-five children with SAM and 255,675 with moderate acute malnutrition (MAM), with a current likely coverage of 38,968 SAM cases.

    • UNICEF Senegal’s response to the nutritional crisis was funded at 66.6%, with a gap of 2,278,128 USD in 2012.


    0 0

    Source: AlertNet
    Country: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger

    BAMAKO, Mali – Fighting in northern Mali is hampering aid workers’ efforts to reach those in need of relief and has caused food prices to skyrocket, exacerbating an existing humanitarian crisis in the region that requires urgent funding, aid agencies say.

    Read the full report on AlertNet.


    0 0

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

    LES TITRES

    • Tchad : Les agents de santé sont insuffisants et inégalement répartis (Xinhua, 6 fév.)

    • IOM Aids Internally Displaced in Sudan’s Darfur Jebel Amir Gold Mining Area and Returning Chadian Migrant Workers (IOM, 5 Feb.)

    • My child and my cattle (GPEI, 4 Feb.)

    • Tchad: plus de 5 millions USD investis par le PNUD en 2012 (Xinhua, 7 fév.)

    • Tchad: vaste opération d’assainissement de la police nationale (Xinhua, 5 fév.)

    • Tchad: Une frénésie dans la transaction d’achats et de ventes dans le domaine d‘immobilier (Alwihda, 6 fév.)


    0 0

    Source: ICRC
    Country: Mali

    Le conflit au Mali continue de provoquer des déplacements de population. Si certaines personnes déplacées retournent actuellement chez elles, essentiellement dans le centre du pays, une grande partie préfère pour le moment observer la situation avant de rentrer.

    C'est le cas à Tin Zaouatène, à l'extrême nord du Mali, dans la région de Kidal, où plusieurs milliers de personnes fuyant les régions de Kidal, Gao et même Ménaka, à près de 600 kilomètres de là, ont trouvé refuge.

    « Les personnes déplacées veulent rester à Tin Zaouatène en attendant que la situation se stabilise dans leur lieu d'origine », explique Attaher Maïga, chef de la sous-délégation du CICR à Gao.

    La situation de plus de 6 500 de ces déplacés et de quelque 400 familles résidentes qui partagent avec eux leurs maigres ressources est aujourd'hui préoccupante.

    « Les personnes déplacées de Tin Zaouatène, qui ont dû tout abandonner derrières elles, vivent dans un dénuement total, explique Jean-Nicolas Marti, chef de la délégation régionale du CICR pour le Mali et le Niger. Les gens vivent sous des arbres, dans des maisons abandonnées ou encore dans des carcasses de camions. Ils manquent surtout de vivres. Les femmes enceintes, les enfants et les personnes âgées sont les plus vulnérables. »

    Dans cette région aride, les personnes déplacées doivent absolument être approvisionnées en eau potable. « Les femmes et les enfants ne parviennent même plus à traverser la frontière pour se ravitailler en eau et nourriture », observe Attaher Maïga.

    Pour leur venir en aide, le CICR et la Croix-Rouge malienne vont commencer à distribuer des vivres et des articles de première nécessité. Cette action servira aussi à améliorer leur accès à l'eau potable.

    Le CICR et la Croix-Rouge malienne vont continuer à suivre de près la situation humanitaire, en particulier dans les régions de Kidal, Gao et Tombouctou, afin d'apporter des réponses adaptées aux besoins des personnes touchées par le conflit, en accordant une attention particulière à ceux des personnes déplacées.

    Informations complémentaires :

    Simon Schorno, CICR Bamako, tél. : +223 75 99 55 67 Valery Mbaoh Nana, CICR Niamey, tél. : +227 97 45 43 82 ou +223 76 99 63 75 Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, CICR Genève, tél. : +41 22 730 31 49 ou +41 79 244 64 05


    0 0

    Source: World Food Programme
    Country: Mali

    As the fighting escalates in Mali, thousands of people forced from their homes are struggling to survive in other parts of the country. Aissata Walet is one of them. Forced to rent a hut in Bamako which she shares with 30 other people, Aissata say she doesn’t know how she’d feed her children without assistance from WFP.

    BAMAK0—When fighting broke out in northern Mali last spring, Aissata Walet fled with her children to the capital of Bamako. They’ve been there ever since, sharing a two-room hut with 30 of her relatives. There’s not a space on the ground for everyone, so at night, her children sleep on the roof.

    “When it rains, they take shelter in the staircase. They put their pillows against the wall and sleep,” she says. Aissata, 43, is among tens of thousands of northern Malians who’ve come south in search of refuge.

    Many were welcomed by host families who took them in and gave them a place to stay. But others like Aissata had to fend for themselves. “I had to rent a house and pay school fees for my children. I have to pay for everything here,” she says.

    One of the few things she doesn’t have to pay for is the ration of flour, oil, sugar and beans she receives each month from WFP. “Without it, I’d be begging on the streets,” she says.

    Life away from home

    Aissata is from Gao, a city on the front lines of a conflict which has driven more than 480,000 people from their homes since April 2012. Far from home and without a job, she has no way to provide for her family.

    “Two of my children haven’t been to school in over a week, because they caught a bad cough and I can’t afford medicine,” she says. An increasing number of families from the north are finding themselves in the same situation as the violence intensifies.

    Military clashes in January sparked a new wave of displacement, sending nearly 10,000 people to towns near the front lines like Mopti and Segou. As the fighting approached, WFP was temporarily forced to suspend its operations in the area. They resumed just a few days later for more than 58,000 people uprooted from their homes.

    Volatile situation

    Families who have stayed behind in northern Mali are more difficult to reach, though WFP has succeeded in dispatching food to areas like Timbuktu and Gao by sending flat boats up the Niger River.

    While it’s still impossible to conduct assessment in the northern part of the country, reports from places like Mopti indicate that as many as 70 per cent of families there are struggling to provide for themselves.

    “WFP will continue to monitor the situation closely and to explore alternative options for the delivery of humanitarian assistance, such as cross-border operations to the north of Mali through Niger and pre-positioning of food in Mauritania and Burkina Faso,” said WFP Mali Country Director Zlatan Milisic.

    Overall, WFP currently aims to reach more than 564,000 people affected by the conflict in Mali and neighbouring countries.


    0 0

    Source: ICRC
    Country: Mali

    The ordeal of many people displaced by the conflict in Mali is far from over. Although some displaced people are returning home – mostly in central Mali – many prefer to wait and see how the situation unfolds before returning.

    This is particularly true of the several thousand people who have taken refuge in Tinzawatene, in the Kidal region in the far north. They have come from Kidal, Gao and even from as far afield as Ménaka, some 600 kilometres away.

    "These people prefer to stay in Tinzawatene until the situation is more stable in their home areas," said Attaher Maïga, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) sub-delegation in Gao.

    The plight of more than 6,500 displaced people and the 400 local families who are sharing their meagre resources with them is a cause for concern.

    "Those who have fled to Tinzawatene had to leave all their belongings behind," said Jean-Nicolas Marti, head of the ICRC regional delegation for Mali and Niger. "They have nothing. They are taking shelter under trees, in deserted houses and even in the shells of abandoned vehicles. More worryingly still, they do not have enough to eat. Pregnant women, children and the elderly are most at risk."

    In this arid region, these people are also in dire need of water. "Women and children cannot even cross the border any longer in search of food and water," said Attaher Maïga.

    Relief efforts by the ICRC and the Mali Red Cross are getting under way. Food and other essentials will be distributed and measures will be taken to improve their water supply.

    The ICRC and the Mali Red Cross will continue to monitor the situation closely, particularly in the Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu regions, in order to adapt their humanitarian action to the needs of the people affected by the conflict, especially those of displaced people.

    For further information, please contact:
    Simon Schorno, ICRC Bamako, tel: +223 75 99 55 67
    Valery Mbaoh Nana, ICRC Niamey, tel: +227 97 45 43 82 or +223 76 99 63 75
    Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 31 49 or +41 79 244 64 05


    0 0

    Source: UN Department of Public Information, UN Department of Political Affairs
    Country: Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic

    Briefing reporters at Headquarters today, the United Nations political chief cited movement on the Government’s road map to heal divisions in Mali, and the recent tentative offer by the Syrian opposition to open negotiations with the Assad Government as signs of positive developments in two of the world’s major crisis flashpoints.

    Just back from a two-week trip to Africa and Belgium with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, while not underestimating the challenges ahead in both situations, drew those signs of hopeful change from his round of meetings with officials in Eastern and Northern Africa, as well as in Brussels.

    Focusing most of his comments on the situation in Mali, he said that the international community was coalescing around a comprehensive strategy to deal with the crisis, and the Secretary-General had stressed the need to take actions that drew on the comparative advantages of the United Nations. While discussions on replacing the African-led International Support Mission in Mali — known as AFISMA — were ongoing, the United Nations was making plans based on the new reality that was emerging in Northern Mali; “ensuring the right tools are on hand to make the right types of interventions at the right time”. The United Nations multidisciplinary office in Bamako was working towards that end, he added.

    Yet, today’s headlines revealed that there was a long way to go to heal political divisions inside the country and build professional military and security forces that could maintain security, he said, referring to this morning’s reports of deadly fighting between rebel factions in and around Bamako. It was important for the United Nations to remain sensitive to the views of the Malian people and leaders, he said, underscoring that, in all his talks, interlocutors had stressed the need for broad scale involvement of all political factions and groups.

    Therefore, the United Nations would need to strike the right balance so the country was not overburdened with its presence. More broadly, rhetoric about military and political interventions proceeding simultaneously would have to be backed with action. Indeed, stabilizing Mali was going to take more than military intervention; there was a need for strong political initiatives, since political differences were at the heart of the crisis. “As long as these political problems exist, the State will remain weak, especially to those wishing to undermine political progress,” he said.

    In the short term, the French-backed military intervention had sidelined many of those seeking to interfere in the political transition. At the same time, that intervention had perhaps inadvertently led the Malian authorities to believe that they did not need to reach out to the various political factions or opposition groups. “That is not the case. We needed to move forward on the political track,” he said, adding that, thankfully, the Malian President had announced a road map that would lead to elections, set for the end of July. The United Nations was prepared to help.

    It was important that the election timeline be kept, but also important that the polls were seen as “good elections”. “I encourage all of us to remain focused on the political developments, even as we focus on the security issues,” he said, urging attention to such vital matters as the launching of an inclusive national dialogue, consensual political transition road map, and credible elections.

    Reflecting on his first trip to Mogadishu, he expressed great optimism about the “profound” and positive changes under way there. The transition, he believed, had yielded significant results, and in his talks with Government officials, they had pledged to press ahead on all remaining issues. “Changing a failed State into a functioning one will take a long and determined effort. But for the first time, I feel like the Somalis have a lot going in their favour,” he said, adding that the Somali people had “a real chance” to build a rights-respecting society.

    At the same time, he did not want to understate the challenges: indeed the recent headlines showed how much work still needed to be done, including bolstering the promotion and protection of human rights for all, and ultimately, a major restructuring of the United Nations presence — inside and outside Somalia.

    On his visit to Kenya, he said that he had focused on next month’s elections and had stressed the United Nations readiness to assist, as well as the fact that there should be no violence. All Kenyans should participate, but they should do so peacefully, he said, reiterating that any form of violence would be unacceptable. He said that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was carrying out education-related initiatives and the Organization, while not monitoring the elections, was working with monitors.

    As for Syria, he said the Organization was continuing to work on a number of fronts to address the crisis. But, at some point, “the guns will fall silent” and the Organization would need to consider how it could play a positive role “on that day”, whatever the political situation. He said that the most promising thing that the United Nations had heard recently was the tentative offer of the opposition leaders to sit down with the Assad Government. So, perhaps the long-locked door was starting to be unlocked. “I don’t know whether we will be able to seize this opportunity,” he said, but he added that Joint Special representative Lakhdar Brahimi was closely following the situation.

    Still, he said that with very little credible polling in the country, no one had any real idea of how popular or influential any figure was. But it did seem that the opposition leadership was “putting a hand out”, and given the horrors that the Syrian people had experienced for the past two years, he believed that any opportunity for dialogue was better that the status quo.

    On Madagascar, he said that any political changes should be carried out through consensus. The United Nations had called for elections to take place according to the stated timeline. Given the fact that there was a plan in place, the Organization would support that plan unless the people of the country decided otherwise.

    Responding to questions on Mali, he said that the ultimate goal was for the Malian security forces to be professional and accountable to the people, and in charge of the country’s security. “We need to put in the types of programmes and assistance that can help [them] achieve that goal as quickly as possible.” Obviously, that would take time, so the discussions now revolved around what tools were appropriate, including at what point a United Nations peacekeeping force could be deployed. That decision was ultimately up to the Security Council.

    Mr. Feltman said that it was obvious that the situation had changed dramatically since the Council last adopted a resolution on the matter, so the feeling might be that the time for such deployment would be sooner rather than later. But, every effort should be made to ensure that there was no gap when the French and Chadian forces withdrew. His sense was that everyone agreed that the re-occupation of Mali’s north, or any other reversal, should not be permitted to occur, when the French force left the country. The French accelerated the military track, but the recent steps taken by Malian authorities pointed in the direction of similar political movements.

    He said that the multidisciplinary office in Bamako was working to ensure that United Nations staff was on the ground to engage the Malian people and authorities “now” on the political track. The United Nations was already in a position to have closed door conversations with many Malian officials, as well as representatives from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). As the Council moved towards a decision on peacekeepers, he was certain the Secretary-General would step up with efforts to bolster the broader United Nations political presence.

    As for the broader security situation, he said that Mali’s neighbourhood was quite aware of the risk of spillover affects of the military effort. “Their eyes are open,” he said, but the countries of the region were also aware of the dangers of terrorist groups “digging in deeper” inside Mali.

    Responding to other questions on Mali, he said that the political picture was “very complicated, with layers and layers of grievances to sift through”, which was why senior United Nations officials believed the Organization had a crucial role to play in providing its good offices, and in supporting national dialogue towards elections that covered the vast majority of the Malian people.

    “This has to be a Malian process; the UN is not going to come in and impose a process,” he continued, noting that the Malian President had launched a road map that had been approved by Parliament. That road map had set out, among other things, a strategy for a national dialogue. Complementary to that was the willingness of the Malian authorities to re-launch the ECOWAS mediation process, as a way to address grievances in the north, in Bamako and throughout the country and region. He added that preparing for and carrying out credible elections would be a “big, complicated task”, but it would be absolutely essential if Mali was to become — and remain — stable.

    For information media • not an official record


older | 1 | .... | 83 | 84 | (Page 85) | 86 | 87 | .... | 728 | newer