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    Source: AlertNet
    Country: Mali

    By Kate Thomas

    BAMAKO, Mali – When armed Islamist fighters arrived in the northeastern Malian village of Haribomo near Timbuktu, one of the first things they did was sip sweet tea with the local imam. They then told him how they expected the village women to behave.

    Read the full report on AlertNet.


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    Source: Armed Conflict Location and Events Dataset
    Country: Algeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Mali
    preview


    This month’s Conflict Trends report provides an overview of violent conflict trends and patterns in Africa in January 2013. We focus on developments in Kenya in advance of March’s elections; Mali following the deployment of international troops in the north of the country; Egypt on the second anniversary of the uprising there; the Democratic Republic of Congo with the emergence of new actors in the already complex conflict environment in the east of the country; and Algeria, which was the centre of international attention in January with the dramatic unfolding of the hostage crisis in the east of the country (see Figure 1).

    All analysis is based on ACLED real-time, georeferenced data, which is available via the Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS) project website. Data on African political violence from January 1997 to December 2012 is now available on ACLED’s updated website, along with new trends analysis, maps and working papers.

    In ACLED’s continued efforts to provide the most comprehensive, publicly available and real-time data on political conflict in Africa, ACLED will be covering the upcoming Kenya 2013 elections in detail with up-to-date analysis, realtime data and regular mapping. Please check the ACLED website in coming weeks for more information on this project.


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    Source: UN Development Programme
    Country: Mali

    Oxford, England — Long-term peace in Mali will require major investment in governance, along with humanitarian and early recovery support for the crisis-stricken West African country, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark said Monday.

    “UNDP will focus its interventions in Mali on peace consolidation, building the capacities of transitional institutions, and assistance for disaster risk reduction and community resilience,” she said. “We will support the processes leading to the next elections and the preparation of a development programme for the north of the country.”

    Long-term stability “requires dedication to inclusive governance and to inclusive and equitable development across the country,” she said in a lecture at Oxford University, adding, “Humanitarian support and early recovery activities must proceed together, paving the way for a resumption of long-term development.”

    “In the North, state authority and services must be re-established, infrastructure rehabilitated, and livelihoods restored. Reestablishment of the rule of law will also be vital to putting the country back on track.”

    Humanitarian access is said to be improving in Mali but the situation remains volatile, with some 10 million people in the wider Sahel region at risk of starvation this year. The Sahel region comprises Mali, as well as Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Gambia, Cameroon, and Nigeria. The humanitarian community has appealed for more than US$1.6 billion to help millions in need in the region.

    In Mali, more than 4.3 million people are in need of humanitarian aid - including 500,000 considered food insecure - since fighting erupted in January 2012 between Government forces and Tuareg rebels, uprooting thousands. Since Jan. 11, some 4,000 French troops backed by warplanes and helicopters have driven Islamist rebels from urban centers in northern Mali into the mountains and desert.

    Mali conflict increasingly typical

    Mali’s crisis “is an example of the types of conflicts we are increasingly witnessing: The conflict there is not a war between states, but, rather, within a state. It has regional dimensions… Battle lines are not clearly drawn,” Clark said.

    “Mali’s road back from this combination of violent conflict and constitutional crisis will require international support for some time, including for resuming development progress.”

    Preventing conflict generally requires establishing good governance, improving living conditions, reducing inequality, and addressing political, social, and economic exclusion, Clark said.

    While the historical UN approach to resolving violent conflict meant facilitating comprehensive, one-time peace agreements followed by efforts to repair the damage caused by war, “in today’s more fluid conflicts, where peace agreements are signed, they are often not holding,” she said.

    “Even without a relapse into full-scale conflict, weak post-conflict governance often allows other forms of violence to flourish, such as sexual and gender-based violence, and murder rates after civil wars end politically tend to increase dramatically.”

    Development deficits, exclusion, insecurity

    Many drivers of conflict are rooted in development deficits, suggesting many opportunities exist for development actors to contribute to breaking the cycle of armed violence, she said: “Political and social exclusion can also be powerful motivators of upheaval leading to conflict as we have seen in a number of countries, in recent times.”

    “Peace and sustainable development begin with the ability of all people to have a voice and participate in decisions affecting their lives, with effective and inclusive institutions, and with the ability to manage emerging risks and crises,” she said.

    Some 1.5 billion people worldwide live in fragile and conflict-affected states or in countries with very high levels of criminal violence, which poses unique development challenges, she said.

    “Without a sense of security, people don’t invest in their own future. Crops can’t be planted if fields are mined, or harvests can’t be reaped. It isn’t reasonable to expect families to send children to school if they risk violence en route. Strengthening an individual and collective sense of safety is essential to peace-building and advancing human development.”

    Contact Information
    Christina LoNigro
    Press Officer to the Administrator
    Tel.: (212) 906 5301
    christina.lonigro@undp.org


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    02/12/2013 01:03 GMT

    Par Serge DANIEL et Marc BASTIAN

    GAO (Mali), 12 fév 2013 (AFP) - La tension est restée vive lundi à Gao, dans le nord du Mali, où les militaires français ont déminé les ruines du commissariat et de ses alentours après un bombardement à l'aube pour éliminer les islamistes armés qui s'y étaient retranchés.

    Un mois jour pour jour après le début de l'intervention militaire française, "l'essentiel du territoire malien a été libéré, aucune ville n'est occupée par un groupe terroriste, aucun des réseaux ou groupes qui jusque-là mettaient en péril la vie des Maliens n'est capable de mener une véritable offensive", a assuré le président français François Hollande.

    "Nous devons poursuivre non plus la libération d'un territoire mais (sa) sécurisation", a-t-il expliqué, alors que Gao, la plus grande ville du nord du Mali, a été dimanche le théâtre de combats de rue entre soldats maliens et français et des combattants jihadistes qui y ont aussi commis les premiers attentats suicides de l'histoire du pays, marquant une nouvelle étape du conflit.

    Au moins deux islamistes et trois civils ont été tués dans les affrontements, qui ont également fait 17 blessés, 15 civils et deux soldats maliens, selon plusieurs sources.

    Lundi en début d'après-midi, des soldats français ont déminé les ruines du commissariat, découvrant au total quatre mines enfouies dans la cour du bâtiment, ainsi qu'une roquette et deux grenades, a constaté un photographe de l'AFP.

    Dans le même temps, le principal marché de la ville, qui se trouve à proximité du commissariat, a été évacué en début d'après-midi par des soldats français pour faciliter le travail des démineurs.

    "Nous sommes dans la crainte d'un attentat, c'est pour cela que pour des raisons de sécurité, nous avons évacué le marché de Gao", avait affirmé de son côté un officier de l'armée malienne.

    Des coups de feu sporadiques étaient entendus en milieu de journée en provenance du nord de la ville.

    Le commissariat, ancien siège de la "police islamique" mise en place par le groupe islamiste du Mouvement pour l'unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l'Ouest (Mujao) lorsqu'il occupait la ville, a été bombardé lundi à l'aube par un hélicoptère de l'armée française, selon des témoins.

    "Deuxième phase des opérations"

    Un journaliste de l'AFP a constaté que le bâtiment avait été totalement détruit et a également vu des fragments de corps humains aux alentours.

    Les combats à Gao, à 1.200 km de Bamako, sont le signe d'un regain d'activités des islamistes armés qui avaient dans un premier temps fui les villes reprises par les soldats français et maliens fin janvier.

    Pour la première fois dans l'histoire du Mali, ils ont commis à Gao en deux jours deux attentats suicides contre un poste de contrôle de l'armée malienne à la sortie nord de la ville.

    Ces attentats, comme l'attaque du commando dimanche, ont été revendiqués par le Mujao - groupe également accusé de diverses activités criminelles dont le trafic de drogue - qui tenait totalement la ville depuis plusieurs mois, y commettant de nombreuses exactions au nom d'une interprétation rigoriste de la charia (loi islamique).

    "Les moujahidine sont dans la ville de Gao et y resteront", avait prévenu dimanche le porte-parole du Mujao, Abou Walid Sahraoui.

    Entamée le 11 janvier pour stopper une offensive jihadiste vers le Sud et la capitale malienne, Bamako, l'opération de l'armée française, en appui de l'armée malienne, a permis en deux semaines de reprendre Gao, Tombouctou et Kidal, les grandes villes occupées pendant près de dix mois par les groupes liés à Al-Qaïda.

    L'avancée des soldats français et maliens s'est faite sans presqu'aucune résistance, les jihadistes semblant avoir fui pour se retrancher dans des zones désertiques, notamment dans le massif des Ifoghas, dans la région de Kidal, à 1.500 km au nord-est de Bamako, près de l'Algérie.

    Mais depuis quatre jours, les islamistes ont montré qu'ils n'avaient pas tous fui et ont prouvé leur capacité de résistance à Gao, reprise le 26 janvier par les soldats français et maliens, ce qui semble marquer un tournant dans leur stratégie.

    Aux Etats-Unis, le président Barack Obama a donné lundi l'ordre d'allouer 50 millions de dollars (37 millions d'euros) pour une "assistance militaire immédiate au Tchad et à la France dans leurs efforts en cours pour protéger le Mali des terroristes et des extrémistes violents".

    Quelque 4.000 soldats français et 2.000 tchadiens sont déployés au Mali.

    Selon le vice-secrétaire général de l'ONU Jan Eliasson, le gouvernement malien "hésite toujours"à donner son feu vert pour une opération de maintien de la paix de l'ONU dans le pays quand la sécurité le permettra.

    Au 7 février, l'intervention militaire avait déjà coûté 70 millions d'euros, selon le gouvernement français.

    Les Etats-Unis fournissent aussi une aide à la France en matière de renseignements et de transport aérien.

    bur-stb-thm/cs/de/mf

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Radio Dabanga
    Country: Mali, Sudan

    KUTUM (11 Feb.) - Multiple sources assert that 200 Land Cruisers with Islamist militants from Mali fleeing the hostilities in their country have arrived in Kutum, North Darfur, in the past 10 days.

    They told Radio Dabanga on Monday the groups are stationed in three different areas around Kutum, adding they are “inciting a state of fear and terror” among citizens.

    The first group can be found just one kilometer north of camp Kassab for displaced, the second in Jebel Mari, seven or eight kilometers northeast of Kutum, and the third in Sijana, about 10 kilometers north of Kutum, sources affirm.

    Upon arriving in Kutum, the militants’ vehicles were covered with thick green tarps and they were carrying heavy artillery, eyewitnesses pointed out.

    Some of the alleged Malian militants have "long beards, wear outfits resembling those found in Western Sahara and black shawls". Witnesses added a number of them speak French and most do not speak Arabic.

    These groups go shopping at the Kutum market on a daily basis and use sign language to purchase goods, considering they do not speak the local language. They were last seen at the market on Monday and eyewitnesses claim they use Francs (savah), a currency mostly used in western African countries, while others use US dollars.

    Displaced living in Kassab told Radio Dabanga they do not feel safe to leave the camp to collect firewood or to fetch water due to the presence of militants from Mali nearby.

    Civilians are urging local and federal authorities to expel these groups from Sudan and keep them away from the country. They further urged the UN and international organizations to intervene.

    "Syrian pilots, Malian fighters"

    A Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) leader accused the Sudanese central government of using pilots from Syria and militants from Mali in Darfur, when speaking at a seminar in Cairo, Egypt.

    According to Abubakar Hamid Nour, the Syrians are piloting Antonov airplanes and shelling Darfur.

    He added that Khartoum has “succeeded” in distorting the reality of the conflict in Darfur, depicting it as a “war between the Arabs and the black” and that Darfur armed movements are anti-Islam.

    Nour is also accusing the former Sudanese foreign minister Mustafa Osman Ismail of distorting facts and portraying an unrealistic image about the nature of the conflict in Darfur during previous tours in Arab countries.


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    Source: US Department of State
    Country: Bhutan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Mali, Myanmar, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, United States of America, World, South Sudan (Republic of)

    Remarks
    Anne C. Richard
    Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
    Young Leaders of the World Affairs Council

    Atlanta, GA

    February 9, 2013

    Thank you, for that kind introduction. And thank you to the Young Leaders of the World Affairs Council for your invitation to join you. And thank you for devoting your Saturday to learning about refugees around the world and America’s responsibility to them.

    I am so happy to be in Atlanta, the headquarters of CARE, a great American organization, home to the Centers for Disease Control which does so much good here in the U.S. and around the world, and home also to so many wonderful agencies that help refugees like Refugee Family Services and my alma mater, the International Rescue Committee. I am thrilled to be reunited with Ellen Beattie, my dear colleague and to meet leaders of other resettlement agencies.

    My bureau at the State Department, the Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration, provides assistance and protection both to refugees overseas, as well as to the fraction of one percent of refugees who are offered the opportunity for resettlement in a third country.

    As we look at the plight of the displaced around the world, we know there are significant humanitarian challenges. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is concerned about 42 million people worldwide. This includes over 15 million people considered refugees because they have fled their countries and crossed borders, and 6 million stateless persons. The rest –the majority- are considered internally displaced persons (IDPs), meaning people forced to flee within their own countries.

    Overseas, we work primarily through multilateral organizations, such as the UN refugee agency, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). This multilateral approach offers important opportunities for advancing U.S. priorities.

    Alone, the United States cannot meet all of the world’s humanitarian needs. But our investment in these organizations generates contributions from other donors. And together, we are better placed to meet these urgent needs. In this way, we improve the effectiveness of our response.

    So where are we focusing our attention overseas? In the Middle East, we are a leader of humanitarian assistance in response to the crisis in Syria. The United States has already provided over $365 million to humanitarian assistance efforts to provide protection and assistance in Syria and to those fleeing the violence. I recently returned from my fourth trip to the region and was proud to represent the United States at an international conference in Kuwait.

    In Asia, ethnic and sectarian violence in Burma has led Burmese to seek refuge in neighboring countries. Cognizant of Burma’s efforts at reform and opening, we have urged Burma to address this situation in accordance with rule of law and in a manner that builds greater tolerance and understanding across ethnic and religious communities.

    In Africa, there are now nearly 570,000 Sudanese and South Sudanese refugees; 40 percent of whom have been displaced in the past year and a half.

    In Mali, rebel conflict in the north has produced insecurity and instability and resulted in nearly a quarter of a million internally displaced persons and nearly 165,000 refugees in neighboring countries. This crisis also comes at a time of extreme food shortages in the Sahel region. The French have led a force to retake towns in the North. This has actually produced more refugees – let’s hope they will be able to go home soon.

    In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, innocent civilians flee unspeakable abuse. Meanwhile, there are almost a million Somali refugees in the Horn of Africa. Millions more remain at risk inside Somalia. Again, here is a place where we hope refugees may be able to go home soon as a new government strives to bring peace and calm and stability to Somalia.

    We also know that refugee women and children are particularly in danger of sexual violence, physical abuse and exploitation, and separation from families -- among other threats. We aim to ensure efforts to protect women and girls and other vulnerable people around the world are incorporated into the design and operations of assistance programs.

    These are only a few of the many challenges that we are called on to address around the world. It is sobering to add up these needs around the world.

    We are fortunate to have generous, bipartisan support from Congress, which allows the United States to play a leadership role in responding to these challenges.

    We also play a leadership role in terms of offering resettlement to refugees for whom there is no other protection.

    Why do we do this?

    Welcoming refugees is a core part of who we are as a nation. It reflects our national values. America was after all founded as a place of refuge.

    The Statue of Liberty welcomes the tired, the poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free. We welcomed to our shores those fleeing hunger, poverty, persecution, and desperation.

    Our culture, our history, and our character are defined by their contributions, by the Americans they became. It is how we become who we are.

    It is a point of pride to tell you something that Ellen Beattie mentioned earlier -- that through the U.S. Refugee Admissions program, the United States provides resettlement to more refugees than all other countries combined.

    Since 1975, more than 3 million have found a new home in the United States.

    Last fiscal year, the U.S. welcomed more than 58,000 refugees from around the world. Some came to Georgia. The three largest groups of refugees arriving in Georgia in recent years have been from Bhutan, Burma and Iraq.

    The U.S. Refugee Admissions program relies upon our partnerships with non-governmental organization and municipal partners. Together, we make sure that refugees in Georgia are able to get on their feet during their first weeks and months here. From there, they move steadily toward becoming independent, productive members of their new communities.

    And I can tell you that refugees directly benefit the Atlanta economy. Refugees find jobs, pay taxes, and start businesses. In places like Clarkston they have created a vibrant international community. Last year in Clarkston at least 550 apartments were rented by refugees. . And refugee resettlement agencies spent more than $3 million dollars in the metro Atlanta area, another indication that this program not only changes individual lives but creates economic benefits for communities.

    The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program relies upon our partnership with non-governmental organizations and municipal partners.

    While we cannot guarantee easy integration, we can make sure refugees are able to get on their feet during their first weeks and months here – and to move steadily toward becoming independent, productive members of their new communities.

    The success of our resettlement program depends upon the work of communities and volunteers, here in Atlanta, and in hundreds of other communities around the United States.

    By supporting the US refugee admissions program through your tax dollars, by sharing our streets and schools and playgrounds with admitted refugees, by donating clothes, household goods or your time to community organizations, or by hiring a refugee yourself – you are part of this solution.

    Your hard work contributes to a place where refugees get the opportunity for a fresh start. Your hard work, and that of your community, can provide them a safe and stable home and reunite families.

    As a refugee once told me, they came to the United States for “a new beginning, a new life, and a new hope.” Thank you for the part you play in letting them turn their stories of tragedy into ones of triumph.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Mali

    02/12/2013 09:19 GMT

    Par Coumba SYLLA

    DAKAR, 12 fév 2013 (AFP) - Des centaines d'enfants ont été enrôlés par les groupes ayant occupé en 2012 le Nord malien, une première dans ce pays où une intervention militaire est en cours, a affirmé la représentante de l'Unicef au Mali, Françoise Ackermans, dans un entretien à l'AFP à Dakar.

    Elle n'a pas pas souhaité identifier les groupes armés utilisant ou ayant utilisé des mineurs dans leurs rangs.

    Le Mali est plongé dans une crise politico-militaire provoquée en janvier 2012 par une offensive de la rébellion touareg du Mouvement national pour la libération de l'Azawad (MNLA), alors alliée aux groupes islamistes Ansar Dine (Défenseurs de l'islam), Al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (Aqmi) et Mouvement pour l'unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l'Ouest (Mujao).

    Q: Ces derniers temps, on a évoqué la présence d'enfants combattants dans les rangs des groupes armés au Mali. Qu'en est-il?

    R: "C'est quelque chose qui a eu lieu dans d'autres pays mais qui n'a pas de précédent au Mali. Aujourd'hui, on a la certitude qu'il y a des centaines d'enfants qui sont enrôlés dans des groupes armés. (...) Les petites filles - on n'en parle pas beaucoup, il y en a généralement très peu - vous pouvez imaginer à quoi elles servent: elles vont peut-être faire la cuisine, mais elles vont faire beaucoup d'autres choses. Peu importe le groupe, quand il y a des enfants, il faut leur venir en aide".

    Q: Comment?

    R: "L'identification de ces enfants qui sont enrôlés, c'est très complexe. Une fois qu'ils sont identifiés, les faire sortir du groupe est aussi extrêmement difficile, parce que l'enfant apprend des choses qu'il ne devrait pas savoir: on va lui donner une arme, lui expliquer comment tuer (...). Il faut le protéger immédiatement, retrouver sa famille, pour donner à cet enfant une possibilité de réinsérer un système normal. Il faut faire en sorte que ces enfants ne restent pas longtemps dans un groupe armé".

    Q: Il y a déjà eu des cas d'enfants retirés des groupes armés au Mali?

    R: "Il n'y a (même) pas trois-quatre jours, un enfant, identifié, est sorti d'un groupe. Aujourd'hui, il est protégé, on a retrouvé sa famille mais il ne dort plus. C'est un enfant de 16 ans qui a abandonné l'école il y a quelques mois. Il a cherché un petit travail et, de fil en aiguille, s'est retrouvé enrôlé, dans une situation qu'il n'a pas voulue".

    Q: Combien d'enfants ont été "sortis" des groupes armés ?

    R: "Aujourd'hui, c'est au compte-gouttes qu'ils sortent de ces groupes armés. Pour le moment, on parle de quelques enfants. Dans les régions de Mopti (centre) et Ségou (ouest), il y a des centres de transit qui sont en train de se mettre sur place, avec l'Etat, qui permettront de rassembler ces enfants une fois qu'ils auront été identifiés et de pouvoir leur offrir d'abord les premiers gestes de protection. On doit être prêt à prendre en charge beaucoup d'enfants. (...) Au Mali, on doit se battre sur tout. Et aujourd'hui, on rajoute encore des problématiques (dans ce pays où) les structures en charge de la protection de l'enfant n'ont jamais eu, ou pu, bénéficier de beaucoup de financements avant la crise. (...) La crise du Nord a un impact sur les enfants dans le Nord mais aussi dans le reste du pays, parce qu'aujourd'hui, la situation dans tout le Mali est une situation difficile pour les familles. (...) On s'attend à avoir 650.000 enfants qui souffrent de malnutrition dans tout le pays, dont 210.000 de malnutrition aiguë sévère".

    cs/stb/jlb

    © 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: African Union
    Country: Mali

    We, the Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), meeting at our twentieth Ordinary Session, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 27 and 28 January 2013:

    • DEEPLY CONCERNED about the security situation in Mali, as well as the continuing deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the northern part of the country;

    • REITERATING OUR FIRM COMMITMENT to the national unity and territorial integrity of the Republic of Mali;

    • NOTING that the continued occupation of the northern part of Mali by various armed, criminal and terrorist groups is a serious threat to peace, security and stability in Mali, the region and beyond;

    • REAFFIRMING Africa's deep solidarity with Mali, a founding member of the OAU and of our Union, whose commitment to Pan-Africanism and the determination to pool our efforts together to help this sisterly country overcome the challenges currently facing it;

    • WELCOMING the progress being made in Mali towards addressing the challenges at hand, in particular the adoption of the Transition Roadmap;

    • EXPRESSING OUR DEEP APPRECIATION to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the core countries, the other African countries contributing troops and all bilateral and multilateral partners, and ACKNOWLEDGING IN THAT RESPECT the substantial assistance extended by France in these trying moments for Mali;

    • FURTHER REAFFIRMING our previous and ECOWAS decisions on the situation in Mali.


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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Chad, Libya

    IOM has delivered food, water and medicine to a group of 32 Chadian migrants who arrived last week (7/2/13) at the IOM office in the town of Faya Largeau, a remote area of northern Chad, after being deported from Libya.

    Three groups of Chadian migrants have been expelled from Libya since last July. The expulsions followed the return of over 150,000 Chadian migrant workers from the country in 2011, in the aftermath of the overthrow of the previous regime.

    Looking exhausted and sick, the all-male group told IOM that they had been working at various locations in Libya, mostly in semi-skilled jobs and unskilled temporary jobs. They said that they had been detained and some claimed to have been mistreated.

    They said that in the past as Chadian nationals they did not need documents to live in Libya. But the Libyan authorities have now started to require documentation and have closed Libya’s borders with Chad, Niger and Sudan. Most of the group said that they were detained because they lacked work permits.

    Mahamat Zene Issa told IOM that he had lived with his family of three in the southern Libyan town of Sebha for five years before the onset of the crisis. He had sent his family back to Chad on a previous IOM-assisted evacuation convoy. But he decided to remain in Libya to continue working.

    “One day as I was on my way to visit my cousin, just a short distance from my apartment, armed men stopped me and put me on their vehicle, when they realized that I was a Chadian. They beat me for several hours until I lost consciousness,” he said.

    “When I came to, I found myself in a detention center with other people. Nobody explained to me why I was detained. I spent a year and three months in detention under difficult living conditions but thanks to Allah I am still alive. Many others did not make it. I witnessed my cellmates being killed and others dying of disease. They did not treat us as human beings.

    “One day, three weeks ago, they brought us in trucks to the border. It was a perilous journey across the desert, which some of us did not survive. Thanks to Allah, we are here in Faya. Though I do not know what I will do for a living, I am nevertheless happy to be back home, because no one will ask me for documents or beat me or put me in jail for no reason,” he added.

    IOM humanitarian assistance to the migrants includes registration, profiling, provision of temporary shelter at the IOM way-station, food and non-food relief items, medical care, psychosocial support and transportation to their final destinations in Chad. The majority of the deportees come from the eastern towns of Abeche, Omm-Hadjer and Biltine, the capital N’djamena and the western towns of Mao and Moussoro.

    IOM is seeking funding to support 1,128 expelled Chadians through livelihood skills trainings, psychosocial support and counseling. Funding is also needed for setting up contingency plans to return any future Chadian deportees from Libya and neighboring countries in the region affected by instability.

    “The major challenge facing all returnees from Libya is their reintegration into the communities they left a long time ago. Many have had no communication whatsoever with their communities and considered themselves Libyan citizens. They speak the Libyan dialect; their children have no command of the French language, the teaching medium in Chad. Almost all of them return home empty-handed with nothing to start life with. For those who were still in touch with their families, they were the main providers of material support in the form of monthly remittances. Their return therefore is not a blessing,” says IOM Chief of Mission in Chad, Qasim Sufi.

    IOM humanitarian assistance to Chadian migrants is funded by the government of Germany, UNHCR and the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO).

    For more information, please contact Dr. Qasim Sufi at IOM Chad, Tel: +235 62900674, Email: qsufi@iom.int.


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    Source: IRIN
    Country: Mali

    DAKAR, 12 February 2013 (IRIN) - The French military offensive in Mali halted militant Islamists' drive southwards and dislodged them from parts of the northern region, but the fight is far from over, and the country's future unsure.

    IRIN sought the views of four analysts on what the Bamako government's strategy should be to reconcile its people and restore security: Peter Pham (PP) of the Atlantic Council, a US-based think tank; Andy Morgan (AM), a writer and journalist specializing in West Africa and the Sahel; Abdoulaye Sall (AS) of the Cercle de Réflexion et d'Information pour la Consolidation de la Démocratie au Mali (Centre for Reflection and Information to Consolidate Democracy in Mali); and Magnus Taylor (MT), editor of African Arguments, a political analysis website.

    Q: What would the next steps be should Islamist fighters eventually be dislodged from northern Mali?

    PP: What is happening and what we're seeing is the beginning of an insurgency of a sort. This was entirely foreseen. In order to successfully manage the extremism and contain it in northern Mali and roll it back, there is need to invest time to develop a legitimate government in Bamako and an African-led force with Malian army that is capable of a counter-insurgency campaign.

    AM: The focus should be on a very broad discussion with traditional elders, the political elite and all the stakeholders in the Malian society on how Mali should function in the future; the relationship between the different regions and cultures of the country. This should go alongside the process of reconciliation and justice.

    AS: It's perhaps a little too early to talk of the next step given that the first one is not even over yet. The territorial integrity remains to be totally achieved. [However], the return of people forced to flee to neighbouring countries should be done professionally and should involve local leaders, traditional and religious leaders as well as civil society groups. The same should be done for the internally displaced people.

    MT: There's a need to work out who is on which side now; what is the status of the Islamists who have been chased; calculate whether there is going to be an insurgency now that there is a military intervention. The Malian government needs to make an assessment of a policy towards the Tuareg - what sort of settlement to have in the north.

    Q: Specifically, what should Mali, its neighbours and international supporters focus on to achieve long-term stability?

    PP: It is not the optimal option, but [the solution is] targeting and neutralizing these [Al Qaeda-linked] individuals, leaving their minions in disarray, which gives time to work on the political solution. This was advocated by US policymakers for some time. This was the difference between them and the French who wanted to go in quickly. If anything is to be learned from Iraq and Afghanistan it is this; this is how you invite in a long-term counter-insurgency operation.

    At the moment we have untrained African forces that are ill-equipped and not integrated to each other to respond to a very complex situation. We need to buy time to train them up and equip them. Having created a situation where garrisons and patrols will be needed in the north, France needs to increase, not decrease, her troops.

    For every couple of hundreds militants for hire you only have one strategic leader. Targeting individuals would require drones and electronic surveillance equipment. The USA may have the technological capability, but whether it can deploy in every circumstance - the administration needs to make this decision.

    AM: Security and bringing back the people in refugee camps are major priorities. Reconciliation is important, as is the need for a political model. The elections [planned for July] are happening too soon. Elections [only] work in a country with basic stability. Holding elections in the spring of 2015 is more realistic.

    AS: Malians don't have a clear understanding of the role of the UN, African Union and ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) in conflict resolution and peacekeeping. A vigorous information campaign is needed. At the same time there is need to prevent and manage conflict through decentralization. There are 761 local administrations, but they need to be included in conflict resolution. The local authority is the most appropriate level for conflict resolution.

    MT: An effective deployment of ECOWAS troops. The idea is also to buy time for negotiations and come to some political settlement with the Tuaregs. You have to get the politics right. You are not going to get security by declaring war. The drug trade routes [in West Africa] are not just a Malian problem. It should be approached in a different way - dealing with the causes of drug trade. This is a problem of corruption that can be solved by developing institutions that can be immune of the corruption of drug money.

    Q: How do you deal with the separatist demands of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and the recently formed Islamic Movement of Azawad (MIA)?

    PP: The Tuaregs had turned on the Islamists. What's not yet clear is that they [the Tuaregs] have a partner they can do business with in Bamako. The only way to fight a counter-insurgency war is if they have a legitimate government they can make a deal with. They and they alone have knowledge of the terrain and people in the north to fight the counter-insurgency battle and to hunt foreign elements out. The Tuareg historically have had three deals with Malian governments that were legitimate, but all of them are now in the dustbin of history. Why would they possibly believe that a deal with the current batch of characters would hold?

    AM: There is need for a mediator that both sides trust. The MNLA cannot have constructive negotiations with the Mali government right now. The only country that can play mediator is France. The MNLA also needs to be told some truths. They made some very bad mistakes - they decided to fight alongside Ansar Dine [one of the three militant groups that occupied the north]. Azawad independence cannot exist. Not now. Not in 150 years. The main reason is Algeria does not want an independent Berber [indigenous North African ethnic group] state in its southern border. They have Berber people in their country and they sincerely believe that this will have a domino effect. Everybody in the region is not going to accept that and the MNLA should know that. Because Ansar Dine has split, the moderate part that the international community contemplates having discussions with is the MIA.

    AS: The MNLA, an association of a minority among the Tuaregs which does not have an electoral mandate, cannot and should not substitute the regional and national councils and the elected lawmakers in Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu regions and the entire Malian Tuareg people. It should be disarmed, respect the constitution and ask for forgiveness from the Malian people for having become a Trojan horse to jihadists and narco-traffickers.

    MT: The MNLA is, in effect fighting on the side of the government after the Islamists hijacked its mission. It is in a weak position because it had to be bailed out not just by the Malian army, but also by the international powers. The other group to negotiate with is Ansar Dine. The MIA are also positioning themselves for negotiations, I think they will be given attention.

    Q: What role should Mali's neighbours play to contain a spill-over of Islamist militancy?

    PP: There has been been a radicalization across the Sahel. That ultimately needs a political solution. How did it blossom in the Maghreb? You have to look at the annulling of elections in Algeria many years ago and the civil war that followed. Algeria is one country that didn't experience the Arab spring - so that is an indirect cause for radicalization. Radicalization is a threat across the board, but not all radicals are equally threatening. There are more dangerous ones and less dangerous ones.

    AM: Violent jihad is like a boil that appears on the body. A bad doctor will cut it open and squeeze it. A good doctor will say: "Why did that boil appear?" Governments need to make sure that people at the bottom of the pile are less hungry and angry and that they are not vulnerable to violent jihad. Al-Qaeda was in northern Mali for 10 years. The reason it was there was because of corruption. Some local politicians, commanders and businessmen benefited from the presence of AQIM [Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb]. Violent jihad is born out of desperation. For an average young Malian or Algerian who sees no other way out of his problems, violent jihad is attractive.

    AS: By taking part in the military operation in Mali. and supporting the participation of local, traditional and religious leaders in fostering democracy and decentralization.

    MT: There aren't many of these guys [extremist Islamists] in this region. The Islamist threat in this region has been exaggerated. It's not like there is a huge support for radical Islam in the region. The big Islamist threat came out of Algeria in the 1990s. The problem has not been solved, it's being suppressed. The Malian government doesn't have the capacity to fight the Islamists. The Algerian government has a better capacity to do it. There is also need for better intelligence of what this threat is.

    ob/aj/cb

    [END]


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    Source: Department for International Development
    Country: Mali, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

    The UK will provide essential medical supplies, clean water and support to families forced from their homes as a result of the conflict in Mali.

    Development Secretary Justine Greening announced the new £5m package of support today which will help 240,000 more victims of the year-long conflict in addition to the 200,000 men, women and children the UK has been supporting since January.

    The emergency package will include support for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), who are operating in the conflict-affected north of the country as well as south and central regions, to help protect and care for women and children caught up in the violence, as well reunite families that have been torn apart since the beginning of the conflict nearly a year ago.

    UK support will also include funding for the World Food Programme (WFP) to help feed over 100,000 Malians facing food shortages across Mali including in those areas recently affected by conflict. International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:

    "As is so often the case, innocent civilians are paying a heavy toll for the violent conflict in Mali. Over 370,000 men, women and children have been forced from their homes over the past year and many more are short of food, medical supplies and water. "This urgent package of support will help provide essential care for those exposed to the conflict and allow the people of Mali to rebuild their lives and livelihoods.”

    The support announced today will help: - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) protect 140,000 people affected by the conflict through physiotherapy for the disabled, family members’ reunification and health and psychological care, including for women affected by sexual violence. In addition, ICRC’s work in Mali is helping families access vital services like clean water as well as restore their livelihoods. -The World Food Programme (WFP) to carry on supporting those facing food shortages across Mali, including the thousands of people forced from their homes.

    Several major aid agencies withdrew from the rebel-held north to southern Mali during January. However, following action by French and Malian forces, some agencies have now returned to central Mali, with the hope that full access to the north will gradually be restored over the coming weeks.

    This £5 million package takes the total UK support for conflict-affected Malians in 2013 to £13 million. This funding will now help support over 440,000 Malians through food shortages, major political instability and the outbreak of conflict in the north of the country. The UK will continue to monitor the humanitarian situation closely to ensure that needs are being met effectively and efficiently.

    UK support to Mali now totals £13 million in 2013 and aims to support over 440,000 Malians, both inside Mali and in neighbouring countries (Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Niger) where people fled for safety during the fighting; The UK’s partners in Mali include the World Food Programme, the International Committee of the Red Cross, UNHCR – the UN’s Refugee Agency - and UNICEF.

    Including the additional £5 million announced today, the UK has committed £78 million in humanitarian support to the Sahel through the UN, the International Red Cross and International non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) over the last 12 months.


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    Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Country: Mali

    MOPTI, Mali, February 12 (UNHCR) – The ancient city of Mopti, with its mud-built mosque, sits on a bend where the waters of West Africa's longest river, the Niger, are joined by those of its smaller tributary the Bani.

    This confluence has made Mopti Mali's main river port and the gateway to the north of the country, a region where the Malian army, supported by French and West African forces, is battling Al-Qaeda-linked rebels.

    Youba Traore, 33, is a primary school teacher who fled his home in the northern city of Timbuktu last April, when rebel groups drove out government forces and occupied the city. He is just one of the more than 240,000 displaced within Mali.

    Following the recent recapture of Timbuktu by French and Malian forces, Traore left his family behind in the capital Bamako last week and travelled to Mopti where he bought a second class ticket on a boat that would take him on a two-day journey back to his home.

    "I want to see how things are in Timbuktu first," he told UNHCR. "If everything is OK, I will go back and fetch them."

    With the roads and airports still closed to civilian traffic by the conflict, the river is currently the only way to reach the north of the country.

    Aisha Ayida was also planning to take the slow boat to Timbuktu with her two sons aged four and 18-months. Uprooted by the conflict, for the past eight months she had been living with a host family in Bamako. "I heard it is safe to go back now," she said. "And it was also becoming more difficult for me to stay with the family," she added.

    At a tented site housing 70 internally displaced families on the outskirts of Mopti, residents were more cautious about returning to their homes in northern Mali. "We are all waiting for the situation to be calm and for security to return," explained 56-year old Boubakar Traore, a mechanic from the town of Hombori, who is also the chairman of the local association of internally displaced persons (IDPs).

    Their prudence is justified. Over the weekend, an Al-Qaeda-linked rebel group attacked Gao, the largest city in the north, which had been retaken by French and Malian troops two weeks ago. Malian troops backed by French armoured vehicles and attack helicopters were back in control of the city on Monday after heavy fighting that lasted several hours and left a number of casualties, including civilians.

    The on-going insecurity is the main obstacle to a sustainable return for the displaced, though it is not the only one.

    "The situation in the north is critical," Traore, the mechanic, said. "What awaits us there is worse than the situation here. Food is scarce, we have lost our animals and our houses have not been maintained all these months. We will need help when we go back."

    The UNHCR office in Mopti reopened earlier this month after closing for security reasons in the wake of the rebel advance. The refugee agency and its partners have been distributing relief items such as plastic tarpaulins and jerry cans to 234 of the neediest IDP households in Mopti. Earlier distributions in November and December benefitted thousands of families.

    Additional relief supplies for up to 9,000 families are arriving in Mali, including sleeping mats, blankets, tarpaulins, jerry cans, mosquito nets and cooking utensils.

    More than 400,000 people have been forced out of their homes by the conflict in Mali, including some 241,000 IDPs and 163,000 refugees who have crossed into Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Algeria.

    UNHCR's total financial requirements for its operations in Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger in 2013 stand at USD 112 million. The refugee agency is appealing for urgent financial support from donors in order to continue its assistance programmes.

    By William Spindler in Mopti, Mali


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    Source: UN News Service
    Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Syrian Arab Republic, World

    12 février 2013 – Des villes assiégées de la Syrie aux champs de bataille du désert malien, des enfants du monde entier continuent de subir les humiliations et les dangers de la conscription forcée et souffrent de séquelles que leur cause leur participation à des affrontements armés, a rappelé mardi une haute fonctionnaire des Nations Unies.

    Dans un appel lancé pour marquer la Journée internationale contre l'utilisation d'enfants soldats, la Représentante spéciale du Secrétaire général pour le sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé, Leila Zerrougui, a prévenu que des milliers d'enfants continuent d'être « enlevés, recrutés, tués, mutilés ou violés dans les conflits partout dans le monde », y compris les guerres en cours en Syrie et au Mali.

    « Les enfants dans les zones de conflit sont séparés de leurs familles, contraints de tuer et victimes de violence et d'abus », dénonce Mme Zerrougui dans un communiqué de presse conjointement publié avec la Haute Représentante de l'Union européenne pour les affaires étrangères, Catherine Ashton, qui a ajouté de son côté que, si ce problème sérieux n'est pas pris en considération, la « crédibilité du système international de protection des enfants en pâtira. »

    Tout en se félicitant des progrès accomplis dans la lutte contre le fléau des enfants soldats, Mme Ashton appelle les États Membres des Nations unies à se joindre à l'effort mondial contre le recrutement forcé des mineurs.

    « De nombreux pays et groupes armés ont signé des plans d'action avec les Nations Unies pour mettre fin au recrutement de mineurs. Ces plans ont abouti à la libération et à la réinsertion d'enfants, ainsi que la poursuite des responsables », se félicite Mme Ashton, qui demande instamment aux autres parties de suivre cet exemple dans les meilleurs délais. »

    D'après le Bureau des Nations Unies pour le désarmement, 144 États Membres ont ratifié le Protocole facultatif à la Convention relative aux droits de l'enfant portant sur l'implication d'enfants dans les conflits armés – un document qui engage ses signataires à prendre « toutes les mesures possibles » pour veiller à ce que leurs forces armées ne recrutent pas de mineurs dans leurs rangs ni les fassent participer directement aux hostilités.

    En dépit du soutien croissant de la communauté internationale, 49 pays n'ont toujours pas ratifié le Protocole.

    Dans la déclaration, Mme Zerrougui promet d'intensifier ses efforts pour mettre fin au recrutement d'enfants grâce à une coopération étroite entre l'ONU et ses partenaires.

    « En vertu de notre engagement en faveur de la protection des enfants, nous continuerons de travailler avec l'Union européenne et d'inviter de nouveaux partenaires régionaux pour un monde plus sûr et sauf pour les enfants », affirme-t-elle.

    Mmes Zerrougui et Ashton se sont également félicitées de la condamnation, l'an dernier, de l'ancien chef de guerre congolais Thomas Lubanga Dyilo par la Cour pénale internationale (CPI), un jugement qui renforce l'engagement international contre le recrutement forcé d'enfants.

    En juillet 2012, Thomas Lubanga Dyilo a été condamné à 14 ans de prison pour recrutement et l'utilisation en comme combattants d'enfants de moins de 15 ans par son group armé, les Forces Patriotiques pour la Libération du Congo, en Ituri, dans le nord-est de la République démocratique du Congo entre Septembre 2002 et Août 2003.

    « Nous espérons que la décision historique de la CPI dans l'affaire Thomas Lubanga adressera un avertissement très clair selon lequel les violations graves du droit international ne restent impunis », concluent les deux femmes.

    La Journée internationale contre l'utilisation des enfants soldats, également connu sous le nom de Journée Main Rouge, est dédiée aux nombreux enfants à travers le monde qui sont pris dans l'engrenage des conflits. La Journée rappelle aussi aux gouvernants la nécessité d'entreprendre toute une gamme d'actions visant à mettre fin au recrutement d'enfants.


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    Source: UN Children's Fund
    Country: Somalia

    So much of this was new to me,” says Khadra Ibrahim. Her tidy home is fashioned from corrugated metal, tins hammered flat and sturdy tree limbs. Her daughters Happy, 2, and Nimo, 4, play outside while she feeds baby Ubah. “I didn’t know how important it was to breastfeed or how just washing my child’s hands with soap can stop illnesses that cause them to become malnourished.”

    By Mike Pflanz

    BURAO, Somalia, 12 February 2013 – The first year of Ubah Ismail’s life was difficult. At 5 months, she had pneumonia, followed by a severe intestinal upset that left her with diarrhoea for much of her sixth month.

    UNICEF reports on an innovative, community-based approach to tackling malnutrition in Burao, Somalia.

    Like hundreds of thousands of other Somali children affected by illness, Ubah lacked adequate complementary food and access to clean water. By the age of 7 months, she required treatment for severe malnutrition.

    Addressing malnutrition – permanently

    Ubah, who is now a year old, and her mother, Khadra Ibrahim, benefited from an innovative community-based approach to addressing acute malnutrition in Somalia permanently – an approach that goes beyond providing food and medicine to children like Ubah.

    The package of treatment and care includes ensuring that more and more families are visited by health volunteers so that children suffering from malnutrition are identified early.

    It includes home-based special feeding regimes, as well as enhanced access to oral rehydration salts and zinc, for those children suffering from diarrhoea.

    And it includes encouraging mothers to take measures that will drastically reduce the chances that their children will suffer malnutrition again. They are taught the importance of exclusive breastfeeding, appropriate complementary feeding practices and good hygiene. They learn how poor nutrition is often caused by inadequate dietary intake and illnesses that leave the children unable to absorb food.

    The integrated approach was launched because the nutritional status of Somalia’s children deteriorated, following drought in 2010–2011. It was implemented by UNICEF in partnership with Medair and PSI, supported by the Government of Japan, AusAID and the Saudi National Campaign for the Relief of the Somali People.

    Health promoters

    Aisha Mohamed and her team of 15 volunteers are a major part of the reason that mothers in Burao now know how to prevent malnutrition. Each member of the team is responsible for 15 households, which they visit regularly to keep an eye on younger children and on mothers, especially if they are pregnant.

    These ‘health promoters’ hold discussions with mothers individually in their homes and in groups at health centres that focus on infant and young-child feeding and maternal nutrition issues.

    One by one, Aisha lists the ways in which women can help themselves.

    “Good antenatal care, including making sure you yourself have good nutrition when you are pregnant,” she starts. “Have your baby in a proper health facility. Breastfeed exclusively for the first six months. Immunize your children. Keep your house clean and wash hands with soap before cooking and eating and after going to the toilet. Keep utensils clean. Purify your drinking water.”

    All of these are simple activities that cost even the poorest families next to nothing, says Zeinab Adan, a midwife who helps manage a major mother and child health centre in Burao town.

    “Breastfeeding is the best example,” she says. She has just held a discussion with 30 new and expecting mothers. “It is free. It is healthy. Almost any mother can do it, if they learn how from us. It has no disadvantages at all.”

    Integrating prevention, even during emergencies

    In 2010–2011, in response to the drought, Medair, a UNICEF partner in Somaliland, sent teams of health workers far into the countryside each week to seek out children suffering from acute malnutrition. Severely malnourished children were referred to outpatient therapeutic programmes, where mothers brought their children for weekly checks on weight, upper-arm circumference and signs of fever and were given supplies of peanut paste-based therapeutic food.

    “This was a normal response to the crisis,” says nutrition manager for Medair in Burao Abdullahi Abdi. “What was different this time was that, even during the emergency phase, we were integrating lessons about preventing malnutrition into our response.”

    Those messages reached many women, but there is a great need for them to reach more, Mr. Abdi says.

    The integrated approach has been successful, but malnutrition is still a risk in Burao, and still needs monitoring.

    At a health centre across town, Fauzia Hashi is among the women and children queuing so the children can be treated for severe acute malnutrition.

    Asked if she knows about exclusive breastfeeding, good hygiene at home and immunizing her children against measles, she frowns.

    “It’s only when I came here for the first time three weeks ago that I learned about this,” she says. “We need to know more about it – it can save our children from falling sick again.”


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    Source: MSF
    Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia
    preview


    INTRODUCTION

    In 2011-2012, drought and conflict caused widespread food shortages resulting in a malnutrition peak well above emergency levels in Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) programs, and spurred the displacement of tens of thousands of people within south central Somalia and to Ethiopia and Kenya. Soaring prices for domestic and international food, insecurity, and the effects of denied humanitarian access by armed groups exacerbated the crisis that the United Nations declared a famine. Restrictive international donor policies including the criminalization of aid provision by some governments in some of the worst affected areas controlled by insurgents further hampered humanitarian response efforts leaving large gaps in aid provision.

    In February 2012 the famine was declared over and policy makers are now more focused on development, state-building and security than humanitarian aid. While security and access to provide and receive assistance has since improved in certain areas, large numbers of Somalis carry on facing hardship and violence underscoring the crude reality that a humanitarian emergency continues in Somalia. As the Somalia government and its donors look toward a new era, humanitarian assistance - including food, water, shelter and healthcare - dissociated from political objectives and processes should remain a priority.

    Over the past 15 months, MSF has routinely asked its patients about the circumstances that led them to our clinics and hospitals in Somalia and the refugee camps in Ethiopia. What emerges from the 820 testimonies gathered1 is a mix of fear, violence including sexual assault, people uprooted, food shortages and a lack of access to the basic means of survival and adequate health care. These interviews allow Somalis to express in their own terms what it means to live under what for many are still emergency conditions.

    (excerpt)


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    Source: UN Development Programme
    Country: Mali

    Oxford, Angleterre – Une paix à long terme au Mali nécessitera des investissements importants en matière de gouvernance, ainsi qu’un soutien humanitaire et au relèvement rapide pour permettre à ce pays de sortir de la crise, a déclaré lundi Helen Clark, Administrateur du Programme des Nations Unies pour le développement (PNUD).

    « Le PNUD se concentrera sur la consolidation de la paix, le renforcement des capacités des institutions de transition ainsi que le soutien aux programmes de réduction des risques et désastres et de résilience des communautés », a-t-elle dit. «Nous allons soutenir le processus menant aux prochaines élections et préparer un programme de développement pour le nord du pays. »



    La stabilité à long terme exige « un engagement à promouvoir la gouvernance inclusive et un développement inclusif et équitable à travers le pays », a-t-elle déclaré lors d’une conférence à l'Université d'Oxford, ajoutant que « l'aide humanitaire et les activités de relèvement rapide doivent être entreprises simultanément pour ouvrir la voie à une reprise du développement à long terme. »



    « Dans le Nord, l’autorité de l’état et les services aux citoyens doivent être rétablis, les infrastructures réhabilitées et les moyens de subsistance restaurés. Le rétablissement de l'état de droit sera également essentiel pour remettre le pays sur la bonne voie. »

    

L'accès humanitaire s’est soi-disant amélioré au Mali, mais la situation demeure instable, avec quelque 10 millions de personnes dans la région du Sahel qui souffrent d'insécurité alimentaire. La région du Sahel comprend le Mali, ainsi que le Burkina Faso, le Tchad, la Mauritanie, le Niger, le Sénégal et la Gambie. La communauté humanitaire a lancé un appel de plus de 1,6 milliard de dollars pour aider des millions de personnes dans le besoin dans la région.

    

Au Mali, depuis le début des combats en Janvier 2012 entre les forces gouvernementales et les rebelles touaregs qui ont déraciné des milliers de personnes, plus de 4,3 millions de Maliens ont besoin d'aide humanitaire, dont 500 000 personnes vivant dans une situation d'insécurité alimentaire dans le nord du pays. Depuis le 11 janvier, quelque 4 000 soldats français appuyés par des avions et des hélicoptères ont repoussé les rebelles islamistes des centres urbains dans le nord du Mali vers les montagnes et le désert.

    

Au Mali, un conflit de plus en plus typique

    

La crise du Mali « est un exemple de conflits que nous voyons de plus en plus souvent: Le conflit dans ce pays n'est pas une guerre entre Etats, mais, plutôt un conflit au sein d'un Etat. Il a des dimensions régionales ... Les zones de combat ne sont pas clairement établies », a dit l’Administrateur du PNUD.



    « Pour le Mali, le retour à la stabilité après cette combinaison de conflit violent et de crise constitutionnelle nécessitera le soutien durable de la communauté internationale, y compris pour la reprise des progrès en matière de développement. »



    « La prévention des conflits exige généralement l'établissement de la bonne gouvernance, l'amélioration des conditions de vie, la réduction des inégalités et de l'exclusion politique, sociale et économique », a affirmé Helen Clark.



    Alors qu'historiquement, la méthode de l'ONU pour résoudre les conflits violents consistait à faciliter la mise en place d’accords de paix suivis d’efforts visant à réparer les dommages causés par la guerre, « dans les conflits plus fluides d'aujourd'hui, où les accords de paix sont signés, ils ne sont souvent pas respectés », a-t-elle dit.



    « Même sans retomber dans un conflit à grande échelle, une gouvernance post-conflit faible permet souvent à d'autres formes de violence comme la violence sexuelle ou sexiste de s'épanouir. Les taux de meurtre après une fin politique à une guerre civile ont aussi tendance à augmenter de façon spectaculaire. »



    Déficits de développement, exclusion, insécurité

    

De nombreux facteurs de conflits ont pour source des déficits de développement, ce qui suggère que les acteurs du développement ont de nombreuses possibilités pour contribuer à briser le cycle de la violence armée, a dit Helen Clark. « L'exclusion politique et sociale peut aussi être un moteur puissant de bouleversements conduisant à des conflits comme nous l'avons vu ces derniers temps dans plusieurs pays. »



    « La paix et le développement durable commencent par la capacité de chacun de faire entendre sa voix et de participer aux décisions qui affectent sa vie, avec des institutions efficaces et inclusives, et avec la capacité de gérer les risques émergents et les crises», a-t-elle dit.



    Près d'1,5 milliard de personnes dans le monde vivent dans des états fragiles et touchés par un conflit ou dans des pays avec des niveaux très élevés de violence criminelle, ce qui pose des défis particuliers pour le développement, a ajouté Helen Clark.



    «Sans le sentiment de sécurité, les gens n'investissent pas dans leur propre avenir. Les champs ne peuvent être plantés s’ils sont minés, et les récoltes sont abandonnées. Il n'est pas raisonnable de s'attendre à ce que des familles envoient leurs enfants à l'école s’ils risquent d’être victime de violence sur la route. Le renforcement d'un sentiment de sécurité individuel et collectif est essentiel pour la paix et la promotion du développement humain. »

    Contact médias:

    Christina LoNigro
    Attachée de presse auprès de l'Administrateur
    Tél.: (212) 906 5301
    christina.lonigro@undp.org


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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Mali
    preview


    1. RÉSUMÉ :

    L’évolution rapide du conflit malien en janvier 2013 et la prise de contrôle des principales villes du nord Mali par les armées maliennes, françaises et de l’Union Africaine laissent entrevoir un retour spontané des populations déplacés vivant dans les régions sud du Mali depuis le début du conflit en 2012.

    Dans ce contexte, l’OIM Mali a réalisé une enquête d’intention auprès de 836 familles déplacées du Nord Mali vivant actuellement sur les régions de Bamako et Koulikoro ayant été recensés par la Matrice de Suivi de Déplacement (DTM). L’enquête a été réalisée par téléphone entre le 2 et le 4 février 2013.

    Les principaux résultats sont les suivants :

    • 93% des ménages déplacés ont l’intention de retourner sur leur région d’origine ;

    • Sur les ménages déplacés souhaitant retourner :

    o 92% retourneront dans leur ancien habitat ;

    o 23% souhaitent rentrer dès février, 32% entre mars et la fin de l’année. 40% sont indécis quant à la date de retour ;

    o Les ménages basent ce choix de la date de retour sur (QCM) : un retour de la sécurité dans le nord (62%), le calendrier scolaire (37%), le calendrier agricole (5%) ;

    o Selon 89% des interrogés, la sécurité va revenir rapidement au nord Mali, ce qui laisse présager de rapides départ vers le nord dès que la situation sécuritaire le permet. o Trois besoins prioritaires ont été identifiés sur les zones de retour : alimentaire, transport et abri.

    En extrapolant ces résultats aux données de la Matrice de Suivi des Déplacement (DTM) qui enregistre les déplacés sur Bamako et Koulikoro, il peut être estimé qu’un peu moins de 2 000 ménages en provenance de ces deux régions vont revenir dans le nord dans les plus brefs délais moyennant une amélioration de la situation sécuritaire. Ces estimations ne prenant en compte que les déplacés vivant à Bamako et Koulikoro (un tiers du nombre total de déplacés dans le pays), il faut s’attendre à un flux de déplacés important.

    Ce flux de retour sur les prochains mois doit être pris en considération dans les stratégies de réponse au « retour ». Un travail important sur les gares de transit, notamment pour y faciliter l’accès aux infrastructures d’eau, d’hygiène et d’assainissement et un travail de protection et accompagnement des plus vulnérables doit être mis en place. Sur les zones de retour, sans inciter actuellement au déplacement, il est important de lancer une réflexion sur l’accompagnement possible aux ménages les plus vulnérables qui vont retourner dans le nord Mali.


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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Somalia
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    FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

    • Well distributed 2012/13 “deyr” rains benefitted cereal yields in most southern and central regions
    • Good availability of pasture and water in most pastoral areas
    • Prices of coarse grains are stable and low in main markets, while prices of livestock are generally high
    • Number of people in need of humanitarian assistance declines to 1.05 million (about two thirds are IDPs in settlements)

    Good prospects for 2012/13 “deyr” crops in southern and central Somalia Harvesting of 2012/13 “deyr” cereal crops is underway and will continue until late March. Crop production is forecast at a near average level in most areas of southern and central Somalia following good and evenly distributed “deyr” rains (October-December). In particular, sorghum planted area was slightly above average, while area planted with maize declined slightly as many farmers in riverine areas shifted to sesame production. By contrast, below average production is expected in some agro-pastoral areas of Gedo as well as Lower and Middle Juba due to inadequate rains. In Juba region, the off-season production, for harvest next March, is expected to be negligible for lack of adequate river flooding that facilitates recessional cultivation.

    Favourable grazing conditions reported in most pastoral areas Pasture and water availabilities have improved following favourable “deyr” rains and livestock body conditions are reported to be average to good. Exceptions are parts of Sool Plateau and Nugal Valley in the North-west that experienced poor rains since the onset of the season, resulting in abnormal livestock outmigration towards north-eastern areas. Poor pasture conditions are also reported in Gedo, Coastal Deeh of Lower Shabelle and Lower Juba in South-Central Somalia.

    Maize and sorghum prices remain relatively stable and low Prices of local cereal staples have been stable or declined since the harvest of 2012 “gu” season crops last August/September and are expected to show a downward trend during the first quarter of 2013 as the 2012/13 “deyr” season crops become available on main markets. In major producing areas, maize and sorghum prices in January 2013 were between 18 and 61 percent below the level of January 2012, while in northern cereal deficit areas price declines have been comparatively minor. In particular, in January 2013, prices of maize in the main markets of the capital Mogadishu and Marka, located in the important maize producing region of Lower Shabelle, were about 18 percent below the levels of one year earlier and 69 and 76 percent below the peak reached in June 2011, respectively. Similarly, sorghum prices in January 2013 in Baidoa market, located in the sorghum belt, were 33 percent lower than 12 months earlier and 85 percent below the peak of June 2011.

    Prices of imported rice also followed a declining trend in 2012 in all monitored markets and, by January 2013, they were down by up to 40 percent compared to last year, mainly due to the appreciation of the Somali Shilling against the US dollar and the reopening and better functioning of the Mogadishu port, which allowed a substantial increased in imports.

    In general, current livestock prices are significantly higher than 12 months ago due to improved body conditions and increased demand for local consumption and export, mainly to Saudi Arabia. During last year, terms of trade for pastoralists have significantly improved, with increases ranging between 50-100 percent.


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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Mali
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    1. EXECUTIVE SUMMAY :

    The beginning of the military intervention in January 2013 and the rapid evolution of the conflict with the takeover of major towns in northern Mali by the Malian, French and African Union troops suggest that a rapid and spontaneous return of the populations displaced in the southern regions of Mali since the beginning of the conflict in 2012 may take place.

    In this context, IOM Mali conducted an intention survey targeting 836 displaced families from northern regions currently living in the Bamako and Koulikoro regions and registered in the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) database. The survey was conducted by phone between February 2nd and 4th, 2013.

    The main results are as follows:

    • 93% of IDP households indicated they intend to return to their region of origin.

    • Of the displaced households wishing to return:

    o 92% would like to return to their former house;

    o 23% wish to return in February, 32% between March and the end of the year, 40% are undecided about the date of return;

    o Households will make a final decision on their return date according to the security situation in the North (62%), the school calendar (37%), and the agricultural calendar (5%);

    o 89% of the respondents expect that security conditions will quickly become adequate in northern Mali, which would suggest rapid returns to the north as soon as security conditions allow it.

    o Three main priority needs identified in return areas are food, transportation and shelter.

    Extrapolating these results to DTM data which records displaced families living in Bamako and Koulikoro, it can be estimated that approximately 2,000 households from these two regions will return to the north as soon as the security conditions have improved. These estimates only take into account IDPs living in Bamako and Koulikoro (one third of the total number of IDPs in the country); therefore a significant flux of return displacement can be shortly expected.

    This expected return flow over the coming months should be taken into account in the development of return response strategies by concerned actors. In particular, relevant actions at transit stations (Mopti, Ségou, etc to facilitate access to hygiene, water and sanitation infrastructures and protection assistance to support the most vulnerable must be implemented. In areas of origin, and without encouraging returns, it will be important to identity and adopt the support that will be required by the most vulnerable households willing to return to northern Mali.


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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Djibouti, Somalia
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    FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

    • Poor “heys/dada” rains affect rangeland conditions and water availability in south-eastern areas and the Obock region
    • Food prices are stable and below average, but food security remains critical for pastoralists and poor urban households

    Alarming levels of food insecurity for pastoral communities and poor urban households

    Well below average “heys/dada” rains (October-February) in south-eastern border areas and the Obock region in the north-east have affected rangeland conditions and water availability. However, the positive impact of the relatively abundant “karan/karma” rains received between July and October 2012 in most north-western inland areas is still evident in terms of access to pasture and water as well as livestock body conditions.

    Wholesale prices of wheat flour, which had been stable at low levels since the beginning of 2012, increased from November to December 2012 by 17 percent. However, at DJF 5 400 per sac of 50 kg, prices are still about 25 percent below the high levels recorded in 2011. Prices of rice (Belem), mainly consumed in urban areas, were stable during second semester of 2012 and, last December, rice was traded in Djibouti market at DJF 5 200, about 17 percent less than one year earlier.

    The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance is estimated at about 70 000 people, nearly 8 percent of the population. These vulnerable people are mainly concentrated in rural areas of Ali Sabieh, Arta, Dikhil, Obock and Tadjourah districts that have been affected by several consecutive failed rainy seasons, with significant reduction in herds size and limited availability of milk. Food aid is the main source of nutrition in these areas, covering between 50 and 70 percent of local needs. Food security conditions are also precarious for poor urban dwellers in and around Djibouti Ville, where unemployment rate is estimated at about 46 percent. In addition, about 26 000 people, mainly from Somalia, are hosted in refugee camps and are highly food insecure.


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