DR Congo: Students, Schools at Risk in Conflict Zones

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The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo should increase protection for students and schools in areas of the country affected by armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government should endorse and carry out the international Safe Schools Declaration.

The 58-page report, “‘Our School Became the Battlefield’: Using Schools for Child Recruitment and Military Purposes in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo,” documents how armed groups have attacked schools and recruited children at school or while on their way to school. Armed groups and the Congolese army have also taken over schools for military purposes. Many children and parents told Human Rights Watch that fear of being abducted or raped kept students from attending school.

“Children’s access to education is more often a fight than a right in many parts of Congo,” said Bede Sheppard, deputy children’s rights director at Human Rights Watch and co-author of the report. “Keeping students safely in school should be at the heart of efforts to build durable peace in Congo.”

The report is based on interviews with more than 120 people, including students, teachers, and Education Ministry and United Nations officials based in North and South Kivu provinces, in eastern Congo, where there has been ongoing conflict.

“When a fighter knocks on the classroom door, you have to answer,” a teacher told Human Rights Watch, describing how a fighter abducted a student. “He asked for a girl student. I couldn’t refuse. So I called the girl he named, and she went with him. He didn’t have a gun, but his escorts were behind him, and they had guns.”

The Congolese government should respond to UN Security Council Resolution 2225, of 2015, which encourages all countries to take concrete measures to deter the military use of schools, Human Rights Watch said. It should promptly join the international Safe Schools Declaration, endorsed by 49 countries as of October, which includes commitments to protect education from attack. It should also review its military policies, practices, and training to ensure that they, at a minimum, conform to protections in the “Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict,” which provide guidance on how parties to armed conflict should avoid impinging on students’ safety and education.

The Congolese government should also investigate and hold to account army officers and armed group commanders responsible for recruiting and abducting children and for other violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including unlawful attacks on schools, students, and teachers, Human Rights Watch said.

Attacks on schools and their use for military purposes by fighters rose sharply in early 2012, when the Congolese army opened a military campaign against the M23 rebel group in eastern Congo. The 19-month rebellion ended in November 2013, after the Congolese army and UN forces defeated the M23. However, the M23’s defeat did not bring about the end of hostilities in North and South Kivu, as many other armed groups continue to operate in these provinces.

One resident explained the situation at his local school: “The first time the M23 came to attack, the FARDC [Congolese Army] had occupied our school. And when the FARDC had been driven out by the M23, then the M23 also occupied our school. Our school became the battlefield.”

When warring parties use schools for military purposes, they sometimes take over a few classrooms or the playground. In other situations, fighters convert an entire school into a military base, barracks, training grounds, or weapons and ammunition storage. Troops occupying schools expose students and teachers to risks such as unlawful recruitment, forced labor, beatings, and sexual violence.

The military use of schools deteriorates, damages, and destroys already insufficient and poor-quality education infrastructure. Fighters who occupy schools frequently burn the buildings’ wooden walls, desks, chairs, and books for cooking and heating fuel. Tin roofs and other materials may be looted and carted off to be sold for soldiers’ personal gain.

The use of a school for military deployments can result in additional damage to the building because it may make the school a legitimate target for enemy attack. Even once vacated, the school may still be a dangerous environment for children if troops leave behind weapons and unused munitions.

In a country that already suffers from inadequate opportunities for quality education, damage to schools due to military use further hampers students’ educational prospects and their futures, Human Rights Watch said.

Human Rights Watch documented attacks on schools or the use of schools for military purposes between 2012 and 2014 by the Congolese army, the M23, various Congolese Hutu militia groups known as the Nyatura, Mai Mai Sheka, and other Mai Mai groups, and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération de Rwanda, FDLR).

Throughout Congo in 2013 and 2014, the UN verified attacks on schools, looting of schools, or military use of schools by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the Congolese army, the FDLR, the Front for Patriotic Resistance in Ituri (FRPI), M23, Mai Mai LaFontaine, Mai Mai Yakutumba, Nyatura groups, the People’s Alliance for a Free and Sovereign Congo (Alliance du peuple pour un Congo libre et souverain, APCLS), the Raia Mutomboki, and the Union of Congolese Patriots for Peace (Union des patriotes congolais pour la paix, UPCP).

In early 2013, Congo’s defense minister issued a ministerial directive to the army stating that all military personnel found guilty of requisitioning schools for military purposes would face severe criminal and disciplinary sanctions. However, Human Rights Watch has not found any existing Congolese legislation or military doctrine that explicitly prohibits or regulates the practice of military use of schools, or makes it a criminal offense.

“Parents throughout Congo repeatedly demonstrate the value they place on their children receiving an education, scraping together the resources to pay fees and other costs necessary to enroll their children,” Sheppard said. “Nothing less than the future development and stability of eastern Congo depends on the government making schools a safer place for children to receive a quality education.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Human Rights Watch (HRW).

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Statement by the Spokesperson on elections in Tanzania

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The people of the United Republic of Tanzania participated in large numbers in general elections on 25 October, another step towards the consolidation of the country’s multiparty democracy and democratisation in the region.

The EU Election Observation Mission’s preliminary assessment found that the voting was generally well conducted and in a largely calm atmosphere. Election authorities are expected to complete the aggregation of results for Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar in full transparency.

At this stage, the EU expects all political parties and electoral stakeholders to act in order to preserve peace and order in the country.

The EU Election Observation Mission will remain in country until the completion of the electoral process and issue a final report with recommendations within two months.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of European Union.

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UN Secretary-General and AUC Chairperson appoint Bintou Keita of Guinea as Deputy Joint Special Representative for the UNAMID

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United Nations Secretary-General and African Union Commission Chairperson announced the appointment of Bintou Keita of Guinea as the Deputy Joint Special Representative for the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

Ms. Keita replaces Abdul Kamara of Sierra Leone, to whom the Secretary-General and the Chairperson are grateful for his dedicated service during his tenure with UNAMID.

Ms. Keita brings to the position a wealth of experience with more than 25 years of service in the United Nations. Her two most recent positions include Ebola Crisis Manager for Sierra Leone and Chief of Staff for the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response. Prior to that, Ms. Keita served in several senior management and leadership functions with the United Nations Children’s Fund in Chad, Congo, Madagascar, Cape Verde, Rwanda, Burundi and New York. From 2007 to 2010, Ms. Keita was Deputy Executive Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi. Earlier in her career, she has also worked with the United Nations Development Programme and the Canadian International Development Agency in Guinea.

Ms. Keita holds a master’s degree in social economy from the University Paris II, France, and a master’s degree in business administration and management from the University of Paris IX, France.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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UN Secretary-General and AUC Chairperson appoint Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibhi of Nigeria as Joint Special Representative for the UNAMID

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma announced today the appointment of Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibhi of Nigeria as their Joint Special Representative for Darfur and Head of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), with responsibilities including those of African Union-United Nations Joint Chief Mediator.

He replaces Abiodun Oluremi Bashua of Nigeria, to whom the Secretary-General and the Chairperson wish to reiterate their deep appreciation for his dedicated service during his tenure as Acting Joint Special Representative/Joint Chief Mediator.

Mr. Uhomoibhi brings to his new position extensive experience after a long and distinguished career in international forums. Most recently, he has served as the Founder and President of the Pan African Institute for Global Affairs and Strategy.

During his over 30 years of service in the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Uhomobihi served as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ambassador of Nigeria to Switzerland and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva. He also held positions in the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations in New York, Consulate-General of Nigeria in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, and its Embassies in Ethiopia and Yugoslavia.

From 2008 to 2009, Mr. Uhomoibhi served as the third President of the United Nations Human Rights Council and Chairman of the World Intellectual Property Organisation General Assembly.

Mr. Uhomoibhi holds a doctorate degree in modern history and international relations from Oxford University, United Kingdom, a master’s degree in history and political science and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Mr. Uhomoibhi was born Ewatto, Nigeria, in 1954. He is married with children.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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The African Union releases the report of the AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan

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The Commission of the African Union (AU) has today released, for public information, the report of the AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan (AUCISS) and the Separate Opinion submitted by one member of the AUCISS. Both documents have been posted on the AU general website – www.au.int – and the website of the Peace and Security Department of the Commission – www.peaceau.org.

The Chairperson of the Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, reiterates the AU’s appreciation to the members of the AUCISS and to the team of experts that supported them, for their hard work and commitment in the discharge of their mandate. She echoes the call made by the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) at its 547th meeting held in New York on 26 September 2015, on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, for the South Sudanese leaders to study the report in detail, as part of the necessary introspection and critical assessment of their deeds and failures, in order to lay the ground for political and social renewal and legitimacy.

The decision to release the AUCISS report and the Separate Opinion was made by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) at its 547th meeting.

NOTE TO THE EDITORS

About the mandate and composition of the AUCISS

At its 411th meeting held in Banjul, The Gambia, on 30 December 2013, the Peace and Security Council (PSC) requested the Chairperson of the Commission, in consultation with the Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) and other relevant AU structures, to establish urgently a Commission to investigate the human rights violations and other abuses committed during the armed conflict in South Sudan and to make recommendations on the best ways and means to ensure accountability, reconciliation and healing among all South Sudanese communities.

In pursuance of that communiqué, the Chairperson of the Commission appointed the members of the AUCISS as follows: former President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria (Chair), Honorable Sophia Akuffo of Ghana, Ms. Bineta Diop of Senegal, Professor Mahmood Mamdani of Uganda, and Professor Pacifique Manirakiza of Burundi. The members of the AUCISS were sworn in on 12 March 2014, in Addis Ababa.

About the activities of the AUCISS

In the implementation of its mandate, the AUCISS undertook extensive consultations with the South Sudanese stakeholders, including the Government, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement In Opposition (SPLM/IO), political parties, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), civil society organizations, and other South Sudanese parties. The AUCISS also consulted with IGAD, the countries of the region, the United Nations (UN) and other international stakeholders.

The AUCISS submitted its interim report to the 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, from 26 to 27 June 2014, which took note of it.

The AUCISS submitted its final report to the Chairperson of the Commission on 15 October 2014. A Separate Opinion was also submitted by one member of the AUCISS. The findings and recommendations contained therein relate to human rights violations and other abuses during the conflict, including accountability (violations of human rights and other abuses, healing and reconciliation and sequencing of peace and justice) and to institutional reforms (building a strong state, systems of governance, devolution of power, comprehensive security sector reform, financial management and strategic resources, national and state legislative, judiciary and justice delivery system, political parties, civil society and media).

About the relevant PSC decisions

At its 442nd meeting held on 17 June 2014, the PSC decided to extend the mandate of the AUCISS by an additional period of three months, to enable it to complete its work.

At its 484th meeting held on 29 January 2015, the PSC decided to defer consideration of the report of the Commission of Inquiry to a later date, and to take appropriate decisions in line with the objectives set out in its Banjul communiqué.

At its 515th meeting, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 13 June 2015, the PSC decided to convene a ministerial-level meeting by mid-July 2015, to consider the report of the AUCISS.

The 526th meeting of the PSC held at ministerial level in Addis Ababa, on 24 July 2015, officially received the report of the AUCISS and the Separate Opinion. In the communiqué adopted on that occasion, the PSC agreed on a number of practical steps to expedite the in-depth consideration of the recommendations contained therein and their subsequent implementation, including the establishment of an ad hoc sub-Committee, comprised of Algeria, Chad, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda, to consider the report of the AUCISS and the Separate Opinion and to make recommendations on the way forward, and the convening of a meeting of the PSC at the level of Heads of State and Government to consider the recommendations of the ad hoc sub-Committee and take the required decisions.

The PSC Summit took place in New York on 26 September 2015. It agreed on a number of steps relating to political and other reforms, accountability, healing and reconciliation.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Secretary-General appoints Bintou Keita of Guinea as African Union-UN Deputy Joint Special Representative in Darfur

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced today the appointment of Bintou Keita of Guinea as Deputy Joint Special Representative for the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

Ms. Keita succeeds Abdul Kamara of Sierra Leone, to whom the Secretary-General and the Chairperson are grateful for his dedicated service during his tenure with UNAMID.

Ms. Keita brings to the position a wealth of experience with more than 25 years of service in the United Nations. Her most recent positions include Ebola Crisis Manager for Sierra Leone and Chief of Staff for the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response. Prior to that, Ms. Keita served in several senior management and leadership functions with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Chad, Congo, Madagascar, Cape Verde, Rwanda, Burundi and New York. From 2007 to 2010, Ms. Keita was Deputy Executive Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi. She has also worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Canadian International Development Agency in Guinea.

Ms. Keita holds a master’s degree in social economy from the University Paris II, France, and a master’s degree in business administration and management from the University of Paris IX, France.

Born in 1958, she has one child.

New York, 27 October 2015

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Secretary-General appoints Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibhi of Nigeria as Joint Special Representative for Darfur Hybrid Operation

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced today the appointment of Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibhi of Nigeria as Joint Special Representative for Darfur and Head of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), with responsibilities including those of African Union-United Nations Joint Chief Mediator.

He succeeds Abiodun Oluremi Bashua of Nigeria, to whom the Secretary-General and the Chairperson wish to reiterate their deep appreciation for his dedicated service during his tenure as Acting Joint Special Representative, Head of Mission and Joint Chief Mediator ad interim.

Mr. Uhomoibhi brings to his new position extensive experience after a long and distinguished international career. Most recently, he has served as the Founder and President of the Pan African Institute for Global Affairs and Strategy.

During his over 30 years of service in the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Uhomobihi served as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ambassador of Nigeria to Switzerland and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva. He also held positions in the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations in New York, Consulate-General of Nigeria in Atlanta and its embassies in Ethiopia and the former-Yugoslavia.

From 2008 to 2009, Mr. Uhomoibhi served as the third President of the United Nations Human Rights Council and Chair of the World Intellectual Property Organisation General Assembly. Mr. Uhomoibhi holds a PhD in modern history and international relations from Oxford University (United Kingdom), a master’s degree in history and political science and a bachelor’s degree in political science both from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Born in 1954, he is married and has four children.

New York, 27 October 2015

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Readout of the Secretary-General’s phone call with H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission

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Today, the Secretary-General called H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, to discuss the situation in Burundi.

The Secretary-General welcomed the decision made by the African Union’s Peace and Security Council on 17 October to address the political impasse and deteriorating security situation in Burundi. He noted that such comprehensive and resolute action could offer Burundi the opportunity to put an end to the continuing violence and find a consensual political solution on the way forward.

The Secretary-General assured the Chairperson of the African Union Commission that the United Nations stands ready to provide any support necessary to advance the implementation of the measures agreed upon by the members of the African Union Peace and Security Council.

New York 27 October 2015

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Source:: Readout of the Secretary-General’s phone call with H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission

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IAEA Reviews Morocco’s Nuclear Power Infrastructure Development

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An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts has concluded an eight-day mission to review infrastructure development for a nuclear power programme in Morocco. The Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) was carried out at the invitation of the Kingdom of Morocco.

The INIR team, in its final meeting with the Government on 26 October, said that Morocco has developed a considerable base of knowledge and experience in nuclear activities in its preparations to make an informed decision about introducing nuclear power. The INIR team also made recommendations and suggestions aimed at assisting Morocco in making further progress in its nuclear infrastructure development.

Highly dependent on imported energy sources, Morocco is considering nuclear power as a long-term option beyond 2030. The North African country sees conventional and renewable energy sources meeting its needs over the next 15 years, when electricity demand is expected to grow threefold.
“Morocco has a good understanding of all the infrastructure issues described in the IAEA guide Milestones in the Development of a National Infrastructure for Nuclear Power,” said mission team leader Jose Bastos of the IAEA’s Nuclear Infrastructure Development Section.

The 11-person INIR team—comprising experts from Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom as well as IAEA staff—identified strengths in a number of areas, including:

• The development of a comprehensive nuclear law that establishes an independent regulatory body.
• The early establishment of training courses and facilities to support human resource development for the nuclear power programme.

The mission, which began on 19 October, also highlighted areas where further action is recommended, including:

• Developing a master plan with a timeline indicating the major activities to be conducted and identifying the organizations responsible for their implementation.
• Establishing a stakeholder involvement strategy and implementation plan for the nuclear power programme.

Khalid El Mediouri, chairman of the committee exploring the nuclear power option for Morocco, welcomed the INIR mission’s findings. They “will contribute to developing a clear vision of the requirements so that Morocco can take, at the appropriate time, a knowledgeable decision on introducing a nuclear power programme, in line with international standards,” said El Mediouri, who is also director general of CNESTEN, the operator of Morocco’s research reactor.

About INIR Missions:

Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review missions enable IAEA Member State representatives to have in-depth discussions with international experts about experiences and best practices in different countries. In developing its recommendations, the INIR team takes into account the comments made by the relevant national organizations. Implementation of any of the team’s recommendations is at the discretion of the Member State requesting the mission. The results of the INIR mission are expected to help the Member State to develop an action plan to fill any gaps, which in turn will help the development of the national nuclear infrastructure.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

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Egyptian businesswomen – a successful Egypt needs “Women at the Centre”

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Egyptian women entrepreneurs, businesswomen, and civil society leaders have that women need to be at the centre as Egypt seeks to revitalise its economy and build a successful future.

The message came as Deputy British Ambassador Helen Winterton hosted a policy roundtable at the British Embassy on challenges for women entrepreneurs and women in business in Egypt.

Participants, who came from a range of backgrounds including business, social development, and civil society, discussed their own experiences as well as issues affecting women’s participation in the Egyptian economy – such as access to capital and expertise, laws and policies, and social norms and expectations.

Deputy Ambassador Helen Winterton said:

“According to the World Bank, job market participation for women stands at just 23%. This is a waste of Egypt’s precious human talent, which could boost its GDP significantly by integrating more women into the economy.

“But it is also a waste for Egyptian women themselves. Strong, dynamic, and capable, it is essential that Egyptian women are at the centre – politically, socially, economically. Unleashing their potential is key to building a successful Egypt of the future.

“Today has been a great opportunity to listen to Egyptian experts and businesswomen, understand the challenges, and hear their views on how the UK can support greater economic opportunities for women in Egypt.”

Since 2010, the UK has spent over £30m on political, economic, and social projects in Egypt and expects to spend up to £50m in the next five years.

One project receiving UK support has been Al-Fanar, a charity active in Minya. With UK funding, Al-Fanar has provided the widows and female heads-of-households from 13 local villages with vocational and financial training, and offered them microloans to help start their own businesses.

UK funding is supporting the “GrOW” programme, a multi-country project supporting research and evidence on women’s economic empowerment. Evidence from this programme suggests that gender equality is essential for growth though growth does not necessarily lead to gender equality. The research recommends changes in law to ensure women’s equality, closing gender gaps in health and education, promoting women’s political participation, and addressing social norms that limit women’s roles in society.

In an effort to support governments and civil society across the region address some of these issues, the UK has launched Arab Women’s Enterprise Fund, a market development programme worth £10m that will work in Egypt, Jordan, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories starting from November 2015.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of British Embassy Cairo.

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U.S. Condemns Boko Haram Attacks

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Press Statement by John Kirby
U.S. Department of State Spokesperson

Washington, D.C.
October 27, 2015

The United States condemns the horrific and indiscriminate attacks at the Jambutu Mosque in Yola, Adamawa State, the Central Mosque of Polo Ward in Maiduguri, Borno State, and other locations in Maiduguri on October 23 and 24, 2015. We offer our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families and loved ones of the many innocent civilians who were killed and injured.

The apparent use of children—particularly young girls—to commit these attacks is especially heinous, and it provides yet more examples of the horrific measures Boko Haram is willing to take to terrorize civilians in northeast Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin region.

The United States continues to support the governments and people of the Lake Chad Basin region in their ongoing struggle to defeat Boko Haram. We will continue to assist these vital efforts in every appropriate way.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of U.S. Department of State.

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Government, UN food agencies warn of deteriorating food security in Southern Madagascar

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Nearly 1.9 million people – 46 percent of the population from eight regions of Madagascar – are now food insecure with 450,000 of them facing severe food insecurity, according to the Crop and Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM), an assessment by the Government of Madagascar, United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP).

The highest food insecurity rates are found in the island’s drought-hit southern regions of Androy, Anosy and Atsimo Andrefana where 380,000 people – 30 percent of the population – are affected. The situation has been triggered by a significant decrease in food production during the past three agricultural seasons as a result of recurrent shortages of rainfall which also impacted this year’s main harvest.

The seven most affected southern districts are Amboasary, Ambovombe, Beloha, Bekily, Tsihombe, Betioky, Ampanihy. Households have resorted to various negative coping strategies including the sale of assets, reducing their number of daily meals, withdrawing children from school and consuming wild foods such as cactus fruit.

Starting from November and continuing until the next harvest which is due in February, WFP will assist 130,000 of the most vulnerable people in five districts through food- or cash-for-assets programmes. These are designed to help communities build resilience and prepare for the next agricultural season. Those households which are unable to work will be supported through food distributions. To treat and prevent malnutrition, WFP will provide supplementary feeding to pregnant women, nursing mothers and to children under two years of age.

“When households adopt negative coping strategies, their resilience to shocks decreases,” said WFP Country Director Willem Van Milink. “Continuing assistance is crucial not only for communities to have adequate food consumption during the lean season but also so they can regain their livelihoods and increase their resilience to shocks.”

Patrice Talla Takoukam, FAO Representative in Madagascar, said recent food security assessments have not of themselves been sufficient to address the crisis. “The current situation requires real action from a range of actors to help vulnerable people recover and to avert a deterioration in the food security situation.”

FAO has implemented an emergency response in the agricultural sector through the distribution of improved drought-resistant seeds. This facilitates the replanting of more than 6,000 hectares of land and helps ensure food availability for 13,000 households in Anosy and Androy regions. A plague of locusts, which affected crops and pasture in 2013 and early 2014, has been defeated, thanks to the efforts of the Malagasy Government and FAO, and to support from donors under a three year locust eradication programme.

WFP is also supporting national efforts to treat moderate acute malnutrition among 7,000 children. In early October, a WFP-chartered plane airlifted a nutritional supplement to Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo. This will be used in state-run nutrition centres to fight increasing levels of acute and moderate malnutrition among children aged under five in the south of the country.

FAO and WFP programmes in Madagascar contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2: to eliminate hunger, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of World Food Programme (WFP).

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Source:: Government, UN food agencies warn of deteriorating food security in Southern Madagascar

Categories: AFRICA