Africa 

Mali’s withdrawal from G5 Sahel, Joint Force ‘a setback’ for the region 

Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, Assistant Secretary-General for Africa in the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations, said the Joint Force was created in 2017 by the “G5” Heads of State – Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger – to counter terrorism in the Sahel “head on”.  Challenging dynamics  However, the challenging political and security dynamics in the Sahel – and uncertain outcomes of transitions in Mali and Burkina Faso, in particular – has already slowed Joint Force operations.  The G5 Sahel, meanwhile, has not convened a…

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Africa 

Demand for lifesaving aid up 10 per cent this year: UN relief chief

Martin Griffiths, who is also the Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that around 303 million living in 69 countries, were in need of humanitarian aid and protection, compared with 274 million last December – a statistic which he described to reporters in Geneva, as “a sad record of human suffering.” “The number of people we aim to reach through our response plans, 202 million, is also more than 10 per cent higher than what we projected last December”, said relief chief Griffiths. Making ends meet “The world’s attention is elsewhere. But…

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Africa 

Somalia: UN welcomes end of fairly contested presidential election, calls for unity

The United Nations in Somalia welcomed the conclusion of the country’s presidential election held on Sunday, praising the “positive” nature of the electoral process and peaceful transfer of power. “I would like to congratulate the newly-elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on his victory tonight”, said the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan, in the early hours of Monday morning. He also expressed “our appreciation to the other candidates, and particularly outgoing President Mohammed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmaajo,’ for respecting the outcome and for continuing the Somali tradition of embracing whoever wins and supporting them going forward – the  atmosphere tonight, I think, was very positive”.…

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Africa 

Relief chief underlines need for urgent support as millions face drought in Horn of Africa

The drought follows four consecutive failed rainy seasons, and the fear is the number could jump to 20 million if the current below-average rains fail.  Imagine having to choose between feeding your child or sending them to school. Communities I met in Turkana County, #Kenya today, are facing these impossible choices every day due to drought in the #HornOfAfrica. We must help them. pic.twitter.com/SDqXEUZnMd — Martin Griffiths (@UNReliefChief) May 12, 2022 UN Humanitarian Coordinator Martin Griffiths was in the region this week on a two-day mission to Kenya to raise…

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Africa 

DR Congo: UN chief calls for probe into deadly armed attacks on mining site

At least 38 civilians, including women and children, were killed in the attacks carried out by the Coopérative pour le développement du Congo (CODECO) at the Blakete-Plitu mining site. More civilians were displaced and reported missing when the attackers set fire to nearby Malika village, where they also reportedly raped six women.    The UN mission in the country, known by the French acronym MONUSCO, conducted a medical evacuation on Monday, transporting severely injured civilians to medical facilities in the provincial capital, Bunia. Allow UN access The Secretary-General has expressed his…

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Africa 

Africa: COVID has ‘pushed back’ democracy, Ukraine war further raises risks 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will effect food security on the continent, both through availability and pricing of imported food, along with rising uncertainties in global financial markets and supply chains. Russia and Ukraine, both often referred to as the world’s breadbasket, are major players in the export of wheat and sunflower to Africa. Between them, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sudan and South Africa, account for 80 per cent of all wheat imports, which are projected to reach 76.5 million tonnes by 2025. ‘Immense discontent’ At a media…

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Africa 

Champion of women’s right to manage land and forests wins top environment prize

Cécile Ndjebet is the recipient of the 2022 Wangari Maathai Forest Champions Award by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), which is chaired by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).  Ms. Ndjebet was presented with the award at a ceremony in Seoul, Republic of Korea, during the XV World Forestry Congress.  A voice for equality  “This award celebrates Cécile Ndjebet’s energy and dedication over three decades in promoting women’s rights to land and forests. She has actively shown that women’s participation in forest governance and preservation is fundamental to…

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Africa 

Ethiopia: Essential aid reaches Tigray region, but more still needed

The 27 trucks delivered nearly 1,000 metric tonnes of food and other essential items to the city of Mekelle, UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told journalists in New York.  This was the fourth humanitarian convoy to reach Tigray since the transportation of aid resumed at the beginning of April, following more than three months of interruption.  Critical operations expanded  Since then, 169 trucks have reached Tigray, transporting some 4,300 metric tonnes of supplies.   Mr. Dujarric said food and other aid has been dispatched from the regional capital Mekelle, to priority…

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Africa 

Recognize ‘enormous challenges’ facing northern Nigeria to forge new hope, Guterres urges

The people affected by terrorism I met in Borno, Nigeria want above all to go back home in safety and dignity. Borno is now a place of hope – showing that the way to fight terrorism effectively is to invest in livelihoods, reintegration and people’s futures. pic.twitter.com/b3nM68mqVH — António Guterres (@antonioguterres) May 4, 2022 António Guterres made the remarks after visiting a UN-supported reintegration centre for children who have been involved with armed groups, in Maiduguri, the capital and the largest city in Borno State. Borno has been one of…

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Africa 

A refuge from terror in Niger, as UN Chief pledges to be voice for the displaced

This is Ouallam district one of the hottest places in Niger, in one of the hottest countries in Africa, where rain falls rarely and sparingly but where shattered communities can find a refuge from the increasing acts of violence and terrorist activity which have struck the region. Ouallam and two other neighbouring districts in northern Niger currently shelter some 28,000 people who have fled their homes because of violence, including terrorist acts, in the volatile wider Sahel region of Africa. Around 8,000 have left as refugees from neighbouring Mali to…

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