Africa 

DR Congo: Limitations to ‘strictly military approach’ to stem violence, mission chief warns 

Bintou Keita argued that, for stability to return to eastern Congo, “the State must succeed in restoring and maintaining the confidence of the people in their ability to protect, administer, deliver justice and meet their basic needs.”  Ms. Keita, who also acts as the head of the UN Stabilization Mission in the country (MONUSCO), said that she has stressed this regularly in her exchanges with the Head of State and with the Prime Minister.  Armed violence  Starting on November 30, the Congolese Armed Forces initiated joint military operations with the Ugandan army against the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the east.  According to Ms. Keita, UN peacekeepers and the…

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Africa 

Severe cash crunch threatens WFP operations in Ethiopia

WFP urgently needs $579 million to deliver food aid and livelihood support to some 12 million Ethiopians and refugees.  This includes $316 million for food and nutrition assistance to nearly four million people in the war-ravaged north.   The Ethiopian authorities, together with WFP and other partners, are struggling to address the hunger crisis in the country.  Food aid ‘critical’  An estimated 13.6 million people are now food insecure due to the combined effects of conflict, drought, flooding, desert locust invasions, market disruptions, high food prices and the COVID-19 pandemic. …

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Africa 

The Gambia: Guterres calls for ‘credible and transparent’ election 

In a statement released by his Spokesperson, António Guterres calls “on the electoral management body, candidates, political party leaders and their followers, through their conduct, to ensure a peaceful environment conducive to a credible, inclusive and transparent” election process.   According to news agencies, there are six candidates in the race to preside over the 2.2 million people who live in the West African nation.  Adama Barrow, the incumbent, defeated Yahya Jammeh, who had been in power for over 20 years, in 2016.   At the time, Mr. Jammeh initially refused to step down, resulting in a constitutional crisis, but he eventually facilitated…

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Africa 

Somalia: Security Council adopts resolution to keep pirates at bay

The Secretary-General’s latest report on the situation in the country illustrates that joint counter-piracy efforts have resulted in a steady decline in attacks and hijackings since 2011. However, although piracy off the coast of Somalia has been “repressed”, the ongoing threat of resurgence remains. As such – under Chapter VII of the Charter, which provides for enforcement action – the Security Council adopted Resolution 2608, which, among other things, condemns piracy and armed robbery at sea off the Somali coast, underscoring that it exacerbates instability by introducing “illicit cash that…

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Africa 

Rights experts call for end to violence against women in Tigray conflict

In a statement issued on Friday, they expressed grave concern about the widespread sexual and gender-based violence attributed to Ethiopian, Eritrean, Tigray and Amhara forces, as well as allied militia.  These incidents constitute some of the most egregious violations of human rights and humanitarian law, according to the experts.  ‘A deliberate strategy’  “They appear to have been used as part of a deliberate strategy to terrorize, degrade and humiliate the victims and the ethnic minority group that they belong to with acquiescence of the State and non-State actors’ parties to…

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Africa 

Violence in Cameroon, impacting over 700,000 children shut out of school 

Two out of three schools are closed in the North-West and South-West regions of the country. On 24 November, four children and one teacher were killed in an attack in Ekondo Titi, in the South-West.  Lockdown  A recent lockdown imposed by a non-State armed group, from 15 September to 2 October, limited access to basic services including health and education.  Over 700,000 children have been impacted by school closures due to violence in northwest and southwest Cameroon., by © Education Cannot Wait/Daniel Beloumou During the period, OCHA reported a series of attacks in the North-West.  Eight…

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Africa 

UN condemns killing of Indonesian peacekeeper in DR Congo

The attack by the so-called Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in eastern DRC, took place on Monday, near the town of Beni, when a MONUSCO patrol came under fire. The injured peacekeeper is reportedly in a stable condition. I strongly condemn the killing of a @MONUSCO peacekeeper from Indonesia in a cowardly attack in the Beni region yesterday. This crime must not go unpunished. I reiterate my gratitude to Indonesia for its strong support to the @UN and @UNPeacekeeping. pic.twitter.com/cS6aEG6q5M — Jean-Pierre Lacroix (@Lacroix_UN) June 23, 2020 They ‘risk their lives…

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Africa 

Devastating South Sudan coronavirus deaths,’a tragedy that can be prevented’, Security Council hears

But limited testing and social stigmatization is likely obscuring the true magnitude of the pandemic, said Mr. Shearer, who heads the UN Mission in the world’s youngest nation (UNMISS). The Mission’s greatest fear is that the additional pressure of responding to COVID-19 on South Sudan’s weak healthcare system will disrupt vaccinations, maternal health services and treatment for curable diseases like malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia. The result could be a “devastating” increase in deaths that would likely greater than the loss of life from COVID-19 itself. Systemic threat “COVID is going to hit…

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Africa 

Burkina Faso facing ‘multitude of challenges’ – human rights chief Bachelet

She noted the landlocked West African nation faced the on-going threat of violent extremism, climate change and humanitarian crises, but Michelle Bachelet also stressed that her fact-finding mission was “a testament” to the State’s openness the promotion and protection of human rights, in collaboration with the UN. Armed Islamist groups have killed hundreds of civilians there, as well as in Mali and Niger, while Government security forces and pro-Government militias have also killed terrorism suspects and civilians. Meanwhile, climate change is robbing farmers and herders of their livelihoods – sparking…

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Africa 

Series of appalling deadly attacks on displaced people in DR Congo

In the latest incident carried out by armed groups, UNHCR spokesperson Boris Cheshirkov cited local authorities in saying that 26 people were killed on Sunday at Ndjala site in the Drodro health zone in Ituri province. “Ten women and nine children were among the dead and 11 people were wounded. The attackers used guns, machetes and knives”, he told journalists at the UN in Geneva.  We are appalled by a series of deadly attacks by armed groups on displaced people in eastern DRC. Desperate needs of those impacted include food,…

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