Africa 

Condemnation over new attack on Nigeria school, ‘more than 300’ girls missing 

The agency’s representative in the country, Peter Hawkins, urged the assailants to let the teenagers go immediately, after the latest in a recent spate of outrages perpetrated against youngsters, this time in Zamfara state.  “We utterly condemn the attack & call on those responsible to release the girls immediately and for the government to take steps to ensure their safe release.”- @PeterF_Hawkins on the attack at Government Girls Secondary School, Zamfara, northwest Nigeria.https://t.co/NxuNchpZgA — UNICEF Nigeria (@UNICEF_Nigeria) February 26, 2021 “We are angered and saddened by yet another brutal attack on schoolchildren in Nigeria,” Mr. Hawkins said. “This is a gross violation…

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Africa 

South Sudan: UN agencies support nationwide polio vaccination campaign

An outbreak of the life-threatening disease, which mainly affects children under five, was first declared last September and has spread to 17 counties in all states in the country, with 39 cases of vaccine-derived polio confirmed.    The campaign began in November and rollout of the second phase started on 16 February.  Workers have been going from house to house to inoculate children with the oral polio vaccine, while adhering to COVID-19 protocols.  Stop the outbreak, support routine immunization  WHO and partners are supporting the Ministry of Health with the…

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Africa 

Central African Republic ‘very volatile’, despite important progress – UN peacekeeping chief 

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, praised the peacekeeping mission in the country, MINUSCA, in providing security to thousands of internally displaced, helping to safeguard democratic order and protecting civilians “in the face of persisting attempts by the armed group coalition to asphyxiate the country”.  However, notwithstanding these “outstanding efforts”, he upheld: “The situation remains very volatile”.  “Despite the rapid deterioration of the security situation, #MINUSCA has continued to serve as the main guarantor of security for the civilian population. MINUSCA repeatedly repelled armed group attacks, including on the capital.”…

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Africa 

UN to review deadly convoy attack in DR Congo which led to Italian Ambassador’s death

The UN’s Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) will be leading a detailed review into the incident, the agency said in an update on Tuesday.  Mustapha was laid to rest today in DRC, following yesterday’s attack that took his life. For 16 years, he served with commitment, dedication and bravery as a @WFP driver. He will be greatly missed by us all. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers. pic.twitter.com/uNKxXqfT9P — David Beasley (@WFPChief) February 23, 2021 Forced to disembark  Ambassador Luca Attanasio and his security escort,…

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Africa 

Avoid ‘risky winner-take-all tactics’ in Somalia, UN Security Council hears

“Growing political tensions threaten Somalia’s State-building progress and even security”, Special Representative and Head of the UN Assistance Mission (UNSOM) James Swan said via videoconference.   “I urge all of Somalia’s political leaders to pull back from confrontation and avoid risky winner-take-all tactics”, he underscored.  Escalating ‘rhetoric and actions’   A political standoff among Somali leaders has “blocked” the electoral model agreed upon by the Federal Government (FGS) and Federal Member State (FMS) leaders on 17 September, said the UNSOM chief.  And electoral implementation tensions have been compounded by questions over the…

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Africa 

Three killed in attack on UN World Food Programme convoy in DR Congo

A number of other passengers travelling with the delegation were injured.   The group was travelling from Goma, the capital of the North Kivu province, to visit a WFP-run school feeding programme in Rutshuru (about 40 miles north of Goma), the agency said in a statement.  “WFP will work with national authorities to determine the details behind the attack, which occurred on a road that had previously been cleared for travel without security escorts”, the agency added, noting that it is in close contact with the Italian authorities through its…

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Africa 

FROM THE FIELD: The goats helping Zambians to reach economic independence

When Sylvia Chiinda’s husband died, she was left to raise seven children on her own. As extreme weather hit more frequently, her farm became less productive, forcing her to look for other ways to make money. Women in the village of Kanakanatapa in Zambia’s Chongwe District have more economic independence as a result of diversifying their farming activities. UNDP/Moses Zangar Jr. Help came in the form of a UN-backed project which is supporting vulnerable women like Ms. Chiinda, by training them in goat-rearing and providing them with a stable income,…

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Africa 

‘Exercise restraint and calm’, UN chief urges after violent outbreak in Somalia 

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Farhan Haq, Secretary-General António Guterres called on all parties to “exercise restraint and calm”.   Gunfire erupted between Somali Government troops and opposition supporters during a protest march against delayed elections that turned violent.   Demonstrators said that the Government forces had attacked them first and residents reported sporadic shooting and that rocket-propelled grenades had been fired, according to news sources.  The violence followed fighting overnight that had subsided by Friday afternoon.  Political impasse  While lawmakers were due to select a new President on 8 February, the process has been delayed.  “The Secretary-General urges the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member States leaders to urgently come together and finalize political agreement on the way forward for national elections, in line with…

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Africa 

DR Congo: Lives and futures of three million children at risk, UNICEF warns

Whole villages have been set ablaze, health centres and schools ransacked, and entire families – including children – hacked to death, in a series of merciless attacks in eastern DRC by fighters using machetes and heavy weapons, UNICEF said in a news release. Communities have been forced to flee with only the barest of possessions.  “Displaced children know nothing but fear, poverty, and violence. Generation after generation can think only of survival”, Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative for the DRC, said. Displaced children know nothing but fear, poverty, and violence ……

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Africa 

Violence in South Sudan engulfs country, 10 years after independence ‘children all have guns’

Highlighting a continuing lack of local and national infrastructure almost a year since the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity in South Sudan, Yasmin Sooka, Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights in the country noted that although the signing of the Revitalized Peace Agreement two years ago had “led to a reduction in hostilities at the national level”, the country seen “a massive escalation in violence” locally.  Power vacuum filled by fighting  Echoing that finding, Commission member Barney Afako explained that signing the cessation of hostilities…

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