Cameroon (NFA) – The United Nations refugee agency today expressed concern that forced returns of refugees from Cameroon’s far north region to crisis-gripped north-eastern Nigeria are continuing despite the recent signing of a tripartite agreement aimed at ensuring the voluntary nature…
South Sudan (NFA) – The recent surge in fighting in and around the towns of Wau Shilluk and Malakal (Greater Upper Nile region), has left many of those forced to flee cut off from healthcare. The international medical charity Médecins Sans…
Angolan authorities should immediately drop charges against two journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Rafael Marques de Morais, who runs the anti-corruption website Maka Angola, and Mariano Bras, of the weekly, O Crime, were charged with “crimen injuria,” which is similar to insult laws, the journalists told CPJ.
Marques de Morais told CPJ a prosecutor questioned him for three hours on December 27 before charging him with crimen injuria over an article he wrote and published on Maka Angola in October. The article alleged wrongdoing by Angola’s attorney general, João Maria de Sousa, in his purchase of state-owned land.
The United States welcomes the Government of Sudan’s recent efforts to improve humanitarian access. Last week, Sudan amended the “Directives and Procedures for Humanitarian Action.” These revised directives represent a significant step toward improving humanitarian access in Sudan. We believe when implemented, these revised regulations will facilitate humanitarian actors’ efforts to get aid to those in need. We recognize this as a positive step and we expect to see sustained gains in humanitarian access.
We also welcome the recent access given to a U.N. interagency team to travel and conduct a multi-sector assessment in Golo, Central Darfur, which included the first civilian aircraft to land in Golo in five years. Access to this conflict-affected area has allowed the U.N. to conduct a full assessment; and — if sustained — regular air access would enable the international humanitarian community to support relief efforts to Golo and surrounding areas. The United States, as part of its longstanding commitment to the people of Sudan, will continue to support humanitarian efforts there, and will work with all parties to remove remaining impediments to full humanitarian access.
The Internet is one of the most important enablers of social development and education. While Internet services have been quite phenomenal in the rest of the world, access to the Internet remains very low in Africa, especially in the rural communities. According to the Internet World Stats for Africa 2016 (http://APO.af/AvhzA), only 9.3% of people across the African continent are Internet users.
“A few years ago anyone who could not read and write was considered illiterate, but today this concept goes further, encompassing people who do not know how to use information and communication technologies. Health organizations and schools in Africa often face a unique set of obstacles, including a lack of access to much-needed health education and counselling platforms. The Community Tablet was created to help solve these problems”, says Dayn Amade.
“Regardless of the approach or transformative pathway chosen to change food systems and trade regimes, African countries need to undertake radical change in agricultural production systems, adopt agribusiness and promote regional agricultural value chains as a vein for regional integration.” The statement was made by Stephen Karingi, Director of the ECA’s Regional Integration and Trade Division this week in Cote d’Ivoire, at the opening of a symposium themed: Implementing Agro-Industrialization and Regional Value Chains for Africa’s Agricultural Transformation.
“Despite a handful of landmark political commitments, Africa is the only region in the world that has witnessed an increase in the number of food insecure people and has a mushrooming agricultural and food trade deficit,” said Karingi.
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)’s Burundi contingent has embarked on an operation code named ‘Antelope’ to open up key supply routes in the HirShabelle state.
The objective of the operation is to open the roads to facilitate humanitarian access, support the local population to move their crops from farms to markets and assist the military to get access to Forward Operating Bases (FOB) in the sector.
The Sector 5 Commander, Brigadier-General Venuste Nduwayo, said the operation which is already underway will see more than 150 kilometres of roads rehabilitated in the agricultural rich HirShabelle region. These include the Jowhar Airfield to Jowhar Town, Biyo-Adde to Jowhar Town, Mahadaay to Elbaraf, Biyo-Adde to Raga-elle and Raga-elle to Mogadishu among others.
Three staff members of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) who were abducted in El Geneina, West Darfur, on 27 November 2016, were freed on 19 December.
Sarun Pradhan and Ramesh Karki, both nationals of Nepal, and Musa Omer Musa Mohamed, a citizen of Sudan, are unharmed and are undergoing medical checks.
Expressing dismay at the takeover of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) premises by the military in Gambia, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the security forces to immediately vacate the Commission and to refrain from any further acts that could jeopardise efforts towards the peaceful transfer of power.
“This action violates the independent status of the Commission under the Gambian constitution, and could compromise the sensitive electoral material under the IEC’s custody,” said Mr. Ban, according to a statement issued by his office.
“He condemns this outrageous act of disrespect of the will of the Gambian people and defiance towards the international community at a time when a high-level Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) delegation was in the country to broker a peaceful transfer of power,” the statement added.