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Sudan: Firewood collector killed, village raided in South Darfur

Sudan - ReliefWeb News - 57 min 5 sec ago
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

A displaced man was killed when collecting firewood in Gireida locality, South Darfur, this morning. On Thursday, militiamen kidnapped a boy for several hours in Gireida. During a raid on Tur village, in Kass locality, a woman was raped. Two men sustained serious injuries.

A listerner from Gireida told Dabanga that ten militiamen opened fire on Ali Mohamed Ali at 10 am on Friday, 10 km west of the town, and killed him on the spot. Ali was collecting firewood in the area of Hashaba. They took his donkey cart, and ran off on their camels and horses. “We have reported the incident to the police,” the witness said, “but they did not move.”

Five militiamen on camels kidnapped a seven-year-old boy when he was collecting firewood with his father in Shanga, 4 km south of Gireida, on Thursday. They tied the father with rope to a tree by his hands and legs before taking off with Mohamed Saber Ali Yagoub.

The father managed to free himself, and returned to Gireida. The source said that people panicked upon hearing the father's story. “Others decided to track the kidnappers. The traces led to a small settlement where they found the abducted boy and brought him back to Gireida.”

He explained that the police was informed about the incident and that they followed the perpetrators, but these seemed to have already left the area.

A group of women was assaulted by militiamen on Wednesday when they were gathering firewood south of Gireida. They were severely beaten, and one of them was gang-raped.

Village invaded

On Wednesday evening, members of the Rapid Support Forces raided the village of Tur, in Kass locality. Several of them raped a woman at gunpoint inside her house. They also stole her belongings, witnesses said. Jamal Ahmed El Haj and Ahmed Hassan Suleiman were seriously injured during the raid. Today (Friday), Jamal El Haj was transferred from Kass to Nyala, and from there to a hospital in Khartoum for treatment.

The witnesses added that they had informed the commander of the nearby military garrison, captain Zakaria Abdallah Abdelshaafi, about the incident. “He replied that he cannot protect us.”

Sudan: Security detains more people in Central Darfur

Sudan - ReliefWeb News - 58 min 28 sec ago
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

Authorities in Central Darfur are carrying out a series of detentions in Zalingei and Nierteti. Two men were held in Zalingei on Wednesday, two others in Nierteti, on Friday. Security agents detained a teacher of a secondary school in Golo, Central Darfur, on Wednesday. Another man was tortured for several hours.

A witness said that teacher Mekki Mohamed Rajab came to Zalingei, the capital of Central Darfur, about a week ago, to do a M.A. related course at the University of Zalingei. “Security agents held him near the Zalingei Hospital, and took him to an unknown destination.”

He added that another man was taken by men he believed to be security members, on Wednesday morning. “Abdelaziz Haroun Abdelrahman was on his way from Hamidiya camp to Zalingei market, when four armed men in a double cab vehicle took him to an unknown destination. There thy robbed him of SDG4,600 ($760.45) and released him at 3 pm that day.”

Nierteti

Members of the military intelligence and policemen detained Adam Wad Tarjam at the market of Nierteti early Friday morning. They took him to the Nierteti military garrison. Tarjam is the owner of a shisha bar.

An eyewitness told Dabanga that the military intelligence forces returned to the market, where a crowd had gathered. They searched for the father of Gazafi Adam Siddig, who works for a transport company. “The men asked Gazafi where his father was, and he replied that he was in Zalingei.” The forces detained Gazafi Sidig instead, and took him also to the military garrison.

The detentions in Central Darfur may be part of a hunt on people affiliated with the rebel movements. The Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid (SLM-AW) has strongholds in Sur Reng and Deribat.

Sudan: Militiamen attack cars, camp in North Darfur

Sudan - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 31 sec ago
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

Militiamen robbed two vehicles in separate incidents in western Jebel Marra and North Darfur on Wednesday. All passengers were severely beaten, and six of them sustained serious injuries. The displaced living in Zamzam camp, near El Fasher, lost 200 cows to raiding militiamen the same day.

One of the passengers of an ambushed Nissan vehicle told Dabanga that militiamen on camels appeared on the road in Abu Hamra. The vehicle was on its way to Shadad camp for the displaced in Shangil Tobaya, North Darfur, carrying a group of people who had fled the ongoing fighting and bombardments in Sawani in East Jebel Marra.

“The militiamen opened fire on our vehicle at about 3 pm in Abu Hamra. They forced us out and beat us, including the driver. Then, they robbed us of all our properties. The vehicle was severely damaged by their shooting.” The wounded were brought to El Malam, which is in the area, for treatment.

In North Darfur too, militiamen robbed a rental vehicle which was on its way from El Fasher to Tawila. “Four government-backed militiamen on camels stopped our vehicle in Bawabat Sigili at gunpoint,” one of the victims explained. “They ordered all the passengers to come outside and lie on the ground, before they beat and whipped us.” Besides taking their money, mobile phones and other belongings they had with them, the militiamen also took the goods from the back of the vehicle, and took off.

Militiamen enter camp without a fight

Displaced people living in Zamzam camp, south of El Fasher, witnessed a large cattle theft by militiamen on Wednesday. The camp residents hid inside their homes, when men stormed the camp just after sunset. The robbers stole about 200 cows. A witness said that none of the government forces, stationed at six points in the camp, intervened.

Sudan: Constitutional amendments dash hopes for peace in Sudan’s Two Areas: Arman

Sudan - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 5 min ago
Source: Sudan Tribune Country: Sudan

January 30, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - Weeks before a new round of talks between the warring parties in Blue Nile and South Kordofan, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) pointed that the horizon of peace seems as remote as ever due to the recent constitutional amendments

On 4 January the Sudanese legislators approved a number of constitutional amendments including the appointment of governors by the president, scraping their election by popular vote. The parliament also transformed the security and intelligence apparatus into regular force enabling it to have its own armed force.

“The constitutional amendments have dashed definitively all what was provided in the (interim) constitution and previous peace agreement of 2005. This will directly impact attempts by African Union High-Level Implementation Panel(AUHIP) to conclude a framework agreement partly based on the (comprehensive) peace agreement and the agreement of 28 June, 2011,” said SPLM-N secretary-general Yasir Arman on Friday.

“So, we are back to square one, as the constitutional amendments destroyed the all gains of the Two Areas in the 2005 peace agreement,”. Arman emphasised.

He further said that the refusal of the ruling National Congress Party to postpone the elections ruined the national dialogue, adding that the “regime’s insistence on the partial solution destroys any chance to reach an agreement with the SPLM-N”.

The chief mediator Thabo Mbeki last December postponed the talks between the government and the rebel movement over a framework agreement leading to stop hostilities in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The parties were at odds over ways to link between the process on the Two Areas and the national dialogue which is supposed to be inclusive and comprehensive process.

Since, the government intensified its attacks on the SPLM-N positions as Sudanese military officials in Khartoum vowed to crush the insurgency and to recapture their headquarters in Kauda, South Kordofan. However the rebel fighters resisted the large-scale military campaign.

Nonetheless, Arman who the SPLM-N chief negotiator did not rule out their participation in future peace talks with the Sudanese government, saying they will never reject a call for negotiations but also will not accept partial solutions.

“We always go into negotiations in good faith, and willing to provide new ideas, in the framework of a comprehensive solution, with the aim to stop the war. But, we are not ready for any partial solution, and we will negotiate and fight to repel regime’s aggression”.

He further disclosed that they will meet with the AUHIP chief on Saturday for consultations on the new round of talks.

“We received an invitation to consult with President Mbeki who had sent a 15-page letter to the two chief negotiators including a summary of the positions of the two parties and new ideas,” he said.

The meeting comes after a series of meeting the chief mediator held in Khartoum with the Sudanese officials and opposition parties. Arman said it also comes after their demand to treat the parties with equality.

The Sudanese information minister Ahmed Balal Osman said last Wednesday the government has accepted to resume peace talks with the SPLM-N next February but he didn’t give a date for the meeting.

(ST)

Sudan: Sudan: Food Security Outlook - January to June 2015

Sudan - ReliefWeb News - 3 hours 4 min ago
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network Country: Sudan

Food security improving with harvests, but conflict in some areas to cause new displacement

KEY MESSAGES

  • Preliminary estimates indicated record-high cereal and cash crop production due to increased area planted and above-average rainfall. Sorghum production is estimated to be double the fiveyear average and three times greater than last year. Aboveaverage harvests have improved household access to food and income from seasonal income opportunities.

  • Staple food prices continued to decline seasonally in most markets. Sorghum prices dropped by an average of 13 percent from November to December. Despite these decreases during the harvest period, food prices remain well above average due to high inflation. Cereal prices are roughly 30 percent higher than last year, and 120 percent above the five-year average, although prices in real terms are more stable.

  • Despite improved food security conditions in much of the country, acute food insecurity persists among 3.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities in conflict-affected areas of South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur states. An estimated 25 to 30 percent of IDPs in SPLM-N-controlled areas of South Kordofan will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and an estimated 20 to 30 percent of IDPs in Darfur are expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) through June 2015.

occupied Palestinian territory: Palestinians say West Banker killed by Israeli soldiers

oPt - ReliefWeb News - 3 hours 22 min ago
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: occupied Palestinian territory

Ramallah, Palestinian Territories | AFP | Saturday 1/31/2015 - 18:20 GMT

Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian late on Saturday near Nablus in the north of the occupied West Bank, Palestinian security officials said.

They said Ahmad al-Najjar, 19, was killed and another man was wounded by live fire during a clash with Israeli forces.

An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed to AFP that soldiers had opened fire on two Palestinians who had thrown petrol bombs at vehicles on a road near Nablus used by civilians.

"Such attacks represent an immediate threat," she said, adding that one Palestinian was wounded in the leg.

The second Palestinian had been "hit", she said, but was unable to say whether he had been killed.

he/jlr/srm/hkb

© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse

Iraq: OCHA Flash Update No. 2: Iraq Crisis, Kirkuk violence, 31 January 2015

ReliefWeb - OCHA Situation Reports - 3 hours 33 min ago
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Iraq

Please see the latest information on today’s Kirkuk violence

1.- The situation in Kirkuk remains relatively calm on Saturday after Peshmerga Forces successfully repelled an attack by ISIL on the outskirts of the oil-rich city late Thursday night/Friday morning. A large presence of Peshmerga forces remains visibly present on the streets.

2.- Late Thursday night (29 January) ISIL forces attacked three areas on the outskirts of the city [Maktab Khalid, Tal Alward and Maryam Bek] which were later retaken by Kurdish Peshmerga forces, with additional air support from coalition forces.

3.- An ISIL convoy coming from the direction of Hawija and reportedly en route to attack positions of the Kurdistan Regional Government Security Forces (KRG-SF) along the frontline in south-western Kirkuk Governorate was struck by coalition airstrikes. Upwards of 20 vehicles were reportedly destroyed halting the ISIL operation.

4.- The Makhtab Khalid checkpoint between Kirkuk and Hawija districts which was seized by ISIL on Friday is now firmly under the control of Peshmerga forces, however, as of Saturday sporadic fighting continues in some areas in the southwest of the governorate outside the city.

5.- The current frontline between Kurdish forces and ISIL in the Governorate, runs through Mulla Abdalla, Tal Alward, Makhtab Khalid (Kirkuk District), to Maryam Beg (Daquq District) further south.

6.- Unconfirmed social media reports suggest upwards of 500 Shiite militiamen arrived in Kirkuk to support Peshmerga forces.

7.- No civilian casualties have been reported, however, dozens of ISIL and Peshmerga forces have reportedly been killed over the past two days of fighting, including a senior Kurdish commander.

** Humanitarian Situation/NGO presence**

8.- There are no reports of displacement or population movements due to a local curfew that was enforced at the time of the fighting. As of Saturday, checkpoints into and out of the city have reopened.

9.- IDPs remain out of sight today out of fear of possible retribution. The three gunmen killed in Dahuk were reportedly masquerading as Arab IDPs.

10.- ICRC has mobilized medical supplies from Erbil in support of area hospitals and clinics.

11.- International and local NGOs working in Kirkuk are evaluating the security situation in Kirkuk and will resume normal operations/distributions in the coming days.

The information in this note was compiled by OCHA Iraq and UNAMI based on a variety of sources, including the Government of Iraq, the Regional Government of Kurdistan, UN Agencies, International Non-Government Organizations, media reports, and key informant interviews.

The next Flash Update will be issued as required. For more information, contact David Swanson swanson@un.org, or visit the Humanitarian Operations Centre, UNAMI Erbil.

Categories: RSS feeds

Pakistan: Pakistan: Humanitarian Snapshot - Bara Return Overview (as of 30 Jan 2015)

Pakistan - ReliefWeb News - 3 hours 47 min ago
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Pakistan

Since 2008, more than 5 million people from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have been registered as displaced. The military operations in the North Waziristan Agency (NWA) in June 2014 and in Bara area in Khyber agency in October 2014 led to further displacements of around 770,000 people. The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has verified nearly 92,000 families displaced from NWA and 35,000 families displaced from Bara in 2014.
At the end of 2014, 1.6 million people remained displaced in KP and FATA.

FATA secretariat has de-notified five areas in Bara and decided to return estimated 80,000 families starting from February 2015. Basic services including shelter, education, health and water and sanitation need to be restored urgently in the return area

Chad: Tchad: Perspectives sur la sécurité alimentaire - Janvier 2015 à Juin 2015

Chad - ReliefWeb News - 4 hours 13 min ago
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network Country: Chad

La situation alimentaire commence à se détériorer dans certaines régions du Tchad

MESSAGES CLÉS

 Malgré les récoltes excédentaires enregistrées dans la plupart des régions agricoles, des déficits céréaliers allant de 5 à 76 pourcent ont été enregistrés dans les régions de Kanem, Sila, Tandjilé, Wadi Fira, Mayo Kebbi Ouest, Moyen Chari, Lac et Mayo Kebbi Est. Les régions ayant enregistré les baisses les plus importantes sont le Kanem (-76 pourcent), Sila (-50 pourcent), et Tandjilé (-27 pourcent).

 Les marchés des produits alimentaires sont bien animés et fonctionnent normalement dans toutes les zones de moyens d’existence. De manière générale, les prix des céréales sont en baisse comparés à leur niveau du dernier trimestre de 2014; cela améliore l’accès aux céréales. Les flux de bétail vers le Nigeria et la Libye sont ralentis à cause de l’insécurité entrainant une baisse atypique des prix.

 Malgré que la sécurité alimentaire des ménages pauvres se soit améliorée les trois derniers mois de 2014 grâce aux nouveaux produits de récolte, le déficit céréalier enregistré dans certaines localités occasionnera un épuisement précoce de stock. Les ménages dépendront des achats sur le marché pour couvrir leur consommation alimentaire en réduisant certaines dépenses nonalimentaires essentielles.

 De janvier à mars, les ménages pauvres dépendront des achats sur les marchés et auront une consommation alimentaire réduite.
A cet effet, ils vont basculer de la Phase Minimale (Phase 1 de l’IPC) à la Phase Stress (Phase 2 de l'IPC). A partir d’avril 2015, ils resteront en Stress grâce à l’assistance alimentaire et ceci jusqu’en juin.

South Sudan: South Sudan Crisis Situation Report No.72 (as of 29 January 2015)

ReliefWeb - OCHA Situation Reports - 6 hours 16 min ago
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: South Sudan

Highlights

● Roads across the country continued to improve making it possible for aid agencies to reach more people in a costeffective way.

● A second round of polio vaccination campaign in Maban refugee camp was competed reaching 71,097 children under the age of 15.

● Four outpatient treatment centers were opened in Aweil County, in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State to improve coverage of nutrition services in hard-to-reach areas.

● Women groups received groundnut processing machines as part of improving income generation and nutrition in Makpandu refugee settlement, Western Equatoria.

4.1 million People to be assisted by the end of 2015

2.5 million People facing crisis/emergency levels of food insecurity Jan-Mar 2015

1.5 million People internally displaced by confl ict since December 2013

$600 million Required for life-saving assistance by February 2015

Categories: RSS feeds

Sudan: Killing, looting and burning by the Rapid Support Forces-supported by an aerial bombardment in East Jabbal Marra, 24th January to 26th January

Sudan - ReliefWeb News - 7 hours 38 min ago
Source: SUDO (UK) Country: Sudan

On the 24th, 25th and 26th January 2015 the Rapid Support Forces burned three villages and large acres of farming land in FANGA area.

On the 25th January a group from the Raid Support Forces on Horses and Camels back, who were ambushed by the SLA/AW in SORONG area on the 23rd January, and retreated from the battle field, they attacked KAYTEE village and looted 85 head of Caws, and killed Abdo-Al-Rahman Yahya and Mustafa Mussa Adam in TAKOMOA village and looted 150 head of Caws and 30 Donkeys.

On the same day they attacked DANKONG village and killed 4 people and looted the village, those who were killed
1.-Abakr Hamid
2.- Fatima Hassan Haroun(f)
3.- Abdallah Abakr Yahya
4.- Hassan Mohamed Hassan

On the 26th January 2014 after a heavy bombardment on the area of East Jabbal Marra, the Rapid Support Forces moved in and burned ten (10) villages as flow;
1.- FORO
2.- BARDANE
3.- TOWAGROON
4.- KRMA
5.- FORONOG
6.- TOGAREROR
7.- DULMA
8.- KERO
9.- ARDAYBA
10.- NONNI

As a result more than 200 families were displaced to NERTITI IDPs camp and the rest of the villagers fled to seek cover and shelter up on Jabbal Marra Mountain.

On the same day around 10.00am a group from the Rapid Support Forces attacked and killed Abdo Al-gader Omar and his three shepherds in KHAZAN TONGOR and looted his 1200 head of Camels.

Elsewhere on the same day around 12.00pm in north east Jabbal Marra, a group from the Rapid Support Forces attacked and killed Abbood Nade and Basheer Ramadan in Rahad Dusha and looted 1100 head of Camels and 210 head of Caws. And they (RSF) occupied all the water resources in the area.

On the 26th January a group from the RSF attacked TAGAY and KANOOT villages, killing Hassan Ali Mahmoud and looted his livestock (100 head of Caws and 200 head of sheep’s), and they looted the tow villages. The two villages were displaced to ARGOWA IDPs Camp near Kapkabeya town in north Darfur.

The citizens in the area of west Darfur believe that, the reason behind all these resent intensive attacks, killing and looting is to force the indigence people to evacuate their lands and villages, so as to be distributed between the Janjaweed militia groups.

SUDO UK calls on the Government to disband the Rapid Support Forces as well as the Janjaweed as these are consistently committing human rights abuses in Darfur. All those individuals or groups responsible for committing human rights violations must be brought to justice.

SUDO UK calls on UNAMID to take strong action in order to fulfil its mandate, including its obligation to “prevent attacks against civilians, within its capability and areas of deployment, without prejudice to the responsibility of the Government of the Sudan”, and the requirement “to investigate and hold accountable those who are responsible, and promote efforts to disarm the Janjaweed and other militias”.

Sierra Leone: Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

Guinea - ReliefWeb News - 7 hours 55 min ago
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia | AFP | Saturday 1/31/2015 - 12:00 GMT

by Karim Lebhour with Frankie Taggart in Dakar

As Africa's leaders meet in Ethiopia to discuss the Ebola crisis, expectations of firm action will be tempered by criticism over the continent's poor record in the early stages of the epidemic.

The outbreak is a priority on the agenda of the 54-nation African Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa on Saturday, yet the bloc is still smarting from criticism that it reacted too slowly to the outbreak.

Health workers and cash have flooded in from the United States, Britain and even Cuba as part of a UN-led surge to battle an epidemic which has seen nearly 9,000 deaths in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Yet it was only in September -- 10 months after the virus emerged and a month after it was declared a "health emergency of international concern" -- that the AU held an emergency summit.

The three hardest-hit nations have expressed disappointment that their continental neighbours seemed initially to be much quicker to shut borders and ban flights than to deploy resources.

Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma hinted at his disillusionment in August when he greeted a $500,000 donation from Gambia with an ill-disguised dig at his other African neighbours.

"In moments like this, we will remember our friends including those that are rallying round us and those that show true spirit of African solidarity," he said.

He added that "we expect African countries and organisations including ECOWAS and the African Union to rally round and show solidarity which the Gambian president has demonstrated".

  • 'Un-African travel bans' -

A week earlier Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, a senior official, had expressed "shock" that South Africa had donated a mobile testing laboratory on one hand while banning Sierra Leoneans on the other.

The hurt was shared in Liberia where Musa Bility, head of the national football association, told AFP in August that travel bans imposed by several neighbours were "un-African".

Nelson Mandela's widow Graca Machel was more explicit when she blasted African leaders in November for an "inadequate" response to Ebola which demonstrated a lack of regard for human life.

The AU itself has recognised its shortcomings. At the height of the epidemic, members had deployed just 100 volunteers to west Africa, a quarter of the number provided by Cuba alone.

"With the wisdom of hindsight, our responses at all levels -- continental, global and national -– were slow, and often knee-jerk reactions that did not always help the situation," the bloc's chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma admitted at a meeting with the heads of the United Nations and World Bank on October 28.

Politicians and aid agencies have noted a better response since, however, with 800 of 1,000 volunteers pledged in October now in place.

  • Danger of complacency -

In November, the AU set up a crisis fund alongside the African Development Bank and regional business leaders, with some $28 million pledged.

AU leaders in Ethiopia are discussing the economic recovery of countries affected by Ebola, setting up a "solidarity fund" and planning a proposed African Centre for Disease Control.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday laboratory-confirmed Ebola infections had dropped below 100 new cases a week for the first time in more than six months.

The WHO said it had shifted its efforts from slowing the spread to stamping it out completely.

Meanwhile Guinea's President Alpha Conde has warned that the retreat of the virus has brought with it the danger of complacency.

"We have to see how to compensate for the damage that Ebola has inflicted on our economy and our finances," he told AFP last week on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, which brings together 2,500 of the world's most influential business and political leaders.

He called on the International Monetary Fund, which is owed $480 million ($557 million) by the Ebola-hit nations, to forgive the debt, a request which has been backed in part by the United States, IMF's largest shareholder.

"The consequences are extremely serious for our economy. Business executives no longer come to our country," he said.

bur-ft/mjs

© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse

Sierra Leone: Ebola: timeline of a ruthless killer

Guinea - ReliefWeb News - 7 hours 58 min ago
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia | AFP | Saturday 1/31/2015 - 12:00 GMT

Here are key dates in the current Ebola epidemic, the worst ever outbreak of the haemorrhagic fever which first surfaced in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

According to the latest toll given by the World Health Organization (WHO), the epidemic has left 8,810 dead, mainly in the west African states of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, out of the more than 22,000 cases registered.

-- DECEMBER 2013 -- - 6: A two-year-old child dies in Meliandou in southern Guinea and is later identified as "patient zero". The virus remains localised until February 2014, when a careworker in a neighbouring province dies.

-- MARCH 2014 -- - 24: Authorities in Guinea and the WHO say that since January the country has recorded 87 suspected cases of viral haemorrhagic fever, including 61 deaths. Scientists studying samples in the French city of Lyon confirm it is Ebola.

  • 31: Liberia confirms two cases.

-- MAY -- - 26: Sierra Leone confirms its first case.

-- JULY -- - 30: Ebola is "out of control" according to the aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF). The affected countries declare measures including states of emergency and quarantines. Many neighbouring nations close their borders with the affected countries.

-- AUGUST -- - 8: The WHO declares the Ebola epidemic a "public health emergency of international concern".

  • 12: The WHO authorises the use of experimental drugs in the fight against Ebola after an ethical debate. A Spanish missionary contaminated in Liberia dies in Madrid, the first European fatality.

-- SEPTEMBER -- - 30: In the United States, a Liberian is hospitalised in Texas, the first Ebola infection diagnosed outside Africa, and dies on October 8.

-- OCTOBER -- - 6: First infection outside Africa, of a Spanish nurse in a Madrid hospital. She is treated and given the all-clear on the 19th.

  • 17-20: Senegal and Nigeria are declared Ebola-free.

-- DECEMBER -- - 18-19: UN chief Ban Ki-moon pledges support for Ebola-ravaged countries and to rebuild their health systems on a tour of the three hardest-hit nations.

It marked the highest-level such tour since the epidemic began. French President Francois Hollande had been the only non-African head of state to visit one of the worst-hit countries with a trip to Guinea on November 29.

-- JANUARY 2015 --

  • 17: The football Africa Cup of Nations begins in Equatorial Guinea after being moved there at the last minute following Morocco's refusal to act as hosts over fears of Ebola.

  • 18: The Malian government and the United Nations declare the country free of Ebola.

  • 23: US health authorities announce that a large-scale trial will start in Liberia with two leading candidate vaccines. Trials in Guinea and Sierra Leone to follow in February.

  • 29: The Ebola epidemic is decreasing but is still present in a third of the areas of the three affected west African nations, UN Ebola coordinator David Nabarro warns.

acm/bc/jmy/ft/mjs

© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse

Philippines: Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan - Emergency appeal n° MDRPH014, operation update n°11

Philippines - ReliefWeb News - 14 hours 32 min ago
Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies Country: Philippines

Emergency appeal n° MDRPH014
GLIDE n° TC-2013-000139-PHL
Operation update n° 11
31 January 2015

Period covered by this Operation Update: 5 August 2014 to 18 January 2015
Appeal target (current): CHF 99.88 million
Appeal coverage: To date, 87 per cent covered in hard pledges. Households affected by Typhoon Hagupit in December 2014 will receive relief and recovery support under this appeal.

Appeal history:

  • 30 July 2014: A further revision of the emergency appeal was launched, seeking CHF 99.88 million to support 100,000 households (500,000 people) through December 2016.

  • 16 January 2014: A revision of this emergency appeal was launched for CHF 126.2 million to support 100,000 families (500,000 people) over 24 months.

  • 12 November 2013: An emergency appeal was launched on a preliminary basis for CHF 72.3 million to support 100,000 families (500,000 people) over 18 months.

  • 8 November 2013: CHF 475,495 was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Philippine Red Cross in delivering assistance to those affected and undertake initial needs assessments in the affected areas.

Philippines: Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan - Emergency appeal n° MDRPH014, operation update n°11

TyphoonHaiyan - RW Updates - 14 hours 32 min ago
Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies Country: Philippines

Emergency appeal n° MDRPH014
GLIDE n° TC-2013-000139-PHL
Operation update n° 11
31 January 2015

Period covered by this Operation Update: 5 August 2014 to 18 January 2015
Appeal target (current): CHF 99.88 million
Appeal coverage: To date, 87 per cent covered in hard pledges. Households affected by Typhoon Hagupit in December 2014 will receive relief and recovery support under this appeal.

Appeal history:

  • 30 July 2014: A further revision of the emergency appeal was launched, seeking CHF 99.88 million to support 100,000 households (500,000 people) through December 2016.

  • 16 January 2014: A revision of this emergency appeal was launched for CHF 126.2 million to support 100,000 families (500,000 people) over 24 months.

  • 12 November 2013: An emergency appeal was launched on a preliminary basis for CHF 72.3 million to support 100,000 families (500,000 people) over 18 months.

  • 8 November 2013: CHF 475,495 was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Philippine Red Cross in delivering assistance to those affected and undertake initial needs assessments in the affected areas.

South Sudan: IOM Regional Response to South Sudan Crisis, External Sitrep, 19 - 25 January 2015

Kenya - ReliefWeb News - 15 hours 20 min ago
Source: International Organization for Migration Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan

HIGHLIGHTS

South Sudan: Renewed hope for peace in South Sudan following the signing of a peace agreement between rival factions.

Ethiopia: During this reporting period, IOM provided transportation assistance to 620 refugees in Gambella and Benishangul‐Gumuz regions.

Kenya: Since the onset of the South Sudanese conflict, IOM has provided transportation assistance to a total of 23,368 refugees.

OVERVIEW

During this reporting period, South Sudan peace talks had a major breakthrough as rival factions of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) signed an agreement aimed at reunifying the historical party. This intense effort s spearheaded by regional leaders marks a turning point in the bloody conflict that has lasted since 15 December 2013. Among the issues agreed by both parties is the restoration of peace and stability in South Sudan and, the demand for SPLM leadership to make a public apology to the people of Sudan for all the atrocities. South Sudan President Salva Kiir, former Vice President Riek Machar and Minister of Cabinet Affairs Deng Alor Kuol signed the breakthrough agreement.

There are currently 1.5 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) within South Sudan of which 103,320 are living inside UNMISS Protection of Civilians (PoCs) across the country, predominantly in Bentiu and UN House Juba PoCs.

The latest IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) figures for Bentiu PoC show that an additional 9,000 IDPs were registered during this reporting period. According to the figures, Bentiu PoC now holds 52,908 IDPs.

Since 15 December 2013, 499,287 South Sudanese refugees have crossed into Ethiopia (194,847), Uganda (139,276), Sudan (120,211), and Kenya (44,953). (Source: UNHCR Sitrep, 23 January 2015)

South Sudan: IOM Regional Response to South Sudan Crisis, External Sitrep, 19 - 25 January 2015

Ethiopia - ReliefWeb News - 15 hours 20 min ago
Source: International Organization for Migration Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan

HIGHLIGHTS

South Sudan: Renewed hope for peace in South Sudan following the signing of a peace agreement between rival factions.

Ethiopia: During this reporting period, IOM provided transportation assistance to 620 refugees in Gambella and Benishangul‐Gumuz regions.

Kenya: Since the onset of the South Sudanese conflict, IOM has provided transportation assistance to a total of 23,368 refugees.

OVERVIEW

During this reporting period, South Sudan peace talks had a major breakthrough as rival factions of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) signed an agreement aimed at reunifying the historical party. This intense effort s spearheaded by regional leaders marks a turning point in the bloody conflict that has lasted since 15 December 2013. Among the issues agreed by both parties is the restoration of peace and stability in South Sudan and, the demand for SPLM leadership to make a public apology to the people of Sudan for all the atrocities. South Sudan President Salva Kiir, former Vice President Riek Machar and Minister of Cabinet Affairs Deng Alor Kuol signed the breakthrough agreement.

There are currently 1.5 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) within South Sudan of which 103,320 are living inside UNMISS Protection of Civilians (PoCs) across the country, predominantly in Bentiu and UN House Juba PoCs.

The latest IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) figures for Bentiu PoC show that an additional 9,000 IDPs were registered during this reporting period. According to the figures, Bentiu PoC now holds 52,908 IDPs.

Since 15 December 2013, 499,287 South Sudanese refugees have crossed into Ethiopia (194,847), Uganda (139,276), Sudan (120,211), and Kenya (44,953). (Source: UNHCR Sitrep, 23 January 2015)

Philippines: IOM Philippines - Response to displacement due to conflict and natural disaster in Mindanao, 30 January 2015

Philippines - ReliefWeb News - 15 hours 31 min ago
Source: International Organization for Migration Country: Philippines

ARMED CONFLICT BETWEEN PNP-SAF AND ARMED GROUPS ERUPTS IN MAMASAPANO, MAGUINDANAO

OVERVIEW

On Sunday, 25 January, at least 44 police officers from the elite Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF) were killed during the 11-hour firefight with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Barangay Tukanalipao in the town of Mamasapano, Maguindanao. The PNP-SAF reportedly launched the operation in order to serve an arrest warrant against Jemaah Islamiyah leader Zulkifli bin Hir also known as Commander Marwan and whose presence had been confirmed in the area.

Marwan is one of the most wanted JI leaders operating in Southeast Asia. He was believed to be involved in several bombing and terror attacks in Mindanao involving the JI-assisted Abu Sayyaf group. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has recently offered a USD 5 million bounty for his capture. Meanwhile, foreign-trained bomb maker Abdul Bassit Usman is a Filipino rebel with the Abu Sayyaf group. He is also believed to have links with JI and the Islamic extremist group, al-Qaeda. The US FBI has offered a USD 1 million bounty for his capture.

INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Humanitarian Emergency Action Response Team (ARMM HEART) reported displaced 563 families, who are now staying in an evacuation centre in Barangay Dalidap or with their relatives in nearby villages. ARMM HEART furnished IOM Cotabato with the following data on the extent of displacement brought about by this latest armed conflict.

Haiti: Video Highlights Dangers of Irregular Migration by Sea from Haiti

Haiti - ReliefWeb News - 15 hours 48 min ago
Source: International Organization for Migration Country: Haiti

Haiti - IOM has produced a video to raise awareness about the dangers of irregular migration by sea from Haiti. The documentary features a series of direct testimonials from Port-de-Paix and Tortuga Island residents who attempted the perilous crossings.

The northwest coast of Haiti is the main departure point for desperate irregular migrants who want to reach the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, or the United States. These crossings are often organized by unscrupulous smugglers on rickety, unsafe boats, with passengers facing violence, hunger, rape, prison and repatriation, and sometimes even death at sea.

IOM has been at the forefront of addressing the root causes of high migration flows from major at-risk communities. Between 2008 and 2014, its Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme offered direct assistance to 8,638 returning migrants.

The programme reinforced the Haitian government’s capacities to address irregular migration in targeted communities along the country’s northern coast, facilitating the return and reintegration of irregular migrants rescued at sea.

Several communication campaigns to deter irregular migration have been implemented using different channels, including illustrated magazines in Creole, radio programs, theatrical performances, and mass sensitization campaigns.

“It is essential to inform potential migrants of the dangers intrinsic in irregular sea journeys. We felt that the most persuasive way to do this was through the actual voices of those who have attempted these dangerous and, too often, deadly journeys. We met with local Port-de-Paix residents and found that they had a lot of stories to share, even though some were afraid to speak out or show their faces,” explains Ilaria Lanzoni, IOM’s Media and Communications Officer in Haiti.

“The stories that were collected form quite a comprehensive catalogue of the hardships and atrocities faced by irregular migrants. Most of them witnessed people dying during crossings and being thrown overboard by smugglers, who often use violence against anyone who dares to complain. Passengers are often refused water and food during the whole journey,” said IOM Haiti Chief of Mission Gregoire Goodstein.

Lanzoni adds: “Personally, the story that touched me the most was Betty’s, a 28-year-old widow and mother of two, who lost her husband during one of such trips, without ever getting to know exactly what happened to him. Despite that, she attempted the journey herself twice, in the hope of being able to give a better life to her children. What is heart-breaking is that, despite all the efforts and resources spent on these attempts, they brought nothing but misery to these families, who often end up poorer than before.”

The see the video, please go to:

English version: http://youtu.be/gfVvXQSOr-E
French version: http://youtu.be/r77hF7yJtjg

For more information, please contact

Ilaria Lanzoni
IOM Haiti
Email: ilanzoni@iom.int
Tel. +509 370 250 66

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