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Colombia: Colombia: After 50 years of war, cleaning up landmines key to peace

Colombia - Chad - 1 hour 1 min ago
Source: Christian Science Monitor Country: Colombia

Colombia's civil conflict has turned large swaths of the country into minefields. Now, there's an effort to try to clean up the mess, and current and former guerrillas could play a leading role.

By Jim Wyss, McClatchy

MARCH 31, 2015

SONSON, COLOMBIA — As a child soldier for Colombia's largest guerrilla group, Jairo watched his fellow fighters seed trails and pastures with anti-personnel mines designed to kill and maim.

Read the full report on the Christian Science Monitor.

Lebanon: UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag Visits the Palestinian Refugee camp of Ein El-Hilweh [EN/AR]

oPt - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 5 min ago
Source: Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Country: Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic

The United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag visited today the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein El-Hilweh in south Lebanon.

Accompanied by the Acting Director of the UN Relief and Works Agency for the Near East (UNRWA), Ms. Heli Uusikyla, the Special Coordinator met with camp representatives who briefed her on the socio-economic and security situation there. She also visited an UNRWA-managed health centre and school and a women's centre.

"During the visit, camp residents and officials briefed me on the challenges faced due to crowded living conditions, unemployment and poverty. The United Nations, through UNRWA, will continue to assist where it can and to seek critical support from donors. We hope new support will also be forthcoming at the International Humanitarian Pledging Conference that is taking place today in Kuwait," Ms. Kaag said during her visit. There are some 55,500 Palestinian refugees in Ein El-Hilweh camp, in addition to over 6000 Palestinian Refugees from Syria. Noting the high demographic density, the Special Coordinator hoped more could be done to ensure efficient shelter rehabilitation inside the camp.

Ms. Kaag welcomed the role played by the joint security force in maintaining stability in the camp and urged that cooperation between Palestinian and Lebanese authorities continue to work to the benefit of both communities.

Today's visit was the first by the Special Coordinator to Ein El-Hilweh, the largest of the 12 Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

Chad: Chad: Kobiteye Factsheet, Profil au 23.10.2014

Chad - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 13 min ago
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, CCCM Cluster, Shelter Cluster Country: Chad

Haiti: Ensemble, dépistons, traitons et guérissons la tuberculose !

Haiti - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 20 min ago
Source: UN Development Programme Country: Haiti

« ANSANM NAP CHACHE, TRETE, GERI TOUT MALAD TB », « Ensemble, dépistons, traitons et guérissons la tuberculose » tel était le thème de la journée mondiale de la Tuberculose commémorée ce 24 mars dans le plateau central d’Haïti.

Divers partenaires clés œuvrant dans le domaine médical et plus particulièrement dans la lutte contre la Tuberculose en Haïti ont pris part à cette cérémonie organisée par le Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population (MSPP) et le Programme National de Lutte contre la Tuberculose (PNLT). Nous pouvons citer notamment : le Programme des Nations Unies pour le Développement (PNUD), l’organisation Zanmi Lasante, le Fonds Mondial, le Centre pour le Contrôle de Décès et la Prévention (CDC) et l’Organisation panaméricaine de la Santé (OPS/OMS).

Le Coordonnateur du PNLT, Dr. Willy Morose, après avoir brièvement présenté le programme, a salué les efforts de tous les partenaires dans la lutte qui vise à endiguer la tuberculose et le sida dans le monde : « Grâce à nos différents partenaires, le MSPP et le PNLT ont pu augmenter l’offre de services dans 10 départements. Pour l’année 2014, 16 371 malades ont été placés sous traitement et 88% d’entre eux ont été testés pour VIH. De ce nombre, 20% sont co-infectés VIH/Tuberculose ».

Pour sa part, madame Sophie de Caen, Directrice principale du PNUD en Haïti, s’est dit satisfaite de la collaboration du PNUD avec le MSPP et s’est réjouie pleinement du fait que le PNUD assume correctement, depuis 2011, la mission de récipiendaire principal des subventions VIH/Tuberculose du Fonds Mondial en Haiti. « Grâce aux subventions du Fonds mondial, le PNUD a pu assurer un approvisionnement continu en médicaments antituberculeux de première et deuxième lignes pour l’ensemble des patients traités en Haïti, dont plus de 16 000 pour 2014. Le PNUD a aussi assuré l’approvisionnement en réactifs de laboratoires, l’amélioration de l’accès à la prise en charge, la réhabilitation et l’ équipement de 13 centres de diagnostic et de traitement de la tuberculose (CDT), l’équipement de 30 laboratoires en microscopes LED pour supplier a l’insuffisance des infrastructures de diagnostic de la Tuberculose… » a-t-elle souligné.

Beaucoup reste encore à faire en Haïti pour que tous les cas soient détectés dans les domaines de la tuberculose et du VIH, a rappelé Dr Jean Luc Poncelet, représentant de l’OMS/OPS. De son côté, le directeur fondateur Zanmi Lasante, Dr Paul FARMER, a soutenu avec force la nécessité du partenariat pour résoudre les problèmes de santé publique : « Je sais que le partenariat est difficile à travers le monde. Mais c’est notre seul espoir. Sans la synergie entre tous les partenaires qui sont ici, nous serons tout bonnement impuissants par rapport à ce fléau mondial qu’est la tuberculose » a-t-il déclaré.

Le Directeur Général du MSPP, Dr Georges Dubuche, a souligné la détermination du MSPP, à travers le PNLT, à lutter plus efficacement contre la Tuberculose en Haiti. « Cette année le MSPP va se centrer davantage sur la décentralisation du diagnostic et du traitement de la tuberculose multi résistante à travers tous les départements du pays » a-t-il engagé.

Cette journée a été marquée par le témoignage d’un patient tuberculeux qui a remercié les infirmiers et médecins qui l’ont aidé à guérir, suivi de la remise du prix ‘’Iderle CELESTIN’’ à Madame Guirlaine Dorvil, Coordonnatrice Départementale du Nord-Est.

La tuberculose, le VIH/Sida et la malaria constituent les trois maladies les plus mortelles dans les pays en voie de développement. C’est pour cette raison que les Nations Unies ont fait de la lutte contre ces 3 maladies un des objectifs principaux des objectifs du Millénaire de développement (OMD 6). C’est également pour cette raison que le PNUD en a fait, depuis 2003, l’un de ses principaux axes d’intervention auprès des populations les plus vulnérables.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Katanga: 5 écoles ferment à Manono suite aux conflits entre pygmées et bantous

DRC - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 24 min ago
Source: Radio Okapi Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Cinq écoles situées dans le secteur de Kabeke, Lwaba, Nyange et Nsengachimbu à Manono ont fermé depuis octobre 2014 suite aux conflits récurrents entre pygmées et bantous dans cette partie du Katanga. Quatre écoles fermées organisent l’enseignement primaire. La cinquième est une école secondaire.

Le chef de la sous-division de l’Enseignement primaire secondaire et professionnel à Manono, Francois-Xavier Kisila, regrette que certaines écoles soient amenées à fermer.

« Il est injuste que certains enfants étudient et que d’autres soient en brousse avec leurs parents », déplore-t-il.

Il demande aux autorités politiques et administratives de rétablir la sécurité dans ce secteur pour que les enfants reprennent le chemin de l’école.

C’est environ 950 enfants qui ne vont plus à l’école à cause de la fermeture de leurs établissements scolaires.

L’administrateur de territoire de Manono, François Kazembe, indique que les forces de l’ordre tentent de ramener le calme dans cette région.

« Il y a les militaires qui sont en train de faire des patrouilles là-bas. Il y a les policiers qui sont sur place. Nous sommes en train de nous battre tous avec les autorités scolaires pour que ça reprenne. Nous voulons que les enfants terminent l’année comme les autres enfants qui sont dans d’autres milieux », affirme-t-il.

Pygmées et bantous s’affrontent régulièrement depuis plusieurs mois dans le territoire de Manono. Des affrontements qui font des morts et obligent de nombreux habitants de la région à se déplacer. En août 2014, le chef de la Monusco avait invité les deux communautés à mettre fin aux violences. Quelques jours auparavant, le ministre de l’Intérieur avait exprimé la volonté du gouvernement d’arrêter les auteurs de ce conflit.​

Yemen: UN envoy for Yemen moves to Jordan

Yemen - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 25 min ago
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Jordan, Yemen

United Nations, United States | | Tuesday 3/31/2015 - 17:50 GMT

The United Nations has relocated its peace envoy for Yemen to Jordan and pulled its last 13 foreign employees from the conflict-torn country, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Envoy Jamal Benomar left Yemen at the weekend along with some 200 UN staff as a Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes to block an advance against Shiite rebels known as the Huthis.

UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters that Benomar is working on reviving peace talks despite the air campaign and downplayed reports that the envoy had lost support from Gulf governments.

"It's difficult in a time of war to get negotiations going, but it's precisely crucial to do so at that very time," Haq said.

"We need to get the fighting stopped and we need to get everything back on track."

Benomar, the Moroccan diplomat appointed as the envoy for Yemen in 2012, continues to have the "full support" of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, said Haq.

The spokesman added that with the departure of the last remaining 13 employees, the United Nations would rely on "several hundred" local staff to maintain a presence in Yemen.

The international staff will go back to Yemen "as soon as circumstances permit," he said.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein warned earlier that Yemen "seems to be on the verge of total collapse" as the Saudi-led campaign escalated.

The United Nations is backing embattled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi as Yemen's legitimate leader in the face of the Huthi uprising that threatens to plunge the poor Arab state deeper into chaos.

Hadi has fled to Saudi Arabia which has accused Iran of backing the Huthis in their power grab in a bid to gain influence in the region.

cml/wat

© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse

Niger: Troops repel Boko Haram raid on Niger: Chad military

Niger - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 39 min ago
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Chad, Niger, Nigeria

Niamey, Niger | | Tuesday 3/31/2015 - 15:50 GMT

Troops from Niger and Chad killed 47 Boko Haram fighters when they repelled an attack by the Islamist insurgents in southeastern Niger, Chad's army said on Tuesday.

The fighting took place in Bosso, a Niger village near the border with Nigeria.

The government forces did not suffer any fatalities, Chad's army said in a statement.

Casualty figures are often hard to independently verify. However, a humanitarian source confirmed the losses saying 40 to 47 Boko Haram militants had been killed in Bosso and its surroundings.

The rebels were pushed back to Nigeria, and at least four Boko Haram vehicles -- one of them armoured -- were also destroyed, a Chad military source said.

A Niger member of parliament said they had fled to Malam Fatori, a Nigerian border town near Bosso that Chad and Niger say they want to take back from Boko Haram.

The Nigerian army, however, says that Malam Fatori is under its control.

The private radio station Anfani, based in the city of Diffa in southeastern Niger also close to the border with Nigeria, reported "heavy aerial bombing" on Monday, mainly around Bosso and Malam Fatori.

Another Chad and Niger army operation on Sunday in Talagam -- a small town situated between Damasak, a town that was recaptured from the Islamic insurgents, and Malam Fatori -- led to the deaths of 54 Boko Haram fighters, Chad's military said.

Two soldiers from the coalition were also killed and 15 were injured, the military added.

A humanitarian organisation source reported the deaths of three Chadian soldiers after the fighting on Sunday.

Thousands of soldiers from Niger and Chad have been stationed for nearly three months in southeastern Niger. They launched an offensive in early March across the border into northeastern Nigeria, parts of which are a stronghold of the Islamic insurgents.

"The situation is totally under control" in Niger, said former foreign minister Mohamed Bazoum, who is close to the country's president Mahamadou Issoufou.

"The risk of attacks taking place are very low due to the elimination of all potential players," said Bazoum.

The jihadists made sweeping territorial gains in Nigeria's northeast in 2014 but appear to have been weakened by a sustained regional fight-back since February.

More than 13,000 people have been killed and some 1.5 million made homeless since Boko Haram launched its bloody insurgency in 2009.

yas-bh/sb/sms

© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse

Niger: Troops repel Boko Haram raid on Niger: Chad military

Chad - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 39 min ago
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Chad, Niger, Nigeria

Niamey, Niger | | Tuesday 3/31/2015 - 15:50 GMT

Troops from Niger and Chad killed 47 Boko Haram fighters when they repelled an attack by the Islamist insurgents in southeastern Niger, Chad's army said on Tuesday.

The fighting took place in Bosso, a Niger village near the border with Nigeria.

The government forces did not suffer any fatalities, Chad's army said in a statement.

Casualty figures are often hard to independently verify. However, a humanitarian source confirmed the losses saying 40 to 47 Boko Haram militants had been killed in Bosso and its surroundings.

The rebels were pushed back to Nigeria, and at least four Boko Haram vehicles -- one of them armoured -- were also destroyed, a Chad military source said.

A Niger member of parliament said they had fled to Malam Fatori, a Nigerian border town near Bosso that Chad and Niger say they want to take back from Boko Haram.

The Nigerian army, however, says that Malam Fatori is under its control.

The private radio station Anfani, based in the city of Diffa in southeastern Niger also close to the border with Nigeria, reported "heavy aerial bombing" on Monday, mainly around Bosso and Malam Fatori.

Another Chad and Niger army operation on Sunday in Talagam -- a small town situated between Damasak, a town that was recaptured from the Islamic insurgents, and Malam Fatori -- led to the deaths of 54 Boko Haram fighters, Chad's military said.

Two soldiers from the coalition were also killed and 15 were injured, the military added.

A humanitarian organisation source reported the deaths of three Chadian soldiers after the fighting on Sunday.

Thousands of soldiers from Niger and Chad have been stationed for nearly three months in southeastern Niger. They launched an offensive in early March across the border into northeastern Nigeria, parts of which are a stronghold of the Islamic insurgents.

"The situation is totally under control" in Niger, said former foreign minister Mohamed Bazoum, who is close to the country's president Mahamadou Issoufou.

"The risk of attacks taking place are very low due to the elimination of all potential players," said Bazoum.

The jihadists made sweeping territorial gains in Nigeria's northeast in 2014 but appear to have been weakened by a sustained regional fight-back since February.

More than 13,000 people have been killed and some 1.5 million made homeless since Boko Haram launched its bloody insurgency in 2009.

yas-bh/sb/sms

© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse

Guinea: Lancement des consultations nationales en Guinée : poser les bases de la réconciliation

Guinea - ReliefWeb News - 1 hour 53 min ago
Source: Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de I'Homme Country: Guinea

Nos organisations [1] se félicitent du lancement, mercredi 25 mars 2015, d’une campagne de consultations nationales visant à définir les modalités d’un processus de réconciliation attendu de longue date.

Toutefois, au moment où le contexte social et politique guinéen connaît un regain de tension, au sujet notamment de l’organisation des prochaines échéances électorales, nos organisations estiment que, pour réussir, ces consultations devront être inclusives et conduites dans un contexte social et politique apaisé.

« L’histoire guinéenne récente est marquée par de graves violations des droits de l’Homme. Les innombrables crimes commis au camp Boiro, la répression de 1985, celle des manifestations de janvier et février 2007 ou le massacre au stade du 28 septembre 2009, sont autant de pages sombres, pour ne citer que celles-ci, qui doivent aujourd’hui être lues afin que les guinéens puissent avancer ensemble vers un avenir apaisé » a déclaré Thierno Sow, président de l’OGDH.

La Commission provisoire chargée de la réflexion sur la réconciliation nationale (CPRN), qui organise les consultations, avait été mise en place en août 2011. Le président de la République avait fait de la réconciliation nationale l’un de ses engagements principaux et avait alors nommé à sa tête deux personnalités religieuses du pays, Elhadj Mamadou Saliou Camara, le Grand Imam de la Mosquée de Conakry et Monseigneur Vincent Coulibaly, l’Archevêque de Conakry. Toutefois, le processus de réconciliation n’avait pas connu de développements substantiels depuis lors.

Ces consultations, réalisées avec l’appui du Haut Commissariat aux droits de l’Homme des Nations Unies, devront permettre de recueillir les demandes des guinéens en matière de réconciliation et de prendre en compte leurs exigences pour instituer une future commission de réconciliation légitime et conforme à leurs attentes. Il leur sera demandé de se prononcer sur son mandat, sa composition et sa méthode de travail pour que celle-ci parvienne à la vérité, à la justice et à la réparation des victimes.

« Les enjeux du processus de réconciliation sont fondamentaux pour construire un État de droit. Pour parvenir à cet objectif il est nécessaire de recueillir les aspirations de chacun à connaitre la vérité sur les violations des droits humains qui ont marqué l’histoire de la Guinée », a déclaré Sidiki Keïta, président de l’Association des victimes du camp Boiro.

Pour que ces consultations nationales puissent effectivement jeter les bases d’un processus de réconciliation solide, elles devront se dérouler dans un contexte politique apaisé. Or, l’organisation des élections locales et présidentielles à venir font aujourd’hui l’objet de vives tensions et l’absence d’un dialogue constructif pourrait rejaillir sur le processus de réconciliation.

« La réconciliation ne se décrète pas, elle doit se construire par le processus en cours. A ce titre, le lancement des consultations est une étape nécessaire et il est encourageant de constater que des moyens importants ont été mis en place pour permettre à l’ensemble de la population guinéenne d’y participer. Mais cette étape ne pourra être franchie que dans un contexte politique apaisé et favorable au dialogue » a déclaré Me Drissa Traore, vice président de la FIDH.

Nos organisations rappellent que la justice et la lutte contre l’impunité devront être au cœur de la réconciliation nationale. En particulier, le rôle de la Commission qui sera mise en place à l’issue de ces consultations nationales et celui des institutions judiciaires devront être articulés de façon cohérente afin de garantir aux victimes le droit fondamental à la justice.

Enfin, à cette occasion, nos organisations rendent un nouvel hommage au rôle central de Thierno Aliou Diaoune, coordinateur du Fonds de consolidation de la paix, dans la mise en œuvre du processus de réconciliation nationale. M. Diaoune a été abattu à Conakry le 7 février 2015 et nos organisations attendent que l’enquête judiciaire en cours puisse faire la lumière sur ce tragique événement.

Nos organisations se sont investies depuis de longues années en faveur d’un processus inclusif et participatif de réconciliation nationale qui permettrait non seulement de réconcilier les Guinéens entre eux mais surtout entre les Guinéens et l’État. Nos organisations demeurent convaincues que la réconciliation passe par l’établissement d’un État capable de garantir à ses citoyens la sécurité et des recours effectifs en cas de violations des droits humains.

Syrian Arab Republic: Syria - IDPs and refugees – ECHO Daily Map | 31/03/2015

Iraq - ReliefWeb News - 2 hours 4 min ago
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department Country: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey

Syrian Arab Republic: Syria - IDPs and refugees – ECHO Daily Map | 31/03/2015

Iraq - Maps - 2 hours 4 min ago
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department Country: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey

Sudan: Sudanese lawyers call for release of colleague

Sudan - ReliefWeb News - 2 hours 27 min ago
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

A group of 62 lawyers presented a petition to the Attorney General in Khartoum on Monday, concerning the detention of their colleague El Haj Gadem Ali Azrag since 23 June last year.

Azrag was detained by security agents, when he was returning from the Umbadda Court in Omdurman to his office in downtown Khartoum. He is being held at Kober prison in Khartoum North since then, one of his colleagues told Radio Dabanga.

The lawyers demand that Azrag be released, or brought to trial in case of charges.

Sudan: South Darfur medics protest against delay of salaries

Sudan - ReliefWeb News - 2 hours 28 min ago
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

Hundreds of medical staff members staged a sit-in at the Ministry of Health in Nyala on Monday, in protest against the delay of their salaries of February.

“Police forces rushed to the ministry to prevent an escalation, in case we would take to the streets,” a protesting doctor reported to Radio Dabanga.

“A large number of employees discovered that their names disappeared from the payroll after the Ministry of Finance had computerised the salary administration. The ministry has not been able to fix the problem until now.”

He said that the medics suspect that there may be another reason for non-payment of their salaries. “The South Darfur authorities want to close any financial gap that may disrupt the course of the election.”

According to an administrative staff member of the Health Ministry about 2160 names are missing in the financial records.

“The Minister of Health refused to respond to the medics’ demands, saying that the salary payment is not his responsibility,” he told Radio Dabanga.

Yemen: Yemen: ICRC calls for unimpeded delivery of medical supplies as heavy conflict persists

Yemen - ReliefWeb News - 2 hours 53 min ago
Source: International Committee of the Red Cross Country: Yemen

Sana'a/Geneva – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Tuesday called for the urgent removal of obstacles to the delivery to Yemen of vital medical supplies needed to treat casualties from a week of deadly clashes and air strikes.

A shipment of ICRC medical supplies sufficient to treat from 700 to 1,000 people was due to arrive by plane on Tuesday for distribution to hospitals across the country that are running low on the means to treat the war wounded.

So far, efforts to negotiate the safe arrival of the plane have not been successful.

"There are casualties across the country. There have been air strikes in the north, west and south, and clashes between opposing Yemeni armed groups in the center and south, that are putting immense strain on already weak medical services," said Cedric Schweizer, who heads an ICRC team of 300 people in Yemen.

"In order that the wounded get the treatment they deserve, it's essential we deliver urgent medicines and surgical kits," he added.

The ICRC has demanded that humanitarian workers be allowed to work safely, after a Yemeni Red Crescent volunteer, Omar Ali Hassam, was shot dead on Monday in the southern province of A Dhalea while evacuating wounded people.

The ICRC also expressed concern at the high number of civilian casualties and reiterated that those engaged in the armed conflict must respect international humanitarian law (IHL), which protects those taking no part in fighting, and make every effort to protect civilian life and property from harm.

Under IHL it is forbidden to launch attacks that might lead to incidental losses among civilians or cause the destruction of civilian objects that would be disproportionate to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.

The six nights of air strikes and heavy ground combat come on top of years of conflict, drought and insecurity that has left much of the population struggling to find basic health, food and water supplies.

The ICRC has offices in Sana'a, Saada, Aden and Taiz, which are continuing their humanitarian activities.

Ensuring a quick medical response

In the southern governorates, the ICRC has stepped up support for hospitals as Ministry of Health facilities are struggling to cope with the influx of wounded from clashes and street battles.

The ICRC has helped reopen the 22 May Hospital in Aden and provided a kit containing medical supplies to treat between 50 and 70 war-wounded patients. Triage tents were erected at the Al Jomhouri hospital, one of the main treatment centers in Aden, which will speed up patient assessment and referral. Medical centers in the nearby southern provinces of Taiz, Lahj and Al Dhalea have also received ICRC support. Efforts to continue to ensure the region's hospitals have a supply of clean water.

In Saada the situation remains extremely tense with continued air strikes in the northern province. The ICRC has supplied medicine to the Al Munabeh hospital and the city's Al Jomhouri hospital which has been receiving a steady stream of war wounded patients. It has also helped repair the generator at the second medical facility.

In the capital Sana'a, air strikes across the city have continued, straining the capital's medical services. In response to the Al-Hoshoosh and Badr mosque bombings in the city on March 20th that killed at least 140 people and injured 340, the ICRC provided two full war wounded kits and other medical supplies to the three hospitals dealing with most of the casualties.

For further information, please contact:
Marie Claire Feghali, ICRC Sana'a, tel: +967 73 607 19 67, +967 71 194 4343
Sitara Jabeen, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 24 78 or +41 79 536 92 31

Côte d'Ivoire: Vocation skills training for hearing impaired youth

Côte d’Ivoire - ReliefWeb News - 3 hours 8 min ago
Source: Norwegian Refugee Council Country: Côte d'Ivoire

Elodie and Brahima are both deaf and living in Danané, one of the towns hardest hit by the conflict in western Côte d’Ivoire. For Elodie and Brahima, getting an education or a job seemed almost impossible. Through the YEP programme (Youth Education Pack), NRC Côte d’Ivoire is helping about 100 marginalised youth with disabilities in the western region. The majority are deaf or hearing impaired. Elodie and Brahima, both 23, have graduated from the programme, and willingly share their experiences:

“I had to drop out of 5th grade because my parents did not have money to keep me in school. Before I joined the YEP programme, I could not really read and could not sew anything. Being deaf held me back and I was very withdrawn,” Elodie, says, and continues:

“My life got better during the YEP training because I learned a profession, sewing, that I am now getting better and better at. Now, I sew children’s clothing that I sell to be able to provide for myself. In addition, I’m better at reading and writing. Thanks to sign language, which I learned at the YEP centre, I have improved my communication with other people who are deaf or hearing impaired. What I’m most proud of is how people have changed the way they look at me because I’m working. I am viewed fully as a member of society and I have many friends now. My dream is to become a great sewing teacher so that I can support young girls who want to learn the profession.”

Similarly, Brahima has always felt that being deaf was a heavy burden.

“Before the YEP project, I used to be a victim of mockery. I made a living repairing used shoes but it was not really what that I wanted to do in life. Thanks to the support through YEP, I was trained in market gardening and I have been working with it since February 2014. It is not at all easy and I still have some difficulties being economically independent, but I am convinced that I will make it in the end since the harvest from the gardening is selling at the local market.”

Elodie and Brahima’s literacy teacher, Toh Jacques, is also deaf, and tells of the challenges facing the deaf and hearing impaired in Côte D’Ivoire:

“The hearing impaired are suffering rejection and stigmatisation. NRC is the only humanitarian organisation in the region that has initiated a project that takes into account the needs of disabled youth. The project is considerably facilitating the social reintegration of hearing impaired youth by teaching them life skills and vocational skills.”

NRC’s Youth Education Pack (YEP) is a one-year programme made up of three main components: literacy/numeracy, life skills and vocational skills training for out-of-school youth. The objective of the programme is to socially reintegrate 2000 vulnerable youth by supporting them in obtaining an income-generating skill. NRC has been running the programme in collaboration with local partner organisations in western Côte d’Ivoire since 2012.

Chad: Tchad : Mise à jour sur l’urgence au Lac - 25 mars 2015, No. 15

Chad - ReliefWeb News - 3 hours 27 min ago
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Chad, Nigeria

DERNIERS DEVELOPPEMENTS

Le 24 Mars 2015, l’Ambassadeur du Nigeria a procédé à la cérémonie de remise des dons humanitaires destinés aux réfugiés Nigérians au Tchad. Comme l’a rappelé le Secrétaire Général de la Nigeria Emer-gency Management Assistance (NEMA) et l’Ambassadeur du Nigeria, ce geste s’inscrit dans le cadre de la solidarité que le gouvernement et le peuple Nigérian éprouvent envers leurs compatriotes en exil. L’Ambassadeur a remercié le gouvernement Tchadien et les humani-taires pour la protection des réfugiés dans la Région du Lac et plus particulièrement d’avoir réussi à relocalisé les réfugiés de Ngouboua dans des zones sécurisées de Bagasola avant et après les attaques de Boko Haram. Le Représentant du HCR a ajouté que ce geste de solida-rité servait aussi à alléger le fardeau du pays d’accueil et toutes les organisations impliquées dans l’assistance humanitaire. Région du Lac: Le 20 mars 2015, le Gouverneur de la Région du Lac a procédé au lancement de la Campagne Nationale de Vaccination contre la Poliomyélite, sur le site de Dar Es Salam. D’après les données partielles, 768 enfants de 0 à59 mois ont été vaccinés sur le site de Dar Es Salam. Après la cérémonie, le Gouverneur a rencontré les humani-taires, les autorités locales et les commerçants de la ville de Bagasola pour les rassurer sur l’amélioration progressive de la sécurité dans la région y compris le renforcement des forces de défense et de la levée des mesures de restriction (circulation des motocyclettes et de la vente du carburant) dans les localités de Bagasola, Liwa et Daboua dans la

Région du Lac. Néanmoins ces restrictions demeurent en vigueur dans les localités de Tchoukoutalia et de Ngouboua; de même que l’interdiction de circuler sur le lac. Il a enfin demandé aux forces de défense de prendre des mesures afin d’assurer la sécurité des agents chargés de ravitailler en carburant les antennes téléphoniques et les agents de vaccination.

Protection de l’enfance: Aucun nouveau cas d’enfants séparés (ES) ou non accompagnées (ENA) n’a été détecté chez les nouveaux arrivants. 126 ES/ENA antérieurement identifiés sont intégrés dans les familles d’accueil du site de Dar Es Salam.

768 enfants (442 garçons et 326 filles) fréquentent l’Espace Amis des Enfants du site de Dar Es Salam ; et 678 parmi eux ont reçu des vête-ments de la part de l’UNICEF (480 filles et 198 garçons).

Retournés et déplacés internes: Après l’enregistrement des 2,670 déplacés internes (PDI) et 76 retournés Tchadiens de Bagasola, Le HCR, la CNARR et IOM ont pris des mesures pour un profilage conjoints HCR/CNARR/OIM afin d’ identifier les PDIs et les retournés dans princi-palement 6 localités du Lac; Tchoukoutalia, Tetewa, Ngouboua, Kaga-lom, Tchoua, Kenesserom, Forkolom et Liwa. Au 24 mars 2015, on compte 4,617 réfugiés enregistrés dans le site de Dar Es Salam et environ 18,131 dans la Région du Lac.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Political and business motives suspected in radio station’s closure

DRC - ReliefWeb News - 3 hours 28 min ago
Source: Reporters sans Frontières Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Reporters Without Borders deplores the closure of a Mishapi Voice TV, a popular privately-owned radio station in Goma, in the eastern province of Nord-Kivu, on the alleged grounds that its broadcasts were disrupting air traffic control communications at Goma’s airport.

The station’s transmitter was dismantled and removed on 23 March by representatives of the Congo Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ARPTC), who said it was jamming the frequency used by the Air Transport Authority (RVA) for air traffic control in Goma.

“We condemn Mishapi Voice TV’s arbitrary closure and point out that it was not up to the ARPTC to take such a decision, which should have been referred to the public prosecutor’s office,” said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Africa desk.

“In the event that the station’s broadcasts were interfering with the RVA’s radio communications, why didn’t the ARPTC just assign it a different frequency instead of closing it down or demanding that it buy a new frequency? Everything suggests that this was a reprisal of a political and business nature.

“Unfortunately, the victims are the population of Goma and the surrounding area, who are being deprived of news and information, and the station’s journalists, who have been put out of work. We call on the ARPTC to stop this undue meddling and to allow Mishapi Voice TV to resume operating.”

It so happens that Mishapi Voice TV’s owner, local businessman Adelard Mineene, is currently embroiled in a legal battle over the failure of a microfinance company he ran, in which senior provincial officials were involved.

Mishapi Voice TV’s closure may have been designed to put pressure on Mineene in this legal dispute – a suspicion supported by the fact that the ARPTC suggested that the radio should buy a new frequency for 25,000 dollars, a sum that it already spent to get its existing frequency in 2012.

Democratic Republic of Congo is ranked 150th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

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