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Italy: Survivors tell harrowing tales of fight for air on "boat of death" off Libya

28 August 2015 - 11:34am
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Bangladesh, Iraq, Italy, Libya, Pakistan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World

PALERMO, Italy, Aug 28 (UNHCR) – Abdel pushed his face up to the cracks between the wooden floorboards, gasping for air.

Next to him between 200 and 300 migrants and refugees – who departed Zuwarah, Libya in the early hours of Tuesday morning on a rickety wooden boat – were suffocating in the pitch-black hold.

"We didn't want to go down there but they beat us with sticks to force us," said Abdel, 25, from Sudan. "We had no air so we were trying to get back up through the hatch and to breathe through the cracks in the ceiling. But the other passengers were scared the boat would capsize so they pushed us back down and beat us too.

"Some were stamping on our hands."

A total of 52 people, including Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Sudanese, died on board the boat. One man from Sudan was stabbed to death as he tried to climb out of the hold to ask for water. The others died of asphyxiation.

The bodies, along with the survivors of the tragedy, were brought to shore in the port of Palermo on Thursday night. Poseidon, a Swedish coast guard vessel, docked in the Sicilian capital around 8.15 pm, carrying 572 refugees and migrants plucked from boats in the Mediterranean the previous day. Some 100 people were found on a rubber dinghy, which came from Tripoli, and another 460 on the wooden boat.

Some refugees paid thousands of euros/dollars for tickets on the upper deck of the two-tier wooden ship. Many expected to travel in relative comfort but were shocked by the condition of the boat.

"I wanted to turn back when I saw the ship," said 45-year-old Hsna who boarded the boat with her husband, three daughters and baby son.

"It was just a fishing boat and we took our lives in our hands. It was a boat of death."

Passengers were transported in rubber dinghies in groups of 20 from the shore to the shipping vessel. Once they boarded the dinghies, they were not allowed to turn back.

Amina, 18, from Damascus, said she feared for her safety travelling as a young woman without her husband. "It was very dangerous because I'm so young," she said. "And we also had no food and no water."

Amina, who left Libya with her father-in-law, sister-in-law and her sister-in-law's two-month-old baby girl, described the three days at sea were "very difficult".

Mahdi, an orthopaedic surgeon from Iraq paid 3,000 euros to get his wife Hend and two-year-old son Mahmed on the top deck.

The family said they were forced to flee Iraq after Mahdi refused to treat militants.

"I had to get my family out," Mahdi said. "I saw what they were doing to everyone else who didn't obey them."

The migrants and refugees will now be taken to reception centres across mainland Italy. 16 Syrians, including three families, will stay in Palermo.

At least 15 people have been taken into custody on suspicion of trafficking.

By Alice Philipson, Sicily, Italy

Sudan: Sudan: Population Movement Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) MDRSD022 - Update No 2

28 August 2015 - 10:48am
Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies Country: Sudan

A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Clashes between government forces and armed movements have intensified in recent years and continue to severely impact civilians. Inter-tribal tensions also continue to spill over into clashes, causing displacement of civilians and disruption of basic services. Access to areas of active clashes remains largely denied. 1Continued and sustained clashes in 2013 and 2014 have seen significant new displacements in Sudan and, as a result an increase in the humanitarian needs. In Darfur, on-going clashes have led to a further estimated 430,000 displacements. The last two years have witnessed the highest numbers of displacement since 2006.

As the clashes in Darfur heads towards its twelfth year, the humanitarian challenge continues to grow. Humanitarian needs generated by these new displacements come in addition to the needs of some 2.2 million people in Darfur who now live in camps, displaced by the clashes. Only about a third of the total displaced returned to their homes. The vast majority remain in camps or live in other communities. Nearly 20% of Sudan’s population is in need of humanitarian assistance, and a disproportionate number are in Darfur. Following the civil war, the populations of Sudan’s five Darfur states (or Greater Darfur) continue to have urgent and chronic humanitarian needs. 3.7 million civilians in Darfur are in need of humanitarian assistance, which represents 50% of the Darfur population. A third of Darfur’s population (or 2.5 million people) are displaced and over 1.2 million are also in a state of critical food insecurity.

The conflict in Darfur has in recent months, become more widespread and unpredictable. Compounded by the rise in general criminality in the region, the humanitarian operating environment has become even more challenging. During the past weeks, inter-tribal clashes in North Darfur and East Darfur states were reported to have taken place resulting in loss of lives and further displacements. Since January 2015, up to 210,000 people have been displaced from their homes by conflict in Darfur.

Basic services such as health and education have been affected. In July, as IDP schools in Darfur prepare to reopen challenges related to shortage of space, poor conditions of existing classrooms, school feeding programmes, lack of latrines have been highlighted.

The appeal is currently only 2 percent funded with multilateral contributions received from American and Japanese Red Cross Societies. Partners are encouraged to consider supporting this appeal.
IFRC, on behalf of Sudan Red Crescent Society, would like to extend thanks to all partners for their continued support

South Sudan: UNHCR welcomes signing of South Sudan peace deal as refugee and IDP numbers surpass 2.6 million mark

28 August 2015 - 7:46am
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda

GENEVA, Aug 28 (UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency has welcomed the signing of the South Sudan peace agreement this week which comes as refugee and IDP figures have passed the 2.6 million mark, a marked increase on the number reported at the time of the fourth anniversary of the country's independence.

Daily arrival rates in Ethiopia remain high, with almost 200 new arrivals registered per day, while in other receiving countries, most notably Sudan, the rainy season has reduced the number of new arrivals in August compared to June and July.

However, Sudan experienced the highest growth in refugee arrivals this quarter up by 47 per cent.

"Some 4,000 South Sudanese have reportedly fled from their homes in Eastern Equatoria's Nyongwa, Kerepi and Pageri following recent clashes between government and opposition forces in Pageri, along the Juba-Nimule road," UNHCR said in a press statement.

It said the vast majority have sought safety in the bush while some have reportedly crossed into neighbouring Uganda. In Kenya, convoys to the border and border monitoring missions continue but arrivals rates remain low with only 71 people arriving between 14 and 21 August.

The statement said over 750,000 people have now fled South Sudan to neighbouring countries. Some 620,762 South Sudanese refugees have been received in Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda and Kenya since December 2013. A further 133,762 'pre-December 2013' refugees are also being hosted in those four countries, making a total of 754,544 South Sudanese refugees in the region. Some 68 per cent of these new arrivals are children (under 18 years of age).

ETHIOPIA

Ethiopia is home to the greatest number of South Sudanese refugees. A total of 221,376 new arrivals have been registered since December 2013 and with an existing caseload of 63,543, it is hosting 284,919 refugees, mainly in Gambella region. This week, relocation of 17,000 refugees from border crossing points and transit centres commenced to a new camp, Pugnido 2.

SUDAN

Sudan currently hosts 191,624 refugees from South Sudan who have arrived since December 2013, surpassing the planning figure of 186,000.

UGANDA

In Uganda, a total of 161,196 refugees have been registered since December 2013 along with some 25,000 'old caseload' refugees, making a total of 186,196.

KENYA

Kenya is home to 91,805 South Sudanese refugees, almost equally split between new arrivals – 46,566 – and pre December 2013 arrivals – 45,239.

SOUTH SUDAN

In South Sudan, there are 1.6 million internally displaced people and 265,296 Sudanese refugees.

INCREASE SINCE ANNIVERSARY

UNHCR reported less than two months ago (7 July), in advance of the fourth anniversary of South Sudan's independence, that 2.25 million people were displaced, including 730,000 refugees and 1.5 million internally displaced. A further 250,000 Sudanese refugees were registered at that time.

FUNDING

UNHCR's regional response to the South Sudan situation remains underfunded at just 28 per cent.

Yemen: Yemen Crisis: IOM Regional Response - Situation Report, 27 August 2015

28 August 2015 - 5:36am
Source: International Organization for Migration Country: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen

Highlights

  • IOM trucked 164,000L of water to various communities as well as health facilities in the districts of Crater, Ash Shaikh Othman, Khur Maksar and Attawahi, providing safe water to an estimated 11,270 individuals.

  • 250 migrants that were evacuated on an IOM chartered boat from Al Hudaydah to Obock were accommodated and assisted at the Migrant Response Centre (MRC) in Obock.

  • A total of 2,383 individuals have benefitted from IOM’s health services in Somaliland, including 39 individuals who were referred to local hospitals.

Situation Overview

Coalition airstrikes continue to occur in Sa’ada, Marib, Hajjah, Al-Hudaydah and Abyan resulting in a further deterioration of the security situation in Yemen.

In Aden, the office of the ICRC was attacked on 24 August by armed gunmen which resulted in the theft of vehicles and equipment. As a result, ICRC has temporarily suspended its activities in Aden.
In Al Hudaydah, the port was inaccessible throughout the reporting period due to the security situation. This has resulted in a suspension of boat movements from the port with has affected evacuations as well as the transportation of humanitarian aid.

The need for life-saving medicines and medical supplies continues to rise throughout Yemen as close to half of the country’s health facilities have shut down leaving 15.2 million people in need of basic healthcare.

Access to basic services continue to deteriorate; more than 20.4 million people are in need of safe water (UNICEF, 18 August).

Sudan: Sudan: UNAMID, August 2015

28 August 2015 - 1:06am
Source: UN Cartographic Section Country: Sudan

South Sudan: East Africa Food Security Outlook - July to December 2015

27 August 2015 - 9:50pm
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network Country: Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen

High food prices and conflict in South Sudan and Yemen leading to continued Emergency

Key Messages

  • Staple food prices in July were more than double pre-conflict levels in parts of South Sudan and Yemen. The conflicts have disrupted trade and caused a precipitous drop in market supply in the most conflict-affected areas. With depreciation of the local currencies against the U.S. dollar (USD) and incredibly low household incomes, as livelihoods have been disrupted by conflict, traders have few incentives to supply the most food insecure areas. Large areas of southern and western Yemen and the Greater Upper Nile (GUN) States in South Sudan are currently in Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

  • Conflict in Yemen and South Sudan, along with political violence in Burundi, has displaced over 3.7 million people. From South Sudan, over 620,700 people fled to Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda, and 1.6 million people are internally displaced. Over 188,900 people have fled Burundi for Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). , Over 99,600 people have fled Yemen to Djibouti, Ethiopia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and Sudan, and over 1.26 million are internally displaced. Most refugees, asylum seekers, and IDPs have constrained access to labor markets, other income-earning opportunities, and food markets. Many of the internally displaced also have difficulty accessing humanitarian assistance.

  • Acute food insecurity in South Sudan peaked in June and July during the lean season. The combination of conflict, macroeconomic pressures, and market shocks contributed to the decline in access to food and income far below the already low, lean season access. Security constraints have restricted humanitarian assistance to many areas of Unity and Upper Nile States in recent months, further limiting food access in the worst-off areas.

  • Ongoing conflict, insecurity, and displacement, restrictions on imports and movement of food and fuel, elevated prices of staple foods and cooking gas, and major disruptions to public- and private-sector sources of income are limiting food access for poor households in Yemen.

  • In southern Afar and Sitti (formerly Shinile) Zone of northern Somali Region in Ethiopia, the March to May Diraac/Sugum rains were well below average, and it has hardly rained at all since the July to September Karan/Karma rains started late. Dry conditions have led to poor livestock body conditions, declines in livestock production and productivity, and a high number of unusual livestock deaths. With below-average rainfall likely to continue for the rest of the rainy season through September, poor households will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3!) only with the presence of humanitarian assistance through at least December.

  • With below-average June to September rainfall in eastern Meher-producing areas in Ethiopia and central and eastern Sudan, October to December harvests may be below average. Also, planted area in the Greater Upper Nile (GUN) States due to the conflict, is likely to lead to a well below-average harvest in those areas.

  • With likely above-average October to December rainfall in the eastern Horn of Africa during the El Niño, crop and livestock production are likely to be higher than usual. However, flood-prone areas in southern Somalia, southern Ethiopia, coastal areas in Kenya and northern Tanzania, and areas surrounding Lake Victoria in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania may have widespread flooding, limiting or delaying cropping, labor migration, and other essential economic activities.

  • As stocks are being drawn down, food prices increased from April to July in Ethiopia, northwestern Somalia, the maize belt in Lower Shabelle in southern Somalia, southeastern Kenya, and parts of northern and central Tanzania. In areas currently harvesting or having recently harvested, staple food prices are declining seasonally, including in western Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, southern Tanzania, the sorghum belt in southern Somalia, and bimodal areas of Uganda. Food prices are expected to decline, from October to December across East Africa, as harvests allow households and traders to restock.

Kenya: East Africa Food Security Outlook - July to December 2015

27 August 2015 - 9:50pm
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network Country: Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen

High food prices and conflict in South Sudan and Yemen leading to continued Emergency

Key Messages

  • Staple food prices in July were more than double pre-conflict levels in parts of South Sudan and Yemen. The conflicts have disrupted trade and caused a precipitous drop in market supply in the most conflict-affected areas. With depreciation of the local currencies against the U.S. dollar (USD) and incredibly low household incomes, as livelihoods have been disrupted by conflict, traders have few incentives to supply the most food insecure areas. Large areas of southern and western Yemen and the Greater Upper Nile (GUN) States in South Sudan are currently in Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

  • Conflict in Yemen and South Sudan, along with political violence in Burundi, has displaced over 3.7 million people. From South Sudan, over 620,700 people fled to Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda, and 1.6 million people are internally displaced. Over 188,900 people have fled Burundi for Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). , Over 99,600 people have fled Yemen to Djibouti, Ethiopia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and Sudan, and over 1.26 million are internally displaced. Most refugees, asylum seekers, and IDPs have constrained access to labor markets, other income-earning opportunities, and food markets. Many of the internally displaced also have difficulty accessing humanitarian assistance.

  • Acute food insecurity in South Sudan peaked in June and July during the lean season. The combination of conflict, macroeconomic pressures, and market shocks contributed to the decline in access to food and income far below the already low, lean season access. Security constraints have restricted humanitarian assistance to many areas of Unity and Upper Nile States in recent months, further limiting food access in the worst-off areas.

  • Ongoing conflict, insecurity, and displacement, restrictions on imports and movement of food and fuel, elevated prices of staple foods and cooking gas, and major disruptions to public- and private-sector sources of income are limiting food access for poor households in Yemen.

  • In southern Afar and Sitti (formerly Shinile) Zone of northern Somali Region in Ethiopia, the March to May Diraac/Sugum rains were well below average, and it has hardly rained at all since the July to September Karan/Karma rains started late. Dry conditions have led to poor livestock body conditions, declines in livestock production and productivity, and a high number of unusual livestock deaths. With below-average rainfall likely to continue for the rest of the rainy season through September, poor households will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3!) only with the presence of humanitarian assistance through at least December.

  • With below-average June to September rainfall in eastern Meher-producing areas in Ethiopia and central and eastern Sudan, October to December harvests may be below average. Also, planted area in the Greater Upper Nile (GUN) States due to the conflict, is likely to lead to a well below-average harvest in those areas.

  • With likely above-average October to December rainfall in the eastern Horn of Africa during the El Niño, crop and livestock production are likely to be higher than usual. However, flood-prone areas in southern Somalia, southern Ethiopia, coastal areas in Kenya and northern Tanzania, and areas surrounding Lake Victoria in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania may have widespread flooding, limiting or delaying cropping, labor migration, and other essential economic activities.

  • As stocks are being drawn down, food prices increased from April to July in Ethiopia, northwestern Somalia, the maize belt in Lower Shabelle in southern Somalia, southeastern Kenya, and parts of northern and central Tanzania. In areas currently harvesting or having recently harvested, staple food prices are declining seasonally, including in western Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, southern Tanzania, the sorghum belt in southern Somalia, and bimodal areas of Uganda. Food prices are expected to decline, from October to December across East Africa, as harvests allow households and traders to restock.

World: Global Weather Hazards Summary August 28 - September 3, 2015

27 August 2015 - 9:24pm
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, Mali, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, World

Increased rainfall across Hispaniola due to tropical storm activity

Africa Weather Hazards

  1. Widespread, heavy rainfall over the past few weeks has caused flooding over local areas of West Africa. Heavy rain is forecast to continue during the next week, elevating flooding risks over many already saturated areas.

  2. Significant rainfall is forecast to continue over eastern Chad and western Sudan, heightening risks for localized flooding and potential waterborne disease outbreaks.

  3. Although rainfall over Eastern Africa has increased during the past few weeks, seasonal deficits have persisted in south-central and eastern Sudan, western Eritrea, and northeastern Ethiopia due to the delayed onset and uneven rainfall distribution during the June-September season.

  4. Despite the recent increase in rainfall, the much delayed start to the rainfall season has resulted in drought, which has severely impacted ground conditions and already led to livestock deaths across parts of north-central and eastern Ethiopia.

Central African Republic: Centrafrique : des milliers de personnes déplacées par des combats à Bambari, selon le HCR

27 August 2015 - 2:30pm
Source: UN News Service Country: Central African Republic, Sudan

27 août 2015 – Des affrontements meurtriers entre milices rivales au cours des derniers jours ont forcé plusieurs milliers de personnes à fuir leur domicile dans la ville de Bambari, en République centrafricaine, a déploré jeudi le Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés (HCR).

Malgré un début de retour au calme dans la journée de jeudi, le personnel du HCR sur le terrain reste très inquiet et craint une nouvelle détérioration de la situation, a déclaré l'agence dans un communiqué de presse rendu public à Bangui, la capitale du pays.

« Nous sommes extrêmement préoccupés par la montée de la violence à Bambari et son impact sur la population civile. Nos employés ont signalé le déplacement de personnes complètement effrayées », a rapporté le Représentant du HCR en République centrafricaine, Kouassi Lazare Etien, ajoutant que l'agence est également préoccupée par des centaines de réfugiés soudanais « pris au piège dans un camp de réfugiés [près de Bambari] et sous la menace d'une attaque ».

Avant cette dernière flambée de violence, plus de 8.000 personnes avaient regagné leurs foyers à Bambari depuis mai dernier, après avoir à l'origine fui cette ville du sud du pays au début 2014 pour échapper aux combats d'alors. Ils étaient revenus à la faveur d'initiatives de médiation et de réconciliation entre communautés et d'une amélioration de la situation sécuritaire à Bambari. Cependant, les nouveaux combats qui ont éclaté entre milices rivales le 20 août dernier ont entrainé de nouvelles vagues de déplacement.

Le HCR tente actuellement de déterminer le nombre total de nouveaux déplacés, estimé à plusieurs milliers de personnes, alors que les rues de la ville sont toujours sous le contrôle de groupes armés.

Le HCR est également préoccupé par la sécurité de près de 1.859 Soudanais dans le camp de réfugiés Pladama Ouaka, situé à 12 kilomètres de Bambari. La route menant au camp était inaccessible durant le week-end, mais une équipe du HCR escortée par la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en République centrafricaine (MINUSCA) est finalement parvenue à atteindre le camp mercredi.

« Les réfugiés ont dit au personnel du HCR qu'ils n'avaient pas été directement touchés par les affrontements à Bambari, mais ont appelé à resserrer la sécurité dans la mesure où le camp est situé dans une zone relativement exposée. Ils ont dit qu'ils avaient vu de nombreuses familles de la ville fuir en possessions de leurs biens », a indiqué l'agence.

Les hostilités ont éclaté à Bambari après qu'un Musulman de 19 ans aurait été tué et décapité par des combattants anti-Balaka, donnant lieu à des représailles sanglantes, qui ont fait au moins 10 morts et de nombreux blessés, y compris parmi le personnel de la Croix-Rouge présent sur le terrain.

Suite à des négociations entre la MINUSCA et les milices rivales, un couloir humanitaire est désormais ouvert depuis mardi à l'aéroport de Bambari afin de porter assistance à la population.

Sudan: Sudanese opposition welcomes AU communiqué

27 August 2015 - 2:04pm
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

The Sudan Appeal opposition coalition welcomed the decision of the AU Peace and Security Council (AUSCP) in its 359th meeting on 25 August. They consider it a firm base for further negotiations with the Sudanese government.

Yasir Arman, the secretary-general of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) and foreign relations secretary of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebel alliance described the outcome of the 359th AUPSC meeting as “a historic decision, after President Al Bashir tried to turn the table on all internal and external parties”.

On Tuesday, the AU Council released a communiqué in which it repeated the importance of a holistic approach to solve the multiple crises in Sudan and realise a democratic transformation.

The AUPSC called upon the Sudanese government to desist from any actions that would jeopardise a credible and all-inclusive National Dialogue within Sudan, and reiterated its call for an urgent pre-dialogue meeting of all relevant parties at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, to discuss and agree on procedural matters.

Arman told Radio Dabanga on Wednesday that the Council’s decision “put an end to Al Bashir and his party’s unilateral control of the peace process and the national constitutional dialogue. The door has now been shut for the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) to play the role of prosecutor and judge at the same time”.

He welcomed the Council’s road map that prioritises the ending of the wars and the delivery of humanitarian relief to the affected “through a direct dialogue between the parties to the conflict.

“The AUPSC tasked the chairman of the AU High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) Thabo Mbeki to meet with all serious parties to the National Dialogue to discuss the requirements for such a dialogue set out by the AU. These include ending the wars, the delivery of aid, the restoration of civic freedoms in the country, and clear and transparent procedures for the Dialogue preparatory meeting.”

‘Firm base’

According to Minni Minawi, leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement-MM, and SRF co-vice-president, the AUPSC’s decision constitutes “a firm base for changing the situation in Sudan in general and Darfur and the Two Areas (South Kordofan and Blue Nile states) in particular”.

He told Radio Dabanga that the AU has now committed the Sudanese government to stop the wars in Darfur and the Two Areas within 90 days. “We welcome this decision and will immediately discuss the new situation with the opposition political forces, especially those in Darfur.

“The AUPSC meeting also strengthened AUHIP’s mandate by explicitly tasking the team with the peace negotiations between the Sudanese Government and the armed opposition.”

Minawi said that the AUPSC decision “has completely blown up the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur.”

The rebel leader told “all the people affected by the wars in Sudan that we are serious about putting your demands on the dialogue table. It would be great if the other party is willing to negotiate, otherwise it should be prepared for a confrontation with the international community”.

Alternative dialogue

In a meeting held in Addis Ababa on Tuesday evening, the Sudan Appeal signatories and representatives of the political parties that withdrew from the 7+7 National Dialogue steering committee, considered the ongoing National Dialogue in Khartoum as “truncated”.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, the parties stressed that the current National Dialogue process is “non-inclusive and will not lead to the solution of the problems in the country”.

They agreed to launch an alternative dialogue “that will not exclude any category of the Sudanese community” in the event the Sudanese government adheres to the process without adjusting the requirements.

Stalemate

Earlier this year, the AUHIP chairman attempted to break the deadlock over the negotiations between Khartoum and the Sudanese rebel movements. He invited them to Addis Ababa on 29 March to discuss the merger of the peace talks on Darfur and the Two Areas with a broad national dialogue. The NCP declined to attend at the last minute.

The AUHIP team invited the opposition forces to Addis Ababa over the weekend for consultations about the current stalemate. Al Bashir told Mbeki in the first week of August that he is determined to move forward with the dialogue, with or without participation of the opposition forces. He was willing to agree to a ceasefire for the Two Areas. As for Darfur, he maintained his stance that the holdout rebel movements should join the 2011 Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).

The SRF, the National Umma Party, the National Consensus Forces (NCF, a coalition of opposition parties) and the Civil Society Initiative (CSI) signed the Sudan Appeal, a two-page communiqué calling for regime-change, in the Ethiopian capital on 3 December last year.

Last Wednesday, the CSI called for the strengthening of the AUHIP mediation team and the addition of international partners to be able to support a “final and comprehensive solution to the multiple crises in Sudan”.

Ceasefire

In his address to the National Dialogue general assembly last Thursday evening, President Al Bashir announced a two-month ceasefire in the Sudanese conflict regions in a bid to smooth the climate for an all-inclusive dialogue. He however denied the presence of political detainees in Sudan.

The ceasefire became effective on Monday.

Sudan: Central Darfur displaced reject model villages

27 August 2015 - 2:01pm
Source: Radio Dabanga Country: Sudan

The more than 30,000 residents of Ronga Tas camp for the displaced in Central Darfur's Azum locality reject the moving of schools and health centres from the camp to model villages constructed by the Darfur Regional Authority DRA).

On Wednesday the coordinator of the Central Darfur camps told Radio Dabanga that the state government closed two basic schools, a secondary school and a health centre in the camp on Tuesday.

“This is the first step towards the dismantling of the Ronga Tas camp which is part of the DRA plans to force all displaced in Darfur to move to model villages it constructed with the financial support of Qatar,” he said.

The coordinator demanded the Central Darfur governor, Jaafar Abdelhakam, to pressure the state Ministries of Health and Education to reverse their decision.

He explained that the displaced prefer to remain in the relative safety of the camps until a just and comprehensive peace is reached. “They are afraid to return to their villages in the current insecure situation, and are more than willing to return after the militiamen have been disarmed and the new settlers expelled.

“Unfortunately the government and the DRA are moving towards the dismantling of the camps by preventing aid organisations access to the camps, in order to force the displaced to leave.”

He described the step as “criminal” and called on the international community to intervene and protect the displaced.

The residents of Ronga Tas camp have been resisting plans to remove them to model villages since December 2013. In January 2014, a number of camp sheikhs were detained for instigating the displaced against the new villages.

On 28 May last year, the camp was attacked by a group of armed men, allegedly members of the former rebel Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) that signed the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur with the Sudanese government in 2011. Both LJM and DRA strongly denied any involvement in the attack.

A Ronga Tas camp sheikh told Radio Dabanga at the time that the attack came because the displaced and camp administrators had rejected “model villages”.

The DRA opened the first five 'model villages for voluntary return', at a total cost of $30 million financed by the State of Qatar, in West Darfur in June 2014.

Yemen: Yemen Crisis Response: Movements and Arrival Assistance (as of 27 August)

27 August 2015 - 1:43pm
Source: International Organization for Migration Country: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen

World: Confidential Security Report - January to March 2015

27 August 2015 - 12:05pm
Source: Insecurity Insight Country: Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, World, Yemen

Agency Reports and Open Source Data

Most of our knowledge about humanitarian security hot spots comes from publicly-reported events. This briefing summarizes confidential information from 10 agencies about a range of security events, from those that severely affect staff to those that affect agencies’ ability to deliver aid.

In addition this briefing contrasts hot spots dependingon their source, whether open sources or agency-reported sources. Open sources tend to report events with a high profile impact and from countries where insecurity is a concern. Agency reports reflect where agencies are present, the variety of incidents agencies experience, and the security management and programming approaches they adopt in a particular country.

Neither type of data is representative. A higher number of reported security incidents does not indicate more insecurity, nor does the absence of reported incidents guarantee a low risk. These differences may be due to the quality of reporting practices of country offices, aid agency presence or access to affected populations, or the numbers of aid workers in a country. Nevertheless, reported incidents are a clear indication of security concerns. Both sources are important in better understanding the complex puzzle of humanitarian insecurity.

Central African Republic: Clashes in Central African Republic town of Bambari displaces thousands

27 August 2015 - 11:34am
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Central African Republic, Sudan

BANGUI, 27 Aug – Clashes between rival militias in the past few days have forced several thousand people to flee their homes in the Central African Republic town of Bambari. The situation began to ease on Thursday but UNHCR staff say Bambari remains very tense and they fear the situation could deteriorate again.

“We are extremely concerned by the mounting violence in Bambari and its impact on the civilian population. Our staff have reported the displacement of people who are extremely frightened,” Kouassi Lazare Etien, UNHCR representative in CAR, said earlier Thursday. He added that UNHCR was also worried about hundreds of Sudanese refugees “trapped in a refugee camp [near Bambari] and at high risk of attacks.”

Before this latest flare-up in violence, more than 8,000 people (2,000 families) had returned to their homes in Bambari since last May as a result of mediation and reconciliation initiatives between communities and an improvement in the security situation in the town in south-central CAR. They had fled to escape violence in early 2014. However, fresh fighting between rival militia forces erupted on August 20 and triggered new waves of displacement.

The Notre-Dame-de-la-Victoire site was hosting some 4,250 internally displaced people (IDP), but by Tuesday it was almost empty. UNHCR staff said they had seen people fleeing to three other sites – Sangaris, Aviation and Site Aternatif.

They added that a spontaneous IDP site had sprung up inside the Bambari compound of the UN peace-keeping force (MINUSCA). UNHCR’s partner, the National Refugee Commission, had registered about 3,000 IDPs in the MINUSCA compound as of Tuesday. But conditions are dire at the site, a former cotton factory with no sanitation facilities and limited access to water and shelter.

UNHCR is now able to move around Bambari and is trying to assess the total number of newly displaced. The tension remains with armed groups in control of the streets.

UNHCR is also worried about the safety of almost 1,859 Sudanese in Pladama Ouaka refugee camp, which is located 12 kilometres from Bambari. The road leading to the camp had been inaccessible since the weekend, but a UNHCR team escorted by MINUSCA reached the camp on Wednesday.

The refugees told UNHCR staff that they had not been directly affected by the clashes in Bambari, but they called for tightened security as the camp is located in an exposed area. They said they had seen many families from the town fleeing with their belongings.

UNHCR partner, the International Medical Corps, has trained refugees in the camp in basic health care interventions. In the absence of IMC medical staff, the refugee attendants have access to medicines and medical supplies in the camp’s health post so basic health services are available.

The trouble in Bambari erupted after a 19-year-old Muslim was killed in the city and beheaded by alleged anti-Balaka fighters. This triggered violent reprisal attacks between the two communities in Bambari, which have left at least 10 people dead and many injured, including ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) staff.

UN security officials have reported a build-up of armed militia forces in the city. They say the population and aid workers were isolated and inaccessible, but a humanitarian corridor has been opened to the airport since Tuesday following negotiations between MINUSCA and the rival militia groups.

For more information on this topic, please contact:

• In Bangui, Dalia Al Achi on mobile +236 72675186

Ethiopia: Review of the Regional Framework for the Protection of South Sudanese and Sudanese Refugee Children - Ethiopia

27 August 2015 - 7:43am
Source: Lutheran World Federation, UN Children's Fund, Save the Children, Plan, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan

COORDINATION

Coordination of the child protection (CP) response to Sudanese refugees in South Sudan has been mainly driven by the field. In Gambella, there is a child protection working group (CPWG), and two specific groups on information management and case management. At the camp level, there is a weekly working group which covers CP as well as Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV). The Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) participates in the CP working group and in the camp level coordination meetings.

Besides refugee coordination, the Bureau of Labour and Social Affairs Government (BOLSA) leads a child protection task force group for the Gambella region, but there is no established linkage between both coordination fora.

In Addis Ababa, the refugee response is covered by the Refugee Task force, the National Protection Working Group, and the sub-group for Child Protection and Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).
Decentralization has, according to partners, worked well at the operational level, but at times has lacked strategic vision and the set-up of harmonized approaches and standards in some areas. At the Gambella level, a need to receive further support in order to resolve specific policy bottlenecks, and a closer involvement in partner selection, were mentioned by partners.

Sudan: Review of the Regional Framework for the Protection of Refugee Children in Sudan

27 August 2015 - 7:30am
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: South Sudan, Sudan

CONTEXTUALIZATION OF THE RESPONSE IN SUDAN

Sudan has been confronted by a steady influx of South Sudanese refugees following the outbreak of violence on December 2013. As of 31st May, over 157,000 South Sudanese refugees have entered the country and joined and estimated 350,000 South Sudanese who had remained in Sudan following the secession of South Sudan in 2011. In the onset of the crisis, the inflow was mainly to South Kordofan State, but progressively, an increasing number of arrivals are entering Sudan through White Nile State, which currently hosts 57% of the refugees that have arrived in the country since December 2015. The second largest new arrival population of South Sudanese is in Khartoum (35,000), Khartoum where they have found support among long standing South Sudanese populations residing in residential areas but also in the so called “open areas”.

The operational context in Sudan differs greatly from that of other countries in the region, where UNHCR and partners have mounted traditional large-scale emergency programmes, with the support of international and national NGOs. In Sudan, the response to the South Sudanese has been defined by the overall parameters of engagement established by the government to the international community, and the limited access to some of the areas where South Sudanese are.

Another reason for the disparity of approaches lies on the status of South Sudanese in Sudan. The President of Sudan declared at the outset of the emergency that borders were to remain open and that South Sudanese would enjoy the same status as Sudanese citizens. While this position is welcomed particularly to ensure the prevention of refoulement, the lack of national legislation to underpin the Government’s policy, and the lack of clarity of their legal status as refugees, causes confusion about the standards of treatment and rights South Sudanese are to enjoy.

Sudan: Sudan: Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 34 | 17 – 23 August 2015

27 August 2015 - 4:57am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: South Sudan, Sudan

HIGHLIGHTS

• 9,500 IDPs in Central Darfur’s Guldo town finally receive food aid.

• 6,600 South Sudanese refugees in White Nile State still need emergency shelter and household supplies.

• 114,000 South Sudanese refugees who arrived in Sudan since mid-December 2013 have received some form of humanitarian assistance.

• 22,000 people displaced due to inter-tribal conflict in North Darfur’s Mellit area need aid.

• In some IDP camps in South Darfur the average class size is 93 students, which is over double the minimum standard set by the INEE

Sudan: Sudan’s rebels and opposition group threaten to launch alternative dialogue process

27 August 2015 - 2:37am
Source: Sudan Tribune Country: Sudan

August 26, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - The rebel umbrella Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) and a group of opposition forces that pulled out of the dialogue have agreed to boycott the ongoing process and to launch an alternative dialogue if the government insists on going ahead with it.

The Sudanese president had told the African Union chief mediator Thabo Mbeki that he is determined to move forward with the dialogue with or without participation of the holdout political parties and rebel groups.

The SRF and the Alliance of the National Forces (ANF) including the political forces which withdrew from the government-led dialogue have held a meeting in Addis Ababa on Tuesday evening.

In a joint statement extended to Sudan Tribune, the meeting underscored “unity of Sudan’s territory and people” and that dialogue is the best means for resolving the Sudanese crisis, saying it must be inclusive and balanced.

“The ongoing dialogue is not inclusive and wouldn’t resolve the country’s problems but will complicate matters further,” it added.

The statement pointed to the need for unifying views and coordinating political stances of the opposition on all issues pertaining to dialogue.

The two sides further agreed to embark on launching an alternative dialogue process with the participation of all Sudanese people if the government insisted to go ahead with the current process without meeting its requirements.

The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir launched the national dialogue initiative more than a year and a half ago in which he urged opposition parties and rebels alike to join the dialogue table to discuss all the pressing issues.

But the initiative faced serious setbacks in wake of the government’s refusal to create suitable atmosphere in the country leading several major participants to pull out.

The meeting expressed support for the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) decision to extend Mbeki’s mandate and its call for an urgent pre-dialogue meeting of all relevant parties.

The statement added the meeting agreed to a comprehensive cessation of hostilities and to open corridors to allow passage of humanitarian assistance to the needy population as a prelude for holding a genuine national dialogue.

It should be mentioned that the AUPSC on Wednesday called for declaring a ceasefire in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur. Also president Bashir, last week said he is ready to declare a two-month ceasefire in all three conflict areas.

The SRF and the ANF called for the need to learn from the previous experiences to achieve a comprehensive solution for the Sudanese issues as well as expanding the join work within the framework of Addis Ababa agreement signed between the dialogue coordination body known as 7+7 and the opposition forces last year.

They also called for releasing political detainees and convicts as agreed upon in the roadmap approved by the 7+7 mechanism and the Addis Ababa agreement.

The meeting was attended by Malik Agar, Yasir Arman, Gibreel Ibrahim, Ahmed Tugod Lisan, Minni Arku Minnawi, Ali Trio, al-Toum Hago and al-Rayah Mahmoud from the SRF side and Hassan Osman Rizq, Ahmed Abu al-Gasim Hashim, Taha Abdallah Yasin and Hassan Ali Idris from the ANF side.

DOHA PEACE DOCUMENT IS DEAD

Meanwhile, the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) leader Minni Minnawi said the AUPSC 539th Communiqué is considered a victory for the diplomatic efforts made by the “Sudan Call” forces.

Minnawi told Sudan Tribune that the communiqué has “blown up” the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), saying the document has been sent to its final resting place.

The communiqué if the regional security body commended the AU High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) efforts to facilitate negotiations between the government of Sudanese government and the Darfur armed movements, “within the context of the agreed one-process-two-track approach to end all violent conflicts in Sudan”.

The Sudanese government continued to reject any discussions with the rebel groups in Darfur region, saying the DDPD proposes a set of solution for the conflict.

Minnawi added that the AUPSC demanded the government to initiate a genuine dialogue to resolve the Sudanese crisis, saying it has also renewed the mandate of the AUHIP.

(ST)

World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 11 August – 25 August 2015

27 August 2015 - 1:25am
Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen

Snapshot 11 August – 25 August 2015

Haiti: Insecurity has increased since legislative elections. Violence and intimidation were reported at many polling stations and a second round of voting is planned, following low voter turnout. Food security has deteriorated as a result of prolonged drought conditions since the beginning of 2015: poor households in Sud, Sud-Est, Nord-Est and Artibonite will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes through December. Recent cholera rates are triple those of the comparable time period in 2014.

Chad: Between 21 July and 21 August, over 41,000 people were displaced in the Lake Region because of the escalating number of attacks related to the Boko Haram insurgency and rapid deterioration of the security situation. The conflict has displaced 75,000 people since January.

South Sudan: There are widespread reports of renewed clashes between government and rebels. Some humanitarian organisations have evacuated staff to safer areas. The conditions inside PoC camps continue to deteriorate following an influx of over 61,000 IDPs since 30 June. In Malakal PoC the number of diarrhoea cases arriving weekly has doubled and the number of malaria cases has tripled.

Updated: 25/08/2015. Next update 01/09/2015.

Global Emergency Overview Web Interface

Ethiopia: Climate Prediction Center’s Africa Hazards Outlook August 27 – September 2, 2015

26 August 2015 - 12:50pm
Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Country: Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo
  • Abundant rain has continued across a wide portion of West Africa.

  • Despite a recent increase in rain, seasonal deficits have persisted over parts of the Greater Horn of Africa.

1) Although an increase in rain has been observed over Eastern Africa during the past few weeks, seasonal deficits have persisted in south-central and eastern Sudan, western Eritrea, and northeastern Ethiopia due to the delayed onset and uneven rainfall distribution to the June-September season.

2) Despite recent increase in rainfall, the much delayed start to the rainfall season has resulted in drought, which has severely impacted ground conditions and already led to livestock death across parts of north-central and eastern Ethiopia.

3) Widespread, heavy rain during the past few weeks has caused flooding over localities of West Africa, including several states of Nigeria. Heavy rain is forecast to continue during the next week, which elevates risks for flooding over many alreadysaturated grounds of the sub-region.

4) Eastern Chad and western Sudan have received above-average rain over the past four weeks.
Abundant rain is expected to continue during the next week, heightening risks for localized flooding and potential waterborne disease outbreaks.