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WFP Begins Food Distributions for Thousands Displaced by Conflict in Kasai Region of DRC (16.08.2017)

ABUJA, Nigeria, August 16, 2017 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and its partner World Vision have launched an emergency operation to provide food assistance to 42,000 food insecure people in the Kasai and Kasai Central provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Food assistance will be provided to people who have fled their villages due to conflict in the region.
Where safe access is possible, WFP plans to assist 25,000 displaced persons in Kasai Central and 17,000 people in the Kasai province in the coming days. However, WFP urgently requires US$17.3 million to support scale up of its operations to assist 250,000 vulnerable persons in Kasai and Kasai Central provinces from September to December 2017.

Food distributions have started in the town of Tshilumba with further distributions scheduled this month. As part of this effort and where safe access is possible, WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) continue to identify the most vulnerable displaced people in areas identified with high levels of food insecurity, as determined in a recent food security study.

The results of this recent food security assessment showed that in the last year, the number of people in need of urgent humanitarian food assistance in the DRC rose by 1.8 million, from 5.9 million to 7.7 million. In conflict-ridden areas, more than 1.5 million people are facing “emergency” levels of food insecurity, leaving many with no option but to sell everything they have while skipping or reducing their meals.

In addition to food distributions, WFP is leading the Logistics Cluster, which provides technical and logistical support to humanitarian organizations and has been operational in the Kasai region since June. Mobile warehouses have been built to store food and non-food items, while several trucks have been sent to Kasai and Kasai Central to transport food and supplies.

In order to meet the huge needs of the displaced people in hard-to-reach areas, the WFP-led United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) has expanded its support since June, positioning an aircraft in Kananga in Kasai Central on a permanent basis and starting three weekly flights to Tshikapa, Kasai. As a result, those most in need are more accessible to humanitarian organizations.

“We launched this emergency response as soon as funds became available,” said Claude Jibidar, WFP Representative and Country Director in DRC. “We targeted the most vulnerable among the vulnerable, and our access to these displaced people also depend on security conditions. However, with nearly one and a half million displaced people in the Kasai region, additional donor support is essential for WFP to scale up our operations and reach more vulnerable displaced people.”

Scores of people have fled their villages due to the conflict that broke out in the Kasai region in August 2016. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there are some 1.4 million internally displaced people across the Kasai provinces. In addition, more than 31,000 people have fled the region into neighboring Angola. With up to 3.8 million people displaced in total, the DRC is home to the largest population of internally displaced people in Africa.

The sharp deterioration in people’s food security is mainly attributable to displacement caused by an upsurge in conflict and pest infestation in crops across the country. WFP continues to coordinate with FAO and other partners to serve the most vulnerable people in the Kasai region, as well as in other parts of the country.

UPDF has not, and will not deploy in Kenya (13.08.2017)

Police Caught on Camera Breaking into a HOME in Mathare (Youtube-Clip)

U.S. Representative Cicilline letter to Paul Ryan on “If President Donald Trump won’t take nuclear war off the table, Congress must” (11.08.2017)

UN Peacekeeping Mission Head insists on “zero tolerance approach” to militarization of South Sudan’s displaced people camps (10.08.2017)

UNMISS currently protects some 218,000 people in seven POC sites across the country where people have fled due to the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.

JUBA, South Sudan, August 10, 2017 – The Head of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has insisted that the mission maintains a “zero tolerance approach” to the militarization of camps for people displaced by conflict and that the camps remain civilian in nature.

David Shearer, who is also the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, was speaking in Bentiu in the north of the country, where some 115,000 people are currently living in the Mission’s largest Protection of Civilians site or POC.

Last month, 22 armed men in civilian clothes were taken into custody by Mongolian peacekeepers, after they tried to break into the camp to seek shelter from fighting.

“The only way to keep women and children safe in this camp and others is to make sure they do not become militarized,” Mr Shearer said.

UNMISS currently protects some 218,000 people in seven POC sites across the country where people have fled due to the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.

“Undoubtedly, UNMISS has saved tens of thousands of lives by providing these sanctuaries from violence, but ultimately,” Mr Shearer added “we need to find a longer-term solution so that these people can return home and live productive lives.”

“Only those people in imminent danger and whose lives are at risk should be sheltering in these sites,” the UNMISS Head said.

UN Police Officers are working with community groups in the POC sites to ensure that military groups are unable to find refuge there.

“UNMISS is stepping up peacekeeping patrols outside many of its POC sites to build confidence for local people to return home,” said David Shearer. “That needs to go hand in hand with the efforts of humanitarian agencies to provide targeted assistance to surrounding communities to support that return.”

RDC: “Declaration du Bureau du Moise Katumbi” (07.08.2017)

Kenya: NASA Statement on Voter Turnout and Election-related Military Activity (07.08.2017)

Statement by H.E. Ri Yong Ho, Minister of Foreign Affairs – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK – North Korea) at 24th ASEAN Regional Forum (Manila, Philippines, 7 August 2017)

The DRC Armed Group Leader Sheka Handed Over by MONUSCO to the Congolese Authorities (07.08.2017)

Sheka has been wanted since 2011 by the Congolese justice system for crimes against humanity, including mass rape and child recruitment.

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, August 7, 2017 – Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka, leader of the armed group Nduma Defense of Congo (NDC), was transferred on Friday August 4th to Kinshasa and was handed over by MONUSCO to the Congolese judicial authorities. Sheka has been under MONUSCO supervision in Goma since his surrender on 26 July.

He is accompanied by two alleged NDC combatants who also surrendered and are subject to judicial warrants of arrest for crimes against humanity including rape and child recruitment. The individuals will be detained, awaiting trial, in a location where MONUSCO will have access to ensure that relevant international human rights standards are observed.

The United Nations, through the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, called on the DRC government to “take all necessary measures to ensure that Sheka is promptly tried in adherence to basic standards of due process and that the charges against him appropriately correspond to all the crimes committed”.

Sheka surrendered to MONUSCO in the village of Mutongo about ten kilometers north of Walikale in full knowledge of the fact that he is the subject of an arrest warrant and will be brought to justice. Sheka has been wanted since 2011 by the Congolese justice system for crimes against humanity, including mass rape and child recruitment. NDC fighters are alleged to have raped almost 400 civilians, including 300 women, 23 men and 61 children, in 13 villages on the Kibua-Mpofi axis in the Walikale (North Kivu) between 30 July and 2 August 2010. United Nations have also documented the alleged recruitment of at least 154 children by this rebel group.

“Sheka’s surrender is a positive sign. A fair trial would be a significant step in the fight against impunity and a victory for victims of abuses by armed groups who have the right to justice”, said Maman Sidikou, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in the DRC.

USA: Gen. Mathis leaked Memo to DoD staff – “Subject: Ethical Standards for All Hands”

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