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A Rebuttal to Friedman: There is no “lid on Africa” also addressing his misconception on Migration!

The Cambridge Dictionary defines “taking the lid off” as: “to cause something bad that was previously kept secret to be known by the public” (Cambridge Dictionary, Cambridge University Press). A writer like Thomas L. Friedman in the New York times should know this perfectly well, as he used this term in his column ‘ Opinion Can I Ruin Your Dinner Party?’ published on the 7th August 2018. This is the reason for why I writing this. Because of two paragraphs that needs to be addressed, I will first let his words speak, before showing what the EU says about the matter. As a European, the American writer doesn’t make sense.

The key part was:

Toppling Qaddafi without building a new order may go down as the single dumbest action the NATO alliance ever took. It took the lid off Africa, leading to some 600,000 asylum seekers and illegal migrants flocking to Italy’s shores in recent years, with 300,000 staying there and the rest filtering into other E.U. countries. This has created wrangles within the bloc over who should absorb how many migrants and has spawned nationalist-populist backlashes in almost every E.U. country” (Thomas L. Friedman – ‘Opinion Can I Ruin Your Dinner Party?’ 07.08.2018 link: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/07/opinion/can-i-ruin-your-dinner-party.html).

I don’t know in which world Friedman is residing, but the words of the EU, Zelesa and MPC are clearly not opening any jars of uncertainty. Yes, there been a growing amount of illegal and non-asylum seekers through the United Nations or Bilateral Organizations, which they have come from War-Zones as in the past. As the EU Member States takes their quota of refugees and asylum-seekers as a global task of helping people in need, as that cannot happen where they are or they are living in temporary shelters awaiting hopefully a helpful nation to become their guardian. However, no else is saying it is NATO fault or even the fall Qaddafi, which is the reason for crossing across the Mediterranean sea. There is more porous borders as well as the conflict in the Sahel Region that has continued. These are all reasons for the transport of refugees from the rest of the Sub-Saharan Africa. However, there was never a lid to be taken of the continent.

The EU Science Hub states:

Between 2008 and 2016, the total annual number of African migrants remained stable. However, legal immigration was declining in this period, while the number of irregular arrivals and asylum claims of Africans increased. Irregular arrivals of Africans via the Mediterranean started to decline again in 2017.In Europe, the majority of African immigrants come from North Africa, with most people making the move to reunite with family members already settled in a European country” (EU Science Hub – ‘New perspectives on African migration’ 01.07.2018 link: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/news/new-perspectives-african-migration).

EU Project opened more nations for Immigration:

Clearly, African immigration to Europe was marked by increasing diversification both in the number of countries sending and receiving the immigrants. Particularly remarkable was the emergence of the southern European countries, principally Italy, Portugal, and Spain, themselves longstanding emigration countries, as immigration countries. This was as much a product of the improving economic fortunes in these countries and their integration into the prosperity and political sphere of Western Europe as it was of mounting immigration pressures on their borders to the east and the south. Enclosed in a new European transnational space, new identities of ethnicity and citizenship began to emerge that entailed creating both symbolic and material borders to keep away or distinguish the immigrants. The Europeanization of these countries and the rebordering of the Mediterranean that it implied required the separation and stigmatization ofimmigrants from the global South (Suarez-Navaz, 1997; Royo, 2005)” (Paul Tiyambe Zeleza – ‘Africa ‘s Contemporary Global Migrations: Patterns, Perils, and Possibilities’ P: 39, June 2010).

Migration Profile – Libya:

Despite Libya being, first and foremost, a country of immigration, the deterioration of immigrants’ conditions in the country has also made it an important country for transit migration and particularly for the many migrants trying to reach Malta and the Italian Isle of Lampedusa As to emigration patterns, Libya has never recorded significant outward migration flows. However, during the 2011 unrest, there was an upsurge of Libyan nationals fleeing the country. According, though, to the authorities in neighbouring countries, the great majority are believed to already have returned to Libya” (…) “To conclude, two considerations can be made about the impact of the Libyan crisis on international migration movements. On the one hand, Sub Saharan nationals were without any doubt the people most at risk, both in Libya and at the borders (where repatriation activities led to an impasse). On the other hand, the capacity of neighbouring African countries to manage the crisis in terms of the reception of migrants was remarkable. (IOM, 2012)” (Migration Policy Center – ‘MPC – MIGRATION PROFILE Libya, June 2013).

As we can really see, is that what Friedman is saying is wrong. The African Migration to Europe has lasted long. That is not new and has usually followed to the previous Colonizers of the ones migrating. However, with the change of he European Union, has changed that pattern, but not opened up something. The Libyan Crisis and fall of Qaddafi have had is effect. However, the results by the EU and the IOM are stating not as bad as previously stated. Also that the “illegal” are rising, but less of the direct asylum-seekers, meaning their means and ways has changed, but the end-game are more of the same. They are still fleeing from crisis and wars in Sub-Saharan Africa, but they doing so by the shores of Northern Africa crossing into EU Countries.

So, the taking the lid off by invading and deposing Qaddafi seems like far-fetched. That is a lie, also a relic of the past, as Friedman sounds like they opened a box with a box-opener. This was simply done with getting rid of one dictator. He seems like that is the reason for the whole transit in Libya, not the whole conflict within the continent and neither the true nature of it all. As people are doing whatever they can to get shelter and hope for the future, because the International Community isn’t reacting or caring about the oppression in their nations. They are forgotten and know they will not get help, as the Western Powers are boasting these leaders who oppress and then people want to flee from these shores.

No lid was taken, it was never a lid there to begin with? Are there a lid that was opened so that United States could have space for all the slaves in the past? Or is there a lid taken of the brain of Trump? We all, the rest of the world really want to know.

Enough of this nonsense. Peace.

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The EU is so forgetful: Forgetting the sentiment of Museveni concerning the ICC!

ICC is a bunch of useless people” – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on the 12th May 2016.

It is like certain leaders doesn’t learn from their behavior and attitude. At the same moment, they are forgetting the sentiment and what that been said in the past. A man or a President like Museveni has said anything between the moon and Lake Albert. However, the European Union doesn’t need to condemn this activity, they need to show force and show character. The statement made by them yesterday concerning the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the non-arrest of Sudanese President Al-Bashir. Instead of being released could have been scrapped. They should have known that he doesn’t care about the ICC.

First show the statement made by EU, before more statement of how Museveni feels about the legal international entity. Look!

Based on the information we received, on 5-7 July President Omar Al-Bashir visited Djibouti and Uganda” (…) “The European Union and its Member States regret that Djibouti and Uganda, both States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), did not comply with their obligations under international law and as State Parties to the ICC and did not surrender President Al-Bashir to the Court.” (The European Council – ‘Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on President Al-Bashir’s visits to Djibouti and Uganda’ 09.07.2018).

Just as you seen the EU is regretting that the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and the President Museveni didn’t deliver President Al-Bashir after his visit in Entebbe for the Peace Summit for South Sudan there. The EU are clearly forgetful, because Museveni isn’t friendly to the ICC anymore.

At the Inauguration of Uhuru Kenyatta, the extract of the speech on the 9th April 2013:

Furthermore, I want to salute the Kenyan voters on one other issue – the rejection of the blackmail by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and those who seek to abuse this institution for their own agenda. I was one of those that supported the ICC because I abhor impunity. However, the usual opinionated and arrogant actors using their careless analysis have distorted the purpose of that institution. They are now using it to install leaders of their choice in Africa and eliminate the ones they do not like” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 09.03.2013).

On the 52nd Independence Day celebration speech at Kololo on the 10th October 2014:

For International Criminal Court to handle them as just legal matters, demonstrates their level of shallowness. My view is that, at the next summit, African countries should review their membership to the ICC treaty” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 10.10.2014).

At Televised Presidential Candidate Debate on the 14th February 2016, the President said this:

A founding signatory of the Rome Statute, on ICC: Yes we should be out of the ICC. ICC is not serious. It is partisan. There are so many people who should have been tried if they were serious. The way to go is to have our own African Criminal Court. Trying to work with ICC was a mistake” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 14.02.2016).

President Museveni have not liked the ICC in recent years. The President really despise the ICC now. He has not shown any concern or care for it. He call it a mistake and also that they are blackmailing the African Nations. That is why, the EU should have figured it out. If anyone is on the ICC list or wanted for arrest. It is not like Museveni will respect it, he hates the ICC and what it does. He has shown that.

The administrators and secretaries in Brussels should know this, they should have records, even remember that the Ambassadors of EU walked out on the inauguration ceremony in 2016. The statements from 2013 unto 2016 are alone telling the story. Certainly, he has the same sentiment in 2018. He is an old man, not a miracle worker.

President Museveni doesn’t give a fig about the ICC and what they say. Neither does he fear the EU, as they need him to keep the refugees from spawning to shores of Europe. So he can say what he like and not fear for retribution. The EU knows this and therefore, will not push Museveni to comply to the provisions of the ICC. He doesn’t have to fear it or respect it even. Al-Bashir is a friend of Museveni at this point. Peace.

Toyota explains the Trump Administration: How damaging the tariffs are on the Auto Industry!

Just as the letter is leaked from Stephen Ciccone, Group Vice President of Government Affairs within the Toyota Motor North America INC, who had written this leaked letter to the Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. Who has defended the tariffs on steel and aluminum, which has been on the European Union and NAFTA trading partners.

The reason why this letter is interesting, is because what he reveals, that the Government and Trump Administration will not reveal. The cost of the tariffs will be in jobs in the United States and also for the consumers. The most popular car produced by Toyota, the Toyota Camry with 30 % Foreign Parts, will be costing $ 1,800 more. The company has translated the cost, if the companies put the cost and compensation on the consumers. It would be 25%, an estimated loss of sales because of it could be up 2 million units or 10 % annually. If these numbers are true, than the Trump Administration are not only destroying imports, but local production and car-sales in general. That all because of the tariffs on these set-fixated goods, which is used to produce cars.

Therefore, these tariffs made are directly as the Toyota Company in the United States through the whole chain from factory to the consumer are around 470,000 people hired through the chain. While the manufacturing piece alone is 137,000 in 10 factories (soon 11). They are in Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi, Texas, California, Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee, Michigan and West Virginia. So it is not like this is just hitting the favorable blue-states, which the Republicans hate. This would hit in the middle of the rust-belts and heartland f the Trump Voter.

Toyota Motor has really put themselves strategically in the United States, as well as put themselves in the midst of ironic territory. As they are in the areas where the President got the most support and also has the strongest loyalty, even as they are not serving the principals of the trade. The cost will be taken by the same people who voted him in and the added cost will be on the voters themselves. Either in lose of jobs in manufacturing, if not in lack of sales as people cannot afford to buy as many cars as they could before. That is not weird as the wages in the United States has been stagnant for so long. Therefore, the rise of prices combined with lack of surging wages, they cannot manage to afford the luxury of new cars, even used ones.

Just imagine the sudden rise of 25% on each imported car and also close to 2 Grands more expensive Camry. That will be costly for plenty of people. That is not mere cents on the can of beans as Wilbur Ross did on TV after the tariffs was made public. This here is much more costly and actually affect as many as 470,000 people in the United States. That is only in Toyota, what about the all American General Motors or FORD? Who knows how they will be hurt or how much added cost this will have on the consumer? Even how many people in their production chain from manufacturing to the consumer will be hurt by these efforts made by the state?

If Toyota is sending this warning and show the real affects on the economy by doing so. In just one company, what will it do to the whole industry and also the possible outcome of the provisions made by the tariff. That should be striking, but wisdom is rare in this administration. They are not concern with other, than their own pride and deluded acts of ignorance. This is destroying industry, not creating or salvaging anything.

Toyota is sending a signal to the Trump Administration, but will they care? No they won’t, unless they are Russian Oligarchs or Putin’s henchmen in the US. Peace.

A spiteful chant: Where did humanity go?

Where did humanity go in our time? When did we cease to care about other people’s struggle and their causes? When did that cease to matter? Because in our time, the rich and wealthy are securing more and more resources, while the poor is having no ways to get out of it. The states are closing their borders, stricter rules for refugees and asylum-seekers. While in dictatorships, the harassments and the internally displaced numbers are rising. The rich countries are investing in warfare, but not taking charge for the fleeing refugees from the crisis. They are trying to pay the states in regions and close the borders in migration routes. There is no heart, just cash-money. The heart has left, and the ignorance is rising.

The deaths of civil wars, the displacements of draconian laws and of dictators doesn’t matter. The lack of dialogue and of political freedoms, that doesn’t matter either. The lack of compassion and of political will change is also okay. As long as the troubles from afar doesn’t touch us. However, we will seal of the borders and make sure the innocent victims of internal disputes and skirmishes hopefully can cross the border to the closest country and not seek refugees in Europe or in the United States. Because, we cannot mange to show some humanity and heart.

The blood in your veins should boil, but for most. We don’t give a damn, they don’t give a fig. If their villages are burned to the ground by the military. If the Police is detaining people without any justification. If the state is securing the demise and death on fake imports. All of that doesn’t matter, as long as it doesn’t happen where we are.

This is the despicable. This is the reality. Our time, our reality, what our representatives put forward and make sure to build big invisible walls and mechanisms to close borders. To make it less achievable and costly to cross. Even more dangerous, as the perils of death and destruction at home isn’t better. But to leave can also cost your life, either by crook or by the book. Secondly, there will be nobody to even care to look.

This should be disgusting. Knowing that people are dying fleeing civil-wars and dictatorship, than when they are entering our safe havens; there is no one caring for their ills and troubles. They will just shrug it off like dirt on their shoulders and move on. There is lack of solidarity and heart. I hope in my time, that the Republic’s and Nation’s that close their borders never start warfare with themselves. As the ones who saw what we did. Might also give us no helping hand. They might say, we saw what your parents did to us. Why should we save the kids to such despicable people? Why do you deserve safe haven, when you couldn’t help our kind in need?

That is what I worry about, because we never know when the tide change, when society start to deteriorate or self-destruct. That is within us and we never know. We could be next, right now it is our brothers from afar, next time it could our closest neighbor or even ourselves. Than, they will remember our cold hearts and lack of compassion in the times of need. Peace.

The European Council plans to move more migration management outside its borders!

The European Council in the draft note before the next general meeting. Is establishing mechanisms, which would ensure that less tries to cross the oceans to get to safe harbour in Europe. This by both giving financial aid possibly and make the Border States have settlements of asylum-seekers and whatnot.

“The European Council will also strengthen EU external instruments on migration in the context of the negotiations on the next Multiannual Financial Framework, in particular so as to ensure effective cooperation with countries of origin and transit. To this end, the external components of the internal, border, asylum and migration funds should include a dedicated external migration management window specifically geared towards stemming irregular migration flows” (Council of the European Union – European Council meeting (28 June 2018) – Draft conclusions -8147/18, 19.06.2018).

This is really nasty stuff, that the European Union continues to purge like this and with these methods. Actually, making sure the refugees and asylum-seekers are stationed in Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and everything else bordering at sea towards Europe. There is lack of heart and with intent of shattering people’s dreams of possible refuge. That is what this is.

They are planning external migration management to stop the flow of people crossing into their borders. That means an invisible wall with functions and mechanisms stopping the ones trying to seek refuge. Just think about that, the sovereign states on the borders are bushwhacked by the EU and also most likely pushed by the funds their way as a bargain. Both parties with no consideration of the implications on the lives on the ones fleeing war-zones and civil-wars, famine or any sort of disaster that are creating all the reasons for fleeing on humanitarian grounds. Still, the EU will use these states as buffers and shield itself from people coming.

We can all see with this, the precious and deep scars, the evidence of control and also extending boundaries, just so, the ones in need cannot cross into refuge. They cannot get shelter or hope for the future, but live in oblivion, outcast in their own homeland and not welcome at the destination either. It is just a sad story of our time and the lack of compassion within the leadership of our representatives as well. Peace.

Opinion: G6+1 Dumb-ass!

What have we learned this week? That President Donald J. Trump is douche, a spoiled brat in a toy-store and not understand the G7 Summit. He the one that does stuff and makes things off on the spot. He might be able to trick foolish inbreed rural Americans, but the whole wide world; he cannot trick like that. Especially not career leaders like the ones participating in the G7 Summit in Canada.

The other nations was prepared to write a statement without Trump. The other world leaders at the summit are Angela Merkel, Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, Donald Tusk, Jean-Claude Junker, Theresa May, Shinzo Abe and Giuseppe Conte. This is leaders from Germany, Canada, France, European Union, United Kingdom, Japan and Italy.

That means that Trump has insulted the world and he doesn’t care about his allies. Trump has shown it. All in his tweets and his actions. That he didn’t have the ability to sign a communique that rest was favorable of signing. Trump wanted to isolate himself, he acted like a douche, came late to meetings, came late to the G-7 and also left early. Nothing with this man shows respect of the allies. He also came with demands to other before arriving. To add another member, without any clear reason, like it was a bidding he had to do. Because he had promised his friend Vlad before the Summit.

The Charlevoix G7 Summit Communique states this concerning trade:

We acknowledge that free, fair and mutually beneficial trade and investment, while creating reciprocal benefits, are key engines for growth and job creation. We recommit to the conclusions on trade of the Hamburg G20 Summit, in particular, we underline the crucial role of a rules-based international trading system and continue to fight protectionism. We note the importance of bilateral, regional and plurilateral agreements being open, transparent, inclusive and WTO-consistent, and commit to working to ensure they complement the multilateral trade agreements. We commit to modernize the WTO to make it more fair as soon as possible. We strive to reduce tariff barriers, non-tariff barriers and subsidies” (Charlevoix G7 Summit Communique, 09.06.2018).

This part of the Communique is in direct challenge to the sudden move of Trump to impose trade-sanctions on these nations that he meet days after. That is really a bold move to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel. Certainly, the nations who got this will impose tariffs on the US produced products to counter measure. Clearly, the trade-war is created in the mind of Trump. So this will affect ordinary civilians world over and not the wealthy. They usually get away with this. Maybe, that is one of the foolish reasons for Trump passing his chance of being loyal to his allies. That he couldn’t be friendly or even be reasonable.

That is why he is isolationist and a dumb-ass, the losers isn’t the world, but United States. The US Government are really trading their favorable position and making their situation worse. The lack of tact and diplomatic spat with allies. Trump is really an insensitive lying ass-hat who should know how to carry himself. Instead he lies about Trudeau after the Summit. He is putting himself in the spotlight and acting like a TV-Star. Not as a representative of the US. That is why he is losing for himself and for his Republic.

It is weird, but instead of showing strength or greatness, he is showing weakness and lack of finesse. This was a G6 Summit with an added dumbass!

Trump, you we’re able to fool America, but your not able to fool the world. Peace.

Opinion: Appointing Museveni to mediate anywhere, was bound to go nowhere!

The situation in Burundi, just like the one in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan can’t be dealt with overnight. Anybody expecting a quick fix is dreaming” – Dr. Okello Oryem

Recently during this week, the Minister of State for International Affairs Okello Oryem has said this. It is very revealing of the arrogance and the stature of the talks, the dialogue and the works done by the Ugandans in the conflicts where the East African Community (EAC) has appointed President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to be the mediator. I never had faith in Museveni and to this day, I haven’t been wrong about that. Nothing has changed in South Sudan or Burundi, where Museveni is suppose to help changing it and get into a peaceful process. Instead it is more and more volatile.

What the grandest problem with having Museveni as mediator in South Sudan, is that his army is delivering weapons and ammunitions to the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, the SPLA and the SPLM/A-IG. They are serving the government with weapons and the technical training, while they are supposed to be there and secure the negotiations to a peaceful place. That is playing with fire and expecting to have the ability to drown it too. Your providing the opportunity for the government to continue to battle the opposition, while being a party at the table negotiating the possible peace agreement. That sounds like a bad mix of sources and interests at play. Museveni should clearly, just be a weapon brother and not a mediator. Someone who isn’t involved in delivering weapons to South Sudan, should mediate and not someone who serves guns to President Salva Kiir Mayardit. That is just wrong and has self interests in prolonging the conflict. He get to trade more weapons and ammo to the government there.

While in Burundi, the Inter-Burundian Dialogue has been directed by the President. A President that helped his fellow President to return in 2015 after a tried Coup d’etat and demonstrations against his third term. That led into bloodshed and also continued oppression of the dissidents inside Burundi. Where the dialogue haven’t materialized into anything, while the ruling regime has held a new referendum and now secured legality of Pierre Nkurunziza to to rule into 2034. Which is insane, when he entered into power, he was only allowed to have two terms, but he has changed the laws just like Museveni.

President Museveni hasn’t stopped the Burundian President and his control of the dialogue, deciding who could participate and when it could happen. Nkurunziza and his administration has totally muffled the Tanzanian chief talker Mpaka. Therefore, now that he has been part of this since 2015, as the African Union, United Nations and East African Commission have all said Museveni should do this. But they never gave him a proper mandate or done anything if Nkurunziza didn’t listen. They sent some police officers and observers at some point after 2015, but nothing has materialized.

Therefore, seems more like Museveni has been appointed and is lucky to shield his friends. Looking like he makes talks, but stalling for times. While both parties in South Sudan and Burundi are allowed to get rid of opposition, they are allowed to get weapons and use scare tactics to get rid of enemies. While he looks at in sometimes blaze some strong words. But Museveni will not act upon it, as they will do talks in secret and secure that Burundi and South Sudan get what they need. To keep the leadership, which is friendly to Museveni. Not to its people, but loyal to him. So he can be the big-man in East Africa. Peace.

Opinion: Trump impose tariffs on Steel & Aluminum from the EU, another proof that the world cannot trust the US anymore!

The world doesn’t need enemies, it already have Trump, President Trump. He doesn’t care and shows no tact, no mercy and no sort of dialogue. That is proven again. Now that he has over night decided to impose tariffs on Aluminum and Steel from the European Union (EU). It is like Trump wants the US to be alone in the world. That is what he is getting closer to every single day.

When your not making sure the friends of United States gets to trade with reasonable tariffs, then who do you let do that? Why does the United States think they are so special that they can hit another continent like nothing. This is just like they pulled out of the Paris Agreement on the Climate, as the US don’t want to part of the global fight against climate change. We also seen the US has pulled out of the Iran agreement, making things worse in the Middle East. That is done while the US Embassy was moved to Jerusalem and weapons delivered to Saudi Arabia. This is all decisions that makes the world more fragile and hits the nerves of the regions.

Now, the EU is imposed tariffs, which are done because of Trump’s imaginary vision of supremacy, instead he is losing end. As people knows with every day, they cannot trust the United States. Even Angela Merkel said that during April 2018. There is more and more proof, that the world cannot trust Trump and the US Government. It is erratic and unstable, it is a house of cards.

President Trump policies are short-sighted and without vision of consequences. The US will not salvage this industry, this will just make the products made with this more expensive before the industry get better sights and hired more educated people to work in the industry. You cannot just build steel mills over night and nether have the educated engineers like that too. This isn’t making copyrights on random products, this is actually producing and making them.

I don’t think that Trump knows this, he thinks of ancient ways and wants to be Cesar and rule everything without any consequences. But Trump should know that the EU will react to this, they will put reactionary tariffs on products and American goods valued the same as the industries they hit in the EU. So that the different partners are making sure the Americans get to feel it too.

The US should know, that all of this doesn’t make friends, but more people looking at them and mind boggling thinking. The US Government, we cannot trust or really count on. They are just using everyone and making sure the rest is hit. While the US wants to get away without any responsibility. But the reality will hit them, when the EU answers with imposing tariffs on US goods too. That would be a natural reaction. Hopefully hit a nerve with the President and his allies. Since that was what the EU planned in the past to answer it.

Let’s see how this goes. But it is not a good look. Only making things more hostile and letting the world know. The US cannot be trusted, they are misusing their position and will only make the global diplomacy harder. Peace.

Central African Republic crisis ‘breaks my heart’ says senior UN aid official (29.05.2018)

The already serious humanitarian situation in Central African Republic (CAR) has worsened amid a spike in violence which threatens to overtake almost every area of the country, a top UN aid official said on Monday.

NEW YORK, United States of America, May 29, 2018 –  One in four people has been displaced, according to Najat Rochdi, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for CAR, who said that this included areas that were formerly peaceful, such as the north and central zones.

Speaking at a press conference in Geneva, Ms. Rochdi warned that severe acute malnutrition in six administrative regions is higher than 15 per cent – the emergency threshold – and infant mortality is at 18 per cent.

And amid severe funding shortages which have meant aid cut-backs, she told journalists in French: “It breaks my heart every time a child comes to me and says I’m hungry.”

Speaking later in English, she said: “Where you have kids, those little girls and little boys coming to you and looking at you and telling, ‘I’m hungry, I’m starving,’ it’s horrible, really horrible. Unfortunately the situation has worsened because we had in one year’s time an increase of 70 per cent of the internally displaced people. Meaning more children, more little girls and more little boys, meaning also that it’s a whole generation that is sacrificed because they are not going to school.”

She said it was very important to keep providing them with humanitarian assistance, which meant going beyond food distribution, beyond the access to water, beyond the access to health. “It’s just access to hope.”

Of the more than $515 million aid requirement needed in CAR for 1.9 million people, less than 20 per cent has been provided so far this year.

Fighting between the mostly Christian anti-Balaka militia and the mainly Muslim Séléka rebel coalition has plunged the CAR into civil conflict since 2012. A peace agreement was reached in January 2013, but rebels seized the capital, Bangui, in March of that year, forcing President François Bozizé to flee.

Concerned with the security, humanitarian, human rights and political crisis in the CAR and its regional implications, the Security Council authorized the deployment of a UN stabilization mission, known by its French acronym, MINUSCA, in 2014 with the protection of civilians as its utmost priority.

The humanitarian community distributed high-energy biscuits to 1,500 children and debilitated adults who suffered from starvation and thirst for more than 72 hours during an outbreak of violence in Mbomou Prefecture, Central African Republic in May 2017.

The country’s huge natural wealth – in the form of diamonds, gold and uranium – continues to fuel the fighting, Ms. Rochdi explained, adding that there was “absolutely no problem” in areas “where you don’t have that much to steal.”

The violence reached the capital, Bangui, at the beginning of the month after almost a year of relative stability.

In that incident, 70 people were killed in clashes between security forces and armed militia, and thousands were displaced.

Ms. Rochdi said that UN troops had to intervene after Muslims were denied healthcare access.

The town of Bambari has also seen armed groups return, despite becoming a “safe haven for all communities” since last year, the UN official added.

The militia aimed to put pressure on the government to grant them an amnesty but this would be a “disaster” for the country, Ms. Rochdi insisted, before adding that efforts to prevent impunity had been stepped up and had resulted in a Special Criminal Court, which is due to start work in CAR next week.

Some of its “first clients” would be “high-profile leaders of armed groups,” Ms. Rochdi said, adding that CAR was one of the most dangerous places on earth for humanitarians, with six people killed this year and attacks on aid workers and looting happening on a “regular” basis.

Yet despite the instability and fact that funding levels in 2017 were only 40 per cent of what was requested, she maintained that it still made a substantial difference on the ground and had helped to prepare communities to withstand future shocks too.

It meant that more than one million people had access to water, that 7,000 tonnes of humanitarian assistance were delivered and more than 60,000 children were given an education.

In addition, the aid ensured that more than 70,000 farming families received a vital seed allocation, helping them to become more self-sufficient.

More than 17,000 children from six to 59 months suffering from severe acute malnutrition were also given support.

The most important thing was that the people of CAR had some sense that they had a future, Mrs Rochdi said, adding that humanitarian assistance “is making the difference between life and death”.

Aid is also “the best way for all of us to sustain peace in CAR”, she added, since the funding gave communities hope.

IGAD: CEWARN positioned to expand its integrated data collection and analysis system towards full regional coverage (01.05.2018)

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