WFP is ramping up emergency assistance there, planning to reach 500,000 of the most vulnerable by end-December, and many more early next year.
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, October 31, 2017 – A humanitarian catastrophe is looming in the conflict-ravaged south-central Greater Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the head of the United Nations World Food Programme warned yesterday as he wrapped up a four-day mission to the central African country that included a visit to Kasai. Some 3.2 million people in the region are severely food insecure, struggling to feed themselves and in need of assistance.
“As many as 700,000 babies and children could starve in Kasai in the next few months unless enough nutritious food reaches them quickly”, David Beasley said. “We need access to those children, and we need money – urgently.”
Kasai’s traditionally high rates of malnutrition were pushed higher following the eruption last year of inter-ethnic violence characterised by large-scale killing, the wholesale destruction of villages and crops, and the targeting of hospitals, clinics and schools. The region now accounts for more than 40 percent of the DRC’s 7.7 million severely food insecure.
WFP is ramping up emergency assistance there, planning to reach 500,000 of the most vulnerable by end-December, and many more early next year. Dozens more staff are being deployed, an additional 80 off-road trucks are being brought in to deliver food to remote areas, and the WFP-run United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), presently flying aid supplies and aid workers to seven locations in the region, is being expanded.
But WFP’s emergency operation, launched in August, has so far been financed by internal borrowings, and only one percent of the US$135 million required through mid-2018 has been secured from the international community.
While the violence in Kasai has diminished in recent weeks, banditry and extortion are commonplace. Moreover, in a region the size of Germany with multiple active militias and a road network that is largely impassable during the September-December rainy season, humanitarian access is set to remain a challenge.
WFP’s work in eastern North Kivu province, also witnessed by Beasley, is likewise constrained by access challenges and limited funding. Just 250,000 of the province’s one million displaced people – victims of two decades of conflict – are receiving assistance, and only half rations.
Much of DRC’s population is dependent on subsistence farming, and competition for land is often at the heart of its violence. Many conflict-displaced families who had returned to their villages in North Kivu and Kasai told Beasley they could not resume working their fields, such was their fear still of being attacked.
“I have met too many women and children whose lives have been reduced to a desperate struggle for survival”, Beasley said. “In a land so rich in resources, that’s heart-breaking. And it’s unacceptable.”
Beasley acknowledged donor concerns about limited return on investments in a better future for the Congolese people, noting that some governments have threatened to redirect such funding to countries where they say it will have more impact.
“I hear those concerns”, Beasley said. “But let’s not hold innocent women and children responsible for the failings of others.”
“What the brave people I met over the last few days want most of all is peace – peace to be able to grow their own food, to rebuild their lives and to build a brighter tomorrow for their children. It’s a simple, powerful message, and I have conveyed it to President Kabila, urging that he do his part to bring about much-needed change.”
Congolese defense and security forces reportedly fired warning shots to disperse demonstrators protesting against rampant insecurity and repeated cases of armed robbery in the locality.
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, September 26, 2017 – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Head of MONUSCO, Maman Sidikou, is gravely concerned by the use of lethal force by Congolese defense and security forces in response to public protests in Bukavu, South Kivu province, leading to civilian casualties including children.
This morning, in the Panzi neighborhood of Bukavu, Congolese defense and security forces reportedly fired warning shots to disperse demonstrators protesting against rampant insecurity and repeated cases of armed robbery in the locality. An 8-year girl, on her way to school, was reportedly hit by a stray bullet and subsequently died. According to credible reports received by MONUSCO, there are additional casualties and the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office is investigating to collect more detailed information.
“Defense and security forces have an obligation to use force only as the last resort, in compliance with the principles of necessity, proportionality and legality, pursuant to the international standards. Alleged violence perpetrated by protestors should never be an excuse for the use of lethal force”, said Maman Sidikou, Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Head of MONUSCO.
“Furthermore, I urge Congolese authorities to ensure that law enforcement personnel is adequately equipped and trained to engage in crowd-control operations, and call on the authorities to urgently carry out prompt, credible and independent investigations into this incident, as a mean to prevent loss of civilian lives during future protests”, Sidikou concluded.
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.
Around 7.7 million people require urgent humanitarian assistance, FAO and WFP warn.
ROME, Italy, August 14, 2017 – Amid rising violence and displacement in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), 7.7 million people face acute hunger – a 30 percent increase over the last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) warned today in a new report.
According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis released today, between June 2016 and June 2017, the number of people in “emergency” and “crisis” levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 4 and 3) – which precede “famine” levels on the IPC scale – and requiring urgent humanitarian food assistance rose by 1.8 million, from 5.9 million to 7.7 million.
This means that more than one in ten people living in rural areas suffer from acute hunger.
Hunger is on the rise due to escalating and prolonged conflict and displacement in central and eastern DRC, mainly in the Kasaï and Tanganyika regions, where there has been widespread violence. Some 1.4 million people have been forced to flee their homes over the past year.
The report noted that the humanitarian situation has been exacerbated by the spread of fall armyworm infestations and cholera and measles outbreaks.
In conflict-ridden areas, over 1.5 million people are facing “emergency” levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 4) according to the IPC report, which means people are forced to sell everything they have and skip or reduce their meals.
“In conflict-ridden areas, farmers have seen their villages and fields pillaged. They have not been able to plant for the last two seasons. There is a lack of local markets providing for their food needs. Conflict toppled with armyworm infestations destroying crops in over a quarter of the country’s vast territories are devastating for rural communities. The situation is set to get worse if urgent support does not come in time,” said Alexis Bonte, FAO Representative ad interim in DRC.
“Farmers, especially those displaced – majority women and children – desperately need urgent food aid but also means to sustain themselves, such as tools and seeds so that they can resume farming. Many of the displaced women lost their husbands. Farming, for them, is a way to get back on their feet, and face the future with dignity and hope,” added Bonte.
Coping with acute hunger
Between 50 to 80 percent of people in some of the areas affected by hunger struggle to make ends meet and to have something to eat. In several areas, people only eat once a day, and their meals – based on corn, cassava or potatoes – do not meet their daily nutritional and calorie needs. Food prices have been rising for the last three months. In some cases, diets are limited to starches and leaves.
Others have to resort to reducing or skipping meals, selling assets, borrowing money and sending family members to beg or eat elsewhere.
Chronic malnutrition affects 43 percent of children under five – more than 7 million children – in DRC.
Widespread displacement – some 3.7 million people are displaced in DRC – and a steady flow of refugees from neighboring countries putting a strain on already stretched resources as well as the alarming spread of fall armyworm infestations, which affects 50 out of DRC’s 145 territories, have been exacerbating food insecurity. This particularly in areas with high levels of poverty and malnutrition and chronic food insecurity.
Much of the recent deterioration is down to the worsening plight of people in Kasaï.
“WFP is extremely concerned about food security and nutrition, which are deteriorating in many parts of DRC,” says WFP’s DRC Country Director, Claude Jibidar. “But nowhere is the situation more alarming than in Kasaï. We call on all parties to allow passage for life-saving assistance, and on the international community to help meet pressing needs.”
Support is urgently needed
FAO and WFP call for an urgent increase in the provision of lifesaving food and specialized nutrition assistance to combat malnutrition as well as seeds and tools so that farmers can plant again and regain their livelihoods.
In conflict-hit areas of Kasaï and Tanganyika regions, FAO is providing vegetable seeds and hand tools to rapidly boost food production and increase the availability of nutritious foods among displaced and hosting communities. Ultimately, livelihoods are people’s best defense against hunger and catastrophe. In 2017, FAO is seeking to assist 2.1 million people in DRC to tackle hunger, restore food production and build more resilient livelihoods.
WFP continues to support DRC’s most vulnerable people. It has deployed staff in two of Kasaï’s hardest hit provinces, Tshikapa and Kasaï Central, where it will launch food distributions in the coming days. Elsewhere in the country, WFP is providing logistics capacity including air and road transport, fuel and storage to the wider humanitarian community.
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.
If the Deputy President William Ruto was surer of proof of leading and delivering results in the Jubilee government, except if the Jubilee government would see their share of international loans to fill the fiscal funding of the running expenses. Because very few of the promises in the last election has been uphold as the doctors are on strike, running scandals of corruption and issues with the army in Somalia. It is not like the government looks like a well-run machine without any defaults.
Therefore his retort of the news of the official launch of NASA says a lot of the man:
“He said that unlike the Jubilee Party, which he said is keen on developing the country and had the interests of Kenyans at heart, Nasa is only keen on sharing positions” (…) “The difference between Jubilee and the opposition is as clear as day and night. While Jubilee is for [the] development of the country, our competitors are only good [at] empty rhetoric and organising demonstrations,” he said” (Barasa, 2017).
So the reality of the matter is that CORD or NASA has demonstrated and heavy, but it wouldn’t be needed if the Kenyan Government or the Jubilee had showed other ways of expressing their dialogue. This coming from a government official, that needed guards, so they could close the session of amending the electoral laws before this coming election.
DP Ruto is forgetting how he came to power together with President Uhuru Kenyatta. Instead he has to shuffle dirt on the NASA alliance, because he knows that if you just start to dig the surface of the achievement under the Jubilee Alliance you will find skeletons of cartels, mafia and even deep big-corruption. That is been showed too often, that even ghost companies cleaning the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) is an ordinary scandal and not shocking. It would be shocking if the existence of all corporations and agreements between the state and private was actually clean.
There are too many players feeding of the state funds and the borrowed fiscal cash during the Jubilee government. That is well-known and should be that easy to state, but it is it. Like a fish out of water to say it is differently. The Jubilee have thrived on the funds and even groomed the businesses owned by government officials. They haven’t been building stronger institutions, but instead looked for ways to elevate funds out of state coffers. To find honest working key state officials is close to finding penguins in Eldoret or Mombasa. Good luck on your duck-hunt!
That Deputy President Ruto has grievances with Cord/NASA is understandable as they have demonstrated and swayed government on the IEBC and other positions. That must hurt the pride of the head honcho of the prominence of Ruto. Ruto cannot hold his own mantle and shed light on the promises of 2013 as that would hit the people of the significant lacking deliverance of his alliance and parties. The only thing they have done is to keep the upkeep of the alliance and not done anything close to their mountains of promises.
Therefore he has to sigh the utter words of the only point of NASA is the dream of “Power”, the power and reign that is kept by his people, that Power that Ruto and his cliché want to keep by any means. Therefore throwing shade from the glorious place and from the high-power place seems a bit of a stretch. If it was a CSO or a think-tank addressing it, it would be more significant and more of honest approach, but seems Jubilee and NASA are two of the same coin. The one running the ship and the other hoping to take over!
Seems a bit wrong that the Deputy President William Ruto fears the NASA and their only wish is the reach of power, not to govern or do better job than the Jubilee. As Jubilee we’re supposed to do a better job than Mwai Kibaki, therefore the trying of Cord last time was weaken by circumstances.
Therefore, Ruto and his comrades better smarten up, they are high up in the sky and could easily be taken down. Though by they having power they can lose an election if the Cord/NASA shed real lights on the matter and on the scandals. That they go all out and share the information and paperwork on the issues. If so the Jubilee better think twice before they blink twice. Since Deputy Ruto in power should fiercely shed lights on what he has achieved.
So instead of giving blame to NASA, Ruto should show the perspective of their work instead of telling of CORD/NASA before they even said ‘hello’. The reality of the matter and of the justification is not there, as the man targeting the alliance, NASA, shouldn’t be the focus of Jubilee. Jubilee should be better, but you cannot expect anything else. Since the Jubilee has more focused on eating, than actually delivering! Peace.
Barasa, Lucas -‘DP Ruto says Nasa leaders only interested in political power’ (22.02.2017) link: http://www.nation.co.ke/news/politics/Ruto-dismisses-Nasa-pact/1064-3823544-k2ke5m/index.html
The new-born fresh party Jubilee Party and their marketing team has open wound after the signalled agreement between Kenya African National Union (KANU) party that even President Uhuru Kenyatta was the chairman of at one point. This is the party that is now lead by the son of former President Daniel Arap Moi, which is still not pivotal and important in the political landscape. So Gideon Moi and Nick Salat fate is in the hands of who they are vouching for.
Gideon Moi is living his father’s name his and his reputation, as the KANU still has suction. Therefore the meeting in Kabarak between Kenyatta and Moi, shows the fragmented and the way of buying in deals to hopefully gain a bigger piece of the pie in the coming election. So for Jubilee to have a wider and broader base, they are even trading ministerial posts to KANU ministers as well, as the ones who are stalwart candidates in the Jubilee, as the coalition went from a dozen parties into one. Certainly some must feel left behind in the trade-off as the KANU will gain more power with little effort, as Kenyatta sold some slots to Gideon Moi and Nick Salat.
Even Kenyatta wrote this himself on his position in April 2012: “I also made it clear to the KANU NEC that it is my desire to seek elective office in the coming general election. As a result, and in compliance with the new Constitution and the Political Parties Act that no State officer can hold a party position, I will, therefore, not seek any position in Kanu. It is thus incumbent upon the Secretary-General, as mandated by the NEC meeting at Naivasha last December, to ensure that Kenya’s mother party complies. I have twice called the National Delegates Conference, but called them off because of sideshows instigated by the Secretary-General, who has been an obstacle to the process of compliance. He must understand that his or others’ ambition in the party can only be achieved if the party complies with the law” (Kenyatta, 12.04.2012).
So he is well aware of the party and their stakeholders, as he knows the legal terms of the party and their ways of dealing with candidates, as he himself was MP in the KANU party. Deputy President William Ruto must feel the challenge of his future, when the presence of the KANU clan arrives to the plate. Some thought that Gideon Moi was going to NASA, but that was certainly only to scare Kenyatta from having the Rift Valley voters in the bag. A certainty of this is needed for a second term of the Jubilee Alliance Party.
The questions remain if the Jubilee really tried to get Wiper Democratic Movement (WDM) Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka as the NASA/Cord still haven’t picked their Presidential Flag-Bearer, and wants to stop the progress of the opposition. We have also heard rumors that the Jubilee Alliance party have tried to drag in the Amani National Congress (ANC) Musalia Mudavadi to the National Party. So you know that Jubilee will offer anything to stop the alliance and the coalition of the opposition.
Jubilee under Kenyatta and Ruto has been through storms, created massive frauds and stolen funds like none before, as well as the state borrowed more funds to fix the budgets. Therefore the Kenyan state isn’t as strong as it should be. Also, they we’re also supporting the Presidential bid of Museveni, without getting his nod to build petroleum pipeline from Lake Albert basin to Lamu port. So the Kenyan government has also suffered their big risks without getting rewards.
So now the old dynasties are resurfacing with the Kenyatta and Moi collaborations. We can now see the DP Ruto is shadowed by the KANU ministers and candidates. William Ruto, the stubborn leader will not say this himself, but he should not like after the sealed agreement between 13 parties, that a fourteenth gets the front-seat without the negotiations. That must hurt the pride of the former leader of United Republican Party (URP). However, Ruto must feel a sting in his pride when knowing that Kenyatta went to trade favours with former President Moi.
That the Kabarak meetings were occurring and Jubilee trading places to safely securing votes of some districts before August. This even comes from the reliable blogger Robert Alai Onyango: “Jubilee scheming to replace Ruto with Gideon Moi. Moi has instructed Gideon Moi to do all he can to stop Ruto. Mama Ngina also met Moi to find ways of stopping Ruto. The politics is getting interesting and might see some realignments” (…) “But the schemers really fear that Ruto’s fight-back might be ruthless. Ruto’s camp not happy. Things are thick!!!” (Robert Alai Onyango, 19.02.2017).
So if this is true, the issues between the Ruto and Kenyatta will surface, as well as the mediator Moi will tangle in-between. Certainly the trade-off between Jubilee and Daniel Arap Moi servers them both; Ruto if he wants to keep his friendship and has put his all in the Jubilee, has to live in the midst of the Kenyatta and Moi dynasty. Ruto can still be power player and will be inside the midst of ruling regime. Jubilee are running and they cannot all of sudden change his position, but for 2022 there now will be a KANU leader wanting to throw shade, as Kenyatta second term would be over. Even as NASA/Cord tries to intervene and tries to challenge, you can put doubt, when Gideon has tried the waters and still played the cards for Jubilee.
As Gideon wrote in January 2017: “However, the remarks made by Hon. Nick Salat, the Secretary General of KANU today at the Bomas of Kenya are his personal sentiments and do not reflect in any way the position of the party on the matter of an election coalition at this juncture” (…) “KANU policies and decisions are guided by the party’s constitution which stipulates that such a decision must first be discussed by the supreme decision making organ of the party, the National Delegates Conference (NDC) upon a resolution” (KANU, 11.01.2017).
Still we can now know that Daniel Arap Moi still has suction and still will use his political game-plan to still have his family in power, by any means and by supporting the family that gave him power as well. So the Kenyan politics is still filled with the men and woman, of the ones that was involved in the liberation of state from United Kingdom. Therefore we are speaking about Kenyatta and Moi, while Odinga is side-lined by the KANU yet again, just like his father back-in-day. Peace.
Kenya African National Union, KANU supports the idea in its formative stage of opposition unity in that this and the resolve by opposition leaders to field one presidential candidate is a milestone for Kenya’s growing democracy.
However, the remarks made by Hon. Nick Salat, the Secretary General of KANU today at the Bomas of Kenya are his personal sentiments and do not reflect in any way the position of the party on the matter of an election coalition at this juncture.
KANU policies and decisions are guided by the party’s constitution which stipulates that such a decision must first be discussed by the supreme decision making organ of the party, the National Delegates Conference (NDC) upon a resolution.
Since the party has not convened the NDC as per the constitution to deliberate on this particular matter, the remarks by the Secretary General are therefore not official as they have not been subjected to the internal constitutional processes for ratification.
Kanu Chairman, Gideon Moi