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.
BANGUI, Central African Republic, April 12, 2018 –
Joint Communiqué of the African Union and the United Nations on the Peace Process and the Situation in Bangui:
We, representatives of the African Union and the United Nations, decided to undertake a joint visit to the Central African Republic (CAR) to express our solidarity and full support to the Central African people and for the peace process in the Central African Republic. We also share a message of complete unity and common resolve of the African Union and the United Nations.
We are pleased in this regard that our visit coincides with the first meeting in Bangui of the International Support Group for CAR since the country’s return to constitutional order. During our visit, we will have the opportunity to talk with the Central African authorities, and have also held talks with President Touadéra.
Having arrived yesterday, we are also concerned about persistent tensions in the PK5 neighbourhood of Bangui. The operations conducted by the Government and MINUSCA on 8 April were aimed at putting an end to the activities of criminal elements that endanger the lives of peaceful citizens, in a neighbourhood that is also the economic hub of Bangui.
In these difficult times, we wish to express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and we deplore the many wounded, to whom we wish a speedy recovery.
Above all, we wish to emphasize that this operation to restore order and State authority has the sole purpose to protect the people who seek our protection against the criminal elements who oppress them. We want to make it clear that we are determined to act to protect the entire population, across the country.
We strongly deplore and condemn the attempts to instrumentalise this operation, as well as the attacks perpetrated against peacekeepers, about 20 of whom have been wounded, and one who succumbed to his wounds.
We would like to remind you that any attack against peacekeepers is a war crime. Their authors and those who support them will certainly have to answer for their crimes in court.
We also wish to express that an offer of a peaceful settlement had previously been made to the targeted groups, who rejected it.
Finally, we wish to emphasize that, in close coordination with the Government of the Central African Republic, we are ready to use all means available to the international community to create conditions for the restoration of peace in CAR. Among these means, dialogue will be our first action followed by, if necessary, the use of force.
Our joint presence here, in collaboration with the Central African Government, is intended to reaffirm our unambiguous commitment to the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in CAR, which, as the United Nations Security Council has stated, represents the only way forward to exit from crisis.
To the people of Bangui, we also call for calm. We ask them not to be victim to rumours and manipulation. Your authorities are working hard with MINUSCA to restore public order and ensure the protection of all civilian populations, without distinction.
Mr Smaïl Chergui
Peace and Security Commissioner of the African Union
Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations
The Office of Internal Oversight Services has concluded its investigative process on the allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse against Burundian and Gabonese contingents deployed in Dekoa, Kemo prefecture, in the Central African Republic.
These allegations referred to incidents between 2014 and 2015. OIOS has conducted joint investigations with Burundian and Gabonese national investigative officers. Investigations started in April 2016, a few days after the allegations were brought to the attention of the United Nations and lasted for more than four months. The investigators relied primarily on the testimony of possible victims and witnesses given the lack of medical, forensic or any other physical evidence. This was due to the fact that the majority of the allegations referred to incidents that took place a year or more earlier. Everyone who came forward with claims, both minors and adults, were assisted by national and international partners.
Overall, 139 possible victims were interviewed and their accounts were investigated. By means of photo array and/or other corroborating evidence a total of 41 alleged perpetrators (16 from Gabon and 25 from Burundi) were identified by 45 interviewees; eight persons were unable to identify perpetrators through photo array or other corroborating evidence but were able to describe some distinctive traits; 83 were not able to identify perpetrators or provide corroborating evidence; and three accounts were considered unreliable. A total of 25 minors asserted they had been sexually abused. A total of eight paternity claims were filed, including by six minors.
The United Nations has shared the OIOS report with both Member States, including the names of the identified alleged perpetrators and has requested for appropriate judicial actions to ensure criminal accountability.
Responsibility for further investigations lies with Burundi and Gabon. The United Nations has requested from the Burundian and Gabonese authorities that they review the OIOS findings and conduct the interviews of the alleged perpetrators who had all been rotated out from Central African Republic before the allegations surfaced. The United Nations has asked for a copy of the final national investigation reports to be transmitted urgently.
The alleged perpetrators, if allegations against them are substantiated, and, if warranted, their commanding officers, will not be accepted again for deployment in peacekeeping operations.
MINUSCA has strengthened its prevention measures and reinforced its outreach among communities and peacekeepers across the country, especially in high-risk areas to improve awareness and reporting on sexual exploitation and abuse and other forms of misconduct. The Mission is also regularly monitoring conditions and behaviour of mission’s personnel and has partnered with United Nations agencies and implementing partners in Central African Republic that provide psychosocial, medical and legal assistance to victims of sexual exploitation and abuse.
The United Nations condemns, in the strongest terms, all acts of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by peacekeepers or any other UN personnel and will maintain follow up so that perpetrators of these abhorrent acts are brought to justice.
GENEVA, Switzerland, April 13, 2016 – The top United Nations humanitarian official in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has voiced concern over the fate of more than 35,000 people who, in the past three weeks, have fled the area of Mpati, in the Masisi Territory of North Kivu province, following clashes between the Congolese army and armed groups.
Since 27 March five sites for internally displaced persons (IDP) have been emptied, forcing thousands to seek safety in surrounding villages. Although some who fled the fighting have started to return, the situation remains volatile and of great concern.
“The past days have been difficult for those IDPs forced to leave the sites, prevented by the clashing forces from returning to those sites, and unable to get the humanitarian assistance that they need. I am deeply concerned by the situation,” the Humanitarian Coordinator in DR Congo, Dr Mamadou Diallo, said today.
Access to the area has been difficult, notably because of the clashes. However, since 4 April, a number of humanitarian organizations have reached the area to evaluate the needs of the affected people. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), mandated to coordinate the humanitarian response, is leading a mission to the area of Mpati.
Rein Paulsen, Head of OCHA in DRC, reiterates the importance of unhindered access to areas of need. “Access is paramount to our work, it is vital for humanitarian partners to reach the people in need,” Mr. Paulsen said.
Violence in North Kivu, affecting both civilians and aid organizations, has been rising since late 2014 resulting in renewed displacement. The renewed displacement is taking place amid a shrinking of humanitarian funding while needs remain great. During the current military operations in Mpati area, there have been threats of forced site closures, a concerning issue for humanitarian actors which has been the subject of high-level engagement, including by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during a recent mission to DRC. The threat of forced site closures is particularly concerning as the humanitarian community and authorities in North Kivu have agreed on a strategy to draw down the number of sites in North Kivu.
The Humanitarian Coordinator has been advocating to ensure that any site closure respects internationally agreed standards regarding IDPs. In a high-level forum held on 05 April in Kinshasa, the Humanitarian Coordinator stressed again that while DRC has the right to close IDP sites, the role of the humanitarian community is to ensure that such closures “are in line with DRC’s obligations under international humanitarian law”. He added that the humanitarian community is ready to work closely with the Congolese authorities in identifying and implementing durable solutions to the problem of displacement in Eastern DRC.
“Such solutions must be anchored in the Kampala Convention,” the Humanitarian Coordinator said today in reference to the African Union Convention on the Protection of Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa to which DRC is party.
North Kivu has about 781,000 IDPs, of whom 30 per cent are in one of the 53 displacement sites. There are seven IDP sites in the Mpati area hosting more than 45,000 people.
“I wouldn’t ask these foreigners, but I would never accept these foreigners to give me orders about Uganda. Or about anything in the world! They got their own countries to run. Let them go and run them. Uganda is ours. Nobody gives us orders here” – President Museveni at Kololo Independence Grounds Speech while celebrating the “Double Victory” on 9th April 2016.
Now that it is not long ago he told the world that Uganda was his playground and he could shot and kill opposition because they had no place in his country. From the same man and leader comes this. Let me ask the international community to react to violent behavior and the aggression this President shows his own county.
The racketeering of the NRM and their Executive has to stop at one point. That can happen when the funds dry up and the ammunition does come with the next boat. The American should stop with their alliance and their UPDF trainings. The Americans should do as they did with the MCC in Tanzania; suspend the projects and direct-donor aid to budget funding of the Ugandan Government.
The French should stop supporting the Government projects in Northern Uganda and cut their loans as they have promised to effect directly the RDC and the other loyal cronies of Northern Uganda. This does so the Capos of the Don get their monies and keeps eating. While the Japanese should stop supporting infrastructure projects together with the Chinese Foreign Ministry, while the CNOOC should terminate their contract with the Uganda Government. Total Oil firm of the French should suspend their operation until the government accept their blood-money. The Same with Heritage Oil for Britain so the UK Gov. should disband their direct government support and take away the incentive from UK to Uganda. The Norwegian Government should suspend the Oil for Development Program that have been a steady program since 2006. Because if you hurt it where it could become most important, then the Don Museveni might listen.
The European Union should to hurt the Foreign Exchange rate suspend the import of Robusta Coffee beans from Uganda, as the export of this is a major factor in the economic trade in the land-lock country. “A total of 271,941 bags of coffee valued at US$ 25.12 million were exported in February 2016 -Source UCDA report”. If you want to hit where it hurts, then you take away the foreign exchange and the foreign exports. This here could really hurt the government that does not want to have any interference or questions about their rule.
If the Donors and giving aid, would suspend or cut the services for the Peacekeepers, the same reaction that the Dutch did with the Burundian Peacekeepers in the AMISOM in Somalia. The same could be done by the American Government and EU as they are the major benefactors for the economic spending ground and facilitators for it.
It is not like I am for neo-colonialism, but when a totalitarian and gangster like Don Museveni complains about the US Mission questioning his oppressive behavior and European Union saying their opinion on the display of character showed during the Election and announcement of the results. Then it seems like he does not need any-more international legitimacy for his rule. Only their money and aid when it comes in handy too fuel money to a private plane, refurnishing the State Houses, buying new cars and more estates. Especially considering in FY 2013/2014 the donor assistance of the total budget was 21 % of it. Therefore the USAID, World Bank, IMF, DFID, European Commission, Irish Aid, NORAD and the other contributors should suspend that for the coming financial year of FY 2016/2017. To not hurt the citizens do this instead!
They should support the IDP camps and refugee camps in the Ugandan country through United Nations programs and organizations, build stronger relationship with NGOs in Uganda and forge good governance programs instead of supporting a government who is carrying out rigged election and embezzlement of government funds and international aid. Therefore progressive use of the tax-payers money from the Western Hemisphere, and if that is not working then, use it instead on local infrastructure projects to their own tax-payers.
Especially when a specialized report on Donor Aid to Ugandan Government says this:
“Budget support has not helped much in relation to cross sectoral dialogue. Some improvement was realized in education sector as dialogue with Ministry of Local Government and Ministry of Public Service improved. But this has not happened for the health sector” (…)”The power relations between bilaterals and Global Health Initiatives including PEPFER, Global Fund, GAVI, Stop Malaria etc shifted in favour of the latter who had no experience in the development of the budget support process and completely ignored to an apparent ineffectiveness” (…)”Budget support resulted in a greater commitment and quality of dialogue on PFM issues, especially after 2007 with the launch of FINMAP and JBSF. The influence of performance measures on sector dialogue declined from 2011/12, as the link with releases became less clear” (Joint Evaluation of Budget Support to Uganda – Final Report – 2015, P: 132).
This here proves the values of the Donor-Funding and the Budget Support from the International community to the Ugandan Government and the NRM-Regime. The NRM mafia under Don Museveni who says that the Ugandan authority do not want to have internal interference and foreign people questioning his playground. Therefore the authority and the Don want to rest things into peace he lets the people end up resting in peace. As he takes the Army and Police to detain the ones it needs and use draconian laws to oppress his own people.
Therefore with also the fraudulent election to keep the NRM mafia in order and also silence the opposition; as it even did yesterday the 9th March 2016 with the Military Police taking over the Nakivubo Settlement Primary School so the “Victory Celebration” that was supposed to be held there with Lord Mayor Lukwago and FDC Leader Besigye. This happen while the Crime Preventers, NRM Diehards and the new MPs we’re celebrating at Kololo Independence Grounds while costing the 1, 5 billion shillings. The racket also carries to pay their own and let the kingpin eat the money alone. As he has done since 1986 and the donor have continued to fund the budget support and give Don Museveni money to do his bidding.
Therefore I ask the governments to question if they want to deliver more money the NRM Mafia who uses monies to the army and police, squander away State House money on funding his campaign and also rumors of AMISOM contingent. There are certain numbers on his spending on military is staggering over the years. In between 2011 and end of term 2016 the taxpayers and donor-funding the total Shs. 6.617 trillion to the Army, Police and Intelligence Agencies. Of this in MPS in February 2015 into the portfolio of sophisticated military equipment there was the extended use of Shs. 470 billion, alone that year.
So with that knowledge and knowing the international donors should consider some reactions as he does not accept any interference not internal and not external. The Playground might be for the moment him, the Don Museveni has spoken of killing demonstrating citizens and opposition. The harassment of the ones that question the power of the kingpin!
That is when the international donors in the powers of US Mission in Kampala and their Amb. Malac recently; and also when the European Union does state the fact that the election was not free and fair. Therefore the Don Museveni feels betrayed as this has been loyal men who have given money to his government and not question his power or rule. Because they needed him to do their dirty-laundry and also have a steady ally in the East Africa; as the US have a relationship with Ethiopia and also Kenya, but have a longer engagement with the Ugandan Government, and now accepting the harassment of opposition as a price for some form of stability.
While the other donor-funding is not questioning other than expressing some have cut funding over the $12 Million that was going to Northern Uganda Development Fund (NUDF) in the 2012, that went lost to through the Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi. Also the Anti-Gay Bill had their reactions from UK, Norway and Dutch who cut parts of their aid. So now it is the time again, as the oppression, election fraud and the man who want to be the Don and acts like the Don of Uganda. The Godfather of Uganda has spoken. He does not want to be inference. So since he does not wish to have interference the international donors and bilateral organizations should offer him a hand with that.
The International donors and bilateral organizations should certainly suspend their direct budget support to the Ugandan Government. As they don’t wish to have any interference and can handle it all on their own. The money should instead spend on the Multi-National Organizations working in Uganda, as the OCHA, UNICEF and WFP as they will submit and carry out quick resolved matters in Internal Displaced Camps and around the borders through their projects. Since that will not have any other government questioning their actions, then the other governments should not help to fund their actions. Simple rhetorical assessment that banish the 20 % power of the funds that Don Museveni has at his disposal and use; when outsiders are such a pain, then the pain should leave Don Museveni alone and not support him.
So the Donors and Bilateral organizations should cut their aid and give less power to Don Museveni and his NRM Mafia who spends and eats alone; while his government does not have money to build health care, roads, schools or the other necessities in the Ugandan Society. But not with Foreign tax-payers money, when they get used on the expensive cars, lavish lifestyle, foreign health care and private planes for the Godfather. There is time to take action as the gangster will act as Don and not as a Statesman. Henceforth, when a player does not want question, but accept your money and not accountable for them; and when the player squander the money and expect to get away with it. Then the Player should lose the ability to get the money from you. The Don Museveni have already had long enough time to deliver and used enough of donor-funds without showing progress. Time to cross out the donor-funding to direct budget support; then Don Museveni does not need to be questioned. As the international community will not have put a stake and being stakeholders for certain parts of the budget. But when they step away, then Don Museveni can be the kingpin and the gangster he want to be in military fatigue and do as he want in his playground, without opposition who should just stay home; and also without foreigners questioning him. Then he can rule alone with the capos, underbosses and then be grand Don Museveni. Peace.