Author: npfdpk

FROM THE FIELD: Free tutorials in Mali, ‘a life-saver’ for Fatouma

17 January 2019-After fleeing her home in Macina, a small village in central Mali, where she was due to be forced into marriage against her will, 16-year-old Fatouma took shelter with her brother. Having failed the national high school exam twice, coupled with expensive school fees, Fatouma had little choice but to drop out to become a cleaner, earning around $17 a month. “Leaving school without a diploma meant that I could only find a job as an unskilled worker for the rest of my life” she said. But listening to local radio one day, she heard about an...

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Sudan: UN rights chief alarmed over ‘excessive force’, alleged use of live fire against protestors

17 January 2019-The reported use of “excessive force” against demonstrators across Sudan over food and fuel shortages that has led to the deaths of at least 24 people is “deeply worrying”, the UN’s top human rights official, Michelle Bachelet, said on Thursday. In a call for the authorities to refrain from further violence, amid reports that security forces fired live rounds and tear gas into hospital premises, where protesters were sheltering, the High Commissioner said that the official toll “may be nearly twice as high”, citing “credible” reports. “A repressive response can only worsen grievances,” Ms. Bachelet said in a statement, before...

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Nearly 900 reportedly killed following ‘shocking’ intercommunal attacks in DR Congo

16 January 2019-The UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) said on Wednesday that at least 890 villagers were reportedly killed in the western Democratic Republic of the Congo last month, following brutal inter-communal clashes. Human rights reports suggest that the apparent massacre took place between 16 and 18 December in four villages in the Yumbi territory, Mai-Ndombe province, in what appear to have been clashes between the Banunu and Batende communities. Most of the area’s population has reportedly been displaced, and voting in the December 30 presidential poll for the Yumbi area, was postponed due to violence and insecurity. In...

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Mali: ‘Dire’ humanitarian situation, ‘grave’ security concerns challenge fragile peace

16 January 2019-With over 800 schools forced to close due to insecurity, and 2.3 million vulnerable people in need of assistance this year, a top UN official told the Security Council on Wednesday that the humanitarian situation in Mali “remains dire”. Bintou Keita, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations in Africa, also apprised the Council of the alarming security situation in the central and northern areas of the African State, saying it was “of grave concern,” and provided “a major challenge” to implementing the UN-backed 2015 peace agreement. The Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali was signed in June...

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Migration surge leaves children stranded, begging on Djibouti’s streets

15 January 2019-Begging, scrubbing cars or selling themselves on the street for sex are a way of life for many children in Djibouti, according to a survey released by the International Organization Migration (IOM) on Tuesday. Conducted in Djibouti City, the country’s capital where most of the street children live, the survey enumerated the minors to understand how and why they end up on the streets while also identifying their priority problems. The Report on Street Children Living in Djibouti, diagnoses the children’s living conditions and augments recent IOM reporting on “the robust movement of irregular migrants” through the Red Sea region,...

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