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Posts Tagged ‘Libya’

Military Continues Working

Posted by African Press International on December 4, 2013

WASHINGTON, December 3, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The Defense Department continues to work with nations in North Africa to promote security and increase stability in the region still feeling the effects of the Arab Spring, Amanda J. Dory, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for African affairs, told a Senate panel today.

Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco are confronting instability and the U.S. military is working to build or strengthen their police and military forces, Dory told the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Near eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs.

“Our strategic approach recognizes that developing strong and responsive defense institutions can support regional stability, allowing partner militaries to operate under civilian authority while respecting the rule of law and international human rights,” Dory said in prepared testimony.

The effects of the Arab Spring in North Africa continue to reverberate within the region and beyond its borders into the Sahelian states of sub-Saharan Africa, she said.

Libya remains a key source of instability in North Africa and the Sahel. After the overthrow of Muammar Gadhafi, there is little government infrastructure inside Libya, Dory said, and certainly no tradition of democracy.

Violence is rampant in Libya and the Libyan government is too weak to control its borders and militias provide what security there is. Arms merchants are shipping Libyan weapons out of the country and these arms are fueling instability from Mali westward, Dory said.

“The Department of Defense is prioritizing its assistance to focus on building Libyan security capacity and on improving the Libyan government’s ability to counter terrorism, counter weapons proliferation and secure and destroy its chemical weapons stockpiles,” she said.

The United States will provide general-purpose-force military training for 5,000-8,000 Libyan personnel, Dory said.

“This training effort is intended to help the [Libyan] government build the military it requires to protect government institutions and maintain order,” she said.

The training of Libyan military personnel may begin next year in Bulgaria.

In Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, DOD maintains close military-to-military ties with their military counterparts. All three are engaged in a security dialogue with the United States and “they share our goals of countering terrorism and enhancing cross-border security,” Dory said.

She added, “We engage with the three governments on a bilateral basis every 12-18 months to ensure our shared security goals are aligned and U.S. government security assistance is prioritized accordingly,”

But all three countries, she said, are feeling the effects of terrorism and growing violent extremism.

In Tunisia, the military deserves tremendous credit for supporting and protecting the population during the country’s democratic transition, Dory said. U.S. assistance to the security sector focuses on counterterrorism support, border security training, she said, and a continuation of long-standing U.S. Foreign Military Financing and International Military Education and Training programs.

Algeria remains a critical security partner in countering regional violent extremist organizations, Dory said.

“Its strategic location in the Maghreb, and its long history combating domestic terrorism and violent extremism, make Algeria a linchpin in the struggle against al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and its affiliates and bringing stability to the region,” she said. “The January 2013 terrorist attack against the In-Amenas oil facility highlighted the growing transnational threats in the region.”

DOD continues to expand engagement with Algeria in cooperation with other U.S. government departments and agencies across a range of activities, to include information sharing and exercises, Dory said.

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, she said, has recognized for years that democratic political and economic reforms are needed in his country.

“During the Arab Awakening, he continued to respond to popular demands for change from within Moroccan society,” Dory said of Morocco’s king. “The United States and the Kingdom of Morocco share a long history of bilateral relations that is enduring and expansive.”

A major non-NATO ally, Morocco “has been a strong partner in the struggle against terrorism, and our bilateral military and political cooperation is growing,” she said.

 

SOURCE

U.S Africa Command

 

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Former Liberian President Dictator Samuel Doe was deposed and butchered, while Former President Charles Taylor was lucky to get 50 years in jail by ICC judges!

Posted by African Press International on November 24, 2013

Leaders should learn from events like this. Former Libyan President Muammar Gadhafi was deposed and was lucky that he was killed immediately by the bullet into his head. He was not taken through 14 minutes and 47 seconds of torture like former president of Liberia Samuel Doe.
Doe himself had overthrown his own relative former leader Tolbert.

Warning – Item Samuel Doe torture might contain content that is not suitable for all ages. IF NOT OVER 18 years old, DO NOT WATCH!

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b4b_1314353314#PTseO2eJBkRZ10XY.03

Power should not get into any leader’s head.

Although no one should ever support torture, those in power should not beg for mercy like you see Samuel Doe doing on this video because he tortured and killed many innocent Liberian people.

God saved the immediate former president Charles Taylor. Lucky to escape the butcher’s knife in the bushes of Liberia‘s countryside village, now in British jail, having TV and newspapers to read while serving his 50 years sentence.

End

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Legal migration options needed – Migrants have been losing their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean on unseaworthy, overcrowded vessels for years

Posted by African Press International on October 23, 2013

A boat carrying migrants arrives at the Lampedusa port, escorted by the coastguard (file photo)

JOHANNESBURG,  – Migrants have been losing their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean on unseaworthy, overcrowded vessels for years, but until two weeks ago, their deaths rarely generated headlines. The sheer scale of the tragedy that occurred off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa on 3 October, however, was hard to ignore.

A boat, which disembarked from Libya carrying an estimated 500 Eritrean asylum seekers, was only half a mile from Lampedusa’s coast when it caught fire and capsized. So far, Italian authorities have pulled over 350 bodies from the water.

The disaster has precipitated much discussion about what the European Union (EU) and its members states should be doing to prevent further loss of migrant lives at sea, even as the death toll in the Mediterranean continues to mount, with dozens of Syrian and Palestinian refugees losing their lives on 11 October when another boat capsized between Malta and Lampedusa.

Compared to last year, 2013 has seen a marked increase in the numbers of migrants attempting sea crossings to Italy and Malta. While some 15,000 migrants and asylum seekers reached the two southern Mediterranean countries in 2012, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), over 32,000 have arrived so far this year. The spike in numbers of migrants using the so-called Central Mediterranean route – which usually involves departures from Libya, but also includes those from Egypt and the Turkish coast – is not unprecedented. Following the collapse of the governments in Tunisia and Libya in 2011, 60,000 migrants used the route, with most of them arriving inLampedusa.

The Italian website Fortress Europe, which tracks migrant deaths, estimates that since 1988, nearly 20,000 people have died trying to penetrate Europe’s borders, the vast majority of them at sea.

Responsibilities unclear

Most of the discussion since the recent tragedies has focused on increasing search-and-rescue capacity. EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom proposed that the role of EU border agency Frontex be expanded from the patrols it currently coordinates off the Italian coast to span the entire Mediterranean. Such a move could address the current lack of clarity surrounding which countries are responsible for rescuing boats in distress and where their occupants should disembark. But the six member states with Mediterranean coastlines have already voiced their opposition to a proposed regulation that would govern Frontex-coordinated operations, arguing that international laws already deal with such matters.

“Prospects for it to be adopted soon are quite low,” said Kris Pollet, a senior legal and policy officer with the Brussels-based European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE). “There’s no real sign that this is going to be a decisive moment.”

Meanwhile, the European Parliament has just approved a new state-of-the-art border surveillance programme called Eurosur, which will implement a system for monitoring the EU’s external borders and sharing information between various national border security agencies. Eurosur will launch in December and, according to Malmstrom, could also be used to more quickly identify migrant boats in distress.

However, Philip Amaral of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Europe pointed out that Eurosur has been in the pipeline for several years, long before the recent tragedy in Lampedusa. “The real basis is to tighten borders and prevent irregular migration; there’s a heavy emphasis on the use of satellite imagery and drones,” he told IRIN.

“A byproduct could be that more lives would be saved at sea, but it doesn’t establish clear lines in terms of which countries are responsible for migrant boats in distress. We think it’s a missed opportunity,” he said.

Amaral also lamented the fact that the Eurosur regulation does not include language that would absolve ship masters from criminal responsibility when rescuing migrant boats. “In Italy, they’re very reluctant to rescue ships in distress because they fear, rightly so, that they’ll be prosecuted” for aiding irregular migration, he said.

Ensuring that shipmasters cannot be prosecuted for facilitating the smuggling of migrants is among a list of 10 urgent measures that UNHCR is calling for to prevent further loss of life and increase burden sharing across the EU.

“It is shameful to witness hundreds of unwitting migrants and refugees drowning on Europe’s borders,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres in a 12 October statement. He expressed particular concern that Syrian asylum seekers were among the casualties of recent boat tragedies. “They escaped bullets and bombs only to perish before they could ever claim asylum,” he said.

In the absence of any EU-wide agreement on how to handle irregular migration across the Mediterranean, Italy announced on 14 October that it would triple its air and sea presence in the southern Mediterranean to better respond to potential shipwrecks. The following day, Italian authorities reported that 370 migrants had been rescued from three boats in the waters between Libya and Sicily.

Amaral welcomed the move by Italy but emphasized that the responsibility for search and rescue should be shared with other member states. “The EU is all about solidarity, so it can’t just be left to Italy and Malta. Other countries need to pitch in and help out,” he said.

Legal migration options needed

EU Commissioner Malmstrom has joined migrant rights organizations in pointing out that, in the longer term, the only way to discourage migrants and asylum seekers from paying smugglers to take them across the Mediterranean in rickety vessels is to provide them with more legal channels for entering Europe.

“Currently there’s no political will for opening the doors of Europe and mainstream public opinion is very far from that”

However, Pollet of ECRE said there was little willingness among member states to even engage in a debate about opening up legal channels for low-skilled migrants and asylum seekers to enter Europe. “At the moment, it’s a very hypocritical approach,” he said.

“The whole discussion is focusing now on increased search and rescue capacity and trying to prevent irregular migration; it’s really focused on the symptoms of the problem rather than the root causes. There’s very little talk about how are these people supposed to get into Europe.”

Amaral agreed. “There is definitely a needed [legal] channel, especially for asylum seekers,” he said. “But currently there’s no political will for opening the doors of Europe and mainstream public opinion is very far away from that.”

ks/rz sourcce http://www.irinnews.org

 

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The government of the self-declared republic of Somaliland will stiffen penalties to curb smuggling and human trafficking

Posted by African Press International on July 30, 2013

Smugglers are increasingly kidnapping migrant Somaliland youths for ransom

HARGEISA,  – The government of the self-declared republic of Somaliland will stiffen penalties for people smuggling and human trafficking to stem irregular migration, particularly by the region’s youths.

“Of course there is an article in Somaliland’s penal code dealing with this issue, but we think it is not deterrent enough. For this reason, the government plans to pass new laws to prevent human smuggling,” Mohamed Osman Dube, Somaliland’s administrative director in the interior ministry, told IRIN.

At present, Article 457 of Somaliland’s penal code identifies the selling and purchasing of humans as slaves as offences punishable by prison terms of 3 to 12 years. Article 466 further provides for a three-year prison term for those found guilty of engaging in physical abuse, according to Mustafe Mahdi, a Somaliland lawyer.

The new laws are aimed at reducing irregular migration from Somaliland to Ethiopia and onwards to Sudan, Libya and Europe. When passed, they are expected to include tougher punishments for smugglers and to provide ways to rehabilitate youth migrants, added Dube.

While solid figures on people smuggling and human trafficking in Somaliland are not available, in late June, Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud (Silanyo) nominated a ministerial committee to address the problem, expressing concern over growing youth mass migration and related deaths.

According to a recent survey by the community-based Somaliland Youth Ambition Development Group (SYADG), for example, at least 15 Somaliland youths died in May in the Sahara desert, between Libya and Sudan, either from being shot dead by smugglers or due to the harsh conditions. The 15 were part of a group of 325 youths, from which 31 are still missing, with 83 and 80 others in Libyan and Tunisian prisons, respectively, according to SYADG spokesperson Ahmed Jamal.

Targeted

Most of the youths migrating from Somaliland have been from poorer families, but those from better-off families are increasingly risking the perilous journey to Europe.

“When I was looking for my son, I received a phone call from a stranger asking me to speak my son. The stranger told me to pay him US$5,000 in smuggling fees. I said, ‘I will look for the money’, but unfortunately, my son was shot dead,” Mohamed Da’ud, the director of planning in Somaliland’s interior ministry, told IRIN.

“My son is among youths who have been killed by smugglers or [who] died in the Sahara after they tried to run away from smugglers.”

According to Wafa Alamin, a human rights activist based in Khartoum, Sudan, “Illegal immigrants are treated like animals by the smugglers in the Sahara, between Sudan and Libya.”

Smugglers are also increasingly kidnapping migrant Somaliland youths for ransom.

“The youths are asked about their parents’ properties and jobs. If the smugglers identify that the family of the person can pay a ransom, they take him or her across the border without any payment only to later force the client to call his or her family to demand a ransom,” explained Abdillahi Hassan Digale, the chairman of the Ubah Social Welfare Organization (USWO).

Abdillahi Omar’s sons are among the smugglers’ victims.

“If the smugglers identify that the family of the person can pay a ransom, they take him or her across the border without any payment only to later force the client to call his or her family to demand a ransom”

“My two sons graduated from high school in 2011 and had no reason to risk their lives,” said Omar. “I sent one of them to university in Ethiopia, but he saved up the money I used to send him to make the risky journey to Libya. On different occasions in Sudan and Libya he was held hostage by smugglers who demanded a ransom, and I spent $14,500 on him. But he is lucky he reached Europe.”

Omar’s other son, the younger one, is now in Libya. “I don’t know what to do. I sold everything I had. My problem is not only being bankrupt but that I don’t know how to bring him back,” he said.

Way forward

The government, civil society and international organizations have been engaging in public awareness campaigns to sensitize the Somaliland population on the dangers of irregular migration.

But more needs to be done.

“Even though a lot of campaigns have been done, [especially] in the last several weeks, and youth migrants have decreased from 15 per day to eight per day, we believe that there are local smugglers connected to other smugglers based in Ethiopia, Sudan and Libya, and we don’t think it will stop soon,” said a Somaliland border immigration official who preferred anonymity.

The high rate of unemployment in Somaliland must be addressed amid an increasing number of university graduates, according to USWO’s Digale. “For this reason, there is a need for interventions by both the government and the local business community, as well as international partners working in Somaliland,” he said.

A past survey by the Somaliland National Youth Organization found about 75 percent of the youths there to be unemployed.

At present, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is implementing a regional mixed migration programme covering Djibouti, Ethiopia, Puntland, Somaliland and Yemen. In mixed migration, refugees, asylum-seekers, economic migrants and even victims of human trafficking use the same routes, means of transport and smuggling networks to reach shared destinations, but with different claims to protection and humanitarian assistance.

“The overall objective of this programme is to strengthen the protection of – and provide emergency assistance to – irregular migrants in Somaliland, Puntland [and] Djibouti, and potential migrants and returnees in Ethiopia, including the assisted voluntary return of the most vulnerable,” said IOM Somalia. Ethiopia is a leading source country of irregular migrants from the Horn of Africa region heading to the Arabian Peninsula.

IOM Somalia is also urging Somaliland to accede to the Palermo protocol, which aims to prevent the smuggling of migrants, promote cooperation among state parties, protect the rights of smuggled migrants, and prevent the worst forms of exploitation, which often characterizes the smuggling process.

On 17 July, Somaliland officials prosecuted 11 people on human smuggling charges. The Gabiley Regional Court “found the 11 men guilty of smuggling youths from Somaliland to Ethiopia en-route to Libya”, said an official with Somaliland’s immigration department. The arrests and prosecutions are the first of their kind in Somailland.

maj/aw/rz  source http://www.irinnews.org

 

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ICC Appeals Chamber rejects the Libyan authorities’ request to suspend the surrender of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi to the Court

Posted by African Press International on July 18, 2013

Today, 18 July 2013, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) rejected the Libyan authorities’ request to suspend the surrender of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and recalled that Libya is currently obliged to surrender Mr Gaddafi to the Court.

The Libyan authorities had filed, on 7 June 2013, a request for suspensive effect pending the outcome of its appeal against the Pre-Trial Chamber’s decision rejecting the Libyan admissibility challenge regarding the case against the suspect. The Appeals Chamber was not convinced by the reasons provided as to why the surrender of Mr Gaddafi to the Court would create, for the Libyan authorities, an irreversible situation or one that would be very difficult to correct.

The situation in Libya was referred to the ICC Prosecutor by the United Nations Security Council, through the unanimous adoption of Resolution 1970 on 26 February 2011. On 27 June 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber I issued warrants of arrest for Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi for crimes against humanity (murder and persecution) allegedly committed across Libya from 15 February 2011 until at least 28 February 2011, through the State apparatus and Security Forces. On 22 November 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber I formally terminated the case against Muammar Gaddafi due to his death.

End

source ICC

 

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Libya now helping the Syrians with refuge

Posted by African Press International on May 28, 2013

MISRATA,  – Two years ago Syrians in the relative security of their own country watched the unfolding crisis in Libya descend into a devastating civil war. 

Since then the tables have turned, and many of those same families find themselves in Libya after fleeing the Syrian conflict, which has left an estimated 6.8 million people (around a third of the population) in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.Most of the Syrian community in Libya, estimated at around 110,000 by government officials, are believed to have arrived over the past 18 months after having fled the Syrian conflict.

Shavan, a Syrian ethnic Kurd, arrived in Libya in January. “Alone, I left Syria at the end of 2011 leaving my wife and my daughter. I was looking for a place to live far away from the hell of conflict,” Shevan said.

After what he says was a difficult year in Lebanon, where he struggled to pay his living costs, he went back into Syria to pick up his family and then left for Libya.

The flow of Syrians to Libya, while far lower than the numbers seen arriving in Syria’s neighbours, started almost as soon as the Libyan revolution ended in October 2011.

Some come by air from Lebanon or Turkey, but most have arrived by road, heading through Jordan and then across the Sinai to the Libyan-Egyptian border town of El Salloum (in Egypt).

In the initial stages, Syrians with a passport could enter without a visa, but the rules have been tightened since the attack on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi in September 2012, after which only families, not single men, were allowed in.

Visa-less travel

From January this year, the coastal border crossing from El-Salloum to Musaid (Libya) has been closed to all non-Libyans without a visa, according to information from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Alongside this measure, the Libyan minister of interior invited his “Syrian brothers” who had previously entered the country without a visa, to register at any passport office to get a government letter confirming their asylum seeker status.

But it is still possible to get across the border without a visa. One Syrian who had recently entered Libya near El Salloum, and asked not to be named, told IRIN: “Smugglers charge US$500 to take Syrians across the border to Libya. I also saw some Syrian women who were using sex work to pay for their transit.”

“Suspicions about Syrian secret service infiltrations led the majority away from the operational centres managed by Syrian charities” Emmanuel Gignac, UNHCR Libya

Local NGOs in Libya run by Syrians were the first to provide relief, but many Syrian refugees have been reluctant to receive such aid.

“Suspicions about Syrian secret service infiltrations led the majority away from the operational centres managed by Syrian charities,” the head of the UNHCR in Libya, Emmanuel Gignac, told IRIN.

UNHCR registration

After an initial delay, UNHCR started formally registering Syrian asylum seekers and refugees in September 2012.

By the end of April 2013, around 8,000 Syrians were registered with UNHCR as asylum seekers, though because of UNHCR’s lack of a formal legal agreement with the government, the asylum seekers cannot advance to the agency’s refugee status determination (RSD) process.

The majority of Syrian asylum seekers in Libya are in the second city, Benghazi, due to its proximity to the Egyptian border.

Large Syrian communities are also in Tripoli, mainly in the Suq Al Jumua, Janzoor and Hasham areas, while ethnic Kurdish Syrians in the capital have established a base on the outskirts in Ben Ghashir.

Syrian charities provide support and some aid. “You can ask their help to register your kids in the local schools or to get medical assistance,” Bilal*, originally from the Syrian town of Hama, told IRIN.

The delivery of items such as blankets, mattresses and kitchen cooking sets is carried out regularly by Syrian organizations along with the Libyan organization Al Wafa and international agencies like UNHCR, the Danish Refugee Council and the Italian NGO CESVI.

Visiting UNHCR teams also assist the Syrians in Tripoli and Benghazi. The agency has opened a Centre for Community Development for vulnerable cases, and set up a hotline for Syrian asylum seekers.

The call centre receives around 40 phone calls a day – often appeals for medical or cash assistance, according to UNHCR associate RSD officer Valda Kelly.

The presence of Syrians in Benghazi has created some tension, and recently the city’s commission in charge of regulating foreign labour, immigrants and refugees called on the national government and congress to reduce the number of people coming into the country to avoid security, economic, political and social risks.

Why Libya?

Despite the distance from their home country, many Syrians cited a lower cost of living and greater job opportunities as the reason for travelling to Libya, rather than the more common Syrian refugee hubs like Jordan and Lebanon. Some also had spent time in Libya before the Arab Spring, when most foreign nationals were evacuated.

But living costs remain a challenge for many in the Syrian community: “I pay 600 dinars (US$465) a month for an apartment and I barely earn 900,” Ali who had fled from Duma, on the outskirts of Damascus, told IRIN. 

The poverty of many has given rise to practices seen elsewhere in the region: “Syrian women have been offering themselves as brides to the Libyans because they have no alternative for their survival,” said Mohamed, a Syrian refugee living in the coastal town of Misrata.

Other Syrians in Misrata confirmed this was happening. “In Benghazi Syrian girls are called `sheep’ for their low price. Even regular men already with one wife can afford a new young wife,” another Syrian told IRIN.

Shiite fears

Many Syrians told IRIN the Libyans had been welcoming. Ahmad, a Libyan civil engineer working for an Italian company in Misrata, told IRIN: “They are our brothers as they still suffer what we have experienced. They have every right to remain in Misrata.”

Local officials in Misrata told IRIN there are about 5,000 Syrian refugees in the town.

Misrata, known as a base for anti-Gaddafi militia activity, is awash with Gaddafi-era weapons, and locals say a blind eye is turned to Syrians buying the weapons for export.

Some local reports in Libya say former revolutionary fighters in Libya, particularly from Benghazi and Misrata, have been travelling in the opposite direction to join the anti-government forces in Syria.

Not everyone is welcoming though. “Because of my Kurdish name, I was threatened often at ordinary checkpoints because Libyans thought I was not a Sunni Syrian but a Shiite,” said Shavan.

Syria’s now two-year conflict began when people, largely of the Sunni majority, began protesting on masse against President Bashar al-Assad, of the minority Alawite sect (Shia), and has become increasingly sectarian as the violence has increased.

*not a real name

np/jj/cb  source http://www.irinnews.org

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An escalating refugee burden: Regional insecurity

Posted by African Press International on April 13, 2013

Photo: MSF
An escalating refugee burden

NAIROBI,  – Chad is grappling with an influx of refugees and returnees into its south-eastern regions, mainly from neighbouring Sudan, and others from the Central African Republic (CAR) following a series of inter-ethnic clashes in Darfur and a recent coup in the CAR, respectively.

At least 74,000 people have fled into Chad from Darfur in the past two months, 50,000 of them in the past week alone, sparking the largest influx of refugees from Sudan into Chad since 2005, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Waves of refugees

In March, the first wave of 24,000 people fled from Darfur and arrived in Tissi, a remote area in Chad’s southeastern Sila Region; 8,000 were Sudanese and 16,000 Chadians. Most of them are women and children.

“Under every tree, there are women and children who are trying to protect themselves from sunshine,” Abdellahi Ould El Bah, a UNHCR programme officer on mission in Tissi, told IRIN.

UNHCR staff on the ground say they “found women and children very scared, exhausted with haggard eyes”.

In Tissi, basic amenities are lacking.

“People lack everything and are living in very dire conditions. They need food, water and shelter. People are obliged to drink water from the river,” Aminata Gueye, the UNHCR representative in Chad, told IRIN. “Those who are wounded need healthcare, while health centres or clinics in Tissi [are] not functional.”

Access to Tissi by air is impossible, meaning aid workers have to spend eight hours by road, and they have to cross 21 wadis (seasonal rivers).

With insecurity rife, more refugees are expected. “We fear a new wave of refugees in the next few days, as there are reports of continuing violence on the side of Darfur,” said Gueye.

Most recently, clashes have been recorded between the Misseriya and Salamat ethnic groups in Um Dukhum, Darfur, with dozens of deaths reported.

On 12 April, UNHCR started the relocation of at least 8,000 Sudanese refugees from Tissi, to the Goz Amir and Djabal refugee camps in Sila Region. The relocation is expected to help in the provision of assistance to the new arrivals and to improve their security.

Local authorities have provided some 100 ton of food for the new arrivals, with UNHCR and partners coordinating efforts to provide emergency assistance in Tissi.

Refugee population already large

The new refugee influx constitutes a huge challenge for UNHCR, which was already facing limited resources as it provided protection and assistance to the large numbers of refugees in Chad. Months earlier, UNHCR and the governments of Chad and Sudan had started discussions on the return of Sudanese refugees to Darfur.

“Under every tree, there are women and children who are trying to protect themselves from sunshine”

Eastern Chad is already home to about 300,000 refugees from Darfur and thousands of others from CAR. Chad has, since December 2012, received at least 4,000 new refugees from CAR, in addition to some 65,000 already there, according to a 6 April updateby the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Besides the new refugees, Chad is also grappling with the returns of hundreds of Chadian migrants released from detention centres in Libya.

“It is with great concern that the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is monitoring the multiple migration crises currently developing along the Chadian borders. IOM is already responding to the influx of 1,200 extremely vulnerable Chadian migrants returning to Chad after having been released from detention centres in Libya.

“At the same [time], IOM is in the process of providing life-saving assistance, including homeward transportation, to over 17,000 Chadian migrants, [that] are fleeing the intercommunity violence in Sudan, that are arriving in remote border towns in Chad without means to support themselves,” Qasim Sufi, IOM chief of mission in Chad, told IRIN.

Measles outbreak

Medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is treating the wounded in Tissi, with serious cases being referred to the towns of Goz Beida or Abéché.

At the same time, teams are trying to contend with an outbreak of measles in a nearby area: “In Saraf Bourgou only, our team has confirmed 35 cases of measles, which represents 25 percent of consultations,” said Alexandre Morhain, MSF’s head of mission in Chad. “The disease has already killed seven children, five of whom were under five years old.”

An emergency measles vaccination campaign is expected to be launched in Tissi, with severe acute malnutrition cases and paediatric emergencies also being treated.

According to MSF, the situation of the refugees there is precarious as the rains approach. “We need to act now, because within two months it will be impossible to access this area by road.”

aw/rz source http://www.irinnews.org

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US: Scandal at the CIA – Director quits due to extramarital affair

Posted by African Press International on November 12, 2012

CIA Director David Petraeus stepped down Friday over an extramarital affair. This has killed  a brilliant career. He has served as military commander in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The revelation of his sexual behaviour shocked  Washington coming three days after the re-election of US President Barack Obama.

Petraeus was scheduled to testify on the CIA’s alleged failure to protect of a US consulate in Libya.

He has been married 37 years.

End

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