Southern Africa Weekly Report (3 to 9 September 2013)

HIGHLIGHTS

- Madagascar:

On 05 September a makeshift bomb exploded at the entrance of a hotel in Madagascar's capital, Antananarivo. A previously unknown group, self-styled “defenders of national sovereignty”, claimed responsibility online, telling foreigners to keep out of the nation's elections. A second bomb was defused in front of the French Cultural Institute and a third bomb was thrown by people on two scooters in the same area in central Antananarivo. Neither blasts caused damage or injuries, but they will raise tensions ahead of the planned Presidential elections on 25 October.
The African Union (AU) lifted its sanctions against Andry Rajoelina and his backers.
The AU also appealed to the international community to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to help the country cope with the problems caused by poor rice harvests and the locust infestation, particularly given the impact that these situations may have on the conduct of the electoral process. It further urges international partners to extend the necessary support for the socio-economic recovery of the country.

- Southern Africa:

According to FEWSNET, drought in parts of southern Africa has reduced maize production and contributed to very high prices, resulting in pockets of acute food insecurity in Zimbabwe and Malawi. Humanitarian assistance needs are expected to be above average this year.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.