Burkina Faso + 6 more

West Africa: Humanitarian situation report 19 Nov 2007

Situation Report
Originally published



- A land conflict makes at least five deaths on the Mali-Guinea border

- Insecurity in Northern Mali and Northern Niger worries ECOWAS

- Cereal price increase is a threat to food security in West Africa

- Cholera is dwindling in Senegal and Guinea

- Signature of an agreement between Mauritania, Senegal and UNHCR for the repatriation of Mauritanian refugees

- Protests against food prices rise make at least one death in Mauritania

- Some three soldiers are killed and four other reported missing in Northern Niger

- 21 Cameroonian military are reportedly killed by Nigerian rebels in Bakassi

- Floods Flash Appeals: the Ghana appeal is funded at 24.7% while the Burkina Faso appeal is funded at 2.3%


Clashes on the Mali -Guinea border

Clashes on the Mali- Guinea border on 6 November are reported to have resulted in six persons killed, including 2 Malian gendarmes and many others injured. The conflict originated from land disputes between Guineans and Malians living in border areas such as Siradiouba and Dalagoué (Mali), Niani and Dalakan (Guinea). Already in July, clashes occurred between border residents causing many deaths. The Ministers of Interior and Security of the two countries met on 4 August in Selingué in Mali to find a durable solution to the conflict. In a further attempt to resolve the situation, the Governor of Sikasso in Mali also met with the Governor of Kankan in Balandougou in Guinea. Although these meetings seemed to have resolved the conflict, however, last Tuesday, new clashes occurred. Malian regional authorities have dispatched military forces in the area to secure residents and their property.

Insecurity in Northern Niger

Three soldiers were reportedly injured and four missing after clashes opposed Nigerien army and Tuareg rebels on 9 November in the northern part of the country. According to a communiqué published by the Nigerien Ministry of Defense, clashes broke out after "armed bandits" attacked a convoy of vehicles transporting civilians and goods under military escort on the Agadez-Arlit road. However, the 'Mouvement des Nigériens pour la Justice' (MNJ) denied they attacked civilians, but declared they killed 15 military in the fights, captured four others and destroyed military vehicles. The MNJ, active since February in Northern Niger, has reportedly kidnapped some 30 soldiers, as they demand for people of Tuareg descent better integration in the civil service, the army and the mining sector. The 30 soldiers detained hostages are part of a group of 72 military who would have been captured on 22 June, in a MNJ-led raid that cost the lives of some 13 soldiers.

ECOWAS is worried by insecurity in Northern Mali and Northern Niger

The Economic commission of West African States (ECOWAS) has declared its worries about the insecurity prevailing in Northern Mali and Northern Niger where rebel groups have been operating for the past months. According to an announcement issued at the conference on regional security that gathered on 12 and 13 November ministers of foreign affairs from the 15 ECOWAS in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, the economic commission firmly condemned kidnappings of people, circulation of weapons, drug trafficking and the use of land mines. They do "not only pose great risk to the civilian population but also constitute an obstacle to the security and development of the areas and the sub-region," the document underlines.

Violent protests against price rise in Mauritania

One person was shot dead and a gendarme seriously injured during the violent protests sparked on 7 November by the rise of cereals and petroleum products prices in Djiguenni near the border with Mali. Another protester was reportedly killed in Kankossa at 75 kilometers from Kiffa in southern Mauritania. There are reports of protest marches on 6 November in Kiffa and Nema. On 12 november, shops were looted and burnt down during a protest march against price rise in Zouerate, in the south of the country. A peaceful movement organised by students was joined by bystanders and it grew into looting of shops, and two of them were burnt down in the city centre before the march was dispersed by the army. The Mauritanian government announced on 9 November social measures including the distribution of 6,600 tonnes of cereals and the creation of a special fund of more than 29 million US dollars to subsidize the measures.

21 Cameroonian military killed by Nigerian rebels in Bakassi

A total of 21 Cameroonian soldiers were killed and six other injured on 12 November in an armed attack reportedly led by Nigerian rebel pirates in Bakassi, the potentially oil-rich peninsula that Nigeria officially handed over to Cameroon in August 2006. The attack was led against a Cameroonian military position known as "groupement operationnel centre" by surprise. According to a military source relayed by international media, Cameroonian soldiers who took their assailants for mere civilians abided by the agreements of free circulation of goods and people. A score of assailants had reportedly died in the response of Cameroonian military. In a communiqué published on 14 November, Cameroonian presidency denounced a barbarian act that undermines the climate of serenity that has been prevailing on the peninsula since the beginning of Nigerian Forces retreat in August 2006.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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