West and Central Africa: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (10 - 16 January 2017)
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
OVER 70,000 DISPLACED BY FRESH UNREST More than 70,000 people have been displaced since the resurgence of violence in parts of the country in September 2016, President Faustin-Archange Touadéra said on 12 January. The attacks and fighting between armed groups have caused further devastation to people already struck by recurrent conflict, which also impede humanitarian access. The president also voiced concern over insufficient funding that risks halting WFP’s food assistance by the end of this month. More than 400,000 people, including 140,000 displaced and 9,900 refugees, are likely to be affected by the shortfall to the agency’s US$21.5 million budget. Many of the 70,000 were displaced several times.
THOUSANDS RETURNING HOME AFTER VIOLENCE Around 3,000 of the 15,000 people who sought refuge at the base of the UN peacekeeping mission, MINUSMA, in the northern Kaga-Bandoro town have returned home. They had been forced to flee for safety following armed violence that rocked the area in October 2016. Humanitarian organizations are providing shelter, water, health and sanitation services to the returnees. Social cohesion and community dialogue efforts are also underway.
DECREASE IN MIGRATION FROM WEST AFRICA Since July 2016, IOM monitoring points registered a decreasing trend of migrants from the West Africa region including Niger passing through the northern region of Agadez. From 48,000 migrants registered at the borders with Libya and Algeria in July, the number dropped to 1,525 in November.
According to IOM, the decrease could be attributed to the implementation of measures taken by the Government to prevent the passage of the borders by people without valid travel documents.
VISIT OF RC/HC TO BORNO AND YOBE STATES
From 12 to 18 January, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Edward Kallon is visiting Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. In Maiduguri, he met with Borno Governor Kashim Shettima who thanked the humanitarian community for its work. RC Kallon stressed that while the immediate humanitarian needs of the people were being met, efforts had to be made to provide support to people and communities to recover and rebuild in the long term. He also explained that the region was grappling with a protection and food security crisis compounded by the depletion of livelihood opportunities and destruction and devastation of economic infrastructure in the region.
MEDIATION FAILS TO CONVINCE PRESIDENT TO STEP DOWN
The latest efforts from ECOWAS on 13 January by West African leaders to convince President Yahya Jammeh to step down bore no fruit. After attending the France-Africa summit in Bamako, President-elect Barrow arrived in Dakar on 15 January. The African Union said it will cease to recognize Jammeh as the legitimate President as of 19 January, the date he is due to hand over power. Many civilians have reportedly moved from the greater Banjul area to villages up-country, and UNHCR reports several thousands of people, mainly children, crossing into neighbouring Senegal. Schools throughout the country remain closed.