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Middle East – Africa - page 35

Nigeria, Boko Haram: Msf report

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Boko Haram attacks caused a serious humanitarian situation in Borno State e other Nigerian regions on the last year. Women and children get involved in diseases, sexual assault, poor nutrition. European Affairs asked Isabelle Mouniaman-Nara, Msf Program Manager in Nigeria, what the social and psychological conditions are in this country.

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Where does Msf work in Nigeria? How long have you been there?

“MSF has been in Nigeria since 1996. We are operating in different parts of the country: Jigawa state with an emergency obstetric and fistula care project, in Sokoto on a lead poisoning project and Noma (reconstructive surgery after facial gangrenous infection) and in Rivers state (Port Harcourt) a project on taking care of sexual violence victims. Aside from these regular projects, MSF is also responding regularly to emergencies (measles and cholera outbreaks, natural disasters such as flood). This year, teams have treated more than 150.000 cholera case respectively in Bauchi and Borno states. MSF restarted to work in Borno in April 2013 after the first Baga attack, but, due to security reason, the team withdrew from the region. Now there has been a permanent team since May 2014. Activities are focusing on medical care for around 30.000 IDP’s settled in the 3 main camps of Maiduguri town (around 10 to 15 000 people in each camp)”.

After Boko Haram settlement, what’s social condition in Borno State?

“Since the major attacks of Boko Haram at the beginning of last year, the living conditions of Borno population have been increasingly becoming miserable. People started to fled to Maiduguri leaving their homes and belongings in their villages. Some of them tried from time to time to go back in their fields but today those times have passed because of the insecurity and the presence of the insurgency”.

How many displaced persons are there?
“According to the national assistance agency (Nema), at least 400.000 people have sought refuge in Maiduguri. Maybe more but we should be cautious about these figures. There are about 10 camps in town but the vast majority of the displaced are in host community”.

Traumatic events, poor nutrition, diseases: what are childhood and women conditions?
“In MSF medical clinic team are seeing mainly women and children. Pregnant women and malnourished children are followed with special care. Malaria and respiratory infections remain the main diseases today. Severe conditions are referred to Maiduguri tertiary hospitals. Many of the displaced are settled in public buildings like schools. These temporary shelters are reaching their limits in term of water and sanitation. The risk is still present for a new cholera outbreak given the overcrowding and hygiene conditions”.

Are the imminent elections increasing brutality in the country?
“The elections, the new attacks from Boko Haran and the engagement of international military forces on the border are potentially worrisome for the future. Therefore MSF has prepared a contingency plan for other states. In Rivers State and Southern Nigeria, MSF is setting up a trauma unit in collaboration with the local authorities. In the Borno, Nasarawa and Taraba states plans are to install some advanced medical posts if needed and support, through medical donations, operating theaters of the main hospitals. In all these areas, enhanced patients referral system to hospitals will be set up. In the meantime, MSF trained doctors from Borno State the Ministry of Health, as well as our teams, on mass casualties management”.

Giacomo Pratali

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Nigeria, 200 Boko Haram soldiers killed. But country remains in a maze

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Chad army have entered in Nigeria to fight Boko Haram troops, after the beginning of the mission in Camerun on January. The outgoing president Goodluck could win presidential election on 14th February

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200 Boko Haram militants were died on 3rd February in Northern Nigeria by Chadian troops. The previous blitz was in Camerun on 31st January, when N’Djamena armed force killed 123 Islamist guerrilla fighters. Actions which have received the Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s approval, who quite agree with the composition of a military force of 7,500 units, under the auspices of the African Union, to fight the advance of the Caliphate of Abubakar Shekau.

Looting and destruction of villages, mass murders: are a costant course, which aims to become stable in the Borno State (Northern Nigeria), despite the failure to conquer the capital Maiduguri, and expanding borders of the Caliphate in Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

The Shekau’s strategy from August till today recalls the scheme of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria declared by al Baghdadi. The affiliation of Califfate to Isis, the creation of a semistatal being, the use of the same flag, the reading the Koran in a mosque by the leader, the prisoners dressed in orange clothes. These are some of the most recognizable signs of a rapprochement with the funding allocated by Sunni organizaton, which wants to enlist new Islamic fundamentalists to expand its brand across the Arab world.

Boko Haram chose the Borno State because is the poorest and most underdeveloped in Nigeria. Instead, the Southern is growner than Northern due of oil field, but also the most corrupt. And before 2014, Sharia was in effect in the Northern, where Nigerian army’s not working as Chadian troops.

Conversely, outgoing president Jonathan Goodluck and all political elite keep quite. But the terror tactics of Boko Haram is promoting the chief of state’s re-election next on 14th February. In this instance, a new precedent would open for Lagos: a Christian church second consecutive term clashing with Muslim faction.

Giacomo Pratali

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Lebanon, Hezbollah attack: three killed in “Blue Line”

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Three killed in “Blue Line”, where the borders of Lebanon, Israeli and Syria meet, on 28th January 2015. Two Israeli soldiers was slayed and seven was injured during the Hezbollah attack in Shebaa Farms area, where an Israeli convoy was hit by anti-tank missiles . And close to the disputed  between two armies, one Unifil peacekeeper was accidentally assassinated.

“Our country’s prepared to act powerfully on all fronts”, commented Israeli’s Premier Netanyahu. While a Tel Aviv government spokesman revealed that “we fight every Hezbollah assault with our air force and artillery” Instead, for a mouthpiece Un for Unifil “Blue Line” area needs “maximum restraint to prevent an escalation”, but defined an “accident” without detailing the source of the fire the peacekeeper’s killed. In Al Jazeera opinion, the guilty could be Israeli’s army.

Afghanistan, Isaf ending: high rating from Stoltenberg

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Nato Secretary General talks about “challenging mission” which made “Afghanistan stronger”. Soldiers dead are 3482. Usa will totally retire his armed forces in 2016. And Putin promises his support to Kabul after North Atlantic retirement

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During the meeting between Nato and Isaf on 17th December, Jens Stoltenberg spoke about the ending of mission in Afghanistan: “”For well over a decade, our nations stood shoulder to shoulder in the largest coalition for peace and stability in history. This has been a challenging mission, in many respects. Militarily. Politically. Economically. But we have met these challenges. Together – added -, we have done what we set out to do. With a clear United Nations mandate, we have denied safe haven to international terrorists. We have made Afghanistan stronger. And we have made our own nations safer. Challenges still remain. But today, Afghanistan is more stable and prosperous than ever”, finished.

Started with intention to defeat Taliban warriors on 11st August 2003 after World Trade Center attacks, Isaf implicated about 58000 soldiers in Afghanistan, at his height with 140000 in 2011. All dead were 3482, of which 2354 Americans. Italian contingent installed in Herat Region from 2004 and 48 of them died. During his closing address (‘Casing of Colors’) at Kabul airport on 8th December, Commander-in-Chief and General John F. Campbell proclaimed that “at the beginning of 2015 Us soldiers will be about 10000 and they’ll withdrow in the last part of 2016”. Furthermore, Nato will start mission called “Resolute Support”. It will not involve combat, but it’ll primarily support Afghan ministries and institutions until 2025.

Nevertheless, Vladimir Putin, during the Csto meeting on 6th November 2014, promised support to Afghanistan (Csto holding observer in 2011) after Isaf withdrawal: “We understand that the withdrawal of the international military contingent will not make the situation easier. But in case of necessity we will be ready to lend our friends in Afghanistan a shoulder to lean on in order to keep the situation in this country stable and with perspectives of development”. Russian leader’s speech could warn Nato and Usa about new Cold War battleground in Asia, after Ukraine in the last year.

Giacomo Pratali

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Yemen, reporter Luke Somers has died by American military operation

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Us journalist Luke Somers, held by al Qaeda militants since September 2013, has died during an American raid in Yemen. The reporter could not be saved him, however 10 terrorists of Shabwa district expired. Fbi has notified his death to his sister Lucy Somers.

Luke Somers, 33, was reporter and photographer for Yemen’s news organizations and his material speaded on international media like Bbc. Last Thursday Aqap, member of al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula, realize a video where they threatened to kill him.

Giacomo Pratali

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