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The East African : February 24th 2014
The EastAfrican NEWS FEBRUARY 22-28,2014 CONFLICT Al Shabaab could establish ties with ≥ebels By KEVIN J KELLEY Special Correspondent SOMALIA’S AL Shabaab militants could potentially establish links with antigovernment fighters in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the United States Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region said last week. Russell Feingold noted in a wide-ranging talk at a Washington think tank that previous Al Shabaab strikes in Kampala and Nairobi in- dicate it is “getting pretty close to the DRC.” Mr Feingold, who previously served as a US senator, spoke about Al Shabaab’s possible spread in the context of a book he wrote in 2012 — While America Sleeps. The book warns that the US is failing to pay sufficient attention to emerging terrorist threats in some parts of the world, including Africa. Speaking on the existing security situation in the eastern DRC, Mr Feingold welcomed the defeat of the M23 rebel group but urged the Congo government to ensure that justice is done in regard to M23 fighters who hved fled to Rwanda and Uganda. “There must be a credible programme in place in the DRC for handling the cases of these former rebels,” the envoy said. In order to persuade Rwanda and Uganda to extradite M23 fighters who fled Congo, “properly constituted courts” must be established and prison condi- tions must be shown to meet international standards, Mr Feingold said at a forum held at the US Institute for Peace. The DRC must also address the issue of the death penalty before the rebels are extradited. He said Rwanda is now co-operating with the peace process in the region and President Paul Kagame has insisted that the UN force in the DRC should now focus on FDLR rebels operating in the country. 17 South Sudanese refugees rest on the compound of Dzaipi Health Centre. Pic: Peter Mutie S.Sudan Children need support Unicef says ove≥ 400,000 child≥en displaced by the conflict will be a≠ected by the coming ≥ainy season By FRED OLUOCH Special Correspondent O ver 400,000 South Sudanese children and their families who were displaced by the recent conflict are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. A survey by the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) reveals that due to the coming rainy season, the agency will need urgent funding to prevent a catastrophe. Overall, the agency in its 2014 appeal says it needs $2.2 billion to support 59 million children in conflict areas, victims of natural disasters and other emergency services in 50 countries across Africa and Asia. Unicef director of emergen- cy programmes Ted Chaiban said in a report released on February 21 that the latest large-scale conflict continues to disrupt the lives of millions of innocent children. “The children of South Sudan join millions of others affected by conflict in the Central African Republic and Syria. But while today’s headlines focus on these complex, under-funded crises, many other desperate situations also require immediate funding and urgent humanitarian assistance. These include Afghanistan, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Somalia, Yemen and other countries reflected in Unicef’s appeal,” said Mr Chaiban. Unicef’s Humanitarian Action for Children 2014 appeal highlights the daily challenges faced by children in crises, the support required to help them and the results that are possible even in the most difficult circumstances. OTHER COUNTRIES Kenya: 42,540 children aged between nine and 59 months are affected by malnutrition and admitted to communitybased management programmes. Uganda: 16,500 children under five are affected by malnutrition. Ethiopia: 238,700 children aged between six and 59 months affected by acute malnutrition and 1,200,000 people in humanitarian situations can’t access water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene In 2013, Unicef immunised 24.5 million children against measles; nearly 20 million people were provided with access to safe drinking water and cooking, and 1.9 million Children were treated for severe acute malnutrition However, the 2013 funding gaps in some countries such as Angola, Eritrea, Lesotho and Madagascar and inadequate humanitarian access, insecurity and a challenging operating environment meant that many needs were not met.
February 17th 2014
March 3rd 2014