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In Focus: Central African RepublicChristian men hold a placard in Bangui on December 10, 2013. The placard reads: "No to Chad Multinational Force of Central Africa (FOMAC). They are traitors." REUTERS/Emmanuel Braun
More than 400,000 people have been displaced in CAR since Seleka rebels - many who are Muslims from neighboring countries Chad and Sudan - seized political power in March 2013, ousting then-president Francois Bozize. Shortly after the transition, the majority Christian population was subject to increasing incidents of rapes, murders and looting. Michel Djotodia, rebel leader turned interim president, has largely lost control of his gunmen. Christians fled reprisals following a failed offensive on Bangui the first week of December. A French initiative to disarm all fighters on both sides has weakened Seleka's influence in the capital, leading to counter-attacks by Christian militias.
President Francois Hollande visited CAR on his return trip to France from the funeral of Nelson Mandela in South Africa on Monday after two French soldiers were killed in fighting and shortly after France sent a 1,600-strong force into its former colony to neutralize the chaos and end the deadly fighting.Residents of PK5, a largely Muslim neighborhood, congregate near a mosque where bodies of people killed during fighting are gathered in Bangui on December 5, 2013. REUTERS/Emmanuel Braun
In the Fouh neighborhood on Tuesday, a Reuters correspondent saw civilians armed with wooden clubs and machetes attack a mosque and houses, and at least six people were lynched overnight mainly during violence targeting Muslims, according to residents. French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the current French troop levels were sufficient to stabilize the country. CAR is roughly the size of France.
The U.S. said it will fly African forces into the country: two U.S. military C-17 aircraft will fly 850 troops from Burundi, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Firman, a Pentagon spokesman, said. It was unclear what U.S. support might follow, but Firman said consultations were ongoing. The forces will help bolster the contingent from the African Union, due to be increased to 6,000 from about 3,500.
UN Refugee Agency reported that by Monday night, 108,000 people in Bangui left their homes and staying in 30 locations across the capital, in churches, mosques, public buildings and the airport.
In the capital Bangui, religious leaders met to distribute food to the more than 10,000 displaced people huddled at a gathering at a community center for protection. They urged an end to the violence.A Christian youth inside a burned-out car in Bangui on December 10, 2013. REUTERS/Emmanuel Braun
David Rhode, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and Reuters columnist writes: Wealthy nations are funding a poorly-equipped regional peacekeeping force instead of authorizing more costly United Nations troops, and it is unclear whether the approach will work.
- Assessing the scoreboard in UkrainePeople surround a statue of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin, which was toppled by protesters during a rally organized by supporters of EU integration in Kiev, December 8, 2013. REUTERS/Maks LevinInterior ministry personnel stand guard during snowfall on a street in Kiev, December 9, 2013. REUTERS/Gleb GaranichInterior ministry personnel stand guard opposite a barricade erected by supporters of EU integration during snowfall on a street in Kiev, December 9, 2013. REUTERS/Gleb GaranichPeople surround the pedestal of a statue of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin, which was toppled by protesters on Sunday during a rally organized by supporters of EU integration, in Kiev, December 9, 2013. REUTERS/Gleb GaranichPreviousNext
1 of 4A tantalizingly symbolic event dominated mainstream coverage of the protests in Ukraine over the weekend: Protesters toppled a statue of communist icon Vladimir Lenin on Sunday in Kiev. The felling of a key Russian hero – during a protest that began largely over Ukraine’s ties to Russia – proved to be potent optics.But was this central to the uprising? And was it even planned?Key opposition politician Andriy Shevchenko told Sky News that the toppling of Lenin wasn’t part of his group’s official agenda. And the Associated Press noted that the statue was located a mile away from the Kiev’s main square.In fact, it was a small concession from Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovich that could impact the conflict’s trajectory most of all in the coming week.As the protests continued into Monday, Yanukovich said he supported a call for talks with the opposition group, according to Reuters, signaling a significant step forward in the conflict between both sides of the unrest:
It was the first real sign by Yanukovich - whose
switch in trade policy away from the European Union towards Russia on
November 21 provoked the unrest - that he might be ready to listen to
opposition demands for the resignation of his government and early elections.
Government officials, meanwhile, have reportedly given protesters until tomorrow to disband, according to BBC News.
“The devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan can be seen as not only a horrific disaster but a warning for the future.” So says Minnie Portales of aid agency World Vision.The agency has just released a report calling for stronger disaster planning for cities to avoid widespread future devastation.
In southeast Asia alone, just over a third of people in cities - around 190 million people - live in slums or squatter settlements, according to U.N. figures, making them particularly vulnerable to disasters.
In its report, Cities Prepare, which comes one month after Haiyan smashed into the Philippines, World Vision calls on leaders to recognise and take action on the dangers facing people living on the margins in urban centres.
The report contrasts the different levels of disaster preparedness across Asia by looking at the situation in seven cities – Davao in the Philippines, Chittangong (Bangladesh), Bangkok (Thailand), Jakarta (Indonesia), Kolkata (India), Kathmandu (Nepal) and Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea).
- "It’s hard to see a future for Tacloban, one month on. But look beyond the shattered buildings, the piles of rubble, the smashed-up cars and you can see Tacloban rising" - writes Joe Lowry, IOM
- “There are still needs and gaps in delivery of food delivery and emergency shelter materials to some areas, but now we must gradually need to reduce dependency on food aid and accelerate cash for work and cash transfer programmes that put money in people’s pockets. Millions have lost their livelihoods and this approach will enable them to buy what they need while also revitalising the local economy”, says Bekele Geleta, IFRC secretary general.
Shelter remains the biggest challenge in the weeks and months ahead. For the IFRC supporting people to return and build back their homes is a priority. Read more
- As the emergency phase in the relief effort following typhoon Haiyan moves into early recovery, IOM is intensifying its efforts to provide improved shelter for the hundreds of thousands left homeless in Central Philippines.
A massive logistics chain is now in place in this Philippine government-led response and the first sets of corrugated iron sheeting have arrived in the city of Tacloban, together with training material on how to build back safer. This is now being loaded onto trucks for delivery tomorrow to 600 most vulnerable families. Over 10,000 additional recovery shelter kits are also already in the country. “The limitation will not be procurement capacity, logistics capacity, or humanitarian need. The limitation we will face is financing. Whatever money we have received we have spent,” noted Marco Boasso, IOM’s chief of mission in the Philippines.
- Aid workers watching out for child trafficking in areas devastated by typhoon Haiyan say they are concerned about the numbers of parents who - having lost their livelihoods in the disaster - are migrating to look for work, leaving children behind.
Coconut palm trees were a key source of income in Eastern Samar, but the crop has been destroyed and it will take eight to ten years to replant and cultivate new trees, says Plan International.
- Children of Philippines must not become a lost generation - as the world marks the one-month anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan, children affected by this unprecedented disaster must not become a lost generation, says Plan International
- UPDATED: Yemen's Higher Security Committee said 52 people including doctors and nurses were killed in Thursday's attack on the Ministry of Defense compound and around 162 people were injured. It did not give a number of officers and gunmen dead.
A suicide bomber and gunmen wearing army uniforms targeted the compound in the capital Sanaa in the worst single attack in Yemen for 18 months. A statement by the committee said some of those killed were Germans.
- David Alexander reports: The U.S. military has increased its regional alert status following deadly, coordinated strikes on Yemen's defense ministry on Thursday, a senior U.S. defense official said. The attack, which killed 52 people and wounded 167, was the worst single militant assault in Yemen in 18 months. "The United States military is fully prepared to support our Yemeni partners in the wake of this incident," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity, and without offering further details.
- Readers, an earlier Reuters Wire report has been corrected and clarified. The first report said that 52 doctors and nurses were reported killed in Thursday's attacks on the Defense Ministry compound in Sanaa. That report is corrected to reflect that 52 persons including doctors and nurses were reported killed (not 52 persons who are doctors and nurses).
- The Alwan Press Agency released a video on their Facebook page that appears to record moments after the attacks on the Defense Ministry compound in Sanaa: www.facebook.com
- Pictures: Yemen Defense Ministry AttackedSmoke rises from the Defense Ministry's compound after an attack, in Sanaa December 5, 2013. The Yemeni Defence Ministry said on Thursday an attack on its compound had targeted a hospital inside the complex and the situation was now under control. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah
Full slideshow (11 pictures)
- Reuters Mohammad Ghobari reports: A relative of Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was among those killed in Thursday's attack on the Ministry of Defence compound, the ministry's website said.
A suicide bomber and gunmen wearing army uniforms targeted the ministry compound in the capital Sanaa in the worst single attack in Yemen for 18 months. The statement said one of the president's relatives was killed while visiting a patient in the military hospital in the compound. Yemen's Higher Security Committee said 52 doctors and nurses, some of them Germans, were killed.
- AFP reports: The attack on the sprawling facility of the Ministry of Defense follows multiple strikes on military personnel and officials. Six doctors -- a Venezuelan, two Filipinos and three Yemenis -- along with five patients including a judge, were among the dead, medical sources said.
- From around the web: the latest reports on Thursday's attacks in Sanaa, Yemen from Russia Today, BBC, The Guardian and a video from AP.by Margarita Noriega (Reuters) via YouTube 12/5/2013 6:40:30 PM
- Yemen's Defense Ministry says a relative of Yemen's president among those killed in suicide bomber and gun attack in Sanaa #breakingcomment by Reuters Top News via twitter 12/5/2013 6:35:22 PM
- The Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Yemen #Jamal_Benomar strongly condemns the terrorist attacks in Sana'a today against the hospital of the Yemeni Ministry of Defense. He expresses deepest condolences to the families of those who were killed and to all Yemenis.
The Special Adviser urges those concerned to cooperate with the investigation announced by President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to bring the perpetrators to justice. He is confident that such criminal acts seeking to terrorize Yemenis will only strengthen their resolve to continue on their path of peaceful change.
(Communications Unit)comment by Jamal Benomar جمال بنعمر via facebook 12/5/2013 6:31:17 PM
- Why Roadies Are Our Best Bet For Typhoon Haiyan Relief In The Philippines - interesting proposition from Forbes contributor Ruth Blatt, who interviewed Charlie Hernandez a former roadie and production manager for The Police.
She said during a tour by rockers Guns N'Roses of South America in 1992, Hernandez dealt with "gear getting caught up in a military coup in Venezuela, a Bogota rainstorm collapsing a stage roof, and threats from organized crime". Like other roadies, his strength was in solving problems.
Years later Hernandez used his contacts and logistics experience to help get medical equipment, doctors and nurses to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, and food to Pakistan after its devastasting floods in the same year.
“Disasters are just like a rock show,” Hernandez was quoted as saying. “You need to establish communication lines, you establish power supplies, including electricity. Then from there you build the infrastructure, from there the lighting system, and boom, you have a city.”
I just wonder if hardened aid agency logistics officers would agree
4.5 million people across the regions of the Philippines that were affected by Typhoon Haiyan are in need of water supplies, hygiene help or access to toilets and latrines, according to UN figures. Since last Thursday, in the area of Tolosa outside Tacloban, thanks to a project of the Spanish Red Cross thousands of people outside Tacloban have been able to access safe water again.
The Philippine Red Cross is also distributing water via tankers and jerry cans across Tacloban city and the surrounding areas as the need remains high. Read more from Nichola Jones, Red Cross delegate in Tacloban: http://bit.ly/1jl7JlSWater was one of the most pressing needs in the aftermath of the Tornado. Water bladders at the Spanish Red Cross water and sanitation emergency response unit will help provide fresh water for thousands (Photo: Jarkko Mikkonen/Finnish Red Cross)
Thousands of women and children in the Philippines risk falling prey to human traffickers in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan, lawmakers and the chief US aid agency are warning, according to AFP news agency.A US congressman returning from a visit to the storm-ravaged island nation said that while Filipino authorities and US forces are helping vast numbers of storm victims, more attention is needed to thwart criminal opportunists taking advantage of the chaos.
- Save the Children is warning that respiratory disorders and pneumonia are on the increase among typhoon survivors.
Dr Miguel Dorotan, led one of two medical teams that were the first to reach Dulag, 30km south of Tacloban. “So many of the children we see are showing signs of respiratory diseases or pneumonia,” he said.
- Direct Relief says civil drones are helping it and other organisations respond more efficiently to the most pressing needs of people affected by super storm Haiyan.
Local officials and aid groups were provided with a rapid and highly accurate visual analysis of damage to the Carigara District Hospital, northwest of Tacloban – at minimal risk to the people conducting the assessment – by deploying the latest in close proximity aerial imaging technology with a Huginn X1 civil drone.
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