Category Archives: Humanitarian Issues

Sudan – dozens killed in Rizeigat-Ma’aliya clash in Darfur

Radio Dabanga/allAfrica

Abu Karinka Locality — Hundreds of tribesmen were killed and injured in one of the fiercest clashes that erupted so far between the Ma’aliya and Rizeigat in the area of Um Rakuba in Abu Karinka, East Darfur, today.

According to reports by multiple sources in Um Rakuba, at least 123 Ma’aliya and more than 200 Rizeigat were killed.

Member of Parliament for Abu Karinka constituency, Hamdan Abdallah Tirab, told Radio Dabanga that a group of Rizeigat militants this (Wednesday) morning attacked Ma’aliya tribesmen in Um Rakuba. “the attackers used four-wheel drive vehicles, motorcycles, horses, and donkeys.” Tirab said that the casualties are currently being counted.

The MP demanded from the federal government to “fulfil its duty towards its citizens, and protect them all over Sudan”. “The government should implement what has been agreed on with the warring parties, and send more troops to separate the tribesmen.”

Tirab added that the Minister of Interior Affairs later on the day would deliver a report on the situation in the area, as well as the measures that have to be taken to prevent a repetition of what happened today.

Authorities absent

Mohamed Eisa Eleiwo, chairman of the Rizeigat Elders Council of Abu Karinka locality, announced that according to a first count, at least 100 Rizeigat were killed. Eleiwo expressed his deep regret that “war-mongering thugs from both tribes have caused the death of innocent people in Um Rakuba”.

The Rizeigat elder said that he holds both the East Darfur State and federal governments responsible for the clashes. “The East Darfur State government has been entirely absent. The state, the federal government, the Presidency, the Ministry of Interior Affairs, and the Parliament, were all well informed, in detail, about what was going on. But as we say, who does not call out, will not live.”

Rule of law

In Khartoum, the Darfuri Civil Society Platform appealed to the leaders of the Ma’aliya and Rizeigat to stop the bloodshed of innocent people. Dr Amin Mahmoud, the Platform’s deputy chairman told Radio Dabanga that the Platform followed with “great sadness” the escalating strife between the two tribes.

He called on political and community leaders to intervene, stop the hostilities, and contain the situation, and urged the authorities to “restore the rule of law, to prevent militant tribesmen to take the law into their own hands again”.

On Saturday, at least 47 tribesmen were killed in fighting that broke out between Ma’aliya and Rizeigat in Um Rakuba after the theft of a camel, a horse, and two donkeys. MP Tirab requested the Interior Minister to investigate the alleged participation of police forces in the fighting.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201408210461.html

BBC
At least 63 people have died in clashes between rival Arab groups in Sudan’s arid Darfur region, witnesses say.

One Sudanese radio station said its sources reported that more than 300 had died in the fighting between the Rezeigat and Maaliya.

The two nomadic communities have clashed before, usually in disputes of land and grazing rights in East Darfur.

More than a decade of unrest in the Darfur has spawned lawlessness and increased inter-ethnic rivalry.

Many people who have fled their homes in the last decade live in refugee camps
Rebels from non-Arab groups first rose up in 2003, accusing the government of favouring Arab communities.

In recent years, the biggest contributor to the death toll has been violence between different Arab groups.

According to Sudan’s Radio Dabanga, the dispute in East Darfur began over the theft of a camel, a horse and two donkeys.

A source told the AFP news agency that heavy weapons were used in the fighting.

Representatives from both sides have appealed for the authorities to help resolve the dispute.

Since the civil war began in Darfur, the UN estimates that more than two million people have fled their homes.

Many stay in camps which are patrolled by a joint UN-African Union force that has more than 17,000 armed personnel on the ground in Darfur.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-28881046

Central African Republic – Red Cross worker killed in new outbreak of fighting

Reuters

Red Cross worker killed, dozens injured in Central African Republic clashes

BANGUI Wed Aug 20, 2014

BANGUI (Reuters) – A local Red Cross worker was shot dead and at least 31 people were injured in fighting between militia and international peacekeepers in the capital of Central African Republic on Wednesday, emergency services said.

The clashes erupted after residents of the PK-5 neighbourhood accused the European Union force (EUFOR) of shooting dead a man late on Tuesday. The district is home to some 2,000 Muslims who have braved sectarian violence to remain in Bangui but are resisting pressure to disarm.

EUFOR said in a statement one of its patrols had opened fire after it was attacked in the PK-5 district. It did not confirm whether anyone was killed in the incident, however.

A crowd of protesters brought a man’s body to U.N. headquarters on Wednesday, saying he had been shot dead by EUFOR in his home. They then took him for burial.

Shortly afterwards, heavy gunfire and shelling was heard around PK-5, residents. Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said its team in the General Hospital had received 31 people injured from gunshot wounds.

“Ten critically wounded patients will receive surgery,” MSF deputy head of mission, Claude Cafardy, said in a statement.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement said one of its volunteers, Bienvenu Bandios, was shot dead while evacuating casualties from PK-5. “We are greatly dismayed by this tragic loss of life,” Antoine Mbao Bogo, president of the Central African Red Cross, said in a statement.

Bangui residents said a helicopter from the France‘s separate Sangaris peacekeeping mission flew over PK-5 on Wednesday as gunfire sounded. It was not clear who was firing.

Arun Gaye, a trader in PK-5, said by telephone the helicopter had opened fire on people on the ground, but a Sangaris official denied this.

The former French colony has been gripped by violence since Seleka, a coalition of mostly Muslim rebels and some fighters from neighbouring Chad and Sudan, seized power in March 2013.

Seleka’s rule was marked by abuses that prompted a backlash from the ‘anti-balaka’ Christian militia. Cycles of tit-for-tat violence continued despite Seleka leader Michel Djotodia’s resignation from the presidency in January.

Some 2,000 French and 6,000 Africa Union peacekeepers have been deployed but they have struggled to help a weak transitional government stamp its authority on the mineral-rich country. A 12,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force is due to start deploying next month.

Most Muslims have fled the south of the country, creating a de facto partition. Some members of the Seleka leadership have pushed for this to be formalised.

The armed group rejected the nomination this month of a new Muslim prime minister, Mahamat Kamoun, a former head of cabinet to Djotodia, saying they were not consulted on his appointment.

The president of Central African Republic’s transitional parliament, Alexandre Ferdinand N’Guedet, called on Tuesday for a delay in the formation of a new government, saying that there had not been enough consultation in Kamoun’s appointment. Reuters

 

Kenya – 1.5 million people facing threat of starvation as rains fail

Capital FM/allAfrica

Photo: Capital FM

Drought and hunger in Kenya.

Nairobi — The government says 1.5 million people are facing starvation across the country specifically in arid and semi-arid areas due to low rainfall.

Cabinet Secretary for Devolution Anne Waiguru explained that the National Government will be responsible for food relief and distribution in a bid to mitigate starvation.

In a joint statement with Governors of affected areas on Tuesday after the annual drought assessment in counties, Waiguru said the County Governments will be responsible for water distribution, veterinary and human health.

The assessment was carried out between July 21 and August 1 to evaluate the impact of this year’s long rains on food security.

“Only a few places in the Coast and Ukambani received 90-150 percent of the normal though with uneven distribution,” Waiguru stated.

“The assessment has forecast impending food crises in certain places including central parts of Turkana, Western parts of Marsabit, and some parts of Samburu, Mandera, Wajir, West Pokot and Baringo.”

Some of the areas affected are Mandera, Garissa, Taita Taveta, Tana River, parts of Laikipia and Meru North.

The assessment found that in most, “arid and semi-arid lands counties, the amount of rain was 50-60 percent of the norm, meaning that most places did not receive the expected amounts both in space and in time.”

Mandera County Governor Ali Roba on his part said following the discussions, all the set interventions towards addressing the situation will be set in motion at all levels.

The National Treasury has since allocated Sh1 billion to support the programme.

On August 8, Deputy President William Ruto said the government would do all it can to ensure no Kenyan dies from hunger.

“Sh1 billion has been released to the responsible ministry to ensure food is made available to the affected people. In fact, we have food worth Sh10 million for Samburu County,” he said.

Ruto however asked the county governments in arid and semi-arid areas of the country to invest heavily in irrigation, pointing out that provision of relief was not a lasting solution to famine.

He urged the county governments to invest heavily in irrigation in bid to realizing food security in their respective counties.  allAfrica

Nigeria – British military aircraft to help in search for Chibok girls

Punch

UK sends warplanes to find Chibok girls

Abducted Chibok girls

The Britain’s Royal Air Force has planned to send three fighter jets to help in locating the more than 200 abducted schoolgirls by Boko Haram insurgents since April 14 this year.

The three RAF Tornado GR4s outfitted with surveillance equipment, according to Daily Mail, are being deployed to Nigeria to “fly reconnaissance missions” over the Sambissa forest the Islamist extremist sect is known to operate in.

A source at the British government told The Times that the fighter bombers would help the Nigerian authorities by tracking the movements of Boko Haram militants.

The report added that the mission was dependent on a nearby nation giving them permission to use a runway.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman did not deny the report about the deployment of the planes.

“The UK continues to work with the US, France, Nigeria, its neighbours and international partners to provide advice and assistance to the Nigerian Government.

“Together with our allies we have provided continuous surveillance support to the Nigerian authorities, including satellite imagery. We are still in discussion with partners on the deployment of further surveillance capability,” he said.

On Friday, last week, Britain’s Minister for Africa, James Duddridge had condemned the abduction of over 100 people in Nigeria and had pledged that the United Kingdom would continue to support in the fight against the terrorist group.

He said, “I am appalled to see reports of another large abduction by terrorists in the north east of Nigeria. Officials at the British High Commission in Abuja are urgently looking into the details. The UK stands firmly with Nigeria as it faces the scourge of Boko Haram.”

The group on Monday killed at least three people and kidnapped 15 others in a fresh cross-border attack in northern Cameroon. Punch

 

Daily Mail

Britain ‘to send three Tornado reconnaissance jets to Nigeria’ to join hunt for kidnapped schoolgirls

By Sam Webb for MailOnline

Four months ago Boko Haram, which is fighting to reinstate a medieval Islamic caliphate in religiously mixed Nigeria, abducted more than 200 schoolgirls from the village of Chibok and they remain missing.

Now, three RAF Tornado GR4s outfitted with surveillance equipment are being deployed to the African nation to fly reconnaissance missions over the region the group is known to operate in.

Eye in the sky: Three RAF Tornado GR4s  are being deployed to  search for the 200 missing Nigerian schoolgirls

Eye in the sky: Three RAF Tornado GR4s are being deployed to search for the 200 missing Nigerian schoolgirls

Taken: Boko Haram abducted more than 200 schoolgirls (pictured) fom the village of Chibok four months ago

Taken: Boko Haram abducted more than 200 schoolgirls (pictured) fom the village of Chibok four months ago

Daily Mail

Nigerian schools and violence in the north

IRIN

School tries to heal the divide in northern Nigeria

MAIDUGURI, 18 August 2014 (IRIN) – The kidnapping of more than 200 girls from a secondary school in Chibok in northeastern Nigeria’s Borno State in April by Boko Haram militants, and a so far unsuccessful high-profile campaign to free them, exemplifies the insecurity-driven education crisis in the area.

Since March all public schools have been closed in Borno State – one of the three states in the northeast hardest hit by the violence. The tragedy is that, according to a 2010 national literacy survey, Borno already had the sixth worst literacy rate for youths in any language out of Nigeria’s 36 states. What formal education currently exists in Borno has been through a handful of private schools that have kept their gates open.

One of these is a school for orphans and vulnerable children in Maiduguri, providing free primary education. What sets Future Prowess Islamic Foundation apart is the deliberate policy of its founder, Zannah Mustapha, to care for children from families on both sides of the conflict – Boko Haram and the security forces.

“We are trying to avoid a catastrophe,” said Mustapha, a lawyer, who has played a role in abortive mediation efforts between the government and Boko Haram. “We want the two sides of the divide to grow as friends, not a case of ‘You killed my father, you killed my mother, I must have revenge’. No. They must learn together. We are providing that security.”

The seven-classroom school delivers a blended curriculum of Islamic tuition, and the standard syllabus approved by the state education board, taught in English. Although Boko Haram is notorious for its rejection of “Western” education, and some parents (many of them widows) objected to what they viewed as “pagan” lessons, the school was able to challenge those beliefs.

“English is just a language, many British people are also Muslims,” said Mustapha. “And mathematics, how is that Western? It was invented by the Arabs.”

The five-year conflict has exacerbated the northeast’s historically bad social indicators. More that 42 percent of children are stunted by malnutrition (compared to just 16 percent in the southeast), according to the government’s 2013 Demographic and Health Survey. The deep disruption of the local economy by the violence has worsened the situation, driving up prices and shrinking employment.

The school’s response has been a breakfast feeding programme for its 420 pupils. “It’s rice and beans or moi-moi [a bean-based sponge], something that can fill the stomach for some time,” said headmaster Suleiman Aliyu. “There is no way a child can learn properly on an empty stomach.”

It is funded by local benefactors, and “as a result of the programme a lot of parents are registering their children – not for the learning, but for the breakfast alone.”

A traumatized community

This is a community traumatized by violence – shootings, bombings and kidnappings by Boko Haram; retaliatory beatings, arrests and extra-judicial killings by the security forces. “We are serving as teachers and parents for the orphaned children,” said Islamic teacher Hassan Sharif al-Hassan.

“English is just a language, many British people are also Muslims. And mathematics, how is that Western? It was invented by the Arabs.”

“Many of them have no guardians at home. When they come to school we give them what they can use in their lives in terms of respect, in terms of behaviour. But it’s not a normal childhood. Sometimes you can ask a pupil why they are silent, and the child can start crying. Psychologically we can understand they have internal problems.”

Abubaker Tijjani is aged 14 and wants to be an accountant. But right now he would just like to have his father back, who died a year ago. “I’m sad about that, I miss him,” he told IRIN. “I’m not OK with life.”

A local hospital is providing monthly counselling sessions for the members of a widows’ association the school has formed. “People didn’t realize their symptoms of stress, high blood pressure, headaches, sleepless nights were related to psychological problems,” said Aliyu. ‘We’ve seen positive changes.”

The association’s revolving micro-credit fund also tries to provide some financial help with a little business capital. In the vulnerable households the children are out on the streets after school selling groundnuts, sweets and water.

The community has supported the school and some prominent people are sponsoring individual students. Mustapha has, according to the headmaster, ploughed much of his own money into keeping the school open. That has included building a fish farm that provides a measure of financial independence, helping pay teachers’ salaries, and providing the free uniforms and books the students need.

But aside from the US Agency for International Development recently agreeing to provide some desks, and the Swiss embassy paying for the trauma counsellor, there is no other outside assistance.

“International partners don’t often come here because of the insecurity,” Mustapha said. “Individuals can’t do what we need. We need institutions like the UN, UNICEF, to help.”   IRIN

SADC leaders urge mass movement of Rwandan Hutu rebels from eastern DR Congo

VoA/allAfrica

By Sebastian Mhofu

Victoria Falls — Leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) want the United Nations to assist in removing members of a Rwandan rebel group from eastern Congo.

The 15-member bloc made the appeal at the end of a two-day summit in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

The leaders of southern African countries also resolved to speed up the industrialization of their countries to fight poverty.

They said the region was “generally peaceful and stable,” but appealed to the United Nations to help address the situation in the Great Lakes region.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, a Southern African Development Community member, is hoping to rid its eastern provinces of rebel groups that have kept the region in the grips of chaos and violence for years.

“On the Democratic Republic of Congo, [the] summit also called upon the United Nations in co-operation with the African Union, to play its role in repatriating the FDLR elements that have voluntarily surrendered and disarmed or provide them with temporary resettlement in third countries outside the Great Lakes Region,” said Stergomena Lawrence-Tax, SADC executive secretary.

FDLR refers to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, a Rwandan Hutu rebel group, comprised in part of men who took part in Rwanda’s genocide in 1994.

The region’s leaders noted “humanitarian assistance and malnutrition still remain a challenge” and they endorsed a 10-year regional food and nutrition security strategy to improve food security.

The leaders were silent on issues of human rights abuses and poverty, which civic organizations had wanted them to address at the summit. allAfrica

South Sudan: Who’s Keeping the War Going?

allAfrica

Photo: South Sudan Tribune

President Salve Kiir addressing the South Sudanese community in Washington, DC

Washington, DC — With as many as 1.5 million people displaced by conflict and a worsening humanitarian situation, South Sudan’s former Vice President Riek Machar has turned down President Salva Kiir’s latest peace offer – to incorporate the rebel leader into a transitional unity government prior to elections set for next year.

Three days ago, amid renewed fighting in several areas, United Nations forces reported rescuing around 400 civilians who fled fierce fighting around the government-held town of Bentiu. A United Nations compound there is sheltering around 50,000 displaced people in its facilities ill-equipped for the influx.

Machar told the Voice of America that he still demands direct talks with the government instead of the plan by Igad – the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development – which was tasked by its east African member governments with mediating a solution.

Igad wants South Sudanese civil society – non-governmental and religious organizations – involved in the peace process, to broaden the constituency for achieving and maintaining peace, a position supported by the South Sudan government. Machar rejects that approach, saying that his representatives and the government should formulate a power-sharing agreement between themselves.

Sandra Bulling, a communications officer for the international aid and development organization CARE, was in Bentiu last week, where she said conditions for the internally displaced people are grim and that the rainy season has caused additional hardship. “Our nutrition center was flooded,” she said, “meaning malnourished children and their mothers did not get any support that day.”

Also last week, in a rare field visit by the UN Security Council to a conflict area, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said 50,000 children were threatened with starvation in the coming months. UN officials and human rights organizations say both sides in the conflict block essential food deliveries by humanitarian organizations.

President Kiir, meeting with journalists in Washington DC during the U.S. Africa Summit this month, blamed the crisis on the rebel fighters. “I don’t know when the suffering will stop,” he said. “But if the warring parties would agree to stop fighting, automatically it will end the suffering, because the humanitarian assistance would flow to the people who are in need.”

The president voiced strong support for the Igad-supervised peace process in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. “I personally traveled to Addis Ababa in May and signed the ceasefire on 9th May,” Kirr said. “Unfortunately, within two days the ceasefire was violated by the forces of Riek Machar…I came back in June, on the 10th. We signed another ceasefire.”

Kiir said that he is a forgiving person and bears “no grudge” against Machar, but he complained that Machar is not in control of rebel forces on the ground. “I said in front of Igad and all those present that Machar claims that he has forces, but he is not in command of those forces…This is why there is no cessation of hostilities.” He challenged Machar to return to South Sudan to exert his influence for peace – and to prepare to run in the upcoming national elections, if he wants to contest them.

In several recent statements and interviews, Machar has said Kiir should have no place in the country’s government, despite his overwhelming election as South Sudan’s leader. Machar charges that the government is practicing ethnic cleansing against the Nuer group, to which he belongs.

“What would Salva [Kiir] present to the people as the programme to unite the people?” Machar is quoted by Sudan Tribune in an article on Friday. “He committed genocide, he committed mass killing – what programme would he talk about? Nothing.”

President Kiir acknowledged that both Nuer and Dinka, his own ethnic group, have engaged in violence against each other. He also cites crime and lawlessness as common problems in the young nation, which voted for independence from Sudan in 2011.

But he said that his government has tried to stop ethnic killings. “I appealed to the people – anybody who is my supporter – don’t attempt to kill any Nuer person,” Kiir said. “It is not the tribe who rebelled; it is Riek Machar.”

And in the nearly hour-long conversation with journalists in Washington, Kirr insisted that the conflict is, at heart, not tribal but is a struggle for power. He pointed to destruction in the city of Bor, which is the capital of Riek Machar’s home state of Unity, one of the country’s oil-rich regions.

“When he [Machar] was killing people in his own home state – people have to flee, they ran to where I come from, my state. If there was a tribal conflict, why would the Nuer people run to a Dinka state? People received them, and they are now there in their tens of thousands.”

The president reiterated that the peace process led by the Igad negotiators was the way forward. “We are committed to the peace process under the Igad,” he said. “We are also committed, as a government, to humanitarian work.”

South Sudan Finance Minister, Aggrey Tisa Sabuni, who traveled with Kiir to Washington, told AllAfrica that the president had established a committee to look into ramifications of the conflict when it broke out in December. The results of the investigation, he said, reinforced the government’s insistence on the regionally brokered peace process.

The minister headed the sub-committee on financial and economic issues. “Within two weeks,” he said, “we predicted that there would be a terrible reduction in government revenue – both oil and non-oil. We predicted that there would be loss of human capital. We predicted that there would be dislocation of economic enterprises. This has come to pass.”

Asked if he can be optimistic about South Sudan’s future in such dire circumstances, the finance minister said there is no choice but to press ahead. “We’re in the middle of a tornado,” he said. “It is destructive while it lasts, but it will blow past, and development will resume.”

Boko Haram attacks impede aid work in northern Cameroon

IRIN

Attacks curb aid work in north Cameroon

(IRIN) – An escalation of attacks by Nigerian radical Islamist Boko Haram militia is restricting aid operations in the Far North Region of Cameroon where thousands of Nigerian refugees have sought safety, say aid workers.

Local authorities in the Far North Region of Cameroon estimate that as many as 25,000 Nigerians have fled into the region. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says it has registered some 11,000 refugees. Recently, some 2,800 refugees were moved to Minawao camp 130km from the border, bringing the total camp population to around 6,000.

Many refugees have opted to stay in border villages in Mayo-Tsanaga and the Logon and Chari areas, hoping to return home quickly if the violence subsides.

Boko Haram’s incursions into northern Cameroon have become frequent of late. In April, suspected members of the group abducted and later freed a Canadian nun and two Italian priests. In May, 10 Chinese construction workers were seized by armed men also believed to be Boko Haram members. The Chinese are still being held in captivity.

In late July, suspected Boko Haram militants attacked the town of Kolofata and kidnapped the wife of Cameroon’s deputy prime minister and two other people. Residents now live in fear and their movement is also restricted by tougher security measures.

Since then, UN agencies in Cameroon have only been undertaking priority activities such as assisting refugees and some host communities, said Jacques Roy, World Food Programme (WFP) representative in Cameroon.

“It’s becoming more and more difficult. We don’t want to put our workers at risk… It has become more dangerous to travel around. The [worry] for us is that we know that the food security will worsen for the local population because the cross-border trade has been hampered and prices of imported food have been rising. Farming could be affected and there is a high probability of a further influx of refugees, and this will put more strain on the local population,” Roy told IRIN.

He explained that WFP was now working with local aid organizations to transport and distribute food that it had pre-stocked at Minawao camp, and in villages and health centres in the region.

Food stocks at Minawao will last for the next two months. “By November we expect that there could be breaks in our food pipeline unless additional funding is secured very soon,” WFP said in an email response to IRIN.

“For our nutrition response, breaks are expected earlier and some health centres have already started running low on certain specialized nutritious products. Consequently, we might have to cut down temporarily on the special nutritional support to vulnerable populations in some areas.”

Cameroon’s Far North and North regions have the highest rates of food insecurity in the country, with 54 percent of households facing shortages. It is feared more will lack enough food in the current lean season until harvesting starts in October-November, according to WFP.

A nutrition assessment conducted by WFP and UNHCR in June found high rates of malnutrition among refugee children. In one village where the refugees have settled, general acute malnutrition was 25 percent, way higher than the 15 percent emergency threshold.

Countering insecurity

Authorities in the Far North Region have imposed a night curfew and banned vehicle and motorcycle movement at night to try to curb the raids by the Islamist insurgents which have occurred despite a heavier military presence in the remote region.

The deteriorating security is also catalysing a cholera outbreak that has infected more than 1,400 people and killed scores others. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recently voiced concern about the impact of insecurity on efforts to curb the spread of the disease in northern Cameroon. In a recent interview, UNICEF’s representative in Cameroon told IRIN she feared that insecurity would prevent community health workers from reaching the affected population.

“Since Boko Haram attacks have not spared Cameroon’s Far North, it has become difficult for relief organizations to expand their operations,” said Leonard Bello, head of Mayo-Tsanaga Division in the Far North Region.

There is limited humanitarian help reaching the refugees settled in border villages due to the rising insecurity. WFP’s Roy said that since the late July attack, they could no longer reach those refugees.

Authorities in the Far North have in the past expressed concern about refugees staying with their Cameroonian relatives rather than going to Minawao camp. They fear Boko Haram elements can infiltrate villages without being detected, although some of the latest attacks have been brazen rather than stealthy, and even targeted gendarmerie bases.

Cameroon’s Far North Region and northeastern Nigeria are home to ethnic groups that have family on either side of the border, speak the same language and share a common culture. For some, crossing the border to live with relatives in times of difficulty is not considered as seeking refuge. The authorities worry that such situations make undetected cross-border movement easy.

Relief agencies in Cameroon estimate that as many as 50,000 Nigerians will have crossed into Cameroon by the end of the year. In Nigeria’s northeastern Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states ravaged by Boko Haram’s attacks, some 650,000 people have been displaced, according to UNHCR.

Cameroon currently hosts 107,000 refugees from the Central African Republic who have settled in villages in the country’s eastern region. Many of them arrived this year as hostilities worsened. The number is expected to rise to 180,000 by the end of 2014. IRIN

Kenya – HRW reports reveals killings and disappearances carried out by anti-terrorist police

Human Rights Watch

Donors Should Suspend Support for Abusive Units
AUGUST 18, 2014
(Nairobi) – There is strong evidence that Kenya’s Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) has carried out a series of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. Human Rights Watch also found evidence of arbitrary arrests and mistreatment of terrorism suspects in detention.

Kenyan authorities should urgently investigate alleged killings, disappearances, and other abuses by the unit and hold those responsible to account. International donors should suspend support to the unit and other security forces responsible for human rights violations.

“Kenyan counterterrorism forces appear to be killing and disappearing people right under the noses of top government officials, major embassies, and the United Nations,” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director. “This horrendous conduct does not protect Kenyans from terrorism – it simply undermines the rule of law.”

In research conducted in Kenya between November 2013 and June 2014, Human Rights Watch documented at least 10 cases of killings, 10 cases of enforced disappearances, and 11 cases of mistreatment or harassment of terrorism suspects in which there is strong evidence of the counterterrorism unit’s involvement, mainly in Nairobi since 2011.

Based on 22 interviews with family members, victims, witnesses, journalists, lawyers, imams, police officers, and terrorism suspects in Nairobi’s Majengo neighborhood, researchers found that suspects were shot dead in public places, abducted from vehicles and courtrooms, beaten badly during arrest, detained in isolated blocks, and denied contact with their families or access to lawyers. In some cases, members of the anti-riot forces known as the General Service Unit (GSU), military intelligence, and National Intelligence Service (NIS) were also implicated in abuses by the counterterrorism unit.

The ATPU was created within the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in 2003 in response to the attacks on the US embassy in Nairobi in 1998 and on an Israeli-owned Mombasa hotel in 2002. Terrorist attacks have increased in Kenya in recent years, particularly after Kenya sent its military into neighboring Somalia in October 2011. There were at least 70 grenade and gun attacks in Nairobi, Mombasa, and Garissa between 2011 and 2014, with at least 30 attacks in 2012 alone, according to the US embassy. In September 2013, gunmen believed to be affiliated with the Somalia-based militant Islamist group Al-Shabaab attacked the affluent Westgate Mall in Nairobi, killing 67 people and injuring hundreds.

The counterterrorism unit has not formally acknowledged responsibility for the alleged killings, although in December 2013, an anonymous member of the unit told the BBC: “The justice system in Kenya is not favorable to the work of the police. So we opt to eliminate them [suspects]. We identify you, we gun you down in front of your family, and we begin with the leaders.” Human Rights Watch’s request to discuss the findings with the ATPU commandant, Boniface Mwaniki, was declined.

The police spokesman has stated publicly that in at least three separate cases the suspects died in “fire exchange” with the unit’s officers. But Human Rights Watch findings in each of the three cases contradict that assertion. In the case of Hassan Omondi Owiti and Shekha Wanjiru, for example, witnesses said that officers from the counterterrorism unit and the General Service Unit had surrounded their apartment block in Nairobi’s Githurai Kimbo estate in the evening of May 18, 2013, then stormed their apartment and shot them dead without armed resistance.

In another example, Lenox David Swalleh and an unidentified person were shot on November 13, 2013, as they left a mosque after morning prayers in Nairobi’s Eastleigh neighborhood. While police claimed that other people were killed while preparing to rob a bank, witnesses and family said the two were unarmed and were shot without warning. The men had been accused of involvement in a November 2012 grenade attack on the Hidaya mosque in Eastleigh that killed 6 and injured 15, but the two were being held at Industrial Area Remand Prison at the time of the attack and were only released on April 16, 2013.

Kenyan authorities have not effectively investigated these cases or any anti-terrorism unit officers for alleged abuses, including the targeted killings of high-profile clerics such as Sheikh Aboud Rogo in August 2012; Sheikh Ibrahim Omar, who replaced Rogo at Masjid Musa, and who was gunned down near the same place in October 2013; and Sheikh Abubakar Shariff, aka Makaburi, who was killed on April 1, 2014.

The Kenyan government had accused the clerics of recruiting youths from Masjid Musa mosque for Al-Shabaab, and was prosecuting Rogo and Makaburi on those charges. The government established a task force to investigate Rogo’s killing. The task force in August 2013 reported that police had mishandled the crime scene and recommended a public inquest. The public prosecutions director promised to set up an inquest in August 2013 but has not done so.

The counterterrorism unit receives significant support and training from the United States and the United Kingdom. A 2013 report by the Congressional Research Service said that the United States had provided US$19 million to the unit in 2012 alone. The United States has not scaled down its assistance to the unit or opened an investigation into its abuses, despite credible allegations of abuse, including in the US annual human rights report on Kenya.

“The ATPU has been conducting abusive operations for years, sometimes very openly, yet the Kenyan authorities have done nothing to investigate, much less stop these crimes,” Lefkow said. “Donors need to carry out their own investigations of these abuses and suspend their assistance to abusive forces, or risk being complicit in Kenya’s culture of impunity.”

Background
Human Rights Watch research adds to the growing litany of allegations against the counterterrorism unit. In November 2013, the Open Society Justice Initiative and a Mombasa-based nongovernmental organization, Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI), published a report documenting extrajudicial killings and disappearances in Mombasa connected to the unit since 2007.

In 2007 and 2008, Human Rights Watch and the Muslim Human Rights Forum separately documented the involvement of the unit and other Kenyan security forces in the arbitrary detention and unlawful rendition of at least 85 people, including 19 women and 15 children, from Kenya to Somalia. The unit has also been linked to the unlawful rendition of alleged suspects from Kenya to Kampala, Uganda, following the July 2010 World Cup bombings.

A US law, commonly known as the “Leahy Law,” prohibits support to a unit of foreign security forces if the Secretary of State has “credible information” that the unit has committed a “gross violation of human rights.” Once aid is suspended, it can only resume if the recipient government “is taking effective steps to bring the responsible members of the security forces unit to justice.”

US officials in Nairobi have told human rights organizations they needed more evidence on individual officers to withhold support to the counterterrorism unit. While identifying the names of individual officers can be challenging, particularly as the officers allegedly involved in killings and other abuse often wear civilian clothes and conduct operations with other Kenyan security forces, the evidence is overwhelming that the unit’s officers are involved in serious abuses.

Killings with Suspected ATPU Involvement
Human Rights Watch found evidence of at least 10 cases of extrajudicial killings of terrorism suspects, some of whom were last seen in ATPU custody or had been threatened by the unit’s officers after courts had released them. Several suspects were facing terrorism-related charges and required to report to the unit either weekly or monthly and had told family and friends they had received death threats from ATPU officers they recognized. In other cases, the threats were issued in the presence of associates that Human Rights Watch interviewed.

In at least three of the killings, the unit claimed that the suspects were killed in a firefight. Human Rights Watch did not find evidence of a shootout, as witness descriptions painted to a short-lived, targeted killing by security officers and the scene suggested the shooting was unidirectional without any damage to the surrounding buildings as ATPU had suggested. In other cases, the ATPU did not accept responsibility for the killings, but its officers were either seen with the suspects before they were killed or took the bodies to the mortuary without notifying the families.

Under Kenyan and international law, police may use lethal force only when necessary for self-defense or to save a life. Section 4 of the Sixth Schedule of the National Police Service Act of 2011 requires police officers who use lethal fire to report to their immediate superior explaining the circumstances that necessitated the use of force. Section 5 of the same act requires officials to report any use of force that leads to death or serious injury to the Independent Police Oversight Authority for investigation. Police authorities have not complied with these requirements in these cases of extrajudicial killings.

The United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials require law enforcement officials to use nonviolent means whenever possible and to use lethal force only when strictly unavoidable to protect life. The principles also require governments to ensure that arbitrary or abusive use of force and firearms by law enforcement officials is punished as a criminal offense under their law.

Shabaan Namusenda Makotse, Mombasa, April 2013
On October 21, 2012, the ATPU published names and photographs in newspapers of four men they said were wanted terrorism suspects: Shabaan Namusenda Makotse, Hassan Omondi Owiti, Yassin Olunga (alias Ndung’u), and Ali Msadiki, the younger brother of Owiti’s wife. The statement also alleged that Makotse was connected to an October grenade attack in Likoni.

The same day, the police spokesman at the time, Eric Kiraithe, said at a news conference that Makotse and the three other men were wanted by police for planning other attacks in Mombasa.

Makotse was killed in April 2013. Two witnesses who were with him the day he was killed told Human Rights Watch that three gunmen shot Makotse as he ate fruit salad on a wooden bench in Mombasa’s Kisauni area. The witnesses said the gunmen were plain-clothes police officers whom they recognized to be members of the ATPU.

Makotse had told family and friends for several months that he was being tailed by people he recognized as ATPU officers.

Hassan Omondi Owiti and Shekha Wanjiru, Nairobi, May 18, 2013
On May 18, 2013, at least eight ATPU officers, together with others from the GSU and regular police from the Githurai police station, carried out a night raid on a block of residential buildings in Githurai Kimbo estate, Nairobi, killing Hassan Omondi Owiti and Shekha Wanjiru, a woman who was with him in the apartment.

In a statement to the media on May 19, the ATPU commandant, Boniface Mwaniki, said his officers had killed a man named Felix Nyangaga Otuko and his wife, a Somali national, after nearly six hours of gunfire and that the couple had hurled four grenades that injured six officers. However, one of Owiti’s relatives told Human Rights Watch that an ATPU officer called the victim’s family to the ATPU headquarters a day after the killing, where a senior officer informed them that they had killed Owiti rather than Otuko. The relatives found the bodies of Owiti and Wanjiru in the mortuary.

Three witnesses and a neighbor in the building said the security forces had surrounded the block of apartments, ordered the occupants out, and did not encounter any armed resistance or grenade attacks. Witnesses described “commandos” wearing red berets and full combat gear carrying sub-machine guns. Evidence suggests these forces were a sub-unit of the GSU that participated in the operation led by the ATPU.

“We saw several commandos wearing balaclavas in the middle of the night alight from vehicles dashing into the house,” a 34-year-old businessman who lived in a neighboring block told Human Rights Watch. “We heard continuous gunshots for about two minutes and then there was a lull in the shooting. We then heard that two terrorists had been killed.”

ATPU officers had been tracking Owiti and the three other men identified in the October 2012 statement for several months.

Khalif Mwangi, Nairobi, May 20, 2013
The mutilated body of Khalif Mwangi, 29, turned up in a sewage ditch in Nairobi West on May 20, 2013, two days after Owiti was killed. The counterterrorism unit had also been investigating Mwangi, a close friend of Owiti’s. Mwangi’s name and photo were published on a police website and by media in early 2012.

Mwangi had been missing since April 20, but family and friends were not aware of his death until an NTV broadcast showed clips of his mutilated body on May 20. A few days later, an ATPU officer informed Mwangi’s lawyer that the body was his client’s.

A relative who saw the body in the mortuary told Human Rights Watch that it bore fresh signs of torture, suggesting he had been killed just days before. “It was horrifying to view the body,” she said. “We think he was badly tortured before he was killed. His skin had been peeled off, eyes gouged out, ears burned with acid, finger nails and toes removed and the skull was broken.”

Family members said they saw ATPU officers taking fingerprints of Mwangi’s corpse at the mortuary and suspected ATPU officers were monitoring people who went to view the body. “We never picked [up] the body for burial out of fear,” said a family member.

Ibrahim Ramadhan Mwasi, Nairobi, June 17, 2013
Ibrahim Ramadhan Mwasi (alias Ruta), in his mid-20s, was shot dead on the evening of June 17, 2013, by a lone gunman. The identity of the gunman has not been established but witnesses believe ATPU officers were responsible.

Ruta was among six suspects in a grenade attack on the Machakos bus station in Nairobi on March 10, 2012, that killed 9 people and injured at least 60. The ATPU had arrested the six suspects two weeks after the attack and arraigned them in Nairobi’s Kibera court in late March 2012 on charges of engaging in organized crime and being members of Al-Shabaab, after which they were released on bond.

The others, all in their mid- to late-20s, were: Abdul Rahman Daud (Mjomba), Sylvester (Musa) Opiyo Osodo, Hussein Abbas Mwai Nderitu, Stephen Mwanzia Osaka (alias Dudah Brown), and Jeremiah Onyango Okumu (alias Dudah Black).

Three of the others disappeared. Only Nderitu and Daud are known to still be alive.

Many witnesses in Nairobi told Human Rights Watch that the ATPU had threatened to kill the six suspects. “ATPU officers started threatening the [suspects] that even if the courts freed them for lack of evidence, they would still find a way of dealing with them out there,” said one witness, a suspect also being investigated for terrorism and a close friend of Ruta.

A man in his late 20s who was with Ruta on the night he was shot recalled: “Ruta was leaving Riadha mosque in Majengo, Nairobi, after evening prayers when he decided to [use the] nearby public toilet. The lone gunman in a black leather jacket followed him there. We just heard gunshots inside the toilet. He was shot twice in the head and once in the chest. Nothing was stolen from him.”

Lenox David Swalleh and another person, Nairobi, November 2013
On November 13, 2013, the Nairobi county police commander, Benson Kibui, told Kenyan media that police had killed two of the most wanted terrorists that day but did not identify them. Human Rights Watch learned that one of the two men was 28-year-old Lenox David Swalleh.

Kibui told the media that the men were killed while on their way with two other men to rob a bank in the Eastleigh area of Nairobi. He said they were part of the terrorist group that had thrown a grenade at worshippers at Hidaya mosque in Eastleigh on December 7, 2012, killing 6 people and injuring 15, including the legislator for the area, Yusuf Hassan.

However, a family member contended that Swalleh was killed as he was returning home from early morning prayers. His body was taken away by police, and the family later identified it in the mortuary. Witnesses at the mosque confirmed that Swalleh had been in the mosque that morning.

Evidence also suggests that Swalleh was not involved in the grenade attack. Court records and interviews with other inmates indicate that Swalleh was in prison on charges of organized crime and membership in Al-Shabaab at the time of the Hidaya mosque attack.

Family members and inmates at Industrial Area Remand Prison said that ATPU officers who visited and interrogated the inmates had threatened to kill Swalleh if the court released him. He was released on April 16.

Ibrahim Tafa Tuwa and Hamisi Juma, Nairobi, January 8, 2014
On January 8, 2014, the ATPU claimed at a news conference that it had killed two other terrorist suspects in Nairobi, allegedly part of the same gang that attacked Hidaya mosque in December 2012. It did not name the two.

Witnesses said they saw ATPU officers at the scene of the killings, and a witness saw two ATPU officers take the bodies of Ibrahim Tafa Tuwa, in his mid-20s, and Hamisi Juma, also in his mid-20s, to Nairobi’s City Mortuary on that day. Both had been detained on terrorism charges with Swalleh.

Several witnesses, including former inmates who were detained with the two men, confirmed that the ATPU had visited them in prison several times and threatened to kill them if the court freed them.

“ATPU said they were in charge of running our block and could do anything with us if we did not do what they wanted,” a former inmate told Human Rights Watch. Tuwa’s relatives also said that ATPU officers had threatened to kill the suspects if they were released. The men were also released on April 16, 2013.

Sheikh Hassan Suleiman Mwayuyu, Mombasa, December 5, 2013
Sheikh Hassan Suleiman Mwayuyu, a tailor, was killed on a public minibus on December 5, 2013. Mwayuyu was returning home from the Mombasa law courts where he had attended a hearing for his sister, Rahma Hassan, who faces terrorism-related charges.

Kenyan security had described Mwayuyu as a terror suspect believed to be planning an attack. Two 2012 National Intelligence Service (NIS) reports accused Mwayuyu, along with others, of planning grenade attacks in Mombasa.

Witnesses to Mwayuyu’s death told Human Rights Watch that four gunmen blocked the minibus at around 6:15 p.m. at Tiwi junction, shot the tires, and ordered everyone inside to lie down. Another witness, a community mobilizer for a Mombasa based human rights organization, said one of the gunmen looked like an ATPU officer he had seen in court.

The ATPU had previously threatened Mwayuyu, including that same day. A relative who attended the court hearing told Human Rights Watch in a phone interview: “There were so many ATPU officers in the court. One of the officers walked over to my cousin [Mwayuyu] in court and said, ‘Today is your day and we are here to ensure you don’t continue with what you have been doing.’ It was a threat.”

A Mombasa-based Catholic cleric and human rights activist, Father Gabriel Dolan, wrote in the local Daily Nation on December 20, 2013:

(Nairobi) – There is strong evidence that Kenya’s Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) has carried out a series of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. Human Rights Watch also found evidence of arbitrary arrests and mistreatment of terrorism suspects in detention.

Kenyan authorities should urgently investigate alleged killings, disappearances, and other abuses by the unit and hold those responsible to account. International donors should suspend support to the unit and other security forces responsible for human rights violations.

“Kenyan counterterrorism forces appear to be killing and disappearing people right under the noses of top government officials, major embassies, and the United Nations,” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director. “This horrendous conduct does not protect Kenyans from terrorism – it simply undermines the rule of law.”

In research conducted in Kenya between November 2013 and June 2014, Human Rights Watch documented at least 10 cases of killings, 10 cases of enforced disappearances, and 11 cases of mistreatment or harassment of terrorism suspects in which there is strong evidence of the counterterrorism unit’s involvement, mainly in Nairobi since 2011.

Based on 22 interviews with family members, victims, witnesses, journalists, lawyers, imams, police officers, and terrorism suspects in Nairobi’s Majengo neighborhood, researchers found that suspects were shot dead in public places, abducted from vehicles and courtrooms, beaten badly during arrest, detained in isolated blocks, and denied contact with their families or access to lawyers. In some cases, members of the anti-riot forces known as the General Service Unit (GSU), military intelligence, and National Intelligence Service (NIS) were also implicated in abuses by the counterterrorism unit.

The ATPU was created within the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in 2003 in response to the attacks on the US embassy in Nairobi in 1998 and on an Israeli-owned Mombasa hotel in 2002. Terrorist attacks have increased in Kenya in recent years, particularly after Kenya sent its military into neighboring Somalia in October 2011. There were at least 70 grenade and gun attacks in Nairobi, Mombasa, and Garissa between 2011 and 2014, with at least 30 attacks in 2012 alone, according to the US embassy. In September 2013, gunmen believed to be affiliated with the Somalia-based militant Islamist group Al-Shabaab attacked the affluent Westgate Mall in Nairobi, killing 67 people and injuring hundreds.

The counterterrorism unit has not formally acknowledged responsibility for the alleged killings, although in December 2013, an anonymous member of the unit told the BBC: “The justice system in Kenya is not favorable to the work of the police. So we opt to eliminate them [suspects]. We identify you, we gun you down in front of your family, and we begin with the leaders.” Human Rights Watch’s request to discuss the findings with the ATPU commandant, Boniface Mwaniki, was declined.

The police spokesman has stated publicly that in at least three separate cases the suspects died in “fire exchange” with the unit’s officers. But Human Rights Watch findings in each of the three cases contradict that assertion. In the case of Hassan Omondi Owiti and Shekha Wanjiru, for example, witnesses said that officers from the counterterrorism unit and the General Service Unit had surrounded their apartment block in Nairobi’s Githurai Kimbo estate in the evening of May 18, 2013, then stormed their apartment and shot them dead without armed resistance.

In another example, Lenox David Swalleh and an unidentified person were shot on November 13, 2013, as they left a mosque after morning prayers in Nairobi’s Eastleigh neighborhood. While police claimed that other people were killed while preparing to rob a bank, witnesses and family said the two were unarmed and were shot without warning. The men had been accused of involvement in a November 2012 grenade attack on the Hidaya mosque in Eastleigh that killed 6 and injured 15, but the two were being held at Industrial Area Remand Prison at the time of the attack and were only released on April 16, 2013.

Kenyan authorities have not effectively investigated these cases or any anti-terrorism unit officers for alleged abuses, including the targeted killings of high-profile clerics such as Sheikh Aboud Rogo in August 2012; Sheikh Ibrahim Omar, who replaced Rogo at Masjid Musa, and who was gunned down near the same place in October 2013; and Sheikh Abubakar Shariff, aka Makaburi, who was killed on April 1, 2014.

The Kenyan government had accused the clerics of recruiting youths from Masjid Musa mosque for Al-Shabaab, and was prosecuting Rogo and Makaburi on those charges. The government established a task force to investigate Rogo’s killing. The task force in August 2013 reported that police had mishandled the crime scene and recommended a public inquest. The public prosecutions director promised to set up an inquest in August 2013 but has not done so.

The counterterrorism unit receives significant support and training from the United States and the United Kingdom. A 2013 report by the Congressional Research Service said that the United States had provided US$19 million to the unit in 2012 alone. The United States has not scaled down its assistance to the unit or opened an investigation into its abuses, despite credible allegations of abuse, including in the US annual human rights report on Kenya.

“The ATPU has been conducting abusive operations for years, sometimes very openly, yet the Kenyan authorities have done nothing to investigate, much less stop these crimes,” Lefkow said. “Donors need to carry out their own investigations of these abuses and suspend their assistance to abusive forces, or risk being complicit in Kenya’s culture of impunity.”

Background
Human Rights Watch research adds to the growing litany of allegations against the counterterrorism unit. In November 2013, the Open Society Justice Initiative and a Mombasa-based nongovernmental organization, Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI), published a report documenting extrajudicial killings and disappearances in Mombasa connected to the unit since 2007.

In 2007 and 2008, Human Rights Watch and the Muslim Human Rights Forum separately documented the involvement of the unit and other Kenyan security forces in the arbitrary detention and unlawful rendition of at least 85 people, including 19 women and 15 children, from Kenya to Somalia. The unit has also been linked to the unlawful rendition of alleged suspects from Kenya to Kampala, Uganda, following the July 2010 World Cup bombings.

A US law, commonly known as the “Leahy Law,” prohibits support to a unit of foreign security forces if the Secretary of State has “credible information” that the unit has committed a “gross violation of human rights.” Once aid is suspended, it can only resume if the recipient government “is taking effective steps to bring the responsible members of the security forces unit to justice.”

US officials in Nairobi have told human rights organizations they needed more evidence on individual officers to withhold support to the counterterrorism unit. While identifying the names of individual officers can be challenging, particularly as the officers allegedly involved in killings and other abuse often wear civilian clothes and conduct operations with other Kenyan security forces, the evidence is overwhelming that the unit’s officers are involved in serious abuses.

Killings with Suspected ATPU Involvement
Human Rights Watch found evidence of at least 10 cases of extrajudicial killings of terrorism suspects, some of whom were last seen in ATPU custody or had been threatened by the unit’s officers after courts had released them. Several suspects were facing terrorism-related charges and required to report to the unit either weekly or monthly and had told family and friends they had received death threats from ATPU officers they recognized. In other cases, the threats were issued in the presence of associates that Human Rights Watch interviewed.

In at least three of the killings, the unit claimed that the suspects were killed in a firefight. Human Rights Watch did not find evidence of a shootout, as witness descriptions painted to a short-lived, targeted killing by security officers and the scene suggested the shooting was unidirectional without any damage to the surrounding buildings as ATPU had suggested. In other cases, the ATPU did not accept responsibility for the killings, but its officers were either seen with the suspects before they were killed or took the bodies to the mortuary without notifying the families.

Under Kenyan and international law, police may use lethal force only when necessary for self-defense or to save a life. Section 4 of the Sixth Schedule of the National Police Service Act of 2011 requires police officers who use lethal fire to report to their immediate superior explaining the circumstances that necessitated the use of force. Section 5 of the same act requires officials to report any use of force that leads to death or serious injury to the Independent Police Oversight Authority for investigation. Police authorities have not complied with these requirements in these cases of extrajudicial killings.

The United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials require law enforcement officials to use nonviolent means whenever possible and to use lethal force only when strictly unavoidable to protect life. The principles also require governments to ensure that arbitrary or abusive use of force and firearms by law enforcement officials is punished as a criminal offense under their law.

Shabaan Namusenda Makotse, Mombasa, April 2013
On October 21, 2012, the ATPU published names and photographs in newspapers of four men they said were wanted terrorism suspects: Shabaan Namusenda Makotse, Hassan Omondi Owiti, Yassin Olunga (alias Ndung’u), and Ali Msadiki, the younger brother of Owiti’s wife. The statement also alleged that Makotse was connected to an October grenade attack in Likoni.

The same day, the police spokesman at the time, Eric Kiraithe, said at a news conference that Makotse and the three other men were wanted by police for planning other attacks in Mombasa.

Makotse was killed in April 2013. Two witnesses who were with him the day he was killed told Human Rights Watch that three gunmen shot Makotse as he ate fruit salad on a wooden bench in Mombasa’s Kisauni area. The witnesses said the gunmen were plain-clothes police officers whom they recognized to be members of the ATPU.

Makotse had told family and friends for several months that he was being tailed by people he recognized as ATPU officers.

Hassan Omondi Owiti and Shekha Wanjiru, Nairobi, May 18, 2013
On May 18, 2013, at least eight ATPU officers, together with others from the GSU and regular police from the Githurai police station, carried out a night raid on a block of residential buildings in Githurai Kimbo estate, Nairobi, killing Hassan Omondi Owiti and Shekha Wanjiru, a woman who was with him in the apartment.

In a statement to the media on May 19, the ATPU commandant, Boniface Mwaniki, said his officers had killed a man named Felix Nyangaga Otuko and his wife, a Somali national, after nearly six hours of gunfire and that the couple had hurled four grenades that injured six officers. However, one of Owiti’s relatives told Human Rights Watch that an ATPU officer called the victim’s family to the ATPU headquarters a day after the killing, where a senior officer informed them that they had killed Owiti rather than Otuko. The relatives found the bodies of Owiti and Wanjiru in the mortuary.

Three witnesses and a neighbor in the building said the security forces had surrounded the block of apartments, ordered the occupants out, and did not encounter any armed resistance or grenade attacks. Witnesses described “commandos” wearing red berets and full combat gear carrying sub-machine guns. Evidence suggests these forces were a sub-unit of the GSU that participated in the operation led by the ATPU.

“We saw several commandos wearing balaclavas in the middle of the night alight from vehicles dashing into the house,” a 34-year-old businessman who lived in a neighboring block told Human Rights Watch. “We heard continuous gunshots for about two minutes and then there was a lull in the shooting. We then heard that two terrorists had been killed.”

ATPU officers had been tracking Owiti and the three other men identified in the October 2012 statement for several months.

Khalif Mwangi, Nairobi, May 20, 2013
The mutilated body of Khalif Mwangi, 29, turned up in a sewage ditch in Nairobi West on May 20, 2013, two days after Owiti was killed. The counterterrorism unit had also been investigating Mwangi, a close friend of Owiti’s. Mwangi’s name and photo were published on a police website and by media in early 2012.

Mwangi had been missing since April 20, but family and friends were not aware of his death until an NTV broadcast showed clips of his mutilated body on May 20. A few days later, an ATPU officer informed Mwangi’s lawyer that the body was his client’s.

A relative who saw the body in the mortuary told Human Rights Watch that it bore fresh signs of torture, suggesting he had been killed just days before. “It was horrifying to view the body,” she said. “We think he was badly tortured before he was killed. His skin had been peeled off, eyes gouged out, ears burned with acid, finger nails and toes removed and the skull was broken.”

Family members said they saw ATPU officers taking fingerprints of Mwangi’s corpse at the mortuary and suspected ATPU officers were monitoring people who went to view the body. “We never picked [up] the body for burial out of fear,” said a family member.

Ibrahim Ramadhan Mwasi, Nairobi, June 17, 2013
Ibrahim Ramadhan Mwasi (alias Ruta), in his mid-20s, was shot dead on the evening of June 17, 2013, by a lone gunman. The identity of the gunman has not been established but witnesses believe ATPU officers were responsible.

Ruta was among six suspects in a grenade attack on the Machakos bus station in Nairobi on March 10, 2012, that killed 9 people and injured at least 60. The ATPU had arrested the six suspects two weeks after the attack and arraigned them in Nairobi’s Kibera court in late March 2012 on charges of engaging in organized crime and being members of Al-Shabaab, after which they were released on bond.

The others, all in their mid- to late-20s, were: Abdul Rahman Daud (Mjomba), Sylvester (Musa) Opiyo Osodo, Hussein Abbas Mwai Nderitu, Stephen Mwanzia Osaka (alias Dudah Brown), and Jeremiah Onyango Okumu (alias Dudah Black).

Three of the others disappeared. Only Nderitu and Daud are known to still be alive.

Many witnesses in Nairobi told Human Rights Watch that the ATPU had threatened to kill the six suspects. “ATPU officers started threatening the [suspects] that even if the courts freed them for lack of evidence, they would still find a way of dealing with them out there,” said one witness, a suspect also being investigated for terrorism and a close friend of Ruta.

A man in his late 20s who was with Ruta on the night he was shot recalled: “Ruta was leaving Riadha mosque in Majengo, Nairobi, after evening prayers when he decided to [use the] nearby public toilet. The lone gunman in a black leather jacket followed him there. We just heard gunshots inside the toilet. He was shot twice in the head and once in the chest. Nothing was stolen from him.”

Lenox David Swalleh and another person, Nairobi, November 2013
On November 13, 2013, the Nairobi county police commander, Benson Kibui, told Kenyan media that police had killed two of the most wanted terrorists that day but did not identify them. Human Rights Watch learned that one of the two men was 28-year-old Lenox David Swalleh.

Kibui told the media that the men were killed while on their way with two other men to rob a bank in the Eastleigh area of Nairobi. He said they were part of the terrorist group that had thrown a grenade at worshippers at Hidaya mosque in Eastleigh on December 7, 2012, killing 6 people and injuring 15, including the legislator for the area, Yusuf Hassan.

However, a family member contended that Swalleh was killed as he was returning home from early morning prayers. His body was taken away by police, and the family later identified it in the mortuary. Witnesses at the mosque confirmed that Swalleh had been in the mosque that morning.

Evidence also suggests that Swalleh was not involved in the grenade attack. Court records and interviews with other inmates indicate that Swalleh was in prison on charges of organized crime and membership in Al-Shabaab at the time of the Hidaya mosque attack.

Family members and inmates at Industrial Area Remand Prison said that ATPU officers who visited and interrogated the inmates had threatened to kill Swalleh if the court released him. He was released on April 16.

Ibrahim Tafa Tuwa and Hamisi Juma, Nairobi, January 8, 2014
On January 8, 2014, the ATPU claimed at a news conference that it had killed two other terrorist suspects in Nairobi, allegedly part of the same gang that attacked Hidaya mosque in December 2012. It did not name the two.

Witnesses said they saw ATPU officers at the scene of the killings, and a witness saw two ATPU officers take the bodies of Ibrahim Tafa Tuwa, in his mid-20s, and Hamisi Juma, also in his mid-20s, to Nairobi’s City Mortuary on that day. Both had been detained on terrorism charges with Swalleh.

Several witnesses, including former inmates who were detained with the two men, confirmed that the ATPU had visited them in prison several times and threatened to kill them if the court freed them.

“ATPU said they were in charge of running our block and could do anything with us if we did not do what they wanted,” a former inmate told Human Rights Watch. Tuwa’s relatives also said that ATPU officers had threatened to kill the suspects if they were released. The men were also released on April 16, 2013.

Sheikh Hassan Suleiman Mwayuyu, Mombasa, December 5, 2013
Sheikh Hassan Suleiman Mwayuyu, a tailor, was killed on a public minibus on December 5, 2013. Mwayuyu was returning home from the Mombasa law courts where he had attended a hearing for his sister, Rahma Hassan, who faces terrorism-related charges.

Kenyan security had described Mwayuyu as a terror suspect believed to be planning an attack. Two 2012 National Intelligence Service (NIS) reports accused Mwayuyu, along with others, of planning grenade attacks in Mombasa.

Witnesses to Mwayuyu’s death told Human Rights Watch that four gunmen blocked the minibus at around 6:15 p.m. at Tiwi junction, shot the tires, and ordered everyone inside to lie down. Another witness, a community mobilizer for a Mombasa based human rights organization, said one of the gunmen looked like an ATPU officer he had seen in court.

The ATPU had previously threatened Mwayuyu, including that same day. A relative who attended the court hearing told Human Rights Watch in a phone interview: “There were so many ATPU officers in the court. One of the officers walked over to my cousin [Mwayuyu] in court and said, ‘Today is your day and we are here to ensure you don’t continue with what you have been doing.’ It was a threat.”

A Mombasa-based Catholic cleric and human rights activist, Father Gabriel Dolan, wrote in the local Daily Nation on December 20, 2013:

On December 2, I received a text message from Mombasa police warning church leaders that a certain Sheikh Suleiman Mwayuyu was planning to burn select churches within Diani, Changamwe and Kisauni the following day. This particular warning was unusual on two counts: that a particular planner of the violence was named and that the same man was killed three days later.

Possible Enforced Disappearances
Human Rights Watch documented the enforced disappearances of at least 10 young men by ATPU officers from Nairobi between 2011 and 2013. The men faced terrorism-related charges in various Kenyan courts, were under investigation by the ATPU, or had been acquitted. All of them had told family members, friends, and associates whom Human Rights Watch interviewed that they received direct death threats from ATPU officers.

The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which Kenya has not signed, defines an enforced disappearance as “the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the state or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the state, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of the liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law.”

Sylvester (Musa) Opiyo Osodo and Jacob (Yaqub) Musyoka, Nairobi, May 23, 2012
Sylvester (Musa) Opiyo Osodo and Jacob (Yaqub) Musyoka, both in their late 20s, were kidnapped by at least 10 armed men on May 23, 2012, at around 8 p.m. when their vehicle broke down outside Nakuru at the Molo-Mau Summit junction, along the Nakuru-Kisumu highway.

Witnesses and family members believe ATPU officers abducted them because the men had been threatened and were facing charges. Osodo was among the six accused in the Machakos bus station bombing case. Musyoka, who became a friend of Osodo’s in the Industrial Area Remand Prison in March 2012, was facing charges of engaging in organized crime.

The two men were travelling from Nairobi to Kisumu with two women and two school-age children wearing school uniforms. According to witnesses, the car broke down several times that day and the group decided to spend the night in the car in Molo after a mechanic was unable to repair it. That evening, the armed men witnesses believed to be plain-clothes officers forced the men into their car and drove away, leaving the women and children in the car. The men have not been seen since.

Friends and family members believe the abductors were ATPU officers because Osodo had recognized a senior ATPU officer following them in a white car when they stopped in Nakuru earlier that day to fix a tire.

“Osodo assured the group not to worry because he had informed the lawyer representing him in the case with five others in Nairobi about the trip and his lawyer had alerted the ATPU headquarters as per conditions set by ATPU,” the witness said.

During court proceedings, which continued even after suspects either disappeared or were killed, the ATPU claimed the two had fled to Somalia. However, according to the defense lawyer, the ATPU failed to present a report of their investigations to the court as would have been expected.

Jeremiah Onyango Okumu, Stephen Mwanzia Osaka, Salim Abubakar Hamisi, and Omar Shwaib, Nairobi, June 26, 2012
Jeremiah Onyango Okumu (alias Duda Black) and Stephen Mwanzia Osaka (alias Duda Brown), both in their mid-20s, were also among the six men facing terrorism-related charges for the March 2012 Machakos bus station bombing.

They vanished on the evening of June 26, 2012, along with two other young men, Salim Abubakar Hamisi and Omar Shwaib (alias Justo), a day before the two were due back from a shopping trip to Mombasa.

A relative said she last talked to Okumu at 4 p.m. on June 26, during which he said they had bought everything they wanted and would take a bus back to Nairobi on the morning of June 27. “After that, his phone started going unanswered,” she told Human Rights Watch. “The family they were putting up with in Mombasa’s Kisauni neighborhood reported that they had not returned home that evening.”

Human Rights Watch interviewed witnesses in Mombasa who saw the four men being kidnapped at around 5:30 p.m. by several armed men in civilian clothes near the Likoni ferry. Several of the witnesses said they recognized the armed men as ATPU officers.

Dudah Black and Dudah Brown had told family and associates several weeks before they disappeared that the ATPU was threatening them. The Likoni Ferry Police Post officers did not respond even though the men were abducted nearby and appeared unconcerned when relatives reported the disappearance. A duty officer at Likoni Ferry Police Post advised the family to look for their bodies in the mortuary, as they had been shot by police.

The families of the four men never found their bodies. On June 30, they gave statements about their missing relatives at Nyali Police Station, near Kisauni, where the four had been staying in Mombasa, but police did not respond.

During court proceedings in the Machakos bus station bombing case, the prosecutor told the court that Dudah Black and Dudah Brown had both fled Kenya to avoid prosecution and that the authorities had not pursued any further investigations.

Abdulaziz Muchiri and Ali Kipkoech Musa, Nairobi, May 6, 2013
Abdulaziz Muchiri, 24, and Ali Kipkoech Musa, 22, both of whom were being investigated by the ATPU over their possible links to Al-Shabaab, were arrested by ATPU officers using what appeared to be excessive violence, at Musa’s house in the Kariobangi South neighborhood at 5 p.m. on April 20, 2013. They were detained without charge and appeared in court twice, but then were taken to an undisclosed location and remain missing.

A man who witnessed the arrest told Human Rights Watch: “The officers arrived in six white Toyota vehicles, with each vehicle carrying up to five officers, and immediately ran to their flat on the ground floor. The young men did not resist the arrest but the officers just descended on them with force. They then dragged them on the ground to the waiting vehicle.”

The men’s families learned about their arrests after the two called from police custody three days later. Relatives of both men said that they were in poor condition, their bodies were swollen, and their clothes were stained with blood. Musa’s mouth, face, and back were bruised and he could not walk, relatives said.

The ATPU failed to take the men for medical treatment, the relatives said. In a hearing on April 22, 2013, the court extended their detention by 14 days at the ATPU’s request, in the absence of the accused and their lawyers, their lawyer and families said.

The two men were last seen in court on May 6, 2013. “An ATPU officer walked over to the judge and whispered in her ear,” recalled one relative who attended the hearing. “The judge then directed him to remove the accused from the courtroom…. We tried to follow them … but the officers ordered us to wait outside. They told us the charges had been dropped.”

The ATPU officers then drove off with the two men in a black land cruiser, family members said. In the court files, the police prosecutor indicated that the two men were responsible for training terrorists in Kenya and, on the day of their arrest, had attempted to kill officers. An ATPU affidavit stated that the two men were arrested with hand grenades and 20 rounds of ammunition. The file also shows that the ATPU dropped charges against the two.

The families have tried to file complaints but have been turned away at several police stations and have been sent from station to station. “No one wants to touch the case,” said a relative of Muchiri. Since they last appeared in court, the authorities have provided no information about their whereabouts. The ATPU has denied to the men’s lawyer that the men are in its custody.

Yassin Olunga and Ali Musadiki, last seen in Nairobi in April 2013
Two other young men who police said were under investigation for terrorism, Ali Musadiki, in his teens, and Yassin Olunga (alias Ndung’u), in his mid-20s, were last seen on April 2013 in Nairobi. The ATPU had published their photos, together with a photo of Owiti, Musadiki’s brother in-law, in Kenyan newspapers on October 21, 2012, describing them as terrorists planning attacks in Mombasa and Nairobi.

Their whereabouts are unknown, as is who is responsible, but family and friends suspect that ATPU officers killed or kidnapped them because the two men had several times told family members they had been followed by known ATPU officers from Mombasa. Family members reported the men’s disappearance to police in Nairobi but the families say they are unaware of any ongoing investigation.

Harassment, Threats, and Mistreatment in Detention
Human Rights Watch found that ATPU officers harassed, threatened, and beat suspects, and held them for long periods without judicial review or the chance to object to extension of their detention periods. Under Kenyan law, suspects must be brought before a court within 24 hours and have the right to be present when a court decides whether to extend their detention.

In the Muchiri and Musa cases, ATPU officers kicked and beat the suspects with gun butts, then dragged them to a waiting car. The officers detained the two suspects for 16 days without treating the injuries inflicted during the arrest and failed to notify their families about the arrests. The officers also did not present the suspects in court, as required by law, while seeking orders to extend their detention.

In four additional cases Human Rights Watch documented, ATPU officers beat suspects, did not bring them to court as required, and held them for long periods without charge.

The wives of two terrorism suspects were detained with their week-old babies on two separate occasions in Nairobi in March 2012. A 41-year-old grandmother said she was summoned to the ATPU headquarters in Nairobi after police killed her relative: “They accused me of … receiving dollars from terror groups. They said it was only a matter of days before they kill me the way they killed my [relative]. I know they will kill me, yet I have done nothing wrong.”

The ATPU also arrested and detained minors. In one example, a 17-year-old student at a Nairobi school told Human Rights Watch that he was arrested in April 2012 and detained for a year, first at Garissa police station and then in Shimo la Tewa prison:

I was interrogated by ATPU officers for days in the absence of an adult or a lawyer. I was then taken through a normal court process and not a juvenile court as required. An appeal court judge freed me after one year and criticized the lower court for failing to protect our rights and convicting us without evidence.

http://m.hrw.org/news/2014/08/18/kenya-killings-disappearances-anti-terror-police

BBC

Kenya’s anti-terror unit guilty of abuses, says HRW

Kenya’s security forces have been trying to curb the threat posed by militants

Kenya’s Western-funded anti-terrorism unit has carried out a series of killings and “enforced disappearances” during its fight against militant Islamists, a rights group says.

“Horrendous” activities were taking place “right under the noses” of the government, Western embassies and the UN, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.

The US and UK fund the unit.

The unit was set up in 2003, five years after al-Qaeda simultaneously bombed the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

More than 200 people were killed in what was then the most high-profile attack by al-Qaeda.

Suspects shot dead’
Kenyan, US and UK officials have not yet responded to HRW’s report.

It had documented evidence of “at least 10 cases of killings, 10 cases of enforced disappearances, and 11 cases of mistreatment or harassment of terrorism suspects”, mainly in the capital, Nairobi, since 2011, HRW said.

“Suspects were shot dead in public places, abducted from vehicles and courtrooms, beaten badly during arrest, detained in isolated blocks, and denied contact with their families or access to lawyers,” it said in a report.

“Donors need to carry out their own investigations of these abuses and suspend their assistance to abusive forces, or risk being complicit in Kenya’s culture of impunity,” HRW added.

The “horrendous conduct” of the unit would not protect Kenya from terrorism, it said.

“It simply undermines the rule of law,” the New York-based group added in a statement.

Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group has carried out a wave of attacks in Kenya since 2011.

Last year, 67 people were killed after the group launched an assault on the upmarket Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi.

Al-Shabab said the attacks were in response to Kenya’s decision to send troops to Somalia to bolster the weak UN-backed government.

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Food security crisis for east and central Africa

IRIN

NAIROBI, 13 August 2014 (IRIN) – Some 20 million people are facing acute food insecurity in eastern and central Africa, with most of them being at “crisis” and “emergency” levels, according to aid agencies. This figure compares unfavorably with 15.8 million people in July 2013.

The affected countries include Somalia, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Central Africa Republic (CAR), Sudan, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Tanzania.

“The overall nutrition situation in the region has deteriorated precipitously and, according to survey results, the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) levels are higher than 20 percent, exceeding the World Health Organization’s emergency threshold of 15 percent, especially in parts of South Sudan, CAR, Somalia and northern Kenya,” said the East and Central Africa Food Security and Nutrition Working Group (FSNWG), a multi-stakeholder regional forum chaired by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

FSNWG warned that the situation could deteriorate further in the absence of quick action.

“FSNWG strongly believes that in the absence of an increased and immediate multi-sectoral response, the food and nutrition status of affected populations is likely to deteriorate further.”

It added that “the countries of major concern with regard to food and nutrition insecurity are the conflict-affected South Sudan, CAR, DRC and Somalia.”

Four countries – South Sudan, DRC, CAR and Somalia – all grappling with conflict – account for over 10 million people facing food insecurity.

According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Categorization (IPC) scale, at least 20 percent of people must have significant food shortages and there must be above normal acute levels of malnutrition for a situation to be declared an “acute crisis”. For “emergency” levels, there must be high levels of acute malnutrition and at least 20 percent of people must have extreme food shortages.

South Sudan

In South Sudan where some one million people have been displaced by violence, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned in its latest situation report that while famine has not been declared, “humanitar¬ians are concerned about severe food in¬security and the poor nutrition situation.”

Access to those in need of food aid has been hampered by insecurity. An OCHA report in August said aid agencies had stopped distribution activities, including food distribution, after six local aid workers were killed in Maban County in Upper Nile State.

Somalia

In Somalia where a famine three years ago left an estimated 250,000 people dead, many of them women and children under five, the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU, a FAO body) warmed in early July that “the food security situation is expected to deteriorate in the months ahead due to reduced crop production resulting from poor seasonal Gu rains (April to June), a surge in prices of basic commodities and reduced livestock production.”

Among displaced communities in Mogadishu, GAM levels of 18.9 percent have been reported, surpassing the emergency threshold of 15 percent.

The situation has been worsened by both insecurity, which has hampered access to those in need, and inadequate funding.

FAO has warned that the food security situation is expected to deteriorate in the months ahead due to reduced crop production resulting from poor seasonal rains, a surge in prices and reduced livestock production.

The government has already declared drought in seven out of 18 regions and warns that, if urgent measures are not taken there would be a repeat of the 2011 famine. The UN warned in July that Somalia risked sliding back into famine.

On 8 July, UN human rights expert Bahame Tom Nyanduga said: “Unfortunately, in spite of the early warning indicators, there appears to be inadequate response to a potential catastrophe, which could erode some of the gains of the Federal Government of Somalia to safeguard and guarantee the rights to life and the right to food for [a] considerable number of Somali citizens.”

CAR

In CAR where there are an estimated 512,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), including some 87,000 in the capital Bangui; 1.7 million people (out of a population of 4.6 million) are estimated to be food insecure, according to FAO.

FAO has called for an urgent response to the needs of local farmers, adding that their “vulnerability continues to rise and livelihoods are increasingly at risk”.

Renewed fighting from 30 to 31 July in Batangafo caused the displacement of some 20,000 people inside the town and thousands more on major roads in the region.

DRC

In the DRC where political violence and inter-communal strife have persisted for decades, at least 4.1 million people are facing “crisis” or “emergency” levels of food insecurity and are likely to remain in this position until December 2014.

According to a recently released Global Emergency overview (by the Norwegian Refugee Council, Save the Children and Action Against Hunger), “the most acutely affected areas are Punia (Maniema, Babira and Bakwame sectors) in Maniema Province, and Manono, Mitwaba, and Pweto in Katanga. Other areas facing `crisis’ conditions are in South Kivu, the Punia border areas in Maniema Province, and Katanga.”

It added: “Needs are highest in the conflict-affected regions of North Kivu, South Kivu, Katanga, and Orientale, where there is large-scale, repeated displacement. IDPs, host populations, and those unable to flee are all vulnerable as insecurity poses multiple protection risks and prevents access to basic services, although needs vary according to geographic area and conflict dynamics.”

“Conflict and displacement along the border with CAR, and armed groups in the Kivu region continue to be of concern and [a] cause of food insecurity,” said FSNWG.

Kenya

In Kenya, an estimated 1.3 million people – 300,000 of whom are either at “crisis” or “emergency” levels – require support to cushion them against food insecurity, according to the Kenya Food Security Steering Group.

“With below-average household incomes, price increases for maize will result in reduced purchasing power for poor, urban consumers as well as poor households in the pastoral and marginal agricultural areas. In pastoral areas, the poor livestock body conditions make the livestock more susceptible to disease. The competition for limited rangeland resources between now and September increases the risk of conflict,” FEWS NET said in July.

Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, FEWS NET said most pastoral areas would remain stressed even with humanitarian assistance.

“Poor households in the highlands of Arsi Zone in central Oromia have moved into Crisis (IPC Phase 3) having lost Belg crops typically harvested in June/July and a large number of livestock. Their food security is unlikely to improve until the Meher harvest in October,” it said.

At least 2.2 million people there require food aid, according to FSNWG.

Burundi

According to the World Food Programme (WFP), at least 682,000 people are either in “crisis” or “emergency” levels of food insecurity. In the northeast, food production levels were 40-60 percent below average as a result of poor Season B rainfall.

However, food security conditions are expected to improve with the availability of Season A green harvests in December.

Uganda

Some 252,810 people, many of them in Karamoja, are either in “emergency” or “crisis” levels.

FEWS NET noted in July that “in Karamoja, the September/October harvest is expected to only be 20 to 30 percent of average. There will be minimal green consumption this year, and households will not see the usual post-harvest increase in food access. Despite adequate availability of staple food on the market at stable prices, households’ constrained income means they have limited ability to purchase food. Eastern parts of the region are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through December.”

Sudan

Seasonal food security improvement is expected as harvests begin in October. Still, an estimated 5.3 million people in Sudan face Stressed (IPC Phase 2), Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity.

Conflicts in Darfur, South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and West Kordofan, have disrupted livelihoods and reduced household food access, especially for IDPs, while the persistent rise of staple food prices has reduced household capacity to meet minimum food requirements during the peak of the lean season when households are most market dependent.  IRIN