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No justice, no peace for northern Mali

BAMAKO, 13 October 2014 (IRIN) - Thousands of northerners who experienced human rights abuses during the occupation of Mali’s north are struggling to find redress amidst concerns that a climate of impunity is continuing and the government’s control in many areas of the north is at best shaky. People in the north were exposed to forced disappearances, torture, summary executions and sexual abuse, with most of the offences committed after March 2012 when Islamist extremists occupied large parts of territory. full report

West Africa gears up to contain Ebola spread

DAKAR/OUGADOUGOU, 22 September 2014 (IRIN) - As the Ebola caseload rises to over 5,350, aid agencies and governments in countries not yet affected by the deadly virus are gearing up for its potential spread across new borders by pre-positioning supplies, training health workers, identifying isolation centres, and disseminating prevention campaign messages, among other activities. full report

Côte d'Ivoire refugees stuck in Liberia due to Ebola crisis

ABIDJAN, 19 September 2014 (IRIN) - Halted for several months, the voluntary repatriation of Ivoirian refugees in Liberia was to have resumed in July. However, the Ebola outbreak in neighbouring Liberia has led the Ivoirian authorities to close the country's borders to prevent the disease from spreading, suspending refugee returns until further notice. full report

How to boost food production in Africa

ADDIS ABABA, 15 September 2014 (IRIN) - Smallholder farmers, who hold over 80 percent of all farms in sub-Saharan Africa, are struggling to adapt to rapidly rising temperature and erratic rains, according to the 2014 Africa Agriculture Status Report (AASR), released on 3 September in Addis Ababa. full report

Briefing: Burkina Faso - heading for a showdown?

OUAGADOUGOU, 11 August 2014 (IRIN) - Burkina Faso’s next elections are not due until November 2015, but political tensions have risen in the past year owing to suspicions that President Blaise Compaoré is looking to prolong his 27-year rule by contesting the polls. full report

War and peace in northern Mali

BAMAKO/KIDAL, 7 August 2014 (IRIN) - Continued violence in northern Mali which saw three separatist rebel groups retake control of much of the north, has put peace talks set for August, and the July roadmap to peace signed by rebel groups and the Malian government, on shaky ground. full report

Donor support to Sahel "anaemic"

DAKAR, 4 August 2014 (IRIN) - More donor support is needed to help close the US$1.5 billion funding gap in the Sahel this year and protect the livelihoods of the estimated 20.2 million people who are at risk of food insecurity. Only 30 percent of the $2.2 billion dollar appeal to fight hunger and malnutrition, and build resilience in the region has been met by donors as of July, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). full report

New thinking needed on food aid for refugees in Africa

JOHANNESBURG, 7 July 2014 (IRIN) - The World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) have launched an urgent appeal to address a funding shortfall that has already resulted in food ration cuts for a third of all African refugees. As of mid-June, nearly 800,000 refugees in 22 African countries have seen their monthly food allocations reduced, most of them by more than half. full report

Genome breakthrough could help fight against sleeping sickness

KISUMU/NAIROBI, 28 May 2014 (IRIN) - Scientists have welcomed the development of genome sequence data on the tsetse fly, the vector responsible for the transmission of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), commonly known as sleeping sickness. They say it could be instrumental in devising strategies to eradicate the fly and reduce deaths and the spread of other diseases associated with it. full report

Melding science and tradition to tackle climate change

KISUMU, 23 May 2014 (IRIN) - In the latest of several partnerships between tradition and modern science aimed at improving resilience to climate change, pastoralists and meteorologists in Tanzania are working together to produce weather forecasts better suited to farmers. full report

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