West Africa

Nigeria says ‘go home’, but is it safe from Boko Haram?

MAIDUGURI/YOLA, 17 November 2015 (IRIN) - The Nigerian government plans to start closing camps for those displaced by the Boko Haram conflict by the end of December, forcing thousands of people to return to the very places they fled. With much of northeastern Nigeria still very insecure and infrastructure lacking, many are scared. Is it too soon? full report

Africa’s meningitis A vaccine: how partnership replaced ‘Big Pharma’

London, 17 November 2015 (IRIN) - For years, the unwillingness of big pharmaceutical companies to invest in treatments for diseases that primarily affect the poor has hampered epidemic management in the developing world. But now an experimental partnership working without the support of 'Big Pharma' has delivered an incredible success: a vaccine that has all but wiped out meningitis A across Africa in less than four years. Is this the future of medical research and development in lower-income countries? Elizabeth Blunt reports: full report

Living in an Ebola limbo: how long must refugees wait?

MONROVIA, 16 November 2015 (IRIN) - Some 38,000 Ivorian refugees are still living in Liberia after fleeing political violence in 2010. Many of them have been trying to return home since 2014, but the borders remain closed due to fears of Ebola. full report

IRIN's Top Picks: Syrian sketches, sugary deals and sheer generosity

LONDON, 13 November 2015 (IRIN) - Welcome to IRIN's reading list. Every week our global network of specialist correspondents share their top picks of recent must-read research, podcasts, reports, blogs and in-depth articles to help you keep on top of global crises. We also highlight key upcoming conferences, book releases and policy debates. full report

Rising seas ruining lives in Togo

LOME, 13 November 2015 (IRIN) - Togo’s former capital city, Aneho, and dozens of surrounding villages, along with the main road that links the west African country to Benin, are likely to disappear from the map by 2038, local authorities and international experts say, if nothing is done to reverse the erosion that is currently eating away between six and 10 meters of coastal land each year. full report

The long way round: Syrians through the Sahel

GAO, 9 November 2015 (IRIN) - As other options narrow, a small but growing number of Syrians are attempting a new and circuitous route to Europe: flying more than 3,000 miles to Mauritania in West Africa and then travelling overland with smugglers on the ancient salt roads from Mali through the Sahara. full report

The Quiet Americans

NAIROBI, 9 November 2015 (IRIN) - Kitting out a Nigerien army unit is not what most humanitarians would consider the best response to Boko Haram. But for the NGO Spirit of America, it is precisely the sort of muscular aid – along with more traditional wealth-generating development projects – that’s needed to tackle the militants. full report

Crude awakening: can oil benefit the people of the Niger Delta?

PORT HARCOURT, 4 November 2015 (IRIN) - The thick, acrid smoke billowing above the tree line is the telltale sign of local refining of stolen crude oil in Nigeria’s troubled Niger Delta, but environmentalists are looking to find less environmentally damaging ways for communities to benefit from the oil. full report

Fleeing Boko Haram: nowhere to run, nowhere to hide

KADUNA/MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, 2 November 2015 (IRIN) - The Boko Haram insurgency has claimed more than 25,000 lives in the past six years. Since 2014, it has escalated and splintered across a wider swathe of West and Central Africa, uprooting millions of people in the process. Where should they go? This special feature examines the bleak options and explores what the future holds. full report

Photo Feature: After Ebola, Sierra Leone’s burial workers fear a bleak future

FREETOWN, 28 October 2015 (IRIN) - Thousands of Sierra Leoneans risked their lives as burial team members to help bring the Ebola outbreak to a stop. Now, with the outbreak almost over, many wonder how they will reintegrate into the communities that once shunned them. full report