Great Lakes

A tentative ceasefire in CAR

BRAZZAVILLE, 29 July 2014 (IRIN) - While the ceasefire signed in Brazzaville on 23 July by the two principal armed factions in the Central African Republic (CAR), the ex-Seleka and anti-Balaka, was widely greeted as a positive step forward, analysts are sceptical it can lead to lasting peace. full report

NGOs against MONUSCO drones for humanitarian work

GOMA, 23 July 2014 (IRIN) - International NGOs have rebuffed a recent offer by the UN Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to use drones for humanitarian information gathering, saying this could represent a dangerous “blurring of the lines” between military and humanitarian actors in the conflict. full report

Briefing: Targeting CAR’s predators

BANGUI, 21 July 2014 (IRIN) - The UN sanctions committee unveiled a report on 11 July detailing the alleged involvement of named individuals and armed groups in major human rights violations in the Central African Republic (CAR). The report by a panel of experts on CAR also presents evidence on the groups’ sources of funding and weapons, and names individuals believed to be involved in trafficking natural resources, and funding, organizing and manipulating armed groups. full report

Burundi’s troubled peace and reconciliation process

BUJUMBURA, 17 July 2014 (IRIN) - Fifteen years after a peace accord called for its creation, Burundi is finally to set up a Peace and Reconciliation Commission (PRC) to examine crimes committed since 1962. But the controversies and disagreements that have dogged the mechanism since it was first mooted continue to reverberate, casting doubt on its efficacy, with the key concern being whether the commission’s purview will be selective. full report

Little help for CAR rape survivors

BANGUI, 15 July 2014 (IRIN) - The presence of armed groups and continued fighting causing displacement across the Central African Republic (CAR) has led to an escalation of insecurity leaving women and girls vulnerable to forced marriage and extreme violence, including rape. full report

John Kayihula, Congolese refugee in Rwanda: I focus on sport so as to forget my life

GIHEMBE REUGEE CAMP (RWANDA), 9 July 2014 (IRIN) - Few of the 14,700 Congolese refugees in Rwanda’s Gihembe camp envisage returning home any time soon. As with Rwanda’s total caseload of 75,000 Congolese refugees, most are Tutsis who arrived between 1995 and 1997 from Masisi and Rutshuru territories in North Kivu, a province which still has a plethora of armed groups, making it too dangerous for the UN to organize refugee returns. full report

DRC refugees and the limits of durable solutions

KYANGWALI (WESTERN UGANDA), 9 July 2014 (IRIN) - With around 365,000 DRC nationals dispersed across several countries in the Great Lakes region, many of them for almost two decades, the traditional triad of “durable solutions” - going home, integrating for good locally, or moving to a third country - remain “largely elusive”, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). 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

Analysis: Targeted assistance needed for DRC’s former child soldiers

THE HAGUE/BUNIA, 3 July 2014 (IRIN) - Recent high profile moves against militia commanders in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have done little to stem child recruitment into armed groups, and much more needs to be done to prevent it, stop re-recruitment, and rehabilitate victims. full report

CAR refugees seek city life in Cameroon

BERTOUA, 19 June 2014 (IRIN) - Frustrated by their living conditions, refugees and other migrants are streaming into towns in eastern Cameroon in search of jobs and a fresh start. But there are concerns in the region about the impact of the new arrivals in urban areas and emerging tensions between the newcomers and existing town-dwellers. full report