UN agency saves 600 stranded migrants in Sahara Desert, but 52 dead in Niger

Walking through desert. Photo: World Bank

27 June 2017 – The United Nations migration agency in Niger has saved more than 600 lives since April 2017 through a new search and rescue operation that targets migrants stranded in Sahara Desert, but 52 did not survive.

“We are enhancing our capacity to assist vulnerable migrants stranded in Northern Agadez, towards the Niger-Libya border,” said Giuseppe Loprete, Niger Chief of Mission for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in press release issued today.

“Saving lives in the desert is becoming more urgent than ever. Since the beginning of the year we have been receiving frequent calls to rescue victims who embark on this route‎,” Loprete added.

A 22-year-old woman was the only female among the survivors of a rescue mission on 28 May. She left Nigeria in early April hoping for a better future in Europe. There were 50 migrants on the pick-up truck when it left Agadez for Libya, but only six are still alive today.

“We were in the desert for ten days. After five days, the driver abandoned us. He left with all of our belongings, saying he was going to pick us up in a couple of hours, but he never did,” she recalled.

During the next two days, 44 of the migrants died which persuaded the six left to start walking to look for help. “We had to drink our own pee to survive,” she said.

On 9 June, another 92 migrants were also rescued through an IOM search and rescue operation; among them were 30 women and children.

More recently, 24 migrants were taken to Seguedine, where one died on arrival. Among the 23 survivors are migrants from Gambia, Nigeria, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire. It was not clear for how long they had been walking in the deserts of central Niger. They had been in a group of 75 migrants in three different cars, eventually abandoned by smugglers during the journey north.

IOM has recorded 52 deaths since it launched a new project “Migrants Rescue and Assistance in Agadez Region” (MIRAA) in April. The project will last for 12 months, and aims to ensure the protection of migrants in hard-to-reach areas while also strengthening the management of migration by the Government of Niger.

MIRAA is complementary to the larger initiative “Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism” (MRRM), which aims to bring together in one mechanism a wide range of services and assistance for migrants, including assisted voluntary return to their countries of origin and reintegration once they return.

Note to correspondents on MINUSCA

New York, 21 June 2017: The UN Secretariat has concluded a review of the deployment of uniformed personnel from the Republic of Congo in the UN Mission in the Central African Republic, MINUSCA.

The UN recognises the importance of the sub-region in the resolution of the crisis in the Central African Republic and expresses its appreciation for the constructive role played by the Republic of Congo, and President Sassou-Nguesso as international mediator during the Transition and after the election of President Touadera, and looks forward to their continued political engagement to bring stability to the Central African Republic.

The review of the deployment of uniformed military personnel from the Republic of Congo found that the nature and extent of existing allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse, in their totality, point to systemic problems in command and control. These problems have also been compounded by issues related to the preparedness, overall discipline, maintenance of contingent owned equipment, and logistical capacity of these troops.  

The outcome of the review has been shared with the authorities of the Republic of Congo, who have decided to withdraw their military personnel deployed in MINUSCA.

The Government of the Republic of Congo has reiterated its commitment to United Nations peacekeeping and stability in the Central African Republic. The Secretariat is working with the Republic of Congo and MINUSCA on the modalities for a speedy withdrawal that will have the least impact on the mission’s operational requirements and ability to implement its mandate.

The United Nations stands ready to assist the Republic of Congo authorities by identifying factors in the areas of leadership and command, performance, conduct and readiness, to enable them to address these gaps and for Republic of Congo military contingents to be eventually considered for future deployment to United Nations peacekeeping operations.

Failures identified with the military contingent are not reflected by the performance of the police contingent from the Republic of Congo, also deployed with MINUSCA. Therefore, the police contingent will be retained. Nonetheless, the Republic of Congo authorities have been requested to urgently inform the United Nations of accountability measures they have taken regarding the one substantiated allegation of sexual abuse involving a Republic of Congo police personnel.

World’s Top Advertising Groups Come Together with Google to Mobilize Gen Z Around the Sustainable Development Goals

NEW YORK, June 14, 2017 – The Common Ground alliance, in partnership with Google, today announced the launch of “The Common Future Project,” a first-of-its-kind initiative aimed at driving widespread awareness and action among young people in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted at the United Nations in 2015.

The Common Future Project combines multidisciplinary teams from across the world’s biggest advertising and marketing services groups and independent advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy with the dedicated resources from Google to create a global action campaign for the SDGs that engages the current generation of mission-driven young people – otherwise known as Gen Z.

UN Deputy Secretary General Ms. Amina Mohammed said: “The Sustainable Development Agenda is the most ambitious anti-poverty, pro-planet agenda ever adopted by the UN. The Common Future Project recognizes the power of young people as global agents of change. I commend the Common Ground partners for this creative effort to transform the video platforms that young people use into platforms for action for a world of peace and dignity for all.”

Over a three-day period, teams from Dentsu, Havas, IPG, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe and WPP, as well as Wieden+Kennedy, worked side–by-side at the YouTube Space NY to develop big ideas with the goal of inspiring Gen Z (aged 15 to 24) – the largest generation of youth in history – to become advocates for the SDGs and take action toward a more sustainable future.

As part of the workshop, multi-agency teams experienced briefings from the UN Deputy Secretary General and the UN’s SDG Team on the challenges of galvanizing Gen Z and others globally around the SDGs. These agency teams also explored the cultural influence of YouTube, a place where anyone can have a voice, and how the power of video is helping brands and creators generate positive social change.

On the final day, the teams had three hours to shoot, produce and edit rough videos of their concepts in the YouTube Space before pitching a panel of experts including UN SDG Advocate Alaa Murabit; Jake Horowitz, Co-founder, Mic.com; Madonna Badger, Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Badger & Winters; and Golriz Lucina, Head of Creative for SoulPancake.

In a joint statement, Toshihiro Yamamoto, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dentsu; Yannick Bolloré, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Havas Group; Michael Roth, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IPG; John Wren, President and Chief Executive Officer of Omnicom Group; Arthur Sadoun, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Publicis Groupe; Neil Christie, Global Chief Operating Officer of Wieden+Kennedy; and Sir Martin Sorrell, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of WPP, said:

“In the year since the launch of Common Ground, we have seen companies across the world uniting behind the Sustainable Development Goals. The Common Future Project is an unprecedented physical manifestation of that commitment to collaborate, and to the important role our industry can take in addressing some of the world’s most pressing challenges.”

Over the next few months, a virtual cross-agency team will work to develop and produce the winning idea into a broader campaign, set to launch later this summer. The campaign will tap into the range of ways to tell stories on YouTube, including the newest format, built-for-mobile bumper ads (:06) and longer-form content. To support and amplify the campaign, Google is committing a grant of global YouTube media.

Torrence Boone, VP, Global Agency Development, Google said: “When we first learned about the Common Ground initiative last year, we saw a terrific convergence of interests and values. Time and time again, we’ve all seen the power of video and YouTube to help affect positive social change. So we’re thrilled to be able to shine a spotlight on the great collaboration of these agencies coming together for the common good and are committed to helping their great ideas come to life on our platforms.”

Watch a short documentary film of the three-day workshop, here: [ADD LINK]

Launched by the world’s six largest advertising holding companies (Dentsu, Havas, IPG, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe and WPP) last June at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Common Ground represents a working partnership that transcends commercial rivalry to: accelerate the achievement of the SDGs; demonstrate to the industry and world that the goals are of universal importance and require universal contribution; and inspire other industries to follow suit.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
In September 2015, UN Member States unanimously adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, focused on the three interconnected elements of economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. With 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at its core, the Agenda is universal, integrated and transformative and aims to spur actions that will end poverty, reduce inequality and tackle climate change between now and 2030.

www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment

Also a behind the scenes video on the effort featuring the DSG: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gza_RHHZTO8

Temporary Job Opening 003/UNIC/2017: SSA DRIVER – MESSENGER at UNIC Yaounde

A temporary job opening (TJO) number 003/UNIC/2017 for the position of SSA DRIVER – MESSENGER is available at the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Yaounde with a deadline of 17 June 2017, for a period of six months.

Eligible candidates must complete and submit their applications, curriculum vitae, signed UN P-11 form (obtained at UNIC) and relevant certificates to:

United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Yaoundé

(Behind Camp Sic Tsinga)

P O Box 836

Tel: 237 222- 21-23-67

Yaoundé – Cameroon

E-mail: unic.yaounde@unic.org

Terms of Reference for the TJO: UNIC Yaounde – Driver-Messenger17

P.11:P.11-E (Personal History)               P.11-F (Notice Personnelle)

N.B: No applications sent after the deadline of 17 June 2017 at the UNIC will be accepted.

Sécurité : les Etats membres de l’UNSAC se retrouvent à Yaoundé du 29 mai au 02 juin pour leur 44e réunion ministérielle // Security: UNSAC Member States in Yaoundé from 29 May to 02 June for their 44th Ministerial Meeting

Yaoundé (Cameroun), 27 mai 2017– La  44e réunion ministérielle du Comité consultatif permanent des Nations Unies chargé des questions de sécurité en Afrique centrale (UNSAC) aura lieu du 29 mai au 02 juin 2017 à Yaoundé, la capitale du Cameroun. Les travaux commencent avec la rencontre des experts qui, pendant trois jours, feront un état des lieux prospectif de la situation sécuritaire et géopolitique dans les onze Etats membres du Comité (Angola, Burundi, Cameroun, République centrafricaine, Congo, République démocratique du Congo, Gabon, Guinée équatoriale, Rwanda, Sao Tomé et Principe, Tchad).

Les discussions porteront sur les questions en rapport avec, entre autres, la gouvernance politique et les multiples facteurs qui menacent la paix et la stabilité de la sous-région. Les participants échangeront notamment des vues sur la dimension régionale de certaines crises, dont celle de la République centrafricaine. Ils mettront également un accent sur les voies et moyens de renforcer la lutte contre les phénomènes comme la violence armée et le terrorisme, l’insécurité maritime dans le Golfe de Guinée, le braconnage et le trafic illicite des espèces sauvages, les tensions électorales, le trafic des drogues, la criminalité transnationale organisée, la prolifération des armes légères et de petit calibre, etc.

Sur ce dernier point, il convient de souligner que la 44e réunion du Comité s’ouvrira près de trois mois après l’entrée en vigueur, le 8 mars 2017, de la Convention de l’Afrique centrale pour le contrôle des armes légères et de petit calibre, de leurs munitions et de toutes pièces et composantes pouvant servir à leur fabrication, réparation et assemblage, dite “Convention de Kinshasa” – adoptée le 30 avril 2010 lors de la 30e réunion du Comité à Kinshasa (République démocratique du Congo). Cette entrée en vigueur a été facilitée par le dépôt, le 6 février 2017, du sixième instrument de ratification par l’Angola (précédé quelques années plus tôt par le Cameroun, la République centrafricaine, le Congo, le Gabon et le Tchad).

UNOCA avait exprimé sa satisfaction par rapport à cette évolution positive à laquelle il a contribué à travers diverses actions de plaidoyer auprès des Etats membres du Comité. « Nous continuerons à soutenir les efforts de la sous-région dans sa détermination à prévenir, à combattre et à mettre fin à la circulation incontrôlée des armes en Afrique centrale », souligne M. François Louncény Fall, Représentant spécial du Secrétaire général des Nations Unies pour l’Afrique centrale et Chef de l’UNOCA, encourageant les pays qui ne l’ont pas encore fait à ratifier la Convention de Kinshasa. « Cela permettrait de renforcer davantage la confiance entre les Etats et de rassurer les populations, principales victimes de ce phénomène qui constitue par ailleurs une entrave au développement durable de l’Afrique centrale », explique-t-il.

Le Représentant spécial aura l’occasion d’évoquer cette question et bien d’autres dossiers cruciaux avec les chefs de délégation. Du 1er au 2 juin, M. François Louncény Fall prendra part à la session ministérielle dont l’un des temps forts sera la lecture, lors de la cérémonie officielle d’ouverture, du message du Secrétaire général des Nations Unies, M. António Guterres. Cette phase protocolaire sera également marquée par la mise en place d’un nouveau bureau du Comité. Le Ministre camerounais des Relations extérieures en assurera la présidence pour une durée de six mois. Il succèdera à son homologue santoméen, qui occupe ce poste depuis la 43e réunion de l’UNSAC – qui a eu lieu du 28 novembre au 02 décembre 2016 à Sao Tomé.

Mis en place le 28 mai 1992 par l’ONU (à la demande des Etats membres de la CEEAC), le Comité, dont le fonctionnement vient de faire l’objet d’une évaluation, est un précieux outil de diplomatie préventive. Conformément à l’esprit d’un des séminaires fondateurs de cette institution organisé à Yaoundé du 17 au 21 juin 1991, le Comité a en effet pour mission principale de promouvoir les mesures de confiance aux niveaux régional et sous-régional afin d’atténuer les tensions et de faire progresser le désarmement et la non-prolifération des armes légères et de petit calibre en Afrique centrale. Depuis sa création, la capitale camerounaise a déjà abrité plusieurs de ses sessions. La dernière remonte à la 26e rencontre tenue du 3 au 7 septembre 2007.

COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE N° 125 — Sécurité — les Etats membres de l’UNSAC se retrouvent à Yaoundé du 29 mai au 2 juin pour leur 44e réunion ministérielle

PRESS RELEASE N° 125 – Security — UNSAC Member states in Yaoundé from 29 May to 02 June for their 44th Ministerial Meeting

TEXTE ET PHOTOhttps://unoca.unmissions.org/unsac-44eme-reunion-les-etats-membres-se-retrouvent-%C3%A0-yaound%C3%A9-du-29-mai-au-2-juin

Sensitization workshop for Journalists on the electoral code on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day 2017

UNIC Yaounde in partnership with the United Nations Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa and UNESCO organized a series of activities at the Hotel Inn Resort in the coastal city of Limbe, South West Region of Cameroon to mark World Press Freedom Day 20017 in Cameroon from the 3 to 5 May 2017. The crux of the observance was the sensitization workshop for over 35 media professionals in Cameroon on the electoral code and their role in promoting informed participation in electoral processes, ahead of elections in 2018 in Cameroon.

  •  Round table conference on: 2017 WPFD theme, Freedom of Information, the right to know,
  • Panel Discussion on “How to overcome challenges to media freedom
  • Sensitization workshop for media professionals in Cameroon on the electoral code

 Day 1: Wednesday, 03 May 2017

Round table conference on: 2017 WPFD theme, Freedom of Information, the right to know

Moderated by Tarhyang Tabe, Publisher of “The Advocate” Newspaper, the round table began with the reading of the UN messages on the occasion of the 2017 WPF Day. UNIC’s Jean Njita read the message of the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, who called for an end to all crackdowns against journalists – because a free press advances peace and justice for all.” UNESCO’ Cletus Ojong (Communications) read the message of Mrs Irina Bokova (UNESCO’s Director General), while the Director of UN Centre for Human Rights Mr Ahowanou Agbessi read the message of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. This set the pace for the round table.

UNIC’s Jean Njita presented the 2017 WPFD theme; “Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies”, highlighting the fact that living in such a critical time for journalists and press freedom, critical times require critical minds to better know what we read, listen and watch. Mr Njita emphasized media’s contribution to good governance and development as recognized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; which outlines the importance of public access to information and fundamental freedoms under SDG 16; Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Citing the 2016 UN Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity, he stressed that the current state of safety of journalists worldwide is discouraging, as over the course of the last decade 827 journalists and media workers have been killed.

Mr. Franklin Fonyuy Kiven, Communications Officer at the UN Human Rights Centre talking on “Freedom of Information, the right to know”, stated that Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights identifies freedom of expression as a fundamental right. He further quotes The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Declaration of Principles adopted in 2003, which affirms that “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; that this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Communication is a fundamental social process, a basic human need and the foundation of all social organisation”.

Panel Discussion on “How to overcome challenges to media freedom

Panelists included CTRV’s Comfort Musa, UNIC’s Jean Njita, Adolf Mongo Dipoko (seasoned journalist), Kwi Bangsi and Tarhyang Tabe (The Advocate Newspaper), with debates moderated by Franklin Fonyuy. These panelists identified Inadequate funding, Access to Information; Charlatanism; Poor payment of staff, weak Professional associations, etc…as some of several challenges crippling the media landscape in Cameroon.

The media law no.90/052 of December 19, 1990 on Mass Communication in its Section 46(1) states: “A person shall be deemed to be a journalist where, on the basis of his intellectual faculties, his training and talents, he is recognized as being fit to carry out research and process information intended for mass communication.” This Cameroonian definition of a journalist has paved the way for quacks to infest the profession, casting lots of doubts on ‘who is who’ in the profession. Some of them don’t know the ABC of journalism, and often commit all kinds of professional errors. Though the law on Freedom on Mass Communication gives Journalists the right to access information, Cameroon journalists have lots of difficulties to get sensitive information giving room for speculations and falsehood in some reports. The proliferation of Professional Associations further weakens the sector, with the lack of a credible interlocutor for all journalists.

At the end, and as a way forward to overcoming the challenges, participants and panelists recommended the urgent need for a clear entry requirement for all journalists as in other professional bodies; merger of association for journalists, strengthened and oriented towards professional needs, training on new media, media security, thematic reporting; (peace, cultural, documentaries, etc) , as well as taking advantage of electronic information dissemination through blogs, online publication, whatsapp, facebook etc…

Day II: Thursday 04 May 2017

Sensitization workshop for media professionals in Cameroon on the electoral code

In 2018, Cameroon is expected to hold major elections; municipal, parliamentary, senatorial, and presidential, making it an important electoral year in the history of the country. The Elections Management Body; ELECAM has intensified efforts towards raising awareness of Cameroonians on their civic responsibility, particularly the need to enroll in the electoral registers, and also participate actively in the voting process. That notwithstanding, there is need for more targeted measures to ensure that these efforts produce an impact on the ground.

It is against this backdrop that UNIC Yaounde, UNESCO and UN Centre for Human Rights embarked on this sensitization workshop to strengthen the knowledge of media professionals on the electoral code and other texts, policies and regulations governing the electoral process in Cameroon in a bid to enable them play an informed role in educating and sensitizing rights holders on their participation in electoral processes. Participants were introduced to the Cameroon Electoral code mostly an overview of the general provisions and provisions specific to the Elections Management Body. They were divided into commissions to work on specific sub-themes, which ended up with restitution and sharing of facts with others.

These subthemes included;

  1. General provisions related to the Elections Management Body
  2. Provisions relating to the election of President of the Republic and Vacancy
  3. Election of members of Parliament
  4. Election of municipal councilors

At the end of the work in commissions, participants enthusiastically shared /restituted their understanding of some sticky issues related to electoral code, to the happiness of all.

 Lesson:

It is of vital importance for media practitioners to get acquainted with the Cameroon electoral code and other texts, policies and regulations governing the electoral process in preparation to the 2018 upcoming presidential elections in Cameroon. Taking into consideration the fact that the fundamental role of journalists, as one of the key players in the election is to promote transparency, inclusive and peaceful elections, journalists are therefore called to do proper findings of information backed with fact before any publication, be it audiovisual or script writing. In so doing, the media will regain its credibility in the country and will be treated with care and respect.

Fallen peacekeeper from Cameroon to be honoured at ceremony at UN Headquarters –

Photo published for L'efficacité des opérations de maintien de la paix requiert des moyens adéquats et un soutien...22 May 2017:  The United Nation Headquarters will observe the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on Wednesday, 24 May.  Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will lay a wreath to honour all fallen peacekeepers and will preside over a ceremony at which the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal will be awarded posthumously to 117 military, police and civilian personnel who lost their lives while serving in peacekeeping operations during 2016.

One fallen peacekeeper from Cameroon is among the 117 who will posthumously receive the Dag Hammarskjöld medal – Maitre Gustave Mbot who lost his life while serving with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).

In a video message to mark the Day, the Secretary-General said:  “Every day, peacekeepers help bring peace and stability to war-torn societies around the world.  On the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, we pay tribute to the more than 3,500 peacekeepers who have given their lives in the service of peace since 1948.”

He further said: “Their sacrifice only strengthens our commitment to ensuring that United Nations peacekeepers continue protecting civilians in harm’s way, promoting human rights and the rule of law, removing landmines, advancing negotiations and securing a better future in the places they are deployed.  Now, more than ever, it is essential that we continue investing in peace around the world.”

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, said: “We pay our greatest respects to the committed and courageous peacekeepers who are no longer with us today. I offer my deepest and most sincere condolences to the families of those we honour and to the bereaved. It’s critical that we continue to invest in peace and make every effort to carry forward their noble work, and that we continue to pursue reform efforts to make United Nations peacekeeping more efficient and effective. That is the best way we can honour the memories and sacrifices of our fallen peacekeepers.”

“United Nations peacekeeping is an investment in global peace, security, and prosperity and remains the most reliable and used tool by the international community to help countries torn by conflict create conditions for lasting peace. We are continuing to work hard to ensure that UN peacekeeping is fit for purpose, performance-driven and cost-efficient. These efforts coupled with the implementation of the Secretary-General’s reform of our peace and security architecture enables us to deploy uniformed and civilian peacekeepers in difficult and challenging environments around the world in an efficient and an effective manner,” said Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, Atul Khare.

Today, more than 96,000 uniformed personnel from 124 troop-and-police-contributing countries serve under the blue flag, alongside more than 15,000 international and national civilian staff and nearly 1,600 United Nations Volunteers.

The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was established by the General Assembly in 2002, to pay tribute to all men and women serving in peacekeeping, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.  The Assembly designated 29 May as the Day because it was the date in 1948 when the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), the world body’s first peacekeeping mission, began operations in Palestine.

While the Day will be marked in New York on the 24th, UN Peacekeeping operations and UN offices around the world will commemorate the Day on or around the 29th.

 

L’ONU rend hommage à deux Casques bleus gabonais décédés au service de la paix –

Photo published for L'efficacité des opérations de maintien de la paix requiert des moyens adéquats et un soutien...24 mai 2017:  Le Siège de l’ONU célèbrera la Journée internationale des Casques bleus des Nations Unies le 24 mai prochain.  Le Secrétaire général, M. António Guterres, déposera une couronne pour honorer tous les soldats de la paix tombés et présidera une cérémonie au cours de laquelle la Médaille Dag Hammarskjöld sera attribuée à titre posthume à 117 militaires, policiers et civils qui ont perdu la vie en servant dans des opérations de maintien de la paix en 2016.

Deux militaires gabonais figurent parmi les 117 Casques bleus auxquels sera décernée, à titre posthume, la médaille Dag Hammarskjöld, Caporal Ghislain M. Nziengui et Caporal Chef Jauris Nzombi Yopa, qui ont tout deux servi  dans la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en République centrafricaine (MINUSCA).

Dans un message vidéo pour marquer cette journée, le Secrétaire général souligne: « Chaque jour, les Casques bleus contribuent à apporter la paix et la stabilité aux sociétés déchirées par la guerre dans le monde entier.  Lors de la Journée internationale des Casques bleus des Nations Unies, nous rendons hommage aux plus de 3 500 soldats de la paix qui ont donné leur vie au service de la paix depuis 1948 ».

Il ajoute: « Leur sacrifice ne fait que renforcer notre engagement à faire en sorte que les forces de maintien de la paix des Nations Unies continuent de protéger les civils en danger, en promouvant les droits de l’homme et l’état de droit, en éliminant les mines terrestres, en faisant progresser les négociations et en assurant un avenir meilleur dans les lieux où ils sont déployés.  Maintenant, plus que jamais, il est essentiel que nous continuions à investir dans la paix dans le monde entier ».

Le Secrétaire général adjoint aux opérations de maintien de la paix, M. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, affirme: « Nous continuons à poursuivre les efforts de réforme afin de rendre le maintien de la paix des Nations Unies plus efficace.  C’est la meilleure façon d’honorer les souvenirs et les sacrifices de nos soldats de la paix tombés. »

Selon le Secrétaire général adjoint à l’appui aux missions, M. Atul Khare, « ces efforts, conjugués à la mise en œuvre de la réforme du Secrétaire général de notre architecture de paix et de sécurité, nous permettent de déployer des forces de maintien de la paix en uniforme et en civil dans des environnements difficiles à travers le monde de manière efficace ».

Aujourd’hui, plus de 96 000 membres en uniforme en provenance de 124 pays contributeurs de troupes et de police servent sous le drapeau bleu, aux côtés de plus de 15 000 agents civils internationaux et nationaux et près de 1 600 Volontaires des Nations Unies.

La Journée internationale des Casques bleus des Nations Unies a été créée par l’Assemblée générale en 2002 pour honorer la mémoire des Casques bleus de l’ONU qui ont perdu la vie au service de la cause de la paix et pour rendre hommage à tous ceux, hommes et femmes, qui ont servi et continuent de servir dans les opérations de maintien de la paix pour leur professionnalisme, leur dévouement et leur courage.

La Journée est officiellement célébrée le 29 mai, toutefois des activités de commémoration auront lieu au Siège de l’ONU à New York le 24 mai.  L’Assemblée générale a désigné le 29 mai comme la Journée internationale des Casques bleus des Nations Unies parce que c’est ce jour-là qu’en 1948 l’Organisme des Nations Unies chargé de la surveillance de la trêve (ONUST), la première mission internationale de maintien de la paix, a commencé ses opérations en Palestine.

Pour de plus amples informations, prière de contacter M. Douglas Coffman, du Département de l’information, au tél.: +1 212 963-4481, ou par courriel: coffmand@un.org; ou M. Aditya Mehta, du Département des opérations de maintien de la paix, au tél.: +1 917 367-5378, ou par courrier électronique: mehta2@un.org; ou visitez le site Internet de la Journée des Casques bleus au www.un.org/en/events/peacekeepersday ou le site Internet des Nations Unies sur le maintien de la paix au: http://www.un.org/fr/peacekeeping/operations/pkday.shtml.

Humanitarian Coordinator Alerts on Early Signs of a New Humanitarian Crisis in Central Africa

Bangui, 15 May 2017 – The city of Bangassou in the Mbomou Prefecture (South-Eastern CAR) has been the scene of indiscriminate violence since May 13 when an assault was launched by unidentified gunmen on the Tokoyo district, which is mainly inhabited by the Muslim population. Massive displacement of population followed. Within hours, intense violence forced more than 3,000 people to flee their homes. At present, nearly 1,000 people are confined in the Mosque compound following threats of an imminent attack on them. The Cathedral of Bangassou is home to about 1,500 people, while 500 others have taken refuge in the town’s hospital. An unknown number of displaced persons also took refuge in the parish of Tokoyo. Another unknown number of people have crossed the border into the Democratic Republic of Congo, where an outbreak of Ebola virus was recently reported in a town located about 250 km from the border with CAR.

“This violence is of the utmost concern as it returns the country to the stigmatization of communities, which instigated the political crisis in 2013 and resulted in more than 800,000 Internally Displaced People, and an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, “regretted the Humanitarian Coordinator in the Central African Republic, Najat Rochdi. Bangassou had so far been spared by inter-communal violence and was presented as a model of social cohesion. Najat Rochdi forcefully condemned this stigmatization of a community and the ensuing human rights violations.

The situation in Bangassou is all the more dramatic that the level of violence does not yet allow wounded to be attend or to bury the deceased. Indeed, armed men proceeded to the destruction of all the bridges of Bangassou and to the occupation of the road. “This regrettable trend undermines the mechanisms for the protection of civilians and the capacity of humanitarian actors to reach the affected populations and affected populations to access aid,” said Ms. Rochdi. The humanitarian community is ready to initiate lifesaving interventions as soon as calm returns. The NGO “Doctors without Borders” is already providing vital assistance at the Bangassou hospital. In the spirit of “Stay and Deliver”, the Humanitarian Coordinator praised the courage of the actors who maintained their presence in Bangassou in order to continue saving lives even in an extremely unstable environment.

The ongoing crisis in Bangassou will inevitably generate new needs that were not foreseen in the humanitarian response. Additional funding will be needed to help those whose vulnerability will be exacerbated. “It is unfortunate that the humanitarian situation is deteriorating in Bangassou while advocacy efforts aimed at increasing donors ‘support to the Central African Republic are beginning to yield encouraging results,” said the Humanitarian Coordinator. “I urge the perpetrators of this upsurge of violence not to lose sight of the fact that in CAR half of the population is still dependent on aid,” she added. To date, the $ 399.5 million Humanitarian Response Plan has received only $ 64.8 million, or 16% of the required amount.

Press release – Humanitarian situation in Bangassou – 15052017

Déclaration attribuable au porte-parole du Secrétaire  général sur l’attaque contre la ville de Bangassou en République centrafricaine [Scroll down for English]

New York, le 14 mai 2017 : Le Secrétaire général est outragé par les attaques perpétrées par des présumés anti-Balaka contre des civils ainsi que contre la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en République centrafricaine (MINUSCA) les 12 et 13 mai, à Bangassou, dans le sud-est de la République centrafricaine. Ces attaques ont entraîné des déplacements considérables de civils, un nombre indéterminé de victimes civiles ainsi que la mort d’un casque bleu marocain, portant à six le nombre des soldats du maintien de la paix tués en Centrafrique cette semaine.


Le Secrétaire général présente ses condoléances à la famille endeuillée et au Gouvernement du Royaume du Maroc. Le Secrétaire général souligne que les attaques contre les casques bleus des Nations Unies peuvent constituer un crime de guerre. Il condamne fermement les attaques contre les populations civiles et la MINUSCA et lance un appel aux autorités de la République centrafricaine pour qu’une enquête soit lancée afin que les responsables répondent rapidement de leurs actes devant la justice.

Le Secrétaire général réaffirme la détermination des Nations Unies a avancer la mise en oeuvre du mandate de la MINUSCA. Le Secrétaire général tient à remercier profondément les pays contributeurs de troupe et de police dans leur détermination à protéger les civils.
Ces récents incidents démontrent que la situation en République centrafricaine reste fragile d’où le besoin d’un appuis continu et soutenu de la part de la région et de la communauté internationale pour surmonter les défis auxquelles le pays fait face. 

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the attacks against civilians and MINUSCA peacekeepers in the town of Bangassou in the Central African Republic 

New York 14 May, 2017: The Secretary-General is outraged by the attacks perpetrated by suspected anti-Balaka against civilians and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) on 12 and 13 May, in the town of Bangassou, in the south east of the country. These attacks led to significant population displacement, an undetermined number of civilian casualties and the death of one Moroccan peacekeeper, bringing to six the number of peacekeepers killed in the Central African Republic this week.

The Secretary-General offers his condolences to the family of the bereaved peacekeeper and the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco. The Secretary-General reiterates that attacks against United Nations peacekeepers may constitute a war crime. He strongly condemns attacks against the civilian population and MINUSCA and calls on the Central African Republic authorities to investigate the attacks in order to swiftly bring those responsible to justice.

The Secretary-General reaffirms the determination of the United Nations to advance the implementation of MINUSCA’s mandate. The Secretary-General extends his deep appreciation to MINUSCA’s troop and police contributing countries for their support.

These recent incidents amply demonstrate that the situation in the Central African Republic is still fragile hence the need for continued and sustained regional and international support to overcome the challenges at hand.