Daily Archives: September 18, 2015

Three dead, 14 wounded in Thai south motorcycle bomb

NNA – (AFP) Three people were killed and 14 wounded by a motorcycle bomb blast in Thailand’s deep south, officials said on Friday, in the latest deadly attack to strike the war-torn region.

The blast on Thursday evening struck near a grocery shop in the Rangae district of southernmost Narathiwat province, which borders Malaysia.

An army official and two civilians -— a man and a woman -— were killed in the attack as a series of other bombs also went off in the area without any casualties, district police commander Phakdi Preechachol told AFP.

““The most devastated location was the site of the motorcycle bomb, all the casualties were from this spot,”” he said.

Among the wounded is a ranger who had a leg amputated following the attack, the commander added, while four others who sustained injuries have already been discharged from hospital.

Investigations are under way to find out who was behind the attack. (AFP)

======================= L.Y

Boko Haram violence displaces 1.4 million children in Nigeria and beyond – UNICEF

18 September 2015 – The number of attacks by Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria and neighbouring countries has risen, and half a million children have had to flee to safety in the past five months, bringing the total number of displaced children in the region to 1.4 million, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said today.

“Each of these children running for their lives is a childhood cut short,” said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, in a statement.

“It’s truly alarming to see that children and women continue to be killed, abducted and used to carry bombs,” he added.

UNICEF, together with governments and partners in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, is increasing its operations to assist thousands of children and their families in the region with access to safe water, education, counselling and psychosocial support, as well as vaccinations and treatment for severe acute malnutrition.

The agency’s work in the region is almost 70 per cent underfunded, having received only 32 per cent of the $50.3 million needed for humanitarian efforts in 2015. Because of this, over 124,000 children in the conflict-torn area have not received measles vaccinations, more than 83,000 lack access to safe water, and over 208,000 are not in school.

“With more refugees and not enough resources, our ability to deliver lifesaving assistance on the ground is now seriously compromised,” said Mr. Fontaine.

“Without additional support, hundreds of thousands of children in need will lack access to basic health care, safe drinking water and education.”

Troops Crush Protests in Burkina Faso

This is heating up. A day after a coup staged by remnants of the ancien regime, troops are unleashing violence and all borders have been shuttered. This does not seem to be trending in the right direction. “Heavily armed troops crushed protests in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou after a former spy chief seized power in a military coup on Thursday, derailing a democratic transition that had inspired many in Africa. At least three people were killed and more than 60 injured, according to hospital sources, when members of the presidential guard fired warning shots to disperse crowds and beat back stone-throwing demonstrators with batons. Protesters demanded the release of the interim president and members of his government detained by the presidential guard on Wednesday, and the organization of elections due on Oct. 11.” (Reuters http://reut.rs/1UYicDQ)
It’s Official: There’s No Discernable Ceasefire in South Sudan. South Sudan’s army used helicopter gunships to pound rebel positions, military monitors said Thursday, their first report detailing ceasefire violations since a peace deal was signed…Monitors from the regional East Africa bloc IGAD, which led efforts to negotiate the peace deal, said that on September 2, government helicopters attacked rebel positions outside Malakal, capital of the battleground oil-state of Upper Nile. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1gubjMO)

Save the date…The European Union announced an emergency summit in Brussels next Wednesday to tackle the migrant crisis and address sharp differences over plans to relocate 120,000 refugees around the bloc. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1Oz4Kq4)

Humanity Affirming News of the Day: Mozambique has removed its last known landmine after two decades of work to get rid of the explosives. Close to 171,000 landmines were removed, according to the Halo Trust, a British charity that led the clearance. (BBC http://bbc.in/1JdmLmQ)

Africa

Cholera has killed 16 people in three camps in Nigeria housing over one million people who have fled the Boko Haram insurgency, the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said on Thursday, calling on other aid agencies to help it respond. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1Ohd92r)

More than 100 people were killed in South Sudan when an oil truck exploded as a crowd tried to gather fuel from the vehicle after it had veered off the road, a regional official said on Thursday, a day after the incident. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1guc0pj)

Fighting erupted between rival armed groups near Mali’s desert border with Algeria on Thursday, sources from both sides said, in a fresh violation of a U.N.-backed peace deal. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1UYiquN )

Torrential rains in Sierra Leone have caused heavy flooding and extensive damage to homes and property in the capital, Freetown. Telephone communication has been disrupted. (VOA http://bit.ly/1gueNPr)

Police in the Ghanaian capital Accra on Wednesday fired tear gas and rubber bullets to bar opposition protesters from the headquarters of the Electoral Commission to demand a new electoral roll, police sources and eyewitnesses said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1guc0FP)

The European Union aims to agree on $226 million in development aid for Eritrea by year-end to help stem an exodus of people from the poor Horn of Africa nation to Europe, a senior EU official said on Thursday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1Ohd9iK)

African negotiators plan to block a global agreement on reducing global warming if the deal is too weak and fails to consider the implications of climate change for the continent’s wellbeing. (SciDevNet http://bit.ly/1JdjNyV)

MENA

Islamic State claimed responsibility on Thursday for two suicide bomb attacks in mainly Shi’ite districts in central Baghdad that killed at least 23 people and wounded 68 others. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1JdmNLs)

Sri Lanka will begin talks next month on creating a special court to examine alleged atrocities during the country’s civil war, in which tens of thousands of people died, an official said Thursday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1JdmNLF)

A Saudi Arabian diplomat accused of repeatedly raping and abusing two Nepalese maids has left India under cover of diplomatic immunity, while Nepal on Thursday called for justice for the women. (AP http://yhoo.it/1NzJTSR)

Asia

Bangladesh’s High Court on Thursday decided former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia can stand trial on corruption charges involving a contract for a coal mine with a Chinese company, lawyers said. (AP http://yhoo.it/1OhcDl2)

The illicit timber trade between Myanmar and China is rebounding to near its peak of a decade ago as loggers push deeper into Myanmar to strip its forests, according to a report released Thursday by an environmental group. (AP http://yhoo.it/1OhcCNM)

The Americas

Thousands of residents of this small city in northern Chile were sleeping outside Thursday after a powerful earthquake destroyed their homes, forced more than 1 million to evacuate and killed at least eight people in the quake-prone South American nation. (AP http://yhoo.it/1OyX873)

La Línea, the tax scam that unseated the president and sparked public unrest, could be a fulcrum for action on poverty, inequality and injustice in Guatemala. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1OhcCxt)

…and the rest

The European Union’s migration chief rebuked Hungary on Thursday for its tough handling of a flood of refugees as asylum seekers thwarted by a new Hungarian border fence and repelled by riot police poured into Croatia, spreading the strain. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1OhaS7l)

Paris authorities are evacuating more than 500 Syrian and other migrants from tent camps and moving them to special housing as the country steps up efforts to deal with Europe’s migrant wave. (AP http://yhoo.it/1gubjfO)

While many Germans have welcomed the record numbers of refugees reaching their country, the new arrivals have unleashed fear and fury in small eastern German towns like Riesa, a center of far-right support in a country ashamed of its Nazi past. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1OhcCxo)

New figures due out in early October are expected to show how much funding to help developing states address climate change needs to be drummed up to meet a 2020 pledge of $100 billion a year, dispersing the fog surrounding the numbers. (TRF http://yhoo.it/1gubrMg)

The U.S. Census Bureau released its annual report on income, poverty and health insurance coverage for 2014 on Wednesday. Poverty in the U.S. was unchanged last year, despite more jobs. (NPR http://n.pr/1OhdbYa)

Opinion/Blogs

The World Historic News You Might Have Missed (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1KoS0fJ )

Brazil’s Crisis: A Blessing and a Curse (IPS http://bit.ly/1LAjrEi)

Are women better peacekeepers? (Daily Maverick http://bit.ly/1Ohd6Ue)

Zimbabwe: when ending child labour does not end child exploitation (African Arguments http://bit.ly/1Fj2st4)

How climate change efforts by developed countries are hurting Africa’s rural poor (The Conversation http://bit.ly/1LAmGvu)

Thoughts on the latest coup in Burkina Faso (An Africanist Perspective http://bit.ly/1OhfgTY)

Transforming Humanitarian Aid with Cash Transfers: High Level Panel Report (CGD http://bit.ly/1Ohflqt)

Are Theories of Change living up to their potential? (WhyDev http://bit.ly/1Fj4Sb9)

What are the key principles behind a theory of change approach? Top new ODI paper. (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/1gufXue)

New Nigerian President, Same Old Problems (Foreign Policy http://atfp.co/1LjlTDg)

What You Need to Know about the Coup in Burkina Faso (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1OyUnCN )

Discussion

comments…

APR Energy Commissions New Botswana Project, Senegal Expansion

JACKSONVILLE, Florida, Sept. 18, 2015 / PRNewswire — APR Energy plc (LSE: APR), a global leader in fast-track power solutions, today announces that it has completed successfully the installation and commissioning of its new two-year, 35MW project for Botswana Power Corporation and the 48MW expansion of its existing project for Senelec, Senegal’s national electric utility.

APR Energy.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120207/FL48583LOGO

“I want to congratulate our installation and commissioning teams for demonstrating our commitment to operational excellence and customer satisfaction by quickly bringing this new capacity on line,” said Chief Executive Officer Laurence Anderson. “These vital projects will help to raise the quality of life for people in Botswana and Senegal in a number of ways, such as supporting local medical facilities and schools.”

The Botswana project, announced on 27 May, builds on a relationship that began in 2010, when BPC contracted APR Energy to develop a 70MW solution to supplement electricity being imported from neighboring countries. While that plant later was sold to the utility in 2014, BPC again selected APR Energy when it needed additional generating capacity.

“Botswana is currently faced with electrical power supply challenges, and load shedding is the order of the day as a result. This additional 35MW will go a long way toward alleviating the situation,” said Franklin Modisenyane, BPC’s Expansion Project Chairperson. “APR demonstrated a high level of professionalism. Quality is key and safety standards are held high. Working with a dedicated project manager made it possible to deliver the project on time.”

In Senegal, the addition of 48MW of new generating capacity includes diesel power modules redeployed from Libya. The expansion, which was announced 9 July, increases the Company’s installed capacity for Senelec to 68MW.

The Company currently is contracted to provide approximately 300MW of generating capacity across Africa, including projects for electric utilities in Angola and Mali and to support development of a major industrial facility in Egypt.

About APR Energy
APR Energy is the world’s leading provider of fast-track mobile turbine power. Our fast, flexible and full-service power solutions provide customers with rapid access to reliable electricity when and where they need it, for as long as they need it. Combining state-of-the-art, fuel-efficient technology with industry-leading expertise, our scalable turnkey plants help run cities, countries and industries around the world, in both developed and developing markets. For more information, visit the Company’s website at www.aprenergy.com.

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UNICEF: Over 1.4 million children forced to flee conflict in Nigeria and region

NNA – A sharp increase in attacks by the armed group commonly known as Boko Haram has uprooted 500,000 children over the past five months, bringing the total number of children on the run in northeast Nigeria and neighbouring countries to 1.4 million, UNICEF said today.

“Each of these children running for their lives is a childhood cut short,” said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa. “It’s truly alarming to see that children and women continue to be killed, abducted and used to carry bombs.”

In northern Nigeria alone, nearly 1.2 million children – over half of them under 5 years old – have been forced to flee their homes. An additional 265,000 children have been uprooted in Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

Together with governments and partners in all four affected countries, UNICEF has scaled up its lifesaving operations to thousands of children and their families affected by the violence.

“With more refugees and not enough resources, our ability to deliver lifesaving assistance on the ground is now seriously compromised,” said Fontaine. “Without additional support, hundreds of thousands of children in need will lack access to basic health care, safe drinking water and education.” — UNICEF

===========D.K.