Since sexual and other gender-based violence is all too common in South Sudan, teaching how to deal with these harmful practices was a priority when the police officer serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan had the opportunity to build the capacity of some thirty South Sudanese colleagues in Gogrial East County of Warrap State.
“We want our girls to have the same rights to education as boys so that they can reach their full potential,” said Angelina Achok, one of the trainees, when discussing the importance of gender equality.
“The good thing is that we are seeing some improvements in our communities, because right now, most of our girls are in school,” she continued, saying that the efforts of the peacekeeping mission have contributed greatly to this positive trend.
Halima Miraji Kigera, a UN police officer involved in teaching, urged the communities to keep up the good work.
“Please make sure you allow your girls to continue their education so that when they find suitable jobs. They will realize that having a job and being self-employed is worth more than hundreds of cows,” she said, referring to the age-old tradition of paying a dowry to the family of the bride-to-be.
The scope of the two-day workshop, organized in the Manyang Payam (administrative division) of Gogrial East, was wide-ranging. As well as addressing vital gender issues, it aimed to equip this national police service group with the skills to investigate cases, write reports, community policing while respecting human rights.
“This type of training is extremely beneficial,” said Maria Lual, a participating police officer. “Learning how to handle offenders and respect the rights of suspects is important, as is managing the sensitivities involved in sexual violence cases. These are things we can do and will do as part of our daily work.”
Their work, according to Payam Deputy Administrator Lian Alek, is hampered by a lack of resources, notably additional vehicles and prison facilities, but is buoyed by continued support from police officers serving in the mission of peace-keeping.
“You show genuine concern for us by engaging our communities in awareness activities and by always reaching out to us and trying to understand our needs and challenges,” Mr. Alek said.
Building the capacity of the South Sudan National Police Service is an integral part of the mandate of the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.
In Melut, Upper Nile, herding animals is a way of life.
It puts food on the table, ensures children can go to school and families can support themselves, especially during the long rainy season.
Last week, hope blossomed among ranchers and local authorities when the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) handed over a newly built veterinary clinic here.
“We urgently needed this facility because we have been overwhelmed by complaints from local herders and community members about the lack of available treatment for sick animals,” said County Commissioner Deng Agok, who received the official handover from Protection, Transition of the UN peacekeeping mission. and Reintegration Section.
“Most people make their living by raising animals and the ongoing floods have made it very, very difficult for them as many herds have contracted diseases,” continued Mr. Agok.
The county commissioner's views were supported by community leader Stephen Dhieu Dau.
“Our lives depend on the trade in healthy animals and this gesture by UNMISS will go a long way towards securing our income,” said Mr. Dau.
For his part, Bodhok Ayang Aney Kur, Governor of Upper Nile, while appreciating UNMISS, reiterated his commitment to supply medicines and vaccines to the clinic.
“Our partners at UNMISS have done their job and now it is our turn,” Governor Kur declared. “I have already contacted counterparts at the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Health in Juba to purchase the necessary equipment, medicines and vaccines, and our vets will soon be able to start treating the cattle.”
The construction of the clinic, which was carried out by the UN peacekeeping mission under its Quick Impact Projects (QIP) program that addresses urgent public needs by funding small-scale, low-cost projects cost, was overseen by the local implementing partner, the Mentor Initiative Organization.
As well as providing immediate relief to livestock owners, the facility is also expected to promote greater social cohesion among the Melut communities.
“Our primary goals at UNMISS are to protect civilians and help bring lasting peace to South Sudan. We hope the clinic will promote peaceful coexistence in Melut and nearby villages by providing a space for livestock owners to come together, ensure their animals are in good health and support each other," said Leda Limann, director of the mission field office in Malakal.
With farmers in Malawi still affected by tropical storms that devastated crops and livelihoods in recent weeks, the Norwegian Minister for International Development and the President of the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) (www.IFAD .org) will visit the country to meet with their leaders and small farmers to discuss the impacts of climate change and ways to build resilience.
“Extreme weather events have increased around the world and have recently caused destruction in Malawi, and it is small farmers who are feeling the brunt. My urgent call is to increase investments in adaptation and resilience to ensure that climate change does not deepen hunger and poverty,” said Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD, before the visit.
“Food security is a top priority in Norway's development policy because it is essential to fight inequality, poverty and hunger,” said Anne Beatthe Tvinnereim, Norway's Minister for International Development. “IFAD's projects and programs enable smallholder farmers and fisherfolk to produce enough safe and healthy food in a climate-smart way. Therefore, I am looking forward to a joint field visit with President Gilbert Houngbo to IFAD projects in Malawi. Norway will strengthen our partnership with IFAD and complement our core contribution significantly by 2022-24."
Arriving on February 27 for a three-day visit, Beathe Tvinnereim and Houngbo will meet Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Lobin Lowe and Minister for Finance and Economy Sosten Alfred Gwengwe. , to discuss investments in resilience to climate change to achieve the goals of zero poverty and hunger in the country by 2030.
They will then travel to an IFAD-supported project to discuss the challenges of climate change and COVID-19 directly with smallholder farmers, particularly women, to see how targeted investments have built their resilience and improved their food security, nutrition and livelihoods. gender equality. . While in country, they will also meet with Rudolf Schwenk, UN Resident Coordinator Acting, the UN Country Team, development partners and representatives of Farmers' Organizations working in Malawi.
Malawi is a relatively small country with an estimated population of around 19 million people, 83 percent of whom live in rural areas. Agriculture remains the backbone of the economy, accounting for almost a quarter of Malawi's GDP. However, many small farmers struggle to make a decent living, with 70 percent of the country's population living below the poverty line of US$1.90 a day.
With improved processing technologies and farming methods, small farmers can feed a growing population while restoring degraded ecosystems and reducing the carbon footprint of agriculture. When they have access to weather forecasting and disaster preparedness information, they are more resilient to severe weather events, such as the tropical storms that resulted in the country declaring a state of emergency last month. This requires greater investment in small farmers, who are often the poorest and most marginalized rural population.
Since 1981, IFAD has financed 14 rural development programs and projects in Malawi for a total cost of US$653.67 million, with a Fund investment of US$350.48 million. This has directly benefited more than 2 million rural households.
The International Olympic Committee sharply criticized Russia on Thursday for violating an "Olympic Truce" with its attack on Ukraine and said it was coordinating humanitarian assistance to Ukrainian athletes where possible.
Hours after Moscow began invading its pro-Western neighbor, the IOC said in a statement that it "strongly condemns the Russian government's breach of the Olympic Truce."
He noted that the 193 UN member states had agreed last December to a global truce that would begin seven days before the start of the Olympic Games in Beijing on February 4 and end seven days after the end of the Paralympic Games on March 13.
But in the early hours of Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, killing dozens and forcing hundreds to flee for their lives.
"Today, IOC President Thomas Bach reiterates his call for peace, which he expressed in his speeches at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games," he said.
The IOC also said that "following recent events", it was "deeply concerned about the safety of the Olympic Community in Ukraine".
The organization, it said, had "established a working group to closely monitor the situation and coordinate humanitarian assistance to members of the Olympic Community in Ukraine where possible."
Source Credit: TheGuardian
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in Ukraine on Thursday with explosions heard shortly afterwards across the country and his foreign minister warning that a "full-scale invasion" was taking place.
Weeks of intense diplomacy and the imposition of Western sanctions on Russia failed to deter Putin, who had massed 150,000 to 200,000 troops along Ukraine's borders.
“I have made the decision for a military operation,” Putin said in a surprise television announcement that drew immediate condemnation from US President Joe Biden and sent turmoil through global financial markets.
Shortly after the announcement, explosions were heard in Ukraine's capital Kiev and in several other cities, according to AFP correspondents.
Putin called on the Ukrainian soldiers to lay down their arms and justified the operation by claiming that the government was overseeing a "genocide" in the east of the country.
The Kremlin had previously said that rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine had asked Moscow for military help against Kiev.
The scope of Thursday's attacks was not immediately clear, but Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the worst case scenario was unfolding.
“Putin has just launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Peaceful Ukrainian cities are on strike," Kuleba tweeted.
“This is a war of aggression. Ukraine will defend and win. The world can and must stop Putin. The time to act is now."
Biden immediately warned of the "consequences" for Russia and that there would be a "catastrophic loss of life and human suffering."
The NATO chief condemned Russia's "reckless and unprovoked attack" on Ukraine.
Putin's move came after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an emotional appeal Wednesday night for Russians not to support a "major war in Europe."
Speaking in Russian, Zelensky said that the people of Russia were being lied to about Ukraine.
Zelensky said he had tried to call Putin but "there was no answer, just silence," adding that Moscow now had around 200,000 troops near Ukraine's borders.
Earlier on Wednesday, separatist leaders from Donetsk and Luhansk sent separate letters to Putin, asking him to "help them repel Ukraine's aggression," Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
The two letters were published by Russian state media and were both dated February 22.
Their appeals came after Putin recognized their independence and signed friendship treaties with them that include defense deals.
'Moment of danger'
Putin had for weeks braved a barrage of international criticism over the crisis, with some Western leaders saying he was no longer rational.
His announcement of the military operation came ahead of a last-minute summit involving European Union leaders in Brussels scheduled for Thursday.
The 27-nation bloc also imposed sanctions on Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and senior figures including commanders of Russia's army, navy and air force, another part of the Western punishment spree after Putin will try to rewrite the borders of Ukraine.
The United Nations Security Council met Wednesday night for its second emergency session in three days on the crisis, with a personal plea from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to Putin going unheeded.
"President Putin, stop your troops from attacking Ukraine, give peace a chance, too many people have already died," Guterres said.
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, has warned that a full Russian invasion could displace five million people, triggering a new refugee crisis in Europe.
Before Putin's announcement, Ukraine had urged its roughly three million citizens living in Russia to leave.
“We are united in the belief that the future of European security is being decided right now, here at home in Ukraine,” President Zelensky said during a joint media appearance with visiting leaders from Poland and Lithuania.
Western capitals said Russia had amassed 150,000 troops in combat formations on Ukraine's borders with Russia, Belarus and Russian-occupied Crimea and on warships in the Black Sea.
Ukraine has about 200,000 military personnel and could call up as many as 250,000 reservists.
Moscow's total forces are much larger, around a million active-duty troops, and have been modernized and rearmed in recent years.
high cost of war
But Ukraine has received advanced anti-tank weapons and some drones from NATO members. More has been promised as allies try to deter a Russian attack or at least make it costly.
Shelling had intensified in recent days between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists (a Ukrainian soldier was killed on Wednesday, the sixth in four days) and civilians living near the front lines were fearful.
Dmitry Maksimenko, a 27-year-old coal miner from the state-owned Krasnogorivka, told AFP he was surprised when his wife came to tell him that Putin had recognized the two Russian-backed separatist enclaves.
“She said, 'Have you heard the news?' How could she have known? No electricity, never mind internet. I don't know what's going to happen next, but to be honest, I'm scared,” she said.
In a Russian village some 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the border, AFP reporters saw military equipment, including rocket launchers, howitzers and fuel tanks, mounted on trains stretching hundreds of meters.
Russia has long demanded that Ukraine be barred from joining the NATO alliance and that US troops be withdrawn from Eastern Europe.
Speaking to reporters, Putin on Tuesday set out a series of strict conditions if the West wanted to de-escalate the crisis, saying Ukraine should abandon its NATO ambition and become neutral.
Washington on Wednesday announced sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which Germany had previously suspended by halting certification.
Australia, Britain, Japan and the European Union have also announced sanctions.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
The United Nations will work together with the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as well as with other partners, to ensure security in the eastern part of the country, said Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the top peacekeeping official of the ONU.
He was speaking in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, on the first day of his visit to the country, on behalf of Secretary General António Guterres.
Mr. Lacroix held different discussions with the provincial authorities of Ituri and North Kivu and reiterated the need for the international community and other regional partners to support the Democratic Republic of the Congo in providing security for displaced people, including in the province of Ituri, where recurrent attacks by CODECO militias in Djugu territory have left hundreds dead and thousands internally displaced.
Local security is a priority
Mr. Lacroix visited a UN site in the Djugu territory of Ituri that is home to 74,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and heard from representatives of the communities living on the site, who made several requests to the UN, and to the Government , as Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. of Defense, Gilbert Kabanda, accompanied the head of UN peacekeeping.
Defense Minister Kabanda promised that, within a month, more Congolese troops will be deployed to villages to which internally displaced people have fled, so that security can be fully restored and infrastructure such as schools and centers can be built. of health.
One of the village representatives, Pilo Mulindro Willy, who is Chief of Bulkwa, raised the issue of security, both at the Roe town site and in the villages, as a top priority. “I asked the government to disarm these armed groups that are bothering our people. The villagers want to go back home so they can continue farming,” he emphasized.
"We want the government to send more troops to protect our villages," he said, adding that the promised month is too long to wait for troops to come and secure the area.
The Minister acknowledged that the site in Roe was not secure as there are not enough Congolese army troops to protect civilians.
Women ask for special protection
Among the women representatives Mr. Lacroix met with was Beatrice Manyotsi, who told UN News in an interview after the meeting that they need lasting solutions to insecurity problems.
“We appreciate the meeting we had with the United Nations today, as it is a long time since we had that opportunity. We really appreciate it because such a meeting could bring lasting solutions to the problems we are facing in the DRC in general and in Ituri in particular,” said Ms. Manyotsi.
She then highlighted the specific challenges women face, including violence and death. “We Congolese women live in difficult conditions, women are being killed, mutilated, we are like objects that are worthless to anyone. There is no education for our children. We want our United Nations to help us in this area because our children are the Congolese of tomorrow. They are the ones who will take charge. If they are living in pathetic conditions at the IDP site, for example, the future of our country will be in jeopardy."
Ms. Manyotsi supported the Bulkwa Chief's call for priority to be given to security: “We cannot go to agriculture or look for firewood and drinking water, as we are being threatened by the armed groups”.
According to UN officials, the wave of violent attacks in the Ituri area since November 2021 has led to an increase in the number of internally displaced people at the Roe site, leading to the rapid saturation of facilities there.
Humanitarian needs are high
There is a serious lack of infrastructure and basic services for displaced people, which leads many to settle in public spaces, while others are welcomed in precarious conditions by host families. Currently, displaced people do not have access to shelter, food, medical care and psychosocial assistance. Newly displaced people lack basic shelter and essential items, putting additional pressure on IDPs who were in place prior to the last six months.
Sanitation and hygiene are critical due to the lack of WASH facilities, increasing the risk of a surge in deadly epidemics.
We stand in solidarity with the Congolese people
After a 15-minute flight from the Roe site to Bunia, Mr. Lacroix traveled to Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, where he held talks with the military governor, Lieutenant General Ndima Constant.
The UN peacekeeper reiterated the solidarity of the United Nations with the Congolese people.
"The Secretary-General sends his message of our determination to work tirelessly with national, local, military, police and civilian authorities, as well as our common determination to see that the local population benefits from our humanitarian appeal and security efforts," he said. Mr. Lacroix, adding that his visit has demonstrated the cordial relations between the United Nations and the provincial authorities.
On the protection of civilians in Goma, Mr. Lacroix cited a great collaboration that has been established between the Congolese armed forces, the FARDC and one of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's neighbors, saying: “I believe that these determined efforts they bear fruit, but we all understand it. it takes time, that's why the United Nations has to repeat every time we call and commit. It is possible that he is determined and at the same time understands that it is not a problem that can be solved in certain weeks or months.”
On February 17, the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the humanitarian community launched an appeal for $1.88 billion to implement the Humanitarian Response Plan 2022, with the aim of providing assistance to 8.8 million vulnerable people.
On Thursday, Mr. Lacroix will be in the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kinshasa, to represent the UN Secretary-General at the Addis Ababa Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Regional Monitoring Mechanism (ROM) Summit for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region.
Strengthening value chains between Africa and the European Union (EU) is a priority objective for sustainable growth and decent employment on both continents. Recent market imbalances and disparities, involving supply chain disruptions and inattention to social and environmental impacts on vulnerable groups, indicate the importance of business collaboration and impact investing to address challenges and leverage common opportunities.
Africa is home to more than a billion people, 60% of whom are under 25 years of age. The continent is experiencing steady economic growth, with a projected GDP increase of 3.8% in 2022, and the fastest growing middle class in the world. Until now, the EU has been Africa's largest trading and investment partner, accounting for a third of Africa's commodity exports in 2018. Most of it is primary goods, including raw materials and agricultural products. Proximity and strong historical and cultural ties add value to the Africa-EU trade relationship.
Furthermore, textiles and clothing is a fast-growing industry in several African countries. In fact, the apparel and footwear industry in sub-Saharan Africa amounts to US$31 billion and is expected to grow by 5% until 2024. Currently, the African continent is responsible for 5.8% of the world's production of cotton and employs more than 450,000 people. While China and India have been the biggest producers in the garment industry, “made in Africa” is gaining momentum. Trends of proximity to African regions by apparel and footwear players are emerging as an opportunity to better address value chain disruptions and bottlenecks.
However, the EU regulatory environment and the growing demand for sustainable business models in the textile industry risk hampering business operations. While there are noble goals behind promoting sustainable business practices through compliance with environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria, such initiatives can also pose challenges for African exports by incurring costs related to the need for better human resources, managerial skills and technological skills. Advanced technologies and new requirements in the EU risk widening the knowledge gap between different actors in the supply chain, especially affecting vulnerable actors located in remote areas.
Mobilizing resources for compliance with due diligence policy and legislation
“Building the traceability of sustainable value chains in the two continents with the support of blockchain technology” was the central theme of recent discussions at a side event organized by the UNECE-ITC initiative to improve transparency and traceability of sustainable value chains in clothing and footwear. , with OACPS; the Egyptian Garment Export Council and the Bishara Group; Filming Spa; Hugo Boss; and UNIDO Egypt. It was part of the 7th EU-Africa Business Forum 2022, jointly organized by the African Union (AU) Commission, the EU and European business organisations, bringing together more than 15,000 experts, government representatives, international organizations and stakeholders.
“Increasing sustainability measures in the EU requires education, access to technical knowledge and increased assistance in the Global South. Affordable medium- and long-term financing is needed to achieve integration into global value chains and compliance with changing legislation. Instead of individual actions, we need greater collaboration between the Global North and the Global South, especially through public-private partnerships, to avoid trade barriers in the future”, highlighted Mr. Escipión J. Oliveira Gómez, Deputy Secretary General of the OACPS.
Participants discussed the importance of traceability in fashion and apparel value chains through advanced technologies, such as blockchain, as a key driver for ESG compliance and due diligence, as well as promoting business models. sustainable.
“Increasing consumer interest in transparent supply chains calls for more traceable actions at the business end. Blockchain is a crucial mechanism for enabling visibility and capturing trusted information throughout the supply chain, from cotton growers to consumers. However, we need a standard approach to implement the technology and make it accessible to all, particularly as traceability is a key success factor for more responsible business and consumption patterns”, stressed Ms. Elisabeth Tuerk, Director of Economic Cooperation and Trade . Division at UNECE. “UNECE, with the UN/CEFACT blockchain pilots, seeks to implement universal standards that can be widely adopted in the garment industry to bridge the digital divide,” she concludes.
Declaration calls for innovative financial instruments and technical support to accelerate sustainable value chains
To deliver results, the Forum launched the EU-Africa Joint Business Statement to influence policy-making and business activities, and reconcile concrete actions for a sustainable fashion and textile industry of the future:
Support for the transition of SMEs towards sustainable business models by financing measures in production processes and reducing trade barriers.
Greater investment to achieve the economic integration of MSMEs and take advantage of the full potential of advanced technologies for the traceability of sustainability performance.
Capacity building to accelerate MSME compliance with ESG requirements.
Implementation of Textile Industry Centers in Africa, based on the experience of the African Cotton and Textile Industry Federation (ACTIF).
Trade incentives in the form of tariffs, access to finance and trade facilitation.
Prevention and monitoring of the transfer of costs to providers of sustainability compliance measures by international organizations or EU agencies.
The statement calls for a concrete business outcome: to establish an "EU-Africa Fund for Ethical Fashion and Apparel" to:
Window I: "Technology transfer and ESG support for capacity building and enhancing partnerships between value chain actors" to promote compliance with ESG standards and technology and knowledge transfer, and harness the potential of advanced technologies and digital solutions for performance traceability and sustainability credentials. , for small and vulnerable actors.
Window II: "Green Textiles, Green Garments and Ethical Fashion in Africa and Europe", to support SMEs in the overall green transition towards sustainable value and supply chains, for those that are not yet ready.
Looking ahead, we must respond to the needs of African MSMEs to better integrate them into global markets. While external factors are reshaping the industry, UNECE, together with its partners, calls for action to promote sustainable trade in an inclusive manner, especially through advanced technologies.
The South African government is concerned about ongoing tensions on the Ukraine-Russia border, a situation that, if allowed to deteriorate further, could have regional and global ramifications.
South Africa urges all parties to devote greater efforts to diplomacy and to find a solution that will help reduce tensions and avoid armed conflict.
Commenting on the situation, Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Dr. Naledi Pandor said: "All sides have much to gain from a negotiated outcome and much to lose from unnecessary and violent conflict."
South Africa further calls on the UN Security Council to play a central role in the search for peace.
“The United Nations Security Council is the body entrusted with the maintenance of international peace and security and it must fully exercise its role. As South Africa, we believe that all issues of interest to either party should be addressed in inclusive talks led by the United Nations Secretary-General." said Minister Pandora.
The world does not need another war, as that will result in death and destruction, hence our call for more diplomacy.
Cyclone Emnati hit the island nation of Madagascar overnight, still reeling from the impact of another cyclone earlier this month, local authorities said on Wednesday.
The cyclone "made landfall around 23:00 GMT, just north of the southeastern Manakara district," Faly Aritiana Fabien, a senior official at the National Risk Management Office (BNGRC), told AFP. No casualties have yet been reported.
The storm, which passed just north of the Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius and Reunion, had weakened slightly by the time it reached the east coast of Madagascar, but still had winds of around 100 kilometers (60 miles) per hour and gusts of 140km/h h, according to Meteo-France.
The cyclone is expected to leave Madagascar on Wednesday night, but authorities are warning of torrential rain.
The national meteorologist, Meteo-Madagascar, warned of strong gusts, heavy rain and widespread flooding in the southern and southeastern districts.
UN agencies had said on Tuesday that they were preparing "for the worst".
Another storm, Cyclone Batsirai, hit the island on February 5, affecting an estimated 270,000 people and claiming 121 lives.
At the same time, some 21,000 people remain displaced since Tropical Storm Ana hit in late January.
Another 5,000 were affected last week by Tropical Storm Dumako.
More than 30,600 people have been precautionarily transferred to emergency shelters.
One of the world's poorest countries, the southern region of the large Indian Ocean island country has been devastated by drought, the worst in 40 years, according to the UN, which blames climate change for the crisis.
The island is prone to numerous storms and cyclones between November and April each year.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
The Assistant Secretary General for United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, arrived on Tuesday, February 22, in Bunia, the capital of the Ituri province, in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This is the first leg of your three-day visit to the DRC which will take you to Goma and Kinshasa. It was 12:50 p.m. ET when his plane came to rest on the runway at Murongo Airport in Bunia. After being received by the head of the UN Mission in the Congo and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in the DRC, Bintou Keita, and by the interim Governor of Ituri, Benjamin Alongabony, Jean-Pierre Lacroix was accompanied by the Congolese Defense Minister. , Gilbert Kabanda, who had come especially from Kinshasa. Together they reviewed the humanitarian and security challenges facing Ituri province, which has been under a state of siege since May 2021, due to the activities of both local and foreign armed groups, and therefore the support that the UN could provide. to the Congolese government. to meet these challenges. Civil society petitions Following this, the head of the UN peacekeeping operations met with representatives of the local communities whose expectations regarding this visit are enormous. For example, for women's organizations, the UN needs to be involved in promoting the effective implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325. As well as helping women to recover their dignity in the face of serious violations of their rights committed by armed groups, including murders and rapes. Elisabeth Buve, president of the Collectif des Femmes de l'Ituri, also called on the UN to "get involved so that women are represented in the program of disarmament, demobilization and community reintegration." For their part, the human rights NGOs ask the UN to become involved in supporting the government in the fight against impunity for the perpetrators of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Ituri. At the heart of the IDP site In the early afternoon, Jean-Pierre Lacroix and his delegation flew to Roe, 80 km from Bunia, in the Djugu territory. Here, between 65,000 and 70,000 IDPs live in the largest IDP camp in Ituri. In addition to the MONUSCO peacekeepers, the displaced in Roe can also count on the humanitarian community, whose action they welcome. National and international NGOs, as well as UN agencies, provide assistance ranging from health care to water and sanitation, education, house construction, etc. to a renewed peace. In Roe, where he spent the afternoon, Jean-Pierre Lacroix met with local authorities and representatives of those displaced by the conflict. He also expressed his solidarity with the men, women and children who continue to be deeply affected by the violence of armed groups in the region. The UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations left Bunia and Ituri on Tuesday afternoon for Goma, North Kivu. He will then fly to Kinshasa where he will meet, among others, with the Head of State Felix Tshisekedi. About 19,000 patrols in 2021 The province of Ituri, in the eastern DRC, has been plagued by almost chronic insecurity, marked by a lull between 2003 and 2017. Since then, atrocities committed by various armed groups have led to massive population displacements. An estimated 1.8 million people have fled their homes in the province. The United Nations Mission has several military bases, mainly in the territory of Djugu, the epicenter of the violence, and also in Irumu. ADF rebels, pursued by the Congolese (and recently Ugandan) army and MONUSCO in North Kivu, have been on the run and seeking refuge in Ituri. In 2021, MONUSCO peacekeepers carried out more than 16,700 motorized patrols and nearly 1,000 foot and air patrols in Ituri, helping to save civilian lives. In support of the national army (FARDC), the UN peacekeepers escorted more than 10,000 civilian vehicles through the different roads of the province between July 2021 and January 2022, thus preventing the suffocating blockade of large urban centers, which is what these armed groups are aiming at.