Soyinka Condemns Rising Election Violence

Nigerian Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has condemned the spate of killing in the ongoing political campaign rallies of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties in that country.

Soyinka has also urged Nigerian electorate to reject a directive of the country’s inspector of police, that citizens should not use cellphones and cameras to record and monitor voting processes.

MSF: Côte d'Ivoire Healthcare Crumbles Amid Violence

Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) says that access to healthcare in Côte d'Ivoire has been hit hard by post-election violence, as medical staff flee the country and stocks of medicine run out.

In a press statement, MSF points out that, "Faced with insecurity like the rest of the population, medical personnel have fled health establishments in conflict zones," in Western Côte d'Ivoire and the economic capital, Abidjan.

UNHCR Slams Bahrain Hospital Army Takeover

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has slammed security forces' takeover of Bahrain hospitals and medical facilities as ‘a blatant violation of international law’.

In a press statement, UNHCR commissioner, Navi Pillay, says she is ‘deeply’ alarmed by the escalation of violence by security forces in Bahrain, in particular the reported takeover of hospitals and medical centres in the country.

MSF Withdraws Teams From Eastern Libya

Paris-based medical aid group, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), has withdrawn its teams from eastern Libya to Egypt due to heavy fighting between insurgents and forces loyal to President Muammar Gaddafi.

In a press statement, MSF states that it will still help Libyans, mainly through sending supplies.

The organisation says it had made 33 tons of medical supplies available, but security conditions make it effectively impossible for medical teams to travel safely to areas of fighting where there was the greatest need.

IOM Wants US$49.2m to Help Migrants

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has increased its appeal for the Libyan crisis to US$49.2 million dollars, urging the international donor community to not let up in responding to the crisis.

IOM director, William Lacy Swing, points out that the organisation is concerned at the plight of Libyans and migrants who are still stranded inside Libya.

NGO Braces for the Worst in Libya Conflict

The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Jakob Kellenberger, says he is bracing for an intensification of the conflict in Libya, suggesting it amounted to a civil war.

Kellenberger points out that, "We always have to prepare for the worst. In this specific case, we have to prepare for a further intensification of the fighting."

Giving an assessment of the situation on the ground, he says: "My understanding now is that we have now a non-international armed conflict and I have no problem with the term civil war."

HRW: No Justice in Zim Political Killing

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned Zimbabwe for failing to prosecute killings and torture during the country's bloody 2008 election, saying new polls risked descending again into violence.

The HRW in a new report found that two years after the creation of a power-sharing government meant to end political bloodshed, members of the security forces and allies of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party continue to arrest, beat, torture and kill political opponents with impunity.

Call for Mugabe to Delay Elections

Zimbabwean civic groups have met with the Southern African Development Community and pleaded with the secretariat to call upon President Robert Mugabe to push elections to 2012.

The groups, under the banner of the Zimbabwe Europe Network, are lobbying European Union diplomats in Brussels to dissuade Mugabe from calling early elections without instituting broad reforms.

Amnesty Calls on Ivory Coast to Protect Civilians

Amnesty International (AI) has called on Ivory Coast to provide ‘urgent’ protection and assistance to the population, which is being targeted by armed groups on both sides of the political divide.

AI Africa’s deputy director, Véronique Aubert , points out that the humanitarian crisis in that country is being exacerbated by the tens of thousands of people fleeing Abidjan who need immediate protection and assistance.


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