Despite looting of aid agencies in Central African Republic UN pledges continued

“We must continue with the emergency response,” UN Humanitarian Coordinator in CAR Aurélien A. Agbénonci said. “Access to displaced populations is crucial. The needs of displaced persons are increasing every day and our main aim is to provide assistance to those in need, regardless of their political affiliation, race or ethnicity in compliance with the humanitarian principles of impartiality, independence and neutrality.” The offices and residences of national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were looted during the sudden outbreak of violence that began on 26 September in Bangui, the capital, leaving 42 people dead and 414 injured and driving more than 37,000 people from their homes to seek refuge with host families and in 32 displacement sites in the city. Some 200 humanitarian workers were temporarily relocated out of CAR and about 100 other non-essential staff were relocated to the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The security situation has deteriorated, impeding the freedom of movement of humanitarian workers since the beginning of the crisis.“Despite the security constraints, humanitarian actors continue to provide assistance to the affected population,” Mr. Agbénonci said. “We remain firmly committed to maintaining our presence in the country and to providing the necessary assistance to the population in areas where humanitarian access is possible.” Following the recent violence there are over 417,000 displaced people in CAR and about 2.7 million people, over half the population, are in urgent need of assistance.The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), set up in April 2014 to help bring peace after a breakdown of governmental authority and vicious intercommunal fighting between mainly the Muslim Séléka group and the mainly Christian anti-Balaka movement, currently maintains nearly 11,000 uniformed personnel in the country, one of the world’s poorest. read more

Madelines Madeline next in BUFS lineup

The line between performance and reality begins to blur in the latest offering by the Brock University Film Society.Madeline’s Madeline, an intense and challenging drama written and directed by Josephine Decker, will be screened at The Film House in downtown St. Catharines on Thursday, Oct. 11.Molly Parker stars as an experimental theatre director with newcomer Helena Howard as a gifted young performer.Madeline (Howard) has become an integral part of a prestigious theatre troupe. When the ambitious director (Parker) pushes Madeline to weave her rich interior world and her troubled relationship with her mother (Miranda July) into their collective art, the lines between performance and reality begin to blur. The resulting conflict rips out of the rehearsal space and through all three women’s lives.The Minneapolis Star Tribune calls Howard “a once-in-a-generation talent.”The Boston Globe calls Madeline’s Madeline “one of the best films of the year, if also one of the hardest to initially get your head around.”Tickets are available at the Film House on the evening of screenings.General admission is $9 or $7 for members, plus tax. Memberships are available through The Film House website.Visit the BUFS web page for a full list of this season’s selections. A calendar of films coming to the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre over the next couple of months is posted on The Film House website. Look for the red B that indicates a BUFS-hosted screening.For more than 40 years, the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film has hosted the film society (previously known as a series) to bring some of the best in independent, international and Canadian cinema to St. Catharines.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span> read more