InnovMetric Reports Record PolyWorks® License Sales Worldwide for Fiscal Year 2016


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UN: Ethnic Violence, Humanitarian Crisis Deepen in Congo


GENEVA � Spreading ethnic violence is driving more people from their homes in the Democratic Republic of Congo where the humanitarian situation is “dramatically deteriorating”, the United Nations said on Monday.

Some 100,000 people were uprooted last week alone, bringing the ranks of displaced in the central Kasai region to nearly 1.3 million, it said. The total number of displaced throughout Congo has more than doubled to 3.7 million since Aug 2016.

“This very acute crisis in the DRC is not just expanding dramatically in terms of numbers but it’s also expanding in terms of geographical scope,” said Rein Paulsen, head of the U.N. Office for Humanitarian Affairs office in Congo.

“The fact that we are also now seeing an evolution of the conflict in the Kasais where inter-ethnic violence and conflict is becoming a dominant characteristic should be a deep, deep concern to all of us,” he told a news briefing.

The U.N. said last month it had documented 40 mass grave sites and killings of more than 400 people in Kasai, the focus of the fight against the Kamuina Nsapu militia, since August when security forces killed its leader. The militia has been fighting largely to avenge his death.

Paulsen cited fresh reports from U.N. staff of inter-ethnic fighting in the Kasais, including the Penda and Chokwe ethnic groups against the Luba and clashes between the Lunda and Luba.

In Manono, in the eastern province of Tanganyika, more than 140 villages have been reportedly burned down in a separate conflict between the pygmy population and Bantu ethnic groups, causing forced displacement, he said.

Across the vast Central African nation, an estimated 1.9 million children under five are severely acutely malnourished, a condition which could kill them or leave them with lifelong damage, Paulsen said.

The United Nations has received just 19 percent of the $812.5 million sought in the humanitarian appeal for Congo this year, he said.

The world body said last month it was horrified by a video screened by the government that appeared to show the brutal killing of two U.N. investigators.

Congo’s government said the film showed members of an anti-government militia carrying out the act although that has not been confirmed by either the U.N. or independent analysts.

Paulsen said that government workers – education inspectors and local transportation staff – had been “killed and beheaded” in the Kasais in the past week despite tighter security.

Source: Voice of America

UN: South Sudan War Forces 2 Million Children to Flee Homes


KIGALI � War and famine have forced more than 2 million children in South Sudan to flee their homes, creating the most worrying refugee crisis in the world, the United Nations said on Monday.

The civil war in the oil-producing country began two years after it won independence from neighboring Sudan, when President Salva Kiir fired his deputy in 2013.

The fighting that followed split the country along ethnic lines, spurred hyperinflation and plunged parts of the nation into famine, creating Africa’s biggest refugee crisis since the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

“No refugee crisis today worries me more than South Sudan, Valentin Tapsoba, the Africa chief for the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, said in a statement.

In a country of 12 million people, nearly three in every four children do not go to school, UNHCR and the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF said. More than 1 million children have fled outside South Sudan while another 1 million are internally displaced.

The agencies said more than a thousand children have been killed in the fighting. The true figure may be much higher since there are no accurate death tolls available for South Sudan, one of the world’s least developed nations.

Many South Sudanese refugees have fled into neighboring Uganda, Kenya, Sudan or Ethiopia, nations which are already struggling to provide enough food and resources for their own populations.

Source: Voice of America