World Bulletin / News Desk
The cries of hungry babies pierce the quiet of dawn in the green jungles of northwestern Colombia.
Sordid fighting over drugs and land continues. Terrified locals are starving to death.
"There is no food here," says John Hamilton Sagugara, a school teacher in Tasi, one of a grouping of local indigenous communities.
"Many people have diarrhea, vomiting and fever."
With the youngest of her seven children clinging to her breast, Mariluz Dari confirms it. Her baby has been sick for the past three weeks.
Naked children with bellies swollen by hunger roam the mud streets between the wooden houses.
Local authorities say two children died here last year from gastric and respiratory conditions caused by malnutrition.
Nothing but bananas
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos won the Nobel Peace Prize last year for reaching an accord with the leftist FARC rebels to end five decades of conflict.
His government has also launched peace talks with the country's last remaining rebel group, the leftist National Liberation Army (ELN).
But local officials here say that the ELN is still fighting against right-wing paramilitary groups -- remnants of a long, many-sided conflict.
"There is a really strong presence of ELN here," says Dayro Palacios, an administrator in Pie de Pato, municipal capital of the surrounding district.
"They are seeking control of the drug-trafficking and that means they are constantly fighting for territory."
The violence forced hundreds of people to abandon their homes near the Upper Baudo river in 2014 and resettled in other nearby communities.
One of them, Tasi community leader Jeison Mecha of the indigenous Embera people, says he eats once a day on average: "nothing but bananas."
Despite the peace efforts, "we are still suffering," he says in broken Spanish.
The locals used to grow corn, plantains and rice. They used to rear pigs and hens. They have had to abandon it all for the jungle.
"We ran in fear," says Sagugara, the schoolteacher, his golden tooth glinting in the midday sun.
Upriver in the village of Puesto Indio, resettled families live crammed in overcrowded huts perched on piles.
On January 9, armed guerrillas burst into a meeting of local leaders and threatened to kill them.
"They accused us of collaborating with the paramilitaries," said one leader, who has not been named to protect him from reprisals.
"We were very, very afraid."
The Red Cross has mediated to help calm the conflict in the region and aid civilians.
But for fear of being attacked, locals stay in their settlements, guarded by indigenous strongmen with wooden staves.
Stuck there without access to their crops, they are slowly starving.
"When people are hungry, there is no peace," Jaime Valderrama, a senior official in the Upper Baudo district government.
Caught in crossfire
As well as extortion and reprisals by the fighting sides, locals fear being caught in the crossfire.
They say they are also at risk from bombardments by government forces targeting drug-traffickers and illegal mines.
The United Nations warned last year that the local Afro-Colombian and indigenous populations needed "urgent" protection.
Authorities say there are 6,000 people displaced and 7,000 confined to their homes in the surrounding Choco region for fear of violence.
"We cannot guarantee that the peace process will end the violence," says Luis Carlos Arce, governor of Alto Tumando, another settlement of displaced people.
"The violence of hunger, its impact on education and health -- that is not going to end."
It marked the first loss for the security body's Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine since Europe's only war began more than three years ago.
Camp Lemonnier, home to some 4,000 US soldiers and contractors, is vital to US military operations in Somalia against militant groups like Al-Shabaab, and also provides support for US operations in Yemen, where special forces regularly carry out drone strikes against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Victims were caught in fight between ISIL and Iraqi forces
"Let's see if we can go eat them for breakfast," he says with an ominous chuckle.
Mass abstentions could mar one of the most unpredictable presidential elections in France's recent history
The Palestinian medical sources said dozens of residents from the hardline settlement of Yitzhar went to the neighbouring village of Urif and threw stones at residents who responded in kind.
After tense negotiations with security forces blocking their way, protesters in Caracas were allowed to march to their destination, the headquarters of the Catholic bishops' conference.
On Saturday, police arrested a man carrying a knife at Paris's Gare du Nord station, briefly causing panic as some passengers rushed out of the way.
The UN has accused the Nsapu rebellion of using child soldiers and committing several atrocities, while also denouncing the disproportionate use of force by the military.
Charles Taylor was elected Liberia's president from 1999 to 2003, when he also supported Revolutionary United Front rebels in neighbouring Sierra Leone.
Rabat condemned its North African neighbour's "inhumane behaviour" towards the refugees who included "women and children in a very vulnerable situation".
Egypt has freed US charity worker who had been held for three years in pretrial detention on human trafficking charges widely dismissed as bogus by human rights groups.
A Russian agent namely would likely have concealed his or her true role or identity while speaking with foreign policy adviser Carter Page, who has denied any links to Moscow
Mugabe, who would be 99 if he held power through another full term, has ruled through the country's drastic economic collapse.
The US Navy on April 8 said it was directing a naval strike group headed by the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier to "sail north" from waters off Singapore, as a "prudent measure" to deter the regime.
Videos shot by El Valle residents showed people throwing bottles and other objects out their windows at the gunmen in the streets below, shouting "Murderers!"