Posted by: africanpressorganization | 20 October 2014

France / Egypt – Attacks in the Sinai (October 19, 2014)


 

France / Egypt – Attacks in the Sinai (October 19, 2014)

 

PARIS, France, October 20, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Quai d’Orsay – French official statements (Paris, Otober 20, 2014)

 

France condemns the terrorist attack that killed seven soldiers in the Sinai yesterday.

 

We extend our condolences to the victims’ families.

 

France stands alongside the Egyptian people and government in their fight against terrorism.

 

SOURCE 

France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


 

UN Special Representative for Somalia condemns attack on AMISOM troops in Hiiraan region

 

MOGADISHU, Somalia, October 20, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG), Nicholas Kay, condemned an attack on African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces in Hiiraan region and called for calm as rival clans caused insecurity in the area. Armed men and rioters blocked and attacked AMISOM troops yesterday morning while they were on a mission to help restore peace near the village of Deefow.

 

“I condemn yesterday’s attack on AMISOM troops near the village of Deefow in Hiiraan region. They were in the area to calm the situation and promote reconciliation. The situation will not be resolved by further violence. Local leaders and traditional elders must work together to de-escalate the situation and resolve their differences through peaceful dialogue in full co-operation with the federal and regional governments. The Somali people have suffered enough and know that no good can come from further violence and insecurity. We remain committed to supporting the Somali people, the Federal Government and AMISOM as they work together to restore peace.” said SRSG Kay.

 

SRSG Kay extended his sincere condolences to the family and friends of those who were killed or injured as a result of the conflict in Hiiraan region.

 

SOURCE 

UNITED NATIONS


Women and young people: supporting the vectors for innovation

The 15th Francophonie Summit – 29 and 30 November 2014, Dakar International Conference Centre, Senegal

DAKAR, Senegal, October 20, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ For more than a year, experts and members of Senegalese civil society have been rallying together to plan the topics for the 15th Francophonie Summit programme (http://www.francophoniedakar2014.sn), which will focus on the themes from the previous Summit in Kinshasa – “Francophonie’s women and young people: vectors for peace and actors for development”.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/francophonie1.png

The aim: to offer concrete initiatives that respond to the social, economic and political challenges faced by young people and women, whotogether represent of 70% of the population of Francophonie Member States.

The different meetings organized during the year by the Scientific Committee, chaired by El HadjHamidouKassé, Special advisor to the President of the Republic, enabled the formalization of strategic recommendations that will be available for the Head of States and Governments. They start from the necessity to better inform and train women and young people in accordance with local needs but also, and especially, through supporting their entrepreneurial initiatives at a local, national, and international level.

They also call for concerted action by stakeholders in the Francophonie (States and governments, institutions, funding agencies, local authorities, businesses etc.). Among the strategic and operational recommendations:

•          The constitutionalisation of socio-economic and cultural rights of women and young people (access to good quality land and to capital, markets and factors of production)

•          The creation of a Francophonie Forum for scientific, technical, cultural and agricultural innovation to strengthen female entrepreneurship

•          The establishment of innovative support and finance mechanisms with, for example, a Francophonie Bank for entrepreneurial projects of women and young people

•          The improvement of scientific and cultural mobility within the French-speaking community by facilitating visa obtention for limited stays

•          The support of knowledge-sharing within the Francophone space, by extending international volunteering programmes, setting up a Francophone academy and a camp d’excellence

•          The creation of a group that brings together ministers for Health from Francophone countries on issues affecting health

•          The reinforcement of prevention by promoting physical activity and sport in education systems through support of the Francophone Games

•          The use of digital technology, which not only offers unprecedented opportunities for training and learning, but is also an area in which many new initiatives are being developed

•          Establishing operational mechanisms to support women and youth and women employment

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the XVe Sommet de la Francophonie.

Media contact:
Francophonie_dakar2014@richardattiasassociates.com, tel: +33 1 42 68 83 94

For practical information regarding the 15th Francophonie Summit, please visit: http://www.francophoniedakar2014.sn

Also follow the Summit news on Twitter: @SFDK2014 and join the Facebook group: DAKAR 2014!

SOURCE

XVe Sommet de la Francophonie


SkyVision en lice pour trois prestigieux AfricaCom Awards 2014

Les AfricaCom Awards seront décernés le 12 novembre 2014 au Cap dans le cadre de l’édition 2014 de la conférence AfricaCom

LE CAP, Afrique du Sud, 20 octobre 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ La société SkyVision Global Networks Ltd. (http://www.skyvision.net), l’un des principaux fournisseurs mondiaux de services de télécommunications, a annoncé fièrement aujourd’hui qu’elle avait été nominée pour trois des prestigieux AfricaCom Awards 2014. Les nominations de SkyVision sont intervenues dans les catégories suivantes : Best Connectivity Solutions for Africa (Meilleures solutions de connectivité pour l’Afrique) pour les solutions pour réseaux hybrides de type satellite/terrestre de SkyVision ; Changing Lives Award (Prix récompensant un projet qui transforme des vies) pour le soutien apporté par SkyVision à l’Académie Crossover du Ghana ; et VSAT Innovation for Africa (Innovation en technologie VSAT) pour la suite SkyVision Active Series.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/skyvision.jpg

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1448
(Ori Watermann, PDG de SkyVision)

En tant que leader parmi les prestataires de services en Afrique, SkyVision fournit des solutions viables qui aident les entreprises, les organisations et les fournisseurs de services africains à accroître leur productivité et leur rentabilité, ainsi que le niveau de service offert à leurs clients. SkyVision doit son remarquable succès en Afrique à son vaste réseau de partenaires et représentants locaux ainsi qu’à ses bureaux au Sénégal, au Burkina Faso, en Guinée Conakry, au Nigeria, au Cameroun et en Afrique du Sud. SkyVision se concentre depuis plus d’une dizaine d’années sur l’amélioration de la connectivité en Afrique rurale, avec l’installation de concentrateurs et de points de présence (point of presence, POP) sur tout le continent, dans le but de fournir aux clientèles nationales des communications de qualité, et ce jusqu’au dernier kilomètre.

« SkyVision a été témoin de la formidable croissance du marché africain des télécommunications et est honoré d’avoir été sélectionné parmi ses pairs pour ces trois prix très appréciés », a déclaré le PDG de SkyVision, Ori Watermann. « SkyVision continue de faire partie intégrante de l’essor des TIC en Afrique en soutenant fortement les plateformes de communications des principaux secteurs d’activité et principales organisations. Nous sommes également fiers d’avoir fait don de nos services à des établissements d’enseignement établis en milieu rural qui ont grandement besoin de réseaux de communications viables. En contribuant à l’éducation des écoliers africains, nous aidons à jeter les fondements de l’avenir de l’Afrique ».

Les AfricaCom Awards, qui marquent la célébration et la reconnaissance, par l’industrie numérique, des chefs de file mondiaux dans le secteur de la technologie numérique, des TIC, des télécommunications et des médias dans toute l’Afrique, seront décernés le 12 novembre 2014 au Cap dans le cadre de l’édition 2014 de la conférence AfricaCom. SkyVision participera à double titre à ce rendez-vous incontournable du secteur, tant en qualité d’exposant que de sponsor. Pour de plus amples informations, veuillez vous rendre sur le site suivant : http://www.africacomawards.com. Pour rencontrer SkyVision ou pour toute demande de renseignements, veuillez contacter : irist@skyvision.net

Distribué par APO (African Press Organization) pour SkyVision Global Networks Ltd.

For more information, contact:

Iris Tovim

Marketing Communications Manager

SkyVision Global Networks

+44 20 8387 1750

irist@skyvision.net

À propos de SkyVision

SkyVision (http://www.skyvision.net) est un fournisseur mondial de services de télécommunications, qui propose des solutions complètes et intégrées pour répondre aux besoins des entreprises, des administrations publiques et des marchés de télécommunications. En mettant l’accent sur les besoins locaux ou régionaux spécifiques à ses clients, SkyVision offre des solutions de connectivité de réseau d’un niveau supérieur. Connue pour son approche innovante, la société propose un vaste ensemble de solutions personnalisées et de services répondant aux normes du secteur pour une connectivité IP de bout en bout (http://www.skyvision.net/enterprise-solutions), gérée depuis ses passerelles internationales et certains de ses concentrateurs locaux.

SkyVision possède un réseau de portée mondiale permettant à ses clients de se connecter à la dorsale Internet grâce à plus de dix plates-formes satellites et à un réseau de câbles en fibre optique de grande capacité, via ses passerelles en Afrique, en Europe, en Amérique du Nord et au Moyen-Orient, ainsi que ses multiples points de présence (POP) en Afrique. SkyVision gère actuellement un réseau satellite ainsi qu’un réseau de connectivité IP par fibre (http://www.skyvision.net/service/fiber-solutions ) couvrant 100 pays. Les solutions de réseau VSAT (http://www.skyvision.net/services/lobby2/Internet%20Connectivity ) sur bandes Ku et C tirent profit de l’important catalogue de produits de SkyVision dans le domaine spatial à partir des plus grands fournisseurs satellites, et leur capacité est adaptée avec précision aux besoins spécifiques des clients pour une rentabilité optimale. Consultez notre site à l’adresse http://www.skyvision.net.

SOURCE

SkyVision Global Networks Ltd.


As mulheres e os jovens: promotores de inovação a acompanhar!

XV.ª Cimeira da Francofonia – Dias 29 e 30 de novembro de 2014, Centro Internacional de Conferências de Dacar, Senegal

DAKAR, Senegal, October 20, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Desde há mais de um ano, peritos e membros da sociedade civil senegalesa mobilizam-se para planificar a programação temática da XV.ª Cimeira da Francofonia (http://www.francophoniedakar2014.sn), que incidirá sobre os temas escolhidos durante a precedente Cimeira de Kinshasa “Mulheres e jovens na francofonia: vetores de paz e atores do desenvolvimento”.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/francophonie1.png

Objetivo: propor iniciativas concretas para responder aos desafios sociais, económicos e políticos com os quais são confrontados os jovens e as mulheres que, juntos, representam 70% da população dos estados-membros da Francofonia.

As várias reuniões organizadas durante o ano pelo Comité Científico, presidido porEl Hadj Hamidou Kassé, Conselheiro especial do Presidente da República, permitiram a formalização de recomendações estratégicas que serão disponibilizadasa Chefes de Estado e Governos. Elas partem da necessidade de melhor informar e formar as mulheres e os jovens segundo as necessidades locais, mas também, e em especial, através do apoio prestado às suas iniciativas empreendedoras ao nível local, nacional e internacional.

Estas recomendações também exigem uma concertação dos atores da Francofonia (Estados, governos, instituições, doadores, coletividades locais, empresas,…). Entre as recomendações estratégicas e operacionais contam-se:

•          A inclusão nas respetivas constituições dos direitos socioeconómicos e culturais das mulheres e dos jovens (acesso a um solo de qualidade, assim como aos fatores de produção, aos capitais e aos mercados)

•          A criação de um Fórum Francófono de inovação científica, técnica, cultural e agrícola para reforçar o empreendedorismo feminino

•          Mecanismos inovadores de apoio e financiamento como, por exemplo, um Banco Francófono dedicado ao empreendedorismo dos jovens e das mulheres

•          Agilizar a mobilidade científica e cultural no seio da Francofonia, através da obtenção de vistos para estadias de duração limitada

•          Apoiar a circulação de conhecimentos no seio do espaço francófono, através do aumento do voluntariado internacional da Francofonia, fundando uma academia francófona e um centro de excelência

•          Criar uma estrutura para as questões da saúde, que reúna os ministros da Saúde dos países Francófonos

•          Reforçar a prevenção através da promoção da atividade física e desportiva nos sistemas educativos seguindo o modelo dos Jogos da Francofonia

•          Servir-se do mundo digital, que oferece oportunidades inéditas de formação e de aprendizagem, e que representa igualmente um setor no qual numerosas iniciativas jovens se desenvolvem

•          Implementar mecanismos operacionais para apoiar mulheres e jovens e o emprego das mulheres

Distribuído pela APO (African Press Organization) em nome da XVe Sommet de la Francophonie.

Contatos para a imprensa: Francophonie_dakar2014@richardattiasassociates.com, tel.: +33 1 42 68 83 94

Poderá consultar todas as informações práticas da XV.ª Cimeira da Francofonia em: http://www.francophoniedakar2014.sn/

Acompanhe também as notícias da Cimeira em: @SFDK2014 e junte-se ao grupo do Facebook: DAKAR 2014!

SOURCE

XVe Sommet de la Francophonie

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 20 October 2014

European Union Council conclusions on Ebola


 

European Union Council conclusions on Ebola

 

LUXEMBURG, Luxembourg, October 20, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Foreign Affairs Council meeting

The Council adopted the following conclusions:

1. “Recalling its conclusions and the European Council conclusions of August 2014, the Council remains deeply concerned about the ongoing spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa and the increasing number of people being infected and dying from it. The number of deaths in the region has exceeded 4500 and the epidemic continues to grow exponentially in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. In addition, the first cases among health workers being infected outside Africa were recently confirmed.

2. The Council renews its deepest condolences, of Member States and European Union citizens, to all those affected by the outbreak, governments and citizens. The Council also expresses its deep appreciation to all humanitarian and health workers in the front line and reaffirms its readiness to examine further ways of assisting them in their efforts.

3. The Council welcomes the efforts of Governments of affected and neighbouring countries, regional organisations and the international community at large in ensuring that victims receive adequate treatment, that support is provided to their families and that all actors involved, including international organisations and relevant non-governmental organisations

(NGOs) are given safe and unhindered access to all affected areas. The Council commends the mobilisation of the African Union, its efforts at regional coordination and its solidarity with the countries affected by the outbreak. The humanitarian corridor from Dakar and the coming resumption of regional air services from Abidjan are important steps.

4. The Council recognises that a united, coordinated and increased effort is needed in order to contain the outbreak and provide the necessary and appropriate assistance to the countries affected and also to the neighbouring countries. In this respect, it stresses the importance of reinforcing regional and international cooperation at appropriate levels, as well as providing assistance to lead nations, NGOs and the United Nations (UN), particularly the World Health

Organisation (WHO). The EU also looks forward to the quick implementation of the regional operational plan on the fight against Ebola by the Economic Community of West African States. The Council underlines the importance of all actors working together under the UN umbrella and coordinating assistance with the wider UN led effort. It also notes the need to include measures to create resilience in the assistance efforts.

5. The Council welcomes the UN Secretary General’s decision to establish the first-ever UN emergency health mission, the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), based in Accra as an important step in the global efforts to contain the outbreak, to assist with the management and coordination of the international response and take a strong leadership role at national levels. It also welcomes the appointment of David Nabarro, as

Special Envoy on Ebola, and Anthony Banbury as his Special Representative and Head of UNMEER. The European Union will continue the close cooperation with both of them and coordinate its operational response to the epidemic with UNMEER.

6. The Council recognises that measures to contain the epidemic and to support the affected countries also require urgent additional assistance. In this regard, it calls on all international donors to respond to the UN appeal for $ 987.8 million, including through the UN Ebola Trust Fund bearing in mind the important needs in the short and medium term. The EU is committed to play an active role in enhancing the international response and, respecting the overall coordinating role of the UN, is ready to coordinate with other international partners the organisation of a High Level Conference on Ebola with wide participation.

7. The European Union and its Member States have already committed over half a billion Euro to provide urgent medical care to those infected by the virus, to help contain the epidemic and to support governments of affected countries in mitigating the effects of the outbreak on their economies and essential services; the European Union is also contributing financially to the African Union ASEOWA mission (AU Support to Ebola Outbreak in West-Africa). Member States have also been providing substantive assistance, including the secondment of specialists, building of hospitals and availability of air lift capacities, and are mobilising resources in the field of medical research. In this regard, the Council welcomes the role of France, the UK and the US in mounting the response in the affected countries. The Council also welcomes the continued airlinks to and from the countries affected and in this respect it urges all countries to follow the relevant WHO guidelines The European Union will continue to examine needs and provide further assistance to the countries of the region in countering the epidemic, mitigating its short and long-term effects, and enhancing the preparedness of countries in the wider region.

8. The Council fully shares the assessment of UN Security Council Resolution 2177 (2014) that the Ebola outbreak is a threat to international peace and security. The Council will examine at its next meeting the wider political, security and economic implications of Ebola on the most affected and neighbouring West African countries. The Council encourages the EEAS, in cooperation with the Commission and the Member States, to intensify its ongoing diplomatic outreach to African countries and organisations and reiterate the need to isolate the disease but not to isolate countries.

9. The Council welcomes the close coordination of the assistance provided by the Member

States and the EU institutions and the establishment of the Task Force on Ebola within the

Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC). Ensuring synergies in our common response is of the highest priority. The Council also encourages the involvement of the private sector as part of the international health community as exemplified by the on-going works of World Health Summit (Berlin, 19-22 October). The Council underlines also the importance of continuous consultations and information sharing, at the appropriate level, on issues and measures to be taken to protect the EU and its citizens from potential contamination. The EU underlines the need for continuous objective public information on the Ebola virus to prevent possible stigmatisation.

10. The Council welcomes agreement amongst Member States and the Commission to guarantee appropriate care for international health responders within available resources to receive the treatment they need, in line with clinical advice, via treatment in country to an appropriate standard or medical evacuation supported by means of a specialized commercial aircraft or member states capabilities on a case by case basis. This will be coordinated through the EU Emergency Response Coordination Centre. The evacuation operation is eligible for financing of up to 100% from the EU budget. The Council also calls for an increase in EU Medevac capacity.

11. The Council takes note of the Commission/EEAS EU Comprehensive Response Framework for the Ebola Virus Outbreak in Western Africa as requested by the European Council in its conclusions of 30 August. It invites the Commission and the EEAS to pursue their cooperation on this issue and to inform rapidly the Council of the progress made in the implementation of the Comprehensive Response Framework. The Council also takes note of the ongoing work in enhancing the collective EU response to the Ebola crisis, including its wider political, security and economic implications, and tasks the EEAS and the Commission to present options with regard to all available tools at the EU’s disposal, in preparation of its next meeting.

12. The Council acknowledges the need to establish a clearing house/ reserve pool of health experts from member states on voluntary basis for quick and targeted deployment in health crises, welcomes all efforts to enhance medical and pharmaceutical R&D especially on tropical and neglected diseases, and calls for a tailoring of the EU’s development cooperation to the specific needs of the countries in the region affected by Ebola in order to strengthen the resilience of their health systems and governance.

13. Following the High level co-ordination meeting of Health Ministers held on 16th October

2014, the Council calls on the Commission services, with WHO, to audit the effectiveness of the screening systems at point of exit in the affected countries and to assist in reinforcing them as necessary. It stresses the importance of continuous consultations and information sharing on measures to protect the EU and its citizens. The Council underlines the need to ensure objective information to promote public awareness and preparedness on Ebola, including at all entry points. The Council stressed the importance of more consultations with a view to co-ordinating national measures at entry points and calls on the Commission to lead work which could result in common protocols and procedures as appropriate. It also calls on Member States to consider to use in full the potential of visa information systems and transport carriers’ information to anticipate potential arrivals of disease infection. The

Council also welcomes Commission’s work on the organisation of a workshop on best practices in infection control in healthcare settings, on the setting up of a voluntary network of clinicians for the treatment of Ebola at EU level and on the feasibility of Joint Procurement for protective gear for health professionals treating Ebola patients and possible medical treatment.”

 

SOURCE 

European Council

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 20 October 2014

Council of the European Union conclusions on Sudan


 

Council of the European Union conclusions on Sudan

 

LUXEMBURG, Luxembourg, October 20, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Foreign Affairs Council meeting

The Council adopted the following conclusions:

“1. The European Union remains deeply concerned at the ongoing conflicts in Sudan, notably in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile and the accompanying violations of humanitarian and human rights law, as well as a serious humanitarian emergency all of which continue to cause enormous human suffering and internal displacements and pose a risk to regional stability. There can be no military solution to conflicts in Sudan. The EU therefore supports the African Union Peace and Security Council’s repeated call for a holistic approach to

Sudan’s multiple challenges and the need to tackle comprehensively the political, economic and social causes of persisting conflict.

2. The initiated National Dialogue process is currently the best opportunity to make progress towards this goal and to pave the way towards internal peace, reconciliation and democratic governance. The EU welcomes recent signs of a political momentum, in particular the

Agreements on the National Dialogue and Constitutional Process signed in Addis Ababa on

4 September 2014. It calls on all groups to renounce violence as a means for political change and to seize this opportunity for a political solution to Sudan’s challenges through dialogue and negotiation without delay.

3. The EU considers that for the National Dialogue to succeed and to achieve legitimate results, it should be

• inclusive: Space should be given for a meaningful participation of the opposition parties and armed movements as well as civil society, including women’s, groups. The dialogue should include stakeholders from all of Sudan’s regions and reflect the full ethnic, religious and cultural diversity of Sudan;

• comprehensive: To address Sudan’s internal conflicts, issues such as socio-economic

marginalisation, unequal distribution of resources, political exclusion and lack of access to public services need to be tackled. The dialogue should provide mechanisms for the way forward for peace and development in all regions in conflict. It should provide for a platform on which to discuss issues of national importance, including identity and social equality, agree new and inclusive governance arrangements, a definitive constitution and a roadmap for the holding of national elections; 2/2

• held in a conducive environment: The freedoms of expression, of media, of association and assembly must be guaranteed. Political prisoners must be released, and practices of arbitrary detention – like those across the anniversary of the September 2013 protests – stopped;

• accompanied by confidence-building measures: These should include, first and foremost an immediate, sustained and verifiable cessation of hostilities and free and unhindered humanitarian access to all civilians in the conflict areas. This is of relevance both to the Government of Sudan and to the armed movements;

• transparent about the process, the objectives, the timeframe and the way forward, so that the Sudanese people at large can own the process and accept its outcomes.

4. The EU stands ready to support a National Dialogue process as set out above and encourages all stakeholders inside and outside Sudan to join efforts towards such a process.

5. The EU reiterates its full support to the work of the AU High Level Implementation Panel

(AUHIP) and commends its chairman President Mbeki on his recent efforts to promote a genuine National Dialogue process on a broad basis. The EU calls on all international stakeholders to rally behind the AUHIP to reinforce its role and strengthen its voice. The EU supports current efforts to create a comprehensive platform for the facilitation of the National

Dialogue that will integrate the different peace and dialogue processes for Sudan’s regional conflicts.

6. Sudan stands at an important crossroad. A genuine National Dialogue would help enhance confidence between Sudan and international partners such as the EU. It would also create a peaceful environment in which tangible and sustained progress in addressing Sudan’s main political and economic challenges, needed to secure debt relief under the HIPC process, could be achieved. The EU therefore calls on the Government of Sudan, the opposition and the armed movements to rise to the occasion and demonstrate the leadership necessary to put Sudan on a path to peace, prosperity and justice. In this respect, the EU recalls the importance of fighting impunity.

7. In the face of the worsening humanitarian situation the EU is very concerned by access restrictions still imposed for international humanitarian agencies and organisations. It reiterates its call on the Government of Sudan, as well as on armed movements to guarantee safe, timely and unhindered humanitarian access to all areas by humanitarian agencies, in particular in conflict-affected areas in line with international humanitarian principles. Civilians, humanitarian staff and assets must be protected.

8. The EU reiterates its commitment to support Sudan and the Sudanese people in their transition to an internally reformed democracy, living in peace with itself and with its

neighbours.”

 

SOURCE 

European Council

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 20 October 2014

European Council conclusions on Somalia


 

European Council conclusions on Somalia

 

LUXEMBURG, Luxembourg, October 20, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Foreign Affairs Council meeting

The Council adopted the following conclusions:

“1. The EU welcomes the political and security progress made in Somalia since the signing of the Somali Compact during the Brussels New Deal Conference for Somalia in September

2013. The Somali Compact has since provided the framework for the reconstruction of

Somalia and has become an important tool to establish the rule of law and security, and promote socio-economic development.

2. The EU welcomes the steps taken to implement the Government’s ‘Vision 2016: Framework for Action’ plan, laying the foundations of a new Somalia and realising the Somali Compact.

While the EU welcomes recent progress, further efforts will be needed if the ambitious timeline is to be met. The EU therefore urges the Federal Government of Somalia to maintain momentum, unity of purpose and build on the positive gains made to date. The EU

emphasises the importance of establishing interim regional administrations by the end of

2014 and the need for an ongoing and inclusive dialogue between the Federal Government and all regions, that includes participation of civil society and women, and that also tackles more effectively and transparently the fundamental issues of power and resource sharing.

This should apply in particular to resource-generating economic sectors, such as infrastructure, extractives and fisheries. The National Independent Electoral Commission and the Boundaries and Federation Commission should be established this year and steps should be taken to deliver the constitutional referendum and conduct a legitimate and inclusive electoral process in 2016. This requires the Parliament to fulfil its legislative duties.

3. The EU underlines that inclusive and accountable political processes are critical to further progress and supports the objective of holding peaceful and transparent national elections in

2016. National reconciliation in Somalia is crucial and the EU welcomes the efforts of the

Federal Government and the emerging interim regional administrations, with the support of IGAD and its member states, to support inclusive reconciliation processes at regional level. It urges all political leaders to demonstrate the value of working in partnership. The EU also welcomes the important contribution made by the Somali civil society and diaspora and underlines that women, youth and minority groups must all play an important role in shaping the future of Somalia.

The EU remains concerned by continuing reports of humanitarian law and human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, violence against women and children, recruitment and use of children, attacks against journalists and arbitrary detentions. The fight against impunity for these crimes is essential. The EU encourages the Federal Government of

Somalia to take concrete measures to implement fully its human rights roadmap adopted in

August 2013 and to continue implementing its action plans on children and armed conflict.

4. The EU welcomes the successful outcome of the London security conference on September

18 on the reform of the Somali National Army, and the strong impetus for its further development into a professional, mobile, inclusive and integrated multi-regional force. A plan and timetable for this process are essential. At the same time, the EU welcomes the mapping out of a process for the integration of regional militia into the Somali National Army. Security and stabilisation of the country is of paramount and immediate importance as it is a prerequisite for state-building and development. It is therefore important that the security architecture reflects the political structure and that suitable arrangements are agreed to ensure local law enforcement.

The EU further recognises the importance of the establishment of a properly resourced and comprehensive disengaged combatants’ programme that is consistent with international human rights standards.

5. The EU commends the work of the EU Training Mission (EUTM) in Somalia, which undertakes advisory, mentoring and training activities, with the aim to developing the Somali National Armed Forces’ structures and their training capacity in Somalia itself. Despite a challenging security situation, the Mission is now fully established in Mogadishu and has trained and mentored 4600 soldiers of the Somali National Army since 2010.

6. The EU commends AMISOM’s efforts alongside the Somali National Army in Operation

Indian Ocean which has resulted in significant gains, most recently in the liberation of the Al

Shabaab stronghold of Baraawe. It praises the commitment and bravery of both AMISOM and the Somali security forces – both of whom continue to pay a high price extending security in Somalia. The EU recalls its continued strong political and financial support since 2007 to AMISOM’s essential contribution to Somalia’s longer-term peace and security. The EU reiterates its strong and urgent call on other partners to seriously contribute to the sustainable and predictable funding of AMISOM and the Somali security forces. It underlines the importance of the Federal Government taking on an increased responsibility and ownership of the security sector. Furthermore, the EU underlines that it is essential that military operations be followed immediately by national efforts to establish or improve governance structures in the recovered areas and by the delivery of basic services, including security and notes that these stabilisation efforts are an essential part of AMISOM’s eventual exit strategy.

The EU is, however, concerned by allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by African

Union Forces in Somalia and firmly condemns all crimes of sexual violence in situations of conflict, of whatever nature. It welcomes the commitment of the African Union and the troop contributing countries to investigate these allegations and ensure accountability of their troops. It also underlines the need for AMISOM troops to receive appropriate information and pre-deployment training in relation to human rights principles, including gender equality and sexual violence and be properly informed of the sanctions in place should any abuse be perpetrated.

Furthermore, the EU urges AMISOM to finally establish a Civilian Casualty Tracking,

Analysis and Response Cell (CCTARC) as called for repeatedly by the UN Security Council, most recently in its Resolution 2158(2014) of 29 May 2014.

7. The EU welcomes the significant decline in piracy activity in the Gulf of Aden and Western Indian Ocean and encourages the Federal Government to further increase its contribution to this success. However, networks supporting piracy are still operating and the threat of piracy remains. The EU continues to assume its leading role in the fight against piracy and contributing to tackling its root causes, including through its CSDP missions as well as in its capacity as Chair of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) in 2014.

The EU intends to continue the deterrence and disruption of piracy through Operation

EUNAVFOR ATALANTA until December 2016. The CSDP Mission EUCAP Nestor, in cooperation with other actors, including the Maritime Security Programme and the Critical

Maritime Routes Programme, is also playing an important role in reinforcing maritime security capacities in the region and in Somalia, including by contributing to a pertinent rule of law framework in Somalia, thus reflecting the EU’s comprehensive approach to maritime security.

The EU is deeply concerned by the news of the recent release of a pirate leader, in

Mogadishu, and reiterates the urgent need for the Somali authorities to end impunity of piracy network leaders and strengthen the rule of law. The prosecution of piracy leaders remains a prerequisite for the disruption of piracy networks’ operational capabilities.

Therefore the EU calls on Somali authorities to take concrete measures towards the establishment of such legislative framework pertaining to piracy and maritime crime. The EU also looks forward to obtaining more clarity on the National Maritime Coordination Committee.

The EU also notes that new threats such as trafficking in human beings and drugs, illegal trade in charcoal, smuggling of migrants and proliferation of small arms and light weapons require increasing attention. It welcomes efforts in the UN to tackle them and invites the Federal Government of Somalia and other actors in the region to act in support of these efforts. The EU calls upon charcoal importing countries to ascertain its origin.

8. The EU urges the Federal Government to fight corruption and tighten financial governance procedures in order to improve transparency and accountability of the government’s finances which will increase public and donor confidence. In this context, it welcomes the establishment of the Financial Governance Committee and calls for its urgent strengthening.

The EU welcomes the establishment of funds under the Somalia Development and

Reconstruction Facility (SDRF) as an important step towards the objective of achieving greater alignment of international financing with the Compact priorities and increased Somali ownership. The EU further reiterates its support to the efforts of strengthening the Somali

Government’s Public Financial Mechanism Systems as an important building block in establishing a roadmap for future budget support.

9. The EU expresses deep concern at the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Somalia due to drought, continued conflict, restricted flow of commercial goods into areas affected by military operations and surging food prices. and urges all parties to allow safe, timely and unhindered humanitarian access to all areas by humanitarian agencies.

In addition to responding to the urgent humanitarian situation, the international community should consider ways to support longer-term resilience-building and development in Somalia, that would generate employment, improve livelihoods and contribute to sustainable peace and security.

10. The EU commends the efforts of the UN SRSG to Somalia in coordinating and facilitating a comprehensive international response. The EU also commends the work of the EU Special

Representative for the Horn of Africa and his role in galvanising engagement from Somalia’s

neighbours.

11. The EU looks forward to the first Ministerial High Level Partnership Forum on Somalia in

Copenhagen in November, to take stock of joint progress and challenges since the New Deal

Conference in Brussels and agree on the necessary actions and steps required to achieve the Somali Compact goals by 2016. The EU stresses the continued importance of the Somali

Compact and its implementation for the reconstruction of Somalia and reiterates that the EU remains committed to supporting the development of a stable, accountable and prosperous Somalia over the long term.”

 

SOURCE 

European Council

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 20 October 2014

The Special Envoy for the Sahel concluded her first visit to Chad


 

The Special Envoy for the Sahel concluded her first visit to Chad

 

DAKAR, Sénégal, October 20, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the Sahel, Mrs. Hiroute Guebre Sellassie, paid her first official visit to Chad from 15 to 17 October 2014.

During her visit, the Special Envoy met with President Idriss Deby Itno and Chadian authorities and discussed the various challenges facing the Sahel region. In this regard, she welcomed the contribution of Chad to stability in the Sahel, including the deployment of a Chadian contingent to support the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

Mrs. Guebre Sellassie thanked President Deby for his support to the implementation of the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel, and stressed the need to strengthen the coordination between the various strategies and initiatives as well as between regional and International partners working in the Sahel.

“The various strategies and initiatives for the Sahel will benefit to the countries of the region if they are coordinated and are subject to national and regional ownership,” she said.

For his part, President Deby expressed his personal support to the Special Envoy in her mission and reiterated the commitment of his country to work with the United Nations.

President Deby and Mrs. Guebre Sellassie agreed on the importance of regional ownership and the need to strengthen the coordination in particular between the G5 and the Ministerial Coordination Platform for the Sahel strategies.

During her visit, Mrs. Guebre Sellassie met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Tourism development, Mr. Aziz Mahamat Saleh.

She also met with the technical and financial partners and the United Nations country team.

 

SOURCE 

Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the Sahel (OSES)

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 20 October 2014

France / Egypte – Attaques dans le Sinaï (19 octobre 2014)


 

France / Egypte – Attaques dans le Sinaï (19 octobre 2014)

 

PARIS, France, 20 octobre 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Quai d’Orsay – Déclarations du porte-parole – 20 octobre 2014

 

La France condamne l’attaque terroriste qui a coûté la vie à sept soldats hier dans le Sinaï.

 

Nous présentons nos condoléances aux familles des victimes.

 

La France se tient aux côtés du peuple et du gouvernement égyptiens dans leur lutte contre le terrorisme.

 

SOURCE 

France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 20 October 2014

Nigeria is now free of Ebola virus transmission


 

Nigeria is now free of Ebola virus transmission

 

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 20, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Situation assessment – 20 October 2014

The lines on the tabular situation reports, sent to WHO headquarters each day by its country office in Nigeria, have now been full of zeros for 42 days.

WHO officially declares that Nigeria is now free of Ebola virus transmission.

This is a spectacular success story that shows that Ebola can be contained. The story of how Nigeria ended what many believed to be potentially the most explosive Ebola outbreak imaginable is worth telling in detail.

Such a story can help the many other developing countries that are deeply worried by the prospect of an imported Ebola case and eager to improve their preparedness plans. Many wealthy countries, with outstanding health systems, may have something to learn as well.

The complete story also illustrates how Nigeria has come so close to the successful interruption of wild poliovirus transmission from its vast and densely-populated territory.

As sometimes fortunately happens in public health, one success breeds others when lessons and best practices are collected and applied.

Earlier this year, WHO confirmed that Nigeria had eradicated guinea-worm disease – another spectacular success story. When the eradication initiative was launched, Nigeria was the epicentre of this disease, with more than 650 000 cases reported each year.

A shocked public health community – worldwide

When laboratory confirmation of the country’s first Ebola case, in Lagos, was announced on 23 July, the news rocked public health communities all around the world.

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and its newest economic powerhouse. For a disease outbreak, it is also a powder keg. The number of people living in Lagos – around 21 million – is almost as large as the populations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone combined.

Lagos, Africa’s largest city, is also characterized by a large population living in crowded and unsanitary conditions in many slums.

Thousands of people move in and out of Lagos every day, constantly looking for work or markets for their products in a busy metropolis with frequent gridlocks of vehicle traffic.

“How can contact tracing be done under such conditions?” This was the main concern raised at the beginning, shortly after the first confirmed case was announced.

As the United States Consul General in Nigeria, Jeffrey Hawkins, said at the time, “The last thing anyone in the world wants to hear is the 2 words, ‘Ebola’ and ‘Lagos’ in the same sentence. ” As he noted, that single juxtaposition conjured up images of an “apocalyptic urban outbreak”.

That never happened. With assistance from WHO, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and others, government health officials reached 100% of known contacts in Lagos and 99.8% at the second outbreak site, in Port Harcourt, Nigeria’s oil hub.

Federal and State governments in Nigeria provided ample financial and material resources, as well as well-trained and experienced national staff.

Isolation wards were immediately constructed, as were designated Ebola treatment facilities, though more slowly. Vehicles and mobile phones, with specially adapted programmes, were made available to aid real-time reporting as the investigations moved forward.

Unlike the situation in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, all identified contacts were physically monitored on a daily basis for 21 days. The few contacts who attempted to escape the monitoring system were all diligently tracked, using special intervention teams, and returned to medical observation to complete the requisite monitoring period of 21 days.

 

The “index” case: how it all started

The Ebola virus entered Lagos on 20 July via an infected Liberian air traveller, who died 5 days later. At the departure airport, he was visibly very ill, lying on the floor of the waiting room while awaiting the flight.

He vomited during the flight, on arrival and, yet again, in the private car that drove him to a private hospital. The protocol officer who escorted him later died of Ebola.

At the hospital, he told staff that he had malaria and denied any contact with an Ebola patient. As was learned later, his sister was a confirmed case who had died from the disease in Liberia. The traveller visited his sister while in hospital and attended her traditional funeral and burial ceremony.

As malaria is not transmitted from person to person, no staff at the hospital took protective precautions. Over the coming days, 9 doctors and nurses became infected and 4 of them died.

The second outbreak site: Port Harcourt

The virus entered the country’s oil hub, Port Harcourt, on 1 August, when a close contact of the index case flew there seeking care from a private physician. That doctor developed symptoms on 10 August and died of Ebola on 23 August. Laboratory tests confirmed the city’s first case on 27 August.

An investigation undertaken by a team of epidemiologists from the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme and the State Ministry of Health, assisted by WHO, revealed an alarming number of high-risk and very high-risk exposures for hundreds of people.

Again, all the ingredients for an explosion of new cases were in place. Dr Rui Vaz, the head of WHO’s country office in Nigeria, visited Rivers State (where Port Harcourt is located) to assess the situation there. He informed the State’s Governor of the potentially explosive situation and made his advice crystal clear: “All required resources must be immediately mobilized to stop this outbreak.”

Fortunately, the State’s Governor heeded WHO’s advice and that “explosive situation did not happen.

Today, exactly 42 days (twice the maximum incubation period for Ebola virus disease) after the country’s last infectious contact with a confirmed or probable case occurred, the chains of transmission have been broken.

The virus is gone – for now. The outbreak in Nigeria has been defeated.

What accounts for this great news?

To a large extent, the answer is straightforward: the country’s strong leadership and effective coordination of the response. The Nigerian response to the outbreak was greatly aided by the rapid utilization of a national public institution (NCDC) and the prompt establishment of an Emergency Operations Centre, supported by the Disease Prevention and Control Cluster within the WHO country office.

Another key asset was the country’s first-rate virology laboratory affiliated with the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. That laboratory was staffed and equipped to quickly and reliably diagnose a case of Ebola virus disease, which ensured that containment measures could begin with the shortest possible delay.

In addition, high-quality contact tracing by experienced epidemiologists expedited the early detection of cases and their rapid movement to an isolation ward, thereby greatly diminishing opportunities for further transmission.

How a highly contagious virus was stopped dead in its tracks

Dr Rui Vaz and the WHO country team of epidemiologists, clinicians, logisticians and administrators have identified a number of specific lessons that may be useful for other countries facing their first imported Ebola case or preparing for one. They have also carefully documented a large number of “best practices” for containing an Ebola outbreak quickly.

The most critical factor is leadership and engagement from the head of state and the Minister of Health. Generous allocation of government funds and their quick disbursement helped as well. Partnership with the private sector was yet another asset that brought in substantial resources to help scale up control measures that would eventually stop the Ebola virus dead in its tracks.

Health and government officials fully appreciated the importance of communication with the general public. They rallied communities to support containment measures.

House-to-house information campaigns and messages on local radio stations, in local dialects, were used to explain the level of risk, effective personal preventive measures and the actions being taken for control. On his part, the President reassured the country’s vast and diversified population through appearances on nationally televised newscasts.

The full range of media opportunities was exploited – from social media to televised facts about the disease delivered by well-known “Nollywood” movie stars.

Polio strategies “repurposed” for Ebola control

For some time now, with dedicated and enthusiastic support from President Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria has been running one of the world’s most innovative polio eradication campaigns, using the very latest satellite-based cutting-edge GPS technologies to ensure that no child misses out on polio vaccination.

The country, which passed through the high-transmission season with only 1 single case of polio detected by a finely-tuned and sensitive surveillance system, is on track to interrupt wild poliovirus transmission from its borders before the end of this year.

When the first Ebola case was confirmed in July, health officials immediately repurposed polio technologies and infrastructures to conduct Ebola case-finding and contact-tracing.

The use of cutting-edge technologies, developed with guidance from the WHO polio programme, put GPS systems to work as support for real-time contact tracing and daily mapping of links between identified chains of transmission.

This is a good public health story with an unusual twist at the end. As part of preparedness for an imported case, several advanced countries with good health systems are now studying technologies “made in Nigeria”, with WHO support, to improve their own contact tracing capacities.

The story has another very clear message, as noted by Dr Margaret Chan, the WHO Director-General. “If a country like Nigeria, hampered by serious security problems, can do this – that is, make significant progress towards interrupting polio transmission, eradicate guinea-worm disease and contain Ebola, all at the same time – any country in the world experiencing an imported case can hold onward transmission to just a handful of cases.”

World-class epidemiological detective work would eventually link every single one of the country’s 19 confirmed cases back to direct or indirect contact with that 20 July air traveller from Liberia.

In another strategy, traditional, religious and community leaders were engaged early on and played a critical role in sensitizing the public. Like many others, the strategy drew on successful experiences in the polio programme.

The awareness campaigns that worked so well to create public acceptance of polio immunization were likewise repurposed to encourage early reporting of symptoms, backed by the message that early detection and supportive care greatly increase an Ebola patient’s prospects of survival.

All of these efforts were supported by social mobilization experts from UNICEF, CDC and Médecins sans Frontières, while the staff from the WHO Nigeria office, the Regional Office for Africa and headquarters boosted outbreak investigation, risk assessment, contact tracing and clinical care.

In the end, Nigeria confirmed a total of 19 cases, of whom 7 died and 12 survived, giving the country an enviable case fatality rate of 40% – much lower than the 70% and higher seen elsewhere.

Finally, to help maintain the confidence of citizens and foreign companies and investors alike, the government undertook the screening of all arriving and departing travellers by air and by sea in Lagos and Rivers State. The average number of travellers screened each day rose to more than 16 000.

Vigilance remains high

Nigerian government and health officials, including staff in the WHO country office, are well aware that the country will remain vulnerable to another imported case as long as intense transmission continues in other parts of West Africa.

The surveillance system remains on guard, at a level of high alert. Moreover, the country’s success, including its low fatality rate, has created another problem that calls for a high level of alert.

Many desperate people in heavily affected countries believe that Nigeria must have some especially good – maybe even “magical” – treatments to offer.

WHO’s Dr Vaz and others see a real risk that patients and their families from elsewhere will come to Nigeria in their quest for first-rate, live-saving care.

Based on the experience gained from the response in the 2 affected States, the national preparedness and response plan has also been revised and refined.

This strengthened response plan further boosts confidence that Nigeria’s well-oiled machinery has a good chance of working miracles again should another traveller – by land, air or sea – carry the Ebola virus across its borders again.

 

SOURCE 

World Health Organization (WHO)

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 20 October 2014

Reminder – Press Invitation: Protection of Civilians UNMISS Media Briefing


 

Reminder – Press Invitation: Protection of Civilians UNMISS Media Briefing

 

JUBA, South Sudan, October 20, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) will hold a press briefing on Tuesday, 21st October 2014 to update the news media on the Mission’s Protection of Civilians sites and relocation taking place in Bor, Malakal and Juba.

 

The briefing will be given by:

 

Derk Segaar, Head of the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office and Relief, Reintegration & Protection (RRP) section of UNMISS

 

Joseph Contreras, UNMISS Acting Spokesperson

 

Date: Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Time: 10:00am (please arrive 30 minutes in advance to complete security procedures)

Venue: Juba Conference Room, UNMISS compound in Tomping

 

SOURCE 

UNITED NATIONS


 

Communiqué de presse conjoint sino-français sur la lutte commune contre l’épidémie d’Ebola

 

BEIJING, Chine, 20 octobre 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ La Chine et la France sont très préoccupées par la gravité de la propagation sans précédent de l’épidémie d’Ebola en Afrique occidentale. Les deux ministres des affaires étrangères ont eu des échanges approfondis sur la question à Beijing le 19 octobre.

 

M. Wang a détaillé l’aide apportée par la Chine à treize pays de la région, dont des contributions bilatérales : octroi d’appui budgétaire, assistance alimentaire, matériels médicaux, un laboratoire de dépistage, envoi de professionnels de santé, ainsi qu’un soutien à la Mission des Nations Unies pour l’action d’urgence contre Ebola, à l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé, au Programme alimentaire mondial et à l’Union africaine. M. Fabius a présenté le dispositif complet français de lutte contre l’épidémie tant sur le terrain qu’au sein des institutions internationales chargées de la lutte et de la coordination des efforts, par la mise à disposition d’experts et par une contribution exceptionnelle à l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé.

 

Les deux ministres ont marqué leur satisfaction quant aux échanges déjà engagés entre la Chine et la France sur le sujet, notamment entre le Centre chinois de prévention et de contrôle des maladies (CDC) et l’Institut Pasteur, l’INSERM et la Fondation Merieux. Les deux ministres se sont également félicités de la signature prochaine d’un accord de coopération entre l’Institut national de veille sanitaire et le CDC.

 

Les deux ministres se sont engagés à renforcer la coopération sino-française pour lutter contre l’épidémie :

 

Dans le cadre de l’accord intergouvernemental sino-français de 2004, la Chine et la France encourageront des travaux de recherche conjoints pour vaincre le virus en s’appuyant sur le laboratoire P4 de Lyon et celui de Wuhan prochainement opérationnel.

 

Sur le terrain, les équipes chinoises et françaises chargées d’apporter l’aide humanitaire et sanitaire se rapprocheront pour échanger et partager les expériences en matière de prévention et de contrôle de l’épidémie.

 

Dans les pays touchés de la région, la Chine et la France étudieront les moyens d’une coopération tripartite renforcée en pleine coordination et en plein accord avec les pays concernés, afin de soutenir le renforcement de leurs systèmes de santé publique.

 

Madame Christine Fages, Ambassadrice, coordinatrice de la task-force interministérielle Ebola du gouvernement français, se rendra prochainement en Chine pour échanger avec les responsables chinois de la lutte contre l’épidémie et avancer sur des coopérations concrètes entre nos opérateurs.

 

Enfin, les deux ministres appellent la communauté internationale à prendre des mesures effectives, à accroître l’aide aux pays touchés et à soutenir les gouvernements et les peuples de ces pays dans leurs efforts pour vaincre de manière définitive le virus.

 

SOURCE 

China – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 20 October 2014

Ghana’s record on women’s rights to face scrutiny by UN committee


 

Ghana’s record on women’s rights to face scrutiny by UN committee

 

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 20, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Ghana’s record on women’s rights will be examined by the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on Friday 24 October 2014 in meetings that will be webcast live.

 

Ghana is one of the 188 States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and is required to submit regular reports to the Committee of 23 independent experts on how it is implementing the Convention.

 

Among the issues likely to be discussed by the Committee and the delegation of the government of Ghana are: measures to eliminate harmful practices against women, such as widowhood rites, FGM, ritual or customary slavery, polygamy, child marriage; measures to tackle violence against women believed to be witches; challenges in investigating and prosecuting cases of domestic violence; steps taken to ensure the effective political participation of women at all levels; cross-border and internal trafficking in women and girls; women’s land, property and housing rights.

 

Location: Room XVI, Palais des Nations, Geneva

Time and date: 10.00 – 17:00 (08:00 – 15:00 in Accra), 24 October

 

The webcast of the session will be at http://www.treatybodywebcast.org/.

 

Ghana’s report and a full list of issues that are likely to come up can be found here: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=816&Lang=en

 

A news conference is scheduled for 7 November at 13:30, Palais des Nations, to discuss CEDAW’s concluding observations on Ghana and the other countries being reviewed – Venezuela; Poland; China, China (Hong Kong) and China (Macao); Belgium; Brunei Darussalam; Guinea; and Solomon Islands. The concluding observations will be published on 7 November here: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=816&Lang=en

 

SOURCE 

United Nations – Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)


 

Zeid condamne l’expulsion d’un haut officiel des droits de l’homme de l’ONU en RDC

 

NEW YORK, 20 octobre 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Le Haut-Commissaire aux droits de l’homme des Nations Unies, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, a déclaré dimanche qu’il regrettait et condamnait la décision du gouvernement de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC) d’expulser représentant dans le pays et les actes d’intimidation dont sont victimes d’autres employés des droits humains en RDC.

«Non seulement a-t-on demandé à Scott Campbell, mon très expérimenté et respecté représentant en RDC, de partir, mais, ces derniers jours, deux autres membres du personnel travaillant dans son équipe ont été sérieusement menacés. C’est inacceptable “, a déclaré Zeid.

La décision de déclarer Scott Campbell, le directeur du Bureau conjoint des Nations Unies aux Droits de l’Homme, persona non grata a été initialement rendue publique par le ministère de l’Intérieur jeudi, au lendemain de la publication d’un rapport de l’ONU* détaillant de graves violations des droits de l’homme par les forces de sécurité congolaises dont le ministère est responsable. La décision a été officiellement confirmée par le ministère des Affaires étrangères vendredi, en dépit des efforts déployés par Martin Kobler, le chef de la mission de l’ONU en RDC (MONUSCO), afin de convaincre le gouvernement de reconsidérer sa décision.

Le rapport, basé sur les enquêtes menées par le Bureau conjoint des Nations Unies aux Droits de l’Homme, documente la mort d’au moins neuf civils et la disparition forcée d’au moins 32 autres par des agents de la Police nationale congolaise. Il a été partagé avec les ministres de l’Intérieur et de la Justice et Droits de l’Homme le 18 Août. Les commentaires du ministre de l’Intérieur ont été annexés à la version publiée du rapport.

“Le rapport a été publié conjointement par la MONUSCO et mon bureau”, a déclaré Zeid. “Je me joins entièrement à M. Kobler afin de supporter ses conclusions et recommandations. Le rapport décrit un ensemble de violations très graves, y compris des exécutions sommaires et extrajudiciaires et des disparitions forcées, commises contre des civils par les forces de sécurité congolaises. Le gouvernement de la RDC devrait enquêter sur ses conclusions profondément troublantes et poursuivre les auteurs présumés en justice plutôt que de chercher à punir le chef de l’équipe qui a fait les recherches et produit le rapport “.

«Au cours des dernières années, le Bureau conjoint des Nations Unies aux droits de l’homme en RDC, sous la direction de M. Campbell, a été à l’avant-garde de la lutte pour promouvoir et protéger les droits de l’homme et combattre l’impunité», a déclaré le Haut-Commissaire. “Le fait que le travail du Bureau, mandaté par le Conseil de sécurité, a conduit à ces actes de représailles est un développement très inquiétant.”

Le Haut-Commissaire a exhorté le gouvernement de la RDC à reconsidérer sa décision au sujet de M. Campbell, à enquêter sur les menaces et intimidations continues contre les autres membres du personnel des droits de l’homme des Nations Unies, et à traduire en justice les responsables. « Au travers de ces actes de représailles, les autorités congolaises risquent de mettre en péril des années d’efforts du personnel des droits de l’homme de l’ONU et de certains secteurs des autorités congolaises pour aider les victimes de violations des droits de l’homme et renforcer l’état de droit», a déclaré Zeid.

Selon les responsables de la MONUSCO, M. Campbell a quitté la RDC vendredi pour des vacances.

* Le rapport est disponible à l’adresse: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/CDReports.aspx

 

SOURCE 

NATIONS UNIES

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 20 October 2014

Zeid condemns expulsion of top UN human rights official in DRC


 

Zeid condemns expulsion of top UN human rights official in DRC

 

NEW YORK, October 20, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Sunday said he regretted and condemned the decision of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to order his top official in the country to leave within 48 hours, and the serious intimidation aimed at other human rights staff in DRC.

“Not only has my highly experienced and respected representative in DRC, Scott Campbell, been told to leave, but two other staff working in his team have been seriously threatened in recent days. This is unacceptable,” Zeid said.

The decision to declare Scott Campbell, the director of the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office, persona non grata was initially made public by the Ministry of the Interior on Thursday, a day after the publication of a UN report* detailing serious human rights violations by Congolese security forces, for which the Ministry is responsible. The decision was officially confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday, despite a concerted effort by Martin Kobler, the Head of the UN mission in DRC (MONUSCO), to persuade the Government to reconsider its decision.

The report, based on investigations conducted by the UN Joint Human Rights Office, documents the killing of at least nine civilians and the enforced disappearance of at least 32 others by Congolese National Police agents. It was shared with the Ministers of Interior and of Justice and Human Rights on 18 August, and the responses of the Minister of Interior were annexed to the published version of the report.

“The report was published jointly by MONUSCO and my Office,” Zeid said. “And I join wholeheartedly with Mr. Kobler in supporting its conclusions and recommendations. It describes a range of very serious violations including summary and extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances, committed against civilians by Congolese security forces. The Government of the DRC should be investigating its deeply disturbing findings and bringing alleged perpetrators to justice rather than seeking to punish the leader of the team that researched and produced the report.”

“Over the past few years, under the guidance of Mr. Campbell, the UN Joint Office for Human Rights in the DRC has been at the forefront of the fight to promote and protect human rights and combat impunity,” the High Commissioner said. “The fact that their work, mandated by the Security Council, has led to these acts of reprisal is a very disturbing development indeed.”

The High Commissioner urged the Government of DRC to reconsider its decision against Mr. Campbell, investigate continuing intimidation and threats against other UN human rights staff, and hold those responsible accountable. “With these acts of intimidation and reprisal, the Congolese authorities risk setting back years of strenuous efforts by UN human rights staff and some sectors of the Congolese authorities to assist victims of human rights violations and strengthen the rule of law,” Zeid said.

Mr. Campbell left the DRC on Friday for long planned holidays.

 

SOURCE 

UNITED NATIONS


 

Didier Reynders réagit à l’expulsion par la RDC de Scott Campbell, directeur du BCNUDH

 

BRUXELLES, Royaume de Belgique, 20 octobre 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Le Vice-Premier Ministre et Ministre des Affaires étrangères Didier Reynders est très inquiet d’apprendre l’expulsion de Mr Scott Campbell, Directeur du Bureau Conjoint des Nations-Unies pour les Droits de l’Homme (BCNUDH) établi à Kinshasa par la MONUSCO et le Haut-Commissariat aux Droits de l’Homme des Nations-Unies.

 

Cette expulsion fait suite à la publication par le BCUNDH d’un rapport détaillant les violations graves des Droits de l’Homme perpétrées du 15 novembre 2013 au 15 février 2014 par des agents de la Police Nationale Congolaise dans le cadre de l’opération Likofi (coup de poing en lingala) menée dans le but de lutter contre la délinquance à Kinshasa. Cette opération a visé à traquer les « Kulunas », terme qui désigne un criminel ou un groupe de criminels à l’origine de divers actes criminels graves, mais aussi, toujours selon le rapport du BCUNDH, des bandits opérant en tenue militaire ou policière.

 

Lors du débat qui s’est tenu à la Commission des Relations extérieures de la Chambre belge des Représentants le 29 janvier 2014, le Vice Premier Ministre et Ministre des Affaires étrangères, Didier Reynders s’exprimant sur cette affaire soulignait que « la lutte contre le terrorisme urbain est une nécessité mais que le gouvernement congolais doit mener cette lutte en respectant les droits de l’homme, à plus forte raison s’il s’agit de mineurs d’âge. Nous espérons que les événements seront l’objet d’un examen au fond et que les auteurs de ces actes de violence seront jugés ». Si cet examen a bien eu lieu par le BCUNDH, l’expulsion de son Directeur n’était pas la réponse à laquelle on était en droit de s’attendre du gouvernement de la RDC.

 

Le Ministre Reynders appelle dès lors les autorités congolaises à réexaminer leur décision, à la lumière des engagements internationaux en matière des Droits de l’Homme auxquels la RDC a adhéré, et à entamer d’urgence un dialogue constructif avec le BCUNDH sur les recommandations exprimées dans son rapport.

 

SOURCE 

Belgium – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


 

Sobre as eleições presidenciais, legislativas e provinciais de 15 de Outubro em Moçambique

 

NEW YORK, October 20, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — O Secretário-Geral parabeniza o povo de Moçambique pela atmosfera calma que prevaleceu durante as eleições presidenciais, legislativas e provinciais de 15 de Outubro de 2014.

 

Ele observa que estas eleições foram consideradas por missões de observadores nacionais e internacionais como geralmente pacíficas e transparentes, apesar de alguns incidentes localizados.

 

Até o anúncio dos resultados finais, ele convida todos os interessados a continuarem a trabalhar em conjunto no âmbito da lei eleitoral e a engajarem-se de maneira construtiva durante todo o processo eleitoral.

 

SOURCE 

United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson of the Secretary-General


 

Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the 15 October presidential, legislative and provincial elections in Mozambique

 

NEW YORK, October 20, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Secretary-General commends the people of Mozambique for the calm atmosphere which prevailed during the presidential, legislative and provincial elections on 15 October 2014.

 

He notes that the elections were considered by national and international observer missions to be generally peaceful and transparent, despite some localized incidents.

 

The Secretary-General calls on all stakeholders to continue working together in the framework of the electoral law and to engage constructively throughout the electoral process while waiting for the announcement of final results.

 

SOURCE 

United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson of the Secretary-General


 

Special Envoy Djinnit commends Tanzania for its role in promoting peace and stability in the region

 

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, October 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy Said Djinnit completed a two day visit to Tanzania in continuation of familiarization visits to signatory countries of the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region. While in Tanzania, the Special Envoy met with Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania and Hon. Bernard Kamilius Membe, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation.

 

The Special Envoy and the President discussed issues pertaining to the implementation of the PSC-Framework including the urgent need to tackle the issue of all negative forces in eastern DRC, in particular, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and the repatriation of former

M23 combatants from Uganda and Rwanda in line with a peace deal signed in Nairobi, Kenya, in December 2013. Special Envoy Djinnit and President Kikwete exchanged views on the forthcoming Joint Ministerial meeting of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) scheduled on 20 October in Luanda, Angola, to assess progress on the FDLR voluntary disarmament process. They also discussed the need to strengthen regional cooperation and build how to confidence. “As member of the ICGLR, SADC and EAC, Tanzania is central to the region and has been a key player in all initiatives meant to find peaceful solutions to the regional problems,” Mr. Djinnit said.

 

He further congratulated the President for the country’s role as a peace broker in the region. According to SESG Djinnit, “Tanzanian troops in the United Nations Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) have contributed immensely in maintaining stability in eastern DRC, and I commend the dedication of men and women of the FIB troops contributing countries assigned to this crucial task.”

 

SESG Djinnit also expressed his gratitude to the people and Government of Tanzania for offering asylum, support and protection to refugees from different countries in the Great Lakes. He welcomed in particular the recent decision to grant citizenship to about 165.000 Burundian refugees who have been in the country since 1972. “Tanzania has been a peaceful, stable, and hospitable nation for the people in distress in the region since its independence and the naturalization of Burundians refugees, especially on the occasion of the celebration of Julius Nyerere Day is a wonderful gesture which is in line with the core values of the country,”

Mr. Djinnit said.

 

After Tanzania, Mr. Djinnit travelled to Bujumbura, Burundi, to meet with the country’s authorities.

 

SOURCE 

UNITED NATIONS


 

Secretary’s Remarks: Remarks on the U.S. Response to Ebola for Members of the Diplomatic Corps

 

WASHINGTON, October 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Remarks on the U.S. Response to Ebola for Members of the Diplomatic Corps

 

Remarks

John Kerry

Secretary of State

Benjamin Franklin Room

Washington, DC

October 17, 2014

 

Thank you, Nancy. Good morning, everybody. Thank you very much for being here, and thank you, Ambassador Powell, for all you’re doing to lead on this effort.

I know that there’s no shortage of demands on all of your time, so we really do appreciate and I know President Obama appreciates your coming in here this morning for this very important briefing. And I’m particularly grateful to Nancy Powell, who’s leading our efforts against Ebola at the State Department, and you’ll hear from her and from others who are on the front lines of our efforts to respond to this challenge. We thought it was critically important to bring everybody here together so you could hear from the experts and really get a chance to understand and report back to your governments about our efforts and where we’re heading.

We are very privileged in Washington, in the United States, to have here one of the most distinguished diplomatic corps that is posted anywhere in the world. Few cities are home to so many ambassadors with so much experience, which is why you come here, and so much global expertise and influence, frankly. So that’s why coming together here this morning really does represent a special opportunity to deal with this moment. Meeting this crisis is going to require that we draw on each other’s collective experience and our collective capacities. No one country, no individual group of nations is going to resolve this problem by themselves. This is going to take a collective, global response – all hands on deck. That’s the only way to get it done. And we believe that coming together here this morning can be an important beginning in really creating the kind of global response necessary.

Now I know you don’t need me to tell you what we’re up against, and I’m sure you’ve heard it from your own capitals, and every time you turn on the television or the radio, you hear or see gripping scenes that tell us in real terms about this challenge. There’s no way to describe the scenes from West Africa other than just heart-wrenching, gut-wrenching. And the images of a pregnant woman being turned away from a hospital on the – and she’s on the verge of collapse, or of men and women dying on the streets, their children orphaned, and a lot of hopeful nations working to plant the seeds of prosperity and open societies now suddenly battling a brutal epidemic.

So it’s not just the suffering that we see or the potential risks that we face that make this a different kind of crisis for us as diplomats. We live in a world of a lot of close calls, tough decisions on a daily basis, difficult and contentious issues where you can have an honest disagreement about what the best course of action is or about what the facts are or the results of your decision may be.

Ebola is not one of them. It should not be contentious with respect to the facts or what is needed or how we proceed. We know the risks. We know the science. We know the medical certainties. We know what is required to beat back this epidemic. And right now, we know that this is a time for nothing less than brutal honesty with each other about what we need, in both the capabilities that we need in order to meet this crisis and the real ways on the ground and the kinds of cash contributions – yes, cash contributions – that we need to fund these efforts for the months to come. And the fact is we haven’t begun yet to fully meet the challenge at hand.

So there are specific needs that we can meet right now. We need 200 flatbed trucks and 350 of so-called soft-skinned vehicles for transport of aid and resources. We need more helicopters and capable crews who can get to work right away. We need more mobile laboratories, treatment centers and beds. We need more incinerators and more generators. Most of all, we need more of the courageous healthcare workers that we see making an incredible contribution right now on the ground, and we need to do everything that we can to provide these men and women the protective equipment and the treatment that they need.

Now, we know this – the things that we can do and that we need to do. We know even in the cases of Texas, for instance, know that protocols are perhaps not followed in some instance or another. So there are ways, because we have plenty of people working who are treating people who are not getting it, and plenty of people who have been surrounding and around it who don’t get it. So the fact is that you have to come in contact. And as long as you can make certain that that is not happening during those critical periods of incubation, there are ways to contain this.

As President Obama has said repeatedly, we approach this with humility and we approach this with a huge sense of purpose, but we know that no matter what we do, we’re not going to be able to do it alone. We’re proud of the fact that we’ve contributed $258 million most recently and we’re also delivering support in some very unique ways that only the U.S. military can provide, and that’s why we’re sending as many as 4,000 troops to the region. And that’s why we’re allocating up to one billion more for our armed forces for this purpose. And that’s why we’re creating 17 Ebola treatment units and providing support right now for the mobile laboratories and the communications infrastructure.

We are using every instrument of American power in order to try to get this job done, and as many of you know, I’ve been making a number of phone calls each day to my counterparts from your countries in order to encourage concrete steps. And we’ve been raising this issue in every single bilateral meeting that I have, but we know that nothing that one, two, three countries do together is going to solve it. We have to all be engaged in this. There is no country that is exempt from being able to do something to be able to contribute to this effort and help make a difference. And everything we do depends on how we coordinate our efforts as partners in how we contribute together.

Now already we are seeing nations large and small stepping up in impressive ways to make a contribution on the frontlines. Timor-Leste has donated $2 million. Cuba, a country of just 11 million people has sent 165 health professionals, and it plans to send nearly 300 more. We want to thank France for committing 70 million euro and for those response in Guinea, where they’ve taken on special responsibilities. And we want to thank the United Kingdom for the Ebola treatment units that they are building in Sierra Leone, and Germany has significantly stepped up its efforts, including offering their facilities to treat healthcare workers. The European Union is organizing medevac capacity and contributing 140 million euro, and the World Bank and IMF have committed more than $678 million. The African Union is moving to send trained emergency responders to West Africa.

But no matter what we have already committed, it is clear, every one of us, that we have to do more, and we have to do it quickly. So of the one billion in needs that are estimated by the UN, I regret to say we are barely a third of the way there. If we don’t adequately address this current outbreak now, then Ebola has the potential to become a scourge like HIV or polio, that we will end up fighting, all of us, for decades. And we shouldn’t kid ourselves. Winning this fight is going to be costly, it is going to take all of our efforts, and it is not risk-free. Nobody knows that better than the healthcare workers on the front lines right now. And whatever the differences there are between us in this room on one issue or another, on one attitude or another, the fact is everyone I know respects and admires the courage of any healthcare worker who is undertaking this challenge.

So let’s make sure that those healthcare workers aren’t hanging out there by themselves. Let’s make sure that we’re pulling together the resources, the equipment, the commitment, the cash to support their efforts. And let’s make sure that their courage is motivating us every step of the way. For these men and women to succeed, they need nothing less than our full commitment, which is why we’ve asked you to come forward here today. This is a matter of real people, real lives, in countries that were beginning to take off, countries that were beginning to see the future and feel it, and suddenly they’ve been hit by this. This engages all of us, and it is a real test of global citizenship. So today in this room, we have a unique opportunity to try to come together to make important contributions. I’ve touched on some of the urgent needs. There is nobody, frankly, who can more competently explain where we stand, who knows what is at stake better than Ambassador Nancy Powell.

A lot of you know her very, very well because she has served alongside you. She’s one of the very few five-time ambassadors at the State Department. And partly because of what she has already done once before to spread – to help prevent the spread of a pandemic, which she did – she’s already one of the most accomplished people to have to deal with this challenge and one of the best diplomats we could think of in order to help us all do what we need to do. So ladies and gentlemen, Nancy Powell. (Applause.)

 

SOURCE 

US Department of State

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 17 October 2014

France / Egypte – Attentats (16 octobre 2014)


 

France / Egypte – Attentats (16 octobre 2014)

 

PARIS, France, 17 octobre 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ La France condamne l’attaque qui a coûté hier la vie à deux policiers à El Arish (Sinaï) ainsi que celle qui a fait plusieurs blessés à Tanta.

 

Nous présentons nos condoléances aux familles des victimes.

 

La France assure le peuple et le gouvernement égyptiens de sa solidarité et se tient à leurs côtés dans la lutte contre le terrorisme.

 

SOURCE 

France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 17 October 2014

Soudan – Darfour – Décès de trois casques bleus (Korma, 16 octobre 2014)


 

Soudan – Darfour – Décès de trois casques bleus (Korma, 16 octobre 2014)

 

PARIS, France, 17 octobre 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ La France condamne l’attaque perpétrée le 16 octobre à Korma contre la mission des Nations unies et de l’Union africaine au Darfour, qui a coûté la vie à trois casques bleus éthiopiens.

 

Nous exprimons nos condoléances aux familles des victimes ainsi qu’aux autorités éthiopiennes et appelons le gouvernement soudanais à enquêter rapidement, afin de traduire en justice les responsables.

 

La France appelle toutes les parties à participer sans préalable aux pourparlers qui doivent s’ouvrir à Addis Abeba sous l’égide du médiateur de l’Union africaine, M. Thabo Mbeki.

 

Nous réaffirmons notre soutien à l’action des Nations unies et aux États contribuant au maintien de la paix et à la protection des civils au Darfour.

 

SOURCE 

France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


 

République démocratique du Congo – Incursion meurtrière d’un groupe armé à Béni (16 octobre 2014)

 

PARIS, France, 17 octobre 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ La France condamne les attaques perpétrées le 16 octobre dans la ville de Béni (Nord-Kivu), qui auraient fait une trentaine de victimes civiles.

 

Nous exprimons nos condoléances aux familles des victimes.

 

Nous rendons hommage à l’action déterminée des forces armées congolaises, appuyées par la mission des Nations unies pour la stabilisation en République démocratique du Congo, dans le cadre de l’opération Sukola lancée en janvier 2014 pour mettre fin à l’action des groupes armés dans la région.

 

La France rappelle la nécessité d’une action résolue contre toutes les forces qui entretiennent un climat de violence dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo.

 

SOURCE 

France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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