APO Media Award: WIN $500 a month for one year, one lap top, one intercontinental flight ticket to a destination of your choice and more


The second-place winner will be awarded $300 a month for one year, and the third-place winner will receive $200 a month for one year


DAKAR, Senegal, June 12, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ APO (African Press Organization) (http://www.apo-opa.com), the sole press release wire in Africa and the global leader in media relations relating to Africa, announced today that entry is now open for the 2014 APO Media Award (#APOMediaAward).

The first-place winner will be presented with $500 a month for one year, one laptop and one intercontinental flight ticket to a destination of his or her choice as well as one year of access to over 600 airport VIP lounges worldwide.


The second-place winner will be awarded $300 a month for one year.


The third-place winner will receive $200 a month for one year.


APO logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/apo-african-press-organization-small.png


Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=782
(Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and CEO of APO (African Press Organization)


APO Media Award celebrates brilliant and inspiring stories about Africa. The subject matter may comprise a single topic or a variety of subjects, including – but not limited to – business, economy, technology, agriculture, health, energy, gender, logistics, tourism, motoring, aviation, not-for-profit issues, diplomacy, environment, mining, entertainment and more.


APO Media Award is open to African journalists and bloggers, whether directly employed or freelancers, working in the continent of Africa who have produced a story that has been broadcast or published in English, French, Portuguese or Arabic in the form of a printed publication, a television feature, a radio story, a website or a blog whose primary audience is based in Africa.


Stories must have been broadcast or published between January and August 2014.


Stories are judged on content, writing, analysis, creativity, human interest and community impact.


All stories must be submitted in electronic format:

a) Print: upload the scan(s) of the published article.

b) Radio: upload the SoundCloud link (SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform that enables its users to upload and share sounds they have created themselves – https://soundcloud.com).

c) Website: upload the URL.

d) TV: upload the YouTube link.


TV material must first be uploaded to YouTube (www.youtube.com) and radio material to SoundCloud (www.soundcloud.com). If you are not a member of these sites, you will need to sign up in order to upload the video or radio material. Once you have obtained the link, you must enter it in this online entry form when inputting your story details.


Online Entry Form is available here:


The deadline for entries is 1 September 2014.


The finalists will be announced on 15 September 2014.


The winners will be announced on 29 September 2014.


Follow APO on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apo_source


Follow the hashtag: #APOMediaAward


Distributed by APO (African Press Organization).




+41 22 534 96 97



About APO


APO (African Press Organization) (http://www.apo-opa.com) is the sole press release wire in Africa and the global leader in media relations relating to Africa.


With offices in Senegal, Switzerland, Dubai, Hong Kong, India and Seychelles, APO has a media database comprising over 50,000 contacts and is the main online community for news relating to Africa.


It offers a complete range of services, including press release distribution and monitoring, online press conferences, interactive webcasts, media interactions, strategic advice, public diplomacy, government relations and events promotion. To find out more, please visit http://www.apo-opa.com.


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APO (African Press Organization)


Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Hirotaka Ishihara’s Visit to Mozambique, Guinea and Burkina Faso


TOKYO, Japan, July 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — 1. Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Hirotaka Ishihara is scheduled to visit Mozambique, Guinea and Burkina Faso from June 25 to July 4.

2. In Mozambique, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Ishihara will make a statement on behalf of the Government of Japan at a high-level session of the Third Review Conference of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, which will be held in Maputo. He is also scheduled to visit Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) project sites and exchange views with those concerned.


3. In Guinea and Burkina Faso, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Ishihara is scheduled to hold meetings with key Government officials in order to further strengthen ties with the two countries through follow-up discussions on last year’s Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) and the First TICAD V Ministerial Meeting, which was held in May this year.


(Reference 1) Itinerary of Parliamentary Vice-Minister Ishihara’s Visit


June    25    Departure from Japan

June    26    Arrival in Mozambique

June    26    Arrival in Mozambique

June    28    Departure from Mozambique

June    29    Arrival in Guinea

July    1    Departure from Guinea

1    arrival in Burkina Faso

2    Departture from Burkina Faso

4    Arrival in Japan

(Reference 2) The Third Review Conference of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention


The Third Review Conference of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention is scheduled to be held in Maputo from June 23 to 27. Review Conferences are held every five years. The Third Review Conference aims to assess the progress that has been made in the past 15-year period since the Convention’s entry into force and to discuss remaining challenges. As of June 1, 161 states are States Parties to the Convention. Japan became a States Party on September 30, 1998.



Japan – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


IMF Executive Board Concludes Article IV Consultation with the Republic of Congo


BRAZZAVILLE, Republic of the Congo, July 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — On July 21, 2014, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation with the Republic of Congo.1

Recent economic developments in the Republic of Congo have been favorable. Growth in the last 5 years has averaged about 5 percent per year, higher than in regional peers. Gross oil revenue averaged more than US$8 billion per year in 2012 and 2013, equivalent to about 60 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Substantial fiscal savings have been set aside by virtue of the ongoing run of high international oil prices. However, poverty remains comparatively high, despite robust economic growth and large government spending. The poverty rate amounted to 46.5 percent in 2011 compared with 50.7 percent in 2005.

The overall fiscal surplus in 2013 remained sizable at 5.8 percent of GDP (13.9 percent of non-oil GDP) reflecting sizable oil revenues from high oil prices and increases in non-oil revenues. Public investment spending and arrears payments for social benefits and payments to suppliers pushed total cash government spending to about CFAF 2,735 billion in 2013, about 5 percent above the 2012 level when spending was raised in the aftermath of the Mpila ammunitions explosion, and up from CFAF 1,865 billion in 2011. External public debt has continued to trend upward, reaching 32 percent of GDP in 2013, up from 20 percent of GDP in 2010, when the Republic of Congo obtained debt relief through the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC) and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). Most of Congo’s borrowing is on concessional terms from China and is targeted at financing key infrastructure projects. Despite declining for the second year in a row, the Republic of Congo’s reserves at the Banque des Etats de l’Afrique Centrale (BEAC) continue to cover about 7 months of prospective imports of goods and services.

The country’s medium-term prospects are promising provided that progress is made with structural reforms and fiscal adjustment. The economy is projected to expand by about 6 percent per annum between 2014 and 2019, as a result of increases in oil production and the start of iron ore production. Inflation is easing, aided by lower food prices and real appreciation of the CFA franc. The government budget relies heavily on oil revenue. Therefore, oil price volatility and the exhaustibility of oil reserves could pose risks to macroeconomic stability and the authorities’ objective of attaining sustained high inclusive non-oil growth over the medium term. Other key risks to the economic outlook relate to a decline in oil prices associated with slower growth in advanced economies and major emerging markets, as well as social tensions arising from inequality and poor job opportunities.

Executive Board Assessment2

Directors commended the authorities for the overall good economic performance, including strong growth and low inflation. Directors noted that the medium-term economic outlook is favorable, underpinned by new mining production and the government’s ambitious investment program. They emphasized, however, that prudent policies and rigorous implementation of reforms will be critical to meet the country’s social and development needs, reduce poverty and unemployment, and boost non-oil growth, while ensuring macroeconomic stability.

Directors emphasized the need to contain the growth of government spending and recommended fiscal consolidation over the medium term to safeguard fiscal sustainability. They encouraged the authorities to strengthen the fiscal framework by adopting the non-oil primary balance as a fiscal anchor to insulate spending from the volatile and exhaustible nature of oil revenues. Directors agreed that broadening the tax base and reducing exemptions will also strengthen the fiscal position.

Directors supported the public investment program, aimed at improving infrastructure, diversifying the economy, and boosting employment. They stressed that increasing the efficiency of government investment will be key to achieving this goal. Directors underscored the need to strengthen public financial management to improve accountability, governance, and the quality of public spending. In this context, they called for expeditious enactment of the Fiscal Responsibility and Transparency law.

Directors noted the Republic of Congo’s low risk of debt distress. To preserve debt sustainability, they advised the authorities to continue to strengthen public debt management, particularly by developing a medium-term debt strategy and enhancing transparency.

To further promote the non-oil sector, Directors stressed the importance of structural reforms to strengthen the business climate, enhance financial development and increase access to finance by strengthening legal and informational systems. They recommended a careful analysis of the implications of recently introduced fiscal incentives for special economic zones. Directors also highlighted that programs designed to strengthen the education system and implement social spending to the poor should be well-targeted, evaluated and monitored to ensure their effectiveness.

Directors encouraged the authorities to fully comply with the regional CEMAC (Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa) obligations. They welcomed the authorities’ support for the ongoing review of the CEMAC’s reserves pooling framework and stressed that the planned establishment of a sovereign wealth fund, investing in higher yielding assets, should be consistent with the regional reserves pooling architecture.



International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 28 July 2014

Weltweite Sanktionen gegen Spieler aus Ghana und Malta


Weltweite Sanktionen gegen Spieler aus Ghana und Malta


GENEVA, Switzerland, July 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Die FIFA bestätigt die weltweite Gültigkeit der Strafen, die das Sportschiedsgericht (CAS) und der italienische Fussballverband (FIGC) im Zusammenhang mit Spielmanipulationen verhängt haben.

Am 28. Mai 2014 sperrte das CAS den maltesischen Spieler Kevin Sammut für zehn Jahre für jegliche Tätigkeit im Fussball. Grundlage waren die Ermittlungen der UEFA-Disziplinarorgane im Zusammenhang mit der Manipulation eines Qualifikationsspiels für die UEFA-Fussball-Europameisterschaft im Jahr 2007.

Am 7. Mai 2014 sperrte die FIGC-Disziplinarkommission den ghanaischen Spieler Mark Edusei wegen der Manipulation eines Spiels in der italienischen Serie B im Jahr 2009 für drei Jahre und sechs Monate für jegliche Tätigkeit im Fussball.

Der Vorsitzende der FIFA-Disziplinarkommission hat in beiden Fällen die Gültigkeit der Strafen gemäss Art. 78 Abs. 1 lit. c und Art. 136 ff. des FIFA-Disziplinarreglements weltweit ausgedehnt. Die Entscheide des Vorsitzenden wurden den massgebenden Konföderationen und Mitgliedsverbänden heute ordnungsgemäss mitgeteilt.

Die FIFA arbeitet bei der Bekämpfung von Spielmanipulationen eng mit ihren Mitgliedsverbänden und den Konföderationen zusammen. Im Rahmen der zehnjährigen Partnerschaft mit Interpol werden Ansprechpartner rund um die Welt bei Regionalseminaren geschult, während die E-Schulungsprogramme ebenfalls dabei helfen, Spieler, Trainer und Schiedsrichter über die Gefahren von Spielmanipulationen aufzuklären und sie davor zu schützen, selbst Opfer dieser Bedrohung für die Integrität des Fussballs zu werden.

Weitere Initiativen sind die Unterzeichnung einer Leumundserklärung durch Offizielle, die Überwachung des Wettmarkts durch die FIFA-Tochtergesellschaft Early Warning System (EWS) sowie ein E-Schulungs-Ethiktool, eine Integritätshotline und -E-Mail-Adresse und ein vertrauliches Hinweisgebersystem.


International Federation of Football Association (FIFA)

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 28 July 2014

Sanctions internationales contre un Ghanéen et un Maltais


Sanctions internationales contre un Ghanéen et un Maltais


GENEVE, Suisse, 28 juillet 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ La FIFA confirme aujourd’hui l’extension des sanctions imposées par le Tribunal Arbitral du Sport (TAS) et la Fédération Italienne de Football (FIGC) dans le cadre de manipulations de matches.

Le 28 mai 2014, le TAS a suspendu le joueur maltais Kevin Sammut de toute activité liée au football pour une période de dix ans dans le cadre d’une procédure menée par les instances disciplinaires de l’UEFA au sujet de la manipulation en 2007 d’un match de qualification pour l’EURO de l’UEFA.

Le 7 mai 2014, la commission de discipline de la FIGC a suspendu le joueur ghanéen Mark Edusei de toute activité liée au football pour une période de trois ans et six mois pour manipulation d’un match de Serie B italienne en 2009.

Dans les deux cas susmentionnés, le président de la Commission de Discipline de la FIFA a décidé d’étendre ces sanctions au niveau mondial conformément aux articles 78, al. 1c et 136ss du Code disciplinaire de la FIFA. Les décisions prises par le président ont été dûment notifiées aux confédérations et associations membres concernées.

La FIFA continue de travailler en étroite collaboration avec ses associations membres et les confédérations pour lutter contre les manipulations de matches. Dans le cadre d’un partenariat de dix ans avec INTERPOL, des séminaires régionaux sont organisés aux quatre coins du monde tandis que les programmes d’apprentissage en ligne permettent également d’instruire les joueurs, entraîneurs et arbitres sur les dangers de la manipulation de matches, et ce afin d’éviter qu’ils deviennent des victimes de ce fléau qui menace l’intégrité du football.

D’autres initiatives incluent la signature d’une déclaration d’intégrité par certains officiels, la supervision du marché des paris à travers sa filiale Early Warning System (EWS) et la création d’un guide didactique pour son Code d’éthique, d’une Hotline Intégrité et une adresse électronique et d’un système de signalement confidentiel.


International Federation of Football Association (FIFA)

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 28 July 2014

Sanciones mundiales para jugadores de Ghana y Malta


Sanciones mundiales para jugadores de Ghana y Malta


GENEVA, Switzerland, July 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — La FIFA ha confirmado hoy la ampliación de las sanciones por amaño de partidos impuestas por el Tribunal de Arbitraje Deportivo (CAS) y la Federación Italiana de Fútbol (FIGC).

El 28 de mayo de 2014, el CAS prohibió al jugador maltés Kevin Sammut participar en toda actividad relacionada con el fútbol durante un periodo de 10 años a raíz del proceso dirigido por los órganos disciplinarios de la UEFA en relación con el amaño de un partido clasificatorio para la Eurocopa en 2007.

El 7 de mayo de 2014, la comisión disciplinaria de la FIGC impuso al jugador ghanés Mark Edusei la prohibición de participar en toda actividad relacionada con el fútbol durante tres años y seis meses por amañar un partido de la Serie B italiana en 2009.

De conformidad con el art. 78, apdo. 1 c) y el art. 136 y ss. del Código Disciplinario de la FIFA, el presidente de la Comisión Disciplinaria de la FIFA ha decidido ampliar estas sanciones al ámbito internacional. Hoy se han notificado las decisiones del presidente a las confederaciones y asociaciones miembro correspondientes.

La FIFA continúa colaborando estrechamente con sus asociaciones miembro y confederaciones en la lucha contra la manipulación de partidos. En el marco de un proyecto de colaboración de diez años con INTERPOL, se están organizando seminarios internacionales con todos los actores implicados; por otro lado, las herramientas de formación en línea sirven para que futbolistas, entrenadores y árbitros estén preparados para enfrentarse a los peligros que entraña el amaño de partidos y evitar que terminen siendo víctimas de esta gran amenaza para la integridad del fútbol.

Otras iniciativas en esta dirección son la firma de una declaración de integridad por parte de los árbitros, la supervisión del mercado de apuestas a través de su filial Early Warning System (EWS) y la creación de una plataforma didáctica virtual, una línea directa y una dirección electrónica de atención y de un sistema de denuncias confidenciales.



International Federation of Football Association (FIFA)

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 28 July 2014

Worldwide sanctions imposed on players from Ghana, Malta


Worldwide sanctions imposed on players from Ghana, Malta


GENEVA, Switzerland, July 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — FIFA can today confirm the extension of sanctions imposed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and the Italian Football Association (FIGC) in relation to match manipulation.

On 28 May 2014, CAS banned Maltese player Kevin Sammut from all football-related activities for a period of ten years following proceedings conducted by UEFA disciplinary bodies in relation to the manipulation of a qualifying match for the UEFA European Football Championship in 2007.

On 7 May 2014, the disciplinary committee of the FIGC banned Ghanaian player Mark Edusei from all football-related activities for three years and six months in relation to the manipulation of a match in the Italian Serie B in 2009.

In the above cases, the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided to extend the sanctions to have worldwide effect in accordance with article 78 paragraph 1(c) and article 136ff. of the FIFA Disciplinary Code. The decisions by the chairman have been duly notified to the respective confederations and member associations today.

FIFA continues to work closely with its member associations and the confederations to tackle match manipulation. As part of a ten-year programme of collaboration with INTERPOL, regional workshops involving key stakeholders are being held all over the world while e-learning programmes are also helping to educate players, coaches and referees on the dangers of match manipulation to help them to avoid becoming victims of this threat to football integrity.

Other initiatives include the signing of an integrity declaration by officials, the monitoring of the betting market via FIFA’s subsidiary Early Warning System (EWS) and the setting up of an e-learning ethics tool, an integrity hotline and e-mail address and a confidential reporting system.



International Federation of Football Association (FIFA)

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 28 July 2014

France / Libye


France / Libye


PARIS, France, 28 juillet 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Quai d’Orsay – déclarations du porte-parole – 28 juillet 2014


Q – Suite à la décision des Etats-Unis de retirer son personnel diplomatique, la France songe-t-elle à faire de même ? Comment la France peut-elle agir sur le front diplomatique ou tout autre pour freiner les violences ?


R – En réaction à la dégradation de la situation sécuritaire en Libye, la France a appelé ses ressortissants hier à quitter le pays en liaison avec l’Ambassade de France à Tripoli. Nous sommes en train de mettre en œuvre toutes les mesures pour faciliter le départ de nos ressortissants.


Des mesures de sécurité strictes sont en place. Nous continuons de suivre en temps réel la situation sur le terrain et nous tenons prêts à prendre toute mesure nécessaire.


La France est pleinement mobilisée pour aider la Libye à reprendre la voie d’une transition démocratique et pacifique. M. Denys Gauer vient de participer à une réunion des envoyés spéciaux pour la Libye à Bruxelles le 25 juillet, en vue de l’instauration d’un cessez-le-feu. Nous travaillons avec les Nations unies à un renforcement de l’action internationale pour inciter l’ensemble des parties à privilégier le dialogue.



France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 28 July 2014

France / Vol AH5017 Air Algérie


France / Vol AH5017 Air Algérie


PARIS, France, 28 juillet 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Quai d’Orsay – déclarations du porte-parole – 28 juillet 2014


Q – Selon la presse algérienne, Alger a demandé des clarifications à la France concernant sa gestion du crash de l’avion d’Air Algérie au nord Mali. Sur quoi porte cette demande de clarification ?

Concernant le vol Air Algérie, selon Canal+ citant une source israélienne, un haut responsable du Hezbollah aurait été à bord. Selon des medias algériens il y aurait également 33 soldats français ainsi que trois officiers de la DGSE. Pourriez-vous commenter ces informations ?

Les boîtes noires de l’avion d’Air Algérie sont-elles arrivées sur le territoire français ? Y a-t-il déjà de premières indications sur les causes du crash dans le nord du Mali ?


R – M. Laurent Fabius, ministre des affaires étrangères et du développement international, fera un nouveau point de situation sur la catastrophe du vol AH5017 d’Air Algérie avec M. Frédéric Cuvillier, secrétaire d’État aux transports, et le général Pierre de Villiers, chef d’état-major des armées, ce lundi 28 juillet à 16h au Quai d’Orsay.



France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 28 July 2014

France / Cameroun – Attaques terroristes (27 juillet 2014)


France / Cameroun – Attaques terroristes (27 juillet 2014)


PARIS, France, 28 juillet 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Quai d’Orsay – déclarations du porte-parole – 28 juillet 2014


La France condamne les attaques terroristes perpétrées dimanche à Kolofata, dans le nord du Cameroun, à proximité de la frontière nigériane, qui ont fait plusieurs victimes.


Dans ce moment difficile, la France présente ses condoléances aux familles des victimes et assure les autorités camerounaises de sa solidarité dans la lutte contre le terrorisme, dans le respect des droits de l’Homme, à laquelle elle continuera à prendre toute sa part.


Elle salue la mobilisation des pays de la région depuis le sommet de Paris du 17 mai dernier pour apporter une réponse coordonnée à ce fléau, notamment au moyen de la force multinationale créée le 22 juillet par les gouvernements nigérian, camerounais, nigérien et tchadien.



France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 28 July 2014

Letter from the President — War Powers Resolution Letter Regarding Libya


Letter from the President — War Powers Resolution Letter Regarding Libya





July 27, 2014


Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)


As I most recently reported on June 12, 2014, U.S. Armed Forces have been in Libya to support the security of U.S. personnel in that country. During the period July 25-26, due to ongoing violence resulting from clashes between Libyan militias in the immediate vicinity of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, embassy personnel and the U.S. forces supporting their security were temporarily relocated outside Libya. The U.S. forces departed Libya, via Tunisia, for U.S. bases in Europe. To support the safe departure of the embassy staff from Libya over land through Tunisia, U.S. military aircraft and additional military personnel entered Libya and Tunisia; those forces have also returned to bases in Europe.


This action has been directed consistent with my responsibility to protect U.S. citizens both at home and abroad, and in furtherance of U.S. national security and foreign policy interests, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive.


I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148). I appreciate the support of the Congress in these actions.







The White House




PARIS, France, 28 juillet 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ COMMUNIQUÉ TECHNIQUE


M. Laurent Fabius, ministre des affaires étrangères et du développement international, fera un nouveau point de situation sur la catastrophe du vol AH5017 d’Air Algérie avec M. Frédéric Cuvillier, secrétaire d’Etat aux transports, et le général Pierre de Villiers, chef d’état-major des armées, ce lundi 28 juillet à 16h au Quai d’Orsay.


Les journalistes, photographes et cameramen intéressés sont invités à se présenter, munis de leur carte de presse, à partir de 15h30, à l’entrée située au 1 rue Robert Esnault-Pelterie, Paris 7e (face à l’aérogare des Invalides).



N.B. : Ce communiqué ne constitue en aucune manière une annonce officielle. L’information qui est donnée ci-dessus est de nature strictement technique et ne vise qu’à aider le travail des journalistes.



France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 28 July 2014

NUSOJ Condemns new wave of Journalists’ Arrests in Somaliland


NUSOJ Condemns new wave of Journalists’ Arrests in Somaliland


MOGADISHU, Somalia, July 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) today accused the Somaliland authorities of waging a renewed campaign of intimidation against media after the police arrested two journalists.


On Sunday, 27 July 2014, journalist Ahmed Adan Robleh, editor of Baligubadle Online Media (http://baligubadlemedia.com/) was arrested after officers at Hargeisa’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID) summoned on 26 July. In a separate incident, Mohamed Aabi, director of Universal TV in Somaliland, was arrested Sunday evening (27 July) by the police.


Robleh was accused of “misreporting” and “spreading false information” with regard to health of Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo. Baligubadle Online Media reported Silanyo is in London for medical treatment but officials denied and termed his visit for “family visit”. Robleh was summoned by the CID three weeks before but let him go after intensive questioning.


Police did not explain the reason behind the arrest & detention of Aabi but journalists and his co-workers believe that Mohammed Aabi was arrested for entertainment programme recorded in Hargeisa, which was broadcasted by Universal TV. Somaliland banned Universal TV to operate in its territory.


“Ahmed Adan Robleh and Mohammed Aabi are the latest victim journalists of the Somaliland government-led campaign to stifle media freedom and public debate on the current issues,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. “There is systematic repression and brutal intimidation of media and journalists under the cloak of reporting ‘false information’ and illegitimate ‘ban’.”


NUSOJ called on Somaliland authorities to end the reign of repression that is being unleashed against free expression and journalism in Somaliland. “Somaliland journalists are citizens and are entitled to report on issues worth reporting without being harassed.”



National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)




NEW YORK, July 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today the appointment of Arnauld Antoine Akodjènou of Benin as his Deputy Special Representative in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).


Mr. Akodjènou succeeds Abdoulaye Bathily of Senegal, who has been appointed as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa. The Secretary-General is grateful for Mr. Bathily’s dedicated service during his tenure in Mali and for his leadership in a very challenging environment.


Mr. Akodjènou, currently Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Côte d’Ivoire since 2011, brings to MINUSMA over 25 years of humanitarian, political, mediation and management experience from his service with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and with the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI).


Mr. Akodjènou joined UNHCR in 1986 after several years with the World Social Prospects Association/United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in Geneva. After holding various positions in the Regional Bureau for Africa at UNHCR headquarters, Mr. Akodjènou served as UNHCR Representative in Mali and Sierra Leone and as Regional Coordinator for Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire.


Mr. Akodjènou graduated from the University of Benin in Cotonou before earning his post-graduate degree from the Institute of International Relations of Cameroon in Yaoundé. He also holds a PhD in political science from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva.





POSTPONED: Press Invitation – UNMISS Commissioner of Police in South Sudan Briefing


JUBA, South Sudan, July 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) cordially invites members of the media in South Sudan to attend a press briefing to update on UN Police’s (UNPOL) role under the

new mission’s mandate; UN contributing Force Protection Unit efforts in managing IDPs in the protection of civilians site, and progress made by the South Sudan National Police Service with support of UNPOL.



The briefing will be given by:

Fred Yiga, United Nations Commissioner of Police for South Sudan

Joseph Contreras, UNMISS Acting Spokesperson



Date: Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Time: 2:00pm

Venue: Juba Conference Room, UNMISS compound in Tomping







PARIS, France, 28 juillet 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Déclaration du porte-parole du ministère des affaires étrangères et du développement international


Compte tenu de la dégradation de la situation sécuritaire, la France demande à ses ressortissants de quitter la Libye.


Tous nos ressortissants sont invités à entrer au plus vite en contact avec notre ambassade à Tripoli.



France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 28 July 2014

UN Special Representative for Somalia on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr


UN Special Representative for Somalia on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr


MOGADISHU, Somalia, July 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG), Nicholas Kay, extended his heartfelt greetings to all Somali people as they celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr.


“As Somalia celebrates Eid-ul-Fitr I wish all Somalis and their families Eid Mubarak. Today is a time to celebrate the completion of the holy month of Ramadan and to remember those that are less fortunate than ourselves. I hope this spirit of reconciliation and harmony can contribute to peace across Somalia. Ciid Wanaagsan!” SRSG Kay said.





Le Canada annonce du soutien pour créer des emplois et des possibilités au Nigéria / Le Canada appuie les efforts déployés par le Nigéria pour promouvoir l’esprit d’entreprise chez les jeunes


OTTAWA, Canada, 27 juillet 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Le sénateur Don Meredith, au nom du ministre du Développement international et de la Francophonie, l’honorable Christian Paradis, a annoncé aujourd’hui que le Canada soutiendra un nouveau projet ayant pour but d’augmenter les possibilités d’emplois et de promouvoir l’entrepreneuriat chez les jeunes au Nigéria.

Le sénateur Meredith a fait cette annonce lors d’une allocution au premier congrès national de l’Akwa Cross Association of Canada. Akwa Cross est un organisme à but non lucratif œuvrant à la promotion de la préservation des cultures dans les États d’Akwa Ibom et de Cross River, au Nigéria.

« Il est essentiel, surtout pour les jeunes, d’avoir un emploi valorisant et durable au Nigéria. La croissance économique durable est le meilleur moyen de rompre le cycle de la pauvreté et de favoriser la prospérité partagée, a rappelé le sénateur Meredith. Le Canada est fier de contribuer à accroître l’emploi, à soutenir les petits entrepreneurs et à procurer des moyens de subsistance aux jeunes femmes et aux jeunes hommes dans des secteurs comme l’agriculture et la foresterie. »

L’appui du Canada contribuera à stimuler une croissance induite par le secteur privé dans l’État de Cross River du Nigéria en créant les conditions nécessaires pour la gestion efficace des forêts, de l’agriculture et de la pêche. Les efforts porteront principalement sur la formation axée sur les compétences et sur l’entrepreneuriat pour les jeunes, afin qu’ils soient mieux outillés pour obtenir un emploi ou lancer et développer des entreprises dans une économie nigériane centrée sur les ressources. L’annonce d’aujourd’hui s’appuie sur le travail du Canada avec les organismes nigérians et les organes gouvernementaux pour améliorer la façon dont le Nigéria gère ses ressources naturelles.

« Le Canada, sous la direction du premier ministre Harper, est reconnu comme un chef de file mondial en matière d’amélioration de la santé des mères, des nouveau-nés et des enfants. Les efforts qu’il déploie en collaboration avec ses partenaires permettent de sauver la vie de femmes et d’enfants, au Nigéria et dans l’ensemble du monde en développement, a déclaré le ministre Paradis. Chacun devrait non seulement avoir la capacité de survivre, mais également les outils dont il a besoin pour prospérer. Il est essentiel, surtout pour les jeunes, d’avoir un emploi valorisant et durable, et le Canada est fier de contribuer à accroître l’emploi, à soutenir les petits entrepreneurs et à procurer des moyens de subsistance aux jeunes. »

Le Nigéria est l’un des 10 pays ciblés pour ce qui est de la santé des mères, des nouveau-nés et des enfants. Le Canada est également déterminé à appuyer la croissance économique durable dans le pays. Le Plan d’action sur les marchés mondiaux du Canada désigne le Nigéria comme un marché prioritaire et, le 6 mai 2014, le Canada et le Nigéria ont signé l’Accord sur la promotion et la protection des investissements étrangers Canada-Nigéria.

Les faits en bref

•    Le rythme actuel de la croissance économique en Afrique offre la possibilité d’une réduction durable de la pauvreté sur tout le continent. Le Canada s’est engagé à appuyer le développement en Afrique. Il continuera à jouer un rôle de premier plan dans le domaine de la santé des mères, des nouveau-nés et des enfants et à soutenir une croissance économique durable.

•    Le Canada cherche à aider le Nigéria à bonifier la gestion de ses ressources naturelles, y compris le secteur minier, dans le but de promouvoir une croissance économique durable dans le pays, ce qui entraînera des avantages économiques et améliorera à long terme le sort des Nigérians.

•    Au moyen d’initiatives liées la santé des mères, des nouveau-nés et des enfants, le Canada s’emploie surtout à renforcer les soins de santé à l’échelle communautaire, ainsi qu’à prévenir et à traiter les principales maladies à l’origine de la mortalité des mères et des enfants.

•    Le Canada est au premier rang pour aider le Nigéria à éradiquer la poliomyélite.



Canada – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Canada announces support to create jobs and opportunities in Nigeria / Canada supports Nigeria’s efforts to promote youth entrepreneurship


OTTAWA, Canada, July 27, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Senator Don Meredith, on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today announced Canadian support for a new project to help increase job opportunities and promote entrepreneurship among young people in Nigeria.

Senator Meredith made the announcement in an address to the inaugural national convention of the Akwa Cross Association of Canada. Akwa Cross is non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the preservation of the cultures in the Nigerian states of Akwa Ibom and Cross River.

“The need for meaningful, sustainable employment, especially for youth, is a critical issue in Nigeria. Creating sustainable economic growth is the best way to break the cycle of poverty and create shared prosperity,” said Senator Meredith. “Canada is proud to help increase employment, support small entrepreneurs and secure livelihoods for young women and men in areas such as agriculture and forestry.”

Canada’s support will help stimulate private-sector-led growth in Nigeria’s Cross River State by creating the conditions to responsibly manage its forestry, agriculture and fisheries sectors. Efforts will focus on providing skills and entrepreneurship training for young people so they are better equipped to secure jobs and start and grow businesses in the country’s resource-based economy. Today’s announcement builds on Canada’s work with Nigerian organizations and government bodies to improve how the country manages its natural resources.

“Canada, under the leadership of Prime Minister Harper, is recognized as a global champion for improving maternal, newborn and child health. The work we are doing with our partners is saving the lives of women and children in Nigeria, and across the developing world,” said Minister Paradis. “We need to provide people with not just the ability to survive, but the tools they need to thrive. The need for meaningful, sustainable employment, especially for youth, is a critical issue, and Canada is proud to help increase employment, support small entrepreneurs and secure livelihoods for youth.”

Nigeria is one of Canada’s 10 Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) countries of focus. Canada is also committed to promoting sustainable economic growth in the country. Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan identifies Nigeria as a priority marketand on May 6, 2014, Canada and Nigeria signed the Canada-Nigeria Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA).

Quick Facts

•    Current rates of economic growth across Africa have the potential to bring sustainable poverty reduction across the continent. Canada is committed to supporting development in Africa. It will continue to play a leadership role in maternal, newborn and child health and in supporting sustainable economic growth.

•    Canada is looking to help Nigeria enhance its natural resource management, including the mining sector, in order to promote sustainable economic growth in the country, thereby generating economic benefits and long-term well-being for all Nigerians.

•    Canada’s MNCH efforts in Nigeria are focussed on strengthening health care delivery at the community level, and on preventing and treating major illnesses that contribute to maternal and child mortality.

•    Canada is at the forefront in helping Nigeria to eradicate polio.



Canada – Ministry of Foreign Affairs



La Présidente de la Commission de l’Union africaine exprime ses condoléances à la suite de l’accident survenu à un transporteur aérien algérien


ADDIS ABEBA, Ethiopie, 27 juillet 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ La Présidente de la Commission de l’Union africaine, S.E. Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, est profondément attristée de l’accident survenu à un avion de ligne algérien qui effectuait un vol d’Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) vers Alger (Algérie). Avec 116 passagers et des membres d’équipage, d’Afrique et d’autres nationalités à bord, l’avion était rapporté manquant aux petites heures du matin du 24 juillet 2014.


Dr Dlamini Zuma exprime ses sincères condoléances aux familles, aux proches et aux amis des victimes.


Dans le sillage des récentes tragédies liées au transport aérien, la Présidente de la Commission de l’Union africaine invite les autorités concernées à faire davantage pour maintenir ou même améliorer les résultats en matière de sécurité aérienne.



African Union Commission (AUC)

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 27 July 2014

France / Disparition du vol AH 5017 d’Air Algérie


France / Disparition du vol AH 5017 d’Air Algérie


PARIS, France, 27 juillet 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Agenda de M. le Président de la République



09h00 Réunion ministérielle sur la disparition du vol AH 5017 d’Air Algérie.



Présidence de la République française


Remarks With UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, and Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Araby


WASHINGTON, July 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Remarks

John Kerry

Secretary of State

Cairo, Egypt

July 25, 2014



FOREIGN MINISTER SHOUKRY: (Via interpreter.) Good evening. You know that Egypt is – the serious military escalation in Gaza and what the Palestinian people have been exposed to in terms of destruction – broad destruction and killing of civilians that claimed up until now over 800 civilians and thousands of injured. We are working incessantly to end this crisis and to spare the Palestinian people of the dangers it has been exposed to, and to prevent further military escalation. And this has led to the proposal – to us proposing our plan, and we should know that Egypt has not spared any effort to stop – or to reach a cease-fire to protect the Palestinian people and to allow for negotiations to start between the two parties in order to discuss all the issues, in order to restore stability in the Gaza strip, and to meet the needs of the brotherly Palestinian people, and to also prevent further violence which the Palestinian civilians have been exposed to.

We have continued our efforts since the beginning of the military escalation to achieve this goal in cooperation with the U.S. and the secretary-general of the UN and the secretary-general of the Arab League and other parties – other regional and international parties in order to achieve this goal. We once again call for the immediate cease-fire, a cease of all actions in order to protect the Palestinian people. And given that the parties have not shown any – sufficient willingness to stop this, we are calling for a humanitarian cease-fire to observe the holy days that we are on the verge of observing at the end of the holy month of Ramadan and the Eid for a period of seven days, in the hope that this will lead – will prompt the parties to heed the calls of conscience and humanitarian needs in order to reach a comprehensive cease-fire, and also begin negotiations in order to prevent the reoccurrence of this crisis.

And also, to propose a good framework for this objective, we have consulted over the last few days in order to formulate a formula that would be agreed to by all the sides, and also to stop the bloodshed. But unfortunately, we have to exert further effort in order to realize our common goals in this regard. The proposed ideas were focused or fell within the same framework that the Egyptian plan proposed. And once again, we will call on all parties to benefit from it and to accept it definitively. I would like on this occasion also to allow the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to speak.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you. All right. Well, let me start again. I want to thank Sameh Shoukry and President al-Sisi and Egypt for their very warm welcome here, but most importantly for their continued efforts to try to find a way to achieve a cease-fire agreement in Gaza and then beyond that, to be able to resolve the critical issues that are underlying this conflict. I thank Sameh for his help today and the work we’ve been doing together. We’ve made some movement and progress, and I’ll talk about that in a minute.

I also want to thank Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who has traveled and worked tirelessly in these past days throughout the international community to try to bring people together, as well as Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Araby for his close partnership in this effort. They’ve been sources of good advice and also of tireless effort. So this is a broad effort with a broad based sense that something needs to be done.

I also want to acknowledge President Abbas who has traveled to any number of countries in recent days, and whom I met with just the other day, who expressed his desire – strong desire to achieve a cease-fire as rapidly as possible, and he has been passionately advocating for the Palestinian people and the future of the Palestinian state.

Let me just say that the agony of the events on the ground in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel, all of them together, simply cannot be overstated. The daily reality for too many people of grief and blood and loss and tears, it all joins together to pull at the fabric of daily life in each of their communities.

In Israel, millions of people are living under constant threat of Hamas rocket fire and tunnel attacks, and they’re ready to take cover at any moment’s notice. And I’ve had telephone conversations with the prime minister interrupted by that fact. Earlier this week I had a chance to visit with the family of a young man by the name of Max Steinberg, an American – one of two Americans killed in this devastating conflict – and his mother Naftali Fraenkel[1], who was murdered at the outset – whose son was murdered at the very outset of this crisis.

So any parent in the world, regardless of somebody’s background, can understand the horror of losing a child or of seeing these children who are caught in the crossfire. In Gaza, hundreds of Palestinians have died over the past few weeks, including a tragic number of civilians. And we’ve all read the headlines and seen the images of the devastation: 16 people killed and more than 200 injured in just a single attack yesterday; women and children being wheeled away on stretchers; medics pulling shrapnel out of an infant’s back; a father nursing his three-year-old son. The whole world is watching a – tragic moment after tragic moment unfold and wondering: When is everybody going to come to their senses?

Both the Israelis and the Palestinians deserve and need to lead normal lives, and it’s time for everyone to recognize that violence breeds violence and that the short-term tactical gains that may be made through a violent means simply will not inspire the long-term change that is necessary and that both parties really want.

I have been in the region since Monday at the request of President Obama, and I’ve spent five days on the ground here and also in Israel in the West Bank engaging in countless discussions with leaders throughout the region and even around the world, conversations lasting, obviously, late into the night and through the day. We have gathered here, my colleagues and I have gathered here together because we believe that it is impossible for anybody to simply be inactive and not try to make government work to deal with this bloodshed. We need to join together and push back.

Specifically, here is what we’ve been working to try to bring about. At this moment, we are working toward a brief seven days of peace – seven days of a humanitarian cease-fire in honor of Eid, in order to be able to bring people together to try to work to create a more durable, sustainable cease-fire for the long run, and to work to create the plans for that long haul.

The fact is that the basic structure is built on the Egyptian initiative, but the humanitarian concept is one that Egypt has agreed to embrace in an effort to try to honor Eid and bring people together at this moment. Seven days, during which the fundamental issues of concern for Israel – security, the security of Israel and its people – and for the Palestinians – the ability to know that their social and economic future can be defined by possibilities, and that those issues will be addressed. We believe that Egypt has made a significant offer to bring people to Cairo – the factions, the Palestinian factions and representatives of interested states and the state of Israel – in order to begin to try to negotiate the way forward.

Now, why are we not announcing that that has been found yet tonight? For a simple reason: That we still have some terminology in the context of the framework to work through. But we are confident we have a fundamental framework that can and will ultimately work. And what we need to do is continue to work for that, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We believe that seven days will give all the parties the opportunity to step back from the violence and focus on the underlying causes, perhaps take some steps that could build some confidence, and begin to change the choices for all.

We don’t yet have that final framework, but I will tell you this: None of us here are stopping. We are going to continue the conversations. And right now, before I came in here tonight, I had conversations with people on both sides of this conflict. Just spoke to Prime Minister Netanyahu, who made it clear that he wants to try to find this way forward. I think the Secretary-General, who has graciously called for a 12-hour cease-fire, will speak in a moment about that possibility and where it will go. And Prime Minister Netanyahu’s indicated his willingness to do that as a good-faith down payment and to move forward. And I’m grateful to the Secretary-General for his leadership in that regard.

But in the end, the only way that this issue is going to be resolved, this conflict, is for the parties to be able to come together and work through it as people have in conflicts throughout history. And it’s our hope, and we intend to do everything possible. Tomorrow, I will be in Paris, where I will meet with some of our counterparts, my counterparts, and where I will also meet with other players who are important to this discussion in an effort to be able to try to see if we can narrow the gap. And Prime Minister Netanyahu is committed to try to help do that over the course of the next day.

So we begin with at least the hope of a down payment on a cease-fire, with the possibility of extension, a real possibility in the course of tomorrow. And hopefully, if we can make some progress, the people in this region who deserve peace can find at least one step towards that elusive goal. Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Secretary-General.

SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN: Thank you, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry of Egypt, Secretary of State of the United States John Kerry, League of Arab States Secretary-General al-Araby. Ladies and gentlemen, good evening. Assalamu alaikum, Ramadan Kareem.

Let me begin by commending all the leaders here today. I’d like to particularly thank President Sisi of Egypt and Foreign Minister Shoukry as the host of this initiative to have made ceaseless efforts to bring all the parties together. And I also commend highly the leadership and commitment and tirelessly – tireless diplomatic efforts of Secretary of State John Kerry, and it has been a source of inspiration to work with all these distinguished colleagues. And I have been obviously closely working with League of Arab States Secretary General al-Araby.

This is my sixth day in the region visiting eight countries, 11 stops, meeting kings, amirs, presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers, over meeting, over telephones. I have been working very closely with the leaders here as well as all the leaders in the region. I really appreciate their kind cooperation and leadership. Our joint effort is a clear signal of a global commitment to end the bloodshed and destruction that is tearing apart the lives of hope and the hopes of so many innocent civilians. People of Gaza have bled enough. They are trapped and besieged in a tiny, densely populated sliver of land. Every bit of it is a civilian area. The Israeli people have been living under the constant fear of Hamas rocket attacks. Tensions are spreading further. We are seeing growing unrest in the West Bank. Surely now, the parties must realize that it is time for them to act, and solutions must be based on three important issues.

First, stop the fighting. We called for a seven-day humanitarian cease-fire extending over the Eid period, beginning with a extendable 12-hour pause. Second, start talking. There is no military solution to addressing the grievances, and all parties must find a way to dialogue. Third, tackle the root causes of the crisis. This effort – peace effort – cannot be the same as it was the last two Gaza conflicts, where we reset the clock and waited for the next one. The ongoing fighting emphasizes the need to finally end the 47-year-old occupation, end the chokehold on Gaza, ensure security based on mutual recognition and achieve a viable two-state solution, by which Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace and security side by side.

Along with world and regional leaders, we continue to make every effort to forge a durable cease-fire for the people of Gaza and Israel based on those three pillars. Progress is being made, but there is much more work to do. We may not be satisfied with what we are now proposing, but we have to build upon what we are now proposing. In the meantime, more children are dying every hour of every day.

Ladies and gentlemen, today is the last Friday of Ramadan. The world is just away from marking Eid-al-Fitr. Let us all take inspiration from this season of peace and reflection. The United Nations is fully committed to ensuring the success of this proposal and securing hope and dignity for all the people of Palestine and Israel. And I thank you again for all leaders in the region and in the world who have been working together with the United Nations and the leaders here to bring peace and security to this region. I thank you very much. Shukran Jazilan.

MODERATOR: Thank you. (Via interpreter.) Secretary-general of the United – of the Arab League.

SECRETARY GENERAL AL-ARABY: (Via interpreter.) Thank you very much. I would like to thank also the Secretary-General of the United Nations. This is a very serious and grave situation. There are martyrs in Palestine have been – have died as a result of the Israeli aggression and the violation of the principles of international humanitarian law. People have been fired at, children are falling, and all civilians are being killed. This is the holiest month in the Islamic world, as those before me have mentioned. And on the eve of the Eid, we would like to support and uphold the idea of a cease-fire, as Mr. John Kerry has said and also the UN Secretary-General has said.

But before I conclude my very brief remarks, I would like to say that the occupation and the siege on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – these are occupied territories. We cannot imagine that the siege and the occupation, that there would be no resistance to them. For that reason, everyone should work to end this conflict. I would allow myself to say, in English and in very simple and brief language: (In English) In a very simple and concise way, that as much as I support the humanitarian (inaudible), but we have to look at it. I think everyone has to do that. We have to look ahead. Then it’s diplomacy, and then (inaudible) results. We have to dedicate ourselves, all of us, to reach a final solution. That means the end of the occupation. Thank you.

MODERATOR: (Via interpreter.) We will be taking four questions, from Arshad (inaudible) first of all.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter.) Good evening.

MODERATOR: (Via interpreter.) Mr. United Nations Secretary-General has to leave.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter.) Good evening. My question is for Mr. John Kerry and Minister Sameh Shoukry. You’ve launched this proposal or plan. Has there been – have there been contacts between the two sides, and how far have you reached in these contexts, especially that the Eid is approaching fast?

With respect to the rules of engagement that Israel uses in Israel and in Gaza and the West Bank, and what we’ve seen in terms of destruction of and demolishing of hospitals, have you received any guarantees from Israel that these actions would not be repeated? And thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: With respect to the negotiating process, it’s inappropriate to sort of lay out all the details, but of course we’re talking to everybody that we can talk to who has an ability to have an impact, and obviously I’m talking directly to Prime Minister Netanyahu and directly to other foreign ministers in the region, some of whom have different ways of talking with different factions of Palestinians, as well as talking to President Abbas. In the course of that, it’s very clear to me that under very difficult circumstances some are ready to move and others are reluctant and need assurances of one kind or another. And clearly, given the history, some of those assurances are sometimes difficult to be able to make and formulate appropriately so that somebody else doesn’t wind up being – struggling with them. That’s why the simplicity of this is really the best, which is come to the table and negotiate.

But to the degree that either side needs assurances of one thing or another being talked about, without outcomes, no preconditions, but something being negotiated and talked about, then you get in a contest of priorities and other kinds of things.

I believe we can work through those things. We have. The basic outline is approved by everybody. People believe that if the circumstances are right, the structure is right, a cease-fire makes sense, a cease-fire is important, and people would like to see the violence end. But it has to obviously be in ways that neither side feels prejudiced or their interests compromised.

So that’s what we’re working on. I think we’ve made serious progress. We sat today, worked some things out to deal with some of those sensitivities, but basically we still have some more things to do over the course of the next 24 or 48 hours, and we’re going to do that. My hope is that the 12 hours will be extended, perhaps to 24, and that people will draw from that the goodwill and effort to try to find a solution. But it takes – the parties have to come together and reach an understanding, and that’s what we’re going to continue to work on because it’s urgent for innocent people who get caught in the crossfire, and obviously the – as I said in my opening remarks, people in Israel deserve to live free from fear that their home or their school will be rocketed, but people in Palestine, the Palestinian territories and people in Gaza have a right to feel free from restraints on their life where they can barely get the food or the medicine or the building materials and the things that they need.

So there’s a lot on the table. It’s been complicated for a long time; it didn’t get easy last night. But we’re going to continue to work at this, and I’m confident that with goodwill, with good effort, I think progress can hopefully be made.

FOREIGN SECRETARY SHOUKRY: (Via interpreter.) Certainly, since the outbreak of the crisis in Gaza, we have been in contact with all parties, with the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas. We have expended serious efforts based on our own Egyptian initiative, and also in cooperation with the American side. I would like to seize this opportunity to thank you, to thank Mr. Kerry for his efforts and – that he has spent and continues to expend, and his cooperation in order to achieve a complete cease-fire to protect the Palestinian people.

Military action and the serious escalation and the serious strikes taking place against the Palestinian territories, including the West Bank, prove the importance of immediate action to end this crisis so that it would not result or lead to more serious ramifications, not just in the occupied territories, but in the region as a whole. The framework we talk about is a framework that is – that the U.S. Secretary of State has talked about – is based on the Egyptian initiative, and also based on the idea of encouraging the parties to interact with it, so that we can reach a complete cease-fire and seizure of all military action, and to also save civilians from being targeted, and to end the bloodshed, just like the strike against the school yesterday. Such actions should not be repeated and should completely end, and so should military action.

And a temporary humanitarian cease-fire should be accepted to give a chance, an opportunity for interaction between the various parties, and perhaps expand it beyond there, so that all parties would come to recognize that a comprehensive solution to all this crisis and to the Palestinian conflict should be reached, and also to establish a Palestinian state in order to prevent the reoccurrence of such a grave situation.

MODERATOR: (Via interpreter.) Arshad Mohammed.

QUESTION: Secretary Kerry, as I imagine you are aware, there are multiple reports that the Israeli cabinet today rejected the cease-fire proposal that you had on the table and said they wanted modifications. Do you regard that as just a negotiating ploy or do you regard it as likely to be a more definitive rejection?

And secondly, have you made any direct progress on getting the Egyptians to commit to opening Rafah, on getting the Israelis to commit to increasing traffic at the Erez crossing, and on getting Hamas to agree to let Israeli troops stay in the Gaza Strip during a truce? If you haven’t made any headway on those issues, how is it possible – after five days of diplomacy, how is it possible to describe these days as having produced serious progress?

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, let me deal with the first issue, which is the fiction of diplomacy and of politics at the same time. There was no formal proposal or final proposal or proposal ready for a vote submitted to Israel. Let’s make that absolutely crystal clear. And Prime Minister Netanyahu called me a few minutes before this to make it clear that that is an error, inaccurate, and he’s putting out a statement to that effect. They may have rejected some language or proposal within the framework of some kind of suggestion at some point in time, but there was no formal proposal submitted from me on which there should have been a vote or on which a vote was ripe. We were having discussions about various ideas and various concepts of how to deal with this issue, and there’s always mischief from people who oppose certain things, and I consider that one of those mischievous interpretations and leaks which is inappropriate to the circumstances of what we’ve been doing and are engaged in.

With respect to the individual issues that you raised, I’m not going to make any announcements and I’m certainly not going to reveal issues that are of a bilateral nature between Egypt and the United States or the United States and another country, but I will simply tell you in a candid way that those issues were talked about, and I am satisfied with the responses that I received with respect to how they might affect the road ahead. And each and every one of them I believe there are ways of moving forward.

MODERATOR: (Via interpreter.) (Inaudible)

QUESTION: My question is for Secretary Kerry and the Egyptian foreign minister. First of all, it seems that all of those efforts, the phone calls, visits have led only to a cease-fire for seven hours. Why is the reasons for not having more achievements? Who is blockading having more achievements in this? Is it Israel, or is it Hamas? Is it the Palestinians? Who is going to – we are going to blame on this? Because we have heard that Israel refused. As you have said, it’s not correct, but it was published that Israel refused, actually, some ideas of having more cease-fire, more than seven hours.

Also, it seems that all of this is because the peace process has stopped, actually, because of the settlements of Israel. This is the main cause – the blockade of course, and other things on the Gaza, the boycotts on Gaza. People can’t have food or water or other things, but also the peace process have stopped. You have – Secretary Kerry have done a lot in this, and yet you didn’t say why, who is the reasons behind it stopping.

And my question is for our foreign minister, please. (Via interpreter.) There is a lot of talk about the Rafah Crossing, and that Egypt is – closes this crossing. And there’s also an attempt to blame the siege, the Israeli siege on Gaza, on Egypt, even though it has – Israel has closed six crossings and is responsible for the siege. Can there be some clarification with respect to the Rafah Crossing, and will it continue to be closed in the coming days?

FOREIGN MINISTER SHOUKRY: (Via interpreter.) Thank you. With respect to Rafah Crossing, I have repeatedly responded to this, but it seems no one is listening. Rafah Crossing is open continuously and at all times, but it has to be under regulation related to Egyptian policy, and it’s also related to the situation in Sinai. But it is open, and it receives constantly and permanently, around the clock, people from the Gaza Strip for treatment in Egyptian hospitals, and more than 600 or 700 tons of food and medical material have crossed. And the crossing has never been tied or linked to any kind of siege on the Gaza Strip.

The six Israeli crossings that you referred to, they have to be operational. And the responsibility of Israel as an occupation authority is what – it is the responsibility of Israel, and we have called for this in our initiative, that the Israeli crossings need to be open so that the needs and the humanitarian needs of the Gazans should be met, and so that also normal life would be restored to the Gaza Strip. I hope that this response will be widely shared and it’s clear without any attempt to internationalize or to misinterpret the situation.

SECRETARY KERRY: Actually, I think a great deal has been moved in the course of the last days. Though it doesn’t meet your eye yet, those of us who are working this have a feeling that gaps have been significantly narrowed on certain things, but obviously not everything yet.

And in fairness, it’s important to say that, yes, Israel had some questions or even opposition to one concept or another concept – that doesn’t mean to a proposal by any means – at an early stage of discussion. But most importantly, I think it’s important to note that in Ramadan, when everything is on a different schedule, it’s more complicated to be able to have some meetings, particularly when I am mediating between different people who talk to different people. And it’s secondhand, thirdhand, it takes longer. So there’s a certain time consumption in all of that.

But I’m not a – I’m not somebody who I think is going to stand here and misinterpret the difficulties. At the same time, I can recognize progress when I see it and a concept that has taken shape. And I think my colleagues would agree there’s a fundamental concept here that can be achieved if we work through some of the issues of importance to the parties. That’s the art, and sometimes it just doesn’t happen overnight or as quickly as you’d like. But it doesn’t mean it can’t.

And so – by the way, it’s not seven hours; it’s 12 hours with a very likely extension of another 12, hopefully for 24, but we’ll see. The proof will be in the pudding on that. And on the peace process, I’ve purposely tried not to start pointing fingers and getting involved, because to us, the process is not over. It hasn’t stopped, and it doesn’t help to be starting to point fingers. What you have to do is figure out, okay, where do you go from here and how. In the course of this conflict right now, I would respectfully suggest to you there are some very serious warnings about what happens when you don’t have that process, and what happens if you’re not working effectively to try to achieve a resolution of the underlying issues.

This is about the underlying issues. And what we need to do is get through this first. It’s a little surrealistic in the middle of this to be talking about the other process, but those people who have been at this for a long time, my colleagues here and others, absolutely know that that is at the bedrock of much of the conflict and the trouble that we all witness here and that is going to have to be resolved if there is a chance of peace, and we believe there is.

Egypt has been a leader on that. Years ago, Egypt took extraordinary risk, and we all know what the consequences were. Egypt made peace, and it has made a difference. And the truth is that today there’s a great commitment here and elsewhere in the region to be able to get back to the process and try to address those underlying issues.

So it’s not gone. It’s dormant for the moment. It’s in hiatus because of the events that are taking place. But the leaders I’ve talked to tell me that what they’re witnessing now and what they’re seeing now has reinforced in them the notion that they needed to get back to that table as soon as possible and begin to address those concerns.

I don’t know if you want to say anything on that.

SECRETARY GENERAL AL-ARABY: (Via interpreter.) Certainly, with respect to the peace process, we call for the resumption of negotiations under U.S. sponsorship. Based from the point we have – it has stopped at, we do not want to go back to the beginning, but several accomplishments have been made on several issues. And we have to build on this progress in order to reach our ultimate goal, which the entire international community has agreed to: the two-state solution, a Palestinian state on Palestinian land with East Jerusalem, and this is the final solution to this conflict. And this will give the Palestinian people a chance to have a normal life away from killing and destruction, and to also fulfill its aspirations – the aspirations of the Palestinian people in the region, and will also ultimately lead to a final end to the conflict.

MODERATOR: (Speaking in Arabic, not interpreted) at CBS, Margaret Brennan.

QUESTION: Thank you. Mr. Secretary, given the protests that we’ve seen in the West Bank over the past 24 hours, which resulted in at least one fatality, do you believe – do you fear that a third intifada is about to happen? And could you clarify – when you said that there’s a difference of terminology in regard to these negotiations, that sounds technical rather conceptual. Can you clarify what you meant there?

SECRETARY KERRY: I can, but I won’t. (Laughter.) I think it’s important to let us work quietly on those things and not put them out in the public domain, but I applaud you for a worthy try.

With respect to the incidents and events on the West Bank, I have learned not to characterize something ahead of time or predict it, and I’m not going to now. But I do know that the leaders I’ve talked to in Israel, in the West Bank, in Jordan are deeply concerned about what they are seeing right now. And it is very, very necessary for all of us to take it into account as we think about the options that we have in front of us. It’s just enormously disturbing to see this kind of passion find its way into violent protests, and in some cases not violent.

But we need to address – it’s a statement to all of us in positions of responsibility, get the job done, and that’s what we’re trying to do.

MODERATOR: Thank you.



[1] Max Steinberg’s mother’s name is Evie Steinberg, and Naftali Fraenkel is the name of the murdered American and Israeli teen.



US Department of State

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 26 July 2014

U.S. Applauds Signing of Roadmap for Mali Peace Talks


U.S. Applauds Signing of Roadmap for Mali Peace Talks


WASHINGTON, July 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Press Statement

Marie Harf

Deputy Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC

July 25, 2014


The United States applauds the agreement reached in Algiers on July 24 establishing a road map for talks between northern groups and the Government of Mali. We commend the Governments of Algeria, France, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger, and Chad; the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA); the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC); the African Union; the European Union for their efforts in facilitating this agreement.

The United States looks forward to the next steps in the inclusive inter-Malian dialogue outlined in the roadmap agreement, underscoring the need to end hostilities in northern Mali through a negotiated, inclusive political process.



US Department of State

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 26 July 2014

U.S. Dismayed by Harsh Sentence for Swazi Human Rights Lawyer and Journalist


U.S. Dismayed by Harsh Sentence for Swazi Human Rights Lawyer and Journalist


WASHINGTON, July 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Press Statement

Marie Harf

Deputy Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC

July 25, 2014


The United States is deeply dismayed by the sentencing of human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko and magazine editor Bheki Makhubu to two years in jail without the option of parole for a contempt of court conviction for publishing an article critical of the High Court of Swaziland.

Their already prolonged pretrial detention, conviction, and harsh sentence appear to be in conflict with Swaziland’s human rights obligations, particularly the right to freedom of expression, which is enshrined in Swaziland’s own constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United States continues to support and defend freedom of expression and is gravely concerned by the actions of the Swazi Government.



US Department of State

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 26 July 2014

Threat of Famine Looms in South Sudan


Threat of Famine Looms in South Sudan


WASHINGTON, July 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Press Statement

John Kerry

Secretary of State

Washington, DC

July 25, 2014


South Sudan now faces the worst food security crisis in the world. Violence has forced over 1.5 million people from their homes since mid-December, while more than 50,000 children under the age of five are at risk of dying from malnutrition this year. This is not a crisis caused by drought or flood: it is a calamity created by conflict. Unless the fighting ends and a peace agreement is concluded, the number of those at risk of starvation — now as many as 3.9 million people, fully one-third of the population – will reach even more catastrophic levels.

South Sudan’s leaders need to make choices and they need to make them now if they’re going to pull their country back from the brink of famine. In the last months, I’ve traveled to Juba and Ethiopia to press on the cease-fire. I’ve had call after call with both leaders in South Sudan, pressing them to work closely with regional partners in support of mediation efforts. The United States has spoken out against ongoing fighting, obstruction of humanitarian access and failures to resolve the conflict.


But in the end, the leaders have to make decisions. President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar share responsibility for triggering this man-made crisis and they share responsibility for ending it. I call on them to end the fighting immediately and negotiate in good faith under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development.

The Government of South Sudan and the opposition must put the safety and wellbeing of the South Sudanese people first by immediately implementing the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, ensuring the security of humanitarian workers and goods, and dismantling unofficial checkpoints that impede the delivery of aid. International and South Sudanese humanitarian workers have saved lives at great personal risk. They must be able to do their jobs without the threat of violence, informal “taxation” or other arbitrary impediments.

The United States remains committed to the people of South Sudan and has provided more than $456 million in humanitarian aid this year alone. We call on fellow donor countries to make additional contributions. The people of South Sudan deserve the opportunity to begin rebuilding their country, and to develop the national and local institutions they need to put South Sudan on a path towards stability.


US Department of State

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