Posted by: africanpressorganization | 24 October 2014

Algeria – Monks of Tibhirine


 

Algeria – Monks of Tibhirine

 

PARIS, France, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Quai d’Orsay – French official statements (Paris, October 24, 2014)

 

The French judicial delegation’s visit to Algeria took place under satisfactory conditions. We would like to thank the authorities for the hospitality extended to the delegation and for the resources made available to it.

 

I am certain that our respective judicial authorities will together be able to maintain the conditions needed for fruitful cooperation.

 

SOURCE 

France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 24 October 2014

UK secures €1 billion European Ebola commitment


 

UK secures €1 billion European Ebola commitment

 

LONDON, United-Kingdom, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has secured a €1 billion (£800 million) funding pledge at the European Council meetings in Brussels, following a call for European leaders to do more to fight the disease in West Africa.

 

As part of the commitment, the UK has boosted its own response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa by £80 million, bringing its total contribution to more than £200 million.

 

The Prime Minister wrote to the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, and fellow leaders last week to warn of the need to act fast to contain and defeat this deadly virus, stating that “if we do not significantly step up our collective response now, the loss of life and damage to the political, economic and social fabric of the region will be substantial and the threat posed to our citizens will also grow.” The Prime Minister set out that the immediate priority was to raise contributions from the EU and its member states to €1 billion in total, which has now been achieved.

 

Britain’s own redoubled efforts to fight Ebola follow a visit to Sierra Leone by International Development Secretary Justine Greening to see the results of Britain’s first tranche of support and identify next steps in the UK’s international work.

 

The additional £80 million will increase the number of burial units and support the creation of up to 200 community care centres across the country. Together these measures will promote early diagnosis, isolation and treatment and so reduce the risk of the infection spreading.

 

David Cameron said:

 

“Ebola is one of the worst public health emergencies we have faced in a generation. I have been absolutely determined that Britain, with other countries, will lead the way in dealing with this.

 

“Not only should we feel a moral obligation as a wealthy country to help, but also because Ebola directly threatens both our national interests and people in the United Kingdom.

 

“That is why Britain has pledged over £205 million and has British troops and health workers going to West Africa.

 

“I said I wanted to come to this European Council and get other countries in the European Union to more than double the EU effort, to get a billion Euros committed.

 

“That is what we have achieved.”

 

Justine Greening said:

 

“Visiting Sierra Leone was a chance to see the results we are already achieving in our fight against Ebola. This includes the heroic efforts of British medics, soldiers and humanitarian workers, as well as Sierra Leoneans who are volunteering in their thousands to be trained as healthcare and burial workers.

 

“Being on the ground also gave me a clear sense of what is needed in the next phase of our work, and the steps we must take to ensure our efforts match the scale of the crisis the country is facing.

 

“Britain is determined to stand with the people of Sierra Leone as they battle Ebola.”

 

 

The additional support announced today includes the following:

 

£10 million to ensure safe burials

This funding will include support for the important work of the burial teams run by the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC). Ten teams are already fully operational and the IFRC have begun recruitment to increase their capacity. It will also support NGOs in their work to help the Sierra Leonean Ministry of Health in promoting behaviour change activities to ensure safe burial practices.

 

£50 million to diagnose and isolate Ebola cases

Early isolation of Ebola patients is essential to halting the spread of infection to others. This support will cover the staffing and running costs, as well medical supplies and protective equipment, for local diagnosis and care centres already being piloted across Sierra Leone – and enable the construction of up to 200 centres over the next three months. This will ensure thousands of patients across Sierra Leone receive a swift diagnosis and provide the isolation facilities needed to reduce the spread of the outbreak.

 

£20 million contribution to the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund

This will ensure the UN has the resources needed to significantly step up their contribution to the Ebola effort in Sierra Leone and gives us a strong platform to lobby other countries to contribute to the global effort.

 

Ms Greening’s recent visit was also an opportunity to thank the British heroes who have travelled to Sierra Leone to fight this disease, including humanitarian aid workers, medics, government officials and military personnel, all of whom are playing a crucial role in Britain’s response.

 

 

Notes to editors

 

• Current estimates suggest that the rate of infection stands at 1.7, meaning for every ten people who contract Ebola, 17 more will become infected. However, if infected people are isolated quickly after they contract the disease, they are much less likely to pass it on to their families and communities.

 

SOURCE 

Department for International Development (DFID)

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 24 October 2014

Martin Kobler, chef de la MONUSCO, lance un appel pour consolider la paix en RDC


 

Martin Kobler, chef de la MONUSCO, lance un appel pour consolider la paix en RDC

 

KINSHASA, République démocratique du Congo (RDC), 24 octobre 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Martin Kobler, le Représentant spécial du Secrétaire général de l’ONU en RDC, appelle « les Congolaises et Congolais à s’approprier la Charte des Nations Unies pour pratiquer la tolérance, vivre en paix l’un avec l’autre, dans un esprit de bon voisinage et unir leurs forces à celles des Nations Unies pour maintenir la paix et la sécurité internationales. »

 

La Charte des Nations Unies est à la fois un message de paix, « Nous, peuple des Nations Unies, résolus à préserver les générations futures du fléau de la guerre … » et un outil qui permet aux Etats membres de remplir leurs devoirs : paix, stabilité, développement et liberté pour l’ensemble des peuples et des individus.

« Les Nations Unies, c’est vous ! » a déclaré le Chef de la MONUSCO. « Ce n’est pas le travail d’une organisation que nous célébrons aujourd’hui mais, la volonté partagée des peuples de vivre ensemble, la journée des Nations Unies, c’est votre journée » a-t-il insisté.

 

Le mandat de la MONUSCO est d’assurer la protection des civils. Pour ce faire, nous travaillons en étroite collaboration avec les autorités congolaises. Mais il n’y aura ni paix, ni stabilité, ni prospérité sans l’appui et l’engagement de la population, à Beni comme partout ailleurs.

« C’est ensemble que nous sommes forts, et c’est ensemble que nous pouvons réussir », a conclu Martin Kobler.

 

SOURCE 

NATIONS UNIES

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 24 October 2014

Martin Kobler, Head of MONUSCO, appeals for peace consolidation in the DRC


 

Martin Kobler, Head of MONUSCO, appeals for peace consolidation in the DRC

 

KINSHASA, Dem. Rep. of Congo (DRC) October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in the DRC, calls on “Congolese people to own the United Nations Charter in order to practice tolerance, to live in peace with one another, in a spirit of good neighborliness, and to join forces with the United Nations to maintain peace and international security.”

 

The United Nations Charter is a message of peace, “We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war…” and also a tool enabling Member States to fulfill their

obligations: peace, stability, development and freedom for all people and individuals. “You are the United Nations!” said the Head of MONUSCO. “This day is not about the work of an organization but about the shared will of people to live together; the United Nations Day is your day,” he stressed.

 

MONUSCO’s mandate is to ensure the protection of civilians. To fulfill this mandate, we work in close collaboration with the Congolese authorities. But there will be no peace, no stability, no prosperity without the support and engagement of the population, in Beni and elsewhere. “Together we are strong, and together that we shall succeed,” concluded Martin Kobler.

 

SOURCE 

UNITED NATIONS


 

Statement by IMF African Department Director Antoinette Sayeh at the Conclusion of her Visit to Zimbabwe

 

HARARE, Zimbabwe, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Ms. Antoinette Monsio Sayeh, Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) African Department, visited Zimbabwe from October 21-24, 2014, to meet with the Zimbabwean authorities and other stakeholders and to present the Fall 2014 Regional Economic Outlook, on Sub-Saharan Africa (see Press Release No:14/475). At the conclusion of her visit she made the following statement:

“It has been a great pleasure for me to visit Zimbabwe. I have had the privilege of meeting Chief Secretary of the President’s Office and Cabinet Dr. Misheck Sibanda, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development Dr S. Udenge, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Dr. John Mangudya and members of parliament. I also had the opportunity to meet with representatives of the private sector, civil society and development partners.

“In my meetings with the Zimbabwean authorities, we exchanged views on the global economy, the regional economic outlook, and how to improve the growth prospects for Zimbabwe. In particular, we discussed how the IMF can further support the authorities’ economic reform agenda and their efforts toward normalizing relations with both multilateral and bilateral creditors.

“For most of sub-Saharan Africa, growth trends remain favorable. We expect the region’s economy to expand by 5 percent in 2014 and 5¾ percent in 2015, and sub-Saharan Africa is forecast to remain the second fastest-growing region in the world, just behind emerging and developing Asia. However, this positive picture co-exists with the dire situation in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, where the Ebola outbreak is exacting a heavy human and economic toll. Lower growth in emerging markets and the anticipated monetary tightening in advanced economies could also have a negative impact on the region. Sustaining high growth in the region remains the key policy consideration and will require striking the right balance between scaling up public investment to fill infrastructure gaps and maintaining debt sustainability.

“With regard to Zimbabwe, economic conditions remain difficult. During our meetings, I highlighted four issues that are key to helping fast-track the country’s policy reform agenda and to gathering support toward a strategy for clearing the outstanding arrears: balancing the primary fiscal budget; restoring confidence and stability in Zimbabwe’s financial sector; addressing the country’s debt challenge; and enhancing the business environment with a view to attracting investments. I know these issues are high on the authorities’ policy reform agenda, and they are going to be monitored with the help of IMF staff under a proposed new 15-month Staff Monitored Program (SMP) through to December 2015.1

“I welcome the authorities’ intent to re-engage with the international financial community in addressing the country’s economic challenges.

“I would also like to express my deep gratitude to the Zimbabwean government and people for their gracious hospitality.”

1 An SMP is an informal agreement between country authorities and Fund staff, whereby the latter agree to monitor the implementation of the authorities’ economic program. SMPs do not entail financial assistance or endorsement by the IMF Executive Board.

 

SOURCE 

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 24 October 2014

UK secures €1 billion European Ebola commitment


 

UK secures €1 billion European Ebola commitment

 

LONDON, United-Kingdom, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has secured a €1 billion (£800 million) funding pledge at the European Council meetings in Brussels, following a call for European leaders to do more to fight the disease in West Africa.

 

As part of the commitment, the UK has boosted its own response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa by £80 million, bringing its total contribution to more than £200 million.

 

The Prime Minister wrote to the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, and fellow leaders last week to warn of the need to act fast to contain and defeat this deadly virus, stating that “if we do not significantly step up our collective response now, the loss of life and damage to the political, economic and social fabric of the region will be substantial and the threat posed to our citizens will also grow.” The Prime Minister set out that the immediate priority was to raise contributions from the EU and its member states to €1 billion in total, which has now been achieved.

 

Britain’s own redoubled efforts to fight Ebola follow a visit to Sierra Leone by International Development Secretary Justine Greening to see the results of Britain’s first tranche of support and identify next steps in the UK’s international work.

 

The additional £80 million will increase the number of burial units and support the creation of up to 200 community care centres across the country. Together these measures will promote early diagnosis, isolation and treatment and so reduce the risk of the infection spreading.

 

 

David Cameron said:

 

“Ebola not only represents a risk to the region but has the potential to become one of the biggest public health risks to the EU. That’s why it’s so important that we take action and why I made clear to my European counterparts that they needed to do much more. We have now secured €1 billion in commitments across Europe and Britain is leading the way with an additional £80m. We must not underestimate the scale of the challenge we face and the action that will be needed.”

 

 

Justine Greening said:

 

“Visiting Sierra Leone was a chance to see the results we are already achieving in our fight against Ebola. This includes the heroic efforts of British medics, soldiers and humanitarian workers, as well as Sierra Leoneans who are volunteering in their thousands to be trained as healthcare and burial workers.

 

“Being on the ground also gave me a clear sense of what is needed in the next phase of our work, and the steps we must take to ensure our efforts match the scale of the crisis the country is facing.

 

“Britain is determined to stand with the people of Sierra Leone as they battle Ebola.”

 

 

The additional support announced today includes the following:

 

£10 million to ensure safe burials

This funding will include support for the important work of the burial teams run by the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC). Ten teams are already fully operational and the IFRC have begun recruitment to increase their capacity. It will also support NGOs in their work to help the Sierra Leonean Ministry of Health in promoting behaviour change activities to ensure safe burial practices.

 

£50 million to diagnose and isolate Ebola cases

Early isolation of Ebola patients is essential to halting the spread of infection to others. This support will cover the staffing and running costs, as well medical supplies and protective equipment, for local diagnosis and care centres already being piloted across Sierra Leone – and enable the construction of up to 200 centres over the next three months. This will ensure thousands of patients across Sierra Leone receive a swift diagnosis and provide the isolation facilities needed to reduce the spread of the outbreak.

 

£20 million contribution to the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund

This will ensure the UN has the resources needed to significantly step up their contribution to the Ebola effort in Sierra Leone and gives us a strong platform to lobby other countries to contribute to the global effort.

 

Ms Greening’s recent visit was also an opportunity to thank the British heroes who have travelled to Sierra Leone to fight this disease, including humanitarian aid workers, medics, government officials and military personnel, all of whom are playing a crucial role in Britain’s response.

 

 

Notes to editors

 

• Current estimates suggest that the rate of infection stands at 1.7, meaning for every ten people who contract Ebola, 17 more will become infected. However, if infected people are isolated quickly after they contract the disease, they are much less likely to pass it on to their families and communities.

 

SOURCE 

The Department for International Development (DFID)


 

M. Saïd Djinnit, Envoyé Spécial du Secrétaire général des Nations Unies pour la région des Grands Lacs, a conclu aujourd’hui sa première visite dans la province du Nord Kivu en RDC

 

KINSHASA, République démocratique du Congo (RDC), 24 octobre 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ M. Djinnit a effectué cette visite avec Martin Kobler, Représentant spécial du Secrétaire général et Chef de la MONUSCO ainsi que de Boubacar Diarra, Représentant spécial de l’Union Africaine pour la région des Grands Lacs. Ils ont rencontré le Gouverneur de la région, les représentants de la société civile ainsi que les représentants des organisations humanitaires. Ils ont également tenu des réunions d’information avec les responsables de la MONUSCO et visité un camp de déplacés à Goma. Ils se sont ensuite rendus à Beni afin d’exprimer leur solidarité avec les autorités ainsi que les populations victimes des récents actes de violence inouïe du Groupe armé ADF-NALU.

 

Au terme de cette visite, l’ Envoyé spécial a déclaré: « Ces actes d’une rare violence nous confortent dans notre détermination à œuvrer avec les pays de la région y compris leurs forces vives, à la mise en œuvre de l’Accord-cadre pour la paix, la sécurité et la coopération pour la République démocratique du Congo et la région y compris la consolidation de la paix et de la stabilité à travers la neutralisation de toutes les forces négatives ».

 

L’Envoyé spécial a réitéré, à la suite du Représentant spécial de l’ONU pour la RDC, Monsieur Martin Kobler, le soutien des Nations Unies aux autorités congolaises dans leurs efforts visant à restaurer l’autorité de l’Etat dans les régions affectées par les actes des groupes armés.

Il a rendu hommage au travail remarquable fait par les Forces Armées de la RDC et la Brigade d’intervention de la MONUSCO et les a encouragées à tout mettre en œuvre pour venir à bout de ces forces négatives.

 

Il a exprimé sa disposition à travailler étroitement avec les Gouvernements des pays de la région et leurs organisations sous régionales en vue de s’attaquer aux sources des problèmes qui alimentent l’insécurité et perpétuent la méfiance dans la région y compris l’exploitation illicite des ressources naturelles.

 

SOURCE 

NATIONS UNIES

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 24 October 2014

Oil & Gas Workshop French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Ghana


 

Oil & Gas Workshop French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Ghana

 

ACCRA, Ghana, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — 22nd October 2014

Residence of France, Accra

 

The Oil & Gas Workshop “Update on the Transversal Business Opportunities in the Oil & Gas Sector” organized by the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Ghana (CCFG) with the collaboration and support of H.E. Frédéric Clavier, Ambassador of France to Ghana, took place on Wednesday 22nd October 2014 at the Residence of France.

 

For its first workshop the CCFG counted on Dr.TheophilusAhwireng, Ag. Chief Executive Officer of Petroleum Commission; Mr. Gauthier Pourcelle, Managing Director of Technip Ghana; Mr. KwabenaAforo-Addo, Director of Ghana Oil Club and Sales Director of General Electric Oil & Gas and Mr. Olivier Van Parys, Managing Director of Total Petroleum Ghana as expert panellists.

 

The workshop, opened by Mr. Patrick Prado, President of the CCFG, had the objective of deepening the knowledge in the whole energy value chain and discovering the diverse business opportunities offered by this sector. Besides, the workshop was followed by a networking cocktail where the 73 participants had the opportunity to exchange and discuss.

 

Since the launch on the 27th May 2014, the CCFG has provided varied services to different companies and currently has a large number of members belonging to diverse sectors of the economy. Among them French Companies, Ghanaian companies as well as International companies. At this regard, Mr. Patrick Prado, stressed that “from SMEs to transnational corporations in addition to individuals can join the CCFG. Everybody who wants to boost its business has a place in the Chamber”.

 

The aim of the CCFG is to promote and support Ghanaian investments in France, French investments in Ghana benefiting both countries and to assist the already existing companies. For achieving that, the CCFG offers a platform for exchange and business networking and provide a wide range of services (such as prospecting missions, market studies or publicity services) and activities (such as cocktails or workshops). The results will not only be translated into economic growth or raise of employment but also into the building of long-term bridges between Ghana and France.

 

SOURCE 

Embassy of France to Ghana

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 24 October 2014

UNMISS Celebrating United Nations Day


 

UNMISS Celebrating United Nations Day

 

JUBA, South Sudan, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — As part of our celebrations of United Nations Day this year, UNMISS peacekeepers will help residents of the Central Equatorial State community of Kapuri with their on-going construction of a primary school.

 

Kapuri primary school visit:

 

8:00am: Meeting point at UNMISS Tomping main gate where you will be welcome by UNMISS staff to board the bus that will take you to Kapuri primary school.

 

8:20am: UNMISS shuttle buses will depart UNMISS Tomping main gate for Kapuri primary school.

 

The programme will begin at 9:00am and end at 1:00pm

 

Photo and video material from the event will be made available upon media request by UNMISS Public Information Officer’s audio visual unit.

 

SOURCE 

UNITED NATIONS

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 24 October 2014

France / Maroc


 

France / Maroc

 

PARIS, France, 24 octobre 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Quai d’Orsay – Déclarations du porte-parole adjoint – 24 octobre 2014

 

Q – Le ministre marocain de l’intérieur a demandé hier à la “France de réparer son injustice” pour avoir inscrit le Maroc en zone “vigilance renforcée”. Quelle est la réaction de Paris ? Confirmez-vous la réunion aujourd’hui du ministre Laurent Fabius avec le syndicat des professionnels du tourisme en France ?

 

R – Sur votre première question, comme nous l’avons indiqué lors du point de presse du 13 octobre, la quasi-totalité du Maroc demeure en vert (“vigilance normale”) sur les conseils aux voyageurs consultables sur le site France diplomatie. Cette situation illustre la confiance que nous avons dans le fait que le Maroc est un pays dans lequel on peut se rendre sans difficultés.

 

S’agissant de la réunion entre M. Laurent Fabius et les professionnels du tourisme qui s’est tenue ce matin, nous nous exprimerons prochainement.

 

SOURCE 

France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 24 October 2014

France / Algérie – Moines de Tibehirine


 

France / Algérie – Moines de Tibehirine

 

PARIS, France, 24 octobre 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Quai d’Orsay – Déclarations du porte-parole adjoint – 24 octobre 2014

 

Le déplacement de la délégation judiciaire française en Algérie s’est passé dans des conditions satisfaisantes et il y a lieu de remercier les autorités de l’accueil qu’elles lui ont réservé et des moyens mis à sa disposition.

 

Je suis certain que nos autorités judiciaires respectives sauront maintenir ensemble les conditions d’une collaboration fructueuse.

 

SOURCE 

France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


 

Nigeria – Déplacement conjoint de M. Laurent Fabius avec son homologue allemand (27 octobre 2014)

 

PARIS, France, 24 octobre 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Quai d’Orsay – Déclarations du porte-parole adjoint – 24 octobre 2014

 

M. Laurent Fabius, ministre des affaires étrangères et du développement international, se rendra à Abuja le 27 octobre avec son homologue allemand, M. Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Il s’agira du premier déplacement conjoint des ministres français et allemand des affaires étrangères en Afrique subsaharienne.

 

MM. Fabius et Steinmeier s’entretiendront avec le président Goodluck Jonathan ainsi qu’avec leur homologue Aminu Wali. Ils adresseront un message commun de soutien à la démocratie, alors que des échéances électorales importantes sont prévues au Nigeria en février 2015. Ils salueront également l’annonce par l’Organisation mondiale de la santé de la fin de l’épidémie d’Ebola dans le pays.

 

Ce déplacement s’inscrit également dans la continuité des efforts de mobilisation de la communauté internationale et de renforcement de la coopération des pays de la région pour lutter contre le terrorisme, notamment le sommet pour la sécurité au Nigeria organisé à Paris le 17 mai. Il témoigne de la même volonté de la France et de l’Allemagne de renforcer leur coopération en Afrique, sur la base d’un partenariat conciliant développement économique et sécurité.

 

SOURCE 

France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


 


 

Fifth Annual Retreat of Special Envoys, Representatives and Mediators concludes with a renewed commitment to Silence the Guns by 2020

 

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The fifth Annual Retreat of Special Envoys, Representatives and Mediators on the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa, held in Arusha, concluded with renewed commitment by participants to ‘silence the guns’ on the continent by 2020. During the Retreat, participants reflected on various experiences, drawing lessons in order to strengthen the Continent’s efforts towards this goal.

In their Declaration at the end of the Retreat, participants vowed to tackle increasing threats posed by emerging transnational crimes such as terrorism and violent extremism, drug trafficking, piracy, illicit arms proliferation, human trafficking and smuggling as well as money laundering.

The retreat, which was opened by H.E. Dr. Mohamed Gharib Bilal, Vice President of the Republic of Tanzania and Amb. Smaïl Chergui, AU Peace and Security Commissioner brought together more than one hundred and thirty participants, including former African leaders, representatives of the AU Commission, as well as its Special Envoys and Representatives. It also included the Chair of the Peace and Security Council for the Month of October, Ethiopia; members of the Panel of the Wise, as well as Friends of the Panel of the wise, representatives of the Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) for conflict prevention, management and resolution, the United Nations, League of Arab States as well as several scholars and international partners.

Making his closing remarks, at the culmination of the three days of deliberation, Amb. Smaïl Chergui stated, “The frank and open discussions over the last three days, will no doubt go a long way towards elaborating a concrete roadmap towards silencing the guns by 2020.”Amb. Chergui, thanked H.E. President Jakaya Kikwete and the Government of Tanzania for its warm hospitality and for hosting the fifth edition of the Annual Retreat, adding that this was testimony to Tanzania’s continued commitment to shaping the continent’s peace, prosperity and integration agenda, a clear extension of its contribution during the early years of Africa’s liberation struggle.

Building on the momentum of the Durban Retreat of April 2014 and the Abidjan Retreat of October 2013, the Arusha retreat succeeded in framing practical aspects of the implementation of Agenda 2063, Africa’s roadmap for the next 50 years, in particular critical aspects relating to the promotion of peace, security and stability on the Continent.

The meeting reviewed a wide range of issues including the state of Africa in 2014, and the causes of conflicts and instability, the triggers and facilitators of violence and the impact of global developments on Africa among the climate change.

The Retreat was preceded by a meeting of AU Special Envoys, Representatives and Heads of AU Missions and Liaison Offices on Monday 20 October, 2014. The meeting took place on the cusp of the outbreak and spread of the Ebola Virus Disease as well as the AUC Chairperson’s visit to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the three West African countries hardest hit by the outbreak. As such, participants welcomed the concerted contributions by Member States in true African solidarity as well as the response measures undertaken by the Executive Council and the PSC to tackle Ebola.

The Retreat also paid homage to Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, former Secretary-General of the OAU, and to Mr. Hashim Mbita, former Chairperson of the Liberation Committee, for their estimable contribution to Pan-Africanism and the liberation of the Continent from colonialism and conflict. The inaugural ‘Son of Africa’ award, which was presented to them by Amb. Chergui on behalf of the AUC Chairperson, H.E Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma during a gala dinner hosted in their honour, will continue to be presented on a regular basis to eminent Africans who have served the Continent with great distinction.

 

SOURCE 

African Union Commission (AUC)

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 24 October 2014

Migration Information Centre for Young People Opens in Tunis


 

Migration Information Centre for Young People Opens in Tunis

 

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM and Tunisia’s National Observatory for Youth (ONJ) will today (24/10) open a new Swiss-funded Migration Information Center for young people in Tunis.

The centre, which is backed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), will provide information and promote safe and legal migration options among Tunisian youth.

Two counsellors trained as part of an IOM project: Solidarity with the Children of Maghreb and Mashreq (SALEMM), will advise young people on opportunities abroad including study, internships, volunteering and employment.

The centre will use information materials and counselling to promote legal migration and deter vulnerable young people from considering irregular migration options and fraudulent jobs offered by human smugglers and traffickers.

ONJ counsellors will hold weekly information sessions on Friday afternoons. The first session, scheduled today (24/10) will address: “Travelling and legal migration opportunities to Switzerland” and will be supported by Swiss consular staff.

The centre will complement the work of three Migration Resource Centres established in the cities of Tunis, Kef and Sfax in 2013. The IOM-funded centres were set up in partnership with Tunisia’s National Agency for Employment and Independent Work (ANETI) and the Office for Tunisians Abroad (OTE).

 


SOURCE 

International Office of Migration (IOM)

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 24 October 2014

African Union Holds Training Workshop on Explosive Ordinance Disposal


 

African Union Holds Training Workshop on Explosive Ordinance Disposal

 

NAIROBI, Kenya, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Commission of the African Union (AU), in partnership with United Nations Mine Action Services (UNMAS) and the Humanitarian Peace Support School (HPSS), are convening an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) training from 21 October to 7 November 2014, in Nairobi, Kenya. The training, which is convened under the AU Mine Action and Explosive Management Program, brings together twenty three (23) Mine Action practitioners from selected AU Member States to undergo basic and intermediate EOD training.

On behalf of the AU, Ambassador Fred Ngoga-Gateretse, Acting Head of the Mission Analysis Cell of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), welcomed the participants and thanked the UNMAS and HPSS for providing the technical expertise and facilities for organizing the training. He also commended the strides taken by the respective countries in eradicating landmines and other explosive remnants of war as a key component to any post-conflict situation which, of necessity, needs consolidation of peace and security, as well as the undertaking of post-conflict reconstruction and development.

UNMAS representative, Mr. Nick Van Elsacker, stated that the training initiative is a milestone in AU’s continued commitment to supporting AU Member States in addressing the threat of landmines, Unexploded Ordnance and Improvised Explosive Devices on the African continent.

Speaking on behalf of the HPSS, Col Gitonga, the Commandant of the School, urged the participants to work hard and muster skills so as to be able to reduce the devastating humanitarian and socio-economic impact of mines.

The AU Commission remains committed to supporting Member States in their mine action activities, including in the development of national mine-action capacities and support for national programmes. Building capacity of Member States is particularly important considering the increasing threat of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). The Commission will continue to work closely with its partners in supporting regional training centers to build the capacity of national mine action authorities.

 

SOURCE 

African Union Commission (AUC)

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 23 October 2014

Simone Gbagbo Trial: First of many


 

Simone Gbagbo Trial: First of many

 

PARIS, France, October 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The start of the trial of 83 people, including Simone Gbagbo who stands accused of attempting to undermine the security of the State, is an important milestone in the judicial process related to the Ivory Coast’s post-electoral crisis of 2010-2011. However, our organisations consider this to be only the beginning of the process, as the most serious crimes are still under investigation by prosecutors. When these proceed to trial, it is the alleged perpetrators of crimes from all parties who should finally face justice.

“The Ivorian justice system chose to prosecute the crimes committed during the post-electoral crisis in several stages. Today, it is not the serious violations of human rights that will be prosecuted in Court, but only charges related to the security of the State. We must commend this progress, but the victims – who still carry their wounds – impatiently await the commencement of trials for more serious crimes. Thus, this is not the definitive trial of the crisis which begins today, but rather a first trial of the crisis ” stated Yacouba Doumbia, MIDH President.

Most of the 83 people referred to the Criminal Court of Abidjan, by an ordinance of the Indictment Chamber (10 July 2013), will face multiple charges, including threatening national security, attacking or conspiring against the authority of the State, creation of armed bands, directing or participating in an insurrectionist movement, and disturbing public order.

” In this first trial, the only “victims” are the State and public order. Certainly, this is a major step towards justice, but we must not forget that the bereaved families, the victims of sexual crimes and those who lost so much between December 2010 and April 2011 – that these people are still waiting for investigations to move forward and satisfy their demands for truth, justice and reparation. Moreover, crimes were committed by both sides, and victims will not cease in their demands to see both sides face justice. ” declared Patrick Baudoin, FIDH Honorary President.

Cases involving serious human rights violations are still being investigated by the Special Investigation and Examination Unit (CSEI). A second trial will have to be organized by the Ivorian justice system, in which some of the accused in the current trial who are also under investigation by the CSEI, might be referred to the Court a second time.

” We will follow and observe this trial in its entirety because it is an important challenge for the Ivorian justice system. It is the first time that a Criminal Court will have to try so many accused in a single case. It is imperative that the Court rises to the challenge of providing a fair trial that respects the rights of the defendants, otherwise ongoing investigations into other crimes will be discredited. ” declared Drissa Traoré, FIDH Vice-President.

FIDH, LIDHO and MIDH have filed a civil action in the “violent crimes” case. Our organisations assist a hundred victims before Ivorian justice, and will have a team of legal observers present for the duration of the trial.

” Neither political nor electoral considerations have any place in this judicial process. Over the past several months, we have denounced the circumstances in which some of the accused were released on bail by a decision of the Executive. To succeed, this trial will have to uphold only the Law and its proceedings, not political considerations that do not belong in Court ” declared Pierre Adjoumani Kouame, LIDHO President.

Our organizations recall that an international arrest warrant was issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Simone Gbagbo on the 22nd of November 2012, as an indirect co-perpetrator for four counts of crimes against humanity – murder, rape and other sexual violence, persecution and other inhuman acts – allegedly committed during the post-electoral violence between the 16th of December 2010 and the 12th of April 2011. According to the principle of complementarity of jurisdiction between the ICC and the national courts, national authorities will either have to try Simone Gbagbo for the above mentioned crimes, or cooperate with the ICC and transfer her to the Court in The Hague.

 

SOURCE 

International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH)

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 23 October 2014

Zambia National Day


Zambia National Day

 

WASHINGTON, October 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Press Statement

John Kerry

Secretary of State

Washington, DC

October 23, 2014

 

Zambia National Day

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Zambia on the 50th anniversary of your independence on October 24.

Fifty years ago, when your country was born, thousands of Zambians took to the streets shouting kwatcha – the dawn. Today, Zambia’s dawn and the promise of peace and democracy has become a reality.

As representatives from all over the world gather in Lusaka to celebrate your Jubilee, Assistant Secretary of State Linda Thomas-Greenfield will be there to represent America and pay tribute to your inspiring record. Time and time again, Zambians have stood up, voted, and let leadership change hands peacefully.

Our two nations are united in mutual respect and responsibility for universal values. President Obama and I were pleased to welcome Vice President Scott to the African Leaders’ Summit in August, and discuss so many important issues at this transformative moment for Africa. We will continue to work closely to strengthen democracy, support human rights, spur economic growth, and improve the health and education of the Zambian people.

As you celebrate this special day, the United States stands with you as a partner and friend.

 

SOURCE 

US Department of State

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 23 October 2014

Zambia – 50th anniversary of independence (October 24, 2014)


 

Zambia – 50th anniversary of independence (October 24, 2014)

 

PARIS, France, October 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — France congratulates the Zambian authorities and people on the 50th anniversary of independence, which will be celebrated tomorrow.

 

On this occasion we pay tribute to Zambia’s commitment to peace and development in Africa.

 

France hopes that our bilateral cooperation will continue to be strengthened, in the spirit of friendship that prevails in the relations between our two countries.

 

SOURCE 

France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


 

Visit to the Republic of Zambia and the Republic of Tunisia by Mr. Kazuyuki Nakane, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs

 

TOKYO, Japan, October 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — 1. Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Kazuyuki Nakane will visit the Republic of Zambia and the Republic of Tunisia from October 23 to 27.

 

2. In Zambia, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Nakane will attend events for Zambia’s 50th Independence Anniversary Celebrations (Golden Jubilee)that will be held from October 23 to 24, and he is also scheduled to exchange views on bilateral relations etc. with officials of the Government of Zambia.

 

3. In Tunisia, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Nakane is scheduled to carry out election monitoring activities as the head of the Japanese observer mission. Japan dispatches the mission to assist the Tunisian people to hold a transparent, fair and peaceful parliamentary election under the new constitution on October 26.

 

SOURCE 

Japan – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


 

Communiqué of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 462nd meeting on the situation in Somalia and the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)

 

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 462nd meeting held on 16 October 2014, adopted the following decision on the situation in Somalia and the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM):

Council,

1. Takes note of the Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the situation in Somalia [PSC/PR/2.(CDLXII)] and the briefings provided by the Commissioner for Peace and Security and the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission for Somalia, Head of AMISOM. Council also takes note of the statements made by the representatives of Somalia, Ethiopia, as chair of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Uganda, as a troop contributing country to AMISOM, the United Nations and the European Union (EU), as well as by the representatives of China, France, Nigeria, United Kingdom and United States of America, as members of the UN Security Council, and Italy, as Co-chair of the IGAD Partners Forum;

 

2. Recalls its previous decisions and press statements on the situation in Somalia, including communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.1(CCCLVI) adopted at its 356th meeting held on 27 February 2013, communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(CDXIV) adopted at its 414th meeting held on 21 January 2014, and press statement PSC/PR/BR.(CDXXV) adopted at its 425th meeting held on 24 March 2014;

3. Reiterates its commitment to the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Somalia;

4. Reaffirms AU’s full support to the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and its commitment to continue to assist the FGS in its stabilization and reconstruction efforts, including the implementation of the Government’s Vision 2016 Agenda and the New Deal Somali Compact;

5. Welcomes the FGS-led efforts towards the establishment of interim district and regional administrations in the newly-recovered areas, and underlines the urgent need to complete the establishment of interim regional administrations throughout Somalia by the end of 2014, based on the principles of political inclusivity and transparency and in accordance with the Provisional Federal Constitution;

6. Further welcomes the establishment of the Independent Constitutional Review and Implementation Commission and the Boundaries and Federation Commission, which gives impetus to the FGS’s commitment to conduct legitimate and inclusive national elections in 2016. In this regard, Council requests the relevant structures within the Commission, in close consultation with the United Nations and other international stakeholders, to provide the necessary support to the FGS;

7. Notes with satisfaction the security gains recorded by AMISOM and the Somalia National Army (SNA) during Operations Eagle and Indian Ocean, which made it possible to recover several towns and villages from the Al-Shabaab terrorist group. Council stresses the need to consolidate these gains through the immediate provision of humanitarian assistance and basic social services, as well as the implementation of quick impact projects. Council encourages the FGS, with the support of the United Nations and other partners, to urgently take all necessary steps in this respect. Council further encourages the FGS to ensure that the SNA hold on to and secure the recovered areas;

8. Commends, once again, AMISOM for its outstanding contribution to the improvement of security in Somalia, the stabilization of the country and furtherance of the reconciliation process. Council reiterates its appreciation to AMISOM troop (Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Uganda) and police (Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Uganda) contributing countries (T/PCCs) for their commitment and sacrifices;

9. Requests the Commission to undertake, in close coordination with the United Nations Secretariat, a joint review of AMISOM, especially the implementation of the AMISOM Concept of Operations (CONOPS), with a view to enhancing the planning and effectiveness of the joint SNA and AMISOM operations;

10. Welcomes the continuing efforts by the Commission and AMISOM to ensure that the Mission and its personnel uphold the highest standards in terms of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (IHL), including a zero tolerance to all forms of misconduct and indiscipline. In this regard, Council notes with satisfaction the decision taken by the Commission to thoroughly investigate the allegations of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) leveled against some AMISOM personnel. Council further notes with satisfaction the additional measures and steps that the Commission and the AMISOM leadership are planning to take, including the adoption of a one-year plan on SEA, the inclusion of a specific Annex on SEA into the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the T/PCCs, and the improvement of welfare and recreation facilities for all AMISOM personnel;

11. Reiterates its appreciation to IGAD and to its Chairperson, Prime Minister Haile Mariam Dessalegn of Ethiopia, for their continued commitment and sustained efforts towards the promotion of lasting peace, security, stability and reconciliation in Somalia. Council notes in particular IGAD’s central role in facilitating the conclusion and implementation of the Addis Ababa Agreement of 28 August 2013, the Agreements to form interim regional administrations in the South-West and Central regions of Somalia, signed on 23 June and 30 July 2014, respectively, and the Agreement of 14 October 2014 between the FGS and Puntland, as important steps forward in the path towards peace and state-building in Somalia;

12. Reiterates AU’s appreciation to the United Nations for its continued support to AMISOM, notably through the support package authorized by the UN Security Council, and expresses appreciation to the Security Council for its historic visit to Somalia on 13 August 2014. Council also reiterates its appreciation to the European Union (EU) and its Member States, the United States of America and other partners for their continued support to AMISOM and to peace and stabilization efforts in Somalia. Council encourages them to continue and enhance their support, especially with regard to the provision of enablers and force multipliers to AMISOM and infrastructure to the SNA and the Somali Police Force (SPF);

13. Welcomes the outcomes of the Conference on Support to the SNA, which took place in London, United Kingdom, from 17 to 18 September 2014, as a key contribution to the ongoing professionalization of the SNA and the SPF. Council calls upon international partners to provide to the SNA and the SPF enhanced and more flexible logistical support, as well as training and capacity building support;

14. Welcomes the convening of the High-Level Meeting on Somalia in New York, on 24 September 2014, which discussed the political process in Somalia, based on the FGS’s Vision 2016 – Agenda for Political Transformation, and looks forward to the Ministerial High-Level Partnership Forum to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 19 to 20 November 2014, which will be an opportunity to agree on the key priorities for 2015, in line with the Vision 2016 Agenda;

15. Welcomes the appointment of Ambassador Maman S. Sidikou, from Niger, as the new Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission for Somalia and Head of AMISOM, and pays tribute to his predecessor, Ambassador Mahamat Saleh Annadif, for his leadership and outstanding contribution to the quest for peace, security and reconciliation in Somalia. Council calls upon the new Special Representative to closely engage the leadership of the FGS on the key elements of the political process and joint military operations;

16. Renews the mandate of AMISOM for a further period of 12 months and, with reference to operative paragraph 1 of resolution 2124(2013), adopted by the UN Security Council on 12 November 2013, requests the Security Council to renew for a further period of 12 months, starting from 31 October 2014, the authorization to the AU Member States to maintain the deployment of AMISOM, to enable the Mission to continue to carry out its mandate and to take all necessary measures to this effect;

17. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

 

SOURCE 

African Union Commission (AUC)


 

Communiqué du Conseil de paix et de sécurité de l’Union africaine (UA), en sa 462ème réunion sur la situation en Somalie et la Mission de l’UA en Somalie (AMISOM)

 

ADDIS ABEBA, Ethiopie, 23 octobre 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Le Conseil de paix et de sécurité de l’Union africaine (UA), en sa 462ème réunion tenue le 16 octobre 2014, a adopté la décision qui suit sur la situation en Somalie et la Mission de l’UA en Somalie (AMISOM):

Le Conseil,

1. Prend note du rapport de la Présidente de la Commission sur la situation en Somalie [PSC/PR/2. (CDLXII)] et des communications faites par le Commissaire à la Paix et à la Sécurité et le Représentant spécial de la Présidente de la Commission en Somalie, chef de l’AMISOM. Le Conseil prend également note des déclarations faites par les représentants de la Somalie, de l’Ethiopie, pays assurant la présidence de l’Autorité intergouvernementale pour le Développement (IGAD), de l’Ouganda, en tant que pays contributeur de troupes à l’AMISOM, des Nations unies et de l’Union européenne (UE), ainsi que par les représentants de la Chine, des États-Unis d’Amérique, de la France, du Nigéria, du Royaume-Uni, en tant que membres du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies, et de l’Italie, co-President du Forum des Partenaires de l’IGAD;

2. Réitère son attachement à l’unité, à l’intégrité territoriale et à la souveraineté de la Somalie;

3. Réaffirme le plein soutien de l’UA au Gouvernement fédéral de la Somalie (FGS) et son engagement à continuer à appuyer le FGS dans ses efforts de stabilisation et de reconstruction, y compris la mise en œuvre de la ”Vision 2016” du Gouvernement et du nouveau Compact (New Deal Compact) pour la Somalie;

4. Se félicite des efforts déployés sous la direction du FGS en vue de la création, dans les zones nouvellement conquises, d’administrations intérimaires au niveau des districts et des régions, et souligne la nécessité urgente de mener à son terme le processus de mise en place d’administrations régionales intérimaires à travers l’ensemble de la Somalie d’ici à la fin de 2014, sur la base des principes de l’inclusivité politique et de la transparence, et conformément à la Constitution fédérale provisoire;

5. Se félicite en outre de la création de la Commission indépendante chargée de la révision constitutionnelle et de sa mise en œuvre (ICRIC) et de la Commission fédérale de délimitation des frontières, qui imprime un nouvel élan à l’engagement du FGS à organiser des élections nationales légitimes et inclusives en 2016. À cet égard, le Conseil demande aux structures compétentes de la Commission, en étroite consultation avec les Nations unies et les autres parties prenantes internationales, d’apporter le soutien nécessaire au FGS;

6. Prend note avec satisfaction des acquis sécuritaires enregistrés par l’AMISOM et l’Armée nationale somalienne (SNA) lors des Opérations Eagle et Océan Indien, qui ont permis la reprise de plusieurs villes et villages au groupe terroriste Al-Shabaab. Le Conseil souligne la nécessité de consolider ces acquis à travers la fourniture immédiate d’une aide humanitaire et de services sociaux de base, ainsi qu’à travers la mise en œuvre de projets à impact rapide. Le Conseil encourage le FGS, avec le soutien des Nations unies et d’autres partenaires, à prendre d’urgence toutes les mesures nécessaires à cet égard. Le Conseil encourage en outre le FGS à s’assurer que la SNA garde le contrôle et sécurise les zones reconquises;

7. Félicite, une fois encore, l’AMISOM pour sa remarquable contribution à l’amélioration de la sécurité en Somalie, à la stabilisation du pays et à la promotion de la réconciliation. Le Conseil réitère son appréciation aux pays contributeurs de troupes (Burundi, Djibouti, Éthiopie, Kenya, Ouganda et Sierra Leone) et de personnels de police (Ghana, Nigéria, Ouganda et Sierra Léone) à l’AMISOM pour leur engagement et les sacrifices par eux consentis;

8. Demande à la Commission d’entreprendre, en étroite coordination avec le Secrétariat des Nations unies, une revue conjointe de l’AMISOM, en particulier la mise en œuvre du Concept d’opérations (CONOPS) de la Mission, afin de renforcer la planification et l’efficacité des opérations conjointes de la SNA et de l’AMISOM;

9. Se félicite des efforts continus déployés par la Commission et l’AMISOM pour s’assurer que la Mission et son personnel respectent les normes les plus élevées en ce qui concerne les Droits de l’homme et le Droit international humanitaire, y compris une tolérance zéro de toutes les formes de mauvaise conduite et d’indiscipline. À cet égard, le Conseil note avec satisfaction la décision prise par la Commission de mener une enquête approfondie sur les allégations d’exploitation et d’atteintes sexuelles dont certains personnels de l’AMISOM se seraient rendus coupables. Le Conseil note en outre avec satisfaction les mesures additionnelles que la Commission et les responsables de l’AMISOM envisagent de prendre, y compris l’adoption d’un plan d’une durée d’un an sur l’exploitation et les atteintes sexuelles, l’inclusion d’une Annexe spécifique sur l’exploitation et les atteintes sexuelles dans les Protocoles d’accord avec les pays contributeurs de troupes et de personnels de police, ainsi que l’amélioration du bien-être des personnels de l’AMISOM et des installations récréatives à leur disposition;

10. Exprime de nouveau sa gratitude à l’IGAD et à son Président, le Premier Ministre Haile Mariam Dessalegn d’Éthiopie, pour leur engagement continu et leurs efforts soutenus visant à promouvoir durablement la paix, la sécurité, la stabilité et la réconciliation en Somalie. Le Conseil note en particulier le rôle central de l’IGAD dans la facilitation de la conclusion et de la mise en œuvre de l’Accord d’Addis Abéba du 28 août 2013, ainsi que des Accords pour la création des administrations régionales intérimaires pour les régions Sud-Ouest et Centre de la Somalie signés, respectivement, le 23 juin et le 30 juillet 2014, et de l’Accord du 14 octobre 2014 entre le FGS et le Puntland, qui constituent autant d’avancées importantes sur la voie de la paix et de l’édification de l’État en Somalie;

11. Réitère la reconnaissance de l’UA aux Nations unies pour l’appui continu apporté à l’AMISOM, notamment par le biais du dispositif de soutien autorisé par le Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies, et exprime sa gratitude au Conseil de sécurité pour la visite historique qu’il a effectuée en Somalie, le 13 août 2014. Le Conseil réaffirme également sa gratitude à l’UE et à ses États membres, aux États-Unis d’Amérique et aux autres partenaires, pour leur soutien continu à l’AMISOM et aux efforts de paix et de stabilisation en Somalie. Le Conseil les encourage à continuer à renforcer leur soutien, en particulier en ce qui concerne les multiplicateurs de force pour l’AMISOM et les infrastructures pour la SNA et pour la Force de police somalienne (SPF);

12. Se félicite des conclusions de la Conférence sur le soutien à la SNA qui s’est tenue à Londres, au Royaume-Uni, les 17 et 18 septembre 2014, comme une contribution essentielle à la professionnalisation en cours de la SNA et de la SPF. Le Conseil demande aux partenaires internationaux d’apporter à la SNA et à la SPF un soutien logistique renforcé et plus flexible, ainsi qu’un appui dans le domaine de la formation et du renforcement des capacités;

13. Se félicite de la tenue à New York, le 24 septembre 2014, de la réunion de haut niveau sur la Somalie, qui a examiné le processus politique en Somalie sur la base de la ”Vision 2016” du FGS – Agenda pour la Transformation politique, et attend avec intérêt le Forum ministériel sur le partenariat de haut niveau prévu à Copenhague, au Danemark, les 19 et 20 novembre 2014, qui sera une occasion de convenir des priorités clés pour 2015, conformément à la Vision 2016;

14. Se félicite de la nomination de l’Ambassadeur Maman S. Sidikou, du Niger, comme nouveau Représentant spécial de la Présidente de la Commission pour la Somalie et chef de l’AMISOM, et rend hommage à son prédécesseur, l’Ambassadeur Mahamat Saleh Annadif, pour son leadership et sa contribution remarquable à la quête de la paix, de la sécurité et de la réconciliation en Somalie. Le Conseil appelle le nouveau Représentant spécial à interagir étroitement avec les dirigeants du FGS sur les éléments clés du processus politiques et les opérations militaires conjointes;

15. Renouvelle le mandat de l’AMISOM pour une période supplémentaire de 12 mois et, en référence au paragraphe 1 du dispositif de la résolution 2124 (2013), adoptée par le Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies, le 12 novembre 2013, demande au Conseil de sécurité de renouveler, pour une période supplémentaire de 12 mois, à compter du 31 octobre 2014, l’autorisation donnée aux États membres de l’UA de maintenir le déploiement de l’AMISOM, afin de permettre à la Mission de continuer à s’acquitter de son mandat et à prendre toutes les mesures nécessaires à cet effet.

16. Décide de rester activement saisi de la question.

 

SOURCE 

African Union Commission (AUC)

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 23 October 2014

Switzerland supports free elections in Tunisia


 

Switzerland supports free elections in Tunisia

 

BERN, Switzerland, October 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Switzerland is committed to ensuring the success of the upcoming elections in Tunisia. Switzerland is a major stakeholder with a wide variety of programmes in Tunisia and is providing significant assistance to the UN Development Programme (UNDP), which is supporting the elections on behalf of the international community. In addition, Switzerland is promoting dialogue between the different parties and is sending election observers.

 

Tunisia is to make important political decisions this autumn: Parliamentary elections will be held on 26 October and presidential elections on 23 November. More than five million Tunisians are being called to cast their votes for a second time since the fall of the Ben Ali regime. Switzerland is an important partner both for Tunisia and the international community in the run-up to these elections.

 

It is providing financial and technical support for the preparation of the elections via international partner organisations such as UNDP, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD) and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). It is supporting civil society and the media and is actively working to ensure a positive political climate in the run-up to the elections by organising a dialogue between the different parties.

 

Furthermore, Switzerland is financing the procurement of material such as an additional 18,000 ballot boxes, and is supporting unbiased media coverage of the elections by regional radio stations. A number of Swiss experts will be deployed to monitor the elections.

 

SOURCE 

Switzerland – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Blood Ebola survivors tested as short-term treatment option

If proven effective, this straightforward intervention could be scaled up in the short term

ANTWERP, Belgium, October 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ An international research consortium led by the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp (ITM) (http://www.itg.be)  will assess whether treatment with antibodies in the blood of Ebola survivors could help infected patients to fight off the disease. If proven effective, this straightforward intervention could be scaled up in the short term and provide an urgently needed treatment option for patients in West Africa.

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

Photo Máire-Geoghegan-Quinn: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1478

Photo Van Griensven Johan: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1479

The researchers receive € 2.9 million of European Union (EU) funding (http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1194_en.htm?locale=en) to evaluate the safety and efficacy of treatment with blood and plasma made from the blood of recovered Ebola patients.

A WHO expert meeting in September recommended convalescent blood therapies as one of the most promising strategies meriting urgent evaluation as treatment of Ebola disease. As a result of the current outbreak, there are also substantial numbers of survivors to prepare Ebola plasma.

ITM’s Johan van Griensven, the project’s coordinating investigator, said:

“Blood and plasma therapy are medical interventions with a long history, safely used for other infectious diseases. We want to find out whether this approach works for Ebola, is safe and can be put into practice to reduce the number of deaths in the present outbreak. Ebola survivors contributing to curb the epidemic by donating blood could reduce fear of the disease and improve their acceptance in the communities.”

Blood and plasma from recovered Ebola patients has been used in a limited number of patients previously. For example, during the 1995 Ebola outbreak in Kikwit, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), seven out of eight patients receiving convalescent whole blood survived. However, whether this was due to the transfusions or to other factors is unclear. There is an urgent need to evaluate this therapy in carefully designed studies according to the highest ethical and scientific standards.

EU Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said in today’s funding announcement that it is urgent to step up medical research on Ebola. According to Geoghegan-Quinn the selected projects “enlist the best academic researchers and industry to take the fight to this deadly disease.”

The Wellcome Trust will provide additional support, enabling unparalleled international collaboration across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors to tackle the Ebola emergency.

Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, said:

“The Wellcome Trust is delighted to work in partnership with the European Commission to support and help fast-track this critical work. Convalescent serum offers the best potential treatment for Ebola in the short term that could be scaled up if proven effective. Global collaboration of this nature, including clinical researchers and multiple partners from across Europe and West Africa, is both unprecedented and essential if we are to bring the current outbreak under control.”

The international research consortium

The € 2.9 million grant from the EU will fund the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, University of Liverpool, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford, Aix-Marseille University, the French Blood Transfusion Service (Etablissement Français du Sang), Institute Pasteur, and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research.

The consortium also includes the National Blood Transfusion Centre in Conakry (Guinea), the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale  in Kinshasha (DRC), and the Belgian Red Cross-Flanders.

The project, which will start in Guinea in November 2014, is supported and guided by the WHO and the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC).

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp (ITM).

Notes to the editors:

•          European Union to boost Ebola research with €24.4 million: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1194_en.htm?locale=en

Media  contacts:

•          Roeland Scholtalbers (ITM Antwerp): rscholtalbers@itg.be, +32 32470729, +32 477068384

•          Samantha Martin (University of Liverpool): samantha.Martin@liverpool.ac.uk

•          Katie Steels and Jenny Orton (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine): press@lshtm.ac.uk +44(0)2079272802

•          Priscille Riviere (INSERM): priscille.riviere@inserm.fr , +33(0)1 44 23 60 97

•          Jonathan Wood (University of Oxford): jonathan.wood@admin.ox.ac.uk

•          Celine Damon (AMU): eline.damon@univ-amu.fr

•          Nadine Peyrolo (IP): Nadine.peyrolo@pasteur.fr

•          Françoise Le Failler (EFS) : francoise.lefailler@efs.sante.fr

•          Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum (INRB): muyembejj@gmail.com

•          Dr. Nyankoye Haba (NBC) :  nyankoyeh@yahoo.fr, +224 68389798

•          An Luyten (Rode Kruis) : An.Luyten@rodekruis.be, + 32 0475775824

•          Hellen Jamison (Wellcome Trust): H.Jamison@wellcome.ac.uk , +44 7834 756215

SOURCE

Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp (ITM)

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 23 October 2014

CAR: Looking back at 10 days of violence in Bangui


 

CAR: Looking back at 10 days of violence in Bangui

 

PARIS, France, October 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Between October 7 and 17, civilians in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), again experienced violent clashes and abuse. It was very difficult for MSF teams to reach the wounded and provide aid during that period. It was also difficult for patients – whether ill or victims of violence – to reach health care facilities. For MSF, one of the direct consequences of those 10 days of violence was an unacceptable reduction in humanitarian space in the capital and throughout the rest of the country. Delphine Chedorge, MSF’s head of mission in Bangui, looks back at those days.

 

Why did violence break out again in Bangui in early October?

 

“Political tensions rose sharply on October 7. The anti-Balaka demanded the resignation of the CAR’s president, who was accused of corruption. Several days later, the ex-Seleka took up the same demand. And that night, an isolated grenade attack triggered clashes in the capital. The MSF team treated 13 wounded people at the General Hospital. One of them died. While inter-communal violence did occur, most of the clashes were between armed groups and international forces.

 

The United Nations reported that between October 7 and 17, 13 people were killed and 242 were wounded. Approximately 6,000 people were displaced and 1,600 new refugees were registered in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

 

What was the situation like during those 10 days?

 

When the clashes broke out again, the situation was explosive throughout almost the entire city. It was very difficult to deliver assistance and obtain access to care. Bangui was controlled by a host of armed groups. Attacks, ambushes and reprisals were carried out regularly, including close to our living quarters, health care facilities and offices. The streets were empty. The city seemed paralyzed and dead. Taxis, motorbikes and private cars were prohibited from operating.

 

Because of the insecurity, threats and barriers erected in the city, some organizations could not travel in their vehicles. Our teams – expatriate and Central African – had a lot of trouble getting around. As a result, for five consecutive days, our teams could not reach the PK5 neighborhood, which was particularly affected. MSF supports a clinic there where we regularly provide pediatric care.

 

During one of our trips, a terrified woman rushed toward our car. She was carrying a wounded child. In the car, we realized that he was already dead because he had not reached the hospital in time. It is quite likely that other patients and wounded people were trapped at home, and even died, because they lacked transportation or were afraid to leave the house.

 

It was difficult for us to work and reach the ill and wounded. Humanitarian space in Bangui and, more generally in the CAR, has been reduced to an unacceptable degree. During those 10 days of violence, aid was cut off and blocked. Other aid actors, such as the Red Cross, were threatened and prohibited from collecting bodies or transporting the wounded. Six security incidents targeting humanitarian workers directly were reported during that period.

 

What was MSF able to do?

 

During those 10 days, our teams still managed to treat 90 wounded people at the General Hospital, 54 at our M’Poko clinic and 16 at the Castor Hospital. Those people had received primarily bullet and grenade, but also machete, wounds. Most of them arrived on their own, sometimes several days after being wounded.

 

Medical supplies and drugs had been sent to the General Hospital, the referral hospital, where the action plan in the event of a massive inflow of wounded patients had been launched and strengthened. Forty-eight hour shifts were organized so that the Central African employees could sleep and eat at the hospital, without exposing themselves to the violent clashes in the streets. These medical staff handled the emergencies, knowing that their own families were particularly exposed in certain neighborhoods. It was extremely difficult for them.

 

What is MSF’s assessment of what happened during those 10 days?

 

The nature of the clashes in October was different from that of previous months. The increase in the number of acts of banditry and the strategy of the armed groups – that is, to strangle basic services – threatened aid efforts, which are critical in the CAR. All public services in the country, and particularly health services, are increasingly weak. Although MSF was not targeted directly during the most recent clashes, the ongoing reduction in humanitarian space in Bangui and throughout the rest of the country deprives the population of emergency assistance and endangers the teams.

 

MSF has been a key health actor in the Central African Republic since 1997. We have become even more important since the country and its health system are experiencing a crisis again. Even a partial pull-out on our part, at the annual peak of the malaria season – an illness that is more deadly than the current violence in the CAR – penalizes a population that has suffered terribly and that we have been assisting, on a heightened, ongoing basis, for nearly a year. Without treatment, children, who are malaria’s first victims, could die.

 

What is the current situation in Bangui?

 

While some humanitarian organizations still cannot carry out their work, “normal” life and activities resumed in Bangui as of October 20, at least during the day. After 6 pm, robberies begin (or resume) and vehicles can no longer drive on the streets. Many residents, including Central African humanitarian personnel, witness the nightly looting of their houses and must shelter their families at the displaced persons’ sites, where living conditions remain very precarious.

 

The armed groups currently deployed and taking action in Bangui and across the country, as well as the entire population, must respect the teams, facilities and vehicles delivering aid, as well as the right of the ill and wounded to obtain care safely. This is the not the first time that MSF has issued this call, but we will keep trying to hammer it home. Bangui may be ‘calm’ again, but it is hardly a peaceful city and we can expect more violence.”

 

MSF has been working in the Central African Republic since 1997. We have doubled our medical assistance there since 2013 to respond to the current crisis and have increased the number of projects from 10 to 17.

 

SOURCE 

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

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