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)

Posted by: APO | 23 October 2014

Winner of APO Invitation to AfricaCom 2014 Revealed


Winner of APO Invitation to AfricaCom 2014 Revealed

Aimable Twahirwa from Rwanda wins APO invitation to participate in the AfricaCom 2014

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, October 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ APO (African Press Organization) (http://www.apo-opa.com), the sole press release newswire in Africa and the global leader in media relations relating to Africa, today announced that science journalist Aimable Twahirwa (@atwahirwa) from Rwanda won APO invitation to participate in the AfricaCom 2014, Africa’s leading telecoms event (http://www.comworldseries.com/africa), held in Cape Town, South Africa, on 11–13 November 2014.

Photo Aimable Twahirwa: http://goo.gl/TXHPvJ

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

APO will offer transport, accommodation and perdiem for Twahirwa to travel to Cape Town and cover the entire event.

“It gives us great pleasure in offering this invitation to Aimable, a recognized and influential journalist. As a company, we need to support the journalists out there who fight every day to educate us on the matters of the world,” says Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and CEO of APO (African Press Organization).

Aimable Twahirwa is an award-winning and trained senior science journalist based in Kigali, Rwanda. During his 15 year- career, he has been covering science and technology writing for prestigious newspapers both Pan African and international newsrooms as well as Radio and online.

After he graduated in science Journalism, his first assignment was on the Climate Change  where he delved in Energy and Agriculture research. His early days at Rwanda News Agency (RNA) led him to become the Rwanda correspondent for the Pan African News Agency where he has been covering science and technology stories.

On a freelance basis, he has published revealing stories about genocide, in the African media and for press in UK and Europe and North America. Aimable is fluent in both languages French and English which made him an influential correspondent for specialized science magazines such like ‘Scidev.Net’ and NATURE publications Group, a London based publisher.

More information about AfricaCom 2014: http://africa.comworldseries.com

Contact:

Aïssatou Diallo

bdm@apo-opa.org

+41 22 534 96 97

About APO

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

With offices in Senegal, Switzerland, Dubai, Hong Kong, India, and Seychelles, APO owns a media database of over 100,000 contacts and is the main online community for Africa-related news.

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.

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

Follow us on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/african-press-organization

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/africanpressorganization

SOURCE

APO (African Press Organization)


APO dévoile le nom du journaliste vainqueur de l’invitation au AfricaCom 2014

Aimable Twahirwa du Rwanda a gagné l’invitation pour participer au AfricaCom 2014

LE CAP, Afrique du Sud, 23 octobre 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ APO (African Press Organization) (http://www.apo-opa.com), le seul réseau de diffusion de communiqués de presse en Afrique, et le leader mondial des relations presse en lien avec l’Afrique, a annoncé aujourd’hui que le journaliste scientifique Aimable Twahirwa (@atwahirwa) du Rwanda a gagné l’invitation pour participer au AfricaCom 2014 (http://www.comworldseries.com/africa), le salon Panafricain des télécommunications, qui se déroulera du 11 au 13 novembre 2014 à Cape Town, en Afrique du Sud.

Photo Aimable Twahirwa: http://goo.gl/TXHPvJ

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

L’APO va offrir le transport, l’hébergement et les per diem à Aimable Twahirwa afin de lui permettre de se rendre à Cape Town et de couvrir la totalité de l’événement.

“Nous sommes heureux d’offrir cette invitation à Aimable, qui est un journaliste reconnu et influent. Chaque jour les journalistes se battent pour nous informer sur le monde qui nous entoure. En tant qu’entreprise, APO a la responsabilité de les soutenir”, a indiqué Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, fondateur et PDG d’APO.

Aimable Twahirwa est un journaliste scientifique formé à Kigali, au Rwanda, et plusieurs fois primé au cours de sa carrière. Il a couvert durant 15 ans les secteurs scientifiques et technologiques pour le compte de medias panafricains et de rédactions internationales.

Après avoir obtenu son diplôme en journalisme scientifique en 2008, son travail a porté sur les changements climatiques, avant de se concentrer sur l’énergie et l’agriculture. Il a travaillé pour l’Agence Rwandaise d’Information (RNA) avant de devenir correspondant de l’agence Panapress au sein de laquelle il a couvert les questions scientifiques et technologiques.

Il a également été publié dans de nombreux medias africains, mais aussi au Royaume-Uni, en Europe et en Amérique du Nord, y compris “Scidev.Net” et “Nature”.

Aimable Twahirwa est également diplômé en informatique.

Plus d’informations sur AfricaCom 2014: http://africa.comworldseries.com

Contact :

Aïssatou Diallo

bdm@apo-opa.org

+41 22 534 96 97

À propos d’APO

APO (African Press Organization) (http://www.apo-opa.com) est le seul distributeur de communiqués de presse en Afrique et le leader des relations presse liées à l’Afrique.

Comptant des bureaux au Sénégal, aux Émirats Arabes Unis, en Suisse, en Inde, à Hong Kong, et aux Seychelles, APO possède une base de données médias de plus de 100 000 contacts et la plus grande communauté en ligne d’actualités liées à l’Afrique.

La société propose une gamme complète de services, notamment la diffusion et la veille de communiqués de presse, les visioconférences de presse, les webcasts interactifs, les interactions médias, les conseils stratégiques, la diplomatie publique, les relations gouvernementales et la médiatisation d’évènements. Pour en savoir plus, rendez-vous sur le site http://www.apo-opa.com.

Suivez-nous sur Twitter : https://twitter.com/apo_source

Sur LinkedIn : http://www.linkedin.com/company/african-press-organization

Sur Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/africanpressorganization

SOURCE

APO (African Press Organization)

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 23 October 2014

France / Burkina Faso


 

France / Burkina Faso

 

PARIS, France, 23 octobre 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Quai d’Orsay – Déclarations du porte-parole – 23 octobre 2014

 

Q – Quelle est la réaction de la France à l’annonce du processus de modification constitutionnelle au Burkina Faso ?

 

R – La France réitère son attachement au respect des principes définis par l’Union africaine sur les changements constitutionnels visant à permettre aux dirigeants de se maintenir au pouvoir. Le président de la République a écrit en ce sens au président Compaoré le 7 octobre.

 

La France a sur ce sujet un dialogue régulier avec ses partenaires africains, notamment l’Union africaine, et internationaux.

 

Le Burkina Faso est un partenaire important pour la France et joue un rôle essentiel dans la stabilité de la région et résolution des crises. Il est primordial qu’il envisage son propre avenir de manière consensuelle et apaisée.

 

SOURCE 

France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 23 October 2014

France / Zambie – 50ème anniversaire de l’indépendance (24 octobre 2014)


 

France / Zambie – 50ème anniversaire de l’indépendance (24 octobre 2014)

 

PARIS, France, 23 octobre 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Quai d’Orsay – Déclarations du porte-parole – 23 octobre 2014

 

La France félicite les autorités et le peuple zambiens à l’occasion du cinquantième anniversaire de l’indépendance, qui sera célébré demain.

 

Nous saluons à cette occasion l’engagement de la Zambie en faveur de la paix et du développement en Afrique.

 

La France forme le vœu que notre coopération bilatérale continue à se renforcer, dans l’esprit d’amitié qui préside aux relations entre nos deux pays.

 

SOURCE 

France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Leading African Infrastructure firm Black Rhino to meet with international stakeholders at Powering Africa: Ethiopia 2014

The annual platform for European financiers and developers to connect with Ethiopia’s government and energy ministries

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Founder and CEO of Black Rhino Brian Herlihy will attend and speak at the 3rd annual investment meeting Powering Africa: Ethiopia, taking place from 20-21st November in Addis Ababa (http://www.poweringafrica-ethiopia.com).

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/energynet1-1.png

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1477

Black Rhino is comprised of finance and development experts including Managing Director Mimi Alemayehou, previously the Vice President of OPIC. Following the company’s recent merger with global asset management firm Blackstone, which looks at long-term investments in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Blackstone-Black Rhino partnership is setting out to undertake transformational projects in Africa’s power and infrastructure sectors necessary to maintain significant economic growth.

Brian Herlihy and his team will shed light on their investment prospects in power generation projects and best practice on procurement delivery in the region. Herlihy will also speak about the company’s current involvement in Djibouti.

Black Rhino are amongst the industry leaders joining global players such as USAID, Reykjavic Geothermal, OPIC, Development Bank of Southern Africa and Goldwind International Holdings alongside H.E. Alemayehu Tegenu, Minister of Water Irrigation & Energy, H.E. Dawano Kedir, State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopian Utility, investors and financiers bringing capacity building in the region’s renewable energy sector.

The Powering Africa: Ethiopia meeting is the annual platform for European financiers and developers to connect with Ethiopia’s government and energy ministries to build capacity in the region’s renewable energy sector.

The meeting welcomes the participation of international stakeholders looking to harness the vast renewable energy resources and advance power generation in Ethiopia.

For more information about this meeting:

Meeting dates: 20-21st November 2014

Venue: Radisson Blu, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Contact: Amy Offord, Senior Marketing Executive

Tel: +44 (0)20 7384 8068

Email: pa-e@energynet.co.uk

Visit: http://www.poweringafrica-ethiopia.com

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of EnergyNet Ltd.

SOURCE

EnergyNet Ltd.


 

Algérie – Entretien de M. Laurent Fabius avec M. Abdelkader Messahel, ministre délégué algérien chargé des affaires maghrébines et africaines (Paris, 24 octobre 2014)

 

PARIS, France, 23 octobre 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Quai d’Orsay – Déclarations du porte-parole – 23 octobre 2014

 

M. Laurent Fabius, ministre des affaires étrangères et du développement international, recevra demain M. Abdelkader Messahel, ministre délégué algérien chargé des affaires maghrébines et africaines, pour faire le point sur la situation au Sahel et la crise libyenne.

 

Comme l’a rappelé la présidence de la République à l’issue du conseil restreint de défense du 22 octobre, l’Algérie est en effet un partenaire régional important au Sahel. Nous saluons en particulier son rôle dans les négociations inter-maliennes et souhaitons que ces dernières permettent d’aboutir à une paix durable.

 

Nous nous concertons également étroitement sur la Libye. Nous apportons notre plein soutien à la médiation engagée par M. Bernardino León, qui doit parvenir rapidement, avec le concours de toutes les parties libyennes, à une stabilisation du pays.

 

SOURCE 

France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


 

An additional SEK 400 million for the fight against Ebola and humanitarian disasters

 

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, October 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Government today decided to earmark an additional SEK 400 million from funds for development assistance in Africa for extraordinary measures to combat the Ebola outbreak (SEK 250 million), but also for the humanitarian crises in Syria, Iraq and other parts of the world (SEK 150 million).

The Government recognises major needs in terms of the fight against Ebola and humanitarian crisis areas such as Iraq and Syria. More than one hundred million people around the world are currently in an extremely vulnerable situation and are in need of humanitarian support.

“The Government wants to see a strong UN in efforts to combat Ebola. The UN is doing its coordinating work well and we want to make an additional contribution to that work. We want to provide financial support, but we are also pleased that Sweden, via the expertise and global networks of Anders Nordström, is able to make this crucial contribution to efforts to combat Ebola,” says Ms Lövin.

Through today’s decision the Government is providing additional funds of up to SEK 250 million for the fight against Ebola. This support will go to the UN’s coordinating role and to action being taken by African organisations. The total Swedish support to combat Ebola following today’s decision amounts to SEK 489 million. Sweden is also seconding Anders Nordström, Ambassador for Global Health, to work together with UN special envoy David Nabarro to secure continued international political engagement and coordination of resources.

“The spotlight in the news has shifted slightly as a result of the Ebola outbreak. However, this does not change the fact that there are still many extremely serious crises occurring in other parts of the world. The Government is taking a holistic approach and providing support to both the fight against Ebola and humanitarian operations where they are needed,” says Minister for International Development Cooperation Isabella Lövin.

 

SOURCE 

Sweden – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 23 October 2014

Ten million childhood disabilities prevented in campaign to end polio – UNICEF


 

Ten million childhood disabilities prevented in campaign to end polio – UNICEF

 

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Every day, a thousand or so children have been protected from disability during a 26-year global effort to eradicate polio. The worldwide campaign has immunised millions of previously-unreached children across the globe, UNICEF said on the eve of World Polio Day.

 

Some 10 million people today would otherwise have been paralysed, while an additional 1.5 million lives have been saved through the routine administration of Vitamin A during polio vaccination drives.

 

The annual number of polio cases has fallen from 350,000 in 1988, to 416 in 2013, and 243 so far this year – an extraordinary drop of more than 99 percent. All but three countries where polio was firmly entrenched – Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan – have eliminated the virus within their borders. And multiple outbreaks have been contained over the past 26 years.

 

“In 1988 polio was a leading cause of childhood disability,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “In country after country since then, a generation of children has grown up without the spectre of polio.”

 

“The success of the eradication effort – reaching some of the most disadvantaged communities in some of the most dangerous circumstances – proves that it is possible to reach all children,” Lake added. “Our most ambitious and audacious goals for children can be met. And if they can be, they must be.”

 

Nigeria has had only 6 cases this year, down from 49 in 2013. Afghanistan has reduced transmission to very low levels, with most cases linked to Pakistan. With 187 cases already reported this year, Pakistan is now the world’s largest remaining reservoir of polio.

 

While polio remains endemic in only three countries, it continues to pose a risk to children everywhere, especially in countries which have not made routine immunization a priority, like South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Ukraine. Outbreaks in Syria, Iraq, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Somalia can be traced to Pakistan and Nigeria.

 

UNICEF procures 1.7 billion doses of oral polio vaccine to reach 500 million children every year. And UNICEF’s social mobilisation work helps persuade families to accept the vaccine when it reaches them. Intensive efforts over the past decade have seen acceptance of the polio vaccine at their highest levels ever in countries where polio remains endemic.

 

“The world has never been closer to this once-in-a-generation opportunity of eradicating polio for good,” Lake said. “Every child deserves to live in a polio-free world.”

 

SOURCE 

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Posted by: africanpressorganization | 23 October 2014

FACT SHEET: The U.S. Government’s Response to Ebola at Home and Abroad


 

FACT SHEET: The U.S. Government’s Response to Ebola at Home and Abroad

 

WASHINGTON, October 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — At the President’s direction, the U.S. Government is coordinating and operationalizing a comprehensive strategy to respond to the threat of Ebola here at home, enhance our broader domestic preparedness, and contain the epidemic in West Africa.

 

The President’s priority is the health and safety of Americans, and he has directed his team to take all necessary steps to stop the chain of transmission and address any shortcomings that come to light. Over the longer-term, we recognize that the only way to prevent additional cases at home will be to contain and end the epidemic at its source in West Africa.

 

Enhancing Our Domestic Preparedness

 

The President has remained focused on strengthening our coordination with and support for state and local officials in Dallas, Texas, as we also enhance our broader nationwide preparedness.

 

In recent days, the administration has announced:

 

New screening measures and travel restrictions: Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), implemented enhanced screening measures at five airports around the country—New York’s JFK, Newark, Dulles, Atlanta, and Chicago. As of today, all passengers arriving in the United States from or through one of the three countries will be required to fly into one of these five airports that have the enhanced screening and additional resources in place. Passengers flying into one of these airports whose travel originated in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea are subject to secondary screening and added protocols, including having their temperature taken, before they can be admitted into the United States. At present there are no direct, non-stop commercial flights from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea to any airport in the United States.

 

New active post-arrival monitoring: CDC today announced that, in addition to exit screening and enhanced entrance screening as an added safeguard, state and local public health authorities will begin active post-arrival monitoring of all passengers whose travel originates in Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea and who arrive in airports conducting enhanced screening. Under this protocol, state and local health officials will maintain daily contact with all travelers from the three affected countries for the entire 21 days following their last possible date of exposure to Ebola virus. Active post-arrival monitoring will begin next week in the six states where approximately 70 percent of incoming travelers are located: New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, and Georgia. State authorities have agreed that active post-arrival monitoring will begin in the rest of the states in the days following.

 

Specifically, state and local authorities will require travelers to report:

 

Their temperature daily;

The presence or absence of other Ebola symptoms, such as headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite, or abnormal bleeding; and,

Their intent to travel in-state or out-of-state.

Tightening of protocols: The CDC team has made specific improvements in the areas of personal protective equipment and infection control guidance, focusing on no skin exposure, rigorous training, and a trained monitor who watches healthcare workers take on and off personal protective equipment (PPE).

 

Dedicated Response Team: CDC is creating dedicated CDC response teams – an Ebola “SWAT” team – that could be on the ground within a few hours at any hospital that receives a confirmed patient with Ebola to assist hospitals.

 

Enhanced training and outreach: CDC is doing enhanced training designed to educate all of the relevant stakeholders, from frontline healthcare workers to hospital executives as well as local officials, on the lessons-learned from Dallas and how to respond to a potential Ebola case. Thousands of officials have taken part in these sessions, which will continue going forward.

 

Department of Defense (DoD) Medical Support Team: As an added prudential measure to ensure our nation is ready to respond quickly, effectively, and safely in the event of additional Ebola cases, Secretary Hagel has ordered his Northern Command Commander to prepare and train a 30-person expeditionary medical support team that could, if requested by the Department of Health and Human Services, provide short-notice assistance to civilian medical professionals in the United States. The team will consist of 20 critical care nurses, 5 doctors trained in infectious disease, and 5 trainers in infectious disease protocols.

 

Ensuring Federal, State, and Local Coordination: In order to ensure the Dallas response is able to leverage effective coordination between the federal, state, and local levels in Dallas—as well as with frontline healthcare workers—the administration, working closely with state and local Texas officials, has deployed a White House liaison to Dallas and appointed a FEMA coordinator to ensure all federal assistance is meeting the needs on the ground.

 

We also have facilitated the coordination and expertise of the Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Department of Transportation with state and local authorities to ensure the Ebola-contaminated materials are treated, packaged, transported and destroyed safely and efficiently.

 

Ongoing U.S.-Led International Response to Stop Ebola in West Africa

 

Just as we fortify our domestic health infrastructure, the Administration has led an international coalition to stamp the virus out at its source in West Africa. The response leverages a civilian-led whole-of-government effort that calls upon the unique capabilities of the U.S. military to help bring the epidemic under control. We have been at this since March, when the first cases were reported, and we have scaled up that effort since:

 

Deployment of key medical and expert personnel: The United States has deployed to West Africa more than 170 civilian medical, healthcare, and disaster response experts from multiple U.S. government departments and agencies, some of whom are part of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Disaster Assistance Response Team.

Scaling-up the DoD presence: DoD announced the planned deployment of 3,200 troops, including 1,100 in the next two weeks. More than 600 U.S. military personnel are now in the region, and the total troop commitment will depend on the requirements on the ground. Personnel from the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center continue to operate three mobile medical labs, which provide 24-hour turnaround results on samples.

U.S. financial support: The United States has obligated more than $300 million toward fighting the outbreak in West Africa and announced its intentions to devote more than $1 billion to the whole-of-government Ebola response effort, by far the largest investment by any donor.

International financial support: This financial commitment had helped us galvanize support from international partners. Since the President’s speech at the CDC in mid-September, countries and international organizations have pledged more than $800 million to the effort, while also committing significant contributions of personnel, aircraft, and resources on the ground.

New hospital for infected workers: DOD is finishing construction of a hospital for infected medical workers, which will be operational and staffed by U.S. Public Health Service officers starting in November.

Progress on Ebola Treatment Units: The U.S. military is overseeing the construction of up to 17 100-bed Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs) in Liberia. The construction of three ETUs is underway, and they will be completed in November. The U.S. government also supports the construction of several ETUs by international NGOs in Liberia.

Community Outreach and Safe Burials: U.S. support helps to inform, educate and better equip communities to protect themselves and their loved ones against Ebola. Additional U.S. support has helped Liberia increase to 65 the number of safe burial teams working across every county to safely and respectfully dispose of bodies, largely reducing a primary vehicle of transmission of the disease.

 

SOURCE 

The White House


 


 

UN Secretary General’s Humanitarian Envoy and UN High Commissioner for Refugees praise Sudan for generously welcoming South Sudanese refugees

 

KHARTOUM, Sudan, October 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — United Nations Secretary-General’s Humanitarian Envoy Abdullah al Matouq and UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres returned yesterday from a visit to Sudan’s White Nile State, where more than 50,000 South Sudanese refugees currently reside in 4 sites. They visited the Joda border crossing through which the majority of the South Sudanese refugees have arrived in White Nile State and went to Al Alagaya refugee site, which hosts over 8,000 refugees. There they saw firsthand the living conditions of refugees who are fleeing insecurity and violence in South Sudan and seeking safety in Sudan.

“The refugees who have fled to Sudan from South Sudan are in an utterly desperate situation. They have lost their homes, their livelihoods and their loved ones,” said Mr. Guterres. “We are extremely grateful to the Government of Sudan and its people for the hospitality they continue to extend to South Sudanese refugees. We need to collectively build on these efforts and ensure that they can be sustained in order to not only support the refugee response but also mitigate the impact this large influx has had on Sudanese host communities. I am therefore appealing to the donor community for further financial support to ensure we have the means to respond to the continued influx from South Sudan,” he said.

In the Sudanese capital Khartoum today, Dr. al Matouq and Mr Guterres met with H.E. the President of the Republic Field Marshall Omar al Bashir and Government Ministers to discuss ways in which the international humanitarian community can strengthen its partnerships with the Government to improve cooperation on humanitarian assistance across Sudan, including for the South Sudan refugee crisis.

“The humanitarian challenges in Sudan are immense,” said Dr. al Matouq. “The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in Sudan has risen by 800,000 since the start of 2014 (as of July 2014). This is in addition to some 6.1 million people who required humanitarian assistance at the beginning of 2014. We all must ensure that Sudan remains in the mind of those who can help make a difference,” he said.

Dr. al Matouq and Mr. Guterres thanked the Government of Sudan for their part in assisting refugees from South Sudan, but expressed concern that as conflict continues in South Sudan the number of people fleeing to Sudan will likely grow much higher. As such, Mr. Guterres emphasized the need for adequate planning for the increased numbers, particularly by allocating additional land for refugee sites and ensuring proper site planning. In his meetings, Guterres also highlighted the need for South Sudanese to be afforded a status grounded in a recognized legal framework that would give effect to the expressed Government position that South Sudanese are brothers and sisters and which would accord access to rights and adequate assistance in Sudan. For this registration and documentation would be key and UNHCR stands ready to support the Government of Sudan. He added that in addition to the new influx of refugees, UNHCR will continue to work with the Government and the international community to find solutions for the estimated 90,000 refugees in East Sudan living in a protracted situation, many of whom have been in Sudan for decades. He also congratulated the Government of Sudan for its leadership in hosting the African Union Regional Conference on Trafficking and Smuggling and its resolute efforts to combat this phenomenon in Sudan.

“I have been encouraged by the prospect of close cooperation between the Government, the UN, and humanitarian agencies on the ground… Humanitarian agencies operating in Sudan are here to support the Government of Sudan assist people in urgent need of help. Removing restrictions on access for humanitarian workers will permit an expansion of current efforts to support the Government’s response to those in need,” said al Matouq. In this regard, Dr. al Matouq and Mr. Guterres expressed their satisfaction at the commitment received from the Sudanese authorities to remove all obstacles for humanitarian organizations to work in Sudan. “These reassurances are extremely important to enhance donor confidence which we desperately need in a constrained global funding environment. It is only through continuous dialogue and mutual understanding between the Government of Sudan and the international community working in Sudan that it will be possible to give effect to the principles of international solidarity and responsibility sharing”.

Over 100,000 refugees have arrived in Sudan since the outbreak of violence in South Sudan in mid-December last year, with nearly 1,000 new refugees arriving every week. The growing number of refugees further compounds a deteriorating humanitarian situation across Sudan. In Darfur alone, over 400,000 people have been displaced since the beginning of the year, placing significant strain on the delivery of humanitarian services.

 

SOURCE 

UNITED NATIONS


 

Déplacement au Sénégal de M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, ministre de la Défense de la République française, les 23 et 24 octobre 2014

 

PARIS, France, 23 octobre 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Jean-Yves Le Drian, ministre de la défense et son homologue espagnol, monsieur Pedro Morenés Eulate, conduiront une visite au Sénégal les jeudi 23 et vendredi 24 octobre 2014 avant de se rendre au Mali.

Le vendredi matin leur seront présentés les détachements français et espagnols présents à Dakar sur la base aérienne de Senghor militaire.

Jean-Yves Le Drian et Pedro Morenés Eulate s’entretiendront ensuite avec le ministre des Forces armées sénégalais, Augustin Tine. Ils seront également reçus en audience par le Président de la République du Sénégal, Macky Sall. Il sera notamment question du Forum de Dakar sur la paix et la sécurité en Afrique, prévu les 15 et 16 décembre prochains.

Les ministres français et espagnol se rendront ensuite au Mali, dans le cadre de la passation de commandement de la Mission Européenne d’Entrainement au Mali (EUTM) et la question de la formation européenne des forces armées maliennes.

 

SOURCE 

France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


 

Democratic Republic of Congo – Awarding of the Sakharov Prize to Dr. Denis Mukwege (October 21, 2014)

 

PARIS, France, October 22, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — France welcomes the European Parliament’s decision to award the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Dr. Denis Mukwege.

 

Through this award, the European Parliament pays tribute to Dr. Mukwege’s tireless and courageous commitment to providing the care and psychological support needed by women who have been victims of sexual violence. His hospital in Bukavu is an example of concrete action in a region where atrocities are committed against women on a continuous basis and where these atrocities amount to war crimes.

 

France has been supporting Dr. Mukwege’s action for several years and stands alongside all victims of this unacceptable violence. It hopes that the bestowal of this prize will encourage all parties to take decisive action to combat the impunity of perpetrators of sexual violence, who must be brought to justice.

 

SOURCE 

France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


 

Le président du Conseil européen Herman Van Rompuy et le président de la Commission européenne José Manuel Barroso félicitent M. Denis Mukwege, Lauréat du Prix Sakharov pour 2014

 

BRUXELLES, Royaume de Belgique, 22 octobre 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Nous félicitons très chaleureusement le Dr Denis Mukwege, Lauréat du Prix Sakharov pour 2014.

Nous nous réjouissons de la décision prise par le parlement européen de reconnaître le travail si riche d’inspiration et si résolu du Docteur Denis Mukwege, gynécologue et directeur de l’Hôpital Panzi à Bukavu (République Démocratique du Congo).

La lutte contre les violences sexuelles dans les conflits armés demeure un enjeu de la plus haute importance. L’action du Dr. Mukwege a non seulement allégé les souffrances de milliers de victimes des plus graves violations des droits de l’homme, mais il a surtout rendu la dignité aux milliers de femmes victimes de violences sexuelles. Ainsi, il fait face, sur une base quotidienne, aux conséquences tragiques du conflit dans la région des Grands Lacs, conflit dont la résolution durable est une priorité absolue pour l’UE.

Au cours des dernières années, la contribution du Dr Mukwege, tant sous forme d’assistance médicale que psychologique, a été incalculable. Nous saluons son courage personnel et sa campagne incessante en faveur de la paix. Nous félicitons le Dr Mukwege comme ceux qui

travaillent avec lui.

 

SOURCE 

European Union


 

Les Etats-Unis profondément préoccupés par l’expulsion de la RDC du responsable des Droits de l’Homme de la MONUSCO

 

WASHINGTON, 22 octobre 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Déclaration de MARIE HARF, porte-parole adjointe du Département d’Etat : Les États-Unis sont profondément préoccupés par la décision du Gouvernement de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC) d’expulser le directeur du Bureau conjoint des droits de l’homme des Nations Unies (BCNUDH) en RDC en raison d’un rapport publié par le BCNUDH faisant état de graves violations commises par certains membres des forces de sécurité de la RDC qui ont abouti à 9 décès et 32 disparitions forcées. Nous demandons instamment au gouvernement de la RDC de revenir sur sa décision.

 

L’Organisation des Nations Unies joue un rôle essentiel en contribuant à la sécurité et au bien-être du peuple congolais, notamment par la MONUSCO, ses activités humanitaires, et son appui à la bonne gouvernance, à la démocratie et les droits humains. La MONUSCO est spécifiquement mandatée par le Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU de préparer des rapports réguliers sur l’état des droits de l’homme en RDC. Les Etats-Unis réaffirment leur ferme soutien aux travaux de l’ONU et son engagement à lutter contre l’impunité face aux violations des droits de l’homme.

 

Nous exhortons le gouvernement de la RDC à enquêter sur les allégations d’exécutions extrajudiciaires et de disparitions forcées par certains membres de ses forces de sécurité mises en évidence dans le rapport du BCNUDH et de faire en sorte que les responsables rendent des comptes.

 

SOURCE 

US Department of State


 

L’Union africaine préoccupée par le regain de violence en Libye / Le Groupe international de contact pour la Libye tiendra sa réunion inaugurale mi-novembre 2014

 

ADDIS ABEBA, Ethiopie, 22 octobre 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ La Présidente de la Commission de l’Union africaine (UA), Dr. Nkosazana-Dlamini Zuma, continue de suivre de près l’évolution de la situation en Lybie. Elle note avec une profonde préoccupation le regain de violence en différentes régions du pays, notamment à Benghazi, à l’Est, et dans le Djebel Gharbi, dans l’Ouest.

 

La Présidente de la Commission réitère la conviction de l’UA qu’il n’y a pas de solution militaire à la crise actuelle. Elle lance à nouveau un appel pressant aux parties libyennes pour qu’elles mettent un terme à la violence et s’engagent de bonne foi dans un dialogue national inclusif en vue de surmonter leurs divergences et de promouvoir durablement la paix et la réconciliation.

Dans ce cadre, la Présidente de la Commission souligne l’importance de l’initiative prise par l’Algérie en vue de faciliter la tenue d’un dialogue inter libyen qui offre une réelle opportunité pour faire avancer la recherche d’une solution négociée. Elle lance un appel à tous les acteurs internationaux concernés pour qu’ils apportent tout le soutien nécessaire en vue du succès de cette initiative. Elle saisit cette occasion pour marquer son appréciation des efforts louables que déploient les Nations unies, tant à travers le Secrétaire général Ban Ki-moon qu’à travers son Représentant spécial en Libye, Bernardino Léon.

La Présidente de la Commission réaffirme l’engagement de l’UA, dans le cadre des décisions pertinentes du Conseil de Paix et de Sécurité (CPS), à continuer à appuyer les efforts de paix en Libye. À cet égard, et dans le prolongement du communiqué du CPS du 23 septembre 2014, la Commission est en train de prendre les dispositions nécessaires pour la tenue, mi-novembre 2014, à Addis Abéba, de la réunion ministérielle inaugurale du Groupe international de contact pour la Libye (GIC-L), dont l’objectif est de favoriser un engagement international coordonné en appui à la recherche de la paix et de la promotion de la réconciliation en Libye.

 

SOURCE 

African Union Commission (AUC)

Older Posts »

Categories