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Africa

Kicking off ‘Africa Week’ at UN, Guterres says women and youth can unleash continent’s potential

UN News Centre - Africa - Mon, 16/10/2017 - 21:07
Africa must focus on young people, empower women and girls, and be innovative in leveraging resources and financing for development, Secretary-General António Guterres said Monday as the United Nations kicked off Africa Week.
Categories: Africa

Lift protest ban, protect judiciary and preserve civil society role, UN rights experts urge Kenya

UN News Centre - Africa - Mon, 16/10/2017 - 07:00
Voicing concern over restrictions on protests as well as attacks on judiciary and civil society in the run-up to presidential elections in Kenya, a group of United Nations independent human rights experts called on the Government to honour its obligations and protect the rights of Kenyans.
Categories: Africa

UN chief condemns Saturday's attacks in Mogadishu; commends responders

UN News Centre - Africa - Sun, 15/10/2017 - 07:00
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today commended the first responders and residents of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, for mobilizing to aid in what is being called Somalia&#39s worst-ever bomb attack.
Categories: Africa

UN in Somalia condemns 'barbaric' bombings in Mogadishu

UN News Centre - Africa - Sat, 14/10/2017 - 07:00
The United Nations in Somalia strongly condemned today&#39s blasts in the capital, Mogadishu, which reportedly killed or injured dozens of people.
Categories: Africa

Central African Republic: UN Special Adviser condemns incitement of violence and hatred

UN News Centre - Africa - Fri, 13/10/2017 - 23:42
The United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide has strongly condemned provocation of ethnic and religious hatred armed groups and politicians in the Central African Republic and impressed the need for urgent, concerted and coordinated steps to end violence, defuse intercommunity tensions and alleviate the suffering of the civilian population.
Categories: Africa

Libya: UN agencies scale up response as fighting displaces thousands in Sabratha region

UN News Centre - Africa - Fri, 13/10/2017 - 19:53
United Nations relief agencies have upped their response in western Libya’s Sabratha region following intensification of conflict that has already driven over 15,000 people from their homes.
Categories: Africa

Human rights challenges in Libya ‘massive, but not insurmountable,’ UN rights chief says after visit

UN News Centre - Africa - Fri, 13/10/2017 - 02:01
After a brief mission to Libya, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Thursday said the Government “can and should” lead efforts to urgently address arbitrary detention, torture and other grave violations that must be brought to an end in the crisis-torn North African country.
Categories: Africa

S. African deputy president urges commitment to end S. Sudan war

Sudan Tribune - Thu, 12/10/2017 - 09:26

October 11, 2017 (CAPE TOWN) – South Africa's deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa as decried the “wasteful” war and violence, which has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions in South Sudan.

South Africa's Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa receives members of South Sudan's national dialogue committee in South Africa, July 2, 2017 (ST photo)

“The war has destroyed the country and the economy. For that reason our commitment to solving the crisis in SS [South Sudan] must also be irrevocable. War breeds hatred; it breaks down nations and makes people hate one another and it makes it difficult to engender reconciliation,” Ramaphosa told South Sudan's national dialogue steering committee members at a retreat held in South Africa on Tuesday.

“So it is important that the commitment to reconciliation be irrevocable,” he added.

Members of South Sudan's national dialogue steering committee, led by the committee's co-chair, Angelo Beda were in South Africa for a three-day retreat.

The South African government, its deputy president stated, has decided to consciously to deploy as many resources as possible for the people of South Sudan, including sharing their own experiences.

“Our bonds with SS [South Sudan] are deep and we remain hopeful that SS [South Sudan] will recover,” he said.

Ramaphosa, who intends to write a book, said it was important to know who the protagonists to the conflict are for it to be resolved.

“These are the entities that must sit down and negotiate this peace. These must not be lovey good-feeling interlocutors; rather they must be those who have been at each other's throats and who must sit down and negotiate their peace,” said the South African official.

But he said that the process must be underlined by trust and respect.

“Without trust there will be no way of resolving the problems and the challenges. Trust has to be built. Leaders must respect one another in their leadership positions and what they represent,” he stressed.

Ramaphosa, also the deputy chairman of the South Africa's ruling party (ANC), said he is optimistic the South Sudan crisis will be solved.

“I come from a process that looked unsolvable. When we started our process, I always knew we would be successful,” he stressed, but called for commitment from South Sudanese leaders involved in the country's peace process.

Officially launched in May, the national dialogue is both a forum and process through which the people South Sudan shall gather to redefine the basis of their unity as it relates to nationhood, redefine citizenship and belonging, as well as restructure the state for national inclusion.

Since December 2013, tens of thousands of people have been killed and over two million displaced in South Sudan's worst ever violence since its cessation from Sudan in July 2011.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

10,000 militiamen arrive in El-Fasher to establish security in N. Darfur

Sudan Tribune - Thu, 12/10/2017 - 08:15


October 11, 2017 (EL-FASHER) - North Darfur Governor Abdel Wahid Youssef Nahar has welcomed the arrival of 10,000 militiamen in his state saying the will contribute to establishing security in the troubled state.

North Darfur state recently witnessed a recrudescence of violence and kidnapping of foreign aid workers. Also, the state prepares to launch the second phase of the weapon collection operation which will be mandatory soon.

Speaking to the 10,000 elements of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) that arrived from Kordofan region, Governor Nahar said the force would work to support the weapon collection campaign, protect the border and to deal with the outlaws.

He further stressed his government's keenness to provide security as a top priority.

"The country will see a new dawn in the days ahead, and we want you to be a real addition to the security and stability process in the state," he said.

The governor added that another force is deployed in Kabkabiya district, to establish security and stability, and hailed the RSF contributions during the past period.

For his part, Maj. General Yahya Ali Mohamed, the RSF Commander in El-Fasher, said that the force will be part of the 6th Infantry Division of the Sudanese army in the North Darfur and will work side by side with it to achieve security and stability.

He emphasized that the RSF is a national force defending the homeland and protecting citizens.

Last Sunday 8 October, Unknown gunmen kidnapped at gunpoint a Swiss humanitarian worker, Margaret Schenkel, from her home in downtown El-Fasher, and fled to an unknown destination”.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

Rights body urges S. Sudan's warring parties on power sharing

Sudan Tribune - Thu, 12/10/2017 - 07:17

October 11, 2017 (JUBA) - The Centre for Peace and Justice (CPJ) has urged on South Sudan's warring parties not to focus on power sharing and division of wealth during the forthcoming peace revitalization forum being organized by the regional bloc (IGAD).

President Salva Kiir (L) and rebel leader Riek Machar (R) attend the signing a ceasefire agreement during an IGAD summit on the South Sudan crisis in Addis Ababa on 1 February 2015 (Photo: Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)

Consultations, IGAD said, will take place from 13-17 October.

However, the CPJ coordinator, Tito Anthony said focusing on power sharing will drive the discussion from solving the country's conflict to fulfilling interests of parties who may be interested in ministerial posts.

“If the discussion of upcoming revitalization forum will focus on power sharing, the agreement will not be reached soon to end the suffering on civil population as hundreds are dying on a daily basis by diseases, hunger and others being targeted killed by the two [warring] parties,” Tito said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

The official appealed to parties to be consulted by IGAD to reflect on the suffering of the civilian population in who live in the internally displaced camps and those sheltered at the United Nations bases.

“The citizens, who voted for independence of South Sudan, are now suffering as if the independent has been a curse,” stressed Tito.

He further added, “[South Sudanese] leaders should think about people not their interest, let them end the conflict and citizens will now chose because they now knew the true color of all politician. They will choose leaders out of experiences they had in the conflict”.

The CPJ official said it time for leaders to sacrifice themselves for the people of South Sudan during the upcoming revitalization forum to pave way for peace in a nation where tens of thousands have died.

“I urge the IGAD to stand firm in the process and guide the parties in the discussion because IGAD is entity that setting the agenda, approach the discussion from the soft to harder,” he further stated.

In June, a summit of IGAD heads of state and government decided to convene a meeting of the signatories of the South Sudan peace agreement to discuss ways to revitalize the peace implementation.

During the June summit, it was agreed that all groups be included in the discussion aimed at restoring a permanent ceasefire.

IGAD is an eight-member economic bloc that brings together Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda.

Over a million people have fled South Sudan since conflict erupted in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir sacked Machar from the vice-presidency. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and nearly two million displaced in South Sudan's worst ever violence since it seceded from Sudan in 2011.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

UN chief Guterres welcomes peaceful elections in Liberia

UN News Centre - Africa - Thu, 12/10/2017 - 07:00
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed Tuesday&#39s peaceful holding of the presidential and House of Representatives elections in Liberia and reiterated the continued support of the UN to the consolidation of peace and democracy in the West African country.
Categories: Africa

S. Sudan agrees on unified consultations: official

Sudan Tribune - Thu, 12/10/2017 - 06:50

October 11, 2017 (JUBA) – The various parties that make up South Sudan's coalition government have agreed on a joint consultation at the upcoming peace deal revitalization by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an official said on Wednesday.

South Sudan's information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth, speaks to reporters in Jonglei state capital Bor on 25 December 2014 (ST)

"We have already received the IGAD letter on revitalization and without prejudice to other parties to be consulted, we have agreed to be consulted as the TGoNU [Transitional Government of National Unity]," said South Sudan's information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth.

The High-Level Revitalization Forum takes place from October 13-17.

Consultations, according to the regional bloc, will begin with officials in the coalition government and include the other faction leaders.

Dhieu Mathok, a member of the armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) led by First Vice President Taban Deng Gai urged the need for a unified consultation instead of reaching out to separate individuals.

This call has, however, been opposed by member of the country's former political detainees who insisted on separate consultations to be held. Two of the ex-detainees serve in the coalition government.

In June, a summit of IGAD heads of state and government decided to convene a meeting of the signatories of the South Sudan peace agreement to discuss ways to revitalize the peace implementation.

During the June summit, it was agreed that all groups be included in the discussion aimed at restoring a permanent ceasefire.

Last week, IGAD unveiled the timetable for the revitalization forum to start consultations with South Sudanese leaders and the nation's citizens. The process, it said, begins on 13 October and ends on 17.

South Sudan government earlier warned that the revitalization forum by the regional bloc, which mediated the 2015 peace accord, should not be another platform for negotiations of the peace agreement between the two factions to the conflict.

IGAD is an eight-member economic bloc that brings together Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda.

Over a million people have fled South Sudan since conflict erupted in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir sacked Machar from the vice-presidency. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and nearly two million displaced in South Sudan's worst ever violence since it seceded from Sudan in 2011.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

Sudan, Egypt military officials discuss border monitoring

Sudan Tribune - Thu, 12/10/2017 - 06:35


October 11, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan's Defence Minister Awad Ibn Ouf Wednesday discussed with the visiting Egyptian military intelligence chief Mohamed Faraj El Shahat, ways to control and monitor the joint border between the two countries.

El Shahat is in Khartoum, in line with an agreement reached by the two defence ministers providing to hold regular meetings for the joint military committee to promote cooperation and coordination on border control.

In May 2017, Sudan had accused Egypt of providing armoured vehicles to Darfur rebels in an attack carried out from Libya.

"During the meeting, the (Sudanese) Minister of Defence stressed the need to combat arms smuggling and human trafficking across the border between the two countries," said a statement released in Khartoum.

Ibn Ouf further underscored the need to "establish points of transit and communication channels between the Sudanese armed forces and their Egyptian counterparts".

The meeting was attended by Gen. Gamal al-Din Omer Mohamed Ibrahim, head of Sudanese military intelligence.

Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour last June told reporters in Cairo that Sudan proposed to form joint border monitoring patrols to prevent human trafficking and protect the border.

Libya is a source of security concerns for both countries. Khartoum is worried by the presence of Darfur armed groups in eastern Libya as Cairo also seeks to prevent Jihadists in the troubled north African country from extending their activities inside Egypt.

Sudan and Chad agreed recently to enhance the joint patrols on the border with Libya after reports of the presence of Chadian opposition elements in Libya.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

Sudanese banks receive international transfers in U.S. Dollar: CBoS

Sudan Tribune - Thu, 12/10/2017 - 05:39

October 11, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) on Wednesday said the Sudanese banks have actually begun to receive international transfers in U.S. dollar.

U.S. Dollar bill

The U.S. Administration on Friday permanently lifted 20-year-old economic sanctions against Sudan citing positive actions on humanitarian access and counter-terrorism.

In a press release on Wednesday, the CBoS said money transfers in U.S. dollar started to flow from international banks to Sudanese banks following the lift of the trade sanctions.

According to the press release, two Sudanese banks on Tuesday have actually received international transfers from banks in the United States and Europe.

The permanent lifting of the sanctions ends a U.S. economic embargo on Sudan, removing longstanding restrictions on trade and financial transactions. It also permits U.S. companies to do business with oil and gas industries in Sudan.

Also, Sudan hopes its name would be removed from the U.S. list of states sponsor of terrorism. That designation carries its own penalties, including a ban on weapons sales and restrictions on U.S. assistance.

Sudan was placed on the terror list in 1993 over allegations it was harbouring Islamist militants working against regional and international targets.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

Sudan's inflation rise to 35,13% in September

Sudan Tribune - Thu, 12/10/2017 - 05:39

October 11, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan's Central Bureau of Statistics (CBoS) reported that inflation has increased to 35,13 % in September from 34,61 in August, a rise of 1.51%.

A vendor sells vegetables during Ramadan at a local market in north Khartoum August 3, 2012 (REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

Sudan's inflation rate continued to rise for fifteen consecutive months since April 2016.

According to the CBoS monthly bulletin on Wednesday, the twelve commodity and service groups contributed to the rise in inflation at varying rates.

The food and beverage group contributed to the overall price rise by % 22,91 while the clothing and footwear group share was 2,55%.

The contribution of the other groups was as follows: 1,59% for the health group, 0,96% for the communications group, 0,93% for the transportation group, 0,90% for the housing, water, electricity and gas group and 1,21% for the home appliances group.

On the other hand, the education group contributed 0,64%, the miscellaneous goods and services share was 0,84% while the restaurants and hotels group contributed 1,13% and the tobacco group share was 0,53%.

The CBoS pointed out that the general price index of the vegetables has increased by16,04 points, a rise of 2,11% from August.

The highest increase in the price index for goods and services in September was registered in North Kordofan State while the lowest was registered in the North State.

Prices and services have soared in Sudan since South Sudan seceded in 2011, taking with it three-quarters of the country's oil output, the main source of foreign currency used to support the Sudanese pound.

The Sudanese pound has lost 100% of its value since South Sudan's secession, pushing inflation rates to record levels given that country imports most of its food.
Ordinary citizens continue to complain from cost of living increases that impaired their access to basic commodities.

Last month, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the economic conditions in the east African nation remain challenging in the face of persistent fiscal deficits, high inflation, and economic sanctions.

It expected that weaker demand, partly due to a reduction in energy subsidies by the government in late 2016 would limit growth to 3,2% in 2017.

According to the IMF, the increase in the inflation rate was caused by the impact of higher energy prices and rapid monetary expansion to help finance large remaining subsidies.

It also expected the fiscal deficit to widen to 2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017, saying Sudan's international reserves would remain low.

Sudan hopes that the recent U.S. decision to lift the 20-year-old trade embargo would help improve the overall economic situation in the country.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

South Africa deputy president says admitting existence of problem part of solution

Sudan Tribune - Thu, 12/10/2017 - 05:39

October 11, 2017 (PRETORIA)- The deputy South African president has told the visiting members of the steering committee of South Sudan national dialogue that recognizing the existence of the problem becomes part of the solution.

Cyril Ramaphosa (File photo Reuters)

Cyril Ramaphosa, who was one of the key African National Congress (ANC) members in the negotiation team of the issues aimed at addressing the post-apartheid rule in South Africa, cited their own experience.

“The realization that we had a crisis as a country and that we needed to find a solution. That in itself was a major breakthrough. Sometimes you can live through problems and never realize that you have a problem; like someone who is ill and has lots of pains but doesn't realize there is a real problem. That was when we began to develop the secret that got us to where we are. It was a collective realization that the country was in crisis,” Ramaphosa told South Sudanese officials currently in the country on Tuesday.

The Apartheid regime, he said, had also realized that it had a problem requiring a solution instead of military solution which both sides have had tried without success instead it was worsening the situation.

“Once that had happened, we were able to move forward. Both sides realized they could not defeat each other. Over time they both thought they'd defeat the other (the ANC thought that through MK it would make the country ungovernable, and the NP (government) had a picture in their heads that they would defeat the ANC and that the ANC would be brought to its knees). We also needed to have an honest assessment of ourselves. Once you realize you have that kind of crisis you have to lead from the front,” he explained.

The South African official expressed optimism that the current conflict in South Sudan would end if the problem is identified and recognized; saying many people around the world saw the South Africa crisis at the time as being intractable and thought this would never be solved.

“Many people saw South Africa crisis as intractable and that Nelson Mandela would stay in jail and the ANC would never be unbanned. But there was this commitment that led to the recognition that if we have a crisis we need to talk amongst ourselves; the problem was then resolved”, he pointed out.

South Sudan's war, he said, was now intractable but it will end if the problem is identified and recognized.

“Your problem right now seems intractable. We have tried so much-IGAD, Arusha declaration etc. But we can solve this. I am a total believer that this is a crisis that can be solved. I come from a process that looked unsolvable. When we started our process, I always knew we would be successful. The same is true for Roelf. It requires that. It requires you as actors in this that this is going to be successful. You need to stay committed,” he said.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

New allegation of sexual abuse surfaces at UN mission in Central African Republic

UN News Centre - Africa - Thu, 12/10/2017 - 01:04
United Nations Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said Wednesday that the UN Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) reported it had received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor that took place in Bambari by UN peacekeepers.
Categories: Africa

Despite progress on voter registration, DR Congo faces challenges on election timeline – UN envoy

UN News Centre - Africa - Thu, 12/10/2017 - 01:01
The notion that elections would most probably not be held before the end of 2017 has regrettably led to the re-emergence of a climate of political uncertainty and tensions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a United Nations envoy for that country told the Security Council today.
Categories: Africa

SPLM-N al-Hilu denies disagreement over number of conference delegates

Sudan Tribune - Wed, 11/10/2017 - 08:35


October 10, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu (SPLM-N al-Hilu) denied reports that the delegates had been embroiled in a disagreement over the number of Blue Nile state representatives in the Extraordinary General Conference.

Nowadays, the rebel group is holding a an extraordinary conference to endorse its charter and constitution and to elect a new leadership after a rift last April over the right of self-determination for the Nuba Mountains.

Scheduled to kick off on 6 October, the meetings, however, began on Sunday amid reports of difference over the number of Blue Nile representatives in the conference. The reports insinuated that Nuba Mountains people wanted to have the upper hand in the conference.

However, Attiya Attroon Attiya the head of the Conference Media Committee refuted the claim, asserting that the meeting is taking place with the participation of South Kordofan and the Blue Nile delegates.

"Delegates for the Extraordinary General Conference have been chosen in accordance with the percentages agreed in the Election Regulations," Attiya said.

" We would like to assure the masses of the SPLM inside and outside Sudan, all the peoples of Sudan and forces of change in Sudan as well as SPLM friends, we assure that the conference has become a reality," he further added.

In a statement released on Sunday, the SPLM-N Nuba Mountains said held its general conference and elected 122 delegates to the Extraordinary General Conference.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

Wau state governor vows to protect foreign traders

Sudan Tribune - Wed, 11/10/2017 - 08:21

October 10, 2017 (WAU) - The governor of South Sudan's Wau state, Angelo Taban Biajo has vowed to protect all foreign traders operating in the region.

Biajo made these remarks after meeting with the Sudanese business community who mainly hail from Sudan's western region of Darfur.

“You traders work very hard and we have a relationship with you. Our responsibility is to protect all of you, whether you are citizens from Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia or Kenya in Wau”, said the governor.

He said it was the right of everyone living in Wau to live in harmony.

“You all know that we have just emerged from the war and we became a nation [and] so this country should not only be for South Sudanese citizens [but] for all. You all have right as civilians. There is a civil right and there is nothing wrong there”, further stressed Biajo.

The Sudanese business community welcomed the governor's assurance, re-affirming their commitment to support his administration by funding security operations using collections from trade unions.

In the past, however, Darfur business community in Wau have complained about night robberies targeting their properties, something the governor condemned and vowed to address.

(ST)

Categories: Africa

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