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Archive for February 23rd, 2012

Dear World leaders: International Criminal Court ignoring victim(s) application form

Posted by African Press International on February 23, 2012

   Kobla Carbonu

Dear World leaders

I the undersigned dispatched filled victim(s) application form to the international criminal court dated 30/8/11 claiming against John Agyekum kufour and professor Evans Atta Mills of the presidency, office of parliament of Ghana ,six supreme court justices including the chief justices, office of council of state,( the electoral commission ) for condoning ,abetting, providing aid and comfort to human right abusers who course human right abuse through or by alteration ,abrogation, and or overthrow of the 1992 constitution or part of it,leading to TREASON and fraudsters, including fraudsters in Ghana commercial bank , Bank of Ghana presenting fraudulent annual financial statements. drug trafficking and armed rubbery etc. British and America government officials are accessories to this crime..United Nations(human right council) was notified in 2005, victims received no effective response ,
All attempt to get the international criminal court to confirm receipt or otherwise of the victim(s) application form including letter dated 10/3/9 and 9/13/11 email to OPJC@icc-cpi.int prove futile . Please add your voice to our call and to the international criminal court and to the international community (the media in Ghana have abandon us)
( by our laws the defendants above and their specified agents are living illegality leading government business at your risk)

(addressed to head of Governments of states)

By Kobla Carbonu
p o box md 124
madina -Accra-Ghana
mobile (233)0244938277/027825419/0266251114
E-mail : kcarbonu@yohoo.com

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Côte d’Ivoire: the ICC Judges expand the scope of the investigation to the 2002-2010 period

Posted by African Press International on February 23, 2012

Situation: Côte d’Ivoire

On 22 February 2012, Pre-Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided to expand its authorisation for the investigation in Côte d’Ivoire to include crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court allegedly committed between 19 September 2002 and 28 November 2010.

The Chamber considered that the violent events in Côte d’Ivoire in this period (including the events since 28 November 2010) are to be treated as a single situation, in which an ongoing crisis involving a prolonged political dispute and power-struggle culminated in the events in relation to which the Chamber earlier authorised an investigation. Concentrating on the most significant of the samples of incidents, the Chamber concluded that there is reasonable basis to believe that, in the course of these events, acts of murder and rape that could amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity were committed.

The Chamber had, on 3 October 2011, granted the Prosecutor’s request to commence an investigation in Côte d’Ivoire with respect to alleged crimes committed since 28 November 2010, as well as with regard to crimes that may be committed in the future in the context of this situation. In that decision, Pre-Trial Chamber III, composed of Judges Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi (presiding), Adrian Fulford and Elizabeth Odio Benito, requested the Prosecutor to revert to the Chamber with any additional information available to him on potentially relevant crimes committed between 2002 and 2010. On 4 November 2011, the Prosecutor complied with the Chamber’s order.

 

End

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The DRC has an estimated 80 million hectares of arable land

Posted by African Press International on February 23, 2012

DRC: Untapped potential – some data

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) boasts sufficient arable land and water sources to produce food well beyond its own needs, yet it has the world’s highest rates of malnutrition, as the following data illustrate:

80m: hectares of arable land.

90 percent: Proportion of arable land not cultivated, largely due to insecurity preventing access to fields and markets.

69 percent: Prevalence of under-nutrition in the DRC; up from 26 percent in 1990-92. Under-nutrition includes being underweight for one’s age, too short for one’s age (stunted), dangerously thin (wasted) and deficient in vitamins and minerals (micronutrient malnutrition).

61.1 percent: Proportion of preschool-age children suffering from a subclinical deficiency of Vitamin A.

50 percent: Proportion of the population suffering deficiency in nutrients such as vitamins B12 riboflavin, iron, Vitamin E, folate and zinc. 

48 percent: Cases of infant mortality due to malnutrition. 

45.8 percent: Children of low height for their age.

28.2 percent: Children underweight for their age.

14 percent: Children of low weight for their height.

10-18 percent: Acute malnutrition rates recorded in 53 of DRC’s 87 territories. Acute malnutrition is caused by a sudden, drastic reduction in nutritional intake.

544 kcal: Drop in food supply per capita per day comparing 1992 and 2007 (2,195 kcal and 1,651 kcal, respectively). The recommended calorie intake per person per day is 1,940 calories for women and 2,550 calories for men. For the average child, the recommended daily calorie intake ranges from 1,715 to 1,970 for boys, and from 1,545 to 1,740 for girls.

39.5 grams: Average daily protein intake in DRC. 

77 grams: Global average daily protein intake.

Sources: International Food Policy Research Institute, Resource-Rich Yet Malnourished; IFPRI’s Global Hunger Index; FAO; WFP; UNICEF 

aw/cb source www.irinnews.org

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NGOs providing services

Posted by African Press International on February 23, 2012

ZIMBABWE: More NGO bannings feared

A mother brings her baby for a measles vaccination in Masvingo province in 2009

HARARE, 17 February 2012 (IRIN) – Twenty-nine NGOs providing services ranging from alleviating food insecurity to assisting the disabled in Zimbabwe’s Masvingo Province have been banned, sparking fears that this could be the start of a new wave of restrictions like the blanket ban placed on the activities of civil society organizations during the violent and disputed parliamentary and presidential elections in 2008.

Titus Maluleke, Governor of Masvingo Province and member of President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party, announced the immediate banning of the NGOs on 14 February, claiming that they had failed to register with his office.

‘‘What has happened in Masvingo can easily spread to other provinces, with undesirable consequences,’’ Abel Chikomo, director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, said at a hastily convened media briefing in the capital, Harare, on 16 February.

A joint statement on behalf of various civil society organizations – including the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), the Crisis In Zimbabwe Coalition, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, the National Association of Non Governmental Organizations (NANGO), the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights – said Maluleke’s actions were “blatantly illegal…and are a nullity at law.”

“The law in this country clearly shows that he has no regulatory authority; nor does he have the power to register or de-register NGOs. Even the Provincial Council that he heads in terms of the Provincial Councils and Administration Act does not have regulatory powers over NGOs. The council exists solely to foster developmental projects initiated and carried out by central government and local government,” the joint statement said.

‘‘The governor’s rash and ill-advised utterances merely seek to confuse matters and are regrettably likely to worsen the humanitarian crisis in Masvingo Province. This is because the list of organizations he seeks to ban includes NGOs that are currently providing food, medication, water and other social and economic support [services] to the community.’’

The civil society organizations urged the affected NGOs to “ignore the [banning] order by the governor”.

Maluleke’s banning order – made in the presence of senior army and police officials – was accompanied by what has become a repeated claim by ZANU-PF that civil society is collaborating with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, which in turn is a front for Western governments.

Operating in fear

Harassment, detention and arrests of NGO workers are common, even when they are not banned. NGOs were outlawed in the weeks leading up to the disputed 2008 elections when there was widescale food insecurity. Civil society organizations claimed the ban was instituted to prevent documentation of the political violence during the election period.

In the aftermath of the 2008 poll, Mugabe and Tsvangirai formed an uneasy government of national unity in 2009. Recently there have been growing calls by ZANU-PF for fresh elections, but the MDC wants certain guarantees, such as an overhaul of the voters’ roll and adoption of a new constitution, before assenting.

''It is clear that the move by the governor is linked to talk within ZANU-PF about holding elections this year''

Machinda Marongwe, of NANGO, said there was ‘‘a tense environment’’ in Masvingo. ‘‘Pronouncement of the ban has limited our movement in Masvingo.” An official of the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), which monitors human rights abuses, told IRIN: “There is so much fear among the NGOs.’’

“It is clear that the move by the governor is linked to talk within ZANU-PF about holding elections this year,” said the official, who declined to be named

“The party wants to monitor our movements but communities are the ones that will suffer most. ZANU-PF has used the tactic before, and soon other governors aligned to the [ZANU-PF] party will follow suit.”

fm/go/he
source www.irinnews.org

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A hundred years ago there was no way to treat tuberculosis (TB)

Posted by African Press International on February 23, 2012

HEALTH: Spending your way out of TB infection

TB patients waiting in a hospital in Khayelitsha, Cape Town

LONDON,  – A hundred years ago there was no way to treat tuberculosis (TB) except with rest, fresh air and nutritious food. Forty years later the discovery of antibiotics transformed treatment and TB has been a curable disease for more than half a century, but the disease still kills nearly 4,000 people a day. The goals set by the World Health Organization (WHO) to halve the incidence of TB by 2015 and eliminate it as a public health problem by 2050 seem far out of reach.
 
Mario Raviglione, the head of the WHO Stop TB department, told a meeting of TB experts in London on 15 February: “The incidence is coming down at one percent or so a year, which will ensure TB elimination in several millennia, in my perception.”
 
TB is a disease often associated with poverty because latent infections are more easily activated by malnutrition and lowered immune systems, and more quickly passed on in badly ventilated, overcrowded living conditions. As people in Western Europe got richer, ate better, and housing conditions improved, TB became increasingly rare, even before there were effective drugs to treat it.
 
Now there is interest in seeing whether a new generation of social protection schemes, aimed at reducing poverty and often using cash transfers to the poorest, can be harnessed to bring down the rate of TB in developing countries.
 
Brazil has achieved a steady decrease in TB and has halved the death rate since 1990, despite not achieving the conventional benchmarks for a successful control programme.
 
Draurio Barreira, who coordinates Brazil’s national programme, told the meeting: “To control TB they say we need to detect 70 percent of those infected, treat and cure at least 85 percent of those… and have default rates not bigger than 5 percent. In Brazil we haven’t reached many of these standards, but we have had very good indicators in TB for more than 15 years. So how we can explain that?”
 
He attributes the achievement to political commitment. “The big news was the transformation of social policy… by a real increase in minimum wage, and cash transfer programmes for the poor – in the last sixteen years poverty in Brazil decreased by 67 percent.” And, just as in Europe in the 1800s, as poverty declined, TB declined as well.
 
Cash works

A study in Malawi, also presented at the meeting, showed clear health benefits from even very modest cash transfers to the most disadvantaged households. A pilot scheme gave regular monthly payments to around 10 percent of households, ranging from just over $4 for an elderly person living alone, to nearly $13 for larger families. Children grew better and were less likely to be malnourished, there was less illness in these families and they had more choice of health providers, with the possibility of sometimes using private clinics.
 

''Social protection issues are fundamental in TB control, and that is why TB control now has to go beyond working with national TB programmes''

An evaluation of the pilot looked at what happened to recipients of cash transfers living with HIV and AIDS, and found the money was being used to pay for the more nourishing food they need to support drug treatment, and for transport to get their antiretroviral (ARV) medication. The effect on TB Patients was not specifically monitored, but the need for a better diet and the cost of travel for tests and to collect drugs also affects TB patients. “The impacts that we are seeing with these people living with AIDS and HIV could absolutely translate over to people living with TB,” says Candace Miller of Boston University, who presented the study.
 
The close association of TB with HIV infection and the emergence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) strains are modern complications since the days when eliminating poverty was enough to get rid of the disease. “[But] HIV-TB globally is 12 percent or 13 percent of all cases, so nearly 90 percent are not HIV related,” Raviglione told IRIN.
 
“If you go outside of Africa – and TB is 75 percent outside of Africa – it doesn’t have the same impact… 60 percent of TB is in Asia, and HIV has little to do with those [cases]. MDR-TB is mostly in the former Soviet Union. Multidrug-resistance is a big scare, but we are talking about less than five percent of all cases of TB – 95 percent are not drug resistant.”
 
Cash payments and incentives specifically aimed at TB patients are more problematic. A trial in South Africa offering shopping vouchers to patients who complied with the protracted drug regime found no clear difference in the success rate of their treatment. However, the trial was partly undermined by clinic staff who felt the vouchers should be given to the poorest, even those randomly selected for the control group.
 
This highlights another issue in targeting social support: the perceived unfairness of giving cash or food to people living with TB while denying it to those who – in the words of another speaker – were ‘sick and struggling’ with other diseases.
 
Targeted interventions may also not be very effective from the public health point of view. Peter Godfrey-Faussett of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, which hosted the meeting, argued that the problem with TB control was not the patients in treatment, even if they stopped taking their medicine. The people spreading TB were those who hadn’t been diagnosed but had symptoms and were infectious, and money would be better spent finding those cases and treating them.
 
Rather than targeting known TB sufferers, Brazil will now specifically target some of its anti-poverty programmes at the social groups where the disease is most prevalent to help control TB – the Afro-Brazilian and indigenous communities, those infected with HIV, and especially prisoners, ex-prisoners and the homeless.
 
In most countries the people designing social protection programmes do not prioritize TB control and the initial meeting this week is being followed by smaller working meetings on shifting the focus. “Social protection issues are fundamental in TB control, and that is why TB control now has to go beyond working with national TB programmes… they are too low in the hierarchical agenda of countries,” Mario Raviglione told IRIN.
 
“It is those above who set the real policies… we are talking about a quintessential disease of poverty, which is determined by a bunch of factors which go well beyond health.”
 
eb/he source www.irinnews.org

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