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CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC SANCTIONS COMMITTEE DRAWS ATTENTIONTO RECOMMENDATION IN PANEL OF EXPERTS INTERIM REPORT

Posted by African Press International on July 24, 2014

NEW YORK, July 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — On 21 July 2014, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2127 (2013) concerning the Central African Republic drew attention to the recommendation contained in paragraph 113 (b) of the interim report of the Panel of Experts on the Central African Republic dated 1 July 2014 (document S/2014/452), which is available on the Committee’s website:http://www.un.org/sc/committees/2127/panelofexperts.shtml.

Paragraph 113 [page 26] The Panel recommends that:

“(b) The Committee urge all parties, including countries of the Central African region, INTERPOL and regional and subregional organizations, to enhance information-sharing and joint action to investigate and combat regional criminal networks involved in the illegal exploitation of and trade in natural resources, including wildlife and wildlife products.”

 

SOURCE

UNITED NATIONS

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Switzerland commits a further CHF 500,000 to fight Ebola epidemic in West Africa

Posted by African Press International on July 24, 2014

BERN, Switzerland, July 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The SDC is allocating CHF 500,000 to support Médecins Sans Frontières-Switzerland (MSF-Suisse) in its work to combat the Ebola virus in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. This further contribution to MSF-Suisse is in addition to the annual amount the SDC gives to it and also to the World Health Organisation (WHO), which is coordinating the international response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

In view of the spread of the Ebola epidemic across West Africa, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has decided to allocate CHF 500,000 to supporting the work of MSF-Suisse. The contribution is in response to an appeal launched by the NGO. It will enable MSF-Suisse to strengthen the measures it is employing to stem the spread of the virus and to treat those infected in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three countries affected by the epidemic.

The SDC facilitated the work of MSF-Suisse in Liberia when the first cases of infection appeared in March, providing accommodation in its humanitarian programme office in Monrovia for several members of the NGO. The contribution of CHF 500,000 is in addition to the CHF 6 million donated by the SDC to MSF-Suisse in 2014 to support its programmes around the world

At the international level, the WHO is coordinating efforts to fight and prevent the spread of the Ebola epidemic. The WHO convened an emergency ministerial-level meeting in Accra at the beginning of July, with a view to stopping the spread of the virus as quickly as possible. The ministers present agreed that the current situation posed a serious threat for all the countries of the region and beyond, and the principle of coordinated action by all parties involved was adopted. Switzerland’s total contribution to the WHO in 2014 amounted to approximately CHF 12 million.

Detected in West Africa four months ago, this epidemic has surpassed all other cases of Ebola virus propagation recorded on the continent, in terms of numbers infected, deaths and geographic spread. To date over 1000 cases including more than 600 deaths were recorded in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. This is the first time the virus has spread across an entire region, reaching the major urban centres of Conakry and Monrovia, the respective capitals of Guinea and Liberia.

The SDC is continuing to monitor closely the situation on the ground via its network of partners and from its programme office in Liberia. Within Liberia, especially in Lofa County, which is the main centre of the epidemic, the SDC has undertaken several concrete measures to support the authorities and local partners, including emergency situation training for medical staff, distribution of protective material for health-care staff and support in disseminating preventive measures via printed brochures and local radio.

 

SOURCE

Switzerland – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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PS McLeod to Announce New Funding for Humanitarian Assistance for Children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Posted by African Press International on July 23, 2014

OTTAWA, Canada, July 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Ms. Cathy McLeod, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour and for Western Economic Diversification, will host a round table meeting on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH). She will be joined by Ms. Joyce Bateman, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre.

During the round table, PS McLeod will make an announcement on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, on additional humanitarian assistance to meet the needs of children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Date: Thursday, July 24, 2014

Time: 12 p.m.

Place: Fort Rouge Leisure Centre, 625 Osborne St., Winnipeg, Manitoba

 

SOURCE

Canada – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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MP Opitz to Make an Announcement Regarding Humanitarian Assistance in Somalia

Posted by African Press International on July 23, 2014

OTTAWA, Canada, July 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Ted Opitz, Member of Parliament (Etobicoke Centre), on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, will deliver remarks at an event in Etobicoke, Ontario.

During the remarks, MP Opitz will make an announcement regarding Canadian humanitarian assistance in Somalia.

Date: Thursday, July 24, 2014

Time: 6:45 p.m.

Place: St. Philip’s Lutheran Church 61 West Deane Park DriveEtobicoke, ON

 

SOURCE

Canada – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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Africa’s oil & gas sector continues to show substantial growth, despite regulatory uncertainty and corruption, according to PwC Review

Posted by African Press International on July 23, 2014

  • PwC’s ‘Africa oil & gas review’ analyses what has happened in the last 12 months in the oil & gas industry within the major African markets

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, July 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ The challenges facing oil & gas companies operating in Africa continue to be diverse and numerous fuelled by fraud, corruption, theft, poor infrastructure and a lack of skilled resources, among others. Regulatory uncertainty and delays in passing laws are severely inhibiting sector development in many countries around the continent. “Some key players have delayed or cancelled projects until further clarity can be sought in their respective jurisdictions as they cannot move forward with doubts given the long-term nature of the needed investments,” says Chris Bredenhann, PwC Africa Oil & Gas Advisory Leader (http://www.pwc.com).

“As a result of the number of challenges in the market, meticulous planning is required,” adds Bredenhann.

PwC’s ‘Africa oil & gas review’ analyses what has happened in the last 12 months in the oil & gas industry within the major African markets. The survey draws upon the valuable experience and views of industry players in Africa, including international oil companies operating on the continent, national oil companies, services companies, independent oil organisations and industry commentators, to provide insight into the latest developments affecting the industry.

The Review shows that the oil & gas industry in Africa continues to show substantial growth, with new hydrocarbon provinces developing at a significant pace. “Large gas finds in Mozambique and Tanzania have caused the world to take note of East Africa as an emerging player in the global industry,’ says Bredenhann.

Africa has proven natural gas reserves of 502 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) with 90% of the continent’s annual natural gas production of 6.5Tcf coming from Nigeria, Libya, Algeria and Egypt.

  • Developing the business

The major challenges identified by organisations in the oil & gas industry have remained largely unchanged with the top three issues of uncertain regulatory framework, corruption and poor physical infrastructure also identified as the biggest challenges in 2010 and 2012.

While uncertain regulatory frameworks remain a concern across the industry, Nigeria was one of the few countries where respondents did not consider it to be of the top-three challenges to developing the industry. According to the Review, this suggests that companies have accepted the lack of ratification of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which has been in the process of implementation for six years.

In other countries where uncertainty exists concerning the development or revision of energy policies, such as South Africa, DRC and Tanzania, respondents indicated that the uncertain regulatory framework was a significant impediment to developing an African oil & gas business.

The inadequacy of basic infrastructure also ranked much higher in the current Review than in prior years. Respondents are concerned about the lack of infrastructure in developing countries and the negative consequences this may have for their businesses, especially those operating in Nigeria, Namibia, Madagascar and South Africa. Taxation issues have also become a concern to companies across Africa as uncertain taxation as well as new tax laws have created an additional financial burden for companies.

  • Financing and Investing

Respondents indicated that their companies will largely be relying on their own cash flows to fund their own businesses over the next 12 months. E&P companies are funding their operations differently from the other industry players with less than 40% of funding coming from cash flow. This can largely be attributed to blocks and regions yet to come into production. For E&P companies, farm-outs are the second-most common form of financing in Africa, with around 100 farm-out deals being made across the continent during 2013.

E&P companies also stated that equity funding was more difficult during the course of 2012 and 2013; however, it has started to pick up momentum as investors look to Africa as a good place to invest despite a difficult year in the market. The industry has become one of the biggest sectors for merger and acquisition activities in Africa. On average, transactions worth USD1 billion occurred every 17 days in the oil & gas industry during 2013, with more activity expected as new licence rounds are opened up and regulatory uncertainty is removed.

  • Combatting fraud and corruption

No less than 90% of respondents indicated that their companies have anti-fraud and anti-corruption programmes in place. Of these, 54% believe that the programme is very effective at preventing or detecting fraud and corruption. Six percent of organisations indicated that their anti-fraud and anti-corruption programmes were ineffective, the same level as the 2012 research. More worrying is that 9% of the companies stated that they had no programmes in place at all.

  • Safety, health, environment and quality

Organisations identified safety, health, environment and quality (SHEQ) as the most significant factor that would affect their companies’ businesses over the next three years. “This is not a surprise as companies recognise the environment and human health and security as a pressing issue which, when viewed in conjunction with regulatory changes and poor infrastructure, will have resulted in their carefully assessing the risk and financial burden of working in certain areas,” adds Bredenhann.

  • Developing local skills and socio-economic growth

The mandate for local skills development has become a concern for businesses operating in the oil & gas sector throughout Africa. In 2012, the survey showed that 25% of the total workforce at respondents’ companies comprised expatriates. This year, the proportion of expatriates has dropped significantly – down to a mere 10.6% of the workforce surveyed.

Fortunately, most companies have been able to fill middle to senior management as well as specialist technical roles with locals from their host nations. Over 70% of companies acknowledged that skills, people training and development are among their top-five strategic priorities over the next five years. Bredenhann says: “This shows the importance that industry is placing on local content initiatives and the significance that skills development has on executive-level agendas.”

  • Operational excellence

New, small and agile, E&P, service and other companies as well as large multinationals should continue to find opportunities to operate efficiently and effectively, reduce cost and create stakeholder value through operational excellence.  Insufficient planning was noted as the most important internal factor hindering operational excellence for a business in the oil and gas industry. In Africa the reduction in the number of surprises, the need for good governance and realistic schedules were deemed necessary for cost management and improved operational efficiencies.

  • Sustaining growth and development

Governments and national oil companies play a significant role in sustaining growth and development in Africa’s oil & gas sector. Many African countries have a host of stringent laws and regulations that create challenges for companies and international investors to overcome. “Operational planning therefore needs to be carefully thought out, taking into account demand growth, infrastructure requirements, investment needs and potential, long-term strategies and the role of government if companies and countries want to sustain growth and development in Africa,” concludes Bredenhann.

……………………………

About PwC

PwC (http://www.pwc.com) firms help organisations and individuals create the value they’re looking for. We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 184,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Tell us what matters to you and find out more by visiting us at http://www.pwc.com.

 

SOURCE

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC)

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Passing of former ICC Judge Hans-Peter Kaul

Posted by African Press International on July 22, 2014

IN MEMORIAM

 

We are deeply saddened to announce that former International Criminal Court (ICC) Judge Hans-Peter Kaul passed away on 21 July 2014 after a period of serious illness, which led him to resign from the Court with effect from 1 July 2014.

“Judge Kaul’s death is an enormous loss for the ICC. He served as a role model, dedicating his career to reshaping international justice. Judge Kaul was a driving force in the creation of the Rome Statute, in the establishment of the ICC, and in many of the decisions rendered in the situations and cases before the Court in its history thus far. We will long remember him with respect and admiration on a personal and professional level, for his relentless commitment and extensive contributions to international justice”, said ICC President Judge Sang-Hyun Song.

The President of the Assembly of States Parties, Ambassador Tiina Intelmann, recalled “the vital contribution which Judge Kaul had made to the establishment of the Rome Statute system, both as head of the German delegation during the negotiations which culminated in the adoption of the Statute, as well as a member of the Court’s bench, where he leaves an important legacy of contributions to the jurisprudence of the Court. Judge Kaul will be remembered for his multi-faceted and unrelenting support to the cause of international criminal justice; he was also indefatigable in advancing the support for the amendments to the Rome Statute on the crime of aggression”.

National of Germany, Judge Kaul served as an ICC Judge for 11 years. In the first elections of ICC judges in February 2003, he was elected by the States Parties to the Rome Statute for a three-year term and assumed his duty on 11 March 2003. He was re-elected in 2006 for a further term of nine years. Judge Kaul was a member of the ICC’s Pre-Trial Division, serving as the Division’s President from 2004 to 2009, as well as from 8 April 2014 until his resignation. He contributed to important decisions in proceedings regarding situations in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Darfur (Sudan), the Central African Republic, Kenya, Libya and Cote d’Ivoire, and the related cases. From 2009 to 2012, he served as the ICC’s Second Vice-President.

Judge Kaul also served for several years on various committees related to the Permanent Premises: he was chairman of the Inter-Organ Committee on the Permanent Premises (2003-2008), the senior representative of the Court in the Jury of the International Architectural Design Competition, and contributed to the work of the Oversight Committee of States Parties, playing an important pioneering role in the process which eventually led to the planning and construction of the ICC’s future permanent home.

Judge Kaul made significant contributions to the development of the ICC and international law even before being elected as an ICC Judge. In 2002, he was appointed Ambassador and Commissioner of the Federal Foreign Office for the International Criminal Court. From 1996 to 2003 he participated as head of the German delegation in the discussions and negotiation process of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Previous to that, in his capacity as Head of the Public International Law Division of the Federal Foreign Office (1996 – 2002), he was responsible, inter alia, for several cases involving Germany which were before the International Court of Justice. He published extensively on the International Criminal Court and other fields of public international law.

Condolence books will be available at the lobby of the main entrance of the International Criminal Court (Maanweg 174, The Hague, Netherlands) and of the public entrance (Regulusweg, The Hague, Netherlands) from 23 to 25 July 2014. Messages of condolence can also be sent by letter to the President of the Court Judge Sang-Hyun Song and by email to: PublicAffairs.Unit@icc-cpi.int.

 

end

source: ICC

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Zone 9 Bloggers Charged by Ethiopian Court for Terrorism

Posted by African Press International on July 22, 2014

WASHINGTON, July 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Press Statement

Jen Psaki

Department Spokesperson

Washington, DC

July 18, 2014

 

The United States is deeply concerned by the Ethiopian Federal High Court’s July 18 decision to press charges against six bloggers and three independent journalists under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation.

We urge the Ethiopian government to ensure that the trial is fair, transparent, and in compliance with Ethiopia’s constitutional guarantees and international human rights obligations. We also urge the Ethiopian government to ensure that the trial is open to public observation and free of political influence.

We reiterate Secretary Kerry’s May 1 call on Ethiopia to refrain from using anti-terrorism laws as a mechanism to curb the free exchange of ideas. The use of the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation in previous cases against journalists, activists, and opposition political figures raises serious questions and concerns about the intent of the law, and about the sanctity of Ethiopians’ constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of the press and freedom of expression.

Freedom of expression and freedom of the press are fundamental elections of a democratic society. The arrest of journalists and bloggers, and their prosecution under terrorism laws, has a chilling effect on the media and all Ethiopians’ right to freedom of expression.

 

SOURCE

US Department of State

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A Year of “Firsts” as African Endeavor 2014 Kicks Off in Garmisch

Posted by African Press International on July 21, 2014

GARMISCH, Germany, July 15, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The opening ceremony for African Endeavor consisted of a roll call of nations with representatives, one at a time, standing and being recognized with a round of applause. But unlike the previous eight gatherings, this is the first time representatives from the United Nations, United Kingdom, Madagascar and USAID have participated. And it’s the first time in the history of African Endeavor that the exercise has been held somewhere other than Africa; this year gathering in Garmisch, Germany.

“I am really looking forward to being able to share our experiences with you, but more importantly, learning from your experiences across all the nations here and how we can better work alongside you in the future,” said first time participant COL. Craig Sutherland of the British Army.

According to organizers, however, the “who” and the “where” isn’t the biggest difference between African Endeavor 2014 (AE14) and all previous exercises. AE14 is heading in a new direction said COL. Patrick Dedham, Director of U.S. Africa Command’s (AFRICOM) Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems Directorate (J6).

“This is about taking it from the tactical and moving it towards the operational and strategic level where AFRICOM should be and working with the components to take over the tactical piece of African Endeavor so that we’re not doing African Endeavor once a year, we’re doing it throughout the year,” said Dedham.

Africa Endeavor is an AFRICOM sponsored communications exercise that focuses on information sharing and interoperability between African nations. Since it was first held in 2006, more than 1,700 communication specialists have attended. And with 32 African and European nations here, as well as representatives from the African Union, NATO, and the United Nations, it is easily AFRICOM’s most diverse exercise.

“It’s an incredible exercise. It’s a great collection of people that can really make a difference,” said Dedham.

Africa Endeavor’s primary objective is to increase the command, control and communications capacities of African nations by encouraging interoperable tactics, training and procedures, and creating documented standards that support interoperability. This allows African nations to provide critical support to the African Union and other forces involved in humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and peacekeeping missions.

“To be able to speak directly and frankly with one another so that we can improve our communications face-to-face and discuss what the problems, this is one of the best ways for us to respond to a crisis on the continent,” said LTC Khaled Ben Ammar of the Tunisia Armed Forces. “These situations demand a collective response so it’s very important we have this opportunity to meet in person.”

Over the course of the four day exercise, representatives will be split into five different regions and face two separate tabletop scenarios that will test their ability to develop a strategic and operation plan in response to a mock crisis.

“I hope they walk away with the knowledge of who to call, new relationships through networking, people they can call for help to coordinate and synchronize their efforts. I also want them to walk away with some good techniques, tactics and procedures that they can use at the strategic level to plan for contingency operations,” said Dedham.

 

SOURCE

U.S Africa Command

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Suspension of the Nigeria Football Federation lifted

Posted by African Press International on July 21, 2014

GENEVA, Switzerland, July 18, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — FIFA has on, 18 July 2014, lifted the suspension that was imposed on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on 9 July 2014 on account of interference.

FIFA has noted that the court proceedings and order preventing the president of the NFF, the NFF Executive Committee members and the NFF Congress from running the affairs of Nigerian football that prompted the suspension have been withdrawn.

As statutory order has been reinstated at the NFF and the legitimate bodies reinstalled, FIFA has decided to lift the suspension as of today, Friday 18 July 2014.

The lifting of the suspension means that all rights of the NFF as a FIFA member as defined in article 12 of the FIFA Statutes are reinstated.

 

SOURCE

International Federation of Football Association (FIFA)

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Three humanitarian workers released in North Darfur

Posted by African Press International on July 21, 2014

EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, July 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Three Sudanese humanitarian workers abducted in Kutum, North Darfur, on 18 June 2014, were freed today in the same locality after 32 days in captivity.

Mustafa Abdalla Adarge, working with UNICEF, and Mohamed Abu Elgassem and Ahmed Elsayed, working with the international NGO Goal, were immediately taken to the Mission’s hospital in Kutum, for medical checks. They appear to be unharmed and in good condition.

The African Union – United Nations Joint Special Representative for Darfur, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, expressed the Mission’s gratitude to the Government of Sudan, Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services and the Wali(Governor) of North Darfur for their valuable assistance in the safe release of the humanitarian workers. “The role of the humanitarian actors in Darfur is crucial to ensure that those in need received essential aid; it’s in everyone’s interest to guarantee that they can continue to carry out their duties safely,” the JSR said.

These three were among the 25 humanitarian workers who were taken by armed men in three separate incidents in Kutum locality on 18 June 2014. A total of 20 of them were released the same day, while two staff members of the national NGO Sustainable Action Group (SAG) were held in captivity for 14 days and released on 2 July 2014.

 

SOURCE

United Nations – African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)

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Minister Paradis Statement on Nelson Mandela International Day

Posted by African Press International on July 20, 2014

OTTAWA, Canada, July 18, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — We commemorate and honour the memory of Nelson Mandela. His extraordinary legacy in dismantling apartheid and leading national reconciliation in South Africa as its first elected black president is a testament to the values of democracy, human rights and freedom that can endure despite oppression.

As Canadians, we are privileged to live in a society built on these tenets. Our international development work, including our efforts in poverty reduction, is a clear reflection of the values of democracy, human rights and freedom that are fundamental to Canadians. Nelson Mandela paid tribute to these values when he became an honorary Canadian citizen in 2001: “Your [Canada's] respect for diversity within your own society and your tolerant and civilized manner of dealing with the challenges of difference and diversity had always been our inspiration.”

Nelson Mandela championed respect for children’s and women’s rights as intensely as he fought against apartheid, particularly in the area of HIV/AIDS. Thanks to his tireless work and campaigning to reduce mother-to-child transmission, significant progress in reducing the number of new HIV infections has been made. “Give a child love, laughter and peace, not AIDS,” he said. Canada is continuing this work. At the Saving Every Woman, Every Child Summit Prime Minister Stephen Harper released the Toronto Statement, which laid the groundwork to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children under the age of five within a generation, and committed an additional $3.5 billion in funding support.

Nelson Mandela also firmly believed that education is the foundation of democracy and that it is one of the most powerful tools for changing the world. That is why, on December 11, 2013, in memory of Nelson Mandela, Prime Minister Harper announced the creation of the African Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarships Fund. The fund, co-sponsored by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada and The MasterCard Foundation, will provide sub-Saharan African professionals with masters-degree-level scholarships to access high-quality academic and professional training in Canada to prepare them to assume leadership roles in key social and economic sectors in Africa. Proposals to manage the fund are currently under consideration.

Prime Minister Harper also launched the Canada Graduate Scholarships, which will be awarded to Canadian graduate students studying subjects, such as freedom and human rights, that marked the South African leader’s life. As the Prime Minister stated, “Nelson Mandela’s lasting legacy is the example he gave on his long march to freedom…his grace and humility throughout that walk…ensures that his remarkable example will inform others for generations.” Indeed, we should all continue to do our part to create a more secure, peaceful and equitable world—not just today, but every day hereafter.

 

Christian Paradis

 

Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

 

SOURCE

Canada – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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Norway condemns suicide attack in Afghanistan

Posted by African Press International on July 20, 2014

Almost 100 people are believed to have been killed and many more injured in a suicide attack at a market in Afghanistan on 15 July.  ‘This was a gruesome and totally unacceptable attack, which killed and maimed civilians in a public place. Norway has been in contact with the Afghan authorities and we have expressed our deepest condolences to the many victims and their families,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

The attack took place near a busy market in the Paktika province in south-eastern Afghanistan. According to the Afghan authorities, many of those killed were women and children. Police officers from the national Afghan police are also believed to be among the dead.

The attack was carried out against an alarming backdrop of rising civilian losses in Afghanistan. According to a recent UN report, the number of civilians killed and injured rose by 24 % in the first six months of 2014.

‘I am deeply concerned about the violence and the attacks that are affecting so many civilians in Afghanistan. Once the new political leadership is established, it will be of crucial importance for them to take proper steps to address the security problems in the country,’ said the Foreign Minister.

 

end

source mfa.norway

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Norway welcomes agreement on audit of Afghan election result

Posted by African Press International on July 20, 2014

‘I welcome the agreement reached by the two presidential candidates in Afghanistan on an extensive audit of the election result. In agreeing to this step, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah are showing that they both take responsibility for promoting stability and unity in the country,’ said Foreign Minister Børge Brende.

Following the announcement of the preliminary result of the second round of the presidential election, there have been many allegations of extensive election fraud. After consultation with the candidates, President Karzai and the country’s electoral commission, UN Special Representative Jan Kubis drew up a proposal for an audit of the election result. Agreement was reached after talks on Friday and Saturday, in which US Secretary of State John Kerry also participated. All the votes from the second round of the presidential election are to be recounted. Both candidates have said that they will accept the final result, and that they will then form a broad coalition government under the leadership of the winning candidate. President Karzai has also accepted the audit even though it will now take longer before the new president and government are in place.

‘I am grateful to UN Special Representative Jan Kubis and State Secretary John Kerry for the work they have put into finding a solution. It is crucial that the first democratic change of government in Afghanistan’s history takes place in a way that wins the confidence of both the Afghan people and the international community. This audit will ensure that the votes of the millions of Afghans who took part in the election, despite threats of reprisals from the Taliban, will be processed properly, and that false votes will be weeded out.

‘This will be an extensive and demanding task. I hope that Afghanistan’s independent electoral commission, with the support of the international community, will be able to carry it out in line with international standards. Norway has supported Afghanistan’s electoral institutions for several years, and we look forward to the final result and a successful change of government that leads to greater security, stability and development in the country,’ said Mr Brende.

 

End

source. mfa.norway

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Africa Speaks: 19. 07. 2014 Evaluating option for kidnapped Nigerian Girls

Posted by African Press International on July 19, 2014

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One on One with Jeff Koinange

Posted by African Press International on July 19, 2014

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