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Archive for November, 2013

Sudan: The killing of two Ministry of Health staff in West Darfur

Posted by African Press International on November 30, 2013

Statement attributable to the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Mr. Ali Al-Za’tari, on the killing of two Ministry of Health staff in West Darfur

KHARTOUM, Sudan, November 29, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Ali Al-Za’tari, strongly condemns the killing of two Sudanese Ministry of Health staff, a vaccinator and a driver, who were part of a team vaccinating vulnerable children against measles in West Darfur.

“My deepest condolences go to the family and friends of those killed,” said Mr Al-Za’tari. “I call on all parties to ensure the protection of all personnel working to deliver assistance to populations in need throughout Sudan,” he said.

UNICEF and the World Health Organization are helping to ensure that every child in Sudan is getting vaccinated, whoever they are and wherever they live.

 

SOURCE

UNITED NATIONS

 

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counter-terrorism cooperation and combatting illicit trafficking symposium

Posted by African Press International on November 30, 2013

YAOUNDE, Cameroon, November 29, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/– Combating terrorism and illicit trafficking were the focus of an international audience who gathered recently in Cameroon.

The U.S. Africa Center for Stratetic Studies (ACSS) co-hosted a symposium on regional counter-terrorism cooperation and the fight against illicit trafficking in Yaoundé on Wednesday, November 20, 2013, in partnership with the ACSS Community Chapter in Cameroon and the U.S. Embassy.

The event took place at the Yaoundé International War College (Ecole supérieure internationale de guerre de Yaoundé [ESIG]). The more than 100 participants included Africa Center community members from the Cameroon Armed Forces, the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the University of Yaoundé.

Also in the attendance was a diverse international group of 42 ESIG students representing nearly 20 nationalities, including the United States, who are currently in the midst of a 10-month study program at ESIG. Another group of 12 students from the National School of Security Forces (Ecole nationale de forces de sécurité [ENFS]) attended as well.

Presentations focused on defining and improving regional cooperation in countering terrorism and the threats associated with illicit trafficking.

In his opening remarks, ESIG Commandant Major General Esaïe Ngambou expressed his satisfaction with the selection of topics. “The Africa Center chose two challenging issues that are at the heart of our current preoccupations: regional cooperation against terrorism and illicit trafficking.” He also mentioned that this year’s annual ESIG colloquium will focus on border security, making the symposium a fitting beginning to the colloquium’s preparations.

Colonel Gabriel Metogo Atangana, the ACSS Chapter President, explained the pertinence of the topics discussed, at a time when Cameroon faces the challenges of Boko Haram’s spillover in the northern part of the country.

“ACSS has maintained for nearly 10 years now a close cooperation with the armed forces and law enforcement forces of Cameroon,” he said. “The choice of today’s topics is explained by the magnitude and damaging effects, as well as the consequences in the communities which are affected by these threats,” he noted.

Mr. John Harney, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) Project Manager at the J5 Counter-narcotics and Law Enforcement Division, provided an overview of illicit trafficking and laid out how AFRICOM deals with the issue. He also pointed out interagency efforts to harmonize the U.S. government effort in building West African capacities to combat transnational organized crime, particularly narcotic trafficking.

“It takes a network to defeat a network,” Mr. Harney noted, highlighting the importance of international cooperation in defeating international illicit trafficking networks.

The consensus following the symposium was that Cameroonians’ challenges are global challenges. As a result, it will take an all-inclusive effort—for the U.S. and African partners—to deter and defeat transnational threats and provide a security environment conducive to good governance and development. Participants also agreed that deeper regional cooperation and international cooperation are keys to success.

 

SOURCE

U.S Africa Command

 

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AfricaLiveSports30-28/11/2013 from CCTV Africa

Posted by African Press International on November 29, 2013

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The ICC Judges are expected to interpret the amendments correctly, says the President of the Assembly of States Parties Ambassador Tiina Intelmann

Posted by African Press International on November 28, 2013

Kenya went to the Twelfth Session of the  Assembly of States Parties with one aim – to get the amendments through, so that President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto is no longer distracted by the International Criminal Court‘s demand for their continuous presence in court during the proceedings.

The Twelfth Session of the ASP – Hague

Published on 29 Nov 2013

28 November 2013 – Closing remarks of Ambassador Tiina Intelmann, President of the Assembly of States Parties, to the 12th Session of the ASP.

http://youtu.be/BdDwSkc6Gjg

Kenya managed to secure support from willing Nations enabling for the passing of the amendments. The President and the deputy President will now be able to perform their duties as the constitutional demands of them, without interference and interruption from any quarters.

Exclusive Interview: ONE on ONE with the President of the Assembly of States Parties, Ambassador Tiina Intelmann:

Asked whether she has confidence in the ICC Judges and the Chief Prosecutor, Ambassador Intelmann told  African Press International that she has confidence in them, adding that should any Member State raise a complaint against any of them, she will not hesitate taking the matter up, with the Assembly of State Parties, in line with the laid down procedures in the Rome Statute and so far no Member State has raised any complaint against their performance.

With the new amendments passed, Kenya is today a proud Nation having had learned minds and qualified negotiators in their delegation that worked in a focused manner on the issues tirelessly with a desire to ensure success. Lobbying was very important and the delegation managed to make friends with some Nations that were considered hostile to the desired amendments. They finally got their support to the amendments as put forward by the working group.

Some of the Members of the Kenya Delegation to the Twelfth Session of the Assembly of States Parties in the Hague between 20th – 28th November 2013:

The brains that made Kenya and the Presidency proud by carrying the day at the negotiation table in securing the necessary amendments that will contribute to Kenya’s stability.

www.africanpress.me/ Some of the members of the Kenya Delegation during the Twelfth Session of the Assembly of States Parties held in the Hague from the 20th to 28th of November 2013

http://www.africanpress.me/ Some of the members of the Kenya Delegation during the Twelfth Session of the Assembly of States Parties held in the Hague from the 20th to 28th of November 2013

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www.africanpress.me/ Some of the members of the Kenya Delegation during the Twelfth Session of the Assembly of States Parties held in the Hague from the 20th to 28th of November 2013

http://www.africanpress.me/ Some of the members of the Kenya Delegation during the Twelfth Session of the Assembly of States Parties held in the Hague from the 20th to 28th of November 2013

 

The Kenyan NGOs who participated during the Session chose to organise many side events that was meant to derail the negotiation process to secure the new amendments. The passing of the amendments was a big blow to them. Their aim was to impress upon Member States delegates to reject any amendments that would allow the two Kenyan leaders, President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto to be excused from continuous presence in the court and only be represented by counsel.

On realised that their efforts were fruitless, most of the NGOs packed their things and left the Conference center hurriedly travelling back to home. This may serve as a lesson to them that they should not pork their noses in everything – a lesson that they should, in some cases, put their country first.

By passing the amendments put forward by the African Nations, the West has now realised that Africa is no longer a push-over, lying down and allowing themselves to be dictated to at all times.

Africa’s unity, through the AU, has now educated the West by telling them that they are able and ready to decide their own destiny at all times.

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Kenya emerges victorious at the Twelfth session of the Assembly of States Parties held in the Hague, by securing amendments to the Rome Statute – to their satisfaction

Posted by African Press International on November 27, 2013

Kenya has emerged victorious at the twelfth session of the Assembly of States Parties by securing amendments to their satisfaction. This means now that President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto are not required to appear in the International Criminal Court in person but only represented by Counsel.

Part 1

Part 2

This is good news for African Union who had pushed for the deferral because they did not want to see Kenya’s Commander-in-Chief and President of the Republic of Kenya humiliated, sitting daily in the court instead of serving the people of Kenya.

Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohamed was thrilled to see her delegation manage their assignment. The delegation was led by the Attorney General Prof Githu Muigai. In the delegation were many other senior government officials among them, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Keriako Tobiko.

Today is a celebration for those Kenyans and friends of Kenya who supported the amendments because they do not want the Head of State and his deputy to be humiliated.

However, there are those who are disappointed like the NGOs and some members of the Kenya opposition parties who wanted to see the humiliation of the President and his deputy carried through.

Ambassador Amina Mohamed informed the media that the amendments also allows for the Video link in other cases in the future. She hopes the video link trials  can be extended to cover Mr Joshua Arap sang since his case is already ongoing.

When asked if the trial via video link will be extended to Mr Barasa whose warrant of arrest has been issued by the ICC accusing him of confusing witnesses, the Cabinet Secretary stated that there was no discussion in that direction. Mr Barasa, therefore, will have to face the ICC in person to answer the charges if he is exported to the Hague by the Kenyan authorities. He has gone to court to block exportation. Mr Barasa recently told the media that he worked with ICC investigators on witnesses and that they turned against him when he was considered hostile to the needs of the ICC prosecution. Barasa is a Kenyan journalist who has claimed that he was being paid by the prosecution investigators whenever he gave them the help they needed.

Did Mr Barasa break the code of conduct as a journalist in any way?

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Mr Roland Amoussauge, Spokesperson of the International Tribunal for Rwanda

Posted by African Press International on November 27, 2013

Mr Roland Amoussauge, Spokesperson International Tribunal for Rwanda is also the Senior Legal Adviser, Chief- External Relations and Strategic Planning Section. Here he is interviewed at the Hague, during the Assembly of States Parties Twelfth Session.

 

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Attorney General Prof Muigai says the Twelfth Session of ASP on amendments backs Kenya on the way forward in redefining the Rome Statute

Posted by African Press International on November 26, 2013

Prof Githu Muigai Briefing the media on decisions reached during amendments session during the Twelfth Session of the Assembly of States Parties held in the Hague, The Netherlands

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Kenya Human Rights Commission’s side event at the 12th Session of Assembly of States Parties forum, Hague, the Netherlands

Posted by African Press International on November 26, 2013

Kenya Human Rights Commission’s side event at the ASP forum Part 1

Kenya Human Rights Commission’s side event at the ASP forum Part 2

 

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12th Session of the Assembly of States Parties going through proposed amendments to the Rome Statute

Posted by African Press International on November 26, 2013

The Session held at the World Forum Center, the Hague in the Netherlands. 122 Nations are in attendance. Kenya wants immunity from prosecution for serving Heads of State and is seeking the support from willing Nations.

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ICC Chief Prosecutor Bensouda at a side event during 12th ASP session in the Hague

Posted by African Press International on November 26, 2013

 

 

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The Hague: International Criminal Court Reverses Decision To Excuse President Kenyatta From Trial

Posted by African Press International on November 26, 2013

 

 

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AfricaLive 25.11.2013

Posted by African Press International on November 26, 2013

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The Hague and justice: Swearing-in and handing over ceremony: RSCSL Judges

Posted by African Press International on November 25, 2013

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, November 25, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The public and the media are invited to the swearing-in of the 16 Judges of the Residual Court for Sierra Leone and the hand-over of the Special Court complex to Government, to take place at the SCSL courthouse on 2 December 2013 beginning at 9:00 a.m. prompt. There will be photo opportunities.

The Judges, ten of whom are appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and six by the Government of Sierra Leone, will comprise the RSCSL’s Roster of Judges. They will exercise judicial functions in an ad hoc capacity on matters arising from the ongoing legal obligations of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. These could include the review of applications by convicts for early release or judicial review of their convictions. They may also be called to preside over any contempt of court proceedings.

The 16 judges are: (Appointed by the Government of Sierra Leone) Justice George Gelaga King, Justice John Bankole Thompson, Justice Jon Kamanda, Justice Vivian Margarette Solomon, Justice Abdulai Hamid Charm and Justice Eku Roberts, all of Sierra Leone.

(Appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations) Justice Richard Brunt Lussick (Samoa), Justice Pierre G. Boutet (Canada), Justice Renate Winter (Austria), Justice Teresa Anne Doherty (Northern Ireland), Justice Shireen Avis Fisher (USA), Justice Philip Nyamu Waki (Kenya), Justice Elizabeth Ibanda Nahamya (Uganda), Justice Oagile B. K. Dingake (Botswana), Justice Andrew John Hatton (UK) and Justice Isaack Lenaola (Kenya).

Immediately after the ceremony, Registrar Binta Mansaray will officially hand over the Courthouse and the Special Court complex to Attorney-General Franklyn Bai Kargbo, on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone. A “soft opening” of the Sierra Leone Peace Museum will follow.

The Government of Sierra Leone will host an official closing ceremony later in the day at State House.

 

SOURCE

Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL)

 

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A call for the Protection of Eritreans in their quest for safety

Posted by African Press International on November 25, 2013

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 25, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/– The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, Sheila B. Keetharuth, expressed great concern about rampant human rights violations in Eritrea which caused hundreds of thousands to leave their country for an unknown and precarious future.

“I call on the Eritrean Government to respect its human rights obligations and to put an immediate stop to human rights violations that are committed in the country”, Ms. Keetharuth stressed after interviewing Eritreans during an official mission* to Tunisia and Malta.

The blanket disrespect of fundamental human rights in Eritrea is pushing some 2,000 to 3,000 people to leave the country monthly, although the risks along the escape routes are of a life-threatening nature. In 2012, the total Eritrean population of concern to UNHCR amounted to 305,723.

During her ten-day mission, the indefinite national service was quoted as the main reason inciting Eritreans to leave their home country. “The open-ended national service is a system which keeps Eritreans captive in a situation of despair, forcing them to take unimaginable risks in search of freedom and a safe haven,” she noted.

Young Eritreans, both women and men, often before reaching 18 years, are recruited into a compulsory national service characterised by severe human rights abuses. Punishment amounting to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment as well as detention in inhumane conditions is routine in the military. Women explained they were particularly vulnerable to sexual abuses by officers.

“These violations are committed with complete impunity, without any structures and procedures in place for victims to bring the perpetrators to justice”, she said.

Most of those she interviewed described difficult economic and social conditions in their home country; however, they noted that the daily struggle for access to food and water, and lack of adequate health care and electricity had not motivated their departure.

“It is the complete deprivation of the freedom and security of the person, a fundamental human right also recognised by Eritrea that drives entire families to leave their country in the hope to find a place where they feel protected”, Ms. Keetharuth explained.

Many refugees she met during her mission were rescued at sea after a dangerous journey across the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean Sea. One young man told her: “We are aware of the risks associated with crossing the desert and the sea. Nobody in his right mind would take such a decision. We do it because there is no other choice.”

Ms. Keetharuth called for the protection of those fleeing from risking their lives by undertaking highly dangerous journeys to reach a place they feel is safe. She also urged the international community to address the root causes of the refugee situation by listening to the voices of victims of human rights violations in Eritrea who reach the conclusion that their only option is flight.

The human rights expert reiterated the importance to end bilateral and other arrangements between Eritrea and third countries that would provide for Eritreans to be returned to their home country where they risk facing persecution, torture, inhuman treatment, and forced recruitment into indefinite military service.

Since her appointment in November 2012, the Special Rapporteur has made several requests to visit Eritrea, which have so far not been granted. Consequently, the Expert resorted to gathering first-hand information from those who have left Eritrea. She reiterates her call for access to the country to assess the human rights situation.

The expert’s findings will be presented in her second report to the Human Rights Council in June 2014.

 

SOURCE

United NationsOffice of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

 

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Former Liberian President Dictator Samuel Doe was deposed and butchered, while Former President Charles Taylor was lucky to get 50 years in jail by ICC judges!

Posted by African Press International on November 25, 2013

A lesson to learn from for all leaders who enjoy power while misusing it.

African Press International (API)

Leaders should learn from events like this. Former Libyan President Muammar Gadhafi was deposed and was lucky that he was killed immediately by the bullet into his head. He was not taken through 14 minutes and 47 seconds of torture like former president of LiberiaSamuel Doe.
Doe himself had overthrown his own relative former leader Tolbert.

Warning – Item Samuel Doe torture might contain content that is not suitable for all ages. IF NOT OVER 18 years old, DO NOT WATCH!

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b4b_1314353314#PTseO2eJBkRZ10XY.03

Power should not get into any leader’s head.

Although no one should ever support torture, those in power should not beg for mercy like you see Samuel Doe doing on this video because he tortured and killed many innocent Liberian people.

God saved the immediate former president Charles Taylor. Lucky to escape the butcher’s knife in the bushes of Liberia‘s countryside village, now…

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