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Archive for November 15th, 2013

The deferral of the ICC case against President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto fails to get enough votes at the UN today

Posted by African Press International on November 15, 2013

The United Nations Security Council has rejected the request by the African Union to grant a deferral in order to allow Kenya‘s President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto to give more of their time to the running of the country.

It now remains to be seen what action the AU will take because it had decided that if deferral is not granted, the AU member states may pull out of the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court.

During the vote at the Security Council, 8 countries abstained while only 7 voted for the deferral. To win a vote at the UNSC, one requires to get 9 votes and no veto.

Mr Kenyatta’s case is set to start on February the 5th 2014 while Mr Ruto’s case resumes next week on the 21st November 2013.

There are many analysts now who say there is a possibility that Mr Kenyatta may not turn up when his case starts, Those who want him well, however, fear that if he does not meet up the ICC will issue a warrant of arrest, something many say will not be good for the country. These group is encauraging the president to atten the trial.

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“Protection of South Sudan’s internally displaced needs attention

Posted by African Press International on November 15, 2013

“Protection of South Sudan’s internally displaced needs to be up front” – UN rights expert says

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 15, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – Humanitarian action, constitutional inclusion, development and peacebuilding measures are the four cornerstones of durable solutions for IDPs and returnees. “Development and peace can hardly be achieved when thousands of South Sudanese remain uprooted,” the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs), Chaloka Beyani, said at the end of his visit to South Sudan from 6 to 15 November 2013.

While Jonglei State hosts large numbers of IDPs, it is a phenomenon that affects the country as a whole and therefore must be dealt with as a matter of national responsibility. “The Government at the national and local levels has the primary responsibility to assist and protect all IDPs in an equal manner,” Beyani said. The UN and NGOs also play a significant role in protecting IDPs.

Displacement is caused by armed hostilities and inter-communal violence, insecurity, human rights violations as well as natural disasters. Instances of evictions have also resulted in internal displacement. “Many IDPs have been affected by several causes and suffered multiple displacements,” Beyani explained, highlighting concerns about the vulnerabilities and decreasing coping capacity of the displaced populations. “Due to these complexities and the lack of regular humanitarian access to areas affected by internal displacement, its magnitude remains unclear,” he noted. Public figures on internal displacement therefore reflect minimums, while the real magnitude of the phenomenon in South Sudan is allegedly much higher, revealing the need for improved data collection.

“Civilians, including IDPs, must be spared from violence and abuse by all parties,” Beyani strongly urged. The protection of the civilian population is first and foremost a responsibility of the Government, that must, however, be exercised with care to not do harm to the population. Capacities therefore must be further strengthened and the response to IDPs needs to be demilitarized. The Special Rapporteur also raised concerns about the increasingly violent nature of cattle raiding. The proliferation and excessive use of arms and weaponry are key factors in this upsurge in violence. “IDPs also suffer from arbitrary displacement, discrimination and harassment, destruction of property, loss of livestock and also simple oversight and neglect,” Beyani said. Many IDPs are unable or fearful to access basic services and humanitarian assistance.

The dimensions and complexities of internal displacement require a strategic response to overcome the divide between humanitarian and development action and create a common peace dividend. “A common policy on internal displacement that builds on relevant international standards could provide the common basis for such a strategic response,” Beyani strongly recommended.

The Special Rapporteur also addressed the situation of those returning from Sudan. “If returnees are unable to return to their homes or integrate in a place of their choice within South Sudan, they lack a durable solution just as IDPs do.” He also called upon the Government to take all measures possible to avoid statelessness. The lack of documentation of IDPs and returning South Sudanese needs to be addressed prior to any national census or elections, to ensure their right to participation.

During his visit, the Special Rapporteur met with representatives of the Government of South Sudan in Juba, Bor and Pibor; the United Nations Mission in South Sudan; UN humanitarian agencies; NGOs as well as donors. He is deeply grateful to the IDPs and returnees who openly shared their insights with him. The Special Rapporteur extends his appreciation to the Government for receiving him and his thanks to UNHCR and UNMISS who have kindly facilitated and supported this mission.

 

SOURCE

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

 

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Kenya; Berieved Nyakach Mp Aduma Owuor is to be sued by his political opponent Erick Ouma Okeyo

Posted by African Press International on November 15, 2013

  • BY JEFF OTIENO.

Berieved Nyakach Mp Aduma Owuor is to be sued by his political opponent Erick Ouma Okeyo over his utterances in parliament this week that Okeyo is deeply involved in insecurity in the constituency.The mp recently lost both parents in a barbaric arson attack in what many believe was a retaliatory response.

Nyakach is marooned by cattle rustling activities and since his election early this year the Mp formed a vigilante group to stump out the vice but no meaningful success has been seen because he has been doing it without the involvement of  local police and other government agencies all of which he has dismissed as very complacent and allegedly operate as part of the entrenched conduit.Other stakeholders are however of the view that the Mp shouldn’t tire but continue engaging with the local police if anything is to be achieved.Last month the Mp took a cattle rustling victim and dumped the body at the Regional Commissioners office a move which shocked many but the Mp remained adamant and  justified that he had no option but to do exactly that.

Back to the claims in parliament, Okeyo hurriedly convened a press conference where he described Owuors claims as cowardly,hollow and shocking.”I sympathise with the Mp for the most tragic manner in which he lost his dear parents and ive personally and elsewhere conveyed my heart-felt condolences to him, while he remains my political opponent i do not ascribe to the view that our political battles transcend the borders of the personal relationship”, Okeyo told journalists. “Even as he continue to mourn the death of his parents he’s expected to observe basic standards of decency,decorum and utmost respect to the law and others”, he thundered.

Still on the remarks in parliament, he concluded by saying that those are abuse of parliamentary privileges and  demonstration of how a legal coward the mp is.Okeyo has lined up  very influential legal team led by Prof Tom Ojienda and justice Richard Otieno Kwatch to take up the matter. Owuors late parents will be buried on 23 Nov and a major fundraising where Nairobi Governor Dr Evans Odhiambo Kidero is the Chief guest is slated on the 19th at All Saints Cathedral Nairobi.

 

ENDS

 

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DUBLIN: New Ambassador present Credentials

Posted by African Press International on November 15, 2013

DUBLIN, Ireland, November 14, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ His Excellency, the Ambassador of the Republic of Sudan presented its Letters of Credence to the President at Áras an Uachtaráin today.

H.E. Mr. Abdullahi Hamad Ali AlAzreg, Ambassador of the Republic of Sudan, was accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Maha Babikir, their daughter, Israa, and by Mr. Mohamed Akasha Mohamed, Counsellor at the Embassy.

Mr. Dinny McGinley, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, represented the Government at the ceremony.

The following were also present: Mr. Loughlin Quinn, Deputy Secretary-General to the President; Mr. James Kingston, Assistant Secretary at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Ms. Orla O’Hanrahan, Chief of Protocol and Mr. Joe Brennan, Protocol, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Ambassadors were escorted to and from Áras an Uachtaráin by an Escort of Honour consisting of a motorcycle detachment drawn from the 2nd Cavalry Squadron, Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin, under the command of Lieutenant Grattan O’Hagan.

A Guard of Honour was provided at Áras an Uachtaráin by the 1st Infantry Battalion, Renmore Barracks, Co. Galway, under the command of Lieutenant Michael Jennings.

Captain Fergal Carroll conducted the Army No. 1 Band.

 

SOURCE

Ireland – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

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Protecting Africa’s endangered leopards

Posted by African Press International on November 15, 2013

NGO Panthera signs agreement with DHL Express to ship and distribute faux leopard skins to South Africa for use in traditional Shembe ceremonial practices

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, November 13, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – DHL (http://www.dhl.com), the world’s leading logistics company, has entered into an agreement with Panthera (https://www.panthera.org), the world’s leading big-cat conservation organization, to ship faux leopard furs to Africa to help protect this endangered species whose fur is ceremonially worn by followers of the Shembe community in South Africa. On behalf of Panthera, DHL will be shipping on a pro bono basis faux leopard skins from manufacturers in China to South Africa, under a contract that extends to May 2015.

Charles Brewer, Managing Director of DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa said, “Conservation is a major issue in Africa, and for DHL also in this part of the world. There is a lot of passion for the ‘big five’ African animals – elephant, rhinoceros, lion, Cape buffalo and leopard – and elephants and rhinos get a lot of attention. However, there are many endangered species such as the leopard that get little publicity or support.”

This innovative animal conservation initiative – designed to protect a species threatened with extinction while at the same time maintaining a long-time South African tradition – was put together by US-based organization, Panthera, whom DHL partnered with as part of its corporate responsibilityprogram. Under the contract, DHL will provide logistics support on a complimentary basis, thereby defraying costs associated with international shipping and distribution to Shembe members in Africa.

Brewer continued, “Panthera’s initiative is fantastic and innovative – it respects human culture and traditions as well as the conservation of a magnificent animal – and so we are providing our logistics expertise and raising awareness of a complex issue through our own network and resources. This partnership between Panthera and DHL is a natural fit, as Panthera’s big cat expertise combined with DHL’s global reach is a winning solution for conservation.”

Leopard fur has become customary ceremonial attire worn by the over five-million strong members of the Shembe church, which is part of the vibrant cultural landscape of South Africa for over 100 years. Previously worn by Zulu royalty and chiefs, the leopard furs, or amambatha as they are referred to locally, form a ceremonial, religious dress that symbolizes beauty, power and prestige. These amambatha are now desired by a growing number of male Shembe followers. At a single Shembe gathering, over 1,000 leopard skins are worn by members. Although many skins are old and are passed down from generation to generation, many new ones are a result of poaching, leading to shrinking leopard numbers.

Luke Hunter, President of Panthera, said, “To date 2,000 faux leopard amambatha or traditional shoulder capes have been shipped by DHL for our project. The Shembe

have shown they are willing to embrace the use of our high-quality alternatives to real leopard skin – that translates to 2,000 leopards saved from poachers. We could only have made such major strides in conserving the magnificent leopard with the cooperation of the Shembe and the support of DHL.”

DHL is active in supporting animal conservation projects all over Africa from the movement of rhinos to Tanzania and gorillas to Gabon, as well as supporting other local causes, including an orphaned elephant, Mr Brrr.

Shembe elder and legal advisor, Lizwi Ncwane, stated, “As a leader of the Shembe community, I have seen firsthand how receptive my community is to using these fake skins. Not only do they look and feel like real leopard skins, they also last longer. We’re grateful that Panthera has worked with us in finding a solution that interweaves the conservation of leopards with the customs of the Shembe.”

Panthera has been working with Shembe leadership to educate its members about the leopard crisis across Southern Africa and has worked with digital designers and clothing companies to create a high-quality, affordable faux leopard skin for use in ceremonies. Panthera’s project, which has won the support of Shembe leaders, has been praised by CNN and National Geographic, as an innovative conservation solution that respects local cultural practices.

Corporate Responsibility is an integral part of Deutsche Post DHL’s business strategy and focuses on the programs of protecting the environment (GoGreen), delivering disaster response and management (GoHelp) and championing education and employability (GoTeach).

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DHL – The Logistics company for the world

DHL is the global market leader in the logistics industry and “The Logistics Company for the world”. DHL commits its expertise in international express, air and ocean freight, road and rail transportation, contract logistics and international mail services to its customers. A global network composed of more than 220 countries and territories and about 285,000 employees worldwide offers customers superior service quality and local knowledge to satisfy their supply chain requirements. DHL accepts its social responsibility by supporting environmental protection, disaster management and education.

DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL. The Group generated revenue of more than 55 billion Euros in 2012.

SOURCE

Deutsche Post DHL

 

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UN SECRETARY-GENERAL IN NIGER, 6 NOVEMBER

Posted by African Press International on November 15, 2013

NEW YORK, November 13, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Niamey, from Mali early in the morning of Wednesday, 6 November. This was the second leg of a four-country joint visit to the Sahel region with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma; the President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim; the Commissioner for Development of the European Union, Andris Piebalgs; and the President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka.

That morning, the delegation had a meeting with the President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, and inspected the Guard of Honour. They then held a larger meeting with the President, the Prime Minister, Brigi Raffini, as well as members of the Cabinet. Speaking at the meeting, the Secretary-General said that the delegation was in Niger and the region to show its solidarity and to coordinate its actions with the countries of the Sahel. The Secretary-General also underlined Niger’s contribution to peacekeeping, including in Mali, and noted the assistance given by the country to the thousands of Malian refugees in Niger during the presidential elections. S

After briefly speaking to reporters in a joint press briefing, the Secretary-General and the President of the World Bank answered a “Call for Action” for improvements in women’s reproductive health and girls’ education by President Issoufou. The Secretary-General said that throughout his visit to the Sahel, he was calling on leaders to listen to girls and women, to hear their needs and concerns and give women a voice in decision-making. He also asked men to speak out for gender equality. (See Press Release SG/SM/15445.)

 

After attending a State lunch hosted by the Government, the Secretary-General met in the afternoon with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hama Amadou, and then addressed a plenary session of the National Assembly. He told the Parliamentarians that the United Nations was in the country to help Niger in its efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and underlined Niger’s role in addressing the challenges of the Sahel. He also offered his condolences to the families of the migrants who died in the Sahara a few days before, saying we must bring their traffickers to justice and address the problems that pushed them to leave.

The Secretary-General left Niamey, Niger, for Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the third leg of his trip to the Sahel, in the early evening of 6 November.

 

SOURCE

UNITED NATIONS

 

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Improving Maternal Health

Posted by African Press International on November 15, 2013

Ethiopia Approves Plan to Improve Maternal Health

NEW YORK, November 14, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The Ministry of Health has approved plan to accelerate progress on improving maternal health in Ethiopia in an effort that is expected to address the concern over the so far slow progress the country has made on meeting the Millennium Development Goal on maternal health (MDG 5) .

“Advancing better health is a gateway to development progress, lifting economies and societies. Meeting a woman’s need for sexual andreproductive health services will increase her chances of finishing her education, and breaking out of poverty,” saidUN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative Mr Eugene Owusu, emphasising the importance of fast-tracking actions for reducing maternal mortality in Ethiopia.

Recent data and trends placeEthiopia as one of the countries with the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world.

The 2010/11 Demographic and Health Survey indicates that Ethiopia has made limited progress over the last decadeto reduce maternal deaths but there is some concern that the trend might be reversing. The maternal mortality ratio declined from 871 deaths per 100,000 births in 2000to 673 in 2005; howeverthe maternal mortality ratio marginally increased between 2005 and 2010, to 676 per 100,000 live births in 2010.

The Ministry of Heath has undertaken measures to reduce maternal mortality through the provision of clean and safe delivery services at the health post level, skilled delivery and emergency obstetric care at facility level and family planning services at all levels of the health care system. To up-scale these efforts, experts drawn from the Government and various UN agencies have been able to adapt the MAF methodology to the Ethiopian context, and to identify systematically bottlenecks and prioritize acceleration solutions to speed up progress on MDG 5.

For women in the reproductive age (15-49 years), reproductive health problems constitute the leading cause of ill health and death. And because women are often the backbones of their families, these problems can affect the well-being of the whole family.Universal access to family planning; access to pre- and antenatal care; skilled attendance at all births; and timely emergency obstetric care when complications arise can prevent almost all maternal mortality and greatly reduce injuries of childbearing. Access to family planning alone can reduce unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortion and maternal death and disability, saving women’s lives and the lives of their children.

The MDG Accelerated Action Plan on Improving Maternal Health in Ethiopia was validated and endorsed by the Ministry of Health at a national conference in Addis Ababa on 8th of November 2013. The plan is based on the MDG Acceleration Frameworkand takes into account the fact that the rate of achieving MDG 5 varies across geographic regions and socio-economic groups in Ethiopia.

The MDG Acceleration Framework (MAF) is an important tool increasingly used by countries to identify and remove barriers to MDG achievement. The MAF was developed by UNDP in 2010 and is supported by UN Development Group. Around 50 countrieshave applied the MAF to help them drive efforts to overcome the bottlenecks preventing progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

 

SOURCE

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

 

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