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Archive for May, 2014

South Sudan’s Rebel Leader Riek Machar Meets Uhuru Kenyatta

Posted by African Press International on May 31, 2014

Publisert 31. mai 2014

South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar has held talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta here in Nairobi. Government invited Machar to the capital. The rebel leader maintains he is committed to the peace deal signed with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir earlier this month. CCTV’s Jane Kiyo has that story.

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Sport tournaments to mark closing of the Golden Jubilee of the OAU/AU

Posted by African Press International on May 31, 2014

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, May 29, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/– To supplement the “Grand” closing ceremony of the year long activities of the 50th anniversary of the OAU/AU (25 May 2013 – 25 May 2014), the African Union Commission conducted series of sports activities that took place from May 22nd 2014 till the final closing ceremony May 25th 2014.

In line with its vision 2063, and with an objective to bring together members of the African Union Commission, diplomatic missions and other international organizations under the values conveyed by sport, the tournament shares a small-scale scheme of the stages of the agenda 2063 until full operationalization. Important notions included participation and inclusion of all stakeholders; putting in place a results-based approach; taking in account Africa’s diversity and calling for changes in attitudes, mindsets to inculcate the right set of African values.

The sport activities included Soccer, Volleyball and the Marathon (The Great Run) which was characterized by strong a commitment of the Organisation, tactical skills and discipline. The Nigerian team won the soccer tournament while team dubbed (A2H3) took the Volleyball winning title. Awards ceremony, chaired by Dr. Abdul-Hakim Rajab Elwaer (Director – Human Resources, Science and Technology Department), took place in the presence of Mr. Erastus Mwencha, AUC Deputy Chairperson and Mr. Salah Siddig Hammad, president of the AU Staff Association. Trophies and medals were awarded to the winning teams.

Worth recalling that, the 50th anniversary of the OAU/AU was launched to pay special tribute to the generation of Pan-Africans and the founding fathers of the OAU, who in their wisdom and foresight, laid a solid foundation for the unity and solidarity of Africa. While reflecting on Africa’s journey over the last five decades and celebrate the unique role played by the OAU in the liberation of Africa, as well as its invaluable contribution towards the objective of achieving unity in the continent.

 

SOURCE

African Union Commission (AUC)

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Press Briefing by African Commission on Nuclear Energy (FCONE) Chairperson, Ambassador Abdul Samad Minty

Posted by African Press International on May 30, 2014

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, May 29, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/– The Third Conference of States Parties to the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Pelindaba, will conclude tomorrow, 30 May 2014.

Journalists are invited to attend a press briefing, tomorrow, 30 May 2014, at 12h00, to be addressed by Ambassador Abdul Samad Minty, Chairperson of the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (FCONE), in the Plenary Hall of the Old Conference Center.

During his briefing, Ambassador Minty will address the following issues:

–    Overview of the Treaty of Pelindaba;-

–    the activities of the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE)

–    the status of the operationalization of the AFCONE Secretariat

–    Global & regional disarmament & non-proliferation issues

–    the outcome of the meeting

See link below to the press release issued today on the opening:

http://www.peaceau.org/en/article/the-third-conference-of-states-parties-to-the-african-nuclear-weapon-free-zone-treaty-opens-today-in-addis-ababa

 

SOURCE

African Union Commission (AUC)

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Film tax credit bill unanimously passes California Assembly

Posted by African Press International on May 30, 2014

  • May 29, 2014
    SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) – A bill to lure filmmakers into California with tax incentives passed unanimously in the state Assembly on Wednesday, bringing the state a step closer to extending and increasing existing tax credits for the entertainment industry. READ MORE——

 

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How Maya Angelou gave me life…..

Posted by African Press International on May 30, 2014

How Maya Angelou gave me life

  • LZ Granderson never had the chance to meet Dr. Maya Angelou. But she has been in his life all along. READ MORE….

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Mali: Visit to detainees in Kidal

Posted by African Press International on May 30, 2014

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Fifty people detained in connection with recent clashes in Kidal have been visited by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The detainees, 32 of whom are being held by the High Council for the Unity of Azawad and the 18 others by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, were registered by the ICRC.

“Sleeping mats, hygiene products and other emergency relief items were distributed to the detainees,” said Christoph Luedi, head of the ICRC delegation in Mali. “In addition, we arranged for those who had not yet been able to contact their families to call them by telephone.”

Visits of this kind, which the ICRC hopes to be able to repeat in the coming days, aim to ensure that the people are held and treated humanely.

“Whatever the reasons for their detention, the physical and mental well-being of the detainees must be preserved,” said Mr Luedi. “They must also be provided with water, food and health care.

The ICRC conducts regular visits in Mali to people detained in connection with the conflict. It shares its findings and recommendations with the authorities concerned through a bilateral dialogue that remains strictly confidential.

SOURCE

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

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Maya Angelou: ‘Phenomenal woman’ is dead at 86

Posted by African Press International on May 29, 2014

  •  May 29, 2014
    Donna Brazile shares the joy and pain of losing her friend, her mentor, her hero. “Maya Angelou was the voice of three generations, a phenomenal woman. She had a talent for weaving words into songs and songs into melodies. She wasn’t afraid to sway her hips. And she taught us to do the same.” Read more…’

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Statement by the Press Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, on the presidential election in Guinea-Bissau

Posted by African Press International on May 29, 2014

TOKYO, Japan, May 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – 1. Japan welcomes the fact that the second round voting for the presidential election in the Republic of Guinea-Bissau took place on May 18 in a peaceful manner, with the participation of a large majority of the electorate.

2. Japan expects that all parties concerned will respect the results of the election, and continue working for establishing peace and stability as well as democracy and fostering the development of the country, soon after a decision of the final result.

SOURCE

Japan – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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Switzerland signs tax information exchange agreement with Seychelles

Posted by African Press International on May 29, 2014

BERN, Switzerland, May 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – on the 26th of May in Brussels, Switzerland and the Seychelles signed a tax information exchange agreement (TIEA). Such agreements are concluded within the framework of Switzerland’s administrative assistance policy. In addition, the tax information exchange agreement with the Seychelles should make it possible for this developing country to expand the basis on which it collects taxes and contributes to strengthening Switzerland’s development cooperation.

The agreement has to be approved by parliament and subjected to an optional referendum before it can enter into force. During the hearing procedure which followed the completion of negotiations, the cantons and the business associations concerned expressed their support.

Switzerland has signed seven TIEAs to date. Aside from the one with the Seychelles, it has also entered into such agreements with Greenland, Andorra, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey and San Marino. It is continuing to pursue negotiations on agreements of this type with other interested jurisdictions.

On 4 April 2012, the Federal Council decided to adopt the international administrative assistance standard not only in double taxation agreements (DTAs) but also in tax information exchange agreements.

In principle, DTAs and TIEAs are equivalent instruments for concluding an administrative assistance clause in accordance with the international standard. Unlike DTAs, which are aimed primarily at avoiding double taxation and therefore contain other material provisions, TIEAs merely govern the exchange of information upon request.

SOURCE

Switzerland – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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National Law University, Delhi, wins ICC Trial Competition, English version

Posted by African Press International on May 28, 2014

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On 23 May 2014, National Law University, Delhi, won the final round of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Trial Competition, English version. Pictured here is the winning team with ICC Judge Howard Morrison in ICC Courtroom I in The Hague (Netherlands), from left to right: Judge Morrison, Dhruv Sharma, Amrutanshu Dash, Sanjeevi Seshadri, Ishan Patnaik and Rakesh Jayakumar © ICC-CPI

Today, 23 May 2014, National Law University, Delhi, won the final round of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Trial Competition, English version, held in ICC Courtroom I in The Hague (Netherlands). Hebrew University of Jerusalem and China Foreign Affairs University won, respectively, second and third place. The winning team comprises Dhruv Sharma, Amrutanshu Dash, Sanjeevi Seshadri, Ishan Patnaik and Rakesh Jayakumar. The Best Speaker award from the entire English-language competition went to Elizabeth Brown of the University of New South Wales, which competed in the preliminary rounds.

This year, 49 teams comprising a total of 290 participants from 35 countries worldwide participated in this year’s English-language simulation exercise on the applicable law and jurisprudence of the ICC. Before a bench composed of ICC Judge Howard Morrison (presiding), Special Assistant to the ICC President Philipp Ambach, and ICC Legal Officer Mary-Anne Power, the teams competed on a fictitious case, presenting oral arguments during an appeals hearing in the roles of Prosecution, Defence and Legal Representatives of a Government.

After a break for deliberations, ICC Judge Morrison announced the bench’s decision and an awards ceremony was held for all participants. The finalists’ peers attended the event in the Court’s public galleries and the event was web streamed live on the Court’s official website.

The ICC Trial Competition is organised by the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies of Leiden University, The Hague Campus, with the institutional support of the ICC. Also cooperating on the project are the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) of Switzerland, the Planethood Foundation, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg and The Netherlands, the Municipality of The Hague, the Ministry of Security and Justice of the Netherlands, The Hague Institute for Global Justice, the Embassy of Ireland, the Lutfia Rabbani Foundation, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.  

In the context of its Academic Programme, the ICC supports the organisation of ICC Trial Competitions in Chinese, English, Russian, and Spanish, with a view to also support Arabic and French versions in the future. These initiatives play a critical role in galvanising interest in the Court’s work with academic communities as well as in enhancing promotion and respect for international criminal law.

End

source ICC

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Tripartite Elections in Malawi

Posted by African Press International on May 28, 2014

WASHINGTON, May 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – Press Statement

Marie Harf, Deputy Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC, May 26, 2014

The United States is closely monitoring the situation in Malawi following the tripartite elections. We join the African Union and the international community in calling for calm as the Malawi Election Commission works to tally the vote and to resolve any challenges or complaints.

We urge all political leaders and their supporters to refrain from violence, and to resolve any disputes in a manner that adheres to Malawi’s laws and its constitution.

SOURCE

US Department of State

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mali visits the African Union – The AU and Mali underline the importance of the Algiers preparatory meeting

Posted by African Press International on May 27, 2014

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, May 27, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/– The African Union (AU) Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui, today received, at the AU Headquarters, Mr. Abdoulaye Diop, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and International Cooperation of the Republic of Mali. The meeting focused on the evolution of the situation in northern Mali and the efforts being deployed towards the re-launching of dialogue with the northern armed movements.

In the course of the meeting, the Malian Minister, having provided an account of the recent incidents in Kidal, reiterated his country’s commitment to dialogue in order to find a lasting solution to the situation, based on respect for the unity and territorial integrity of Mali.

The Minister and the Commissioner concurred on the importance of respecting the 23 May 2014 Agreement concluded under the auspices of the AU Chairman, President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania. They also stressed the importance of the preparatory meeting to the inclusive talks provided for by the 2013 Ouagadougou Interim Agreement, scheduled to take place in Algiers, on 5 June 2014, and the need to spare no efforts to ensure its success. In addition, the Minister and the Commissioner underscored the need to enhance the United Nations Integrated Multidimensional Mission for Stabilization in Mali (MINUSMA), including reaching its authorized strength, to enable it discharge its mandate effectively.

With regard to the situation in the Sahel, Minister Diop and Commissioner Chergui discussed the next steps of the Nouakchott Process on the Enhancement of Security Cooperation and the Operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) in the Sahelo-Saharan Region. They highlighted the forthcoming Bamako meeting of the Chiefs of Defense Staff and Ministers of Defense of the countries of the region, to discuss generic concepts of operations on joint border patrols and the establishment of mixed units. They also exchanged views on the efforts to coordinate the different Sahel strategies, within the framework of the Ministerial Platform established to this end and which held its second meeting in Bamako, on 16 May 2014.

SOURCE

African Union Commission (AUC)

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Norway condemns terrorist attack on parliament in Mogadishu

Posted by African Press International on May 27, 2014

Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende condemns the attack on the Federal Parliament in Mogadishu on 24 May in the strongest terms. 

Reports indicate that some of the parliamentarians were injured, and several police officers and African Union soldiers were killed in the attack. Several of the attackers were also reported to have been killed in the gunfire that broke out after a car bomb was detonated outside the parliament building.

‘I strongly condemn the attack on the parliament in Mogadishu. Somalia’s parliamentarians have the task of creating a peaceful, stable and democratic Somalia. My thoughts today go first and foremost to the families and relatives of the victims,’ Mr Brende said.   

This is not the first time the Somali parliament has been targeted by terrorists. Two Somali parliamentarians were killed in separate attacks on 21 and 22 April this year. Despite the efforts of the Somali authorities to improve security in the city, backed up by African Union forces, the security situation in Mogadishu remains unstable.

‘It is vital that the Somali authorities ensure that those responsible for this attack are brought to justice, and that the authorities continue their work to improve security for parliamentarians, members of the Government and the population of Mogadishu and Somalia as a whole,’ Mr Brende said.  

Norway’s broad-based engagement in Somalia involves supporting humanitarian and development efforts, and the development of Somali institutions.

source MFA Norway

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Attack on Somali Federal Parliament

Posted by African Press International on May 27, 2014

NEW YORK, May 25, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General

The Secretary-General condemns the attack by suicide bombers and gunmen on Somalia’s Federal Parliament on 24 May 2014. There can be no justification for such attacks.

The Secretary-General conveys his solidarity and support for the men and women of the Federal Parliament, who represent the people of Somalia and their aspiration for a peaceful future. The United Nations will continue to support the Somali people, their Government and their parliament, as they work for peace and stability.

The Secretary-General commends the prompt action of the Somali National Security Forces and AMISOM in responding to the incident. The Secretary-General expresses his deep condolences to the families of the victims of the attack and wishes the injured a speedy recovery.

SOURCE

United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson of the Secretary-General

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SECOND FIELD MISSION OF THE AFRICAN UNION COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ON SOUTH SUDAN TO JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN

Posted by African Press International on May 27, 2014

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, May 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/– SECOND FIELD MISSION OF THE AFRICAN UNION COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ON SOUTH SUDAN TO JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN

When& Where: 25thMay– 7th June2014, Juba Grand Hotel, South Sudan.

The African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan is expected to meet with South Sudanese citizens as well as the other pressure groups. This is in addition to meetings with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and other actors that could assist it in its investigations.

Why: To fulfill the mandate of the South Sudan Commission of Inquiry which is captured in the Communiqué of the PSC on 30 December 2013 and can be distilled as follows

a) To investigate the human rights violations and other abuses committed during the armed conflict in South Sudan;

b) To investigate the causes underlying the violations;

c) To make recommendations on the best ways and means to ensure accountability, reconciliation and healing among all South Sudanese communities with a view to deterring and preventing the occurrence of the violations in future; and

d) To make recommendations on how to move the country forward in terms of unity, cooperation and sustainable development;

e) To submit a report within a maximum period of three (3) months.

The Terms of Reference (ToR) of the South Sudan Commission of Inquiry are to:

a) Establish the immediate and remote causes of the conflict;

b) Investigate human rights violations and other abuses during the conflict by all parties from 15 December 2013;

c) Establish facts and circumstances that may have led to and that amount to such violations and of any crimes that may have been perpetrated;

d) Compile information based on these investigations and in so doing assist in identifying perpetrators of such violations and abuses with a view to ensuring accountability for those responsible;

e) Compile information on institutions and process or lack thereof that may have aided or aggravated the conflict resulting in violations of human rights and other abuses;

f) To examine ways on how to move the country forward in terms of unity, cooperation and sustainable development;

g) Present a comprehensive written report on the overall situation South Sudan to the African Union Peace and Security Council within a period of three (3) months from the commencement of its activities.

h) Make recommendations based on the investigation on the following:

i. appropriate mechanisms to prevent a recurrence of the conflict;

ii. mechanisms to promote national healing and cohesiveness, particularly focusing on the need for all South Sudanese communities to live together in peace;

iii. modalities for nation building, specifically focused on building of a functional political order, democratic institutions and post conflict reconstruction;

iv. accountability mechanisms for gross violations of human rights and other egregious abuses to ensure that those responsible for such violations are held to account.

The Chairperson of the Commission, in consultation with the Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR)and other relevant AU structures, established a Commission to investigate the human rights violations and other abuses committed during the armed conflict in South Sudan and make recommendations on the best ways and means to ensure accountability, reconciliation and healing among all South Sudanese communities.

Therefore, the Commission of Inquiry is inviting representatives from all segments of the South Sudanese society that may be interested in appearing before it.

SOURCE

African Union Commission (AUC)

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