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Archive for June 10th, 2014

ICC: Want asylum in the Netherlands? Read this story carefully

Posted by African Press International on June 10, 2014

A very tricky situation has arisen. The DRC transferred forcefully witnesses from their country to the ICC (helping ICC to get witnesses to the court), but now the said witnesses have applied for asylum in the Netherlands. Could witnesses from Kenya also do the same if they want, if forced to trave and give evidence in the Hague against the Deputy President of Kenya? Will such action, forced to travel and give evidence, lead to witnesses accepting to travel to the ICC while having in mind the fact that they can apply for asylum – in other words, give false evidence, lie and use fear to return to Kenya – saying they will be persecuted if they return to Kenya, their defence to get asylum in the Hague?

  • ICC transfers three detained witnesses to Dutch custody

Today, 4 June 2014, three witnesses detained by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the framework of their testimony before the Court were transferred to the custody of the authorities of The Netherlands. Floribert Ndjabu Ngabu, Sharif Manda Ndadza Dz’Na and Pierre-Célestin Mbodina Iribi were transferred from the ICC detention to the Dutch authorities’ custody in accordance with anorder of the ICC Appeals Chamber.

On 20 January 2014, the ICC Appeals Chamber directed the ICC Registrar to return the three witnesses to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s custody, after consultation with the Dutch authorities in order to provide them with the opportunity to take any steps it determines to be necessary in respect of the pending asylum applications of the three witnesses. The Chamber considered that the ICC’s authority to detain individuals was limited to situations where the detention is related to judicial proceedings before the Court and that the ICC could not serve as an administrative detention unit for asylum seekers or persons otherwise involved in judicial proceedings with the Host State or any other state.

The ICC Registrar has been satisfied of the guarantees for these witnesses upon their possible return in the DRC, including that no death penalty would be applicable against them and that the cases for which they were previously detained in the DRC are now on the roster for national proceedings. However, since asylum applications are still awaiting an appeal before Dutch courts, the Dutch authorities have agreed to host the three witnesses pending those decisions.

———————-

Background: In 2011, Floribert Ndjabu Ngabu, Sharif Manda Ndadza Dz’Na and Pierre-Célestin Mbodina Iribi were transferred to the ICC, with the cooperation of the DRC authorities, to testify before the ICC in the context of the case The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui. They were transferred from the DRC where they were detained, under the agreement with the Court that they shall be returned under the DRC’s custody after their testimony before the ICC Judges. 

However, on 12 May 2011, the witnesses filed asylum requests which are still pending before Dutch courts. The Dutch courts have ordered that the witnesses could not be sent back to the DRC pending the conclusion of the proceedings before them.

End

source ICC

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IMF Executive Board Approves US$ 17.6 Million Extended Fund Facility Arrangement for Seychelles

Posted by African Press International on June 10, 2014

MAHE, Victoria, June 6, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday approved a three year SDR 11.445 million (about US$ 17.6 million, or 105 percent of Seychelles’ quota) arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for the Republic of Seychelles to support the authorities’ economic program. The approval enables the immediate disbursement of SDR 1.635 million (about US$ 2.5 million), while the remaining amount will be phased over the duration of the program, subject to semi-annual program reviews.

The authorities’ EFF-supported program aims to reduce the high debt levels, improve external buffers and sustainability in the face of emergent balance of payments pressures, and strengthen the economy through sustained and inclusive growth.

Following the Executive Board discussion on Seychelles, Mr. Naoyuki Shinohara, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, said:

“The authorities have undertaken comprehensive reforms since the 2008 crisis that have supported a strong recovery and improvements in fiscal and external sustainability. Growth was strong in 2013, boosted by increased tourism arrivals. Inflation stabilized at a low level. The current account deficit fell sharply, allowing the central bank to rebuild its reserves. However, debt levels and the current account deficit remain high, while some persistent structural weaknesses are holding back growth potential and economic resilience.

“The authorities’ economic program supported by the EFF-arrangement appropriately focuses on reducing vulnerabilities and containing fiscal risks while fostering sustained and inclusive growth. The authorities’ target of reducing the debt-to-GDP ratio to below 50 percent by 2018 remains an anchor for stability, while allowing the necessary investments in human and physical capital to support growth. The new monetary policy framework builds on recent progress in mopping up structural excess liquidity, and exchange rate flexibility and moderate reserve accumulation continue to facilitate adjustment to external shocks.

“The structural reform agenda is ambitious and targeted. The adoption of a Medium-Term National Development Strategy, the associated medium-term fiscal framework, and a financial sector development strategy, together constitute critical reforms needed to promote growth. Reforms also aim to strengthen the management and transparency of public finances. Building on the progress already made, it is important to enhance the oversight of state-owned enterprises to contain fiscal risks and avoid excessive expansion from crowding out the private sector.”

ANNEX

Recent economic developments

In the five years following the 2008 crisis, the Seychellois authorities have successfully enacted a comprehensive IMF-supported program of reforms – floating the exchange rate, eliminating exchange restrictions, turning fiscal deficits into surpluses, and halving the debt burden with the assistance of external debt relief. Structural reforms sought to foster long-term growth, including through simplifying the tax system and promoting the private sector.

These reforms have borne fruit in the form of a strong and sustained recovery: real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth accelerated to around 3.5 percent in 2013, boosted by strong tourist arrivals. Inflation fell to 2.2 percent in March 2014. The external position improved thanks to a boom in tourism and tuna exports, and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows remain strong. Reserve coverage reached an estimated 3.8 months of imports at end-2013, up from 3.0 months at end-2012. The 2013 fiscal outturn was largely in line with the authorities’ ambitious targets, although business and income tax revenues were somewhat weaker than expected.

Nevertheless, important risks and challenges remain. At 65 percent of GDP, Seychelles’ public debt remains high, as does the current account deficit (18.5 percent of GDP), —although the latter has been largely funded by FDI. Moreover, the balance of payments faces headwinds as debt service and investment income payments rise. Sustained GDP growth will require adequate infrastructure investment and an active reform agenda to enhance productivity. At the same time, fiscal policy faces pressures, as revenue and grants have been falling as a proportion of GDP.

Program Summary

The program is designed to strengthen macroeconomic stability, reduce vulnerabilities, and support wide-ranging structural reforms aimed at laying the foundation for sustained and inclusive growth. The macroeconomic framework is anchored on the authorities’ goal of reducing the debt-to-GDP ratio below 50 percent by 2018. This requires continued fiscal primary surpluses of 3 to 4 percent of GDP over the medium term, a fiscal path which strikes a balance between the pace of debt reduction and addressing vital social and investment needs. Revenue measures under the program will focus on improving tax compliance and administration, while enhancing the quality of fiscal spending will be a core priority of the program.

The monetary policy framework aims to maintain low and stable inflation. In advance of the new program, the excess liquidity problem has been largely addressed through the issuance of medium-term Treasury bonds. The adoption of average reserve money targeting will further strengthen the policy framework, supporting the move towards a more forward-looking framework. While reserve coverage has recently reached the desirable range, maintaining it will require continued reserve accumulation in the face of balance-of-payments pressures. Exchange rate flexibility remains key to ensuring external stability over the medium term.

Sustaining growth and tackling risks to stability will require the implementation of a new generation of ambitious structural reforms, including: the adoption of a Medium-Term National Development Strategy, a medium-term fiscal framework, and a financial sector development strategy, as well as measures to combat international tax evasion. A new framework for Public Private Partnerships will support infrastructure investment and promote the role of the private sector. Establishing a registry of state assets, including land, will help protect public finances and support more efficient land use. The oversight of state owned enterprises will also be progressively strengthened, building on past progress, to contain fiscal risks and focus them on their core missions.

Seychelles: Selected Economic and Financial Indicators, 2011–19

2011    2012    2013    2014    2015    2016    2017    2018    2019

Prel.    Est.    Proj.    Proj.    Proj.    Proj.    Proj.    Proj.

 

National income and prices

(Percentage change, unless otherwise indicated)

Nominal GDP (millions of Seychelles rupees)

13,304    15,468    16,723    18,103    19,381    20,750    22,196    23,716    25,303

Real GDP

7.9    2.8    3.5    3.7    3.8    3.7    3.6    3.5    3.4

CPI (annual average)

2.6    7.1    4.3    3.6    2.9    3.0    3.0    3.0    3.0

CPI (end-of-period)

5.5    5.8    3.4    4.0    3.2    3.1    3.0    3.0    3.0

GDP deflator average

5.3    13.1    4.5    4.4    3.2    3.3    3.3    3.2    3.1

Money and credit

(Percentage change, unless otherwise indicated)

Credit to the private sector

5.2    8.5    4.5    6.8    …    …    …    …    …

Broad money

4.5    -0.6    23.7    8.3    …    …    …    …    …

Reserve money

-2.7    6.9    15.4    25.8    …    …    …    …    …

Velocity (GDP/broad money)

1.8    2.0    1.8    1.8    …    …    …    …    …

Money multiplier (broad money/reserve money)

4.5    4.2    4.5    3.8    …    …    …    …    …

Savings-Investment balance

(Percent of GDP)

External savings

27.4    25.2    16.9    18.5    17.7    16.0    15.9    14.8    14.8

Gross national savings

7.0    12.4    21.4    17.5    15.3    14.8    15.3    15.0    15.2

Of which: government savings

10.6    13.3    9.6    8.0    7.7    7.8    8.2    8.2    7.9

Gross investment

34.3    37.6    38.3    36.0    32.9    30.9    31.2    29.8    29.9

Of which: public investment

7.3    10.6    9.7    7.1    7.2    7.3    7.2    7.2    7.7

Government budget

Total revenue, excluding grants

35    34.4    32.4    31.0    30.9    30.9    30.9    30.9    30.9

Expenditure and net lending

35.2    36.2    36.6    33.1    32.2    31.8    31.2    31.0    31.6

Current expenditure

27.2    25.8    27.1    26.0    25.2    24.7    24.2    24.0    24.2

Capital expenditure (including onlending)1

8.0    10.4    9.5    7.1    7.0    7.1    7.0    6.9    7.4

Overall balance, including grants

0.9    2.2    0.3    0.7    0.3    0.5    0.9    1.0    0.3

Program primary balance

5.3    5.7    4.7    4.0    3.2    3.2    3.2    3.1    2.4

Total public debt

73.2    77.5    65.3    64.5    61.0    57.4    53.3    49.1    45.9

Domestic 2

27.7    32.2    27.7    27.3    24.6    22.5    20.2    18.2    16.9

External

45.6    45.3    37.6    37.2    36.5    34.9    33.1    30.9    29.0

External sector

(Percent of GDP, unless otherwise indicated)

Current account balance including official transfers

-27.4    -25.2    -16.9    -18.5    -17.7    -16.0    -15.9    -14.8    -14.8

Total public external debt outstanding (millions of U.S. dollars)

490    512    521    549    566    575    577    572    566

(percent of GDP)

45.6    45.3    37.6    37.2    36.5    34.9    33.1    30.9    29.0

Terms of trade (-=deterioration)

-6.3    -0.6    0.2    1.3    1.5    1.5    1.3    1.0    0.8

Real effective exchange rate (average, percent change)

-7.5    -2.4    …    …    …    …    …    …    …

Gross official reserves (end of year, millions of U.S. dollars)

277    307    423    455    481    506    531    555    577

Months of imports, c.i.f.

2.8    3.0    3.8    4.0    4.1    4.2    4.2    4.2    4.3

Exchange rate

Seychelles rupees per US$1 (end of period)

13.7    13.0    12.1    …    …    …    …    …    …

Seychelles rupees per US$1 (period average)

12.4    13.7    12.1    …    …    …    …    …    …

 

Sources: Central Bank of Seychelles; Ministry of Finance; and IMF staff estimates and projections.

1Includes onlending to the parastatals for investment purposes.

 

2 Includes debt issued by the Ministry of Finance for monetary purposes.

SOURCE

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

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Kenya: Churchill show season 04 episode 13 Visits ELDORET Town

Posted by African Press International on June 10, 2014

The people of Eldoret had their time with Churchill show

The show Embeded here by Sammy Korir

Churchill Raw Season 02 Episode 13

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Launch of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) to be held 19-21 November in Rome to address hunger and malnutrition

Posted by African Press International on June 10, 2014

ROME, Italy, June 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — PRESS CONFERENCE 12 June 2014

Figures paint a stark picture: 842 million people undernourished; about 45 percent of 6.9 million child deaths linked to malnutrition, obesity on the rise in many countries.

Despite great strides made in some countries since the first international conference on nutrition held in 1992, progress in reducing hunger and improving nutrition has been unacceptably slow. Malnutrition in all its forms (undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and overnutrition) places an intolerable burden on individuals and communities as well as on the cultural, social, economic and health fabric of nations.

Recognizing that global problems require global solutions, FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO) are jointly organizing a high-level inter-governmental conference on nutrition to be held in Rome 19-21 November 2014.

The overall goal is to improve diets and to raise levels of nutrition globally. From participants, including heads of state and government leaders, it seeks:

•    A political commitment for effective action and mobilization of resources for improved nutrition;

•    The incorporation of nutrition-enhancing food systems into national policies;

•    Coordination among food, agriculture, health and other sectors to improve nutritional outcomes;

•    Better international cooperation on nutrition issues;

•    Contribution to the post-2015 UN development agenda and the Zero Hunger Challenge.

 

FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, will give a press conference to launch ICN2 at FAO headquarters in Rome on Thursday 12 June at 10.30 am. A video message by WHO Director-General, Margaret Chan, will also be shown.

WHAT: Launch of Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2)

WITH: FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva,

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan (video message)

WHEN: Thursday, 12 June 2014, 10.30h

WHERE: Sheikh Zayed Media Centre, FAO headquarters

Rome, Italy | Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, corner with Viale Aventino. Metro stop Circo Massimo.

 

 

SOURCE

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

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