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In many countries in Africa, the majority of small farmers are women – They are Key to Africa Achieving its Trading Potential –

Posted by African Press International on November 21, 2013

NAIROBI, Kenya, November 20, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ African countries have enormous potential for trade with the global market and for more intensive trade among themselves. Regional trade in Africa can play a vital role in diversifying economies and reducing dependence on the export of a few mineral products, in delivering food and energy security, in generating jobs for the increasing numbers of young people, and in alleviating poverty and promoting a shared prosperity.

The new volume—Women and Trade in Africa: Realizing the Potential—demonstrates how women play a key role in trade in Africa and will be essential to Africa’s success in exploiting its trade potential. Women make a major contribution to trade in most African countries through their involvement in the production of tradable goods as cross-border traders and as managers and owners of firms involved in trade.

According to Marcelo M. Giugale, Director, Department of Economic Policy and Poverty Reduction Programs, World Bank Africa Region, “Removing the three main obstacles to regional trade integration in Africa—misregulation, monopolies and corruption—would be particularly beneficial for poor women, as they literally carry most of the small-scale, cross-border commerce that happens within the Region. The potential benefits are huge and obvious: better food security, faster job creation, more poverty reduction, and less gender discrimination. This is a win-win-win-win reform agenda that is ready for action.”

The main messages from the volume call for Governments to recognize the role that women play in trade and ensure this is communicated to officials at all levels; Government should ensure that the rules and regulations governing trade are clear, transparent and widely available at the border. It is important to simplify documents and regulatory requirements where possible. In addition, it is essential to design interventions to develop trade in ways that ensure that women benefit.

Governments and donors are making concerted efforts to facilitate trade, to increase productivity in export-oriented sectors, and to improve competitiveness. But these need to be better targeted to ensure that women who participate in trade are reached by these interventions and that it is not just men who benefit. Finally, help women address the risks they face in their trade-related activities given that they are typically more risk averse than men and respond to risk in different ways.

In many countries in Africa, the majority of small farmers are women, and they produce crops such as maize, cassava, cotton, and rice that have enormous potential for increased trade between African countries and with the global market. Women are also involved in providing services across borders, such as education, health, and professional services, including accountancy and legal services. Hundreds of thousands of women cross borders in Africa every day to deliver goods from areas where they are relatively cheap to areas in which they are in shorter supply.

However, Africa’s trade potential is undermined by constraints that women face. The contribution of women to trade is much less than it could be because of various specific nontariff barriers that impinge particularly heavily on the trade activities of women and women-owned enterprises. These barriers often push women traders and producers into the informal economy where lack of access to finance, information, and networks jeopardize their capacity to grow and develop their business.

 

In its goal to ensure the equitable distribution of the benefits of integration, and specifically to empower women traders, TradeMark East Africa’s Private Sector and Civil Society Program facilitates programming to increase awareness of the challenges of informal cross border traders and build up knowledge and advocacy for a better trading environment.

Lisa Karanja, Director of the program states that ”…these and other deterrent conditions prevent women from taking full advantage of the opportunities created by trade and thus undermine the aspirations of countries in Africa to use trade as a driver of growth, employment, and poverty reduction.”

Yet, policy makers typically overlook women’s contribution to trade and the challenges they face. This neglect reflects, in part, the lack of data and information on women and trade in Africa and also the underrepresentation of small traders and rural producers in trade and trade policy discussions. This volume looks at the ways that women participate in trade in Africa, the constraints they face, and the impact of those constraints.

“The aim of this book is to make available new analysis on the participation of women in trade in Africa to a wide audience, says, Paul Brenton, Editor of the volume and World Bank Africa Trade Practice Leader. It highlights the key role that women will play in achieving Africa’s potential in trade. In addition to raising the profile of this public policy issue, we also hope that it will encourage more research and analysis over a wider range of African countries and so extend the knowledge base.”

 

SOURCE

The World Bank

 

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Ghana’s criminal justice need critical attention to be more humane

Posted by African Press International on November 16, 2013

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 15, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture, Juan E. Méndez, today expressed deep concern about the situation of overcrowding in prisons in Ghana. “The overcrowding rate in some places that I visited is easily between 200 to 500%,” he warned at the end of his first official visit* to Ghana.

“Overcrowding gives rise to other human rights violations such as poor quality and quantity of food, poor hygiene, lack of adequate sleeping accommodation, insufficient air ventilation, a high risk of contamination of diseases, as well as very limited access to medical treatment, recreational activities or work opportunities,” Mr. Méndez said.

“These conditions constitute in themselves a form of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment,” stressed the independent expert charged by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor a report on the use torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the world.

The UN expert came across and documented a clear case of caning used as a disciplinary measure against several youth at the Senior Correctional Centre in Accra, the only facility dedicated to juveniles. “I have urged the authorities to conduct an immediate independent and impartial inquiry to establish accountability for this serious act of torture against children,” he said.

“The Government must ratify and implement the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture as a matter of national urgency. Among other things, this will allow a national system of regular prison monitoring by independent experts,” the rights expert stressed.

Mr. Méndez learned that family visits from children under 18 years old are not allowed in the Ghanaian prisons. “Denial of visits by children constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment not only of the inmates but of the children as well,” he cautioned.

“The Government should reconsider this issue, which is not resource dependent and could go a long way to help the mental state of inmates, in particular of female prisoners with small children,” the independent expert noted.

“In all places visited,” the Special Rapporteur said, “an extremely poor standard of equipment, absence of qualified doctors, an apparent lack of medicine and limited medical screening.” He also received numerous complaints regarding the quantity and quality of the food provided by the prison authorities.

The human rights expert pointed out that family visits are an issue of survival in detention facilities throughout Ghana. “Inmates told me they are dependent on their families to bring them medicines,” he said. “If transferred to a prison far from the family inmates may not receive additional food or medicine.”

Visiting the Psychiatric Hospitals in Accra and Ankaful, Mr. Méndez noted the lack of resources, the insufficient training and limited medication. “I am particularly worried about the application of electro-shock therapy as practiced at the Psychiatric Hospital in Accra,” said the independent expert. “It is administered without adequate anesthetics, not as a last resort, nor with free and informed consent.”

 

During his eight-day mission, the Special Rapporteur also visited two prayer camps north of Cape Coast. “I saw patients chained to the floor or walls of their cells or chained or tied to trees for prolonged periods of time,” said the expert. The practice of shackling is alleged to be due to the risk of escape or the aggressive behavior of some patients. “Many of the patients say they have been shackled for extensive periods of time, from a number of months to several years.”

The rights expert, who visited Ghana at the invitation of the Government, met with relevant authorities, the judiciary, national human rights institutions, civil society, international and regional organisations, victims and their families.

The Special Rapporteur will present a country report with his observations and recommendations to be presented at the next session of the Human Rights Council in March 2014.

(*) Check the long end-of-mission statement:http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=13990&LangID=E

 

SOURCE

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

 

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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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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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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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Exports of defence-related products from Norway in 2012

Posted by African Press International on October 5, 2013

The Government is today presenting the annual white paper to the Storting on Norwegian exports of defence-related products, export control and international non-proliferation efforts.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ processing of applications for the export of defence-related products has become more stringent. Decisions are now based on even more thorough assessments of conditions within potential recipient countries than was the case before,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.

In 2012, the total value of exports of defence-related products, technology and services for military purposes, production rights, brokering, and dual-use items for military use was almost NOK 4.6 billion. Of this amount, exports of defence-related products accounted for around NOK 3.9 billion.

The main recipients of defence-related products from Norway are Norway’s allies and other European countries.

Norwegian defence industry companies are dependent on good and predictable conditions. They play an important role in value creation and technology development. The Government intends to facilitate continued exports by having strict and clear regulations,” said Mr Eide.

One area in which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ practice in this area has become more stringent is the risk assessments that are made concerning the use of defence-related products for internal repression in the recipient country concerned. The requirements for documentation identifying the end-user have also been made stricter. Altogether, 18 applications for export licences for defence-related products were refused in 2012.

Updated guidelines for the Ministry’s processing of applications to export defence-related products were published on 16 September. The white paper that is now being presented describes the work to further tighten export control procedures.

“In recent years, the Government has increased transparency on exports of defence-related products. This is important for maintaining confidence in Norwegian export control legislation, and for ensuring support for companies that are vitally important for our national security and defence capability,” said Mr Eide.

The white paper provides detailed information on the types of military goods that have been exported, the countries they have been exported to, and the value of the exports. It also contains information on the export licence applications that have been refused.

The white paper also discusses Norwegian legislation and multilateral cooperation on export control and non-proliferation.

The total value of sales of weapons and ammunition (Category A materiel) was NOK 3.3 billion in 2012, while the value of sales of other goods that have been specifically developed or modified for military purposes (Category B materiel) was NOK 574 million. The value of exports of these goods increased by around 8 % from 2011 to 2012.

The main recipients of defence-related products from Norway are NATO countries, and Sweden and Finland. In 2012, 78 % of Norway’s total exports of Category A materiel and 90 % of Norway’s total exports of Category B materiel were to these countries.

 

End source mfa.norway

 

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Kenya farming: Mr. Raphael Owaka from Kisumu County is able to generate income and provide decent life to his family

Posted by African Press International on September 29, 2013

  • By Maurice Alal

Most farmers in Nyanza region usually pay no heed to cassava farming activities but for Mr. Raphael Owaka from Kisumu County things are different because he is able to generate income and provide decent life to his family out of it.

Owaka, 56, a cassava farmer in Nyakach (formerly Nyando) District, states that he could have ventured into farming much earlier because of the sweet fruits that he has enjoyed since he ventured into cassava farming and stayed focused on the goal.

He says cassava farming especially the improved variety (MH95/0183) have provided him with self employment and a high reliable income to his family that has completely transformed his lifestyle together with that of his family.

Cassava farming can give you everything that you ever dreams to have in your life. I can now provide for my family whatever I desire,” says Owaka.

Owaka started cassava farming way back in 2004 soon after he resigned from his work to embark on Agricultural activities using modern farming technology which most farmers have all along been reluctant to embrace.

He lamented that cassava has different by-products such as starch, flour and cassava chips that are chopped using the cassava chip, starch extractor and miller for the flour. “Starch is used in secondary school to conduct practical and also as the libido activator especially for the old people,” he said.

Nyakach district has favorable climate for horticultural farming activities alongside Cassava but urged the farmers to diversify their Agricultural activities to enable the region produce enough crops for domestic use and excess for exportation now that Kisumu Airport has
been elevated to International status.

Owaka has prospered from his initial investment of only one tree of cassava which has the capacity to produce over 30 tubers compared to the present plot of an acre piece of land which has 4000 cassava trees. From this, he makes a profit of over shs.500, 000 every two
months.

He sells a bag of cassava shs.1,000 and the produce from 1 acre piece of land fetches him not less than shs.1 million collectively annually. Cassava is a perennial crop that one is able to harvest for about 1 year before it may no longer bear tubers as expected.

The crop takes about 6 -8 months to bear tubers while in some parts of the country it takes a much shorter period depending on the climatic conditions of an area and how well the crop has been tendered.

Mr. Owaka is challenged farmers in Kisumu County and its environs to diversify farming activities and stop the traditional preference for maize, sorghum, beans and peas farming only but embrace cassava farming which has the potential to ensure Nyanza attains food
security.

He, however, conducts various training on cassava husbandry to farmers within the Counties where the residents have shown interest in the hope of generating adequate income that could tremendously transform their lifestyle for the better.

“We should focus on farming instead of idling around waiting for famine relief from the Government. Kisumu County does not need relief food if local farmers redouble their efforts by engaging in serious Agricultural ventures using modern farming methods and irrigation,”
Owaka said.

He urged farmers to take advantage of the lake and river waters to irrigate their farms especially during the short rainy seasons. The training program has boosted his source of income, Owaka says, considering that he charges Shs 8,000 for every training he undertakes
which lasts for 2 months.

“We have also conducted farmers’ field school on cassava husbandry where participants are sensitized on the crop production,”Owaka revealed.

He further stated that so far over 1,000 beneficiaries have been trained and joined the cassava farmers associations, including Community Rehabilitation Environmental Protection (CREP) for which he is the coordinator.

In comparison with other types of farming, Owaka says cassava is cost-effective, not arduous and requires simple farm inputs than other crops.

Audrey Rolyne, a farmer trained by Owaka undertakes cassava growing of different varieties alongside bee keeping and concurred with his trainer that the cash crop has greatly helped him lower the cost of production while reaping maximum profit compared to dairy-farming for cattle and goats combined.

Rolyne says she quit her job as a cleaner to venture into farming activities where she grows cassava and now is the proud owner of one and a half-acre fully put under cassava farming that generates income which has comfortably sustained the family.

Mr. Owaka, however, pointed out that cassava farming can cost more than Shs. 50,000 but he has the advantage since it requires less farm inputs to kick-start it.

“For instance if you plant an acre piece of land you will require a total of 4,000 cassava cuttings with one cassava tree bearing over 30 tubers depending on the variety,” Owaka explained.

He says market for the cassava is readily available and during the harvesting days, vendors and local residents compete for his produce due to high quality of the crop.

Owaka says Government efforts to reduce poverty especially in rural areas could be given a major boost if cassava farming is adequately promoted and funded.

Many young people in Nyanza are facing a major challenge of unemployment yet many owned inherited land that lies idle. “If youths are empowered with skills and funded on the cassava, unemployment related challenges like high rate of crime can be reduced significantly,” he says.

Farming is the best investment that one can have in the region, he says, stating that you only need a piece of land where you grow the crop as it does not require a lot of capital like coffee or tea plantations.

Owaka urged the youth to acquire technical and vocational skills rather than idling around and be used by politicians to fight their wars. He hopes to provide employment opportunities to young people in the County by planting pawpaw, vegetables, passion fruits and water melon in another 2.5 acre piece of land.

Kisumu County Director of Agriculture, Joash Owiro pledged to give all the necessary support but challenged more farmers to help satisfy the growing population. According to the last year’s census results most locals are accustomed to dairy, maize, beans, groundnuts and sorghum farming.

The major concern raised by Owaka and Owiro is the low uptake of cassava farming but they remained optimistic that farmers in the area will steadily pick up by joining the production process.

Kisumu County can make major strides in terms of farming to curb the perennial food shortage in the area and particularly in Nyakach district apart from improving the region’s economy.

Farmers should stop politicking and seek assistance from the Government which is always ready to fund such farming initiatives to promote full exploitation of available potential and utilization of Kisumu International Airport.

“Why can’t horticultural farmers alongside those who undertake cassava farming work together to improve their socio-economic development and curb perennial food shortage in the County,” Owiro posed.

ENDS…

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Kenya: “Police reforms are vital and it would be disastrous if they were diluted at the 11th hour,” said Amnesty International’s deputy director for Africa Sarah Jackson

Posted by African Press International on September 27, 2013

  • BY PETER  MUKABI (RADIO PRESENTER SAHARA FM KENYA)

Human rights violations will worsen if the Government persists with attempts to amend key laws that regulate the police, a watchdog has warned.

Amnesty International (AI) on Tuesday said proposed amendments by Inspector-General David Kimaiyo to the reform package, which has been approved by Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku, will weaken it and eliminate safeguards that regulate the force.

“Police reforms are vital and it would be disastrous if they were diluted at the 11th hour,” said Amnesty International’s deputy director for Africa Sarah Jackson.

“The police have been acting as if they are above the law for years and the Government must honour the commitments it made after the post-election violence and carry through these reforms,” she added.

The National Police Service (Amendment) Bill 2013 and National Police Service Commission (Amendment) Bill 2013, which are meant to clarify the responsibilities of the IG and National Police Service Commission, give the Inspector-General more powers.

The Bills are likely to be tabled in Parliament this week. However, Amnesty has warned this would put the powers of the police boss at greater risk of political interference.

The police boss will not be obliged to act on the recommendations of an oversight authority if the Bills pass.

The NPS Act required the police boss to act on the recommendations of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority.

However, that section has been deleted in the proposed amendments. “This really is a case of one step forward, two steps back. What promised to be a badly needed shake-up is unlikely to deliver on the key goal of a professional and accountable police service,” said Mrs Jackson.

She said the amendments would affect the independence of the IG as the police boss would be appointed by the President and Parliament.

The Bills also seek to allow police to use firearms to protect property and to stop someone charged with a serious crime from escaping or stop anyone helping them to escape, a proposal which has alarmed AI.

“These additional grounds are contrary to international standards on use of force and may facilitate unlawful killings,” said Mrs Jackson.

Kenyan police have been on spotlight since the 2007/8 post-election violence despite the amendment.

 

End

 

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Kenya: Deaths risen to 59 – Terror attack in Nairobi

Posted by African Press International on September 22, 2013

The Al Shabaab terror attack yesterday in Nairobi is now reported to have taken 59 lives and 175 reported injured.

Kenya Cabinet Secretary for Interior has confirmed the number of deaths. This is a big loss to Kenya and the families affected.

Related:

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Kenya: Call for redoubled efforts to end cycle of violence in Moyale and neighbouring areas

Posted by African Press International on September 18, 2013

A non governmental organization has asked the government to move fast and end the bloodletting in northern Kenya.
International Center for POlicy and Conflict (ICPC) said the ongoing  violence and security crisis in Moyale and neighboring Counties is a significant test for Kenya government.
The violence  has so far claimed more than 10 lives and displaced many others.
The organization is now calling on Kenyan authorities to firmly tackle the underlying causes leading to repeated outbreaks of deadly violence in Moyale and neighboring areas.
In a press statement signed by Ndungu Wainaina, the NGO said the government of Kenya has not only failed to protect vulnerable groups, but has created a dangerous culture of impunity that fuels endemic human rights violations.
”All concerned should redouble their efforts to put an immediate end to the cycle of violence, which is putting thousands of lives at risk and threatening the social stability of the whole area”, read the press statement.
It further suggested that ethnic hatred must not be allowed to keep fomenting in Kenya. ”We urged the Government of Kenya to take all the legal appropriate measures to immediately stop the ethnic violence, to protect the victims, and to avoid the repetition of such killings in the future”. it asserted.
ICPC pointed out that in the absence of a principled, determined and robust response from the government of Kenya, manifested in strong enforcement of law, communities will feel that they can vent their frustrations and inter-communal hostilities with impunity.
Equally, those who incite such violence will feel empowered to continue doing so, in the knowledge that they will face no consequences from the state.
The security forces also must act within the law, and they must be even-handed in their treatment when responding to outbreaks of violence in the affected area, the statement read.
 ICPC also in its statement  called on the Government to bring the full force of the law to bear against those responsible for inciting violence.
END.

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Kenya: Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero & Hon. Member of Parliament Rachel Shebesh’s slapping

Posted by African Press International on September 6, 2013

Kenya: Nairobi Governor Dr Evans Kidero says it was not him slapping Nairobi Women Representative Rachael Shebesh after an altercation in his office.

Shebesh was among county of Nairobi workers who stormed Kidero’s office on Friday afternoon demonstrating demanding a pay rise. After the incident Kidero while addressing a press conference denied slapping Hon Shebesh.

Kidero told the media “I was in my office but I don’t remember or have any recollection of slapping anyone. All i know is that a group of people about 30-40 tried to force themselves into my office led by a Honourable Member of Parliament“,.

After his address to the press he went to Central Police Station to record a statement about the incident.

When other senior officers have slapped people, they have lost their job. Kidero may now have extra problems on his hands. Election petition against his election in March this year as the Governor of Nairobi County filed by Mr Waititu is yet to be decided by the High Court.

You can watch the video of Kidero ‘slapping’ Shebesh here below:

Here the Nairobi Governor Kidero slaps Hon. Member of Parliament Nairobi County Rachel Shebesh


Here the Governor denies having slapped her

This is cruelty against women. Would he have dared slap a male member of parliament?

End

 

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Norway: EGEBERGPARKEN OFFICIAL INAUGURATION SEPTEMBER 26th – Great artwork in the making by Norwegian Christian Ringnes

Posted by African Press International on September 4, 2013

The official inauguration of Egebergparken (park) will take place on the 26th of September. International artists will grace the occasion. This fantastic park with famous artwork, remodelled is the brainchild of Mr Christian Ringnes.

www.africanpress.me/ Ekebergparken’s official inauguration on 26th September 2013 takes place, Oslo – Norway

End

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Sierra Leone’s civil war famously left tens of thousands maime

Posted by African Press International on September 4, 2013

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FREETOWN, – Sierra Leone‘s civil war famously left tens of thousands maimed, including many whose limbs were amputated. But while war victims received some help, those with other disabilities struggle to survive.

Disabled Sierra Leoneans face difficulty obtaining adequate healthcare, education and jobs, which are already hard to come by in the country.

While there are no data available, polio survivors are believed to account for a significant proportion of Sierra Leone’s disabled. Many came to Freetown during or after the war, in search of safety, shelter and employment. Few now have jobs, and most resort to begging. Many have trouble finding a place to sleep.

At a government-owned building in downtown Freetown, more than 200 polio survivors live with their families in small spaces divided by cardboard walls. The building is overcrowded, with just a few toilets and a small washing area, and with families growing, it will soon become untenable.

The community is run by the Handicapped Youth Development Organisation (HYDO), a group whose members are disabled.

HYDO plans to develop a plot of land it bought in Waterloo on the outskirts of Freetown for disabled people to work, farm and live. But with few means of income, the community faces an uphill battle.

ft/ob/rz source http://www.irinnews.org

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Kenya: KERICHO COUNTY GOVERNOR SHOWS LEADERSHIP – VISITS SURREY UNIVERSITY FOR A GOOD REASON

Posted by African Press International on September 2, 2013

While some Governors in Kenya are fighting for more money from the National Government and others campaigning to have a referendum, Kericho County Governor Professor Paul Chepkwony in his wisdom decided to use his time to visit the United Kingdom in search of cooperation on University to University quality education.

The visit to the UK did not cost the tax payers money. The trip was organised by Kenyans consisting of people from the Governor’s County who are either studying or working in the UK.

This serves as a good example to other Governors who travel abroad using tax payers money without care of the impact on the tax payer in their counties.

The Professor wants his county residents to benefit. In his county there are 2 Universities and he now wants UK Surrey University to work with together with the two universities in strengthening quality education.

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Additional NOK 350 million to be allocated to humanitarian crises

Posted by African Press International on August 26, 2013

The Government intends to increase the humanitarian budget by NOK 350 million. The funds will primarily be channelled to Syria, but the crisis in South Sudan and the area around the Great Lakes in Africa will also receive Norwegian support. “There is an acute need for additional funds to alleviate several of the grave humanitarian crises in the world. The Government has therefore presented a proposition to the Storting today, proposing a NOK 350 million increase in the humanitarian budget. Of this sum, NOK 275 million will go to the crisis in Syria,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.

The humanitarian situation in Syria is deteriorating steadily. The conflict in Syria began in March 2011. According to UN reports, more than 100 000 people have been killed. The number of refugees fleeing to Syria’s neighbouring countries has exceeded 1.9 million, and there are 4.25 million internally displaced. At least 6.8 million Syrians are dependent on humanitarian aid. “The situation in Syria is becoming increasingly brutal. Both the population in Syria and the refugees in neighbouring countries need our help.

 

In addition, the pressure being exerted on Syria’s neighbouring countries by the flow of refugees is a major problem. It is crucial that the international community helps the neighbouring countries to address this situation,” Mr Eide said. The additional NOK 275 million will bring Norway’s total humanitarian contribution to the crisis in Syria in 2013 to NOK 635 million. Norway will then have provided a total of NOK 850 million since the onset of the conflict in 2011.

“The crisis in Syria is the most rapidly escalating crisis in the world today. We must not, however, forget the humanitarian needs in other crises that are less in the media spotlight. The Government will therefore also provide an additional NOK 75 million to South Sudan and the area around the Great Lakes in Africa,” said Mr Eide. End

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