UN agencies concerned about limited funding to assist South Sudanese refugees in Sudan

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today expressed deep concern at funding shortfalls which could affect the assistance that is being provided to South Sudanese refugees in Sudan.

“Our resources are being stretched at a time when needs are quickly growing,” said UNHCR’s Representative in Sudan, Mohammed Adar. “Over 50,000 South Sudanese have crossed into Sudan since the beginning of 2016, surpassing the planning figure set for the entire year. Further shortfalls in funding will hamper our ability to continue providing assistance for the existing South Sudanese refugees in Sudan while also responding to the emergency needs of new arrivals.” UNHCR humanitarian requirements for 2016 remain 18% funded, leaving over US$128 million in unmet needs.

The heads of UNICEF and WFP have voiced similar concerns about the limited resources available to respond to the basic needs of South Sudanese seeking refuge in Sudan, including access to clean water, shelter, emergency household supplies and adequate protection. The situation is particularly worrisome as the agencies’ funding shortages coincide with a period of heightened food insecurity in part of South Sudan. This, in addition to the ongoing violence, is driving rapidly increasing numbers of South Sudanese into Sudan.

The UNICEF Sudan Representative, Geert Cappelaere, also warns that his organisation is running out of funding for the provision of critical support to more than 100,000 children from South Sudan in dire need of urgent humanitarian assistance. “With only 11% of the total humanitarian requirement funded so far in 2016 and an estimated US$105 million shortfall, UNICEF is gravely concerned it may have to cut back on crucial lifesaving water, sanitation, nutrition, health and protection assistance to those vulnerable children”, Cappelaere emphasised.

Echoing the concern of his UNICEF and UNHCR colleagues, WFP Representative and Country Director Adnan Khan said: “We are concerned that if we do not receive sufficient funding soon enough, we will not be able to respond to the needs of South Sudanese refugees who continue to flee their country to seek food and refuge.”

WFP is currently facing a 12-month funding shortfall of US$181 million of which US$19 million will be used to meet the needs of the South Sudanese refugees through its Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation.

UNICEF, UNHCR and WFP have banded together to appeal for additional funding that will be required to meet greater needs created by the rapidly increasing number of South Sudanese fleeing into Sudan.

Conflict and food insecurity are forcing more and more South Sudanese to flee their country and cross into neighbouring countries. A total of 678,000 South Sudanese refugees are now being hosted in the neighbouring countries with 221,000 in Sudan.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of World Food Programme (WFP).

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Joint Statement on South Sudan Peace Process

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC

April 22, 2016

The text of the following statement was issued jointly by the Governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Norway.

Begin Text:

The members of the Troika (United States, United Kingdom, and Norway) are deeply disappointed by Riek Machar’s continued failure to return to South Sudan’s capital Juba to form the Transitional Government of National Unity. This represents a willful decision by him not to abide by his commitments to implement the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan. We congratulate the government for demonstrating maximum flexibility for the sake of peace by agreeing to the compromise proposal on the return of security forces proposed by regional and international partners and mediated by the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission. It remains important that the government fully withdraws its troops from Juba as called for in the peace agreement. We also welcome the opposition’s support for the compromise proposal and demand that Machar abide by this commitment and return to Juba by 23 April. Machar’s failure to go to Juba, despite efforts from the international community to support his return, places the people of South Sudan at risk of further conflict and suffering and undermines the peace agreement’s reform pillars – demilitarizing South Sudan, injecting transparency of public finances, and pursuing justice and reconciliation – that offer South Sudan a chance for renewal. We will pursue appropriate measures against anyone who further frustrates implementation of the peace agreement.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Africa Regional Media Hub.

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Ambassador Catherine Russell Travels to Sudan and Malawi

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC

April 22, 2016

Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell will travel to Sudan and Malawi from April 23 – 30.

In Sudan, Ambassador Russell will meet with government officials, representatives of civil society and international organizations, community leaders, and students to discuss the status of women and girls in Sudan. Her meetings will focus on preventing violence against women, promoting women’s economic empowerment, and enhancing women’s roles in peace, security, and reconciliation efforts.

The Ambassador will also meet with Awadeya Mahmoud, a 2016 recipient of the Secretary’s International Women of Courage Award.

In Malawi, Ambassador Russell will meet with government officials, local leaders, members of civil society, and students to learn more about the status of adolescent girls—particularly their health, education, and safety—as part of a new U.S. effort to empower girls in Malawi under the Let Girls Learn initiative championed by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Africa Regional Media Hub.

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AU Commission Chairperson meets with African Ambassadors in Moscow, challenges them to create training opportunities for students

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, met with African Ambassadors accredited to the Russian Federation in Moscow, during her second official visit to Russia, during which she held a dialogue with the Foreign Affairs Minister, Sergey Lavrov. The AU Commission Chairperson briefed them on the state of affairs at the Commission, the situation of peace and security on the continent, as well as on her discussions with Minister Lavrov.

Much attention was focused on Agenda 2063, on the consultation process that culminated in its adaption, including the 10-year implementation plan and the flagship projects. While highlighting the enormous prospects that Agenda 2063 presents to accelerate continental peace, integration and prosperity, she equally emphasized the challenges that must be overcome.

One of the challenges raised was the acute shortage of skilled human resources to drive the continent’s transformation agenda. “About 90% of our graduates are in the Arts, not in the science and technology area,” the Chairperson said, citing findings of a study conducted by the Africa Capacity Building Foundation to identify the skills gap on the continent.

She challenged the Ambassadors to join the skills revolution, by creating and facilitating possibilities of African students across various areas of science, technology and engineering.

The Ambassadors welcomed the challenge, assuring the Chairperson that the MoU signed with the Russia encourages and empowers them more to continue doing that which they were already doing.

“We will speak for Africa, and speak with authority,” the Deputy Dean of the African Ambassadors Group and Cameroon’s Ambassador to Russia, Amb. Mahamat Paba Salé, said. They also expressed their joy in the meeting and discussions with the Chairperson, throwing their support to her leadership.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Africa and Russia strengthen ties to build on their potential

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, on Thursday 21 April 2016, concluded her second official visit to Russia, which ended on a high note, with commitment to strengthen the relationship between Africa and the Russian Federation. In meetings with the Russian Federation Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sergey Lavrov and the Chairperson of the Council of the Federation, Mrs. Valentina Matvienko, they agreed to strengthen the relationship in ways that would match the potential of Africa and Russia.

Organised as one of regular consultations within the framework of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the AU Commission and Russia in September 2014, Dr. Dlamini Zuma and Mr. Sergey Lavrov held discussions on issues ranging from sustainable development, to trade and investments, training of Africa’s youth, and peace and security.

The AU Commission Chairperson presented Africa’s development strategic priorities and directions, as featured in Africa’s Agenda 2063 and its adopted first 10-year implementation plan. She invited Russia and Russian businesses to take advantage of the investment opportunities presented in Africa.

The Foreign Minister indicated the keen interest of Russia in trade and investment projects and programmes at bilateral, regional and continental levels, in line with Africa’s Agenda 2063, particularly on industrialisation and infrastructural projects as outlined by the Chairperson.

The AU Commission Chairperson and Foreign Minister also discussed peace and security in Africa, focusing on the situation in Burundi, Central African Republic, Libya, Mali, South Sudan and others. They also exchanged on ways of combating terrorism and extremism, which threaten peace and security globally.

The Foreign Minister pledged the total support of the Russian Federation to Africa’s positions around UN resolutions, on the basis of the AU’s principle of African solution to African problems.

The meeting between the Chairpersons of the AU Commission and that of the Council of the Federation, Mrs. Valentina Matvienko, stayed along the same lines, emphasizing the need to deepen the historic relationship that exists with Russia in order to build on the potentials. They agreed to increase trade and investment between, with Dr. Dlamini Zuma reassuring Russian businesses of the potential to earn higher returns on investments in Africa than they would elsewhere.

Both with Minister Lavarov and Chairperson Matvienko, the AU Commission Chairperson reiterated the need for many more African students to be trained in Russia around areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. These skills are very much needed in all the areas of transport, energy, telecommunication infrastructure that are critical in accelerating Africa’s integration.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Seychelles concludes 2nd Joint Committee Meeting with Philippines

The second Joint Committee Meeting Seychelles-Philippines was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Manila on April 21 and co-chaired by Ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, Principal Secretary, and Ms. Laura Q. Del Rosario, Undersecretary, Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines, who had also co-chaired the 1st Joint Committee Meeting that took place in Victoria on October 22, 2013.

This working session was preceded by a courtesy call of the Seychellois delegation – also comprising of Seychelles’ non resident Ambassador to the Philippines, Mr. Philippe Le Gall, Seychelles’ Honorary Consul General to the Philippines, Mr. Joselito D. Campos, Ms Jutta Alexis, desk officer for the Philippines at MFA and Ms Murla Gabriel in charge of International Cooperation at the Seychelles Tourism Academy-STA – on Secretary of Foreign Affairs H.E. Jose Rene D. Almendras.
Two agreements were also signed prior to the start of the JC Meeting: a Memorandum of Understanding ( MOU ) on the Establishment of Bilateral Consultations between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs and a MOU on Educational Cooperation between the Lyceum of the Philippines University and Seychelles Tourism Academy.

One year before Seychelles and the Philippines celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations this Joint Committee Meeting was both timely and useful as a unique opportunity for the two countries to exchange views at executive level on their bilateral links as well as on the regional and international challenges they are facing.

Seychellois and Filipino diplomats were able to assess what has been done since the first JCM and to establish priorities for the two years to come, Seychelles being expected to host the 3rd JCM in 2018.

The two sides agreed in particular to a road map taking advantage of the existing framework of cooperation, in particular the Economic and Technical Cooperation agreement signed in 2010 and making provision for specific action in fields such as SMEs, Standards, Investments, etc, without having necessarily to start the time-consuming negotiation of separate agreements.

Seychelles’ and Philippines’ delegations agreed to focus their efforts on cooperation in the fields of agriculture and fisheries ( including aquaculture ), tax information and the prevention of fiscal evasion, the signing of a bilateral air service agreement, the establishment of strong ties between the Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Victoria and Manila, as well as the signing of a labor agreement and more cultural cooperation through the Department of Cultural Diplomacy of the Filipino Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Finally both sides were of the view that this second Joint Commission Meeting would pave the way for mutually beneficial exchanges and activities making Seychelles a committed partner of the Philippines in the Indian Ocean as well as in Philippines’ policy towards Africa, while also helping Seychelles to better benefit from the opportunities existing in the ASEAN market of 650 million consumers, a regional grouping in which the Philippines represent a key economy actor.

Following the Joint Commission Meeting, actively facilitated by Seychelles’ Honorary Consul General, Mr. Joselito D. Campos, Ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne gave an interview on Seychelles-Philippines relations of friendship and cooperation to “the Manila Bulletin” considered as being the leading Newspaper in the Philippines.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles.

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South Sudan: Failure of Government of South Sudan and Opposition to Form TGNU

Press Statement

John Kirby
Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs

Washington, DC

April 24, 2016

The United States is disappointed by the continued failure of the Government of South Sudan and by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement -SPLM/A-IO (IO) to form the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) and implement the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.

Yesterday, the government denied landing permission to flights for the return of opposition leader Riek Machar. This interference resulted in the failure to meet the deadline in the compromise proposal put forward by the regional and international partners of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission that was agreed to by both sides. We have previously condemned obstruction by the IO, including the arbitrary demand by Riek Machar that more forces and heavy weapons than was previously agreed precede his arrival to Juba.

Despite the best efforts by South Sudan’s neighbors, the Troika, United Nations Mission in South Sudan, China, the African Union, the European Union and, most importantly, by South Sudanese advocating for peace, leaders on both sides have blocked progress.

The United States will continue to work with those who are sincerely committed to implementing the Agreement, particularly its provisions for reform of the security sector and public finances and for reconciliation and accountability.

The scope of future U.S. engagement in helping South Sudan confront the country’s security, economic and development challenges, however, will depend on the parties demonstrating commitment to work together to implement the Agreement. We have been working intensively with our partners, especially Ethiopia, to facilitate Riek Machar’s return. Given the actions by both sides to prevent or delay his return, it is now time for the parties to assume primary responsibility for facilitating the return of Riek Machar to Juba to form the TGNU and to demonstrate that they are genuinely committed to peace.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of U.S. Department of State.

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MONUSCO expresses serious concern about rising political tensions in some parts of the DRC

The Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Head of MONUSCO, Maman Sidikou, has expressed serious concern about rising political tensions in some parts of the DRC.

This situation follows the announcement by certain political groups and parties of their intention to organize political gatherings in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi and subsequent measures taken by the security forces to prevent the holding of these gatherings.

The SRSG stresses the need for all Congolese political actors to demonstrate maximum restraint during this critical period in the political evolution of their country. He urges the Congolese authorities to do their utmost to scrupulously uphold the rule of law and desist from any actions that could impede political actors from exercising their constitutional rights and freedoms, including the freedom of expression, association and assembly.

The SRSG reaffirms the critical importance of adequate political space to foster a genuinely inclusive political dialogue that would pave the way for the holding of peaceful, transparent and credible elections.

In that regard, he reiterates the readiness of MONUSCO to support the African Union designated Facilitator Mr. Edem Kodji, and work with him in the pursuit of his efforts, bearing in mind the relevant provisions of UN SC 2277 and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Good Governance.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Mission de l’Organisation des Nations unies en République démocratique du Congo (MONUSCO).

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Clarke Energy Chosen to Supply GE’s Gas Engine Technology to Combined Heat and Power Plant in Tanzania

  • Clarke Energy Secures Its First Project in Tanzania with Azam Flour Mill Deploying One of GE’s Jenbacher J612 Gas Engines
  • Helping Bakhresa Foods Reduce the Yearly Operating Costs through the Deployment of a New Gas-Fueled CHP Plant
  • Project Demonstrates Growing Availability of Gas in Dar es Salaam Following Completion of New Gas Pipeline

GE’s Distributed Power business (NYSE: GE) (http://www.GE.com) today announced that Clarke Energy (www.Clarke-Energy.com), GE’s authorized distributor of Jenbacher gas engines, is supplying one of GE’s high-efficiency Jenbacher gas engines to Said Salim Bakhresa & Co Ltd (Bakhresa) for a combined heat and power (CHP) plant, which will support the Azam flour mill in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The deployment of this high-efficiency, gas-fueled CHP plant will help Bakhresa reduce its yearly operating costs.

“We selected GE and Clarke Energy for our site in Dar es Salaam due to the efficiency performance of similar units in Tanzania and their service support available in the country,” said Mr. Rajesh Nair, technical manager, Said Salim Bakhresa & Co ltd.

Tanzania has large domestic reserves of gas that are located in coastal waters off the southern part of the country. There have been two gas pipelines constructed in Tanzania to transport that gas from the site of production to the site of use. The first pipeline reached full capacity a number of years ago and supplied a limited number of industries with gas for self-consumption. The second gas pipeline has just been completed resulting in new supplies of gas being made available to industry.

“Bakhresa is one of the leading industrial houses in Tanzania, and this natural gas-fueled power generation has significant cost- and carbon-saving benefits,” said Hugh Richmond, business development director, Clarke Energy. “As Clarke Energy’s first project in Tanzania, it will help reduce the factory’s operational costs and, in parallel, deliver reliable power.”

“GE’s Jenbacher J612 gas engine features lower emissions and increased efficiency,” said Oluwatoyin Abegunde, sub-Sahara Africa regional leader for GE’s Distributed Power business. “By combining our proven technology and Clarke Energy’s expertise, we are able to provide a highly reliable, cost-effective solution for Bakhresa’s new CHP plant and support the growth of Tanzania’s industrial base.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of GE.

For more information, contact:
Susanne Reichelt
GE’s Distributed Power
+43 664 80833 2382
susanne.reichelt@ge.com

Alex Marshall
Group Marketing Manager, Clarke Energy
+44 7917 066 242
alex.marshall@clarke-energy.com

About GE’s Distributed Power business
GE’s Distributed Power (http://www.GE.com) business is a leading provider of engines, power equipment and services focused on power generation and gas compression at or near the point of use. Distributed Power offers a diverse product portfolio that includes highly efficient, fuel-flexible, industrial gas engines generating 200 kW to 10 MW each of power for numerous industries globally. In addition, the business provides life cycle support for more than 36,000 gas engines worldwide to help you meet your business challenges and success metrics—anywhere and anytime. Backed by our authorized service providers in more than 170 countries, GE‘s global service network connects with you locally for rapid response to your service needs. GE’s Distributed Power business is headquartered in Jenbach, Austria.

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Senior-most U.S. Military Official Discusses Regional Security with President Sisi

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo is pleased to host Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., who is in Egypt for meetings with senior Egyptian officials. General Dunford met today with President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, Minister of Defense General Sedky Sobhy, and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces LTG Mahmoud Hegazy.

In the meeting this afternoon in the Presidential Palace, General Dunford and President Sisi discussed regional security concerns, potential bilateral counter-terrorism efforts, and strengthening the U.S.-Egypt relationship and military-to-military partnership.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the United States’ highest-ranking military officer and the principal military adviser to President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, and the National Security Council.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of U.S. Embassy – Cairo.

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Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with H. E. Mr. Joseph Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Secretary-General met today H.E. Mr. Joseph Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). They exchanged views on the political and security situation in the DRC and the implementation of the mandate of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).

The Secretary-General encouraged the Government to take the necessary measures to ease political tensions in order to pave the way for peaceful and credible presidential and legislative elections in accordance with the Constitution.

The Secretary-General also encouraged the Government of the DRC to continue pursuing a strategic dialogue with MONUSCO, including the joint development of an exit strategy for the Mission.

The Secretary-General underlined the importance of the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, and hoped that the Paris Agreement on Climate Change signed yesterday would soon be ratified in the DRC.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Source:: Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with H. E. Mr. Joseph Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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MainOne leads drive to enhance West Africa’s cable assets at SubOptic 2016

MainOne (www.MainOne.net), premier connectivity and data center solutions company recently reinforced its commitment to enhancing its submarine cable assets at SubOptic 2016, the convergence place for leading optical technology vendors to exchange ideas and review latest developments in the entire industry.

Sharing his thoughts on his participation at the conference, the company’s Acting Chief Technical Officer, Ravi Kannikeswaran, said ”The submarine cable industry has greatly changed over the past few years. Following a multi-year construction drought, systems are being upgraded and new systems are being announced in many regions of the world. This is largely driven by the need to bring large amounts of content closer to the user. In realization of this need, MainOne is adopting global trends to ensure its submarine cable systems continue to provide the best performance in West Africa”.

Continuing, he opined that “With its track record of 100% availability on its cable since inception, MainOne continues to ensure it remains at the forefront of technology and management strategies to sustain its track record of excellence. This is why we continue to champion the cause for submarine cable protection in West Africa and constantly upgrade our system to ensure the required performance.”

The SubOptic conference and convention comes around only once every three years and it is the premier global event for the submarine cable industry – an event put on by the industry for the industry. It is a conference that encourages key players from the industry to get together and discuss issues that are critical to their business.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of MainOne.

Media Enquiries:

Nigeria:
Jumoke Akande
marketing@mainone.net

Notes to Editors

About MainOne: MainOne (www.MainOne.net) is a leading provider of telecom services and network solutions for businesses in West Africa. Our world-class infrastructure enhances the productivity and profitability of our customers online. Since its launch in 2010, Mai`nOne has developed a reputation for highly reliable services to become the preferred provider of wholesale Internet services to major telecom operators, ISPs, government agencies, large enterprise, and educational institutions in West Africa. MainOne’s world class submarine cable system running down the coast of West Africa, state of the art IP NGN network, growing regional and metro terrestrial fiber optic networks, and data center facilities enable broadband services for businesses needing solutions in West Africa. Our network is interconnected and peers with leading operators and internet exchanges worldwide to provide global reach to our customers.”

Twitter: @MainOneService
LinkedIn: MainOne
facebook: MainOne
www.MainOne.net

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