South Africa: Committee Calls for More Support to DPCI (Hawks) From all Law Abiding Citizens

The Portfolio Committee on Police welcomes further high-profile arrests by the DPCI (Hawks) focusing on corruption allegations at different levels of government in the last 48 hours.

The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Mr Francois Beukman said that there is a legislative responsibility and public interest on the DPCI to deal effectively with cases of corruption and serious crime, including commercial crime. “Serious organised crime and corruption threatens the state and national security and should be dealt with head on by the DPCI,” Mr Beukman said.

The Committee firmly believes that the creation of a separate Budget Vote for the DPCI as recommended by the Committee in 2017 will further strengthen operational effectiveness and ability of the DPCI to deal with organised crime.

“The Acting Head of the DPCI, Lt General Yoliswa Matakata and her team should be commended for their swift and decisive action. Many of the complex cases take many months to investigate and case officers put a lot of effort to ensure that court-ready dockets are finalised,” Mr Beukman emphasised.

Mr Beukman said that the DPCI needs support from all law-abiding citizens and members of the public. He urged members of the public to assist with the necessary information in fighting priority crimes and to contact the DPCI.

The Management of the DPCI will brief the Committee on high-profile cases and other serious crime cases on Wednesday, 28 February 2018.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.

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United States Agency for International Development and Ghana Government Promote Food Safety to Boost Trade

On February 14, 2018, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture hosted a forum to review progress made on the development of a pilot food safety and certification system in Ghana. Developing a sustainable traceability system was a crucial recommendation that supported lifting the ban on exports of five vegetables from Ghana to the European Union in December 2017.The event brought together various participants from the Government of Ghana, development partners, farmers, and the private sector. At the event, the Deputy Minister of Horticulture from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Honorable George Oduro and USAID/Ghana Economic Growth Office Director, Kevin Sharp delivered remarks on the importance of developing an internationally-recognized food safety system to strengthen commercial trade in Ghana.

The Forum was organized to solicit feedback from public and private stakeholders on the pilot system. Based on recommendations from audits conducted by the European Union; USAID, in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture developed and piloted the system for Ghana’s horticulture sector. The objective of the pilot system is to mitigate and identify when and where food safety and quality issues occur.

“Today’s forum highlights our shared agenda to foster broad-based economic growth and trade. Our aim is to ensure that we achieve measurable impact and sustainable results—this means more competitive Ghanaian products being traded world-wide. We know this goal would not be possible without the commitment from the Government of Ghana and both public and private actors,” remarked USAID/Ghana Economic Growth Director, Mr. Sharp. “As a result of our strong collaboration, Ghana can now resume exporting three kinds of gourds, chili pepper and eggplant to the European Union.”

In Ghana, USAID supports the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to improve access to markets for smallholder farmers, through the U.S. Government’s Trade Africa Initiative. This initiative strengthens trade relations between the United States and Ghana and improves the sanitary and phytosanitary compliance system for Ghanaian fruits and vegetables. These efforts include establishing a strong food safety and certification system to identify and track problems along Ghana’s value chains.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

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Libya’s triangle of tragedy: Urban violence, vast displacement, perilous migration

As Libya enters its eighth year of conflict, the humanitarian situation of the population is relentlessly deteriorating amid persistent armed conflict, violence and insecurity, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said today after a three-day visit to the country.

The ICRC has recently scaled up its operations in Libya, which has been engulfed in economic chaos, general lawlessness and armed groups vying for power since the revolution in 2011.

The threat of ongoing conflict prevents many from returning to their homes and as a result Libya suffers from one of the highest per capita displacement levels in Africa.

“It’s hard to fathom how many people are affected by conflict in Libya,” ICRC President Peter Maurer said after visiting Tripoli, Tobruk and Benghazi to assess the humanitarian situation and speak with high-level Libyan authorities. “Urban violence and vast displacement have been an everyday reality for Libyans since 2011, while migrants – desperate to reach Europe – are often trapped and abused there”.

Tragic numbers underscore the perilous position of conflict-affected people there – residents and migrants included: 1.3 million need humanitarian assistance. An estimated 200,000 people (3% of the population) are internally displaced, many of them having lost their homes because of air strikes and the use of heavy artillery in populated areas. Hospitals struggle with chronic shortages of medical supplies; 20 percent are not even functional. Criminal activities including kidnappings, smuggling, people trafficking and ransoming are rising all over the country.

“It is clear that immediate and determined efforts are needed to relieve the suffering in Libya. Leadership at an international level is sorely needed. A head in the sand approach will only create more suffering for the future,” said Maurer following a series of constructive meetings with the Libyan authorities.

“We plan to step up considerably our assistance and remain committed to act as a neutral intermediary between all parties in order to help those directly affected by the armed conflict and violence. We also recognize that our humanitarian response needs to adapt to support the strengths of a highly educated population in this middle income country”.

On Migration

Libya’s turmoil has created fertile ground for migrants to be exploited. Many migrants detained in Libya suffer from inhumane treatment and conditions, a situation that must be addressed. Thousands of migrants languish in immigration centres.

With the current political instability and security vacuum in the country, the ICRC is concerned that detention places do not fulfil the basic structural requirements and material conditions to ensure the humane and dignified treatment of detained migrants.

“We strongly encourage policy makers to support Libya in the development of migration policies exploring alternatives to detention and fully incorporating measures for the protection of vulnerable migrants,” said Mr Maurer.

The ICRC recognizes that States have legitimate economic, social cohesion and security concerns and have a right to regulate migration. However, under international law migrants must not be trapped or returned to country where they could be harmed. States must review individual cases before refusing admission or sending migrants back.

The number of migrants from Africa who have died en route is critically under-reported. The ICRC encourages authorities to take steps towards clarifying the fate of the missing migrants through strengthening their Forensics and Justice departments and by cooperating with the ICRC.

“Europe has a role to play in ensuring human dignity in migration policies and actions”, Mr Maurer said. “The marker for success of Europe’s immigration policies must not be how many people were stopped from going to Europe. Instead, the gauge of success must be how were migrants treated? What laws were followed? Was human dignity respected?”

The ICRC has been present in Libya uninterruptedly since 2011, working side by side with the Libyan Red Crescent to the benefit of all Libyans throughout the country, in a strictly neutral and impartial way. Red Crescent volunteers often work day and night despite the dangers and challenges, to alleviate the suffering of those in need. This year, the organisation plans to increase its emergency assistance to those affected by the conflict, including distributions of food and essential household items; more medical supplies and support for health facilities; and putting separated family members back in touch, in particular for detained migrants. We also hope to have access to detention centres throughout the country.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

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Libya’s triangle of tragedy: Urban violence, vast displacement, perilous migration

As Libya enters its eighth year of conflict, the humanitarian situation of the population is relentlessly deteriorating amid persistent armed conflict, violence and insecurity, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said today after a three-day visit to the country.

The ICRC has recently scaled up its operations in Libya, which has been engulfed in economic chaos, general lawlessness and armed groups vying for power since the revolution in 2011.

The threat of ongoing conflict prevents many from returning to their homes and as a result Libya suffers from one of the highest per capita displacement levels in Africa.

“It’s hard to fathom how many people are affected by conflict in Libya,” ICRC President Peter Maurer said after visiting Tripoli, Tobruk and Benghazi to assess the humanitarian situation and speak with high-level Libyan authorities. “Urban violence and vast displacement have been an everyday reality for Libyans since 2011, while migrants – desperate to reach Europe – are often trapped and abused there”.

Tragic numbers underscore the perilous position of conflict-affected people there – residents and migrants included: 1.3 million need humanitarian assistance. An estimated 200,000 people (3% of the population) are internally displaced, many of them having lost their homes because of air strikes and the use of heavy artillery in populated areas. Hospitals struggle with chronic shortages of medical supplies; 20 percent are not even functional. Criminal activities including kidnappings, smuggling, people trafficking and ransoming are rising all over the country.

“It is clear that immediate and determined efforts are needed to relieve the suffering in Libya. Leadership at an international level is sorely needed. A head in the sand approach will only create more suffering for the future,” said Maurer following a series of constructive meetings with the Libyan authorities.

“We plan to step up considerably our assistance and remain committed to act as a neutral intermediary between all parties in order to help those directly affected by the armed conflict and violence. We also recognize that our humanitarian response needs to adapt to support the strengths of a highly educated population in this middle income country”.

On Migration

Libya’s turmoil has created fertile ground for migrants to be exploited. Many migrants detained in Libya suffer from inhumane treatment and conditions, a situation that must be addressed. Thousands of migrants languish in immigration centres.

With the current political instability and security vacuum in the country, the ICRC is concerned that detention places do not fulfil the basic structural requirements and material conditions to ensure the humane and dignified treatment of detained migrants.

“We strongly encourage policy makers to support Libya in the development of migration policies exploring alternatives to detention and fully incorporating measures for the protection of vulnerable migrants,” said Mr Maurer.

The ICRC recognizes that States have legitimate economic, social cohesion and security concerns and have a right to regulate migration. However, under international law migrants must not be trapped or returned to country where they could be harmed. States must review individual cases before refusing admission or sending migrants back.

The number of migrants from Africa who have died en route is critically under-reported. The ICRC encourages authorities to take steps towards clarifying the fate of the missing migrants through strengthening their Forensics and Justice departments and by cooperating with the ICRC.

“Europe has a role to play in ensuring human dignity in migration policies and actions”, Mr Maurer said. “The marker for success of Europe’s immigration policies must not be how many people were stopped from going to Europe. Instead, the gauge of success must be how were migrants treated? What laws were followed? Was human dignity respected?”

The ICRC has been present in Libya uninterruptedly since 2011, working side by side with the Libyan Red Crescent to the benefit of all Libyans throughout the country, in a strictly neutral and impartial way. Red Crescent volunteers often work day and night despite the dangers and challenges, to alleviate the suffering of those in need. This year, the organisation plans to increase its emergency assistance to those affected by the conflict, including distributions of food and essential household items; more medical supplies and support for health facilities; and putting separated family members back in touch, in particular for detained migrants. We also hope to have access to detention centres throughout the country.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

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Source:: Libya’s triangle of tragedy: Urban violence, vast displacement, perilous migration

      

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