IMF Mission and the Central African Republic Reach Staff-level Agreement on Financial Assistance Under The Rapid Credit Facility

BANGUI, Central African Republic, April 4, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission, headed by Mr. Ekué Kpodar, visited Douala, Cameroon, from March 24 to April 2, 2014 to finalize discussions with the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) authorities on an emergency program that could be supported by the IMF’s Rapid Credit Facility (RCF). The mission held discussions with the C.A.R. Minister of Finance and Budget, Mr. Rémi Yakoro, his delegation, and with representatives of development partners (World Bank, African Development Bank, European Union, and France).

At the end of the mission, Mr. Ekué Kpodar issued the following statement:

“The Transitional Authorities of the C.A.R. and the IMF mission reached staff-level agreement on a macro-fiscal framework and a set of economic and structural policies and measures aimed at restoring progressively macroeconomic stability, achieving fiscal consolidation, strengthening the capacity of the C.A.R. government, and coordinating technical assistance. These policies could be supported by the RCF in an amount of SDR 8.355 million, equivalent to CFAF 6 billion. A second RCF could be established in the amount of SDR 5.570 million, equivalent to CFAF 4 billion, bringing the IMF’s total financial assistance for 2014 to SDR 13.925 million, equivalent to approximately CFAF 10 billion, subject to approval by Management and the Executive Board of the IMF. Financial contributions from development partners would be added to the IMF’s assistance to bring total financial support for the C.A.R. to approximately CFAF 84 billion for 2014.

“The political and security crises that the C.A.R. has faced since December 2012 has led to a collapse of economic activity, paralyzed the government, and caused an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, with nearly a quarter of the population displaced. Real gross domestic product (GDP) contracted sharply (approximately 36 percent) in 2013, as all sectors of economic activity experienced downturns. Inflation accelerated to 6.6 percent in 2013, compared with 5.9 percent in 2012, reflecting the decline in food production and supply disruptions throughout the year. Government revenues fell by more than half to 5.7 percent of GDP, while the external current account deficit virtually doubled to 10.4 percent of GDP.

“For 2014, a slight recovery in economic activity is projected with real GDP growing at around 1.5 percent, assuming a normalization of security conditions, the return of displaced persons, and a gradual resumption of economic activity, particularly in the agriculture and commerce sectors. Price pressures are expected to ease gradually and inflation is expected to be around 4.4 percent in 2014, albeit at a level exceeding the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) convergence criterion of 3 percent. The external current account is projected to further deteriorate to reach 14.1 percent of GDP in 2014, reflecting the revival of investment and consumption associated with the resumption of financial support from the C.A.R. technical and financial partners as well as the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) countries.

“In the budget area, the priority is to progressively restore public finances through improved mobilization of tax revenues and more effective control of spending with a view to limiting the domestic primary balance to 7.6 percent of GDP. Accordingly, the Transition Authorities and the mission agreed on measures to resume and strengthen public financial management by restoring revenue mobilization capacity, rationalizing and enhancing the monitoring of cash flow management, cleaning up the database for civil servants and payroll, and resuming swiftly normal expenditure execution procedures.

“Finally, the mission held discussions on the broad lines of a draft budget policy for 2015, against the backdrop of a return to growth at around 5 percent and improved political and security conditions.

“The mission takes this opportunity to thank the C.A.R. authorities for their exemplary cooperation and the candid and constructive discussions that took place. Furthermore, the mission wishes to thank the BEAC authorities for their logistical support.”

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment

Executive Order — Blocking Property of Certain Persons With Respect to South Sudan

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — EXECUTIVE ORDER

BLOCKING PROPERTY OF CERTAIN PERSONS WITH RESPECT TO SOUTH SUDAN

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) (NEA), section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (8 U.S.C. 1182(f)), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,

I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, find that the situation in and in relation to South Sudan, which has been marked by activities that threaten the peace, security, or stability of South Sudan and the surrounding region, including widespread violence and atrocities, human rights abuses, recruitment and use of child soldiers, attacks on peacekeepers, and obstruction of humanitarian operations, poses an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat. I hereby order:

Section 1. (a) All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person (including any foreign branch) of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State:

(i) to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged in, directly or indirectly, any of the following in or in relation to South Sudan:

(A) actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, or stability of South Sudan;

(B) actions or policies that threaten transitional agreements or undermine democratic processes or institutions in South Sudan;

(C) actions or policies that have the purpose or effect of expanding or extending the conflict in South Sudan or obstructing reconciliation or peace talks or processes;

(D) the commission of human rights abuses against persons in South Sudan;

(E) the targeting of women, children, or any civilians through the commission of acts of violence (including killing, maiming, torture, or rape or other sexual violence), abduction, forced displacement, or attacks on schools, hospitals, religious sites, or locations where civilians are seeking refuge, or through conduct that would constitute a serious abuse or violation of human rights or a violation of international humanitarian law;

(F) the use or recruitment of children by armed groups or armed forces in the context of the conflict in South Sudan;

(G) the obstruction of the activities of international peacekeeping, diplomatic, or humanitarian missions in South Sudan, or of the delivery or distribution of, or access to, humanitarian assistance; or

(H) attacks against United Nations missions, international security presences, or other peacekeeping operations;

(ii) to be a leader of (A) an entity, including any government, rebel militia, or other group, that has, or whose members have, engaged in any of the activities described in subsection (a)(i) of this section or (B) an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order;

(iii) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of (A) any of the activities described in subsection (a)(i) of this section or (B) any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or

(iv) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.

(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided in this order and by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the date of this order.

Sec. 2. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type of articles specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to section 1 of this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with this national emergency, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order.

Sec. 3. The prohibitions in section 1 of this order include but are not limited to:

(a) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; and

(b) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

Sec. 4. I hereby find that the unrestricted immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens determined to meet one or more of the criteria in section 1(a) of this order would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of such persons. Such persons shall be treated as persons covered by section 1 of Proclamation 8693 of July 24, 2011 (Suspension of Entry of Aliens Subject to United Nations Security Council Travel Bans and International Emergency Economic Powers Act Sanctions).

Sec. 5. (a) Any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

(b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

Sec. 6. For the purposes of this order:

(a) the term “person” means an individual or entity;

(b) the term “entity” means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization; and

(c) the term “United States person” means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.

Sec. 7. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render those measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing this national emergency, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1 of this order.

Sec. 8. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government consistent with applicable law. All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order.

Sec. 9. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to submit the recurring and final reports to the Congress on the national emergency declared in the order, consistent with section 401(c) of the NEA (50 U.S.C. 1641(c)) and section 204(c) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1703(c)).

Sec. 10. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

BARACK OBAMA

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment

Message– Blocking Property of Certain Persons With Respect to South Sudan

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:

Pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), I hereby report that I have issued an Executive Order (the “order”) declaring a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in and in relation to South Sudan.

The order does not target the country of South Sudan, but rather is aimed at persons who threaten the peace, stability, or security of South Sudan; commit human rights abuses against persons in South Sudan; or undermine democratic processes or institutions in South Sudan. The order provides authority for blocking the property and interests in property of any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State:

• to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged in, directly or indirectly, any of the following in or in relation to South Sudan:

o actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, or stability of South Sudan;

o actions or policies that threaten transitional agreements or undermine democratic processes or institutions in South Sudan;

o actions or policies that have the purpose or effect of expanding or extending the conflict in South Sudan or obstructing reconciliation or peace talks or processes;

o the commission of human rights abuses against persons in South Sudan;

o the targeting of women, children, or any civilians through the commission of acts of violence (including killing, maiming, torture, or rape or other sexual violence), abduction, forced displacement, or attacks on schools, hospitals, religious sites, or locations where civilians are seeking refuge, or through conduct that would constitute a serious abuse or violation of human rights or a violation of international humanitarian law;

o the use or recruitment of children by armed groups or armed forces in the context of the conflict in South Sudan;

o the obstruction of the activities of international peacekeeping, diplomatic, or humanitarian missions in South Sudan, or of the delivery or distribution of, or access to, humanitarian assistance; or

o attacks against United Nations missions, international security presences, or other peacekeeping operations;

• to be a leader of (i) an entity, including any government, rebel militia, or other group, that has, or whose members have, engaged in any of the activities described above or (ii) an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to the order;

• to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, any activity described above or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to the order; or

• to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to the order.

I have delegated to the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the authority to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the order. All agencies of the United States Government are directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of the order.

I am enclosing a copy of the Executive Order I have issued.

BARACK OBAMA

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment

Statement by the Press Secretary on South Sudan

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Four years ago, some four million South Sudanese voted to break with the past and usher in a new period of peace and prosperity. They expected their leaders to act with courage and conviction, to put the interests of the people first, and to be statesmen, not strongmen. Months of fighting between the Government of South Sudan and forces loyal to rebel leader Riek Machar run counter to that vision and threaten to tear the young nation apart. Thousands have been killed. Nearly one million innocent civilians have been driven from their homes. Despite a ceasefire agreement, the cycle of violence and conflict continues.

The United States will not stand by as those entrusted with South Sudan’s future put their own interests above those of their people. The Executive Order signed by President Obama today sends a clear message: those who threaten the peace, security, or stability of South Sudan, obstruct the peace process, target U.N. peacekeepers, or are responsible for human rights abuses and atrocities will not have a friend in the United States and run the risk of sanctions. Both the Government of South Sudan and Riek Machar’s rebels must immediately engage in and follow through on the inclusive peace process led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and resolve this conflict. They must end military actions and hold accountable those responsible for violence against civilians. The people of South Sudan are calling for peace. There is no room for excuses or delay.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde Meets Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa of Tunisia

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), made the following statement in Washington DC today:

“It has been a great pleasure to meet Prime Minister Jomaa today and exchange views on the pressing economic and social challenges facing the country and the government’s economic program.

“Our meeting was an opportunity to congratulate the Prime Minister on the progress made in Tunisia’s transition following the adoption of the new Constitution, which enjoyed the approval of an overwhelming majority at the Constituent Assembly and created a sense of hope.”

“Yet, Tunisia’s economic situation remains fragile, with growth insufficient to make a significant dent in unemployment. Reducing macroeconomic imbalances, revitalizing investment, and generating more inclusive growth will be prerequisites for ensuring sustainable job creation and fulfilling the legitimate aspirations of the Tunisian people.

“I welcomed the government’s firm commitment to pursue the economic policies and structural reforms necessary to address the major challenges facing Tunisia. The IMF will continue to support Tunisia in the implementation of its economic program through financial support, policy advice, and technical assistance. I look forward to a continuing productive engagement with Mr. Jomaa and his team.”

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization | Leave a comment

Proudly powered by WordPress Theme: Adventure Journal by Contexture International.