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

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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

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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

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Joint Press Availability With Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra

ALGIERS, Algeria, April 3, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Press Availability

John Kerry

Secretary of State

Algiers, Algeria

April 3, 2014

QUESTION: (Via interpreter, in progress) – makes a lot (inaudible) in the field of counterterrorism. However, we have two unshakable principles. The first one is noninterference in the states first, and the second one is the nonintervention of our army outside our territories. So how could we serve stability in this context and as part of these two principles?

SECRETARY KERRY: Merci. We have great respect for Algeria’s principle of noninterference. At the same time, terrorism doesn’t know any borders. Terrorism moves indiscriminately across borders without regard to international lines or rules of law. And there is only one way to respond between states who are joined together in the principle of fighting against terrorism, and that one way is cooperation.

We have to cooperate. I think Algeria completely understands that and is dedicated and committed to it. Algeria has been a very strong partner bilaterally and multilaterally in countering terrorist threats and in building a regional and international capacity to be able to do that. And Algeria’s one of the original key founders of the Global Counterterrorism Forum. It’s co-chair of the Sahel Region Capacity Working Group. And we really applaud the leadership of Algeria.

What we’re here to talk about today and what we have talked about is: How do we cooperate even further? How do we take this cooperation to be able to be more effective in providing the kind of stability that your question just asked about? So the United States, the UN, the G7 endorse the practices that are now known as the Algiers Memorandum. And we have, I think, very strong exchanges today with Algerian security services, law enforcement, their justice sectors, covering a wide range of questions.

Algeria is also a member of the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Partnership, which is our primary vehicle – the United States State Department’s primary vehicle to support long-term capabilities of the countries in the West and North Africa to face the AQIM threat. So we’re building that capacity and I believe that Algeria’s noninterference principle that you asked about does not stand in the way at all of our capacity to build additional cooperative initiatives, and particularly to build a full-fledged security cooperative relationship, which is what we came here to talk about today. We’ve made progress on that and we’re very pleased with it.

FOREIGN MINISTER LAMAMRA: (Via interpreter) Thank you, John. As far as these complex issues are concerned, I can simply add to what the Secretary of State has just said. The issues of international terrorism at the level of doctrine and policies, the objective and principles of international cooperation are clear-cut on behalf of the protection of human life and dignity. At the operational level, it is necessary for efficiency purposes not to go into the details as far as international cooperation is concerned.

However, I would like to mention that the – for the countries of the region, can – we are available to support all the neighboring countries in terms of information, the exchange of experiences, equipment, and (inaudible), a stakeholder as totally involved in the field of counterterrorism. We have made huge sacrifices in fighting against terrorism, as you know.

MODERATOR: Another question? Scott from – our guest, the American side, from our – according –

MS. PSAKI: Scott Stearns from VOA.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, on the Middle East, you spoke today – here today and in Brussels about the limits of being a facilitator and about bringing the horse to water, saying today that the leaders need to know that now is the time to drink. Have you had any indication from Prime Minister Netanyahu or President Abbas that they are ready to drink?

And Mr. Minister, could you tell us specifically: What is it that you would like to see from the United States to help with security assistance, especially along the border with Mali? Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, Scott, let me say that I have been in direct touch this morning with our team on the ground in Israel, and they worked literally until 4:00 in the morning in direct discussions between Israelis and Palestinians, with the United States present, in an effort to try to move the process forward. I think it is a critical moment, obviously. The dialogue remains open. There was progress made in narrowing some of the questions that have arisen as a result of the events of the last few days, but there’s still a gap, and that gap will have to be closed and closed fairly soon.

So I will be in touch this afternoon with both leaders, but again, it’s really their decision that has to be made. They understand what the choices are. They understand what the stakes are. And they understand each of them, their own limits and dynamics. So we are urging them to find the compromise that is critical to being able to move forward.

One of the important things I want to say about this moment: The fight right now, the disagreement between them, is not over the fundamental substance of a final status agreement. It’s over the process that would get you there and what you need to do in order to be able to continue to negotiate. It would be a tragedy for both of them, we would say, for them to lose the opportunity to get to those real issues that are the differences of a final status agreement.

A fight over process, how to get into a negotiation, should not stop you from getting into that negotiation. And so I hope that they will consider that very, very carefully. President Obama believes very strongly that the role of the United States to help the parties come together is a critical role. He is committed to his efforts and my efforts on behalf of him and the United States to play this role without any fear, because we believe that it’s the right thing to do. President Obama believes that it is important for the United States to try to help the parties make peace.

But as he himself would agree, in the end, the leaders have to make the decisions to do so. We will continue to do everything in our power to try to bring them together, to find a place of reasonableness, to encourage them to compromise, show ways in which they might do so. But in the end, they are the ones who have to say yes, and that’s where we are.

FOREIGN MINISTER LAMAMRA: If I may, John, just to make a short comment on the Middle East, I think a week or so ago, we were having our Arab summit in Kuwait. And the ministers of foreign affairs of the group had a chance to be briefed by President Mahmoud Abbas about the status quo of the diplomatic effort at that time. What I want to say is that at that time, the president referred to the fact that he had some 38 interactions with you, John, and he described that as really a clear demonstration of the commitment by the Secretary of State and President Obama to achieve lasting peace for the region and justice for the Palestinian people.

So the whole group were very appreciative of this effort, and we were hoping that it would reach fruition and it will indeed have the desired outcome that we are all hoping for and praying for. President Mahmoud Abbas requested a meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs of the Arab world to be held on the 9th of April in Cairo. We intend to go and we’ll definitely listen to President Mahmoud Abbas about the nitty-gritty of these discussions, and I’m sure that because it is our longstanding position to favor peace, stability, security, global peace, I believe that the Arab world will again express appreciation and support to your efforts, Mr. Secretary.

SECRETARY KERRY: And I –

FOREIGN MINISTER LAMAMRA: It’s not –

SECRETARY KERRY: I’m sorry, I thought you were finished. I didn’t mean to –

FOREIGN MINISTER LAMAMRA: No, I thought I would go to the Arab question, but please –

SECRETARY KERRY: No, no, please.

FOREIGN MINISTER LAMAMRA: Please, go, go.

No, regarding what is expected on the part of USA as far as the fight against terrorism in the Sahel region is concerned, I believe that today, the time has come for us to consolidate the achievements of the war against terrorism in northern Mali. I believe that we need to help in the rebuilding state institutions, law enforcement agencies, the national armed forces of Mali, and also in encouraging the regional efforts aiming at putting together regional security arrangements under the African Union initiative.

Eleven countries in the region have launched what we call the Nouakchott Process in order to help to assist each other in monitoring borders, in sharing intelligence, and this is a good occasion for the region to show by itself that indeed, we can do our best to fight and defeat terrorism in the Sahel region with clearly the required assistance on the part of the international community. If we were to ask specifically about what the U.S. can do, because nobody else could do it, it’s, for instance, sharing electronic intelligence with the armed forces and security agencies in the region. One example, but this is a qualitative edge that only the U.S. can provide. Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you for that comment, Ramtane. Let me – just a quick addendum to that. I just want to – maybe I don’t have to say this, but I’ll just say it. If this was an easy thing to do, it would have happened a long time ago. It’s difficult because it is a very difficult conflict with deep-rooted historical levels of mistrust and huge narrative issues on both sides that are deeply emotional and go to the core of both people’s identity and aspirations.

It’s as tough as it gets. And the one thing that stands out to me is this: If it’s tough today, I have not met anybody anywhere who believes it’s going to get easier next week or next year or in the future. And that’s why I think this is so important. Both sides – neither side can achieve what it wants staying away from the negotiating table. There’s only one way to resolve that, and that’s through negotiation. And so my hope, along with the foreign ministers and everybody, I think, in the world, is that the parties will not lose an opportunity to negotiate.

FOREIGN MINISTER LAMAMRA: Thank you, sir.

MS. PSAKI: Thank you, everyone.

Source: APO

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African Leaders & United Nations Secretary-General Highlight Importance of Health for Development / Malaria showcased as exemplary health investment for greater development at side event hosted by

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, April 3, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — African leaders and Heads of State, gathered for the 4th EU-Africa Summit in Brussels just days before World Health Day (7 April),highlighted the importance of health for Africa’s development. At a side-event hosted by the African Union Commission (AUC)and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM). Speakers, including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission,and several African Heads of State,called for health to remain prominent on the development agenda to meet the 2015 deadline of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and for the foreseeable future.

Addressing approximately 150 leaders from developing and donor countries, United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon said,“Now is a critical time. […] We can achieve great results by drawing on the valuable lessons we have learned – including the critical importance of keeping investments in health high on the international development agenda. I call on all partners to contribute to health interventions now that will save costs and lives in the future.”Ban also noted, “Healthy communities create more vibrant, inclusive societies that allow people and economies to thrive. Malaria clearly illustrates this.Since the Millennium Development Goals were launched, we have seen proof that fighting malaria is a good investment that saves lives and speeds up economic progress.”

Speakers also highlighted the importance of health investmentsto drive development progress more generally, encouraging political leadership, domestic ownership and partnership to save lives and create more stable environments that allow greater development for all.

Speaking on the Common African Position on the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda, H.E. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia noted: “[…]Africa stands at a major crossroads as we leave behind death and despair and rally ourselves and our resources to improve the quality of lives for our communities.” She continued,“We are all on this journey together and while we have overcome tremendous obstacles, more lie ahead in the work to improve the lives of people across Africa and the world. We must take up the unfinished business of ridding Africa of malaria, HIV and TB.If we redouble our efforts to the end of 2015 and commit to a shared post-2015 agenda, we will succeed.”

“My Government holds the firm beliefs that we must always put people first and also that healthy people make a healthy and prosperous nation. This is why a significant portion of our national budget is dedicated to health, but more funding is needed in this area,” H.E. President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana went on to say. “We need to dedicate more strategic funding towards the overall health of our people, and specifically towards the elimination of malaria.”

Investments in health have consistently been associated with development impact. In Rwanda, for example, World Bank figures show that an increase in health expenditure by just 15% has resulted in drastic advances against leading indicators of poverty and disease, including a decrease in malaria incidence by more than half since 2006 and a reduction in maternal mortality. These advances helped spark economic development that resulted in a nearly US $5.5 billion increase in GDP in the last decade.

“Africa is the fastest developing continent in the world today. […] This is because we as African leaders, together with our people and development partners, are committed to turning the tables on scourges like malaria,” said H.E. President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique. “This century, we shall be reaping not only a demographic dividend, but a disease-free dividend; as our children’s lives are saved, their learning potential increases, labor market productivity levels rise, and both governments and households spend less on health, releasing more resources for development with the defeat of malaria.”

Drawing on malaria controlas an area of exemplary health investment, many noted the impressive gains made against the killer disease in recent years – particularly in Africa, where the disease is estimated to cost a minimum of US $12 billion in lost productivity each year – and the associated advancements against development targets more broadly. Recent data currently under review indicates that every US $1 invested in malaria in Africa yields US $40 GDP.

“Malaria has shown us the strong return possible when we come together, within and between sectors, to strengthen systems and increase access to prevention and treatment services,” said Dr. Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership.“Time and time again, malaria has proven to be one of the most cost-effective global health investments, serving as an entry point to other development targets and giving way to safer pregnancies, fuller classrooms and healthier economies. When we invest in health, we not only save lives, we enhance quality of life for entire communities. Continued progress will require a strong multisectoral approach, leveraging the unique skillsets of all to maximize impact.”

Increased attention to health has allowed tremendous progress against other development targets in recent years, particularly in Africa. As a result, global poverty has declined, with at least 500 million fewer people now living below the poverty line, child mortality has fallen by nearly 50% and malaria death rates have fallen by 45% worldwide and 49% in Africa alone. More children than ever recorded are now attending primary school, access to safe drinking water has improved and programs to prevent and treat HIV, malaria and TB have saved millions of lives.

Source: APO

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