UN Representative for Somalia welcomes Himan and Heeb signing of intent to form new administration in central Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia, August 6, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG), Nicholas Kay, welcomed the addition of Himan and Heeb as a signatory to an agreement in principle to form a regional administration in central Somalia.

Parties to the agreement, initially signed by other stakeholders on 30 July, have agreed to work together towards the establishment of a new administration in central Somalia.

“I welcome the addition of Himan and Heeb as a signatory to this first step in the process of state formation in central Somalia,” SRSG Kay said. “I congratulate all three signatories and the Federal Government of Somalia on the important progress in the path towards peace- and state-building”.

“I urge parties to the agreement to engage in constructive consultation and reconciliation involving all stakeholders, ensuring that the interests of both emerging and existing administrations are protected,” he added. “As a witness to the agreement, the United Nations is committed to supporting its implementation and to Somalia’s overall peace- and state-building goals,” Mr. Kay said.

Source: APO

Categories: AFRICA

Ebola virus disease update – West Africa

GENEVA, Switzerland, August 6, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Disease outbreak news 6 August 2014

Epidemiology and surveillance

Between 2 and 4 August 2014, a total of 108 new cases of Ebola virus disease (laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspect cases) as well as 45 deaths were reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

Health sector response

A mission briefing with representatives from Member States was held on 5 August at the World Health Organization (WHO). Information about the nature of Ebola virus disease (EVD) was highlighted. This was followed by outlining the essential components for control, including the need for national leadership, improved care and case management, identifying transmission chains and stopping disease spread, and preventing further outbreaks. Among the critical issues are: cross-border infections and travelers; partners reaching the limits of their capacity and ability to respond rapidly, safely, and effectively; and concerns about the socio-economic impact of continued transmission.

The Director-General also shared information from her recent meetings in Guinea with Member States of the Mano River Union – Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. She outlined that the response in West Africa would focus on three areas:

• Treatment of Guéckédou, Kenema, and Foya as a unified sector, which will include public health measures meant to reduce movement in and out of the area.

• Intensifying current measures in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

• Taking steps to reduce international spread to other countries in Africa and outside of the African Region.

The Sub-regional Ebola Operations Coordination Centre (SEOCC) in Conakry reported on 5 August that the following actions are underway in the four affected countries:

• In Guinea, new foci have emerged and case management facilities will be needed. Exit screening is currently being tested in Conakry, in partnership with the US CDC.

• In Liberia, security issues continue to be of concern, notwithstanding the commitment of the Government. Community resistance remains high.

• In Nigeria, the Government is focused on following up the contacts from the index case. Clinical support is urgently needed and a treatment centre is being set up for managing cases of EVD.

• In Sierra Leone, efforts are underway to map where treatment centres are most needed and getting those set up. A similar exercise is underway for laboratories.

The SEOCC is assisting countries with these and many other response measures.

On 6 August, WHO is convening an Emergency Committee of international experts to review the outbreak and advise the Director-General, in accordance with the International Health Regulations, whether the Ebola virus disease outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Experts will receive an epidemiological briefing and will determine whether the criteria for a PHEIC have been met. If the Emergency Committee agrees that this is a PHEIC, they will then advise the Director-General on temporary recommendations. A summary of the meeting will be made public and a press briefing will be held on Friday, 8 August.

Disease update

New cases and deaths attributable to EVD continue to be reported by the Ministries of Health in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. Between 2 and 4 August 2014, 108 new cases (laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspect cases) of EVD and 45 deaths were reported from the four countries as follows: Guinea, 10 new cases and 5 deaths; Liberia, 48 new cases and 27 deaths; Nigeria, 5 new cases and 0 death; and Sierra Leone, 45 new cases and 13 deaths.

As of 4 August 2014, the cumulative number of cases attributed to EVD in the four countries stands at 1 711, including 932 deaths. The distribution and classification of the cases are as follows: Guinea, 495 cases (351 confirmed, 133 probable, and 11 suspected), including 363 deaths; Liberia, 516 cases (143 confirmed, 252 probable, and 121 suspected), including 282 deaths; Nigeria, 9 cases (0 confirmed, 2 probable, and 7 suspected), including 1 death; and Sierra Leone, 691 cases (576 confirmed, 49 probable, and 66 suspected), including 286 deaths.

Confirmed, probable, and suspect cases and deaths from Ebola virus disease in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, as of 4 August 2014

New Confirmed Probable Suspect Totals

Guinea

Cases 10 351 133 11 495

Deaths 5 228 133 2 363

Liberia

Cases 48 143 252 121 516

Deaths 27 128 110 44 282

Nigeria

Cases 5 0 2 7 9

Deaths 0 0 1 0 1

Sierra Leone

Cases 45 576 49 66 691

Deaths 13 247 34 5 286

Totals

Cases 108 1 070 436 205 1 711

Deaths 45 603 278 51 932

1. New cases were reported between 2 and 4 August 2014.

The total number of cases is subject to change due to reclassification, retrospective investigation, consolidation of cases and laboratory data, and enhanced surveillance. Data reported in the Disease Outbreak News are based on best available information reported by Ministries of Health.

Source: APO

Categories: AFRICA

Foreign Minister Brende concerned about South Sudan peace talks

OSLO, Norway, August 6, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — ‘I am very concerned about the latest setback in the South Sudan peace talks. I urge both parties to return to the negotiating table as soon as possible,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

The parties to the conflict started new peace talks on Monday, overseen by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and supported by the Troika countries (Norway, the UK and the US). The talks also included representatives of civil society, other political parties and religious leaders. On Tuesday evening, the rebel group SPLM-IO, led by Riek Machar, withdrew from the negotiations, saying that they did not want any participants other than themselves and the Government to be involved.

‘These negotiations are intended to resolve the very serious conflict in South Sudan. The actions of Riek Machar and his group amount to a rejection of the clear position taken not only by IGAD but by the international community as a whole and the arrangements that have been made for the negotiations,’ said Mr Brende.

‘We condemn Riek Machar’s decision, and are also disappointed by the South Sudanese Government’s response. The people of South Sudan deserve better. The hostilities and the threat of famine make it essential for all parties to behave responsibly. Riek Machar will bear a large share of the responsibility if the talks break down altogether, and the international community will have to consider what the consequences should be for him and the rebel group he leads,’ said Mr Brende.

Source: APO

Categories: AFRICA

EU launches new programme to support Africa’s continental integration

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, August 6, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The European Commission has launched the first phase of a new programme that will foster Africa’s integration process at continental level – the first ever EU programme in development and cooperation that covers Africa as a whole. The so-called Pan-African Programme will fund activities in a broad range of areas and offer new possibilities for the EU and Africa to work together. Today’s decision will launch projects for the period 2014-2017, with a total allocation of €415 million.

The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, said: “The challenges with which we are faced can no longer be tackled within national borders. This is as true in Europe as it is in Africa or elsewhere. This is why I have proposed to create a Pan-African programme to find solutions at regional and continental scale and support the process of African integration, where the African Union plays a critical role. The alliance between Africa and Europe is indispensable, today more than ever. This programme will make it even stronger”.

EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs commented: “The major innovation of this programme is that it allows the EU to link up the cooperation it has with Northern Africa, South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. It will also help us to achieve better policy coherence for development by building synergies between development cooperation and other EU policies.”

The Pan-African Programme, which was announced by President Barroso at the 4th Africa-EU summit in Brussels in April 2014, will amount to €845 million from 2014 to 2020. It will contribute, amongst others, to increased mobility on the African continent, better trade relations across regions and also better equip both continents for addressing trans-national and global challenges, such as migration and mobility, climate change or security. The first phase that was launched today will include projects ranging from sustainable agriculture, environment, and higher education to governance, infrastructure, migration, information and communication technology, as well as research and innovation.

Concrete projects will, for example, support election observation missions operated by the African Union in its member states or improve the governance of migration and mobility within Africa and between Africa and the EU. Some initiatives will benefit citizens directly, such as a student’s academic exchange programme or the harmonisation of academic curricula across a range of African universities facilitating the mobility of African students and academics.

Background

Africa’s continental integration has become a key priority for both the African Union and the EU. The Pan-African Programme will provide a major contribution to the EU-Africa Partnership, which the two continents established in 2007 to put their relations on a new footing and to establish a strategic partnership, responding to mutual interests and based upon a strong political relationship and close cooperation in key areas. The programme, which is financed from the EU budget will be a key instrument for the European Commission to implement, in close cooperation with African partners, the joint political priorities of the roadmap which was adopted by African and EU Heads of State and Government during the 4th EU-Africa summit in April this year.

Source: APO

Categories: AFRICA

UNAMID Joint Special Representative to hold press conference in Khartoum

KHARTOUM, Sudan, August 6, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — UNAMID Joint Special Representative to hold press conference in Khartoum

11 August 2014, 11:00 am

UNDP Headquarters

Gama’a Street in Khartoum

The Joint Special Representative (JSR) of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Mohamed Ibn Chambas, will be holding a press conference on Monday, 11 August 2014, at 11:00 hours in the main conference room at UNDP Headquarters , on Gama’a Street in Khartoum.

JSR Chambas will brief the press on his latest report to the UN Security Council ahead of the expected extension of the Mission‘s mandate, as well as the current developments in relation to UNAMID’s activities and the Darfur peace process.

All media are invited to attend.

Source: APO

Categories: AFRICA

Assisted Departure of British Nationals from Libya

LONDON, United-Kingdom, August 6, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The FCO has helped more British Nationals to leave Libya as the security situation continues to get worse.

HMS Enterprise, a Royal Navy ship carrying out routine survey work in the Mediterranean, left Tripoli on 5 August 2014 carrying 93 eligible persons. This was the second assisted departure carried out by the UK government.

HMS Enterprise arrived in Malta this morning, where passengers were met by HMG staff from the British High Commission in Valletta. So far over 200 British and EU Nationals have left Libya with assistance from HMG. Many others have left via commercial means.

The British Embassy in Libya temporarily closed on 5 August 2014 and as a result we are no longer able to offer consular assistance in Libya.

Our travel advice has been updated to reflect the situation; we advise against all travel to Libya. British nationals in Libya are strongly urged to leave immediately by commercial means.

Any British Nationals still in Libya and requiring assistance should contact 0207 008 0000 or visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/libya.

Source: APO

Categories: AFRICA