Nov 062014
 

JUBA, South Sudan , November 6, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The ongoing conflict in South Sudan affecting directly the North and the East of the country has diverted the attention from ongoing regular healthcare concerns like malaria epidemic which is affecting the West of the country. There have been insufficient distributions of antimalarial drugs in many peripheral health centers and as a consequence, Medecins Sans Frontieres / Doctors Without Borders (MSF), has reported an increase in the number of severe life-threatening cases.

Every year with the rainy season, mosquitoes multiply in the standing water and the number of malaria cases increases . This year, the epidemic is particularly widespread in the western parts of the country. Unusually prolonged and heavy rainfall in many areas and the lack of available treatments in some peripheral health centres means that many patients have had to travel to MSF health structures to be treated. They arrive after hours or days of travel in serious medical condition.

“Some patients die while they could have been easily saved if they had had access to treatment earlier,” said Renee Madrolle, project coordinator for MSF in Aweil state hospital which is the reference hospital of the Northern Bahr el Ghazal. “Malaria is the first cause of mortality in Aweil during the rainy season, and children are the most affected. “

The partner organisations of the Ministry of Health have been ineffective in distributing diagnostics rapid tests and drugs due to the current conflict and because of structural problems in the supply chain. These supply problems have had two major consequences on the health system. Firstly in terms of timely distribution: the drugs in Juba could not be delivered at the beginning of the rainy season when the first spike of malaria cases occurred end of May beginning of June 2014. Secondly, there were not enough drugs available for a comprehensive distribution in peripheral health centers and only a few facilities received them. As a consequence, there are large areas affected by malaria where people lack access to treatment.

MSF health facilties in Aweil and Pamat, Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, Gogrial in Warrap state, Yambio in Western Equatoria state and Agok in Abyei territory have treated nearly 60,000 patients since the beginning of the year. More than 10% of them have been hospitalized. This is more than triple the number of patients seen during the same period of last year.

In response to these needs, MSF urgently brought extra supplies of malaria rapid diagnostic tests and malaria treatments in most of the MSF projects in the West affected by malaria. MSF has set up in Gogrial health center a dedicated day care malaria zone to cope with the overwhelming number of patients.

” MSF cannot cover all the needs in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Warrap, Western Equatoria states and Abyei territory” said Renee Madrolle, MSF project coordinator in Aweil. ” More international health actors must be mobilized along the Ministry of Health to provide access to antimalarial treatment to the population”

In June MSF also opened activities in the outpatient department of Aweil hospital to identify new infections and provide treatment. The most severe cases are hospitalized in a specific 35-bed treatment unit set up by MSF in July inside the hospital. Today this capacity is insufficient.

In September, 71% of cases in the pediatric department in Aweil hosptal were malaria. MSF also regularly organizes mobile clinics in the most remote areas to reduce the number of severe cases coming to the hospital due to late treatment. In September, MSF treated in the western part of the country more than 10,000 cases of malaria.

Nov 062014
 

DAKAR, Sénégal, November 6, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The joint UN-African Union-Economic Community of West African States (UN-AU-ECOWAS) mission is continuing its consultations with all the parties and driving forces in order to ensure a democratic and civilian-led transition in Burkina Faso.

The Special Representative of the Secretary General for West Africa and Head of United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), Mr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, welcomes the support being provided by regional leaders to find a solution to the political crisis. President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana, President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, President Macky Sall of Senegal as well as former Prime Minister of Togo, Mr. Edem Kodjo in his capacity as AU Special Envoy are currently in Ouagadougou to help all concerned initiate a peaceful transition period.

The joint UN-AU-ECOWAS mission, in coordination with all the parties, will continue its efforts and engagements to help resolve the crisis in line with the national Constitution.

Nov 062014
 

WASHINGTON, November 6, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The President on Wednesday morning spoke by phone with the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) Commissioned Corps who are staffing the Monrovia Medical Unit (MMU), the 25-bed hospital constructed by the U.S. Military that will open its doors later this week. The President underscored the indispensability of the MMU’s mission—to treat national and international healthcare workers who fall ill with Ebola in their brave service to others. He noted that these PHS officers will offer hope to their patients while also reassuring other healthcare workers in the region and those around the globe whose services are needed to end this epidemic. The President thanked the members of the Corps as well as their families for taking on this challenge, commenting that, of the 71 officers selected, all of them accepted the assignment, a testament to their selfless service to the nation. The President specifically commended Rear Admiral Scott Giberson, who is heading the contingent, on his leadership, and reminded the full team that, through their service, we will bring this epidemic under control at the source, the only way to prevent additional cases of Ebola domestically.

Nov 062014
 

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, November 6, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The organisers of the annual Investing in African Mining Indaba (http://www.miningindaba.com) announced today that Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1997 – 2007) will participate in a keynote presentation at the 2015 annual conference. Euromoney Institutional Investor Managing Director, Mr. Christopher Fordham, will host an “Interview with Tony Blair” during a special keynote presentation.

The 2015 edition of the annual Mining Indaba, the world’s largest mining investment event will take place on 9 – 12 February 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/miningindaba.png

“Mr. Blair has vast experience as a global leader and through the charity he founded in 2008, the Africa Governance Initiative, he has worked with African governments to improve regulation and investment oversight. As a result, Mr. Blair will provide unique and charismatic insights to our global delegation who are vested in capitalising African mining,” says Jonathan Moore, Managing Director, Mining Indaba.

Tony Blair was Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 1997 – 2007, having secured an historic third term in office. As leader of the Labour party, he led extensive public service reform, introduced a national minimum wage, oversaw constitutional reform, led the London 2012 Games bid and was instrumental in the Northern Ireland peace process. He also oversaw devolution in Scotland and Wales.

Continuing his role in public life, Tony Blair now works to secure peace and prosperity in the Middle East, improve governance in Africa, encourage understanding of world faiths and boost access to sport for children in the North East of England. He also remains committed to finding solutions to climate change.

The 2015 Mining Indaba is expected to draw more than 7,000 investors, mining corporates, government leaders, global press, and other industry stakeholders from 110 countries.

In addition to Mr. Blair’s keynote presentation, the Mining Indaba will feature a blockbuster line up of global speakers including: industry’s most pervasive deal-maker, Robert Friedland of Ivanhoe Mines, global economist, Dr. Dambisa Moyo; creator of the acronym BRIC, Jim O’Neill; the World Bank’s Group emerging regions expert, Anita Marangoly George; and a host of other government leaders, world’s largest mining company CEOs, and international commodities analysts.

Mining Indaba also includes the Investment Discovery Forum on 8-9 February in Cape Town, which offers private educational and networking setting exclusively open to accredited investors (complimentary registration available) and mining corporates to engage in deal discussions. The ability to schedule unlimited number of one-on-one meetings in this forum enables investors and mining executives to maximize their ROI for their travel and time. For more information visit http://www.miningindaba.com/DiscoveryInvest.

The Mining Indaba will include a total of five and half days of deal-making and discovery showcasing ALL of Africa’s most attractive investment opportunities unlike any other mining investment in the world. For more information on registration and programme, visit http://www.miningindaba.com.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Mining Indaba™.

[Note to Editors:] Investing in African Mining Indaba is open to qualified members of the press. All members interested in obtaining accreditation for press access must do so before 24 January 2015. Please refer to http://bit.ly/M15PR2 for required credentials and application.

Media Contact

MARIA PALOMBINI

t: +1.212.224.3546

e: maria.palombini@miningindaba.com

About the Mining Indaba™

Investing in African Mining Indaba™ (http://www.miningindaba.com), often referred to as “the Mining Indaba™,” is an annual professional conference dedicated to the capitalisation and development of mining interests in Africa. It is currently the world’s largest mining investment conference and Africa’s largest mining event. For two decades, the annual Mining Indaba has served as the pathway for foreign investments into Africa’s mining value chain – opportunities ranging from small diamond deposits to mega coal projects. The Mining Indaba™ is now part of Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC. Visit http://www.miningindaba.com for more details.

Nov 062014
 

KHARTOUM, Sudan, November 6, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan a.i., Mr. Geert Cappelaere, has expressed deep concern that children in conflict affected areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile may again be at high risk of contracting polio.

Sudan was recently declared polio free, but two new cases have emerged this week in South Sudan’s Unity state, near the border with South Kordofan, increasing the risk that the virus may return to Sudan.

South Kordofan and Blue Nile states are of particular concern, as no polio vaccination programmes have been undertaken in several localities since the military conflict between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People Liberation Movement – Northern sector began in 2011.

Since April 2013, the United Nations have operational plans in place to deliver a polio vaccination campaign for 165’000 children under-five years of age in those conflict affected areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

“It is vital that every effort is made to ensure that this vaccination campaign takes place immediately and all children, no matter where they live, are safe from contracting this terrible disease. Polio is preventable with simple vaccination – vaccines are available and free” said Mr Cappelaere.

“We therefore call upon the highest authorities in the Government of Sudan and in SPLM-N as well as the entire international community to ensure that the interests of the children concerned are of primary consideration in the next round of negotiations with all parties set to be held soon in Addis Ababa. All parties should agree to a minimum of 10 days of cessation of hostilities and unconditional support to the UN operational vaccination plan. There is no longer time to lose.”

Nov 062014
 

NEW YORK, November 6, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Gary Quinlan (Australia):

The Security Council heard a briefing on 4 November 2014 by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Mr. Jeffrey Feltman, on the political crisis in Burkina Faso.

The members of the Security Council expressed their deep concern over the political and security crisis in Burkina Faso and over reports of the loss of life resulting from recent events surrounding the resignation of Mr. Blaise Compaoré from his post of President of Burkina Faso. They called for calm and urged all parties to refrain from violence. They called on the Burkina Faso authorities to respect the right of peaceful assembly and right to life and to protect citizen’s safety and property.

The members of the Security Council called on all actors involved in Burkina Faso to respect the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol on democracy and good governance and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, notably the rejection of unconstitutional changes of Government.

The members of the Security Council acknowledged the democratic aspiration of the people of Burkina Faso. They urged the security forces of Burkina Faso to hand over power to a civilian-led transition and to take immediate steps to restore constitutional order without delay.

The members of the Security Council called on all stakeholders in Burkina Faso to collaborate together to launch a peaceful, civilian-led and democratic transition process leading to the holding of free, fair, inclusive and credible elections as soon as possible, consistent with the Constitution of Burkina Faso.

The members of the Security Council took note of the Declaration of the Chairman of (ECOWAS) of 2 November 2014 and of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council communiqué of 4 November 2014 on Burkina Faso.

The members of the Security Council expressed their full support to the Special Representative for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, and for the mission conducted jointly with the African Union and ECOWAS, and called on all parties in Burkina Faso to extend full cooperation to the joint mission. They commended the efforts of regional and international actors, in particular ECOWAS and the African Union, towards the restoration of constitutional order in Burkina Faso.

Nov 062014
 

NEW YORK, November 6, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Gary Quinlan (Australia):

On 4 November, the United Nations Security Council was briefed by United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ellen Margrethe Løj and UNMISS Force Commander Lieutenant-General Yohannes Gebremeskel Tesfamariam (by videoconference from Juba) on the situation in South Sudan.

The members of the Security Council expressed their alarm and outrage at the resumption of hostilities between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and Opposition forces in Bentiu and Rubkhona, Unity State, South Sudan on 26-30 October, and along the Sobat River in Upper Nile State on 2 November. The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms these acts that resulted in the death and injury of civilians, violated cessation of hostilities agreements, and demonstrated an absence of commitment by both sides to peace and the political process. The members of the Security Council also underscored their grave concern that the fighting took place next to the UNMISS camp in Bentiu sheltering more than 49,000 internally displaced persons. They further underlined that these new hostilities are magnifying an already serious humanitarian crisis which has displaced a total of more than 1.8 million South Sudanese.

The members of the Security Council strongly demanded an immediate end to all violence, and reiterated their demand to end human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law. They confirmed their intention to commence negotiations, in consultation with relevant partners, including the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and African Union (AU), on all appropriate measures, including targeted sanctions against those impeding the peace process. They also renewed their call upon the Government of South Sudan to take steps to ensure the safety of all civilians, to swiftly investigate these incidents, and to bring the perpetrators of these heinous acts to justice.

The members of the Security Council confirmed their strong support of the IGAD mediation effort and looked forward to the results of the forthcoming investigation from the IGAD Monitoring and Verification Mechanism on the outbreak of violence. The members of the Security Council welcomed the next IGAD Summit currently scheduled for 6 November, to press President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar to urgently reach agreement on inclusive and comprehensive arrangements for a Transitional Government of National Unity. The members of the Security Council called upon the parties to engage fully in ongoing peace talks, ensure that those talks are inclusive, uphold their commitment to establish a Transitional Government of National Unity, and finalize appropriate arrangements without further delay.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their steadfast support for UNMISS and its vital mission on behalf of the international community to protect civilians in South Sudan, conduct human rights monitoring and investigations, facilitate humanitarian assistance to populations in need, and support monitoring of the cessation of hostilities agreement. They condemned the recent detentions of three UNMISS personnel and the kidnappings of two UN-affiliated personnel. The members of the Security Council demanded their immediate and safe release, and called upon the Government of South Sudan to swiftly investigate these incidents and to ensure that justice is served.

The members of the Council renewed their demand that all parties cooperate fully with UNMISS and respect the inviolability of UNMISS protection sites. They condemned violations of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and stressed that threats and attacks on United Nations personnel and facilities are unacceptable and may constitute a violation of international law. They also expressed their concern about the increased harassment and targeting of NGOs and humanitarian workers, as well as journalists, in South Sudan.

The members of the Security Council took note with interest of the UNMISS human rights division’s important investigations of human rights abuses and violations, including those during the recent violence, and the planned release of the next UNMISS human rights report before the end of this year. They also affirmed support for efforts to investigate and document violations of international humanitarian law and human rights violations and abuses committed during the armed conflict, and hold those responsible accountable. The members of the Security Council also looked forward to the final report of the AU Commission of Inquiry.

Nov 062014
 

MAPUTO, Mozambique, November 6, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A staff team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by Doris Ross, visited Mozambique during October 22-November 6, 2014 to hold discussions towards the completion of the third review under the three-year Policy Support Instrument (PSI) 1 approved in June 2013 (see Press Release No. 13/231). The team met with President-elect Filipe Nyusi, Finance Minister Manuel Chang, Planning and Development Minister Aiuba Cuereneia, Bank of Mozambique Governor Ernesto Gove, other line ministers, senior government officials, the private sector, civil society, and development partners. It also met with the presidential candidates of the three main parties. The team traveled to Tete, where it met with Governor Paulo Auade and got acquainted with the main economic challenges facing a region that exemplifies the importance of developing extractive industries while creating jobs and economic opportunities for the population, including in agriculture.

At the conclusion of the visit, Ms. Ross issued the following statement:

“Mozambique’s economic performance remains robust. Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is projected at 7.5 percent in both 2014 and 2015, reflecting strong activity in all sectors, especially extractive industries, construction, transport and communication, commerce and financial services. Risks to this outlook have increased somewhat recently with the decline in commodity prices in world markets, especially for coal, and uncertainty about the large Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects. While substantial natural resource revenues are 6-10 years away, efforts are needed to put in place adequate institutional arrangements and capacity to address the large new challenges associated with this sector and the promise it holds for the country.

“Inflation remains well-contained thanks to an increase in domestic food production and a decline in import prices. Average inflation stood at just 1.4 percent in September, well below the same period last year, and is expected to remain below 3 percent for 2014 as a whole. The external current account deficit is large due to imports for big investment projects financed by foreign direct investment (FDI). International reserve coverage seems broadly adequate.

“Recent program performance is mixed. The mission urged the authorities to step up implementation of key structural reforms, especially in the public financial management (PFM) area, financial system and market development. A focus on rural infrastructure development and further improvements in the business environment should help make growth more inclusive by enhancing agricultural productivity and job creation in the private sector.

“Regarding economic policies for the rest of 2014 and 2015, the staff team and the authorities agreed on the need to maintain revenue efforts and slow the growth of public spending, including the wage bill, goods and services and investment while enhancing the efficiency of spending, in order to preserve debt sustainability in the medium term. While the 2015 budget should begin to narrow the fiscal deficit, this should be achieved in a manner that protects social spending such as basic health and education, and social assistance programs.

“The authorities are appropriately committed to (i) further strengthening their management of public resources, including by adopting a fiscal rule to improve the management of windfall revenue; (ii) enhancing the transparency and efficiency of public investment; and (iii) strengthening the management of public enterprises and disclosing the audited annual reports of the largest ones, including the Mozambican Tuna Company (EMATUM). As economic challenges become more complex, the authorities should continue to sharpen their tools to monitor and guide macroeconomic developments.

“The Bank of Mozambique’s commitment to keep money growth in check is welcome and will help to moderate the recent rapid pace of credit expansion to more prudent levels. Real interest rates in Mozambique are still high by international standards, and reforms should address the underlying structural factors to make financial markets more flexible, and thus reduce borrowing cost.

“On return to Washington D.C., the team will prepare a staff report that, upon management approval, is scheduled for discussion by the Executive Board in early January 2015.

“We would like to thank the authorities for the constructive policy discussions during this period of political transition and for their warm hospitality.”

1 PSI is an instrument of the IMF designed for countries that do not need balance of payments financial support. The PSI helps countries design effective economic programs that, once approved by the IMF’s Executive Board, signal to donors, multilateral development banks, and markets the Fund’s endorsement of a member’s policies (see http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/psi.htm). Details on Mozambique’s PSI program are available at http://www.imf.org/mozambique.

Nov 052014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 5, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The recent attacks on the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) – a World Council of Churches member church – and the Kulp Bible College, among other churches in Nigeria, have prompted an expression of profound dismay from the general secretary of the WCC, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.

The attacks in the last week of October in Nigeria are linked to the militant group Boko Haram, according to media reports.

“We want to offer our support and solidarity to the whole people of Nigeria, and its government,” Tveit said in a statement issued on 5 November from the WCC headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

“It is vital that the government take immediate and proactive steps to protect all the people of Nigeria and work strategically to defend them against such attacks, as well as supporting practically those who have recently experienced these atrocities,” said Tveit.

In his statement, the WCC general secretary appreciated efforts by the Christian Council of Nigeria in working with other organizations to provide aid to people fleeing the violence. A large number of the local population fled to the Cameroon border in order to escape the violence.

Tveit also drew attention to the plight of more than 200 school girls who were abducted six months ago and are still held captive. “We believe this to be totally unacceptable. We call upon the government to continue to work for their well-being and speedy release,” he said.

Tveit affirmed a statement from the EYN president Dr Samuel Dante Dali, who said, “We need urgent help from the international community if the global community can have compassion on us… The future of Nigeria is getting darker and darker day by day, but Nigerian political leadership do not seem to take the suffering of the people very seriously. The government of Nigeria with all its security seems very weak and helpless in handling the crisis.”

Tveit invited Christians and people of good will to hold Nigerian people in prayers.

Nov 052014
 

NAIROBI, Kenya, November 5, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Leading African Activist to be Announced as Winner of Top Global Environmental Prize

What: Announcing African Winner of Champions of the Earth 2014

When: Friday 7 November, 2014 10.30am – 11.30am

Where: The Hilton Hotel, City Centre, Nairobi

Who: Fatima Jibrell, Founder of ADESO and Champions of the Earth Winner

Ibrahim Thiaw, UNEP Deputy Executive Director

Paolo Toselli, European Union

Fatima Jibrell, one of Africa’s leading environmental activists and founder of Adeso (formerly known as Horn Relief), is to become the first Somali to win a Champions of the Earth award.

The Inspiration and Action award, which has been won in previous years by Brian McClendon of Google Earth, and Carlo Petrini, Founder of Slow Food, will be awarded to Fatima Jibrell for her outstanding contribution and service to the planet through her efforts to build peace, advocate for better environmental practices, and protect the livelihoods of Somalia’s pastoralists.

We invite you to attend the historic announcement of the award and to hear from Fatima Jibrell in her own words, what this award signifies to her, to Somalia, and to Kenya, where her organization undertakes work of critical importance to the environment and to the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people.

Champions of the Earth is the United Nations’ flagship environmental award launched in 2005 that recognizes outstanding visionaries and leaders in the fields of policy, science, entrepreneurship, and civil society action.

Whether by helping to improve the management of natural resources, demonstrating new ways to tackle climate change or raising awareness of emerging environmental challenges, Champions of the Earth should serve as an inspiration for transformative action across the world.

Past laureates have included Mikhail Gorbachev, Al Gore, Felipe Calderon, Mohamed Nasheed, Marina Silva, Vinod Khosla, and many other such exemplary leaders on the environment and development front.

The full Awards Ceremony will take place at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. on November 19th, hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme.