Coming up at Parliament this Week

Questions for oral reply by President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, 42 scheduled committee meetings and various debates headline this week’s busy calendar of Parliament.

The President returns to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to take questions for oral reply on Thursday, following his annual address last week, while on the same day the Deputy President will be in the National Assembly (NA) also replying to questions from Members of Parliament. Bills, reports from Committees, a subject for discussion (“The provision of quality education, skills development and innovation is a fundamental tenet for the attainment of a developmental state”) are among issues scheduled for the NA plenary sittings on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The NCOP on the hand will, in addition to considering various reports from Select Committees, hold debates on conditions facing the people of Imizamo Yethu (Tuesday) and the challenges facing farm learners throughout the Western Cape, especially in areas such as in Wolseley, Stellenbosch, Wellington and Grabouw (Wednesday).

Issues to be addressed during the 42 scheduled committee meetings this week include:

On Monday, the Standing Committee on Appropriations will consider and adopt its draft report on the 2017 Division of Revenue Amendment Bill.

On Tuesday, the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education is scheduled to receive a joint briefing by the Departments of Basic Education (DBE); Social Development (DSD) and Health (DoH) on Learner Pregnancies. Secondly, the Portfolio Committee on Transport is scheduled to meet the Minister of Transport on allegations of state capture at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA); and meet with the Boards of PRASA, the Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS), the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) on issues pertaining to the late submission of the 2016/17 Annual Reports and Financial Statements by these entities.

On Wednesday, the Standing Committee on Appropriations will be briefed by National Treasury, the Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC) and the Parliamentary Budget Office on the South African Airways’ (SAA) debt relief and recapitalization funding.

On Thursday, the Joint Standing Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament will be briefed by the Acting Secretary to Parliament on the 2017-18 mid-year performance and expenditure of Parliament.

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

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Women Representatives Meet in Tripoli in Support of Reconciliation Efforts Between Qaddadfa and Awlad Suleiman Tribes

As part of its efforts to promote reconciliation in Libya, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with the support of Promédiation, a non-governmental organization providing expertise in conflict resolution in Southern Libya, facilitated a two-day dialogue meeting, on 07 and 08 November, in Tripoli, between women representatives from Qaddadfa and Awlad Suleiman tribes.

The meeting, attended also by a number of women activists from other tribes in Sebha, aimed at building an inclusive and sustainable peace process in the South, with a focus on addressing the conflict between Qaddadfa and Awlad Suleiman tribes. The event allowed women activists, mediators, opinion-makers and community actors, mostly from the Awlad Suleiman and Qadhadfa tribes, to discuss their concerns and opinions in an impartial, neutral and confidential environment.

The initiative is part of reconciliation efforts, conducted by UNSMIL, to bring Qaddadfa and Awlad Suleiman tribes to an actual dialogue. Any reparations programme designed and implemented in the framework of a future reconciliation agreement between these two conflicting parties should include the rights and specific needs of women. Therefore, including women in negotiations and political dialogue in the South is crucial for the success of the peace process in Sebha.

Women participants to the meeting discussed the root causes of the conflict in the South, and diverse ways in which women have contributed to dialogue, mediation and peaceful coexistence in their respective communities. Learning from other local experiences in conflict resolution in the South, participants managed to identify and to define clear and concrete steps that they can take to increase confidence between and within communities in order to build peace in Sebha.

After two days of discussion, the women agreed on the attached statement, calling for a reinforcement of the peace process in the South of Libya and a stronger role for women in peace processes:

Statement by women participants to Awlad Suleiman and Qaddad dialogue meeting in Tripoli on 07 and 08 November 2017

“We, women who participated to the dialogue between Awlad Suleiman and Qaddadfa in Tripoli, after having reviewed the root causes and the reasons of this conflicts and ways to address it, have agreed to call on the international community to continue its support to promote reconciliation among all Libyans, and to renew its efforts to reach peaceful and sustainable solutions. We also call on the international community to help solving the conflict between the Qaddadfa and Awlad Suleiman tribes and to support the establishment of a women network for peacemaking and reconciliation.

We reiterate our support to all women-led reconciliation initiatives in Libya and call on women to actively participate in all peace and reconciliation efforts, both at the community level and at the national level. We also reaffirm the importance of the continuing participation of women in building State institutions and promoting the rule of law.”

Note to correspondents
The training was organized as part of the project “Towards National Reconciliation in Libya,” jointly implemented by UNSMIL and UNDP and funded by the UN Peacebuilding Fund. The project aims at assisting Libyan national and local authorities, civil society and other partners in their effort to promote an inclusive vision for national reconciliation, while supporting local-level dialogue and reconciliation initiatives throughout Libya.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

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Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR’s Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean Situation, on the first evacuation of refugees from Libya to Niger

Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR’s Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean Situation, on the first evacuation of refugees from Libya to Niger:

“I’m pleased to announce that a first group of 25 extremely vulnerable refugees were evacuated today, Saturday 11 November, from Libya to Niger by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

Among these 25 refugees, there were 15 women, six men and four children of Eritrean, Ethiopian and Sudanese nationalities. All of them will be hosted in a guesthouse in Niamey until their resettlement applications are processed.

I am particularly grateful to the governments of Libya and Niger for making this humanitarian evacuation possible. This life-saving measure for extremely vulnerable refugees is also an extraordinary gesture of solidarity and cooperation between Niger and Libya.

We hope to be able to carry out more evacuations in the near future. However, let me stress that they will remain limited in scale as long as resettlement commitments remain insufficient. I reiterate the High Commissioner’s urgent call for 40,000 places along the routes leading to the Central Mediterranean Sea.

These refugee evacuations can only be part of broader asylum-building and migration management efforts to address the complex movement of migrants and refugees who embark on perilous journeys across the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea. There is a clear need to create more regular and safe ways for refugees to find safety and international protection, and to address the root causes and drivers of refugee displacement.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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Source:: Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR’s Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean Situation, on the first evacuation of refugees from Libya to Niger

      

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President Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan to Make 2-Day Official Visit to Uganda

President Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan, will pay a State Visit to Uganda from November 14-15, 2017. This will be his second visit after attending the swearing-in ceremony of H.E. President Yoweri Museveni on May 12, 2016.

Uganda and Sudan continue to strengthen their bilateral relations. H.E. President Yoweri Museveni paid a 2-day working visit to Sudan from 15-16 September 2015 during which he held bilateral talks with H.E. President Bashir, and delivered a Lecture on the theme “The Challenges of Economic Development and Peace Building” to the Cabinet Ministers, Diplomatic Corps, Academicians and Civil Society.

President Museveni again visited Khartoum from 10-11 October 2016, to witness the closure of the National Dialogue Conference; and also held a discussion with President Bashir on further improvement of bilateral relations.

The Undersecretary/Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sudan visited Uganda from October 5-6, 2017 and met his counterpart Amb. Patrick Mugoya, during which the two sides agreed on steps to implement the decisions taken by the 5th session of the Joint Ministerial Commission which was held in Khartoum. Among the issues they discussed were opportunities for trade and investment, immigration, air transport, regional issues and security matters. Uganda will be hosting the 6th Session of the Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) by March 2018.

During the upcoming Official Visit by President Omar Al-Bashir, a number of areas of cooperation will be discussed including trade and investment, agriculture, regional peace and security as well as international matters of mutual interest.

Sudan imports 20% of Uganda coffee and is the single biggest export market for the product from which about US $ 100 million is earned. A delegation from the Sudanese Standards and Metrology Organization visited Uganda from November 5-8, 2017 to inspect the coffee testing/quality assurance facilities of Uganda Coffee Development Authority, Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) and private coffee processors.

They also held a meeting with respective Ministries and stakeholders to discuss ways of improving the Coffee trade with Sudan.

President Al-Bashir will be accompanied by Ministers, Senior Officials and a business delegation in various sectors who will be seeking opportunities to carry out trade, investments and business partnerships. During the visit, a Sudan-Uganda Business Forum is expected to be held.

A Joint Communique will be issued at the end of the Official Visit.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Republic of Uganda – Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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