Press Statement of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 497th meeting held on 9 April 2015, on the terrorist attack perpetrated in Garissa, Kenya

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, April 10, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 497th meeting held on 9 April 2015, adopted the following press statement on the terrorist attack perpetrated in Garissa, Kenya, on 2 April 2015:

Council condemned, in the strongest terms possible, this terrible terrorist attack, in which al-Shabaab terrorist group stormed the campus of Garissa University College in Garissa, during which more than 148 innocent students and staff were killed, while many others were injured.

Council stressed that this barbaric act against innocent civilians is tantamount to an attack on the African continent as a whole. Council reiterated AU’s full solidarity with the people and the Government of Kenya and expressed its heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims. Council wished speedily recovery to all injured victims.

Council underlined that the escalation of terrorist attacks in the continent highlights the need for renewed efforts to address the scourge of terrorism, on the basis of the relevant AU and international instruments. Council called on all Member States and partners to redouble their efforts in this respect, and to enhance inter-African counter-terrorism cooperation.

Council reaffirmed its commitment to take appropriate steps to enhance the functioning of its Committee on Counter-Terrorism in order to enable it to effectively react to the scourge of terrorism.

Council commended the Government of Kenya for its efforts and role in combating terrorism and for its outstanding contribution to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), as part of the overall efforts to promote peace and security in the region and the continent as a whole. In this regard, Council also expressed its commitment to continue working with the Kenyan Government towards the mobilization of the required international support to the fight against terrorism.

Council reiterated the AU’s determination to continue its efforts in Somalia, in order to rid the country and the region of terrorist and criminal groups, and bring about lasting peace, security and stability in Somalia, in the region and the continent as a whole.

Council agreed to dispatch a delegation to Kenya to convey its heartfelt condolences and to express its solidarity to the people and Government of Kenya, in the aftermath of the barbaric terrorist attack in Garissa.

Source:: Press Statement of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 497th meeting held on 9 April 2015, on the terrorist attack perpetrated in Garissa, Kenya

Categories: African Press Organization

USAID Launches Eye Radio Repeater Station in Torit

JUBA, South Sudan, April 10, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Internews, a media development organization, and Zain Telecommunications Company today launched the first Eye Radio repeater station in Torit, Eastern Equatoria State in a ceremony attended by the Mission Director of USAID, the State Minister of Information, and other dignitaries. This is the first of ten planned radio repeaters to extend Eye Radio reception to all ten South Sudan states and their rural communities.

Radio is the primary source of information for most people in the Republic of South Sudan (RSS), yet access to radio is challenging in many areas, particularly rural communities. Radio access has also deteriorated because of the ongoing conflict, which has displaced more than two million people from their homes.

Since 2003, USAID has supported the development of independent media in RSS. The new repeater in Torit will increase Eye Radio’s audience by approximately 100,000 listeners in Eastern Equatoria State. The Eye Radio expansion, which has been made possible by the partnership with Zain Telecommunications Company, will ultimately enable expansion of Eye Radio to all the RSS states.

The pilot repeater station in Torit will be followed by other repeater stations in Wau, Rumbek, Kwajok, Aweil, Bor and Yambio, to reach as many as 750,000 listeners, in addition to Eye Radio’s existing audience in Central Equatoria State.

In the near future, Internews will also distribute approximately 50,000 solar-powered, hand-crank radio receivers to communities in RSS that lack access to radio, building on USAID’s legacy of helping RSS’s citizens gain access to information. Before the RSS’s independence, USAID distributed tens of thousands of such radios to communities in the then Sudanese nation.

“Our main goal is to empower and strengthen free and independent media in the Republic of South Sudan in a way that is self-sustaining. By doing so, we will improve access to information for the people of South Sudan, to help them become better informed citizens of their nation,” said Teresa McGhie, USAID Mission Director.

Under this program USAID has also supported the provision of lifesaving and life-enhancing information to people displaced by the conflict in the Lakes State, as well as the protection of civilian sites at United Nations compounds in Juba and other areas.

Source:: USAID Launches Eye Radio Repeater Station in Torit

Categories: African Press Organization

UN Human Rights Chief to make high-level official visit to Burundi 12-15 April

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 10, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Sunday begins a three-day visit to Burundi – his first official country visit as the UN’s top human rights official.

During his visit, High Commissioner Zeid will meet the President as well as a number of top officials, including the Minister for External Relations and International Cooperation and the Minister in Charge of Human Rights. He will also meet the Executive Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the Bureau of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the President of the National Assembly, the President of the National Independent Electoral Commission, the President of the National Independent Human Rights Commission, members of civil society, political parties and the diplomatic corps.

During his time in Burundi, the High Commissioner will travel to Gitega to visit the Humura Centre for victims of domestic violence. On Wednesday 15 April, High Commissioner Zeid will participate in a round table discussion on human rights and elections in Burundi.

At the end of his visit, the High Commissioner will hold a press conference at 14:00 on Wednesday 15 April in the Conference Room of the UN Electoral Observation Mission in Burundi (MENUB).

The new UN Human Rights Office in Burundi was established on 1 January 2015, and has continued the monitoring, reporting and technical cooperation activities previously conducted by the Human Rights and Justice Section of the UN Office in Burundi (BNUB), whose mandate ended in December 2014.

Source:: UN Human Rights Chief to make high-level official visit to Burundi 12-15 April

Categories: African Press Organization

WorldVentures 47 on Top Global 100 Direct Sellers List

PLANO, TX, April 10, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — WorldVentures (http://www.worldventures.com), a global leader in the direct-selling travel sector, has vaulted through the ranks from 65 to 47 on Direct Selling News magazine’s Global 100 list and placed 25 within a new category—the DSN North America 50 list. The announcement was made on Wednesday during the DSN Global 100 Celebration at the InterContinental Hotel in Dallas, where hundreds of direct-selling executives gathered to honor one another’s achievements. This is the sixth consecutive year WorldVentures has been named to the prestigious DSN Global 100, which recognizes major industry players on an international scale. Both the global and North America lists are based on revenues from the previous year.

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

“As we approach our 10-year anniversary in December, this recognition is affirmation that we are on the right path to making WorldVentures a household name in the direct-selling travel sector,” said Co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer Wayne Nugent. “It’s humbling to be honored alongside so many trailblazers in the industry, and to know we rank among the best.”

WorldVentures CEO Dan Stammen concurred: “Now in our fourth consecutive year of record-setting growth, WorldVentures is fulfilling the vision we had 10 years ago upon founding the company. We proudly accept this honor as a challenge to continue expanding, growing and improving customer experiences.”

Direct Selling News is the leading trade publication for the direct-selling industry, and its coveted annual list is considered a major indicator of company strength. Public and private companies are included among the rankings. Contenders are assessed starting in December each year and winners are announced the following April at the Global 100 Celebration.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of WorldVentures.

About WorldVentures

WorldVentures is the leading international direct seller of vacation club memberships and helps people achieve more fun, freedom and fulfillment by offering DreamTrips™ memberships, which include premium vacations at reduced prices. WorldVentures is a privately held company based in Plano, Texas, with active Representatives and members in more than 25 countries. For more information, please visit www.worldventures.com.

Source:: WorldVentures 47 on Top Global 100 Direct Sellers List

Categories: African Press Organization

Central African Republic: MSF suspends part of its activities in Kabo after an attack on its facilities

BANGUI, Central African Republic, April 9, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has withdrawn part of its team and partially suspended its activities at Kabo hospital, in the north of the Central African Republic (CAR). The medical humanitarian organisation suffered a violent attack on Wednesday 1 April at the facilities it uses as both office and accommodation for its international team. This aggression against the humanitarian community poses a serious obstacle for MSF operations for the people in the area, where almost 50,000 people are living without any other healthcare service provider.

In Wednesday’s incident, two unidentified gunmen took advantage of the afternoon’s heavy rainfall to launch a violent attack on the MSF complex, before fleeing with various valuables. Several foreign personnel on posting in the CAR have been evacuated to the capital, and some medical activities in the hospital have been reduced until the situation improves and MSF has guarantees for the safety of its facilities, patients and teams. Paediatric and emergency care services are being maintained both at the hospital and in health centres on the outskirts of Kabo.

After the incident, MSF members contacted representatives of the armed groups and civilian authorities in the area to reiterate the need to respect the humanitarian community as a means of protecting the people and maintaining access to basic healthcare. In response to the attack, on Tuesday 7 April community leaders organised a protest against the aggression suffered by MSF and businesses closed for the day. More than 500 people from Kabo and the surrounding areas marched through the streets of the town, with the mayor and various community representatives leading the march.

The attack last week is only the latest armed incident that MSF has faced; a few days prior to the attack an MSF vehicle was attacked on the outskirts of Kabo as it returned from a visit to a health centre.

“Such incidents are symptomatic of the climate of violence that exists in the country. Without security we cannot carry out our activities and that puts at risk the healthcare services relied on by thousands of people in the CAR,” said MSF country coordinator, Laurence de Barros. “Attacks like this one have repercussions for people who are already living in a very precarious situation and who have been victims of violence for years,” he added.

As an independent international medical organisation, MSF’s sole purpose is to address the medical and humanitarian needs of the people it helps. MSF calls on all parties in the conflict in CAR to respect civilians, healthcare workers and humanitarian staff, both in the Central African Republic and internationally.

The people in the northern region of the CAR present with the diseases typical of the CAR, such as malaria, respiratory infections and conjunctivitis, and thousands of patients in the region depend on MSF intervention to have their illnesses diagnosed and treated.

Source:: Central African Republic: MSF suspends part of its activities in Kabo after an attack on its facilities

Categories: African Press Organization

Ghana / Ambassador Hosts First U.S. Beef Promotion

ACCRA, Ghana, April 9, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — On the evening of April 8, the United States Ambassador to Ghana, Gene A. Cretz, hosted a cross section of politicians, business people, and diplomats at the first-ever promotional dinner in Accra for U.S. beef.

The Urban Grill Restaurant, located at the Airport City, provided a spectacular venue to celebrate “U.S. beef proudly produced in the great State of Nebraska.”

“We thank Governor Pete Ricketts of Nebraska for his support of this event, and recognize the Nebraska Beef Council and Greater Omaha for providing the star ingredient. The United States is strongly committed to delivering high quality, safe, healthy food products to consumers all around the world, and U.S. beef is one of our “super stars.” Sharing our cultural diversity remains just one of the bonds, which form the close friendship between Ghana and the United States,” proclaimed Ambassador Cretz.

U.S. beef is a high-quality product that is readily available for the new, exciting restaurant scene in Ghana and neighboring West Africa countries.

Source:: Ghana / Ambassador Hosts First U.S. Beef Promotion

Categories: African Press Organization