Sep 052014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 5, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM Angola will next week organize a three-day workshop on labour migration and development in Luanda for Angolan government officials, private sector representatives and civil society organizations.

The training is the first of a series of six organized by IOM in partnership with the Angolan Ministry of Interior to build the capacity of key government branches.

It will familiarize participants with various aspects of labour migration, including migration and development, international cooperation, regulation and administration of labour migration programmes, protection and integration of migrant workers, recruitment and diaspora engagement.

Since the signing of a peace agreement in 2002, Angola has experienced sustained economic growth which has stimulated migration within, to and from the country.

After waves of mass emigration and forced internal displacement during the intermittent 27-year civil war, the country is now experiencing complex migration flows including growing numbers of documented and undocumented economic migrants, migrants in search of international protection, former Angolan refugees returning home, victims of trafficking, and unaccompanied minors.

A “Commission for Migration Policy” has been put in place by the Ministry of Interior to develop Angola’s first migration policy to address the challenges and opportunities of these new developments.

At the request of the Ministry of Interior, IOM is providing guidance and technical support to the Commission. It will contribute expertise in areas including mapping stakeholders’ capacities and needs, capacity building through migration management workshops, surveys of best policy practices through study tours, and guidance in intra-governmental consultation between ministries.

The six workshops will take place through September and October in the Angolan capital. Subsequent topics will include mixed migration and migrant assistance, international migration law, immigration and border management, and migration and health. The project is funded by the IOM Development Fund (IDF).

Sep 052014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 5, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM Libya is monitoring the growing insecurity of some 200,000 overseas migrants living and working in Tripoli, Misrata and Benghazi. They include some 7,000 individuals IOM categorizes as “vulnerable migrants” in urgent need of evacuation assistance.

Nearly 150,000 Tripoli residents made homeless by two months of ever-intensifying conflict – almost 31,000 families – have fled the city, according to the local authorities.

“The situation is difficult and evacuations are risky, but we are committed to do our utmost to help migrants living in appalling conditions in Tripoli immigration detention centers or displaced by the fighting with no food, water or sanitation,” said Othman Belbeisi, IOM Chief of Mission in Libya.

“If we don’t help those who want to return home safely, many may risk boarding unsafe boats in the hope of reaching the security of Italy,” he notes.

As Libya’s security deteriorates, IOM continues to field telephone calls from individual migrants wanting to return to their countries of origin and foreign embassies seeking help to evacuate their citizens.

In the past week IOM has received an urgent request from Pakistan’s embassy to help rescue as many as 2,000 Pakistani nationals from embattled areas of Tripoli and Benghazi and to organize their safe return to Pakistan.

According to Belbeisi, immigration detention centers in the north of the country have also either closed or migrants have been released in recent weeks due to acute shortages of supplies.

Some of the migrants are being moved to centers further south. Others feel they have little option but to join a tide of migrants including refugees, seeking to leave Libya by sea, a route that has become increasingly perilous since the latest fighting broke out.

Since Libya’s latest crisis started in mid-July, IOM has repatriated 125 migrants from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Ethiopia and Côte d’Ivoire via Tunisia. It is presently working to arrange the evacuation of 30 Yemeni laborers seeking safe passage from Tripoli.

IOM this past Sunday successfully evacuated from Tripoli 12 women from Ethiopia and Cote d’Ivoire to Tunisia. The women were living without basic assistance – food, water, psychological support – in immigration detention centers in Libya’s capital.

Through the month of August IOM monitors say at least 6,000 Egyptian nationals have also fled Libya through the country’s borders with Egypt and Tunisia. Nonetheless, IOM estimates up to one million Egyptians remain in Libya.

Despite the difficult circumstances, IOM intends to continue evacuation operations for as long as it can.

Sky-rocketing food prices, severe power cuts, fuel shortages and difficulty in purchasing basic goods and services may limit all relief agencies’ efforts in the field, IOM’s Chief of Mission warns.

“This security situation has an impact on our capacity to deliver assistance. Our staff in Tripoli can no longer move freely, but are doing all they can to help migrants in dire need of assistance,” he says.

Sep 052014
 

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, September 5, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Global news agency Agence France Presse (AFP) (http://www.afp.com) has announced that it’s English news content will no longer be available via SAPA (South African Press Association) in the new year.

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Harry Lee-Rudolph, Commercial Manager for AFP southern Africa said “SAPA and AFP has had a long and mutually beneficial relationship and the decision to withdraw our news service from SAPA was not taken lightly. However, the changing media landscape in South Africa has necessitated the exploration of new commercial approaches in keeping with AFP’s growth goals for the African region”.

AFP has a clear strategy to strengthen and enhance its coverage of Africa in all mediums. “From a commercial perspective we will focus on supplying clients a comprehensive media package to address all needs in terms of content and platform” Lee-Rudolph said.

AFP has 200 bureaus across the world in 150 countries of which 18 bureaus are based in sub-Saharan Africa. AFP’s English news wire delivers some 600 dispatches a day on world and African news. It offers varied and wide-ranging coverage on international news, politics, economics, social issues, sport, culture and science.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Contact: Harry Lee-Rudolph -Tel. : + (27 11) 530 9900 – Harry.LEE-RUDOLPH@afp.com

About AFP

AFP (http://www.afp.com) is a global news agency delivering fast, accurate, in-depth coverage of the events shaping our world from wars and conflicts to politics, sports, entertainment and the latest breakthroughs in health, science and technology. With 2,260 staff spread across almost every country, AFP covers the world 24 hours a day in six languages. AFP delivers the news in video, text, photos, multimedia and graphics to a wide range of customers including newspapers and magazines, radio and TV channels, web sites and portals, mobile operators, corporate clients as well as public institutions. http://www.afp.com/afpcom/en

Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AFPnewsenglish

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/france_presse

Sep 052014
 

NEW YORK, September 5, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The new Permanent Representative of Burundi to the United Nations, Albert Shingiro, presented his credentials to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today.

Until his appointment, Mr. Shingiro was Permanent Secretary at the Ministry for External Relations and International Cooperation of Burundi. From 2010 to 2012 he worked in the External Service focusing on security of the Presidency.

Between 2006 and 2010, Mr. Shingiro was based in the Permanent Mission of Burundi to the United Nations, serving as Second Counsellor and as Chargé d’Affaires. His responsibilities included work on the Security Council, the General Assembly and several Committees. During the period, he also served as an Expert on the First Strategic Framework of Consolidation of Peace in Burundi in 2007.

From 2002 until 2003, he was an intern with the International Association of Québécois Studies, and in 2001 he served as an Assistant and Educational Researcher at Laval University.

In 1999, he held two positions, one as Assistant Director Tropicom Communication in Benin and the other as a correspondent for the Beninese newspaper Les Tropiques.

Mr. Shingiro holds a masters in international relations from Laval University in Canada (2003) and a bachelors in legal science from the University of Benin (1998).

Born on 31 December 1970 in Buhiga Karusi, Burundi, he is married with three children.

Sep 042014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 4, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Disease outbreak news
4 September 2014
Epidemiology and surveillance
WHO has committed to provide regular situation reports that include detailed epidemiological information a…

Sep 042014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 4, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Disease outbreak news
4 September 2014
Epidemiology and surveillance
WHO has committed to provide regular situation reports that include detailed epidemiological information a…

Sep 042014
 

LONDON, United-Kingdom, September 4, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — With the rainy season, Lietchuor refugee camp, which shelters some 40,000 people from South Sudan, has become a lake dotted with islands. As a result, Ethiopia’s Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) and the UNHCR have taken the decision to close the camp and they must find an appropriate site to relocate the refugees.

Heavy rains and flooding have also caused serious damage in Pagak and Pamdong transit camps, also in Ethiopia’s Gambella region, but Lietchuor camp is the worst affected. The camp is located on flat, bare ground, with “black cotton soil” on which the floodwater pools and stagnates. The newly constructed tukuls (mud huts) for the refugees are completely flooded. The road built on a strip of elevated land is the only remaining inhabitable area, and some of the refugees have set up their tents along its course. Others have left the camp, with hundreds sheltering in nearby villages with the host community or in churches.

During the most recent rainstorm on 24 August, shelters were blown down. MSF’s compound has been also flooded. Strong winds blew down the plastic sheeting covering the roof of the staff tent, forcing the team to relocate. And inside the camp, the latrines, which were hastily built, have overflowed, with some collapsing completely.

MSF medical facilities however resisted. Despite now being on an island surrounded by floodwaters, the MSF health centre as well as the MSF’s hospital which has a total of 107 beds and includes a maternity ward and intensive therapeutic feeding centre, all set up in separate tents, continue to operate.

MSF teams have raised the medical tents to 40 cm above the ground and built a drainage system around them, with the result that the beds and the patients in them remain dry.

“Before the rainy season began, we brought in 100 trucks, each carrying five cubic metres of earth, to raise the ground level of the hospital,” says Suzanne Ceresko, MSF’s logistics coordinator. “But every day, when it rains, we still have to pump the water out from around the MSF tents.” Logistics are a vital part of MSF’s work, but in cases such as this can represent a considerable cost.

Finding an appropriate alternative site for the refugees is now crucial. The site should be like Kule and Tierkidi not prone to flooding and should have trees that can provide shade during the dry season’s scorching temperatures as well as firewood to enable refugees to cook their food rations. Finally, the site must not present a security risk to the refugee population. But the Nip Nip, Dima and Pugnido potential sites identified by the authorities do not meet these criteria.

MSF is ready to provide medical care for the refugees once they are relocated to an appropriate new site. Meanwhile, MSF teams will continue to provide care in Lietchuor camp, where people still have medical needs. Most patients seen by MSF staff in Lietchuor camp are suffering from malaria and respiratory infections, but hepatitis E and jaundice are also a problem. Between late-May and late-August, 354 cases of hepatitis E and jaundice were detected. The current hygiene conditions will have a severe impact on the population’s health. However no cases of cholera have been recorded. On 23 August, MSF teams completed a cholera vaccination campaign in the camp, immunising more than 39,000 people against the disease.

Also affected by the most recent storm is MSF’s 120-bed hospital in Itang, near the camps of Tierkidi and Kule. A dyke reinforced by the MSF team to protect the hospital collapsed, and the clinic, which saw patients from both the refugee and host communities, is no longer functional. Thirty-five inpatients have been transferred to other tents, while a number of other patients have been referred to health facilities run by other partners.

Access to healthcare is essential for the refugees in the Gambella region, and solutions must be found to ensure that medical care is available in the camps for all those who need it.

Sep 042014
 

LONDON, United-Kingdom, September 4, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — As Africa’s star continues to rise and Governments are becoming increasingly mindful of the importance of delivering electricity beyond city and industrial boundaries, EnergyNet (http://www.energynet.co.uk) has partnered with ‘Wind for Prosperity’, a Vestas initiative to deliver electricity to some of the poorest off-the-grid citizens across Africa.

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With more than 1.3 billion people across the globe lacking access to affordable and reliable electricity, creating dramatic consequences for human health, education, and economic well-being ‘Wind for Prosperity’ can support government’s plans for industrial electrification by delivering electricity beyond the grid.

‘Wind for Prosperity’ will create a world of new opportunities by accelerating access to clean water, healthcare, irrigation, education, communications infrastructure, and other social and economic benefits. It is different to most other corporate initiatives to alleviate poverty as the concept is commercially based and is more scalable and sustainable than efforts purely reliant on philanthropy and donations – it is business as a force for good.

Morten Albæk, Group Senior Vice President and CMO of Vestas commented “Every day at Vestas we think about solutions to make the world’s energy mix more sustainable and maintain our position as the global wind leader and technology developer. With more than 61 GW of installed wind turbines, comprising close to 19% of total global capacity, we understand the importance of delivering viable energy programmes and we’re delighted to partner with EnergyNet in Africa to increase the chances of delivering electricity to important corners of the continent, often overlooked due to challenging financial conditions.”

EnergyNet’s MD Simon Gosling added, “The potential for such an off-grid solution to support government objectives is huge both economically and politically and we’re delighted to partner with Vestas on such a potentially game changing venture; indirectly supporting industrial development, directly supporting local development.

Excitingly, ‘Wind for Prosperity’ ties in with our own ‘EnergyNet Student Engagement Initiative (ESEI)’ which supports African student engineers from across the continent where we’re supporting the development of nationals from across the continent, providing opportunities which otherwise may not be realised. ‘Wind for Prosperity’ is a similar venture and one we hope governments will give full backing to help succeed.”

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

For more information please contact:

Mimi Oyelana, Senior Marketing Manager

EnergyNet Ltd.

T: +44 20 7384 8018

E: mimi.oyelana@energynet.co.uk

About EnergyNet:

Who we are:

EnergyNet Ltd. (http://www.energynet.co.uk) organise a global portfolio of investment meetings, conferences and infrastructure events focused specifically on the power and industrial sectors across Africa.

Proven to engage the decision makers and technical directors behind Africa’s most exciting economies, Energynet places economic development at the heart of industrial solutions, helping to generate a more stable and viable investment option for organisation in Africa. We challenge the way businesses work in Africa; the information we provide isn’t available on the internet and isn’t out of a dusty old textbook.

Whilst EnergyNet is an Africa focused team of researchers and experienced power conference professionals, we are owned and supported globally by the UKs largest conference and exhibitions organisation, Clarion Events. With vast resources and over 500 people covering defense, energy and utilities in Brazil, Germany, London, New York, San Francisco, South Africa, Turkey, Abu Dhabi and Singapore. EnergyNet Ltd. and Clarion Events are committed to providing global insights and local partnerships.

What we do:

EnergyNet delivers local strategies, local content and local insights for global businesses.

We listen to stakeholders from both the public and private sectors so that we can react better to the changing investment climates around the world.

Trust and confidence shape our relationships and we appreciate that we often represent major corporations globally and their brands. The responsibility of caring for each of our clients’ brands is something that we take very seriously.

Knowledge, passion, detailed research and commercial thinking drive our daily activities so that our content is always ahead of the curve and our speakers are relevant and at the cutting edge of sector developments.

How can Energynet support your P&L and help limit your risk:

EnergyNet works with governments, energy and infrastructure ministries and national utilities across Africa. We work with our partners to understand their strategic needs and bring together solution providers to support those goals.

We focus on core industry providers including private power developers, investment banks and DFIs, Lawyers, credible consultants, EPCs and immediate power providers to support contract delivery and project success.

It’s not so much about the ‘global’ economies as the ‘local’ economies:

We understand what it takes to work in challenging environment to generate, transmit and distribute power, and how easily millions of dollars are wasted because of changing politics, out of date industry data or simply cultural nuances. We will support your business development by connecting you with stakeholders that provide you direction and technical insight and will work directly with you to answer the most pressing questions challenging your business.

By attending one of the EnergyNet Forum’s or Powering Africa: Series’, you’ll only meet people relevant to major power and industrial projects, including; national and local government, industrial cluster and free trade zones, major power users such mining, ports and international shipping companies as well as the legal, finance and technical solution providers behind many of Africa’s power projects.

EnergyNet has proved over the last 17 years that by remaining focused, you can build a network that can find solutions in the most challenging of environments – “It’s all about what you know and who you know!”

Sep 042014
 

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, September 4, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Staying true to its reputation for speed, passion, teamwork and a can-do attitude, DHL Express (http://www.dpdhl.com) has grown its retail footprint in sub-Saharan Africa by an astonishing 1,000% in less than three years.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/dhl_logo2.jpg

Photo Sumesh Rahavendra: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/sumesh_rahavendra.jpg (Sumesh Rahavendra, head of marketing for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa)

In what could become a business school case study, the company’s number of service points increased from 300 to over 3,300, not by building its own bricks and mortar branches but by partnering with local business owners who act as DHL resellers. Thousands of vendors – such as an electronics store in West Africa, a travel agent in East Africa and a small grocery shop in Southern Africa – now allow their customers to send DHL shipments alongside their normal offerings.

These small businesses benefit from commission on all DHL sales, an increase in foot traffic as well as being associated with a global brand.

“It’s really a win-win approach. We having given these small shop owners a unique business opportunity to grow their revenues and gain credibility by aligning themselves with an international brand. If they do well, we do well,” explains Sumesh Rahavendra, head of marketing for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa.

The company is willing to partner with any entrepreneurial business that sees value in becoming a DHL reseller. All partners are provided with a complete branding kit and go through an extensive training programme to ensure compliance with DHL’s requirements and procedures.

DHL has also forged similar partnerships with larger companies such as mobile network operators, retail business centres, supermarkets and fuel retailers.

Not only is partnering with existing vendors more cost effective than building its own branches, it also brings DHL closer to its customers. An entrepreneur in Ghana can send a sample to a client in the US from the same place he picks up his daily newspaper, whereas a mother in Mauritius is now able to ship a birthday gift to her son in France while her car is being filled up at the fuel station.

DHL also simplified its pricing and packaging options to fit in with the needs of its customers as opposed to the other way around. To make people aware of its retail offering, the streets of Africa are often painted yellow and red through tactical advertising campaigns involving dancing, singing and special DHL giveaways.

“Through the passion and energy of our 4,000 employees across Sub Saharan Africa, we have changed the perception that DHL only caters for multinationals and big business. Our retail customers no longer have to sit in traffic to send a document or parcel, but can literally find a DHL service point right around the corner,” says Rahavendra. “Perhaps most gratifying is the fact that we are empowering business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs across Africa with an additional opportunity to earn money and live better.”

He tells the story of a DHL reseller in Kenya whose mobile phone accessories shop is located right opposite a DHL corporate-owned store. When asked why customers would ship with her rather than go to the fully-branded DHL outlet, she said the average person relates much better with her shop, perceiving it to be affordable and less formal than the one across the road.

“In a continent like Africa where the informal economy rules, a company’s retail strategy cannot revolve around high-end shopping malls,” adds Rahavendra. “You have to operate on a level where customers can understand, feel and relate to your product. You really need to ensure that your brand connects to the average person on the street,” concludes Rahavendra.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Deutsche Post DHL.

Media Contact:

Megan Collinicos. Head: Advertising & Public Relations, Sub-Saharan Africa

DHL Express

Tel +27 21 409 3613 Mobile +27 76 411 8570

megan.collinicos@dhl.com

DHL – The logistics company for the world

DHL (http://www.dpdhl.com) is the global market leader in the logistics and CEP industry and “The logistics company for the world”. DHL commits its expertise in international express, national and international parcel delivery, air and ocean freight, road and rail transportation as well as contract and e-commerce related solutions along the entire supply chain. A global network composed of more than 220 countries and territories and around 315,000 employees worldwide offers customers superior service quality and local knowledge to satisfy their supply chain requirements. DHL accepts its social responsibility by supporting environmental protection, disaster management and education.

DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL. The Group generated revenues of more than 55 billion euros in 2013.

For more information: www.dpdhl.com

Stock images available: http://www.dpdhl.com/en/media_relations/media_library.html

Sep 042014
 

DAKAR, Sénégal, September 4, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Said Djinnit, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and High-Level Representative of the Secretary-General for Nigeria, attended yesterday the Abuja Ministerial Meeting on Security. The Ministerial Conference was a follow-up to three previous meetings in Paris, London and Washington on 17 May, 12 June and 5 August respectively.

The High-Level Representative for Nigeria conveyed the message of the Secretary-General to the meeting, highlighting the deep concern of the United Nations at the continuous violence in North-Eastern Nigeria, including the killing and abduction of innocent civilians.

The Secretary-General reaffirms the United Nations’ solidarity with the victims as well as the people of Nigeria who face extremism and terror, and expresses concern about the appalling human rights violations, and the dire humanitarian situation in the North East, aggravated by rising food insecurity and the disruption of schooling and farming. “In the face of these daunting challenges, national unity will be crucial”, says Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, further stressing the need to strengthen regional cooperation to tackle the increasing activities of Boko Haram in the countries of the region.

In his intervention, the High Level Representative further called on the Nigerian authorities to strengthen national unity against the threat of terrorism, and pledged the continuous support of the international community to Nigeria’s efforts to fight terrorism, free all the abducted civilians including the Chibok schoolgirls and address the larger insecurity in the country.

The meeting welcomed progress achieved towards the implementation of decisions made at the earlier meetings in Paris and London. The participants noted with satisfaction the technical support and assistance provided by strategic partners in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency. They commended progress on girls’ education in Nigeria and the efforts of the Nigerian government in setting up the victims support fund. While underscoring the need for effective regional cooperation against Boko Haram, the participants highlighted the importance to ensure that counter-terrorism activities are carried out in accordance with international human rights standards.

The meeting was attended by Ministers of Cameroon, France, the United Kingdom and Nigeria, and representatives of Benin, Chad, Niger, the United States, Canada, China, the United Nations, the European Union, the Economic Community of West African States and the Organization for Islamic Conference.

Sep 042014
 

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, September 4, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs is to announce tomorrow that EU support for Benin in 2014-2020 will amount to almost €450 million. This announcement will be made during his visit to Benin on 4 and 5 September 2014.

In addition to continuing to support the governance sector, the EU is to provide aid for the agricultural and energy sectors. Aid for the energy sector will focus on improving the population’s access to energy, promoting renewable energies and energy efficiency.

The visit will confirm the EU’s commitment to helping Benin in its development process. It will also provide an opportunity for an exchange of views between Commissioner Piebalgs and the Benin authorities on economic and development issues, the results achieved and the outlook for future cooperation between the EU and Benin.

Prior to his arrival in Benin, Commissioner Piebalgs declared, ‘Our historic commitment to Benin is to be renewed and consolidated because we have taken note of the efforts the country has made to combat poverty. I applaud the commitment of the authorities to achieving the Millennium Development Goals’.

‘We appreciate the scale of the challenges involved in improving living standards in Benin against a background of population growth, and we want to support the ambitious policy of the national authorities by targeting our aid on key sectors for the population, such as good governance, access to energy and the development of more sustainable agriculture.’

During Commissioner Piebalgs’ visit, the EU and Benin will also sign four financing agreements for a total of €47 million (31 billion CFA francs). These concern the Economic Governance Support Project (€5 million), the ‘Easier Access to Drinking Water for All’ Water Sector Support Project (€19 million), the Justice Support Programme (€8 million) and the Benin/Niger Transport Programme (€15 million).

Commissioner’s schedule

In the course of his visit to Benin, Commissioner Piebalgs will hold talks with President Boni Yayi. He will reaffirm the existing partnership between Benin and the EU and, in particular, express support for reforms to place the public finances on a sounder footing.

Commissioner Piebalgs will visit the Port of Cotonou with President Boni Yayi. He will also attend a working meeting at the offices of the West African Power Pool (WAPP), which is part-funded by the EU.

Background

Description of the four Financing Agreements that the EU and Benin will sign during Commissioner Piebalgs’ visit:

The ‘Easier Access to Drinking Water for All’ Water Sector Support Project (€19 million) is designed to significantly increase access to drinking water and to raise hygiene standards in rural areas. In the light of developments in drinking water coverage, there are still reasons to hope that Benin will achieve the Millennium Development Goals in the area of drinking water provision by 2015. The EU is pleased that the project will help to achieve this goal by supplying drinking water to almost 500 000 people.

The Economic Governance Support Project (€5 million) will help to make the management and information system for public finances, human resources and statistics more efficient.

The Benin/Niger Transport Programme (€15 million) will enable the Government of Benin to conduct additional studies (market study, logistical study, sectoral study) and will provide technical assistance to all the public and semi-public operators in the logistics chain.

Lastly, the Justice Support Programme (€8 million) is designed to:

1) support improvements to administration, coordination and planning of justice at the central level of the Ministry of Justice, Legislation and Human Rights;

2) enable provision of a high-quality service to individuals by the courts and the Ministry’s decentralised departments;

3) promote respect for human rights in prisons and the setting-up of social and vocational rehabilitation for prisoners, particularly minors in conflict with the law.

Sep 042014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 4, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law are taking place in the Libyan cities of Tripoli and Benghazi with dire consequences for civilians and civilian infrastructure, a new UN report released Thursday warns.

The joint report by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the UN Human Rights Office gives an overview of abuses including indiscriminate shelling and attacks on civilian objects, the shelling of hospitals, the abduction of civilians, torture and unlawful killings. It details accounts of civilian casualties including women, children and foreign nationals.

The report states that fighters appear to disregard the likely impact of their action on civilians and have inadequate training and discipline. In addition, the use of badly maintained and faulty weapons and ammunition increases inaccuracy. These factors suggest that many attacks carried out in Tripoli and Benghazi are indiscriminate.

Between mid-May and the end of August, which is the period covered by the report, dozens of civilians were reportedly abducted in Tripoli and Benghazi solely for their actual or suspected tribal, family or religious affiliation, and have remained missing since the time of their abduction. Such abductions may amount to enforced disappearances if the parties to the conflict do not acknowledge their whereabouts, the report states. UNSMIL is raising cases of those detained with the relevant armed groups and welcomes further information from concerned parties,

“Protection of civilians must be a priority,” the report states. “All armed groups must comply with the principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions in attack.”

“All armed groups must desist from violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, in particular all acts that may amount to war crimes, including indiscriminate shelling, enforced disappearances, murder, abductions, torture and other ill-treatment, and destruction of property.”

The report urges all armed groups to release or hand over to the justice system individuals who they have detained. It also stresses that the lack of compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law by one party does not absolve other parties from their obligations to comply with these standards.

“All armed groups must remove from active duty and hand over to the justice system those among their members suspected of having committed abuses,” the report warns

“Political or military leaders can be held criminally responsible not only if they order crimes, but also if they are in a position to stop them and do not do so.”

UNSMIL also estimates that at least 100,000 Libyans have been internally displaced by the fighting including Tawerghans who were already in their displacement camps since 2011, and that a further 150,000 people, including many migrant workers, have left the country.

Migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers are particularly exposed in the current context and are facing difficulties in crossing borders.

The report also notes the continued harassment of and attacks against journalists by all parties to the conflict, including restrictions of movement, confiscation of equipment, abductions and assassinations.

The fighting has also severely affected the administration of justice. The courts in Tripoli and Benghazi effectively stopped functioning as a result.

The deepening political polarization, the fighting and the risk of retaliation by armed groups have generated a climate of fear in which people are reluctant to talk about certain violations and abuses. It has also led many activists, including in particular women activists, to leave the country.

UNSMIL and OHCHR have appealed to all sides of the conflict to cease all armed hostilities and engage in an inclusive political dialogue to build a state based on the respect of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. UNSMIL continues to engage with all sides to end the fighting and ensure that civilians are protected.