Official Visit of the United Nations Secretary General to Seychelles

At the invitation of the President of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr. James Alix Michel, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon will undertake an official visit to Seychelles from 7th to 8th of May. He is the first serving Secretary General of the United Nations ever to visit Seychelles since the country joined the Organisation in September 1976.

This visit is particularly timely and significant as Seychelles commemorates its 40th anniversary as a sovereign nation and its membership of the United Nations. It is a powerful testimony to the exemplary and fruitful partnership between Seychelles and the United Nations, as well as its agencies, in the political and socio-economic development of Seychelles over the years. This partnership draws its strength from the UN charter, the values it upholds and the opportunities offered by the Organisation for friendship and cooperation with the international community. It is nurtured by a common purpose: the progress of people, peace, justice and prosperity in the world.

As Seychelles prepares to welcome Mr. Ban Ki-moon and to express to him its appreciation for the role played by the UN in helping Seychelles attain nationhood, as well as his outstanding service and invaluable contributions to the UN, in particular in spearheading real action on climate change and sustainable development, the country will also celebrate the United Nations Secretary General’s recognition that Seychelles and other islands have a voice and vision worthy of his attention and engagement.

It will be recalled that President Michel has built a personal and special relationship with Mr. Ban Ki-moon and that Government and other stakeholders have successfully used the UN as a platform for championing the agenda of SIDS, especially where it concerns combatting climate change, promoting the Blue Economy, maritime security, realising the sustainable development goals, promoting gender equality, youth and women empowerment as well as dealing with other regional and global issues critical to Seychelles.

Mr. Ban Ki-moon will hold bilateral talks with President Michel on 7th of May and will be later hosted to a reception at State House.

It will be recalled that Mr. Ban Ki-moon from the Republic of Korea is the eight occupant of the post. He took office in January 2007. This year marks the end of his second and final, five year term as United Nations Secretary General.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles.

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Source:: Official Visit of the United Nations Secretary General to Seychelles

Categories: AFRICA

Establishment of the Transitional Government of National Unity of South Sudan

The Government of Japan welcomes that the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) of the Republic of South Sudan has been established in South Sudan on the 29th of April, 2016, based on the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan signed in August 2015. The Government of Japan also highly appreciates the efforts that the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) and the countries concerned exerted in bringing about this establishment of the TGoNU.

The Government of Japan hopes that all the parties cooperate in tackling various challenges such as the improvement of the humanitarian situation, restoration of security, and reconstruction of a sound economy, so that the people of South Sudan can enjoy peace and stability as soon as possible.

The Government of Japan intends to continue supporting South Sudan’s efforts toward peace and stability in coordination with the international community.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

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Source:: Establishment of the Transitional Government of National Unity of South Sudan

Categories: AFRICA

Social Entrepreneurs provide sustainable solutions for Africa’ development priorities – Report

Is social entrepreneurship the new face of development? A recent impact report released by Reach for Change (www.Africa.Reachforchange.org) suggests it might be.

Social entrepreneurs across Africa are contributing to advances in education, healthcare, financial inclusion, environmental protection and other social issues. This was highlighted in the Reach for Change Africa 2015 Social Impact Report, which shared impact numbers and stories from social entrepreneurs supported in Reach for Change’s programs. In 2015, over 100 African social entrepreneurs were supported through the organization’s Accelerator and Incubator programs.

Social entrepreneurs are individuals with innovative solutions for social challenges their communities face. Social entrepreneurship is seen as an alternative to traditional development projects, by empowering local entrepreneurs to come up with grassroots solutions that are scalable, financially sustainable and can ultimately contribute to permanent, positive changes within societies at large.

Reach for Change Africa partners with corporations, non-profits and individuals to find, support and develop some of the best social entrepreneurs Africa has to offer. Through its Accelerator and Incubator programs, Reach for Change supports high-potential social entrepreneurs to build sustainable, scalable organizations that achieve social impact and contribute to systemic change.

In 2015, Reach for Change Africa received 1,953 ideas for tackling social challenges from prospective social entrepreneurs from its innovation competitions in Ghana, Senegal, Chad, Ethiopia, DR Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania.

“Our 2015 Social Impact Report really emphasizes how much social entrepreneurship has grown in Africa,” said Amma Lartey, Reach for Change Africa’s Regional Director. “In 2015, the quality of ideas submitted to our innovation competitions improved substantially which tells us that the sector is growing and social entrepreneurs are finding creative ways to respond to social challenges through scalable innovations that have the potential to deeply impact societies.”

James Kofi Annan is a Ghanaian social entrepreneur working to end child slavery who is featured in the 2015 Social Impact Report. His organization, Challenging Heights rescues children from slavery in the fishing industry, providing them with rehabilitation center, and runs numerous programs to help prevent child slavery, through education and livelihood programs geared towards parents of children vulnerable to trafficking. James has benefitted from Reach for Change’s Incubator program since 2012 and in that time has been able to increase his organization’s annual revenues from under $200,000 US to $950,000 in 2015. He has had access to Reach for Change’s local and global networks that he used to attract attention from media and new supporters in Europe and North America, participated in strategic workshops that helped him to develop his organization’s long-term plans and made use of numerous opportunities to connect and learn from like-minded social entrepreneurs.

“Reach for Change’s Incubator brought direct benefits to me and Challenging Heights,” said James. “Today, Challenging Heights is a well-respected global leader in the fight against child trafficking, influencing policies not only in Ghana, but also in influential institutions such as the US State Department, the Senate, the Vatican and many more.”

James is just one of the 57 Change Leaders that Reach for Change Africa supported in 2015 through its Incubator program, and Lartey says the organization plan to support even more social entrepreneurs through various programs and initiatives in 2016.

Other social entrepreneurs featured in the report include Dominique Uwase Alonga who is helping thousands of children in Rwanda develop reading and creative writing skills every year; Evelyne Ines and Jean Luc Semedo of Senegal who were supported to develop a web and mobile application platform promotes blood donation; Faraja Nyalandu, who is providing the best educational content online to children in Tanzania; Didier Lalaye of Chad who is bringing mobile health solutions to thousands of rural children; and Naomi & Yvette Kuseyo who provide education for hospitalized children in the DRC.

“We really look forward to investing in more social entrepreneurs this year, and supporting them to take their innovations to scale” Lartey said. “Already this year we have welcomed an additional seven entrepreneurs – five in Ethiopia and two in Chad – and we will be working with these and our existing social entrepreneurs to improve their impact, operations, financial sustainability and communications.”

To further support the burgeoning social entrepreneurship sector across Africa, the report also highlights the creation of the African Social Entrepreneurship Network (http://www.asen.network) (ASEN), spearheaded by Reach for Change Africa. ASEN was designed to build strong national ecosystems for social entrepreneurship by establishing national networks of social entrepreneurs and the organizations that support them across Africa. These national networks aim to increase learning and innovation, funding, research and drive policy to promote further growth of the social enterprise sector. The first national network,SE Ghana (http://www.seghana.net), had its first general assembly in 2015.

To read the full report, visit africa.reachforchange.org/impact (http://africa.reachforchange.org/impact). Want to support Africa’s growing social entrepreneurship sector? Write to africa.partnerships@reachforchange.org.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Reach for Change.

Media Contact

For enquiries, please contact:

Reach for Change Africa Communications
Email: africa.communications@reachforchange.org
Phone: +250 729 001 048

About Reach for Change Africa

Reach for Change Africa (www.Africa.Reachforchange.org) is a non-profit organization that invests in innovative, early-stage social entrepreneurs who are addressing problems faced by children, youth and women in seven countries across the continent; Ghana, Senegal, Chad, Ethiopia, DR Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania. Reach for Change runs innovation competitions and provides Accelerator and Incubator programs to exceptional social entrepreneurs who are supported to scale their innovations through funding, access to technical and organizational management expertise, and networking opportunities. Reach for Change Africa is a part of the global organization Reach for Change which operates in 17 countries worldwide.

Connect with us

Website: www.africa.reachforchange.org
Facebook: R4CAfrica
Twitter: @R4C_Africa

Source:: Social Entrepreneurs provide sustainable solutions for Africa’ development priorities – Report

Categories: AFRICA

Media announcement / 27th AU summit

The Directorate of Information and Communication (DIC) of the African Union announces that the online accreditation process for the coverage of the 27th African Union (AU) Summit, scheduled for 10 to 18 July 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda has been launched on the AU website: www.au.int.

Journalists interested in covering the upcoming AU Summit should register through the following link: http://au.int/en/summit/27/accreditation

A media advisory note explaining all the detailed arrangements for media coverage of the 27th AU Summit is posted on the Summit web page: http://au.int/en/summit/27

Meanwhile representatives of the media are kindly informed that the 27th African Union Summit is scheduled to take place as follows:

Sunday 10 to Tuesday 12 July 2016: Thirty second (32nd ) Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC)

Wednesday 13 to Friday 15 July 2016 : Twenty ninth (29th ) Ordinary Session of the Executive Council

Sunday 17 to Monday 18 July 2016 : Twenty Seventh (27th) Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union.

Theme The theme of the Summit is: African Year of Human Rights with particular focus on the Rights of Women”

Journalists are invited to cover all the public sessions opened to the media.

A detail programme of the public events will be made available as soon as possible.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Source:: Media announcement / 27th AU summit

Categories: AFRICA

U.S. Congressional Delegation Visits Egypt

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo is pleased to welcome Congressman Michael McCaul and accompanying delegation to Egypt. A member of the United States House of Representatives, Congressman McCaul is the Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, which has oversight of the Department of Homeland Security ensuring it is able to carry out its core mission of protecting the American people from terrorist attacks.

The delegation plans to meet with senior Egyptian officials to discuss counterterrorism efforts, the U.S.-Egyptian partnership, and shared interests in regional security and stability.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of U.S. Embassy – Cairo.

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Source:: U.S. Congressional Delegation Visits Egypt

Categories: AFRICA

Supporting Economic Development in Southern Africa – German Government Backs EU Economic Partnership Agreement with SADC

On 27th April 2016, the German Federal Cabinet approved the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) of the European Union with the SADC member states.

The Agreement will guarantee permanent tax and quota free access to the European market for products from Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland. South Africa, as the most developed country in the region, will receive extended market access to the European market. In return, the above mentioned countries are supposed to open their markets for about 80% of European products over the course of 12 years. As already practiced in other EPAs, products that are locally produced or have added value for the local economy, will remain permanently protected.

As an additional protection mechanism, the SADC-EPA countries may defer the liberalization of specific products or increase customs duties, if noticeable damage of the local industry is looming.

Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Dr. Gerd Müller said: “This agreement will create new opportunities for economically and socially sustainable development in Southern Africa. Trade barriers will be reduced. This will, for example, make it easier for South African or Namibian farmers to offer their agricultural products to the EU market. The same applies to processed products. Thus we create the conditions for added value in these countries. Only 17% of trade is inner-African while inside the EU it is 45%. We want to help our African partner countries to become more competitive, so that they can participate successfully in the world’s markets. This is an important requirement for a region in Africa whose economy is growing dynamically.”

In addition to the reduction of trade barriers, the agreement contains binding environmental and social standards and gives the European Commission the possibility to demand certain human rights standards. The agreement is therefore an important instrument in development cooperation for the further cooperation with SADC-EPA countries. The signing by the EU is planned during the session of the Foreign Affairs Council on the 23rd of May 2016 in Brussels and by SADC on the 10th of June 2016 in Gaborone. When the signing process is completed, the EPA will be presented to the German Federal Parliament for approval. Thus, the German Federal Government has done all that is necessary for the agreement to come into force in all SADC member states.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany – Windhoek.

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Source:: Supporting Economic Development in Southern Africa – German Government Backs EU Economic Partnership Agreement with SADC

Categories: AFRICA

UK troops support UN mission in Somalia

Following a recce to assess options, this is the first UK team to travel to Somalia as part of United Nations (UN) support for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) that is working to build stability in the country and tackle the threat posed by extremist group Al-Shabaab.

UK military personnel, drawn from Force Troop Command, 1 Div and Field Army training will provide medical, logistical and engineering support as part of a wider UK commitment. Following the arrival of these initial troops, up to 70 UK personnel will deploy to Somalia this year.

This deployment is another demonstration of the flexibility and global reach of our Armed Forces,

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said.

Alongside our efforts in Iraq, Syria and Nigeria, it shows our determination to tackle terrorism wherever it rears its head.

The commitment follows Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement in September that the UK would send troops to Somalia and South Sudan, and is part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) pledge to double the number of UK troops on UN peacekeeping tasks from the 300 currently deployed.

Personnel deploying to South Sudan will provide vital engineering work to strengthen infrastructure.

This work will require close engagement with the UN in both countries, as well as at its headquarters in New York.

The UK military’s contribution to peacekeeping aims to support efforts to end some of the world’s most destabilising conflicts, and reflects the UK’s long history of supporting UN peacekeeping. This includes a lasting presence in Cyprus, as well as British troops wearing blue berets around the world.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ministry of Defence, United Kingdom.

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Source:: UK troops support UN mission in Somalia

Categories: AFRICA

Media advisory note for the 27th ordinary session of the assembly of the African Union Kigali, republic of Rwanda

ACCREDITATION FOR MEDIA PERSONNEL ATTENDING

All journalists will apply online. The media accreditation form is available on http://au.int/en/summit/27/accreditation

Once journalists receive confirmation of their application they may also apply for their visa online on https://www.migration.gov.rw/index.php?id=203. After online registration and receiving the confirmation message also later receive an invitation letter from the government of Rwanda, which you will use as support document for your online visa application.

All journalists holding passports from African countries may get their visa upon arrival at Kigali International Airport.

E-mail:

After completing the accreditation form, the form and scanned copies of all the required documents should be sent via e-mail to Mrs Rahel Akalewold on: 27thausummit@africa-union.org

Mail and fax:

After completing the accreditation form, the form and all the required documents should be sent to:

Mrs. Rahel Akalewold

Directorate of Information and Communication

African Union Commission

PO Box 3243

Addis Ababa

Ethiopia

Tel: +251 11 5526373 ext 2551;

E mail- 27thAUSummit@africa-union.org

Required documents to accompany application form

Two passport size photographs not more than six months old;
A letter of assignment on a letterhead from the journalist’s organization indicating his/ her function;
Copy of a valid professional press card or equivalent identification

It is also advisable to carry hard copies of all the required documents in case of any necessary checks. Applications should reach Mrs Akalewold before the 1st of July 2016

CUSTOMS CLEARANCE FOR MEDIA EQUIPMENT

Accredited media personnel bringing technical equipment with them to Rwanda will be subject to full Customs Control. Journalists are requested to send their list of equipment. See media equipment form on the AU website: http://au.int/en/summit/27/equipment

Journalists wishing to bring in live broadcasting equipment or to request live transmission facilities should contact the local contact provided below.

What to do in RWANDA

Journalists will need to get two badges.

The Government press badge will be issued by the government authorities. This involves being photographed before the card is processed. Journalists will be advised in due course of the accreditation venue. This badge will allow access into the Sumit venue.

AU Conference badge: After getting the government issued press badge, journalists will need to get their Conference badges from the African Union Commission at the venue of the Summit (Office of the AU Communication staff). This badge will give them access into the conference rooms during the Summit.

Journalists are advised to make sure they arrive in Rwanda in good time so as to have the documentation done before the meetings start.
Journalists are also advised to arrive at Summit venues early to ensure that they clear all entry procedures before the meetings start.

YELLOW FEVER CARDS

Yellow fever cards will be required at the ports of entry for everyone travelling from yellow fever designated countries.

MEDIA FACILITIES

A media center, with facilities for print, online and electronic media will be available at the Summit venue. Access to media facilities will be available only to accredited media representatives.

REQUESTS FOR INTERVIEWS WITH AUC LEADERSHIP

Journalists wishing to interview the leadership of the AU Commission during the 27th AU Summit should submit their requests to Mrs Esther Azaa Tankou, Ag. Director of Information and Communication of the AUC on YambouE@africa-union.org / esthertankou@yahoo.com; while for the Rwandan officials please go through the local contacts provided below.

Media briefings BY AU LEADERSHIP

Briefings by leaders of the various African Union organs and programmes will take place at the conference center. Journalists will be given advance notice of the briefing time, venue and speakers.

Other partner organisations of the AU occasionally request facilities through the DIC for media briefings during the Summit. Journalists will be notified of such briefings through postings in the media center

MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE SUMMIT

Opening and closing sessions during the meetings are open to journalists, depending on availability of space within the meeting rooms. Media practitioners will be informed of how to enter the plenary halls in the following ways:

A guideline will be circulated to all media on the AU database and on the AU website
A briefing session will be held for all media during the Summit. A notice will be circulated regarding the time and date of the briefing.

LIVE STREAMING

Open sessions of the Summit will be streaming live on http://www.rba.co.rw/ for the public to follow live all the open sessions worldwide.

These feeds will be available through the media centre. Media will also be notified of all live streamed meetings via the website and notices posted in the media center.

11. Telephones and faxes

Telephone facilities will be available on a commercial basis.

12. TELEVISION AND RADIO

The link for live proceedings of the opening session of the Assembly will be publicised as soon as it is established.

Related enquiries should be sent to Mr Kennedy Munyangeyo from Rwanda Broadcast Agency +250 788 305 170, mukennedy@yahoo.fr

13. ACCOMMODATION

Accommodation will be on self-arrangement basis. Journalists are advised to make their booking early to avoid last minute inconveniences. A list of hotels in Kigali, Rwanda will soon be available on the African Union website.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Source:: Media advisory note for the 27th ordinary session of the assembly of the African Union Kigali, republic of Rwanda

Categories: AFRICA

Didier Reynders supports campaign and actions for elephants in Kenya

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders salutes the historic gesture by the Republic of Kenya today, as it is burning its stock of ivory and horns. No less than 105 tons of ivory will be set in flames, sending a strong message to the world that elephants are “worth more alive”, as the campaign rightly says.

Minister Reynders expresses his support to Kenya on this important day, recalling that Belgium also crushed its own stock of seized Ivory in April 2014. Belgium is at the side of Kenya in its fight against poaching and in favour of wildlife conservation.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Kingdom of Belgium – Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.

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Source:: Didier Reynders supports campaign and actions for elephants in Kenya

Categories: AFRICA

UNEP Deputy Executive Director Statement at Giants Club Summit and Kenya Ivory Burn

UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Deputy Executive Director Ibrahim Thiaw released the following statement on the occasion of the largest ivory burn in history, taking place in Kenya at the close of the Giants Club Summit.

“My own first encounter with an elephant was a carcass. I didn’t know then, but it was possibly one of the last elephants in Mauritania. It taught me that extinction is not about the dinosaurs of the past or the watch-lists for tomorrow: extinction is already happening, has already happened, in my own lifetime, before my eyes.

“What has been made eminently clear at the Giants Club Summit is that efforts to tackle this crisis are increasingly backed by a growing public, political and private sector force for change, and that we, as an international community, are prepared to face these challenges with an unprecedented level of commitment, dedication and passion. It will take nothing less to end this crisis.

“We must also remember that wildlife has more value alive than dead and that wildlife can generate sustainable revenues to fund the education, healthcare and infrastructure that will lift people out of poverty and drive economic growth. By reconciling social, economic and environmental interests, Africa can harness its natural heritage to help deliver the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“Later this month, a One UN Global Coalition campaign that aims to raise awareness and reduce demand for these illegal products will be launched. The Wild for Life Campaign, which will be launched next month at the United Nations Environment Assembly here in Kenya, unites a range of UN agencies, partners and UN Goodwill Ambassadors. I hope all of you will join me in making pledges of personal action in the lead up to World Environment Day on 5 June, which will be hosted in Angola.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

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Source:: UNEP Deputy Executive Director Statement at Giants Club Summit and Kenya Ivory Burn

Categories: AFRICA

On Ethiopia’s Charges of Terrorism Against Political Leaders

Press Statement

John Kirby
Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs

Washington, DC

April 29, 2016

The United States is deeply concerned by the Government of Ethiopia’s recent decision to file terrorism charges against Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) First Vice-Chairman Bekele Gerba and others in the Oromia region who were arrested in late 2015.

We again urge the Ethiopian government to discontinue its reliance on the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation law to prosecute journalists, political party members, and activists, as this practice silences independent voices that enhance, rather than hinder, Ethiopia’s democratic development.

We commend Ethiopian officials for pledging to address legitimate grievances from their citizens and acknowledging that security forces were responsible for some of the violence that took place during the protests in Oromia; however, the government continues to detain an unknown number of people for allegedly taking part in these protests and has not yet held accountable any security forces responsible for alleged abuses. This undermines the trust and confidence needed to produce lasting solutions.

We urge the Ethiopian government to respect due process of those detained by investigating allegations of mistreatment, by publicly presenting the evidence it possesses against them, and by distinguishing between political opposition to the government and the use or incitement of violence. We reaffirm our call on the government to protect the constitutionally enshrined rights of its citizens, including the right to participate in political parties, and we urge the Government to promptly release those imprisoned for exercising these rights.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of U.S. Department of State.

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Source:: On Ethiopia’s Charges of Terrorism Against Political Leaders

Categories: AFRICA

Minister for Africa statement on the Burundi dialogue

Minister for Africa James Duddridge said:

I am disappointed by the postponement of the Burundi dialogue that was due to take place in Arusha next week under the guidance of former-President Mkapa of Tanzania. I fully support the efforts of President Mkapa and his team and their goal of ensuring that this dialogue is for all Burundians.

I am extremely concerned at the recent increase in killings in Burundi, including the recent assassination of Brigadier General Athanase Kararuza and the attempted assassination of the Minister of Human Rights, Social Affairs and Gender, Martin Nivyabandi. I condemn all such attacks. I also condemn the ongoing human rights abuses, including torture and ill treatment by the security services. By refusing to engage in an inclusive dialogue the Government of Burundi is actively obstructing the national reconciliation process that will put an end to these crimes. I again call upon the Government of Burundi to engage in meaningful dialogue based upon respect for the Arusha Accords.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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Source:: Minister for Africa statement on the Burundi dialogue

Categories: AFRICA