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Sep 022014
 

DAKAR, Sénégal, September 2, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Said Djinnit, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary- General for West Africa (SRSG) convened yesterday a meeting of the regional UN team based in Dakar to review developments in West Africa. The meeting, comprising heads of regional offices of UN entities in the region, reviewed the ongoing efforts to address the Ebola crisis.

The meeting welcomed the appointment by the Secretary-General of Dr. David Nabarro as the Senior UN System Coordinator for Ebola Virus Disease, who concluded his tour of the region on 28 August 2014. They praised efforts being deployed by the governments of the affected countries in tackling the spread of the virus, with the support of the UN and other international partners.

The meeting deplored the ongoing socio-economic consequences of the spread of the virus, including in particular the isolation of the affected countries with the risk of stigmatizing the populations. The meeting observed that the solution is not in travel restrictions but in ensuring that effective preventive and curative health measures are put in place. In this context, the participants warned against possible impact on food security, freedom of movement and the provision of services, which could also undermine efforts by the governments of the region.

The Special Representative and the Regional Directors reiterated their full support to a joint, coherent and orchestrated response led by the national authorities. The UN is scaling up its humanitarian presence and operations in the affected countries, and encourages preparedness measures in other countries of the region. The participants called for further engagement of the international community including the United Nations to support regional efforts against the spread of the virus, particularly through resource mobilization.

Sep 022014
 

MONROVIA, Liberia, September 2, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — In an open letter, former heads of state as well as leaders from civil society and business launch a petition call for more solidarity and a more coordinated approach to deal with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

In a letter published in a number of newspapers, magazines and websites across Africa, leaders of civil society and business have called for more solidarity and a more coordinated approach to deal with the recent Ebola outbreak.

Join the call by signing the petition at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/ebola-stop-quarantine-of-entire-countries.html

Hashtag: #StoptheQuarantine

Ebola is having great economic and social impact, more so in a young democracy such as Liberia which has come out of a long and debilitating civil war. The response has often been knee jerk and counter productive, such as the closing of borders and cancelation of flights, something which both the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have denounced.

This call for action, which through a petition is attracting an increasing number of signatories, calls for all citizens to play their role and demands a coordinated and rational response from African governments and international institutions.

High profile leaders such as former Presidents Mkapa of Tanzania and Obasanjo of Nigeria have signed the petition, as well as Graça Machel, civil society leader and wife of the late President Mandela, the singer and former Minister Youssour N’Dour and a number of prominent leaders and personalities from music, media and business.

Open letter published in newspapers, magazines and websites across Africa: Citizens Call to Action against Ebola

As the Ebola virus becomes an overwhelming human catastrophe affecting public health, social institutions and economic well-being in Africa, we stand in solidarity with our fellow citizens in the countries victimized by this deadly disease.

We also thank and salute the local and international health workers who are risking their lives daily, intervening on the ground to eradicate the scourge of Ebola, often without access to gloves and other protective supplies.

We acknowledge and applaud the decision of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) health ministers to call for the lifting of travel bans to Ebola affected countries, which are hampering the fight against Ebola and restricting the arrival of essential expertise and equipment, as well as fuel to provide electricity, medications to treat other deadly diseases such as malaria and food to prevent famine.

In the name and interest of our common humanity, we are collectively launching this urgent Citizens’ Call to Action.

We call on our respective Heads of State and Government to avoid full embargo against Ebola-affected states. While we understand the legitimate concerns for the protection of their population, we remind African leaders of their obligation to pan-African solidarity and the global community of their humanitarian obligations in emergencies. We urge the following immediate actions:

One

Ensure that the flow of essential assistance can reach those in need, while maintaining economic activity necessary for sustaining life in cities and villages, by

• Authorizing and implementing the local recommendations issued by the World Health Organization (WHO)

• Acknowledging the impossibility of quarantining entire nations and instead establish much-needed economic and humanitarian corridors of access – essential life-lines – both within the affected countries and between countries.

Two

We call on African opinion leaders – including artists, athletes, filmmakers, writers, journalists, academics – to initiate or to actively take part in public information campaigns on prevention and transmission of the Ebola. These can happen via road-shows, film screenings, theatrical pieces, discussion groups, and the distribution of messages via cellphone networks. And we call upon global opinion leaders to add their talents and voices in support.

Three

We call on the broad private sector, the pharmaceutical industry, and the research community, in particular, to fund, facilitate and make immediately available access to all known methods of prevention and treatment of this menacing threat to our global well-being.

Join the call by signing the petition at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/ebola-stop-quarantine-of-entire-countries.html

Signed on August 31, 2014

 Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

 Benjamin Mkapa, Former President Tanzania

 Mrs Graca Machel, President of the Foundation for Community Development

 Bineta Diop , Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security, African Union

 Youssou N’Dour, Singer

 Ali Mufuruki, InfoTech Investment Group

 Kandeh Yumkella, Chairman of UN-Energy and former Director-General

 Zainab Bangura, Special Representative of UN Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict

 Ashih Thakkar, Founder, MARA Group

 AKON, Singer

 Frannie Leautier, Founder, Mkoba Group

 Wendy Luhabe, Africa Chairperson, Cartier Foundation for Women Entrepreneurs

 Dele Olojede, Journalist, Pulitzer Prize Winner

 Amadou Mahtar Ba, Executive Chairman, Co Founder AllAfrica Global Media

 Akere Muna, Presiding Officer, AU Economic, Social and Cultural Council

 Mamadou Toure, Founder, Africa 2.0

 Thelma Awori, chair Institute for Social Transformation, former UNDP Director

 Angelle Kwemo, Founder & Chair Believe in Africa

 Linus Gitahi, CEO Nation Media Group

 Prof. Ousmane Kane, Harvard University

 Ebrima Sall, Executive Secretary CODESRIA

 Slim Othmani. CEO, NCA-Rouiba, Chairman Algeria Business Council.

 Prof. Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Columbia University

 Prof. Alioune Sall, Director, African Futures Institute, South Africa ,

 Prof. Mamadou Diouf, Columbia University

 Trevor Ncube, Deputy Executive Chair, Mail&Guardian

 Omar Ben Yedder, Director IC Publications

 Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and CEO, APO (African Press Organization)

 Oulimata Sarr, Country Coordinator, IFC Advisory Services

 Férial Haffajee, Editor In Chief, City Press

 Zyad Limam, Director Afrique Magazine

 Aminata Forna, Professor of Creative Writing and award-winning author

 Mahen Bonetti, Founder & Executive Director of African Film Festival, Inc.

 Fatou Wurie, Activist

 Aliou Goloko, CEO Goal Communication

 Reed Kramer, CEO, AllAfrica Global Media

 Aly Leno, Président Union des Journalistes Culturels et Animateurs de Guinée )

 Tidiane Soumah, PDG Todoane World Music

 Dr Tendai Mhizha, CEO Integra Africa

 Samba Bathily, PDG ADS

 Prof. Cheikh Ibrahima Niang, UCAD

 Prof. Penda Mbow, UCAD

 Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o, former minister, Kenya

 Dr Tami Hultman, CEO AllAfrica Foundation

 Soyata Maiga, Special Rapporteur on Women Human Rights in Africa

 Harriette Williams Bright, Femmes Africa Solidarité

 Isham Elgar Olympic and World Champion

 Younes Maamar CEO Eone Investments

 Prof. Fatima Harrak, President CODESRIA, Mohamed V Souissi, University.

 Prof. Kwadwo Ansah Koram, Director Noguchi Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, Legon

 Prof. Adam Habib, Vice Chancellor, University of Witwatersrand

 Prof. Olive Shisana, CEO, Human Sciences Research Council

 Prof. Suren Pilley, University of Western Cape

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the Citizens Call to Action against Ebola.

Note to Editors:

You are free to quote and/or republish the Citizens Call for Action. If you are to republish the Open Letter, please do so in its entirety.

Sep 022014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 2, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Pope Tawadros II, patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt visited the World Council of Churches (WCC) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday 1 September. In the presence of representatives from ecumenical and international organizations, Tawadros participated in morning worship on 1 September followed by a meeting with staff and a conversation with the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.

Pope Tawadros is head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt, a founding member church of the WCC since 1948.

In his reflections, Tawadros spoke about historic contributions of the Coptic Orthodox Church, as among them vibrant traditions of spirituality, theological studies and monastic life.

“The Coptic Church is one of the main pillars of Egyptian society,” he said.

Tawadros said there is a “new hope for Egypt” with the adoption of a new constitution in the country. He remembered the June 2013 revolution in Egypt where, he said, “Christians and Muslims with everyone else struggled together to end the dark regime”.

Tawadros affirmed the long history of peaceful social coexistence between Muslims and Christians in Egypt. Giving examples of cooperation between Christians and Muslims, he mentioned the “Family House” a project established by the Coptic Church and Al-Azhar, carrying out a number of national programmes.

Recalling the attacks on Christian buildings in Egypt over recent years, Tawadros stressed that efforts must be enhanced to end violence perpetrated by extremist groups.

“If they attack churches we will pray in mosques, if they attack mosques, we will pray on roads. We can pray in a country without a church but cannot pray in a church without a country,” he said.

Tawadros expressed concern over migration of Christians from the Middle East. He called it a “dangerous trend” which he said cannot solve problems faced by Christian communities in the region.

The WCC general secretary expressed his gratitude to Pope Tawadros for his reflections. In his remarks, Tveit affirmed the commitment of the WCC in solidarity with Christians around the world, particularly those in critical situation like Egypt’s.

He added that the WCC is a global fellowship which brings together churches from the East and the West in a quest for unity, justice and peace.

Tveit expressed appreciation for the Coptic Church’s role in re-designing Egyptian society. Tveit said that such a role is integral in bridging gaps between different sectors in Egypt.

Tveit highlighted the important role of Egypt in the Arab world, such as its potential for mediation in Gaza. Due to such situations, Tveit said the witness of the Coptic Orthodox Church is extremely significant for Christianity’s presence in the Middle East.

Also, Tveit added that the way Christians and Muslims live together in Egypt can be an example for other countries in the region. He commended Pope Tawadros’ vision of upholding human rights, which Tveit said reflects “our theological conviction that all human beings are created in the image of God”.

Among participants of the event was Pierre Martinot-Lagarde of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The ILO in cooperation with the WCC has initiated projects on role of faith communities in promoting decent work among youth in Egypt as a way to social justice and peace.

Rev. Dr Kaisamari Hintikka of the Lutheran World Federation, Dr John Nduna of the ACT Alliance, Pat Gleeson of the ECLOF International, Agnès Arluison-Krüzsely of the Foundation for Assistance to Reformed Protestantism, Dr Stephen Brown of the Globethics.net and Christine Houssel of the World Student Christian Federation were also present. Representatives of the Association of Churches and Christian Communities of Geneva were also present at the event.

Sep 022014
 

DUBAI, UAE, September 2, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Aviation Africa 2015 (http://www.aviationafrica.aero) is a 2-day Summit & Exhibition, which takes place 10-11 May 2015 in Dubai, UAE. NEXUS from Saudi Arabia and Wyvern Consulting from USA have joined up with this event to become main sponsors.

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

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1332

The link with these two companies is a perfect fit for the Aviation Africa event, which has launched to address the growth opportunities in the African continent for the aviation industry. NEXUS, which launched in 2010 and is based in Jeddah has opened a regional office in Rwanda and already identified the opportunities the region can offer. Wyvern Consulting is a U.S. company providing safety intelligence data and onsite risk assessments to business and private aviation communities for over 20 years. NEXUS are now their international partner covering the Middle East, Asia and Africa regions.

The 2 day Summit will focus on strategies, opportunities and the challenges affecting the industry. A key focus area will be the safety challenges in the region. NEXUS provides Flight Operations and Support with a massive commitment to safety and with Wyvern Consulting supplying the safety intelligence data, this partnership will have a lot to contribute to this focus area.

Alan Peaford, Managing Director of Aerocomm Ltd and responsible for creating the Summit’s 2 day programme said: “We are delighted to welcome Nexus and Wyvern Consulting to the Aviation Africa 2015 event. I recently visited Nexus at their head office in Jeddah and was very impressed with their level of service across the business aviation sector and their level of commitment to safety, security and people. We will be covering all these topics in our Summit programme and it is companies like Nexus and Wyvern that will be important contributors to the Summit discussions”.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Aviation Africa 2015.

Media contact:

Mark Brown

mark.brown@africanaerospace.aero

T: +44 (0)1702 53 0000

For more information on the Aviation Africa event and the updated programme please visit our website at http://www.aviationafrica.aero

Twitter: @aviationafrica1 (https://twitter.com/aviationafrica1)

About Aviation Africa 2015

AVIATION AFRICA 2015 (http://www.aviationafrica.aero) will be a two-day summit and exhibition held at Le Meridien Hotel Dubai, UAE. These two world regions have a rich shared history. There have been centuries of trade and shared experience between them, and, for aviation, it’s as true today as it was then. From open skies policies to airport expansions this event will tackle the issues raised and attempt to come up with solutions and ways forward. African aviation is now a burgeoning business case and this event creates opportunities for industry to network. The summit will be headed up by the Managing Director of Aerocomm Ltd, Alan Peaford, and the programme will be put together by his team who work closely with the industry in the region.

For press information please contact Mark Brown mark.brown@africanaerospace.aero T: +44 (0)1702 53 0000

NEXUS

NEXUS Flight Operations Services was launched in 2010 by experienced business aviation professionals in the Middle East. Providing Flight Operations Services to Corporate, Commercial Airlines and Business Aviation, NEXUS launched two main Flight Operation Centers in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and in Bahrain in January 2010 and has since been building on that base to grow NEXUS internationally, and established a remote Flight Operations Center in Mumbai – India, in Kigali – Rwanda, Monaco – Monaco and Yardley in the USA.

For press information please contact Mariellena Mattheou mmattheou@nexus.aero T. +966 9 200 11698

WYVERN CONSULTING LTD

Wyvern is one of the most recognized and highly respected companies in the commercial aviation sector and provides aircraft charter consumers, which include multi-national and Fortune 50 corporations, high worth individuals or families, and government institutions, with its suite of intelligence and risk management products. By leveraging the expertise, resources and networking contacts of the parent group Nexus Services America, Wyvern is able to provide an effective vehicle to promote its highly recognized Wingman safety program which provides for in depth safety audits and detailed safety intelligence data to end users of aircraft charter wishing to know more about the aircraft charter vendors they intend to use.

For press information please contact Marina Kraujalis marina.kraujalis@wyvernltd.com T: +1 800-946-4626

Sep 012014
 

BERN, Switzerland, September 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Switzerland is stepping up its aid to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Swiss Humanitarian Aid has committed an additional CHF 1 million to fund various direct operations…

Sep 012014
 

PARIS, France, September 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — On Friday, August 29, Chantal, one of the four members of the MSF team abducted in North Kivu, was found unharmed. However, MSF remains with no news about our colleagues Philippe, Richard, and Romy more than 13 months after they disappeared. We continue our search and issue a new call to anyone who may be in a position to help with their release.

MSF members were deeply moved and delighted to learn of the escape of Chantal Kaghoma Vulinzole, who was kidnaped with three of her colleagues on July 11, 2013 during an attack on Kamango, blamed on the ADF-NALU. Chantal, a nurse originally from Goma, was a member of the emergency team that disappeared during a mission to evaluate the health facilities in Beni Territory.

After more than 13 months of captivity under difficult conditions, Chantal was able to flee and reach troops, taking advantage of military operations in the bush against the ADF-NALU. Our colleague was found, weak and thin, on Friday and was returned safely to Beni by Congolese armed forces.

“It is an immense relief for her family, her friends and all of her colleagues to know that she is alive and with us again,” said Mégo Terzian, President of MSF. “We also want to believe that our three other colleagues – about whom we have no information – will also return. We are thinking of their families and of all the hostages. We will not forget you.”

We have been unable to establish contact with the three other members of our Congolese team, despite our efforts, resources mobilised, and the trails we have followed in the DRC and neighbouring countries. “Chantal was separated from her three colleagues and was no longer in contact with them when she escaped,” explained Benoît Leduc, crisis cell coordinator in Paris. “Our search continues, with the ADF group now dispersed and, probably, disorganised.”

Over time, a series of doors has opened and closed but we have been unable to obtain proof of life or direct access to those holding our colleagues. “People are willing to help us, but each time we seem to be close, our contacts report a last-minute obstacle or the people who might have the power to free the hostages do an about-face,” said Leduc.

More than one year after our colleagues disappeared, MSF is thrilled that Chantal has returned. We continue our efforts to find Philippe, Richard, and Romy. Given the difficulties we have encountered, MSF calls for help from anyone with information on our team members or who can help us establish contact with them. To save the lives of all the hostages and ease their families’ pain, MSF is issuing a call for assistance and asks those holding the hostages to release them immediately.

Sep 012014
 

PARIS, France, September 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — On Friday, August 29, Chantal, one of the four members of the MSF team abducted in North Kivu, was found unharmed. However, MSF remains with no news about our colleagues Philippe, Richard, and Romy more than 13 months after they disappeared. We continue our search and issue a new call to anyone who may be in a position to help with their release.

MSF members were deeply moved and delighted to learn of the escape of Chantal Kaghoma Vulinzole, who was kidnaped with three of her colleagues on July 11, 2013 during an attack on Kamango, blamed on the ADF-NALU. Chantal, a nurse originally from Goma, was a member of the emergency team that disappeared during a mission to evaluate the health facilities in Beni Territory.

After more than 13 months of captivity under difficult conditions, Chantal was able to flee and reach troops, taking advantage of military operations in the bush against the ADF-NALU. Our colleague was found, weak and thin, on Friday and was returned safely to Beni by Congolese armed forces.

“It is an immense relief for her family, her friends and all of her colleagues to know that she is alive and with us again,” said Mégo Terzian, President of MSF. “We also want to believe that our three other colleagues – about whom we have no information – will also return. We are thinking of their families and of all the hostages. We will not forget you.”

We have been unable to establish contact with the three other members of our Congolese team, despite our efforts, resources mobilised, and the trails we have followed in the DRC and neighbouring countries. “Chantal was separated from her three colleagues and was no longer in contact with them when she escaped,” explained Benoît Leduc, crisis cell coordinator in Paris. “Our search continues, with the ADF group now dispersed and, probably, disorganised.”

Over time, a series of doors has opened and closed but we have been unable to obtain proof of life or direct access to those holding our colleagues. “People are willing to help us, but each time we seem to be close, our contacts report a last-minute obstacle or the people who might have the power to free the hostages do an about-face,” said Leduc.

More than one year after our colleagues disappeared, MSF is thrilled that Chantal has returned. We continue our efforts to find Philippe, Richard, and Romy. Given the difficulties we have encountered, MSF calls for help from anyone with information on our team members or who can help us establish contact with them. To save the lives of all the hostages and ease their families’ pain, MSF is issuing a call for assistance and asks those holding the hostages to release them immediately.

Sep 012014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Although security had apparently been improving in Bangui, fighting between international forces and armed men erupted in the Kilometre 5 district of the capital on 19 and 20 August. Among the many casualties was a Central African Red Cross driver and first-aid worker who was shot and killed while evacuating casualties.

“Throughout the country, civilians continue to bear a heavy burden because of the conflict and reprisal attacks aimed directly at them,” said Jean-François Sangsue, head of the ICRC delegation in the Central African Republic. “Once again, we are calling on all parties to the conflict and on the international forces in the country to take all feasible measures to spare the civilian population and to facilitate the work of Red Cross personnel striving to help the people of the Central African Republic.”

Tensions remain high in the capital, and there are concerns that further incidents could take place. Many displaced people in areas near Kilometre 5, fearing reprisals, have taken refuge within the Church of the Holy Saviour, where conditions were already very difficult. Fear is also being felt by displaced people accommodated in the city’s Central Mosque, which is situated in the area where fighting took place.

Tensions are also very high in Bambari, where fighting in the middle of the city between two factions of the same armed group resulted in many casualties on 25 and 26 August. Civilians, already traumatized by clashes that occurred in July, are filled with fear and alarm. At this point it would appear very difficult for things to return to normal. Those who had only recently returned to their residences quickly turned back to the sites accommodating displaced people. The removal of injured people has been made difficult by the tenuous security situation. The ICRC did however manage to provide the city’s hospital with fuel to help it to provide care for the wounded and the sick.

“People who are wounded or sick, whether they be civilians or combatants, and regardless of which side they belong to, must be protected by the parties to the conflict,” said Mr Sangsue. “In addition, the wounded and the sick must be safely evacuated and treated.”

The city of Batangafo, in the north-western part of the country, remains paralysed. All economic activity has been at a standstill since clashes between armed groups and fighting involving multinational forces took place on 30 July. Even the farmers are without access to their fields. On 26 August, ICRC staff went to Farazala to assess the situation of people displaced from Batangafo and determine what their needs are and what kind of aid should be provided.

In Boda, 115 kilometres west of Bangui, inter-community violence that has shaken the city since 21 August has resulted in casualties and in the displacement of hundreds of people.

People in other cities of the Central African Republic, especially in the Kaga Bandoro and Bambari areas, continue to live in fear of being attacked by armed men.

“Our staff are striving to respond to the most urgent needs,” said Mr Sangsue. “In addition, we are maintaining a dialogue with everyone involved in the hostilities, and also with community and religious leaders, with the aim of raising awareness of – and improving adherence to – the basic principles of international humanitarian law.”

Between 7 July and 20 August, in cooperation with the Central African Red Cross Society, the ICRC:

● provided curative care for more than 7,000 patients in Bangui and in the Kaga Bandoro area, and performed more than 130 operations in Bangui;

● evacuated 15 sick people and transferred four patients from the country’s interior to Bangui’s Community Hospital;

● upgraded two health-care centres in the Kaga Bandoro area;

● supplied clean drinking water every day to more than 20,000 displaced people at Bangui’s airport, and also to more than 11,000 people in Kaga Bandoro and nearly 20,000 in Bambari;

● delivered clean drinking water every day to Ndélé and its hospital for more than 10,000 people;

● provided household essentials for more than 18,500 people;

● supplied food aid for almost 25,000 displaced people in Bangui, and for more than 400 displaced people on the road between Bambari and Ippy;

● reunited with other family members six children who had been separated from them by the conflict;

● raised awareness of the basic principles of international humanitarian law among more than 400 members of various weapon-bearing groups and among nearly 150 community and religious leaders.

In addition, ICRC staff visited 560 detainees to make sure that the treatment they were receiving and the conditions in which they were being held met international standards.

Sep 012014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, September 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Although security had apparently been improving in Bangui, fighting between international forces and armed men erupted in the Kilometre 5 district of the capital on 19 and 20 August. Among the many casualties was a Central African Red Cross driver and first-aid worker who was shot and killed while evacuating casualties.

“Throughout the country, civilians continue to bear a heavy burden because of the conflict and reprisal attacks aimed directly at them,” said Jean-François Sangsue, head of the ICRC delegation in the Central African Republic. “Once again, we are calling on all parties to the conflict and on the international forces in the country to take all feasible measures to spare the civilian population and to facilitate the work of Red Cross personnel striving to help the people of the Central African Republic.”

Tensions remain high in the capital, and there are concerns that further incidents could take place. Many displaced people in areas near Kilometre 5, fearing reprisals, have taken refuge within the Church of the Holy Saviour, where conditions were already very difficult. Fear is also being felt by displaced people accommodated in the city’s Central Mosque, which is situated in the area where fighting took place.

Tensions are also very high in Bambari, where fighting in the middle of the city between two factions of the same armed group resulted in many casualties on 25 and 26 August. Civilians, already traumatized by clashes that occurred in July, are filled with fear and alarm. At this point it would appear very difficult for things to return to normal. Those who had only recently returned to their residences quickly turned back to the sites accommodating displaced people. The removal of injured people has been made difficult by the tenuous security situation. The ICRC did however manage to provide the city’s hospital with fuel to help it to provide care for the wounded and the sick.

“People who are wounded or sick, whether they be civilians or combatants, and regardless of which side they belong to, must be protected by the parties to the conflict,” said Mr Sangsue. “In addition, the wounded and the sick must be safely evacuated and treated.”

The city of Batangafo, in the north-western part of the country, remains paralysed. All economic activity has been at a standstill since clashes between armed groups and fighting involving multinational forces took place on 30 July. Even the farmers are without access to their fields. On 26 August, ICRC staff went to Farazala to assess the situation of people displaced from Batangafo and determine what their needs are and what kind of aid should be provided.

In Boda, 115 kilometres west of Bangui, inter-community violence that has shaken the city since 21 August has resulted in casualties and in the displacement of hundreds of people.

People in other cities of the Central African Republic, especially in the Kaga Bandoro and Bambari areas, continue to live in fear of being attacked by armed men.

“Our staff are striving to respond to the most urgent needs,” said Mr Sangsue. “In addition, we are maintaining a dialogue with everyone involved in the hostilities, and also with community and religious leaders, with the aim of raising awareness of – and improving adherence to – the basic principles of international humanitarian law.”

Between 7 July and 20 August, in cooperation with the Central African Red Cross Society, the ICRC:

● provided curative care for more than 7,000 patients in Bangui and in the Kaga Bandoro area, and performed more than 130 operations in Bangui;

● evacuated 15 sick people and transferred four patients from the country’s interior to Bangui’s Community Hospital;

● upgraded two health-care centres in the Kaga Bandoro area;

● supplied clean drinking water every day to more than 20,000 displaced people at Bangui’s airport, and also to more than 11,000 people in Kaga Bandoro and nearly 20,000 in Bambari;

● delivered clean drinking water every day to Ndélé and its hospital for more than 10,000 people;

● provided household essentials for more than 18,500 people;

● supplied food aid for almost 25,000 displaced people in Bangui, and for more than 400 displaced people on the road between Bambari and Ippy;

● reunited with other family members six children who had been separated from them by the conflict;

● raised awareness of the basic principles of international humanitarian law among more than 400 members of various weapon-bearing groups and among nearly 150 community and religious leaders.

In addition, ICRC staff visited 560 detainees to make sure that the treatment they were receiving and the conditions in which they were being held met international standards.

Sep 012014
 

MOGADISHU, Somalia, September 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United Nations, Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and European Union (EU) welcomed the agreement by Col Barre Adan Shire (Barre Hiiraale) to participate in a reconciliation process and for his irregular military forces to present themselves for screening and potential integration into the Somali National Army (SNA) with the support of the Federal Government of Somalia.

“We welcome this agreement between Col Barre Hiiraale and the Interim Jubba Administration brokered by the Federal Government of Somalia. It is an important step forward in the path towards peace- and state-building for all Somalis. We stand ready to support a reconciliation conference in the coming weeks and urge all parties to engage in constructive consultation and reconciliation involving all stakeholders, ensuring that the interests of all communities are protected. Somalia’s international partners remain committed to supporting the nation’s peace and state-building agenda”.