Baird Meets with Burundian Counterpart

OTTAWA, Canada, March 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — At the invitation of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, the minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation of Burundi, Laurent Kavakure, paid a visit to Canada.

The two ministers took the opportunity to strengthen ties between Canada and Burundi. They discussed Burundi’s important contribution to the UN and the African Union’s peace operations, as well as key issues of regional and international security.

The ministers also discussed the political situation in Burundi, which will be holding general elections in 2015. Baird was keen to stress the importance of protecting the progress made since the signing in 2000 of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi, and encouraged a constructive dialogue between the government, political parties and all sectors of Burundian society.

The ministers expressed their willingness to work to strengthen relations between the two countries by encouraging the formation of partnerships between companies, institutions and individuals, including through the Burundian community in Canada, one of the three largest in the world.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Sentencing of DRC opposition MP Diomi Ndongala deeply regrettable political act

GENEVA, Switzerland, March 27, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IPU deeply regrets the sentencing of opposition leader and MP Diomi Ndongala by the Supreme Court in the Democratic Republic of Congo to 10 years imprisonment.

Without any appeal system in place, the sentence on 26th March is the last step in trial proceedings which IPU is convinced were seriously flawed and eminently political. Neither Ndongala nor his lawyers were in court when the sentence on charges of alleged rape against minors was pronounced.

In a resolution adopted by IPU’s membership last week, the Supreme Court was encouraged to issue an exemplary ruling. It would have ensured there was no miscarriage of justice and that the Law was above politics in a polarized political environment.

IPU, whose Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians has been working on this and other cases involving MPs in the DRC, is also seriously worried about Ndongola’s deteriorating health and about reports that he is being denied medical care.

“With no appeal procedure possible, all pressure needs to be put on the DRC to ensure there is retrial that addresses the concerns repeatedly expressed by IPU, his lawyers and many others over the trial and his treatment,” says Rogier Huizenga, head of IPU’s human rights programme.

The leader of the opposition Christian Democrats party and an MP in the DRC, Ndongala was allegedly kidnapped and illegally detained from June to October 2012. It was an experience that left him requiring urgent medical attention and recuperation with the full knowledge of parliamentary authorities.

In April 2013, he was imprisoned awaiting trial on alleged rape charges. This was followed in June 2013 by the decision to invalidate his parliamentary mandate for unjustified and prolonged absence from parliament.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Sentencing of DRC opposition MP Diomi Ndongala deeply regrettable political act

GENEVA, Switzerland, March 27, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IPU deeply regrets the sentencing of opposition leader and MP Diomi Ndongala by the Supreme Court in the Democratic Republic of Congo to 10 years imprisonment.

Without any appeal system in place, the sentence on 26th March is the last step in trial proceedings which IPU is convinced were seriously flawed and eminently political. Neither Ndongala nor his lawyers were in court when the sentence on charges of alleged rape against minors was pronounced.

In a resolution adopted by IPU’s membership last week, the Supreme Court was encouraged to issue an exemplary ruling. It would have ensured there was no miscarriage of justice and that the Law was above politics in a polarized political environment.

IPU, whose Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians has been working on this and other cases involving MPs in the DRC, is also seriously worried about Ndongola’s deteriorating health and about reports that he is being denied medical care.

“With no appeal procedure possible, all pressure needs to be put on the DRC to ensure there is retrial that addresses the concerns repeatedly expressed by IPU, his lawyers and many others over the trial and his treatment,” says Rogier Huizenga, head of IPU’s human rights programme.

The leader of the opposition Christian Democrats party and an MP in the DRC, Ndongala was allegedly kidnapped and illegally detained from June to October 2012. It was an experience that left him requiring urgent medical attention and recuperation with the full knowledge of parliamentary authorities.

In April 2013, he was imprisoned awaiting trial on alleged rape charges. This was followed in June 2013 by the decision to invalidate his parliamentary mandate for unjustified and prolonged absence from parliament.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Paradis Announces Additional Humanitarian Assistance to the Central African Republic / Canada remains deeply concerned by the humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic

OTTAWA, Canada, March 27, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today announced more than $11 million in additional funding to help meet widespread humanitarian needs in the Central African Republic (CAR).

“Canada remains profoundly concerned by the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic,” said Minister Paradis. “The humanitarian situation has deteriorated at an alarming rate, violence has devastated many parts of the country since early 2013, and hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced. Canada will provide additional humanitarian assistance to trusted partners working on the ground to help them address the urgent needs and save lives.”

The Government of Canada is providing support to key partners such as the United Nations World Food Programme, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and UNICEF, to address the needs of those most affected by the inter-communal violence, looting, destruction of housing and property, displacement, and grave human rights abuses.

Quick Facts

• The United Nations is estimating that 2.5 million people—more than half of the Central African Republic’s population—are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

• Over the course of 2013, Canada provided close to $7 million in humanitarian assistance to those affected by the crisis in CAR. This amount more than doubled the total Canadian humanitarian assistance provided to those affected in that country in 2012.

• In 2013, Canada was the sixth-largest humanitarian country donor responding to the needs in CAR.

• On February 11, 2014, Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie announced $5 million in new humanitarian assistance to address urgent needs in CAR.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Paradis Announces Additional Humanitarian Assistance to the Central African Republic / Canada remains deeply concerned by the humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic

OTTAWA, Canada, March 27, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today announced more than $11 million in additional funding to help meet widespread humanitarian needs in the Central African Republic (CAR).

“Canada remains profoundly concerned by the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic,” said Minister Paradis. “The humanitarian situation has deteriorated at an alarming rate, violence has devastated many parts of the country since early 2013, and hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced. Canada will provide additional humanitarian assistance to trusted partners working on the ground to help them address the urgent needs and save lives.”

The Government of Canada is providing support to key partners such as the United Nations World Food Programme, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and UNICEF, to address the needs of those most affected by the inter-communal violence, looting, destruction of housing and property, displacement, and grave human rights abuses.

Quick Facts

• The United Nations is estimating that 2.5 million people—more than half of the Central African Republic’s population—are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

• Over the course of 2013, Canada provided close to $7 million in humanitarian assistance to those affected by the crisis in CAR. This amount more than doubled the total Canadian humanitarian assistance provided to those affected in that country in 2012.

• In 2013, Canada was the sixth-largest humanitarian country donor responding to the needs in CAR.

• On February 11, 2014, Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie announced $5 million in new humanitarian assistance to address urgent needs in CAR.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

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