Media briefing by UNHCR’s Special Envoy on the Somali Refugee Situation in Pretoria on 8 February (8h30 – 9h30)

In 2016, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, appointed Ambassador Mohamed Abdi Affey as his Special Envoy for the Somali Refugee Situation. The High Commissioner noted that the path towards stability and prosperity in Somalia must include solutions for Somalis in exile through the region, and that Special Envoy would assist UNHCR to maximize efforts in the search for solutions for Somali refugees and asylum-seekers at national and regional levels.

The Special Envoy visits countries, including South Africa, hosting large numbers of Somali refugees and asylum-seekers to discuss with governments, civil society, international community and Somali refugees themselves about the current situation in Somalia as well as durable solutions for Somali refugees.

Special Envoy Abdi Affey will provide media briefing at UNHCR Regional Representation for Southern Africa (Waterkloof House, 209 Waterkloof Road, Pretoria – Brooklyn) on Thursday 8 February from 08h30 to 9h30.

The media outlets and journalists are requested to confirm participation in advance by email (aikomus@unhcr.org) in order to have access to briefing.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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Source:: Media briefing by UNHCR’s Special Envoy on the Somali Refugee Situation in Pretoria on 8 February (8h30 – 9h30)

      

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Media briefing by UNHCR’s Special Envoy on the Somali Refugee Situation in Pretoria on 8 February (8h30 – 9h30)

In 2016, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, appointed Ambassador Mohamed Abdi Affey as his Special Envoy for the Somali Refugee Situation. The High Commissioner noted that the path towards stability and prosperity in Somalia must include solutions for Somalis in exile through the region, and that Special Envoy would assist UNHCR to maximize efforts in the search for solutions for Somali refugees and asylum-seekers at national and regional levels.

The Special Envoy visits countries, including South Africa, hosting large numbers of Somali refugees and asylum-seekers to discuss with governments, civil society, international community and Somali refugees themselves about the current situation in Somalia as well as durable solutions for Somali refugees.

Special Envoy Abdi Affey will provide media briefing at UNHCR Regional Representation for Southern Africa (Waterkloof House, 209 Waterkloof Road, Pretoria – Brooklyn) on Thursday 8 February from 08h30 to 9h30.

The media outlets and journalists are requested to confirm participation in advance by email (aikomus@unhcr.org) in order to have access to briefing.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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Source:: Media briefing by UNHCR’s Special Envoy on the Somali Refugee Situation in Pretoria on 8 February (8h30 – 9h30)

      

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Hundreds of children released by armed groups in South Sudan

More than 300 children, 87 of them girls, were released by armed groups in South Sudan today, beginning a process that is expected to see at least 700 children freed in the coming weeks.

It was the first release of children by any armed groups in South Sudan in more than year.

“This is a crucial step in achieving our ultimate goal of having all of the thousands of children still in the ranks of armed groups reunited with their families,” said Mahimbo Mdoe, UNICEF’s Representative in South Sudan. “It is the largest release of children in nearly three years and it is vital that negotiations continue so there are many more days like this.”

Some 215 children were released by the South Sudan National Liberation Movement (SSNLM), which in 2016 signed a peace agreement with the Government and is now integrating its ranks into the national army. Additionally, 96 children were released from the ranks of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO). An upsurge of fighting in the region in July 2016 stalled the progress that had been made in securing the release of children associated with the forces, but this release is a positive step forward.

During the release ceremony, the children were formally disarmed and provided with civilian clothes. Medical screenings will be carried out, and children will receive counselling and psychosocial support as part of the reintegration programme, which is implemented by UNICEF and partners.

Those with relatives in the area will be reunited with their families, while others will be placed in interim care centres until their families can be traced. When children return home, their families will be provided with three months’ worth of food assistance to support their initial reintegration. The children will then be provided with vocational training aimed at improving household income and food security. Being able to support themselves economically can be a key factor in children becoming associated with armed groups. In addition to services related to livelihoods, UNICEF and partners will ensure the released children have access to age-specific education services in schools and accelerated learning centres.

“Not all children are forcibly recruited. Many joined armed groups because they feel they had no other option,” said Mdoe. “Our priority for this group – and for children across South Sudan – is to provide the support they need so they are able to see a more promising future.”

An estimated 19,000 children continue to serve in the ranks of armed forces and groups more than four years after conflict erupted in December 2013. UNICEF will continue to work with all parties to the conflict, as well as UNMISS, to secure the future release and reintegration of all children associated with armed groups through a meticulous process of negotiation, verification and registration.

Adequate funding for UNICEF’s release programme is essential. The UN Children’s Fund requires US$45 million in 2018 to support release, demobilization and reintegration efforts across the country.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

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Source:: Hundreds of children released by armed groups in South Sudan

      

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South Africa: President Zuma to Attend the Annual Ubuntu Awards Ceremony

President Jacob Zuma will on Saturday, 10 February 2018, officiate at the annual Ubuntu Awards ceremony at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

First launched by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation in 2015, the Ubuntu Awards celebrate South African citizens who play an active role in projecting a positive image of South Africa internationally. Through excellence in their chosen fields, the proud South Africans are recognized for serving as global ambassadors of the nation. These are South African citizens, who, through their Integrity, Passion, Patriotism and Humility have raised the South African flag high on an international stage.

The Ubuntu Awards 2018 will be held under the theme “Honouring Madiba; a global champion of human rights, peace and reconciliation.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Presidency.

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Source:: South Africa: President Zuma to Attend the Annual Ubuntu Awards Ceremony

      

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