DRC Armed Group Leader Sheka Handed Over by MONUSCO to Congolese Authorities

The DRC Armed Group Leader Sheka Handed Over by MONUSCO to the Congolese Authorities

Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka, leader of the armed group Nduma Defense of Congo (NDC), was transferred on Friday August 4th to Kinshasa and was handed over by MONUSCO to the Congolese judicial authorities. Sheka has been under MONUSCO supervision in Goma since his surrender on 26 July.
 He is accompanied by two alleged NDC combatants who also surrendered and are subject to judicial warrants of arrest for crimes against humanity including rape and child recruitment. The individuals will be detained, awaiting trial, in a location where MONUSCO will have access to ensure that relevant international human rights standards are observed.
The United Nations, through the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, called on the DRC government to “take all necessary measures to ensure that Sheka is promptly tried in adherence to basic standards of due process and that the charges against him appropriately correspond to all the crimes committed”.
Sheka surrendered to MONUSCO in the village of Mutongo about ten kilometers north of Walikale in full knowledge of the fact that he is the subject of an arrest warrant and will be brought to justice. Sheka has been wanted since 2011 by the Congolese justice system for crimes against humanity, including mass rape and child recruitment. NDC fighters are alleged to have raped almost 400 civilians, including 300 women, 23 men and 61 children, in 13 villages on the Kibua-Mpofi axis in the Walikale (North Kivu) between 30 July and 2 August 2010. United Nations have also documented the alleged recruitment of at least 154 children by this rebel group.
“Sheka’s surrender is a positive sign. A fair trial would be a significant step in the fight against impunity and a victory for victims of abuses by armed groups who have the right to justice”, said Maman Sidikou, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in the DRC.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Mission de l’Organisation des Nations unies en République démocratique du Congo (MONUSCO).

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Equatorial Guinea : UN Press release on consultations

Press release on consultations in Equatorial Guinea on UN matters

On August 1-2, Malabo hosted consultations between Director of the Department of International Organisations Alexander Pankin and senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, following the election of that state as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2018-2019. The Russian representative was also received by President of Equatorial Guinea Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and Vice President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue.

The sides discussed a wide range of issues on the UN Security Council’s agenda with an emphasis on country-specific and regional topics and ways to promote the peaceful resolution of conflicts. The participants stated the identity of approaches to addressing international problems on the basis of international law, respect for the sovereignty of states and non-interference in their internal affairs.

Distributed by APO on behalf of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

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Stakeholders pledge support for ECA’s Songwe

As part of activities marking her second day in office as Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Vera Songwe today met, separately, with representatives of the African Union Commission (AUC), the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation, and with the dean of the diplomatic corps.

Jacques-Alfred Ndoumbe-Eboule, Cameroon Ambassador to Ethiopia and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, said he was pleased to see a woman at the helm of ECA, stating, “This means ECA and the AUC, which formerly had a woman as chairperson, are making strides in gender parity.” He assured Ms. Songwe of “our full support in this delicate task” of heading the Commission.

The dean commended ECA for having “evolved over the last four years in terms of relations with member states,” adding that he hopes for better collaboration between ECA and ambassadors in Ethiopia who serve as bridge between the Commission and its member states.

The Cameroonian diplomat also commented on the postponed joint ECA/AUC Annual Conference of Ministers in Dakar (CoM2017), stating, “this is an important event for the continent” and there’s urgent need to address what caused the postponement.

Speaking of his country, Cameroon, Mr. Ndoumbe-Eboule said, “we are making strides towards the structural transformation of our economy and we hope to continue benefitting from ECA’s expertise and technical assistance.”

For her part Ms. Songwe reassured the dean that ECA takes its collaboration with ambassadors in Ethiopia very seriously and is committed to improving such collaboration.

“We are here to serve our member states, which you represent as ambassadors. As dean, you have a unique responsibility to talk to fellow ambassadors and give us suggestions on how to improve our relations.”

At the AUC, Ms. Songwe met with deputy chairperson, Thomas Kwesi Quartey, who said the AUC has had great working relations with ECA over the past years and that “we look forward to absolute cooperation with you and your team.” The two discussed education, migration, industrialization, the AU Reform, domestic resource mobilization and other issues pertinent to Africa’s transformation.

The Executive Secretary expressed her commitment to carry on with the good working relations between the two institutions, stating, “having the ECA and AU working closely together makes for a wealth of knowledge and great potential to change the continent.” She also expressed her desire to see more space for women in the AU agenda.

Earlier in the day, Ms. Songwe met with Adamsu Nebebe, Ethiopian State Minister for Finance and Economic Cooperation, who conveyed his ministry’s readiness to collaborate with the new Executive Secretary.

“Most of the analytical work done by ECA has been very useful to Ethiopia and we do cooperate excellently. We always consult each other very closely and I hope that the close collaboration will continue with you because we are ready to serve you and to work with you and facilitate your work here in Ethiopia.”

Ms. Songwe thanked the state minister for the warm welcome and readiness to support her work and expressed her desire to see affirmative action for women in Ethiopia, among other things.

“Ethiopia is a good example in Africa in terms of economic growth. It would be great to see more policies and budgets that incorporate women’s empowerment aspects.”

The new ECA chief also got pledges of support from the Ethiopian prime minister and officials at the ministry of foreign affairs during her courtesy visits on 3 August, 2017.

Ms. Songwe takes over from Carlos Lopes who left ECA months ago. Prior to her arrival, Abdalla Hamdok, ECA’s Deputy Executive Secretary, served as Acting Executive Secretary.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

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Rwanda : President Faure, Seychelles, sends congratulatory message to Paul Kagame

President Faure sends congratulatory message to reelected Rwandan President following victory

Following the victory of H.E. President Paul Kagame in the Republic of Rwanda’s General election, President Danny Faure has sent a congratulatory message on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Seychelles.

In His message President Faure extended his heartfelt congratulations and described President Kagame’s landslide victory as a sign of faith that the Rwandan people have placed in his leadership and vision for the continued progress of the country.

“Under your tenure, Rwanda will continue to develop, maintain national unity and social stability,” said President Faure.

President Faure said, “I look forward in working with you to strengthen our ties of friendship and solidarity and I look to future with hope that together we can address key challenges of common interest which we face as African states, for the betterment of peoples and continent.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles.

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