Security Council Press Statement on murder of over 30 Ethiopian Christians

NEW YORK, April 21, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the heinous and cowardly apparent murder in Libya of over 30 Ethiopian Christians by an affiliate of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh). This crime once again demonstrates the brutality of ISIL, which is responsible for thousands of crimes and abuses against people from all faiths, ethnicities and nationalities, and without regard to any basic value of humanity.

The members of the Security Council expressed their deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, to the Government of Ethiopia, as well as to the families of all victims of ISIL. The members of the Security Council reiterate their strong condemnation of the persecution of individuals and entire communities on the basis of their religion or belief.

The members of the Security Council stressed again that ISIL must be defeated and that the intolerance, violence and hatred it espouses must be stamped out. The members of the Council further emphasized that such continued acts of barbarism perpetrated by ISIL do not intimidate them, but rather stiffen their resolve that there has to be a common effort amongst Governments and institutions, including those in the region most affected, to counter ISIL, groups that have pledged allegiance to ISIL, Ansar Al Shari’a entities, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida, as the Council resolved in United Nations Security Council resolutions 2170 (2014), 2199 (2015) and 2214 (2015).

The members of the Security Council demanded the immediate, safe and unconditional release of all those who are kept hostage by ISIL, groups that have pledged allegiance to ISIL, Ansar Al Shari’a entities, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida.

The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice. The members of the Security Council stressed that those responsible for these killings shall be held accountable, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with Libya, Ethiopia and all other relevant authorities in this regard.

The members of the Security Council further recalled that ISIL is included on the Al-Qaida Sanctions List, and is thus subject to the asset freeze and arms embargo in resolution 2161 (2014), and further recalls that any individual or entity that provides financial or material support to the group, including the provision of arms or recruits, is eligible to be added to the Al-Qaida Sanctions List and subject to sanctions measures. The members of the Security Council underscored the need for full implementation of resolution 2199 (2015), adopted on 12 February, to cut off ISIL’s support networks, and resolution 2214 (2015) that focuses on countering ISIL, groups that have pledged allegiance to ISIL, Ansar Al Shari’a entities, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida operating in Libya.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed grave concern about ISIL, groups that have pledged allegiance to ISIL, Ansar Al Charia Benghazi and Ansar Al Charia Derna and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida operating in Libya, and about the negative impact of their presence, violent extremist ideology and actions on stability in Libya, neighbouring countries, and the region, including the devastating humanitarian impact on the civilian populations.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their full support for Special Representative of the Secretary-General Bernardino León and urged all parties in Libya to engage constructively with his efforts to continue an inclusive political process aimed at addressing the political and security challenges facing the country. Council members also reaffirmed that only through national unity and dialogue, with a view to finding a peaceful solution, can Libyans build their State and its institutions so as to defeat terrorism and prevent such grave crimes.

Source:: Security Council Press Statement on murder of over 30 Ethiopian Christians

Categories: African Press Organization

Readout of the U.S. Vice President’s Call with Nigerian President Jonathan

WASHINGTON, April 21, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Vice President Joe Biden spoke today with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to commend him for his leadership in ensuring Nigeria’s recent elections were peaceful and orderly. The Vice President noted that President Jonathan’s actions to accept the results and congratulate President-elect Buhari, as well as his steps to date to ensure a successful transition, have strengthened Nigeria’s democracy and set a strong example for Africa and the world. The Vice President encouraged President Jonathan to remain engaged and play a leadership role in global issues after his presidency ends.

Source:: Readout of the U.S. Vice President’s Call with Nigerian President Jonathan

Categories: African Press Organization

South Sudanese families being pushed to the brink

JUBA, South Sudan, April 21, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Skyrocketing inflation, conflict and collapsed markets are pushing people in South Sudan to breaking point as the political deadlock enters its 16th month and families face a second ‘lean season’ since fighting began, international agency Oxfam warned today.

“What we’re seeing now is families that have spent the past year and a half living on the edge – many have exhausted their food stocks, been displaced from their homes, missed opportunities to plant and farm, and now the economy is showing the strain of a year and a half of conflict,” said Emma Drew, Head of Humanitarian Programmes for Oxfam in South Sudan.

Areas affected by the conflict are seeing drastic increases in food prices. In February, cereal prices were estimated to have shot up by 300% in Unity, Upper Nile, and Jonglei states http://www.ipcinfo.org/fileadmin/user_upload/ipcinfo/docs/Updated%20IPC%20South%20Sudan%20Dec%202014%20-%20Detailed%20Report.pdf . The South Sudanese pound is also depreciating rapidly – while the official rate remains at 3.2 pounds to the US dollar, parallel market rates are as high as 7 pounds to the dollar which is fluctuating on a regular basis. This is increasing the cost of regional food imports and putting pressure on already stretched household budgets.

“Many people can no longer afford to buy food and other basic essentials; trade in markets has been disrupted, or in many instances, markets have been damaged or destroyed altogether,” said Ms. Drew.

Already, 2.5 million people are facing severe levels of hunger. By June, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) predicts that more than a million people will join them http://www.fews.net/sites/default/files/documents/reports/South%20Sudan_OL_01%202015.pdf .

“As the rains set in, reaching people who are desperately in need of aid will become more and more difficult. It’s vital that aid reaches people not just in the camps on UN bases but the millions in need spread out across the country, especially in conflict affected states,” Ms. Drew said. “It’s hard to describe just how difficult it is to provide humanitarian assistance here. Insecurity due to protracted fighting and poor roads mean that in many places agencies have to fly absolutely everything in, often to airstrips that are easily bogged down by mud and rain – so getting food and essential items in before the rains start is an urgent priority.”

Flexible funding remains key, especially in light of the need to adapt to the changing humanitarian context. In addition to the urgent food aid that will be needed to save lives, donors should also support programmes that develop people’s skills and resilience, and that build on or re-establish markets wherever possible. While the UN appeal for aid in South Sudan has been over half funded, donors must swiftly deliver on the existing commitments. Regional and international governments should use their influence on the government of South Sudan and the opposition to ensure communities can access aid where they are.

“Aid is important and lifesaving but ultimately what people need most is an end to the conflict,” added Ms. Drew. “A real, lasting peace that delivers genuine security and stability will require far more than a power sharing deal between political and military elites. Regional leaders and the international community have an important role in helping communities and the country’s leaders to achieve a lasting peace. Complacency is not an option.”

Source:: South Sudanese families being pushed to the brink

Categories: African Press Organization

Canada Signs Investment Agreement with Burkina Faso

OTTAWA, Canada, April 21, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Minister Fast signs investment agreement with Burkina Faso’s Minister of Industry, Commerce and Handicrafts, Hippolyte Dah, with Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida as witness.

Minister Fast with Burkina Faso’s Prime Minister, Yacouba Isaac Zida.

Agreement will protect Canadian business and provide new opportunities for them to invest and grow

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today announced that Canada and Burkina Faso have signed a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement (FIPA). He made the announcement alongside Hippolyte Dah, Burkina Faso’s Minister of Industry, Commerce and Handicrafts. The Prime Minister of Burkina Faso, Yacouba Isaac Zida, is in Ottawa for a bilateral visit.

FIPAs help ensure fair treatment for investors and create a more predictable and transparent business environment through reciprocal, legally binding provisions. FIPAs set out clear rules governing investment relations, including in the areas of dispute resolution and protection against discriminatory and arbitrary practices, giving businesses greater confidence to invest.

Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan, the government’s blueprint for jobs and economic growth through trade, identifies Burkina Faso as an emerging market with specific opportunities for Canadian business in sectors such as mining and industrial machinery and equipment. Canada is the largest foreign investor in Burkina Faso.

Now that this agreement has been signed, Canada and Burkina Faso will proceed with their respective ratification processes.

Quick Facts

• In 2014, two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Burkina Faso exceeded $75 million, an increase of 50 percent from the year before.

• Minister Fast visited Burkina Faso in 2014 as part of his trade mission to Africa.

• Canada currently has FIPAs in force with 28 countries and is negotiating with many others.

Quotes

“Burkina Faso holds many opportunities for Canadian companies, especially in sectors such as mining, industrial machinery and equipment. An investment agreement will provide Canadian companies with more stability and predictability in this market.

“Our government is continuing to deliver results in order to boost investments—creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity for all Canadians.”

– Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade

Source:: Canada Signs Investment Agreement with Burkina Faso

Categories: African Press Organization

Statement from Minister Paradis on the Attack on UNICEF Workers in Somalia

OTTAWA, Canada, April 21, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — We are saddened to hear of the brutal attack that killed four and wounded four UNICEF employees, as well as several other people, in Somalia earlier today when their vehicle was destroyed by an explosive device. Canada condemns this wanton disregard for the lives of humanitarian and development workers who put themselves at risk to help those in need.

Our hearts go out to the families and colleagues of all of the victims, and we hope for a swift recovery for the injured. The loss of a single humanitarian worker is unacceptable. I am appalled that those whose mission it is to help others are so often deliberately targeted. Canada will continue to strongly condemn these acts of violence against innocent civilians.

I offer my condolences to the UNICEF family. Canada will remain a strong and steadfast supporter of UNICEF’s important work and its global mandate to provide assistance to children around the world.

Christian Paradis

Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

Source:: Statement from Minister Paradis on the Attack on UNICEF Workers in Somalia

Categories: African Press Organization

Security Council Press Statement on Al Shabaab Attack against UNICEF in Garowe, Somalia

NEW YORK, April 21, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The members of the Security Council are outraged by today’s attack against a United Nations vehicle in Garowe, Somalia, for which Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility and which has caused numerous deaths and injuries. The members of the Security Council condemned this appalling act in the strongest terms. The members of the Security Council offered their condolences to the families of the victims, and wished a speedy recovery to those who were injured.

The members of the Security Council are appalled that Al Shabaab has targeted UN staff working to support children in Somalia. They underlined their admiration and support for UNICEF staff and their vital work in Somalia.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivation, wherever and whenever and by whomsoever committed.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their determination to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations.

The members of the Security Council reminded States that they must ensure that measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law.

The members of the Security Council repeated their determination to support the peace and reconciliation process in Somalia. They underlined that recent terrorist attacks have only served to strengthen that determination.

Source:: Security Council Press Statement on Al Shabaab Attack against UNICEF in Garowe, Somalia

Categories: African Press Organization