Somali Special Forces Strike Destroys Alshabab Training Base in Middle Juba

President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo’s statement on the dawn strike on Alshabab training base near Sakow.

“Earlier today, I authorized our special forces with the support of our international partners to conduct a strike against an al-Shabaab training camp near Sakow, Middle Juba region. This was a successful strike which destroyed a key al-Shabaab command and supply hub. This will ultimately disrupt the enemy’s ability to conduct new attacks within Somalia.”

“I said when I took office that security will be top priority for my administration. This strike will enhance security and reduce the threats of Alshabab.”

“We have long suffered at the hands of Alshabab which is supported by global terror networks. We and our international partners will take every possible precaution to protect our civilian population from harm during these operations while targeting terrorists.”

“All of us know somebody from our youth, our village, our families, who has been killed or injured by the senseless violence of al-Shabaab. I have personally met the families and the victims of several Alshabab attacks. For those who have suffered under al-Shabaab, and for the rest of Somalia, I want you to know that we are committed to defeating al-Shabaab and uniting our people.”

“To the members of al-Shabaab, I tell you that we are bringing the fight to you. If you, however take advantage of my amnesty offer and denounce violence, we will integrate you into our reform program. You have no future with the terrorists, but you can still be a part of Somalia’s future; a peaceful and prosperous future.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of Federal Republic of Somalia – Office of the President.

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President Faure congratulates PM Theresa May following victory in UK General Elections

President Danny Faure has sent a message of congratulations to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Mrs Theresa May following her election to office following the country’s general election on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Seychelles.

“Your election to this high office bears testimony to the confidence and esteem that you have generated among the population. I look forward to the continuation of the excellent relations between our two countries under your leadership,” said President Faure in his message.

President Faure further reiterated that the historical links and shared values which continue to provide the platform for Seychelles and the UK’s close collaboration would serve to strengthen the two countries resolve to work together on a vast array of issues both bilaterally and multilaterally.

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

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Ministers in charge of Youth Affairs from the Great Lakes region agree on a regional approach to tackle youth unemployment

Ministers in charge of Youth Affairs of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) met in Livingstone, Zambia on 9 June 2017 to discuss ways to advance youth employment in the region. The meeting was jointly promoted by the ICGLR and the Office of the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region (OSESG). The meeting was held under the theme ” Accelerating the implementation of the 2014 Declaration of the ICGLR Special Summit of Heads of State on the fight against youth unemployment through infrastructure development and investment promotion » and was a follow-up to the Special Summit held in Nairobi, Kenya, in July 2014.

The Ministerial session was preceded by a two-day expert meeting which brought together, on 7 and 8 June, youth representatives and national experts from the region, policy makers, and representatives of the United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, regional organizations including the ICGLR Levy Mwanawasa Regional Center for Good Governance, the World Bank Group and the African Development Bank. The two-day Expert Meeting took stock of progress and challenges in advancing youth employment issues in the Great Lakes region.

The national experts and representatives exchanged views on progress in advancing the youth employment agenda at the national and regional levels. They also discussed and validated the strategy and action plan developed in support of the implementation of the Heads of State recommendations emanating from the 2014 Special Summit on youth unemployment. In line with the ” Delivering as One UN policy, the United Nations system in the region presented their joint analysis of the status of youth in the region, along with their interventions aimed at tackling youth unemployment, within the context of the youth pillar of the UN Great Lakes Regional Strategic Framework, adopted by the UN Security Council in March 2016.

The opening ceremony of the ministerial meeting was presided over by the Guest of honour, Honorable Chomba Freedom Sikazwe, Minister in charge of Presidential Affairs representing the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency Edgard Chagwa Lungu. The session was attended by Ministers of youth from the region and their representatives, the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Great Lakes region, Said Djinnit, the ICGLR Executive Secretary, Zachary Muburi-Muita, representatives of the United Nations and regional organizations as well as members of the diplomatic corps.

The guest of honour expressed the gratitude of his Government to the ICGLR and the Office of the UN Special Envoy for convening the youth ministerial meeting. He invited the principals of the two institutions as Guarantors of the Peace, Cooperation and Security Framework for the DRC and the region to continue supporting programmes aiming at fostering sustainable peace and stability in the region. ” The region has a role in ensuring that every young has access to quality education and employment opportunities.

The UN Special Envoy, Said Djinnit, noted the impact lack of access to socio-economic and political opportunities has on durable peace and reconciliation, and underscored the importance of establishing inclusive policies to tap into the unique demographic dividend that youth represents for the region. The ICGLR Executive Secretary, Zachary Muburi Muita further highlighted the critical importance of the meeting and noted that the growing menace of unemployed youth in the region is being manifested in disturbances to law and order in urban settings, proliferation of negative forces that prey on disillusioned youth.

The Ministers then reviewed the report of the experts on the outcome of their meeting and exchanged on best practices for strategies and policies at national level to tackle youth unemployment. The Ministers agreed on the need for a coordinated and participatory approach, and endorsed the 2017-2022 regional strategy for the implementation of the 2014 Special Summit of ICGLR Heads of State on youth unemployment. The strategy focuses on eight key areas including, infrastructure development; investment promotion; education and training; youth entrepreneurs access to funding; mobilization of additional resources for youth issues; youth representation in decision-making organs; monitoring, evaluation and coordination of policies and interventions; and good governance and transparency. They further recommended that the regional strategy be submitted for adoption at the next ICGLR Summit of Heads of State and Government in December 2017.

The ICGLR youth ministerial meeting was organized with the financial support of the Office of the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region and the World Bank.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Office of the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region (OSESG-GL).

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Minister Flanagan and MoS McHugh announce airlift of humanitarian supplies into Uganda to help South Sudanese refugees

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan T.D., and Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh T.D., announced that Ireland is dispatching over 100 tonnes of humanitarian supplies to Uganda to help refugees from South Sudan, who have been forced to flee their homes by continuing conflict, violence and acute hunger.

These supplies, including tarpaulins for shelter, blankets, cooking sets, and mosquito nets, will be airlifted into Uganda over the coming days [from Sunday]. They will be donated to the United Nations’ Refugee Agency, UNHCR, for distribution to over 20,000 South Sudanese people who have recently arrived at new refugee settlements in Arua and Lamwo Districts in northern Uganda.

The total cost to Ireland for these airlifts is €500,000, and they are being dispatched from UN Humanitarian Depots in Dubai and Accra, where Ireland pre-positions relief supplies for use in humanitarian crises under our Rapid Response Initiative.

Announcing the airlift, Minister Flanagan said:

“The South Sudan crisis continues to be one of the most severe large-scale humanitarian crises in the world today. I am deeply concerned by the high levels of population displacement both internally and to neighbouring countries, with one in four people now driven from their homes. It is an immense tragedy that 1.9 million people have been forced to flee South Sudan as refugees since the end of 2013.

“Ireland stands firmly with the South Sudanese people, providing significant humanitarian assistance through our Irish Aid programme, totalling €46 million since 2012, including €11 million last year alone. The airlifts that we are announcing today are the latest in a series of supports provided by Ireland to vulnerable people affected by the South Sudan crisis, and brings to €8 million Ireland’s total humanitarian assistance to this crisis so far this year. We are supporting our UN and NGO partners’ life-saving operations targeting the most vulnerable people both in South Sudan and South Sudanese refugees in the region.

“The Government of South Sudan, countries in the region and the international community must step up efforts to end the cycle of protracted conflict and violence that is driving displacement in and from South Sudan. Ireland, together with our EU and UN partners, will continue to work for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.”

Minister McHugh added:

“Uganda is now hosting the largest refugee population in Africa, hosting 930,000 South Sudanese refugees, as well as around 300,000 refugees of other nationalities. I saw first-hand the mammoth scale of needs among refugees when I visited Adjumani in northern Uganda last year. Many arrived with only what they could carry. The international community must work harder to meet the immediate and longer term needs of refugees in Uganda and elsewhere, including not only the provision of shelter, protection, food assistance and access to clean water, but also health care, education and livelihood opportunities in their new communities.

“Our assistance to this crisis needs to be commensurate with the solidarity shown by the Ugandan and other host Governments in the region whose resources are increasingly overstretched and depleted. Ireland commends the Government of Uganda’s open-door and progressive refugee policy. The Uganda Solidarity Summit on Refugees, which will be co-hosted by Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in Kampala later this month, is an opportunity to mobilise international support to help the Government of Uganda to carry this load. Ireland will continue to do what it can to support the Government of Uganda in our diplomatic relations and through our aid programme.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ireland.

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