Press Release on African Union Training Workshop on Electoral Boundaries Delimitation for Somalia

The Department of Political Affairs (DPA) of the African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has organized a training workshop on electoral boundaries delimitation for the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) from 23 to 25 April 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya. The multi-stakeholder training workshop drew Somali participants from the NIEC, Ministries of Constitutional and Interior Affairs, the Boundary and Federal Commission, Office of the Prime Minister, among others. The capacity building workshop on electoral boundaries delimitation is in response to the request from NIEC to the DPA to provide electoral assistance in implementation of its 5-Year Strategic Plan (2017-2021). Pursuant to Chapter Seven of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, the AU has a mandate to provide electoral support to Election Management Bodies (EMBs) of Member States. Support to NIEC is one of the priority EMBs identified by the DPA in providing sustainable electoral-cycle based technical assistance.

The capacity building training workshop is conducted at a crucial moment when Somali stakeholders are engaged in constitutional-making process and development of the legal framework for the general elections based on universal suffrage scheduled to take place in 2020-2021. This is the second capacity building initiative by the DPA targeting NIEC and other electoral stakeholders in Somalia, which builds on the training on electoral systems which was conducted in July 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya. Electoral systems design is inextricably related to the process of electoral boundary delimitation. Collectively, electoral systems and electoral boundary delimitation are crucial in shaping the type of electoral architecture for any country. This training is therefore crucial in contributing to the sustainability of democratic governance, peace and political stability in Somalia. This is in line with AU Agenda 2063, The “Africa We Want”, specifically Aspiration 3 which envisions “An Africa of good governance, democracy, and respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Libya: Elections should be held by end of 2018, say Members of the European Parliament

  • The UN plan is currently the only possible framework for a solution
  • MEPs call for elections to be held in 2018
  • Migrants and refugees should be better protected

Libya needs a government with a broad national consensus, said Foreign Affairs MEPs on Tuesday. They are pushing for elections to take place by the end of 2018.

In their recommendation on Libya, passed by 45 votes to 0, with 4 abstentions, Foreign Affairs MEPs call on the EU Council, Commission and External Action Service to:

  • ensure the strongest support for the UN Action Plan for Libya – currently the only possible framework for a solution to the crisis;
  • back elections being held in Libya by the end of 2018;
  • make sure a transitional arrangement is agreed before the elections to strengthen new government’s legitimacy;
  • support a National Conference being held inside Libya aimed at achieving an agreement between the different Libyan parties on the next steps to complete the transition;
  • ensure that Libyans drive the stabilisation process and decide about the future form of their state;
  • grant that the EU funds are effectively deployed in projects that help the Libyan population and civil society.

Smugglers’ business model should be disrupted

The protection of migrants and refugees in Libya and their conditions in detention centres should be improved and the capacity on search and rescue of people in distress increased, MEPs recommend. They also ask the EU Council, Commission and External Action Service to step up international efforts to dismantle migrant smuggling and human trafficking networks and disrupt the business model of traffickers and smugglers.

Quote

Parliament’s rapporteur Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D, IT) said: “With this report, we did not confine ourselves to providing a realistic picture of the situation in Libya; we wanted to set out the path that we should be following to try to get out of the current crisis. The process of reconstruction in Libya should be framed as part of a broader regional strategy to tackle many problems, such as the disarmament of the militia, immigration and violations of human rights”.

Next steps

The full house is expected to vote on the final text at its May plenary session in Strasbourg.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of European Parliament.

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United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) acts on allegation of sexual exploitation in Aweil

On 13 April, four teenagers were caught trying to enter the United Nations base in Aweil through the perimeter fence.

It was alleged that one of the teenaged girls had been touched inappropriately by a member of the Nepalese contingent in exchange for money. There was no allegation made of rape.

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) deployed a Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Immediate Response Team (IRT) to Aweil to gather information and preserve evidence prior to the launch of an investigation by the Troop Contributing Country concerned.

The matter has also been reported to the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), an agency that is independent from UNMISS.

The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal has also been notified by the UN of the allegation and is in the process of appointing a team of National Investigation Officers who will conduct an investigation as per normal procedures relating to military contingents.

UNMISS has a zero tolerance, no excuses and no second chances approach to sexual exploitation and abuse. It is committed to putting the victims’ rights and dignity first and ensuring that there is transparency and accountability for such actions.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

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The Netherlands Ambassador celebrates good relations with Kenya on King’s Day

On the occasion of King’s Day, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, H.E. Frans Makken and Mrs Lina Stam-Makken, will host a Cocktail Reception on Friday 27 April 2018 at 17.00 hrs (speeches start at 17.45 hrs).

BACKGROUND

On the 27th of April, the people of the Kingdom of the Netherlands celebrate King’s Day, which marks the birth of our Head of State: HRH King Willem-Alexander. King’s Day is a national holiday that is not only celebrated in the Netherlands, but also by Dutch communities abroad like in Kenya, where there is a sizeable Dutch community.

For the Netherlands’ Ambassador to Kenya, H.E. Frans Makken, it is also a day to celebrate the long and cordial relationship between the Netherlands and Kenya. This year marks the 54th anniversary of that relationship which has grown and evolved over time.

And there is good news: our trade policies are bearing fruit. A recent report of the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows that The Netherlands was Kenya’s second export destination in January 2018. Over 125 Dutch companies are registered in Kenya, creating employment for thousands of Kenyans. A recent survey among Dutch companies in Kenya showed that 80 per cent of them are planning to expand their operations in the country, reflecting Kenya’s economic potential and promising even stronger trade ties between Kenya and the Netherlands.

Members of the press who are interested in covering the King’s Day reception have to register for the event ultimately by the 26th of April at 15:00. To register contact: NAI-RECEPTIE@minbuza.nl.

For security reasons, access to the reception will only be given to those members of the press who have registered for the event and can present a valid photo ID.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Netherlands Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.

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