Note to Correspondents on Joint United Nations/African Union Visit to Sudan, Central African Republic and Ethiopia

On 8 April 2018, the Under Secretary-General (USG) for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, and the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui, started a weeklong joint visit to Sudan and the Central African Republic. The joint visit is aimed at further strengthening the important partnership between the United Nations and the African Union, as emphasized by both UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat.

Upon arrival in Khartoum, USG Lacroix and Commissioner Chergui held discussions with various interlocutors on the overall situation in Darfur and the implementation of UNAMID mandate, including its ongoing reconfiguration. They attended the 25th meeting of the Tripartite Coordination Mechanism on UNAMID on 8 April. The Mechanism, composed of representatives of the Government of Sudan (GoS), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN), is a forum at the strategic level aimed at resolving issues and challenges related to UNAMID. USG Lacroix and Commissioner Chergui held meetings with Government officials, including the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Prof. Ibrahim Ghandour. On 9 April, they are scheduled to travel to El Fasher, Darfur, which hosts the headquarters of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

From 10-13 April, USG Lacroix and Commissioner Chergui will travel to Bangui, Central African Republic, where they will meet with senior Government officials, senior UN and AU officials and other interlocutors. They will highlight the cooperation between the UN and the AU in seeking political solutions to the country’s conflict. They will also co-chair the first meeting of the International Support Group on the CAR aimed at encouraging the international community to re-engage in the peace process and to support the urgent humanitarian needs of millions in the country.

USG Lacroix and Commissioner Chergui will then travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where they will jointly brief the African Union Peace and Security Council on 13 April and meet senior AU officials.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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UN Security Council Statement on Attack against MINUSMA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali)

The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the attack against a vehicle of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), which occurred on 6 April 2018 in Gao and caused the death of a Nigerien peacekeeper.

The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest condolences and sympathy to the family of the victim, as well as to the Government of Niger and to MINUSMA. They paid tribute to the peacekeepers who risk their lives.

The members of the Security Council called on the Government of Mali to swiftly investigate this attack and bring the perpetrators to justice. They underlined that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law. They stressed that involvement in planning, directing, sponsoring or conducting attacks against MINUSMA peacekeepers constitute a basis for sanctions designations pursuant to United Nations Security Council resolutions.

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

The members of the Security Council reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed. They reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support for MINUSMA and the French forces that support it. They reiterated their strong support for the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General for Mali, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, and for MINUSMA to assist the Malian authorities and the Malian people in their efforts to bring lasting peace and stability to their country, including through MINUSMA’s support to the implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali (the Agreement). They recognized the determination and ownership of the Governments of the Group of Five for the Sahel States (G5 Sahel) to address the impact of terrorism and transnational organized crime, including through the conduct of cross‑border joint military counter‑terrorist operations.

The members of the Security Council expressed their concern about the security situation in Mali and the transnational dimension of the terrorist threat in the Sahel region. They urged the Malian parties to fully implement the Agreement without further delay. They noted that the full implementation of the Agreement and the intensification of efforts to overcome asymmetric threats can contribute to improving the security situation across Mali. They underlined that the efforts of the Force Conjointe of the G5 Sahel to counter the activities of terrorist groups and other organized criminal groups will contribute to create a more secure environment in the Sahel region.

The members of the Security Council further stressed the importance that MINUSMA has the necessary capacities, including combat convoy companies, to fulfil its mandate and promote the safety and security of the United Nations peacekeepers, pursuant to Security Council resolution 2364 (2017).

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations (UN).

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South Africa: Minister Sisulu extends condolences to the family and friends of the late Ambassador George Nene

Minister Sisulu extends condolences to the family and friends of the late Ambassador George Nene:

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Hon Lindiwe Sisulu, has extended her condolences and those of the DIRCO family to the family and friends of former Ambassador to Nigeria and Switzerland, Ambassador George Nene, who passed away on Friday, 06 April 2018.

Minister Sisulu said Ambassador Nene ranks among the top diplomats the ANC and the Government of South Africa ever deployed across the world. “South Africans must celebrate the contribution Ambassador Nene made to the fight against apartheid and his role in the development of our relations with various countries across the world. We have lost one of our best diplomats at a time when we still need their experience and wisdom,” said Minister Sisulu.

Ambassador George Nene was the chairperson of the South African Association of Former Ambassadors, South Africa’s first High Commissioner to Nigeria; former Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations in Geneva; former Deputy Director- General Multilateral (DIRCO).

Details of the memorial service and funeral will be communicated during the week.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

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Political risk remains the key consideration for dealmaking in Africa

Political risk will remain a major concern for dealmakers in Africa in 2018. According to a recent report, Resourceful dealmaking: Outlook for M&A in Africa, published by Mergermarket in collaboration with specialist risk consultancy Control Risks (www.ControlRisks.com), there has been a dramatic fall in M&A activity, with declines of 25% in volume and 26% in value in the first half of 2017, compared with a relatively buoyant 2016.

Imad Mesdoua, senior political risk consultant at Control Risks, comments: “The drop-off signifies growing investor anxiety surrounding governance issues and weaker economic signals across key African markets. Specifically, political risk and transparency concerns have become the principal obstacles to successful acquisition in Africa. Ethical and compliance considerations are another major factor clouding the outlook for potential investors.”

Key findings of the report:

  • Political uncertainty and relatively weak economic fundamentals have negatively affected M&A activity in Africa. A fall-off in deals was seen in the first half of 2017 compared with a relatively buoyant 2016.
  • Political risk will be a major obstacle to dealmaking in Africa over the next 12 months, according to 84% of respondents. Other risk factors include transparency concerns and completeness of information, which ranked joint first alongside political risk (84%), as well as compliance and integrity issues (80%).
  • Almost three-quarters (72%) of respondents say that getting caught up in a regulatory or criminal investigation is one of the highest risks in relation to a target company’s ethics and compliance standards.
  • Good news though for South Africa, Zimbabwe and Angola: greater political stability and a more favourable economic and business environment are expected to boost M&A activity in the coming year.
  • 72% of respondents are pursuing co-investment strategies in Africa as a means of allocating risk more effectively.

Mesdoua continues: “Political risk will continue to pose a major challenge to M&A activity on the continent as several large markets such as Nigeria undertake difficult elections and unpopular reforms to improve their economic outlooks. However, the political uncertainty and weak macroeconomic situation that accounted for fewer deals in Africa’s largest markets in 2017 look set to ease over the coming year as countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe and Angola begin to stabilise.”

The full report can be downloaded here (https://goo.gl/kjtuUa). For an overview of the report findings download our infographic (https://goo.gl/RcLbaA).

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Control Risks Group Holdings Ltd.

For further information please contact:
Friederike Lyon
Global Marketing Programme Director
Email: Friederike.Lyon@ControlRisks.com
Mobile: +49 173 619 54 66

About Control Risks
Control Risks (www.ControlRisks.com) is a specialist global risk consultancy that helps to create secure, compliant and resilient organisations in an age of ever-changing risk. Working across disciplines, technologies and geographies, everything we do is based on our belief that taking risks is essential to our clients’ success. We provide our clients with the insight to focus resources and ensure they are prepared to resolve the issues and crises that occur in any ambitious global organisation. We go beyond problem-solving, and provide the insight and intelligence needed to realise opportunities and grow.

About the report
The report Resourceful dealmaking: Outlook for M&A in Africa highlights the key challenges for M&A in Africa and the outlook for 2018 and beyond. The report surveyed senior-level investors about their dealmaking plans, risks and previous dealmaking experience.

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