Aug 082014
 

EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, August 8, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The leadership of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur welcomed the new steps taken by the Sudan Liberation Army/Minni Minawi (SLA/MM) to prohibit the recruitment and use of child soldiers in its ranks.

The movement previously issued a command decree to adhere to international norms and standards protecting children and the Sudan Child Act of 2010, and on 6 August 2014 outlined a formal operational mechanism that establishes an implementation committee not only to raise awareness about the movement’s prohibition of child soldiers but also to work with relevant organisations to reintegrate child soldiers into society.

This step comes after the command order was issued by SLA/MM leader Minni Minawi on 17 December 2013 following his participation in a workshop on peace and security in Darfur held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and co-organized by the AU-UN Joint Mediation Support Team and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development.

“This is a significant development that contributes to UNAMID and Sudanese concerted efforts to eradicate the recruitment and use of child soldiers in Darfur and could encourage a rapprochement toward peace,” said UNAMID Deputy Joint Special Representative, a.i., Abidoun Bashua. “We call on all parties to the conflict and appeal to all communities across Darfur to refrain from using children as combatants, as the protection of children is one of the foundations for lasting peace in every society.”

Since 2009, six parties to the conflict in Darfur established action plans to end recruitment and use of child soldiers, and nine have issued command orders prohibiting the practice. Meanwhile, more than 1,200 former child soldiers have benefitted from reintegration programs with the support of Sudan’s Disarmament Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission, UNICEF and UNAMID.

Aug 082014
 
ADVOCACY MISSION OF THE AFRICAN COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ONTHE RIGHTS AND WELFARE OF THE CHILD (ACERWC) ON THE SITUATION OF CHILDREN IN SOUTH SUDAN

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, August 8, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Following the Resolution on the situation of children in South Sudan and Central African Republic adopted during its 23rd Ordinary Session (16 April, 2014), the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) expressed its concerns on the humanitarian challenges [...]

Aug 082014
 
UNAMID Head briefs UN Security Council on Darfur

EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, August 8, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — African Union-United Nations Joint Special Representative (JSR) for Darfur and Chief Mediator, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, briefed on 7 August the United Nations Security Council on the situation in Darfur, as well as measures taken by UNAMID to implement the strategic priorities requested by the [...]

Aug 082014
 

GENEVA, Switzerland, August 8, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Epidemiology and surveillance

Between 5 and 6 August 2014, a total of 68 new cases of Ebola virus disease (laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspect cases) as well as 29 deaths were reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

Health sector response

On Wednesday, 6 August and Thursday, 7 August, an Emergency Committee was held via teleconference to determine whether the current outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. After discussion and deliberation on the information provided, the Committee advised that:

the Ebola outbreak in West Africa constitutes an ‘extraordinary event’ and a public health risk to other States;

the possible consequences of further international spread are particularly serious in view of the virulence of the virus, the intensive community and health facility transmission patterns, and the weak health systems in the currently affected and most at-risk countries.

a coordinated international response is deemed essential to stop and reverse the international spread of Ebola.

It was the unanimous view of the Committee that the conditions for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) have been met.

On Friday, 8 August, the Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, gave a press briefing to the international media from WHO Headquarters. Dr Chan will give an additional briefing on the situation of the outbreak and the ongoing response in the region to the Permanent and Observer Missions to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva on Tuesday, 12 August. Permanent Representatives of the affected countries have been invited to speak on behalf of their respective Governments on the national Ebola response and priorities.

On Monday, 11 August, WHO will convene a panel of medical ethics experts to begin looking at the use of experimental treatments in the ongoing EVD outbreak in West Africa. At this time, there are no registered medicines or vaccines against this deadly virus; several experimental options are currently under development, though. The recent treatment of two health workers from US faith-based aid organizations has raised questions about whether medicines that have never been tested or shown to be safe in humans should be used in outbreak situations. In the case of Ebola, supplies are extremely limited, which then raises questions about who should receive it, if it’s used.

Disease update

New cases and deaths attributable to EVD continue to be reported by the Ministries of Health in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. Between 5 and 6 August 2014, 68 new cases (laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspect cases) of EVD and 29 deaths were reported from the four countries as follows: Guinea, 0 new cases and 4 deaths; Liberia, 38 new cases and 12 deaths; Nigeria, 4 new cases and 1 death; and Sierra Leone, 26 new cases and 12 deaths.

As of 6 August 2014, the cumulative number of cases attributed to EVD in the four countries stands at 1 779, including 961 deaths. The distribution and classification of the cases are as follows: Guinea, 495 cases (355 confirmed, 133 probable, and 7 suspected), including 367 deaths; Liberia, 554 cases (148 confirmed, 274 probable, and 132 suspected), including 294 deaths; Nigeria, 13 cases (0 confirmed, 7 probable, and 6 suspected), including 2 deaths; and Sierra Leone, 717 cases (631 confirmed, 38 probable, and 48 suspected), including 298 deaths.

The total number of cases is subject to change due to ongoing reclassification, retrospective investigation, and availability of laboratory results. Data reported in the Disease Outbreak News are based on official information reported by Ministries of Health.

Aug 082014
 
Ebola virus disease, West Africa – update 8 August 2014 E-mail Print

GENEVA, Switzerland, August 8, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Epidemiology and surveillance Between 5 and 6 August 2014, a total of 68 new cases of Ebola virus disease (laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspect cases) as well as 29 deaths were reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. Health sector response On Wednesday, 6 August and [...]

Aug 082014
 

BERLIN, Germany, August 8, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Christoph Strässer, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (7 August) in response to the murder of six local people working for humanitarian agencies in Maban County, South Sudan:

The German Government condemns this brutal act, the murder of six local humanitarian aid workers, in the strongest possible terms. In the precarious situation in South Sudan, there needs to be an unconditional guarantee that civilians will be protected and humanitarian assistance made possible. The German Government calls on the Government of South Sudan to fully investigate this crime and punish the perpetrators. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the families of the aid workers killed.

South Sudan is facing a famine brought on by the civil war that broke out in December 2013. I call on the Government of South Sudan and on the rebels to end hostilities and find a political solution for the good of the people in South Sudan without delay.

Background information:

In Maban County in the South Sudanese state of Upper Nile, six local people working for humanitarian aid agencies (ACTED, AAH, Relief International, Norwegian People’s Aid) were targeted and killed by members of a militia organisation earlier this week.

Fighting broke out between rival factions of the governing party in South Sudan in December 2013. This has since grown into a civil war involving different ethnic groups. While peace talks in Addis Ababa have stalled, South Sudan is facing the threat of famine. German humanitarian aid for South Sudan is currently at 15.6 million euros for 2014; in 2013, it came to 10.3 million euros. The funds go to support German non-governmental organisations as well as UN-led international humanitarian assistance and the UN’s Common Humanitarian Fund.

The Federal Foreign Office is furthermore providing 2.1 million euros to help relief projects for South Sudanese refugees in Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya. All in all, South Sudan is one of the main focuses of Germany’s humanitarian engagement.

Aug 082014
 
MP Goldring to Announce New Funding for Food Security in Somalia

OTTAWA, Canada, August 8, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Peter Goldring, Member of Parliament for Edmonton East, will participate in a public event with the Somali community in Edmonton to discuss current humanitarian and development issues in Somalia. During the event, MP Goldring will deliver remarks and announce funding for a project in Somalia on [...]

Aug 082014
 
MP Goldring to Announce New Funding for Food Security in Somalia

OTTAWA, Canada, August 8, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Peter Goldring, Member of Parliament for Edmonton East, will participate in a public event with the Somali community in Edmonton to discuss current humanitarian and development issues in Somalia. During the event, MP Goldring will deliver remarks and announce funding for a project in Somalia on [...]

Aug 082014
 
Human Rights Commissioner Strässer responds to murder of six local aid workers in South Sudan

BERLIN, Germany, August 8, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Christoph Strässer, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (7 August) in response to the murder of six local people working for humanitarian agencies in Maban County, South Sudan: The German Government condemns [...]