Note to Correspondents on the Central African Republic

The Department of Peacekeeping Operations today (November 13, 2017) announced the appointment of Brigadier-General (retired) Fernand Marcel Amoussou (Benin) to lead an independent special investigation into a number of recent incidents in the south-east of the Central African Republic that occurred between 1 May and 31 August 2017.

The investigation will look into attacks against civilians by armed groups that occurred in close proximity to a presence of the UN Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) in Haute-Kotto, Basse-Kotto, Mbomou, and Haut-Mbomou prefectures as well as the Mission’s response to these incidents.

The Department of Peacekeeping Operations is launching this special investigation in light of the recent deterioration of the security situation in the south-east of the country and with a view to improving the Mission’s ability to prevent violence and protect civilians under imminent threat within its capabilities and areas of deployment. The investigation will make recommendations to address any shortcomings, if applicable, and on the Mission’s overall performance with regard to the protection of civilians, in the context of MINUSCA’s mandate renewal.

The investigation team will deploy to the Central African Republic from 14 to 28 November. A final report will then be presented to the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, the findings of which will be made public.

General (retired) Fernand Marcel Amoussou was the Force Commander of the UN Mission in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) from 2006-2010. He was the Chief of General Defence Staff of the Benin armed forces from 2000-2005 and was instrumental in operationalizing the first all-female military school of Benin. He has worked with the Africa Centre for Strategic Studies in the United States and is currently Director of the Institute for Security in Africa.

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

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Dismissal of 12 Corrupt Police Officers in Kwazulu-Natal

The Portfolio Committee on Police welcomes the dismissal of 12 corrupt police officers who were stationed at the Kosi Bay and Golela Border Posts. The dismissal follows an internal investigation into corrupt activities at the border gate.

The officers were arrested for soliciting bribes to facilitate the movement of illegal vehicles and goods across the border. “The consequence management by the South African Police Service (SAPS) in this case is exemplary and must be a standard on how to deal speedily with unethical conduct. Corruption within society and more especially within the SAPS is unacceptable and must be eradicated,” said Mr. Francois Beukman, the Chairperson of the Committee.

The Committee welcomes the speedy dismissal in the context of the need to re-establish trust between the community and SAPS. Furthermore, the speedy action gives impetus to the fight against corruption in general and within SAPS in particular.

Despite the dismissal, the Committee urges the SAPS to work with the National Prosecuting Authority to ensure successful prosecution of the 12 officers.

The Committee will engage the SAPS management in ensuring that there is broadening of interventions aimed at dealing with corruption at all border gates as well as eradicating incidents of corruption within the police.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.

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Joint Communique on the Occasion of the State Visit to Uganda by His Excellency Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir, President of the Republic of the Sudan

1. At the invitation of His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, His Excellency Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir, President of the Republic of the Sudan, paid a two-day State Visit to the Republic of Uganda from 13th to 14th November, 2017. His Excellency President Omar Al-Bashir was accompanied by Ministers and other Senior Government Officials as well as a Business Delegation.

2. The Heads of State held official talks in a cordial and friendly atmosphere focusing on bilateral relations, regional peace and security, and international matters of mutual interest.

3. Their Excellencies reviewed implementation of the decisions made during the Official Visit of His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni to Sudan on September 15-16, 2015 as well as the 5th Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC). They noted the progress being made in cooperation between the two countries particularly in the sectors of trade and investment, transport, security and education.

4. The Heads of State witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Higher Education between the two countries. They directed their respective Ministers to fast track implementation of all decisions agreed upon and conclude all pending Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the areas of agriculture, sports and youth as well as security before the next JMC to be hosted by Uganda by March 2018.

5. Their Excellencies noted the ongoing collaboration between the respective Standards Agencies with regard to quality assurance of coffee exports and stressed the need for value addition.

6. They welcomed the designation of TARCO Airlines to start direct flights between Khartoum and Entebbe which would greatly improve connectivity between the two countries and promote trade, tourism and investment.

7. During the Visit, a Business Forum which brought together the Sudanese Business Delegation and their Ugandan counterparts was held. The Forum discussed opportunities for trade and investment particularly in agriculture, agro-processing, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and commodities especially coffee and tea.

8. The Heads of State agreed to convene a Joint Investment Conference in Khartoum, on dates to be confirmed, to showcase trade and investment opportunities in both countries with participation of the private sector from the Sudan, Uganda and Arab countries.

9. His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni congratulated His Excellency President Omar Al-Bashir, the Government and people of the Sudan on the lifting of the trade and economic sanctions that had been unilaterally imposed on the country by the United States for nearly 20 years. The Heads of State noted the opportunities for boosting trade volumes between the countries and called upon the business communities and private sectors to take advantage of this positive development.

10. His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni commended His Excellency President Omar Al-Bashir on the progress being made following the conclusion of the National Dialogue in 2016 which addressed issues of concern to Sudanese parties who participated in the dialogue.

11. Their Excellences exchanged views on regional security, and underscored the need to support the IGAD led revitalization of the implementation of the Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) and the unique roles being played by both Sudan and Uganda as immediate neighbours of South Sudan. They undertook to intensify efforts, bilaterally and within the IGAD and AU frameworks, towards finding a lasting political solution through an all-inclusive National dialogue.

12. On the situation in Somalia, they called upon the international community to support building of the country’s institutions, particularly in the security sector, to enable the Government to deal with the challenges posed by terrorist groups and stabilize the country.

13. The Heads of State also called upon the international community to support African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) with the resources and requisite capabilities to more effectively assist the Somali Government in this regard.

14. His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni expressed his gratitude to His Excellency President Omar Al-Bashir for honoring his invitation and for the fruitful discussions they held. His Excellency President Omar Al-Bashir, on his part, expressed gratitude and appreciation to His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the Government and People of the Republic of Uganda for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation during the State visit.

15. His Excellency President Omar Al-Bashir extended an invitation to His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to pay a State Visit to the Republic of Sudan. The invitation was gladly accepted and the dates will be agreed upon through diplomatic channels.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Republic of Uganda – Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Merck Foundation announces their Merck Diabetes Award 2017 Winners to Mark World Diabetes Day

The award was launched in April 2016 in partnership with African and Asian universities with the aim of building a platform of diabetes experts across the globe.

After the official launch of the Merck Foundation (www.Merck-Foundation.com) in Cairo, Egypt on 24th October 2017, Merck Foundation has embarked on a strong campaign to raise awareness on key health problems by taking part in the World Diabetes Day on November 14, 2017.

As part of the awareness initiatives, Merck Foundation has announced the Merck diabetes Award 2017 winners to mark the WDD2017.

Winners of the “Merck Diabetes Award- Every Day is a Diabetes Day” were announced during the Merck Africa Asia Luminary in Cairo, Egypt. The winners are drawn from African and Asian universities.

The award is covering more than 30 African and Asian universities with the aim of building a platform of diabetes experts across the globe.

The award attracted over 500 concept submission applications from universities in Africa and Asia. The winners from each university have been provided with an opportunity to study for a one-year postgraduate Diabetes Diploma at South Wales University, United Kingdom.

Merck Foundation invited medical students to apply for the “Merck Diabetes Award” 2017 with the theme “Every Day is a Diabetes Day.” Students across African and Asian medical universities were asked to submit a concept paper on how to improve diabetes early detection and prevention in their countries and how to encourage their society, scientific community, local authorities, media and relevant stakeholders to think and act on diabetes every day.

“Merck Diabetes Award marks another milestone of our commitment to working with governments, academia and relevant stakeholders in building healthcare capacity with a focus on non-communicable diseases in developing countries,” said Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Merck Foundation.

Media Contact:
Lizbeth Kariuki,
LizbethKariuki@gmail.com
+254721993001

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