Revelations on Bolloré group’s investment in plantations in Africa

A new Greenpeace France investigations on Socfin, a company owned 38.75% by Bolloré group, has revealed the impact of the company’s plantations on forests, communities and wildlife in Africa;

The report ‘Africa’s forests under threat’, shows that Socfin’s expansion plans in a dozen countries, mostly in Africa, are threatening forests that are essential for the preservation of climate balances, biodiversity and communities livelihood and calls on CEO Vincent Bolloré to immediately commit against deforestation.

Africa, a new frontier for palm oil

Africa may only represent a small proportion of global palm oil production, but there is currently a run on African forests. An increasing number of investments are being made, with investors attracted by favourable climatic conditions and above all by soft regulations that are either not applied (in particular due to corruption) or that are particularly favourable to foreign investment

The leading planter in Africa, the Société Financière des Caoutchoucs (Socfin) is little known to the general public but has been operating in the continent for over a century. Heading up Socfin’s shareholdings are two figures of African business: Vincent Bolloré, France’s ninth-richest person who remains highly active in Africa, and the Belgian businessman Hubert Fabri.

Plantations that threaten the climate

In the report, Greenpeace France’s investigations in Democratic Republic of Congo and Sao Tome-Principe, shows that Socfin’s plantations include primary and secondary forests, that store large quantities of carbon. Furthermore, Socfin is involved in many conflicts with forest communities.

“We found that some concessions border onto unique ecosystems, as in São Tomé where they are located next to a national park that is home to remarkable biodiversity. However, unlike its main competitors in the palm oil sector, Socfin has no policy to combat deforestation and end the land conflicts.” says Cécile Leuba, campaigner for Greenpeace France.

In Sao Tome, according to Greenpeace’s estimations, the total amount of carbon stored in these cleared forests exceeded 600 000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent. This is the equivalent of annual emissions from a small coal-fired power station.

Bolloré group’s responsibility

Vincent Bolloré must use his influence to make Socfin immediately commit to a credible zero deforestation plantation policy that respects the rights of local communities. At the same time, the Bolloré Group must itself publish a zero deforestation policy that covers all of its investments in the sector.

“To prevent African forests from being subjected to the same fate as Indonesian or Malaysian forests, investors must immediately adopt zero deforestation policies, together with social safeguards. The Bolloré Group cannot clear itself of its responsibility with regard to Socfin’s practices.” concludes Cécile Leuba.

Take action to call for Zero Deforestation in the Congo Basin. Sign the petition!: http://www.APO.af/MIgAo6

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Greenpeace.

For more information

Magali Rubino – Communications officer, Greenpeace France : 0033 7 78 41 78 78, magali.rubino@greenpeace.org

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Source:: Revelations on Bolloré group’s investment in plantations in Africa

Categories: AFRICA

Red Cross: Lack of funding means starving families across southern Africa will not get the life-saving support so urgently needed

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) today warned that a lack of funding means it is having to scale back activities to address the food insecurity situation facing millions of families across southern Africa.

“We have the capacity, working together with National Red Cross Societies in Lesotho, Malawi, and Namibia, to do more to help families who are in dire straits in terms of their daily food intake,” said Michael Charles, acting head of the IFRC regional office in southern Africa. “But without funding, we are very limited in what we can accomplish, and it means that some projects must be cancelled.”

The IFRC has launched Emergency Appeals in Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, and Zimbabwe, totalling more than 3 million Swiss francs to provide up to 37,000 people with emergency life-saving support as they battle the effects of severe droughts and the El Niño phenomenon. The Appeals for Lesotho, Malawi and Namibia remain underfunded at 0 per cent, 50 per cent, and 9 per cent respectively.

“With funding from our partners at the Swiss Red Cross, we will be able to continue with our cash transfer programme in Malawi, albeit on a smaller scale,” Charles said. “This will allow families to purchase food staples which have greatly risen in price during this crisis. We have, however, cancelled the planned distribution of seeds and fertilizer.

“The cash means families can eat now; the seeds would mean food several months from now. Distributing cash without any long term interventions is a band-aid solution. It will help in the short term, but will still result in families living in crisis for a longer period of time.”

In Namibia, lack of funding has resulted in the cancellation of the rehabilitation of boreholes which would have provided safe drinking water to families. Without available funding for Lesotho, similar activities cannot even get off the ground.

An estimated 27.4 million people are currently food insecure across southern Africa, with drought, erratic rains and floods reducing crop yields by up to 50 per cent. In Lesotho, projections are that – due to increasing food prices and the unprecedented severity of the drought – the number of people affected will surpass that of the 2012 crisis where 750,000 people were food insecure. In Malawi, 17 per cent of the population is food insecure; in Namibia, that figure rises to 25 per cent.

“Malnutrition in children across southern Africa is already higher than acceptable levels, and is only expected to worsen,” said Charles. “Not helping these families now will have an immediate impact on the health and growth of the next generation, and affect the ability of these children to become well-functioning and successful members of society in the years to come.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

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Source:: Red Cross: Lack of funding means starving families across southern Africa will not get the life-saving support so urgently needed

Categories: AFRICA

Foreign Minister Steinmeier on the current situation in Libya

On 24 February, Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement on the current situation in Libya:

Libya’s political development is at a crossroads. The government of national unity must now be endorsed by the parliament in Tobruk – that is one of the central elements of the peace agreement brokered by the United Nations which the parties to the conflict signed in December.

Yesterday, 101 deputies gave their seal of approval to the current cabinet list by lending their signatures. This courageous initiative by a majority in the Libyan Parliament deserves our full support. I call upon Parliament President Aguila Saleh to now carry out a vote of confidence on the cabinet list in the very near future.

The recent reports on heavy fighting in Benghazi, the second largest city in Libya, are a sharp reminder that there is no time left for tactical manoeuvring: the time has come to show responsibility for Libya. This is the only way to finally tackle the pressing problems of violence and IS terror.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Germany – Federal Foreign Office.

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Source:: Foreign Minister Steinmeier on the current situation in Libya

Categories: AFRICA

Remarks by HRVP Federica Mogherini at the press conference following her meeting with Mr Oldemiro Júlio Marques Baloi, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique:

Check against delivery

The European Union is a longstanding partner of Mozambique in many different aspects, many of those were mentioned by the minister.

Let me also say that Mozambique is perceived in the world and in Europe in particular as a success story of national reconciliation and engagement in a peace process and dialogue. This has also contributed, in the last two decades, to improve and strengthen our economic partnership and relations.

We see the current developments on the political and security side as a risk to threaten what was achieved in these past two decades, in a particular difficult time for the population of the country especially affected by droughts and floods. We also discussed that with the minister. We are obviously ready to support the country in this difficult moment, especially the population of the country.

That is also why we believe that it is going to be key to find a way to restore a dynamic reconciliation, a credible one, one that manages to deliver to the people and to allow the democratic institutions to work at full, as it is in a democracy, and to build trust from all sides in the democratic institutions.

We see a collective responsibility in these difficult times to build on the achievements of the past two decades that were the result of courageous leadership.

We have also discussed how we can best support these perspectives. These are the only perspectives that we, Europeans, see for the country.

We also discussed regional developments. We appreciate very much the role of Mozambique in the regional context, especially having some responsibilities regionally that it is exercising in a very open coordination also with the European Union.

The European Union is always ready to do its part whenever it is matter of facilitating democratic and diplomatic processes. Obviously respectfully of the role of regional organisations, such as the African Union, which is always the case. And we are always there to help as a loyal partner and as a partner on which you know you can always count.

Let me also say because I am not sure I will have the chance of meeting with the press again, I was delighted to start this visit with the meeting with the Minister, I will proceed with the meeting with the President. I will also visit civil society organisations and projects that are funded by the European Union, especially in the field of youth unemployment and opportunities for young people.

I will also meet some private investors, European private investors in the country and I will also have tomorrow a meeting with RENAMO and MDM [Movimento Democrático de Mozambique] and then I will continue my visit in a neighbouring country.

Let me thank you very much.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of European Union.

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Source:: Remarks by HRVP Federica Mogherini at the press conference following her meeting with Mr Oldemiro Júlio Marques Baloi, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique:

Categories: AFRICA

Remarks by HRVP Federica Mogherini at the press conference following her meeting with Mr Oldemiro Júlio Marques Baloi, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique:

Check against delivery

The European Union is a longstanding partner of Mozambique in many different aspects, many of those were mentioned by the minister.

Let me also say that Mozambique is perceived in the world and in Europe in particular as a success story of national reconciliation and engagement in a peace process and dialogue. This has also contributed, in the last two decades, to improve and strengthen our economic partnership and relations.

We see the current developments on the political and security side as a risk to threaten what was achieved in these past two decades, in a particular difficult time for the population of the country especially affected by droughts and floods. We also discussed that with the minister. We are obviously ready to support the country in this difficult moment, especially the population of the country.

That is also why we believe that it is going to be key to find a way to restore a dynamic reconciliation, a credible one, one that manages to deliver to the people and to allow the democratic institutions to work at full, as it is in a democracy, and to build trust from all sides in the democratic institutions.

We see a collective responsibility in these difficult times to build on the achievements of the past two decades that were the result of courageous leadership.

We have also discussed how we can best support these perspectives. These are the only perspectives that we, Europeans, see for the country.

We also discussed regional developments. We appreciate very much the role of Mozambique in the regional context, especially having some responsibilities regionally that it is exercising in a very open coordination also with the European Union.

The European Union is always ready to do its part whenever it is matter of facilitating democratic and diplomatic processes. Obviously respectfully of the role of regional organisations, such as the African Union, which is always the case. And we are always there to help as a loyal partner and as a partner on which you know you can always count.

Let me also say because I am not sure I will have the chance of meeting with the press again, I was delighted to start this visit with the meeting with the Minister, I will proceed with the meeting with the President. I will also visit civil society organisations and projects that are funded by the European Union, especially in the field of youth unemployment and opportunities for young people.

I will also meet some private investors, European private investors in the country and I will also have tomorrow a meeting with RENAMO and MDM [Movimento Democrático de Mozambique] and then I will continue my visit in a neighbouring country.

Let me thank you very much.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of European Union.

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Source:: Remarks by HRVP Federica Mogherini at the press conference following her meeting with Mr Oldemiro Júlio Marques Baloi, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique:

Categories: AFRICA

Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with H. E. Joseph Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Secretary-General met today in Kinshasa with H.E President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Secretary-General encouraged the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to continue pursuing a strategic dialogue with MONUSCO, including developing jointly an exit strategy for the Mission. In this regard, he welcomed the announced resumption of the cooperation between the FARDC and MONUSCO as an important step towards improving the protection of civilians, reducing the threat posed by armed groups and stabilising the situation in eastern DRC.

The Secretary-General spoke about his visit the day before to a camp of internally displaced people, in Kitchanga, North Kivu, as an example of humanitarian challenges worldwide. He invited President Kabila to join world leaders at the World Humanitarian Summit he is convening in Istanbul in May.

During a tête à tête, they discussed the political and security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Kinshasa, 24 February 2016

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Source:: Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with H. E. Joseph Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Categories: AFRICA

UN report documents litany of violations and abuses amid chaos in Libya

A UN report* published on Thursday has documented widespread violations and abuses committed in Libya since the beginning of 2014. The report recommends urgent measures to fight against impunity and to strengthen and reform the justice sector.

“Despite the human rights situation in Libya, the country only sporadically makes the headlines. A multitude of actors – both State and non-State – are accused of very serious violations and abuses that may, in many cases, amount to war crimes,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

The violations and abuses documented relate to:

· Unlawful killings: Cases were reported in all conflict areas and by most major armed groups since 2014, including executions of people taken captive, detained, abducted or perceived to be voicing dissent.

· Indiscriminate attacks: Since 2014, many attacks appear to have been indiscriminate in nature, impacting in particular on highly populated residential areas, including in Benghazi, Tripoli, Warshafana, the Nafusa Mountains area, and in the south of Libya. Sufficient precautions have not been taken to protect civilians as well as people and objects given protection under international humanitarian law, including health facilities, ambulances and medical workers, and humanitarian workers.

· Torture and ill-treatment: Use of torture is widespread, particularly in detention facilities, with reports of beatings with plastic pipes or electrical cables, prolonged suspension in stress positions, solitary confinement, electrocution, deprivation of adequate food or water, threats of a sexual nature and extortion. Torture has resulted in the death of detainees in various detention places, including at several military police and military intelligence facilities.

· Arbitrary detention: Since the 2011 armed conflict, thousands of individuals remain in detention, the vast majority without any proper examination of their cases. Some have been held in secret or unrecognized facilities operated by armed groups. Given the limited functioning of courts, there has been little recourse to judicial review of the legality of these detentions and, even when available, court orders for release have not always been implemented.

· Abductions and disappearances: A number of disappearances have been attributed to State forces and armed groups.

· Gender-based violence and discrimination against women: There has been a series of attacks by armed groups against women activists since 2014. The assassination of well-known activists, such as Salwa Bugaighis, Fareeha Al-Berkawi and Intissar Al-Hasaeri, and the threats, harassment and assaults targetting many others appear designed to send a broader message that women should not be vocal in the public sphere. Reports of sexual violence have proved very difficult to document because of fear of retaliation, stigma, family pressure or trauma. In one case, a woman said she was abducted in Tripoli by members of an armed group, drugged and raped repeatedly over six months. She also provided information that six girls as young as 11 were subjected to sexual violence by members of the same group.

· Human rights defenders and journalists: Since 2014, human rights defenders have been targeted, through assassination, attempted murder, abduction, threats, surveillance, and raids on their homes and offices. The fear generated by such actions, the high profile of those targeted, and the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators have forced many human rights defenders to go into hiding or to flee. Journalists have also been subjected to killings, death threats, arbitrary detention and abduction.

· Migrants: Particularly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse by authorities, armed groups and smugglers, many migrants have endured prolonged arbitrary detention, torture, forced labour, extortion, trafficking and sexual violence. Sub-Saharan Africans have been particularly at risk, while migrant women have been facing sexual violence and exploitation both in and outside detention facilities. A large number of migrants remain in detention without access to judicial review, including at least 3,245 people in western Libya alone.

· Children: Cases of forced recruitment and use of children in hostilities by groups pledging allegiance to ISIL are also documented. Some were reportedly forced to undergo religious and military training, and to watch videos of beheadings, and some said they were sexually abused.

“One of the most striking elements of this report lies in the complete impunity which continues to prevail in Libya and the systemic failures of the justice system,” Zeid said.

“This report clearly shows that the justice system does not have the means or capacity to conduct prompt, independent and credible investigations or to prosecute those responsible for human rights violations or abuses,” the High Commissioner added.

Since 2014, judges and prosecutors have been subject to killings, court bombings, assaults and abductions. As a result, courts in Derna, Sirte and Benghazi ceased activities in 2014, with limited re-activation of courts in parts of Benghazi in 2015, and victims have had little recourse to seek protection or to an effective remedy. This impunity is facilitating further abuses.

“In the absence of proper protection, the judiciary cannot deliver justice,” says the report, which notes that the system for providing security is “inadequate and flawed,” as thousands of members of armed groups have been integrated into the Judicial Police with limited vetting.

Whilst recognizing the significant challenges facing the authorities, the report recommends urgent action to stop the proliferation of armed groups through disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and a vetting programme to remove and prevent the recruitment of individuals responsible for human rights violations or abuses.

The report further calls upon the international community to ensure that the International Criminal Court, which has jurisdiction over Libya, has the necessary resources to carry out its investigations and prosecutions.

The report also suggests a number of priority actions, which include:
· addressing the security threats to administration of justice
· reforming the Judicial Police
· establishing a robust victim and witness protection programme
· establishing a specialized judicial structure within the Libyan courts to focus on crimes under international law
· organizing a high-level meeting to bring together Libyans actors and international partners to discuss initiatives to increase accountability in Libya
· listing individuals responsible for planning, directing or committing acts that violate applicable international human rights law or international humanitarian law, or acts that constitute human rights abuses, under the Security Council sanctions regime, whilst ensuring that any imposed sanction is accompanied by rigorous procedural safeguards that guarantee due process standards

*The report was prepared on the basis of an investigation established by the High Commissioner pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 28/30.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

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Source:: UN report documents litany of violations and abuses amid chaos in Libya

Categories: AFRICA

UN report documents litany of violations and abuses amid chaos in Libya

A UN report* published on Thursday has documented widespread violations and abuses committed in Libya since the beginning of 2014. The report recommends urgent measures to fight against impunity and to strengthen and reform the justice sector.

“Despite the human rights situation in Libya, the country only sporadically makes the headlines. A multitude of actors – both State and non-State – are accused of very serious violations and abuses that may, in many cases, amount to war crimes,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

The violations and abuses documented relate to:

· Unlawful killings: Cases were reported in all conflict areas and by most major armed groups since 2014, including executions of people taken captive, detained, abducted or perceived to be voicing dissent.

· Indiscriminate attacks: Since 2014, many attacks appear to have been indiscriminate in nature, impacting in particular on highly populated residential areas, including in Benghazi, Tripoli, Warshafana, the Nafusa Mountains area, and in the south of Libya. Sufficient precautions have not been taken to protect civilians as well as people and objects given protection under international humanitarian law, including health facilities, ambulances and medical workers, and humanitarian workers.

· Torture and ill-treatment: Use of torture is widespread, particularly in detention facilities, with reports of beatings with plastic pipes or electrical cables, prolonged suspension in stress positions, solitary confinement, electrocution, deprivation of adequate food or water, threats of a sexual nature and extortion. Torture has resulted in the death of detainees in various detention places, including at several military police and military intelligence facilities.

· Arbitrary detention: Since the 2011 armed conflict, thousands of individuals remain in detention, the vast majority without any proper examination of their cases. Some have been held in secret or unrecognized facilities operated by armed groups. Given the limited functioning of courts, there has been little recourse to judicial review of the legality of these detentions and, even when available, court orders for release have not always been implemented.

· Abductions and disappearances: A number of disappearances have been attributed to State forces and armed groups.

· Gender-based violence and discrimination against women: There has been a series of attacks by armed groups against women activists since 2014. The assassination of well-known activists, such as Salwa Bugaighis, Fareeha Al-Berkawi and Intissar Al-Hasaeri, and the threats, harassment and assaults targetting many others appear designed to send a broader message that women should not be vocal in the public sphere. Reports of sexual violence have proved very difficult to document because of fear of retaliation, stigma, family pressure or trauma. In one case, a woman said she was abducted in Tripoli by members of an armed group, drugged and raped repeatedly over six months. She also provided information that six girls as young as 11 were subjected to sexual violence by members of the same group.

· Human rights defenders and journalists: Since 2014, human rights defenders have been targeted, through assassination, attempted murder, abduction, threats, surveillance, and raids on their homes and offices. The fear generated by such actions, the high profile of those targeted, and the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators have forced many human rights defenders to go into hiding or to flee. Journalists have also been subjected to killings, death threats, arbitrary detention and abduction.

· Migrants: Particularly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse by authorities, armed groups and smugglers, many migrants have endured prolonged arbitrary detention, torture, forced labour, extortion, trafficking and sexual violence. Sub-Saharan Africans have been particularly at risk, while migrant women have been facing sexual violence and exploitation both in and outside detention facilities. A large number of migrants remain in detention without access to judicial review, including at least 3,245 people in western Libya alone.

· Children: Cases of forced recruitment and use of children in hostilities by groups pledging allegiance to ISIL are also documented. Some were reportedly forced to undergo religious and military training, and to watch videos of beheadings, and some said they were sexually abused.

“One of the most striking elements of this report lies in the complete impunity which continues to prevail in Libya and the systemic failures of the justice system,” Zeid said.

“This report clearly shows that the justice system does not have the means or capacity to conduct prompt, independent and credible investigations or to prosecute those responsible for human rights violations or abuses,” the High Commissioner added.

Since 2014, judges and prosecutors have been subject to killings, court bombings, assaults and abductions. As a result, courts in Derna, Sirte and Benghazi ceased activities in 2014, with limited re-activation of courts in parts of Benghazi in 2015, and victims have had little recourse to seek protection or to an effective remedy. This impunity is facilitating further abuses.

“In the absence of proper protection, the judiciary cannot deliver justice,” says the report, which notes that the system for providing security is “inadequate and flawed,” as thousands of members of armed groups have been integrated into the Judicial Police with limited vetting.

Whilst recognizing the significant challenges facing the authorities, the report recommends urgent action to stop the proliferation of armed groups through disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and a vetting programme to remove and prevent the recruitment of individuals responsible for human rights violations or abuses.

The report further calls upon the international community to ensure that the International Criminal Court, which has jurisdiction over Libya, has the necessary resources to carry out its investigations and prosecutions.

The report also suggests a number of priority actions, which include:
· addressing the security threats to administration of justice
· reforming the Judicial Police
· establishing a robust victim and witness protection programme
· establishing a specialized judicial structure within the Libyan courts to focus on crimes under international law
· organizing a high-level meeting to bring together Libyans actors and international partners to discuss initiatives to increase accountability in Libya
· listing individuals responsible for planning, directing or committing acts that violate applicable international human rights law or international humanitarian law, or acts that constitute human rights abuses, under the Security Council sanctions regime, whilst ensuring that any imposed sanction is accompanied by rigorous procedural safeguards that guarantee due process standards

*The report was prepared on the basis of an investigation established by the High Commissioner pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 28/30.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

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The AU Peace and Security Commissioner held bilateral talks on the margins of the High-level Ministerial Partnership Forum on Somalia, in Istanbul (Turkey) 23-24 February 2015

On the occasion of his participation at the High-Level Ministerial Partnership Forum on Somalia, in Istanbul, Turkey, on 23-24 February 2016, The AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, H. E. Ambassador Smail Chergui, held bilateral talks with several leaders and Foreign Ministers of Organizations and countries participating in the Forum.

Commissioner Chergui met, among others, with the Canadian Minister for Foreign Affairs, H.E. Stephane Maurice Dion and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, H.E. Mevlüt Çavu?o?lu.

The discussions focused on a review of the state of peace and security in Africa, strengthening partnership and the way forward to assist Somalia to achieve vision 2016.

In this regard, the Canadian Minister expressed the determination of his Government to strengthen its partnership with the African Union in the area of peace and security. On Somalia, Minister Stephane Maurice Dion informed Commissioner Chergui of the decision of his country to rejoin the international efforts aiming at supporting Somalia to achieve durable peace and stability. The Minister also highlighted the interest of Canada to contribute to the implementation of the Algiers Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali.

On his part, the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs emphasized the particular attention his country gives to the implementation of the Declaration of the 2nd Africa-Turkey Partnership Summit, held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, in 2014, and the 2015-2019 Joint Implementations Plan. He also reiterated the commitment of Turkey to do its utmost to contribute to international efforts towards peace, stability and development of Somalia.

While thanking his interlocutors for their increased interest in peace and stability in Africa and their willingness to work closely with the African Union Commission to this end, Commissioner Chergui stressed the need for predictable, sustained and adequate support to Somalia and appealed for more enhanced coordination between the different partners in order to effectively enable AMISOM defeat the terrorist threat and create conditions conducive for the successful implementation of vision 2016 in the country.

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

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Source:: The AU Peace and Security Commissioner held bilateral talks on the margins of the High-level Ministerial Partnership Forum on Somalia, in Istanbul (Turkey) 23-24 February 2015

Categories: AFRICA

The AU Peace and Security Commissioner held bilateral talks on the margins of the High-level Ministerial Partnership Forum on Somalia, in Istanbul (Turkey) 23-24 February 2015

On the occasion of his participation at the High-Level Ministerial Partnership Forum on Somalia, in Istanbul, Turkey, on 23-24 February 2016, The AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, H. E. Ambassador Smail Chergui, held bilateral talks with several leaders and Foreign Ministers of Organizations and countries participating in the Forum.

Commissioner Chergui met, among others, with the Canadian Minister for Foreign Affairs, H.E. Stephane Maurice Dion and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, H.E. Mevlüt Çavu?o?lu.

The discussions focused on a review of the state of peace and security in Africa, strengthening partnership and the way forward to assist Somalia to achieve vision 2016.

In this regard, the Canadian Minister expressed the determination of his Government to strengthen its partnership with the African Union in the area of peace and security. On Somalia, Minister Stephane Maurice Dion informed Commissioner Chergui of the decision of his country to rejoin the international efforts aiming at supporting Somalia to achieve durable peace and stability. The Minister also highlighted the interest of Canada to contribute to the implementation of the Algiers Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali.

On his part, the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs emphasized the particular attention his country gives to the implementation of the Declaration of the 2nd Africa-Turkey Partnership Summit, held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, in 2014, and the 2015-2019 Joint Implementations Plan. He also reiterated the commitment of Turkey to do its utmost to contribute to international efforts towards peace, stability and development of Somalia.

While thanking his interlocutors for their increased interest in peace and stability in Africa and their willingness to work closely with the African Union Commission to this end, Commissioner Chergui stressed the need for predictable, sustained and adequate support to Somalia and appealed for more enhanced coordination between the different partners in order to effectively enable AMISOM defeat the terrorist threat and create conditions conducive for the successful implementation of vision 2016 in the country.

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

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Source:: The AU Peace and Security Commissioner held bilateral talks on the margins of the High-level Ministerial Partnership Forum on Somalia, in Istanbul (Turkey) 23-24 February 2015

Categories: AFRICA

Africa healthy life style day

INVITATION TO REPRESENTATIVES OF THE MEDIA

When: Friday 26th February 2016

Time: 7:30 AM to 17:00 PM,

Where: African Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Who: Organized by the Medical Service Directorate (MSD), African Union Commission (AUC)

Background: The last Friday of February each year was declared as Africa Healthy Lifestyle Day by Decision No. EX.CL.Dec.436 (XIII), of the Special Session of the African Union Conference of Ministers of Health. This decision was adopted by the Executive Council in July 2008 in the framework of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Strategy for prevention and control of Non-communicable Diseases.

A healthy Lifestyle is one which helps to keep and improve people’s health and well-being. Adopting a healthy lifestyle involves regular physical activity or exercise, healthy eating habits, reducing stress, avoiding tobacco use and alcohol abuse. On the other hand, adopting unhealthy lifestyles results in metabolic changes that increase the risk of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic metabolic disease characterized by high glucose (sugar) level in the blood resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action or both. It is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the world, killing one person every 7 seconds. In addition, it is the fastest growing health problem reaching epidemic proportion leading to serious health complications including kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, blindness and other nervous, heart and blood vessel complications, such as amputations (one million amputations every year). For the most part, Diabetes Mellitus is as a consequence of poor life style choices, lack of exercise, unhealthy diet, obesity and overweight. The Slogan for this year’s Africa Healthy lifestyle Day is Less Sugar. More Life; Diabetes Kills one Person Every 7 Seconds; and Change Today for Healthier Tomorrow.

Expected Outcomes:

Increased awareness of adopting a healthy lifestyle within the AU community
Increased awareness on routine screening for Diabetes Mellitus and other NCDs.
Change attitudes and beliefs to adopt a healthy life style.

Participants: Primary participants will include AUC Staff, African member state Embassies staff, as well as their family members, while secondary participants would be the broader African population.

Journalists are invited to cover the Africa Healthy lifestyle Day scheduled for Friday 26th February 2016. A draft program of activities is attached.

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

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Source:: Africa healthy life style day

Categories: AFRICA

Africa healthy life style day

INVITATION TO REPRESENTATIVES OF THE MEDIA

When: Friday 26th February 2016

Time: 7:30 AM to 17:00 PM,

Where: African Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Who: Organized by the Medical Service Directorate (MSD), African Union Commission (AUC)

Background: The last Friday of February each year was declared as Africa Healthy Lifestyle Day by Decision No. EX.CL.Dec.436 (XIII), of the Special Session of the African Union Conference of Ministers of Health. This decision was adopted by the Executive Council in July 2008 in the framework of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Strategy for prevention and control of Non-communicable Diseases.

A healthy Lifestyle is one which helps to keep and improve people’s health and well-being. Adopting a healthy lifestyle involves regular physical activity or exercise, healthy eating habits, reducing stress, avoiding tobacco use and alcohol abuse. On the other hand, adopting unhealthy lifestyles results in metabolic changes that increase the risk of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic metabolic disease characterized by high glucose (sugar) level in the blood resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action or both. It is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the world, killing one person every 7 seconds. In addition, it is the fastest growing health problem reaching epidemic proportion leading to serious health complications including kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, blindness and other nervous, heart and blood vessel complications, such as amputations (one million amputations every year). For the most part, Diabetes Mellitus is as a consequence of poor life style choices, lack of exercise, unhealthy diet, obesity and overweight. The Slogan for this year’s Africa Healthy lifestyle Day is Less Sugar. More Life; Diabetes Kills one Person Every 7 Seconds; and Change Today for Healthier Tomorrow.

Expected Outcomes:

Increased awareness of adopting a healthy lifestyle within the AU community
Increased awareness on routine screening for Diabetes Mellitus and other NCDs.
Change attitudes and beliefs to adopt a healthy life style.

Participants: Primary participants will include AUC Staff, African member state Embassies staff, as well as their family members, while secondary participants would be the broader African population.

Journalists are invited to cover the Africa Healthy lifestyle Day scheduled for Friday 26th February 2016. A draft program of activities is attached.

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

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Source:: Africa healthy life style day

Categories: AFRICA