Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia condemns killing of MP
MOGADISHU, Somalia, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, has strongly condemned the killing of Mohamed Warsame Feisal, a Member of the country's Federal Parliament.
Mr. Warsame was killed this afternoon in Mogadishu when an improvised explosive device planted in his vehicle detonated. At least three others are reported to have been injured in the attack.
“I condemn this killing in the strongest terms,” SRSG Kay said. “Somalis yearn for a better future. Their Members of Parliament play a vital role in building that future.”
SRSG Kay offers his sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Warsame, as well as to the Federal Parliament of Somalia, and wishes those injured a quick recovery.
STATEMENT OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC IN HOMAGE TO NELSON MANDELA
PARIS, France, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Elysée Palace – Friday 6 December 2013
Before our Summit had even begun, some very sad news broke: that Nelson Mandela had died. That is why, at this very moment, as we meet, I wanted to say the words that you could say in my place, at this very moment.
The world is in mourning.
Nelson Mandela left us yesterday. He had already made History in his lifetime. In death, he takes his place in the world's conscience.
Nelson Mandela changed much more than South Africa. He sped up the course of the world, armed only with his principles and a steadfast will. He managed to win every battle he led and joined.
Nelson Mandela withstood 27 years of prison. He won over the odious apartheid system. He reached out to his oppressors. He established democracy in a country that had never known it.
He made South Africa a power, yes, but a power in the service of peace.
Nelson Mandela is an example. An example of resistance in the face of oppression. An example of freedom in the face of injustice. An example of dignity in the face of humiliation. An example of clear-sightedness in the face of intolerance. An example of forgiveness in the face of hatred. An example of lucidity in the face of the excesses of power. An example of intelligence in the face of tests. That is what Nelson Mandela stood for, and still stands for today.
And if he became a hero, a global hero, it is because he was deeply human and deeply good.
In his Robben Island prison, and as the leader of South Africa, he remained the same man,
with the same simplicity, the same modesty and the same smile. His humanity was summed
up in a beautiful sentence: “as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others
permission to do the same”.
Nelson Mandela is no longer with us, but his message remains and continues to inspire new
generations. Nelson Mandela will always be the model for men and women who are fighting
for their rights. He will always be the reference point for those who continue their unending
fight against racism, discrimination and all forms of intolerance and injustice. Nelson
Mandela will always be the model for those fighting for freedom and empowerment.
My dear friends,
Destiny decreed that all of Africa should be gathered here in Paris, for a Summit on Peace and
Security, the day after the passing of Nelson Mandela. This is both a symbol and a demand for
France, the country of human rights, pays tribute to Nelson Mandela. France shares the
sorrow of the people of South Africa who have just lost their founding father. France
expresses its solidarity with all Africans, represented here by Heads of State, Heads of
Government and Ministers. Now more than ever, France remembers Mandela's message of
hope for people the world over.
France is fully committed to this message and on behalf of Mandela, will do its utmost to live
up to it.
Today, it is Nelson Mandela who is presiding over our work at this Summit.
Thank you very much.
The African Union stresses the imperative of the restoration of public order and the protection of the civilian populations in the Central African Republic
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, continues to closely monitor, with utmost concern, the evolution of the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR). She reiterates the strong condemnation by the AU of the abuses and other massive violations of human rights that continue to be committed against the civilian populations. She stresses the urgent need to do everything necessary to bring this unacceptable situation to an end.
The Chairperson of the Commission encourages the Peace Consolidation Mission of the Economic Community of Central African States in the CAR (MICOPAX), which will transition into the African-led International Support Mission in the CAR (MISCA), on 19 December 2013, to intensify its efforts, in order to contribute to the speedy restoration of public order and the effective protection of the civilian populations, and to take all necessary steps to this end. She welcomes the initiatives taken by her Special Representative in the CAR, Hawa Ahmed Youssouf, including the sustained and continued consultations with the transitional authorities, the military command of MICOPAX, the religious leaders and key representatives of the international community in Bangui, in order to address the prevailing situation on the ground. She appeals to the French forces deployed in the CAR to extend all the necessary support to MICOPAX.
VATICAN / TELEGRAM ON THE DEATH OF NELSON MANDELA
VATICAN, Holy See, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Holy Father sent a telegram of condolence to Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa, on the death of Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela yesterday.
In the text, the Pope extended his condolences to the Mandela family, members of government, and all South Africans. Pope Francis recalled “the steadfast commitment shown by Nelson Mandela in promoting the human dignity of all the nation's citizens and in forging a new South Africa built on the firm foundations of non-violence, reconciliation, and truth.”
“I pray,” the message continues, “that the late president's example will inspire generations of South Africans to put justice and the common good at the forefront of their political aspirations. With these sentiments,” the telegram concludes, “I invoke upon all the people of South Africa the divine gifts of peace and prosperity.”
Tribute to Nelson Mandela: The Passing of a Man of Peace
PARIS, France, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- FIDH and its 178 member organisations throughout the world, including Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) in South Africa, pay tribute to Nelson Mandela and express their sincere condolences to his wife and children and to the entire nation of South Africa.
Mandela was a man who tirelessly dedicated his life to fighting arbitrariness and injustice. He was imprisoned for 27 years for his resolute fight against racism and segregation and was a symbol of courage and self-sacrifice in the face of oppressive regimes. His isolation allowed those upholding apartheid to preserve a political system entirely built upon violence, racial discrimination and inequalities; his liberation marked the inevitable dismantling of this system.
Today, in a South Africa that is still characterised by challenges of equality, social justice and security, and in a world where resistance to authoritarianism, discrimination, and the temptation of isolationism still holds its place, it is essential to draw inspiration from the immeasurable political, intellectual and ideological legacy of this pioneer of modern revolutions. His outstanding contribution to the promotion of human rights and democratic principles throughout the world will remain in everyone's memories.
The Embodiment of Universal Struggles
“Nelson Mandela was the true embodiment of the legitimate and universal fight against oppression, discrimination, racism, colonialism, poverty, conflicts. He will forever remain an extraordinary inspiration for all those who defend democratic principles and universality of human rights,” declared Karim Lahidji, FIDH President.
The Symbol of Transformation
“Mandela symbolised ubuntu and the strength of principles, in the face of oppression. His courage and determination showed us how, in the face of injustice, we should never give up the struggle for truth, fairness and justice. He transformed his society and indeed the world, by living his values” said Alice Mogwe, FIDH Deputy Secretary General (Botswana).
Laying the Foundations of a Democratic Society
“The South Africa under apartheid wanted to establish differences in law, the South Africa under Mandela has tirelessly tried to draw its strength from differences. This man of peace, who dedicated his restored freedom to found a democratic and multi-racial South African society, never showed hatred or resentment,” declared Sheila Muwanga Nabachwa, FIDH Vice-President (Uganda).
“Nelson Mandela succeeded in giving a humanistic vision to his political action to reconcile a population that had been divided by decades of arbitrariness and discrimination. He is a true model from who our present rulers should draw inspiration,” declared Dismas Kitenge, FIDH Vice President (DRC).
Promoting Peace and Democracy Beyond Borders
"The fight of Nelson Mandela for human rights continued to illuminate the twilight of his life, beyond the borders of his country. While many conflicts in Africa continue to claim thousands of victims, it is time for our continent to build the foundations of the peace advocated by Mandela,” declared Drissa Traoré, FIDH Vice President (Côte d'Ivoire)
Standing by the Most Vulnerable
“Nelson Mandela's struggle against social and economic inequalities, for women's rights, children's rights, and against the stigmatisation of people living with HIV-AIDS, has made of him one of the best ambassadors of the voiceless,” declared Paul Nsapu, FIDH Secretary General (DRC).
UK support to international response in Central African Republic
LONDON, United-Kingdom, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Foreign Secretary announces UK air transport assistance to France for Central African Republic.
On 5th December, with strong UK support, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2127 authorising the deployment of the African-led International Support Mission to CAR (MISCA), and the deployment of French forces to give assistance. The Mission will contribute to the protection of civilians, the restoration of public order, and the stabilisation of CAR at a critical moment.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said:
“The UN Security Council made an important decision yesterday to authorise African Union and French troops to respond to the security and humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic.
“We are determined to play our part in helping to address the violence. We have therefore agreed with the Government of France that we will help move French equipment to CAR by means of a UK C17 transport aircraft. Three separate flights will take place this month, with the first one due to land in CAR shortly.
“This comes on top of £10 million in UK aid announced on 30 November. Having already contributed £5 million in July, the United Kingdom is now one of the largest donors of humanitarian assistance to the people of CAR. We will continue to work alongside the International Red Cross and UN agencies to help thousands of people gain access to food, water, shelter, sanitation and healthcare to alleviate the desperate humanitarian suffering.”
Côte d'Ivoire: UN call for investigations into serious human rights abuses by traditional hunters
GENEVA, Switzerland, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- A UN report has called for investigations into serious human rights abuses committed by traditional hunters called Dozos between March 2009 and May 2013 in Côte d'Ivoire.
The report, released today by the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) in cooperation with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for human rights (OHCHR), documents serious human rights abuses committed by Dozos while undertaking security activities, These include violations of the right to life, including extrajudicial killings and summary executions, illegal arrest and detentions, looting and extortions.
The investigations carried out by the Human Rights Division of UNOCI showed that at least 228 people were killed, 164 others injured by bullets, machete and knives, and 162 arbitrarily arrested and illegally detained by Dozos between March 2009 and May 2013. In addition, 274 cases of looting, arson and extortion committed by the Dozos have been verified and confirmed, including in the regions of Gbôklé, Haut-Sassandra, Gôh, Cavally, Guemon, Tonkpi, Marahoué, Nawa, Indenie-Djuablin, Poro and Moronou.
“Dozos involved in the perpetration of human rights violations must be held accountable,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. “The authorities have the duty to carry out serious investigations into the human rights violations committed by the Dozos in Côte d'Ivoire, bring the perpetrators to justice and provide appropriate redress to the victims. The State authorities of Côte d'Ivoire have the duty to deploy appropriate security forces throughout the country to prevent the population from using Dozos on security issues. Impunity granted to Dozos in Côte d'Ivoire is unacceptable and must be stopped,” she said.
The Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Côte d'Ivoire, Doudou Diène, and NGOs have already made several recommendations urging the Government to take steps to address the situation of the Dozos who continue to endanger the population.
“I welcome the ongoing efforts by the Government to cover the entire country with professional security forces. These efforts are crucial in reestablishing the rule of law and in preventing Dozos from carrying out security functions,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) in Côte d'Ivoire, Aïchatou Mindaoudou. “The UN continues to offer its support to the Ivorian authorities for the advancement of security sector reforms. However, it is necessary that the Government investigates human rights abuses committed by the Dozos, in the interest of victims' rights to truth, justice and reparation.”
IOM Rwanda Expects to Resettle 1,500 Congolese Refugees in 2014
GENEVA, Switzerland, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The International Organization for Migration (IOM) expects to resettle an estimated 1,500 Congolese refugees to the United States from Rwanda in 2014.
Nyiramahoro Tuyisenge is one of the approximately 600 Congolese refugees who have finished undergoing IOM's pre-departure health assessment in preparation for their resettlement to the United States.
It has been 17 years since threats from the militia in her village in the Democratic Republic of Congo sent her running into neighbouring Rwanda. The situation in her rural village has never stabilized and life at the camp has been tough, especially for her three children.
“It is so hard to make appropriate food for babies in the camp. The tents get really cold when it rains and my children often get sick. I'm so worried about them,” said Nyiramahoro as she held her new born baby.
“I'm very happy to go to the United States. I expect that I will have access to quality food, education and health.” Nyiramahoro said, full of hope and excitement for the new life ahead.
Every year, IOM facilitates movements for thousands of refugees who have been accepted for third country resettlement. The resettlement programme offers a durable solution for refugees who are unable to return to their country of origin for fear of continued persecution and do not have the option to stay in their country of asylum.
The US government funds IOM to conduct these health assessments and to organize the transportation of refugees to the United States.
IOM Appeals for Funds to Assist Ethiopian Returnees from Saudi Arabia
GENEVA, Switzerland, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- IOM is appealing for USD 13.1 million to address the needs of a projected 120,000 returning Ethiopian migrants from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The numbers of the returning migrants is increasing rapidly and there is an urgent need to provide round the clock assistance. As of Thursday 5 December, over 100,000 migrants had been received by the Government of Ethiopia. Out of these, IOM provided direct assistance to over 90,000 individuals. The arrivals continue at over 7,000 migrants per day.
The funds will help to maintain and increase the assistance that IOM is currently providing which includes: transportation, post-arrival medical and psychosocial first aid, provision of meals, water and high energy biscuits, temporary accommodation for migrants who arrive at night, as well as accommodation and transportation for unaccompanied minors. IOM is also distributing shoes and other non-food items to the extremely vulnerable returnees.
The Government of Ethiopia requested IOM's assistance in managing this influx, with the government taking the lead in arranging for the returns.
Since the onset of the operation, IOM has provided support to 167 unaccompanied minors. The minors stay at the transit centre for an average of 10 days pending family tracing. On Thursday, IOM in coordination with UNICEF and the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs, sent home 58 children in the company of social workers from the Ministry. The re-unification process after family tracing takes approximately six days.
IOM has already received USD 2.5 million through the Humanitarian Response Fund and Central Emergency Response Fund, leaving the gap of USD 13.1 million. The cost per beneficiary is estimated at USD 130. In-kind contributions from UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, IRC, ICR, Ethiopian Red Cross Society and other partners are being used to assist the arriving migrants. The donations range from water and sanitation kits, dignity kits, to ambulances, medicine, water tanks, blankets, tents, high energy biscuits and mobile toilets among others.
UK Minister highlights kidnap threat in Sahel and North Africa
LONDON, United-Kingdom, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- FCO Minister Robertson met travel industry representatives to emphasise the continuing threat of terrorist kidnap in Sahel and North Africa.
Mr Hugh Robertson said:
“Despite the success of military intervention in Mali, there remains a very real threat of kidnap to westerners in areas of the Sahel and North Africa.
“Our travel advice provides a detailed assessment of the threat in individual countries. This allows individuals to make informed decisions about where they travel.
“The British Government takes the threat to British nationals overseas extremely seriously. The Prime Minister has made the security of British nationals in high threat countries a priority. The UK, along with G8 partners, has committed to reducing terrorist groups' access to funding by rejecting ransom payments. It is a very tough policy to follow, but we believe that this is the only way to prevent further kidnappings.”
During the meeting, Foreign Office officials underlined that the threat makes some areas, which may appear to be attractive destinations, unsafe for tourism.
The threat from groups such as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQ-M) and Al Murabitun has been demonstrated by a number of recent attacks including in In Amenas in January this year. Groups like AQ-M rely on kidnap for ransom as their major source of funding and are prepared to go to extreme lengths to secure hostages.