NEW YORK (IDN) - A distinguished Dutch General has been tasked with probing into the response of the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to the violence that erupted in the country's capital Juba in July 2016.
A statement issued by the office of the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Major General (retired) Patrick Cammaert of the Netherlands on August 23 to lead an independent special investigation.
He will review reports of incidents of attacks on civilians and cases of sexual violence that occurred within or in the vicinity of the UN House Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites in Juba.
BERLIN – Germany regards Botswana as one of Africa’s success stories. The landlocked country is the seat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and other organisations. Women hold some positions in politics and society, including at the highest levels.
Ahead of the forthcoming 50th anniversary of the country's independence on September 30, Professor Maria Boehmer, Minister of State at the German Federal Foreign Office said: “In many different ways, Botswana is one of Africa’s success stories."
NEW YORK (IDN | GIN) – Using every fibre of his being, track star Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia made a dash across the finish line at the just-ended Olympic Games in Rio but it wasn’t to be the end of his run.
Lilesa used his high profile silver medal victory to make a sign of solidarity with the Oromo people who are locked in a decades-long struggle with the government of Ethiopia. In a photograph seen worldwide, 26-year-old Lilesa stands with his arms crossed over his head – a gesture of defiance used by Oromos in recent months.
NAIROBI (IDN | GIN) – A well-known soukous star from the Congo got a quick lesson in the evolving status of Kenyan women when he was detained and summarily deported, his performance scuttled, after he was caught striking a woman with his foot on a bystander’s cell phone camera.
In the grainy video image posted online, Koffi Olomide, age 60, his musicians and dancers are seen arriving at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Without warning, he pivots to one of his dancers and aims a vicious kick at her midsection.
Band members said he overreacted after being informed that the unidentified dancer had slapped his purported girlfriend.
LIBREVILLE (IDN | GIN) – For the past 50 years, the citizens of Gabon have lived under a dynasty with one name. Bongo.
Omar Bongo Ondimba, the father, served from December 1967 to June 2009 to be replaced by his son, Ali Bongo Ondimba who served from 2009 until today. On August 27, Gabonese will have a chance to elect someone other than a Bongo family member although the chances are slim.
In the capital, Libreville, peaceful protestors demanding fair elections are already facing a heavy police presence. Some 15 opposition leaders and hundreds of marchers formed a human chain. Police using teargas dispersed the crowd and several shots were fired.
KIGLI (IDN | GIN) – National leaders at the African Union summit held in Kigali, Rwanda, were presented on July 17 with a prototype of the long-awaited Pan-African passport.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by requests and enquiries of other ministers, officials and African citizens to share in this privilege of holding an African passport,” said AU Commissioner Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
It is hoped that the new document will facilitate the seamless mobility of Africans and ease trade across the continent, consequently leading to the continent’s economic transformation.
NEW YORK - Marking the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, United Nations Secretary-General June 26 called for “a global response that is simultaneously effective, compassionate and humane,” to the challenges posed by the world drug problem.
“I call on countries and communities to continue to improve the lives of everyone blighted by drug abuse by integrating security and public safety with a heightened focus on health, human rights, and sustainable development,” said the UN chief in his message on the Day.
The illicit trade in drugs fosters transnational organized crime networks, systemic corruption and widespread violence. It is also a major public health menace. Millions of people are directly affected, especially the poor, vulnerable women and children, and those living in fragile communities.
NEW YORK – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has commended a joint statement on climate change made by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United States President Barack Obama announcing their support for early entry into force of the Paris Agreement, and encouraged all countries to accelerate their domestic processes to join or ratify it.
“The Secretary-General welcomes the domestic steps being undertaken by both countries to join the Paris Agreement as soon as possible, including in 2016, and their collaborative efforts to address climate change,” indicated a statement issued by Ban’s spokesperson on June 8.
GENEVA - With a multitude of conflicts and crises causing record displacement around the world, more than 1.19 million people are projected to be in need of resettlement in 2017, the UN refugee agency said on June 13.
According to the Projected Global Resettlement Needs 2017, released June 13 by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, more than one million refugees were submitted by the agency to over 30 resettlement countries in the past decade, and the number of people in need of resettlement far surpasses the opportunities for placement in a third country.
The number of people in need of resettlement in 2017 will likely surpass 1.19 million, up 72 per cent on the projected needs of 691,000 in 2014, before large-scale resettlement of Syrians began.