` Egyptian Court Sentenced 4 Men to Prison for 8 Years for Practising Homosexuality calling it Deviant Practices ‘

#AceWorldNews – CAIRO – April 07 – A court in Egypt has sent four men to prison for practising homosexuality, according to a judicial official, AFP reports.

Three men were sent down for eight years for what prosecutors called “deviant practices” and dressing in women’s clothes; the fourth was sentenced to three years behind bars.

Homosexuality is not tolerated in the Middle East and much of Africa.


#africa, #cairo, #egypt, #homosexuality, #middle-east

` Meeting of European Union and African Foreign Ministers ` Urmas Paet ' said EU must to settle CAR to prevent Conflict Escalating '

#AceWorldNews – BRUSSELS – April 01 – Today in Brussels, at the meeting of European Union and African foreign ministers, foreign minister Urmas Paet said that the European Union must settle on the launch of the Central African Republic operation as soon as possible, in order to prevent the conflict from escalating.

“The current crisis situation in the Central African Republic explicitly shows the need for cooperation with international forces,” Paet said. “Failure to stop escalation of the conflict may result in a real threat of genocide developing in the Central African Republic,” he added.

Paet stated that Estonia recognises the work done so far by France and the African Union to help alleviate the situation in the country. “Estonia has chosen to contribute up to 55 members of their Defence Forces for the European Union’s military operation,” he said.

Foreign minister Urmas Paet expressed hope that under the leadership of interim president Catherine Samba-Panza, the security and humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic will improve.

The entire 4.6 million population of the Central African Republic has been effected by the crisis. People have no access to health care and there is a shortage of food. There are about 700 000 internal refugees and nearly 250 000 people have fled to neighbouring countries.

The African Union’s MISCA operation and the French Sangaris operation are currently operating in the Central African Republic.

The European Union and African foreign ministers also discussed Africa’s wider security concerns and the ability of European countries to contribute to the preparation and training of security forces, since Africa’s sense of ownership in regulating the continent’s tensions is considered essential.

Estonian military personnel participated in the European Union Training Mission in Mali, which was Estonia’s first ever military involvement in Africa.

Courtesy of Press Release – http://www.vm.ee/?q=en/node/19618


#africa, #africas, #african, #african-union, #brussels, #car, #central-african-republic, #estonia, #european-union, #france

` Chadian Soldiers have Opened Fire after they were Attacked by a ` Christian Militia ‘ in Northern Bangui ‘

#AceWorldNews – AFRICA – March 31 – Chadian troops reportedly opened fire and killed at least 24 people in the Central African Republic capital, Bangui, local officials says (BBC)

The attack was by a Christian militia, in a Christian neighbourhood in northern Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), an officer with the African peacekeeping force MISCA who requested anonymity told AFP.

The CAR has been hit by civil war since Seleka rebels ousted President Francoise Bozize in March 2013.

Despite 6,000 African Union and 2,000 French peacekeepers, violence has continued unabated. Around a quarter of the country’s 4.6 million people have fled their homes.

The Chadian forces are not part of the African Union peacekeeping force and were in CAR to help Chadian nationals evacuate the country.


#africa, #bangui, #car, #central-african-republic, #chadian, #christian, #misca

` Nigeria has Arrested `Two Britons ‘ and ` Ten Citizens ‘ on Charges of ` Bribery ‘ to Facilitate an Oil Theft ‘

#AceWorldNews – NIGERIA – March 28 – Nigeria has arrested two Britons and 10 of its own citizens on charges of trying to bribe a military officer to facilitate oil theft, Reuters reported, citing the military.

The suspects were immediately arrested for attempting to bribe the brigade commander for economic sabotage, said Major-General E.J. Atewe, commander of the military and police Joint Task Force for the oil-producing Niger Delta region.

Oil theft by armed gangs is rampant in Nigeria, Africa’s top crude-producing country.


#africa, #bribe, #britons, #delta, #economic, #niger, #nigeria, #oil, #reuters, #theft

` Burundi clashes with police leaves fifteen members of an `Opposition Party ‘ injured and twenty arrested ‘

#AceWorldNews says fifteen members of an opposition party in Burundi, South-east Africa, were injured in clashes with police late on Saturday, Reuters reported, citing witnesses and officials.
Twenty people were arrested.

The incident at the headquarters of the Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MSD), a member of the Alliance for Democratic Change coalition, adds to political uncertainty in the country ahead of next year’s elections.

Police fired live bullets when they went to free two colleagues who had been captured by members of MSD when they tried to break up a party meeting earlier in the day.

It was not clear why police intervened to break up the gatherings, though other political meetings have been disrupted by authorities on occasion in the recent past.


#africa, #alliance-for-democratic-change-coalition, #burundi, #movement-for-solidarity-and-democracy-msd, #reuters

” Italian Navy has rescued nearly `Six Hundred Migrants’ crossing the Mediterranean from Africa’

#AceWorldNews says that the Italian navy said on Wednesday it had rescued nearly 600 migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Africa over the past 24 hours, AFP reported.

“The Navy has rescued 596 migrants on six vessels,” including three rubber dinghies, it said.

Operation Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) was launched after more than 400 migrants from Eritrea and Syria perished in twin tragedies off Italian shores in October 2013.


#afp, #africa, #eritrea, #mediterranean-sea, #operation-mare-nostrum-our-sea, #syria

” Uganda’s President signs a controversial anti-gay bill under the heading `West’s Social Imperialism’

#AceWorldNews says Uganda’s president on Monday signed a controversial anti-gay bill that has harsh penalties for homosexual sex, saying it is needed to deter what he called the West’s “social imperialism” promoting homosexuality in Africa, according to AP.

President Yoweri Museveni signed the bill at his official residence in an event witnessed by government officials, journalists and a team of Ugandan scientists whose report -which found that there is no proven genetic basis for homosexuality – cited by Museveni as his reason for backing the bill.

#africa, #ap, #homosexuality, #scientists, #ugandas, #ugandan

“Over a Hundred People mainly `Christian’ have been `Massacred’ in a Nigerian village whilst trying to impose Sharia Law”

#AceWorldNews says latest reports indicate that at least 106 people have been massacred in a Nigerian village, the country’s senator Ali Ndume told AFP, blaming the attack on Boko Haram militants.

The politician added that 60 of those killed have been buried. Witnesses say that some 200 people dressed in military uniform came at around 20:30 GMT in motorcycles and six trucks.

Locals were asked to assemble when alleged Boko Haram members started hacking and slaughtering the mostly Christian village. Boko Haram is seeking to impose Shariah law in Africa’s top oil producer.

#afp, #africa, #boko-haram, #christian, #massacred, #militants, #nigerian, #oil, #sharia-law

“Asylum Seekers Towed on Boat to Indonesia Accuse Australia’s Navy of Abuse’

#AceWorldNews says `Asylum seekers towed on boat to Indonesia accuse Australia Navy of Abuse’

Asylum seekers on the roof of Villawood Immigr...

Asylum seekers on the roof of Villawood Immigration Detention Centre, Sydney (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Forty-five asylum seekers who slid ashore on a small island off the Australian city of Darwin on New Year’s day were forced by Australian military personnel back onto their wooden boat and towed out to sea, Reuters said.

Five asylum seekers from Africa and the Middle East said in interviews the journey to Indonesia was marked by physical and verbal abuse, and the passengers were reportedly denied proper access to food, water and medical treatment. Australian Immigration and Border Protection Minister Scott Morrison said he did not give “credibility to malicious and unfounded slurs.”

The Navy and Customs and Border Protection Service “act in accordance with their training and lawful orders and would only use force where necessary,” the minister said.


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#aceworldnews, #africa, #australia, #indonesia, #middle-east, #refugee, #reuters, #scott-morrison, #sydney, #u-s-customs-and-border-protection, #villawood-immigration-detention-centre

#Burundi : ` Worst Flooding and Landslides in living Memory Claim Lives’

#AceWorldNews says at least 51 people Perished in Flooding and Landslides in Burundi Capital on Monday’

Burundi FloodsA night of torrential rain in the Burundi capital killed at least 51 people, swept away hundreds of homes and cut off roads and power, officials said Monday.

The toll was the highest in living memory from a disaster caused by freak weather, with more than 100 people also injured, AFP reported. “The rain that fell in torrents overnight on the capital caused a disaster,” Security Minister Gabriel Nizigama said.

Several hundred homes were destroyed and more than 100 people injured in Bujumbura, on the northeastern shore of Lake Tanganyika.


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#aceworldnews, #afp, #africa, #agence-france-presse, #bujumbura, #burundi, #flood, #gabriel-nizigama, #lake-tanganyika, #landslide, #monday, #nyanza-lac

#Libya : ” Prosecutor General Assassinated in home town of Darna”

#AceWorldNews reports `Libya’s Former Prosecutor General Assassinated

Ace News Desk A Libyan security official says the former prosecutor general, Abdul-Aziz al-Hassadi, has been gunned down late Saturday in his home-town of Darna, eastern Libya.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not provide further details, AP reported. Al-Hassadi resigned from his office in March citing health reasons. He is the latest former official assassinated in the country since the death of former president Muammar Gaddafi, who was murdered after being captured in Oct 2011 during a civil war that saw the controversial military intervention of NATO.

Libya has witnessed a series of violence over the past months targeting various public figures and clerics around the country.


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#aceworldnews, #africa, #assassination, #associated-press, #attorney-general, #cyrenaica, #islam, #libya, #muammar-gaddafi, #tripoli

” Italian Navy Rescues 1,100 Migrants in Rafts South of Sicily”

#AceWorldNews says the Italian navy has rescued more than 1,100 migrants from nine large rafts in the waters south of Sicily.
Patrol helicopters identified the overcrowded rafts with the latest arrivals from North Africa on Wednesday and four navy vessels participated in the rescue which ended early on Thursday, Reuters reported.

The navy gave no details about the nationalities of the migrants.

#africa, #helicopters, #italian, #migrants, #navy, #north-africa, #reuters, #sicily

#Davos ” All Talk About `Ending Poverty’ `But No Action’ as the `Rich Deliberate’ the `Plight of the Poor’ over Cocktail’s

#AceNewsServices says ‘A lot of talk about inequality in Davos, but very little action’

There’s not much to be expected from Davos in solving the issue of inequality, while studies show that the rich and powerful use their money to dominate political processes all over the world, Max Lawson, head of advocacy at Oxfam GB, told RT.

Davos and PovertyOn January 20report entitled “Working for the Few” was released by Oxfam, an international organization searching for solutions against poverty and injustice. According to this report the world’s 85 wealthiest people have as much money as the 3.5 billion poorest people on the planet – half the Earth’s population. This signifies an extreme economic inequality, which is a serious and warring trend.

Max Lawson doesn’t think we should expect any moves to be made in Davos about it.

“We think there will be a lot of talk about inequality in Davos but very little action. We don’t expect them to do much at all,” Lawson told RT.

What the report has also concluded is that big money often opens political doors for the rich.

“Often those powerful rich people use that money to capture the political process. Our paper has case studies of that happening in countries all over the world, whether it’s Pakistan, whether it’s Tanzania. You see politicians buying politics,” Lawson says.

“The paper shows that it’s definitely a case in the rich OECD countries that politics is being increasingly influenced by rich people. We use the example of the financial deregulation and very low tax rates, where you can see these furious lobbies of the politicians by the richest people in the United States, in Europe, to push for lower taxes, which in turn increases greater inequality because if rich people are not paying tax, then it means inequality goes up,” Lawson added.

Tax avoidance is human rights abuse

Lawson speaks about billionaires like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates who agreed to give away their fortunes as an example of people who are really doing an amazing job to fight global poverty. One of the main tactics, he says, should be support for progressive taxation and fighting tax dodging.

“Warren Buffett has spoken out on this issue of tax dodging and on the fact that rich people pay very low tax rates. I think some of the billionaires in Davos are definitely saying the right thing. We need to see a lot more of them agreeing to a lot more tax so that we are not having a situation that we’ve got. People have more money that they can spend in ten thousand life times, when you are have a billion people living on less than a dollar a day,” Lawson told RT.

There is a lot that can be done on the international level to tackle the issue of the growing inequality, particularly around the issue of tax, tax havens and tax avoidance, Lawson believes.


Screenshot from “Working for the Few” report at oxfam.org

Screenshot from “Working for the Few” report at oxfam.org


“So you are seeing hundreds of billions of dollars being hidden away in tax havens. This is money that is owned by the richest corporations, the richest people, and that should be taxed. If it was taxed fairly then that money would be spent on health, on education, on decent jobs for ordinary people. So if we saw a crackdown on tax evasion that would make a major difference to inequality.”

According to Lawson, tax dodging is not just a problem in Western countries, it’s a huge problem in Africa. Many of the mining companies, the big investors in Africa, make enormous use of tax havens, he says.

“Africa loses something like $60 billion a year in lost taxes. It’s a major problem for the poorest countries, so it’s not just about Starbucks or Google and Apple, which is important too, but it’s also about all these mining companies, companies operating in Africa that are all avoiding taxes. And every dollar in tax they avoid, that’s a dollar that could be helping put a child in school, could be building a clinic, or hospital or paying for a nurse. We think this tax avoidance is human rights abuse and it needs to stop,” Lawson concluded.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of : RT  or Ace News Services    

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#acenewsservices, #africa, #bill-gates, #davos, #economic-inequality, #lawson, #max-lawson, #oxfam, #united-states, #warren-buffett

” Paying to Look Poor When You are Rich and your Vacation is in South Africa”

English: A shanty town in Soweto, South Africa.

English: A shanty town in Soweto, South Africa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceWorldNews says in South Africa. While half the world’s population would give anything to escape the extreme poverty they’re living in, wealthy corporations are paying big bucks to vacation in sprawling countryside resorts pretending to be shanty-towns. To the casual eye, it’s like any other third world hunger stricken town. But they’re actually luxury accommodations for the rich and famous.

Emoya Luxury Hotel & Spa

Located in South Africa, the resort owners tout their facility as the, ‘Shanty Town at Emoya Estate for Accommodation in Bloemfontein.’ They describe it as a, ‘shanty town for a unique accommodation experience.’ Promotional materials are aimed at corporate outings, wealthy vacationers, big game hunters, and anyone looking for a unique experience.

Millions of people are living in informal settlements across South Africa,’ the resort’s website explains, ‘These settlements consist of thousands of houses also referred to as Shacks, Shantys or Makhukhus. A Shanty usually consists of old corrugated iron sheets or any other waterproof material which is constructed in such a way to form a small “house” or shelter where they make a normal living. A paraffin lamp, candles, a battery operated radio, an outside toilet (also referred to as a long drop) and a drum where they make fire for cooking is normally part of this lifestyle.’

For those who will never have to know the poverty of a shanty town, that’s how the resort owners describe what a ‘shanty’ is. And while that may be a fair representation of a real shanty, what wealthy vacationers will find in their custom-built metal box is something right out of New York penthouse suite.

Courtesy of WP

#aceworldnews, #africa, #bloemfontein, #extreme-poverty, #game-reserve, #kerosene-lamp, #new-york, #shanty-town, #south-africa

Twenty Years of Human Rights – How Far Have We To Go!

20 years plus Human Rights#AceWorldNews says as this year marks 20 years and the anniversary of the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna and this extract is a statement and confirmation of the UK Government.

Human Rights Day 2013 The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action confirmed the universality of all human rights and led to historic advances in their promotion and protection. It continues to be a source of inspiration for the EU, to strive for further human rights improvements.

We work both collectively and bilaterally to promote human rights, democracy and good governance in Rwanda. The situation in Rwanda is constantly evolving. Rwanda has made impressive gains, particularly in the areas of economic development and poverty reduction. We applaud the ambition of the Government of Rwanda’s Vision 2020 – to transform Rwanda into a thriving, middle-income, regional trade and investment hub.

Teaching Children RacismIn doing so, we reinforce the message that human rights and sustainable development go hand in hand. An open, democratic and transparent system will encourage universal respect for human rights. We also commend Rwanda for their engagement with the international community on human rights questions, for example through the mechanism of the Universal Periodic Review. We would encourage Rwanda to continue that engagement, including with the mid-term progress review this year and the full review in 2015.

As we continue to support Rwanda’s development, we encourage the Government of Rwanda to wholeheartedly engage with and promote the debate on human rights issues. We see positive examples, like progressive media laws. We urge the Government to continue working towards the principle that human rights should be universal. That includes those in detention, facing trial or advocating for greater political freedoms.

While progress is acknowledged, we see continuing challenges in a number of areas, notably, in obstacles encountered by human rights groups and other NGOs operating in Rwanda, illegal detentions and the registration of political parties. We are concerned about some individual cases, such as the sudden change in leadership of the human rights defender LIPRODHOR and the unresolved murder of an employee of Transparency International in July 2013.

We would like to emphasize that we stand ready to assist the Rwandan Government in addressing these issues, and to develop our dialogue based on mutual respect and shared values.
Twenty years ago, leaders acknowledged that while the significance of regional and national particularities and various backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty of states, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms. The EU and Rwanda share a commitment to advancing the cause of human rights nationally and globally, and we look forward to continue working with the government and people of Rwanda to realise this commitment.


  • HE Leoni Cuelenaere, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • HE Peter Fahrenholtz, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • HE Michel Flesch, Ambassador of France
  • Maria Håkansson, Chargé d’Affaires, Swedish Embassy
  • HE Ben Llewellyn-Jones, High Commissioner, British High Commission
  • HE Marc Pecsteen, Ambassador of Belgium
  • HE Michael Ryan, Head of Delegation, Delegation of the European Union

#aceworldnews, #africa, #european-union, #germany, #human-rights, #non-governmental-organization, #politics-of-rwanda, #rwanda, #universal-periodic-review, #vienna

#Nelson Mandela Messages of Condolence Add Yours Here #Peace

English: Young Nelson Mandela. This photo date...

English: Young Nelson Mandela. This photo dates from 1937. South Africa protect the copyright of photographs for 50 years from their first publication. See . Since this image would have been PD in South Africa in 1996, when the URAA took effect, this image is PD in the U.S. Image source: http://www.anc.org.za/people/mandela/index.html (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Nelson Mandela Foundation, The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and The Mandela Rhodes Foundation

Ace News Group – Tribute – 10th December 2013

NELSON MANDELA  Just click the link and add yours to his page? RIP #NelsonMandela

Legacy Of The Man 

It was with the deepest regret that we have learned of the passing of our founder, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela – Madiba. The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa and shortly after-ward further official announcements.

EXTRACT: We all now want to express our sadness at this time. No words can adequately describe this enormous loss to the nation and to the world.

Nelson Mandela Children's Fund

Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We give thanks for his life, his leadership, his devotion to humanity and humanitarian causes. We salute our friend, colleague and comrade and thank him for his sacrifices for our freedom. The three charitable organisations that he created dedicate ourselves to continue promoting his extraordinary legacy.

Hamba Kahle Madiba


To support the government and the Mandela family we will endeavour where possible to assist with access to information.

Arrangements for the laying to rest of former President Nelson Mandela

Media accreditation arrangements for the State Funeral of President Nelson Mandela

Keeping the legacy alive

For a background document on the history and work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and The Mandela Rhodes Foundation, as well as details of how to support their work, please click “Legacy of a Man” above

Nelson Mandela’s retirement video: 


Send a message of condolence:

Messages can be entered by submitting the form below following the directions. We undertake to collect all messages received and hand them to Madiba’s family.

Send your message of condolence

First Name*


#aceworldnews, #africa, #charitable-organization, #december-2013, #madiba, #mandela, #nelson-mandela, #nelson-mandela-foundation, #nelson-rolihlahla-mandela, #president-of-south-africa, #republic-of-south-africa, #south-africa, #state-funeral

Critical Moment For Africa’s Small Farmers As ARIPO Decides On Plant Variety Protection

The Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) this week was expected to consider a proposal to move toward a biotechnology-friendly future, but small farmers say the current proposal will damage their ability to exist in the those countries
READ MORE: http://www.ip-watch.org/? p=33103&utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alerts

#aceworldnews, #africa, #aripo, #bio-technology, #farmers

The #Truth Behind Ethiopia’s Economic Miracle is Leaving Farmers Dispossessed in Favour of Productivity

Ethiopia‘s huge agricultural output has brought about an economic miracle for the nation. But inhabitants are being pushed out of their native land by foreign investors and have no share in the profits.

The right price for produce

The right price for produce (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“When investors showed up we were told to pack up our things and go to the villages”, says Moot. Like thousands of other farmers he’s been relocated to an artificial village to make space for new foreign agricultural investments. The promise of social services, including schools and clinics, has not been fulfilled and fear of arrest paralyses the farmers. Government spokesmen defend the policy, arguing that “our population is spread all across the territory. We can’t give them care until they are grouped together”. But with Africa‘s most fertile land being rented well below international market price and little need for labour in the highly industrialised farmlands, traditional farmers are struggling for survival.

For downloads and more information visit:http://www.journeyman.tv/?lid=66103&a…

Courtesy of : Wild Angle Productions

#addis-ababa, #africa, #agricultural-output, #development-aid, #egypt, #ethiopia, #farmer, #foreign-investors, #government, #hailemariam-desalegn, #investment, #meles-zenawi

African Countries Join Forces to Tackle Deforestation in Congo Basin

English: Logo of the Food and Agriculture Orga...

English: Logo of the Food and Agriculture Organization (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently welcomed a declaration, adopted jointly by Governments from Africa’s main timber producing countries, timber industry representatives and civil society organizations, to curb illegal logging in the Congo Basin.

Representatives of six countries – the Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire and Gabon – adopted jointly with timber industry representatives and civil society the “Brazzaville Declaration,” named for the capital city where an international conference on sustainable forestry in the region was held from 21-22 October.

According to FAO, which estimates the net loss of forest in the Congo Basin at some 700,000 hectares per year from 2000-2010, the newly agreed declaration marks an unprecedented commitment towards the sustainable and legal development of the wood industry in the region.

“The Brazzaville Declaration could help slow down the pace of deforestation in the region,” <“http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/203295/icode/“>said Olman Serrano, a forestry officer from FAO.

The Coat of arms of the Democratic Republic of...

The Coat of arms of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Congo Basin, covering an area of 300 million hectares, harbours the world’s second largest rainforest after Amazonia. As a key resource for stabilizing the global climate, however, it is also a major supplier of illegal timber.

According to FAO-backed studies, Congo Basin tree species are generally larger in height than their Amazon counterparts. This suggests that the African rainforest may be a larger carbon storehouse and a crucial resource for productive and sustainable forest management.

“We must ensure that our forest resources contribute to the development of the countries in this region,” said Raymond Mbitikon, Executive Secretary of the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC). “This is what the Brazzaville Declaration sets out to achieve.”

An outcome of a long-term debate with key stakeholders in the forest and wood industry, as well as regional and international partners, the Brazzaville Declaration aims to implement measures that improve timber tracking, transparency and forest governance.

#aceenvironmentalnews, #africa, #brazzaville-declaration, #central-african-forest-commission, #central-african-republic, #congo-basin, #congo-republic, #democratic-republic-of-congo, #food-and-agriculture-organization

More than 11 Million People are at Risk of Hunger and 5 Million Children under Five are at Risk of Acute Malnutrition

Destructive root harvesting for traditional me...

Destructive root harvesting for traditional medicine. In the Sahel sub-Saharan savanna region, near Fada N’Gourma, Burkina Faso. Français : Récolte des racines par arrachage, pour les besoins de la médecine traditionnelle. Image prise près de Fada N’Gourma, au Burkina Faso. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announced today they are teaming up for a trip to the Sahel next week to address pressing issues in the vast African region such as pervasive poverty, food insecurity and conflict.

“The Sahel is one of the most impoverished and fragile places on the planet,” said Mr. Ban in a  “http://www.un.org/sg/offthecuff/index.asp?nid=3155” joint press conference in New York. “We are going together to listen and act. We are convinced the cycle of crises in the Sahel can be broken. The region can move from fragility to sustainability.”

Earlier this year, Mr. Ban and Mr. Kim travelled together to Africa’s long troubled Great Lakes region in support of a new peace framework agreed by leaders there. It was the first joint visit by a UN Secretary-General and a President of the World Bank. The new trip seeks to build on joint efforts, foster international support, and spotlight the challenges currently facing the Sahel.

“Our message on this critical visit and around the world is that peace and development must go hand-in-hand,” Mr. Ban said. “At this time last year, Mali was in crisis. Since then, our collective efforts have helped not only improve the political and security situation in Mali but also address some of the broader challenges in the Sahel. The time is ripe to build on these gains.”

The Sahel has suffered three major droughts in less than a decade. More than 11 million people are at risk of hunger and 5 million children under five are at risk of acute malnutrition. In addition, political instability and unconstitutional changes in Governments have had significant economic and social consequences in the region and terrorist acts, as well as organized crime, have threatened the region’s stability.

“These challenges cannot be overcome by any Government or organization alone,” Mr. Ban said. “The issues are connected and we need an approach that connects our efforts.”

“Many of these countries have chronically low economic growth which lags behind the urgent need for job creation,” Mr. Kim told reporters via teleconference from Washington D.C. “We need to work together so that people of the Sahel can have peace and development.”

Huts in the village of Dourtenga, departement ...

Huts in the village of Dourtenga, departement of Dourtenga, province of Koulpélogo in Burkina Faso (West Africa). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He stressed that the World Bank’s new approach to the Sahel will entail working side by side with the region’s Governments, the UN and other development partners and will promote greater stability, resilience and sustainable development in the five core countries of the region: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

“Our aim is to address the root causes of poverty, conflict and helplessness. As a part of this new approach, the World Bank will mobilize substantial public and private sources in support. We’ll help strengthen social safety nets for people, lower the cost of energy and increase support for irrigation and pastoralism, as well transform the state of agriculture in the region,” Mr. Kim said.

The Sahel stretches from Mauritania to Eritrea, including Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan, a belt dividing the Sahara desert and the savannahs to the south. The joint visit will start from Mali and continue to Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad.

Mr. Ban and Mr. Kim will be joined by Mr. Ban’s Special Envoy to the region, Romano Prodi, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, President of the African Development Bank Donald Kaberuka, and Commissioner for Development of the European Union Andris Piebalgs.

Courtesy of :UN News Room  


#aceworldnews, #africa, #ban-ki-moon, #burkina-faso, #chad, #mali, #niger, #sahel, #world-bank