` Security Forces Fired Warning Shots as Protesters in Bangui Demand Resignation of Government ‘

#AceWorldNews – CENTRAL AFRICA REPUBLIC – May 30 – Security forces fired warning shots as protesters in Bangui demanded the resignation of the interim government and the removal of foreign troops from the Central African Republic on Friday, AFP said.

Troops and police stopped the protesters gathering in the capital, who numbered in the thousands, and the demonstrators dispersed around an hour later.

Bursts of automatic weapons fire were also heard in the central Bangui neighbourhood that is home to the presidential palace, and in the area of the airport. The capital has experienced an upsurge in violence in recent days.

#ANS2014

#bangui, #central-african-republic

` Heavily Armed African and French Peacekeepers Escort Remaining Muslims Out of Central African Republic

#AceNewsServices – BANGUI – April 28 – Heavily armed African and French peacekeepers escorted some of the last remaining Muslims out of Central African Republic’s volatile capital on Sunday, trucking more than 1,300 people who for months had been trapped in their neighbourhood by violent Christian militants.

Within minutes of the convoy’s departure, an angry swarm of neighbours descended upon the mosque in a scene of total anarchy. Tools in hand, they swiftly dismantled and stole the loudspeaker once used for the call to prayer and soon stripped the house of worship of even its ceiling fan blades.

One man quickly scrawled “Youth Centre” in black marker across the front of the mosque.

Others mockingly swept the dirt from the ground in front of the building with brooms and shouted “We have cleaned Central African Republic of the Muslims!”

“We did not want the Muslims here and we don’t want their mosque here any-more either,” said Guy Richard, 36, who loads baggage onto trucks for a living, as he and his friends made off with pieces of the mosque.

Within minutes of their departure, Associated Press journalists witnessed a scene of total anarchy in PK12 as bystanders surged toward the mosque and immediately began desecrating it.

Crowds shouted “The Muslims are gone! The Muslims are gone!” as they stripped the mosque of its ceiling fans and the loudspeaker that had been used for the call to prayer.

AP – Fox News

Ace Related News:

  1. April 28 – http://tinyurl.com/ml4m48h

#ANS2014

#bangui, #central-african-republic, #muslims

` UN says `Chadian Soldiers ‘ have Killed 30 Civilians and Seriously Wounded 300 in an Attack on a Market’

#AceWorldNews – BANGUI – April 04 – Chadian soldiers killed 30 civilians and seriously wounded more than 300 in an indiscriminate attack on a market on March 29 in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, Reuters quoted a spokesman for the UN human rights office as saying on Friday.

Local officials and aid workers had previously put the death toll to at least 10, with 30 wounded. Chadian soldiers have been at the heart of African efforts to stabilize CAR, but have been accused of siding with the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels.

Their seizure of power last year sparked tit-for-tat violence with Christian militia.

#ANS2014

#bangui, #car, #central-african-republic, #chadian, #human-health, #muslim, #seleka, #un

` 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

#ANS2014

#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.

#ANS2014

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

` Central African Republic `CAR ‘ EU Peace Mission if they do not raise their Military Contribution’s ‘

#AceWorldNews An European Union Peace Mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) risks not going ahead next week if European states do not raise their military contributions, France warned Friday.

“Despite contributions announced by some European states, the total falls short,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said a joint statement.

“If additional contributions do not materialize rapidly, it will not be possible to launch this vital operation next week as planned,” they said.

RT – AP – AFP

#ANS2014

#car, #central-african-republic, #european, #european-union

” 28,000 Refugees flee “Central African Republic’ to neigboring Cameroon in one month”

#AceWorldNews says around 28,000 people have fled from the conflict-torn Central African Republic to neighbouring Cameroon since the start of this month, the UN refugee agency said on Friday.

“The new arrivals from CAR are living in appalling conditions.

Most of them lack food and shelter,” AFP quoted Dan McNorton, spokesman for the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR), as saying.

Since a coup in March 2013, about 35,000 people, mainly Muslims escaping communal bloodshed, have fled across the border to Cameroon.

#afp, #cameroon, #car, #central-african-republic, #unchr

“France Plans to Boost Troops in `Central African Republic’ – Reports”

#AceWorldNews says France plans to increase the number of troops it has deployed in the Central African Republic, Reuters quoted a French source as saying Friday.

A meeting on the matter took place at the Elysee presidential palace. It is not clear how many troops will be added to the existing 1,600-strong French force in the former colony.

#central-african-republic, #france, #reuters, #troops

#UN : “Launches Food Airlift to Central Africa Republic and About Time”

#AceWorldNews says `UN Launches food airlift to Central Africa

The World Food Program on Wednesday launched one of its largest-ever emergency food airlifts, flying in supplies to the Central African Republic, AFP reported.

The Bangui City

The Bangui City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The UN food agency’s first cargo aircraft, loaded with 80 tons of rice, landed in the capital Bangui in the early afternoon, WFP spokesman Alexis Masciarelli said. There will be 24 daily supply drops to the city. More than a quarter of the country’s population – 1.3 million people – is in need of food aid.

 

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#acefinancenews, #bangui, #central-african-republic

“EU Ministers Approve Launch of Central African Republic Military Mission”

#AceWorldNews says `EU ministers approve launch of C. African Republic military mission ‘

English: Coat of Arms of the Central African R...

English: Coat of Arms of the Central African Republic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

EU foreign ministers on Monday approved the launch of a military mission in the Central African Republic, Itar-Tass reported. The decision will be a judicial basis for the EUFOR RCA mission and is the next step for its quick deployment, according to a document signed in Brussels.

The mission is the bloc’s first full military land operation in six years. About 1,600 French troops deployed in the country in December have tried to stem violence between Christian militias and largely Muslim Seleka rebels, who ousted President Francois Bozize last March.

 

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#aceworldnews, #2012-2013-central-african-republic-conflict, #bangui, #brussels, #central-african-republic, #european-union, #foreign-minister, #francois-bozize, #french-armed-forces, #information-telegraph-agency-of-russia, #muslim, #wikipedia

#AceNewsDesk : “World News – Today – 20 January 2014 – Good Afternoon”

Ace News Group

15 journalists hurt in Kiev clashes

Fifteen journalists, mostly Ukrainian, have been hurt over two days of clashes between protesters and police in downtown Kiev. They include a news photographer for Russia’s Novaya Gazeta newspaper, Yevgeny Feldman, Interfax said. On Monday, a photographer for Ukraine’s LB.ua, Maks Levin, was beaten up, media reports say. Police also reportedly detained TV operator Vladimir Karagyaur.

14:36

Woman suspected of torturing her Indonesian maid arrested in Hong Kong

Police in Hong Kong have arrested a woman suspected of torturing her Indonesian maid, the BBC reported. Erwiana Sulistyaningsih, 23, who is currently in hospital in Indonesia, said she suffered months of abuse from the 44-year-old woman in Hong Kong. Several thousand domestic staff rallied in Hong Kong to demand justice for Sulistyaningsih on Sunday. She was reportedly badly beaten and was in a critical condition when she arrived in Indonesia last week.

14:21

14 companies bid to destroy Syrian stockpile – watchdog

The global chemical weapons watchdog said Monday it had received tenders from 14 commercial companies, offering to destroy part of Syria’s toxic stockpile, Reuters reported. The companies include those from America, Europe and China, the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said. It is tasked with overseeing the destruction process, and has earmarked up to $54 million for the commercial processing of 500 metric tons of industrial chemicals and millions of liters of toxic waste.

13:27

600 people evacuated in Italy flooding

A Syrian-born doctor out visiting a patient died and hundreds of people were forced from their homes by flooding in Italy, AFP reported. The doctor, Elias Kassabij, 66, was carried away by the flood waters from a swollen stream near the port of Genoa in northwest Italy. The father of the young patient he had visited was rescued. Emergency workers near the city of Modena were looking for a man who took to a dinghy on a canal amid heavy rain to help some stranded people and fell into the water. Some 600 people were evacuated from their homes around Modena.

EU ministers approve the military mission in Central African Republic

EU foreign ministers on Monday approved sending up to 1,000 soldiers to the Central African Republic, Reuters reported. The forces will back up French and African soldiers trying to restore order after bloody clashes. Diplomats earlier said the mission would be limited to four to six months, and soldiers would take over security at Bangui Airport to free up French troops.

12:05

RussiaUS-UN meeting ahead of Geneva 2 possible on Jan. 21 – Moscow

A trilateral Russia-US-UN meeting on preparing the Geneva 2 international conference on Syria could be held on Tuesday, Interfax quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov as saying. It is possible that a trilateral meeting with the participation of US representatives and UN Special Representative on Syria Lakhdar Brahimi “could take place tomorrow,” Gatilov said Monday.

11:53

Workers to strike at top platinum firms in S. Africa

The AMCU union on Monday served notice to strike for higher wages within 48 hours at top global platinum mines in South Africa, AFP reported. Anglo-American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin confirmed members of the dominant Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union will start their strike at morning shift from Thursday. Earlier talks failed to provide a solution. Over 80,000 workers will strike at the firms, just over half their combined workforce. Workers demand a basic salary of 12,500 rand ($1,150) – more than double the 5,000-rand entry-level pay, according to the union.

11:19

Militants attack NATO base in Afghanistan, ISAF service member killed

An assault by suicide bombers and gunmen against a NATO base in southern Afghanistan on Monday killed one service member, according to the coalition. All nine insurgents wearing coalition uniforms were killed during the attack on the base in southern Kandahar’s Zhari district, AP reported, citing officials. Two civilian bystanders also died. As foreign troops withdraw this year, the Taliban have intensified a campaign against Afghan and international forces.

10:32

Al-Qaeda has enough arms to ‘take Baghdad’ – official

Al-Qaeda fighters entrenched in a city they seized late last month west of Baghdad have enough heavy weapons allegedly to take the country’s capital, Iraq’s Senior Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Asadi said Monday. Iraqi forces are fighting “fierce battles” against heavily armed militants to recapture parts of Ramadi, the capital of the western Anbar province, and also the nearby city of Fallujah, he said. The weapons in Fallujah that are in the hands of Iraq’s Al-Qaeda branch and other Sunni militant groups are “advanced and huge and enough to occupy Baghdad,” AP quoted the official as saying. Iraq announced on Sunday an all-out military operation to push Al-Qaeda out of Ramadi.

 

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#acenewsdesk, #aceworldnews, #al-anbar-governorate, #al-qaeda, #anglo-american-platinum, #baghdad, #central-african-republic, #fallujah, #hong-kong, #hong-kong-police-force, #impala-platinum, #indonesia, #iraq, #monday, #ramadi, #south-africa, #sunday, #syria, #world-news

UN: “Central Africa Republic {CAR} Humanitarian Official Warns of Genocide”

#AceWorldNews says a senior UN humanitarian official warned on Thursday of the risk of genocide in Central African Republic. The country descended into chaos last year after a Muslim rebel coalition, Séléka, seized power. A wave of killings and looting in turn sparked revenge attacks by the “anti-balaka” Christian militia. The crisis was foreseen, avoidable and produced by the international community’s neglect over many years, Reuters quoted John Ging, director of operations for the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, as saying. Without a massive scaling up in the international response to the crisis, a genocide is possible, the official said.

#anti-balaka, #central-african-republic, #christian, #genocide, #humanitarian, #muslim, #seleka, #un

Central African Republic’s {CAR}: “UN Calls for Calm, Urging Authorities to Mobilize Around the Speedy Election of a New Transitional Leadership”

#AceWorldNews says following the resignation of the Central African Republic’s two interim leaders, the top United Nations official in the crisis-riven country called for calm today, urging the authorities to mobilze around the speedy election of new transitional leadership.
In a statement issued by his office in Bagui, Babacar Gaye, Special Representative and Head of the UN Integrated Peace-building Office for the Central African Republic (BINUCA), took note of the resignation yesterday of President Michel Djotodia and Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye.
“He calls on members of the National Transitional Council (CNT) to mobilize around the urgent election of a new transitional executive, as agreed at the extraordinary summit of Heads of States of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) yesterday, 10 January 2014, in N’djamena, Chad.” Armed attacks between ex-Séléka and Christian anti-balaka militias have escalated significantly in the past two weeks, despite the creation of a transitional government following the attack a year ago by mostly Muslim Séléka rebels which forced President François Bozizé to flee.
Since then, thousands of people are estimated to have been killed, nearly 1 million driven from their homes, and 2.2 million, about half the population, need humanitarian aid.
Delivering a message on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the ECCAS Summit on Thursday, Mr. Gaye stressed that the past year’s events have profoundly damaged the relationship between Muslim and Christian communities in the CAR, and warned that there is a real danger of further upheaval along religious lines.
“The horrific cycle of violence and retaliation between communities must stop immediately,” he said. “Distrust is high and violence has fuelled anger and a thirst for revenge,” he added, highlighting the need to prioritize reconciliation efforts. Disarmament of combatants in accordance with international standards is essential, Mr. Ban stressed, noting also the importance of demobilization and reintegration of the former fighters.
Today, Mr. Gaye called on the people and the leaders of the CAR to maintain calm and show maturity following the leaders’ resignations. “Along with the International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA), French forces, SANGARIS, have made important progress in securing Bangui,” he said, adding that their efforts must be supported, especially as numerous threats persist.

“The entire UN System and our humanitarian partners are fully mobilized to assist approximately two million people who are in urgent need of assistance across the country,” he said.
To that end, yesterday, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) issued an appeal for $40.2 million for CAR. That request, which is for the period to the end of March, follows appeals launched by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in late December for $152.2 million in immediate support needs for a 100-day plan for CAR.
UNHCR’s supplementary appeal for CAR aims to support more than 1 million people, including 86,400 refugees in neighbouring countries and 958,000 internally displaced persons.

#car, #central-african-republic, #ocha, #resignation, #unchr, #united-nations

#AceWorldNews says that the worsening refugee crises in…

#AceWorldNews says that the worsening refugee crises in strife-torn Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan, the United Nations today appealed for $99 million in additional funding to aid 1.3 million people for the next 100 days, less than three weeks after launching an initial $360-million appeal.

“In the situations of both South Sudan and CAR, we are extremely concerned about the safety of refugees and displaced people, particularly with access being affected by the fighting and insecurity,” UN refugee agency (UNHCR) spokesperson Adrian Edwards told a news briefing in Geneva.

“Today’s appeals reflect the worsening situations in both cases, with hundreds of thousands of people now affected.”

Of the new funding, $59 million are targeted for South Sudan, where well over 1,000 people have been killed and some 300,000 others driven from their home since fighting erupted between Government and opposition forces less than a month ago.

The remaining $40.2 million is destined for CAR, where thousands of people are estimated to have been killed, nearly 1 million driven from their homes, and 2.2 million, about half the population, need humanitarian aid in a conflict which erupted when mainly Muslim rebels launched attacks a year ago and has taken on increasingly sectarian overtones as mainly Christian militias take up arms.

Both requests by UNHCR, which are for the period to the end of March, follow appeals launched by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on 31 and 24 December respectively on behalf of all UN agencies for $209 million for South Sudan $152.2 million in immediate support needs for a 100-day plan for CAR.

Mr. Edwards said the situation has continued to deteriorate in South Sudan, where the number of people fleeing to neighbouring countries has quickly increased to some 43,000 people, and Uganda now seeing between 4,000 and 5,000 arriving every day. Inside the country some 232,000 people have been driven from their homes, including 60,500 sheltering at 10 UN bases.

He said the appeal included projections of additional displacement between now and April. “It anticipates that refugee numbers could rise to 125,000 and that the number of people displaced within South Sudan could reach 400,000″, he noted. UNHCR emergency operations include

Today’s supplementary appeal for CAR aims to support more than 1 million people, including 86,400 refugees in neighbouring countries and 958,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs)..

In both countries, the crises have displaced tens of thousands more people over the past three weeks and “insecurity makes assisting them more expensive, having to resort to airlifts for example when roads are not safe,” Mr. Edwards stressed.

UNHCR emergency operations include registering, sheltering and protecting refugees, providing supplies to displaced people, designing and managing camps for them, and protecting the most vulnerable among them.

#central-african-republic, #ocha, #refugee, #south-sudan, #uganda, #unchr, #united-nations

“INTER-RELIGIOUS VIOLENCE POSES LONG-TERM DANGER TO CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, BAN WARNS”

#AceWorldNews say there is a real danger of further upheaval along the lines in "Central African Republic" {CAR} Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today warned a regional gathering in Chad, stressing that the past year’s events have profoundly damaged the relationship between Muslim and Christian communities and pose a long-term danger to the country.

The horrific cycle of violence and retaliation between communities must stop immediately,” Mr. Ban said in his <"http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=7392">message to the extraordinary summit of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), hosted by Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno in the capital, N’Djamena.


“Distrust is high and violence has fuelled anger and a thirst for revenge,” he added, highlighting the need to prioritize reconciliation efforts.

In the message, delivered by Babacar Gaye, Special Representative in the country and the head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office (BINUCA), Mr. Ban commended the ECCAS Heads of State for proposing an inclusive national conference.

Such a forum should provide all national actors with the opportunity “to share their concerns, agree on common challenges, and collectively find a way out of this crisis”, including through the preparation of elections, he said.

Disarmament of combatants in accordance with international standards is essential, the UN chief stressed, noting also the importance of demobilization and reintegration of the former fighters.

Armed attacks between ex-Séléka and Christian anti-balaka militias have escalated significantly in the past two weeks, despite the creation of a transitional government following the attack a year ago by mostly Muslim Séléka rebels which forced President François Bozizé to flee.

Since then, thousands of people are estimated to have been killed, nearly 1 million driven from their homes, and 2.2 million, about half the population, need humanitarian aid.

The UN and its partners have stepped up the humanitarian response but the situation remains “extremely troubling”, Mr. Ban said in today’s message.

He also expressed concern about “widespread human rights abuses”. The UN is working to establish an International Commission of Inquiry to document the violations, in line with a resolution adopted by the Security Council in early December.

“Together, we must send a strong message that those committing atrocities will be held accountable,” he said.

In his message, Mr. Ban noted the quick deployment of the African-led International Support Mission to CAR (MISCA) and the French intervention force, SANGARIS, whose work “prevented the situation from degenerating even further”.

He also noted that the UN will work closely with the African Union and other stakeholders in support of the upcoming donors conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 1 February.

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#aceworldnews, #ban-ki-moon, #central-african-republic, #inter-religious, #un, #violence

Security Council: Reports on LRA “Massacres in Villages and Mutilating of Boys to Prevent Them Becoming Child Soldiers and Forcing Girls into Sexual Slavery”

Rebels in the north of the Central African Rep...

Rebels in the north of the Central African Republic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceHumanRightsNews says reiterating its strong condemnation of war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and its use of children in armed conflict, the Security Council today demanded that the group immediately cease all hostilities, release all abductees’, and disarm and demobilize.

Issuing presidential statement the Council urged the United Nations Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), the UN political and peacekeeping missions in the region, and the Organization’s other relevant presences, to enhance their support for the implementation of the UN Regional Strategy to address the threat and impact of the activities of the LRA. It called on the international community to support the implementation of the Strategy where possible.

The LRA, notorious for carrying out massacres in villages, mutilating its victims and abducting boys for use as child soldiers and forcing girls into sexual slavery, was formed in the 1980s in Uganda and for over 15 years its attacks were mainly directed against Ugandan civilians and security forces, which in 2002 dislodged it. It then exported its activities to Uganda’s neighbours, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan.

English: Shaded relief map of the Central Afri...

English: Shaded relief map of the Central African Republic. Cropped caption: Base 802739 (B01340) 2-01 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 15-member body reiterated its strong support for the African Union Regional Cooperation Initiative against the LRA, commending the “significant” progress by the African Union Regional Task Force. It urged all regional Governments to fulfil their commitments under the Initiative and provide basic provisions for their security forces.

Welcoming steps taken to deliver an enhanced, comprehensive and “more regional” approach to the humanitarian situation, the Council underlined the primary responsibility of States in the LRA-affected region to protect civilians.  In that context, it welcomed efforts by the DRC, South Sudan, Uganda and the CAR, in coordination with the African Union, to end the LRA threat, urging additional efforts from those countries, as well as others in the region.

Further, the Council expressed serious concern that the increased security vacuum in the CAR continued to negatively affect counter-LRA operations. As LRA attacks have reportedly taken place outside the Task Force’s principal area of operations, it emphasized the need for strong coordination among the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA), the Task Force, and the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA) in the context of protecting civilian activities and counter-LRA operations.

Regionally, the Council encouraged the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) to reinforce efforts to address the LRA through improved responsiveness to imminent civilian threats, training and capacity-building of the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) and implementation of the disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, reintegration, and resettlement programme to encourage further LRA defections.

In addition, the Council urged MONUSCO and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to enhance their cooperation with the Regional Task Force to coordinate operations, patrols and protection of civilians strategies, and to provide logistical support within their existing mandates and resources.  It took note of reports of a LRA base in the disputed enclave of Kafia Kinga, on the border of the Central African Republic, and between South Sudan and Sudan.

New York, Nov 25 2013  7:00PM

#aceworldnews, #humanrights, #central-african-republic, #democratic-republic-of-congo, #lord-resistance-army, #lra, #south-sudan, #uganda, #united-nations, #united-nations-security-council

ICC Announces Arrest of Four Men Linked to Trial of Former Dr Congo

English: International Criminal Court (ICC) logo

English: International Criminal Court (ICC) logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceWorldNews says four people have been arrested for alleged witness tampering in the war crimes trial of former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba, the International Criminal Court (ICC) today announced.

The four men are accused of “corruptly influencing witnesses before the ICC and presenting evidence that they knew to be false or forged,” according to a <“http://www.icc-cpi.int/en_menus/icc/press%20and%20media/press%20releases/Pages/pr962.aspx“>news release  from The Hague-based Court.

It is alleged that the suspects were part of a network for the purposes of presenting false or forged documents and bribing certain persons to give false testimony in the case against Mr. Bemba, whose trial started in November 2010.

The four men, arrested today and yesterday following a warrant issued on 20 November by Judge Cuno Tarfusser, include Mr. Bemba’s Lead Counsel Aimé Kilolo Musamba taken into custody by Belgian authorities, and Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, a member of Mr Bemba’s defence team and case manager, who was arrested in the Netherlands.

English: DR Congo 2006 presidential election c...

English: DR Congo 2006 presidential election candidate Jean-Pierre Bemba (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The two other men are Fidèle Babala Wandu, a member of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Parliament and Deputy Secretary General of the Mouvement pour la Libération du Congo – who was taken into custody in the DRC – and Narcisse Arido, a Defence witness, who was arrested by French authorities.

“On behalf of the Court, the Registrar of the ICC, Herman von Hebel, expressed his gratitude to the States’ authorities for their cooperation,” the ICC said, adding that these are the first arrests made in relation to such charges before the Court.

Mr. Bemba is the alleged President and Commander-in-Chief of the Mouvement de libération du Congo being tried for two counts of crimes against humanity (rape and murder) and three counts of war crimes (rape, murder and pillaging) allegedly committed in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Established by the Rome Statute of 1998, the ICC can try cases involving individuals charged with war crimes committed since July 2002. The Security Council, the ICC Prosecutor or a State Party to the court can initiate any proceedings, and the ICC only acts when countries themselves are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute.

New York, Nov 24 2013  6:00PM

 

#aceworldnews, #arrest, #bemba, #central-african-republic, #congo, #cuno-tarfusser, #democratic-republic-of-congo, #international-criminal-court, #jean-pierre-bemba, #movement-for-the-liberation-of-the-congo

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.

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