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Nigeria: $40 million worth of jewellery, gold iPhone seized from ex-minister
July 5, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Teslim Olawore

Diezani Alison Madueke

Diezani Alison Madueke

A Nigerian court has ordered the imminent seizure of $40 million (£32 million) worth of jewellery and a customised gold iPhone belonging to former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, the country’s anti-graft agency said on Friday.

The items, including hundreds of bangles, rings, earrings, necklaces and watches, were found at a property owned by Alison-Madueke, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said in a statement.

Alison-Madueke, who ran the petroleum ministry from 2011 to 2015, was charged by the EFCC in absentia with money laundering in 2017. Her whereabouts are unknown, and a London-based lawyer who has represented her did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The order gives the EFCC 14 days to print the charges in any national newspaper and allow for her or “anyone interested in the items” to show why they should not be permanently forfeited to the federal government. In 2017, a court allowed the government to permanently seize a $37.5 million apartment block she owned in an upscale Lagos neighbourhood.

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Boeing Pledges Support to Families, Communities Affected by Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Accidents
July 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg

CHICAGO, July 4th, 2019 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Ahead of Independence Day in the U.S., Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced $100 million in funds to address family and community needs of those affected by the tragic accidents of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. These funds will support education, hardship and living expenses for impacted families, community programs, and economic development in impacted communities. Boeing will partner with local governments and non-profit organizations to address these needs. This initial investment will be made over multiple years.

“We at Boeing are sorry for the tragic loss of lives in both of these accidents and these lives lost will continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and on our minds for years to come. The families and loved ones of those on board have our deepest sympathies, and we hope this initial outreach can help bring them comfort,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chairman, president and CEO.

“We know every person who steps aboard one of our airplanes places their trust in us. We are focused on re-earning that trust and confidence from our customers and the flying public in the months ahead.”

Boeing will release additional information in the near future.

Consistent with Boeing’s regular process for employee charitable donations, company employees will also have the opportunity to make donations in support of the families and communities impacted by the accidents. Boeing will match these employee donations through December 31, 2019.

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Pressure mounts on Ruto to resign over fake assassination letter
July 5, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma| @journalist_27

DP William Ruto

DP William Ruto

A section of Members of National Assembly has called on the Deputy President (DP) William Ruto to take the responsibility, apologize and resign following an alleged assassination letter which has been found to be fake by the criminal investigators.

The letter which went viral on social media linked senior government officials including Cabinet Secretaries with a plot to assassinate him. It averred that the named officials met in a Nairobi Hotel on May 14 to orchestrate how to eliminate the DP before 2022 polls.

The Cabinet Secretaries had been summoned by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) but were unable to record statements because the DP is yet to file a formal complaint. He only made a phone call to DCI boss George Kinoti. They dismissed the speculations dubbing the claims as wild and unsubstantiated.

Preliminary investigations discovered that the letter was fake and written by Ruto’s allies. DCI had sought the help of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to help them track down author of the letter.

On Wednesday July 3, the digital director in the communications department of the presidency Dennis Itumbi who works in Ruto’s office was nabbed and arraigned on Thursday and charged with propagating false information.

Court was told that Mr. Itumbi had posted the letter in a WhatsApp group whose members support Ruto’s presidential bid.

“Pursuant to the perusal of the said WhatsApp group, the purported letter was recovered as having being posted by the respondent,” said the lead investigator.

The investigations further revealed that the said letter was drafted in a cyber café located in Nairobi.

On his side, the respondent said he has the recordings of the alleged meeting.

“I have an audio and video recording of material that could show, subject to the investigations, that a meeting could have happened at the alleged place, at which discussions were held on possibility of assassination of a member of my employer, particularly the deputy president of the Republic of Kenya. I request to play the audio-video content in court, in camera,” said Itumbi.

He has been detained in police custody for five days pending investigations.

Addressing the press on Thursday, the legislators drawn from the government and opposition castigated Ruto for sabotaging the government and undermining national security calling the investigators to apprehend him.

“He has unleashed a dangerous card and the DCI should stop at nothing including arresting him because no one is above the law in Kenya,” echoed a legislator.

Others noted that the murder claims is a stunt to cover big scandals the deputy president is associated with.

The legislators rued over the claims saying it risks polarizing the nation along ethnic lines ahead of 2022 polls which might cause a repeat of 2007/2008. They wondered why a senior official of his stature should come up with such propaganda.

“The arrest should not just stop at the dog. We want the owner of the dog to be taken in for questioning now that it is clear that the whole affair came from his office. If it is true, the DP should resign because he has no authority to lead the country.

 

 

 

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AU Summit: President Adesina to lead African Development Bank’s delegation, Continental Free Trade Area talks to top summit agenda
July 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
The Bank will also participate in the meetings of the 37th NEPAD Heads of state and Government Orientation Committee
Adesina

Adesina

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, July 5, 2019/ — African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) President Akinwumi Adesina will next week lead a delegation of top Bank officials to the extraordinary summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) in Niger’s capital, Niamey.

High on the agenda of the July 7-8 summit are discussions on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). President Adesina will meet African leaders to review the continent’s development issues, and hold talks on the effective implementation of the AfCFTA.

As a member of the continental Task Force, the Bank will participate in several executive discussions, including the deliberations of the 8th meeting of African Trade Ministers, as well as a meeting of the 37th Steering Committee of Heads of Commerce.

The Bank will also participate in the meetings of the 37th NEPAD Heads of state and Government Orientation Committee, as well as in the 1st mid-year coordination meeting of the AU and Regional Economic Communities.

President Adesina will share the Bank’s vision on empowering African women, and on the AFAWA (Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa) initiative.

On the sidelines, there will be discussions between the Bank and major African private sector representatives on the AU’s 2063 vision of an integrated, inclusive and prosperous continent.

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More than a million people to be vaccinated in phase 2 of a huge cholera vaccination campaign in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
July 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

Phase 2 of the biggest ever oral vaccination campaign against cholera is scheduled to take place from 3-8 July 2019 in 15 health districts in the four central provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – Kasaï, Kasaï Oriental, Lomami et Sankuru.  The second dose of vaccine confers lasting immunity against cholera and is being targeted at 1 235 972 people over 1 year of age.  The 5-day, door-to-door campaign will involve 2632 vaccinators recruited mainly from local communities, whose job it is to administer the oral cholera vaccine, fill in vaccination cards and tally sheets, and compile a daily summary of the teams’ progress.

In parallel, 583 community mobilizers  have been selected – 1 mobilizer for every 3 teams in urban areas and 1 mobilizer for every 2 teams in rural districts.   Their job is to alert local people that vaccinators will visit their homes.  They will use loudspeakers to spread the message, particularly in the early evening.  The campaign is organized by the Ministry of Health with technical, logistic and financial support from WHO, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC).  It is the second such campaign in this central region of the DRC.  1 224 331 people over 1 year of age were vaccinated during the first round in late December 2018.  The purpose of the vaccination campaign is to contain the serious epidemic which resulted in 9154 presumed cases and 458 deaths (case-fatality rate of 5%) in the 5 affected provinces in Kasaï region between January and December 2018.

This cholera vaccination campaign marks the intensification of our response in the DRC,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, “WHO and our partners are working with national authorities to rollout the vaccine, which comes in addition to multiple interventions introduced since the beginning of the cholera epidemic, including sanitation and water quality control in the affected areas, many of which have little access to a safe water supply.”

Right now, with the second dose, the preventive campaign for which 1 235 972 doses of oral vaccine have been laid in will ensure coverage of all at-risk areas in this central region of the DRC.  The vaccines have been provided from global cholera vaccine stocks managed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

“This vaccination campaign will play a key role in bringing this cholera outbreak under control,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi. “The DRC is currently going through an unprecedented combination of deadly epidemics, with Ebola and measles outbreaks also causing untold misery across the country. It is vital that the global effort to control these outbreaks continues to receive support: we cannot allow this needless suffering to continue.”

In 2018 the DRC reported a cumulative total of 29 304 suspected cholera cases and more than 930 deaths (case-fatality rate 3.17%).  Since the start of 2019 and up to epidemiological week 23 (3-9 June), at least 12 247 suspected cases of cholera and 279 deaths (case-fatality rate 2.2%) have already been reported in 137 health districts in 20 of the 26 provinces of the DRC.  Cholera is a highly contagious communicable disease transmitted via contaminated water or food.  It causes severe diarrhoea and dehydration which must be treated immediately to avoid death after only a few hours and to stop the disease from spreading on a massive scale throughout an environment at risk.

‘‘This cholera vaccination campaign in the 4 central provinces of the DRC is crucial to stop the disease from gaining a permanent foothold in the target areas of Kasaï, Lomami and Sankuru.  The vaccinators will visit every household, even in the remotest areas, to administer the second dose vital for ensuring long-term protection against cholera,“ explains Dr Deo Nshimirimana, Acting WHO Representative in the DRC. ‘‘We must not forget that oral cholera vaccine works in conjunction with other effective prevention measures such as improvement of sanitary conditions, individual and collective hygiene including regular hand-washing (with soap) after going to the bathroom or before meals, and lobbying authorities to improve access to drinking water“.

‘‘This cholera vaccination campaign in the 4 central provinces of the DRC is crucial to stop the disease from gaining a permanent foothold in the target areas of Kasaï, Lomami and Sankuru.  The vaccinators will visit every household, even in the remotest areas, to administer the second dose vital for ensuring long-term protection against cholera,“ explains Dr Deo Nshimirimana, Acting WHO Representative in the DRC. ‘‘We must not forget that oral cholera vaccine works in conjunction with other effective prevention measures such as improvement of sanitary conditions, individual and collective hygiene including regular hand-washing (with soap) after going to the bathroom or before meals, and lobbying authorities to improve access to drinking water“.

 

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Zim’s ban of multi-currencies challenged in court
July 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Reserve Bank Governor John Mangudya

Reserve Bank Governor John Mangudya

A Zimbabwean lawyer has on Tuesday 2 July 2019 filed an application in the
High Court seeking an order to set aside and declare the decision by
government to ban the multi-currency system in the country as grossly
unreasonable and unconstitutional.

Government on 24 June 2019 and without notice published regulations
known as the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Legal Tender) Regulations S.I.
142 of 2019 which purportedly outlawed the basket of foreign
currencies as legal tender in any transactions in Zimbabwe and
declared as sole legal tender the Zimbabwe Dollar.

This directive confirmed the discontinuation of the multi-currency
system and further confirmed the Zimbabwe dollar as the sole currency
to be used in domestic transactions.

But in an application filed by Rudo Magundani and Evans Moyo of
Scanlen and Holderness Legal Practitioners, who are members of
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Godfrey Mupanga, a human rights
lawyer, who indicated that he is aggrieved by the government and RBZ
policies, wants the High Court to proclaim that the declaration by the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Legal Tender) Regulations S.I. 142 of 2019
are null and void in that they are in contravention of Section 134(c)
of the Constitution.

Alternatively, Mupanga also wants the court to declare that the
provisions of Section 64 as read with Section 44A of the Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe Act Chapter 22:15 be declared unconstitutional and
therefore null and void to the extent that they are inconsistent with
Section 134(a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and/or for want of
compliance with Section 134 (f) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
In addition, the human rights lawyer, who cited Finance and Economic
Development Minister Mthuli Ncube and the RBZ as respondents, wants
the court to issue an order setting aside the decision by Ncube and
the RBZ to ban the multi-currency system in Zimbabwe prescribed by
Section 44A of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Act Chapter 22:15 as legal
tender on the grounds that it is grossly unreasonable.

It is reported Mupanga argued that the regulations made by Ncube, which purport to
amend the principal legislation through subsidiary legislation are
manifestly inconsistent with the Act of Parliament under which they
are made and this in itself contravenes Section 134 (c) of the
Constitution of Zimbabwe.

The RBZ Act, Mupanga argued, specifically entrenches and still
provides in section 44A (2) the British Pound, Euro, United States
Dollar, South Africa Rand and Botswana Pula as legal tender in
Zimbabwe.

The human rights lawyer argued that Ncube cannot amend a principal
legislation as this is a primary law-making power that can only be
exercised by Parliament and considering that the statutory instrument
would significantly affect the national economy or people’s lives.

Mupanga, who is also a lecturer at University of Zimbabwe charged that
the decision by government is grossly irrational and unreasonable in
that the use of the Zimbabwe dollar as sole legal tender was abandoned
in 2009 because it failed as a currency and that there is no evidence
that there are economic fundamentals in place to support the
introduction of the Zimbabwe Dollar.

Lastly, Mupanga argued that the sudden chopping and changing of
policies by government since the introduction of the bond notes and
coins undermines the trust and confidence of the public as well as the
international community and this in itself will undermine the value of
the Zimbabwe Dollar in the market.

The matter is yet to be set down for hearing by the Registrar of the
High Court.

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African Development Bank to establish Central African headquarters in Cameroon
July 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Akinwumi Adesina, African Development Bank president

Akinwumi Adesina, African Development Bank president

The African Development Bank, AfDB will in the days ahead establish its central headquarters in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde.

This is the substance of an agreement signed this morning at the Ministry of external relations between the government of Cameroon and the African Development Bank.

Signing in for Cameroon was the Minister of external relations Lejeune Mbella Mbella and the Vice President of the African Development Bank, Khaled Sherif signed on behalf of the banking institution.

According to Khaled Sherif, Cameroon was chosen in the central African Sub region as site for the implantation of the ADB regional headquarters because it suits the established criteria, one of which include hospitality.

“The government of Cameroon freely gave us a piece of land and we intend to work here over the long run” Khaled said at the end of the signing ceremony.

 

“The new regional office for development, integration and service delivery in Central Africa, like those established in Southern, Eastern, Northern and Western Africa, aims to bring the Bank closer to its Member States,” a release from the AfDB reads.

 

The signature of this headquarters agreement, which comes almost two months after the approval by the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank, of the Regional Integration Strategy Document for Central Africa (DSIR), approving the Bank’s operations in this region over the 2019-2025 period, will strengthen the institution’s dialogue and support for the process of economic integration in Central Africa.

 

With some 44 active regional projects in the continent, amounting to nearly 632 billion CFA francs, or 1.1 billion US dollars, the AfDB seeks to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in its regional member countries thus contributing to poverty reduction.

 

This new regional office will help improve the efficiency of the Bank’s operations and deepen the dialogue between the Bank and all Central African countries.

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Top 5 medical inventions by Africans that are changing the world
July 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Cardio Pad

Cardio Pad

Long gone are the days when all the African continent was renowned for was its cultural heritage, agricultural prowess, abundant minerals, strong reproductive men, basic societal problems, fetish traditions and a great importer of Western products and technology.

Today, Africa present’s herself as “the future’s” hope and is making considerable strides towards that; with her youths taking on the world.

The continent regarded foremostly as the “dark continent” has over the last decade stun the world. News about people of African descent flood the media daily due to astonishing achievements in their respective spares.

From top-notch intellectuals to the world highest paid engineers to the African kid coding for Uber, outstanding financial experts, artificial intelligence, sportsmen and women, and dozen others, African youths the world over are actively designing tomorrow and changing the narrative one day and an invention at a time.

As mother Africa expands and grows from a laggard to a challenger, competing with Western economies, these top five inventions by African youths are changing the world providing renewed hope for humankind.

This is the bleeding-edge of African innovations. Below is arguable the top five medical inventions from Africa that has taken on the world.

Mama-Ope – Uganda

The world over, pneumonia is responsible for 16% of all deaths of children under five with the death rate also considerably high among adults. This is largely due to the fact that diagnosing the illness is often very slow.

Faced with this, Uganda inventor Brian Turyabagye took decided to invent the biomedical smart jacket proven to diagnose pneumonia four times than a medical doctor does. The award-winning invention is gaining momentum with additional upgrades added to perfect the life-saving jacket from Uganda.

Brian Turyabagye and his work partner Besufekad Shifferaw showing off the biomedical smart jacket.

Koniku Kore – Nigeria

For Nigerian-born Oshi Agabi, the future remains unknown and is all about now. Creating technologies that solve real-life problems. His invention, the Koniku Kore has the capacity to detect the smell of explosives and cancer cells.

The tech-enthusiast who obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Lagos before furthering his studies in physics and neuroscience in Sweden and Switzerland says his creation can be used for security, agricultural, military, and health situations.

Unveiled in Tanzania in 2017, Oshi expressed hopes that it could be used as a more effective means of airport security to scan numerous guests and also deployed in hospitals as the device is equally adaptable for use to identify different diseases.

Cardio pad – Cameroon

At just 28 years old, Cameroonian Arthur Zang is the inventor of a touchscreen heart-monitoring tablet that has revolutionized medicine in remote areas.

His Cardio pad enables heart patients in remote areas to access healthcare without journeying to the cities where most heart specialists work.

The tablet comes with four electrodes, which are attached to the patient’s chest to determine whether their heart is functioning normally.

The data is then wirelessly transmitted to the tablet and sent, via a mobile phone, to a cardiologist who can interpret the data in under 20 minutes and refer any prescriptions needed to the patient.

The award-winning device is currently deployed in most African countries and Asia as the world continues to embrace it.

Dr. Ndjomo Mba, director of the hospital of Mbankomo and Arthur Zang testing the Cardiopad with patient Jean Abada.

Usalama – Kenya

For this trio Kenyan developers, Marvin Makau, Edwin Inganji, and Kenneth Gachukia, communication could save lives and that is what their Usalama App seeks to achieve.

The app’s panic button sends a distress signal with the shake of a phone to emergency services, the needy person’s next of kin and other Usalama users within 200 meters.

In case of an accident or if confronted with a medical or emergency situation, users of the app can immediately send distress signals by barely shaking the phone three times. This will alert first responders, sharing your live locations so they can come to your rescue.

BeSpecular – South Africa

Commonly regarded as the app “leading eyes to the blind”, South African Chris Venter though blind can now see through the eyes of volunteers the world over who lend their eyes to him and thousands of the BeSpecular blind users.

After losing his sight to a virus, Chris, a former chef was determined to keep cooking and that was when the idea of eyes lending downed on him.

Once a request is submitted via the app, a handful of volunteers (over 10.000 subscribers), or so-called “sightlings”, receive a notification on their smartphones and can from there guide the blind on whatever they want to do.

Be it cooking, crossing the road, walking or any general thing they might need eyes for. With users in over 50 countries the world over, the question of if BeSpecular can help the blind to see it has popped up on several occasions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Visiting US congress delegation reiterates dialogue to resolving Cameroon’s simmering crisis
July 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Congresswoman Karen Bass (L) Cameroon Defense minister(R) during the audience (photo: The Guardian Post)

Congresswoman Karen Bass (L) Cameroon Defense minister(R) during the audience (photo: The Guardian Post)

A delegation from the United States congress has reiterated dialogue without any preconditions as a means to put an end to the ongoing armed conflict that has now claimed over two thousand lives displacing even more from the crisis-thorn North West and South West regions.

Addressing the delegation in an audience Tuesday, the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Defence, Joseph Beti Asomo, highlighted some of the security challenges Cameroon is currently facing, including cross border crime, maritime piracy, poaching, organized crime and terrorism. Citing the example of the recent Boko Haram attack in Darak, the Minister Delegate said these challenges the nation is facing have had several negative consequences.

The defence and security forces as well as the Multinational Joint Task Force of the Lake Chad Basin, he said, are however doing their best to bring back peace and stability in the affected regions.

With regards to the ongoing armed conflict in the North West and South West regions, Minister Joseph Beti Assomo stated that the information presented to the US congress by instigators of the crisis was imbalanced.

“The information brought to your attention by the instigators of this crisis is simply biased. The real criminals and terrorists are those who kill people, kidnap them, demand ransom, prevent children from going to school and burn down villages, hospitals and patients,” he said.

These persons whose names appear on the lists forwarded to the US government, he added, “raise funds in Western countries to finance the war in Cameroon”.

The US delegation was later presented a video which the Minister Delegate said depicts the “reality on the ground”.

Talking at the end of the encounter, the head of the United States delegation, Honorable Karen Bass said the US congress has taken the stance of peace and dialogue.

“What you can expect from the US congress is a real call for a dialogue, for peace, for all the parties to come together without preconditions,” she said.

She also reiterated her nation’s commitment in helping Cameroon fight terrorism in the Northern regions of the country.

“The United States support for Cameroon’s effort to address Boko Haram is going to continue. That is a partnership that we have experienced, an example of many. We want to make sure that continues,” she assured.

The US congress delegation’s exchange with the defence ministry officials, it should be said, was one of the several audiences granted the visitors by top regime officials, including Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute.

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Nigeria: Buhari set to sign Africa free trade pact
July 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Teslim Olawore

President Buhari

President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari will sign the landmark African free trade agreement during the upcoming African Union meeting in Niger.

The information was revealed in a tweet that was posted on July 2nd by the office of the presidency.

“Nigeria will sign the #AfCFTA Agreement at the upcoming Extraordinary Summit of the African Union in Niamey, Niger,” the presidency tweeted.

African leaders will meet for the AU meeting in Niamey this weekend.

Nigeria had been a key backer of the plan to progressively reduce trade barriers on the continent since talks on the African Continental Free Trade Area got underway in 2002.

However it abruptly changed course shortly before the deal was signed last year following pressure from local unions and businesses fearful that they would be uncompetitive if trade barriers are dropped.

Last week, a special government panel formed to study the potential impact of joining AfCFTA, recommended that Buhari sign Nigeria up.

The trade deal “provides immense opportunities for Nigeria’s manufacturing and service companies to expand to Africa,” the panel’s chair, Desmond Guobadia, said in a statement after submitting its report.

AfCFTA formally came into force at the end of May, after the required minimum of 22 countries ratified the ambitious plan to boost intra-African trade, which has long suffered by high tariffs.

It hopes the progressive elimination of tariffs will help boost regional trade by 60 percent within three years. At present, only 16 percent of trade by African nations is with continental neighbours.

Nigeria is one of only three of the AU’s 55 member states to not have signed up to AfCFTA, with other African economic heavyweights such as Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Africa having ratified the pact.

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Kenyan President urges South Sudan leaders to coalesce peace dividends
July 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

President Kenyatta and Salva Kiir who was in Kenya for a two-day State visit. Photo/PSCU.

President Kenyatta and Salva Kiir who was in Kenya for a two-day State visit. Photo/PSCU.

Juba – Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged South Sudanese leaders to coalesce the peace dividends to accelerate the country’s devastated social and economic growth.

South Sudan split from Sudan in 2011 after decades of scorched-earth conflict, but East Africa’s youngest country returned into another civil war in late 2013 followed a political disagreement between president Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar. The five-year conflict has so far killed 400,000 people and uprooted four million people from their homes, and further devastated the country’s economy.

South Sudan president Salva Kiir travelled to Nairobi on Monday for two – days State visit, lobby for peace implementation’s financial support and political cooperation.

South Sudan just days away to celebrate its 8th Anniversary of the independence, president Kenyatta said that the moment had come for the patriotic men and women of Africa’s youngest nation to secure their place in national, regional, continental and global arena.

“The leadership of South Sudan, across the entire spectrum, have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to forge for lasting peace that provides the internal stability and enabling environment for your country’s take-off, both economically and socially,” President Kenyatta told visiting President Kiir, on Monday evening when he and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta hosted President Kiir and his delegation to a state banquet that was also attended by Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga at State House, Nairobi.

On his part, President Kiir thanked President Kenyatta for inviting him for the State Visit, saying it has strengthened the bond of friendship between the two sisterly countries.

“I want to assure that South Sudanese and the great people of Kenya are one people. We share common borders and we are good neighbours,” said President Kiir. Further assured that South Sudan will never abandon its brothers and sisters in Kenya and underscored the key role that Kenya played in South Sudan’s journey to independence.

However, Kenyan president urged the leadership of South Sudan to flout the pessimists by abandoned their tribal discrepancies and delivering unity, humility, tranquility, peace and security to their country.

“South Sudan, in this moment, can crystallize the optimism and hope that all nations of the world had for it when your nation gained independence on 9th July 2011,” said Kenyatta.

South Sudan has now prioritized the search for a sustainable political solution to the five – year conflict that have beset a country’s progress.

Months ago, President Kiir, designated vice president Machar, including Taban Deng and Ms. Rebecca Garang traveled to Vatican for the ‘spirit retreat,’ aimed to anointed them and forge the heart for forgiveness and reconciliation to implement peace deal. But things fall apart despite the Holiness Pope Francis knelt down and kissed their feet.

“Eminent African and global leaders have pledged their support for South Sudan’s quest for sustained peace, including His Holiness Pope Francis; an indicator of the deep continental and global desire to see a united, peaceful and prosperous South Sudan,” he said. “We are fortunate that the South Sudan of today has bold and dynamic sons and daughters, such as Your Excellency, who have requisite vision and stature that allows them to bring together all sections of South Sudanese society into the common fold,” Kenyatta told Kiir.

Kenya president, however says his government is ever ready and always at hand to play whatever fundamental role to create an all-inclusive transitional mechanisms and institutions that will return South Sudanese people together and provide for the full realization of that nation’s democracy.

Support

Also, Kenyatta says Kenya will continue to provide technical and diplomatic support to facilitate the implementation of the peace process including deployment of military ceasefire monitors as well as technical advisors to various transitional and implementation mechanisms.

“Kenya is cognizant of the fact that the political, security, economic and humanitarian situation in South Sudan will largely be determined by the success in the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS); which was signed by the Parties on 12th September 2018,” President Kenyatta said.

The commitment to the peace deal will allow South Sudan to put aside the yoke of inessential conflict and internal disunity that has limited the East Africa community’s country’s achievement of its full potential, Kenyatta said. “I, therefore, urge all parties to the process to exercise tolerance and political goodwill, so as to move the country forward.”

With permanent peace, cohesion and security in place in the Horn of Africa’s country, its will be able to take advantage of the immense opportunities available on the African continent, including the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) which has opened enormous trade and investment opportunities among African countries and as well as the East African Community, which South Sudan is the youngest member.

President Kiir and key opposition groups, including main opposition leader, ex-rebel Machar signed a fragile ceasefire and revitalized peace deal in September, 2018, auspicious to end the political violence, but plans to form a power-sharing in May, this year were delayed after there was no funding to disarm, establish cantonments, rehabilitate and integrate militias and rebels across the country.

 

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Kenya, South Sudan ink deals to deepen trade ties
July 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Kiir and Kenyatta

Kiir and Kenyatta

Juba – Kenya and South Sudan have reached a deal aimed at deepening trade ties between the two neighboring countries in East Africa, including a plan for Kenya to hold a trade expo in Juba in November.

The deals which were signed on Monday in Nairobi between visiting South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his host Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta after an hour of bilateral talks, will also see the two countries set up a joint border commission for the management of the common border.

Kenyan has also agreed to allocate land for a dry port to South Sudan at the Naivasha special economic zone and for a logistics hub near the new Lamu port.

“To further ease the movement of goods consigned to South Sudan, the Kenyan government has set aside 10 acres of land at the inland container depot in Naivasha industrial park, for use as a dry port by the government of South Sudan,” said president Kenyatta, while addressing a joint press conference with president Kiir.

President Kenyatta further assured South Sudan that Kenya is fast tracking the completion of an ambitious Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPPSET) corridor project, an economic and transport corridor that stretches from Kenya’s coastal Lamu Port to South Sudan and Ethiopia, including transnational highways, oil pipeline and the Lamu Port, among others, to link the two countries.

“The first berth [of the Lamu port] will be ready this August while berths 2 and 3 are expected to be completed within the year 2020. I will invite your Excellency, with other regional leaders, to inspect the Lamu project in due course,” said Kenyatta.

Kenyatta said Kenya and South Sudan will put more efforts in completing trans-national highways including Eldoret – Lokichoggio – Nadapal – Kapoeta – Torit – Juba road.

“In pursuit of our shared vision to deepen further our cooperation, it is important we fast – track the implementation of the LAPSSET corridor highway, that is, from Lamu – Garissa – Isiolo – Lokichar – Lowdar – Nadapal – Kapoeta – Torit – Juba,” he said.

Border deal

The two leaders also have initiated efforts that will guide amicable resolution disputes that may arise over the shared joint border and announced that a ministerial team has concluded an MOU on delimitation and demarcation of common borders, to help resolve ethnic conflict between communities in the oil – rich Elemi Triangle that bestrides South Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia.

“The framework will provide the necessary guidelines for engagement on boundary matters, which, in the spirit of brotherhood and in recognition of the deep friendship between our States, will always be amicable,” said Kenyatta.

The Elemi dispute arose from unclear wording of colonial – era treaties which attempted to allow for the movements of Turkana nomadic herders. However, the demarcations have locked South Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia in an enduring ownership dispute for than a century. To resolve the border conflict was high on the agenda for president Kiir’s two – day state visit to Kenya, but a visit continues with discussions on the peace process, including bilateral interests.

Stability

Kenyatta reiterated that South Sudan’s stability was a major concern for Kenyans and that he would use Kenya’s voice to urge more nations to support the ongoing peace process in the world youngest country. Adding that the Revitalized peace deal, if fully implemented, will benefit the entire continent and not South Sudan alone.

On his part, President Kiir said that his government was happy with president Kenyatta’s assurance that Nairobi will use its influence to support the implementation of the peace deal.

“We are delighted that you have assured us that Kenya will exert more pressure for the implementation of the peace accord,” said president Kiir, currently in Kenya for a two – days state visit.

Trade expo

Under the pacts, Kenya will hold a trade expo in Juba in November to help deepen trade ties between the two nations and also work as a show of confidence in South Sudan’s economy growth.

“The expo will not only showcase Kenyan products but also reciprocate by exposing South Sudan’s products to Kenyan business people,” said president Kenyatta.

South Sudan split from Sudan in 2011 after decades of scorched-earth conflict, but East Africa’s youngest country returned into another civil war in late 2013. The five-year conflict has killed 400,000 people and uprooted four million people from their homes, and further devastated the country’s economy. The September peace deal is latest deal amongst deals reached before, but plans to transitional government in May, this year were delayed after there was no funding to disarm, establish cantonments, rehabilitate and integrate militias and rebels across the country.

 

 

 

 

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