UNHCR applauds South Sudan’s accession to the International Convention to protect Internally Displaced

UNHCR applauds South Sudan’s accession to the International Convention to protect Internally Displaced

Source: EIN Presswire

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency welcomes South Sudan’s ground-breaking accession to the 2009 African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa, also known as the Kampala Convention.

The Kampala Convention is the first and only regional legally binding instrument for the protection and assistance of internally displaced persons, which incorporates the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.

“South Sudan becomes the 28th country to ratify the Kampala Convention. This is a significant milestone achieved by the world’s newest country. It is also timely as this year marks the tenth anniversary of the Convention.” UNHCR Representative to South Sudan, Mr. Johann Siffointe said.

Its accession has come at a time when South Sudan and the whole Africa region are faced with complex and protracted internal displacement challenges affecting millions of men, women and children. The Kampala Convention will guide a critically important legal framework in South Sudan for protecting, assisting and finding solutions for almost 2 million internally displaced South Sudanese, as well as for the prevention of future displacement by addressing the root causes.

“While congratulating South Sudan’s important and historic step forward, UNHCR urges South Sudan to move beyond accession and towards national legislation. South Sudan must ensure that the Convention leads to positive changes which will enable South Sudan to respond and find solutions for internally displaced South Sudanese,” Mr. Siffointe emphasized.

UNHCR applauds South Sudan’s encouraging step forward to protect almost 2 million internally displaced South Sudanese as well as more than 2.3 million South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries.

While the government is primarily responsible for the provision of emergency assistance and effective protection for internally displaced persons, UNHCR will continue to ensure that internally displaced South Sudanese have an access to adequate assistance and protection, and seek durable solutions.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 

First Vice President of South Sudan H.E. Taban Deng Gai Calls for More Cooperation with Russia

First Vice President of South Sudan H.E. Taban Deng Gai Calls for More Cooperation with Russia

Source: EIN Presswire

The First President of the Republic of South Sudan, H.E. Taban Deng Gai, is leading this week a South Sudanese delegation to the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, where he talked about investment opportunities and the need for a stronger cooperation between Russia and South Sudan.

“With the resumption of peace and security, the government of the Republic of South Sudan has been especially active in attracting investment to the country. These efforts are proving successful: we have recently signed a second Exploration & Production Sharing Agreement for our biggest oil block last month, and are proud to have welcomed sizeable new entrants into our oil licenses over the past few years. We are proud to count Rosneft and other Russian energy companies as the partners of the rebuilding of South Sudan’s economy and oil industry,” he said.

H.E. the First Vice President notably insisted on the importance of the Russian support to South Sudan’s political stability and economic prosperity. He welcomed Russia’s various initiatives to strengthen its dialogue with Africa this year, and invited more Russian companies to come and do business in South Sudan. “We have committed to a long-lasting peace, prosperity and security for our people, and have emerged as a true African and global frontier of opportunity where everything is possible and the prospect of building a new world has become a reality,” he added.

Talking about the importance of South Sudan’s cooperation with Russia when it comes to energy and oil & gas, H.E. Taban Deng Gai notably highlighted the numerous investment opportunities offered to foreign investors within South Sudan’s oil industry. These include blocks B1, A1 to A6, E1 and E2, but also opportunities in pipeline infrastructure to the Indian Ocean, and in downstream infrastructure with the Safinat Refinery. “Our energy relations with Russia go beyond that of investments,” he explained. “We welcomed Russia’s support and engagement in South Sudan across the value chain, including when it comes to sharing experiences on local content and developing capacity building programs for our engineers.” H.E the First Vice President was accompagnied by Minister of Petroleum, H.E. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, who invited Russian companies and investors to participate in the upcoming South Sudan Oil & Power Conference in Juba on October 28-30, 2019.

The Republic of South Sudan has been successful in bringing back damaged and oilfields into production. The national oil production has been steadily increasing to reach a current state of over 180,000 bopd. As efforts continue to develop the sector, pre-independence production levels of 350,000 bopd should be reached by 2020. The government has been reforming the business climate to attract investments across South Sudan’s economy and welcomes all foreign investors to come and make business in the country.

Source: Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South Sudan Ministry of Petroleum.

Scores killed in ‘barbaric’ attack on Mali village, UN chief urges restraint, calls for ‘dialogue’ to resolve tensions

Scores killed in ‘barbaric’ attack on Mali village, UN chief urges restraint, calls for ‘dialogue’ to resolve tensions

Source: UN NEWS

The Secretary-General said he was “outraged by reports that at least 95 civilians, including women and children, have been killed and many injured”, following the assault on Sobanou-Kou village in the Mopti region of central Mali, according to a statement issued by his Spokesperson.

He also “strongly” condemned the attack and called on the Malian authorities “to investigate this tragedy”.

The Secretary-General expressed his “heartfelt condolences” to the families of the victims, the people and the Government, and wished a “speedy recovery to the injured”, the statement continued. He urged the Government and all actors to “engage in intercommunal dialogue to resolve tensions and differences”.

‘Unspeakable barbarity’

Meanwhile, the UN Stabilization Mission in Mali, (MINUSMA) said it was “extremely concerned” at the news of the attack, which has been corroborated by local authorities on the ground.

Preliminary information points to the attack being led by a group of armed men, and according to news reports, many of the bodies of the dead had been burned. Clashes between Dogon hunters – who have a highly distinctive traditional culture dating back centuries – and the semi-nomadic Fulani herders, have become a growing flash point in recent years.

While no one has yet claimed responsibility for this attack, tensions have been rising since the ethnic Dogon hunters were accused of carrying out a massacre on the semi-nomadic Fulani herders’ village back in March.

The situation has passed the threshold of tolerable, and it is time for the nation to wake up – UN Special Representative in Mali

Spokesperson for the UN human rights office (OHCHR), Ravina Shamdasani, said “these traditional disputes have always been there”, often fuelled by disputes over access to land and water. “But lately it has taken on a particularly deadly turn because entire Fulani communities – and we are talking about millions of people – are being painted as violent extremists simply because they are Muslim.”

Sobanou-Kou village reportedly had around 300 inhabitants, and the mayor, said the death toll could increase, amid reports that some 19 people are still missing.

The Special Representative in Mali, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, said he was “shocked and outraged” by the attack.

“I strongly condemn this act of unspeakable barbarity”, he stated, adding that this “spiral of violence” underscores that there are no bad guys on one side and good on the other.

“Everyone is responsible”, he stressed. “The situation has passed the threshold of tolerable, and it is time for the nation to wake up”, added the MINUSMA chief.

As of Monday Morning, MINUSMA had coordinated its response in support of the Malian authorities and is mobilizing humanitarian assistance to the affected populations.

Moreover, its security operations in central Mali are being redeployed to support the Malian Defense and Security Forces in securing and protecting the population. The UN mission also provided air assistance to help prevent further offenses.

And MINUSMA is currently deploying a special human rights fact-finding mission to investigate and bolster the Malian authorities in their judicial investigations.

Mr. Annadif indicated that MINUSMA stands ready to back the Government in any action that may alleviate the situation.

International partners pledge $1.2 billion to help cyclone-hit Mozambique recover, ‘build back better’

International partners pledge $1.2 billion to help cyclone-hit Mozambique recover, ‘build back better’

Donors have pledged an initial $1.2 billion to help restore livelihoods and rebuild infrastructure destroyed by cyclones Kenneth and Idai in Mozambique, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced on Sunday.

According to UNDP, a two-day international pledging conference in the central Mozambique city of Beira – one of the areas worst hit by cyclones Idai and Kenneth – wrapped up with development partners committing financial and technical resources to support recovery interventions as the country deals with the challenging devastation.

The powerful tropical cyclones, which struck Mozambique in quick succession this past March and April respectively, killed hundreds and impacted close to two million.

“The important point coming out of this conference is that this recovery needs to be resilient. Mozambique is prone to climate change disasters, and those cyclones were not a one-time event – unfortunately – and the probability of these disasters reoccurring, many times in the future, is very high,” said Noura Hamladji, UNDP Africa Bureau Reginal Director, representing UNDP at the conference.

Ms. Hamladji added that “there is a need to ‘build back better’, to look at infrastructure, resilience of communities in a different way. This is what this conference is all about, over and above requesting the solidarity of the international community to fund the reconstruction.”

UNDP said the Mozambique Government is establishing a Disaster Management Fund that includes a contribution to its capitalization of 0.1 per cent of the State budget, as well as contributions from partners. Regular external audits will be conducted to ensure transparency and accountability.

Partners, in particular UNDP, pledged to also support capacity development of the Reconstruction Cabinet, a platform established by the Government to ensure transparency and accountability in the achievement of results as well as promoting the development of norms for better reconstruction – building back better, and technical capacity to conduct feasibility studies and procurement, among others.

UN chief Guterres urged donors to turn solidarity into action for Mozambique

Sending warm greetings to the Conference on Saturday, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres  said in a message that he was certain he shared with all a deep sense of distress at the loss of life, the devastation and the suffering caused by the deadly cyclones.

He reiterated his condolences and deep solidarity with the Government and the people of Mozambique, especially the communities most affected by these natural disasters.

“I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to all those who have contributed – and continue to do so – to alleviate the suffering of the people who have been deprived of their goods, houses, infrastructure and livelihoods,” said Mr. Guterres, noting that the UN and its humanitarian partners had been on the ground since the start of the crisis.

The world body’s support to the Government’s efforts included contributing to the coordination of international support; distributing food, drinking water and medicine; and providing shelter to those displaced.

But Mr. Guterres stressed that while the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) allocated $24 million to Mozambique, it was necessary to recognize that to face the scale of the disaster, large additional resources are needed.

“The means at our disposal are not at all enough. We face enormous challenges: people’s basic needs remain unmet; the risk of disease outbreaks is evident; and the negative impact on food security due to the loss of crops will be very significant,” he said in his message.

He also noted that in order to strengthen the response to the tragedy, the United Nations launched an emergency humanitarian appeal of $282 million, which remained deeply underfunded.

Against this background, Mr. Guterres reiterated his appeal to the generosity of the international community, saying “this is the moment to translate into concrete gestures our solidarity with a country affected by one of the worst weather-related catastrophes in African history – and which also warns us about the urgency of tackling climate change.”

‘Regional security and integration’ in Central Africa under threat, Security Council warned

‘Regional security and integration’ in Central Africa under threat, Security Council warned

“Recent inter-communal tensions in eastern Chad opposing nomadic herders and sedentary farmers, as well as the attacks against villages in the Central African Republic…remind us of the urgency of addressing the issue of pastoralism and transhumance”, said François Louncény Fall, referring to the traditional practice of moving livestock from one grazing area to another on a seasonal basis, which has been a persistent source of conflict in the region.

On a more positive note, the UN Special Representative and Head of the Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) said he was “pleased” that the issue is “receiving increasing attention in Central Africa” and welcomed a draft regulation instrument on pastoralism and transhumance from a 27-28 May workshop in Kinshasa.

He reminded the Council that the UN Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa (UNSAC) remains “the primary platform” where the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) meet to discuss peace and security issues and recommends actions to address threats to regional stability.

François Louncény Fall, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), briefs the Security Council on Central African region. (file photo), by UN Photo/Manuel Elias

François Louncény Fall, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), briefs the Security Council on Central African region. (file photo), by UN Photo/Manuel Elias

Given the inter-regional dimension of the tensions, Mr. Fall made assurances that “UNOCA will continue to support ECCAS efforts in this area” and work with the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel, “to promote cooperation and exchange of good practices between Central, East and West Africa on the issue”.

The UNOCA chief said that on 31 May, UNSAC noted the positive impact of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s elections at the end of last year that have “enabled the country to experience a peaceful alternation of power”.

“They also welcomed the signing of the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic (CAR)” and expressed support for completely lifting the arms embargo. Furthermore, they took note of Cameroon’s efforts to find “a lasting solution to the crisis in the North-West and South-West regions and encouraged the Government to pursue dialogue to that end”.

Since his last briefing, Mr. Fall reported that ECCAS “has made noticeable progress” on its reform process, that he said should help transform it into “a more effective organization for regional integration, conflict prevention and resolution, as well as peacebuilding”.

“UNOCA remains committed to help enhance these capacities, building on the valuable expertise already available”, he said.

According to the Special Representative, the reform should also provide the organization with “a more adequate mandate” as well as tools and the means to carry it out.

“I appeal to ECCAS member States to enhance their support to this process…for the benefit of regional peace, stability and integration”, Mr. Fall concluded.