Nigeria: Nigeria Faces Volatile Polls

analysis

Nigeria's presidential, parliamentary and state gubernatorial and assembly elections, scheduled for February 2015, will be more contentious than usual.

Tensions within and between the two major political parties, competing claims...

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Zambia: Scott Suspended by Ruling Party

By Clement Malambo

The Patriotic Front Central Committee has suspended Acting Party and Republican President Guy Scott from the party for sixty days with immediate effect.

The Central Committee has also...

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Ebola Is Killing Traditions and Customs

opinion

By Marcel Lama

Guinea is my home. I work for Save the Children responding to different emergencies around the world so it was only natural that I should return to...

Continue Reading →

Ifad Invests in Rural Populations to Boost Food Security and Access to Markets

press release

Rome — New project to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth in post-crisis zones of the country

The Government of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire and the International Fund...

Continue Reading →

East Africa: Who’s the Richest in Africa?

By Baraka Jefwa

Two of East Africa's telecom industry investors have made it to Forbes' 'Africa's 50 Richest' list which was released this week.

The two are Kenya's Naushad Meralli (who's...

Continue Reading →

Zambia: Ruling Party MPs Demand Scott’s Suspension

By Peter Adamu

Representatives of the 70 Members of Parliament arising from a caucus meeting held at Parliament Motel last night have demanded for an immediate suspension of Acting President...

Continue Reading →

Rwandan Rebels Regroup

press release

Facing a deadline from the UN Security Council and regional African governments to fully demobilize or face military operations by January 2, 2015, the rebel group in the...

Continue Reading →

Central Africa: Kony to LRA – Bring Me Ivory, Gold, and Diamonds

press release

Washington, DC — The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group is increasingly trafficking ivory, diamonds, and gold in order to obtain weapons, ammunition, food, and other supplies, the...

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Supporting Africa in Fighting Ebola – China Makes Its Utmost Efforts

In recent months, the epidemic of Ebola that broke out in West African countries has been spreading, even going beyond Africa into Europe and the US, causing global panic.

Under...

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World Science Day for Peace and Development

press release

Kinshasa — Martin Kobler, Head of MONUSCO and Abdourahamane Diallo, UNESCO Representative to the DRC urge Congolese youth to embrace sciences

The international community commemorates this Monday, 10 November,...

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Latest News

Nigeria: Nigeria Faces Volatile Polls

analysis

Nigeria’s presidential, parliamentary and state gubernatorial and assembly elections, scheduled for February 2015, will be more contentious than usual.

Tensions within and between the two major political parties, competing claims to the presidency between northern and Niger Delta politicians and along religious lines, the grim radical Islamist Boko Haram insurgency and increasing communal violence in several northern states, along with inadequate preparations by the electoral commission and apparent bias by security agencies, suggest the country is heading toward a very volatile and vicious electoral contest.

If this violent trend continues, and particularly if the vote is close, marred or followed by widespread violence, it would deepen Nigeria’s already grave security and governance crises. The government, its agencies and all other national figures must work urgently to ensure that the vote is not conducted in an explosive situation as this could further destabilise the country.

Nigerian elections are traditionally fiercely contested, but in 2015, risks of violence are particularly high. This will be the first nationwide contest essentially between two parties – the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) – since the return to civilian rule in 1999. While a genuine contest is a welcome sign of progress for Nigeria’s democracy (thanks to the emergence last year of the APC, a merger of the four largest opposition parties), increasingly acrimonious relations between the two parties could engender even fiercer clashes among their supporters once campaigning formally starts in December.

Factional feuds within both parties could degenerate into violence during their national and state primaries. Competing claims to the presidency, between northern leaders and their Niger Delta counterparts, could also result in violence in either or both regions, particularly after the polls. As in 2011, clashes could erupt in some northern states if the APC, whose frontrunners are all northerners, loses the polls; there is similarly a high risk of violence if the PDP loses the presidency, particularly in the Niger Delta, home region of the party’s candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Boko Haram insurgency and the state of emergency in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe could prevent voting in parts of those north-eastern states. If this occurs, the opposition APC, which has large following in those (and other northern) states, could lose a significant number of votes, reject the presidential polls’ outcome and question the elected government’s legitimacy. An election not held in all states may also fall short of the constitutional requirements for electing a president, namely that the winner score 25 per cent of the votes in two-thirds of the 36 states, thereby raising serious legal disputes. Equally worrying are the increasing availability of firearms, the rise in communal violence across several northern states since 2013 and deepening criminality in the Niger Delta.

Deficiencies in electoral preparations are also compounding the risks of violence. Proposed amendments to the 2010 Electoral Act, including provisions for establishment of an election offences tribunal, which were intended to prevent or punish electoral offences including violence, remain stuck in the National Assembly (federal parliament). There is no certainty they will be passed in time to have meaningful impact on the polls.

Repeated assurances by the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, that the polls will be an improvement on the past, are not entirely supported by realities on ground. There are growing fears that INEC may not be able to produce an updated and credible voter register before the polls. The commission’s decision to create 30,000 new polling units, mostly in northern states, was widely rejected by southern leaders and groups who feared Jega, a northerner, was handing his home region an electoral advantage. INEC’s decision to put the new polling units on hold has not entirely dispelled southern misgivings. Amid such lack of confidence, an election conducted with an incomplete voter register will certainly be disputed.

Actions by the police and other security services, all controlled by the federal government, could also aggravate tensions around the polls and undermine the credibility of their outcomes. The conduct of some senior police officers, notably in Rivers state, has raised fears that the agency could be manipulated to serve the PDP’s interests. Similarly, some actions and pronouncements by the Department of State Security (DSS) – Nigeria’s main domestic intelligence agency – have raised concerns about institutional bias. If these agencies act or are perceived to act in a partisan manner, they could undermine free and fair polls and heighten the risks of violence, particularly after the vote.

With only three months before elections, the government cannot engage in long-term structural efforts to improve the quality of the vote, but it can and must be encouraged to urgently take several steps to limit the risk of widespread violence. These include increasing efforts to contain the Boko Haram insurgency, paying special attention to the police to improve the security environment, reinforcing the capacities of the INEC to restore confidence in the electoral process, and along with all politicians, avoid playing the religious card and reducing tensions within and between the parties. The government – President Goodluck Jonathan, the federal legislature, INEC and security agencies – must bear the greatest responsibility for implementing these measures, but other national and political figures, including civil society, as well as international partners must also rally to stop the slide.

RECOMMENDATIONS

To the government of President Goodluck Jonathan:

1. Step up efforts to contain the conflict in the north east and ensure elections are held in all states, particularly by strengthening security services, improving coordination with state governments and implementing regional security arrangements in concert with neighbouring countries.

2. Direct publicly the heads of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies to act lawfully and impartially with all parties and individuals participating in the elections.

To the president, major political parties and their candidates:

3. Avoid inflammatory rhetoric, publicly denounce violence, pledge to respect rules, in particular the Code of Conduct for Political Parties, and pursue grievances through lawful channels.

4. Respect party constitutions and particularly allow democratic candidate selections.

To leaders of regional, ethnic and religious groups:

5. Organise national, regional, ethnic and inter-faith public forums to jointly and publicly commit to non-violence, and establish channels of communication and contingency plans to respond to large-scale communal violence.

To the National Assembly:

6. Ensure speedy passage of the amended Electoral Act.

7. Approve urgently supplementary funds for INEC to meet its logistical requirements.

To the Independent National Electoral Commission:

8. Intensify efforts to build relations with all parties, particularly opposition parties, including holding constant consultations to discuss and explain major decisions, sparing no effort in trying to increase confidence and ensuring transparent relations with all parties, individuals and civil society.

To the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies:

9. Improve security arrangements for the elections by training more personnel for election duties and strengthening capacity to gather information, monitor developments and analyse threats; strengthen ongoing efforts to curb the influx and availability of illegal arms particularly in violence-prone areas; and ensure the newly established Elections Security Planning and Monitoring Unit is well resourced, firmly led and instructed on international best practices.

10. Direct publicly all officers to ensure neutrality in relations with all parties and apply exemplary sanctions against any officer who fails to comply.

To civil society organisations and mass media:

11. Engage more actively with youth leaders especially in poor urban and rural areas, strengthen participatory early warning and early response systems, and raise timely alerts of possible violence.

12. Ensure factual and balanced reporting of all election-related developments, and avoid publishing hateful, divisive and inflammatory statements.

To the UN, EU and other international partners:

13. Sustain ongoing capacity building programs for major institutions involved in the elections, particularly INEC and the police, and increase technical and financial support to relevant civil society organisations.

14. Deploy observer missions for longer periods before and after the votes to monitor the process more comprehensively.

15. Create a common donor forum for collectively messaging and pressuring President Jonathan, political parties and their candidates, security agencies and all other stakeholders to act lawfully and prevent or mitigate violence.

Dakar/Abuja/Brussels, 21 November 2014

AllAfrica Editors’ Note:

Copyright © 2014 International Crisis Group. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

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Zambia: Scott Suspended by Ruling Party

By Clement Malambo

The Patriotic Front Central Committee has suspended Acting Party and Republican President Guy Scott from the party for sixty days with immediate effect.

The Central Committee has also asked the PF Secretary General Bridget Attanga to handover all application letters for nomination of party Presidency to the committee.

“The central committee of the PF has decided to suspend Dr. Guy Scott as acting president of the party for unconstitutional conduct and for abrogating the party constitution,” PF central committee member Malozo Sichone told a media briefing.

However the suspension is unlikely to stand. Acting SG Attanga says the meeting was illegal because under the PF constitution, only the Party President can call for a Central Committee.

Since the passing of President Michael Sata, there has been a notable power struggle among the leadership of the PF, including an attempt by Guy Scott to suspend the PF Secretary General Edgar Lungu, who was then later reinstated following street protests.

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Ebola Is Killing Traditions and Customs

opinion

By Marcel Lama

Guinea is my home. I work for Save the Children responding to different emergencies around the world so it was only natural that I should return to my home nation to support our Ebola response.

I knew from the outset that this would be a story I would one day tell my children.

A difficult homecoming

But being with my family and relatives without being able to live our normal life has proved very hard.

There is no direct contact, no community dancing during wedding ceremonies.

One of the hardest things is the need to avoid visiting people who have lost their beloved ones to Ebola, to be unable to share their loss, to offer your condolences or to provide a shoulder to cry on.

Still, I have no other choice than to be an example for those who look to me for answers.

Wanting to shake my father’s hand

As part of an assessment in the forest region of Guinea, I was able to visit the town where I grew up.

After such a long time away, it was so difficult to meet my Dad. I was not able to shake his hand, to give him a kiss and get closer to him to show my joy of seeing him after almost two years.

My Dad lives in one of the areas worst affected by Ebola and my home town has witnessed high resistance to the presence of the disease – only 50km away, a health team was murdered in September.

I knew I had to be careful, and that the topic can often be contentious. I was quietly relieved to see water bottles filled with chlorine water hanging in the compound; it reassured me that my family was engaging with the need to fight the virus.

Ebola kills traditions

Since I am unable to go home frequently, when I do return it is normally a celebration.

My heart sank when, at the end of the meal, I had to tell my Dad I would be returning to my hotel due to the health and safety restrictions we have in place.

It was the first time in my life I had gone home and not been able to stay overnight in the house where I was born.

A sad and empty hotel

At the hotel, we are the only guests. Everyone has gone for fear of contracting Ebola.

I remember a few years back, the same hotel was the landmark of the region, a hub of commercial activity, with lots of expats from mining companies. The local economy thrived, thanks to its guests.

Today, it is as quiet as a cemetery.

I left with a heavy heart. It was so painful to see how much has had to change because of this deadly disease, and how much more will have to change if we are to bring Ebola under control.

But if the world engages fully in this fight, the changes to customs and habits will be a small price to pay.

I look forward to the day I can embrace my Dad and my family, and know that the battle has been won.

Copyright © 2014 Save the Children UK. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

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Ifad Invests in Rural Populations to Boost Food Security and Access to Markets

press release

Rome — New project to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth in post-crisis zones of the country

The Government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) signed an agreement today to finance a project that aims to improve food security in six regions in the west by increasing smallholder farmers’ access to services, technologies and markets while strengthening the resilience of their production systems to climate change.

The Support to Agricultural Production and Marketing Project – Extension West (PROPACOM – extension west) will operate in the regions of Bafing, Béré, Folon, Kabadougou, Tonpki and Worodougou. IFAD’s loan of US$17.45 million is supplemented by two grants, one for $17.45 million plus an additional $7 million from IFAD’s Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme.

With a total cost of $59.7 million, the project will also benefit from $10 million in co-financing from the OPEC Fund for International Development, $5.33 million from the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and $2.49 million from the beneficiaries themselves.

The financing agreement was signed in Rome by Janine Tagliante Saracino, Ambassador of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire to Italy and Permanent Representative to the Rome-based UN Organizations, and by Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD.

PROPACOM – extension west will complement the ongoing PROPACOM project which began implementation in the centre-north, north and northeast of the country in May 2013. It will focus on increasing agricultural productivity of rice, maize, cassava and vegetable value chains. It will also expand and improve the smallholder farmers’ access to rural finance services.

PROPACOM – extension west will target 240,000 smallholders, particularly women and young people who are involved in food production, processing and marketing, to enhance their incomes and improve their livelihoods. The project will be implemented under the leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture of Côte d’Ivoire.

Since 1984, IFAD has invested a total of $141.1 million in 10 programmes and projects in Côte d’Ivoire, amounting to more than $340 million when co-financing is included. It is estimated that 673,000 Ivorian rural households have benefitted from these investments.

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East Africa: Who’s the Richest in Africa?

By Baraka Jefwa

Two of East Africa’s telecom industry investors have made it to Forbes’ ‘Africa’s 50 Richest’ list which was released this week.

The two are Kenya’s Naushad Meralli (who’s interests include a minority stake in Airtel Kenya and also also sold his 49 per cent stake in Swift Global to Liquid Telecom) and Tanzania’s Rostam Azizi (who’s cited as Tanzania’s first billionaire and sold a 17.2 per cent stake in Vodacom Tanzania to South Africa’s Vodacom Group for US $250 million but still retains 17.8 per cent of Vodacom Tanzania).

Rostam Azizi, apart from making the list as one of only two East Africans from the telecom sector, is the only dollar billionaire from the region with a recorded worth of US $1 billion.

“His other assets include Caspian Mining, the largest contract-mining firm in Tanzania, which performs work for mining giants like BHP Billiton and Barrick Gold. He also owns residential and commercial real estate in Dubai and Oman. He got his start in his family’s trading business, then broke out on his own to cut deals with international companies looking for partners in Tanzania,” reads the Forbes’ citation on Azizi It concluded.

Rostam Azizi currently occupies the number 26 spot on the list, at the age of 50 while 63-year-old Naushad Merali, the founder of Sameer Group, sits at position 46.

Forbes’ citation on Meralli states: “In May he stepped down as chairman of Bharti Airtel Kenya, a position he had occupied for the last 15 years. He still keeps a 5% shareholding in the mobile phone network. Merali has been selling off assets. In January 2013, he sold a 49% stake in Kenyan Internet service provider Swift Global to UK-based Liquid Telecom.”

Aliko Dangote, who sits at the top of the list with a net worth of US $21.6 billion, heads the list. Other telecom sector investors in the list are Mike Adenuga (Nigeria), Naguib Sawiris (Egypt), Tunde Folawiyo (Nigeria), Hakeem Belo-Osagie (Nigeria) and Strive Masiyiwa (Zimbabwe).

Africa’s Richest (via Forbes)

  1. Aliko Dangote
  2. Johann Rupert & family
  3. Nicky Oppenheimer & family
  4. Nassef Sawiris
  5. Christoffel Wiese
  6. Mike Adenuga
  7. Mohamed Mansour
  8. Isabel dos Santos
  9. Issad Rebrab & family
  10. Naguib Sawiris

Copyright © 2014 CIO East Africa. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

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Zambia: Ruling Party MPs Demand Scott’s Suspension

By Peter Adamu

Representatives of the 70 Members of Parliament arising from a caucus meeting held at Parliament Motel last night have demanded for an immediate suspension of Acting President Guy Scott from the party for breaching the Constitution and for condoning acts of corruption.

The MPS have stated that Dr. Scott has acted outside the law frequently and have called upon the Central Committee to effect the suspension.

According to a status update by Emmanuel Mwamba – a party of interest – the MPs also reaffirmed their support for Edgar Lungu as the sole presidential candidate of the PF.

They have also resolved to go to the General Conference under the guidance of the Central Committee.

They have condemned the shortcuts taken by Acting President who has sidelined the Central Committee.

They have accused Dr. Scott of condoning corruption being perpetrated by Miles Sampa and others because they allege that Dr. Scott belongs to the Cartel.

They demanded that the actions of Guy Scott will be dealt with by the Central Committee. They have also stated that they will go to the General Conference.

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Rwandan Rebels Regroup

press release

Facing a deadline from the UN Security Council and regional African governments to fully demobilize or face military operations by January 2, 2015, the rebel group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo known as the FDLR is currently regrouping, mobilizing political support, and continuing to pose a regional security threat.

In a new report published today based on six months of field research in eastern Congo, “How to Dismantle a Deadly Militia,” the Enough Project proposes seven non-military approaches to help end the threat posed by the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR)

Responsible for numerous atrocities, including rape and torture, the FDLR is designated by the U.S. as a terrorist entity. Evidence from UN Experts reports and Enough Project field research suggests the FDLR’s current strategy is focused on reorganizing in three main areas: generating more income to trade for ammunition and weapons, mobilizing political support in an attempt to gain greater legitimacy, and preparing to avoid military defeat through alliance-building and recruitment. Senior FDLR officers visited the Kisangani disarmament camp over the past weekend but have not yet relocated there.

The report further documents that the FDLR is profiting heavily by trading gold through North Kivu and Uganda and by illegally producing and trading charcoal from Virunga National Park, a trade worth an estimated $32 million per year.

“As its deadline to disarm approaches, the FDLR is still raising money, recruiting, and building alliances,” said Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy for Congo, Great Lakes Region and LRA at the Enough Project. “Diplomats can act now on key non-military areas to pressure the group. U.S. Special Envoy Russ Feingold and others should pressure Congo to prosecute its army officers who collaborate with the FDLR and helping Virunga’s park rangers cut off the FDLR’s lucrative charcoal trade.”

Enough Project Congo-based Field Researcher Fidel Bafilemba said: “The FDLR cannot be defeated with a military-only strategy. Pressure will be important, but several non-military tools are available now to help dismantle the FDLR’s capacity to unleash atrocities. UN Special Envoy Said Djinnit and U.S. Special Envoy Feingold should urge the UN and Congo to help apprehend FDLR commander Sylvestre Mudacumura and to set up refugee camps for foreign refugees, so that the FDLR’s recruitment pool can be diminished.”

Enough Project Policy Analyst Holly Dranginis said, “The international community gave the FDLR an ultimatum — disarm by January or face military operations. Leading up to that deadline, there is a robust set of non-military tactics that can help end the group’s reign of terror, especially giving low-ranking fighters safety guarantees and reintegration support for voluntary defection.”

According to the report, the group is using illicit revenue, including illicit gold and charcoal extraction, to purchase ammunition and arms from Congolese army officers, with whom it continues to collaborate and share intelligence. The FDLR has also built alliances with several Congolese armed groups, including Maï-Maï Lafontaine and others, as well as new political alliances with four Rwandan opposition parties.

Despite the group’s rhetoric that its fighters are disarming, the FDLR has failed to meet several key deadlines to demobilize, and fewer than 200 rank-and-file FDLR soldiers have laid down their weapons.

Background on the FDLR:

Known as the FDLR, the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda is one of the most important and destructive armed groups in eastern Congo’s conflict. The group’s attacks have been characterized by particularly brutal practices, including rape, burning civilians alive, and other forms of torture. The rebel militia has exacted a heavy toll on Congolese communities, and both Congolese civilians as well as those in neighboring Rwanda continue to be threatened by the group. Several FDLR leaders were involved in the Rwandan genocide that claimed 800,000 lives, and its chief military commander Sylvestre Mudacumura is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The group is under U.N. sanctions because of its repeated atrocities against civilians, and it is also on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations. The FDLR is one of several remaining armed groups in eastern Congo, and ending its threat must be coupled with democratic reform within Congo, Rwanda, and the region.

Link to full report, “How to Dismantle a Deadly Militia: Seven Non-Military Tactics to Help End the FDLR Threat in Congo”: http://eno.ug/1uv4DSJ

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Central Africa: Kony to LRA – Bring Me Ivory, Gold, and Diamonds

press release

Washington, DC — The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group is increasingly trafficking ivory, diamonds, and gold in order to obtain weapons, ammunition, food, and other supplies, the Enough Project, The Resolve and Invisible Children said today.

The trade may be linked to the LRA’s efforts to improve relations with other armed groups such as Seleka, the Sudanese military, and central African cattle herders, according to new research. The UN Security Council is scheduled to debate the international response to the LRA crisis early next month.

“New evidence that the LRA is trafficking illicit ivory, diamonds, and gold through Sudanese-held territory must spark a stronger response from the UN Security Council and the international community,” said Paul Ronan, Director of The Resolve LRA Crisis Initiative. “For too long such reports have been met with indifference, despite evidence that such trafficking strengthens the group’s ability to prey on civilians.”

During a recent two-week research mission to Uganda, the Enough Project, The Resolve, and Invisible Children interviewed security forces and former LRA members, including 11 Ugandan males who had defected from the LRA this year. All were former fighters or commanders with detailed information about how the group operates.

Recent LRA defectors report that leader Joseph Kony has issued standing orders for rebel fighters to loot diamonds and gold from artisanal miners in eastern Central African Republic (CAR). Most of the illicit minerals are then transported to Kony’s group, which operates frequently in the neighbouring Kafia Kingi enclave, a disputed area controlled by the Sudanese military. Minerals are also reportedly traded with local civilians and members of the Seleka armed group, which controls much of eastern CAR.

“The illicit minerals trade provides the LRA with vital resources. It’s time that those who buy diamonds and gold from deadly rebel groups like the LRA face international scrutiny and sanctions,” said Kasper Agger, Field Researcher at the Enough Project.

The LRA also kills elephants for valuable ivory. In early 2014, Kony sent an LRA group to Garamba National Park in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to collect ivory. Park authorities observed an unprecedented spike in elephant poaching from April to August, when a total of 109 elephants were killed, though not all were killed by the LRA.

“Garamba National Park, which contains the largest and most viable populations of the country’s remaining savannah elephants, may lose this iconic species if nothing – or not enough – is done to ease LRA pressure on the remaining populations in the park,” said Richard Tshombe, Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s DRC Programs. “This would be an unacceptable disaster.”

Despite only having about 200 fighters, the LRA continues to terrorize civilians across central Africa. Attacks by the group have displaced almost 162,000 people, many of whom live in fear and rely on humanitarian aid because they are unable to hunt and farm. The LRA has also abducted more than 500 people so far in 2014–more than it abducted in all of 2013.

“While we’ve seen significant progress in recent years, resulting in a reduced LRA threat, the ability of LRA commanders to collect and transport illicit natural materials demonstrates that the group continues to have the capacity to organize and execute orders throughout central Africa,” said Sean Poole, Director of International Strategy at Invisible Children. “More international support is necessary to ensure safe haven is denied to Joseph Kony and the LRA leadership–and to provide counter-LRA forces with the ability to travel quickly across the vast area of land where LRA forces are currently operating.”

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Supporting Africa in Fighting Ebola – China Makes Its Utmost Efforts

In recent months, the epidemic of Ebola that broke out in West African countries has been spreading, even going beyond Africa into Europe and the US, causing global panic.

Under the pressure of international humanitarianism, some Western countries had to take actions to announcing assistance measures in high profile. However, the Western countries are still taking actions separately, which is something strange indeed.

In contrast with the approach of Western countries, China has taken a holistic approach in helping Africa to fight Ebola, participating in the whole process and offering comprehensive support.

China supports Africa in fighting Ebola both materially and morally.Apart from offering material assistance, President Xi Jinping timely sent messages of condolences to the heads of state of the three West African countries most seriously affected by Ebola, and Premier Li Keqiang exchanged phone calls with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Besides the spiritual encouragement, the Chinese leaders thereby also have demonstrated political and moral support and care to the people of the affected countries.

China has been fully involved in the process of fighting Ebola.In April, when Ebola just broke out, the Chinese government immediately offered emergency relief to the three West African countries.

With the situation turning more serious and based on the needs of epidemic regions, China later announced three consecutive rounds of assistance. China has also promised that so only as Ebola persists in Africa, China’s assistance will not stop. China will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the African people in fighting Ebola to the final victory concluded.

China’s assistance covers a host of countries,not only Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the three West African countries in which Ebola is most rampant, but also their 10 neighbouring countries of Ghana, Mali, Togo, Benin, DRC, the Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Guinea-Bissau.

China helps these African countries to get better prepared against potential dangers by helping to build a regional anti-Ebola network to prevent the spread of the disease.

Most of the anti-Ebola material aid the ten countries have received comes from China. China has also offered assistance in cash to international and regional organizations such as the UN, WHO and AU, supporting them in playing a leading and coordinating role in Ebola combat.

China’s assistance is both comprehensive and pragmatic.China offers most needed assistance to recipient countries, and such assistance keeps growing with the evolvement of the situation.

The assistance includes hard assistance of material, food, cash, mobile laboratory and treatment centre, as well as soft assistance of testing and treatment, experience sharing , briefing and training and joint research offered by medical staff and public health experts sent by China. China is the only country in the world whose assistance is so comprehensive and enriched.

Chinese businesses also join the government in helping Africa. The Chinese government takes the lead in helping African countries to fight Ebola, which has mobilized other countries into the efforts.

In addition, most Chinese businesses in the epidemic countries stay there to continue their production, supporting those countries with their real contribution to their economic development, which is in sharp contrast with Western businesses who have fled away in face of the epidemic.

The projects undertaken by Chinese businesses in Guinea including municipal roads, telecommunication and hydro-stations all progress on time without delay, playing an important role for maintaining economic and social stability in Guinea.

Moreover, dozens of Chinese businesses and chambers of commerce in the three epidemic countries contributed nearly a million dollars of cash, food and material to support local governments and communities to fight Ebola, fulfilling their social responsibilities.

Not long ago,the National Development Bank hosted a donation ceremony in Beijing, donating through its China-Africa Cooperation Fund 150,000 dollars to each of the three West African countries.

It is not difficult to tell that China has made its utmost efforts to help African brothers to fight Ebola. There has been assistance provided by the Chinese government and support from the Chinese businesses, including material aid and spiritual encouragement, hard assistance as well as soft assistance.

China’s overall involvement in and comprehensive input to the entire process has not only boosted the confidence of the governments and peoples of Ebola affected countries, but also mobilized the international community to join in the efforts, becoming an inexhaustible dynamism for affected countries and the international community to defeat the epidemic.

Copyright © 2014 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

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World Science Day for Peace and Development

press release

Kinshasa — Martin Kobler, Head of MONUSCO and Abdourahamane Diallo, UNESCO Representative to the DRC urge Congolese youth to embrace sciences

The international community commemorates this Monday, 10 November, the World Science Day for Peace and Development. Martin Kobler, Head of MONUSCO and Abdourahamane Diallo, UNESCO Representative to the DRC take this opportunity to urge Congolese youth, both male and female to embark on scientific careers as a way of contributing to economic development and the consolidation of peace in their country.

“We all dream of a Congo where millions of young people can draw inspiration from great scientists in the country and across the African continent.

Just like the famous gynaecologist, Doctor Denis Mukwege, Director of Hôpital Panzi in Bukavu who won the Sakharov Prize on 21 October for his actions in favour of victims of rape and sexual violence, I encourage you to further invest in the study of sciences,” said Mr Martin Kobler, Head of MONUSCO.

“The Girls and young women of this country are full of talent, imagination and potential. Let’s encourage and ensure equal participation of women and men in the field of science. I call upon the Government to further improve the teaching of science given its meaningful contribution to the emergence of a new Congo,” said Abdourahamane Diallo, UNESCO Representative to the DRC.

Launched by UNESCO in 2001, the World Science Day for Peace and Development is commemorated every 10 November throughout the world. It is the opportunity to recall UNESCO’s mandate and commitment for science. This year’s theme is ” Quality Science Education – ensuring a sustainable future for all”.

Since its inception, the World Science Day for Peace and Development has generated concrete projects and created linkages between science and the society. Each year, as part of the celebrations, partners like UNESCO national commissions, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations, scientific research institutions, professional associations, the media, schools and science teachers commit to Peace and Development. At government level, several ministries have announced a fresh commitment to raise spending on science; others have used the Day to launch a new science policy programme involving scientific institutions, civil society organizations, universities and schools.

The World Science Day for Peace and Development has also generated projects aimed at promoting scientific cooperation between scientists living in areas affected by conflict.

Copyright © 2014 United Nations Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.