The African Union Transitional Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) concluded a three-day workshop in Mombasa, Kenya, to review the mission's financial management and audit status and update stakeholders on the implementation of the goals of The mission.
Participants in the three-day workshop included representatives from ATMIS police and troop-contributing countries, namely Burundi, Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Djibouti and Uganda, ATMIS officials and key departments of the Commission of the African Union that are crucial for the management of peace support operations, the management of human and financial resources and auditing.
During the workshop, participants received an update on mission progress and financial management, including processing death and disability liabilities, troop assignments, and third-party claims.
Acting Special Representative of the Chair of the African Union Commission (DSRCC) for Somalia, Fiona Lortan, said the workshop provided stakeholders with an opportunity to address the challenges they face in managing the funds provided by the EU, the UN and other partners, in particular with respect to the processing of claims for death and disability, missing in action and other liabilities.
“ATMIS receives funding from the European Union.
In addition, we have a financial package from the United Nations for logistical support.
So we are here to discuss management and accounting to ensure that the funds provided are properly accounted for,” Lortan said.
The workshop also examined the database management system, identified ways to improve financial and internal control systems involving troop assignments, death and disability compensation payments, and reviewed mission assets.
Participants discussed the audit and funding status of ATMIS, and were briefed on the mission's audit reports from key funding partners including the European Union and the United Kingdom.
Other topics discussed included a status report on ATMIS staff death and disability compensation, including backlog elimination, ATMIS Board of Inquiry challenges, and ATMIS standard operating procedures.
Selidji Gbaguidi, Chief of the AU Peace and Security Finance Division, presented a status report on compensation for death and disability claims from 2007 to 2020 at the workshop.
Kenya, Lieutenant General Francis Omondi Ogolla, who officiated at the opening, underscored the need for speedy processing of death and disability compensation.
A counter-terrorism operation coordinated by INTERPOL and AFRIPOL has enabled frontline police across Africa to detect potential terrorists and seize dangerous and prohibited goods.
The pan-African operation, codenamed “FLASH-PACT”, which aims to strengthen the ability of frontline border agents to identify suspected terrorists and dismantle the networks behind them, was carried out in two phases between July and September.
Using INTERPOL's global criminal databases for wanted persons, stolen identity and travel documents and stolen vehicles, law enforcement worked together with INTERPOL and AFRIPOL to locate, intercept and apprehend criminals attempting to cross regional borders.
Operation FLASH PACT: Intelligence-driven, collaborative and strategic Underlining the need for a pan-African multi-stakeholder counter-terrorism effort, the operation engaged police, customs, border forces and counter-terrorism experts, including Nodes INTERPOL Counter-Terrorism Regional Offices in Abidjan and Nairobi.
Participating countries concentrated their operations at airports, seaports, land border crossings, and a variety of previously identified terrorist hotspots.
Prior to tactical operations, investigators collected and examined data to establish a clear picture of the regional terrorism threat using globally sourced data from INTERPOL's 195 member countries.
Stronger borders, stronger national security As stolen travel documents are a key asset for the mobility of terrorists, particularly foreign terrorist fighters returning from conflict zones, the operation saw INTERPOL databases viewed more than six million times, resulting in some 400 matches in INTERPOL's travel and identity document database.
Access to INTERPOL databases at border control points identified nine individuals as Red Notice subjects.
An INTERPOL Red Notice is a request to law enforcement agencies around the world to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender or similar legal action.
Highlighting how terrorist activity often converges with other criminal areas, INTERPOL identified more than 20 people as wanted for a wide range of serious crimes, including fraud, money laundering, drug and wildlife trafficking.
One man has been singled out as the subject of a Special Notice from INTERPOL and the United Nations Security Council (UNSS) alerting the global law enforcement community about individuals who are subject to sanctions imposed by the UNSS.
The three most common sanctions are asset freezes, travel bans and arms embargoes.
Several INTERPOL Blue Notice subjects were detected attempting to cross the borders of participating countries.
A Blue Notice is used to collect additional information about a person's identity, location, or activities in relation to a crime.
“West and East Africa have seen an increase in terrorism in the last decade.
This is rapidly spreading its devastating impact southward, causing death, fear and destruction, devastating African communities and economies,” said INTERPOL Executive Director of Police Services Stephen Kavanagh.
“Counterterrorism operations like FLASH-PACT are clear evidence of the joint commitment between AFRIPOL and INTERPOL, allowing us to share knowledge about local terrorist networks, better understand their methods, motives and funding, and ultimately identify and arrest terrorists.
who chose to disseminate information.
terror,” added Mr. Kavanagh.
Agents in Uganda and Benin detained six travelers with forged passports, and in Mozambique, police authorities arrested a man in possession of an AK-47 assault weapon, two magazines and 51 rounds of ammunition.
In another case, police seized 360 coils of explosives and a detonating cord.
More than 250 travelers were arrested for attempted illegal immigration and several stolen luxury vehicles were recovered in Tanzania.
A powerful partnership INTERPOL, AFRIPOL and the African Union work side by side on issues of common concern, share resources and knowledge, and develop combined responses to Africa's policing needs.
“As a regional police organization, AFRIPOL provides a framework for police cooperation at the strategic, tactical and operational levels across African states, helping us build stronger and more meaningful capabilities for African law enforcement through our partnership with INTERPOL.
”, said the interim executive director of AFRIPOL.
, Ambassador Jalel Chelba.
“It is important to underline the role of joint operations such as FLASH-PACT in enhancing the cooperation and security of African countries.
INTERPOL's support has enabled intelligence sharing leading to increased security through arrests and seizures,” added Ambassador Chelba.
Operation FLASH-PACT is the first counter-terrorism operation organized by the two police organizations since the African Union established AFRIPOL in 2014.
The operation was coordinated with the help of INTERPOL's African Union Support Program (ISPA), which assists AFRIPOL.
in the development of its strategic framework and operational functions across the continent and in the fight against transnational crime and terrorism with INTERPOL and other regional police bodies.
Djibouti, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda participated in Phase One of Operation FLASH-PACT from July 14-18.
Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Benin, Burkina Faso, Congo (DRC), and Nigeria carried out their part of the operation during Phase 2 from September 4-8.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has unveiled a new initiative aimed at stopping the spread of an invasive mosquito species, Anopheles Stephensi, in Africa.
This is contained in a statement on Thursday.
The organisation had, in a 2019 vector alert, identified the spread of ”Anopheles Stephensi” as a significant threat to malaria control and elimination, particularly in Africa.
“Originally native to parts of South Asia and the Arabian Peninsula, Anopheles Stephensi has been expanding its range over the last decade, with detections reported in Djibouti in 2012. “ Ethiopia and Sudan in 2016, Somalia 2019 and Nigeria 2020. Unlike the other main mosquito vectors of malaria in Africa, it thrives in urban settings,’’ it said.
With more than 40 per cent of the population in Africa living in urban environment, the WHO said that the invasion and spread of ”Anopheles Stephensi” could pose a significant threat to the control and elimination of malaria in the region.
According to it, the large-scale surveillance of the vector is still in its infancy, and more research and data are urgently needed.
Dr Jan Kolaczinski, Head, Vector Control and Insecticide Resistance Unit with WHO Global Malaria Programme, said the organisation was still learning about the presence of the ”Anopheles Stephensi;; and its role in malaria transmission in Africa “It is important to underscore that we still don’t know how far the mosquito species has already spread, and how much of a problem it is or could be,’’Kolaczinski said.
He said that the new initiative aimed at supporting an effective regional response to Anopheles Stephensi on the African continent through a five-pronged approach.
“Increasing collaboration across sectors and borders and strengthening surveillance to determine the extent of the spread of Anopheles Stephensi and its role in transmission; “Others are improving information exchange on the presence of Anopheles Stephensi and on efforts to control it.
“Also, developing guidance for national malaria control programmes on appropriate ways to respond to Anopheles Stephensi.
“We will also prioritise research to evaluate the impact of interventions and tools against Anopheles Stephensi,’’ he said.
According to Kolazincki, where feasible, national responses to Anopheles Stephensi shall be integrated with efforts to control malaria and other vector-borne diseases.
He added that such vector-borne diseases included dengue fever, yellow fever and chikungunya.
Kolaczinski said that the WHO Global vector control response 2017–2030 provided a framework for investigating and implementing such integration.
He disclosed that the WHO Malaria Threats Map featured a dedicated section on invasive vectors, including Anopheles Stephensi.
He said that all confirmed reports of the presence of Anopheles Stephensi should be reported to the WHO to allow an open sharing of data and an up-to-date understanding of its distribution and spread.
“This knowledge will ultimately provide a basis to assess the effectiveness of any efforts to control or eliminate Anopheles Stephensi,’’ Kolaczinski said.
Also, Dr Ebenezer Baba, Malaria Advisor for the WHO African Region, noted that integrated action would be key to success against Anopheles Stephensi and other vector-borne diseases.
“Shifting our focus to integrated and locally adapted vector control can save both money and lives,” Baba said.
In a 2019 vector alert, the WHO identified the spread of Anopheles stephensi as a major threat to malaria control and elimination, particularly in Africa, where the disease hits hardest.
A new WHO initiative, launched today, aims to stop the spread of this invasive mosquito species in the region.
Native to parts of South Asia and the Arabian Peninsula, An. stephensi has been expanding its range over the past decade, with reported detections in Djibouti (2012), Ethiopia and Sudan (2016), Somalia (2019), and Nigeria (2020).
Unlike the other main malaria vector mosquitoes in Africa, it thrives in urban settings.
With more than 40% of Africa's population living in urban settings, the invasion and spread of An. stephensi could pose a significant threat to malaria control and elimination in the region.
But large-scale surveillance of the vector is still in its infancy, and more research and data are urgently needed.
“We are still learning about the presence of Anopheles stephensi and its role in malaria transmission in Africa,” said Dr. Jan Kolaczinski, who heads the Vector Control and Insecticide Resistance unit of the Global Malaria Program at the WHO.
"It's important to stress that we still don't know how far the mosquito species has spread and how problematic it is or could be."
The new WHO initiative aims to support an effective regional response to An. stephensi on the African continent through a five-pronged approach: increasing collaboration across sectors and borders; strengthen surveillance to determine the extent of the spread of An. stephensi and its role in transmission; improve the exchange of information on the presence of An. stephensi and on efforts to control it; develop guidance for national malaria control programs on appropriate ways to respond to An. stephensi by prioritizing research to assess the impact of interventions and tools against An. stephensi Integrated action is “key to success” Provided that Where feasible, national responses to An. stephensi should be integrated with efforts to control malaria and other vector-borne diseases, such as dengue, yellow fever, and chikungunya.
The WHO Global Vector Control Response 2017-2030 provides a framework to investigate and implement such integration.
“Integrated action will be key to success against Anopheles stephensi and other vector-borne diseases,” said Dr. Ebenezer Baba, Malaria Advisor for the WHO African Region.
“Shifting our focus to locally adapted and integrated vector control can save both money and lives,” he added.
Tracking the spread of Anopheles stephensi The WHO malaria threat map includes a section dedicated to invasive vectors, including An. stephensi.
All confirmed reports of the presence of An. stephensi should be reported to WHO to allow open data sharing and an up-to-date understanding of its distribution and spread.
This knowledge will ultimately provide a basis for evaluating the effectiveness of any efforts to control or eliminate An. stephensi.
Africa Oil Week (www.Africa-OilWeek.com) is proud to announce Hon. Rufin Benam Beltoungou will attend the African Oil Week. The Minister of Mines and Geology of the Central African Republic will attend the main Oil and Gas event, held in the heart of Cape Town. Organized by Hyve Group Plc., Africa Oil Week is the home of the African upstream, and this unmissable event will bring together the main energy stakeholders from 3 to 7 October in Cape Town under the theme: Sustainable growth in a low carbon world.
“We are honored to host the Hon. Rufin Benam Beltoungou at Africa Oil Week. His ability to position the region for the future of energy utilization will be highly sought after this year,” said Paul Sinclair, vice president for energy and director of government relations for Africa Oil Week. Rufin Benam-Beltoungou is a key minister in the République centrafricaine.
His duty is to supervise Mines and Geology.
The Central African Republic is in the midst of a transformation process.
The local government facilitates access to natural resources such as gold, diamonds, lithium, uranium and oil.
Country leaders have a mission to position République centrafricaine for the future.
The country received approval for a $35 million development fund from the World Bank for crypto in the public sector.
According to World Bank representatives, this grant does not stop at the interest of their latest Bitcoin project.
This will allow République centrafricaine to modernize and expand its developing country.
République centrafricaine has started the process of modernizing its energy sources for its citizens and businesses alike.
On September 8, Central African countries signed an agreement to create a regional network of oil and gas pipelines and central infrastructure that sponsors say will strengthen energy supply and reduce reliance on imports of refined products.
The project aims to build three multinational oil and gas pipeline systems connecting 11 countries by 2030.
According to the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of OPEC member Equatorial Guinea, the project was crucial in addressing energy poverty in the region.
Honorable Rufin Benam Beltoungou of République Centrafricaine joins the Minister of Hydrocarbons of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of the Republic of Djibouti and more than 30 other key ministers for the leading oil industry event (https: //bit.ly/3dxoGzF).
"Sir. Beltoungou's attendance is a valuable addition to Africa Oil Week, we are looking forward to it," added Sinclair.
Register your interest now to play your part in the sustainable development of our industry and Africa through upstream.
Attend the conference alongside high-level delegates and more than 50 ministers and government leaders: Africa Oil Week 2022 (www.Africa-OilWeek.com).
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, today published new guidance on eligibility for refugee status for Somalis fleeing their country.
The guide is intended to assist those adjudicating international protection applications for asylum seekers from Somalia and those responsible for setting government policy on this issue.
The ongoing armed conflict and widespread human rights violations continue to affect the civilian population, putting lives at risk and forcing many to flee their homes in search of safety.
Insecurity and attacks against civilians continue in much of the country.
Ethnic and social minorities, women, children and people with disabilities are among the recipients.
A recent attack on the Hayat Hotel in Mogadishu left at least 21 civilians dead and 117 wounded.
UNHCR believes that other people at risk include clan elders, electoral delegates, government workers and officials, police officers, off-duty soldiers and humanitarian workers, among others.
The deteriorating security situation, including human rights violations, exacerbates the humanitarian crisis in Somalia and undermines the response capacity of the government and humanitarian actors.
Somalia is facing its worst drought in 40 years and there is a risk of widespread famine in the coming months.
The new UNHCR guidelines say that states must allow people fleeing Somalia to seek safety and have their refugee claims assessed in accordance with international law.
Those fleeing violence, human rights abuses and persecution would meet the criteria for refugee status under the 1951 Refugee Convention, or under regional instruments, or UNHCR's broader mandate.
At the end of 2021, there were 836,300 Somali refugees and asylum seekers worldwide, the majority of them, nearly 80 percent (more than 650,000), hosted in neighboring and regional countries, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Yemen, Djibouti, Uganda and Sudan.
We applaud the commitment of neighboring countries to meet their international legal obligations by keeping their borders open to Somalis fleeing to safety.
But we urge all countries, including those further afield, to do the same.
They can also help provide more support to regional host countries and increase resettlement places for Somalis and other refugees at higher risk in countries of asylum.
The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri V.
Muraleedharan, will pay an official visit to the Republic of Djibouti on September 21-22, 2022.
This will be his first visit to the country.
During the visit, MoS will visit the Prime Minister of Djibouti, H.E. Mr. Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed, and will hold talks with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, and other dignitaries on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.
He will also interact with the Indian community in Djibouti.
During the visit, an Agreement on exemption from the visa requirement for holders of Diplomatic and Official/Service Passports; and a memorandum of understanding will also be signed between the Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service (SSIFS) and the Djibouti Institute of Diplomatic Studies (IDS).
India and Djibouti share warm and friendly relations underpinned by historical and cultural ties.
Djibouti had provided extraordinary support in the evacuation of Indian nationals from war-torn Yemen in 2015 (Operation Rahat).
Shri Ram Nath Kovind, the then President of India, paid a state visit to Djibouti in October 2017.
India opened a mission in Djibouti in 2019.
Bilateral trade between the two countries was valued at US$755 million in 2021-22 .
A sizeable Indian community lives in Djibouti.
The visit is expected to provide a further boost to the bilateral ties between India and Djibouti.
The Honorable Puot Kang Chol, Minister of Petroleum of South Sudan, made clear the county's role as a gateway for doing business and driving development throughout the East African region.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the team at Energy Capital & Power (https://EnergyCapitalPower.com/), the Minister provided insights into a new agreement signed with Djibouti and how the country is well positioned to drive new growth in the sector.
How is South Sudan serving as a gateway to East Africa and what message has it been delivering at SSOP 2022?
South Sudan is a gateway for two reasons.
First of all, we are the largest producer in the region and we are pioneers in the region.
We have what it takes to advise, not just the people in our region, but beyond.
With this, we would like to invite the world, speak to everyone and say that South Sudan is the place to be.
I think we are now more stable than ever.
Now we have the opportunity to invite investors to South Sudan.
The number of blocks we have in South Sudan, no one else in the region has.
We did a license round for 14 blocks, and those blocks will be available, all 14 of them.
Our goals are to diversify the sector and invite people from all over the world to invest directly and indirectly in the Republic of South Sudan.
Through us, our brothers and sisters throughout the region will be able to connect with the rest of the world.
On the first day of SSOP 2022, South Sudan signed an agreement with Djibouti.
What is the meaning of this agreement?
Can we expect other deals with their East African counterparts?
South Sudan is a landlocked country and so far we have been using Port Mombasa and Port Sudan.
We have also felt that it is important for us to use the port of Djibouti because our largest production is on the border with Ethiopia, and now that we have the B2 block, it will be important for us to open the port of Djibouti so that when we have goods that are necessary for operate in the oil fields, we can easily get them from Djibouti.
As a result, we have signed this agreement and have also acquired land in Djibouti that will be used for goods destined for the operation in the oil fields.
The agreement signed is a good agreement for South Sudan.
What message do you have for investors interested in South Sudan opportunities?
I have three messages.
First of all, South Sudan is peaceful, stable and therefore the environment is conducive to investment.
Second, we have better opportunities than anywhere else.
We are the youngest population in the world, and more than 90% in all sectors remains untapped.
Coming to South Sudan and doing business here is the right place to be.
Thirdly, in the oil sector we have opportunities.
We have blocks available as well as existing blocks for those who wish to do enhanced oil recovery or enhanced oil recovery.
We would like them to take advantage of the opportunities because it does not exist anywhere else.
South Sudan is the place to be and the place to do business.
Taking place this week in Juba, the South Sudan Oil & Power (SSOP) 2022 conference and exhibition (https://bit.ly/3A1hgvV) focuses on the country's role as a gateway to energy development in East Africa and as such, represents the official platform for the signing of agreements that will boost the regional energy sector.
In this sense, during the first day of the conference, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Djibouti and South Sudan to improve cooperation in the energy sector of both countries.
The signing was carried out by the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Djibouti, HE Yonis Ali Guedi, and the Minister of Petroleum of South Sudan, H.E. Puot Kang Chol. Under the terms of the cooperation agreement, the two countries agreed to expand cross-border trade, investment and energy opportunities, leveraging regional collaboration to expand the energy sectors in Djibouti and South Sudan.
“Djibouti is now open to East African markets.
We are waiting for all the investors to come to Djibouti.
We have facilitated all the processes to create the free zone in Djibouti.
Now, we have signed the MoU and we will work together”, declared HE Guedi.
“The agreement that we have signed is a cooperation agreement between the Republic of South Sudan and Djibouti in the area of oil and gas.
What is important is the fact that we are very interested in opening rooms, not only for ourselves, but for all South Sudanese.
As a landlocked country, without access to the rest of the world, we will not be able to export.
Now, with the MoU, we have three routes.
Through Sudan, Kenya and now, Ethiopia through Djibouti,” stated the Hon. chol.
Furthermore, HE Chol emphasized that the MoU has paved the way for South Sudanese companies and stakeholders to seize opportunities across the region, with Djibouti representing the first step.
“Now that we have signed this MoU, you have the opportunity to go to Djibouti and explore the opportunities there, as they will do the same here.
You have the opportunity to operate elsewhere.
We will be working closely with the country and we will encourage you to go there, identify opportunities and we will support you”, Hon. Chol concluded.
For South Sudan, the MoU further reaffirms the country's position as an East African energy gateway, allowing it to leverage and share its energy industry expertise in pursuit of regional market development.
Meanwhile, for Djibouti, as a relatively young energy sector, the MoU triggers a new era of industry growth thanks to regional collaboration.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says the swearing of Willam Ruto as the fifth President of Kenya is a testament of what robust institutions can do in a democracy.
Osinbajo, who was in Nairobi on Tuesday to represent Nigeria at the Kenyan presidential inauguration, spoke with newsmen shortly before departing for Abuja, Nigeria.
Chief Justice Martha Koome swore in Ruto at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, Nairobi.
Ruto, who succeeded President Uhuru Kenyatta, won the Aug. 9 presidential election after defeating rival, Raila Odinga.
Kenyan Supreme Court, on Sept. 5, upheld Ruto’s election.
Osinbajo described the inauguration of Ruto as a celebration of democracy and democratic institutions in Africa.
He said: “Ruto’s inauguration is a celebration of democracy and the reasons are obvious; we found a situation where the elections and campaigns were quite fractious.
“There were quite a bit of hostilities here and there, but the institutions held up – Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the equivalent of our own INEC, and the Judiciary.
“They held up and ensured that not only were processes properly followed but also that justice was done.
“Whenever we talk about the celebration of democracy, we are really talking about the celebration of our institutions, the institutions that guard democracy and the rule of law.
“I think that what we have seen here in Kenya and the swearing-in of Ruto is really evidence of robust institutions doing what they ought to do.
’’ According to him, the Kenyan experience was a great example for democracy in Africa.
He said that everybody was extremely pleased as evident in the turnout of African leaders.
“We are all extremely pleased, and am sure you have seen from all of the African Heads of State and Governments and their representatives who are present here today, that there is an atmosphere of elation and joy, because this worked,” he said No fewer than 20 presidents from Africa including those of Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Somalia, Burundi, South Sudan, Djibouti, Zimbabwe and Republic of Congo attended the historic event.