Victims of sexual violence in Guinea face social stigma, a lack of accessible health care and serious obstacles to accessing justice, Amnesty International and the International Planned Parenthood Federation for the African Region said today ( IPPFAR) in a new report 'Shame must change sides, guarantee rights and justice for victims of sexual violence in Guinea'.
Based on interviews with rape survivors, administrative, judicial, traditional and religious authorities, health professionals , diplomats, civil society representatives, the report examines the many obstacles to effective care for rape victims, forensic examination, psychological support and access to justice in Guinea For many survivors, justice remains unattainable “Despite recent efforts by the authorities to address the problem of sexual violence, there are still n much remains to be done in terms of information, prevention, access to care and justice to respect Guinea's obligations under international and regional human rights law”.
In 2021, the Office for the Protection of Gender, Children and Morals (Oprogem) and the Special Brigade for the Protection of Vulnerable Persons (BSPPV) -specialized units within the police and gendarmerie- dealt with more than 400 cases of rape, and the Most of the victims were minors, some of whom are under 13 years of age.
This report shows that the actual figures for rape cases are undoubtedly higher, especially taking into account the practice of out-of-court settlements and the greater number of cases treated in medical centers.
Social stigma Victims of sexual violence and their families often face intense trials in their communities amid widespread social stigma.
The mother of a girl who said she had been raped told Amnesty International about the stigma her son suffered: “[…] When we went to the hospital, one of the doctors said: 'This is the girl who was raped.' Hurts.
Wherever she goes, people point at her.
She is always locked in the house.
She doesn't go out; she barely communicates with people.
She wants to go back to school, but it is not possible”.
The authorities must do more to develop awareness and education campaigns to address the underlying social and cultural attitudes that discriminate against women and facilitate and perpetuate violence against them.
These campaigns should promote zero tolerance for violence against women, debunk harmful gender stereotypes and myths associated with rape, remove the stigma associated with women victims of violence, and encourage victims to seek redress.
Urgent need to improve access to care, sexual and reproductive rights and psychological support Guinea lacks an effective toll-free number that allows victims to report sexual violence and receive medical and legal advice.
And despite some initiatives such as the creation of single windows that offer care and legal support, the availability, quality and accessibility of the health system for victims, often of modest economic status, must be strengthened.
Many survivors are unable to access effective medical and psychological care or exercise their right to sexual and reproductive health.
Most medical specialists practice in the capital, Conakry, and the cost of care can sometimes prevent victims from seeking treatment.
One doctor told Amnesty International: “We can provide free consultations and reports.
But if people have complications that require surgery or infectious complications that require medication, we can't do it for free."
“The social stigma associated with rape in Guinea, which often leads to under-reporting of the crime and failure to file complaints, leaves survivors of these atrocities without access to medical care and psychosocial support, as well as legal assistance in accessing justice.
justice and reparation,” said Marie.
-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, IPPFAR Regional Director.
“Gender-based violence in all its forms is recognized as a human rights violation by the international human rights framework and jurisprudence.
Gender inequality, power imbalance and lack of respect for human rights are often the root causes of these heinous acts and prevent survivors from accessing and fully enjoying their sexual and reproductive health and rights.
As human rights defenders, we must all take a stand and put an end to these inexcusable acts,” added Petrus-Barry.
Access to justice is an obstacle course for victims Despite making real progress by adjusting legal frameworks in recent years and developing specialized police and gendarmerie units to respond to cases of sexual violence, Gaining access to justice in Guinea remains a challenging obstacle course for victims of sexual violence.
while the perpetrators often enjoy impunity.
Customary authorities have been able to push for out-of-court settlements that led to the annulment of proceedings, which is against the law and the rights of survivors.
Although there is a lack of forensic specialists and the presentation of a forensic medical certificate is not a legal condition for filing a complaint, in practice it is often required.
And even when the police or gendarmerie do not require this document, its absence becomes a major obstacle to a possible judicial conviction.
Judicial investigations are often hampered by a lack of resources and training to address and investigate sexual violence, negatively impacting victims' pursuit of justice.
In the absence of free and effective legal assistance for those who cannot afford a lawyer, only NGOs can provide legal support.
Similarly, Guinea's justice system is also underresourced.
Most of the judges, most of whom are men, work in poor conditions.
The report of rape survivors highlights that some of them perpetuate patriarchal stereotypes when handling cases of sexual violence.
Furthermore, the fact that the survivors of the September 28, 2009 massacre had to wait 13 years to finally expect justice and reparation was a powerful symbol of impunity; while defense and security forces killed more than 150 protesters and committed sexual offenses against more than 100 women in a Conakry stadium that day.
To strengthen their response to sexual violence, the Guinean authorities must urgently pass a comprehensive law on gender-based violence, among other recommendations highlighted in the report to strengthen the capacity of the judiciary, police and other law enforcement authorities.
law, and social and health workers.
, to ensure full implementation of legal provisions designed to address violence against women.
The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Commission), through the Directorate of Free Movement of Persons and Migration, is organizing the Regional Event for Sensitization and Awareness of the Unique Identification Program for Integration and Regional Inclusion (WURI) of West Africa.
The meeting, which is scheduled to be held virtually on September 29, 2022, aims to sensitize stakeholders with roles related to managing the identification of the fifteen (15) ECOWAS Member States to enhance their understanding of the program WURI and highlight the regional integration opportunities inherent in the program.
Specifically, the meeting will seek to (1) raise awareness of the WURI program and the Commission's role in facilitating regional dialogues for interoperability of core identification systems and mutual recognition of credentials among participating Member States; (2) Clarify the link between the ECOWAS National Biometric Identity Card (ENBIC) and the unique identity number issued through the WURI program; and (3) Provide a platform for participating WURI Member States to inform the stakeholders present about their experience, achievements, challenges and lessons learned in the implementation of their respective projects.
Representatives of: a) heads of ECOWAS national offices are expected at this inaugural WURI awareness raising event; (b) Ministries of Digital Economy; (c) Ministries in charge of civil registration/foundational identification systems; d) Organizations/Departments of the Ministries of the Interior/Security with identification management functions, as appropriate in each Member State; and e) representatives of the World Bank and the ECOWAS Commission.
The WURI is a multi-phase program financed by the World Bank and implemented by Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Niger and Togo, and the ECOWAS Commission, with the aim of increasing the number of people in participating countries have a unique proof of identity recognized by the government that allows access to services.
Specifically, the Commission aims to foster regional dialogues and cooperation for cross-border mutual recognition of foundational identity systems for access to services.
The Malian authorities are moving along the path of political transition and institutional reform while combating terrorism and other insecurities, interim Prime Minister Abdoulaye Maïga said in his speech to the UN General Assembly on Saturday.
The process to restore civilian rule after the August 2020 military coup in the West African country will conclude in March 2024, when power is transferred to elected authorities.
“I am pleased to underline that some significant progress has already been made,” he said, referring to the approval of the electoral law, the establishment of an electoral management authority and the creation of a commission to draft a new constitution.
Fight against terrorism Turning to insecurity, Mr. Maïga said that Mali is the only country in the world that simultaneously faces terrorism, conflicts between communities, cross-border organized crime and violent acts by isolated individuals.
"Along with our return to constitutional order, Mali continues to fight tirelessly against this insecurity and particularly against the extremist groups that are responsible for all kinds of abuses against our peaceful people," he reported.
Mr. Maïga said that terrorist groups “have been severely weakened”, although he added that “these criminal groups can still cause harm to some extent in their desperate attempts to strike a blow at our territorial integrity and terrorize our people”.
Military action, stabilization strategy The Government has intensified efforts to recruit, train, equip and reinforce the national security forces.
An “integrated global strategy” has been designed that includes the provision of social services, while another stabilization strategy for the volatile central region was also recently approved.
He also provided an update on the peace deal to end the unrest that erupted in the north a decade ago, signed by the government and two coalitions of armed groups in 2015.
Following recent meetings, there was a "strong signal" that the parties want to commit to a new dynamic process to achieve its implementation, he reported.
'Paradigm shift' for the UN Mission Mr. Maïga addressed the UN Mission in Mali, known by the French acronym MINUSMAOpens in new window, whose mandate includes ensuring security, protecting civilians, supporting the political dialogue and reconciliation, and assist in the re-establishment of state authority.
He said that the objectives of the Mission have not been achieved after almost 10 years in the country, and despite numerous Security Council resolutionsOpens in new window.
"That is why the Government of Mali reiterates its demand, expressed on numerous occasions, for a paradigm shift and an adaptation of MINUSMA to the environment in which it is deployed, and a better interconnection between this mission and the Malian authorities," he said.
The interim prime minister also criticized France for withdrawing its Barkhane anti-terrorist force from Mali last year, saying "my country was stabbed in the back."
He also accused the "French junta" of violating Malian airspace "by sending aircraft such as drones, military helicopters and fighter jets more than 50 times, carrying information, weapons and ammunition to terrorist groups."
Arrest of Ivorian soldiers At the beginning of his speech, Mr. Maïga criticized the international response to the arrest of 49 soldiers from neighboring Côte d'Ivoire who entered Mali in July. The troops were part of the logistical support operations in MINUSMA, according to the Ivorian authorities.
(SOURCE: https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/08/1124692) Mali said the soldiers arrived there without permission and are considered mercenaries.
Three have since been released.
Mr. Maiga expressed his profound disagreement with the statements made by the UN Secretary General, Antônio Guterres, published in the media.
“Clearly, the judicial nature of the infractions around this matter are not the purview of the Secretary-General of the United Nations,” he said.
He also spoke out against statements made by the head of the West African bloc ECOWAS, President Umaro Sissoco Embalo of Guinea-Bissau, and Niger's President Mohamed Bazoum.
“We ask those who deny our version to ask if they would accept that military personnel, having concealed their identity by saying in their passports that they were painters or masons, arrived at their airport with weapons without being informed in the country of destination.
forward, with the idea of destabilizing the country,” he said.
The Chattered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) has inaugurated its executive members of the Calabar branch to pilot the affairs of the institute.
The executive members were inaugurated on Saturday in Calabar by Dr Peter Borlo, Vice President, East, of the institute, after an online voting process by members of the institute.
The Vice President inaugurated Dr Chijioke Ukadike as the pioneer Chairman of the Calabar branch, while Dr Patrick Ekhameye and Dr Uche Ohaebuchi were inaugurated as Vice Chairman and Secretary respectively.
Speaking, Borlo said that the institute was founded in 1919 in the United Kingdom, adding that the institute was established in Nigeria in 1958. He noted that the backbone of any country’s economy was the logistics and transport sector, hence the need for government at all levels to collaborate with the institute for sustainable gains.
“CILT is the only body that has the content to direct and contribute towards the regulation that builds marine transport services,” he said.
Also speaking, the Port Manager, Calabar Port, Mr Festus Olumati, told the new executives and members of the institute that the Calabar Port was still effective and operational.
Commissioner for Transport in Cross River, Mr Edet Oqua, told the inaugurated executive that the state government was open to do business with the institute.
Responding, the pioneer Chairman, Ukadike, expressed satisfaction with the electoral process that produced him as the pioneer Chairman of the institute in Cross River.
Ukadike, who is the Head, Corporate and Strategic Communication Department, Nigeria Port Authority, Calabar, has amassed nearly three decades of working experience in the Nigeria transport sector.
Ukadike, who is also a Chattered Fellow of CILT, gave assurance that the institute under his leadership would promote marine and transport services in the state.
“Cross River has what it takes to become a super Marine hub and the Calabar Port is sitting at the corridors of the Gulf of Guinea.
“We can capture the food market, marine and logistics services from Calabar because the port is strategically position for such services,” he said.
He noted that with an advanced certificate in CILT, an individual can work anywhere in the world in the marine and transport sector.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that shortly after the inauguration, the secretariat of the institute in the state, located along Calabar highway, was also inaugurated.
The Republic of Maldives and the Republic of Guinea-Bissau have formally established diplomatic relations today.
The Joint Communiqué formalizing diplomatic relations between the two countries was signed on behalf of the Government of Maldives by His Excellency Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives and on behalf of the Government of Guinea-Bissau by Her Excellency Suzi Carla Barbosa.
, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Communities of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.
Establishing diplomatic relations and cultivating meaningful partnerships with friendly countries to achieve common goals in areas of mutual interest is a key priority of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's foreign policy.
Guinea-Bissau is a tropical country on the Atlantic coast of West Africa, with a population of approximately 1.97 million.
The Republic of Guinea-Bissau is the 181st country to establish diplomatic relations with the Maldives.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Mr. Nasser Bourita, reaffirmed, on September 23, 2022 in New York, Morocco's commitment to an African Atlantic partnership that will be at the active service of stability and co-development.
Speaking at the ministerial meeting of the African Atlantic States, Mr. Bourita stressed that the reactivation of this geostrategic alliance expresses the vision and commitment of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, to make the African Atlantic space a framework for cooperation pragmatic and timely interstate.
"Our meeting last June and the Rabat Declaration that came out of it have materialized this vision, establishing the Atlantic area of Africa as a space of peace, stability and shared prosperity," he noted.
In this regard, he stressed that through the Rabat Declaration, the Atlantic African States have demonstrated the strong ambition of placing joint action within the framework of a broader association and deepening integration ties, in order to more fully address effectively the challenges of the region.
and to identify the great potential for cooperation, Mr. Bourita also noted that these States have agreed that joint actions be guided by the principles of consultation, solidarity, and dynamic and enterprising South-South cooperation, noting that the international context, which has rarely been as complex as the current one, reinforces the relevance of this initiative.
“It also commits us to respond to the imperative of consolidating our partnership.
Especially since we face the same challenges and share the same concerns, including security, stability and sustainable development,” he explained.
Highlighting the complex, interconnected and multidimensional threats facing the region, the Minister warned of terrorist threats that are spreading in various parts of Africa with "very negative" repercussions on the stability of the region.
"An effective fight against terrorism requires a comprehensive approach aimed at actions both in terms of security, promoting the ideals of tolerance and achieving sustainable development," he said, adding that the situation of transnational organized crime in the region is also very worrying.
"The illicit trafficking of weapons, drugs or human beings is developing very rapidly and threatens peace and development in the African Atlantic space," he warned.
Mr. Bourita also warned of the threats posed by piracy, which "damage the prospects for economic and commercial development of the countries of the region", saying that the direct and indirect cost of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea would approach to two billion dollars a year and this figure does not include all the costs assumed by African countries and their partners.
The Minister also noted that the intertwining of terrorism, separatism and transnational organized crime multiplies the threat by creating an "alliance of evil forces."
"No country can face these challenges by itself," he stressed, and called for joining efforts, through cooperation and coordination, as necessary.
Referring to the prospects for cooperation, Bourita highlighted the immense opportunities for association in the region in the areas of blue economy, maritime cooperation and energy.
“The blue economy is projected to contribute $3,000 trillion in annual value added to the global economy by 2030, and our region has enormous potential in this area,” he said, indicating that maritime cooperation is also an asset, “which would allow strengthening our economic and trade integration and improve our competitiveness in the global economy.
Regarding the environmental challenges facing the region, Bourita said that efforts to address these challenges are part of the dynamics of economic cooperation in this area, recalling that the African continent , which contributes 7% of greenhouse gas emissions, is the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change".
The initiatives of the African Action Summit, held on the sidelines of COP22 in Marrakech in 2016, on the emergence from Africa through climate action, are among the appropriate actions for our collective fight against climate change,” he argued, and he added that the search and promotion of international alliances is desirable.
e support efforts and build capacity to meet challenges and seize opportunities for cooperation.
In this context, he said that a draft Program of Action of this Initiative aims to identify common strategic priorities for the realization of the vision of an effective and inclusive African Atlantic partnership, noting that this project is a unifying element to "join us in around goals, and guide us in our collective actions The Agenda for Action also serves as a basis for the preparation of the action plans of the three thematic groups created by the Rabat Declaration, which deal with political dialogue and issues of security: the blue economy, connectivity and energy, as well as sustainable development and the environment, the Minister continued, adding that today's meeting will be sanctioned by a declaration, reaffirming the common will to "consolidate our partnership and give impetus and guidance to our future collective actions, including the Program of Action and the work of the three Thematic Groups.
The Minister strongly encouraged the Member States of this alliance to designate the Focal Points of this Draft Program of Action, to begin to forge the common agenda and harmonize actions.
This meeting was held on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) donated relief materials to flood victims in Niger on Thursday in Minna.
The relief materials were presented by Dr Onimode Abdullahi, Director, Special Duties, who represented the NEMA Director-General, Malam Mustapha Ahmed.
He said the donation was part of the continuous collaboration between the agency and Niger government.
The relief materials are 2,500 bags of 10kg rice, 2,500 bags of 10kg Maize, and 2,500 bags of 10kg Beans, 100 kegs of vegetable oil and 200 cartoons of seasoning cubes.
Others are 300 bags of salts, 900 bags of 50kg cement, 100 bags of 25kg nails, 300 bundles of roofing sheets, 100 packets of zinc nails and 6,000 pieces of textiles.
Also in the donation are 6,000 prices of Guinea brocade, 6,000 pieces of men’s wear, 7,000 pieces of children’s wear, 7,000 pieces of women’s wear and 3,000 prices of plastic buckets.
Three thousand pieces of plates, 3,000 pieces of plastic cups, 200 pieces of spoons, 200 pieces of sanitary pads, 200 cartoons of toilet soap and 100 sets of four-in-one cooking pots are also part of the materials.
On top of that are 100 cooking stoves, 2,500 mattresses, 2,500 insecticide-treated mosquito nets, 2,500 nylon mats, 2,500 blankets and 2,500 bath towels.
Ahmed said the intervention was to assist flood victims to get back on their feet and restart normal lives, adding that the Federal Government was concerned about the welfare and wellbeing of the people of the state.
He appealed to the state government to take disaster risk governance to the grassroots through the setting up of Local Emergency Management Committees (LEMCs) in all council areas.
He also appealed to the state to set aside a predictable funding to the state’s Emergency Management Committee and the LEMCs to enable timely intervention and the saving of lives in the event of disasters.
Responding, Gov. Abubakar Sani-Bello appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari and NEMA for providing support to the flood victims.
He assured that the relief intervention would go a long way to alleviate the plight of victims.
The governor said the state government was making efforts to ensure that communities in flood prone areas were relocated to higher grounds and called for Federal Government’s support to that effect.
He also appealed to NEMA to visit the affected communities to assess the level of damage caused by flood to enable the agency to give more support to victims.
Gov. Bello was represented at the presentation by his deputy, Alhaji Ahmed Ketso.
Some governors who are part of the Nigerian delegation at the ongoing 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly have reaffirmed the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to uphold rule of law.
The governors are Simon Lalong of Plateau; AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara; Babajide Sanwoolu of Lagos State, Babagana Zulum of Borno and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara.
The correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria reports that the governors had accompanied the President to deliver his statement to the General Assembly.
Also, Buhari was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama and Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande and some top political leaders to deliver his address.
The governors reaffirmed his commitment to constitutional term limits and Nigeria’s efforts to promote rule of law and democracy in West Africa.
The governors cited the country’s support for The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and Chad during their political impasses, as an affirmation of his commitment to ensuring stability in the West African subregion.
(Right) Simon Lalong of Plateau State; Babajide Sanwoolu of Lagos State, Babagana Zulum of Borno State; Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State and AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State 77th Session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday at UN headquarters in New York. Reacting to Buhari’s statement, Gov. Lalong, told newsmen at UN headquarters in New York that Mr President would not fail in his pledge of delivering fair and fair elections.
“My take on that is knowing Mr President, he is talking about free and fair election, not only free and fair election but working within the rules.
“Working within the rules means that next year, he’s going to leave office, there will be an election, and there will be a new leadership in Nigeria.
“As you can see from the text of the message, he said, he is not the type that will come and change the rule halfway to ensure that he will continue in office,’’ he said.
Lalong said he had worked with the President for so long and that he would keep to his promise.
“I know that what he said is really coming out from his heart that there will be free and fair election.
“And there will also be new leadership.
And he will also leave after his eight years,’’ he said.
Gov. AbdulRazaq said the President spoke about the fact that he would be leaving the office and that he has entrenched democracy, and how this will be his last visit to the address the global community.
“The address was such that he dealt on the issues affecting the world, post COVID, global food security, issues in Eastern Europe, Democracy in Africa, truncation of democracies in Africa, and how we’re consolidating in Nigeria,’’ he said.
According to him, he is leaving the stage and he intends to conduct a free and fair election in Nigeria for posterity.
“Well, we all know the President, he is very straightforward in his dealings with others.
“In the last meeting with the governors of the All Progressive Congress (APC) when the APC had its presidential candidate, he told us clearly that it’s going to be a fair elections and he expects INEC to do a good job.
“So, meaning that there’ll be no manipulation and he asked us to go and work hard towards the elections, make sure we secure our states and deliver APC at all levels.
” On the impact this will have on the election, AbdulRazaq said: “Well, like he the next Nigerian president to that would address the assembly will not him.
“So, it shows you that he spoke basically about elongation of tenure in several countries and that that will not happen in Nigeria.
“That democracy has come to stay.
So we’re looking forward to sustaining his legacy.
” On his part, Gov. Sanwolu said: “The points that I’ve taken away from there, is how despite COVID and all the things have happened to us last year, that we stood out in the community of nations.
“And how Nigeria even helped countries suffering around Africa, you know, in West African regions, that have suffered disruptions and military coups and the rest of it and how toes up to mitigate and to help stabilize countries in Africa.
“He did took very strong lines to end his speech, which I believe that indeed he has earned his pay as Nigeria’s President at the General Assembly.
” On his reaffirming his commitment to the general elections, the Lagos governor said: For someone to everyone said that by this time next year, he is certain that there will be another President.
He said there would be another President that would be presenting Nigeria’s statement at the 78th General Assembly, noting that this fact goes to show that he wants to conduct a free and fair election come next year.
” Similarly, Gov. Zulum, reiterated the governors view that Buhari would conduct credible elections in Nigeria under its leadership.
“He also said that “inshallah” by next year, a new president will be elected and will be here to address the General Assembly.
So, this is an indication that the President is willing to ensure stable democracy in Nigeria.
” Also, Gov. Matawalle, said Mr President in his statement talked about the issue of credible elections next year.
Matawalle said those that are saying the President, or the government is not serious, or they have no confidence in the electoral process, he has said it here in United States.
“So, that can give more confidence to the people that Mr. President is going to conduct a credible election in Nigeria,” he said.
The ECOWAS Commission joined the rest of the global community in commemorating World Peace Day (WPD), while pledging greater commitment to regional peace and security at a ceremony in Abuja, Nigeria, on 21 September 2022.
The occasion was also used by the Commission to symbolically launch the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF) special documentary highlighting the peacebuilding progress of the regional bloc at the right time in which ECOWAS takes stock and makes projections about its conflict prevention efforts: past, present and future.
Addressing the audience that also included online participants, ECOWAS Commission President Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, who was represented by his special adviser Ambassador Mambury Njie, emphasized that “achieving true peace involves much more to lay down their arms.
It requires building societies where all members feel they can prosper.
It is about creating a world where people are treated equally regardless of their ethnicity, religion and race.” President Touray further argued that the ideals of the WPD are on a par with the ECOWAS Vision 2050, which envisions a fully integrated community of peoples, living in a peaceful and prosperous region, with strong institutions and respect for fundamental rights and freedom, fighting for inclusion and sustainable development.
Also speaking on the occasion, the President of the ECOWAS Community Court, the Honorable Justice Edward Asante, who was represented by the institution's Chief Registrar, Mr. Tony Anene-Maidoh, noted that for a region whose recent history is dominated by Due to wars and political upheavals, citizens of the community, “now have a greater appreciation of the imperative of peace as a critical foundation for building our edifice of integration” In his message of goodwill, the United Nations Resident Coordinator for Nigeria, who was represented by Mr. Ronald Kayanja, spoke on the theme of this year's celebration: End Racism.
He emphasized the need for a united front against all ills in societies and communities, “instead of fighting each other, let us unite to fight our common enemy; racism, poverty, climate change…” he added.
After an exultation on the virtues of Peace by the main host and Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (CPAPS) of ECOWAS, Dr. Abdel-Fatau Musa, represented by the Director of Peacekeeping and Security Director, Dr. Cyriaque Agnekethom, there were also messages of goodwill from the Chairman of the ECOWAS Committee of Permanent Representatives and Ambassador of Guinea Bissau to Nigeria, Mr. Joao Butiam, party chief, USAID-REWARD Mr. Alimou Dialllo, Director Research and Policy Analysis, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) Dr. Joseph Ochogwu, and ECOWAS Staff Representative Dr. Tony Elemelu, among others.
The highlight of the event was the symbolic launch of the special ECPF documentary which was made on behalf of CPAPS by the Division Chief, Mediation and Coordination of Regional Political Affairs (MCRPA), Dr. Onyinye Onwuka.
The International Day of Peace was established by the United Nations in 1981 and represents a symbolic date shared worldwide for humanity to commit to Peace above differences and contribute to building a Culture of Peace.
Participants in the ECOWAS WTD commemoration also included members of the Diplomatic Corps, key regional peace and security actors, as well as development partners.
The Ministry of Health has received an alert from the Ugandan Ministry of Health about the Ebola outbreak in the country.
This alert is in line with the East African Community Health protocols and further promotes good neighborliness.
I take this opportunity to thank the Government of Uganda very sincerely and assure them of our warmest regards as they move forward to contain the outbreak.
According to the report of the Ugandan authorities.
the outbreak was detected in Ngabano village in Madudu sub-county, Mubende district in central Uganda.
Only one fatal case has been reported so far, a 24-year-old man who died on September 19, 2022.
The victim had been treated for other symptoms before developing Ebola-like symptoms and signs.
Health officials in Uganda are currently conducting contact tracing to identify any close contacts of the deceased.
Six previous suspicious deaths are currently under investigation.
Uganda has reported Ebola incidents in the past, largely influenced by frequent outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The two countries share a long common border that is mostly porous.
It is important to note that there is substantial human trafficking between Uganda and Kenya for trade and other socio-economic activities.
The main mode of transport is by road, air and water (via Lake Victoria).
Some of the formal land crossings include border points like; Busia, Malaba, Lwakhakha, Suam and air travel via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (J KIA), Kisumu International Airport, Moi International Airport and Eldoret International Airport.
In addition, there are numerous informal land and sea border points.
All of this puts Kenya at high risk of disease importation and therefore members of the public need to be vigilant and report any suspected cases.
Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a serious and often fatal illness in humans caused by the Ebola virus.
The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through person-to-person transmission.
Based on previous outbreaks, up to 67% of infected cases die.
Ebola can have a serious socioeconomic impact, as demonstrated in the 2014/2016 outbreak in West Africa.
It is estimated that the three most affected countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) lost more than 4.3 billion dollars.
In light of this information, the government has issued an alert to all counties to: • Be vigilant and enhance surveillance, especially at the border, • Activate rapid response teams to support the identification of any suspected cases and make prompt reports • Detection of people at risk population including travellers, truck drivers, bushmeat handlers and health workers • Raise awareness in the community to identify suspected cases • Raise awareness among health workers about Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) measures , case management, and specimen management • Mobilize all stakeholders to initiate prevention, preparedness, and response measures and the development of county EYO contingency plans.
As the Ministry takes these steps, and while we do not want people to panic, I am calling on members of the public to take extra precautions while visiting Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The general public is also advised to be wary of anyone with an acute onset of feyer and any of the following signs, especially if they have been in contact with people with a history of travel from Uganda and/or the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the previous three weeks; • Vomiting • Diarrhea • Abdominal pain • Headache • Sore throat • Measles-like rash • Red eyes • Bleeding from body openings.
If you come across such a person, notify the nearest health center or administrative officials, such as deputy chiefs, or immediately call the following hotline numbers: 0729 47 14 14 or 0732 35 35 35.
The Ministry of Health is committed to limiting threats to public health and will remain vigilant to ensure that Kenyans are well informed and protected against such threats, including infectious diseases, and that citizens continue to receive quality health services.