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  •   Sub Saharan Africa plays a critical role in advancing global priorities for the benefit of Africans and Americans It has one of the fastest growing populations in the world the largest free trade areas the most diverse ecosystems and one of the largest regional voting groups in the United Nations UN It is impossible to meet today s defining challenges without African contributions and leadership The region will play a leading role in efforts to end the COVID 19 pandemic address the climate crisis reverse the global tide of democratic backsliding address global food insecurity promote gender equity and equality strengthen an open and stable international system shaping the world s rules on vital issues like trade cyber and emerging technologies and address the threat of terrorism conflict and transnational crime Building on the actions and commitments of the Biden Harris Administration to deepen our engagement and partnerships in Africa over the past year the strategy articulates our new vision for a 21st century US Africa Partnership It recognizes the tremendous and positive opportunities that exist to promote shared interests together with our African partners At the same time we recognize that Africa s potential will continue to be challenged as deadly conflicts divide societies corruption impedes economic progress food insecurity increases the risk of famine and malnutrition and repression stifles human rights and expression democratic As President Biden noted in his speech to the African Union last year None of this will be easy but the United States is ready now to partner with him in solidarity support and mutual respect The new US strategy toward sub Saharan Africa represents a restatement of the importance of Africa to US national security interests We will pursue four main goals in sub Saharan Africa 1 PROMOTE OPENNESS AND OPEN SOCIETIES Unidos has an abiding interest in ensuring that the region remains open and accessible to all and that governments and the public are able to make their own political decisions consistent with international obligations Open societies are generally more inclined to work in common cause with the United States attract more trade and investment from the United States pursue policies to improve conditions for their citizens and counter harmful activities by the PRC Russia and the United States other actors We will foster openness and open societies by among other things Promoting government transparency and accountability Increasing our focus on the rule of law justice and dignity Helping African countries make more transparent use of their natural resources for sustainable development 2 DELIVER DEMOCRATIC AND SECURITY DIVIDENDS The region s commitment and capacity to renew its democracies as well as to anticipate prevent and address emerging and long standing conflicts can lead to more favorable outcomes for Africans and the Americans By simultaneously addressing these challenges and reaffirming that democracy brings tangible benefits the United States can offer positive choices to Africans as they determine their own futures We will help Africa deliver democratic and security dividends for example by Working with allies and regional partners to stem the recent wave of authoritarianism and military takeovers Supporting civil society empowering marginalized groups centering women s voices and youth and defending free and fair rights Enhance the ability of African partners to promote regional stability and security Reduce the threat from terrorist groups to the homeland people and U S diplomatic and military installations 3 ADVANCE PANDEMIC RECOVERY AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES problems the COVID 19 pandemic and its economic and social consequences These challenges have been compounded by supply chain and food insecurity issues stemming from Russia s war of aggression in Ukraine The United States is committed to working with regional governments and international partners to build more stable and inclusive African economies We will advance pandemic recovery and economic opportunity for example by Prioritizing policies and programs to end the acute phase of the COVID 19 pandemic and building capacity to increase preparedness for the next health threat Supporting initiatives manufacturing of vaccines and other medical countermeasures Promoting a higher growth trajectory and debt sustainability to support the economic recovery of the region including through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment PGII Prosper Africa Power Africa Feed the Future and a new digital transformation initiative Partner with African countries to rebuild human capital and food systems further weakened by the pandemic and Russia s war against Ukraine 4 SUPPORT CONSERVATION CLIMATE ADAPTATION AND A JUST ENERGY TRANSITION Africa s efforts to conserve and restore the ecosystems of the continent and rich natural resources while achieving energy access and energy security goals diversifying its energy mix and building sustainable supply chains are critical to addressing the global climate crisis Although the region is responsible for extremely low emissions per capita it is likely to suffer some of the most severe effects of climate change We will support conservation climate adaptation and a just energy transition for example Partner with governments civil society and local communities to conserve manage and restore the continent s rich natural ecosystems Support countries in their efforts to minimize and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate including improving community economic and supply chain resilience Work closely with countries to accelerate their just transitions to a future of clean energy energy access and energy security Pursue public private partnerships to sustainably develop and secure critical minerals that clean energy technologies will supply
    Fact Sheet: United States (US) Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa
      Sub Saharan Africa plays a critical role in advancing global priorities for the benefit of Africans and Americans It has one of the fastest growing populations in the world the largest free trade areas the most diverse ecosystems and one of the largest regional voting groups in the United Nations UN It is impossible to meet today s defining challenges without African contributions and leadership The region will play a leading role in efforts to end the COVID 19 pandemic address the climate crisis reverse the global tide of democratic backsliding address global food insecurity promote gender equity and equality strengthen an open and stable international system shaping the world s rules on vital issues like trade cyber and emerging technologies and address the threat of terrorism conflict and transnational crime Building on the actions and commitments of the Biden Harris Administration to deepen our engagement and partnerships in Africa over the past year the strategy articulates our new vision for a 21st century US Africa Partnership It recognizes the tremendous and positive opportunities that exist to promote shared interests together with our African partners At the same time we recognize that Africa s potential will continue to be challenged as deadly conflicts divide societies corruption impedes economic progress food insecurity increases the risk of famine and malnutrition and repression stifles human rights and expression democratic As President Biden noted in his speech to the African Union last year None of this will be easy but the United States is ready now to partner with him in solidarity support and mutual respect The new US strategy toward sub Saharan Africa represents a restatement of the importance of Africa to US national security interests We will pursue four main goals in sub Saharan Africa 1 PROMOTE OPENNESS AND OPEN SOCIETIES Unidos has an abiding interest in ensuring that the region remains open and accessible to all and that governments and the public are able to make their own political decisions consistent with international obligations Open societies are generally more inclined to work in common cause with the United States attract more trade and investment from the United States pursue policies to improve conditions for their citizens and counter harmful activities by the PRC Russia and the United States other actors We will foster openness and open societies by among other things Promoting government transparency and accountability Increasing our focus on the rule of law justice and dignity Helping African countries make more transparent use of their natural resources for sustainable development 2 DELIVER DEMOCRATIC AND SECURITY DIVIDENDS The region s commitment and capacity to renew its democracies as well as to anticipate prevent and address emerging and long standing conflicts can lead to more favorable outcomes for Africans and the Americans By simultaneously addressing these challenges and reaffirming that democracy brings tangible benefits the United States can offer positive choices to Africans as they determine their own futures We will help Africa deliver democratic and security dividends for example by Working with allies and regional partners to stem the recent wave of authoritarianism and military takeovers Supporting civil society empowering marginalized groups centering women s voices and youth and defending free and fair rights Enhance the ability of African partners to promote regional stability and security Reduce the threat from terrorist groups to the homeland people and U S diplomatic and military installations 3 ADVANCE PANDEMIC RECOVERY AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES problems the COVID 19 pandemic and its economic and social consequences These challenges have been compounded by supply chain and food insecurity issues stemming from Russia s war of aggression in Ukraine The United States is committed to working with regional governments and international partners to build more stable and inclusive African economies We will advance pandemic recovery and economic opportunity for example by Prioritizing policies and programs to end the acute phase of the COVID 19 pandemic and building capacity to increase preparedness for the next health threat Supporting initiatives manufacturing of vaccines and other medical countermeasures Promoting a higher growth trajectory and debt sustainability to support the economic recovery of the region including through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment PGII Prosper Africa Power Africa Feed the Future and a new digital transformation initiative Partner with African countries to rebuild human capital and food systems further weakened by the pandemic and Russia s war against Ukraine 4 SUPPORT CONSERVATION CLIMATE ADAPTATION AND A JUST ENERGY TRANSITION Africa s efforts to conserve and restore the ecosystems of the continent and rich natural resources while achieving energy access and energy security goals diversifying its energy mix and building sustainable supply chains are critical to addressing the global climate crisis Although the region is responsible for extremely low emissions per capita it is likely to suffer some of the most severe effects of climate change We will support conservation climate adaptation and a just energy transition for example Partner with governments civil society and local communities to conserve manage and restore the continent s rich natural ecosystems Support countries in their efforts to minimize and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate including improving community economic and supply chain resilience Work closely with countries to accelerate their just transitions to a future of clean energy energy access and energy security Pursue public private partnerships to sustainably develop and secure critical minerals that clean energy technologies will supply
    Fact Sheet: United States (US) Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa
    Africa2 months ago

    Fact Sheet: United States (US) Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa

    Sub-Saharan Africa plays a critical role in advancing global priorities for the benefit of Africans and Americans.

    It has one of the fastest growing populations in the world, the largest free trade areas, the most diverse ecosystems, and one of the largest regional voting groups in the United Nations (UN).

    It is impossible to meet today's defining challenges without African contributions and leadership.

    The region will play a leading role in efforts to: end the COVID-19 pandemic; address the climate crisis; reverse the global tide of democratic backsliding; address global food insecurity; promote gender equity and equality; strengthen an open and stable international system; shaping the world's rules on vital issues like trade, cyber and emerging technologies; and address the threat of terrorism, conflict and transnational crime.

    Building on the actions and commitments of the Biden-Harris Administration to deepen our engagement and partnerships in Africa over the past year, the strategy articulates our new vision for a 21st-century US-Africa Partnership.

    It recognizes the tremendous and positive opportunities that exist to promote shared interests together with our African partners.

    At the same time, we recognize that Africa's potential will continue to be challenged as deadly conflicts divide societies, corruption impedes economic progress, food insecurity increases the risk of famine and malnutrition, and repression stifles human rights and expression.

    democratic.

    As President Biden noted in his speech to the African Union last year, "None of this will be easy, but the United States is ready now to partner with him, in solidarity, support and mutual respect."

    The new US strategy toward sub-Saharan Africa represents a restatement of the importance of Africa to US national security interests.

    We will pursue four main goals in sub-Saharan Africa: 1.

    PROMOTE OPENNESS AND OPEN SOCIETIES Unidos has an abiding interest in ensuring that the region remains open and accessible to all and that governments and the public are able to make their own political decisions.

    consistent with international obligations.

    Open societies are generally more inclined to work in common cause with the United States, attract more trade and investment from the United States, pursue policies to improve conditions for their citizens, and counter harmful activities by the PRC, Russia, and the United States.

    other actors.

    We will foster openness and open societies by, among other things: Promoting government transparency and accountability Increasing our focus on the rule of law, justice and dignity Helping African countries make more transparent use of their natural resources for sustainable development 2.

    DELIVER DEMOCRATIC AND SECURITY DIVIDENDS The region's commitment and capacity to renew its democracies, as well as to anticipate, prevent and address emerging and long-standing conflicts, can lead to more favorable outcomes for Africans and the Americans.

    By simultaneously addressing these challenges and reaffirming that democracy brings tangible benefits, the United States can offer positive choices to Africans as they determine their own futures.

    We will help Africa deliver democratic and security dividends, for example by: Working with allies and regional partners to stem the recent wave of authoritarianism and military takeovers Supporting civil society, empowering marginalized groups, centering women's voices and youth, and defending free and fair rights.

    Enhance the ability of African partners to promote regional stability and security Reduce the threat from terrorist groups to the homeland, people, and U.S. diplomatic and military installations 3.

    ADVANCE PANDEMIC RECOVERY AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES problems: the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and social consequences.

    These challenges have been compounded by supply chain and food insecurity issues stemming from Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine.

    The United States is committed to working with regional governments and international partners to build more stable and inclusive African economies.

    We will advance pandemic recovery and economic opportunity, for example by: Prioritizing policies and programs to end the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and building capacity to increase preparedness for the next health threat Supporting initiatives manufacturing of vaccines and other medical countermeasures Promoting a higher growth trajectory and debt sustainability to support the economic recovery of the region, including through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII), Prosper Africa, Power Africa , Feed the Future and a new digital transformation initiative Partner with African countries to rebuild human capital and food systems further weakened by the pandemic and Russia's war against Ukraine 4.

    SUPPORT CONSERVATION, CLIMATE ADAPTATION AND A JUST ENERGY TRANSITION Africa's efforts to conserve and restore the ecosystems of the continent and rich natural resources, while achieving energy access and energy security goals, diversifying its energy mix and building sustainable supply chains are critical to addressing the global climate crisis.

    Although the region is responsible for extremely low emissions per capita, it is likely to suffer some of the most severe effects of climate change.

    We will support conservation, climate adaptation and a just energy transition, for example: Partner with governments, civil society and local communities to conserve, manage and restore the continent's rich natural ecosystems Support countries in their efforts to minimize and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate, including improving community, economic, and supply chain resilience Work closely with countries to accelerate their just transitions to a future of clean energy, energy access, and energy security Pursue public-private partnerships to sustainably develop and secure critical minerals that clean energy technologies will supply

  •  The White House summoned China s ambassador to Washington to condemn the irresponsible behaviour of Beijing over Taiwan a senior US official said Friday John Kirby spokesman for the National Security Council said that Ambassador Qin Gang was summoned following China s military sabre rattling in response to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to self ruled democratic Taiwan Kirby who also described China s actions as provocative did not say which officials met with the ambassador We condemned the PRC s military actions which are irresponsible at odds with our long standing goal of maintaining peace and stability and across the Taiwan Strait he said referring to China by its official acronym for the People s Republic of China We made clear to the ambassador that Beijing s actions are of concern to Taiwan to us and to our partners around the world Kirby said highlighting concerns from the G7 group of wealthy democracies and the Asian regional grouping ASEAN Finally we made clear once again as we have done privately at the highest levels and publicly nothing has changed about our one China policy Kirby said He was referring to the US position of only acknowledging the Chinese position that Taiwan is part of China It leaves it to the two sides to work out a solution while opposing any use of force to change the status quo Beijing insists that Taiwan is a part of China awaiting reunification by force if necessary Taiwan s current ruling party has vowed to defend the island s sovereignty We also made clear that the United States is prepared for what Beijing chooses to do We will not seek and do not want a crisis he said At the same time we will not be deterred from operating in the seas and skies of the Western Pacific consistent with international law as we have for decades supporting Taiwan and defending a free and open Pacific region
    US summons Chinese ambassador over ‘irresponsible’ actions on Taiwan
     The White House summoned China s ambassador to Washington to condemn the irresponsible behaviour of Beijing over Taiwan a senior US official said Friday John Kirby spokesman for the National Security Council said that Ambassador Qin Gang was summoned following China s military sabre rattling in response to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to self ruled democratic Taiwan Kirby who also described China s actions as provocative did not say which officials met with the ambassador We condemned the PRC s military actions which are irresponsible at odds with our long standing goal of maintaining peace and stability and across the Taiwan Strait he said referring to China by its official acronym for the People s Republic of China We made clear to the ambassador that Beijing s actions are of concern to Taiwan to us and to our partners around the world Kirby said highlighting concerns from the G7 group of wealthy democracies and the Asian regional grouping ASEAN Finally we made clear once again as we have done privately at the highest levels and publicly nothing has changed about our one China policy Kirby said He was referring to the US position of only acknowledging the Chinese position that Taiwan is part of China It leaves it to the two sides to work out a solution while opposing any use of force to change the status quo Beijing insists that Taiwan is a part of China awaiting reunification by force if necessary Taiwan s current ruling party has vowed to defend the island s sovereignty We also made clear that the United States is prepared for what Beijing chooses to do We will not seek and do not want a crisis he said At the same time we will not be deterred from operating in the seas and skies of the Western Pacific consistent with international law as we have for decades supporting Taiwan and defending a free and open Pacific region
    US summons Chinese ambassador over ‘irresponsible’ actions on Taiwan
    Foreign2 months ago

    US summons Chinese ambassador over ‘irresponsible’ actions on Taiwan

    The White House summoned China’s ambassador to Washington to condemn the “irresponsible” behaviour of Beijing over Taiwan, a senior US official said Friday.

    John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council, said that Ambassador Qin Gang was summoned following China’s military sabre rattling in response to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to self-ruled, democratic Taiwan.

    Kirby, who also described China’s actions as “provocative,” did not say which officials met with the ambassador.

    “We condemned the PRC’s military actions, which are irresponsible, at odds with our long-standing goal of maintaining peace and stability and across the Taiwan Strait,” he said, referring to China by its official acronym for the People’s Republic of China.

    “We made clear to the ambassador that Beijing’s actions are of concern to Taiwan, to us, and to our partners around the world,” Kirby said, highlighting concerns from the G7 group of wealthy democracies and the Asian regional grouping ASEAN.

    “Finally, we made clear once again as we have done privately at the highest levels and publicly: nothing has changed about our one China policy,” Kirby said.

    He was referring to the US position of only acknowledging the Chinese position that Taiwan is part of China.

    It leaves it to the two sides to work out a solution, while opposing any use of force to change the status quo.

    Beijing insists that Taiwan is a part of China awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

    Taiwan’s current ruling party has vowed to defend the island’s sovereignty.

    “We also made clear that the United States is prepared for what Beijing chooses to do.

    We will not seek and do not want a crisis,” he said.

    “At the same time, we will not be deterred from operating in the seas and skies of the Western Pacific, consistent with international law, as we have for decades — supporting Taiwan and defending a free and open” Pacific region.

  •  A Chinese booster rocket made an uncontrolled return to Earth on Saturday leading US officials to chide Beijing for not sharing information about the potentially hazardous object s descent US Space Command can confirm the People s Republic of China PRC Long March 5B CZ 5B re entered over the Indian Ocean at approx 10 45 am MDT on 7 30 the US military unit said on Twitter We refer you to the PRC for further details on the reentry s technical aspects such as potential debris dispersal impact location it said In a statement posted to its official WeChat profile the China Manned Space Agency later gave coordinates for an impact area in the Sulu Sea about 35 miles 57 kilometers off the east coast of the Philippines Palawan Island Most of its devices were ablated and destroyed during re entry the agency said of the booster rocket which was used last Sunday to launch the second of three modules China needed to complete its new Tiangong space station Malaysia s space agency said it detected rocket debris burning up on re entry before falling in the Sulu Sea northeast of the island of Borneo The debris of the rocket caught fire while entering the Earth s airspace and the movement of the burning debris also crossed Malaysian airspace and could be detected in several areas including crossing the airspace around the state of Sarawak it said NASA criticism NASA administrator Bill Nelson criticized Beijing on Twitter saying the failure to share details of the rocket s descent was irresponsible and risky All spacefaring nations should follow established best practices and do their part to share this type of information in advance Nelson wrote to allow reliable predictions of potential debris impact risk especially for heavy lift vehicles like the Long March 5B which carry a significant risk of loss of life and property He added Doing so is critical to the responsible use of space and to ensure the safety of people here on Earth The Tiangong space station is one of the crown jewels of Beijing s ambitious space program which has landed robotic rovers on Mars and the Moon and made China only the third nation to put humans in orbit The new module propelled by the Long March 5B successfully docked with Tiangong s core module on Monday and the three astronauts who had been living in the main compartment since June successfully entered the new lab When China launched its first Tiangong module in April 2021 there was a similar frenzy around the possibility of damage caused by an unpredictable booster reentry Objects generate immense amounts of heat and friction when they enter the atmosphere which can cause them to burn up and disintegrate But larger ones such as the Long March 5B may not be destroyed entirely In 2020 debris from another Chinese rocket fell on villages in the Ivory Coast causing structural damage but no injuries or deaths China has poured billions of dollars into space flight and exploration as it seeks to build a program that reflects its stature as a rising global power
    Chinese booster rocket makes uncontrolled return to Earth
     A Chinese booster rocket made an uncontrolled return to Earth on Saturday leading US officials to chide Beijing for not sharing information about the potentially hazardous object s descent US Space Command can confirm the People s Republic of China PRC Long March 5B CZ 5B re entered over the Indian Ocean at approx 10 45 am MDT on 7 30 the US military unit said on Twitter We refer you to the PRC for further details on the reentry s technical aspects such as potential debris dispersal impact location it said In a statement posted to its official WeChat profile the China Manned Space Agency later gave coordinates for an impact area in the Sulu Sea about 35 miles 57 kilometers off the east coast of the Philippines Palawan Island Most of its devices were ablated and destroyed during re entry the agency said of the booster rocket which was used last Sunday to launch the second of three modules China needed to complete its new Tiangong space station Malaysia s space agency said it detected rocket debris burning up on re entry before falling in the Sulu Sea northeast of the island of Borneo The debris of the rocket caught fire while entering the Earth s airspace and the movement of the burning debris also crossed Malaysian airspace and could be detected in several areas including crossing the airspace around the state of Sarawak it said NASA criticism NASA administrator Bill Nelson criticized Beijing on Twitter saying the failure to share details of the rocket s descent was irresponsible and risky All spacefaring nations should follow established best practices and do their part to share this type of information in advance Nelson wrote to allow reliable predictions of potential debris impact risk especially for heavy lift vehicles like the Long March 5B which carry a significant risk of loss of life and property He added Doing so is critical to the responsible use of space and to ensure the safety of people here on Earth The Tiangong space station is one of the crown jewels of Beijing s ambitious space program which has landed robotic rovers on Mars and the Moon and made China only the third nation to put humans in orbit The new module propelled by the Long March 5B successfully docked with Tiangong s core module on Monday and the three astronauts who had been living in the main compartment since June successfully entered the new lab When China launched its first Tiangong module in April 2021 there was a similar frenzy around the possibility of damage caused by an unpredictable booster reentry Objects generate immense amounts of heat and friction when they enter the atmosphere which can cause them to burn up and disintegrate But larger ones such as the Long March 5B may not be destroyed entirely In 2020 debris from another Chinese rocket fell on villages in the Ivory Coast causing structural damage but no injuries or deaths China has poured billions of dollars into space flight and exploration as it seeks to build a program that reflects its stature as a rising global power
    Chinese booster rocket makes uncontrolled return to Earth
    Foreign2 months ago

    Chinese booster rocket makes uncontrolled return to Earth

    A Chinese booster rocket made an uncontrolled return to Earth on Saturday, leading US officials to chide Beijing for not sharing information about the potentially hazardous object’s descent.

    US Space Command “can confirm the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Long March 5B (CZ-5B) re-entered over the Indian Ocean at approx 10:45 am MDT on 7/30,” the US military unit said on Twitter.

    “We refer you to the #PRC for further details on the reentry’s technical aspects such as potential debris dispersal+ impact location,” it said.

    In a statement posted to its official WeChat profile, the China Manned Space Agency later gave coordinates for an impact area in the Sulu Sea, about 35 miles (57 kilometers) off the east coast of the Philippines’ Palawan Island.

    “Most of its devices were ablated and destroyed during re-entry,” the agency said of the booster rocket, which was used last Sunday to launch the second of three modules China needed to complete its new Tiangong space station.

    Malaysia’s space agency said it detected rocket debris burning up on re-entry before falling in the Sulu Sea northeast of the island of Borneo.

    “The debris of the rocket caught fire while entering the Earth’s airspace and the movement of the burning debris also crossed Malaysian airspace and could be detected in several areas including crossing the airspace around the state of Sarawak,” it said.

    – NASA criticism –NASA administrator Bill Nelson criticized Beijing on Twitter, saying the failure to share details of the rocket’s descent was irresponsible and risky.

    “All spacefaring nations should follow established best practices, and do their part to share this type of information in advance,” Nelson wrote, “to allow reliable predictions of potential debris impact risk, especially for heavy-lift vehicles, like the Long March 5B, which carry a significant risk of loss of life and property.

    ” He added: “Doing so is critical to the responsible use of space and to ensure the safety of people here on Earth”.

    The Tiangong space station is one of the crown jewels of Beijing’s ambitious space program, which has landed robotic rovers on Mars and the Moon, and made China only the third nation to put humans in orbit.

    The new module, propelled by the Long March 5B, successfully docked with Tiangong’s core module on Monday and the three astronauts who had been living in the main compartment since June successfully entered the new lab.

    When China launched its first Tiangong module in April 2021, there was a similar frenzy around the possibility of damage caused by an unpredictable booster reentry.

    Objects generate immense amounts of heat and friction when they enter the atmosphere, which can cause them to burn up and disintegrate.

    But larger ones such as the Long March-5B may not be destroyed entirely.

    In 2020, debris from another Chinese rocket fell on villages in the Ivory Coast, causing structural damage but no injuries or deaths.

    China has poured billions of dollars into space flight and exploration as it seeks to build a program that reflects its stature as a rising global power.

  •  The International Maritime Bureau IMB in its half year report of 2022 has commended the reduction in piracy in the globe Bureau also expressed optimism that it was a new dawn for the shipping community globally This was coming on the heels of the Bureau receiving the lowest number of reported incidents for the first half of the year since 1994 evidencing its efforts in raising awareness to make the waters safe globally This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Edward Osagie Assistant Director Public Relations Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA on Sunday in Lagos The Gulf of Guinea Declaration GoG on Suppression of Piracy has confirmed that there has not been any case of Seafarers kidnap one year after the May 2021 declaration This is considered commendable progress in comparison to the 2020 statistics when 130 seafarers were kidnapped The status report from the GoG declaration also confirmed that there had not been any case of kidnap for ransom in 2022 as against 20 cases in 2020 and 12 in 2021 Responding the Director General of NIMASA Dr Bashir Jamoh said that Nigeria was committed to sustaining the momentum of the success recorded in recent times in the fight against piracy in the region It is heart warming that the international maritime community is acknowledging the progress made so far It is a direct result of collaboration amongst national regional and non regional stakeholders It is our hope that this trend will be sustained and very soon we will start reaping the benefits such as a change of status concerning the Insurance premium paid on Nigerian bound cargoes the War Riskpremium being paid at the moment We hope this status will change very soon he said Jamoh said that the Baltic and International Maritime Council BIMCO world s largest direct membership organisation for ship owners charterers shipbrokers and agents called for the effective and full deployment of Deep Blue Assets on Anti piracy tasking Key to the successes in the war against piracy are efforts of the Nigerian Navy in clamping down on pirates camps the Deep Blue project C4i coastal surveillance and collaboration with international Navies for law enforcement off Nigerian waters Others are the series of meetings under the umbrella of the Gulf of Guinea maritime coordination Forum Shared Awareness and DEconfliction Jamoh quoted BIMCO as saying IMB Director Mr Michael Howlett also confirmed that no case of vessel hijack took place in Nigerian waters in the first half of 2022 The ICC and International Maritime Bureau IMB have confirmed that the first half of 2022 witnessed the least cases of piracy globally in 28 years with only 58 reported cases as compared to 68 within same period in 2021 Of the 58 incidents two were classified as piracy attacks in the Gulf of Guinea with none of them occuring in Nigerian waters While the reduction in reported incidents is indeed encouraging the IMB PRC continues to caution against complacency he said Howlett said that not only was this good news for the seafarers and the shipping industry it was positive news for trade which promotes economic growth But the areas of risk shift and the shipping community must remain vigilant We encourage governments and responding authorities to continue their patrols which create a deterrent effect he said NewsSourceCredit NAN
    IMB confirms piracy decline Gulf of Guinea
     The International Maritime Bureau IMB in its half year report of 2022 has commended the reduction in piracy in the globe Bureau also expressed optimism that it was a new dawn for the shipping community globally This was coming on the heels of the Bureau receiving the lowest number of reported incidents for the first half of the year since 1994 evidencing its efforts in raising awareness to make the waters safe globally This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Edward Osagie Assistant Director Public Relations Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA on Sunday in Lagos The Gulf of Guinea Declaration GoG on Suppression of Piracy has confirmed that there has not been any case of Seafarers kidnap one year after the May 2021 declaration This is considered commendable progress in comparison to the 2020 statistics when 130 seafarers were kidnapped The status report from the GoG declaration also confirmed that there had not been any case of kidnap for ransom in 2022 as against 20 cases in 2020 and 12 in 2021 Responding the Director General of NIMASA Dr Bashir Jamoh said that Nigeria was committed to sustaining the momentum of the success recorded in recent times in the fight against piracy in the region It is heart warming that the international maritime community is acknowledging the progress made so far It is a direct result of collaboration amongst national regional and non regional stakeholders It is our hope that this trend will be sustained and very soon we will start reaping the benefits such as a change of status concerning the Insurance premium paid on Nigerian bound cargoes the War Riskpremium being paid at the moment We hope this status will change very soon he said Jamoh said that the Baltic and International Maritime Council BIMCO world s largest direct membership organisation for ship owners charterers shipbrokers and agents called for the effective and full deployment of Deep Blue Assets on Anti piracy tasking Key to the successes in the war against piracy are efforts of the Nigerian Navy in clamping down on pirates camps the Deep Blue project C4i coastal surveillance and collaboration with international Navies for law enforcement off Nigerian waters Others are the series of meetings under the umbrella of the Gulf of Guinea maritime coordination Forum Shared Awareness and DEconfliction Jamoh quoted BIMCO as saying IMB Director Mr Michael Howlett also confirmed that no case of vessel hijack took place in Nigerian waters in the first half of 2022 The ICC and International Maritime Bureau IMB have confirmed that the first half of 2022 witnessed the least cases of piracy globally in 28 years with only 58 reported cases as compared to 68 within same period in 2021 Of the 58 incidents two were classified as piracy attacks in the Gulf of Guinea with none of them occuring in Nigerian waters While the reduction in reported incidents is indeed encouraging the IMB PRC continues to caution against complacency he said Howlett said that not only was this good news for the seafarers and the shipping industry it was positive news for trade which promotes economic growth But the areas of risk shift and the shipping community must remain vigilant We encourage governments and responding authorities to continue their patrols which create a deterrent effect he said NewsSourceCredit NAN
    IMB confirms piracy decline Gulf of Guinea
    Economy2 months ago

    IMB confirms piracy decline Gulf of Guinea

    The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) in its half-year report of 2022 has commended the reduction in piracy in the globe.

    Bureau also expressed optimism that it was a new dawn for the shipping community globally.

    This was coming on the heels of the Bureau receiving the lowest number of reported incidents for the first half of the year since 1994, evidencing its efforts in raising awareness to make the waters safe globally.

    This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Edward Osagie, Assistant Director, Public Relations, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), on Sunday in Lagos.

    The Gulf of Guinea Declaration (GoG) on Suppression of Piracy has confirmed that there has not been any case of Seafarers kidnap one year after the May 2021 declaration.

    This is considered commendable progress in comparison to the 2020 statistics when 130 seafarers were kidnapped.

    The status report from the GoG declaration also confirmed that there had not been any case of kidnap for ransom in 2022, as against 20 cases in 2020 and 12 in 2021.

    Responding, the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, said that Nigeria was committed to sustaining the momentum of the success recorded in recent times in the fight against piracy in the region.

    “It is heart-warming that the international maritime community is acknowledging the progress made so far.

    It is a direct result of collaboration amongst national, regional and non-regional stakeholders.

    “It is our hope that this trend will be sustained and very soon, we will start reaping the benefits such as a change of status concerning the Insurance premium paid on Nigerian bound cargoes; the War Riskpremium being paid at the moment.

    “We hope this status will change very soon,” he said.

    Jamoh said that the Baltic and International Maritime Council, (BIMCO), world’s largest direct-membership organisation for ship-owners, charterers, shipbrokers and agents called for the effective and full deployment of Deep Blue Assets on Anti-piracy tasking.

    “Key to the successes in the war against piracy are efforts of the Nigerian Navy in clamping down on pirates camps, the Deep Blue project C4i coastal surveillance and collaboration with international Navies for law enforcement off Nigerian waters.

    “Others are the series of meetings under the umbrella of the Gulf of Guinea maritime coordination Forum, Shared Awareness and DEconfliction, , Jamoh quoted BIMCO as saying.

    IMB Director, Mr Michael Howlett, also confirmed that no case of vessel hijack took place in Nigerian waters in the first half of 2022.

    “The ICC and International Maritime Bureau (IMB) have confirmed that the first half of 2022 witnessed the least cases of piracy globally in 28 years with only 58 reported cases as compared to 68 within same period in 2021.

    “Of the 58 incidents, two were classified as piracy attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, with none of them occuring in Nigerian waters.

    While the reduction in reported incidents is indeed encouraging, the IMB PRC continues to caution against complacency,” he said.

    Howlett said that not only was this good news for the seafarers and the shipping industry, it was positive news for trade which promotes economic growth.

    “ But the areas of risk shift and the shipping community must remain vigilant.

    We encourage governments and responding authorities to continue their patrols which create a deterrent effect,” he said.

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  The Solomon Islands prime minister said on Tuesday that a controversial security deal with Beijing was ready to sign denying reports that his country had been pressured to allow the construction of a Chinese naval base in the Pacific island nation In an impassioned speech to parliament Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare offered few details about the form of the final deal beyond saying there was no intention to ask China to build a military base in the Solomon Islands He rejected Australian media reports that his country was being pressured by the PRC to build a military base in the Solomon Islands Where does that nonsense come from The security treaty is being carried out at the request of the Solomon Islands government she said We are not pressured Our new friends don t pressure us in any way A draft version of the deal leaked last week shocked Canberra because it included proposals that would allow Chinese naval and security deployments in the Pacific island nation Asked in parliament about the status of the deal Sogavare said We will finalize and finish now The document is ready to sign Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this week that reports of the deal were a reminder of the constant pressure and threats to our own national security that are presented in our region Morrison said he had been in contact with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who this week called the draft deal gravely worrying and said there was very little reason in terms of Pacific security for such a need and such a need presence Very insulting In his speech on Tuesday Sogavare confirmed that existing security arrangements with Australia would remain intact under the new pact with China but added that to meet our security needs it is clear that we need to diversify the country s relationship with other countries And what s wrong with that China s growing influence in the Pacific in recent years has fueled a strained relationship with Australia as have Canberra s strengthened military ties with the United States and other allies The prospect of a Chinese naval base in the South Pacific has long been a concern for Australia and the United States because it would allow Beijing to project its power deeper into the region Sogavare called the concern of many leaders about China s presence as a threat to regional security in the Pacific unfortunate perceptions He said it was highly insulting to be branded as inept at handling our sovereign affairs by other nations and condemned those who had leaked the draft pact with China as lunatics and agents of foreign regimes Partner of Choice Solomon Islands was rocked by riots last November when protesters attempted to storm parliament and then went on a deadly three day rampage setting much of Chinatown in the capital of Honiara ablaze More than 200 peacekeepers from Australia Fiji Papua New Guinea and New Zealand were deployed to restore calm and Sogavare managed to avoid being deposed Sogavare said on Tuesday that Australia and New Zealand would remain the partner of choice when it comes to the need to ask for help in critical times Last year s unrest was sparked by a variety of tensions in the Solomon Islands including opposition to the Sogavare government inter island rivalries and high unemployment but anti China sentiment in the nation also played a key role Leaders of the more populous island of Malaita are fiercely opposed to Sogavare s decision to switch diplomatic relations from Taiwan to Beijing in 2019 a move that became a lightning rod for broader frustration over Chinese investment in the island nation from Pacific Source Credit TheGuardian
    Solomon Islands PM says China security deal ‘ready for signing’
     The Solomon Islands prime minister said on Tuesday that a controversial security deal with Beijing was ready to sign denying reports that his country had been pressured to allow the construction of a Chinese naval base in the Pacific island nation In an impassioned speech to parliament Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare offered few details about the form of the final deal beyond saying there was no intention to ask China to build a military base in the Solomon Islands He rejected Australian media reports that his country was being pressured by the PRC to build a military base in the Solomon Islands Where does that nonsense come from The security treaty is being carried out at the request of the Solomon Islands government she said We are not pressured Our new friends don t pressure us in any way A draft version of the deal leaked last week shocked Canberra because it included proposals that would allow Chinese naval and security deployments in the Pacific island nation Asked in parliament about the status of the deal Sogavare said We will finalize and finish now The document is ready to sign Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this week that reports of the deal were a reminder of the constant pressure and threats to our own national security that are presented in our region Morrison said he had been in contact with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who this week called the draft deal gravely worrying and said there was very little reason in terms of Pacific security for such a need and such a need presence Very insulting In his speech on Tuesday Sogavare confirmed that existing security arrangements with Australia would remain intact under the new pact with China but added that to meet our security needs it is clear that we need to diversify the country s relationship with other countries And what s wrong with that China s growing influence in the Pacific in recent years has fueled a strained relationship with Australia as have Canberra s strengthened military ties with the United States and other allies The prospect of a Chinese naval base in the South Pacific has long been a concern for Australia and the United States because it would allow Beijing to project its power deeper into the region Sogavare called the concern of many leaders about China s presence as a threat to regional security in the Pacific unfortunate perceptions He said it was highly insulting to be branded as inept at handling our sovereign affairs by other nations and condemned those who had leaked the draft pact with China as lunatics and agents of foreign regimes Partner of Choice Solomon Islands was rocked by riots last November when protesters attempted to storm parliament and then went on a deadly three day rampage setting much of Chinatown in the capital of Honiara ablaze More than 200 peacekeepers from Australia Fiji Papua New Guinea and New Zealand were deployed to restore calm and Sogavare managed to avoid being deposed Sogavare said on Tuesday that Australia and New Zealand would remain the partner of choice when it comes to the need to ask for help in critical times Last year s unrest was sparked by a variety of tensions in the Solomon Islands including opposition to the Sogavare government inter island rivalries and high unemployment but anti China sentiment in the nation also played a key role Leaders of the more populous island of Malaita are fiercely opposed to Sogavare s decision to switch diplomatic relations from Taiwan to Beijing in 2019 a move that became a lightning rod for broader frustration over Chinese investment in the island nation from Pacific Source Credit TheGuardian
    Solomon Islands PM says China security deal ‘ready for signing’
    Foreign6 months ago

    Solomon Islands PM says China security deal ‘ready for signing’

    The Solomon Islands prime minister said on Tuesday that a controversial security deal with Beijing was "ready to sign," denying reports that his country had been pressured to allow the construction of a Chinese naval base in the Pacific island nation. .

    In an impassioned speech to parliament, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare offered few details about the form of the final deal beyond saying there was "no intention ... to ask China to build a military base in the Solomon Islands."

    He rejected Australian media reports that his country was being "pressured by the PRC to build a military base in the Solomon Islands".

    “Where does that nonsense come from? The security treaty…is being carried out at the request of the Solomon Islands government,” she said.

    “We are not pressured. Our new friends don't pressure us in any way."

    A draft version of the deal, leaked last week, shocked Canberra because it included proposals that would allow Chinese naval and security deployments in the Pacific island nation.

    Asked in parliament about the status of the deal, Sogavare said: “We will finalize and finish now. The document is ready to sign.”

    Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this week that reports of the deal were "a reminder of the constant pressure and threats to our own national security that are presented in our region."

    Morrison said he had been in contact with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who this week called the draft deal "gravely worrying" and said there was "very little reason in terms of Pacific security for such a need and such a need." presence".

    'Very insulting'
    In his speech on Tuesday, Sogavare confirmed that existing security arrangements with Australia would "remain intact" under the new pact with China, but added that "to meet our security needs, it is clear that we need to diversify the country's relationship with other countries." . And what's wrong with that?

    China's growing influence in the Pacific in recent years has fueled a strained relationship with Australia, as have Canberra's strengthened military ties with the United States and other allies.

    The prospect of a Chinese naval base in the South Pacific has long been a concern for Australia and the United States because it would allow Beijing to project its power deeper into the region.

    Sogavare called the concern of "many leaders" about China's presence as a threat to regional security in the Pacific "unfortunate perceptions."

    He said it was "highly insulting... to be branded as inept at handling our sovereign affairs" by other nations and condemned those who had leaked the draft pact with China as "lunatics and agents of foreign regimes."

    'Partner of Choice'
    Solomon Islands was rocked by riots last November when protesters attempted to storm parliament and then went on a deadly three-day rampage, setting much of Chinatown in the capital of Honiara ablaze.

    More than 200 peacekeepers from Australia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand were deployed to restore calm and Sogavare managed to avoid being deposed.

    Sogavare said on Tuesday that Australia and New Zealand would remain the "partner of choice when it comes to the need to ask for help in critical times."

    Last year's unrest was sparked by a variety of tensions in the Solomon Islands, including opposition to the Sogavare government, inter-island rivalries and high unemployment, but anti-China sentiment in the nation also played a key role.

    Leaders of the more populous island of Malaita are fiercely opposed to Sogavare's decision to switch diplomatic relations from Taiwan to Beijing in 2019, a move that became a lightning rod for broader frustration over Chinese investment in the island nation. from Pacific.

    Source Credit: TheGuardian

  •   The international community must not passively watch the protesters but actively engage in their calls for a more just Sudan NAIROBI Kenya February 3 2022 APO Group Security forces in Sudan have repeatedly attacked or used excessive unnecessary force including deadly force against peaceful protesters in Khartoum Human Rights Watch said today On January 17 2022 alone medical groups recorded seven live ammunition killings of protesters three of which Human Rights Watch documented Following the military coup on October 25 there have been numerous protests across Sudan especially in the capital Khartoum According to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors security forces have killed 79 people including a woman and nine children January 17 was the second deadliest day since the coup For more than three months Sudanese security forces have inflicted serious often fatal bodily harm to suppress protests said Mohamed Osman Sudan researcher at Human Rights Watch And yet emboldened by years of impunity and a meek international response to their coup Sudan s military leaders have been committing serious crimes against civilians without consequence Human Rights Watch remotely interviewed eight witnesses to the January 17 events including witnesses to three of the seven protester killings and a doctor in Khartoum and analyzed six videos and eight photos posted on Facebook from January 17 Human Rights Watch has been unable to independently investigate or assess the evidence surrounding the four additional reported killings although medical groups have recorded the names and details of those killed Witnesses said riot police and the Central Reserve Police CRP a militarized police unit led the deadly response on January 17 Six witnesses said that the PRC used live ammunition against unarmed protesters in various locations throughout the day Regular police beat and arrested peaceful protesters Around 1 pm the protesters arrived at the Sharwani bus station two kilometers south of the Presidential Palace Three witnesses said riot police identifiable by their blue camouflage uniforms positioned themselves in large numbers not far away Witnesses said that the protesters stopped about 20 meters from the police forces and began to chant Out of nowhere the riot police started shooting tear gas at us said a 23 year old protester who was leading the protest There was no warning or provocation on our part Another protester 26 said that riot police fired tear gas canisters directly at protesters at the front of the march As we were retreating to cover ourselves from the tear gas a canister hit me in the back I also saw two other protesters being hit in the head and chest Three witnesses confirmed that the police did not give verbal warnings or instructions to disperse before firing the tear gas One protester said he and others began throwing rocks and tear gas canisters at police A video posted on Facebook corroborates witness accounts The video shows a four wheeled armored vehicle and two lines of approximately 45 riot police at an intersection near the Khartoum University Medical School about 250 meters north of the bus station In the video they are blocking the entrance to the road that eventually leads to the Presidential Palace Protesters gather 15 to 20 meters apart on the other side of the intersection chanting and holding banners Four protesters at the front of the crowd hold hands to create a chain with their backs to the police A cloud of gas is seen and protesters flee from the police Firing tear gas canisters directly at people can cause serious injury especially from such close proximity and violates international standards The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reported in mid January that more than a quarter of those injured since the coup were directly hit by tear gas By matching landmarks visible in the video to satellite imagery Human Rights Watch identified the location as outside the Khartoum University School of Medicine Screenshots from the video show the positions of the protesters and the police Two witnesses said that about 30 minutes later Central Reserve forces appeared from the east A 27 year old protester said he saw between 20 and 30 CRP officers some firing live ammunition at the protesters While this protester was unable to identify his weapons Human Rights Watch identified a CRP officer by his khaki camouflage uniform in a video posted on Facebook holding a folding stock Kalashnikov assault rifle Another witness who was at a makeshift barricade on the east side of the bus station said he saw the first volley of bullets but he and others at the barricade remained there He saw two vehicles approaching a khaki CRP vehicle and a white van with no license plates and plainclothes officers in the back Between 2 and 2 30 p m the witness said he heard a gunshot as protesters hurled stones at approaching armed CRP officers He saw a protester beaten and bleeding He later learned that it was Osman al Sheraif 40 who died The medical report said that he had gunshot wounds to his pelvis and right thigh Shortly after another 26 year old protester said he and other protesters dispersed through the bus station as riot police CRP and regular police chased after them arresting and beating some with batons and gun butts Four protesters said the response by security forces intensified around 3 00 p m when protesters retreated down the street and gathered to prevent security forces from reaching al Jawda hospital where they were transferring injured protesters Security forces have repeatedly raided health facilities and harassed medical staff and patients Between 3 30 and 4 30 pm three witnesses said they saw two protesters Hassan Ibrahim al Bashir 29 and al Haj Malik 21 shot dead in the street near the hospital at Jawda and others wounded The main force that attacked was the riot police made up of several foot soldiers and a couple of trucks said a friend who had been with al Bashir I heard a couple of shots Suddenly I felt a bullet hit my arm I looked at Hassan to tell him that I was shot At that exact moment Hassan yelled at me that he had been shot in the eye and I saw blood covering his head I grabbed his hand and asked others to help me carry him away All the way to the hospital I didn t worry about my own injury and hoped he was okay he wasn t He died later A medical source confirmed that al Bashir was shot in the head and died in hospital Two witnesses to al Haj s murder said PRC soldiers fired at them with assault rifles behind their barricade 300 meters from al Jawda hospital They said they also saw riot police fire tear gas and stun grenades A 26 year old protester saw a CRP officer aiming his assault rifle at protesters from behind cover Another officer walked over pointing to some protesters in the front as if he were giving instructions to the officer pointing the rifle A few seconds later he the CRP officer shot the protester said a protester fell to the ground I found out later that it was al Haj His shirt was covered in blood He was shot while he was behind a cardboard shield A doctor s report said that al Haj had a gunshot wound to the chest Human Rights Watch analyzed a video of this event posted on Facebook At an intersection 1 5 kilometers south of the bus station and near the al Jawda hospital three groups of protesters crouched behind cardboard sheets while others hurled stones and projectiles at the police and the four wheeled armored vehicle A protester behind a cardboard barrier falls to the ground and a group of protesters gather around him and carry him away from the police Minutes earlier a CRP in khaki camouflage is seen pointing a folding stock Kalashnikov assault rifle at protesters At around 5 30 p m the protesters around the gas station and the hospital dispersed but two witnesses saw the three police groups arresting and beating protesters and bystanders in residential areas of al Daim until around 7 p m 23 year old protester saw police chased protesters into houses at various locations in the area Calls by regional and international actors for the military to stop the crackdown have had no impact Human Rights Watch said Security forces have denied using live ammunition stating that they only use an appropriate amount of force Human Rights Watch documented the excessive and lethal use of Central Reserve police force in the city of Bahri in Khartoum on November 17 when 12 protesters were killed Military units of the Sudan Armed Forces SAF and Rapid Support Forces RSF and unidentified plainclothes officers have also been involved in abuses against protesters since the coup The police are under the direct command of the Director General of Police who reports to the Minister of the Interior The military including the SAF and RSF answer to the Sovereign Council the collective presidency Following the events of January 17 around 150 prosecutors judges and legal advisers from the Ministry of Justice called for credible and meaningful investigations and prosecutorial oversight into detention and crowd control A Khartoum prosecutor told Human Rights Watch on January 22 that the involvement of multiple forces including military units complicates prosecutors efforts to identify a clear chain of command and ensure that all forces responsible for abuses are held accountable The military has repeatedly responded to popular civilian opposition with summary executions arbitrary arrests and other abuses yet the Sudanese people continue to press for change Osman said The international community must not passively watch the protesters but actively engage in their calls for a more just Sudan
    Sudan: Ongoing Clampdown on Peaceful Protesters
      The international community must not passively watch the protesters but actively engage in their calls for a more just Sudan NAIROBI Kenya February 3 2022 APO Group Security forces in Sudan have repeatedly attacked or used excessive unnecessary force including deadly force against peaceful protesters in Khartoum Human Rights Watch said today On January 17 2022 alone medical groups recorded seven live ammunition killings of protesters three of which Human Rights Watch documented Following the military coup on October 25 there have been numerous protests across Sudan especially in the capital Khartoum According to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors security forces have killed 79 people including a woman and nine children January 17 was the second deadliest day since the coup For more than three months Sudanese security forces have inflicted serious often fatal bodily harm to suppress protests said Mohamed Osman Sudan researcher at Human Rights Watch And yet emboldened by years of impunity and a meek international response to their coup Sudan s military leaders have been committing serious crimes against civilians without consequence Human Rights Watch remotely interviewed eight witnesses to the January 17 events including witnesses to three of the seven protester killings and a doctor in Khartoum and analyzed six videos and eight photos posted on Facebook from January 17 Human Rights Watch has been unable to independently investigate or assess the evidence surrounding the four additional reported killings although medical groups have recorded the names and details of those killed Witnesses said riot police and the Central Reserve Police CRP a militarized police unit led the deadly response on January 17 Six witnesses said that the PRC used live ammunition against unarmed protesters in various locations throughout the day Regular police beat and arrested peaceful protesters Around 1 pm the protesters arrived at the Sharwani bus station two kilometers south of the Presidential Palace Three witnesses said riot police identifiable by their blue camouflage uniforms positioned themselves in large numbers not far away Witnesses said that the protesters stopped about 20 meters from the police forces and began to chant Out of nowhere the riot police started shooting tear gas at us said a 23 year old protester who was leading the protest There was no warning or provocation on our part Another protester 26 said that riot police fired tear gas canisters directly at protesters at the front of the march As we were retreating to cover ourselves from the tear gas a canister hit me in the back I also saw two other protesters being hit in the head and chest Three witnesses confirmed that the police did not give verbal warnings or instructions to disperse before firing the tear gas One protester said he and others began throwing rocks and tear gas canisters at police A video posted on Facebook corroborates witness accounts The video shows a four wheeled armored vehicle and two lines of approximately 45 riot police at an intersection near the Khartoum University Medical School about 250 meters north of the bus station In the video they are blocking the entrance to the road that eventually leads to the Presidential Palace Protesters gather 15 to 20 meters apart on the other side of the intersection chanting and holding banners Four protesters at the front of the crowd hold hands to create a chain with their backs to the police A cloud of gas is seen and protesters flee from the police Firing tear gas canisters directly at people can cause serious injury especially from such close proximity and violates international standards The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reported in mid January that more than a quarter of those injured since the coup were directly hit by tear gas By matching landmarks visible in the video to satellite imagery Human Rights Watch identified the location as outside the Khartoum University School of Medicine Screenshots from the video show the positions of the protesters and the police Two witnesses said that about 30 minutes later Central Reserve forces appeared from the east A 27 year old protester said he saw between 20 and 30 CRP officers some firing live ammunition at the protesters While this protester was unable to identify his weapons Human Rights Watch identified a CRP officer by his khaki camouflage uniform in a video posted on Facebook holding a folding stock Kalashnikov assault rifle Another witness who was at a makeshift barricade on the east side of the bus station said he saw the first volley of bullets but he and others at the barricade remained there He saw two vehicles approaching a khaki CRP vehicle and a white van with no license plates and plainclothes officers in the back Between 2 and 2 30 p m the witness said he heard a gunshot as protesters hurled stones at approaching armed CRP officers He saw a protester beaten and bleeding He later learned that it was Osman al Sheraif 40 who died The medical report said that he had gunshot wounds to his pelvis and right thigh Shortly after another 26 year old protester said he and other protesters dispersed through the bus station as riot police CRP and regular police chased after them arresting and beating some with batons and gun butts Four protesters said the response by security forces intensified around 3 00 p m when protesters retreated down the street and gathered to prevent security forces from reaching al Jawda hospital where they were transferring injured protesters Security forces have repeatedly raided health facilities and harassed medical staff and patients Between 3 30 and 4 30 pm three witnesses said they saw two protesters Hassan Ibrahim al Bashir 29 and al Haj Malik 21 shot dead in the street near the hospital at Jawda and others wounded The main force that attacked was the riot police made up of several foot soldiers and a couple of trucks said a friend who had been with al Bashir I heard a couple of shots Suddenly I felt a bullet hit my arm I looked at Hassan to tell him that I was shot At that exact moment Hassan yelled at me that he had been shot in the eye and I saw blood covering his head I grabbed his hand and asked others to help me carry him away All the way to the hospital I didn t worry about my own injury and hoped he was okay he wasn t He died later A medical source confirmed that al Bashir was shot in the head and died in hospital Two witnesses to al Haj s murder said PRC soldiers fired at them with assault rifles behind their barricade 300 meters from al Jawda hospital They said they also saw riot police fire tear gas and stun grenades A 26 year old protester saw a CRP officer aiming his assault rifle at protesters from behind cover Another officer walked over pointing to some protesters in the front as if he were giving instructions to the officer pointing the rifle A few seconds later he the CRP officer shot the protester said a protester fell to the ground I found out later that it was al Haj His shirt was covered in blood He was shot while he was behind a cardboard shield A doctor s report said that al Haj had a gunshot wound to the chest Human Rights Watch analyzed a video of this event posted on Facebook At an intersection 1 5 kilometers south of the bus station and near the al Jawda hospital three groups of protesters crouched behind cardboard sheets while others hurled stones and projectiles at the police and the four wheeled armored vehicle A protester behind a cardboard barrier falls to the ground and a group of protesters gather around him and carry him away from the police Minutes earlier a CRP in khaki camouflage is seen pointing a folding stock Kalashnikov assault rifle at protesters At around 5 30 p m the protesters around the gas station and the hospital dispersed but two witnesses saw the three police groups arresting and beating protesters and bystanders in residential areas of al Daim until around 7 p m 23 year old protester saw police chased protesters into houses at various locations in the area Calls by regional and international actors for the military to stop the crackdown have had no impact Human Rights Watch said Security forces have denied using live ammunition stating that they only use an appropriate amount of force Human Rights Watch documented the excessive and lethal use of Central Reserve police force in the city of Bahri in Khartoum on November 17 when 12 protesters were killed Military units of the Sudan Armed Forces SAF and Rapid Support Forces RSF and unidentified plainclothes officers have also been involved in abuses against protesters since the coup The police are under the direct command of the Director General of Police who reports to the Minister of the Interior The military including the SAF and RSF answer to the Sovereign Council the collective presidency Following the events of January 17 around 150 prosecutors judges and legal advisers from the Ministry of Justice called for credible and meaningful investigations and prosecutorial oversight into detention and crowd control A Khartoum prosecutor told Human Rights Watch on January 22 that the involvement of multiple forces including military units complicates prosecutors efforts to identify a clear chain of command and ensure that all forces responsible for abuses are held accountable The military has repeatedly responded to popular civilian opposition with summary executions arbitrary arrests and other abuses yet the Sudanese people continue to press for change Osman said The international community must not passively watch the protesters but actively engage in their calls for a more just Sudan
    Sudan: Ongoing Clampdown on Peaceful Protesters
    Africa8 months ago

    Sudan: Ongoing Clampdown on Peaceful Protesters

    The international community must not passively watch the protesters, but actively engage in their calls for a more just Sudan.

    NAIROBI, Kenya, February 3, 2022/APO Group/ --

    Security forces in Sudan have repeatedly attacked or used excessive unnecessary force, including deadly force, against peaceful protesters in Khartoum, Human Rights Watch said today. On January 17, 2022 alone, medical groups recorded seven live ammunition killings of protesters, three of which Human Rights Watch documented.

    Following the military coup on October 25, there have been numerous protests across Sudan, especially in the capital Khartoum. According to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, security forces have killed 79 people, including a woman and nine children. January 17 was the second deadliest day since the coup.

    “For more than three months, Sudanese security forces have inflicted serious, often fatal, bodily harm to suppress protests,” said Mohamed Osman, Sudan researcher at Human Rights Watch. "And yet, emboldened by years of impunity and a meek international response to their coup, Sudan's military leaders have been committing serious crimes against civilians without consequence."

    Human Rights Watch remotely interviewed eight witnesses to the January 17 events, including witnesses to three of the seven protester killings and a doctor in Khartoum, and analyzed six videos and eight photos posted on Facebook from January 17. Human Rights Watch has been unable to independently investigate or assess the evidence surrounding the four additional reported killings, although medical groups have recorded the names and details of those killed.

    Witnesses said riot police and the Central Reserve Police (CRP), a militarized police unit, led the deadly response on January 17. Six witnesses said that the PRC used live ammunition against unarmed protesters in various locations throughout the day. Regular police beat and arrested peaceful protesters.

    Around 1 pm, the protesters arrived at the Sharwani bus station, two kilometers south of the Presidential Palace. Three witnesses said riot police, identifiable by their blue camouflage uniforms, positioned themselves in large numbers not far away. Witnesses said that the protesters stopped about 20 meters from the police forces and began to chant.

    “Out of nowhere, the riot police started shooting tear gas at us,” said a 23-year-old protester, who was leading the protest. "There was no warning or provocation on our part."

    Another protester, 26, said that riot police fired tear gas canisters directly at protesters at the front of the march: “As we were retreating to cover ourselves from the tear gas, a canister hit me in the back. I also saw two other protesters being hit in the head and chest.

    Three witnesses confirmed that the police did not give verbal warnings or instructions to disperse before firing the tear gas. One protester said he and others began throwing rocks and tear gas canisters at police.

    A video posted on Facebook corroborates witness accounts. The video shows a four-wheeled armored vehicle and two lines of approximately 45 riot police at an intersection near the Khartoum University Medical School, about 250 meters north of the bus station. In the video, they are blocking the entrance to the road that eventually leads to the Presidential Palace.

    Protesters gather 15 to 20 meters apart on the other side of the intersection, chanting and holding banners. Four protesters at the front of the crowd hold hands to create a chain with their backs to the police. A cloud of gas is seen and protesters flee from the police.

    Firing tear gas canisters directly at people can cause serious injury, especially from such close proximity, and violates international standards. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reported in mid-January that more than a quarter of those injured since the coup were directly hit by tear gas.

    By matching landmarks visible in the video to satellite imagery, Human Rights Watch identified the location as outside the Khartoum University School of Medicine. Screenshots from the video show the positions of the protesters and the police.

    Two witnesses said that about 30 minutes later, Central Reserve forces appeared from the east. A 27-year-old protester said he saw between 20 and 30 CRP officers, some firing live ammunition at the protesters. While this protester was unable to identify his weapons, Human Rights Watch identified a CRP officer by his khaki camouflage uniform in a video posted on Facebook, holding a folding-stock Kalashnikov assault rifle.

    Another witness who was at a makeshift barricade on the east side of the bus station said he saw the first volley of bullets, but he and others at the barricade remained there. He saw two vehicles approaching: a khaki CRP vehicle and a white van with no license plates and plainclothes officers in the back.

    Between 2 and 2:30 p.m., the witness said, he heard a gunshot as protesters hurled stones at approaching armed CRP officers. He saw a protester beaten and bleeding. He later learned that it was Osman al-Sheraif, 40, who died. The medical report said that he had gunshot wounds to his pelvis and right thigh.

    Shortly after, another 26-year-old protester said, he and other protesters dispersed through the bus station, as riot police, CRP and regular police chased after them, arresting and beating some with batons and gun butts.

    Four protesters said the response by security forces intensified around 3:00 p.m., when protesters retreated down the street and gathered to prevent security forces from reaching al-Jawda hospital, where they were transferring injured protesters. Security forces have repeatedly raided health facilities and harassed medical staff and patients.

    Between 3:30 and 4:30 pm, three witnesses said they saw two protesters, Hassan Ibrahim al-Bashir, 29, and al-Haj Malik, 21, shot dead in the street near the hospital at -Jawda, and others wounded.

    "The main force that attacked was the riot police, made up of several foot soldiers and a couple of trucks," said a friend who had been with al-Bashir. “I heard a couple of shots. Suddenly, I felt a bullet hit my arm. I looked at Hassan to tell him that I was shot. At that exact moment, Hassan yelled at me that he had been shot in the eye and I saw blood covering his head. I grabbed his hand and asked others to help me carry him away. All the way to the hospital I didn't worry about my own injury and hoped he was okay. he wasn't. He died later."

    A medical source confirmed that al-Bashir was shot in the head and died in hospital.

    Two witnesses to al-Haj's murder said PRC soldiers fired at them with assault rifles behind their barricade, 300 meters from al-Jawda hospital. They said they also saw riot police fire tear gas and stun grenades.

    A 26-year-old protester saw a CRP officer aiming his assault rifle at protesters from behind cover. Another officer walked over, pointing to some protesters in the front, as if he were giving instructions to the officer pointing the rifle. "A few seconds later, he [the CRP officer] shot,” the protester said, “a protester fell to the ground. I found out later that it was al-Haj. His shirt was covered in blood. He was shot while he was behind a cardboard shield.

    A doctor's report said that al-Haj had a gunshot wound to the chest.

    Human Rights Watch analyzed a video of this event posted on Facebook. At an intersection 1.5 kilometers south of the bus station and near the al-Jawda hospital, three groups of protesters crouched behind cardboard sheets while others hurled stones and projectiles at the police and the four-wheeled armored vehicle. A protester behind a cardboard barrier falls to the ground and a group of protesters gather around him and carry him away from the police.

    Minutes earlier, a CRP in khaki camouflage is seen pointing a folding-stock Kalashnikov assault rifle at protesters.

    At around 5:30 p.m., the protesters around the gas station and the hospital dispersed, but two witnesses saw the three police groups arresting and beating protesters and bystanders in residential areas of al-Daim until around 7 p.m. 23-year-old protester saw police chased protesters into houses at various locations in the area.

    Calls by regional and international actors for the military to stop the crackdown have had no impact, Human Rights Watch said. Security forces have denied using live ammunition, stating that they only use an "appropriate amount of force". Human Rights Watch documented the excessive and lethal use of Central Reserve police force in the city of Bahri in Khartoum on November 17, when 12 protesters were killed. Military units of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and unidentified plainclothes officers have also been involved in abuses against protesters since the coup.

    The police are under the direct command of the Director General of Police, who reports to the Minister of the Interior. The military, including the SAF and RSF, answer to the Sovereign Council, the collective presidency.

    Following the events of January 17, around 150 prosecutors, judges and legal advisers from the Ministry of Justice called for credible and meaningful investigations and prosecutorial oversight into detention and crowd control.

    A Khartoum prosecutor told Human Rights Watch on January 22 that the involvement of multiple forces, including military units, complicates prosecutors' efforts to identify a clear chain of command and ensure that all forces responsible for abuses are held accountable.

    “The military has repeatedly responded to popular civilian opposition with summary executions, arbitrary arrests and other abuses, yet the Sudanese people continue to press for change,” Osman said. "The international community must not passively watch the protesters, but actively engage in their calls for a more just Sudan."

  •   HE Moussa Faki Mahamat reiterated his hope that this year will be marked by greater collaboration between the Commission and the People s Republic of China ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia January 20 2022 APO Group The 43rd virtual ordinary session of the Permanent Representatives Committee PRC began today ahead of the 35th ordinary session of the AU Assembly meeting scheduled for February 5 6 2022 under the motto Building Resilience in Nutrition on the African Continent Accelerating Human Capital Social and Economic Development The CPM session began with a minute of silence in memory of the victims of Covid 19 including some embassies from AU member states lost diplomats and collaborators while the AU Commission lost staff members Addressing the Ambassadors in his opening remarks the Chairman of the AU Commission AUC HE Moussa Faki Mahamat reiterated his hope that this year will be marked by greater collaboration between the Commission and the People s Republic of China in the continuation of a successful practice that has been strengthened in recent times He welcomed the cooperation and support of the President of the People s Republic of China HE Jean L on Ngandu Ilunga during the disruptive effect of the COVID 19 pandemic The President of the UAC highlighted with satisfaction the importance that the PRC gave to the audit and the issues These two points determine in a certain way the proper functioning of our Union The audit induces the implementation of accountability and guarantees a rational and responsible use of our resources both human and financial The management of our relations with partners within the framework of multilateral cooperation must take more into account our interests identified upstream in a concerted effort to present a coherent position to the partner articulated in common positions Haven t we said many times that Africa must speak with one voice added the UAC president He also pointed out that the recommendations of the Specialized Technical Commission STC of Justice and Legal Affairs will allow the decisions on the Institutional Reform in progress to acquire the necessary legal and political force for the stage of its operationalization President Faki also expressed his appreciation for the good collaboration between the PRC and the AU Commission He reiterated the full availability of the Commission to work tirelessly with the People s Republic of China On the subject of the prevailing pandemic the president of the UAC stressed that the covid 19 pandemic beyond its disastrous health and socioeconomic effects has above all highlighted the structural weaknesses of health systems in Africa He reiterated the need for AU member states together with the Africa CDC to strengthen this sector The full speech of the AUC president can be found on the AU website https au int en For his part HE Jean L on Ngandu Ilunga Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union and President of the Committee of Permanent Representatives PRC in his opening speech pointed out that the work of the Union has been severely affected by the COVID 19 pandemic and its consequences The PRC Chairman then requested that a minute of silence be observed in memory of lost friends and colleagues He commended the efforts made by the African Union Commission for the unremitting efforts in following up on the PRC s recommendations The official opening ceremony of the 43rd Ordinary Session of the Virtual Meeting of the CPM was attended by the President and Vice President of the Commission the AU Commissioners and the representatives of the AU bodies and officials During the two day meeting the ambassadors will deliberate on different reports including the activities of the PRC Subcommittees the Report of the Third Mid Year Coordination Meeting October 16 2021 Reports of the Specialized Technical Committees STCs the Africa CDC Operationalization Progress Report the Progress Report on the COVID 19 pandemic and its socioeconomic impact on African economies AU Commission Reports The mid term activity report for the 2021 theme on arts culture and heritage and other reports from the UA Bodies and the UA Specialized Agencies The session will also consider the draft agenda and draft decisions of the 40th ordinary session of the Executive Council and the agenda of the 35th ordinary session of the AU Assembly scheduled for days 2 3 and 5 and February 6 2022 respectively
    The 43rd Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC) kicks off today
      HE Moussa Faki Mahamat reiterated his hope that this year will be marked by greater collaboration between the Commission and the People s Republic of China ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia January 20 2022 APO Group The 43rd virtual ordinary session of the Permanent Representatives Committee PRC began today ahead of the 35th ordinary session of the AU Assembly meeting scheduled for February 5 6 2022 under the motto Building Resilience in Nutrition on the African Continent Accelerating Human Capital Social and Economic Development The CPM session began with a minute of silence in memory of the victims of Covid 19 including some embassies from AU member states lost diplomats and collaborators while the AU Commission lost staff members Addressing the Ambassadors in his opening remarks the Chairman of the AU Commission AUC HE Moussa Faki Mahamat reiterated his hope that this year will be marked by greater collaboration between the Commission and the People s Republic of China in the continuation of a successful practice that has been strengthened in recent times He welcomed the cooperation and support of the President of the People s Republic of China HE Jean L on Ngandu Ilunga during the disruptive effect of the COVID 19 pandemic The President of the UAC highlighted with satisfaction the importance that the PRC gave to the audit and the issues These two points determine in a certain way the proper functioning of our Union The audit induces the implementation of accountability and guarantees a rational and responsible use of our resources both human and financial The management of our relations with partners within the framework of multilateral cooperation must take more into account our interests identified upstream in a concerted effort to present a coherent position to the partner articulated in common positions Haven t we said many times that Africa must speak with one voice added the UAC president He also pointed out that the recommendations of the Specialized Technical Commission STC of Justice and Legal Affairs will allow the decisions on the Institutional Reform in progress to acquire the necessary legal and political force for the stage of its operationalization President Faki also expressed his appreciation for the good collaboration between the PRC and the AU Commission He reiterated the full availability of the Commission to work tirelessly with the People s Republic of China On the subject of the prevailing pandemic the president of the UAC stressed that the covid 19 pandemic beyond its disastrous health and socioeconomic effects has above all highlighted the structural weaknesses of health systems in Africa He reiterated the need for AU member states together with the Africa CDC to strengthen this sector The full speech of the AUC president can be found on the AU website https au int en For his part HE Jean L on Ngandu Ilunga Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union and President of the Committee of Permanent Representatives PRC in his opening speech pointed out that the work of the Union has been severely affected by the COVID 19 pandemic and its consequences The PRC Chairman then requested that a minute of silence be observed in memory of lost friends and colleagues He commended the efforts made by the African Union Commission for the unremitting efforts in following up on the PRC s recommendations The official opening ceremony of the 43rd Ordinary Session of the Virtual Meeting of the CPM was attended by the President and Vice President of the Commission the AU Commissioners and the representatives of the AU bodies and officials During the two day meeting the ambassadors will deliberate on different reports including the activities of the PRC Subcommittees the Report of the Third Mid Year Coordination Meeting October 16 2021 Reports of the Specialized Technical Committees STCs the Africa CDC Operationalization Progress Report the Progress Report on the COVID 19 pandemic and its socioeconomic impact on African economies AU Commission Reports The mid term activity report for the 2021 theme on arts culture and heritage and other reports from the UA Bodies and the UA Specialized Agencies The session will also consider the draft agenda and draft decisions of the 40th ordinary session of the Executive Council and the agenda of the 35th ordinary session of the AU Assembly scheduled for days 2 3 and 5 and February 6 2022 respectively
    The 43rd Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC) kicks off today
    Africa8 months ago

    The 43rd Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC) kicks off today

    HE Moussa Faki Mahamat reiterated his hope that this year will be marked by greater collaboration between the Commission and the People's Republic of China.

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, January 20, 2022/APO Group/ --

    The 43rd virtual ordinary session of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) began today, ahead of the 35th ordinary session of the AU Assembly meeting, scheduled for February 5-6, 2022 under the motto "Building Resilience in Nutrition on the African Continent: Accelerating Human Capital, Social and Economic Development." The CPM session began with a minute of silence in memory of the victims of Covid-19, including some embassies from AU member states lost diplomats and collaborators, while the AU Commission lost staff members.

    Addressing the Ambassadors in his opening remarks, the Chairman of the AU Commission (AUC), HE Moussa Faki Mahamat, reiterated his hope that this year will be marked by greater collaboration between the Commission and the People's Republic of China, in the continuation of a successful practice that has been strengthened in recent times. He welcomed the cooperation and support of the President of the People's Republic of China, HE Jean Léon Ngandu Ilunga, during the disruptive effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The President of the UAC highlighted with satisfaction the importance that the PRC gave to the audit and the issues. “These two points determine, in a certain way, the proper functioning of our Union. The audit induces the implementation of accountability and guarantees a rational and responsible use of our resources, both human and financial. “The management of our relations with partners, within the framework of multilateral cooperation, must take more into account our interests, identified upstream in a concerted effort, to present a coherent position to the partner articulated in common positions. Haven't we said many times that Africa must speak with one voice?” added the UAC president. He also pointed out that the recommendations of the Specialized Technical Commission (STC) of Justice and Legal Affairs will allow the decisions on the Institutional Reform in progress to acquire the necessary legal and political force for the stage of its operationalization.

    President Faki also expressed his appreciation for the good collaboration between the PRC and the AU Commission. He reiterated the full availability of the Commission to work tirelessly with the People's Republic of China. On the subject of the prevailing pandemic, the president of the UAC stressed that the covid-19 pandemic, beyond its disastrous health and socioeconomic effects, has above all highlighted the structural weaknesses of health systems in Africa. He reiterated the need for AU member states, together with the Africa CDC, to strengthen this sector. The full speech of the AUC president can be found on the AU website: https://au.int/en/.

    For his part, HE Jean Léon Ngandu Ilunga, Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union and President of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (PRC), in his opening speech, pointed out that the work of the Union has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. The PRC Chairman then requested that a minute of silence be observed in memory of lost friends and colleagues. He commended the efforts made by the African Union Commission for the unremitting efforts in following up on the PRC's recommendations.

    The official opening ceremony of the 43rd Ordinary Session of the Virtual Meeting of the CPM was attended by the President and Vice President of the Commission, the AU Commissioners and the representatives of the AU bodies and officials. During the two-day meeting, the ambassadors will deliberate on different reports including: the activities of the PRC Subcommittees; the Report of the Third Mid-Year Coordination Meeting, October 16, 2021; Reports of the Specialized Technical Committees (STCs); the Africa CDC Operationalization Progress Report; the Progress Report on the COVID-19 pandemic and its socioeconomic impact on African economies; AU Commission Reports; The mid-term activity report for the 2021 theme on arts, culture and heritage, and other reports from the UA Bodies and the UA Specialized Agencies.

    The session will also consider the draft agenda and draft decisions of the 40th ordinary session of the Executive Council and the agenda of the 35th ordinary session of the AU Assembly, scheduled for days 2, 3 and 5 and February 6, 2022, respectively.

  •  China is expanding its nuclear arsenal much more quickly than anticipated the United States has said but Beijing on Thursday slammed the Pentagon report as overhyping the threat The United States has declared China its principal security concern for the future as Beijing works to build the People s Liberation Army into world class forces by 2049 according to its official plan The People s Republic of China PRC could have 700 deliverable nuclear warheads by 2027 and could top 1 000 by 2030 an arsenal two and a half times the size of what the Pentagon predicted only a year ago according to the Pentagon report published Wednesday Like the United States and Russia the two leading nuclear powers China is building a nuclear triad with capabilities to deliver nuclear weapons from land based ballistic missiles from missiles launched from the air and from submarines it said Beijing is also building the infrastructure necessary to support this major expansion of its nuclear forces according to the assessment which came in the Pentagon s annual report to Congress on Chinese military developments But the report argued China was likely not seeking a capability to launch an unprovoked atomic strike on a nuclear armed adversary primarily the United States but looking to deter attacks by maintaining a credible threat of nuclear retaliation Beijing has dismissed US fears over its military development and on Thursday accused the Pentagon report of aiming to hype up talk of the China nuclear threat The report released by the US Department of Defense like previous similar reports ignores facts and is full of prejudice said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin Main US rivalA year ago the Pentagon s China report said the country had about 200 deliverable warheads and would double that by 2030 Independent researchers have in recent months published satellite photographs of new nuclear missile silos in western China The developments come as China expands and upgrades its military seeking the capability of projecting power globally much as the United States has done for decades The rivalry has increased concerns about a possible US China clash especially over Taiwan which is closely supported by Washington but claimed by Beijing as its territory to be seized one day by force if necessary By 2027 the latest report said China aims to have the capabilities to counter the US military in the Indo Pacific region and compel Taiwan s leadership to the negotiation table on Beijing s terms FlashpointThe report also confirmed recent reports that in October 2020 Pentagon officials were forced to quell real concerns in Beijing that the United States driven by domestic political tensions related to the presidential election intended to instigate a conflict with China in the South China Sea Underscoring its fears the PLA had issued intensified warnings in state controlled media launched large scale military exercises expanded deployments and put troops on heightened readiness the report said After senior Pentagon officials moved to directly speak to Chinese counterparts the concerns eased These events highlighted the potential for misunderstanding and miscalculation and underscored the importance of effective and timely communication the report said It also questioned the PLA s intent in biological research into substances that potentially have both medical and military uses Studies conducted at PRC military medical institutions discussed identifying testing and characterizing diverse families of potent toxins with dual use applications the report said raising concerns over compliance with global biological and chemical weapons treaties Such concerns have mounted since Covid 19 emerged in Wuhan central China an area also home to a biological research lab with PLA connections China has denied the facility had anything to do with the Covid outbreak but has limited access to it for investigators Source Credit TheGuardian
    US says China expanding nuclear arsenal faster than anticipated
     China is expanding its nuclear arsenal much more quickly than anticipated the United States has said but Beijing on Thursday slammed the Pentagon report as overhyping the threat The United States has declared China its principal security concern for the future as Beijing works to build the People s Liberation Army into world class forces by 2049 according to its official plan The People s Republic of China PRC could have 700 deliverable nuclear warheads by 2027 and could top 1 000 by 2030 an arsenal two and a half times the size of what the Pentagon predicted only a year ago according to the Pentagon report published Wednesday Like the United States and Russia the two leading nuclear powers China is building a nuclear triad with capabilities to deliver nuclear weapons from land based ballistic missiles from missiles launched from the air and from submarines it said Beijing is also building the infrastructure necessary to support this major expansion of its nuclear forces according to the assessment which came in the Pentagon s annual report to Congress on Chinese military developments But the report argued China was likely not seeking a capability to launch an unprovoked atomic strike on a nuclear armed adversary primarily the United States but looking to deter attacks by maintaining a credible threat of nuclear retaliation Beijing has dismissed US fears over its military development and on Thursday accused the Pentagon report of aiming to hype up talk of the China nuclear threat The report released by the US Department of Defense like previous similar reports ignores facts and is full of prejudice said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin Main US rivalA year ago the Pentagon s China report said the country had about 200 deliverable warheads and would double that by 2030 Independent researchers have in recent months published satellite photographs of new nuclear missile silos in western China The developments come as China expands and upgrades its military seeking the capability of projecting power globally much as the United States has done for decades The rivalry has increased concerns about a possible US China clash especially over Taiwan which is closely supported by Washington but claimed by Beijing as its territory to be seized one day by force if necessary By 2027 the latest report said China aims to have the capabilities to counter the US military in the Indo Pacific region and compel Taiwan s leadership to the negotiation table on Beijing s terms FlashpointThe report also confirmed recent reports that in October 2020 Pentagon officials were forced to quell real concerns in Beijing that the United States driven by domestic political tensions related to the presidential election intended to instigate a conflict with China in the South China Sea Underscoring its fears the PLA had issued intensified warnings in state controlled media launched large scale military exercises expanded deployments and put troops on heightened readiness the report said After senior Pentagon officials moved to directly speak to Chinese counterparts the concerns eased These events highlighted the potential for misunderstanding and miscalculation and underscored the importance of effective and timely communication the report said It also questioned the PLA s intent in biological research into substances that potentially have both medical and military uses Studies conducted at PRC military medical institutions discussed identifying testing and characterizing diverse families of potent toxins with dual use applications the report said raising concerns over compliance with global biological and chemical weapons treaties Such concerns have mounted since Covid 19 emerged in Wuhan central China an area also home to a biological research lab with PLA connections China has denied the facility had anything to do with the Covid outbreak but has limited access to it for investigators Source Credit TheGuardian
    US says China expanding nuclear arsenal faster than anticipated
    Foreign11 months ago

    US says China expanding nuclear arsenal faster than anticipated

    China is expanding its nuclear arsenal much more quickly than anticipated, the United States has said, but Beijing on Thursday slammed the Pentagon report as overhyping the threat.

    The United States has declared China its principal security concern for the future, as Beijing works to build the People’s Liberation Army into “world-class forces” by 2049, according to its official plan.

    The People’s Republic of China (PRC) could have 700 deliverable nuclear warheads by 2027, and could top 1,000 by 2030 — an arsenal two-and-a-half times the size of what the Pentagon predicted only a year ago, according to the Pentagon report published Wednesday.

    Like the United States and Russia, the two leading nuclear powers, China is building a “nuclear triad,” with capabilities to deliver nuclear weapons from land-based ballistic missiles, from missiles launched from the air, and from submarines, it said.

    Beijing is also “building the infrastructure necessary to support this major expansion of its nuclear forces,” according to the assessment, which came in the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress on Chinese military developments.

    But the report argued China was likely not seeking a capability to launch an unprovoked atomic strike on a nuclear-armed adversary — primarily the United States — but looking to deter attacks by maintaining a credible threat of nuclear retaliation.

    Beijing has dismissed US fears over its military development, and on Thursday accused the Pentagon report of aiming to “hype up talk of the China nuclear threat.”

    “The report released by the US Department of Defense, like previous similar reports, ignores facts and is full of prejudice,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.

    Main US rival
    A year ago, the Pentagon’s China report said the country had about 200 deliverable warheads and would double that by 2030.

    Independent researchers have in recent months published satellite photographs of new nuclear missile silos in western China.

    The developments come as China expands and upgrades its military, seeking the capability of projecting power globally, much as the United States has done for decades.

    The rivalry has increased concerns about a possible US-China clash, especially over Taiwan, which is closely supported by Washington but claimed by Beijing as its territory — to be seized one day, by force if necessary.

    By 2027, the latest report said, China aims to have “the capabilities to counter the US military in the Indo-Pacific region, and compel Taiwan’s leadership to the negotiation table on Beijing’s terms.”

    Flashpoint
    The report also confirmed recent reports that in October 2020, Pentagon officials were forced to quell real concerns in Beijing that the United States, driven by domestic political tensions related to the presidential election, intended to instigate a conflict with China in the South China Sea.

    Underscoring its fears, the PLA had issued intensified warnings in state-controlled media, launched large-scale military exercises, expanded deployments and put troops on heightened readiness, the report said.

    After senior Pentagon officials moved to directly speak to Chinese counterparts, the concerns eased.

    “These events highlighted the potential for misunderstanding and miscalculation, and underscored the importance of effective and timely communication,” the report said.

    It also questioned the PLA’s intent in biological research into substances that potentially have both medical and military uses.

    “Studies conducted at PRC military medical institutions discussed identifying, testing, and characterizing diverse families of potent toxins with dual-use applications,” the report said, raising concerns over compliance with global biological and chemical weapons treaties.

    Such concerns have mounted since Covid-19 emerged in Wuhan, central China, an area also home to a biological research lab with PLA connections.

    China has denied the facility had anything to do with the Covid outbreak, but has limited access to it for investigators.

    Source Credit: TheGuardian

  •   The Republic of Zimbabwe is looking forward to the operationalization of AMA ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia September 18 2021 APO Group The Republic of Zimbabwe becomes the eleventh 12th Member State to deposit the instrument of ratification of the African Medicines Agency AMA The Republic of Zimbabwe ratified the Treaty for the establishment of AMA on 31 August 2021 in Harare Zimbabwe and deposited the instrument of accession to the Commission of the African Union AU on 17 September 2021 in Addis Ababa Ethiopia Mr Sabelo Mbokazi Head of Labor Employment and Migration at the Health Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development HHS Directorate on behalf of the African Union Commission received the instrument from the Zimbabwe delegation Speaking during the official deposit the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to Ethiopia and the African Union H E Taonga Mushayavanhu noted that the deposit will add to the number of deposits required to meet the expected target of 15 deposits for the Treaty to come into force The Republic of Zimbabwe is looking forward to the operationalization of AMA and to contribute to the important role that the Agency will play in the standardization and regulation of medicines and medical products in the continent the Ambassador said The ratification and deposit of the instrument follows a high level advocacy engagement between H E President H E President Emmerson Mnangagwa of the Republic of Zimbabwe with Honourable Michel Sidib the African Union Special Envoy for the AMA on 18 May 2021 in Harare Zimbabwe The Agency s main function will be to promote the use of quality assured safe and efficacious medicines medical products and medical technologies in Africa AMA will also monitor the medicines market through the collection of samples in every State Party to ensure the quality of selected drugs have them analysed and provide the results to State Parties and other interested parties who will thus have reliable information on the quality of the drugs circulating in their countries and where necessary will take appropriate measures Seventeen 17 member states have ratified the AMA Treaty and twelve 12 of these have deposited the instruments of ratification to the Commission The AMA Treaty will enter into Force 30 days upon the deposit of the 15th instrument of ratification at the Commission Pending the deposit of the 15th instrument of ratification the Commission has invited member states to submit proposals for the hosting of the Africa Medicines Agency Headquarters The Commission has also further extended the deadline for submission of interest to host the AMA up to 15th October 2021 per the ruling of the PRC on 6th September 2021 The Commission expects to have the establishment and operationalization of the AMA in full progress in 2022 The African Union Commission encourages all its Member States to sign and ratify the Treaty for the establishment of AMA in the interest of public health safety and security The Treaty is available for signature at the Headquarters of the Commission in Addis Ababa Ethiopia
    The Republic of Zimbabwe Deposits the Instrument of Ratification of the African Medicines Agency (AMA)
      The Republic of Zimbabwe is looking forward to the operationalization of AMA ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia September 18 2021 APO Group The Republic of Zimbabwe becomes the eleventh 12th Member State to deposit the instrument of ratification of the African Medicines Agency AMA The Republic of Zimbabwe ratified the Treaty for the establishment of AMA on 31 August 2021 in Harare Zimbabwe and deposited the instrument of accession to the Commission of the African Union AU on 17 September 2021 in Addis Ababa Ethiopia Mr Sabelo Mbokazi Head of Labor Employment and Migration at the Health Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development HHS Directorate on behalf of the African Union Commission received the instrument from the Zimbabwe delegation Speaking during the official deposit the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to Ethiopia and the African Union H E Taonga Mushayavanhu noted that the deposit will add to the number of deposits required to meet the expected target of 15 deposits for the Treaty to come into force The Republic of Zimbabwe is looking forward to the operationalization of AMA and to contribute to the important role that the Agency will play in the standardization and regulation of medicines and medical products in the continent the Ambassador said The ratification and deposit of the instrument follows a high level advocacy engagement between H E President H E President Emmerson Mnangagwa of the Republic of Zimbabwe with Honourable Michel Sidib the African Union Special Envoy for the AMA on 18 May 2021 in Harare Zimbabwe The Agency s main function will be to promote the use of quality assured safe and efficacious medicines medical products and medical technologies in Africa AMA will also monitor the medicines market through the collection of samples in every State Party to ensure the quality of selected drugs have them analysed and provide the results to State Parties and other interested parties who will thus have reliable information on the quality of the drugs circulating in their countries and where necessary will take appropriate measures Seventeen 17 member states have ratified the AMA Treaty and twelve 12 of these have deposited the instruments of ratification to the Commission The AMA Treaty will enter into Force 30 days upon the deposit of the 15th instrument of ratification at the Commission Pending the deposit of the 15th instrument of ratification the Commission has invited member states to submit proposals for the hosting of the Africa Medicines Agency Headquarters The Commission has also further extended the deadline for submission of interest to host the AMA up to 15th October 2021 per the ruling of the PRC on 6th September 2021 The Commission expects to have the establishment and operationalization of the AMA in full progress in 2022 The African Union Commission encourages all its Member States to sign and ratify the Treaty for the establishment of AMA in the interest of public health safety and security The Treaty is available for signature at the Headquarters of the Commission in Addis Ababa Ethiopia
    The Republic of Zimbabwe Deposits the Instrument of Ratification of the African Medicines Agency (AMA)
    Africa1 year ago

    The Republic of Zimbabwe Deposits the Instrument of Ratification of the African Medicines Agency (AMA)

    The Republic of Zimbabwe is looking forward to the operationalization of AMA

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, September 18, 2021/APO Group/ --

    The Republic of Zimbabwe becomes the eleventh (12th) Member State to deposit the instrument of ratification of the African Medicines Agency (AMA). The Republic of Zimbabwe ratified the Treaty for the establishment of AMA on 31 August 2021 in Harare, Zimbabwe and deposited the instrument of accession, to the Commission of the African Union (AU) on 17 September 2021 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Mr. Sabelo Mbokazi, Head of Labor, Employment and Migration, at the Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development (HHS) Directorate, on behalf of the African Union Commission received the instrument from the Zimbabwe delegation.

    Speaking during the official deposit, the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to Ethiopia and the African Union H.E. Taonga Mushayavanhu noted that the deposit will add to the number of deposits required to meet the expected target of 15 deposits for the Treaty to come into force. “The Republic of Zimbabwe is looking forward to the operationalization of AMA and to contribute to the important role that the Agency will play in the standardization and regulation of medicines and medical products in the continent,” the Ambassador said.

    The ratification and deposit of the instrument follows a high-level advocacy engagement between H.E President H.E. President Emmerson Mnangagwa of the Republic of Zimbabwe with Honourable Michel Sidibé the African Union Special Envoy for the AMA on 18 May, 2021 in Harare, Zimbabwe.

    The Agency’s main function will be to promote the use of quality assured, safe and efficacious medicines, medical products and medical technologies in Africa. AMA will also monitor the medicines market through the collection of samples in every State Party to ensure the quality of selected drugs, have them analysed and provide the results to State Parties and other interested parties, who will thus have reliable information on the quality of the drugs circulating in their countries and, where necessary, will take appropriate measures.

    Seventeen (17) member states have ratified the AMA Treaty and twelve (12) of these have deposited the instruments of ratification to the Commission. The AMA Treaty will enter into Force 30 days upon the deposit of the 15th instrument of ratification at the Commission. Pending the deposit of the 15th instrument of ratification, the Commission has invited member states to submit proposals for the hosting of the Africa Medicines Agency Headquarters. The Commission has also further extended the deadline for submission of interest to host the AMA up to 15th October 2021 per the ruling of the PRC on 6th September 2021. The Commission expects to have the establishment and operationalization of the AMA in full progress in 2022.

    The African Union Commission encourages all its Member States to sign and ratify the Treaty for the establishment of AMA in the interest of public health, safety and security. The Treaty is available for signature at the Headquarters of the Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

  •   At least 9 150 patients received surgical care from the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC in Maiduguri in the last 18 months its Head of Delegation Mr Eloi Fillion said on Monday Fillion told the News Agency of Nigeria in Maiduguri that no fewer than 7 700 patients received surgical care from the ICRC surgical team in 2019 He said that the ICRC s surgical team received more than 350 surgical admissions and carried out more than 1 450 surgical interventions in the first half of 2020He said out of those received in the period 11 patients in critical conditions were referred to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital UMTH for further treatment He added that the surgical programme of the ICRC would stretch for a long time in Maiduguri because of its training component It is not only meant to support emergency for people who needed to be treated it is also a teaching programme for medical staff including surgeons here in Nigeria and abroad We train on orthopaedic surgery and everything that goes around it we train staff that will be sent abroad to work in similar circumstances We don t have many places to train on orthopaedic surgery so Maiduguri has become one of the places to train ICRC medical staff on orthopaedic surgery Fillion said He said the ICRC also opened the Maiduguri Physical Rehabilitation Centre PRC recently in collaboration with the UMTH to provide physical rehabilitation services According to him the PRC will offer services in physiotherapy prostheses artificial limbs orthoses supportive braces for upper and lower limbs customised wheelchair fitting and walking aids It will also offer services in mental health psycho social support as well as offer accommodation for patients from outside Maiduguri in its 18 bed dormitory he said He told NAN that ICRC would still maintain its PRC domiciled at the Dala Orthopaedic Hospital in Kano We will maintain our Kano centre for those from other parts of the northwest but we don t have so many war wounded patients there like we have in Maiduguri Here in Maiduguri we have more patients treated in our surgical ward and some of them that will need prostheses artificial limbs or orthoses supportive braces will be accommodated at the PRC Fillion added He said 314 patients were fitted with artificial limbs through the ICRC physical rehabilitation programme in 2019 More than 140 persons with disabilities benefitted from the ICRC supported rehabilitation programme at the National Orthopaedic Hospital in Kano from January to June 2020 No fewer than 67 assistive devices were produced fitted and delivered to persons with disabilities in the same period he said Also in an interview with NAN Dr Bhavna Chawia a surgeon at the ICRC Surgical Ward at the specialist hospital said the primary goal of the surgical programme was to treat victims of armed conflicts and other situations of violence The programme is aimed at treating the war wounded offer life and limb saving surgeries we also do emergencies for patients from the Internally Displaced Persons camps around the region We have a lot of patients in the male ward that came in with orthopaedic trauma This is where the role of psychotherapy comes early to assist in the procedures for rehabilitation She said She told NAN that some of the surgeries would involve amputation of limbs and that there was the need to rehabilitate such amputees We have a PRC in Kano to where we used to refer the amputees to have access to mobility aids With the inauguration of the new PRC in UMTH it is going to be easier to refer our patients there They don t need to travel almost seven hours to get to Kano the surgeon said According to her 70 per cent to 80 per cent of surgical interventions done by the ICRC Mobile Surgical Team are orthopaedic cases and limb injuries while the remaining relate to abdominal and other areas of body The surgeon said the greatest challenge of the surgical programme was access to patients for timely intervention adding that it could take two days to get some patients to the ward because of distance NAN reports the ICRC Surgical Ward domiciled at the Maiduguri State Specialist Hospital has a minimum capacity of admitting 36 patients operation theatre recovery room accident and emergency unit physiotherapy facility as well as psycho social support facility for children Edited By Alli Hakeem NAN
    Red Cross performs 9,150 surgical operations in Maiduguri in18 months
      At least 9 150 patients received surgical care from the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC in Maiduguri in the last 18 months its Head of Delegation Mr Eloi Fillion said on Monday Fillion told the News Agency of Nigeria in Maiduguri that no fewer than 7 700 patients received surgical care from the ICRC surgical team in 2019 He said that the ICRC s surgical team received more than 350 surgical admissions and carried out more than 1 450 surgical interventions in the first half of 2020He said out of those received in the period 11 patients in critical conditions were referred to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital UMTH for further treatment He added that the surgical programme of the ICRC would stretch for a long time in Maiduguri because of its training component It is not only meant to support emergency for people who needed to be treated it is also a teaching programme for medical staff including surgeons here in Nigeria and abroad We train on orthopaedic surgery and everything that goes around it we train staff that will be sent abroad to work in similar circumstances We don t have many places to train on orthopaedic surgery so Maiduguri has become one of the places to train ICRC medical staff on orthopaedic surgery Fillion said He said the ICRC also opened the Maiduguri Physical Rehabilitation Centre PRC recently in collaboration with the UMTH to provide physical rehabilitation services According to him the PRC will offer services in physiotherapy prostheses artificial limbs orthoses supportive braces for upper and lower limbs customised wheelchair fitting and walking aids It will also offer services in mental health psycho social support as well as offer accommodation for patients from outside Maiduguri in its 18 bed dormitory he said He told NAN that ICRC would still maintain its PRC domiciled at the Dala Orthopaedic Hospital in Kano We will maintain our Kano centre for those from other parts of the northwest but we don t have so many war wounded patients there like we have in Maiduguri Here in Maiduguri we have more patients treated in our surgical ward and some of them that will need prostheses artificial limbs or orthoses supportive braces will be accommodated at the PRC Fillion added He said 314 patients were fitted with artificial limbs through the ICRC physical rehabilitation programme in 2019 More than 140 persons with disabilities benefitted from the ICRC supported rehabilitation programme at the National Orthopaedic Hospital in Kano from January to June 2020 No fewer than 67 assistive devices were produced fitted and delivered to persons with disabilities in the same period he said Also in an interview with NAN Dr Bhavna Chawia a surgeon at the ICRC Surgical Ward at the specialist hospital said the primary goal of the surgical programme was to treat victims of armed conflicts and other situations of violence The programme is aimed at treating the war wounded offer life and limb saving surgeries we also do emergencies for patients from the Internally Displaced Persons camps around the region We have a lot of patients in the male ward that came in with orthopaedic trauma This is where the role of psychotherapy comes early to assist in the procedures for rehabilitation She said She told NAN that some of the surgeries would involve amputation of limbs and that there was the need to rehabilitate such amputees We have a PRC in Kano to where we used to refer the amputees to have access to mobility aids With the inauguration of the new PRC in UMTH it is going to be easier to refer our patients there They don t need to travel almost seven hours to get to Kano the surgeon said According to her 70 per cent to 80 per cent of surgical interventions done by the ICRC Mobile Surgical Team are orthopaedic cases and limb injuries while the remaining relate to abdominal and other areas of body The surgeon said the greatest challenge of the surgical programme was access to patients for timely intervention adding that it could take two days to get some patients to the ward because of distance NAN reports the ICRC Surgical Ward domiciled at the Maiduguri State Specialist Hospital has a minimum capacity of admitting 36 patients operation theatre recovery room accident and emergency unit physiotherapy facility as well as psycho social support facility for children Edited By Alli Hakeem NAN
    Red Cross performs 9,150 surgical operations in Maiduguri in18 months
    Health2 years ago

    Red Cross performs 9,150 surgical operations in Maiduguri in18 months

    At least 9,150 patients received surgical care from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Maiduguri in the last 18 months, its Head of Delegation, Mr Eloi Fillion, said on Monday.

    Fillion told the News Agency of Nigeria in Maiduguri that no fewer than 7,700 patients received surgical care from the ICRC surgical team in 2019.

    He said that the ICRC’s surgical team received more than 350 surgical admissions and carried out more than 1,450 surgical interventions in the first half of 2020

    He said out of those received in the period, 11 patients in critical conditions were referred to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) for further treatment.

    He added that the surgical programme of the ICRC would stretch for a long time in Maiduguri because of its training component.

    “It is not only meant to support emergency for people who needed to be treated, it is also a teaching programme for medical staff including surgeons here in Nigeria and abroad.

    “We train on orthopaedic surgery and everything that goes around it; we train staff that will be sent abroad to work in similar circumstances.

    “We don’t have many places to train on orthopaedic surgery, so Maiduguri has become one of the places to train ICRC medical staff on orthopaedic surgery,’’ Fillion said.

    He said the ICRC also opened the Maiduguri Physical Rehabilitation Centre (PRC) recently in collaboration with the UMTH to provide physical rehabilitation services.

    According to him, the PRC will offer services in physiotherapy, prostheses (artificial limbs), orthoses (supportive braces) for upper and lower limbs, customised wheelchair fitting and walking aids.

    “It will also offer services in mental health psycho-social support as well as offer accommodation for patients from outside Maiduguri in its 18-bed dormitory,’’ he said.

    He told NAN that ICRC would still maintain its PRC domiciled at the Dala Orthopaedic Hospital in Kano.

    “We will maintain our Kano centre for those from other parts of the northwest, but we don’t have so many war wounded patients there like we have in Maiduguri.

    “Here in Maiduguri, we have more patients treated in our surgical ward and some of them that will need prostheses (artificial limbs) or orthoses (supportive braces) will be accommodated at the PRC,’’ Fillion added.

    He said 314 patients were fitted with artificial limbs through the ICRC physical rehabilitation programme in 2019.

    “More than 140 persons with disabilities benefitted from the ICRC-supported rehabilitation programme at the National Orthopaedic Hospital in Kano from January to June, 2020.

    “No fewer than 67 assistive devices were produced, fitted and delivered to persons with disabilities in the same period,’’ he said.

    Also in an interview with NAN, Dr Bhavna Chawia, a surgeon at the ICRC Surgical Ward at the specialist hospital, said the primary goal of the surgical programme was to treat victims of armed conflicts and other situations of violence.

    “The programme is aimed at treating the war-wounded, offer life and limb saving surgeries; we also do emergencies for patients from the Internally Displaced Persons camps around the region.

    “We have a lot of patients in the male ward that came in with orthopaedic trauma. This is where the role of psychotherapy comes early to assist in the procedures for rehabilitation,’’ She said.

    She told NAN that some of the surgeries would involve amputation of limbs and that there was the need to rehabilitate such amputees.

    “We have a PRC in Kano to where we used to refer the amputees to have access to mobility aids.

    “With the inauguration of the new PRC in UMTH, it is going to be easier to refer our patients there. They don’t need to travel almost seven hours to get to Kano,’’ the surgeon said.

    According to her, 70 per cent to 80 per cent of surgical interventions done by the ICRC Mobile Surgical Team are orthopaedic cases and limb injuries, while the remaining relate to abdominal and other areas of body.

    The surgeon said the greatest challenge of the surgical programme was access to patients for timely intervention, adding that it could take two days to get some patients to the ward because of distance.

    NAN reports the ICRC Surgical Ward domiciled at the Maiduguri State Specialist Hospital has a minimum capacity of admitting 36 patients, operation theatre, recovery room, accident and emergency unit, physiotherapy facility as well as psycho-social support facility for children.


    Edited By: Alli Hakeem
    (NAN)