Daily Archives: December 9, 2017

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias to attend a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council (Brussels, 11 December 2017)

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Kotzias, will be in Brussels on Monday, 11 December, to participate in a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council.

Following a relevant request from the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, discussion will focus on the latest developments in Iraq and in the autonomous region of Kurdistan. Mr. Kotzias will also take part in the joint session of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation Ministers, which will focus on issues related to the Sahel region, and an assessment of the recent EU-African Union Summit Meeting will also be carried out.

Finally, the Minister of Foreign Affairs will attend a working breakfast of the EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs with the Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Netanyahu, on EU-Israel relations and the latest developments in the Middle East.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Hellenic Republic

Attack on MONUSCO

The United States strongly condemns last night’s attack against MONUSCO, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which killed at least 14 Tanzanian peacekeepers and wounded more than 50 others, in addition to at least five members of the DRC armed forces. We express our deepest condolences to the families of those killed, to the Government of Tanzania, the Government of the DRC and to MONUSCO. We wish those wounded a full and swift recovery.

The United Nations has reported that this is one of the deadliest attacks on UN peacekeepers in recent history. The United States reiterates that peacekeepers are not targets, and that these deliberate attacks against them are unacceptable. We call on the Government of the DRC to investigate this attack and to ensure the perpetrators of such attacks are swiftly brought to justice.

The United States further emphasizes its full commitment to supporting MONUSCO in its efforts to protect civilians from violence, prevent atrocities, and support peace and stability in the DRC. We are grateful to the brave men and women serving in the mission.

Source: U.S Department of State

Separatists Attack Cameroon Police

YAOUNDE At least 6 armed separatists and a police official have been killed and several people wounded in the southwestern Cameroon English speaking town of Mamfe during an attack on a military post. The attack occurred after a special envoy from Nigeria assured Cameroon that they want to work jointly to reduce terrorism on their frontiers. Cameroon has been complaining that armed separatists were using Nigerian territory as a training ground.

Cameroon communication minister and government spokesman Issa Tchiroma says hundreds of youths armed with guns, machetes and spears attacked Cameroon’s police unit in the English speaking south western town of Mamfe Thursday night. Tchiroma says a policeman was killed and another wounded while dozens of the attackers incurred severe injuries.

“Five terrorists were shot dead by the defense forces who retaliated to an attack led by nearly 200 attackers against the Mamfe gendarmes (police) barracks,” said Tchiroma.

It was the third such attack in Mamfe and the neighboring town of Eyumojock that the government says have killed at least seven soldiers and policemen and wounded several more. Residents report that at least 16 military men have been killed there.

Eyumojock is the home town of Julius Ayuk Tabe, the man who says he is the first president of Ambazonia, the name given to the state the separatists say they have created.

Julius Ayuk Tabe is based in neighboring Nigeria where Cameroon communication minister Issa Tchiroma says many fighters have been going for training.

“Over ten young people traveling to Nigeria to be enrolled by terrorists gangs were arrested near the border,” he said. “Shortly after an individual, recruiting agent for the armed wing of the secessionist was arrested and their weapons, weapons of war seized.”

This week, Lawan Abba Gashagar, Nigeria’s high commissioner to Cameroon and special envoy of president Muhammadu Buhari visited Cameroon president Paul Biya and said they would collaborate in fighting the terrorists.

“Nigeria is not in any way supportive or encouraging the dissidents or secessionists and we are going to tackle it accordingly,” said Gashagar.

The crisis in the English speaking northwest and southwest regions of Cameroon began in November last year when lawyers and teachers called for a strike to stop what they believe is the overuse of the French language. Violence erupted when separatists started asking for complete independence. Schools have been closed in most of the English-speaking regions.

On October first the separatists declared the independence of what they called the Republic of Ambazonia and asked the military to surrender and join them or leave their territory. So far at least 12 military and police have been killed in the two English speaking regions.

Paul Biya has always said he is not open for any negotiation on the form of the state and that Cameroon is one and indivisible.

Separatist groups have, on social media, said they are only ready to dialogue with Biya on the terms of their separation.

Source: Voice of America

KENYA TO HOST CHINA-AFRICA INDUSTRIAL EXPO TO SHOWCASE INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES

NAIROBI, China-Africa Industrial Capacity Cooperation Exposition will be held next week in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

Guo Ce, Economic and Commercial Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, told reporters on Thursday that the expo will be held from Dec. 13 to 16 at Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) in Nairobi.

Guo said China Council for the Promotion of International Trade in partnership with African Development Fund and Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) will provide space for investment growth in the country.

“The expo will provide a platform for large and medium-sized Chinese corporation looking for new opportunities in Africa and in return participants will have an opportunity to network and form investors’ linkages,” said Guo.

He said Kenya has demonstrated a potential for economic growth that will attract more investment opportunities in the country.

Guo said he was optimistic that the establishment of the new government by President Uhuru Kenyatta will usher in another five years of economic growth that will improve the investment environment and increased government work efficiency that will attract more Chinese investors to come to the country.

The counsellor said more Chinese companies in the country will create job opportunities for Kenyans, upgrade Kenya’s manufacturing level that will pave way for the realization of Uhuru Kenyatta Vision for governance.

He said already Twyford Ceramic Company in Kajiado County owned by Chinese private enterprise and the largest in East Africa Ceramic factory has hired 1,500 local employees to work in the production of floor tiles.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Forum Builds Network to Fight Worldwide Corruption

WASHINGTON Despite ongoing efforts to curb corruption, billions of dollars continue to flow illicitly from countries around the world. That’s led to a range of multinational efforts to stem corruption and repatriate stolen funds, including a new U.S. State Department event designed to find collaborative solutions to corrupt practices.

Along with the U.S., Britain hosted the event, the Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR), earlier this week, ahead of International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9. The forum convened investigators and prosecutors from 26 jurisdictions around the world to establish working relationships that will make it easier to prosecute criminals and return stolen assets. Attendees discussed case studies from four countries, including Nigeria and Tunisia.

Robert Leventhal, deputy director of the Office of Anti-Crime Programs at the U.S. State Department, said the fight against corruption contributes to peace and stability worldwide.

Over the years, we’ve learned that the impact of corruption extends far beyond the borders of the country in which it takes place, Leventhal said during a conference call with journalists participating from across the continent.

Kleptocracy, or high-level corruption, breeds instability by driving a wedge between government and the people, he added. It turns institutions meant to serve the people into tools for exploiting them, and this can leave many feeling disempowered and convinced that the system is rigged.

Leventhal believes that U.S. efforts to fight corruption play a critical role in supporting the rule of law and even battling terrorism. Those efforts include repatriating $150 million in lost funds and freezing $3.5 billion in assets linked to foreign corruption since fiscal 2016. [Corruption] can open the door for transnational organized crime and extremist groups to exploit this frustration for their own purposes, he said.

Rising corruption

Corruption in Africa rose from 2012 to 2016 in 25 countries, fell in 19 countries and remained stagnant in seven, based on rankings by Transparency International, an organization focused on ending corruption with chapters in more than 100 countries.

Transparency International ranks perceived levels of corruption in the public sector based on assessments from international analysts and experts. Overall, corruption in Africa has risen three years in a row.

Corruption often goes hand-in-hand with violence and insecurity. The most corrupt countries in the most recent report � Somalia and South Sudan � have both faced protracted conflicts, food insecurity and political instability.

Corruption declines in more open societies. The least corrupt country based on Transparency International’s index, Botswana, also had the highest trade openness in 2017, according to the Index of Public Integrity, a project of the European Research Center for Anti-Corruption and State-Building. Cape Verde, the second-least corrupt country, has one of the continent’s freest media, according to Reporters Without Borders.

Endemic problem

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and largest economy, has also struggled with corruption, so much so that President Muhammadu Buhari made addressing it a major campaign promise.

At GFAR, Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malam called corruption an endemic problem in Nigeria, made worse by how long it can take to repair the damage when wealth illegally leaves the country. It takes just a click of the button for illicit wealth to leave Nigeria to foreign destinations, but then the process of repatriating such wealth takes ages, Malam said.

Source: Voice of America