Terrorism Survivors: ‘The terrorists killed many people in front of us’

15.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

UN News
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Hawa Abdu, a 38-year old Nigerian mother of two was abducted by Boko Haram in 2014 and spent four years with the outlawed terrorist group moving around the north-east of Nigeria. She has been living in Minawao, a camp for Nigerian refugees in the Far North region of Cameroon, since January 2018.

In 2014, my mother was in Bama, a town in between the state capital of Borno State, Nigeria, and the border with Cameroon, so I went to see her. One day, we were told by the local authorities that it was not safe to stay, but I refused to move my mother because she was sick. The terrorists entered the town at 4 a.m. the next day and gathered in the market. It was beyond our power to prevent them.

I heard gun shots from all sides, and in the confusion, my two children ran in one direction and I went with my mother in another. We were caught by terrorists and my mother was slapped and left on the ground.

I was taken, many of us were taken, by the terrorists. We were driven to the town of Zamaimaya and then had to walk 10 kilometres into the bush.

All but the young girls were forced to marry a Boko Haram fighter. I refused to begin with, however after three days I realized I had no choice but to agree, because they said if we did not marry, we would be executed. I was ordered to convert to Islam, which I did before the marriage.

After I married, I was beaten a lot and given very little food. One time I spent seven days without food. Sometimes I was given dindiri or beans to eat. I suffered a lot from hunger. I hated being married to a Boko Haram fighter.

The terrorists killed many people in front of us. We did not have the power to stop that happening.

We moved around the bush a lot, changing locations day by day. God saved me during these harsh times.

One day, my daughter Hadiza who is 13-years old managed to escape. I have not seen her since. I pray every day that she is still alive. I do not know where my mother is. And then later soldiers came and chased away Boko Haram, and they helped me and my other daughter, Fatima, who is now 14 years old, to escape.

She is with me in Minawao camp today.

I have spent over a year in this camp and have been given food and clothes by my neighbours. I have not eaten chicken since I have been here. I sell groundnuts to make a little money. I need a mat, a pot and more clothes.

I am suffering from heart disease and anxiety and cannot forget how I was separated from my parents and brothers and the killings I saw. I think about this every day.

One way, I can relax is by listening to music to Hausa Fulani songs. I sometimes borrow my neighbour’s phone to listen. It makes me happy; it gives me piece of mind.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UN News.
Source: Apo-Opa

Terrorism survivors: Forced to farm, fish, fight, ‘they slaughtered three of my friends’

15.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

UN News
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In 2015, the island of Ngomiron Doumou in Lake Chad was attacked by armed extremists who said they belonged to the outlawed Boko Haram group. The island is home to some 5,750 people. Up to 300 men, women and children were abducted at gunpoint by Boko Haram fighters who had travelled to the island from Nigeria. Twenty-five-year-old Kedra Abakar is one of around 100 people who made it back to the island. Here is his story.

“My name is Kedra Abakar. I am 25 years old and live on Ngomiron Doumou island. I was 21 when Boko Haram invaded my island; they created confusion and fear. Many neighbours fled, but those who were unable to do so, maybe 2-300 people, were rounded up. I was one of those people. We were kept under a tree and they slaughtered three of my friends in front of us. It was terrible. We were told that if we didn’t go with Boko Haram, the same would happen to us. We were very fearful.

We were taken to Nigeria by Boko Haram. We had three duties; farming, fishing and fighting for Boko Haram. I had to fight when it was my turn. I was given a gun and told to attack a village – I was forced to do this – If I refused, they would have killed me. I did shoot my gun, but I do not know if I killed anyone.

I spent two painful years with Boko Haram and I was not happy. I looked for an opportunity to escape but knew if I was caught, I knew I would be killed, so I was very scared. In the end, I was able to flee. I took a canoe at night time on the shore of Lake Chad. I was not able to come directly to Chad but had to travel through Cameroon.

When I think of the time with Boko Haram, I am very unhappy. Only 100 of the 300 people who were taken, have returned to the island. Many died in the fighting and some are still there; those who believe Boko Haram is a good thing.

My advice to other young people is to understand that Boko Haram is very bad. I tell them that they must remain in the village if they can. We were cheated by Boko Haram as we did not know any better.

My community has welcomed me back. Whatever I needed they gave me. I hope that in the future there will be a school on the island, so people can be educated and not fall under the spell of Boko Haram.

Listen to the podcast Young Chadians join terrorist groups due to “ignorance’

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UN News.
Source: Apo-Opa

Jonglei and Boma governors: ‘Our youth cannot continue shedding blood’ (by Gideon Sackitey)

15.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)
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A new push to end hostilities between communities in Jonglei and Boma has brought the governors of the two areas to Bor Town, where they resolved to maintain peace in their areas by engaging regularly with each other.

Governors Maker Thiong Mall of Jonglei and David Yau Yau of Boma held their first high-level regional peace and security meeting – supported by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) – which also brought together their senior advisors and cabinet ministers.

“We, as leaders must work to get hostile communities together; this is how we can demonstrate to our people that we are the same [South Sudanese] people and must live at peace with each other,” said David Yau Yau during the two-day meeting.

“Our youth cannot continue shedding blood,” he went on, “There is a lot to be done in building the nation. The world has moved on and left us behind. We have to keep the peace that we have, and work at bringing development to our people,” Yau Yau noted.

The two governors listed security, disarmament and development of their communities as the bedrock of any sustainable peace, currently being sought at the national level.

“The two states are friends and connected by history and tradition,” said Yau Yau. “It’s critical that we work together and talk together about our issues,” he stressed.

“It is important to take our country back to the level it was before and grow it,” said his Jonglei counterpart, Maker Thiong Mall. “No one should be left behind; and this is what we as leaders are doing through interactions. We hope our people will follow to increase interactions in trade, travel and other engagements,” he noted.

He called for commitment to the needs of the people, with development as the main priority.

“Our concerns should be for the people of Akobo, Bor, Pibor, Wat and Lankien, and all South Sudanese,” Maker said.

In the meeting, which could be described as frank and direct, sharp concerns were raised about child abductions, killings, return of abducted persons, proliferation of arms, and trust building, among others.

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan on 9 July 2011 – an outcome of a 2005 agreement that ended Africa's longest-running civil war.

Independence did not end conflict in the country as civil war broke out in 2013 leading to a conflict that has displaced millions, some of whom are returning following the signing of a revitalized peace agreement in September 2018.

The peace agreement has largely held, but intercommunal violence, driven by cattle raiding, continues to disrupt efforts to restore complete normalcy.

It is expected that a delegation from Jonglei will soon pay a reciprocal visit to Boma.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
Source: Apo-Opa

SRSG Ghassan Salame strongly condemns Attacks against health facilities and workers

15.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL)
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Since the beginning of the offensive on Tripoli in early April, more than 37 attacks have been registered against health workers and facilities, including hospitals, field hospitals and civilian and military ambulances. These deplorable attacks which impacted at least 19 ambulances and 19 hospitals, have resulted in 11 deaths, and injuries to more than 33 persons, although the actual number may be significantly higher.

In late July, airstrikes conducted by the Libyan National Army targeted two field hospitals and two ambulances, killing at least four doctors and one paramedic and injuring at least eight other medical personnel. Despite repeated wide-ranging condemnation and with blatant disregard to international humanitarian norms and conventions, these merciless attacks have continued, where two precision airstrikes targeted yesterday a field hospital in Aziziya neighbourhood, reportedly injuring at least four medical staff.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya Ghassan Salame condemns in the strongest terms this clear pattern of ruthless attacks against health workers and facilities.  “Intentionally targeting health workers and health facilities and ambulances is a war crime, and when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attacks directed against any civilian population, may constitute a crime against humanity,” the Special Representative reiterates. “We will not stand idly by and watch doctors and paramedics targeted daily while risking their lives to save others. We will spare no efforts to ensure that those responsible will face justice,” he added.

International humanitarian law strictly prohibits attacks against hospitals and other medical facilities, medical personnel and medical transport.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).
Source: Apo-Opa

Preventive Maintenance Services – Waste Water System

15.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

U.S. Embassy in Cameroon
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By Monica Barreto, Contracting Officer

Subject: Request for Quotations Number 19CM8019Q0025

Enclosed (24MB) is a Request for Quotations (RFQ) for preventive maintenance services for the sanitary sewer collection system and the waste water treatment system.  If you would like to submit a quotation, follow the instructions in Section 4 of the solicitation, complete the required portions of the attached document, and submit it to the following address:

Please submit your quotation in a sealed envelope marked “Quotation Enclosed” to the above address.  The deadline for receipt of quotations is local time, 10:00 am on September 16, 2019.  No quotations will be accepted after this time.

In order for a quotation to be considered, you must also complete and submit the following:

SF-1449 (blocks 17, 24 and 30).  Block 24 should list the total value of the quote for the base year and the option year.

Section 1, The Schedule

Section 5, Representations and Certifications

Additional Information as required in Section 4.

A pre-proposal conference has been scheduled for August 30, 2019, at 10:00am at the U.S. Embassy Yaounde.  Direct any questions regarding this solicitation in writing to yaounde_procurement@state.gov .

An award, if one is made, will only be made to a vendor which is registered in the System for Award Management (SAM). If you are registered in SAM, please provide proof upon quoting. Offerors shall also submit the price proposal inclusive of Defense Base Act (DBA) insurance charges as a separate line item.  DBA insurance is different from Workmen’s Compensation Plan (WCP) and DBA insurance premium charges will be reimbursed by the U.S. Government. Offerors shall estimate the cost of DBA premium after contacting the authorized insurance provider.  Once the contract is awarded, you shall reach out to the insurance provider and pay the premium.  The receipt and insurance policy shall then be forwarded to the Embassy for reimbursement.  Offers will not be accepted without DBA insurance costs.

The U.S. Government intends to award a contract to the responsible company submitting an acceptable quotation at the lowest price.  We intend to award a contract based on initial quotations, without holding discussions, although we may hold discussions with companies in the competitive range if there is a need to do so.

Quotations are due by September 16, 2019 by 10:00 am.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy in Cameroon.
Source: Apo-Opa

Republic of Congo National Day Statement

15.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

U.S. Department of State
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On behalf of the United States, I congratulate the people of the Republic of Congo as you celebrate the 59th anniversary of your independence.

The United States and the Republic of Congo share a relationship of strong cooperation on trade and investment, combatting trafficking in persons, and advancing sustainable economic and social development for the Congolese people.

On this joyous occasion of your 59th National Day, I wish the Congolese people peace and prosperity in the year to come.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Department of State.
Source: Apo-Opa

Zimbabwe: Violent crackdown on activists underway ahead of opposition protests

15.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Amnesty International
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Activists and political leaders targeted ahead of “16 August” protests; Two activists abducted and severely tortured; Amnesty International calls on authorities to exercise restraint on protesters.

An escalating crackdown against human rights defenders, activists, civil society leaders and members of the opposition, including abductions and torture, is underway ahead of the opposition-led protests scheduled for tomorrow, Amnesty International said today.

“We are witnessing a violent crackdown on activists and civil society leaders, with authorities using some of the brutal tactics seen under the government of Robert Mugabe. Instead of listening to protestors’ concerns about the economy, the authorities have used torture and abduction to crush dissent and instil fear,” said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Southern Africa.

“Rather than targeting dissent the Zimbabwean authorities should focus on improving the country’s economy and the lives of the population. Millions of people live in poverty and are routinely denied their human rights, and suspected perpetrators of human rights violations continue to enjoy almost absolute impunity.”

One activist, Tatenda Mombeyarara, was abducted on the night of 13 August from his home in Chitungwiza by unknown men armed with AK-47 rifles. The men placed a plastic bag over his head, bundled him into their car and drove away.

Mombeyarara was severely beaten with metal rods on his feet and buttocks before the men dumped him near a pit in Hatfield, a suburb in the South of Harare, where they left him for dead. He is currently being treated in hospital for the serious injuries he sustained.

During the beatings, he was accused of being involved in organizing the protests scheduled for 16 August. The men threatened him, saying: “[We are going] to deal with all of you”.

In May, Tatenda Mombeyarara was arrested at the Robert Mugabe International airport in Harare, upon his return from a capacity-building workshop on non-violent protest tactics in the Maldives. He was later released on bail, but his travel documents were confiscated by the authorities.

On the same night Blessing Kanotunga, an activist from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), was taken from his home in Mufakose by unknown armed men. They dumped him in Chitungwiza, a suburb in the South of Harare. He is also receiving treatment for serious injuries sustained on his back.

“The authorities must launch a prompt, thorough, impartial and effective investigation into the abduction and torture of the two activists and ensure that suspected perpetrators are brought to justice in fair trials,” said Muleya Mwananyanda.

“As people prepare to protest for their socio-economic rights over the next few days, authorities must exercise restraint against protesters and respect, protect and promote both freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly of everyone. Organizing and participating in protests is not a crime.”

Background

The situation is tense in Zimbabwe as the country’s main opposition party, the MDC called for mass protests to demonstrate against the struggling economy which has resulted in millions of people in both urban and rural areas barely surviving. Millions of people are reliant on food aid. The protest is endorsed by trade unions and other civil society groups.

The government has issued a stern warning against any protest, accusing unnamed foreign collaborators of working with local civil society organizations to destabilize the country through protests.

Earlier this year, 15 protesters were killed by security forces after the government’s decision to hike fuel prices.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Amnesty International.
Source: Apo-Opa

Oyo Discovery is a Game Changer for Congo and the African Content

15.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

African Energy Chamber

The recent onshore discovery made in the Delta de la Cuvette deposit in the Republic of Congo is a game changer for Congo and Africa. The discovery was announced on August 10th by SARPD Oil and PEPA, a Congolese consortium working as operators on the Block.

Early projections indicate that the discovered deposits could produce up to 359 million barrels of oil, or 983,000 bopd, from Congo’s central province. This could in effect quadruple Congo’s production, which currently stands at over 330,000 bopd according to OPEC’s latest figures. Production has been steadily increasing in recent years, with a target set by the government of reaching 400,000 bopd by 2020. 

“This is our first onshore discovery and it gives us a lot of hope that we shall make more discoveries especially now that we are to award more blocks for oil exploration in the ongoing oil licensing round,” said the H.E. Jean-Marc Thystère-Tchicaya, Minister of Hydrocarbons of the Republic of Congo

The Delta de la Cuvette deposit covers 9,392 m2 and comprises four wells, the first has been drilled in March of this year. When fully exploited, the license could propel Congo as Africa’s third largest oil producer, ahead of Algeria and Libya. 

“This is in effect one of the largest African oil discovery in decades,” declared Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber and CEO at the Centurion Law Group. “Africa has been an exploration hotspot where major oil & gas discoveries have been made in recent years by international explorers. The Oyo discovery in Congo, however, is the result of indigenous efforts made by Congolese companies. It speaks volumes to the value that local content development can create when local companies and entrepreneurs are given an opportunity to contribute to their industry. I want to urge the government to work with the industry to expedite the approvals for the necessary field development efforts. This is a win for Congo and for Africa.”

The discovery is also a game changer for Congo’s energy scenario, with most oil & gas production currently coming from offshore fields. The Republic of Congo has been pushing for years to open up energy access to its central and northern provinces, notably through the planned 1,200km pipeline between Pointe Noire and Ouesso. The exploitation of such large oil deposits in the centre of the country could open up a whole new energy frontier for Congo and the rest of the region.

The African Energy Chamber looks forward to seeing the full development of the license creating jobs for Congolese, and opportunities for Congolese companies and entrepreneurs to service one of Central Africa’s largest upcoming onshore development. Such a discovery has the potential to spur considerable economic growth for Congo and its central and northern provinces, especially as the country keeps recovering from a recent economic crisis due to plummeting oil prices. The IMF predicts a GDP growth of 5.4% in 2019, the highest in Central Africa.

Congo has 2 billion barrels of proven oil reserves from about 20 fields being exploited and about 10 permits granted and waiting to be developed. Its proven gas reserves stand at 200bn standard cubic metres over 20 years, according to the government, including 70bn of associated gas. While gas production stands at about 400bcf, various gas valorization and monetization projects are being supported by the government to generate diversification and economic growth. Congo estimates that it can monetize about 100bn standard cubic metres of gas by integrating various gas valorization projects in the country via a gathering and transportation system which is to be operational by 2020.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Energy Chamber.

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U.S. Embassy, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and iCog Labs host National Innovation Competition in Addis Ababa

15.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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The U.S. Embassy, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and iCog Labs are hosting Solve IT 2019, a nationwide innovation competition at which 112 Ethiopian youth will present their tech-based solutions to address community challenges on Saturday, August 17, 2019.

112 youth entrepreneurs from 15 cities across Ethiopia are showcasing their projects and competing in the final round of the national competition. 

You are cordially invited to interview the participants about their projects and cover the official closing and awards ceremony of the Solve IT 2019 competition.

Representatives from the U.S Embassy, Embassy of Japan, JICA, and iCog Labs will speak at the event.

Venue: Kana Studio, Addis Ababa

Date and Time: August 17, 2019 at 2:00 PM

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Source: Apo-Opa

The Uganda Rugby Cranes coach named the team that will take on Zambia on 17th July 2019 at Kyadondo Rugby Grounds

15.August.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Uganda Rugby Union

The Uganda Rugby (http://UgandaRugby.com) Cranes coach, Robert Seguya today named the team that will take on Zambia on 17th July 2019 at Kyadondo Rugby Grounds.

While addressing the media at the press conference today, he put emphasis on the confidence he has in the team that was selected.

The team named has five changes made from the team that played Zimbabwe Sables at Legends Grounds. Brian Asaba, Saul Kivumbi and Joseph Kagimu replaced Kelvin Balagadde, Ivan Kabagambe and Robert Kanyanya.

Another notable change is in the leadership of the team where Justin Kimono (who has been off for a year due to an injury) is now the Vice Captain and Asuman Mugerwa has retained his position as the Captain.

“We have made changes in the squad just to make it possible for our Boys to match the speed on the Zambia Chipolopolo.” Robert Sseguya (coach).

The South African High Commissioner: H. E Professor Major General (rtd) Lekoa Solly Mollo then addressed the players with words of encouragement and put emphasis on the importance of a win for Uganda on Saturday. “I have come here to physically have a word with you because I believe in you.” he said.

The Uganda team is a mixture between youth and experience and are out to put their campaign back on track after the last two losses to Kenya 16-5 and 31-26 to Zimbabwe Sables.

Match Referee is confirmed as Adriaan Jacobs from South Africa and will be assisted by local officials. The Zambia team is expected in Uganda in the wee hours of Thursday morning and should have enough time to acclimatize to Kampala conditions before the duel.

Uganda Cranes Squad:

Forwards: 1. Santos Senteza 2. Saul Kivumbi 3. Collin Kimbowa 4. Asuman Mugerwa 5. Faragi Odugo 6. Joseph Kagimu 7. Mike Otto 8. Simon Olet 9. Charles Uhuru 10. Brian Asaba 11. Pius Ogena 12. Desire Ayera 13. Eliphaz Emong

BACKS 14. Aaron Ofoywroth 15. Paul Epilo 16. Ivan Magomu 17. Eric Mula 18. Michael Wokorach  19. Ian Munyani 20. Philip Wokorach 21. Daudi Semwami 22. Adrian Kasito 23. Justin Kimono

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Uganda Rugby Union.

Media Contact:
Rugby@APO-opa.org
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Source: Apo-Opa