Launch of the Rugby Africa Cup (RAC), the qualifying competition for the 2023 Rugby World Cup

14.June.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Rugby Africa

Starting from November 2019, 16 teams will compete in the new Rugby Africa Cup (RAC) with an aim to qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in 2022. This format is more inclusive and easier to follow. The top 16 teams based on the African ranking will compete in a single coordinated competition until the last two face each other in the final.

The first stage consists of a qualifying round: the teams ranked 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th will oppose the teams ranked 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th, respectively, in a single match at home. The winner of each of these four matches will progress to the group phase. In this second stage, the 12 teams are divided into 4 pools; inside each pool the 3 teams play against each other in a home or away game. The winner of each group will progress to the final tournament of the RAC. The top four teams from Africa will meet in one venue for the final stage of the RAC, which will include two semi-finals, a play-off for third place and, ultimately, the final to decide who will be the African champions.

Between the elimination series, the group rounds and the final tournament, there will be a total of twenty matches spread over up to sixteen different host countries across Africa.

“This arrangement gives every team a chance to make it to the finals and will reward merit and performance. The teams that are eliminated in the first round will have another chance in November 2020 to try and re-qualify. Rugby Africa ( is already exploring the possibility of creating play-offs with other nations not currently part of the 16 but who are keen to be included. All the member countries of Rugby Africa looking forward to participating in this competition! This exciting format is a totally different model of competition, with each of the three stages offering its own unique set of challenges.” Andrew Owor, Vice President of Rugby Africa said.

“Our idea with RAC is to create a clear path for the African teams who are fully aware of the steps they need to take to qualify for the Rugby World Cup. But what is also interesting for the teams that might find it challenging to qualify for France 2023, is that RAC gives them a new set of objectives: to secure a place in the group phase so that they can see how they measure up to the best teams, or even better, to join the top eight to be sure of a place in RAC the following year,” added Guédel N'Diaye, director of competitions with Rugby Africa.

The president of Rugby Africa, Khaled Babbou, expanded on the strategy behind this new project: “We are completely revising our system of competition. There was a study phase immediately after the inauguration of the new executive committee which led us to make difficult but necessary decisions to reposition our brand so that it brings more value to our federations and our partners in the long term. By introducing this new format, we hope to forge new partnerships that will allow us to improve our offering every year.”

“Rugby Africa is committed to a dual strategy, with an objective to stimulate more countries to get involved in the adventure that is rugby, to produce a great pool of high-level African athletes and to raise up our teams to a standard of excellence so that they gain recognition at an international level. Rugby Africa is already working in this direction with the other regions and with World Rugby to set up more encounters between the different continents so that our teams can increase their match experience.”

Herbert Mensah, co-opted member of the Executive Committee of Rugby Africa, underlines the importance of this decision in the strategic framework of Rugby Africa’s communication and promotion plans : The Board’s ability to attract new media partners in addition to APO Group will ensure that sponsors and their contributions will be viewed across the continent as well as globally. It is our aim to sensitise current global sponsors of the largest growing emerging market which is Africa. This is a very bold move on the part of the Board aiming and it will require unions and regions to work closer together to raise awareness, competitions and sponsorship for other supporting programmes”

“The unveiling of this new competition format is very exciting for us at APO Group because it give us an opportunity to further optimise our communication plans promoting African rugby. The new easy to follow format helps with brand positioning as we work together to attract new sponsors. We have always been aligned with the values of leadership and spirit of commitment that Africa rugby represents and we look forward to continuing our support of the journey and evolution of the game”, said Lionel Reina, CEO of APO Group, the Main Official Partner of Rugby Africa.

Participating Teams

Current African rankings (Men’s senior, Rugby Union) used as a basis for the Rugby Africa Cup :

1. Namibia
2. Kenya
3. Uganda
4. Tunisia
5. Zimbabwe
6. Algeria
7. Morocco
8. Zambia
9. Madagascar
10. Côte d’Ivoire
11. Senegal
12. Ghana
13. Botswana
14. Mauritius
15. Rwanda
16. Nigeria

Elimination stage: November 2019 – 4 single matches

23 November : Côte d’Ivoire vs Rwanda in Abidjan / Ghana vs Botswana in Ghana

30 November : Senegal vs Mauritius in Dakar

1 December : Madagascar vs Nigeria in Antananarivo

Group stage: From June 2020 onwards – 3 matches per group, 12 in total

Group A: Namibia, Zambia, Winner of the match Madagascar vs Nigeria

Group B: Kenya, Morocco, Winner of the match Côte d’Ivoire vs Rwanda

Group C: Uganda, Algeria, Winner of the match Senegal vs Mauritius

Group D: Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Winner of the match Ghana vs Botswana

Final stage: July to August 2020 – 4 matches

Semi-final 1: Group A Winner vs Group D Winner

Semi-final 2: Group B Winner vs Group C Winner

Play-off for 3rd place: Loser of semi-final 1 vs Loser of semi-final 2

Grand final: Winner of semi-final 1 vs Winner of semi-final 2

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Rugby Africa.

Media Contact:

About Rugby Africa:
Created in 1986, Rugby Africa (, previously the African Confederation of Rugby (Confédération Africaine de Rugby – CAR), is one of the six regional associations composing World Rugby (, the international organisation responsible for the governing of Rugby Union and Rugby Sevens. Rugby Africa unites all of the African countries which play rugby union, rugby sevens, and women’s rugby. Rugby Africa organises the qualifying competition for the Rugby World Cup, and Africa 7, a qualifying competition for the Olympic Games. Rugby Africa has 39 members, including 22 membres and associated members of World Rugby, 10 members and associated members of Rugby Africa and 16 new countries collaborating with Rugby Africa.

Media files
Rugby Africa
Download logo

Source: Apo-Opa

Zimbabwean woman tackling gender-based violence as she changes lives of the displaced in South Sudan

14.June.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)

Zimbabwe’s Emma Madziva stands at attention as a medal is pinned on her left breast pocket, just next to her name tag.

The five-feet-three-inches-tall peacekeeper now proudly wears her first-ever United Nations medal, honouring her peacekeeping work in South Sudan’s Unity area.

“It shows how hard we have worked in this place [South Sudan],” she says, referring to various tasks she has been engaged in over the last eight months in Africa’s youngest country.  

“I was working as a patrols officer before, but I now work on the gender desk, occupied in resolving issues around domestic violence, early and forced marriages, rapes, and everything else that is classified under Gender and Children Vulnerable People Protection (GCVPP),” says Madziva.

According to Madziva, working in the largest protection of civilians site and explaining to the population that various forms of violence against women and children are not acceptable, is a monumental challenge in a community which does not abhor the vice.

“We work explaining to the people that various forms of violence against either gender and children does not only occur between husband and wife, but may extend to family members, neigbours and relatives,” she says.  

“Sometimes the victims [who come to us] cannot explain themselves. You only see them tearing up, and you know they are in some sort of pain,” says Madziva. “I feel pity for them, but we are able to help them resolve some of their problems,” says the 35-year-old, who is now a front-runner in the girl-child education amongst the displaced.

She says she tells them that girls will improve the future of the nation.

“We sensitise women to support and educate the girl child,” says Madziva who is now encouraged to see girls attending school and able to learn English, which they now use easily as a common language of communication.

Madziva, a mother of one, hopes that those she serves can one day have a say that will turn their fortunes by giving opportunities to women and girls who have not had many an opportunity.

She says she is happy to have been able to compete with men to earn her stripes under her current role, which the United Nations globally encourages.
In late 2017, UN Secretary-General António Guterres launched a gender parity strategy aimed at increasing the recruitment and advancement of women within the United Nations.   

Indeed, Madziva is now among 16 women who have turned the gender tables in peacekeeping in South Sudan.

“We should not differentiate between men and women. Women are not often given the chance to be in the same position as men. Sometimes they have no say,” says the new medal recipient,” who briefly tears as she recounts a personal tragedy in which her husband died, leaving her to raise their only child as a single parent.

The contribution of women like Madziva to changing the image of UN peacekeeping is easily recognizable now within the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
“It is very gratifying to know that there is almost gender parity. We are very proud. Female personnel are crucial to our work,” says the UNMISS Chief of Staff, Paul Egunsola.

Of the thirty Zimbabweans from the UN Police who received medals for their gallant efforts in South Sudan, Madziva’s group is also the largest contingent of UN Police to have served in the country.

It is a proud moment for them and the United Nations alike.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Media files
United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)
Download logo

Source: Apo-Opa

Promising results from malaria-prevention medication among children in Borno State, Nigeria

14.June.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

World Health Organization (WHO)
Download logo

“I had always asked my family members to sit outside for one or two hours at night just before bedtime, when I usually spray the bedroom with indoor sprays,” says Hajia Hauwa Abiso, who lives in the north-eastern Nigerian state of Borno. “Little did I know that mosquito bites during this period were enough to infect them.”

When she learned about the danger of mosquito bites at night, she worried that her 3-year-old child might be infected with malaria. “Since my child received the antimalaria drugs given during the campaign, and I started to use lessons from the radio drama on household practices for malaria prevention, my children have hardly fallen ill of malaria,” she explains, with great relief.

Hajia Hauwa is the mother of one of the 1.2 million children younger than 5 years reached in four cycles of house-to-house campaigns since 2017 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners in Borno State with the seasonal malaria chemoprevention.

WHO recommends the intermittent administration of full treatment courses of an oral antimalarial medicine to children in areas with high transmission rates during the malaria season.

Even though malaria control in Borno State remains a public health challenge, there are suboptimal availability and use of prevention and treatment interventions, such as insecticide-treated bed nets and accessibility to health facilities for diagnosis and treatment using quality-assured artemisinin-based combination drug therapy.

WHO estimates that more than half of the recorded deaths in Borno State in 2018 were due to malaria combined with malnutrition – more than all other causes of death combined, including cholera, measles and hepatitis E.

Seasonal malaria chemoprevention targets the protection of young children from malaria infection. A recent impact survey by WHO showed promising results on malaria morbidity and mortality in the state. Based on the incidence of malaria in children aged 3–59 months in 20 randomly selected clusters (using National Immunization Programme sample in 16 local government areas of Borno, the findings indicated fewer cases of malaria among children who participated in the seasonal malaria chemoprevention campaign, compared with children who did not receive the treatment.

The survey findings also showed that children living in areas where the campaign did not take place are at higher risk of malaria infection (at 16%), compared with children who received the treatment (at 5%).

“WHO is impressed by the results of the survey. It confirms our recommendation, and we urge health authorities to conduct seasonal malaria chemoprevention campaigns as a cost-effective and safe means to prevent malaria across the Sahel sub-region of Africa,” emphasizes Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

With assistance from WHO, the Borno State Ministry of Health developed a strategy for malaria control in north-eastern Nigeria, with the seasonal malaria chemoprevention treatment as a critical tool for rapidly reducing malaria death and disease among young children.

“In emergencies such as in north-eastern Nigeria, the most effective ways to reduce morbidity and mortality due to malaria among children living in vulnerable conditions is through preventive measures, such as use of insecticide-treated nets, seasonal malaria chemoprevention and the provision of real-time lifesaving messages for prevention,” stresses Dr Clement Peter Lasuba, Officer in Charge for WHO Nigeria.

Borno State Malaria Programme Manager, Mala Waziri, agrees: “From the impact assessment of the seasonal malaria chemoprevention exercise in Borno State, it is evident that the intervention has helped to reduce the incidence of malaria in households, as less cases are reported in the clinics than previously.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO).
Source: Apo-Opa

Mali: Cycle of violence against civilians must stop, says UN expert

14.June.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Download logo

Alioune Tine, the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali, says continuing deadly attacks on civilians in certain areas of the country could be described as crimes against humanity and urged stronger protection of people and property.

Tine made the remarks following the weekend attack on the Dogon village of Sobanou-Kou in central Mali’s Mopti region. He said he had received reports of many people killed and injured, as well as dozens abducted, with high numbers of women and children among the victims. Investigations by the authorities are continuing and further details, including exact casualty figures, will be available soon, Tine said.

The expert said the Sobanou-Kou attack on 9 June which continued overnight is part of an intensification of the deadly cycle of violence in central Mali, and these attacks are regularly carried out against civilian populations.

“Impunity for these crimes gives the perpetrators a sense of immunity – and these human rights abuses, documented almost every week for more than a year, could be characterised as crimes against humanity.”

He said he welcomed the government’s quick response to the attacks on civilians in the Mopti region, including incidents on 1 January and 23 March in Fulani villages, as well as others in the area.

“However, I urge the Malian authorities to take more preventive measures to protect civilians, including the establishment of a stronger security presence in the centre of the country, the disarmament and the immediate dissolution of all armed militias, and conduct of effective judicial investigations to bring perpetrators to justice,” Tine said. “I would like to stress the absolute necessity, with the support of all concerned partners, to further strengthen the security of people and property in these areas exposed to this spiral of violence.”

He said a comprehensive and coordinated approach is needed to prevent further violence and to tackle the problem in a sustainable way.

“I appeal to civil society, traditional and religious leaders, and also to the international community and the regional authorities, to discharge their respective responsibilities.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Source: Apo-Opa

Sudan: Urgent UN, AU investigation needed after military admits deadly decision on protestors

14.June.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

Amnesty International
Download logo

Following an admission by Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) that they all met the country’s security chiefs on 2 June, and after receiving undisclosed advice from the Attorney General and the Head of the Judiciary, ordered the dispersal of peaceful protestors on 3 June, which “by mistake” killed more than 100 people and injured hundreds more , Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes Sarah Jackson said:

“It is completely outrageous and unacceptable that what has now been confirmed to have been a carefully planned attack on sleeping protestors has in the same breath been reduced to a ‘mistake’.

“The senseless killing of protestors must be stopped immediately, and those responsible for the bloodbath, including at command level, must be held fully accountable for their actions”.

“The Attorney General and Head of the Judiciary should urgently clarify the advice they gave before leaving the meeting where this decision was taken. The world needs to understand the extent to which they advised the security forces on the legality and proportionality of deadly force used.

“Following this admission, it is now more urgent than ever, in the interest of accountability and transparency, that the military authorities allow international scrutiny and investigations by the United Nations and African Union into the escalating human rights violations under their watch.”


The TMC spokesperson Lieutenant General Shams al-Deen al-Kabashi on on 13 June issued a statement about the 2 June meeting where the decision was taken to clear the protestor sit-in area near the military headquarters in Khartoum. The statement reads in part:

“In the evening before the implementation of the decision to clear the sit-in area, we called for a meeting attended by all members of the TMC, the head of military intelligence, the head of General Staff Command (army), the head of national security and his deputy, the head of police and his deputy, and the head of RSF. We also requested the Head of the Judiciary and the Attorney General to attend this meeting to provide us with legal advice on how to deal with this situation. We thanked the head of judiciary and the Attorney General for their advice and then they left the meeting.”

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

Mopti: Over 50,000 people displaced amid inter-communal violence

14.June.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

The deadly attack on Sunday (09/06) in the village of Sobane in central Mali, which killed 35 villagers – and 60 are still missing – continues to displace people to Mopti, one of the largest towns in central Mali.

Four days after the attack, more than 100 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Sobane had already been registered by officers of Mopti’s Regional Directorate for Social Development (DRDS). This number comes on top of the almost 50,000 IDPs, of which 58 per cent are children, already registered in the cities of Mopti, Sévaré and Fotama, in central Mali, since January 2019. 

These IDPs have all fled inter-communal violence to seek shelter from host populations, which are struggling to meet the IDPs’ basic needs.  

“One night, while I was in Bamako, my eldest son called to inform me about the arrival at home of families saying that their villages had been attacked, ransacked and burned out and that they had left everything behind to seek refuge in,” Hawa explains. 

Hawa, a teacher and mother of three, has sheltered in her house in Mopti, in central Mali, 172 IDPs who have fled intercommunal conflicts in March 2019.  

“We are in need of food, water, tents because people keep coming,” she adds. 

The 711 IDPs already registered since March 2019 on the site of Soukoura, the IDP camp run by the Government of Mali, in Mopti region, and the IDPs living in makeshift camps (such as that of Hawa’s family) have already received immediate assistance. 

But this assistance is not enough anymore as internal displacements continue.  

“There is an urgent need to address water and sanitation issues as well as problems posed by the rainy season and flooding which present a threat to these displaced persons,” says Boubacar Diallo, Head of Social Protection Division at the Regional Directorate of Social Development and Economy in Mopti.  

“The situation requires our attention in terms of food, water, sanitation and shelter provisions. We must coordinate our actions and strengthen our response capacity to address these emergencies,” said Pascal Reyntjens, Chief of Mission of IOM Mali.  

Starting next week, IOM will provide 50 tents with a capacity of 10 people per tent and is ready to strengthen the DRDS IDP profiling team. 

The remaining 334 survivors who are still living in the village attacked on Sunday will also receive non-food item kits (mats, mosquito nets, sanitary items, water storage containers, cooking utensils, etc.). 

Since 2012, the humanitarian situation in the country is very volatile due to the growing insecurity caused by inter-communal conflicts and violent attacks against civilians in the North and Centre of the country.  

Government authorities, the Civil Protection, the Malian Red Cross, civil society organizations and UN agencies (UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, OCHA and IOM) are working together to assist these thousands of IDPs in need of immediate assistance (hospitality, profiling, food, shelter, non-food assistance and health care). 

Since 2012, IOM Mali has been working in Mopti region by addressing IDPs’ needs through the provision of shelter, water, and sanitation. As part of community stabilization projects, IOM has already built a multifunctional centre for women in Konna, rehabilitated the Community Health Centres (CSCOM) of Debere, Hombori and Diona in Douentza, as well as schools in Kourarou, Hombori and Youwarou. 

As of May 2019, the number of IDPs in Mali had reached 120,067.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Media files
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Download logo

Source: Apo-Opa

Sudan: Top UN official demands cessation of violence and rape against civilians by security forces

14.June.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations (UN)
Download logo

Following recent reports of attacks and rape by security forces and paramilitaries against the pro-democracy protesters in Sudan who have been holding a sit-in outside army headquarters in the capital, Khartoum, the United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, expressed “grave concern” on Thursday and called for an “immediate and complete” end to the violence.

According to her Office, despite restrictions on communications in Sudan, reports of serious human rights violations have emerged since the beginning of the month.

These include reported rapes and gang rapes of protesters, women’s human rights defenders and women medical personnel working in hospitals near the sit-in perpetrated by the “Rapid Support Forces” or RSF – a paramilitary group run by the Sudanese Government, primarily composed of the Janjaweed, a party to the Darfur conflict – and other militias.

“I demand the immediate and complete cessation of all violence against civilians including sexual violence,” stated Special Representative Patten, noting that the RSF have consistently been listed in the UN Secretary-General’s annual report on conflict-related sexual violence.

“[They] should take effective measures to prevent and punish sexual violence in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2467,” she added.

After the three-decade autocratic rule of President Omar al-Bashir ended in a military takeover in April, talks faltered in May between protesters and the ruling Transitional Military Council over a timetable for civilian rule.

On 3 June, security forces and paramilitaries fired on pro-democracy protesters holding a sit-in outside army headquarters in the capital Khartoum, leaving a number of people dead and many more injured. Three days later, the African Union suspended the participation of Sudan in all its activities until the effective establishment of a civilian-led transitional authority.

Pending verification of the alleged incidents by relevant UN bodies, Ms. Patten highlighted the fact that “the weakness of the rule of law and a general climate of impunity” is further compounding a highly-volatile context.

“I urge the prompt investigation of all credible allegations of sexual violence and accountability for those responsible,” said the Special Representative, adding that she strongly supports the rapid deployment of a United Nations human rights monitoring team to examine the situation on the ground.

She also called upon the international community, including members of the UN Security Council, to use “all possible diplomatic channels with leaders of Sudan to pave the way for a swift transition to a civilian administration and an end to all forms of violence and intimidation against civilians”.

On Tuesday, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), sounded the alarm over the killing and injuring of dozens of minors in the protests backlash.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations (UN).
Source: Apo-Opa

Sub-Regional Coordination Mechanism for Eastern and Southern Africa Commit to Support the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and Industrialization in the two regions- Eastern and Southern Africa

14.June.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
Download logo

The 2019 Annual Stakeholders’ Meeting on the Sub-Regional Coordination Mechanism (SRCM) for Eastern and Southern Africa adopt outcome statement to take measures to reposition themselves in the realisation of both Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030.

Established in November 2010, as a subsidiary of the Regional Coordination Mechanism (RCM), the Sub-Regional Coordination Mechanisms (SRCMs) are a framework for the United Nations (UN) System-wide Support to the African Union (AU), its New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Programme, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs).

The meeting was convened by the United Nations Economic Commission, Sub-Regional Offices for Eastern and Southern Africa (SRO-EA/SA) under the theme “Promoting Industrialisation through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): The Role of Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) in Eastern and Southern Africa”.

The Director for ECA-Southern Africa Office, Said Adejomubi welcomed the participants on behalf of the entire UN family. He informed the meeting that, “working together in  a collaborative way is not a choice but a necessity for UN agencies, RECs and IGOs”. African’s challenges of development – poverty, inequality and growing youth unemployment demand that all partners join forces in putting Southern and Eastern Regions on the path of sustainable growth and development. “The SRCM for Eastern and Southern Africa offers that unique opportunity to get that done”. He added

The meeting brought together over 40 delegates from stakeholder organisations/institutions of the SRCM for Eastern and Southern Africa including the African Union (AU), RECs, IGOs and UN agencies for in the two sub-regions.

The first session focused on the intra-UN collaboration through SRCM was chaired by Mr. Charles Kwenin, Acting Chair of United Nations sustainable Development Goals(R-UNSDG) for Eastern and Southern Africa. Mr. Kwenin applauded the UN agencies commitment to move the agenda. The UN family agreed the need to work collaboratively to support the implementation of AfCFTA and industrialisation initiatives through optimising synergies within the UN.

The second session was a meeting of SRCM Focal points of AUC, RECs and IGOs to map-out strategies to foster effective collaboration and coordination under the SRCM framework. In his keynote presentation, H.E. Amb. Kipyego Cheluget applauded ECA, as Secretariat, all UN agencies, RECs and IGOs for, “effectively playing their roles of sustaining the SRCM process since its establishment by regularly convening stakeholder meeting and for continuously following up on recommendations”. He underscored that the Regional Coordination Mecanism-Africa and its Sub-Regional Coordination Mecanisms, have become key frameworks for the UN family to work together in supporting the priorities of the AU and its organs, RECs and other IGOs on the continent.

At the end of the two-day consultations, the meeting adopted a draft outcome document with the major recommendation being “ to stengthen the collective action of different UN Agencies so as to strengthen support to AUC and its organs, member States, RECs and IGOs towards achieving Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063”.

The meeting is also expected to contribute to enhanced knowledge on the AfCFTA, including gender and the AfCFTA, and its role in promoting regional industrialisation. It was concluded that support provided to RECS, IGOs and member States by the UN should include programmes and initiatives targeted at addressing migration, gender, human rights and skills.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
Source: Apo-Opa

Chief of Chilean Navy visits Operation Atalanta Headquarters in Rota

14.June.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA


On Wednesday afternoon, the Chief of the Chilean Navy, Admiral Julio Leiva Molina, visited the Operation Headquarters (OHQ) to learn more about the current status of EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation ATALANTA.

In the framework of a wider visit to the Spanish Navy, Adm. Leiva and the Chief of the Spanish Navy Staff, Adm. Teodoro López Calderón, took the opportunity to also visit the OHQ, where Operation ATALANTA Commander Rear Admiral Antonio Martorell Lacave warmly welcomed them.

“Operation Atalanta is more than the units we have deployed in the area,” said R. Adm. Martorell Lacave in a brief welcome address. “We are working in a key area for international trade.”

Officers from the OHQ took the opportunity to brief Adm. Leiva and Adm. López Calderón on current news from Operation ATALANTA, including the most recent pirate attack. Engagement between Chile and EU NAVFOR Operation ATALANTA has been continual since 2015.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of EUNAVFOR Atalanta.

Media files
Download logo

Source: Apo-Opa

South Sudan appeals for more funding in new robust plan to keep Ebola at bay

14.June.2019 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)

South Sudan’s Ministry of Health on Thursday launched an appeal for 12 million US dollars to help in its Ebola preparedness plan, following news of confirmed Ebola cases in neighbouring Uganda.

“Ebola does not know borders,” said Minister of Health, Riek Gai Kok speaking to journalists in the presence of various donors, the diplomatic community and other humanitarian organisations.

They have all been involved in the preparedness plan, which was initiated in August 2018 after Ebola was reported in neigbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The three confirmed cases in Uganda were of victims who had entered the East African country from the DRC through the Kasese border – a 10-hour bus ride from South Sudan’s border, only 600 kilometers away.

“The country is at very high risk,” said the health minister, who while launching the national preparedness plan said the country had “to prevent even one single case.”

The minister also used the opportunity to reassure the public in South Sudan.

“There is no outbreak; there is no case of Ebola in South Sudan [now]. The country is safe,” he reaffirmed.

“There is no need to panic,” he continued. “We are on top of things,” he added saying that this confidence would not have been possible without the donor funding the country has received so far to help in various preventative and surveillance efforts.

Between August 2018 and May 2019, when the country initiated its first preparedness plan, 16 million USD had been sought, of which 13 million had been received.

“We did not have the capacity [before], but we are confident we can face the challenge,” said Gai Kok.

In a presentation at the launch of the prevention plan held at the country’s Public Health Emergency Operation Centre, the country’s Incident Manager at the Ministry of Health, Dr Richard Lako, said the new 12-million-dollar six-month plan would seek to take urgent steps to make sure the country can respond if Ebola crosses into its borders.

“We are urgently appealing to donors to keep South Sudan Ebola free. Investing in prevention is the smartest thing to do,” said Lako adding that the improvement of the existing surveillance, scaling up of training and expanding community mobilization, and a 72-hour response time, among other things were important.

Announcing various measures that have been put in place, the World Health Organisation (WHO) representative in the country said there were 25-30 points of entry, including the Juba International Airport, where a number of isolation and holding units have been installed in the event of any reported cases.

“There is need for us to have that concerted effort to sustain what we have achieved. It is important for us to keep the momentum up,” said Dr Olushayo Oluseun from WHO.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Media files
United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)
Download logo

Source: Apo-Opa