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Archive for the category “Law”

RDC: Message de L’Assemblee Pleniere Ordinaire des Eveques Membres de la CENCO (23.06.2017)

Kenya: CBK Press Release granting license to Mayfair Bank Limited (23.06.2017)

DRC: High Commissioner Zeid welcomes creation of international investigation into Kasais (23.06.2017)

GENEVA, Switzerland, June 23, 2017 – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Friday said the creation of an international investigation into allegations of gross violations and abuses in the Kasai regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo sends a strong message to the perpetrators that the international community is serious about bringing them to justice.

The resolution, passed by consensus, in the UN Human Rights Council, calls on the High Commissioner to appoint a team of international experts to investigate “alleged human rights violations and abuses, and violations of international humanitarian law in the Kasai regions”. Since 2016, some 1.3 million people from the Kasais have been internally displaced by the violence, while some 30,000 refugees have fled to Angola.

“We fully support the establishment of an international investigation by the Human Rights Council as a step forward in identifying the perpetrators of gross violations and bringing them to justice,” High Commissioner Zeid said.

“I will present a comprehensive report with the team’s findings to the Human Rights Council. The team will conduct investigations in a fully independent manner, in accordance with international standards, as mandated by the Council. The resolution also clearly states the importance of ensuring the protection of all those who cooperate with the team, which underlines the need for the team of experts to operate independently. We expect and count on the full cooperation of the authorities, particularly in providing unfettered access to all sites, files, people and places.”

“The victims – those who have been killed, maimed, subjected to terrible violence and forced from their homes – deserve justice,” Zeid said.

The High Commissioner added that the UN Human Rights Office will also continue its monitoring, reporting and technical assistance activities in the DRC.

The resolution requests the High Commissioner to provide an oral update to the Council at its March 2018 session followed by a comprehensive report in June 2018.

UN Human Rights Council – Tunisia Draft Resolution: “Technical Assistance to the Democratic Republic of Congo and accountability concerning the events in the Kasai Region” (23.06.2017)

Upper Madi By-Election: Return Form for Transmission of Results (22.06.2017)

A New Report finds that the Tories and EU are “in deep water” concerning the implementing the Brexit and at the same time honoring the Good Friday Agreement!

There are enough troubles over the seas and between the British Islands. It isn’t enough that a Northern Irish political party is forming a coalition with the Conservative Party. The Tories and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) that is enough for breaking the impartiality in the devolution and following the Good Friday Agreement alone. But there are other parts of the Belfast Agreement or Good Friday Agreement that get touched in the possible break-up between the European Union and United Kingdom, which has the Northern Ireland as part of it. Therefore, the released report from House of the Oireachtas is important. What the reports point at is all the aspects that will affect the Northern Ireland and their citizens. As well, as the promised possibilities of movement of people and goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland. The Republic of Ireland and United Kingdom is jointly part of the Good Friday, they both have responsibilities towards the peace process and the devolution in Northern Ireland.

But to not put word in the mouth of the report. The issues it address, it does well on it is own!

For Strand 1 (Assembly and Executive), the question arises of whether powers held now at EU level will be devolved unchanged to the Assembly if the UK passes a ‘Great Repeal Bill’ intended to repatriate powers from the EU to the UK. Should it be decided to first change and then devolve these powers (e.g. in relation to employment rights or environmental standards), it is possible that there would be implications for the rights guaranteed by the Good Friday Agreement” (…) “For Strand 2 (North-South cooperation) it has been noted that the limited scope of the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) and North-South implementation bodies means that much of their focus at present centres on EU-related work, for example management of EU funding and coordination on compliance with EU regulations. If Brexit means there is no longer an EU focus to Strand 2 the question arises as to how to ensure this Strand remains meaningful. It has been suggested that Strand 2 might provide a mechanism for enhanced North-South cooperation in the event of Brexit” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 11, 2017).

In total, since its inception 21 years ago the PEACE programme has provided over €2.2bn for important reconciliation work in Northern Ireland and the Irish border region, and INTERREG, since its inception 25 years ago, has provided over €1.1bn to encourage cross border cooperation in job creation and infrastructure development in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Western Scotland” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 23, 2017). “One of the main concerns expressed by many witnesses is the future of PEACE and INTERREG when the current programmes finish in 2020. The Committee notes and welcomes the UK Government’s commitment to guarantee EU funding until the end of 2020 but the uncertainty after that period is deeply worrying” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 24, 2017).

Now, more than ever before in the face of such political and economic uncertainty and instability in Northern Ireland, the importance of programmes that address issues such as intercommunity conflict, reconciliation, cross border cooperation and relationships, the development of infrastructure and jobs, needs to be recognised and these programmes protected. The Committee urges the Government to ensure the matter of EU funding for Northern Ireland and the border region remains high on the agenda and an expeditious solution is found for successor programmes after 2020” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 26, 2017).

The statements of the UK Government and the European Union acknowledging the importance of not returning to a hard border are welcome. Yet the uncertainty around what arrangements will be put in place and how these might affect trade flows, businesses with branches on both sides, movement of people living on one side and working in another is already taking a heavy toll. Brexit has also sharpened the focus on the immense gains of an invisible border, gains that for many had been heretofore taken for granted and underestimated but that are now keenly appreciated as their existence becomes threatened. These include economic gains (see the unemployment statistics below), as well as social, cultural and most importantly psychological gains” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 27, 2017).


“This weakness is likely to be compounded by Brexit with an expected reduction in cross border trade and economic cooperation, loss of FDI and loss of EU economic development funding. Northern Ireland’s anticipated 12.5% corporation tax rate was expected to boost inward investment however this was largely predicated on continued EU membership and access to the single market. The Committee further heard that the Brexit vote had already brought a considerable degree of uncertainty which is negatively impacting businesses and SMEs and is likely to remain for years. Businesses are less likely to invest in an unstable climate and Brexit is already creating barriers to the efficient conduct of business. Smaller businesses (SMEs) dependent on exports to Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK are being particularly badly hit” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 28, 2017).

The Common Travel Area predates Irish and British EU membership. It allows for free movement of Irish and British citizens between the islands of Ireland and Great Britain and guarantees the rights of Irish and British citizens to live and work in each other’s jurisdictions. However, there is no precedent for its operation with one State inside the EU and the other outside it” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 30, 2017).

The Committee acknowledges that much progress has been made but there remains a long way to go in addressing many outstanding legacy issues, dealing with ongoing justice and security matters and breaking down barriers and divisions between communities, both at a psycho-social level and in terms of access to services. Northern Ireland still faces enduring challenges of building and restoring inter-community harmony and addressing the legacy of its troubled history. It should be noted that the issue of sectarianism remains a significant problem in Northern Ireland. According to Cooperation Ireland, 95% of social housing in Northern Ireland is segregated; just 5% of children go to integrated schools. There were 18 so-called “peace walls” before the Good Friday Agreement, but there were 88 of them in 2008 – an incredible 70 additional walls erected since the Good Friday Agreement” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 34, 2017).

The Good Friday Agreement, in effect, provided equal identity to all. Many have availed of their right to hold an Irish passport. This gives rise to the unprecedented situation in which several hundred thousand Irish citizens, resident in Northern Ireland, will, overnight, and in most cases against their will, find themselves outside the European Union. As noted by Cooperation Ireland, “leaving the EU could raise issues of identity in ways that none of us can yet see.” (…) “Dr Morrow further cautioned that “unilateralism in the context of the Good Friday Agreement and uncertainty are both really serious and significant issues, all of which have potentially very major knock-on effects in a context of fragility.” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 35, 2017).

Brexit must not be a distraction from the important work of reconciliation, the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, addressing legacy issues and building cooperation. Northern Ireland’s concerns for stability and a continuing and seamless expression of Irish citizenship and identity require a unique answer and focus. We cannot see restrictions on movement of people again. Brexit is already having a psychological impact. It is absolutely essential to ensure there is no diminution or unravelling of the still fragile peace process. Dialogue must be encouraged at all times, between all parties and stakeholders within Northern Ireland, and on an all island basis” (House of the Oireachtas, P: 36, 2017).

Clearly, the Brexit implicates the Northern Irish very much not only the impartiality of the Tories government with a DUP infused powered cabinet. The Tories have to make sure the Good Friday Agreement are respected as part of the negotiations in the Brexit agreements. Therefore, the movement of Northern Irish together with a soft border between the Republic and the Northern Ireland is important. As both states United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland has stakes in Northern Ireland. The citizenship and devolution has to work together with becoming independent from the European Union. That is a hard bargain. The dialogue between the parties in Northern Ireland and the Tories government.

We can just see how the much all parties will respect the Good Friday Agreement, if the United Kingdom or the European Union together with their Member State Republic of Ireland want’s to honor the Northern Irish constituents. Certainly, the negotiations are just starting as the Brexit time table is only beginning for the Tories and their team. However, the Good Friday Agreement and the implications should be well-known for the United Kingdom and European Union. Therefore, to respect the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, should be very important, so that the state of affairs and the peaceful progress of the Belfast Agreement can implemented and also create a sustainable peace. There are enough stirring waters already, doesn’t need questionable behavior from London to make it worse. But that is only what time would tell. Clearly, the Tories government has to either sink or swim, but no matter what their feet will get wet. Peace.

Reference:

Houses of the Oireachtas – ‘Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement – The Implications of Brexit for the Good Friday Agreement: Key Findings’ (June 2017).

South Sudan: Humanitarian Response Eases Famine, But Food Insecurity Reaches Unprecedented Levels (22.06.2017)

Following the famine declaration, humanitarian organizations ramped-up their response in Leer, Mayendit, Koch and Panyinjiar, reaching more than 320,000 People.

GENEVA, Switzerland, June 22, 2017 – The Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, Eugene Owusu, today welcomed the findings of the latest Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) data which highlight that early warning and the mobilization of a large-scale, multi-sectoral humanitarian response, have eased famine in Leer and Mayendit counties, and prevented it in Koch and Panyijiar counties, in South Sudan.

“I applaud the humanitarian community for the rapid scale-up of humanitarian response in famine-affected and at-risk areas in Unity,” said Mr. Owusu. “We deployed teams to dangerous and difficult locations and faced many challenges along the way, including clashes which forced us to relocate aid workers and delay distributions. But we were not dissuaded, and our collective efforts ultimately prevented the catastrophe from escalating.”

The Humanitarian Coordinator, however, urged the international community and humanitarian actors not to become complacent, as an unprecedented 6 million people are now severely food insecure, including 45,000 facing catastrophic food insecurity in Leer, Koch and Mayendit in Unity, and Ayod in Jonglei, and 1.7 million in IPC Phase 4, on the brink of famine.

“Half of the people across this country are severely food insecure, we are facing the longest and most widespread cholera outbreak since South Sudan became independent, and the number of people internally displaced has topped 2 million,” warned Mr. Owusu. “These are the devastating consequences of conflict, which has taken a daily toll on the desperate civilians of this nation.”

Following the famine declaration, humanitarian organizations ramped-up their response in Leer, Mayendit, Koch and Panyinjiar, reaching more than 320,000 people. Rapid response missions were carried out in at least 17 locations, and humanitarian organizations delivered vital and life-saving services, including food, emergency healthcare, vaccinations, nutritional treatments, seeds and tools for livelihoods, clean water, and critical non-food items, such as blankets, kitchen sets and mosquito nets. Each of these interventions played a critical role in halting and preventing famine.

“Despite the good news today that we have arrested the localized famine in Leer and Mayendit, we face greater needs in South Sudan than ever before,” said Mr. Owusu. “This is the time to redouble our efforts and expand our response. To do this, we urgently need free, safe and unhindered humanitarian access, and funding to respond to the escalating crisis. I call on all parties to the conflict to cease attacks against civilians, and to uphold their responsibilities under international humanitarian law. Until the violence stops, humanitarian needs will continue to grow.”

“Nimble and pro-active” peacekeeping response to be replicated in other crisis situations in South Sudan (22.06.2017)

David Shearer, the Head of the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, was speaking in Aburoc in the Upper Nile region where up to 25,000 people had taken refuge from conflict.

JUBA, South Sudan, June 22, 2017 – United Nations peacekeepers in South Sudan have been praised by the most senior UN official in the country for a “nimble and pro-active” response in support of humanitarians dealing with an emergency.

David Shearer, the Head of the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, was speaking in Aburoc in the Upper Nile region where up to 25,000 people had taken refuge from conflict.

The village, which numbered some 5,000 people before the arrival of the displaced people, was lacking in water, food and health services.

UNMISS helicoptered in 80 Rwandan peacekeepers together with armoured vehicles to Aburoc at the beginning of April creating better security conditions for the arrival of the humanitarian community, two days later.

Mr Shearer, who is also the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, in South Sudan said “the presence of peacekeeping troops undoubtedly provided the security and confidence that humanitarian agencies needed to operate in this remote and dangerous area.”

“A cholera outbreak was stopped,” he added, “and hundreds of lives were saved as a result of this combined action together with a highly effective response by humanitarian agencies.”

“With the possibility that Aburoc was going to become a humanitarian disaster area it was important that everyone moved quickly,” Mr Shearer said. “I was very pleased peacekeepers were ready to deploy nimbly and proactively. A light and effective footprint on the ground was what was needed.”

“It’s great that UNMISS has shown this response to an emergency situation and are ready should another crisis occur in other parts of South Sudan,” he added.

The UNMISS deployment to Aburoc was planned to last a month but was extended by two weeks.

Humanitarian agencies remain in Aburoc providing life-saving services to the almost 11,000 people who remain there. UNMISS support is being continued through air patrols from Malakal.

The Presidential Handshake Probe recommend the NRM regime to regulate the Presidential Donations!

In Uganda everything in Parliament and legislation are usually connected with the President in someway or another. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni are usually involved in any sort acts and government affairs. It is well known that many decisions are taken directly at the State House or at either the NRM National Executive Committee (NEC) and the NRM Caucus. This are all directed by the President and usually contains his vision. So that the Parliament was probing the Presidential Handshake, that was like looking directly into the provisions given by the President. The President who has accepted to give to civil servants and other government officials. So here is the report from Parliament today!

A House committee that inquired into the payment of Shs 6 billion to 42 government officials for winning a tax oil case in London wants the beneficiaries to refund the monies. Parliament’s Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) committee was instructed by Parliament in January this year to investigate the payment of the monies to the officials, said to have participated in the arbitration case between government and Heritage Oil and Gas in a London court” (…) “In its recommendations, the committee has tasked government to come up with a bill within 90 days to regulate and streamline the Presidential donations budget. Parliament last month rejected a Shs 53.8 billion supplementary budget, which included the Shs 6 billion bonus payment to the government officials. The Budget committee, in its report, said the approval of the funds was deferred pending the COSASE probe conclusion” (Parliament Watch Uganda, 21.06.2017).

Clearly, like all things in Parliament and within government in Uganda are coming back to the Okello House, or President Museveni. He is always involved and has made decisions or took charge so it happen. The same happen with the Presidential Handshake, which he gave way to after seeing the letters in the case. That the beneficiaries are claimed to have to refund their money to the state, as it was supposed to be tax to fund the state. The money the state won was not supposed to become individual income for the individuals doing clerical work for Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) or anyone else.

Now the COSASE wants the state to restrict the Presidential Donations and the monies the President suddenly dole away. So they can monitor his giving ways and his use of state funds. Clearly this will put measures to follow the President and his acts. Certainly, he would not like this, because this could show some transparency and show where the funds the President are free to give-away. This is not something that seem like President Museveni doesn’t want to follow. Since if so, he is showing real governance and open government. He prefers running in backdoor agreements and brown envelopes to get legislation through the Parliament. If the Presidential donations are monitored, than the clear corrupt behavior will be in the open and COSASE would have a field day on the actions of the State House. Certainly, the 90 days will not be met and not be followed.

If so, than it will be water-downed legislation, which doesn’t have the power to question his authority. Just like the monitoring and probing into the Presidential Handshake. The Report today proved how little they can vindicate, and even show who is to blame. As the recommendation for regulation of the Presidential Donations will certainly not be something President Museveni would prefer. Peace.

U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Election – Statement of Jeh Charles Johnson (21.06.2017)

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