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Joint Communiqué of the African Union and the United Nations on the Peace Process and the Situation in Bangui (12.04.2018)

BANGUI, Central African Republic, April 12, 2018 –

Joint Communiqué of the African Union and the United Nations on the Peace Process and the Situation in Bangui:

We, representatives of the African Union and the United Nations, decided to undertake a joint visit to the Central African Republic (CAR) to express our solidarity and full support to the Central African people and for the peace process in the Central African Republic. We also share a message of complete unity and common resolve of the African Union and the United Nations.

We are pleased in this regard that our visit coincides with the first meeting in Bangui of the International Support Group for CAR since the country’s return to constitutional order. During our visit, we will have the opportunity to talk with the Central African authorities, and have also held talks with President Touadéra.

Having arrived yesterday, we are also concerned about persistent tensions in the PK5 neighbourhood of Bangui. The operations conducted by the Government and MINUSCA on 8 April were aimed at putting an end to the activities of criminal elements that endanger the lives of peaceful citizens, in a neighbourhood that is also the economic hub of Bangui.

In these difficult times, we wish to express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and we deplore the many wounded, to whom we wish a speedy recovery.

Above all, we wish to emphasize that this operation to restore order and State authority has the sole purpose to protect the people who seek our protection against the criminal elements who oppress them. We want to make it clear that we are determined to act to protect the entire population, across the country.

We strongly deplore and condemn the attempts to instrumentalise this operation, as well as the attacks perpetrated against peacekeepers, about 20 of whom have been wounded, and one who succumbed to his wounds.

We would like to remind you that any attack against peacekeepers is a war crime. Their authors and those who support them will certainly have to answer for their crimes in court.

We also wish to express that an offer of a peaceful settlement had previously been made to the targeted groups, who rejected it.

Finally, we wish to emphasize that, in close coordination with the Government of the Central African Republic, we are ready to use all means available to the international community to create conditions for the restoration of peace in CAR. Among these means, dialogue will be our first action followed by, if necessary, the use of force.

Our joint presence here, in collaboration with the Central African Government, is intended to reaffirm our unambiguous commitment to the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in CAR, which, as the United Nations Security Council has stated, represents the only way forward to exit from crisis.

To the people of Bangui, we also call for calm. We ask them not to be victim to rumours and manipulation. Your authorities are working hard with MINUSCA to restore public order and ensure the protection of all civilian populations, without distinction.

Signed,

Mr Smaïl Chergui
Peace and Security Commissioner of the African Union

Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

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UPDF Disengages from the Central African Republic (19.04.2017)

Breaking News: Competition Commission reaches settlement with Citibank N.A. for colluding (20.02.2017)

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Today, the Competition Commission has filed with the Competition Tribunal, a settlement agreement reached with Citibank N.A. for being part of the forex trading cartel.

The Commission found that from at least 2007, Citibank N.A. and its competitors had a general agreement to collude on prices for bids, offers and bid-offer spreads for the spot trades in relation to currency trading involving US Dollar/Rand currency pair. Further, the Commission found that Citibank N.A. and its competitors manipulated the price of bids and offers through agreements to refrain from trading and creating fictitious bids and offers at particular times.

Citibank N.A. will pay an administrative penalty of R69 500 860 (Sixty Nine Million Five Hundred Thousand Eight Hundred and Sixty Rands). This figure does not exceed 10% of Citibank N.A.’s annual turnover in the Republic of South Africa. Citibank N.A. undertook to cooperate with the Commission and avail witnesses to assist the prosecution of the other banks that colluded in this matter.

On 15 February 2017, the Competition Commission referred a collusion case to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution against Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Limited, BNP Paribas, JP Morgan Chase & Co, JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A, Investec Ltd, Standard New York Securities Inc., HSBC Bank Plc, Standard Chartered Bank, Credit Suisse Group; Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd, Commerzbank AG; Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Nomura International Plc., Macquarie Bank Limited, Citibank N.A., ABSA Bank Limited (ABSA), Barclays Capital Inc, Barclays Bank plc (Respondents).

“This settlement was done to encourage speedy settlement and full disclosure to strengthen the evidence for prosecution of the other banks,” said the Commissioner, Tembinkosi Bonakele.

Ends.

For more information or for media enquiries, please contact:
Sipho Ngwema, Head of Communications
012 394 3493/ 078 048 1213/ SiphoN@compcom.co.za

Black First Land First march to the South African Reserve Bank (19.02.2017)

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Public Protector’s preliminary report found that ABSA illegally benefited from apartheid cash injections from the South African Reserve Bank.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, February 19, 2017 – On Friday, the Black First Land First (BLF) movement marched to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) (APO.af/JsJaEi) to demand that the institution act on the Public Protector’s preliminary report which found that ABSA illegally benefited from apartheid cash injections from the SARB.

BLF joined the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) recently in a march to ABSA headquarters (APO.af/Y21xVq) to demand that #ABSAmustPay. The Public Protector, Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane, found that ABSA should pay R3.2 billion.

BLF said they wanted the SARB to take seriously and act on findings of the CIEX report, which investigated money stolen during the late stages of institutionalised apartheid. The report found that R26 billion could be immediately recoverable.

The aim of the march was to also implore the SARB to punish corrupt banks, ABSA, Standard Bank and Investec, which the Competition Commission found (APO.af/VsZ1A9) had manipulated and fixed the rand/dollar price.

South Africa National Treasury statement on Competition Commission finding on the Banks (16.02.2017)

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The South African Banks under review for having price-fixed their currency exchange in secret inside deals!

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In the nation under President Jacob Zuma and African National Congress (ANC) there been done some shady dealings between government and private industry, this has been happening over years. Now the Financial Market and Banks have internally been agreeing on values and exchange rates on the South African Rands (ZAR), this is a luxury where the banks have set fixed prices and values. That in the end has given profits and sold the Rand on the open market. This in mind with the fixing and securing more profits for the banks as they we’re trading the currency on the open market. Also, to foreign investors and currency traders that try to make a profit on exchange and selling currency back again at a later date.

So this sort of financial manipulation has made sure for the 17 banks that have made agreements between the banks and communication that most likely paid more for the rand or more used more dollars for getting the South African currency. As proven with the statements of the Competition Commission and the South African Reserve Bank, however, the trial and the review will continue to shed light on the possible internal-trade in the financial business of the Republic.

The opening of review of Forex exchange of the Rand:

“The Competition Commission has today referred a collusion case to the Tribunal for prosecution against Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Limited, BNP Paribas, JP Morgan Chase & Co, JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A, Investec Ltd, Standard New York Securities Inc., HSBC Bank Plc, Standard Chartered Bank, Credit Suisse Group; Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd, Commerzbank AG; Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Nomura International Plc., Macquarie Bank Limited, ABSA Bank Limited (ABSA), Barclays Capital Inc, Barclays Bank plc (Respondents). The Commission has been investigating a case of price fixing and market allocation in the trading of foreign currency pairs involving the Rand since April 2015. It has now referred the case to the Tribunal for prosecution. The Commission found that from at least 2007, the respondents had a general agreement to collude on prices for bids, offers and bid-offer spreads for the spot trades in relation to currency trading involving US Dollar / Rand currency pair. Further, the Commission found that the respondents manipulated the price of bids and offers through agreements to refrain from trading and creating fictitious bids and offers at particular times. Traders of the respondents primarily used trading platforms such as the Reuters currency trading platform to carry out their collusive activities. They also used Bloomberg instant messaging system (chatroom), telephone conversation and had meetings to coordinate their bilateral and multilateral collusive trading activities. They assisted each other to reach the desired prices by coordinating trading times. They reached agreements to refrain from trading, taking turns in transacting and by either pulling or holding trading activities on the Reuters currency trading platform. They also created fictitious bids and offers, distorting demand and supply in order to achieve their profit motives” (CompCom, 2017).

South African Reserve Bank statement:

“The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has noted today’s announcement by the Competition Commission South Africa (Competition Commission) that it has completed its investigation initiated in April 2015 and has referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution a case of price fixing and market allocation in the trading of foreign currency pairs involving the South African Rand (ZAR)” (…) “The rand is a globally traded currency. Some 30.0% of daily turnover in the ZAR takes place in South Africa, and turnover with non-residents accounts for 57.5% of domestic turnover. Figures published by the Bank for International Settlements indicate that for the month of April 2016, the daily average worldwide turnover in the foreign exchange market involving the ZAR was approximately USD49.0 billion. This represented 1% of total turnover in the international foreign exchange markets” (…) “The SARB sees the allegations in a serious light. The SARB will allow the legal processes now initiated to run their course, and will continue to monitor developments closely to inform any action that we may need to embark upon in accordance with our mandate and jurisdiction” (SARB, 2017).

So we can now wait and see what the efforts and effects. If this can hit the currency and its value, if this has been a fix to juice it up or even put in a bubble where the banks has earned profits on illegitimate transactions as the communications between the banks has set standards of the prices and expenses, so the costumers and businesses has overpaid for the currency in trading. This proves that the greed and coins goes together. The banks of South Africa ceased an opportunity and grasped it.

We have to see when the Competition Commission of South Africa releases their report and their conclusions as the review and the findings of colluding will be put in court. However, the world gets to see the internal trading and agreements between the banks to fix the prices of currency, especially the value of the South African Rand (ZAR). Therefore the release of information on how they fixed it and how they speculated on it, will show how banks did this. Trust this, the report and the papers on this financial transactions and agreements will be juicy and show the inner-works of the banks. That is knowledge that the Republic of South Africa deserves, as these people and professionals are the ones making sure the monies are used and taken care off. Peace.

Reference:

South African Reserve Bank – ‘SA Reserve Bank Notes Competition Commission Decision’ (15.02.2017) link: https://www.resbank.co.za/Lists/News%20and%20Publications/Attachments/7681/SARB%20statement%20on%20Competition%20Commission%20announcement.pdf

The Competition Commission South Africa (CompCom) – ‘Breaking News: Competition Commission prosecutes banks (currency traders) for collusion’ (15.02.2017)

Note to Correspondents on the investigations into allegations ‎of sexual exploitation and abuse against peacekeepers deployed in the Central African Republic (05.12.2016)

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The Office of Internal Oversight Services has concluded its investigative process on the allegations ‎of sexual exploitation and abuse against Burundian and Gabonese contingents deployed in Dekoa, Kemo prefecture, in the Central African Republic. 

These allegations referred to incidents between 2014 and 2015. OIOS has conducted joint investigations with Burundian and Gabonese national investigative officers. Investigations started in April 2016, a few days after the allegations were brought to the attention of the United Nations and lasted for more than four months. The investigators relied primarily on the testimony of possible victims and witnesses given the lack of medical, forensic or any other physical evidence. This was due to the fact that the majority of the allegations referred to incidents that took place a year or more earlier. Everyone who came forward with claims, both minors and adults, were assisted by national and international partners.

Overall, 139 possible victims were interviewed and their accounts were investigated. By means of photo array and/or other corroborating evidence a total of 41 alleged perpetrators (16 from Gabon and 25 from Burundi) were identified by 45 interviewees; eight persons were unable to identify perpetrators through photo array or other corroborating evidence but were able to describe some distinctive traits; 83 were not able to identify perpetrators or provide corroborating evidence; and three accounts were considered unreliable. A total of 25 minors asserted they had been sexually abused. A total of eight paternity claims were filed, including by six minors.

The United Nations has shared the OIOS report with both Member States, including the names of the identified alleged perpetrators and has requested for appropriate judicial actions to ensure criminal accountability.

Responsibility for further investigations lies with Burundi and Gabon. The United Nations has requested from the Burundian and Gabonese authorities that they review the OIOS findings and conduct the interviews of the alleged perpetrators who had all been rotated out from Central African Republic before the allegations surfaced. The United Nations has asked for a copy of the final national investigation reports to be transmitted urgently.

The alleged perpetrators, if allegations against them are substantiated, and, if warranted, their commanding officers, will not be accepted again for deployment in peacekeeping operations.

MINUSCA has strengthened its prevention measures and reinforced its outreach among communities and peacekeepers across the country, especially in high-risk areas to improve awareness and reporting on sexual exploitation and abuse and other forms of misconduct. The Mission is also regularly monitoring conditions and behaviour of mission’s personnel and has partnered with United Nations agencies and implementing partners in Central African Republic that provide psychosocial, medical and legal assistance to victims of sexual exploitation and abuse.

The United Nations condemns, in the strongest terms, all acts of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by peacekeepers or any other UN personnel and will maintain follow up so that perpetrators of these abhorrent acts are brought to justice.

Leaked U.N. E-Mails: Show’s proof of new cases of Sexual Exploitations by the DRC Battalion under the MINUSCA mandate in C.A.R.

Sexual Offence CAR E-mail P1Sexual Offence CAR E-mail P2

Sexual Offence CAR E-mail P3

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