The already serious humanitarian situation in Central African Republic (CAR) has worsened amid a spike in violence which threatens to overtake almost every area of the country, a top UN aid official said on Monday.
NEW YORK, United States of America, May 29, 2018 – One in four people has been displaced, according to Najat Rochdi, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for CAR, who said that this included areas that were formerly peaceful, such as the north and central zones.
Speaking at a press conference in Geneva, Ms. Rochdi warned that severe acute malnutrition in six administrative regions is higher than 15 per cent – the emergency threshold – and infant mortality is at 18 per cent.
And amid severe funding shortages which have meant aid cut-backs, she told journalists in French: “It breaks my heart every time a child comes to me and says I’m hungry.”
Speaking later in English, she said: “Where you have kids, those little girls and little boys coming to you and looking at you and telling, ‘I’m hungry, I’m starving,’ it’s horrible, really horrible. Unfortunately the situation has worsened because we had in one year’s time an increase of 70 per cent of the internally displaced people. Meaning more children, more little girls and more little boys, meaning also that it’s a whole generation that is sacrificed because they are not going to school.”
She said it was very important to keep providing them with humanitarian assistance, which meant going beyond food distribution, beyond the access to water, beyond the access to health. “It’s just access to hope.”
Of the more than $515 million aid requirement needed in CAR for 1.9 million people, less than 20 per cent has been provided so far this year.
Fighting between the mostly Christian anti-Balaka militia and the mainly Muslim Séléka rebel coalition has plunged the CAR into civil conflict since 2012. A peace agreement was reached in January 2013, but rebels seized the capital, Bangui, in March of that year, forcing President François Bozizé to flee.
Concerned with the security, humanitarian, human rights and political crisis in the CAR and its regional implications, the Security Council authorized the deployment of a UN stabilization mission, known by its French acronym, MINUSCA, in 2014 with the protection of civilians as its utmost priority.
The humanitarian community distributed high-energy biscuits to 1,500 children and debilitated adults who suffered from starvation and thirst for more than 72 hours during an outbreak of violence in Mbomou Prefecture, Central African Republic in May 2017.
The country’s huge natural wealth – in the form of diamonds, gold and uranium – continues to fuel the fighting, Ms. Rochdi explained, adding that there was “absolutely no problem” in areas “where you don’t have that much to steal.”
The violence reached the capital, Bangui, at the beginning of the month after almost a year of relative stability.
In that incident, 70 people were killed in clashes between security forces and armed militia, and thousands were displaced.
Ms. Rochdi said that UN troops had to intervene after Muslims were denied healthcare access.
The town of Bambari has also seen armed groups return, despite becoming a “safe haven for all communities” since last year, the UN official added.
The militia aimed to put pressure on the government to grant them an amnesty but this would be a “disaster” for the country, Ms. Rochdi insisted, before adding that efforts to prevent impunity had been stepped up and had resulted in a Special Criminal Court, which is due to start work in CAR next week.
Some of its “first clients” would be “high-profile leaders of armed groups,” Ms. Rochdi said, adding that CAR was one of the most dangerous places on earth for humanitarians, with six people killed this year and attacks on aid workers and looting happening on a “regular” basis.
Yet despite the instability and fact that funding levels in 2017 were only 40 per cent of what was requested, she maintained that it still made a substantial difference on the ground and had helped to prepare communities to withstand future shocks too.
It meant that more than one million people had access to water, that 7,000 tonnes of humanitarian assistance were delivered and more than 60,000 children were given an education.
In addition, the aid ensured that more than 70,000 farming families received a vital seed allocation, helping them to become more self-sufficient.
More than 17,000 children from six to 59 months suffering from severe acute malnutrition were also given support.
The most important thing was that the people of CAR had some sense that they had a future, Mrs Rochdi said, adding that humanitarian assistance “is making the difference between life and death”.
Aid is also “the best way for all of us to sustain peace in CAR”, she added, since the funding gave communities hope.
The people of the Kalerwe, Kampala and people from Mpigi District should worry about their sanitary positions and their water quality, as the Cholera outbreak is because of simple mistakes by the Ministry of Water and Environment, also by the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) that hasn’t done their job. Because when 7 people are caught with the disease and put in a hospital. The whole local government combined with the Ministry should be finding the sources for the mixing of feces and water in the pipes to people of a certain area.
“A person can get cholera by drinking water or eating food contaminated with the cholera bacterium. In an epidemic, the source of the contamination is usually the feces of an infected person that contaminates water and/or food. The disease can spread rapidly in areas with inadequate treatment of sewage and drinking water. The disease is not likely to spread directly from one person to another; therefore, casual contact with an infected person is not a risk for becoming ill” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – ‘Cholera’ 09.11.2016 link: https://www.cdc.gov/cholera/general/index.html).
Now one person might have been affect and transmitted this to his nearby kin or neighbors, however, this disease comes from practically bad sanitary areas and water quality. Where the lack of control over the water pipes and the sanitary efforts of the city in general. There are even speculations that the emptying of the sewage tanks costs 200,000 shillings at a time and people cannot afford it. So they let it all out in the midst of rain. Therefore, the mix and the conditions where Cholera could breakout and clearly it has succeeded.
This here is a lack of government control and reason of change of dynamics so that people can live in healthier conditions and not fear to get into bad cycles of more illness and capability of income. Due to sickness and shows the lack of good living conditions. If society and the state wanted, they would have a decent sewage system and securing that it didn’t mix in the streets. So that the sickness of cholera would be avoided, it isn’t that hectic. It do cost in urban areas to lay the pipes and set up a well-functioning sewage system, but when you do have that combined with a decent water-pipes, the waterborne sicknesses that can be fought and avoided. That should be a priority, especially for a republic striving to reach middle-income very soon.
The Republic has choices and should plan ahead to secure the citizens, so they can avoid getting ill, by waterborne diseases like Cholera. That should be a priority by any of the Ministries that are involved, if it is the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Kampala, Ministry of Water and Environment, Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and others should strive to succeed, that is if they care about the well-being and are serious in the part of society. If not they are their to pocket their salaries and live lavish, while others are catching diseases that can be combat by very simple means and also serious constructions of sewage systems. This would secure the health and well-being of the citizens. It wouldn’t be an issue at-large, if the state did offer this.
There are happening like this with that too, when pipes goes old or technical malfunctions, but its easier to become a major issue and spreading alerts, when the society doesn’t have the systems in place. It is more sufficient and healthy to actually install and build this. All of this isn’t revolutionary, even citizens around the world is paying levies on it to the state and counties to secure the water is clean and sewage system is functioning to satisfaction. Where the public can contact the directorate or county body to complain if it malfunctioning. That should be possible in the Republic too, unless the state and the leadership see this all as unreasonable. Please tell me, because then your blaming the public for your lack of oversight and control of basic functions in society. Peace.
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.
Mr Smaïl Chergui
Peace and Security Commissioner of the African Union
Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations
There are often many signs when someone has been in power for too long, their age and their will to serve. That is why the Mugabe family are riding new Rolls Royce’s down the streets of Harare, while the citizens are struggling to afford gasoline and possible hyper-inflation again. So, the Zimbabwean
President, the Head of State have the audacity to insult Botswana. Even if his own state is in tatters and self-indulgent of his cronies and ZANU-PF. A man like that should more careful with his words, but his use of power and His Excellence are used to be chauffeured and have enough “yes men” filling brigades. Therefore, they will not stop him or disagree with him.
That’s why these sort of acts and words comes from his mouth. President Mugabe wants to act like the wise, but comes off as the ignorant. Blaming Botswana for not sticking-up for itself. Would he have respected if someone said the same about himself, which was a fellow Statesmen? I doubt it, he would say other foreign forces had allied against him and wanted to invade his precious Republic. Because, then Mugabe become defensive.
Now, lets look at the quotes from recent events!
Mugabe publicly spatting about Botswana candidate:
“Speaking at a meeting with his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma, Mugabe said everyone in the region had tried to support Venson-Moitoi, except Khama. “We worked hard, they worked hard, sweated. They sweated, you sweated, we sweated, but one man did not sweat. He sat at home and expected miracles to happen, but that did not happen. Everybody just said you (Venson-Moitoi), we have not seen your President here, he does not attend meetings. What will happen if we placed the organization (AU) in his hands. She had worked hard and we were sorry that she lost. But we knew in advance that we were trying the impossible one,” Mugabe said, drawing laughter from both the Zimbabwe and South African delegation attending a binational commission, aimed at strengthening trade relations between the two neighbors” (Mhaladi, 2017).
Botswana retort to Mugabe:
“The Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation wishes to respond to the recent media reports in which His Excellency, Mr. Robert G. Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe blamed the loss of the candidature bid of Botswana’s Foreign Minister, Dr. Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi for the position of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, on the lack of support by His Excellency, Lieutenant General Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, President of the Republic of Botswana. In this connection, the Government of Botswana has taken note of the comments and regrets these inaccurate and unfortunate remarks. However, the Ministry chooses not to comment any further out of respect for President Mugabe’s advanced age and as such, understands that allowances need to be made” (The Observer, 2017).
That President Mugabe has some age, that is true the President is now currently 93 years old and has been running the government since 1980. It’s high time for changes in Zimbabwe since the government is rotting on its roots. Therefore, political activists are detained on phony charges and no-sense policies are put on the people. The economy is fragile and weak, the reputation of the Bond-Notes is as low as it should be, considering it came with beautiful idea, let’s borrow money to print money. Could think they key economic adviser came from bankrupt banks and maybe it did!
So President Mugabe should be more careful, its been years since his last success, unless seeing his wife fleeing from the law in South Africa on possible assault with battery charges on a South African model. The rampant injustice of the system and total control that put the whole state into abysmal performance because of constant oversight. Clearly, the Mugabe regime and ZANU-PF has not thought of letting it go, even if it means making the situation worse, than it already is.
So that he critique the Botswana government for their African Union position and blamed them for the way it went. Shows the lack of tact the man has now. Instead of concealing defeat and discussing it with the Botswanian counterparts, he bluntly speaks ill of them with South African President Zuma. So use others misfortune to bond with important neighbor. That just how Mugabe, the supposed elder Statesman is acting and not supposed to be.
That President Khama should take is offense is natural, but Mugabe can offend anyone because of his age and get away it. Still, he deserves to be rebuked for his words. If he continues he will has less friends on the continent. Not that the Zimbabwean Republic is strong friend for them in need either. Not at this point. Peace.
Mhaladi, Bakang – ‘Botswana mum after Mugabe jibe on Khama’ (03.10.2017) link: https://southernafrican.news/2017/10/03/botswana-mum-after-mugabe-jibe-on-khama/
The Observer – ‘“Mugabe’s comments are inaccurate and unfortunate”: Botswana responds to Mugabe’s attack on Ian Khama’ (05.10.2017) link: http://theobserver.co.zw/mugabes-comments-are-inaccurate-and-unfortunate-botswana-responds-to-mugabes-attack-on-ian-khama/
We can now officially say that First Lady of Zimbabwe are now standing above the laws of South Africa, a republic where she doesn’t reside, but because the relationship between Mugabe family and South African government, the RSA laws doesn’t matter to the Princes of ZANU-PF and their Family members. Grace Mugabe can now assault with battery and with intent, and get away it it. Since it was internal family matters, a visit to look after her long-lost kids who lives in luxury, while the Zimbabweans are starving. Such justice there, but the point now, is that Grace Mugabe can assault not only one person, but more with help of her bodyguards. Just take a look, first the ‘Diplomatic Immunity’ and then eyewitness stories from what she is free of charges from, because of her stature and place of life. The law isn’t the same for all kind, especially not when you have powerful friends, it seems.
Government Notice number 850 of 20th August from Minister Maite Nkoana-Mshabane, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperations wrote: “In accordance with the powers vested in me by section 7(2) of the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act, 2001 (Act No. 37 of 2001) and acting in the interest of Republic of South Africa, I hereby recognize the immunities and privileges of the First Lady of Zimbabwe, Dr. Grace Mugabe, in terms of international law and as set out in the attached Notice” (Government Gazette, 20.08.2017 – Government Notice No. 850 of 2017).
Victims of Grace Mugabe’s rage:
“One of the three women, who describes herself as a promotional model, told of her terror as Mugabe lashed out at them. Mugabe was accompanied by about 10 bodyguards and hotel security guards and she was looking for her sons, Robert jnr, 25, and Chatunga Bellarmine, 21. Both men had fled the room when they heard their mother coming. The attack took place in Sandton’s The Capital 20 West hotel. The woman said that at the time she did not know who her assailant was or why she and her friends were being beaten. “I really thought she was going to kill me … From the moment she stormed into the room she was ready to murder someone,” the woman said. “The electrical cord-cable was tightly wrapped around her hands. No one could stop her. The guards and hotel security guards just stood there and watched as she whipped me with the cord and dragged me across the floor by my hair.” Mugabe’s sons have recently been in the news for their behaviour. The brothers were kicked out of a Sandton hotel last month, allegedly for bad behaviour” (…) “When the three friends could not tell her where her sons where, Mugabe lashed out at them with the electrical cord. The woman said the attack carried on for 20 minutes. While she was being assaulted, her friends fled. “She dragged me by my hair and held me tight. She slashed me viciously with the electrical cord. She then dragged me by my hair across the floor and threw me on a couch where she forced me to call our mutual friend and Bellarmine’s best friend, but their phones were off. “She continued beating me with the cord; I was rescued by the hotel manager, who rushed to the room after hearing my screams for help.” Engels’s two friends said they were too frightened of Grace Mugabe to lay criminal complaints, but said they would support Engels in court” (Ndabeni, 2017).
This should be insulting to the victims, the families and to the justice system of South Africa. That a foreign dignitary can carry out assaults and violence on their citizens. Than, run home with immunity from her crimes. The violence done because of the sons wish of partying with models and expensive bottles wine. The sons of Robert Mugabe have already caused trouble on the same hotel in past, but because of their standing and ranks they are allowed back. If someone else did similar acts, they would be banned from the premises.
Still, as that is awful enough – Grace Mugabe put-up the ante and attacked fellow guests of her sons. She violated them and harassed them. Grace Mugabe actually torn them and used violence. The First Lady did not act against her sons in this way, but against strangers who was invited by her sons. She attacked innocent South African girls, who had no ill-intent and was invited to the hotel. This is vicious and insane!
So with this in mind, the RSA and the Minister Maite Nkoana-Mshabane should offer a leaf of faith. This should be investigated and taken to the law. First Lady Mugabe should stand trial and answer for the possible misgivings and assault with battery. This isn’t flattering, this is a clear violation of ordinary and civilian courtesy. The First Lady could have talked ordinary to the woman and asked why they we’re there and why her sons was gone. Instead, she attacked them with the force of 10 bodyguards and left no-one with wounds. The witnesses even fear the woman after this and that is not strange, she attacked them viciously.
What is more insulting, is that the State offers no sympathy for their own citizens and leaves them behind. They are just flesh-wounds and exchangeable, they can be traded with someone else. The next time the Mugabe boys looking for a fling. No big-deal, but the Mugabe family is so unique and special. So they can assault strangers without any consequence or facing justice. They are above the law, not only in Zimbabwe, but also in the proud Republic of South Africa.
This is just proving that the First Lady of Zimbabwe can do whatever she wants, the same for her sons and also the President. Since they are dignitaries and state officials with different passports, but that doesn’t mean they should get away with everything. Also, this shows how accommodating the RSA is the Mugabe family and therefore, accept this sort of behavior. It is okay and nothing wrong, apparently that is the message. Peace.
Ndabeni, Khanyi – ‘ First Lady, Grace Mugabe ‘was ready to murder’ (20.08.2017) link: https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/news/2017-08-19-first-lady-grace-mugabe-was-ready-to-murder/
You know your an important person or of some influence when you can run from the law and not get into greater trouble. If it was an ordinary person or an ordinary Zimbabwean citizen who did something unjust in South Africa, the person would be questioned, would make an affidavit and been put for trial. Nevertheless, the First Lady Grace Mugabe could access lawyers and even run from the Republic. She was not on official business as a diplomat, but she was there for her sons. Just take a look!
“Gabriella Engels on Monday said she was visiting Mugabe’s two sons Robert and Chatunga at the Capital 20 West Hotel whom she met through a mutual friend on Saturday. Engels said a bodyguard asked her and a friend to wait in a separate room before Mugabe allegedly started beating her. “When Grace entered I had no idea who she was. She walked in with an extension cord and just started beating me with it,” Engels told News24 over the phone. Engels said Mugabe accused her of living with her sons. “She flipped and just kept beating me with the plug. Over and over. I had no idea what was going on. I was surprised… I needed to crawl out of the room before I could run away” (…) “Her ten bodyguards just stood there watching, no one did anything, no one tried to help me.” Engels said hotel staff escorted her out of the hotel. She immediately tried to open a case of assault at the Sandton police station” (De Villiers, 2017).
So when you have these sort of allegations against the First Lady of Zimbabwe, the South African Police Service (SAPS) should take this serious. Instead, they are doing this:
That she wants to use diplomatic immunity for her assault of a 20 year old lady and model at the Hotel in South Africa, shows the proof of using her reach of power to personal gain. This is disrespectful of the person violated by her and her assistance, there is nothing that justifies this and also it should be wrong of the South African state to disband the investigation and not look into the matter.
That means that VIPs and greater persons of power can be over the state and over the law. She should be indicted and put into question over the acts that happen at the hotel. That they can be verified and the assault charges can be put to rest. She was not a diplomat or a part of state convoy with state security ushering her around in South Africa. “Gucci Gucci” was initial a tourist in South Africa visiting family members, not being there to discuss trade and border issues between Zimbabwe and RSA. That was not the issue of the days, she was not at Gauteng or Pretoria trying to discuss important members with officials. Instead, she was there visiting her kids, where she met a model and hurt Engels.
This is really sad, how little the law matter, when VIPs and people of Power breaches the laws in the RSA. That is shown with the Gupta’s and Zuma’s, now also Mugabe’s, surely it must help that Zuma and Mugabe has houses close by in Dubai. So they have surely shared a few moments together there around the pool. This is disgraceful to Zimbabwe and also to South Africa. Both republics are played around by the First Lady Mugabe. This is beneath the State and the Authorities, as they can do as they want.
If the RSA gives “Gucci Gucci” diplomatic immunity in this case, than their true allies of Zimbabwe, but are disgracing their own laws and justice, which is not equal for all, but the VIPs can do as they want. Peace.
De Villiers, James – ‘Grace Mugabe ‘assaulted’ me with an extension cord, model, 20, claims’ (14.08.2017) link: http://m.news24.com/news24/SouthAfrica/News/grace-mugabe-assaulted-me-with-an-extension-cord-model-20-claims-20170814