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APO - Africa-Newsroom: latest news releases related to Africa

Press releases from
APO - Africa-Newsroom: latest news releases related to Africa
  1. Didier Reynders welcomes adoption by Human Rights Council of a resolution on the human rights in Kasai

    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders welcomes the adoption by the Human Rights Council, on June 23 2017, of a resolution on the human rights situation in Kasai, and the creation of a mission of inquiry by the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations. In particular, he welcomes the efforts of High Commissioner Zeid and the European Union to advance the cause of human rights through a consensual text. Although it does not include all the more ambitious proposals presented by the EU, the text presented is an undeniable step forward.

    The text, justified by the seriousness of the situation, strongly condemns the violence and all the human rights violations committed by all the parties in Kasai. It calls the authorities to exert their responsibility to respect and guarantee human rights. The resolution also provides for the deployment to Kasai by the High Commissioner of a team of independent international experts to determine the facts and circumstances of human rights violations so that their perpetrators, irrespective of their affiliation, be brought to justice. For Belgium, it is essential that this text contributes to the fight against impunity in Kasai in order to break down the cycle of violence. The Human Rights Council will be informed periodically through reports on the implementation of this mandate, which will allow for an appropriate follow-up.
    Belgium welcomes the fact that the negotiations have resulted in widespread support for this resolution, including within the region, which reinforces its weight. The DRC's support for this resolution commits the Congolese authorities, who will have to facilitate access to the territory to the commission, and allow it to function according to international standards and therefore in complete independence and impartiality. As a member of the Human Rights Council, Belgium will continue to watch closely the implementation of the demands contained in the resolution and to the humanitarian and human rights situation in Kasai.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Kingdom of Belgium - Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.

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    Kingdom of Belgium - Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
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  2. SA Mission at Work: Minister Plenipotentiary Cassimjee's Business Trip to Frankfurt

    Minister Plenipotentiary Cassimjee accompanied by the Foreign Economic Representative Mr Jacob Moatshe undertook a business trip to Frankfurt this week. On the busy agenda was the attendance of the Award Ceremony of the Hessian Export Prize 2017 hosted by the Hessian Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Hessian Ministry for Economy, Energy, Transport and State Development under the patronage of Tarek Al-Wazir, Hessian Minister of Economics, Energy, Transport and Regional Development.

    Meetings to promote relations with South Africa were also held with Mr Ingo Schon, Head of the Europe and International Department, Hesse State Chancellery and Dr. Knöll, Head of Division, International Department, Hesse State Chancellery to discuss further cooperation possibilities between Hessen and South Africa.

    Being in Frankfurt, Minister Plen Cassimjee also used the opportunity to visit South Africa’s key stakeholders in this important financial city, e.g. South African Tourism country Manager Theresa Bay-Müller, South African Airways Manager Michael Bentele, as well as South Africa’s Honorary Consul Dr. Kohlhaussen, a former CEO of Commerzbank.

    Last but not least, Minister Plen Cassimjee and the Foreign Economic Representative Mr Jacob Moatshe visited Heraeus, a precious metal and technology (catalytic converters) company with two plants in SA (PE and Boksburg). Here they were warmly received by the Executive Vice President Hans-Günter Ritter and Communications Officer Michael Schattenmann who expressed their continued satisfaction with their operations in South Africa.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of South African Embassy to the Federal Republic of Germany.

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    South African Embassy to the Federal Republic of Germany
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  3. Thirty Fourth (34th) Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representative Committee (PRC)

    When: 27th – 28th June 2017 at 09:00am

    Where: Medium Conference Hall - African Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
    The PRC will be officially opened by the Chairperson of the PRC, with welcome remarks by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, followed by a group photo of the Ambassadors with the Members of the Commission.                       

    Who: African Union Commission

    Theme: “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in the Youth”

    Objectives: The PRC meeting is the first statutory meeting of the 29th Ordinary Session of the Summit of the AU, which will be held from 27th June to 4th July. The PRC meeting will prepare the agenda of the AU Summit with appropriate recommendations for consideration by the Executive Council, scheduled to take place from 30th June – 1st July 2017. The meeting will bring together all the Ambassadors of the 55 African Union member states based in Addis Ababa and other key AU officials.

    Media personnel are invited to cover this event. 

    Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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    African Union Commission (AUC)
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  4. DRC: High Commissioner Zeid welcomes creation of international investigation into Kasais

    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.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

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    Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
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  5. South African Students and Scholars Join Fulbright: the U.S. Government’s Flagship International Exchange Program

    Microbiology, mathematics, biochemistry, international affairs, astronomy, ethnomusicology..These are just some of the many disciplines pursued by South Africans in the 2017 Fulbright Students and Scholars cohort. The U.S. Embassy’s Fulbright office hosted the 2017 class of students and scholars for a pre-departure orientation on June 23 in Sandton, as they prepare for the next step in their academic careers following a highly competitive selection process.

    The world-renowned Fulbright Program provides scholarships to university graduates seeking a Master’s or Doctoral degree in nearly any field of study at a university in the United States. The National Research Foundation (NRF) is partnering with the U.S. Embassy to expand the number of participants in this year’s cohort by sponsoring graduates pursuing Doctoral degrees. Nine South Africans will pursue high-level degrees at universities throughout the U.S., including Georgetown University and the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, throughout the next three months, six scholars will travel to the U.S. to conduct research in fields ranging from social studies to biology. Two additional South Africans will travel in the coming weeks as a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow (to pursue non-degree academic study) and a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant, who will teach Zulu in the U.S.

    Speaking at the pre-departure orientation, Chargé d’Affaires Jessica Lapenn said, “When he founded the program, Senator Fulbright intended, ‘to bring a little more knowledge, a little more reason, and a little more compassion into world affairs and thereby to increase the chance that nations will learn at last to live in peace and friendship.’  For the South Africa class of 2017, I hope it is in fact a lot more! And that your Fulbright experiences reflect and contribute to the rich and productive relationship that is enjoyed between Americans and South Africans.”

    The Fulbright Program is the U.S. Government’s flagship international education exchange program, and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. The Fulbright Program attracts the brightest talent in the world, who share a dedication to return home and make a difference through collaboration and innovation. The Fulbright Program operates in over 160 countries worldwide and, since 1953, more than 2100 South African students and scholars have pursued studies and research in the United States.

    South Africans interested in applying for the Fulbright program may find more information and by following the U.S. Embassy on Facebook and Twitter at USEmbassySA, or visiting the U.S. Embassy website at

    Please find photos from the seminar on Flickr at:

    Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa.

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    U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa
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