Category Archives: Politics

SOUTH AFRICA: DAM LEVELS CONTINUE TO TAKE A BLOW

PRETORIA, As dam levels continue to decrease, South Africa’s Department of Water and Sanitation has urged people to use water sparingly and always monitor water usage.

According to the department’s weekly dam levels report, issued on Tuesday, a continued decrease in most of the Integrated Vaal River System (IVRS) dams was recorded.

The IVRS is made up of 14 dams and remains the lifeblood of Gauteng province and major industries such as Sasol and Eskom.

The Vaal Dam is down by 1% to 90.5% this week from 91.5% last week. During a similar period last year, it was dangerously sitting at 34.1%, the department reported.

Grootdraai also took a blow from last week’s 82.7% to 81.7% this week. Compared to a similar period last year, it was sitting at 77.0%.

Sterkfontein boasts a slight increase this week, as the dam level sits at 82.1% compared to 82.0% last week. Last year this time, the figures were at 89.5%.

This remains the reserve dam for the IVRS, the department said.

The figures at Bloemhof show a slight decrease from last week’s 99.1% to 97.5% this week � still a satisfactory result compared to last year’s 24.9% recorded during a similar period.

Katse and Mohale dams also saw a drop from 30.2% and 63.2% to 27.9%, and 63.1 this week respectively. During this period last year, the dams were 47.1% and 31.7% full.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

UN chief condemns deadly terrorist attacks in Borno state, Nigeria

Condemning a series of terrorist attacks in north-eastern Nigeria, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for those responsible for these repeated heinous acts to be brought to justice.

In a statement from his spokesman late Tuesday, the Secretary-General extended his deep condolences to the Government and people of Nigeria, and wished those injured a speedy recovery.

He calls for those responsible for these repeated heinous acts in Nigeria and neighbouring countries to be swiftly brought to justice, according to the statement.

Mr. Guterres reiterated the UN’s solidarity and support to the Government in its fight against terrorism and violent extremism.

The Secretary-General also renews the commitment of the United Nations to support efforts within the framework of the counter-terrorism initiatives of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the spokesman said referring to an intergovernmental organization comprised of the eight countries near Lake Chad.

The Security Council met yesterday to discuss the African-led force on terrorism that has been set up in the Sahel by the so-called Group of Five (G5), which includes Nigeria, along with Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Mauritania. The joint task force is operational, but faces a number of challenges, including funding.

Source: UN News Centre

Joint Statement by Heads of Mission in Kenya on Kenya’s General Elections

This has been a historic week for Kenya. As friends of Kenya and as nations who cherish democracy, we have been moved and inspired by the commitment millions of Kenyans have shown to having their voices heard through the ballot box.

We have worked hand in hand with the Kenyan people and with Kenya’s institutions to prepare for free, fair, credible and peaceful elections. We have been proud to walk alongside you in this important work.

There has always been only one way to run these elections: in line with the Kenyan Constitution and through the institutions mandated by that Constitution. The IEBC plays the central role. Its independence and its credibility have been, and remain, critical to the success of these polls.

In addition to the IEBC, the judiciary and many other institutions prepared for these elections and have worked to discharge their responsibilities as they have unfolded. Protecting their independence, too, is essential. We urge Kenyans to support them.

No election is perfect, whether in our own countries or in Kenya. A range of international and domestic observer missions have praised the IEBC for its work in exceptionally challenging circumstances. We join them in that recognition.

It is now vital that the IEBC be given the space to complete its task and make its final declaration of results, in line with Kenya’s Constitution and with the laws and regulations that govern its work. No one should short-circuit or curtail this process. Parties on all sides need to support the IEBC and allow it to finish its job.

If there are then disputes or disagreements, the Kenyan Constitution is very clear on how they are to be addressed. Violence must never be an option. No Kenyan should die because of an election. Kenya’s future is more important than any election. Leaders above all need to make that clear.

When they stood as candidates, every leader declared their aspiration to hold an office established in Kenya’s Constitution. Each candidate hoped one day to take an oath of allegiance to that Constitution as the winner of their election.

Now is the time for leaders across the political spectrum to demonstrate their commitment to that Constitution and to the institutions it creates and the values it sets out. Kenya’s democratic progress has been hard won and must be protected. Democracy is never easy and is always a work in progress. It should be cherished and nurtured by every Kenyan, and by leaders above all.

Source: British High Commission Nairobi.

UN WANTS MAURITANIA TO ADDRESS PEACEFULLY ‘DISAGREEMENTS’ OVER REFERENDUM RESULTS

UNITED NATIONS, Following Mauritania constitutional referendum, the United Nations encouraged all stakeholders to ensure that disagreements are addressed peacefully within the confines of the law and respect for the rights to freedom of assembly and expression.

Mauritanians went to the polls on Saturday Aug 5, with the electoral commission announcing that the results (86%) were in favour of a constitutional amendment that abolishes the Senate and alters the national flag.

The senate’s authority will be devolved to more pliant regional and religious councils. Mauritanians are almost 100 percent Muslim.

The nation’s green flag with a yellow crescent moon and star would have two red stripes added to symbolize the blood spilled in the 1960 independence struggle against France.

The senate had in March 2017 rejected its own abolition, prompting President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz’s push for the August referendum.

According to media reports, opposition parties leading a boycott movement declared that they would not recognize the results of the vote.

The Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calls on all Mauritanians to work together to deepen the rule of law and promote social cohesion and national unity, Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General, said in a statement.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Strengthening Nuclear Law in Africa: Workshop on the Way Forward

Legal and regulatory experts from 20 African countries expanded their knowledge on international and national legal frameworks for the regulation of radiation sources in medicine, industry, research and other areas, at a workshop at the IAEA this week.

The exchange of experiences has been very timely and valuable in understanding the legal aspects arising from the use of ionizing radiation as we develop new projects in implementing nuclear techniques, said Vuyile Dlamini from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Swaziland.

Through the legislative assistance programme the IAEA supports its Member States in developing adequate legal frameworks for the safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear energy and ionizing radiation. It also aims to create awareness in Member States about the importance of adhering to the international legal instruments and assist then in complying with their international obligations.

Our country has already enacted a law on safety, security and safeguards, said Hadjaro Senoussi of the Chadian Agency of Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety. The IAEA’s assistance was helpful to identify all the elements to be considered in a comprehensive nuclear law.

The workshop helped get a broader understanding of international instruments in the nuclear field, said Faradally Ollite, CEO of the Radiation Protection Authority of Mauritius. The relevance for Mauritius to adhere to those instruments has been clarified, he said. We now have a better understanding on how to transpose these international instruments in our national legislative framework.

The Regional Workshop on Nuclear Law for African Member States allowed the IAEA and representatives from African countries to assess the status of national legal frameworks, as well as to discuss and coordinate the activities to be implemented to support them in establishing, updating and improving national legislation governing the safe and secure uses of nuclear energy and ionizing radiation. It also allowed to identify steps towards gaining better understanding of the international legal instruments adopted under the auspices of the IAEA.

Participants included experts from Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Togo and Zimbabwe.

The training follows other regional workshops conducted for Member States in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia and the Pacific, as part of IAEA’s legislative assistance programme.

Source: International Atomic Energy Agency