news From All Africa
- Restraint urged on warring parties in South Sudan as violence escalates
The warring parties in South Sudan have been urged by the most senior UN official in the country to show restraint in the face of an escalation in violence and remember their responsibility towards protecting civilians from conflict.
Fresh fighting has broken out between government SPLA and opposition forces in a number of locations including Raga in the west of South Sudan, Waat in Jonglei to the east and in the area of Wunkur and Tonga in the northern Upper Nile region.
It follows recent fighting in Pajok, and a week ago in Wau town and the surrounding area which led to the displacement of thousands of people.
The Protection of Civilians site adjacent to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) base in Wau has received some 13,500 people who fled their homes due to the violence, which brings the number of internally displaced persons seeking protection in the site adjacent to the UNMISS base in Wau to 38,746. Around 3,000 others sought sanctuary at other non-UN compounds.
The acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Moustapha Soumaré urged all parties to the conflict to cease fighting: “During this holy celebration of Easter, which for many symbolises reconciliation and the rebirth of hope, I call on all parties to prove their commitment to peace. They must show restraint and demonstrate their responsibility to ensure the sanctity of life of all South Sudanese citizens.”
UNMISS continues to push for access to areas affected by the conflict. Despite the challenges in reaching some parts of the country, the Mission has successfully deployed a number of peacekeeping patrols to deter violence and protect civilians. UNMISS is also monitoring any human rights abuses as a part of its mandate.
“The warring parties must know that there can only be peace through a political solution,” said Mr Soumaré. “They must once and for all silence the guns, return to dialogue, reconcile their differences and bring the peace the South Sudanese people want and deserve.”
Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
- President Zuma to Launch the Maluti-A-Phofung Special Economic Zone (MAP-SEZ) in Tshiame, Harrismith
The President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency, J.G Zuma will launch the Maluti-A-Phofung Special Economic Zone (MAP-SEZ) in Tshiame, Harrismith, in the Eastern Free State, on 25 April 2017.
The President will be joined by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Dr Rob Davies and his the Deputy Minister Gratitude Magwanishe, the Premier of the Free State, Hon. E. S. Magashule, MEC for Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs in the Free State, Hon. Dr Benny Malakoane and the MEC for Police, Roads and Transport in the Free State and Head of Provincial Economic Cluster, Hon. Sam Mashinini.
Other dignitaries include Executive Mayor of Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality, Cllr. Malefu Vilakazi, and the Executive Mayor of Maluti-A-Phofung Local Municipality, Cllr. Vusimusi Tshabalala.
According to Minister Davies, the launch of the 1038-hectare MAP-SEZ is another significant milestone in the implementation of the department’s Special Economic Zone Programme, which is aimed at accelerating economic growth and development in designated regions of the country.
“The Industrial Policy Action Plan identifies SEZ’s as key contributors to economic development. They are growth engines towards government's strategic objectives of industrialisation, regional development and employment creation. The SEZ programme has entered a full implementation phase. This is one of the critical instruments that the dti is using to accelerate industrialisation in the country,” says Minister Davies.
He adds that more importantly, the SEZ programme is a critical tool for the attraction of the foreign direct investments (FDIs), creation of decent jobs, establishment of new industrial centres, as well as development and improvement of the existing infrastructure.
“The MAP-SEZ will create opportunities for manufacturing as well as a regional and international trade environment with added value chain within the Maluti-A-Phofung Municipality. The social and economic benefits, as well as regional development, will be key and will be enhanced by creating a prosperous trade city and functional trade ecosystem (SIP2), which will enable the beneficiation of mineral and natural resources and attract foreign direct investment. The priority sectors for the MAP-SEZ are automotive, agro-processing, logistics, ICT, pharmaceuticals and general processing”, says Premier Magashule.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Presidency.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is defined as a geographically designated area of a country set aside for specifically targeted economic activities, which are then supported through special arrangements and support systems to promote industrial development. A number of incentives and benefits are available to ensure SEZ’s growth, revenue generation, creation of jobs, attraction of FDIs and international competitiveness. These include a preferential 15% corporate tax, building allowance, 12I Tax Allowance and customs controlled area.
- Humanitarian Coordinator condemns horrific killing of aid workers in Wau
The Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, Eugene Owusu, has expressed shock and outrage after being informed of the killing of three workers involved in the delivery of vital food aid in Wau, less than one week after he called for an end to all attacks against aid workers in South Sudan.
“Just last week, I appealed for an end to the targeting of innocent people in this conflict,” said Mr. Owusu. “And yet yesterday I learned that three porters were heinously killed while making their way to a World Food Programme (WFP) warehouse in the midst of security operations in Wau town on 10 April. I am appalled by this abhorrent act and demand an urgent investigation to identify those who are responsible and bring them to account.”
The deaths bring the number of aid workers killed in South Sudan to 82. Fourteen aid workers have already been killed in 2017, compared to 24 in all of 2016.
“There are no words left to explain the level of frustration and outrage I feel regarding the continued attacks against humanitarians in South Sudan who are simply trying to help the civilians who are suffering as a result of this conflict,” said Mr. Owusu. “I join WFP in sending my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the three brave men who lost their lives this week in the service of the vulnerable people in this country.”
Separately, 60 humanitarian workers have had to relocate from multiple locations in Jonglei yesterday and today – including Waat and Walgak – due to intensified conflict in the area. Early indications are that the civilian population is also fleeing, though the number of people displaced has been unable to be verified due to the highly fluid situation.
“I call on the parties to the conflict to uphold their responsibilities under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and ensure the proportionality of their actions,” said Mr. Owusu. “I am deeply disappointed that, despite the assurances that we have received and the commitments that have been made, humanitarians are again having to relocate, and civilians again being uprooted, in an area where needs were already high.”
Across South Sudan, humanitarian needs continue to rise, while the operating environment is becoming increasingly dangerous and difficult. In March alone, 79 humanitarian access incidents were reported.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
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