Opening remarks: Ms Tamara Naidoo, SALO
With the adoption of the post-2015 development framework set for end of this month at the UN General Assembly in New York, focus has now shifted towards implementation. While the rallying theme during the consultation process to draft the agenda has been “Leave no one behind”, it is important to ensure that implementation is equally inclusive.
This dialogue provided an opportunity for relevant actors within South Africa and the region (including policy makers, development partners and civil society) to share ideas on how best to ensure inclusivity in the implementation of the agenda, especially for the usually marginalized groups.
Chair: Mr Sambulo Mathebula, SALO
People with disabilities: Ms Ndileka Buwa, Disabled rights activist, African Sinakho Arts
Women’s Rights: Ms Litlhare Rabele, Gender, Peace and Security coordinator, SALO
LGBTI Rights: Mr Jay Judah Matlou, Trainer /Health Officer, OUT
Mr Braam Hanekom, Migrant and Refugee Rights activist
Mr Eduardo Kapapelo, Center for Human Rights, Researcher on disability and voting rights in Africa
Honourable John Jeffery , Deputy Minister, Department of Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
Ms Nomasonto Mazibuko, Commissioner, Commission for Gender Equality
African Leaders Call for Reinstatement of President of Burkina Faso
West African leaders called on Tuesday evening for the reinstatement of Burkina Faso’s interim president, who was overthrown in a coup last week.
Leaders of several nations in the region — including the largest, Nigeria — said they would travel here on Wednesday morning to try to broker a peaceful resolution to the political crisis.
U.N. Adopts Ambitious Global Goals After Years of Negotiations
The last time Amina J. Mohammed went home to see her extended family in northern Nigeria, her cousins asked her to skip her usual gifts of clothes and sweets and bring them something that they really needed: body scanners for the gates of the local mosque, to guard against suicide bombers sent by Boko Haram.
Their request summed up for her what has happened to the place she calls home, and how years of dysfunction and destitution had turned the region into a battleground. “Terrorists are not born,” is how she put it the other day. “What was it that birthed Boko Haram?”
Malawi: U.N. Warns of a Food Crisis
The World Food Program, the hunger-fighting agency of the United Nations, warned Friday of an impending crisis in the southeastern African nation of Malawi, saying that more than 2.8 million people there will lack enough to eat over the next several months because of severe floods and a drought that ruined the 2015 harvest. The agency said the floods this year in Malawi were “the worst in living memory,” flushing away stockpiles of food and ruining fertile land. Crops that survived the floods, the agency said, succumbed later to “intense dry spells.” The agency, which is financed by voluntary contributions, said its Malawi relief operation was less than 25 percent funded and required more than $80 million.
Burkina Faso’s Interim President Returns to Power, Week After Coup
The interim president of Burkina Faso, the target of a coup last week, returned to power on Wednesday, as West African leaders arrived here to finalize a resolution to the political crisis.
The interim president, Michel Kafando, thanked other countries for condemning the coup, which was staged by allies of former President Blaise Compaoré, who was ousted in a mass uprising last October.
“We are proud of the mobilization and fearlessness of the Burkinabé people, especially its youth, whose unwavering determination helped to stop the usurpation,” Mr. Kafando said.
17,000 Back Religious Freedom at Huge Rally in Madagascar
More than 17,000 people rallied at a Seventh-day Adventist-organized event in Madagascar to pledge their support for religious liberty.
The daylong “Festival of Religious Freedom,” held in a sports arena in the capital, Antananarivo, was the first such event to be held in the Indian Ocean island nation.
The festival drew community and national leaders, including Interior and Decentralization Minister Olivier Mahafaly.
The event was jointly sponsored by the Adventist Church’s Southern Indian Ocean Union and the Adventist-affiliated International Religious Liberty Association, or IRLA.
Madagascar’s food crisis: Chronic malnutrition is stunting mental capacity
There are two food crises in Madagascar. The first is very obvious and distressing, but it can be fixed. The second is almost invisible – but has already had devastating, long-lasting consequences on the mental development of successive generations of Malagasy children. And the implications of what’s happening in Madagascar go far beyond the island itself, and cut to the core of inequality in the modern world.
Zimbabwe launches solar policy
Zimbabwe’s government launched a solar energy policy on Wednesday as it attempts to reduce a major power shortage in the country.
A drought affecting the country’s hydro plant at the Kariba Dam and the “abundant sun” in Zimbabwe made the solar project a priority, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa told parliament.
Zimbabwe Activist Vows to Fight for Gay Rights Despite Mugabe Broadside
Despite President Robert Mugabe’s unscripted gay outburst in his United Nations General Assembly address Monday, gay activist Chesterfield Samba says he will continue to champion these rights.
Samba is the head of the Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe, an organisation founded 25 years ago and has had its offices raided and members arrested in the past.
Voice of America
Call to End Swazi Media Censorship
Lawyers in Swaziland and an international human rights group have jointly called for media freedom in the kingdom to be respected.
In a submission to the United Nations they also call for an end to media censorship in the kingdom.
They also call for more independent newspapers and media houses to be allowed to operate in Swaziland, where King Mswati III rules as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
Now, Pudemo Says It Will Meet King
Swaziland’s best-known opposition group the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) will take part in talks with King Mswati III on Wednesday (30 September 2015), despite a report that its leaders had been banned from attending.
PUDEMO said in a statement it had always been ‘willing and available’ to meet both the King, who is an absolute monarch, and the government which the King personally appoints.
Africa Demands Justice for Western Sahara at UN
Human rights groups say the Indigenous Sahrawi population of the country suffers widespread abuses at the hands of a Moroccan military occupation.
African nations continued demanding at the United Nations Tuesday the liberation of the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
Namibian President Hage Geingob told the United Nations’ 70th General Assembly that Western Sahara has a right to self-determination, and called for a long-awaited referendum of self-determination in the disputed territory.
Morocco blocks Ikea store over Sweden’s support for independent Western Sahara
Morocco has blocked the opening of Ikea’s first store in the kingdom. The official reason given was lack of proper permits, but most observers believe it was over Sweden’s plans to recognize the Polisario Front’s pursuit of an independent Western Sahara.
Ikea was founded in Sweden in 1943.
S. Sudanese army abduct 10 girls in Unity state, rebels claim
A South Sudanese armed opposition official on Wednesday accused pro-government forces of allegedly abducting 10 girls after military offensives in Geer and Kany-gai villages of Leer county in the oil-rich Unity state.
Speaking over satellite phone, James Yoach said the attack contravenes the ceasefire.
S. Sudanese lawmakers to investigate Maridi oil explosion
South Sudan parliament has formed a five-member committee to investigate the oil explosion incident in which nearly 200 people died in Western Equatoria state two weeks ago.
The National Legislative Assembly, after a two hour debate, approved the motion moved by Maridi county MP Justin Joseph Marona to constitute a fact finding committee.
Sudan requests Chad to convince Darfur groups to join dialogue conference
Sudan has officially requested the Chadian President Idris Deby to persuade rebel groups in Darfur region to join the national dialogue conference which is supposed to kick off in October.
Presidential assistant Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid Wednesday arrived to the Chadian capital Ndjamena where he met Deby and handed over two letters from President Omer al-Bashir.
Darfur rebels show varying positions on N’djamena meetings with Sudanese officials
Darfur’s rebel movements have shown contrasting positions regarding media reports about meetings between rebel delegates and Sudanese officials in N’djamena under the auspices of the Chadian president, Idris Deby.
A well-placed source told Sudan Tribune Tuesday that Deby would meet with a Sudanese presidential delegation and members from Darfur rebel groups on Wednesday to convince the latter to join the national dialogue.
Washington urges Sudan’s warring parties to commit truce
The United States has urged Sudan’s warring parties to commit to a six-month cessation of hostilities and welcomed the Sudan Revolutionary Front’s (SRF) statement of September 15, 2015 including its commitment to a cessation of hostilities for the same duration.
Last month, SRF factions expressed their readiness to sign a cessation of hostilities for six months in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states and Darfur region provided that Khartoum be committed to the inclusive dialogue process and accept the pre-dialogue process.
Communique At High-Level Meeting for Somalia
A high-level meeting on Somalia held in New York on Monday 28th September 2015 and addressed by the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon has welcomed recent political developments in the country aimed at developing an electoral process for 2016.
In a communiqué issued after the meeting co-chaired by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud and the Chairperson of the AU Commission Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, it was noted that major progress had been made in the development of interim regional administrations as well as the establishment of the Electoral and Boundaries Commission and the National Independent Electoral Commission.
Heads of State express concern at fragile humanitarian situation in country
Heads of State on Tuesday expressed alarm at the fragile humanitarian situation in Somalia, recognising that almost three million Somalis are dependent on humanitarian assistance to meet their most basic daily needs.
This is contained in a communique at the end of a high-level meeting on Somalia.
Central African Republic: Aid Groups Seek Better Access to Strife-Torn Capital
Aid officials pleaded Wednesday for more access to Bangui, the Central African Republic’s treacherous capital, saying that clashes between rival Christian and Muslim militias made it too dangerous to help the wounded and recover bodies. At least 42 deaths have been confirmed in Bangui since sectarian clashes erupted on Saturday, but Antoine Mbao-Bogo, the head of the national Red Cross, said that tally was far from complete as its workers had not been able to reach some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods. Meanwhile, the United Nations reported that two of its peacekeepers had been severely wounded as they worked to take down roadblocks that militants had erected.
The Blood Diamond Trade is Tearing the Central African Republic apart
The Central African Republic (CAR)—one of the poorest countries in the world—has been embroiled in intense religious conflict since Dec. 2012. Fighting between the predominantly Muslim rebels (known as the Séléka) and Christian/animist anti-balaka militia broke out when the former accused Christian president François Bozizé of violating peace agreements laid down in 2007 and 2011. The Séléka supplanted Bozizé with their own president, Michel Djotodia, from Mar. 2013 to Jan. 2014; though he has since been replaced by two acting presidents—currently, former mayor of Bangui, Catherine Samba-Panza.