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CAR crisis on PAP agenda

2014-03-11  Mathias Haufiku

CAR crisis on PAP agenda
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"MIDRAND, SOUTH AFRICA – AFRICAN MPs are deeply concerned about the looming food crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR) which is expected to hit women and children the hardest. The United Nations (UN) warned of a looming food crisis in the Central African Republic last week.  UN statistics show that the violence led to 290 000 people fleeing to neighbouring countries including Cameroon, Chad, DRC and Republic of Congo, while the number of internally displaced people in CAR is around 650 000. “The unresolved crisis in the Central African Republic is still of grave concern to us especially in light of the looming food crisis in which our women and children will be worst hit,” stated Pan-African Parliament President, Bethel Amadi, yesterday during the opening of the Fourth Ordinary Session of the Third Pan-African Parliament in Midrand, South Africa. “We cannot sit and wait for foreign aid for our people,” stressed Amadi. “In finding African solutions to African problems, we should clearly define our role in ensuring the peace and security of the citizens of Africa in all spheres of life,” he said. Last month the humanitarian agency Doctors Without Borders released a report in which it indicated that thousands of CAR refugees who have sought shelter in Cameroon face dire living conditions. The report stated that the refugees are relying on assistance from local people in Cameroon to survive. Doctors Without Borders called on all humanitarian groups to urgently provide assistance for those who have arrived in Cameroon from CAR. Speaking to New Era after the opening of the session of the Third Pan-African Parliament, Deputy Speaker of the Namibian National Assembly, Loide Kasingo concurred with Amadi that it is high time Africa sources funds from within the continent. “The African Union must mobilize resources from within. Right now a huge chunk of the AU budget is sourced from outside the continent and this does not paint a good picture,” she said, adding: “The person who gives you bread will also control how you think.” Kasingo was however optimistic that under the leadership of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma the situation would change for the better. “She [Dlamini-Zuma] was also surprised when she took over in 2012 to learn that most of the AU funds are sourced from outside. She is working hard on it because Africa needs to take care of its own financial needs,” Kasingo said. The Fourth Ordinary Session is being held under the theme, “Ten years of the Existence of the Pan-African Parliament: Reflections on its Role.” During the opening several new members were sworn into the parliament. The parliament also adopted the Pan-African Parliament Code of Conduct for members yesterday. On Wednesday the parliamentarians will elect a new vice-president for the central African region. The parliament will, a week from today, celebrate its 10th anniversary, an occasion which will be attended by Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob and Namibia’s founding president, Dr Sam Nujoma. Geingob is a former Pan-African Parliament member. Professor Peter Katjivivi, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Loide Kasingo, Nudo MP Arnold Tjihuiko, Swapo MP Evelyn Nawases-Taeyele and National Council Swapo Party MP Bernhard Sibalatani are the five Namibians serving on the Pan-African Parliament. All of them are in attendance. Kasingo currently serves as the third vice-president of the Pan-African Parliament while Nawases-Taeyele is the second vice-president of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) Caucus on Youth. Professor Peter Katjavivi, the Swapo Party chief whip is also the Namibian head of the Pan-African Parliament. By Mathias Haufiku"
2014-03-11  Mathias Haufiku

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