Articles on this Page
- 05/21/18--16:00: _Dundee supports Gov...
- 05/21/18--16:00: _Accident kills six
- 05/21/18--16:00: _EU unfair - Schlett...
- 05/21/18--16:00: _PSEMAS faces possib...
- 05/21/18--16:00: _ Are we losing the ...
- 05/21/18--16:00: _Serial rapist faces...
- 05/21/18--16:00: _Expert in community...
- 05/21/18--16:00: _British tabloid gun...
- 05/21/18--16:00: _N$6m property 'unfi...
- 05/21/18--16:00: _Germany claims immu...
- 05/21/18--16:00: _Totem
- 05/21/18--16:00: _South African rand ...
- 05/21/18--16:00: _NEF pleads with mem...
- 05/22/18--16:00: _Mwiya renews transf...
- 05/22/18--16:00: _Embattled Waters to...
- 05/22/18--16:00: _Egumbo ndyoka lya ...
- 05/22/18--16:00: _Inamu longitha we ...
- 05/22/18--16:00: _Oshikondo shonyama ...
- 05/22/18--16:00: _Keeping cattle healthy
- 05/22/18--16:00: _The dark side of aid
- 05/21/18--16:00: Dundee supports Govt inclusivity efforts
- 05/21/18--16:00: Accident kills six
- 05/21/18--16:00: EU unfair - Schlettwein
- 05/21/18--16:00: PSEMAS faces possible collapse
- 05/21/18--16:00: Are we losing the art of real life conversation?
- 05/21/18--16:00: Serial rapist faces life sentence
- 05/21/18--16:00: Expert in community-based tourism to address conference
- 05/21/18--16:00: British tabloid guns for Namibia
- 05/21/18--16:00: N$6m property 'unfit for humans'
- 05/21/18--16:00: Germany claims immunity
- 05/21/18--16:00: Totem
- 05/21/18--16:00: South African rand falls to new 5-month low vs dollar
- 05/21/18--16:00: NEF pleads with members to stay
- 05/22/18--16:00: Mwiya renews transformation push
- 05/22/18--16:00: Embattled Waters to elect new leaders
- 05/22/18--16:00: Egumbo ndyoka lya landwa koomiliyona 6 itali vulu okuza aantu
- 05/22/18--16:00: Inamu longitha we pambambo oPSEMAS-Schlettwein
- 05/22/18--16:00: Oshikondo shonyama sha taalela uupyakadhi
- 05/22/18--16:00: Keeping cattle healthy
- 05/22/18--16:00: The dark side of aid
DPM will also be transferring an additional two per cent ownership interest in the Tsumeb Smelter to a DPMT Employee Trust to be established for the benefit of the smelter employees.
“This transaction is another demonstration of our support for the government and its New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (“NEEEF’),” said Rick Howes, president and CEO of Dundee Precious Metals Inc. “As a leader in corporate social responsibility, we believe this transaction will help achieve the objectives of economic empowerment across a broad group of Namibians including our own employees.”
“This transaction creates hope for previously disadvantaged Namibians to believe that share in wealth will let the business grow. I am thrilled by the fact that our employees are new shareholders and they will be working for their company which will result in increased productivity,” said Zebra Kasete, DPMT’s vice president and managing director.
GHM intends to execute a broad-based empowerment strategy based on enterprise, entrepreneurial development, skills development, mentorship and knowledge transfer.
“We are extremely excited about our new relationship with DPM and DPMT.” said Saul Kahuika GHM’s board chairperson. “This transaction is another example of how DPM is delivering on its commitments to stakeholders in Namibia and is proactively seeking to achieve the objectives set out in the NEEEF”.
The principal terms and conditions of the GHM acquisition are:
•GHM will acquire an 8% share for approximately US$20.2 million.
•The acquisition will be financed by DPM.
•GHM will receive an annual dividend of US$500 000 for the first 5 years subject to DPMT having sufficient available distributable funds and GHM achieving approved performance metrics.
•GHM will nominate one of the five members of DPMT’s board. The board will also include three DPMT employees and a fifth independent director to provide additional Namibian perspective and diversity.
The transaction has been substantially agreed to between the parties and is expected to be completed by mid-2018. The structure and details of the DPMT Employee Trust are currently underway and additional information will be available when the final details are reached.
Since the acquisition of the Tsumeb Smelter in 2010, DPM has made significant investments to modernize the Tsumeb smelter and transform it into a sustainable operation. Through the Dundee Community Trust, DPMT also provides support to local SME’s and entrepreneurs and funds sport, art, health and education projects in the community.
According to the crime investigation coordinator in the Erongo Region, Erastus Iikuyu, the accident could have been caused by a burst tyre.
“The driver, who was a 41-year-old man, lost control of the vehicle, which left the road and overturned. The driver, two boys aged around nine and eight, and two girls, six months and 13 years old respectively, passed away at the scene. One unidentified adult female died at the Swakopmund state hospital,” said Iikuyu.
The names of the deceased have not been released yet.
Four other occupants of the car - Esther Shoikuti, Patricia Garoes, Juliana Boois, and an unidentified male person - sustained serious to moderate injuries and were admitted to the Swakopmund state hospital.
Schlettwein was speaking at a meeting with his ministry's staff yesterday. According to him, Namibia is being unfairly labelled as a tax haven while it is well-known that Namibia's tax rates are high in the Southern African Development Community.
“There were some unfortunate incidents last year. The EU decided that Namibia is a tax haven…Namibia is not a tax haven. Tax havens are those countries that attract capital with the promise that there will be no tax paid on the capital invested. We are not doing that,” said Schlettwein.
Namibia charged high tax rates, quite the opposite of what tax havens were doing, Schlettwein said
“In fact, we are judged as one of the jurisdictions in our region with the highest tax rates. We do not fit the definition of a tax haven.”
According to Schlettwein, the list negatively affected Namibia's standing in the international community.
“Significant reputational damage has been caused by the listing,” he said. Following a visit by a Namibian delegation to the EU's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Schlettwein said Namibia would not unnecessarily give in to demands in order to be removed from the list.
“It is good to engage and I am sure we will reach a positive outcome without budging to unnecessary requests. Let us see what is coming of the engagements. We must also see how de-listing Namibia from the list of tax havens can be done as soon as possible,” said Schlettwein.
The EU's mission head to Namibia, Jana Hybaskova, also confirmed that engagements were progressing and that a Namibian delegation had returned from Brussels recently.
“There was a Namibian technical mission consulting the issue last week in Brussels; there is a progress on a technical level,” said Hybaskova.
When asked once again what had motivated the EU to place Namibia on the list of tax havens, Hybaskova said: “Namibia is not a member of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes; has not signed and ratified the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance as amended; does not apply the BEPS minimum standards; and did not commit to addressing these issues by 31 December 2019.”
She was further of the opinion that Namibia does in fact have a preferential tax regime.
“Furthermore, Namibia has harmful preferential tax regimes and did not commit to amending or abolishing them by 31 December 2018. The EU in January removed eight countries from its tax haven blacklist after they took measures to remedy EU concerns about their approaches to tax dodging.
Panama, Barbados and Grenada were among those removed from the list, which now numbers only nine nations, amid claims by campaigners that ministers were “undermining” the process.
The three countries, as well as South Korea, Macau, Mongolia, Tunisia and the UAE, will now move onto a “grey list” of countries that the EU has concerns about but which it thinks are in the process of improving their approach.
The decision to remove the countries was made by EU finance ministers in Brussels when they met for their monthly Ecofin meeting. The ministers agreed to the move after a recommendation by EU tax experts in the Code of Conduct Group.
Vladislav Goranov, finance minister of Bulgaria, which holds the rotating EU presidency, said: “Jurisdictions around the world have worked hard to make commitments to reform their tax policies. Our aim is to promote good tax governance globally.”
The EU blacklist was set up last December after several revelations of widespread tax-avoidance schemes used by corporations and wealthy individuals to lower their tax bills.
Blacklisted jurisdictions could face reputational damage and stricter controls on their financial transactions with the EU, although no sanctions have been agreed by EU states yet.
Those who are on the 'grey list' could be moved to the blacklist if they do not honour their commitments.
The scheme currently provides civil servants with affordable medical aid coverage, which government heavily subsidises.
Speaking at a staff engagement yesterday, Schlettwein appealed to staff members to use the scheme for their own benefit and not to abuse it, saying such behaviour would lead to a collapse of the entire system, rendering many civil servants without appropriate medical aid coverage.
This could result in a situation where public servants would have to use the services of private medical service providers like Prosperity, Namibia Medical Care or Namibia Health Plan, Schlettwein warned.
“If we do not fix the system quickly, the system will fold. Public servants will be sent to private medical aid providers,” said Schlettwein.
PSEMAS, Schlettwein said, also made provision for all civil servants, be it a government minister or cleaner at a ministry, office or agency to derive the same benefits from using the scheme. Its inexistence would also mean that government employees will pay more then what they are currently paying.
“PSEMAS was structured so that everyone gets the same benefits but we messed it up. We did everything in the book that was not allowed. Speaking in my personal capacity, we pay about a 10th of what you will pay for a private medical aid provider,” said Schlettwein.
The other issue raised was that a considerable amount of money was being spent to serve a small number of people. According to Schlettwein, an estimated N$2.5 billion was spent on PSEMAS, while the health ministry was allocated N$6 billion.
“We are spending far too much money on a small number of people. If we do not stop the rot we will lose the system,” Schlettwein.
According to him, plans are now in place to correct past mistakes and prevent a possible collapse of the scheme.
“We are determined to correct it. We will proceed with re-registering every member and dependent and we will soon also implement biometric cards,” said Schlettwein.
“PSEMAS is an issue we need to address with urgency and we are seized with the matter.”
Recently, health minister Bernard Haufiku said PSEMAS' structure was unfair and only benefitted a few Namibians. “We will continue to advance inequality if we continue to allocate N$3 billion in public funds to less than 300 000 Namibians, of which only 124 000 make meagre financial contributions through monthly premiums averaging N$250 per member, while the rest of the population find it hard to pay for their medical care and treatment,” Haufiku said during the recent World Health Day commemorations.
“It is time we changed PSEMAS to make it more meaningful.”
The health minister then suggested a medical aid scheme be established that would help the entire populace instead of just government employees.
“An independent fund, well-managed by professionals and accountable, will go a long way in our quest for universal health coverage,” said Haufiku.
“One strong, robust, well-resourced national medical fund catering for everyone in Namibia, working or not working, insured or not insured, rich or poor, old or young,” he added.
I looked on anxiously as my friend typed out a few words, furrowed her brow and then deleted them with a sigh.
As the clock on the kitchen table threateningly reminded us that time was running out, neither the quick movements of her fingers nor her clear absorption in the subject could hide the fact that she was struggling to find the right words.
“How much longer?” I inquired, anxiously tapping my foot. “You can’t keep him waiting any longer!” The importance of syntactic perfection was not lost on me, but however deadlines had to be met.
We breathed a collective sigh of relief as the ping of her computer notified us that the deed was done, but my relief was short-lived.
While the aforementioned play might seem perfectly reasonable had my friend been sending off her latest history paper to a professor or resume to a potential employer, the anxiety felt a bit misplaced when I considered that it was only a response to some cute guy’s text.
What seems absurd to me is not the fact that we distressed over whether a particular sentence required one or two exclamation points, or whether the smiley face emoji came off as overly enthusiastic especially considering that she wanted to be “just friends.”
What seems absurd is not the fact that we spent 13 minutes thoroughly drafting a four-line response. What seems truly absurd is that our scenario was by no means atypical.
When did communication begin to occur through monkey emojis rather than conversations over tea or family dinner?
This process is definitely associated with the introduction of texting. Think about your own interactions on a daily basis. When was the last time you sent a text message?
According to researchers, people between the ages of 18 to 29 years send and receive an average of 87.7 text messages per day. Based on these statistics, if you are between the ages of 18 and 29, it is overwhelmingly likely that you have texted someone in just the past 20 minutes. I know I have.
Now, when was the last time you actually sat in front of someone and had a meaningful, in-depth conversation? I am talking about an interaction where you shared your thoughts, reflected on your surroundings, and perhaps even expressed your uncertainties.
I am guessing probably not in the past 20 minutes. The number of relevant, face-to-face interactions I have pales in comparison to how many conversations I maintain through a screen.
What I am realising more and more is that conversation through a screen can hardly do the same as an exchange in person. Texting is calculated, it is thought through.
Directly speaking to someone, however, is more genuine, more spontaneous. There is no time for editing. There is no such thing as a delete button for when you utter regrettable words.
If my friend had faced that boy in person, she wouldn’t have had 13 minutes let alone 13 seconds to formulate a sensible response.
Yes, it would have been more stressful and yes, her following panic may have caused her to spurt out words more brutally than necessary. But at least the reply would not have been edited more times than her latest history paper.
In person conversation is an art, one that requires interpersonal skills and social insight, and that is rapidly passed out of sight as modernity progresses.
That being said, I do not mean all virtual communication is empty of meaning, because that certainly is not the case. I am but one of many people who have received text messages that have pulled at my heartstrings and left me in a whirlwind of emotions.
But conversations over text rarely reach the same depths as real discussions. They rarely induce the same intensity of feeling because it is much less risky to type out an apology or a declaration of love than it is to stare vulnerably into someone’s eyes and say it.
Texting is safe, but speaking is brave.
Thus I concluded to ask, are we hiding behind the safety of our screens? Have we entered into an era where the excessive use of “LOL” is preferred to those moments of explosive laughter that leave us bent over, while tears of joy stream down our cheeks?
As society progresses and virtual communication becomes ever more predominant, those meaningful discussions will only become more infrequent.
So I dare you to install some old fashioned bravery into your life.
Ditch the safety of your phone screen and replace a portion of those 87.7 messages with some quality conversations. Don’t let the art of in-person conversation die out. Recover it.
Defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomuinji had argued in the High Court that given the nature and seriousness of the offences, the court should impose a life sentence, which normally does not exceed 25 years.
“An effective sentence of 37 years or more is worse than a life sentence. Under the circumstances the court can only impose a life sentence,” he argued.
State advocate Karin Esterhuisen argued that Rooinasie had no respect for physical integrity and that he attached no value to it.
Although she had implied that the court should impose a jail term of 37 years or more, she conceded to a 6 February ruling of the Supreme Court, where unnecessarily long jail terms were ruled unconstitutional.
Judge Alfred Siboleka postponed the case against Rooinasie to 18 June for sentencing.
The accused was found guilty of 16 counts - eight of rape, four of attempted murder, two of indecent assault and two of crimen injuria.
This related to four separate incidents in which two teenage girls and two women were allegedly attacked and raped in Windhoek.
Among the charges he was found guilty of is the abduction and rape of a 13-year-old girl in Katutura on 25 May 2007.
Nearly three years after this incident, Rooinasie attacked a woman, strangled and raped her in Windhoek on 2 March 2010.
He also used vulgar language. He had asked the complainant to help him with his girlfriend, who he claimed was in labour.
Four days later, Rooinasie used the same modus operandi to lure another woman to accompany him into a bushy area in Katutura, where he then threatened her with a knife, strangled her until she lost consciousness and indecently assaulted and raped her.
The accused also told a 17-year-old girl he encountered near the Katutura State Hospital that he needed help to assist another woman to carry bags. When the girl accompanied him into a bushy area, he pulled out a knife, threatened to kill her, strangled her and raped her.
Five seminars will be presented, all focusing on the theme of the 2018 expo, Conservation - Small things matter’. The environment and tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta will officially open the 1st Tourism Networking Conference.
Maxi Pia Louis, director at Nacso, has also confirmed her attendance and delegates will learn much from her rich and vast experience in tourism in Namibia. Her life’s objective, she says, is to contribute to sustainable development and natural resource management in Namibia. She has been dedicated to community-based resource management for more than 20 years and has vast experience in project management. Her knowledge of community-based tourism is unsurpassed.
Five other speakers will be hosting different topics at the conference. Keep an eye out on these pages in the coming weeks as we tell you more.
Interested parties can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to nte.nmh.com.na for more details.
The Tourism Networking Conference is proudly brought to you by Namibia Media Holdings, First National Bank and Old Mutual.
An online article published by the Daily Star said: “Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's reported chosen honeymoon destination is a violent country Brits are warned not to visit.”
The article described Namibia as dangerous and warned British citizens not to visit the country.
Speculation is rife that Namibia is the chosen honeymoon destination for the royal couple and that they will stay at a luxury lodge in north-western Namibia.
The BBC yesterday reported that the couple, now known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, were not expected to leave for their honeymoon immediately, choosing instead to remain in the UK before taking a break.
While other destinations have been thrown in the mix for the newlyweds' honeymoon, Namibia remains a firm favourite. Namibia is also part of the Commonwealth, a potentially fitting choice as Prince Harry was recently bestowed the title of Youth Ambassador of the Commonwealth.
In 2015 Prince Harry visited Namibia during a three-month conservation trip in Africa. He reportedly chose Namibia from hundreds of potential conservation projects after reading about the work being done by the Nature Conservancy that closely works with the Save the Rhino Trust.
However, the Daily Star quoted a British foreign office travel advisory that warned British travellers that Namibia is ridden with street crime and not a place to be at night.
It said the latest advice, updated in January and still current, reads: “Avoid driving outside towns at night as wildlife and stray livestock pose a serious hazard.
“There is a growing level of violent street crime affecting foreign tourists, particularly in Windhoek.”
The spokesperson for the tourism ministry, Romeo Muyunda, said the ministry had taken note of these concerns, but dismissed the claim that Namibia was a violent and dangerous country.
“Namibia is a very safe country, one of the safest countries in Africa and of the most hospitable countries.”
He said although there had been violent incidents involving tourists, they were isolated and did not warrant describing the country as violent.
“There have been few cases where tourists have been attacked and crime towards tourists has also been addressed with stakeholders in the industry,” said Muyunda.
He continued to say that several VIPs and public figures had been safely hosted in Namibia, including Prince Harry himself.
“Their feedback has all been that the country and its people have respect for the privacy of public figures and that they can visit here without any disturbance.”
“We invite those making these allegations to come to Namibia and experience the beauty of our country and the friendliness. We also urge Brits not to listen to these claims and encourage to them to experience Namibia for themself,” Muyunda said.
He further said that Namibia would be honoured to host the newlyweds if they chose the country as their honeymoon destination.
“Prince Harry is welcome here and it would be a great gesture for Namibia. He has done so much for our conservation and it will mean a lot in terms of tourism if Namibia is chosen.”
Namibian Sun found that the foreign office's travel advisory added that most visits to Namibia were trouble free.
It mainly warns visitors about muggings in Windhoek.
“Attacks can take place even in busy city centre locations in broad daylight. Be alert to your surroundings if you are returning to your guesthouse or hotel, especially after dark,” it states.
British tourists are also warned that gangs sometimes try to gain entry to vehicles at busy intersections in Windhoek, and that theft from vehicles, particularly at service stations, is common.
The warning continues that Brits should not hail taxis in the street, particularly in Windhoek, as these have been involved in thefts from foreign tourists.
While Namibia has always been regarded as a safe tourist destination, increasingly violent attacks on tourists last year threatened the country's image.
There was a spate of muggings, car hijacking and robberies involving tourists, combined with several murders of elderly people in their homes, which rang alarm bells locally and internationally.
The result was that many countries updated their travel advisories, listing Namibia as a high-risk country and warning their nationals against travelling to Namibia.
Several measures have since been put in place to protect tourists, such as establishing dedicated tourism police units. The City of Windhoek introduced closed-circuit cameras in and around the city in a project that is continuing. Highway patrols were also increased.
Furthermore, work is also being done to formalise a joint strategy to further improve tourist safety, involving a significant number of stakeholders.
New initiatives under consideration include the improvement of security at airports; stricter measures concerning taxis and other forms of public transport; providing for a reward system for information about crime against tourists; creating a hotline for reporting incidents; improving signposting at tourist hotspots; and further expansion of patrolling and surveillance.
In an interview with Namibian Sun, council chairperson Ericson Ndawanifa said they had visited the house and found it in dilapidated state, and pupils were living in harsh conditions.
About 118 grade 11 and 12 pupils from Omungwelume Senior Secondary School are accommodated in the house following a verbal instruction from Ohangwena governor Usko Nghaamwa.
The property was bought by the government last year from former Oshana governor Sylvanus Vatuva, who received a massive N$6 million windfall for his rundown property and mahangu field.
“After the council was informed by the settlement office that over 80 pupils from Omungwelume Senior Secondary School have already occupied this house, as illegal hostel accommodation, council officials including myself went to visit this place and we found occupants not living in a good condition,” Ndawanifa said.
He said toilets were not functioning and electricity was not properly installed.
He said they were not going to evict the learners, but they would not be held accountable if anything happened.
“Fortunately the regional council has not passed a resolution for this house to be used. Fortunately we have not discussed the issue of these learners to be accommodated.
“So we will not be held accountable. Unless the office of the governor can give us a written directive that we can discuss in the council meeting,” he said.
Ndawanifa added that before the government compensated the owner, the house was in a good condition.
He said the council was planning to use it as offices for Omungwelume settlement officials.
“Later they informed us that the house was falling apart. A team of officials led by our director of general services went to inspect the building and they came back with a report that the premises were not fit to accommodate human beings. The regional council declared the property unfit for humans,” Ndawanifa said.
He said the council was not sure whether the owner of the property vandalised it after he was compensated or whether it was vandalised by the community.
Following an earlier visit this year, Nghaamwa ordered that learners be accommodated in the vacant house that the council had acquired last year. School principal George Nanghanda said parents had contributed money and the house was renovated.
He said learners would continue to live on the premises, as they had the blessing of the governor, who was also supporting them with food.
“When they returned back from holidays on Sunday they came straight to this house. All we need is the regional council to approve our request for us to use this house as our hostel. There are more rooms that we need to renovate so that we can accommodate more learners.”
Nanghanda said before Nghaamwa visited the school they had already submitted a request to the regional council to accommodate learners in the house.
The council, however, did not respond to them “on time”.
“When the governor visited their school and briefed him on the situation, he made a decision that the learners be accommodated in the house.
“Since the house was vandalised by community members after the owner left, parents solicited money to have the premises renovated. Just after the learners moved in, a letter came in from the regional council that our request was rejected,” Nanghanda added.
Nghaamwa said all he was doing was to create a conducive environment for the learners who did not have decent accommodation.
He said soon after the learners occupied the house, the water was disconnected by the regional council.
He asked the ministry of agriculture to provide them with water, which they did. He said these learners were from far-flung places throughout his vast region and did not have relatives at Omungwelume.
This is one of the arguments presented by the German government to a New York court, where it is being sued by descendants of the victims of the Nama and Ovaherero genocide, which took place in the then South West Africa.
The matter will proceed on 31 July.
The German government is further arguing the alleged expropriation of land and livestock took place under the regulations as applied by a sovereign within its territory and that as such Germany did not violate international law applicable during the time in question, which is between 1885 and 1915.
It said the inner dealings of the German Reich, in one of its colonies is not governed by international law.
The court papers were filed by their lawyers, Jeffrey Harris, Max Rieder van Paar, Walter E Diercks of Rubin, Winston, Diercks, Harris & Cooke, LLP on 13 March.
They further argued the Federal Republic of Germany is immune from prosecution under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FISA) which broadly grants immunity to foreign states in America.
“If no exception applies, the New York district court has no jurisdiction,” Germany maintained.
It added the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to hear the case because it presents several political questions which the constitution reserves for the legislative and executive branches and which would require the court to interfere with foreign affairs, including bilateral relations between Germany and Namibia.
“Even if Germany is not immune under FSIA, the court should decline to exercise jurisdiction and require the plaintiffs to exhaust their remedies in Germany. Germany is a more convenient forum and the factors that apply should permit the court to dismiss the case on that basis,” Germany said.
It said all relevant records and documents are in Germany and the process to obtain them or witnesses is more readily available in the country, while maintaining the lawsuit has no connection to the United States.
The Ovaherero and Nama, in an amended complaint filed on 14 February in the New York court battle, argued the former colonial power, which would otherwise be immune to the jurisdiction of the court under FISA, lost immunity pursuant to the FISA's so-called expropriation exception, in violation of international law.
The genocide descendants allege in their claim that the Ovaherero and Nama were the victims of the unlawful taking of their property, including land, livestock, concessions, taxation and customs rights, precious gems and metals, human labour and body parts during the period between 1885 and 1909, at the hands of the then German colonial authorities.
They alleged these actions deprived the Ovaherero and Nama people of their sovereign status and crippled their sovereign polities to such an extent that they were largely disbanded and broken up.
The Germans allegedly turned a blind eye to the systematic rape and use of people in forced labour, the killing over 100 000 and the forcing of survivors into concentration camps.
There has been no reparation for these acts and they have not been permitted to participate in recent talks entered into by Germany and Namibia, the Nama and Ovaherero argue.
Ovaherero paramount chief Vekuii Rukoro, representing the Ovaherero Traditional Authority and Chief Johannes Isaack, the chairman of the Nama Traditional Authorities Association, the Association of the Ovaherero Genocide in the USA Inc. and Barnabas Veraa Katuuo individually and as an officer of the American-based association, on behalf of itself and all other Ovaherero and Nama indigenous peoples, are bringing the action.
The claims are for damages resulting from Germany's taking and expropriating their property, including their sovereign status in violation of applicable international law during the period the period 1885 through to 1915 in the then South West Africa.
“As custodians of our planet, we felt it important to join hands and to clean the Namibian house as requested by our President,” Elzita Beukes, communications manager, FNB
Is the 2018/2019 allocation to the Namibia Film Development Fund “to cater for the development of a vibrant film industry in our country”.
-Ministry of ICT
Millions for 2 sports complexes
There is a combined N$10.7 million allocation in 2018/2019 towards the construction of two sports complexes in Eenhana and Outapi respectively, which will be constructed at a combined cost of N$137.2 million.
At 0640 GMT, the rand traded at 12.8825 per dollar, 0.72% weaker than its close on Friday, and trading at its firmest levels since December 18.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday that the US trade war with China is “on hold” after the world’s largest economies agreed to drop their tariff threats while they work on a wider trade agreement.
On the local front, a focus for markets this week is Wednesday’s consumer price inflation data, central bank interest rates decision on Thursday and S&P Global Ratings review on Friday.
In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 rose 8 basis points to 8.705%, reflecting weaker bond prices.
The Namibian Employers Federation (NEF) is struggling to retain its members because of tough economic conditions.
In his report, which forms part of the annual report for the year ended 31 December 2017 and launched last week, NEF chairman Johann van Rooyen said their membership remained stagnant, ending the year 2017 with 285 direct corporate members.
This, he said, was exactly the same number as the year earlier, although they had spent a substantial amount in marketing to boost membership numbers.
However, several companies did not renew their membership, either because they had closed or were in dire financial straits and saving wherever they could, while others had reduced staff and thus reduced their subscription fees.
In his report, NEF president Elia Shikongo urged members to encourage friends and business associates to join the federation and maintain their membership.
“I accept and understand that that some companies are struggling financially at the moment , but if the NEF were to lose the strength of its voice, we the employers of the country would struggle even more to raise an effective voice and bring about meaningful change,” said Shikongo.
Van Rooyen thanked the federation leadership for still managing to reach “very closely” their budgeted subscriptions for the year.
“One point of note is that we succeeded in adding the Federation of Namibian Tourism Associations (FENATA) to our associational membership, which brings the entire tourism industry under one banner, (and) we will consequently lose Hospitality Association Namibia (HAN) as a specific member, noting that HAN was one of our earliest NEF members.”
Year in detail
In their annual report for the year ended December 2017, the NEF said they visited 40 different companies whom they deemed as potential members and managed to recruit 25 new members. This was despite the fact that many potential employers told them they could not afford to pay new membership fees due to the current economic challenges facing the country.
Unfortunately the 25 new recruitments were offset by others not renewing their membership.
With a net surplus of N$200 153, this is deemed satisfactory in the midst of a recession.
According to the report, the full effect of the slowing of the economy will only be felt in the 2018 financial year, because most companies had paid their subscriptions before feeling the full effect of the slowdown.
The NEF said it had achieved 98% of its budgeted income in 2017.
The directors believe that the company has adequate financial resources to continue operations for the foreseeable future and accordingly, the annual financial statements have been prepared on a going concern basis, the report says.
“The directors have satisfied themselves that the company is in a fair financial position and that it has access to sufficient borrowing facilities to meet its foreseeable cash requirements. The directors are not aware of any new material changes that may adversely impact the company. The directors are also not aware of any material non-compliance which may affect the company,” the report further reads.
According to its statement of comprehensive income, the federation had revenue of N$2.27 million in 2017, as compared to the N$1.94 million in 2016. Operating expenses stood at N$2.59 million (N$2.34 million in 2016), which led to the operating deficit of N$67 000. Operating deficit was N$25 000 in 2016.
Investment revenue was higher in 2017 at N$132 000 than 2016’s N$85 000.
Surplus for the year 2017 was over 3 times more than the 2016’s N$60 000.
The total equity of the company stood at N$774 468 as at 31 December 2017.
(*Numbers are rounded off)
This follows a recent drama in South Africa which saw former Springbok player and SuperSport pundit Ashwin Willemse accusing his two white colleagues Nick Mallett and Naas Botha, both apartheid-era Boks, of undermining and labelling “a quota player”.
This Willemse, said, when he walked off the SuperSport set during a live broadcast, was despite his achievements.
Willemse, Mallet and Botha were busy with a post-match analysis of the Super Rugby game between the Lions and the Brumbies when the incident occurred this past Saturday.
He spoke out and refused to be patronised by two individuals, who he said played in the apartheid/segregation era, which favoured white players and shunned blacks.
The incident has caused a stir amongst local sportsmen and women, as well as sport analysts and commentators.
Mwiya said Namibia has no quota policy, but the NSC tries to ensure that equal opportunities are created for all players through checking the selection process of federations and clubs, and making sure there are no discriminatory acts.
The sports administrator singled out rugby and said new appointments in the structures are visionary, and there are visible developments in terms of transformation.
He, however, added they are in the process of sending a consultant to verify the activities happening within Cricket Namibia, as they have been receiving many complaints regarding its selection process.
Mwiya also noted that as much as development is key, one should also be aware of the fact that certain people are not interested in taking part in some sports and cannot be forced to do so.
Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) president Corrie Mensah said there are two cornerstones to transformation - training and development.
“Transformation in Namibia is a big challenge. There is a decline of rugby at school level. Two years ago we had 114 school clubs. Now we have 79.
“Women's rugby had five clubs, now we only have two and they have not even played competitively for years. We are not in a good place, even with our sevens rugby teams,” he elaborated.
Mensah added he is focused on restructuring and putting certain things in place to ensure that nothing negative happens while he holds office.
SA Rugby released a statement on Monday in response to Willemse's walkout.
“We were as surprised and concerned as the rest of the rugby community by Saturday evening's incident on SuperSport.
“It would not be fair to make snap judgements.
“However, something was clearly amiss and it reflected poorly on rugby. This is a SuperSport matter and we have asked to be kept informed on the process of the investigation.”
Yesterday, SuperSport released a statement in which Willemse said he had robust discussions in which he aired his views and he appreciates the process undertaken to address the issue resulting in his walk-off. The sports channel assured viewers the issue was not racially motivated.
-Additional info by Sport24
The current leaders have served three terms, meaning they will have to make way for new brooms.
A total of seven executive members will be relieved of their duties.
“The constitution of the club only allows us to run for three terms and we have been in the positions for a while now.
“As a club, we respect the constitution and that is why we will allow free and fair elections to take place on 7 June,” said outgoing executive member Robert Shimoshili said.
Blue Waters survived a Namibia Premier League (NPL) disaster this season by finishing one place above the relegation zone.
The club finished the season on 32 points, with Young Chiefs, who were relegated, finishing on 31 points.
It was an appalling season for the coastal side, who only managed to win eight games out of 30.
Waters lost 14 games and drew eight, while scoring 33 goals and conceding 43.
“Yes, we can admit that we did have a terrible season and it will be up to the new leadership to see what they can do to improve the club.
“We, as the outgoing leadership, are prepared to support the club and the incoming leadership.
“I have been part of this club since 1990 and it is very close to my heart.
“That is why we are going to work with the new leadership to ensure the transition period runs smoothly,” Shimoshili added.
Blue Waters performed far worse than they did during the 2015/16 season, when they ended sixth with 44 points.
Jesse Jackson Kauraisa
Moonkundathana ndhoka a ningwa naye koshifokundnaeki shoNamibian Sun,omunashipundi gwelelo ndyoka, Ericson Ndawanifa okwa popi kutya oya talele po egumbo ndyoka ihe oya mono kutya aanaskola otaya lumbu monkalo ya nayipala noonkondo.
Konyala aanaskola ye li 118 yondondo onti 11 no 12 yomosekundoskola yOmungwelume Senior Secondary School ohaya zi megumbo ndyoka sha landula elombwelo lya gandjwa kuNgoloneya gwoshitopolwa shaHangwena, Usko Nghaamwa.
Egumbo ndyoka olya landa kepangelo kongushu yoomiliyona 6 okuza kungoloneya nale gwoshitopolwa shoka, Sylvanus Vatuva.
“Konima sho elelo lya tseyithilwa kombelewa yomukunda ngoka kutya aanaskola ye li po 80, mosekundoskola ndjoka oya tembukila nale megumbo ndyoka, onga omuhandjo ngoka kagu li pampango, ngame pamwe naanambelewa yelelo otwa yi tu ka talele po ehala ndyoka na otwa a dha aanona mboka taya lumbu monkalo kayi shi ombwaanawa,” Ndawanifa a popi.
Okwa popi kutya uundjugo itawu longo, nolusheno inalu tulwa mo nawa.
Okwa popi kutya itaya ka kutha mo aanona mboka, ihe hayo taya ka pewa uusama ngele opwa holoka sha.
“Omupya omunene elelo lyoshitopolwa inali pititha okatokolitho hoka taka pitika aanona mboka ya tembukile megumbo ndyoka. Inatu kundathana oshikumungu shaanona mboka ya ye megumbo ndyoka.”
Ndawanifa okwa popi kutya omanga epangelo inali futa mwene gwegumbo, egumbo olya li monkalo yi li nawa molwashoka elelo lyoshitopolwa olya li tali pangele okulongitha egumbo ndyoka onga oombelewa dhOmungwelume settlement.
“Konima oye tu lombwele kutya egumbo ndyoka otali gu po. Osheendo shaanambelewa ya kwatelwa komeho komukomeho gwomayakulo ga kwalukehe oya ka ningila egumbo ndyoka omakonaakono na oya gandja olopota kutya egumbo ndyoka kali li monkalo yokukala naantu,” Ndawanifa a popi.
Okwa popi kutya elelo kali shi shi ngele egumbo ndyoka olya yonagulwa kumwene konima sho a futwa nenge okaakwashigwana.
Sha landula etalelepo ndyoka a ningi kuyele nuumvo, Nghaamwa okwa gandja elombwelo opo aanaskola ya tembukile megumbo ndyoka.
Omukuluntuskola George Nanghanda okwa popi kutya aavali oya yambidhidha niimaliwa, negumbo ndyoka olya li lya longwa, naanona oya tembukile megumbo ndyoka na oya kala taya pewa iikulya kungoloneya.
“Sho taya galuka okuza komafudho mOsoondaha otaya yi yuukilila kegumbo ndyoka, shoka twa pumbwa epitiko owala okuza kelelo lyoshitopolwa opo li ziminine eindilo lyetu, opo tu longithe egumbo ndika onga omuhandjo gwetu. Omu na oondunda odhindji ndhoka twa pumbwa okulongulula opo mu vule okuza aanona oyendji,” Nanghanda a popi kutya omanga Nghaamwa ina talela po oskola, oya adhika ya gandja nale eindilo lyawo kelelo lyoshitopolwa, ihe elelo inali ya yamukula mbala.
Sho ngoloneya a talele po oskola na okwa lombwelwa uupyakadhi mboka, okwa ningi etokolo opo aanona mboka ya tembukile megumbo ndyoka.
“Molwaashoka egumbo olya Ii lya yonagulwa kaakwashigwana sho mwene a tembuka mo, aavali oya gongele iimaliwa opo egumbo ndyoka li longululwe, konima owala sho aanona ya tembukile mo. Otwa yakula ombaapila okuza kelelo lyoshitopolwa kutya eindilo lyetu inali tambulwa ko.”
Nghaamwa okwa popi kutya ye okwa kambadhala owala okugandja ehala lyokuza kaanaskola mboka ye li mompumbwe yomuhandjo.
Okwa popi kutya konima owala sho aanaskola ya tembukile megumbo ndyoka, omeya oga tetwako kelelo lyoshitopolwa, na okwa pula uuministeli wuunamapya opo wu yambidhidhe aanona mboka nomeya, na osho sha ningwa. Okwa gwedha po kutya aanona mboka oya za kiitopolwa yokokule na kaye na mo aakwanezimo mOmungwelume.
Oskema ndjoka ohayi gandja uuwanawa wuunamiti kaaniilonga yepangelo, na ohayi yambidhidhwa nomwaalu omunene gwiimaliwa kepangelo.
Sho a popitha aaniilonga mOmaaandaha,
Schlettwein okwa indile aaniilonga ya longithe oskema ndjoka muuwanawa wawo yeyene ihe inaya longitha pambambo oskema ndjoka, ta popi kutya omukalo ngoka otagu vulu okuteya po oshiketha shoka.
Shoka otashi keetitha aaniilonga yepangelo ya tameke okulongitha omauwanawa guunamiti taga gandjwa kooskema dhilwe dhuuwanawa wuunamiti ngaashi Prosperity, Namibia Medical Care nenge Namibia Health Plan, Schlettwein a kunkilile.
Minista okwa tsikile kutya oskema yoPSEMA ohayi gandja uuwanawa kaaniilonga ayehe, yepangelo, onkene ngele oya tekapo nena otashi etitha aaniilonga mboka ya undulilwe komahangano galwe ngoka haga gandja omauwanawa ngoka, naaniilonga otaya ka futa ondilo.
Omukundu gumwe ngoka gwa popiwa, omwaalu omunene gwiimaliwa tagu longithwa kaantu yomwaalu omushona.
Okwa tengenekwa kutya oshimaliwa shoobiliyona 2.5 osha longithwa koPSEMAS omanga uuministeli wuundjolowele wa pewa owala oshimaliwa shoobiliyona 6.
Schlettwein okwa tsikile kutya otaya tula miilonga oompangela ndhoka dha nuninwa okuhupitha oskema ndjoka, nokuwapaleka omapuko ngoka ga ningwa monakuziwa.
Omathimbo gapiti pethimbo kwa dhimbulukiwa Esiku lyUundjolowele mUuyuni, ominista yuundjolowele, Bernard Haufiku oya popi kutya omulandu gwoPSEMAS, kagu li pauyuuki na otagu gandja owala uuwanawa kAaNamibia aashona.
“Otatu tsikile nokuhwahwameka okwaahathikapamwe ngele otatu gandja oshimaliwa shoobiliyona 3 kAaNamibia kaye vulithe po300 000, omanga aantu owala ya thika po124 000 haya futu oshimaliwa shooN$250 shoka hashi futilwa uukwashilyo koskema ndjoka, omanga aakwashigwana yalwe taya hupu nuudhigu opo ya vutile omauwanawa gawo guunamiti.”
Minista okwa gandja omagwedhelepo opo ku totwepo oskema yimwe ndjoka tayi ka gandja uuwanawa kaakwashigwana ayehe pehala lyoskema ndjoka tayi gandja owala uuwanawa kaaniilonga yepangelo.
Muule woshikakomvula sho2017/18 okwa tumwa momalanditho gopondje onyama yoopresenda 85, kongushu yoobiliyona 2.
Oomiliyona 2.77 odha zi melanditho lyoongombe, oomiliyona 1.90 odha zi melanditho lyoonzi oshowo oomiliyona 1.79 ndhoka dha zi melanditho lyiikombo.
Nonando ongaaka, omunambelewa omukomeho gwoMeat Board, Paul Strydom pauyelele mboka a gandja kuminista, Alpheus !Naruseb okwa popi kombinga yomaupyakadhi ngoka ga taalela oshikondo shoka.
Okwa popi kutya omukundu gumwe po ngoka gwa taalela oshikondo, ethigathano moshikondo shonyama yaNamibia, ta popi kutya okwa pumbwa okutalwa kelongelokumwe lyomuhanga moshikondo.
Okwa popi woo kombinga yuundjolowele wiimuna paku tamekitha iilonga yuutomeno wepangelo unene mboka tawu adhika momudhingoloko gwoNorthern Communal Areas.
Ehangano lyaMeatco olya li lya tseyitha okuya pehulilo lyomvula yo 2016 kutya itali ka longitha we uutomeno mboka, moKatima Mulilo oshowo Oshakati, sha landula ekanitho enene ndyoka lya dhidhilikwa kehangano ndyoka. Konima shoMeatco ina lelepeka okondalaka ye nepangelo opo a tsikile kulongitha uutomeno mboka uutomeno mboka owa pata omiyelo.
Strydom okwa popi kutya oya pumbwa woo okugandja ongushu kombinga yomukalo gwokuhwahwameka elanditho lyoonzi.
Okwa tsikile kutya ope na woo ompumbwe yokuyambidhidha pashimaliwa oshikondo shomayakulo guundjolowele wiimuna, ta popi kutya oomilandu dha tulwa miilonga ngele tashi ya ketumo pondje lyiimuna moSouth Afrika omolwa ekandeko lyomikithi ngaashi otb, nandho otadhi pula omwaalu ogundji gwiifuta.
Pahapu dhe omilandu tadhi ithanwa ‘Protocols for Tuberculosis and Brucelosis on how to comply with the ‘new’ South Africa Import Conditions’ odha totwa po na odha ukithwa koshikondo shomayakulo guundjolowele wiimuna opo dhi ka nongononwe.
Strydom okwa tsikile kutya eiyako lyoonyati okuza moWaterberg Plateau Park oshowo eyambidhidho lyopashimaliwa kounion dhuunamapya oshi li omukundu gwe ya taalela natango.
Okwa tothamo natango omaupyadhi galwe ngoka ya taalela ongaashi ezimino lyomutengenekwathaneko gwiimaliwa yoMeat Board yoshikakomvula sho2018/19, etulo pamushangwa gwopapangelo ontotwaveta yoMeat and Livestock Products Bill, oshowo ompumbwe ye yo moonkundathana olundji naminista.
Pauyelele mboka wa gandjwa koMeat Board oonzi dhili po 60 000 odha tumwa momalanditho gaSouth Afrika, omanga iikombo yi li po 270 000 ya tumwa momalanditho ngoka.
Ootona 37 000 dhonyama yongombe odha tumwa momalanditho gopondje moka ootona 9 400 dha tumwa koSouth Africa omanga European Union, UK, Reunion oshowo Norway ya mono ootona 9 500.
Oonzi dhi li po 8 00 000, dha dhipagwa odha tumwa moSouth Afrika.
If grazing is not supplemented during winter, an animal's production and fertility rate declines.
Not only does the animal become stunted, if it is pregnant, it is unable to carry to term or raise offspring to maturity. Namibia is an extensive livestock production country with the sector divided into two major groupings, namely the commercial sector with privately owned farms, and a large communal sector. Winter supplementation is not new, regardless of the farmer's operations. In the past, crop residues were used to feed livestock in winter, but as time went by, some farmers began to treat crops with urea to improve protein content. According to Meatco's feedlot veterinarian, Dr Alexandra Duvel, the primary aim of a winter lick is protein supplementation (mostly NPN, although in sandy areas P is included at a maintenance level).
By law, such a supplement provides an equivalent of 150g of crude protein per day to cattle, according to Meatco.
Maize meal or hominy chop is used in winter lick to cause a pH-drop in the rumen for slower urea release. Intake is regulated with salt.
The protein in the lick sustains rumen micro-organisms, improving the digestibility of the pasture.
Namibia also has a relatively low and highly variable rainfall. Meatco says due to this, the nutrient content and availability of the natural pastures fluctuate from year to year and between the wet and dry season.
The wet season starts in November/December and continues until March/April, with January and February receiving the highest precipitation.
The dry season stretches from May until the end of October. The most difficult period is from August until October, when the nutritional value of natural grazing is at its lowest, and cows are in their final trimester of pregnancy.
“It is during this period that livestock suffer most from nutritional deficiencies because of a drop in the nutritional value of natural grazing,” according to Meatco. “It is important to note that among livestock there are grazers (e.g. cattle) and browsers (e.g. goats). Since bushes contain more nutrients than grass, grazers tend to suffer greater nutritional deficiencies compared to browsers during this period.”
According to Meatco typical licks used in Namibia are winter, summer and production licks. Their use is advocated in both farming sectors, since the benefits have been proven over many years. “Unfortunately communal farmers are reluctant to use the licks as prescribed due to the high initial costs and because an immediate benefit is not always visible and advantages are only recognised later.”
Still, farmers who invest in lick supplements get their money's worth through higher production and the fertility of their livestock, says the company. “In conclusion, keep in mind that licks are only used to supplement the most limited nutrients. It is important to keep animals on the pasture and not to substitute pasture with lick.”
It was attended by 57 countries, ten regional organisations and 19 UN agencies. Five international banks and even small countries such as Liechtenstein were in attendance, but the Syrian government was not represented.
Around 250 non-governmental organisations were hosted on the sidelines of the main conference of which only 15 represented Syria.
Certain quarters have criticised both the EU and the UN for using aid as a tool to remove the regime of Bashar Al-Assad in the country.
Russia's permanent representative to the EU, ambassador Vladimir Chizhov, expressed his surprise that the Syrian government was not represented. “I am perplexed by the format of today's meeting that does not include official representatives of the Syrian government. It looks strange, to say the least, that the distinguished delegates are planning to help Syria in a situation when official contacts with the legitimate government of the country have for many years remained a taboo for European politicians, and some states have even been promising 'not to give a cent' until political change takes place in Syria.”
Almost nothing to Syria
The conference called for US$6 billion in aid to “support refugee and host community humanitarian and resilience related assistance in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt and the Syrian population.”
At the 2017 conference, a total of US$9.7 billion was offered in grants running over three years until 2020 of which US$6 billion was pledged for the year. A mere quarter of this went directly to Syria while the remainder of the funds were channelled to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.
According to the EU foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini, there will be no EU assistance to rebuild Syria until the political process begins.
“The latest territorial gains by Damascus and its allies has not brought peace any closer. We still believe that it is vital that the cessation of hostilities, in particular for humanitarian access, is guaranteed.”
This is in spite of an undertaking by the conference to strengthen “the political, humanitarian and financial commitment of the international community to support the Syrian people, the neighbouring countries, and the communities most affected by the conflict.”
Aid should be politics free
Russia and Iran, two of Syria's strongest allies, have often clashed with the EU and the UN with regard their policies towards the country and Russia has openly accused the EU of using aid as a political tool to put pressure on the Assad government.
Last year at the first Brussels conference, the Russian deputy foreign minister Gennady Gatilov said, “The politicisation of issues related to aid and the statements on the need to wait for the end of the political process are unacceptable. Aid is needed now to help rebuild schools, hospitals and critical infrastructure.”
Mogherini is quoted as saying that they are “ready to help even more, once a political agreement is reached in Geneva”. The presence of the Islamic State or ISIL, known as Da'esh in Syria, has been removed in Syria following Russian military intervention and the conference acknowledged that. However, conflict on the ground continues. The most recent was the announcement by the 'humanitarian group' the White Helmets, that the Assad regime had used sarin gas on its citizens on 7 April.
The White Helmets themselves are mired in controversy and were, until very recently, funded by the United States and others. In April 2016, Raed Al Saleh, the head of the White Helmets (who was cordially received by the French President) was denied entrance to the United States, tentatively because of his connections to terrorists.
Alexander Shulgin, Russia's permanent representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on 26 April told The Hague, “Unfortunately, our concerns came true - literally one day before the government troops took full control of Douma, an incident occurred there, the alleged use of sarin gas on citizens.
“Common sense suggested that OPCW professionals should have a chance to give an authoritative voice, to check reports on the incident in Douma. However, the United States, Great Britain and France, without waiting even for the start of the OPCW inspectors' work, claimed offhand that everything was clear to them – Bashar al-Assad government's guilty was beyond doubt.”
The coalition led airstrikes on Douma on 14 April, the very date the OPWC inspectors were set to arrive.
Several reports questioned the use of chemical weapons and no official news agency which published photographs, could verify the source and place the photographs were taken, saying they were provided by a 'third party'.Russia has been at the forefront of aid to Syria, in the form of military, diplomatic and humanitarian support. Russia, along with Turkey and Iran jointly established the Astana process (a dialogue platform that set up de-escalation zones, boosted humanitarian cooperation and the Syrian settlement in general), and this has genuinely enabled progress towards a political solution to be attained via a broad intra-Syrian dialogue and talks under UN auspices as envisaged by UNSC Resolution 2254. The Sochi Congress of Syrian National Dialogue was another contributing element. According to Russia, the key to success on this track lies with ensuring compliance of all international and regional actors with their obligations regarding the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.
Russia is one of the key humanitarian donors of Syria providing humanitarian assistance both via specialised UN agencies, as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross and bilaterally. The country also facilitated contacts between UN bodies in charge of humanitarian aid issues and the Syrian government. The Russian military further repeatedly secured access of UN convoys to those in need in different regions of the country.
Russia has always been of the view that once stability is achieved in Syria, elections can be held, but, until such a time, the Assad regime remains the legitimate government in the country.
Chizhov, in his address to the delegates in Brussels, was direct.
“We agree that aid must come to everyone in need wherever they are – in Eastern Ghouta, Aleppo, in the villages of al-Fu'ah and Kefraya still besieged by terrorists, in the city of Raqqa totally destroyed by US-led coalition bombings in October 2017 and half-forgotten by the international community, or in the Rukban camp for displaced persons with no access available due to a 50-kilometre 'security zone' around Al-Tanf unilaterally established by the US.”
Moscow is highly critical of the deployment of US troops in Syria, saying it amounts to illegal occupation and an attempt to partition the country. While the Al-Tanf area is relatively small – comprising a 55km radius around the US military outpost – the American troops are also present in a large portion of north-eastern Syria. The US has neither a mandate from the UN Security Council nor an invitation from Damascus to be in Syria.
He said conditions in Raqqa are “unbearable” following the bombings led by the US. “Virtually no building was left intact after the air and artillery attacks by the US-led coalition. Life conditions there are indeed unbearable: whole city areas are still mined causing death every day, there is no water, no electricity. But until recently this appalling situation seemed not to deserve attention. UNSC Resolution 2401, which Russia supported, and significantly contributed to its implementation, clearly stipulates that humanitarian issues should be addressed on the whole territory of Syria. Therefore, we reiterate that these issues must not be politicised and used as instruments of pressure. Providing such assistance should not be linked to attaining certain political goals, as some Western capitals presume.”
He added: “We believe the stance of those countries that maintain financial and economic sanctions suffocating the Syrian people, refuse to participate in restoring social and economic infrastructure is not only inhuman but also counterproductive. We strongly believe that establishing close cooperation between potential donors and legitimate authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic would facilitate a better humanitarian situation in Syria and prompt normalisation of the situation.”
Chizhov criticised the aid agencies, saying that delivering cash on the ground leads to further arms purchases. Russia is providing food and necessities, construction equipment and materials, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment directly to the affected parties. Doctors from the country are also on the ground running clinics for free.
The foreign affairs ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey, as guarantors of the observance of the ceasefire regime in Syria, held the second meeting in Moscow on 28 April 2018. They discussed the development of the situation in and around Syria and its impact on the regional peace and security.
They agreed to increase joint efforts aimed at facilitating the achievement of a lasting political settlement in Syria envisaged by the UN Security Council resolution 2254 and through full use of multi-level mechanisms of the Astana format. They also underscored the efficiency of the Astana format as the only international initiative that had helped practically improve the situation in Syria through joint efforts to combat terrorism, reduce the level of violence and create favourable conditions for the political settlement, including via facilitating broad intra-Syrian dialogue.
– Additional reporting by RT