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United Nations-African Union Joint Task Force on Peace and Security Holds Fifteenth Consultative Meeting in New York on 22 September – APO –




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The United Nations-African Union Joint Task Force on Peace and Security held its fifteenth consultative meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York on 22 September 2018.

The meeting reviewed the status of the partnership between the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU), focused on the situations in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Libya, Mali/Sahel, South Sudan and the Horn of Africa, and discussed cooperation on women, peace and security, follow-up to Security Council resolutions 2320 (2016) and 2378 (2017), AU Silencing the Guns by 2020 initiative, as well as AU and UN reforms and their implications on the partnership in peace and security.

The AU Commission and the UN Secretariat were represented respectively by Commissioners Smaïl Chergui (Peace and Security), Minata Samaté-Cessouma (Political Affairs); and the Under-Secretaries-General Rosemary DiCarlo (Political Affairs), Jean-Pierre Lacroix (Peacekeeping Operations) and Atul Khare (Field Support). They were accompanied by other senior officials from the two Organizations.

The Joint Task Force took note of the considerable progress achieved in the UN-AU partnership including the holding of the Second African Union–United Nations Annual Conference in Addis Ababa on 9 July 2018.

On Cameroon, UN and AU welcomed the Government’s humanitarian emergency response plan for the Anglophone regions and called for access to humanitarian and human rights organizations. They noted the political developments in the country and, at the same time, they underlined the need for an inclusive dialogue to address the root causes of the crisis, reiterating their readiness to support such efforts. They underscored the importance of conducting a peaceful presidential election on 7 October.

On the situation in the Central African Republic, UN and AU welcomed the progress made in the peace process and underlined the need to strengthen it, within the framework of the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation. The meeting called on all international partners involved to work together in a coordinated fashion to achieve stability in the country. The meeting also noted that the High-level Ministerial Meeting on the Central African Republic, organized in the margins of the General Assembly on 27 September, will be an opportunity to reaffirm the resolve of the international community, particularly the region, to bring about lasting peace in the country. The UN and AU welcomed the support provided to the Central African defence and internal security forces and, in this regard, stressed that coordinated efforts will be essential.

On Comoros, the Joint Task Force called on the Government of the Comoros to create an environment conducive to a genuine and inclusive dialogue under the AU’s auspices. AU and UN express their hope that a dialogue under AU’s auspices can bring all stakeholders to a consensus on the next steps post-referendum and put an end to a cycle of tenuous transitional processes in that country.

On the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Joint Task Force welcomed progress made by the Congolese Government and the Electoral Commission in meeting key milestones in preparations for the holding of presidential and legislative elections on 23 December 2018. The Joint Task Force called on Congolese stakeholders to remain actively engaged in ensuring the full implementation of commitments made under the 31 December 2016 political agreement. The meeting agreed to remain committed to sustaining efforts towards stability in the post-electoral period in DRC.

On Guinea-Bissau, UN and AU welcomed the progress achieved toward resolving the political crisis facing Guinea-Bissau and stressed the importance of holding legislative elections on schedule on 18 November. UN and AU reiterated their commitment to continue to support Guinea-Bissau in addressing the challenges facing the country, in collaboration with other international partners.

On Libya, the Joint Task Force expressed concerns at the prevailing situation on the ground and exchanged views on the best way forward. The meeting stressed the importance of UN-AU coordination, information sharing and joint analysis to support the peace process in close consultations with the Libyan actors.

On Mali/Sahel, AU and UN acknowledged the need to ensure complementarity of their ongoing efforts for the promotion of development as well as prevention and sustaining peace. Discussions also focused on the growing insecurity in the Sahel region. UN and AU agreed to work together to mobilize the resources needed for the region, including supporting the G5 Joint Force. The Joint Task Force stressed the importance of adequate measures to ensure accountability for any human rights violations. The meeting noted that the recent conclusion of the presidential elections in Mali provides an opportunity to accelerate the implementation of the peace agreement.


On South Sudan, the Joint Task Force welcomed the signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) on 12 September 2018 and commended the efforts of the IGAD countries. The Joint Task Force called upon all parties to fully commit to the implementation of the revitalized ARCSS, including immediate adherence to the permanent ceasefire, security sector reform and resolution of the issues concerning the number and boundaries of States and the permanent constitution making process. It also expressed support for the expeditious establishment of key institutions such as the Commission on Truth, Healing and Reconciliation, the Compensation and Reparations Authority and the Hybrid Court. The Joint Task Force reaffirmed the continued commitment of UN and AU to support, in close coordination with IGAD, the achievement of a fair, inclusive and sustainable peace for the people of South Sudan. The meeting looked forward to the upcoming AU-UN joint visit in South Sudan in support to the peace process.

AU and UN welcomed recent positive developments in the Horn of Africa as steps in the consolidation of peace and security in the region. The Joint Task Force commended the bold and strategic leadership displayed by regional leaders to resolve the issues among the countries of the region which sets a great example for the broader continental endeavours to resolve challenges. AU and UN stand ready to support the Horn of Africa region in consolidating these developments as deemed appropriate. AU proposed the setting up of a UN-AU Working Group on the Horn.

The meeting exchanged views on women, peace and security in Africa in line with resolution 1325 (2000). Participants reiterated their commitment to the promotion and facilitation of women’s full participation in peace processes, including mediation, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, and the importance of ensuring the full engagement of women in the design and implementation of comprehensive strategies to address the root causes of terrorism and violent extremism. AU and UN agreed to work closely together on achieving their respective gender parity objectives.

Regarding the follow-up to resolutions 2320 (2016) and 2378 (2017) on securing predictable and sustainable financing for African Union-led peace support operations authorized by the Security Council, the Joint Task Force underlined the priority areas of work as the development of modalities for joint assessment and planning, of reporting and compliance frameworks, as well as the operationalization of the AU Peace Fund, and encouraged further cooperation on this issue.

The Joint Task Force welcomed the priority given by AU to fast-track the implementation of the Agenda 2063 flagship Silencing the Guns by 2020 initiative including new projects initiated by UN in 2018 to support the initiative.

With regard to AU and UN reforms and their implications on the partnership in peace and security, the Joint Task Force noted how the UN joint regional structure responsible for peace and security in Africa and the new Support Partnerships Service in the new Department of Operational Support, to be effective as of January 2019, would help better support the partnership with AU. The meeting also acknowledged the progress made in peacekeeping reform, including through the Action for Peacekeeping. On AU reform, the meeting welcomed the highest level of contributions received by AU Peace Fund since its creation in 1993 and AU efforts to reduce its priority areas and establish a clear division of labour with sub-regional organizations.

The next statutory meeting of the Joint Task Force will take place in January 2019, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the margins of the 31st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations (UN).



Sordid tale of the bank ‘that would bribe God’




Bank of Credit and Commerce International. August 1991. [File, Standard]

“This bank would bribe God.” These words of a former employee of the disgraced Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) sum up one of the most rotten global financial institutions.
BCCI pitched itself as a top bank for the Third World, but its spectacular collapse would reveal a web of transnational corruption and a playground for dictators, drug lords and terrorists.
It was one of the largest banks cutting across 69 countries and its aftermath would cause despair to innocent depositors, including Kenyans.
BCCI, which had $20 billion (Sh2.1 trillion in today’s exchange rate) assets globally, was revealed to have lost more than its entire capital.
The bank was founded in 1972 by the crafty Pakistani banker Agha Hasan Abedi.
He was loved in his homeland for his charitable acts but would go on to break every rule known to God and man.
In 1991, the Bank of England (BoE) froze its assets, citing large-scale fraud running for several years. This would see the bank cease operations in multiple countries. The Luxembourg-based BCCI was 77 per cent owned by the Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  
BoE investigations had unearthed laundering of drugs money, terrorism financing and the bank boasted of having high-profile customers such as Panama’s former strongman Manual Noriega as customers.
The Standard, quoting “highly placed” sources reported that Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Zayed Sultan would act as guarantor to protect the savings of Kenyan depositors.
The bank had five branches countrywide and panic had gripped depositors on the state of their money.
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) would then move to appoint a manager to oversee the operations of the BCCI operations in Kenya.
It sent statements assuring depositors that their money was safe.
The Standard reported that the Sheikh would be approaching the Kenyan and other regional subsidiaries of the bank to urge them to maintain operations and assure them of his personal support.
It was said that contact between CBK and Abu Dhabi was “likely.”
This came as the British Ambassador to the UAE Graham Burton implored the gulf state to help compensate Britons, and the Indian government also took similar steps.
The collapse of BCCI was, however, not expect to badly hit the Kenyan banking system. This was during the sleazy 1990s when Kenya’s banking system was badly tested. It was the era of high graft and “political banks,” where the institutions fraudulently lent to firms belonging or connected to politicians, who were sometimes also shareholders.
And even though the impact was expected to be minimal, it was projected that a significant number of depositors would transfer funds from Asian and Arab banks to other local institutions.
“Confidence in Arab banking has taken a serious knock,” the “highly placed” source told The Standard.
BCCI didn’t go down without a fight. It accused the British government of a conspiracy to bring down the Pakistani-run bank.  The Sheikh was said to be furious and would later engage in a protracted legal battle with the British.
“It looks to us like a Western plot to eliminate a successful Muslim-run Third World Bank. We know that it often acted unethically. But that is no excuse for putting it out of business, especially as the Sultan of Abu Dhabi had agreed to a restructuring plan,” said a spokesperson for British Asians.
A CBK statement signed by then-Deputy Governor Wanjohi Murithi said it was keenly monitoring affairs of the mother bank and would go to lengths to protect Kenyan depositors.
“In this respect, the CBK has sought and obtained the assurance of the branch’s management that the interests of depositors are not put at risk by the difficulties facing the parent company and that the bank will meet any withdrawal instructions by depositors in the normal course of business,” said Mr Murithi.
CBK added that it had maintained surveillance of the local branch and was satisfied with its solvency and liquidity.
This was meant to stop Kenyans from making panic withdrawals.
For instance, armed policemen would be deployed at the bank’s Nairobi branch on Koinange Street after the bank had announced it would shut its Kenyan operations.
In Britain, thousands of businesses owned by British Asians were on the verge of financial ruin following the closure of BCCI.
Their firms held almost half of the 120,000 bank accounts registered with BCCI in Britain. 
The African Development Bank was also not spared from this mess, with the bulk of its funds deposited and BCCI and stood to lose every coin.
Criminal culture
In Britain, local authorities from Scotland to the Channel Islands are said to have lost over £100 million (Sh15.2 billion in today’s exchange rate).
The biggest puzzle remained how BCCI was allowed by BoE and other monetary regulation authorities globally to reach such levels of fraudulence.
This was despite the bank being under tight watch owing to the conviction of some of its executives on narcotics laundering charges in the US.
Coast politician, the late Shariff Nassir, would claim that five primary schools in Mombasa lost nearly Sh1 million and appealed to then Education Minister George Saitoti to help recover the savings. Then BoE Governor Robin Leigh-Pemberton condemned it as so deeply immersed in fraud that rescue or recovery – at least in Britain – was out of the question.
“The culture of the bank is criminal,” he said. The bank was revealed to have targeted the Third World and had created several “institutional devices” to promote its operations in developing countries.
These included the Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies, a British-registered charity.
“It allowed it to cultivate high-level contacts among international statesmen,” reported The Observer, a British newspaper.
BCCI also arranged an annual Third World lecture and a Third World prize endowment fund of about $10 million (Sh1 billion in today’s exchange rate).
Winners of the annual prize had included Nelson Mandela (1985), sir Bob Geldof (1986) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1989).
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Agricultural Development Corporation Chief Accountant Gerald Karuga on the Spot Over Fraud –




Gerald Karuga, the acting chief accountant at the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), is on the spot over fraud in land dealings.

ADC was established in 1965 through an Act of Parliament Cap 346 to facilitate the land transfer programme from European settlers to locals after Kenya gained independence.

Karuga is under fire for allegedly aiding a former powerful permanent secretary in the KANU era Benjamin Kipkulei to deprive ADC beneficiaries of their land in Naivasha.

Kahawa Tungu understands that the aggrieved parties continue to protest the injustice and are now asking the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe Karuga.

A source who spoke to Weekly Citizen publication revealed that Managing Director Mohammed Dulle is also involved in the mess at ADC.

Read: Ministry of Agriculture Apologizes After Sending Out Tweets Portraying the President in bad light

Dulle is accused of sidelining a section of staffers in the parastatal.

The sources at ADC intimated that Karuga has been placed strategically at ADC to safeguard interests of many people who acquired the corporations’ land as “donations” from former President Daniel Arap Moi.

Despite working at ADC for many years Karuga has never been transferred, a trend that has raised eyebrows.

“Karuga has worked here for more than 30 years and unlike other senior officers in other parastatals who are transferred after promotion or moved to different ministries, for him, he has stuck here for all these years and we highly suspect that he is aiding people who were dished out with big chunks of land belonging to the corporation in different parts of the country,” said the source.

In the case of Karuga safeguarding Kipkulei’s interests, workers at the parastatals and the victims who claim to have lost their land in Naivasha revealed that during the Moi regime some senior officials used dubious means to register people as beneficiaries of land without their knowledge and later on colluded with rogue land officials at the Ministry of Lands to acquire title deeds in their names instead of those of the benefactors.

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“We have information that Karuga has benefitted much from Kipkulei through helping him and this can be proved by the fact that since the matter of the Naivasha land began, he has been seen changing and buying high-end vehicles that many people of his rank in government can’t afford to buy or maintain,” the source added.

“He is even building a big apartment for rent in Ruiru town.”

The wealthy officer is valued at over Sh1.5 billion in prime properties and real estate.

Last month, more than 100 squatters caused scenes in Naivasha after raiding a private firm owned by Kipkulei.

The squatters, who claimed to have lived on the land for more than 40 years, were protesting take over of the land by a private developer who had allegedly bought the land from the former PS.

They pulled down a three-kilometre fence that the private developed had erected.

The squatters claimed that the former PS had not informed them that he had sold the land and that the developer was spraying harmful chemicals on the grass affecting their livestock and homes built on a section of the land.

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Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Kisilu Mutua later issued a statement warning the squatters against encroaching on Kipkuleir’s land.

“They are illegally invading private land. We shall not allow the rule of the jungle to take root,” warned Mutua.

Meanwhile, a parliamentary committee recently demanded to know identities of 10 faceless people who grabbed 30,350 acres of land belonging to the parastatal, exposing the rot at the corporation.

ADC Chairman Nick Salat, who doubles up as the KANU party Secretary-General, denied knowledge of the individuals and has asked DCI to probe the matter.

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William Ruto eyes Raila Odinga Nyanza backyard




Deputy President William Ruto will next month take his ‘hustler nation’ campaigns to his main rival, ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard, in an escalation of the 2022 General Election competition.

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