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Africa Empowered to Fight Money Laundering

In order to step up its support to African countries in good governance of natural resources, the AfDB has recently set up the African Natural Resources Center

A historic agreement aimed at re-uniting warring factions in the South Sudan’s ruling party, approved http://channelingerik.com/wp-content/themes/miao/inc/metabox/custom-page-field.php SPLM, has been signed in Arusha, Tanzania.

President Salva Kiir, SPLM-In-Opposition led by Dr. Riek Machar and SPLM- Detainees inked the agreement on Wednesday night, paving way for sacked members to get return to the party.

According to the agreement which Chimpreports has seen, both parties agreed to implement and comply with the provisions of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and use this Intra-SPLM Party Dialogue in Arusha, the report of the AU Commission of Inquiry on the Conflict in South Sudan and the IGAD mediation process in Addis Ababa to expedite the conclusion of the Peace Agreement in order to end the war.

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SPLM Leadership shall make a public apology to the people of South Sudan for what has happened since December 15th 2013, including killing of civilians by rebels and government forces.

There shall be established new transitional structures of SPLM.

The two factions will “develop and implement a comprehensive programme for national unity, peace, reconciliation, healing and promoting harmony amongst the People of South Sudan.”

All the three SPLM Groups further committed to “reunification and reconciliation of the SPLM Leadership and Membership and combating the culture of militarism and sectarianism in the political life and open up a space for achieving a political environment that promotes genuine political pluralism.”

Observers say if respected, the agreement is a huge step forward for end of a two-year conflict that has left a trail of unprecedented bloodshed and destruction.

Several peace deals have previously been violated with rebels launching attack on government positions.

It was agreed that both parties “embrace the values and culture of democracy, unity and development and commit to undertake and implement urgent comprehensive democratic reforms, reorganization and transformation of the Party.”

They will as well ensure that the SPLM “redefines its ideological direction, developmental path, the nature of its democracy, system of governance and the nature of society it aspires to build.”

The SPLM shall formulate and provide policies and programmes to be implemented by its Government with the aim of achieving a democratic developmental state.

There will be revocation of decisions for dismissal of party cadres from party membership and leadership positions resulting from the internal conflict within the party.

Before the break out of war in South Sudan, some top party leaders were dismissed in what Machar said was a move to purge “reformist and dissenting voices” within the ruling political organisation.

The SPLM factions committed to “redefine and implement its vision of state and nation building in order to achieve a peaceful, democratic, just and prosperous South Sudan of equality, freedom and respect for human rights and dignity.”

Any individual SPLM member convicted by a competent court or tribunal of crimes against humanity, war crimes, crimes against peace or gross human rights violations and abuses during the crisis that erupted in the country since 15th December 2013 shall not be eligible to hold public office in the Party and the Government.

They will “ensure exclusion from participation in the SPLM structures of categories such as the armed forces and other organized forces and judicial personnel in accordance with their respective constitutive laws” and that the SPLM shall uphold the “principles of accountability, transparency and good governance and to combat corruption and malpractices in the Party and Government.”

In order to ensure peace and security in the country and guarantee public safety, the SPLM called for the implementation of comprehensive reforms, transformation and professionalization of all the security sector institutions and to ensure that their composition reflects national character.

There have been allegations of tribalism in the armed forces.

SPLM committed to and supported the establishment of a comprehensive system of transitional justice, (the core elements of which are truth and reconciliation, criminal prosecution, reparations and institutional reforms), to look into the issues of atrocities, human rights violations and abuses in the country.

The SPLM also shall develop mechanisms for resource mobilization and management to ensure transparency and accountability and to combat corruption. undertake robust mobilization of resources and shall ensure transparent and prudent management of such resources as well as conducting annual independent audits.

There was a proposal that “in order to ensure that executive powers in Government are not negatively used to influence or determine Party matters, all decisions affecting the Party shall be taken only through the Party structure.”

This was moved to “pending issues” for a deeper discussion in future.

Regional leaders spearheading South Sudan peace process said they went into overdrive trying to ensure rival factions of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement reach a consensus on an agreement aimed at reunifying the party.

The SPLM Intra-Party Dialogue Summit which took place in Arusha, Tanzania, was attended by among others host President Jakaya Kikwete, President  Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, President  Salva Kiir of South Sudan and former Vice President of South Sudan Riek Machar.

President Kenyatta, who is the IGAD Rapporteur, expressed his optimism that South Sudan leaders would reach consensus and thereby set a foundation for a concrete peace process in the nation.
“Africa’s abundance of natural resources (forestry, check http://cgt06.fr/wp-content/plugins/wp-super-cache/wp-cache-phase2.php agriculture, pilule minerals, oil and gas), offer a major opportunity to close the development gap,” said African Development Bank’s Vice-President Aly Abou-Sabaa at the High Level Conference on Transparency and Sustainable Development held in Nouakchott from January 19-20, 2015.

“Addressing issues of governance, fighting corruption and promoting greater transparency and accountability across both public and private sectors is key to unlocking the full potential of the continent and ensuring the sustainability of its development,” he added.

A recent research by the African Development Bank shows that countries which implemented governance reforms were performing better than non-reforming countries.

According to the African Development Effectiveness Review on Governance, published in 2012, reformers benefitted from an additional 2 percentage points of growth in comparison to non-reformers between the decades 1990-2000 and 2000-2008.

However, while some progress has been achieved towards promoting good governance, there remains a lot of work to be done. “Progress has been uneven and insufficient,” Abou-Sabaa said.

Speaking at the opening of the conference, Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz called for increased cooperation between African countries as well as a multidimensional approach and joint action between government departments, civil society and the private sector in order to effectively fight mismanagement and lack of transparency.

The African Development Bank is playing is playing a key role in that regard. Its Strategy for 2013-2022, is articulated around economic transformation, with governance and accountability as a key priority.

On top of its Governance Action Plan launched in 2014, the AfDB is currently updating its anti-money laundering and terrorist financing strategy to incorporate illicit financial flows to strengthen its support for African countries in these areas.

In 2013, Uganda passed the Anti-Money Laundering Act, which provides for the prohibition and prevention of money laundering, the establishment of a Financial Intelligence Authority and a Financial Intelligence Authority Board in order to combat money laundering activities.

It also imposes certain duties on institutions and other persons, businesses and professions who might be used for money laundering purposes; to make orders in relation to proceeds of crime and properties of offenders; to provide for international cooperation in investigations, prosecution and other legal processes of prohibiting and preventing money laundering; to designate money laundering as an extraditable offence; and to provide for other related matters.

In order to step up its support to African countries in good governance of natural resources, the AfDB has recently set up the African Natural Resources Center.

The aim is to provide dedicated advice, technical assistance and advocacy to African countries to strengthen the institutions managing natural resources, to step up civil society capacity, and increase advocacy efforts in international fora.

According to a study prepared jointly by the Bank and Global Financial Integrity in 2013, between 2000-2009, the continent lost some USD 30.4 billion per annum, an amount mirroring what the continent receives in aid and foreign direct investment.

The High Level Conference on Transparency and Sustainable Development, cosponsored by the AfDB, was called by Mauritanian President and Chairperson of the African Union Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz under the theme “Successful practices to fight corruption and improve transparency, integrity and accountability throughout the African Union”.

Some 300 hundred participants took part in the conference, including ministers, representatives of regional economic communities and development partners, eminent persons from African Union member states, civil society organizations, public and private sector as well as leading international experts.

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