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Ouattara offers unity government if Gbagbo steps down

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:07 am

Ivory Coast presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara would form a unity government with members of incumbent Laurent Gbagbo’s party, as long as Gbagbo steps down first, the country’s ambassador to the United Nations said.

World powers and African states have heaped pressure on Gbagbo to cede the presidency to Ouattara after the provisional results of a November 28 election showed Ouattara won with an 8 percentage point margin.

Gbagbo “has followers, he has competent people in his party. Those people, we are prepared to work with them in the framework of a wide composite cabinet,” said Ivory Coast’s U.N. envoy Youssoufou Bamba in an interview with the BBC’s HARDtalk television news program.

File photo of Ivory Coast’s internationally recognised leader Alassane Ouattara at the Golf hotel in Abidjan

But he said the formation of a unity government was only possible if Gbagbo stepped down first.

“What I am saying is Mr. Ouattara should be recognized by Mr. Gbagbo that he is the legitimate president,” he said in the interview, a transcript of which was released by the BBC on Monday.

The proposal comes amid mounting pressure on Gbagbo, who has ruled the world’s top cocoa producer since 2000, to leave power and end a standoff that has killed more than 200 people and threatens to rekindle a civil war.

West African regional bloc ECOWAS has threatened Gbagbo with force if he does not leave power, while the United States and the European Union have imposed travel bans on Gbagbo and his inner circle.


In an effort to add pressure, Ouattara’s government on Monday listed 16 Ivorian treasury, banking and cocoa officials it wants sanctioned for backing Gbagbo.

“The government of (Prime Minister) Guillaume Soro … (wants) the leaders of these institutions in the banking sector which collaborate with Gbabgo’s illegal regime to be brought under … sanctions,” it said in a statement.

Gbagbo’s access to state accounts at West Africa’s central bank has already been frozen, but he still controls taxes, customs and the lucrative oil and cocoa sectors.

The list included the head of the cocoa regulating body, the head of the local branch of the West African central bank, four treasury officials and local directors of several other banks, including Ecobank Cote D’Ivoire and Standard Chartered.

The election was meant to reunite the former “pearl of West Africa” after the 2002-3 civil war split it into a rebel north and Gbagbo-controlled south, but has instead deepened divisions and raised the specter of a return to open conflict.


Fighting broke out between rival tribes seen as being pro-Gbagbo and pro-Ouattara in volatile west Ivory Coast last week, although local officials say it is now calm and there is nothing to suggest it was directly related to the election.

“The final death toll from these battles is pretty heavy: three deaths in hospital and about 30 outside it,” said Dr Teki Moise, in charge of the main hospital in the town of Duekoue.

“We also have 75 wounded, many of them still in hospital in serious condition.”

The clashes between Ouattara’s Dioula tribe and the Guere, seen as pro-Gbagbo, raised the alarm amongst U.N. mission workers who have long feared an electoral dispute could degenerate into ethnic violence in west Ivory Coast, a tinderbox of militia groups and rival tribes.

Some 15,000 have been internally displaced by the fighting, said a local priest who was sheltering people in his church.

“There are a lot of women and children, including some pregnant women,” said Father Cyprien Ahoure, head of Duekue Catholic mission. “We have a shortage of food, clothing and medicines. Living conditions are very difficult.”

More than 20,000 Ivorians in the west have fled across the border to Liberia since the dispute flared up, fearing a return to civil war.

Source: SGGP

Government to combat environmental pollution in craft villages

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:04 am

Government to combat environmental pollution in craft villages

QĐND – Monday, January 10, 2011, 20:44 (GMT+7)

PANO – Deputy Prime, Minister Hoang Trung Hai, recently assigned the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, in coordination with other central agencies and localities, to draw up a comprehensive scheme on the treatment of environmental pollution at nationwide craft villages.

The Deputy Prime Minister also asked the Ministry to complete circulars on environmental technical standards in order to issue them in the third quarter of 2011.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, there are some 1,500 craft villages nationwide, of which 800 villages are located in the Red River Delta.

Meanwhile, results from recent surveys conducted by the Centre of Water Resources and Environment show that the environment of food processing, industrial and handicraft villages is alarming.  

Both officials and experts agreed that it was high time to immediately take serious measures against environmental pollution in craft villages in order to ensure sustainable development for the sector in the future.

Translated by Thu Nguyen

Source: QDND

Obama congratulates Iraq on new government

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2010 at 4:31 am

WASHINGTON, Dec 21, 2010 (AFP) – US President Barack Obama Tuesday congratulated Iraq after parliament endorsed a new government, saying the move was a “significant” historic moment and represented a rejection of extremism.

“Today’s vote in the Council of Representatives is a significant moment in Iraq’s history and a major step forward in advancing national unity,” Obama said in a written statement.

“I congratulate Iraq’s political leaders, the members of the Council of Representatives, and the Iraqi people on the formation of a new government of national partnership.”

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden both spoke to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki personally by telephone to offer their congratulations, the White House said.

Iraqi former prime minister and now member of Parliament and head of the Iraqiya bloc Iyad Allawi (R) and former Iraqi prime minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, now member of Parliament and of the National alliance, walk together on December 21, 2010. AFP

The president said that the Iraqi people and elected representatives had shown, with the long-delayed move after elections in March, that they were committed to democratic means to ease differences and shape Iraq’s future.

“Their decision to form an inclusive partnership government is a clear rejection of the efforts by extremists to spur sectarian division,” he said.

“Iraq faces important challenges, but the Iraqi people can also seize a future of opportunity.

“The United States will continue to strengthen our long-term partnership with Iraq’s people and leaders as they build a prosperous and peaceful nation that is fully integrated into the region and international community.”

Obama, who rose to power after he opposed the then unpopular Iraq war, has presided over the end of US combat operations in the country, and all American forces are due to be withdrawn by the end of next year.

He tasked Biden with monitoring the US withdrawal and his number two has invested substantial time in persuading various factions in the country to move towards a coalition agreement.

Biden said in his own statement that Iraq’s leaders had delivered what their people deserved and expected — “an inclusive, national partnership government that reflects the results of Iraq’s elections.”

“There are many challenges ahead, but I am convinced Iraq is up to them,” Biden said.

Nearly 50,000 US troops remain in Iraq, seven years after the US invasion to topple ex-leader Saddam Hussein, mostly engaged in training and advising Iraqi security forces.

Iraq’s parliament earlier gave Maliki’s government a vote of confidence and adopted a 43-point program aimed at liberalizing the economy and fighting terrorism.

After more than nine months of political wrangling, parliament in separate votes gave its approval to Maliki, three deputy prime ministers and 29 other cabinet ministers, as well as the government program.

The results of the March 7 polls were generally split along sectarian lines, with Shiites mainly supporting Maliki’s State of Law and the National Alliance, and Sunnis mostly voting for ex-premier Iyad Allawi’s secular Iraqiya.

Neither Maliki nor Allawi was able to muster the majority needed to form a government, despite back-door negotiations with various Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs that also picked up seats, leading to more than nine months of political deadlock.

But a power-sharing pact was agreed on November 10 which saw Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, reappointed as president and Osama al-Nujaifi, a Sunni Arab, named as speaker of parliament.

Source: SGGP

Government seeks cut in workplace injuries

In Uncategorized on December 17, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Government seeks cut in workplace injuries

QĐND – Friday, December 17, 2010, 20:53 (GMT+7)

The Government has earmarked 730 billion VND (36.5 million USD) for a national program that seeks to reduce fatal workplace accidents by at least 5 percent a year.

The five-year program, to begin next year, targets sectors with a high incidence of workplace accidents, like mining, construction, electricity, and metal and chemical production.

It also seeks to diagnose and treat more workers with occupational diseases and ensure an additional 2,000 small and medium-sized enterprises adopt workplace safety regulations every year.

Safety training courses will be provided for 40,000 workers in sectors requiring strict adherence to safety regulations and a further 10,000 who work in toxic and dangerous environments.

The program will help train 40,000 safety officials and provide consultancy and technical assistance to improve working conditions and reduce accidents at small and medium-sized firms.

Workplace accidents have been an increasing concern in the country in recent times.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, there were 2,611 workplace accidents in the first six months.

Last year there were more than 6,000 accidents which killed 550 workers and seriously injured 1,221 others.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Government supports kindergarteners to pay insurance premiums

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:40 am

The Ministry of Education and Training has just launched a draft decision on supporting social insurance cost for kindergarten teachers and administrators.

A teacher and her children of Nguyen Dinh Chieu Kindergarten in District 1, HCM City. (Photo: Sggp)

Accordingly, kindergarteners have to meet criteria including graduating from teacher schools; working at pre-schools before 1995,  stopping working or retiring at the prescribed age in accordance with the State’s regulations; owing social insurance payments from one month to 60 months according to the Law on Social Insurance; not receiving the one-time insurance payment; continuing to buy insurance to receive retirement pension in accordance with the State’s regulations.

According to the new draft, the Government will pay 13 percent of the minimum salary level for kindergarten teachers and administrators from one month to 60 months.

Participants can pay insurance premiums by monthly, once per quarter or every 6 months.

Source: SGGP

Government supports flood victims

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:31 am

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on December 3 decided to extract VND335 billion (US$16,75 million) from the State budget and 8,600 tons of rice from the National reserve in support for central provinces to surmount the flood consequences.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (R) hands emergency relief to flood victims in the central province of Ha Tinh on October 20, 2010.(Photo:VNA)

Accordingly, government will hand over to Quang Tri Province VND30 billion and Thua Thien Hue provinces VND30 billion ($1,5 million) and 1,000 tons of rice.

Quang Nam Province will receive VND30 billion and Quang Ngai Province will receive VND40 billion and 2,000 tons of rice.

Government will provide VND40 billion and 1,000 tons of rice to Binh Dinh Province, Phu Yen VND30 billion and 2,000 tons of rice, Khanh Hoa VND30 billion and 500 tons of rice and Ninh Thuan VND70 billion and 2,000 tons of rice.

The PM also asked local authorities to use localities’ standby budget to overcome flood consequences.

As of November 10, the flood weary southern central provinces in the last few day were buffeted by another deluge which has killed 28 people and left two others missing.

Khanh Hoa Province alone had eight dead, one missing and six injured, total economic losses was estimated to reach VND410 billion (US$20.5 million).

In Binh Dinh Province, the traffic was blocked on some roads in Tuy Phuoc town. 


Source: SGGP

Rebel troops claim Madagascar government suspended

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2010 at 6:27 am

Deadly Indonesian volcano eases off: government

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2010 at 9:54 am

Sarkozy clears decks for French government reshuffle

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2010 at 4:23 am

Government pushes up efforts to curb inflation

In Uncategorized on November 6, 2010 at 1:49 pm