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Posts Tagged ‘unity’

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

Party leader: National unity ensures nation’s interest

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Indonesian religious unity an inspiration to world: Obama

In Uncategorized on November 10, 2010 at 3:51 am

Party leader stresses importance of great unity

In Uncategorized on November 7, 2010 at 1:50 pm

105 houses of great unity built for ethnic minority people

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 3:19 pm

105 houses of great unity built for ethnic minority people

QĐND – Tuesday, July 20, 2010, 20:53 (GMT+7)

PANO – The Vietnam Father Front Committee of the central Thua Thien-Hue Province, in conjunction with Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank) and People’s Committee of A Luoi District, on July 18th, started the construction of 105 houses, worth VND28.5 billion each, for ethnic minority people in Hong Thuy Commune, A Luoi District, Thua Thien-Hue Province.

The project will help 105 households, whose houses were destroyed by typhoon 9 in 2009 in Hong Thuy Communes, return to normal and overcome poverty. Also on this occasion, representatives of the VietinBank branch in Thua Thien-Hue and the provincial leaders presented gifts to families of social policy and two Vietnam heroic mothers in the province.

Translated by Vu Hung

Source: QDND

Karzai, Obama put on show of unity

In Uncategorized on May 13, 2010 at 4:54 am

President Barack Obama insisted that flared tensions between the US and Afghan governments were “overstated” as Afghan leader Hamid Karzai staged an effusive show of support for US war goals.

The leaders met amid pomp at the White House after awkward public exchanges which strained their alliance and complicated Obama’s gamble on a 30,000 strong troop surge designed to forge a US exit from the Afghan battlefield.

“There are going to be tensions in such a complicated, difficult environment and in a situation in which, on the ground, both Afghans and Americans are making enormous sacrifices,” Obama said.

“With respect to perceived tensions between the US government and the Afghan government … a lot of them were simply overstated.”

Afghan President Hamid Karzai (L) shakes hands with US President Barack Obama during a press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC.

The leaders met in the Oval Office then held a press conference, which was both a public bonding session and an effort by Obama to convince wary Americans that the grinding progress of a war now in its ninth year was genuine.

Karzai put on an assured political performance, at odds with his tirades just weeks ago against foreign interference.

His latest White House appearance came nearly nine years after the September 11 attacks, which prompted the United States to launch war in Afghanistan and Pakistan border areas against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

Karzai also shrugged off recent spats.

“We are in a campaign against terrorism together, there are days that we are happy. There are days that we are not happy,” said Karzai, wearing his trademark green cloak and sheepskin hat in the ornate East Room of the White House.

Only weeks ago, top Obama aides said Karzai’s claims that foreigners plotted fraud in Afghan elections were cause for “genuine” concern, and said before the president was in Kabul in March that Karzai must do more to fight corruption.

But on Wednesday Obama smoothed over that row, noting “progress” by Karzai on anti-corruption efforts, improved governance, and work towards credible parliamentary elections later this year.

“Of course, President Karzai and I both acknowledge that much more work needs to be done,” Obama said.

Karzai pointedly promised to husband billions of dollars of US aid.

“I can reassure you that we will work with dedication and extreme care to have those resources spent well and in place for a better future for the Afghan people,” he said.

Obama said he was confident that slow but steady progress would allow him to meet his goal of beginning to draw down US troop numbers by July 2011, and was also “encouraged” by Pakistan’s actions against extremists.

In one extraordinary moment, Karzai and Obama stood face to face, a few feet apart, as the Afghan leader described his encounter with a wounded US warrior at a military hospital on Tuesday.

“It was a very difficult moment for me, Mr. President … a very, very young man, who had lost two arms and legs. It was heart-rending.”

In another overt show of respect for US “sacrifices,” Karzai was Thursday due to visit Arlington Cemetery where many US Afghan war dead are buried.

Obama also provided an emotionally charged moment, offering Karzai, who has complained repeatedly at Afghan civilian casualties, a glimpse of the burden of being commander-in-chief.

“Let me be very clear about what I told President Karzai. When there is a civilian casualty, that is not just a political problem for me.

“I am ultimately accountable … that is something that I have to carry with me…. I don’t want civilians killed,” he said.

Karzai later made the rounds on Capitol Hill and pleaded for patience in his much criticized fight against corruption. Most senators gave him positive reviews in talks with reporters.

“We didn’t notice any scars,” said Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin, a Democrat.

“Sounds like things are on a very even keel, very positive, we didn’t see any evidence of any lingering problem,” he said.

The Afghan leader said his effort was “something that we keep doing every day, but you don’t see the results here in America, or the rest of the world, on a daily basis.”

Obama also voiced support for Karzai’s efforts to woo wavering Taliban members back into Afghan society, but only if they renounced Al-Qaeda and violence.

A US military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Karzai wanted to negotiate a security agreement that would ensure a US commitment to Kabul beyond July 2011, when the US military drawdown is scheduled to begin.

Source: SGGP

Festival highlights national unity

In Uncategorized on May 3, 2010 at 3:14 am

Festival highlights national unity

QĐND – Sunday, May 02, 2010, 21:32 (GMT+7)

Water taken from the country’s northern, central and southern parts was poured into the Ben Hai river at a ceremony in central Quang Tri province on April 30 as a symbol of the desire and resolve to maintain territorial integrity and national unification of all Vietnamese people.

The Ben Hai river was selected as a temporary demarcation line separating the country into the North and the South under the Geneva Agreement on Vietnam signed in 1954.

The ceremony was part of the National Reunification Festival held by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Quang Tri provincial People’s Committee to mark the 35th anniversary of the liberation of southern Vietnam and national reunification, the 38th anniversary of Quang Tri’s liberation and the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi.

Addressing the festival, To Huy Rua, Politburo member and Secretary of the Party Central Committee and Head of its Commission for Information and Education, said the festival was an opportunity for all Party, army and people to pay tribute to fallen combatants, who had devoted their lives for national defence and construction, as well as a chance to uphold the nation’s tradition.

“Vietnam is one country, one nation. Rivers may run dry, mountains may crumble, but this truth will never change,” Rua quoted the late President Ho Chi Minh’s saying in his speech.

Source: Vietnam+

Source: QDND

Ethnic population embrace policy of great national unity

In Uncategorized on April 21, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Ethnic population embrace policy of great national unity

QĐND – Wednesday, April 21, 2010, 22:1 (GMT+7)

Solidarity and unity are the most important characteristics shared by the Vietnamese people, including its ethnic minority populations, said Permanent Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Council of Nationalities Be Truong Thanh at a conference here on April 20.

Speaking at the national workshop entitled “Community of Vietnamese ethnic minorities and the policy of national solidarity”, one of the many activities being held in preparation for the upcoming national congress of ethnic minorities which is slated to take place next month, Thanh said solidarity in building a united community among various ethnic groups has been an age-old tradition practiced in Vietnam.

Ha Van Nui, Vice President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, reiterated his organisation’s commitment to participate in all activities to consolidate the great national unity and solidarity among Vietnamese people.

He promised to supervise the enforcement of laws by government agencies, elected representatives and public servants in mountainous regions, where the majority of the country’s ethnic minority people live, to ensure they will not be marginalised, and to pay more attention to issues in these areas.

Tran Huu Thang, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, said his ministry had always paid due attention to ethnic minorities in its development of national programmes, projects and legal documents.

“We have organised many training courses on state governance, political theories, legal aid and information technology for local officials involved in ethnic minority areas,” said Thang.

Nong Van Luu, Lieutenant General and deputy director general of the Department of Security at the Ministry of Public Security, expressed his appreciation of the important role of the people, including ethnic minorities, in the All People’s Defence movement

“It is important to win trust in Party leadership and the great national unity of the ethnic people,” said Luu.

Five key themes were discussed during the workshop, including the great national unity; economic development and poverty reduction; conservation and enhancement of traditional cultures; education and training; and the building of the All People’s Defence movement and security in mountainous and border regions.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Calls for African unity as Senegal unveils controversial statue

In Uncategorized on April 4, 2010 at 5:14 am

DAKAR, April 3, 2010 (AFP) – Senegal’s controversial African Renaissance statue was unveiled Saturday, with leaders from across the continent calling for unity and the realisation of a “United States of Africa”.

The African Renaissance Monument to mark Senegal’s 50 years of independence is pictured during its inauguration ceremony on April 3, 2010 in Dakar. AFP photo

President Abdoulaye Wade called for the continent to unite in an address to a large crowd and 19 African leaders at the foot of the bronze statue, built by North Korea and higher than the Statue of Liberty.

“The time to take off has arrived,” he said of the continent, split into 53 states, which is increasingly courted for the rich minerals beneath its soil and its market of over one billion inhabitants.

While African leaders vaunted the statue as a symbol for all black people around the world and its inauguration as a historical moment, thousands of local opponents protested at a wasteful extravagance in hard economic times.

Riot police patrolled nearby streets earlier Saturday as demonstrators held up banners demanding the resignation of Wade, 84, who has been in power since 2000.

Deputy opposition leader Ndeye Fatou Toure said the statue was an “economic monster and a financial scandal in the context of the current crisis,” in a country where half the population lives below the poverty line.

Championed by Wade, the 52-metre (164-foot) monument whose cost is estimated at more than 15 million euros (20 million dollars) has caused a mixture of anger over its price tag, and bewilderment over its style.

The inauguration of the statue is the highlight of Senegal’s 50 years of independence from France on April 4, 1960.

It depicts a muscular man emerging from a volcano with a scantily clad woman in tow and holding a baby aloft in his left arm, pointing West towards the Atlantic Ocean.

The depiction of a woman with a whisp of fabric covering her breasts and skirting her thighs has baffled many in this overwhelmingly Muslim country, where women dress demurely, and drawn criticism from Islamic leaders.

Calling for unity, Wade said that “only a political integration of the United States of Africa will shelter us from potentially fatal marginalisation” on the world’s poorest continent, which holds rich economic potential, he added.

After “five centuries of ordeals, slavery, Africa is still there, folding sometimes, but never breaking. She is upright and resolute to take her future in hand,” Wade said.

“The slave traders have left, the last colonialist has left. We have no more excuses. We must seize this opportunity so that history does not repeat itself.”

Former Nigerian president and African strongman Olusegun Obasanjo who cut a ribbon in the colours of the Senegalese flag, said the statue was “a monument for black people all over the world”.

“We have a symbol to remind us, to inspire us” of and against years of slavery and abuse. “A united union of Africa can make it not happen again.”

African Union chief Bingu wa Mutharika, the president of Malawi, called for a new African unity: “We have more things that unite us, than those that divide us… Let us return to our countries with a new hope of a new Africa.”

A 100-strong African-American delegation included civil rights activist Jesse Jackson and Senegalese-American singer Akon.

The presidents of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cap Verde, the Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Liberia, Mali, Malawi, Mauritania and Zimbabwe were also present as well as the head of the African Union Commission Jean Ping.

“Africa has seized this monument. It is rare to have one country hosting more than a dozen heads of state for this kind of event. That testifies to their support,” presidential spokesman Mamadou Bamba Ndiaye told AFP.

Long on the table, a United States of Africa has been planned by the African Union by 2025, but doubts have been raised about the ability of the continent to unite amid widespread poverty and conflicts.

Source: SGGP

Afghan President seeks unity, vows to fight corruption

In World on November 19, 2009 at 9:54 am

Afghan President Hamid Karzai vowed to combat corruption and invited his chief rival to join the government after he was sworn in for a second term on Thursday, facing Western pressure to restore legitimacy as a US-led war stretches into a ninth year.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai kisses a large copy the Koran during his swearing in ceremony as the country’s president for another five years at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on November 19, 2009. (AFP Photo)

Karzai took the oath of office with a Taliban insurgency killing record numbers of Western troops and Afghans and limiting government control in growing parts of the country after his fraud-tainted re-election.

“Corruption is a dangerous problem,” he said in an address delivered before an audience of visiting foreign ministers, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, at his heavily fortified presidential palace.

“We will soon organise a conference in Kabul to organise new and effective ways to combat this problem,” he said.

Karzai also invited his chief rival Abdullah Abdullah into a government of national unity, and pledged action to fight drugs and create jobs.

“We have to learn from our mistakes and shortcomings of the last eight years,” the 51-year-old Karzai said, wearing a traditional hat and colourful cape.

After eight years of war and instability, the West has been pushing Karzai to commit to concrete reforms to clean up his government and restore trust.

Clinton, in Kabul for the first time as secretary of state, said the nation faced a “critical moment”.

“There is now a clear window of opportunity for President Karzai and his government to make a compact with the people of Afghanistan,” she said on the eve of Thursday’s ceremony.

Washington has increasingly expressed concerns about Karzai’s reliability as a US ally and effective head of state, urging his government to eradicate corruption to counter an intensifying Taliban-led insurgency.

Clinton has directly linked future levels of military and financial aid — on which impoverished and war-torn Afghanistan depends — to progress in eradicating official corruption.

Yet the United States and NATO — with 100,000 soldiers fighting the Taliban and leaders deciding whether to dispatch tens of thousands of extra troops in a last-ditch effort to win the war — have little choice but to work with Karzai.

President Barack Obama has said his decision on strengthening the US deployment is close and that he was weeks away from unveiling a war strategy review, a decision made no easier by Afghanistan’s disputed August election.

Obama’s administration has warned Afghans that America’s military commitment there, more than eight years after the 2001 US-led invasion toppled the Taliban regime and swept Karzai to power, will not be “open-ended”.

Leading rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called on Karzai to now sever his links with warlords and abusers of human rights.

Karzai should “prioritise human rights and the rule of law… to strengthen the country’s stability and security,” said Amnesty.

Scepticism about his willingness to comply with conditions for continued Western support will be difficult to dispel, particularly with Vice President Mohammed Fahim accused of human rights abuses and drug trafficking, in his administration.

The Afghan capital was on high alert for Taliban attacks to coincide with the inauguration, with many foreign employees of embassies, the United Nations and aid groups ordered to remain indoors.

Armed police and paramilitary units patrolled most roads and intersections while army, police and intelligence threw a ring of steel around the city.

Few cars were on the mostly closed roads and pedestrians were being stopped at checkpoints set up for the day.

Kabul has been the scene of a series of massive suicide car bomb attacks that have killed around 100 people in the last three months alone.

To many Afghans, Karzai’s presidency lacks legitimacy, his government lacks authority and the way in which he took the presidency lacks credibility.

“Karzai has to earn political capital because he has none left,” one diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Karzai was declared re-elected on November 2 by his own officials after a UN-backed commission found nearly a third of votes cast for Karzai on August 20 were fraudulent and his challenger Abdullah Abdullah abandoned a run-off.

In 2004, Karzai won Afghanistan’s first presidential election with 55.4 percent of the vote.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share