Burkina: Magistrates mobilize more than 32 million CFA francs for the war effort

The magistrates of Burkina Faso mobilized the sum of 32 million 640 thousand 666 CFA francs, which they handed over to the government on Monday, in order to support the war effort.

According to the donor representative, the magistrates' contribution is made up of 20 ALOBA brand motorcycles at a total cost of 11 million 137 thousand 225 FCFA, cash in the amount of 9 million 685 thousand 275 FCFA and deductions to be made at the source of an amount of 11,817,166 FCFA.

"It is on a voluntary basis that the magistrates responded to the call of the CSM", explained the president of the Superior Council of the Judiciary (CSM), Mazombé Jean Kondé.

He was speaking this Monday morning in Ouagadougou, on the occasion of the ceremony to hand over the donation to the government.

Mr. Kondé specified that the contributors are for the most part magistrates in the courts or on secondment within the country, while some are international and others admitted to assert their rights to retirement.

To hear the president of the CSM, the idea of the initiative germinated a few months ago.

For his part, the Minister of State, Defense and Veterans Affairs, Kassoum Coulibaly, on receiving the donation, praised the contribution of the judiciary, which, he mentioned, is not at its first initiative in favor of the fight against terrorism.

"This receptivity to the appeal launched by the executive at its highest summit is the expression of the patriotism of the judiciary in the face of the terrorist hydra", affirmed the minister.

For him, the importance of this contribution testifies to the strong level of commitment of the magistrates to support the fight for the reconquest of the national territory and the safeguard of the Burkinabe nation”.

Source: Burkina Information Agency

Burkina: The new security law places people at the center of the security issue, Minister

The new national security law adopted on Tuesday by the Transitional Legislative Assembly puts people at the center of the security issue, said the Minister in charge of Defense, Colonel - Major Kassoum Coulibaly.

The Transitional Legislative Assembly (ALT) adopted Tuesday, during a plenary session, the bill on national security to enable the government to face the challenges of the moment.

According to the Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs, Colonel-Major Kassoum Coulibaly, the recommendations of the national forum on national security, held in 2017 by the Burkinabe government, decided on the establishment of a security policy.

Colonel-Major Coulibaly clarified that this paradigm shift is now effective, with the validation of this bill comprising 70 articles and which aims to improve security in Burkina Faso.

"We had to review a new concept that puts people at the center of the security issue," said Kassoum Coulibaly.

For him, many decrees will be applied by the government to strengthen the fight against terrorism in Burkina.

Since 2015, the country has been plagued by terrorist attacks that have killed hundreds, displaced more than 2 million people and caused the closure of many schools and health establishments.

Source: Burkina Information Agency

Burkina: “a treasure has no value if it is hidden”, Martial Rigobert Tiendrebeogo

The initiator of Archives Burkina, Martial Rigobert Tiendrebeogo said on Tuesday in Ouagadougou, during the launch of the activities of the Association for the Promotion of Archives of Burkina (APAB), that a treasure has no value if hidden.

“A treasure only has value if we know of its existence, if its existence is known, we no longer go to libraries, we have lost our desire to read, but we all have our noses glued to our mobile phones,” said indicated the vice-president, initiator of archive Burkina, Martial Rigobert Tiendrebeogo.

He added that "That's why we wanted to promote our story through the networks and we see that its going from 40,000 members to 167,000 members in a few months".

Mr. Tiendrebeogo spoke on Tuesday in Ouagadougou, at the launch of the activities of the Association for the Promotion of Burkina Archives (APAB), under the theme: "Contribute to revealing the great men of our country to the youth through the archives ".

"And the questions that Internet users are asking through our publications show us that they want to know more," he added.

He specified that for people to be interested in our culture, it would be good to bring this culture to these plates which are the small screens.

The President of the Association for the Promotion of Archives, Lucie Coulibaly Tapsoba, indicated that the APAB collects all that is audio-visual that can help culture.

"It's our life, it's our identity," she said.

The principal of Nelson Mandela High School, Alexandre Belem, said that archives in general are still important.

“We are an educational school setting, we teach some of its information to students and this initiative is like an opportunity to reinforce student learning,” he added.

Mr. Belem found the activity to be an opportunity to reinforce our students' learning.

Source: Burkina Information Agency

Burkina: Personal data protection authorities concerned about multiple breaches

Personal data protection authorities, meeting in Ouagadougou, expressed concern about the multiple violations of the rights of individuals which sometimes jeopardize social cohesion and living together within communities. States.

“The protection of the personal data of our populations on digital platforms constitutes for us, protection authorities, a major concern, in the face of the multiple violations of the rights of individuals and illicit publications of all kinds, often jeopardizing social cohesion. and our living together”, declared the president of the Commission of Computing and Freedoms (CIL), of Burkina Faso, Marguerite Ouédraogo.

Ms. Ouédraogo was speaking Tuesday morning in Ouagadougou, at the opening of an international conference on the protection of personal data, under the chairmanship of the representative of the Head of State, the director of cabinet of the Presidency of Faso, Céleste Anderson Dekomwin Medah.

Marguerite Ouédraogo noted that this International Conference will have, among other objectives, to strengthen the capacities of digital actors and to reflect on better protection of the rights of people on the African continent, in connection with the use of their personal data on platforms. digital in general and on social networks in particular.

According to her, these structures will continue to raise awareness in the context of the protection of personal data, which is a major challenge, in order to better secure populations through digital platforms.

For example, the president of the CIL invited Burkinabè soldiers in the fight against terrorism to remain truly courageous in the face of the adversary and not to share the data they have collected in the field.

Marguerite Ouédraogo also invited the populations not to share the data of the Combatant Forces in order not to expose them.

She indicated that the members of the African Network of Personal Data Protection Authorities, present at the 6th General Assembly (GA) of the international conference, will seize the opportunity to harmonize points of view to find solutions, in order to better protect the personal data of their fellow citizens.

The international conference on the protection of personal data, which is being held from May 9 to 12, has the theme: "Protection of personal data and privacy on digital platforms: challenges and prospects".

It should be noted that the Commission for Computing and Liberties (CIL), created in 2004 by law, aims, among other things, to raise public awareness about better protection of their personal data.

Source: Burkina Information Agency

Endemic species: Drastic decline of Seychelles white-eye bird on Mahe Island

Seychelles' Ministry for Environment is in the process of reviewing all its action plans to better conserve and protect endangered species, especially those under threat of extinction, such is the case of the Seychelles white-eye bird.

The principal secretary for environment, Denis Matatiken, told SNA that the ministry has started to engage with local stakeholders for the protection of this endemic species as well as other endangered species, following reports regarding an alarming decline in the population of the white-eye bird on the main island of Mahe.

A small grey bird with a narrow white ring around each eye, the white-eye was previously classified as critically endangered on the IUCN red list, and successful conservation work allowed the bird to be down-listed to vulnerable status. The species can currently be found on four of the 115 islands of the Seychelles archipelago; Mahe, Fregate, North Island and Grande Soeur.

"The ministry is aware of this situation and believes that conservation is key especially where our endemic species are concerned. It considers taking appropriate actions when needed," said Matatiken.

He added that the government intends to review all the species action plans, including the one for the Seychelles white-eye, which was developed from 2009-2013.

"It is important to establish what has been done, what is known and what actions need to be undertaken. This is important given that a lot of efforts and resources were put in the protection and conservation of such a species," he said.

SNA was alerted to the crucial state of the bird's population on Mahe by the local conservationist turned tour guide, Perley Constance.

Constance has over 30 years of experience in conservation and research on bird and plant species and has worked as a conservation officer with the Ministry for Environment. Besides his tour guide business, Constance also works as a consultant. Bird watching is one activity that he offers visitors to the islands.

"It was during one of my latest tours, when I took clients to see the zwazo linet [white-eye in Seychellois Creole], something that I always include in my tours. I also bring visitors to see the scops owl. This was last week and I got a shock. At La Misere there was only a pair of the species. Normally there were a few of these birds at this location," explained Constance.

Apart from La Misere, according to Constance, these species can be sighted on Mahe at Cascade, Sans Soucis, Grand Anse Mahe and Barbarons – though this site has not been accessible recently since the area was purchased by private owners.

Constance has expressed his fears about the current status of the white-eye, as he feels the relevant authorities should change their approach where conservation is concerned and emphasis should be put on field trips to better assess the status of endangered species.

"If something is not done now, it is with great sadness that we would lose the population on Mahe, just like we have lost the mother population on Conception Island," added Constance.

Conception Island is a small island approximately 2 km west of the main island of Mahe. The island is privately owned and is uninhabited. Up to 2016, the island had a healthy population of over 300 white eye birds.

Rocamora and his team have been studying the Seychelles white-eye since 1995 when he arrived in Seychelles. (Gérard Rocamora) Photo License: All Rights Reserved

This was a result of successful work which started in the 1990s by a team of local conservationists headed by Dr Gerard Rocamora, a conservation biologist, and expert in ornithology, island conservation and invasive species management. Constance worked with Rocamora on the project.

The successful management of this population was done prior to the island being sold off to a private businessman who has not developed the island since. Unfortunately, over a period of only three years, the whole population of birds was eaten by rats.

In a past interview with SNA, Rocamora shared the latest development with regards to the threatened species, and where a project was being implemented to relocate species of white-eye on Mahe to other islands.

"The aim right now is to move some of the few birds left on Mahe to another island to ensure that the precious genes of the Mahe bird population, different from those of the birds present on the other islands, can be passed on and do not vanish forever," said Rocamora in November 2021.

He explained that a morphology and genetics study of the birds on Mahe and Conception showed that those on the main island were slightly larger, however, this did not mean that the two populations were different.

Meanwhile, Constance is adamant that all the work done in the 1990s relating to conservation should not be in vain and is calling for an urgent partnership at the national level to reinstate the population of birds on Mahe before it is too late.

Source: Seychelles News Agency

Seychelles Human Rights Commission registers 117 enquiries in 2022

In 2022, the highest number of alleged human rights violations registered by the Seychelles Human Rights Commission (SHRC) against one entity were against the Seychelles Police Force, the commission's annual report shows.

A total of 10 registered complaints were logged to the commission against the police. Of the total of 117 lodged enquiries last year, 18 contained complaints of possible human rights violations and were registered to be investigated.

The commission recorded an increase of 50 percent in the total enquiries registered compared to 2021. The largest number of enquiries were related to the right to work, followed by right to property, right to liberty and right to a fair and public hearing.

The SHRC presented the 2022 annual report to President Wavel Ramkalawan at State House on Tuesday.

When addressing the press after close to two hours of talks with the President, the SHRC chairperson, Justice Bernardin Renaud, said that "In Seychelles, there is more interaction between the police and the public, followed by immigration and prison. As such the ministry with the most public interaction is that of internal affairs. We have started a conversation and developed a way of working with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and we are now collaborating to overcome such situations so that they are not repeated," said Renaud.

"We are getting people who are saying that the police has dealt with them in a wrong manner, a case where individuals have been sent back to their country upon arriving in Seychelles seeking for refugee status, there are prisoners who are looking for their right to be pardoned, and talking about the state of the prison," continued Renaud.

He outlined that the commission took it upon itself last year to visit police stations across the country to see firsthand the state in which people are held in custody.

"Any place that holds a person against their will should be at a level that is humane and respectable. We visited different police stations in the country, and we don't want to be seen as targeting police stations. We are just saying that these police stations of the 1900s are not what we need today in 2023. The person being held needs to have water and air, and the place needs to be clean. Hygiene in such places is of great importance," said Renaud.

Touching on the 117 enquiries brought before the commissioners in 2022, he outlined that "some people came to us after looking for recourse from other institutions with no avail."

"We analysed these and gave guidance and information. Out of the 117, we retained around 10 cases and took them up with the government so that we could resolve the situations," said Renaud.

Speaking about the priorities of the SHRC for the coming years, he outlined that a programme called the "Mechanics of the Constitution" has been developed, which will allow the press, media, departments, schools, and other institutions to approach the Constitution in another way and become more aware of their rights.

Source: Seychelles News Agency

Switzerland and Seychelles to work together on climate change and drug addiction

Switzerland is proposing to share its experience in drug addiction programmes with Seychelles while also looking for ways to work on the effects of climate change, the Swiss ambassador said on Tuesday.

The new Ambassador of Switzerland to Seychelles, Rolf Stalder, made the statement after presenting his credentials to President Wavel Ramkalawan at State House.

Among other topics discussed were further collaborations in the field of education – whereby Seychellois professionals may go to Switzerland for further training or on-the-job training.

Seychelles and Switzerland established diplomatic relations in 1981 and the two countries continue to cooperate in areas such as tourism and education.

While the two countries have excellent relations, Stalder said “there is always something to improve,” adding “that since we both have an important tourism sector, I think there can be some cooperation to improve and exchange”.

Stalder also explained that they discussed climate change and “how we can cooperate as smaller countries in the international systems to really fight against climate change”.

The discussions at the State House on Tuesday morning also included the measures that must be taken to fight climate change.

Furthermore, Switzerland is currently one of Seychelles' top tourism markets. The latest figures showed that from January to April 2022, a total of 4,530 visitors to Seychelles came from the European nation, making it the eighth highest tourism market. The top three markets are France, Russia and Germany.

While in Seychelles, the new ambassador also paid courtesy calls to Vice President Ahmed Afif and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sylvestre Radegonde.

The Swiss Ambassador to Seychelles is based in Antananarivo, Madagascar.

Source: Seychelles News Agency