47612E MOZAMBIQUE/MALAWI: BORDER DEMARCATION TO RESUME IN JULY
Maputo, 13 Jun (AIM) - Mozambique and Malawi are expected to resume the delimiting of their joint border in July, after a six month suspension due to conflicting interpretations.
A consensus was reached on Monday at a meeting in the city of Tete, in western Mozambique, during which both countries agreed to resume the demarcation exercise which started in 2009.
The Mozambican delegation was headed by Jose Elias Mucombo, the Director of Borders at the National Institute for Sea and Border Affairs.
According to Wednesday's issue of the daily newspaper "Noticias", Mucombo said that besides reaching consensus on the interpretation of the agreement, both countries also agreed on procedures for employing temporary workers to move equipment along the border, particularly in remote and inaccessible regions.
Mucombo explained that there is a 76 kilometre stretch of the border yet to be demarcated, of which 25 kilometres is in dense forest. "It is a barely accessible region. We even considered using helicopters to move equipment, but after calculating the cost we realised that neither the Mozambican nor Malawian governments are in a position to cover such an expense. Therefore, we agreed to hire temporary workers", explained Mucombo.
There is also a stretch of 51 kilometres that remains to be completed in the district of Milange, in the central province of Zambezia.
"Fortunately, we have solved two of the sticking points, particularly the most delicate point which was the interpretation of the agreement. By 20 July we want to have teams deployed on ground to resume our work", said Mucombo.
The demarcation of the border is to replace the original boundary markers stretching along the 1,400 kilometre border, which is composed of 900 kilometres of land, 322 kilometres of lakes and 190 kilometres of rivers.
As for other neighbouring countries, Mucombo said that a technical meeting was held last week with Tanzania, and an agreement was reached that mapping issues should be carried out before resuming the process of demarcation.
Mucombo hopes to shortly complete the process of border demarcation with Zambia.
46612E FIRST LADY ATTENDS WASHINGTON FORUM ON CHILD SURVIVAL
Washington, 13 Jun (AIM) - Mozambique's First Lady, Maria da Luz Guebuza, has arrived in Washington to attend a high level forum convened by the governments of the United States, India and Ethiopia in collaboration with UNICEF on the theme "Child Survival Call to Action".
About 700 leaders and global experts are expected to attend the event.
On Thursday, she will be on an expert panel addressing new approaches to ending preventable child deaths. Other panel members include the Director General of the World Health Organisation, Margaret Chan, and Britain's Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell.
Speaking to AIM on Tuesday, Maria da Luz Guebuza said that the event is being held to encourage more people to support the ambitious programme to end child mortality throughout the world.
"We want children to be able to play their part in ending underdevelopment in the world, and that involves offering them an environment in which they can grow up healthily", said the President's wife.
Maria da Luz Guebuza lamented that a high percentage of the Mozambican population still have to travel long distances to reach health units or maternity wards, which increases the danger to the health of the children and their mothers.
She called for the continuation of effective interventions such as the vaccination campaigns, units to house pregnant women awaiting labour, mobile clinics and programmes for testing pregnant women.
According to the First Lady, the routine testing of pregnant women has greatly reduced cases of children being born with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Of those children who die below the age of five, the majority of deaths are caused by a small number of problems, mainly preventable and treatable illnesses such as diarrhoea, malaria, malnutrition and neonatal complications.
"Each child that dies is a citizen who cannot make a contribution to the development of the country and the world", said Maria da Luz Guebuza.
The Call to Action challenges the world to reduce child mortality to below 20 child deaths per 1,000 live births in every country by 2035. Reaching this target would save an additional 45 million children's lives between 2010 and 2035, bringing the world closer to the ultimate goal of ending preventable child deaths.
Currently Mozambique has a child mortality rate of 97 deaths per 1,000 live births. Although still unacceptably high, the rate has more than halved over the last fifteen years.
During her stay in Washington the First Lady will visit the Martin Luther King memorial, meet with United States senators and attend a reception hosted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
45612E AHMED JASSAT DIES IN SOUTH AFRICA
Maputo, 13 Jun (AIM) - The owner of Expresso Cambios, Ahmed Jassat, died in South Africa on Monday from gunshot wounds he received when he was attacked in the Mozambican capital city, Maputo.
He was shot several times as he left a building in the centre of the capital, and the wounds were so severe that it was originally reported that he had died shortly after being admitted to hospital. In fact, doctors managed to stabilise his condition and he was transferred to a hospital in South Africa for further treatment.
Mozambique's national police spokesperson Pedro Cossa on Tuesday appealed for help in finding the assassins.
Cossa stated, "we are still working on the case and ask for help in gathering information. We ask for everyone's support in capturing these criminals".
Ahmed Jassat was shot as he left a building in one of the busiest streets in the heart of Maputo, 24th July Avenue, in the neighbourhood of Polana Cimento.
The murderers were waiting in a parked Toyota Corolla car and opened fire using a Kalashnikov AK-47 rifle.
The car did not have registration plates, and Cossa urged people to tell the police if they ever see any car without plates.
This is the second assassination of a citizen of Asian origin in Maputo in less than two months. In April the businessman Momade Ayoob was shot dead in broad daylight as he was leaving the Masjid-e-Jilani mosque in the Maputo neighbourhood of Alto-Mae.
Cossa also revealed that between 2 and 8 June there were 146 crimes reported to the police, which is down forty per cent on the same period last year. So far, 121 of these cases have been solved. A total of 1,138 people were arrested with the vast majority (1,016) being for border violations. In addition, 353 Mozambicans were repatriated from South Africa.
During the week there were 58 traffic accidents resulting in 30 deaths, 24 serious injuries and 38 minor injuries.
The police stopped 19,459 vehicles, fined 3,478 drivers and seized 137 vehicles and 73 driving licences. Eighty people were arrested for illegal driving.
44612E POLICE CONCERNED WITH ESCALATION OF SEXUAL ABUSE
Maputo, 13 Jun (AIM) - Mozambique's national police spokesperson Pedro Cossa on Tuesday expressed his concern at the escalation in the number of cases of women and children being sexually abused. According to Cossa, "this is an evil phenomenon that must be stopped as soon as possible".
Cossa revealed that at least five rape cases are reported every week, with many cases going unreported by the victims or their parents.
In Mozambique it is a common practice, particularly in the rural areas, for the victim's family to reach a settlement with the perpetrator, which consists of compensation though money or cattle.
The situation is worst in the central province of Zambezia, where at least two cases of sexual abuse are reported every week.
The police spokesperson demanded harsher penalties for the perpetrators of sexual abuse of minors. "The courts should hand down tougher sentences to discourage these acts because this is an evil seed growing in our country", he said.
Speaking at his weekly press briefing on Tuesday, Cossa said that over the last week four cases of rape have been reported to the police. Two of the victims were only five years old, with another being a 92 year old woman who was raped by her son.
In most cases of child rape the attacker is either a family member or someone close to the family.
Under current legislation, the rape of a minor under 12 carries a maximum penalty of 8 to 12 years imprisonment. The sentences are higher when the offender is related to victim.
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