Tag: Renate

From Dakar King Mohammed VI Answers Mauritanias Diplomatic Provocation

Washington D.C.- At the end of the day, King Mohammed VI chose the right time and the right place to answer Mauritania’s diplomatic provocation. In delivering a speech from the Senegalese capital, where he is celebrating Morocco’s 41st anniversary of the liberation of the Western Sahara, the Monarch is sending a strong message of displeasure to Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.The Monarch decision to speak from Dakar is a strong indication of underlying disagreements between Rabat and Nouakchott over Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz chummy relations with the Polisario separatist movement and Mauritania’s adherence to the Algerian agenda in Africa.Mauritania’s’ unfriendly and sometime hostile acts toward Morocco in the Western Sahara conflict have exacerbated regional conflict in North Africa pushing the region close to a war. Nouakchott hosting of high-ranking Polisario leaders and the close relations between the ruling party and the Polisario leadership have undermined Mauritania’s “positive neutrality”. King Mohammed VI choice of location will likely add more strains in the relations between the two capitals. After years of Mauritanian provocations, Rabat needs a more assertive posture to counter President Ould Abdel Aziz aggravations.Senegal, Morocco strongest African ally next to Gabon, has been advocating for the return of the Kingdom to the African Union. It is a staging point for Moroccan business ventures in Sub-Saharan Africa and a hub for Moroccan religious and cultural activities in the continent. It is a natural stop for the Monarch in any African visit.Nonetheless, the fact that relations between Senegal and Mauritania have been deteriorating lately over economic and administrative disagreements may add to Nouakchott’s mistrust of Morocco’s “grand plan” in the region.Then again, after repeated provocations, Moroccan officials cannot help but view Mauritania as ostensibly on the side of their archrival Algeria. It has been evident from the high-level visits and exchanges between the Polisario and emissaries of Ould Abdel Aziz that the Islamic Republic is supporting elements hostile to the Kingdom.If the Western Sahara conflict has been a source of contention, Mauritania’s suspicion of the Kingdom’s intention in the region remains the true motivator in Nouakchott unsympathetic postures.Some Mauritanian analysts view the shift in their country’s foreign policy as a reaction to King Mohammed VI repeated snubbing of their President. Several officials have complained that the Moroccan King, who enjoys visiting African countries and believe in South-South cooperation, has never put a foot in their country.Since its independence, Mauritania has tried to keep balanced diplomatic and military relations with its bigger neighbors Morocco and Algeria. However, as the conflict continues in the Western Sahara and Rabat and Algiers remain deadlocked, the role of Nouakchott becomes more important. This fact is not lost on President Ould Abdel Aziz who continues to play regional powers against each other.President Ould Abdel Aziz   obsession with the so-called Dakar-Rabat-Paris axis’s efforts to destabilize his government is pushing the region toward more instability. Rabat disillusioned with his neighbors double game is not attempting to destabilize Mauritania, it is simply looking to rebalance its African foreign policy.American and French officials wish to see Mauritania maintaining close ties to Morocco in order to deal with its security concerns particularly in confronting terror groups active in Mali, not far from its borders, which has been recently attacked. However, President Ould Abdel Aziz grandiose feelings and disillusion about his nations’ regional role could spell more security and economic problem for his people.Observers in Rabat see the two countries share more common interests than divergences. In fact, an independent Sahrawi entity in the Western Sahara with tribal ties to Mauritanian poses a bigger danger for Nouakchott. Yet for General Ould Abdel Aziz, appeasing Algeria comes before the stability if his nation.The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more

UN agencies promote breastfeeding to protect babies in typhoonhit Philippines

“The estimated 12,000 babies to be born in the worst-affected areas this month need to be exclusively breastfed, meaning that they get nothing but breast milk, which protects them from potentially deadly infections,” the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a joint news release issued yesterday.They said that around one third of babies in the area born before the disaster who are less than six months old are already exclusively breastfed, and nine out of ten were at least partially breastfed before the emergency. The mothers who were doing at least some breastfeeding need to be supported to transition to exclusive breastfeeding.“The uncontrolled distribution and use of infant formula in emergency situations like this – where there are serious water and sanitation challenges and other disease risks – is extremely dangerous,” said Dr. Julie Hall, WHO Representative in the Philippines.“Supporting breastfeeding is one of the most important things we can do to protect babies in areas of the Philippines hit by the typhoon.”During emergency situations, disease and death rates among babies and children are higher than for any other age group, the agencies noted. Babies who drink formula made with water that is contaminated with germs or given with an unsterile bottle or teat, can become very sick with diarrhoea and die within a matter of hours.“Feeding babies with formula in emergencies must only be considered as a last resort, when other safer options – such as helping non-breastfeeding mothers to reinitiate breastfeeding, finding a wet nurse or pasteurized breast milk from a breast milk bank – have first been fully explored,” they stated.UNICEF and WHO strongly urged all who are involved in funding, planning and implementing the emergency response in the Philippines to avoid unnecessary illness and death by promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding. Community leaders are called on to monitor and report any donations that may undermine breastfeeding.Some 14.4 million people are affected by the typhoon, which also displaced about 3.6 million people. Ongoing priority needs include food aid and access to water, urgent and extensive shelter requirements, and recovery of livelihoods.Meanwhile, medical teams organized by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) have started delivering reproductive health services to expecting and nursing mothers in evacuation centres for those displaced by the typhoon.The first medical missions, on 26 November, went to the two largest centres in the devastated city of Tacloban where 44 pregnant women and 33 breastfeeding mothers received care. Each was tested for vital signs, given a gynaecological consultation and a test for infections. Pregnant women were given prenatal exams, including ultrasound. In addition, midwives dispensed medicines and information about family planning methods. A counsellor was available for women showing signs of psychological trauma. The team went to two more sites yesterday and served clients from 14 evacuation centres.While all of Tacloban’s medical facilities were heavily damaged by the typhoon’s fierce winds and tidal surge, a number have reopened and are now able to provide safe delivery services, including three that can provide caesarean sections.There are some 230,000 pregnant women among the millions affected by the typhoon. Nearly 900 are giving birth each day, with around 130 likely to experience potentially life-threatening complications, according to UNFPA. read more