Daily Archives: July 8, 2015

Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 19:30 (Kyiv time), 7 July 2015

This report is for the media and the general public.

The SMM monitored the implementation of the “Package of measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements”. Its monitoring was restricted by third parties and security considerations*. The SMM continued to observe ceasefire violations at and around the Donetsk airport. The SMM assessed damage in a number of places following shelling incidents.

Positioned at the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled Donetsk railway station (8km north-west of Donetsk) between 08:40 and 12:30hrs, the SMM heard the sound of 26 mortar rounds – three incoming, four outgoing and 19 undetermined – at a distance of 3-6km to the north, north-north-east, north-east, and south-east. At the same location between 17:12 and 18:30hrs, the SMM heard and in some cases also saw 78 incoming mortar or artillery rounds at distances of between 3-8km to the north, north-north-west, north-west and west; and, 62 outgoing mortar or artillery rounds at distances of between 3-5km to the north-west, west and south-west.

Positioned 3.5km west-south-west of Shyrokyne (20km east of Mariupol), the SMM heard a main battle tank (MBT), 3-4km to the north-east, firing 11 rounds. Later at the same location, the SMM heard the sound of two outgoing 120mm mortar rounds emanating from a location 2-3km to the north-east. The SMM assessed that the target area was to the east.  

SMM unmanned aerial vehicles observed two additional MBTs in government-controlled areas.

At a Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint near government-controlled Marinka (23km west-south-west of Donetsk), the SMM noted a high state of alert among the checkpoint personnel, with all but one of them taking cover in bunkers or other fortified positions. The one soldier who approached the SMM did so in a low crouching manner. He said that “DPR” armed personnel were 300m away to the north-east. He added that “DPR” snipers routinely operated in the area. In Marinka village, residents told the SMM of routine and prolonged night-time shelling in the area. The SMM observed several craters close to the checkpoint.

In the “DPR”-controlled Kuibyshivskyi district (6 km north-west of Donetsk city centre), the SMM observed two small impacts on two market stalls. Market vendors said the shelling had occurred on the night of 5/6 July. They reported no injuries.

At a kindergarten in “DPR”-controlled Dokuchaievsk (32km south-west of Donetsk), the SMM noted some broken windows and shrapnel grooves on a west-facing exterior wall. Inside, it noted some damaged furniture and equipment. The SMM observed no crater impacts.  

In “DPR”-controlled Svobodne (49km north-east of Mariupol), the SMM noted 15 shell impacts, assessed to have been caused by 120mm artillery rounds fired from the west. The SMM observed three destroyed houses, which it assessed to have sustained direct hits. A number of other houses had sustained damage. According to “DPR” armed personnel and residents of the village, an elderly woman and her adult son were killed in the shelling. The SMM observed a destroyed house where residents said the victims had lived. Human remains and blood were at the scene. The shelling occurred between 04:10 and 04:50hrs on 7 July, according to residents in neighbouring “DPR”-controlled Telmanove (50km north-east of Mariupol). In “DPR”-controlled Starobesheve (81km north-north-east of Mariupol), the head doctor of the hospital later told the SMM that two civilians killed in Svobodne had been taken to the morgue, which is attached to the hospital.

In nearby Telmanove, the SMM noted six shell impacts in a 75 by 300m rectangular area. The SMM noted shrapnel damage to and broken windows in numerous apartment blocks; a direct impact on the roof of a coal heating plant, one of whose walls had partially collapsed;  a hole in the roof of the maternity ward in the local hospital; shell craters in the yard of a kindergarten, whose walls sustained shrapnel damage and whose windows were mostly shattered; a shell crater on the main street in the village with shrapnel damaging an overhead gas pipeline, fences and homes; and, a large crater in a yard. The SMM assessed that the damage was caused by 152mm artillery shells fired from the west-south-west. In the grounds of the hospital, the SMM noted two new military-type trucks with a cable running from each of them into the hospital. On the roof of a nearby concrete grain silo, the SMM saw radio antennas and repeaters. On the far end of the street, the SMM noted cement blocks cutting off access. According to local inhabitants, the shelling – which occurred between 05:00 and 05:25hrs on 7 July – resulted in a 14-year-old girl sustaining leg injuries.

In “DPR”-controlled Sakhanka (24km east of Mariupol), residents told the SMM of hearing 60 explosions in the direction of nearby Dzerzhynske (25km east-north-east of Mariupol) between 04:30 and 05:30hrs on 7 July. In Dzerzhynske, the SMM observed a small crater caused by an 82mm mortar round in front of a house, which had sustained shrapnel damage to its front wall and windows. At the back of the house, the SMM observed two large craters, which it assessed to have been caused by artillery rounds. At a dis-used boarding school for mentally disabled children, the SMM observed that shrapnel from an airburst had damaged the windows and walls. The SMM observed that a chicken coup in the yard of a house had been completely destroyed by a direct hit. The SMM assessed that all rounds were fired from the north-west. No injuries were sustained, according to residents. The SMM noted the presence of four “DPR” armed personnel, and fresh tracks indicative of self-propelled artillery vehicles. The SMM also observed a tracked infantry fighting vehicle in the vicinity of nearby Sakhanka.

The SMM did not observe any ceasefire violations in the Luhansk region during the reporting period but several interlocutors claimed to have heard late-night/early-morning shelling in a number of locations along the contact line.

The SMM visited government-controlled Oleksiievo-Druzhkivka (63km north-north-west of Donetsk), where elderly male and female residents complained of increased unemployment, the rising cost of consumer products and long delays when crossing the contact line.

The SMM visited a soup kitchen in “Lugansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”)-controlled Petrivske (43km south-west of Luhansk), where a female employee said 130 unemployed people were provided with a free meal once a day. She added that local businesses and private individuals provided funding.

On 6 June the SMM observed two road blocks, one close to  Cheresh (37km south-west of Chernivtsi), and the other, at the administrative border between the villages of Davydivka and Banyliv-Pidhirnyi (43 and 50km south-west of Chernivtsi, respectively).  Approximately 40 protestors at each event – mostly younger men and women – told the SMM that they wished to highlight poor road conditions. In Cheresh, they also complained about what they described as inadequate health services and alleged plans to close down the local school. Four police officers were present at each gathering. The head of Banyliv-Pidhirnyi Village Council told the SMM that he supported the protesters.

In Vyzhnytsia (56km west of Chernivtsi), the military commissar for Vyzhnytsia and Putyla districts in Chernivtsi region told the SMM that 111 men from Vyzhnytsia and 42 from Putyla districts had been recently de-mobilised. Of the total number, 71 had served in the conflict zone. He added that five soldiers from the two districts had been killed in action and one was missing in action, since the start of hostilities in the east. Two others have sustained serious physical injuries, one of whom, in addition, suffers from severe psychological trauma.

The SMM continued to monitor the situation in Kharkiv, Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa, Kherson, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Kyiv.

See summary table of ceasefire violations under “Related” below. 

* Restrictions on SMM monitoring, access and freedom of movement:

The SMM is restrained in fulfilling its monitoring functions by restrictions imposed by third parties and security considerations, including the presence – and lack of information on the whereabouts – of mines, and damaged infrastructure. The security situation in Donbas is fluid and unpredictable and the ceasefire does not hold everywhere. Self-imposed restrictions on movement into high-risk areas have impinged on SMM patrolling activities, particularly in areas not controlled by the government. Most areas along the Ukraine-Russian Federation international border have ordinarily been placed off limits to the SMM by both “DPR” and “LPR”.  The SMM UAVs cannot operate in the Luhansk region as it is beyond their range.

Denied Access:

  • Armed “DPR” members refused the SMM passage through a checkpoint near “DPR”-controlled Zaichenko (26km north-east of Mariupol). The “DPR” ordinarily refuse passage to the SMM at this checkpoint.

Comverge to Deliver Thought Leadership on Energy Management Programs at DistribuTECH Africa

Comverge Executives to Discuss the Integration of Energy Efficiency and Demand Response Initiatives and the Role of Emerging Technologies

CAPE TOWN, Republic of South Africa, July 8, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Comverge Inc., the leading provider of demand management solutions for electric utilities, will share insights into the latest trends in demand response and energy management at the DistribuTECH Africa conference.

DistribuTECH Africa provides transmission and distribution professionals with access to the latest information, technologies and trends impacting the future of the utilities market. The conference will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in Cape Town, Republic of South Africa from July 15-17, 2015.

Comverge executives will participate in multiple panels throughout the three-day conference. On July 15, David Ellis, managing director at Comverge International, will participate in a session discussing business sustainability that will highlight the value of integrated energy efficiency and demand response programs for both customers and utilities. On July 16,

Cody Gaskin, data analyst at Comverge South Africa, will moderate a session discussing emerging equipment and technology.

– What: The Value of Integrating Energy Efficiency and Demand Response
– When: 4:15 – 5:45 p.m., Wednesday, July 15, 2015
– Where: Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town, South
Africa
– Who: David Ellis, Comverge

– What: Emerging, Equipment & Technology
– When: 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., Thursday, July 16, 2015
– Where: Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town, South Africa
– Who: Cody Gaskin, Comverge (Session Chair)

For more information about the DistribuTECH Africa conference, please visit: http://www.distributechafrica.com/index.html#leftcolumn_tabs_1_3

About Comverge
Comverge is the industry’s leading provider of integrated demand response,

energy efficiency and customer engagement solutions that enable electric utilities to ensure grid reliability, lower energy costs, meet regulatory demands and enhance the customer experience. Through its combination of software, hardware and services, Comverge helps utilities optimize every aspect of a demand management program, from participant recruitment and device installation to call center support, control events and measurement and verification. Comverge has worked with hundreds of electric utilities to deploy nearly six million energy management devices and enroll more than 1.6 million residential customers into mass-market demand management programs.

CONTACT: For Additional Information
Jason Cigarran
Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Communications
Comverge, Inc.
678-823-6784
jcigarran@comverge.com

Brand South Africa Dialogue Session on the Sidelines of WEF-Africa 2015

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, July 6, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ On the 3rd June 2015 Brand SA (http://www.brandsouthafrica.com) held a Roundtable Dialogue that was facilitated by Chris Bishop (Managing Editor of Forbes Africa) and the lead discussants were: Minister Jeff Radebe (Minister of Planning, Performance, Monitoring, Evaluation and Administration, South Africa); Minister Hannah Tetteh, (Minister of Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration, Ghana) and Dr. Petrus De Kock (General Manager: Research & Analysis, Brand SA).

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/bsa.jpg

The main purpose of the session was to augment policy discussions on building competitive Nation Brands. The key issues that came out of the session were the following:

• Commitment to build a competitive Brand Africa includes communication of the brand reality (i.e. Africa’s reality) and this is a shared responsibility by all stakeholders in the continent.

• In doing that government has to lead in the implementation of the resolutions taken at various African multilateral platforms – a case in point should be the implementation of the Continental Free Trade Area (C-FTA) which aims to increase intra-Africa trade thereby building enabling infrastructure.

• Business also needs to play a critical role in building Africa’s competitiveness therefore Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) should be encouraged to take the continent forward.

• It is also important to build and support African brands in order to create an African identity that will support Africa’s growth narrative.

• African need to take a critical view on the WEF-GCI to ensure that those issues that resonate with the continent’s circumstances are taken into consideration when measuring Africa’s competitiveness (e.g. poverty reduction, industrial development, etc.)

These issues will be engaged further in the following Roundtables gain traction and feedback to policy practitioners.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Brand South Africa.

For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:

Ms. Tsabeng Nthite

Communications Officer International: Brand South Africa

Tel: +27 11 712 5000 Mobile: +27 (0) 76 371 6810

Email: TsabengN@brandsouthafrica.com

About Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa (http://www.brandsouthafrica.com) is the official reputation management agency of South Africa internationally and locally. The organisation is mandated to build the county’s reputation, by contributing to the objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP) and contribute to improving South Africa’s global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.

SOURCE: Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa hosted Africa Day Breakfast Dialogue

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, July 6, 2015 / African Press Organization (APO) On Africa Day (25 May 2015) Brand South Africa (http://www.brandsouthafrica.com) hosted a two-hour Breakfast Session under the theme, Re-imaging the future towards 2063: Building Competitive African Nation Brands. The session was part of the Annual African Unity Renaissance Conference which took place from 22-24 May 2015.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/bsa.jpg

Photo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=2276
(Panelists during the session (from left to right) Dr. Petrus De Kock; Dr. Judy Smith-Höhn; Dr. Mzukisi Qobo; Prof. Chris Landsberg and Brand SA’s Acting CEO, Ms. Alice Puoane)

The main objective of the dialogue was to positively change perceptions about South Africa in the continent and build awareness of importance of positioning Africa as a competitive continent.

The session raised a number of questions about what it is that we measure when we talk about competitiveness. Whether it is not high time to consider a fundamental ‘Africanisation’ of this concept? Is it not better to celebrate, on Africa Day, the endless human and natural beauty, and hence, the great wealth of this continent? Is it not better to speak about the creative pulse that flows in the continent’s music, and the stories, both told and untold, that pass to us wisdom and knowledge pre-dating even the ancients of Egypt?

Is competitiveness not a rather problematical concept that speaks about market efficiency, and production merely for the sake of production, regardless of its associated human and environmental costs?

The discussions evolved to a probability that the answer can be found if the manner in which we approach and define competitiveness in the African context is re-thought, or at least delineated in new and inspiring ‘social ways’. This means that to the rationalism of the market logic has to be added a significant dose of human development.

The discourse shared perspectives on the role of commerce in Africa’s development considering the reality that regardless of the good policies and strategies competitiveness of the continent remains lower that desired.

In conclusion, Africa’s competitiveness should be viewed within the context of its developmental challenges that need to be put into the correct historical context as we chart the way forward in developing the continent.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Brand South Africa.

For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:

Ms. Tsabeng Nthite

Communications Officer International: Brand South Africa

Tel: +27 11 712 5000 Mobile: +27 (0) 76 371 6810

Email: TsabengN@brandsouthafrica.com

About Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa (http://www.brandsouthafrica.com) is the official reputation management agency of South Africa internationally and locally. The organisation is mandated to build the county’s reputation, by contributing to the objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP) and contribute to improving South Africa’s global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.

SOURCE: Brand South Africa