Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Dep. Asst. Sec Pete Marocco Travels to Morocco, Egypt, and Tunisia


Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
August 8, 2018

Deputy Assistant Secretary Pete Marocco will travel to Rabat, Morocco; Cairo, Egypt; and Tunis, Tunisia August 9-14.

In Rabat, he will meet with civil society implementing partners. In Cairo, he will meet with Arab League officials to discuss a capacity-building program on conflict resolution. During his time in Tunis, he will meet with Libyan grantees who work on local stabilization.

US Commemorates Anniversary of Embassy Bombings in Kenya and Tanzania

Michael R. Pompeo
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 7, 2018

Today, on the twentieth anniversary of the bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, we remember the victims of these terrorist attacks. These bombings, carried out by al-Qaida, resulted in more than 250 deaths and nearly 5,000 injuries. We will never forget the legacy of those who perished, nor the courage, bravery, and valor of all who survived. Today also reminds us that we must continue to be vigilant to prevent further attacks. We must honor the memory of those we mourn today by pressing the cause of freedom and justice. Our partnership with our African allies remains stronger than ever. As we remember and honor the sacrifices of the victims and their families, we stand together in the continuing fight against terrorism.

Remarks at the 20th Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony of the Embassy Bombings in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
08/07/2018 03:06 PM EDT

John J. Sullivan
Deputy Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 7, 2018

DEPUTY SECRETARY SULLIVAN: It’s a great honor for me to stand here today, and it’s a solemn day on which we gather.

I have had the honor of speaking at events like this. I speak at our embassies when I travel around the world, and I thank all of those women and men I meet, including our locally employed staff. I always make a point, as my colleagues know, of speaking first to the locally employed staff and tell them how important they are to us, to our mission. I also thank them for their service.

And I’ve said this many times, and some of my colleagues are sort of sick of me reminding everyone, but I have a personal connection, a family connection to some of what you and your loved ones went through. My family – my uncle was a career Foreign Service officer and served for 32 years. And his last post was as our ambassador to Iran, and he was – he and my cousins and my aunt Marie – my uncle’s name was Bill Sullivan – they were – my uncle was recalled by President Carter before his colleagues were taken hostage on November 4th.

But as I’ve reminded people – and I mentioned this when I testified in my confirmation hearing – what I most remember about his service in Tehran was the fact that on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 1979, our embassy in Tehran was overrun, and my uncle and all of our – all of his colleagues at the embassy were briefly held hostage. They were eventually rescued, ironically enough by the Revolutionary Guards, but they were held hostage briefly.

But the memory that sticks with me the most from that day is on the same day our Ambassador to Afghanistan Spike Dubs was kidnapped and assassinated. And I at the time was a sophomore in college, and I always thought the life of a diplomat, I thought of my uncle’s life as glamorous and dinner parties and socializing. And it dawned on me, boy, this is hard, dangerous work; these are women and men who go out to their posts unarmed with – representing the United States, representing us, and subjecting themselves to enormous risks.

All of you here know and lived through what we came to realize were the even larger risks that materialized on August 7th, 1998. And it’s my honor to stand before you today to remember the victims of that terrorist attack on our embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.

Before I continue any further, I want to first acknowledge Ambassadors Bushnell and Lange for their efforts in bringing everyone here together. Ambassador Bushnell has impressed upon me the need – although not necessary, but I’m grateful to hear it – the need to both remember what happened on August 7th, but – and continue to work to make sure the United States Government not only remembers but does all that it needs to, to make everyone who was impacted by those events whole, to be respected and made whole.

I also want to acknowledge the Deputy Chief of Mission of Kenya David Gacheru and the Ambassador of Tanzania Wilson Masilingi for attending today’s event.

Most importantly, I want to thank all of you, survivors and families who are here today. We are here to honor you today, and to honor those who lost their lives in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, 20 years ago. Twenty years after that fateful morning, we’re reminded of the bravery, heroism, compassion, and sacrifice of those who are here today and those who were taken from us. We remember especially the legacy of those who perished.

Many of you here today acted to save lives and help your colleagues and strangers. We thank all of you for your courage, bravery, and valor as you answered that call – call of duty, call of basic humanity – to respond to those attacks and to those who were injured and killed on that day.

It is to those brave women and men here and countless others who have perished defending the cause of freedom that we owe a great debt of gratitude.

Yesterday, we hosted an event – many of you here, I’m sure, attended. The theme was – Remembrance, reflection, and resilience.- One thing we can draw from that powerful event is that no one who survived is untouched by the events of that day. Twenty years later – and I was commenting to some of you, it seems like in my mind – and I did not – I just witnessed those events through the media as a spectator, but they’re etched in my mind from 20 years ago, and it seems like just yesterday to me. I can only imagine what it’s like for those of you who survived. It must seem – the immediacy of those events, despite the passage of 20 years, must be profound. On the other hand, the pace of events, all that’s happened in those 20 years, is also remarkable.

But despite the passage of time, the gravity of those events and the experiences we remember compel us to gather today to share our memories – your memories – and to discuss lessons – lessons in leadership from across the department, Ambassador Bushnell, Ambassador Lange, and all of you. I read in the Foreign Service Journal, I know they’ve dedicated the recent issue to the embassy bombings. The leadership lessons, the memories – it’s important that they be recorded and not forgotten.

Leadership from across the department is what’s represented here this morning, and I want you to know that the leadership of this department, the current leadership of this department, stands united with you in remembrance and respect of the human toll that these events took on our embassy communities. And of course, that includes other government agencies beyond the Department of State, some of whom are represented here – USAID, our military colleagues, et cetera, Commerce Department, Foreign Commercial Service – I previously served at the Commerce Department – and of course, innocent bystanders, all of who were affected by the devastating attacks on that day.

I spent time earlier this morning with some of you, speaking to the survivors and the family members of those who perished. Many of us, I included – millions of Americans will never understand the ultimate sacrifice made 20 years ago by those who perished in the attacks. It’s just a fact of life. The pace of life in modern America, trying to remember what happened 20 years ago – I remember, but it’s difficult, I think, for most Americans, thinking about ‘ something that happened 20 years ago seems like an ancient memory. It’s not for this department, it’s not for those of you gathered here, and know that the leadership of this department will ensure that Americans remember. And this department certainly will remember.

We recognize the depth of you and your loved ones’ commitment to public service, and we’ll never forget the price that was paid by so many of our colleagues, our friends, our loved ones, and innocent strangers.

August 7th was and still is a difficult reminder of the sacrifice members of our community make every day to answer the call to public service, a call that is inextricably tied to promoting and defending the interests of our republic. The women and men who serve in our embassies and consulates around the world, as you all know, do challenging work that is not always fully appreciated by many of those fellow Americans. They protect our interests and promote our values abroad. Our staff – Americans, locally employed staff, those who serve in uniform, all of those who serve at our embassies – endure hardships, often at great risk, far away from home, because it keeps the United States safer and stronger.

And as I mentioned at the outset, we can’t succeed in this effort without the vital assistance of our locally employed staff who work hand in hand with us each day to advance the interests of the United States. And I would like to thank personally all those survivors, many of whom continue to hold important positions at our embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam today, as we speak. And of course we recognize the valuable contributions of our locally employed staff who make those contributions every day at U.S. posts around the world.

Twenty years ago, al-Qaida tried and failed to undermine the values we’re sworn to uphold. While we may be facing new threats in different parts of the world, the imperative to remain vigilant endures. And to this end, we remain committed to ending the scourge of global terrorism by whatever means it now organizes and it calls itself. In so doing, we must honor the memories of those we continue to mourn today by pressing the cause of freedom and justice to which they dedicated their lives. The sacrifices of the victims and their families will not be in vain. We must continue to stand strong in our values. Those who would inflict violence on others in service to their countries will not be allowed to prevail. Those who preach intolerance and hatred will not break us.

Even as we remember our fallen colleagues, we continue our efforts to defeat al-Qaida, ISIS, and other global terrorist organizations, and to prevent further attacks on the United States and our citizens. Our resolve is as strong today as ever, and we owe it to those whose lives have been taken by terrorist violence to remain steadfast in our efforts to root out violent extremism wherever it exists.

I would now like to welcome to the podium Ambassador Prudence Bushnell and Ambassador John Lange to say a few words. Their leadership was inspirational, necessary, and recognized by all, and I’m really honored that they are here today to be able to share some of their observations. It was their dedication that kept our embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam running in the aftermath of October 7th. They’ve continued to serve as true champions for their communities, for all of you gathered here, and they’ve been selfless patriots over the past 20 years. It’s my honor to introduce Ambassador Bushnell and Ambassador Lange.

Thank you. (Applause.)

Statement on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s to Visit the US

Office of the Press Secretary
August 6, 2018

Statement from the Press Secretary on the Visit of President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya

President Donald J. Trump will welcome President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya to the White House on August 27, 2018.  Kenya is a vital partner of the United States, and President Trump looks forward to discussing ways to broaden the strategic partnership based on our shared democratic values and mutual interests.  The meeting between the two leaders will reaffirm the longstanding relationship between the United States and Kenya as a cornerstone of peace and stability in Africa and the broader Indo-Pacific region.  President Trump and President Kenyatta will explore ways to bolster trade and investment between the two countries, while strengthening security cooperation.


US Issues Statement on Zimbabwe’s Elections

Heather Nauert
Department of State Spokesperson
Washington, DC
August 3, 2018

Zimbabwe’s July 30 elections presented the country with an historic chance to move beyond the political and economic crises of the past and toward profound democratic change. The Zimbabwean people turned out massively to cast their votes, underscoring their aspirations for a better future, despite challenges during the pre-election period.

Unfortunately, Zimbabwe’s success in delivering an election day that was peaceful, and open to international observers, was subsequently marred by violence and a disproportionate use of deadly force against protestors by the security forces. We extend our condolences to the families and friends of those killed and injured and appeal to the leaders of all parties to urge their supporters to act peacefully.

The United States welcomes the commitment by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to release comprehensive election results in a form that provides full transparency. The United States will continue to review the data collected by its own observation teams, by international observation missions, and by local observers to make a complete assessment of the overall election.

We encourage all stakeholders and citizens to pursue any grievances peacefully and through established legal channels, and we encourage all political leaders to show magnanimity in victory and graciousness in defeat.

The United States remains focused on working with Zimbabwe as its people and government strive toward still-needed comprehensive electoral, political, economic, and human rights reforms.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Carter Center Congratulates Ghana for Triumph over Trachoma

Photo: Carter Center
The Carter Center
June 14, 2018

ATLANTA…The Carter Center congratulates its longtime partner Ghana, which has become the first sub-Saharan African country to be validated by the World Health Organization (WHO) for eliminating the eye disease trachoma as a public health problem.

“Ghana’s success against trachoma shows the world and the remaining endemic countries that the greatest challenges can be overcome with persistence, political commitment, and the support of the international community,” said former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, founder of The Carter Center, a pioneer in disease elimination and eradication for more than three decades.

Trachoma, a disease of poverty, is a bacterial infection that can lead to blindness. It can be treated and prevented through a WHO-endorsed strategy combining corrective surgery, antibiotics, hygienic practices, and improved sanitation, often referred to by the acronym SAFE. From 1999 to 2011, the Carter Center assisted the Ghana Health Service’s Trachoma Control Program as it ramped up surgical services and improved hygiene and sanitation in a number of ways.

“Ghana has persevered to rid itself of this terrible disease,” said Kelly Callahan, director of the Carter Center’s Trachoma Control Program, which has been a leader in the international trachoma campaign for 20 years. “I applaud Ghana’s dedicated trachoma health workers for improving the lives of so many for generations to come.”

Ghana actually succeeded in reducing trachoma as a public health problem by 2010, but it was ahead of its time: In 2010, the WHO and global trachoma experts had not yet developed a process or criteria to evaluate the country’s achievement. The WHO created a process in 2016 to allow for Ghana and other countries to be validated as having met the elimination as a public health problem targets. Together with partners, The Carter Center helped Ghana’s ministry of health to prepare a dossier, which is a document submitted to the WHO to be considered for official validation.

With financial support from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, The Carter Center supported Ghana in training more than 8,000 community health workers, including teachers in over 400 schools, environmental health officers, and village volunteers, to deliver core program messages to rural villages, as well as supporting the construction of thousands of household latrines to improve sanitation. Radio broadcasts of trachoma prevention messages were used to reach Ghanaian villagers living in some of the most isolated and remote areas of the country. The program donated wind-up radios and supported local stations in the production and broadcast of weekly trachoma shows, hosting “radio listening clubs” for members to discuss the shows’ messages.

The Center started its Trachoma Control Program in 1998, the same year the International Trachoma Initiative (ITI) began, and the WHO initiated a campaign through World Health Assembly Resolution 51.11 to eliminate trachoma as a public health problem. Principal partners in the Center’s multi-country efforts include Pfizer Inc. and the ITI, the International Coalition for Trachoma Control, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the Lions Clubs International Foundation, Sightsavers, the U.K. Department for International Development, the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, the Noor Dubai Foundation, the OPEC Fund for International Development, Abbott and others. Currently, the Center works with six African countries — Ethiopia, Mali, Niger, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda — to implement the SAFE strategy. Mali and Niger are close to reaching the goal of wiping out the disease. In Nigeria and Ghana, the Center completed its elimination goals in the areas where it assisted those countries’ programs.

Carter Center’s history with Ghana – Guinea worm, agriculture, and democracy

The Carter Center and Ghana go back a long way. Ghana was one of the first countries to partner with the Center’s Guinea Worm Eradication Program, in 1987. Nearly 180,000 cases of Guinea worm disease were reported during the country’s first national case search in 1989, ranking Ghana second in the world in cases at the time. Schools in some endemic communities closed because large numbers of students were afflicted, farmers were unable to tend their fields, and families became further entrenched in poverty.

The Ghana Guinea Worm Eradication Program introduced the following approaches that became universal best practices: health education; distribution of nylon household filters and pipe filters to strain out Guinea worm-infected water fleas; safe, monthly treatment of stagnant water sources with ABATE® larvicide, donated by BASF; direct advocacy with water organizations; and increased efforts to build safer hand-dug wells. Village volunteers, who were trained, supplied, and supervised by the program, carried out monthly surveillance, conducted health education and distributed cloth filters. Interventions were tailored to meet the unique needs of migratory farming populations. Targeted radio messages and the development of additional educational materials also were important tools in efforts to stop disease transmission.

Former President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter visited Ghana in 2007, accompanied by Carter Center Board of Trustees then-Chairman John Moores, to see both programs, Guinea worm and trachoma, in action. The Carters toured Tingoli village in the Northern Region, where they donned traditional Dagomba attire, chatted with residents, and inspected well-constructed latrines.
Working with the Ghanaian Ministry of Farming and Agriculture, the Carter Center’s Agriculture Program began assisting farmers in the Ashanti and Central regions of Ghana in 1986 to improve food security. Although The Carter Center ceased its agricultural work in Ghana in 2003, farmers continue to use practices and skills gained through the program.

In 1992, The Carter Center sent an election-monitoring team to Ghana’s first democratic presidential election in more than 30 years. In 2008, The Carter Center observed Ghana’s presidential and parliamentary elections.


Ethiopian Prime Min. Dr. Abiy Ahmed Meeting with Vice President Pence – Readout

Photo: Twitter

Office of the Vice President
July 27, 2018


The Vice President met today with Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed. The Vice President reaffirmed the United States’ longstanding partnership with the people of Ethiopia and applauded the historic reform efforts by Prime Minister Abiy, including improving respect for human rights, reforming the business environment, and making peace with Eritrea. The Vice President encouraged continued Ethiopian leadership in resolving regional conflicts in the Horn of Africa, as well as strengthening U.S.-Ethiopia trade and investment.

The two leaders underscored their countries’ shared values and their commitment to building an even stronger partnership in the days ahead.


US Issues Statement on Executions in Cameroon

Video of Executions in Cameroon
07/16/2018 08:15 PM EDT

Press Statement
Heather Nauert
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 16, 2018
The United States is gravely concerned over the recent video depicting men wearing military-style uniforms executing two women and two children, one an infant. International media, Amnesty International, and Cameroonian human rights organizations attribute the actions portrayed in the video to the Cameroonian military. We call on the Government of Cameroon to investigate thoroughly and transparently the events depicted in the video, make its findings public, and if Cameroonian military personnel were involved in this atrocity, hold them accountable.

All countries, including Cameroon, must uphold their international and national commitments and obligations to protect the human rights of their residents and promote accountability.‎