General Amadou Toumani Touré, Mr. Annan’s Special Envoy to the Central African Republic, made the appeal during his meeting last night in Bangui with President Ange-Félix Patassé.”Now that calm has returned to the capital, Touré also appealed to President Patassé to ensure humanitarian access to the population,” a UN spokesman, Manoel De Almeida e Silva, said today in New York.In a related development, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which is the lead UN agency in dealing with this crisis, was scheduled today to receive two planeloads of supplies in Bangui. The 36 tonnes of high-protein biscuits, water purification tablets, oral rehydration kits, blankets and tents were taken from UN warehouses in Brazzaville and Kinshasa, the spokesman said.
South African heavy equipment manufacturer and distributor, Bell Equipment has opened a Customer Service Centre in the northern Mozambique region of Tete to ensure strong reliable support of the region’s existing and growing Bell customer base as well as further strengthen Bell’s network in Southern Africa. Managing Director of Bell Mozambique, John Ferguson said: “Bell Tete is strategically placed to serve the Nacala Corridor spatial development initiative and the Beira rail and harbour link. We see huge potential in the region and opening a facility in Tete not only brings our support base as close as possible to our customer base but also complements our existing operations in Malawi, Beira and Nacala where we have relocated services resources and plan to open an additional Customer Service Centre in the near future.”Mike Quin has been appointed as Branch Manager of Bell Equipment Tete and added: “Currently we have over 100 machines operating in the Tete region. Essentially all our machines in the region are used in mining operations where downtime is critical and good support is essential.” The Tete region has the second largest reserves of coking coal in the world and has attracted the interest of several international mining giants. Infrastructure projects should commence at the end of 2012 / beginning of 2013 with coal production ramping up from 2015 onwards to become as big, if not bigger than the Witbank / Middelburg coal region in South Africa.Bell has invested substantially into their Tete Customer Service Centre including tooling, parts stock and human resources. The facility consists of 800 m2 of office and workshop space and is ideally located 3 km down Zambia Road, off the main road to Moatize. Importantly visibility from the road and accessibility is good. Fergusonadds: “Bell machines are fined-tuned for African conditions and well suited for open-cast mining and associated infrastructure projects. As a proudly African company we have a good understanding of customer needs in Africa. Our main focus will be on customer support because we believe Bell’s strong customer support will be a competitive advantage in this remote region. To ensure a high standard of support Bell Tete has a direct line to the Bell Global Logistics Centre in Johannesburg and receives a weekly delivery of parts. SA Airlink is used to get urgent parts overnight.”