Reservists with the 56th Field Regiment were able to put their skills to the test during a recent week-long exercise that took them to Petawawa, Meaford and the Collingwood Airport.Close to 70 reservists from the regiment, which includes Brantford, Simcoe and St. Catharines, participated in Exercise Stalwart Guardian. The exercise is the final summer training program and brought together about 1,000 soldiers from across Ontario.“It was a great exercise for our regiment,” said Lt. Col. Lawrence Hatfield, commanding officer of the 56th. “They were given a number of challenging tasks throughout the week and performed admirably.“I’m proud of their efforts and of their commitment.”The exercise gave the soldiers an opportunity to move, set up and fire howitzer guns, as well as participate in a direct fire drill, said Hatfield.“It’s one thing to try and hit a target when you’re not under attack,” he said. “It’s something different altogether when you have to engage in some direct fire because the enemy is coming towards you and, at the same time, fire at unseen targets.”As part of the exercise, reservists with the 56th Field were transported to the Collingwood Airport to participate in a drill, Hatfield said.On Sept. 28, the regiment, in partnership with the City of Brantford, is holding Valour Day to honour Brantford’s wartime sacrifice and service.Valour Day includes an inspection of the regiment at Victoria Square followed by a regimental march on Dalhousie Street. At 11 a.m., the Jubilee Terrace Howitzer, a First World War war trophy awarded to Brantford, will return to its home beside the Brantford Armouries for a dedication ceremony.The howitzer has been refurbished after years of deterioration.A public reception will be held following the dedication ceremony. As well, there will be a army reserve recruiting open house.All events are open to the public.Vball@postmedia.comtwitter.com/EXPVBal

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first_imgNew Delhi: At least five dengue cases, including three in March, have been detected in Delhi so far this year, even though the vector-borne disease is usually reported between July and November, a municipal report released Monday said. Last year, 2,798 dengue cases and four deaths were recorded by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), which tabulates data on vector-borne diseases in the city.According to the report, a case each was reported in January and February and three were detected in March this year by the SDMC. Dengue cases are usually reported between July and November, but the period may stretch to mid-December. While no fresh cases of malaria have been reported, three cases of chikungunya– two in February and one in March– have been recorded this year. Doctors have advised people to ensure that there is no breeding of mosquito larvae around them and to wear full-sleeved clothes and use mosquito nets. Water coolers should be dried up when not in use as dengue infection-carrying mosquitoes breed there a lot, a doctor said. The civic bodies, who recently organised a workshop on the prevention of vector-borne diseases, said mosquito-breeding was reported from at least 1,387 households in the city this year and 2,293 legal notices were issued. Of the total dengue cases last year, 141 were recorded in December, 1,062 in November, 1,114 in October, 374 in September, 58 in August, 19 in July, eight in June, 10 in May, two in April, one in March, three in February and six in January, the report said. The rest of the cases were reported from areas outside the jurisdiction of the three municipal corporations of Delhi.last_img

In a new report to the Security Council, Mr. Ban paints a mixed picture of progress in the DRC, which has shown signs of good governance and stability but still faces long-standing security challenges in its volatile eastern region.In the east’s North Kivu province, clashes have increased between elements loyal to renegade commander Laurent Nkunda and Government troops, known as FARDC, Mayi-Mayi groups and other armed militias, including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). North and South Kivu host the majority of DRC’s 1.2 million displaced persons, according to the report.“In addition to precipitating a humanitarian crisis, the fighting in North Kivu has raised serious human rights concerns,” the Secretary-General writes. These include confirmed reports of mass graves and continuing evidence of the recruitment of children into armed groups. Mr. Ban notes that the rule of law and respect for human rights, “in particular by security services,” must be strengthened. He emphasizes the need to fight impunity within the security services and calls on the Government to take advantage of the assistance offered by MONUC and other international partners to ensure justice for crimes and rights abuses.The many challenges facing the country require the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC) “to maintain a robust capacity in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and a continued police, rule of law, human rights, political and civil affairs presence throughout the country.”The Secretary-General recommends renewing MONUC’s mandate for one year with the current level of uniformed personnel – now nearly 18,400 troops and police, in addition to a full complement of civilian staff – at least until the end of local elections expected to be held in the second half of 2008.A gradual drawdown of the mission’s strength would be subject to progress towards broad benchmarks, including the successful completion of the local elections “and, most importantly, towards ensuring the security of the population.”At the same time, the report points out that the problems in the eastern DRC must be addressed through a regional approach. Mr. Ban has designated Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Haile Menkerios to address the issue, in close coordination with the top UN envoy to the DRC, William Lacy Swing. 20 November 2007Citing ongoing security challenges in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recommended extending the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping operation in the vast country for one more year, suggesting that a drawdown could commence following the holding of local elections.

During a visit yesterday to Uganda’s capital Kampala, William Lacy Swing, head of the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC) met with Vice-President Gilbert Bukenya and updated the Ugandan Government on recent developments in the DRC peace process. He also confirmed that the transitional government effectively “took off,” saying progress had been noted and that a meeting of armed groups operating in Ituri is scheduled for next Thursday in the Congolese capital of Kinshasa.Mr. Swing also announced that MONUC troops would be ready to take over from the multinational force due to withdraw from Bunia on 1 September. He thanked Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for the facilities availed to the mission’s logistic base in Entebbe in the framework of its operations in Ituri. He also pointed out that his visit in Uganda coincided with the signing of the State of Forces Agreement between Uganda and MONUC, which officially authorizes the opening of a MONUC office in Kampala.

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