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Archive for March 14th, 2007

Former Liberian transitional government leader released from prison

Posted by African Press International on March 14, 2007

Monrovia (Liberia) Former Liberian chairman of the transitional government, Charles Gyude Bryant was Tuesday released on bail after his lawyers signed a 2.6 million dollar “criminal appearance bond”, APA has learnt.

Bryant was Tuesday arrested and arraigned before the Criminal Court A on charges of theft of property.

He is to face trial for embezzling more than 1.3 million dollars while he served as Chairman of the transitional government between October 2003 and 2006.

Bryant was implicated by ECOWAS, UN Panel of Experts and AU reports published 2005.

He is being tried along with other former NTGL officials including former finance minister Lusinee Kamara, deputy finance minister, Tugbe Doe, commerce minister Samuel Wlue among others, all of whom are accused of stealing more than one million dollars each.

Former House Speaker, Edwin Melvin Snowe, who was roped in last week for police investigation, is also to be tried for Theft or Property based on the ECOWAS, UN Panel of Experts and AU audit reports.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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South Africa tells Zimbaweans to solve their own problems

Posted by African Press International on March 14, 2007

Pretoria (South Africa) Zimbabwe’s problems should be solved by the people of that country, the South African foreign affairs department said Tuesday, in reaction to allegations that South Africa has not done much about the current crisis in Zimbabwe, APA has learnt.

“We have constantly maintained that the solutions to the problems of Zimbabwe will be resolved by the people of Zimbabwe…,” spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said.

Mamoepa was speaking two days after it was reported that police had arrested and assaulted Zimbabwe’s opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, who was among a number of people who held a protest prayer meeting in Harare on Sunday.

One protester was shot dead by police and scores of others were arrested. Mamoepa said the department had noted the current development and was monitoring the situation very closely.

“Whatever matters of mutual concern exist, the government will raise this through existing bilateral mutual mechanisms that exist between South Africa and Zimbabwe,” Mamoepa said.

The South African government has been criticised for its “quiet diplomacy” towards Zimbabwe under the repressive rule of President Robert Mugabe.

Meanwhile, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) Tuesday condemned in the “strongest possible terms” the violence in Zimbabwe and South Africa’s response to it. Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said the South African government’s response was “shamefully weak.”

“Such a response is disgraceful, in the face of such massive attacks on democracy and human rights, especially coming from those who owed so much to international solidarity when South Africans were fighting for democracy and human rights against the apartheid regime,” Craven said.

Cosatu has called on all South Africans to join them and show their solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe.

 

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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The first Gambian man to play professional soccer in Latin America

Posted by African Press International on March 14, 2007

Banjul (The Gambia) Gambian under 20 footballer, Yankuba Ceesay, becomes the first from the tiny West African country to play professional soccer in Latin America, and most precisely in Peru, a local daily in Gambia has reported.

The ‘Point Sports’ newspaper in its latest edition said Ceesay, popularly called Maal, put us an impressive debut in Peru last week when he played full time as a midfielder for the the Alainza Atheletico of Peru in the country’s first division derby against Sport Ancash which ended in a one-all draw.

Maal, who was captain of the Gambian first division giant, Wallidan, and played for the country’s under 20 squad joined Alainza Atheletico a couple of weeks ago after an impressive trial.

This development followed Gambia’s under 17 team’s equally impressive performance at the FIFA junior world cup tournament in Peru in 2005 when his squad defeated their Brazilian counterpart.

Ceesay, who had a brief spell in Cyprus with AEK Larnaca before moving to Sullana in Peru, finally joined Atheletico, making him the first Gambian to play professional football in South America.

Maal, who is looking forward to joining the Gambian senior side, has already played in all national side encounters at the junior level for his country.

 

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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Norwegian artist causes uproar within the celebrity circles

Posted by African Press International on March 14, 2007

*”A Norwegian artist with a history of self-promotion has raised the ire of feminists after she claimed in a live radio broadcast that two local celebrities had tried to rape her 14 years ago.

Marianne Aulie claimed on NRK that two Nowegian celebrities had tried to rape her, and she named them on the air.

PHOTO: SARA JOHANNESEN

Marianne Aulie, known for her regular paid advertisements of her work, has maintained a high profile in local media, and on Monday she was interviewed on a live radio program on Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

The interview included discussion of a recent wave of rapes and attempted rapes in Oslo, and Aulie suddenly claimed that she herself had been a victim, at a late-night party in the early 1990s.

She went on to say that two Norwegian celebrities, including a popular singer, had plied her with drinks and then tried to rape her, and she blurted out their names on the air.

Her live accusation stunned NRK, which quickly ended the interview and started playing music. NRK officials apologized profusely that Aulie’s accusations had been broadcast live, saying it was difficult to control what people say in such situations.

Aulie says she’s received some declarations of support for her on-air accusations, while others are publicly denouncing them, including representatives of the very cause Aulie claimed she was trying to promote, feminism. Kristin Engh Førde, editor of the feminist magazine Fett said Aulie’s methods suggested revenge and anger.

‘Unacceptable’
Another feminist editor called Aulie’s identification of her alleged assailants “completely unacceptable” because neither was in a position to defend himself. Tove Smaadal of a local crisis center noted that there was never any court case about the alleged rape attempts, they reportedly occurred so long ago that the statute of limitations has expired, and the individual rights of the accused must be protected.

One lawyer specializing in personal injury cases likened Aulie’s claims to a PR stunt. Aulie herself claims she wasn’t seeking publicity, and rather felt a need to share her story.

Both of the male celebrities deny they ever tried to rape her, but won’t comment further. Their identities aren’t being revealed in other Norwegian media, but they were being exposed on a variety of web sites.”*

By Nina Berglund

*”/”*Lifted and published by African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525. source.aftenpostenENG

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Former statesmen meet, amid fears that the US will attack Iran

Posted by African Press International on March 14, 2007

*”Former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik is afraid the US will attack Iran and create a situation worse than Iraq. He’s teamed with Iran’s former president to urge peace and understanding.

Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami (left) and former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik met in 2003 to discuss interreligious dialogue.

PHOTO: DENIS BALIBOUSE/REUTERS 

The two former statesmen, both running their own peace centers these days, have recently agreed on a cooperative venture that may take Bondevik to Teheran and bring former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami to Oslo.

“It was joked that both Norway and Iran were run by clergymen,”says Bondevik, referring to the time he and Khatami were both in office. Bondevik is an ordained minister in the Norwegian state church and veteran member of the Christian Democrats, while Khatami is a high-ranking Muslim.

Today both men reportedly want to narrow the distance and increase the trust between Islam and the West.

Bondevik has just returned to Norway from a trip to the US, and confirms that opposition to the war in Iraq just keeps increasing, also within evangelical groups that earlier supported Bush. At the same time, Iran is emerging as a huge area of uncertainty.

“It’s troubling that the US has sent a pair of aircraft carriers towards Iran,” he told newspaper Aftenposten. “Is it to threaten Iran or to attack? I want to warn in the strongest terms against attacking Iran.

“That could easily develop into something that can be worse than what’s happening in Iraq. I’m also afraid that an American bombing raid will boost support (among Iranians) for Iran’s nuclear program and strengthen radical forces.”

“You can’t bomb Iran into obedience on the nuclear issue,” Bondevik claims.

Khatami, known as a political moderate in Iran, appears to share Bondevik’s concerns and took the initiative to talks between the two. His center for dialogue between civilizations and cultures is based in Teheran with a branch in Geneva.

“We want to try to reduce the feeling that we’re enemies and build trust between Islam and the West,” Bondevik says, noting that the West often generalizes that Muslims are all terrorists and extremists, while Muslims believe Westerners look down on them.

“We can contribute to fighting extremism and terrorism,” Bondevik says. “I believe in dialogue.”*

By Morten Fyhn and Nina Berglund

*”/”*Lifted and published by African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.aftenpostenENG

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Where is ODM-Kenya heading after this?

Posted by African Press International on March 14, 2007

By Shangilio,  

Sat Mar-10-07 10:22 AM

In response to: “RE: Bishop Deya to be ODM-K Kenya’s High Commissioner to London”

Can people like Pmaniac n Vlapraiso( denialists) who think that by denying something 1,000,000 times it will actually evaporate answer this article.And why si Deya funding ODM?
Today Govt is accused of deals with shoddy characters like the Artur brothers( and i dont support them), but its okay for Raila and ODM to be with Deya!! Oh I see, I never knew. How
stupid do you people think people are.
Raila kwenda Kibera ufanye kazi.useless fool, who has nothing to offer us, and you are a sell out.

I wouldn’t be too quick to condemn Raila, i for one don’t know how valid these ‘Deya funding ODM’ claims are. Clearly there is a picture of the two, but i don’t know how old the pics are?

PS: I dont agree with Raila’s politics one bit, and I would definitely not want a Raila Presidency. However, he is a Kenyan leader and should be treated as such. You can criticise without disrespecting him. Therein lies most of our problems.
If you don’t agree with someone, then automatically he becomes your ‘enemy’.
So you think since it is Raila the pics are not true eh! read on http://www.kenyanewsnetwork.com/artman/exec/view.cgi?archive=15&num=1889
Gilbert Deya arrested in London

Posted By: topi lyambila with pictures by Evanson Njuguna
Dec 13, 2006, 19:09
Deya was doing well in the UK-to the extent of even being able to afford a limo like this for visiting Raila Odinga (could this flamboyancy have led to the quickening of his extradition process?) -pic by Evanson Njuguna
At long last the Kenyan authorities may have their say in regard to the alleged child-trafficking propagated by Pastor Gilbert Deya and his protégées.

Self-proclaimed Archbishop Gilbert Deya – must now be wishing he stuck to his religious vows (pic -courtesy of Guardian online)
Deya, 54, a controversial preacher who claimed his prayers could help infertile couples produce “miracle babies” was arrested today(Wednesday)and faces extradition to Kenya, where he is wanted on six allegations of child kidnap. Previous court cases in Britain have ruled that some “miracle babies” were in fact the likely product of child trafficking.

Pastor Deya was arrested in London by members of Scotland Yard’s extradition and international assistance unit after a request from the Kenyan authorities, the force said. He appeared before the City of Westminster magistrate’s court this afternoon, most probably to seek extradition papers.

It has been quite puzzling for Kenyans living here in the UK who knew about Deya’s fugitive status in Kenya. For time and time again, Pastor Deya has been seen on several Sky Channels preaching and conducting healing sessions like any free person.

Recently the pastor came into the public foray hosting one of the ODM Presidential candidates Raila Odinga. A matter that has put the newly appointed interim ODM-Kenya ‘UK Chapter in a quandary. A spokesman from the organisation has however dismissed reports that Deya’s involvement with Raila was with their blessing.

Speaking to LAMN, the ODM-K UK Chapter Organising secretary Paul Otieno said Raila’s involvement with Pastor Deya was a private affair as the two were related (cousins) and as such family matters were beyond the office’s dealings.
Earlier on in his first public talk held at the SOARS’ Khalili Hall, Raila Odinga was chauffeured by a state of the art Mercedes Benz reportedly bought by the besieged Archbishop.

The preacher, who says he was consecrated as an archbishop in the US in 1992, is head of the Gilbert Deya Ministries religious movement, which has an estimated 36,000-strong following in the UK and is one of the country’s fastest-growing religious movements.

He insists he has helped infertile couples have children “through the power of prayer and the Lord Jesus”, but faces repeated accusations that he trafficked children from the slums of Nairobi.

On the issue of his arrest, Deya has enjoyed the freedom of speech and expression in Britain despite the authorities knowing of his fugitive status in Kenya. Now it appears the British authorities were awaiting an official request from the Kenyan Government, which has finally come.

Question is why did the Kenya Government wait so long?
Raila arrival at SOARS (pic by Evanson Nuguna)

Observers wonder whether his consequent arrest has been propagated by his recent political tango?

muta do?!

 

Lifted from Mashada and published by African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525.source.mashada

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Educators discus ways to improve the quality of education

Posted by African Press International on March 14, 2007

Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) Members of Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) Tuesday began a series of meetings in Dar es Salaam deliberating on ways and means of improving the quality of education in the region.

IUCEA Executive Secretary Chacha Nyaigoti told a news conference that during the meeting officials from ministries of higher education in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda as well as senate representatives would receive and discuss a handbook on the East African quality assurance of education.

“We are determined and committed to ensure quality education to all member states. There is, therefore, a need to reach a consensus on the criteria of quality education that could be applied by all member states,” said Nyaigoti.

Nyaigoti told APA that IUCEA members have already formed a special committee charged with academic affairs in which its members hold regular meetings on the matter.

During the four-day meeting members would also address specific and general activities that the universities are expected to undertake, including their role towards realisation of the East African federation and development of East Africans, he added.

“Chancellors, for instance, will address the challenges that East African universities are faced with, including the quality of graduates, demand of graduates and how the knowledge they gain is compatible with the market requirements,” he said.

IUCEA is a regional inter-governmental organisation whose mission is to encourage and develop mutually beneficial collaboration between universities in East Africa and between governments and other organisations, both public and private.

Its main objective is to facilitate contact between universities of East Africa, providing for discussion on a wide range of academic and other matters relating to higher education, and helping members to maintain high quality education.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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Kenya warned by environmentalist

Posted by African Press International on March 14, 2007

Nairobi (Kenya) The 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate, Wangari Maathai on Monday warned that Kenya is fast becoming a desert due to massive deforestation.

Prof. Maathai challenged Kenyans to be in the lead of the world-wide campaign to plant a billion trees.

She was speaking as the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, which is also the headquarters of the International Centre for Agroforestry (ICRAF).

Prof. Maathai rued the fact that while Kenya hosts the leading environmental agencies the country lagged behind in environmental conservation.

“It’s a shame that we have not yet taken the lead towards environmental conservation in a country that is fast becoming a desert,” she said.

However, she said that Kenyans have pledged to plant 11.5 million trees during the global campaign for reforestation.

She also applauded Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade for championing environmental issues in Africa through the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

Prof. Maathai said she will join President Wade in taking the one billion trees campaign to the African Union.

“President Wade has done a commendable job by highlighting environmental issues in Africa through NEPAD and at the same time will personally take the billion tree campaign to the African Union, where we expect our voices to be heard”, she said.

The one billion trees campaign aims at encouraging people, communities, organizations, businesses, industry, civil society and governments to plant at least one billion trees world-wide during 2007.

 

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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Over half a million Kenyans affected by alcohol

Posted by African Press International on March 14, 2007

Nairobi (Kenya) About half a million Kenyans are “severely affected” by alcohol, according to a leading psychiatrist and chairman of the Africa Association of Psychiatrists.

Speaking at a one-day consultative forum in Nairobi on Tuesday, Dr. Frank Njenga also revealed that Kenya, compared to other African countries, is comparatively doing well in terms of alcohol abuse, but warned the trend may change for the worse if policies are not put in place in the near future.

He lamented that Kenya lacks even a single comprehensive legal document that governs the production, distribution, marketing and consumption of alcohol.

“The existing policies are full of loopholes and are weak. There is need for a comprehensive policy that can be used to protect the vulnerable in society,” he said.

At the same function, the deputy permanent secretary in Kenya’s ministry of internal security, Franklin Maganju, said that he was alarmed at the number of youths abusing alcohol at a very high rate.

He said that the government was urgently in a need of a policy that will protect such vulnerable people.

“We as a government admit that the existing statutes are weak and inconclusive and there is a dire need for a comprehensive statue that will address the deficits in the current statutes in order to protect the vulnerable people of the society such as the youths,” he said.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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Former rebel leader calls on all the Ivorian people to appreciate peace deal

Posted by African Press International on March 14, 2007

Bouake (Cote d’Ivoire) After the Ivorian head of state, it is the turn of the secretary-general of the Forces Nouvelles (New Forces), Guillaume Soro, to call on Ivorians including opposition parties to appropriate the inter-Ivorian agreement of Ouagadougou he termed a “good political compromise”.

“I am asking the G7 which commissioned me and the Ivorian people who support me, to appropriate the Ouagadougou political agreement and to encourage the peace process sweeping through Cote d’Ivoire,” he said.

“The Ouagadougou Agreement is a good political compromise. It does neither state a winner, nor a looser. There is neither pretence nor dribble in it. What prevails in this document is a common will for Cote d’Ivoire to win above all, and to give peace all its chances,” Guillaume Soro added.

In a ten minutes statement, Guillaume Soro paid an emotive homage to the Burkina head of state, Blaise Compaore, incumbent chairman of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS).

“Allow me to greet and acknowledge fate which allowed that the prospect for a lasting peace is concluded in this neighbouring sister country, with which we share a lot of history,” Guillaume Soro said.

This is why, “I straightaway need to express my gratitude to President Blaise Compaore for his personal commitment in the resolute research of stability in our country,” he added.

Presidents John Agyekum Kufuor, Olusegun Obasanjo, Thabo Mbeki, Sassou Guesso, were also named in Guillaume Soro’s speech, because according to him, they all continued assisting Cote d’Ivoire, as they were driven by the legendary African solidarity which always characterised them.

Guillaume Soro always recalled that his movement had no other interest than peace for Ivorians when accepting the direct dialogue.

“President Laurent Gbago initiated the direct dialogue which President Compaore willingly supported,” he said. According to the former rebel leader, this move will undoubtedly further contribute to tone down the great mistrust towards the Forces Nouvelles and help gradually engage a friendly and serene ambiance.

“Compared to other peace talks that had been held hastily, and far from anxieties and passions, the direct talk of Ouagadougou gave itself all the time useful to its ambition, that is to say to national reconciliation,” Mr Soro said.

According to the FN leader, this Accord benefited from an additional asset : the essential political will of the signatories. The presidential side wanted it and President Blaise Compaore, on behalf of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), strongly wished for this agreement. Finally, the Forces Nouvelles strongly agreed on it.

“It is now up to the Ivorian people to appropriate it for peace to prevail in Cote d’Ivoire. I call on each of us to get involved in its implementation to achieve peace in the country,” the State minister for reconstruction added. “When signing this agreement, I thought for a while about the youths, women of my country who are suffering from the martyrdom of the war,” Guillaaume Soro said.

Soro further stated : « We indeed waged war. We now have to build peace. The signing of the agreement is for us an expression of the Forces Nouvelles’ commitment to help the country get out of the crisis in a bid to boost its development, which will reconcile us, better than the political discourses will ever do.”

 

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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