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Archive for April 16th, 2007

Norway: Beaten unconscious for taking risks

Posted by African Press International on April 16, 2007

Norwegian-Somalian Kadra, who became famous in Norway for exposing imam support of female circumcision, was beaten unconscious on Thursday.

Norwegian-Somalian Kadra has taken risks to front her views.

PHOTO: Knut Fjeldstad / SCANPIX

Kadra was attacked and beaten senseless by seven or eight persons of Somali origin, newspaper VG reports.

“I was terrified. While I lay on the pavement they kicked me and screamed that I had trampled on the Koran. Several shouted Allah-o-akbar (God is great) and also recited from the Koran,” Kadra told VG.

Kadra linked the attack to recent remarks in VG where she said that the Koran’s views on women needed to be reinterpreted.

Kadra said that the gang of Somali men attacked her around 3 a.m. in downtown Oslo on Thursday. A medical examination found that she had several broken ribs, NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting) reports. Kadra filed charges and was due to speak with police on Friday.

The Islamic Council Norway (IRN) condemned the attack on Kadra and urged that she pursue the matter with police.

“Behavior where one goes to physical attack on someone you disagree with violates Islamic teaching and the prophet Muhammad’s sunnah (lifestyle). We strongly object to such behavior,” the IRN said in a press release.

Kadra’s role in a 2000 hidden camera TV documentary revealing the positive attitude of Muslim leaders to female circumcision had a massive impact on Norway, and sparked new legislation.

By AftenpostenEng

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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Norway: Memorial services were held over the weekend in both the Shetland Islands and back home in Norway where the vessel and its crew were based.

Posted by African Press International on April 16, 2007

The sinking late Sunday night of the overturned Bourbon Dolphin dashed any hopes of rescuing or even finding the bodies of the last five persons on board. Memorial services were held over the weekend in both the Shetland Islands and back home in Norway where the vessel and its crew were based.

Managing director Trond Myklebust of Bourbon Offshore (center) called the vessel’s sudden sinking a “shock.” He’s flanked by Thorbjørn Holt (left), pastor of the Norwegian Seaman’s Church in the Shetland Islands, and personnel consultant Erhard Hermansen.

PHOTO: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / SCANPIX

Memorial services were held for victims and their survivors in the Shetland Islands on Sunday, and also in Norway.

PHOTO: HÅKON MOSVOLD LARSEN / SCANPIX

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News of the sinking was the latest bitter blow for those who survived last week’s sudden capsize of the AHTS (anchor handling tug and supply) vessel and the families of those who didn’t.

The vessel’s owner had been scrambling to salvage the ship, and hopes were high that it could be towed to land in the Shetland Islands.

Hopes already had been fading that any of the four crew members and teenage son of one of them could be found alive. Their families had clung to the idea that maybe they’d found an air pocket in the overturned vessel and could still be rescued.

But as the weekend wore on, treacherous waters in the infamously stormy North Sea had made it too dangerous for divers to enter the wreckage. Attempts to locate any survivors were abandoned.

Anxious loved ones then hoped they’d at least be able to recover bodies to bury. That didn’t happen. The capsizing left three crew members confirmed dead, after their bodies were found floating in the sea. Seven survived the capsizing. The five others who remain unaccounted for are believed to have been trapped in the vessel’s machine room and on its bridge.

‘Huge shock’
Trond Myklebust of the company owning the vessel, Bourbon Offshore, called the sinking “a huge shock.” The vessel is believed to have settled at a depth of 1,100 meters.

Salvage operations were difficult, and officials said the vessel “destabilized” when its heavy anchor chains were cut. It sunk after taking on a surge of water.

Bourbon management and officials from their insurance carrier Gard met throughout the night to resolve a situation initially described as “chaotic.” Myklebust said there remained a chance the company would try to raise the sunken vessel from the seabed.

The cause of the vessel’s capsizing late last week is under investigation. Vessels like the Bourbon Dolphin are used to supply oil platforms, tow them to location, anchor them up and serve as rescue and recovery ships themselves.

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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Kenyan wins marathon in Russia

Posted by African Press International on April 16, 2007

Taipei – Bernard Mutai of Kenya won the men’s race and Oksana K. Lokholva of Russia was first on the women’s side in the Tainan Ancient Capital International Marathon in Taiwan on Sunday. Bernard Mutai covered the classic 42.195-kilometres distance in 2 hours 21 minutes 11 seconds, winning 50,000 Taiwan dollars (1,500 US dollars). Oksana K.Lokholva finished the race in the women’s division, clocking 3:3:9, pocketing 30,000 Taiwan dollars (1,000 US dollars). Lai Ka-wai of Hong Kong came second in the women’s division, clocking 3:12:00.The marathon, in Tainan, south Taiwan, was held jointly by the Chinese Taipei Road Running Association and the Tainan City Government.

Posted to APN by Karuga wa Njuguna

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

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SPLA Denies Harassing Kenyan Nationals in South Sudan

Posted by African Press International on April 16, 2007

Khartoum (Sudanvisiondaily)
The Spokesman for Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), Major General Kuol Deim Kuol has refuted claims by Kenyan businessmen and nationals that SPLA soldiers are harassing Kenyan nationals working and doing business in southern Sudan.

SPLA soldiers parade in Juba during the celebration of the 2d anniversary of the signing of the CPA Jan 2007 (©John A. Wuoi )The SPLA Spokesman was reacting to claims in some section of the Kenyan media that at least 3 Kenyans are being held in Rumbek in connection with the murder of a Ukrainian flight engineer, Mykola Sebrenikov.

A post mortem examination done on the late Mr. Sebrenikov at a Nairobi hospital indicates that he might have committed suicide.
He added that the 3 Kenyans allegedly killed by SPLA soldiers 15 kilometers inside southern Sudan, were actually killed by what he referred to as “Kenyans bandits”.

“In actual fact, the incident happened on 24th March this year in which Kenyan robbers attacked a Kenyan truck at Khor Duluma and in that incident, 3 Kenyans were killed. Khor Duluma is inside Kenyan territory, it is a known place and it is a banditry point”, he said.
He further accused Kenyan authorities of refusing to establish a police post at Khor Duluma which according to him would have saved lives of many southern Sudanese who died as they fled the civil war in Sudan to seek refuge in Kenya.

“Many southern Sudanese fleeing war in Southern Sudan have been killed and SPLA has been appealing to our Kenyan brothers in Lokichoggio police to establish a police post at the Khor Duluma because Khor Duluma is inside Kenya”, he added.

Kuol said the Chairman of Long Distance Truck Drivers Association, (an association which he says is not registered in Southern Sudan) Nicholas Mbugua has been lying to the media and Kenyan public over the alleged harassment of Kenyan trucks drivers in Southern Sudan by the SPLA soldiers.

He said, “Nicholas Mbugua accused the SPLA of killing 3 Kenyans 15 kilometers inside southern sudan, which is just a concoction”.
Mbugua could not be reached for comments.
The SPLA Spokesman also alleged that Kenyan nationals in southern Sudan are being used by — what he called — forces that want to tarnish the image of the Government of Southern Sudan and the SPLA.

Incidents of harassment of foreigners including Kenyans and Ugandan nationals in Southern Sudan have increased over the last few months with SPLA soldiers largely to blame. According to businessmen and foreigners working in southern Sudan, the SPLA soldiers extort money from them as well as put them in jails without charges, a claim that the SPLA spokesman has denied.

Early this month, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni formed a committee to investigate allegations of SPLA soldiers harassing Ugandan businessmen in Southern Sudan and at roadblocks between the Sudan and Uganda.
The Committee, headed by Walter Ochora, the Commissioner of Gulu District in Uganda, is charged with responsibility to investigate claims of harassment of Ugandan nationals in southern Sudan and prepare a report to be presented to President Museveni.

The Kenyan government through its embassy in the Sudanese capital Khartoum has written to the Government of Southern Sudan to protest the harassment, intimidations, arbitrary detention and beatings of some Kenyan nationals by southern Sudan security agents.

The Government of Southern Sudan maintains that it is not holding Kenyans in jails in southern sudan neither are SPLA soldiers harassing Kenyans nationals in Southern Sudan as reported in some section of the Kenyan media.

Posted to APN by Karuga wa Njuguna

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

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Uganda: Mabira forest causing chaos in kampala

Posted by African Press International on April 16, 2007

Asian pupils miss school

By Tony Barigye

AFTER a demonstration on the Mabira give-away turned violent, with Asians being attacked and beaten, Friday saw few Asian pupils attending school.

The Aga Khan schools, which include a primary, secondary and two nursery schools, were especially affected. The schools are Asian-owned.

Margaret Bell, the head of the education department for the Aga Khan schools, said a big numbers of Asian pupils did not turn up for school, yet they are in an examination period.

“In the primary school, 112 Asian pupils are missing,” she said.
“We kept all the children indoors in case of any stray bullets. We asked for extra help from the Police and two police officers were sent,” Bell said.

Posted to APN by Ham Mukasa

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

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“Parties are lobbying the kabaka to choose their member to become Buganda prime minister(katikiro)”

Posted by African Press International on April 16, 2007

Political Gossip: Parties lobby Kabaka

Three major political parties are reportedly in a contest to have one of their members from Buganda appointed Katikkiro.

Rumour has it that each has devised a strategy to influence the Kabaka of Buganda, Ronald Mutebi, to appoint a candidate of their choice.

Talk in the corridors at Mengo say the National Resistance Movement, Forum for Democratic Change and Democratic Party are craving a politically friendly head of the Kabaka’s government.

Each has identified candidates they are fronting quietly, says the rumour.

Emmanuel Ssendaula, the acting Katikkiro, has not attracted any brokers raising speculation that the Kabaka could zero in on him.

Posted to APN by Ham Mukasa

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

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CEMAC billed in Ndjamena on 25th april

Posted by African Press International on April 16, 2007

Ndjamena (Chad) The 8th summit of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) is billed in Ndjamena on 25 April, the Gabonese vice-premier in charged of the cooperation and regional integration , Jean Ping, announced on Saturday afternoon following talks with Chadian President, Idriss Deby Itno.

The summit, which was initially slated for 17 March, was postponed under the pretext of “case of absolute necessity”.

“Chad is expected to host this important CEMAC summit where we will discuss extremely important issues, particularly the review of the community’s institution”, the head of the Gabonese diplomacy said.

According to Mr Ping, the Ndjamena summit will further tackle issues related to sub-regional security, particularly in the Central African Republic (CAR) where CEMAC’s soldiers are deployed.

He also said Gabonese President, Omar Bongo Ondimba, who had asked for the postponement of the CEMAC summit, vowed to attend the coming one along with his Congolese counterpart, Denis Sassou Nguesso.

The CEMAC comprises Cameroon, Congo, the Central African Republic, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and Chad.

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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