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Archive for April 24th, 2007

Boris Yeltsin died yesterday

Posted by African Press International on April 24, 2007

The Russian former charismatic leaders Mr Boris Yeltsin has died.

The man was known for good leadership and bottles of good vodka whenever he wanted to cool down his stressing political life.

One time when Yeltsin was on a visit to Europe, hye stopped over in the UK and was to meet with the then UK Premier The Iron lady. Yeltsin was so drunk that hde chose not to get out of the plane and the meeting was cancelled.

He left the UK without having met the premier.

We wish his family well. We also send our heartfelt condolences to his family and the Russian people 

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn

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AU boss in Angola for talks

Posted by African Press International on April 24, 2007

Luanda (Angola) The President of the African Union (AU) Commission, Alpha Omar Konaré arrived Monday in the Angolan capital, Luanda on a two-day official visit to ostensibly discuss the border dispute with neighbouring DR Congo and other conflicts rocking the African continent, APA observes.

Speaking to the press at the “4 de Fevereiro” International Airport, Alpha Konaré, who was received by the secretary general of the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Angolan Ambassador to the AU, Manuel dos Santos and Manuel Augusto, respectively, said the AU envoy was in Angola to analyse and search for solutions to various conflicts on the continent.

The recalled that Angola was part of the African Union`s Defence and Security Committee and, hence, the need for Konaré to solicit the country`s point of view particularly considering Angola’s experience in conflict management and resolution.

Alpha Konaré was elected as President of the African Union Commission during AU`s first ordinary summit, which happened in Maputo, Mozambique, in July 2003.

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The delegation of Chinese businessmen of the International Trade Association for Lusophone Markets on a visit to Angola

Posted by African Press International on April 24, 2007

Luanda (Angola) The delegation of Chinese businessmen of the International Trade Association for Lusophone Markets (ACIML) which arrived in the country on Saturday on Monday officially met with their Angolan counterparts to discuss investment opportunities, APA has learnt.

ACIML`s delegation that is led by its chairman, Eduardo Ambrósio, is expected to meet with board of directors of the Foment Bank of Angola (BFA) and of the Angolan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIA).

In 2006, BFA signed two protocols with ACIML and with the Macau branch of the Bank of China to promote trade relations between Angolan and Chinese companies.

Under the agreement with the Bank of China, BFA opened a 100 million-dollar credit line to finance trade between Angolan importers and Chinese exporters.

The deputy director general of the Bank of China, Cheong Chi Sang is also part of the ACIML delegation Meanwhile, the Angolan Head of State, José Eduardo dos Santos, Monday held discussion with the World Health Organisation (WHO)`s regional director for Africa, Luís Gomes Sambo in the capital, Luanda on the functioning of the regional institution and examined Angola’s contribution towards the eradication of diseases and the reduction of maternal and infant death.

Angolan by nationality, Luís Gomes Sambo has been serving in the post since February 2005.

The Angolan government has set out to eradicate the virus of poliomyelitis by 2008

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Posted by African Press International on April 24, 2007

Luanda (Angola) The delegation of Chinese businessmen of the International Trade Association for Lusophone Markets (ACIML) which arrived in the country on Saturday on Monday officially met with their Angolan counterparts to discuss investment opportunities, APA has learnt.

ACIML`s delegation that is led by its chairman, Eduardo Ambrósio, is expected to meet with board of directors of the Foment Bank of Angola (BFA) and of the Angolan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIA).

In 2006, BFA signed two protocols with ACIML and with the Macau branch of the Bank of China to promote trade relations between Angolan and Chinese companies.

Under the agreement with the Bank of China, BFA opened a 100 million-dollar credit line to finance trade between Angolan importers and Chinese exporters.

The deputy director general of the Bank of China, Cheong Chi Sang is also part of the ACIML delegation Meanwhile, the Angolan Head of State, José Eduardo dos Santos, Monday held discussion with the World Health Organisation (WHO)`s regional director for Africa, Luís Gomes Sambo in the capital, Luanda on the functioning of the regional institution and examined Angola’s contribution towards the eradication of diseases and the reduction of maternal and infant death.

Angolan by nationality, Luís Gomes Sambo has been serving in the post since February 2005.

The Angolan government has set out to eradicate the virus of poliomyelitis by 2008.

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EU is not happy about the Nigerian elections

Posted by African Press International on April 24, 2007

Lagos (Nigeria) The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM) Monday faulted the conduct of the general elections in Nigeria, APA has learnt.

In its preliminary report on the election, EU-EOM said in Abuja that “The election fell far short of basic international and regional standards for democratic elections’’.

The election, according to the mission, was “marred by poor organisation, lack of essential transparency, widespread procedural irregularities and significant, evidence of fraud, particularly during the result collation process’’.

EU-EOM also listed “voter disfranchisement at different stages of the process, lack of equal conditions for contestants and numerous incidence of violence as other major features of the elections’’.

“As a result, the elections have not lived up to the hopes and expectations of the Nigerian people and the process cannot be considered to have been credible,’’ said the observer mission.

At least 200 people, including candidates and policemen, it said, were killed in election-related incidents, adding that thugs were widely used to create a significant degree of fear and intimidation.

It noted : “The quality of final voter register was poor and included under age voters, double entries, missing and blurred pictures of voters.

The EU-EOM urged aggrieved candidates and political parties to demonstrate calm and explore the legal mechanism to seek redress and called on the relevant authorities to investigate allegations of irregularities.

In a related development, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) described general elections in Nigeria as a “failed process’’.

The Leader of the international election observer team, Ms Madeleine Albright, said on Monday in Abuja while presenting its report on the conduct and outcome of the polls that “In many places, and in a number of ways, the electoral process failed the Nigerian people.”

It commended the “discipline posture’’ of the electorate before and during the elections, adding that aggrieved parties should seek redress through “peaceful and constitutional means’’ before May 29.

It stressed that the INEC must ensure speedy correction of the identified “technical failings’’ before the rescheduled elections were held on April 26 and April 28, respectively.

While thanking Nigerians for their hospitality, the group pledged to make public its final report on the polls in June.

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Liberia: Ex-soldiers will be restrained

Posted by African Press International on April 24, 2007

Monrovia (Liberia) UN peacekeepers and officers of the Liberia National Police Monday deployed in central Monrovia to prevent a mass demonstration by former soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia, APA observes.

The ex-soldiers had planned a mass demonstration against the pension scheme of former soldiers announced on UN radio Monday by Defense Minister Brownie Samukai.

The Chairman of the retired soldiers, retired Lt. Col. Anthony Jaylue, in reaction says he will take the government to court.

The ex-soldiers are contesting their retirement on legal grounds, maintaining it was not done properly.

An estimated 14,000 personnel of the Armed Forces of Liberia have been demobilized in line with the Accra Comprehensive Peace Accord which called for the disbanding of the Armed Forces of Liberia which is said to have taken sides in the Liberian conflict.

Three previous demonstrations by the ex-soldiers in the recent past, brought activities in the Liberian capital to a standstill.

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The lower house of Liberia’s bicameral legislature Monday ratified the Mineral Development Agreement

Posted by African Press International on April 24, 2007

Monrovia (Liberia) The lower house of Liberia’s bicameral legislature Monday ratified the Mineral Development Agreement under which the global steel giant Acelor, is to exploit iron ore resources in the country’s north-eastern Nimba county over a 25 year period, APA has learnt.

The agreement was ratified during an emergency session Monday following a public hearing.

Under the agreement, steel giant Acelor will invest 1 billion dollars for the exploitation of iron ore.

The agreement provides that Mineral Development Agreement is to be reviewed every seven years, while the company will pay 3 million dollars to the Liberian government each year for development purposes.

The agreement has now been sent to the upper house (senate) for endorsement, but observers here believe that the agreement will easily be passed by the upper house.

Recently, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf made an impassioned appeal to the legislature to pass the agreement which was first entered into in 2005, during the transitional government.

She used her presidential powers to recall the legislators from their Easter Break to hasten the ratification of the mineral agreement to provide jobs for unemployed Liberians.

The agreement is to provide an estimated 3,000 jobs for Liberians.

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EU is not happy about the Nigerian elections

Posted by African Press International on April 24, 2007

Lagos (Nigeria) The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM) Monday faulted the conduct of the general elections in Nigeria, APA has learnt.

In its preliminary report on the election, EU-EOM said in Abuja that “The election fell far short of basic international and regional standards for democratic elections’’.

The election, according to the mission, was “marred by poor organisation, lack of essential transparency, widespread procedural irregularities and significant, evidence of fraud, particularly during the result collation process’’.

EU-EOM also listed “voter disfranchisement at different stages of the process, lack of equal conditions for contestants and numerous incidence of violence as other major features of the elections’’.

“As a result, the elections have not lived up to the hopes and expectations of the Nigerian people and the process cannot be considered to have been credible,’’ said the observer mission.

At least 200 people, including candidates and policemen, it said, were killed in election-related incidents, adding that thugs were widely used to create a significant degree of fear and intimidation.

It noted : “The quality of final voter register was poor and included under age voters, double entries, missing and blurred pictures of voters.

The EU-EOM urged aggrieved candidates and political parties to demonstrate calm and explore the legal mechanism to seek redress and called on the relevant authorities to investigate allegations of irregularities.

In a related development, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) described general elections in Nigeria as a “failed process’’.

The Leader of the international election observer team, Ms Madeleine Albright, said on Monday in Abuja while presenting its report on the conduct and outcome of the polls that “In many places, and in a number of ways, the electoral process failed the Nigerian people.”

It commended the “discipline posture’’ of the electorate before and during the elections, adding that aggrieved parties should seek redress through “peaceful and constitutional means’’ before May 29.

It stressed that the INEC must ensure speedy correction of the identified “technical failings’’ before the rescheduled elections were held on April 26 and April 28, respectively.

While thanking Nigerians for their hospitality, the group pledged to make public its final report on the polls in June.

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Obasanjo speaks on the elections

Posted by African Press International on April 24, 2007

Lagos (Nigeria) Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo Monday advised all those aggrieved by the outcome of the elections to seek constitutional and legal redress, APA has learnt.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should aid the election tribunals in ensuring expeditious resolution of all cases that may come up by providing documents for plaintiffs and defendants alike, Obasanjo said in a nationwide broadcast in Abuja.

“As our judiciary has shown, many of the observed lapses in the elections are not incapable of correction, and it is our hope that political parties, contestants and INEC will make available all information and evidence to enable the judiciary perform its functions.

“In the next five weeks, I hope the election and appeals tribunals will work earnestly to expeditiously adjudicate on all the disputes that will be brought before them. That way, mistakes and accidents can be corrected,’’ he said.

He said that he was disappointed in the conduct of the political parties and their Candidates, and accused them of employing thugs and violent means to secure what they consider as “electoral victory”.

“Nigeria must show example to the rest of Africa and the world that we are capable of choosing our leaders peacefully and democratically,’’ he said, noting that by the time the Election Tribunals and Appellate Courts complete the review of the cases before them, “Nigerians will reconcile with one another and the nation will move on’’.

According to him, “Violence in parts of the country has resulted in the reported deaths of some thirty policemen and over thirty-five civilians, and the attempted bombing of the INEC Headquarters.

Obasanjo noted that judging from the poll results of local and international pollsters, the results that had so far been declared had not deviated materially from the average projections of the polls.

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Charismatic Ivorian young patriots’ leader Charles Blé Goude, was Saturday nominated Peace ambassador

Posted by African Press International on April 24, 2007

Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire) Charismatic Ivorian young patriots’ leader Charles Blé Goude, was Saturday nominated Peace ambassador by the Ivorian minister of reconciliation and relations with institutions, Danon Djedje.

The nomination resulted from the actions recently undertaken by Blé Goude to promote peace, the Ivorian minister of reconciliation and relations with institutions, Danon Djedje, disclosed.

For a few months, Mr. Ble Goude has stopped with street demonstrations and violence and took to preaching peace throughout the country, mainly in the areas under the government’s control.

“This evening, by gathering in the same stadium with our brothers the New Forces, we are proving that reconciliation is underway”, Mr. BLe Goude stated.

“I have said that I support the Ouagadougou agreements, because these agreements have given anew to Cote-d’Ivoire its sovereignty”, the leader of the “young patriots” went on to say after the peace caravan he initiated.

A strong delegation of the New Forces (former rebellion), led by spokesman Sidiki Konate, also minister of tourism and crafts has participated in the demonstration, which gathered thousands of young people in Yopougon, the district of the young supporters of President Gbagbo.

On the same podium, Parliament Speaker Mamadou Koulibaly, Simone Hevet Gbagbo and Ble Goude Charles were on the one side, while Sidiki Konate and some FN members were on the other side, all harping on peace.

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