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Archive for May 17th, 2007

Norway: World Bank investigating a Norwegian Consultancy Group on corruption in connection with an aid project in Tanzania

Posted by African Press International on May 17, 2007

The World Bank is investigating Norwegian consultancy Norconsult on suspicion of corruption in connection with an aid project in Tanzania. Norconsult chief John Nyheim confirmed that he notified special economic crime division kokrim about the situation on Tuesday.

According to financial daily Dagens Nringsliv, USD 146,500 (about NOK 900,000) has disappeared from a Tanzanian project account belonging to Norconsult.

Norconsult is taking part in a development project to improved the water supply to 2.5 million inhabitants of Tanzania’s financial capital Dar es Salaam, in cooperation with two smaller companies from the Netherlands and Tanzania.

The project is financed by the World Bank. Last September bank representatives appeared at the project office in Dar es Salaam due to suspicions that the money’s disappearance was linked to corruption.

The World Bank also sent people to Norconsult’s head office in Sandvika outside of Oslo but found nothing. According to Dagens Nringsliv, this was because relevant documents had been shredded.

Norconsult board chairman Per Kristian Jacobsen told DN that certain employees had seen something that is likely corruption, without reporting it via official channels.

Neither kokrim nor the World Bank would comment on the matter.

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

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Posted by African Press International on May 17, 2007

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The rapid changes taking place at Svalbard vividly illustrate climate challenges.

PHOTO: SCANPIX / ARKIV

The news was reported by web site abcnyheter.no, which cited confirmation from senior ministry adviser Inger Johanne Wiese.

The governor of California has been invited to the second annual New lesund symposium, where top leaders gather to discuss environmental issues.

No answer has come back yet from the governor’s office, but Statoil CEO Helge Lund, Hydro CEO Eivind Reiten and Aker group boss Kjell Inge Rkke have declined to participate, ABC Nyheter reports.

Schwarzenegger has been invited on the strength of his commitment to environmental issues in California and it is hoped he will speak at the symposium.

“We aim to gather 35-40 top leaders from business, research and politics, and the goal is to discuss climate challenges and to establish a solution oriented dialog,” Wiese told the web site.

The meeting will be held Aug. 20-22 and the theme is “Global Climate Change – the Need for Action”.

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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Ugandan soldiers killed in Somalia

Posted by African Press International on May 17, 2007

Kampala (Uganda) Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) spokesperson, Major Felix Kulaigye, Wednesday confirmed that four Ugandan peace keepers on the African Union mission in Somalia have been killed today, APA has learnt.

Kulaigye said the incident was caused by a roadside bomb attack hurled at the soldiers convoy in Mogadishu and wounded five others while on routine patrol in the city.

The incident erodes the morale of the troops but was a temporary situation, the spokesman said in a way of consoling his compatriots.

However, the names of the dead soldiers have not been released to the media.

The attack comes only a day after Somalias President Abdullahi Yusuf held talks with President Yoweri Museveni in Kampala and during which Yusuf appealed to other African countries to send peacekeepers to Somali to support the work of the Ugandan soldiers there.

An estimated 1,500 Ugandan peacekeepers are serving in Somalia under the AU mission.

The AU had said some 8,000 troops were required to secure Mogadishu, but despite promises by several African countries to despatch solders to the war-torn country, only Ugandan forces are stationed there.

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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Posted by African Press International on May 17, 2007

Freetown [Sierra Leone] The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon Tuesday described pre-electoral arrangements in Sierra Leone as remarkable success and urged the international community to step up assistance for the the countrys post-war reconstruction.

The fact that 91 percent of the eligible voters have registered for the 2007 elections is both a demonstration of the civic maturity of the people of Sierra Leone and an important indication of the capacity of the National Electoral Commission, MrBan said.

His statement was contained in the latest report on the work of the UN Integrated Office in Sierra Leone [UNIOSIL].

MrBan however expressed disatisfaction over the slow deployment of state authority across the country as well as efforts to combat corruption and promote accountability which he noted have been painfully slow to yield results.

Hence, the country clearly needs the support of the international community particularly to improve the image of the army and police, the Korean diplomat urged, and noted that the lack of a solid private sector in the country was also hampering growth rate in the war-scarred 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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The Port Authority of Abidjan (PAA) has Wednesday decided to re-conquer the market shares it had lost following the September 19 2002 crisis

Posted by African Press International on May 17, 2007

Grand Bassam (Cte dIvoire) The Port Authority of Abidjan (PAA) has Wednesday decided to re-conquer the market shares it had lost following the September 19 2002 crisis by consolidating its services, APA has learnt.

The crisis had hampered our sub-regional position through the emergence of competitive ports that took over our traffic, Marcel Gossio, the Managing Director of the Port Authority of Abidjan disclosed.

The traffic, he added, is meant to neighbouring countries with no seashore or countries with weak port capacities.

Many of our citizens do not understand the real importance of the port of Abidjan. They must understand that it is an irreplaceable economic instrument for Cote-dIvoire, President Gbagbo said, adding that it is a cooperation instrument because the Port of Abidjan is also the natural port of Mali, Burkina-Faso and Niger.

It has been the natural port from its primary design until now. This port is the entry and exit port of about 90% of our export and import products, the Ivorian president said.

The Port of Abidjan represents 90% of Cote-dIvoires foreign trade and harbours 60% of the most important industrial plants of the country while generating 85% of the national custom incomes.

The traffic of goods has slightly increased in 2006 (+1%), reaching 18.85 million tons after a reduction in 2002 – 2003, the Managing Director said.

Despite its image being strongly tarnished by the issue of toxic waste, it is still the first West African port, with a berthing capacity of 30 cargos, hiring 35,000 people, including 4,500 stevedores.

Following the September 19 2002 crisis, hinterland countries, including Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger had resorted to the ports of Lome and Cotonou.

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 Mauritanian president, Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla, denounced the “double standards” of the police

Posted by African Press International on May 17, 2007

Nouakchott (Mauritania) Former Mauritanian president, Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla, denounced the “double standards” of the police which is energetically searching for his son “Sidi Mohamed” involved in the drug case, APA learnt from reliable source in Nouakchott.

He however fustigated the drug trafficking accusation in an open letter to the head of state, Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdellahi.

The son of Haidalla is considered the mastermind of a foiled attempt to introduce 600 kg of cocaine, a few days ago, through a small plane at the Nouadhibou airstrip, 470 km north of Nouakchott.

“Are we in a situation where the national public opinion is diverted from the activity of tens of well known traffickers,” the former president queried, adding that the administration supports these traffickers who are covered up by security authorities.

He criticized the naming of a political leader in the case just because the latter is a close relation of his son, referring to the president of the Popular Front (FP), Chebih Ould Cheikh Malainine, who was after all proved innocent by the Nouadhibou public prosecutors office.

The unlucky candidate of last March presidential election also protested against the confiscation of his sons assets before even his indictment, noting that he will be the first to disown him if proven guilty.

People believe in a complicity of senior police officers and famous businessmen in this most important drug case in the history of the country.

The Nouadhibou public prosecution has arrested a number of people in this case, which led to the seizure of 820000 euros, 20 million ouguiyas (77,000 euros), two planes, 3 vehicles as well as estate properties.

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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