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Archive for August 9th, 2007

Ghanaians urge AU to probe Gambian leader over murder of 44 nationals

Posted by African Press International on August 9, 2007

Accra (Ghana) A number of Ghanaians on Thursday appealed to the African Union (AU) leaders to probe President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia. They were reacting to the police investigation report published by the state-owned newspaper, Ghanaian Times, that the Gambian President ordered the killing of 44 Ghanaians and 10 other nationals of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 2005, APA reports in Accra.

44 Ghanaian migrants and 10 other Africans were murdered in cold blood in The Gambia on July 22, 2005 in their attempt to use the Gambian territory as transit point to Europe.

APA got the reactions of a number of Ghanaians on the new developments in the case.

Kofi Abotsi, Voice of America (VOA) correspondent in Ghana, said it was shameful for an African leader to meet out such barbaric act to other Africans and called on the International Court of Justice in Hague and ECOWAS to probe the Gambian leader for his role in the killing of African nationals.

A social commentator and business consultant, Ibrahim Agyei, said Ghanaians must be circumspect about the situation and ensure that International Court of Justice should go all out to ascertain the truth in the report.

The Government spokesperson on Social Services, Catherine Afedu, described the killings as an unfortunate situation which was a test case for diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Kobby Acheampong, the director of the African Institute of Journalism and Communications (AIJC) in Ghana, described the killings as distasteful and that it indicated how intra-African cooperation was weak in Africa.

He called on Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade to help investigate the issue.

It could be recalled that the former Ghanaian Foreign minister Nana Akuffo Addo went to The Gambia on four occasions to investigate the case but The Gambian government failed to cooperate with him until the Ghanaian Criminal Investigations Department (CID) waded into the matter and brought the results about the killings out.

While populations are calling for the Gambian President to be probed, the Ghanaian Foreign minister, Akwasi Osei Agyei, admitted that he has received the report which incriminates Yahya Jammeh of ordering the killing of the migrants.

My team would work on the case to ensure justice is delivered, he told APA.

One Gambian police officer, Sekouba Jadama, came forward to acknowledge that he was among the preliminary investigators into the case.

“In 2005, the African nationals were summarily executed by state security guards and dumped in a bush following a report that there were African nationals planning to overthrow the government while Yahya Jammeh and his ministers were at a cultural festival as part of activities marking his coming to power in Banjul,” he revealed.

According to media reports, Jadama said his head of state ordered the killing after a telephone call told him that some West African nationals had been arrested for trying to destabilise The Gambia.

He stated further that the captives were then transported over the River Gambia to Brufut, a town at the other side of the river, where they were butchered.

Only one Ghanaian who goes by the name Kyere survived the ordeal and had since helped in the police investigations.

Human Rights groups in Ghana were looking forward to seeing Yahya Jammeh at the just ended Accra AU Summit but he failed to attend.

Published by Korir, API*APN tel+4793299739 or+4763002525 source.apa

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Leading Tunisian club elects new chairperson

Posted by African Press International on August 9, 2007

APA-Tunis (Tunisia) Tunisian soccer club, “Esprance Sportive de Tunis”, has a new chairperson, Hamdi Meddeb, a charismatic tycoon appointed following an elective general assembly held Thursday.

Meddeb replaces Aziz Zouhir who was simmering his resignation since a long time because he always deplored the “unfavourable” working conditions and the “stiff opposition” between “wings and protagonists” in the same club.

Sports observers said the former chairperson vindicated his resignation by the lacklustre results of the club in the champions league and the untimely departure of its coach Faouzi Benzarti, one month ago.

On his part, Hamdi Meddeb hesitated before accepting to assume his new mission as his predecessor also delayed his decision.

Such situation had then prompted two former players of the club – Zied Tlemani and Chokri El Ouaer – to vie for the post.

Meddeb who is one of the clubs sponsor, is also close to Slim Chiboub, the former clubs chairperson who is now a FIFA official.

“Esprance de Tunis” lags behind Group B, pending its match against Al Ahly of Cairo .

Zouhir maintained his decision despite its Saturday victory over the African double champion by one goal to nil (1-0) in Tunis.

Published by Korir, API*APN tel+4793299739 or+4763002525 source.apa

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DRC, Uganda seek to settle Lake Albert incident

Posted by African Press International on August 9, 2007

APA Kinshasa (DR Congo) The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda are exploring ways to find a solution to the clash that opposed soldiers of the Ugandan Navy and the Congolese Naval Force last 3 August in the Rukwazi village along the Albert Lake, the natural border between the two countries.

The commander of the United Nations Mission in DRC (MONUC), Gen. Babacar Gaye, visited Uganda Wednesday to facilitate the contacts between the two countries army staff for the control of the common border.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday in Kinshasa, the Mission military spokesman, Jean-Frederic Lenoble, said that the Congolese authorities had accepted to release the four Ugandan soldiers held in Bunia, in the Ituri territory (north-eastern DRC).

The two countries moreover agreed to improve their co-operation in this region mainly by developing the activities of their naval units, Lenoble added.

A FADRC sergeant and a British engineer working for an oil company died in the 3 August clash, according to the MONUC military spokesman.

The incident occurred just a few days after soldiers of the Congolese Naval Force captured four Uganda sailors on the Albert Lake.

Published by Korir, API*APN tel+4793299739 or+4763002525 source.apa

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Liberia: Security official says discovered ammunition came from border county

Posted by African Press International on August 9, 2007

Monrovia (Liberia) A high-level Liberian security official has disclosed that the over 300kg of ammunition discovered in the central provincial city of Gbarnga in Bong County (about 160 kilometres north of Monrovia) came from Lofa County, one of the hotbeds of the Liberian civil war bordering Guinea and Sierra Leone, APA learnt here.

The official, speaking on the basis of anonymity, told journalists late Monday evening that the driver of the vehicle which transported the ammunition has been arrested along with another unnamed person.

He pointed out that the security forces are on top of the issue, adding that the UN Mission in Liberia was “vigorously investigating the discovery”.

Lofa County (330km northeast of Monrovia) was headquarters of the defunct Mandingo warring faction, the United Liberation Movement (ULIMO), and served as launching pad for the insurrection of the defunct Liberian United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) from Guinea.

Meanwhile, Police Inspector-General Beatrice Munah Sieh says it is too early to link the discovery of the arms cache to last July aborted coup plot.

However, in the email the treason suspect George Koukou wrote to former NPFL defence spokesman Tom Woewiyu, it was hinted that arms and ammunition for the insurrection were hidden in the central city of Gbarnga which served as headquarters of the defunct NPFL war crimes indictee, Charles Taylor.

“I want to inform you that we are ready to implement the agriculture projects around Gbarnga. Could you please provide information on the farming tools or implements that you are aware of around Gbarnga,” Koukou said in the coded message.

It is reported that here agriculture project means insurrection, while farming implements mean arms and ammunition.

Published by Korir, API*APN tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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