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Archive for August 28th, 2007

Looking at where the sun comes from and not sun sets in Kenya politics, says Kalenjin elders

Posted by African Press International on August 28, 2007

Story by DAVID MACHARIA and BARNABAS BII
Publication Date: 8/28/2007

Former Head of State Daniel arap Moi is determined to counter the ODM wave in Rift Valley. And the beneficiary of the move will be President Kibaki.

Former President Daniel Moi (centre), Keiyo South MP Nicholas Biwott (left) and former nominated MP Ezekiel Barngetuny follow proceedings during a meeting with Kanu leaders from the Kalenjin community at Kenmosa village in Eldoret Town at the weekend.
Photos/ JARED NYATAYA and FILE

The increasingly open role Mr Moi is playing in both Kanu and Rift Valley politics indicates he will be a major factor in the General Election.

The last time Mr Moi was overtly involved in politics was during the 2005 campaign for referendum on the proposed constitution. At the time, then Justice minister Kiraitu Murungi bluntly told him to keep off politics or risk losing his retirement benefits.

This time, however, the Government is welcoming Mr Mois intervention with open arms because he is out to resist the ODM march in the Rift Valley.

The past weekend saw Mr Moi in the Rift Valley presiding over a series of both public and private meetings where the central message was that ODM encroachment must be resisted and that the Kalenjin community must be remain in Kanu and rebuild their own political vehicle.

Guide people

Left unsaid was whether Kanu would field a presidential candidate, with Mr Moi only promising that he would guide the people on how to vote when the time comes.

The assumption is that he will advise a vote for President Kibakis re-election. A lot of hints were given in parables and metaphors. At a meeting in Eldorets exclusive estate, Kenmosa, one old man, among those selected to speak, said the Kalenjin faced where the sun comes from every time they wake up and not where it sets. The message? Look east.

President Kibaki is from the east while his main rival, Mr Raila Odinga of ODM, is from the west – where the sun sets.

As the Kalenjin elders met under trees in the village that used to be part of Lonrho East Africa premises, Kanu chairman Uhuru Kenyatta, who was a few kilometres away, was being told point blank that the party has to be involved in the next government by all means.

Speakers at the harambee presided over by Mr Kenyatta for Africa Inland Church in Kapsaret, Eldoret South constituency, said Kanu was not in a position to offer a strong challenge for the presidency, and the best option was to back a team that would accommodate the former ruling party in government.

Antipathy towards ODM

And knowing Mr Mois opposition to ODM, and to Mr Odinga in particular, the inference was obvious.

Though not said openly, speakers at two separate weekend meetings in Eldoret Town gave the strongest hint that Mr Moi and former Kanu stalwarts are likely to support President Kibaki in the December General Election. But the support will come with several conditions.

Among the conditions is an assurance of ministerial, parastatal and top civil service jobs in the next government.

The immediate task of the Moi meetings was to set up a machinery that will weaken the ODM in Rift Valley and Western Province, targeting Kanu secretary-general William Ruto who has defied the former president and his party to lead a strong ODM wave among the Kalenjin.

Also targeted is former vice-president Musalia Mudavadi, whose prospects of getting the ODM presidential nomination seems to be fading.

The defection from ODM last week of former Cabinet minister Linah Chebii Kilimo, the MP for Marakwet East, is said to be a harbinger of things to come.

A scheme with well-defined roadmap and tasks has been drawn with several people who helped Mr Moi in his leadership to have a strong grip on power involved.

On top of the scheme is some personalities, mainly former MPs, Kanu leaders and respected elders among them Mr Ezekiel Barngetuny, Mr Wilson Leitich of the infamous chop off their fingers declaration during the campaign for multiparty democracy, former State House Comptroller Abraham Kiptanui and former Maendeleo ya Wanawake chairperson Zipporah Kittony.

Also central to the plan is Mr Mois son Gedion and Keiyo South MP Nicholas Biwott, who has abandoned his fight to oust Mr Kenyatta as party chairman after the latter pulled Kanu out of ODM.

Mr Biwott, once the most powerful politician in the country after Mr Moi, leads a group of Kalenjin Kanu MPs who had been opposed to ODM all along.

The plan to stop ODM has assembled a core of 20 elders and opinion shapers from each of the districts of the Rift Valley.

But the real frontline will be taken by the political leaders led by Mr Biwott and Gedion and their loyal MPs such as Mr Nick Salat, Mr Jimmy Choge and Mr Paul Sang.

One key aim is to educate the people on the need and benefits of leaning towards the Government.

The level with the major task is that of professionals, among them academicians. This group going by the name Sere is supposed to change the thinking of the youth in the community that seems inclined to ODM.

One task that Mr Moi has already successfully concluded is to end the feud between the Kenyatta and Biwott Kanu groups.

The bid to unite the Kanu groups and the MPs was said to be the reason the legislators from the province held a meeting in Nairobi soon after the split of the ODM-K.

The union of the warring Kanu groups and unity of party legislators is likely to be followed by a move to sack and replace officials who are allied to ODM, the main ones being Mr Ruto and vice-chairman Henry Kosgey.

We do not want political opportunists and Mr Ruto and his group should decide between Kanu and ODM, former Uasin Gishu chairman Reuben Sile said at the weekend meeting.

Should the party succeed in getting the replacement of Mr Ruto and Mr Kosgey, then the two could also face sponsored opponents in the polls to eventually make them politically irrelevant.

The Eldoret meeting where Mr Biwott was endorsed to spearhead the strengthening of Kanu to clip ODM’s wing in Rift Valley was just the beginning of the scheme.

Tribal outfit

Mr Moi led five Kanu MPs to dismiss ODM as a tribal outfit and urged members of the Kalenjin community to remain steadfast in Kanu.

MPs at the Eldoret meeting were: Mr Biwott, Mr Salat, Mr Sang, Mr Anthony Kimetto, Mr Choge and Mr Lucas Chepkitony.

Mr Mois weekend political activities in the region started at a wedding in Nandi South District on Saturday, where he said he would chart a new political path for Rift Valley.

The former President said he supported the Orange side (opponents of the draft new constitution) during the referendum but did not imply that he would support it as a political party.

Mr Moi said that ODM has caused political confusion among Kenyans for the last 18 months and it is only through Kanu that peace and economic prosperity can be attained.

Many at the Moi meeting in Eldoret admitted that it was convened secretively. Participants came in hired matatus and sat in groups according to their regions (districts).

Prior to the start of the business of the day, a former civic leader ensured that each group had one person to speak on behalf of them.

As the groups were organising themselves, Mr Moi was holed up in a closed-door meeting with the key lieutenants driving the initiative, including Mr Biwott, Mr Barngetuny and Mr Leitich.

Lifted and published by Korir, API*APN africanpress@chello.no tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.nation.ke

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Posted by African Press International on August 28, 2007

By Vincent Moracha

From eating bats, worms, snails, animal genitals to drinking cobra blood and urine, mans list of peculiar health remedies and gourmet treats is endless and repugnant.

In a world that is a panorama of socio-cultural tendencies, one mans yummy is often another mans yuck, and indeed what some consider as poison may as well be valuable medicine to others.

When in the late1990s scientists invented urine-powered batteries, it was considered a technological breakthrough. But when news began trickling in from countries like China, India and Thailand that some people considered human urine as a health drink, many thought it was weird.

The practice of urine therapy may be frowned upon and sometimes outlawed, but its adherents are not about to put their cups down.

For example, the official Chinese News Agency, Xinhua, once estimated that three million Chinese drink their own urine in the belief that it is good for their health.

Recently a 29-year-old Indonesian maid was jailed for six days in Hong Kong for serving her boss a cup of water containing urine.

Teacher told students to take a shower with their own urine

Clearly suspicious of the composition of the water, the employer told the maid to drink it, which she did.

Defending herself in court, the maid argued that her employer never drunk the urine and the substance was, after all, not poisonous.

Although she admitted to the offence of administering poison or other destructive or noxious substance, she insisted the urine was a skin treatment that had found its way in her employers water by mistake.

The magistrate did not completely concur and, as a result, gave her a six-day jail sentence as a strong message to the public.

If you think the maids action was repugnant, then you have probably not heard of this case in India. A teacher was in May this year reported to have directed students to take a shower with their own urine.

Madhavi Raut, acting on orders from the schools principal, went around classrooms spraying cow urine. He then asked a group of lower caste Dalit students to get their own urine, mix it with a cows and shower with the concoction because it would purify them, drive away evil spirits and help the students perform better. The authorities punished the two.

Reactions to bizarre behaviour

All this reminds me of what G K Chesterton said in one of his essays: “An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.”

Could this quote explain why people have strong reactions about what, based on their socio-cultural backgrounds, they consider to be bizarre behaviour by others from different backgrounds?

When in 2001 BBC news ran a documentary of a community in the Congo Forest that has for ages hunted monkeys for meat, I considered their culinary delight strange. Besides, the practice had been blamed for the spread of the Ebola virus from the primates to man.

I was taken aback the next day when my professor of Asian origin broke the news in the lecture hall (I was the only student from Africa) and invited me to address the issue, as if I was a consumer of the delicacy!

Dog markets, butcheries and restaurants

Interestingly, eating dog meat is commonplace in that part of the globe. While taking a stroll, one will often pass by a number of dog markets, butcheries and restaurants which sell dog meat.

In Kenya anybody found eating dog meat would have his head examined at a mental hospital. That is why a few years back it was big news when the media reported that some people ate a dog in Ukambani due to the ravages of famine.

As a good ambassador for Africa, I gave a spirited defence of my monkey-eating brothers, drawing parallels between eating monkey meat and eating dog meat, much to the chagrin of a cross section of students whom I later established saw nothing wrong in having dog meat on the menu.

I must mention that this seemingly innocuous argument nearly cost me my education.

Early this year, I also joined fellow Kenyans in wondering how people could eat worms when KTNs Boni Odinga brought to our sitting rooms a feature from Congo (Kinshasa) showing market women selling the delicacy.

Worms are also said to be a delicacy in some sub-tribes in Western Kenya.

40 years of swallowing live tree frogs and rats

And a few years back when health officials warned that some butchers in Nairobi were selling donkey meat to unsuspecting Kenyans, the public was disgusted.

Yet in some parts of Turkana District donkey meat is a delicacy that is also said to have medicinal value. And what would you say of the people at the Coast who eat rats?

In some Asian countries, eating snake meat is sometimes considered healthy and good for improving ones sex life. For example, the meat is highly valued in Chinese cuisine and a snakes gallbladder is especially seen as a good recipe for improving the eyesight and countering the effects of rheumatism.

Although the French have always had snails and frog legs on their menus and the Chinese also enjoy eating frogs, when Reuters reported in June this year that a 66-year-old Chinese man, Jiang Musheng, claimed that 40 years of swallowing live tree frogs and rats had helped him avoid intestinal complaints and made him strong, many people were genuinely shocked.

Health remedies and gourmet treats

According to the Beijing news, Jiang said he suffered from frequent abdominal pains and coughing from the age of 26 until an old man called Yang Dingcai suggested tree frogs as a remedy. And it worked.

Over the years Jiang has added live mice, baby rats and green frogs to his diet, and once ate 20 mice in a single day, according to Beijing News.

In Indonesia, eating bats is considered a remedy for asthma. In various parts of the country, cobra blood, bear paws, crocodile and tiger penises, geckos, dried seahorses, monitor lizards, goat testicles, rhinoceros horns and monkey brains are eaten as health remedies, cures for impotence or gourmet treats.

All these are probably rooted in ideas of traditional medicine. Lovers of human urine on the other hand argue that the practice is no different from eating these strange food.

The China Central Television has previously reported a success case of a human urine practitioner.

Stranded hiker survived by drinking his own urine

Du, formerly head of the Wuzhuang Village in Baqiao District of Xian, Shaanxi Province, has been drinking his urine on a daily basis since 1990 without any health complaints over the years.

Du was quoted as saying that his mother introduced him to drinking urine when he was about three years old.

In 2003, a BBC news report detailed how a group of Thais took to drinking urine as alternative medicine. The controversial report drew mixed reactions in Thailand and parts of China, prompting a backlash from authorities.

But some circumstances may force people to drink urine. In April 2005, British hiker Paul Beck was stranded in the Spanish mountains for six days. He survived by drinking his own urine.

As the 33-year-old waited for rescuers to find him, he resorted to urinating into a cup and taking a few sips per day.

Last year, yachtsmen Mark Smith and Steven Freeman spent 11 days stranded in the South China Sea after their boat capsized. They put their survival down to urine.

Urine is a by-product of blood filtration

But apart from possibly helping to keep man alive in extreme circumstances, is drinking urine really good for ones health?

Urine therapy, or urotherapy, dates back to several ancient cultures and is even mentioned in the Bible.

While Egyptian medical texts, Chinese and Indian documents mention the benefits of drinking ones urine, the Aztecs used it to disinfect wounds. This antiseptic quality still forms a plank in pro-urine arguments.

Contrary to popular perception, urine is not a by-product of the bodys waste disposal system but of blood filtration.

Nutrient-filled blood passes through the liver, where toxins are removed and excreted as solid waste.

The purified blood then goes through another filtering process through the kidneys, where components for which the body has no immediate use are collected in a sterile, watery solution.

First toilet visit of the day is the most beneficial

For that reason, urine is highly sterile. It consists of 95 percent water and five percent nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, proteins, antibodies and other beneficial ingredients.

“Advocates of auto-urine therapy believe this combination can help cure everything from the common cold to cancer, boost energy levels and sexual performance,” says a Nairobi based urologist who requested anonymity.

He says he is aware a number of Kenyans have taken to the practice. While drinking urine has always been popular in China, India and South-East Asia, a small but growing band of Western and African fans is also downing a daily dose.

A prime mover of the movement and author of Your Own Perfect Medicine, Martha Christy, says the first toilet visit of the day is the most beneficial.

She recommends a regimen beginning with five drops of “fresh morning urine” under the tongue before gradually increasing the dosage to as much as a cupful, morning and night. Urine can also be used as eye and ear drops, for gargling or in the bath.

Medical experts remain unconvinced

Proponents of drinking urine argue that the disgusting smell of urine is our own fault because “our wrong diet does damage to the chemical makeup of the excreted urine.”

According to Pravda, another researcher, Rinad Minvaleyev, thinks it is important to take a closer look at the chemicals found in urine in order to convince people that urine is good.

Apart from the main components urea and water urine also contains some quantities of hormones and metabolites, including corticosteroids (which is a common ingredient in antiseptic ointments and creams).

But since no concrete proof for the claims has been made about urotherapy, medical experts remain unconvinced.

Dr Michael Stroud, an expert in nutrition at Englands Southampton University, dismisses people who believe that urine can cure people of Aids besides improving their complexions as “daft as brushes” in an article published in the Cape Argus.

Urine has a dehydrating effect

Skeptics also argue that urine has a dehydrating effect rather than a hydrating one and can therefore not be useful for those stranded in places where they have no access to water.

Helen Andrews of the British Dietetic Association observes: “Each time you put it back it will come out again, even more concentrated, and that is not good for health. If you are stranded, your body will try to conserve as much water as it can. Drinking your urine would be like drinking sea-water,” she adds.

But despite these startling arguments, some websites go as far as giving detailed urine drinking tips as well as countering the nauseous reaction for those drinking urine for the first time.

NASA bought a Russian space toilet

And they humorously advocate for the legal drinking age in the UK to be raised to 21 in a bid to curb binge drinking (of urine) among youngsters.

Nevertheless, when news circulated that some addicts drunk each others urine to get high, a professional rehabilitator commented: “No amount of rehab is gonna help these folks… they are way off the deep end of dependency!”

The National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) also kicked another debate when it bought a Russian space toilet for about Sh1.2 billion that could even turn urine into drinking water. That is not such a bad idea, isnt it?

As you enjoy your conventional food and drink remember someone might just be considering what you are ingesting as peculiar.

But a warning is also in order here: Dont try some of these strange food, drinks and remedies at home.

Additional information compiled from Internet sources.

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ODM hopes Raila will not be ejected once again on Tuesday when he tours Central Province Town – Kerugoya

Posted by African Press International on August 28, 2007

By Francis NgigeODM Presidential aspirant, Mr Raila Odinga, returns to Central Province on Tuesday, a week after he was ejected from a Karatina hotel.

The Langata MP is expected to join other ODM leaders for a public rally at Kerugoya Stadium to drum up support for the opposition party.

On Monday, preparations for the meeting were in top gear as local ODM leaders met to plan on how to make the meeting a success.

Former Thika Mayor, Mrs Mumbi Ngaru, who is heading ODM campaigns in the province, was chaired the forum organising the meeting. Ngaru said they expect a large turnout at the rally despite the fact that it would be at President Kibakis backyard.

Other ODM leaders expected to address the meeting are Eldoret North MP, Mr William Ruto, former Vice-President, Mr Musalia Mudavadi, and Gachoka MP, Mr Joseph Nyagah.

Hotelier accused Raila of using her premise to campaign against KibakiNgaru said the meeting forms part of the ongoing series of meetings by ODM top brigade to popularise the party ahead of Saturday National Delegates Conference to pick its presidential aspirant.

“We are confident that the meeting will be a success since we believe people in Central Province are also yearning for the real change,” she told The Standard.

A Karatina hotelier, Mrs Lucy Weru, last week ejected Raila and his team from Karatina Tourist Lodge, where they had retreated for lunch after attending the burial of an LDP official, Peterson Kaburu, at Kangocho village in Mathira.

Weru, who has since said she has no regrets for her actions, accused Raila of using her premise to campaign against President Kibaki.

She later issued a statement saying she took the action after Raila converted the hotels dining room into a conference facility without permission.

On Monday, Ngaru said the ODM team had put behind the incident and was willing to soldier on and ensure the party gets a sizeable chunk of votes from the province.

“The Karatina incident was very minor and does not represent the feelings of the local people,” she said.

The campaign to popularise ODM in the province, considered Kibakis stronghold, would target youth and women, Ngaru said.

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President Kibaki creates a University at the Coast – One of the Election goodies

Posted by African Press International on August 28, 2007

By Amos Kareithi and Ngumbao Kithi

As if in campaign mode, President Kibaki arrived at the Coast with a basket of goodies and then went on a rare walkabout.

The President, who jetted into Mombasa on Monday a day after the visit by Opposition leaders surprised local people when he granted them their longstanding wish for a university.

“President Kibaki has today signed a Gazette notice that will pave way for the establishment of a university at the Coast Province,” read a statement issued by the Presidential Press Service.

And there was a near stampede as some Coast residents who had accompanied the President on the three-kilometre walk-about tried to follow him into State House, Mombasa.

President got angry with his minders

Coast Provincial Commissioner Ernest Munyi pleaded with the President not to let the multitudes get in before they had been screened.

During the walk-about, the Head of State got angry with his minders, who tried to block enthusiastic residents who wanted to be as close as they could get to him.

The President also consented to the establishment of the Kenya Coconut Development Authority.

The Pwani University College order 2007 will see the immediate establishment of a constituent college of Kenyatta University (KU).

KU had taken over Kilifi Institute as its constituent college, but will now have to relinquish it to pave way for a fully-fledged university envisioned in three years.

The Coconut Development Authority will be tasked with the responsibility of assisting in production, processing grading, storage collection and transportation of all coconut-based produce.

“The authority will collect data, maintain a database on coconut industry, document, and monitor the industry through registration of all players in industry,” read the statement.

 

 

Residents praised establishment of the university

Supporters and critics of the President greeted the development with jubilation. They praised the establishment of the university as momentous.

Coast Parliamentary Group Chairman, Major (Rtd) Marsden Madoka said the Coast people had been yearning for a university for a long time.

“The President has given the Coast people what is rightfully theirs. This is something we have always wanted from all successive governments,” Madoka said.

He said he hoped all subordinate staff for the university will be recruited from the neighbouring areas instead of being “imported from other parts of the country.

Assistant minister Mr Anania Mwaboza said the establishment of both institutions was a gift Coast people have been yearning for years.

“We have been telling the President that the establishment of a university has been our wish for too long. Im happy that it has finally been granted,” he said.

 

Local people urged to make use of the institution

The Coconut Authority, Mwaboza said, is part of an ambitious programme to revive collapsed development projects at the Coast.

Msambweni MP Mr Abadalla Ngozi, who is allied to the Shirikisho Party of Kenya, said local people should make use of the university instead of calling for it and then failing to educate their children.

President Kibakis government, he said, was on a high pedestal as it was the only one which has demonstrated its commitment to help Coast people.

Asked whether the development would win the President votes in the forthcoming General Election, Ngozi said this was inevitable.

“If I have been crying for something and I am finally given, do I hate or love the giver? Unless you want to oppose (President) Kibaki for the sake of it, he has shown his love for the people of the Coast Province,” he added.

 

Kibaki scheduled to hold a series of rallies

 

Egerton University Vice-Chancellor Prof Shaukat Abdulrazak also welcomed the university.

He said this would impact positively on the development of the region, adding that the coconut, which has 40 uses, will finally be a regulated industry.

The President also unveiled his timetable for the Coastal region, which was turned into a stomping ground by the two Orange parties.

He is scheduled to hold a series of rallies in some of the areas where ODM-Kenya and ODM held theirs over the weekend.

Besides inaugurating various development projects, President Kibaki is expected to address a political rally in Malindi where Mwingi North MP Kalonzo Musyoka, a presidential aspirant, held his on Sunday.

 

President made several stops to “greet the people”

The route from the Moi International Airport was lined up with live bands, numerous discos and traditional dancers.

The First Lady and Internal Security Minister Mr John Michuki accompanied President Kibaki.

On hand to receive the Head of States entourage were 14 Members of Parliament who lined up to greet him and the First Lady.

Unlike in the past when the presidential limousine and motorcade flashed past the town on its way to State House, on Monday the President made several stops to “greet the people”.

Hundreds of residents watched from rooftops, others braved the sweltering heat and followed his trail giving his security detail testing moments.

President Kibaki will in the next four days hold six political rallies and commission several development projects in all corners of the province.

 

Feasting at the Mombasa State House

 

Some of the areas he will visit are Taveta under Naomi Shaban (Kanu) and Mwatate under Madoka (Kanu) where there is high expectation that new districts may be announced.

President Kibaki will visit the newly created Kinango and Kaloleni districts which are under the command of Gonzi Rai (Ford People) and Tourism minister Morris Dzoro, who is allied to Shirikisho

On Tuesday morning, the President will attend the inauguration and rededication of the refurbished National Council of Churches of Kenya Conference and Beach Resort at Kanamai in Kilifi.

He will also attend the official opening of Mwangea Girls High School in Vitengeni before holding a public rally at Ganze Secondary School.

On Monday, there was feasting as has never been witnessed before at the Mombasa State House as children and adults enjoyed rare delicacies as others scrambled for the snacks.

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AU urges Khartoum, SPLM, to expedite Nairobi peace agreement

Posted by African Press International on August 28, 2007

Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) The African Union Commission on Friday urged the Sudanese government and Sudan peoples Liberation Movement to expedite the implementation of the peace agreement signed in Nairobi in January 2005.

The call was made at the conclusion of a meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) on Friday in Addis Ababa.

PSC commissioner Said Djinit told journalists at the conclusion of the closed session PSC meeting that the signatories of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in Nairobi agreed to implement the agreement on border demarcation between the South and North Sudan, power sharing and security arrangements.

Ambassador Djinit said though there has been delay in implementing the CPA, some progress has been made.

There was no conflict between them after the agreement, which is encouraging. But they still need to work as partners to implement this agreement, which is useful both for the Sudan and the region as a whole, he said.

The AU, as one of the guarantors of the CPA, called on the international community to keep their promises in which they pledged $4.8 billion two years ago in Oslo, Norway, for the reconstruction of South Sudan and to support peace-making efforts in the country.

Ambassador Akuel Bona Malwal, a representative from the Sudan embassy in Ethiopia, told APA that so far only 30% of the promised funds have been secured.

Ugandan ambassador to Ethiopia, Edith Grace Ssempala, who chaired the PSC meeting, told APA that the PSC recommended that AU chairperson Alpha Oumar Konare should appoint an envoy to assist in the implementation of the CPA.

South Sudan plans to hold elections in 2009 and referendum in 2011 on whether or not to secede from Sudan.

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Liberian Vice President commends Nigerian solidarity

Posted by African Press International on August 28, 2007

Monrovia (Liberia) Liberias Vice President Joseph N. Boakai on Friday commended Nigeria for the African solidarity it demonstrated by standing with Liberia during the civil conflict.

“Nigeria spent millions of dollars and lost scores of its troops just to stop Liberians from killing each other. Nigeria is truly a Big Brother,” the Liberian Vice President noted.

Vice President Boakai said “in the spirit of Pan Africanism, Nigeria was behind the formation of the ECOWAS Peace Monitoring Group (ECOMOG)in 1990, which helped to prevent a bloodbath worse than we saw in 1990 up to 1997”.

He noted that when the war was restarted by the defunct rebel LURD in 2003, Nigeria was the first country to send the vanguard ECOMIL force that help end the war.

Vice President Boakai made the commendation Friday, when the visiting Nigerian movie star and movie maker, Zack Orjie, accompanied by Leroy Lawson, the main actor in the Liberian movie, Refugee Boy,paid a courtesy visit on him.

Briefing the vice President earlier, Mr. Orjie said he was in the country to celebrate with Liberians, their countrys 160th Flag Day which was celebrated Friday.

He said he was also in the country to assess the possibility of producing a Liberian movie with Liberian actors.

Mr. Orjie is expected to perform Friday night at one of Monrovias most famous Night Clubs, Zanzibar Blue.

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Nigerian staff college to train 220 Liberian soldiers

Posted by African Press International on August 28, 2007

Monrovia (Liberia) The Liberian and Nigerian governments have signed a memorandum of understanding under which 220 personnel of the new Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) are to undergo training in various military tactics at the Nigerian Armed Forces Staff College in Jaji, Plateau State in North-Central Nigeria, APA learnt Monday.

Liberias Defence Minister Brownie Samukai told UNMIL radio Monday that the memorandum of understanding was signed last Thursday in the Nigerian political capital, Abuja.

Nigerias Defense Minister Alhaji Yayale Ahmed signed for Nigeria, while Minister Samukai signed for Liberia.

Under the memorandum, the Nigerian government is also expected to provide some Nigerian army personnel, military equipment and services to the Liberian government for command, administration and training of the AFL.

“We will be each others keeper and would ensure that by the time Liberia gains its stand and strength, there would be a force committed with the necessary training that could really be put to test anywhere in the world,” Minister Samukai said.

He said authorities of both countries would ensure that the bilateral agreement will not go against the articles and terms of the African Union Commission and that of the Economic Community of West African States.

During the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigerian special security service officials provided protection for the president and vice president of Liberia.

A Nigerian General currently serves as commanding officer of the fledgling new Liberian army.

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