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Archive for September 9th, 2007

Township- and county councils are up for election on Monday

Posted by African Press International on September 9, 2007

Nearly 300,000 residents of Norway have already cast their ballots in the coming local elections, but total voter turnout may still be low.

PHOTO: RN E BORGEN

Township- and county councils are up for election on Monday, and even resident non-citizens can vote in the local elections known as Valg 2007. Voting has been allowed for the past two weeks, for those who want to avoid standing in line at the polls on election day itself, Monday September 10.

More than 291,200 voters have cast ballots in the run-up to Monday, and that’s much higher than the 249,022 who voted early in the last election four years ago.

It’s no guarantee, tough, that overall turnout will be strong, notes election researcher Anders Todal Jenssen.

Voter turnout in local elections has declined with every election since 1979. Only 59 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots in the last local election in 2003, low by Norwegian standards.

Jenssen told news bureau NTB on Thursday that “there’s little indication voter participation will be any higher this time.” He said the campaign “hasn’t been especially interesting,” with few new issues or arguments.

“I fear even lower voter turnout than last time,” he told NTB.

The deadline for early voting is Friday. Polls open Monday morning at 9am.

By Nina Berglund

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

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Israel’s ambassador to Norway is once again furious at her host country

Posted by African Press International on September 9, 2007

Israel’s ambassador to Norway is once again furious at her host country, and demanding that the Norwegian foreign ministry distance itself from a report that expresses concern over claims of torture in Israeli prisons. Ministry officials respond that they have nothing to disavow.

Israel’s ambassador to Norway, Miryam Shomrat, is directing new fury at Norway and Norwegian concerns over alleged torture in Israeli prisons.

PHOTO: MORTEN HOLM / SCANPIX

The Israeli ambassador, Miryam Shomrat, is angry that Norway’s embassy in Tel Aviv sent a report home to the foreign ministry in Oslo asking officials there to take up the issue of alleged torture of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons.

The embassy’s report was in turn based on reports written by three Israeli human rights groups that were based on surveys of Palestinian prisoners. The Israeli groups — The Public Committee Against Torture, HaMoked and B’tselem, according to newspaper Aftenposten — expressed concern that Israeli authorities went too far in their use of physical and psychic pressure on Palestinian prisoners, and that it too often turned into abuse and torture.

Ambassador Shomrat was furious that the Norwegians were concerned about the content of the reports, or the allegations of torture, and also claimed that Norway’s own ambassador to Israel was “called onto the carpet” of Israel’s foreign ministry and told that Norway was expected to distance itself from the report.

Norwegian officials have a different version, saying the meeting between Norwegian ambassador Jakken Birn Lian and officials at the Israeli foreign ministry had been planned long in advance, and came at the initiative of the Norwegians.

Raymond Johansen, state secretary in the Norwegian foreign ministry, said the Norwegians had nothing to distance themselves from, because the Norwegian embassy’s report was based on Israeli reports. The Norwegians are simply concerned about the torture allegations that those reports contained.

Shomrat nonetheless claimed that the Norwegians’ use of the reports “damaged the relationship between Norway and Israel.” It’s not the first time she has taken offense at Norwegian criticism of Israeli policy. She was forced to apologize last year when her own criticism of Norway was viewed as being offensive to the Norwegian royal family.

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

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ODM Raila Kasarani votes did not add up

Posted by African Press International on September 9, 2007

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Source.nation.ke

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Posted by African Press International on September 9, 2007

Khartoum (Sudan) Sudanese government troops have agreed to end their siege of 61 south Sudanese soldiers, resolving a stand-off that risked undermining the north-south peace deal, military sources told APA.

Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) troops surrounded the small south Sudanese platoon on Thursday in the region of South Kordofan, accusing them of breaking the terms of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement by bearing arms.

Kuol Diem Kuol, spokesman for the Southern Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA), told African Press Agency through telephone on Sunday that the SAF troops had agreed to release the platoon late on Saturday, after mediation from the United Nations.

But Kuol said the SPLA would now consider “reciprocating” unless it received a formal apology from the national government, dominated by the ruling northern National Congress Party of President Omar al-Bashir.

“They lifted their siege after the intervention of UNMIS (The U.N. Mission in Sudan) based in Abyei. Our team proceeded to their destination,” he said.

The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement ended two decades of conflict between the northern government and the former rebel SPLA. Under its terms, the south was granted semi-autonomy, allowed to keep its own army and promised a referendum on secession from the north by 2011.

Both armies were also required to withdraw to their respective zones that were demarcated in 1956 along the north-south border. The two sides have traded accusations of failing to redeploy before a July 9 deadline.

South Kordofan was one “transitional” area which the peace deal said should be patrolled by integrated north-south troops after the redeployments had been finalised. The integrated troops have so far not been formed.

Published by Korir, API*APN africanpress@chello.no tel+4793299739 or+4763002525 source.apa

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Ex-convict named minister

Posted by African Press International on September 9, 2007

Douala (Cameroon) Cameroonian opposition Social Democrat Party (SDF) chairman Ni John Fru Ndi has accused Cameroonian president Paul Biya of naming an ex-convict as minister in the cabinet he reshuffled on 7 September.

“I would like all the Cameroonians to bear witness that Mr Biya has named an ex-convict, Paul Atanga Nji, into the cabinet,” Fru Ndi charged.

“This demonstrates if it really is necessary that the RDPC regime is not concerned with the future of Cameroonians “.

He presented alleged evidence to demonstrate that “the ruling establishment pulled Nji out of the Douala central jail in 1990 to fight SDF”.

He said he was “disappointed and outraged”, adding that such “misdeeds” should teach the Cameroonians that the “future will be even more difficult with the overstaffed government, which has no societal programmes for the populations”.

An RDPC official in the SDF stronghold of Bamenda, Atanga Nji was named minister for State House Missions following Fridays cabinet reshuffle.

During the 22 July legislative polls, Fru Ndi won 6 parliamentary seats in the north-eastern province, which is regarded as hostile to the ruling regime.

Published by Korir, API*APN africanpress@chello.no tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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What the ODM needs now a serious education of what best system will serve the best

Posted by African Press International on September 9, 2007

“Mr Ruto said should ODM take over the government, they will push for majimboism as a way of ensuring that all parts of the country are allocated equal share of development funds.” according to nation.ke

The ODM has demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that they embraced Majimboism, close to 70% voters are set to vote them on the same ground.

It isupon us to educate theKenyan populationto better understand what is themeaning of Majimbo and the reason why the should go for.

Rutohas proven todynamic leader who understand the usefulness of equal division of natural resources and taking charge of taxes at the regionallevel.

It is my prayer that Raila stick with theseyoung mento build on thefuture strong regional governmentsthatcreate wealth in all regions.

The RegionalParliamentswill be fundamental whereas the Rift Valley, Western, Nyanza, Coast, North Eastern, Central, Eastern and Nairobi, will have to elect respectRegional Governors as the head of every region, replacing PC

ODM popularity international is climbing very rapidly following their Manifesto on the reintroducing Federalism in Kenya, Kenyan is in the heart of world and any workable system will be supported.

What the ODM needs nowa serious education of what best system will serve the best, Majimbo verse Unitary Government. Voting pattern will only be 2, the Pro-Majimbo verse Unitary System.

Twende Kazi sasa !

By Rev Okoth Otura,

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DR Congo, Uganda move to resolve border dispute

Posted by African Press International on September 9, 2007

 

musevenicongo.jpgDar es Salaam (Tanzania) The leaders of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda have agreed to keep their troops at 150 kilometres away from the common border in a bid to stave off the dispute over oil drilling beneath Lake Albert, which straddles their borders.

DR Congo Foreign Minister Mbusa Nyamwisi told APA Sunday in Dar es salaam, Tanzania, that the decision was reached at a meeting on Saturday between Ugandas President Yoweri Museveni and his DRC counterpart Joseph Kabila and which was brokered by the host and Tanzanian President Kikwete.

“We have agreed to withdraw forces from each others border points with immediate effect,” Nyamwisi said, adding that the two leaders have also resolved to meet once every year to discuss issues that soil their bilateral ties.

The two countries have gone to war twice in the recent past with each accusing the other of harbouring rebels.

In the past month alone, skirmishes along the border have killed at least four people, including a British oil contractor.

Mr Nyamwisi said that the issue of joint petroleum line in L. Albert was agreed by both the parties, adding that whats left is to find mechanism to realise it.”

He also confirmed that a joint team would start demarcation of L. Albert next month.

In October, Museveni said Uganda discoverd oil in the Lake Albert area where production is expected to begin in 2009 between 6,000 and 10,000 barrels a day.

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Niger: Rebels abduct Government soldiers, Govenor confirms

Posted by African Press International on September 9, 2007

Niamey (Niger) In a statement broadcasted Friday by the Nigerien National Television, the governor of the Agadez region confirmed the abduction of six national Army troops by the rebels of the Nigerien Movement for Justice (MNJ) .

According to Abba Mallam Boukar “Thursday night, gunmen burst into Agzarou, a few kilometers from Ifrouane, in five Toyota-like cars, to vandalize water and electricity facilities of the town of Tchirozrine and Agadez .

According to the statement this act is a serious attack against the vital interests of the communities of this area”.

The defense and security forces are currently after the gunmen”, Mr. Boukar declared.

This new clash between the rebels of MNJ and the defense and security forces takes place after 60 young men of the Tahoua region Arab militia, which belongs to MNJ, Friday decided to lay down arms, thus dissociating themselves from MNJ.

Early on 16 June, another group of fighters of the Arab militia had left the MNJ, reports say in Niamey.

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