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Archive for September 19th, 2007

Liberian President congratulates Sierra Leoneans over elections

Posted by African Press International on September 19, 2007

Monrovia (Liberia) Liberian Presisdent Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Monday evening commended the people of Sierra Leone for the democratic process leading to the election of opposition politician, Mr. Ernest Bai Koroma as that countrys next president, APA has learnt.

Madam Sirleaf congratulated Mr. Koroma for winning the Preidential run-off, and said her government looked forward to a continuation of the warn friendship and partnership that exist between the governments and peoples of Sierra Leone and Liberia.

A presidential press statement quoted the Liberian leader as saying she looked forward to the strengthening of the Mano River Union for the good of the sub-region and of all the neighboring cuntries.

The Sierra Leone electoral commission has declared opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) candidate Ernest Bai Koroma as winner of the presidential run-off which pitched the opposition APC candidate and incumbent Vice President Solomon Berewa about a fortnight ago

Published by Korir, API*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 September 19, 2007

Washington DC- (USA) The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Monday pledged continued support for Sierra Leone following the announcement of the opposition victory in presidential elections, the first since UN peacekeepers left in 2005 after helping to bring peace and stability to the West African country that was torn asunder by a brutal 10-year civil war.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban commended all Sierra Leonean parties and their supporters for exercising patience and restraint during the tallying of votes in the 8 September poll, in which Ernest Bai Koroma of the All Peoples Congress Party received 54.6 per cent and incumbent Vice-President Solomon Berewa of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party obtained 45.4 per cent of the total valid votes cast. The final results were announced Monday.

Mr. Ban extended his warm congratulations to Mr. Koroma and also commended the National Electoral Commission and Sierra Leones security agencies for the professional and efficient manner in which they performed their duties during the period, which saw two rounds of voting since neither of the top candidates received sufficient votes to be elected outright.

The Secretary-General wishes to assure the newly elected government of Sierra Leone of the continued support of the United Nations as the country continues to move towards durable political stability and sustainable economic development, the statement concluded.

The statement was echoed by the Secretary-Generals executive representative in Freetown, Victor Angelo, who praised the statesmanship shown by Mr. Koroma and Mr. Berewa and by the outgoing President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah for ensuring a peaceful process during the counting period.

The elections are over, Mr. Angelo said in his statement. We all agree that the focus from now on is on ensuring national cohesion and unity, consolidating the gains made during the past five years and addressing the many challenges the country is still facing.

The presidential and parliamentary elections were Sierra Leones second since the end of the civil war in 2002, and the first since the withdrawal of the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL).

Since then assistance has been channelled through the UN Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL), which Monday announced one more example of UN aid with the handing over of audio-visual equipment and computers to the Voice of Children Project (VOC), managed by the Office.

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

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Nigeria: Minister says foreign policy to focus on citizens

Posted by African Press International on September 19, 2007

Lagos (Nigeria) Nigerias Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, Thursday said that Nigeria had rebranded its foreign policy to focus on the role and achievements of its citizens.

Maduekwe, who is in New York to attend the 62nd session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, told journalist in New York that the citizen-oriented foreign policy would be pursued based on the seven-point agenda of Nigerian President Umaru Yaraduas administration.

“It is going to be a celebration of the successes of Nigerias leadership on foreign policy right from independence.

“We are not changing the fundamentals of our foreign policy thrust, but we are rebranding it. It is now Citizen Diplomacy or the diplomacy in which the citizen is the focus.

“The objectives of the policy is to reflect the domestic, political, economic, technological, social and cultural aspirations of Nigerians in projecting Nigeria to the entire world, Maduekwe said in reports monitored in Lagos.

According to him, what is meant is that Nigerias foreign policy “must benefit her citizens, while they also serve as tool to project and defend the country”.

Maduekwe also said that Nigeria would deploy its foreign policy as a strong marketing tool to boost her image and expose her potentials to other countries.

“We are trying to ensure that our foreign policy becomes the most powerful way to express who we are and our contributions to the black race,” he said.

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

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