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Archive for October 29th, 2007

Darfur rebel faction calls for self-determination for Darfur

Posted by African Press International on October 29, 2007

Sirte (Libya) The Darfur rebel faction of Justice and Equality Movement (JEM United) in the ongoing peace talks in Sirte on Sunday called for self-determination for the people of Darfur.

A delegate from JEM-United, Ibrahim Yusif told the gathering during the plenary session of the talks on Sunday evening that: We commit ourselves to the cease-fire but as a movement, we have a position. Our position is that self-determination is the only solution to the problem in Darfur. He said Darfur needs to be re-unified and be given self-determination.

He defended his call for self-determination in Darfur by referring to the conflict and civil wars between northern and southern Sudan that started in 1955 before Sudan got its independence from the British in 1956, and that there has been no solution to the north-south problems accept in 2005 when the southern Sudanese were granted self-determination.

We need the same thing that has been granted the south also to be granted to Sudans western region of Darfur. It is impossible to remain in that country (united Sudan), he said.

Self-determination is the final solution and it is time that Darfur became independent, he insisted.

He said that politically and ideologically, Darfur is totally isolated, therefore, Darfur has to be given a chance to decide its own political and ideological position.

According to him, the Darfur rebel movements integrating into the Sudanese army will not solve the problem.

However, a Sudanese delegate to the talks, Ambassador Abu Zeit Abu Hussein dismissed the call of the JEM-United for Darfur self-determination.

Ambassador Abu Hussein said that no one from the rebel factions will talk or even accept the call for self-determination in Darfur, and that even if its population should be asked; they will not accept such a call.

He urged the JEM-United delegate to refrain from such suggestions in the future if his rebel group really wants peace to prevail in Darfur. He added that such calls would make things difficult for the way forward to attain peace in Darfur.

We need to talk of how peace should prevail and developments are carried out in the whole country within a united Sudan, Ambassador Hussein told the gathering.

Speaking of marginalization of Darfur as one of the complaints of the rebel groups, he said that it is not really facing only Darfur but that most parts of Sudan were not developed as developments were only concentrated in central Sudan, which he blamed on the colonial masters before they granted Sudan independence in 1956.

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Congolese rebel leader lays down arms, joins government army – Good for the Congolese people

Posted by African Press International on October 29, 2007

Goma (DR Congo) Colonel Kasereka Kibamba, chief of the Mai-Mai rebels in North Kivu, on Saturday laid down arms and joined the Congolese Armed Forces, thus responding to the appeal of the Kinshasa government.

The operation took place in Kisharo, in Rutshuru territory, where the colonel and his security guards asked MONUC to secure him and bring him to Goma by plane.

The helicopter of the UN mission landed at the international airport of Goma, with the colonel who controlled until then more than a thousand men operating in neighbouring villages, in Rutshuru and in the south of Lubero, in North-Kivu.

Questioned by the press, the former colonel of the DR Congos army, who claims the rank of general, explained the meaning of his fight in this part of the country by his determination to combat the troops of the dissident general Laurent Nkunda.

He accused Nkundas supporters of perpetuating acts of violence against his Congolese brothers.

Since President Kabila appealed to all armed groups to lay down their arms, I obeyed along with my troops, Kasereka Kibamba explained. He however reaffirmed his commitment to continue the fight against Nkunda but this time by joining the regular armed forces.

He further announced that he would participate in the integration operation, pledging to do his utmost to bring back peace in North-Kivu.

The army chief of staff of the 8th military area, General Malaya, who welcomed him, commended him for his noble decision before taking him to the Goma staff for the terms of the integration operation.

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Posted by African Press International on October 29, 2007

By Peter Thatiah

A Kajiado court is being called upon to rule on the innocence or guilt of a man suspected of committing a crime that could have come out of a stranger-than-fiction tale.

The case arises from the events of October 7, when the young man (name withheld because the case is before court) woke up in the evening to begin his usual nocturnal job.

His target that Sunday evening was a shop at the Kitengela shopping centre. The fact that the enterprising lady owner had just restocked the shop added to the allure. But being a simple man who had never encountered security systems manufactured in higher realms of reality, nothing had prepared him for the surprise of being arrested by unseen forces for over seven hours.

Not even the Kitengela police station OCS and his contingent of shocked policemen, whose work is to arrest alleged thieves like him, could free the young man from the mysterious security system so that they could make an ordinary arrest.

In a stranger-than-fiction event that is discussed in tones of disbelief in Kitengela town, the young man, whom Kitengela police boss Inspector Noor Jamal describes as an accomplished burglar, was about to reckon with a security system that even the most sophisticated high digital technology is yet to match. Whether it happened in the metaphysical or the supernatural realm, all that Kitengela residents and the local police know is that the young mans hand was arrested mysteriously while attempting to break and enter.

God was on their side

As was his custom, the man had spent the whole day sleeping as other residents of Kitengela went to various churches for worship. This ensured that he was in tip-top condition come night. When darkness fell over the land, he joined a gang of other seasoned thieves for a patrol around the town.

Along the way plans for the nights business were laid and he was allotted the duty of breaking into a shop he had been eying for quite a while.

The rest of the gang took off in different directions for various assignments. They would meet at around 3am at a designated spot where they would take stock of their loot and take it to their daki (hideaway) to await the journey to a pawnshop.

The fact that the sky was overcast only made the gang happier; it was a sign that God was on their side because rain would act as a good cover for the job of relieving the people of Kitengela of their valuables.

After going round the building that housed the shop to make sure that there were no eyewitnesses, the young man placed his tools of trade (which included a hammer, a stiletto knife and assorted pronged metal shafts) on the ground and thrust his right hand into a crevice on the door which houses the padlock.

That was when the buildings supernatural security system swung into action, arresting the young mans hand in a vice-like grip that allowed him neither to push his hand further inside nor take it out.

Despite his experience and expertise in wriggling his hands in and out of places where goodies could be got, the young man soon discovered that finally he had met his match.

He stopped struggling and, resigning himself to the superior though inexplicable force, just stood there waiting for his friends to come and free him.

It was not until four hours later that his friends, heavily laden with merchandise after a successful nights work, came by. The night had been successful for the thieves and according to police sources one thief had even managed to steal a cartload of tomatoes and oranges. These were to be sold back to the same market women they had been stolen from by an artful agent. These men expected to find the fruits of the young mans assignment ready for collection.

But they hadnt expected to find what they did. By this time the young man was already tired almost to death because the position in which he was arrested did not allow for him to stand up or sit.

Despite his friends varied skills in night work, they spent a whole hour trying to free their colleague before they too gave up. In the spirit of caring for one another, realising that their colleague was extremely tired, they brought some building blocks and arranged them under him so that he could sit down awaiting his fate.

Inspector Noor Jamal, the Kitengela police station OCS, recalls the incident: “It was at around six in the morning when the first people saw the young man who was apparently stuck to the door while sitting on building blocks and thought it was rather funny.

“The young thief was wet to his skin and shivering while the crowd grew in size. Someone called us at around seven and I summoned a contingent of policemen and we went to the scene. First we thought it was a sick joke before we realised that the young man was in trouble and in great distress.”

The police boss says that he personally tried everything he knew to free the man. He continues: “The woman who owns the shop had reported to us many times that some burglars had made a habit of breaking into her shop in the night and making away with her stock.

“Now what was happening was beginning to tax my experience because in all the decades that I have been a policeman in various parts of the country, I have never encountered a thing like that.”

What Inspector Jamal found very strange was the fact that the hand had gone in but it couldnt come out no matter what they did. “It beats the rules of physics for something to go through a hole that it cannot come out. I am afraid the police are not trained to unravel mysteries like the one that was presented before us. In fact, that very hole that the young thief had thrust his hand into was meant for human hands because it was where the padlock was located.”

The sun was rising steadily and no one had yet come up with a formula to free the man and word about the strange incident spread far and wide.

When a TV crew arrived all the way from Nairobi, the young man did not seem much bothered that his unique predicament was being broadcast.

Instead, he told the police officers trying to free him that it was the pain and agony that he was undergoing that was his immediate concern.

A constable who does not wish to be named takes over: “At some point we actually thought there was somebody holding his hand from inside the shop so we decided to get in through the roof.

“We had planned that if there was no one inside we would pluck out the whole door and take it and the man to the police station for the prosecution process to begin.” Chuckling, he adds: “I think it would have made the prosecutions work easier because the thief could not have denied involvement in burglary given such overwhelming evidence.”

The police officers had already removed a section of the roof and were busy dismantling the ceiling when the lady who owns the shop showed up.

Says a police officer who was at the scene: “It was at this point that the young mans hand just came out without any prompting. His ordeal was over and the young man didnt even attempt denying that he had gone there to steal. We just took him to the police station where we spent time mulling over what we were going to charge him.

In the event the man was charged in a Kajiado court with attempting to steal from a shop.

The woman who owns the shop, who has also since gained a celebrity status at Kitengela, prefers to remain mum about the whole incident. The police believe there was something more than met the eye perhaps something the trainers at Kiganjo Police Training College forgot to tell them on the art of foolproof security.

A police officer from Kitengela says about the aftermath: “As is customary when something that is out of the ordinary happens, opinion is sharply divided here whether the incident really happened or not. Those who witnessed it are adamant that it happened and those who didnt cannot bring themselves to believe it. We dont know yet whether potential burglars believe it but those who witnessed the incident will think twice before trying to break into someone elses house in the future.”

Whether or not the police are happy that a foolproof way of fighting soaring crime is at last available is unclear. Privately, however, perhaps they cant help but wish this mode of crime fighting could be employed to deal with carjacking, rape, and other violent crimes.

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“Will Majimbo kill peace in Kenya and destabilise the communities if ODM takes over leadership? asks API/APN

Posted by African Press International on October 29, 2007

Anglican Church, Awori caution against majimbo

Published on October 29, 2007, 12:00 am story By Ngumbao Kithi and Evelyn Ogutu

The Anglican Church (ACK) has added its voice to the raging majimbo debate, declaring its support for a devolved system of government. And separately, the Vice-President, Mr Moody Awori, has described majimbo as a monster, which would divide Kenya into tribal blocks.

Head of the Church Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi said majimbo had a tribal connotation, and appeared to suggest people would be forced back to their ancestral land.

“We are asking the proponents of majimbo to come out and explain to Kenyans what kind of majimbo they want. As for now it is not clear what majimbo is all about,” Nzimbi said.

Speaking at St Emmanuel Church in Mombasa on Sunday, Nzimbi said a devolved government would ensure equitable distribution of resources.

“Even ACK operates in a devolved system and this is acceptable to all, but for majimbo, we need to be told what it is,” he said.

On the reappointment of Electoral Commission members whose terms are expiring, Nzimbi said it was the prerogative of President Kibaki, but asked that the chairman, Mr Samuel Kivuitu, be retained.

“We would wish that no changes are done that can mean that there is a plan to rig the General Election,” he said.

And at the Party of National Unity rally in Tetu, Nyeri, Awori said majimboism would erase the achievements realised since Independence.

“In the early 1960s some people supported majimbo, but it was viewed as a way of dividing Kenyans and that is why we adopted the central unitary form of governance,” he said.

Addressing faithful at Kiawaithanji PCEA Church, the VP said the Government supported a devolved system, and would strive to equitably distribute the national cake.

“President Kibaki has tried to empower the local people through the Constituencies Development Fund,” said Awori.

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Take poll seriously, says Tuju

Posted by African Press International on October 29, 2007

(Tuju, a Luo, is Kibaki’s point man in Nyanza – API/APN)

Nation Story by SILAS NTHIGA
Publication Date: 10/28/2007

Calls for a massive voter turnout in Mt Kenya region dominated the PNU meeting in Embu with six Cabinet ministers vowing to ensure that local residents were mobilised to vote for President Kibaki on December 27.

The ministers warned that the perennial voter apathy in the area could give President Kibakis rivals undue advantage.

Addressing a rally in Embu town, the ministers, led by Narc Kenya chairman Raphael Tuju, said it was unfortunate the local residents had not developed a culture of voting despite the importance of the exercise in nation building.

We are always surprised during elections to see that nearly a half of the registered voters here shy away from polling stations, Mr Tuju said.

The region, with more than three million registered voters, recorded about 50 per cent voter turn-out in the last General Election.

Yesterday, speakers at the rally expressed optimism that 80 per cent of voters would turn up on December 27 to vote for President Kibaki.

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Posted by African Press International on October 29, 2007

Publication Date: 10/28/2007

Orange Democratic Movement presidential candidate Mr Raila Odinga addressed a small peaceful meeting in Othaya, the constituency represented by President Kibaki for more than three decades.

Rowdy youths tear the ODM candidates posters. Photos/PAUL WANJIRU

He flew in at dusk into Rukira Youth Polytechnic grounds and was welcomed by Othaya ODM aspirant Mr Maina Kahihia.

Addressing the supporters who turned up for the meeting at Mr Kahihias home, Mr Odinga termed the violence he had earlier experienced in Meru as primitive.

He said the rear windscreen of one of his vehicles was smashed by a rowdy mob during the Meru visit.

The ODM presidential candidate predicted that there would be more violence today when he visits Meru North District and accused local politicians in the Presidents Party of National Unity of being behind the violence.

It is very primitive for them to do that and I would urge ECK to take action against those violating election rules, Mr Odinga said.

Earlier in Meru, police shot in the air and used tear gas to hold at bay a crowd intent on disrupting Mr Odingas rally in Meru Town.

One person was seriously injured and four others briefly arrested during the ODM teams visit, which was marred by heckling, booing and occasional violence.

Meru Town was temporarily turned into a battle zone between riot police and the mob, believed to be Party of National Unity supporters, shortly before and after the rally at Nteere Grounds near the local police station.

Police, supervised in person by Eastern provincial boss Mr Joseph Koskei did a sterling job of ensuring security for the ODM team and repulsing rowdy mobs.

Mr Odinga was accompanied by top ODM leaders Mr Musalia Mudavadi, Mr Joseph Nyagah and Mr William Ruto. Also present was party secretary general Prof Anyang Nyongo, Mr Kirimi Mbogo, who is vying for the South Imenti seat formerly held by Energy minister Mr Kiraitu Murungi and Mr Kiogora Akandi, who is running against Environment minister Mr David Mwiraria.

Amidst the booing and heckling, Mr Odinga repeated his claims that the government was losing Sh50 billion to looters and vowed to seal the loopholes being used to rob the public and instead use the funds for government-funded secondary education.

He claimed that the looting was uncovered in an investigation conducted by Transparency International.

He braved the heckling and booing, likening those who were making noise to the proverbial eyes of a frog which cannot deter cattle watering at a river.

The former Langata MP told the rowdy crowd that they would be crying come December 29 when ODM would be celebrating its election victory.

He challenged Mr Mwiraria to tell the country exactly how much he (Mr Odinga) had returned to the Treasury which was meant to be used for the construction of roads between 2003 and 2005. He instead accused the former Finance minister of frustrating him on the privatisation of roads which were to be constructed in the country.

He said the former Roads PS Mr Erastus Mwongera and a roads engineer he only named as Mr Ngacha can bear him witness.

Mwiraria was frustrating us so that the money meant for the construction of roads went towards paying Anglo Leasing projects, he said.

Mr Odinga said that no Kenyan would be evicted from their property if ODM took power. In his defence of majimbo, Mr Odinga dismissed CDF saying it only accounted for 2.5 per cent of national revenue while the rest was distributed by the government.

Mr Ruto expressed confidence that ODM will form the next government despite the hostility the party encountered in its campaigns in Central Kenya.

It was the same thing during the referendum and as we used to tell people from Central Kenya to join hands with other Kenyans.

This is bound to happen again when ODM wins the election and forms the next government, Mr Ruto said.

But he was forced to cut short his speech when the crowd exploded into singing: Yote yawezekana bila Raila, yote yawezekana bila Ruto. (All is possible without Raila, Ruto.)

Mr Nyagah predicted an ODM win and said that he did not wish for the Meru community to be left out of government next year. Mr Mudavadi and Prof Mr Nyongo did not address the rally.

The campaign team stopped over in Chuka, Chogoria, Ntharene and Nkubu, where they met a hostile reception from market women.

Earlier, one person was seriously injured, four arrested and pangas recovered by police, who turned out in strength to protect Mr Odinga and his entourage, during what turned out to be an eventful tour of Embu and Meru, considered strongholds of the rival Party of National Unity.

The injured person was reported to be part of a group of youths which attempted to block the way of a convoy of Mr Odingas supporters in Meru Town, well ahead of Mr Odingas arrival, which they pelted with stones. In ensuing confusion, a vehicle driven by North Imenti ODM candidate Mr Kiogora Akandi knocked down a man as the convoy fled the hostile group.

The victims identity could not immediately be established. He was admitted to Meru District Hospital. At Mwichiune, on the Igoji-Nkubu road, police arrested four people, accusing them of preparing for a confrontation. Among them was Mr Murungis bodyguard-cum-driver, whose pistol the police confiscated.

They were later released and the gun given back. Meru Central Police boss Patrick Wafula said officers had arrested them by mistake, the group of potential trouble makers they had been seeking had left behind pangas and fled.

Tension was high on the Embu-Road on which Mr Odinga travelled in his meet-the-people tour but police, led by Mr Koskei, firmly ensured that order was maintained and Mr Odinga was able to continue with his campaigns.

There was a heavy presence of riot police at Runyenjes in Embu, Chuka, Igoji, Nkubu and Meru towns to prevent violence.
Burnt dais

On Friday night people believed to be PNU supporters invaded Nteere Grounds, the venue of yesterdays rally and burnt the dais that was meant to be used. It was, however, repaired yesterday afternoon.

The ODM group received a hostile reception at most places where it stopped to address the people. At Chuka town, Mr Odinga to cut short his speech after it was continuously drowned out by shouts of PNU and Kibaki Tosha.

At Igonji market, the ODM supremo dismissed as propaganda claims that people would be evicted from certain regions if ODM came to power and adopted majimbo system of governance.

He said that his government, if he is elected, will address unemployment, road network and the Constitution.

He reiterated that people in government had continued looting and has stolen Sh50 billion from public coffers.

I have been in government and I know the loopholes through which the money has been disappearing and I pledge to seal them when I come to power, he told the rally at Igonji Market.

Mr Odinga said this would be the money he would use in financing part of his government budget.

He said the government had embarked on a well-orchestrated propaganda campaign after sensing defeat.

This, he said, was manifested in Steadman opinion polls which showed him leading President Kibaki by 50 points to 39 points.

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Angolan President to visit Mozambique Tuesday

Posted by African Press International on October 29, 2007

Maputo (Mozambique) Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos is expected in the Mozambican capital Tuesday for a 48 hour official state visit, authorities said on Saturday.

A press statement from the office of Mozambican President Armando Guebuza said the visit of the Angolan statesman is part of an effort to strengthen the relations of friendship and cooperation between the former colonies of Portugal.

Dos Santos entourage of high-ranking officials will consist of the External Relations minister Joao Bernardo de Miranda, Industry minister Joaquim Duarte David, Territory Administration Virgilio de Fonte, Fisheries minister Salomao Xirimbimbi and Mass Communications minister Manuel Rabelais.

Angola and Mozambique, both are often compared in terms of their potential for economic development as they are presently rebuilding after years of destructive civil conflicts in which the basic economic infrastructure of both was almost completely destroyed.

Given their common colonial heritage, there are numerous experiences and historical legacies which are similar to both countries, but Angola is yet to hold its multiparty elections despite having signed a peace ending 30 years of civil conflict in 2002.

Nevertheless, there are important differences deriving from a variety of sources which make comparisons between the two countries difficult and which may prove determining factors in their future development


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Sudanese government declares cease-fire in Darfur

Posted by African Press International on October 29, 2007

Sirte (Libya) The Sudanese government has on Saturday declared a cease-fire at the start of the talks with the Darfur rebel factions in the Libyan town of Sirte to end the four and half year conflict in the Sudans western region of Darfur, APA has learnt.

The head of the Sudanese delegation to the Darfur peace talks in Sirte-Libya, Dr. Nafie Ali Nafie, announced in the opening ceremony of the peace negotiations the cease-fire in these words in the presence of the international community, I announce the cease-fire in the three states of Darfur.

He added that the government of Sudan will respect and honour this cease-fire.

Dr. Nafie also urges the Darfur rebels factions to respect and honour the cease-fire as they do.

However, the founder of the Sudan Liberation Army/Movement, Abdul Wahid Al Nur, and the founder of the Justice and Equality Movement, Dr. Ibrahim Khalil, refused to attend the peace talks currently taking place in Libya.

We are ready to take any procedure forward to reach peace in Darfur, he added.

Dr. Nafie who is the deputy Chairman of the Sudans ruling party (NCP) and an assistance to President Ahmed al-Bashir said that we (Sudanese delegation) have a high hope and moral to reach a sustainable peace in Darfur. The Sudan government of national unity has come here for this peace talks with an open mind for a better future in Darfur .

Dr. Nafie acknowledges the problems in Darfur saying that the problems in Darfur are not only political and security problems but economic and tribal issues that require all people to find a solution into them.

He said that talks cannot continue while there is fighting continuing on the ground.

Meanwhile the Representative of the seven Darfur rebel factions who have turn-up for the peace talks said that they have frequently come to Libya trying to find a solution to the Darfur issue, therefore as the Sudanese government has acknowledged that Darfuri people have a problem, we will need to find a solution to this problem.

We are fully confident that our problems will be solved in this talk, he said.

But the Representative of the Darfur rebel factions did not comment on the cease-fire announced by the Sudanese delegation.

The peace talks aimed to reach an agreement on a cease-fire and security, power-sharing, and governance, natural resources use and allocation, repatriation and compensation for peoples affected by the conflict.

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Sirte talks should be last peace attempt in Darfur, says Libyan President

Posted by African Press International on October 29, 2007

Sirte (Libya) The Libyan President Muammar El Gadafi on Saturday has advised the international community during the opening ceremony of the Darfur peace talks in Sirte that this should be the last attempt to bring peace in Sudanese western region of Darfur.

As the Sirte talks will draw on lessons learned from the negotiations from Abuja, Nigeria in 2005 and 2006 which led to the Darfur Peace Agreement, Gadafi said we need to find the root causes of the problem in Darfur so an appropriate solution will be found.”

But he told the participants during the start of the talks that Sudan should be left to solve its own problems.

He noted what is happening in Darfur is a tribal conflict. I know these tribes because they are bordering Libya. They fight because of marital, camel and cattle over the grazing land in the region, he explained.

President Gadafi acknowledged that the absence of the major movements, the Sudan Liberation Army/Movement (SLA) faction of Abdul Wahid al Nur and the Justice and Equality Movemen (JEM) faction of Dr. Ibrahim Khalil, will not lead to a just peace in the region as this peace talks is term to be inclusive.

But Gadafi challenged the international community in regards to the refusal and absence of the two major Darfur leaders to participate in the talks.

The international community can not go into a conflict inside Sudan. The international community has failed to reconcile the tribes in Darfur. Why do we impose ourselves. We have failed starting from Abuja and Tripoli. Why do we impose ourselves if we have already failed, he asked.

He added that if the people of Sudan refused to be helped. Let us leave them and tell them to solve their own problems.

He pointed out that JEM and SLA are very important movements and if they are not present, Darfur will not achieve peace.

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Posted by African Press International on October 29, 2007

Sirte (Libya) Sudans neighbours, such as Eritrea, Egypt, Libya and Chad have expressed their support for the return of peace to Sudanese western region of Darfur, according to a joint statement issued on Sunday.

The four regional countries said in the joint statement obtained by APA after the inauguration of the on-going peace talks on Saturday that there is an urgent need to bring peace in Darfur so as to give chance for reconstruction and development in the region.

In the statement, the regional countries urged the Sudanese government and the rebel faction leaders in Libyan town of Sirte to reach a comprehensive agreement at the talks.

The peace talks between the Sudanese government and the Darfur rebel factions that have turned up started Saturday in the Sirte under the co-chairmanship of the African Union and the United Nations trying to find a political solution to end the four and half years conflict in Sudans western region of Darfur. However, the two key rebel leaders, Ibrahim Khalil of Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Abdul Wahid Al Nur of Sudan Liberation Army/Movement have refused to participate in the talks.

On Saturday, the UN Special Envoy for Darfur Mr. Jan Eliasson had expressed disappointment with the absence of Abdul Wahid and Ibrahim Khalil. He said I am disappointed that some movement leaders have chosen to stay away from Sirte today. I wish to say that the door remains open, but that if they continue to stay away, there is much they stand to lose.

He added; the AU-UN believe that all the Darfurians should be represented, and hope that they will be. After all, it is the people and movements of Darfur that have asked for these negotiations.

Eliasson told the gathering that peace is a process, and that any problems or issues should be discussed in Sirte, not elsewhere.

We the international community will stay the cause, he added.

He stressed that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Darfur. It is now critical that all concerned work hard and remain meaningfully engaged to find a political solution. This will neither be easy nor will it be necessarily quick. Painful compromises will need to be made by all sides, he advised the warring parties.

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Darfur rebels in Libya talks request for more time to discuss strategy

Posted by African Press International on October 29, 2007

Sirte (Libya) The Darfur rebel factions in the Sirte peace talks on Sunday issued a joint statement requesting the suspension of the talks as they needed more time to discuss among themselves.

In the statement distributed by a delegate from the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM United), Tajdeen Naim on behalf of the seven factions attending the conference said that they needed more time to discuss among themselves for a united front.

We do not want these talks to become like that of Abuja where all the rebel factions did not agree among themselves. If all the factions do not come to together and have a common ground, these talks will be useless even if we sign peace here in Sirte, the statement said.

We agree to the talks but we need more time, the statement added.

The statement followed the remarks made by their host Colonel Muammar Gadafi at the opening of the peace talks on Saturday when he expressed pessimism about the achievement of peace in view of the absence of some main rebel factions.

Gadafi said that if the Abdul Wahid al Nur and Ibrahim Khalil factions are not attending the talks, peace will not be achieved. He said that the presence of those two rebel leaders was very important for the talks to stand any chance of success.

Meanwhile, the delegate of the Democratic Revolutionary Movement that represents the Arab tribes in Darfur, Salah Abushura has called for the transfer of the negotiations to another country. He said that the Libyan government is a friendly to the Sudanese government, and therefore Libya is not a neutral venue.

He also said that the rebel movements in Darfur need more time to allow them to resolve their internal problems that led to their split so that they may come out with a common ground to the peace talks.


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Woman Is Charged in Fatal Shooting

Posted by African Press International on October 29, 2007

(Was it caused by love triangle? Question by API/APN)

Story by By Candace Rondeaux
of Washington Post -Staff Writer
Friday, October 26, 2007; B03

julius-whiley.jpg<Murdered Julius Whiley leaves wife of Kenyan origin and daughter.

A woman has been charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a 37-year-old acquaintance who she said sexually assaulted her at his home in Greenbelt.

Tania R. Wallace-Bey, 42, of Philadelphia shot Julius C. Whaley Jr. in the chest at his home in the 5800 block of Cherrywood Terrace about 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, Greenbelt police said.

Wallace-Bey called to report the shooting, and officers found Whaley’s body in a bedroom, said George Mathews, a spokesman for Greenbelt police. Whaley was pronounced dead at the scene.

Wallace-Bey was taken to a hospital for a medical examination, Mathews said. Police declined to comment on the alleged sexual assault. Wallace-Bey is also charged with illegal weapons use.

diana-abondo-and-daughter.jpg<Diana Abong’o and her daughter

Whaley’s mother, Patricia Whaley, 59, said Wallace-Bey and Whaley dated while in high school in Philadelphia. They remained friends after Whaley, a computer tech specialist, got married and had a daughter, she said.

“She was a very pleasant person from what we’ve seen of her,” Whaley’s mother said of Wallace-Bey. “But then I started hearing all these stories about how she was acting, and it seemed like there was a total personality change.”

Whaley’s mother said friends and relatives became particularly concerned about Wallace-Bey after she allegedly gained entry to Whaley’s home last year and “tore the place apart” while he was travelling in Africa. She said the break-in occurred several months before Wallace-Bey began helping Whaley run a start-up travel agency.

“He was trying to help her, but I think she wanted more than just the travel business from him,” Whaley’s mother said.

Whaley, a Tuskegee University graduate and yoga enthusiast, was close to his family and had planned to travel to Philadelphia for a visit next week.

“He was a loving person,” his mother said. “He loved people and his family. He tried to do everything he could to help people. We’ll miss him very much.”

Reached by phone at her home in Philadelphia, Wallace-Bey’s mother said she had not heard about the charges against her daughter and declined to comment further.

Researcher Meg Smith contributed to this report.

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What’s happening? – Are Kenya tribes envying one another? We need to move beyond tribalism

Posted by African Press International on October 29, 2007

Author : fred

I read Njeri comments and to be quite honest I am starting to lose hope. The nine sub reasons that she gave are actually just disguises for the one reason that she wouldnt vote for anyone but kibaki. its the same reason why Mutula kalonzo, despite his intelligence and experience chose to go with kalonzo musyoka; its the same reason why, despite knowing how the stock exchange works, the NSE boss attributed NSE’s 200B loss to opinion polls that placed raila on the lead. it’s all tribalism and we should be ashamed of ourselves as a nation.

I am kikuyu, but i will vote for raila and it has nothing to do with how he choses to name his kids, or the fact that he intends to introduce majimbo or any of the excuses given above. I will vote for raila cause kibaki has been a major disappointment. if i was asked to pick one word to describe our dear president i would settle for “slow”. Kibaki has been slow in everything except one – taking credit for his ministers good work.

We need someone who can see the 6% economic growth for what it really is; an underacheivement given kenya’s talent and strategic location (by the way angola will hit a 23% growth this year). we need someone who will address corruption and poverty head on. No more raids to our media houses, no more mamluki’s and no more use of corruption findings, such as the krol report, to gain political milleage. We need someone who will see that despite good intentions ‘masomo ya bure’ has been a major flop and we should improve on it before making secondary education useless too.

We need to move beyond tribalism; we need to have our nations best interest at heart. It doesnt matter if our president is kikuyu, luo, nandi whatever, as long as he delivers. Raila has a better blue print. At least he seems to understand that we have issues of corruption, poverty and security.

It is indeed ironic that kibaki has conviniently forgotten to mention these three key issues which were narcs greatest selling points. Kibaki is so impressed by his incompetence, it’s almost farcical. it’s time to raise the bar fellow kenyans – mediocrity isnt the only way. and Njeri… you had nothing to do with the fact that you are kikuyu. it just happened ; it shouldnt be your greatest acheivement in life

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Salome Mbatia dies in road accident – Tanzania’s Deputy Minister

Posted by African Press International on October 29, 2007

2007-10-25 09:49:17
ByGuardian Reporters

The deputy minister for Community Development, Gender and Children, Salome Mbatia (55), died yesterday evening in a motor accident that occurred at Ilembula in Njombe District, Iringa Region.

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Samwel Sitta, said that Minister Mbatia, her driver and another unidentified person died when their car was hit by a lorry which was overloaded with timber.

The Speaker said it was yet to be established whether the other person who died was the minister`s personal assistant or a government official from Iringa who had accompanied her.

“She was on a tour to sensitise women on bad traditions that contribute to maternal and child mortality,“ Sitta said. He added that both the Bunge Office and the Prime Minister?s Office expected to get more details on the incident today.

Meanwhile, Thobias Mwanakatwe of PST Mbeya has quoted the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food and Cooperatives, Dr David Mathayo, who was at the scene of accident, as saying that the accident occurred at 5pm and involved the minister?s car and a lorry that was coming from Njombe and heading to Makambako.

Dr Mathayo said the lorry had a face to face collision with the minister`s car at Sankoti, after which the lorry crashed on top of the car, making the exercise to remove the bodies from the wreckage to be extremely difficult.

Mathayo was heading to Tunduru to begin a tour of Ruvuma Region. Reports from the area indicate that former Prime Minister Frederick Sumaye was also on the same tour with the late Mbatia.

The Iringa Regional Police Commander, Advocate Nyombi, said he was heading towards the scene of accident and would later on issue a statement. Bodies of the victims have been preserved at Kibena Hospital in Njombe.

The deceased minister was once the CCM national treasurer. She served as the CCM special seats MP until her death. She was awarded a Degree in Personnel Administration in the Netherlands in 1982.

In between 1982 and 1983 she undertook her MA in Management in the United States. She also held the post of deputy minister for Finance and Planning before being transferred to another ministry, a position she held until yesterday.

  • SOURCE: Guardian

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Ten Reasons Christians Should Not Celebrate Halloween

Posted by African Press International on October 29, 2007

by J. Kerby AndersonMany in our secular society believe Halloween is nothing more than a harmless festival that allows kids to collect candy. But is it? Its origins lie deeply rooted in the occult, and Christians should stay away. Here are ten reasons why.

1. October 31st has long been known as “The Festival of the Dead.” The Celtic tribes and their priests the Druids celebrated this day as a marker for the change from life to death.

2. Halloween today is performed usually by adherents of witchcraft who use the night for their rituals. Witches celebrate Halloween as the “Feast of Samhain,” the first feast of the witchcraft year. Being a festival of the dead, Halloween is a time when witches attempt to communicate with the dead through various forms of divination.

3. Christians should not be involved with occultic practice or divination. Note God’s command against divination in Deuteronomy 18.

4. Occultists believe Halloween is a time of transition between life and death. Some occult practitioners practiced divination and believed you could learn the secrets of life and wisdom by Iying on a grave and listening to the messages from the long-departed.

5. Occultists also taught that spirits and ghosts left the grave during this night and would seek out warmth in their previous homes. Villagers, fearful of the possibility of being visited by the ghosts of past occupants, would dress up in costumes to scare the spirits on their way. They would also leave food and other treats at their door to appease the spirits so they would not destroy their homes or crops but instead move on down the road. That is the real reason why kids dress up in costumes today and go door-to-door seeking treats.

6. Occultists also would try to scare away the spirits by carving a scary face into a pumpkin. This horrible visage would hopefully move the spirit on to another home or village and spare that home from destruction. Sometimes the villagers would light a candle and place it within the pumpkin and use it as a lantern (hence the name, Jack-o-Lantern). This is the origin of carving pumpkins at Halloween.

7. In some witchcraft covens, the closing ritual includes eating an apple or engaging in fertility rites. In the Bible (Genesis 3), eating a piece of fruit brought sin and death into the world. In witchcraft, eating an apple is symbolic of bringing life. The practice of bobbing for apples brings together two pagan traditions: divination and the fertility ritual.

8. Schools are removing any religious significance from Christmas (often called winter break) and Easter (spring break). Isn’t it ironic that most public schools still celebrate Halloween even though it has occultic origins?

9. Participating in Halloween gives sanction to a holiday that promotes witches, divination, haunted houses, and other occultic practices.

10. Christians should avoid Halloween and develop creative alternatives. Churches can hold a Fall Fun Festival and/or celebrate Reformation Day (also October 31). They should not endorse or promote Halloween.

Copyright 2001 Probe Ministries

About the Author

Kerby Anderson is the president of Probe Ministries International. He received his B.S. from Oregon State University, M.F.S. from Yale University, and M.A. from Georgetown University. He is the author of several books, including Genetic Engineering, Origin Science, Living Ethically in the 90s, Signs of Warning, Signs of Hope, and Moral Dilemmas. He also served as general editor for Marriage, Family and Sexuality.

He is a nationally syndicated columnist whose editorials have appeared in the Dallas Morning News, the Miami Herald, the San Jose Mercury, and the Houston Post.

He is the host of “Probe,” and frequently serves as guest host on “Point of View” (USA Radio Network). He can be reached via e-mail at

What is Probe?

Probe Ministries is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to reclaim the primacy of Christian thought and values in Western culture through media, education, and literature. In seeking to accomplish this mission, Probe provides perspective on the integration of the academic disciplines and historic Christianity.

In addition, Probe acts as a clearing house, communicating the results of its research to the church and society at large.

Further information about Probe’s materials and ministry may be obtained by writing to:

Probe Ministries
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Richardson, TX 75081
(972)480-0240 FAX(972) 644-9664——————————————————————&#8212;

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