African Press International (API)

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Archive for December 4th, 2007

Sudanese peace in jeopardy as former Norwegian envoy resigns

Posted by African Press International on December 4, 2007

Khartoum (Sudan) The chairman of the Assessment and Evaluation Commission of the peace deal signed in January 2005 in the Kenyan capital Nairobi between the government of Sudan and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) of South Sudan, Tom Eric Vraalsen resigned his post on Monday, APA has learnt.

However, Vraalsen, who is scheduled to leave Sudan within a week, downplayed the reasons behind his resignation in a press conference in Khartoum on Monday, saying that his contract has come in to an end and that he refused an offer from the Sudanese government to extend his stay as head of the commission. He said he wanted to give more time to his family.

The AEC was established in 2005 after the signing of the north-south peace deal to work with both parties for the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) through, and to help bring peace and stability to Sudan.

But since October, the peace deal partners are in heightened tensions following the withdrawal of the junior partner (SPLM) from the government of national unity.

Meanwhile, the chairmans resignation came ahead of the scheduled meeting between Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, who is also chairman of the National Congress Party (NCP) and his vice president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, who is also the president of the government of South Sudan and chairman of the SPLM in Khartoum on Monday to try and resolve their differences.

However, while by Monday afternoon, Salva Kiir did not still arrive in Khartoum for the meeting, but SPLM sources told APA that he was certainly going to come and the discussions will be held at night.

Published by Korir, API/APN africanpress@chello.no source.apa

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Clashes in the DRC

Posted by African Press International on December 4, 2007

Kinshasa (DR Congo) Renewed clashes were reported on Sunday between the DR Congo Armed Forces (FARD) and rebels loyal to the dissident General Laurent Nkunda in Kikuku (160 kilometres in the north-west of Goma), in the area of Rutsuru, in North-Kivu, military sources in Kinshasa said.

Heavy machine gunfiring was heard from about 1 am local time and continued until mid-day Sunday in the Bwito district, the sources said.

The Bwitos authorities, who were contacted by UN Okapi Radio said it was still difficult to say which of the warring factions was in control of Kikuku area.

No further information was available after mid-day Sunday about the clashes, but sources said thousands of displaced persons arrived in Mirangi and Kiberizi fleeing the shoot-outs.

 

Published by Korir, API/APN africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

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Mozambique decides to take action on precious stones

Posted by African Press International on December 4, 2007

Maputo (Mozambique) Mozambique has slapped a blanket ban on trading in precious stones in the countrys central Manica Province following an influx of foreigners illegally buying the minerals, provincial governor, Mauricio Viera, has announced during a gathering to mark 30th anniversary of the Mozambican Youth Organisation.

Following the discovery of huge deposits of tourmalines and rubelite in Barue district, the precious stones are attracting dealers from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Senegal and other countries, Viera said on Monday.

\”They are just digging indiscriminately,\” he said of the foreign miners, adding that Mozambicans were unaware of the value of tourmalines.

Vieira, who said to have travelled personally to Barue last week, said he had found that illegal mining was continuing in the district.

\”The illegal miners are extracting stones of great value and we have decided to ban the activity,\” he said.

The governor said a study was now under way to ascertain the true extent of the Barue deposits and the types of precious stones found there and a plan is being drawn to determine the government\s decisions on how to exploit these resources.

 

Published by Korir, API/APN africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

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