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Archive for December 10th, 2007

Wade urges Africans to join the resistance against EPA

Posted by African Press International on December 10, 2007

Dakar, (Senegal) Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade on Sunday urged Africans on the continent and the Diaspora to join the resistance against the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) being discussed with the European Union.

“The Lisbon summit acknowledges the will of African states not to sign the EPAs,” President Wade said upon arrival in Dakar from Portugal where he attended the EU-Africa summit for the opening of a new partnership chapter between both continents.

According to the Senegalese President, the negative appreciation of the EPAs displayed by African leaders shows that Africans can agree and defend their common interests.

He implied that a meeting is in sight between African and European ministers to examine the next direction to be taken for the relations between Africa and Europe since the EPAs were massively rejected.

“I received the fraternal support of my friend Thabo Mbeki for clearly defending my position,” President Wade said with pride at the Dakar airport in front of a number of personalities.

The South African President stayed in Lisbon to monitor the works, promising to inform his Senegalese counterpart of the evolution of the summit as regards the decision to introduce interim agreements to extend trade between the European Union and the African continent.

The thorny issue of the EPAs dominated other topics, managing even to overshadow the political dimension of the summits agenda.

Africans denounced the pressure the Europeans put on them in order to finish the negotiations with ACP countries (Africa, the Caribbean, and Pacific) by the expiry date of 31 December 2007.

According to President Wade, the European Commission agreed to open a second round of discussions beginning 2008 on the fears expressed by the African countries concerning the impact of the EPAs on the African economies, particularly the dreaded fall of the customs duties on the imports of European products which is likely to weaken their own economies.

Our refusal to sign the EPAs must encourage us to build new strategies and “to seal with Europe a partnership deprived of paternalism and without prejudice,” President Wade said, noting that a dangerous trend intends to destroy the African industrial fabric “patiently built by our fellow-citizens”.

This is just the beginning of the fight, President Wade averred, calling on the African youth to draw their inspiration from the greatness of peoples ability to overcome hardships.

“It is an awareness face with the threat of destroying African economies in order to strengthen others. It is the duty of all Africans who agree to see the EPAs as a colonial pact,” the President concluded amid a round of applause.

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

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Ebola kills 28 in Uganda – the disease is spreading rapidly

Posted by African Press International on December 10, 2007

Kampala (Uganda) Three people died of Ebola in Uganda on Sunday, bringing the death toll to 28 since the outbreak of the deadly disease in September.

The three include a health worker, Asanasio Kinyerere, who died at Bundibugyo Hospital in western Uganda in a district inhabited by 250,000 people and the outbreak\s epicenter where health workers are struggling to contain the disease.

Three other medical workers in the district are reportedly fighting for their lives in isolated facilities.

Bundibugyo district commissioner Sam Kazinga said on Monday that Ebola cases have risen to 112, including the 28 who have died.

He said four of the 112 cases were discharged on Saturday after they recovered.

Hundreds of villagers and medics who had physical contacts with the patients have been put under observation.

Virologists are convinced the disease erupted in September, wending its way through the district unnoticed even though the first cases arrived in ill-equipped hospitals around the same time.

Commissioner for health services Sam Okware said on Monday that the laboratory for testing ebola has started operating at the Uganda Virus Research Centre near Kampala.

Previously, blood samples had to be dispatched to the Centre for Disease Control in the United States, thus causing delays in diagnosis.

Spread by body fluids, the blood-borne Ebola was named after a small Democratic Republic of Congo river where it was discovered in 1976.

It re-emerged in Sudan later the same year. Other outbreaks have been recorded in Cote dIvoire, Gabon and Uganda.

Meanwhile, various district authorities have advised against public gatherings, handshaking and hugging while greeting, and to travel only when it is extremely necessary.

In one of the western districts, an angry mob smashed an isolation centre put up in their location for fear of bringing infectious disease closer to their homes.

Some of inhabitants have contemplated fleeing their homes, while in one of the hospitals at the foot of Rwenzori Mountains a number of in patients fled the ward on noticing the admission of people with signs similar to those of Ebola.

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

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