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Archive for March 17th, 2008

OIC condemns “the continuation and the intensification of the ongoing Israeli military campaign against the Palestinian people

Posted by African Press International on March 17, 2008

Dakar (Senegal) The Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), whose summit ended Friday in Dakar, condemned “the continuation and the intensification of the ongoing Israeli military campaign against the Palestinian people by which Israel continues to commit serious violations of human rights and war crimes.”

According to the final communiqu of the 11th summit, the Conference expressed “its serious concern with the recent Israeli military invasions and the attacks in the occupied Palestinian territories, particularly in the Gaza Strip, which resulted in hundreds of Palestinian victims”.

The sovereigns, heads of state and governments urged the international community “to put pressure on Israel” to lead it to lift “at once” the siege and to end the collective imprisonment and sanctions imposed on the whole of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

They insisted on the need for an inter-Palestinian dialogue, national reconciliation and the restoration of unity “to better serve the higher interests of the Palestinian people”.

The Dakar Summit, whose theme was “Islam in the 21st century”, restated its “unreserved support” to the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority, just as to “all the democratically elected Palestinian institutions”.

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

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President Abdoulaye Wade, has decided to favour economic co-operation during his term

Posted by African Press International on March 17, 2008

Dakar (Senegal) The newly elected chairman of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, President Abdoulaye Wade, has decided to favour economic co-operation during his term, at the end of the summit Friday in Dakar.

“Economic co-operation was somewhat neglected within the OIC,” President Wade said during the final press conference.

The Senegalese head of state, who was pleased with the outcome of the Dakar Summit, said the dominant issues he will tackle during his term are knowledge sharing within the Islamic Ummah which abounds with human potentialities.

According to him, the young people and researchers within the OIC member states will be at the forefront of this project, stressing that some countries of the Muslim world have reached very high scientific and technical levels which could be a decisive contribution.

President Wade, who believes that the Dakar Summit was a turning point for the OIC with a clear insight of its missions faced with the changes in the world, underlines the need “for a reaffirmation of our Islamic convictions and our Muslim values”.

“We carry Muslim values which can save humanity,” said the OIC chairman who intends to focus on the search for peace and economic issues with the aim of establishing the leadership of the Organisation on the international scene.

He spoke about the tax mechanism of oil transactions to finance the anti-poverty fund based on a formula supported by the World Bank and the French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Armed with these ideals, President Wade said that this tax, a total value of 2% on the transactions, would enable the OIC to relieve the public funds of the non-oil producing countries and would be effective to solve poverty in the world.

President Wade slightly distinguished himself from the UN approach of poverty reduction which, according to him, takes on a technical aspect centred on a kind of monetarised poverty, whereas his own puts emphasis on the human aspect of the phenomenon.

He called for a more uttered will to tackle the root of the poverty phenomenon with the concern “of taking the poor people out of their misery to put them in an environment more favourable to their blossoming as human beings.”

Opened on Thursday under the theme “Islam in the 21st century”, the 11th OIC summit in Dakar recorded the participation of forty sovereigns and heads of state and governments.

Published by API africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

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Mining licences to be reviewed by Sierra Leone’s new President

Posted by African Press International on March 17, 2008

Freetown (Sierra Leone) In a bid to resolve disputes over licences granted by former governments in Sierra Leone to mine gold, diamond and iron ore, the incumbent president has promised to review the documents by June.

Media reports on Sunday quoted President Ernest Bai Koroma as saying that he has invited experts from the World Bank to conduct the study, which will affect all foreign and local miners operating in the country.

The confusion stems fro the fact two licences were granted for exploration or mining in one location at a time and there were at least three or four such situations.

President Koroma promised that everyone will be given a fair treatment in disputed contracts which have made it almost impossible for new investors to venture into mining in the country.

The main companies to be affected by the review include Argyll Resources which is mining bauxite and both the London Mining Company and the Sierra Leone Development Company that are engaged in mining iron ore.

The two biggest direct investors in Sierra Leone are mining companies UK-listed Titanium Resources Group, which mines rutile and bauxite, and Koidu Holdings SA, a kimberlite diamond operation owned by Israeli diamond magnate Beny Steinmetz.

Other mining firms operating in the country include Cluff Gold and exploration company West African Diamonds, both listed in London.

Mining accounts for 90 per cent of the countrys exports but benefits from the sector is hardly helping the general population which mostly live below the poverty line.

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

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Kenya’s Vice President wants to be understood and respected

Posted by African Press International on March 17, 2008

Kalonzo Musyoka is the vice president. He knows he is number 2 in the hierachy that rules Kenya. His problem is that he wants to be understood and respected, especially when it comes to the coalition deal between him and Kibaki before Raila’s ODM came.

Kalonzo has positioned himself well. He knows by entering into coalition with Kibaki as early as he did, he did the right thing for himself and the president who rewarded him with the vice presidency. He knows also that as a principal assistant to the president, he is the man to take over power in casethe president is absent one way or another.

When Kibaki travels out of the country, it is the VP that takes charge and in that strenghens Kalonzo’s future intention to become Kenya’s 4th president.

API

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Bills on coalition to pass this week

Story by BOB ODALO
Publication Date: 3/16/2008

The two crucial bills required to legitimise the grand coalition government are likely to be passed next week to get Parliament rolling, Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka has said.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka. Photo/ FILE

The National Accord and Reconciliation Bill and the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill are required to put into effect the power-sharing agreement that was signed between President Kibaki and the Orange Democratic Leader, Raila Odinga.

By passing the bills, MPs will put into legislation the posts of prime minister and two deputies and will clarify their roles.

We dont want to waste time in passing the bills and MPs are gearing to do just that, Mr Musyoka said.

The VP said this while addressing the mourners who had attended the burial of retired Machakos Catholic Bishop Urbanus Kioko who was laid to rest on Friday.

As we wait for Parliament to do what Kenyans are yearning for this week, we should not forget that the country has not risen up yet from the ethnic clashes, we are still facing the bigger problem of the Internally Displaced Persons, the VP cautioned.

Mr Musyoka defended his decision to get into a coalition with President Kibaki soon after the disputed presidential results were announced, saying his move was well-advised.

He said that Ukambani was among the few regions that never witnessed the post-election violence that began soon after the December 27 presidential results were announced. He suggested that it might be because he had joined ranks with President Kibaki.

Mr Kalonzo said that in order to prevent the country from self-destructing through ethnic-based violence, the three presidential candidates, President Kibaki, Mr Odinga and himself, had opted to abandon their individual ambitions and seek to work in a grand coalition.

Wiper (Mr Kalonzos campaign slogan) has taken a break, while kazi iendelee (President Kibakis campaign slogan) and Tinga (Mr Odingas nickname) have all come together to work and get Kenya out of the election mess, the VP said.

At the same function, Cardinal John Njue, head of the Catholic Church in Kenya, said that the deal between President Kibaki and Mr Odinga has created a conducive socio-economic atmosphere in the country. Cardinal Njue expressed confidence in Parliament, saying MPs would do what was necessary to help the country heal.

Bishop Sulumeti of Kakamega added that people in his home area no longer use the greeting mulembe (which means peace).

How can we say mulembe when more than 6,000 people are still displaced following the clashes? he asked.

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