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Archive for May 10th, 2008

The Kenyan Businessman whose business is colapsing in the US should be loan-bailed by the Kenya government

Posted by African Press International on May 10, 2008

Commentary by the Chief Editor and Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no

Mr Wilfred Saroni, the fallen businessman in the US.

Manypeople have written to us for or against the fallen Kenyan businessman in the US. We have analysed their comments and found out that many people are happy that the man has fallen. Some have accused him of incompetence and others of fooling around with women. Accusations goes on and on.

Kenya governmen t is interested in seeing Kenyans prosper, at least that is what they say. It is now time to show that they care when they see a Kenyanhardworking man trapped in a mess. The only way they can do so is to give him a bailing loan and he binds himself to pay back when his business gets back to normal,

In the comments we have received, some Kenyans who know him express happiness that he is now in trouble. That is a Kenyan thing, many say, happy for the failure of his fellow Kenyan. Citizens of other countries are known to give one another help and rescue their fellow countrymen when they are in trouble. Kenyans are not that way. Some may pretend to love one another but it is possible they will dance on their graves as soon as they die one way or another. Imagine people who used to go to the businessman’s home to drink, eat, and party in different ways now saying the man was not good. What a world we live in!

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Kalenjin song

Posted by African Press International on May 10, 2008

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Kabuga met with the Sudanese in Oslo on the 6th of May.

Posted by African Press International on May 10, 2008

Publisher: API, source. standard.ke

Mr Felicen Kabuga in not in Kenya. We are failing to understand the speculations any longer. Kabuga made entry from Sweden to Norway as we reported two days ago. He managed to meet with two Sudanese members of a delegation who were in Oslo recently in connection with the Sudan pledge conference.

Mr Kabuga wants to make a deal with the Rwandese government in the same way President Museveni is talking with LRA people.

Next week, API will bring an exclusive interview with Mr Kabuga where he will be talking about his future plans. API

Fugitive Kabuga still makes merry

 

Wanted for genocide in his country, fugitive Felicien Kabuga has been said to be in Kenya on several occassions. Last week, it emerged that he has business ventures here. PATRICK WACHIRA asks how the whole world could be after him without success.That wanted Rwanda genocide fugitive Felicien Kabuga has business interests in Kenya must be disturbing to many.

It has emerged that the genocide suspect has been collecting a cool Sh50 million in rent from apartments he is said to own in the posh Kilimani area of Nairobi, and other business ventures.

The apartment owned by Rwandan genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga and his wife Mukazitoni Josephine in Kilimani, Nairobi. 

This means that claims that he may be in Kenya may be true, much as the authorities consistently deny.

The last time Kabuga appeared in the news, six months ago, was when the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) said the fugitive might have resided in Kenya “at some point in time.”

ICTR Spokesman, Mr Roland Amoussouga, told the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) in Kampala, Uganda, that there was “credible information” that Kabuga lived in Kenya at some stage in his long years of hiding.

Kabuga has a $5 million bounty on his head and is wanted for genocide crimes in his country, where close to one million people were killed.

It is not clear if the search for the man has been ongoing and in what countries, but Amoussouga said Kabuga�s son-in-law was arrested in Germany early this year, giving some hope to the ICTR.

Fugitive Felicien Kabuga 

On Wednesday, Attorney-General, Mr Amos Wako, successfully sought court orders to freeze Kabuga�s assets and proceeds from his apartments, managed by the Kenya FinanceTrust Company.

Curiously, the company has no physical address, but has been collecting some Sh290,000 every three months. The money is then banked into Commercial Bank of Africa and wired to an account in Belgium, according to the court proceedings.

The big question, therefore, is could Kabuga and his wife, Josephine Mukazitoni, be enjoying a luxurious life here, while the whole world is looking for them?

If that is the case, is the world really looking for him and where?

Kabuga reportedly bought the machetes used in the Rwanda genocide, which makes his participation as culpable as can be under the law. Amoussouga said Kabuga was still being “actively sought.”

His snapshot, showing his greying hair at the temples, was widely circulated in police networks at the height of his search. But more than 14 years after the genocide, the search has yielded nothing.

That Kabuga may have been in Kenya, captured the national imagination in 2002-2003, but the Government did little to either probe the issue or placate the rumours.

Denial

The Government steadfastly denied that the genociduer was on Kenyan soil. The denial sort of aided the speculation, making it look like a Hollywood movie scene, rife with suspense, drama and intrigue.

The matter would have ended there, but a Kenyan journalist, William Gichuki Munuhe, was found murdered in his Karen house in February 2003.

It emerged that Munuhe had hatched a high profile plot to lure Kabuga out of his hideout and deliver the fugitive to the law. As anyone could guess, Munuhe would have pocketed over Sh300 million.

But something went tragically wrong. The hunted man apparently sensed danger and went after his pursuers.

Munuhe was found dead in his apartment, with a charcoal stove in the same room. Apparently, his killers wanted it to look like he died from carbon monoxide fumes.

But his relatives insisted Munuhe never had such a stove, nor did he use any such apparatus to cook.

Days later, it emerged that just before Kabuga could be ensnarled, Munuhe lost contact with his collaborators and calls to his cell phone went unanswered.

The police sensed something was terribly amiss and they went to his house, where they found that he had been dead for hours.

Since Munuhe was said to have been working alongside the Federal Bureau of Investigations, it did not make sense that the scheme could have been bungled so easily.

Questions arose about how the FBI could have ignored the rules and dynamics of handling such a case, fraught as it was with danger and the likelihood of counter-surveillance at every stage.

US assistance

The United States did not confirm or deny whether Munuhe worked for them.

The family of the slain journalist received some assistance for his burial in Nyeri several days after the murder. A full-scale compensation was not forthcoming and the matter is still in limbo.

So, the questions abound, now as then and with no answers in sight.

If Kabuga has been in Kenya, transacting business and living in luxury, is it possible that no one knew? Could the country�s intelligence network have failed their own country and the international community so miserably?

If one of the world�s most wanted men is on Kenyan soil, who is shielding him? Are they his business cohorts or people held hostage for one reason or another?

Another question is whether now with the launch of the Witness Protection Programme in the country, those who know anything about Kabuga will come forward. One also wonders whether the Government will protect the witnesses and if necessary relocate and give them a new identity.

Perhaps it would move those who know the fugitive�s whereabouts to tip the law enforcement agencies, knowing the move will free thousands of souls whose lives were snuffed out during the genocide.

Kenyans also wonder whether we are anywhere near capturing the man who rivals the notorious Osama bin Laden.

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Cameroon, China sign 273 billion CFA convention to construct 10 modern stadiums

Posted by African Press International on May 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no

<Story filed by Tansa Musa

YAOUNDE, May 9 – Cameroon soccer fans haveheeved a deep sigh of relief after the government hassigned a 10-year 273-billion CFA francs convention with China for the Asian nation to construct10 modern stadiums in the country’s ten provinces.

Speaking at the convention signing ceremony, Prime Minister Ephraim Inoni hailed cooperation ties between the two countries and expressed the hope that the project will boost the country’s sports performance and contribute in fighting youth unemployment.

”Sports is a vital instrument which fosters integration, peaceful co-existence and national concorde,” he said, adding that results recorded so far by sports men and women have significantly projected and enhanced the country’s image on the international scene.

“This programme, with a 10-year life span, will greatly mobilise local and international man power for its implementation and equally contribute in efforts to fight against youth unemployment.”

He urged the Chinese firm which will carry out the construction – the China Machinery Equipment Export and Import Enterprise – to work in synergy with Cameroonian experts and technicians in order to facilitate the transfer of technology.

For his part, Sports minister Augustin Edjoa urged Cameroon sports men and women to make maximum use of the coming facilities to better their performance.

“Sports, particularly football, is Cameroon’s most dependable ambassador,” he said. “Regrettably,” he added, “the lack of veritable infrastructure has played a negative impact on our sports results in recent years. We hope that with the advent of these new infrastructure our results will be better, and we can start warming up to host major international competitions.”

According to the terms of the contract, the Chinese firm will build a 60,000-capacity stadium at Olembe on the north-eastern outskirts of Yaounde as well as three other 20,000-30,000 capacity stadiums in Douala, Bafoussam and Limbe in 2008-2011.

In the second phase, it will construct 15,000-20,000 capacity playing grounds in the other six provincial headquarters, including Bamenda, Bertoua, Ebolowa, Ngaoundere, Maroua and Garoua.

The news came as a pleasant surprise to millions ofCameroon soccer fans who have over the years been yearning for the construction of modern stadiums befitting theCentral African country’s international reputation.

Over the last three decades, Cameroon has earned the envious and fearsome reputationof being one of Africa’s most powerful soccer houses thanks to the exploits of its national squad and the mesmerizing skills of Barcelona’s striker Samuel Eto’o and the African player of the 20th century, Roger Milla.

Infact, the country is four-times winner of the Nations Cup, has been to the World Cup five times, becomingthe first ever continental team to reach the quarter-finals in Italy in 1990, and won the footballgoldenglory at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

But this impressive and glorious past contrastssharply with the very apalling and rapidly deteriorating state of its football facilities.”It is regrettable that football has brought so much honour and glory to our nation, yet we’ve done nothing to promote the game,”living soccer legend and ambassadorRoger Milla told reporters, summing up the generalmood.

“The factis that our stadiums are in a pitiable, catastrophic and advanced state of decay. It will be no exaggeration to say that we don’t even have a stadium that meets strict international standards, ashameful and embarrassing situation for a nation with such a record in the game.”

In 1972 the country constructed the Reunification stadium in the main economic centre Douala and the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium in the capital, Yaounde, to host the African Nations Cup.

Today, 36 years later, the Reunification stadium has not been renovated. The pitch is transformed into a muddy tract when itrains and a dust bowl in the dry season, with several parts of the roofrotting away.

A similar picture could be painted of the main playing ground, the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadiumuntil 2006 when a Japanese firm carried out some renovation works. Then, it lacked toilette facilities, developed cracks at several points, spectators were forced to sit on bare concrete ground, while tufts of grass competed for space with potholes onthe playing field proper, hindering smooth circulation of the ball.

Infact, a vising FIFA inspection team came close to imposing a ban on the stadium for that year’s World Cup qualifier games. Somehow it survived. This catastrophic state of playgroundsis probably the main reason why Cameroon has been reluctantto bid to host the Nations Cup again.

Even the country’s clubs with rich traditions like Canon and Tonnerre of Yaounde and Union in Douala which dominated the African football scene in the 1970s and 1980s do not have training grounds of acceptable standards.

They still play the MTN eliteclub competition at the very sandy, undulating Military stadium – of sad memory to Ghana’s Hearts of Oaks, a statewhich casts a scar on the capital city’s, andindeed the nation’sconscience.(END)

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API

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Posted by African Press International on May 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

The Rwandan government has welcomed the important steps taken by the Kenyan authorities to freeze the assets of one of the 1994 Rwandan genocide chief financier and suspect, Felicien Kabuga, pending his arrest.

The government noted that the Kenyan action will serve justice to all criminals in the world that money cannot be a protection forever. According to Rwandan government security agencies, Kabuga has been hiding in Kenya through several disguises including changing his names.

The Kenyan government, through its Attorney General Amos Wako on Tuesday requested the High Court under a certificate of urgency, to freeze all assets belonging to the genocide fugitive. He is said to own a posh and luxurious block of flats in Nairobis upmarket Kilimani area which generates Ksh290, 000 (US$4000) in three months, several companies and bank accounts with millions of cash.

In an interview with the Rwandan minister of Justice and Attorney General, Thercise Karugaram, on Thursday in Kigali, he described the Kenyan action as a bold, serious and important step taken to freeze Kabugas assets who he described as a notorious genocide criminal. He noted that the fugitive has been using his money to evade justice over his crimes.

Its an important action and we thank the Kenyan authorities for being bold and showcasing that no one will try to use his wealth to evade justice from genocide crimes. He has been using his massive wealth in Kenya and other countries to finance other negative forces in Congo aimed at destabilizing Rwanda, Justice Karugaram said.

He however added that the freezing of Kabugas assets is not enough but his arrest is more important to make him face justice which he has been dodging for 14 years.

Kabuga was the proprietor of the hate radio and television Mille Collines that incited Hutus to kill Tutsis in the 1994 genocide.

In his ruling, the Kenyan judge, Mr Justice Muga Apondi said although Mr Kabuga is considered innocent, he should come out of his hiding and tell his story.

The judge further ordered the money collected from the rental of his houses be deposited with the deputy registrar at the Nairobi High Court.

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Posted by African Press International on May 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

The United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Dmitry Titov told the United Nations Security Council Wednesday that Sierra Leones prospects of moving forward and boosting its socio-economic situation is hopeful.

However, he added that this will require the government making tough economic and political decisions and implementing policies that promote transparency and accountability.

According to the senior United Nations peacekeeping official, it will require sacrifice and patience on the part of Sierra Leoneans as the country continues its journey towards full economic recovery.

Mr. Titov, who briefed the Council on the work of the UN Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL), also added that the political and security situation in the West African nation is generally calm, but pointed out that there have been several violent incidents involving supporters of the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) and the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP).

In July, the country will hold local council elections, which he characterized as another major step towards enhancing its democratic process.

Mr. Titov also warned that tensions between APC and SLPP supporters will rise in the run-up to the polls, and noted that UNIOSIL is working with many groups on the ground for a peaceful election.

He added that surging prices of staple commodities and fuel have led to there being little in the way of progress in Sierra Leones socio- economic condition, voicing concern that dissatisfaction over soaring prices could lead to unrest.

The Assistant Secretary-General cautioned that gains made in rebuilding the country could be reversed if more employment opportunities are not generated for young people.

Meanwhile, the human rights situation has seen an improvement, given the bolstered respect for civil and political rights and the passing of legislation on womens and childrens rights.

However, efforts to implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation are still very slow, Mr. Titov told the Council.

On the Peace Building Commission (PBC) established in December 2005 to help countries recovering from war avoid a relapse into violence and chaos he observed that the adoption of a PBC framework for Sierra Leone has injected fresh impetus into the peace consolidation process.

In his most recent report on the UN mission, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote that UNIOSIL will withdraw in September and recommended that it be replaced by a UN integrated peace building office, to be known as UNIPSIL, which holistically addresses the political, economic and peace building challenges facing the country.

UNIOSIL was set up in 2006 to help the government consolidate the countrys hard-won peace following a brutal, 11-year conflict, and to tackle a wide range of challenges related to good governance, security, human rights and development.

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Liberian refugees in Nigeria begin to return home after 18 years

Posted by African Press International on May 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

The National Commission for Refugees on Wednesday facilitated the return to Liberia of more than 6,000 Liberian refugees living in Nigeria, after 18 years stay in the country, some, however, opted to remain in the country.

Forty seven of the Liberian refugees left Nigeria on Wednesday, aboard Beleview Airlines and arrangements have been made for the over 3000 left behind to go back soon, the Federal Commissioner for Refugees, Hajia Kangiwa Sanni, told journalist at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos.

This repatriation has been going on since 2005, but it stopped in 2007, now it has kicked off again and this is the first batch for the year, the next batch will be leaving in two weeks time. The return is voluntary, as it involves the confidence on the part of the citizen that their country is safe, she said.

However, she said many of the refugees were not happy because they were asked not to travel with more than 30 kg of luggage after they had acquired so much property while in their host country.

A young Liberian refugee, Anthony Jlaka said, I am happy to go home to see my parents after six years. I thank the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for accommodating us. I am going to come back for my university education. I enjoyed my stay in Nigeria and I love this country.

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Taylor trial witness tells of rape, killings, amputations and looting as a rebel captive

Posted by African Press International on May 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

Prosecution witness TF1-028 in the ongoing trial of the former Liberian leader Charles Taylor at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, testifying behind a screen and with voice distortion, on Wednesday told the court a horrific tale of abduction and captivity at the hands of the rebels.

The witness testified that she lived in Karina, Bombali district (in western Sierra Leone) at the time of the 1998 ECOMOG intervention. She spoke of one morning when junta forces came to the town and how her brother and his 12-year old son were beaten by the soldiers, and molten plastic was dripped all over her brothers body. In addition, the witness said, the soldiers beat many other people and raped young girls. She recounted the rapes of two nieces, seven and eight years old. The witness said that the rebels returned that night and looted houses, explaining that this was Operation Pay Yourself.

After the soldiers left, the witness said that another group of RUF and AFRC, some of them Liberians, arrived in Karina and stayed for two weeks. She said they looted property, and then told the court that RUF and juntas had raped her 13 year-old daughter and 12 year-old niece. When Prosecutor Shyamala Alagendra asked how she knew this, the witness broke down in tears. She said she knew because the girls had been damaged in their vaginas and were bleeding. After two weeks, she said, the rebels left Karina, but promised to return.

The witness testified how one day she saw rebels walking by with a man whose arm was amputated and a group of naked women, among them her sister-in-law, who she said was bleeding in the face. The witness said she attempted to escape to the bush with her children and her sisters four-year-old child strapped to her back, but she was accosted by rebels at the edge of the village. She recounted how the rebels stripped her naked and how she was beaten with a sword, and tied together with her sister-in-law and sister, both of whom were also beaten with cutlasses. They were taken to the mosque area in the village, where she saw her uncle lying on the ground and hacked on the neck. She said when her other uncle asked the rebels why they had done this, a soldier hacked him in the face, killing him.

The witness testified that she saw many corpses in the street that day. At the time, she said, the population of Karina was very high because during the intervention, many civilians had fled junta killing and looting in Freetown, Kono and Makeni. She testified that the rebels took her to be killed, but that when another junta man saw that she was about to be executed, he intervened, saying she was his niece. The witness said she had never seen the man, who just wanted to rape her. The witness said she was taken by this man from Karina.

Defense Counsel Morris Anyah began his cross examination of witness TF1-028 by seeking to establish that it was the AFRC and not the RUF who had been responsible for the atrocities described by the witness. The witness however said that from the time of her abduction until the reinforcements had arrived at Col. Eddie Town, she had only known of one RUF fighter with the rebel group – her abductor.

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OIC delegation expected in Djibouti to examine border dispute

Posted by African Press International on May 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

A delegation from the Secretariat of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is expected soon in Djibouti to examine the recent developments on the border dispute with Eritrea, APA learnt here.

While in Djibouti, the OIC delegation will also hold discussions on bilateral cooperations with the countrys officials and will analyse the situation in neighbouring Somalia, a statement from the OIC secretariat said this week.

Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, OICs Secretary General has been following the progress of the situation at the border between Djibouti and Eritrea since February 2008 as well as the efforts deployed by Djibouti for a peaceful settlement of the tension, the statement further said.

Meanwhile, Prof. Ihsanoglu has challenged the conflicting parties to respect the principles of good neighbourhood relations and the intangibility of the frontiers established after the independence.

He further urged them to respect the territorial unity and integrity of States and to work towards strengthening Islam and African cooperation.

Finally, the OIC Scribe urged the concerned countries to exercise restraint and seek to resort to peaceful means in settling problems facing them while averting measures that could aggravate the tension.

The OIC delegations visit falls within the framework of the organisations conflict resolution role among member countries of the Ummah.

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Posted by African Press International on May 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

The Rwandan government on Thursday said it is encouraged by a decision of a French court to allow the extradition of the Rwandan genocide suspect to face trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) based in Arusha, Tanzania.
On Wednesday, the French high court in Paris squashed a final appeal against the transfer of the Rwandan genocide suspect Dominique Ntawukuriryayo.

Ntawukuriryayo is a former local administrator during the 1994 genocide and is now to face trial before the ICTR over genocide charges he was alleged to have committed during the genocide.

In an exclusive interview on Thursday, the Rwandan minister of Justice and Attorney General, Thercise Karugarama said the government is encouraged by Frances current move on genocide suspects and called for more efforts and cooperation to bring to justice the criminals of the 1994 Rwandan genocide that claimed over one million lives.

France itself has been accused by the Rwandan government of complexity in the genocide.

We are encouraged by the move by the French government and that of the court to reject the genocide suspects appeal not to be tried in Arusha. We would want it sustained and should not be a one time affair, Justice Karugarama said.

He wondered why anyone suspected of complicity in the genocide should refuse to go to Arusha and instead want to be tried in France. Why dont they want to face trial? Ntawukuriryayo will be the first genocide suspect to be transferred from France to the tribunal since 2000 when a former senior army officer and a former minister were handed over to the court.

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Chad represents a huge challenge to EU, says Solana

Posted by African Press International on May 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

Arising from his three-day official findings into the political situation in Chad; and a separate meeting with the Central African Republics President Francois Bozize, the European Unions Javier Solana was quick to described Chad as a huge challenge to the EU.

“It is not really a problem of resources but more of the challenge this operation represents for the European Union, given the immense area covered and the conditions on the ground,” Solana said here Thursday.

Solana, who is the European Union foreign policy chief, visited Chad to see for himself the huge task faced by EU troops (EUFor) trying to protect civilians and aid workers near the border with Sudans Darfur.

The killing of the French country chief of Save The Children UK by gunmen last week just 9 km from a EUFor base pressed home the challenge posed to the modest European force, EU officials said in London.

EUFor has just over 2,200 troops in eastern Chad and northern Central African Republic, and is due to reach full strength of 3,700 by the end of June.

Various local rebel groups are active in eastern Chad, with frequent attacks by ethnic militias and bandits.

“EUFor will use armed force if necessary because its mandate allows for that,” he said.

The force began a year-long mandate in March.

During his brief stopover in CAR before arriving in Chad, Solana said he had reassured President Bozize that Europe would maintain its economic support for the deeply impoverished country, including a “vast development programme” for the remote region of Birao.

Proceeding to Chads capital NDjamena on Wednesday, Solana met President Idriss Deby, during which the duo discussed a peace deal Deby earlier signed with Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir in Senegal in March.

Many observers regretted that the Senegal agreement, latest in a line of accords, have generally failed to quell hostility between the two governments as Chad and Sudan continue to accuse each other of helping rebels in the border region.

However, the EU welcomes Debys decision last month to bring in political opponents into his government.

But rebels, who reached the capital NDjamena in a lightning offensive in February only to be repelled at the gates of Debys presidency by loyalists aided by French forces, rejected the broad-based government, described it as a ploy by Deby to divide opposition.

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Posted by African Press International on May 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

The Comorian president, Ahmed Abdallah Sambi, has just appointed Squadron chief Mohamed Daoud alias Madaba as the regional commander of the National Development Army (AND) in Anjouan.

This Anjouanese is among Comorians that have amply suffered from the separatist crisis.

He became famous through opposing the separatist leaders and he was harassed and hunted down in Anjouan for this.

The new AND regional commander came back to his native island thanks to the last March military operation against the rule of deposed Mohamed Bacar.

Two other military officials were appointed at the same time. They are Lieutenant Dailami Saindou Ben Ali as commander of the fourth company of the Comorian defense force (FCD) and Second Lieutenant Abdallah Ibrahim as company commander of the national gendarmerie.

Second Lieutenant Ibrahim headed the missing peoples bureau in Moroni.

The task of these officers is far from being easy. They must restore peace in an island ravaged by more than ten years of separatist crisis and where wounds caused by the Bacar dictatorship are yet to be healed.

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Rwanda rebels condition return by inter-Rwandan dialogue

Posted by African Press International on May 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

The Rwandan rebels of the Democratic forces for the liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) have again laid out more conditions for their voluntary return to Rwanda by requesting the holding of an inter-Rwandan dialogue, sources saidThursday.
The Disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, reintegration and rehabilitation (DDRRR) section of the UN Mission in DRC (MONUC) and the Walikale provincial parliament in North-Kivu (east) launched a campaign, last Tuesday, to sensitise the FDLR to return to their country.

During the process, a film on the improvement of the living conditions of the ex-combatants who returned home and integrated the Rwandan society was screened. But the documentary did not obviously convince the FDLR who, once again, posed as precondition to their return the holding of an inter-Rwandan dialogue.

The provincial parliament of North-Kivu stated that the sensitisation operation is the last chance given to the FDLR for their voluntary repatriation to Rwanda.

Rwandan officers of the FDLR had already conditioned their return by the holding of this dialogue during previous public awareness campaigns. According to them, this dialogue is not yet on the agenda of the Kigali regime.

The Congolese government had pledged to “launch urgent military operations” against the FDLR in accordance with an agreement signed with Rwanda on 9 November 2007 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Stationed at the Kamina military base in the Katanga province by the DRC government, the FDLR, who are mostly youths, are former soldiers who speak kinyarwanda (the national language of Rwanda).

The FDLR presents itself as a political-military organisation created in May 2001 and hostile to the Rwandan patriotic Front (FPR) which rules since 1994.

There are the survivors of all the tragic events which struck Rwandans since 1990, especially the destruction of the Rwandan refugee camps in eastern DRC between 1996 and 1997.

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US legislature adopts bill to take Mandela, ANC off terror list

Posted by African Press International on May 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

The United States House of Representatives on Thursday adopted a bill aimed at taking South African former president Nelson Mandela and his party, the African National Congress, off a US terror blacklist.

The House said it was correcting a long-standing injustice as it voted to drop Apartheid-era travel restrictions and terrorist designations on Mr. Mandela and other members of the ANC who fought white minority rule.

Despite recognizing two decades ago that Americas place was on the side of those oppressed by apartheid, Congress has never resolved the inconsistency in our immigration code that treats many of those who actively opposed apartheid in South Africa as terrorists and criminals,” said Representative Howard Berman, a California Democrat who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The House approved by voice vote legislation to give the State Department and Homeland Security Department wide latitude to disregard the ANCs anti-apartheid activities when determining whether to allow members and former members into the United States.

“Despite his legacy as a hero of the anti-apartheid movement, despite the fact that he is a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, despite his election as president, we still require Nelson Mandela to apply for a visa waiver to enter into the United States just for a visit. This is just plain wrong,” said Representative Barbara Lee, Democrat-California who co-sponsored the bill.

Ms. Lee and others said the legislation introduced during the 1980s while Ronald Reagan was president is anachronistic and wrongfully labels as terrorists men and women who are heroes and freedom fighters. She recalled that while the ANC could travel to United Nations headquarters in New York but not to Washington DC, or other parts of the United States.

“Its been 18 years since Nelson Mandela was released from prison, 14 years since he was elected president of South Africa, and this year, he will turn 90 years old,” Lee said.

Yet even though he is “a hero” of the anti-apartheid movement who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and who served as his countrys president, Mandela must still apply for a visa waiver just to visit the United States, she said.”This is just plain wrong,” Representative Barbara Lee concluded.

The idea that Mandela would “be on our governments terror watch list is deplorable,” said Senator John Kerry, Democrat-Massachusetts. “No bureaucratic snafu can excuse this international embarrassment, and we need to fix this policy now.”

The African National Congress is the ruling party in the democratic, post-apartheid South Africa, but was considered a terrorist organization by the pre-apartheid white minority government.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asked Congress last month to pass the legislation, saying that it is “embarrassing” that she still has to waive travel restrictions when Mandela and other ANC leaders visit the United States.

Other ANC members have been refused entry into the United States. For example, Ms. Barbara Masekela, the former South African ambassador to the United States, was denied a visa to visit a dying cousin in the United States in 2007, lawmakers said.

A similar bill is moving through the US Senate.

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Liberia calls for more flights by Kenya Airways

Posted by African Press International on May 10, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

Liberia Foreign Affairs Minister Olubanke Akerele on Friday urged Kenya to increase both her commercial and passenger flights to Liberia to deepen economic diplomacy between the two countries.

Addressing a press conference in Nairobi, Akerele said her country is keenly interested in seeing an increase of Kenyas national carrier, Kenya Airways, increase its daily flights from the current three flights in a week.

Akerele is in the country to explore opportunities that will deepen stronger bilateral relations with Kenya.

She at the same time congratulated Kenyas political class for having agreed to form a power sharing government ending post-election violence that claimed more than 1000 lives and left more than 300,000 Kenyans homeless.

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