African Press International (API)

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Archive for May 10th, 2008

Kenya foreign minister urges Zimbabwe to adhere to democracy

Posted by African Press International on May 10, 2008

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

Kenya Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula on Friday urged the Zimbabwean government to adhere to the tenets of democracy to stop the country from slipping into conflict.

Wetangula, who is the current chair of Council of Ministers for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), said it was prudent that the people of Zimbabwe be given a chance to elect the government of their choice.

We are fully aware that the situation in Zimbabwe is not perfectly normal, he said.

He hoped that sanity will prevail in the country and expressed hope that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) quickly finds a solution to the current crisis inthe country.

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Former Liberian interim leader departs for Taylor trial at The Hague

Posted by African Press International on May 10, 2008

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

Reliable sources on Friday said former interim Liberian leader Moses Blah has left Monrovia for The Hague where he is expected to testify in the on-going trial of former Liberian leader Charles Taylor at the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Former President Blah, a Libya trained Special Forces commando and former ambassador to Libya, is expected to appear in the court next Tuesday.

Charles Taylor is facing 11 counts charges on war crimes and crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the 1991-2002 civil conflict in neighboring Sierra Leone.

Mr. Blah, a former comrade-in-arms and confidante of former President Taylor, last month informed the Liberian media that he had been subpoenaed by the Special Court to testify in the Taylor trial.

However, Stephen Rapp, an official of the court told journalists during a visit he paid to Liberia last week, that it was Mr. Blah who instead asked the court to subpoena him to testify in the Taylor trial.

It is not however known whether Blah will serve as a prosecution or defense witness, even though he told the media recently that all he wants to do is to tell the truth in the Taylor trial.

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South African minister refuses to intervene in SABC saga

Posted by African Press International on May 10, 2008

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

South African Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe Casaburri has refused to intervene in the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)s leadership battle, despite unions saying the crisis has harmed staff morale.

Matsepe Casaburri was speaking in parliament on Friday while SABC board members were meeting the corporations executive in Johannesburg.

Details of the meeting were not known, but it is understood that many executives were unhappy about the boards decision to suspend chief executive, Dali Mpofu, who is being accused of refusing to carry out the boards decisions.

Kaizer Kganyago, spokesman for the SABC, said on Friday that the organisations board and the group had agreed to work together to restore the credibility of and stability within the public broadcaster during a meeting held Friday morning.

Khanyisile Mkhonza, chairperson of the board, said both parties also agreed urgent steps would be taken to finalise investigations into Mpofus insubordination case.

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Malian army captures 11 Tuareg rebels

Posted by African Press International on May 10, 2008

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

The Malian army and security forces Thursday captured eleven Tuareg rebels during a skirmish in the Kidal region (north), a release revealed in Bamako.
The army says in the release that it also seized two Toyota vehicles, individual and collective weapons, as well as a “sizeable” batch of ammunition.

The troops “recorded no casualties” during the operations which happened during “an inspection and control mission.”

Open hostilities pit the Malian regular forces against dissidents of the Tuareg rebellion, which drew attention on 23 May 2006, by the simultaneous attacks of two military barracks in the north of Mali.

Neither a peace agreement signed in July 2006 in Algiers (Algeria), nor last 3 April cease-fire protocol in Tripoli (Libya) succeeded in ending the conflict, which continues in the form of surprised attacks of military positions or convoys.

A former Tuareg rebel who agreed to join the regular army was the last victim of the conflict. He was killed on Tuesday in Diabali, some 380km in the north of Bamako. The culprits are armed men identified as belonging to a new rebel group.

The dissidents of the Malian Tuareg rebellion, led by their chief Ibrahim Ag Bahanga, demanded in the beginning the autonomy of the Kidal region. They seem to have re-examined downwards their claims, asking from now on nothing more than “the hastened development” of the northern regions of the country.

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Security agent gets child porn sentence

Posted by African Press International on May 10, 2008

A Norwegian National Security Authority (NSM) agent has been convicted after compiling a collection of 600 films and 1750 images of hard-core child porn while on the job.The 41-year-old man accepted his 10-month suspended sentence from Asker and Brum Court, but the district attorney filed an appeal – both sides have this right under Norwegian law.The man, who did not have an Internet connection at home, used two years before his arrest in March 2006, sitting in a former NATO bunker in Kolss and filling 99 CDs with child pornography, involving the abuse of minors as young as four to five years of age.”The man realized himself that it was best for both parties that his employment ended at once,” acting NSM director Geir Salvesen told Aftenposten.no.

The NSM worker had the highest security clearance at the time, with access to top secret material when arrested.

The NSM’s own control system picked up the abnormal network traffic on their service server, and notified police.

The man told the court that his job could involve waiting for data to download, and that he “could sit bored for hours while his thoughts wandered”. His pornography watching gradually grew to be an obsession, and he became a compulsive recorder of films and images, “without having a thought about what he should do with them”.

When sentencing, the judge ruled that the 41-year-old appeared to regret his actions and took into account the over 200 newspaper articles written about the case before it came to trial, which the defense argued had been strain on the man.

Asker and Brum police district had a massive task examining the evidence of the man’s collection and it took 26 months before the case came to trial.

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Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no African Press International – API source.aftenposteneng

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