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Archive for May 26th, 2008

ICC probes into 2002-2003 humanitarian situation in CAR

Posted by African Press International on May 26, 2008

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

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is pursuing investigations into crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the Central African Republic during the 25 October 2002-15 March 15 2003 period, APA has learnt.

The inquiry led ICC to issue an international arrest warrant under seal against Congo Liberation Movement (MLC) leader Jean Pierre Bemba who is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the CAR.

Bemba, a former vice-chairman of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was arrested in a Brussels suburb (Belgium) to answer to four counts of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity committed in the CAR territory between 25 October 2002 and 15 March 2003.

At a press conference Sunday, analyst of the ICC prosecutors office in Bangui Emeric Rogier said arrest warrants will be issued against senior officials involved in the command mechanism at various levels of responsibility when the acts were committed.

Regarding crimes allegedly committed in 2005 in north-western CAR, Rogier said “we are analysing the situation, but we are not in a phase of investigation.”

Asked why “these alleged crimes are not prosecuted at national level,” he said the ICC operates on the principle of mutual assistance.The International Criminal Court (ICC) is pursuing investigations into crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the Central African Republic during the 25 October 2002-15 March 15 2003 period, APA learns here on Monday.

The inquiry led ICC to issue an international arrest warrant under seal against Congo Liberation Movement (MLC) leader Jean Pierre Bemba who is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the CAR.

Bemba, a former vice-chairman of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was arrested in a Brussels suburb (Belgium) to answer to four counts of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity committed in the CAR territory between 25 October 2002 and 15 March 2003.

At a press conference Sunday, analyst of the ICC prosecutors office in Bangui Emeric Rogier said arrest warrants will be issued against senior officials involved in the command mechanism at various levels of responsibility when the acts were committed.

Regarding crimes allegedly committed in 2005 in north-western CAR, Rogier said “we are analysing the situation, but we are not in a phase of investigation.”

Asked why “these alleged crimes are not prosecuted at national level,” he said the ICC operates on the principle of mutual assistance.The International Criminal Court (ICC) is pursuing investigations into crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the Central African Republic during the 25 October 2002-15 March 15 2003 period, APA learns here on Monday.

The inquiry led ICC to issue an international arrest warrant under seal against Congo Liberation Movement (MLC) leader Jean Pierre Bemba who is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the CAR.

Bemba, a former vice-chairman of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was arrested in a Brussels suburb (Belgium) to answer to four counts of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity committed in the CAR territory between 25 October 2002 and 15 March 2003.

At a press conference Sunday, analyst of the ICC prosecutors office in Bangui Emeric Rogier said arrest warrants will be issued against senior officials involved in the command mechanism at various levels of responsibility when the acts were committed.

Regarding crimes allegedly committed in 2005 in north-western CAR, Rogier said “we are analysing the situation, but we are not in a phase of investigation.”

Asked why “these alleged crimes are not prosecuted at national level,” he said the ICC operates on the principle of mutual assistance.The International Criminal Court (ICC) is pursuing investigations into crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the Central African Republic during the 25 October 2002-15 March 15 2003 period, APA learns here on Monday.

The inquiry led ICC to issue an international arrest warrant under seal against Congo Liberation Movement (MLC) leader Jean Pierre Bemba who is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the CAR.

Bemba, a former vice-chairman of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was arrested in a Brussels suburb (Belgium) to answer to four counts of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity committed in the CAR territory between 25 October 2002 and 15 March 2003.

At a press conference Sunday, analyst of the ICC prosecutors office in Bangui Emeric Rogier said arrest warrants will be issued against senior officials involved in the command mechanism at various levels of responsibility when the acts were committed.

Regarding crimes allegedly committed in 2005 in north-western CAR, Rogier said “we are analysing the situation, but we are not in a phase of investigation.”

Asked why “these alleged crimes are not prosecuted at national level,” he said the ICC operates on the principle of mutual assistance.The International Criminal Court (ICC) is pursuing investigations into crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the Central African Republic during the 25 October 2002-15 March 15 2003 period, APA learns here on Monday.

The inquiry led ICC to issue an international arrest warrant under seal against Congo Liberation Movement (MLC) leader Jean Pierre Bemba who is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the CAR.

Bemba, a former vice-chairman of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was arrested in a Brussels suburb (Belgium) to answer to four counts of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity committed in the CAR territory between 25 October 2002 and 15 March 2003.

At a press conference Sunday, analyst of the ICC prosecutors office in Bangui Emeric Rogier said arrest warrants will be issued against senior officials involved in the command mechanism at various levels of responsibility when the acts were committed.

Regarding crimes allegedly committed in 2005 in north-western CAR, Rogier said “we are analysing the situation, but we are not in a phase of investigation.”

Asked why “these alleged crimes are not prosecuted at national level,” he said the ICC operates on the principle of mutual assistance.The International Criminal Court (ICC) is pursuing investigations into crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the Central African Republic during the 25 October 2002-15 March 15 2003 period, APA learns here on Monday.

The inquiry led ICC to issue an international arrest warrant under seal against Congo Liberation Movement (MLC) leader Jean Pierre Bemba who is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the CAR.

Bemba, a former vice-chairman of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was arrested in a Brussels suburb (Belgium) to answer to four counts of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity committed in the CAR territory between 25 October 2002 and 15 March 2003.

At a press conference Sunday, analyst of the ICC prosecutors office in Bangui Emeric Rogier said arrest warrants will be issued against senior officials involved in the command mechanism at various levels of responsibility when the acts were committed.

Regarding crimes allegedly committed in 2005 in north-western CAR, Rogier said “we are analysing the situation, but we are not in a phase of investigation.”

Asked why “these alleged crimes are not prosecuted at national level,” he said the ICC operates on the principle of mutual assistance.The International Criminal Court (ICC) is pursuing investigations into crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the Central African Republic during the 25 October 2002-15 March 15 2003 period, APA learns here on Monday.

The inquiry led ICC to issue an international arrest warrant under seal against Congo Liberation Movement (MLC) leader Jean Pierre Bemba who is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the CAR.

Bemba, a former vice-chairman of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was arrested in a Brussels suburb (Belgium) to answer to four counts of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity committed in the CAR territory between 25 October 2002 and 15 March 2003.

At a press conference Sunday, analyst of the ICC prosecutors office in Bangui Emeric Rogier said arrest warrants will be issued against senior officials involved in the command mechanism at various levels of responsibility when the acts were committed.

Regarding crimes allegedly committed in 2005 in north-western CAR, Rogier said “we are analysing the situation, but we are not in a phase of investigation.”

Asked why “these alleged crimes are not prosecuted at national level,” he said the ICC operates on the principle of mutual assistance.The International Criminal Court (ICC) is pursuing investigations into crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the Central African Republic during the 25 October 2002-15 March 15 2003 period, APA learns here on Monday.

The inquiry led ICC to issue an international arrest warrant under seal against Congo Liberation Movement (MLC) leader Jean Pierre Bemba who is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the CAR.

Bemba, a former vice-chairman of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was arrested in a Brussels suburb (Belgium) to answer to four counts of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity committed in the CAR territory between 25 October 2002 and 15 March 2003.

At a press conference Sunday, analyst of the ICC prosecutors office in Bangui Emeric Rogier said arrest warrants will be issued against senior officials involved in the command mechanism at various levels of responsibility when the acts were committed.

Regarding crimes allegedly committed in 2005 in north-western CAR, Rogier said “we are analysing the situation, but we are not in a phase of investigation.”

Asked why “these alleged crimes are not prosecuted at national level,” he said the ICC operates on the principle of mutual assistance.The International Criminal Court (ICC) is pursuing investigations into crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the Central African Republic during the 25 October 2002-15 March 15 2003 period, APA learns here on Monday.

The inquiry led ICC to issue an international arrest warrant under seal against Congo Liberation Movement (MLC) leader Jean Pierre Bemba who is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the CAR.

Bemba, a former vice-chairman of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was arrested in a Brussels suburb (Belgium) to answer to four counts of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity committed in the CAR territory between 25 October 2002 and 15 March 2003.

At a press conference Sunday, analyst of the ICC prosecutors office in Bangui Emeric Rogier said arrest warrants will be issued against senior officials involved in the command mechanism at various levels of responsibility when the acts were committed.

Regarding crimes allegedly committed in 2005 in north-western CAR, Rogier said “we are analysing the situation, but we are not in a phase of investigation.”

Asked why “these alleged crimes are not prosecuted at national level,” he said the ICC operates on the principle of mutual assistance.The International Criminal Court (ICC) is pursuing investigations into crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the Central African Republic during the 25 October 2002-15 March 15 2003 period, APA learns here on Monday.

The inquiry led ICC to issue an international arrest warrant under seal against Congo Liberation Movement (MLC) leader Jean Pierre Bemba who is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the CAR.

Bemba, a former vice-chairman of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was arrested in a Brussels suburb (Belgium) to answer to four counts of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity committed in the CAR territory between 25 October 2002 and 15 March 2003.

At a press conference Sunday, analyst of the ICC prosecutors office in Bangui Emeric Rogier said arrest warrants will be issued against senior officials involved in the command mechanism at various levels of responsibility when the acts were committed.

Regarding crimes allegedly committed in 2005 in north-western CAR, Rogier said “we are analysing the situation, but we are not in a phase of investigation.”

Asked why “these alleged crimes are not prosecuted at national level,” he said the ICC operates on the principle of mutual assistance.The International Criminal Court (ICC) is pursuing investigations into crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the Central African Republic during the 25 October 2002-15 March 15 2003 period, APA learns here on Monday.

The inquiry led ICC to issue an international arrest warrant under seal against Congo Liberation Movement (MLC) leader Jean Pierre Bemba who is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the CAR.

Bemba, a former vice-chairman of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was arrested in a Brussels suburb (Belgium) to answer to four counts of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity committed in the CAR territory between 25 October 2002 and 15 March 2003.

At a press conference Sunday, analyst of the ICC prosecutors office in Bangui Emeric Rogier said arrest warrants will be issued against senior officials involved in the command mechanism at various levels of responsibility when the acts were committed.

Regarding crimes allegedly committed in 2005 in north-western CAR, Rogier said “we are analysing the situation, but we are not in a phase of investigation.”

Asked why “these alleged crimes are not prosecuted at national level,” he said the ICC operates on the principle of mutual assistance.The International Criminal Court (ICC) is pursuing investigations into crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the Central African Republic during the 25 October 2002-15 March 15 2003 period, APA learns here on Monday.

The inquiry led ICC to issue an international arrest warrant under seal against Congo Liberation Movement (MLC) leader Jean Pierre Bemba who is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the CAR.

Bemba, a former vice-chairman of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was arrested in a Brussels suburb (Belgium) to answer to four counts of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity committed in the CAR territory between 25 October 2002 and 15 March 2003.

At a press conference Sunday, analyst of the ICC prosecutors office in Bangui Emeric Rogier said arrest warrants will be issued against senior officials involved in the command mechanism at various levels of responsibility when the acts were committed.

Regarding crimes allegedly committed in 2005 in north-western CAR, Rogier said “we are analysing the situation, but we are not in a phase of investigation.”

Asked why “these alleged crimes are not prosecuted at national level,” he said the ICC operates on the principle of mutual assistance.The International Criminal Court (ICC) is pursuing investigations into crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the Central African Republic during the 25 October 2002-15 March 15 2003 period, APA learns here on Monday.

The inquiry led ICC to issue an international arrest warrant under seal against Congo Liberation Movement (MLC) leader Jean Pierre Bemba who is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the CAR.

Bemba, a former vice-chairman of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was arrested in a Brussels suburb (Belgium) to answer to four counts of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity committed in the CAR territory between 25 October 2002 and 15 March 2003.

At a press conference Sunday, analyst of the ICC prosecutors office in Bangui Emeric Rogier said arrest warrants will be issued against senior officials involved in the command mechanism at various levels of responsibility when the acts were committed.

Regarding crimes allegedly committed in 2005 in north-western CAR, Rogier said “we are analysing the situation, but we are not in a phase of investigation.”

Asked why “these alleged crimes are not prosecuted at national level,” he said the ICC operates on the principle of mutual assistance.The International Criminal Court (ICC) is pursuing investigations into crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the Central African Republic during the 25 October 2002-15 March 15 2003 period, APA learns here on Monday.

The inquiry led ICC to issue an international arrest warrant under seal against Congo Liberation Movement (MLC) leader Jean Pierre Bemba who is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the CAR.

Bemba, a former vice-chairman of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was arrested in a Brussels suburb (Belgium) to answer to four counts of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity committed in the CAR territory between 25 October 2002 and 15 March 2003.

At a press conference Sunday, analyst of the ICC prosecutors office in Bangui Emeric Rogier said arrest warrants will be issued against senior officials involved in the command mechanism at various levels of responsibility when the acts were committed.

Regarding crimes allegedly committed in 2005 in north-western CAR, Rogier said “we are analysing the situation, but we are not in a phase of investigation.”

Asked why “these alleged crimes are not prosecuted at national level,” he said the ICC operates on the principle of mutual assistance.The International Criminal Court (ICC) is pursuing investigations into crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the Central African Republic during the 25 October 2002-15 March 15 2003 period, APA learns here on Monday.

The inquiry led ICC to issue an international arrest warrant under seal against Congo Liberation Movement (MLC) leader Jean Pierre Bemba who is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the CAR.

Bemba, a former vice-chairman of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was arrested in a Brussels suburb (Belgium) to answer to four counts of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity committed in the CAR territory between 25 October 2002 and 15 March 2003.

At a press conference Sunday, analyst of the ICC prosecutors office in Bangui Emeric Rogier said arrest warrants will be issued against senior officials involved in the command mechanism at various levels of responsibility when the acts were committed.

Regarding crimes allegedly committed in 2005 in north-western CAR, Rogier said “we are analysing the situation, but we are not in a phase of investigation.”

Asked why “these alleged crimes are not prosecuted at national level,” he said the ICC operates on the principle of mutual assistance.The International Criminal Court (ICC) is pursuing investigations into crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the Central African Republic during the 25 October 2002-15 March 15 2003 period, APA learns here on Monday.

The inquiry led ICC to issue an international arrest warrant under seal against Congo Liberation Movement (MLC) leader Jean Pierre Bemba who is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the CAR.

Bemba, a former vice-chairman of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was arrested in a Brussels suburb (Belgium) to answer to four counts of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity committed in the CAR territory between 25 October 2002 and 15 March 2003.

At a press conference Sunday, analyst of the ICC prosecutors office in Bangui Emeric Rogier said arrest warrants will be issued against senior officials involved in the command mechanism at various levels of responsibility when the acts were committed.

Regarding crimes allegedly committed in 2005 in north-western CAR, Rogier said “we are analysing the situation, but we are not in a phase of investigation.”

Asked why “these alleged crimes are not prosecuted at national level,” he said the ICC operates on the principle of mutual assistance.The International Criminal Court (ICC) is pursuing investigations into crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the Central African Republic during the 25 October 2002-15 March 15 2003 period, APA learns here on Monday.

The inquiry led ICC to issue an international arrest warrant under seal against Congo Liberation Movement (MLC) leader Jean Pierre Bemba who is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the CAR.

Bemba, a former vice-chairman of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was arrested in a Brussels suburb (Belgium) to answer to four counts of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity committed in the CAR territory between 25 October 2002 and 15 March 2003.

At a press conference Sunday, analyst of the ICC prosecutors office in Bangui Emeric Rogier said arrest warrants will be issued against senior officials involved in the command mechanism at various levels of responsibility when the acts were committed.

Regarding crimes allegedly committed in 2005 in north-western CAR, Rogier said “we are analysing the situation, but we are not in a phase of investigation.”

Asked why “these alleged crimes are not prosecuted at national level,” he said the ICC operates on the principle of mutual assistance.The International Criminal Court (ICC) is pursuing investigations into crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the Central African Republic during the 25 October 2002-15 March 15 2003 period, APA learns here on Monday.

The inquiry led ICC to issue an international arrest warrant under seal against Congo Liberation Movement (MLC) leader Jean Pierre Bemba who is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the CAR.

Bemba, a former vice-chairman of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was arrested in a Brussels suburb (Belgium) to answer to four counts of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity committed in the CAR territory between 25 October 2002 and 15 March 2003.

At a press conference Sunday, analyst of the ICC prosecutors office in Bangui Emeric Rogier said arrest warrants will be issued against senior officials involved in the command mechanism at various levels of responsibility when the acts were committed.

Regarding crimes allegedly committed in 2005 in north-western CAR, Rogier said “we are analysing the situation, but we are not in a phase of investigation.”

Asked why “these alleged crimes are not prosecuted at national level,” he said the ICC operates on the principle of mutual assistance.The International Criminal Court (ICC) is pursuing investigations into crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the Central African Republic during the 25 October 2002-15 March 15 2003 period, APA learns here on Monday.

The inquiry led ICC to issue an international arrest warrant under seal against Congo Liberation Movement (MLC) leader Jean Pierre Bemba who is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the CAR.

Bemba, a former vice-chairman of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was arrested in a Brussels suburb (Belgium) to answer to four counts of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity committed in the CAR territory between 25 October 2002 and 15 March 2003.

At a press conference Sunday, analyst of the ICC prosecutors office in Bangui Emeric Rogier said arrest warrants will be issued against senior officials involved in the command mechanism at various levels of responsibility when the acts were committed.

Regarding crimes allegedly committed in 2005 in north-western CAR, Rogier said “we are analysing the situation, but we are not in a phase of investigation.”

Asked why “these alleged crimes are not prosecuted at national level,” he said the ICC operates on the principle of mutual assistance.The International Criminal Court (ICC) is pursuing investigations into crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the Central African Republic during the 25 October 2002-15 March 15 2003 period, APA learns here on Monday.

The inquiry led ICC to issue an international arrest warrant under seal against Congo Liberation Movement (MLC) leader Jean Pierre Bemba who is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the CAR.

Bemba, a former vice-chairman of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was arrested in a Brussels suburb (Belgium) to answer to four counts of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity committed in the CAR territory between 25 October 2002 and 15 March 2003.

At a press conference Sunday, analyst of the ICC prosecutors office in Bangui Emeric Rogier said arrest warrants will be issued against senior officials involved in the command mechanism at various levels of responsibility when the acts were committed.

Regarding crimes allegedly committed in 2005 in north-western CAR, Rogier said “we are analysing the situation, but we are not in a phase of investigation.”

Asked why “these alleged crimes are not prosecuted at national level,” he said the ICC operates on the principle of mutual assistance.

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API

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The massive rigging of Ainamoi ODM by-elections spells doom for Raila Odinga’s future relationship with the Kipsigis people

Posted by African Press International on May 26, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no

News Analysis by Leo Odera Omolo

The weekend preliminary nomination for the ODM torch-bearer in Ainamoi constituency, Kericho district ended in total confusion, massive rigging and the worst election scam.
Ballot boxes from various polling centres in the interior part of this agriculturally rich semi cosmopolitan were stuffed with thousands of unstamped ballot papers in favour of one aspirant Mr. Benjamin Langat who is the younger brother of the former MP for the area the late David Too.
The massive rigging was deliberate and it gave Mr. Langat undeserved victory. .The victory has since sparked off near-violence reaction from the supporters of of the preliminary losers who immediately lodged strong protest with the party headquarters in Nairobi.
One of the aspirants, the retired former Deputy chief of the general Staff, Lt. Gen John Koech immediately petitioned the party leader Raila Amolo Odinga, the Prime Minister requesting for a repeat of the exercise before Mr. Langat was issued with the nomination certificate, but impeccable sources had it that Agwambo had succumbed to the demand for a repeat of the exercise, but was ruled out by the party National Chairman who is the Minister for industrialisation Henry Kosgei, who had the backing of the Minister for Agriculture William Ruto.
The ODM preliminaries were held last Saturday simultaneously in four constituencies, namely Ainamoi, Kilgoris, Embakassi and Emuhaya. Ruto the MP for Eldoret North and a member of the ODM Pentagon had good reason to rejoice in that his preferred candidate had won the preliminary nomination. As earlier predicted by this correspondent, the majority of Kipsigis MPs steered clear of the by-election, though they secretly supported Rutos man against Gen. Koech, who they had all along been suspecting to be a Railas man in the area.
Langat came first and pulled 11,325 votes against the runner-up Gen Koechs 8,178 votes, while another popular candidate David Cheruiyot Kirui garnered slightly over 5,000.
Local political pundits maintained that the preliminary exercise in Ainamoi was a trash and once again highly flawed..
It came in the backdrop of massive discontent, said to be on the increase day by day against Raila Odinga and the ODM in the South Rift with a section of the partys MPs accusing the Prime Minister of side-lining them in the recent cabinet and other key government appointments despite of their overwhelming support.
The disillusionment by the Kipsigis MPs had played a big role in the last week alleged boycott of the partys National Executive Council{NEC} and parliamentary group meeting, which was held last Friday at the posh Safari Park Hotel, where according to newspaper reports Raila arrived to find that only less than 40 MPs had turned up for the crucial meeting. It was the first of its kind ever held since the ODM joined the grand coalition government.
The ODM parliamentary strength at the moment stands at 96 ,which meant that more than half of the party parliamentary caucus had stayed away. And could be said to have walked out of the PMs meeting in protest against a number of unresolved, but very contentious issues facing the ODM as a party and its leader Raila Odinga as an individual.
An MP who attended the meeting confided to this writer that the unresolved issues include the Cabinet’s recent rejection of blanket amnesty for the perpetrators of the post election violence, Railas vehement opposition to the backbenchers proposal for the establishment of the grand opposition in parliament to keep the government on its toes and the boiling secret war of nerves between Raila and Ruto over the control of the Rift Valley.
The majority of the 33 Kalenjin MPs did not attend this crucial meeting and instead they sent only two of their colleagues, namely Ms Lorna Laboso {Sotik} and Isaac Ruto{Chepalungu} to represent their interests.
Ruto later confirmed that the boycott, saying that his colleagues, particularly those from the South Rift had boycotted the meeting because they were dissatisfied on how the grand coalition cabinet was named.
They absconded the meeting due to some weighty issues which
are yet to be solved by the party leaders, said Ruto who had represented his colleagues at the meeting.
He added, We are still negotiating and there are a number of weighty issues which need to be addressed and that is the reason why most of my colleagues skipped the meeting
The Rift Valley MPs have openly differed with ODM leadership on various issues among them the creation of the grand opposition and amnesty. For people involved in post election violence, though the Prime Minister himself has come out boldly supporting his colleagues from the rift valley in their demands that the youths currently detained in violence related offences be released unconditionally from police custody
A section of the Rift Valley MPs recently gave Raila Odinga a stern warning to stop undermining William Rutos presidential ambition in the year 2012. The MPs were addressing a homecoming ceremony to welcome the MP for Rongai Luka Kigen. They claimed that there was a secret war meant to finish Ruto and render him useless come the year2012.
The legislators who made these remarks include Moses lesonet {Eldama Ravive} Sammy Mwaita {Baringo Cntral } and Lukas Kigen himself. They alleged the year 2012 presidential election battle has already began with Ruto tipped as the Kalenjin political kingpin and suspicion have already been read from all corners that Raila is believed to have a huge interest in giving another stab at the presidency in the next poll.
Also present at the Rongai meeting were Baringo North MP William Chepkutuny and Naivasha PNU MP John Mututho, but the two remained uncommitted to the succession issue and steered clear of the debate.
But in an exclusive interview published by the Rift Valley OBSERVER ATR THE WEEKEND, A former Kipkellion MP Dr. Sammy Ruto scathingly criticized Raila Odinga for recklessly referring to William Ruto in a recent public address sas being a Kipsigis tribes man. The former MP alleged that members of the Kipsigis coimmunity were irked by the remarks made by Raila during his peace and reconciliation mission in the rift Valley Province..
Dr Ruto said that after a thorough consultation with the community elders and leaders they all read malice in Railas remarks, which they said were deliberate because the prime minister knew Ruto is representing a predominately Nandis constituency. The remarks, Dr. Ruto said had sinister motive in a grand scheme and well hatched plan of sowing the seeds of discord among the Kalenjin sub-tribes.
During a recent tour of Rift Valley Provbince in the company of president Mwai Kibaki, Raila Odinga made the offending remark at two public venues. First at chebilat along the Sotik-Borabu borders, which is separating the Kipsigis and the Kisii communities.
It was an attempt by Raila Odinga to mollify politicians from the region who have been grumbling over ministerial appointments, when he stated that he did not expect any complaint from the Kipsigis community because Mr. Ruto is one of their own sons whose parents had migrated to Nandi from Belgut.
Although the prime minister is putting up a brave face against the onslaught from within his own party backyard, insiders say, Raila is the most worried man on how to keep his troop pulling together on one direction.
Political observers and the pundits who are privy to Raila brand of politics says that Agwambo is a man made of crisis and that he would weather the storm and keep his MP together under one roof in preparation for the next general election battle.
Ends
leooderaomolo@yahoo.com .
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API

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Strong markets whet Hydro’s appetite for acquisitions

Posted by African Press International on May 26, 2008

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

Norwegian industrial concern Norsk Hydro, now pared down to mostly its metals business, seems to be on a roll, thanks to continued customer demand in China.

Eivind Reiten is looking for the right acquisition to expand Norsk Hydro.

PHOTO: ERIK BERGLUND

Norsk Hydro, which has shed its oil and gas and its fertilizer businesses in recent years, now eyes aggressive expansion through acquisitions, reported news bureau Reuters on Monday.

Aluminium markets are stronger than expected, the company’s boss told Reuters, and prices are more likely to rise than fall.

Norsk Hydro’s chief executive, Eivind Reiten, said in an interview that strong Chinese demand more than offset the effects of a weak US economy, and he predicted global aluminium demand would rise 8-9 percent in 2008.

“We’ve got enough financial force to make a big move,” Reiten said. “If the right opportunity arises, we’ll have the muscle. And we intend to use that muscle to grow considerably.”

Reitan added that the market “looks better on the demand side than we anticipated just a few months ago.”

He also said there was “a greater chance that prices will rise than that they will fall when we look beyond short-term movements.”

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API

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She did not win Eurovision contest but returns home a heroine

Posted by African Press International on May 26, 2008

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

Maria Haukaas Storeng was welcomed back to Norway with flags and flowers after she sang her way to what’s widely considered a respectable result in the annual Eurovision Song Contest over the weekend: 5th place.

Maria Haukaas Storeng was welcomed back from the Eurovision Song Contest as a national heroine, with a 5th place showing.

PHOTO: SVEIN ERIK FURULUND

There was a time when Norway failed to receive any points at all in the annual spectacle of song, dance and now even on-stage pyrotechnics. The Eurovision Song Contest, called “Melodi Grand Prix” in Norway, has always been popular, however, and once again it drew millions of television viewers all over the continent.

Hopes were high that Haukaas Storeng would score well and even win this year’s contest, with Mira Crag’s song Hold on, be strong. Her fifth place, however, was nothing to boo at, and she returned to Norway on Sunday amidst a blaze of flashbulbs, hugs and kisses.

“It’s all been just fantastic,” she gushed to reporters after landing at Oslo’s airport at Gardermoen. “I need some sleep now. We just had to party (Saturday night), so it was late to bed and then early up again.”

Norway’s fifth place left it with the best showing among all western European countries, in a contest that’s been increasingly dominated by eastern European nations that have joined the world scene in the past decade. Azerbaijan and Albania, for example, were among countries that scored well in the contest of new pop music.

Russia won the Eurovision competition with the song “Believe,” performed by Dima Bilan to the accompanient of a champion ice skater.

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API

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Telenor’s labour scandal deepens

Posted by African Press International on May 26, 2008

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

Norwegian telecoms firm Telenor had its reputation further tarnished over the weekend after reports emerged of more deaths of workers tied to Telenor’s overseas subsidiaries.

Telenor chief executive Jon Fredrik Baksaas faced more bad news over the weekend.

PHOTO: SVEIN ERIK FURULUND

The first reports were linked to Telenor’s operations in Bangladesh, where workers are forced to put up with conditions at Telenor suppliers that would never be condoned in Norway. Telenor has claimed that it wasn’t aware that children were part of the workforce at a supplier to its GrameenPhone unit there, nor that workers operated in unsafe conditions. One young man was killed when he fell into a vat of acid.

Telenor itself unveiled two more workers’ deaths last week, at operations in Bangladesh and Hungary. Among them was a male worker at Telenor’s Pannon operation in Hungary, who died in a fall on the construction site of Telenor’s new headquarters for Pannon.

In other deaths, a 10-year-old girl was electrocuted on GrameenPhone property in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Newspaper Dagens Nringsliv also revealed two more deaths of GrameenPhone workers in Bangladesh: One died from an electric shock suffered on the job, while another fell from a mobile phone tower he was working on.

Telenor has said it is investigating all the cases, and promises that working conditions for its overseas employees will be improved. So far, however, the fatal accidents haven’t taken a toll on Telenor’s management, and chief executive Jon Fredrik Baksaas kept his job after an emergency board meeting last week.

Telenor is majority-owned by the state, prompting opposition politicians to demand that the government controlling Telenor’s board take punitive action against Telenor’s management. Many feel the Telenor labour scandal is hurting Norway’s reputation overseas.

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API

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Norwegians held on drug charges: The big question – did they knew what they were doing?

Posted by African Press International on May 26, 2008

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

Jailed Norwegians demand more legal aid

Three young Norwegian women caught in Bolivia with more than 22 kilos of cocaine in their luggage reportedly are seeking more legal aid from home. The three remain jailed on drug smuggling charges.

The Norwegian women face languishing in the Bolivian prison for a long time.

PHOTO: ARILD VIK

Related stories:

The three women, aged 17 to 22, continue to claim they had no idea their luggage was stuffed with cocaine. Bolivian police not only found the drugs but also claim the suitcases were coated with a sort of coffee paste, often used by smugglers in an attempt to confuse dogs specially trained to sniff out narcotics.

Dogs at the airport in Cochabamba were nonetheless intrigued by the Norwegians’ luggage after the women checked in for a flight out of Bolivia early last week. The three Norwegians have been in prison there since, and face a long waiting period until their case comes up for trial.

They already have court-appointed defense counsel and a Norwegian defense attorney, Marius Dietrichson, but Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported Monday morning that the women now want additional legal help from Norway. Dietrichson, meanwhile, believes the young women fell victim to professional narcotics dealers.

“Whether they knew it or not, someone is behind all this and used the girls,” Dietrichson told newspaper VG on Monday. “Either they were duped in Bolivia, or they knew before they left what they would be carrying home.”

Much of the concern over their case is the fate of the two-year-old daughter of one of the women. She had been brought along on the trip to Bolivia and was with the women when they were arrested.

The toddler has also been stuck in the Bolivian prison for the past week. Efforts continue to bring the toddler back to Norway.

VG also reported on Monday that one of the women had traveled to Bolivia before and described the trip in a text message to an acquaintance as a “business trip.” VG, which has transcripts of the message, reported that she’d written that she needed to find someone she could trust, “who can manage to keep quiet,” because the trip was risky.

One of the three now imprisoned has reportedly fallen ill. The toddler is said to be doing well, under the circumstances.

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API

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Three young Norwegians jailed in Bolivia – got red-handed in what is suspected to be a smugling spree

Posted by African Press International on May 26, 2008

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

Three Norwegian women aged 17 to 22 have been arrested in Bolivia, charged with trying to smuggle cocaine out of the country. One of the women has her two-year-old daughter with her.

The women are being held at this prison in Bolivia.

PHOTO: FOTO: RABBLE/FLICKR.COM

The women were stopped after they’d checked in at the airport in Cochabamba. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that dogs trained at sniffing out narcotics became interested in their luggage.

Inspectors then found slightly more than 22 kilos of cocaine in the suitcases. Police reportedly said the drugs were found in suitcases belonging to all three women.

They deny they were trying to smuggle cocaine, which would have had a street value in Norway of around NOK 20 million (USD 4 million). They told NRK that they had been on holiday in Bolivia for three weeks, that they did a lot of shopping and needed to buy extra luggage to cart all their purchases home.

The cocaine, they claim, must have been stashed in the new bags that they bought, without their knowledge. One report in Bolivian newspaper La Razon said one suitcase had a double bottom.

The women and the two-year-old girl are being held in a women’s prison where conditions are difficult. Staff members from the Norwegian embassy in Argentina are trying to help the women, and make sure they receive food in the prison.

“For us, it’s been especially important to make sure the little girl is taken care of,” said Nils Haugstveit, Norway’s ambassador to Argentina, told Aftenposten.no. He has sent a representative to Cochabamba, and Norway’s consulate in Bolivia is also trying to assist the women.

The immediate fate of the child was unclear, with NRK reporting that efforts were being made to get the little girl out of the prison and back to Norway.

Two defense attorneys in Bolivia have been engaged to represent the women, who were ordered by a judge in Cochabamba to be held while the police investigate their case. They face long prison terms if found guilty.

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API

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Was Gaddafi really ready to attack Kenya, many observers do no doubt he would.

Posted by African Press International on May 26, 2008

Publisher, korir, africanpress@getmail.no source.nation.ke

Top secrets: Gaddafi plotted to bomb Kenya

Story by KAMAU NGOTHO
Like with politics, espionage knows no permanent friends or enemies, only the convergence of interests.

Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi. Photo/FILE

Said to be the second oldest profession, at times it appears to have even lesser morals than the first.

No surprise that when relationship between Nairobi and Washington were at the ice cold, it was still business as usual for legendary Kenyan spy chief James Kanyotu and the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States.

Early one morning in February 1991, Mr Kanyotu found himself with a difficult assignment. His friends in the CIA had called with an urgent and unusual request.

Dissidents

They had with them 600 Libyan dissidents they wanted sequestered in Kenya before they could be flown to a safe haven out of the reach of mercurial Libyan leader, Col Muammar Gaddafi.

The dissidents had been spirited out of Libya in a daring secret move and first flown to the then Zaire, now Democratic Republic of Congo.

But the CIA was not confident that Zaire was a safe haven.

The countrys dictator, Marshal Mobutu Sese Seko was a US ally and had himself come to power in the 1960s as a CIA protg.

But the Americans considered him unstable, unreliable and unpredictable.

His avarice and love of money was legendary, and it would not be beyond him to cut a deal with Col Gaddafi and turn over the dissidents in exchange for handsome sums wired to his numerous Swiss bank accounts.

The Americans wanted their charges out of Congo speedily, and Kenya seemed like the best choice.

But there was one problem. President Moi at that time had no time for the US.

Kenya was in the throes of the multi-party campaign and the US had come out strongly in favour of the push for democratisation.

Mr Moi was particularly irked by President George Bushs ambassador in Kenya, the outspoken Smith Hempstone, who consorted openly with and supported the growing opposition of the day and had been dismissed as the Nyama Choma (roasted meat) ambassador.

An approach through Mr Hempstone would not work, for Moi would have loved nothing better than to tell the envoy to shove it.

A direct approach from Washington, either through the Secretary of State or the President himself, was also considered but none wanted to chance reaching Moi when in one of his foul moods and risk a humiliating rejection.

So the CIA turned to Mr Kanyotu to soften President Moi for them. It was a difficult assignment on two grounds. First of course was Mr Mois growing anger with the United States.

Then there was the security risk for Kenya in crossing Mr Gaddafi, who might find a soft target on which to hit back at the US.

The Libyan leader by then was on the American list of unfriendly regimes.

He was fiercely anti-American, and was accused of financing Middle Eastern terrorist groups that were increasingly aiming at targets in the West.

The Libyans at the time were also moving aggressively to position themselves in sub-saharan Africa, unlike many other North African countries, which viewed themselves primarily as members of the Arab world.

That was where Mr Kanyottu found the chink in President Mois armour.

Libyan interests in the region had in the past few years been viewed suspiciously by Kenya, which was alarmed by the countries seeming support for dissident movements.

From the early 1980, the Libyan embassy on Loita Street had become a popular calling place for radial student activists from nearby University of Nairobi.

Usually it was to pick up freebies in the form of Mr Gaddafis writings, including his famous Green Book, and other literature and posters on Libyan and on the Palestinian cause.

Mr Kanyotus agents kept a close watch around the embassy, paying particular attention to student leaders whom they thought might be tempted into going beyond mere infatuation with Gaddafi and enlisting into something sinister.

Libya at the time already had a strong presence in neighbouring Uganda, which under President Yoweri Museveni had become the favoured transit point for Kenyan dissidents fleeing the country for exile in Europe.

By early 1991, Kenya had already severed diplomatic relations with Tripoli after accusing the northern African country of sponsoring anti-Moi elements.

Some student leaders at the University of Nairobi had also been arrested and charged with espionage for allegedly spying for Libya.

Even without the Libyan link, President Moi at time viewed President Museveni as a dangerous radical all too keen to spread his ideology across the region.

Kenya and Uganda had engaged in a brief shooting war across the common border only a few years previously, and still regarded each other with deep suspicion.

With all the information at his fingertips, Mr Kanyotu was able to convince President Moi that the real threat lay not in US support for the multi-party campaign in Kenya, but in Libyan support for dissidents who might want to forment a revolution via neighbouring Uganda.

Mr Kanyotu thought, Moi even for ego purposes only would relish the moment to show both Col Gaddafi and Mr Museveni who was boss in the region. Mr Moi gave his nod, and working under the strictest security, Mr Kanyotus men and the CIA hurriedly constructed a camp to hold the Libyans at a remote point off the Thika-Garissa highway. Within a week, a makeshift barracks was in place complete with a borehole and a fully-equipped dispensary.

To throw off-scent any nosy characters, signposts were erected purporting that American peace-corps were coming to help sink boreholes in the remote reaches of Mwingi District.
On D-Day, Mr Kanyotu joined the CIA team at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport shortly after midnight. Also present was Mr Hempstone.

As Nairobi slept, two US Air Force jets taxied at the far end of the apron. Unmarked buses from the Kenya Army were in place to transport the delicate human cargo.

Before dawn, the Libyan exiles were sound asleep in their new, but temporary, Kenyan home.

Mr Gaddafi, probably through Ugandan and Soviet intelligence sources in Nairobi, soon came to learn about the presence of Libyans dissidents in Kenya.

He was furious, and immediately set about planning how to retaliate.

Commando squad

A Libyan commando force assembled near the Entebbe Airport in Uganda, ready to strike once the exact location of the secret camp holding Libyan dissidents in Kenya was established.

Gaddafis first option was lightning air strike to bomb the camp and kill as many of the residents as possible.

The other was to bring in a commando squad by land, raid the place and capture some of the dissidents.

To keep him off-scent, Mr Kanyotu and the CIA put up several decoys that kept the Libyan intelligence operatives on a wild goose chase.

Meanwhile, the Americans found a permanent refuge for the dissidents, and before the Libyan forces could strike they were secretly flown out of Kenya under cover of darkness.

After ranting and raving for a period, Mr Gaddafi concluded the Kenyan leader was no pushover and offered to make peace.

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API

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Posted by African Press International on May 26, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no

Flicien KabugaMr Flicien Kabuga (left)

The international community following the Kabuga saga may soon be treated to abig surprise. Some media outlets have reported that the Government of Rwanda will not negotiate with Mr Kabuga. That would be unwise. The government could have made a better decision if they had first received and studied the document from Mr Kabuga.

Refusal to consider giving talks a chance will drive Mr Kabuga to seek political asylum in Norway, a country that will not extradite anybody accused of genocide.

After publishing Kabuga story and his whereabouts, many sources, including some journalists have tried to discredit the story one way or another.

API has done a genuine story and that is it! More cannot be said about that. The important thing for API is to be able to relay the message to the Government of the Republic of Rwanda as requested by Mr Kabuga.

There are those who have decided todoubt and cloud theinterview withtheir own reasons concluding that API may be trying to derail the investigations by carrying the story. API was not thinking of the story as a journalistic scoop or one story that was to earn API millions for the simple reason to devulge the whereabouts of Mr Kabuga, just as some online media are suggesting.

Some media outlets have indicated that the ICTR is using time to verify API’s story. API wonders how ICTR is able to verify the story. API knows the interview is genuine, not a hoaxas some would want to believe and ICTRusing time to study the interview and trying to verify will not make sense when the Government of Rwanda has not received the document and acquiant itself with the contents of Mr Kabuga’s request. If the government was willing to engagein talks, the best thing would have been to receive the document, use time to study it and that is when ICTR could come out and say they are verifying the contents.

Many have found it difficult to understand that Mr Kabuga could brave his way andactually be in Norway at all, be it during the time of the interview, or at this moment. The doubters are trying to reason that the man could not have even thought of entering Norway. Such doubters should know how many people accused of genocide areroaming the streets of Norway without any attempt by the Norwegian authorities to arrest them.

API would like to help the doubters to understand that Norway is a country that will not arrest any Rwandese accused of genocide and return them to be tried. Norway would rather, as lenient as the country is, try such people themselves in Norway, only to enable them later to get the best treatment in the Norwegian jails, jails that are well kept as top class hotels where the prisoner gets his own room, newspapers, and television.

The same prisoners will be able to choose the type of education and may study outside the prison, although they must return to jail after school.

Norway is one of the countries in the west willing to receive Rwandesefrom Arusha for trial when ICTR’s time lapses at the end of this year.

Those who will be transferred to Norway will be tried leniently and they will get the opportunity to apply for asylum on humanitarian grounds once they complete their sentences, if at all they get any. They will never receive tough prison sentences or real prison life in Norway.For those who do not know the Norwegian system, they had better taken time to study it.

If Rwanda decides not to negotiate with Mr Kabuga, no one will ever know the contents of the confidential document intended to be handed over to the Rwandan Justice Minister.

API believes that due to his poor health andhigh age, it is most likely that Mr Kabuga may decide to seek politicalasylum in Norway. To those who know the way asylum requests are dealt with in Norway , it willnot be a surprise to see him granted asylum and the securitythat befits an old man and human being, because Norway prefers to give priority to health and human rights especially when it has to do with international happenings.

Norway is good to care for the sick and with the problem of diabetes, Mr Kabuga would get good care even if he was to be tried by the Norwegians. He would be handed a symbolic sentence because of high age and diabetes, thereafter, granted asylum and a house in Norway as all the others who have been housed by the Norwegian government.

While practising criminal law, Norway seeks to give people a fair trial, bearing in mind that the laws of the landstipulates that an accused person is innocent until proven guilty.

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The story from July 27, 2006 on slow progress at the Rwandan Tribunal:

When the slow process surfaced, Norway was one of the countries that offered to take on the load and take over some genocide cases. Norway wanted to have those accused on genocide transferred to Oslo for trial.

The story below clearly states that Norway does not have genocide laws. The Tribunal ruled as follows;

“that Norway does not have genocide laws, and therefore could not try a person accused of genocide.”

Therefore, any persons accused of Genocide who may be tried in Norway will have to be leniently treated because the country does not have the laws required.

Slow Progress at Rwandan Tribunal

By Stephanie Nieuwoudt *

Institute for War and Peace Reporting
July 27, 2006

“At a cost of over a billion dollars, some say the tribunal to try ringleaders of the Rwandan genocide is too expensive and has dragged on for too long.

This town in northern Tanzania has always been a bustling place thanks to its proximity to the Kenyan border and tourist attractions such as the 15,000-foot Mount Meru and the Ngorongoro Crater, often called the eighth wonder of the world for its spectacular landscapes and wildlife. But Arusha has become even busier in the last decade courtesy of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, ICTR. This one-time small town now has a population of just over a quarter of a million and has grown so fast that it was recently awarded city status.

The United Nations Security Council set up the tribunal after the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, in which some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered. With its goal of trying and sentencing those most for these crimes against humanity, the ICTR is widely seen as one of the most important international justice bodies since Nuremberg. Yet the court has also drawn a lot of criticism, in particular from Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who said the ICTR was established “to do as little as possible”.

During a visit to Canada earlier this year, he accused the West of allowing western actors allegedly complicit in the genocide to get off scot-free. Kagame specifically mentioned “French leaders” who he said “directly took part in the genocide by aiding the Hutu militias”. French soldiers intervened briefly on the side of fleeing Hutus, as the army of the Tutsi-dominated Rwanda Patriotic Front, RPF, streamed across the border from Uganda and gradually established control of the country. Rwandan leaders have also said that time and money could have been saved had the perpetrators been tried at home.

In an interview earlier this year, Alloys Mutabingwa, special representative of the Rwandan government at the ICTR, claimed his country would have used the money more productively not only by prosecuting perpetrators and helping victims, but also by pouring funds into social development projects. The ICTR focuses solely on the high-level figures alleged to have instigated the genocide. Meanwhile, thousands of cases have already been tried in Rwanda, either in regular national courts or in a special traditional system of justice known as “gacaca” designed to relieve the burden on prisons and courts. Gacaca hearings are held outdoors – the word loosely translates as “justice on the grass” – with household heads serving as judges in the resolution of community disputes. The system is based on voluntary confessions, apologies and pleas for forgiveness by wrongdoers.

At an estimated cost of 1.03 billion dollars by the end of 2007, there have also been complaints that the ICTR is too expensive. Responding to such claims, ICTR spokesperson Tim Gallimore said: “The cost of the tribunal is within the range of what it costs for comparable international criminal legal proceedings.” Many also feel that far too few suspected perpetrators of crimes have been dealt with and that the process has dragged on for far too long. Only 72 suspects have so far been arrested. Of those, 28 have been tried, 24 convicted, and three acquitted.

“It is not physically possible, given the number of judges and courtrooms that we have, to hear any more cases,” said Gallimore. “The process is carefully supervised by elected judges from a wide variety of legal systems and countries. They do their best to ensure that the accused get fair trial rights and that the interests of justice are served for the grave crimes against humanity that were committed in Rwanda in 1994. To do all that, it takes a certain amount of time.

The ICTR has four courtrooms and 18 judges, robed in scarlet with black cravats. They hold hearings from 8 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday for 11 months each year. Gallimore said casual observers of the tribunal may not fully appreciate the complexity of each case and trial and the enormous amount of work that has been involved in completing 27 trials since the tribunal began work in 1997.

The Rwandan government has also been blamed for dragging out the process. The trial of the former commerce minister Justin Mugenzi – facing at least ten specific genocide charges as well as a charge of murder – could not proceed in May this year because the government failed to honour its undertaking to transfer Agnes Ntamabyariro, another former minister who is to be a defence witness for Mugenzi, to Arusha. Ntamabyariro is in custody in Rwanda for genocide crimes.

“The Rwandan government is bullying us [the ICTR] and we are being too timid. It looks like we are making excuses for the Rwandan government,” Jonathan Kirk, co-counsel for Mugenzi, told the Hirondelle News Agency, a media organisation which reports on Rwandan affairs. A lawyer who has been with the ICTR for three years told IWPR that Rwanda’s lack of cooperation in the Mugenzi case is indicative of the country’s distrust and resentment of the tribunal. “The critics are right in condemning the process as too drawn out and costing too much,” she said. “But this tribunal is unquestionably laying the groundwork for future criminal cases not only with regard to war criminals but also other criminal cases.”

Meanwhile, a senior official at the ICTR, who also asked not to be named, said that international justice does not come cheap, “especially if you want to avoid the trap of victor’s justice”. But some accuse the ICTR of doing just that – mirroring the Nuremberg tribunal. So far only defeated Hutus have been tried. There are those who want to see closer scrutiny and the indictment of some members of President Kagame’s RPF, which now rules the country with an iron fist. When the then rebel RPF movement invaded Rwanda from its exiled bases in Uganda and ousted the Hutu government from power, some of its members are alleged to have committed atrocious crimes in the process of putting an end to the genocide. There have been calls for these alleged perpetrators, some of whom are in government, to be brought to justice.

Gallimore denied the claim the ICTR is favouring one side over the other. “The tribunal does not indict and try individuals based on their ethnicity or any other personal criteria,” he said. “Our mandate is to bring to justice those most responsible for the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Where there is credible evidence that individuals committed crimes within the jurisdiction of the tribunal, the prosecutor makes a determination about indictment and trial of such individuals, regardless of their ethnicity.”

Independent observers as well as those working within the ICTR are concerned that cases currently on trial will not be finished before the tribunal is due to be wound up at the end of 2008. In an effort to lighten the load, the ICTR has asked several countries – including Norway, South Africa, Botswana and Senegal – if they would accept some cases. However, there are real problems with transferring cases. Norway indicated that it was willing to try Michael Bagaragaza, the former director general of the state-run tea industry regulator who is alleged to have ordered tea agency workers to kill hundreds of Tutsis who were seeking refuge in a church and a factory. But the tribunal ruled that Norway does not have genocide laws, and therefore could not try a person accused of genocide.

Another stumbling block is that most African countries seem to be reluctant to take cases, because it might jeopardise their diplomatic relations with Rwanda. Despite the already crowded docket and formidable time constraints, there are many more individuals who could face either the tribunal or national courts. The Rwandan government in May published a list of 171 people being sought in connection with the killings, many of whom have left the country. Two wanted former Rwandan mayors, Celestin Ugirashebuga and Charles Munyaneza, are said to be living quite openly in suburban Britain. In newspaper interviews, Munyaneza has denied the allegations against him.

On both the Rwandan and ICTR wanted lists is wealthy Hutu businessman Flicien Kabuga, who is rumoured to be in Kenya. Kabuga’s privately Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines called for the mass murder of Tutsis and others ahead of the genocide. Mille Collines achieved notoriety for its calls to Hutus to “stamp out the [Tutsi] cockroaches”. Kabuga is charged with supplying machetes, hoes and other tools for use as weapons by Hutu mobs. He is alleged to have been the main financial backer of the extremist militias which carried out the massacres along with the Hutu-dominated government and military.

“We depend on the co-operation of UN member states to aid us in arresting suspects,” Gallimore said. The Kenyan government has denied that it is in any way aiding Kabuga. There has also been criticism that people are being tried in groups by the ICTR. Fatou Bensouda, a deputy prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, who worked at the ICTR first as legal adviser and trial attorney and eventually as head of the legal advisory unit, condemned the practice of trying groups of people instead of prosecuting individuals.

The most drawn-out case has been the so called Butare case in which two former governors in Rwanda’s Butare district, Sylvain Nsabimana and Alphonse Nteziryayo, and two former mayors, Joseph Kanyabashi and Elie Ndayambaje, are on trial. The only woman on trial, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, former Minister of Family and Women’s Affairs, is also grouped with these men – accused of instigating rape and murder. The trial of Nyiramasuhukos son Shalom Arsene Ntahobali, an alleged militia leader in Butare, opened in June 2001 and has no end in sight. The prosecution took three-and-a-half years to argue its case, and there are indications that the defence attorneys will need the same amount of time.

The Butare case has been marked by internal splits among the accused: Kanyabashi and Nsabimana claim that Nyiramasuhuko and Ntahobali masterminded the violence in Butare. Mother and son in turn blame other senior government officials. The ICTR is racing against time, but it is undeniably promoting future international jurisprudence. Its very existence makes a strong statement about putting an end to impunity. Long before Charles Taylor, the former ruler of Liberia, was arrested and put on trial before the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the ICTR laid a solid foundation for bringing to justice the perpetrators of crimes against humanity.”

Related stories:

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African Press International – api

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Colombian rebels say leader dead

Posted by African Press International on May 26, 2008

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

Manuel Marulanda, file photo (Feb 2001)<Marulanda led the Farc since the group was founded

Colombia’s main leftist rebel group, the Farc, has confirmed the death of top commander Manuel Marulanda, saying he died of a heart attack.

The long-time commander and founder of the group died in his companions’ arms on 26 March, according to a Farc statement broadcast by Colombian media.

His death was reported on Saturday by the military and media.

Thought to be 78, the rebel leader had been rumoured to suffer ill-health, including suspected prostate cancer.

The Farc announced that Marulanda, whose real name was Pedro Antonio Marin, would be replaced as overall commander by Alfonso Cano (real name: Guillermo Leon Saenz), already regarded by some as the group’s ideological leader.

Reporting from Colombia, the BBC’s Jeremy McDermott notes that the Farc is suffering its worst period yet as it celebrates its 44th anniversary.

Morale is at an all-time low and the loss of an inspirational figure like Marulanda could provoke more desertions and lead to a break-up of the group, our correspondent says.

However, Alfonso Cano could bring much-needed change to the Farc and seek to end the series of defeats that the rebels have suffered for the last five years, he adds.

Air strikes

Confirmation of the leader’s death was made in a televised address by senior Farc official Rodrigo Londono Echeverri, alias “Timochenko”.

“The great leader is gone,” he said in the message, broadcast on Colombian TV.

Marulanda, nicknamed “Tirofijo”, or “Sureshot” in English, had led the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia since its foundation in 1964.

Speaking on Saturday, the head of Colombia’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral David Rene Moreno, said government planes had bombed the area where Marulanda was believed to have been staying three times.

However, there had been no air strike on the actual date of his death, the admiral said.

He described Marulanda’s death as “the hardest blow that this terrorist group has taken since ‘Sureshot’ was the one who kept the criminal organisation united”.

Formidable force

Pablo Casas, an analyst at Bogota think-tank Security and Democracy, compared the Farc to a “dying giant, dying slowly”.

“I don’t see any factor they can use to keep a strong structure,” he told Reuters news agency.

The Farc still have anything up to 10,000 fighters and are flush with drug money, so few believe the rebels are finished, our correspondent says.

But the US-backed offensives by President Alvaro Uribe have pushed the Farc on to the defensive.

Before news of Marulanda’s death, two other commanders were killed and an iconic female leader surrendered.

It remains to be seen if a change a leadership will lead the guerrillas more towards a negotiated settlement or harden their resolve to keep fighting to the bitter end, our correspondent adds.

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API

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Posted by African Press International on May 26, 2008

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

Mozambique said on Sunday that 26,434 of its citizens have returned home from South Africa in the wake of the anti-foreigner violence, which has so far killed several people and displaced many others.

The director of Mozambiques National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC), Joao Ribeiro told APA that the number is likely to increase given requests for assistance in South Africa.

Since Monday, we have evacuated 26,434 Mozambicans who have been affected by the on-going crisis in South Africa, we expected this number to increase because many others have requested for assistance from the Mozambican consulate in Pretoria, he said in an interview as 880 returnees arrived at the Maputo railway station on Sunday.

We are taking them back to their places of origin mainly in Maputo, Gaza and Inhambane, we have others who are coming from as far as the northern provinces of Nampula and Cabo Delgado, he said.

Up to forty buses were lined-up outside the station building from where they would be transported to a nearby transit centre to be served with food and other basic needs.

They are very weak and others are sick, we will immediately provide them with a hot meal because some of them have not eaten for days. They also need medical attention, he said.

One returnee said he managed to bring only a bag containing his clothes because his house was torched in Alexandra.

I was cooking when everything suddenly happened, I was beaten up and my house went up in flames in just a few seconds. They were singing Kippa Makwerekwere (get rid of foreigners), said Alfredo Fabiao, a construction worker.

Another returnee said he had no time to pack his bags since he was attacked at his makeshift barbershop.

Our neighbors were identifying us, my shop was set ablaze and I had no time to go home and pack. I ran to the police station for safety, said Egilton Munguambwe, who lived in Ramphosa.

Meanwhile, Mozambiques Labour ministry said hundreds of Mozambican miners working at the East Rand Proprietary Mine (ERPM), at Boksburg, near Johannesburg, want to return to Mozambique until the current crisis is over.

It said 708 Mozambican miners at EPRM are currently under South African police protection at a camp which belongs to the company.

The statement says a delegation from the Mozambican High Commission and the Labour ministry met with the mine management earlier in the week in South Africa to discuss arrangements for the possible repatriation of these workers. It said a second mine employing Mozambicans, the J.C. Gold Mine at Primrose, also came under attack and has since closed down its operations and sent its foreign workers, including 190 Mozambicans, on leave.

The government says there are about 72,000 Mozambicans currently working in the South African mining industry.

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API

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Split looms within Somali opposition

Posted by African Press International on May 26, 2008

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

A crisis seems to be looming within the Alliance for Re-liberation of Somalia (RFA) as its Chairman, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed accused Asmara of “considering triggering division within the movement, following criticisms made against him by the radical wing in the Eritrean capital.

In a statement released in Djibouti, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed called on the members of the rebel movement to respect the rules and principles of the hierarchy.

The radical wing dismissed the talks held in Djibouti and pleaded for the pursuance of war, whereas the Sheikh Ahmed-led faction favoured inter-Somali talks and rose up against the presence of the Ethiopian forces in Somalia.

Some top opposition leaders who were commissioned to take part in the talks in Djibouti were still staying in the Djiboutian capital, where the inter-Somali talks are expected to be resumed on 31 May. They have not returned to Asmara, the Eritrean capital.

As for Sheikh Ahmed, he pledged to pursue dialogue with the government of Mogadishu under the aegis of the United Nations.

The former leader of the Islamic Courts Union slammed the declaration made by Meles Zenawi on 22 May as saying that the withdrawal of the Ethiopian forces was far from imminent.

The ARSs chairman further called on the international community to pursue efforts for the withdrawal of the forces sent by Addis-Ababa to back the Somali government.

He also called for humanitarian assistance for the Somali population that is facing a terrible disaster. Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed wants efforts to be pursued to enable the Somalis who had been displaced by the fighting to go back home

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Ethiopian police arrest suspects of recent explosion, accuse Eritrea of complicity

Posted by African Press International on May 26, 2008

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

The Ethiopian police on Saturday arrested several suspects in connection with Tuesdays mini-bus explosion in Addis Ababa in which six people died and accused Eritrea of complicity in the explosion.
The police also said that the explosion was perpetrated by the rebel Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), which Ethiopia says is backed by the Eritrean government.

Tuesdays mini-bus explosion occurred near the Ethiopian ministry of Foreign Affairs in which six people, including an Israeli-born America scientist,while another eight people were injured.

The ONLF, which claims to fight for autonomy for the Ogaden region bordering Somali, have been involved in various military operations against the Ethiopian government.

The Ogaden region is largely inhabited by Somalis. In April 2007, the ONLF killed 65 Ethiopians and nine Chinese oil workers in the area.

Since that time, Ethiopia has launched a crack dawn on this rebel group, which mainly operates in the eastern part of Ethiopia, bordering Somalia.

The Ethiopian police however refrain from revealing the names and number of suspects arrested so far.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia also on Saturday accused Eritrea for arming the ONLF to undertake such terrorist acts in Ethiopia to destabilize the countrys peace and development.

However, Eritrea has repeatedly denied such accusations.

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Islamist commander vows to fight against UN forces if they come to Somalia

Posted by African Press International on May 26, 2008

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

One of the Islamists hard line commanders, Sheikh Hassan Turke has vowed to fight against United Nations peacekeepers if ever they come on Somali territory, during a radio interview on Sunday.

Mr. Turke is one of the hard liners in Islamic Courts Union and he is the top commander responsible for operations in southern Somalia.

“I am calling on all Somalis to fight against United Nations forces if they land on a piece of our territory. You have to become martyrs against so called UN peacekeepers,” Sheikh Hassan Turke said while speaking by VHF radio from an undisclosed location.

“The Somali people have previously won against UNISOM (UN peacekeeping forces for Somalia) in 1992 and now we will not hesitate to fight them,” he added.

Talking about the UN-sponsored reconciliation process in Djibouti, he indicated that it is a waste of time to engage at this time in such talks.

“It is the time of Jihad not the time of talks because infidels invaded our homeland and we have to drive them out by force, later we can think about the talks,” he said.

Reminded that the leader of the Islamist resistance, Aden Ayro was killed in a US air strike at the beginning of May, Turke replied sarcastically that he would also like to die in holy war.

“I am in very high spirits and ready to be killed on my way to Jihad against the enemies of Somalia and Allahs enemies,” Turke said.

On March 3, a US war ships bombarded Dobley district, 720 km south of Mogadishu, in a house that Mr. Turke was believed to be hiding. But he was said to have visited the house a day before the strike and left.

Several times, US warplanes have bombarded southern regions in Somalia looking for Islamist hide outs but almost the strikes failed to hit their targets except the one that killed Aden Ayro on May 1. Since 2006 US war planes have assist the Us-backed Ethiopians and the transitional federal government who were both chasing the Islamic Courts Union at that time.

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API

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Norway hikes gasoline prices – Motorists angered by the move will battle it out

Posted by African Press International on May 26, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.nosource.aftenposteneng

Protesters rage against gasoline prices at the pump

A widespread, grass-roots protest has broken out in Norway against high prices for gasoline and diesel. Even though much of the pump price is the result of taxes, the oil companies are getting the blame.

Filling up a car’s tank is an expensive proposition in Norway.

PHOTO: ARASH A NEJAD/ ILLUSTRASJONSBILDE

Norwegians are now paying more than NOK 13 a litre (nearly USD 11 a gallon) for gasoline in many markets, and that’s likely to rise.

Market analyst Torbjrn Kjus at DnB Markets told newspaper Dagbladet that he expects oil prices, which hit USD 135 a barrel this week, to hit USD 200 a barrel. That would translate to nearly NOK 17 a litre for gasoline (USD 13.60 a gallon).

Motorists aren’t happy. More than 67,000 took part in an organized protest via the Internet this week, making threats that theyd boycott Norway’s two largest gasoline station chains, Statoil and Shell. They also signed petitions calling for lower prices, and the threatened boycott action was spreading quickly via e-mail.

Norway’s gasoline prices became the highest in Europe this week, somewhat ironic since Norway is an oil-producing nation. But government policies have always aimed to discourage use of private cars in Norway by heavily taxing the cars themselves and the gasoline they need to operate.

While gasoline prices have risen in line with rising oil prices which mostly benefit Norway’s economy the brunt of the per-litre price remains the taxes imposed by the state.

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API

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