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Archive for July 10th, 2008

Thousands more cops needed – Immigrants who are capable to do police work should be given good positions, it is important for the country

Posted by African Press International on July 10, 2008

Noway is going to need nearly 4,000 more police officers over the next decade, to keep up with population growth and a rising crime rate.

Police Director Ingelin Killengreen sees a need for thousands more police officers over the next several years.

PHOTO: LISE SERUD/SCANPIX

Police Director Ingelin Killengreen was due to deliver a report on staffing needs to the Justice Ministry on Monday. In it, she notes that Norway’s population is expected to grow not least through immigration, and that poses new challenges.

There are now 460,000 immigrants living in Norway, mostly from Sweden and other European countries but also from the Americas, Asia and Africa. The total number of immigrants in Norway is expected to rise to 1,050,000 by 2020, with two-thirds coming from western nations and one third from eastern European nations and developing countries.

Since the police handle immigration cases on behalf of the immigration agency, more staffing will be needed. It also will be needed to tackle a rising crime rate and ongoing domestic migration from the countryside to the cities.

“We must be prepared to receive immigrants in a way that also will help prevent crime better than we manage today,” Killengreen said. “We need more police with immigrant background themselves, and experts with more insight into foreign cultures.”

Killengreen wants 2,700 more police officers in uniform and 1,000 plainclothes cops on the beat. Justice Minister Knut Storberget welcome the police report and called the needs a “sober and realistic analysis” of crime in Norway and how to deal with it.

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API/Aftenposteneng

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Immigrants still battle underemployment

Posted by African Press International on July 10, 2008

Employment of immigrants has increased in Norway in recent years, largely because of a labour shortage, but many remain underemployed, since they’re only offered jobs below their competence levels.

Examples are numerous: Educated pharmacists from overseas working as health aides, engineers working as secretaries or custodians, lawyers working as clerks. Newspaper Dagens Nringsliv highlighted the situation again on Wednesday, citing a new report from Norway’s Institute for Social Research (Institutt for samfunnsforskning, ISF)

The report concluded that many employers in Norway lack the will or ability to integrate foreigners into their workforces.

“It’s a serious problem that foreigners’ competence isn’t recognized in Norway,” said researcher Julia Orupabo of ISF.

In many cases, language proficiency is a problem, if foreigners have trouble communicating in Norwegian and Norwegian is required on the job. In other cases, Norwegian authorities don’t recognize the education or training received in other countries and insist that even professionals obtain recertification in Norway.

Orupabo said that many foreigners already have all the education that the Norwegian labour market needs, for example as economists or civil engineers, but they don’t get offered relevant jobs.

“Then I maintain that employers need to do some self-examination, and re-evaluate their own recruiting methods,” she told Dagens Nringsliv.

Foreigners from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia make up as much as 25 percent of Oslo’s population, and 10 percent nationwide, but remain overrepresented in unskilled jobs, according to state statistics bureau SSB. They are underrepresented in jobs requiring higher education and in management positions.

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API/Aftenposteneng

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Grand Regency: Probe team to quiz ministers

Posted by African Press International on July 10, 2008

Story by BERNARD NAMUNANE

Cabinet ministers, MPs and top members of the security forces will be investigated to establish the roles they might have played in the controversial sale of Grand Regency Hotel, Prime Minister Raila Odinga said on Wednesday.

President Mwai Kibaki

Focus was also shifting to Central Bank Governor Njuguna Ndungu and National Security Intelligence Service director Michael Gichangi who are still in office after they were also mentioned adversely over the deal.

At the weekend, Mr Kimunya had said that if he were to step aside, the Prime Minister, the minister for Lands, Mr James Orengo, and the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission director, Mr Justice Aaron Ringera, should also do the same. Mr Kimunya quit office on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister was on Wednesday awaiting direction from the President on the next step to take in the investigations.

The Office of the PM is not even sure how the investigations are going to be carried forward. We are letting the President make the decision because he is the one who wields executive authority, said a source.

He also said the President was set to name a new team to carry out the investigations. But Mr Odinga said key public officers involved in the controversial sale of the five-star hotel will not be spared.

There is no limit to the number of people who are going to be questioned, he told the Nation in a telephone interview. That is what a comprehensive investigation means.

Last week, the Cabinet committee on Finance, Administration and Planning set up a team led by Attorney-General Amos Wako to peruse the sale documents.

The Wako team submitted a report to the committee a day later. The report was later presented to the President.

Investigations

Last week, Mr Kimunya said he had no confidence in the team appointed by Cabinet committee. Among its members were Mr Wako, Mr Ringera, Mr Orengo and an official from the PMs office, Mr Karoli Omondi.

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Committee on Finance, Industry and Trade, which is chaired by Nambale MP Chris Okemo, is also carrying out its own investigations.

The committee will on Thursday question Mr Orengo, Lands permanent secretary Dorothy Angote, the Commissioner of Lands, Mr Zablon Mabea and the registrar of titles.

Others to be summoned are Mr Kimunya, Central Bank of Kenya governor Njuguna Ndungu, Mr Justice Ringera, directors of Libyan Arab African Investments Company, businessman Kamlesh Pattni and law firms involved in the transactions.

On Tuesday, House Speaker Kenneth Marende gave the Okemo committee two weeks within which to conclude its investigations.

Meanwhile, the Government is widely expected to make a key announcement on the Grand Regency saga by Thursday.

The sale of the hotel was first reported in the Saturday Nation of April 19, but Government officials at the time denied the reports. Mr Orengo said the hotel had been sold two weeks ago after which Mr Kimunya confirmed the sale.

The hotel was sold to the Libyan African Investments Company for Sh2.9 billion ($45 million). However, critics of the sale have said that the hotel was undervalued while the deal was shrouded in secrecy.

However, Mr Kimunya has said that the AG was aware of the transaction and met with lawyers representing Central Bank and the Libyan company at least seven times.

But the AG has denied the claims, and on Tuesday, he directed the police commissioner to start investigations into the sale.

The sale caused a storm in Parliament which led to MPs passing a vote of no-confidence in Mr Kimunya last week. Mr Kimunya resigned five days later.

The AGs directive to the police boss was meant to take away the investigations from politicians following claims that some of them were aware of the sale while others had been mentioned adversely.

Mr Kimunya, who had earlier said that he would rather die than resign, chose to step aside on Tuesday after consultations with the President, his colleagues and his family. Last weekend, he had demanded that the PM, Mr Orengo, Mr Wako and Justice Ringera should also step aside.

But in a Prime Ministerial statement read in Parliament on Tuesday, Mr Odinga, defended himself saying he was kept in the dark on the fine details of the transaction.

The PM said that Prof Ndungu presented to him undated and unsigned documents on the sale of the hotel, while his request to the Anti-Corruption Commission to furnish him with all the information only yielded the settlement agreement.

He also said that a contradictory statement that Mr Kimunya issued in Parliament on April 29 prompted him to start investigations.

It emerged on Wednesday that investigators were on the trail of the two sets of payments that were made for the hotel by the Libyan firm.

Said Mr Odinga: We know the first payment of 10 per cent is with the Central Bank and the remaining 90 per cent is being held in the lawyers account.

Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale, who moved the motion of a vote of no-confidence, claimed that 90 per cent of the payment was being held in an account at the NIC Bank in Nairobi. There is nothing we can do about the escrow account although we should be told why the payments could not be wired directly to the Central Bank, he said.

Rightful owner

An escrow is a special account in which a lawyer or an agent deposits money that does not belong to him or his firm awaiting transfer to the rightful owner.

The controversy surrounding the sale of Grand Regency took a turn on Monday last week when Mr Orengo claimed that it had been sold for only Sh1.8 billion and not Sh2.9 billion.

It later emerged that the Sh1.8 billion was the price of the land and the building. The furnishing and machinery were sold for Sh1.1 billion. But critics have questioned why no goodwill was paid yet the hotel was sold as a going concern.

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API/Nation.ke

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Discussing Kenyan politics: Are the likes of Dr. Bonny Khalwale happy men?

Posted by African Press International on July 10, 2008

To Nyandoto,

You have said well, that is how it should be. Kenyans should not panic or be in a harry to appoint someone for that position while Kimunya is being investigated.

The second in command should take over until the matter is resolved. That is how Public Offices are run and that is how it is constituted according to law, this is the transparency we are talking about.

My question is will Kimunya be still earning salary? If so public should not be taxed to pay someone else for a job that can be done by the Assistant. Again someone proposed and floated Michuki’s namewhich is a serious dent of Kenyan’s intelligence

a test to Kenyans authority. In my wildest immagination, Michuki should not be consideredfor public service, until the Government prefers pending Sub-poena charges he is likely to answer against mis-use of Public Office and his shoddiness in the past.

Public already rejected Michuki until he clears himself and prove he can handle public office with commitment and trust. This issomeone Kenyans had lost trust and rejected, who should not be forced on to people wherever service is calling. This is the kind of Democracyand transparency we are talking about.

Just follow the law people!! and I hope Parliament will also rule it that way. There should be no obsolute worry or fear.Ministry of Finance is not short of people or personnel to run it presently, so people can concentrate on other crucial matters.I believe Oburu is already doing the services as is necessary and obligated since the office is already vacated by Kimani.

Good point,

Thanks,

By Judy Miriga, USA

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GUYS,

What does the Present Kenyan constitution say on the situation when a minister
is not capable to carry his duty or has resigned like Mr. Kimunya has done to
give way for an investigation. Who should resume his place until a new minister
is named?.  WHAT IS THE ROLE OF ASSISTANT MINITERS AT THE MOMENT?. I do hope
that in Kenya we have a civilized president , prime minister and parliament to
see that an assistant minister is promoted to carry on the duty of a minister
until all the judiciary processes are over on Kimunya`s case. Even Kibaki
himself expect Kalonzo to carry his duty when he is away or sick. I therefore
do not see the point of naming straight away a new finance minister since we do
have an assistant minister in that office.

Thanks

By Paul Nyandoto.

_______________________
The humans in Parliament behind the ugly anti-Kimunya manipulation have literally pulled, pushed and squeezed the financially
latex-faced Finance Minister, Hon. Amos Muhinga Kimunya's grote, even as his resignation was being fuelled by widespread passion for trans-politics. They
called him the 'Prince of Impunity' but he lived tough though nicknames don't stick unless there is something
true or fishy in the MEGA-saga. Kimunya's tongue was literally anaesthetized in Parliament with
his fellow MP's bitter venom and foul vitriol. They also tamed his political and functional cronies and the Libyan benefactors including our own Kamlesh Pattni.
He was made boring in Parliament and mute when really he was not to be.

They spawned Kimunya as a liability slug, slithering through the chambers of financial power to make him the fore backbencher of Kipipiri
and Chairman of Muthaiga Club of 'the deceased'. 

The political consensus in Parliament then was tormenting and a threat to national security and which was orchestrated to trash the then
Government's GDP 'reformer'. The Kimunya ideology must have been a confused 'political ideology' that diffused through the Chambers and bore a
poisonous partisan fruit for the nation.

The spin-doctor, the bullfighter, Dr. Bonny Khalwale and other political forecasters for 2012 fought their battle on their hot and
sweaty seats to the comfort and amusement of constituents on TV. Majority were good in heckling than in content and material. In fact they were not talking
about the Grand Regency 'inner facets' but confining themselves instead to generalities, banalities, double-speak, bland calls and assumed passion to
physically fight 'corruption' really hard with their bellies out. After the busy fight and headaches many of them became silent, appeared tired and empty
with their 'historic' burbling.

But again, their characters and ill satire in Parliament proved the colour of their elite post-election vengeance. The MPs' moment
of consensus politics 'only said the same thing', again and again. In such it is hard to state the views of wananchi
that elected those with sinister moves and vested interests devoid of politics and seen to be promoting true transparency. On my glasses I saw activists in
Parliament burning out their heavy lunchtime meals. Call that verbo-physical aerobics of shillings and
less sense.

Now that Hon. Kimunya has resigned would he still be enveloped by a catorie of 'haters', the political types with other
slews of lurid 'latter economic stories' only this time for him to fully arise from
the 'dead'?

Are the likes of Dr. Bonny Khalwale happy men? No! And I doubt that big. The Finance Minister had made many go into depression for he
had re-assured them that he would rather 'die than resign'. They had wanted him 'dead' as a doornail. Interesting, Hon. Kimunya reminded Kenyans of how
the Lord was treated and persecuted. Kimunya literally died on the cross of Parliament and rose from the dead on the SEVENTH day of 'persecution'
as he left the TOMB of treasury.

Does his 'death or resurrection' at Treasury now amount to his political death, coma, sleep or strategy for future leadership and an
avenue for further political counter-machinations? Shall Parliamentarians continue to play 'bull-fighting' with the Finance docket, Parliament as
an institution and Wanjiku? 

Has Parliament allowed Hon. Kimunya to sharpen his 'outdoor' political golf shots of Muthaiga as he helps crush the real balls of the bulls
of Parliament from the backbench?

I hope not for we are yet to see the Olympolitics of our Parliamentarians and their Judases (Raila?) as custodians of our voter's cards that come with
a price hard to settle.

By Mundia Mundia Jnr.
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API

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Posted by African Press International on July 10, 2008

(By Mohammed Legally-Cole)

An estimated10 million firearms are still roaming in the West African Sub Region, revealed the Secretary of State for Interior, Honourable Ousman Sonko. This, he said, is alarming and has far-reaching consequences for our people and governments.

Secretary of State Sonko made these remarks last Friday 27th June 2008 at the Kairaba Beach Hotel, where he was launching a cartoon publication against Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) entitled My Strength is in Peace.

He said that all efforts must be utilised to ensure that arms proliferation is controlled. The global campaign on Small Arms and Light Weapons needs to be intensified in all forms, he said.

Secretary of State Sonko also stated that communities must be sensitised, youths must be involved while government and international agencies must be engaged to make sure they adopt and pursue policies and measures that will stem the spread of fire arms in the sub region. Small arms and light weapons continue to cause havoc in our communities in the sub region, he added. He reiterated governments commitment to and support for the campaign against small arms and light weapons proliferation in The Gambia and beyond.

He informed the gathering that the government just recently tabled a bill in the National Assembly, which was finally passed to control the possession of arms and ammunition in the country.

He commended the initiators and all those who supported the publication of the magazine which, he said, would create awareness among people, mostly the youth, on the dangers of small arms and light weapons.

Mr. Gerhard Doujak, the Austrian Ambassador in Senegal whose office supported the translation and publication of the cartoon, said that SALW are instrumental in destroying lives. He commended the steps taken by the Gambia government towards the control SALW. He said that Austria and the EU would remain in the forefront of the fight and practical work to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in light weapons in all its efforts.

He revealed that his country has this year alone provided 530,000 euros to support different projects in Africa in the field of SALW.

Other speakers included M. Seedy Dieng, president of Senegalese Association of Decentralised Cooperation (ASECOD) and Mrs. Pamela Cole, National Coordinator WANEP.

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API

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MOTORISTS CRY FOUL OVER TORTOISES CAUSING ACCIDENTS WHILE THE LOCUSTS DESTROY CROPS AND MONKEYS COMPETES HUMANS ON FOOD.

Posted by African Press International on July 10, 2008

By Leo Odera Omolo.

It is real menace and conflicts of interest between mankind and wild animals in the North Rift Valley region of Kenya.

The region is under the invasion of green locusts, while monkeys are competing with human beings in harvesting food crops in the fields.

In Keiyo district, rowdy and most aggressive herds of elephants, which had strayed in the villages from the nearby Rimoi Game Reserve are reported to have destroyed more than 10 water pipes cutting the supply of water to Kiptoro Primary School.

He area civic leader Councillor Amos Chesum, said the rogue jumbos destroyed the pipes

after drinking all the water in a cattle trough near the school. He suspected that the

animals when they had finished the water in the trough thereby destroying the only water

pipeline in the area..

Coun. Chesum appealed to the Kenya Wildlife Service{KWS} to construct more water pans and dig more boreholes inside the game reserve.

At the same time fears persist of tortoises which cause road accidents frequently as they cross the main Nakuru-Marigat road.

These are some of the most startling and puzzling reports emerging from the North Rift says that motorist plying the busy Nakuru-Marigat road have complained of persistent obstruction by tortoises at times leading to several mishaps.

Tortoises are considered the slowest moving mammals or animal in this planet. Its slowlyness has featured in many African folk stories in various communities, though it is harmless and very humble creature.

According to a report appearing in a regional weekly, THE RIFT VALLEY OBSERVER, the motorists have reported that tortoises were giving them a rough time as these creatures crossed the road almost causing accidents.

A driver with Valley Shuttles, which is one of the major Companies whose vehicles ply the route, was quoted by the weekly as saying that a number of tortoises were being crushed along this busy road.

When driving along this road one has to be extra careful because at times a driver has to brake instantly to avoid crushing the tortoise

Traveling on the road by night is a nightmare. It is a big problem because of the invisibility said the driver who reported that this has become a victim of the road mishap caused by these slow moving creatures.

In the same region residents of Baringo District are trying to come to terms with devastating crop failure that threatens thousands of families.

Residents of Eldama Eldume Location of Marigat Division are now faced with another challenge from green locusts.

The locust that invaded the area in the last one week have already destroyed more than five acres of food crops according to Baringo district Agricultural officer Mr. Dan Guda.

Farmers in the area have expressed fears that they were faced with economic ruin from the swarm of locusts that were devouring vegetable, beans, maize and were now threatened pasture for their livestock.

in this area, we depend on livestock and unless the government move fats to deal with the locusts our lives will be doomed, said a local farmer Wilson Leket.

Most of the vegetables, which the residents of Marigat town depend on, come from Eldume farmers who utilize water from Perkera River to irrigate their vegetable and maize fields.

Another farmer disclosed that they sell the vegetables to earn income that they used to purchase food stuff and paid school fees for their schooling children.

We will perish if the locusts are not controlled soon. Said Mr. James Lekesio.

Lekesio explained that a swarm of green locusts invaded the area last week and started by destroying shrubs and bushes before descending on his farms, they are moving fast, and the grasshoppers are now hatched I the grazing fields.

Hehamus ward councilor Francis Ole Keis appealed to the government through the ministry of Agriculture and other well wishers to come to the assistance of the local farmers with pesticides and spraying tools to deal with locust.

The civic leader also wants the Ministry Of Agriculture to provide the farmers with technical know how and to give them (farmers) with protective gear to avoid being affected by the pesticides.

The DAO Mr. Guda confirms said the ministry had already supplied 10 litres of pesticides to the farmers. He added that technical officers were already on the ground to assist the farmers.

Guda said the green locusts could be very destructive and are capable of destroying up to one acre of food crop per day. But he was quick in assuring the farmers that the locust would be controlled soon we have enough pesticides in our stores and before long we will control the spread of the locusts.

According to the local people, such locusts were last seen in Baringo in 1952 with elders saying it caused great famine after feasting on all green pastures we did not do farming those days all we depended on livestock, said one elder.

In the same region residents of Ossen village in Baringo District have appealed to the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to move out monkeys that have been destroying their crops.

Led by Dr. Charles Kulei, the villagers said the animals were causing havoc to their farmers by uprooting their crops and harvesting unripe fruits from their farms. The monkeys, said the farmers, from Katimok forest were giving them sleepless nights with men being forced to sleep in their farms to keep away the animal.

Kulei was further quoted as saying that children and women were no longer sent to the nearby Ossen shopping centre because they would be attacked by the monkeys and robbed of their merchandise.

Area residents have threatened that they would move a step a head by poisoning the menacing animals if KWS does not act in the next few days.

Ends.

leooderaomolo@yahoo.com

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API

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The Political Consequences of Child Abuse

Posted by African Press International on July 10, 2008

By Alice Miller, Ph.D.

Although centuries of novels and autobiographies have dealt with the subject of child abuse in all its forms, society has been slow in recognizing the frequency with which this assault is committed. Only in the last twenty years has there been any real progress in this respect, and most of it is due to the efforts of a small number of researchers and above all to the media. Still underestimated and sometimes contested are the consequences very early abuse will have for the victims in their adult lives. The issues involved have been largely ignored, and there is correspondingly little mention of them in historical and anthropological studies. Thus sociologist Wolfgang Sovsky is able to write an otherwise impressive work on forms of violence without making one single reference to the childhood dimension. He gives very considerable space to the willful infliction of suffering, calling it “mysterious,” although it is readily explicable once we countenance the idea that the bodies of the executioners, torturers and the orchestrators of organized manhunts may have learned their fateful lessons very early and thus very effectively.

Also Goldhagen restricts himself to a phenomenological discussion of the people who volunteered to torture and humiliate others, without giving any consideration to their childhood. He does devote much attention to the emotions of the perpetrators, a subject hitherto largely ignored, but without the background of their early upbringing their behavior still remains mysterious. The reader seeks in vain for an explanation. What made respected members of society suddenly act like monsters? How could a former teacher like Klaus Barbie, and other men described by their daughters as kind, caring fathers, have innocent people tortured or indeed do the torturing themselves? Goldhagen does not address this question. He is obviously convinced that references to traditional anti-Semitism in Germany provide a satisfactory answer. They do not.

The hypothesis that German anti-Semitism was the real reason for the Holocaust has been rightly criticized by urging a comparison with the First World War. At that time anti-Semitism was just as strong in Germany but no organized genocide resulted. And why no Holocaust in the other anti-Semitic countriesPoland, Russia and other parts of Europe? The argument that in the Weimar Republic unemployment and poverty caused immense general frustration that was discharged via the mass murder of the Jews is hardly convincing, given that Hitler was quickly successful in getting unemployment under control.

There must have been other factors at play which have hitherto been ignored, factors going some way to explaining why the Holocaust happened in Germany and why it happened at this particular time rather than another. In my view, one possible operative factor is the destructive child-rearing style practiced widely on infants around the turn of the century in Germany, a style I have no hesitation in referring to as a universal abuse of infants.

Of course children in other countries have been and still are mistreated in the name of upbringing or care giving, but hardly as babies and hardly with the systematic thoroughness characteristic of the Prussian pedagogy. In the two generations before Hitler’s rise to power, the implementation of this method was brought to a high degree of perfection in Germany. With this foundation to build on, Hitler finally achieved what he wanted: “My ideal of education is hard. Whatever is weak must be hammered away. In the fortresses of my militant order a generation of young people will grow to strike fear into the heart of the world. Violent, masterful, unafraid, cruel youth is what I want. Young people must be all that. They must withstand pain. There must be nothing weak or tender about them. The free-magnificent predator must flash from their eyes again. I want them strong and beautiful…That way I can fashion things anew.” This education program revolving on the extermination of everything life-giving was the forerunner of Hitler’s plans for the extermination of an entire nation. Indeed it was the prerequisite for the ultimate success of his designs.

The numerous and widely-read tracts by Dr. Daniel Gottlieb Moritz Schreber, the inventor of the Schrebergrten (the German world for small allotments) are of major interest here. Some of them ran to as many as 40 editions, and their central concern was to instruct parents in the systematic upbringing of infants from the very first day of life. Many people motivated by what they thought to be the best of intentions complied with the advice given them by Schreber and other authors about how best to raise their children if they wanted to make them into model subjects of the German Reich. They did this without even remotely suspecting that they were exposing their children to a systematic form of torture with long-term effects. Germany sayings and catch-phrases like “Praise be to the things that make us tough” and “What doesn’t kill us will strengthen us,” still to be heard from educationists of the old school, probably originated in this period.

Morton Schatzman, who quotes highly enlightening passages from Schreber’s writings, is of the opinion that here we are in the presence not of child-raising methods but of systematic instruction in child persecution. One of Schreber’s convictions is that when babies cry they should be made to desist by the use of “physically perceptible admonitions,” assuring his readers that “such a procedure is only necessary once, or at the most twice, and then one is master of the child for all time. From then on, one look, one single threatening gesture will suffice to subjugate the child.” Above all, the newborn child should be drilled from the very first day to obey and to refrain from crying.

Today, people who have been brought up in anything even remotely approaching a humane way will hardly be able to imagine the rigor and tenacity with which Schreber himself implemented this program. Psychoanalyst Wilhelm G. Niederland quotes examples that cast light on the everyday practical conduct of child-rearing in those decades; for example, recipes for inculcating the “art of self-denial” into infants. “The method should be simple and effective: the child is placed on the lap of its nanny while the latter is eating or drinking whatever takes her fancy. However urgent the infant’s oral needs may become in this situation, they must not be gratified.”

Niederland quotes an account by Schreber from his own family life. A nanny eating pears while holding one of his children on her lap was unable to resist the temptation of giving the infant a slice. She was immediately dismissed. The news of this draconian measure quickly spread to all the other nannies in Leipzig, and from that time on, writes Schreber, he “never again encountered such insubordination, neither with that child or with any of the others that came later.”

Contrary to received opinion prevalent as recently as 15 years ago, the human brain at birth is not fully developed. The abilities a person’s brain develops depend on experiences in the first three years of life. Studies on abandoned and severely mistreated Romanian children revealed striking lesions in certain areas of the brain and marked emotional and cognitive insufficiencies in later life. According to very recent neurobiological findings, repeated traumatization leads to an increased release of stress hormones that attack the sensitive tissue of the brain and destroy existing neurons. Other studies of mistreated children have revealed that the areas of the brain responsible for the management of emotion are 20 to 30 percent smaller than in normal persons.

The children systematically subjected to obedience drill around the turn of the century were not only exposed to corporal “correction” but also to severe emotional deprivation. The upbringing manuals of the day described physical demonstrations of affection such as stroking, cuddling and kissing as indications of a doting, mollycoddling attitude. Parents were warned of the disastrous effects of spoiling their children, a form of indulgence entirely incompatible with the prevalent ideal of rigor and severity. As a result, infants suffered from the absence of direct loving contact with the parents. The best they could hope for was to find some kind of substitute from the servants, who in numerous cases used and exploited them as objects of pleasure, thus frequently adding to the child’s emotional confusion.

Since the experiments conducted on monkeys by Dr. Harlow in the Fifties, we know that animals raised by artificial “robot” mothers later turned aggressive and showed no interest in their own offspring. New research on macaque monkeys revealed that they kill even members of their own species if they are brought up without appropriate care. John Bowlby’s studies on the absence of early attachment in delinquents and Ren Spitz’ descriptions of small children dying of hospitalism following emotional neglect during hospitalization under extremely hygienic conditions are indications that not only animal but also human babies require reassuring sensory contact with their parents if socialization is to take a normal course.

The findings presented by Bowlby and Spitz almost 40 years ago are corroborated by recent neurobiological research. The studies in question suggest that not only active battering but also the absence of loving physical contact between child and parent will cause certain areas of the brain, notably those responsible for the emotions, to remain underdeveloped. Hence the children “subjugated by looks” suffered emotional harm that was only to develop its full destructive potential in the next generation.

Present-day neurobiological research makes it easier for us to understand the way Nazis like Eichmann, Himmler, Hss and others functioned. The rigorous obedience training they underwent in earliest infancy stunted the development of such human capacities as compassion and pity for the sufferings of others. They were incapable of emotion in the face of misfortune – such feelings were alien to them. Their total emotional atrophy enabled the perpetrators of the most heinous crimes imaginable to function “normally” and to continue to impress their environment with their efficiency in the years after the war without the slightest remorse. Dr. Mengele could perform the most cruel experiments on Jewish children in Auschwitz and then live for 30 years like a “normal”, well-adjusted man.

In the absence of positive factors, affection and helping witnesses, the only course open to the mistreated individual is the disavowal of personal suffering and the idealization of cruelty with all its devastating after-effects. Undergoing an exceedingly humiliating and cruel upbringing at the preverbal stage, usually without helping witnesses, may instill into the victim admiration of this cruelty if there is no one in the immediate vicinity of the child to query those methods and stand up for humane values. People subjected to mistreatment in childhood may go on insisting all their lives that beatings are harmless and corporal punishment is salutary although there is overwhelming, indeed conclusive evidence to the contrary. Vice versa, a child protected, loved and cherished from the outset will thrive on that experience for a lifetime.

Binjamin Wilkomirski, the author of a harrowing and intensely illuminating book about his childhood in the concentration camps, once confided to me in a personal encounter some observations made with the eyes of an imprisoned but extremely wide-awake child on the behavior of the female camp guards. He said that it had taken him 50 years to inquire who those “blokowas” really were, those women who had so openly and unreservedly relished the job of tormenting and humiliating Jewish children and subjecting them to every conceivable variety of mental and physical cruelty.

To his astonishment, perusal of the trial records revealed that most of them were young women between 19 and 21 who had formerly had quite ordinary jobs as seamstresses or sales clerks and whose biographies contained nothing in any way unusual. During the trial they unanimously claimed that they had not been aware that Jewish children were human beings. The conclusion that immediately suggests itself is that ultimately propaganda and manipulation are sufficient to transform people into sadistic executioners and mass murderers.

This is not an opinion I share. On the contrary. It is my belief that only men and women who had experienced mental and physical cruelty in the first weeks and months of life and had been shown no love at all could possibly have let themselves be made into Hitler’s willing executioners. As Goldhagen’s archive material shows, they needed next to no ideological indoctrination because their bodies knew exactly what they wanted to do as soon as they were allowed to follow their inclinations. And as the Jews, young or old, had been declared non-persons, there was nothing to stop them indulging those inclinations. But no amount of indoctrination alone, at school or wherever, will unleash hatred in a person who has no preconditions in that direction. It is well known that there were also Germans, like Karl Jaspers, Hermann Hesse or Thomas Mann, who immediately recognized the declaration that Jews were non-persons as an alarm signal and the rallying cry of untrammeled barbarism.

For people like the “blokowas,” exposed to emotional confusion in their early childhood, the declaration was a highly convenient expedient. All they needed to do was refuse the children water to wash themselves and that gave them sufficient reason to hate them for being dirty and coal-black. They could toss lumps of sugar to starving children and then despise them for the alacrity with which they scrambled to pick them up. Those young women could turn the children into precisely what they needed to feel powerful and could thus vent on their victims the old, unconscious rage slumbering within them.

However brutally these people were brought up, they showed no immediate signs of the harm done to them. On the contrary, many of them grew up into seemingly well-adjusted young people. But sooner or later – usually one generation later – when the tormented children had themselves become parents, the former victims did the same with their children as had been done to them, with no feelings of guilt. It was the only thing they knew, after they had repressed and denied their own pain.

Studying child abuse confronts us with the astonishing fact that parents will inflict the same punishment or neglect on their children as they experienced themselves in their early lives. But as adults they have no recollection of what they went through. In the case of sexual assault on children, it is quite usual for the perpetrators to have no conscious knowledge of their own early life history or at the least to be cut off from the attendant feelings aroused by those experiences. It is not until they are in therapy (always supposing they are given any) that it transpires that they have been reenacting what they went through as children.

The sole explanation I can advance for this fact is that information on the cruelty suffered in childhood remains stored in the brain in the form of unconscious memories. For a child, conscious experience of such treatment is impossible. If children are not to break down completely under the pain and the fear, they must repress that knowledge. But the unconscious memories drive them to reproduce those repressed scenes over and over again in the attempt (and with the false hope) to liberate themselves of the fears that cruelty and abuse have left with them. The victims create situations in which they can assume the active role in order to master the feeling of helplessness and escape the unconscious anxieties.

But this liberation is a specious one because the effects of the past don’t change as long as they remain unnoticed. Over and over again the perpetrator will go in search of new victims. As long as one projects hatred and fear onto scapegoats, there is no way of coming to terms with those feelings. Not until the cause has been recognized and the natural reaction to wrongdoing understood can the blind hatred wreaked on innocent victims be dissipated. The function it performs, that of masking the truth, is no longer necessary. Sex criminals who have worked through their lives in therapy may no longer run the risk of a destructive reenactment of their traumas.

What is hatred? As I see it, it is a possible consequence of the rage and despair that cannot be consciously felt by a child who has been neglected and mistreated even before he or she has learned to speak. As long as the anger directed at a parent or other first caregiver remains unconscious or disavowed, it cannot be dissipated. It can only be taken out on oneself or stand-ins, on scapegoats such as one’s own children or alleged enemies. Sympathetic observation of the cries of an infant brings home forcibly to the onlooker how intense the feelings involved must be. The hatred can finally work as a lifesaving defense against the life-threatening powerlessness.

The studies at my disposal already in 1980 and referred to in my book For Your Own Good confirmed my conjecture that, both in Nazi Germany and among the professional American soldiers who voluntarily served in Vietnam, brutally-raised children figured prominently among the most vindictive war criminals. Further confirmation was brought by study of the childhood biographies of those exceptional people who in times of terror had the courage to rescue others from extermination.

Why were there people brave enough to risk their lives to save Jews from Nazi Persecution? Much scientific inquiry has been expended on this question. The usual answers revolve around religious or moral values such as Christian charity or a sense of responsibility instilled in them by parents, teachers and other caregivers. But there is no doubt that the active supporters of the extermination and the passive hangers-on had usually also been given a religious upbringing. So this can hardly furnish a sufficient explanation.

I was convinced that there must have been some special factor in the childhood of the rescuers, in the prevailing atmosphere of their childhood, that made it so fundamentally different from what the war criminals had experienced, but at first I couldn’t prove my hypothesis. For years I sought in vain for a book that would give this subject adequate coverage. Finally, thanks to Lloyd deMause’s help, I found an empirical study by the Oliners, The Altruistic Personality: Rescuers of Jews in Nazi Europe, based on interviews with more than 400 witnesses of those dark days. It confirmed my hypothesis. The study concluded that the only factor distinguishing the rescuers from the persecutors and hangers-on was the way they had been brought up by their parents.

Almost all rescuers interviewed reported that their parents had attempted to discipline them with arguments rather than punishment. They were only rarely subjected to corporal punishment, and if they were it was invariably in connection with some misdemeanor and never because their parents had felt the need to discharge some uncontrollable and inexplicable feeling of rage on them. One man recalled that he had once been spanked for taking smaller children out onto a frozen lake and endangering their lives. Another reported that his father had only ever hit him once and apologized afterwards. Many of the statements might be paraphrased thus: “My mother always tried to explain what was wrong about whatever it was I had done. My father also spent a lot of time talking to me. I was impressed by what he had to say.”

What a different picture we get from the reports of the persecutors and hangers-on: “When my father was drunk he took the whip to me. I never knew what I was being beaten for. Often it was for something I had done months before. And when mother was in a temper she tore into anyone who got in her way, including me.”

Unlike such uncontrolled affective discharges subjectively felt to be justified, explaining what the parent feels is wrong is synonymous with trust in the otherwise good intentions of the child. Such a course is motivated by respect and faith in the child’s ability to develop and change its behavior for the better.

People given early affection and support are quick to emulate the sympathetic and autonomous natures of their parents. Common to all the rescuers were self-confidence, the ability to take immediate decisions and the capacity for empathy and compassion with others. Seventy percent of them said that it only took them a matter of minutes to decide they wanted to intervene. Eighty percent said they did not consult anyone else. “I had to do it, I could never have stood idle and watched injustice being done.”

This attitude, prized in all cultures as “noble,” is not something instilled in children with fine words. If the behavior actually displayed by caretakers is such as to contradict their own words, if children are spanked in the name of lofty ideals, as is still the custom in some parochial schools, then those elevated sentiments are doomed to go unheard or even to provoke rage and violence. The children may end up aping those high-minded phrases and mouthing them in later life, but they will never put them into practice because they have no example to emulate.

Martin Luther, for example, was an intelligent and educated man, but he hated all Jews and he encouraged parents to beat their children. He was no perverted sadist like Hitler’s executioners. But 400 years before Hitler he was disseminating this kind of destructive counsel. According to Eric Ericson’s biography, his mother beat him severely before he was treated this way by his father and his teacher. He believed this punishment had “done him good” and was therefore justified. The conviction stored in his body that if parents do it then it must be right to torment someone weaker than yourself left a much more lasting impression on him than the divine commandments and the Christian exhortations to love your neighbor and be compassionate toward the weak.

Similar cases are discussed by Philip Greven in his highly informative book, Spare the Child. He quotes various American men and women of the church recommending cruel beatings for infants in the first few months of life as a way of ensuring that the lesson thus learnt remains indelibly impressed on them for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately they were only too right. These terrible destructive texts which have misled so many parents are the conclusive proof of the long-lasting effects of beating. They could only have been written by people who were exposed to merciless beatings as children and later glorified what they had been through. Fortunately, these books were not published in 40 editions in the USA.

An animal will respond to attack with “fight or flight.” Neither course is open to an infant exposed to aggression from immediate family members. Thus the natural reaction remains pent up, sometimes for decades, until it can be taken out on a weaker object. Then the repressed emotions are unleashed against minorities. The targets vary from country to country. But the reasons for that hatred are probably identical the world over.

We know that as a boy Hitler was tormented, humiliated and mocked by his father, without the slightest protection from his mother. We also know that he denied his true feelings toward his father. The real sources of his hatred thus become obvious. I have gone in search of the true motives not only for Hitler’s mental make-up but also that of many other dictators. In all of them I identified the effects of hatred of a parent that remained unconscious not only because hating one’s father was strictly prohibited but also because it was in the interests of the child’s self-preservation to maintain the illusion of having a good father. Only in the form of a deflection onto others was hatred permitted, and then it could flow freely. Hitler would hardly have found so much support if the “care-giving” patterns he had been exposed to and their detrimental after-effects had not been so widespread in Germany and Austria.

But Hitler’s specific problems with the Jews can in fact be traced back to the period before his birth. In her youth, his paternal grandmother had been employed in a Jewish merchant’s household in Graz. After her return home to the Austrian village of Braunau, she gave birth to a son, Alois, later to become Hitler’s father, and received child-support payments from the family in Graz for 14 years. This story, which is recounted in many biographies of Hitler, represented a dilemma for the Hitler family. They had an interest in denying that the young woman had been left with child either by the Jewish merchant or his son. On the other hand, it was impossible to assert that a Jew would pay alimony for so long without good reason. Such generosity on the part of a Jew would have been inconceivable for the inhabitants of an Austrian village. Thus the Hitler family was faced with the insoluble dilemma of devising a version that would serve to nullify their “disgrace.”

For Alois Hitler the suspicion that he might be of Jewish descent was insufferable in the context of the anti-Jewish environment he grew up in. All the plaudits he earned himself as a customs officer were insufficient to liberate him from the latent rage at the disgrace and humiliation visited on him through no fault of his own. The only thing he could do with impunity was to take out this rage on his son Adolf. According to the reports of his daughter of his former marriage, Angela, he beat his son mercilessly every day. In an attempt to exorcise his childhood fears, his son nurtured the maniac delusion that it was up to him to free not only himself of Jewish blood but also all Germany and later the whole world. Right up to his death in the bunker, Hitler remained a victim of this delusion because all his life his fear of his half-Jewish father had remained locked in his unconscious mind.

I have set out these ideas in greater detail in my book For Your Own Good. Many people have told me that they found them highly unsettling and in no way sufficient to explain Hitler’s actions. Not all his actions, perhaps, but certainly his delusions. And those delusions are at the very least the foundation of his actions. I can certainly picture the boy Hitler swearing vengeance on “the Jews,” those monstrous fantasy-figures of an already diseased imagination. Consciously, he probably thought he could have led a happy life if “the Jew” had not plunged his grandmother into the disgrace that he and his family had to live with. And it was this that in his eyes served to excuse the batterings he received from his father, who after all was himself a victim of the evil and omnipotent Jew. In the mind of an angry, seriously confused child, it is only a short step from there to the idea that all Jews should be exterminated.

Not only Jews. In the household of Hitler’s family lived for years the very unpredictable schizophrenic aunt Johanna, whose behavior is reported to be very frightening to the child. As an adult, Hitler ordered killed every handicapped and psychotic person, to free German society from this burden. Germany seemed for him to symbolize the innocent child who had to be saved. Consequently, Hitler wanted to protect his nation from the dangers he himself had had to face. Absurd? Not at all. For an unconscious mind, this kind of symbolization might sound very normal and logical.

Besides the sources of his fears connected with father and aunt, there was his early relationship with his very intimidated mother who lived in constant fear of her husband’s violent outbursts and beatings. She called him “Uncle Alois” and endured patiently his humiliating treatment without any protest. Adolf’s mother had lost her first three children due to illness, and Adolf was the first child to survive infancy. We can easily imagine that the milk he drank from his mother was in a way “poisoned” by her own fear. He drank her milk together with her fears, but was of course unable to understand or to integrate them. These irrational fears (that an observer, watching his speeches on videos can easily recognize) stayed unrecognized and unconscious to Hitler until the end of his life. Stored up in his body, they drove him constantly to new destructive actions, in his endless attempts to find an outcome.

In the lives of all the tyrants I examined, I found without exception paranoid trains of thought bound up with their biographies in early childhood and the repression of the experiences they had been through. Mao had been regularly whipped by his father and later sent 30 million people to their deaths, but he hardly ever admitted the full extent of the rage he must have felt toward his own father, a very severe teacher who had tried through beatings to “make a man” out of his son. Stalin caused millions to suffer and die because even at the height of his power his actions were determined by unconscious infantile fear of powerlessness. Apparently his father, a poor cobbler from Georgia, attempted to drown his frustration with liquor and whipped his son almost every day. His mother displayed psychotic traits, was completely incapable of defending her son and was usually away from home either praying in church or running the priest’s household. Stalin idealized his parents right up to the end of his life and was constantly haunted by the fear of dangers that had long since ceased to exist but were still present in his deranged mind. The same might be true of many other tyrants. The groups of people they singled out for persecution and the rationalization mechanisms they employed were different in each case, but the fundamental reason behind it was probably identical. They often drew on ideologies to disguise the truth and their own paranoia. And the masses chimed in enthusiastically because they were unaware of the real motives, including those operative in their own biographies. The infantile revenge fantasies of individuals would be of no account if society did not regularly show such naive alacrity in helping to make them come true.

Naturally, my references to Schreber and his methods are not sufficient to explain the history of the Holocaust. Countless books have been written about it, but the enormity of those crimes still defies comprehension. Much more research needs to be done before we can even start to truly understand. Given what we know today, attempting to build an explanation around any one single factor would result in crass oversimplification. It leaves too many other things out of account. Also, such a monocausal explanation might lead to an exoneration of the perpetrators, relieving them of their responsibility by declaring them sick. No upbringing, however cruel, is a license for murder. But blaming the whole thing on a defective genetic blueprint is just as unsatisfactory. Why should there have been so many people born 30 or 40 years before the Holocaust in Germany with such a fateful genetic disposition? I do not know of any gene researcher who would have tried to answer this question.

My references to the systematic humiliation of children around the turn of the century and the torture small infants were exposed to (tragically never recognized as such by the parents) seem to me, however, to be an important element within the complex concatenation of causes. Unfortunately it has yet to be given the attention it deserves. The reasons for this neglect are probably closely connected with the general taboo that has been imposed on the subject of childhood. But for quite hardheaded pragmatic reasons, notably a concern for the future, it is important to break with this taboo and venture onto this largely unexplored territory.

The total neglect or trivialization of the childhood factor operative in the context of violence and the way it evolves in early infancy sometimes leads to explanations that are not only unconvincing and abortive but actively deflect attention away from the genuine roots of violence. The abstract term “anti-Semitism” contains an infinite number of meanings and frequently only serves to blur the complicated psychological processes involved, processes that need to be identified and called by name. Only in this way can we hope to change anything.

In my view, a close comparison of parenting methods today and in the past can bring about such a change. It can open up new vistas and encourage the formation of new and healthier structures in raising children. Many new enlightening books on parent-child relations are instances of concrete help for parents in incorporating the information at our disposal into the practice of child-rearing. Parents who are able to integrate this new information are likely to find it easier to respect, encourage, understand and love their children and to learn from them.

But working toward a better, more aware future cannot be done in isolation from the ongoing attempt to understand our history in all its facets, for us as individuals and as society. The work started by Lloyd deMause and continued by him and other psychohistorians is to my knowledge the first systematic research in this direction. The history of child-rearing might be more illuminating than many others in illustrating the dangers for society at large attendant on willful ignorance about child development. The ongoing research on babies from birth to three might be helpful for eventually overcoming this ignorance. It may enable some historians to raise more frequently the question raised for the first time by Lloyd deMause: what does it feel like to be an abused infant, without any enlightened witnesses? Unfortunately, the early childhood of people who recently mercilessly killed in Rwanda has not yet become an issue for psychological or sociological investigation. But should empathic psychohistorians once become interested in finding out and describing the atmosphere of the first years of the killer’s life, they could probably be able to explain some of the events that still seem inexplicable.
http://www.naturalchild.org/alice_miller/political.html

Justice Must Be Seen, To Be Done

Posted by Catherine MIlls

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API

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UN peace mission to train 200 Chadian security forces

Posted by African Press International on July 10, 2008

The United Nations mission to the Central Africa Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) will commence on Tuesday training 203 Chadian police and gendarmerie officers, UN sources told APA.

Initiated in the framework of the establishment of an integrated security detachment in the MINURCAT, this drill operation has the ultimate objective of training 850 Chadian police and gendarmerie officers.

In January, 16 police officers were drilled and 71 others in May 2008. The training, which begins on Tuesday, is expected to end in September. The mission of the UN forces in Chad is meant to ensure the security of the refugees and displaced in the east of the country.

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Egyptian foreign ministry protests to Iranian interests head in Cairo

Posted by African Press International on July 10, 2008

The Egyptian Foreign ministry on Tuesday summoned the head of Iranian interests office in Cairo, Ambassador Seyed Hossein Rajabi to inform him of the resentment of the Egyptian government regarding the new Iranian film which describes the assassination of the former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat as the “execution of the pharaoh”.

An Egyptian official source said Tuesday that the assistant Foreign minister for Asian Affairs Ambassador Tamer Khalil assured the Iranian official that the film hurts relations between the two countries, and that Iran understands Egyptian the sensitivities.

The film affects any positive developments in relations between Egypt and Iran, he added.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries have been severed during the Ayatollah Khomeini revolution in Iran after President Sadat signed a peace agreement with Israel.

Egypt has refused to Iranian demands for the restoration of full diplomatic relations between the two countries because it says Iran still names one of the main streets in Tehran after Khaled Islambouli, one of President Sadat’s killers.

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Mauritius expresses concern with radioactive material stocked on Diego Garcia

Posted by African Press International on July 10, 2008

The Mauritian government on Tuesday expressed its apprehension that the island of Diego Garcia in the Chagos Archipelago, in the Indian Ocean had been used to stock radioactive materials in May.

APA learnt in the Mauritian capital Port Louis that the United States government had during the whole month of May organised a shuttle of US air force planes to carry radioactive material, known as yellow cake uranium, from Iraq to Diego Garcia. According to sources, the material was on the 3rd June transferred on board a ship which reached the Canadian port of Montreal during the weekend.

Initially, the first lap of the transfer operation of the 550 tons of yellow cake cargo from the Iraqi town of Tuwaitha, 20 km south of Baghdad to Diego Garcia was to be made by land through Kuwait.

The material would have then been transhipped in a Kuwaiti port after which the ship would have passed through the Persian Gulf on its way to Canada, but the Kuwaiti authorities were reluctant to open their borders to the shipment as it had to pass through territory controlled by insurgents. Finally, the American authorities decided to airlift the dangerous material to Diego Garcia as they also feared that the cargo could be hijacked in the Persian Gulf.

An official at the Mauritius ministry of Foreign Affairs told APA that the Mauritius government will lodge an official protest with the American government, further stating that Mauritius still lays claims to the islands of the Chagos Archipelago. He added that yellow cake is highly dangerous as it can be enriched for use in nuclear reactors and for making atomic bombs.

The British authorities expelled the population of the Chagos Archipelago in 1965 to Seychelles and Mauritius in order to make way for a huge American military airbase, the largest of its kind outside of the United States.

Thirty members of the Chagossian refugees in Mauritius are presently in the British capital London to contest the decision of the British government to prevent them from resettling in the archipelago.

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API/APA

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Bank: Mozambican economy grows by 3.5% in 2008

Posted by African Press International on July 10, 2008

The Central Bank of Mozambique on Wednesday said the countrys economy grew by 3.5 percent as projected for the first quarter despite economic challenges brought by the increase in fuel and food prices on the international market.

The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) stood at 3.5 percent in the first quarter of 2008, and as regards the economic performance, available information shows that in 2007 the economy grew 7.3 percent in line with initial forecasts, even though the country was faced with exogenous shocks deriving from rising prices of crude oil and cereals in the international market, which dictated periodic adjustments in domestic prices, Ernesto Gove, the banks governor, said.

Gove said the bank managed to slow down the average annual inflation to 8.16 percent from 13 per in 2006.

Annual inflation stood at 6.5 percent in 2007.

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Former US official blames Burkinabe, Ivorian leaders for Liberian war

Posted by African Press International on July 10, 2008

The former United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Herman Cohen, testifying before the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) sitting in Minnesota, United States, has blamed the president of Burkina Faso Blaise Compaore and the late president of Cote dIvoire Houphouet Boigny for the war in Liberia, according to a TRC press statement issued in Monrovia on Tuesday.

“There would not have been war in Liberia, if these two outside powers had not sponsored it,” the statement quotes Cohen saying.

Cohen, who was charged with the responsibility by Washington to mediate in the Liberian civil war, said President Compaore and the late President Boigny were fully responsible for sponsoring the carnage in Liberia because they wanted a regime change in the country.

Speaking on the “Role of the United States in the Liberian Civil Conflict,” Mr. Cohen said; “some of the greatest tragedies in Africa have come about because of the kind of surrogate war that was supported in Liberia by presidents Boigny and Compaore”.

He said despite the fact that the then Liberian president Samuel Doe was not a good leader, “The war in Liberia was totally unjustifiable”.

Cohen said during a meeting with the President of Burkina Faso in 1990, Compaore expressed apologies for his countrys role in the Liberian civil war, saying, “Doe was a horrible leader, but I think the war would have been over in 30 days”.

Cohen however said the late Ivorian leader showed no regret because he always denied complicity in the planning and execution of the war.

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Ethiopia sends troops to Liberia

Posted by African Press International on July 10, 2008

Ethiopia on Monday sent over 200 peacekeeping forces to work under the United Nations mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

The Ethiopian defence ministry said that it was the eighth time the country has sent troops to Liberia in the past five years.

Over 4,000 Ethiopian troops have served in Liberia under the UNMIL.

UNMIL, created in 2003, assists Liberia in the disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, and repatriation of thousands of former fighters.

The mission also assists in humanitarian work and human rights with particular attention to vulnerable groups including returning refugees and internally displaced persons, women, children and demobilized child soldiers.

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Genocide suspects can now have sex: Rwanda blasts UN tribunal for allowing conjugal rights to genocide suspects

Posted by African Press International on July 10, 2008

The Rwandan minister of Justice and Attorney General, Tharcisse Karugarama, on Wednesday expressed governments dissatisfaction over a decision by the United Nations tribunal in Arusha, Tanzania, for introducing conjugal visits for the Rwandan genocide detainees, describing the move as ridiculous and very dangerous to the justice process.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) trying the 1994 genocide suspects, last week said the decision to allow genocide suspects conjugal rights, was made in respect to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in keeping with similar rules at the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

But, in an interview with APA in Kigali, Karugarama said though the Rwandan government fully respects the decision passed by the international court of competent jurisdiction, it was deeply saddened by the fact that people who killed, raped and violated private parts of both men and women, should be allowed the right to make love.

Its very absurd and unfortunate to international justice and an insult to the victims of their crimes. Its demeaning the intensity of the genocide crime and serves no lesson to the criminal who raped and mutilated peoples private parts, Karugara, a high court judge said, adding that Rwanda will never support such a right if those detainees were transferred to Rwanda for trial.

He explained that each country has its own judicial practices and in Rwanda such rights can never be granted to a prisoner, especially a genocide detainee.

The Rwandan Prosecutor General, Martine Ngoga was very furious about it and said: This is very ridiculousI dont know what kind of legacy the ICTR is trying to leave behind.

The decision by the UN tribunal is coming just as it has only one year remaining for it to close as directed by the UN Security Council last month.

The ICTR was established in November 1994 to try key architects of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda which claimed the lives of over one million Rwandans in just one hundred days. It has 56 detainees including 18 convicts awaiting host countries where to serve their sentences.

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API/APA

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Posted by African Press International on July 10, 2008

An unknown number of people are feared dead as a new faction of Islamist fighters, known as the Somali Faction Islamists, which together with some fighters of the Islamic Courts Union ambushed a government ammunition convoy escorted by Somali soldiers on late Tuesday at Baladogle area, 100kms south of Mogadishu.

According to eyewitness accounts, the battle began as the government soldiers from Mogadishu heading to Baidoa were ambushed by the Islamists near Baladogle, and with both sides using heavy weapons, the battle lasted for more than 30 minutes.

“The soldiers were going to supply ammunition and fuel to other soldiers who were recently trained in Ethiopian, and as we received the reports, we planned how to stop them,” Farhan Abdi Eelmoge, the head of the new faction, told APA by telephone.

“Three of our Mujahideen died in the battle while we killed more than 12 soldiers and captured 22 trucks carrying ammunition and fuel, Farhan Abdi Eelmoge said, adding that both the Islamic Courts Union and his faction took part in the fighting.

This ongoing violence in Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia continues despite the new truce agreement recently signed between the Somali government and the opposition alliance based in Asmara, a group which included both moderates and hardliners, and which was meant to end the Iraq-style insurgency and usher in a ceasefire in the beleaguered capital city.

Somalia had been plunged into anarchy after the overthrow of former President Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, when warlords used their clan-based militias to remove Barre only to turn on each other for power, leading to constant inter-clan war which left thousands killed and millions displaced.

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