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Archive for July 13th, 2008

Obama marched and campaigned with the Sharia Law people of Kenya, who wanted Obamas man, Odinga, to become president,

Posted by African Press International on July 13, 2008

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(July 12, 2008) Barack Obama could be the real Luo president of the USA who has not been sworn in.

By Judi McLeod Tuesday, June 24, 2008

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/3641

EXCERPT

Odinga, who just completed a three-day tour of America, where he charmed senior Bush administration figures and key members of the U.S. Congress, has said that the Illinois senators father, from western Kenyas Luo tribe, was his maternal uncle.

Whether or not they are cousins, Obama did go to Kenya in August 2006 and was photographed in the company of a man promising to introduce sharia law if elected.

Obama also interrupted his New Hampshire campaign to speak by telephone with Odinga.

As reported by the Investors Business Daily, Obamas half-brother Abongo Roy Obama is a Luo activist in Kenya and a militant Muslim who argues that the black man must liberate himself from the poisoning influences of European culture and urges Barack to embrace his African Muslim heritage. Having Barack Obama embrace his African Muslim heritage is a theme recently echoed by Mummar al-Gaddafi.

Tribal kinsmenship between the two notwithstanding, Odinga and Obama are related in political style.

Odinga is described as Your Agent for Change on his homepage. Obamas campaign slogan is Change we can believe in.

Odinga described his pact with Kenyan Muslims as harmless.

Obama dismisses any questions about his alleged Muslim ties as smears and has even set up a war room to deal with slurs.

And like Obama, Odinga is not short on charisma.

Speaking to an applauding overflow audience in Washington at the start of a three-day official visit last Tuesday, Odinga gave Americans an accounting of the post-election violence in Kenya, saying it had nearly destroyed the country.

Tragically, post-election violence in Kenya included the deaths of about 35 women and children burned alive in a church.

Odinga related a joke he attributed to Prof. Ali Mazrui. The joke asks which would be the first country to elect a Luo president: Kenya or the United States. The question has actually been answered in Kenyas favour, Mr. Odinga said with a broad grin. Kenya has a Luo president who has not been sworn in, he declared to laughter and applause from an audience of roughly 300.

But the real joke may be on everyone who cares about America because Barack Obama, who had the audacity to tailor-make the official Presidential Seal for his podium before his campaign discarded the idea, could be the real Luo president of the USA who has not been sworn in.

See also:

This entry was posted on July 11, 2008 at 12:25 pm

http://dancingfromgenesis.wordpress.com/2008/07/11/reasons-why-hillary-clintons-men-and-women-supporters-backers-wont-vote-for-fall-in-line-with-behind-barack-hussein-obama-endorsed-campaigned-for-marxist-muslim-backed-sharia-law-candidate-raila-o/

Many women (and men), who are supporting Hillary Clinton for president (as the Democrat national convention approaches a month away), will never support Barrack Hussein Obama, should he emerge from the convention in Denver as the Democrats nominee, because of his deep alliances with the islamic world, and because his longtime church, Trinity United Church of Christ, treats Muslims as spiritually co-equal, members of the black church,

as it is called by Obama and Jeremiah Wright, Christians and Muslims ostensibly co-equal spiritually, acting as if Islam and Christianity are complimentary, as if there are no spiritual contradictions between the two, when they are actually mutually exclusive, just ask the hundreds of thousands of Christians who were displaced (and 1,500 of them killed) when the Muslims went on a rampage in Kenya because their candidate, Raila Odinga, who had promised them Sharia Law, lost the presidential election, causing them to go berserk.

Barack Obama, along with Dick Morris and Mohammar Khaddafi, campaigned for Odinga, the Sharia Law candidate, which is never discussed by the mainstream media, but is becoming known to Americans across the board, including Hillarys supporters, who know that Sharia Law brings disaster to women, as well as to men,

forcing compliance to such barbaric practices as clitorectemies, death sentences for those who leave Islam or who do not cooperate with arranged marriages, and evangelism by the sword, like Muhammed, who instructed to submit the entire world to Islam by force, which doesnt go over well with Americans, Hillary Clintons supporters included.

Do you remember the big hubbub when the photograph of Obama wearing his sunni muslim hadj outfit in Africa was circulating on the internet and in newspapers last year? That was from a trip where he was campaigning for the muslim-backed Odinga in Kenya, who was bankrolled by Libyas Mohammar Khaddafi (a good buddy of Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan), so Obama marched and campaigned with the Sharia Law people of Kenya, who wanted Obamas man, Odinga, to become president,

to bring government sponsored sharia law terrorism to the people of Kenya. Hillarys supporters are becoming aware of all this, and so, will never back Obama, which the Democrat delegates may realize, causing them to nominate Hillary at the convention next month. And if Obama succeeds in gaining the nomination, rest assured that millions of Hillary supporters will back McCain, over Obama, who supports Sharia Law, treating Islam as part of his black church.

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API

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Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka have led members of the grand coalition government in resolving to bring back peace to the country following the post-election violence.

Posted by African Press International on July 13, 2008

Story by CHARLES WANYORO

Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka have led members of the grand coalition government in resolving to bring back peace to the country following the post-election violence.

Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka (left) shakes hands with Prime Minister Raila Odinga a thank-you party for Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi (second right), at Nkubu Stadium in Meru on Saturday. Also looking on is Mrs Priscilla Murungi. Photo/FILE

Mr Odinga said that the post-election violence affected everyone and should be avoided at all costs in future.

Kenya is greater than an individual, the Prime Minister told a thank you party hosted by Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi at Nkubu Stadium in Meru on Saturday.

The premier said that he was committed to ensuring that the grand coalition stood out as a shining example to other countries that people can differ and then share power.

Greatest challenge

He said that the greatest challenge facing the coalition government was to deliver on the pledges they made to Kenyans when they signed the peace accord. Mr Odinga said that the coalition was on the path to delivering a new constitution within the next one year.

Mr Musyoka urged politicians to desist from talking about who will succeed President Kibaki and instead concentrate on efforts to reduce poverty.

Mr Murungi said that he had chosen to invite the leaders from across the political divide to foster cohesion. He said the team would tour the entire country preaching peace.

What God has put together, let no man put asunder. In politics, there is no permanent friend or enemy. Only permanent interests. I have been on the road to Damascus. I no longer bear hatred for my political competitors. Im like the Apostle Paul, preaching peace and friendship, Mr Murungi said.

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta said that leaders were to blame for the post-election violence. Leaders bring about division. We are the ones who stand up and say this tribe is bad and should vacate this place, he said.

He said that constitutional reforms should ensure that densely populated constituencies are split.

The votes from Nithi constituency brought disagreement since we have more than 123,000 voters. We need to divide these large constituencies to avoid suspicion that elections have been rigged, Mr Kenyatta said.

Mr Amos Kimunya, who resigned as minister for finance earlier this week over the Grand Regency saga, said he harboured no grudge against MPs for passing a vote of no-confidence in him.

The truth shall come out one day. I need your prayers. We should pray for our leaders that they learn to talk the truth since the truth shall set you free. I have no grudge with anybody. Not even the MPs who passed a vote of no confidence in me. They should know that we are in Parliament for five years and we need to work together.

But Mr Kimunya did not shake hands with Mr Odinga and Mr James Orengo, the Lands minister, after he (Mr Kimunya) finished his speech. But he shook the Vice-Presidents hands before he took his seat.

Mr Orengo blew the whistle on the controversial sale of the Grand Regency Hotel.

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API/Nation.ke

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Changing tack: Eyes on 2012 polls in Kenya

Posted by African Press International on July 13, 2008

By Sunday Standard Team

Following the hotly disputed presidential election and eyesore of bloodletting they lived worlds apart. The disciples of the two key protagonists President Kibakis Party of National Unity and Prime Minister Raila Odingas Orange Democratic Movement could spit at each other on the face.

James Orengo

The winds of hate and suspicion around them, peppered by intense political rivalry, trickled down to their supporters. But when the National Peace Accord was signed, ushering in the onset of protocol and portfolio-sharing wars, the Grand Coalition swayed.

In the Cabinet the suspicion the other party was up to no good, led to a querulous assembly of men and women. It was then, which is never the case today, news when Kibaki met Raila. The question on the lip was: how far will they go? Who will blink first? Who is fooling who?

Today, four months after the power-sharing deal, which had many a hic-cups, while still solidifying, appears to have plunged its root deeper. When, for example, Mr Amos Kimunya, who ceded his Finance portfolio in the Cabinet until the outcome of the investigation into the controversial Grand Regency Hotel sale, he stood alone in the House as he was roosted.

Even the PNU side held its breath, and when Kimunya tried to whip up its emotions he could only count on Kanu chairman Mr Uhuru Kenyatta a peripheral member of PNU.

William Ruto

But even more interesting is the way the closed-fisted greetings among PNU-ODM ministers have changed. Some, in Parliament for the first time, looked more like warriors than statesmen. Today some of the ministers, common on television breathing fire and brimstone, have changed tack. Some appear to have rolled up their sleeves and got down to work. This could have ambushed the sceptical country that Kenya is.

New rivalry

But there is a new rivalry, hidden but raging. It appears to be wrapped around the challenge; which side is the hardest working, not politicking. The destination is 2012, the last round of the unfinished race, because in the case of last year, the prize was shared under the watchful eye of the world.

As late as yesterday, the President who is on a second controversial and final term, apparently in reaction to the early campaigns to succeed him, said his office was not vacant. But barring the damage that could be inflicted on the coalition by the waves of scandals, such as the latest swirling around Kimunya, and in which the President himself was initially drawn, it is down to work for some ministers.

Immigration Minister Otieno: Kajwang At public functions, it is now unlikely for one to associate Kajwang with his ODM campaign-rallying rendition, Baado Mapambano.

Last month, he unveiled Sh1.2 billion project to create a centralised database. It will, at the click of a button, show the persons name, gender, marital status, residence and occupation, among other details.

Kiraitu Murungi

Kajwang explains this will make it easier to trace and know “our people” should they find themselves in trouble.

“It is not just about tracing people here in Kenya. We live in a global village. You wake up and learn that somebody with a Kenyan sounding name has been killed, abducted or implicated in terrorism abroad. And we have nothing to show that person is a Kenyan. This database will help us know our people,” Kajwang said.

Kajwang is also looking into ways Kenya can benefit from immigrants. Currently, the minister said, not much attention is paid to immigrants and nobody asks how the country can tap into what they have to offer. “America and Europe have benefited from immigrants. We must start too and we must be open-minded,” he said.

Kajwang, like his colleague Mr James Orengo, is one of those who believe the country has for generations refused to think outside the box, largely because it has been run by people who want to maintain the status quo.

Kajwang is pursuing a radical programme that will give national identity cards to Kenyans from age 16. This new crop will be allowed to vote, have driving licenses, and own property.

He argues as was the case with women across the world until after the Second World War, the youth are being locked out of the affairs of their nation. Yet, he says, todays youths are well informed at a tender age and tend to know more than their parents.

Higher Education Minister: Sally Kosgei

Dr Sally Kosgei never talks much. But she has made the transition from former Head of Civil Service to a politician and now a minister. At the Ministry of Higher Education, she is also preparing a Cabinet paper that should be ready in the coming weeks.

Johm Michuki

She will present a plan on how to ensure universities pursue science and technology and that the nation benefits from such pursuits. Kosgei is also worried universities are admitting more students without expanding their physical facilities. She also worries the admission of students has not been matched by recruitment of qualified lecturers.

She wants to set a national standard for qualification to be a lecturer.

Her biggest worry though is that science and technology are trailing badly in higher education. Even universities that are technology oriented are producing more social science graduates than, say, engineers.

Kosgey also wants to involve donors in the Higher Education Loans Board to get more funds to university students. Even where universities want to embark on serious pursuit of science, there are either no staff or facilities.

Medical Services Minister: Anyang Nyongo

It has been long since Prof Nyongo, in his capacity as secretary general of ODM, issued those scathing attacks on PNU or President Kibaki. Nyongo is busy at work. Nyongo says his flagship project is lowering the cost of health services.

His priority is curbing importation of fake drugs. In May, Nyongo said his ministry had deployed its intelligence services to crack down on importers of fake medicines, which account for a third of the drugs trade.

He revealed that Kenyans might not be recovering from their illnesses because the market is rich in fake drugs.

He revealed that a survey by Kenya’s National Quality Control Laboratories and the Pharmacy and Poisons Board found that 30 per cent of the drugs in Kenya were counterfeit. Some were no more than chalk or water. Nyongo also wants to expand health facilities in Nairobi to ease pressure on the regions leading teaching and referral facility Kenyatta National Hospital.

Sports and Youth Minister: Hellen Sambili

Prof Hellen Sambilis entry to the Cabinet was baptism of fire.

She was named to head the sport and youth docket, which has a dubious distinction of bringing ministers down on their knees. Football, which ridiculed her predecessors, Mr Francis Nyenze, Mr Najib Balala, Mr Ochilo Ayacko and Mr Maina Kamanda, was again in the news, and for its string of bad news.

Turf wars in football leadership were raging again, with the Fifa-backed group of Mr Mohammed Hatimy and Bob Munro and their rivals, Mr Sam Nyamweya and his group, who are recognised by the Government as bona fide officials, claiming control of the sport.

Sambili weaved through the murky football waters adroit charm that won over not only KFF factions and the world ruling body, Fifa, but even with the fans, clubs and colleagues.

Her first mission at Kencom House was to get to the bottom of the matter of disputes and factional wars in sports in general and football in particular.

Her consultative meeting with selected journalists opened her eyes to myriad problems bedevilling sports and possible cure. Such meetings took place formally in her office and informally outside official hours. She goes about her work with gusto.

She almost brought warring KFF factions to a round table when they met Prime Minister Raila Odinga in his office at The Treasury, but in quick succession.

Her infectious smile has pacified critics. Somewhat uncomfortable with too much media attention, Sambili has a knack for hard work and delegates to her senior officers, Permanent Secretary Murugu Kinuthia, Sports Secretary Daniel Maanzo, and the Commissioner for Sports Gordon Oluoch.

Her other headache now is the Sports Bill, which is being ferociously opposed by vested interests, but which she is determined to chaperon to its logical conclusion, if only to bring a semblance of sense in sports.

As focus now turns on Olympics in Beijing next month, word doing the rounds is the minister is monitoring teams and will not tolerate joy-riders and others masquerading as officials or abdicating their official roles during such trips to take their wares, which they sell throughout the games.

The minister is also watching financial management in sports associations and how funds are used during major games. She is a minister with the finger on the pulse of the nations sports, and its health too.

Energy Minister: Kiraitu Murungi

Kiraitu, who in the last term was one of the President most ardent supporters, is among those who appear to have back-pedalled on confrontational politics.

He says the Grand Coalition Cabinet was committed to expanding the achievements of the Narc administration in the spirit of Kibakis re-election Kazi iendelee slogan.

“The Grand Coalition Cabinet is committed to making Kenya a working nation. I see ministers working very hard in their dockets. The coalition is functioning well,” Kiraitu says.

When he was appointed Energy Minister the first time in 2006, vested interests had slowed down the rural electrification programme.

Kiraitu, emerging from a bad stretch of having been dropped from the Cabinet under the Anglo Leasing scandal, hit the ground running. He scattered supplier cartels that had undermined rural electrification.

Kiraitu ordered that the rural electrification programme funds be henceforth banked in current accounts instead of the interest-earning savings accounts, where employees skimmed off the gains. He also opened up the task of laying down the power lines, to competition.

The measures helped speed up the extension of the programme, that aims at increasing power connection from the current 1,000,000 households to an additional 200,000 homes a year for the next five years.

Vision 2030 projects 40 per cent homes connected with power by 2020, additional 15 million homes in the next 12 years.

A new corporation, the Rural Electrification Authority, has been crated to undertake the task, while the Energy Ministry is restructuring KPLC and replacing it with Kenya Power Transmission Company, a State corporation to expand power distribution.

Oil exploration in the northern part of the country, suspended in mid-1980s by retired President Moi over security concerns, has since resumed with Chinese firms granted exploration licenses in Isiolo and Marsabit.

Environment and acting Finance Minister John Michuki

Michuki, who is admired for his hard driving and results-oriented style, has elevated the profile of the Ministry of Environment. Traditionally it was a dump site for political lightweights.

Before he was called in to stand in at the Treasury, Michuki was cleaning up murky Nairobi rivers. He announced last week he would spare nothing until the rivers flow with sparkling clean water. The former Transport Minister said the Government is willing to deploy the Kenya Army and the National Youth Service in cleaning up the Nairobi River.

Many promises have been made over the years, but Michuki is not known to make idle threats.

Indeed, many are glad it is Michuki who is in charge of the Nairobi River Programme. Its implementation requires firm and unpopular decisions, including relocation of informal settlements on its banks, demolition of structures on riparian reserves, and taking on commercial interests that drain their effluent into these rivers.

Last week Michuki told stakeholders at the United Nations Environment Programme: “Reality has hit me about the enormity of environmental challenges facing the country. Unless confronted now and urgently, it will undermine our ability to meet the Millennium Development Goals and Vision 2030.”

The programme is estimated to cost up to about Sh16 billion, spread over three years, and Michuki says the Government was willing to contribute 30 per cent of the budget with the rest coming form donors.

Michuki said among urgent measures already complete include: Demarcation of 30m riparian reserves along these rivers.

William Samoei Ruto: Agriculture Minister

Ruto says he has toned down on politics because the work is overwhelming. “I am surprised that some people find time to talk about 2012. Our hands are full. We have a job to do. Kenyans are waiting for jobs. They are waiting for the price of unga to come down and some people are busy telling us about 2012. My worry is that 2012 may come and find us with nothing to show the people,” the minister said.

Yes, Ruto is as radical as a politician can be. In his mind, he has no doubt that his party, the Orange Democratic Movement and its leader Prime Minister Raila Odinga, won the December 2007 polls.

But after a moment of spurring with President Kibakis allies, the Eldoret North MP has overcome his misgivings and settled down to work. In about two weeks, Ruto will take a paper to the Cabinet seeking radical intervention by the Government to revive the agricultural sector.

He will be asking the Government to write off the Sh47 billion debt sugar factories have been grappling with. He will also be asking for more billions to revamp ailing sugar factories.

The minister says he wants factories that can crush 15,000 tonnes of cane per day. Currently majority of the factories crush only 3,000 tonnes daily.

“Our sugarcane matures in 12-24 months. But even now, sugarcane that is 48 months old is still lining up to be crushed. Farmers cannot opt for the fast maturing variety because even the one that takes long cannot be crushed,” Ruto says.

The problem, he notes, is that the factories are operating obsolete machinery and cannot cope.

This week, the minister is expected to travel to the Coast to witness the destruction of 47 containers of imported sugar detained at the port. He says this is part of his determination to protect cane farmers.

“A lot of sugar is coming into this country disguised as fertilisers, cement, pasta and rice. All these products are zero-rated. We want to stop that practice.”

Until now, the rule has been that those caught importing sugar illegally are allowed to sell it after paying 100 per cent duty. The minister has stopped that, and cancelled all licenses for sugar importers and exporters alike. His reasoning is that Kenya has no sugar to export.

“We produce about 500,000 thousand tonnes of sugar and consume 750,000 tonnes every year. Yet people have been keeping licenses claiming to be exporting sugar. It is madness. We dont have sugar to export,” he says matter-of-factly.

What the exporters have been doing, Ruto says, is to bring in sugar from outside the Comesa region, flood the market with it, killing local factories.

Some of those imports are what he will destroy in Mombasa this week.

“A person who lies that this is fertiliser when he knows it is sugar; how do you trust such a person to import sugar to be consumed by Kenyans? Such a person could sell you poison. We have agreed that such people should be charged as economic saboteurs, after their cache has been destroyed,” the minister said.

In the Cabinet paper, Ruto will also be asking for Sh74 billion to turn around the agriculture sector. He will be asking that 4.5 per cent of the Budget be given to ministry every year.

The money will be used for agricultural research. He also wants the Government to start subsidising farmers as is done in Europe and US.

If that succeeds, farmers will be paying 60 per cent while the Government pays 40 per cent of the cost of production. For that, he wants Sh18 billion every year.

The Cabinet paper will also seek to commit the Government to help farmers access markets. He wants a wholesale and storage market for fresh produce. Such a facility, he says, will help fresh produce farmers to store their goods for long without fearing they will go bad.

“Elsewhere, potatoes stay in cold rooms for two years and they dont go bad. In Kenya, it cannot take a month. If you dont sell within a week, you start panicking that they will go bad. Then you sell at a throwaway price. If we cannot assure our farmers of market access, we have no business telling them to produce more.”

He will also ask for Sh500 million every year to market Kenyas tea and coffee and he wants the Agricultural Finance Corporation to start giving farmers affordable loans.

James Orengo: Lands Minister

May be lawyer James Orengo was just the right man to run the Lands ministry, complete with its known crooks, barons and big ranchers not keen to share land. The Ministry of Lands requires a good understanding of the law, resolve, bravery and even a willingness to die.

In between hard politics and work, Orengo shows he knows what is wrong. He may for now be known more for the whistle he blew on Amos Kimunya and the Grand Regency, but that is just part of the reason Orengo is seen to have got down to work.

When it comes to land and dishing it out, Orengo says, it is not just laws related to land to be looked at. Land, Orengo says, is responsible for most of the problems Kenyans have, including the bloodshed witnessed every election year.

“Land issues cut across several ministries and have implications beyond the Ministry of Lands. They involve Local Government, Tourism, and Forestry. Failure to appreciate this resulted in land being given out and developed without environmental impact assessment, road reserves given away and public utilities in Nairobi privatised. My first duty here is to make this ministry understand this linkage,” the minister says.

But the biggest project Orengo is pursuing is a national land policy, which he says will address the injustices over the years. It is going to the Cabinet soon in the form of a Cabinet paper.

There goes Jim, another minister who has got down to work, and on his lip there is very little of the routine PNU-ODM politics.

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API/Standard.ke

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Posted by African Press International on July 13, 2008

By Dennis Onyango

It may have passed unnoticed and many probably never saw the irony. Last June 1, the day Kenyans set aside to celebrate their victory over the British colonialists and the coming of independence, President Kibaki issued a directive reversing one Lands Minister James Orengo had issued over ownership.

In the last week of May, Orengo announced his ministry was reclaiming all public land leased on or before 1909, including all other tracts whose leases had expired.

The minister said the Government would review the leases. Those who have been doing legitimate business on those premises and knew the terms and conditions of the leases have nothing to fear, Orengo said.

You will find that some of them have an option for renewal, but they have to persuade us, that if the renewal is granted we stand to gain.

That development would most affect large tracts of land issued by the colonial Government whose lease period of 99 years has expired alongside smaller parcels in the urban areas.

The parcels of land were to revert to the Government together with all developments, with immediate effect.

A week later, President Kibaki reversed the tough rules on land policy the minister had announced.

The President advised people with expired leaseholds or letters of allotment not to panic, but to renew them with the Ministry of Lands.

Addressing the 45th Madaraka Day at the Nyayo National Stadium, President Kibaki said the sanctity of title deeds; leaseholds and letters of allotment should be respected.

With that presidential intervention, land is expected to remain in the hands of those who have it today while those who missed it at independence squat on what is not theirs. The old divide over land continues.

Land is the single most important issue why Kenyans went to war with the British and got independence.

Last June 45 years after the British left, the President overruled his minister and vouched for a reinstatement of titles issued in the colonial era. It was the first Madaraka Day after Kenyas nationhood was tested to the core when Kibakis re-election sparked off ethnic wars seen to have their roots in land ownership.

With the directive, President Kibaki recast the country back to the early years of independence, when radicals fought and lost the battle to have land redistributed. The conservatives, who happened also to be landowners, wanted the status quo to remain.

Orengos proposal was essentially what Bildad Kaggia, together with Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, were proposing at independence. Kenyatta and his then Lands Minister Jackson Angaine fought it hard.

Threatened interests

Archival records indicate that on September 5, 1963, Kaggia wrote a memorandum to draw attention to the problem of freedom fighters land that was not being reinstated to the former owners and to the eviction of Africans from white farms.

Kaggia argued the logical way to deal with the land problem was to nationalise the big estates formerly owned by the Europeans and make them either state farms or hand them over to co-operatives formed by landless Africans.

That proposal, like Orengos, threatened the interests of the emerging black landowners who had bought those farms from the departing colonialists.

In the run-up to independence, the problem and its cause, was clear. It was that as in Zimbabwe, British colonialists set the stage for a serious land crisis in Kenya, herding Africans into reserves.

At independence in 1963 and the three years that followed, a few leaders like first Vice-President Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Bildad Kaggia and later JM Kariuki saw the problem coming.

They warned the founding father of the nation, Jomo Kenyatta, that it was not proper that Kenyans, who had shed blood, lost lives and gone to war largely over land, should be made to buy it from the British just when they had defeated the colonial masters and won their independence.

Odinga and his supporters were lumped leftists and communists who wanted to bring down Kenyattas Government and betray the liberation struggle.

They were thrown out of Government or, like JM, killed in mysterious circumstances or just abandoned to die slowly in poverty, as Kaggia while those who supported Kenyattas thinking thrived, with more land.

Proposed land policy

But, 45 years after independence, the nation appears to be exactly where it was at independence, especially when it comes to land.

Retired President Moi, in his biography, The Making of an African Statesman, captures the situation in the Rift Valley as Kenya pushed for independence.

Even in those early days, Moi says in his book, the Kikuyu in the Molo and Elburgon areas of the Rift Valley embarked on large-scale oathing in support of the formation of a Kikuyu government that would distribute land to their landless tribesmen.

In response, the Kalenjin prepared for war. Moi notes colonial authorities recording:

African smiths were inundated with orders for spears. Bows and arrows were manufactured and stockpiled; poison was traded for goats or grains and on a number of occasions the war alarm was shouted from hill to hill, leading to the mobilisation of hundreds, even thousands of excited warriors.

More than 40 years later, the situation in that region remains the same. Orengo believes it could remain the same or degenerate some more, depending on how the Government deals with land before the next election.

Addressing land questions Kenyatta and Odinga are gone. But the black landowners Kenyatta created are facing the wrath of the landless that Odinga warned would come.

Nowhere is this divide more visible than at the Ministry of Lands, where a radical minister with radical proposals on how to redress the land question is running into the brick wall of status quo defenders and landowners.

The Head of State said there should be no ambiguity on the security of land rights and the sanctity of any document related to land should be protected in accordance with the laws and regulations governing the administration of land.

But that may have been the first phase of the clash between those who have land and those who want it.

Later this year, Orengo will table before the Cabinet his proposed land policy before it is taken to Parliament.

The policy would, among other things, initiate the creation of a National Land Commission as a custodian of all public land, something that is currently vested on the Commissioner of Lands and the President.

Another boost is that negotiations under Agenda Item Four in the mediated peace talks centre around historical injustices. Land is a key issue.

Orengo believes part of the problem is that over the years, Kenyans have come to accept that the President is the ultimate authority on land, a position he says is wrong.

There has been a wrong impression in this country that the Commissioner of Lands is only answerable to the President. That is wrong. The Commissioner is answerable to the minister. That is provided for in the Constitution. In the end, we are all accountable to Parliament and to the people of Kenya, the Minister says.

When he overturned Orengos directive on June 1, the President also promised never again would any Kenyan be displaced from his or her land.

He said the right to live, work and own property in any part of the country should be upheld, without propaganda and malice, adding that the recurrence of politically motivated violence would not be tolerated and those who recruited gangs to cause mayhem would not be spared.

Orengo, on the other hand, fears that if radical steps are not taken to address the land issue, what happened will recur.

Land and its ownership, Orengo says, is what will destroy Kenya, unless there is a change in the style of its sharing and ownership.

The appetite for land is not limited to the poor and the landless. Even those who have land have an insatiable thirst for more. It is those who have land who keep looking for more, Orengo says.

Orengo particularly worries about the situation in the Rift Valley.

The most productive area of that region, he says, is a small corridor along the railway line and it is what everyone is fighting for.

The man whose ministry is responsible for issuing land title deeds, says the problem in the Rift Valley, is not about title deeds or the constitutional rights of Kenyans to settle anywhere. It is a problem that defies willing buyer, willing seller logic.

Orengo says there is tremendous feeling of betrayal over land, especially in Central Province. If the minister had his way, the starting point in resettling the displaced people from Central Province would have been to buy them land in the province they originated from. That would have historical significance.

Harmonisation vital

The people of central Kenya fought to recover their land from the British. Mau Mau even had a Land Freedom Army. They were fighting to recover their ancestral land, which the wazungu had taken. They were not fighting to get land in the Rift Valley. There should have been an effort to settle communities in the regions where they shed blood for their land, Orengo said.

The Lands Minister says resettlement cannot be done by the force of arms, and he fears that if some form of harmonisation is not done, there will be trouble again, come 2012.

You may resettle them using the force of arms. But come another election, there will be trouble. That has been the pattern, the minister said.

Not all people who trace their roots to Central Kenya but now find themselves in the Rift Valley were taken there by the Kenyatta regime.

There are thousands who moved to Rift Valley in the 1950s to work on white-owned farms. They later acquired plots of their own after independence through the land buying companies.

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API/Standard.ke

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First war crimes trial in Norway since World War II

Posted by African Press International on July 13, 2008

Rape, torture, illegal internment of civilians and crimes against humanity, are among the charges faced by a 41-year old Norwegian citizen, who came from Bosnia-Herzegovina as an asylum seeker in 1993.

Pl K. Lnseth (left) wants to show that Norway is no haven for war criminals. He and his colleague Jan Eirik Thomassen seen outside the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

PHOTO: ARILD JONASSEN

According to the Director of Public Prosecutions, this is the first war crimes indictment in Norway since the aftermath of World War Two.

A large number of witnesses will be flown in from Bosnia and other countries.

“Norway has been considered by some to be a safe haven for war criminals. This indictment should indicate that this is not the case,” says Pl K. Lnseth, one of the prosecutors in the case. “We can expect many more such cases in the years to come,” adds Lnseth.

The charges relate to the treatment of 18 civilian Bosnian Serbs in 1992. The accused is a muslim who was active in the Croat HOS military organisation, which fought against Serb military forces.

The indictment gives detailed accounts of kicking and beatings, prodding with needles and psychological mistreatment. Two of the women were said to have been repeatedly raped by soldiers. Victims were forced to drink their own urin and were exposed to mock executions. Food was scarce and the prisoners were made to sleep on concrete floors.

The 41-year old came to Norway with his family in 1993. He applied for and was granted asylum. In 2001 he became a Norwegian citizen. The trial starts in Oslo at the end of August.

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API/Aftenposteneng

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Register needed to stop corruption, say experts

Posted by African Press International on July 13, 2008

Many academics and and politicians think that complete transparency around lobbyist’s contact with ministers and other politicians will strengthen democracy and avoid corruption. The Minister for Administration and Reform, Heidi Grande Rys, disagrees.

Heidi Grande Rys, Minister of Government Administartion and Reform, earlier this week rejected a lobbying register.

PHOTO: KNUT FALCH / SCANPIX

“It would be nave not to believe that power and money influence politics in Norway, in the same way that they do in other countries,” says Tina Sreide, senior researcher at Chr. Mikkelsen’s Institute in Bergen.

Earlier this week, the Government was criticised for not telling which lobbyists and organized special interest groups the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers are meeting.

Socialist Left Party (SV) minister Heidi Grande Rys wrote a letter to parliament rejecting a lobby register, despite her own party leader having made a similar proposal for just such a register earlier on.

Both the Liberal Party (V) and SV have argued for the introduction of procedures for registering lobbying in Parliament. Now they want to extend this to include the Government as well.

Many experts feel that the Government should reverse its decision and adopt proposal made by the Liberals.

Professor Andreas Fllesdal, at the University of Oslo’s Center for Human Rights, thinks that a lobby register is important if people are to have confidence in the political system.

“Lobbyists are paid by those who hire them to grab attention for their own special causes, at the expense of other solutions and issues. This becomes a dangerous development if it is allowed to go on without the public’s knowledge. A lobby register would make things much easier for journalists and academics to discover when particular groups were getting an unfair amount of attention, adds Fllesdal.

Law professor Jan Fridtjof Bernt at the University of Bergen, also thinks that the public has a right to know when politicians are contacted by lobbyist. He doesn’t think practical problems about setting limits for what should be registered should stop new procedures from being adopted.

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API/Aftenposteneng

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CENTRE TO TAP TOP TECHNOLOGY BRAINS

Posted by African Press International on July 13, 2008

BY PATRICK WANJOHI

Kshs50 million Nairobi-based training facility takes to franchising as away of meeting growing demand for IT professionals

After talking nearly nonstop about his business for more than two hours, Mike Macharia, the CEO of Knowledge Transfer Center (KTC), walks through the elegant institution at the 6th floor of Bandari Plaza in Westlands to end in the lecture room.

Directly ahead is what a number of guests here have come to see: the global centre that supports Information Technology (IT) training in partnership with international players such as CISCO, Sun System, Microsoft, Oracle, and TIBCO. The trophies at his office are gifts from top players in the industry to Seven Seas Technology, an IT solutions company he founded eight years ago.

Now, he is spreading to bring from the ground a technology training centre, KTC, expected to tutor IT professionals in the region in on-demand programs in the market place. So far, Kshs50 million has been invested in constructing and furnishing.

And the timing is not coincidental. According to Mr Macharia, 32, the market place for IT professionals has become sort of disoriented, and one that plays under no set rules. The kings win the day, where companies with money snatch the best talent from the competitors. “Most companies fear training technicians and engineers because it is expensive and again, it tends to fuel other human resource managers to go poaching. We want to say no to the trend,” said Mr Macharia.

At the centre, trainees are equipped with skills in fields like software solutions, system integration, networking security, infrastructure management services and telecommunication skills to meet the growing challenges of both IT and telecommunication industries. “IT professionals lack basic skills, which at the centre we are emphasising on,” he said.

Localising the training means that companies will no longer need to send their technical engineers abroad to acquire the basic IT skills, said Mr Macharia. Dozens of high-profile companies are today hiring IT professionals from other companies to strengthen their competitiveness and productivity.

The KTC courses have been crafted to bring the 24-hour economy to reality. This is attempting to liberate society from traditional to knowledge economy, he adds. “A knowledge economy refers to the use of knowledge for economic benefit,” he said in his expansive office, as journalists and other guests were taken on a tour of the facility. “As a result, goods and services can be developed, bought, sold, and in many cases even delivered over electronic networks.”

In his efforts to look for a sustainable business, Mr Macharia thought that technology practitioners never understood the logic in the technology business. “I thought it an easy business, and that is why I engaged in the enterprise,” he said. “I am confident, with the vision 2030 and the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) indications, the sector is not exploited yet.”

To make IT training centre different and reputable compared to other local ICT institutions, the company has invested heavily in quality trainers, facilities and equipment. “In addition, we offer convenient extras such as accessibility and a satisfactory overall learning experience in a professional environment,” Mr Macharia said.

Market-driven courses

Some of the courses offered include Data Basics, Security, Application Information, System, Customer Relation Management and Network, and take between five days to a month. A course costs between $500 and $5,000. In addition, together with a client they are able to identify a course and develop appropriate and approved content for the training. The results of the product are in accordance with both their individual and corporate goals, he said.

Knowledge Transfer Centre targets university graduates, employees, and company staff with some IT knowledge. Since its inception in December last year, the centre has trained 60 students. “KTC is enabling its clients to succeed in a challenging and changing environment,” said the CEO. He said the company will be franchising the education centre within the next 15 months to facilitate faster expansion in East Africa. “Branding the firm, ‘Knowledge Transfer Centre’ gives it the simplest identity to make a catch,” said the CEO. “This is because we are transferring knowledge to technicians from some of the major industry players.”

A Strathmore University graduate, Mr Macharia says Kenya is experiencing a huge shortage of IT engineers. “Our main goal is to promote the highest standards of IT training by providing world-class training within the region. Again, it is enhancing consumer capacity, and to get the most from their investment, therefore increasing productivity through skills development,” he said. KTC operates on a part time basis and has four classes; each with a capacity of 16 students.

If the big talk by the fashion-conscious MD is to be believed, the centre is not limited to accommodation capacity, since a flexible expansion solution is there to accommodate more numbers. Upon completion a student is awarded with an internationally recognised certificate.

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Published Online:February 28, 2008 by Smartbiz Africa Story by Wanjohi who is a staff correspondent for Smartbiz Africa. Email: editor@smartbizafrica.com

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Republished now byAfrican Press International – api

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So What Should the World Do About Zimbabwe?

Posted by African Press International on July 13, 2008

By Scott A Morgan

The Expectation that the UN Security Council would impose Sanctions against Zimbabwe was high. After All the Presidential Runoff that was concluded on 29 June was considered by many Nations to be illegitimate. Actions by supporters of the ruling ZANU-PF and State Security Forces compelled the Main Opposition Candidate for President Morgan Tsvangari to withdraw his candidacy for President.

The demand for International Action to be taken regarding the situation in the Southern African Country reached a Crescendo at the recently concluded G-8 summit. At the meeting in Japan these Nations decided that some form of sanctions would be imposed against the Zimbabwean Government in repsonse to its actions during the Presidential Campaign.

So when the Council Discussed a Resolution on 11 July there was a modicum of optimism. The Draft Resolution included a Proposed Travel Ban on President Mugabe and 13 other Government Ministers. An Arms Embargo would have also been enacted. There was International Consternation in April when China attempted to deliver an Arms Shipment while the Country waited for the results of the Initial Round of Balloting.

So when it came down to the Vote the Resolution was vetoed. Both China and Russia vetoed the Resolution. South Africa also felt that Sanctions were not necessary. Both Permanent Members felt that the Situation within Zimbabwe was not an International Problem. It is interesting to see how they have ignored the Tensions along the border with Botswana. In recent years China has invested heavily in Zimbabwe despite the rampant Inflation.

Another reason for the Veto was the reported talks that are ongoing in South Africa. Reports indicate that the Government and the Main Opposition Party the MDC have started talks to from a Government of National Unity. The Powers that used their veto indicated that they wanted to Give the Talks ample time to succeed. Western Powers like Britain and the United States feel that this is a Smokescreen by President Mugabe to consolidate Power.

There are several questions that will be asked. First how much longer do the People of Zimbabwe have to suffer? After a tepid response from the African Union and now the Failure of the United Nations to impose Sanctions who knows what will be the next course of action. The EU and Other Powers have limited sanctions currently in place and it appears that these will have to be action that will be taken. Military Action is not a vialble option at this time. But how long will the wait be until it is?

The Author Publishes Confused Eagle. It can be found at morganrights.tripod.com

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Published by API

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Posted by African Press International on July 13, 2008

China on Friday vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution on Zimbabwe, saying that political dialogue and negotiation is “the only correct path” to solve the Zimbabwe crisis.

In a statement published Saturday, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said “The African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are mediating Zimbabwes political crisis. The international society should provide constructive assistance, avoiding any action that might cast shadow on the political dialogue”.

“This is the common request of the AU countries, which the Security Council should pay attention to and respect,” he said.

“Under the current scenario, a sanction resolution would not only endanger the negotiation process between the Zimbabwean government and the opposition, but also further complicate the situation in Zimbabwe” Liu added.

China and Russia vetoed a U S-drafted resolution in the Security Council on Friday that would impose sanctions on Zimbabwe over the countrys presidential run-off election in late June.

South Africa, which is mediating Zimbabwes political crisis, together with Libya and Vietnam also voted against the draft while Indonesia abstained.

United States, Britain, France, Belgium, Italy, Panama, Burkina Faso, Croatia and Costa Rica voted for the draft resolution.

The text calls for a travel ban and an assets freeze on President Robert Mugabe and his top officials, as well as an arms embargo.

Opponents of the resolution argued that sanctions would undermine the mediation efforts of the African Union and SADC and endanger the negotiation process between the Zimbabwean government and the opposition.

The problems in Zimbabwe “cannot be resolved by artificially elevating them to the degree of a threat to international peace and security,” Russias UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told the council.

“The use or threat to use sanctions lightly is not conducive to solving a problem,” Chinese Ambassador Wang Guangya said.

“More importantly, the development of the situation in Zimbabwe till now, has not exceeded the context of its domestic affairs and it does not constitute a threat to world peace and security,” Wang added.

Many members of the UN Security Council, including China, expressed such concerns and called for further consultations so as to leave enough time for the AU mediating efforts.

“We regret that those reasonable requests were not valued and responded to by the presenting country, therefore, China vetoed the resolution,” Liu said.

Liu also called on the different parties in Zimbabwe to take the national security and interest of the people as a priority, fully cooperate with the mediation of the AU and SADC, so as to seek a solution in line with public opinion and political reality.

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API/APA

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Sudan foreign ministry condemns planned ICC indictment of President Bashir

Posted by African Press International on July 13, 2008

The Sudanese state minister in the ministry for Foreign Affairs Al Samani Al Wasila Al Samani described the plans by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue an arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir over war crimes as sad news for the nation.

The minister however downplayed the threat of issuing an arrest warrant after submitting evidence against President Omar al-Bashir on Monday. He said Sudan is not a party to the ICC.

On Friday, the Sudanese ambassador to the United Nations, Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamad, speaking from New York, warned that the charges against the president would be a “criminal move”.

He said the ICC move should be resisted by all those who wish for peace and all peace loving countries around the globe.

Last year, the ICC judges issued arrest warrants for Sudanese government minister Ahmad Harun and militia commander Ali Kushayb but the country has refused to hand them over, saying its own courts can handle any war crime suspects.

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API/APA

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Cameroon sets roadmap to develop Bakassi Peninsula

Posted by African Press International on July 13, 2008

The Cameroonian government will embark on a programme for the implementation of key projects in order to develop the Bakassi Peninsula between 2010 and 2013, an official source told APA.

These projects mainly cover the construction of sports, road, health and educational infrastructures.

It will also aim at developing fishing and set up relay antennas of the state radio and television in this potentially oil-rich region which had been disputed between Cameroon and Nigeria.

According to some surveys, this programme should require between 3 and 4 billion CFA francs from sources such as the states special funds, the state investment budget, and resources from the debt alleviation under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative.

Under an order of 10 October 2002, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague had recognized Cameroons sovereignty over this peninsula mostly inhabited by Nigerian citizens.

In August 2006, Nigeria withdrew its troops from the region and transferred authority to its neighbour.

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API/APA

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Tanzanian cricket association chief commends players for showing bravery

Posted by African Press International on July 13, 2008

Despite losing its title to Uganda in the recent Under-17 East African cricket tournament in Kampala, the Tanzanian boys have displayed a brave performance, according to the chairman of the Tanzanian Cricket Association (TCA) Zulfikar Rhemtullah.

Rhemtullah told APA Saturday in Dar es Salaam that following their impressive show, TCA would field the team in the Under-19 World Cup qualifiers for Africa. However, he said the host country for the qualifiers has not yet been chosen by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

“We are very pleased by the boys performance in the regional event. We lost the title because of exhaustion and for most of the players, it was a maiden international event”, said Rhemtullah. He said the decision by TCA to field new faces in the team was to prepare them for the global tournament.

Tanzania won only one match against Rwanda out of four matches played against Kenya and Uganda, according to the TCA boss.

TCA has been developing young talents in its Muhimbili Cricket Academy in Dar es Salaam and a few others in the regions to produce talented players.

Tanzania was the title holder of the regional event. Its victory was spearheaded by the current senior team players now preparing for the World League for Division Four to be held in Dar es Salaam in October.

Tanzania participated twice in the World Cup qualifiers for Africa. In 2005 it participated in Windhoek, Namibia and in 2006 went to South Africa where it won a shield, despite failing to clinch a berth in the World Cup.

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API/APA

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Nigerian leader discloses plans to up grade relations with Philippines

Posted by African Press International on July 13, 2008

Relationship between Nigeria and the Philippines will be upgraded from that of current charge daffaires to ambassadorial level, President Umaru Musa YarAdua said Friday in Abuja.

President YarAdua, who received the out-going charge daffaires of the Philippines to Nigeria, Mr. Masaranga R. Umpa on a farewell visit to the State House, said upgrading Nigerias representative status from that of the current charge daffaires, would deepen relations between both countries.

The president said Mr. Umpa did excellent services during his 12-year stay in Nigeria, and urged him to continue to promote the countrys interests in his future assignments.

Mr. Umpa in his turn thanked Nigerians for making him to feel at home, which enabled him to perform his work successfully during his stay in Nigeria and requested for the upgrading of Nigerias head of mission status in Manila.

In a similar engagement, President YarAdua also bid farewell to the out-going High Commissioner for Sierra Leone, Muhammed Bayoh, after a six-year tour of duty.

Mr. Bayoh described Nigeria as a very wonderful country and the pride of Africa, and thanked Nigerians for standing by his country during the civil war years.

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API/APA

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UNHCR calls on South Africa to stop deportation of Zimbabwean refugees

Posted by African Press International on July 13, 2008

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) on Friday called on South Africa to stop deporting Zimbabwean refugees, noting that an increasing number of them are arriving as a result of political violence in their homeland.

According to UNHCR, while there were a significant number of refugees crossing the border into South Africa seeking asylum in the wake of the violence that beset Zimbabwe following the March elections, that figure has increased since the 27 June presidential run-off.

UNHCR spokesperson Ms. Jennifer Pagonis told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York Friday that the agency is seeing an increasing number of families arriving as a result of political violence, with several people showing signs of beatings or torture. Many new arrivals are entering the country through unauthorized border points, making it difficult to know the numbers involved.

The High Commissioner is reiterating his appeal to South Africa to halt all deportations of Zimbabweans and ensure that those seeking asylum should have access to the national asylum procedures, Ms. Pagonis said.

We continue to urge South Africa to exceptionally grant Zimbabweans a temporary legal status allowing them to stay in the country, an option which is foreseen in national legislation, she added.

Sources indicate that, in the last 40 days alone, some 17,000 Zimbabweans have been deported from South Africa through the Beit Bridge border post, despite earlier calls from UNHCR to suspend all deportations.

In our view, the large scale deportations, coupled with the difficulties that Zimbabweans face braving the crowds to access the national asylum procedure, create a real risk that refoulement or forcible return to their country of origin where they could face danger could occur, said Ms. Pagonis.

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API/APA

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US confirms ICC plan to seek arrest warrant for Sudanese president

Posted by African Press International on July 13, 2008

The United States State Department confirmed Friday that prosecutors from the International Criminal Court were to seek an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar el Bashir for genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

“I understand that there is some notice that the prosecutor intends to go before a panel of judges to present information and request for a warrant,” State Department spokesman Mr. Sean McCormack told reporters in Washington.

Mr. McCormack was confirming reports that the ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo will seek the arrest warrant Monday in the first-ever bid before The Hague-based tribunal to charge a sitting head of state with war crimes.

“My understanding of the procedures is that the panel of judges will take the request and advice and make some decision in some period of time. I cannot however tell you how long it would be,” McCormack concluded.

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API/APA

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