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Archive for August 6th, 2008

57 councillors in Uhuru list lose jobs

Posted by African Press International on August 6, 2008

Deputy Prime minister Musalia Mudavadi addresses a press conference. He announced that he had revoked the nomination of some councillors picked by his predecessor at the Local Government ministry, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta. With him is permanent secretary Sammy Kirui. Photos/PHOEBE OKALL

ByKENNETH OGOSIA

In Summary
  • Nomination of 57 councillors revoked
  • 64 councillors appointed.

Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi has revoked the nomination of 57 councillors and appointed 64 others whose names were struck out by his predecessor, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta.

Mr Mudavadi, who is also the Local Government minister, appointed another 67 public officers and sacked 41 who had been appointed by Mr Kenyatta.

However, Adopt-A-Light Chief Executive Officer Esther Passaris, whose nomination by ODM was revoked by Mr Kenyatta, was also left out by Mr Mudavadi for the second time.

By-election

Still, the minister still insisted that Mr Kenyatta had erred in refusing to gazette her name.

As you are aware, Ms Passaris had upgraded her interest and vied to become the MP for Embakasi in the by-election. She wrote to ODM on the withdrawal of her interest and I maintain that during Mr Kenyattas time a wrong was committed, Mr Mudavadi said at a press conference in his Nairobi office on Tuesday.

However, his move could pose legal challenges for the Government because the courts have in the past declared previous revocations of councillors as illegal.

In one case, former Mombasa mayor Taib Ali Taib won a victory over the then Local Government minister, Mr Musikari Kombo, who had revoked Mr Taibs nomination as a councillor.

The court ruled in Mr Taibs favour.

In another case, former nominated councillor Otieno Karan also won after he challenged a decision to revoke his nomination.

The courts at the time ordered that councillors whose names had been revoked could resume their jobs.

On Tuesday, it emerged that those whose nominations were disputed but are now mayors and council chairpersons were spared the axe.

It is not prudent to destabilise the councils by revoking the nomination of the affected councillors, Mr Mudavadi said. Among those who benefited from this directive was Mombasa mayor Ahmed Modhar.

In such cases, the parties the councillors represented had to validate their nominations afresh. ODM reconsidered its position and endorsed Mr Modhar.

Notable names in the list of councillors who have lost their jobs include Hanningtone Wandera Awori, brother to former vice-president Moody Awori; and Hamisi Shamba, a former Harambee Stars footballer who was nominated as a councillor in Kisumu.

The controversial nominations sparked an uproar in Parliament earlier in the year and Mr Mudavadi then promised to degazette the excess councillors in two weeks.

However, he failed to fulfil the promise due to what sources at the ministry said was interference by political parties and MPs whose candidates benefited.

Mr Kenyatta nominated over 200 councillors, overlooking the one third rule which states that a minister should nominate a third of the councillors elected in every civic authority.

He later appointed over 100 public officers in the 175 councils. Of these, 41 were sacked by Mr Mudavadi.

The Local Government minister said his ministry had ensured that the nominations were regularised through the validation of the appointing political parties.

For example the mayor of Mombasa has been validated through the Orange Democratic Movement which was the appointing political party, he said in a statement.

He said he had invoked sections 26(2) and 28(2A) to effect the changes.

He also revealed that the ministry was in the process of amending the Local Government Act to ensure that there are no loopholes in the procedures for nomination of councillors.

Three civic leaders from the Nairobi City Council and three others from Nakuru County Council were among those who lost out.

However, PNU candidates who protested the removal of their names by Mr Kenyatta and went to court were re-appointed.

Nominations revoked

The Nairobi councillors whose nominations were revoked were Lee Muchiri, Badi Ali and Dishon Njoka Nyagah. Those removed from Nakuru were Jane Simita Munga, Simon Mararia Gathura and Daniel Wamwere Githinji.

Those who were re-appointed are Ms Rachel Wanjiku Kamweru, Wilfred Mangara Apencha and Jacob Haji Ali.

Two other councillors were nominated by ODM. They are Rose Adhiambo Ogona and Josephat J. Bukachi.

Eleven of the affected councillors were from Nyanza and Western provinces. Among the councils affected are Vihiga, Funyula, Migori, Gusii, Kisii, Ogembo, Keroka, Masimba and Nyamira.

Ten other councillors were appointed in Kisumu, Rachuonyo, Kehancha, Gusii, Gucha, Keroka and Nyamira.

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KorirAPI/SourceNation.ke

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Kenya: Director shown the door! Shake-up at port as boss sent on leave

Posted by African Press International on August 6, 2008

Kenya Ports Authority Managing Director Abdallah Mwaruwa. Photo/FILE

In Summary
  • Kenya Ports Authority Managing Director Abdallah Mwaruwa sent on forced leave
  • Mr James Mulewa appointed acting MD.

Kenya Ports Authority Managing Director Abdallah Mwaruwa was on Tuesday sent on forced leave as the Government moved in to sort out the mess at the Mombasa Port.

Mr James Mulewa, who was in charge of reforms, has been appointed acting MD.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga said on Tuesday that the port now has an acting MD but the position would be filled competitively later.

Mr Odinga said the changes were part of the Governments decision to improve infrastructure and create a conducive environment for the private sector to thrive.

Major reshuffle

The move against Mr Mwaruwa came on the eve of the expiry of his contract as a part of a major shake-up of the KPA management.

Maritime sources attributed the action to inefficiency that contributed to a massive congestion of cargo at the port in recent weeks.

Sources also said that the controversial implementation of the Kilindini Waterfront Automated Terminal Operating System (Kwatos) and the recent nine-day go-slow by unionisable employees could have contributed to Mr Mwaruwas unceremonious exit.

The go-slow resulted in a major pile-up of containers at the port.

Mr Mwaruwas exit came amid reports of a major reshuffle of section heads at the port.

Senior public relations officer Bernard Osero said he could not comment on the issue because he had not been fully briefed.

Sources at the port said the changes include the splitting of the job of harbour master and operations manager.

Mr Twalib Khamis, who held both positions will be the harbour master in charge of marine operations.

Mr Joseph Atonga, an engineer who was until yesterday the technical services manager, becomes the operations manager, with Mr Abdallah Samatar taking over the technical services role. Mr Samatar has been the chief civil engineer.

Ms Catherine Mturi, who has been finance manager, is now financial controller. She replaces Alex Kazongo, whose fate was not immediately clear.

There was no mention of Mr Vincent wa Kayanda who has been the human resources manager, and was due to retire this month.

Acting capacity

All positions are in acting capacity, said the sources. Addressing the Press after his appointment, Mr Mulewa, who was in charge of reforms, conceded that the port had been choked, and said his main priority would be to clear the more than 13,800 containers at the terminal.

We have brought in a quality assurance consultant who has helped us identify the problem areas of the system, he said, adding that he expected to clear the yard in two weeks and have Kwatos running smoothly in a month.

Mr Odinga made the announcement of change at the port in Nairobi when he launched the National Business Agenda, a strategy document prepared by the private sector leaders highlighting factors impeding their development and proposals of how best they could be solved.

It came a day after the MD of the troubled Rift Valley Railways, Mr Roy Puffett was replaced by Mr Kevin Whiteway.

Reported by Samwel Kumba, Gitonga Marete and Edmund Kwena

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Kenya: PNU to start recruitment exercise

Posted by African Press International on August 6, 2008

Written By:Joan Gathoni

The Party Of National Unity PNU will now go for both corporate and individual membership, President Kibaki has Tuesday endorsed.

Following the endorsement of the changes in the Parties constitution, the party is now set to roll out in recruitment in the grassroots level country wide.

The unanimous endorsement of the adoption of both the corporate and individual membership in the Party Of National Unity has brought to a stand till the cross road the party has experienced for some time now.

President Kibaki presided at the endorsement of the agreement at the KICC where about 60 members of parliament and PNU’s affiliate party leaders were in attendance.

Chair of the 15 member committee looking into the PNU’s membership issues, Noah Wekesa says the decision to have both corporate ad individual memberships in the party was reached upon unanimously by the Members of Parliament present, as they also picked o President Kibaki as the party leader and National Chair

This now calls for the amendment of the party’s constitution to allow for the two types of membership.

However individual parties are required to comply with the Political Parties Act.

The Party Of National Unity will soon announce the other officials.

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Govt to break down decision -making barriers

Posted by African Press International on August 6, 2008

Written By:Carol Gakii

Prime Minister Raila Odinga says the government will break down the decision-making barriers that have hampered Public Private Sector partnership in the past.

Raila says there is need to get diverse sectors working together behind a consensus, which will make Vision 2030 a success.

” What you see here today is an unprecedented level of cooperation between government and the private sector, whose role in development has now come to be accepted as indispensable. This Round Table, which will be held quarterly, will institutionalize our partnership in the common cause of wealth creation. Such partnership is the only way to mobilize the vast human energy and financial resources that remain untapped among our very enterprising people.” The PM said.

Speaking during the inaugural Government and Private Sector Round Table at a Nairobi hotel, the prime minister said the government’s immediate goal of achieving a 10 per cent economic growth rate will not be attained if there is no partnership from all stakeholders.

“The 10 per cent growth rate is not just a goal; it is a target we MUST reach. If we fail, we will not be able to generate the resources we most urgently need.” He said.

He further noted that the national reconciliation and stability the country is now enjoying has brought immense confidence to Kenya from international partners.

“The national reconciliation and stability we now enjoy has brought immense confidence to Kenyans and to our international partners. But it can only be sustained in the long run if we end marginalization and inequity, create hundreds of thousands of jobs for our youth, and reduce the crushing poverty in which millions are trapped.” He added.

Raila however added that the stability can only be sustained by ending marginalization and inequities as well as creating hundreds of thousands of jobs for the youth.

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Homosexuality – punishable by death?

Posted by African Press International on August 6, 2008

The Norwegian Islamic Council is still waiting for a reply from the European Fatwa Council before it decides whether or not it is in favour of the death penalty for homosexuality. “Unacceptable,” says lesbian Sara Asmeh Rasmussen.

Last November the Norwegian Islamic Council asked the European fatwa council what attitude it should have to homosexuals.

The fatwa council, which debates questions of Muslim faith and doctrine, had its annual meeting in Paris three weeks ago, but did not discuss the subject, according to daily newspaper Dagsavisen.

“It’s wrong of the Islamic Council to wait for the “verdict” from the fatwa council in such an important case. By not saying ‘no’ to death penalties for gays, it shows attitudes that conflict with both democratic and humanitarian values,” says Sara Azmeh Rasmussen. She is the only openly lesbian Muslim in Norway.

The head of the Norwegian Islamic Council, Senaid Kobilica, is not worried that the fatwa council will decide in favour of the death penalty. “I’m 100 percent certain that the fatwa council will not come out in favour something which conflicts with European law. The council wasn’t able to deal with the question of homosexuality this time, but it thinks that subject is quite relevant and wants to look at the matter more,” says Kobilica.

The Islamic Council, which represents 60,000 Muslims in Norway, is still not willing to say whether it is for or against the death penalty for homosexuals, until the fatwa council has spoken.

“It’s very important to have the European fatwa council with us in difficult matters like this. I am not in favour of the death penalty, but there are Islamic texts that various people understand differently. This is why we need to know the attitude of the authority before we make a decision,” says Kobilica.

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Norway: Four out of ten cheat the tax man

Posted by African Press International on August 6, 2008

Higher income groups aged 40 to 59 are most likely to avoid paying tax when buying goods and services.

Jon Stordrange thinks people should be allowed bigger tax exemptions.

PHOTO: FINN EIRIK STRMBERG

Four out of ten think its OK to pay cash and avoid tax if they need odd jobs done around the home or the “hytte”. The same proportion of the population say they have avoided tax, according to a recent study by Synovate on behalf of the Tax Payer’s Association.

“Tax evasion is more acceptable to women and moderately affluent income groups,” says Association boss, Jon Stordrange.

Despite campaigns to limit tax cheating, attitudes remain the same as in studies carried out in 2006 and 2007.

Stordrange thinks that tax rules have to be made simpler if people who clean and baby-sit are going to pay tax. He also wants the tax free limit raised from NOK 2.000 to NOK 10.000 (From USD 400 to USD 2.000).

“That way a retiree could hire his neighbour to paint his fence or remove the snow and still have a clear conscience,” says Stordrange.

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Krekar sues the government

Posted by African Press International on August 6, 2008

Mullah Krekar thinks the authorities have isolated him by taking away his right to work and study. He is taking his case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Mullah Krekar is suing the Norwegian government to make sure that he is getting his rights.

PHOTO: PAAL AUDESTAD

“I’m taking Norway to court to see that Im getting everything I have a right to,” says the 52 year-old Iraqi Kurd. He has been served an expulsion order which cannot be put into effect because he could face the death penalty if he returns home.

“He has no ID-papers, he cannot come and go as he pleases, he has no economic or social rights in this country. Instead he is in virtual house arrest without the means to support himself or his family,” says his attorney, Brynjar Melling.

The Conservative Party leader, Erna Solberg doesn’t think he has much chance of winning his case. “The suggestion that he cannot get medical care is untrue. Everyone in Norway, whether they are here legally or not, has the right to emergency funds from social services and emergency medical assistance. In Krekars case he doesn’t qualify for emergency money because he has a wife that works earning an income for the family,” says Solberg to daily newspaper Aftenposten.

“Krekar is being treated well. Many other countries intern people who are to be expelled,” says Solberg.

The European Court of Human Rights has still not decided whether to accept Krekar’s case.

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Norway: ‘Cycled for his life,’ with a moose on his heels

Posted by African Press International on August 6, 2008

Asbjrn Larsen was out riding his bicycle in the forest northwest of Oslo when he suddenly was confronted by an angry moose that started chasing him.

A moose started chasing 83-year-old Asbjrn Larsen in the forest on Oslo’s northwest side.

PHOTO: SVEIN ERIK FURULUND

IF YOU MEET A MOOSE
Keep your distance Moose are generally shy but can occasionally be aggressive. Never go nearer if you meet a moose (called elg in Norway). Even 50 meters can be too close. If the moose looks at you with a raised head and ears standing up, if hasn’t decided whether to stand still or flee. Calmly back away.

Back off quickly if the moose holds its head low and has pulled back its ears. Those are signs the moose is ready to attack. Experts warn that it’s nearly impossible for a human to outrun a moose.

Be especially careful if you meet a moose with calves. They can be defensive and aggressive as they try to protect their offspring. Never go between a moose and her calves. That will antagonize the moose and lead to a dangerous situation.

Call wildlife authorities viltforvaltningen if you spot a moose in residential or urban areas.

“I don’t dare think of what would have happened if I’d had to cycle uphill,” Larsen told newspaper Aften. “I probably wouldn’t have been able to have enough speed.”

The drama began when the active 83-year-old was cycling on one of the gravel roads leading into the forest beyond Skansebakken in Srkedalen. Skansebakken is the last stop on an Oslo bus line and a popular starting point for skiing in the winter and cycling or hiking in the summer.

Larsen had heard some mysterious grunting noises from behind trees along the road but only later realized it must have been a moose cow irritated by his cycling. Female moose with calves are highly defensive at this time of year, because offspring born in May or June aren’t yet able to fend for themselves.

“Suddenly the moose was standing before me on the road, demonstratively, as if she’d decided that she wasn’t going to let me ride by,” Larsen said.

Larsen, closing in fast on the moose, tried to scare her off by yelling “go back to the woods,” but that only made the moose more angry.

“I shouldn’t have done that, because the moose snorted, tramped her foot on the ground and started coming at me,” Larsen said. He quickly turned around “and just started cycling for my life.”

He said he kept cycling as fast as he could for around 10 minutes before he dared to look behind him. Then the moose was gone.

Lasse Henriksen of the local parks and recreation agency (Friluftsetaten) said the moose attack was probably due to the presence of a young calf in the area. “Moose cows will always stand and defend her calf,” Henriksen said. He thinks Larsen unknowingly came between the calf and its mother.

He agreed that Larsen shouldn’t have tried to scare off the cow. “If you provoke a moose, it will probably go on the attack,” Henriksen.

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Norway: Fisheries minister knew about hazards

Posted by African Press International on August 6, 2008

Fisheries minister Helga Pedersen admits that she knew the wreck of the Murmansk might contain dangerous chemicals, but she rejects claims that she lied.

Labour Party rising star Helga Pedersen is in trouble over the way she has handled pollution fears in Finnmark.

PHOTO: MORTEN HOLM / SCANPIX

Previously the Labour Party minister has said that she has had no knowledge of any toxic materials aboard the wrecked cruiser. She repeated this claim when she was interviewed on Monday. When the journalist confronted her with a letter from the local Mayor sent in 2005, warning of possible dangerous chemicals, she admitted that she recognized the letter.

Odd-Egil Simonsen, the former Labour Party mayor, accuses Pedersen of lying when she said she was unaware of any danger to the environment from the wreck.

After daily newspaper Aftenposten wrote about radioactive equipment which had been removed from the ship last Friday, demands to remove the wreck have increased.

“In his original letter Simonsen referred to PCB’s and toxic flame retarding organic bromines. There have been suspicions about the existence of chemicals like this dating back to 2004, but nothing had been confirmed. Claims that there were radioactive materials on board were entirely new to me,” says Pedersen.

On Tuesday Pedersen meets the present mayor of Hasvik, Eva Husby who also represents the Labour Party. She has two demands: that the wreck has to be thoroughly inspected to see what materials are on board, and that the wreck must be removed, according to news bureau NTB.

Pedersen says that the contents of the ship have to be checked first. She promises that the local inhabitants can be quite sure that there will be no dangerous pollution from the wreck in future.

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Newly appointed Mogadishu mayor discloses his plan to restore security

Posted by African Press International on August 6, 2008

In a ceremony held on Tuesday at Wadajir district in south Mogadishu, the newly appointed mayor of Mogadishu Mohamed Osman Ali Dagah Tur, disclosed his plans to enhance security in the capital and to ensure the return of the displaced people to their homes.

Mohamed Osman Ali Dagah Tur, who was the deputy governor of Banadir region in charge of social affairs before being nominated the acting mayor and governor of Banadir told reporters at the ceremony that he will make his own strategic plan to restore law and order in Mogadishu.

I will begin soon to open the closed roads in Mogadishu which are still closed and I will ensure the return of the displaced people living in the outskirts of Mogadishu to their homes, the new mayor promised.

I will discuss with the relevant stakeholders how to facilitate the way the displaced people can return, ensure security of the roads and also restore the transport system. We will repair the roads that were destroyed during fighting, as well as restore electricity and water, he added.

During the ceremony, the deputy governor in charge of security, Abdi Fatah Ibrahim Omar Shaweye, and several other district commissioners also participated in the ceremony.

Meanwhile, a political crisis is deepening in Somalia with the resignation over the weekend of eleven ministers of the Transitional Federal Government, after accusing the Prime Minister, Nur Hassan Hussein of usurping power and causing the sacking of the mayor of Mogadishu without consultation.

Mohamed Omar Habeeb, the sacked Mogadishu mayor told reporters that the Premier and his cabinet have only the right to propose but the final decision rested with the Somali president Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed.

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Posted by African Press International on August 6, 2008

Jacob Gedleyehlekisa Zuma, president of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa was born April 12, 1942. He was born in Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal Province. His clan name is Zuma and he is affectionately known by his praise name Msholozi. He is commonly referred to by his initials JZ.

He was Deputy President of South Africa from 1999 to 2005. He did not receive any formal schooling after primary school but is self-taught. He spent his childhood moving between Zululand and the suburbs of Durban. His father was a policeman who died when Zuma was still a young boy.

Zuma involved himself in politics at an early age and joined the African National Congress in 1959. He became an active member of the ANCs military wing Umkhonto we Sizwe (The Spear of the Nation) in 1962, following the banning of the ANC in 1960.

He was arrested with a group of 45 recruits near the North-West Province in 1963 whilst involved in underground ANC operations. He was convicted for conspiring to overthrow the government and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on Robben Island in 1963.

After being released in December 1973, he mobilised internal resistance and was instrumental in the re-establishment of ANC underground structures in Kwa-Zulu Natal from 1974-75.He left South Africa in 1975.

For the next 12 years, Zuma was based in Swaziland and then Mozambique. His focus, along with President Thabo Mbeki and others, was giving leadership to ANC structures operating within South Africa. In 1976, he had to deal with thousands of young exiles who left South Africa in the wake of the Soweto uprising in June 1976.

While in exile, Zuma lived in several African countries working for the ANC. He rose rapidly through the ranks to become a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC in 1977. He also served as Deputy Chief Representative of the ANC in Mozambique, a post he occupied until the signing of the Nkomati Accord between the Mozambican and South African governments in 1984. After signing the Accord, he was appointed as Chief Representative of the ANC in Maputo.

Zuma was forced to leave Mozambique in January 1987 after considerable pressure on the Mozambican government by South Africas apartheid regime.

He moved to the ANC head office in Lusaka, Zambia, where he was appointed head of underground structures and shortly thereafter chief of the intelligence department.

He served on the ANCs political and military council when it was formed in the mid-1980s.

He also served on the ANCs military and political committee after it was formed in the mid-80s.

Zuma returned to South Africa to begin the process of negotiations following the unbanning of the ANC in 1990. After the 1994 democratic elections, with the ANC becoming a governing party, he was appointed as a member of the executive committee of Economic Affairs and Tourism for the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government, after stepping aside to allow Thabo Mbeki to run unopposed for the ANC deputy presidency.

In December 1994, Zuma was elected National Chairperson of the ANC and also chairperson of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, and he was re-elected to the latter position in 1996. He was elected Deputy President of the ANC at the National Conference held at Mafikeng in December 1997 and consequently appointed executive Deputy President of South Africa in June 1999. He was as a result widely believed to be heir apparent to the presidency after Thabo Mbeki steps down.

In 2005, President Thabo Mbeki dismissed Zuma for his role in the corruption trial of his friend and financial adviser Schabir Shaik who is currently serving a 15 year jail sentence for corruption and offering bribes to Zuma in exchange for lucrative government contracts. Since his sacking by President Mbeki however, Zuma has rallied the support of many left-leaning constituencies within the ANC on his side.

He remains popular amongst the traditional allies of the ANC- the youth league, the trade union movement and the South African Communist Party.

Though his political future appeared more clouded during his rape trial in 2006, his most vocal supporters stayed faithful, gathering outside the courthouse to support him during his trial, threatening victims and judges and later celebrating the not-guilty verdict.

Zuma became the President of the ANC on 18 December 2007 after defeating incumbent Thabo Mbeki at the ANC conference in Polokwane.

He is currently standing trial at the Pietermaritzburg High Court in Kwa Zulu Natal for corruption and fraud.

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Sudan pledges to remove obstacles hindering UN-AU mission in Darfur

Posted by African Press International on August 6, 2008

Sudan has reassured the United Nations and African Union mission in Darfur (UNAMID) that it will remove all obstacles concerning the use of land by the mission and would facilitate the full deployment of the mission in Darfur.

The government said this during a meeting on Monday with the acting UN-AU Joint Special Representative for Darfur Henry Anyidoho together with some AU officials, according to a press statement issued by UNAMID late on Monday.

African Union Commission chairman Jean Ping is currently in Sudan for a two-day visit to discuss the indictment of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and genocide by International Criminal Court (ICC).

After meeting with Al-Bashir on Monday, Ping said while the AU was trying to extinguish the fire in the region by contributing its own troops, the ICC chose to pour more oil on the fire.

Earlier, he had urged the United Nations Security Council to suspend the ICC move to issue a warrant of arrest against the Sudanese president so as to give peace a chance in the region.

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KorirAPI/SourceAPA

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Posted by African Press International on August 6, 2008

The UN Secretary Generals Special Representative for West Africa, Sad Djinnit arrives in Togo on Tuesday at the start of a two-day visit, a sources has said.

Djinnit will hold talks with President Faure Gnassingb and Prime Minister Komlan Mally.

This visit will enable the envoy and the Togolese authorities to examine the development efforts, peace and security in West Africa.

Togo has emerged from several years of socio-political and economic crisis.

Its the first time Djinnit is visiting Togo since his appointment to the post.

Djinnit was previously AU commissioner for peace and security.

He had also worked at various levels of the African Union Organization as deputy secretary general for Political Affairs.

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KorirAPI/SourceAPA

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Nigerien leader backs al-Bashir, calls for quick end to Darfur crisis

Posted by African Press International on August 6, 2008

Niger President Mamadou Tandja has called on his Sudanese counterpart, Omar al- Bashir to “quickly settle the Darfur issue to avoid giving chance to other people outside Africa to meddle in our national affairs”.

The Niger leader made the remarks while receiving the Sudanese minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Joseph Okelo who was visiting Niger, the state-owned daily Le Sahel said here on Tuesday.

The Sudanese envoy was delivering a message from President Omar Hassan al- Bashir to his Niger counterpart on the request by the International Criminal Court prosecutor to indict the Sudanese leader.

“We are very happy that President Tandja confirmed Nigers support to Sudan in this case”, Okelo observed.

On the situation in Darfur, President Tandja suggested “to quickly solve this issue in order not to give a chance to people outside Africa to meddle in our state affairs”.

The Sudanese leader is facing an international arrest warrant issued by the ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo for his alleged involvement in abuses against the civilian population of Darfur.

In July in Niamey, the executive secretary of the Community of the Sahelian-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), Dr Mohamed Al Madani, stated that the ICC prosecutors prosecution was “political and not legal”.

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Posted by African Press International on August 6, 2008

Rwandas commission of inquiry into the role of France in the 1994 genocide on Tuesday said it was considering a possible prosecution of about 13 top French politicians and more than 20 senior military officers for their active involvent in the massacre.

The commission which is headed by the current president of the Genocide Ideology Commission and genocide survivor, Jean de Dieu Mucyo, named the former and late French president Francois Mitterrand, as well as Frances former Prime Minister Edouard Balladur as those it was contemplating on prosecuting.

Rwandan minister of Justice and Attorney General Tharcisse Karugarama officially issued a three-volume report of 500 pages at a ceremony Tuesday before a jam-packed conference hall at the ministry of justice in Kigali.

Its an inquiry report and not a criminal file which only forms the basis of this report,” Karugarama said.

He explained that the government will use the report “to provide a legal remedy.

The minister of information, Louise Mushikiwabo stressed that the report puts clear and makes serious allegations about an involvement of a foreign power and nationals in a crime of another country.

Furthermore, the report says that the military and humanitarian “Operation Turquoise” carried out by the French in Rwanda between June and August 1994, abetted hate, ethnic killings and other related genocide crimes perpetrated by the extremist Interahamwe Hutu militia.

President Paul Kagames government has on several occasions accused France of covering up its role in training troops and militias who carried out massacres in Rwanda.

But France has repeatedly denied having had a hand in the mayhem.

The release of the report comes against a backdrop of tense relations between France and Rwanda.

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