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Archive for September 14th, 2008

Should the US Increase its Presence in Northern Uganda

Posted by African Press International on September 14, 2008

There is a sense that the Frustration Level regarding the Lack of a Peace Accord in the Northern Uganda. The situation lacks the panache of Darfur and the Democratic Republic of the Congo so there is little information released about it nor are there any Hollywood Celebrities going to Washington to demand action.

So when Resolve Uganda an group that advocates for not only a Peace Accord for Northern Uganda but also Rehabilitation and Economic Investment it was worth a look. One of the interesting things to read about was the reccomendations that the group suggested that the United States Implement. After all in recent weeks there has been ample region for concern in the whole region.

Joseph Kony has once again teased that he will sign a Peace Accord with the Ugandan Government. After all the deal was negotiated under the auspices of the Government of Southern Sudan. So when it came time sign the Document the LRA leader didn’t show up. It is believed that he was angry that he was one of the senior leaders indicted by the International Criminal Court. The group has demanded that the Indictments be quashed before the deal is signed.

In Recent Weeks it appears that the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) is trying to have the Indictments quashed by its actions. There have been reports of attacks in the Eastern part of the Central African Republic.

There were reports of a Clash with forces loyal to the Government of Southern Sudan along the DRC-Sudan Border as well.

An attempt by the UN and the Kabila Government to limit the influence of the Militias in the Eastern DRC is underway as well.

So with the above mentioned information as a backdrop what are the suggestions that the US should undertake to resolve the situation in Northern Uganda. After all there is a train of thought that believes that the US has a critical role to play in this long playing drama. Uganda has good relations currently with the United States. Some of the reccomendations include having the US Convene a Donor’s Conference regarding Uganda, Holding the Ugandan Government responsible for the rebuilding of the region and assisting in the apprehension of Joseph Kony.

At this time there is a serious problem financing ongoing projects in the region. Current efforts face a two faceted problem of providing Humanitarian Assistance while rebuilding Infrastructure that has been damaged by over two decades of war for those who have decided to return home. Previous Efforts by the Ugandan Government have yielded few positive results. So if there was some oversight by the US it is felt that positive change can occur.

Currently there is tepid feeling regarding the Northern Ugandan Situation in Washington. Congress has passed Legislation in an attempt to address the situation. The State Department did send an observer to the Peace Talks as well. But there was little interest from the White House. So this means that the Next Adminstration will have to decide what will be the best course of action that the United States will take.

<By Scott A. Morgan

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

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Press Release: SOLUTIONS FOR A NEW ENERGY FUTURE IN AFRICA

Posted by African Press International on September 14, 2008

Contact: Liz Hart

Phone: +27 11 783-5313

Mobile: +27 83227-5156

Fax: +27 11 884-4458

Email: liz@siyenza.za.com

Website: www.siyenza.za.com

September 2008

The crippling effect of the energy crisis is taking its toll on countries within the African region. If economies continue to grow and the demand for increased capacity rises, the continent will continue to experience challenges with regards to energy shortages. Experts on energy efficiency have noted that Africa has vast energy resources which far exceed energy requirements of the regions however most of these resources are grossly underutilized, particularly natural gas and hydro resources. Therefore the key challenge faced by Africa is to ensure the optimal utilization of the regions energy resources to facilitate individual country, regional energy and economic development.

At present Africa is searching for solutions that will address these energy challenges. African countries in collaboration with the World Bank are making significant progress in compiling strategies for energy conservation within their respective countries. Proposed projects include the building of a solar-powered university in Nigeria, the converting of crop waste into fuel in Cote d’Ivoire and the development of a wind farm in Senegal.

In light of this, an Energy Solutions for Africa Conference and Exhibition hosted by Siyenza Management with leading stakeholders will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Johannesburg, South Africa from the 28th– 29th of January 2009. The conference aims to provide a unique platform for ambassadors from African countries in both public and private sectors to debate, develop solutions and collaborate with one another in order to share best practices for Africa.

Liz Hart, Managing Director of Siyenza Management says The Energy Conference & Exhibition is a unique & focused business forum aimed at creating a platform in Africa for the exploration of alternate and renewable energy sources, exploring existing energy challenges, and solutions for the future including energy management technologies. The exhibition will provide the ideal networking climate for companies and individuals to obtain information on the latest technology trends available globally and to explore alternate & sustainable energy resources.

The Energy Solutions for Africa Conference will focus on the following topics:

The state of Global Energy Security

Scenarios for our energy future

The role of energy policy in creating security of energy supplies

International relations & energy: The politics of energy

The Political Economies of global energy

Global energy Infrastructure required for the future

The future of energy: Growth Spurts or growing pains?

Energy Finance for the 21st Century

Additional workshops will encompass:

Green energy & climate change

Alternative energy Resources the way forward

Diversification of energy resources, i.e. Hydro, wind, nuclear, gas

The Economics of Sustainable Energy Systems

International Energy Management trends & the way forward for Africa

Diversification of energy Supplies, i.e. Lesotho, Angola

Development of energy resources: challenges for Africa and action plans renewable energy
Energy for Development Energisation and Rural Development.

Investments in energy Sector, potential for African development

Linkages between energy and development strategies across Africa

Case Studiesinclude:

Small Scale and Renewable Energy Projects in Africa

Renewable: sustainable production, efficient and clean transformation of biomass,
solar, wind, and hydro

The event is aimed at becoming an annual event on the African business calendar attracting both global as well as regional participation from Africa and is aimed at becoming the definitive platform for energy dialogue across the continent.

Note to Editors:

For more information on the event please contact

Siyenza Management- Liz Hart 083 227 5156 or liz@siyenza.za.com

RELEASE PREPARED BY:

Siyenza Management: Liz Hart

Tel: +27 11 783 5313

Email: liz@siyenza.za.com

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Addressing the second session of The East African Legislative Assembly

Posted by African Press International on September 14, 2008

ADDRESS BY H.E. PRESIDENT PAUL KAGAME, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF RWANDA AND CHAIRMAN OF THE SUMMIT OF EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY HEADS OF STATE AT THE 2ND MEETING OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THE EAST AFRICAN LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

Forwarded By Leo Odera Omolo

Chamber of Deputies, Kigali, Rwanda, 11 September 2008

It is an honour for me to address you on this occasion of the Second Meeting of the Second Session of the East African Legislative Assembly sitting in Kigali.

I welcome you and hope you enjoy our Rwandan warmth and hospitality.

I take this opportunity to congratulate you, honourable Speaker, and members, on your election to the Second East African Legislative Assembly. I am sure the new legislators from the new partner states – Burundi and Rwanda feel very welcome in the Assembly.

I wish you all a fruitful term in the service of the people of East Africa.

Honourable Speaker,

This Assembly is meeting at a time when I have assumed the Chairmanship of the EAC Summit, thereby providing an occasion to share thoughts on the direction of our Community.

To begin with, the accession of Rwanda and Burundi into the EAC family offers many opportunities and benefits as we seek to deepen our integration. The challenge is to ensure that the citizens of the two new partner states are equally and equitably represented in the organs of the Community.

This means that the structures and systems of the EAC should accommodate the needs of the enlarged community. It is therefore critical that we urgently articulate a roadmap for achieving these objectives.

Second, we are reviewing the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. This Treaty has served the Community for the last eight years and now needs to be updated to meet the demands of deeper integration, and to govern robust and timely delivery of our obligations.

Third, our Community is in the process of negotiating a Common Market Protocol.

Negotiations started here in Kigali in February this year and I am informed they are proceeding well. The Protocol will contain important provisions that will facilitate free movement of goods, persons, labour, services and capital. It is also expected to include the rights of establishment, and of residence. These negotiations are set to conclude early next year so that we can reach our goal of a Common Market by June 2009.

Fourth, our Community will address the creation in East Africa of world-class infrastructure necessary for regional and international trade. It is fundamental that we solve the crippling shortfalls in rail, roads, ports and harbours as well as telecommunications facilities.

This is not enough however.

While for example the Customs Union is enabling some free movement of goods across our borders, a host of non-tariff barriers continue to raise the cost of doing business and render our region uncompetitive.

On this matter, I wish to note the commendable progress that has taken place in partner states starting with measures taken by the Government in Kenya and other states continue to take steps in this direction. We, in Rwanda are committed to this path and stand ready to have our border crossings open twenty-four hours.

Honourable Speaker,

As we move forward on a deeper and wide ranging integration agenda, it is important that we enhance cooperation with other Economic Communities within our continent, as well as with our major trading partners in Europe, the United States and beyond.

In this context, an EAC-SADC-COMESA Tripartite Summit of Heads of State is scheduled for October this year in Kampala, to examine how these three regional economic communities can speedily move towards a free trade area, promote transport corridors and joint infrastructure initiatives.

With regards to Europe, since the signing of a framework Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union last November, progress has been made in developing a roadmap for full negotiations. An EAC-European Union meeting will take place in Bujumbura this month to finalise the implementation plan.

The EAC has also signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with the United States aimed at improving US-EAC trade and investment and a comprehensive plan to take this forward is underway.

Let us bear in mind that East Africaʼs socioeconomic integration can only be realised with the business community spearheading innovation, generating wealth, creating employment and expanding the tax base of our region.

It is in this respect that we are encouraged by various efforts by the private sector in facilitating dialogue for promoting home-grown businesses and also to attract foreign investment into our region.

A case in point is the recent East African Investment Conference held in Kigali and similar initiatives planned for the coming months. I encourage all organs of the Community to work closely with the business sector in East Africa in order to make our region an attractive destination for domestic and international investment.

Honourable Speaker:

Let me now turn to some aspects relating to the East African Court of Justice.

The Court, as you know, has been restructured through the creation of two Chambers, a Court of First Instance and an Appellate Division. During the last Summit held in Kigali, Judges of the two Chambers were sworn in and have already gone through a strategy induction programme in Arusha.

The Court will require attention to enable it to exercise its duties efficiently. There is a need to revisit the terms and conditions of service for the Judges, as well as to clarify issues of the permanent seat of the Court and the reporting relationship between the Court and the Summit.

With regards to the East African Legislative Assembly, I appreciate the fact that you have an extensive agenda dealing with a number of important bills. I am confident you will examine them carefully and pass them expeditiously.

The EAC cannot achieve its vision of a dynamic, progressive and prosperous region without a strong oversight body to guide its healthy development and hold it accountable on behalf of East Africans.

It is therefore imperative that the East African Legislative Assembly is empowered and appropriately supported to fulfil its mandate. I am aware that you operate under budgetary and other constraints. I intend to consult with my colleagues to explore possibilities of addressing this important matter.

Honourable Speaker,

The issues I have raised require that all of us in the East African Community work towards the same vision. In this regard, I am in consultation with the Secretary General to organize a Strategy Retreat at an opportune time in the near future, which should bring together all the key EAC organs, to exchange views on how to strengthen our resolve and commitment to forging a common purpose. It will be my pleasure to participate in this retreat.

In conclusion, let me once again emphasize that integration is not an option but a vital instrument for growth and socioeconomic transformation.

Our region is not an exception.

We must move confidently into a higher stage of integration, based on bold and steadfast implementation of our East African development agenda.

I wish to thank you Honourable Speaker, for the invitation to address this august House.

It is now my great honour to declare open the Second Meeting of the Second Session of the East African Legislative Assembly.

I THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND ATTENTION.

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Kenya: Uhuru Kenyatta given ultimatum

Posted by African Press International on September 14, 2008

NEWS Analysis By Leo Odera Omolo

KANU national Chairman Uhuru Muigai has been challenged to choose between the party of independence and party of National Unity and make his stand categorically clear whether he belong to KANU or PNU.

KANU branches in Nyanza have come out very strongly in support of the decision taken earlier in the week by more than 150 delegates who converged in Kericho town and gave Mr.Uhuru Kenyatta two weeks ultimatum to call the National delegate conference to discuss the fate of the party.

A KANU leader in Nyando Mr.Ken Opande wondered why Mr. Kenyatta is still hanging on the partys National chair, and yet he was no longer interested in revitalizing the party.

KANU is a party which has its structures intact on the ground and therefore cannot be a subordinate of any political movement. If Mr.Kenyatta is keen in serving PNU then he should relinquish his responsibility in KANU.He is free to do so without being coerced or forced out.

Our party is not affiliated to PNU,But it is only individuals like Mr. Kenyatta who have become an affiliate of PNU simply because it is serving their selfish interest, said Mr. Opande who is also the regional coordinator of KANU in Nyanza.

Mr.Opande appealed to the retired President Daniel Arap Moi to come to the rescue of the party which he had led for close to 30 years and give it direction on how to face the future on its own as a political entity without succumbing to amorphous alliances with other parties whose policies are not clear about the future of this county.

Mzee Moi is a reliable , respected and focused leader who ,though now retired from active politics can give credible guidance on which way forward the part,y could follow in order to regain its old glory.

Mr. Kenyatta said another branch leader from Homa Bay district is no longer consulting the branches on party matters. The retired President Moi did. He has become a lone ranger perhaps thinking he would regain his shuttered Presidential ambition via PNU, said the Homa-Bay party leader who wished that his name should remain anonymous.

All that KANU members were reading from their National Chairman were all misleading and he is only serving self interest. Two important by-election as currently going on in Bomet district, but KANU is totally silent. Why? It is because the party is currently leaderless.

Mr.Opande backed the suggestion by KANU leaders who met in Kericho and endorsed Mr. Gideon Moi to take over the mantle of KANU leadership. Mr.Moi, he said should visit all the provinces within the next few weeks and asses the irreparable damage done to KANU by Mr. Kenyattas application of double standard leadership.

KANU has its structures intact all over Kenya whereas the PNU is only a party that is operating from media houses, but locked operational bases on the ground.

Many KANU members and leaders have read malice on Mr. Kenyatta assertion eelier in the week that KANU was firmly affiliated to PNU. How can our party be affiliated to amorphorous political party with no established structures on the ground, leave alone the branches.Mr.Kenyatta should stop in subordinating KANU and reducing to a subordinate of PNU that is a very wrong, strategy.

Kenyans cannot be duped to believe that KANU is in existence under the leadership of Uhuru Kenyatta who not long abducted his responsibility and turned his cousin in PNU said a KANU leader in Kisii.

We support our colleagues in Kericho who have taken a bold step in appealing to Mr. Gideon Moi to come forward and lead KANU. The younger MOI is a dynamic and energetic leader who can transform KANU back to its old glory, said Mr. Opande.

Ends

leooderaomolo@yahoo.com

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Terrorism shrinks freedom in the world

Posted by African Press International on September 14, 2008

Terrorism waved away JKIAs waving bay

By Lillian Aluanga

Today, the glitzy restaurant at JKIA where travellers once dined as they watched planes take to the skies is no more. The once lively waving bay remains closed to the public.

In the early 1990s, a young man from Nairobis Eastlands area gained admission to a university in the United States of America.

After months of preparation, he set off for the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), accompanied by a bunch of chattering friends.

Among the group was Eugiene Masbayi, an employee with the City Council of Nairobi, who recalls their arrival at the airport.

“Some people wheeled the trolley alongside our friend as he queued at the check-in counter. Others hang around the hall, just chatting and waiting.

Airport security is a major concern since the attacks on the US on September 11, 2001.

To while away time, Masbayi wandered around the duty free shops, before the group escorted their teary-eyed friend into the passenger lounge. They then headed to the waving bay, where a sea of scarves, caps and handkerchiefs fluttered in the wind, buoyed by a belief by those waving them that their loved ones could spot them from the plane.

Today, more than 10 years later, things are markedly different at the JKIA.

It began with the 1998 bombing of the American embassy in Nairobi where nearly 230 people were killed, and later the terror attacks on US soil in September 2001, where thousands lost their lives.End of carnival

It was then that the airport, as Masbayi knew it, began to change, taking away the aura of adventure that enthralled first- time visitors.

It was the era that marked the end of a carnival atmosphere at departure terminals, when relatives arrived in droves aboard minibuses adorned with flowers and banana leaves. Some even arrived with last minute gifts bales of maize flour which would quickly be checked in without much ado.

Today, the glitzy restaurant where travellers once dined as they watched planes take to the skies is no more. The once lively waving bay remains closed to the public, save for the occasional visit by students on educational tours.

At departure terminals, where family and friends once roved freely, now stand rails and security officers literally measuring the radius accessible to non-travellers.

Then come the security checks where the bleep of a metal detector would instantly see belts, shoes, watches, earrings, and even wedding bands skimmed off owners for scrutiny. In some instances, cameras are taken away for scrutiny, a marked difference from days when the flashy gadgets hanging around passengers necks would simply be waved on by security. There was a time when unattended luggage was put down to an absent minded traveller. But today, such bags would immediately draw the attention of security officers and bomb experts.

“The situation was different in the 1980s and early 1990s. It was normal to walk up to the check-in counter with the person you were escorting and even take pictures,” Masbayi says.

But 9/11 changed everything.

“These days, once someone goes past the checkpoint at the entrance, thats probably the last you will see of them,” he adds.

A taxi driver who has been operating at JKIA since the late 1970s says major shifts in operations at the airport came after the 2001 terror attacks in the US.Hiring taxi

The Kenatco taxi employee recalls days when hiring a taxi from the airport to the city centre cost Sh198. It now costs about Sh1,400 almost seven times more. Those were the days when clients could settle their bills with the cab drivers at check-in counters.

“Nowadays you cant let clients get into the building before settling the bill because you may never see them again,” he says.

At the arrival bays, things got even better, with the taxi operators mingling with potential customers as they cleared with Customs.

Midway through the conversation, the taxi driver excuses himself as one of the companys employees ushers a client to his taxi.

“This is how its done nowadays,” he says as he loads the clients luggage into the boot.

On the opposite side of the arrivals bay, a group of friends and relatives alight from a minibus and converge at the car park outside a departure terminal. Three people from the group lug their kins suitcases and plop them onto trolleys.

But the farthest the joyous caravan can go are the rails outside the terminal, where a security officer stands guard. Taken aback by the restrictions, the group heads back to the parking lot with their kin for a quick photo session and final hugs.

“Security became even tighter after the bombings on Londons public transport system in 2005 as airports struggled to keep up with international safety standards,” says an airline official who has worked at JKIA since 2001.

Items previously considered harmless creams, lotions, perfume and a host of other cosmetics can no longer make it on board if they exceed 100ml.

But even when they meet this requirement, the items must be put inside a transparent bag provided by the airline. Manicure kits are also banned on board.Little choice

Today, passengers have little choice but to remain glued to the entertainment provided while on transit.

It is tougher for those who would love to have a glass of their favourite wine to calm their nerves.

“There was a time when passengers were allowed to open drinks they had bought at duty free shops and have them on board,” says the airline employee.

But not anymore.

“The drinks must be sealed in special bags and can only be opened upon arrival at ones destination,” he says.

For the taxi operator, life for the traveller can only get tougher.

“There will come a time when taxis will be pushed further away from the kerb because of security,” he says.

“Its because of these people called terrorists. They have changed the world forever,” he adds.

————-API/Source.standard.ke

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Arab League boss lauds Zimbabwe power-sharing agreement

Posted by African Press International on September 14, 2008

The Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Moussa on Saturday praised the power-sharing agreement reached Thursday between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai scheduled to be officially signed on Monday in Harare.

Moussa commended the active diplomacy and tireless efforts made by South African President Thabo Mbeki who brokered the deal.

He expressed the Arab Leagues satisfaction with the agreement, describing it as a very important step to setting the ground for recovery of this brotherly African nation to achieve reconciliation and stability.

In a different engagement, Moussa discussed with John Powel, the Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Program (WFP) about the food situation in Somalia and the Darfur region of Sudan.

They also reviewed WFPs aid programs for Arab countries, with Moussa expressing his personal as well as the Leagues support for the program.

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Islamist insurgents set a deadline for the closure of Mogadishu airport

Posted by African Press International on September 14, 2008

The Somali Islamic group, the Al Shabab on Saturday issued what they called the last warning to close Mogadishus Aden Adde Airport, as they threaten to attack it if their deadline is ignored.

As the airport is regularly used by American and Israeli intelligence services and it is also a military base for the occupying Ugandan and Burundian soldiers, we, the Al Shabab fighters came to the decision to close it, said in a communiqu posted on the groups website on Saturday.

The airport is a financial source for the Ethiopians and it is administered by them the communiqu said, adding that from next Tuesday night, they will start to implement the decision of the airports closure which means they will start shelling it.

We have known that more other foreign soldiers are due to land at Mogadishu airport so that is why it has to be closed, the communiqu added.

The insurgent group sent what they called the ultimate signal to air travel agencies based in Somalia to stop their planes from landing on the airport from the issued deadline.

However, the Somali government and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) officials in Mogadishu have not yet reacted to this latest warning from Al Shabab, which has been accused by the United States as being an Al Qaeda linked organization fighting in this horn of Africas lawless nation of Somalia.

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Ivorian forces, peacekeepers approve election security plan

Posted by African Press International on September 14, 2008

The Ivorian and UN peacekeeping troops on Friday approved the election security plan that the Integrated Command Centre (CCI) drew up.

The commander of the UN troops General Fernand Marcel Amoussou made the revelation to the media while speaking on behalf of the other commanders at a news conference.

“We particularly looked into the possible risks of the elections, the execution methods of this plan, and also the means to be put in place for its implementation,” he said, adding that the plan will be submitted for the approval of the political authorities.

The Integrated Command Centre, he continued, took troops from the Ivorian armed forces (FDS) and the armed forces of the former rebel group New Forces (FAFN). But this strength can only be settled when decisions on the quotas are made at political level, Amoussou said.

The generals also hailed the excellent cooperation between the FDS and the FAFN.

“We noted that all the joint activities of the two forces unfold in a brotherly, pleasant and effective manner,” he also added.

Units, including the peacekeeping forces (UN forces and French Unicorn), deployed throughout the territory will implement this security plan.

Furthermore, General Amoussou said the issue of the military ranking of the FN soldiers can only be solved at a political level.

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S/African politicians satisfied with Zimbabwe power-sharing deal

Posted by African Press International on September 14, 2008

The Inkatha Freedom party (IFP) and Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) have welcomed the signing of a power-sharing deal between Zimbabwes political parties.

“We share the sense of relief with the people of Zimbabwe that at long last the negotiations between the… parties have produced a result,” IFP spokesperson Musa Zondi said in a statement. However, the party said the deal would only count if it was implemented.

The PAC also welcomed the agreement at the weekend and called on the international community to now lift sanctions against Zimbabwe.

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