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Archive for September 30th, 2008

Rebel movement denies responsibility for Ethiopian explosion

Posted by African Press International on September 30, 2008

An Ethiopian rebel group, the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) on Monday denied responsibility for Sundays explosion in Jijiga, the regional capital of the Somali region of Ethiopia, which resulted in the death of four people and 10 injures.

While the Ethiopian authorities have blamed the ONLF for the explosion, the rebels foreign relations bureau said on their website that they are not behind the attack.

The assertion from the Ethiopian occupation forces in the Ogaden that The …act perpetrated at Andenet Hotel in Jigjiga on Sunday is suspected to be the work of the ONLF rebels, is baseless and unfounded, a conjecture that is intended to vilify the legitimate national liberation struggle of the Ogaden people, said the statement.

It also emphasised that the ONLF did not plant that bomb and as a principle does not target civilians.

ONLF firmly believes that the Ethiopian security forces or its cronies in the region are behind such an act which is intended to tarnish the legitimate national liberation struggle of the Ogaden people, it added.




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Rape, violence rife in DR Congo, says Amnesty International report

Posted by African Press International on September 30, 2008

Thousands of women are being raped and child soldiers brutalised amid renewed fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Amnesty International warned on Monday.

The human rights body has also expressed worries over unlawful killings, rape, torture and the recruitment and use of child-soldiers carried out by all sides, as aged and pregnant women cry out about baby girls seized by militiamen.

The human rights agency in its report highlighted how the agony-riddled women were marched from their home in the eastern province of North Kivu to join other several scores of women.

“The commander chose me as his woman and raped me everyday. My baby was beside me when this took place”, said one of the victims.

Fighting in the war-torn African country has killed more than 5 million people since 1998, despite several international attempts to install peace.

Aid agencies, including Medecins Sans Frontieres, have pulled out in the past months after government troops stepped up assaults on rebel forces.

Hundreds of thousands of refugees already living in camps have also had to flee.

Amnesty International disclosed that as many as 6,000 children serve with rebel and government forces despite pledges to end this heinous practice.

Some of the boy soldiers (as young as 14 to 16) – have claimed that commanders often withhold food unless we rape women.

Another boy soldier, in his shocking revelation, narrated how he was forced to kill a deserter by older soldiers.

They said to me: You have a choice either slit the mans throat or be killed. I killed the man because I had to save my own life, the sober stricken boy said.



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Seychelles foreign minister hails steady increase in bilateral relations with China

Posted by African Press International on September 30, 2008

The Seychellois minister of Foreign Affairs Patrick Pillay on Sunday indicated that since Seychelles opened an embassy in the Peoples Republic of Chinas capital Beijing in September 2007, there has been a steady increase in the bilateral relations in trade, fisheries and tourism as well as in investments between the two countries.

Pillay, who was speaking on Sunday at a reception at the Chinese embassy in St Louis not far from the capital Victoria to mark the 59th anniversary of the National Day of China, added that both countries have maintained exceptionally good relations for the last three decades based on bilateral mutual understanding and a common vision of the China-Africa cooperation.

He added that these relations were further strengthened following the meetings of Seychelles President James Michel and President Hu Jintao in Beijing in 2006 and in Victoria in 2007.

Pillay thanked the Chinese government for all the help it has extended to Seychelles, including in the educational field and added that presently 44 young Seychellois are studying in Chinese universities.

The Minister observed that China has always been by the side of Seychelles in its development projects and cited that example of Chinese contribution in projects in the electricity, water supply, transport and infrastructure sectors.

Minister Pillay reiterated the Seychelles governments support for a One China-Two Systems policy and hoped for a peaceful reunification of Taiwan with the mainland.



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Malawi to play Swaziland in friendly tie

Posted by African Press International on September 30, 2008

The Flames, Malawis football team, will play Swaziland in a friendly match to be held at Kamuzu Stadium in the commercial city of Blantyre on Saturday (October 4) as part of the hosts preparations for a crucial 2010 FIFA World Cup and 2010 Africa Cup of Nations tie at the same venue on 11 October, APA learnt on Monday.

Coach Kinna Phiri said the game will be a strength testing match for the Flames as they wait for the Simbas of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at the same venue.

\”We need a friendly game before playing the DRC to test the players fitness because the match with the DRC is a crucial one and needs total commitment by both players and the coaching panel,\” he said.

Currently, he said, the players are undergoing physical training to preparing for the forthcoming matches.

Group 9 teams are Malawi (9 points), DRC (9), Egypt (12) and Djibouti (0).



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