African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".

Archive for November 14th, 2008

The magic of being a united family – API family: From this day, API site is hereby dedicated to the American People

Posted by African Press International on November 14, 2008

This may sound strange to the detractors and our enemies, but for us in API, this feels real and hasbecome even more real because the supportive readers and API has been tied together dueto thewill and interest to achieve a common aim.

There are many who have visited the site since the story on the Michelle Obama tapes broke out. The delay in airing the tapes has caused some to get irritated causing them to turn their anger on API. There action is understandable because API gave them hope. In the eyes of API the hope given to the readers is real because the tapes are real. Some readers have threatened to leave the site and because of the hope they got from API they keep coming back.

The good thing with their coming back is that they are not addicted to the site, but coming back because even if they do not wish to believe there is a tape, and even if they have decided to hate API and even attempted, almost succeeding to have us closed down, something in their hearts still tells them that API is real and has the promised tapes.

API will not be held responsible for any kind of addiction to the site by our enemies who keep coming back just to antagonise the good people, and API would like toassure those who are genuine visitors to our site that they will always be informed on what is happening as concerns the subjects of their interest. API will be straight with them in all that is being undertaken in the efforts to do as promised

We are beginning to identify ourselves with most readers. Those who have always supported us and any other new supporters should continue to give us unwavering support, because we dependon having genuine support from good people,as we strive to realise our goals, the goals that you also long for because you know it will change something in the lives of many people.

Our supporters who have been on the site since day one and are still so helpful, API wishes to tell you that you are highly appreciated and we do not know how we would have managed the stressful times alone without your total support when enemies wanted to see us down and gone. In this regard, we owe you the truth and the truth shall finally set all of us free.

We are going to reach the mountain top together and we will get down from the mountain top together dancing and rejoicing for ourlong awaited achievement.

Many will not understand why you supported us. Many will not understand why you still support us. Many will fail completely to comprehend why you will still support us as we find solutions to reach the mountain top with you after our enemies managed to derail us on the 12th November making it impossible for us to use our site to the fullest on the 13th November, the day set for the airing of the tape at 03.00 hours or 04.00 hours, the time we needed it most in order to use the site as an alert point to the readers before the MBO’s go on air.

As we move on in our struggle to overcome evil and evil doers who sabotaged the airing of the tape between the 9th and 13 th November, API site is hereby dedicated to to all goodhearted American people.

API’s Counsel will make an anouncement at, or around Midnight tonight Norwegian time.

korir-api-chief-editorBy Chief Editor Korir

African Press International – API – africanpress@getmail.no

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

Darfur rebels targeted by ICC prosecutor – murdering for power in the African Continent

Posted by African Press International on November 14, 2008

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) : The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Friday he will seek arrest warrants next week related to a deadly attack on African Union peacekeepers in Sudan’s Darfur region.

The case is the first by the world’s first permanent war crimes tribunal to target Darfur rebels, who are fighting government troops and the allied janjaweed militia of Arab nomads in a five-year conflict that has left up to 300,000 dead.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo said his third Sudan investigation is focused on attacks in the northern Darfur town of Haskanita.

He gave no further details during a speech Friday, but earlier said he was investigating a rebel attack on the Haskanita military base on Sept. 29, 2007, that left 10 African Union soldiers dead and one missing.

Richard Dicker of Human Rights Watch welcomed the announcement.

“We have not seen his application, but the significance must be the seriousness of killing … those who are mandated to protect civilians at risk,” Dicker told The Associated Press.

API/Source.AP

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

Obama expresses his devotion in fighting corruption in Kenya, according to his private website, BarackObama.com: President Kibaki gets 15-minute call from Obama

Posted by African Press International on November 14, 2008

Nairobi (Kenya) – President Kibaki on Wednesday became the first African leader to receive a telephone call from US President-elect Barack Obama.

This hints that the presidency of Obama, whose father Barack Obama Senior hailed from Kogelo village in Siaya District, is likely to hold Kenya with a special interest. According to the Presidential Press Service, Kibaki invited Obama to visit Kenya at his earliest convenience.

“During the telephone conversation, President Kibaki once again congratulated President-elect Obama on his historic and well-deserved victory,” said the PPS in statement.

In the 15-minute conversation on Tuesday night, Kibaki conveyed the best wishes of all Kenyans, noting that Obama’s victory “which resonated well in the country had been received with immense pride and gratification.”

Obama and Kibaki also spelt out future plans of engagement. Kibaki declared November 6 a public holiday to celebrate Obama’s election as first African American president in US since their independence in 1776.

In their telephone conversation, Kibaki told Obama that Kenyans fully understood that he owed his allegiance to the American people but was “confident that Kenya would always have a special place in the President-elect’s heart.”

Obama’s ties with Kenya have been foisted since the tracing of his Kenyan relatives two decades ago, and what formed the basis of his coming-of-age autobiography, Dreams From My Father, now a bestseller in the US. Obama might also be pleased to know that it is Kibaki who reinstated his late father back at the Treasury after he had run out of favour with the establishment, before his death through a road accident in 1982.

Kibaki further assured Obama that Kenya looked forward to strengthening co-operation and ties with the United States, and wished him God’s blessings during his tenure as the 44th US President. Should Obama honour the request to visit the country, he would be the first US President to visit Kenya since independence in 1963.

Previous US presidents have chosen neighbouring countries over Kenya. Outgoing US President George W. Bush visited Benin, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana and Liberia in February this year. In April 1998, his predecessor Bill Clinton toured Botswana, Senegal and Uganda, and made a stopover in Rwanda on his way to South Africa.

The US President-elect also followed closely the post-election violence in Kenya after the disputed General Election last December, personally calling then opposition leader Raila to urge him “to meet directly with the President without any pre-conditions,” according to The New York Times.

Obama’s message was quite clear: “Despite irregularities in the vote tabulation, now is not the time to throw that strong democracy away,”

Obama was quoted in the newspaper as telling Kibaki and Raila to “come together, and start a political process to address peacefully the controversies. Now is the time for this terrible violence to end.”

Kenya is among seven African countries that he hopes to focus on. According to his private website, BarackObama.com, Obama expresses his devotion in fighting corruption in Kenya.

“Focus will be in mobilising international pressure for a just government in Zimbabwe and fighting corruption in Kenya,” reads the plan.

————–

API/Source.The Standard (Nairobi) – November 13, 2008.

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

Congo-Brazzaville: Disease devastates cassava crop, threatens hunger

Posted by African Press International on November 14, 2008

Brazzaville (The Republic of Congo) – Cassava is the staple food for most people in the Republic of Congo, but this main source of nourishment is being threatened by a disease that has spread to most areas of the country.

“We’ve been having problems for more than two years and it’s getting worse with the mosaic destroying our crops,” said Rose Ambeto, who has several cassava fields. The virus, known as cassava mosaic disease (CMD), attacks the leaves of the plant and limits the growth of its roots. It is spread by insects or by diseased cassava being transplanted to new areas.

“Our harvests are getting worse and worse. That’s why bags of fufu and roots are so expensive in the markets,” she said.

Fufu is eaten across Africa and is made by boiling starchy roots like cassava, also known as manioc, in water and then pounding them until they reach a porridge-like consistency.

Veronique Okaka, who grows cassava in Ouesso in Congo’s Sangha department, also complained of hard times due to the cassava mosaic.

“Before, we had enough to feed our children and to make some money for other things. But lately, because of this disease, we sometimes get fufu from Cameroon,” she said.

The price of a bag of fufu has soared from 15,000 CFA (US$28.50) to 35,000 CFA ($67) in recent months in Congolese markets, partly because of the problems faced by growers and traders of cassava. Specialists in Congo’s agricultural ministry say the disease might lead to a drop of between 60 and 90 percent in harvests and could throw entire communities into a critical food situation.

CMD has been spreading throughout central Africa and arrived in the Republic of Congo in the mid-1990s.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been at the forefront in the battle against the disease. The only known way to fight it is to develop varieties that are resistant to the virus and distribute them to farmers.

In Pool, one of Congo’s worst-hit departments, the ICRC has been growing these resistant varieties. Over a two-month period last year, it took cuttings from these plants and distributed them to groups of cassava growers in the area. The ICRC has handed out 330,000 cuttings to about 100 different groups, benefiting about 1,500 families. These groups received training in how to stop the spread of CMD, and were also given ploughing equipment.

In October, the ICRC joined the Congolese Red Cross and the agriculture ministry to provide training in Kinkala in the Pool Department on ways of fighting the disease.

The departments of Pool and Plateaux, also badly hit by the epidemic, recently received more than 330,000 cuttings of six different varieties of cassava developed in 2004 by the International Institute of Agricultural Technologies (IITA) in Kinshasa, in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. Another 175,000 cuttings, taken from four new resistant strains, are being distributed in four other departments.
—————

API/Source.UN Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN)- November 13, 2008.

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

Uganda: Congolese refugees flock to Uganda

Posted by African Press International on November 14, 2008

Kampala (Uganda) – More than 1,000 Congolese refugees have entered Uganda in the last three days. This follows renewed clashes in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, raising concern of aid agencies.

Many of the Congolese arrived on Tuesday morning, raising the number of refugees who have fled into the country since August to 12,000. More than 3,000 of them have came in the country in the last three weeks.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees external relations officer, Roberta Ruso, said the refugees who entered Uganda came through Ishasha in Kanungu.

“Many of them say they have been walking for two weeks,” Ruso said.

She added that only about 490 of the new arrivals hadaccepted to be transferred to the Nakivale refugee settlement, while the rest opted to stay with the local communities, which was a problem.

By last week, about 3,000 refuges had been transferred to Nakivale, while 7,000 were settled in villages around the border town of Busanza in Kisoro district.

“We are providing those who are willing to go to Nakivale with oatmeal, but we are facing an acute water problem,” Ruso said.

She said other aid agencies such as Unicef had embarked on a vaccination sensitisation campaign, urging refugees to vaccinate their children.

“We are also promoting hygiene to guard against an outbreak of cholera,” Ruso said.

Many refugees enter through Kisoro and Kanungu districts.

At a joint press briefing last week, the Minister for Disaster Preparedness, Relief and Refugee, Prof. Tarsis Kabwegyere and the commission’s country representative, Stefano Severe, warned of looming food shortage in the area and a rise in the number of refugees.

The commission recently appealed for $900,000 to deal with the increasing number of refugees

—————–

API/Source.New Vision (Uganda)- November 13, 2008.

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

Rwanda: Government ready to welcome Interahamwe militia

Posted by African Press International on November 14, 2008

Kigali (Rwanda) – The government is ready to welcome back the Interahamwe militia, who are accused of genocide and hiding in the Democratic Republic of Congo, if they renounce rebellion.

In an interview yesterday, the Rwandan ambassador, Iganatius Karegesa Kamali, said Rwanda was not involved in the fighting between General Laurent Nkunda and the Congo army. He said Kigali demands that her neighbour disarms the Interahamwe.

“The Interahamwe committed genocide in Rwanda. They fled to Congo in organised military formation in big numbers and they are armed. What we want is for them to be disarmed or disbanded because we are ready to welcome them back in Rwanda and integrate them in society,” Kamali said.

“Those who would want to join the army would be integrated. If that is not the case, they will be relocated to another place,” he explained.

Kamali said while the Tripartite Plus arrangement by regional countries would have helped to stem violence in the Congo and bring a permanent solution, its resolutions and agreements have been ignored.

“Much of the blame should go to the people who are hosting the negative groups and this is DRC. If agreements are concluded and specify what action to be taken, then the action is not taken not because those who have opposed it have failed, but rather because someone who is hosting the armed groups does not cooperate; then I will say straight away he is to blame,” Kamali stated.

Kamali said the arrest of Rwanda’s director general of state protocol, Rose Kabuye, at an airport in Germany on Sunday, was a violation of the Geneva Convention. Kabuye was arrested as she arrived in Germany to prepare for the visit of the Rwandan president, Paul Kagame. Arrest warrants by a French judge, Jean-Louis Bruguiere, were issued against Kabuye and nine other Rwanda Patriotic Front members.

Bruguiere accuses them of participating in the conspiracy to shoot down the plane of former Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana in 1994, an incident which sparked a genocide.

“It was very unfair. Rose Kabuye has a diplomatic status and, therefore, has diplomatic immunity. For a country to pounce on her and arrest her, erodes her immunity and violates the Geneva Convention,” Kamali said.

He said the warrants upon which Kabuye was arrested were contested by not only Rwanda, but also several European Union countries and by all members of the African Union.

“It has been contested as a controversial arrest warrant. To base on that and arrest an official of Rwanda is a violation of universal jurisdiction. We demand her unconditional release,” Kamali said.

On Tuesday, Rwanda expelled the Germany ambassador and recalled its envoy from Berlin. “We have made a loud statement that we are not pleased. Asking the Germany ambassador to leave is another eloquent statement that we are not happy,” Kamali said.

API/Source.New Times (Rwanda) – November 13, 2008.

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

Zimbabwe: “Obama has had a profound effect on many Zimbabweans”

Posted by African Press International on November 14, 2008

Harare (Zimbabwe) – Businessman Elias Mugari squeezed into a crowded hotel lobby in Harare, Zimbabwe, to watch a TV tuned to a satellite broadcast of the victory speech of US President-elect Barack Obama. With tears in his eyes, he told IRIN what he hoped an Obama presidency would mean for his crisis-ridden country.

“We held our elections in March, and this is November and they have not been finalised. On television we watched Obama win an election which was free of violence and with none of the controversy [which plagued] ours. The loser, John McCain, quickly conceded defeat when it became clear that he would not win.”

Zimbabweans as a people, who are hurting because of election violence, are yearning for such a peaceful transfer of power. Even our rogue politicians would feel bad about subjecting us to this bad lifestyle when a fellow black person in the USA is assuming power in a peaceful manner.

“It is good for Zimbabwe in particular, and Africa in general, that a young African-American has become the most powerful man in the world.

For decades, African dictators have always hit back at Western countries which suggest they practice the rule of law and democracy, [accusing them of being] racists and imperialists.

When Obama preaches democracy and the rule of law to the same African despots, they can’t accuse him of being racist. An additional dilemma for any African dictator would be the mere fact that Obama has such charisma and appeal among Africans, a verbal fight with him would make them [even more] unpopular in their countries.

For Zimbabweans in particular, comparing the ages of [President Robert] Mugabe, who is 84, and Obama, who is just 47, will change the thinking of many of us who suddenly realise that younger leaders can offer new ideas and new solutions.

Many Zimbabweans, including elderly people who rarely follow global politics, have followed the rise of Obama, and they have identified with his ideas. Obama has had a profound effect on many Zimbabweans, with the younger generation regarding him as one of their own, while the elderly view him as some favourite nephew whose ideas they have quickly embraced,” Mugari said.
———————

API/Source.UN Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) – November 13, 2008.

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

Africa at large: An ill wind blows between Rwanda, France and Congo (opinion)

Posted by African Press International on November 14, 2008

Nairobi (Kenya) – Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame is reported to be hopping mad at the arrest of his protocol chief, Ms Rose Kabuye, in Germany.

Ms Kabuye was arrested at Frankfurt on Monday on the basis of a French warrant issued in 2006 for her alleged role in the shooting down over Kigali, in 1994, of the plane carrying then Rwanda President Juvenal Habyarimana.

The French-backed Habyarimana government was then battling a rebellion by the Rwanda Patriotic Army rebels led by Kagame. Burundis president at that time, Cyprien Ntaryamira, and French pilots flying the plane, were also killed.

Speaking in Germany where he is visiting, Kagame said the German action would hurt diplomatic relations between the two countries. And sure enough, in Kigali, the German ambassador, Mr Christian Clages, was shown the door.

If Ms Kabuye gets her day in a French court, we shall learn more what the facts in this case are. However, this story, as in all these matters, is bigger.

The Rwanda government and Ms Kabuye had received notification early this year that she would be arrested if she visited Germany. She went ahead and visited Germany in April and she wasnt arrested. Last week, she was in Nairobi with President Kagame for the Great Lakes Summit on the Democratic Republic of Congo crisis, and left from here to go to Germany. The fact that she was likely to be arrested was common talk among the Rwanda delegation, a fact that senior officials in Kagames entourage have confirmed to this columnist.

France has had sour relations with the Kagame government ever since the RPA took power in Rwanda. French forces trained the government troops during the war, and are alleged to have overseen some of the killings in the 1994 genocide in which nearly one million Rwandans were slaughtered, a charge that Paris denies.

Following the issue of the 2006 warrants by a French judge, Rwanda government broke off diplomatic relations with France. In what observers consider another slap in the face for the French, recently, Kigali which had pursued a policy of having both French and English as official languages ditched French, and thus ended Rwandas long life as part of the Francophone bloc.

Rwanda officials claim that the arrest of Ms Kabuye is aimed to provoke Kigali into, among other things, getting involved in the DRC conflict to support General Laurent Nkundas forces, alleged to be backed by Rwanda.

This action by Rwanda, supposedly, would be to spite President Laurent Kabilas international backers, who include France. And if that happened, France would use the influence it has because it holds the presidency of the European Union, which expires in December, to fix Rwanda with sanctions before its tenure ends.

The thing with conspiracy theories is that they can be as true as they can be wrong. In this case, however, Rwandas direct intervention in the DRC conflict, where the signs are that Angolan troops have already entered the fray, might ironically save the country from disintegration.

This is not the conventional view, but we need to go back to the so-called Second Congo War between 1998 and 2002 when seven African armies from Angola, Burundi, Chad, Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Chad, and the DRC itself faced off in the countrys vast jungles. In that phase of the conflict, the DRCs myriad militias, bandit outfits and rebels were allied to one of these African armies.

At the negotiations that eventually ended that phase of the war, most of the pressure by the international community was brought on the seven governments to end the fighting, and to rein in the puppet Congo militias that were active in the areas under their control. Today, however, there are no swathes of Congolese territory controlled by foreign armies.

Also, during the Second Congo War, there was no group that was as militarily developed as Nkundas National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP). The CNDP, among other things, says it is fighting to stop the killing of Congolese people, particularly the Tutsis (the Banyamulenge) by the forces that committed genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and fled to the DRC. Nkunda has threatened to march on Kinshasa.

That will be hard, but he can more easily take over most of Eastern DRC, hiving off the Kiswahili speaking part of the country. The situation would then become as it was in Sudan, with the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) dominant in the south.

In that situation, the conflict would be resolved as it was in Sudan, with Eastern DRC as a semi-autonomous territory. However, because the government in Kinshasa is far weaker than the one in Khartoum ever was, a complete secession instead is more likely.

However, the presence of the Rwandan and other armies would internationalise the conflict considerably, and again exclude partition as the solution to the DRCs state dysfunction. In other words, if it is unoccupied by foreign forces, DRC will break up. If it is occupied, it is less likely to be broken up, but will have to live in bondage. Talk of a Catch-22!
————–

API/Source.The Nation (Kenya), by Charles Onyango-Abbo – November 13, 2008.

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: