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Archive for July, 2009

South Africa reverses course on ICC arrest warrant for Bashir – He will be nailed if he sets foot in South Africa and airlifted to Ocambo in ICC

Posted by African Press International on July 31, 2009

(WASHINGTON) Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir will be arrested if he sets foot in South Africa, a foreign ministry official in Pretoria said today.

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Sudanese President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir (AFP)

Al-Bashir is charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Sudans Western region of Darfur.

The arrest warrant places an obligation on all countries including 30 African states that ratified the Rome Statute, which is the founding text of the court.

However, this month the African Union (AU) issued a resolution instructing its members not to cooperate with the ICC in executing the warrant.

The AU said that the resolution was adopted by consensus though later some countries including Botswana, Chad and Uganda said they are committed to the Rome Statute.

South African officials said they backed the resolution but that it had to be ratified by the parliament before it is effective. However, last week officials there said that they are waiting for the opinion of its legal experts before making a final position on the issue after NGOs in the country questioned the legality of the AU resolution.

The South African Foreign ministry director-general Ayande Ntsaluba said that his government does not agree with the issuing of the warrant, but we have certain international obligations

Not only that, our Parliament passed a law enforcing those obligations, Ntsaluba said. I cannot foresee the government acting outside the framework of the law. We would not renege on our international legal obligations.

Following the AU resolution, Sudan said that South African position on the ICC warrant has changed since last May when Bashir was warned that he would be arrested if he tried to attend President Jacob Zumas inauguration.

Maybe at one point, the new South African government expressed some negative views … As South Africa was part of the decision at Sirte, it implies that this means he would be able to travel there the Sudanese foreign ministry spokesperson Ali Al-Sadiq said.

However, the South African official stressed that Bashir cannot be safe travelling there.

It [the law] is extremely explicit about what would happen Ntsaluba said.

If today President Al-Bashir landed in terms of the provision [of the Rome Statute] he would have to be arrested.

He added that he had chosen his words carefully because he did not want to sensationalize an issue that was abstract.

I dont want to create sensationalism out of an imaginary situation, said Ntsaluba

The South African official said that the AU will continue to press the UN Security Council (UNSC) for deferring Bashirs indictment within the confines of international commitments and South Africas own constitutional mandate.

The AU has said that their decision on halting cooperation with the ICC is spurred by the UNSC ignoring their request for the suspension.

The new position by South Africa comes as more than 130 civil society and human rights groups across Africa issued a statement today calling on African governments that are signatories to reaffirm their commitment and obligation to the ICC.

The AUs decision that states should not cooperate with the ICC threatens to block justice for victims of the worst crimes committed on the continent, said James Gondi of the Eastern Africa International Criminal Justice Initiative in Nairobi.

We urge our governments to reaffirm their commitment to fighting impunity by supporting and cooperating with the ICC, said Oby Nwankwo of Nigerias Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre.

The AU decision is contrary to its own constitutive act, which rejects impunity, the group statement said. It also noted that the AU decision was inconsistent with the obligations under the ICC statute that all states parties cooperate with the ICC, including in the arrest and surrender of criminal suspects.

The ICC remains a crucial court of last resort for Africa when national courts are unable or unwilling to bring justice for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, said Anton du Plessis of South Africas Institute for Security Studies.

Some African figures have accused the ICC of targeting the continent while ignoring right abuses elsewhere.

Three of the four cases handled by the ICC came at the request of the respective states including Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic (CAR).

The Darfur case was referred to the ICC by the UNSC under a Chapter VII resolution since Sudan is not a state party to the Rome Statue.



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Posted by African Press International on July 31, 2009

Immigration minister Otieno Kajwang' addresses journalists at his office. He was on Thursday barred from accessing an exit point by Sudanese soldiers. PHOTO/MICHAEL MUTE

Immigration minister Otieno Kajwang’ addresses journalists at his office. He was on Thursday barred from accessing an exit point by Sudanese soldiers. PHOTO/MICHAEL MUTE


The man responsible for regulating Kenyas border posts was on Thursday barred from accessing an exit point.

Mr Otieno Kajwang, the Immigration minister, was blocked by Sudanese soldiers manning a roadblock on the Kenyan side of the border.

He was heading to open an immigration office at Nadapal border post when he was turned back at the roadblock mounted by the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) just a kilometre from the countrys border with Southern Sudan.

Speaking to the Nation, a furious Kajwang narrated how the soldiers denied them access to the border post, saying they were under instructions from their superiors not to let them proceed.

We have been forced to call off our mission, Mr Kajwang said by telephone.

The minister was accompanied by Immigration ministry officials, members of the provincial administration and officers from the Army, General Service Unit (GSU) and regular police.

A recent Cabinet decision requires that all immigration offices be located at the border. The immigration office is currently located at Lokichoggio township, about 10 kilometres from the border post.

He said that prior to his visit, the local provincial administration had informed the Southern Sudan liaison office based at Lokichoggio of his intended tour.

Mr Kajwang also complained about the harassment and intimidation the Kenyan immigration officials were recently subjected to by the Sudanese forces as they went to the border post to assess the ground before relocating the office.

He said that they had been forced to surrender their guns to the SPLA soldiers manning the roadblock before they could be allowed to proceed to the border post.

Mr Kajwang also said that three months ago, Internal Security minister Prof George Saitoti was also blocked from visiting the border post to assess the security situation. A military commander has also been turned back.

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The first US Black President with new approach in solving race issues and healing wounds: Obama hosts ‘beer summit’ in race row

Posted by African Press International on July 31, 2009

A new twist in dealing with race issues has come to be. If you have no way to be invited to the White House, you simply start a race row and you may be lucky to be invited to a “Beer Summit” by President Obama. When there, you choose your brand of beer, make peace, get an opportunity to chat with Obama and may be a photo-opportunity with him. What a way to run politics! It is easy if it can be done this way. (API)

Cambridge Police Sergeants James Crowley (L) and Leon Lashley walk off stage after a news conference with representatives of various police unions in Cambridge, Massachusetts July 24, 2009.

Cambridge Police Sergeants James Crowley (L) and Leon Lashley walk off stage after a news conference with representatives of various police unions in Cambridge, Massachusetts July 24, 2009. Sergeant Lashley was on the scene last week when Sergeant Crowley arrested prominent black scholar and Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. after responding to a call about a break-in at Gates’ home in Cambridge. REUTERS


A beer summit to discuss racial differences is what US President Barrack Obama was hosting at the White House Thursday evening.

Americas first black president was hosting two men at the centre of a racial row to discuss their differences over three different beer brands.

The session that has come to be known as bar-stool diplomacy was being held at a picnic table near the presidents Oval Office in the white House.

According to the White House press secretary, Mr Robert Gibbs, President Obama had selected a beer called Bud Light. His guests Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates and Cambridge, police sergeant James Crowley chose to take Red Stripe and Blue Moon respectively.

Speculation has been rife since Mr Obama made the invite last week on what brands would be served at the meeting.

Prof Gates, who is black, was taken into custody by Mr Crowley, who is white, after the officer accused him of disorderly conduct for protesting over the policemans actions. The charges were later dropped.

President Obama convened the beer summit after calling both men last week in an attempt to defuse the political fallout from his comment at a news conference that police had acted stupidly in arresting Mr Gates at his home after responding to a call from a passer-by about a possible break-in.

The president was to welcome Mr Gates and Mr Crowley for the 6pm (2 am EA time) beers at the White House, hoping to turn the page on a controversy over race that erupted during a July 16 incident at the scholars home.

The two men earlier in the day indicated that they were looking forward to the so-called beer summit and both would be bringing family members along.

The presidents comments – even to his own admission – seemed to overshadow debate on his health policy. The US president later backed off the acted stupidly comment and called the meeting in the hope that the incident could provide a teachable moment on race relations.

I dont know

Over the last two days as weve discussed this issue, I dont know if youve noticed, but nobody has been paying much attention to health care, President Obama lamented to reporters last Friday.

The row flared when Mr Gates Americas foremost scholar on African American affairs was arrested after police received a call that two men might be attempting a break-in at a house in the Boston suburb of Cambridge.

As it turned out, the break-in by Prof Gates was an attempt to enter his own home when the door lock jammed. The two men exchanged heated words, and the professor was ultimately arrested for disorderly conduct during a heated exchange.

But it was President Obama who added to the controversy when he said the police had acted stupidly by arresting his friend even after establishing that Mr Gates had been in his own home. The incident sparked an intense national discussion as to whether police rushed to stereotype a black man as a potential criminal – even a bookish one such as Mr Gates – solely based on his race.

Public outrage also swelled over President Obamas choice of words, and his hasty characterisation of what had happened. Some critics say the president maligned Mr Crowley, a well-regarded officer in Cambridge – where Harvard is located.


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ETHIOPIA: Meningitis kills 18 in Amhara region

Posted by African Press International on July 31, 2009

Photo: ReliefWeb
Africa’s meningitis belt: At least 18 people have died and 63 others infected following an outbreak in Ethiopia’s Amhara region

ADDIS ABABA, – An outbreak of meningitis has killed 18 people and infected 63 in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara region, officials said.

“The disease broke out in two villages under Kelela woreda [district] of South Wollo zone, said Milliyon Wendabeku, a medical expert with the Public Health Emergency Management Sector of the Ministry of Health.

The ministry first received reports of the outbreak on 17 July, detailing the symptoms of the disease as fever, headache, neck stiffness and vomiting.

The symptoms are related to meningitis diseases, Milliyon told a news conference in Addis Ababa on 29 July.

He said that upon receipt of the report, the ministry sent a medical team – drawn from its staff and the UN World Health Organization (WHO) – to the area. The team examined 147 suspected cases of meningitis.

“During the medical examination, the team confirmed that 81 people were infected with the disease, Milliyon said. “Out of the 81 patients, 18 of them have since died.”

Ethiopia is one of the countries considered by WHO to be in the meningitis belt” – stretching from Senegal in West Africa to the Horn of Africa.

According to WHO, “meningitis belt” epidemics typically start during the dry season, from January to March, and end at the onset of the rainy season, from May to June.

Milliyon said the major problem with the latest outbreak – said to have lasted from late June to mid-July – was lack of transportation and communication logistics, which, he said, had delayed treatment efforts.

He said the arrival of the medical team in Amhara region resulted in the opening of a temporary medical station and improved the treatment of the disease. The team also vaccinated an estimated 9,000 people in the area.

“Thirty patients were admitted and recovered in the temporary medical station,” Milliyon said. “We have not seen any new patient in the last three days and no death has been reported.

Ahmed Imano, head of public relations in the Ministry of Health, said Amhara region had the capacity to treat up to 300,000 people.


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PHILIPPINES: Flooding affects 160,000 in south

Posted by African Press International on July 31, 2009

Photo: Contributor/IRIN
Villagers gather on a highway in the southern Philippine town of Pigcawayan as floodwaters which swamped the road bring debris. About 160,000 families have been affected in the southern island of Mindanao because of flash floods

MANILA, – Heavy rains across the southern Philippines have resulted in massive flooding in many low-lying areas of Mindanao Island, with villagers either marooned inside their houses by waist-deep waters or forced to evacuate, according to disaster relief officials on 30 July.

Large swathes of farmland covering more than 2,486ha in the central Mindanao towns of Pigcawayan, Alamada, Libungan, Midsayap, Aleosan, Pikit and Tamontaka have also been damaged by floods, according to the Office of Civil Defence in Manila.

Some 40 houses were destroyed in the town of Sultan Mastura in Maguindanao province, where tens of thousands have already been displaced by almost a year of fighting between government forces and separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels.

Some 159,775 people in central Mindanao or about 31,955 families have been affected so far, and while flooding in some areas has subsided, large parts remain inundated, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, said.

The department said relief and medical supplies were being rushed to the area while makeshift soup kitchens have also been set up in schools converted into evacuation centres.

Bai Soraida Ampatuan, regional social welfare secretary, said disaster relief officials were struggling to assist families hardest hit by the flash floods. She said some families had opted to stay inside their inundated homes, but many had moved to evacuation centres.

Photo: Google Maps
A map of the Philippines and surrounding countries highlighting Mindanao island

“If the rains continue, the number of evacuees might increase,” Ampatuan said. She said among the hardest hit was Maguindanao Province, where more than 100 villages were still knee- or waist-deep in water.

In the nearby province of North Cotabato, meanwhile, 15 of 17 towns have been placed under a state of calamity by Governor Jesus Sacdalan, who promptly released more than US$400,000 in funds for emergency relief assistance.

Dhona Salvacion, a resident of Sultan Kudarat town, said her house had been submerged for about a week. She said more than 100 families in her village had been marooned and were awaiting assistance.

“We hope the rains stop soon,” she told IRIN, but pointed that out even if the weather clears, their low-lying village has historically been a catchbasin for waters cascading down from upland townships. It also sits along the Simuay River, which often breaks its banks.


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AFGHANISTAN: Elections may jeopardize education, says NGO

Posted by African Press International on July 31, 2009

Photo: Khaled Nahiz/IRIN
Hundreds of schools have been used as voting stations in Afghan elections (file photo)

KABUL, – The use of schools as polling and vote-counting stations during Afghanistans upcoming elections could provoke anti-education activities, an Afghan rights watchdog warns.

Polling for simultaneous presidential and provincial councils has been scheduled for 20 August and hundreds of schools across the country will be used as voting and vote-counting centres, according to Afghanistans Independent Elections Commission (IEC).

Because Afghan and international security forces will be involved in the protection of voting centres and also because the election is a strong political process, which is backed by the government and its international backers, insurgent attackers may not distinguish schools from other voting centres, states a briefing paper issued by the Kabul-based Afghanistan Rights Monitor (ARM) on 29 July.

While the insurgents have vowed to attack the election process and those involved, attacks on education facilities have already risen significantly this year.

From January to 30 June 2009, 123 schools were targeted by insurgents and 51 had received threats, ARM said, citing the UN Childrens Fund (UNICEF). At least 60 students and teachers were killed and 204 were wounded in security incidents in the same period.

More than 400 schools, mostly in the volatile south, have remained closed due to insecurity, the Ministry of Education (MoE) said.

To mitigate possible security implications of the elections, ARM suggests the use of mosques and other locations as voting stations and calls on Afghan and international forces to reduce their presence at schools.

Abdul Saboor Ghufrani, an MoE official, said assessments were under way to gauge the security implications for schools.

If students and teachers face serious risks we would ask for schools not to be used in the election process, he told IRIN.

Previously the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) had voiced similar concerns about the use of health facilities in the process. MoPH had said voters registration, polling and vote counting in the health centres could expose health workers to high risk.

Child victims overlooked

Civilians have increasingly been affected by worsening insecurity in the country, according to the UN and NGOs.

According to ARM, more than 1,100 non-combatants, including 242 children, lost their lives in the conflict from January to end-June 2009.

Child victims of the conflict are often overlooked by the warring parties and little has been done to alleviate their suffering, Ajmal Samadi, ARMs director, told IRIN.

International military actors and the Afghan government have failed to protect and support child victims of their military activities while the insurgents have systematically used children as suicide attackers, foot soldiers, human shields and for other military purposes, he said.


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SIERRA LEONE: Sexual violence defies new law

Posted by African Press International on July 31, 2009

Photo: Anna Jefferys/IRIN
Staff at the Rainbo centre, a sexual abuse clinic, say women’s low status in society is one of the reasons for rampant abuse (file photo)

FREETOWN, – Sierra Leone in 2007 passed innovative laws aimed at reinforcing womens rights and clamping down on sexual violence, but as the government and social services struggle to implement the laws crimes against women remain rampant, officials say.

Up to 67 percent of urban Sierra Leonean women were victims of domestic violence in 2008, Fatu Kargbo, a director in the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Childrens Affairs (MSWBCA) told IRIN.

Isha Bangura, director of the police Family Support Unit (FSU) which receives most domestic abuse reports said the most common domestic complaint they receive is physical violence.

Most of the time women and girls are abused by people they know[The perpetrators] are rarely strangers, said Eunice Whenzle, who heads the Rainbo Centre, a counseling and treatment clinic for raped and battered women in the capital Freetown. We also see cases of incest, she said.

Rainbo Centre staff in the capital Freetown and in Koidu, Kailahun and Kenema are also seeing an increase in the number of teenage girls pregnant from rape on the rise, Whenzle said.

The 2007 Gender Act included a bill making violence or sexual abuse against women, including within marriage, a criminal act. Government officials and NGOs IRIN spoke with agree the act marks progress, but they could cite no cases where it has been used to successfully prosecute violators.

This is partly because there are so few lawyers or judges. In eastern Sierra Leones Kailahun district, one magistrate services 360,000 people. He processes eight cases a day and often has to gather his own evidence when police evidence is insufficient, according to Rainbos annual report.

Too often cases are dismissed before they enter a court at all, says the FSUs Bangura. Rape cases require a medical certificate but this is difficult to obtain in a country with one doctor for every 18,000 people according to the World Health Organization. Referral systems between the police, health services and the courts are often unclear or not standardized, leaving many women confused, according Bangura.

The FSU cannot cope. My unit is seriously under-resourced to cope with all the gender-based violence, Bangura said. The basic structures, including equipment to collect accurate data, are insufficient.

Freetowns Rainbo Centre clinic treats and follows up on 70 sexual abuse cases each day, according to Whenzle.

Families usually dissuade women and girls from reporting sexual violence, urging them to settle out of court or turn to traditional justice, said the MSWBCAs Kargbo; this usually involves a discussion, payment and a ban on future contact.

This fosters impunity, she said. If punitive action is not taken against violators of the gender act, incidences will continue unchecked.


Though lack of capacity remains a barrier, political will is mounting to reduce sexual violence, said FSU director Bangura.

The MSWBCA in 2008 set up a national committee, with NGO and UN agencies participating, to coordinate the fight against sexual violence.

It [the committee] has been instrumental because it has brought all the other agencies working on gender-based violence together to make sure were all focusing in the same direction, said the Rainbo Centres Whenzle.

''The traditional perception in domestic [abuse] cases is that women should accept what is happening to them''

To date committee members such as the UN Childrens Fund (UNICEF), Rainbo Centre and other NGOs have helped facilitate referrals among police, doctors, lawyers and counselors and trained health workers in examinations for sexual violence and police in how to prosecute cases, said UNICEFs child protection officer in Sierra Leone Rosina Conteh.

But real improvement requires a change in attitudes toward women, who have low status in Sierra Leone society, Whenzle said. With just one in four women able to read or write, many are unaware of their rights, she said. The traditional perception in domestic [abuse] cases is that women should accept what is happening to them. We are trying to change that.

Many blame violence on the civil war, which was notorious for its rape and attacks on civilians. But the governments Kargbo said it goes back further. Long before the war, violence [against women] has been the order of the day in both urban and rural areas.

The media, traditional leaders, womens activists, human rights groups and NGOs must work together to change attitudes, she said. Making the gender law effective cannot happen overnightit requires a long-term investment to change culturally-engrained practices. She added: The act took four years to pass through parliament, now we need more time to popularize it.


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Lionel Richie, the American Musician’s secret relationship in Scandinavia

Posted by African Press International on July 30, 2009

Lionel Richie, the American musician, composer and songwriter may soon have some explaining to do if he has kept his relationship secret from his present family. His outside marriage secret relationship will soon come out in the open. It is said that the relationship to a woman in Scandinavia developed when the singer was on his singing tour that took him to a number of European countries. The woman in question has told API that she will soon come out in the open about her relationship to the singer. She has, however, not released much details as to what kind of relationship that has developed but says she will put out details in the coming weeks.

What is not known is how the musician will react to the news when made public because the secret connection, if� not known to his present wife, will most probably cause a rift in the family.

Richie’s daughter Nicole expressed satisfaction with her father because he is good in helping her whenever he can by taking care of his granddaughter Harlow. Lionel Richie appeared with Nicole recently on Larry King live and both demonstrated proverbial skills when explaining how the family is getting along. Nicole told Larry King that her father means a lot in her life now. Richie is a grandfather and is said to be doing well in his new role babysitting granddaughter Harlow.

Richie’s daughter will most probably be devastated to find out that her father whom she now has great respect for, has a secret relationship with another woman in Scandinavia. Lionel Richie was once quoted saying: “�Forget about surviving 40 years in the music business. Just surviving 27 years of Nicole Richie has been a struggle-and-a-half, I want to tell you. I stand here as a survivor, I want you to know, for all the parents out there.� He told the world on how happy he is that Nicole accepted to be rehabilitated. Richie while opening up about his problems with Nicole has stated that he daughter had lost direction saying� �She went from, �Dad, I don�t care. Whatever you say.� to �Wash your hands, dad.� and �Be quiet, dad.��It�s a whole new sound of the house.�

Observers now think that the situation Richie will fall into when the secret relationship is made public will poison the new-found warm relationship with his daughter Nicole and granddaughter Harlow.

The woman who now claims to have a relationship to the singer when asked why she wants to make public the information has told API that she has decided to do so because the singer has not fulfilled his part of the deal.

When pressed further to give details on what deal there is between her and Richie, she declined to give details but stated that the singer has not been committed enough to his obligations. Adding that the singer caused her relocate to another country and has been reluctant to be totally committed as agreed between the two. She says the singer was supposed to relocate as well but has shown signs of reluctance to do so within the time stipulated as per their mutual agreement.

It is a known fact that the singer has a family in the US and what a relocation would mean to his family is not yet known.

API has tried to reach Lionel Richie or his spokesperson for comment but with no success.


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The white world’s best Kept Secret !

Posted by African Press International on July 30, 2009

Imagine that a stranger broke into your home, robbing it, leaving it in ruins and then kidnapped your children to work as servants within his home. This stranger, fearing an eventual retribution from these kidnapped children will find it necessary to implement systems for ensuring that these children remain loyal. The stranger may do so by routinely showing the children pictures of their ruined former home while falsely retelling the details of the event that he merely rescued them from the ruins and that their parents didnt want them. This would cause the children to develop an undeserving sense of loyalty and appreciation towards their kidnapper. The kidnapper may also find it necessary t o implement a scheme to divide the children, to prevent them from unifying against him, by teaching them not to trust each other while simult aneously teaching them to trust only him. Such a system with an objective of controlling the exploited group has been implemented against Black people. The above scenario is precisely what is being secretly done to Black people through a covert sophisticated mass marketing campaign that uses propaganda and public manipulations practices as a means to exploit and control the Black population.

The common feelings of Black self hatred accompanied by an undeserving admiration towards whiteness, among so many Black people, are not merely indirect consequences of white cultural dominance upon the Black psyche, but rather instead the direct result of an insidious massive white global manipulation scheme. The constant relentless bombardment with deplorably negative images of themselves that of which Black people are so inundated with throughout the media is a very carefully and deliberately insidious designed psychological conditioning pro gram. It is designed to subject Black people to see ing, through a totally white controlled national media, only the fraudulent worst in themselveswhile insinuating that they admire, respect, and trust only Whites. The basis of this concept of mind manipulation is that the human being’s most critical aspect is the mind and it works by affecting the unconscious mind through deception. It is deployed very much like a massive marketing campaign. Its propaganda and manipulations practices are being deployed in all sectors – government, media, health and welfare, entertainment, and education, etc- nationally and internationally. Its weapon is the message that it carries and the way that it adversely affects the targeted Black recipient group in terms of their behavior. Its unrelenting daily assault on the Black psychecorrupts many Blacks sense of racialunity and cohesion, mold the character of self-hatred, and engender self-doubt, self-loathi ng, and di strust among their group. It is also deliberately designed to collectively break down the Black populous’ se nse of personal knowledge in Black identity, Black racial h eritage, allegiance and unity. It also collectively encourages Blacks to admire and love whites while blaming and hating themselves for their current despairing conditions historically created and presently continued by the white elites.

The objective of this diabolical mass manipulations scheme against the Black race is to ensure the continuance of white dominance and control. It is being orchestrated by an extremely powerful and influential group of white individuals, at the highest echelons, which include many of the world’s wealthiest people, top political leaders, and corporate elite. The consensus of these white elites are that such a manipulative scheme against the Black population is deemed necessary, because not only have they brutally exploited the Black world in the past during the era of slavery and colonialization, but also because their mistreatment of the Black world is ongoing through western pharmaceutal companies that uses Africa as a testing ground for its experimental drugs, unfair federal prison sentencing laws that targets Black pop ulations, ongoing unfair trade practi ces that keeps Africa in poverty, western governments economic hit men and war making espionage specialist that keeps Africans at war thus facilitating a setting of where in which Africa is more easily ravished of its natural resources all while portraying the image to the world that it is merely Africans that are unable to govern themselves.

Many researchers have concluded that this insidious racist propaganda manipulations program was originally orchestrated by London’s Tavistock Institute of Human relations. Headquartered in London, the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations is a leading organization in the use of new and experimental behavioral science programs. The Tavistock Institute is an independent organization that conducts research in the social and behavioral sciences, applied in the field of health, education and community development. Among the Tavistock Institute’s specialties is a study group that predicts the timing and the direction of a thermonuclear war, plus working out the many scenarios based upon its findings. Its research orientation places it between, but not in, the worlds of academia and co nsultancy; and its range of disciplines include anthropology, economics, organizational behavior, political science, psychoanalysis, psychology and sociology. However BRAINWASHING remains the primary function of the Tavistock Institute of Human behavior. It has developed pioneering breakthroughs in the field of mass manipulation and brain-washing techniques. Its experiments in crowd control methods have been widely used on the American public, a surreptitious but nevertheless outrageous assault on human freedom by modifying individual behavior through topical psychology.

The Tavistock Institute uses its skilled method of mass manipulation and societal social engineering to maintain social order-of which includes maintaining white dominance and control. [The personnel of the corporations are required to undergo indoctrination at one or more of these Tavistock controlled institutions. A network of secret groups, the Mont Pelerin Society, Trilateral Commission, Ditchley Foundation, and the Club of Rome is conduit for instructions to the Tavistock network.] Although it had existed for decades earlier, the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations was formally established as an independent not- for-profit charity organization in September 1947. The Institutes prophet was Dr. Sigmund Freud, whom settled in Maresfield Gardens when he moved to England. Tavistock’s pioneer work in science along Freudian lines of “controlling” humans established it as the world center of foundation ideology. One of its prestiges contributing members was Freuds nephew and propaganda specialist Dr. Edward Bernays. He was one of the most skillful experts in mass manipulation. Dr. Edward Bernays invented the public relations profession in the 1920s and was the first person to take Freud’s ideas to manipulate the masses. If we understand the mechanism and motiv es of a group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without them knowing it” — Dr. Edward Bernays

It is surmised that this psychosocial manipulation of Black people was implemented in America in 1968 in the face of widespread violence that ensued after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Kings brutal assassination led to many demonstrations of unrest and rioting disturbances; that of which were reported in more than 100 cities across the nation. This violence resulted in the loss of lives and property that cost the nation and taxpayers millions of dollars and increasingly placed the peace and stability of the nation in dire jeopardy. Americas brutal racial mistreatment of African Americans had appeared to have reached its boiling point creating much unrest and discord. These factors, combined with the rapidly tarnishing American global image, led the U.S. Governments agents of White supremacy to quickly reform their techniques of inst itutionalized racism. The problem led to the then president, Lyndon B Johnson, ordering that a commission be formed, later known as the Kerner Commission, to investigate and prescribe a cure or recommendations for the problem. The Commission concluded that blatant White racism was the single aggravating factor for the collective problems. The Kerner reports findings required that the U.S. Government abandon its condoning of open, blatant forms of racism to control and maintain White dominance. This abandoning of dated tactics led to the need for developing an improved method of controlling and suppressing its Black population. Changing times made it necessary for the U.S. government to change its methods to a much more subtle and socially acceptable means of continuing its racial suppression of Blacks and to maintain its White dominance. Clearly, the sophisticated method of psychological warfare met such a need. It was the logical choice, perfect for the changing times. Unlike the blatantly brutal forms of racism used in the past, which Blacks were able to identify easily and therefore unify and form counter strategies, this modern method of racism works from a psychological perspective. This provided the U.S. government a more socially acceptable method of continuing the White racial hierarchy for dominance and control given that it is not as easily recognized. This new method exists in the space between overt racism and racial respect. Its methods include the ability to both influence the national climate and engender personal psychological feelings among Americans that meet the U.S government objective.

Today as a means of maintaining its white dominance and control the U.S. government now manipulates, and shapes the minds and collective consciousness of its Black population through the usage of misinformation disseminated through the mass media. In the U.S. it was organized by Ronald Lippert, of the OSS, the American Jewish Congress, and director of child training at the Commission on Communit y Relat ions. The program was designed to break down the Black individual’s sense of personal knowledge in his identity, his racial heritage. The basis of this concept of mind manipulation is that the human being’s most critical aspect is the mind and it works by affecting the unconscious mind through deception. Its weapon is the message that it carries and the way that it adversely affects the targeted recipient group in terms of their behavior. Here is a simplified example of how this is being implemented against African Americans. Let us, for example, imagine that a crew of people was aboard their own massive ship and that this ship was being shadowed by another neighboring ship that was constantly broadcasting derogatory messages to the first group. Such messages as that their ship was lesser, smaller, not seaworthy, perhaps slowly sinking or that their crew was incompetent and was planning a mutiny. With time, the group receiving the negative messages, being unable to refute or to confirm these derogatory messages and deficiencies will grow weary and paranoid of the negative messages and will eventually comes to accept these negative assessments of themselves.

The perception created by t he taunting now unconsciously influences how the taunted group perceives themselves, subsequently causing them to become distrustful of themselves, doubting themselves, hating themselves and, eventually, fighting among themselves. The taunted group may even become so besieged by deep feelings of inadequacy that they may even jump into the sea and attempt to swim towards the taunting ship now believing it to be superior to their own boat even if their own ship was in fact better. Within a real life setting this mortifying psychological manipulation is precisely what is being done to African Americans through an immense campaign of false derogatory misinformation and false negative media reports and statistics that are created by U.S. governme nta l agencies and then leaked to its collaborators in the news media, which either knowingly or unknowingly carry the stories as their own. These false information about African Americans is then disseminated unrelentingly everywhere; it is deliberately perpetuated through news releases in magazine articles, radio, television, press releases, documentaries, and false census reports perpetuating and framing the myth of Whites racial, moral, and ethical superiority over its Black population. However, the weapon is not in how the message is carried, but is instead within the messages that it carries and how these messages affect the targeted recipients.

The constant relentless bombardment with deplorably negative images of themselves that of which African Americans are so inundat ed with throughout the media is a very carefully and deliberately designed psychological conditioning program. It is designed to subject African Americans to seeing, through a controllednational media, only the worst in themselves– while insinuating that the y admire, respect, and trust only Whites. This unrelenting daily assau lt on the Black psycheis designed to corrupt African Americans sense of racialunity and cohesion, mold the character of self-hatred, and engender self-doubt, self-loathing, and distrust among their group. Many Blacks may even begin to feel that there is something not quite right about their Black humanity. To the detriment of Blacks, this system of applied psychological conditioning has been an extremely effective. It has successfully conditioned many African Americans to accept the dominance of Whites and white institutions over their lives by misleading them to believe that they are, themselves, their own worst enemies, therefore engendering an aberration of internalized self contempt that pulverizes Black unity and halts Black upward mobility. Moreover, all African Americans have experienced the burden of this psychological warfare, some more severely than others have. It is experienced every time we [Blacks] re ad a newspaper, watch the evening news, enter a classroom, and read its racially biased textbooks. And while many Black Americans have successfully navigated through the psychology mortifying mine field and have gone on to lead successful, productive lives, but for far too many African Americans this immense devaluation can seem inescapable and tragically, over time, many begin to accept subconsciously and painfully the negative portrayals of themselves.

Many also become discouraged by the acceptance that their society is also preconditioned to see the worst in them and that, therefore, if they were ever to gain acceptance, if it is to be won at all, that success would be hard won and likely to manifest negative internalized psychological pain and distress within many African Americans that can take many forms. In fact, this governmental mortifying psychological warfare against African Americans may be the most aggravating, if not core, factor of the national phenomenon of self hatred; loss of educational aspirations; loss of unity, cohesion and racial pride; and fragile psyches of many African Americans today. Moreover, this type of psychological manipulation program has been proven very effective in rapidly destroying a groups ethical and moral values and cultural n orms with regard to violence, brutality, and even murder. All people are products of cultural conditions and their worldviews operate outside of their level of consciousness. Therefore, no group can be preconditioned to see only the worst in themselves and not exhibit some degree of negative psychological impact. This mass manipulation program is In fact, so proficient at damaging the Black self-perception that tragically it has become easier for many Blacks to accept derogatory premises of themselves rather than recognizing this program.

This mass psychological conditioning program also significantly influences society as a whole. Its ultimate goal is to foster a consensual national setting of where in which Blacks are more easily divided, exploited and ultimately suppressed. The media’s constant negative imagery of Black Americans is not only fraudulently inaccurate but is actually being do ne to engender a shift of victimization that changes the root problem of racism in America to be due to Blacks behavior rather than Whites proclivity for racism. Therefore insinuates that America would be a better society as a whole if African Americans were gone, thus engendering increasingly prejudiced distorted perceptions and acrimonious beliefs about African Americans that are designed to makes the nation and the entire world insensitive to their plight, tranquilizes efforts on their behalf, lessens pressure for social change on their behalf and makes any serious criticism of White racism almost impossible today and attempts discouragemiscegenation between Blacks and whites. It also creates a false justification for the legal systems mistreatment of African Americans. Wherein they are disproportionately incarcerated, given stiffer sentences, and are more likely than other racial groups to be treated brutally, beaten, and fired upon by police officers while they are unarmed.

These injustices now goes ignored because the perception has become that its all now justified. When contempt of Blacks is made to appear to be justifiable, it is the most fiercest and effective type of racism because its witnesses, bystanders, and even world audiences will sit by idly allowing African Americans to be brutally mistreated disproportionately incarcerated under the belief that it is justified.] It also affects attitudes that when enacted through governmental policies, laws, and other legislation actions, serve to ensure that African Americans will not advance.. Its effects are manifested in ideas, education, governmental policies, economic stratification, social segregation, housing markets, hiring and promotion practices, psychological issues, and minority access to a variety of social services and opportunity. This campaign successfully stripped African Americans of the national and international support that was acquired during the 1960’s civil rights struggles. This anti Black governmental campaign of p sychological warfare also creates a false justification for the legal systems mistreatment of African Americans wherein they are disproportionately incarcerated, given stiffer sentences, and are more likely than other racial groups to be treated brutally, beaten, and fired upon by police of ficers while they are unarmed. Moreover, some studies have shown that this shift of victimization20now reflects increasingly acrimonious beliefs and prejudiced perceptions about and against African Americans that are arguably stronger today than they were after emancipation. The objective of the United States government has always been to maintain its White dominance over its Black population, and clearly, psychological warfare meets this needbecause it covertly creates a national climate that allows the government to suppress consensually the advancement of its African American population and to maintain its White dominance and national stability.

Many Black people, in defending their white Governments, will adamantly present the question of why would their government find it a necessity to implement such a racist scheme? Within America these declarations are made among Blacks because the image that has been firmly established upon the consciousness of Black Amer ica, in regards to the U.S. Government, are those of the U.S. government sending troops to Littl e Rock, Arkansas to safely escort Black students to attend schools, or that of the Northern Union soldiers fighting and dying against the Confederate army to free the slaves, and of the many social programs that the federal Government has implemented towards the benefit of African Americans. However, while these undertakings by the U.S. government individually and collectively deserve our appreciation, they do not accurately provide the full picture revealing the true or entire relationship shared between the U.S. Government and its Black population. These favorable stories and events are the result of the same compulsory racial integration programs that reflects only what the U.S. Government wants its African Americans population to remember and are not historically accurate at reflecting or determining the true past relationship or the underlying present existing relationship between African Americans and the U.S. Government. From slavery to the present, African Americans have undeniably borne an unprecedented amount of suffering and mistreatment by the U.S. government because of their race.

However, so many have forgotten or repressed so much of these maltreatments and have, ins tead, com e to accept the favorable-but-false perpetuated White persona that represents everything that White people never were — and still are not — in place of the truth, thus engendering a sort of psychologically induced coma concerning their own Black holocaust. Because most African Americans are denied an educational system and media reports that gives them accurate information, both historically and at present, reflecting the U.S. Governments relationship with African American, therefore most are totally oblivious of the true fundamental core character of this existing relationship. [There are literally THOUSANDS of highly important c ompanies, government institutions and organizations that make use of the Tavistock Institute services. To list them all would be impossible. Among the Tavistock’s specialties is a study group that predicts the timing and the direction of a thermonuclear war, plus working out the many scenarios based upon its findings. However BRAINWASHING remains the primary function of the Tavistock Institution. [The pers onnel of the corporations are required to undergo indoctrination at one or more of these Tavistock=2 0controlled institutions. A network of secret groups, the Mont Pelerin Society, Trilateral Commission, Ditchley Foundation, and the Club of Rome is conduit for instructions to the Tavistock network.]

send in by F.Jones

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SA council workers extend strike – A challenge to Zuma’s leadership

Posted by African Press International on July 30, 2009

South African President Jacob Zuma gestures during a news conference in Pretoria, July 29, 2009. South Africa's council workers' union said on Thursday it would extend a four-day strike that has crippled public services, after wage deals in key sectors eased the pressure on President Jacob Zuma.

South African President Jacob Zuma gestures during a news conference in Pretoria, July 29, 2009. South Africa’s council workers’ union said on Thursday it would extend a four-day strike that has crippled public services, after wage deals in key sectors eased the pressure on President Jacob Zuma. REUTERS

JOHANNESBURG, Thursday (Reuters)

South Africa’s council workers’ union said on Thursday it would extend a four-day strike that has crippled public services, after wage deals in key sectors eased the pressure on President Jacob Zuma.

The SAMWU municipal workers’ union said it would hold further talks with local government employers after rejecting the latest pay offer.

“We discussed a number of ways of resolving the impasse and we will approach the negotiations set for today with a view to reaching an agreement that meets the needs of our members,” the union, which represents 150,000 workers, said.

Some union members have trashed city centres to strengthen demands for an above-inflation 15 percent salary hike. Annual inflation is running at 8 percent.

The strike by public transport workers, refuse collectors and licensing officers follows days of violent protests by residents of impoverished townships who have complained about lack of healthcare, water and electricity.

Africa’s biggest economy is suffering its first recession since 1992 and unions say the poor are suffering the most. Unemployment is rising, with more than 4 million people without jobs, according to official data.

The frustration has boiled over into occasional outbreaks of unrest.

On Wednesday the SAPA news agency said police fired rubber bullets at nurses and patients at a clinic in the east of the country. A Reuters cameraman also saw protesting workers in Cape Town hitting passing vehicles with metal bars.

There were no reports of violence on Thursday. Domestic media said marches were planned for central Durban and Joahnnesburg.

SAMWU workers staged a three-week strike in 2006, but the impact failed to extend far beyond the inconvenience of disrupted transport and piles of uncollected rubbish lying on street corners.

Pressure on the government has eased since the country’s biggest union agreed a wage deal with gold and coal producers, averting a potentially damaging strike in the key mining sector.

Paper, industrial chemicals, pharmaceutical and petroleum workers also called off strikes this week after wage deals.

However, economists believe higher-than-inflation settlements could strain the economy further down the road.

Already facing a shortfall in tax revenue due to the economic crisis, South Africa may be forced to increase taxes and the salary hikes could fuel inflation, now standing at 6.9 percent annually.

Shortly after appointing a tough-talking police chief to tackle one of the world’s highest crime rates ahead of the 2010 soccer World Cup, Zuma urged police to crack down on unruly protesters overturning trash cans and littering streets.

“I feel it is important that they should be arrested because they are interfering with the rights of innocent citizens, who are walking around. I have been told there is a law and the law should apply,” he told a news conference.

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Mugabe ruined the economy and now ministers are on stealing spree: Zimbabwe minister arrested over phone theft

Posted by African Press International on July 30, 2009

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister and main opposition Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai (L) shakes hands with President Robert Mugabe (R) at the National Heroes Acre, in Harare, March 14, 2009.

Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (left) shakes hands with President Robert Mugabe (right) at the National Heroes Acre, in Harare, March 14, 2009. A minister from Tsvangirais party has been arrested for allegedly stealing a mobile phone from a militant supporter of President Robert Mugabe


HARARE, Wednesday

A minister from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirais party has been arrested for allegedly stealing a mobile phone from a militant supporter of President Robert Mugabe as tension continues to build up in Zimbabwes shaky coalition government.

Deputy Youth Minister, Mr Thamsanqa Mahlangu was arrested on Tuesday over the theft of the phone belonging to war veterans leader, Mr Joseph Chinotimba at a conference a fortnight ago.

Mr Mhlanga shared a table with Mr Chinotimba at a July 17 workshop convened by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara to craft a shared national vision.

Police say during a lunch break, the war veterans leader who spearheaded Zimbabwes land invasions with Mr Mugabes tacit approval, left his food on the table when he stood up to get some food.

When he returned the phone had vanished.

Detectives, with the help of a network provider reportedly tracked down the sim card to a woman who claimed to Mr Mahlangus girlfriend.

His arrest is in connection with theft of a cell phone at a function that was held at the Harare International Conference Center, police spokesman, Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said.

Two other people are facing charges relating to the use of the cell phone line without the consent of the owner and in breach of the Telecommunications Act.

But Mr Mahlangus party said the arrest was part of a wider plot by Mr Mugabes Zanu PF party to whittle down its majority and victimise its leadership.

His arrest comes in the wake of renewed persecution of MDC MPs and ministers, the MDC said in a statement. At least seven MPs are facing trumped up charges while the partys secretary general and Minister of Finance Tendai Biti on Monday received an envelope with a bullet inside.

The main MDC is one seat away from losing its majority in parliament, a year after it overturned Zanu PFs dominance for the first time since independence.

At least five MDC MPs have been convicted for instigating violence during last years elections.

The arrests intensified after Mr Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai formed a unity government in February.

At least 16 other MPs have cases pending before the courts and according to Zimbabwes constitution if they are given jail sentences exceeding six months they will lose their seats.

No Zanu PF MP has been convicted despite the fact that several were implicated in the violence that swept the country ahead of the disputed of last years June 27 presidential run-off election.

A number of Zanu PF MPs were also fingered in the abuse of a government agriculture input scheme but none have been convicted.

Dr Lovemore Madhuku, a constitutional expert said the clampdown on the MDC MPs threatened the stability of the coalition.

It is very clear that there is a selective application of the law,

Dr Madhuku said. There are more crimes committed by Zanu PF MPs than those of the MDC-T.

It is an open secret that some Zanu PF MPs were behind last years political violence but no one has been convicted.

Mr Tsvangirais party won 99 seats in the 210 house of assembly during last years harmonised elections.

The party had won four more seats than Zanu PF

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Kenya: The Kalenjins are not stupid: Can ngege consummate an alliance?

Posted by African Press International on July 30, 2009

When Kibaki visited Bondo and ate ngege with Raila, some Luo MPs said,”hallelujah hosanna we need Kalenjin vote no more!” These MPs believe arrival of president to dala is the beginning of true alliance between Luos and Kikuyus and therefore Kalenjins are of no need any more.
Long ago Oginga Odinga thought the same way. You and I know the outcome.

It’s very clear from Luo MPs attack of Ruto that forty years since Jaramogi was deceived these guys have never learned who is their true friend. Kalenjins led by Ruto voted for Raila almost to the last voter.But Raila now thinks he can abandon them for Kibaki and his people.He thinks this time round Kibaki is genuine.That Kibaki will rally his people to vote for Raila.In fact some Luo MPs dared Ruto to leave ODM. Now that stinks! Kalenjins are united behind their leaders and ready to leave ODM when it dies and stinks.

For now ODM is our party. We are its founders.Any Luo MP who thinks otherwise should leave it instead! Wagging the tail to an extend of daring our leaders to leave ODM because Raila ate ngege with Kibaki is parochial and myopic.This is one reason Kikuyus often get the best of Luos politically.

Kalenjin vote is big and desirable.Whoever gets it is advantaged. Luo MPs should know this factas theyexorcise the old demons that made them enter into alliances that never worked for them. Political marriage between Luos and Kalenjins took more than a meal of ngege toconsummateyet itcan take only Mau to desolve it.

Raila should read mene mene tekel on the wall!


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Obama not born a US Citizen?

Posted by African Press International on July 29, 2009

As far as we are concerned and as far as all known sealed evidence as per this day, The US President Barack Obama is not an American citizen. Debate on the subject will continue until Obama himself decides to come out and tell the people what he himself knows to be the truth. The American people deserve to be given answers when they ask questions. Of course there is fear now. If the contrary to what the White House has said is now said then there will be a problem because The President may have to face impeachment. The country is not prepared for this because any attempt to impeach Obama will most probably cause instability in the country.

In our earlier articles, we came out near factual, according to evidence given to us, that the President is said to have been born in Mombasa in Kenya. It will not matter actually where the man was born as long as his father was a Kenyan citizen. In many countries you belong to your father’s corner when citizenship becomes an issue. There is no difference here when it comes to being born to a Kenyan father. And if one is adopted by another nationality, that does not mean you loose your father’s citizenship unless you apply for naturalization to follow your new father, a thing that has not been pointed out by the White House when they come out to tell the public that Obama is American citizen. It may now be the time for those interested to study, know and get the truth as potrayed by the Mombasa Imam’s documents in order to satisfy their curiosity on the matter thereafter putting it top rest once and for all.

Obama is doing well now in the White House. The question, therefore, is whether it is right to open up wounds by proving Obama’s citizenship, a thing that may highten temperatures in the US. May be the Americans should accept the President and wait until his term is over.

By Chief editor Korir/ API

Obama is a US citizen, says exasperated White House:

(What makes them think they are right on this – API asks?

US President Barack Obama (C) holds a basketball and jersey given to him by Detroit Shock Women's NBA team captain Cheryl Ford (L) and MVP Katie Smith during a ceremony welcoming them at the White House in Washington, July 27, 2009.     REUTERS

US President Barack Obama (C) holds a basketball and jersey given to him by Detroit Shock Women’s NBA team captain Cheryl Ford (L) and MVP Katie Smith during a ceremony welcoming them at the White House in Washington, July 27, 2009. REUTERS


A vocal group of conspiracy theorists known as birthers are riling the White House with their persistent claim that Barack Obama is not an American citizen and therefore ineligible to be president.

The claim that the United States first African-American president was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, first emerged during his presidential campaign, but it has garnered more media attention in the summer silly season, a traditionally slow news period when many Americans are on vacation.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs looked exasperated at his briefing yesterday when a reporter asked him, Is there anything you can say that will make the birthers go away?

If I had some DNA, it wouldn’t assuage those that don’t believe he was born here, Gibbs replied. But I have news for them and for all of us: The president was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the 50th state of the greatest country on the face of the earth. He’s a citizen.

A year-and-a-half ago I asked that the birth certificate be put on the Internet because Lord knows, you got a birth certificate and you put it on the Internet, what else could be the story?

The digitally scanned copy of the certification of live birth from Hawaii’s Department of Health shows President Obama was born in Honolulu at 7:24 pm on August 4, 1961.

The nonpartisan, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Centre of the University of Pennsylvania, examined, handled and photographed the original certificate in an effort to put the controversy to rest.

We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving US citizenship. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the USA, just as he has always said. also pointed out that Mr Obama’s American mother and Kenyan father placed an advertisement in a local Honolulu newspaper on August 13, 1961, announcing their son’s birth.

Despite the seemingly incontrovertible evidence, the issue shows no sign of disappearing off the radar of right-wing radio talkshow hosts and others who say the birth certificate is a forgery to hide the fact that Mr Obama is foreign-born.

Republican Congressman Mike Castle was booed at a town hall meeting after he insisted Obama, a Democrat, was an American citizen.

Video of the meeting went viral and has been viewed nearly 700,000 times on YouTube.

Meanwhile, in Hawaii, state officials yesterday said they have once again checked and confirmed that President Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen, and therefore meets a key constitutional requirement for being president.

I have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawaii State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen, Health Director Dr Chiyome Fukino said in a brief statement.

I have nothing further to add to this statement or my original statement issued in October 2008 over eight months ago. (Reuters)

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Posted by African Press International on July 29, 2009

We, the non-violent campaigners for democratic change, firmly believe that the surest route to a secure future for this country lies in confession, forgiveness, restitution and, ultimately, reconciliation, mediated through an impartial arbitration mechanism such as the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC).

Nevertheless, our common desire for comprehensive peace notwithstanding, we are totally against the recent formation of the Ambassador Bethuel A. Kiplagat led TJRC because it does not meet the pre-requisite irreducible minimums for such commissions, among them the following:

  1. Wrong environment: The history of truth commissions from Latin America where they were invented, through South Africa to, most recently, Sierra Leone , clearly shows them to be one of the vehicles deployed by societies transiting from an oppressive, corrupt, dictatorial order to a new democratic one. Truth commissions work like a bridge from the old immoral order to the new moral one. The new order has not been established in Kenya . Hence, why build a bridge to nowhere?
  2. The appointing authority has no moral foundation:President Mwai Kibaki and a big part of his Cabinet have no moral foundation to set up such a commission. President Kibaki was former President Moi`s Vice President for 11 years, when Kanu trashed whatever was left of our democratic institutions. President Kibaki, who is on record scornfully dismissing progressives as children trying to cut down the sacred Mugumo tree with a razorblade, personally seconded the Bill in Parliament that amended Kenya s Constitution to create the infamous Section 2A. That development de-legitimized Kenya s loyal opposition, entrenched impunity, and led to the detention, exiling, torture, maiming, and even the murder of many progressive politicians, intellectuals, and ordinary Kenyans who sought to establish a democratic policy.

As insiders and beneficiaries of the system, the President and many members of his Cabinet went out of their way to secure and profiteer from the tyrannical Nyayo system. Further, the President and key members of his Cabinet were key architects and doctrinaires of the equally repressive and irresponsible Mzee Jomo Kenyattas administration that earlier looted, murdered, detained, exiled, and impoverished millions of Kenyans. Worse, the President and a big chunk of his Cabinet have been in-charge since 2003 when major financial scandals, a bungled election, and major violations of human rights rocked the country.

There is no way President Kibaki and his team can purport to be midwives of our reconciliation through the TJRC.

    1. Conflict of interest in the composition of the commission: as has been noted in the media by many Kenyans, especially by some victims of the crimes that need to be brought to closure, commissioners who were gatekeepers of the past repressive administrations under investigation belong to the defence or the witness box. Ambassador Bethuel A. Kiplagat, the Chair, was a Moi confidant and apologist who deployed his great rhetorical, political, diplomatic and intellectual skills to explain away and defend the Nyayo Governments excesses. Mr Kiplagat has never demonstrated that he can stand up impartially for truth and justice. Even in the raging Mau saga he is loudly silent because the situation is still far too fluid for his survival instincts. He will intervene, but as always only when it is safe to do so, and predictably on the side of power, never of principle. Since the bungled Tito Okello and Yoweri Museveni peace talks of the early 1980s, to the recently failed mediocre Somalia peace talks, Mr. Kiplagat has curved for himself a niche as a peace mercenary, profiteering from the business of conflict rather than being an honest peace broker. We will be expecting too much of him to let him preside over a process which will hold the infamous Nyayo Era to account.
    2. Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Ahmed Sheikh Farah was a serving officer when Kenya s military was implicated in gross human rights violations, like the torture by victorious loyalist forces of the defeated Kenya Air Force soldiers after the 1982 attempted coup. He was also in active service during operations such as the Wagallah massacre. He or his friends could have been involved in those infamous episodes. Then there is the question of collective responsibility where peers cover each others backs. How will he sit in judgement? Will the junior soldiers have the confidence to appear before him?
    3. Ms. Margaret Wambui Ngugi Shavawas is the wife of one of the military officers who served in the Kenya Air Force based at Nanyuki, and is still in active service. Will she have an open mind when former colleagues of her husband appear before the commission?
    4. Flawed Nomination Process: Given that people who should be in the defence or witness box are on the commission, we can only conclude that the process of their nomination was flawed to the extent that it did not have inbuilt mechanisms to lock them out. Ideally, the process must have been clear that any person who served or was/is associated with either the colonial or any of the three post-independence regimes, all which were involved in gross human rights violations, was disqualified.
    5. Discrimination against the Mau Mau and others: The decision to set a cut-off date that limits the mandate of TJRC to cover only the post-colonial period is against both the Constitution of Kenya and natural justice because it is discriminative against groups like the Mau Mau and others who suffered gross human rights violations under British rule. These are citizens who are still struggling to get justice. For example, recently a group of the Mau Mau were in London pursuing their case. Many other Kenyan communities that suffered injury at this time are yet to get restitution. Hence, taxpayer funded processes cannot be just and fair if they are deliberately designed to exclude them.

      The TJRC is not just supposed to be impartial but it must be seen to be so. This is important because its success depends on the goodwill of all, especially of the victims who are expected to forgive so that we can move on. Hence, we call upon the President to disband the biased commission he has established, not simply because it is poorly constituted, but also because its timing is wrong.

      Ideally, the TJRC can only be put in place by a government democratically elected under the new democratic constitutional dispensation we crave. And the President should stop the many sideshows he is bogging himself down with, and focus on the urgent duty he has to see to it that we get that Constitution soonest.

      If the President fails to disband the commission, we shall proceed to the High Court to pray for a permanent injunction against both the formation of the TJRC at this time before we get a new constitution, and also to bar compromised individuals from ever serving on the commission when finally it is formed at the right time.

      We are already collecting airtight evidence for filling High Court petitions against Mr. Kiplagat and others who we feel should not be on the TJRC.

      Signed: Agostino Neto
      Date: July 27, 2009

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      Kenya: On the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission’s newly appointed Chairman Ambassador Kiplagat

      Posted by African Press International on July 29, 2009

      The Wanga of Mumias had a saying- along time ago, Omulayi webuwanga ashinanga mumuse lulala. In the old Wanga Kingdom from where this was and is still widely used to teach the youth the Nabongo the pre-colonial King of the expansive kingdom had a court. Often he would entertain guests and on such special occasions he would entertain them with only the good dances. Only good dancers were to entertain the King and his audience. However, the wisdom of this saying was that however creative you were it was always good to dance once and leave it while your fame and respect was still intact. According to the saying repeats would only bore your audience. Simply put if you do something too many times you always run the risk of being monotonous and underperforming.

      Bethuel Kiplaga has had his time to dance and on a number of occasions he had a good outing in the court of Kenyas public opinion. On other occasions he has turned out to be a complete bore. His latest appointment as chair of the truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) is likely to tear his otherwise impressive CV into shreds. My argument is that he should turn down the appointment advice the president that his timing for a TJRC is wrong and retire from public life because of several reasons.

      First I am not persuaded that Kenyans really need a TJRC at this time. To many a TJRC is a waste of time and an unnecessary attempt to divert attention that is now clearly focused on punishing the masterminds of the post election violence. It sounds to many Kenyans like an attempt to help the perpetrators of post election violence escape The Hague. Whereas Kenyans love reconciliation, they also know that impunity must be dealt with then reconciliation can take effect. Kiplagat will thus face the wrath of a restive public baying for the blood of the crooks who made them suffer in 2007

      Second, Kiplagat- or is it usual with all diplomats- has never really shown courage. The ability to confront tough situations and take hard positions is generally averse to him. He has not been heard criticizing anything, is no defender of human rights and has hardly been an authority on matters justice. Other than the presidents usual window dressing, I do not see how a fence sitter like Kiplagat can achieve anything to satisfy the expectations and skepticisms of the Kenyan public

      The last time Kiplagat participated in a similar exercise he opened a talking shop at the KICC in what Kibaki christened the committee of eminent persons. This committee was meant to have advised the politicians lead by President Kibaki on how to unlock the Constitutional impasse after the Wako draft was thrown out by Kenyans. For nearly a year Kiplagat and his committee entertained Kenyans at the plenary (now Lenana) hall of the KICC but when the exercise was over it is not clear whether the diplomat kept the recommendations as reference material for his various peace initiatives or he presented them to his paymasters.

      What if Bethuel had unlocked the gridlock after the referendum? We would probably have had a good constitution before going to the messed up polls and hypothetically we would have avoided the debacle of 2007.

      And last, and if the good diplomat cares, is Kibaki himself. Like I pointed out above Kibaki has appointed many commissions like his predecessors before. Some of these commissions have come up with very good and solid recommendations on how to deal with various situations. Most notable the Ndungu land commission whose recommendations if implemented would have solved our land problems to a big extent. It is said that as soon as he appoints a commission, he actually forgets about it and moves on with other issues. Kiplagat knows this too well and should now let others dance this tune

      By Peter Abwao, Mombasa – Kenya

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

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