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Archive for May 15th, 2012

Francois Hollande, 57 years old now sworn in as French president

Posted by African Press International on May 15, 2012

Francois Hollande who was sworn in as president of France today says he will be the president for all the French people. He asked for cooperation with the opposition.

Immediately after being sworn in today morning, he travelled to Germany to meet the German leader. However, he had to turn on the way because his plane was hit by lighting. Later this evening, he will travel using another plane from Paris.

He is France’s first Socialist president in 17 years.


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Ocampo four to appear at the ICC on the 11th and 12th June for a status conference

Posted by African Press International on May 15, 2012

The Kenya situation:

Judges Kuniko Ozaki, Christine Van den Wyngaert and Chile Eboe-Osuji has now ordered that the Ocampo 4, namely William Ruto, Joshua Sang and Uhuru Kenyatta, Francis Muthaura appear at the ICC on the 11th and 12th respectively. They, however, do not have to appear in person, they can be represented by their lawyers.

The conference at the ICC is to be used to determine the trial dates for the four. Status Conferences will begin at 1pm Hague time.

When the trial starts the accused will have to be present in the court in person.





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Mena Travel Awards 2012: Radisson Blu Heliopolis Wins the Platinum Award

Posted by African Press International on May 15, 2012

Despite what Egypt faced from hard times in 2011 and ongoing in 2012 the Radisson Blu Hotel Cairo Heliopolis won the platinum award at Mena Travel Awards 2012 for the Best Price Value Hotel.

This Mena Travel Awards is hosted by CHA under the coordination of President Dr. Sam Saker honouring and awarding Top Performers in the entire region intended for the hospitality and travel industry. Votes for the Mena Travel Awards are cast from across the region making the Mena awards the leading professionals’ choice awards
A total of 53 awards were given out in 16 selected industry categories, which included categories for five and four-star hotels, golf courses and Spa. The Platinum award for ‘Best Price Value Hotel was picked up by Director of Sales & Marketing Mohamed Idris on behalf of the Radisson Blu Heliopolis property at a prestigious and quality event, held at Al Meydan Hotel in Dubai.

Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts (formerly Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts), part of The Rezidor Hotel Group, offers first class service, providing guests with a contemporary, upscale hospitality experience. Radisson Blu has received numerous awards for Best Hotel Chain and is renowned for its “Yes I Can!” spirit of service and the “100% Guest Satisfaction Guarantee”.

September 2005 saw the roll out of a free broadband service across the portfolio – the first international hotel chain to offer this service.

Radisson Blu currently includes more than 255 hotels either in operation or under development and with almost 60,000 rooms in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Ashraf Naguib, Radisson Blu Heliopolis General Manager thanked the organisers and guests for their votes of confidence in Radisson Blu Hotel, Cairo Heliopolis, he continued, it is a great honour for me and for my team for winning this award promising that we will keep up the high-quality work and continue providing the best business & leisure facilities with the best price values. This award motivate us to do better next year, not only because we want the prestige of winning awards, but also because we want our guests to keep coming back to Radisson Blu Heliopolis.




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A Swedish man arrested in Kenya suspected to belong to Al Shabaab

Posted by African Press International on May 15, 2012

Kenya media reports that a Swedish national has been arrested in connection with Al-Shabaab activities.

This is happening at a time the government is having a  crackdown on foreigners flocking to Kenya to join Islamist group Al-Shabaab that has terrorized the Somali people in their country.

According to the Standard newspaper of Kenya “Anti-terror police arrested Magd Najjar in Eastleigh after they learnt he was here illegally and was eager to join or had joined the militant group. Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe later said Najjar was an accomplice of the wanted German terror suspect Ahmed Khaled Mueller and they had a similar mission in the country.”

The paper continues to report that “The suspect’s traveling documents showed he entered Kenya on February 23, 2011 after he was granted a visa that was to run from January 31 2011 to April 30, 2011. And after his visa expired he reportedly never laboured to renew it as per the law. He was scheduled to appear in Nairobi court on Monday. Anti-terror police who are handling his case said they are investigating to know if he had been to Somalia and back using the porous borders.”




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Orchestrated: Much of the post-election violence in Kenya was found to have been planned in advance

Posted by African Press International on May 15, 2012

Orchestrated: Much of the post-election violence was found to have been planned in advance

NAIROBI,  – Rights groups in Kenya have warned of a potential miscarriage of justice after the government moved to have the cases of four people charged with crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC) transferred to a region tribunal which has no experience in handling such crimes.

Two of the suspects, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former higher education minister William Ruto, are likely candidates in a forthcoming presidential election. Together with former civil service chief Francis Muthaura and radio journalist Joshua Sang, they have been charged in connection with the widespread violence that claimed 1,300 lives and displaced some 600,000 people in the wake of the last presidential election in 2007.

The cases are being handled by the ICC because Kenya has failed to establish competent domestic judicial mechanisms.

“Post-election violence victims must receive substantive justice, but the current attempts to move these cases from the ICC is all meant to protect the four suspects at the expense of the victims,” Lawrence Mute, a commissioner with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, told IRIN.

On 26 April, 2012, the East African Legislative Assembly, during its fifth session held in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, endorsed a motion urging the ICC to transfer the cases to the East Africa Court of Justice (EACJ).

The tenth extraordinary session of the East Africa Community Summit, held on 28 April, 2012 in Arusha, Tanzania, resolved to extend the mandate of the EACJ to include crimes against humanity. The court’s mandate to date was to interpret the EAC protocol.

“Setting up the mechanisms, even if the mandate of the court is extended, will take years to conclude and will delay the cases,” Mute said.

The EACJ “has never handled cases of the magnitude of the ones facing the four individual Kenyans at the ICC. I don’t think the [ICC] will be persuaded to move these cases there,” Judith Musembi, a lecturer of international law at the University of Nairobi, told IRIN.

Activists have also called for thousands of other crimes committed after the 2007 elections to be brought before the courts.

“There are thousands of suspects out there whose cases are not before the ICC, and the government, must as a matter of serving justice, set up local mechanisms to try them,” James Gondi, of the International Center for Transitional Justice, told IRIN.

“The women who were raped and people whose property were burnt want those who carried these out to face justice,” he added.

According to a recent report by Human Rights Watch, “The limited success of cases in the ordinary courts shows that Kenyan authorities have been unwilling or unable to effectively prosecute post-election violence.”

“In Uasin Gishu district, for instance, an epicenter of turbulence, no one has been convicted for at least 230 killings. The fact that not a single police officer has been convicted for shootings or rapes directly related to the post-election violence, despite an estimated 962 police shootings, 405 of them fatal, and dozens of reported rapes by police, also demonstrates the extent of impunity for certain groups that appear to be protected,” added the report, entitled Turning Pebbles.

In February 2012, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) set up a task force to expedite the prosecution of some 5,000 suspects.

“We are doing what we can, but we can’t charge people outside the law. We must gather evidence before we can haul people to court,” a senior legal officer in the DPP’s office who sought anonymity, told IRIN.

ko/am source

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Gains in child survival, but still falling short

Posted by African Press International on May 15, 2012

Gains in child survival, but still falling short

NAIROBI,  – Global mortality among children younger than five years declined by 26 percent between 2000 and 2010 – meaning that the lives of some two million children were saved – but this is still not enough for many countries to meet the Millennium Development Goal of reducing deaths in this age group by two-thirds by 2015, according to recent US research.

“Too much emphasis has been placed in recent years on global numbers and mortality, and less on understanding the determinants and direction of trends,” wrote Zulfiqar Bhutta, head of the maternal and child health division at the Aga Khan University Medical Centre in Karachi, Pakistan in a commentary accompanying the study.

He noted that annual deaths from diarrhoea – a leading killer among young children – fell to less than 800,000 during the past two decades, but the drop occurred mostly in large countries like China, Brazil and India, and overall “the incidence of diarrhoeal disorders has hardly changed”.

In a study by Johns Hopkins University, researchers used birth and death registries, household surveys, verbal autopsy (interviews with people familiar with the deceased to learn the cause of death) and multi-cause models to estimate the causes of death in children younger than five years during 2010 to monitor the progress of 193 countries towards Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG) – slashing child deaths annually by 4.4 percent, or 66 percent over 15 years.

The study showed an average drop in mortality of only 2.6 percent annually, with preventable infectious diseases causing almost two-thirds of the deaths. Pre-term birth (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) followed by pneumonia were responsible for the highest number of deaths globally, with Africa and Southeast Asia hardest hit.

In Africa, 73 percent of all child deaths (2.6 million children) were attributed mostly to malaria and HIV/AIDS, while in Southeast Asia nearly one million babies died within their first 28 days of life because of too-early birth, problems during delivery, or infection.


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