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Africa’s Natural Resources – the need to place value

Posted by African Press International on December 2, 2013

NAIROBI, Kenya, December 2, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ African Ministers and Experts Spotlight Efforts to Incorporate Natural Wealth Accounting in Development Planning

What: Press conference on “Valuation and Accounting of Natural Capital for Green Economy (VANTAGE)” in Africa meeting

When: Wednesday, 4 December 10:30 a.m.

Where: Press Room, UN Compound, Gigiri

Who:

Natural capital is a critical asset, especially for low-income countries where it makes up around 36 per cent of total wealth, according to World Bank estimates. For these countries, especially in Africa, livelihoods depend directly on healthy ecosystems.

Incorporating natural capital into national accounts can support better decisions for inclusive development.

Natural capital is not readily captured in markets, so we don’t really know how much ecosystem services contribute to the economy and livelihoods. We often take these services for granted and don’t know what it would cost if we lose them.

Natural capital accounting can provide detailed statistics for better management of the economy.

For example, land and water accounts can help countries interested in increasing hydro-power capacity to assess the value of competing land uses and the optimal way to meet this goal.

Ecosystem accounts can help biodiversity-rich countries design a management strategy that balances tradeoffs among ecotourism, agriculture, subsistence livelihoods, and ecosystem services like flood protection and groundwater recharge.

The international VANTAGE conference – which will take place in Nairobi from 3 to 4 December 2013 – will showcase successful efforts by countries and organizations to value and account for natural capital.

Such pioneering initiatives go beyond the traditional growth and development measurements such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and contribute to building inclusive green economies.

More than 100 participants will take part in the conference, including 5 African ministers and 3 deputy ministers.

The expected outcome document will chart the way forward for the VANTAGE programme, including ways it can support governments in incorporating natural resource accounting in their national wealth indicators.

 

SOURCE

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

 

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In many countries in Africa, the majority of small farmers are women – They are Key to Africa Achieving its Trading Potential –

Posted by African Press International on November 21, 2013

NAIROBI, Kenya, November 20, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ African countries have enormous potential for trade with the global market and for more intensive trade among themselves. Regional trade in Africa can play a vital role in diversifying economies and reducing dependence on the export of a few mineral products, in delivering food and energy security, in generating jobs for the increasing numbers of young people, and in alleviating poverty and promoting a shared prosperity.

The new volume—Women and Trade in Africa: Realizing the Potential—demonstrates how women play a key role in trade in Africa and will be essential to Africa’s success in exploiting its trade potential. Women make a major contribution to trade in most African countries through their involvement in the production of tradable goods as cross-border traders and as managers and owners of firms involved in trade.

According to Marcelo M. Giugale, Director, Department of Economic Policy and Poverty Reduction Programs, World Bank Africa Region, “Removing the three main obstacles to regional trade integration in Africa—misregulation, monopolies and corruption—would be particularly beneficial for poor women, as they literally carry most of the small-scale, cross-border commerce that happens within the Region. The potential benefits are huge and obvious: better food security, faster job creation, more poverty reduction, and less gender discrimination. This is a win-win-win-win reform agenda that is ready for action.”

The main messages from the volume call for Governments to recognize the role that women play in trade and ensure this is communicated to officials at all levels; Government should ensure that the rules and regulations governing trade are clear, transparent and widely available at the border. It is important to simplify documents and regulatory requirements where possible. In addition, it is essential to design interventions to develop trade in ways that ensure that women benefit.

Governments and donors are making concerted efforts to facilitate trade, to increase productivity in export-oriented sectors, and to improve competitiveness. But these need to be better targeted to ensure that women who participate in trade are reached by these interventions and that it is not just men who benefit. Finally, help women address the risks they face in their trade-related activities given that they are typically more risk averse than men and respond to risk in different ways.

In many countries in Africa, the majority of small farmers are women, and they produce crops such as maize, cassava, cotton, and rice that have enormous potential for increased trade between African countries and with the global market. Women are also involved in providing services across borders, such as education, health, and professional services, including accountancy and legal services. Hundreds of thousands of women cross borders in Africa every day to deliver goods from areas where they are relatively cheap to areas in which they are in shorter supply.

However, Africa’s trade potential is undermined by constraints that women face. The contribution of women to trade is much less than it could be because of various specific nontariff barriers that impinge particularly heavily on the trade activities of women and women-owned enterprises. These barriers often push women traders and producers into the informal economy where lack of access to finance, information, and networks jeopardize their capacity to grow and develop their business.

 

In its goal to ensure the equitable distribution of the benefits of integration, and specifically to empower women traders, TradeMark East Africa’s Private Sector and Civil Society Program facilitates programming to increase awareness of the challenges of informal cross border traders and build up knowledge and advocacy for a better trading environment.

Lisa Karanja, Director of the program states that ”…these and other deterrent conditions prevent women from taking full advantage of the opportunities created by trade and thus undermine the aspirations of countries in Africa to use trade as a driver of growth, employment, and poverty reduction.”

Yet, policy makers typically overlook women’s contribution to trade and the challenges they face. This neglect reflects, in part, the lack of data and information on women and trade in Africa and also the underrepresentation of small traders and rural producers in trade and trade policy discussions. This volume looks at the ways that women participate in trade in Africa, the constraints they face, and the impact of those constraints.

“The aim of this book is to make available new analysis on the participation of women in trade in Africa to a wide audience, says, Paul Brenton, Editor of the volume and World Bank Africa Trade Practice Leader. It highlights the key role that women will play in achieving Africa’s potential in trade. In addition to raising the profile of this public policy issue, we also hope that it will encourage more research and analysis over a wider range of African countries and so extend the knowledge base.”

 

SOURCE

The World Bank

 

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Kenya; Berieved Nyakach Mp Aduma Owuor is to be sued by his political opponent Erick Ouma Okeyo

Posted by African Press International on November 15, 2013

  • BY JEFF OTIENO.

Berieved Nyakach Mp Aduma Owuor is to be sued by his political opponent Erick Ouma Okeyo over his utterances in parliament this week that Okeyo is deeply involved in insecurity in the constituency.The mp recently lost both parents in a barbaric arson attack in what many believe was a retaliatory response.

Nyakach is marooned by cattle rustling activities and since his election early this year the Mp formed a vigilante group to stump out the vice but no meaningful success has been seen because he has been doing it without the involvement of  local police and other government agencies all of which he has dismissed as very complacent and allegedly operate as part of the entrenched conduit.Other stakeholders are however of the view that the Mp shouldn’t tire but continue engaging with the local police if anything is to be achieved.Last month the Mp took a cattle rustling victim and dumped the body at the Regional Commissioners office a move which shocked many but the Mp remained adamant and  justified that he had no option but to do exactly that.

Back to the claims in parliament, Okeyo hurriedly convened a press conference where he described Owuors claims as cowardly,hollow and shocking.”I sympathise with the Mp for the most tragic manner in which he lost his dear parents and ive personally and elsewhere conveyed my heart-felt condolences to him, while he remains my political opponent i do not ascribe to the view that our political battles transcend the borders of the personal relationship”, Okeyo told journalists. “Even as he continue to mourn the death of his parents he’s expected to observe basic standards of decency,decorum and utmost respect to the law and others”, he thundered.

Still on the remarks in parliament, he concluded by saying that those are abuse of parliamentary privileges and  demonstration of how a legal coward the mp is.Okeyo has lined up  very influential legal team led by Prof Tom Ojienda and justice Richard Otieno Kwatch to take up the matter. Owuors late parents will be buried on 23 Nov and a major fundraising where Nairobi Governor Dr Evans Odhiambo Kidero is the Chief guest is slated on the 19th at All Saints Cathedral Nairobi.

 

ENDS

 

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Robin Wanjiru Njenga, a Kenyan undegraduate student excels in Germany – embarks on masters studies

Posted by African Press International on October 26, 2013

Robin Wanjiru Njenga of class 2013 in Jacobs university in  Bremen Germany, whose father is a prominent lawyer in Kenya Mr Njenga Mwangi delivered an excellent valedictorian speech during her graduation. Ms Njenga has now joined the university of Heidelberg where she is taking her masters.

Watching her speak, one can see in her leadership qualities.

End

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Kenya: CCTV reveals painful moments during Westgate Mall attack

Posted by African Press International on October 18, 2013

New closed circuit television camera footage now tends to point towards the conclusion that there were only four terrorists at the Westgate Mall. The footage shows the terrorists executing their plot on the first day of the attack, with little challenge and is an extension of footage shown by NTV over the weekend, of the terrorists in the mall conducting their mission in relaxed style and even taking time to pray during their deadly mission. NTV’s Dennis Okari with new details of the Westgate attack

End

 

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Most slum dwellers lack titles to the land they live on

Posted by African Press International on October 8, 2013

Most slum dwellers lack titles to the land they live on and, are often faced with the risk of forced evictions

NAIROBI,  – Development projects such as new roads, or dams to boost electricity production, must ensure that the human rights of those evicted are not trampled, say campaigners, who are urging international donors to do more to insist that those affected receive adequate compensation and protection.

Population growth, urbanization and pressure on the land could make such evictions more common in Africa in the future, hence the need for a strictly implemented legal code, they say.

In a report released today, Amnesty International (AI) estimates that a quarter of the 12,000 residents of Deep Sea, an informal settlement in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, face eviction without compensation over the construction of a link road.

“Our families have lived in Deep Sea for years, but recently, we just saw government surveyors come here and they told us a road will pass through our residences. We are living in fear because we haven’t been consulted, and we don’t know when they will come to do the evictions,” Diana Angaya, who has lived in Deep Sea for the past 25 years, told IRIN.

“We are not against the road, but we are asking that those who are affected are provided with alternative land to settle.”

The Kenya Urban Roads Authority is in the process of finding a firm to build the 17km road, which will cost 27 million euros. It is hoped the European Union (EU) will fund 65 percent of the project.

In a separate incident in Nairobi in May some 400 families were evicted from the Carton City informal settlement near Wilson Airport, after a private educational institution laid claim to the land on which they were living. The eviction was carried out by hired youths under the supervision of the police.

“Development organizations like the EU which is funding the bypass expected to pass through the Deep Sea settlement in Nairobi where poor people face evictions must ensure that they pressure the government to respect human rights and uphold the basic standards on evictions as is enshrined in international laws,” Iain Byrne, head of AI’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, told IRIN.

“They have the leverage to ensure governments which they fund, including that of Kenya, uphold human rights including when doing evictions for development projects.”

“Amnesty International is concerned that the EU is not sufficiently engaged with the process for mitigating potential negative impacts of the road construction project and ensuring that the project is implemented in a manner that respects and protects human rights,” said the AI report.

“The absence of explicit policy guidelines for ensuring that projects such as Missing Link 15B do not result in human rights violations is a serious shortcoming and further heightens the organization’s concern. The EU and its member states have a responsibility to ensure that they do not support projects that cause or contribute to human rights violations,” it added.

In a statement the EU said: “Kenyan authorities will implement a comprehensive and transparent Resettlement Action Plan for people currently living or operating businesses within the project area, and that this will include `fair and legally compliant compensation’.”

Kenya’s Resettlement Action Plan, which documents how those affected will be resettled, only stipulates that transport away from the area where they currently reside will be free. Deep Sea residents appear not to have been consulted.

In Ethiopia, a World Bank inspection panel called for investigations into a World Bank funded villagization project after reports that it had violated the bank’s policies regarding respect for human rights. The project involved the forced relocation of some 1.5 million Ethiopians, including indigenous and other marginalized peoples, and has been marred by violence.

Corruption, weak laws

Experts like Aggrey Nyange, an urban planning lecturer at the University of Nairobi, told IRIN that while it is incumbent upon donors and/or governments to protect the poor against forced evictions, there is a need for countries such as Kenya and Ethiopia to enact laws that protect evictees.

International development organizations could be reluctant to call for respect for rights in evictions because they might be expected to go out of their way to pay the compensation money,” said Nyange, adding that even in cases where there are agreements between the funding organization and the recipient government on the need to follow due process, many African governments might not be honest in their dealings.

“At times a donor agency will say, you have to consult the affected community, but governments will simply send officials in the area to bulldoze the poor and claim full consultations happened. The only sure way is to enact laws to outlaw forced evictions,” he said.

According to Justus Nyangaya, head of AI in Kenya, while certain evictions are legally justified, forced evictions required legal frameworks setting out how they should be carried out.

“Some of those evictions happen following a court order and such orders have to be obeyed, but the police must do them according to the law. Such a law guiding them must be in place and put into consideration internationally accepted standards of carrying out evictions,” Nyangaya, said.

In past evictions in Kenya only those with title deeds to the land they lived on received any government compensation.

ko/cb  source http://www.irinnews.org

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Norway: Memorial gathering in Oslo for Kenya’s Westgate Victims

Posted by African Press International on October 7, 2013

Kenyans and friends living in Norway gathered this weekend (5th October 2013) to remember those who died in the cowardly terrorist attack that took place in Westgate Shopping Mall on Saturday 21st September where over 65 people were killed.  Some are missing and are yet to be found by their loved ones. No one knows whether they are dead.

PART 1

PART 2

PART 3

PART 4

The Al Shabaab of Somalia took responsibility for the attack, saying they are on a revenge mission against Kenya for their involvement in Somalia. The Kenya Government entered Somalia a couple of years a go to help stabilise the country and help get a government of the people, ridding out the Al Shabaab. There are still small groups operating in the Southern part of Somalia.

The Al Shabaab says the attack in Westgate Mall causing deaths is a signal they are sending to Kenya that there will be more such attacks if Kenya does not remove its soldiers from Somali soil – the government has soldiers participating in the Africa Union army helping the weak Somali government that the Al Shabaab want to dislodge. and turn the country into a Somali Muslim Republic with strict Somali laws.

End

 

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Feeling the heat! Barasa, the Kenyan journalist wanted by the ICC says, he will spill the beans………

Posted by African Press International on October 4, 2013

Walter Barasa statement on ICC arrest Warrant

ICC warrant: Journalist Walter Barasa

ICC warrant: Journalist Walter Barasa

STATEMENT BY WALTER BARASA (Released on September 22,2013)

My full names are Walter Barasa. I am a journalist. I joined the journalism profession in 1985 after finishing my diploma course. I have worked as a journalist for 18 years most of it with the Nation newspaper and then the People daily.

 

Between 1st and 5th December 2012 I was called by somebody who introduced himself to me as an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigator. He introduced himself as Paul Irani. He informed me that he had been given my name and phone number by somebody who was known to me.

He further informed me that he was an ICC investigator and wanted to meet him in Nairobi. He told me to hire a taxi from Eldoret to Nairobi and that he would pay for the taxi once I arrived in Nairobi because the matter he wanted us to discuss was urgent. He paid Ksh 30,000 to the taxi owner upon arrival in Nairobi.

We met at the Westgate Mall in Westlands. He was with another investigator called Ule. I introduced myself. He told me that he wanted me to help them in connection with a lady in Kiambaa and that she was a witness in a case which was earlier conducted in Nakuru. He told me I was a good man and that I should get the lady to confirm what she had told him on phone because he could not travel to Eldoret which he was told was hostile.

He bought a cellphone for me with an Airtel line to take to the lady. I went and met the lady who confirmed that she had talked with Paul Irani. I later confirmed to Irani that I had met the lady. He requested me to get the lady a temporary passport to enable her go to Uganda for interrogation and statement recording.

When the lady came back she told me that she had been a worker at a certain politicians home and that the investigators had told her to say that she was a cook and that she seen planning meetings being held at the politicians home and had cooked for youths and served them with food as they planned to attack the Kiambaa church.

I asked her whether that was actually true but she told me that it was not true because during the time she was employed by the politician she was actually working as a casual labourer planting tree seedlings and sometimes used to harvest maize.

She also told me that she had left that employment five years before but that she had been forced to say that she was cooking and serving food during the period the violence occurred. I encouraged her to confirm to whether she was ready to defend that position. I asked her how as a Kikuyu she could be allowed to get into a planning meeting and cook and serve food to people who were going to kill her relatives. She told me that she had been told to say that so that the case would be strong.

I warned her that she faced the risk of prosecution if it turned out that she was lying. We ended our conversation and she told me that Paul had sent her to tell me to get her a passport. The investigators sent her a total of Ksh 45,500 and a sum of Ksh 6,000 for facilitation making a total of Ksh 51,500 which the lady (536) withdrew and gave me.

We got the passports and she and her family crossed over to Uganda. We cut off communication for some time until I received a call from the lady using a Ugandan number. She told me that her children were not going to school and that life had become very difficult contrary to what she was promised and her husband was very bitter and wanted them to come back to the country.

She told me she did not want to continue with the case and wanted to come back. I later met Paul Irani at Topelli restaurant near Nairobi hospital and informed him about the ladies complaints and warned him that the lady had threatened to abandon the cause. He promised to address the issue. The lady stopped calling me for some time until a time when she called me on a Burundian number. That is when I learnt that she had been moved to Burundi. She was still complaining of poor treatment. She insisted that since I was the one she knew I should assist her get out of Burundi because she did not have money to get her back in the country.

Communication between us went off again and then a week later she called me from a phone whose code was +423 which is the code for DR Congo with the same complaint. She repeated the same thing that she was fed up and wanted me to assist her and her family back. I told her I did not have money but if I get money I could assist her but in the event that I could not manage she had a right to protest, disclose the truth and ask whoever was in charge to return her into the country.

The calls were so many but when I refused to pick she wrote me numerous text messages which I wish to give you where she was stating the same thing. I wish to read you some of the messages. During the course of my acquaintance with Paul Irani I started developing great doubts on the competence of the Office of the Prosecutors (OTP) investigations. I met the investigators severally at various meetings and raised some of these issues:-

i) At one meeting I challenged Paul and one Silvano from Burkina Faso if they would be able to succeed in establishing the truth when they were carrying out armchair investigations in a hotel on the basis of information from people who were known gold diggers roaming the streets of Eldoret after he showed me a list of the names he had lined up as his sources of information and investigation.

ii) I also reminded him that witness 536 had confided in me she was not in the employment of the politician she was alleging she was working for at the time and she had not been a cook. I told him that the same case had been dismissed by the court in Nakuru. He dismissed my concerns and told me to leave him alone.

He tried sending me to find other individuals whose names he gave me. I contacted some of them. I met some of them but I told him that those people were unreliable.

He flew back sometime in February or March this year then on 13th September this year he contacted me on phone and via email asking me to meet him urgently because my life was in danger and he wanted me to leave the country immediately. He suggested that he meets me at The Hague, Uganda or Nairobi as the last option. I agreed to go to Nairobi on 15th September 2013 for the meeting. The email he wrote to me is attached and I wish to read parts of it. I met him with another white man at Topelli restaurant. I expected a cordial meeting but when I arrived at the meeting Paul Irani ordered me to dismantle all my phones. I accepted to do so after quarrelling for over 10 minutes.

Immediately he told me that he had two options for me:-

i) He told me that he knew that I had been working with the Deputy President to coerce and compromise witnesses and that I should cooperate with him and the prosecution and accept to implicate the Deputy President after which we would fly out of the country with him that night because my life was in danger.

ii) Alternatively he was going to engineer and have a warrant of arrest be issued against me and that I could be jailed for five years. But that as a friend he did not want to be jailed and that the best option was for me to implicate the Deputy President.

I was greatly infuriated by these suggestions. I told him that I did not remember the last time I met William Ruto and I told him if I ever met and spoke with Ruto it was way back in 2007 but from then and up to the time I was meeting him I had not met him but he retorted that I had met him after he came from Japan. I told him that those were lies, I could not accept those lies and that he should go ahead and cause the warrants to be issued. I told him that I was ready to stand in any court to refute those lies.

He told me that I was becoming difficult and he was going to arrest me right away. I told him to dare arrest me. I rose from my chair picked my bag and went to the washrooms but when I came out the two called me back. I was extremely fearful and in order to get away from them, I told them that I would get back to them. They gave me Ksh 7,200 for accommodation and transport. They suggested that after I had considered he options I should escape with them to Uganda. I never contacted them again.

I have now heard rumours, which the prosecution should confirm or deny that a warrant of arrest has been issued against me over an alleged interference/prevention of witness number 536 from attending court.

Am ready and prepared to defend myself against these allegations, which are false. I have special knowledge of all the investigators machinations relating to the recruitment of this witness 536 and others and I will not be blackmailed to tell lies. I am aware of the activities of the investigators and what they are doing now and have done in the past.

I respect the court, I respect the rights of the accused persons to a fair hearing, and the victims right to get justice but I do not accept coercion and unorthodox means of implicating accused persons and conducting investigations to attain an unjust end.

I wish to inform you that the conversation of 15th September 2013 was recorded by Irani and I challenge him to produce the entire unedited clip to the court and all concerned. I also recorded parts of the proceedings which I am ready to produce to prove what I am saying.

I have already instructed my advocate Mr Nick Kaufmann to appear for me and bring the above matters to the attention of the court. I attach here to a letter from my advocate.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully

Walter Barasa.

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“Blood ivory” generates significant revenue for terrorist groups

Posted by African Press International on October 3, 2013

“Blood ivory” generates significant revenue for terrorist groups

NEW YORK, 3 October 2013 (IRIN) – Organized environmental crime is known to pose a multi-layered threat to human security, yet it has long been treated as a low priority by law enforcers, seen as a fluffy “green” issue that belongs in the domain of environmentalists.

But due to a variety of factors – including its escalation over the past decade, its links to terrorist activities, the rising value of environmental contraband and the clear lack of success among those trying to stem the tide – these crimes are inching their way up the to-do lists of law enforcers, politicians and policymakers.

The recent terror attack on the popular Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, has placed environmental crimes like the ivory and rhino horn trade under increased scrutiny. Al-Shabab, the Islamist militant group that has taken credit for the attack, is widely believed to fund as much as 40 percent of its activities from elephant poaching, or the “blood ivory” trade. The Lord’s Resistance Army, a brutal rebel group active in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic, is also known to be funded through elephant poaching.

Rising incomes in Asia have stimulated demand for ivory and rhino horn, leading to skyrocketing levels of poaching. Over the past five years, the rate of rhino horn poaching in South Africa has increased sevenfold as demand in Vietnam and other Asian countries for the horn – used as cancer treatments, aphrodisiacs and status symbols – grows.

“Drop in the ocean”

On the international stage, politicians – alarmed by increasing evidence of links between terrorist organizations and organized environmental crime – are taking a more visible stand against wildlife trafficking. In July, US President Barack Obama set up a taskforce on wildlife trafficking and pledged US$10 million to fight it.

But this is a mere “drop in the ocean”, says Justin Gosling, a senior adviser on environmental organized crime for the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, which was recently launched in New York.

“If developing countries really want to assist, they need to put up quite a bit of cash,” he added.

Funded by the governments of Norway and Switzerland, the Global Initiative is a network of leading experts in the field of organized crime, which aims to bring together a wide range of players in government and civil society to find ways to combat illicit trafficking and trade.

At the Global Initiative conference, Gosling presented a draft of The Global Response to Transnational Organized Environmental Crime, a report documenting environmental crimes around the world. Such crimes are on the rise in terms of “variety, volume and value”, the report says, and their impact is far greater than the simple destruction of natural resources and habitats. “They affect human security in the form of conflict, rule of law and access to essentials such as safe drinking water, food sources and shelter,” the report says.

The crimes documented range from illicit trade in plants and animals and illegal logging, fishing and mineral extraction to production and trade of ozone-depleting substances, toxic dumping, and “grey areas” such as large-scale natural resource extraction.

Most vulnerable

The most fragile countries – those lacking infrastructure and effective policing but often rich in untapped natural resources – are the most vulnerable to exploitation, and the poorest communities suffer the most. “For millions of people around the world, local reliance on wildlife, plants, trees, rivers and oceans is as strong as it has ever been,” says the report.

Communities are losing food supplies and tourism jobs through unsustainable hunting, fishing and – often illegal – deforestation. In vulnerable countries like the Maldives, for example, populations are at risk from rising sea levels and climate change brought on, in part, by deforestation.

It is impossible to quantify what proportion of organized crime is environmental crime, although 25 percent is a commonly repeated figure. This number comes from a UN Office on Drugs and Crime estimate of the scope of the problem in the Asia-Pacific region, and it is often extrapolated as a global estimate. Even less is known about how much organized environmental crime drains from the legitimate economy. To complicate matters, the line between environmental and other organized crime is often blurred, since the same trafficking networks are frequently used for both.

“We’re not really trying to look at environmental organized crime in terms of value,” said Gosling. “We’re looking at the global response to the problem. Who are the actors, and what are they doing? Is it sufficient, and if not, what can we do?”

Boosting enforcement 

Current efforts are failing. Part of the problem is that legislation and penalties vary enormously between countries. “The range between what may be considered acceptable and highly illegal is vast,” says the report, which argues for better synchronization of goals. There are plenty of international and country-specific strategies but few linkages between them.

Illegal logging is a common environmental crime

A perennial problem is that the environmental agencies tasked with handling environmental crime lack the capacity or jurisdiction to stop it, while law enforcement agencies fail to prioritize it. But as the financial incentives of these crimes soar – a rhino horn can fetch $250,000, for example, and a single fishing trawler expedition can bring in $1 million worth of fish – so do the stakes.

There is evidence that heavy weaponry, such as rocket mortars and semi-automatic weapons, as well as helicopters, are being used by poachers, says investigative journalist Julian Rademeyer, whose book, Killing for Profit, exposes the illicit rhino horn trade in South Africa.

Frequently, top players like alleged kingpin Vixay Keosavang, who is dubbed “the Pablo Escobar of wildlife trafficking” and is said to operate with impunity in his home country of Laos, have links to government officials and other powerful elites.

And no amount of policing can eliminate the fact that environmental crimes are widely seen as a passport out of poverty. Rademeyer, who presented his findings at the conference, found that young men from destitute villages in Mozambique who entered the Kruger National Park to poach rhinos were regarded as heroes in their communities because of the money they brought home.

“Many communities on the Mozambican side of the Kruger Park don’t benefit from its conservation efforts. They face a stark choice: go to Johannesburg illegally and try to find work or poach rhino horn, for which they can get anywhere from $200 to $2,000 per horn,” he said. Without alternative choices, “there will be a constant line of ready recruits to occupy middle positions in these trafficking networks”.

Cooperation needed

Rademeyer said the Global Initiative could facilitate faster action through information sharing: “These syndicates move and adapt very quickly. The only way to stop them is to move quickly, too.”

Signing endless memoranda of understanding does not speed up the bureaucratic and diplomatic delays in dealing with transnational environmental crime. Unlike the murky and rapidly evolving world of cybercrime, environmental crime is “a more conventional commodity trade. There are no excuses for why we can’t deal with it,” says Rademeyer.

Steven Trent, director of Environmental Justice Foundation (EFJ), agrees. His organization monitors the effects of illegal fishing on people’s livelihoods in some of the poorest countries in West Africa, including Liberia and Sierra Leone. EJF has also exposed how people are being trafficked on these illegal fishing vessels, either to fish as unpaid labourers or for the sex trade in Asia. Very often, the culprits are companies that “knowingly or sometimes unwittingly” fish illegally and send their products to wealthy countries.

Some solutions to combatting environmental crimes need not be high-tech or complex, he argues. A start would be for every fishing vessel to have a mandatory license number. “When it comes to organized crime, people tend to complicate things, but sometimes there are basic solutions which could bring quick dividends,” he says. “Transparency and traceability are some of the best and simplest tools to combat corruption.”

“Grey” areas such as industrial-scale logging, where the law is often unclear or unevenly applied, are also robbing people of their livelihoods and habitats. Research conducted by Global Witness in Liberia and Cambodia reveals that huge logging concessions are being given out in these countries with “no recourse to the people living there”, says the organization’s director, Gavin Hayman, who argues that countries need to share more information about their enforcement strategies.

As much as one quarter of Liberia’s land area has been given over to logging, Global Witness research reveals. In some cases, communities have been chased off their lands and stripped of their livelihoods. In Cambodia, activists resisting loggers have been killed.

It is imperative for players to get out in the field and find out what local communities actually want, Hayman says. Otherwise, these vulnerable populations can and will fall victim to environmental crime.

pg/rz source http://www.irinnews.org

 

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Kenya Terror attack: A comparison with Operation Thunderbolt/”90 minutes at Entebbe” of July 1976, and other areas requiring deeper reflection & deeper introspection

Posted by African Press International on October 1, 2013

The tragic Westgate Shopping Mall killings of September 2013: A comparison with Operation Thunderbolt/”90 minutes at Entebbe” of July 1976, and other areas requiring deeper reflection & deeper introspection

1. Comparisons with Operation Thunderbolt/90 Minutes at Entebbe of 4th July 1976, Entebbe Airport, Uganda;

(i) As mentioned, mission codenamed “Operation Thunderbolt” a split-second operation that was concluded in a brief stunning period of 90 minutes hence “Operation Thunderbolt” also later coming to be referred to as “90 minutes at Entebbe”

(ii) 106 hijack hostages rescued i.e. 94 Jewish passengers and a 12-man Air France crew

(iii) The rescue mission/paratroopers flew 3,800 kilometres from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Entebbe, Uganda, where the 106 hijack hostages were being held, and as they settled down for a seventh night in captivity

(iv) The key players that oversaw “Operation Thunderbolt” were then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, then Israeli Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Mordechai Gur, the then Israeli army’s Chief of Operations and the then Israeli Air Force commander, operation commander Brig. Gen. Dan Shomron, head of the infantry and elite Paratroop Corps, Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu, and Ehud Barak, all of whom had extensive backgrounds in combat & high risk rescue missions e.g. the Six Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Ehud Barak, later Israeli Defence Minister & Israeli Prime Minister, had even led a crack paratroop unit in rescuing hostages from a Sabena Airlines hijacking in 1972

(v) The fierce battle at Entebbe Airport lasted 45 terrifying seconds. Four hijackers were shot dead. Three hostages who failed to stay on the floor were killed, either in the crossfire, or by Israeli soldiers who mistook them for terrorists

(vi) Within 53 minutes, the hostages were aboard the Israeli planes and on their way home. The corpses of seven guerrillas and 20 Ugandan soldiers lay at Entebbe Airport, Uganda

(vii) An aftermath of the raid was the case of Mrs. Dora Bloch, a 75-year-old hostage left behind in Uganda by the Israeli raiders. Mrs. Bloch was in a hospital when the rescue planes landed. Mrs. Bloch was thereafter murdered in cold blood by the Ugandans

(viii) Another strike force hurled explosives under a squadron of Soviet – supplied Migs of the Ugandan Air Force, crippling about 10 of them, and securing a safe retreat.

(ix) Israelis reached into their pockets to contribute US $ 3 million to a voluntary defense fund within one week after it was set up to handle a sudden flow of donations. Workers offered to do overtime without pay to boost national exports, and the number of labor strikes dropped

Comparisons of Kenya’s Westgate siege of September 2013 with Numbers (i) to (ix) above;

(i) No known codename assigned to operation. 9,000 minutes had however lapsed by Friday evening, 27th September 2013, with no indication that the matter was nearing conclusion of an initial kind. 9,000 minutes and counting at Westgate, and no initial conclusion in sight. Very tragic & very unfortunate indeed

(ii) All hostages and all aggressors not fully & satisfactorily accounted for 9,000 minutes and counting after Saturday, 21st September 2013

(iii) All key Kenyan Security agencies playing a role in the ongoing Westgate saga are based within the vicinity of the Westgate Shopping Mall and none had to be called upon to fly 3,800 kilometres at very short notice and/or first prepare for high risk rescue operation from a location 3,800 kilometres away from the Westagate Shopping Mall

(iv) The current so-called Kenyan Cabinet Secretary incharge of internal security has a background in Hospitality, and his immediate past posting was at the Kenya Utalii Hotel, for many years, the Harvard University of East & Central Africa, when it came to excellence & preeminence in the training of staff of & for elite hotels.

The current so-called Kenyan Secretary for Defence is a former Chairlady of the Law Society of Kenya, and is also a former Kenyan Ambassador to France.

The current US Secretary Of Defence is a veteran of the Vietnam War, while the immediate former US Secretary of Defence, is a former Director of the CIA.

It is unclear whether the current so-called Kenyan Cabinet Secretaries incharge of internal & Defence are both veterans of the Vietnam War, of if both have ever served in any capacity in the CIA. It is also unclear whether the current so-called Kenyan Cabinet Secretaries incharge of internal security & Defence played any role whatsoever in either the Six Day War of 1967 or the Yom Kippur War of 1973

(v) All hostages and all aggressors not fully & satisfactorily accounted for 9,000 minutes and counting after Saturday, 21st September 2013

(vi) All hostages and all aggressors not fully & satisfactorily accounted for 9,000 minutes and counting after Saturday, 21st September 2013

(vii) All hostages and all aggressors not fully & satisfactorily accounted for 9,000 minutes and counting after Saturday, 21st September 2013

(viii) Other than the tragic loss of lives, the ultra modern Westgate Shopping Mall is now a condemned building

(ix) Kenyans have come forward in big numbers to generously make contributions to the Kenya Red Cross Society for their purported exemplary role in the Westgate Shopping Mall siege, the same Kenya Red Cross Society that has never accounted for the massive funds collected during the so-called “Kenyans for Kenya” campaign. The same Kenya Red Cross Society was thereafter linked to the purchase of aflatoxin contaminated maize that is said to have been consumed by an estimated 400,000 Kenyans. No action whatsoever was taken against the Kenya Red Cross Society for this criminal murderous act, yet here they are being sent more massive funds, and being hailed as “heroes”.

Kenyans are also being encouraged to channel their donations through the MPESA cell-phone money transfer platform administered by communications giant Safaricom, the biggest corporation in East & Central Africa, the same Safaricom that has made four unexplained deductions of one Kenya Shilling from its approximate customer base 20 million since 21st June 2013 i.e. Safaricom made unexplained deductions of one Kenya Shilling from it’s subscribers on 21st June 2013, 21st July 2013, 21st August 2013 & 21st September 2013 which translates to an approximate amount of 80 million Kenya Shillings i.e. an approximate amount of one million US dollars. It is unclear whether the funds deducted on these four occasions, were used to fund the activities of the aggressors of the Westgate Shopping Mall siege of September 2013

2. The Kenya Government & the Kenya Media have gone on these particularly aggressive charm offensive, labeling the aggressors in the Westgate Shopping Mall assault as “terrorists” and “cowards”, yet these individuals, whoever they are, had the boldness, courage, audacity & daring, to stage a brutal assault on a key installation of the metropolis of Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi, a country that has a fully fledged National Police Force (up until recently, known as the Kenya Police Force), a National Intelligence Service, an Army, an Air Force, a Navy, and a paramilitary General Service Unit (GSU).

For instance, within the nearby vicinity of the Westgate Shopping Mall, is the Department of Defence (DOD), where the Kenya Army, Kenya Air Force & Kenya Navy are represented. There are at least four police stations in the nearby vicinity of the Westgate Shopping Mall i.e. Muthangari Police Station, Spring Valley Police Station, Parklands Police Station and Central Police Station. The Kenya Air Force Moi Air Base is also in the vicinity of the Westgate Shopping Mall, and while the Kenya Air Force Nanyuki Air Base is about 300 kilometres from the Westgate Shopping Mall, it would take fighter jets of the Kenya Air Force at the Nanyuki Air Base not more than 15 minutes to get to the Westgate Shopping Mall if called upon. The Kenya Police, the Kenya Army and the Kenya Navy also have airwing units, so if the sizable units of the Kenya Navy would have been needed for one reason or another to counter the aggressors of the Westgate Shopping Mall assault, it would have or should have taken units of the Kenya Navy not more than 40 minutes to get from their base at Mombasa, to the Westgate Shopping Mall, a distance of about 600 kilometres.

The Kahawa Barracks & the Maroon Commandoes Army Barracks (for many years known as the 7th Battalion Army Barracks), are also in nearby proximity to the Westgate Shopping Mall. Finally, the headquarters of the paramilitary General Service Unit (GSU), are situated not very far off from the now condemned Westgate Shopping Mall.

That a handful of unknown individuals (some apparently as young as 18 years old & 19 years old), would have been aware of this i.e. the key security installations in and around Westgate, yet still went  ahead to stage such an audacious spectacular assault on a key Kenyan installation, can be described as nothing short of the stuff of legend, making it difficult not to view the aggressors in the Westgate Shopping Mall as warriors, as gladiators, as Vikings and as bold, brave, courageous & daring Marxist-Leninist fundamentalists. Whoever they are, they have held an entire Nation ransom & hostage since Saturday, 21st September 2013, and will continue to do so, for as long as any matter or any question regarding the Westgate Shopping Mall assault remains unresolved or unanswered, and as things stand, way too many questions remain unanswered.

The Westgate Shopping Mall assault is a debacle & disgrace of monumental proportions on the part of the Government of Kenya and people of Kenya in general. That a “handful of nobodies” a “handful of unknowns” could casually walk into the Republic of Kenya and cause such major carnage, mayhem & anguish in such a brief curtailed period of time, is inexplicable, unforgivable and deeply sorrowful. It is an indication like no other of a deeply incompetent Government i.e. the Kenya Government, and a totally lost people i.e. the Kenyan People

Courtesy of the Kenya Government & we the people of Kenya as a whole, the perpetrators of the Westgate Shopping Mall assault of September 2013 have been instantly catapulted to the status of legends & icons and now rank at par with global figures of notoriety & semi-endearment such as Carlos the Jackal, Al Capone, Carlo Gambino, Charles “Lucky” Luciano, “Black September” and Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather”/Don Corleone. Instant icons have been created overnight in both the underworld and the mainstream world above, and the underworld in particular, must be currently in a state of measurable jubilation & glee. The likes of “Banyamulenge”, the Basque Separatists, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), “Hezbollah”, M23, “Hamas”, “Mai Mai”, the “Taliban”, “Tupac Amaru”, the FARC rebels, Boko Haram, “Fatah al-Islam”, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), and “Abu Sayyaf”, must currently be in celebratory mood, as they deliver coded congratulatory messages to “Al Shabaab”, and in particular, the said perpetrators of the Westgate Shopping Mall assault of September 2013

And whereas many in the mainstream world would understandably conceal their admiration, if any, of the spectacular bold & pin-point precision with which the assault on the Westgate Shopping Mall was executed, the cruel irony is that the likes of Nelson Mandela/”Umkhonto we Sizwe”/the African National Congress (ANC), Gerry Adams/Sein Fein/the Irish Republican Army (IRA), and Field Marshal Muthoni wa Kirima/Field Marshal Baimungi Marete/Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi/Field Marshal Musa Mwariama/”Mau Mau” were once openly & formally regarded as “terrorists”, precisely because of Westgate Shopping Mall kind of actions/assaults, yet today, the aforementioned are regarded as legends and icons. Nelson Mandela for instance, is today a global darling, while Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi has a statue in his honour on Nairobi’s Kimathi Street, a street also named in his honour.

Other key figures in Kenya’s freedom struggle such as Mary Nyanjiru, Madam Ketilili wa Menza, Otenyo Nyamaterere, James Beauttah, Orkoiyot Koitalel arap Samoei, Harry Thuku, Mwangeka wa Malowa and Waiyaki wa Hinga, must also be following the unfolding events of the Westgate Shopping Mall from their final resting places with curious interest, wondering why they had not staged such bold & daring raids when they lived, and thinking that had they, Kenya may have even become independent politically, economically & socially much earlier than 1963 i.e. & e.g. 1943, 1933, or even 1923

The disgraceful, unreliable & inept Kenya Government and the equally disgraceful, unreliable & inept Kenyan Media, should thus stand advised against using terms like “terrorist” and “cowardly” with the lavishness that they currently are, and take a deeper introspective look at the Westgate Shopping Mall assault

3. The President of the Republic of Kenya and the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya, like many other Kenyans, have also now taken the moral high ground regarding the Westgate Shopping Mall assault, and have since 21st September 2013, been also using puritan expressions like “terrorist” and “cowardly”. The President of the Republic of Kenya and the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya are facing charges at the Hague based International Criminal Court (ICC) for allegedly perpetrating and/or orchestrating “acts of terrorism & violence”, not much different from those of the Westgate Shopping Mall assault e.g. the Kiambaa Church incident of early 2008 here in Kenya at the height of the post-election violence of 2007 & 2008, where women and children were locked up in a child building that was set ablaze in cold blood and in which mattresses were thrown in to add ferocity to the blazing inferno.

The President of the Republic of Kenya and the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya stand accused of actions no less heinous than those associated with the Westagate Shopping Mall assault, and until both individuals comprehensively & satisfactorily clear their names of any & all accusations being levelled against them regarding the brutal Kenyan post-election war of 2007 and 2008, they should desist in making statements that portray themselves as being any better than the perpetrators of the Westgate Shopping Mall assault.

What’s more is that if the perpetrators of the Westgate Shopping Mall are apprehended, they are likely to be held at a facility like Guantanamo Bay until further notice. Should the President of the Republic of Kenya and the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya be also held at a facility like Guantanamo Bay until further notice, because they are also facing charges of terrorism no different from those associated with the Westgate Shopping Mall?

And where does that leave the rest of we Kenyans? Hopefully with our heads bowed down in deep deep anguished shame, hopefully. How is it that this country got to the stage of having a President and a Deputy President who are facing charges of crimes against humanity at the Hague based International Criminal Court (ICC)?

If the current & scheduled Kenya trials taking place at the Hague based International Criminal Court (ICC) had been taking place soon after World War II, they would be being referred to as the “Nuremberg Trials”, meaning that we Kenyans would be being referred to currently as “Nazis”. Former Liberian warlord Charles Taylor has just lost his appeal to have his 50 year jail sentence overturned by the International Criminal Court for amongst other things, supporting a band of savages called the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), who chopped-off people’s hands and who forcibly held women & girls as sex slaves in detention camps.

Effectively, the three Kenya cases currently at the Hague based International Criminal Court (ICC), equate all Kenyans to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, and to savages who chop off people’s hand, and forcibly confine women & girls as sex slaves, and here we are holding night vigils, and using puritan terms like “terrorist” and “cowardly”. Is it any wonder therefore that US President Obama snubbed his native Kenya for the third time in a row this past July? What would have given President Obama more pride & joy than to make a triumphant pilgrimage to his ancestral Kenya as President Obama? Barack was here twice as Citizen Obama in 1987 & 1991, even bringing Michelle to introduce her to his “K’Obama Clan” in 1991 before they got married one year later in 1992, visited again as Senator Obama in 2006, and must have had every intention of visiting Kenya as President Obama, until we exposed ourselves for who we truly are i.e. the equivalent of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, and the equivalent of savages who chop off people’s hands and forcibly confine women & girls as sex slaves.

What’s more is that no notable figure has been prosecuted in connection with the brutal Kenyan post-election war of 2007 & 2008 after six years, and the promulgation of a brand new constitution in between. So just what kind of a people are we? A people any better than the perpetrators of the Westgate Shopping Mall assault? Certainly not

Kenya has been dead since 30th December 2002, when Mwai Kibaki and the so-called National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), came to power. In five short years after 30th December 2002, the Republic of Kenya went to civil war following the most shameful and disgraceful Kenyan general elections of December 2007. Former UN Secretary General had to be brought in to restore order, not the numerous Kenyans now claiming that the Westgate Shopping Mall assault will not “break us”, and not dampen our spirit as a “united people”. As a result of the disgraceful general elections of December 2007, Kenya & Kenyans are now, as mentioned, at the “Nuremberg Trials” at the Hague based International Criminal Court (ICC)

There have in addition been too many remarkable events between 30th December 2002 and today, that suggest that we Kenyans have no values or meaningful set of beliefs, and that we respect or value no one or nothing, secular or divine. We are a law unto ourselves, gods unto ourselves.

In 2007 two individuals of Armenian nationality with shadowy business dealings, powerful Kenyan connections, and who both held the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police in the Republic of Kenya, staged a dramatic hold-up at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, in a bizarre incident that clearly demonstatred that we Kenyans did not manage or control our own country.

Since then, inter alia, it has emerged that there are also fake policemen and policewomen of Kenyan nationality in the Kenya Police Force, also of the rank of Assistant Commissioner Of Police, one of whom is said could have caused the the Baragoi Massacre, where 45 Kenyan Police Officers were shot in cold blood, a contingent of close to 15 Kenyans was held up in Nigeria for close to a month for their role in the bizarre unprocedural deportation of four Nigerians, and the arrivals unit of the 35 year old Jomo Kenyatta International Airport was razed down in a fierce inferno. All these terrible incidents, in addition to numerous others, remain unresolved, and no one has either been prosecuted or held responsible for them, yet here we are as people pointing fingers at the perpetrators of the Westgate Shopping Mall as being the most heinous and callous of criminals. We have been active accessories to numerous heinous crimes in the Republic of Kenya since 30th December 2002 with the active manner in which we have turned a blind eye to numerous atrocities, and here we are using terms like “We are One”.

The people most responsible for the mess that this country is in, is we Kenyans, not the perpetrators of the Westgate Shopping Mall assault of September 2013. Any meaningful remedial action that we ever hope of bringing to our beloved Kenya will have to be presided over by meaningful sacrifices by and from ourselves, not by empty sloganeering.

The Marxist-Leninist fundamentalists who brutally struck at the Westgate Shopping Mall in September 2013 will stage another similar assault, frightfully so, it is apparent. The perpetrators of the Westgate Shopping Mall assault have taken a stand i.e. maximum carnage & maximum pain. How about the rest of we puritan Kenyans? What is our stand? To continue on the same pretentious fatalistic path we have been on since 30th December 2002, or to bring real change to our beloved Kenya, real meaningful long-lasting change? At any rate, we should not deceive ourselves that we are any better than the perpetrators of the Westgate Shopping Mall assault of September 2013, and if anything, we are worse.

End

 

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Kenya Senator Sonko says he is angered by Radio journalist

Posted by African Press International on October 1, 2013

Versus 
Nairobi Senator Mike Mbuvi Sonko
Mike Sonko has called Caroline Mutoko A malaya (prostitute) on radio in an explosive and bitter interview
Sonko Attacks Mutoko Carolyne mutoko
         Senator Mike Sonko      Kiss 100 radio host Caroline Mutoko

According to the Standard “The internet has been awash with the outburst of the Nairobi Senator, Mike Sonko, on the Kiss100 morning breakfast today morning. It all began with a question from radio host, Caroline Mutoko, asking Sonko what plans he had in place for the Nairobians.”

The Senator says he has his own ways of doing things and did not want any advise from the lady journalist. The journalist, however, did not give up the push to get answers and wanted to know of the; “Plans that would ensure the people will be able to fend for themselves when he is not around to handout money. As he fumbled around with responses, Caroline’s insistence on his long-term plans and policies pushed the flamboyant Senator to hurl insults at the host;” writes the Standard.

Hopefully the parties will get to an understanding in the future so that the Kenyans are not entertained by explosive insults, whoever the causer may be.
End

 

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OSLO: Praying for Kenya in Norway after Westgate Mall Terror attack

Posted by African Press International on September 30, 2013

Solidarity with Kenya – Prayer service

,Pray for Kenya – Pray until something happens!

Kenyans and friends of Kenya living in Oslo, Norway held prayers for Kenya to pray for the country and the victims of Nairobi‘s Westgate Mall terror attack that took place a week ago.

The hosts:

Oslo International Church, Association of Kenyans in Norway and Kenya Students Association in Norway.

—————–

The important song for the day: ITS WELL WITH MY SOUL:

1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll,

Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say

It is well, it is well, with my soul

Refrain;

It is well, with my soul

It is well, it is well, with my soul

2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,

Let this blest assurance control,

That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,

And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

3. My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!

My sin, not in part but the whole,

Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

—————————————-
Praying for Kenya in Norway after Westgate Mall Terror attack: Only MEMORIES

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Praying for Kenya in Norway after Westgate Mall Terror attack Part 1

Praying for Kenya in Norway after Westgate Mall Terror attack Part 2

Praying for Kenya in Norway after Westgate Mall Terror attack Part 3

May God bless the people of Kenya. African Press International sends condolences to all the families who lost their loved ones.

End

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Nairobi: President Kenyatta addressing the Nation says the siege has ended, declares 3 days of mourning

Posted by African Press International on September 25, 2013


Westgate Mall siege has ended. Many People lost their lives. President Kenyatta addresses the Nation and declares 3 days of mourning.

End

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Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto Addresses the Nation after the terrorist attack in Nairobi

Posted by African Press International on September 23, 2013

He told the Kenyan people to be calm and that the country will defeat the evil that has befallen the good patriotic Kenyans.

He spoke to the Kenyan people immediately after his arrival from the Hague.

The court allowed him one week in order to get back to Kenya and assist the President in sorting out the problem affecting the country.

End

 

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ICC Ruto and Sang case: Hearing on the adjournment of the trial, 23 September 2013

Posted by African Press International on September 23, 2013

The adjournment was due to the request by the defence in order to allow the accused Deputy President to travel back to Kenya and assist President Uhuru Kenyatta in dealing with the crisis brought about by Al Shabaab terrorists now holding hostages inside Westgate Mall in Nairobi for the third day.

Reports coming out frm the government confirm 62 deaths and 175 injured.

Here below is the ruling by the court;

Situation: The Republic of Kenya

Case: The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang

Today, 23 September 2013, Trial Chamber V (a) of the International Criminal Court consisting of judge Chile Eboe – Osuji (presiding judge), Judge Olga Herrera Carbuccia and Judge Robert Fremr held a hearing on the request made by the Defence of Mr Ruto to adjourn the trial and excuse the accused from his presence at trial for a limited period of time.

In light of the circumstances in Kenya and the views heard during the hearing, the Chamber excused Mr Ruto from the proceedings. For the moment the excusal is permitted for one week only, subject to any further requests that Defence counsel may make if need be to extend it.

Trial Chamber V (a) has also decided to temporarily adjourn hearings in the Ruto and Sang trial, not continuing to hear the testimony of 536 in the absence of Mr Ruto.

The Defence for Mr Ruto filed a request to the Appeals Chamber for reconsideration of its decision on suspensive effect regarding the Prosecutor’s appeal of the decision excusing Mr Ruto from continuous presence at trial.

The trial is adjourned pending either the Appeals Chamber’s decision on the Defence’s urgent request or the expiration of the one-week excusal period, whichever comes earlier.

On 18 June 2013, Trial Chamber V(a) had issued a decision excusing Mr Ruto from being continuously physically present at trial, except for specified hearings. However the Prosecutor appealed this decision and the Appeals Chamber gave the Prosecutor’s request suspensive effect until a final decision on this appeal is made. Mr Ruto was requested to be present during all trial hearings pending the final determination on the Prosecutor’s appeal.

End

/ICC

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