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BBC Monitoring Global Newsline - Africa Political

3 October 2007

CONTENTS

 
 
AFRICA
02/10/2007   "Social cohesion" fears behind Australian cut in Africa refugee intake
02/10/2007   China reiterates support for African countries on trade
 
BURUNDI
02/10/2007   Burundi: Rebels reportedly continue harassing civilians in northwest
02/10/2007   Burundi: International community welcomes move to end political crisis
02/10/2007   Burundi: Activities resume at opposition party headquarters
 
CENTRAL AFRICAN REP
02/10/2007   CAR: Communication minister, cleric discuss opening of new TV station
 
CHINA
02/10/2007   China's envoy to Africa upbeat on Darfur issue
 
CONGO (DR)
02/10/2007   Dutch cooperation minister visits eastern DRCongo
02/10/2007   DRCongo: Moba inhabitants demonstrate over return of Tutsis
02/10/2007   DRCongo: Army, dissidents exchange gunfire in Sud Kivu
 
COTE D'IVOIRE
02/10/2007   Ivorian premier holds talks with UN probe delegation
 
ERITREA
02/10/2007   Eritrean minister urges UNSC "take punitive action "against Ethiopia
 
ETHIOPIA
02/10/2007   President confirms Iran-Ethiopia agreement
02/10/2007   Ghanaian president to visit Ethiopia
 
FRANCE
02/10/2007   France's Sarkozy receives Seychelles president
 
GUINEA
02/10/2007   (CORR) Four Chinese firms said to invest in Guinean bauxite resources
02/10/2007   Guinean journalists urge lawmakers to amend media laws
 
KENYA
02/10/2007   Kenyan writer says President Kibaki miscalculating over elections
02/10/2007   Kenya: African military urged to support democratic governments
02/10/2007   Kenyan opposition ODM says to deliver new constitution if it wins poll
02/10/2007   Kenyan paper calls for peaceful campaigns
02/10/2007   Kenyan paper urges more resources for AU mission in Darfur
02/10/2007   Kenyan journalists urged to brace for election coverage
02/10/2007   Kenya: Resolve uncertainty over tenure of electoral officials, urge envoys
02/10/2007   Kenya: Western envoys call for free and fair elections
02/10/2007   Kenya: Ex-journalists' union chief appointed state information director
02/10/2007   Kenyan president orders return of Muslims detained outside country
02/10/2007   Kenyan opposition party says vote buying "rampant" in city constituencies
02/10/2007   Kenya: Court to rule on ballot papers tender row 5 October
 
MALAWI
02/10/2007   Malawian leader dismisses graft index by Transparency International
02/10/2007   Malawi's ruling party berates religious grouping over rights claims
 
MOZAMBIQUE
02/10/2007   Malawian president urges Speaker to resign over bill blunder
 
NAMIBIA
02/10/2007   Namibian president to visit Japan 14-17 October
02/10/2007   Namibian ruling party Politburo meets to prevent mass expulsion of members
02/10/2007   Southern African media body urges tangible action in fight against graft
 
NIGERIA
02/10/2007   President Yar'Adua addresses Nigerians on independence day
02/10/2007   Nigerian president vows to entrench rule of law, eradicate abuses
 
RWANDA
02/10/2007   Opposition urges Interpol to arrest Rwandan army chief
02/10/2007   Rwanda tells UN court it can try genocide cases
02/10/2007   France made mistakes but had no role in Rwanda genocide - Kouchner
 
SOMALIA
02/10/2007   Tension said high as Somaliland, Puntland prepare for more fighting
02/10/2007   Somalia: Minister says government forces partly to blame for chaos in capital
02/10/2007   Somalia: One killed following clash between two rival sides in south
02/10/2007   Somalia's Shabeelle radio back on air after 15-day ban
02/10/2007   Puntland vice-president, troops arrive in disputed region
 
SOUTH AFRICA
02/10/2007   SAfrican paper commends state for taking "strong stance" on Burma crisis
02/10/2007   South African prosecution admits police chief probed; no decision to charge
 
TOGO
02/10/2007   Islamic Development Bank gives Togo 97m dollars for phosphate sector
 
UGANDA
02/10/2007   Uganda: Opposition urges postponement of Commonwealth summit over floods
02/10/2007   Ugandan police get new cars ahead of Commonwealth meeting
02/10/2007   Ugandan survey says 200 fish species vanishing from Lake Victoria
02/10/2007   Ugandan president calls for formation of anti-terrorism police unit
02/10/2007   Uganda: Six camps created for flood victims in northern district
02/10/2007   Uganda: Police interrogate three journalists over "seditious" report
02/10/2007   Uganda: Ban on use of polythene bags becomes effective
02/10/2007   Uganda: Floods spread to central region
02/10/2007   Uganda: Government creates new lower courts
02/10/2007   Ugandan paper calls on state to militarize police force
02/10/2007   Ugandan paper urges state to review death penalty
02/10/2007   Uganda: Foreign minister rules out postponement of Commonwealth summit
02/10/2007   Marburg virus disease confirmed in western Uganda
 
ZIMBABWE
02/10/2007   Zimbabwe: Watchdog condemns arrest of journalist, actors over satire
02/10/2007   Zimbabwean public school teachers said on wage strike
     
     
REPORTS

 

 
AFRICA
02/10/2007 "Social cohesion" fears behind Australian cut in Africa refugee intake

Text of report by Radio Australia on 2 October

The Australian immigration minister, Kevin Andrews, says the decision to reduce Australia's intake of African refugees was partly based on concerns about social cohesion. In August, the government decided to reduce its intake of African refugees in favour of more from the Middle East and Asia. Minister Andrews today said he was concerned that some African refugees, such as those from Sudan, were not integrating properly with the wider community.

[Andrews] One of the things that the government has been concerned about is that we do continue to get integration into the community, so we remain the socially cohesive community and society which we are.

Source: Radio Australia, Melbourne, in English 0800 gmt 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 China reiterates support for African countries on trade

Text of report in English by official Chinese news agency Xinhua (New China News Agency)

["China Reiterates Support for African Countries on Trade" - Xinhua headline]

Dar Es Salaam, Oct.2 (Xinhua) - A senior Chinese government official on Tuesday reiterated the country's time-honoured and firm support for African countries to develop trade so as to improve their economies.

Yi Xiaozhun, deputy minister of commerce from China, told participants at the World Trade Organization Aid for Trade Conference here that the Chinese government had actively participated in mutually-beneficial economic cooperation in various forms with Africa.

"Since the 1950s, China has provided assistance to the best of its ability to 53 African countries through nearly 900 projects covering areas such as farming, animal husbandry, fishery, light and textile industries, transportation, radio communication, water conservation, electricity supply, machinery, as well as public and civil construction," said the deputy minister.

As a developing country itself, China shares the feelings of other developing countries, especially the countries in Africa, said the deputy minister.

Yi cited a traditional Chinese saying to pinpoint that the sustainability of showing others how to fish is better than simply feeding them with fish.

"So China's philosophy of helping recipient countries gradually move on to a path of self-reliance and independent economic development concurs with the WTO mission of Aid for Trade which is aiming at helping the beneficiaries stand and grow on their own feet," the official added.

Yi promised that China will continue to expand its aid programmes in Africa with the country's own economic growth so as to further enhance efficiency of aid utilization, and to broaden economic and technological cooperation with African countries.

The Chinese official appealed to developed countries to shoulder greater responsibilities as they have the capacity and obligation to do more to help the developing countries.

"They should increase Official Development Aid and the flow of FDI to African countries," he said.

The multilateral trading system with much imbalance favouring more the interests of developed countries has resulted in the marginalization of some developing countries, especially the least developed countries in Africa, in the course of globalization.

"This situation must be corrected," urged the Chinese official who called for the provision of technical assistance to help developing countries address their inadequacies in trade-related capacity and infrastructure.

Source: Xinhua news agency, Beijing, in English 1408 gmt 2 Oct 07

 
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BURUNDI
02/10/2007 Burundi: Rebels reportedly continue harassing civilians in northwest

Text of report by Burundi news agency ABP

Bujumbura, 1 October: Burundi's National Police [PNB] Spokesman Pierre Channel Ntarabagayni told ABP on Monday [1 October] that Agathon Rwasa's Palipehutu-FNL [Party for the Liberation of the Hutu People - National Liberation Forces] troops were still violating the provisions of the cease-fire agreement signed with the government of Burundi in the provinces of Bubanza, Rural Bujumbura and Cibikote.

The PNB spokesman indicated that on Saturday evening, two families from Isale and Mutimbuzi communes in Rural Bujumbura Province were targeted in attacks by Agathon Rwasa's rebels, who killed one and stole foodstuffs and property. Furthermore, the national police spokesman added that on Sunday 30 September 20 rebels from this movement ambushed public transport vehicles along the Bujumbura-Cibitoke road and robbed passengers of all their property. The PNB also deplores the death of another person, killed the same night on the Rugendo hill in the Mugina commune, Cibitoke Province. However, Mr Ntarabagayni indicated that PNB officers serving in the Buganda commune, Cibitoke Province, had seized a Jacques Bigirimana, a civilian armed with a Kalashnikov rifle and two grenades.

Source: ABP news agency, Bujumbura, in French 0000 gmt 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Burundi: International community welcomes move to end political crisis

Text of report by Burundi news agency ABP

Bujumbura, 1 October: Ambassadors and representatives of international organizations in Burundi followed with attention the president's address to the nation on 27 September and expressed satisfaction with the positive outcome of the political dialogue.

According to a press statement published by the UN Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB) on Monday [1 October], they [envoys and international organization representatives] said they were happy with the content and direction of the message which announced a new promising start for Burundians. They urged all parties concerned to make sure that the willingness to continue the dialogue - as expressed by the head of state following the first constructive consultations with the main political parties - be implemented quickly on the political, economic and social level. In this regard, they expressed the hope that the next parliamentary session will lead to a new era of favourable reconstruction and national reconciliation. They also reiterated their commitment to accompany Burundians in this new endeavour.

Source: ABP news agency, Bujumbura, in French 0000 gmt 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Burundi: Activities resume at opposition party headquarters

Excerpt from report by Burundi news agency ABP

Bujumbura, 1 October: UPRONA [Union for National Progress] party national HQ resumed normal activity with the return of staff members to their respective offices, together with the party's leader, Mr Aloys Rubuka.

He recalled that since 21 September 2007, the police had ordered the party president's aides to "evacuate the premises", insisting that only the party leader was allowed to work there. [Passage omitted]

UPRONA's president indicated that the deal was the result of contacts he had had with the Interior Ministry on 27 September and the Office of the President on 29 September. [Passage omitted]

Mr Rubuka added that he had told those he talked to that while the head of state was trying to create a peaceful political environment for a good start of the National Assembly proceedings, UPRONA should not remain with its hands tied.

Source: ABP news agency, Bujumbura, in French 0000 gmt 2 Oct 07

 
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CENTRAL AFRICAN REP
02/10/2007 CAR: Communication minister, cleric discuss opening of new TV station

Text of report by state-owned Central African Republic radio on 20 September

Communication Minister Aurelien Simplice Zingas granted an audience to Mr Okoronko, chairman of both the Africa Christian Television [ACT] and the association called Proclamation of Gospel through Media in Africa [PEMA]. This is an institution sensitizing all churches to collaborate among themselves. Mr Okorondo and the head of the Communication Ministry discussed the opening of a television station in the Central African Republic with a view to informing Christians about the Gospel, and also about AIDS. At the end of the audience, Mr Okoronko answered questions asked by Ruben Mongounou Ngoya.

[Begin Okoronko recording] We have brought good news for this country because we know that God loves this country. We have put together the project of launching a television station for youngsters and also for families because God will be the one to help us live in a way that we can help our country and continent to develop. For instance, today we are facing the AIDS problem, and if we do not struggle against that, it is the entire country's future that will suffer or die. Therefore, we have to do something quickly to improve the situation. [Passage indistinct] we know that new technologies are guiding the thought and actions of youngsters nowadays, particularly television and the Internet; we can even add mobile phones to the list. Therefore, I am here to discuss with the communication minister a way of providing our assistance with the television station from which we are broadcasting from Abidjan to youngsters and AIDS, and families also. [sentence as heard] [end recording]

Source: Radio Centrafrique, Bangui, in French 1800 gmt 20 Sep 07

 
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CHINA
02/10/2007 China's envoy to Africa upbeat on Darfur issue

Text of report in English by official Chinese news agency Xinhua (New China News Agency)

Beijing, Oct.2 (Xinhua) - As China's first special envoy on African affairs, Liu Guijin has been running against time since assuming office in May.

He made three trips to Africa in less than three months, two of them to Darfur, Sudan, at a dramatic time in one of the most volatile spots in Africa.

More than one million displaced people came one step closer to returning home as the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) decided to deploy a 26,000-strong joint peacekeeping force in Darfur.

The largest country on the continent struggled towards peace and stability as rebel groups sat down to negotiate with the government.

As the international community hailed the progress as "unprecedented", many world leaders thanked China for playing a constructive role.

"You can describe China's role in resolving the Darfur issue as unique, since we speak and act in a manner our African friends understand and accept," Liu said.

Over the years, the Sudanese government has cooperated with the AU in addressing conflicts among local tribes in Darfur. Some Western countries had accused it of genocide in the region, an allegation overturned by an on-site UN investigation.

Highly suspicious of the motives of Western countries, the Sudanese government had refused to allow any troops from outside the AU into Darfur, even under the banner of UN.

The situation became more complicated as the West threatened to impose economic sanctions on Sudan. Some individuals and groups in the West even called for use of force without authorization of the United Nations. The move caused agitation within the African Union, while Sudan vowed to fight for its sovereignty.

At the crucial moment, China stood up for a political resolution of the Darfur issue. It adopted a clear-cut stance that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sudan should be respected and that sanctions were not conducive to resolving the issue. In order to avert a possible escalation of the crisis, China immediately embarked on a series of diplomatic efforts.

Chinese President Hu Jintao met twice with Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed El-Bashir from November to February. Hu spelled out China's principles on the Darfur issue, including respect of Sudan's sovereignty and territorial integrity, insistence on a peaceful resolution through dialogue and equal consultation, affirming the role of AU and UN and the imperative of advancing stability and living standards in the region.

Chinese leaders have also discussed the Darfur issue with First Vice President Salva Kiir Mayardit and other Sudanese officials when they visited China.

Meanwhile, Beijing dispatched five groups of envoys to Darfur in the months running up to May, when it appointed Liu Guijin as the special envoy on the Darfur issue.

During his visit to Sudan in May, Liu met with President El-Bashir and several government ministers in a bid to persuade them to show greater flexibility on issues such as the proposal put forward by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on deploying an AU-UN joint peacekeeping force in Darfur in three phases.

The proposal was the result of a year of mediation by AU and other countries. It won the broad consent of the international community, including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

"We made it clear to the Sudanese side that it was in the immediate and long-term interests of Sudan to accept the Annan proposal, since it was universally recognized as a comprehensive solution to the Darfur issue," Liu said.

"China has been trying every possible channel to carry through the message to Sudan. And the Sudanese government apparently agreed with us," Liu said.

On June 12, Sudan declared in a joint statement with the AU and UN that it had explicitly accepted the third and final phase of the Annan proposal without reservation. On July 31, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1769 on deploying AU-UN troops in Darfur.

However, China's position on seeking the cooperation of the Sudanese government rather than asserting pressure or imposing sanctions has drawn criticism in the Western media. Some accused China of protecting "tyranny" for its own benefit and called for a boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games.

MEDIATOR WITH AN OPEN ATTITUDE

"In fact, China has adopted a very open manner in dealing with the Darfur issue," Liu said. Chinese leaders and officials have taken every opportunity to exchange views with their Western counterparts, including US special envoy to Sudan Andrew Natsios' visit to Beijing in January and Chinese President Hu Jintao's meetings with G8 leaders in Germany in June.

Beijing has welcomed mediation trips to Darfur by international figures such as US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte. It holds an open attitude towards France's proposal of opening up a humanitarian corridor to Darfur, on the condition that relevant countries accept it.

At the Paris meeting in June, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi acted as a mediator in smoothing out difficulties between Sudan and certain Western countries.

"We've been trying to persuade our Western colleagues that an iron hand may not necessarily be the only way to solve problems. Imposing sanctions will only make the situation even more complicated by discouraging Sudanese government cooperation on resolving the issue," said Liu, who also attended the international meeting as a representative of the Chinese government. "We can use our wisdom and joint efforts to achieve a better result."

Under China's presidency, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1769, which is concise and clear-cut in its wording, paving the way for an AU-UN peacekeeping force entering Darfur, but without asserting pressure or imposing sanctions against Sudan.

Sudan's UN ambassador Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem said many of the Sudanese government's concerns have been taken into consideration in the resolution. For example, the resolution stipulates the AU-UN troops shall conduct the peacekeeping mission in Darfur without prejudicing the role of the Sudanese government.

"Darfur is Sudan's Darfur. It is Africa's Darfur," Liu said.

China has always based its relationship with Africa on equal footing and non-interference in each other's internal affairs. "China's Africa policy is deeply rooted in the philosophy of Chinese culture and in its long history," Liu says.

The Chinese people, belonging to 56 ethnic groups and speaking hundreds of dialects, believe that different cultures can coexist peacefully with mutual respect. Confucius said more than 2,000 years ago that the Chinese people would not impose on others what they themselves did not desire. Since China and Africa both have painful memories of Western colonization, China will never pursue its own interests at the cost of Africa, Liu says.

He says China's prime interest lies in building a harmonious world, because it can only focus on domestic development under stable international circumstances. And friendship with Africa has always been one of the pillars of China's peaceful foreign policy.

"The so-called new colonialism cannot fit China's overall strategy," Liu says. "Accusing China of pursuing neocolonialism in Africa merely reflects the mindset of the accusers who have a colonial past in the continent."

ECONOMIC COOPERATION OF EQUALITY, NON-EXCLUSIVENESS

On China's economic cooperation with Africa, Liu said that both sides abide by the principles of equality, mutual benefit, transparency and non-exclusiveness, he says.

"China does import oil from Sudan," he said. But Western oil companies take the lion's share of resources on the continent.

Chinese companies won oil contracts through international bidding and conducted all projects in Sudan jointly with international partners, including those from Britain, Canada, India, Malaysia and Sudan.

Since the oil output is divided in accordance with the share of investment, China only gets a quota to buy a minimum part of the total output. According to AU statistics, 33 per cent of Africa's oil exports went to the United States last year. Another 36 per cent of African oil flew to Europe, while China only bought 8.7 per cent of the total exports.

Western countries have long been showing increasingly great interest in oil resources in Sudan. When Chinese oil companies entered Sudan 11 years ago, the country had to rely on imports for most of its fuels. Before that, some Western oil giants had been drilling in the pastures of Sudan for more than a decade, without finding any oil deposits of commercial value.

Chinese companies helped the country pump the first barrel of oil in 1996, thanks to the unique technology they employed. Three years later, the first shipment of oil left Port Sudan. The economy has taken off in the past six years as oil income topped two billion US dollars a year. Economic growth is expected to reach an unprecedented 13 per cent this year.

The presence of Chinese companies has brought about alternative sources of funds and technology for the development of African countries. Renowned African economist Adebayo Adedeji said African people were able to get tangible benefits from economic cooperation with China, while Western companies had brought little benefit to locals in their exploitation of African resources.

Chinese companies have invested money back into Sudan for future development. With Chinese investment, Khartoum has developed a complete set of oil refineries, petrochemical plants and trading systems. More than 100,000 Sudanese people have found jobs in cooperative projects between China and Sudan. Chinese companies helped train 6,000 local managers and technicians, who are now serving at key positions in the country's oil industry.

China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), the major Chinese oil company operating in Sudan, has donated more than 35 million US dollars to build roads, bridges, hospitals and schools for local communities, benefiting more than 1.5 million local residents.

Some 65 kilometres to the north of Khartoum, a China-built power plant is generating one-third of the country's electricity. Further to the north, the big dam of Marawi hydropower plant is taking shape under the supervision of Chinese engineers. On completion next year, it will triple the electricity output in Sudan. It will not only eliminate power shortages in Sudan, but also provide irrigation within a radius of 100 kilometres.

As the biggest developing country in the world, China is fully aware that Sudan is in urgent need of accelerating development in order to dig out the root of conflict.

As Western countries withhold aid and impose sanctions on Sudan, Chinese companies are building water supply projects in Darfur, which are crucial to ease the tension caused by lack of resources.

During his visit to Sudan in February, Chinese President Hu Jintao pledged to give 40 million yuan worth of humanitarian aid to Darfur on top of the 80 million yuan of aid that already given to Sudan. China has also contributed troops and funds to AU-UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur.

At the Tripoli meeting in July, AU special envoy for Darfur Salim Ahmed Salim voiced deep concern that peace might not last in Darfur if no progress were made on development.

The international community's effort to promote development in Sudan has been handicapped by the West's failures to honour pledges of aid under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed between the Sudanese government and southern rebels.

According to the agreement, people in southern Sudan will vote on whether the region will stay in a unified Sudan or split in 2011. And the Darfur region will hold a referendum in 2010.

Salim said if the largest country in Africa split, it would send shock waves through the neighbouring countries and mean a disaster for the whole continent.

"When I listen to him, I feel his deep love for Africa and his deep worries," Liu said when recalling a conversation with Salim at the meeting. That's why China has been calling for a "double track" approach in addressing the Darfur issue, namely applying balanced and parallel efforts on peacekeeping and a political resolution of the issue.

As rebel groups previously not included in the peace process sat down in talks with the AU and UN special envoys in Arusha, Tanzania, in August, the two wheels of the Darfur issue at last started to roll simultaneously towards a lasting peace.

In a meeting with Liu, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said China had spoken what Africa wanted to say.

Source: Xinhua news agency, Beijing, in English 0037 gmt 2 Oct 07

 
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CONGO (DR)
02/10/2007 Dutch cooperation minister visits eastern DRCongo

Text of report by DRCongo's Radio Maendeleo from Bukavu on 1 October

M Koenders, the Dutch minister of cooperation and development, on Friday [26 September] was in Goma [chief town of Nord-Kivu, eastern DRCongo] to assess the security and humanitarian situations prevailing in the province.

While in Goma, the visiting minister decided to increase his country's financial intervention by 10m euros in order to deal with the problems he found in the province that he described as enormous. He also met military authorities and members of the provincial government as well as officials of international humanitarian agencies.

The minister declared that his country would continue to be actively involved in the programme of reforming the army and security structures in the country.

Netherlands also supports other projects in Nord-Kivu notably concerning education, reform of the legal sector and energy.

Source: Radio Maendeleo, Bukavu, in French 0415 gmt 1 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 DRCongo: Moba inhabitants demonstrate over return of Tutsis

Text of report by DRCongo's UN-sponsored Radio Okapi website on 2 October

Moba, Katanga north: There was tension early yesterday morning around 0500. Violent demonstrations took place, following a traitor calling for demonstrations against unconfirmed return of the Banyamulenge [Congolese Tutsis] populations in that town.

The administrator of Moba Territory [east, Sud Kivu], told the RTNC that he had not agreed to the leaflet. The HCR staff were threatened while it was about to resume the transport of voluntary Congolese returnees who had fled the war to Zambia and Tanzania.

In Kirungu, MONUC military observers and their installations were targeted by stone jets, before being plundered. Some people among them were wounded. They took advantage of the confusion to release the prisoners.

Source: Radio Okapi website, Kinshasa, in French 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 DRCongo: Army, dissidents exchange gunfire in Sud Kivu

Text of report by DRCongo's UN-sponsored Radio Okapi website on 2 October

In Sud Kivu, there was another attack against FARDC positions by elements of dissident officer Michel Rukunda. According to Gen Pacific Masunzu, the interim commander of the tenth military region, the attack took place on Sunday morning at 0500 in Muramvya, in the high plateaus.

The attackers were pushed back, according to the same source which however gave no toll.

There was gunfire exchanged last week between the two sides.

Source: Radio Okapi website, Kinshasa, in French 2 Oct 07

 
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COTE D'IVOIRE
02/10/2007 Ivorian premier holds talks with UN probe delegation

Text of report by Radio France Internationale on 2 October

Prime Minister Guillaume Soro yesterday met a four-member UN delegation in charge of preparing the international probe requested by President [Laurent] Gbagbo after the Bouake raid.

Guillaume Soro's plane was attacked in the central region town last 29 June. Four were killed and over a dozen wounded among the prime minister's delegation.

Source: Radio France Internationale, Paris, in French 0730 gmt 2 Oct 07

 
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ERITREA
02/10/2007 Eritrean minister urges UNSC "take punitive action "against Ethiopia

Text of report in English by Eritrean Ministry of Information's Shabait website on 2 October

Asmara, 2 October: The Eritrean foreign minister, Mr Uthman Saleh, underlined that the threat to peace and security is again hovering over the Horn of Africa due to the failure of the UN Security Council to take punitive action against the TPLF [Tigray People's Liberation Front, dominant party with in Ethiopian ruling coalition] regime, which is posing obstacles to the implementation of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission's [EEBC] ruling.

Mr Uthman made the remarks in a speech he delivered at the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly on 1 October. He pointed out that the TPLF regime is still occupying sovereign Eritrean territory in violation of international law, the UN Charter and the Algiers peace agreement. The foreign minister further indicated that the TPLF regime's official rejection of the final and binding EEBC ruling has created a major impediment to peace and security in the region.

Noting that the TPLF regime has not been cooperating with the EEBC ever since they awarded Badme to Eritrea, the minister gave a detailed explanation to the assembly regarding the TPLF regime's non-compliance with the rule of law right from the time the EEBC issued its ruling up until now. He pointed out that although the commission has presented no less than 24 reports to the Security Council over the past years, the council has not yet taken any action on the basis of Article 14 of the Algiers peace agreement and Article 39 of the UN Charter, thus posing obstacles to the rule of law. Mr Uthman further underlined that the failure of the Security Council to live up to its obligations, as well as the support of the US administration to its servant TPLF regime at the expense of international law and regional peace and security, has hindered the Eritrean-Ethiopian border demarcation process which was scheduled to be finalized in 2003. As a result, the region is again exposed to danger, he elaborated.

Indicating that Eritrea has fulfilled what is required of it, Mr Uthman explained that the TPLF regime's rejection of the EEBC ruling did not take into consideration the suffering of the tens of thousands of war-displaced Eritrean nationals still living in makeshift camps.

Moreover, the minister stressed the dangerous scenario of the open invasion of Somalia under the pretext of fighting terrorism, and that any action under the guise of 'international terrorism' is baseless. He further explained that as the Somali issue is the internal affair of the Somali people, external forces in Somalia should immediately vacate the country without any pre-condition.

As regards the Sudanese peace process, Mr Uthman noted that following a long journey to resolve its internal conflicts, the Sudan is now heading towards comprehensive peace. He also explained that Eritrea would cooperate with all parties and countries towards the realization of the goals set in regards to the Darfur peace process.

The foreign minister went on to stress the need for demarcation of the Eritrean-Ethiopian border in accordance with international law and the Boundary Commission's final and binding ruling. He also underscored the need for the Security Council to live up to its obligations and the US to rectify its policy so that the people of the region could live in peace and security.

Source: Shabait website, Asmara, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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ETHIOPIA
02/10/2007 President confirms Iran-Ethiopia agreement

Text of report in English by Iranian news agency IRNA website

Tehran, 1 October: President Mahmud Ahmadinezhad on Monday [1 October] enforced Iran-Ethiopia agreement on cooperation between customs offices.

The agreement was passed by Majlis and confirmed by the Guardian Council.

The Legislature authorized the government to exchange relative documents about the agreement on customs and taxation law.

Source: IRNA website, Tehran, in English 2250 gmt 1 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Ghanaian president to visit Ethiopia

Text of report in English by state-owned Ethiopian news agency ENA website

Addis Ababa, 2 October: President of Ghana John A Kufuor will arrive in Addis Ababa on Wednesday [3 October] to pay a four day official visit in Ethiopia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

President Kufuor will be welcomed by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, senior government officials, diplomats and members of the Ghanaian community in Ethiopia.

Source: ENA website, Addis Ababa, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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FRANCE
02/10/2007 France's Sarkozy receives Seychelles president

Excerpt from report by French news agency AFP

Paris, 2 October: President Nicolas Sarkozy this morning, Tuesday, received his Seychelles counterpart, James Michel, and assured him that France wants to deepen relations with the archipelago, "a neighbouring country and a friend and ally of long standing", the Elysee Palace has reported.

During their meeting, Mr Sarkozy and Mr Michel referred to "the current negotiations on economic partnership with the European Union which President Sarkozy wants to see speedily concluded", spokesman for the president's office David Martinon said.

The two leaders also addressed the setting up of the Indian Ocean Commission currently chaired by Seychelles and to which France belongs. "The president told Mr Michel that France would support the Seychelles candidate for secretary-general, Calixte d'Offay," Mr Martinon went on to say.

Lastly, they looked into the situation in Comoros and both hoped for "a rapid solution to the crisis in Anjouan", he went on. [Passage omitted: summary of Anjouan crisis following national and AU condemnation of election process]

Source: AFP news agency, Paris, in French 1042 gmt 2 Oct 07

 
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GUINEA
02/10/2007 (CORR) Four Chinese firms said to invest in Guinean bauxite resources

(Correcting broadcast date from 30 October to 30 September; plus cross-filing item)

Excerpt from report by Boubacar Caba Bah entitled "Economy: Guinea bauxite-Chinese arrive" published by Guineenews website on 30 September

According to the Interfax News Agency, China, four Chinese state firms from Zhengzou, in Henan Province, set up a conglomerate known as the Henan International Mining Co Ltd for the development of Guinea's bauxite resources.

The news was confirmed this Friday [28 September] by the Shanghai Securities Journal, which announced that the Yongcheng Coal and Co Ltd firm, the biggest producers of coal in central China, formed a joint venture with other companies in the province to develop a bauxite deposit in Guinea.

Henan International Mining expects to have a double listing on the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges by the end of this year to raise 1.3m dollars. In addition to coal, the firm also produces aluminium, molybdenum and vanadium.

Henan International Cooperation Group will have 41 per cent of the joint venture while the provincial government through its investment fund, United Mining Co, will have the rest. The new firm expects to extract bauxite on 558 square kilometres of land in Guinea for total reserves of 10bn tonnes of bauxite. [Passage omitted].

Source: Guineenews website in French 0000 gmt 30 Sep 07

 
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02/10/2007 Guinean journalists urge lawmakers to amend media laws

Excerpt from report by Moussa Camara entitled "Decrminalizing media offences in Guinea: Journalists at the National Assembly" published by Guineenews website on 27 September

The Speaker of the Guinean National Assembly, Elhadj Aboubacar Sompare, on 27 September 2007, reassured representatives of the Guinean media of the readiness of his institution on the issue of decriminalizing media offences.

Received in audience in the morning of 27 September 2007, by Elhadj Aboubacar Sompare and the chairman of the committee on laws, the journalists, who are members of the monitoring committee of the recommendations of the workshop on the "juridical protection of the media in Guinea" organized by IRDED-Institute for Research on Democracy and the Rule of Law-last August, came to present to the Speaker of the Guinean National Assembly recommendations made at the workshop. [Passage omitted]

In his turn, Mr Cherif of the Lance read the recommendations which revolved around the decriminalization of media offences, the ratification by Guinea of the Treaty of Florence on the exemption from duty of entrants for the printing of newspapers before soliciting the aid of the National Assembly Speaker for the amendment of some articles placing limitations on the media.

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Elhadj Aboubacar Sompare, aware of the stakes, expressed satisfaction with the initiative and the demand of the chairman of IRDED to place a special emphasis on citizens' education on its programme. Freedom of speech, he acknowledged, which is not acquired by sudden flight, is an everyday fight and when, he continued, this freedom is curtailed, it brings about revolt.

According to him, the National Assembly which is the guarantor of the laws cannot go against the current of the freedom of speech. Hon Sompare who expressed the readiness of his institution for the support that the media are searching for through him, asked the latter to make a proposal for amendment in this direction.

Source: Guineenews website in French 0000 gmt 27 Sep 07

 
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KENYA
02/10/2007 Kenyan writer says President Kibaki miscalculating over elections

Text of commentary by Macharia Gaitho entitled "Kibaki team miscalculated ODM's grand strategy" published by Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation website on 2 October

President Kibaki really should have seen the irony of making the call for campaign based on issues rather than slander, lies and propaganda - speaking just after his lieutenants had spent their time on the podium delivering withering broadsides and vitriol against [top opposition presidential candidate] Raila Odinga.

The launch of President Kibaki's campaign on the PNU [Party of National Unity] ticket at the Nyayo Stadium [Nairobi] on Sunday [30 September] turned out to be a long Odinga-bashing session.

Everyone from veteran cabinet ministers to moneyed newcomers of doubtful background took their turn to hurl calumny and invective at Mr Odinga, who would have been quite pleased at the attention he was getting. The propaganda directed at Mr Odinga, including rather clumsy attempts the same day to place attack ads in the papers purported to be from within his own camp, confirm that the ODM [Orange Democratic Movement] presidential candidate has become the major nightmare for the Kibaki campaign.

It is also confirmation of how badly things have gone wrong. The campaign initially banked everything on Mr Odinga emerging as the main opposition presidential candidate, and then proving to be "unelectable". Indeed, there is evidence that the Kibaki strategists feared the prospects of taking on either Mr Musalia Mudavadi or Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, both of whom they assessed to be widely acceptable across the country.

Mr Odinga, by contrast, was assumed to be too radical, divisive and unpredictable a candidate to sell easily outside his ethnic bastion. Once Mr Odinga was nominated the ODM candidate, Kibaki's re-election would be a stroll in the park, went the calculations. There are even claims that the Kibaki campaign did what it could to help Mr Odinga's quest for the ODM ticket.

Mr Musyoka, for one, believes that early registration of a "fake" ODM came straight out of the government's dirty tricks department. And the party was conveniently made available to Mr Odinga at the appropriate time. This achieved two aims: Handing Mr Odinga a ticket and splitting the ODM as Mr Musyoka was left to run his own presidential campaign on ODM-Kenya [Orange Democratic Movement-Kenya] reduced to a small regional grouping.

Mr Odinga, as expected, got the ODM presidential nomination, then the Kibaki campaign projections started going awry. First, his designated Vice-President Musalia Mudavadi stayed put by Mr Odinga's side and did not walk away as projected. Secondly, support for ODM in western Kenya remained intact even with Mr Odinga at the helm. And, most important, support for ODM across the country did not dissipate just because Mr Odinga was the presidential candidate. Instead it grew, and the myth that Mr Odinga was unelectable was firmly shattered.

If anything, the split played into Mr Odinga's hands because it allowed him to take charge of his own outfit and start driving his campaign with the distractions provided by Mr Musyoka out of the way. Once Mr Odinga was confirmed the ODM presidential candidate - and all the key regional figures he had encouraged to vie for presidency in the first place, Mr Mudavadi, Mr William Ruto and Mr Najib Balala stayed by his side - his poll ratings started a sharp upward climb a the expense of both President Kibaki and Mr Musyoka. And that was the point at which the Kibaki campaign strategists should have realized that all the calculations had gone terribly wrong.

And probably that reveals the deficiencies of "old" thinking, much of which was evident at the Nyayo Stadium on Sunday. Mr Odinga was demonised as a son of opposition doyen Oginga Odinga, who had "disturbed" both the Kenyatta and Kibaki governments.

But who was being addressed? Those crafting the Kibaki campaign forgot that the eyes are on the future, not on the past. It is not by accident that the polls show Mr Odinga enjoying his greatest advantage among youth, which makes the majority vote. His campaign reflects vigour, energy and dynamism. That is what is sorely lacking in Team Kibaki.

Mr Odinga, however, is not on the home run yet. The handsome lead he is enjoying in the polls could disappear in an instant. If the Kibaki campaign gets its act together and manages to project PNU as a united and focused party rather than a shotgun marriage of bickering partners, it could catch up.

And there is still the possibility that Mr Odinga could self-destruct. The flip-flops he has demonstrated on key policy issues - how his government will deal with the corrupt of the Moi era, for instance - show how thoughtless remarks can be seized on to provide rethinks for key population groups currently backing him.

Then there is the tendency of his supporters to get rather over-excited and act as if they are already in State House, treating everybody else with disdain.

That is just the kind of behaviour, already much evident, which can turn a lot of people off.

Source: Daily Nation website, Nairobi, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Kenya: African military urged to support democratic governments

Text of unattributed report entitled "Soldiers told to support democracy" published by Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation website on 2 October; subheading as published

Military personnel in Africa have been urged to find the best ways of supporting democratically-elected governments as part of support to good governance.

Trends in the continent had shown that political and military arms of governments need to work together to complement each other, said Defence Assistant Minister Stephen Tarus.

"This requires a common understanding on the issues concerning the political direction of defence and methods of its application," he said.

Mr Tarus was speaking at International Peace Support Training College in Karen, Nairobi, when he officially opened a two-week course for military personnel from the rank of general and major general from Africa.

Conflict prevention

The course on managing defence in the wider security context has been sponsored by the UK Ministry of Defence and the UK Conflict Prevention Fund.

Mr Tarus said that the course was designed to enable civil servants and military officers to locate defence within the wider context of global, regional and national security.

He added that it is also expected to foster inter-ministerial cooperation and coordination on security and defence.

"It also encourages military officers and civil servants to appreciate each other's role in defence and security.

Ms Laura Cleary from Cranfield University in the UK said that many countries in Africa were attempting the "difficult transition from overly-militarized and overly-securitized" political systems to democratic ones.

Source: Daily Nation website, Nairobi, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Kenyan opposition ODM says to deliver new constitution if it wins poll

Text of report by Dave Opiyo entitled "ODM to draft new laws if it wins poll" published by Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation website on 2 October; subheading as published

ODM [Orange Democratic Movement, opposition] has promised to deliver a new constitution in six months if it wins the December general election.

The party - whose presidential candidate is Lang'ata MP Raila Odinga - also pledged to implement devolved governance system to ensure popular participation in government. It also promised equity and social justice in a secure environment.

Party Secretary-General Anyang' Nyong'o made the promises after ODM leaders held a two-day meeting to discuss the party's manifesto. The meeting was held at the Naivasha's Simba Lodge.

Prof Nyong'o said the party manifesto would be unveiled after Mr Odinga hands in his nomination papers to the Electoral Commission of Kenya.

The ruling coalition, Narc [National Rainbow Coalition], of which Mr Odinga and his team who are now in ODM were part in 2002, had promised to deliver a new constitution within 100 days of coming to power. However, this did not happen. And when a referendum was held in November 2005, the group allied to Mr Odinga successfully campaigned for its rejection. Yesterday, Prof Nyong'o said that if ODM forms the next government, the next constitution would be based on the Bomas Draft.

He gave the resolution after the National Executive Council retreat which was attended by Mr Odinga, members of the party's Pentagon [top brass] and national officials. Prof Nyong'o said ODM would provide servant leaders who can be trusted and can deliver on their promises. He also said the party was committed to free and fair elections and asked the electoral commission to exercise independence and competence in managing the electoral process.

"This should be by guaranteeing the safety of voter registers, the integrity of electoral officials and democratic voting on the day of elections."

The Naivasha retreat also discussed the party's campaign strategies and the presidential campaign launch scheduled for Saturday [6 October] at Uhuru Park, Nairobi. ODM cancelled another rally that was to be held last Saturday after police in the city cancelled it, saying the venue had been booked by a lobby group supporting President Kibaki's re-election.

But on Sunday, Mr Mudavadi said the government had all along been determined to block the rally.

Mr Mudavadi, who is Mr Odinga's running mate, claimed that the party had information that their opponents wanted ODM supporters to clash with the police to portray the party as violent.

Prosperous society

Yesterday, Prof Nyong'o said the party was commitment to building a prosperous and industrialized society that guaranteed the basic needs and freedoms for all Kenyans.

He then invited party supporters to attend the Saturday rally during which the party is also expected to unveil the key issues in its agenda.

Prof Nyong'o asked Kenyans to shun politics of fear, violence and character assassination and embrace a democratic culture where politicians compete with dignity and mutual respect.

He made the comments a day after leaders allied to the Party of National Unity made remarks that were interpreted to have cast aspersions against the character of Mr Odinga.

Prof Nyong'o said the party believed that Kenyans who were living in poverty were looking for a government that would help them benefit from economic growth and improve their standards of living.

Source: Daily Nation website, Nairobi, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Kenyan paper calls for peaceful campaigns

Text of editorial entitled "Campaign without all these insults" published by Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation website on 2 October

The carnival atmosphere that pervaded the city on Sunday [30 September] when President Kibaki officially launched his campaign through the Party of National Unity [PNU] was symbolic of how seriously Kenyans take the forthcoming general election.

People came in their thousands, listened to speeches from representatives of the various political parties that make up PNU, and were, supposedly, galvanized enough to want to exercise the power of the ballot.

This launch was preceded by those held by the two opposition parties, ODM-Kenya [Orange Democratic Movement-Kenya] and ODM [Orange Democratic Movement], events that were also largely peaceful and conclusive.

These are signs of healthy democracy at work and fitting auguries of a future that will place political competition at its rightful place - not as a matter of life and death, but as a normal quest for power in which a clash of ideas, convictions and personalities should be taken as just that. After all, uniformity of ideas is undesirable in any social or political context.

However, some disturbing trends are beginning to emerge across the political divide: High intolerance for opposing points of view. The notorious incident in which two opposition MPs were roughed up in Kisii [southwestern Kenya] readily comes to mind. So do the beating and humiliation of a political aspirant in Meru [central-eastern Kenya], and the consistent intimidation of a pro-government aspirant's followers in a Nairobi constituency.

Violence is the worst form of election rigging and any government chosen on this basis is automatically regarded as illegitimate. Candidates, especially incumbents, must educate their followers not to chase away, or heckle, fellow aspirants. In short, presidential aspirants should be able to canvass for votes in every corner of the republic, while every would-be MP should be able to traverse his or her constituency seeking votes.

The other problem which is also not new is the use of totally uncouth language against political opponents. The use of abuse is totally uncalled-for in a political contest, for it merely masks a lack of ideas.

This, too, should be checked, but only the candidates themselves, and the voters at large, can do this.

Source: Daily Nation website, Nairobi, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Kenyan paper urges more resources for AU mission in Darfur

Text of editorial entitled "Deadly lesson for the AU" published by Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation website on 2 October

The killing of 18 African Union [AU] peacekeepers in Darfur at the weekend is a sad reminder that the peace deal being pursued by the international community to end the four-year old insurgency in Sudan remains a distant dream.

Although the [rebel] Sudan Liberation Army has publicly condemned the attack and called a cease-fire, the danger signals are reverberating across that nation.

More unnerving is the fact that the AU peacekeepers and the international community have not found a formula for dealing decisively with the rebels.

In fact, some AU member states are beginning to question the wisdom of deploying a peacekeeping force. Others are increasingly finding it too risky to send their troops to Darfur to keep the peace. From what is going on in Darfur, the international community must think of new strategies to end the conflict. Conferences and visits by high-profile personalities have not worked.

The African Union does not look best placed to deal with the crisis. At any rate, there is a lot of cynicism from the member states, many of whom have been reluctant to lend human and logistical support.

The long and short of it is that the AU peacekeeping force requires more resources and support if it is to play its rightful role in resolving the conflict.

This is also the time to actualize the proposal for a joint UN and AU peacekeeping force and we hope that the planned meeting in Tripoli later this month will tackle the roots of the conflict, and not just become another jamboree.

Source: Daily Nation website, Nairobi, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Kenyan journalists urged to brace for election coverage

Text of report by Robert Wanyonyi entitled "Journalists urged to brace for poll coverage hurdles" published by Kenyan newspaper The Standard website on 2 October

Journalists have been urged to fully understand the provisions of the Media Bill that was recently assented to by the president.

The chairman of the Media Council of Kenya (MCK), Mr Mitch Odero, said he was concerned that most journalists are unfamiliar with the laws that govern their profession. He said as the general election draws near, journalists should be prepared to deal with the challenges it presents.

Odero was addressing journalists during the closing ceremony of a three-day workshop, "The Media and Elections Programme", at Golf Hotel in Kakamega town [western Kenya] on Monday [1 October]. The workshop, co-sponsored by the MCK and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), brought together twenty-five journalists from both print and electronic media in Western and Nyanza provinces.

The MCK chairman also expressed concern that many journalists in the mainstream media in Kenya lack a good grasp of the code of conduct and practice of journalism. "We would like to regulate ourselves and the only way to do so effectively is to fully understand our own laws and regulations," he said.

Mr Francis Muroki, a journalist, said the workshops currently going on countrywide would equip journalists with skills to report on elections professionally. "The target is to reach 300 journalists working in the mainstream and alternative press, a field we can no longer ignore," said Muroki.

A representative of the Electoral Commission of Kenya, Ms Agnes Kisero, told participants that the polls body is ready for the elections.

She urged journalists to be cautious when covering campaigns, warning that some politicians were likely to engage in hate speech that could plunge the country into chaos.

"You have a role to play towards the realization of a free and fair election .You have the power to promote peace and democracy during and after the elections," she said.

Source: The Standard website, Nairobi, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Kenya: Resolve uncertainty over tenure of electoral officials, urge envoys

Text of report by Jeff Otieno entitled "Renew Kivuitu term, envoys tell president" published by Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation website on 2 October; subheadings as published

Twenty five diplomats have asked President Kibaki to resolve the uncertainty over the tenure of the top two Electoral Commission of Kenya [ECK] officials whose terms expire just before the December election.

The Western envoys said changing experienced officials at the ECK was bound to raise questions as continuity was important in a general election.

ECK chairman Samuel Kivuitu's term ends on 2 December, while that of his deputy, Mr Gabriel Mukele's expires on 14 October.

Make the right decision

German ambassador Walter Lindner said the envoys were confident that President Kibaki would make the right decision on behalf of Kenyans.

"We have always supported the ECK and it is up to the president to decide and we believe he will make good choices," he said while answering a question during a news conference at the Serena Hotel in Nairobi.

A joint statement by the diplomats was read by Canadian High Commissioner Ross Hynes. The envoys pledged to remain neutral during the campaigns, but support the candidate who wins the poll.

They spoke as ODM-Kenya [opposition Orange Democratic Movement-Kenya] challenged the government to confirm whether Mr Kivuitu's and Mr Mukele's tenures would be extended. Addressing a press conference at Chungwa House in Nairobi, ODM-K Secretary-General Mutula Kilonzo criticized President Kibaki for failing to talk about the fate of the ECK bosses when he presided over the launch of his presidential campaign at the Nyayo National Stadium [Nairobi] on Sunday [30 September].

And speaking for the envoys, Mr Hynes called for free and fair elections, saying Kenya must keep up its status as one of the symbols of successful democracies in Africa. He urged the relevant authorities to respect the citizen's right to assemble and demonstrate peacefully and also provide the ECK with the necessary resources to conduct a free and fair election.

"We also urge ECK to fulfil its mandate by developing a plan of action to combat violations of the electoral code of conduct, including penalizing candidates and parties that violate the code and by holding the government accountable to its own electoral laws," Mr Hynes said.

The diplomats urged political leaders and party executives to abide by the electoral code of conduct to promote and support good behaviour during the election period. Kenyans must refrain from any action involving bribery, corruption, violence, intimidation and coercion of voters and candidates, the ambassador said. "We also urge government to refrain from any inappropriate use of public resources for partisan political purposes.

"And we note that under the Public Officer's Ethics Act, a public officer shall not act as an agent for or in the interest of a political party," Mr Hynes said.

Engage in politics

The envoys reminded civil servants not to indicate support for or opposition to any political party or candidate in an election and not engage in political activities that compromise political neutrality of his or her office.

The British High Commissioner Adam Wood asked civil servants to be impartial, saying supporting one side would be a big risk especially if the candidate they favoured lost the elections.

Mr Wood said the EU will send election observers to monitor this year's election.

The envoys warned of a possibility of increased violence, if the government fails to deal decisively with perpetrators. They said the stakes in the forthcoming election would be higher going by the recent opinion polls which predicted a stiff competition among the presidential contenders.

"There is more at stake this time that will make us afraid of violence compared to elections in 2002 and the referendum and that is why politicians and the government must deal firmly with the problem," said the Swedish ambassador, Ms Anna Brandt.

Source: Daily Nation website, Nairobi, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Kenya: Western envoys call for free and fair elections

Text of report by Alex Ndegwa, Ayub Savula and Samuel Otieno entitled "new fears on poll" published by Kenyan newspaper The Standard website on 2 October; subheadings as published

Twenty-five Western missions have called for a free and fair general election, echoing similar concerns by opposition parties ODM [Orange Democratic Movement] and ODM-Kenya [Orange Democratic Movement-Kenya].

The spectre of violence recently witnessed in some parts of the country, the uncertainty surrounding the future of top electoral officials and the apparent availability of state resources to the incumbent - who is seeking a re-election for second term - appeared to fuel the concerns.

Further, a random strategy by pro-establishment politicians to character-assassinate particular personalities within the Opposition ranks have added to the fear that cheap propaganda would be used to fight it dirty in campaigns.

On Monday [1 October], the ODM Pentagon [top organ] emerged from a retreat at a Naivasha resort with a plea to the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) to exercise complete independence if the poll was to be free and fair. This came just moments after the 25 foreign missions in Nairobi had made a call for a free and fair general election, saying it would consolidate the country's position among the leading democracies in Africa.

And, seemingly worried that President Kibaki could deal the surprise card by replacing outgoing ECK Chairman Mr Samuel Kivuitu and his deputy, Mr Gabriel Mukele, at the 11th hour, ODM-Kenya demanded an extension of their terms of office.

ODM, in a statement read by party Secretary-General Prof Anyang' Nyong'o, said it was committed to a free and fair election. Hence, it called upon the ECK to exercise independence and competence in managing the electoral process by guaranteeing the safety of voter registers, the integrity of electoral officials and democratic voting on election day.

At Chungwa House, Nairobi, ODM-Kenya Secretary-General Mr Mutula Kilonzo said the party would mobilize civil society and the international community to push for the extension of the two ECK officers. "We would like to know if the Government is planning a surprise by not extending the tenure of the two ECK officials and then replacing them within a very short notice. This is a plot to rig the elections," said the nominated MP. The terms of the two officials are set to expire by 8 December.

Propaganda

Earlier, the heads of the Western diplomatic missions had conceded that the December polls were likely to be a closely contested affair.

"We are encouraged by Kenya's democratic track record. A free and fair election in 2007 will consolidate Kenya's position as one of Africa's foremost democratic states," the envoys said in a joint statement read in Nairobi by Canadian High Commissioner Ross Hynes.

The envoys, however, clarified that they were not meddling in the host country's internal affairs but were committed "to supporting, in a non-partisan manner, a fair, inclusive, transparent and non-violent electoral process".

They added: "We shall respect the authority of the relevant Kenyan institutions and remain non-partisan and entirely neutral with regard to the political parties and candidates contesting the election".

To ensure free and fair polls, the diplomats urged politicians to denounce violence, the Government to refrain from misusing state resources during campaigns to tilt the scales in its favour and civil servants to abide by the Public Officers' Ethics Act that discourages abuse of office for political purposes.

They welcomed President Kibaki's recent condemnation of electoral violence - in the wake of the crude attack on three ODM leaders in Kisii [southwestern Kenya] - and urged other politicians to follow suit and shun inflammatory utterances.

The envoys said they had confidence in the ECK. "We urge the relevant authorities to ensure that all necessary resources for the conduct of impartial elections are transferred to the ECK in a timely manner."

Asked about the renewal of the tenure of ECK commissioners, including Chairman Mr Samuel Kivuitu, UK High Commissioner Mr Adam Wood responded: "It is the prerogative of the president. But changing an experienced team at this time is likely to raise eyebrows."

The diplomats urged the police and the attorney-general's [AG] chambers to investigate all forms of political violence and electoral malpractice should it occur.

Their call came barely a week after the ECK chairman and AG Mr Amos Wako clashed over the failure to prosecute electoral offenders, particularly those who fan violence. Kivuitu and Wako fired salvos at each other after the ECK chairman told a human rights workshop in Nairobi last week that the AG had failed to enforce the Electoral Offences Act.

Wako, however, protested at the remarks and apportioned the blame to the police department, which he said was charged with investigating offences.

Poll a close contest

The envoys said there were indications that the poll would be a hotly contested affair that was too close to call.

"There's more at stake and this is going to be a close race. We see opinion polls swaying from one side to the other," said Swedish Ambassador Anna Brandt, referring to a recent Steadman poll that showed ODM presidential candidate Mr Raila Odinga leading the incumbent by nine points.

Wood also conceded that it was a tight race and it would be "foolish for the foreign missions to support any particular candidate".

US Ambassador Mr Michael Ranneberger said Kenyan voters could surprise by focusing on issues rather than tribalism when casting their votes.

The envoys urged the relevant authorities to put in place "extra measures" to protect women from violence and guarantee their right to vote. "We are concerned by the vulnerability of Kenyan women to political intimidation and violence, and urge all relevant authorities to take extra measures to ensure the safety of women and their right to vote."

They urged political parties to consider women aspirants during party nominations to ensure their increased representation in political decision-making positions.

Source: The Standard website, Nairobi, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Kenya: Ex-journalists' union chief appointed state information director

Text of report by Mercy Mwai entitled "Former KUJ boss appointed director" published by Kenyan newspaper The People on 2 October

Former Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) Secretary-General Ezekiel Mutua has been appointed as director of information and public communications in the Ministry of Information and Communications. Following his appointment, which took effect yesterday, Bob Wekesa has been appointed as KUJ acting secretary-general.

Mutua replaces Zarina Kasuu, who has been serving in an acting capacity before she was transferred to another ministry.

Wekesa, who served as the deputy secretary-general, takes up the office in accordance with the organization's constitution and rules of KUJ, according to office administrator Salaton Njau.

In his new role, Mutua will be in charge of the Kenya News Agency (KNA), all public relations officers in the government and he will also sit on the board of the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, the Kenya Film Commission and the yet-to-be-constituted Media Council of Kenya.

And speaking in his office yesterday, Mutua said the appointment came after an advertisement by the Public Service Commission was posted in the local papers. He then applied. "I applied for the job which was advertised by public service sector just like any other person can apply and I was successful," said Mutua.

However, Mutua said that following his appointment, KUJ was scheduled to hold a meeting that was expected to chart the way forward for the organization.

Mutua holds a bachelor of arts degree in sociology and linguistics from Kenyatta University.

He also went for a media training course at the United States International University (USIU), DIT University in London as well as Cairo University in Egypt.

Source: The People, Nairobi, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Kenyan president orders return of Muslims detained outside country

Text of report by Kenyan television NTV on 1 October

[Presenter] Now, the battle for the Muslim votes moved inside State House earlier today. President Kibaki hosted more 200 Islamic leaders and entered [into] yet another pact that involves issues considered crucial in the Muslim community.

Now the president ordered for the return of Muslims being detained outside the country on terrorism allegations. The move came just weeks after another group of Muslims reportedly entered into a similar pact with ODM's [opposition Orange Democratic Movement presidential candidate] Raila Odinga. NTV's Yasin Juma reports on the emerging scramble for the Muslim vote.

[Juma] It has been a battle for the Muslim vote with every presidential candidate trying to woo the community. A section of Muslim leaders were today enjoying a presidential invitation at the house on the hill. At the heart of the more than 10 million Kenyan Muslims, has been the transfer of Kenyan nationals to Ethiopia on allegations of being enemy combatants or terrorists, a practice known as rendition, and one that has had a negative impact on the Kibaki government.

The government has been accused of cooperating with the US and Ethiopia in the rendition of its own citizens, but now the president appears to be admitting that some Kenyans are indeed being detained out there and he wants them back.

[President Kibaki in Swahili throughout] I want every person to get their right, everyone to be treated well; and that is what we are going to do. And regarding all that has not been fulfilled, I want these to be completed just like what you have said here -

[Juma interrupting] Families of the detained have been protesting in the capital for the last nine months with little success as the Kenyan government continued to deny the presence of 26 Kenyans in Ethiopian detention cells.

[Kibaki] You are many in Kenya; and we don't want, we don't want, we don't want, to hear that something discriminatory is being done against the citizens.

[Juma] It is not yet clear if the call by Kibaki will also include the return of Abdul Malik Muhammed, the only Kenyan in Guantanamo Bay. A Muslim human rights committee has now been established to gather views of Kenyan Muslims.

[Kibaki] Islam is a major religion that has many followers; and if something bad happens, then there should be a way for you to tell us.

[Juma] Other issues of Muslim interests were the establishment of a special desk at the Ministry of Immigration to avoid delays in issuance of passports to pilgrims attending the hajj in Mecca.

Another section of Muslim leaders had a few weeks ago announced that they would vote for ODM's Raila Odinga as a block. This latest development is likely to generate more debate among the Muslims as the scramble for that critical vote gets more intense.

Source: NTV, Nairobi, in English 1800 gmt 1 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Kenyan opposition party says vote buying "rampant" in city constituencies

Text of report by Kenyan Capital FM radio on 2 October

Meanwhile, the ODM [Orange Democratic Movement] party now says it has proof that some voters are being compromised to sell their votes and will take up the issue with the Electoral Commission of Kenya.

At a press conference, Secretary-General Anyang Nyong'o displayed about fifty cards, which he claims were recovered in Nairobi. Nyong'o says the vote buying is rampant in Westlands, Lang'ata and Madaraka at a cost of between 500 and 1500 shillings each. He says the party will soon embark on a voter education exercise to discourage youth and their supporters from selling their votes.

Source: Capital FM radio, Nairobi, in English 1000 gmt 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Kenya: Court to rule on ballot papers tender row 5 October

Text of report by Nancy Akinyi/Lempaa Suyianka entitled "Ballot papers tender row to be determined on Friday" published by Kenya Broadcasting Corporation text website on 2 October

A Nairobi court will on Friday [5 October] rule over a case in which two parties are contesting a tender dispute for the supply of ballot papers to be used in the forthcoming general election.

Justice Roselyne Nambuye set Friday to give the ruling that is expected to bring to an end an anxiety on who should supply the ballot papers for the next general elections.

The judge was to rule in the case on Tuesday but said she needed more time to go through the arguments by lawyers in the case before giving her decision.

In the case, the losing bidder Lithotec Export limited is suing the electoral commission of Kenya and the winning bidder Universal group Limited over the contract.

The Electoral Commission of Kenya through lawyer Onsando Osiemo indicated to the court that the case had threatened the commissions preparations for the December elections.

Source: KBC Online text website, Nairobi, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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MALAWI
02/10/2007 Malawian leader dismisses graft index by Transparency International

Excerpt from report by Malawian MBC radio on 2 October

His Excellency the president, Dr Bingu wa Mutharika, is concerned about the recent announcement by Transparency International claiming that corruption is on the increase in Malawi.

A statement issued by the State House Press Office said the ranking is wrong and most likely based on hearsay from some opposition politicians who have got corruption cases to answer in courts.

The statement said President Mutharika's zero-tolerance on corruption is being fought gallantly and that the only obstacle is the resistance by some opposition persons who do not want to confirm the director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau. The State House said Transparency International should have, at least, mentioned the resistance by some opposition elements as the only stumbling block affecting the fight against corruption in Malawi. It said the current situation cannot be compared to the tenure of [former president] Mr Bakili Muluzi where corrupt practices were not being controlled due to lack of political will.

The State House said there are many corruption cases in court that prove that the current administration has the political will to fight corruption. It said the recent ranking by Transparency International does not reflect the correct situation on the ground.

The State House said Transparency International will be invited for a fact-finding mission in Malawi. [Passage omitted]

Source: MBC radio, Blantyre, in English 1030 gmt 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Malawi's ruling party berates religious grouping over rights claims

Excerpt from report by Malawian MBC radio on 2 October

[Presenter] The ruling Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] has described as laughable recent statements in the media by the quasi-religious Public Affairs Committee [PAC] that it has hired a lawyer to document all constitutional violations allegedly committed by His Excellency the president, Dr Bingu wa Mutharika, since he took over power in 2004.

The DPP secretary-general, Dr Heatherwick Ntaba, who is also the presidential chief political adviser, said it is unfortunate that PAC issue such a statement when the president has always kept an open-door policy towards the religious grouping and met them on several occasions. [Passage omitted]

[Ntaba] The story that PAC has decided to compile a list of the so-called constitutional violations by the president is laughable. The president has always kept an open door to PAC; he has met them several times and discussed a wide-range of issues and, in fact, left the door open for subsequent meetings as needed. At no time have PAC raised their concerns on constitutional violations during those meetings. More surprisingly, PAC has now hired the former attorney-general, Mr Ralph Kasambara, we understand, to search and come up with the alleged constitutional violations by Wednesday, 3 October 2007.

Mr Kasambara never advised the president about any constitutional violations when he was attorney-general which he could, and should have done, as legal adviser to the president then. The question now is: Where have all these alleged violations come from? Or why have PAC and their lawyer been quite all this time? We are also wondering if it is PAC using the lawyer or vice-versa in the case. [Passage omitted]

Despite the open invitation for dialogue from the president, they have chosen open confrontation in public. They have now become accusers, prosecutors and judges against the president. They have convicted the president of constitutional violations even before their own lawyer has given them advice. This is, indeed, laughable and we would like to appeal to PAC to return to their original mission so that they can help and minimize confrontational politics in this country. [Passage omitted]

[Presenter] PAC recently told The National newspaper that it has hired Mr Kasambara to document the alleged violations which, according to them, includes not holding local government elections and proroguing the sitting of parliament without consulting the Speaker of parliament.[Passage omitted]

Source: MBC radio, Blantyre, in English 1030 gmt 2 Oct 07

 
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MOZAMBIQUE
02/10/2007 Malawian president urges Speaker to resign over bill blunder

Excerpt from report by Malawian MBC radio on 2 October

His Excellency the president, Dr Bingu wa Mutharika, has called on the Speaker of the National Assembly, Honourable Louis Chimango, to step down after he submitted a bill on power inter-connection with Mozambique for the president to assent to without knowing it has not been debated and passed by parliament.

In a statement, the State House Press Office said from the time Dr Mutharika became president on 24 May 2004, the Malawi leader has always had trust and faith in all the bills that are submitted for assent from the Speaker's office, knowing that they had gone through all legal processes and hence there was no need to cross-check.

The State House Press Office said, in this instance, the Speaker wrote two letters explaining the mistake on the matter. However, the statement said it is sad that the Speaker's office failed to clear the mist in the press and in the process shifting the blame on the presidency.

In the Mozambique-Malawi transmission Interconnection Project Bill, the Malawi government was seeking parliament's authorization for it to borrow 300m dollars from the World Bank to finance the power inter-connection with Mozambique to improve electricity supply in Malawi.

Controversy erupted last week when the chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee of parliament, Honourable Atupele Muluzi, wrote to the World Bank to ignore government's request because the bill has not been debated and passed by parliament to make it legal.

The World Bank has since said it does not act on instruments that have no legal backing, thereby putting the much-needed project in jeopardy. [Passage omitted]

Source: MBC radio, Blantyre, in English 1030 gmt 2 Oct 07

 
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NAMIBIA
02/10/2007 Namibian president to visit Japan 14-17 October

Text of report in English by Japanese news agency Kyodo

Tokyo, Oct. 2 Kyodo - Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba will pay a four-day working visit to Japan beginning Oct. 14 to meet Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and enhance friendly ties, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

Pohamba and the first lady will also meet Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko for a luncheon at the Imperial Palace, the ministry said.

The leader of the Southwestern African country was last scheduled to visit Japan in October 2005, but that visit was postponed, a ministry official said.

Source: Kyodo News Service, Tokyo, in English 0416 gmt 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Namibian ruling party Politburo meets to prevent mass expulsion of members

Text of report by Namibian newspaper The Namibian website on 2 October

[Report by Brigitte Weidlich: "Crunch Time for SWAPO"]

Sparks were expected to fly last night at a Swapo Politburo emergency meeting -reportedly called to prevent a mass expulsion of senior party members ranking from senior Cabinet ministers to members of the Politburo itself.

The Namibian has reliably learnt that some top members of the ruling party close to party President Sam Nujoma are apparently incensed by persistent rumours of a possible walkout of prominent Swapo politicians who allegedly want to form a new political party.

Names have been thrown around and last night it was expected that Nujoma wanted to convince the Politburo to throw them all out of Swapo.

A meeting of the so-called 'Omusati clique' on Saturday, September 22, at Okahao after the funeral of Deputy Labour Minister Petrus Ilonga's younger brother apparently decided to throw the 'dissidents' out of the party.

According to a well-placed source within Swapo, Nujoma, Justice Minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, Local Government Minister John Pandeni and Lands Minister Jerry Ekandjo attended that meeting.

Another well-placed source told The Namibian that "the more rationally minded Politburo members" wanted to persuade Nujoma against a mass expulsion just weeks ahead of what is seen as a watershed Swapo congress planned for November 27.

"Some Politburo members actually want Nujoma to resign from his post as president of Swapo," the source said.

"That is to be discussed tonight," according to the source.

Rumours that some disgruntled and frustrated Swapo members want to walk out and form a new party have been rife over the past few weeks.

They are said to be unhappy with Nujoma's leadership style, a lack of democracy within Swapo and a stale and stagnant atmosphere dominated by a spirit of yesteryear.

"The whole party defines itself around the liberation struggle," a frustrated Swapo member told The Namibian.

"Almost every statement of members starts with 'when we were in the struggle' -this is not taking us forward.

We need to have a modern party focused on the future."

Other complaints are that the whole party is centred around Nujoma with a motto of 'if you are not for Nujoma, you are against him' maintained by his loyal lieutenants.

In February this year, two prominent Swapo members, Michaela Huebschle and retired Ambassador Shapua Kaukungua, published a critical opinion piece in The Namibian, criticising their own party for lack of democratic principles and "underhand political machinery."

The two were nearly kicked out of the party for "disobedience" but some level-headed members persuaded Nujoma not to do so.

Apart from Nujoma, President Hifikepunye Pohamba, the party's Secretary General Ngarikutuke Tjiriange and his deputy, John Pandeni, who automatically serve on this committee, the other Politburo members elected at the 2002 congress are: Nahas Angula, Jerry Ekandjo, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Hartmut Ruppel, Nangolo Mbumba, Theo-Ben Gurirab, Nickey Iyambo, Ben and Libertina Amathila, Hidipo Hamutenya, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Helmut Angula, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana and Andimba Toivo ya Toivo.

Another Politburo member, Former Trade and Industry Minister Jesaya Nyamu, has been expelled from the party in the meantime and the former Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Mose Tjitendero, died in 2006.

The two vacancies were filled a few weeks ago by Dr Hage Geingob, Namibia's first Prime Minister, and Doreen Sioka, the current Deputy Speaker of Parliament.

Source: The Namibian website, Windhoek, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Southern African media body urges tangible action in fight against graft

Text of report by Namibian newspaper The Namibian website on 1 October

[Report by Christof Maletsky: "Right To Know Crucial in Fighting Corruption: Misa"]

The Media Institute of Southern Africa says President Hifikepunye Pohamba's national crusade against corruption will be "good for nothing" if not accompanied by tangible action.

That action, Misa said, should include an act allowing citizens access to information in Government and the private sector.

Friday was Worldwide Right to Information Day and Misa's Regional Director, Kaitira Kandjii, used the opportunity to reflect on how countries in the region have scored compared to the rest of the world.

Kandjii said only two African states are among the 60 countries in the world that guarantee citizens their right of access to information.

Only South Africa and Uganda have laws in that regard.

"I have not mentioned Angola and Zimbabwe, despite them having what they call access to information laws.

The omission is deliberate.

Misa does not recognise the archaic, infamous and indeed retrogressive laws of Zimbabwe and Angola.

Those are laws that make it almost impossible for citizens to access information," Kandjii said.

Namibia is among six countries in the region that are drafting information bills, but all SADC countries have signed the regional bloc's declaration on information, culture and sports as well as the Africa Union's declaration of principles on freedom of information.

Kandjii said several countries in SADC had been at advanced stages of legislative development but seemingly "got cold feet" and "just suddenly and in an unexplained fashion stopped the process".

"This half-hearted political will has become common behaviour from many governments and is by far the biggest stumbling block to the advancement of right to information in southern Africa," he said.

He said Misa found it ironic and inconsistent that governments in the region were on the one hand busy with rhetoric on zero tolerance for corruption, yet dismally failing to put in place legislation to fight it.

"One would think that any half serious government would jump at the opportunity to establish and enact right to information legislation," Kandjii said.

He said research has shown a correlation between corruption and lack of information.

"It is no coincidence that the 10 most corrupt and poorest nations in the world are those without right to information legislation, while in contrast the ten least corrupt and most prosperous nations are those with right to information legislation," the Misa Regional Director said.

Misa acknowledged the political will shown by the Namibian Government to come up with an information policy, which promises access to information legislation "Misa is therefore calling for the immediate commencement of a legislative process which has failed to take off far too many times.

Good political will unaccompanied by tangible actions is good for nothing," Kandjii said.

Source: The Namibian website, Windhoek, in English 1 Oct 07

 
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NIGERIA
02/10/2007 President Yar'Adua addresses Nigerians on independence day

Text of report by Nigerian radio from Abuja on 1 October

[Nationwide Broadcast by Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua on the occasion of the nation's 47th Independence Anniversary on 01 Oct, in Abuja -live/record]

Fellow Nigerians, It gives me great pleasure to greet you all my fellow countrymen and women both at home and abroad, on the occasion of the 47th anniversary of our independent nationhood.

This year's anniversary has auspiciously come during the holy month of Ramadhan when millions of our Muslim brothers and sisters are observing the month long fast.

I extend to them, fraternal good wishes and solidarity on behalf of all Nigerian irrespective of creed.

My fellow country men, the last 47 years were indeed momentous years in our history during which we faced monumental challenges, including having to fight a civil war.

During these 47 years, we have had remarkable bursts of socio-economic and political development.

These were punctuated by no less profound setbacks to our political development, economic progress, and social cohesion.

However, almost against all odds, we always summoned uncommon resilience and with abiding faith in our common national purpose, we overcame all.

We are entering our 48th year as a free and sovereign nation against the backdrop of a renewed hope and optimism about our nation and our future.

In the short four months we have been in office, we have taken initiatives to build a steady future for our posterity and ourselves.

We shall continue with unmediated dedication in our determination to check corruption, reduce poverty, grow our economy, entrench absolute respect for the rule of law, eradicate abuse of due process, and create equal opportunities for all Nigerians.

We have commenced the process of rebuilding our basic infrastructures. The energy challenge will be met in a holistic manner.

We shall be guided by our national consensus for democratic governance and strengthening our democratic institutions, structures, and processes.

We shall in particular ensure that our electoral process is of the highest quality and meets international best practice.

In pursuing our aspirations for the growth and development of a peaceful, strong, secure, and prosperous nation founded on the ideals of justice, equity, fairness, patriotism, and the fear of God, no region and no group will be left behind.

In the troubled Niger Delta in particular, we shall secure the region for growth and development while effectively tackling the criminal dimension to the problem.

Today brings with it another opportunity for us to reflect on our yesterday and ponder over our course for a better tomorrow.

We must resolve to work together to restore our cherished values of diligence, honesty, decency, transparency, selflessness, and accountability in our polity.

I made a covenant with you while soliciting for your votes that I will work towards these goals as your servant-leader. Today, I reiterate that pledge.

I wish you very happy National Day celebrations.

May God continuously bless Nigeria.

Thank you.

Source: Radio Nigeria-Abuja in English 0600 gmt 1 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Nigerian president vows to entrench rule of law, eradicate abuses

Text of report by Radio Nigeria from Abuja on 1 October

[Presenter] Nigerian President Umar Musa Yar'Adua, in a less than a four- minute radio and television broadcast to the nation on 1 October to mark the 47 anniversary of the country's independence, pledges to check corruption, entrench the rule of law and eradicate abuse of due process. He also vows to grow the country's economy, give equal attention to the development of every part of the country and especially the troubled Niger Delta region. Sub-headings are inserted editorially.

On the occasion of Nigeria's 47th independence anniversary, the president and commander in chief of the armed forces, Alhaji Umar Musa Yar'Adua, will now address the nation. The president.

Greetings

[Yar'Adua] Fellow Nigerians, it gives me great pleasure to greet you all my fellow country men and women, both at home and abroad on the occasion of the 47th anniversary of our independent nationhood.

This year's anniversary has auspiciously come during the holy month of Ramadan when millions of our Muslim brothers and sisters are observing the month-long fast.

I will extend to them fraternal good wishes and solidarity on behalf of all Nigerians irrespective of creed.

"Monumental challenges"

My fellow countrymen, the last 47 years were indeed momentous years in our history during which we faced monumental challenges, including having to fight a civil war.

During these 47 years, we have had remarkable bursts of socioeconomic and political development. These were punctuated by no less profound setbacks to our political development, economic progress and social cohesion.

However, almost against all odds, we always summoned uncommon resilience and with abiding faith in our common national purpose, we overcame all.

Entrench rule of law

We are entering our 48th year as a free and sovereign nation against the backdrop of a renewed hope and optimism about our nation and our future.

In the short four months we have been in office, we have taken initiatives to build a steady future for ourselves and our posterity. We shall continue with unmediated dedication in our determination to check corruption, reduce poverty, grow our economy, entrench absolute respect for the rule of law, eradicate abuse of due process and create equal opportunities for all Nigerians.

We recommend the process of rebuilding our basic infrastructures.

Strengthening democratic institutions

The energy challenge will be met in a holistic manner. We shall be guided by our national consensus for democratic governance and strengthening our democratic institutions, structures and processes.

We shall in particular ensure that our electoral process is of the highest quality and meets international best practice.

Development in Niger Delta region

In pursuing our aspiration for the growth and development of a peaceful, strong, secure and prosperous nation founded on the ideals of justice, equity, fairness, patriotism and the fear of God, no region and no group will be left behind.

In the troubled Niger Delta in particular, we shall secure the region for growth and development while effectively tackling the criminal dimension to the problem.

Need to restore transparency

Today brings with it another opportunity for us to reflect on our yesterday and ponder over our course for a better tomorrow.

We must resolve to work together to restore our cherished values of diligence, honesty, decency, transparency, selflessness and accountability in our polity. I made a covenant with you while soliciting for your votes that I will work towards these goals as your servant-leader. Today, I reiterate that pledge.

God's blessings

I wish you very happy national day celebration. May God continually bless Nigeria. Thank you.

Source: Radio Nigeria-Abuja in English 0600 gmt 1 Oct 07

 
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RWANDA
02/10/2007 Opposition urges Interpol to arrest Rwandan army chief

Excerpt from report entitled "Opposition wants Gen Kabarebe transferred to France" published in English by Rwandan news agency RNA

Kigali, 1 October: As an Interpol member, the Democratic Republic of Congo has the legal obligation to arrest Gen James Kabarebe and to extradite him to France, where he is under criminal investigation, controversial UDF-Inkingi said on Monday [1 October].

The Netherlands-based group wants all concerned police officials from France, DRCongo and Interpol to comply with their national and international legal obligations and to bring to book Gen Kabarebe.

The Rwanda defence Forces chief arrived in the DRC's capital Kinshasa yesterday to attend an extraordinary Tripartite Plus military chiefs meeting, scheduled to take place in Lubumbashi this week.

Gen Kabarebe is among nine Rwandan officials subject of arrest warrants issued by anti-terrorist [Judge] Jean-Louis Bruguiere on charges of shooting down of Rwanda presidential jet on the night of 6 April 1994. The arrest warrants led to the severing of relations between France and Rwanda but moves are ongoing to mend them. [Passage omitted]

"The UDF-Inkingi is convinced that there will be no lasting peace and no stability in the Great Lakes Region if all those crimes remain unpunished," the group said in a statement. "The UDF-Inkingi believes that if justice continues to be delayed or denied, no reconciliation will be possible, an unavoidable pre-requisite to reconstruction and shared economic growth in that part of the African continent."

It says Interpol should act on the Rwandan officials as it did with former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori - who was arrested and later extradited to Peru from Chile on 24 September.

Meanwhile, Generals Charles Kayonga and Jack Nziza have petitioned a Belgian court demanding the warrants against them be quashed and disregarded with damages of up to 62.5m euros each. Court set September for the start of the proceedings. Media reports from Belgium indicate that Judge Bruguiere was not in court but would testify by video conference link-up. [Passage omitted]

Source: RNA news agency, Kigali, in English 1505 gmt 1 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Rwanda tells UN court it can try genocide cases

Excerpt from report by Felly Kimenyi entitled "Rwanda sends proof of competence to ICTR" published in English by Rwandan newspaper The New Times website on 2 October

The government has sent a document containing proof to show the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that it has the capability to handle cases from the UN tribunal. This comes after the tribunal requested Rwanda to prove its capacity to try one Fulgence Kayishema, an ICTR indicted fugitive, who is still at large.

"We have sent the document detailing our capacity to handle the case and we shall be waiting for what court will have to rule about it," John Bosco Mutangana, the spokesman of the prosecutor-general's office, said yesterday. The briefs that were sent to the tribunal will, according to Mutangana, be presented by a Rwandan official who is yet to be named. But sources said that it might be presented by Aloys Mutabingwa, Rwanda's special representative to the ICTR.

The case of Kayishema, a former judicial police officer, was the first to be requested for referral by the ICTR prosecutor to Rwandan jurisdiction under the rule 11 bis, which determines the transfer of files for cases from ICTR to the national jurisdiction.

Bubacar Jallow, the ICTR prosecutor, moved a motion to a trial chamber requesting for the referral of this case to Rwandan jurisdiction.

"We think this is the right time for us to demonstrate that we are in position to handle these cases given the reforms our judiciary has undergone," Mutangana said.

According to Kayishema's indictment, he is accused of genocide, complicity in genocide, complicity to commit genocide and crimes against humanity for extermination.

According to agencies, the chamber had requested "details on the practical provisions which will be taken to guarantee the right of the defendant to legal aid, in the event of a transfer of the case to Rwandan courts". The bench also wanted to know if the fairness of the proceedings and the protection of the defendant will be the same as with the ICTR.

Rwanda is tipped as the probable destination for the remaining cases by the back-logged tribunal after its mandate expires next year for those cases in substance while appeals are supposed to have been completed by 2010.

In an effort to suit the international standards which are required to try these cases, Rwanda in February passed a special law waiving the death penalty on those suspects that would be transferred from ICTR and others that may be extradited from other countries. However, the capital sentence was later scrapped at once from the Rwandan penal code in a bylaw that was passed in July.

Also in preparation for these cases, a modern prison was built in Mpanga in the Southern Province where these suspects will be detained. Another transit facility is under construction at the Kigali Central Prison where suspects on trial will be temporarily detained within the course of their trials. The special law that was passed in preparation for the ICTR suspect transfers provides that the trials will be taking place on first instance at Kigali High Court while appeals will be logged at the Supreme Court.

Another motion by Jallow to have three suspects in detention at the ICTR facility in Arusha, Tanzania, was filed recently. The suspects are Lieutenant Ildephonse Hategekimana and the former merchants Gaspard Kanyarukiga and Yussuf Munyakazi. [Passage omitted]

Source: The New Times website, Kigali, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 France made mistakes but had no role in Rwanda genocide - Kouchner

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has said that France made political mistakes at the time of the Rwandan genocide but that French troops in the country had no role in the killings. In an interview broadcast on French radio, he defended his policy of trying to re-establish diplomatic relations with Rwanda, arguing that there were "misunderstandings" between the two countries. He also said that the French oil group Total would not by exempt from any sanctions that might be imposed on Burma, and that the possibility of Russian President Vladimir Putin becoming prime minister was an "original procedure". The following is an excerpt from the interview, broadcast on French Europe 1 radio on 2 October:

[Presenter] Jean-Pierre Elkabbach, your guest this morning is Bernard Kouchner.

[Passage omitted - Mr Elkabbach and Mr Kouchner go over recent events in Burma.]

Burma

[Elkabbach] But can we say today that France and Europe are saying that if there is a political solution, it requires a role for her [Aung San Suu Kyi], the Nobel Peace Prize winner -

[Kouchner] Probably.

[Elkabbach] - and her release, which you are calling for.

[Kouchner] Of course. But we've been calling for her release for years. I can tell you that it probably requires her involvement, as the leader of an important party, which has other leaders. It's for them to see, but obviously the opposition isn't listened to in Burma, it's assassinated, it's imprisoned. This is what needs to stop, and, once again, I count much more on the countries in the region. For example, yesterday we received the Vietnamese prime minister with Prime Minister Francois Fillon. The Vietnamese prime minister is in agreement with regard to stopping the repression and access to democracy. This is interesting, after all.

[Elkabbach] Coming from Vietnam.

[Kouchner] Coming from Vietnam, as you said. Indonesia has been very pugnacious.

[Elkabbach] Japan, China, India, etc.

[Kouchner] China has played a role, above all in obtaining a visa for Mr [Ibrahim] Gambari, the special envoy of Mr Ban Ki-moon [UN secretary-general].

[Elkabbach] Bernard Kouchner, in 2003, you wrote a report on Total [French oil group] and for Total. It may be uncomfortable for you to be reminded of this, but the president recently called for a freeze on French investments in Burma pending the fall of the junta. Do you agree with this and do you regret that you wrote this -

[Kouchner] It's not uncomfortable. Don't adopt such a tone. It's not uncomfortable at all. I said Total was not using slave labour; that this was not in its nature; that it was stupid to think so; and I talked about the health system set up by Total around this much-talked about pipeline and around gas. So, of course, if sanctions have to come, Total will not be exempt from them, that's impossible, Total as well as the others working in Burma.

But you know, it's easy to propose sanctions. First, in general this does not have immediate effects, and above all, in general, when a company has left Burma, in particular an American one, it has immediately been replaced by companies comprising capital coming from the junta itself and Chinese capital. So was this an advantage? I don't know. But my reply is clear: we are working on sanctions. Nobody will be exempt from them.

[Passage omitted - says he is still an advocate of the right to interfere in a country's affairs]

Russia

[Elkabbach] Vladimir Putin is said to intend to become prime minister once his second and last presidential mandate is over. Your friend Condi Rice [US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice] is concerned about the concentration of power in the Kremlin. And you?

[Kouchner] [Passage omitted - says is not worried about Condoleezza Rice being called his friend but questions what the interview knows about this.] Condi Rice is right to stress that the procedure is original, yes: quitting a presidency to - and I don't know anything about this, we have seen a report, well, a report makes not a spring - apparently he wants to become prime minister.

[Elkabbach] There are no counter-powers in Russia.

[Kouchner] Unfortunately there are not enough. [Passage omitted - recalls recent visit to Russia] The transformation is obvious for those who knew Moscow as it was some time ago, there has been a considerable effort, a sudden transformation of society, but the opposition is not being taken seriously sufficiently, everybody recognizes this, and it has great difficulties.

Rwanda

[Elkabbach] Okay, we're going to talk about a rather sensitive subject - another one. That's all there are, sensitive issues. Rwanda: Rwanda is a puzzle that brings together diplomacy, war crimes, blood and justice. Why, Bernard Kouchner, do you want to reconcile Rwanda and France? What's the point?

[Kouchner] [Passage omitted] What did I want to do? I wanted an end to the misunderstanding between these two countries. Let me remind you that those in power in Kigali are the survivors of the horror and the genocide. We were there. I was there. Genocide was committed right in front of us on TV. No-one intervened except France and it had my backing. I think there were political mistakes, errors of political analysis. That's what I've always said. I've never said and never will say that the French army was involved in even the slightest murder. I've never said it and I was there. I know a bit what I'm talking about. [Passage omitted - Kouchner explains historical background to the genocide]

So what have I done? I sent - and I made no secret of it. I've been saying all this right from the start: we must try and re-establish relations with Rwanda. I sent in a diplomatic mission quite openly and publicly. The rest is nonsense, lies or manipulation. [Passage omitted - says France has made it clear that there is nothing it can do about legal action against Rwandans in France as "international justice is sovereign and independent".] I can say clearly that there was no [French] role [in the genocide]. There were political mistakes. Political analyses were false. I talked to Francois Mitterrand about this thousands of times. I phoned him from Rwanda. It's a story I know. Excuse me for being so forceful. I don't like it when people trample on the dead. So, I've said already, there are misunderstandings. Why not try and iron them out? That's the role of a foreign minister.

[Elkabbach] At the time it was Francois Mitterrand with Eduard Balladur, Francois Leotard, Dominique de Villepin as principal private secretary to Alain Juppe, Alain Juppe. There was Operation Turquoise.

[Kouchner] And who sold Operation Turquoise? I did. I had so much confidence in my country.

[Elkabbach] What was Operation Turquoise supposed to do?

[Kouchner] Operation Turquoise made a mistake at least about location. Instead of going to Kigali, which is what I thought when I met Alain Juppe and when I was over there to sell it to - excuse the word - to persuade Paul Kagame - because I went at Paul Kagame's invitation to get children out of the orphanages, and they didn't die because we did it, and the Hotel des Milles Collines: it made a famous film; it didn't happen like that; we were the ones who got them out. All that, I did because Paul Kagame asked me to. So he trusted me, one of the few Frenchmen.

[Elkabbach] Paul Kagame who is president at the moment.

[Kouchner] Who is president, Gen Paul Kagame.

[Elkabbach] And now he wants France to acknowledge its role in the Rwanda war. [Passage omitted - Mr Kouchner disputes that Mr Kagame has said this.] He's not asking France to repent or apologize.

[Kouchner] There's never been any question of that. That's not what's important. What is important is that we start to talk about these things and that in a country that experienced this dreadful massacre, the people massacred are not regarded as responsible for being massacred. [Passage omitted]

[Elkabbach] What is France guilty of over there in Rwanda?

[Kouchner] France is guilty of political mistakes but not of genocide and certainly not the French army. I've said it a thousand times and I'll say it for the thousand and first.

[Passage omitted - goes back over remarks on Iran, emphasizing that he said "war" would the "the worst".]

Source: Europe 1 radio, Paris, in French 0620 gmt 2 Oct 07

 
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SOMALIA
02/10/2007 Tension said high as Somaliland, Puntland prepare for more fighting

Excerpt from report by Somali Puntland-based independent SBC website on 2 October

It has been confirmed that both Somaliland and Puntland forces have suffered casualties in yesterday's fierce fighting on the outskirts of Laas Caanood town [in the disputed Sool Region]. The fighting lasted for several hours.[Passage omitted]. The two administrations gave conflicting reports about yesterday's fighting.

Puntland's deputy information minister, Abdiqadir Gelle Mahmud has strongly denied reports from Somaliland which said that Somaliland forces have captured the town of Laas Caanood.

He described the report as baseless, adding that Puntland forces were in full control of the town as well as their initial positions. He further added that Puntland forces have inflicted casualties to Somaliland forces.

However, the defence minister of the self-declared republic of Somaliland, [Abdullahi Ali Ibrahim], said that Somaliland forces have captured Puntland soldiers in the fighting.

Speaking to the BBC World Service the defence minister said that the soldiers captured included [high-ranking] military officers. However, there is no independent source that can confirm the report.

There is no fighting in Laas Caanood this morning, but tension is high with both sides deploying reinforcement at the front-line.

Puntland official who declined to be named told SBC that Puntland's reinforcement have arrived in Laas Caanood late last night, adding that Puntland forces have made tactical military changes. [Passage omitted].

Source: Somali Broadcasting Corporation website, Boosaaso, in Somali 0000 gmt 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Somalia: Minister says government forces partly to blame for chaos in capital

Excerpt from report by Somali pro-Puntland government Puntlandpost website on 2 October

Somalia's Minister of State for Interior Muhamud Sayid Adan has said that the Transitional Federal Government forces, which are conducting operations in the capital, are part of the on going chaos in Mogadishu.

Mr Adan said that the on-going chaos in Mogadishu is greatly affecting the lives of Mogadishu residents and forcing some of them to flee their homes. [Passage omitted].

''I can say that 90 percent of the on-going chaos in Mogadishu is being caused by the groups opposing the government while the remaining 10 percent is being caused by the Transitional Federal Government forces, which are responding to the attacks,'' said Somalia's minister of state for interior [Passage omitted].

Source: Somali Puntlandpost website in Somali 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Somalia: One killed following clash between two rival sides in south

Excerpt from report by Somali independent Radio HornAfrik on 2 October

[Presenter] One person was killed and another one has been wounded following clashes between the government police forces and armed groups in Marka town of Lower Shabeelle Region last night. Our reporter Mahmud Abdiqadar sent us this report from Marka.

[Abdiqadar] The fighting between the two sides based in Marka town the regional headquarters started at around 1:00 am local time [1300 gmt] continued for two hours. [Passage omitted]. The loses incurred by the civilians in the area where the fighting took place is not yet known. [Passage omitted].

Source: Radio HornAfrik, Mogadishu, in Somali 0500 gmt 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Somalia's Shabeelle radio back on air after 15-day ban

Excerpt from report by Somali independent Shabeelle Media Network website on 2 October

Shabeelle Media Network today returned back on air after being off air for 15 days after government troops attacked and closed the radio station.

The radio station returned on air at around 12 p.m. [local time]. It told its listeners and readers of its website that they would start receiving the usual news and programmes.

The moves comes after government forces who had cordoned off the premises of the station left the premises and the roads leading to the radio station. [Passage omitted]

The attack on Shabeelle radio station has caused a damage worth 50,000 dollars

Source: Shabeelle Media Network website, Mogadishu, in Somali 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Puntland vice-president, troops arrive in disputed region

Text of report by pro-Islamist Somali website Halgan.net on 2 October

Reports from Laas Caanood say troops led by Puntland Vice-President Hassan Dahir Mahmud Af Qura' arrived in Laas Caanood [the provincial town of Sool, the disputed region in northern Somalia] this morning.

The delegation consists of reinforcement forces and members of Puntland cabinet, including Health Minister Dhegaweyne and Deputy Finance Minister Yasin Tamad.

The vice-president met clan elders and intellectuals, including Garad Jama and Garad Suleyman in Laas Caanood. Media houses were barred from covering the meeting.

Clan elders in Sool Region are making efforts to get local militiamen loyal to Somaliland to withdraw from southern Laas Caanood.

Hasssan Dahir Mahmud has also visited yesterday's battlefields.

The situation in the town is calm, but tension remains high as the town is inundated with troops and militiamen loyal to Puntland.

Source: Halgan.net website, in Somali 2 Oct 07

 
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SOUTH AFRICA
02/10/2007 SAfrican paper commends state for taking "strong stance" on Burma crisis

Text of report by South African newspaper The Star on 2 October

[Editorial: "Time to get Tough"]

At last the SA government has taken a strong stance on the growing crisis in Myanmar. On Saturday, Deputy Foreign Minister Sue van der Merwe summoned Myanmar's ambassador to Pretoria to "condemn, in the strongest terms", the military junta's violent crackdown on peaceful protests.

This is a much better reaction than SA's weak and legaliztic response in the UN Security Council in January, when it refused to support a resolution condemning the Myanmar junta's violation of its people's human rights. SA explained then that Myanmar was not a proper subject for the UN Security Council because it posed no threat to regional or international security.

But the fact that SA last week supported a Security Council decision to dispatch special envoy Ibrahim Gambari to Myanmar was an implicit acknowledgment that the crisis is big enough to warrant the attention of the UN's highest security body.

Burmese are being killed by their government in large numbers. That's why the powerful and decisive Security Council, rather than the rather academic and cumbersome Human Rights Council, should be tackling the crisis.

We hope the crisis will persuade Pretoria to use its valuable seat on the UN Security Council more effectively next time.

Source: The Star, Johannesburg, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 South African prosecution admits police chief probed; no decision to charge

Text of report by South African news agency SAPA website

National police chief Jackie Selebi has been investigated but no decision has been made on prosecuting him, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Tuesday [ 2 October].

It said there had been "considerable confusion" about the status of a probe involving the national police commissioner.

"The NPA would like to clarify aspects relating to this issue," the authority said in a statement.

"An investigation relating to this matter has been conducted by the Directorate of Special Operations (Scorpions). In terms of the NPA Act, the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) may review a decision to prosecute or not to prosecute.

"The acting NDPP (Mokotedi Mpshe) has decided to conduct a review of this matter."

NPA spokesman Tlali Tlali declined to indicate when this review would be completed.

It was widely reported last week that NDPP Vusi Pikoli had issued a warrant of arrest for Selebi.

This was before he was suspended by President Thabo Mbeki who cited an irretrievable breakdown in the relationship between Pikoli and Justice Minister Brigitte Mabandla.

The statement said Mpshe would continue to be briefed regularly on all "significant matters" that were being investigated or prosecuted by the NPA.

Responding to media reports of other cases under review the NPA said: "In relation to other high profile matters which are the subject

of media speculation today [Tuesday], the NPA would like to state that there is no such review under way. "Decisions about prosecutions in outstanding matters will be taken in due course and in accordance with the law."

The Star newspaper reported on Tuesday that the case against ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma would be one of the "high-profile" cases to be reviewed by Mpshe.

Government Communications (GCIS) said in a statement on Tuesday it wanted to clarify a statement made by spokesman Themba Maseko at a

press conference on Monday.

On Monday Maseko said: "All cases on the table of the Acting NDPP will be subject to a review to determine whether there is sufficient evidence for them to go ahead."

The GCIS said that discussions with Maseko and Mpshe, and in light of the NPA's statement, it wished to clarify that it meant work at the NPA would continue despite Pikoli's suspension.

"... No cases would fall through the cracks as a result of the change in leadership," it said.

"It is our view that the Acting NDPP has now clarified the matter by indicating in this afternoon's statement [NPA statement on Tuesday] that not all cases will be reviewed and that decisions about prosecutions in outstanding matters would be taken in due course in accordance with the law."

Source: SAPA news agency website, Johannesburg, in English 0000 gmt 2 Oct 07

 
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TOGO
02/10/2007 Islamic Development Bank gives Togo 97m dollars for phosphate sector

Text of unattributed report entitled "BID is going to aid in revival of phosphate" published by Togolese government website on 30 September

The vice-president of the Islamic Development Bank (BID), Amadou Boubacar Cisse, was received at the presidential palace in Lome by the Togolese head of state, Faure Gnassingbe, on Friday [28 September].

Mr Cisse went to discuss the relations between his institution and Togo on namely the loan granted to the country to re-launch the largely distressed phosphate sector.

The BID granted a loan of 45bn CFA francs [about 98m dollars] to Togo to enable the New Phosphate Company of Togo (SNPT) to revive its activities. The phosphate sector, the country's first export product is today distressed, with production falling by over half in 10 years.

The funding will make it possible for namely the acquisition of machines and materials as well as the rehabilitation of the infrastructures on the extraction site and the phosphate processing plant.

The loan brings to over 99m euros (about 65bn CFA francs [141m dollars]) the value of the total subsidies the BID granted Togo since 1999, the time of becoming a member of this financial institution.

Source: republicoftogo.com website, Lome, in French 30 Sep 07

 
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UGANDA
02/10/2007 Uganda: Opposition urges postponement of Commonwealth summit over floods

Text of report by Madinah Tebajjukira entitled "Postpone summit, says FDC" published by Ugandan newspaper The New Vision website on 2 October

The opposition, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has urged the Commonwealth secretariat and the government to postpone the [Commonwealth] Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), over the bad weather in some parts of the country.

Reagan Okumu, the FDC secretary for foreign affairs, said the government should concentrate on overcoming the floods, which hit the eastern and northern regions, leaving several people killed and property destroyed.

Addressing a weekly press conference at the party headquarters in Kampala yesterday, Okumu reasoned that it would be wrong to host the summit in Kampala after a state of emergency was declared in the north and east of the country.

"It is inhuman to hold a luxury conference in the country's capital when people in other parts of the country are suffering.

"The government declared a state of emergency in the region and committed itself to raising funds to address the emergency. But how can it critically solve the problem when it's involved in other issues?"

Okumu also argued that the meteorologists had predicted a similar situation in Kampala and said the meeting should be rescheduled to avoid embarrassment before the Queen. "This will not be the first time it is postponed. It was also postponed in Australia due to the 2001 attack in America."

However, the CHOGM national taskforce spokesperson, Kagole Kivumbi, said the torrential rains were caused by climatic change and the Kampala summit would be the best forum to discuss the crisis.

"When leaders of close to two billion people come to Uganda, which is experiencing floods, an indicator of global warming, they will formulate a way forward on how to curb climatic changes."

Source: The New Vision website, Kampala, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Ugandan police get new cars ahead of Commonwealth meeting

Text of report by Jude Katende entitled "Police get CHOGM cars" published by Ugandan newspaper The New Vision website on 2 October

Specially-equipped police cars have arrived in the country ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November.

Dany John, the general manager of Kampala Motors, said the consignment was part of the 60 units that will be retained by the police force after the summit.

The 24 Subaru Legacy 2007/8 saloon vehicles arrived in Kampala on Saturday [29 September] and are parked in a Kampala car bond.

"I expect 36 units to be delivered by Wednesday or any other date before October 15. We shall hand them over to the police soon," John said.

He put the cost of the 60 cars at approximately 1.6m dollars (2.8bn shillings). On Thursday, Motorcare delivered 28 BMW cars. They are part of the 144 luxury cars to be used by CHOGM delegates.

John told the New Vision that the cars were secured through a letter of credit and that the government would pay for them later. The 2000cc cars yet to be handed over to the police, are equipped with state of the art communication gadgets, including sirens.

According to a statement from Subaru Japan, the manufacturers, the cars have, among other specifications; airbags for all seats, symmetrical all-wheel drive, automatic air-conditioning and heavy-duty shock absorbers. They are naturally aspirated and fully "tropicalized" for African conditions.

Source: The New Vision website, Kampala, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Ugandan survey says 200 fish species vanishing from Lake Victoria

Text of report by Chris Kiwawulo entitled "200 fish species in L. Victoria vanish" published by Ugandan newspaper The New Vision website on 2 October

At least 200 fish species, especially the Cichlid stock, have disappeared from Lake Victoria over the past 40 years, a survey has revealed.

The study, carried out by the National Fisheries Resources Research Institute showed that over 600 species existed in the lake in the 1960s, before the introduction of the Nile Perch.

The Nile Perch is largely responsible for the Cichlids' depletion as it feeds on most of them, revealed the institute's deputy executive director, Dr Lucas Ndawula. Cichlids span a wide range of body sizes, from species as small as 2.5 centimetres in length.

Cichlid species include Angelfish, Oscars, Aulonocara species, Firemouth Cichlid, Golden Tropheops, Bumblebees, Sarotherodons, Tilapia and haplochromines (nkejje).

Ndawula also noted that the annual fish landings, especially of Nile Perch and Tilapia had reduced forcing its price to increase.

On 22 September, The Saturday Vision reported that the price of a kilogramme of Nile Perch had increased to between 4,000-5,000 shillings from between 800-1,000 shillings about six-years-ago.

Ndawula explained that the decrease in fish landings was due to the substantial increase in the fishing pressure. "The number of fishers increased from 129,305 in the year 2000 to 196,426 in 2006, which translates into a 52 per cent increase."

Ndawula was speaking during a trade and environment dialogue focusing on the fisheries sector organized by Environmental Alert at Hotel Africana in Kampala on Friday.

Fishing crafts registered a 63 per cent increase from 42,493 to 69,160, fishing crafts with outboard engines leaped by 211 per cent from 4,108 to 12,000, total gillnets rose from 650,653 to 1.2 million (88 per cent).

Total longline hooks increased by 61 per cent from three million to nine million.

The decline, Ndawula said, had forced desperate fishermen to catch immature fish.

He added that 23 per cent of fish processed in local industries were immature. Uganda has over 20 fish factories exporting over 30,000 tonnes of fish worth 150m dollars annually.

Source: The New Vision website, Kampala, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Ugandan president calls for formation of anti-terrorism police unit

Text of report by Emmanuel Gyezaho and Yasiin Mugerwa entitled "Police to get new special anti-terrorism unit" published by Ugandan newspaper Daily Monitor website on 2 October

President Yoweri Museveni has instructed the Inspector General of Police to set up a special police counter-terrorism unit and disband the historical Special Branch. Daily Monitor has reliably learnt that the new unit will be named the Police Counter-Terrorism Agency (PCTA).

In executing the directive, Maj-Gen Kale Kayihura, the police chief, wrote to the acting director Counter Terrorism Agency, Mr Fred Kiyaga, on 4 September, directing him "to immediately implement" Mr Museveni's decision to transform the current Special Branch into the PCTA.

"Exercising the powers conferred under Article 99 of the constitution of Uganda, H. E the President directed that Special Branch ceases to exist," wrote Gen Kayihura. Daily Monitor has seen a copy of his letter.

Details of the directive are also contained in a statement to parliament from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Although the statement is yet to be tabled in parliament, Daily Monitor has seen a copy.

According to the statement by State Minister for Internal Affairs Matia Kasaija, the PCTA will be "a specialist body" under the direct command of Maj-Gen Kayihura. Gen Kayihura yesterday said the move is meant to "rationalize the national intelligence services, by removing the duplicity of Special Branch carrying out the same work as Internal Security Organization and External Security Organization ."

Although it is still not clear how big the force will be, a source at the Ministry of Internal Affairs said a new structure, to be approved by the Ministry of Public Service, will soon be constituted from within the police force and other additional manpower will be sourced from "other security agencies in the country".

Mr Museveni's directive to form an anti-terror police unit comes at a time when terror threats posed by international syndicates, has brought about an enhancement of police pro-active efforts elsewhere.

"Terrorism is now a major threat. You cannot treat it like ordinary crime and that is why we must concentrate on it as a special crime with this expanded unit," said Gen Kayihura. "The police world over is now involved in counter terrorism and you just cannot have crime intelligence in the Special Branch and the CID (Criminal Investigations Department) at the same time," he added, in defence of the new move.

The Special Branch was created by the colonial government as its national intelligence service. Ensuing regimes retained the agency to its present day status but created various parallel agencies, many of which are now defunct.

The PCTA will be made of two arms, a police source said; one for information collection and analysis while the latter will be responsible for developing and co-ordinating investigations aimed at preventing and fighting terrorism. But the move has been received with mixed reaction by a cross-section of MPs whom Daily Monitor talked to.

"We are not against the formation of this force, but it should strictly be limited to police and not other security agencies. It seems the president is obsessed with a militarized police and this is unfortunate," said Mawokota South MP Issa Kikungwe.

Gaudiosa Tindamanyire (Bunyaruguru) said the police unit represents an effective tool to counter every "menace which terrorism and subversion could pose to the democratic Institutions."

Source: Daily Monitor website, Kampala, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Uganda: Six camps created for flood victims in northern district

Text of report entitled "Six camps created for Lira flood victims" published by Ugandan newspaper The New Vision website on 2 October

Six new camps, to host about 50,000 people displaced by the floods, have been created in Moroto county, Lira district [northern Uganda], reports Patrick Okino.

Assessing the effect of the floods at Aloi subcounty on Sunday [30 September], Benson Obua Ogwal, the area MP, said the camps include Anara, Okut, Tyengar, Ajobi, Adwir and Awiny.

Abako, Omoro, Amugo and Aloi subcounties were the hardest hit, he said.

Ogwal noted that Anara camp had a population of 830 households, Awiny 1,140, Tyengar, 300, while Omoro subcounty had 10,000. "People have erected temporarily structures but there is no tarpaulin to enable them cover the roof," he said.

Obua called upon humanitarian agencies to supply food, shelter, household utensils, drugs and blankets to the affected people. He warned that water borne diseases like malaria and diarrhoea were likely to break out in the camps.

The Omoro LC5 [Local Council five] chairperson, David Kennedy Odongo, said about 12 schools had been closed due to flooded compounds, sunken latrines and cracks in the classrooms.

They are Adwir, Angem, Ajobi, Alebelebe, Okokolako, Baropiro, Angopet, Awelo Adr, Obuo, Obile, Akwanilum and Okurango primary schools.

Source: The New Vision website, Kampala, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Uganda: Police interrogate three journalists over "seditious" report

Text of report by Al-Mahdi Ssenkabirwa and Zurah Nakabugo entitled "Police grill three Monitor editors" published by Ugandan newspaper Daily Monitor website on 2 October

Police yesterday interrogated three Monitor journalists over an alleged seditious story published in the paper last Sunday [30 September].

Managing Editor (Weekend Editions) Bernard Tabaire, Sunday Editor Henry Ochieng and senior political writer Chris Obore were released on police bond after the charge of sedition was preferred against them.

Accompanied by Monitor's lawyer James Nangwala and Company Secretary Anne Abeja-Muhwezi, the journalists spent about five hours at the CID [Criminal Investigation Department] headquarters in Kibuli. They were received by Mr Elly Womanya, the commissioner in charge of crime, who handed them over to his deputy, Mr Norbert Opio. He was joined by two other detectives - Florence Okot and one Musede - to quiz the journalists.

Police allege that Mr Obore's story in the Sunday Monitor titled "Soldiers 'training to take police jobs'" was written without "contacting some big people". They questioned his motive.

Mr Obore told Mr Opio that he had gathered adequate information to merit the publication of the story. He declined to name his sources.

In the story published last Sunday, it was reported that some 40 serving UPDF [Uganda People's Defence Forces] soldiers, secretly training as policemen in the ongoing cadet course at Masindi Police Training School, are to be deployed later as district police commanders. "The facts I gathered were enough to have the story run and I am certain I was fair because I talked to all concerned officials," Mr Obore said. Mr Tabaire and Mr Ochieng were questioned over whether they were satisfied with the story's veracity.

The editors said the story met all journalism tenets. Mr Nangwala said the quizzing of the journalists was only because police feared the story was likely to create a collision between the police and the army. "They have described the story as erroneous," the lawyer said. "But that is untrue. I have read it and in my opinion it is a good story."

Added Mr Nangwala, "The law on sedition is obsolete and is a subject of a constitutional petition which challenges its constitutionality. We pray that it is declared null and void because it is draconian in nature."

Sedition may mean writing or publishing an article capable of inciting the public against the government. It may also mean publishing material that may bring hatred or contempt or excite disaffection against the person of the president, and the government as by law established. Sedition attracts a prison sentence of up to five years or a fine not exceeding 50,000 shillings or both.

The journalists will report back to CID [Criminal Investigations Department] headquarters today as part of the bond terms.

Source: Daily Monitor website, Kampala, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Uganda: Ban on use of polythene bags becomes effective

Text of report by Gerald Tenywa and Yasin Kintu entitled "Buveera ban takes effect" published by Ugandan newspaper The New Vision website on 2 October

A ban on polythene bags, commonly called buveera, took effect yesterday.

"Anybody found producing, importing, selling or using the banned type of carrier bags and materials shall be violating the ban and will be arrested and charged,'' said Dr Aryamanya Mugisha, the executive director of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).

"As of today 1 October 2007, the importation, production and use of polythene bags and materials of 30 microns (120 gauge) or less is illegal,'' said Mugisha. "This gauge is irrespective of the colours and size ranges used to produce the bags and materials.''

He warned that importing or using polythene bags violates the national environment Act and waste management regulations.

In the national budget speech read on 14 June, the finance minister, Ezra Suruma, announced a ban on the importation, production and use of polythene bags and materials of less than 30 microns. Mugisha cited the bags commonly used for packing commodities such as sugar, salt, water, passion juice among the illegal ones.

Mugisha's statement said an excise duty of 120 per cent was imposed on polythene bags and materials of more than 30 microns.

"Whoever is still having the above-mentioned materials and polythene bags of 30 microns or less in stock is reminded as stated above and asked to dispose of them in an environmentally friendly manner with guidance and supervision from NEMA.''

A survey conducted yesterday by the New Vision in the markets of Nakasero, St Balikuddembe and Kikuubo, showed that traders were still packing items in the illegal polythene bags.

"We are aware that plastic bags pose environmental hazards, but we ask the government to extend the ban because we still have the old stock of buveera,'' Fred Ndiwalana, a trader in Nakasero, said.

Aisha Nambooze, a trader in Kikuubo, said part of their capital was locked up in the buveera stock, so effecting the ban would affect their businesses.

"We need alternatives in form of paper bags that we can use to pack some of these commodities,'' said Thomas Mwanje of St. Balikuddembe (Owino) Linda Biribonwa, a senior environmental inspector at NEMA, said at least two local factories were still manufacturing the prohibited polythene bags.

"While some companies like BMK have become compliant, others are simply buying time,'' she said. "We shall soon crack down on such industries because we know them.''

She cited one factory in Luzira and another one in Kampala Industrial Area.

Kizito Mugambwa, NEMA's officer in charge of environmental education and communication, said a plan to enforce the ban has been put in place.

He said it would involve the Uganda Revenue Authority, Uganda National Bureau of Standards, Ministry of Health, the Agriculture Ministry, civil society organizations and NEMA.

Mugambwa said the public would be continuously sensitised on how to dispose of the polythene bags in an environmentally friendly manner. "NEMA intends to stretch the ban of plastic bags from 30 microns to 100 microns,'' he said.

Naome Karekaho, the NEMA publicist said supermarkets such as Uchumi use cloth bags for shoppers.

Source: The New Vision website, Kampala, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Uganda: Floods spread to central region

Text of report by Fred Muzaale, David Mafabi, Andrew Bagala and Tabu Butagira entitled "Floods spread to Kiboga" published by Ugandan newspaper Daily Monitor website on 2 October

The floods, which have ravaged the northeastern parts of the country since April this year, are beginning to sweep through other districts, with the central region taking the latest battering.

Three sub-counties in Kiboga District [central Uganda] have now been cut off following heavy flooding over the weekend, which resulted into the submerging of several roads and a bridge at Kayindiyindi on the Kiboga-Mubende Road.

Kiboga LC5 [Local Council Five] Chairperson Siraje Kizito Nkugwa said the affected subcounties of Gayaza, Ntwetwe and Nkooko, which are found in the west of the district are the main agricultural heartland of the district. Several farmlands, he added, have been destroyed and the district is also planning to close seven schools in the affected areas.

"We are seriously considering closing the seven schools in those subcounties because even though they are open, many pupils and teachers have failed to access them. It is also a risk if we force pupils to walk in flooded roads to school," Mr Nkugwa said adding that about 3,000 pupils would be affected when the schools are closed.

He asked the government to consider Kiboga among the disaster areas like Teso. "The situation here is equally bad," he said. Kayunga and Mukono are the other districts in the central region that were recently affected leaving over 60 homes built close to the banks of River Sezibwa submerged when it burst its banks.

Experts from the Department of Meteorology said last month that the heavy rainfall would not only get worse but also spread to all parts of the country. According to the seasonal rainfall forecast for September - December, released by the department last month, there is "an increased likelihood" of above normal rainfall across the country.

The forecast indicated that what everyone regards as the heaviest rainfall to date, has indeed just started and its full intensity would be felt by mid-November in most regions. The western region, which has until now remained largely unaffected will get their share of the open heavens in October and November, The experts warned.

The forecast should cause even more concern about a washed out Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) due in November, because according to the forecast, the rains are expected to peak in mid-November in Kampala and the central region in general. But now with all relief efforts directed to the northeast, which has been declared a disaster zone, it is not clear what plans the government has for the places where the floods are spreading.

The chairperson of the parliamentary committee on presidential affairs, Ms Mary Karooro Okurut, said they are aware that the floods are expected to sweep many parts of the country in the coming weeks.

"We have summoned the minister for disaster preparedness again to appear before the committee to explain how they are preparing for the problems to come," Ms Okurut said by telephone yesterday.

She said they had earlier summoned the minister, Prof Tarsis Kabwegyere, last Thursday but he didn't appear because he was touring the flood-hit parts of the north. Several attempts to get comments from the prime minister, Prof Apollo Nsibambi, last evening were futile. However, the third deputy prime minister and national guidance minister, Al-Hajj Kirunda Kivejinja, said the floods were a natural calamity that the government cannot plan for.

"We know that they are to spread in the country. But floods are like guests, you cannot prepare for them. We shall deal with them as they come," Hajj Kivejinja said by telephone. Meantime the effects of the floods continue to be felt in the northeast with reports from Karamoja indicating an acute food shortage.

"We are in a real food crisis, everything is scarce and what is available is too expensive for people to afford. There are no new supplies. This prompts traders to hoard food stuffs and later sell them expensively," said Mr Michael Kuskus, the manager of the Karamoja Agro-Pastoral Development Programme.

However, the Danish government has announced a 1.35m euros (3.3bn shillings) grant to buy food for people in eastern and northern Uganda. Ms Ulla Tornaes, the Danish minister for development cooperation said on Friday that the 10m Danish kroner (DKK) financial aid would be channelled through the UN food agency, the World Food Programme. "I have decided to grant 10m Danish kroner (or 3.3bn shillings) to assist securing adequate food supplies in Uganda," Ms Tornaes said.

The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Copenhagen said in a statement that the massive floods - that killed at least 25 people, drowned livestock and triggered the collapse of hundreds of mud/wattle huts in the process displacing thousands of people - had "hit Uganda hard." Overall the government has set aside 20bn shillings to manage the crisis.

Source: Daily Monitor website, Kampala, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Uganda: Government creates new lower courts

Text of report by Tabu F. Butagira entitled "30 new grade I courts created" published by Ugandan newspaper Daily Monitor website on 2 October

The government has established 12 new magisterial areas and elevated 30 Grade II courts across the country to full Grade I courts.

Mr Erias Kisawuzi, the spokesman for the judiciary said, yesterday, the changes announced on 17 September were in response to the public outcry about delayed justice as a result of limited and distant higher courts.

"This goes towards professionalising the bench and ensuring better judicial services by the professional lawyers who will serve as Grade I magistrates," he said.

Lower cadre judicial officers, especially Grade II magistrates have been in the news for extorting money from complainants and accused persons to subvert justice by delivering favourable verdicts.

Following the new developments, Makindye, Nabweru, Kitgum, Kapchorwa, Ibanda, Kotido, Hoima, Pallisa, Busia, Mityana, Kiboga and Nakasongola have now been upgraded to magisterial areas with a Resident Chief and Grade I Magistrate.

The changes that justice and constitutional affairs minister, Khiddu Makubuya, made under the Magistrates Courts Act (Magisterial Areas) through Instrument S.I.145 of 2007 have increased the number of magisterial areas and chief magistrate's courts from 26 to 38.

"We need 40 new chief magistrates but we only have 27. The changes mean we require additional judicial staff but I do not know if the Ministry of Finance has provided the funds," Mr Kisawuzi said.

He said the former Grade II magistrates courts in Kasangati, Buwama, Bulisa, Kigumba, Kagadi, Lyantonde, Anyeke, Amolatar, Dokolo, Isingiro, Abim had been elevated to Grade I status.

Other former Grade II courts converted to Grade I include; Kaabong, Kiruhura, Nakapiripirit, Kaliro, Busembatia, Bududa, Malaba, Dokolo, Paidha, Amuru, Nakaseke, Wobulenzi, Nakifuma, Bwera, Buikwe, Bukedea, Budaka and Butaleja. New Grade I and Grade II courts have also been created at the Law Development Centre in Kampala.

The judiciary, according to Mr Kisawuzi, has welcomed the development seen to ease justice administration by decentralizing the courts to rural litigants.

Source: Daily Monitor website, Kampala, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Ugandan paper calls on state to militarize police force

Text of editorial entitled "Military skills vital for today's police work" published by Ugandan newspaper Daily Monitor website on 2 October

The Uganda police has denied recruiting people with a military background to beef up its capabilities. If they have no plans to infuse military skills into the force, then it is a great pity and the policy needs to be urgently overhauled to take into account today's crime landscape.

The armed criminals in Uganda today have superior knowledge of modern weaponry and combat tactics than the police personnel. Our average policeman does not get to discharge even a hundred rounds of ammunition throughout his training and career.

Yet he is expected to face and subdue army veterans, ex-rebels and hard-core criminals from neighbouring countries where supplies of sophisticated firearms are abundant. Evidence is available in Kampala's recent history that the slight infusion of military skills has had a tremendous positive impact on the city's security. The two military generals who have recently served as inspector generals of police have rendered a proper account of themselves.

But one army general heading boy scouts is not enough to sort out hardened criminals. Nor can we rely on putting soldiers who lack civil policing skills in police uniform - recall the Black Mamba saga - as they will be smoked out and apologists for crime will make loud protests.

There are two types of criminals: The opportunistic ones who are driven by economic reasons to steal and can be rehabilitated by social programmes; and the hard-core types who will not hesitate to kill you if you stand between them and your money. These must be met on their terms. New York Police did it. So did Nairobi police, which has reclaimed the city from the robbers who were turning it into a continental nightmare.

We could borrow a leaf from countries that take security of person seriously like Tanzania and Israel. These train soldiers and police together and specialization only comes later after the military training has been achieved by all. In such countries, the issue of police being inferior to the army does not arise. Just see how the Tanzanian police recently made short work of a heavily armed platoon of robbers, some of them with bullet-proof vests, in Arusha [northeastern Tanzania].

If we continue to under-train and under-equip the police force, we should think in terms of the victims, many of whom are no longer with us. They pay their taxes and expect proper protection.

Not from under-trained cops whose knees shake at the sound of a gunshot.

Source: Daily Monitor website, Kampala, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Ugandan paper urges state to review death penalty

Text of editorial entitled "Uganda should review death penalty" published by Ugandan newspaper The New Vision website on 2 October

Internal Affairs Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has ruled out the death penalty for Lord's Resistance Army [LRA] leaders when they face trial for crimes committed during the two decades of rebellion in the north. The government is right to support some form of punishment for [LRA leader] Joseph Kony and his top commanders without undermining the opportunity for reconciliation.

This announcement provides another chance for Ugandans to reflect, once again, on whether or not the death penalty should remain in our law books.

Opponents of capital punishment argue that it does not deter criminals more than life imprisonment, violates the basic human right (the right to life), leads to executions of some who are wrongfully convicted, and it has a negative effect on society because capital punishment is itself a premeditated murder, and it discriminates against minorities and the poor.

Proponents argue that it deters crime, prevents recidivism, and is an appropriate form of punishment for the crime of murder. However, there is no evidence that crime rates increase when capital punishment is abolished. For example, the last 20 years witnessed 48 per cent homicide rate in American states with capital punishment, compared to 23 per cent in the states without capital punishment.

Capital punishment is steadily getting out of fashion. Almost all European countries, Canada, many Pacific Area and Latin American states have completely abolished it. The US Guatemala, most of the Caribbean and most democracies in Asia (e.g. Japan and India) and Africa (e.g. Botswana, Zambia and Uganda) retain it. From the human rights angle, the former group can proudly describe themselves as the most civilized nations - which Rwanda and Gabon joined this year. A total of 64 countries retain capital punishment. Should Uganda remain among the minority?

The UN has hitherto had no position on the death penalty, but during the General Assembly' 62nd session, a resolution will be proposed calling for a universal ban. After that, all states desirous to retain respect should move fast to comply.

Source: The New Vision website, Kampala, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Uganda: Foreign minister rules out postponement of Commonwealth summit

Text of report by Radio Uganda on 2 October

Government has insisted that the floods currently devastating parts of the country cannot disrupt the forthcoming CHOGM [Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting] summit in Kampala.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sam Kutesa currently in the US was reacting to calls by the opposition that CHOGM should be postponed because of the floods in the country.

Sam Kutesa acknowledged the concerns of the opposition but added that the Kampala meeting will not be affected by the floods. He, however, added that floods and related disasters are global phenomena that require an international approach. He revealed that the Commonwealth heads of state meeting will have a session on climate change and its causes. Kutesa said Commonwealth member countries that have previously discussed issues related to weather change will design strategies on how to handle weather changes from a global point of view.

Similarly, Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa is in the USA where he has briefed foreign ministers on Uganda's preparedness for CHOGM.

Speaking to UBC [Uganda Broadcasting Corporation] news online from USA, Kutesa said Uganda is 90 per cent ready for CHOGM and nothing will reverse the meeting.

Kutesa told his counterparts that Ugandans have embraced the meeting that will attract 52 heads of state and government.

Source: UBC Radio, Kampala, in English 0400 gmt 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Marburg virus disease confirmed in western Uganda

Text of report by Radio Uganda on 2 October

The Ministry of Health has issued a statement informing the general public that another case of Marburg virus disease, similar to the deadly Ebola, has been confirmed in Kitaka Mines in Kamwenge District [western Uganda].

The director-general of health services, Dr Sam Zaramba, says preliminary investigations suggest that the miners re-entered the mine that had earlier been closed due to earlier outbreak of the disease in the mine.

The case has been isolated and confined in one of the isolation facilities.

Dr Zaramba added that the Ministry of Health is following up close contacts of the case and source of the disease.

The general public is therefore informed to avoid re-entering the mine until all investigations have been completed.

The ministry has therefore directed Kamwenge District health officers to work with the relevant district authorities especially security personnel to ensure that nobody re-enters the mine.

Source: UBC Radio, Kampala, in English 1000 gmt 2 Oct 07

 
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ZIMBABWE
02/10/2007 Zimbabwe: Watchdog condemns arrest of journalist, actors over satire

Text of press release by Paris-based organization Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) on 2 October

Reporters Without Borders today accused the Zimbabwean authorities of escalating repression after they arrested two actors and a journalist on the evening of 28 September during the performance of a satirical play about the country's political situation.

"With the privately-owned press already under permanent threat, the police are now targeting the theatre," the press freedom organization said. "This case is a spectacular illustration of the government's despotic behaviour. Rather than sending police officers to arrests journalists and actors, President Robert Mugabe would do better to listen to what they have to say and take account of their demands."

Plain-clothes police stormed the wings of the Theatre in the Park during an intermission in a performance of The Final Push by playwright Daniel Maphosa, and led actors Sylvanos Mudzvova and Anthony Tongani away to a truck. James Jemwa, an independent journalist who was filming the performance, was also arrested when he asked the police to explain why the actors were being detained.

The Final Push makes fun of Zimbabwe's eight-year-old political crisis. Its title refers to protest marches organized by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in 2003, which were violently dispersed by the police.

Jemwa and the two actors are being held at Harare police headquarters. They have not been charged and they have not been allowed to contact a lawyer.

Source: Reporters Sans Frontieres press release, Paris, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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02/10/2007 Zimbabwean public school teachers said on wage strike

Text of report by South Africa-based Zim Online website on 2 October

[Report by Patricia Mpofu: "Schools Grind to a Halt as Teachers Heed Strike Call"]

HARARE - Zimbabwe public schools ground to a halt on Monday after the majority of teachers heeded calls by teachers' unions not to report for duty until their demands for better pay and working conditions were addressed.

The country's largest teachers' union, the Zimbabwe Teachers Union (ZIMTA) last week called on teachers to down tools, saying the government had failed to respond to their demands for improved salaries.

The strike by ZIMTA, which is pro-government, comes hardly a week after the militant Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) urged its members to embark on an industrial action in protest over their poor salaries and working conditions.

The teachers' strike comes as it emerged yesterday that the bulk of the civil servants, who are among the least paid workers in Zimbabwe, were also contemplating joining the teachers' strike demanding better pay.

The lowest paid government workers earns Z$500,000 a month, enough to buy just about two loaves of bread.

A survey by ZimOnline yesterday showed that there was no learning taking place at most schools in Harare with some pupils spending the better part of the morning loitering in school grounds.

Similar reports were also recorded in the major cities and towns such as Masvingo, Bulawayo, Gweru and Mutare.

ZIMTA president Tendai Chikowore refused to comment on the strike amid reports that the teachers' union was under pressure from suspected state security agents to call off the industrial action.

Sources within the ZIMTA and the PTUZ said they had received several calls from suspected state agents urging them to halt the job action with several teachers saying state agents had visited schools in Harare to check on teachers' attendances.

Raymond Majongwe, the secretary general of the PTUZ, said he had received a death threat on his mobile phone warning him to call off the country-wide strike that has paralysed operations at most schools.

"I received a death threat on my phone yesterday (Sunday) from unidentified people who said I must call off the strike," said Majongwe.

There were also several reports of harassment of teachers in Mhondoro, Ngezi, Zaka and Chinhoyi.

The teachers want the government to increase salaries from the current Z$2.9 million to Z$32 million a month, revised upwards from the initial demand of Z$15 million a month.

Lecturers and non-academic staff at state-run universities are also said to be mulling industrial action this week to press President Robert Mugabe's government to hike salaries by between 300 and 1,000 per cent.

Junior doctors have also issued threats to embark on industrial action. The junior doctors, want their salaries hiked to Z$120 million a month, up from the Z$6 million they are currently earning.

The new salary demands were tabled at a meeting held by the doctors and the Health Services Board last week.

In a statement released yesterday, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition urged the government to quickly resolve the strike by teachers and doctors.

"The Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe calls upon the government of Zimbabwe to address the demands by the teachers and doctors in order to stabilise the education and health system in the country," read the statement.

Source: Zim Online, Johannesburg, in English 2 Oct 07

 
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