Monthly Archives: September 2011

French court rejects bid to extradite Habyarimana’s widow

A French court has rejected a Rwandan bid to extradite the widow of ex-President Juvenal Habyarimana, whose killing sparked the 1994 genocide. Rwanda accuses Agathe Habyarimana, 69, of helping to plan the genocide. She denies the accusations. Rwandan Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama told the BBC that he respected the ruling, but said she should now face trial in France. More than 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus died in the massacres. Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, was killed when his plane was shot down above Kigali airport on April 6 1994. Within hours a campaign of violence, carried out mostly by Hutus against Tutsis, spread from the capital throughout the country. The … Continue reading

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UN to scrutinize Ugandan and TZ human rights records

By Staff Writer Two East African countries of Uganda and Tanzania will be among seventeen countries worldwide whose human rights record will come up for scrutiny next week at the headquarters of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland. The seventeen states will have their human rights records examined during the twelfth session of the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review Working Group to be held in Geneva from 3 to 14 October at the Palais des Nations. Other countries whose review comes up next week are Tajikistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Swaziland, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, Ireland, Togo, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, … Continue reading

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President Obama promises to help people of South Sudan

U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged to remain committed to helping the people of South Sudan, but called on President Salva Kiir Mayardit to work on resolving issues remaining with neighbouring Sudan. Obama met with the leader of the newly-independent South Sudan Wednesday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session. The two leaders posed for photographs but did not address the public during their meeting in New York. However, U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said President Obama called on President Kiir to work towards completing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, including questions regarding the region’s oil wealth. Mr Rhodes said President Obama had stressed to his … Continue reading

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Liberian govt and business officials in oil contracts bribery

The international watchdog group ‘Global Witness’ says corruption is rampant in Liberia’s oil sector, even before any oil has been discovered. In a report Monday, the group said government and business officials have been involved in bribery to get contracts approved. Global Witness campaigner Natalie Ashworth said some government officials choose to “break their own laws. There were three findings which highlight the problems. First, we discussed evidence of the payment of lobbying fees. NOCAL, which is the National Oil Company, paid lobbying fees to the legislators to get oil contracts passed. The second is an inadequate legislative framework to protect communities and the environment and, thirdly, there is a … Continue reading

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Kenya urged to address challenges facing IDPs

Kenya has been urged to adopt a comprehensive four-pronged strategy in order to address key challenges still faced by the problem of internally-displaced persons (IDPs) provoked by violence and other causes. This was said by Prof Chaloka Beyani, the UN Special Rapporteur designated by the United Nations Human Rights Council to report on the human rights situation of IDPs. Commending the commitment and important steps taken to date by the Kenyan government in addressing the issue of IDPs, including the development of a draft IDP policy, and the return and resettlement of some IDPs affected by the post-election violence, which resulted in the displacement of an estimated 600,000 persons, Prof … Continue reading

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Commonwealth urged to examine repressive media laws in the Gambia

By Trevor Grundy GambiaThe editor of “The Voice” newspaper, Musa Sheriff, has called on the Commonwealth to send a team of investigators to Gambia to examine what he says are “repressive laws” that curtail the freedom of the media. “It is very difficult to operate a newspaper in this country,” he told me in an on-the-record interview. Radio stations are not broadcasting news. They’re only doing advertisements. The only news they broadcast is sport but they are not doing any political broadcasting because of the challenges they face from the (Jammeh) government.” Speaking only weeks before Gambia’s next General Election which most observers believe President Jammeh (photo)  is certain to … Continue reading

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South Sudan seeks Nile Basin Initiative membership

The newly independent Republic of South Sudan has sought full membership of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) two months after it became independent on 9 July. The decision was made on Friday per presentation by the minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Paul Mayom Akech, in the Council of Ministers meeting chaired by the Vice President, Riek Machar. According to the acting minister of Information, Gen Madut Biar Yel who is also Minister for Telecommunications and Postal Services, South Sudan has already been enjoying an observer status in the organisation as a semi-autonomous region before independence, under the umbrella of the then national government in Khartoum. NBI is an inter-governmental organisation dedicated … Continue reading

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Libya: Propaganda war over use of foreign fighters on both sides

By Bill Weinberg Partisans of either side in the Libyan conflict are touting various claims that foreign fighters were on the other side. The pretty clear political agenda behind these claims makes it difficult to arrive at an objective reading of the situation. A sensationalist but rather confused Sept. 7 account in the DC-area Afro features quotes from former congressman Walter Fauntroy recently returned from a “self-sanctioned peace mission” to Libya, during which his month-long disappearance sparked rumours of his death. Fauntroy claims much of the fighting attributed to the rebels was actually carried out by NATO Special Forces troops—who also brutalized the populace: In an interview inside his Northwest … Continue reading

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Now that NATO has overthrown Qadhafi, the West can exult

As thousands of NATO bombs and a NATO-aided ‘rebel’ insurgency have got the better of Muammar al-Qaddafi’s regime, French and US presidents Nicholas Sarkozy and Barack Obama respectively, as well as British Prime Minister David Cameron can exult. Sarkozy can thrust out his chest, as the prophet who momentarily extolled and extended the virtues of fraternal embrace and humanitarian solidarity, in an opportunistic manoeuvre towards a law-oriented concern for democracy and freedom as the philosophical foundation of French Enlightenment. In a way, right-wing politics within France has had a huge spill over effect and extended into an imperialist campaign. A few months ago an unpopular, domestically battered president facing public … Continue reading

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African Union behaving like ‘a headless chicken’ over Libya

The African Union has been behaving like a headless chicken as the 42-year old regime of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi falls. In the past week or so the 53-nation bloc was aTowerofBabelas members squabbled over adopting a common position onLibya, which under Gaddafi had towered over the organisation in a manner unlikely to be replicated by any other country. Ahead of the August 26 mini-summit of the 15 heads of state who sit on the Peace and Security Council which is charged with enforcing bloc decisions, it seemed that the key decision would be how to recognise the rebels “fashionably” while saving face after being relegated to the sidelines by … Continue reading

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