Monthly Archives: June 2013

Somalia may accept former islamist warlord in port city

Somalia’s government is expected to recognise a former Islamist warlord it had opposed as interim leader of a strategic port city, diplomats said, defusing a crisis over rival claims to the post that had raised fears of a return to clan warfare. The threat of the kind of clan fighting that over two decades tore Somalia apart has hung over Kismayu since Ahmed Madobe, leader of the Ras Kamboni militia, was chosen by a regional assembly to lead Jubaland and its port in May. The fate of Kismayu and the surrounding region in southern Somalia has been seen as a litmus test of whether the government can manage a federal … Continue reading

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Obama arrives in South Africa but rules out Mandela ‘photo op’

US President Barack Obama has played down expectations he will meet former President Nelson Mandela in hospital, . He told reporters on board Air Force One just before he landed in South Africa. “I don’t need a photo op.” Mr Obama arrived in Johannesburg from Senegal, which was the first stop in his three-country tour of Africa. Meanwhile, Mr Mandela’s ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said the former leader had made “a great improvement” in recent days. “I’m not a doctor but I can say that from what he was a few days ago there is great improvement,” she told reporters outside Mr Mandela’s former home in Soweto. She also thanked domestic … Continue reading

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Rwandan army officers allegedly aiding M23 rebels in Congo

Military officers from Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo are fuelling violence in eastern Congo despite pledges by the countries to foster peace, according to a confidential U.N. experts’ report seen by Reuters on Friday. The UN Group of experts told the UN Security Council Congo sanctions committee that a rebel group in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo continues to recruit fighters in neighbouring Rwanda with the aid of sympathetic Rwandan military officers. The  Group of Experts also said elements of the Congolese military have cooperated with a Rwandan Hutu rebel group against the Congolese M23 rebel group. The allegations are likely to displease Kigali and Kinshasa, which have signed a U.N.-backed … Continue reading

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Smiles as WFP delivers food aid to the hungry in Karamoja

By Steven Ariong in Kaabong District – Karamoja Families affected by severe hunger in Kaabong District in Karamoja sub-region in the north eastern Uganda have now a reason to smile after the government and the World Food Programme (WFP) supplied them with relief food. Over 1500 families from six  sub counties of Kawanakol, Kathele, Kalapata, Sidok, Kamion and Kaabong west  that were most affected by hunger benefited  from the aid that was flanked by the head of the political leaders (LCV ) of Kaabong  District Mr Joseph Komol Midi and the district technical team  last Tuesday. The 300 bags of maize flour, 100 bags of beans and food for the malnourished … Continue reading

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Traders dispute in the Ugandan capital Kampala enters third day

By Nkonge I Kaggwa in Kampala – Uganda For the second day in succession, the Ugandan capital Kampala remained a ghost city as business continued to be at a standstill following the traders strike that started Tuesday in which traders plying their business in the country capital, was the government to postpone a proposed pre-inspection and verification fee which is being introduced to counter substandard and counterfeit products which are in big numbers on the streets of Kampala in particular and Uganda in general. Over 400 traders convened a meeting at the Diamond Hotel in Downtown Kampala to forge a way forward on the strike, resolving to continue with their … Continue reading

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Kenyatta gets second snub within a year as Obama visits TZ

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is being snubbed for the second time this year when US President Barack Obama visits neighbouring Tanzania and fails to cross over the border top greet his ancestors, including his grandmother in Kisumu. Kenyatta who is due to stand trial at The Hague accused of crimes against humanity was first snubbed early this year when British Prime Minister David Cameron refused to have his photograph taken with him at the steps of Number 10, Downing Street, an accolade often given to visiting heads of state. This was during the international conference on Somalia when the British Prime Minister diplomatically avoided throughout the conference, having his photograph … Continue reading

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South Sudan’s army detaining and beating up civilians

South Sudan’s army has detained some 130 civilians without charges in a central state since February, beating some of them severely, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Monday. Rights groups accuse South Sudan’s army and security forces, a loose umbrella of former guerrillas from decades of civil war with Khartoum, of committing abuses. HRW said the governor of Lakes State had ordered the army in February to detain 50 people each from two villages which had been locked in tribal fighting. “Soldiers rounded up dozens of young men, often detaining others if they couldn’t find the suspects they were seeking, and held them in harsh conditions for weeks or months,” … Continue reading

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At least 15 killed in grenade attack in northern Kenya

At least 15 people were killed in a grenade attack on Sunday in a remote village in northern Kenya where low-key clan clashes have displaced hundreds of people in the past week, the Kenya Red Cross and local officials said. Pastoralist communities in northern Kenya have long wrangled over the control of highly valuable grazing land. But the fighting, in which more than 20 villagers have been killed in the past two days in Mandera County, near the east African nation’s frontier with Ethiopia and Somalia, has marked an escalation in tension. Residents say the political class in the area are using clan militia to jostle for top positions in … Continue reading

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Two dead as Egyptians clash ahead of rallies

A man was shot dead in overnight clashes north of Cairo between supporters and opponents of Egypt’s Islamist government, security sources said, raising tensions ahead of big opposition rallies planned next Sunday. A second man, also an Islamist supporter, died of gunshot wounds sustained in clashes south of the capital some days before and rival parties traded blame for the violence. The ruling Muslim Brotherhood described both dead men as “martyrs”. Highlighting mutual mistrust as Egypt struggles to establish democratic institutions after its 2011 revolution, the Brotherhood also denounced as a “political trial” a court judgment on Sunday that called for an investigation of its role in a mass jail-break … Continue reading

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Sweden jails Stanislas Mbanenande to life for 1994 genocide

A Swedish court has sentenced a man of Rwandan origin to life in jail for his part in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda in which some 800,000 people were killed. Stanislas Mbanenande, now a Swedish citizen, was found guilty of taking part in several massacres of mainly ethnic Tutsis in the 100-day genocide. The court in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, agreed he had played a leading role among Hutu extremists. He is the first person in Sweden to be found guilty of genocide. Mbanenande, who was a civil engineer and lecturer in Rwanda and was granted Swedish citizenship in 2008, had denied the charges. During his trial, Swedish judges flew … Continue reading

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