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Found 48 results

  1. www.cbc.ca Canadian Broadcasting Corporation September 4th, 2014 The spread of the Ebola virus has devastated regions of West Africa, killing more than 3,000 people. The outbreak began in southeastern Guinea in March and has since spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. The UN has deemed the outbreak international public health emergency, warning that containment of the deadly virus is crucial to our "collective health security". There is no known cure for the virus. The map and charts below show how the outbreak has unfolded across West Africa since March 2014. http://www.cbc.ca/news/multimedia/tracking-the-deadly-ebola-outbreak-1.2755495
  2. At a ceremony in Addis Ababa, leaders from around the world gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the African Union's existence. The ceremony highlights five decades of progress on the continent. Ethiopia's city played host to scores of African and foreign dignitaries on Saturday, as the continent marked 50 years since the creation of the Organization of African Unity, which eventually became the African Union (AU.) AU Chairman and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn opened the ceremony with a speech, saying the event marked the bloc's commitment to creating "a continent free from poverty and conflict and an Africa whose citizens enjoy a middle income status." The Organization of African Unity was established in 1963 with 30 members. It became the AU in 2002, and now consists of 54 members - every African nation with the exception of Morocco, which opted out to due the Western Sahara conflict. Western Sahara - fighting for independence from Morocco - is a member of the AU, however. Around 10,000 guests are expected at an event in a massive hall in Addis Ababa later on Saturday, which is to include several large dance troupes. Among the visiting dignitaries expected to attend the festivities are UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, US Secretary of State John Kerry, and French President Francois Hollande. While the AU is keenly aware of the problems that continue to face nations in Africa – including civil conflicts, extreme poverty, human rights violations, and infrastructure challenges – the 50th anniversary celebrations are designed to showcase the progress that has been achieved and what is in store for the future. "While our founders met for the formation of the OAU at the dawn of the independence period 50 years ago, it is fitting that we are meeting here today at a time when Africa is rising," Desalegn said. mz/ccp (AFP, epd) http://www.dw.de/african-union-opens-50th-anniversary-celebrations/a-16835893 Personal Comment From Bors: 1 Australian Dollar equals 498.21 CFA Franc BCEAO 9.34 South African Rand Let the good times roll. Celebrate!
  3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21227053 Personal comment I think Hollands choice to combat the terrorist will be his greatest achievement in his presidency .I hold great respect for any man who upholds the ideas of liberty.No matter there politics persuasion
  4. French military prepares a Mirage 2000D fighter plane in N'Djamena, Chad, in this photo released by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD) on January 12, 2013. Credit: Reuters/ECPAD/Adj. Nicolas Richard/Handout By Bate Felix and John Irish BAMAKO/PARIS | Sat Jan 12, 2013 (Reuters) - French aircraft pounded Islamist rebels in Mali for a second day on Saturday and neighboring West African states sped up their plans to deploy troops in an international campaign to prevent groups linked to al Qaeda expanding their power base. France, warning that the control of northern Mali by the militants posed a security threat to Europe, intervened dramatically on Friday as heavily armed Islamist fighters swept southwards towards Mali's capital Bamako. Under cover from French fighter planes and attack helicopters, Malian troops routed a rebel convoy and drove the Islamists out of the strategic central town of Konna, which they had seized on Thursday. A senior army officer in the capital Bamako said more than 100 rebel fighters had been killed. A French pilot died on Friday when rebels shot down his helicopter near the town of Mopti. Hours after opening one front against al Qaeda-linked Islamists, France mounted a commando raid to try to rescue a French hostage held by al Shabaab militants in Somalia, also allied to al Qaeda, but failed to prevent the hostage being killed. French President Francois Hollande made clear that France's aim in Mali was to support the West African troop deployment, which is also endorsed by the United Nations, the European Union and the United States. Western countries in particular fear that Islamists could use Mali as a base for attacks on the West and expand the influence of al Qaeda-linked militants based in Yemen, Somalia and North Africa. "We've already held back the progress of our adversaries and inflicted heavy losses on them," Hollande said. "Our mission is not over yet." A resident in the northern city of Gao, one of the Islamists' strongholds, reported scores of rebel fighters were retreating northward in pickup trucks on Saturday. "The hospital here is overwhelmed with injured and dead," he said, asking not to be identified for fear of reprisals. In Konna, a shopkeeper reported seeing scores of dead Islamist fighters piled in the streets, as well as the bodies of dozens of uniformed soldiers. A senior official with Mali's presidency announced on state television that 11 Malian soldiers had been killed in the battle for Konna, with around 60 others injured. Human Rights Watch said around 10 civilians had died in the violence, including three children who drowned trying to cross a river to safety. It said other children recruited to fight for the Islamists had been injured. With Paris urging West African nations to send in their troops quickly, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, chairman of the regional bloc ECOWAS, kick-started a U.N.-mandated operation to deploy some 3,300 African soldiers. TROOPS BY MONDAY The mission had not been expected to start until September. "By Monday at the latest, the troops will be there or will have started to arrive," said Ali Coulibaly, Ivory Coast's African Integration Minister. "Things are accelerating ... The reconquest of the north has already begun." The multinational force is expected to be led by Nigerian Major-General Shehu Abdulkadir and draw heavily on troops from West Africa's most populous state. Burkina Faso, Niger and Senegal each announced they would send 500 soldiers. French army chief Edouard Guillaud said France had no plan to chase the Islamists into the north with land troops, and was waiting for ECOWAS forces. France has deployed some special forces units to the central town of Mopti and sent hundreds of soldiers to Bamako in "Operation Serval" - named after an African wildcat. Concerned about reprisals on French soil, Hollande announced he had instructed Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to tighten security in public buildings and on public transport in France. Hollande's intervention in Mali could endanger eight French nationals being held by Islamists in the Sahara. A spokesman for one of Mali's rebel groups, Ansar Dine, said there would be repercussions. "There are consequences, not only for French hostages, but also for all French citizens, wherever they find themselves in the Muslim world," Sanda Ould Boumama told Reuters. "The hostages are facing death." The French Defense Ministry said its failed bid on Friday night to rescue a French intelligence officer held hostage in Somalia since 2009 was unrelated to events in Mali. The ministry said it believed the officer had been killed by his captors along with at least one French commando. But the Harakat Al-Shabaab Al-Mujahideen insurgent group that was holding Denis Allex said he was alive and being held at a location far from the raid. RED ALERT The French Foreign Ministry stepped up its security alert on Mali and parts of neighboring Mauritania and Niger on Friday, extending its red alert - the highest level - to include Bamako. France advised its 6,000 citizens in Mali to leave. Thousands more French live across West Africa, particularly in Senegal and Ivory Coast. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Friday urged an "accelerated international engagement" and said the bloc would speed up plans to deploy 200 troops to train Malian forces. A U.S. official said the Pentagon was weighing options such as intelligence-sharing with France and logistics support. French officials suggest U.S. surveillance capacity, including unmanned drones, would prove valuable in vast northern Mali. In Britain, a spokesman said Prime Minister David Cameron had spoken to Hollande to express support for France's intervention and to offer two C-17 transport planes to assist the mission. He said both men discussed "the need to work with the Malian government, regional neighbors and international partners to prevent a new terrorist haven developing on Europe's doorstep and to reinvigorate the U.N.-led political process once the rebel advance has been halted". Military analysts voiced doubt, however, about whether Friday's action was the start of a swift operation to retake northern Mali - a harsh, sparsely populated terrain the size of France - as neither equipment nor ground troops were ready. "We're not yet at the big intervention," said Mark Schroeder, of the risk and security consultancy Stratfor. More than two decades of peaceful elections had earned Mali a reputation as a bulwark of democracy - but that image unraveled in a matter of weeks after a military coup last March that paved the way for the Islamist rebellion. Interim President Dioncounda Traore, under pressure for bolder action from Mali's military, declared a state of emergency on Friday. Traore cancelled a long-planned official trip to Paris on Wednesday because of the violence. "Every Malian must henceforth consider themselves a soldier," he said on state TV. On the streets of Bamako, some cars were driving around with French flags draped from the windows to celebrate Paris's intervention. "It's thanks to France that Mali will emerge from this crisis," said student Mohamed Camera. "This war must end now." (Additional reporting Adama Diarra, Tiemoko Diallo and Rainer Schwenzfeier in Bamako, Mathieu Bonkoungou in Ouagadougou, Joe Bavier in Abidjan and Elizabeth Pineau in Paris; Editing by Daniel Flynn and Kevin Liffey) http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/13/us-mali-rebels-idUSBRE90912Q20130113 Personal Comment From Bors: When France decides it's time for war, you know it's really serious.
  5. ScienceDaily (June 28, 2012) — A new study published today in Nature by authors from the Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre and the Goethe University Frankfurt suggests that large parts of Africa’s savannas may well be forests by 2100. The study suggests that fertilization by atmospheric carbon dioxide is forcing increases in tree cover throughout Africa. A switch from savanna to forest occurs once a critical threshold of CO2 concentration is exceeded, yet each site has its own critical threshold. The implication is that each savanna will switch at different points in time, thereby reducing the risk that a synchronous shock to the earth system will emanate from savannas. Tropical grasslands, savannas and forests, areas the authors call the savanna complex, are expected to respond sensitively to climate and atmospheric changes. This is because the main players, grasses and trees, differ fundamentally in their response to temperature, carbon dioxide supply and fire and are in an unrelenting struggle for the dominance of the savanna complex. The outcome of this struggle determines whether vast portions of the globe’s tropical and sub-tropical regions are covered with grasslands, savannas or forests. In the past such shifts in dominance have played out in slow motion, but the current wave of atmospheric changes has accelerated the potential rate of change. Experimental studies have generally shown that plants do not show a large response to CO2 fertilization. “However, most of these studies were conducted in northern ecosystems or on commercially important species†explains Steven Higgins, lead author of the study from the Biodiodversity and Climate Reseach Centre and Goethe-University. “In fact, only one experimental study has investigated how savanna plants will respond to changing CO2 concentrations and this study showed that savanna trees were essentially CO2 starved under pre-industrial CO2 concentrations, and that their growth really starts taking off at the CO2 concentrations we are currently experiencing.“ The vegetation shifts that the Higgins and Scheiter study projects are an example of what some theorists call catastrophic regime shifts. Such catastrophic regime shifts can be triggered by small changes in the factors that regulate the system. These small changes set up a cascade of events that reinforce each other causing the system to change more and more rapidly. The study demonstrated that the savanna complex showed symptoms of catastrophic regime shifts. “The potential for regime shifts in a vegetation formation that covers such vast areas is what is making earth system scientists turn their attention to savannas†comments Higgins. Knowing when such regime shifts will occur is critical for anticipating change. This study discovered that locations where the temperature rise associated with climate change occurs rapidly, for example in the center of southern Africa, are projected to switch later to forest as the high rate of temperature increase allows the savanna grasses to remain competitive for longer in the face of rising atmospheric CO2 concentration. This means that even though a single location may experience its catastrophic regime shift, the vegetation change when averaged over a region will be smoother. Such gradual transitions in regional vegetation patterns will reduce the potential for shocks to the earth system. “While this may seem reassuring, we have to bear in mind that these changes are still rapid when viewed on geological time scalesâ€, says Higgins. The practical implications of the study are far reaching. For example, the study identified a belt that spans northern central Africa where fire suppression would encourage savannas to transition to forests. “So if you wanted to sequester carbon as part of a carbon mitigation action, this is where you should do it†explained Higgins “with the caveat that where this will work is shifting as atmospheric conditions change.†A worrying implication is that the grasslands and open savannas of Africa, areas with unique floras and faunas, are set to be replaced by closed savannas or forests. Hence it appears that atmospheric change represents a major threat to systems that are already threatened by over-grazing, plantation forestry and crop production. Personal Comment: I hope future environmentalists push for protection of these forests if they ever come about.
  6. By Jonny Hogg GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo | Wed Nov 21, 2012 (Reuters) - Rebel forces in eastern Congo said on Wednesday they planned to take control of the whole of the vast central African country after they captured the eastern town of Goma while United Nations peacekeepers looked on. Congolese Revolution Army (CRA) rebels sit in a truck as they patrol a street in Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), November 20, 2012, soon after the rebels captured the city from the government army. Credit: Reuters/James Akena A spokesman for the M23 rebels, a group widely believed to be backed by Rwanda, said they planned to "liberate" the country, by moving to the town of Bukavu and then marching on the capital, Kinshasa, nearly 1,000 miles away. The rebels have previously said they were seeking talks with Democratic Republic of Congo's President Joseph Kabila over the failed implementation of a peace deal that ended a previous rebellion in 2009. "The journey to liberate Congo has started now ... We're going to move on to Bukavu and then to Kinshasa. Are you ready to join us?" Vianney Kazarama, spokesman for the M23 rebels, told a crowd of more than 1,000 in a stadium in Goma. AGGRAVATED TENSIONS The M23 rebellion has aggravated tensions between Congo and its neighbor Rwanda, which Kinshasa's government says is orchestrating the insurgency as a means of grabbing the chaotic region's mineral wealth, which includes diamonds, gold and coltan, used in mobile phones. The surprise announcement by the rebels came as diplomats at the United Nations and regional mediators in Central Africa have been seeking to prevent an escalation of hostilities in Congo, a resource-rich country the size of Western Europe. Kabila and Rwandan Paul Kagame were due to meet later on Wednesday after holding three-way talks with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni late on Tuesday, sources in the Ugandan presidency said. In New York, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution late on Tuesday condemning the seizure of Goma. The French government expressed frustration with U.N. peacekeepers, who gave up the battle for the town of 1 million after Congo's army retreated, saying it was "absurd" that the U.N. force did not protect the city. Democratic Republic of Congo has accused neighboring Rwanda, whose army had repeatedly intervened in Congo's conflicts during the last 15 years, of backing the rebels. Kigali denies the charge and has called for dialogue. Rebels used local radio and television stations to appeal for calm, but there are fears of human rights abuses and tens of thousands of people have already fled days of fighting between the rebels and U.N.-backed Congolese soldiers. At the United Nations, the 15-member council approved the resolution drafted by France, releasing a statement that "demands the immediate withdrawal of the M23 from Goma, the cessation of any further advances by the M23 and that its members immediately and permanently disband and lay down their arms". The council expressed "deep concern at reports indicating that external support continues to be provided to the M23, including through troop reinforcement, tactical advice and the supply of equipment, causing a significant increase of the military abilities of the M23, and demands that any and all outside support to the M23 cease immediately". While conflict has simmered almost constantly in Congo's east in recent years, this is the first time Goma has fallen to rebels since foreign occupying armies officially pulled out under peace deals at the end of the most recent 1998-2003 war. Aid agencies have estimated that 5 million people have died from fighting and conflict-related disease since the 1998 war began. Hundreds of rebels, who took up arms in April complaining that Kinshasa had failed to comply with the terms of a deal that ended the rebellion of 2009, poured into the lakeside town on Tuesday. After sporadic gunfire, government troops melted away to the west. U.N. peacekeepers who had launched helicopter gunships to back the army did nothing to stop rebels moving into town. "MONUSCO is 17,000 soldiers, but sadly it was not in a position to prevent what happened," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said of the U.N.'s Congo mission. "It is necessary that the MONUSCO mandate is reviewed." But a senior U.N. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the withdrawal of civilian and military Congolese officials had left a void it could not fill alone. "We're not the army of any country, let alone the Congolese army, and it's not for us to take positions by ourselves to stop a rebel attack or the movement of rebels," the official said. "Our job is to protect civilians," the official added. KAMPALA MEETING Officials in the office of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, the regional mediator for the conflict, said he would seek to host a face-to-face meeting between Congo's President Joseph Kabila and Rwanda's Paul Kagame in Kampala on Wednesday. Congo's government on Tuesday rejected the idea of talks with rebels. But Rwanda's foreign minister said the fall of Goma had shown there was no military solution to the crisis, so Kinshasa had to seek the path of dialogue. The capture of Goma will be an embarrassment for Kabila, who won re-election late last year in polls that provoked widespread riots. There were pockets of demonstrations against the fall of Goma in other towns, and Kabila faces the tricky choice between dialogue with the rebels, which will be politically unpopular, and trying to rally his scattered forces in North Kivu. (Additional reporting by Elias Biryabarema in Kampala, John Irish in Paris, Richard Lough in Nairobi, Bienvenu Bakumanya in Kinshasa, Richard Valdmanis, David Lewis and Bate Felix in Dakar and Michelle Nichols at the United Nations; Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Giles Elgood and Will Waterman) http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/21/us-congo-democratic-idUSBRE8AI0UO20121121 Personal Comment From Bors: Rwanda holding up the commonwealth leg.
  7. "Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. Consulate and subsequent attack several hours later was denied by officials in the CIA chain of command -- who also told the CIA operators twice to "stand down" rather than help the ambassador's team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11. Former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were part of a small team who were at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. Consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When they heard the shots fired, they radioed to inform their higher-ups to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to "stand down," according to sources familiar with the exchange. An hour later, they called again to headquarters and were again told to "stand down." Woods, Doherty and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the Consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The quick reaction force from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the Consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight. At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Specter gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours -- enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators. .... According to sources on the ground during the attack, the special operator on the roof of the CIA annex had visual contact and a laser pointing at the Libyan mortar team that was targeting the CIA annex. The operators were calling in coordinates of where the Libyan forces were firing from. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday that there was not a clear enough picture of what was occurring on the ground in Benghazi to send help. "There's a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on here," Panetta said Thursday. "But the basic principle here ... is that you don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on." Fox News has learned that there were two military surveillance drones redirected to Benghazi shortly after the attack on the Consulate began. They were already in the vicinity. The second surveillance craft was sent to relieve the first drone, perhaps due to fuel issues. Both were capable of sending real time visuals back to U.S. officials in Washington, D.C. Any U.S. official or agency with the proper clearance, including the White House Situation Room, State Department, CIA, Pentagon and others, could call up that video in real time on their computers. " http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/10/26/cia-operators-were-denied-request-for-help-during-benghazi-attack-sources-say/#ixzz2AQCwtUTQ Personal comment: So much fail... just so much fail.
  8. African and European leaders meet in Mali's capital Friday to draft a military plan to reclaim the nation's desert north from armed Islamists. In Timbuktu they leveled more tombs of local Sufi saints on Thursday. Representatives of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are expected at the talks in Mali's capital, Bamako, to outline their strategy for 3,000 West African troops who have been kept on standby. Last week, the UN Security Council urged ECOWAS to speed up intervention plans for two-thirds of Mali, where the Islamists - including the group Ansar Dine - seized control after a March military coup had left a power vacuum. Attending Friday's summit will be senior representatives of the African Union (AU), including the AU's new commission chief, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The number two EU diplomat, Pierre Vimont, and the UN's special envoy for the region, former Italian premier Romano Prodi, will also attend the meeting. Malian presidential advisor Moussa Diakite said it was up to Malians and their international partners to "agree on a plan to kick out the terrorists." Guineasaid on Thursday that it was ready to deliver weapons purchased by the regime of Mali's ex-president Amadou Toumani Toure, before he was overthrown in March. ECOWAS blocked that delivery in July. More shrines "flattened" Residents of Timbuktu, Mali's renowned northern desert town which is listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site, say heavily armed Islamists went to at least three ancient shrines on its outskirts on Thursday and "flattened everything with a bulldozer." The Islamists have said they are defending their faith against worship of idols. Sufi Islam is prevalent across northern Mali. Rights groups say since March the Islamist rebels have imposed Shariah law by arresting unveiled women and amputating the limbs of suspected thieves. Since the start of the conflict, at least 250,000 Malians have fled their homes, according to the United Nations. In Germany, the opposition Social Democrats defense spokesman, Rainer Arnold, has told the newspaper Rheinische Post that the international community could not sit idly by and watch northern Mali turn into a "fallback zone for terrorists." The newspaper said Germany and France have reached agreement in principle on what to do in Mali. Their contribution would not involve the deployment of combat troops, but it would focus on training for Mali's army. ipj/slk (dpa, Reuters, AFP) http://www.dw.de/international-talks-to-reclaim-northern-mali/a-16317710 Personal Comment From Bors: If only marketing had been a skill we taught to these people all those years ago, perhaps they would have understood that to get better, you need money and to get money you need tourism and to get tourism the one thing you definitely never want to do is go around blowing up centuries old sacred sites that people very much desire to see.
  9. A world-leading mining firm has gone on a sacking spree in South Africa. Meanwhile, labor unrest is spreading outside the mining sector, causing serious strain to the country's economy. The world's biggest platinum producer, Anglo American, fired 12,000 of its employees in South Africa on Friday, after they allegedly staged an illegal three-week strike. The tough measures come at a time when labor unrest is spreading in South Africa. Oil giant Shell said on Friday that a two-week strike by truck drivers had hampered its fuel delivery operations, and police shot dead a striking miner overnight on Thursday, bringing the death toll in recent labor disputes to 48. Overall, more than 75,000 miners - 15 percent of the sector's workforce - have participated in official strikes since employees at the Marikana mine, owned by the platinum firm Lonmin, staged a work stoppage in August. Police shot dead 34 of the protesting workers at Lonmin in South Africa's bloodiest episode of violence since the end of Apartheid. sej/tj (Reuters, dpa) http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,16288127,00.html Personal Comment From Bors: Anglo-American can afford to pay more - I'm with the workers all the way.
  10. Mali's interim president has formally requested regional military assistance in the north of the country, according to a French diplomat. The move could pave the way for a UN Security Council resolution. Interim President Dioncounda Traore formally asked for military help from the region's Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to regain control of Mali's disputed north. France's special envoy to the Sahel region, Jean Felix-Paganon, told reporters in neighboring Burkina Faso that Mali's government had officially called for help. "[ivory Coast] President [Alassane] Ouattara informed us that President Traore had formally sent a request to ECOWAS for military assistance to stabilize the country and especially to reconquer the north," Felix-Paganon said in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou late on Tuesday, describing it as "an important development." The French diplomat did not say when Traore had made the request. ECOWAS has had a force of around 3,300 troops on stand-by for months, ready to intervene in the conflict in northern Mali, where the Islamist Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) is primarily in control. The group is thought to have ties to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Twin uprisings Islamists, along with Tuareg rebels seeking autonomy for a region in northern Mali they call Azawad, seized vast swathes of the country early in the year - making particularly large gains in the turmoil that followed a military coup in the capital Bamako on March 22. The MUJAO has since seized control from the Tuaregs in the majority of the region. MUJAO said on Tuesday that it had captured the town of Douentza, bordering the government-controlled south, and was implementing Shariah law there. ECOWAS was hoping to secure a UN Security Council mandate before sending troops into the region. In June, the Council asked the West African group to explain precisely what sort of mandate it wanted. Any Security Council request is likely to be filed via the African Union. Typically considered one of the region's most stable democracies, Mali's democratic rule has been shaken by the northern rebellions and the military coup in March that ousted President Amadou Toumani Traore. Though the leaders of the military coup had requested help combating the northern rebellion, claiming that was the reason they seized power, the interim government was initially reluctant to seek outside help. The regions of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu - representing around two-thirds of Mali's land mass – are no longer controlled by the government. msh/sej (AFP, dpa, Reuters) http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,16220724,00.html Personal Comment From Bors: Africa is taking care of it's own problems a lot lately. African Union and the West African Community and the East African Federation - good to see.
  11. The London Olympics are over and future host nations are already busy preparing for their weeks in the spotlight. In some African countries there's a growing feeling that it's time for them to stage the Games. As London basks in the praise for its organization and presentation of the 2012 Summer Olympics, preparations are now under way for 2016 in Rio de Janiero. Meanwhile some African countries now believe that the time when the Games will be staged on their continent may not be that far off. Among the many sports officials who made the trip to London, it seems there were few who could resist dreaming the Olympic dream. For example, Gideon Sam, president of the South African Sports Federation and Olympics Committee (SASCOC). "You know when you walk around the streets of London and you look at what they have been able to achieve, it should be mouthwatering for any leader to say 'Boy! Why can't we do this?'" But Sam's dreaming seems to stop when he looks at his own country. "We missed 2020 and 2024 is not in our sights. So it is up to Egypt, Nigeria and Kenya to put up their hand." Kenya appears to be doing just that. While in London, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga said Nairobi planned to put in a bid to host the 2024 Olympic games. Peninah Kabenge, the secretary general of the Uganda Olympics Committee is also full of optimism. "I believe Africa is a rich continent. It is all about strategic planning. We can do it," she said. Setting priorities Others are less euphoric, at least as far staging the games in the short or medium term is concerned. Admire Masenda is the president of Zimbabwe's National Olympic Committee. In his opinion, the prospect of Africa hosting the Games is still a long way off, not least because of the financial aspect. The bill for the UK is put at around $14.5 billion (11.7 bn euros, 9 bn pounds sterling) "I'm not so sure there is an African nation or city that would be able to manage this kind of budget at the present moment. Maybe in the next three or four Olympics. It's some way away." Even more down to earth is Alassane Thiernio Diack, an Olympics official from Senegal. He says quite bluntly that Africa has other priorities. "The first thing to be done in Africa is to make sure that people are eating well and we have facilities for people to go to school, basic things that need to be provided first to the population. Hosting the games is a minimum of ten billion pounds!" London is not only inspiring people to dream but also to work out how much the African Olympic dream would cost in reality and whether it could bring lasting benefits. http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,16165021,00.html Personal Comment From Bors: Choosing a host country for the Olympics is the absolute last place where anything even remotely resembling affirmative action should come into play. We see how well India did with the Commonwealth Games and all she reaped from it. <.<
  12. Date: 16.08.2012 Author: Charlene Vasseur /sh Editor: Asumpta Lattus The Gibe III dam in southern Ethiopia is a controversial project. Now the World Bank has come under fire over its plans to finance a power line from Ethiopia to Kenya which critics say could be fed by the dam. Lake Turkana stretches from southern Ethiopia deep into northern Kenya. It is the largest lake in an arid region. But there are fears that time is running out for the biotope on which hundreds of thousands rely for their water needs. The threat comes from Gibe III, a hydroelectric dam project in southern Ethiopia. The plan is to dam the Omo River which flows into Lake Turkana, in order to provide electricity for more than 200 million people in five countries. The dam project, the highest in Africa, has already been delayed and is now scheduled to start operating in 2014. High demand for water Samuel Maina doubts whether there will be enough water in the dam by then. He is a communications advisor with the Kenyan organization "Friends of Lake Turkana" which since 2008 has been working to protect the lake. As a result of climate change, rainfall in the region has decreased, Maina says. And if the water remains in the dam, then the level of Lake Turkana could fall. "There is also the issue of sugar cane and cotton plantations down river which have been implemented by the government of Ethiopia and international farming companies," he said. The sugar cane and cotton plantations are monocultures which require large amounts of water. That means that less water remains for the river and environmentalists warn that many plants and animals could become extinct. There would also be insufficient water for the local population. An estimated 200,000 people would be affected by the dam. According to the "Friends of Lake Turkana", people living in the Omo valley are being forcibly resettled. They say some have been arrested and even murdered for protesting. Many people are not satisfied with the land that is being offered as compensation. Consequences for Kenya The reduction in the amount of water flowing from the Omo River has severe consequences for people living alongside the Turkana Lake in Kenya. 90 percent of the lake lies on Kenyan territory. Some people depend on fishing for their livelihood, others keep livestock and also depend on the grass that grows in the area, Samuel Maina says. "Without the lake they are without any livelihood. There are also problems on the other side, in Ethiopia. People are being moved out of their ancestral land to pave the way for the sugar plantations. There is already a lot of conflict between Ethiopian communities and Kenyan communities, and within Ethiopian and Kenyan communities." World Bank involvement Among the organizations funding Gibe III at the start of the project was the World Bank (WB). However, citing a lack of transparency, it withdrew its support. In July 2012 the WB decided to finance a 1,000 km-long (621 miles) power cable from Ethiopia to Kenya. In a press release, it said the project would "connect Ethiopia's electrical grid with Kenya's, create power-sharing between the two countries, reduce energy costs, promote sustainable and renewable power generation, better protect the region's environment, and pave the way for more dynamic regional cooperation between the countries of East Africa." For the critics, there's no doubt that this cable would be used to transport power from the controversial dam. Lucio Monari is the sector manager of the World Bank's Africa Energy Group, based in Washington. He regards the criticism of the planned power transmission line as unfounded, saying it is not dependent on the dam. He says 44 power plants feed the Ethiopian electricity network and, with it, the power line to Kenya. "There is no specific link to the Gibe III dam" Monari maintains, adding "we have also done analysis that even if Gibe III was not built, the interconnection would still be viable. There would still be power available for the national grid as well as for export to Kenya." NGOs and numerous environmental protection organizations disagree. Among the critics is Jessica Evans, senior researcher for international financial institutions with Human Rights Watch (HRW). She told DW that "HRW has been told by the World Bank that Gibe III would be one of the power sources. Unfortunately, even though the World Bank is recognizing that it will be one of the power sources, they are not willing to apply the safeguards, the policies that are meant to ensure against human rights abuses." The Ethiopian government and the World Bank argue that the new power transmission line will bring urgently needed power to countries in the region. But for opponents of the plan, the price is too high, if it includes driving people from their homes and damaging the environment. http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,16170095,00.html Personal Comment From Bors: What the fucking fuck is the fucking fucked up fucken deal with sugar and cotton growers in arid regions? Seriously everyone seems to gravitate towards wanting to grow cotton and sugar cane when they live in a fucking desert or region with very little precipitation! FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO GROW!
  13. Date: 15.08.2012 Author: Kerstin Poppendieck, Columbus Mavhunga /abj /jlw Editor: Sean Sinico Hundreds of Zimbabwean women are protesting in Harare against a spree of arbitrary arrests by local police. Rights groups say authorities are detaining any women they see out after dark for soliciting. Women in Harare said they are tired of having to run from the police after the sun goes down and that they - like their male countrymen - have the right to be on the streets of Zimbabwe whenever they wish. The protests come after police have been arresting and detaining women out at night. Harare police said they have only been arresting commercial sex workers. Human rights groups, however, claimed hundreds of women have been arrested every week. The Zimbabwean constitution prohibits prostitution and Harare police have recently launched a crackdown on sex workers and arrested many women as supposed "prostitutes." But the protesters said most of the women arrested were not commercial sex workers and added that police were taking in any women they found out at night. Human rights violations "This is an action against the illegal and arbitrary arrest of women that the police are carrying out," said Zimbabwean writer and activist Tsitsi Dangaremba. "The arrests are carried out on the basis of what [police] call soliciting and stopping of women from going on with their daily basis," Dangaremba added. "They are interfering with the freedom of movement of women. Many of the women here have been arrested. Many have been harassed and so we have decided to take action." Hundreds of women took to the streets to fight for their rights. Harare Police Inspector James Sabau denied the allegations, saying that authorities have not carried out arbitrary arrests. He said police raided sex workers' hangouts and arrested women found loitering. "There is a law that bans loitering for the purpose of prostitution," Sabau said. "And none of [the women] has been arrested during the day for loitering for the purpose of prostitution. "We arrest people after hours. There are places that many people in Harare know if they want to get a woman for the purpose of prostitution. Those are the places that we target as police," he added. At Harare's Union Square, Dangaremba joined some 300 women protesting that they "have had enough of police brutality against women." 'Good women are not out at night' Anna Meki, 28, said she was arrested with her cousin on their way home from a nightclub. When Meki said she tried to tell the police officers they were not sex workers, an officer remarked "good women are not out at night." Meki said another officer responded that the police believe any woman out late must be a sex worker. "They asked us over and over again where our husbands were," Meki told DW. "It seemed clear that the fact that we were unmarried was problematic. At some point we resolved we were going to observe our right to remain silent, they started to get angry that we were being silent." Women in Zimbabwe wonder where their freedoms are The protesters also stated that some women have even been arrested in the company of their husbands. They claimed the Harare police have done them two kinds of wrong. Firstly, they have been referred to as sex workers and that is shameful in Zimbabwean society, and secondly, they have been arrested arbitrarily. They asked why their male counterparts do not get arrested for loitering but only females who are out at night. Police: crackdown to continue Inspector Sabau said the crackdown - called Operation Chipochiroorwa, or Girl Get Married - would continue as long the constitution prohibits prostitution. He said the arrests protect the image of Zimbabwean women. But the protesters argued the mass arrests violate their human right to freedom of movement. Dangaremba said she and other protesters will take to the streets during the day in protest until their voices are heard. She added they will do everything it takes to stop the police from making further arrests. "We have outlined our grievances that women were part of the liberation struggles," she said. "We have been working with the rest of the nation to build this country. And therefore we expect to be treated as equals and as full citizens of this country and also to enjoy our citizen rights." http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,16167383,00.html Personal Comment From Bors: >Woman not in kitchen preparing dinner. >Must be prostitute. >Pedogabe Logic.
  14. Somalia's constituent assembly has adopted a draft constitution paving the way for the formation of a new government. The vote came shortly after two suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the meeting site. Somali leaders overwhelmingly endorsed the draft constitution on Wednesday by a landslide 96 percent. Some 625 members approved the document, 13 were against it and there were 11 abstentions. The special assembly took eight days to debate the document, which was some eight years in the making. "We are very happy today that you... responsibly completed the procedure by voting for the constitution," Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali told the 825-strong assembly. "I announce that Somalia has from today left the transitional period." A political milestone The vote paves the way for a new more representative government in Somalia after some eight years under a transitional regime. The Transitional Federal Government's UN-backed mandate is due to expire on August 20. Somalia has been without a stable central government for nearly twenty years since former president Siad Barre was killed in 1991. Just two hours ahead of the vote, two suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the gates of the Mogadishu meeting. Security forces reportedly shot the bombers as they attempted to detonate their explosives. The two bombers were killed and one Somali soldier was injured. "Security forces stopped their ambitions of attacking...they were shot and then they detonated their vests," Interior Minister Abisamad Moalim told reporters. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. It is the latest in a string of explosions, including roadside bombs and grenades, which have hit the Somali capital. However, the al Qaeda linked group al-Shabaab has vowed to topple government, and has claimed responsibility for previous similar such attacks. ccp/sej(AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa) http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,16135848,00.html Personal Comment From Bors: Al Shaboob got Done royal by AU forces. Nice work.
  15. By Anya Schiffrin July 26, 2012 Antiquated electricity generator on island of Ibo, Mozambique On a recent visit to the remote Ibo Island in the Quirimbas Archipelago in northern Mozambique, we were struck by the island’s stunning views and the soft white-sand beaches, the mangrove swamps and the wooden dhows that have plied in the Indian Ocean for decades. Beautiful though it is, the island is poor, and few people live there. The island has been abandoned many times throughout history, and cries out for more development and for businesses to come and turn the crumbling colonial-era buildings into boutique hotels, cafés and craft shops. Some are optimistic that recently discovered energy reserves will boost the island’s fortunes, but our timing was perfect to witness a smaller revolution: the arrival this spring of electricity. We dropped by the spanking new Pasteleria Bela Horizonte on the main street to buy the fritters known locally as mandaze and find out how the arrival of electricity had affected the bakery’s business. Owner Assina Nmnuarkha surveyed the tidy seating area of plastic chairs and tables in her café with pride. She pointed to the refrigerator in the corner filled with soft drinks and then, pointing behind the counter, she broke into a wide smile: “Now we can watch television!†“When the government came to make the announcement, we assumed it was the usual lies and promises,†said shopkeeper Abdel Ismail Musa, speaking in Portuguese through a translator. “But they put it in quickly, and we were so happy.†Leaning on the counter of his little shop, which stocks an array of speakers as well as skin creams, machine-washable diapers and hair ties, Musa said he had recently sold a large television set. There is still the decrepit-looking generator that has sat in the main street of Ibo’s colonial, or “cement,†town for decades. According to the town elder and de facto local historian, João Baptista, the administrator governing the island had been given enough money from the government to buy a new one but instead kept half of it and bought a generator “from the colonial times†from another Cabo Delgado district. “It worked well only for three days, and then it malfunctioned,†he said. Baptista, clad in sunglasses and a navy blue pajama top from British Airways’ first class (possibly donated by a passing visitor), sat on his porch one afternoon and told us a bit about the history of the island. He joked that in the Portuguese language, IBO stands for “Well Organized Islandâ€. It was a port for the slave trade, and other trading, along the Indian Ocean coast and then run by the Nyassa Company during the days of colonialism. Because the generator barely worked, the town’s administrator only turned it on for special occasions. Mozambican novelist João Paulo Borges Coelho, whose grandparents lived on Ibo, remembers that the generator was only turned on once a year for the Dia de São João, the patron saint of the island. Others remember the clunky old machine was turned on to light some houses and the town’s unpaved streets during Ibo Island Day on June 24 and Mozambique’s independence day on June 25. Lack of electricity is a theme in New Yorker writer William Finnegan’s classic work about the Mozambique war between Frelimo and Renamo that was supported by South Africa and lasted from about 1975 to 1994. In one of the more memorable passages about his visit to the town of Beira (about halfway down the long coast of Mozambique) Finnegan wrote: The Hotel Dom Carlos had its own generator, but that failed sometimes too. In the elevator, the thick glass panels on the doors had been smashed by desperate passengers trapped by power failures. When I mentioned this eerie sight to a Beiran, he said I was crazy to get in an elevator anywhere in the city. Even aging asthmatics who worked on the tenth floor in one of the downtown high rises that still had a working elevator used the stairs. Since Ibo was not on the grid, some businesses bought generators, and some people had battery-powered radios and used solar power to charge their cellphones. The few that had televisions might charge neighbors a few pennies to watch sports, and the local disco was also known for letting local children and some others (mostly men) watch Kung Fu movies free of charge in the afternoon. Apart from the opportunities afforded to a few local entrepreneurs with television, not having electricity was a sorry state of affairs. The administrator who was in charge of electricity reportedly had her own generator and a thriving sideline selling fresh fish, as she was the one person on the island who could keep it cool and transport it to the mainland. The local fishermen couldn’t afford to get to the mainland, so they had to sell her their fish to reach the larger markets outside of Ibo. Given Ibo’s history it’s not surprising that it would be among the late entrants to the modern world. Ibo had been part of the Swahili-speaking coasts that included East Africa and, though much less developed than Zanzibar or the Kenyan island of Lamu, the port of Ibo was a center of slave trade. When the Portuguese expanded their hold in the late 19th century, the Portuguese government was too poor to fund its own colonial ventures, so it outsourced its exploitation to the Companhia de Moçambique and some small regional companies. The public-private model of imperialism is not dissimilar to the British model that originally gave the East India company the right to dominate India. The Companhia de Moçambique essentially enslaved the locals, forcing them to sign spurious contracts and work in the local mines and plantations. The Portuguese were terrible farmers who failed to clear the land properly and did nothing to help Mozambique improve agricultural productivity or introduce modern farming techniques. Although neglected, Ibo was, luckily, too far out to be caught up in the war that ravaged Mozambique for decades. With this colonial legacy and years of civil war followed by a socialist planned economy, it’s not surprising that today Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world. But the country is optimistic about the discovery of new natural gas and coal reserves. As always, the question is whether the new riches will be shared with the people or stolen by the few. It’s not clear what jobs the new gas development will create for the locals of Ibo. The island has had development projects over the years, including support for schools, restoration of colonial-era buildings, help for traditional silver craftsmen and some scholarships. Some Portuguese have bought and restored a few houses on the island. But the most visible impact comes from the few hotels that create jobs for the locals – island men who work as waiters and also as guides for the many cultural and historical walking tours around the island, the dhow trips and an unforgettable hike we did at low tide through the mangrove swamps to eat fresh fish on a neighboring island. These efforts are not enough, but the arrival of electricity is a start. The effects this spring were immediate. More bars and restaurants began to open. With the fish monopoly broken, traders could keep their catch cool and sell it for higher prices. Shops now stock ice lollies for the children, and the dilapidated schools have three shifts a day and stay open till 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. Routines are also slowly changing. Ibo islanders used to get up at 4 a.m. and go to bed early. Now they stay up later, socializing and watching television. Another benefit is more dancing, explained our tour guide Cosmo: “Disco means a lot to the people of Mozambique.†We flew to Ibo from Pemba, which is already starting to feel a bit like a frontier boomtown as oil workers and engineers mingle with the usual NGO types and honeymooners at the hotels and restaurants (“It’s like a Graham Greene novel,†my London-based nephew said). At the airport, the Italian oil and gas company ENI has its own check-in counter, which was in full use the day we were there. The extractive sector is notoriously bad at creating jobs, but at least the foreign oil workers are spending money and locally by staying in hotels in Pemba and eating at restaurants there. What the environmental impact of the increased gas production will be is not clear. Getting solid information about the impact of the energy boom is not easy. Meeting with journalists in Maputo we talked about the role of the media in keeping government and business honest. Many of the journalists in Mozambique face the usual problems: lack of understanding of technical subjects such as tax regimes and production-sharing agreements; little funding, which means they cannot afford to visit the areas affected by the gas and coal extraction; and pressure from government, advertisers and owners not to report on sensitive subjects. The press and the NGO community, including the Maputo-based Center for Public Integrity, will have to keep up the pressure to make sure the government gets a good deal from foreign companies and that the resulting wealth is used wisely and shared fairly. For its own sake, Mozambique needs to get it right and avoid the example of neighboring Angola. For a start, jobs, new roads and better schools and hospitals would help the people of Ibo Island. PHOTO: Anya Schiffrin http://blogs.reuters.com/anya-schiffrin/2012/07/26/electricity-comes-to-an-impoverished-mozambican-island/ Personal Comment From Bors: Mozambique used to have a flourishing cruise line industry that used to take regular routes from South Africa - when it was a colonial outpost...then of course, the Colonial power (Portugal in this case) bowed to pressure and pulled out. And the Natives took over...
  16. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/09/us-south-sudan-governed-idUSBRE86806Q20120709 [h=1]Special Report: For the world's newest nation, a rocky start[/h] Read the article at the link if u are interested about South Sudan. I will try to keep the articles running every time they pop up because it is an interesting experiment to view but I don't make promises since I am out of my city.
  17. About 600 Congolese soldiers have sought refuge in Uganda after intense battles with rebels. The retreat comes days after fighting between the Congolese army and M23 rebels intensified in Congo’s lawless east. Ugandan army spokesman Captain Peter Mugisa said the soldiers did not want to go home, fearing they might be massacred by the rebels they were sent to fight. Also, a UN soldier from India was killed in clashes between rebels and Congolese troops along the Ugandan border, the United Nations said Friday. The UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) said the peacekeeper was fatally wounded by shrapnel during the fighting. "It wasn't a direct hit. He died from his wounds," MONUSCO spokesman Madnodje Mounoubai said. Congolese forces launched an offensive on July 5 to rout the rebels known as M23 from Virunga national park, home to one of the largest populations of mountain gorillas in the world. But M23 repulsed the offensive and took the border town of Bunagana, M23 lieutenant colonel Vianney Kazarama said. "The mutineers took control of the entire town. The entire population and the (Congolese) troops are in Uganda," a police source in the area said separately. The fighting in the resource-rich region has pitted government troops against former Congolese Tutsi rebels, who were integrated into the army but defected earlier this year and formed M23. The rebels, holed up in Nord-Kivu province near the borders with Rwanda and Uganda, are led by Bosco Ntaganda, a warlord wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes. They say they mutinied because of poor conditions in the army. The 7,800-square-kilometer (3,012-square-mile) Virunga national park, created in 1925, is the oldest in Africa and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. It is home to about a third of the world's mountain gorillas, of which there are less than a thousand. The ongoing violence in the region has displaced more than 200,000 people and driven 20,000 refugees into Rwanda and Uganda. The group Global Witness, which tracks links between conflict and natural resources worldwide, has said M23 leader Ntaganda and other senior figures of the movement had "amassed huge sums of money through the trade in conflict minerals." In earlier clashes, M23 claimed to have taken the towns of Jomba and Chengerero, about 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) north of their position on the road to the border crossing with Uganda. bm/mz (AFP, AP) http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,16078102,00.html Personal Comment From Bors: Is it bad that whenever I see anything about the DRC these days all I care about is the Gorillas?
  18. In Mali, Islamists have ousted their former rebel allies from Timbuktu. The al Qaeda-linked group has started destroying Muslim holy sites in Timbuktu after UNESCO listed them as a world heritage site. Mali's neighbors in West Africa have held several meetings on the situation and are seeking UN backing for a military intervention to stabilize the country, but Security Council members say they need more details on the mission being planned. On Friday, the militant group Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa threatened any countries that intervene to end the conflict. Chaos has gripped Mali ever since a March 22 coup incapacitated the army. Tuaregs, who oppose the state and represent descendants of a group believed to have founded Timbuktu, spearheaded the initial armed takeover of the north of the country. They were subsequently joined by Ansar Dine, a militant group with formal ties to al Qaeda that has since taken the upper hand. Deadly clashes in the groups' fight for supremacy have made Gao, home to the Tomb of Askia, and Timbuktu into focal points of unrest. The current rampage has added a bitterly painful new cultural dimension to the uprising. The Islamists, armed with Kalashnikovs and pickaxes, began destroying prized mausoleums in front of shocked locals, witnesses said. Ansar Dine, an al Qaeda-linked group that backs strict shariah law, considers the Sufi Islam shrines idolatrous. "They have already completely destroyed the mausoleum of Sidi Mahmoud and two others,” the Malian journalist Yeya Tandina told Reuters over the telephone. "They are armed and have surrounded the sites with pickup trucks,” he added. “The population is just looking on helplessly." 'A direct reaction' Timbuktu, known as the “City of 333 Saints,” is home to three historic mosques as well as 16 cemeteries and mausoleums recognized by UNESCO, the world's primary watchdog for some of history's greatest treasures and most threatened cultural exhibits. "It looks as if [the attacks are] a direct reaction to the UNESCO decision," Sandy Haidara, a member of parliament for Timbuktu, told Reuters. "Ansar Dine will today destroy every mausoleum in the city,” said Sanda Ould Boumama, a spokesman for the al Qaeda-linked militant group largely responsible for the destruction. “All of them, without exception." mkg/msh (AP, AFP, Reuters) http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,16063069,00.html Personal Comment From Bors: Morons who cannot into national progress... > Shithouse economy > No Security > Average natural sights that can be seen elsewhere in safer parts of the continent > NOW No History. Just keep chopping off reasons for people to care about you, boys. EDIT: Being serious though http://www.philpaine.com/?p=4439 Interesting read on the situation.
  19. The International Criminal Court has sentenced former Liberian President Charles Taylor to 50 years in prison for war crimes and crimes against humanity. He's the first head of state to be sentenced since World War II. The international court in The Hague sentenced former Liberian president Charles Taylor for aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity during the civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone. "The trial chamber unanimously sentences you to a single term of imprisonment for 50 years on all counts," Special Court for Sierra Leone judge Richard Lussick said on Wednesday after asking Taylor to stand for the verdict. Taylor was found guilty in April of aiding and abetting rebels in Sierra Leone during the 1991-2002 conflict that claimed an estimated 50,000 lives. Prosecutors said he funneled weapons, ammunition and other equipment to rebel fighters in return for illegally-mined "blood diamonds," secured using slave labor. No precedents available The prosecution had asked for an 80-year sentence, while Taylor's defense team had said such a jail-term would be "disproportionate," without suggesting an alternative. The 64-year-old former president had said before the sentencing hearing that he considered himself innocent, saying on May 16 that he "never stood a chance" in a tribunal that practiced a "one size fits all form of international justice." Judge Richard Lussick spent a little over half an hour delivering the sentence, listing various reasons why the mitigating factors claimed by Taylor's defense team did little to diminish the scale of his culpability. He also said that the crimes in which Taylor was found to be complicit were of the "utmost gravity in terms of scale and brutality." "The lives of many more innocent civilians in Sierra Leone were lost or destroyed as a direct result of [Taylor's] actions," Lussick said. Taylor is the first former head of state to be jailed, convicted and sentenced since the Second World War, and the judge acknowledged that there were therefore no real precedents on which to base a verdict. "The special status of Mr. Taylor as a head of state puts him in a different category of offenders for the purpose of sentencing," Lussick said. Taylor will serve his sentence in a British jail though his lawyers are expected to appeal his April convictions, a process that might keep him at The Hague for several months. He has been in custody in The Hague since 2006, and that time in prison will count towards his 50-year sentence. Taylor was the first head of state to face international conviction since Karl Donitz, the Nazi-era admiral who was promoted to the role of "Führer" by Adolf Hitler shortly before Hitler committed suicide. Donitz was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in Nazi war crimes and was released in 1956. msh/ccp (AFP, AP, dpa) http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,15984863,00.html Personal Comment From Bors: Oh, The Haig...Nice to see that decrepid old hermit still has at least one tooth somewhere in it's jawline.
  20. By Richard Lough RIVER CHINKO, Central African Republic Lord Resistance Army's (LRA) Major General Joseph Kony, in this exclusive image, poses at peace negotiations between the LRA and Ugandan religious and cultural leaders in Ri-Kwangba, southern Sudan, November 30, 2008. Credit: Reuters/Africa24 Media (Reuters) - A Ugandan "hunting squad" pushes through the thick jungle of central Africa in search of the fugitive warlord Joseph Kony. It is tough terrain that favors the hunted. At times the Ugandan soldiers cover as little as three kilometers a day, laboring through hanging vines and dense foliage that cut visibility to a few meters and wading chest-deep through crocodile-infested rivers. The 58-man special operations group, codenamed 77-kilo, is at the forefront of a reinvigorated international drive to close the net on the sadistic Kony and the remnants of his depleted Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group. The deployment of some 100 U.S. military advisers to the region late last year to support the hunt raised hopes Kony's decades-long campaign, notorious for the rebels' practices of hacking off limbs and abducting children, was doomed. However, in the steamy forests straddling the borders of Central African Republic (CAR), South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo, the LRA's favored hideouts since it fled its native Uganda, Kony remains a master of the hostile environment. "We're hungry to hunt these guys down and take them back home, but it's a tough task," said Private James Mukundane, a sturdy warrior with a broad smile. Ugandan commanders believe Kony and his two most senior lieutenants, who all face war crimes charges, are in a band of territory several hundred kilometers wide, feeding on wild yams and stolen cattle and drinking from rivers. Uganda's military estimates the LRA has been reduced to no more than 200 fighters in CAR. Pockets of LRA fighters also remain in Congo. Moving in small groups and avoiding the use of satellite phones and radios, they are hard to intercept. REBEL HIDEOUT Less than an hour into 77-Kilo's patrol, the troops, sweat pouring down their brows, encounter nomadic cattle herders. They claim they are from the north of the country but more likely are from Sudan's Darfur region or neighboring Chad. Under gentle questioning, they deny any contact with the LRA since the middle of 2011. It is an unlikely story. Air surveillance images used to help coordinate the search for enemy combatants indicate suspected rebel movements in the area in recent weeks. Slowly, an Arabic-speaking trooper coaxes the hardest intelligence the squad has received in weeks from Harun Issa, who crouches down and begins sketching a map in the dirt. "Five days ago your forces were just here, southeast of where we are now," Issa said, jabbing his cane into the dust to mark a point along the river Chinko. "The distance between your men and them, you could walk in about 20 minutes," he said. The rebels had raided his family's herd twice in the last few days, once in a group of 80 fighters and abducted youngsters. The rebels' hideout was in a large wooded hollow on the eastern bank of the Chinko, said Issa, whose children had earlier stumbled upon the camp while collecting water. "Today is a step forward," said the squad's commander, Lieutenant Harold Olet. It is also a morale booster for Olet's men. Their last contact with the rebels was a brief firefight with two LRA reconnaissance fighters in January. Before that, they had had no contact since September. Now, in exchange for sugar and medicine, Issa will lead the hunting squad to the rebel group's last known position. Three other hunting squads have been drafted in to support the raid. REVENGE Kony, a self-styled mystic leader who at one time wanted to rule Uganda according to the biblical Ten Commandments, fled northern Uganda in 2005, roaming first the lawless expanses of South Sudan, then the isolated northeastern tip of Congo. In December 2008, Uganda launched Operation Lightning Thunder, dispersing the rebels and pushing them north into CAR. More than three years later, Uganda's force commander Colonel Joesph Balikudembe said the LRA's battle was now to survive. "We have weakened the LRA in terms of numbers, in terms of weaponry and in terms of the will to fight," said Balikudembe, speaking at the force's main operating base in Nzara, South Sudan. But regional security forces have failed to land a knockout blow on Kony, who was thrust into the spotlight this year when a video highlighting the mutilations, rapes and murders carried out by his drugged, vicious fighters went viral on the internet. There are hopes the U.S. forces may prove the game-changer, swinging the cat-and-mouse hunt in Uganda's favor, though Washington's exact role remains vague. U.S. President Barack Obama, outlining the troops' mission, made clear they would be trainers and advisers to the hunters but would not engage in combat except in self-defense. Several clean-cut U.S. soldiers were spotted in Nzara and Djema, the Ugandan army's forward operating base about 200 km inside CAR, but they deflected questions with broad smiles. Balikudembe said they were helping with logistics and intelligence. "We are using our American advisers to see if they can make any interceptions," he said. Close to the river Chinko, Private Jimmy Odong prepared for 77-kilo's advance on the suspected rebel camp. The LRA kidnapped Odong and his five brothers in 1994. Then 13, his first order was to bludgeon to death his younger brother who could not keep up with the abducted group. Killing and looting became routine, his teenage conscience numbed to the atrocities he was committing. Eight years after he escaped, Odong is now one of the hunting squad's "pseudo men". Clad in tatty fatigues and a beaded necklace, his hair in dreadlocks, Odong's role is to infiltrate rebel outposts, relaying intelligence to the squad in preparation for attack. "I know their patterns of movement, I know their tactics, I can talk openly with them," Odong said. The stakes are high. One false move, one incorrect answer and his cover is blown. But Odong's desire to avenge his lost childhood drives him on. "I hope we get Kony, that the army hands him over to the Hague and he answers the charges against him." (Editing by David Clarke and Tim Pearce) http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/20/us-uganda-kony-idUSBRE83J10120120420 Personal Comment From Bors: Great! Once the glorious warriors of virtue true have dispatched this vile fiend all the problems of Africa shall start to come right because he and his two hundred and something ragged band of followers are no longer holding the continent - and in some ways - the world - to ransom.
  21. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/world/africa/in-nigeria-a-preview-of-an-overcrowded-planet.html?_r=1&hp LAGOS, Nigeria — In a quarter-century, at the rate Nigeria is growing, 300 million people — a population about as big as that of the present-day United States — will live in a country the size of Arizona and New Mexico. In this commercial hub, where the area’s population has by some estimates nearly doubled over 15 years to 21 million, living standards for many are falling. Lifelong residents like Peju Taofika and her three granddaughters inhabit a room in a typical apartment block known as a “Face Me, Face You†because whole families squeeze into 7-by-11-foot rooms along a narrow corridor. Up to 50 people share a kitchen, toilet and sink — though the pipes in the neighborhood often no longer carry water. At Alapere Primary School, more than 100 students cram into most classrooms, two to a desk. As graduates pour out of high schools and universities, Nigeria’s unemployment rate is nearly 50 percent for people in urban areas ages 15 to 24 — driving crime and discontent. The growing upper-middle class also feels the squeeze, as commutes from even nearby suburbs can run two to three hours. Last October, the United Nations announced the global population had breached seven billion and would expand rapidly for decades, taxing natural resources if countries cannot better manage the growth. Nearly all of the increase is in sub-Saharan Africa, where the population rise far outstrips economic expansion. Of the roughly 20 countries where women average more than five children, almost all are in the region. Elsewhere in the developing world, in Asia and Latin America, fertility rates have fallen sharply in recent generations and now resemble those in the United States — just above two children per woman. That transformation was driven in each country by a mix of educational and employment opportunities for women, access to contraception, urbanization and an evolving middle class. Whether similar forces will defuse the population bomb in sub-Sarahan Africa is unclear. “The pace of growth in Africa is unlike anything else ever in history and a critical problem,†said Joel E. Cohen, a professor of population at Rockefeller University in New York City. “What is effective in the context of these countries may not be what worked in Latin America or Kerala or Bangladesh.†Across sub-Saharan Africa, alarmed governments have begun to act, often reversing longstanding policies that encouraged or accepted large families. Nigeria made contraceptives free last year, and officials are promoting smaller families as a key to economic salvation, holding up the financial gains in nations like Thailand as inspiration. Nigeria, already the world’s sixth most populous nation with 167 million people, is a crucial test case, since its success or failure at bringing down birthrates will have outsize influence on the world’s population. If this large nation rich with oil cannot control its growth, what hope is there for the many smaller, poorer countries? “Population is key,†said Peter Ogunjuyigbe, a demographer at Obafemi Awolowo University in the small central city of Ile-Ife. “If you don’t take care of population, schools can’t cope, hospitals can’t cope, there’s not enough housing — there’s nothing you can do to have economic development.†The Nigerian government is rapidly building infrastructure but cannot keep up, and some experts worry that it, and other African nations, will not act forcefully enough to rein in population growth. For two decades, the Nigerian government has recommended that families limit themselves to four children, with little effect. Although he acknowledged that more countries were trying to control population, Parfait M. Eloundou-Enyegue, a professor of development sociology at Cornell University, said, “Many countries only get religion when faced with food riots or being told they have the highest fertility rate in the world or start worrying about political unrest.†In Nigeria, experts say, the swelling ranks of unemployed youths with little hope have fed the growth of the radical Islamist group Boko Haram, which has bombed or burned more than a dozen churches and schools this year. Internationally, the African population boom means more illegal immigration, already at a high, according to Frontex, the European border agency. There are up to 400,000 undocumented Africans in the United States. Nigeria, like many sub-Saharan African countries, has experienced a slight decline in average fertility rates, to about 5.5 last year from 6.8 in 1975. But this level of fertility, combined with an extremely young population, still puts such countries on a steep and disastrous growth curve. Half of Nigerian women are under 19, just entering their peak childbearing years. Read the rest from the link. ----------- I'm sorry, what? I'll repeat "300 million people — a population about as big as that of the present-day United States — will live in a country the size of Arizona and New Mexico." And you're wondering why they can't feed themselves. And the fact that tons of food, money and medicine are being sent there every month from the european nations and the US and Canada... is just encouraging this. They need to be educated... otherwise... well... they will move the fuck into Europe and destroy Europe because our governments can't be bothered with immigration regulation.
  22. By David Lewis DAKAR | Wed Apr 4, 2012 (Reuters) - Tuareg fighters are celebrating the seizure of key towns in Mali's north as a historic victory in their half-century battle for a desert homeland. But for the Sahel region and wider world, their lightning advance, made as the distant southern capital Bamako struggled with the aftermath of a coup, poses a security nightmare. The rebel success has swept with it a collection of other gunmen, including Islamists, al Qaeda and others with criminal links, widening an area of lawless instability on the Sahara's edge. "If the situation was delicate before the coup, it is now a total defeat," said one senior diplomat following the situation. "This was the worst case scenario and it has happened. It can worsen yet if there is no quick resolution to the institutional impasse in Bamako," the diplomat added. In three short days last week, a mix of rebel forces seized the three main regional centers of a territory the size of France, bringing the Tuareg closer than ever before to their decades-old dream of carving out a desert nation of their own. In Kidal, the top Tuareg army officer, surrounded by rebels, deserted with 500 heavily armed men. The garrison town of Gao with its helicopter gunships folded in hours as soldiers fled. Militia who were expected to hold Timbuktu put up no resistance. "The concern was always about an ungoverned space," said Todd Moss, vice president at the Center for Global Development and a former senior U.S. diplomat for Africa. "(Now) instead of having a few pockets you now have a huge zone. That gives everybody the freedom to operate," he added, referring to a region which al Qaeda cells, hostage-takers and smugglers have already made their own. The coup in Bamako and the implosion of Mali's forces in the north have left the West African nation helpless. Mali will need its neighbors to provide a firewall against any new push south but no intervention is likely while the junta remains in power. NORTH LOST, BUT TO WHOM? Secular, separatist rebels of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) proclaimed the "liberation" of the Azawad territory they say is rightfully theirs on their website. "Long live Azawad! Land of the free people," the post on the group's Facebook page said of an area that hosts most of Mali's potential oil and part of its mineral riches. But according to residents and witnesses in Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu, the reality is less clear-cut. Attacks were carried out alongside Ansar Dine, another group of fighters who say their aim is to impose sharia law across all of Mali rather than an independent desert nation. Moreover, in a zone where alliances shift as easily as the desert sands and where local or family links can be as important as strategic objectives, there is evidence of at least personal ties between some rebels and local al Qaeda fighters. In Kidal, the heartland of Ansar Dine leader Iyad Ag Ghali, residents said music had been replaced by prayer readings on the local radio and western dress was now banned in public. To the south in Gao, hotels, bars, churches and the offices of aid agencies, all seen as anti-Islamic, were ransacked by Islamists, a Reuters witness said. While the advance was relatively bloodless, there were nonetheless acts of extreme violence. The head of a soldier killed in the advance was displayed on a spike at the entrance of a base which was briefly held by Ansar Dine before the MNLA took over, the witness added. "There has been disorder," Moussa Ag Jicoda, a local MNLA commander speaking to Reuters by satellite phone from Gao's military base, acknowledged. "Ansar Dine are here but their objectives and ours are very different. They did come in to the town but it was us who took the military camp," he added. "There is no collaboration or an agreement. But maybe they took advantage of disorder." For now, the MNLA has an uneasy co-existence with Ansar Dine in the places they occupy. But with the MNLA having pledged in the past to push al Qaeda and its allies from northern Mali, many ask how long the relationship will last. In Timbuktu, first the flag of the separatist MNLA flew above the governor's office. Then, according to residents, it was burned and replaced by the black flag of Ansar Dine. A resident in the town said Islamists had threatened to behead four youths caught looting the offices of Mali's energy company. Thieves have also been threatened amputation. It was not possible to verify what came of the threats. Local sources and residents say the ancient trading post of Timbuktu has been a focal point of activity in past days. MNLA leader Colonel Mahamed Ag Najim has set up base at the airport while Ansar Dine's Ag Ghali had been in the town, they said. MUJWA, another Islamist group linked to the kidnapping of foreigners, is also active in the area. A Malian source with intimate knowledge of the groups active in the zone said there had been several sightings in Timbuktu of Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a senior figure in Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and his No. 2 on Tuesday. "We fear that in this confused situation Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb will take advantage of the situation to expand its perimeter of activity and strengthen the terrorist threat," French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said. ROGUE DESERT STATE Thirteen Western hostages, six of them French, are believed to be held by gunmen in the zone now controlled by rebels. Beyond the seized regional capitals, border towns like Tin Zaouatine, which are used as transit hubs for trans-Sahara cocaine and hashish smuggling are now firmly in rebel hands. The same is true of Tessalit, a military base near Algeria's border that has a 4 km concrete runway and has been coveted by Western nations seeking to monitor the Sahara. Earlier in the fighting, U.S. forces had air-dropped rations to Malian forces trying to fight off a rebel siege there. In its strongest statement yet on the crisis, the U.S. State Department warned on Tuesday that the territorial integrity of Mali was now at stake. The major unknown factor now is that while the MNLA says it has taken all the territory it considers part of Azawad, Ansar Dine has put no such limits on how far south it will go. "The interest of the international community is that this sanctuary is closed on one way or another. And Mali must reclaim its integrity," said the diplomat. Abdel-Fatau Musah, director of external relations at ECOWAS, warned of a possible "terrorist zone" while a second diplomat went further by warning of the emergence of an "autonomous rogue state across the Sahara". REGIONAL FORCE TO THE RESCUE Some optimists had suggested that the quick rebel push would accelerate the inevitable move from battlefield to the negotiating table. But with ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure in hiding and the junta in Bamako recognized neither abroad nor by the northerners, there is really no one for the rebels to talk to. ECOWAS countries, who days before the coup were weighing how to help Mali secure the north, have now launched economic and diplomatic sanctions aimed at forcing the mid-ranking officers behind the coup to stand down immediately. "What is happening in the north is very serious ... but (ECOWAS) is not going to (get involved) unless there is a legitimate government place," said ECOWAS's Musah. Any path out of the crisis will be long and uncertain. Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara, the current head of ECOWAS, has called for the "activation" of the West African bloc's standby force of some 3,000 men. But the force only exists on paper and winning troop pledges could take weeks. Even assuming ECOWAS secures enough troop contributions to deploy, it is not expected to be able to do much more than hold a frontline to prevent any further push south. Ex-colonial power France, which has troops stationed in the region, has ruled out direct military intervention. Washington, a major ally of Mali, has also cut military aid since the coup and is unlikely to intervene directly. Mauritania and Algeria, also desert nations, have deeper knowledge of the terrain and groups involved. But both have had troubled ties with Mali and many in Bamako accuse Mauritania of having backed the rebellion - something it denies. "It will be very difficult for the state to recuperate the north," said the Malian source with intimate knowledge of the zone. "It is hot. It is hostile. Who can come and fight?" (Additional reporting by Bate Felix and Adama Diarra in Bamako; Cheikh Dioura in Gao; John Irish in Paris; Editing by Mark John and Giles Elgood) http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/04/us-mali-rogue-idUSBRE8330X220120404 Personal Comment From Bors: There's buggerall infrastructure there...how can they support themselves if they are independent? Wouldn't it be better to simply be an autonomous region of Mali?
  23. Executive Branch - POLITICS Obama Sends U.S. Troops to Central Africa to Aid Campaign Against Rebel Group Published October 14, 2011 | FoxNews.com Print Email Share Comments Text Size WASHINGTON -- President Obama is sending about 100 U.S. troops to central Africa to help local forces battle the Lord's Resistance Army, a rebel group that the administration says has waged a campaign of murder, rape and kidnapping for more than two decades. Obama said Friday the troops will act as advisers in efforts to hunt down rebel leader Joseph Kony but will not engage in combat except in self-defense, according to a letter to Congress that was obtained by Fox News. Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/10/14/obama-sends-us-troops-to-central-africa-to-aid-campaign-against-rebel-group/?test=latestnews#ixzz1amzdjNix
  24. Women were a key force in the popular protests that toppled Tunisia's government last year and kicked off the Arab Spring. But now many Tunisian women worry that the new government may want to turn back the clock. Women were a conspicuous force when Tunisians took to the streets in 2010-11 to oust former president Zine El Albine Ben Ali. But when Ben Ali stepped down on January 14, 2011, it opened up new debates about the role of women in Tunisia. After gaining independence from France in 1956, Tunisia was one of the most progressive countries in the Arab world in terms of women's status. Women were quickly given the right to divorce and vote. In 1981, in a move to combat what was seen as an outmoded religious custom, Tunisia actually banned the hijab, or headscarf, in state offices and at universities. But with the moderate Islamic Ennahda movement having won 40 percent of the vote in the 2011 elections, some women now fear that the government may try to compel them to adhere to certain practices, traditional and otherwise. "I don't want anyone to force me to do anything," Salma, a young translator from Tunis told DW. "If I decide some day to wear a headscarf, or even a burqa, no one has the right to tell me yes on no." The same, she added, applied to drinking alcohol or having a boyfriend. The Ennahda-led government has repeatedly assured the public that it will not try to roll back the rights of women. But skeptics fear that words are one thing, and actions another. Veils and distractions Demostrations for women's rights are common in Tunisia Since last November, sit-ins by Islamist students have brought the humanities department at Manouba University in Tunis to a standstill. The students have demanded that female students be allowed to wear the full facial veil or niqab while taking exams, and that the university allocate space for daily prayer. "It's a false debate intended to distract attention from the truly important problems, the economic and political development of the country," says Rafiqa, an editor at a Tunisian weekly newspaper. "We have to work at ensuring progress in our country, and with that in mind, the women are simply going to have to remove their veils." Rafiqa herself has worn a hijab since marriage, but she says demands to allow niqabs, which could obscure the identity of women taking exams, go too far. She admits she fears such protests could herald the beginning of a two-class society for men and women. "Tomorrow, there'll be separate busses for men and women, and the day after that separate universities," she complains. "We want to keep moving forward and not make a U-turn." Others are less interested in cultural issues such as veils and more concerned with female participation in the economy and politics. In elections to the constitutional assembly in October 2011, men and women were supposed to alternate on the lists of the various parties. But the political reality looks very different. Gender quotas? A debate has commenced about headscarves and veils "In the first two transitional governments, there was only a single women," says Najoua Makhlouf, a member of Tunisia's largest trade union, the UGTT. "After the elections, there are only two women in the government. Those are catastrophic results for us women." Yet even within the UGTT, with its 48 percent female members, the top positions are exclusively held by men. Makhlouf is one of the few females to have an official union post, in her case the chair of the union's women's commission. "The mentality is simply sexist," she says. "The social milieu of Tunisian trade unions is traditionally masculine. A quota for women would be our salvation." But Makhlouf adds that last year's revolution was only the beginning, and that the fight for a truly democratic Tunisia was just getting started. And she's not alone in thinking this way. "We Tunisians are no longer going to allow ourselves to get trampled on," Salma says. "The politicians have understood this, and they are going to think very carefully about what they do." Although it generated new debates about the role of women in a Muslim society, the revolution of 2011 clearly showed Tunisian women that they can have considerable political power. Author: Sarah Mersch / jc Editor: Sabina Casagrande http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,15741582,00.html Personal Comment From Bors: Religion really does need to role over and die...never thought I'd say that but it appears more and more to be the case.
  25. Date 11.02.2012 Author Spencer, Kimball The two Sudans have taken a step toward political reconciliation after signing an agreement aimed at averting war. But disputes over territory and oil revenue remain unresolved. Sudanand South Sudan signed a non-aggression pact on Friday in a bid to defuse tensions along their common border and avert a war over disputed oil payments. "The two countries agree to non-aggression and cooperation," chief negotiator Thabo Mbeki, the former president of South Africa, told reporters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Adaba, where the talks were held. South Sudan became a sovereign state when it voted in a popular referendum in January 2011 to secede from Sudan after more than two decades of civil war, formally gaining its independence that July. A number of territorial and economic disputes, however, remain unresolved and have led to military clashes along the two states' frontier. When South Sudan seceded, it took around three-quarters of Sudan's oil production with it. But the landlocked south can only sell its crude through northern export facilities. South Sudan shut down its entire oil output last January after Khartoum began seizing crude as compensation for what it called unpaid fees. Sudan's president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, warned last week that tensions with South Sudan could lead to war between the two countries. Mutual respect According to the pact signed on Friday, the two sides agreed to "respect each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity" and to "refrain from launching any attack, including bombardment." The agreement also established a monitoring mechanism that allows either side to lodge complaints if a border dispute erupts. South Sudan and Sudan still contest the oil-rich Abyei region and the Blue Nile states. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the two nations to resolve their differences in the name of their common interests. "The moment has come for the leaders of both countries to make the necessary compromises…that will guarantee a peaceful and prosperous future," the secretary-general said in a statement. Talks are expected to continue in the Ethiopian capital on Saturday, with a focus on outstanding oil revenue and pipeline fee issues. slk/ai (Reuters, AFP) http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,15736620,00.html Personal Comment From Bors: North Sudan NA's South Sudan ...next step is Perma-Allying Egypt and Somalia and waiting for a few income turns before steam rolling over the border. :cool:
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