Archive for category Guinea

continuing chaos in West Africa

1. North Africa al qaeda offers to help Nigerian Muslims fight the Nigerian Christians in Jos

An al Qaeda group in North Africa has offered to give Nigerian Muslims training and weapons to fight Christians in the West African country, where more than 460 people were killed in sectarian clashes last month.

Vice President Goodluck Jonathan sent in the military to halt the violence after four days of clashes between Christian and Muslim mobs armed with guns, knives and machetes in the area round the city of Jos in central Nigeria. “We are ready to train your people in weapons, and give you whatever support we can in men, arms and munitions to enable you to defend our people in Nigeria,” the statement by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said.

more @ next

2. Niger Delta: MEND claims it is “not directly” responsible for the sabotage of Royal Dutch Shell oil pipeline

The sabotage on Saturday came hours after the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) ended a three-month old cease-fire and threatened to unleash “an all-out assault” on Africa’s biggest oil and gas industry. While MEND said the attack was the work of a militant group it backed, one security source, who declined to be identified, said the sabotage on Shell’s pipeline, in Bayelsa state in the Niger Delta, might have been carried out by oil thieves trying to tap into it. “MEND was not directly responsible,” the group said in an email to Reuters.  “It was certainly a response to our order to resume hostilities by one of the various freelance groups we endorse.”

more @ yahoo news

3. Nigerian senate totally in the weeds over Yar’Adua’s absence, debating the wording of the Nigerian constitution and how to resolve the crisis

4. expressions of outrage in Sierra Leone — EU, AU called out for supporting corrupt former president

It has come to the attention of this press, that civil servants appointed to key positions of authority and influence by the previous SLPP government in Sierra Leone, are alleged to have gone on the rampage to sabotage, destroy and ruin the economic framework that the President and government of Sierra Leone are instituting to return the country to a sound economic footing. If the allegations are true, then this is an economic crime against humanity. It is reported that these civil servants may have been directed by the opposition party’s machinery to unleash an agenda of sabotage to bring the economy of the country to a halt by failing to institute fiscal policies that will stimulate growth in the economy. And by diverting necessary funds meant for infrastructural development to their pocket, these civil servants are ill-bent on causing chaos and  tarnish the important work the present government led by Dr Ernest Bai Koroma is doing to salvage the opposition-battered economy presided over by former President Ahmed Tejan-Kabbah.

Some of Sierra Leone’s finest military officers were executed in cold blood by President Ahmed Tejan-Kabbah in the previous SLPP government. Their only crime? They did not accompany him to Guinea when soldiers overthrew his government in a coup d’état. On returning from Guinea after ECOMOG helped restore his government, Tejan-Kabbah ordered the arrest and detention of all whom he thought were not loyal to him and without a single evidence of complicity in the coup, he ordered the execution and continued detention of some of the most gallant men and women of the country’s military. In fact for him to be restored back into power, he ordered ECOMOG fighter jets to bomb Freetown, the capital, at random, without any regard for human life, in his quest to get the rid of rebels in the city and regain power. Thousands of innocent civilians were killed and homes destroyed. This is indeed a crime against humanity. And for this reason alone, I detest any attempt by international organisations like the U.N. or A.U.  to employ the services of this brutal dictator in any mediation efforts across the continent. Tejan Kabbah is not worthy of holding any public office anywhere in the world. Even prior to his election victory there were reports of him being convicted of corruption when he worked as a civil servant in the Siaka Stevens administration.

more @ newstime africa

5. threat of another military intervention in Guinea as top junta official is arrested

Dadis Camara’s closest confidante in Guinea’s military junta, Colonel Moussa Keita,  has been arrested and taken into custody. There is clear indication from reports coming out of Guinea, that officers loyal to exiled Junta leader Dadis Camara, are determined to sabotage the peace agreement signed in Burkina Faso as long as their leader is kept in isolation….The acceptance of Guinea’s Interim Leader Sekouba Konate, to sign up to the Ouagadougou agreement had raised suspicion of a sell-out in Dadis Camara’s mind as reports late last year from Morocco, indicated that Western Diplomats made a lucrative offer to Konate to sign up to a plan hatched by the U.S. to remove Dadis Camara from Guinea’s political life.

more @ newstime africa

news from africa, land of valuable minerals with poor people living on top

1. US and Morocco to work on common interests

The Moroccan government, chaired by the Prime Minister Abbas El Fassi, met the US Congress Delegation, led by Senator Jude Gregg, on Tuesday in Rabat to discuss their common interests and bilateral relations. The meeting shed light mainly on three issues: Morocco’s territorial integrity, the Palestinian cause, and the bilateral cooperation between the United States and Morocco. Both sides agreed on the importance to advance forward the US-Morocco Free Trade Agreement that was signed in 2004.

read more @ newstime africa

2. as US piles pressure on Morocco, Dadis Camera’s future becomes uncertain

The United States Government recently sent a high powered delegation including Johnny Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, to try and influence the Moroccan government to stop the Guinean President Dadis Camara from returning to Guinea. The delegation also seized the opportunity to hold talks with Guinea’s Interim Leader and Minister of Defence, Sekouba Konate who was in Rabat to do an assessment of the leaders medical condition. Western diplomats in Rabat expressed confidence in the Moroccan administration and said they believe Rabat will join hands with them to keep Camara away from Guinea and bolster efforts in Conakry to return the country to a civilian government….Sekouba Conate is keen to present a clean image to the International Community and indeed to the Guinean people. Whether this is an attempt to camouflage his true intentions to become leader in any future administration is yet to be discovered….Possible opposition candidates for prime minister in a transitional government are Jean Marie Dore, Francois Lonceny Fall and Sidya Toure. Dore hails from Guinea’s Forestiere region where Dadis Camara also comes from and home to several minority ethnic groups that have long felt under-represented in power.

read more @ newstime africa

3. UN warns of “potential threat” by unconstitutional changes in West Africa

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) — The resurgence of unconstitutional changes of government and undemocratic practices in West Africa constitutes a potential threat to sub regional peace and stability, according to a UN report released on Wednesday….Also last month, President Moussa Dadis Camara survived an assassination attempt, which led to further violence and human rights abuses by security forces, the secretary-general said. He warned that the “deteriorating” situation in Guinea could jeopardize the fragile peace processes underway in the nation’s Mano River Basin neighbors — Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and threaten the stability of the greater subregion.

…To tackle the threat posed by drug trafficking and cross-border organized crime, Ban stressed the need to enhance UNOWA’s police capacity.  There has been a decline in seizures of narcotics at European airports on flights originating in West Africa. However, that is not necessarily a result of a dip in trafficking, but rather due to a “tactical repositioning” by traffickers, who are no longer using the region only as a transit point.   Traffickers, he said, may be trying to produce narcotics in West Africa, constituting “a most alarming trend and a potentially serious destabilizing factor and threat to West African populations.”

read more @ chinaview

4. Somalia’s ambassador to Djibouti dies

The Somali embassy in Djibouti has confirmed Thursday morning that ambassador Muse Hussein Fahiye has perished at a hospital here in Djibouti last night at about 10:00 PM local time. Deputy ambassador Abdurahman Mohamed Hirabe told reporters at the embassy building this morning that after three days of illness Fahiye died last night and will be buried in Djibouti later on the day. “He was in his late 50s and was appointed as Somali ambassador to Djibouti in December 2008 by the former Somali president Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed”Hirabe said during a press conference Thursday….Djibouti which is a brother nation of Somalia is one of the few countries which have embassies in Somalia’s lawless capital Mogadishu and since Somalia descended into chaos Djibouti was a leading nation in the peace making efforts and reconciliation to end political disagreements and create a functioning central government in Somalia.

can’t have that… - ed.

source: newstime africa

5. Zimbabwe auctions 300,000 diamond carats from controversial fields — at airport

About 300 000 diamond carats from the controversial Chiadzwa diamond fields are to be auctioned in a first formal trade of the precious mineral since Government moved in to normalise mining at the minefields. Mbanda Diamonds Mining, a firm authorized by government to mine diamonds in Chiadzwa is conducting the auction at the newly converted diamond processing facility at the Airport.

“International diamond buyers from as far as the Americas, Europe and Asia have already started arriving for today’s sales, which are expected to run for the next three days,” said Robert Mhlanga, Mbanda’s chairman.

The Zimbabwean government would earn 75 percent of the total sales revenue through a 50 percent weekly dividend, a 10 percent royalty fee, 15 percent taxation and a five percent resource depletion fee. “In order to ensure maximum security and compliance with the Kimberly Process, the first consignment of the diamonds on sale were airlifted from Chiadzwa diamond fields under guard from the police”, said Mhlanga.

International community has been extensively lobbying for a ban on Zimbabwe diamonds, claiming human rights abuses. Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights claim that about 5,000 people were arrested during the army operation, with three quarters of them showing signs of having been tortured severely.

Also the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which shares the unity government with Zanu-PF, claimed that hundreds of people were buried in mass graves “to hide the regime’s (Zanu-PF) murderous activities,” and that the soldiers sent to ’guard’ the fields had become illegal diamond dealers themselves. During a visit by Kimberly Process (the regulatory body tasked with ending the global trade in conflict diamonds) last year to investigate the reports of rights abuses, the team met with a key witness, Chief Newman Chiadzwa. Chiadzwa offered up testimonies and eye witness accounts of beatings, torture and even murders at the hands of the military controlling the diamond fields. He also detailed how he had been arrested and harassed before the Kimberley Process delegation’s visit.

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6. oh look, over there, South Sudan — lots of poor people and NGOs struggling — time to “internationalize” the situation, that always works. NOT.

LONDON - Christian and Animist southern Sudan could descend into a new war unless the world community takes action to salvage peace there, aid agencies warned Thursday.  The 10 agencies said a lethal combination of rising violence, crippling poverty and political tensions has left the peace deal close to collapse.”It is not yet too late to avert disaster, but the next 12 months are a crossroads for Africa’s largest country,” said the report’s co-author, Maya Mailer, from Oxfam.  “Last year saw a surge in violence in southern Sudan. This could escalate even further and become one of the biggest emergencies in Africa in 2010,” she added.

read more @ middle east online