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EVENING REPORT 15/11/02
BURUNDI CEASEFIRE TALKS TO RESUME ON TUESDAY.
BUJUMBURA: Ceasefire talks between Burundi's transitional government and the country's main rebel movement, the Forces for the Defence of Democracy, are to resume in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday. Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has asked the principal mediator, South Africa's Deputy President Jacob Zuma, to bring the two sides together to finalise a ceasefire in two weeks. Museveni is the chairman of a regional peace initiative for Burundi. The Burundian parties failed to meet a previous deadline when talks in Dar es Salaam ended without agreement on the eighth of this month.
GENOCIDE TRIAL OF FOUR RWANDANS TO RESUME ON MONDAY.
ARUSHA: The genocide trial of four Rwandan former military officers resumes on Monday at the United Nations tribunal for Rwanda in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha. The hearings at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda were suspended last month. This was to make way for another trial of three other suspects accused of genocide in the southwest Rwandan region of Cyangugu. Former Rwandan defence ministry advisor Theoneste Bagosora is one of the four whose trial resumes on Monday. He is regarded by prosecutors as the mastermind of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda that claimed close to one million lives.
U.S. PRESIDENT EXPECTED TO VISIT AFRICA IN A COUPLE OF MONTHS.
JOHANNESBURG: American Secretary of Commerce Don Evans has met officials from the Southern African Customs Union in Johannesburg, South Africa, to negotiate free trade agreements that aim to benefit farmers and business. Evans, who was accompanied by a large business delegation, has been in South Africa since Wednesday. He told journalists that the United States is committed to developing Africa's economies and says this will be evident when president George W. Bush visits the continent in a couple of months. The customs union -- also called SACU -- includes South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland.
MORE THAN A MILLION DEAD KENYANS STILL ON VOTERS ROLL.
NAIROBI: The independent Institute for Education in Democracy, or IED, says more than one million dead Kenyans are still registered on the country's electoral roll, raising fears that their names will be used by one of the parties to rig the vote in elections next month. The IED says almost 16 percent of the one-thousand-177 people taken as a representative sample in a recent audit of the ten-point-five million electorate have died since the last elections five years ago. The director of the Nairobi-based institute says since 1997, the register has not struck off the dead people. Analysts say the figure could be even higher due to AIDS which kills about 500 to 700 Kenyans a day.
ROBBERS MAKE OFF WITH MORE THAN MILLION DOLLARS IN TANZANIA.
DAR ES SALAAM: Four armed robbers have stormed a bank in the Tanzanian capital, Dar Es Salaam, and robbed it of more than one-point-four million dollars. Police say they are still investigating. Preliminary reports say the robbers were armed with pistols. Witnesses say the robbers carried out the heist after breaking into the strongroom.
KENYA, TANZANIA AND UGANDAN PRESIDENTS TO MEET.
DAR ES SALAAM: Presidents Daniel arap Moi of Kenya, Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda are to meet at the end of the month to review achievements of the East Africa Community, or EAC. The EAC says the summit will also discuss progress made towards the creation of the EAC Customs Union Protocol, which is expected to go into force in 2004. The EAC was formally launched in 2001 to facilitate regional integration, the creation of a common market and ultimately form a political federation for the three countries' population of about 80 million people.
D.R.C. TALKS IN PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA ENTER FINAL ROUND.
PRETORIA: The Inter-Congolese Dialogue in Pretoria, South Africa, has entered it's final and most critical stage as delegates attempt to finalise outstanding issues relating to Democratic Republic of Congo's transitional government. Convened by the United Nations, earlier this year, the parties involved agreed on an interim presidency that includes D.R.C. president Joseph Kabila and four vice-presidents from opposition ranks. This government is expected to lead the Congo until elections, scheduled to be held in 24 months' time.
KENYA'S RULING PARTY REELS FROM TOP-LEVEL DEFECTIONS.
NAIROBI: Kenya's ruling KANU party is reeling from a number of top-level defections ahead of general elections. However, observers say its 40-year-old control of the levers of state power may yet condemn a vigorous opposition challenge to defeat. A string of senior politicians have quit KANU in recent weeks. They have pledged support for opposition candidate Mwai Kibaki, who leads a party that looks more than a match for KANU in the breadth of its support. President Daniel arap Moi, who is one of Africa's longest serving leaders, is required by the constitution to step down after presidential and parliamentary polls next month.
ERITREA PLEDGES TO HELP FAMINE VICTIMS IN ETHIOPIA.
NAIROBI: Eritrea has pledged to facilitate efforts to help famine victims in Ethiopia by offering its ports for speedy humanitarian assistance delivery. The foreign ministry says the government is aware of its obligations in the crisis and has no desire to penalise destitute people in Ethiopia for the wrongs done by their government. Relations between the two Horn of Africa nations have remained tense since the end of a bloody border war two years ago. Seven years earlier, Eritrea won its independence from Ethiopia, which lost its Red Sea ports in the process.
WEAPONS INSPECTORS GO BACK TO BAGHDAD.
CAIRO: Now that weapon inspectors are on their way back to Baghdad, Arab leaders are on alert observing the situation in Iraq. However, analysts say despite the efforts of Arab diplomats the return of inspectors is doing little to calm war jitters across the Arab world. The Secretary-General of the Arab League Amr Moussa says they are trying to stop an overheating situation from reaching boiling point.
C.A.R. PARLIAMENT SAYS GOVERNMENT MUST GO.
BANGUI: The presidential majority in parliament in the Central African Republic has demanded the resignation of the government for its handling of an insurgency which rocked Bangui for six days. Prime Minister Martin Ziguele was present in parliament when the call came from President Ange-Felix Patasse's Centrafrican People's Liberation Movement, or MPLC. The national assembly session was the first since the army, with help from Libyan troops and rebels sent by a leader in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, drove rebellious soldiers out of Bangui at the end of last month. The unrest claimed at least 105 lives in Bangui.
NIGERIA'S ELECTORAL AGENCY ISSUES NEW GUIDELINES FOR REGISTRATION.
ABUJA: Nigeria's electoral agency has issued new guidelines for the registration of political parties, a week after the Supreme Court quashed its earlier tough rules. The Independent National Electoral Commission Chairman, Abel Goubadia, says only the guidelines upheld by the country's highest court in its ruling will be used to determine the qualification of political parties. However, the commission has added that it reserves the right to issue additional guidelines where they become necessary in future. The electoral agency says it will announce its decisions on the registration of political parties not later than the fifth of next month.
CATHOLIC CHURCH IN LIBERIA SUSPENDS ALL ACTIVITIES.
MONROVIA: The Catholic Church in Liberia has announced the suspension of all of its activities in protest against allegations levied against an archbishop by a member of parliament. Earlier this month Bomi County representative Sando Johnson alleged on radio that Archbishop Michael Francis and former interim president Amos Sawyer had plotted and executed the murder of five American nuns. This was alleged to have happened during Liberia's civil war in the 1990s with the support of the Senegalese contingent of the West African Peace Monitoring Group. Johnson further alleged that Francis and Sawyer had reorganised the Armed Forces of Liberia to carry out the notorious Harbel massacre which claimed the lives of more than 500 people.
ZAMBIA SUBSIDISED CORN MEAL BEFORE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: CLAIM.
LUSAKA: A former ruling party leader in Zambia says the government sold corn meal at a massive discount ahead of last year's presidential election as part of the ruling party's strategy to secure a victory. The former secretary of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy, Vernon Mwaanga, says ruling party parliamentary candidates distributed the cheap corn meal in four of Zambia's nine provinces, where the party subsequently won huge victories. Mwaanga was testifying before the Supreme Court in Lusaka. The court is hearing a suit brought by three opposition party candidates seeking to have President Levy Mwanawasa's victory nullified because of alleged irregularities.
MOROCCO COURT BRINGS FORWARD TRIAL OF AL QAEDA SUSPECTS.
RABAT: A Moroccan court has brought forward to the ninth of next month the trial of three suspected members of the al Qaeda network accused of plotting to blow up United States and British warships in the Mediterranean. Last month Casablanca's criminal appeal court adjourned the trial of the three Saudi nationals and seven alleged Moroccan accomplices to allow more time to contact witnesses. Moroccan authorities arrested the ten in May and June. They have been accused of planning terrorist attacks in Morocco and in the Strait of Gibraltar separating Africa from Europe.
BRITISH OFFICIAL RUFFLES CRITICS OVER LEGACY OF BRITISH EMPIRE.
LONDON: British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has ruffled political opponents by laying much of the blame for current crises in Zimbabwe and Iraq on the legacy of imperialism. Straw has told the New Statesman magazine a lot of the problems his government are having to deal with currently are a consequence of Britain's colonial past. Members of the main opposition Conservative Party have accused Straw of yielding to left-wing guilt and undermining British foreign policy, particularly in Zimbabwe. Prime Minister Tony Blair has backed Straw and says his remarks are a sensible statement of history.
ANGOLA'S NATIONAL TEAM CANCELS FRIENDLY AGAINST MOZAMBIQUE.
LUANDA: Angola's national soccer squad has cancelled a planned friendly international at home to Mozambique on the 24th of this month. The two Lusophone countries were due to meet in the second leg of a new annual tournament between the former Portuguese colonies. They drew one-one in Maputo in June in the first match, but the Angolan federation said the Mozambicans were indisposed and could not honour the fixture. Mozambique coach Augusto Matine resigned last month after his team lost a second successive African Nations Cup qualifying match.
NIGERIAN FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION DELAYS START OF NATIONAL LEAGUE.
LAGOS: The Nigerian Football Association, or NFA, has delayed the start of the country's national league until after electing its board members. The NFA says the football season, earlier scheduled to start on the 14th of next month, cannot begin until after their annual general meeting. The tenure of the present NFA board expired last month and a committee has been set up to elect new members. Nigeria's second national telephone operator recently won the bid to sponsor the league.
Prepared in Johannesburg, South Africa, by Mbulelo Dlamini Maqhubu and Micel Schnehage.
MIDDAY REPORT: 15.11.2002
DONOR MEETING DECIDES ON SIZE OF PEACE FORCE FOR IVORY COAST.
PARIS: The French Foreign Ministry says the West African force set to monitor the fragile truce between government troops and rebels in Ivory Coast will consist of more than one-thousand-250 troops. The troops will be acting on behalf of the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS. They will come from Senegal, Ghana, Togo, Niger and Benin. The French Foreign Ministry made the announcement at the end of a meeting of donor nations in Paris. It said the executive secretary of ECOWAS, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, had told the meeting that one-thousand-264 troops in all would be required. Mutinous army soldiers in Ivory Coast took up arms against the government in September this year. They control the northern half of the country.
CALL FOR POST WAR PATTERN FOR CONGO.
KIGALI: The head of the United Nations' Development Program, Mark Brown, says Congo needs a program to demobilize its remaining combatants and restore basic services to set it firmly on the path to peace. He said the odds of the conflict restarting between rebels and government forces in Congo remained very high. Brown noted that developmental programmes could tip the balance toward peace. He was speaking shortly before leaving for Congo after visiting Rwanda and Uganda, the two countries backing rebels fighting the Congolese government. The visit came after the neighbours withdrew their troops from Congo. The Congolese civil war erupted in 1998. It appears to be ending with the Congolese peace process making some gains.
WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION TO ENSURE CHEAPER DRUGS FOR NEEDY.
SYDNEY: Twenty-five ministers from the World Trade Organisation have agreed at a meeting in Australia on a plan to give the world's poorest nations access to affordable medicines. The assembly consented to back changes allowing some developing nations to manufacture generic drugs, now protected by patents, and export the medicines to other needy countries on a case-by-case basis. The agreement came after United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan urged the ministers to create a proposal that would allow the 145-nation World Trade Organisation to meet a deadline for solving the issue of affordable medication, especially anti-retroviral drugs. The deadline falls at the end of next month.
ZIMBABWE TO INTRODUCE STRIDENT CURRENCY EXCHANGE CONTROLS.
HARARE: Zimbabwe has announced plans to close all private foreign exchange bureaus and introduce tighter hard currency controls in an effort to curb a rise in black market rates, which are up to 30 times the official rate. The Finance Ministry says that only registered banks will be allowed to handle hard currency brought in by exporters, companies and individuals. Licensed exchange bureaus will be abolished by the end of the month. The official pegged exchange rate is 55 Zimbabwean dollars to one American dollar. Black market rates have risen as high as two-thousand-100 Zimbabwean dollars to one American dollar in recent days.
MOZAMBICAN COMPANY RESTORES POWER SUPPLY TO SOUTH AFRICA.
JOHANNESBURG: The South African electricity parastatal, ESKOM, has welcomed the decision by a supplier in Mozambique to lift its suspension on services to South Africa, following a dispute over tariffs. ESKOM said the restoration of power followed an amicable agreement with the Hydroelectrical Company of Cahora Bassa. The company cut power supplies to ESKOM last month due to tariff arrears which had been outstanding since January this year. The Hydroelectrical Company of Cahora Bassa is near the Zambezi river in central Mozambique.
MEN ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED URANIUM SALE IN MOZAMBIQUE.
DAR ES SALAAM: The police in Tanzania have arrested five people for allegedly trying to sell radio-active material suspected to be uranium. Four of those arrested are Tanzanians, the fifth is from neighbouring Congo. Uranium in Africa is found in Niger, South Africa and Congo. In September this year, British Prime Minister Tony Blair released a dossier of evidence against Iraq which alleged that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's government had tried to acquire significant quantities of uranium from Africa.
MORNING REPORT 15.11.2002.
IVORIAN REBELS WORKING ON DRAFT PEACE PROPOSAL.
ABIDJAN: Ivorian rebels say they have rejected a draft peace accord to end their nearly two-month-old uprising in Ivory Coast, and are now working on a counterproposal of their own. The rebels complained that the proposal, drafted by Ivorian government negotiators at the Lome peace talks, did not address key demands. The rebels want President Laurent Gbagbo to resign in preparation for elections. The head of the government team at the talks, Laurent Dona Fologo, described the initial proposal as comprehensive. He said the government had already made concessions by agreeing to an amnesty law for soldiers accused of plotting against the state. The Ivorian peace talks have been organised by the Economic Community of West African States.
CONGO WANTS PROTECTION FOR ITS CITIZENS IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC.
BANGUI: A senior government delegation from the Democratic Republic of Congo has ended a visit to the neighbouring Central African Republic, where several Congolese nationals have been killed in attacks on foreigners. The Congolese government delegation tried to obtain assurances that Patasse's government would protect Congolese civilians. The Congolese have been assailed since a bloody uprising against Central African President Ange-Felix Patasse last month. The President used Congolese rebels to help crush the rebellion. However, the rebels later ran amuck, attacking civilians in Bangui and in the rest of the Central African Republic. Angry Central Africans took their anger out on the Congolese civilians.
CONGOLESE PEACE TALKS ENTER CRUCIAL PHASE.
PRETORIA: The Inter-Congolese Dialogue enters its final and critical phase in South Africa today. The talks were convened by the United Nations to try to reach agreement on outstanding issues relating to the Congolese transitional government. Parties at the talks reached consensus earlier on an interim Presidency to lead the Congo until elections due be held in two years from now.
REBELS READY FOR NEW ADMINISTRATION IN CONGO.
KINSHASA: Senior rebel officials say rebels controlling large parts of eastern Congo are reorganising their military wing in preparation for ending the four-year war in Congo and joining a transitional government. The secretary-general of the Congolese Rally for Democracy, or RCD, says the group has given the rank of major general to its leader, Adolphe Onusumba, his defence adviser, Jean-Pierre Ondekane, and the group's military chief, Sylvain Buki. None of the group's leaders previously used military ranks. Talks between the government, the RCD and the other main rebel group - the Congolese Liberation Movement - aimed at setting up a transitional government and a new, integrated national army are expected to resume in South Africa.
SUSPECTS QUESTIONED IN MURDER OF MOZAMBICAN REPORTER.
MAPUTO: A former attorney general in Mozambique has been added to the list of high-profile people being investigated in connection with the killing of a journalist investigating a banking scandal. It has been reported that authorities are already investigating whether former Minister of Industry Octavio Muthemba and President Joaquim Chissano's son, Nyimpine, are connected to the November 2000 slaying of Carlos Cardoso. The judge in the case, Augusto Paulino, has now asked the Supreme Court to investigate former Attorney-General Antonio Namburete, former Assistant Attorney-General Manuel Duarte and a former provincial chief attorney Diamantino dos Santos. Cardoso, owner and editor of the daily Metical newspaper, was killed by gunmen.
EQUAL FOOD DISTRIBUTION FOR ALL IN ZIMBABWE: UN.
UNITED NATIONS: United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has called on the government of Zimbabwe to keep a promise not to use food aid as a political weapon. Annan said in a statement that he remained especially concerned about the situation in Zimbabwe, where almost seven-million people would need food aid. The declaration noted the continuing reports of politicisation in food distribution and humanitarian assistance in general in Zimbabwe. The statement added that Annan supported the zero tolerance policy on the politicisation of food distribution established by the World Food Programme. The statement called on the international community to be vigilant in ensuring that relief was made available to the people of Zimbabwe.
S.A. MINING HOUSE PROVIDES ANTI-RETROVIRAL DRUGS FOR WORKERS.
JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's largest gold miner, AngloGold, has begun distributing anti-retroviral drugs to its H.I.V.-positive staff, who make up about a quarter of its workforce. AngloGold announced earlier this year that it would treat H.I.V.-positive employees among its 40-thousand strong workforce. The pandemic costs the mining sector around six-dollars per ounce of gold mined, but the company says the cost of failing to manage it would be nine-dollars an ounce. Anglogold says the drugs will help prolong employees' working lives and contain future AIDS-related expenses.
WORLD SUMMIT A SUCCESS FOR HOTEL INDUSTRY IN SOUTH AFRICA.
JOHANNESBURG: The World Summit Company has wrapped-up its work having generated about 800 million dollars for the South African economy. The company was established about 18 months ago to oversee the running of the World Summit on Sustainable Development Conference held in Johannesburg, South Africa. A preliminary report indicates that the hospitality, transport and tourism industries gained the most from the summit.
PLEDGES FOR MOZAMBICAN AID FAIL TO MATERIALISE.
MAPUTO: Mozambique's Public Works Minister Roberto White says only half the money pledged by foreign donors for reconstruction after the devastating 2000 floods has been given. White says it is easy to make promises, less easy to honour them. The floods killed 700 people and destroyed homes and farmlands in central and southern parts of the country. After those floods, donors pledged 471-million dollars at a conference in Rome for reconstruction. More than two years later only 238-point-five million dollars has actually been given. The Mozambican minister says he has little hope of ever seeing the rest of the money.
SOUTH AFRICAN CURRENCY RALLIES.
JOHANNESBURG: The South African Rand has broken through the level of nine-70 to the American Dollar. This comes after large corporations sold Dollars in after hours trade. Economists are optimistic that the Rand can improve even further. The American Dollar is now trading at nine-Rand-69. The British pound is worth 15-Rand-30, a gain of over 25-cents, and the Euro will cost nine-Rand-73. The South African Rand has performed well this year, recovering from last year's all time low of more than 12 units to the Dollar.
ZIMBABWE HAS NEW CRICKET TEAM FOR PAKISTANI CLASH.
HARARE: The Zimbabwe national cricket squad has dropped all rounders Guy Whittall and Blessing Mahwire from the team to play Pakistan in the second Test starting in Bulawayo tomorrow. Batsman Mark Vermeulen and all rounder Mluleki Nkala were named late on Wednesday in the side that will attempt to square the two-match series after Pakistan won the first by 119 runs with a day to spare in Harare on Tuesday. The Pakistan cricket squad arrived in Harare full of warrior confidence as they began preparations for their matches.
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