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EVENING REPORT 18.11.2002.
IVORIAN REBELS TO SUBMIT PEACE DRAFT.
LOME: Ivorian rebels say they have formulated their own proposals to end the war in Ivory Coast, after rejecting a draft plan by mediators at peace talks in Togo. A spokesman for the rebel team said the proposals outlined a political plan to end the crisis, but did not elaborate. He said the rebels would present the new document to Togolese President Gnassingbe Eyadema, who has been mediating in the dialogue. Hundreds of people have been killed in four weeks of fighting in Ivory Coast after dissident soldiers failed to seize power this September. A truce policed by troops from France has held since last month, but three weeks of peace negotiations in Lome have borne little fruit.
NIGERIA ACCEPTS LOSS OF BORDER AREA.
ABUJA: Nigeria has appealed to its citizens to be patient over the loss of a key border area to Cameroon and has signalled a move towards accepting a World Court ruling on the dispute. Nigerian analysts said the government, which initially denounced the ruling, appears to have concluded that Nigeria did not get such a bad deal after all when the court ceded the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon last month. Although Cameroon won Bakassi, the court upheld Nigeria's title to a maritime area holding crude oil reserves of more than ten-billion barrels. President Olusegun Obasanjo, after his first meeting with Cameroon's President Paul Biya since the ruling, told Nigerians the two countries were moving towards a settlement.
KENYAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION BEGINS.
NAIROBI: Kenya's two main presidential candidates have have launched their campaigns, addressing huge crowds in the capital of Nairobi. Ruling KANU party candidate Uhuru Kenyatta, accompanied by President Daniel arap Moi, presented his party nomination to the Electoral Commission and then drove a few kilometers to a downtown park, where thousands of supporters gathered to greet his first election speech. The main opposition leader, Mwai Kibaki, filed his papers a few hours later and then headed to his rally at a nearby soccer stadium. There were reports of isolated violence as several supporters of Kibaki threw stones at cars passing by with posters of Kenyatta.
ZIMBABWE MAKES IT AN OFFENCE TO BE RUDE TO PRESIDENT.
HARARE: The Zimbabwean government has published new laws that make it a crime to gesture rudely or swear at President Robert Mugabe's motorcade. The road traffic regulations state that when the presidential motorcade passes, no one shall make any gesture or statement with the intention of insulting any person travelling with the escort. Mugabe's motorcade includes four-by-four vehicles packed with heavily-armed soldiers, sedans carrying plainclothes secret police and an ambulance, at the back. The president's bullet-proof luxury car drives at the centre of the convoy.
AMERICAN TERROR SUSPECT ARRESTED AGAIN.
CAPE TOW: American terror suspect James Kilgore has been arrested for a third time in Cape Town in South Africa. His latest arrest was based on a warrant obtained by the global police organisation, Interpol. The arrest took place this morning when Kilgore was already in custody on South African immigration and fraud charges. Hours later, a Cape Town magistrate postponed both matters to early next month. Kilgore did not seek bail. He was once a member of the counter cultural American movement, The Symbionese Liberation Army. He is wanted by the American authorities for crimes committed by the group in the 1970s, including murder and armed robbery.
GIANT METEORITE HIT SOUTH AFRICA AEONS AGO.
JOHANNESBURG: Geological evidence from the Barberton area in the Mpumalanga Lowveld of South Africa has led American scientists to conclude that a giant meteorite fell to earth nearly three-and-a-half-billion years ago. They say they have found evidence that the meteorite was 20-kilometers in diameter, twice the size of the one blamed for the demise of the dinosaurs 65-million years ago. The research team from America's Stanford University analyzed geological deposits from Barberton as well as Pilbara in Australia. However, they can not say where the meteorite hit the earth. South Africa has the world's biggest meteor impact site at the Vredefort Dome in the northern Free State.
MIDDAY REPORT 18.11.2002.
GLOBAL MEDIA UNDER FIRE: LOBBY GROUP.
PARIS: A media pressure group says 31 reporters were killed last year, and journalists around the world face growing restrictions on their freedom to operate. The French-based group, Reporters Without Borders, says a record number of journalists were arrested and attacked last year. Media censorship and restrictions had increased. It says the situation deteriorated sharply in countries like Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Haiti and Nepal. Eight journalists were killed covering the war in Afghanistan. The number of journalists arrested last year was 489 as opposed to 329 the year before. Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo each detained more than 20 in the course of the year.
GAMBIA SIGNS ACCORD WITH THE US.
BANJUL: Gambia has become the 13th country to sign the Article 98 accord with the United States. The pact exempts American troops from prosecution by the International Criminal Court in The Hague. In terms of the accord, Gambia pledged not to extradite American soldiers for prosecution to the court. Washington fears the tribunal may be used as a tool to prosecute American servicemen for political reasons. It has warned that it may withdraw military aid to countries which refuse to sign Article 98.
US AGENCY TO ASSIST AIDS ORPHANS IN ZIMBABWE.
HARARE: The U.S. Agency for International Development is to provide two-million-500-thousand dollars to support more than 50-thousand AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe. The funds from the agency will be managed by the Catholic Relief Services of Zimbabwe over the next two years. The project is expected to help improve the physical and mental well-being of the AIDS orphans. The United Nations estimates that one-million-500-thousand Zimbabwean children will have been orphaned by AIDS in three years from now.
SLIGHT INCREASE IN USE OF ANTI-RETROVIRAL DRUGS IN BURUNDI.
BUJUMBURA: Health workers in Burundi say the use of anti-retroviral drugs has doubled, following a drop in prices over the past year, but that the vast majority of AIDS patients can NOT afford the drugs. They said Burundi struck a deal with Western companies in May last year to ensure access to cheap anti-AIDS drugs. The price of the drugs dropped from 90-dollars a month to less than 30-dollars. Burundi had around 400 people under treatment before the prices fell. This number has risen to about a thousand patients under present treatment. However, for Burundi this was an insignificant number. The United Nations reports that over eight percent of Burundians aged between 15 and 49 are H.I.V. positive.
RUSSIA, CHINA, INDIA, NIGERIA AND ETHIOPIA FACE AIDS PANDEMIC.
WASHINGTON: The American National Intelligence Council says the spread of the AIDS pandemic could triple the number of cases in Russia, China, India, Nigeria and Ethiopia by the year 2010, eclipsing the number in central and southern Africa, which is the current epicentre of the epidemic. It says the number of infected people in the five countries will grow to an estimated 50-million to 75-million people, from the present 14 to 23-million. The council says these countries are at an earlier stage than central and southern Africa, where AIDS cases were expected to grow to between 30-million and 35-million by 2010, from about 25 million to 27-million today.
NEW GOVERNMENT AGENCY TO FIND JOBS FOR EX-TROOPS IN ANGOLA.
LUANDA: The Angolan government has established the Special National Reconstruction Service office that will find jobs for tens of thousands of demobilised rebels and soldiers. The office will be linked with a state company in charge of building infrastructure, managing humanitarian programs and removing land mines scattered over the Angolan countryside. The UNITA movement in Angola is expected to disarm some 50-thousand members in terms of a peace-pact signed with the Angolan government earlier this year. The peacetime Angolan army is expected to slash its size, from 150-thousand troops.
ANOTHER ASSOCIATION OF TRADESMEN FORMED IN SOUTHERN AFRICA.
WINDHOEK: A regional electricity regulators' association for the southern African region has been established in Namibia. The creation of the association was approved in principle by the Southern African Development Community at a meeting in Lesotho in July this year. The electricity regulators' association will provide a platform for co-operation between independent electricity regulators in southern Africa.
Prepared In Johannesburg, South Africa.
While these stories may be freely used, the source Channel Africa must be credited
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