News and Views on Africa from Africa
Last update: 1 July 2022 h. 10:44
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Genocide suspect Laurent Semanza claimed on February 14 before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda sitting in Arusha, Tanzania, that former rebel leader, Alexis Kanyaragwe had been harassing him since 1980. Semanza, 57, former mayor of Bicumbi commune in Kigali Rural Province has denied 14 counts of genocide. Crimes against humanity including rape and abduction. He was mayor for he area for 20 years until 1993. Testifying on his trial, Semanza said that he had hard feelings between him and Kanyaragwe, former president of the now ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front. Source: Internews


The United Nations food agency said on February 13 that it would complain formally to the Sudanese government because it bombed a town where people were collecting food just drooped by a UN plane. Two children died and about a dozen people were injured when three of the six bombs drooped by a government plane landed in a village, Akuem in northern Bahr el Ghazal region, said World Food Programme spokesperson Christiane Berthiaume. Source: AP


UN Secretary general Koffi Annan called for an end to fighting between government and rebel forces in Liberia on February 11 indicating that it would threaten the stability of West African region. He urged all countries in the region to prevent armed groups from using their territory to attack their neighbours. Fighting between government troops and rebels in Klay Junction, 37 km north of Monrovia broke out mid February and thousand of people have fled to the capital. President Charles Taylor has already imposed a state of emergency all over the embattled country. Source: AP


Democratic Republic of Congo peace facilitator Ketumile Masire said on February 13 that ending the war in Africa's' third largest country would be much simpler if foreign armies withdrew. The former president of Botswana told Reuters at the start of Inter-Congolese dialogue that he hoped that the Congolese would learn lessons from South Africa's shift from apartheid to democracy. Source: Reuters


An Angolan State governor early this month offered to sell land to Zimbabwe's beleaguered white farmers. Governor Paulo Kassoma said that he wants the farmers to take over 10,000 hectares of abandoned estates to grow maize for export. They would also help the state and create jobs on Huambo in central Angola. Settlers from the country's former colonial master, Portugal left most f their estates in Angola in 1975 after the country's independence triggered a civil war. Source: AP


Zimbabwe mid this month refused to accredit Swedish head of a European Union (EU) observer team who arrived despite a ban on observers from Sweden ahead of next month's presidential polls. "foreign Affairs minister, Stan Mudenge says that the Swedish Ambassador to the United Nations, Pierre Schori who is in the country as head of the EU delegation is a tourist," state television reported. Mudenge said that his government will only accredit as observers these who had received letters of invitation from the government. Schori is not one of them. Meanwhile provincial offices of the only private daily paper and a company printing opposition campaign material were attacked with petrol bombs. A Daily News journalist said that the bombs were thrown into the newspaper's offices in the country's second largest city, Bulawayo on February 11. Another two were hurled at a nearby private printing house, Daily Print which has been handling campaign material for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Nobody was injured and very little equipment was damaged. Source: Reuters


Two people were killed in riots after police used tear gas to disperse Muslims gathered for a banned prayer meeting in the capital, Dar es Salaam. Running battles between the police and the Muslim youths broke outside a mosque in the capital after police prevented a gathering to avert a feared clashes between rival Muslim groups. "Two people are dead, one policeman and one civilian," said a police statement. Source: Reuters

Sierra Leone

About 300 Sierra Leone refugees returned home on February 12 from neighbouring Liberia where recent surge in fighting has sent thousands of people, fleeing across the border. Their return marked the start of a UN repatriation programme in Liberia, which currently hosts about 100,000 refugees from Sierra Leone's decade long civil war. Thousands of others however didn't wait for the UN trucks and just off on foot from two camps in the northwestern Liberian town of Sinje after a two-year-old insurgency reached the outskirts of the capital, Monrovia. Source: AP


Ugandan policemen arrested a politician suspected of bribing voters in the capital, Kampala to vote against the president's preferred candidate in the capital's mayoral polls. Ugandan police said that they had arrested Latif Sebagalla in his office for allegedly bribing voters to vote for Sebaana Kizito, the incumbent mayor who supports the return to multi-party politics. The mayoral elections are seen as a key test of President Yoweri Museveni's popularity in a country where plural politics are banned. Source: Reuters

South Africa

Safety and security minister Steve Tswete denied early this month that South Africa was the crime capital of the world and said most categories of crime were on the decline in South Africa. he said government opponents and others were using the Internet to spread misconceptions that South Africa was one of the most dangerous and crime ridden places in the world. In the first nine months of last year, 15.054 people were killed, an average of 54 a day according to police statistics. Source: Reuters

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