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Archive for January 11th, 2007

Norway: (Fremskrittsparti), The Progress Party in leadership crisis? Deputy leader may soon be forced to resign!

Posted by African Press International on January 11, 2007

To be a leader, and lead people in a society is a huge responsibility that must be carried out with total care.

There are times that leaders go astray, because of their own will, and poor judgement on different occasions. When it is in politics, it is even acutely serious, because a politician is watched all the time by the voters.

The watching is because of expectations that they deliver as promised when looking for votes.

Late last year, a top politician Mr Per Sandberg of the Norwegian Progress Party -Fremskrittsparti, was accused by his colleagues in parliament, for having addressed them after a drinking spree during lunch break.

The criticism by his colleagues prompted media attention, and soon after, Mr Sandberg, a number two man in the party was a target for the journalists.

At the time, Mr Sandberg did his best to ignore the accusations by his colleagues, by saying he had just taken something small, and furthering his excuses on his actions by stating that, if what he had done was wrong, then he failed to understand why the parliament restaurant serves alcohol.

This is a very absurd argument, coming from one who leads the people. The fact that a restaurant inside the parliament building serves alcohol, does not necessarily mean that the politicians are free to party during lunch hours, when they are still at work. Blaming the restaurant for his drinking that day did not make things better. His own words in defence became inflammatory.

Sandberg may have thought that the media will stop the pressure. He was wrong. The pressure continued to the double, and he was forced to take three weeks sick leave on doctor’s advice.

Recently, he was interviewed by NRK – the Norwegian State Television, in his home area in Northern Norway. The purpose of the interview was to give him a chance to face the people, and speak about his behaviour, because he was aware the media is still watching and waiting for his return on duty.

His party decided that he was not going to do it alone, – the interview with the State Television Network, so they marshalled media coaches, and air lifted one party advisor on media affairs to guide him on what to say, and how to say it. The interview was to clean the air before he could come back to the capital. The party feared how the reception would be in the new year, when he shows up after the scandal that ended up forcing him to be on sick leave, up north far away from the aggresive media in the capital.

While explaining on TV about his behaviour in parliament, he did his best to ensure that the voters were able to understand his predicament, and probably may forgive him. He told the viewers that he had now decided to be serious in his work, and during the weekends he will be travelling to his wife in the north in order to spend more time with her.

He stated that he had realised the need for having to be “himself Per” and “relax with his family who supported him through the ordeal.”

By saying that he will be travelling home to the north every weekend, Sandberg may have thought that was a good idea, because the voters would like to have a representative who respects family values, and not one who drinks alcohol during lunch hours, only to embark on the important task of addressing the sober parliamentarians.

Immediately after the NRK interview was over, APN was conducted by a woman who has raised a concrete accusation against Mr Sandberg.

APN has now interviewed the woman in question, and due to the serious nature of the accusation, APN has decided to investigate the story further, and also to get time in order to contact Mr Sandberg for an interview in an effort to get his side of the story.

It is a sad story, and if true, it is bound to shake the party hierarchy, which is still new after the resignation of the long time strong party leader Mr Carl I. Hagen.

The party is now headed by Siv Jensen who took over the party leadership from Carl I. Hagen last year. Mr Sandberg is her deputy.

By Korir, African Press in Norway, APN, africanpress@chello.no

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Lust for money makes Kenyan Leonard Mucheru-turned Bahrainian Arab Mushir Salem Jawher stateless!

Posted by African Press International on January 11, 2007

Mushir Salem Jawher <Mushir Salem Jawher

We have no problem understanding the Kenyan government’s reaction towards the former Kenyan man’s situation after being made stateless.

Lust for big money drove former Kenyan Leonard Mucheru away from Kenya to Bahrain where he was inducted into becoming an Arab and Muslim for the sake of making millions of dollars.

He left Kenya, his own motherland when the country needed him most. Now he has become stateless.

Kenya has said he will not get back his citizenship. And Bahrain, the country that lured him to big money has just stripped him of his new citizenship. What a scandal just for the sake of money!

 And indeed why give a man the citizenship back? When the country needed him most, he abandoned his mother land for selfish reasons.

When he became Muslim and lost the Kenyan citizenship he should have known that there were strings attached. “Mushir Salem Jawher, born Leonard Mucheru, is now stateless after running a marathon in Israel, which Bahrain does not recognise. He had used his Kenyan passport to enter Israel but this has been revoked. Israeli media said Mr Jawher was the first athlete from an Arab country to compete in an Israeli marathon.”

Now he claims that he did not know anything. Does he have an agent or not? Or was it all for money when sneaking into Israel. He has embarrassed an Arab country by going to compete in Israel against the rules. He sneaked into Israel using a false passport – the Kenyan passport, because he no longer has the right to use it, and it was wrong to use it sneaking into another country.

The media reports, “after learning that he had lost his Bahrainian nationality, Mr Jawher told Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper that he was “shocked”, adding, “I was never told it was illegal to enter Israel. I really don’t know what to do.”

Kenya should not give him back the citizenship. Let that serve as a lesson to other runners who are contemplating to run away to greener pastures when their country needs them the most.

The government of Bahrain is right to take back the citizenship when an athlete goes against the rules of the land in order to make history of being the first Arab to enter Israel and compete without the permission of the government.

BBC reports that, “In a statement issued on Saturday, the Bahrain Athletic Association said it had received news that a Bahrainian national had competed in Israel with “shock and regret. A committee of sport and government authorities decided to strike Mr Jawher’s name off the sport union records and revoke his Bahrainian nationality, the statement said.”

The government of Bahrain is disturbed by the sneaking new citizen. “It said Mr Jawher entered Israel with his Kenyan passport and that the runner had “violated the laws of Bahrain.”

If the new constitution  in Kenya had been passed, maybe that could save the stateless former Kenyan/Bahrainian, because there is a proposal for dual citizenship for Kenyans. But as things are now, he has to face the consequences because, “Kenya does not allow dual nationality and Mr Jawher was supposed to have given up his passport in 2003 when he defected to Bahrain. Mr Jawher won the Tiberias marathon in just over two hours and 13 minutes. He is one of several long-distance athletes to have moved from East Africa to the Gulf in recent years on lucrative contracts.”

At the time he defected to Bahrain, he embarrassed Kenya and such, “defections have provoked anger in Kenya. BBC sports reporter Alex Capstick says payment for the transfer in the form of new facilities in Kenya has been slow to materialise, and not all athletes who make the move receive the privileged lifestyle they expected.”

Maybe Israelis can give him citizenship, because Israel must have known what they were doing when they let him use an illegal Kenya passport to enter their country! Maybe it was for the purpose of embarrassing an Arab state.

By Korir, African Press in Norway, APN, africanpress@chello.no

source.bbc

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Nicaragua’s Ortega back in power!

Posted by African Press International on January 11, 2007

Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega (l) and his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez < Mr Ortega (far left.)

Daniel Ortega who was president 17 years ago is back in power after winning the elections recently.

 He won the elections 2 months ago and has now been inaugurated as Nicaraguan President.

He was a revolutionary, a man who fought for almost two decades to get back to power in a country he so dearly loved and ruled 17 years ago.

BBC reports that, “the Sandinista leader won November’s presidential election pledging to fight hunger, poverty and corruption. He has said he wants friendly relations with the US but he also has warm ties with some of its fiercest foes.”

There are many leftist leaders in South America that are happy to see Ortega back in power, and as a sign of solidarity, “many of the leftist Latin American leaders who have swept to power in recent years attended the ceremony, including Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Bolivia’s Evo Morales and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa. Cuba’s Fidel Castro, too ill to personally attend the swearing in, sent a message of “utmost support” to Mr Ortega.”

Mr Chavez who has just been given his third term by his people through popular vote, despite USA being against him, “arrived in Nicaragua shortly after being sworn in for his third term in office, pledging “socialism or death” in his inauguration speech. Bolivia’s Mr Morales said: “Daniel Ortega’s win gives strength and hope not only to Nicaragua but to all of Latin America.”

Ortega is not a young man anymore. He is now 61, and during the inaguration Ortega, “wore his trademark white shirt with the cuffs rolled up to his elbows during the ceremony in a square that he built when he was president of the country in the 1980s.”

By Henry Chepkwony, California, For African Press in Norway, APN

Source.bbc

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NATO alliance to focus of Afghanistan and Kosovo!

Posted by African Press International on January 11, 2007

NATO’s foreign ministers will have an extra-ordinary meeting in Brussels on the 26th of January.

The purpose of the meeting is to discus the situation in Afghanistan and Kosovo according to the alliance’s spokesman James Appathurai.

He has told the media that it is USA that has requested for the meeting.

By Korir, African Press in Norway, APN, africanpress@chello.no, source.(ANB-NTB)

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The US sides with the Somali interim government!

Posted by African Press International on January 11, 2007

When the US took the decision to carry out air strikes in Somalia, it became clear that they wanted to show where they stand in the conflict.

When Ethiopian troops entered Somalia to assist the interim government, the US was quiet and now it is clear that they want to use the opportunity to sway the interim government to their side because the US wants their support in the region in the fight against terrorism.

BBC reports that the US has two objectives. “It wants to intervene decisively on the side of the transitional government now back in Mogadishu and to get at three al-Qaeda suspects linked to bombings of its embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and attacks on an Israeli-owned hotel and airliner in Kenya in 2002.”

The US attacks was carefully planned by the Pentagon. “The air strikes were carried out by a huge AC-130 gunship in the south of the country where supporters of the Union of Islamic Courts have retreated under attack from the Ethiopian army and soldiers of the transitional government. US aircraft have carried out reconnaissance flights over Somalia and it is believed that the US provided Ethiopian forces with intelligence support during the recent offensive.”

While conducting the air strikes, it has been reported that “US warships have been patrolling the Somali coast to prevent any escape by sea.”

The US does not want a situation to escalate, so the, “strategy is to ensure that the Islamist fighters do not regroup and pose a threat to the government.”

The Somali conflict has made many people home less and refugees in their own country. A large number of refugees has crossed the border into neighbouring countries. 

By Korir, African Press in Norway, APN, africanpress@chello.no

source.bbc

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President Bush’s new soldiers to Iraq in the next five days!

Posted by African Press International on January 11, 2007

US soldiers in Baghdad's Hurriyah neighbourhood (file image) <Extra soldiers to the desert!

President George W. Bush has decided to send 21.500 extra soldiers to Iraq, following a new plan of action after Saddam Hussein was executed.

This is happening even after the US Congress has criticised Bush on the way he has dealt with the Iraq issue. Many US soldiers die everyday in the conflict.

MapAccording to reports that has reached the media, 17.500 of the soldiers will be send to the capital Baghdad, while the remaining 4.000 will join other soldiers in Anbar-province.

Reports confirm that the first contingent will be dispatched already in the next 5 days. The remaining will be send in smaller groups at a later date.

It has been estimated that this exercise will cost approximately 36 billion kroner.  In addition, the president wants to use 7,7 billion kroner on reconstruction and creation of jobs for the Iraqi people.

Many thought things would be better after the Americans and the Iraq’s new regime, executed Saddam Hussein. American families thought their sons and daughters stationed in Iraq would now go home. What they did not know is that Bush had something else in mind.

He does not want to go on record as a president that liberated a country, and left chaos behind. So he wants to put things right, before pulling the soldiers out of Iraq.

Senator Edward Kennedy outside the White House on 8 January 2006 <Senator Kennedy has been against the Iraq war all along. The move by George Bush junior, to send more soldiers angers the democrats, but there is little they can do.

George Bush senior with his son in 1968It is the commander-in-Chief that takes decisions, and in this case it is fighter (son Bush – the immediate left photo with and senior Bush the dad)

However, the Senator has warned Bush of a continued deployment of soldiers in Iraq.

The Congress has a weapon though, but it is toothless weapon at the moment. Their weapon is to refuse funding, but at the same time they do not want to be seen as a Congress refusing soldiers the war tools that is much needed. A dilemma?

By Korir, African Press in Norway, APN, africanpress@chello.no, source.(ANB-NTB)

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Moroccan jailed for 15 years in Germany

Posted by African Press International on January 11, 2007

Mounir al-Motassadek. File picture <Motassadek.A Moroccan man reportedly connected with US attacks has been jailed for 15 years by a German court.

The media reports that, “The court in Hamburg handed the maximum sentence against Mounir al-Motassadek. He had acknowledged that he was close to the 9/11 hijackers but insisted he knew nothing of their plans.”

In his defence he wanted to distance himself, “but last year Germany’s top appeals court found him guilty of abetting the murder of 246 people on the four planes that crashed on 11 September 2001. The ruling superseded a seven-year sentence handed to Motassadek in 2005 for being a member of a terror group.”

During his trial evidence was adduced to the fact that he was active in logistics. “Motassadek was originally jailed for 15 years in 2003, convicted of helping the 11 September plotters, who were based in Hamburg, with logistical support and other aid. That verdict was overturned by Germany’s Supreme Court in 2004 and a retrial ordered. The court ruled last August there was no proof that Motassadek knew about the 11 September plot and jailed him instead for membership of a terrorist organisation.”

After his sentence earlier that was later followed up by an appeal, the court was not a willing partner to let him go free. As a result he, “was found guilty of being an accessory to murder in the attacks.”

The US and Germany has cooperated closely in documenting his allignment to a terrorist organisation. 

By Korir, African Press in Norway, APN, africanpress@chelo.no, source.bbc

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A bachelor’s party in Norway that ended in tragedy!

Posted by African Press International on January 11, 2007

 A 49-year old man who was in charge of the boat that was used by some women attending a bachelors party has been sentenced by the court to 45 days probation.

Lill-Karin Hammerhaug 25 years old, mother of two from Mo i Rana lost her life during her own bachelors party. The accident took place at Gjælentunet near Saltstraumen outside Bodø in the north of the country.

The lawyer representing the deceased had requested the court, while sentencing the accused, to order the man to pay kr. 500.000 in damages, but the court rejected the request.

The man is now planning to appeal the sentence.

Bachelors parties in Norway are always dramatic and crazy. People do things unexpected of them in order to surprise the person the party is arranged for as the last free outing before marriage.

And normally, the one the friends organise the party for, is not aware of the surprises lined up. In this case, they had included a boat game ride whereby the main person is pulled by the boat inside the water.

Parties like this involves a lot of alcohol consumption and this may be the reason why the sentencing is very lenient.

By Korir, African Press in Norway, APN, africanpress@chello.no source.(ANB-NTB)

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Ugandans suffer in Juba ambush!

Posted by African Press International on January 11, 2007

The wreckage of one of the trucks<Wreckage after ambush!

Life is not easy when conflicts is the cake of the day in some regions of Africa. And as the two leaders President Museveni and LRA’s Kony refuse to recognise one another, Ugandan people keep dying in the conflict. Kony is a subject for arrest by the international community to be tried for atrocities caused in Uganda. He is not going to surrender that easily.

He knows that he may either be tried and put to death like Saddam Hussein or that he will be put in prison languishing there for life.

The ambushes in Juba is a test of strength by the LRA who still wants to be respected in the war front.

New Vision has reported on a chilly story of Ben Ssekandi. “AS he lay half-naked in the middle of the dirt murram road, his legs dripping with blood, Ben Ssekandi thought about his children. “Abaana bange!” Ssekandi mourned half-consciously.“Abaana bange!” Ssekandi mourned half-consciously. “Nnaawonna?” “What about my children? Will I survive?”

They were travelling. They thought peace was with their convoy, but that was not to be. “Ssekandi and hundreds of other Ugandans travelling in a convoy of four buses and some 10 trucks, survived death on Sunday evening, but only narrowly. Unidentified gunmen attacked a convoy of vehicles from Uganda on the Nimule–Juba road, 23km from Juba, with Rocket Propelled Grenades, injuring about 10 Ugandans, and setting ablaze two vehicles.

An observer, one traveller in the same convoy has told the media, “we first heard the bullets,” said Patrick Lugero, a businessman from Kangulumira, Kayunga, who was ferrying tomatoes and pineapples in a Canter Pick-up truck. The next moment, we saw people emerge out of the thicket, firing at us.” And as the media reports, “one bullet shattered their windscreen. It just missed Ssekandi’s head. Other bullets hit the sides. Ssekandi swerved the truck into the thicket, off the road. The two jumped out and ran towards Juba town. Bullets rained after them. Ssekandi got hit twice, while Lugero sustained one gunshot wound. Both collapsed on the way.”

Astonished and “some 50 metres away, Ismail Kiyaga, the driver of a Fuso truck, stopped upon hearing the gunshots, prompting a fish cooling truck to halt behind him. All the passengers jumped out and ran towards Nimule. The gunmen meanwhile had turned upon the Fuso truck and fish van, setting them ablaze. Three other trucks stopped when they saw the smoke in the distance, ramming into one another as they reversed.”

Shocked by the rocket sounds and fear to loose their lives, that was a moment to remember, and as he narrates to the media, “we are the ones who saved this bus,” said Kiyaga, panting, as he pointed to a Nile Coach bus that came behind. Two gateway buses from Kampala and several other trucks carrying goods followed closely.
For a moment, commotion ensued when the UPDF soldiers, who were escorting the convoy, told the drivers not to proceed to Juba. Two SPLA soldiers, however, said they had cleared the road up to Juba.”

Vice President Salva Kiir<President Salva Kiir, South Sudan. 

It has been reported that, “the ambush, one of an increasing list of such incidents on the Nimule-Juba and the Torit-Juba roads, came only a day after the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, toured the area up to Nimule. The road, according to traders, was closed on Saturday as Kiir assessed for himself the situation on the ground. By yesterday, it was not yet established who was responsible for the ambush. Kiyaga said the attackers wore military uniforms.”

When skirmishes of the kind occur, “Ugandan officials usually blame the ambushes on rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army. But officials from South Sudan routinely accuse elements linked to the Khartoum army, whom they claim want to destabilise the South and disrupt the peace process, although they agree that they could use the LRA in their scheme. The UPDF later picked up nine fleeing Ugandans on the way to Juba. The wounded were taken to Juba teaching hospital.”

The New Vision reports that, “the Police was planning to send an investigation team to the scene.”

Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony (file image)Mr Kony (left photo and Yoweri MuseveniMuseveni (right photo), The two leaders have not met face to face. For Museveni, he is fearing to meet Kony because he thinks he will be legitimising Kony’s demands. 

Juba was in the centre stage last year when  Uganda government of President Yoweri Museveni held talks with the Lord Resistance Army of the rebel leader Kony. Museveni has ruled Uganda since taking over power in 1986 after fighting a war in the bush that drove away the then government.

Kony and Museveni, did not meet face to face in Juba, but temporary ceasefire was agreed upon between the parties. The two leaders can solve their differences and enable the Ugandan people to live a normal life and trade with neighbouring states like Sudan.

By Korir, African Press in Norway, APN, africanpress@chello.no

source.newvision.ug.bbc

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UK: Two helicopters collide while on routine exercise!

Posted by African Press International on January 11, 2007

One person is reported dead and three others injured when two helicopters collided in mid air while on a routine exercise in the UK.

One of the three got serious injuries. The accident took place at Shropshire, according to the information released by the British Air Force.

By Korir, African Press in Norway, APN, africanpress@chello.no

source.(ANB-NTB)

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