• Ivory Coast hopes for peaceful ballot as country heads to polls

    25/Oct/2015 // 138 Viewers

    Ivorians head to the polls to vote in presidential elections on Sunday with incumbent Alassane Ouattara fending off challenges from six other presidential contenders. Preliminary results are expected early in the week.

    The Ivory Coast on is holding its first presidential ballot since a disputed vote five years ago, with international observers hoping to avoid a repeat of post-election violence that killed more than 3,000 people in 2010.

    Polls have opened in Abidjan, the country’s largest city, at the official 7am (local and GMT) start time for the election, but delays were reported elsewhere.

    “In the town of Abobo, polling stations were still not open at 8:30am because of missing voter lists,” FRANCE 24 correspondent Guillaume Guguen said from the suburb north of Abidjan.

    President Alassane Ouattara, 73, has been campaigning for a second consecutive term in office, with opinion polls earlier this month suggesting he was the front-runner.

    In 2010, Ouattara defeated incumbent Laurent Gbagbo who refused to concede defeat, sparking the worst fighting the country has experienced since independence.

    The crisis was a bloody epilogue to a decade of upheaval, splitting West Africa's economic powerhouse between a rebel-held north and a loyalist south.

    More than 6 million people are eligible to vote, but with memories of the violence sparked by the last election still fresh in many people's minds, there are concerns that turnout will be low.

    Preliminary results are expected early in the week.

    Opposition crying foul

    A trained economist, Ouattara is seeking a solid first-round win to dodge the threat of a run-off against one of six other presidential contenders.

    Ouattara has touted an economic rebound and security gains, though opponents say he has failed to reconcile the country or alleviate poverty.

    His main challenger on Sunday will be former prime minister Pascal Affi N'Guessan, who is running on behalf of Gbagbo's Ivorian Popular Front.

    Former prime minister Charles Konan Banny dropped out of the running on Friday – becoming the third candidate to do so – citing "grave irregularities" in the organisation of the vote.

    Former foreign minister Amara Essy has also withdrawn, along with former national assembly president Mamadou Koulibaly, who condemned the vote as "rigged".

    The government shrugged off their boycott as a bid to duck out of a competition they were tipped to lose anyway.

    But Ouattara has also come under criticism from Amnesty International for the detention of opponents ahead of the vote.

    Rights campaigners have also complained that little justice has been meted out to members of his camp that were involved in over the post-election violence of 2010-2011.


    Read More
  • ICC rejects Gbagbo request for release on health grounds

    25/Oct/2015 // 206 Viewers

    Appeals judges at the International Criminal Court on Tuesday rejected a request for the temporary release of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo on health grounds.

    Gbagbo, 70, is accused of plunging his country into civil war rather than relinquishing his grip on power after losing a presidential run-off vote in 2010.

    His trial has been scheduled to start in November.

    Gbagbo is to be tried together with Charles Ble Goude, a former minister and close ally of the ousted ex-leader. The court in March combined Gbagbo and Ble Goude's trials because the cases against them are nearly identical.

    Both men face four charges of crimes against humanity for murder, rape, inhumane acts and persecution related to the deadly violence that erupted after the disputed presidential poll.

    'Campaign of violence'

    Long-time leader Gbagbo's refusal to concede defeat in the election sparked a bloody five-month stand-off, in which some 3,000 people died, according to the United Nations.

    Gbagbo is alleged to have fomented a campaign of violence in a vain attempt to stay in power after being defeated in his bid for reelection by long-time rival, Ivory Coast's current President Alassane Ouattara.

    Prosecutors said Goude commanded militias that murdered, raped and burned hundreds of people alive in an orgy of violence involving both sides that ended only after Gbagbo's arrest in an assault on his Abidjan compound by Ouattara's French and UN-backed forces.

    Ble Goude was arrested in Ghana in January 2013 and extradited to the Ivory Coast, but it wasn't until March 2014 that he was sent to the Netherlands to face prosecution at the world's only permanent war crimes court.

    Gbagbo has been held at The Hague since his transfer to the ICC's detention unit in late November 2011. No charges have been filed against Ouattara's backers, raising claims of a "victor's justice".

    An Ivory Coast court in mid-March sentenced Laurent Gbagbo's wife Simone to 20 years in prison for her role in the unrest.

    AFP with DailyGlobeWatch


    Read More
  • South Africa: 4 cops granted bail for apartheid-era killing

    26/Feb/2016 // 326 Viewers

     

    JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A South African court has granted bail to four former policemen who are charged with murdering an anti-apartheid activist in 1983.

    National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku said Friday the men were granted bail of nearly $320 each on condition that they do not interfere with witnesses. Their next court appearance is March 29.

    Prosecutors say the four were members of the apartheid-era security forces linked to the torture and disappearance of 23-year-old Nokuthula Simelane. Her body has not been found.

    Prosecutors say three of the men applied for amnesty to South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Simelane's kidnapping but not for her murder. The commission recommended legal action in 2002.

    Mfaku said the case was delayed by years of bureaucracy and a lack of resources.


    Read More
  • UN chief bypasses Morocco on North Africa trip

    26/Feb/2016 // 316 Viewers

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon waves from the UN airplane during his east Africa tour on February 25, 2016, before heading to north Africa next week (AFP Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran)

    United Nations (United States) (AFP) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will visit North Africa next week to draw attention to Western Sahara's 40-year-old unresolved conflict, but will not be stopping in Morocco, UN officials said Friday.

     

    Ban, who steps down at the end of the year, had hoped to travel to the main city of Laayoune in Western Sahara and visit Rabat to try to advance deadlocked peace efforts.

    "The secretary-general will not be going to Rabat. The king will not be there," said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

    "Obviously, the secretary-general would be delighted to go to Rabat at any time."

    After visiting Burkina-Faso and Mauritania on March 3 and 4, Ban will travel to western Algeria on March 5 to tour camps in Tindouf that have been housing tens of thousands of refugees from Western Sahara for decades.

    READ: INTERVIEW: Reconstructing Edo State; who does the cap fit?

    There, he will also hold talks with leaders of the Polisario Front, who are campaigning for Western Sahara's independence from Morocco, and visit a nearby office of the MINURSO peaceekeeping mission, but not its headquarters in Laayoune.

    "It is of course the secretary-general's right to visit any peacekeeping mission, but the de facto authorities in that area would need to provide the clearance for the plane to land," he said.

    Ban's predecessor Kofi Annan in 1998 visited Rabat and Laayoune, as did Boutros Boutros-Ghali before him in 1994.

    Ban will wind up his trip with talks in Algiers on March 6 and 7 for talks with government leaders.

    The United Nations has been trying to broker a settlement for Western Sahara since 1991 after a ceasefire was reached to end a war that broke out when Morocco sent its forces to the former Spanish territory in 1975.

    Local Sahrawi people are campaigning for the right to self-determination, but Morocco considers the territory as a part of the kingdom and insists that its sovereignty cannot be challenged.

    The African Union, which recognizes the Sahrawi Arab Republic as a member, views the dispute as an example of unfinished decolonization on the continent.

    The conflict over Western Sahara has been among the most sensitive issues on the UN agenda, with Rabat, backed by France, fiercely rejecting any challenge to its hold on the mineral-rich territory.

    The visit comes ahead of discussions at the UN Security Council on renewing MINURSO's mandate in April.

    In an appeal released in November, Ban said the situation in Western Sahara was "becoming increasingly alarming" and called for the launch of "true negotiations in the coming months."

     


    Read More
  • Roli Bode George heads NDLEA as Ahmadu Giade retires

    26/Nov/2015 // 629 Viewers

    Mrs Roli Bode George has been appointed as the acting chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency as Alhaji Ahmadu Giade retires after 10 years of service in the agency, DailyGlobeWatch has been reliably informed.

    She remains the first woman to be appointed in this capacity which is seen by many as gender balancing in the appointment made so far by the present administration under Muhammadu Buhari.

    Commending the appointment Mrs Tinuade the Chairman of Women Initiative Group expressed satisfaction and sees the appointment as none other than ''redressing the gender imbalance in the recent appointments made by President Muhammadu Buhari.”

    Mrs Roli Bode George is also seen by many who reacted to her appointment as a round peg in a round hole whose competence is not in dispute to pilot the affairs of the anti-drug body.


    Read More
  • 44 vessels coming to berth, NPA says

    26/Nov/2015 // 219 Viewers

    A sum total of 44 vessels is expected to arrive Lagos anytime soon commencing from November 26 to December 18 Nigerian Port Authority disclosed to our reporter in Lagos, Nigeria.

    In its daily Shipping Position, the officials said 15 of the ships being expected have containers on board while 8 will sail in with general cargoes.

    According to the document released to newsmen 12 ships laden with foods such as rice, palm oil, sugar, salt, wheat and 9 other vessels with petrol, diesel and kerosene on board, it said further, would be sailing in soon.

    Meanwhile, 7 other vessels with foods and various cargoes such as rice, crude palm oil, diesel and petrol have arrived and about nosing up to docks.

     

     


    Read More
  • Be patient with Buhari, Water Resources Minister pleads

    26/Nov/2015 // 259 Viewers

    Water Minister Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu has pleaded with Nigerians to be patient with President Muhammadu Buhari who he expressed confidence in to deliver on his political promises to Nigerians.

    While speaking to newsmen today after a stake holder's meeting of the All Progressives' Congress in Dutse, Jigawa State capital, the minister pleaded with Nigerians to be patient adding that President Buhari inherited a lot of problems from the immediate past administration which will take time to address.

    Speaking further in the interview with newsmen, Adamu said everything is being done by the present administration to halt rural-urban migration drift by industrialization. This, he said, will provide youths with employment, create wealth as an antidote to the cause of conflicts in the country.

     


    Read More
  • We give you 2 weeks to end fuel scarcity, Senate orders Buhari

    26/Nov/2015 // 361 Viewers

    The Nigerian senate has issued two weeks ultimatum to President Buhari in his capacity as the Minister of Petroleum to end the ongoing fuel scarcity in the country.

    THE Senate Committee on Petroleum issued this ultimatum today in Abuja, Nigeria's capital. In the past 10 months, the Pipeline Products Marketing Company disclosed that Nigeria has lost over N50 bln resulting from petroleum pipeline across the country which has  been identified  as one of the causes of the ongoing acute fuel scarcity.

    Senator Uche Ekwunife, the committee chairman said the minister of petroleum should as a matter of urgency end the ongoing scarcity and ensure the product is sold to the public N87 per litre which is the government official control price. 

    A visibly worried Senator Ekwunife representing Anambra south under the platform of the People's Democratic Party said this directive has become absolutely necessary considering the untold hardship faced by Nigerians since the fuel scarcity commenced.

    Angered by what he called inaction on the part of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, the Committee Chairman said: ”We are mandating the Minister of Petroleum Resources, the Permanent Secretary and heads of agencies to stop this fuel scarcity in two weeks'' “We are giving a target now,we don’t wan’t to know how you would achieve it. Nigerians want to see an end to this fuel scarcity''., the statement added.


    Read More
  • Boko Haram launches attack in Niger, kills 18

    26/Nov/2015 // 686 Viewers

    News filtering into our news studio says eighteen people have been killed in a late night attack in Wogom village  by Boko Haram insurgents from Nigeria in a cross-border attack.

    ''Many houses totalling 100 were burnt down, over 11 people injured and 18 people killed in the attack'', sources told our reporter in Niamey Thursday.

    ''This is not the first time Boko Haram insurgents would be launching cross-border attacks from Nigeria, many of such cases abound in the not too distant past'', a crestfallen victim told our source.

     

     


    Read More
  • Pope in Africa says dialogue vital to avert violence in God's name

    26/Nov/2015 // 160 Viewers

    By Philip Pullella and George Obulutsa

    NAIROBI (Reuters) - Pope Francis said on Thursday in Kenya, a country that has seen a spate of attacks by Islamist militants, that dialogue between religions in Africa was essential to teach young people that violence in God's name was unjustified.

    Bridging divisions between Muslims and Christians is a main theme of his first tour of the continent that also takes him to Uganda, which like Kenya has seen a number of Islamist attacks, and the Central African Republic, riven by sectarian conflict.

    Starting his first full day in the Kenyan capital, Francis met Muslim and other religious leaders before saying an open-air Mass for tens of thousands of rain-drenched people who sang, danced and ululated as he arrived in an open popemobile.

    "All too often, young people are being radicalised in the name of religion to sow discord and fear, and to tear at the very fabric of our societies," he told about 25 religious leaders.

    Inter-religious dialogue "is not a luxury. It is not something extra or optional, but essential," he told them, stressing that God's name "must never be used to justify hatred and violence."

    He referred to Somalia's al Shabaab Islamists' 2013 attack on Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall and this year's assault on Garissa university. Hundreds of people have been killed in the past two years or so, with Christians sometimes singled out by gunmen.

    The chairman of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, Abdulghafur El-Busaidy, called for cooperation and tolerance. "As people of one God and of this world, we must stand up and in unison," he told the pope.

     

    CONTRASTS

    Francis's African tour is also addressing the continent's fast-growing Catholic population, which is expected to reach half a billion by 2050.

    A third of Kenya's 45 million people are Catholics. Tens of thousands of them gathered in pouring rain from before dawn to attend the pope's open-air Mass in central Nairobi.

    Representatives of Kenya's tribes ascended the papal altar platform to read prayers, their native dress contrasting with that of bishops in Western liturgical vestments just feet away.

    In his homily at the Mass, Francis urged the faithful "to resist practices which foster arrogance in men," speaking in a nation rattled by a series of corruption scandals.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta, a Catholic who attended the Mass, reshuffled his cabinet this week after several ministers were embroiled in graft allegations.

    When not in his popemobile, the pope, who has shunned many of the perks at the Vatican, was driven in a Honda car, starkly different to the Mercedes and other luxury vehicles used by top officials in Kenya where many people live in city slums or villages without electricity.

    Giving his address at Mass in a sodden sports field at Nairobi University, the pope urged youths on a continent with a large young population to resist the "new deserts created by a culture of materialism and indifference" and build a more just society.

     

     

    Source: Reuters


    Read More


CLICK TO WATCH BBC WORLD NEWS