Weekly anb10171.txt #7

ANB-BIA - Av. Charles Woeste 184 - 1090 Bruxelles - Belg
TEL **.32.2/420 34 36 fax /420 05 49 E-Mail: editor at anb-bia.org
WEEKLY NEWS ISSUE of: 17-10-2002  PART #1/7

* Afrique. Banque arabe pour le développement - Le conseil d'administration de la Banque arabe pour le développement économique en Afrique (BADEA) s'est réuni du 9 au 11 octobre à Damas. Au cours de la réunion, le conseil a approuvé l'allocation de 18,6 millions de dollars pour le financement de huit nouvelles opérations. Les pays bénéficiaires sont la Gambie, le Mozambique, le Rwanda, Sao Tomé et Principe, la Tanzanie, Madagascar, le Niger et le Ghana. Depuis le début de 2002, la BADEA a accordé des financements pour un montant global de $134,355 millions. (BADEA, Soudan, 11 octobre 2002)

* Africa. Action against the Media - Côte d'Ivoire: On 10 October, Kate Davenport, a BBC reporter in Abidjan, was briefly held by police, after being prevented from reporting on the destruction of shanty towns in a suburb. Police said they were protecting her from angry crowds. Niger: On 12 October, it was reported that professional staff of the private media have for the first time set up a trade union to defend their rights and interests. Sudan: On 9 October, the International Press Institute (IPI), in a letter to the President of Sudan, said it is deeply disturbed by the state of Sudan's attempts to intimidate Faisal el Bagir, a journalist and a member of Sudan's Organisation Against Torture. He had been arrested on 7 October shortly after arriving from Dakar, Senegal, where he had been attending an international meeting on freedom of expression. Swaziland: On 3 October, the Swaziland Royal Police, acting on a court order, raided Channel S, the only privately-owned TV station in the country, and confiscated a video tape containing a sermon that has been termed by the government as "threatening the foundations of the kingdom". The sermon had been preached by Pastor Justice Dlamini and was broadcast nationally and regionally on 6 September. Uganda: Uganda's independent newspaper, The Monitor, failed to appear on 11 October after a police raid. The paper's offices were searched during the night, mobile phones were confiscated, records were taken and staff searched. The action followed a lead story the previous day which had suggested that rebels in the north had shot down two government helicopters piloted by expatriates. The same day, Human Rights Watch said the Ugandan Government should immediately end its suppression of The Monitor. (ANB-BIA, Belgium, 12 October 2002)

* Africa. Humanitarian needs - The World Food Programme (WFP) warns that it is being overwhelmed by the scale of the famine in Africa. A spokeswoman for the WFP, Christiane Berthiaume, says the WFP has never had to confront so many crises at the same time. The UN is already dealing with famines in southern Africa and the Horn of Africa, and now there are the first indications of crop failures in the Western Sahel. Monitors report that poor rains have severely affected crops in large parts of Mauritania, Mali and Senegal. In Mauritania, the food security situation remains worrying despite a slight improvement in rainfall. In northern Ethiopia, inadequate food distribution have left more than a million people facing a huge food gap. In Angola, a lack of funding despite growing humanitarian needs has exacerbated the crisis in Angola. Also, Angolan refugees arriving from Congo RDC are staying in very poor conditions in the eastern town of Luau. (ANB-BIA, Belgium, 14 October 2002)

* Afrique. La faim dans le monde - Le 14 octobre, la FAO a rendue publique une étude sur "L'état de l'insécurité alimentaire dans le monde en 2002". Si la faim régresse lentement à l'échelle de la planète, le nombre de personnes sous-alimentées est encore en hausse dans certaines régions. En 10 ans, le nombre d'êtres humains mal nourris a reculé de 20 millions, pour atteindre 840 millions. En revanche, la population des mal nourris a augmenté de 96 millions dans 47 pays répartis en Afrique, l'Inde, le Proche-Orient et une partie de l'Asie. Autre constat de l'étude: l'insécurité alimentaire et les conflits armés font, si l'on ose dire,"bon" ménage. L'environnement défavorable que représentent l'épuisement des ressources naturelles, la pression démographique ou la rareté de l'eau attise la concurrence. Les conflits armés empêchent aussi les agriculteurs de produire des denrées alimentaires et entravent l'accès à la nourriture en perturbant les transports, les échanges et les marchés, comme on le constate aujourd'hui en Côte d'Ivoire. Conclusion: dans l'ensemble des pays en développement, on estime que les pertes de production agricole se sont montées à 4,3 milliards de dollars par an. Avec cette somme, on aurait pu permettre de mieux nourrir 330 millions de personnes. (D'après Le Figaro, France, 15 octobre 2002)

* Africa. Human rights - Algeria: On 10 October, Reporters sans Frontières urged European MPs to insist that Algeria respect human rights under EU association agreement. --Belaid Abrika, a Berber activist, is to remain in prison after appearing before a court on 15 October on twenty charges, including arson and inciting riots. Three other activists jailed with him have been released. Congo RDC: On 13 October, the Congolese human rights NGO, Voice of the Voiceless, sharply criticised the secrecy of the trial of dozens of people suspected of involvement of the late President Laurent-Desiré Kabila. -- In a 17 October Press Release, Amnesty International said the United Nations must take urgent steps to stop the escalation of human rights violations in the Ituri Region. Côte d'Ivoire: The government has been accused of committing sweeping human rights abuses and failing to prevent a rising tide of xenophobia. Ibrahima Doumbia of the Ivorian Movement for Human Rights says there have been numerous executions, arrests and disappearances in Abidjan. The UNHCR reports that in addition to attacks on foreigners in Abidjan, mobs have forced many West African nationals to flee their homes. Eritrea: On 10 October, Amnesty International called on the Maltese government to suspend deportations of Eritreans back to Eritrea until a thorough, independent investigation has been made as to their fate, and an assessment made as to whether Eritreans can be forcibly returned in safety and dignity, with full respect of their human rights. According to reports received by Amnesty International, up to 223 Eritreans were forcibly deported between 20 September and 3 October 2002. The Eritreans were said to have been immediately arrested on arrival in Asmara and taken to a military camp, detained incommunicado. It is not known where the detainees are being held. Namibia: On 15 October, Namibia's National Society for Human Rights said that Cassius Pekelezo, a detainee accused of supporting the Caprivi secessionist movement, has died in custody. This brings to eight the number of detainees who have died in custody since 1999. Nigeria: On 10 October, Human Rights Watch welcomed the Nigerian government's recent action to crack down on the vigilante group, known as the Bakassi Boys, but says more fundamental reforms are needed. Human Rights Watch has documented human rights abuses committed by the Bakassi Boys in the States of Abia and Anambrs. -- On 16 October, Human rights organizations accused Nigeria of trying to suppress a European Union-funded report that blames the government for failing to prevent -- and in some cases fuelling -- ethnic, religious and political clashes that have killed 10,000 people over the past three years. The Geneva-based World Organization Against Torture and the Lagos-based Centre for Law Enforcement Education said customs officials had seized copies of the report published jointly by the two groups and held them for more than a month because it had "political undertones." Nigeria's State Security Service has also harassed the authors of a chapter on Muslim-Christian clashes in the central city of Jos in September 2001 that killed more than 900 people, and another section on the slaughter of hundreds of civilians by soldiers in the central Benue state in October 2001, the groups said. Agents visited the three researchers and also allegedly made threatening phone calls, demanding they present themselves at the security service's Abuja headquarters. The researchers refused, pending an official request in writing. Zimbabwe: On 10 October, it was reported that Zimbabwean police have tortured the leader of a teachers' trade union, who called a strike, his lawyer has said. Raymond Majongwe, leader of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, gave himself up to police on 9 October after hearing that the police were looking for him. Lawyer Tererayi Gunje said that Mr Majongwe had been "seriously injured. He has been beaten up and when I saw him yesterday (night of 9 October) night he couldn't sit on his own. I think he has broken ribs and internal bleeding".I will file an urgent application to secure his release. Police spokesman Andrew Phiri says that the allegations will be investigated. (ANB-BIA, Belgium, 17 October 2002)

* Africa/Europe. New air routes - British Airways is to launch the first scheduled service between the UK and Angola. From 1 November it will operate one round trip a week from Heathrow to Luanda, using Boeing 777 aircraft. Air Lib, the French carrier will start flying between Paris Orly and Tripoli on 27 October. It will operate two round trips a week. The airline has been expanding services to North Africa. Earlier this year it launched services to Algeria, operating flights to Algiers and Oran. (ANB-BIA, Belgium, 15 October 2002)

* Afrique/Francophonie. RSF épingle l'indifférence - Dénonçant la passivité de la Francophonie face aux violations quotidiennes de la liberté de presse, dans un communiqué diffusé le 17 octobre, Reporters sans frontières (RSF) demande la suspension des quatre pays les plus répressifs en matière de liberté de la presse: Guinée équatoriale, Laos, Tunisie et Viêt-nam, comme le précise la Déclaration de Bamako qui prévoit des sanctions "en cas de rupture de la démocratie ou de violations massives des droits de l'homme". Sur les cinquante-cinq Etats et gouvernements qui participent au IXe Sommet de la Francophonie, à Beyrouth (Liban), vingt continuent de bafouer la liberté de la presse: Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Comores, Djibouti, Egypte, Guinée, Guinée-Bissau, Guinée équatoriale, Haïti, Laos, Liban, Maroc, Mauritanie, Niger, République démocratique du Congo, Rwanda, Seychelles, Togo, Tunisie et Viêt-nam. Aujourd'hui, on constate plus de violations de la liberté de la presse dans des Etats francophones que lors du précédent Sommet de Moncton, au Canada, en septembre 1999. Ainsi, en trois ans, trois journalistes ont été assassinés dans des pays francophones, 264 ont été arrêtés et 183 ont été agressés. Par ailleurs, 223 médias ont été censurés, interdits ou fermés par les autorités de ces Etats. Enfin, au 1er octobre 2002, 14 journalistes étaient incarcérés dans huit pays francophones. C'est pourquoi Reporters sans frontières appelle à des sanctions contre plusieurs Etats membres. (ANB-BIA, Belgique, 17 octobre 2002)

* Afrique du Nord. Tournée du directeur du FMI. - Le directeur général du Fonds monétaire international, Horst Köhler, est attendu ce lundi 14 octobre à Nouakchott, première étape d'une tournée d'une semaine dans trois pays du Maghreb. M. Köhler visitera la Mauritanie, l'Algérie et la Tunisie, à l'invitation de ces trois pays. C'est la première visite du patron du FMI au Maghreb depuis sa prise de fonction. Il discutera de "problèmes auxquels est confrontée l'économie régionale et mondiale, ainsi que du rôle du FMI", indique un communiqué officiel. (PANA, Sénégal, 14 octobre 2002)

* Horn of Africa. Missions and talks - 14 October: The African Union is to send a mission to Sudan and Eritrea to try and defuse tension between the two countries. A statement released on 11 October urges the authorities of both countries to cooperate with the AU delegation and "appealed urgently to their leaders to exercise restraint and refrain from all acts that would heighten the tension between them". -- Ethiopia's Prime minister Meles Zenawi and Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir have flown into Yemen for talks on the Horn of Africa. (ANB-BIA, Belgium, 14 October 2002)

* Algeria. Municipal elections - 10 October: Rioting in the Berber region mars local elections, with at least five people injured in clashes with police. Elsewhere, voting ended smoothly in elections seen as a test of political stability under President Bouteflika. Interior Minister Noureddine announces that voting was disrupted in 20 of the 67 municipalities in Tizi Ouzou Province, and 19 out of 52 municipalities in Bejaia Province. 11 October: The ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) confirms its hold on power winning the largest number of seats in the municipalities. The FLN win control of 668 communes out of a total of 1,541, taking control of 43 of Algeria's 48 biggest cities. The National Democratic Rally (RND) loses its previous majority, taking control of 171 communes. Independents win 77, ahead of the secular Socialist Forces Front (FFS) party with 65 communes. (ANB-BIA, Belgium, 11 October 2002)

* Algeria. Muslim students shot dead - 16 October: Thirteen students have been killed at a Koranic school by suspected Muslim fundamentalists, the Algerian security forces say. Another two people were killed in a separate incident on the night of 15 October at a fake roadblock in the same region of Chlef, 200 km west of the capital, Algiers. The latest killings bring to more than 50 the number of people killed this month in similar attacks, which the Algerian Government has blamed on the hardline Armed Islamic Group (GIA). This is the first time religious students have been the target of violence since Islamic militants launched a war against the authorities in 1992. (ANB-BIA, Belgium, 16 October 2002)

* Algérie. Elections locales - Le 10 octobre, quelque 17 millions d'électeurs étaient appelés à élire pour cinq ans leurs représentants dans plus de 1.500 communes et 48 départements. Ces élections se sont déroulées dans le calme dans la plus grande partie du pays. Mais elles ont été marquées par des émeutes en Kabylie, à la suite de l'appel au boycottage du mouvement contestataire des aârchs (tribus kabyles). Des manifestants ont attaqué et saccagé des bureaux de vote dans plusieurs communes. Une très forte présence des forces de l'ordre a cependant pu éviter le pire. -- 11 octobre. Les élections, perturbées par les émeutes et boycottage en Kabylie, ont vu sans surprise une nette victoire du Front de libération nationale (FNL, ex-parti unique), sans poussée notoire des islamistes. Selon les résultats officiels (amputés de la Kabylie et de quelques autres communes), le FLN a gagné dans 668 communes sur 1.541, et 43 des 48 départements. Il est en outre à égalité avec d'autres partis dans 323 communes et deux départements. La participation aurait été de 50,11% (mais de 15,6% à Béjaïa et de 7,6% à Tizi Ouzou). -- Le samedi 12 octobre, les responsables des comités de village kabyles ont mis en garde le pouvoir d'Alger contre l'installation officielle en Kabylie des maires "élus" au terme des élections. Le dimanche, le chef de file du mouvement kabyle, Belaïd Abrika, a été arrêté à Tizi Ouzou avec quatre autres délégués. - 15 octobre. Des manifestations, dont certaines ont tourné à l'émeute, se sont déroulées lundi et mardi dans plusieurs régions d'Algérie à la suite de l'installation de maires élus. Des troubles ont eu lieu à Badreddine, dans la région de Sidi Bel Abbès, et à Mila, près de Constantine (contre un maire du FLN), ainsi qu'à Oum El-Bouaghi dans les Aurès (contre la mise à l'écart d'un élu du FLN). Les émeutes sont devenues le mode d'expression de la colère contre l'incurie des autorités locales. (ANB-BIA, de sources diverses, 17 octobre 2002)

Weekly anb1017.txt - #1/7