Weekly anb10245.txt #7

WEEKLY NEWS ISSUE of: 24-10-2002      PART #5/7

* Mozambique/Afrique du Sud. Conflit sur l'électricité - Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), la compagnie mozambicaine chargée de la gestion du barrage de Cahora Bassa, a mis à exécution sa menace d'arrêter d'alimenter en électricité son principal client, la compagnie sud-africaine de fourniture en électricité, Eskom. Les autorités mozambicaines ne sont pas heureuses de cette décision, mais le Mozambique n'est pas propriétaire de HCB; c'est l'Etat portugais qui en est le principal actionnaire. Le président de HCB estime qu'Eskom viole les accords conclus. L'année dernière, Eskom payait 3,6 cents sud-africains par kilowatt/heure, selon un arrangement provisoire qui a expiré avant qu'un accord définitif ne soit conclu. Depuis, Eskom a reconduit l'ancien prix de 2 cents, ce que HCB refuse d'accepter. Aucun accord n'a encore été conclu. (PANA, Sénégal, 18 octobre 2002)

* Nigeria. Material gain in Bakassi defeat - Nigeria may emerge the long-term economic winner from last week's United Nations court ruling on its long-running dispute with neighbouring Cameroon over oil-rich border areas. Officials from the two countries say Cameroon's high-profile political success in winning a tussle over a territory known as the Bakassi peninsula is offset by more strategically significant Nigerian victories in other contested areas. The assessment, which comes at a time of increasing US interest in Gulf of Guinea oil, contrasts with the political outcry since the judgment among Nigerian politicians focused on the symbolic significance of the loss of Bakassi. "The result is better than expected," said one official in the office of Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria's president. "Taken in its totality, it is actually a no-winner, no-loser situation." The judgment last week by the Hague-based International Court of Justice, the United Nations' highest court, awarded the Bakassi peninsula and areas around Lake Chad to Cameroon but gave a series of other territories near the land border to Nigeria. The decision, which came after Cameroon brought a claim to the court in 1994, accepted Nigeria's argument for retaining existing maritime boundaries between the two countries and the nearby oil-producing state of Equatorial Guinea. (Financial Times, UK, 17 October 2002)

* Nigeria. Murder suspects charged - 21 October: Thirteen suspects have been charged with conspiracy to murder and murder over the death last year of Nigerian Justice Minister Bola Ige. Eleven suspects were charged in the High Court in the south-western city of Ibadan with two more charged in absentia. Mr Ige, a close friend of President Olusegun Obasanjo, was shot dead at his private residence in Ibadan on 23 December. He is the most senior politician to be murdered since democratic rule returned to Nigeria in 1999. He was also an outspoken critic of the previous military dictator, Sani Abacha, serving time in prison for his beliefs. There was heavy security in court. The suspects include Alani Omisore, a younger brother of Osun State Deputy Governor Iyiola Omisore, and Lambe Oyasope, a member of the Osun state legislature. (ANB-BIA, Belgium, 21 October 2002)

* Nigeria. Rejet de l'arrêt sur Bakassi - 17 octobre. Bien que le Nigeria n'ait pas encore indiqué s'il va se conformer ou non au jugement de la Cour internationale de justice (CIJ) accordant la péninsule de Bakassi au Cameroun, il semble que le président Obasanjo optera pour une solution pacifique. Dans une lettre adressée au Sénat, M. Obasano a indiqué que le texte de ce jugement est toujours entre les mains des experts nigérians qui l'étudient. Il a cependant déclaré que les options de paix sont souhaitables. Cette déclaration tranche nettement avec la position du gouverneur Donald Duke de l'Etat de Cross River, dont la juridiction couvrait Bakassi. Celui-ci a annoncé que le Nigeria ne respectera pas le jugement. Par ailleurs, un ancien ministre nigérian de la Justice, Bola Ajibola, a demandé au gouvernement de porter cette affaire devant le Conseil de sécurité de l'Onu pour demander une révision de ce jugement. -- Le 23 octobre, le Nigeria a rejeté le jugement rendu par la CIJ et demandé au secrétaire général de l'Onu, M. Kofi Annan, de servir de médiateur dans le conflit. Dans une déclaration à Abuja, le gouvernement nigérian a dit que le jugement était basé sur "des documents autres que les faits et les précédents". La déclaration demande à M. Annan de convoquer une réunion entre le Nigeria et le Cameroun sur "la base de la réconciliation, la normalisation et les liens de voisinage", et lance un appel au calme à tous les Nigérians. (PANA, Sénégal, 17-23 octobre 2002)

* Nigeria/Cameroon. Bakassi dispute not yet over - 18 October: Leaders of the disputed oil-rich Bakassi peninsular have reportedly threatened to secede if Nigeria hands it over to Cameroon, as ordered by the world court. "We will not hesitate to pull out of Nigeria and seek self-determination if Nigeria allows our lands to be taken away from us," the region's senator, Florence Ita-Giwa, said. Initially, Nigerian leaders, including Ms Ita-Giwa, appealed for calm as they urge their countrymen to accept the ruling. Bakassi's traditional leader, Chief Etim Archibong, still wants calm, "but, rather than lose our sovereignty, we will fight with the last drop of our blood. If Nigeria cannot protect us, we will declare a republic of Bakassi," he says. 23 October: Nigeria says it will refuse to hand over Bakassi peninsula to Cameroon, as ordered by the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Transport Minister Ojo Maduekwe read out Nigeria's first reaction to the 10 October ruling after a cabinet meeting, today. Nigeria also appeals to United Nation secretary general Kofi Annan to intervene in the dispute, Mr Maduekwe said. Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo had earlier promised to respect the ruling after a meeting with Mr Annan and his Cameroonian counterpart, Paul Biya. A spokesman for the world court said it had received no representations from Nigeria, but pointed out that its judgements were binding and not subject to appeal. The two countries have clashed several times over the peninsula and Cameroon referred the dispute to The Hague in 1994. The court ruling was based on colonial treaties between former rulers Britain, Germany and France. But the ruling ignored the rights of traditional kings and chiefs as the true owners of the land, Mr Maduekwe said. "On no account will Nigeria abandon her people and their interests. For Nigeria, it is not a matter of oil or natural resources on land or in coastal waters, it is a matter of the welfare and the well-being of her people on their land," Mr Maduekwe said. The ethnic Efik fishing community living on the peninsula, regards itself as part of the Calabar kingdom of south-eastern Nigeria and has rejected the ruling. (ANB-BIA, Belgium, 23 October 2002)

* Rwanda. Bleak prospects of peace in central Africa - Paul Kagame, the Rwandan president, paints a bleak picture of prospects of peace in central Africa. Two weeks after withdrawing 23,000 Rwandan troops from Congo in line with recent accords aimed at ending its devastating four-year war, events are already leading him to consider ordering them back. This is in spite of condemnation of his army's occupation of eastern Congo in a United Nations report released on Monday, and declining international sympathy for Rwanda's cause. The report accuses Rwanda of using security issues as a pretext for annexing Congo's east and plundering its minerals and gems. Rwanda has always justified its intervention in Congo by the threat posed there by extremist Hutu militia. These have roamed Congo's jungle expanses since participating in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, in which 1m ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus died. Despite the growing international perception that the Rwandan army is as much a part of the Congo problem as any force, and the consequences of this for Rwanda in terms of dwindling donor support, General Kagame retains an uncompromising logic. This has often inspired comparisons to Israeli tactics in the Middle East. "Pulling out should not be misconstrued to be giving up on the issue of our security," Gen Kagame said in an interview with the Financial Times. "At a certain point we had to prove that we are not the problem, and we had to do it at a very high cost." Could fighting that has broken out in Congo in the wake of the departure of Rwandan troops lead to their immediate return? "I don't rule that out," he said. "And we won't ask anybody for permission. The only thing that will dictate what course of action we take will be facts on the ground." (Financial Times, UK, 23 October 2002)

* Sénégal. 32 cas confirmés de fièvre jaune - Le porte-parole de l'OMS (Organisation mondiale de la santé) a déclaré le 22 octobre que l'institut Pasteur de Dakar avait diagnostiqué dans la région de Touba (est de Dakar) 32 cas confirmés de fièvre jaune et que plus de 150 cas suspects étaient signalés dans la région. Déjà le 17 octobre, le ministre de la Santé avait confirmé 18 cas, avec deux décès, dont 15 dans la région de Touba. Le 1er octobre l'OMS avait commencé une campagne de vaccination et 800.000 personnes avaient été vaccinées dans les départements de Touba, Diourbel, Bambey, et Mbacké. Une deuxième campagne d'immunisation par pulvérisation d'insecticide avait été lancée par le Service national d'hygiène entre les 15 et 17 octobre. Selon les entomologistes, le responsable de l'épidémie de fièvre jaune est le moustique nommé "Aedes Aegypti". (D'après OMS, Suisse, 22 octobre 2002)

* Senegal. Ferry victims sue government - 23 October: The families of victims of the Joola ferry disaster in Senegal a month ago have announced that they are suing the Senegalese Government. An association representing relatives of 300 victims of the accident has filed a lawsuit against the government for manslaughter and negligence. About 1,000 people died when the ferry capsized off the Gambian coast on 26 September. Only 64 survived. Investigations ordered by President Abdoulaye Wade concluded that the state-run ferry was overloaded and that the crew failed to observe proper safety procedures. (ANB-BIA, Belgium, 23 October 2002)

* Somalia. Waiting game at Somali peace talks - 17 October: Hundreds of delegates at the Somali peace conference in the Kenyan town of Eldoret are still waiting for four key warlords to arrive. On 17 October, hopes rose that this conference may succeed -- unlike its 15 predecessors --after four key faction leaders announced they had decided against boycotting the talks. If the four -- Mohamed Qanyare Afrah, Osman Ali Atto, Mowlid Ma'ani and Omar Finish -- do travel to Kenya, it will become the biggest Somali peace conference for a decade. However, some warlords will not participate in peace talks until the president of the Transitional National Government (TNG) Abdulkassim Salat Hassan turns up. The organisers are trying to find a way of reducing the number of delegates after 600 people turned up, instead of the 300 invited. 22 October: The reconciliation conference resumes in Eldoret after a three-day pause. The suspension came at the request of participants who said they needed time to study a draft proposal presented to them by the organisers. (ANB-BIA, Belgium, 22 October 2002)

* Somalie. Pourparlers de paix - Depuis le 15 octobre plusieurs centaines de délégués de plusieurs factions somaliennes, de groupes politiques, du gouvernement intérimaire et d'autres parties concernées, venus de Somalie, se sont réunis à Eldoret, au centre du Kenya, pour mettre un terme à plus d'une décennie de violences et de chaos dans leur pays. Tous les délégués ont insisté sur la nécessité d'un désarmement préalable à tout accord de paix. A la fin de l'année dernière, le président kényan Daniel arap Moi avait tenté d'organiser une conférence pour la paix, mais le Conseil de réconciliation et de restauration de la Somalie (SRRC) avait refusé d'y participer, soutenant qu'il ne reconnaissait pas le gouvernement intérimaire. Cette fois-ci, a déclaré Abdullahi Sheikh Ismail, co-président du SRRC, "il y a une ébauche de coopération et des préparatifs sur le terrain, pour la paix". Lors de la cérémonie d'ouverture, les chefs d'Etat et les responsables de l'IGAD (Autorité intergouvernementale pour le développement) se sont adressés aux participants avec optimisme car, cette fois, les choses seraient différentes. La guerre en Somalie qui fait rage depuis le milieu des années 80, signifie que de nombreux enfants souffrent de malnutrition et de maladies évitables, a souligné Mme Mariam Hussein Mohamed, co-directrice du Centre Dr Ismail pour les Droits humains, basé à Mogadiscio. (ANB-BIA, de sources diverses, 23 octobre 2002)

Weekly anb1024.txt - #5/7