Weekly anb0515_6.txt #6

WEEKLY NEWS ISSUE of: 15-05-2003      PART #6/6

* Togo. 7 candidats à la présidentielle - La Cour constitutionnelle du Togo a retenu les dossiers de sept candidats pour l'élection présidentielle du 1er juin, a-t-on appris le 12 mai à Lomé. Il s'agit du président Eyadéma et de six autres candidats. Le principal opposant, Gilchrist Olympio, a été éliminé de la course. Par ailleurs, le chargé d'affaires de la délégation de la Commission européenne au Togo a annoncé qu'il n'y aura pas de mission d'observation de l'Union européenne pour cette élection, faute d'avoir pu mener une "mission exploratoire". Et des associations des droits de l'homme ont dénoncé les conditions de la présidentielle et les "manipulations" du président Eyadéma, au pouvoir depuis 36 ans, pour obtenir un nouveau mandat. - Le 13 mai, la télévision nationale, citant un décret présidentiel, a annoncé qu'une "force de sécurité pour l'élection présidentielle" d'environ 5.000 hommes a été créée pour "assurer la sécurité du processus électoral sur toute l'étendue du territoire". La campagne électorale démarre le 16 mai à minuit. (ANB-BIA, de sources diverses, 14 mai 2003)

* Tunisie. 180 clandestins secourus - Une importante tentative d'immigration clandestine a été déjouée par une unité des garde-côtes tunisiens, rapporte l'hebdomadaire Assabah le lundi 12 mai. Selon le journal, des agents de la sécurité maritime qui patrouillaient au large de Monastir ont arraisonné jeudi dernier une embarcation à bord de laquelle se trouvaient 180 personnes originaires de pays de l'Afrique subsaharienne. Le bateau qui était tombé en panne en pleine mer, était parti des côtes libyennes et se dirigeait "apparemment" vers l'Italie. Les naufragés, dont bon nombre était en mauvais état de santé, ont été transférés dans un centre d'hébergement à Monastir. (AP, 12 mai 2003)

* Ouganda. Sept soldats noyés - Le 10 mai, sept soldats ougandais, dont un commandant de bataillon, se sont noyés dans le lac Albert quand le bateau à bord duquel ils voyageaient a chaviré au cours d'une tempête. Ils appartenaient aux dernières troupes ougandaises se retirant de l'est du Congo-RDC. Leurs corps ont été retrouvés tard dans la nuit. (PANA, Sénégal, 11 mai 2003)

* Uganda. Ebola scare flushes out guerrillas - One of Africa's most feared rebel groups, the Lord's Resistance Army, has abandoned its bases in southern Sudan and crossed into Uganda in an apparent attempt to escape a suspected outbreak of the deadly disease Ebola. Several hundred of the Ugandan guerrillas were spotted yesterday moving south towards the Ugandan town of Kitgum in an unusually large deployment. It is feared that they may carry the virus. Biologists from the World Health Organisation are expected to arrive in the border region tomorrow to establish what illness has killed at least seven people in Sudan in the past two weeks. Health officials in Kitgum believe the real death toll is 45 and say that all the symptoms -- fever, diarrhoea and vomiting blood -- are characteristic of Ebola. If confirmed, it would be the region's third outbreak in as many years. Ebola, which starts with a fever and headache which can lead to massive internal bleeding, is passed on by infected body fluids, with some strains killing 90% of victims. The Ugandan health ministry said that although there were no confirmed cases of Ebola fever in the country, eight border districts had been put on alert. Ugandan army officials said a 700-strong rebel force had crossed back into the country from Sudan and was moving south through the bush on foot, a concentration seldom seen since the government acquired helicopter gunships. The rebels kidnapped 40 young Roman Catholic seminarians in Gulu during an attack on Saturday night, the Vatican's missionary news agency Misna said yesterday, citing religious sources in the region. The 17-year-old civil war which has killed and displaced hundreds of thousands in northern Uganda has picked up steam, with the army claiming to have killed 27 rebels last week. Villagers have crowded into towns to escape rebel bands who roam the countryside, looting and abducting children as forced conscripts for a war which they say is against the southern-dominated government of President Yoweri Museveni. But most victims of the rebel ambushes and massacres are civilians. (The Guardian, UK, 12 May 2003)

* Uganda. Army looking for Catholic students - 12 May: The Ugandan army is still seeking a group of rebels who abducted more than 40 trainee Catholic priests over the weekend. Army spokesman Major Bantariza says that at least 100 soldiers have been sent to rescue the boys. An eight-year-old boy was shot dead during the attack, which happened early on Sunday morning at the Lacor Junior Seminary in Gulu district, about 400km north of Uganda. (ANB-BIA, Belgium, 12 May 2003)

* Ouganda. Dialogue bloqué - Les perspectives d'un règlement négocié de la rébellion qui secoue depuis 16 ans le nord de l'Ouganda, se sont assombries ce week-end, alors que le président Museveni avait ordonné à l'armée de reprendre ses opérations militaires contre l'Armée de résistance du Seigneur (LRA). Rappelant la proposition de cessez-le-feu qu'il a faite en mars dernier, M. Museveni a affirmé que la LRA s'est refusée à observer la trêve, continuant à terroriser les civils. De son côté, la LRA a accusé le gouvernement de malhonnêteté et réclame un cessez-le-feu total comme condition préalable à l'ouverture du dialogue. Une conférence de paix organisée la semaine dernière à Gulu impute l'échec des négociations à une incapacité à communiquer entre les différents initiateurs, porteurs de messages contradictoires. La conférence a recommandé que l'organe national unifié, dirigé par l'archevêque Martin Odama, s'attelle à relancer le dialogue. Mais Museveni a rejeté cette proposition. (PANA, Sénégal, 13 mai 2003)

* Zambia. Hard hit by AIDS - 10 May: Zambia has set a new record --one which no country would wish to hold. The average life expectancy in the country is 33 years -- by far the lowest in the world - and it is all due to AIDS. The illness has been referred to as the viral genocide, cutting down 200 Zambians every day. One in five Zambians is HIV-positive which, for a country with a population of only 10 million, is a devastating statistic. Dr Desmond Johns, director of UNAIDS, said: "The situation in Zambia is pretty much typical of what is going on in the heavily-affected countries in southern Africa." He said there is a common set of factors in most of these countries that has led to high numbers of HIV-positive people. These factors include poverty, wide social disparities, limited access to basic services such as education and health, and migration for economic and other reasons. A few years ago, it was Botswana and Sierra Leone which topped the grim league table of countries with the lowest life expectancy. Now, Zambia is up there. The average Zambian can expect to live 11 fewer years than he or she did a decade ago. Dr Johns says the country's government is working to reverse that trend through education, but it will take time. (ANB-BIA, Belgium, 10 May 2003)

* Zambia. Angolans to go home - 11 May: The voluntary repatriation of some of the 200,000 Angolans living in Zambia will begin next month, according to the United Nations refugee agency. UN official Fisseha Yimer in the Zambian capital Lusaka said about 60,000 Angolan refugees would be helped to return home over the next two years. Mr Yimer said the agency had received $11m in donations towards the cost of the programme, which is expected to cost $40m. Hundreds of thousands of Angolans fled their country during nearly three decades of civil war which ended last year after the death of the rebel leader Jonas Savimbi. But until now many have been reluctant to return to the former Portuguese colony fearing an outbreak of fresh fighting. An estimated 500,000 people were killed in the civil war. However, peace has held for over a year, although there is a heavy military presence on the streets. In April, the World Bank agreed a $100m support package for former combatants and their families. Mr Yimer said the Angolan authorities had reported that the clearing of landmines in areas where the refugees would be settled had progressed well. Zambia is home to more than 270,000 refugees. Of these, 211,000 are Angolans. The rest are from Congo RDC, Somalia, Ethiopia, Burundi and Rwanda. (BBC News, UK, 11 May 2003)

* Zimbabwe. A risk to Southern Africa - 8 May: A senior US official says that a crisis in Zimbabwe poses a risk to southern Africa but welcomes efforts by three African leaders to resolve the political deadlock in the country. The leaders of South Africa, Nigeria and Malawi flew to Zimbabwe on 5 May to hold talks with President Mugabe and his main political rival Morgan Tsvangirai. "Zimbabwe remains an issue for the southern African region, but I am getting a readout on what the regional leaders think of the situation there," Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs William Kansteiner says in neighbouring Botswana. "We are thrilled that the three Presidents have engaged Mugabe and are encouraged by their efforts". (ANB-BIA, Belgium, 8 May 2003)

* Zimbabwe. Tsvangirai's trial re-opens - 12 May: The trial of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is due to resume today. He is leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and has been charged with plotting to assassinate President Mugabe before last year's presidential elections. Tsvangirai denies the charge saying he has been framed by the government. (ANB-BIA, Belgium, 12 May 2003)

* Zimbabwe. Réouverture du procès des leaders MDC - Le lundi 12 mai, le procès pour trahison de trois leaders du Mouvement pour le changement démocratique (MDC, opposition), accusés d'avoir ourdi un projet d'assassinat contre le président Mugabe, a repris à Harare, après une suspension d'un mois. Morgan Tsvangirai et ses deux co-accusés ont nié les accusations qui pourraient mener à la peine de mort s'ils étaient reconnus coupables. La plupart des preuves sont basées sur des enregistrements audio et vidéo des réunions qu'ils auraient eues avec une société canadienne pour tuer Mugabe. Un témoin à charge, un officier de police, a admis lundi devant la cour que certains enregistrements étaient tellement inaudibles qu'on ne pouvait rien en tirer. La défense insiste sur le caractère prétendument inaudible des cassettes et sur la crédibilité de certains témoins de l'Etat. Selon les trois accusés, les autorités zimbabwéennes et la société canadienne auraient aussi "falsifié" les cassettes pour pouvoir les incriminer. La reprise du procès survient au moment où des dirigeants de la région tentent de renouer le dialogue entre le MDC et le parti de Mugabe, afin de réduire les tensions dans le pays. (D'après PANA, Sénégal, 12 mai 2003)

* Zimbabwe. All-round shortages - 9 May: The Zimbabwe government can no longer afford to pay for the ink and special paper needed to print the local currency according to the state-controlled Herald Newspaper. It said the government had no foreign currency to pay for the materials, which have to be imported. Local money will now be added to the long list of shortages in the country. Long queues of people waiting outside banks to withdraw cash are already a familiar sight in the capital, Harare. The shortage of banknotes will add to the frustrations for people who are already coping with shortages of fuel and basic commodities. The newspaper report said banks had resorted to issuing the small 100 and 50 Zimbabwe dollar bills. But that is unlikely to help in a country where inflation stands at 228% and prices increase weekly. 12 May: The electricity crisis set to worsen as Zimbabwe does not have enough foreign currency to pay for power supplied by neighbouring countries. 14 May: The EU approves humanitarian aid worth 13 million Euros to help Zimbabwe cope with drought, food shortages and AIDS. (ANB-BIA, Belgium, 14 May 2003)

* Zimbabwe. 500 morts du paludisme - Au cours des quatre premiers mois de 2003, au moins 500 personnes sont mortes du paludisme, comparées à 300 morts pour toute l'année précédente dans ce pays, selon un responsable de la santé zimbabwéen. Entre 200.000 et 300.000 décès liés au paludisme sont enregistrés chaque année en Afrique australe. (Libération, France, 14 mai 2003)

* Zimbabwe. Aide humanitaire européenne - Le 14 mai, la Commission européenne a approuvé une aide humanitaire de 13 millions d'euros en faveur du Zimbabwe, destinée à "améliorer la nutrition, la qualité de la nourriture, de l'eau et de l'hygiène et de combattre le VIH/sida". Le Zimbabwe connaît une situation humanitaire précaire liée à la sécheresse, un déclin économique permanent et la violence politique. En février dernier, l'Union européenne avait prolongé d'un an les sanctions à l'égard du Zimbabwe. (La Libre Belgique, 15 mai 2003)

Weekly anb0515.txt - #6/6 - THE END

Un homme meurt chaque fois que l'un d'entre nous se tait devant la tyrannie (W. Soyinka, Prix Nobel litterature)
Everytime somebody keep silent when faced with tyranny, someone else dies (Wole Syinka, Nobel Prize for Literature) *
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