After Brutality, Mugabe Offers an Olive Branch

European Pressphoto Agency

The results of Zimbabwe's runoff election, widely seen as a sham, were posted at a polling station in Harare. After a campaign of violence, the opposition party had withdrawn from the election.

Published: June 29, 2008

JOHANNESBURG — President Robert Mugabe once boasted he had a degree in violence, and he has surely added a doctorate in the savage presidential runoff season that is likely to stagger to a close this weekend with his proclaiming himself the Zimbabwean people's choice despite an election denounced across the globe as a sham.

In the three months since the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai beat him in the general election, Mr. Mugabe, 84, has accomplished much of what governing party insiders say he and his coterie of strongmen set out to do in the long delay they engineered before the runoff on Friday.

Soldiers, war veterans and unemployed youths mobilized by Mr. Mugabe's ruling clique have decimated the ranks of the opposition, with the damage measured in shattered bones, battered and burned bodies and the corpses of assassinated organizers — a record that helped prompt President Bush on Saturday to announce that the United States would move forward with broader sanctions on the Zimbabwean government.

"Violence has left our structures scattered, tattered and seriously perforated," acknowledged Nelson Chamisa, a member of Parliament and the spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Now that he will have officially won a runoff that Mr. Tsvangirai quit with only days to go because of the extreme violence, Mr. Mugabe, in power for 28 years, is ready for talks with the opposition. "We want our brothers in the M.D.C. to come to us to discuss our problems," he said at a rally on Thursday, exhibiting magnanimity that earlier escaped him.

In that spirit, the opposition's chief strategist, Tendai Biti, held for two weeks in one of the country's filthiest jails on flimsy treason charges, was released last week. And doctors treating victims of Mr. Mugabe's onslaught say torture camps in the Mashonaland provinces, the heartland of the gory campaign of terror, have been closed and the wounded are now straggling into Harare, the capital, for treatment.

The current moment has a familiar quality that has left some Zimbabweans wondering if Mr. Mugabe is up to old tricks.

In 1987, after conducting a murderous campaign to crush the forces of a rival liberation hero, Joshua Nkomo, Mr. Mugabe and Mr. Nkomo signed a unity accord that merged the two forces into a single party, ZANU-PF, that still rules Zimbabwe.

The historian Martin Meredith explains in his book "The Fate of Africa" that Mr. Mugabe's objective was always to establish a one-party state. The question now is whether he can again succeed in bludgeoning an independent force into submission.

There is one major, imponderable difference now: the gruesome violence has been inflicted in the internet age. The photographic and video evidence of atrocities is online in real time: the women whose bottoms were beaten for so many hours they have turned deep purple, the men whose backs are pocked with burns from dribbled, burning plastic, the boys and girls with broken legs and black eyes.

These images, more than anything else, have created a worldwide revulsion to Mr. Mugabe and an avalanche of denunciations from Western leaders and some African heads of state on a continent where many have been silent during Mr. Mugabe's pitiless decades in power.

But Mr. Mugabe is a cunning survivor. The chief mediator between him and Mr. Tsvangirai is South Africa's president, Thabo Mbeki, who has a complicated relationship with Mr. Mugabe that stretches from 1980. Mr. Mbeki has uttered nary a word directly criticizing Mr. Mugabe in the past three months and is now pushing hard for Mr. Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai to talk. Some senior members of Mr. Mbeki's own party have said in recent interviews that they think Mr. Mugabe has for years outfoxed South Africa's president.

Still, Mr. Mbeki is sticking with the policy of quiet diplomacy he has pursued with Mr. Mugabe for the past several years. South Africa has fought to keep Zimbabwe off the international agenda, and on Friday it opposed an effort led by the United States and Britain to have the United Nations Security Council pronounce the runoff illegitimate, saying it was not the Council's role to do so. Instead, the Security Council issued a weaker statement regretting that the runoff wasn't postponed.

South Africa also opposes sanctions against Zimbabwe.

President Bush said Saturday that the United States would press the United Nations for an arms embargo on Zimbabwe and a travel ban on government officials. He also said he was instructing American officials to develop sanctions against Zimbabwe's government. Currently, the United States sanctions apply only to some 140 members of Zimbabwe's elite and businesses they own or control.

Ronnie Mamoepa, spokesman for South Africa's Foreign Ministry, explained that while South Africa's own liberation movement sought international sanctions against the apartheid regime, Zimbabwe's opposition has not asked for them.

Mr. Mamoepa said it did not make sense to impose sanctions now when both sides were already willing to enter negotiations for a political settlement.

Zimbabwe's opposition spokesman, Mr. Chamisa, asked if his party favored sanctions, would say only that it sought intensified international pressure.

It seems likely that the opposition is reluctant to demand sanctions for fear of playing into Mr. Mugabe's hands. The state media incessantly, daily, in story after story, blames the limited sanctions imposed by the United States and Britain on the Zimbabwean elite for having led to the country's economic ruin.

Mr. Mamoepa, the South African Foreign Ministry spokesman, said South Africa has not yet expressed any view on the validity of the election. .

"Our principal task is to bring the two belligerents to the table to talk about the future of the country," he said.

South Africa's studied neutrality has embittered many in the opposition. .

"If Mbeki endorses and legitimizes Robert Mugabe and ZANU-PF," said Mr. Chamisa, "instead of being part of the solution, he risks being part of the problem."

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Zimbabwe: Moeletsi Mbeki Says Mugabe Should Vacate Office


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Violet Gonda

Moeletsi Mbeki, brother of South Africa's President believes there is now a potential for sanctions to be imposed against the Mugabe regime by the United Nations Security Council saying it was now clearly an illegitimate regime.

The deputy chairman of the South African Institute for International Affairs said the rules of democracy have to be enforced if Africa is to get stability. Mr. Mbeki said Robert Mugabe has to vacate office and the duly elected party, which won in the first round of elections, should take over.

There have been calls for negotiations between the two political parties in Zimbabwe to form a government of national unity. But the South African disagrees saying there is no need for it. Moeletsi Mbeki was speaking to SW Radio Africa on the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe.

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He said he doesn't expect anything coming out of SADC, but if the African Union and/or the United Nations Security Council passed a sanctions regulation, such as oil sanctions, then all the SADC countries would be obliged to comply whether they liked it or not.

Legal opinion in South Africa says by not holding the run-off election 21 days after the first round of elections, Mugabe is no longer the legal President of Zimbabwe and Morgan Tsvangirai should be sworn in as head of state, as he had the most vote in the March 29th poll.

Moeletsi said: "This puts a new factor in front of the African Union which is that we now have an illegally constituted government in Zimbabwe."

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US Congress erases terror label from Mandela's name

Sat 28 Jun 2008, 8:07 GMT
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As celebrities threw an early 90th birthday party for Nelson Mandela in London's Hyde Park on Friday, U.S. lawmakers erased references to the former South African leader as a terrorist from national databases.

Legislation proposing the move received final congressional approval late on Thursday when the Senate unanimously passed it on a voice vote. The House of Representatives approved it on May 8.

It removes the "terrorist" label and travel restrictions imposed on Mandela and other cadres from the African National Congress, which fought to end white minority rule in South Africa.

The ANC was banned by South Africa's apartheid government in 1960. Its leaders were jailed or forced into exile until the ban on the movement was lifted 30 years later.

"Passage of the bill to remove from the U.S. terrorist watch list Nelson Mandela and others who worked tirelessly to end the oppressive, inhumane system of apartheid in South Africa is a great victory for justice," said Rep. Donald Payne, a New Jersey Democrat and chairman of the Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee on Africa in the House of Representatives.

"I am gratified that we were able to show our respect and high esteem for a man who is loved and admired around the world," said Payne.

Mandela, who retired from politics nine years ago, has become a worldwide symbol of freedom. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has called the U.S. travel restrictions on Mandela and the ANC "embarrassing" and urged an end them.

Stricter security measures passed by Congress after the September 11, 2001 attacks against the United States kept the ANC's terrorist label because it used armed force as part of its campaign against apartheid.

Some lawmakers wanted the changes made to the legislation before Mandela turned 90 on July 18 and there were fears that it would be delayed by Congress' summer recess for much of August and a break over the July 4 week.

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Postcard from Uganda, part 3

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the final installment of a three-part series by Edmond Sun Reporter Mark Schlachtenhaufen, who is traveling with an Edmond missionary team in Uganda.

BUPACHAI, Uganda — It has been a good week in Mbale.

Through the power of the Gospel, many lives have been changed, including those of the missionaries.

As I write, it is Thursday evening and we have just returned from Bupuchai. On Sunday, a new church will be born in this village, which has been radically transformed by the love of God.

Next to Oklahomans, I believe Ugandans are some of the friendliest people on earth. They also are some of the most beautiful, inside and out. We are strangers, but they have treated us like family.

We have learned about their culture, learned about the villagers, learned about our translators and learned about ourselves. When we leave Uganda, a part of ourselves will remain here. I am looking forward to being reunited with my wife, who has supported me in many ways, including prayer.

Several hours ago, I witnessed something marvelous that will remain with me as long as I live. The preacher of the day, Jim Borgstadt, was making his altar call. One by one, two by two, villagers came forward to profess their faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

A rainstorm was approaching. From where I stood, I could see over the new church a rainbow arching up into the sky. As Jim led the new Christians in the "sinner's prayer," a gentle rain began to fall, a refreshing sensation after a long day of hut-to-hut evangelism.

Was the convergence a coincidence? I cannot say. Only God knows for sure.

I believe God has a plan involving Uganda and the First Presbyterian Churches of Edmond and Oklahoma City. God is moving in a mighty way on the continent of Africa and I feel privileged to have been a part of it. I look forward to seeing what else He has in store for Uganda — and for us.

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Uganda May Sell 40% Stake in National Insurance Next Month

By Fred Ojambo

June 28 (Bloomberg) -- Uganda's government will probably sell its 40 percent stake in National Insurance Corp., the country's fourth-biggest insurer, next month on the local stock exchange.

The company is preparing the prospectus for investors, Simon Rutega, chief executive officer of the Uganda Securities Exchange, said in a telephone interview from the Rwandan capital, Kigali.

National Insurance, established in 1964 as a wholly government-owned company, had assets of more than 26 billion Ugandan shillings ($14.3 million) in 2004, according to the state- run Privatization Unit. Uganda sold 60 percent of the company to Nigeria's Industrial and General Insurance Co. in 2005.

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Former rebels in Ivory Coast mutiny: official

Soldiers loyal to former Ivory Coast rebel chief Zacharia Kone on Saturday attacked their headquarters in the central west of the country, creating a "combat situation," a New Forces (FN) spokesman said.

"To our great surprise, members of Zacharia Kone's guard revolted at Vavoua and Seguela," said the spokesman, Sidiki Konate.

"They are in the town and they have started to attack the headquarters of the New Forces," he said, adding that "it is a combat situation."

"We are in the process of surrounding them in order to mount a counter attack in the following hours," he said.

The attack involved around 200 Kone fighters who fled into the bush after their leader was ousted in May from his command after failing to take part in a demobilisation event.

Questioned on the motive for the attack, the FN spokesman said the issue was a command problem and not related to demobilisation payments.

Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa grower and a former star French colony, was sliced in half after a September 2002 coup attempt against President Laurent Gbagbo.

But after a peace accord, a government was installed earlier this year with Gbagbo sharing power with former FN rebel chief Guillaume Soro serving as prime minister.

At the end of May, 2,568 former rebel fighters demobilised and were grouped in two camps.

The subsequent phases of disarmament and integration are due to be completed before long delayed presidential elections are held on November 30.

The New Forces have pledged to demobilise the estimated 36,000 fighters it claims to have in successive phases.

About 10,000 of them are scheduled to be inducted into the army and the remaining 26,000 reintegrated into the civil mainstream following training in vocational skills.

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Congo-Kinshasa: Lubanga Trial Still At a Standstill


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The Hague

The trial before the International Criminal Court (ICC) of Thomas Lubanga, former president of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), a militia from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), accused of war crimes for having forcibly enlisted children, is still at a standstill after the hearing last Tuesday on the possibility of releasing the defendant after the decision rendered ten days earlier to suspend the proceedings in the case.

As the trial, the first at the ICC, was to open on 23 June, the judges suspended the proceedings because the prosecutor had not divulged evidence transmitted by the United Nations.

New York refuses that several documents given to the prosecution under the seal of confidentiality be transmitted to the judges and the defence, as agreed upon notably in several cooperation agreements signed between the prosecution and the United Nations Mission in Congo (MONUC).

In addition to these agreements, the ICC Statute provides that confidentiality measures can be agreed upon, which the prosecutor "commits not to reveal at any stage of the proceedings the documents and information which it obtained under the condition that they remain confidential and are only used to obtain new evidence, unless the one who provided the information allows its disclosure". But the prosecutor would have used this clause in an abusive manner, it is considered. In addition, he obviously did not use the information contained in these documents to obtain other sources of confirmations likely to be recorded as evidence in the trial.

The UN is only agreeing to reveal under very precise conditions, communicated to the Chamber on 23 June, but denounced by the defence and the civil parties during the hearing of 24 June.

In a correspondence from Nicolas Michel, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, the United Nations proposed that the judges go to the Peace Palace in The Hague, therefore on "UN territory", to consult the documents.

They would not be allowed to take notes, or to record information during their consultation. Thereafter, they could indicate certain pieces of evidence for which the prosecutor would be invited to make a summary. The judges could then compare the summary with the original evidence and decide to reveal these summaries to the defence.

During the hearing of 24 June, Catherine Mabille, the lawyer for Lubanga, has from the start specified that "the defence will not accept summaries, which cannot be evidence".

"If you accept", she declared, that means that the prosecutor signs agreements with the United Nations, and that the UN will dictate to the judges, to justice, what it can hear, what can be said or not. The confidential pieces would contain evidence likely to have an "impact" on "the innocence or the guilt" of the defendant, wrote the judges in their decision of 13 June, as certain pieces of evidence would show, inter alia, that Lubanga did not have full control on his militia, which would have been "under the control of Uganda, Rwanda and other countries", according to the magistrates.

For Mrs Mabille, the refusal of the UN raises other questions. To accept these conditions, she argued, would amount to accepting "what the UN wants us to think on its perception of the war in Congo and in Ituri.

The UN was in Congo for years, she added, which superior interests is it hiding so that we do not have access to the documents? " The same consternation was expressed by the civil parties.

For Carine Bapita, "the victims wonder who are the military authorities of the country and the neighbouring countries who are being protected by the United Nations?" But she warns, however, on the consequences of the release of the defendant, which would lead to "scores being settled". "The consequences of such a release on the ground, each one of us will have to answer before history!" she pleaded. "Be assured there will be revenge, Mr. President".

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The status of Lubanga remains ambiguous. The Union of Congolese Patriots, Lubanga's movement, congratulated the judges on their decision. Prayer vigils would be organized by his followers in Bunia, according to Luc Walleyn, a lawyer of another civil party.

The prosecution has asked for the authorization to appeal the decision of 13 June, asserting that it could not be sanctioned so harshly for its errors.

According to Mrs. Mabille, since the decision to "stop the proceedings ... the arrest warrant no longer has a legal basis".

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Kony at his weakest but will UPDF defeat him? PDF Print E-mail



                         LRA rebels at their base in Garamba National Park, north-eastern DR Congo.

As hope for a peace deal between the government and Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels fades, all signs of a resumption of war are on the horizon.

Members of the LRA peace delegation who constituted the LRA's political wing, LRM, have now gone underground.

The International Criminal Court (ICC), which has issued warrants for the arrest of Joseph Kony, Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen, has resumed investigations into what it calls "new war crimes".

The rebel group that has showed its face over the course of the last two years is now attempting to rebuild its mystical and ragtag image. Kony is not in contact with either his chief negotiator Dr Alfred Obita or the chief mediator, South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar.

Former Mozambique president and now UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, Joachim Chissano, flew to Juba last week but his salvage efforts are unlikely to be enough to put the peace process back on course.

For now, it seems the guns will do the talking. In fact, in the last two weeks, both protagonists have clearly indicated their change of direction, with President Yoweri Museveni, by his own admission not a disciple of peace, pronouncing during his State of the Nation Address on June 5 that he will "destroy Kony If he attempts to come to Uganda".

Within two hours of the president's speech, the LRA staged an attack, not on Uganda, but on its ally and peace mediator the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). The attack on a detachment in Nabanga left 22 dead, including a major.

Kony immediately called Radio France International (RFI), crying foul. He said his soldiers had been attacked by SPLA and they fought back. He maintained, however, that he was still interested in talking peace and introduced his new spokesperson, Maj. Justine Okello.

For the people of northern Uganda, who were only beginning to return to their homes after 20 years in camps, this is the most dampening news. It means the 22-month lull that has seen the end of fighting, abductions, rapes and killings of civilians is over.

The question now is: how did the "most credible peace process" get off track and who is responsible? It is difficult to point a finger to any one direction, but some Acholi in the diaspora have been cited, as has the Islamist government in Khartoum.

But if war is on the agenda of the LRA, then the Khartoum regime, which was the rebels main logistics supplier, may have changed gear and once again want to use the rebels in a dirty war. Indeed,

The Independent has received reports, corroborated in several intelligence circles, that LRA's majorally Khartoum has maintained links with indicted warlord Kony and that those links have grown stronger, especially as Sudan's Islamic north finds itself in a state of war.

Which way for northern Uganda?

A May report by US-based organization enough is instructive and could illustrate the scenario ahead. "The LRA will continue to terrorize the region until Kony comes out of the bush of his own volition, by force of arrest, or military defeat.

With a new and largely impenetrable base in the Central African Republic, Kony and his forces pose an immediate threat to neighboring southern Sudan, northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and southeastern Central African Republic," the report said, also noting that,

"Northern Uganda is the most difficult of Kony's potential targets; it is far from his current operational base and better defended than other targets in the sub-region. It could, therefore, be spared from any attacks in the short term".

However, the report continues, civilians in neighboring countries are vulnerable, and "if the LRA is not neutralized well in advance of the 2009 elections in Sudan, there is a real danger that the Sudanese government will, as it has done in the past, use the LRA as a proxy force to destabilize parts of southern Sudan in the run-up to the polls".

When Kony first moved his troops to Central African Republic in March, a telephone link between him and Mahamat Nouri, Chad's insurgent leader was tracked.

Nouri, who currently commands the Union of Forces for Democracy and Development (UFDD), is backed by Khartoum. The Chadian rebels have been able to exploit volatility in neighbouring Sudan, establishing rear bases in Sudan's troubled Darfur region.

"There is reason to believe that Khartoum wanted Kony to reinforce Nouri's weak forces at the time they attempted to attack Chad," says a UN security official based in Southern Sudan.

The Independent has learned from intelligence sources that in early October 2007, a Sudanese intelligence official identified as Capt. Fadil Habib held a meeting with an LRA contact in Nairobi, one Opoka Latigo.

The details of the meeting remain unknown. More recently, in the first week of June this year, SPLA intelligence speaks of reports that a Sudan Airforce (SAF) helicopter flew into northeast DR Congo in the last week of May to supposedly pick up Kony. It later flew north to Weret, in central-western Sudan.

There has, however, been no independent confirmation of that information.

In the past four months, Khartoum has been in a state of siege following an attack by Darfur-based Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

Rebels on the Khartoum suburb of Omdurman in May and the resumption of hostilities with troops of the semi-autonomous government in South Sudan at oil rich Abyei. Other information obtained by The Independent indicates Khartoum had wanted LRA to relocate to areas near Abyei and Darfur late in 2007.

The information further suggests that former LRA second-in-command Vincent Otti's refusal to relocate to those areas is partly responsible for his execution in October the same year.

So is the rebel force in a strong enough position to cause mayhem as it has done over the years?


The status of the LRA

The rebel group that has stuck out for more than 20 years is now at its worst strength yet. Documents obtained by The Independent indicate that Kony has only 1,050 people remaining.

These include: "Total force 600-700 armed fighters, 200-300 dependents (women and children) and 200-300 new abductees," according to an intelligence briefing released in June. In addition to those low numbers, the rebels seem to be doing worse in arms.

"Main weapons 550-650 SMGs, 11 PKs and 5 RPGs," the briefing compiled from several LRA escapees said. Over the two years of peace talks, Kony also greatly altered the structure of the rebel group.

Traditionally, the LRA was organized in a regular infantry army formation with five brigades: Control Altar (Kony's protection unit), Stockree, Sinia, Gilva and Shila.

However, recent information reveals a drastically different LRA. Kony has scrapped four brigades, only retaining his, Control Altar. He also divided the rest of LRA into five brigades, two of which he named Happo Brigade and are led by Alphonso Lamola and Central Brigade.

The two brigades are set up in such a way that they back up security for Control Altar, Kony's protections unit. This shows that Kony is taking his personal security more seriously than ever.

The other unnamed three brigades are meant for combat activities and are led by Divisional Commander Brig. Bok Abudema. The three brigades include the First Brigade led by "Lt. Col. Okot Odek, the 2nd Brigade led by Lt Col Acaye Doctor Francis and the 3rd Bridage led by CO Maj. Odong Murefu," according to the brief.

The document further details LRA commanders who have, since the murder of Kony's second in command Vincent Otti, been demoted. They include: former Intelligence Chief Maj. Gen. Caesar Acelam, Col. Kwoyelo Latoni, and Kony's long serving signaler, Capt. Labalpiny. Currently, the LRA is cut off from its several arms caches in western and eastern Equatoria Province of South Sudan.

It has built its six new bases in north-eastern DR Congo, but all within 50-70 km of the DR Congo-Sudan border and spread towards Central Africa Republic.

The bases include the LRA headquarters in Garamba forest; other bases are: one north of Duru, two south of Bitima, one south of Lamola and another one south of Doruma, all in northeastern DRC.

What next?

Though Kampala is itching to launch a military onslaught on the LRA in the DR Congo, it cannot. Its persistent requests to the DRC to enter a joint anti-LRA military alliance have beenflatly rejected.

Kinshasa, which is also embroiled in a border dispute with Uganda, according to diplomatic sources, still asks Kampala to first pay the fine of $10 billion awarded by the International Court of Justice in 2005 for the alleged plunder of its natural resources by top commanders of the UPDF between 1998 and 2003.

"Since Kony is in Congo, it is the responsibility of President Kabila and the UN to deal with him. If Congo asked for our assistance to go and deal with Kony there, we are ready, able and prepared to go.

If Kony tried to come to Uganda we shall destroy him as quickly as we did in Teso in 2003," Museveni said during his State of the Nation Address. In a recent communiqué by joint army chiefs from Uganda, South Sudan and DR Congo,

It was agreed instead that the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) would lead the fight against LRA with the help of the UN peacekeeping mission, MONUC.

However, the vast central-African country still has its own problems, and they are colossal. Not only is it still struggling with its internal civil strife, its army has no presence in the country's northeast and is weak and ill-armed.

It is not yet clear how the MONUCFARDC offensive will be rolled out. The UN, which is still nursing its wounds from LRA attacks made way back in February 2006, is likely to play a minimal logistical and air support role.

But if history can judge both FARDC and MONUC from their past operations against forces of dissident Gen. Laurent Nkunda late last year, there might be some problems.

 Within five days of a joint FARDC-MONUC offensive in December 2007, thousands of the Congolese soldiers deserted.

Today, Nkunda still exists in eastern Congo and poses a threat to Kinshasa. Kony may still hold out for a while, only limited in how much destruction he can do.

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Six Rwandan students to attend Hendrix in the fall

Many international students who attend college in the United States explore career opportunities within the country and start life anew after graduation.

However, the 25 students from Rwanda who toured the Hendrix College campus Thursday plan to graduate from U.S. institutions and then bring that knowledge back to Rwanda to become leaders and help rebuild the country after the 1994 genocide.


This program began at Hendrix during the 2007-08 school year with only four Rwandan students and the goal of this year's session is to not just educate the students to help them develop their country, but to form a common bond among local colleges, according to Dr. Peter Gess, director of international programs.

Gess said six of the 25 students will be attending Hendrix in the fall and others will attend the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Harding University, Philander Smith College, Wofford College and Ouachita Baptist University.

"Hendrix being small in size, it was a good opportunity to bring together a consortium of universities so more students could participate this year," Gess said Thursday.

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The 25 students were chosen during a selection process in April that involved Arkansas college personnel, including Hendrix officials, and was based on national test scores, a written English test and an oral English interview, according to Gess.

"During the interview, we did not just look at their English speaking ability, although that was an important part of it, but it was sort of a way to measure the kind of success they could have in the situation we have here by asking lots of cultural questions and liberal arts questions," Gess said.

When asked what students want to study in college, Gess said the majority of them would talk about physics, biology, chemistry or math. However, he said he told the group those who attend Hendrix will also be enrolled in liberal arts classes to provide them with a well-rounded education.

As far as what the students want to do in Rwanda after moving back, Gess said the students all have different ideas of how they want to help, but their ultimate goals are all the same.

"There are students interested in engineering and construction to build infrastructure from railroads to roads to buildings, there is a student who is interested in computerizing medical records and many are interested in the world of pharmaceuticals," Gess said. "Each of the students' foci are different, but overall the common goal they share is developing their country."

Jeanne Umuhire, who is one of the students chosen for the program, said she plans to pursue a career in the medical field when she returns to her home country.

"I want to go to medical school and become a doctor because I've always been interested in helping all people," Umuhire said. "I want to do a residency in psychology because there are not that many people who study the mind in Rwanda."

Umuhire does not know where she will be studying in the fall yet, but she said she would like to be placed at Hendrix to take advantage of the school's biology and chemistry programs.

The Rwandan students arrived in Arkansas over Memorial Day weekend and have been taking an intensive English class at UALR to prepare for college. Umuhire said they have been having fun in the Natural State, too, by mountain climbing, canoeing and seeing different sights around the state.

"When you think of the United States you think of lots of roads and buildings and industry, not nature like it is here, so this was a very good place to start," Umuhire said. "And Arkansas is very friendly and welcoming and it's an easy place to get used to because everyone is so nice."

Although the students from Rwanda, along with the people they may help in the future, directly benefit from this program, Gess said he sees it as a two-way street.

"There's the altruistic side of it with the idea of service as we are helping Rwanda recover from a horrible part of its history by educating its young people," Gess said. "And there's also the side that is directly benefiting Hendrix. Hendrix is internationalizing its students on campus and the community."

He said having a large number of students from other countries, whether they are on an exchange program or simply part of the international program, creates new experiences for the local students as well.

"I think it's great for students to be exposed to their counterparts from around the world," Gess said. "That really enhances the whole learning process and the whole teaching process."

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
Procurement Consultant
Gsm: +250-08470205
Home: +250-55104140
P.O. Box 3867
East Africa
Blog: http://www.cepgl.blogspot.com
Skype ID : Kayisa66
Umwami Kigeri wa V niwe mahirwe ya demokarasi mu Rwanda ! ! ! ! ! !
> Ni mu gihe kandi ni n'ingira akamaro muri demokarasi ko haba ho
ubusimburane (alternance démocratique) kandi mu mahoro.
> Niyo cyo  kerekezo mbona gifite ihame mugihe abantu benshi bamaze
igihe bagira ibiganiro ku icyo umwami ya kungura igihugu ari nako
bibaza ko bishoboka kandi niba umwami ari kaamara.
> Ndifuza ko igitekerezo cyanjye kuri ibi biganiro byafasha guteza i
mbere imyumvire kurusha ho kuzana ubushyamirane hagati y'abagifite
imiziro iyo bumvise umwami. Ubwo bushyamirane ahanini  bushingiye  ku
bumenyi buciriritse kuri za systéme politique ibihugu bigendera ho
n'umwami arimo. Kuburyo iyo uvuze umwami usanga abantu bakora
réaction idéologique ishingiye ku myumvire y'igihe cyahise
byigishwaga kandi bitajyanye nubushake bwo gutera i mbere.
> Nongeye ho kandi ko umwami ashobora kubangikana na répubulika .
> Aho u Rwanda rugeze ubu ,tunitegereje imiterere yejo hazaza;
> Twakwibaza niba hari impamvu zihagije kandi zifitiye inyungu
igihugu cy'u Rwanda mu guhindura système y'ubutegetsi.
> Ese ko abanyarwanda tutashize hamwe nyuma ya FPR bizagenda bite ?…
> Nyuma y'imyaka cumi n'ine rero ,urwanda ruyobowe na FPR, kandi
nshingiye ku nyungu za demokarasi ni ngombwa,  ningombwa ko twagira
amahirwe ya « alternance politique », inyuze mu mahoro kugira ngo
tutazahora dusubira inyuma mu mahoro ,itera mbere no muri stabilité
ya société Nyarwanda.
> Ni muri urwo rwego itegeko nshinga rya répubulika riteganya amatora
buri imyaka irindwi.
> Mu byukuri amatora yateganyijwe kugira ngo hagire igihinduka mu
mitekerereze no mw'ishyirwa mu bikorwa yaza gahunda za leta mu buryo
bushya kandi busimburana. Sosiyeti itagira ubusimburane iramungwa
ikazihirika kandi nti teza igihugu i mbere.
> Iki n'icyo abazungu baturusha, kuko byanze bikunze, wayobora neza
cg se binakunaniye ugera ho ugahereza abandi bakazana umwuka
mushya ;urugero Toni Blair yavuye ku butegetsi atari yuko
byamunaniye, Poutin abuvuye yaramaze gususurutsa uburussia abuvana mu
mwijima, ndetse na Bush aritegura gusezera.
> Iyo habaye amatora agahita atazanye imihindurire na renouvellement
ntakamaro aba amariye igihugu kuko iyo ibitekerezo bishaje cg iyo
byakamye, bisimbuzwa igitugu no gutegekesha igitsure kidatsura
amajyambere ahumwo gihembera ubugizi bwa nabi (violences politiques).
> Ni muri urwo rwego rero, Umwami Kigeri wa V yagirira u Rwanda
akamaro karenze ako twese dushoboye, kubera i mpamvu zikurikira.
> 1. Guhindura système politique u Rwanda rugendera ho ubu, kandi
bubangamiye demokarasi isesuye no kwishyira ukizana kwa buri wese mu
> Mu byukuri Système Présidentiel tugenderaho kuva 1961 ,ishingiye ku
ngufu zikabije ziri mu maboko y'umuntu umwe wica ,agaca cg se agakiza
uwo ashatse ,ntabwo yabangikana na démokarasi ndetse habe
n'iterambere rirambye.(reba aho zikoreshwa hose).
> Iyi système izana : ubusumbane, igitsure kandi ikagera aho
igahitana abene gihugu benshi, ndetse ikimika dictature. Iyi système
yiganje muri afurika yose ari nayo ntandaro yo kudatera imbere
ikanabyara ubukene,inzara imfungwa za politiki n'amatiku ikanabyara
impunzi nyinshi.
> Mu gihugu kivuye muri jenoside n'intambara iyi système ntisubiza
ibibazo by'amahoro arambye, habe n'ikibazo cy'ubwiyunge buba bukenewe
mugusana igihugu n'imitima.
> Umwami Kigeri wa V rero ashobora kutuzanira amahirwe yo kwinjira
muri « système bita parlementaire ».
> Iyi système nibwo buryo bushoka mu guteza imbere demokarasi kubera
yuko parlementarisme iringaniye (à la proportionnelle) ituma
abanyarwanda b'ingeri zose bagira uruhare mu miyoborere y'igihugu.
(participation équilibrée).
> Iyi systeme yaba inakemuye ikibazo cyo kwiba amatora kugira ngo
ushobore kuhoraho cg se kubaho. Bityo demokarasi ikagira agaciro sens.
> Ubu ni uburyo bwa politiki bwo kudatora hakurikijwe majorité
numérique cg se minorité yumve ko ifite menace ya survie hagahitamwo
amatora afifitse cg se apanze ! ! !.
> Ese ko n'ubundi ubwami babuvanyeho muri 1959 ngo babusimbuze
demokarasi ni nde wigeze abona demokarasi mu Rwanda, haba ku ngoma ya
Kayibanda,Habyarima na, cg se i ya Kagame !.
> Icyagaragaye nuko aba ba perezida bose uko ari batatu bagiye
bitwara nkabami (monarque republicain) kandi atari abami bakanongera
ho umwihariko wa dictature na violences politiques zikabije.
> Ubwami rero bwavuye ho ku kinyoma kuko demokarasi n'ukwishyira
ukizana babeshye abaturage bitakozwe ndetse bikaza no kubyara
ingaruka y'intambara na jenocide.
> Umwami Kigeri wa V  ashobora kutuzanira amahirwe yuko twagira
alternance politique pacifique et démocratique, nta wikanga undi
kandi bitabyara violences politiques.Umuntu ukuze nkawe nta mpamvu
afite zo gutoteza ,zo guhirika,zo gukenesha abaturage cyangwa se ngo
agundire ubutegetsi akoresheje ubwoba n'igitugu.Niwe watugeza
kwisimburana muri politiki hakoreshejwe amatora ya demokarasi kandi
nayo adaheza igice cy'abanyarwanda hitwaje ko umubare waba utangana.
> Umwami Kigeri wa V niwe ushora kuzaca ubuhunzi mu banyarwanda
b'amoko yose.
> Ntabwo umwami yataha asize abanyarwanda mu buhunzi .
> Tuzi neza ko  leta zose zagiye zibyara impunzi nyinshi kandi zikaza
kuzira ingaruka y'iyo politiki, ari nako basiga boretse imbaga ! ! !.
> Kayibanda yashyize abatutsi batagira u mubare mu
buhunzi ,Habyarimana arabimuziza ariko we ashyira ho akarusho ku
kubabwira ko batakiri n'abanyarwanda biza kubyara intambara ya FPR.
> Kagame nawe yashyize ho ake karusho noneho kuko, bibaye ubwambere
mu Rwanda haba ho impunzi zabahutu n'impunzi zabatutsi yanyanyagije
mu mahanga yakure nayahafi.
> Umwami Kigeri wa V azavana ho imfungwa za politiki n'izamatiku kuko
adakeneye ubuyobozi bushingiye kubwoba,igitsure n'igitugu .
> Umwami azahumuriza ingabo z'igihugu n'inzego za leta uko ziteye.
> Umwami azahumuriza abacitse kw'icumu ari nako abafasha kugarura
ikizere no kwiyondora.
> Umwami Kigeri wa V azagarura ikizere mu bihgu duturanye n'ibya
amahanga ya kure hakurikijwe principes za relations apaisées
inyuranye na diplomatie y'ubu ishingiye kuri confrontation no
guhangana budafitiye igihugu akamaro.
> Umwami Kigeri wa V azabera abanyarwanda inkingi y'ubumwe nubwiyunge
nyakuri hagati ya bene kanyarwanda.
> Kuko umwami adakeneye kwiharira cyangwa kugira uwo aheza.
> 2.Umwami Kigeri wa V azazanira abanyarwanda kurusha ho kugira
imibereho myiza .
> Umwami azibanda kuri principe y'uko ubukungu bwigihugu ara
abaturage bacyo.
> Kubera ko utakama iyo utaragiye ,umwami Kigeri wa V azibanda kuri
gahunda yo guteza imbere kubunga bunga ubuzima bw'abaturage.
> Ndetse iyo ministeri ikanayoborerwa muri domaine réservé nka
défense na diplomatie.( kwivuna abanzi ,umutekano n'ububanyi
> Abanyarwanda bose bagashora kugera kubuvuzi buhanitse kandi
badasabwa kubanza gutanga amafaranga dore ko, nta nayo bafite.
> Kubaka ibitaro byo murwego rwo hejuru n'ibijyana nabyo.
> Umwami Kigeri wa V azashyira ho itegeko ryohereza kandi ritegeka ko
abana bose bajya mw'ishuli ku gahato kugeza ku myaka 14 ,kandi bakiga
tekiniki iza tuma bihimbira imirimo mu gihe bazaba bashoje inyigisho.
> Umwami Kigeri wa V arakuze ntakeneye kwirunda ho imitungo ahimba
amasosiyete yo gufatiramo umutungo wa leta anabuza n'abaturage
> Bityo rero azarema ibigo bya leta, byinshi, bitanga akazi kandi
bikaba u musingi w'imizamukire yarubanda kandi ari nako biha amahirwe
abacuruzi gukorana nabyo cg se muri concurrence.
> Umwami Kigeri wa V azaca umusoro wikirenga ukenesha
abakozi,abashoramar i n'abacuruzi.
> Umwami azashyira ho capacité d'investissement mu giturage no
koroheza abashoboye kugera kunguzanyo muri banki ntamananiza kugira
ngo bashobore kuba abashora mari.
> Umwami Kigeri wa V azashinga muri buri intara ibigo by'itera mbere
mubukungu n'inganda kandi binarema imirimo.
> Umwami Kigeri wa V azazana amahoro arambye mu Rwanda no mu bihugu
duturanye. Muri ayo mahoro niho azafatira umusingi mu guteza imbere
industrie du tourisme. Tourisme de masse yonyine ishobora kuba
ifatizo ya économie yigihugu nk'urwanda kandi tukabona mo inyungu
zadutunga zikanatuvuza. Nyamara ariko ;
> Ntabukerarugendo butera imbere mukarere kadatuje ibyo ntawe utabizi.
> Kuba tugifite umwami Kigeri wa V ; byaba ariyo mahirwe y'urwanda
kugira ngo rwiyomore.
> Dushingiye kuri analyse tumaze kubageza ho biragaragara ko tudakwiye
> gukomeza kutinza ikibazo kuko Umwami Kigeri wa V akuze kandi tumuhe
amahirwe yo kugira icyo akorera igihugu agifite ingufu zo guhaguruka.
> Umwami niwe muti wo kugorora ibyangiritse byose kuva 1959.
> Umwami Kigeri wa gatanu niwe gisubizo ku bibazo byose dufite
nk'abanyarwanda kandi akatubera urukingo rudukingira ibizazane by'ejo
hazaza iyo  ingoma zigiye guhirima zigahitana abaturage .(les aléas
de fins de règne devant l'impossible alternance politique
démocratique et pacifique).
> Kigeri wa V niwe uzatuma abatutsi n'abahutu bamererwa neza nyuma ya
FPR nta gusubirana mo, guhora,guhonga na guhunga.
> Kubazi amateka ya politiki ( culture politique) mbibutse ko ari yo
nzira igihugu cya Espagne cya fashe ku wa 22/11/1975 kugira ngo
gisohoke muri dictature des généraux ;ubu biremewe ko Umwami Juan
Carlos ari we wazanye demokarasi akoresheje système politique navuze
hejuru nukuvuga parlementaire. Nibutse ko Espagne ifite ibibazo
by'ubumwe ko iyo itagira umwami iba yarahuye nibibazo by'ingutu muri
za catalogne na Basque cyane cyane.
> Urundi rugero ni mugihugu cya Cambodge  mu mwaka wa 1991 .
> Cambogde nacyo yahuye na jenoside n'ingoma y'igitugu cya POL Pot,
cyaje kuva mu bibazo kubera amahirwe yuko cyari gifite umwami Norodom
Sihanouk nawe wari mubuhungiro nka Kigeri wa V.
> Urundi rugero rwabaye mu gihugu cya Bulgaria mugihe hagombaga kuba
système politiki nshya yo gusohoka muri dictature .Bahise mo nabo
système parlementaire batora u mwami wabo Siméon II wari nawe mu
buhungiro kuva ari umwana akaza kuyobora gouvernement nka Président
du conseil muri Parlementarisme comme système yo gusohoka muri
dictature communiste. Kuba umwami yari mubuhungiro rero biragaragara
ko bitamwambura titre ye y'ubwami.
> Dore uko byagenze extrait de l'encyclopedie wikipedia :
> « En 1946, un référendum fut organisé et l'abolition de la
monarchie fut approuvée, mais la famille royale choisit de fuir le
pays plutôt que de voir Siméon abdiquer.
> Elle s'est d'abord réfugiée en Égypte puis s'est installée à
Madrid. En Espagne, Siméon a étudié le droit et l'administration
d'entreprises et est devenu un homme d'affaires prospère.
> En 1996, il retourne pour la première fois depuis cinquante ans
dans son pays natal, où il est acclamé, malgré une maîtrise certaine
mais néanmoins imparfaite de la langue bulgare. En 2001, Siméon est
retourné en Bulgarie et fut accueilli triomphalement par le peuple.
Il fut désigné comme le chef du tout nouveau Mouvement national
Siméon II. Aux élections qui eurent lieu peu après, le MNS remporta
119 sièges sur 240 au Parlement et le 24 juillet 2001, Siméon devint
Premier ministre  ».
> Aho bisa nibyabaye mu Rwanda rero n'uko nyine Kigeri wa V yaje
kumeneshwa n'abakoloni, kandi ko Kigeri wa V n'a jamais abdiquer,
niyo mpamvu yahise mo kuba impunzi nkatwe twese.
> Byongeye kandi nibutse ko Kigeri wa V ari roi héréditaire,
révolution ya 1959 yavanye ho privilège z'ubwami mu Rwanda ariko
ntifite ububasha bwo kumwambura qualité ye y''ubwami. C'est un roi en
exil nkuko mubibona mungero natanze hejuru. Ni nkuko kuba uri impunzi
bitakwambura ubwene gihugu kavukire bwawe.
> Byongeye kandi nshimangire ko Système parlementaire itambura
abaturage souveraineté kamarampaka yaba yarabahaye, ahubwo
> Ese ubundi mwa mbwira agaciro ka souverainété d'un peuple en exil,
génocidé, babaye ho mu bukene kandi bugarijwe n'intambara, inzara
n'indwara zakirimbuzi ndetse batanagira uburenganzira bwo kwihitira
mo . ! ! !.
> Banyarwanda ibi bintu birakomeye kandi bishobora kugena ejo hazaza
kwacu twese .
> None igihe kikaba kigeze kandi si nshidikanya ko Umwami Kigeri wa V
nkuko byagenze muri Bulgaria ,Espagne na Cambodge nafata icyemezo cyo
kuza gucungura abanyarwanda nawe azashengererwa n'abanyarwanda bose
kuko azaba abazaniye amahoro na demokarasi, azaba aciye
ubwoba ,umususu ,umwiryane n'ubuhunzi mu banyarwanda.
> Aya mateka kandi arerekana ko igitekerezo ko Kigeri wa V yatubera
igisubizo by'ibibazo bikubiye muri iki gitekerezo atari inzozi
z'ibyakera nkuko hari abatekereza ko byaba ari ukugarura système
ishaje ;kuko byabaye ejo bundi buri ibi bihugu maze kuvuga kandi bari
baraciye ubwami imyaka irenze mirongo itanu mbere y'uko bongera
kubwisunga .
> Nihagire ureba intambwe ibi bihugu bigezemo muri demokarasi
mwiterambere no mumibereho y'abanyagihugu mugereranye naho bari
> Nta mpunzi z'umu espagnol zikibaho kandi ari zo zari nyinshi kw'isi.
> Umwami kandi ntimwibagirwe ko agirwa n'abagabo ; niba rero nawe uri
umugabo reba icyo wakora kandi tugire ubutwari bwo gutekerereza ejo
hazaza nibyo bita esprit progressiste.
> Dr Christian MARARA
> Président Fondateur PPC
> Tite Gatabazi
> Président Commission Politique PPC

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
Procurement Consultant
Gsm: +250-08470205
Home: +250-55104140
P.O. Box 3867
East Africa
Blog: http://www.cepgl.blogspot.com
Skype ID : Kayisa66

Crude ends at a record, scores 3.6% weekly gain

Prices trade near $143 on amid dollar weakness, output concerns

By Myra P. Saefong & Polya Lesova, MarketWatch
Last update: 4:23 p.m. EDT June 27, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Crude futures climbed to a fresh record of nearly $143 a barrel on Friday, as concerns about weakness in the dollar, global production and the economy helped fuel a 3.6% weekly gain for oil prices.
"The commodities rally is continuing in full effect," said Zachary Oxman, a senior trader at Wisdom Financial. "Oil and all things commodity-related continue to be the big trade."
Crude for August delivery surged to $142.99 a barrel, an all-time high, on the Globex electronic trading system.
 broadband:clip-type=video&file-name=062708FlynnOil&guid={CA192DC5-9C52-4647-9FFD-210FC0AC1743}On the New York Mercantile Exchange, the contract closed 57 cents higher at a record of $140.21. August crude, which in the previous session had climbed more than $5 on the Nymex, ended the week almost $5 higher.
"It has been a volatile week for the crude-oil market, but one cannot put one specific reason for the historic record-price level that was traded this morning," said John Person, president of National Futures Advisory Service. "We have the perfect storm."
"Tensions in Nigeria, the Middle East, talk that OPEC members actually want to lower production, weather concerns, a weaker dollar, the Fed's inability to raise rates to contain inflation" are all factors, he wrote in an interview by email.
"Technically we broke out of a trading range, and speculators jumped back on board to help push the market higher in early-hour trading," Person said.
Also pressuring prices higher on Thursday were comments from the president of OPEC warning of higher oil prices, tied to the dollar, as well as reports that Libya threatened to cut crude output. See full story.
'It has been a volatile week for the crude oil market, but one cannot put one specific reason for the historic record price level ... We have the perfect storm.'
— John Person, National Futures Advisory Service
Continuing weakness in the greenback has been another of the key reasons for the price surge seen in dollar-denominated crude. The dollar index (DXY:
US Dollar Index Future - Spot Price
 Last: 72.36-0.21-0.29%
5:13pm 06/27/2008
Delayed quote data
Sponsored by:
 72.36, -0.21, -0.3%)
, which measures the U.S. unit against a basket of major currencies, was at 72.298 compared with 72.48 in late North American trading Thursday. See Currencies.
Still, Edward Meir, an analyst at MF Global, warned in a research note that "commodity bulls should be careful what they wish for -- equities can fall only so far before investors turn their focus to the fact that a global recession may be at hand."
Demanding products
Prices for petroleum products closed on a mixed note Friday, but ended the week higher.
July reformulated gasoline fell by 1 cent to close at $3.5012 a gallon on the Nymex, up 1.8% for the week. July heating oil closed at $3.9066 a gallon, up 2.3 cents for the session and 3.6% higher for the week. July contracts expire at the end of Monday's trading session.
At the U.S. retail level, a gallon of regular gasoline stood at $4.066 Friday, almost unchanged from a day earlier, but 36.7% higher than a year ago, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
There's been a decline in demand for gasoline and diesel fuel both domestically and internationally, according to Person. But during this summer's driving season, he said he doesn't expect to see a substantial demand drop to send prices declining significantly.
"Compared to last year we are in better shape in gasoline and jet fuel, with only crude oil substantially lower," said James Williams, an economist at WTRG Economics. "The real problem is the lack of spare oil production capacity."
Overall, "the market is in a pattern where prices increase on bad news but when the problem is resolved does not correct as much," he said in emailed comments.
Person said that if anything happens between now and late September to cause a "slight or just a threat" of supply disruption, then oil prices can hit $150 and possibly closer to $175 per barrel.
Technical trade
On a technical level, "crude-oil futures prices continue to trend higher, both on a shorter-term and longer-term basis," said Jim Wyckoff, a senior market analyst at TradingEducation.com.
At the moment, there "are no early technical-warning signals to suggest a market top is imminent in the crude-oil futures market," he said.
"However, lurking in the shadows are two major factors that could quickly derail the bullish liquid energy-futures locomotive: a major change in the rules of futures trading and the specter of coordinated central-bank intervention to support the value of the U.S. dollar," said Wyckoff, who's also proprietor of jimwyckoff.com, which provides markets education and analysis.
Rounding out action in energy futures, August natural gas fell by 5 cents to close at $13.198 per million British thermal units, retreating from a high of $13.40. But it ended the week almost 0.7% higher.
Gold futures closed above $930 Friday, extending their strong gains from the previous session. The Federal Reserve gave gold the fuel it needed to restart its engine, and the precious metal already has driven through the trading-range barrier it's been stuck in for the past month. See Commodities Corner.
Corn and soybean futures rose to new all-time highs as weather forecasts showed that heavy thunderstorms are returning to the Midwest, the nation's major source of corn and soybeans

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
Procurement Consultant
Gsm: +250-08470205
Home: +250-55104140
P.O. Box 3867
East Africa
Blog: http://www.cepgl.blogspot.com
Skype ID : Kayisa66
Savers in North Norfolk save the most in proportion to earnings
28 June 2008
Savers in North Norfolk have the biggest savings balances relative to local earnings in the UK, according to the latest Halifax Savings report. The average balance of £9,883 is equivalent to 55% of local average annual gross earnings.

Many of the areas where savings are high in relation to earnings have a relatively high proportion of older residents and are popular retirement areas.

Savers in the City of London have the highest average balances (£14,267), followed by South Buckinghamshire (£12,369), Elmbridge (£12,071) and Mole Valley (£11,887).

Three of the 20 local authorities with the biggest average saving balances are outside Southern England; Derbyshire Dales (£11,607), Macclesfield (£10,490) and Fylde (£10,364).

There are some marked regional differences - savers in East Anglia have the largest average balance (£8,062), and the smallest average balance is in Scotland (£5,443).

As a proportion of average regional earnings, Londoners save the least (21%), whilst the highest is Northern Ireland (34%).

In terms of age, savers in the age group 75 and above have the highest average balances (£20,046). This compares to an average balance of £1,385 for 18-24 year olds.

There is a modest difference in savings by gender with women having average savings balances of £7,065; 3% higher than male average savings of £6,865. Women also save a much higher proportion of their income (39%) compared to men (22%).

Martin Ellis, Chief Economist at Halifax, comments: "There are wide variations in saving behaviour across the country with Londoners saving a significantly smaller proportion of their income than elsewhere in the country. It is also notable that women save a markedly higher proportion in relation to earnings than men.

The attention paid to pension contributions in recent years emphasises the importance that people need to attach to planning to ensure that they have sufficient income in retirement. Savings play a key part in that planning process, particularly in the current economic climate."

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
Procurement Consultant
Gsm: +250-08470205
Home: +250-55104140
P.O. Box 3867
East Africa
Blog: http://www.cepgl.blogspot.com
Skype ID : Kayisa66
Court details DR Congo 'war crimes'

Ngudjolo is accused of war crimes and
crimes against humanity [AFP]

Prosecutors have said that two former militia leaders from the Democratic Republic of Congo, sought to "wipe out" an entire village before seizing survivors as sex slaves and child soldiers.

The charges against Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo were outlined at the beginning of a three-week hearing at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague.

The two men have been accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity including murder, sexual slavery, rape, inhumane acts and recruiting child soldiers.

"The prosecution's evidence ... will reveal that over 200 children, women, elderly and civilian men were killed in an attack during which women were sexually enslaved in camps and repeatedly raped," Fatou Bensouda, the court's deputy prosecutor, said on Friday.

The alleged attack took place in the village of Bogoro in the northeastern district of Ituri, a conflict zone rich in natural resources including gold, diamonds and oil, in February 2003.

'Calculated precision'

Bensouda told a panel of three judges that villagers awoke to the sound of gunfire on the morning of the attack.
"With calculated precision, over 1,000 soldiers ... under the command of Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui entered the village with one communicated and agreed goal: to erase the village of Bogoro."
Bensouda said the soldiers burnt several houses, sometimes with the inhabitants still inside.
"Many civilians were killed, either by bullet or knife, or were captured, sexually enslaved or otherwise," the deputy prosecutor said.
"Civilians were detained in a room full of dead bodies. The next day, the militias forced those people to lure other civilians out of their hiding places in order for the militia to kill them."

The case is the second to be brought before the ICC, the world's first permanent international criminal tribunal. 
The first, of another Congolese militia leader, Thomas Lubanga, has been halted over concerns that evidence was withheld from the defence and he could therefore be denied a fair trial.

Defence concerns

Defence lawyers have asked the judges to also suspend the case against Katanga and Ngudjolo as the prosecution is using the same evidence.

However the court has decided to go ahead with the hearing, as the proceedings are not as advanced.

A "confirmation of charges" is being presented by the prosecution to the judges in order to support the charges against Katanga and Ngudjolo.

This process will last several weeks and the court will then have 60 days to decide whether or not to go to trial.

The Ituri conflict, which began after a peace accord officially ended Congo's 1998-2003 war, turned members from the Hema and Lendu ethnic groups against one another.

Katanga, also known as "Simba" or lion, headed the Patriotic Forces of Resistance of Ituri (FRPI), while Ngudjolo led the allied Front of Nationalists and Integrationists (FPI) forces.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, chief prosecutor, said he hoped that the cases would help to heal the situation in Ituri.

"Perpetrators will be held accountable ... the work of justice can help Ituri move forward," he said in a statement.

The ICC is also investigating war crimes in Sudan's Darfur region, Uganda and the Central African Republic.

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
Procurement Consultant
Gsm: +250-08470205
Home: +250-55104140
P.O. Box 3867
East Africa
Blog: http://www.cepgl.blogspot.com
Skype ID : Kayisa66

Corruption-free Zanzibar? What grace for Tanzania!
2008-06-28 10:23:25
By Editor

It now appears that there is, after all, some secluded place in the world where there is completely no corruption -and it is Zanzibar!

Think this is stranger than fiction? To prove yourself wrong, ask for a recap of what Dr Mwinyihaji Makame, Minister of State for Finance and Economic Affairs in the Office of Isles` President Amani Abeid Karume told the Zanzibar House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The minister is on record as having said the idyllic `Spice Islands` of proverbial elegance and allure have no equivalents of the corruption-related scandals at play elsewhere in Tanzania.

Contributing to debate on the estimates of the 2008/Zanzibar Government budget, he said: ``The Bank of Tanzania`s External Payment Arrears (EPA) account scam and other corruption scandals facing some government officials on the Mainland should not be brought here. We are clean and diligent.``

Rather curiously, he soon admitted that the Isles government had granted tax exemptions to the tune of a whopping 19.6 billion/-.

By his own admission, the amount was just a little less than the total revenue of 20.4 billion/- collected during the period under review.

Not one to go down without a fight, Makame quickly added that all the exemptions were granted ``in line with the laws of the land and for the benefit of the investment sector``.

By virtue of his senior position, the minister is not the kind of person whose remarks can be easily taken lightly or ignored.

His decision to comment so authoritatively on such an important and sensitive issue is reason enough for his words to be subjected to extra-thorough analysis.

Some years ago, a West African state assumed a brand new name just because its top leadership wanted the world to believe that was in consonance with a revolutionary dream to make it a corruption-free zone. The strategy was a non-starter.

In May 1960, Father of the Nation Mwalimu Julius Nyerere told the then Tanganyikan Legislative Council (Parliament) it would be dishonest of anyone to believe that corruption would show mercy to the country or its judiciary.

Much later, renowned Judge Kahwa Lugakingira aired similar sentiments by declaring that ``the virulent virus`` of corruption had crept into the Tanzanian judiciary and was killing its legendary independence.

Reputable watchdog agencies like Transparency International have ample documentary evidence that corruption is a universal cancer to which whole communities and nations have succumbed.

Makame may choose to exercise his basic rights by dismissing all these views or submissions as wrong, uninformed or unfounded.

However, whether that would mean he would himself be right is a different matter.

One thing we are sure about is that it is impossible for all Zanzibaris to be incorruptible or for the Isles to be effectively insulated or immunised against the disastrous consequences of corruption.

Although having a corruption-free Zanzibar would be a huge boon for Tanzania and the world, the best he could hope for is to help tame the tiger by joining national, regional and international efforts towards that end. There is no safer escape route.

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
Procurement Consultant
Gsm: +250-08470205
Home: +250-55104140
P.O. Box 3867
East Africa
Blog: http://www.cepgl.blogspot.com
Skype ID : Kayisa66