. Africa News .

Angola marks 10 years since end of civil war
by Staff Writers
Luanda (AFP) April 4, 2012

Mali junta must reject foreign 'diktats': supporters
Bamako (AFP) April 4, 2012 - Backers of Mali's new military junta on Wednesday called on the putschists to "totally reject diktats" by foreign powers, after the international community urged a return to constitutionality.

In a statement the March 22 People's Movement, a coalition that supports the putschists, said coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo and his junta must "stand firm and totally reject diktats by the French and Western imperialists".

It regretted "concessions" made by the junta, in a reference to a return to the constitutional order promised by Sanogo on Sunday.

Sanogo intends to remain in power during a transitional period until the election of a successor to ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure.

The MP22 is led by the African Solidarity for Democracy and Independence party, the only opposition movement in the parliament which the coup leaders dissolved on March 22 but restored 10 days later.

The coalition said a return to the constitutional order, as called for by the international community, "is a step back that could create unfavourable conditions for the Mali people" as democracy under the ousted president existed "only in name and was window-dressing".

The coalition also slammed sanctions imposed by west African countries which on Monday slapped a diplomatic, economic and financial embargo on the country.

There is no legal basis, on an African or international level, for the "total embargo by neighbouring countries", members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), said the statement.

The MP22 also called for "immediate national resistance" and said the Malian people had a right to self-determination, free of the "imperialist constraints" imposed by the west African regional organisation.

Angola marked the 10th anniversary of the end of its three-decade civil war on Wednesday as President Jose Eduardo dos Santos unveiled a monument near the site where a long-time rebel leader was killed.

The 27-year war was one of the longest and most brutal in Africa and Dos Santos praised the country's accomplishments since a peace deal was signed on April 4, 2002.

"Over the past 10 years we've been proud to see that many things have changed in (the province of) Moxico as well as in the rest of the country and our goal is to keep changing to develop the country," said Dos Santos, in power for 32 years.

He spoke in Moxico's capital Luena, where UNITA rebel chief Jonas Savimbi was killed while battling government soldiers on February 22, 2002, paving the way for the peace deal less than two months later.

Dos Santos, 69, was greeted at the airport by supporters wearing shirts branded with his image before unveiling the peace monument in a city park, named after Russian revolutionary Lenin, images broadcast on national television showed.

The Angolan conflict became a Cold War proxy battle, with the Soviet Union and Cuba backing Dos Santos' MPLA, while the United States and apartheid South Africa assisted Savimbi's UNITA rebels.

Since the war ended, oil exports have fuelled massive economic growth and billions of dollars have been poured into repairing roads, railways and airports.

Dos Santos trumpeted the successes of his ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) party.

"After the 2008 general election, we made a promise to work to improve the situation in the country, and I think, little by little, we are succeeding," the veteran leader said.

UNITA, still the main opposition party, was roundly beaten in the 2008 polls amid accusations that the vote was stacked in the MPLA's favour.

Some have voiced concern that fraud could taint an election expected in September, which would be only the third vote in Angola since independence from Portugal in 1975.

"We have no need to cheat because we are very big and very strong party," said Dos Santos, who is Africa's second-longest serving president.

In the capital Luanda, residents wore white and marched to music, while children joined a street race across the city. A concert with several prominent local artists was set for later on Wednesday.

Dos Santos has been hailed as peacemaker who steered the oil-fueled economic boom but has through the past year faced criticism amid signs of mounting corruption within his regime.

Authorities have also stamped out a series of youth-led protests calling for reform.

Despite boasting one of the world's fastest growing economies, poverty is still rampant in the country of 18.4 million people.

Nearly 2.4 million people still live in areas riddled with landmines, according to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.

Related Links
Africa News - Resources, Health, Food

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

S.Leone defends weapons procurement after UN fears
Freetown (AFP) April 4, 2012 - Sierra Leone's government on Wednesday defended a multi-million dollar weapons shipment as part of routine procurement, after the United Nations called for an explanation over the import.

A statement from the office of President Ernest Koroma said the weapons imported in January were "part of routine procurement by the police and not in response to any overt threat to peace and security".

Government said that in response to the concerns raised about the shipment the weapons had been transferred to the military "in the presence of foreign diplomats".

"The arms deployed to the national army will be deployed in upcoming support operations to the African Union and the UN."

On March 22, UN envoy to Sierra Leone, Michael von der Schulenburg, told the UN Security Council the reported arms shipment in January was "of great concern" in the country still recovering from a 1991-2002 civil war.

"Sierra Leone is under no arms embargo. However given Sierra Leone's progress in establishing peace and security throughout the country and its relatively low crime rate, it is not clear why the police would need such weapons," the envoy said.

He quoted a leaked shipping bill as indicating that the arms and ammunition included "machine guns and rocket launchers" but the authorities have denied this claim.

The statement from the Sierra Leone government confirmed that the weapons were ordered in December 2009 for the paramilitary Operation Support Division (OSD) of the Sierra Leone Police "to meet part of its requirements".

Sierra Leone's Foreign Minister Joseph Dauda told AFP: "It was a logical and natural thing for any country to equip its armed forces. We cannot wait until there's another war or threat to our national security before we arm ourselves. We have to beef up our security forces before any attack on our sovereignty."

After the civil war ended a decade ago, Sierra Leone is bracing for a verdict on April 26 by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges against former Liberian leader Charles Taylor for his role in Sierre Leone's conflict.

And political tensions have risen in the country in the lead-up to a November 17 presidential election, with some clashes between supporters of rival parties in recent months.


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Angola's boom economy leaves many behind, 10 years after war
Luanda (AFP) April 3, 2012
Luanda's ever-expanding skyline and its newly renovated bay-side promenade, complete with manicured lawns and imported palm trees, are proud emblems of Angola's post-war recovery. The country has come a long way in the 10 years since the end of its three-decade civil war which killed and displaced millions, destroyed nearly all infrastructure and left an exhausted, fractured and divided popu ... read more

Worst rains in 14 years wash out Ecuadoran farmers

Brazil wants Rio+20 meet to impose sustainable development

Poland to ban Monsanto's GM maize

EU lifts restrictions on Thai poultry after H5N1 eradication

Chilean court approves huge Patagonia dam

Declines in Caribbean coral reefs pre-date damage resulting from climate change

New comparison of ocean temperatures reveals rise over the last century

Gray seals consume as much fish as the fishing industry catches

EU carbon price falls on lower emissions

UNH Research Brings New Understanding to Past Global Warming Events

March high temps: 'Unusual factors afoot'

Weather records due to climate change: A game with loaded dice

Advanced power-grid research finds low-cost, low-carbon future in West

App makes saving energy social at Facebook

Iraq hopes to plug power gap in 2013: deputy PM

Canada to speed up energy review process

Is bioenergy expansion harmful to wildlife?

Algae biofuels: the wave of the future

2-in-1 device uses sewage as fuel to make electricity and clean the sewage

AREVA awarded funding for innovative biomass project

At least eight dead in Nairobi landslide

Fiji says open for tourists despite floods

Health fears as flood-ravaged Fiji begins clean-up

Filming in Chernobyl, the 'Land of Oblivion'

35,000 gallons of prevention

State of the planet

Oil from Deepwater Horizon disaster entered food chain in the Gulf of Mexico

Study shows air emissions near fracking sites may impact health

China boosts foreign investment quota

Argentina escalates quarrel with Spain

James Murdoch: heir apparent dogged by hacking scandal

H.K. tycoon brothers in graft probe deny wrongdoing

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement