In East Africa, truck drivers are being attacked, robbed and used as diplomatic footballs
United States President George Bush handed out hugs and bed nets to battle malaria in Tanzania’s rural north on Monday, saying the US is part of an international effort to provide enough mosquito netting to protect every child under five in the East African nation.
At 12, brown-eyed Neema Laizer persuaded her elementary school teacher to accept one litre of milk each morning instead of money because her father refused to pay for a girl to be educated. At 13, her father selected a 30-year-old stranger to be her husband. The next day, she was supposed to drop out of school and begin a new life as a housewife, a common fate for young Maasai girls in Tanzania.
Darfur rebel factions meeting in Tanzania have reached a common negotiating position and want ”final” talks on peace with Sudan’s government within months, United Nations and African Union mediators said on Monday. The rebels had been meeting over the weekend in a Tanzanian luxury resort in Arusha.
Darfur’s fractious rebel groups gathered in Tanzania on Friday for talks aimed at hammering out a united front following United Nations approval of a beefed-up peacekeeping mission in the Sudanese region. Sponsored by the African Union and UN, the meeting in the town of Arusha will seek to define a common stance among the rebels.
Drug trafficking has risen sharply in Africa, which has become a favoured transit point for smugglers moving drugs from Latin America to Europe, a senior Interpol official said on Monday. ”Africa is a region where drugs are produced, consumed and trafficked,” said the international agency’s executive director of police services, Jean-Michel Louboutin.
News items on disease, conflict and corruption in Africa are crowding out positive stories of burgeoning economies on the continent, speakers at a global technology and design meeting said this week. Many African economies are booming and attracting interest from people keen to invest in them despite hurdles such as bad roads, erratic power supply or insecurity, they added.
The United Nations war-crimes court for Rwanda on Wednesday convicted a Roman Catholic priest, the first it has tried, of genocide and sentenced him to 15 years for his role in the 1994 mass killings. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda found Father Athanase Seromba guilty on two of four counts he faced.
The United Nations genocide tribunal for Rwanda on Tuesday acquitted a former Rwandan mayor accused of crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the country’s 1994 ethnic massacres. Judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda found Jean Mpambara innocent of all three charges he had faced.
The World Bank is preparing funding for Tanzania and Uganda to help the East African countries cope with a power crisis triggered by a three-year drought, bank officials said on Thursday. Tanzania and Uganda have been worst hit by the power crisis and are currently enforcing rolling blackouts that are hurting their economies and stretching financial resources.
A former Rwandan mayor convicted for the country’s 1994 genocide saw his 30-year sentence boosted to life in prison on Friday, as a United Nations-backed court rejected his appeal, accusing him of ”sadism”. Appeals judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda said the term handed down in June 2004 to Sylvestre Gacumbitsi had been too lenient.
Prosecuting masterminds of the Rwandan genocide has so far cost about €820-million. Twenty-eight sentences have been handed down to date. Should the ICTR achieve its goal of concluding 70 trials by the end of 2008, each trial will have cost on average at least €12-million.
Prosecutors at the United Nations genocide tribunal for Rwanda on Thursday sought a life sentence for a former military academy chief accused of genocide in the country’s 1994 mass slaughter. They said Tharcisse Muvunyi deserved the maximum sentence that can be handed down by the International Criminal Court for Rwanda for killing Tutsis in several localities in the southern town of Butare.
At least 47 people were killed on Friday when a bus plunged into a river in northern Tanzania, bringing the death toll from traffic accidents in the region to at least 75 this week. The bus, going from the town of Melerani to Arusha, spun out of control on a bridge and toppled into a river at Makumira, about 20km from its destination, killing the victims.
A United Nations-backed tribunal on Tuesday convicted a former senior Rwandan army officer of playing a major role in the country’s 1994 genocide and sentenced him to 25 years in prison, officials said. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda found ex-colonel Aloys Simba guilty of genocide and extermination.
The former mayor of a Rwandan town pleaded guilty on Wednesday to aiding and abetting the country’s 1994 genocide as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors at a United Nations-backed tribunal, the court said. The 57-year-old pleaded guilty to charges of having ”aided and abetted in the commission of the crimes of murder and extermination” but not guilty to genocide.
A man who served as Rwanda’s interior minister during the slaughter of more than half-a-million people in 1994 pleaded not guilty on Monday to three counts of genocide and crimes against humanity. Calixte Kalimanzira surrendered on Tuesday to the United Nations tribunal for the alleged masterminds of the 100-day genocide.
Rwanda on Monday accused unnamed states of harbouring suspects in the country’s 1994 genocide and called for international pressure on those nations to hand over indictees to a United Nations-backed tribunal. Most of these suspects are thought to be hiding in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Rwanda’s envoy to the United Nations-backed court trying suspects in the country’s 1994 genocide, Aloys Mutabingwa, has called for the world body to prosecute French officials and soldiers allegedly complicit in the slaughter. He said several French political and military figures were among those ”individually or collectively responsible” for the genocide.
The trial of four former army and police chiefs accused of genocide and war crimes in Rwanda will resume next week after a three-month suspension, the independent Hirondelle news agency covering the case reported on Wednesday. The trial was suspended on October 11 to allow time for a new lawyer to familiarise himself with the case.
Tanzania plans to sell about 100 tonnes of confiscated elephant tusks in government stores to raise funds for conservation efforts and development projects, a senior official on said Friday. The ivory was seized from poachers or extracted from carcasses of elephants that died of natural causes.
A speeding truck hit three donkeys and rammed into an oncoming tourist vehicle in northern Tanzania, killing 11 people from New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland and Tanzania, police said on Wednesday. Four other people were seriously injured, including some with broken limbs and bruises, said regional police chief James Kombe.
The former leaders of Rwanda’s army and gendarmerie boycotted the start of their own genocide trial on Monday, accusing the United Nations-mandated tribunal of bias. During Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, the two men, Major General Augustin Bizimungu and General Ndindiliyimana, served respectively as chief of staff of the Hutu-dominated army and gendarmerie.
The trial of four high-ranking officers in Rwanda’s army during the 1994 genocide resumed on Monday before the United Nations tribunal trying the suspected main perpetrators of the slaughter. Dubbed ”the military trial”, it is seen as one of the most important before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
The United Nations court trying key suspects in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide is suffering a severe lack of funds because 140 UN members states have failed to honour their financial commitments, according to the tribunal’s spokesperson. Of the -million pledged to the court, -million has not been forthcoming.
Plans to have prisoners convicted by a United Nations tribunal of genocide serve their sentences in Rwanda, where they committed their crimes in 1994, prompted outrage on Tuesday from defence lawyers. Jailing convicts in Rwanda would ”place them under the control of people accused of war crimes”, they said.
The last time General Romeo Dallaire was a witness in court in the small town of Arusha he was in uniform and in tears. This time he has found his composure in a pinstriped suit, behind bulletproof glass and guarded by commandos. His appearance before the United Nations criminal tribunal in Arusha has been a long time in the making.
The commander of the United Nations mission in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide on Tuesday accused his superiors of denying him permission to raid caches of weapons that three months later were used in the slaughter of up to a million people, mainly Tutsis.
The start of the trial on genocide charges of four Rwandan former ministers was delayed on Monday because one of the accused’s lawyers was not present in the UN tribunal, the independent Hirondelle news agency reported.
New strategies have to be developed to combat malaria and prevent the disease killing an increasing number of people and stifling economic development in malaria-endemic regions, a health expert said on Sunday.
Gender bias in health care is making women and girls more likely to succumb to a variety of diseases, researchers at an international health conference said Wednesday.
The genocide trial of four Rwandan former military officers resumes on Monday at the UN tribunal for Rwanda in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha, the Hirondelle news agency reported Friday.