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/ 23 April 2008

Observers clear Benin’s elections

Local and municipal elections in Benin passed off without evidence of fraud but with some functional problems, the head of a regional observer team said on Wednesday. The leader of the monitors from the Economic Community of West African States singled out in particular the lack of ballot papers and other materials.

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/ 15 March 2008

Sierra Leone hopes to ‘downsize’ army

Sierra Leone’s military chiefs are working on means to downsize from its current 10 000 soldiers to 8 500, Defence Minister Palo Conteh said on Friday, according to a state radio report. ”We cannot allow a large army …We have to downsize to a lean army that can react quickly to a given situation,” he said.

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/ 7 March 2008

Western monitors barred from Zim poll

European Union member states and the United States have been excluded from a list of observers who will be invited to monitor the March 29 general elections in Zimbabwe, the government announced on Friday. The only European country that had been invited to send monitors was Russia, while the Commonwealth was also left off the invitation list.