Pan Africa Newswire
A statue of V.I. Lenin was toppled by Ukraine opposition forces in Kiev. The opposition wants to join the European Union., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Protesters topple Lenin monument in Kiev, smash to pieces with hammers
December 08, 2013 20:42
Masked anti-government protesters toppled the monument to Vladimir Lenin in Kiev on Sunday pulling him down with steel ropes, and smashing the granite figure with sledgehammers. A huge crowd queued to get a piece of the statue.
A group of protesters singing the national hymn of Ukraine then hoisted the national flag on the vacant pedestal, as the passing cars were honking in support of the act and jubilant cries were heard from the crowd.
The activists shouted “[President Viktor] Yanukovich, you’ll be next!” while lighting flares and throwing smoke bombs next to the monument, Ukrainian media reported.
Security forces were absent from the scene at Shevchenko Boulevard.
Local clerics also came to the scene “to smash Lenin,” RT’s Lida Vasilevskaya reported from the scene.
The furious demonstrators were holding red-black flags - the symbol of the far-right opposition party Svoboda (Freedom).
However the party denied the responsibility saying it would be unfair to lay the blame on them.
“Participants of Euro Maidan altogether toppled the monument, which was standing there illegally. There was a presidential decree [by former President Viktor Yushchenko in 2009] about its abolition,” said Yury Sirotyuk, the spokesman of Svoboda.
The leader of the party Oleg Tyagnibok jokingly called it “a meaningless suicide.”
This is the second time that the monument to the iconic communist leader has been attacked. On December 1, a group of pro-EU protesters tried toppling the statue with a similar tool. The riot police fended off the attack by dispersing the activists.
The monument was erected in 1946 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the constitution created by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Some Ukrainians view Lenin as an oppressor who deprived them of a state following World War I.
The head of the Kiev City Administation, Aleksandr Popov, named the incident “an act of vandalism that has nothing in common with democracy.”
The press secretary of the Ukrainian Prime minister Vitaly Lukyanenko noted that “the war with the monuments is barbarism. This signals the return to dark and wild times of our history.”
Graça Machel the current wife of Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, his former spouse. Both were at his side when he passed on December 5, 2013., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Nelson Mandela shared final moments with wife and former wife, says friend
Graça Machel and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela were at bedside of former South African president, according to Bantu Holomisa
David Smith in Johannesburg
The Guardian, Sunday 8 December 2013 10.24 EST
Nelson Mandela's final moments were spent off a life support machine, with his wife, Graça Machel, and his former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at his bedside, witnesses have said.
The former president died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, at 8.50pm on Thursday,sending millions into mourning in South Africa and around the world.
Bantu Holomisa, a politician and close family friend, recalled how less than three hours earlier he found Mandela asleep and struggling to breathe but "still fighting". Holomisa, 58, said he received a call on Thursday afternoon telling him to come urgently. "They said on the phone that Madiba [Mandela's clan name] doesn't look good," he told the Guardian. "I immediately drove straight to his home and went to his bedroom."
The time was 6.35pm and Mandela's condition was clearly deteriorating. "I could confirm this wasn't the Madiba we've seen since he went into hospital. He was sleeping with no life support machine. You could hear from his breathing that he was struggling.
"Winnie and Graça were at the bedside of Madiba. You could see the tension. I bowed to acknowledge them then gave myself a moment of silence with Madiba, said thank you to the doctors and then left at 6.50pm for another engagement."
At that point Holomisa did not realise he would never see his mentor again. "I was still in a state of denial. He's still fighting, but it was not to be. I was not that shocked when he died because I had just seen him. My mind was conditioned from the time I received the call."
The national outpouring of song and dance in honour of Mandela's life has moved Holomisa, who remained close to him despite being expelled from the African National Congress (ANC) and setting up the rival United Democratic Movement. "It reminds me of the day Mandela was released or, after his election, the day we inaugurated him as president. The mood is one of celebration and he would appreciate it as typical of him," said Holomisa.
Dali Tambo, son of Mandela's friend and ally Oliver Tambo, was woken by his son with the news at around midnight on Thursday. He went to Mandela's home to find Machel, Madikizela-Mandela and other family members, relatives of the late Walter Sisulu, as well as President Jacob Zuma and several government ministers.
"There was a prayer and a hymn," he said. "The leadership consulted with the family about arrangements. The body was brought down and taken to a morgue. It was very sad, very sombre. It's always a hard experience for the family when the deceased leaves. I remember with my father we had an argument about wanting him to stay longer. It's like a full stop."
The public gathered outside the high walls of the home in a tree-lined suburb, lighting candles and singing liberation-era songs. Tambo added: "You could hear the crowd. It was beautiful and spontaneous. They were first who'd heard the news and had rushed there. They were emotional. My last words to a group of ANC people who asked me to toyi-toyi [protest dance] with them were, 'I'm going to bed.'"
South Africa's Sunday Times reported that Mandela's daughter Makaziwe and grandson Mandla were also at his deathbed. Mandela's daughters from his marriage to Winnie, Zindzi and Zenani, were both in London for the royal premiere of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and left the screening for the first flight home.
The military arrived with a casket to collect Mandela's body at about midnight so it could be taken to a military hospital in the capital, Pretoria, where it will lie in state this week.
As the casket left draped in the South African national flag, Mandla Mandela sang his grandfather's praises with the words "Aah Dalibunga" and was joined by family members and political leaders, the paper reported.
According to the City Press newspaper, it was Tuesday night when Zuma learned of Mandela's deteriorating condition and that his death was imminent. "On Wednesday, word came from his house in Houghton that his already critical condition had worsened," the paper said. "He was fading fast. Mandela had not spoken a single word for months.
"On Thursday night, he was entering the final moments of his life. His former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, was there and preparing to stay overnight. Those in the house speak of an overwhelming sadness that engulfed it. Family members were allowed into his room in pairs or in threes and allowed private moments with him."
The paper cited different sources making different claims about the cause of death: fluid on the lungs, a serious infection that was antibiotic resistant, blood pressure that dropped too low. On Sunday the presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj did not respond to requests for comment.
Nelson Mandela with members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Mandela has been eulogized by the Palestinians., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
PFLP mourns the loss of Mandela, a symbol of struggle for liberation
Dec 07 2013
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine expressed its deep condolences upon the death of the South African national symbol of struggle and solidarity against the apartheid regime, a friend of liberation movements around the world, the leader Nelson Mandela.
The Front described Mandela as a hero in the struggle of his people, the peoples of Africa and the world, an example of a fighter and a courageous advocate and leader of various forms of legitimate resistance to eradicate apartheid in his country and struggle for freedom and justice.
He refused to condemn armed struggle or limit the right of his people to fight apartheid to gain his release from prison, where he was held for 27 years as a political prisoner.
The PFLP considers his departure to be a great loss for the struggle of our Palestinian people, as part of the struggle of the peoples of the world for freedom and justice.
Mandela is an iconic figure of the struggle of humanity on the road to liberation, just peace, and justice.
The Front expressed its deepest condolences to Mandela’s family, his comrades in the African National Congress and the people of South Africa.
The Front further confirmed the international solidarity and historical friendship between the South African and Palestinian peoples, in the struggle against occupation, racism, imperialism and Zionism, and for freedom, social justice, and social progress.
Radio One owner Cathy Hughes with Nelson Mandela. She has issued a statement in response to his passing., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Radio One Founder Cathy Hughes Issues Statement on the Passing of Nelson Mandela
Dec 6, 2013 By Radio One, special to BlackAmericaWeb.com
SILVER SPRING, MD
Radio One Founder and Chairperson Cathy Hughes issues the following on statement in recognition of the passing of Nelson Mandela.
“The world has lost a tremendous life force with the passing of Nelson Mandela, but has gained a legacy of commitment and struggle for justice and freedom. We mourn his departure, but celebrate his life as direct beneficiaries of his commitment and sacrifice.
Nelson Mandela left the world in far better condition than it had been on the day of his birth, and we shall remain eternally grateful.
The high point of my career and life was the evening I had dinner with him through the facilitation of Rev. Jesse Jackson. It was a fund raiser at Rev. Jackson’s home, and he graciously seated me next to Babba Mandela, with my son seated directly behind us. To spend several hours in his presence, in the presence of God filled good, in the presence of compassion and forgiveness, radiating from Nelson Mandela, was a life changing event for all who were blessed to experience it.
His life was biblical, and his example was the foundation of his longevity. Truly, with Nelson Mandela, God was well pleased and now, he will rest in peace for a life well lived.”
Nelson Mandela and the late PLO leader Yassir Arafat. People in Palestine are commemorating the fifth anniversay of his death in 2004., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
South Africa Begins Farewell to Nelson Mandela
President Zuma Designates Day of Prayer and Reflection
By DEVON MAYLIE CONNECT
Dec. 8, 2013 8:02 a.m. ET
QUNU, South Africa—The country Sunday began to bid a collective goodbye to its first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, whose death last week sparked a logistical scramble to mark his passing in places that ranged from a massive soccer stadium to a rural town with no airport.
President Jacob Zuma had designated a day of prayer and reflection on the life of Mr. Mandela. The 95-year-old statesman, who died Thursday evening at his Johannesburg home, was seen as the great hope for a racially divided country. On Sunday, South African officials fanned out to different churches, in what amounted to a fresh campaign to use Mr. Mandela's spirit to bring people together.
A new e-book chronicles the extraordinary life of Nelson Mandela, from prisoner to president of a democratic South Africa, and finally to revered elder statesman.
"We should not forget the values that Madiba stood for and sacrificed his life for," President Zuma told those gathered at a church in Johannesburg, using the clan name of Mr. Mandela. "He actively participated to remove the oppressor to liberate the people of this country. When our struggle came to an end, he preached and practiced reconciliation to make those who had been fighting to forgive one another and become one nation."
Meanwhile, in a Methodist church overlooking Nelson Mandela's rural home of Qunu, community members also gathered to say goodbye Sunday in song and prayer.
"We are here to give Madiba a peaceful journey," said churchgoer Sabelo Ngqeleni. "We will always remember his spirit."
The 50-year-old said it was because of Mr. Mandela's urging for all South Africans to go to school that he left a job as a gold miner to get a better education. He now works for the Eastern Cape Department of Agriculture and Land Affairs.
The prayers marked the beginning of a weeklong mourning in memory of Mr. Mandela, who came to power in 1994 after 27 years in prison.
The first memorial will be Tuesday at a Johannesburg soccer stadium that seats 90,000 people. The government expects attendance from a number of foreign leaders, many of whom will also be invited to attend Mr. Mandela's burial Sunday in his home village of Qunu, in South Africa's rural Eastern Cape province.
Mr. Mandela will be buried in a stone plot surrounded by aloe plants overlooking the salmon pink home he built after his release from prison.
In between Tuesday's memorial and Sunday's burial in Qunu, people will be invited to view Mr. Mandela's body lying in the capital Pretoria. For three days, his remains will be transported from a military hospital to a complex there called the Union Buildings. The government is hoping South Africans will line the route to pay their respects.
Others outside South Africa have also begun to memorialize a liberation hero who became a global symbol of equal rights for oppressed people. The South African government said that Kashmir, the contested territory between sandwiched between India and Pakistan, declared five days mourning; Iran named a street after Mr. Mandela, it said.
For many in his hometown, the memories of Mr. Mandela were much more personal.
In his memoirs, Mr. Mandela says some of his fondest memories were of the time he spent playing in streams and stick fighting in Qunu. Today, the stream has dried up and the village struggles with high unemployment but Mr. Mandela is still seen as the man who brought freedom.
Outside Mr. Mandela's house, a group of young men sat staring across the road. One said "it's too early to talk."
Other residents recall times Mr. Mandela would walk through Qunu, stopping to speak to people.
In 1995, not long after Mr. Mandela was elected president, Benjamin Xala says he was home at Christmas when he saw Mr. Mandela strolling past his house.
"I had no words so he said, 'Aren't you going to come greet me?'," Mr. Xala said, standing in his yard with a view of Mr. Mandela's house. "We took pictures and the whole family met him."
The village chief of Qunu, Nokwanele Balizulu, said once she couldn't pay her child's school fees and Mr. Mandela helped.
With the passing of Mr. Mandela some in the village are concerned they lost a benefactor. In recent years, Mr. Mandela's ruling African National Congress has confronted so-called service delivery protests in predominantly black townships and villages among those fed-up with power outages, poor roads and a dearth of decent housing.
"I'm worried about this current government but we must release Mandela because he has worked hard for us," says 71-year-old Beatrice Mathsqi, attending another prayer service in Mqhekezweni, where Mr. Mandela lived after Qunu. "I don't think the government will do like Tata Madiba," she said, using affectionate terms for the deceased leader.
Residents of Qunu are now preparing themselves for the influx of visitors. The lone two-lane highway leading into the town is under construction. Hotels in the closest city with lodging and an airport, Mthatha, have doubled prices this week. Residents in Qunu are also renting out their home for hundreds of dollars a night.
A two-mile stretch of road in front of Mr. Mandela's house has been closed, as police divert traffic. Four military trucks park in front of the house while event trucks come and go ahead of the Dec. 15 burial. Cranes on the land behind Mr. Mandela's Qunu home were busy erecting scaffolding for a tent.
The day before his burial Sunday, the government said the family will have a private gathering and hold a traditional Xhosa ceremony, in honor of Mr. Mandela's ethnic group. Mr. Mandela embraced his Xhosa heritage, but also showed deep loyalty for the ANC, the liberation party that brought together people of all ethnic groups.
"I asked him once what will happen when he goes," said Ms. Balizulu, the village chief of Qunu. "He said he will look for an ANC office in heaven."
—Patrick McGroarty and Peter Wonacott in Johannesburg contributed to this article.
Write to Devon Maylie at email@example.com
Abdirahman Farole, President of Puntland, formerly a part of Somalia. The breakaway territory is having conflicts with Somaliland, another breakaway area that has declared its independence from people in the south and central regions of the country., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
SOMALIA : 2014 Puntland Presidential Election, Who’s competent to lead?
Posted on December 6, 2013
OpinionIn a matter of a few weeks, on January 8th, 2014, the fourth presidential election will commence in Puntland and will be held in Garowe, the capital city of Puntland Federal State. The selection process of the 66 parliamentary members is currently underway. This time, we all need to be very vigilant and make a well thought out decision before selecting the 5th president of Puntland Federal State. Rest assured, Puntland people have higher hopes on the outcome of this election and won’t settle with empty promises. I believe this election is all about leadership. So, who’s competent to lead us through this challenging time?
Are you feeling the election fever? Yes, and it’s contagious. We are all excited and cautiously optimistic about the overall campaign trail across the region. Large waves of contestants are landing in Puntland airports and have captured the attention of the Puntland people. This is a copycat phenomenon that’s so viral and is spreading beyond control. Some of you may wonder why these unknown faces receive a rock star celebrity reception. I can assure you that, they’re not being supported for a good cause. Instead, clans and sub-clans of the contenders are lined up with colorful attire to cheer for their fellow hopeful president. What’s very strange also that caught my eyes is that, candidates are glowing with joy like they’re going to settle in a golden castle in the sky.
Puntland elections are usually simple and trouble free but, this time, may require extra caution and close coordination among all contestants. Government officials and candidates have distinct but complimentary roles to respond to the new security challenges ahead. As Nicholas Kay suggested, Special Representative of the Secretary General, “all presidential candidates will need to be assured freedom of movement, association, security and should enjoy equal access to media”. I agree but, on the other hand, all candidates should also abide by the law and refrain from any activity that obstructs security officials to perform their official duties.
It’s politically immature to note that, some candidates are demanding to relinquish the President’s constitutional powers during the election process. In response to this, Puntland government, under the leadership of President Farole, is the only entity that has full legal authority and responsibility for managing and safeguarding Puntland State of affairs until January 8th, 2014. Puntland government is also responsible for implementing reliable security measures in order to secure a smooth transition of the elections. By the same token, I agree there are some more pain points that need to be addressed. For instance, whose responsibility is to nominate the Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation Committee? President Farole has unilaterally published the names of the committee on December 3rd, 2013 while Nicholas Kay has expressed earlier that the President will consult with elders and candidates before nominating them. The other issue left unresolved is what to do in case some CSS elders decide to boycott Puntland elections. These issues could be a showstopper if they’re not addressed collectively and dealt with effectively. However, reconvening the clan elders meeting after the election was a great breakthrough.
What Do I Want From The New Puntland Leader?
I want a leader with great leadership skills that can fulfill satisfactorily all Twelve Pillars of My Platform.
1. Showing ample respect, consideration and support for initiatives coming from SSC traditional elders. It’s about time, in fact way overdue, to step back and recommit to those basic values that have kept us together since the inception of Puntland Federal State.
2. Overcoming security challenges caused by religious extremists and dismantling pirate’s activities and their stronghold.
3. Bringing forward robust economic policy plan that will enhance Puntland taxation system and address overall economic growth.
4. Creating concrete development projects that reach out to the isolated areas of the state (Gaari-waa).
5. Creating and empowering youth employment opportunities inside and outside of the major cities.
6. Launching and completing the democratization process before the end of first three years of the new government mandate. If managed well, this will lead to a multi-party system and credible elections in the future.
7. Despite some significant political and ideological differences between Somali Federal Government (SFG) and Puntland, the new leader must renew immediately its relationship with SFG by negotiating fairly on behalf of Puntland people while respecting the law of the land.
8. Co-operating with each other (SFG and Puntland) is the best interest of the country and moving forward will play a very essential role in shaping the country.
9. Overbearing and unyielding is a dictatorial attitude that doesn’t fit the true character of a leader. Therefore, love and hate relationships among Somali politicians must stop.
10. I want a trustworthy leader that will commit to his promises and be true to his character with no hidden agenda.
11. I want a leader that has not been associated with any religious extremists or warlord activities as well as any other criminal activities during civil war.
12. Before losing Somali sovereignty and Puntland identity, I want a TRUE Somali leader capable of addressing both local and national issues in a more integrated and impartial approach.
Who are the candidates in the race?
As of today, 24 candidates have entered the race for Puntland’s 2014 presidential election. To gain a good perspective of the upcoming election, we need to visit and get to know who the candidates are that are running for the top position. How competent are they to lead Puntland? Based on their background experience, I classify them into four categories but they may have different, if not completely incompatible, agendas.
I) Unknown and Untested Candidates (Hataa Koyni group):
1) Abdullahi Sheikh Ahmed Mohamud (Cadde)
2) Abdiweli Mohamud Gurey
3) Mohamed Abdi Nur Hersi
4) Shire Haji Farah
5) Ahmed Abbas Ahmed (Gacmo-Gaab)
6) Abdulkadir Mohamed Yusuf (Yeey)
7) Ali Abdulkadir Yusuf
8) Abdullahi Ali Barre (Ciddi-Libaax)
9) Eng Ali Haji Abulle
10) Abdidizak Nur Alula
11) Abdiqasim Mohamed Hassan
12) Ahmed Muse Yusuf
These candidates are not known and have not had any political experience in both Puntland and Somalia. I believe they have no chance in holding the top position but instead, hope to obtain a ministerial position. They have not been tested and, for sure, will fail any leadership skills test. It’s not the best time to test a rookie politician in Puntland leadership. My advice to you is, go get some experience and come again. As a good rule of thumb, these candidates are not fit to lead.
II) Religious Factions Candidates (Islaamiyiin group):
1) Ali Haji Warsame
2) Dr. Sadiq Eenow
3) Abdirahman Mohamed Gablax
4) Haji Mohamed Yasin (Iley)
Puntland and Somalia at large had very ugly experiences with religious factions. Puntland Islamists just came back to the spotlight after many years of hibernation. In 1992, Al-Itixaad members led by Hassan Dahir Aweys have engaged in a bloody war (Dagaalkii Saliid) against Puntland administration that killed several hundred Puntlanders. Candidates listed above were either a member of this faction or true sympathizers. It’s important that people of Puntland to note that, theses candidates are not driven by true religious ideology, but rather plan to impose their unfounded beliefs. God forbid, but if elected, same as their counterparts of South Central Somalia, they will invite in, and handover Puntland to world terrorists and criminals. Their loyalty rests somewhere other than Puntland people. Do we really know who their role model is?
Same as ‘Anna waa i kan’ group, Islaamiyiin group are also unknown and untested in politics as they’ve never held any political position in both Somalia and Puntland. Being a member of religious faction and having no experience in politics are two deadly combinations. Due to these facts, it’s absolutely impossible to hand over the crown to Islamists. Please rest assured that Puntland people will never forget what Al-Itixaad faction did to innocent people. On a different note, Puntland people are really generous and forgiving, all you need to do is renounce publicly from associating wrongdoers and baseless religious factions and ask for forgiveness. Then, Puntland people will consider your candidacy in the future.
III) Known and Tested Candidates with No Leadership Skills (Ma daalayaal group):
1) General Abdullahi Said Samatar
2) Mohamed Ali Yusuf (Gaa-Gaab)
3) Ali Abdi Aware
4) General Abdullahi Ali Mire (Careys)
5) Dr. Yasin Farah Artan
6) Abdurahman Cuke
They have been around in Puntland politics for a reasonable time and tested but added no significant value while serving in Puntland. Puntlanders also nickname some of them as ‘spoilers’. Therefore, these candidates are not qualified as viable alternatives to govern Puntland. Gentlemen, it’s about time to slow down and retire from politics.
IV) Known and Tested Candidates with GREAT Leadership Skills:
President Farole and Dr. Abdiweli are the only candidates qualified for this category. I have to confess that, I was a supporter of President Farole for the most part of his official term. However, after a series of critical mistakes and misjudgments, he cannot win my vote anymore. As much as I wanted to, I cannot offer blind support to President Farole regarding the following important items:
As promised during his campaign in 2008, President Farole has broken one of the major election promises of liberating Lasanod.
President Farole was elected for a four year term but has illegally extended it into a five year term. That was very controversial and disappointing indeed.
President Farole has failed to complete the democratization process, despite this being his primary mandate for the last five years.
President Farole has declared cutting off relations and co-operations with the Federal Government of Somalia. I really do believe that President Farole had so many valid reasons to make this decision; however, suspending all co-operations was not the right direction. It doesn’t matter who’s at fault, it’s a great setback now for both Puntland and SFG. The best course of action would be to continue talking and keep discussing issues tirelessly until you reach an agreement.
On November 28th, 2013, President Farole’s running mate and current Vice President of Puntland, Abdisamad Ali Shire, has engaged in unnecessary and preventable confrontation that caused the lives of 9 people in Taleex.
Based on the facts and observations presented here, President Farole has barely passed the leadership skills test, but not enough to make the threshold required. Sorry, but it’s time to turn the crown over to the most qualified candidate. I personally thank Mr. Farole for holding the torch and leading us through bad and good times for the last five years. As he will retire soon with honor, we will celebrate his political career achievements soon.
Ladies and gentlemen, Puntland people deserve better. Dr. Abdiweli has all the ingredients you want from a great leader. He’s well known, tested, and trustworthy, and above all has outstanding leadership skills. As he has satisfactorily delivered the Roadmap process within a short period of time, he can successfully manage to take Puntland to the next level. I am not a fortune teller, but based on these facts and much more, I am confident he’s the only competent candidate capable of fulfilling Twelve Pillars of My Platform and leading Puntland through the unending cycle of dependency, security, social and economic challenges. As a final note, the future of Puntland is very promising with the leadership of Dr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali (Gaas).
Abdirizak A. Aden (Eelay)
US-backed forces of the Somalia Transitional Federal Government and AMISOM enter the town of Wanlaweyn. The Horn of Africa nation is being occupied by imperialism utilizing proxy forces from the region., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Dalsan Radio (Mogadishu)
Somalia: MP Killed in an Explosive Device Near the Presidential Palace
7 DECEMBER 2013
Somali National assembly member Mohamed Warsame was killed in a car bomb yesterday near the presidential palace compound in Mogadishu.
According to MP Sidow Abdikaadir an explosive device that was planted on the victim's car has resulted a huge damage killing him and wounding another member.
However another reports indicates Mr. Warsame died in Madina hospital when he was rushed there while on serious injuries.
Eyewitness said Mohamed Warsame was killed after leaving the Friday prayers in the afternoon, when he entered the vicinity of the compound the car exploded leaving him dead. "The car exploded as he went inside the area surrounding the presidential palace, we all run for our lives after hearing the huge explosion" confirmed an eyewitness.
According to sources close to Warsame, he was heading to meet Prime Minister Shirdon with whom he had good relations. He was vehemently opposed to the motion which sought the removal of Shirdon from his post as Prime Minister and he was known for being against corruption.
A lot of speculations are revolving around the attack linking it on Mr.Warsame dicison on the recent vote of no confidence against the PM , however no one has claimed responsibility of the deadly attack.
SOMALIA: Ambassador Kay condemns killing of Somali MP in Mogadishu
Posted on December 6, 2013
MP Mohamed Warsame Mohamed known as Feysal was killed when an improvised explosive device planted in his vehicle detonated.
MP Mohamed Warsame Mohamed known as Feysal was killed when an improvised explosive device planted in his vehicle detonated.
MP Mohamed Warsame Mohamed known as Feysal was killed when an improvised explosive device planted in his vehicle detonated.
MP Mohamed Warsame Mohamed known as Feysal was killed when an improvised explosive device planted in his vehicle detonated.
Mogadishu (RBC) The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, has strongly condemned the killing of Mohamed Warsame Feisal, a Member of the country’s Federal Parliament.
Mr. Warsame was killed this afternoon in Mogadishu when an improvised explosive device planted in his vehicle detonated. At least three others are reported to have been injured in the attack.
“I condemn this killing in the strongest terms,” SRSG Kay said. “Somalis yearn for a better future. Their Members of Parliament play a vital role in building that future.”
SRSG Kay offers his sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Warsame,as well as to the Federal Parliament of Somalia, and wishes those injured a quick recovery.
President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has remained defiant in the face of imperialist plots to destabilized the government of Sudan. The ICC issued a warrant for his arrest., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Al Bashir Denies Differences over Coming Ministerial Reshuffle
Khartoum – President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omer Hassan Al Bashir, has denied any differences within the government over the prospective ministerial reshuffle, expected to be announced within the two coming days.
The government is making efforts to ensure the participation of largest possible number of youth in the government, the President said.
The First Vice President, Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, will give up the post of the First Vice President in the coming new government the same as he did when he vacated the post for the late Dr. John Garang when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was concluded in 2005, President Al Bashir said. Ali Osman is a sincere man, he is leading the change himself, he added.
Those who have claimed existence of differences which forced the First Vice President to resign are liars, Al Bashir said, indicating that Taha has said the example when he voluntarily and of his own free will decided to quit the post to give the opportunity for coming generations to lead.
The march will not stop and a group of youths will be put in position of authority to lead the nation, the President said.
Addressing a huge gathering at Garri village, north of Khartoum Bahri, held to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the establishment of an Islamic state in Sudan, the President called on the Sudanese people to follow the path of Abdallah Jamma and Amara Donkus who had established an Islamic state in Sudan.
Sudan President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has gained the support from many African and Arab states in light of the International Criminal Court indictment against him. He has dismissed the charges as an imperialist plot to seize the oil wealth of Sudan., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Sudan shaken up by new gov't changes as regime opponents press on for reform
Khartoum, Saturday 7 Dec 2013
The resignation of one of the stalwarts of the Bashir regime in Sudan last week could indicate deeper and broader changes ahead, or simply a cosmetic reshuffling of the current regime
After Omar Al-Bashir’s Revolutionary Command Council for National Salvation (RCC) came to power in 1989, Sudan has not undergone political travails over the past 25 years as difficult as the ones it is experiencing now.
Based on a key demand on the Sudanese street, however, many believe that change will come in the form of a regime shakeup, one that would get rid of the old guard and the ruling party.
One of the first and foremost indications of such change was the stepping down of First Vice President Ali Osamn Taha, the second man in command and a staunch figure in Bashir’s regime, last week.
Taha engineered the Naivasha Agreement that ended years of civil war between North and South Sudan, and ultimately led to their partition.
And although details around Taha’s sudden exit were not fully disclosed, he himself revealed that he had left without dispute or disagreement with the government, believing himself to be a proponent of the batch of changes promised by Al-Bashir in 2011.
Sudanese opposition and activists, nonetheless, do not view Taha’s stepping down as real change.They cite the possibility of his return in the 2015 elections as a presidential hopeful and political heir to Al-Bashir, who declared he did not want to run himself.
However, an editor-in-chief of one of the prominent local papers said in a special interview that the "time for Taha to become president has passed; he is paying the price of the peace agreement."
"I find it hard to believe that he would be Bashir’s successor according to the balance of power in the country at this point," he continued.
In that vein, prominent National Congress Party (NCP) leader Mahgoub Abdel Salam told Ahram Online: "The in-place programme aimed to salvage the country has undergone several changes since 1989."
"But an impending change is behind the current panic; some faces are fixed, and do not change, including Abdel Rahim Hussein, who worked between the presidential office and the interior ministry."
Others were reshuffled only to hold posts in other ministries. "Those have remained in power for 24 years, representing the face of the salvationist government — such as Taha when adopting the slogan of unity between the Islamists and the military."
"Even though the absence of Taha from the political stage is hard to believe, if proven true it would entail a kind of transformation and could usher in a new era."
Taha's safe exit paves the way for a successor, one who many believe was being long groomed for the position. Minister of Presidential Affairs General Bakri Hassan was an agreed-upon candidate within the ranks of the NCP, and even nominated by Taha himself.
Hassan is the last remaining officer from the RCC, which was formed by 15 officers who staged a coup d’etat in the late 1980s. Besides that, he is Bashir’s close confidante and former fellow paratrooper, seen also as the guardian of the command council.
Whether evident consensus over Hassan is a mark of a peaceful transition of power in Sudan is up for question. However, a high profile source confirmed that Bashir "did not trust any other military man but Hassan."
A criticism pointed at the current scenario is that changes are being made from within the palace, not outside it. Other considerations must also be taken into account, which might tip the power balance.
A recent division within the ruling party has shaken up those in power, set off by the resignation of Deputy President Ghazi Salah Eddin following the crackdown on peaceful protests in September, and which led to the deaths of over 100 people, according to Amnesty International reports.
The anti-government protests fretted the regime, as many observers claimed in interview with Ahram Online, particularly because the regime employed Janjaweed mercenaries — the same used in Darfur — and did not resort to its usual forces.
In the midst of protests, more than 30 of its top members presented a memo to the president criticising the government's decision to remove subsidies on fuel and other basic commodities, saying it "harshly" impacted Sudanese citizens.
Another consideration to be made is the upsurge of reform movements and oppositional coalitions such the Reform Now Party, initiated by Salah Eddin.Others formed anti-government campaigns, such as "We’re Fed Up" and "Change Now."
Eddin, for one, believes his party will play a huge role in future politics in Sudan. He also thinks that the Sudanese tribes are another player that cannot be neglected, and whom, like Islamist powers, would refuse any hint of a power vacuum in Sudan.
Such changes come in the wake of difficult economic conditions, especially as the inflation rate reached 45 percent in October 2013, according to official figures, while fuel prices are expected to spike by 90 percent.
What has led to the further deterioration of the situation is the refusal of Gulf States and neighbouring African countries to provide financial support for the current government to help it out of the crisis.
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir takes part in the African Union Summit on health focusing on HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria in Abuja on July 15, 2013., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Published: Sunday December 8, 2013 MYT Sunday December 8, 2013 MYT 3:45:01 AM
Bashir announces Sudan vice president resignation - state media
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir announced the resignation of First Vice President Ali Taha on Saturday, state media reported, the first move in a cabinet reshuffle to be announced later in the day.
Taha held the country's second-highest political position as first vice president and was the main negotiator in Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 which brought an end to the Sudanese civil war.
"(He) resigned to make space for the youth and there are no conflicts between us," state media quoted Bashir as saying.
Bashir is currently holding a meeting with the office of the ruling National Congress Party leaders to approve the cabinet reshuffle.
Taha had announced in November that the government plans to carry out a major cabinet reshuffle, a move apparently aimed at appeasing protesters after fuel price increases provoked the country's worst unrest in years.
The government cut fuel subsidies to ease a financial crunch aggravated by the secession of oil-producing South Sudan in 2011. Dozens of people were killed and more than 700 arrested when protests erupted after pump prices doubled overnight.
(Reporting by Khaled Abdelaziz; Writing by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Pravin Char)
Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, speaking to journalists over satellite television world news. Azikiwe is a news analyst on African and international affairs., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.West praises Mandela for own interests
Interview with Abayomi Azikiwe
Fri Dec 6, 2013 4:56PM GMT
To watch this Press TV World News interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, just click on the website below:
Press TV has conducted an interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, about the death of South Africa’s anti-apartheid hero and former president Nelson Mandela.
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Mr. Azikiwe when it comes to Mandela, we said there in our intro, we hear a lot about apartheid, what it is, whether apartheid still remains in the world.
We were speaking with some analysts earlier on this and they were saying that those who are praising Mandela’s efforts, who are describing what apartheid is have double standards themselves on apartheid and on the struggle on apartheid. What do you think?
Azikiwe: There is no question about it. The United States through the Central Intelligence Agency was responsible back in 1962 for the actual capture of Nelson Mandela when he was living underground after the African National Congress (ANC) had been banned. When he was arrested in 1962 the initial charges against him was going abroad to train himself in order to train others in Guerrilla warfare. He had gone to Algeria which had been involved in an eight year armed revolutionary struggle in North Africa.
And what happened was that the ANC was labeled a terrorist organization early on in its existence in regard to the armed revolutionary struggle and the United States had virtually no dealings with them up until the late 1980’s and of course after release of Nelson Mandela in 1990.
However by that time it was quite obvious that the apartheid system was on the wane and that they had no other choice except to normalize relations with the ANC.
But I just wanted to point out despite the fact that we have Britain and the United States and other Western governments praising Nelson Mandela in his death and also having praised him earlier after his release from prison and after the ascendancy of the African National Congress, it is important to note that this praising is clearly related to the overall interests of the United States and these other Western powers in the economy of South Africa and indeed the entire region of Southern Africa as a whole.
And even today, many living members of the ANC are still on the United States terrorists list. In fact just a few weeks ago Tokyo Sexwale, who was a leading member of the ANC, he is a former cabinet minister in the South African government under the ANC, was detained when he arrived in the United States in an airport because his name still remains on the terrorists list.
So when we hear these Western governments we must remember the they were working hand in glove with the National Party in South Africa which held power there until 1994. We have to understand why they are doing this and also understand the actual history of United States as well as British intervention in South Africa on the side of racism.
Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, on RT worldwide satellite television news on December 5, 2013. He discussed the French intervention in the CAR., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.‘France doesn't want to be left out of new scramble for Africa’
December 06, 2013 12:51
To watch this RT interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, just click on the website below:
The French planned operation in the Central African Republic is a part of the ongoing inner-imperialist rivalry between France and the United States for control of post-colonial Africa, Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News Wire, told RT.
President Hollande has said that France will take immediate military action as sectarian violence escalates in the Central African Republic.
Earlier the UN Security Council voted to allow French troops to join an African peacekeeping force.
Fresh clashes between local militias in the capital Bangui have killed about 100 people and wounded scores more.
RT: Shouldn't France have taken action earlier as the violence there has been escalating since March when the president was toppled? Why now is this suddenly an issue?
Abayomi Azikiwe: This is something that has been planned now for several months. The French already have troops inside the Central African Republic, [in] the capital of Bangui. They've admitted to at least 650 troops who have been there for considerable amount of time. They claim they are there to protect France’s interests as well as French citizens. This is a former French colony.
We also have to keep in mind that this is not the first time that France intervenes in the affairs of the Central African Republic or other former French colonies on the African continent. So this is something that has been anticipated now for several months. At this point they feel very strongly that they have the backing of the UN Security Council in pursuing this effort.
RT: Do you think that the French-led troops are even capable of taking control over the situation in the country? Is foreign intervention an answer?
AA: No, foreign intervention is not the answer. I don’t believe that France has the capability of normalizing the situation inside the Central African Republic. France is only pursuing its own national interests. It’s also competing with the role of the United States on the African continent. The US has intervened extensively over the last several years in Africa in numerous countries. There is the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) that has thousands of troops right now involved in operations all over the continent and even off the coast of both East and West Africa.
So France doesn’t want to be left out of this new scramble for Africa. People have to keep in mind that the Central African Republic has very important strategic resources such as gold, diamonds and uranium, which are essential to the overall international economic system. So this is a part of the ongoing inner-imperialist rivalry between France and the United States for control of post-colonial Africa.
RT: You mentioned that France is acting in its own interests. But from the outside it definitely looks like a repetition of what we've seen in Mali, where local authorities called for French assistance in curbing the Islamic insurgency. Why is Paris so interested in helping France's former colonies out?
AA: Well, they are not interested in helping the former colonies out, they are interested in pursuing their own economic, political and strategic interests, and [interests] of the opposition in the Central African Republic, which has requested French intervention. But the Seleka government, which is there in power now, has a very small margin of support inside the country, and Seleka itself is not a uniform coalition. It is composed of four different former rebel organizations.
The leader of the group Michel Djotodia is Islamic and the Muslim population there constitutes less than 20 percent of the overall demographics inside the Central African Republic. They can utilize the fact politically that Seleka is a Muslim-dominated coalition, which is trying to control the government there, but by no means is it Islamic or Orient in terms of this political outlook inside the country. You also have competing forces outside of Seleka. Some of them are still loyal to the former president François Bozizé who himself was overthrown earlier this year.
French reinforcements land in Central African Republic
December 06, 2013 12:17
French reinforcements arrived in the restive Central African Republic to bolster France’s 600-strong force as military operations began overnight to quell violence in the capital and protect broader geostrategic interests in the country, analysts say.
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told Radio France Internationale (RFI) that the streets of Bangui were calm on Friday after French patrols and a helicopter hit the streets of the capital early Friday, Reuters reports.
"The operation has effectively started," Le Drian told RFI regarding the French Patrols.
Just hours before the United Nations Security Council voted to send in French and African Union troops to stabilize the country on Thursday, violence between Muslim former rebels now running the country and a mixture of local Christian militiamen and fighters loyal to ousted President Francois Bozize reportedly left at least 105 dead.
The French-backed resolution authorizes the deployment of the African Union-led force for a year with a mandate to use “appropriate measures” to protect civilians and restore security. The AU force, known as the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA), is expected to increase its troop strength from about 2,500 to 3,500.
The resolution also authorized French soldiers for a temporary period “to take all necessary measures” to support MISCA troops, primarily from Cameroon, Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Following the vote, French President Francois Hollande said the 600 French troops already in the Central African Republic on Thursday would be doubled “within a few days, even a few hours.”
On Friday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the UK had agreed to provide a C-17 transport aircraft to help in the French military campaign.
Hague said the aircraft will make three flights in December, with the first scheduled to touch ground in Central African Republic "shortly." The Foreign Office has decided putting British boots on the ground was “not on the table,” he continued.
Britain had previously provided two C-17 transport aircraft to carry foreign forces and equipment during the foreign intervention in Mali this past January.
The operation in the Central African Republic was launched with the aim of ending the sectarian strife which has ravaged the landlocked and mineral rich country of 4.6 million since an alliance of mainly Muslim militias known as Seleka launched a coup in March.
In September current President Michel Djotodia announced that Seleka had been dissolved.
The disbanded group has since dispersed into the countryside, where they have unleashed a campaign of gross human rights violations including rape, murder and looting in the Christian majority country, according to Human Rights Watch.
France’s UN Ambassador Gerard Araud told the Council after the vote that “people have been terrorized by militia carrying out atrocities.”
“On the security front, the country risks collapsing into chaos, with uncontrollable and unforeseen consequences for the whole region,” he warned. “On the human front, the risk of mass atrocities is there.”
“History demands us to avoid the worst,” he said.
Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor of Pan-African News Wire, told RT that France is not compelled by humanitarian interests, but rather interested in “pursuing their own economic, political and strategic interests.”
Azikiwe says the opposition requested the assistance of French forces, as the alliance of militias known as the current government commands marginal support in the country.
He says that since only 20 percent of the country is Muslim, the opposition is “utilizing the fact politically that Seleka is a Muslim dominated coalition” although they are “by no means Islamic-oriented in terms of their political outlook.”
Writing for the Guardian, Simon Tisdall notes the religious component of France’s foreign policy, arguing that the current French interventionist doctrine “is about stemming the tide of Islamist extremism and sectarianism that threatens swaths of territory from the Horn of Africa to the Sahel and Maghreb – and potentially, the soft European underbelly of which France forms a vulnerable part.”
Tisdall says that “France’s happy interventionists” have a primarily “humanitarian focus,” although such expeditions have also “served to bolster fading French international prestige, especially in its former African colonies, and to boost [President Francois] Hollande's low approval ratings.”
ANC and SACP leader Chris Hani with Nelson Mandela, the-then President of the African National Congress (ANC). Both have joined the ancestors., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
SACP confirms Nelson Mandela was a member
Dec 6, 2013 | Natasha Marrian
South African Communist Party and African National Congress say although they always denied it, Mandela was a member when he was arrested in 1962
FORMER president Nelson Mandela was a member of the South African Communist Party’s (SACP’s) central executive committee at the time of his arrest in 1962, the SACP and the African National Congress (ANC) confirmed on Friday.
Even though it had always been denied, the ANC and the SACP confirmed that Mr Mandela had served on the party’s central executive committee in their statements paying tribute to the antiapartheid icon. There had been much debate about the issue among historians and academics.
SACP deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila on Thursday said he was a member of the party, but it was denied at the time for "political reasons".
"There was a huge offensive by the oppressive apartheid regime at the time against communists. They portrayed the ANC as a communist organisation, but it was not," he said.
Mr Mapaila said all the Rivonia Trialists were members of the party.
"At his arrest in August 1962, Nelson Mandela was not only a member of the then underground South African Communist Party, but was also a member of our party’s central committee. To us as South African communists, Cde Mandela shall forever symbolise the monumental contribution of the SACP in our liberation struggle," the party said in a statement reacting to Mandela’s death.
"The contribution of communists in the struggle to achieve the South African freedom has very few parallels in the history of our country. After his release from prison in 1990, Cde Madiba became a great and close friend of the communists till his last days."
At the time Mandela was released from prison the Soviet Union was crumbling and there was "too much negativity around the Soviet system", Mr Mapaila said.
"But we should not focus on that now, let us focus on resting the old man," he said.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela and current President Jacob Zuma enjoy a laugh at Madiba's 91st birthday celebration on July 18, 2009., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Mandela was a courageous soldier - SACP
Johannesburg - Former president Nelson Mandela was a courageous soldier, patriot and internationalist, and a true revolutionary guided by great feelings of love for his people, the SACP said on Friday.
The SA Communist Party joined South Africans and the world in expressing its condolences to his widow, Graça Machel, and the Mandela family, said spokesperson Alex Mashilo.
President Jacob Zuma had correctly described Mandela as South Africa's greatest son, he said.
"We also wish to use this opportunity to express our solidarity with the African National Congress, an organisation that produced him, and that he also served with distinction, as well as all his colleagues and comrades in our broader liberation movement."
Mashilo said the ANC owed it to the memory of Mandela to preserve the unity of the alliance.
"The one major lesson we need to learn from Mandela and his generation of leaders was their commitment to principled unity within each of our alliance formations, as well as the unity of our alliance as a whole and that of the entire mass democratic movement.
"Let those who do not understand the extent to which blood was spilt in pursuance of alliance unity be reminded not to throw mud at the legacy and memory of the likes of Madiba by being reckless and gambling with the unity of our alliance."
Mashilo said the SACP would intensify the struggle against all forms of inequality, including intensifying the struggle for socialism as the only political and economic solution to the problems facing humanity.
Mandela died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Thursday night, at the age of 95.
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Former South African President Nelson Mandela with his wife Graca Machel at a 90th birthday gathering in South Africa., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Editorial Comment: Mandela: The next logical stage
December 7, 2013 Opinion & Analysis
When the day came it almost looked like a form of release for a media that had for months been obsessed with Nelson Mandela’s mortality.
There had been a media frenzy around Mandela’s health, and judging by the manner in which the obituaries flowed forth, there can be no doubt that Madiba’s epitaphs were written many weeks ago.
It’s sick, but it’s the world we live in: A world that has commodified just about everything, including news and death — and especially news of death.
In the midst of the orgy, little real attention has been paid to the real Mandela story, and that story is on what his legacy is.
It is likely that this is a story that generations to come will have immense interest in, using their benefit of hindsight to dissect our sorry contemporary attempts at telling the Mandela story.
Why should we interrogate his legacy, some may ask. After all, he is a South African and he is South Africa’s hero to mourn and celebrate.
However, he has been made more than a South African. He is a global icon and an African legend.
And as such we have the right to raise questions on whether or not he is our hero or someone else’s, and what it means when Africans are literally given heroes by the very same people who colonised them not too many years ago.
Naturally, opinion will be divided over how good Mandela has been to South Africa and indeed to Africa in the years after he shared a Nobel Peace Prize with the last apartheid leader, FW De Klerk.
On one hand we know that Mandela averted much bloodshed in South Africa. It was good for South Africa. Enough people had died (one death is always one more than enough) and people — in particular the poor blacks — just wanted to “move on”.
But move on they didn’t. And move Africa did not. It was and is a heavy price for the whole of Africa, more so for those in Southern Africa who sacrificed much to see the ANC get to the politically important moment of 1994.
South Africa was supposed to provide the economic, social and military leadership that Africa so desperately needed to move forward with dignity.
That did not happen. Without in any way disparaging the very tough experiences that Mandela went through, and thereafter the invaluable support South Africa rendered to many countries, including Zimbabwe, in many difficult situations, there remains that nagging feeling that this economic powerhouse can be so much more than it is today.
South Africa’s scope for leadership has been horribly limited by the fact that all of us as Africans have allowed Mandela to be adopted as a hero by his own oppressors.
A straitjacket definition of what a “model” leader is has been created for us and many of us are desperately trying to fit into this mould — often to the detriment of our own people.
Many of Africa’s leaders are mightily trying to become Mandelas. They dare not push economic independence, they dare not confront injustices perpetrated on our continent by the West.
Being confrontational, we have been made to believe, is not the “Mandela way”. The easy temptation is to blame Mandela for this ideological and practical stagnation by leaders who want to become mini Mandelas. But the truth is Madiba is not to blame.
Mandela played his part.
He opted for the reconciliation path after apartheid and it is up to his successors to deal with the major matters of economic empowerment and social justice.
It is up to Africa’s present leaders to take the struggle to its next logical stage — ensuring that Africans are masters of their own resources and destiny.
It is what the Mandela of the Rivonia trial would have wanted. It is what the people of Africa today demand.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela during a 1997 three-day state visit to Zimbabwe, along with President Robert Mugabe., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Mandela champion of the oppressed: President
December 7, 2013
Farai Kuvirimirwa Herald Reporter
Mr Nelson Mandela was a champion of the oppressed and his commitment to liberation will forever be cherished by Zimbabwe, President Mugabe has said.
In his condolence message following the death of South Africa’s first black President on Thursday, Zimbabwe’s Head of State and Government described Mandela as a fighter for justice.
President Mugabe gives a toast to a closer relationship between Zimbabweans and progressive South Africans and to peace and prosperity in 1990.
President Mugabe gives a toast to a closer relationship between Zimbabweans and progressive South Africans and to peace and prosperity in 1990.
Mandela died aged 95 at his Johannesburg home after a protracted lung infection and will be buried on December 15.
President Mugabe yesterday wrote to South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma saying, “On behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Zanu-PF and indeed on my own behalf, I would like to extend deep condolences to you and, through you to the Government and people of the Republic of South Africa, on the death of the great icon of African liberation, freedom fighter and the first President of a free, independent and democratic South Africa, Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela on 5th December 2013.
“Mr Nelson Mandela’s renowned and illustrious political life will forever remain a beacon of excellence. Not only was he a great champion of the emancipation of the oppressed, but he also was a humble and compassionate leader who showed selfless dedication to the service of his people.
The late cde Nelson Mandela greets the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo at the Harare International Airport soon after his arrival in 1997. In the background are President Mugabe and the late Vice President Cde Simon Muzenda.
The late cde Nelson Mandela greets the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo at the Harare International Airport soon after his arrival in 1997. In the background are President Mugabe and the late Vice President Cde Simon Muzenda.
“We join the rest of the nation in mourning his departure. The late Nelson Mandela will forever remain in our minds as an unflinching fighter for justice.”
Through President Zuma, the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces extended his condolences to Mandela’s widow, children and wider family.
“Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration,” he added.
Born on July 18, 1918 in Umtata in Transkei, Mandela rose from rural obscurity to challenge oppression by the apartheid Government and was among the first to advocate armed resistance to apartheid in 1960.
This was after he had been instrumental in the formation of the ANC Youth League.
Mandela was detained for 27 years at the Robben Island prison and was elected President in landmark all-race elections in 1994 before retiring in 1999.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, an honour he shared with Frederik W de Klerk, the last white Afrikaaner leader of South Africa.
As President, Mandela faced the monumental task of forging a new nation from the deep racial injustices left over from the apartheid era, making reconciliation the theme of his time in office.
He was to be succeeded as President by Thabo Mbeki and made his last major public appearance in 2010 at the FIFA Soccer World Cup — the first time the showpiece was staged on African soil.
Zimbabwe and South Africa’s ties run long and deep, with liberation movements from the two countries collaborating to fight
the oppressive Western-backed regimes in their two countries. Those racist regimes largely worked hand-in-glove to ensure indigenous peoples remained second class citizens.
Zimbabwe, after gaining independence in 1980, hosted South African liberation fighters and nationalists and provided support for their struggle against aparthied.
So close were the two countries that, as revealed by Former President Mbeki, Zimbabwe delayed its land reform revolution so as to give liberation fighters in South Africa time to first deal with aparthied before confronting colonially privileged white farmers back home.
It was felt at the time that should Zimbabwe initiate widespread land reforms, the ensuing backlash from white farmers and governments in Europe and North America would work against efforts to end white supremacist rule in South Africa.
Bilateral relations between South Africa and Zimbabwe improved substantially as apartheid officially ended.
President Mugabe formally met Mr Mandela for the first time on January 27, 1994 along with Botswana’s then President Ketumile Masire to find a peaceful resolution to a military mutiny in Lesotho.
Mr Mandela visited Harare in early 1995 and the two countries discussed trade issues and means of dismantling apartheid-era tariffs.
In November 1995, a ceremony attended by President Mugabe and Mr Mandela marked the opening of a new bridge linking the two countries, across the Limpopo River.
Since then, trade between the two has boomed, as have cultural exchanges. In the past decade, the trade – both formal and informal – has seen Zimbabwe’s cash economy pumping millions of US dollars into South Africa, and in the country in return accessing goods and services.
Mr Mandela’s successor, Former President Thabo Mbeki, played a pivotal role in resolution of the political stand-off between Zimbabwe’s main political parties.
The fruit of Mr Mbeki’s efforts, the inclusive Government, paved the way for a key election on July 31, 2013 that saw President Mugabe romping to victory in a poll that South Africa joined many other observers in endorsing.
Republic of Zimbabwe Vice President Joice Mujuru. She has encouraged students to seek excellence in education., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Use alternative energy sources: VP Mujuru
December 7, 2013
Peter Matambanadzo in Mt Darwin
Vice President Joice Mujuru has urged urban and rural communities to use alternative energy sources — among them solar, gas and coal — to reduce deforestation.
She was addressing villagers, environment activists and Government officials at Ambuya Jessie Mugari’s homestead in Nhongo village, Mt Darwin South ahead of the National Tree Planting Day to be commemorated today (Saturday).
“Trees are life and we should look after them and other natural resources.
“Our people should use alternative energy sources like solar, coal and even gas that do not harm our environment,” she said.
She urged communities to consider planting fruit trees as they generated income.
Cde Mujuru castigated non-governmental organisations that sourced funds on the pretext of assisting poor communities in Africa but converted the money to personal use.
Mashonaland Central Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Advocate Martin Dinha said Government should introduce a policy to ban the use of firewood to cure tobacco.
“The cost of destruction of trees is alarming.
“The remedy is to increase by 100-fold the rate of replacing trees,” Adv Dinha said.
“There is also a need for a policy directive to prohibit all tobacco farmers from using firewood when curing their tobacco.
“They should use coal.”
Environment, Water and Climate Change Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said all tobacco farmers should use alternative energy sources and issuing of firewood permits should be stopped forthwith.
Cde Kasukuwere said his ministry was targeting to plant at least 10 million trees this year and urged the Forestry Commission to give trees for free to encourage reforestation.
He said the Forestry Commission was selling a tree for US$3, which could spark affordability challenges.
Friends of the Environment chairman Mr Tendai Kandyanda, said Zimbabwe was losing about 330 hectares of forest annually and urged communities to participate in tree planting.
He said his organisation was targeting to plant at least 7 500 trees at Ambuya Mugari house, who is Cde Mujuru’s mother, before planting 22 000 trees in Mashonaland Central province.
The tree-planting function was attended by 200 people who participated in the annual 500 million trees Walk from Harare to Mt Darwin, a distance of 175km.
The walk was aimed at raising awareness on the importance of tree planting and avoiding deforestation.
The inaugural walkathon was held in 2010 and was from Gweru to Harare, a distance of 280km.
Jacob Zuma, Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki in 2008 honoring the 90th birthday of Mandela. Zuma was inaugurated as president of South Africa on May 9, 2009., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Nelson Mandela, from apartheid fighter to president and unifier
Reuters, Friday 6 Dec 2013
Nelson Mandela guided South Africa from the shackles of apartheid to multi-racial democracy, as an icon of peace and reconciliation who came to embody the struggle for justice around the world.
Imprisoned for nearly three decades for his fight against white minority rule, Mandela emerged determined to use his prestige and charisma to bring down apartheid while avoiding a civil war.
"The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come," Mandela said in his acceptance speech on becoming South Africa's first black president in 1994.
"We have, at last, achieved our political emancipation."
In 1993, Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, an honor he shared with F.W. de Klerk, the white Afrikaner leader who freed him from prison three years earlier and negotiated the end of apartheid.
Mandela went on to play a prominent role on the world stage as an advocate of human dignity in the face of challenges ranging from political repression to AIDS.
He formally left public life in June 2004 before his 86th birthday, telling his adoring countrymen: "Don't call me. I'll call you". But he remained one of the world's most revered public figures, combining celebrity sparkle with an unwavering message of freedom, respect and human rights.
Whether defending himself at his own treason trial in 1963 or addressing world leaders years later as a greying elder statesman, he radiated an image of moral rectitude expressed in measured tones, often leavened by a mischievous humor.
"He is at the epicenter of our time, ours in South Africa, and yours, wherever you are," Nadine Gordimer, the South African writer and Nobel Laureate for Literature, once remarked.
Mandela's years behind bars made him the world's most celebrated political prisoner and a leader of mythic stature for millions of black South Africans and other oppressed people far beyond his country's borders.
Charged with capital offences in the 1963 Rivonia Trial, his statement from the dock was his political testimony.
"During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination.
"I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities," he told the court.
"It is an ideal I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."
Destined to lead
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, destined to lead as the son of the chief councilor to the paramount chief of the Thembu people in Transkei.
He chose to devote his life to the fight against white domination. He studied at Fort Hare University, an elite black college, but left in 1940 short of completing his studies and became involved with the African National Congress (ANC), founding its Youth League in 1944 with Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu.
Mandela worked as a law clerk then became a lawyer who ran one of the few practices that served blacks.
In 1952 he and others were charged for violating the Suppression of Communism Act but their nine-month sentence was suspended for two years.
Mandela was among the first to advocate armed resistance to apartheid, going underground in 1961 to form the ANC's armed wing, Umkhonto weSizwe, or 'Spear of the Nation' in Zulu.
He left South Africa and travelled the continent and Europe, studying guerrilla warfare and building support for the ANC.
After his return in 1962, Mandela was arrested and sentenced to five years for incitement and illegally leaving the country. While serving that sentence, he was charged with sabotage and plotting to overthrow the government along with other anti-apartheid leaders in the Rivonia Trial.
Branded a terrorist by his enemies, Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964, isolated from millions of his countrymen as they suffered oppression, violence and forced resettlement under the apartheid regime of racial segregation.
He was incarcerated on Robben Island, a penal colony off Cape Town, where he would spend the next 18 years before being moved to mainland prisons.
He was behind bars when an uprising broke out in the huge township of Soweto in 1976 and when others erupted in violence in the 1980s. But when the regime realized it was time to negotiate, it was Mandela to whom it turned.
In his later years in prison, he met President P.W. Botha and his successor de Klerk.
When he was released on February 11, 1990, walking away from the Victor Verster prison hand-in-hand with his wife Winnie, the event was watched live by television viewers across the world.
"As I finally walked through those gates ... I felt even at the age of 71 that my life was beginning anew. My 10,000 days of imprisonment were at last over," Mandela wrote of that day.
Elections and reconciliation
In the next four years, thousands of people died in political violence. Most were blacks killed in fighting between ANC supporters and Zulus loyal to Mangosuthu Buthelezi's Inkatha Freedom Party, although right-wing whites also staged violent actions to upset the moves towards democracy.
Mandela prevented a racial explosion after the murder of popular Communist Party leader Chris Hani by a white assassin in 1993, appealing for calm in a national television address. That same year, he and de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Talks between the ANC and the government began in 1991, leading to South Africa's first all-race elections on April 27, 1994.
The run-up to the vote was marred by fighting, including gun battles in Johannesburg townships and virtual war in the Zulu stronghold of KwaZulu Natal.
But Mandela campaigned across the country, enthralling adoring crowds of blacks and wooing whites with assurances that there was a place for them in the new South Africa.
The election result was never in doubt and his inauguration in Pretoria on May 10, 1994, was a celebration of a peoples' freedom.
Mandela made reconciliation the theme of his presidency. He took tea with his former jailers and won over many whites when he donned the jersey of South Africa's national rugby team - once a symbol of white supremacy - at the final of the World Cup in 1995 at Johannesburg's Ellis Park stadium.
The hallmark of Mandela's mission was the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which investigated apartheid crimes on both sides and tried to heal the wounds. It also provided a model for other countries torn by civil strife.
In 1999, Mandela, often criticized for having a woolly grasp of economics, handed over to younger leaders - a voluntary departure from power cited as an example to long-ruling African leaders.
A restful retirement was not on the cards as Mandela shifted his energies to fighting South Africa's AIDS crisis.
He spoke against the stigma surrounding the infection, while successor Thabo Mbeki was accused of failing to comprehend the extent of the crisis.
The fight became personal in early 2005 when Mandela lost his only surviving son to the disease.
But the stress of his long struggle contributed to the break-up of his marriage to equally fierce anti-apartheid campaigner Winnie.
The country shared the pain of their divorce in 1996 before watching his courtship of Graca Machel, widow of Mozambican President Samora Machel, whom he married on his 80th birthday in 1998.
Friends adored "Madiba", the clan name by which he is known.
People lauded his humanity, kindness, attention and dignity.
Unable to shake the habits of prison, Mandela rose daily between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. to exercise and read. He drank little and was a fervent anti-smoker.
An amateur boxer in his younger days, Mandela often said the discipline and tactics drawn from training helped him to endure prison and the political battles after his release.
But prison and old age took their toll on his health.
Mandela was treated in the 1980s for tuberculosis and later required an operation to repair damage to his eyes as well as treatment for prostate cancer in 2001. His spirit, however, remained strong.
"If cancer wins I will still be the better winner," he told reporters in September of that year. "When I go to the next world, the first thing I will do is look for an ANC office to renew my membership."
Most South Africans are proud of their post-apartheid multi-racial 'Rainbow Nation'.
But Mandela's legacy of tolerance and reconciliation has been threatened in recent years by squabbling between factions in the ANC and social tensions in a country that, despite its political liberation, still suffers great inequalities.
Mandela's last major appearance on the global stage came in 2010 when he donned a fur cap in the South African winter and rode on a golf cart, waving to an exuberant crowd of 90,000 at the soccer World Cup final, one of the biggest events in the country's post-apartheid history.
"I leave it to the public to decide how they should remember me," he said on South African television before his retirement.
"But I should like to be remembered as an ordinary South African who together with others has made his humble contribution."
Egyptian Doctors at Syndicate of Doctors in Egypt. They are threatening to strike in January 2014., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Egyptian doctors' syndicate announces partial strike in January
Ahram Online, Friday 6 Dec 2013
The Egyptian doctors syndicate met on Friday, agreeing to begin a partial strike in January 2014 amid political arguments between Muslim Brotherhood doctors and independent doctors over postponing elections
The general assembly of the Egyptian doctors' syndicate announced on Friday a call for a partial strike beginning in January 2014 to protest the government's delay in increasing doctors' minimum wages.
The general assembly agreed that the newly elected assembly to be voted in on Friday at the semi-annual elections will determine the details and duration of the partial strike.
The syndicate's assembly meeting also witnessed tense arguments between Muslim Brotherhood doctors and independent doctors. The scuffles erupted when Brotherhood attendees insisted the elections be postponed until detained members are released.
180 doctors from the Brotherhood, including the syndicate's former general secretary Dr. Gamal Abdel Salam, have been detained since July 2013. Security cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood since the dispersal of two Cairo sit-ins on 14 August demanding the reinstatement of ousted president Mohamed Morsi. Thousands of Brotherhood members were arrested.
The assembly agreed to address the prosecutor general to arrange the detained doctors' release, but refused to postpone the elections, which will take place next Friday as scheduled.
Since 2011 the doctors' syndicate has consistently demanded an increase in doctors' minimum wages at a national level.
The first nationwide doctors strike was in May 2011, covering most public hospitals and several university hospitals. The strikers demands included increasing doctors' minimum wages and raising the national health budget from 3.5% to 15%.
The syndicate also initiated a partial strike from October 2012 to March 2013 to put pressure on the government to meet their demands for increased wages and improved working conditions, particularly for doctors working in the public sector.
In October, the Egyptian government announced that LE 1,800 would be the minimum starting salary for doctors beginning in January 2014, but the doctors' syndicate maintained that this was not an adequate minimum wage for medical professionals.
Al-Fustat in southern Cairo, Egypt. The military-backed government says it may be designated for "peaceful" protests., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
New protest venue designated to host no-notice Cairo demonstrations
MENA and Ahram Online , Friday 6 Dec 2013
Following a newly enacted protest law mandating that all protests be approved by police authorities, Cairo Governor has allocated parts of a garden in southern Cairo to host peaceful demonstrations without prior notification
On Friday, Cairo Governor Galal Mostafa designated a space of 20 fedans (84,000 square metres) in Al-Fustat Garden in Old Cairo for peaceful demonstrations, marches or general meetings that have not been preauthorised, as Egypt's new protest law requires.
According to state-owned news agency MENA, security forces will ensure the safety of citizens protesting in this newly allocated venue.
The interior pathways of the park have been paved, and efforts have been made to ensure the park has all of the necessary facilities for protesters. Protesters entering the garden's southern gate will not be asked to pay for entry tickets.
According to Egypt's recently enacted protest law, demonstrators must submit an application for any planned protests to the authorities at least three days prior to the event. Failure to do so will result in heavy fines or jail sentences.
However, Article 15 of the protest law states that “protests in specifically designated venues will be allowed without prior notification. Such spaces will be defined by the governor."
Tens of protesters have been detained since interim president Adly Mansour issued the law on 24 November.
Two weeks ago, 52 activists were arrested for their participation in unauthorised protests against military trials for civilians. Last Friday, at least 183 Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested for "conducting unauthorised protests and blocking roads" during anti-government demonstrations.
Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi has stressed that the law is vital to protecting the safety of citizens and protesters.