Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"Pregnant" man fined for faking certificate, Gaddafi in Nigeria airport drama.

Charles Sibindana, of Johannesburg stole a certificate from a clinic where his pregnant girlfriend was doing her regular check up and altered a few details and made it look like he needed time off work for maternity leave reasons. Obviously unaware that only women can take that kind of time off, he just went off for a seven day leave. His employers became suspicious and started investigating the matter. The issue ended up in court and magistrate Bruno Van Eeden warned Mr Sibindana "not to walk around faking sick letters from gynaecologists". Hilarious!!

On other African matters, Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has been involved in a diplomatic incident as he arrived in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, for a summit. Foreign ministers from Africa and Latin America have been preparing for the summit which starts on Thursday.

Apparently the very heavily guarded leader arrived with 200 of his personal all female bodyguards and they wouldn't hand in their weapons as required by Nigerian security policies. Only when Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo intervened did the bodyguards agree to hand in their weapons. Colonel Gaddafi had just started walking...off towards the capital Abuja, on foot, intending to walk about 25 miles. Talk about storming off!!

Rwanda cuts ties with France.

The last couple of weeks have been the most heated as a result of Judge Jean Louis Bruguière's accusations of Rwandese officials. Rwanda halted diplomatic ties with France on Friday and recalled its ambassador to Paris. As some may already know, France and Rwanda's relations have been anything but smooth ever since the 1994 genocide that left about a million people dead in just a hundred days. France had a very close and tight partnership with the the former regime (the one that actually carried out the killings) and openly and publicly trained and armed its militias. France even attempted to stop the RPF (Rwandese Patriotic Front, which managed to put a stop on the genocide, all under the international community's watchful eye) from chasing out the killers by posing under the umbrella of a humanitarian force but the real intentions were to harbor and provide a quick and safe exit to those responsible for planning and carrying out the killings.

Ever since the country regained its sovereignty, it has tried to spark western interests and investments back into the country. Which so far seems to be working, at least up until Judge Bruguière decided to call for President Kagame to be tried for alleged complicity in the killing of the former head of state Juvénal Habyarimana. The assassination of whom triggered the genocide. Judge Bruguière says that the families of that plane's crew, being french, filed a case in France in 1998 and Judge Bruguière issued warrants for the arrest of nine aides of the Rwandan leader and himself over the killing.

The situation has now escalated and Rwanda has taken off the air Radio France Internationale and stopped all activities of French state institutions, including the French international school, Ecole Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and the Centre Culturel Franco-Rwandais. The French ambassador left Kigali on Saturday, and all other French agencies had until late Monday to close and evacuate their staff.

Paul Kagame, the Rwandese President said in a radio interview that:"Le monde aujourd’hui est à un stade où les puissants n’ont pas forcément raison comme se fut le cas à une époque." Basically he said that the world today isn't a place where the almighty is right all the time as it used to be. And by almighty he means superpowers.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

France to investigate Rwandan accusations.

About 105 classified documents will be put forth for investigation by a magistrate after claims that French troops were complicit in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Four Tutsi survivors, aged between 25 and 39 have brought their case against the French military in the French courts.

Among the charges, rape, murder and complicity are cited, but France has always denied any involvement since the days of former French head of state, François Mitterand. Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie took the decision on the recommendation of France's defence secrets commission.

French troops were sent to Rwanda as part of a United Nations humanitarian force but failed to stop the massacres, and since they were stationed in the south west part of the country, all they managed to do was to give safe haven to the fleeing murderers. Another accusation vividly denied by France.

After hearing testimony from witnesses, the Rwandan panel will rule on whether to file a suit at the International Court of Justice, BBC online reports.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Unicef to launch web game in SWAHILI to tackle AIDS.

The United Nations children's agency (Unicef) has launched the first computer game in Swahili. "Ungefanyaje" which means "what would you do" in Swahili, is aimed at halting the spread of the virus amongst young adults and since it's a virtual game, it takes them through various scenarios explaining how the virus works, spreads, and the methods available to halt and prevent it.

The Unicef estimates that aproximately 80% of young adults do not know how to properly protect themselves from the disease, hell, the South African presidential candidate, Mr Zuma, once confessed to have taken a shower after having unprotected sex with an HIV+ woman, to "lower" the chances of contracting the virus.

In the Unicef game, players choose from different options as two male and two female characters embark on relationships and the game is set up in swahili which is a language spoken by more than 100 million people from North East Africa all the way down to South East Africa.