Weekly anb06024.txt

WEEKLY NEWS ISSUE of: 02-06-2000      PART #4/7

* Mozambique. Civil Society wants a role in economic policy-making 
-  Mozambicans want their government and the Bretton Woods
institutions to adopt dialogue as a practical way for working out
policies and making decisions on matters of national interest. A
coalition of Mozambican non-governmental organisations, meeting in
Maputo to discuss the country's poverty reduction strategy plan,
has demanded wider participation in discussions on economic policy.
They said that civil society should be consulted in the regular
discussions that the government is obliged to hold with the
International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Talks between the
government and the two institutions have so far been held in a
"very closed" environment, civil society representatives said.
Taking part in a seminar on poverty reduction, held under the aegis
of the Mozambican Debt Group, they said participation of the rest
of the society has been nothing but "symbolic." The Mozambican debt
group comprises representatives of various associations and
religious bodies. Before the two-day seminar closed on 30 May, its
participants observed that views of the civil society were often
ignored. Journalist Carlos Cardoso, editor of an independent
newsheet Metical, suggested that one way in which civil society
could take part in the decision-making process on the economy would
be to transform the tripartite negotiating forum between the
government, employers and trade unions, into a body for economic
debate. He criticised International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World
Bank policies implemented in Mozambique, specifically as regards
the destruction of the cashew processing industry, and the threat
that the same could happen to the sugar industry.   (PANA, Dakar,
30 May 2000)

* Mozambique. Emergency aid report  -  1 June: A new crop and food
supply assessment by the FAO and the World Food Programme, says
that 60,000 mt of emergency food aid was needed for 650,000 people
in flood affected areas and for people in areas which had
experienced crop failures. "Districts that have experienced
significant production losses are generally located along the river
basins, wetlands, mangroves and swamps of southern and central
Mozambique", the assessment noted.   (IRIN, Southern Africa, 1 June

* Namibia. Curfew imposed  -  The Namibian government will impose
an indefinite dusk-to-dawn curfew on the Kavango region in the
northern part of the country, Namibian Defence Force Chief-of-
Staff, Major-General Martin Shali said on 29 May. Addressing the
Media in Windhoek, the Namibian capital, Maj. Gen. Shali said that
the curfew is to come into effect on 1 Jun and warned residents of
the region not to move about during the night as Angolan and
Namibian security forces will secure the border between the two
countries. However, Namibian villagers will during the day be
allowed to draw water from the Kavango river, which forms the
border between Namibia and Angola. Maj. Gen. Shali noted that the
idea behind the curfew is to protect Namibian civilians from acts
of banditry by suspected UNITA rebels coming across the border from
Angola. Kavango region and western Caprivi have born the brunt of
atrocities, allegedly committed by UNITA rebels, ever since the
Namibian government allowed forces of the Angolan government to use
the Namibian soil as a launchpad against UNITA bases inside Angola. 
 (Mwana Bwalya, ANB-BIA, Namibia, 31 May 2000)

* Nigeria. No debt relief  -  The World Bank has ruled out giving
any debt relief to Nigeria, saying only heavily-indebted and poor
countries can enjoy such a facility. The bank's vice president for
Africa, Callisto Madavo, stated the institution's position at a
press conference in Lagos late 24 May, to round off his three-day
visit to Nigeria. "Only Highly Indebted Poor Country members can
enjoy any form of debt relief," he said. The World Bank official
said that though he recognised the seriousness of the debt problem,
the lasting solution to the debt issue was for Nigeria to gain the
confidence of creditors. Even then, Madavo wondered why Nigeria was
giving so much attention to the external debt at the expense of
domestic debt which, he said, was so critical to the economy since
poor service of the debt caused high interest rate, crippled growth
and stunted employment. He offered the bank's assistance to the
country in designing "an effective debt management strategy that
would balance fighting poverty with restoring healthy relations
between Nigeria and the international financial community." Debt
relief, and even outright cancellation, has been a major issue to
the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, which assumed
office on 29 May 1999. Economic experts have argued that servicing
the huge external debt, estimated at between 30 and 32 billion US
dollars, was crippling the government's poverty-alleviation
efforts. On 22 May, the bank granted 80 million dollars credit to
Nigeria to support its universal basic education programme, a water
project and economic management. The credit grant is repayable in
40 years and is at no interest rate. Before travelling to Lagos,
Madavo met with a number of top government officials in Abuja to
discuss the country's economic recovery and the need for an
agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Agreement
with the IMF, it is believed, would encourage other donors to step
up their assistance to Nigeria and to help resolve its external
debt problem. At a meeting with Obasanjo, he stressed the need for
Nigeria to "move on expeditiously on privatisation."   (PANA,
Dakar, 25 May 2000)

* Nigeria. Un an de pouvoir civil  -  Au Nigeria, le pouvoir est
revenu aux mains des civils le 29 mai de l'annee derniere. A
l'occasion du premier anniversaire de son entree en fonction, le
president Obasanjo a pris fortement position contre les massacres
et les affrontements qui ont trouble le pays ces derniers mois.
Lors d'une celebration oecumenique de remerciement, Mgr John
Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, archeveque d'Abuja et president de la
conference episcopale, a evoque aussi les affrontements ethnico-
religieux, disant notamment: "En tant que chretien, je m'attends a
ce que les musulmans vivent selon les preceptes de leur religion,
comme ils l'ont toujours fait. Notre foi chretienne nous oblige a
en faire autant. A ce niveau religieux, la sharia n'est pas un
probleme. Ce sont les politiciens qui, poursuivant des objectifs
politiques douteux, ont decide de manipuler les sentiments
religieux et ils doivent assumer l'entiere responsabilite des
consequences de leurs actes".   (ANB-BIA, de sources diverses, 30
mai 2000)

* Nigeria. Religious and ethnic violence  -  25 May: President
Obasanjo has been holding emergency talks with the governor of
Kaduna, following an outbreak of religious and ethnic violence that
has left at least 100 people dead. Afterwards, the President said
in a nationwide broadcast, that religious disputes were very
dangerous and that he preferred to work quietly behind the scenes
to resolve them. A "mobile tribunal" has been instituted in Kaduna,
with the role of "prosecuting and immediately sentencing all those
responsible for breaking the curfew and for disturbing the peace".
26 May: The funeral of Father Clement Ozi Bello, a young Catholic
priest, killed on 23 May in Kaduna, is held today. 28 May: In a
sermon at an interdenominational Thanksgiving Service on Nigeria's
First Anniversary of the Return to Democracy, Archbishop John
Onaiyekan said that the issue of the Sharia in the legal system of
the nation, whether on the federal or at state level, is still
waiting to be seriously and permanently addressed. There is no
need, indeed it is dangerous, to pretend that the matter is
settled. 29 May: President Obsanjo calls for an end to ethnic and
communal violence. "The bloodletting has got to stop. We are going
to make sure it stops", he said in a national address. 30 May: The
trial of more than 200 persons arrested in connection with the
crisis in Kaduna, starts today. The quick trial is part of the
strategies adopted by the Kaduna State government to prevent a
recurrence of the violence. Sokoto State in northern Nigeria, has
introduced Sharia Law.   (ANB-BIA, Brussels, 31 May 2000)

* Nigeria. World Bank trains journalists on campaign against
corruption  -  A week-long training Workshop for Nigerian senior
editors, on the theme of: "Media Campaign Against Corruption", has
just ended at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
(IITA), Ibadan. It was organised by the World Bank Institute as
part of the efforts being made to support the anti-corruption
policy of Nigeria's present government. The Workshop was sponsored
by the World Bank Institute in collaboration with the West African
Newsmedia and Development Centre (WANAD), the Nigerian Guild of
Editors, and support from the Canadian International development
Agency. The Workshop aimed at training journalists in the art of
gathering sensitive information, so as to expose corrupt practices
of public office holders.   (Taye Babaleye, ANB-BIA, Nigeria, 31
May 2000)

* Rwanda. Justice suisse  -  Le 26 mai, un ancien maire rwandais,
Fulgence Niyonteze, a ete condamne en appel par le tribunal
militaire suisse de Geneve a 14 ans de reclusion criminelle pour
violation des Conventions de Geneve sur le droit de la guerre
durant le genocide au Rwanda. Les juges ont infirme sa condamnation
a la prison a vie en premiere instance, ne retenant pas
l'accusation d'assassinat, de tentative et d'instigation a
l'assassinat, mais seulement les violations contre les civils
commises en temps de guerre et qui tombent sous des Conventions de
Geneve de 1949. Fulgence Niyonteze, 36 ans, a aussi ete condamne a
une peine de 15 ans d'expulsion du territoire suisse, peine qui
prendra effet au moment de sa liberation.   (Le Soir, Belgique, 27
mai 2000)

Weekly ANB0602.txt - End of Part 4/7