Daily compilation of news that broke today on the African continent by Kyle Beaulieu
Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged Kenyan leaders to pass the draft constitution on Tuesday. Annan, who was a key mediator during the election violence in 2007, praised President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga and all MPs for passing the draft constitution. He said it should now be put in the hands of the Kenyan people.
The Daily Nation reports that ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo will face a lot of opposition when he tries to investigate activities carried out by the Kenyan army and police during the election violence of 2007. The activities of the army and police have traditionally been kept out of public criticism. Kenya’s defense assistant minister said the army would not be a part of investigations, although by law Kenya is obliged to cooperate with the investigations.
South Sudan’s main party has now said that it will boycott elections in the majority of northern states. The SPLM made the decision based on irregularities gathering voters for the elections.
Over 200 protesters marched through central Cairo yesterday demanding an end to President Hosni Mubarak’s rule. Some protestors were beaten or many others were dragged away by riot police. Presidential elections are in 2011.
The sectarian clashes in Jos, Nigeria continued this week. Three people died and a number of people were injured in clashes between Christian and Muslim gangs.
The United States wants Nigeria’s Independent National Election chairman, Maurice Iwu, to be replaced before the 2011 elections. He has been blamed for irregularities and fraud in the 2007 elections. “US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson said Mr Iwu was incapable of organising a credible election.”
The Red Cross is nearly tripling its aid to Niger and Mali to deal with the rising food shortages from drought. The aid is intented for about 100,000 of the hardest hit people. Mali and Niger governments together estimate about 8.2 million people in the region are suffering from some degree of food shortages.
South African police had to hold back and separate about 200 AMB supporters and a group of black workers outside the trail of Terre’Blanche’s killers. There was no violence, just an exchange of apartheid-era and post-apartheid-era anthems. The accused were charged with murder, robbery, housebreaking, and criminal injuria—for pulling down Terre’Blanche’s pants after he was murdered. The court date has been set for April 14. The accused have yet to plead.
Nobel Prize winner Mohammad Yunus, who is considered the founder of microcredit loans by many, told an audience in Kenya yesterday that African bank laws are severely limiting the microcredit potential. The “banker for the poor” argued that these laws are holding back loans to Africa’s poor.