Friday, 31 August 2012

Gambia rejects calls to halt death row executions as Kenya seizes drugs from Tanzania

Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- The Gambian government on Thursday rejected calls of foreign countries to halt all death row executions, saying domestic law of sovereign states must be respected.
Gambia President Yahya Jammeh

Njoko Bah, Gambia's head of civil servants and minister of presidential affairs, said in Banjul in talks with foreign diplomats that every sovereign state has its own laws, which may be different from those of other countries. "The sentences were in due compliance of Gambian laws since they were taken to the competent court jurisdiction," Bah said.
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh came under attack Tuesday for sending nine prisoners to the firing squad on Sunday night. He also planned to execute the other 38 convicts on death row by mid-September to curb crimes, which raised concerns from the African Union and rights groups.In the talks, representatives from other countries and international institutions urged the Gambian government to halt further executions. "We want to make sure that the government of Gambia halts the execution of the remaining death row inmates," said British High Commission in Banjul David Monley.In response, Lamin Jobarteh, Gambian attorney general and minister of justice, said Gambia, like many other countries, carried out death penalty for capital offenses, adding that the convicts had legal rights to appeal. Although the death penalty is legal in the West African country, no prisoners had been put to death since 1985 until this week
 Kenya authorities Thursday seized bhang (marijuana) worth 115,000 U.S. dollars along the border with Tanzania.

And Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA)  has seized bhang worth 115 000 USD from Tanzania.The 31 sacks of the drug was seized by the police at the Namanga border in an operation that saw the driver of the truck escape the police dragnet. "The officers were on a routine inspection of the truck when they found the bhang concealed in one of the truck's compartments, " KRA spokesman Kennedy Onyonyi said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

Onyonyi said the police have launched a major manhunt for the truck driver as the authorities tighten security at the border to avert future incidents of drug trafficking from Tanzania which is seen as the source of the drug being consumed in Kenya.The police said the bhang weighing 960 kg was concealed in a vehicle which was headed to Nairobi along the Namanga-Kajiado highway. Divisional police commander Stephen Nyatich said cases of transportation of bhang from Tanzania to Kenya was on the rise and vowed to ensure that the trade is curbed.

Nyatich said they will work with their Tanzanian counterparts to fight those engaging in the illegal trade whose market is easily found in Kenya.Drug abuse in the East African nation is widespread with most users said to be in Nairobi and Mombasa. The problem has pervaded all spheres of the society. However, most of those affected are young people. In the recent past, several people have been arrested at Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport while ferrying drugs worth millions of shillings from different destinations.UN reports indicate that most traffickers use Kenya as a transit point. Drugs pass through the country en-route to other African countries, Asia and America.    Drug abuse has been blamed for aiding in the increase of the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country, particularly where users share needles while injecting themselves. (Xinhua)

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