Friday, 14 December 2012

Media urged to respect Mandela`s privacy

South Africa's presidency has urged the media to respect former president Nelson Mandela's privacy as he receives treatment for a lung infection at a Pretoria hospital.
The Presidency made the statement on Thursday as crowds of reporters camped outside the 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria to get the first-hand information about Mandela's condition.  Mandela has been hospitalized since Dec. 8. Athough the government has never identified the hospital where Mandela is staying, the media have focused their attention on the 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria."We have noted media speculation about the hospital at which former President Mandela may be receiving medical attention," the Presidency said in a statement."Mandela is being treated at a Pretoria hospital as said from the first statement we issued," the statement said. "We have refrained from disclosing the hospital in order to ensure privacy and also to allow doctors space to do their work of caring for Madiba without interruptions or undue pressure,"it added.The Presidency said Mandela is being treated for a lung infection and is well-looked after by a competent medical team. "While we understand the interest in the story, we urge the media to respect the former President's privacy." In an earlier statement, the Presidency said doctors had concluded tests on Mandela, and the tests revealed a recurrence of a previous lung infection.  Mandela was being treated accordingly and he was responding to the treatment, the Presidency said.

This is not the first time that Mandela was hospitalized in the past two years. In January 2011, he was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital for an acute respiratory infection. In February this year, he spent a night in a hospital for a minor diagnostic surgery to determine the cause of an abdominal complain. Mandela turned 94 on July 18 this year. His health has been a focus of concern.  Mandela, who was imprisoned for 27 years during apartheid, was elected the country's first black president in 1994.

Meanwhile President  Jacob Zuma on Thursday unveiled a giant statue of former president Nelson Mandela, paying tribute to Mandela's contribution to "a united, non-racial, non sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa."

The statue was unveiled on Naval Hill in Bloemfontain as Mandela was receiving medical treatment for a lung infection at a Pretoria hospital. Zuma described the statue as a tribute to a tortuous path the South African people traveled from oppression, through the struggle for liberation, to democracy in 1994 and to the progress being made to undo the legacy of many years of oppression, injustice and indignity for the majority of South Africans. "The statue is our efforts to strengthen reconciliation, nation building, social cohesion and national healing that Madiba always stood for in all his life.Guided by the mandate of the African National Congress (ANC) to seek and work for equal rights and opportunities for all South Africans."

Mandela has made it his life's work to lead and guide the people out of oppression, discrimination and economic suffering, Zuma said. Mandela is a humble person; a principled leader whose life of selfless dedication to the cause of equality, freedom and dignity for all continues to be a source of inspiration to all South Africans and indeed to all of humanity, said Zuma. The statue stands seven meters high, towering above the landscape overlooking Bloemfontein whose name has been changed to Mangaung.   On Mandela's conditions, Zuma said Mandela remains in a Pretoria hospital where he is being treated for a lung infection. "We have assured him of the love and support of all South Africans during his hospitalization," Zuma said. (Xinhua)

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Mali PM resigns as Mandela is reported to be suffering from lung infection

Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra of the transitional Malian government announced resignation and dissolved the cabinet early Tuesday, state TV reported.
Announcing his resignation on TV earlier Tuesday, Diarra said, "I apologize to all Malians who suffer because of the crisis." He also expressed thanks to all the ministers of his government and their employees. He said he wished success to the new full government which will be formed. The PM's resignation followed his arrest by the military. .
Military sources said Diarra was arrested earlier Tuesday by troops supportive of ex-coup leader Amadou Sanogo.
The prime minister was preparing to travel to Paris late Monday for medical examination when he was detained, the sources added.
Diarra, who had been acting prime minister since April, had called for international military intervention in northern Mali, which has been run by rebels since June.

Former South African president Nelson Mandela has suffered a recurrence of a previous lung infection and is receiving appropriate treatment, the Presidency said on Tuesday.
"Doctors have concluded the tests, and these have revealed a recurrence of a previous lung infection, for which Madiba is receiving appropriate treatment and he is responding to the treatment," the Presidency said.
"President (Jacob) Zuma thanks the public for continuous support to former president Mandela and his family at this time," it said.
Mandela, 94, remains at 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria, where he was admitted on Saturday for medical tests. The public had been anxiously awaiting word on his conditions.
In response to public concern, the Presidency said on Monday that there was no cause for alarm over his health.
"As said before, former President Mandela will receive medical attention from time to time which is consistent with his age," the Presidency said on the day Mandela was admitted to the hospital.
On Sunday morning, Zuma visited Mandela and found him "comfortable, and in good care." Zuma said there was no need to panic as Mandela was doing well.
This is not the first time that Mandela was hospitalized in the past two years. In January 2011, he was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital for an acute respiratory infection. In February this year, he spent a night in a hospital for a minor diagnostic surgery to determine the cause of an abdominal complain.
Mandela, who was imprisoned for 27 years during apartheid, was elected the country's first black president in 1994. (Xinhua)

Somali Defense Minister visits Jowhar city

Minister of Defense of the Somali Federal Government, Abdulhakim Haji Fiqi, and other top military officials of the Somalia and the African Union Peacekeeping Forces on Monday paid a short visit to the latest frontlines in middle Shabelle region including Jowhar city where the militant group of al Shabaab was removed a day before.
Defense minister of the Somali Federal Government, Abdulhalkim Haji Mohamud Fiqi said on the line that they were pleased to reach Jowhar, saying that national chief commander and AU commander were accompanying him there.
The defense minister Fiqi said that people in Jowhar city are happy with their visit and welcomed the operation against al Shabaab. The minister added that the operation would continue and would connect the road that links the capital to the central regions of Somalia, saying Bula-burte in Hiiraan region which the militants currently control is their next target.
Meanwhile reports from lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia say that an outbreak of diarrhea has erupted in different small communities in the region. The outbreak of diarrhea is reported in communities like Dudumo gadud, Madax Marodi, Sahan weyn, Saha Yarey and other larger communities like Yaqbari weyne and Yaqdomar all in the lower Shabelle region.
Residents in those parts of the province who spoke to Shabelle Media Network say the outbreak is possibly related to the extreme warm weather which comes at this time of the season.

AMISOM committed to protection of human rights

As the world marks International Human Rights Day, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Mr. Mohamat Annadif, has reiterated AMISOM’s commitment to the protection of the rights the Somali people.

“A secure environment free of hunger, violence and intimidation is a necessary precondition for the full enjoyment of human rights. AMISOM is today helping the Somali government and security forces create such an environment within Somalia and to confront those who would wish to deny freedom and liberty to the Somali people,” he said.
“As it does so, AMISOM is cognisant of the need to minimize the impact of its operations on the civilian populace. The Mission continuously conducts pre-deployment and in-theatre training for its troops on the relevant aspects of International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law. We have also implemented a policy on the use of Indirect Fire Weapons which includes strict no-fire zones in areas with concentrations of civilians,” he added.
Mr.Annadif also noted that AMISOM was working to improve awareness and understanding of human rights within the Somali security forces. “Respect for human rights is a fundamental aspect of our training efforts as we work to build up the capacity of the Somali national security forces,” he said.
He condemned the targeted assassinations of journalists in Mogadishu saying that AMISOM was working with the Somali Police Force to improve security and to give the police the tools to catch those responsible. “AMISOM deplores the unlawful killing of any person in Somalia. Our focus is to enhance the capacity of SPF and enable it to serve and protect every citizen,” he said.-Source AMISOM

Monday, 10 December 2012

Egypt`s President Morsi approves extra taxes on Beer,alcohol,cigarette and Soda

Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi on Sunday approved  extra taxes on beer, alcohol, cigarette and soda.

The tax hikes are included in Law No. 102 for the year 2012 issued by Morsi, which amended some provisions of the General Tax Law No. 11 for the year 1991. According to new amendments, the tax hike is 50 percent for cigarette, 25 percent for soda, 200 percent for beer, 150 percent for alcohol and 150 percent for tobacco."The amendments are part of the government commitment to the reform program agreed upon with the International Monetary Fund to get a loan of 4.8 billion U.S. dollars," Ehab al-Desouki, head of Economic Research Center of Sadat Academy, told Xinhua. "The decision is right but the timing is wrong," al-Desouki added, citing that the tax hikes are imposed on commodities that are actually bad for health, "but they come at a time of tension, turmoil and protests."

Morsi's Nov. 22 constitutional declaration, which aimed at expanding the president's powers by making all his decrees issued since he came into office final and above judicial appeal, triggered waves of protests nationwide and deadly clashes between his opponents and supporters. The outraged judiciary authorities have vowed not to supervise the constitution referendum slated for Dec. 15.  (Xinhua)