Tuesday, December 30, 2003

And South Africa's Daily Mail and Guardian reported on how Bogus Aids cures are flooding Swaziland. Authorities in the tiny mountain kingdom with one of the highest HIV rates in the world are struggling to fight against an influx of "miracle" cures. "In a blink of an eye, it seems, Swazis have gone from deep denial of the existence of Aids to panic as they realise all the people they are burying are not dying of witchcraft. The plethora of Aids 'cures' is a product of that," said Aids activist Thembi Dlamini.

In a surprising remark, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki declared that parties from the ruling NARC coalition are now obsolete. The Kenyan leader said the parties ceased to legally exist when the grand coalition was formed before last year's presidential elections. Needless to say, the theoretically defunct parties are not happy with this announcement and accused President Kibaki of reneging on his pre-election power sharing agreements.

Kenya's Daily Nation also ran a pair of commentaries. In an opinion about why US foreign policy has become baffling. The columnist noted that suspicion of America's global intentions seem to boil down to its policy-makers' inability to appreciate the role of nationalism in other societies. He added Instead of nudging Narc [government coalition] to pass the Freedom of Information Act and the equivalent of the First Amendment to buttress the fight against corruption, the US seems bent on taking away citizens' liberties as the price for fighting terror.

An editorial in the same paper complained that American diplomacy was becoming too heavy-handed. The paper noted the US is yet to deliver Kenya's share of the US-sponsored $100 million intended to benefit five East African countries. All that the US has done is to issue numerous travel advisories that end up badly damaging Kenya's economy. This has been made worse by the US pegging its support on Kenya passing anti-terror laws that will inevitably whittle away all our hard-earned civil liberties.

Eritrea has been condemned as the region's troublemaker by leaders of Ethiopia, Sudan and Yemen. The small Horn of Africa country has clashed with neighbor Ethiopia in a bloody two and a half year border war. Eritrea has also skirmished with Yemen over a Red Sea archipelago while Sudan accuses Eritrea of arming and training rebels. Though the three countries denied forming an anti-Eritrea alliance. Not surprisingly, Asmara dismissed accusations of mischief making.

Former Mauritanian leader Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidallah was given a five year suspended sentence for allegedly organizing a coup against the present regime (which overthrew him in a coup two decades ago).


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