Thursday, January 29, 2004

The most disturbing story of the day is the report that Nigeria is seeking ballistic missles from North Korea. The BBC reports Nigeria has admitted it wants to develop a ballistic missile capability and has been in talks with North Korea. A spokesman told the BBC they had been offered missile technology by North Korea but nothing had yet been signed. Talks between Nigeria's Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and North Korean counterpart Yang Hyong-sop have been talking place in Abuja.

The UN's IRIN service notes that Security situation in the north and east of Uganda is still volatile. A long civil war lead by the so-called Lord's Resistance Army, one of the most savage rebel groups in the world, has devastated the region. "You are talking about 1.3 million people living in camps without adequate sanitation and water, of people who are maimed, abducted and raped - let alone the risks of HIV/AIDS infection - by their own people," said Daouda Toure said at the launch of a new book by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) highlighting the northern Uganda crisis. Toure is UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Uganda. "You are talking of children who run away from their homes every night to sleep in corridors of buildings in town without shelter over their heads."

Although the fight against blood diamonds has been resisted by some in the industry, the Bostwana government has been one of its most energetic participants. The Botswana government, anxious to protect its diamond industry from the taint of conflict diamonds, has been an energetic supporter of the Kimberly process, aimed at stamping out the unofficial trafficking in the lucrative gems. A global certification system, identifying the origin of all rough diamonds, is the cornerstone of the Kimberley process. Sixty countries involved in the production, export and import, and trade in rough diamonds have signed up to the Kimberley agreement, pioneered by South Africa reported IRIN. "We are Kimberely process compliant," Jacob Thamaga, director of mineral affairs in Botswana's Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources. "We have to now look at the issue of sustainability, and to make sure that the process achieves what it was intended to achieve. We will not allow conflict diamonds to infiltrate our system."

Today's African Nations Cup results...
Algeria-Egypt: 2-1 (1-1). A late winner puts Algeria in pole position going into the last round of matches.
Cameroun-Zimbabwe: 5-3 (3-1). A hat trick by Patrick Mboma helped this match set a CAN record for most combined goals in a match.

Yesterday's games
Tunisia-DR Congo: 3-0 (0-0). The hosts go through to the last 8 after Lomana Lua-Lua's controversial sending off dashes Congolese hopes.
Guinea-Rwanda: 1-1 (0-0). Newcomers Rwanda, largely dominated in the match, gain their first ever CAN point with an equalizer at the death preventing Guinea from advancing.

Friday's contests
Senegal-Kenya, 1300 GMT
Burkina Faso-Mali, 1800 GMT


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