Thursday, April 01, 2004

I see that the French has agreed to secure Abidjan. According to Reuters, France agreed to help Ivory Coast secure its main city, Abidjan, where dozens of people were killed after security forces cracked down on an attempted opposition rally last week, the government said Thursday. "The president of the [Ivorian] republic, in agreement with the prime minister ... has asked France and (West African peacekeepers) Miceci to help the defense and security forces assure security in Abidjan with mixed patrols," said Martin Bleou, Ivory Coast’s minister for internal security. Yea, this is a brilliant idea. Especially considering all the anti-French frenzy whipped up particularly by partisans of... the president of the Ivorian republic.

The Nigerian federal government has live foreign news from being re-broadcast on the country’s domestic stations. Nigeria's Broadcasting Commission chief Dr Silas Babajiya Yisa said foreign live broadcasts could harm Nigeria's national interest. This comes only a year after the Obasanjo government warned that it will prosecute any foreign journalist who publishes malicious falsehoods about the country. No word if the government will take any action on the corruption allegations, the article on which prompted the outburst.

Does male circumcision cut the risk of AIDS? Apparently, according to research published in the British medical journal The Lancet. The BBC reports Men who have been circumcised may be six times less likely to contract the HIV virus than uncircumcised men, research carried out in India suggests. The study... says that the thin foreskin tissue could be highly prone to HIV infection.

Global Witness has issued a report calling for increased transparency in the oil, mining and gas revenues. The British NGO calls for multinational corporations to fully disclose their payments to governments. It concludes: [t]he goal of revenue transparency is fully consistent with the international objectives of accountable government, corruption prevention and democratic debate about issues of resource management. Businesses will benefit too. Requiring transparency would have the effect of protecting companies from allegations of complicity with corrupt governmental practices and of providing a level playing field for competitors. Finally, revenue transparency is a vital first step towards alleviating the crushing poverty of the ordinary citizens in many resource-rich developing countries.


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