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From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Sun, 19 Jan 2003 09:59:23 -0800


All Africa News Agency
TEL: (254 2) 442215 FAX: (254 2)445847/443241

AANA Bulletin
Editor - Mitch Odero

Bulletin APTA
Acting Editor - Silvie Alemba



Khartoum Govt Deals A Major Blow To Peace Talks

NAIROBI (AANA) January 20 - Sudanese peace talks last week hit a snag when 
Sudan government introduced new conditions at the eleventh hour.

The talks, which were due to resume on January 15 could not take off as 
Khartoum insisted on changes regarding mediation.

Well-connected sources told AANA that Khartoum wanted a shift from IGAD 
(Inter-governmental Authority on Development) mediation, stressing that 
they would rather the Kenya government steered the process and not IGAD.

It could not be confirmed why Khartoum was introducing fresh conditions, 
which appeared could stall the peace negotiations.

Asked for comment, Special Envoy to IGAD, Lieutenant General Lazaro 
Sumbeiwyo, said "There is nothing to say".

He was evidently stressed after what appeared to have been a crucial 
telephone conversation, where he was overheard saying: "These are the same 
people who want their problems solved, and they are the same ones again who 
are dictating who should broker the talks."

Envoys from the Troika governments - Britain, Norway and United States had 
arrived at the meeting venue in time to observe the resumption of the 
talks.	The discussions had last November been postponed to allow 
participants time for the December festive season.

Kenya's foreign affairs minister, Kalonzo Musyoka, appeared at the venue, 
set to open the talks. The SPLM/A delegation showed up in time for the 
meeting, but the government delegation was prominently absent.

The Sudan Ambassador Mr Ali Numeiri, claimed the government had not 
received an invitation to the meeting. "Until this very moment, on this 
very day, the 15th of January, our delegation in Khartoum is still awaiting 
an invitation," he said in a press statement.

But IGAD sources confirmed to AANA that the parties involved had been 
invited in good time.

As we were going to press last week, the date for a scheduled meeting had 
not been confirmed.

Speaking to AANA, the Sudan embassy spokesperson, Osama Mahgoub, said the 
government was working out a new proposal for the next round of talks, and 
that it would continue to be in contact with the mediator (IGAD).

The venue was changed from Machakos to a different location within the 
suburbs of Nairobi.

IGAD has been involved in the Sudan peace initiative for the last decade, 
during which Kenya's former president Daniel Arap Moi chaired the talks.

It was expected that among the items on the agenda would be an appointment 
of a new chairman.

United States was understood to have issued conditions to Khartoum 
government last year that the peace process must be completed early this 
year, or otherwise it would take drastic action.

The directive seems to have added impetus to the peace talks last year, 
enabling the Machakos 1 and Machakos 2 processes to be accomplished.

Concerned circles recalled that the only peace Sudan has ever had was after 
the Addis Ababa peace pact brokered by the All Africa Conference of 
Churches (AACC) jointly with the World Council of Churches (WCC), which 
provided a peace reprieve from 1972 to 1983.

Accordingly, some of the concerned parties were suggesting that AACC/WCC 
should come aboard once again in search for peace in the Sudan.

There have been calls from the civil society, churches and other armed 
groups in the Sudan seeking to be involved in the peace process.  They 
contend that leaving the process to only two parties is a gamble that 
cannot be relied upon.

The calls were made during a meeting in Kampala, Uganda, last year. The 
meeting had been organised by the New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC).

Reported by Joyce Mulama

UN Team Investigates Alleged Acts Of Cannibalism

NORTH KIVU, DRC (AANA) January 20 -   A six-man team from the United 
Nations sent to North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo 
(DRC) to investigate alleged cases of cannibalism has completed its

The team concentrated more in Beni region, where rebels aligned to the 
Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC) and its ally, Rally for 
Congolese Democracy-National (RCD-N), had been accused of "eating" pygmies.

Beni area is said to be currently accommodating between 80,000 and 120,000 
internally displaced persons.

Bishop Melchise Sikuli Paluku of Beni-Butembo  blamed both MLC and RCD-N 
for the reported cases of cannibalism in the area.

"Some internally displaced persons had earlier on reported that rebels had 
eaten a number of pygmies, while some people held by the rebels had had 
their own ears, big toes and other parts of their bodies eaten up", Bishop 
Paluku is reported to have told a eucharistic Mass, held in Beni on January

The investigators interrogated more than 200 displaced people, most of whom 
were victims of these violations and had witnessed some cases of summary 

Latest reports indicate that the team has already presented their findings 
directly to the UN Security Council in New York.

Both leaders of the rebel Movements, Mbusa Nyamwisi of the RCD-Kisangani 
and Jean-Pierre Bemba have not condemned the alleged acts but have promised 
to punish those involved

Reported by Clare Mbombo and Elly Wamari

Humanitarian Situation Worsens As Conflict Intensifies

CONAKRY/ABIDJAN (AANA) January 20 - A humanitarian crisis looms in West 
Africa as clashes in the western part of Ivory Coast and recent violations 
of the cease-fire in the north displace an estimated 400,000 persons.

The Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says key 
humanitarian needs in Ivory Coast such as medicines, medical equipment and 
the retention of medical staff in and around the war zones are in a 
critical state.

Hospitals in rebel-held areas are depleted of supplies and lack 
staff.	Food aid is needed in cities such as Bouakh, as well as for 
displaced persons on the move in Daloa, Deukoue and Yamoussoukro.

A joint assessment team from the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and Action 
by Churches Together (ACT-International) in Guinea observed recently that 
incoming refugees from the Ivory Coast experienced psychological and social 
trauma that needed to be addressed.

The team, LWF/ACT Mental Health and Trauma Healing Program in Guinea, 
accordingly said that an emergency counselling service will be established 
at transit camp level for the purpose.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) recently appealed 
to the Ivorian government to protect lives of thousands of displaced 
persons caught up in the current clashes between the government and rebel 

In a communiqui issued in Abidjan on January 7, the UN agency called on the 
Ivorian government to find a new and safe place for thousands of refugees 
living within the 40-kilometre " war zone" in the western side of the

According to the UNHCR, most of the refugees preferred to be transferred to 
Nicla. The camp initially sheltered an estimated 5,000 refugees but the 
number has now swollen to 8,000.

Elke Leidel, LWF Guinea Program Coordinator, however said: "the average 
number of arrivals per week is decreasing," noting that by December 27, 
2002, 3575 refugees were registered by the UNHCR at the border entry points 
into Guinea.

Ivorain refugees are transferred to Nonah transit camp, which as of 30 
December, 2002, had registered 2100 people. Liberians are sheltered in 
Laini camp, which is currently hosting about 7500 refugees.

Meanwhile, fresh information indicate that a new transit centre for the 
displaced persons has been established.

The port of San Pedro, situated about 368 kilometres Southwest of Abidjan, 
will  now offere shelter to  thousands of victims of the Ivorian conflict.

According to some humanitarian sources in San Pedro, many displaced people 
have already arrived at the new transit centre on feet, having fled the 
country's economic capital of Abidjan.

Local authorities and non-governmental organisations are reported to have 
embarked on offering humanitarian assistance, but some sources say that it 
is becoming difficult to avail all the basic needs to the growing numbers 
of the displaced people.

Reported by Diana Mavunduse (ACT Press Officer) and Claire Mbombo

Agencies Team Up To Bring Relief To The Displaced

SHOWA, Ethiopia (AANA) January 20 - A number of humanitarian organisations 
have expressed concern over growing numbers of internally displaced persons 
here, and have stepped in to offer relief aid.

Members of Action by Churches Together (ACT-International) namely Norwegian 
Church Aid (NCA) and Christian Aid, together with their local partner, the 
Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY), are working to bring 
relief to about 34,000 internally displaced people currently living in 
Showa camp.

While Christian Aid is focusing on supplementary feeding and health 
services, the Norwegian Church Aid is assisting mainly in food 
distribution.  "We have to cover a 10 hour journey to reach the Showa camp 
from Addis Ababa," said Arne Saeveraas, NCA country director in a recent 
telephone interview.

The situation in the area has been complicated by the uncertainty created 
by the Ethiopian government, on whether the internally displaced persons 
should be allowed to settle in the area, or sent back.

"We have been in fairly tough negotiations with the state on the future of 
the 34,000 IDPs (internally displaced persons) whose numbers are growing 
daily. We are waiting for their decision, but we will continue to provide 
relief to the people," says Saeveraas.

The Norwegian Development Minister was due to visit Ethiopia some time last 
week.  "We hope that the minister will be able to visit the camp and also 
tackle the issue concerning the IDPs in the area," said Saeveraas.

Meanwhile, ACT, which is a world-wide network of churches and related 
agencies meeting human needs through coordinated  emergency  response, has 
issued an appeal of  US$ 27,030,875 million to bring relief to the 
estimated 6.8 million people affected by drought in Ethiopia.

SOURCE: Diana Mavunduse, ACT Press Officer

Kenya's Education Sector Receives A Major Boost

NAIROBI (AANA) January 20 - Kenya's education sector received a boost last 
week when the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) contributed US 
dollars 2.5 million in support of the government's new policy of free 
primary education.

The UNICEF fund, which will be put to use in the next three months is to 
benefit over 450,000 children and will assist to buy learning material for 
class 1 to 3 in eight districts including Nairobi.

The UN body will also support the government to accelerate efforts 
undertaken in the past year to train 5,000 teachers and participate in the 
improvement of primary school classrooms as well as water and sanitation 

UNICEF has pledged its total support to the Kenyan government initiative of 
free primary education, which has seen some 1.5 million children previously 
out of school turn up to attend classes.

"The new government's education initiative is a milestone and we are 
heartened at the speed with which the government has moved to fulfil its 
election promise and the provisions of the Children's Act," UNICEF 
Representative Nicholas Alipui said in a press statement released on 
January 15.

UNICEF's contribution was announced as a stormy meeting between school 
heads and Ministry of Education officials went on to discuss how public 
schools would accommodate the overwhelming demand for enrolment of pupils.

School heads took the Ministry of Education to task to explain whether 
there was a policy guideline on how free primary education would be 
smoothly implemented.

In particular, they requested the government to come out clearly on how 
street children and over-age children who had turned up for enrolment would 
be accommodated.

Meanwhile, a veteran Kenyan journalist, Mitch Odero, who is also the 
information consultant for the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), 
has called on parents and teachers to assist the government to implement 
the free primary education policy.

He said this was necessary, now that the nation had realised that over 50 
percent of school-going children had been staying away from school due lack 
of school fees.

Odero observed that lobbying both locally and internationally should be 
intensified to seek support for the education sector, noting that since the 
government had shown goodwill for free education, the donor community 
should immediately resume aid to Kenya for the government to streamline the 
education sector.

Reported by Herman Kasili

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