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ALL AFRICA NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN February 10, 2003 (B)
Worldwide Faith News <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mon, 10 Feb 2003 17:57:31 -0800
ALL AFRICA NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN February 10, 2003 (B)
AANA BULLETIN No. 05/03
ALL AFRICA NEWS AGENCY
P. O Box, 66878, 00800 Westlands, NAIROBI, Kenya. Tel: 254-2-4442215,
Fax: 254-2-4445847, 4443241; Email: email@example.com ,
Archbishop Ndungane Picked To Mediate Zimbabwe Crisis
HARARE (AANA) February 10 - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has asked
Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane of the Church of the Province of
Southern Africa (CPSA), to mediate in the longstanding dispute between
Zimbabwe and Britain.
The invitation was made by the President after a two-hour meeting with the
Archbishop here last Saturday (February 1). "I am very hopeful. It
certainly opens a new window of hope," said Archbishop Ndungane.
The Archbishop of Cape Town added that the fact that he was invited to get
involved in negotiations was a step in the right direction towards
resolving the stalemate between Zimbabwe and its former colonial ruler,
The dispute began simmering after Mugabe introduced a controversial land
redistribution programme in 2001, that called for repossession of land
owned by white farmers for distribution to indigenous Zimbabweans.
The programme triggered land invasions and violent clashes. Excited black
Zimbabweans invaded agricultural lands to forcefully expel white farmers.
As a result, Mugabe has increasingly faced isolation by the international
community, with Britain being the most vocal.
Although he did not divulge details, Archbishop Ndungane said he discussed
the worsening political, economic and social situation with President
Mugabe. "He does not deny that there is a problem," said Ndungane.
Reported by Justus Waimiri
Church Leaders Unite To Oppose War Against Iraq
GENEVA (AANA) February 10 - Responding to the threat of military action on
Iraq, European church leaders have issued a united call against the war,
saying humanitarian consequences of such a war would be catastrophic.
The religious leaders issued a nine-point statement at a meeting convened
by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in consultation with the Conference
of European Churches (CEC), the National Council of Churches of Christ in
the USA (NCCCUSA) and the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC).
Raising concerns about humanitarian consequences of a war, the church
leaders said that large-scale displacement of people, the breakdown of
state functions, the possibility of civil war and major unrest in the whole
region, would be "unacceptable humanitarian consequences of a war".
The Church leaders said they were extremely concerned about the continued
calls for military action against Iraq by the US and some European
governments. "As people of faith, our love of neighbour compels us to
oppose war and to seek peaceful resolution of conflicts," they said.
"We believe that military force is an inappropriate means to achieve
disarmament of any Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. We insist that the
carefully designed mechanisms of the UN weapons inspections be given the
time needed to complete their work," they stressed.
They went on saying that the plight of Iraqi children and the unnecessary
deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis over the past 12 years of
sanctions, weighed heavily on their hearts.
"In the present situation, we strongly affirm long-standing humanitarian
principles of unconditional access to people in need," they added.
Action by Churches Together (ACT) International - a global alliance of
churches and related agencies working in the field of humanitarian relief
of which MECC is a member - also participated at the meeting held in
Berlin, Germany, on February 5.
The church leaders further cautioned against the potential social, cultural
and religious, and diplomatic long-term consequences of such a war, saying
"we should seek co-operation for peace, justice and human dignity".
They said: "All governments, in particular the members of the Security
Council have the responsibility to consider the whole complexity of this
issue. All peaceful and diplomatic means to compel Iraq to comply with UN
Security Council resolutions have not been exhausted."
The meeting was hosted by the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD).
Reported by Callie Long, ACT Communications Officer
Church In Africa Sends Message Of Condolence To USA
NAIROBI (AANA) February 10 - The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC)
has sent a message of condolence to United States of America, following the
death of seven astronauts on February 1.
In a statement to the US ambassador to Kenya, Johnie Carson, AACC's Interim
General Secretary, Melaku Kifle, said those who died had sacrificed their
lives not just for the people of United States of America, but for the
world at large.
"The loss of the heroic astronauts is not only yours but ours too.
Therefore, your agony at this difficult time is our agony. In the same way
the success of their mission would have been our collective success," he
Mr Kifle said the dead astronauts sacrificed their lives in the midst of a
discovery and "had also become our heroes and our children as well."
The seven astronauts, six Americans and one Israeli, died when their space
shuttle Colombia exploded into flames over Texas minutes before expected
Reported by Joyce Mulama
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