Monthly Archives: February 2013

‘France will not propose setting up UN peacekeeping force to take over until at least April’

UNITED NATIONS: France, which is battling Islamist militants in Mali, will not formally propose setting up a UN peacekeeping force to take over until at least April, the French UN ambassador said yesterday.

France sent troops to Mali in January to halt an Islamist advance on the capital and force rebels out of cities they had seized in the north of the country.

French and Chadian forces are now embroiled in a guerrilla war there.

France’s UN envoy Gerard Araud said the UN Security Council had yesterday agreed to send a letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon asking for a study on ‘the modalities and conditions for the creation of a peacekeeping force.’

The report will have to be ready by the end of March, and Araud said the Security Council would then start negotiating setting up the force.

President to inaugurate a multi-million-dollar fresh produce hub

RUNDU: President Hifikepunye Pohamba will officially inaugurate a multi-million-dollar fresh produce hub here today.

The Head of State arrived here yesterday afternoon, and was met at the Rundu Airport by Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa, Kavango Regional Governor Maurius Nekaro, traditional leaders and senior Government officials.

Pohamba will also open a new fresh produce centre at Ongwediva in the Oshana Region next Monday.

Both the Rundu and Ongwediva centres are the same size – each built on 10 000 square metres of land.

The Windhoek hub will be the biggest, and is set to be built on 20 000 square metres of land.

The Rundu hub cost the government N.dollars 110 million.

High price of oil and weaker rand contributes to higher cost of fuel: Minister

SOUTH AFRICA: The high price of oil and the weaker rand have contributed to the higher cost of fuel, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said today.

He said at a televised New Age breakfast briefing oil is extraordinarily high, and for various reasons the rand has been settling at R8.50 to R9 for the past few years.

He said the weaker the rand, the more expensive the imports into South Africa became.

Gordhan announced yesterday during his 2013 Budget that there would be a hike in fuel costs on April 3.

This includes an increase in the general fuel levy of 15 cents a litre and eight cents a litre for the Road Accident Fund.

The general fuel levy was expected to contribute about R3.2 billion in revenue for the 2013/14 fiscus.

Video of taxi driver dragged behind police van is horrific, says President

South Africa: The video of a Daveyton taxi driver being dragged behind a police van is horrific, President Jacob Zuma said yesterday.

Zuma said in a statement the visuals of the incident are horrific, disturbing and unacceptable, adding that no human being should be treated in that manner.

He was referring to a video, taken by an eyewitness, showing police officers dragging Mozambican national Mido Macia, 27, behind a police van on Tuesday.

Macia was later found dead in the holding cells of the Daveyton police station.

Zuma condemned the death, saying the police were required to operate within the confines of the law in executing their duties.

Violence broke out during a Guinean opposition demonstration leaving 130 people wounded including 68 police: minister

CONAKRY: Violence broke out during a Guinean opposition demonstration in Conakry yesterday, leaving some 130 people wounded including 68 police, Guinea’s security minister said.

A statement earlier from the offices of government spokesman Albert Damantang Camara said there were ‘51 wounded by stone throwing, including 23 police officers and 28 civilians’.

Police had fired tear gas to break up a group of demonstrators who had massed in front of the ruling party headquarters to protest against the arrest of one of their comrades.

Thousands had gathered for the latest in a string of demonstrations to demand transparency in elections scheduled for May 12 and protest against the South African company selected to revise the electoral roll.

The vote in the troubled West African country was due to have taken place in 2011 and has been postponed several times already.