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New Era Newspaper - 12/06/2017 - Vol22 No212

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16 AFRICA Monday, June

16 AFRICA Monday, June 12 2017 | NEW ERA Ivory Coast jail sentences for chimpanzee traffickers Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, second son of the late deposed Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi, has been freed from jail under an amnesty law. His father’s preferred successor, he had been held by a militia in the town of Zintan for the past six years. The Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Battalion said he had been released on Friday but he has not been seen in public. It is feared the move could fuel further instability in Libya. His lawyer, Khaled al- Saif al-Islam Gaddafi Gaddafi’s son Saif freed in Libya Zaidi, confirmed he had been released. He declined to say which city Saif al-Islam had travelled to for security reasons. A source has told the BBC he is in the Tobruk area of eastern Libya. The Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Battalion said it was acting on a request from the “interim government” based in the east of the country. However, he has been sentenced to death in absentia by a court in Tripoli, in the west of the country, where control is in the hands of the rival, UN-backed Government of National Accord. The Zintan Military Council - which had previously been involved in his detention - and Zintan’s municipal council have condemned his release by the Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Battalion. The councils said in a statement that freeing Saif al-Islam was “a form of collusion, a betrayal of the blood of the martyrs and stab in the back of the military body to which they [the brigade] claim to belong”. – BBC Two men have been sentenced to six months in prison in the first case of wildlife trafficking brought in Ivory Coast. An Ivorian government lawyer said the judgement “sends a signal” that animal trafficking is being taken seriously. The men were arrested while trying to sell an infant chimp to a BBC reporter posing as the representative of a wealthy Asian buyer. Chimpanzees are in such sharp decline they are listed as endangered. Those in West Africa are judged to be critically endangered. Since Ibrahima and Mohamed Traore have remained in prison since their detention last December, they are deemed to have already served their sentences and are therefore free. Infant chimpanzees are in huge demand as pets in homes and commercial zoos in the Gulf states and China. The dealers were arrested in a dramatic raid staged by Ivorian detectives working with international police organisation Interpol, acting on information shared by BBC News. During the operation, a baby chimpanzee later named Nemley junior was freed and taken into the care of wildlife officials. After becoming used to the keepers at the zoo in Abidjan the baby chimpanzee showed signs of recovery. However he has since become unwell with wildlife experts raising concerns for his future. According to a local charity, although Nemley junior is feeding, he remains thin. One major concern is that he is too small to join older chimps at the zoo but becomes stressed if kept on his own. In the wild, baby chimpanzees usually stick close to their mothers for four to five years. Republic of Namibia This baby chimp, Nemley junior, was rescued in a police operation in Abidjan. KHOMAS REGION STATE OF THE REGION ADDRESS (SoRA) 2017 State of the Region Address will be delivered by the Governor of Khomas Region, Hon. Laura McLeod Katjirua, on Tuesday, 20 June 2017 VENUE: Kovambo Nujoma Community Hall, Khomas Regional Council Headquarters, 6688 Pullman Street, Windhoek North TIME: ENQUIRIES: 10h00 – 13h00 Mr Gabriel M Benjamin +264 61 292 4367 / +264 81 261 5323 bmweshihange@khomasrc.gov.na Mr Platini Katjaoha +264 61 4304004 / +264 81 1461225 +264 81 2279530 pkatjaoha@khomasog.gov.na DR Congo jailbreak frees 900 inmates Eleven people were killed when militants attacked a prison in the Democratic Republic of Congo and freed more than 900 inmates, officials say. The governor of North Kivu province said the attackers had used heavy weapons in the raid on the jail in Beni. At least eight of the dead are prison guards, Julien Paluku added. A curfew has been declared. The identity of the attackers is not yet clear. Local activist Teddy Kataliko said many self-defence militias, known as Mai-Mai groups, operated around Beni. DR Congo has been in crisis since President Joseph Kabila refused to step down after his term ended last year. The incident in Beni is the latest in a series of jailbreaks in the country. Last month about 4,000 inmates escaped from a high security prison in the capital Kinshasa following an attack blamed on a separatist sect. - BBC

Monday, June 12 2017 | NEW ERA WORLD 17 French election: Can Macron’s new party win majority he needs? He swept aside all his political rivals to claim the presidency in May, but President Emmanuel Macron has done only half the job. Never elected before, he leads a party with no MPs and seeks a similar upheaval in France’s National Assembly to push through the changes he promises. French voters return to the polls in a two-stage parliamentary election on 11 and 18 June. So can he do it? The polls say he can. They consistently give Mr Macron’s La République en Marche (LREM) a clear lead over his rivals. Recent polls suggest LREM may attract 30% of the vote, well ahead of the centre-right Republicans and far-right National Front (FN). Significantly, that would give him at least 330 of the National Assembly’s 577 and possibly far more. Voters across the country want to give Mr Macron the leeway to implement his agenda, Philippe Marlière, professor of French politics at University College London, told the BBC. His party already has a boost from early first-round results abroad, where LREM candidates came first in 10 of the 11 overseas constituencies. The yellow-shaded areas of the map below show the areas where he beat his political rivals in the first round of the presidential election. How does the election work? The poll to select 577 deputies in the lower house of parliament is held over two rounds, the same as the presidential election. Thousands of candidates take part in the first round, and anyone who secures 50% of the constituency vote on a minimum turnout of 25% will win in the first round. Otherwise, the vote goes to a run-off in which any candidate with at least 12.5% of the vote can stand. That differs from the presidential vote, where only the top two candidates go through. While the system gives France’s 47 million voters the chance to vote for their favourite without tactical considerations in the first round, ultimately it favours big parties, says Prof Marlière. LREM needs 289 seats for a minimum absolute majority. If, as the polls suggest, the National Front attracts around 18% of the vote, it will do well to win 15 seats in the Assembly. And this is a party that came second in the presidential election with 10.6 million votes. That is because, as in the UK, the winner in each constituency vote takes all. In the last vote in 2012 it won just two seats. How has Macron’s party mobilised this quickly? It is quite an achievement. His movement was created only in April 2016 and had only a handful of candidates before he won the presidency on 7 May. The party already had activist structures in place. A grassroots network of campaigners knocked on some 300,000 doors to take the voter temperature and sculpt policy proposals ahead of Mr Macron’s election bid - an initiative known as the Grande Marche (Big March). But this operation for the legislative elections, says Prof Marlière, was a highly centralised business, almost military in character. “It had to be - if you’re starting from scratch, democracy knows its limits.” The thousands who declared an interest were efficiently whittled down to the final list. “They tend to be very middle-class, very white on the whole, and half are absolute newcomers to politics. It’s the unknown - nonetheless most of them look set to be elected,” says Prof Marlière. Who are the ones to watch? There are a number of colourful characters in the Macron camp - a retired bullfighter in Arles, Marie Sara; an eclair entrepreneur in Lille, Brigitte Liso; a Rwandan refugee in Brittany, Hervé Berville; and Cédric Villani, a “mathematics evangelist” known for his unique dress sense including large spider brooches. A number of the constituency races will be worth watching, including: • Will Manuel Valls, the unpopular Socialist ex-prime minister rejected as a candidate by both LREM and the Socialists, be ousted from his Essonne seat by Dieudonné MBala MBala, a notorious comic convicted of hate speech, or singer Francis Lalanne - in a 20-candidate contest described by some as a “circus”? • Will it be third time lucky for FN leader Marine Le Pen in the Pasde-Calais department of northern France - or will she fall to LREM novice Anne Roquet? • Will LREM junior minister Mounir Mahjoubi, 33, oust Socialist Party leader Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, 65, from a seat in Paris that he has held for 20 years? • Will radical-left former presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon win his battle in Marseille against sitting Socialist Patrick Menucci and LREM first-timer, Corinne Versini? No-one yet knows, says Prof Marlière, who sees the role of French president, according to the constitution, as the most powerful political position in Europe. “What Macron is doing,” he says, “is appealing to the right wing of the Socialists and also to the centre right: that’s really about creating something new. Normally you don’t put together these two sides.” New parties have challenged for power in Europe before, in Spain and in Italy. But few have gone into government, such as the left-wing Syriza party in Greece, and it has struggled to live up to its campaign promises. The task for President Macron will be to hold together the left and right elements of his party, while still purporting to hold the centre ground. His first big test will be his planned labour reforms, leaked drafts of which have already angered France’s powerful trade unions. – BBC Should Russia’s new Armata T-14 tanks worry Nato? Omaheke Regional Council MESSAGE OF CONDOLENCE Jeanette Nguarambuka Born: 29 December 1971 - Died: 06 June 2017 It is with great sadness and disbelief that the Regional Council learnt of the passing away of Ms Jeanette Nguarambuka, who perished in a motor vehicle accident. Ms Nguarambuka was as a Cleaner at Aminuis Settlement Office. The Regional Council, its Management Cadre and entire staff extends its heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of the Late Nguarambuka. Our hope is in the resurrection morning when we will be able to be reunited again with all our loved ones who have slept in the resurrection hope of our Saviour Jesus Christ. May her soul rest in eternal peace. A Russian innovation in armoured warfare has pushed Norway to replace many of its current anti-tank systems. Active protection systems (APS) are being built into Russia’s new Armata T-14 tank, posing a problem for a whole generation of anti-armour weapons, not least the US-supplied Javelin guided missile, used by the Norwegian Army. The warning comes from Brig Ben Barry of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London. He says this is a problem that most Nato countries have barely begun to grapple with. APS threatens to make existing anti-tank weapons far less effective, and there is little real discussion of this among many Western militaries, he says. Some countries are conducting research and trials to equip their own tanks with APS. “But they seem to miss the uncomfortable implications for their own anti-armour capabilities,” he says. Norway is one of the first Nato countries to grasp this nettle. Its latest defence procurement plan envisages spending 200-350m kroner (£18.5-32.5m; -42m) on replacing its Javelin missiles, “to maintain the capacity to fight against heavy armoured vehicles”. “There is a need for [an] anti-tank missile,” it says, “that can penetrate APS systems”. APS is the latest twist in the age-old battle between offence and defence in military technology. At different periods one side has held the advantage over the other. The armoured knight once ruled supreme, but the widespread use of firearms put paid to the armour-clad nobility’s dominance. Since World War Two the tank, like the knight of old, has reigned supreme on the battlefield. It is of course vulnerable to the main guns of other tanks. If you have a heavy enough shell and a gun firing at high-enough velocity you can punch through even the best armour. But tanks are also vulnerable to other weapons systems, and that is what APS is designed to deal with. Since World War Two a whole category of lighter, man-portable anti-tank weapons has been devised. Since they have to be carried by the infantry they depend not upon velocity and mass to get through the tank’s armour, but on a chemical reaction. These warheads impact on the external armour and a metal core forms into a molten jet that pierces through. Tank designers have tried to counter this in all sorts of ways, with reactive panels that explode outwards when hit; or by providing additional layers of spaced armour, to detonate the incoming round away from the tank itself. APS takes a whole new approach. It is essentially an anti-missile system for tanks, with radars capable of tracking the incoming anti-tank missile, and projectiles that are launched to disrupt or destroy it. Israel is among the leaders in this field and its Merkava tanks used it with some success during the last upsurge of fighting in Gaza. The Israeli Trophy system is being evaluated by the Americans. Britain too is looking at such systems and the Dutch have recently decided to equip their infantry combat vehicles with another Israeli-developed system. The fitting of APS to armoured vehicles is intended to counter a variety of weapons, ranging from the ubiquitous Russian/Chinese RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) to much more sophisticated guided anti-tank weapons like the Russian Kornet. But Brig Barry at the IISS is pointing out that Russia’s APS technology raises questions about many of Nato’s anti-tank defences too. Norway is taking action - and he believes other Nato countries will have to do the same. - BBC

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