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New Era Newspaper Thursday November 9, 2017

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16 AFRICA

16 AFRICA Thursday, November 9 2017 | NEW ERA Liberian president says democracy ‘under assault’ MONROVIA Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said Tuesday that democracy was “under assault” in her nation as several political parties accuse the electoral commission of fraud, delaying the selection of her successor. A runoff vote also due on Tuesday was supposed to represent Liberia’s only democratic transfer of power in seven decades, securing Sirleaf’s legacy as she steps down after 12 years, but the process has now been “At this moment, our democracy is under assault. Our country’s reputation is under assault,” Sirleaf said in an address read out on public radio, which follows a Supreme Court ruling halting the scheduled runoff vote until the complaint backed by four political parties is resolved. “Allegations, hate speech, and backward language have been moment in our history,” she added, using terms similar to those deployed ABIDJAN Two tusks and 46 elephant tails have been seized in Ivory Coast, activists said Tuesday, adding that a customs “Two impressive tusks of 1.6 metres each” were seized by a specialist unit from the Ivorian police force assisted by agents NAIROBI The African Union’s mission in Somalia has said it will withdraw country this year, as part of plans to pull out all soldiers by December 2020. In a statement released Tuesday, the AU’s special representative for Somalia Francisco Madeira called for urgent support to enable the national army to take over responsibility for the country’s security. “Troop movements have UNITED NATIONS The United States signaled on Tuesday it was ready to back a French-drafted UN resolution that would bolster the peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic with 900 extra troops. The Security Council is considering the measure following a request from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who has warned of a risk of ethnic cleansing in parts of the impoverished African country. The draft resolution would extend the mission known as MINUSCA until November 2018 and increase the number of uniformed peacekeepers by 900, to a ceiling of 11,650, along with 2,080 by her information minister on Friday against candidates who have said Sirleaf interfered in the election herself. That includes her own Vice President and would-be successor Joseph Boakai, whose extraordinary feud with Sirleaf has recently broken out into the open. Commentators expect the vote to be delayed for days or even weeks as the electoral commission deals with their grievances, a process that must be completed before the runoff can go ahead, by order of the Supreme Court. The runoff between Boakai and George Weah was triggered after no single candidate gained more than 50 percent of votes in that was hailed as free and fair by international and domestic observers, despite some recorded delays. Meanwhile, four parties which back the fraud complaint lodged by thirdplacing candidate Charles Brumskine on Tuesday discussed a “merger” to former international football star from the ministry for water and forests, nature activist group Eagle said in a press release. of the massacre”, added Eagle, an The tails are used to make bracelets sold for up to 2,000 euros (,300) each on the black started in different parts of the country and will continue for the coming weeks,” Madeira said. “This is a process of realignment to effect the reduction in numbers and also begin the handover process of national security responsibility to the Somali National Security Forces.” African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops deployed to Somalia in 2007 to defend the internationally-backed government against attacks by the Shabaab, an out attacks on civilian, military police and 480 military observers. The United States, the biggest financial contributor to UN peacekeeping, said it was open repeated calls for cuts to peace operations. “The United States is not opposed in principle to a modest troop increase for MINUSCA, but only if the additional troops would help more than hurt the mission’s mandate,” said a spokesperson for the US mission. “That means any additional troops should maintain the highest standards of professionalism and refrain from incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse, for which we have a zero-tolerance policy.” Court order… Liberia’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Francis Korkpor reads a judgement in Monrovia on November 6, 2017. The Supreme ordering the electoral commission to resolve an opposition party’s complaint for fraud before the runoff can be held. Photo: Nampa/AFP Weah for Liberia’s presidency. Robert Kpadeh, chairman of the ruling Unity Party, said the talks would discuss “a merger that is getting stronger and is poised to take many dimensions”. “What you see today is a strong signal market, according to Eagle. About 100 objects made of ivory and warthog horn were also seized. Four traffickers - two Ivorians, at Abidjan airport, and two Guineans - were taken to court on Tuesday, after a spending week in police custody, according to the statement. The police operation took place on October 31. The and government targets in the capital Mogadishu and elsewhere. In 2016 the African Union announced an exit strategy which would see some 22,000 troops withdraw and hand over control of security to the national army. Currently the bloated and largely ineffective Somali army is more a collection of clan militias, with various international militaries providing poorly-coordinated training to different units. “The forces urgently need to be equipped with necessary weapons, to the world that they are coming Kpadeh said. “We strongly believe that Weah cannot run this country.” Brumskine lodged a complaint of “gross fraud and irregularities” at the National Elections Commission be destined for the Asian market. Due to the toughening of the setting up new channels through West Africa, where authorities are more focused on combating drugtrafficking, Eagle’s spokesman Adama Kamagate told AFP. AU to reduce troops in Somalia by 1,000 this year MINUSCA has been hit by a string of sex abuse allegations against its peacekeepers, prompting Guterres to step up measures to counter such misconduct. The council is scheduled to vote on the draft resolution on November 15. The United States has called for streamlining missions and was the driving force behind a 0-million cut to the UN peacekeeping budget this year. The Central African Republic has been struggling to return to stability since the country exploded into bloodshed after the 2013 overthrow of longtime leader Francois Bozize by the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel alliance. France intervened militarily to key logistical support including timely payment of stipends, provision of quality medical care, establishment of key infrastructure including barracks and training centres among others,” said Madeira. He said that the drawdown would be gradual and would ensure the security of the country is not disrupted. The Shabaab lost its foothold in Mogadishu in 2011, but has for the country’s worst ever attack in which a truck bombing left 358 US backs 900 extra UN peacekeepers for C. Africa push out the Seleka alliance but the country remains plagued with violence pitting groups competing for control of The draft resolution expresses the council’s “concern at the degradation of the security situation in the southeastern part and the northwestern parts of the CAR due to the ongoing clashes between armed groups.” It condemns widespread human rights violations including sexual violence against women by rebel groups and expresses grave concern over continued allegations of rape by MINUSCA peacekeepers. During a council meeting on Monday, MINUSCA head Parfait (NEC) on October 23, alleging ballot marred the October 10 vote. On Tuesday evening Weah called on his supporters to remain peaceful while the complaints process goes ahead, speaking to supporters at his headquarters. “They used to say that we CDC (Weah’s party) are hooligans, we are troublemakers, and in 2017 we know who the real troublemakers are,” Weah told the crowd. “We are aware of all their tactics, all of their provocations, we will not allow ourselves to be distracted,” he added. The Carter Centre, an organisation founded by former US president Jimmy Carter to promote democracy which has sent observers to Liberia, cautioned that the risk of tensions would spike the longer the delay lasted. “As the public becomes aware of the implications of (Monday’s) ruling and the further delays in the electoral calendar that it will cause, the potential for unrest increases,” it said in an emailed statement. – Nampa/AFP Tusks and elephant tails seized in Ivory Coast – NGO Ivory Coast remains a small deterrent to the smugglers, who face a prison sentence of two months to a year, CFA francs (5 to 450 euros). More than 35,000 elephants are slaughtered each year on the African continent from an approximate population of more than 450,000 in the wild. – Nampa/AFP dead in the capital last month. Two weeks later an attack on a hotel left 27 dead, prompting the government to sack its police and intelligence chiefs. Shortly before his dismissal, intelligence agency boss Abdillahi Mohamed Sanbalooshe wrote an op-ed in the New York Times criticising international partners for not responding to Somali requests for technical and training expertise to analyse forensic evidence after attacks like the October 14 bombing. – Nampa/AFP Onanga-Anyanga said the 900 extra peacekeepers “should include highly mobile troops that would provide the force with greater of heightened threat to civilians.” MINUSCA deployed in 2014 with a strong mandate to protect civilians, but the draft resolution would include language on ensuring the peacekeepers have a “robust posture.” The conflict has driven more than 600,00 people from their homes within the country and an additional 500,000 have crossed borders to become refugees. Half of the population, or 2.4 million Central Africans, are in need of aid. – Nampa/AFP

Thursday, November 2 2017 | NEW ERA WORLD 17 Democratic NY mayor wins second term NEW YORK Progressive Democrat Bill de Blasio cruised to re-election for a second term as mayor of New York on Tuesday, US media reported, riding a wave of home-town distaste for Donald Trump in America’s most populous city. The 56-year-old former city councillor from Brooklyn easily defeated his Republican challenger, 36-year-old Nicole Malliotakis, the daughter of a Greek immigrant father and a Cuban mother, media said. With 79 percent of votes counted, de Blasio was swept into a commanding lead of 65 percent compared to 29.7 percent for Trump-voting Malliotakis, The New York Times reported. Even with a low turnout, that capital of the world’s biggest economy, where the left-leaning politician presides over an annual budget of billion, a city payroll of 295,000 and 8.5 million New Yorkers. The vote was seen as a ringing endorsement for de Blasio’s anti-Trump stance in an overwhelmingly Democratic city where 80 percent of the electorate voted for Hillary Clinton and Trump is despised. “My hope is, starting today, if the people are with me, then we restore the idea this is a consistent Democratic and progressive town, and that goes on for many years to come,” de Blasio said earlier Tuesday. Since Trump swapped Fifth Avenue for the White House, the mayor has emerged as a strident opponent, regularly denouncing the Republican’s attempts to restrict immigration and repeal the Affordable Care Act. De Blasio won praise for achieving his signature campaign promise of launching universal pre-kindergarten education for four-year-olds, and already rolling out a phased induction of three-year-olds. Bill de Blasio The economy is doing well and crime is down, continuing the long-term trends, yet enthusiasm for the man has always been lackluster. The mayor, physically imposing been criticized for schlepping out to his Brooklyn gym, lateness and for lacking charisma of his billionaire predecessor Michael Bloomberg. He has fended off federal and state investigations into fundraising – no charges have been brought. An early confrontation with police – having warned his bi-racial son to take “care” dropped off the headlines. He lacks a cozy relationship with Wall Street – his politics too center-left for comfort when it comes to the wealthiest powerbrokers, and has come under population. - Nampa/AFP Texas church shooter once escaped mental hospital SUTHERLAND SPRINGS The man who shot dead 26 people in a Texas church once escaped from a mental hospital and made death threats against his military superiors while serving in the US Air Force, according to a police report. The Federal Bureau of Investigation said meanwhile that the bureau has recovered the phone belonging to the gunman, Devin Patrick Kelley, but has been unable to access the device so far. shot wound on Sunday after killing 26 people, including an unborn child, with in the small Texas town of Sutherland Springs. He wounded 20 others. The 26-year-old served in the Air received a bad conduct discharge. assaulting his wife and stepchild, fracturing the baby’s skull, and sentenced According to an El Paso, Texas, police report obtained by Houston TV sta- from a psychiatric facility where he had been sent ahead of his assault conviction. The person who reported him as missing from Peak Behavioral Health Services told police that Kelley “suffered from mental disorders.” He said Kelley was a “danger to himself and others” and had been “caught Force base,” where he was stationed. Police were also told that Kelley had been accused of “attempting to carry out death threats” against his “military chain of command.” While receiving the missing persons report, police were told that Kelley had been located and taken into custody. The authorities have said that Kelley’s rampage may have stemmed from a “domestic situation,” adding that he sent had threatening texts to his motherin-law, who worshiped at the First Baptist Church but was not there on Sunday. The Air Force has said Kelley’s domestic violence conviction was not passed on to a national database that lists persons barred from purchasing FBI special agent Christopher Combs said Kelley’s phone has been sent to FBI headquarters in Quantico, Virginia. “I can assure you we’re working very hard to get into the phone and answer,” Combs told reporters. “I don’t know how long that’s going to be to be quite honest with you. “It could be tomorrow, a week or a month. We don’t know yet.” Combs pointed out without naming and password protection on phones has past. – Nampa/AFP We are very excited to announce the much anticipated conclusion of the franchise agreement between the PUPKEWITZ Group of Companies and BMW South Africa. As of 1st November 2017, PUPKEWITZ Motors attains full management of the Danric Auto dealership and has acquired 100% shares of the BMW franchise in Namibia. The shareholders of the PUPKEWITZ Group of Companies and BMW South Africa are extremely excited about the addition of this premium brand to the PUPKEWITZ Motors family and the opportunities that such an acquisition brings. Creating a comprehensive footprint for BMW in Namibia, supported by the customer satisfaction and service excellence legacy that the PUPKEWITZ Group embodies, is the main priority behind this acquisition. Loyal customers of both PUPKEWITZ and BMW will be accommodated as in the past, although they can now look forward to an exciting new product line-up starting almost immediately with the arrival of the new X3 on 25 November, followed by an entire dealership relaunch early in 2018. Mr. Ekkerd van Wyk, Managing Director of PUPKEWITZ Motors, stated with excited confidence that the PUPKEWITZ group intends to create optimum exposure for the BMW brand with further plans to be announced. He also expressed that the group had been striving towards participating as a contender in the luxury and premium automotive market in Namibia, and with BMW being one of the best rated vehicle brands in the world, it was the ideal place to start. Mr Dougie Truter, Chief Executive Officer of the PUPKEWITZ Group, commented that the match between PUPKEWITZ and BMW was one that had clear benefits in terms of synergies to all stakeholders. The management of the PUPKEWITZ group will be supporting all BMW functions in Namibia and decision-making mechanisms will rely on local expertise for accuracy and timeliness in order to meet customer demands. He continued that the acquisition and future developments are well aligned with the Group’s number one Unifying Principle which is commitment to people development through the creation of employment opportunities in Namibia. Individuals currently employed at the Danric Auto dealership will continue their service under the new management in a stable and secure environment and will also be given the added opportunity to grow within the PUPKEWITZ Group of Companies. Armand Barnard will head up the team of BMW as Dealer Principal for the PUPKEWITZ Group. A passionate and committed BMW enthusiast, on two wheels or four, Armand is a well-known figure in the car industry in Namibia; and committed to customer satisfaction. The BMW brand is globally recognised as a premium luxury vehicle marque, one which is dedicated to innovation and focused on the future of individual mobility. Mr Tim Abbott, CEO BMW Group South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa comments: “We are delighted to welcome the PUPKEWITZ Group into our BMW Group South Africa dealer network family, and look forward to working together to reinforce BMW as the leading luxury vehicle brand in Namibia”. “ Sheer adoration for the BMW brand is what I plan to bring to this dealership - Armand Barnard ”

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New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167

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