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AFRICAN NEWS & INFORMATION
Nelson Mandela Trust Foundation email scam, Charles Taylor unlikely donation Tags: Nelson Mandela Charles Taylor South Africa News African News Famous Africans Southern Africa News
The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory was recently made aware of a new scam doing the rounds via email. The email correspondence refers to a confirmation letter, which is attached in the email.

The confirmation letter is a misrepresentation of the Nelson Mandela Trust Foundation and queries a financial donation from the former Liberian president Charles Taylor "base on the trust to ensure the "trust / immunity of the funder of this forum EX President Nelson Mandela." (Spelling errors appear as quoted).
 
The email that accompanies the confirmation letter below reads as follows:
 
The fraudulent confirmation letter that accompanies the scam email
 
"Mr Rafael Radebl
 
PFA Confirmation issued on 21.03.2012 kindly confirm the same has been Issued from end .
 
Kindly also confirm that details provided as per attached confirmation that the same true as per record from Nelson Mandela Trust Foundation
 
Kindly also let me know procedure for  Donation to be made from Mumbai India Can I make through RTGS I am Interest for donation to your Trust for helping to the Needy people .
 
Kindly revert if any Information is requir.
 
Thanks & Regards
 
Subhash Singh" (Spelling errors appear as quoted).
 
The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory has confirmed that the confirmation letter and email is indeed a scam, a fraudulent attempt to gain funds and/or information from members of the public. The Centre of Memory urges anyone who receives such a mail to ignore it and delete it immediately.
 
Source: nelsonmandela.org
Libya’s ‘non state’: Tribal war claims 50 lives Tags: Libya News War In Africa African News Northern Africa News
50 have been killed and dozens injured in Libya as tribal groups are fighting in the country’s south. After the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is left in a condition which some residents call a ‘non state’.

The fighting between rival armed militias, ongoing since Sunday, has spilled into the center of Libya’s third largest city of Sabha on Tuesday. The country’s National Transitional Council initially sent out 300 of its troops to calm the situation but the contingent had to be reinforced two-fold, Reuters said. 
 
However, there are reports that the national army may have retreated from the city.  "We know that they are here to try to solve the problem and not fight," Sabha fighter Oweidat al-Hifnawi told the agency. "There are unconfirmed reports that they have retreated out of the city."
 
The fighting resulted in the resignation of an NTC representative to Sabha, Abdulmajid Saif al-Nasser. He said that he was leaving his post as the council proved unable, or unwilling, to curb the violence.
 
"I have not seen any reaction from the Council to what is happening now in Sabha. The air force has not been sent out, there was only a plane from the health ministry carrying medicine," he said. "The state is supposed to intervene in these cases but there is no state."
 
The ongoing fighting started after a man from the Tibu tribe allegedly killed a member of the Sabha tribe. The country’s Health Ministry confirmed that most of the 50 dead, already killed in the clashes, perished from gunshot and shrapnel wounds. 160 more have been left injured. 
 
The National Transitional Council, which came to power after the ouster of the country’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi, is struggling to establish its control over the whole of Libya. The council is trying to persuade tribal militias, busy with fighting over power and resources in the uncontrolled country, to lay down their arms and join national army and police. 
 
The lawlessness Libya has plunged into is the direct result of how the current government came into power, Oxford-based freelance journalist Neil Clark told RT.
“The main problem is that Libya is awash with arms. And who is to blame for this? It’s the Western powers, who gave these arms to the rebels to topple Gaddafi. And now you have different tribal militias all heavily armed. You have got a very week divided government in Tripoli, which cannot control its territory. You have got a real recipe for anarchy at the moment,” he explained.
 
“The main Western news channels are not covering the story the way they are not covering Iraq. In the end of the story Gaddafi is gone, and they are really not interested in reporting what’s going on, which is a human rights catastrophe,” he added.
 
Source: RT
Sierra Leone arms purchase before vote, UN questions Tags: Sierra Leone News Western Africa News African News Politics
Sierra Leone's government should explain why it bought millions of dollars worth of assault weapons to equip a recently enlarged paramilitary wing of its police as the country prepares for elections in November, the outgoing U.N. envoy said on Thursday.

Michael von der Schulenburg told the U.N. Security Council that according to a leaked shipping document the weapons bought by the West African state in January included heavy machine guns and grenade launchers and the purchase was "of great concern."

"Sierra Leone is under no arms embargo. However, given Sierra Leone's progress in establishing peace and security throughout the country and its relatively low crime rate, it is not clear why the police would need such weapons," he said.
 
He urged the government to clarify the weapons shipment and explain the intended use of the arms.
 
Schulenburg left Sierra Leone in February, saying that his posting had been cut short by the United Nations under pressure from Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma in a move that Schulenburg said would be seen as "opening the door to manipulating the election outcome in his favor."
 
A spokesman for Koroma denied asking the United Nations to remove the outspoken Schulenburg.
 
Philip Parham, deputy U.N. ambassador for Britain, which this month holds the U.N. Council's rotating presidency, said the 15-nation panel would reflect on Schulenburg's departure.
 
He told reporters the council would also discuss the issue with the U.N. Secretariat "to ensure that as far as possible we avoid any sense that a host government can have a veto over the leadership of a U.N. mission for reasons that are not valid."
 
Sierra Leone is recovering from an 11-year civil war that left some 50,000 dead and finally came to an end in 2002, after a British military intervention stiffened a floundering U.N. peacekeeping mission.
 
"WORRYING SIGNS"
 
U.N. troops withdrew from Sierra Leone in 2005 but the world body retains a mission of about 200 people with a mandate to help ensure the forthcoming election is peaceful and credible.
 
"The forthcoming elections in November will be the major test for the country's nascent democracy. Sierra Leone must pass this crucial test in its history without allowing the demons of the past to re-emerge," Schulenburg said.
 
Sierra Leone's Foreign Minister Joseph Dauda told the Security Council that the government was committed to ensuring peaceful, free, fair and transparent elections in November. He did not address Schulenburg's question about the arms shipment.
 
"The government has demonstrated strong political will in dealing with issues of political violence in whatever shape or form and irrespective of party affiliation, and will continue to use the legal instruments to bring perpetrators of violence to justice," Dauda said.
 
But Schulenburg said there had been "worrying signs" ahead of the poll, including an attack on the opposition presidential candidate, an attack by opposition members on property of the governing party, a three-month ban on political party rallies and a break-in at a newspaper critical of the government.
 
"Further the hardening tone of the political rhetoric is of concern and all sides must refrain from extreme and unsubstantiated accusations," he said.
 
"Sierra Leone has the potential to become a success story but it will need the continued support and vigilance of the Security Council - especially at this time of these elections," Schulenburg said.
 
Source: Reuters
Strange Disease in Africa Turning Children into Pyromaniac Zombies (VIDEO) Tags: Don't Forget Africa African News disease
Some really disturbing news is coming out of Pader, Uganda, as a mysterious illness known as Nodding Disease is turning children into seemingly mindless zombies with a penchant for starting fires.

"Her personality has changed greatly from before. She was normal when she was born, and now she just moves around and serves no purpose," says mother Grace Lagat, whose daughter Pauline has been stuck with this mind boggling affliction.

Pauline, like more than 3,000 other children in Northern Uganda, has been struck by the mysterious syndrome that has doctors and scientists puzzled and has shattered lives in this rural community.

 
 
Nodding Disease gets its name from the strange nodding-like symptoms that children display in the first stages of a seizure. But doctors on the ground and at the U.S.-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that is the least profound effect.
 
FACTS ABOUT NODDING DISEASE:
  • Some children with nodding disease are abandoned by their families because they are too difficult to look after.
  • In northern Uganda alone, 3,000 children have the illness, but numerous cases have also been reported in Sudan and Tanzania.
  • Children suffering from the condition are withdrawn and have no interest in eating.
  • Many children suffering from the nodding disease die from malnutrition because they won't eat.
  • Medical experts by confounded by the condition and there is still no known cause or cure.

Often the children will wander off by themselves and get lost in the bush. And other children will start fires, according to parents and medics in the field. Others appear confused and traumatized.
 
CNN reports that several houses in areas they visited had been burnt down by children suffering from Nodding Disease. More than 200 deaths have been reported from these "secondary" incidents.
 
 
Once Pauline vanished for five days. Now, to protect her children, Lagat ties them up when she leaves. She pulls Pauline and her brother, Thomas, who also suffers from Nodding Disease, inside her hut and ties them with a colorful, local fabric. First, she ties their legs to a wooden pole and then their hands together like handcuffs. Thomas tears at them with his teeth. "When I am going to the garden, I tie them with cloth. If I don't tie them, I come back and find that they have disappeared," she tells CNN.
 
 
This outbreak in Uganda is confined to the north and is not believed to be contagious, but from a public health standpoint it still has to be taken seriously. Right now there is no real solution. Nodding Disease leads to epilepsy like symptoms, says the World Health Organization, but the cause is unknown and there is no cure.
 
 
Pretty chilling and heartbreaking stuff. Hit the link below for more. Our prayers are with you guys.
 
DON'T FORGET AFRICA
BEEAFRICAN NETWORKS - SOLVING OUR OWN ISSUES
 
 
Source: CNN
Ellen Johnson Defends Law Criminalising Homosexuality In Liberia Tags: Ellen Johnson Liberia News Politics Homosexuality
The Nobel peace prize winner and president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has defended a law that criminalises homosexual acts, saying: “We like ourselves just the way we are.”

In a joint interview with Tony Blair, who was left looking visibly uncomfortable by her remarks, Sirleaf told the Guardian: “We’ve got certain traditional values in our society that we would like to preserve.”
 
Liberian legislation classes “voluntary sodomy” as a misdemeanour punishable by up to one year in prison, but two new bills have been proposed that would target homosexuality with much tougher sentences.
 
Blair, on a visit to Liberia in his capacity as the founder of the Africa Governance Initiative (AGI), a charity that aims to strengthen African governments, refused to comment on Sirleaf’s remarks.
 
When asked whether good governance and human rights went hand in hand, the British former prime minister said: “I’m not giving you an answer on it.”
 
“One of the advantages of doing what I do now is I can choose the issues I get into and the issues I don’t. For us, the priorities are around power, roads, jobs delivery,” he said.
 
Over his 10 years as prime minister, Blair became a champion for the legal equality of gay people, pushing through laws on civil partnerships, lifting a ban on gay people in the armed forces and lowering the age of consent for gay people to 16.
 
A Catholic convert, he called on the pope to rethink his “entrenched” views and offer equal rights to gay people. But gay rights, he said, were not something he was prepared to get involved in as an adviser to African leaders.
 
With Sirleaf sitting to his left, Blair refused to give any advice on gay rights reforms. He let out a stifled chuckle after Sirleaf interrupted him to make it clear that Blair and his staff were only allowed to do what she said they could. “AGI Liberia has specific terms of reference … that’s all we require of them,” she said, crossing her arms and leaning back.
 
There have been no recent convictions under the sodomy law, according to the latest US state department human rights report. However, anti-gay activists have promoted two new bills which would take the legislation much further. One would amend the penal code to make a person guilty of a second-degree felony if he or she “seduces, encourages or promotes another person of the same gender to engage in sexual activities” or “purposefully engages in acts that arouse or tend to arouse another person of the same gender to have sexual intercourse”, carrying a prison sentence of up to five years.
 
The second bill – drafted by the ex-wife of the former president Charles Taylor – would make gay marriage a crime punishable by up to 10 years in jail. Jewel Howard Taylor told the Guardian: “[Homosexuality] is a criminal offence. It is un-African.” She went on to say: “It is a problem in our society. We consider deviant sexual behaviour criminal behaviour.
 
“We are just trying to strengthen our local laws. This is not an attempt to bash homosexuals.”
 
The gay rights debate erupted in Liberia after the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, announced in December that America’s foreign aid budget would promote the protection of gay rights, prompting speculation that funds would be tied to rights records.
 
The announcement brought unprecedented attention to homosexuality in a country where until recently gay people and lesbians lived in secret, but generally not in fear for their lives. Since Clinton’s remarks, Liberian newspapers have published numerous articles and editorials describing homosexuality as “desecrating”, “abusive” and an “abomination”.
 
“Over the last six months, we’ve seen a worrying increase in anti-gay rhetoric, intolerance and indeed attacks on individuals fighting for the rights of Liberians in same-sex relationships,” said Corinne Dufka, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch in west Africa.
 
In the past month alone there have been at least six homophobic attacks in the capital, Monrovia.
 
One 21-year-old gay man, who recently left Monrovia to move to the countryside after some of his friends were threatened, said he now lived in fear of mob violence, a common occurrence on the streets of Monrovia. “You and your brother walking down the street, they may actually jump on you and beat you, kill you, and when they say: ‘Oh they are gay, that’s the reason we killed them,’ nothing will come of it,” he said.
 
Homosexuality is already illegal in 37 African countries. In Uganda, a bill proposing custodial sentences for homosexuality is still being considered, although it no longer contains the provision for the death penalty. Ten women were recently arrested in Cameroon accused of being lesbians, while in Nigeria, homosexual activities are punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
 
Sirleaf was awarded the Nobel peace prize last year for her work in campaigning for women’s rights. The 73-year-old became Africa’s first female president in 2006 and was elected for a second term last year. “If she tried to decriminalise the [current anti-gay] law it would be political suicide,” said Tiawan S Gongloe, the country’s former solicitor general. Without a majority government, Sirleaf desperately needs the support of other MPs to tackle other issues such as corruption, exploitation of the country’s natural resources and mass youth unemployment, he said.
 
After 14 years of civil war that ended in 2003, Liberia is still one of the poorest countries in the world.
 
Gongloe also said the country was still not ready for a debate on gay rights. “Liberians need public education on the issue. Our society is not at that point yet to have a civil conversation on the issue,” he said.
 
At an African Union summit earlier this year Ban Ki-moon urged African leaders to respect gay rights and to stop treating gay people as second-class citizens and criminals.
 
When pushed on the UN secretary general’s comments, with Sirleaf at his side, Blair responded: “I’m not saying these issues aren’t important, but the president has given her position and this is not one for me.”
 
Source: Via guardian.co.uk
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