news in brief

Nigeria - Saudi Arabia
Nigeria: President Umaru Yard’Adua has a heart condition
According to Next, Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua has a heart condition, his spokesman says, after he went to hospital in Saudi Arabia on Monday for medical treatment. Mr. Yar’Adua had acute pericarditis, an inflammation of the lining around the heart. His spokesman said the President was responding well to treatment. - Thursday 26 November 2009 - 19:04

Namibia: Elections hit by legal rows
Campaigning in Namibia has been hit by legal rows ahead of Friday’s polls. The National Society for Human Rights is going to court after the electoral commission withdrew its observer status, claiming it was not impartial. According to the BBC, the leader of a party that has split from the ruling Swapo party is also being sued for $13m after saying previous polls were rigged. - Thursday 26 November 2009 - 18:55

Kenya - International
Kenya: ICC prosecutor requests Kenya inquiry
Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, has asked judges to allow him to launch a formal investigation into post-election in Kenya, writes AFP. The ICC said on November 6 that it would consider a prosecution request to investigate suspected crimes against humanity committed during the clashes, which left at least 1,300 people dead. - Thursday 26 November 2009 - 15:08

Guinea: 100 women raped during September crackdown
Guinean soldiers raped at least 100 women during the bloody massacre in last September, a human rights group said, according to Reuters. The findings were released as United Nations experts began to investigate the repression, in which about 160 people were killed. President of the Guinean Organization of Human Rights, Thierno Maadjou said “most were schoolchildren, students, businesswomen, teachers, even journalists.” - Thursday 26 November 2009 - 15:05

Zimbabwe - International
Zimbabwe: Diamond network blacklists Marange
The Rapaport Diamond Trading Network, an overseas-based global network of companies that supports the development of free, fair and competitive global diamond markets, announced yesterday it had banned trading of diamonds from Zimbabwe’s Marange fields because of severe human rights violations. Members of RapNet would be required to immediately remove all listings of Marange diamonds and to confirm to the trading network that they would no longer knowingly trade in Marange diamonds, writes Business Day. - Thursday 26 November 2009 - 13:18

Liberia - Caribbean islands - United Kingdom
Liberia-Caribbean-UK: Liberia sued over 1978 debt
Two Caribbean registered investment funds have launched a legal case in London against Liberia over a debt that dates back to 1978, says BBC. The firms, described as “vulture funds” by critics, are suing for more than $20m, approximately 5% of the Liberian government’s total budget this year. Liberia says it has no money to pay the debt back and has accused the firms of profiting from poverty. - Thursday 26 November 2009 - 12:58

Zimbabwe: Child mortality rate on the rise
Zimbabwe’s infant mortality rate has risen by 20 percent over the past two decades as children under five succumb to the HIV pandemic and pneumonia, states Reuters. The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) said a survey it carried out with Zimbabwe’s government in May this year showed the number of children dying under the age of five had risen by 20 percent since 1990, the baseline year for the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. - Thursday 26 November 2009 - 12:42

DR Congo - International
Congo: Rebels helped by international community
One of Africa’s most brutal rebel movements relies on a vast, international network of supporters in at least 25 countries including the United States and Europe, a United Nations reports said. The UN findings reveals network of people who help rebels in Congo buy arms and transfer money. These findings are a scathing indictment of how little the international community had done to cut off logistical support to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), writes IOL. - Thursday 26 November 2009 - 12:35

South africa - International
South Africa: Media battles Fifa
According to Times Live, journalists in South Africa have accused world football governing body Fifa of imposing restrictive rules on reporting next year’s World Cup. The reporters say Fifa’s conditions mean their accreditation could be withdrawn if they write articles criticizing the organization. They say Fifa has refused repeated attempts to clarify the rule. - Thursday 26 November 2009 - 12:28

Kenya - Somalia
Somalia: Two journalists freed
Two foreign journalists kidnapped in Somalia by militants in August 2008 have been freed by their captors and flown to neighboring Kenya, reports Al Jazeera. Amanda Lindhout, a Canadian journalist, and Niger Brennan, an Australian photographer, left Mogadishu in a chartered aircraft, Somalia’s national security minister said. - Thursday 26 November 2009 - 12:19

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