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ICC Prosecutors Urge Judges To Continue Ivory Coast Trial

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ICC Prosecutors Urge Judges To Continue Ivory Coast Trial

International Criminal Court prosecutors urged judges on Monday to continue the trial of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo and a government ex-minister on trial for their alleged involvement in deadly violence that erupted after the country’s disputed 2010 presidential election.

Lawyers for Gbagbo and former youth minister Charles Ble Goude filed motions earlier this year arguing that prosecutors presented insufficient evidence for the trial to continue and calling for the immediate acquittal of both men. The calls came at the end of the prosecution case.

But the court’s deputy prosecutor, James Stewart, told the three-judge trial panel that the evidence so far is strong enough for the case to continue.

“At this midway stage of the trial proceedings, is there evidence … upon which any trial chamber acting reasonably could find the accused guilty of the charges?” Stewart said. “We submit the answer to that question is: Yes.”

Gbagbo and Ble Goude, who were both in court for Monday’s hearing, have pleaded not guilty to four crimes against humanity charges, including murder and rape allegedly committed by pro-Gbagbo supporters during post-election violence that left 3 000 people dead.

Prosecutors accuse Gbagbo of unleashing violence in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to cling to office after losing a runoff to now-President Alassane Ouattara.

Gbagbo’s historic trial, the International Criminal Court’s first against a former head of state, began in January 2016.

Efforts by ICC prosecutors to hold leaders responsible for crimes committed by subordinates or supporters have repeatedly run into serious problems.

The case against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who also was accused of involvement — before he became president — in post-election violence in his country, collapsed in December 2014 and earlier this year a former Congolese vice president, Jean-Pierre Bemba, was acquitted on appeal of crimes allegedly committed by his militia in the Central African Republic.

 

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Kenya Committed To Improving Aviation Infrastructure

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Kenya Committed To Improving Aviation Infrastructure

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta says the government is committed to improving the country’s civil aviation infrastructure.  He credited the industry with enhancing the country’s economy and national development.

He said at the eleventh forum of the international civil aviation organization air services negotiation meeting in Nairobi that the aviation industry contributes four tenths of a percent to the country’s gdp.  He also said the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi provides seventeen thousand direct and more than half a million indirect jobs.

Kenyatta said about eight in ten tourists visiting Kenya use air transport.

He said these are some of the reasons his government is committed to investing in aviation infrastructure to help the industry play its critical role in the economy.

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2 Persons Killed In Clash Between Security Forces And Protesters In Togo

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2 Persons Killed In Clash Between Security Forces And Protesters In Togo

At least two persons were reported killed in Togo over the weekend after security forces moved against protesters. Opposition has accused the government of using what it called “regime soldiers” it says opened fire on the demonstrators.

At least two persons were killed in clashes between Togo’s security forces and protesters.

Authorities reported finding a dead protester in Lome with an open wound in his left eye that indicated a bullet entry. Another dead body was also reported, this time with no bullet wounds.

The protests intensified after the government called for parliamentary elections to be held in late December.  Opposition is against the polls.  It has demanded reforms of the national electoral commission, and a two-term limit for presidents.

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Cameroon Law Graduates-Turn-Musicians Sing For Peace

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Cameroon Law Graduates-Turn-Musicians Sing For Peace

Two Cameroonian Law graduates, who are now musicians, have been traveling through the country’s English-speaking regions singing messages of peace they believe will touch the rebels and help end the separatist conflict there.

The singers started their group in October when they both lost family members and friend in the secessionist struggle in the English-speaking regions.

The duo sing in both English and French reminding people about the grave repercussions of war, and urging all sides to embrace peace.

The conflict has claimed hundreds of civilian lives. Thousands have been internally displaced, and thousands more have fled, many to neighboring Nigeria.

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