Monthly Archives: March 2018

Malian Jihadist Handed Over to ICC on War Crimes Charges

A Malian jihadist was arrested Saturday and handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to face war crimes charges for the destruction of Timbuktu and sex slavery, the tribunal said.

Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud was detained by the Malian authorities and has now arrived at the tribunal’s detention center in The Hague, the court said in a late-night statement.

The 40-year-old is alleged to have been a member of the al-Qaida linked Ansar Dine and the de facto chief of the Islamic police from April 2012 to January 2013.

Charges: war crimes, crimes against humanity

He faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for the destruction of the holy shrines of Timbuktu between 2012-2013 as well as accusations of rape and forced marriage.

Hassan allegedly participated in the policy of forced marriages which victimized the female inhabitants of Timbuktu and led to repeated rapes and the sexual enslavement of women and girls, the court said in a statement.

His detention sends a strong message to all those, wherever they are, who commit crimes which shock the conscience of humanity that my office remains steadfast in the pursuit of its mandate, chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said.

Hassan’s arrest came four days after the court issued an international warrant for his arrest.

Prosecutors allege that he committed crimes against humanity and war crimes in Timbuktu, Mali, between April 2012 and January 2013.

The charges against him are representative of the criminality and resulting victimization of the population during this period, Bensouda added.

Second Islamic extremist

He will be only the second Islamic extremist to face trial at the ICC after war crimes judges in 2016 jailed another Malian for nine years, when he pleaded guilty to demolishing Timbuktu’s fabled shrines in 2012.

The landmark ruling at the world’s only permanent war crimes court was seen as a warning that destroying mankind’s heritage will not go unpunished.

In its first case to focus on cultural destruction as a war crime, the ICC found Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi guilty of directing attacks on the UNESCO world heritage site during the jihadist takeover of northern Mali in 2012.

Mahdi supervised the destruction and gave instructions to the attackers who took pickaxes and bulldozers to the centuries-old shrines, presiding judge Raul Pangalangan told the tribunal.

Hassan, a member of the Turag tribe, however has been further charged with persecution on both religious and gender grounds; rape and sexual slavery committed in the context of forced marriages; torture and other inhuman acts, the court said in a statement late Saturday.

The ICC opened in 2002 to try the world’s worst crimes in places where national courts are unable or unwilling to prosecute alleged perpetrators.

Timbuktu: ‘City of 333 saints’

Founded between the fifth and 12th centuries by Tuareg tribes, Timbuktu has been dubbed the city of 333 saints for the number of Muslim sages buried there.

Revered as a center of Islamic learning during its golden age in the 15th and 16th centuries, it was however considered idolatrous by the extremist jihadists who swept across Mali’s remote north in early 2012.

The landmark 2016 verdict by the ICC against Mahdi was the first arising out of the conflict in Mali, and the first time a jihadist sat in the dock at the court.

Hassan is not expected to appear in court for a few days, given the long Easter weekend, a court spokesman told AFP.

The court alleges he played a prominent role in the commission of crimes and religious and gender-based persecution by … armed groups against the civilian population of Timbuktu, when it was under the control of armed groups linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Source: Voice of America

Mauritania Jails Slave-Owner for 20 Years in Country’s Harshest Ruling

Two slave-owners in Mauritania face 10 and 20 years in prison after a court handed down the country’s harshest anti-slavery ruling yet, activists said Friday.

The West African country criminalized slavery in 2007 and this was the third-ever prosecution. In past cases, slave-owners were sentenced to two to five years.

“This is a big victory,” Jakub Sobik of Anti-Slavery International told reporter. “The sentences are quite high and in line with the law, which is by no means a given.”

Mauritania has one of the highest rates of slavery in the world, with 1 in 100 people living as slaves, according to the 2016 Global Slavery Index. Activists say that anti-slavery laws are rarely enforced.

The two cases were brought by former slaves in the city of Nouadhibou.

In one case, the verdict pronounced Wednesday was the result of a seven-year fight, said Salimata Lam of Mauritanian group SOS Esclaves, which assisted the victims.

A man who was sentenced to 20 years cannot be found, but a woman sentenced to 10 years was taken to prison, she said.

Slavery is a historical practice in Mauritania, which became the last country worldwide to legally abolish it in 1981.

Black descendants of certain ethnic groups are often born into slavery and spend their lives working as domestic servants or cattle herders for lighter-skinned Mauritanians.

Earlier this year, the African Union urged Mauritania to issue harsher sentences for the crime.

“I think the trend is irreversible. You can’t close your eyes to this situation,” said Lam.

But there is still a long way to go, she added. Anti-Slavery International has helped file at least 40 cases from former slaves that are lingering in courts, Sobik said.

Mauritania has jailed more anti-slavery activists than slave-owners, and the repression of organizations fighting to end slavery is growing, rights groups said this month.

Source: Voice of America

XCMG livre une commande de 70 tombereaux articulés d’une valeur de 31,63 millions USD

XUZHOU, Chine, 28 mars 2018 /PRNewswire/ — XCMG, le fabricant mondial majeur de machines de construction, a livré 70 unités de son tombereau articulé XDA40 à des clients d’Asie centrale et d’Afrique du Sud pour une commande d’exportation s’élevant à 200 millions RMB (31,63 millions USD).

XCMG's USD 31.63 Million Order of Dump Trucks Are Delivered to Central Asia and South Africa.

Le tombereau articulé XDA40 avancé et résistant, qui a été conçu pour être utilisé dans des projets miniers majeurs et est en mesure de manutentionner des charges allant jusqu’à 40 tonnes, est le modèle phare de XCMG. Les 70 unités de cette commande majeure, qui sont hautement adaptables pour répondre aux besoins de clients du monde entier, ont été conçues sur mesure selon les spécifications du client et seront utilisées dans des projets majeurs situés dans des climats et terrains variés sur deux continents.

« Cette commande d’exportation de 200 millions RMB établit un nouveau record en matière de tombereaux articulés. Elle représente la puissance de XCMG et de la Chine dans le domaine de la fabrication d’équipements haut de gamme et constitue un jalon sur la voie de la domination mondiale de la Chine sur le marché mondial des équipements miniers », a déclaré Wang Min, le président-directeur général de XCMG.

« En 2017, le volume des exportations du département d’activités de machines d’excavation de XCMG a augmenté, en glissement annuel, de 150 %. Notre équipement minier a impressionné le marché mondial grâce à son génie et il a brisé le monopole des marques étrangères. Nous continuerons dans le futur de fournir tous les efforts nécessaires pour être à la pointe de l’industrie et demeurer une marque d’équipement minier de calibre mondial », a ajouté M. Wang.

XCMG, qui est un pionnier et un leader de l’industrie chinoise de machineries de construction, a adopté une stratégie axée sur l’innovation afin de réaliser continuellement des percées en matière de technologie et de développement de produits.

Le groupe a récemment terminé les travaux d’une ligne de production haut de gamme fabricant des pelles hydrauliques minières de 70 à 700 tonnes, des tombereaux miniers de 60 à 360 tonnes et des tombereaux miniers articulés de 30 à 60 tonnes. Grâce à cela, XCMG est devenu l’un des rares fabricants mondiaux, et le seul en Chine, qui est capable de développer et de fabriquer de l’équipement minier à grande échelle pour l’exploitation minière à ciel ouvert.

À propos de XCMG

XCMG est une société multinationale de fabrication de machinerie lourde dotée d’une histoire de 74 ans. Elle se classe actuellement en huitième place mondiale dans l’industrie des machines de construction. La société exporte vers plus de 177 pays et régions à travers le monde.

Pour obtenir plus d’informations, veuillez visiter : www.xcmg.com , ou les pages de XCMG sur  Facebook , Twitter , YouTube , LinkedIn et Instagram .

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/659205/0302.jpg

NAMIBIA BECOMES SECOND AFRICAN COUNTRY TO JOIN OCEANIC RESEARCH COMMITTEE

HENTIES BAY, NAMIBIA — Namibia has become the second country in Africa, after South Africa, to join the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) which brings together ocean scientists from across the world to advance ocean science and overcome barriers to understanding the ocean.

SCOR President Dr Marie Alexandrine Sicre made the announcement Wednesday at the University of Namibia’s Sam Nujoma Marine and Coastal Resources Research Centre (SANUMARC) in this coastal town, some 350 kilometres west of the capital, Windhoek.

Dr. Sicre, who runs the secretariat office from the University of Delaware in the United States, said as a member of the committee, Namibia would benefit from SCOR resources, networking and partnerships.

The SCOR membership has thus far been predominantly from Europe, the US, China and Canada but in recent years,it has been paying more attention to involving regions which are developing to enhance their marine activities, which includes Namibia.

“We hope as a new member Namibia will contribute to SCOR activities and also contribute to expanding the SCOR network in Africa,” Dr. Sicre said.

SANUMARC Director Dr. Sam Mafwila said the event is cause for celebration for Namibia, because it will enhance the country;s oceanic research capacity.

UNAM Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Development, Professor Kenneth Matengu said increased research capacity will enable the country to understand the ocean better and take advantage of the blue economy.

Henties Bay Mayor Herman Honeb said the community depends on fishing and research will help them to better understand how to take good care of the ocean. “We will also learn which resources are available and how we can harvest and utilise it to improve our local economy.”

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

GHANA CALLS FOR ENFORCEMENT OF MARITIME REGIME IN WEST, CENTRAL AFRICA

ACCRA– Ghana has called on countries in West Africa and Central Africa which have signed the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to co-operate effectively to ensure compliance and enforcement of the Port Sate Control Regime.

The call was made by Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia at the opening of the 3rd Ministerial Conference of Abuja MoU on Port State Control (PSC) for West and Central Africa here Wednesday.

He said shipping is indispensable to international trade as most countries worldwide rely on seaborne transport for export and import of goods and services. Shipping also played a significant role in the functioning of the global economy.

He urged signatory countries of the Abuja MoU to tighten measures whenever they were carrying out port control inspections on ships berthed at their seaports for business transactions to ensure that only seaworthy ships operating in accordance with the standards set in the maritime safety, security and marine environment pollution prevention would be entertained.

The maritime conference here was jointly organized by the Ministry of Transport, the Ghana Maritime Authority and the Abuja MoU Secretariat on the theme, ”Tightening the Net: Regional Co-operation to Eliminate Sub-Standard Shipping.

It brought together maritime administrators, policy-makers and maritime experts from the West and Central African sub-regions, to brainstorm on strategies to improve maritime safety and to help eliminate sub-standard shipping.

The MoU on PSC was signed in 1999 in Abuja, Nigeria, and covers 22 countries stretching from Mauritania, Cape Verde, Cote, d’lvoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe to South Africa. So far, 15 of those countries are full members of the MoU.

The Abuja MoU basically provides for the inspection of foreign ships in other national ports to determine the compliance level of the ships with the requirements of international conventions and codes governing maritime safety, marine pollution and the living and working conditions of seafarers on board.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK