US judge defers ruling in Berlin-Namibia genocide case

namibiausA US judge on Tuesday heard arguments from lawyers representing the German government and indigenous groups from Namibia but deferred a decision on whether to hear a lawsuit demanding reparations for colonial genocide.

US District Judge Laura Taylor Swain presided over the one-hour hearing in a New York federal court but concluded the session by saying that she would not rule immediately. She also did not set a date for a decision.

The German government wants the lawsuit thrown out on the grounds of state immunity from prosecution. The Herero and Nama groups are seeking reparations for the genocide of their peoples under German colonial rule.

Tens of thousands of Hereros and around 10,000 Nama people were killed between 1903 and 1908 after rising up against German colonial rule in South West Africa, which is today Namibia.

The Herero and Nama people brought the class-action lawsuit last year, seeking reparations over the tens of thousands killed in the massacres.

Germany, which has acknowledged that atrocities occurred, is currently in talks with Namibia on reaching an agreement that would contain an official apology and promise of development aid.

The lawsuit was filed under the Alien Tort Statute that allows non-US citizens to make claims in US federal court for international law violations.

On Tuesday, lawyer Jeffrey Harris argued that Germany should benefit from the principle of immunity from prosecution as a sovereign state.

Kenneth McCallion, the chief lawyer for the Herero and Nama tribes, argued that several exceptions to that principle were applicable.

Germany owns four buildings in New York, which were acquired with public money, coffers that McCallion argued were boosted by colonial plundering.

He also sought to establish the principle of commerce between Germany and the United States, by pointing to a German museum’s 1924 sale of genocide victims’ bones to a US collector who subsequently donated them to the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Harris countered that there was no direct link between funds used to buy the New York properties and colonial activities, and said the bones’ purchase did not amount to commerce with the United States.

Central African Republic: Russian journalists die in ambush.

Carrussia

Thousands of people have been killed in violence in the CAR in recent years

Three journalists, believed to be Russians, have been killed in an ambush in the Central African Republic (CAR).

The Russian foreign ministry said it was in contact with local authorities to establish their identities.

The bodies were reportedly found on a road near the central town of Sibut.

It is unclear who was behind the attack, but many militia groups are active in the CAR. The country has witnessed ethnic and religious conflict since a rebel uprising in 2013.

The mayor of Sibut was quoted by AFP news agency as saying that the three were killed at about 22:00 local time on Monday (21:00 GMT). Their driver survived the incident.

An independent Russian TV station has said the group were making a documentary about the Russian mercenary group, Wagner, which is said to be active in the CAR.

Wagner is also active in Syria, where it is believed to have as many as 2,500 fighters, and has been placed under US sanctions for its alleged involvement in the Ukraine conflict.

Russia has taken an increasingly prominent role in the CAR over the past year and received UN approval to train and arm the country’s army in December.

In 2013, Muslim rebels from the Seleka umbrella group overthrew the president in the majority-Christian country. A band of mostly Christian militias, called the anti-balaka, rose up to counter the rebels.

The continuing violence has left half of the population in need of humanitarian aid.

Why I quit APC – Senate President Bukola.

Saraki-11

The Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki has given reasons why he has dumped the All Progressive Congress, APC, party for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Saraki had made his defection known through his twitter handle. Saraki gave his reasons for dumping the APC to include continued persecutions he has been put through in the APC. Below is his full defection statement. “I wish to inform Nigerians that, after extensive consultations, I have decided to take my leave of the All Progressives Congress (APC). This is not a decision that I have made lightly. If anything at all, I have tarried for so long and did all that was humanly possible, even in the face of great provocation, ridicule and flagrant persecution, to give opportunity for peace, reconciliation and harmonious existence. Perhaps, more significantly, I am mindful of the fact that I carry on my shoulder a great responsibility for thousands of my supporters, political associates and friends, who have trusted in my leadership and have attached their political fortunes to mine. However, it is after an extensive consultation with all the important stakeholders that we have come to this difficult but inevitable decision to pitch our political tent elsewhere; where we could enjoy greater sense of belonging and where the interests of the greatest number of our Nigerians would be best served. While I take full responsibility for this decision, I will like to emphasise that it is a decision that has been inescapably imposed on me by certain elements and forces within the APC who have ensured that the minimum conditions for peace, cooperation, inclusion and a general sense of belonging did not exist. They have done everything to ensure that the basic rules of party administration, which should promote harmonious relations among the various elements within the party were blatantly disregarded. All governance principles which were required for a healthy functioning of the party and the government were deliberately violated or undermined. And all entreaties for justice, equity and fairness as basic precondition for peace and unity, not only within the party, but also the country at large, were simply ignored, or employed as additional pretext for further exclusion. The experience of my people and associates in the past three years is that they have suffered alienation and have been treated as outsiders in their own party. Thus, many have become disaffected and disenchanted. At the same time, opportunities to seek redress and correct these anomalies were deliberately blocked as a government-within-a-government had formed an impregnable wall and left in the cold, everyone else who was not recognized as “one of us”. This is why my people, like all self-respecting people would do, decided to seek accommodation elsewhere. I have had the privilege to lead the Nigerian legislature in the past three years as the President of the Senate and the Chairman of the National Assembly. The framers of our constitution envisage a degree of benign tension among the three arms of government if the principle of checks and balances must continue to serve as the building block of our democracy. In my role as the head of the legislature, and a leader of the party, I have ensured that this necessary tension did not escalate at any time in such a way that it could encumber Executive function or correspondingly, undermine the independence of the legislature. Over the years, I have made great efforts in the overall interest of the country, and in spite of my personal predicament, to manage situations that would otherwise have resulted in unsavoury consequences for the government and the administration. My colleagues in the Senate will bear testimony to this. However, what we have seen is a situation whereby every dissent from the legislature was framed as an affront on the executive or as part of an agenda to undermine the government itself. The populist notion of anti-corruption became a ready weapon for silencing any form of dissent and for framing even principled objection as “corruption fighting back”. Persistent onslaught against the legislature and open incitement of the people against their own representatives became a default argument in defence of any short-coming of the government in a manner that betrays all too easily, a certain contempt for the Constitution itself or even the democracy that it is meant to serve. Unfortunately, the self-serving gulf that has been created between the leadership of the two critical arms of government based on distrust and mutual suspicion has made any form of constructive engagement impossible. Therefore, anything short of a slavish surrender in a way that reduces the legislature to a mere rubber stamp would not have been sufficient in procuring the kind of rapprochement that was desired in the interest of all. But I have no doubt in my mind, that to surrender this way is to be complicit in the subversion of the institution that remains the very bastion of our democracy. I am a democrat. And I believe that anyone who lays even the most basic claim to being a democrat will not accept peace on those terms; which seeks to compromise the very basis of our existence as the parliament of the people. The recent weeks have witnessed a rather unusual attempts to engage with some of these most critical issues at stake. Unfortunately, the discord has been allowed to fester unaddressed for too long, with dire consequences for the ultimate objective of delivering the common good and achieving peace and unity in our country. Any hope of reconciliation at this point was therefore very slim indeed. Most of the horses had bolted from the stable. The emergence of a new national party executives a few weeks ago held out some hopes, however slender. The new party chairman has swung into action and did his best alongside some of the Governors of APC and His Excellency, the Vice President. I thank them for all their great efforts to save the day and achieve reconciliation. Even though I thought these efforts were coming late in the day, but seeing the genuine commitment of these gentlemen, I began to think that perhaps it was still possible to reconsider the situation. However, as I have realized all along, there are some others in the party leadership hierarchy, who did not think dialogue was the way forward and therefore chose to play the fifth columnists. These individuals went to work and ensured that they scuttled the great efforts and the good intentions of these aforementioned leaders of the party. Perhaps, had these divisive forces not thrown the cogs in the wheel at the last minutes, and in a manner that made it impossible to sustain any trust in the process, the story today would have been different. For me, I leave all that behind me. Today, I start as I return to the party where I began my political journey, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). When we left the PDP to join the then nascent coalition of All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014, we left in a quest for justice, equity and inclusion; the fundamental principles on which the PDP was originally built but which it had deviated from. We were attracted to the APC by its promise of change. We fought hard along with others and defeated the PDP. In retrospect, it is now evident that the PDP has learnt more from its defeat than the APC has learnt from its victory. The PDP that we return to is now a party that has learnt its lessons the hard way and have realized that no member of the party should be taken for granted; a party that has realized that inclusion, justice and equity are basic precondition for peace; a party that has realized that never again can the people of Nigeria be taken for granted. I am excited by the new efforts, which seeks to build the reborn PDP on the core principles of promoting democratic values; internal democracy; accountability; inclusion and national competitiveness; genuine commitment to restructuring and devolution of powers; and an abiding belief in zoning of political and elective offices as an inevitable strategy for managing our rich diversity as a people of one great indivisible nation called Nigeria. What we have all agreed is that a deep commitment to these ideals were not only a demonstration of our patriotism but also a matter of enlightened self-interest, believing that our very survival as political elites of this country will depend on our ability to earn the trust of our people and in making them believe that, more than anything else, we are committed to serving the people. What the experience of the last three years have taught us is that the most important task that we face as a country is how to reunite our people. Never before had so many people in so many parts of our country felt so alienated from their Nigerianness. Therefore, we understand that the greatest task before us is to reunite the county and give everyone a sense of belonging regardless of region or religion.   Every Nigerian must have an instinctive confidence that he or she will be treated with justice and equity in any part of the country regardless of the language they speak or how they worship God. This is the great task that trumps all. Unless we are able to achieve this, all other claim to progress no matter how defined, would remain unsustainable This is the task that I am committing myself to and I believe that it is in this PDP, that I will have the opportunity to play my part.  It is my hope that the APC will respect the choice that I have made as my democratic right, and understand that even though we will now occupy a different political space, we do not necessarily become enemies unto one another.

Africa’s ‘lion economies’ growth exceeds forecasts

The nations of West Africa, including Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Ghana have recently seen a significant increase in growth.

While many Europeans and North Americans still view the continent as poor, war-torn and desolate, Africans see more opportunities at home than outside the continent. In fact, many West African nations are booming.

In West Africa, the majority of people are on the move but don’t leave the region. This south-south migration is contributing to the economic boom across its major capitals.

“West Africans … are seven times more likely to move within West African countries than to go to Europe or North America,” Al Jazeera’s Nicolas Haque reports from Dakar.

“For the past 40 years, 15 countries in West Africa agreed to allow free movement of people and goods within its borders. Migrants from the region sent $33bn to their loved ones last year,” he added.

Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Ghana have seen strong economic growth recently, recording a six percent growth in their gross domestic product (GDP) last year.

“This is no shithole; it’s the land of opportunity, with perseverance anything is possible,” Christ Justell Ngana, a migrant from Congo working in Senegal’s growing capital, said

This is no shithole; it’s the land of opportunity.

Cheikh Ndiaye from Guinea Bissau another migrant worker who spoke to Al Jazeera, said: “Every week I send money back to my mom and my little sisters who are all going to school thanks to what I send.”

“After having left my family behind, I have no regrets to have chosen Senegal, I feel comfortable with people who are black Africans like me, I’d take that any time over being with white people and so far away from my family,” said Alpha Diallo, a migrant worker from G

Much of the growth is fueled by freedom of movement and cross-border trade. Economists at the International Monetary Fund acknowledge that across 18 countries, GDP is up 5 percent.

“Africa’s sleeping ‘lion economies’ are now roaring ahead with Ghana predicted to grow at 9 percent, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal at 7 percent.

“The US president may call it a shithole, but the United States invested $65bn in African countries in 2016, and that number is expected to rise in 2018,” reports Haque.

Madonna Launches Malawi Fundraiser for 60th Birthday.

“Madonna Launches Malawi Fundraiser for 60th.

Madonna to Celebrate 60th Birthday With Malawi Fundraiser

Madonna speaks to the press at a news conference in Blantyre, Malawi on July 16, 2018.

Madonna is celebrating her upcoming 60th birthday with a fundraiser for orphans and children in Malawi.

The singer tells The Associated Press she’s teaming with Facebook for the fundraiser, which runs from Monday through August 31. Fans can donate directly to Madonna’s Facebook page or start their own fundraiser on the social media site to raise money for the singer’s campaign.

The proceeds will benefit her Raising Malawi foundation, and global payments company Ripple said it would match all of the donations.

Madonna to Celebrate 60th Birthday With Malawi Fundraiser

Madonna speaks to the press at a news conference in Blantyre, Malawi on July 16, 2018.

Madonna is celebrating her upcoming 60th birthday with a fundraiser for orphans and children in Malawi.

The singer tells The Associated Press she’s teaming with Facebook for the fundraiser, which runs from Monday through August 31. Fans can donate directly to Madonna’s Facebook page or start their own fundraiser on the social media site to raise money for the singer’s campaign.

The proceeds will benefit her Raising Malawi foundation, and global payments company Ripple said it would match all of the donations.

Madonna Share Photo of All Six of Her Kids in Malawi.

Madonna will turn 60 on Aug. 16.

“I have an unwavering commitment to providing vulnerable children with a loving home. For my birthday, I can think of no better gift than connecting my global family with this beautiful country and the children who need our help most,” Madonna said. “Every dollar raised will go directly to meals, schools, uniforms and health care. I want to come together with my friends, fans and supporters to change the lives of Malawian children and let them know they are nurtured, protected and loved.

Madonna, who adopted four children from Malawi, founded Raising Malawi in 2006 to address the poverty and hardship endured by Malawi’s orphans and vulnerable children. She launched a children’s wing at a hospital in Malawi last year.

Masisi attends BRICS Summit

Botswana would not be left out in the euphoria gripping the region this week as neighbouring south Africa hosted the 10th BRICS Summit at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

The Summit brought together leaders of the world’s most developing countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to explore trade and investment opportunities and discuss the obtaining world trade environment, currently characterised by trade wars between global trading partners.

Here in Gaborone, India’s High Commissioner to Botswana, Dr Rajesh Ranjan used the opportunity on Wednesday to gather a select group of Botswana-based Indian captains of industry, amongst them – Chairman of IBCCI Shyam Srikaran and President of IAB Rajat Dhuria – at the Chancery to watch a live telecast of Prime Minister of the largest democracy in the world, Narendra Modi addressing the Ugandan Parliament.

The Indian Envoy Dr. Ranjan explained that all leaders of Southern African Development Community (SADC) had been invited to the BRICS Summit as ‘observers’, an assertion that Botswana Government Spokesperson, Jeff Ramsay would later confirm to Botswana Guardian.Mokgweetsi Masisi had received a personal invitation from South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa and that he would be travelling to Johannesburg on Friday (today) to participate in the “Outreach Dialogue Session” between BRICS leaders and leaders from the region.

Ahead of his trip to South Africa, Prime Minister Modi visited central and east African countries of Rwanda and Uganda where he pledged hundreds of millions-worth lines of credit to the two countries.
In Uganda, Modi announced a combined US$205million line of credit for electricity lines, agriculture and dairy production, whist in Rwanda he announced a line of credit of US$200 million following talks with President Paul Kagame.

Addressing the Ugandan Members of Parliament in the presence of President Yoweri Museveni, Prime Minister Modi extolled the bonds of relationship that subsist between India and Africa, whose roots he traced back to Mahatma Ghandi. He said Ghandi was one with Africa and Africans and that his methods of peaceful resistance had inspired leaders like Nelson Mandela, Albert Luthuli, Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere amongst many in Africa.

Modi said India would build a Gandhi Heritage Centre at the sacred site in Jinja, where a statue of Gandhiji now stands to pay homage and “remind us of Africa’s role in shaping his mission that even inspired Africa to freedom and justice; and the universal and timeless values of his life and message.”

Modi said India is also opening 18 new embassies in Africa to cement the ties with a continent that India regards as a “partner.” Statistics attest to the truism of this assertion. At present, India-Africa development partnership includes implementation of 180 Lines of Credit worth about USD 11 billion in over 40 African countries. At the last India Africa Forum Summit, India had committed a concessional Line of Credit of 10 billion U.S. dollars and 600 million dollars in grant assistance.

Modi said that every year, over 8000 African youth are trained in a diverse set of programmes and confirmed that Indian companies have invested over US$54 billion in Africa.“Our trade with Africa is now over US$ 62 billion,”representing over 21 per cent more than in the previous year. Africa’s exports to India are growing, he said, and, both nations’economic ties are now increasingly driven by new partnerships of innovation in the digital economy.

It will seem that Africa’s cooperation with Africa transcends all human endeavours and activities. Modi expressed pride at the work of Indian peacekeepers in over a dozen UN peacekeeping missions in Africa, since the first mission in Congo in 1960.
He said that in all the UN peacekeeping Missions in the world, 163 Indians have made the “supreme sacrifice”, adding that this is among the highest number for any country.

“Almost 70 per cent of these embraced martyrdom just in Africa. Today, over 6,000 Indians serve in five peacekeeping operations in Africa”, he said.  President Masisi’s participation in today’outreach dialogue session with BRICS leaders is hoped to salvage some morsels from BRICS for Botswana’s development agenda. BRICS has set up a bank to rival both the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), which are seen as pro-Western institutions. Government Spokesperson Dr. Jeff Ramsay is optimistic that Masisi’s participation in the BRICS outreach dialogue session is a harbinger of good things that will eventually come to Botswana, SADC and Africa.

He says the outreach dialogue – the first high-level initiative, expected to include other African heads of state – will activate the African angle in the BRICS mosaic.

“We also stand to enhance our relationships with other members of BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India and China,” he said, adding that in a multi-polar world, “we are happy to see” multilateral institutions that promote South-to-South and Pan African relationships.
Meanwhile, China, the world’s second largest economy has extended R190billion to South Africa. The gesture comes ahead of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit scheduled for Beijing in early September 2018.

Masisi is poised to attend the Summit. Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) this week also hosted a 70-person strong delegation from the China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) in a business forum to explore investment opportunities within both countries.

According to Li Hongbing, the First Secretary in the Economic and Commercial Counsellor’s Office at the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China in Botswana, the trade value between China and Botswana was US$266 million whilst the outflow foreign direct investment from China to Botswana dropped by 77 percent year on year to US$18, 78 million for the period 2016/2017.In the same period, the amount of FDI from China to SADC was US$ 1.07 billion.
Ramsay said that indeed President

Breaking: Nigeria’s serving ambassador to South Africa Ibeto defects from APC.

According to the report, Ibeto reportedly arrived Nigeria from Pretoria, South Africa, on Sunday, July 29, and in the morning of Monday, July 30, he handed over his letter of resignation at the external affairs ministry. The report however said it could not confirm if Ibeto saw President Muhammadu Buhari before returning to Minna, the capital of Niger state. READ ALSO: Saraki, Dogara react to planned impeachment of Ortom by 8 lawmakers Ibeto was a former deputy governor of Niger state under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party he returned to as reported by Daily Sun on Tuesday, July 31. As deputy governor for eight years, Ibeto worked with Muazu Babangida Aliyu.

He dumped the PDP for the APC in the heat of the 2015 general elections after he lost the party’s primary. The report said Ibeto is currently going through the process of obtaining his PDP membership card from his ward in Ibeto town, Magma local government area of the state. NAIJ.com earlier reported that Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state officially announced his resignation from the All Progressives Congress (APC). The governor made the announcement at the Government House, Makurdi, hours after some Benue youths blocked his convoy, preventing him from visiting APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, in Abuja.

Shell to make final investment call on Nigeria oilfield in 2019 -official

ABUJA, July 31 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell and its partners will decide next year on whether to go ahead with the development of Nigeria’s Bonga Southwest offshore oilfield, a senior company official said on Tuesday.

The project, one of the country’s largest with an expected production of 180,000 barrels per day, will generate profit at below $50 a barrel, Bayo Ojuli, managing director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, told reporters.

Shell is currently negotiating a production sharing contract with the Nigerian government which will determine the viability of the project, he said. The negotiations are expected to finish this year.

Angola guard accused of hiding drugs in subway sandwich.

A Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. corrections sergeant was arrested Sunday (July 29), accused of trying to smuggle drugs hidden in a Subway sandwich into the prison.

Jeffery Day, 33, of Centreville, Miss., was booked with one count each of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute synthetic marijuana and malfeasance in office, the state Department of Corrections reported.

blocking the release of Albert Woodfox, the last incarcerated member of a group of Louisiana prisoners known as the Angola Three.

AP

From March to July officials reported guards arrested for having sex with inmates, a thwarted prison break, an inmate work strike and two inmates found dead from suspected drug overdoses

On Sunday Louisiana Department of Corrections investigators arrested Jeffery Day, 33, 908 Cane Creek Road, Centreville, Miss., during a shakedown at the front gate of the prison.

Investigators said they found 4.8 ounces of marijuana and 3.6 grams of synthetic marijuana hidden in a Subway sandwich inside Day’s vehicle inside the prison.

Corrections officers immediately notified the West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office and deputies booked Day with one count each of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute synthetic marijuana and malfeasance in office.

Investigators said Day, a sergeant, admitted to the crimes to investigators and voluntarily resigned from the department.

He had worked at Angola since November 28, 2016.

The investigation is ongoing.

Jean-perre Bemba: set to shake up DRC polotics.

The landmark conviction of Jean-Pierre Bemba for war crimes and crimes against humanity was overturned by panels of judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague last month. A majority ruling saw Bemba acquitted of all charges against him.

The former rebel leader and vice president of the (DRC) has spent nearly a decade in custody in The Hague.

I have nothing to fear … my conscience’s clean and the truth has been said. Justice has been served.

Jean-Pierre Bemba, former DRC vice president

He was sentenced to 18 years in prison after sending his militia to the Central African Republic (CAR) to help put down a coup attempt, where they conducted a reign of terror. A rampage of looting and killing of civilians followed, including the mass rape of hundreds of women.

But a majority of judges ruled on his appeal that he could not be held responsible for the actions of his fighters. His lawyers argued successfully his fighters were no longer under his command after they crossed the international border – an argument Bemba has maintained throughout his trials and incarceration.

“I have a lot of sympathy for all the victims … I have a lot of sympathy for people in Central Africa … I’m very sad and I support them in their pain,” Bemba tells Al Jazeera. “But I have been acquitted by a professional judge, an experienced judge, an honest judge and that is all. Justice has been served.”

His militia, known as the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), has now been transformed into a political party opposing the rule of President Joseph Kabila.

One of the priorities in my programme is to restore peace and security. Without peace and security, they [six million displaced Congolese] will not come back … I never hear any action from the government today just to find a solution to bring the refugees back to the Congo … it’s a problem of political will.

Jean-Pierre Bemba, aspiring presidential candidate DRC

The electoral commission (CENI) has announced that a delayed election is due to take place in December.

The election was due at the end of 2016, Joseph Kabila’s end of term. In spite of this, Kabila has maintained his position and refuses, to date, to announce the presidential majority candidate who would run for his party. This has stoked concern that Kabila is seeking to change the constitution in order to run again or further delay the elections.

“I never heard from himself [Kabila] that he will hold elections, but I have also never heard that he will not hold elections … I hope that he will respect the constitution,” says Bemba.

Further to this, the current government has attempted to delegitimise Bemba’s registration as a presidential candidate. However, the former vice president seems non-plussed by the actions being taken against him back home.

“You shouldn’t be surprised that the government in place has said that I am not able [to register as a candidate],” responds Bemba to the claims. “Those people in the majority of the government are not the right people, [they are not] able to talk about this.”

Asked about his time in captivity, Bemba says, “these 10 years [in prison] helped me to think deeply about not just myself but about my country. You are not the same person after 10 years. Congo has changed, Africa has changed … the world has changed. I wrote a vision for Congo that I will soon give to the public.”

Talking about Kabila and whether there should be any charges against him, Bemba says “he has immunity as the former president. He is protected by the constitution.”

“President Kabila is an adversary in politics. The most important to me is what the people of Congo want. If I am doing politics, it’s to solve the problems for the people of Congo … Of course, I understand that some people maybe worry about it but they should not. I am just someone trying to find solutions for his country and for the people of his country.”

Jean-Pierre Bemba talks to Al Jazeera in Belgium, the country which was the former colonial ruler in the DRC. Since it gained independence in 1960 there has never been a peaceful transfer of power. It’s from here Bemba will leave this week to return to his homeland and register as a candidate in the presidential elections.