Monday, July 19, 2010
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Brad Dubbelman
Diamond sales from Zimbabwe's Marange fields will resume by September after an agreement with the Kimberley Process, which monitors trade in gems was reached, the World Diamond Council (WDC) said. The announcement, made at the end of an annual WDC meeting in Russia on Thursday, ends a standoff between the Southern African country and regulator Kimberley Process and rights groups which accuse the army of rights abuses at Marange.
Zimbabwe says that it holds a stockpile of over four-million carats of Marange diamonds worth an estimated $1,7-billion, almost as much as its 2010 budget. The government hopes that the move will boost the struggling economy and attract donor aid. "The World Diamond Council wrapped up its...meeting in St Petersburg, with the welcome announcement that the Kimberley Process had reached consensus on an agreement that will enable the renewal of rough diamond exports from the Marange diamond fields in Zimbabwe," a WDC statement read.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup provided lessons on how to deal with the HIV/Aids pandemic, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said in Vienna on Sunday. "I want to believe this sporting tournament has provided all of us with lessons we can apply in our collective approach to deal with the HIV and Aids pandemic," he said at the eighteenth International Aids conference. "One of those lessons, is the importance of teamwork even in the battle against HIV and Aids." Another lesson was the setting of targets, milestones, roles and responsibilities to achieve goals. Motlanthe said that the World Cup had emphasised the importance of interdependence and cooperation. He told delegates that South Africa had embarked on a huge HIV testing and counselling campaign to get the population to know their HIV status and act accordingly. He added that South Africa had made progress in key aspects of national response with programmes such as the prevention of mother-to-child transmission.
Uganda is ready to send an additional 2 000 peacekeeping troops to Somalia despite threats from hardline Somali Islamists of more attacks if peacekeepers are not withdrawn, an army spokesperson said. Two coordinated explosions in the Ugandan capital Kampala last Sunday, killed 73 people watching the 2010 FIFA World Cup final on television. "If we're called on to contribute a stronger force in Somalia, we're ready to send an extra 2 000," spokesperson Felix Kulayigye says. The Al Qaeda-linked group Al Shabaab, which claimed responsibility for the Kampala attacks, said that it was avenging the killing of civilians by African Union peacekeepers. Ugandan forces form the backbone of the 6 100-strong contingent in Somalia.
Regional allies have promised to send an extra 2 000 soldiers to Somalia by mid-August.
Also making headlines:
The Democratic Alliance said that government's lack of action against officials who use public funds for personal indulgence showed that it was not serious about ending wasteful expenditure.
Almost two-thirds of Kenyans intend to vote for a new constitution next month, although just as many say that it will need some amendments, an independent poll has found.
The Industrial Development Council plans to inject R11,7bn into green industries by 2015.
And, Guinean security forces have uncovered a suspected armed plot to destabilise the West African country as it approaches the decisive round of a Presidential election.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.