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Rwandan soldiers tied to general's shooting: witness
by Staff Writers
Johannesburg (AFP) June 29, 2011

The attempted killing in Johannesburg of Rwanda's exiled former army chief was orchestrated by well-heeled Rwandan soldiers living in Europe, a witness told a South African court on Wednesday.

Six men went on trial Wednesday for the shooting of Faustin Nyamwasa, Rwanda's former top general, at his home in Johannesburg in June 2010.

Nyamwasa had arrived in South Africa four months earlier, after abandoning his post as ambassador to India, amid allegations of corruption and a falling-out with Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

A week before the shooting, one of the accused, Rwandan national Amani Uriwani, said that Rwandan "military men" from Europe with lots of cash and cars had asked for his help "to shoot at a military person", according to witness Kalisa Mubarak.

"He said they are Rwandese from Europe. They also want to shoot another Rwandese," said Mubarak, an immigrant who runs a hair salon in central Johannesburg.

Mubarak told the court that Uriwani said he had been offered 10,000 rand ($1,500, 1,000 euros) to take part in the attack.

Three Tanzanians and three Rwandans have been charged with attempted murder. All six have pleaded not guilty.

The case has strained relations between South Africa and Rwanda, which wants to bring Nyamwasa home to serve a 24-year prison sentence after a military court tried him in absentia on charges of desertion, defamation and threatening state security.

Nyamwasa was tried with three other former top officials who co-authored a document slamming what they said was the repression of freedoms in Rwanda since Kagame's arrival in power in 1994.

He also faces terrorism charges for allegedly masterminding grenade attacks last year in Kigali in the run-up to presidential elections.

Nyamwasa's presence in South Africa has caused diplomatic headaches for Pretoria.

Spain and France are both seeking to extradite him for his alleged role in the Rwandan genocide, in which 800,000 people were killed. He has denied the charges.

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UN leader welcomes South Kordofan deal
United Nations (AFP) June 29, 2011 - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday welcomed the signing of a preliminary deal between Sudan and ex-rebels that would lead to a ceasefire in the ethnically divided South Kordofan region.

Representatives for Khartoum and the northern arm of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement met in the Ethiopian capital and signed the preliminary deal on Tuesday.

Fighting has raged in the border state since June 5 between government forces and militia aligned to the former rebel army.

Ban "welcomes the signing," the UN leader's spokesman said in a statement.

"The secretary general commends both parties for the political will they have demonstrated in reaching the agreement. He urges them to use the momentum created to conclude a cessation of hostilities in South Kordofan without delay."

Ban also called on the parties "to ensure the protection of vulnerable civilians and full humanitarian access to those in need in South Kordofan."

The conflict in South Kordofan has dramatically escalated tensions between north and south prior to southern independence on July 9.

North and south Sudan fought a two-decade civil war in which two million people died. A 2005 peace accord, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, ended the conflict and allowed for a referendum in January in which the south voted massively to split from the north.

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African Union hails South Kordofan ceasefire deal
Malabo (AFP) June 29, 2011
The African Union on Wednesday hailed a "decisive" ceasefire deal between the Sudanese government and ex-rebels in the ethnically divided South Kordofan region. "This is a decisive step for the consolidation of peace, security and democracy in the Republic of Sudan," said Jean Ping, head of the AU Commission, the pan-African bloc's executive body. Speaking on the eve of an African Union ... read more

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