Daily Archives: December 15, 2016

American Veteran Delivers His Legal Complaint Against DRC Leadership

Seeks $4.5 million in damages for his illegal six-week incarceration

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Yesterday, at the office of Ambassador François Nkuna Balumuene in Washington, DC, American veteran Darryl Lewis delivered his legal complaint in his suit for torture against two individuals with high-ranking law-enforcement positions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  According to the complaint, Mr. Lewis was tortured while working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as an unarmed advisor to former Katanga Governor Moise Katumbi earlier this year.  The complaint states that he was illegally detained for six weeks without being charged with a crime, and that while detained, he was interrogated for up to 16 hours a day, threatened, beaten, scarcely fed, and denied necessities for basic hygiene.

Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30ebUOgcank&feature=youtu.be

Photo – http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/449511/DRC_Embassy.jpg

The complaint was also delivered to the two individual defendants in Kinshasa, the capital of the DRC, earlier today.  The case is pending in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

“I’m suing these individuals who have abused their power in the Kabila government as a way of standing up to those who violate basic human rights.  I know that I am only one of many to suffer torture at their hands.  Although these individuals targeted me because I am an American, these individuals are notorious for their abuses against the Congolese people as well.  I hope this case will bring some small measure of justice against persons who have no regard for basic human dignity.”

In his complaint, Mr. Lewis is seeking not less than $4.5 million in damages.

NOTE: These materials are distributed by DCI Group AZ, L.L.C. for Akin Gump Straus Hauer and Feld LLP on behalf of Moise Katumbi, and additional information is on file with the Department of Justice, Washington, DC.

PDF – http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/448854/PDF_1_Darryl_Lewis.pdf

PDF – http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/448850/PDF_2_Darryl_Lewis.pdf

Un vétéran américain dépose une plainte en justice contre le leadership de la République démocratique du Congo

Il demande 4,5 millions USD de dommages et intérêts pour son incarcération illégale de six semaines

WASHINGTON, 14 décembre 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Hier, au bureau de l’Ambassadeur François Nkuna Balumuene à Washington, DC, le vétéran américain Darryl Lewis a déposé sa plainte en justice dans le cadre de sa poursuite pour torture contre deux personnes occupant de hautes fonctions dans le respect des lois en République démocratique du Congo. Selon la plainte, M. Lewis a été torturé alors qu’il travaillait en République démocratique du Congo à titre de conseiller non armé de l’ancien gouverneur du Katanga, Moise Katumbi, précédemment cette année. La plainte stipule qu’il a été illégalement détenu pendant six semaines sans être accusé de crime, et que pendant sa détention il a été interrogé jusqu’à 16 heures par jour, ainsi que menacé, battu, à peine nourri, et qu’il s’est vu refuser les besoins d’hygiène basique.

Vidéo – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30ebUOgcank&feature=youtu.be

Photo – http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/449511/DRC_Embassy.jpg

La plainte a également été remise aux défendeurs des deux personnes à Kinshasa, la capitale de la République démocratique du Congo, aujourd’hui. Le dossier est en attente à la Cour de district des États-Unis, dans le district de Columbia.

« Je poursuis en justice ces personnes qui ont abusé de leur pouvoir dans le gouvernement Kabila. C’est pour moi un moyen de rester debout face à eux qui violent les droits humains élémentaires. Je sais que je ne suis que l’un de ceux qu’ils font souffrir. Bien que ces personnes m’aient ciblé parce que je suis Américain, ils sont tristement célèbres pour abuser de leur pouvoir contre le peuple congolais aussi. J’espère que ce dossier va apporter quelques petites mesures de justice contre des personnes qui n’ont aucun égard pour la dignité humaine la plus élémentaire.”

Dans son dossier, M. Lewis demande la somme de 4,5 millions USD en dommages et intérêts.

REMARQUE  : Ces documents sont distribués par DCI Group AZ, L.L.C. pour Akin Gump Straus Hauer et Feld LLP au nom de Moise Katumbi, et des informations supplémentaires figurent sur le dossier au ministère de la Justice, Washington, DC.

PDF – http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/448854/PDF_1_Darryl_Lewis.pdf

PDF – http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/448850/PDF_2_Darryl_Lewis.pdf

AFRICA’S GIRAFFE POPULATION DROPS BUT RISES IN NAMIBIA

The giraffe population in east, central and west Africa is dropping significantly, but their numbers are, however, rising in Namibia and the rest of southern Africa, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The latest IUCN update released on the Red List of Threatened Species indicates that Africa has lost almost 40 per cent of its giraffe population over the last three decades.

In an interview with Nampa this week, the director and co-founder of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) and co-chair of the IUCN SSC Giraffe and Okapi Specialist Group, Julian Fennessy, said the decline is mostly caused by human population growth.

“As people have expanded across the continent, more land is needed for development which unfortunately results in less land for wildlife,” Fennessy said, adding that habitat loss had the greatest impact but most recently, poaching and illegal hunting in central and eastern Africa had led to the decrease in giraffe numbers.

Fennessy also said Namibia had been very successful in its conservation and management of giraffes, leading to the number of the animals doubling if not tripling over the last three decades.

Namibia has more than 12 000 giraffes of which most are Angolan giraffes, while over 100 are South African giraffes, according to Fennessy.

“It is really unlikely that this type of decline experienced elsewhere will happen in Namibia unless there is an international interest in giraffe bones and skins,” he noted.

He added that community conservation with support from Government and the private sector had done an amazing job as Namibia and South Africa combined houses 50 per cent of the world giraffe population.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

WEST AFRICAN LEADERS IN GAMBIA RESOLUTE ON PERSUADING YAHYA JAMMEH TO STEP DOWN

West African leaders in Banjul trying to convince Yahya Jammeh to acknowledge his defeat in Gambia’s presidential election have met a stone wall, but remain resolute.

They have not yet reached an agreement in this direction, said Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who had led the delegation, said in Banjul Tuesday evening.

“We did not come for an agreement; we came to help the Gambians to organize the transition,” pan-African news agency APA quoted her as saying in a report received here Wednesday.

“It is not something that can be accomplished in one day, it is necessary to work on it,” added. Johnson Sirleaf, the current chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The West African leaders, including Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, outgoing Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama and Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma, met Yahya Jammeh, who, according to Sirleaf, expressed some concerns to them but which were not specified.

“The ECOWAS mission came here to meet him to better understand the current situation,” she added. “We met with all the parties concerned and now we will report to our peers at a meeting of ECOWAS scheduled on Saturday in Abuja, the federal capital of Nigeria where the West African organization has its headquarters.”

She assured that there was no need for disappointment since she thinks the approach will work.

She stressed that all the interlocutors of the delegation had committed themselves to peace and stability in the Gambia.

Meanwhile, Jammeh’s party, the Patriotic Alliance for Reorientation and Construction (APRC), lodged an appeal Tuesday with the Supreme Court to seek the annulment of the results of the Dec 1 elections in which President-elect Adama Barrow beat Jammeh by some 19,000 votes, according to documents.

The APRC considers that the Independent Electoral Commission has not properly compiled the results and states that in one part of the country a significant number of its sympathizers were intimidated and prevented from voting.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

President Kiir Apologizes to South Sudanese for Past Mistakes

President Salva Kiir has asked the South Sudanese to forgive him for past mistakes. The president made the appeal Wednesday during an end-of-year speech before the National Legislative Assembly. He also ordered government forces to observe a cease-fire and create a conducive environment for communities to reconcile.

“In the spirit of national unity, forgiveness and dialogue, I am asking you, the people of South Sudan, to forgive me for any mistakes I might have committed. This is a spirit that our country needs and we must act now,” Kiir said.

The president called for a national dialogue, one that he said would include people from all sectors of society, as the three-year conflict drags on in parts of the country.

“I strongly believe that the current situation in our country calls for a national dialogue,” he said. “It calls for unity and to end the cycle of violence and atrocities. A national dialogue, in my view, is both a forum and a process through which the people of South Sudan can gather to redefine the basis of their unity as it relates to nationhood, citizenship and a sense of belonging.”

Kiir added the dialogue will allow citizens to discuss openly how South Sudan should be structured and what its development priorities should be. He said the government will ensure that the outcome of a national dialogue will be accepted by all, and implemented.

Grass-roots involvement

“The government will not lead or control this process,” he said. “The government shall be a stakeholder in the national dialogue. I strongly believe in a South Sudanese-led process, and so we have identified our fellow citizens who are persons of consensus and integrity to steer this process.”

He did not elaborate on who selected the “persons of consensus and integrity” to run the national dialogue. Nor did he name the people steering the process.

At the same time, Kiir insisted the process would involve grass-roots consultations, regional peace conferences and a national conference in Juba.

Faith-based groups and local think tanks – including the Sudd Institute, the Ebony Center for Strategic Studies, and the Center for Peace and Development Studies – are to be involved in the planning process, according to the president.

Kiir: Safety for all

Without mentioning by name his former First Vice President Riek Machar, who has been run out of the country, Kiir said the government will guarantee the safety and freedom of all who participate in the dialogue, including those outside the country who oppose his government.

“I call upon those who are still carrying arms to stop destroying their own homes and their own country and join the process of national dialogue,” he said. “I also call upon our national army and all the security organs to uphold their constitutional mandate to protect all the citizens and their properties.”

Kiir promised that “no grievances will be left unaddressed in this process.”

The president also warned against hate speech, saying his government will take serious measures against individuals who promote ethnic hatred and violence.

“I also call upon those propagating hate speeches in the social media, international and social forums to stop tearing their country and communities apart,” he said.

Kiir instructed the South Sudanese people to “stop any propaganda against the international community, especially the American people and the United Nations.”

Source: Voice of America