Friday, April 13, 2012

DTN News - SPECIAL REPORT ~ AFRICA CONFLICT NEWS: Sudan Army Advancing, ‘So Many Bodies At The Front Line’

DTN News - SPECIAL REPORT  ~ AFRICA CONFLICT NEWS: Sudan Army Advancing, ‘So Many Bodies At The Front Line’
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Abdelmoneim Abu Edris Ali, Agence France-Presse / National Post
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - April 13, 2012:  Sudan’s army said on Friday it has launched a counter-attack towards Heglig town in its main oil-producing region, which South Sudanese forces seized earlier this week.

“Now we are moving towards Heglig town” and are “close,” army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad said in a statement.
“The situation in Heglig is going to end in coming hours,” he told reporters, adding that South Sudan had tried but failed to control “all of South Kordofan state.”
Malaak Ayuen, deputy spokesman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in the South, said his forces had expected a fight-back.
“Yes we know they are moving towards Heglig,” he said. “But there is no problem … Let them come”.
World powers have urged restraint after the latest round of heavy fighting that broke out on Tuesday with waves of aerial bombardment hitting the South, whose troops seized the Heglig region from Khartoum’s army.
Southern President Salva Kiir and his Khartoum counterpart, Omar al-Bashir, have accused each other of seeking war, prompting a UN Security Council call for an immediate ceasefire.
Sudan had vowed to react with “all means” against a three-pronged attack it said was launched by South Sudanese forces.
The clashes, the worst since South Sudan won independence in July after one of Africa’s longest civil wars, have brought the two former foes the closest yet to a return to outright war.
Neither army has provided casualty figures but one Southern soldier in Bentiu said earlier: “There are so many bodies at the front line, so many dead” that it is impossible to bury them or bring them back.
When the South separated, Khartoum lost about 75 percent of its oil production and billions of dollars in revenue, leaving the Heglig area as its main producer. Its output roughly fulfilled domestic requirements.
But Tuesday’s attack caused a total production shutdown in the area, said Ahmed Haroun, governor of South Kordofan state, in which Heglig is located.
Despite international calls, Juba has refused to withdraw from Heglig unless certain conditions are met, including Khartoum’s pullout from the neighbouring Abyei region it holds and which, like Heglig, is claimed by both sides.
International arbitrators ruled three years ago that Heglig was not part of Abyei, a decision the South agreed with although it does not concede that Heglig is therefore northern.
Kiir, in a speech to parliament on Thursday, said Bashir had “announced a total war with the Republic of South Sudan.”
And Bashir said South Sudan had “chosen the path of war, implementing plans dictated by foreign parties who supported them during the civil war.”
Parliaments in the two nations have called on citizens to take up defences in case of war.
Journalists are not allowed to report independently in South Kordofan, but an AFP reporter on a government-run trip saw soldiers on Thursday lined up at the airport in the provincial capital Kadugli.
Several military trucks and three attack helicopters were seen along with a large transport aircraft.
The unrest has prompted Khartoum to pull out of African Union-led crisis talks aimed at resolving the protracted dispute with Juba over oil, border demarcation, contested areas and citizenship issues.
In January, the landlocked South shut crude production — which made up 98 percent of its income — after Khartoum began seizing Southern oil in lieu of compensation for use of its export terminal and other facilities.
This week’s clashes follow border fighting that erupted last month between the neighbours, and which each side has blamed the other for starting.
World powers, including the African Union, United Nations, United States and China, have called for restraint and voiced deep concern at the escalation of violence.

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Abdelmoneim Abu Edris Ali, Agence France-Presse / National Post
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DTN News - SPECIAL REPORT ~ OSAMA BIN LADEN NEWS: Pakistan To Deport Bin Laden Family

DTN News - SPECIAL REPORT ~ OSAMA BIN LADEN NEWS: Pakistan To Deport Bin Laden Family
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Reuters / Toronto Sun
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - April  13, 2012: Pakistan will deport the widows and children of former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden to Saudi Arabia next week after their jail sentence for illegal residency ends, their lawyer said on Friday.

The three women and two children were detained by Pakistani security forces after a secret U.S. special forces raid killed bin Laden in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad in May last year.

Earlier this month a Pakistani court sentenced the women to 45 days in prison for illegally staying in the country. It ordered their deportation after the prison term which began on March 3 when they were formally arrested.

“They are likely to be deported to Saudi Arabia on April 18, as their sentence ends on April 17,” the family’s lawyer, Aamir Khalil, told Reuters.

The three widows and the children were among the 16 people detained after the U.S. raid. Two of the wives are Saudi nationals, and one is from Yemen.

The family is being held at a house in the Pakistani capital Islamabad.

Analysts had said Pakistan may have preferred a lengthy prison sntence for the family to prevent them from discussing details of their time in the country.

Once outside Pakistan, bin Laden’s relatives could reveal details about how the world’s most wanted man was able to hide in U.S. ally Pakistan for years, possibly assisted by elements of the country’s powerful military and spy agency.

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Reuters /  Toronto Sun
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DTN News - MYANMAR NEWS: British Prime Minister David Cameron In Myanmar - Support Suspending Sanctions

DTN News - MYANMAR NEWS: British Prime Minister David Cameron In Myanmar - Support Suspending Sanctions
*British PM calls for suspending Myanmar sanctions
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources AP
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - April 13, 2012: British Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday that he would support suspending the European Union's economic sanctions on Myanmar, which are to be reviewed by the end of the month.

Cameron spoke after meetings with the country's reform-minded president, Thein Sein, and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a longtime political prisoner who was recently elected to parliament in Myanmar, a former British colony.
However, Cameron specified that he did not want to see an arms embargo on Myanmar be lifted as part of any easing of sanctions. The embargo, along with economic and political sanctions, was imposed during the repressive rule of the country's previous military government.
"We know there is still much, much more needed to be done, as the president himself has acknowledged, that there are more changes that need to be made," Cameron said at a news conference after meeting with Suu Kyi. "The right thing for the world to do is to encourage the change and to believe in the possibility of peaceful progress towards democracy."
By talking of suspending rather than lifting sanctions, Cameron was making clear the move would be a provisional one that could easily be withdrawn, if judged necessary.
Western nations have held out the prospect of easing sanctions if Thein Sein, a former general who retains close ties to the military, continues the political liberalization he began after taking office a year ago. Foreign investors as well as Myanmar entrepreneurs expect a business boom when restrictions are lifted.
Cameron, speaking with Suu Kyi by his side, told reporters that he had met with Thein Sein and concluded "there are prospects of change in Burma, and I think it is right for the rest of the world to respond to those changes. It is right to suspend the sanctions there are against Burma." He added that the suspension would "obviously" not include ending the arms embargo. Burma is the former name for Myanmar.
Thein Sein's reforms are seen as being mainly driven by a desire for sanctions to be lifted, with those imposing them gradually easing restrictions in return for more reforms, which so far have included the freeing of many political prisoners and reconciliation with Suu Kyi's pro-democracy movement.
If the EU, which is scheduled to take up the issue on April 23, suspends sanctions, it will put pressure on the United States to do likewise, for competitive business reasons. Both the EU and the U.S. restrict investment and trade with Myanmar, along with a slew of more targeted measures aimed at Myanmar military figures involved with repression, and their families and business cronies.
Suu Kyi — who attended Oxford and whose late husband was British — endorsed Cameron's approach.
"I support the idea of suspension rather than the lifting of sanctions because this would be an acknowledgment of the role of the president and other reformers," she said. "This suspension would have taken place because of steps taken by the president and other reformers and it would also make it quite clear to those who are against reform that should they try to obstruct the way of the reformers, then sanctions could come back."
While the international community has applauded political liberalization in Myanmar, it remains concerned about conflict with ethnic rebel groups, who have long been seeking greater autonomy from the central government. The government has been negotiating cease-fires with many, but remains embroiled in a bitter, fitful struggle with the Kachin minority in the country's far north.
As long as such fighting continues, there is no chance the arms embargo will be lifted. However, the failure to do so will affect Myanmar very little, as it had gotten around the embargo for years by buying military items from other suppliers, including China, North Korea and Eastern European nations.
Cameron held talks with Thein Sein soon after arriving in Myanmar's capital, Naypyitaw, and later met separately with Suu Kyi at her home in Yangon during his one-day visit.
His visit is the first in memory by a British prime minister, and it may actually be the first by a serving British head of government since Myanmar obtained its independence from Britain in 1948, when it was called Burma.
Suu Kyi was under house arrest during most of the past two decades under military rule. But as part of her rapprochement with the government, her National League for Democracy party took part in April 1 by-elections to win 43 of the 44 parliamentary seats it contested.
She will head the opposition bloc in parliament when it convenes on April 23, though Suu Kyi's party has suggested that it may delay taking its seats because it finds the wording of the oath of office contrary to its principles. The oath talks of protecting the constitution, which has clauses the NLD considers undemocratic.
Cameron invited Suu Kyi to come to the United Kingdom in June to see her "beloved Oxford" and said that it would be a sign of progress if she were able to leave her country and then return to carry out her duties as a lawmaker. When she was at odds with the former ruling junta, she declined to leave for fear she would be barred from returning.
Suu Kyi replied that "two years ago I would have said 'thank you' for the invitation, 'but sorry.' But now I am able to say 'perhaps,' and that's great progress."

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources AP
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*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: North Korea Admits Rocket Fails Shortly After Launch

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: North Korea Admits Rocket Fails Shortly After Launch
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Steve Herman | Seoul - VOA
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - April 13, 2012: North Korea has acknowledged a multi-stage rocket it launched early Friday failed to reach orbit.

An announcer on North Korean television - interrupting programming four hours after the launch, which was not broadcast - says the Kwangmyongsong-3 earth observation satellite did not succeed in reaching orbit and scientific experts are investigating the cause of the failure.
Officials in Seoul, Tokyo and Washington say North Korea's rocket indeed blasted off from the launch pad but failed to get very far.

U.S. military officials called it a Taepo Dong-2 missile. They say it was tracked by satellite on a southern trajectory where the first stage fell into the Yellow Sea. The North American Aerospace Defense Command says the other two stages failed to continue in flight and never posed a threat.
Related - North Korean Rocket Fails Shortly After Launch

South Korean army major general Shin Won-sik, speaking to reporters at the defense ministry, says the missile began tumbling back to Earth at an altitude of 151 kilometers, separating into about 20 pieces and harmlessly falling into the Yellow Sea 100 to 150 kilometers offshore.

The general says the launch clearly violates UN resolutions 1718 and 1874 and was a test-firing of a long-rang missile disguised as a satellite launch. He adds this is a grave provocation and a serious military threat to international society and the Republic of Korea.

Japan's defense forces, along with the South Korean and U.S. militaries in the region, had deployed anti-missile batteries on land and at sea to possibly shoot down the object if it flew over Japanese or South Korean territories.

Authorities in Japan's southern Okinawan islands, which are close to the intended flight path, activated public address loudspeakers soon after the launch.

Citizens were advised that there was nothing to worry about from the North Korean missile launch.

Japanese newspaper vendors handed out copies of extra editions to relieved commuters at train stations.

The incident prompted emergency security meetings both in Seoul and in Tokyo.

The U.N. Security Council is to add an agenda item about North Korea to its already scheduled Friday session.

The Group of Eight nations  - composed of the United States, Russia, Japan, Germany, the France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Canada - are calling for the United Nations to make an appropriate response to Pyongyang's action.

South Korea's foreign minister, Kim Sung-hwan, strongly condemns the North going ahead with the launch.

Kim says it is truly regrettable that North Korea spends huge financial resources on developing nuclear weapons and missiles while its citizens are experiencing such hardships.

Japan is echoing similar sentiments, adding it is considering additional financial sanctions on North Korea.

This marks North Korea's third failed attempt at a claimed satellite launch.

There is growing speculation in the intelligence community that North Korea will soon conduct a third nuclear test. Such underground explosions of nuclear devices followed its two previous attempted launches of multi-stage missiles.

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Steve Herman | Seoul - VOA
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*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News