. and yet the JTF insists there were no extra judicial killings
Hosts South Africa and Iraq shared the spoils in the opening game of the Fifa Confederations Cup in Johannesburg. The hosts missed a hatful of chances with Kagisho Dikgacoi unlucky to see a goalbound header accidently blocked on the line by team-mate Bernard Parker.
Earlier South Africa’s Macbeth Sibayo saw his 20-yard shot tipped round the post by Iraqi keeper Mohammed Kassid. Striker Parker saw two efforts saved by Kassid while Thembinkosi Fanteni headed Teko Modise’s corner over the bar. Substitute Katlego Mashego should have done better for South Africa when finding himself one-on-one with Kassid.
But as was the case for much of the game the Iraq keeper proved to be unbeatable, doing well to smother the ball at the feet of Mashego. Iraq rarely threatened South Africa who were cheered on by a partisan crowd of 48,837 at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park. The one time the hosts did beat Kassid, Parker found himself in the way of Dikgacoi’s header, blocking it on the line and away to safety.
Earlier Fifa president Sepp Blatter had opened the tournament after a colourful ceremony at Ellis Park. “Fifa is committed to Africa,” said Blatter. “The world of football trusts you, and the confidence is in you. It is in Africa, it is in South Africa today.” Spain and New Zealand also await both teams in Group A.
South Africa: Itumeleng Khune; Siboniso Gaxa, , Aaron Mokoena (capt), Matthew Booth, Tsepo Masilela; Benson Mhlongo, Macbeth Sibaya, Teko Modise, Kagisho Dikgacoi; Bernard Parker (Steven Pienaar 85), Thembinkosi Fanteni (Katlego Mashego 78).
Booked: Fanteni 2, Sibaya 81
Iraq: Mohammed Kassid; Mohammed Ali Kareem, Basem Abbas, Fareed Majeed, Salam Shaker, Ali Hussein Rehema; Nashat Akram, Karrar Jassim (Hawar Mohammed 75), Mahdi Kareem (Salih Sadir 88); Emad Mohammed (Alaa Zahra 76), Younis Mahmoud (capt).
Booked: Akram 74, Att: 48,837, Ref: Jorge Larrionda (URU)
SOURCED FROM BBC
It’s hard for a lot of people to take the Confederations Cup seriously, although in Germany four years ago it did develop into a summer festival and in the end proved a tasty appetiser before the main meal 12 months later.
The field for South Africa is somewhat lob-sided: Brazil, Italy and the all-conquering Spanish are the strong favourites with the United States, Egypt and South Africa perhaps having the potential to create an upset. Iraq and New Zealand should pose few problems for the big teams.
Most importantly, though, this is a test of the organisational ability of the World Cup hosts, whose preparations for 2010 have been clouded by uncertainty. That has been partly because of international scepticism over the ability of an African country to organise an event of the magnitude of the World Cup and partly because South Africa have failed dismally to spin the positives of their bid.
But the evidence of potential is now beginning to emerge from beneath the mountains of bricks and dramatic skyline of cranes. The stadiums are all scheduled to be completed ahead of time and the country’s infrastructure is already looking sleeker and smarter, although new road works and airport upgrades continue at pace.
Ultimately, though, it will be the people who make or break the event. There is an underlying spirit of hospitality to South Africans but it is also a country with a dangerous crime rate that makes many visitors nervous. This month presents the chance for a good deal of positive marketing. Whether South Africa snatches up the opportunity remains to be seen.
SOURCED FROM REUTERS
Madagascar’s government has quit internationally mediated talks to end its political crisis, rejecting a political amnesty deal that would allow ousted leader Marc Ravalomanana to return to the island. President Andry Rajoelina said there was no scope to negotiate the homecoming of the exiled Ravalomanana, who he overthrew with support from dissident soldiers in March after weeks of civil unrest.
Although sources close to the talks have said it would be possible to continue dialogue with three out of four political movements, it was not immediately clear how any deal would stick without the government’s signature. Political turmoil has gripped the Indian Ocean island since the beginning of the year, shattering its $390 million-a-year tourism sector, alarming foreign investors and stunting growth.
“The people will not accept an amnesty which makes way for a discussion over the return of Ravalomanana,” Rajoelina told supporters on Saturday while touring isolated provinces. His comments were broadcast on state radio on Sunday. The African Union’s (AU) mediator, Ablasse Ouedraogo, told Reuters he was not aware of the government’s withdrawal.
Regional leaders and foreign powers, who generally branded Rajoelina’s power-grab a coup, have urged the formation of a consensus government to lead Madagascar into presidential elections as soon as possible.
SOURCED FROM REUTERS
Armed tribesmen attacked UN barges carrying food aid in southern Sudan, with unconfirmed reports of casualties, UN officials have said. Gunmen from the Jikany Nuer ethnic group attacked the 27 boats near the town of Nasir, near Sudan’s eastern border with Ethiopia, on Friday. The barges were travelling to the town of Akobo when they were attacked and 16 have returned to Nasir, the UN said.
Locals said several people had been killed, the AFP news agency reported. “We don’t have information on how many people were killed or injured. But everyone we have talked to has described it as an attack,” Michelle Iseminger of the UN’s World Food Programme said. The boats had been travelling on the Sobat tributary, part of the White Nile river system.
The boats had been carrying sorghum and other food aid to refugees who had fled tribal fighting in the south of Sudan. “There are many wounded in the hospital including soldiers, and many killed, there are dozens dead,” said an unnamed Nasir resident quoted by AFP. The boats had included an escort of soldiers from the southern Sudan People’s Liberation Army.
The river, which is the only way to deliver aid to the poorly-developed south of the country, was closed earlier this year because of tensions in the area. A 22-year war between the Islamic north and the Christian and animist South ended in 2005. But correspondents say tension remains and many fear renewed fighting ahead of a referendum on the south’s potential full independence due in 2011.
SOURCED FROM BBC
Nigeria’s main militant group said on Monday it had sabotaged an oil pumping station in the Niger Delta operated by Chevron, the fifth attack claimed against the U.S. energy company in less than a month. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said it attacked the Chevron-operated Abiteye flow station, which feeds oil to the Escravos export terminal in Delta state.
It was not possible to verify the statement independently. Chevron officials were not immediately available for comment. The militant group, which declared “an all-out war” against the military last month, threatened to expand its campaign in the region to include offshore oil facilities.
Oil markets have largely shrugged off the latest violence, focusing attention instead on the broader global economy and its affect on energy demand. “After destroying the entire oil infrastructure in Delta state, the hurricane will move into the neighbouring states of Bayelsa and Rivers before passing through the remaining state of Ondo, Edo and Akwa Ibom then finally head offshore,” MEND said in an e-mailed statement.
Chevron facilities in the southern Delta state have become a favourite target for attacks by MEND, which says it is fighting for a fairer share of the region’s wealth. Chevron has halted much of its operations in Delta state, shutting output of 100,000 barrels per day, after militants bombed one of it pipelines on May 24.
SOURCED FROM REUTERS
Filed under: AFRICAN CRIME AND JUSTICE, AFRICAN ENVIRONMENT, AFRICAN NEWS, NIGER DELTA, NIGERIA | Tagged: AFRICAN CRIME AND JUSTICE, AFRICAN NEWS, NIGER DELTA, NIGER DELTA MILITANTS, NIGERIAN NEWS | Leave a Comment »