Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Description: Description: cid:image005.png@01CD3D93.F45D3B50




Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA  P. O. Box 3243  Téléphone : 5517 700  Fax : 5511299
Web site :
Directorate of Information and Communication

Maseru, 28 May 2012 – “The AU Observer Mission concludes that the 26 May, 2012 National Assembly Elections in the Kingdom of Lesotho were free, fair and credible” affirms the preliminary statement of the African Union released by General Yakubu Gowon, team leader of the AU EOM during a press conference on 28 May 2012.
Gen. Gowon also commended the Basotho for their political maturity and for the peaceful conduct of the National Assembly Elections, General Gowon. Indeed, in 2010, the Kingdom of Lesotho has marked the Year of Peace and Security which culminated in the lighting of the Flame of Peace in September 2010.
According to the AU EOM, the electoral process, as a whole, was peaceful and held in accordance with the Constitution and the electoral law of the Kingdom of Lesotho. In this regard, the AU EOM has commended the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) for the smooth management of the electoral process, the voters’ education and the professionalism of its agents during the Election Day.
Amongst others, the AU EOM recommended to simplify the electoral process, to sustain the training of electoral agents and to maintain civic and electoral education so as to increase the rate of participation of the electorate.
General Gowon, once again, called upon all Basotho stakeholders to accept the outcome of the elections and to use appropriate channels provided for in the electoral law to resolve disputes.

29th May 2012

Charles Taylor sentencing 30 May – Global Witness spokespeople available in London, The Hague and Liberia

Global Witness spokespeople are available for comment on the sentencing of former Liberian president Charles Taylor by the Special Court for Sierra Leone , sitting in The Hague , which will take place on Wednesday 30 May.
Last month the Court found Taylor criminally responsible for aiding and abetting in crimes including pillage, murder and rape committed during Sierra Leone ’s bloody civil war, and convicted the former warlord of 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Taylor’s trial has focused attention on the pivotal role he played in Sierra Leone ’s bloody diamond trade and has highlighted how natural resource looting finances armed conflict and human rights abuses internationally.
The sentencing this week finally provides the people of Sierra Leone with justice for the crimes committed against them and sends a message to those in power bent on terrorising their people that they will be held to account.

Global Witness will attend the sentencing and will be available for comment in The Hague , London and from Greenville , Liberia . The organisation played a key role in exposing Taylor ’s use of diamonds and timber to finance conflict in both Sierra Leone and Liberia .

Our briefing paper, The Charles Taylor Verdict: A Global Witness briefing on a dictator, blood diamonds and timber, and two countries in recovery, lays out these issues, including the role of diamonds and timber and the need for justice for Liberia .