Nine men jailed in Senegal for homosexuality

Kenya MapNairobi/Dakar - Nine gay men have received heavy jail sentences in Senegal for engaging in acts "against the order of nature," reports said Thursday.

Homosexual activity is illegal in the mainly Muslim West African nation and is punishable by up to five years in prison.

However, the judge handed down eight years to each man after ruling they were members of a criminal organization, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) said.

One of those sentenced was Diadji Diouf, a prominent figure who heads an organization that provides HIV prevention services to gay men.

Kenyan premier's party in crisis talks over coalition

Raila OdingaNairobi - Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga's party was Monday holding crisis talks after President Mwai Kibaki signed into law a media bill opposed by Odinga.

Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) fears that Kibaki is increasingly going his own way and ignoring the premier, who was appointed this year as part of a power-sharing deal that ended Kenya's bloody post-election violence.

Around 1,500 died and hundreds of thousands fled after Odinga accused Kibaki's Party of National Unity (PNU) of stealing last December's presidential elections.

Kenya's President Kibaki signs controversial media bill

Nairobi - Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki Friday said he had signed into law a new media bill that many fear will curtail press freedom.

The bill, which has prompted a public outcry, allows the state to raid media houses, interfere with broadcasters' programming and take stations off the air.

Kibaki said that it was important to regulate the media, but promised that the new bill did not mean that the government wished to restrict the press.

"I wish to reiterate the commitment of my government to the ideals of press freedom and democracy and assure the media and the public in general that we shall not roll back on the gains we have made in this regard," he said.

Crowds gather as Ghana prepares to announce election result

Ghana FlagNairobi/Accra - Thousands of supporters of Ghana's opposition candidate John Atta Mills gathered outside the offices of the electoral commission Tuesday as the body prepared to announce the results of the presidential run-off election.

Partial results from the electoral commission put Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on 52.17 per cent of the vote versus 47.9 per cent for Nana Akufo-Addo of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) with 200 out of 230 constituencies counted.

Local media have projected a win for Atta Mills, who has already claimed victory. The NPP said that Atta Mills was claiming victory prematurely.

Kenya's future peace hangs on implementing crucial reports

Nairobi  - Kenya will be happy to see the back of 2008, a year in which one of sub-Saharan Africa's most stable states exploded into an orgy of violence following disputed presidential elections.

The future peace of the East African nation now depends upon the implementation of two crucial reports commissioned in the wake of the violence.

Observers are warning that the 2012 elections could prompt more bloodletting should the recommendations not be taken onboard, but so far the signs are looking good.

Kenyan leaders sign deal to set up election violence tribunal

Kenyan leaders sign deal to set up election violence tribunal Nairobi  - Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga and President Mwai Kibaki have signed a deal to set up a local tribunal to try politicians and businessmen accused of orchestrating this year's post-election violence.

The deal was signed hours before the midnight deadline given by a commission headed by Justice Philip Waki.

Waki in October handed down the deadline to create a local tribunal to try those named in an envelope Waki handed over to former UN secretary general Kofi Annan.