S.Sudan rival leaders agree deadline for new gov’t
ADDIS ABABA - South Sudan's president and rebel chief met Tuesday in a bid to end six months of civil war, agreeing to forge a transitional government within a 60-day deadline, Ethiopia's prime minster said.
"They agreed to complete the dialogue process within the coming 60 days on what how, when and who... (for) the formation of the transitional government," Ethiopia's Hailemariam Desalegn said, after the rare meeting between President Salva Kiir and rebel chief Riek Machar alongside regional leaders.
A ceasefire deal signed by Kiir and Machar on May 9 has been repeatedly violated, deepening the crisis in the young nation which has already killed thousands and forced more than 1.3 million people from their homes.
It was the first encounter of the enemies in a month, and only the second since the civil war began in mid-December.
Kiir and Machar met on the sidelines of a regional leaders' summit in Addis Ababa organised by the East African IGAD bloc, which is brokering slow-moving negotiations between both sides.
Hailemariam, speaking at the opening of the summit, slammed both sides in South Sudan for violating a ceasefire agreement signed on May 9.
"There has been a growing tendency to continue with the war," Hailemariam said, but adding both Kiir and Machar had recommitted to the peace deal.
Previous rounds of peace talks have made little progress and been repeatedly delayed.
Delegates for Kiir and Machar have been meeting in luxury hotels in the Ethiopian capital since January, with both sides bickering over the agenda and even the venue of discussions.
Earlier, mediators issued a stinging rebuke of the rivals, accusing them of seeking military victory rather than a negotiated end to the civil war.
Mahboub Maalim, IGAD executive secretary, said both Kiir and Machar were "stupid" if they thought they could win on the battlefield.
"If we want to apportion blame, it's theirs. I think sometimes they thought they could win on the ground militarily, something which is very stupid," Maalim said.
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Man jailed for filming policemen stealing
ALGIERS - Algeria jailed a man for two years on Monday for posting a video of policemen stealing in the desert region of Ghardaia, during ethnic violence that erupted late last year.
Youcef Ouled Dada was found guilty of "publishing photographs and videos which harm the national interest" and "contempt of the authorities".
The 47-year-old was also ordered to pay a fine of 100,000 dinars ($1,250, 930 euros), one of his lawyers, Amine Sidhoum, told AFP, adding he would appeal.
Prosecutors had sought three years for Dada, a computer technician and member of the Berber Mozabite community in the ethnically divided Ghardaia region who has been detained since March.
Another of his lawyers, Abderahmane Saleh, said Dada was accused of filming "three policeman as they were stealing in Grara" municipality "taking advantage of the riots" that broke out in December.
Dada denies making the video or posting it on the Internet, insisting he only shared it on Facebook.
Ghardaia has been the scene of sectarian violence between the region's indigenous Mozabites and the Arabs, known as Chaambas, that have killed at least nine people and wounded more than 400 in the past six months.
In a bid to restore order, some 10,000 police were deployed in March around the main streets of Ghardaia, the regional capital, which lies about 600 kilometres (370 miles) south of Algiers.
Sidhoum, one of Dada's lawyers, called Tuesday's ruling "harsh" and said it would do nothing to calm the situation.
"In this trial, instead of investigating the reality of the facts, the person being denounced is prosecuted," he said.
Ghardaia's two communities have lived together for centuries, but tensions spiked when vandals destroyed a historic Berber shrine in late December.
Hundreds of houses and shops in the city, which is a UNESCO world heritage site, were also burned down in the unrest.
CAPTION: Algerian security forces clash with residents of Ghardaia following sectarian violence on March 18, 2014. PHOTO/AFP
Angelina Jolie says 'no shame' in being rape survivor
LONDON - Hollywood star Angelina Jolie said Tuesday that a global summit to end sexual violence in wars must send the message that there is "no disgrace" in being a rape survivor and that "the shame is on the aggressor".
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said at the opening of the four-day conference in London that it was only a "weak or inadequate man" that abuses women -- a statement that drew cheers from the crowd.
The conference is the fruit of a two-year campaign by UN special envoy Jolie and Hague, who have visited the Democratic Republic of Congo and Bosnia to meet victims of rape during wars.
In her opening remarks to the End Sexual Violence in Conflict summit, Jolie said she and Hague had met a woman in Bosnia who was still too ashamed to tell her son that she had been raped.
"This day is for her," said Jolie. "We believe it truly is a summit like no other."
In a speech greeted by rapturous applause, Jolie said: "We must send a message around the world that there is no disgrace in being a survivor of sexual violence, that the shame is on the aggressor."
She said it is a "myth" that rape was inevitable in war.
"There is nothing inevitable about it -- it is a weapon of war aimed at civilians. It has nothing to do with sex, everything to do with power," the "A Mighty Heart" star said.
Jolie said she had met rape survivors in countries including Afghanistan and Somalia, and they are "just like us, with one crucial difference".
"We live in safe countries with doctors we can go to when we're hurt, police we can turn to when we're wronged, and institutions that protect us," she said.
"They live in refugee camps, on bombed-out streets, in areas where there is no law, no protection, and not even the hope of justice."
'Taboo for too long'
Jolie said the international community needs to work to make "justice the norm".
She called for the prevention of rape in conflict to be incorporated into the training of all armies, peacekeeping troops and police forces.
"This whole subject has been taboo for far too long," she said.
Jolie said the stigma causes survivors to suffer feelings of "shame" and "worthlessness".
"It feeds ignorance, such as the notion that rape has anything to do with normal sexual impulses," she said.
"But most of all it allows the rapist to get away with it. They feel above the law because the law rarely touches them and society tolerates them."
Hague announced that Britain will pledge a further £6 million (£10 million, 7.4 million euros) to help survivors of sexual violence in conflict.
US Secretary of State John Kerry, who will attend the conference on Friday, said delegates from 117 countries wanted to "relegate sexual violence to the annals of history".
The summit includes 150 events open to the public in what the organisers hope will be a giant exercise in raising awareness.
Almost 150 governments have endorsed a declaration of commitment to end sexual violence in conflict.
Organisers also want to increase and improve the documentation of rape in warzones to allow more prosecutions to be brought.
Liesl Gerntholtz, of Human Rights Watch, told AFP that while most victims were women and girls, "there's an emerging body of research and documentation that certainly shows that men have been targeted".
On Wednesday, Hague and Jolie will launch an international protocol of proposals.
On the sidelines of the summit on Thursday, Hague will chair a ministerial meeting on security in northern Nigeria in the wake of the kidnap of hundreds of schoolgirls by the Al-Qaeda-linked Boko Haram movement.
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