‘They Are Coming for Their Brethren’

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first_imgPastor Caleb W. Askie, who shocked the nation last week with what he said was a divine message instructing the Liberian head of state to step down, has delivered another message.At his Saturday night service in the GSA Road community, Askie said God is instructing the Government of Liberia to release the 18 southeasterners accused of mercenary activity across the border with Ivory Coast.“This case has lingered for some time,” Askie told the congregation. “And God is saying that in order to save the state, the Government of Liberia must release these men because their brethren are coming for them, and they are not coming to appeal. They are coming with force.”In a vision, Askie said, he saw men coming in the night.“Like a SWAT team, they were stepping over our security forces, who were fast asleep.“I said ‘Lord, who are these men?!’” he explained. The Lord said to me, ‘they are coming for their brethren.”Asked whether this implied that the men are innocent, Askie said no. By same token, however, the young pastor told the Daily Observer in an interview after the service that God’s revelations have to be taken in context.“Obviously, God would not condone rebel activity,” he said. “But this is not about whether they are innocent or not; this is about what is expedient in order to save the State. If the men are innocent, then let the State free them; but they must not keep this case lingering on without telling the men their fate.“We run a spiritual intelligence ministry,” Askie told the Daily Observer. “We are helping the State. If the southeasterners come for their brethren, they will turn this place upside down.”Last year an unauthenticated document surfaced, claiming that southeasterners based in the United States were funding a plan to break into the Monrovia Central Prison, where the men are being held, in order to free them. Government spokesmen for the Ministries of Defense and Information, however, seemed split over whether or not the information was accurate.On December 31, 2013, the 18 men vandalized criminal Court ‘D’ after presiding Judge Yussif Kaba postponed the selection of jurors ahead of the Monday, January 6 scheduled trial.Judge Kaba, who presided over the trial last year, had suspended the hearing on legal grounds.His suspension of the case was influenced by a report from one of the then 15 jurors, Jeremy Neufville, which stated that the jury had been bribed to rule in the State’s favor.Some of the defendants were quoted by our reporter as saying, “We were informed by some of our ‘big’ people that we were to have been released today from this prolonged detention. But, after what the Judge said, we find ourselves prepared to die here today.”The men were re-arrested in the courtroom by security forces, and no casualties were reported.Then just over a week ago, on April 25, 2014, one of the 18 men, who had unexpectedly become a State witness, failed to show up in court to testify against his colleagues.Prince Barclay had been exonerated and freed after he reportedly agreed to turn state witness.In court on Friday, April 25, state witness Barclay was expected to appear and testify against the other 17 defendants; but when the appointed time came, Barclay could not be found anywhere in the courtroom.Barclay’s absence prompted a request to the court to suspend hearing on that day, (Friday) stating that the prosecution’s witness had suffered a severe bout of diarrhea. They did not say which hospital had treated him, or show any medical reports related to Barclay’s sudden illness.One of the lawyers for the defense prayed that the court deny the suspension request, arguing that it was an attempt to delay the case, and prolong his clients’ detention.Cllr. Dempster Brown argued that prosecution’s failure to produce its witness’ medical records, clearly demonstrated the prosecution’s un-readiness to continue the trial.After arguments, however, Judge Emery Paye granted the prosecution’s request to suspend the hearing until Monday, April 28.All 18 of the men on trial were alleged members of a defunct rebel faction, blamed for going on a violent, murderous rampage around the country, between 1990 and 2003.They were also accused of launching cross-border raids into neighboring Côte d’Ivoire during 2010 to 2011. Several human rights violations were attributed to them, including the killing of seven Nigerian members of a United Nations peacekeeping mission (UNOCL) in the same neighboring country.The human rights violations were linked to clashes between the Defense and Security Forces (FFS) militias and mercenaries of former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo, on one hand, and the Republican Forces of Côte d’Ivoire (FRCI) and traditional hunters loyal to President Alassane Ouattara, on the other.They were arrested between 2010 and 2012, in Grand Gedeh County by a joint-security team. Grand Gedeh is a bordering county with La Côte d’Ivoire.The accused denied the charges when the case was first heard earlier last year.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Sanchez yet to shine at UTD, admits Mourinho

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first_imgMourinho, whose team take on Liverpool at Old Trafford on Saturday, believes it will be next season before the 29-year-old shows his best form.“What is wrong is that he came at the worst moment of the season, in the winter market,” said the Manchester United boss. “That’s why I don’t like the winter market very much.“I think this was a chance that we didn’t want to lose and we made. But we don’t believe a lot in the winter market.“And for sure next season will be better for him. But of course he is learning how to play with us and we are learning how to get the best out of him.”Pundits have suggested integrating Sanchez in mid-season has had an adverse effect on the form of teammates, in particular midfielder Paul Pogba.But despite the obvious teething problems, Mourinho does not see Sanchez as a weakness in the United team.“No. That’s something that we can develop and we’re going to develop with time, with experience and living these experiences together,” said the manager.“I don’t consider that a weakness, I consider that a huge potential to be developed.“He’s fit and if he is trying too hard, that’s great. He is not afraid to take responsibilities, not afraid to try things.”Sanchez’s eight appearances have included two defeats, at Tottenham and Newcastle, which all but ended United’s lingering hopes of challenging Manchester City for the Premier League title.– Sanchez happy –But despite an underwhelming start to Sanchez’s United career, Mourinho said the player remains happy.“He’s fine,” said the United boss. “He’s happy that the team is getting results — lately he was unhappy when we lost matches with him but he’s a guy with great maturity and attitude and we couldn’t be happier.”United’s eagerly awaited league encounter with rivals Liverpool comes with both clubs chasing second spot behind champions-elect City.And, at the start of a week in which Mourinho is also looking to progress in the Champions League and FA Cup, the United manager believes he and opposite number Jurgen Klopp are at similar stages in terms of developing their clubs.“They have qualities and they have weaknesses,” he said. “We have qualities, and we have weaknesses.“And one of my good qualities as coach was always to know my team’s weaknesses very well and sometimes I tried to hide them and sometimes I have to try to compensate them with other things.“But we are very similar in terms of points in the Premier League. Liverpool have already qualified for the (Champions League) quarter-final and we still have 90 minutes or two hours of a big fight to try to be there.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Alexis Sanchez has scored just once for United since his arrival from Arsenal © AFP/File / Glyn KIRKMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Mar 9 – Jose Mourinho admits he has not got the best out of Alexis Sanchez since his January transfer because the former Arsenal forward moved to Manchester United at the “wrong” time.Sanchez was signed in a swap deal that reportedly made him the Premier League’s best-paid player but the Chile international has scored just one goal in eight United appearances, well below his career strike rate.last_img read more

Chespol wins as Kenya rule African Cross

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first_img0Shares0000Kenya’s Celliphine Chespol in action (Jiro Mochizuki) © CopyrightNAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Celliphine Chespol and Alfred Barkach secured a Kenyan double in the senior races at the African Cross Country Championships in the Algerian city of Chlef.Their compatriot Rhonex Kipruto won the U20 men’s race, but Kenya didn’t completely dominate as Ethiopia’s Girmawit Gebregziabher won the U20 women’s title and Ethiopia ended the day by winning the mixed relay. Chespol, who is still just 18 years old, was part of a large lead pack of 16 women that covered the first two-kilometre lap in 7:37.The group had been reduced to 13 women by the end of the second lap, with Ethiopia’s Guangzhou marathon champion Rahma Tusa Chota leading the group through in 14:39.Of the 10 women still in the lead pack at the end of the third lap, reached in 21:36, six of them were Kenyan. Chespol had compatriots Margaret Chelimo, Rosemary Njeri, Stacy Ndiwa, Perine Nengampi and Sandra Chebet for company as they ran alongside Ethiopian trio Chota, Yeshi Kalayu Chekole and Enatnesh Alamirew and Uganda’s Stella Chesang.But Chespol didn’t hang around for much longer and opened up a 17-second lead on the penultimate lap. Some distance behind the steeplechase world U20 record-holder, Njeri, Chekole and Chelimo were battling for what appeared to be the two other spots on the podium.Although Chespol’s leading margin was reduced to just three seconds on the final lap, she did enough to win, clocking 35:10 for the 10km event. Chelimo came through for second place in 35:13 with Chekole taking third in 35:26.Njeri faded in the closing stages, but Ndiwa and Chebet finished fourth and sixth respectively, securing the team title for Kenya.Barkach wins in thrilling finishThe senior men’s race was even closer.The initial lead pack may have been larger than in the women’s contest, but the attrition happened earlier in the race with the top four contenders making a break at the half-way stage.After a pack of about 29 men covered the first lap in 6:39, there were still 19 men in contention by the end of the second lap, reached in 12:49, as Kenya’s Emmanuel Bor led from Ugandan duo Thomas Ayeko and Philip Kipyeko.But Alfred Barkach and Julius Kogo suddenly emerged as the leading Kenyan contenders as they joined Uganda’s Ayeko and Kipyeko and Ethiopian cross-country champion Enyew Mekonnen to form a breakaway lead pack.Kipyeko was the first of the quintet to fall behind, leaving four men to battle it out for three medals as they entered the final lap.Mekonnen was ultimately unable to keep up with his opponents; in the frantic surge for the finish line, Barkach got the better of Kogo and Ayeko to take the title in 30:47.Kogo and Ayeko were given the same time with Kogo being awarded the silver and Ayeko the bronze.With Bor and John Chepkwony finishing in the top seven, Kenya once again picked up the team title. Uganda earned team silver, while Eritrea took bronze ahead of Ethiopia.U20 titles for Kipruto and GebregziabherFollowing his convincing defeat at the recent Kenyan Cross Country Championships, Rhonex Kipruto gained revenge on compatriot Stanley Waithaka to take the U20 title in Chlef.The race played into the hands of the big kickers. 16 men were still in the lead pack at half way and nine of those remained in the group as they approached the final lap.Kipruto proved to have the best strength, though, and opened up a five-second gap on Waithaka by the finish line, winning in 25:01.Ethiopia’s Solomon Berihu took bronze in 25:08, while Kenya picked up another gold medal in the team contest.Girmawit Gebregziabher may be a relative newcomer, but she is fast making a name for herself.In the U20 women’s race in Chlef, the Ethiopian moved to the front of the lead pack at roughly half way, then went on to create a 14-second winning margin by the end, crossing the line in 20:40.Just as she had done at the Ethiopian Cross Country Championships last month, teammate Tsige Gebreselama finished second to Gebregziabher while Kenya’s Hellen Ekalale was one second in arrears, taking bronze in 20:55.Kenya may have missed out on individual honours in this race, but – with 18 points to Ethiopia’s 19 – they narrowly won team gold.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

HAIL AND SLEET ON WAY TO DONEGAL AS FORECASTERS SAY IT COULD BE A WHITE CHRISTMAS

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first_imgCOLD northern winds could bring a White Christmas to Co Donegal, forecasters said today.The current weather systems bringing freezing temperatures to the county in the past 10 days will stay over Donegal until January.And that has increased the chances of a snowbound Christmas. Met Eireann says it will continue to be cold this afternoon with heavy showers of sleet, rain or hail – and some showers may be thundery.Forecasters say we’ve just had the coldest autumn in 19 years.They’ve stopped short of saying there will be a white Christmas as December 25 is still too far away to say with certainty.But they say the conditions make it increasingly likely. That has prompted a flurry of bets at the bookies predicting snow here on Christmas Day. HAIL AND SLEET ON WAY TO DONEGAL AS FORECASTERS SAY IT COULD BE A WHITE CHRISTMAS was last modified: December 4th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:HAIL AND SLEET ON WAY TO DONEGAL AS FORECASTERS SAY IT COULD BE A WHITE CHRISTMASlast_img read more