Senegal

The Senegal's African Women's Media Center (AWMC) has launched a comprehensive new manual to help women journalists report more effectively on HIV/AIDS.

In a letter to Justice Minister Basile Senghor, RSF expressed concern following the sentencing of Mamadou Oumar Ndiaye, publication director of the Dakar-based weekly "Le Témoin". "While not wishing to comment on the facts of the case, RSF recalls that a prison sentence with no parole for 'defamation' is viewed by international human rights bodies as 'disproportionate' to the harm suffered by the victim," stated Robert Ménard, the organisation's secretary-general.

The two rival presidents of Madagascar have signed a landmark power-sharing peace deal, late Thursday morning, in Senegal. The agreement, signed after more than 24 hours of feverish but determined African mediation, envisages a government of national reconciliation in Madagascar during a six-month democratic transition.

The divide between Africa and the West never seemed wider than after Zimbabwe's recent election. As Western governments condemned President Robert Mugabe, African presidents - all except one - rallied behind him or greeted his stolen victory with silence. The critical voice belonged to Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, who was elected president two years ago in this West African nation after struggling in the opposition for 26 years.

Prime Minister Boye has taken legal action against Guèye, "Le Tract" newspaper's publication director, for "insults to a member of the government" and "distribution of false news through the use of false or fabricated documents". Touré, Guèye's computer graphics technician, is being taken to court for "complicity". On 31 January 2002, the two journalists appeared before the examining judge in a Dakar court. Guèye's next hearing is scheduled for 11 February.

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