Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January 16: A Date to Remember

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is sworn in as Liberia's new president. She becomes Africa's first female elected head of state.

2011 Nobel Peace Prize Awardee ( jointly with Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakel Karman of Yemen), 51st Most Powerful woman in the World by Forbes 2006, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf  won the 2005 Presidential Election and took office on 16 January 2006. She has successfully made a tremendous impact on so many that she became a candidate for re-election in 2011. Sirleaf is the first elected female head of state in Africa. * More Details*

 "There currently exists no law referencing homosexuality in Liberia, and as such the President could not be defending a law on homosexuality. The President is on record as saying [...] that any law brought before her regarding homosexuality will be vetoed. This statement also applies to an initial attempt by two members of the Liberian legislature to introduce tougher laws targeting homosexuality."

 Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-State Department 2012-.jpg

 An estimated 41 international workers are taken hostage in an attack in the town of In Aménas, Algeria.

The In Amenas hostage crisis began on 16 January 2013, when al-Qaeda-linked terrorists affiliated with a brigade led by Mokhtar Belmokhtar took over 800 people hostage at the Tigantourine gas facility near In Amenas, Algeria. One of Belmokhtar's senior lieutenants, Abdul al Nigeri, led the attack  and was among the terrorists killed. After four days, the Algerian special forces raided the site, in an effort to free the hostages.
At least 39 foreign hostages were killed along with an Algerian security guard, as were 29 militants.
  A total of 685 Algerian workers and 107 foreigners were freed. Three militants were captured.
It was one of many attacks in the Maghreb carried out by Islamist groups since 2002. More on

Congolese President Laurent-Désiré Kabila is assassinated by one of his own bodyguards.

 Laurent-Désiré Kabila (November 27, 1939 – January 16, 2001) was President of the Democratic Republic of Congo from May 17, 1997, when he overthrew Mobutu Sese Seko, until his assassination by one of his bodyguards on January 18, 2001. He was succeeded by his son Joseph eight days later.
Kabila was born to a member of the Luba tribe in Baudoinville, Katanga province, (now Moba, Tanganyika District) in the Belgian Congo. His father was a Luba and his mother was a Lunda. He studied political philosophy in France, and in Yugoslavia at the University of Belgrade; later he attended the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.Laurent-Désiré Kabila cropped.jpgThe investigation into Kabila's assassination led to 135 people being tried before a special military tribunal – including 4 children. The alleged ringleader, Colonel Eddy Kapend (one of Kabila's cousins), and 25 others were sentenced to death in January 2003, but not executed. Of the other defendants 64 were jailed, with sentences from six months to life, and 45 were exonerated. Some individuals were also accused of being involved in a plot to overthrow his son. Among them was Kabila's special advisor Emmanuel DUNGIA, former ambassador to South Africa. Many people believe the trial was flawed and the convicted defendants are innocent. More Details *

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