Colombia Opens Door to Talks with Guerillas

first_imgBy Dialogo June 19, 2012 The Colombian senate’s approval June 14 of looser terms in peace talks sends a strong message to leftist guerillas who have been battling the government for half a century, experts said. The constitutional reform proposed by President Juan Manuel Santos, which must still pass the House of Representatives and Constitutional Court, allows for the possibility of amnesty for demobilized guerillas. It also sets out provisions to provide restitution to victims of the decades-long conflict and opens the door for former guerillas to gain political office so long as they did not perpetuate crimes against humanity. “It is essentially a message to the guerillas — they’re saying here is a way to make peace,” Fernando Giraldo, a political science professor at the Javeriana University. Colombian law currently imposes hefty prison terms on guerilla leaders accused of terrorism and bars them for life from political office. Amnesty is only offered for non-violent political crimes. “It’s a law for peace,” said Ariel Avila of Corporación Nuevo Arco Iris, a think-tank promoting peaceful resolutions to the Colombian conflict. “It opens a door to dialogue and offers a legal grounding to support it.” The approval does not signal that talks are imminent, cautioned Giraldo. “Society needs a pathway to escape this interminable armed conflict, but peace is not around the corner,” he told AFP. In public speeches this week Santos urged the military to attack guerillas with force and insisted that if a dialogue is opened “it will be on our conditions and under our controls.” Colombia has been riled in a bloody internal conflict that has killed, injured and displaced hundreds of thousands of people over the past 50 years.last_img read more

Bar investments post gains

first_imgA new investment policy begun by the Bar almost 12 years ago has weathered two recessions while more than doubling the Bar’s initial investment.And despite turbulent markets in recent months, it has made money for the Bar in the past year.Investment Committee Chair David Bianchi told the Board of Governors recently that the Bar started in September 1990 with an investment account of $9.2 million. The new policy allowed the Bar to invest in stocks and bonds, where previously it had been restricted to certificates of deposit.Since that time, the Bar has earned $9.8 million, of which about $5 million has been used to finance continuing Bar operations and the remainder left in the investment pool, which is now nearly $14 million, Bianchi said.In the past 12 months, the Bar has received a 5.8-percent return, he said, while the indexes the Bar uses to measure performance have averaged 3.8 percent.The committee recommended, and the board approved, a change in the way short-term investments are made. Bianchi said the Bar’s financial advisors recommended no longer investing in short-term commercial notes, but continuing to invest in money market accounts while adding one-to-three year term U.S. Treasury notes and bonds in a bond mutual fund. Bar investments post gains June 15, 2002 Regular Newscenter_img Bar investments post gainslast_img read more

Musa Bility believes African football is on the decline

first_imgLiberian FA President Musa Bility has expressed his disappointment at the state of football on the continent.The FIFA presidential hopeful, speaking exclusively on Asempa FM’s Sports Night stated the major bane of African football was down to poor cash injection.Bility was of the view football in Africa is on a downward football spiral.“It is in a downward trend. There is no money, the clubs are suffering. Our competitions are not funded,” he told Asempa Sports.“I am sure by now, Ghanaians are watching the English Premier League. We are being colonized through football again. Unless we put money behind our clubs and hire professionals to play for us. Football is in a bad state.”When asked whether FIFA was of any help, Musa believed it was incumbent on Africans to develop their own game and not solely rely on FIFA aid.  “You give me money, 500,000, 200,000 , that is not what I want. It is to develop my capacity to make my own money and that has not happened to Africa yet. Unless that happens we are going to stay where we are.”Musa Bility was banned for six months by CAF on May 2, 2013 for violating status to the use of confidential documents.–Follow Kweku on Twitter: @nana_odum. The Joy Sports hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more