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AFRICA

Lawyer blames Ugandan rebels for slaughter

The lawyer of a Swedish company boss jailed in Central African Republic with 10 others on suspicion of murder on Tuesday said the real killers were rebels of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army.

The man, who heads the big game Central African Wildlife Adventures company, and 10 of his employees were charged with murder on May 10, after 13 miners were found dead in March at Ngungunza in the northeast of the country.

“The real killers are elements of the LRA,” lawyer Mathias-Barthelemy Morouba told AFP.

“The victims were bound with bicycle tyres carefully cut up into ropes, then they were beaten with sticks until they died.

“The murderers also used daggers and machetes, because the rear part of the skull of some victims has been cracked open with a machete. Nowhere in this country do we see massacres of this kind,” he added.

Ngungunza is in an area “infested with ‘Tongo-Tongo’ (LRA rebels). So we cannot say that Erik Mararv, who contacted the police, (and) who brought to the site the Central African armed forces armed to the teeth, is the one who killed these 13 people. All the same, he makes a funny killer,” Morouba said.

A member of the paramilitary police, who asked not to be named, told AFP that the Sweden and the other 10 suspects, some of them foreigners, were being held in Bangui’s central Ngaragba prison.

Chased out of Uganda, the head of the LRA, Joseph Kony is believed to be in the Central African Republic with several hundred men, according to the United Nations in late March.

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H&M

H&M mulls production in South America and Africa

Swedish fashion giant H&M is considering starting production in South America and Africa, chief executive Karl-Johan Persson told the Financial Times in an interview published on Monday.

H&M mulls production in South America and Africa

“When that part of the world is growing, which it is, it becomes even more interesting to look at production in South America or Central America. So, we are exploring that opportunity … We’re looking at (Africa) as well,” he said.

He added that the company is particularly looking into countries such as Mexico and Brazil.

His comments come almost one month after the collapse of a nine-storey garment factory complex in a suburb of Dhaka caved in and buried thousands of workers, killing over 1,200 people.

Persson, who last week called for a higher minimum wage in Bangladesh, had no suppliers in the building.

H&M announced on May 13th that it would sign an agreement drafted by global unions to improve safety in the Bangladeshi textile factories it uses.

The Swedish company plans to open its first store in Chile in 2013. Persson added that the company’s online launch in the US is scheduled for August this year.

AFP/The Local/og

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