Former President Bush arrives in ZambiaBy ELIAS MBAO in Lusaka | Friday, December 2 2011 at 13:29
Former US President George Bush and his family arrived in Zambia Friday to a thunderous welcome.
The Bush family is on a health awareness three-African nation trip, despite Amnesty International’s call for his arrest over human rights violations.
A traditional dance troupe entertained Mr Bush, his wife Laura, daughters and other members of his delegation at the national’s largest airport – KK International Airport – in the capital Lusaka.
Zambia President Michael Sata, First Lady Christine Kaseba, Chief Justice Ernest Sakala, ministers and diplomats accredited to Zambia welcomed Mr Bush and his delegation that will be in Zambia until Sunday.
Mr Bush’s trip, which has already taken him to Zambia’s north eastern neighbour Tanzania and later Ethiopia after Lusaka, is aimed at raising awareness about cervical and breast cancer and HIV/Aids.
“The whole tour is focused on health issues,” said US Ambassador to Zambia Mark Storella.
Amnesty International Wednesday called on Zambia, Tanzania and Ethiopia to arrest Mr Bush, 65, for allegedly torturing detainees during his presidency between 2001 and 2009.
“International law requires that there be no safe haven for those responsible for torture; Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia must seize this opportunity to fulfil their obligations and end the impunity George W. Bush has so far enjoyed,” Amnesty International’s senior legal adviser Matt Pollard, said in a media release.
The US Government under Mr Bush, used water boarding, which simulates the sensation of drowning, on detainees suspected to have been involved in the September 11 twin tower bombing, which marked the start of the US anti-terrorism fight.
This is the first time Mr Bush is visiting Zambia while his wife had been here mid 2007.
Mr Bush in 2003 launched the President's Emergency Plan For Aids Relief (PEPFAR/Emergency Plan) with a commitment of $15 billion over five years between 2003 and 2008 to fight the global HV/Aids pandemic.
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