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EVENING REPORT 05.11.2002.
AT LEAST 16 PEOPLE KILLED IN HORROR ROAD ACCIDENT IN ETHIOPIA.
ADDIS ABABA: Reports from Ethiopia say a cargo truck has collided with a pickup in the northeast of the country, killing 16 people and injuring 16 more. All of the victims were employees of the Afar regional government and were travelling in the pickup from the capital, Addis Ababa, to the neighbouring country of Djibouti. The accident took place near Gwane, about 150-kilometres northeast of Addis Ababa.
AND 16 MORE KILLED IN ZIMBABWE.
HARARE: In Zimbabwe, 16 people died in a accident when the bus they were travelling in collided head-one with a truck. Reports say the accident occurred near the town of Kwekwe, about 213 kilometres south-west of the capital, Harare. Several other passengers were injured and have been admitted to hospital in Kwekwe.
SWAZI MOTHER POSTPONES LAWSUIT AGAINST MONARCHY.
MBABANE: A woman who sued the monarchy in Swaziland to prevent King Mswati The Third from marrying her daughter has postponed her lawsuit indefinitely. The plaintiff, Lindiwe Dlamini, said there was little chance that she would win her case. She initially asked the court to force the royal family to release her 18-year-old daughter, Zena Mahlangu, from a royal guest house. Mahlangu and two other women were abducted by the King's aides in September this year after the monarch decided they would be his tenth, eleventh and twelfth wives.
SOUTH AFRICA SUPPORTS ASIAN WAR ON TERROR.
PHNOM PENG: South African President Thabo Mbeki says Africa supports south-east Asia's war on terror. He further stipulated that he was adverse to any unilateral action against Iraq. The issue of Iraq should be resolved through the United Nations. Mbeki was speaking in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh at a conference of Asian leaders. His speech also encompassed Africa's efforts to pull itself out of war and poverty. Observers say the recent bombings on Indonesia's Bali island and in the Philippines, as well as warnings of possible future terrorist strikes, cast a dark shadow over the conference.
MAN IN SOUTH AFRICA CHARGED WITH HIGH TREASON.
PRETORIA: A white South African man suspected of leading a rightwing extremist group has appeared in court in connection with an alleged plot to overthrow the black-run government. The 52-year-old businessman, Tom Vorster, was arrested last night after being on the run from police since August. Police believe Vorster is one of the leaders of the Boeremag. This is a shadowy rightwing group accused of planning attacks on police and army bases in a bid to seize control of the South African government and chase black people out of the country. Vorster will stand trial next May along with 17 other men alleged to be part of the coup plot.
BODY OF SOUTH AFRICAN KILLED IN BALI BLAST RETURNED HOME.
JAKARTA: The body of one of the South Africans killed in the bomb blasts in the Indonesian island resort of Bali last month, has arrived back in South Africa. The remains of 35-year-old Craig Harty who was in Bali for a rugby tour when he was killed, were repatriated free of charge by Australia's Qantas airline. His coffin was draped with a South African flag. Another South African killed in the bombings was Godfrey Fitz, of Cape Town. His remains have yet to be positively identified.
SENEGALESE PRESIDENT NAMES NEW PRIME MINISTER.
DAKAR: Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade has named the number two in his ruling party as prime minister, shortly after sacking Prime Minister Mame Madior Boye and the entire government. Wade had been expected to dissolve the government and appoint someone from his own Senegal Democratic Party as prime minister. His number two, Idrissa Seck, was a favourite. Seck, who was previously Senegal's minister of state without portfolio and cabinet director of Wade's office, says he will start forming a new government today, after a number of consultations.
REBELS IN IVORY COAST AGREE TO CONTINUE TALKS.
LOME: Ivory Coast rebels are headed for a crucial second round of peace talks with government negotiators in Togo, after setting tough new conditions. The rebels, who have called for President Laurent Gbagbo's resignation and new elections, have threatened to pull out of the talks unless the government agrees to address all their political demands. The Ivorian rebels' political representative, Guillaume Soro, says he has received guarantees that all issues will be on the table.
NIGERIA SETS DATES FOR ELECTIONS.
ABUJA: The Nigerian National Electoral Commission says it will hold presidential and general elections between March and April next year. However, it has warned that organisational and legal problems have yet to be solved. The commission noted that it first had to hold local elections that were postponed twice this year because voter rolls were not ready. The commission still has not completed the registration of voters. It has also failed to set a new date for the vote. The Commission also noted that it had gone to court to challenge several provisions of the Nigerian Electoral Act, which it says are unconstitutional. One such provision says that presidential and general elections may be held on a single day. The commission says it lacks the means to hold the polls on one day.
AIDS TAKES ITS TOLL OF MINING IN SOUTHERN AFRICA.
JOHANNESBURG: The annual general meeting of the South African Chamber of Mines has heard that the future viability of the mining industry in Southern Africa is threatened by the spectre of AIDS. The head of the Chamber of Mines in Zimbabwe, David Mwaragari, told the gathering that the AIDS epidemic was having a profound effect on the economy of his country. The meeting heard that almost 39 percent of the adult population had H.I.V. in Botswana. However, delegates from Botswana, say some mining houses have been providing anti-retroviral drugs to H.I.V. positive employees since last year.
RELIEF AGENCIES WANT CHEAPER VACCINE FOR NEW STRAIN OF MENINGITIS.
UNITED NATIONS: Relief agencies from the United Nations and other sectors have requested ten-million dollars to control a new strain of meningitis that threatens central Africa. The relief agencies said the new strain, W-135, was found two years ago in Saudi Arabia and was spread to central Africa by Muslims returning from the annual Islamic pilgrimage. The agencies noted that although a vaccine existed to protect against W-135, it cost up to 50 dollars and this was too expensive. The World Health Organisation said it hoped to reach agreement with the drug companies for a cheaper vaccine costing about a dollar.
INTERNATIONAL MEETING DEBATES WAYS TO COMBAT CONFLICT GEMS.
INTERLAKEN: Ministers from more than 40 countries as well as delegates from the diamond industry have debated ways to establish a system to stop conflict diamonds from reaching global markets. They discussed an international certification system for uncut diamonds that would enable customs officers to identify the origins of the gems. The meeting in Switzerland was another step in the Kimberly Process, an initiative begun in South Africa in 2000.
INTEREST SHOWN IN NIGERIAN SMELTER COMPANY.
ABUJA: Nigeria's privatisation agency says three foreign investors have shown interest in the state-run Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria. The Bureau for Public Enterprises, or BPE, says the American group ALCOA, Russian Aluminium, and Glencore AG of Switzerland are in the running to buy a 51 percent controlling stake in the company. The Nigerian government owns 70 percent equity in the firm. In September the BPE announced plans to sell off a 51 percent controlling interest to a foreign core investor.
Prepared in Johannesburg, South Africa.
MIDDAY REPORT 05/11/02
ZAMBIAN UNIVERSITY CLOSED AFTER STUDENT RIOTS: REPORT.
LUSAKA: A university in Zambia has been closed after students looted campus property to protest a decision by university authorities to increase the minimum pass mark. The students destroyed property on the campus of the Copperbelt University after authorities increased the pass mark from 40 per cent to 50 per cent. The state-run Times of Zambia says armed riot police struggled to disperse the student demonstrators at the university, which is in Zambia's second largest city of Kitwe, 400 kilometres north of Lusaka.
BURUNDI GOVERNMENT, REBELS UNHAPPY WITH CEASEFIRE TALKS PROGRESS.
BUJUMBURA: Burundi's government spokesperson and communications minister says the interim regime is dissatisfied with the progress of ceasefire talks aimed at ending more than nine years of civil war. This sentiment is allegedly shared in Dar es Salaam by the Hutu rebel group involved in the talks, the Forces for the Defence of Democracy. Burundi's government spokesperson Albert Mbonerane says there are no tangible signs that these negotiations will reach a conclusion quickly.
ERITREAN OPPOSITION CLAIMS MILITARY STRENGTH TO REVOLT.
KHARTOUM: Eritrea's main opposition parties plan to use military means to overthrow the government of Isaias Afwerki. Abdalla Idris, the chairman of the Eritrean National Alliance Leadership Council - the ENALC - says they possess the military strength to carry out a revolt against Afwerki's regime. Afwerki has been in power since 1991. Idris says in the event of a revolt the ENALC will work to achieve democracy, respect for human rights, press freedom and political pluralism in Eritea.
TB FIGHT GETS BOOST AS U.S. CENTRE FUNDS S.A. TB RESEARCH.
PRETORIA: The Medical Research Council of South Africa and the American Centre for Disease Control are due to sign a multi-million dollar agreement tomorrow to further research on tuberculosis. Officials say one area of study will look at drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis, while clinical trials will be conducted on new drugs to combat the disease. The signing ceremony will take place at the offices of the Medical Research Council in the South African city of Pretoria.
SUDAN TO INVESTIGATE POLICE RAID AT UNIVERSITY.
KHARTOUM: The Sudanese government says it has ordered an investigation into alleged abuses by the police during a riot at Khartoum University last month that has led to continuing turmoil on campus. Interior Minister Abdel Mohamed Hussein has ordered the formation of an investigative committee comprised of the police, security forces and university administration. University officials say the committee is to hear testimony by students and teachers, adding everyone found involved in unlawful acts will be brought to account. Students are demanding that the committee investigate alleged beatings of students and staff members. Sudanese police have denied allegations of beating and looting by the riot police. At least 20 policemen and 10 students were injured in the riots.
MORNING REPORT 05/11/02
MADAGASCAR CALLS FOR DELAY OF ELECTIONS.
ANTANANARIVO: The opposition in Madagascar, which is led by former president Didier Ratsiraka, has called for legislative elections schedule for the 15th of next month to be delayed. The Vangaurd for Madagascar's Renewal, AREMA, which Ratsiraka founded in 1975, says it will only join in a process of national reconciliation if the polls are put back and if a national conference is held. A feud between Ratsiraka and President Marc Ravalomanana over last December's presidential election plunged Madagascar into its worst ever political crisis and took the country to the brink of civil war. AREMA occupied 66 of the 150 seats in the national assembly that Ravalomanana dissolved on the 15th of last month.
SUDAN SAYS IT HAS RESOLVED MOST ISSUES IN PEACE TALKS.
KHARTOUM: Sudanese officials say the Khartoum government and the Sudan People's Liberation Army have agreed on most issues in talks to end 19 years of civil war, including power-sharing, but a final accord could still take some time. Officials said the two sides were negotiating the final details of dividing political power and have started to tackle the issue of wealth-sharing. Khartoum and the Sudan People's Liberation Army are holding peace talks in Machakos, Kenya. The dialogue follows an agreement in July this year that allows southerners to opt for secession after a six-year period of administrative autonomy.
S.A. GROUP TO ESTABLISH AFRICAN POWER GRID.
JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's Eskom Enterprises, or EE, is working within the New Partnership for Africa's Development framework to establish an Africa power grid. Eskom's managing director Duncan Mbonyana says the power infrastructure aims of NEPAD involve the rehabilitation and upgrading of the transmission infrastructure, the connection of existing power pools and development of new generation capacity, both hydro and thermal, throughout Africa. Mbonyana says Eskom is already in advanced negotiations for additional projects in Africa. He says the NEPAD African Energy Fund will be working with the NEPAD Business Group in providing EE with a major business opportunity to position EE in the African energy and related services market.
POST-MORTEM RESULTS FOR ZAMBIAN BUSINESSMAN AVAILABLE NEXT WEEK.
PRETORIA: Post-mortem results of Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa's brother Rex will only be available within the next two weeks. Mwanawasa's body was found at a hotel in Pretoria, South Africa over the weekend. There were no visible wounds on him and it could not be established whether he had been killed or died of natural causes. The South African Police say the post-mortem involves complex analytical procedures which will delay the release of the results. Mwanawasa was a sales manager for a Zambian company and was in South Africa on private business.
S.A. MAN RECEIVES HONORARY MEMBERSHIP OF AMERICAN LEGAL SOCIETY.
BLOEMFONTEIN: The Dean of Law at the University of The Free State in South Africa, Johan Henning, has become the first South African legal academic to receive honorary membership of the American legal society, the Order of the Coif. This is the only academic honorary society for jurists in the U.S. Only one honorary membership is awarded every year. Henning received membership after giving a lecture in the U.S. entitled, "Business law and economic justice: The modern South African experience." The lecture was delivered during the annual Order of the Coif lecture, hosted by the University of Kentucky in the U.S.
U.S. CONDEMNS ALLEGED FOOD AID DIVERSION IN ZIMBABWE.
WASHINGTON: The United States has assailed as cynical and self-serving the alleged diversion of food assistance in Zimbabwe to supporters of President Robert Mugabe. State Department spokesperson Richard Boucher says Washington is looking into how best to deliver the assistance to those who need it most regardless of their political affiliation. Last month, the World Food Program said it had suspended the distribution of relief supplies in a southwest Zimbabwe district due to political interference by Mugabe's ruling party.
IRAQI PRESIDENT INVITES SOUTH AFRICA'S PRESIDENT.
BAGHDAD: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has invited his South African counterpart Thabo Mbeki to visit his war-threatened country. Saddam has met South Africa's deputy foreign minister, Aziz Pahad. He said Iraq wants to develop its relations with South Africa in the economic, technical and scientific domains. Pahad was quoted as saying he delivered a message to Saddam from Mbeki on reinforcing relations between the two countries and on South Africa's desire to reinforce bilateral co-operation with Iraq.
LEADER OF RIGHTWING PLOT TO APPEAR IN SOUTH AFRICAN COURT.
PRETORIA: Security at the Pretoria Regional Court is expected to be stepped up this morning following a major breakthrough by South African police in their investigation into an alleged rightwing plot to topple the government. Last night police announced the arrest of Tom Vorster, the alleged underground leader of the Boeremag organisation apparently behind the plot. Vorster is the 18th suspect charged with high treason, terrorism, and sabotage. Vorster was arrested in South Africa's province of Gauteng and will appear in court this morning.
S.A. EDUCATION MINISTER WANTS AFRICAN TERTIARY INSTITUTION.
PRETORIA: South Africa's Education Minister Kader Asmal says he will promote the creation of an African-language university or technikon. Asmal says he will propose that one of the institutions of higher learning move towards teaching in one of the nine indigenous languages. He was speaking to the South African National Commission of the United Nations Scientific, Education and Cultural Organisation - UNESCO - in Pretoria. He said to achieve such a goal could take up to 30 years. The South African minister pointed out that it had taken about this long to develop text books and other academic support systems for Afrikaans.
EARTHQUAKES ROCK TANZANIAN PARLIAMENT.
DODOMA: Tanzanian politicians have fled the country's parliament after two earthquakes shook the building in the capital, Dodoma. Officials say the quake, which was also felt in other Tanzanian regions of Morogoro, Singida, Iringa, Mbeya, Shinyanga and Arusha, has caused slight damage to the building. Building technicians had earlier inspected the cracks on the first and third floors of parliament and allowed members to continue with their session following the first earthquake. But the house was adjourned following the second tremor to allow experts to carry out more inspections on the building.
ECOWAS TO HOST DONOR MEETING IN NIGERIA.
ABUJA: The Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, is due to host a donor meeting in the Nigerian capital of Abuja today. The aim of the meeting is to enable Africans to agree on an assistance package to fulfil their mandate under the New Partnership for Africa's Development, also known as NEPAD. Representatives of the European Union, the World Bank, U.S.-AID, the African Development Bank and the Canada Development Agency will attend the meeting.
GERMANY AND SPAIN TO DONATE MONEY TO MAURITANIA: W.F.P.
ROME: The World Food Programme says Germany and Spain have agreed to donate a total of 856-thousand dollars to help victims of drought in Mauritania. The U.N. agency says at least 750-thousand people in Mauritania out of a population of two-million 700-thousand are affected by food shortages caused by the country's nearly perpetual drought. The U.N. food agency made an urgent call for help for Mauritania, warning of mass starvation in the largely desert country. Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and Britain have already sent funds to help finance relief programmes in Mauritania.
MAN OPENS FIRE AT D.R.C. PRESIDENTIAL PALACE.
KINSHASA: A man in military uniform has opened fire in the palace of President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo, launching a firefight that killed two members of the presidential guard and the gunman. Kabila's spokesperson says three other security officers have been injured. Authorities say Kabila was just returning to the Congo capital, Kinshasa, when the shooting happened, and was not in the palace at the time. The shoot-out happened in the same area of the palace where Joseph Kabila's father, Laurent, was shot to death last year.
ISRAEL DISMISSES AMNESTY REPORT.
JERUSALEM: The human rights group Amnesty International has accused Israel of war crimes, saying there had been unjustified killings and maltreatment of Palestinians during an army offensive in the West Bank. The London-based group says few of the abuses reported last spring have been impartially investigated. The army reoccupied Palestinian West Bank cities in April with the declared aim of rooting out militants behind a campaign of suicide bombings. Israeli Foreign Minister Daniel Taoub has dismissed the report.
NEW SENEGALESE P.M. EXPECTED TO SET UP NEW GOVERNMENT.
DAKAR: One of President Abdoulaye Wade's closest aides has been named Senegal's new prime minister after the government was sacked in the wake of a ferry disaster that cost one-thousand-200 lives. Idrissa Seck replaces Mame Madior Boye who was dismissed along with the rest of the government in a move the media suggested was linked to the sinking of the ferry Joola in September, one of Africa's worst maritime catastrophes. Seck, who served as director of Wade's office and the number two in the president's Senegalese Democratic Party, must now quickly set about forming his new government.
IVORY COAST TALKS IN THE BALANCE.
BOUAKE: Rebels in Ivory Coast say they will not return to the negotiating table with government unless their call for President Laurent Gbagbo's resignation and new elections are on the agenda. Guillaume Soro, head of the rebels' political wing, the Ivory Coast Patriotic Movement, led the rebel delegation during three days of talks last week, which were put on hold after the government agreed in principle to amnesty for rebels and to reintegrate mutineers into the armed forces. Soro's statement cast doubt on whether the talks would resume today, under the mediation of Togolese President Gnassingbe Eyadema.
FRANCE'S DEFENCE MINISTER MEETS MOROCCO'S KING.
RABAT: France's defence minister has met Morocco's King Mohammed to underscore the importance of the two nations' long-standing military ties amid global concerns on terrorism. Michele Alliot-Marie's visit to the former French colony was the first by a French defence minister since 1997. Since Morocco gained independence in 1956, France has provided training for Moroccan pilots and other military personnel. France, along with the United States, is a main supplier to Morocco's military.
LIBYAN LEADER MEETS ALGERIAN PRESIDENT.
TRIPOLI: Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi has held talks with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Tripoli on Arab and international issues, as well as bilateral relations. The leaders also discussed Tripoli's threat to withdraw from the Arab League over the latter's alleged lack of action over Israel's military response to the Palestinian uprising and American aims to topple the Iraqi government. Bouteflika arrived in Tripoli from Abuja where he had been attending a meeting of the New Partnership for Africa's Development.
ANGOLAN ARMY CAPTURES PARTS OF ENCLAVE FROM ARMED WING.
LUANDA: The Angolan army has reportedly captured parts of the enclave of Cabinda held by the armed wing of the Cabinda Enclave Liberation Front. Officials said the army had launched an offensive to get the movement to negotiate a peace settlement. The Cabinda Enclave Liberation Front wants independence for Cabinda. However, Luanda opposes this because the enclave is the source of about 60 percent of the nation's oil wealth. Cabinda is wedged between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo-Brazzaville.
Prepared in Johannesburg, South Africa, by Mbulelo Dlamini Maqhubu.
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