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EVENING REPORT 06.11.2002.
REBELS IN BURUNDI KILL TWO OFFICIALS.
BUJUMBURA: Two Burundian officials have been killed and two wounded in a rebel attack on a neighbourhood in the northeast of the capital. The mayor of Bujumbura, Pontein Niyongabo, says Hutu rebels from the National Liberation Forces attacked a military position at around seven last night. Niyongabo says in separate incidents, several grenades exploded the morning in the capital, but caused no injury or material damage. They were apparently thrown by activists from Burundi's main opposition Tutsi party, the National Renewal Party, PARENA. PARENA' s leader Jean-Baptiste Bagaza has been accused of plotting to eliminate Burundian President Pierre Buyoya.
TWENTY-FOUR KILLED IN HORROR ROAD ACCIDENT IN EGYPT.
CAIRO: At least 24 Egyptian tourism business employees and their driver have died in an accident when their bus collided with a truck on a desert road as they headed home for their first Ramadan meal. Police say all the dead as well 24 injured, had left hotels and tourism businesses in the Hurghada area of the Red Sea to join their families for the first iftar evening meal. Iftar is the meal at sundown that breaks the daytime fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began in Egypt today. The accident happened about 61 kilometres out of the capital, Cairo.
IVORIAN PEACE TALKS RESUME.
LOME: Ivory Coast's rebels and government negotiators have resumed a crucial second round of peace talks in Togo, aimed at getting to grips with the toughest obstacles to ending their war. However, observers say there appears little sign that West African mediators could bring the foes to a compromise on either rebel disarmament or the demand by the rebels for President Laurent Gbagbo to resign to allow new elections to be held. The rebel side has met privately with Togolese President Gnassingbe Eyadema in his official residence. The Ivory Coast government side is also said to have had a similar meeting with Eyadema before face-to-face talks with the rebels later in the day in a Lome hotel.
NIGERIAN AND CAMEROONIAN PRESIDENTS TO MEET.
LAGOS: The Presidents of Nigeria and Cameroon are due to meet this month for the first time since the World Court ruled in favour of Cameroon in their prolonged border dispute. Nigerian officials said the precise date and venue of the summit would be decided later. The International Court of Justice ceded the Bakassi Peninsula, an area rich in oil and fisheries, to Cameroon in a ruling last month. Nigerian President Olsengun Obasanjo has said Nigeria cannot accept the decision as it is not in its national interest, but has declared his willingness to meet Cameroonian President Paul Biya to negotiate the matter further.
OIL SAID TO BE CAUSE OF TENSION BETWEEN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC AND CHAD.
BANGUI: An official from the Central African Republic, or C.A.R. says oil is the real cause of the current tension between Chad and that country. C.A.R. has accused its neighbour of backing last month's coup attempt. A government spokesperson says the real problem is the oil in Doba, referring to a three-point-seven billion-dollar oil and pipeline project between the Doba field of southern Chad and Cameroon. It is believed the project - the biggest of its kind in Africa - could lift Chad, like C.A.R. one of the poorest countries on the continent, to the brink of untold riches.
SOUTH AFRICA WANTS TO HELP CAMBODIA ESTABLISH TRUTH COMMISSION.
PHNOM PENH: South African President Thabo Mbeki has offered the South-East Asian country of Cambodia assistance for any trial involving surviving Khmer Rouge leaders held responsible for genocide and crimes against humanity. He said Cambodia had previously sent a team to South Africa to study the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979 and were blamed for the deaths of up to two-million people in a campaign of mass genocide. Efforts to try their surviving leaders have failed. Mbeki is in Cambodia for a summit meeting of the Association of South-East Asian Nations.
AMNESTY CALLS FOR RELEASE OF LIBERIAN DISSIDENT.
LONDON: Human Rights watchdog Amnesty International has called on Liberian authorities to release activist Aloysius Toe, who has been arrested and charged with treason in Monrovia. Amnesty says there is no basis to the charge against Toe and he must be immediately and unconditionally released. Toe, secretary general of Liberia Coalition of Human Rights Defenders, was charged with treason on Monday in a magistrates court in Monrovia, after almost a week in hiding.
ZIMBABWE ACCUSES US OF ARROGANCE.
HARARE: Zimbabwe has accused the United States of threatening to forcibly intervene in emergency food distribution, warmongering and favouring the country's opposition. An unidentified government official has called reports that a U.S. official said America might be forced to take intrusive measures to alleviate Zimbabwe's hunger crisis as mad talk. U.S. embassy officials have declined to comment. U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Mark Bellamy, has been quoted in an interview, as saying the U.S. may have to be prepared to take intrusive, interventionist measures to ensure aid delivery to Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwean government has been accused of holding back food aid from opposition strongholds.
HUTU REFUGEES AFRAID TO RETURN TO RWANDA: UN.
KIGALI: United Nations officials say thousands of Rwandan Hutu refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo are afraid of being unlawfully arrested and deported after a crackdown by government security forces. The UN refugee agency says a month of arrests, expulsions and illegal deportations of Rwandan Hutus from Kinshasa has led to a climate of fear among the Congo's more than 22-thousand Hutu refugees. The government is trying to weed out ethnic Hutus under a July peace agreement with Rwanda, which accuses many Hutus in Congo of taking part in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
REPORTS OF TORTURE IN SOUTH AFRICAN PRISONS: LOBBY GROUP.
DURBAN: The South African lobby group, the KwaZulu-Natal Campaign Against Torture, says it has evidence that suspects held in police holding cells are subject to torture. The campaign has released a report claiming that people in police custody are assaulted, suffocated, battered and even bitten by police dogs. South African Police Director Bala Naidoo says they have undertaken to allow the group to work with police stations to investigate the torture allegations.
ZAMBIA ENFORCES ITS BAN ON GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD.
LUSAKA: The Zambian government has summoned officials from a refugee camp to explain why they gave out genetically modified food after the government had forbidden its distribution. A local report says more than 22-thousand Angolan refugees at the Nangweshi camp in western Zambia, run jointly by the United Nations and the Zambian government, have been eating genetically modified grain. The newspaper says the grain had been milled before distribution to avoid any risk of it contaminating the environment. Zambia has rejected genetically modified food aid for more than two million people threatened by drought-induced famine. The government says there is no scientific evidence to prove this food is safe for humans or the environment.
LESOTHO COURT WARNS AGAINST CORRUPTION.
MASERU: Lesotho High Court Judge Tsiliso Monaphathi has warned that courts in his country will impose heavy sentences on those convicted of corruption. Monaphathi was sentencing senior public prosecutor in the Maseru Magistrate's Court Lebua Letsie to seven years imprisonment for bribery. Letsie was not given the option of a fine. Letsie accepted an offer of about 50 dollars from a woman who asked him to quash charges of rape and housebreaking against her brother. The woman's brother had been held in the Maseru Central Prison for two years awaiting trial.
TANZANIA PASSES NEW ANTI-TERROR BILL.
DAR ES SALAAM: Reports from Tanzania say parliament has passed a new anti-terrorism law which gives the police and immigration officials sweeping powers to arrest suspected illegal immigrants or anyone thought to have links with terrorists. Under the new law, passed by the National Assembly in the capital, Dodoma, police will not need warrants to detain people suspected of committing those offences. The new law also introduces new travel regulations, including a requirement that aircraft and ships entering or leaving the country provide detailed information on their passengers and cargo. It comes more than four years after a bombing of the American embassy in Dar es Salaam claimed eleven lives.
AGREEMENT SIGNED TO COMBAT TB IN SOUTH AFRICA.
PRETORIA South African Medical Research Council and the American-based Centre for Disease Control and Prevention have signed a multi-million dollar agreement for a joint tuberculosis research programme for the next five years in Pretoria. The programme is aimed at meeting the challenges of drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis and to improve infection control in hospitals. The council's director of tuberculosis research, Dr Karin Weyer, says a survey completed last week revealed that at least six-thousand people were infected by the dug-resistant strain of the disease in South Africa each year.
KENYAN SENTENCED FOR HEROIN POSSESSION.
NAIROBI: A former Kenya Airways flight attendant has been convicted of smuggling heroin into Kenya and has been sentenced to 18 years in prison. The attendant, 35-year-old Priscilla Jemutai Kolongei, was arrested in March. She was caught with about 28 kilogrammes of heroin after arriving at Nairobi's international airport on a Kenya Airways flight from Bombay, India. She was off duty at the time. In handing down the sentence, Magistrate Wanjiru Karanja said there was an increasing amount of drug trafficking in Kenya and the trend must be discouraged.
Prepared In Johannesburg, South Africa.
MIDDAY REPORT 06/11/02
AMNESTY CALLS FOR RELEASE OF LIBERIAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST.
ABIDJAN: Rights watchdog Amnesty International has called on Liberian authorities to release activist Aloysius Toe, who has been arrested and charged with treason in Monrovia. Amnesty says there is no basis to the charge against Toe and he must be immediately and unconditionally released. Toe, secretary general of Liberia Coalition of Human Rights Defenders, was charged with treason on Monday in a magistrates court in Monrovia, after almost a week in hiding.
U.S. TO LAUNCH FREE-TRADE TALKS WITH SUB-SAHARAN AFRICAN NATIONS.
WASHINGTON: United States Trade Representative Robert Zoellick has announced notification of Washington's intent to initiate talks for a free trade agreement with the nations of the South African Customs Union. The customs group includes Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. Zoellick says they are responding to Congress' direction, as expressed in the African Growth and Opportunity Act. This is to initiate negotiations with interested beneficiary countries to serve as the catalyst for increasing free trade between the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa and for increasing private sector investment in the region.
WEST AFRICAN STATES TO MEET OVER IVORY COAST.
ABUJA: Defence chiefs from west African countries that have pledged to contribute troops to a monitoring mission in Ivory Coast were expected to meet today, in the Nigerian capital, Abuja. The Economic Community of West African States - ECOWAS - says the meeting will review the structure of the force, due to be deployed in that country later this month. Contributing countries include Benin, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. Nigeria, west Africa's leading military power, insists it will not supply troops for Ivory Coast, which wracked by unrest since an army uprising in September.
CENTRAL AFRICA SAYS OIL IS REAL CAUSE OF FRICTION WITH CHAD.
BANGUI: An official from the Central African Republic says oil is the real cause of the current tension between Chad and that country. C.A.R. has accused its neighbour of backing last month's coup attempt. A government spokesperson says the real problem is the oil in Doba, referring to a three-point-seven billion-dollar oil and pipeline project between the Doba field of southern Chad and Cameroon. It is believed the project - the biggest of its kind in Africa - could lift Chad, like C.A.R. one of the poorest countries on the continent, to the brink of untold riches.
BLACK EMPOWERMENT ON TRACK: S.A. FISHING INDUSTRY.
CAPE TOWN: Observers say black economic empowerment within South Africa's commercial fishing industry, including the key hake, pelagic, rock lobster and abalone fisheries, appears to be well on track. This is according to a recent report measuring the extent of the transformation that has taken place in the sector since 1994. Up until the early 1990s, control of South Africa's fisheries was firmly in the hands of a few large and predominantly white-owned companies. South Africa's fishing industry creates about 28-thousand direct and 60-thousand indirect jobs each year.
MORNING REPORT 06/11/02
KING MSWATI SPEAKS OUT ON "ABDUCTION CASE".
MBABANE: The woman who sued the monarchy in Swaziland to prevent King Mswati from marrying her daughter has postponed her lawsuit indefinitely. Lindiwe Dlamini initially asked the court to force the royal family to release her 18-year-old daughter, Zena Mahlangu, from a royal guest house. Dlamini's counsel Lucas Maziya says the impression he got at first is that Mahlangu did not want to be the King's wife, but had since resigned herself to that fate. Meanwhile, Swaziland's King Mswati has spoken out for the first time on the case. The 34-year-old monarch says the case has been hijacked in an attempt to destroy Swaziland and its culture. Mswati says usually his family elders would consult the parents of the wife-to-be. Mswati confirmed that he is engaged to Zena.
SIX KILLED IN CARJACKING IN SOMALI CAPITAL.
MOGADISHU: In Somalia, six occupants of a car have been shot dead in Mogadishu when unidentified gunmen opened fire on the vehicle. Witnesses say four men and two women were driving through a district called K5 in the south of the city. The gunmen apparently began shooting when the driver of the car refused to stop as instructed. Mogadishu's already notoriously poor security has worsened over recent months. Somalia has lacked a central government since the 1991 overthrow of President Mohammed Siad Barre.
HOUSE ARREST OF FORMER BURUNDIAN PRESIDENT CRITICISED.
BUJUMBURA: Burundi's leading human rights group, LIGUE ITEKA, has criticised the government for placing a former President, Jean-Baptiste Bagaza, under house arrest. The group said the Burundian authorities had to avoid street justice and imprisonment based on suspicion alone. Bagaza leads the opposition PARENA party, an extremist Tutsi group. It fears Burundian President Pierre Buyoya may surrender power to the Hutu majority. The government placed Bagaza under house arrest on Monday this week, accusing him of plotting to topple the government and assassinate Buyoya.
DE BEERS CONSIDERS TO RETURN TO D.R.C. AND ANGOLA.
PARIS: South African diamond giant, De Beers, says it is considering a return to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola. The head of producer relations, Jonathan Oppenheimer, says the company has held preliminary talks in the Congo, which is the world's leading producer of industrial diamonds. It has also held talks with Angolan authorities to explore mining opportunities as both countries emerge from long-running civil conflict. De Beers closed its operations in the Congo and Angola in response to market concerns about the trade of so-called blood diamonds used to finance conflict in several African countries.
TOURISTS CHIP ROCKS TO TAKE HOME FROM S.A. TABLE MOUNTAIN.
CAPE TOWN: Reports say Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa is being carried away bit by bit by tourists. Where in the past, visitors to this landmark were content with photos of their Table Mountain experience, tourists are now knocking off bits of rock to take back home as souvenirs. Paddy Gordon of the Cape Peninsula National Park says the culprits are mainly international tourists. He says the extent of the problem lies in the sheer magnitude of the number of visitors to Table Mountain.
DJIBOUTI TO COMMENCE $300-MILLION DEEP-WATER PORT.
DJIBOUTI: Officials in Djibouti say they will commence construction on a 300-million dollar deep-water port sometime next year. They say the proposed facility is suitable for oil tankers and container ships. The new amenity will be situated at Doraleh, opposite the existing International Autonomous Port of Djibouti. The Emirates National Oil Company is expected to finance the first phase of the project. Technical and commercial feasibility studies have already been carried out and submitted to financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Djibouti lies at the mouth of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. This is said to be one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.
ABOUT 50 REFUGEE REPRESENTATIVES PROTEST IN ANGOLA.
LUANDA: About 50 representatives of refugees from four African countries have marched to the Angolan parliament in the capital, Luanda demanding decent living conditions. They reportedly accused the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees of depriving them of drinking water and shelter. The demonstrators included refugees from Rwanda, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo-Brazzaville. Reports say police dispersed the demonstrators after they handed in a letter to the parliamentary human rights commission.
CHINA ARGUES AGAINST PROPOSALS TO EASE BAN ON IVORY TRADE.
SANTIAGO: China, one of the world's biggest markets for illegal ivory, has argued against Southern African proposals to ease the 13-year old ban on the ivory trade. A Chinese delegate was speaking at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, meeting in Santiago, Chile. The delegate, WAN ZIMING, said the brief lifting of the ban in 1997 to allow one-time sales of ivory to Japan led to an increase in clandestine ivory exports to China. The sale of ivory was prohibited worldwide in 1989 to protect the African elephant population. South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia now believe their elephant populations are stable or excessive, and want CITES to allow the regulated sale of ivory.
LESOTHO TAKES CLERK OF NATIONAL ASSEMBLY TO COURT.
MASERU: The Lesotho government has instituted legal action against the clerk of the National Assembly, allegedly for authorising payment of salaries to the former leader of the opposition and two of his personal assistants. According to papers before the court, the authorities have charged Monare Thulo with unlawfully authorising the payment of salaries to opposition leader Kelebole Maope. In his affidavit Thulo contends that he acted in terms of the constitution, which he said decreed that the leader of the opposition remained as such until the National Assembly meets if parliament has been dissolved. The first meeting of the new parliament was held in June.
U.S. CENTRE AND S.A. MEDICAL GROUP SIGN TUBERCULOSIS AGREEMENT.
PRETORIA: The Medical Research Council of South Africa and the American Centre for Disease Control are due to sign a multi-million dollar agreement today 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.
INQUIRY INTO SENEGAL FERRY DISASTER RELEASED.
DAKAR: An official inquiry into the Senegalese ferry disaster that claimed one-thousand-200 lives has found that the government failed to stop the ship from sailing despite being fully aware of its safety problems. The commission of inquiry says the ministry in charge of the merchant navy was always ringing the alarm bell about overcrowding and lack of safety on board the Joola, without ever carrying out its legal obligation to prevent the ship from sailing. The Joola capsized in rough seas off the coast of Gambia, a thin strip of a country that juts into the middle of Senegal, on the 26th of September.
TWO OFFICIALS KILLED IN NIGERIA.
JOS: At least two senior officials have been killed in a fresh outbreak of violence near the central Nigerian city of Jos, where about one-thousand people died in Muslim-Christian clashes last year. Plateau State Government Secretary Ezekiel Gomos says the two officials were ambushed on Saturday in Namaran village in the Kanam area where renewed fighting erupted last week. Dozens of people have been killed in clashes between Muslims and Christians across the central state in the past two months.
AID GROUPS APPEAL FOR $10-MILLION FOR MENINGITIS IN AFRICA.
LONDON: Aid groups are appealing for ten-million dollars to buy vaccines to protect 300-million people in Africa from a new, deadlier strain of meningitis. The disease kills up to 50 percent of its victims, and some survivors often suffer permanent brain damage. World Health Organisation spokesperson Ian Simpson says his group together with the United Nations Children's Fund and Doctors Without Borders believe thousands of people will die unless the feared outbreak can be prevented.
S.A. POLICE PLANNING CRICKET WORLD CUP CONCERNED ABOUT TERRORISM.
CAPE TOWN: South African police planning security for next year's Cricket World Cup say they are increasingly concerned about domestic terrorism after last week's Soweto bombings. Director Ben van Deventer is head of security for the 54-match event next February and March. Van Deventer says the 10 bomb blast around Johannesburg last week, which police and government have blamed on rightwing extremists, has increased security worries. One woman was killed in the bombings. Van Deventer says, however, he is confident police can make all 12 venues across South Africa secure for the duration of the tournament.
Prepared in Johannesburg, South Africa, by Mbulelo Dlamini Maqhubu.
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