- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 29, 2000

Renegades, British talk about captive soldiers

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone British officials have begun talking to a renegade military faction that has taken 11 British soldiers captive, and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said yesterday he expects the soldiers to be released soon.
The soldiers, held since Friday, have been in periodic radio contact, including a discussion Sunday, officials said. The captors in this west African nation also have been in contact with the British.
In New York, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard confirmed that talks were under way and said the captives are doing well.

U.S. criticizes Cuba for migration policy

The State Department accused Cuba yesterday of systematically preventing Cubans holding U.S. visas from migrating to the United States, forcing many to try a high-risk escape by boat.
The charge was made in a diplomatic note that alleged Cuba has failed to abide by a 1994 agreement seeking to establish ground rules for the orderly migration of 20,000 Cubans plus family members to the United States.
"The Cuban government has consistently failed to take effective action in response to our continuing and legitimate humanitarian concerns," the note said. The note was handed to Fernando Remirez, chief of the Cuban diplomatic mission in Washington.
There was no immediate reaction at the Cuban mission here to the accusation.

Dole opens institute for missing in Bosnia

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina Former Sen. Bob Dole yesterday opened an institute for missing persons to speed up the identification of Bosnia's massacre victims.
Over 27,000 people have been registered as missing from Bosnia's 1992-95 war. Many of them are being exhumed in numerous mass graves throughout the country.
The Missing Persons Institute with two DNA laboratories in Sarajevo and Tuzla will collect blood samples from victims' relatives and try to match them with DNA profiles obtained from the exhumed bodies.

U.N. to shower Timor with leaflets

DILI, East Timor The U.N. chief representative said U.N. peacekeepers near East Timor's border with Indonesian West Timor today plan to air drop leaflets calling on anti-independence militiamen to surrender.
U.N. administrator Serge de Mello said peacekeepers might have to stay in East Timor to safeguard the territory from militia attacks after full independence is granted to East Timor in about 18 months.
Today's air drop will take place on the eve of the first anniversary of a U.N.-supervised ballot for independence from Indonesian rule.

Schaeuble slams Kohl over slush funds

BERLIN Helmut Kohl's longtime protege accused the former German chancellor yesterday of orchestrating a campaign to drive him from office, saying Mr. Kohl should reveal what he did with millions of marks in his secret slush funds.
Wolfgang Schaeuble, testifying before a parliamentary inquiry into Germany's biggest postwar political scandal, said he thought Mr. Kohl was behind a "finely woven network of intrigues" used to deflect attention from the affair.

Somali president pledges return

ARTA, Djibouti Somalia's new president said yesterday he planned to name a government and return home soon to consolidate his rule, but warlords who control his nation's capital dismissed his election by a parliament-in-exile and vowed to block him.
Abdiqassim Salad Hassan was elected at the weekend by a new parliament formed two weeks ago operating out of the neighboring Red Sea state of Djibouti.
He said he wanted to get back to Somalia as soon as possible to demonstrate that his government was determined to establish control over the fractured nation, which has not had a president or central administration since 1991.

Islamic ministers back Arafat on statehood

AGADIR, Morocco Muslim and Christian religious leaders joined a gathering of foreign ministers from Muslim nations for the first time yesterday, demanding sovereignty over Jerusalem, part of marathon efforts by Yasser Arafat to rouse support for the Palestinian cause.

Foreign ministers from 16 countries ended their one-day conference by calling for world recognition of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. They also appealed to the United States not to transfer its Israeli Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The group, called The Al Quds (Jerusalem) Committee, released a statement calling for "equitable peace" and continued negotiations. It did not mention a date for when the Palestinians should declare statehood.

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