- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 5, 2000

African foes sign peace deal

NAIROBI, Kenya Eritrea and Ethiopia have reached a deal that would end a two-year border war that has cost tens of thousands of lives on both sides, officials from both sides said yesterday.
The countries will sign a treaty Dec. 12 in Algiers, said Yemane Gebremeskel, a spokesman for Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki.
In the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, spokeswoman Selome Taddesse said a draft agreement proposed by the Organization of African Unity would first be presented to the Ethiopian parliament Thursday for discussion.

Peace laureate quits N. Ireland legislature

BELFAST John Hume, a Nobel peace laureate and Northern Ireland's senior Catholic statesman, resigned yesterday from the province's cross-community legislature, citing his overload of work and shaky health.
Mr. Hume, 63, said several months ago that he planned to step down as a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, a central institution forged under terms of the province's 1998 peace accord.
He was a key intellectual inspiration for that pact, which proposed a joint Catholic-Protestant government in Northern Ireland that cooperated formally with the neighboring Republic of Ireland.

Moldova's parliament fails to pick president

CHISINAU, Moldova A communist official fell short of the majority he needed to win Moldova's presidency yesterday after failing to secure support from independent parliamentary deputies.

Candidate Vladimir Voronin won 50 votes, short of the 61 he needed to win the parliamentary election for president of this impoverished former Soviet republic. Independent Pavel Barbalat received 35 votes, and 13 ballots were declared invalid.

Pakistan makes peace offer to India

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan Pakistan has made a new offer in its bitter dispute with India over Kashmir, saying for the first time that it will not oppose one-on-one talks between Kashmiri separatists and the Indian government.

Pakistan shifted its position over the weekend when it announced a unilateral cease-fire on its border with India in Kashmir, foreign ministry spokesman Mohammed Riaz Khan said yesterday.

U.N. chastises Iran for abuses

NEW YORK Rebuking Iran on a series of human rights abuses, the U.N. General Assembly narrowly adopted a resolution yesterday calling on Tehran to end torture, particularly amputations.

The vote was 67 in favor, 54 against with 46 abstentions on the resolution that chastised Iran for executions, a crackdown on freedom of speech and press, and discrimination against religious minorities, such as the Bahais. Last year, the Assembly voted 61-47-51 on a similar measure.

The resolution called on the Iranian government "to take all necessary steps to end the use of torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, in particular the practice of amputation."

Dalai Lama marks 50th anniversary

DHARMSALA, India The Dalai Lama yesterday celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ascension as Tibet's head of state, and confirmed during the elaborate ceremony that his government-in-exile was again in contact with China, after a two-year break.
The exiled priest-king of Tibet said contact was an opportunity to exchange views with Beijing. The news came during a daylong festivity marking his rise to political power as a teen-ager in 1950.
"Of course, everybody knows I am not seeking independence. My commitment to the middle way is not changed," said the Dalai Lama, referring to his compromise offer to accept autonomy for Tibet within China.

Rebels fire at plane in Burundi; 2 hurt

BUJUMBURA, Burundi Two passengers aboard a Belgian Sabena Airlines commercial flight from Brussels were injured when Burundi rebels fired on the plane as it approached the capital, Bujumbura, early today, passengers said.

They said the plane, an Airbus A-300 with more than 150 passengers aboard, was fired on as it was coming in to land at Bujumbura airport. One passenger was wounded in the hand, apparently by a direct hit, while the other was injured from a ricochet.

A Sabena official said: "There has been an incident, and we will not be flying again tonight." Officials declined further comment, and journalists were kept away from passengers.

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