- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 16, 2001

Air Afrique unionists face a harsh surprise
BRAZZAVILLE, Congo Republic — Leaders of African countries with stakes in Air Afrique accepted a $70 million bailout by Air France, but employees seem unaware that job cuts loom.
Union leaders hailed the bailout giving the biggest stake in the debt-ridden airline to Air France but apparently didn't know the company thinks Air Afrique has far too many employees.
"This is positive. There is hope again," said Akue Adote, head of the Air Afrique employees' union. "The interests of workers were taken into account because there will be no dismissals," he added.
But Air France denied in Paris yesterday that it would keep all airline staff, saying the African carrier had almost twice as many employees as it needs. "Unfortunately, there will have to be a layoff plan," said Philippe Calavia, Air France director for economic and financial affairs, to Agence France-Presse.

Bashir urges polygamy for Sudan development
KHARTOUM, Sudan — President Omar Hassan Bashir wants his countrymen to take more than one wife to help double the country's population of 30 million.
The Sudanese should ignore international family planning policies, Mr. Bashir said in a speech to the ruling National Congress Party shown on state television Tuesday night.
He said Sudan needs more people for development, since it is Africa's biggest country and rich in resources.
"We should achieve this aim by having many wives," Mr. Bashir said.
Men in mainly Muslim Sudan are allowed up to four wives under Islamic law, which Mr. Bashir's government promotes.

Deputy fears governor is trying to kill him
LAGOS, Nigeria — Police in Osun State, southwest Nigeria, told Agence France-Presse yesterday that they have quizzed a commissioner over a suspected attempt to poison the state's deputy governor.
Osun Deputy Gov. Iyiola Omisore claimed last week that Gov. Adebisi Akande and senior aides sought to kill him by arranging for someone to poison his food.
"The police have invited [Bisi Alamu, the state's agriculture and rural development commissioner] for questioning He was interrogated but not detained and made useful statements to the police," state police spokesman Ayodeji Oluwole told AFP.

Weekly notes
Former South African President Nelson Mandela, 83, will continue radiation treatment for his prostate cancer after considering all options, his office said yesterday. Spokeswoman Zelda la Grange said: "recent medical examinations confirmed that Mr. Mandela's general health remains good," and that "there was no evidence the cancer had spread beyond the prostate gland." French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine wrapped up a three-day tour of Africa's Great Lakes region in Kinshasa on Tuesday urging respect for the territorial integrity of war-torn Congo. He also said Rwanda's security must be taken into account in the search for solutions to conflicts in the region.


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