- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 18, 2003

SOUTH AFRICA

‘White slave,’ 16, is still unidentified

JOHANNESBURG — The identity of a South African boy who claims to have been kidnapped and raised in a rural black township remains a mystery after DNA tests ruled out speculation that he was the long-lost son of two white couples.

Several families have come forward since Happy Sindane, 16, marched into a police station outside Pretoria on May 19 to report his own kidnapping. He claimed a domestic worker of his white Afrikaans family abducted him when he was a toddler, and that he had spent the past 12 years as a virtual slave in a black township.

A Pretoria court heard this week that the results from blood tests of two white couples were negative, while the DNA tests from two other black families were inconclusive, the South African Press Association reported.

CONGO

U.N. has enough troops to begin transition

KINSHASA — The U.N. mission here has a sufficient number of soldiers to secure this capital for its incoming transition government, the world body’s special envoy said here yesterday.

“With available resources in [the Democratic Republic of Congo], we have over 700 men — 250 Tunisian and 470 Ghanaian soldiers,” said Amos Namanga Ngongi, special envoy for U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

“We can secure the capital without waiting for the arrival of new troops, which could mean delaying the setup of the transition [government] institutions,” he told reporters. Fighting has still raged in various parts of Congo, even after a December peace accord.

UGANDA

LRA rebels kidnap15 from orphanage

KAMPALA — At least 15 children were abducted from an orphanage in northwest Uganda early yesterday during an attack blamed on the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a government army spokesman said.

“The rebels raided the Redeem Children’s Home towards 3 a.m., abducted the 15 children and looted foodstuffs,” said army Maj. Shaban Bantariza.

Six of the children were rescued later by soldiers who still were pursuing the main group, he said.

The youngsters taken from the orphanage near Adjuman, about 375 miles northwest of the capital, Kampala, were between ages 7 and 15.

The LRA has waged war to topple the government since 1988, ostensibly to set up a regime based on the Ten Commandments.

Weekly notes …

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said yesterday the government could not keep Sudan unified by force and had to secure a just end to a 20-year-old civil war to prevent secession by the south. “The experience of imposing unity by force has failed,” he told the state-owned al-Anbaa newspaper. He said the government remains committed to making peace with the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army, which has been fighting for greater autonomy for the south since 1983. … Ivory Coast army and rebel forces have agreed to pull back their forces from battle positions, strengthening a cease-fire in the former French colony. Tuesday’s agreement in Yamoussoukro, the capital, raised hopes for a peaceful resolution to the conflict that began in September with a failed attempt to oust President Laurent Gbagbo.

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