- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 20, 2003

RWANDA
France offers to jail genocide convicts
ARUSHA, Tanzania The French government has agreed to allow people convicted of genocide by the Arusha-based U.N. tribunal for Rwanda to serve their sentences in France the first European country to make such an offer, which must be ratified by the parliament in Paris.
Ambassador Jean Francois Lionnet signed the agreement here on Monday, saying it was an example of France's commitment to promote international justice. French-speaking Rwanda gained independence from Belgium in 1962. The tribunal was set up in 1994 to try the purported masterminds of a 100-day Hutu campaign that year that led to the slaughter of more than 500,000 people.

IVORY COAST
4 volunteers slain, reports Red Cross
GENEVA Four Red Cross volunteers in the Ivory Coast reported kidnapped in January have been found dead, the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross said yesterday, urging an immediate investigation.
The four were reported to have been abducted Jan. 12 by armed men near their hometown, Toulepleu, in the west of the country close to the border with Liberia. There have been reports that rebels from Liberia are active in the area, using it as a base for attacks in their country.
Last week, French troops stationed in Ivory Coast intercepted 110 fighters, who were described as Liberians fighting alongside Ivorian government troops. Abidjan has denied the tie.

LIBERIA
Troops told to attend briefings as rebels gain
MONROVIA Liberia has ordered soldiers stationed in Monrovia, the capital, to attend daily security briefings, as the army battled rebels for control of the central town of Gbarnga.
A radio announcement late Monday ordered all officers and enlisted men in Monrovia to be present at the briefings at the Barclay Training Center by Defense Minister Daniel Chea and Gen. Kpaingba Kona, chief of staff, under penalty of "drastic military action against absentees."
Heavy fighting between Liberian rebels and government forces near the central provincial capital of Gbarnga has displaced thousands, fleeing civilians told Agence France-Presse on Tuesday.

Weekly notes …
Nigeria sent troops into the oil-rich Niger Delta yesterday as deadly clashes between militant youths and navy patrols forced oil giant Shell to cut production by 76,000 barrels per day. The fighting, which has claimed at least 11 lives, according to military and oil-company sources, is part of a wave of violence gripping Nigeria a month before national elections. … Sudan's government and southern rebels have extended for a year the mandate of a monitoring team investigating reports of armed attacks on civilians. The Civilian Protection Monitoring Team, led by the United States, was set up a year ago today as part of efforts to end Sudan's 18-year civil war.

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