- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 6, 2005

SOMALIA

Lawmakers urge government’s return

MOGADISHU — A delegation of Somali lawmakers arrived here yesterday to press warlords in the bullet-scarred capital for an end to the violence that is preventing the country’s transitional government from returning from exile in Kenya.

“Our mission is to support the peace effort to pacify Mogadishu and help the complete relocation of the government to its capital after a long stay in Kenya,” said delegation leader Osman Boqore, the deputy parliament speaker.

His 29-member team came to the city amid a fierce dispute within the government and parliament over where the administration should set up shop.

SOUTH AFRICA

37,000 implicated in fake aid claims

JOHANNESBURG — South African police are investigating a fraud involving about 37,000 public servants who are said to have approved false child assistance claims, said Makhosini Nkosi, a spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority.

“We are ready in the Eastern Cape to make arrests within a week. We have conducted our investigation to a point where … it is just a question of logistics, like obtaining arrest warrants,” Mr. Nkosi said yesterday.

ETHIOPIA

Transport cost seen as major trade barrier

ADDIS ABABA — The high cost of transporting goods is a major obstacle to trade with and within Africa and must be reduced if the continent is to make progress on development goals set by the United Nations, a senior U.N. official said yesterday.

“Excessive transport costs create more important barriers to foreign markets than tariffs,” said Undersecretary-General Anwarul Chowdhury, high representative for the least-developed countries.

The cost to move African exports is often four times higher than market-limiting tariffs in the United States, Canada, Japan or the European Union, Mr. Chowdhury added.

Weekly notes

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said yesterday that Sudanese war-crimes suspects need not go to the International Criminal Court at The Hague if Sudan’s own judiciary holds fair trials. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1593 does not specify whether Sudan can try the war-crimes suspects itself. Khartoum has said it would refuse to hand over its citizens to face justice abroad. … Japan has decided that Sudan is too risky for it to contribute U.N. peacekeeping troops there, government sources in Tokyo were quoted as saying yesterday. Japan, which sent a team to Sudan last month to study a potential deployment, decided that security there was uncertain and that Japan would be stretched thin in light of its mission in Iraq, Kyodo News said.

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