- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 16, 2005

IVORY COAST

Hurdles remain on choice of premier

ABIDJAN — Nigerian Foreign Minister Olyuemi Adeniji said yesterday that negotiations over the choice of an acting prime minister for Ivory Coast were only in their early stages.

His remarks took observers in the West African state aback as there had been speculation that talks over not only the prime minister, but also senior ministers, were well advanced.

“It is today that we have begun to negotiate with all the parties,” Mr. Adeniji told reporters.

“We received all the suggestions and all the comments of all the parties on Saturday.”

The parties to the political crisis in the Ivory Coast were reported Monday to have been unable to agree on a name to submit to international mediators for approval as a consensus prime minister tasked with organizing national elections.

The actors in the dispute had been asked to choose someone acceptable to all groups to lead the Ivorian government and pass the chosen name to Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and his South African and Nigerien counterparts, Thabo Mbeki and Mamadou Tandja, respectively, for their accord.

MALAWI

President’s rival eludes investigation

BLANTYRE — Malawi’s vice president and political foe of embattled President Bingu wa Mutharika won a court order yesterday blocking a corruption probe into government contracts he awarded six years ago.

Vice President Cassim Chilumpha, who has been in a dispute with Mr. Mutharika over an opposition campaign to impeach the head of state, was summoned to appear before a magistrate in Lilongwe yesterday, but high court Judge Jane Ansah granted an injunction and ordered a judicial review after Mr. Chilumpha’s attorney argued that the move violated the constitution.

Mr. Chilumpha is reputed to have awarded government contracts worth $2 million to supporters of former President Bakili Muluzi, when he served as his education minister in 1999. The loyalists reputedly returned the favor by making contributions to Mr. Muluzi’s election campaign.

SOUTH AFRICA

‘Canned hunting’ called unregulated

JOHANNESBURG — An investigation has revealed the captive breeding of large predators in South Africa for “canned hunting” is widespread and poorly regulated, an animal welfare organization said yesterday.

“Our findings show a clandestine industry that prefers to keep a low profile while turning multimillion-dollar profits,” the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said.

The hunting industry’s reputation in South Africa has been sullied by media reports about game breeders who rear lions and other big cats in captivity before putting them in small enclosures where they are shot as “trophies” by foreign hunters. IFAW said it wants all captive breeding of large predators ended and voiced concerns about inbreeding and cross breeding between species such as tigers and lions.

Weekly notes …

Rights groups from 23 African countries criticized the African Union and its leaders yesterday for their silence about a demolition blitz in Zimbabwe that has left hundreds of thousands homeless. “African states have remained conspicuously silent and have not demonstrated the political will to respond to the human rights crisis in Zimbabwe,” the groups said in a joint statement.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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