- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 4, 2006

ERITREA

Blame accepted for Ethiopia war

NAIROBI, Kenya — Eritrea reluctantly has accepted an international panel’s ruling that it was to blame for hostilities that led to a two-year border war with Ethiopia, but lashed out at its neighbor for rejecting a binding boundary demarcation.

In a statement from Asmara late Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry said it disagrees with but will honor a December finding by a commission assessing damage claims from the 1998-2000 conflict that it violated international law by starting the attacks.

The statement was Eritrea’s first official acknowledgment that The Hague-based Ethiopia-Eritrea Claims Commission found Asmara responsible Dec. 19 for the clashes that began the war, and liable for damages.

MALAWI

Floods destroy farms in the south

BLANTYRE — Floods in southern Malawi last week destroyed the livelihoods of about 8,000 farming families, a government official said yesterday.

“Floods have rendered 40,000 people homeless. … Crops and livestock have also been washed away in Chikwawa district alone,” District Commissioner Harrison Lende said.

He said the floods “swept through 131 villages and demolished 569 houses” in the Chikwawa district, 30 miles from this commercial capital, after two rivers burst their banks.

Floods also left 1,000 people without homes in Nsanje, bordering Mozambique. Mr. Lende said more than 9,000 acres of corn were destroyed in Chikwawa alone, and “fields of maize, cotton and sorghum have been left bare.”

Weekly notes …

Egypt said yesterday that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees applied enormous pressure on Cairo to end to a protest by Sudanese refugees and asylum-seekers, while rights groups protested a plan to send home hundreds of Sudanese. The Foreign Ministry issued its comments as Egypt and the UNHCR pointed fingers after security forces broke up the three-month protest outside UNHCR offices in Cairo, killing dozens of Sudanese and injuring hundreds. … More than 46,000 people have fled fighting over the past two months between troops of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and local militias in the southeast, a U.N. aid official said yesterday. This is in addition to 121,000 who fled the region last year, said Anne Egerton of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Kalemie, Katanga province. … Nigerian federal agents have arrested the head of the anti-narcotics squad at the Lagos international airport on corruption charges, an official said yesterday. Nigerian dailies reported that Abdullahi Danburam’s unit — which is responsible for preventing drugs passing through to Europe, South Africa and the Middle East — was suspected of taking bribes from smugglers.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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