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RWANDA

Mia Farrow lights torch for Darfur

KIGALI — U.S. actress and activist Mia Farrow took part in a torch-lighting ceremony in Rwanda yesterday to increase public pressure on Olympics host China to end the “genocide” in Darfur.

The Olympic-style relay organized by the “Dream for Darfur” campaign started on Aug. 9 in Chad to urge China to influence Khartoum to end the suffering in Darfur before the Games begin next August.

At least 200,000 people have died from the combined effect of war and famine in the arid western region of Sudan and more than 2 million have been displaced, according to U.N. estimates.

SUDAN

Guantanamo inmate must stay in Sudan

KHARTOUM — Washington has asked Khartoum for guarantees that detained Al Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Haj will not leave Sudan before it releases him from the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, his brother Asim al-Haj said yesterday.

Mr. Haj, who grew up in Sudan but is based in Qatar for his work with the television channel, was arrested and turned over to U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2001. Accused of involvement in “terrorist” activity, he was later transferred to the U.S. prison in Cuba.

The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum declined to immediately comment on the report. Asim al-Haj said his brother could be released by the end of the month.

KENYA

Women march for Parliament seats

NAIROBI — Hundreds of Kenyan women yesterday marched in the capital, Nairobi, seeking a guarantee of more seats in Parliament from general elections scheduled for the end of the year.

Around 700 women from Kenya’s eight provinces presented a petition with a million signatures to Parliament demanding at least 50 seats in the 222-member house through an amendment.

Women currently account for 18 of Parliament’s 222 seats, representing only 8.1 percent of the assembly.

Last year, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki ordered the civil service to ensure that at least 30 percent of new hires are female.

ETHIOPIA

Volcano erupts; two missing

ADDIS ABABA — A volcano in northeastern Ethiopia’s Afar region erupted over the weekend, leaving two persons missing and forcing hundreds to flee, state-run media reported yesterday.

The Ethiopia News Agency said the volcano spewed lava on Sunday, forcing salt-mining Afar nomads living around the mountain’s range to flee.

The volcano’s name was not given, and it was not clear whether it was Mount Arteale, the only active volcano in Ethiopia.

SUDAN

Darfur rebels want non-Africans

KHARTOUM — A key Darfur rebel leader said a viable peacekeeping force for the war-torn western Sudanese region must include non-Africans and toned down his conditions for joining peace talks.

African Union Commission Chairman Alpha Oumar Konare said in Khartoum on Sunday that troops from outside Africa were not needed for a planned joint AU/U.N. force as African nations had pledged enough soldiers.

The comments angered Darfur rebel leaders who say AU troops in Darfur have been unable to stem the violence. International experts estimate 200,000 have died and 2.5 million have been driven from their homes in more than four years of revolt in Darfur.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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