- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 13, 2007

GUINEA

Military tightens martial law

CONAKRY — Guinea’s military enforced draconian martial-law measures across the West African state yesterday, quashing protests and arresting curfew breakers to halt a widening revolt against President Lansana Conte’s rule.

The U.S. government said it would airlift some of its citizens out of the riot-torn country, while former colonial power France said it was closely monitoring the security of its nationals, who number about 3,000.

Mr. Conte, who has resisted opposition calls to step down, declared an 11-day state of siege late Monday, handing sweeping search and arrest powers to the armed forces that have faithfully supported him since he seized power 23 years ago.

At least 27 persons were killed in three days. Yesterday, security forces killed four persons defying curfew.

ECUADOR

Congress backs referendum plan

QUITO — Leftist Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa won a victory over rivals yesterday when Congress approved his request for a referendum on whether to hold a popular assembly to rewrite the politically unstable country’s constitution.

Ecuador’s election tribunal now must set a date and organize the vote on the constitutional assembly.

Congress acted less than two weeks after hundreds of Correa supporters stormed the building demanding that the referendum be approved.

SOMALIA

Uganda parliament votes to send troops

MOGADISHU — Uganda’s parliament voted yesterday to send peacekeeping troops to Somalia to help stem an unrelenting wave of hit-and-run attacks by insurgents on the interim government in Mogadishu.

About 500 residents have begun fleeing their homes in the capital, fearing more attacks on government installations and the administration’s Ethiopian allies.

Ugandan lawmakers agreed to deploy 1,500 troops as part of an African Union mission in a boost for the government struggling to restore stability in the chaotic nation since Ethiopian forces helped it oust Islamists in a December war.

UNITED NATIONS

U.S. hits China’s test, rejects space treaty

GENEVA — The United States said yesterday that China’s recent anti-satellite missile test had endangered hundreds of satellites and left debris in orbit for a century, but reiterated its opposition to a global treaty on space.

Christina Rocca, U.S. ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, said that a treaty to prevent an arms race in outer space would not have banned China’s use of a ground-based missile to destroy a weather satellite on Jan. 11.

The United States has asserted its right to develop weapons for use in outer space to protect its satellites and has ruled out any negotiations to limit them.

PAKISTAN

Desperate man offers children for sale

KARACHI — A Pakistani man offered his three children for sale in a protest yesterday to highlight his desperate poverty, police said.

The man, an unemployed baker, sat on a street with his three boys, ages 10 and younger, in the central town of Mian Channu, beneath a banner reading: “Children for sale” before police detained him.

The man was later released and offered financial help.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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