- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 24, 2007

CHAD

Sudanese hijacker forces plane to land

N’DJAMENA — Troops seized an armed hijacker from neighboring Sudan yesterday who forced a Sudanese airliner headed for the troubled Darfur region to land here in Chad’s capital.

The hijacker, who gave his name as Mohamed Abdelatif Mahamat, let all 95 passengers and eight crew members on the Air West Boeing 737 leave the jetliner unharmed, and then surrendered. He later said he wanted to draw attention to the Darfur conflict and accused the government in neighboring Sudan of “exterminating the population” of the region in the west of the country.

The plane had left Khartoum for El-Fasher, the chief town of North Darfur state. The hijacker had a handgun and a knife but did not resist arrest, a Chadian government source said.

IVORY COAST

Immigration film turns history on head

ABIDJAN — Arriving on the shores of the continent they hope will offer them a brighter future, desperate illegal aliens come under fire by border guards and then are locked in a transit center to await deportation.

It is a story all too familiar to African cinema audiences, except that in a new film set in 2033, the impoverished migrants are Europeans, fleeing their crumbling continent after its devastation in war.

“Africa Paradis,” which will be shown at the pan-African Fespaco film festival in Burkina Faso next month, uses role reversal to alter attitudes on immigration. The film shows European economic immigrants taking jobs as drivers or maids and occupying shabby city suburbs while immigration stirs debate in the “United States of Africa.”

MALAWI

Flash floods hit more than 20 villages

BLANTYRE — Flash floods in this southern African nation have inundated a score of villages in the northern Karonga district, an official said yesterday.

“Over 20 villages have been completely flattened by the floods. … It has been pouring nonstop for a week,” Karonga district commissioner Ted Gondwe told Agence France-Presse.

Mr. Gondwe said he had received no reports of deaths or injuries, saying this could have been a result of the floods hitting the villages in daytime. He said that besides drowning livestock, the floods destroyed roads and two bridges, and hundreds of displaced people were sheltered in schools and churches.

Weekly notes …

The Rev. Zanikele Mokson, 65, died in a hail of bullets during Bible class at a church near Cape Town, South Africa, when one of his flock went on a shooting spree after a lover’s tiff. The assailant, Musa Dondollo, left the church Monday evening, returned with a revolver and opened fire before killing himself, provincial police said yesterday. … Militants in oil-rich southern Nigeria released photos yesterday of two Italians and one Lebanese whom they hold hostage. The three have several weeks’ growth of beard, and look older and thinner than in photos taken by the group last month. Their captors, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, said Tuesday that they would not execute the three, even if talks over their release collapse.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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