- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 21, 2007

KENYA

Security beefed up on Somalia border

NAIROBI — Kenyan security forces yesterday intensified patrols along the border with lawless Somalia a day after clashing with Islamist militia suspects.

Clashes erupted Tuesday when a group of Islamist suspects tried to cross into Kenya from the Somali border town of Bulla Hawa. Kenya, citing security concerns, closed its border with Somalia in January and deployed security forces there to stop defeated Islamist fighters from fleeing into its territory.

SIERRA LEONE

Trio convicted of war crimes

FREETOWN — A U.N.-backed court yesterday found three former leaders of a Sierra Leonean junta guilty of war crimes, the first convictions stemming from the country’s decade-long civil war.

The court found the three defendants guilty of 11 of the 14 charges, including acts of terrorism, using child soldiers, enslavement, rape and murder.

The tribunal was set up in 2002 to prosecute the worst offenders in a conflict that ravaged the small West African nation and spilled over into neighboring Liberia. The court has indicted 12 persons, including former Liberian President Charles Taylor, who is charged with backing Sierra Leonean rebels.

NIGERIA

Oil flows despite crippling strike

LAGOS — A general strike over a rise in fuel prices brought much of Nigeria to a standstill yesterday, but oil exports from Africa’s top producer initially were uninterrupted.

Unions pressed on with the strike despite a series of concessions offered by President Umaru Yar’Adua, who faces the first major test of his government three weeks after taking office.

Unions spared oil production and exports on the first day of the strike, but threatened to withdraw key oil ministry workers and inspectors from oil fields and export terminals by today.

\LIBYA

Settlement expected in HIV case

TRIPOLI — Libya’s Supreme Court said yesterday that it would issue its final verdict next month on six medics on death row for infecting children with the AIDS virus, but an official involved in the case said a deal to set aside the sentence could be reached as early as this week.

The five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor were convicted in December of deliberately infecting 426 children with HIV in a highly politicized trial that has slowed Libyan attempts to end the country’s long international isolation.

But an official with the Gadhafi Foundation, a charity headed by the son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi that has been closely involved in the case, said an out-of-court financial settlement with the European Union could be reached as early as tomorrow.

FRANCE

Sarkozy plans African tour

PARIS — New French President Nicolas Sarkozy is planning to visit North Africa next month, taking in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, his spokesman said yesterday.

The president also welcomed negotiations held this week between Morocco and the Polisario independence movement to try to end a lengthy dispute over the Western Sahara.

Mr. Sarkozy has promised to revamp relations with Africa to place more focus on immigration controls and develop what he has termed as an “adult and transparent” relationship with former colonies.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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