- - Wednesday, June 30, 2010

SOUTH AFRICA

Power union threatens strike

JOHANNESBURG | The main union at South Africa’s monopoly power supplier says it’s ready to strike after rejecting the company’s wage offer.

The National Union of Mineworkers, which says it represents 20,000 of the 30,000 Eskom workers, said Wednesday the strike will start next week, but did not say which day.

The smaller Solidarity union has given Eskom until Monday to consider its revised demands. A third union says its shop stewards are meeting Wednesday to discuss whether to strike.

The unions demand a 9 percent wage increase. They have rejected Eskom’s offer of 8.5 percent.

A strike could mean power failures during the World Cup, but all the stadiums have generators.

GABON

Genocide suspect faces extradition

LIBREVILLE | Negotiations are taking place with the French government over the extradition from Gabon to Kigali, Rwanda, of a Rwandan doctor and genocide suspect, Gabonese security sources said Wednesday.

Jean Chrysostome Ndindabahizi, who was wanted by Interpol and was the subject of an international arrest warrant for his suspected participation in the 1994 mass killings, was arrested in Gabon in June.

There is no extradition treaty between Gabon and Rwanda, but a Gabonese security source told Agence France-Presse that talks were taking place with Paris to extradite Dr. Ndindabahizi to France, and then in turn to Rwanda.

The Rwandan had changed his identity and was working in a public hospital in Melen, a suburb of capital, Libreville, before his arrest about 10 days ago, according to the source, who was speaking on the condition of anonymity.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

U.N. chief concerned over disappearances

LIBREVILLE, Gabon | U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon is concerned over the disappearance of two opposition leaders in the Central African Republic and the slow pace in disarming rebels, according to a report received by Agence France-Presse on Wednesday.

“I remain very concerned about the disappearance of political leaders, particularly at this fragile juncture of the peace and national-reconciliation process,” the secretary-general said in the June 10 report.

“I call upon the authorities of the Central African Republic to clarify those occurrences and to remain firmly committed to ensuring the safety of the politico-military leaders who have joined the peace process and who are currently residing in Bangui,” the capital, he said, referring to former rebel leader Hassan Ousman and Charles Massi, who heads a rebel outfit.

Mr. Massi’s wife has claimed he was tortured to death by state security forces.

The U.N. report also criticized the slow pace in demobilizing and reintegrating rebels in the desperately poor nation, wracked by decades of fighting, despotic rule and coups.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Nation marks 50 years of independence

KINSHASA | Portraits of the four presidents who led the Democratic Republic of Congo through 50 years of corruption and conflict glowered down Wednesday on world leaders marking the African nation’s independence anniversary.

As they waited for a grand military parade, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, King Albert II of Belgium and a host of African leaders could look up and see portraits of:

• Joseph Kasa-Vubu (1960-1965), who was ousted in a coup.

• Joseph Mobutu Sese-Seko (1965-1997), who robbed the nation of billions before he was forced out.

• Laurent Desire Kabila (1997-2001), who was assassinated, and his son Joseph Kabila, who now struggles to establish government authority.

A giant banner near the official tribune read: “The giant awakes, DRC, heaven on Earth.”

About 15,000 soldiers and 400 tanks and military vehicles, along with U.N. peacekeepers, and even representatives of Chinese companies helping to rebuild Congo, waited to take part in the parade along Kinshasa’s refurbished Boulevard Triomphal.

Presidents Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe; Paul Kagame of Rwanda, who only reconciled with Mr. Kabila in 2009; Yoweri Museveni of Uganda; and Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon were among 18 African presidents at the event.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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