- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 11, 2010

SOUTH AFRICA

Mandela let us down, ex-wife says

JOHANNESBURG | Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife has bitterly criticized the 92-year-old anti-apartheid icon as having “let us down,” prompting outrage Wednesday in South Africa.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said she could not forgive Mr. Mandela for accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 alongside F.W. de Klerk, according to Tuesday’s Evening Standard, a British newspaper. The white president released Mr. Mandela and went on to participate in negotiations that ended apartheid.

“He agreed to a bad deal for the blacks. Economically, we are still on the outside. The economy is very much ‘white.’ It has a few token blacks, but so many who gave their life in the struggle have died unrewarded,” Ms. Madikizela-Mandela was quoted as saying.

In contrast, Ms. Madikizela-Mandela said last month at a forum marking the 20th anniversary of his release from prison, Mr. Mandela was loved and recognized around the world for his fearlessness, and that he had emerged from prison still committed to revolution.

Mr. Mandela accused Ms. Madikizela-Mandela, his second wife, of infidelity and the two divorced in 1996, six years after he walked free following 27 years in prison.

SOMALIA

17 killed as Islamists clash with troops

MOGADISHU | Fighting between Islamist insurgents and government forces killed at least 17 people in the Somali capital Wednesday, a medical official said.

The head of the Mogadishu ambulance service, Ali Muse, said Wednesday’s fighting also wounded 65 people. The death toll was the highest reported in weeks and most of the dead and wounded were civilians.

Resident Ahmed Ali said the fighting began when al-Shabab insurgents attacked government positions in the north of the city. He said the insurgents briefly overran the government positions but were then pushed back.

SUDAN

Vote crucial test, U.S. official says

NAIROBI, Kenya | Sudan’s upcoming elections must be as transparent as possible to prepare for a referendum on independence for the oil-rich south in 2011, but many obstacles remain, including continued conflict in Darfur, a U.S. official said Wednesday.

Scott Gration, the U.S. envoy to Sudan, said April’s presidential and parliamentary elections would probably be flawed but could still “reflect the will of the people.”

Sudan has been wracked by decades of war. A 2005 peace agreement ended the north-south conflict that killed 2 million people but by then the western Darfur region was at war. The referendum for the south’s independence is part of the peace agreement.

NIGERIA

Protesters demand to see president

ABUJA | Hundreds of protesters in Nigeria’s capital are demanding to see the ailing president, who has not appeared publicly since returning from hospital treatment abroad last month.

Protesters thronged Abuja’s streets Wednesday with a letter demanding the appearance of President Umaru Yar’Adua, saying the country is in a leadership crisis. Protesters also demanded ministers be fired days after sectarian violence left more than 200 dead in central Nigeria.

Mr. Yar’Adua left for a hospital in Saudi Arabia in November. Doctors say he has a serious heart condition. The government in February authorized Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to take over. But Mr. Yar’Adua’s party says the next presidential candidate must be from the Muslim north, ruling out Mr. Jonathan, a Christian.

In Jos in central Nigeria, soldiers opened fire on a crowd after curfew and killed two people, witnesses said Wednesday.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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