- - Wednesday, November 3, 2010

RWANDA

France orders Rwandan extradited to world court

PARIS | A Paris court on Wednesday ordered the extradition of a Rwandan rebel to the International Criminal Court, which accuses him of orchestrating killings and rapes in neighboring Congo to gain political power.

The Paris appeals court said Callixte Mbarushimana could be extradited to the court in The Hague, Netherlands — but only on condition that he not be handed over to Rwandan authorities. Rwanda has the death penalty, which France opposes.

Mr. Mbarushimana, 47, plans to appeal the extradition ruling, lawyer Christophe Gouget told the Associated Press.

Mr. Mbarushimana, a leader of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, was arrested in Paris last month.

He is charged with 11 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, rape, persecution based on gender, and extensive destruction of property by the FDLR in 2009.

MOROCCO

Morocco alarmed over cocaine smuggling

MADRID | Morocco is alarmed by the rise in the amount of cocaine being smuggled from South America to Europe though its territory, Moroccan Foreign Minister Taieb Fassi Fihri said Wednesday in Spain.

“Today, it is not soft drugs that are being trafficked between Africa and Europe. Today, we are extremely worried by this flow of hard drugs like cocaine which come essentially from South America,” he told a news conference.

International drug-trafficking gangs ship the cocaine from South America by air or sea first to West Africa, from where it is then transported to Morocco, the minister said. From there, it is flown to Spain.

EGYPT

Muslim leaders denounce al Qaeda threat to Copts

CAIRO | An al-Qaeda threat to Egypt’s Coptic Christians has met with growing condemnation from Muslim figureheads and the press in Egypt, which has said it is an attack on national unity.

The Muslim Brotherhood opposition group said Muslims must protect Christian houses of worship after an al Qaeda group in Iraq threatened to target Copts and other Christians.

“The Muslim Brotherhood is stressing to all, and primarily Muslims, that the protection of holy places of all monotheistic religions is the mission of the majority of Muslims,” the group said in a statement on its website late Tuesday.

The Islamic State of Iraq, which claimed Sunday’s deadly hostage-taking in a Baghdad church, said in an audiotape that all Christians were “legitimate targets” after a deadline expired for Egypt’s Coptic Church to release two priests’ wives the message said had converted to Islam.

BURUNDI

Commission appointed to investigate killings

BUJUMBURA | A new inquiry commission will report by December on allegations of extrajudicial killings in Burundi that the government previously rejected, the public prosecutor said here Wednesday.

“There have been allegations of extrajudicial executions, notably on the part of [local human rights group] APRODEH that has cited cases of bodies recently found in the Rusizi River” west of the capital, Bujumbura, public prosecutor Elysee Ndaye told Agence France-Presse.

“We have therefore decided to establish an inquiry commission charged with investigating these cases,” Mr. Ndaye said.

Established last week, the six-member body of police officers and judges will have a month to report on its findings, he added.

The announcement follows charges leveled last month by the Association for the Defense and Protection of Detainees and Human Rights that at least 22 members of a former rebel group had been murdered in targeted killings in the tiny Central African nation.

At the time, the government flatly denied the accusations and threatened to suspend the rights group.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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