- - Wednesday, October 27, 2010

SUDAN

Location change helps Bashir

NAIROBI, Kenya | An official says that East African leaders meeting this weekend over Sudan’s upcoming independence votes have changed the meeting’s location from Kenya to Ethiopia.

The change means that Sudan’s president, Omar Bashir, won’t face arrest if he attends.

Mr. Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The change comes a day after the court made public a request to Kenya to arrest Mr. Bashir if he entered Kenya, which is obligated by treaty to arrest him. Ethiopia has not signed that treaty.

Yufnalis Okubo, an official with the East African bloc known as IGAD, confirmed the change in venue but did not say why it was changed.

KENYA

Minister quits over embassy scandal

NAIROBI, Kenya | Kenya’s foreign minister says he is resigning to allow investigations into allegations of a multimillion-dollar scandal involving five Kenyan embassies in Africa, Europe and Asia.

Moses Wetangula made his announcement Wednesday, hours after his most senior bureaucrat resigned.

Mr. Wetangula’s announcement came less than an hour before Parliament was to continue debate on a committee report that investigated the sale or purchase of Kenyan embassies, land and other property in Belgium, Egypt, Japan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

The committee says Mr. Wetangula deliberately misinformed them about the transactions.

NIGERIA

Seized arms shipment includes artillery

LAGOS, Nigeria | Artillery rockets like those often used by insurgents in Afghanistan were inside an illegal arms shipment seized by authorities in Nigeria.

Authorities showed the weaponry to journalists Wednesday at Lagos’ busy Apapa Port.

Nigerian National Security Adviser Andrew Owoye Azazi told reporters at the site that authorities did not want to “jump to conclusions” about where the weaponry came from. The shipment also included rifle rounds.

A spokeswoman for Nigeria’s secret police has said authorities seized the shipment Tuesday. The arms were hidden inside 13 shipping containers supposedly holding building materials.

SOUTH AFRICA

Opera will not nix Israel tour

JOHANNESBURG | Cape Town’s renowned opera troupe is rejecting a call from retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu to cancel a performance in Israel scheduled next month.

The opera’s managing director, Michael Williams, said in a statement Wednesday that the opera would not take a political position and cut cultural ties with Israel or the Palestinian territory.

Mr. Tutu, who earned a Nobel for his peaceful opposition to apartheid, on Tuesday compared Cape Town Opera’s planned visit to international artists performing in apartheid South Africa. He said Israel is “luring” international artists to the Tel Aviv Opera House to advance its “fallacious claim to being a ‘civilized democracy.’”

RWANDA

‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero may face charges

KIGALI, Rwanda | The Rwandan hotel manager portrayed by Don Cheadle in the movie “Hotel Rwanda” could face charges by Rwandan authorities over allegations the man sent money to opposition commanders, Rwanda’s top prosecutor said.

But the former manager, Paul Rusesabagina, told the Associated Press on Wednesday that he hasn’t sent any money to Rwanda in years, and that the government is launching a smear campaign against him because he has opposed President Paul Kagame in the past.

Rwanda’s top prosecutor, Martin Ngoga, said Mr. Rusesabagina helped finance what he described as terrorist activities in Rwanda by helping fund commanders with the FDLR, or Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda. No formal charges have yet been filed.

From wire dispatches and staff reports