- - Wednesday, September 8, 2010


U.N. chief meets Kagame over Sudan pullout

KIGALI | U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Rwanda’s president Wednesday after he threatened to withdraw thousands of Rwandan peacekeepers if the U.N. publishes a report accusing Rwanda’s army of possible genocide in the 1990s.

The joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur is commanded by a Rwandan, Lt. Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba, and Rwanda has more than 3,200 troops and 86 police in the nearly 22,000-strong force.

U.N. officials and diplomats have said a Rwandan pullout from Darfur would be a major blow at a time of increasing violence and fresh efforts to end the seven-year conflict.

Mr. Ban and President Paul Kagame did not talk to journalists after their meeting, and the U.N. chief went straight to the airport.

Mr. Ban said there that he had asked Rwanda and other countries mentioned in the report to send in their comments to the U.N. by the end of September. The release of the report has been delayed until Oct. 1.


Attack on prison frees 732 inmates

KANO | An attack on a prison in northern Nigeria by suspected members of an Islamist sect freed 732 inmates, including members of the extremist group, the state prisons head said on Wednesday.

“The prison had 762 inmates at the time of the attack,” Mohammed Ahmed told Agence France-Presse, adding that “732 escaped, leaving 30.”

Referring to the sect, he said: “All the Boko Haram suspects on remand have escaped. There were 150 of them.”

Boko Haram is a militant Islamist sect that seeks to impose Shariah law throughout Nigeria.


Activists march, youth leader arrested

MBABANE | A leading democracy activist in Swaziland has been arrested during a march in the capital of sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarchy.

Police plucked the president of the Swaziland Youth Congress, Wandile Dludlu, from among 350 marchers on Wednesday, the second day of protests.

Police at the scene in Swaziland’s capital of Mbabane would not say why Mr. Dludlu was arrested.

This week’s protests are timed to mark Monday’s anniversary of independence from Britain 42 years ago.

On Tuesday, about 250 democracy activists marched through the nearby commercial capital of Manzini amid a heavy police presence.

Swazi King Mswati III is accused of repressing human rights and harassing and jailing pro-democracy activists.


Murder suspect’s bail to be appealed

JOHANNESBURG | Prosecutors will appeal a judge’s decision to grant bail to one of the two farm workers accused of killing South African white separatist leader Eugene Terre’Blanche, the Sapa news agency reported.

“The director of public prosecutions found grounds to apply for leave to appeal the bail of Chris Mahlangu,” a prosecutors’ spokesman, Mthunzi Mhaga, told the news agency.

“We will obtain a record of bail proceedings and then approach the judge in chambers, under whose jurisdiction the matter falls.”

Mr. Mahlangu, 28, and a 15-year-old minor were arrested in April shortly after Mr. Terre’Blanche was hacked to death at his farm in the northeastern town of Ventersdorp.

Mr. Mahlangu was granted bail on July 14. His co-accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has not applied for bail and is being held at a youth facility.

Mr. Terre’Blanche was bludgeoned to death in a murder that shocked the country and heightened race tensions 16 years after the end of apartheid.

The far-right leader headed the Afrikaner Resistance Movement, which advocates self-rule for the Afrikaner minority. The party opposed the country’s first democratic elections in 1994.


Rights group suspended, director jailed

BANJUL | A Gambian-based rights body said Wednesday it would be closing its doors after a court this week jailed its Nigerian director for six months and barred it from operating in the country.

On Monday, the Banjul magistrates court sentenced Edwin Kwakaeme, director of the Africa in Democracy and Good Governance (ADG) group, to six months in prison with hard labor for giving false information to the office of President Yahya Jammeh.

“There’s nothing we can do concerning this case. At this moment, we will be closing down temporarily to see what we can do while our lawyer appeals to the high court,” an official from the ADG told Agence France-Presse.

Kwakaeme was arrested in March after sending a letter to Mr. Jammeh’s office with a request to make his daughter a goodwill ambassador to the ADG. In the letter, he described the ADG as a nongovernmental organization, which prosecutors claimed to be false.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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