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Police stop Anglican prayer retreat

HARARE — Zimbabwean police stopped a retreat of 80 clergy, saying that their prayer gathering was not given police clearance under sweeping security laws, the country’s mainstream Anglican church said Tuesday.

Zimbabwe’s Anglican church has been split by a breakaway group led by a bishop close to the president, who has seized church properties without police intervention. The bishop has been excommunicated by world Anglicans.

The mainstream Diocese of Harare said in a statement that police ordered them to disperse Monday from the Peterhouse private school but they refused, denying any wrongdoing and insisting police remove them by force.

The diocese said in a statement that police loyal to Bishop Nolbert Kunonga returned Tuesday to the school 50 miles east of the capital and were in a standoff, demanding that the clerics, including two bishops, leave the school grounds.

“We deplore this action and call upon higher authorities to intervene. So much for freedom of religion,” the head of the mainstream Anglicans, Bishop Chad Gandiya, said in the statement.

But diocese spokesman Precious Shumba said later Tuesday that the gathering left the school on police orders, without being arrested, as their leaders requested approval for another venue to hold the retreat.

The boarding school is not linked to the church but allows Christian and other groups to use its facilities during vacations.

SENEGAL

Music star Ndour makes bid for presidency

DAKAR — World music icon Youssou Ndour says he plans to run in Senegal’s presidential election next month, challenging an 85-year-old incumbent whose plans to seek a third term have sparked violent protests.

Mr. Ndour, who made the announcement late Monday on his private radio and TV stations, joins some 20 other candidates already running against President Abdoulaye Wade, who has been in power for more than a decade.

The Grammy-winning artist sells out concert venues worldwide and is the West African country’s most famous cultural export, but Mr. Ndour’s prospects with Senegalese voters remain unclear.

The election is less than two months away.

“For a very long time, many Senegalese of different backgrounds have called for my candidacy for the presidency next February,” Mr. Ndour said. “I’ve listened, I’ve heard and I am responding favorably to their request. I am a candidate. It’s a supreme patriotic duty, the best I can give of myself. I am the alternative to the current leadership in place in the country.”

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