- - Wednesday, June 20, 2012

KAMPALA, Uganda — The party of Uganda’s long-serving ruler appears to have split up into rival factions jostling for power in anticipation of the president’s possible exit, officials and analysts said Wednesday. They predicted an all-out power struggle that could pit the country’s prime minister against its first lady.

President Yoweri Museveni called an emergency meeting of top party officials on Tuesday, after his party’s defeat last week in a parliamentary election widely seen as a test of his popularity a year after he won re-election.

Mr. Museveni, a 68-year-old former bush fighter who captured power by force in 1986, recently said he would quit power by the time he reaches his mid-70s, setting off loud speculation across Uganda about his likely successor.

There appears to be two top contenders waiting in the wings: first lady Janet Museveni, an ambitious Cabinet minister believed by some to be Museveni’s favored successor; and Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, a seasoned politician who has made it clear he wishes to be the next president.

SENEGAL

Authorities arrest ex-interior minister

DAKAR — An official in Senegal said police arrested the former regime’s interior minister.

Serigne Mbacke Ndiaye, who was a spokesman for former President Abdoulaye Wade, said police arrested Ousmane Ngom on Wednesday.

Mr. Ndiaye did not say why Mr. Ngom was arrested.

But accusations have surfaced that Mr. Wade and his inner circle made off with nearly all the cars in the government’s garage, as well as art, furniture and other assets belonging to the state.

Mr. Wade has denied accusations of theft, saying many of the goods were personal property.

Mr. Wade categorically denied newspaper reports saying he and members of his administration had transferred $800 million into foreign bank accounts.

The new government of Senegal issued a communique in April, giving 72 hours to former members of his administration to return the cars, or face having them seized.

IVORY COAST

‘Last jolts’ of old regime no threat to stability

Attacks by armed loyalists of deposed President Laurent Gbagbo are the “last jolts” of the former regime and pose no threat to the stability of the West African nation, the country’s prime minister said this week.

Remnants of the Gbagbo camp “continue to organize attacks” along the Ivory Coast’s western border with Liberia, but they “cannot destabilize the country,” Prime Minister Jeannot Ahoussou-Koudio said at a news conference on a visit to Washington.

One of the attacks along the border killed eight civilians and seven U.N. peacekeepers earlier this month, and some 12,000 locals were displaced by unrest caused by the Gbagbo forces, reportedly based in Liberia, according to the U.N.

“These are the last jolts of Laurent Gbagbo’s bloody regime, and this cannot undermine a reconciliation,” the prime minister added.

Mr. Gbagbo is charged by the International Criminal Court of crimes against humanity committed during the post-electoral chaos of 2010 and 2011 and was imprisoned at The Hague.

Mr. Ahoussou-Koudio also predicted that the Ivory Coast will have a 6 percent growth in GDP by the end of 2012, compared with a 4 percent contraction last year.

NIGERIA

Islamist terrorists unleash multiple attacks

MAIDUGURI — A radical Islamist sect unleashed multiple attacks in northeastern Nigeria, killing at least 25 people, authorities said this week, as fears swelled about the government’s inability to curb rising religious violence.

The attacks worsened an already tense security situation in Nigeria, an African nation of more than 160 million people almost evenly divided between Muslims and Christians.

The Boko Haram sect began its attacks Monday evening with blasts targeting police and military targets in the city of Damaturu, authorities said. Gunfire echoed across the city for hours, spilling into Tuesday afternoon. One resident said at least two schools were torched.

The attacks killed at least 20 civilians and five security officers and left nine other people hospitalized, according to Nigerian Red Cross official Andronicus Adeyemo.

“The terrorists are trying to show that they can’t be stopped,” said Yobe state Police Chief Patrick Egbuniwe, who said the dead included three policemen and two soldiers.

The Islamist Boko Haram sect, whose name means “Western education is sacrilege” in the Hausa language, is waging an increasingly bloody fight with Nigeria’s security agencies and the public. More than 580 people have been killed in violence blamed on the sect this year alone.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports

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