- - Wednesday, May 9, 2012

SOUTH SUDAN

JUBA — Sudan resumed its aerial bombardment of South Sudan, violating international calls for a cessation of hostilities between the two countries, a South Sudanese military official said Wednesday.

Col. Kella Dual Kueth, deputy spokesman for the South Sudan military, said there were attacks Monday and Tuesday in the states of Upper Nile, Unity and Northern Bahr el Ghazal.

“Automatically it is a violation,” Col. Kueth said. “They always attack in the morning and [in the] evening, as usual.”

Col. Kueth did not say how many bombs were dropped or how many people were killed in the attacks. He said he was not aware of any attacks Wednesday.

Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, repeatedly has denied it is carrying out a bombing campaign over southern territory, saying instead it is the victim of the South’s aggression.

The U.N. Security Council last month approved a resolution threatening nonmilitary sanctions against Sudan and South Sudan if they do not stop escalating violence and return to negotiations.

The African Union now is trying to help the two Sudans reach a settlement and avoid a return to all-out war. Although Sudan has endorsed the AU’S road map to peace, it insists on the right to defend itself militarily.

RWANDA

Congolese flee violence into neighboring Rwanda

GISENYI — When gunfire broke out in her home area in eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Annie Kabeja joined a wave of thousands fleeing the region and walked for two days with her two children toward neighboring Rwanda.

“We heard gunshots and blasts. We had no option but to flee,” Ms. Kabeja, 34, said after arriving in Rwanda. “We couldn’t sleep. Bullets were flying all over the place.”

Violence in eastern Congo has surged after dozens of soldiers mutinied Monday and created a new group in a largely lawless area of Africa where numerous rebel armies have taken root.

The new group created by the mutinous soldiers calls itself March 23 movement, the date of the 2009 peace accord signed by rebel groups and the Congolese government.

It is purportedly led by a colonel who once was under Bosco Ntaganda, a former warlord who was integrated into the Congolese army under the peace deal despite being wanted by the International Criminal Court.

WEST AFRICA

West Africa to send team to coup-torn Guinea-Bissau

ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST — Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said Wednesday that West Africa within days will send a team to Guinea-Bissau for new talks on steering the coup-torn country back to constitutional rule.

Mr. Jonathan made the announcement after flying into Abidjan for a whirlwind meeting with Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, the current head of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), on tackling the political crises in Guinea-Bissau and Mali.

The two leaders discussed “sending a team back to Guinea-Bissau that is likely to leave tomorrow or the day after to take a position that we believe will return the country to normal democratic governance,” Mr. Jonathan told journalists.

The team will hold talks on sending in ECOWAS troops to oversee the transition and will include Ivory Coast’s defense minister and a top official from Nigeria’s Foreign Ministry, Ivory Coast Foreign Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan said.

Tension remains high in Guinea-Bissau after the April 12 coup, which aborted a presidential election. The former ruling party ousted in the putsch has rejected plans to install an interim president, demanding that the coup first be reversed.

TANZANIA

U.N. genocide panel cuts one sentence, upholds two

ARUSHA — A U.N. appeals chamber overseeing cases related to Rwanda’s genocide has reduced one sentence and reaffirmed two others against the ringleaders of the 100-day killing spree in the tiny central African republic some 18 years ago.

The appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda reduced the sentence of former military officer Aloys Ntabakuze from life in prison to 35 years for genocide-related charges.

Ntabakuze was convicted of conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide, complicity in genocide, and crimes against humanity.

Lt. Ildephonse Hategekimana’s sentence of life imprisonment was affirmed by the appeals chamber. He was found guilty of genocide in the massacre of civilian Tutsis and of raping Tutsi women.

Former businessman Gaspard Kanyarugika’s 30-year sentence also was affirmed by the court on grounds that the defense failed to prove his innocence in the 1997 genocide.

SOUTH AFRICA

Upper house debates state secrets bill

CAPE TOWN — A South African parliamentary committee this week opened debate on a proposed state-secrets bill, after months of public hearings raised alarms that the measure could muzzle whistle-blowers and journalists.

A committee in the upper house of parliament began four days of debate on the Protection of State Information Bill, strongly backed by the ruling African National Congress, which has a huge legislative majority.

Committee chairman Raseriti Tau of the ANC said the bill aimed to protect South Africa’s “constitutional order.”

The lower house approved the bill in November despite an outcry from civil society, including Nelson Mandela’s foundation, and even the government alliance partner the Congress of South African Trade Unions.

ZIMBABWE

Crocodile kills man who tried to save friend

HARARE — A Zimbabwean man was killed while trying to rescue his friend from attacking crocodiles in northwest Zimbabwe, a fishing club said Wednesday.

The National Anglers’ Union said Frank Trott, who was in his 70s, died after trying to rescue a friend paddling along the shoreline at Charara fishing camp last week. The friend, a fellow farmer in his 40s with experience in the African wilderness, survived with wounds to his midsection and buttocks.

Wildlife rangers fatally shot two crocodiles after the attack.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports

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