- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 14, 2000

Cape Town bombers target top politician

CAPE TOWN, South Africa Bombers terrorizing South Africa's top tourist destination have stepped up their campaign with a blast aimed at the province's top politician, Justice Minister Penuell Maduna said yesterday.

"There is a terror campaign. They nearly hit the premier [of Western Cape]. They were showing us that they are following us all over," Mr. Maduna told a news conference.

Provincial Premier Gerald Morkel told reporters only God and a parked car saved his life in the blast Tuesday that injured seven persons, including a policewoman and a girl.

The bomb was strapped to a tree between a mosque and a community center where Mr. Morkel was to attend a political rally in the suburb of Gatesville. The blast followed a warning by Safety and Security Minister Steve Tshwete Tuesday that Cape Town faces a threat from Islamic fanatics who seek support from international terrorist groups.

Mr. Tshwete blamed the vigilante group People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD). The latter denies responsibility, saying it exists solely to stamp out the gangsterism and drugs that are rife in the city. PAGAD has accused the government of planting the bombs as a way to push Draconian new anti-terrorism legislation through parliament.

Hutu rebels say army killed 850 civilians

NAIROBI, Kenya The main Hutu rebel group in ethnically divided Burundi has accused the Tutsi-led army of killing more than 850 Hutu civilians in the past month, despite efforts to end the seven-year civil war.

Most of the killing came after Aug. 28, the date a peace deal aimed at ending the civil war was signed by most parties including the Tutsi-led government the Forces for the Defense of Democracy (FDD) said in a statement yesterday.

The FDD and the other main Hutu rebel group did not sign the accord, which did not provide for a cease-fire.

"More than 300 Hutu farm workers were killed in the Nyambuye, Gasarara, Musumba et Tenga areas [of Bujumbura Rural province, near the capital] between Aug. 31 and Sept. 9," the statement said.

It said that on Sept. 5, the army attacked civilians in Muzye, Rutana province. The attack was followed the next day "by the burial of more than 150 Hutu civilians in ditches dug by tractors," the report continued.

Mine ban signatories said to use them

GENEVA A number of countries that signed an international treaty against land mines are continuing to use them, according to the New York-based group Human Rights Watch.

Angola, Sudan, Burundi, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Rwanda were named as violators in the report, issued Tuesday during a five-day conference here assessing progress toward ending the use of land mines.

"The Angolan government admitted the use of mines against UNITA [National Union for the Total Independence of Angola] rebels, and UNITA resorted to the same," Steven Goose of Human Rights Watch said. "In Sudan and Burundi, despite their denials, we have convincing proof of use," he added.

"The convention is hollow if signatories use mines with no reaction from the international community," said Jody Williams of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.

Weekly notes . . .

The leaders of three Tutsi groups from Burundi agreed yesterday to sign a peace agreement Wednesday for the tiny central African country, mediator Nelson Mandela told reporters in Johannesburg. "They have agreed without any reservations," Mr. Mandela said after talks with the leaders of the Independent Party of Workers, the Union for Democracy and Economic and Social Development and the National Alliance for Law and Economic Development… . Pius Okigbo, an eminent Nigerian economist, has died after a brief illness, a close associate said yesterday. Mr. Okigbo, 76, died in a London hospital on Monday, his friend and former foreign minister Matthew Mbu told Agence France-Presse in Lagos by telephone.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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