- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 20, 2001

Rwanda-backed rebels, Congo warriors clash

GOMA, Congo Clashes between rebels and traditional warriors who back the Kinshasa government resumed last weekend in the eastern part of the country, a rebel source told Agence France-Presse.

Officials of the Rwandan-backed Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) said fighting between Mai-Mai tribals and RCD rebels broke out Saturday in Maniema and South Kivu provinces.

"They are in fact attacks that occur in a repeated fashion and leave these areas in a permanent state of war," RCD Secretary-General Azarias Ruberwa told AFP, accusing the Kinshasa government of supplying the Mai-Mai.

They recently received three speedboats for use on Lake Tanganyika, he said.


Comoros repulses foreign gunmen

MORONI, Comoros The Comoran government said yesterday it had quelled a group of armed foreigners posing as U.S. special forces on the island of Moheli after a clash that left at least five dead.

"The situation on the island is returning to normal," Communications Minister Ali Toihir said on national radio. "After an exchange of gunfire, some of the attackers were killed while others ran away," he said.

The islands in the Indian Ocean have been plagued by a score of coup attempts since independence from France in 1975.

To break this cycle, Comorans are to vote Sunday on a new constitution providing more autonomy for the country's three isles: Grande Comore, Moheli and Anjouan.


Outside probe sought of police shooting

BLANTYRE, Malawi University lecturers called yesterday for an independent probe into last week's fatal shooting of a student by police, a senior lecturer said.

"We are calling for an independent and transparent investigation to establish if it was lawful action by police," Nandin Patel, secretary of the lecturers union at the university's main campus, Chancellor College in Zomba, told Agence France-Presse.

The student, Fanikiso Phiri, was shot Dec. 11 at the main university when police used live bullets to break up a protest by dreadlocked Rastafarians, which university students and others had joined.

The Rastafarians were protesting the mysterious death of Malawian musician and government critic Evison Matafale, who died Nov. 27 in police custody.

Mr. Patel deemed the use of live ammunition to break up a demonstration unjustified.


Weekly notes

An Islamic court in northern Nigeria's Sokoto state has sentenced two persons Sani Shehu and Garba Dandare to amputation at the right wrist and left ankle for breaking into a house by night, beating up the occupants and stealing valuables including a TV set and motorcycle, local Rima Radio reported yesterday. Presiding Judge Bawa Sahali Tambuwal said the offense was contrary to Islamic law. Kaiser Wilhelm finally met his downfall in Namibia, where a main street bearing his name in the coastal town of Swakopmund was renamed in honor of the President Sam Nujoma, the Namibian newspaper reports.

Formerly called South West Africa, Namibia was a German colony from 1884 to 1914 when, at the outbreak of World War I, it was occupied by South African troops.

In 1920, the League of Nations put it under South African control; it became independent in 1990.


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