- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 27, 2001

Comoros approves autonomy to islands
MUTSAMUDU, Comoros Voters in the coup-plagued Federal Islamic Republic of Comoros overwhelmingly approved a new constitution giving greater autonomy to each of its three islands, an election official said yesterday.
Burhane Abderemane, president of the National Electoral Commission, said 77 percent of votes in Sunday's referendum supported the charter. About three-fourths of the Indian Ocean archipelago's 224,000 registered voters cast ballots, he said.
A government of national unity is now supposed to be formed to prepare Comoros for a March 31 election to return civilian rule to the impoverished country of 700,000 off the coast of Mozambique.

4 sentenced to hang in bandit-ridden Darfur
KHARTOUM, Sudan Four men have been sentenced to death by hanging after emergency tribunals in the bandit-ridden western state of Darfur found them guilty of armed robbery and murder, a newspaper reported yesterday.
The emergency tribunal of Um Kaddada found Mohammed Hassan Mahmoud guilty this week of killing an unspecified number of persons during an armed robbery and sentenced him to death, the independent Al Ayam daily said, reporting from Fashir some 500 miles west of here.
The same court convicted Ahmed Suleiman Mohammed and Mohammed Adam Yahia of similar crimes, and a tribunal at Fashir found Ahmed Yasser guilty of armed robbery and premeditated murder and sentenced him to death as well.
Western Sudan has suffered from an outbreak of banditry and highway robbery in recent years, often of vehicles coming to and from neighboring Libya, Chad and the Central African Republic.

Ebola outbreak kills 18th victim
BRAZZAVILLE, Republic of Congo Another person has died of Ebola, bringing the death toll from an outbreak of the virus in the region to 18, government officials said yesterday.
The death occurred in the village of Mbomo and was among 11 known cases of Ebola infection in the Republic of Congo, government spokesman Francois Ibovi said.
Seven more persons in neighboring Gabon are infected.
So far, five persons with Ebola have died in the Republic of Congo and 13 in Gabon, World Health Organization spokesman Gregory Hartl said by telephone from Geneva.
The WHO said last week it believes the outbreak has peaked, but that 203 persons in both countries who have had contact with the infected will be monitored for several weeks for signs and symptoms.

Weekly notes
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi hailed yesterday the decision by Central African Republic President Ange-Felix Patasse to drop legal proceedings against ex-armed forces chief Francois Bozize , wanted after a failed coup attempt in May and sheltered by Chad. Libya has acted as a peace broker between N'Djamena and Bangui, at odds over the case of Mr. Bozize. Kenyan police used live ammunition yesterday to fire at rioters in a fourth day of running battles in the coastal city of Mombasa, killing one man and injuring several, officials and witnesses said. Tourists arriving at Moi International Airport were escorted through the stone-throwing mobs by armed police to their hotels along the Indian Ocean coast


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