- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 18, 2001

Sabotage shuts down No. 2 Nigeria refinery
ABUJA, Nigeria The government has shut its 125,000-barrel-a-day refinery in the southern city of Warri following a pipeline explosion, a senior official said yesterday.
"We had to shut the refinery down Tuesday because we ran out of crude supply to it," Jackson Gaius-Obaseki, managing director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., told reporters.
"For the third time since June, our crude oil supply was brought down by saboteurs using explosives," said Mr. Gaius-Obaseki. He did not identify the suspected saboteurs. The Warri refinery is Nigeria's second-largest refinery after the one in the southern oil city of Port Harcourt.

300 Rwandan soldiers go home from Congo
KINSHASA, Congo Some 300 Rwandan soldiers have left the Congo, the first to leave the war-torn country under a 1999 peace plan, the U.N. peacekeeping mission here said yesterday.
The 310 troops left the area of Lusambo, in Kasai Oriental Province some 560 miles east of Kinshasa, for Kigali, Tuesday in "what looks like the start of a withdrawal," a U.N. military spokesman said here.
Rwanda deployed some 80 percent of its army in the Congo in 1998 to back rebels fighting the Kinshasa government. Kigali had been reluctant to withdraw its troops, fearful of stepped-up infiltrations by Rwandan Hutus who fled to the Congo after conducting the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

South Africa, Algeria seek trade agreement
PRETORIA, South Africa President Thabo Mbeki and visiting Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika called yesterday for a preferential trade agreement between their countries to serve as a model for African renewal.
Mr. Bouteflika, in an address to a binational commission that is meeting in Pretoria until tomorrow, suggested that South African businessmen could become involved in road, gas pipeline and telecommunications projects that Algeria and Nigeria are undertaking.

Gambians vote today in tense election
BANJUL, Gambia The killing by police of a young opposition activist has inflamed simmering tensions ahead of today's presidential election in this tiny West African tourist haven.
Former coup leader Yahya Jammeh, 36, is confident voters will return him to the post he took by force seven years ago, but foreign diplomats are concerned about whether the election will be free and fair.

Weekly notes
Malawi President Bakili Muluzi has asked British Prime Minister Tony Blair to be flexible in dealing with Zimbabwe's land crisis. "I asked Tony Blair to be a little bit flexible in dealing with the Zimbawe issue," Mr. Muluzi told a press conference yesterday on his return from a 10-day visit to Britain. Former South African President Nelson Mandela said on Tuesday he had won European pledges of financial and political support for a new transitional government for Burundi. But Mr. Mandela, Africa's mediator for Burundi, said it was crucial that Hutu rebel leaders based mostly in neighboring Congo be allowed to return home soon.

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