- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Fatah leader Barghouti put on trial in Israel

JERUSALEM Marwan Barghouti, one of the most visible leaders of the Palestinian uprising, will go on trial today on charges of orchestrating attacks that killed or wounded scores of Israelis.

Mr. Barghouti, the 43-year-old West Bank chief of Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, delivered fiery speeches during street protests in the early days of the uprising that began in September 2000.

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Mr. Barghouti, arrested April 15 during an Israeli military sweep through the West Bank, is the second-most popular Palestinian leader, trailing only Mr. Arafat, according to recent polls.

Libya defends right to head rights body

TRIPOLI, Libya Libya dismissed as "lies" yesterday criticism of its human rights record and defended its selection to head the U.N. Human Rights Commission as a deserved reward for its policy at home and abroad.

"Libya is a country where the respect of human rights is enshrined. The security, political stability and economic prosperity enjoyed by Libya are the proof of its respect of human rights," the Foreign Ministry said.

Nigerian president defends frequent trips

LAGOS, Nigeria Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, under increasing fire for spending a third of his time abroad since he was elected three years ago, responded yesterday, saying his frequent trips were a national necessity.

Mr. Obasanjo's globe-trotting sparked heated debate in the West African country after the newspaper This Day said in an editorial last week that the president has traveled more in three years than Pope John Paul II has in 23 years.

Angola to arrest genocide suspect

LUANDA, Angola Angola said yesterday that it has located and would arrest the head of Rwanda's armed forces during the country's horrific 1994 genocide and would hand him over to an international tribunal.

Gen. Augustin Bizimungu is considered one of the top suspects in the hunt for the masterminds behind the massacres, in which Hutu extremists slaughtered an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu moderates in a three months of bloodletting.

A government statement said the Angolan judiciary had been instructed to hand over Gen. Bizimungu to the International Criminal Tribunal in Arusha, Tanzania.

Five killed as gunmen attack Christian villages

JAKARTA, Indonesia Gunmen killed at least five persons as they ransacked two Christian villages in Indonesia's troubled Poso region hours after religious leaders reaffirmed support for a 9-month-old truce, police said.

Christian groups, who said they did not believe the attackers were local Muslims, have also accused police of intimidation and violence when they searched several other villages for a missing colleague.

This latest violence in the Poso regency of Central Sulawesi has raised doubts that the December truce can keep a lid on a three-year conflict between Christians and Muslims, despite religious leaders reaffirming their commitment to the shaky peace deal Monday.

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