- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 22, 2002

Obasanjo rejects impeachment threat
ABUJA, Nigeria President Olusegun Obasanjo responded yesterday to a week-old threat to impeach him, branding the move unconstitutional and the lawmakers behind it corrupt.
Information Minister Jerry Gana said a vote urging Mr. Obasanjo to quit was "malicious, mischievous, uncalled for, unconstitutional and rejected outright as it was done in bad faith."
The presidential statement, which included a point-by-point rebuttal of the charges against him in the lower house, was the first official response to the vote.
Last week, the House of Representatives, voted to instruct the president to either resign or face impeachment for incompetence and abuse of power.

Rebels deny role in Kisangani massacre
KIGALI, Rwanda The main rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo denied yesterday fresh accusations it was involved in a May massacre in the northeastern town of Kisangani.
The Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD), backed by Rwanda, "formally contests the conclusions of the inquiry by Human Rights Watch, which unacceptably misunderstands the causes of the events in Kisangani," RCD spokesman Jean Pierre Lola Kisanga told Agence France-Presse.
In a report Tuesday, the New York-based group called for top RCD officers to be prosecuted for war crimes in the rebel-held town after an apparent revolt there May 14 and 15. The U.N. Security Council also blamed the killings on the RCD.

Pirates seek ransom for hostage seamen
MOMBASA, Kenya The Seafarers Assistance Program (SAP) called yesterday for immediate international intervention to free six Georgian seamen held by militiamen in northeast Somalia's Puntland region.
The seamen were taken captive July 30 when their Panamanian-registered tanker, MT Jenlil, was hijacked. Mombasa-based SAP spokesman Andrew Mwangura said their lives are in danger.

Pregnant Nigerian wins Cyprus stay
NICOSIA, Cyprus A pregnant Nigerian student was released from custody and given temporary stay here yesterday after she applied for asylum, fearing death by stoning in her Muslim state for having a child out of wedlock.
Atanda Fatimo, 21 years old and seven months pregnant, was arrested after she was sent back to Cyprus when she tried to enter Ireland Aug. 17 on a forged British passport.
Deputy Attorney General Petros Clerides said Miss Fatimo did not apply to have her student visa renewed when it expired in June. Instead, she flew to Dublin, believing her child would have Irish citizenship from birth.

Weekly notes
Rwandan genocide suspect and former army chief Augustin Bizimungu pleaded not guilty before the U.N. tribunal at Arusha, Tanzania, yesterday to charges related to the 1994 massacres. Gen. Bizimungu, 50, who was arrested in Angola last week, entered pleas of not guilty to each of the 10 charges. A gold cross stolen by Italian troops 65 years ago from 15th-century St. Mary's monastery in northern Ethiopia has been found in a cave, reports said yesterday. The 28-inch cross was found last week by workers building a road south of Mekele, capital of northern Tigray province.

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