- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 10, 2002

Opposition takes AIDS tests public

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania Tanzanian opposition leaders yesterday took the rare step of getting tested for the HIV/AIDS virus and promised to publicize the results in an effort to encourage other Tanzanians to do the same.

Civic United Front national Chairman Ibrahim Lipumba and Secretary-General Seif Shariff Ahmed were tested at the Muhumbili hospital, the largest AIDS-referral hospital in the country, along with other leaders.

Mr. Lipumba said the results were expected within the next few days.

The Tanzanian mainland had close to 2 million people over the age of 15 living with AIDS by the end of 2000, according to a report by the National Aids Control Council and the Ministry of Health. The country has about 30 million people.

Mbeki hosts Mideast talks

CAPE TOWN, South Africa South African President Thabo Mbeki began informal talks behind closed doors yesterday with Israeli "doves" and Palestinian delegates to explore how to get the Middle East peace process back on track, government officials said.

The three-day parley began amid tight security on a wine estate near Stellenbosch, about 40 miles from Cape Town, where officials said Mr. Mbeki would focus on new ways to tackle the violence in the Middle East.

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz Pahad has said the aim was to promote ongoing initiatives and to share South Africa's experiences.

The Palestinian and Israeli sides each sent eight delegates, according to the SAPA news agency. The Israeli delegation was headed by former Cabinet minister Yossi Beilin and the Palestinian team by a senior minister in the Palestinian Authority and one of its chief negotiators, Saeb Erekat.

Children skip school, fearing evil spirits

NAIROBI, Kenya Parents in a village in eastern Kenya kept their 400 children away from classes for two days because they were convinced the local school was haunted by spirits that would suck their blood, a schools inspector said yesterday.

Kilonzo Musilu, who inspected the primary school in the village of Ithiani, some 80 miles east of the capital, Nairobi, said the parents believed a local businessman had sent the "majini," or spirits, to the school.

Kabila tells U.N. to get tough

KINSHASA, Congo President Laurent Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) yesterday called on the U.N. Security Council to take tougher measures, including sanctions, to force countries to withdraw their troops from his vast country.

"I ask the U.N. Security Council to take more effective and compulsory measures, including sanctions, to ensure compliance with the Lusaka peace agreement," Mr. Kabila said during a New Year ceremony with foreign diplomats.

Under the 1999 agreement, signed in the Zambian capital, Lusaka, all foreign countries with troops occupying parts of the DRC currently Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda were supposed to withdraw them.

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