- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 14, 2002

Sudan endorses incursion by Uganda

KHARTOUM, Sudan Ugandan army operations against rebels in southern Sudan have Khartoum's "full coordination and agreement," said Foreign Minister Mustafa Ismail.

"What is happening along the Sudanese-Ugandan border is taking place … in line with a specific agreement in the interests of Sudan and Uganda," he told reporters Tuesday.

The Ugandan army campaign against rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), who have bases in southern Sudan, was agreed by the two countries during Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's January visit to Sudan, Mr. Ismail said.

Kampala announced this week it was deploying two fresh battalions, each with 600 to 800 soldiers, inside Sudan. The ethnically based LRA has fought Mr. Museveni's secular government since 1988.

State lawmakers face Nigeria police probe

LAGOS, Nigeria Police said yesterday they have begun investigating charges of corruption against members of parliament in central Benue state.

"We are investigating the matter. We are already taking statements from the 14 indicted legislators," said Benue police spokesman Emmanuel Adesina. He denied police were slow in bringing the lawmakers to book.

Margaret Icheen, the first woman to head the Benue assembly, quit Monday, saying: "My resignation is as a result of corrupt practices in the House which I have refused to be part of."

Taylor agrees to talks with past, present foes

LAGOS, Nigeria Embattled Liberian President Charles Taylor has agreed to a national reconciliation meeting between his officials and the country's former leaders and rebel fighters in Abuja today, a regional body said yesterday.

The three-day meeting in the Nigerian capital under the auspices of the Economic Community of West African States will propose the composition, size and date of a conference in Liberia this year, ECOWAS announced.

World Bank to fund Congo highway work

KINSHASA, Congo The World Bank will finance the rebuilding of a key stretch of highway in Congo to the tune of $14.8 million, a government official said yesterday.

"This contract is financially the biggest under an accord on a $50 million grant signed by the DRC and the World Bank in August 2001," said Patrice Dibobol, head of the government central coordinating office. The aim is to repair 125 miles of bad road between Congo's main port, Matadi, and Kinshasa.

Weekly notes

The United States broadly approved yesterday the voter registration process in war-ravaged Sierra Leone, but expressed "concern" over reports children under 18 were included in the rolls. The U.S. Embassy in Freetown said voter registration for the May 14 general and presidential elections was done "in an atmosphere free of violence and intimidation." … Kenya's exports to the European Union rose by 50 percent over the past decade amid rapid growth in production of fresh flowers, vegetables and fruits, an EU official said yesterday. Kenya earned $325 million from such exports to the EU last year, said the EU's Gary Quince in Nairobi.

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