- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 21, 2002

Central African Republic collects weapons

BANGUI, Central African Republic Authorities in Central Africa have collected nearly 800 weapons since beginning a national disarmament campaign in late January, an official with the campaign said Tuesday.

In the capital, authorities have collected more than 260 guns, 500 grenades, four rocket launchers, mortar shells and 43,000 cartridges, since Jan. 28, Michel Dognene said.

The disarmament campaign its $1.8 million cost financed by the United Nations Development Program, Norway, Canada and Germany aims to collect 4,000 arms in one year.

Congo accuses aide in Kabila assassination

KINSHASA, Congo A top aide of slain Congolese President Laurent Kabila plotted his murder, tried to seize power after his death and had 11 Lebanese executed when the attempt failed, state prosecutors said.

Eddy Kapend, who wore a badge bearing Mr. Kabila's smiling face to the military tribunal, was among some 115 soldiers and civilians charged with involvement in Mr. Kabila's assassination.

Angola's rebels seek end of U.N. sanctions

LISBON The Angolan rebel movement, UNITA, has written to the United Nations to demand that sanctions against the group be lifted, UNITA said in a press release distributed on Tuesday.

In the letter, UNITA called the U.N. sanctions, in place since 1993, "out of date and counterproductive."

The U.N. sanctions include a military embargo, the closure of UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) representations outside Angola, financial sanctions and an embargo against the former Portuguese colony's lucrative diamond trade.

Nigeria to boost natural-gas exports

LAGOS, Nigeria The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) has signed a long-term sales and purchase accord with Eni Spa of Italy for the delivery of 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year, an official statement said.

Under terms of the agreement, NLNG will deliver 52 billion cubic feet per year of gas to the Italian firm in the Iberian Peninsula when the fourth and fifth production plants of the company come into operation in 2005, it said.

New insect found in Namibia

WINDHOEK, Namibia A new insect species that looks like a cross between a locust and a cricket was discovered in the southern African country of Namibia, a team of scientists said.

The scientists from the National Museum of Namibia, which led the expedition, said Monday they found the insect in Namibia's remote Brandberg mountains.

The species, dubbed it the "gladiator," has a flexible thorax.

Specimens, alive and dead, will be sent to scientists in Germany for study.

Weekly notes

Morocco's King Mohammed VI, 38, will marry computer engineer Salma Bennani on April 12 in the southern city of Marrakesh, the palace said in a statement. A preliminary private wedding ceremony will be held today at the royal palace in Rabat. … Mali's Prime Minister Mande Sidibe has resigned, fueling speculation that he will join the ever-growing list of candidates standing in an April 28 presidential election.

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