- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 9, 2002

Interned UNITA rebels said dying in camps

LUANDA, Angola Living conditions at camps for Angola's former rebels are provoking concern that the ex-fighters lack even the most basic facilities.

"The weak are already dead, and the strong are already weak. Several women have lost their children. There are no words to express the suffering of these people," said Els Adams, who coordinates the work of a Dutch branch of Doctors without Borders (MSF) in Malanje.

Aid workers fear that if the former fighters don't receive adequate attention, their plight could threaten the peace promised by the April 4 cease-fire.

MSF-Netherlands is the only agency that has visited Malanje to see two of the 39 camps set up around the country for former fighters from the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola.

Carter Center faults Mali vote counting

DAKAR, Senegal The U.S.-based Carter Center yesterday criticized the April 28 first round of Mali's presidential elections, citing a "significant number of irregularities."

The center, led by former President Jimmy Carter, issued a "preliminary statement" to Agence France-Presse in Dakar saying that "in a general manner, it was observed that the elections were held peacefully and were run correctly and in a spirit of openness."

It added: "However, some aspects of the electoral process sparked concerns over the exactness and reliability of the reported results."

The Carter Center team of seven observers criticized the fact that vote-counting was centralized and of being denied access to the counting for nearly two days.

Hutu rebels slay 16 near Bujumbura

BUJUMBURA, Burundi Sixteen persons, most of them civilians, have been killed by Hutu rebels near this capital since the weekend, officials and witnesses said yesterday.

At Nyabiraba, 10 civilians including three women were killed on Tuesday because they alerted the Burundi army of an ambush by rebels of the National Liberation Forces (FNL), several witnesses said.

The violence in Nyabiraba followed the deaths of five persons in a rebel ambush of two military vehicles in the Kanyosha area on Sunday. Ten persons were injured in that attack.

Madagascar blockade punishes both sides

TOAMASINA, Madagascar The economic blockade of Antananarivo, the capital, has begun to backfire, also cramping life in the port city of Toamasina, where a rebel government has been set up to rival that of elected President Marc Ravalomanana.

With roadblocks in place and at least seven bridges dynamited by supporters of ex-President Didier Ratsiraka, who disputes Mr. Ravalomanana's court-confirmed victory, supplies of fuel to the capital have been choked.

But with the main route to the interior of the Indian Ocean island blocked, shipping containers are piling up at the port.

Weekly notes

Opposition parties in Burkina Faso appeared set yesterday to make a serious dent in the parliamentary majority enjoyed by the ruling Congress for Democracy and Progress. The CDP, which held 104 seats in the 111-seat assembly before Sunday's elections, held on to 60 of them to keep a slim majority, according to unofficial results compiled by individual parties and the media. At least two persons were killed and many were injured in a clash over land in Nigeria's troubled Ogoniland, reports said yesterday. Violence broke out Sunday between rival ethnic Sapo and Yere residents of Bori there.

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