- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 10, 2002

Genocide survivors seek tribunal changes

KIGALI, Rwanda Genocide survivors yesterday urged a Tanzania-based U.N. tribunal trying key suspects to create a special chamber to hear cases related to rape and to improve conditions for female witnesses.

In a letter to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) at Arusha, the survivors urged that all participants in that chamber be women, "to put an end to the humiliation of women witnesses, especially victims of rape as a weapon of genocide."

The letter was signed by Antoine Mugesera, president of Ibuka, the principal association representing survivors of the 1994 genocide. Ibuka also asked that testimony of prosecution witnesses be heard in Rwanda.

It also sought a meeting between the ICTR and survivor groups, under the supervision the U.N. Security Council, over grievances. The groups stopped cooperating with the ICTR early this year, accusing it of lack of respect for those affected by the genocide.


Nigeria yanks jets sent to Ivory Coast

ABUJA, Nigeria Nigeria has withdrawn three fighter jets it sent to Ivory Coast after the government there spurned a West Africa-brokered cease-fire, a military spokesman said yesterday.

Three Nigerian Alpha Jet ground-attack fighters and about 30 air force support personnel were sent to Abidjan on Sept. 25, six days after an army mutiny split Ivory Coast into warring pro-government and rebel camps.

But the planes were withdrawn after Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo snubbed on Sunday attempts by West African countries, including Nigeria, to mediate a truce. With their removal, chances of a West African force being deployed to act as a buffer between troops loyal to Mr. Gbagbo and the rebels appear to have receded.


Adulterers not told of their death sentences

NEW GAWU, Nigeria Two adulterers a married woman eight months pregnant and the man who fathered the child out of wedlock have not been told that an Islamic court has sentenced them to death by stoning, their lawyer says.

Ahmadu Ibrahim, 35, and Fatima Usman, 32, are in a federal jail and were not allowed to attend the court hearing in August that sentenced them, lawyer Hauwa Ibrahim said Tuesday.

The two were sentenced a week after another Islamic court rejected single mother Amina Lawal's appeal of a stoning sentence. Ahmadu Ibrahim is the first man sentenced to death for adultery in the country. Earlier only women were prosecuted and their children used as evidence, while men escaped punishment for lack of proof.

Mrs. Usman was the third Nigerian woman condemned to death under Islamic law for adultery. The first, Safiya Hussaini, had her sentence overturned in March on appeal.


Weekly notes

ThisDay newspaper group of Nigeria said yesterday that it is one of four leading bidders in the final round to take control of the 106-year-old South African Central News Agency (CNA). ThisDay newspaper, established less than a decade ago and one of Nigeria's most influential and widely read dailies, made the announcement in a Page One report yesterday. It plans to begin daily publishing in South Africa in January. The U.N. World Food Program says it has re-established deliveries to camps in Gulu and Kitgum districts of northern Uganda to assist a half-million internally displaced people. The WFP suspended the deliveries Sept. 14 after an attack on a food convoy by rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army.


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