- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 3, 2003


SPLA rebels set to visit Khartoum

CAIRO — Sudan’s main rebel group will send a delegation to the capital, Khartoum, tomorrow, an unprecedented trip to buttress talks in neighboring Kenya on ending the 20-year civil war in Sudan.

The Sudanese government welcomed the visit, and Deputy Foreign Minister Motrak Sedeek said yesterday that it represented a “qualitative shift” that could open the way for John Garang’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army to become a genuine part of Sudanese political life.

The SPLA began its insurgency in 1983. Mr. Garang told the Arab satellite channel Al Jazeera that at least nine senior members of the group will spend about a week in Khartoum, meeting “senior government officials, political forces, civil society, religious groups, both Christians and Muslims.”


Terror plot suspects are refused bail

NAIROBI — Three Kenyans of Arab origin charged with planning to blow up the U.S. Embassy here in a newly disclosed plot were denied bail yesterday pending trial next month.

Prosecutors have accused the men of plotting to bomb the U.S. mission between November 2002 and June 2003. They are also charged in the deadly 1998 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kenya and two attacks in Mombasa in November last year.

“I conclude that releasing them on bail would be against security interests, therefore they will remain in custody until their trial on Jan. 6,” Chief Magistrate Aggrey Muchelule said at a brief hearing.


Neighbors to swap disputed areas

LAGOS, Nigeria — Nigeria will begin yielding 33 border villages to neighboring Cameroon next week as part of a deal to end a long-standing border dispute, an official said yesterday.

The decision was arrived at in Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital, on Tuesday and concerns settlements on a 300-square-mile patch of territory near Lake Chad, on Nigeria’s northeastern border.

“Both countries agreed to withdraw their administration from the areas to be ceded from Dec. 8,” said the official in the Nigerian Justice Ministry, who asked not to be named.

Weekly notes …

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II arrived in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, yesterday, two days ahead of a Commonwealth summit, on her first visit to the country since it won independence from her rule. President Olusegun Obasanjo greeted her with a lavish ceremony at a banquet hall that was built for the occasion and seats 1,500. The queen repaid the compliment by praising “the leading role the Nigerian government and people have played … to bring peace and stability to Liberia, Sierra Leone and other nations wracked by conflict in West Africa.”

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