- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 23, 2003

NIGERIA
Rebel suspects from Chad kill 3
KANO Robbers suspected of being Chadian rebels killed three in an attack on a bus deep inside neighboring Nigeria, police and witnesses said Tuesday.
The attack occurred in the early hours Monday in Baure Biyu, 25 miles south of the northern city of Kano and about 375 miles from Nigeria's border with Chad, police said. Tanimu Liti, 38, a farmer, told Agence France-Presse news service that the bandits used two trailer trucks to block the highway.
"As soon as the bus stopped the robbers opened fire on the vehicle and two police escorts from the bus fired back, but the robbers overpowered them," Mr. Liti said.

SOUTH AFRICA
African leaders reject Libya's one-nation idea
JOHANNESBURG African foreign ministers rejected this week Libya's proposal for a "United States of Africa," saying the vast continent was not ready to merge into one country with a central administration.
The two-day, closed-door ministerial meeting in Sun City, South Africa, that ended Tuesday was called to reach an agreement on an agenda for an African Union (AU) summit next month. Diplomats told Reuters news agency that the ministers agreed that the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe would top the list.
The special summit is to be held in Ethiopia, Feb. 3 and 4.
During the AU summit in South Africa last year, Libya proposed amendments to the Constitutive Act of the African Union so that the continent could become one country with a unified army and a centralized government.

IVORY COAST
Gbagbo regime accuses Paris of plot
ABIDJAN French-brokered talks to end a four-month war in Ivory Coast were overcast yesterday with accusations by a senior Ivorian official that Paris was trying to topple President Laurent Gbagbo and with a fierce clash between rebels and French peacekeeping troops.
The weeklong talks in Marcoussis, near Paris, appeared to have been making good progress, with an agreement reached on two key problems, until the outburst yesterday by Mamadou Koulibaly, head of the Ivory Coast national assembly. Mr. Koulibaly, who walked out of the talks, told Agence France-Presse news agency that Pierre Mazeaud, a former French minister who is chairing the round-table talks, was "trying to stage a constitutional coup."

Weekly notes
Initial talks to end Sudan's 20-year civil war began in Kenya yesterday after the government and rebels agreed on an agenda for a meeting that failed to start last week as scheduled. The Khartoum government refused to send its delegation to the Kenyan town of Machakos on Jan. 15, saying it had not agreed to discuss the status of three disputed regions. The session has been rescheduled for today. Sierra Leone police say they had arrested 48 persons in connection with what they called a "conspiracy to destabilize" the West African country. But former junta leader Johnny Paul Koroma, who evaded arrest Saturday, and eight others remained at large. Brima Kamara, the deputy national police chief, said at a news conference Tuesday that the arrests came after a Jan. 13 attack on the Wellington barracks in Freetown, the most serious incident in the capital since the end of a civil war.

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