- The Washington Times - Monday, July 28, 2003

RWANDA

Annan to push for new prosecutor

NEW YORK — U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has decided to recommend that the 15-nation Security Council replace Carla Del Ponte as chief prosecutor for the Rwanda genocide court, diplomatic sources said yesterday.

Mr. Annan was expected to send a letter to the council within a day proposing that Mrs. Del Ponte no longer hold the Rwanda post but remain as chief prosecutor for the U.N. tribunal trying individuals accused of crimes in the former Yugoslavia’s Balkan wars, the sources said.

Mrs. Del Ponte is working as chief prosecutor for both courts under a four-year term that expires in September.

She was informed of Mr. Annan’s decision during a meeting with the secretary-general in New York yesterday but did not threaten to resign in protest, the envoys said.

Mr. Annan’s recommendation must be approved by the Security Council, but he already has consulted with the council’s five major powers — the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France — who raised no objections, the diplomats said.

CONGO

U.N. increases peacekeeper limit

NEW YORK — The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously yesterday for an increase of 2,000 peacekeepers for the Congo and a more robust mandate for U.N. troops that would replace French-led contingents trying to prevent massacres in northeastern areas of the country.

After weeks of haggling, the resolution raised the ceiling for the United Nations from 8,700 to 10,800 troops, observers and political officers, and extended the life of the force until July 30, 2004.

The United States had been hesitant about the increase, saying that unless there was a political will, more troops would not make a difference.

LIBERIA

Rebels seize city on way to capital

MONROVIA — Rebels battling to oust President Charles Taylor seized Liberia’s second city yesterday and attacked another key town, paving the way for a pincer assault on the crumbling capital Monrovia.

The port city of Buchanan fell to rebels from the Movement for Democracy in Liberia (Model), residents and a government military commander said.

“Model rebels have captured Buchanan, but we are massing our troops outside to retake the city,” the commander told Reuters news agency.

The other major rebel movement, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), said it had taken Gbarnga, a key settlement on the main highway between Liberia and Ivory Coast in the center of the crippled West African country.

“It doesn’t seem as though anyone is respecting the cease-fire anymore,” Liberian Defense Minister Daniel Chea said.

Battles raged in the heart of Monrovia for the 10th consecutive day as representatives of West African countries met but failed to agree to a date to deploy peacekeepers to Liberia.

CHINA

Patients’ recoveries end SARS outbreak

BEIJING — China’s last 12 SARS patients have recovered, ending an outbreak of the deadly respiratory disease that killed 349 persons and infected 5,327 since it first appeared in November, health officials said today.

“The 12, who had been confirmed as having SARS, have no more symptoms and will not infect anyone in close contact with them,” Liang Wannian, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Health, was quoted as saying by the Xinhua news agency.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome originated in southern China and spread around the world, causing more than 800 deaths from some 8,000 infections.

CAMBODIA

Ruling party claims victory in election

PHNOM PENH — Prime Minister Hun Sen’s party claimed victory yesterday in general elections, saying it expects to win 73 of the 123 seats in the National Assembly.


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