- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 30, 2003

CONGO

‘Settling of scores’ blamed for 5 killings

BUNIA — Five persons were killed here in the main city of northeast Ituri province, including a man who was stoned to death by a crowd, a French military spokesman said yesterday.

Col. Gerard Dubois, spokesman for the European Union’s peacekeeping force, said the stoning victim died Tuesday, just before the arrival of troops from the U.N. Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). Unarmed U.N. observers had withdrawn from all areas of Ituri province except Bunia after two colleagues were kidnapped, tortured and killed in May.

City officials also informed MONUC that four more bodies, some with head injuries, had been found on the streets of Bunia’s eastern Lembabo district. Col. Dubois blamed a “settling of scores” and shortage of police.

NIGERIA

Judge quits probe after death threats

IBADAN — Judge Mashud Abbas, investigating the December 2001 murder of Nigerian Justice Minister Bola Ige, said yesterday that he had withdrawn from the case after receiving death threats less than a week after he jailed Iyiola Omisore, a leading politician suspected of having ordered the killing.

He is the third judge to withdraw from the case since it was opened in October. Mr. Omisore, 42, a flamboyant former deputy governor of southwest Osun state, was arrested in December and charged with Mr. Ige’s murder. Thirteen others, including Mr. Omisore’s younger brother, also were charged.

Mr. Ige, 71, a close friend of President Olusegun Obasanjo, was fatally shot at his private residence in Ibadan by unknown assailants. After the judge withdrew, Mr. Omisore was returned to prison pending reopening of the case under a new judge.

ANGOLA

1.5 million reported in urgent need of food

LUANDA — About 1.5 million Angolans are in urgent need of food aid, agencies from the United Nations said yesterday.

The country needs about 500,000 tons of grain before the end of the year, the U.N. World Food Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization said after a visit to the southern African country, which is struggling to recover from a 27-year civil war.

Despite producing 23 percent more grain this year than it did last year, Angola’s food supply remains inadequate because of the large number of returning refugees and demobilized soldiers since the war ended in April 2002, the report said.

The country also needs thousands of tons of vegetables and other food to see it through to next year. The agencies said that a government program to rehabilitate the agriculture sector has failed to materialize because of a lack of funds.

Weekly notes …

Abdikassim Salat Hassan,the president of Somalia’s interim administration, flew back to Mogadishu yesterday after walking out of peace talks in Nairobi, Kenya, a day earlier, accusing a committee steering the peace conference and other Somali delegates of sanctioning the “dismemberment” of the Horn of Africa country. … South Africa’s ruling African National Congress suspended a high-profile politician yesterday for accepting kickbacks in a multibillion-dollar arms deal, but delayed the sanction for three years. Tony Yengeni “remains a member unless, during the course of the next three years, he is found guilty in a court of law or by the ANC of any offense,” said party spokesman Steyn Speed. The action came amid renewed interest in the press about accusations against Deputy President Jacob Zuma, said to be under investigation for accepting a bribe.


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