- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 25, 2003


Chissano opens new conference site

MAPUTO — President Joaquim Chissano opened a conference center here yesterday that will serve as the venue of the July 4-12 African Union (AU) summit.

“This great work represents our country’s commitment to addressing the continent’s social, political and economic challenges,” Mr. Chissano told about a thousand people attending the ceremony.

The facility, which includes a conference room that seats 746, was built overlooking the Indian Ocean at an estimated cost of $12 million. Mr. Chissano said the summit will focus on the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD).

A plan to remove indigents and street children from nearby areas was canceled after criticism from opposition lawmakers and human-rights activists, but Manuel Lubisse, who heads the summit organizing committee, said prostitutes will be restricted in some areas.


Pathologists examine sect members’ bodies

UMTATA — Pathologists are examining the bodies of eight members of a South African Christian sect exhumed from shallow graves in the Eastern Cape province earlier this week, police said yesterday.

“The investigation started when the police received information from the mother of a woman who was staying at the compound that her daughter had died and been buried without her consent,” said Superintendent Nondumiso Jafta.

Miss Jafta said the partly decomposed bodies were exhumed from graves on the premises of the Umkhombe (The Arc) sect at the Mandela Park township outside Umtata in southeastern South Africa on Tuesday. She said 15 church elders had been arrested.


Clashes hamper relief in Sudan

NAIROBI — Clashes between Sudanese refugees and Turkana tribesmen in northwest Kenya have significantly reduced relief operations in southern Sudan, U.N. Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) said yesterday.

It said over 300 staff members of U.N. agencies and nongovernmental organizations were asked to stay in their camp as local tensions flared in Lokichoggio near the Sudan border, used as a logistics base for aid operations serving millions of war-affected people in rebel-held southern Sudan.

The unrest, triggered by disputes last Friday over cattle rustling at Kakuma Refugee Camp, caused the deaths of nine refugees and two Turkana tribesmen, according to a U.N. refugee agency spokesman.

Weekly notes …

Angola’s UNITA rebel movement, now a political party, has begun picking a successor to slain leader Jonas Savimbi. One of three senior figures — Paulo “Gato” Lukamba, who has led UNITA since Mr. Savimbi was killed by government forces 17 months ago, Isaias Samakuva or Eduardo Chingunji — is to be elected party leader this weekend. … The United States reopened its embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, yesterday after closing it on Friday over a terrorist threat. The embassy was bombed in 1998, causing the death of more than 200 people in an attack Washington blames on Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda organization.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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