- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 4, 2003

NIGERIA

Stoning-death appeal put off in Niger state

MINNA, Nigeria — The appeal hearing of two former lovers sentenced by an Islamic court to death by stoning was postponed yesterday for the second time in as many days.

The Sharia appeal court in Minna, capital of Niger state, put off hearing the appeal of Fatima Usman and Ahmadu Ibrahim, convicted last year of adultery, until the end of June.

Now married to different people, the two were sentenced to death last year when Miss Usman’s father took Mr. Ibrahim to court to try to force him to pay for their child’s upkeep. To the plaintiff’s horror, the judge reclassified the civil case as a Sharia criminal trial and sentenced both parents to death.

CONGO

EU agrees to send 1,400 peacekeepers

BRUSSELS — The European Union agreed yesterday to send peacekeeping troops to strife-torn Congo in what will be the first deployment of its force outside Europe and without NATO help.

EU ministers are to formally ratify the decision today. The 1,400-member force, under French command, was authorized by the U.N. Security Council last Friday. It will be only the second military mission undertaken by the EU, which will have political responsibility for the operation.

A mission to northeast Congo, where tribal fighting over the past month has killed more than 500 people, would be a far bigger test of the EU’s effort to develop a military wing independent of NATO to add muscle to its foreign policy.

KENYA

Africa, Asia wooed to revive tourism

NAIROBI — The government is seeking visitors from African and Asian countries to rescue its vital tourism industry from further decline, Tourism and Information Assistant Minister Beth Mugo said yesterday.

“We are now targeting and marketing our tourism sector to the African and Asian regions. They are rich catchment areas, which currently account for more than [$110 million] annually in our tourism revenue,” Miss Mugo said on her return from an African meeting of the the World Tourism Organization in Angola.

“Our inspiration to target Asia comes from the admirable performance of its tourism sectors, despite being a hub of extremist activities,” she said. “We can equally make Kenya, which is much safer, a robust tourism hub,” Miss Mugo said. Kenya last year grossed almost $70 million from tourism, despite fears the east African country could be the target of attacks.

Weekly notes …

South Africa and Brazil signed a cooperation agreement in Cape Town yesterday for military establishments and defense-related industries. “Agreements such as this one are important to South Africa. As a developing nation we are looking to partnerships with friendly countries to facilitate access to cutting-edge technology …,” South African Defense Minister Mosiuoa Lekota told reporters. … (The following is excerpted from yesterday’s electronic edition of the New Vision newspaper in Kampala, Uganda:) They may be landless and displaced, but the Ministry of Health feels they must have a social life. This explains why the Kampala City Council, the health department and health ministry on Monday provided condoms to the Bakiga camped at Lugogo. “We have also given them three boxes of condoms. Social life dictates that we provide them with such facilities. We have provided condoms for family planning purposes,” Dr. Robert Kakungulu said. One woman delivered recently at the camp and two are expecting.

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