- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 1, 2003

SOUTH AFRICA

Aid appeal repeated as projects face cuts

JOHANNESBURG — The U.N. special envoy in southern Africa warned yesterday that essential projects to help the region may not be implemented or may have to be cut back because of a lack of money.

James Morris said food assistance and projects on water and sanitation, agriculture, education and health may have to be curtailed. “Without extra funds, many essential activities will not be implemented or will have to be drastically cut back,” he announced here.

Mr. Morris, who is also executive director of the U.N. World Food Program, repeated a July appeal for $530 million issued by the United Nations, the Southern African Development Community and nongovernmental organizations. Of the total, $310 million would go toward food aid and $220 million for other needs, such as combating HIV/AIDS.

JAPAN

Development talks disappoint Africans

TOKYO — Japanese and African grass-roots groups criticized an international conference on African development that ended here yesterday, saying it had failed to produce clear policy targets and calling the sessions “foggy.”

Representatives from nongovernmental organizations taking part in the third Tokyo International Conference on African Development said they had hoped for a greater role, but that their voices were not heard. Japan held the first TICAD meeting in 1993 and a second in 1998 to keep the international spotlight on Africa’s development issues.

“According to what we know in our various countries, we are not very happy, because we think the TICAD process is a little bit foggy,” said Sadikou Alao of a nongovernmental agency in Benin in a news conference. “Foggy from the beginning, foggy in the end.” Moses Isooba of Uganda said: “The 1998 action plan was more concrete, but unfortunately, this declaration will be the working document for the next five years.”

BURUNDI

Talks with rebels resume this weekend

BUJUMBURA — Talks aimed at clinching a cease-fire between the government and the main Hutu rebel group are to resume this weekend in South Africa, the president’s office said yesterday.

“President Domitien Ndayizeye has been invited by mediator [and South African Deputy President] Jacob Zuma to talks in South Africa from Saturday with a view to concluding negotiations that started in Dar es Salaam,” presidential spokesman Pancrace Cimpaye told reporters.

The rebel Forces for the Defense of Democracy confirmed the resumption of the protracted negotiations, but said talks at the highest level would not start until Monday. More than 300,000 people have been killed in Burundi’s civil war since 1993.

Weekly notes …

South Africa will not oppose a decision to exclude Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe from the Commonwealth summit in Nigeria, despite its earlier request to invite him, a presidential spokesman said yesterday. The spokesman said President Thabo Mbeki would accept a decision by his Nigerian counterpart, Olusegun Obasanjo, that Mr. Mugabe, who has been suspended from the Commonwealth, not be invited to the December summit. … A general in the Central African Republic has asked delegates at reconciliation talks to forgive the army for repeated coup attempts and mutinies during the past decade. “The Central African army has not enjoyed a very good reputation these past few years,” Gen. Xavier Sylvestre Yangongo said late Tuesday as about 350 delegates gathered in the capital for a second week of talks called by President Francois Bozize, who seized power in a March coup.


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