- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 15, 2003

KENYA

Truth commission favored, panel says

NAIROBI — Kenyans want the government to establish a truth commission to investigate past human rights violations and economic crimes, a government task force said in a report yesterday.

The task force was established by President Mwai Kibaki when his National Rainbow Coalition came to power after defeating former President Daniel arap Moi’s Kenya African National Union (KANU) party in December.

KANU’s four-decade stint in power was characterized by rampant corruption, fierce resistance to political pluralism, the occasional high-profile assassination, detentions without trial and numerous allegations of torture.

UGANDA

Rebels kill 22 in bar attack

KAMPALA — Rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army raided a bar in the Lira district in northern Uganda, rounded up bar patrons and gunned them down, killing all 22 of them, an army spokesman said yesterday.

He said the rebels fled into the bushes after the attack on Monday night, which he said took less than 30 minutes.

Led by self-proclaimed prophet and mystic Joseph Kony, the LRA say they want to overthrow President Yoweri Museveni’s government but have never spelt out detailed demands in public.

SUDAN

Arab militias kill 34 in raid, official says

KHARTOUM — Arab tribal militias this week killed 34 persons and torched several villages in a raid in west Sudan, where rivalry between African farming communities and Arab cattle herders is common, a Sudanese member of parliament said yesterday.

Idriss Youssef, a legislator from the western Darfur region, also urged the government to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the area.

The Arab militias, known locally as the “Janjaweed,” are not linked to an uprising in the west by the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A), which has recently signed a cease-fire with the government.

Clashes between African farming communities and Arab cattle herders are frequent in Darfur and fueled by rivalry over dwindling water resources and dwindling pasture caused by desertification.

MAURITANIA

Moktar Ould Daddah, first president, dies

NOUAKCHOTT — Mauritania’s independence leader Moktar Ould Daddah has died at age 79 following a long illness, his family said yesterday. He died Tuesday night in Paris’ Val de Grace Hospital.

Mr. Ould Daddah became independent Mauritania’s first president in 1961 and was re-elected three times, ruling 17 years before being ousted in a 1978 coup.

He spent most of his declining years in exile, returning home in 2001 to serve as “an arbiter, someone to turn to for resolving problems.”

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