- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 22, 2003

LIBERIA

LURD figure chosen parliament speaker

MONROVIA — George Dweh, a founding member of the former rebel Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), was elected speaker of Liberia’s interim parliament on Monday.

His election came six days after businessman Gyude Bryant was sworn in as Liberia’s interim leader, in charge of steering the country to elections in 2005. Liberia’s three armed factions and 18 political parties signed a power-sharing accord Aug. 18 after the exile of elected President Charles Taylor, a former warlord who had fought the regime of Samuel K. Doe.

Mr. Dweh, 44, who belongs to the LURD’s political wing and was the only candidate for the post, had commanded a death squad under Doe, an army sergeant who had seized power by executing the entire government leadership in 1980 and was killed in 1990 by another warlord. The election of Mr. Dweh has created a furor in Monrovia.

SOMALIA

Two British teachers fatally shot

MOGADISHU — Two British teachers working for an aid agency in Somaliland were found dead Tuesday after being shot at their apartment at the school, officials said.

Richard G. Eyeington, 62, and his wife, Enid, 61, were killed Monday night in the town of Sheikh, where they worked for SOS Kinderdorf, an Austrian children’s organization, said police, who added that they didn’t know the motive or the identity of the killers. The killings occurred weeks after Italian aid worker Annalena Tonelli was fatally shot in Borama, Somaliland.

Somaliland President Dahir Riyaleh Kahin said the killings appeared to be aimed at damaging the image of the breakaway republic, the western half of a former British colony on the Horn of Africa.

KENYA

Torture suspected in terrorist hunt

MOMBASA — A Kenyan human rights group has accused police of torturing people detained on suspicion of having links with terrorism. People Against Torture also demanded a public inquest into the death of one suspect, who detonated a grenade, killing himself and a police officer on Aug. 1.

“We have noted that suspects are being hooded after arrest, put into a fast-moving vehicle, then to an [airplane] and flown to distant places for interrogation and held incommunicado. This is psychological torture,” the organization said in a statement.

Many people have been arrested in the past few months, including in a nationwide swoop in which at least 1,500 spent some time in custody before being released without charges being pressed, the group said. Seven suspects have appeared in court in the capital, Nairobi, to face murder charges in connection with attacks in November on an Israeli-owned beach hotel, in which 18 persons died.

Weekly notes …

Zimbabwe’s main opposition party said this week that its court challenge to President Robert Mugabe’s election victory last year would undermine South Africa’s contention that the vote was legitimate. A legal-affairs spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change said a petition filed with a Harare court would refocus world attention on Zimbabwe’s political and economic crisis when the case opens Nov. 3. … An Islamic court in Nigeria’s northern state of Katsina has sentenced two convicted thieves each to hand amputation, a court spokesman said yesterday. The men, both in their 20s, admitted breaking into a store and selling the food and clothing they stole for the equivalent of $80, a fraction of the merchandise’s value, the spokesman said, adding that they have 30 days to appeal the sentence.

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