- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 10, 2003


Mbeki asks Obasanjo to save unwed mother

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa is putting pressure on Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo to intervene in the case of Amina Lawal, 31, a woman sentenced to death by stoning for having a child out of wedlock, officials said yesterday.

South African President Thabo Mbeki has raised the issue several times with his Nigerian counterpart, Mbeki spokesman Bheki Khumalo told Reuters news agency.

Miss Lawal was sentenced to death in last year under the Muslim Shariah law, which also dictated that her sentence not be carried out until she had weaned her baby, now 20 months old. A court will rule on her appeal.


Ould Boulkheir seeks foreign vote observers

NOUAKCHOTT — Messoud Ould Boulkheir, the presidential candidate of the People’s Progress Alliance, called this week for international observers to attend the Nov. 7 balloting to ensure fairness.

Mr. Ould Boulkheir — the first descendant of slaves to run for president in the vast Sahara Desert country of 2.7 million people — said at a press conference that he wanted “to see foreign observers present during the presidential election so that the democratic exercise is correct and transparent.”


Defense chief joins Taha-Garang talks

NAIVASHA, Kenya — Sudan’s defense minister, Maj. Gen. Bakri Hassan Saleh, and several top military officers arrived here yesterday to bolster a government delegation holding talks with rebels to end the country’s 20-year civil war, officials said.

Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Taha and John Garang, leader of the southern-based rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), have been meeting since Sept. 4 in the Rift Valley town of Naivasha trying to revive their country’s peace process.

The conflict between the Muslim-dominated regime in Khartoum and the mainly Christian and animist SPLA is estimated to have killed at least 1.5 million people.

Weekly notes …

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki will visit the United States early next month, the Presidential Press Service in Nairobi announced this week without specifying the date of the visit. PPS chief Isaiah Kabila said that during the visit, Mr. Kibaki will hold talks with President Bush expected to center on extremist threats in East Africa. … Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso said they agreed yesterday to reopen their border, nearly a year after the Ivorian civil war cut one of West Africa’s most important transport links. The war took poor relations between the neighbors to a new low as Ivory Coast accused Burkina Faso of backing rebels, while Burkinabe authorities said the world’s top cocoa grower was abusing millions of Burkinabe immigrant workers.



Click to Read More

Click to Hide