- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 25, 2004

CONGO

Rwandan rebels kill 15 in raid

GOMA — Fifteen persons were killed when Rwandan rebels carried out a night-time raid on Vitshumbi, a town in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, the country’s army said yesterday.

The regional military commander, Gen. Obed Rwibasira, said a battalion of 500 to 600 rebels from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) attacked Vitshumbi on Monday night.

The FDLR is made up of Rwandan Hutu rebels based in Congo’s North Kivu and South Kivu provinces, on the border with Uganda and Rwanda. It includes extremists blamed for the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, in which up to a million people, mostly ethnic Tutsis, were slaughtered.

ZIMBABWE

Opposition plans to boycott votes

HARARE — Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, said yesterday that it would not participate in any elections until President Robert Mugabe’s government implemented “real” reforms.

There was no comment from the government on the opposition move, which looked likely to raise temperatures amid Zimbabwe’s escalating political crisis.

Political analysts said the Movement for Democratic Change’s move was meant to put pressure on Mr. Mugabe to implement electoral reforms, but added that the beleaguered opposition party will face internal pressure to compete in key elections next year.

ETHIOPIA

African nations set poverty summit

ADDIS ABABA — African head of states and government are to hold a two-day extraordinary summit on poverty alleviation in Burkina Faso next month, the African Union Commission announced here yesterday.

The Sept. 8-9 summit will focus on “finding ways and means to address root causes of poverty, unemployment and inequality,” said AU Commissioner Bience Gawanas.

The summit in Ouagadougou will assess policy options and attempt to mobilize resources to create more jobs and improve the quality of current jobs and living standards, Mr. Gawanas said.

WEEKLY NOTES

Agriculture and defense ministers from 16 African countries are to gather next week in Dakar, Senegal, to discuss a common strategy to battle locusts, Senegalese officials said yesterday. Locusts have devoured millions of acres of crops across northern and western Africa this year…. A team from the International Criminal Court is in Uganda to investigate purported atrocities committed in the war between government troops and the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army in the north of the country, officials from the United Nations said yesterday. The officials did not say how long the nine-member team would be in the area.


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