- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 30, 2004

ZIMBABWE

Party official, envoy charged with spying

HARARE — A senior official in President Robert Mugabe’s party and Zimbabwe’s new ambassador to Mozambique have been arrested on charges of spying, it was reported yesterday.

Phillip Chiyangwa, a provincial chairman of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, and Godfrey Dzvairo, newly appointed Zimbabwean ambassador to Mozambique, are suspected to have passed on state secrets to unnamed foreign countries.

PAKISTAN

Musharraf defends retaining army post

ISLAMABAD — President Pervez Musharraf told Pakistan yesterday that he was going back on his vow to give up his additional role of army chief and listed the fight against terrorism among his reasons.

In October, pro-military politicians who dominate parliament passed a bill allowing Gen. Musharraf to stay on as army chief, despite his pledge to give up the post at the end of the year after a deal with Islamist opponents that gave him sweeping powers.

ETHIOPIA

U.S. cancels $72.6 million debt

ADDIS ABABA — The United States is to write off $72.6 million in debt owed by Ethiopia, after a bilateral agreement was signed in Addis Ababa yesterday, Ethiopian News Agency reported.

Canceling the debt will enable Ethiopia to implement poverty reduction programs, said Mulu Ketsela, minister of state for finance and economic development.

PERU

Mob releases pro-mining journalist

LIMA — A Peruvian journalist seized by a mob of armed villagers in a remote Andean jungle was released yesterday, four days after he was abducted, beaten and tied to a post for supporting a copper mining project, police said.

His captors accused him of supporting exploration by Britain’s Monterrico Metals PLC, which is investing $370 million in Rio Blanco and hopes it will become Peru’s No. 2 copper mine. Peru is the world’s No. 5 copper producer.

SPAIN

Cabinet backs plan for gay ‘marriage’

MADRID — Spain took a major step to becoming the third country to legalize same-sex “marriage” when its Socialist government approved a draft law yesterday to give homosexual couples rights to “marry,” “divorce” and adopt children.

Despite strong criticism from Spain’s powerful Roman Catholic Church, the Cabinet approved a draft text that would give homosexual couples the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts, including inheritance and pension benefits.

SENEGAL

Peace accord signed in south

ZIGUINCHOR — A peace accord was signed yesterday in Senegal to bring to a definitive end a decades-long struggle for independence by residents of the Casamance region.

The pact was signed by Interior Minister Ousmane Ngom on behalf of the government and Augustin Diamacoune Senghor, the 77-year-old priest whose name is synonymous with the 22-year struggle of the Diola people against their marginalization by the Wolof, the West African state’s largest ethnic group.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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