- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 8, 2004


Prisoners perish in crowded cell

LUANDA — Twelve bodies were recovered after 18 persons died in a police station in northeastern Angola where they were kept in a cramped cell for not possessing proper identity documents, Roman Catholic Ecclesia radio reported yesterday.

“Our local representative said 12 bodies have been recovered, nine at a bridge over the Kuango River and three around the Muxinda police station,” Jose Fututa, of the Association for the Development of Baixa de Kassanje, said.

An Angolan police spokesman said five persons died on Sunday of suffocation in a police cell, and a relative of one of the victims was killed by police gunfire as officers tried to break up a protest.


Hutu pleads guilty in Rwanda massacre

ARUSHA — A former municipal councilor in Rwanda pleaded guilty to a charge of extermination and begged forgiveness before a U.N. tribunal yesterday in a plea bargain that dropped more serious genocide-related charges.

Vincent Rutaganira became only the fourth suspect to enter a guilty plea at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the independent Hirondelle news agency reported.

Charges against Rutaganira, a Hutu, relate the 1994 genocide of Tutsis; the victims were hiding in a church in Muguba, the western town where he served as councilor.

“My guilty plea is sincere. I ask the families of those I was unable to save to forgive me,” he said in court, his eyes full of tears.


Tandja wins runoff and 5 more years

NIAMEY — President Mamadou Tandja won a second term in the runoff election last weekend, defeating the opposition candidate by a large margin, the national election commission announced.

Mr. Tandja received 65.53 percent of votes to 34.47 percent for socialist opposition candidate Mahamadou Issoufou in Saturday’s vote, said Hamidou Salifou Kane, president of the election commission.

Weekly notes

Women and girls in war zones suffer rape and violent abuse while offenders escape punishment, Amnesty International reported yesterday. Because national authorities have failed to halt such abuses, such cases should be a priority for the new International Criminal Court, Irene Khan, Amnesty’s secretary-general, told the Associated Press. … Strife-torn Sudan will become the largest focus of aid work for the International Committee of the Red Cross in 2005, while money earmarked for Iraq will fall by almost one-third, the agency said yesterday. The ICRC said it would allocate $114 million for its operations in Sudan, a threefold increase from 2004.

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