U.N. probes killing of ethnic Tutsis
KINSHASA — The United Nations announced yesterday it is investigating the killing of ethnic Tutsis within the ranks of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s divided national army in recent weeks.
About 26 ethnic Congolese Tutsis, known as Banyamulenge, have been killed by fellow soldiers in eastern Congo, said human rights observers and a lawmaker in the capital Kinshasa. The killings were reported in the towns of Walungu, Shabunda and at Camp Sayo in Bukavu.
General Mbuza Mabe, the regional military commander, denied that any Banyamulenge troops had been targeted or killed under his command, but said one officer was found dead in Bukavu this week after leaving the army camp in civilian clothes to visit a friend or a relative.
Kibaki appoints opposition politicians
NAIROBI — President Mwai Kibaki yesterday announced the formation of a national-unity government, bringing several opposition politicians into an administration that has been beset by squabbling since coming to power 18 months ago.
But Uhuru Kenyatta, leader of the opposition, immediately dismissed the move, which came as no surprise to most Kenyans. Announcing the Cabinet reshuffle and administrative rearrangements in a live TV broadcast, Mr. Kibaki appointed members of the opposition Kenya African National Union (KANU) to the government, giving two of them Cabinet posts.
13 Russians denied dismissal of trial
LAGOS — A Nigerian legal specialist has testified that a Lagos court has no right to try 13 Russian sailors accused of smuggling stolen crude oil, since they were arrested outside the country’s territorial waters.
But after receiving his written submission, the trial judge refused yesterday to allow the witness to appear before the court, adjourned the hearing until Aug. 8 and ordered that the accused remain in detention on remand.
Weekly notes …
South African President Thabo Mbeki will visit the Democratic Republic of Congo soon to meet parties in the peace process amid renewed tension in the central African country, his office said yesterday. Presidential spokesman Bheki Khumalo said the visit would not take place before an African Union summit in Addis Ababa next week. … Angola needs nine to 18 months to prepare for its first postwar elections, according to a government study reported yesterday by Portugal’s Lusa news agency. The study estimated the simultaneous presidential and legislative vote will cost the oil-rich former Portuguese colony up to $430 million, about $90 million of that for voter registration, Lusa said.