- The Washington Times - Monday, March 15, 2004

CENTRAL AFRICA REPUBLIC

U.S.-Jamaican team arrives for Aristide

BANGUI — A delegation mainly of U.S. and Jamaican lawmakers landed here yesterday to whisk exiled Haitian leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide back to the Caribbean from his temporary African home.

The delegation went directly to the presidential palace, where Mr. Aristide has been living in an apartment with his wife. Jamaican lawmaker Sharon Hay Webster told reporters the group’s goal was to arrange for the ousted leader to see his two young U.S.-based children in Jamaica.

The delegation includes Randall Robinson, the former head of the Washington-based lobbying group TransAfrica, and U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, California Democrat.

SOUTH KOREA

Roh backers protest over impeachment

SEOUL — Tens of thousands of people protested yesterday against the impeachment of their president in an opposition-inspired vote.

Police said 35,000 people took part in yesterday’s peaceful rally in central Seoul, fewer than on Saturday, but still a potent symbol of popular frustration with the vote on Friday to unseat Mr. Roh for breaking an election law.

A North Korean spokesman, meanwhile, declared without offering any evidence that it was “none other than the United States that sparked such a disturbing development.”

“The U.S. had hatched such a plot for impeachment in South Korea since October.”

SYRIA

Kurdish soccer riot kills 14, injures 40

AL-HASSAKA — Senior security officials met local leaders to restore order after two days of Kurdish rioting that killed 14 persons and left several public buildings in the Iraqi-border town of Kemishli in flames.

The violence ended after Interior Minister Ali Haj Hammoud flew to the area to take control and authorities threatened those responsible with the “severest punishments.”

As many as 40 persons were badly injured during the riots Friday and Saturday, which were triggered by a brawl and stampede at a soccer match in Kameshli and spread to several towns in the area.

GEORGIA

Breakaway province bars new president

TBILISI — President Mikhail Saakashvili yesterday put the country’s military on alert after the restive Adzharia region barred him from entering, Georgian television reported.

Mr. Saakashvili and his entourage were heading to Adzharia for campaign appearances in advance of a March 28 parliamentary election, but the motorcade was stopped at the Adzharia border and denied entry, said Vano Merabishvili, secretary of Georgia’s Security Council.

Security officials were summoned for immediate talks and the military was put at the highest level of preparedness, Georgian television reported, though Mr. Saakashvili said the problem “must be resolved most peacefully.”

IRAN

‘Insulting’ resolution keeps inspectors out

TEHRAN — Iran said yesterday it was not sure when it would allow U.N. atomic weapons inspectors back into the country and said the decision to bar them reflected Tehran’s anger at an “insulting” resolution on its nuclear activities.

U.S. officials condemned the inspections freeze and said it could be aimed at buying time to cover up undeclared nuclear activities.

The International Atomic Energy Agency board recently “deplored” Iran’s omissions of key atomic technology from an October declaration and said it would decide in June how to respond.

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