- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 3, 2004

IVORY COAST

Eyadema sees Chirac, urges rebels to disarm

PARIS — Togolese President Gnassingbe Eyadema has urged former rebels in Ivory Coast to disarm in line with peace accords, after talks here with his French counterpart, Jacques Chirac.

“They absolutely must accept conforming to accords they freely accepted to sign,” Mr. Eyadema told reporters on Tuesday. A day earlier, Ivory Coast’s rebels demanded that firm dates be set for political and military reforms laid out in last year’s peace accords before they would consider disarmament by Monday.

Disarmament was one of the cornerstones of peace accords brokered in January 2003 by former colonial power France to end a civil war that resulted from a failed rebel attempt to oust President Laurent Gbagbo. Mr. Eyadema told reporters that Togo, which already has troops serving in the West African peacekeeping force for Ivory Coast, would provide a contingent in a future United Nations force there.

NIGERIA

Muslim women flee religious violence

BAUCHI — At least 2,000 Nigerians, mostly Muslim women and children, have fled here to escape sectarian fighting that has killed at least 150 persons over two weeks in the central Plateau state, the Red Cross said yesterday.

“We have about 2,000 internally displaced people in five camps in Bauchi,” said Red Cross spokesman Patrick Bawa. About 100 are injured, 17 seriously, he added.

The army said 40 to 50 people were killed Feb. 26, when Christians in Garkawa attacked their Muslim neighbors in retaliation for the slaying of 90 Christians by Muslims in nearby Yelwa, including 48 massacred at a church.

UGANDA

Bunyoro sues Britain for colonial wrongs

KAMPALA — The Bunyoro-Kitara kingdom in Uganda is suing Britain for $5.5 billion for reputed atrocities committed by its soldiers during the colonial period.

Ernest Kizza, a spokesman for the kingdom, told the BBC on Tuesday evidence will be presented at the International Court in The Hague. “Bunyoro was one of the richest kingdoms in Africa that was plundered and destroyed,” Mr. Kizza said. “Now the population is in poverty.”

The Bunyoro-Kitara kingdom resisted the British but was conquered after its rival, the Buganda kingdom, joined with the British. Kingdoms in Uganda were banned in 1966 but 10, including Bunyoro-Kitara, were restored in 1987, the BBC said. Uganda’s parliament recognized the king of Bunyoro-Kitara in 1993.

Weekly notes

Nigeria said yesterday it will try to resolve the border dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea to prevent the two Horn of Africa neighbors from going to war again. “We will do something … to assist them,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Olu Adeniji. He said he will hold up as an example the peaceful resolution by Nigeria of its dispute with Cameroon over the potentially oil-rich Bakassi Peninsula. … Prince Harry, third in line to the British throne, will spend his third week during a private visit to Africa building fences and planting trees at a rural orphanage in the small mountain kingdom of Lesotho, a royal spokesman said yesterday. The prince and his friend, George Hill, have toured the landlocked country since arriving last month.

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