- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 26, 2004

NIGERIA

Fired governor pledges his loyalty

JOS — The elected governor of central Plateau State, deposed last week by President Olusegun Obasanjo after the massacre of more than 200 Muslims in the state, has pledged his loyalty to the Nigerian leader.

“I want to assure the general public that I remain loyal to President Obasanjo … and will not in any way undermine or sabotage constituted authority,” Joshua Dariye said in his first formal public statement since his firing.

“This I have demonstrated by giving my full cooperation to the administrator of Plateau State, retired Major General Chris Alli, since he assumed office,” Mr. Dariye said.

He called on citizens of Plateau State to “forgive and reconcile with one another and agree to live in peace, no matter our religious and ethnic backgrounds.”

TUNISIA

Fund announces 3 projects in Congo

TUNIS — The African Development Bank (ADB) announced yesterday that it will finance three projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo involving health, agriculture and education.

The ADB’s development fund will lend and grant $80 million for the projects, including a $7.6 million grant aimed at providing education in the vast central African country, which emerged last year from a five-year war that claimed about 2.5 million lives.

The fund also will finance a project in Orientale province to improve health care facilities and reduce mortality from diseases such as malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis. Eighty percent of the $36.3 million earmarked for this will be in the form of a loan; the rest will be a grant.

For an agricultural- and rural-development project to bolster food security, the fund will grant the Congo $10.2 million and lend it an additional $26.1 million.

UGANDA

Army kills 10 rebels, captures 8 near Gulu

KAMPALA — The army said yesterday it used a helicopter gunship to fatally attack 10 Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels, part of a group that killed more than 40 civilians in northern Uganda a week ago.

“We spotted them in their hide-out and called in a helicopter that attacked their positions, scattered them before killing 10 of them and capturing eight,” army spokesman Lt. Paddy Ankunda told Agence France-Presse from Gulu.

The rebels were part of a group that attacked Lokudi on May 20 about 15 miles north of Gulu, which housed 6,500 people who had camped near a military detachment seeking protection from rebel attacks. The LRA, noted for its brutality, has been fighting President Yoweri Museveni’s secular government since 1988, ostensibly to replace it with a government based on the Ten Commandments.

Weekly notes

The European Union yesterday welcomed an easing of restrictions on aid workers operating in Sudan’s Darfur region, but called on Khartoum to do much more against “gross abuses” by militias. Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross said it has received better access to the region since a March meeting with Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir. … An American citizen working with a U.S. military assessment team in Liberia was killed Monday in his hotel room in the capital, Monrovia, government and U.S. Embassy officials said. It was not known who killed the man, nor why. Security sources who saw the body said it had been stabbed, apparently with a bayonet. A senior Liberian government member said the man, a civilian whose name was not made public, was with a U.S. team assessing Liberia’s military needs.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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