- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 15, 2004


Kibaki seeks support for Somalia observers

NAIROBI — President Mwai Kibaki urged the world community yesterday to consider supporting a regional observer force to help install a new government in Somalia.

“The international community should continue supporting peace efforts in the region, particularly the formation of a regional observer force to help settle the Somali transitional government to be formed soon,” Mr. Kibaki said at a State House meeting with foreign ministers from the seven-nation Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, which is mediating in Somalia.

Calling for “an integrated approach,” Mr. Kibaki said: “The Somali people should work together to ensure speedy installation and maintenance of peace in their country.” The development authority ministers replied with calls for sustained pressure to prevent a “backfire at the final stages of the peace process” that began in Kenya in 2002.


First payment missed in Berlin bombing

BERLIN — Libya has missed its first payment under a $35 million compensation deal for 168 non-U.S. victims of a 1986 Berlin disco bombing, a German lawyer said yesterday.

Libya’s ambassador in Berlin told the German Foreign Ministry the $15 million installment, scheduled for Sept. 8, was held up by banking difficulties, said Sven Leistikow, who helped negotiate the settlement.

“They said that it will be here in a few days. I gather from that it will be here by Friday,” Mr. Leistikow said.

The payment plan is part of the compensation agreement signed between German lawyers and a foundation run by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s son Seif el-Islam.


China donates modern office gear

ABUJA — China has donated electronic equipment valued at $123,000 to help the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in peacekeeping missions, that organization reported yesterday.

ECOWAS said the items, which included computers, fax machines, copiers, satellite phones and accessories, were presented by Ambassador Wang Yang Oui on Tuesday. Mr. Wang said the gesture was a demonstration of the fraternal relations between China and ECOWAS, and in appreciation of the organization’s contributions to the promotion of regional peace and security.

Weekly notes

Few people lined up in Dakar, Senegal, yesterday, on the first day of a $49 million campaign to replace old bank notes with new ones across the eight countries of the Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa. Bank tellers from Ouagadougou to Abidjan waiting for people to come in and exchange tattered old bank notes for new ones sat idle as the crowds failed to materialize. “They … have until Dec. 31 to change their bills,” said Lydia, a teller at the Bank of Africa in Dakar. … After months of rivalry, President Fradique de Menezes of Sao Tome and Principe has dismissed Prime Minister Maria das Neves and her government, a source close to the president’s office said yesterday. Her name was “raised in an economic and financial scandal. … This is the main reason” for her dismissal, the source told Agence France-Presse in Gabon by telephone, without giving details.

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