- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Ousted dictator hopes to return

KAMPALA — Exiled former strongman Milton Obote’s plan to return from exile in Zambia next month has sparked furious debate in Uganda, where his last stint in power is remembered primarily for hundreds of thousands of deaths.

For many in Uganda, the twice-toppled, octogenarian ex-president’s name awakens memories that rank second in horror only to recollections of the atrocities committed by the notorious dictator Idi Amin. Together, the archfoes are held responsible for the deaths of up to 800,000 people and Uganda’s economic meltdown.

But unlike the disgraced Gen. Amin, who died in exile in Saudi Arabia in 2003, Mr. Obote plans to leave Zambia and return on May 27 to the home he fled in July 1985 after being ousted in a coup.


Prominent priest sees papal challenges

BLANTYRE — A prominent Roman Catholic priest here said yesterday that Pope Benedict XVI faces many challenges over sex-abuse scandals and the role of women.

“Sex scandals involving priests, ordination of women …, relationships with other faiths and how to win back Catholics who have left the church” are among the issues the new pope faces, said the Rev. Boniface Tamani, chairman of Malawi’s Public Affairs Committee of Christian and Muslim leaders.

Weekly notes

The International Chamber of Commerce is warning mariners to avoid the east and northeast coasts of Somalia after recent pirate attacks on vessels there. In its weekly piracy report, the chamber’s Malaysia-based International Maritime Bureau termed the regions “high-risk areas for hijackings.” … Africa’s dominant conservative Catholics welcomed the new pope yesterday as one of their own, while liberals fretted that Benedict XVI could be bad news for those fighting AIDS in the world’s poorest continent. In Cape Town, Anglican Archbishop and Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu voiced disappointment with the choice of the conservative German cardinal and hope that he would be less rigid as head of the Roman Catholic Church.

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