- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 29, 2005

IVORY COAST

New leader forms transition government

ABIDJAN — New Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny, 63, formed his transitional government yesterday, promising to “liberate” the war-torn country from illegal weapons and pave the way for reconciliation.

“The mission of the government is essential. By the end of its term, our territory will be liberated from all the arms,” the former banker said after the government met at the presidential palace in Abidjan.

Mr. Banny promised to put the West African country on the path of reunification after years of civil war and to ensure that presidential elections due before November 2006 will be free and fair.

LIBERIA

Weah vows to support Johnson-Sirleaf

LAGOS, Nigeria — Soccer icon George Weah pledged to support his successful rival in last month’s presidential runoff in Liberia when he met yesterday with the chairman of the African Union, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Radio Nigeria reported.

Mr. Weah made the pledge in Mr. Obasanjo’s farmhouse at Otta, 40 miles north of Lagos. Mr. Weah announced last week that he had decided not to claim fraud in the vote that gave victory to Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, a decision that was applauded by the African Union.

SOUTH AFRICA

200 illegal aliens flown to Zimbabwe

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa deported about 200 Zimbabweans who were in the country illegally by chartered plane this week, an official said — a move thought to have been prompted by the unavailability of bus and rail transportation during the holidays.

“As we could not deport them by bus or by train, we put them on a flight, which we do from time to time,” Home Affairs Ministry spokesman Nkosana Sibuyi told Agence France-Presse.

Weekly notes …

Unidentified vandals have set fire to a petroleum products pipeline in the Adeje community, near Nigeria’s southern oil city of Warri, a senior security official said yesterday. Vandals set fire to the Pipelines and Products Marketing Co. conduit, an official told Agence France-Presse on the condition of anonymity. … Uruguay announced yesterday that it has recognized the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, proclaimed by the Polisario Front in Moroccan-ruled Western Sahara, triggering anger in Rabat. The Uruguayan Foreign Ministry Web site said Montevideo established diplomatic relations with the “sole Spanish-speaking Arab nation,” referring to Western Sahara’s former status as a Spanish colony.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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