- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 9, 2005

ZAMBIA

Three child rapists get long sentences

LUSAKA — Courts here have jailed three child rapists, including a man who had sex with a baby, for up to 45 years to counter a sharp increase in child rapes, state press reported yesterday.

Child rape is on the rise, in part because of the belief that HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases can be cured by having sex with a virgin. A High Court judge sentenced a 65-year-old man to 40 years for raping his sister’s baby and a 70-year-old man to 20 years for raping an 11-year-old girl, the Zambia Daily Mail reported.

The 45-year term was handed to a man who repeatedly raped his 12-year-old stepdaughter and infected her with syphilis. It is the longest sentence for rape that has been imposed in Zambia, a senior judiciary official told Reuters news agency. Convicted rapists in many southern African countries often get short or even suspended jail sentences.

SOMALIA

Warlord targets foreign peacekeepers

MOGADISHU — A warlord urged Somalis to attack foreign peacekeeping troops being sent to support the new Somalian government of President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, elected at peace talks in Kenya, when it returns this month.

The call by Osman Ali Ato, a government minister, for Somalis to attack troops from historic foe Ethiopia revealed fresh signs of division in the new government.

Also yesterday, British Broadcasting Corp. producer Kate Peyton, 39, was shot and wounded by unidentified attackers outside the Sahafi Hotel in southern Mogadishu. She underwent surgery for two bullets in her back and was in stable condition, medical sources said.

GAMBIA

Location of summit criticized by media

DAKAR, Senegal — Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders criticized yesterday a decision by the African Union to hold a summit in Gambia despite the slaying of a journalist there who had criticized government press laws.

The African Union is sending a “bitter message” to journalists in the tiny West African country, RSF said. Deyda Hydara was a newspaper editor and advocate of press freedom who also worked for RSF. He was fatally shot in December as he drove home from work.

He had criticized laws passed two days before his killing that specified jail terms for reporters convicted of sedition or libel. The laws also said newspaper owners must sign a $16,600 bond, guaranteed by their homes, to publish and gave the government power to shut media outlets.

Weekly notes

France’s International Francophone Organization suspended Togo as a member yesterday for installing the late president’s son as new ruler. The Permanent Council in Paris announced that Togo’s representatives would be excluded from the OIF, which acts as a network similar to Britain’s Commonwealth. … The World Bank has lent Morocco an additional $80 million to ensure primary education for all its children by 2008, the bank announced yesterday. It said the proportion of Moroccan children getting primary education had risen from 52.4 percent in 1990 to 92 percent in 2003, but added that the dropout rate is “very high.” The loan is to help children ages 6 to 14 get a decent education and bring attendance to the maximum in the next three years.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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