- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Darfur rebel group threatens walkout

CAIRO — A main rebel group in the war-torn Darfur region of western Sudan threatened yesterday to suspend African Union-mediated peace negotiations in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.

The Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) accused the Khartoum government of attacking its forces in eastern Darfur and charged that it was preparing another offensive against SLM positions. If it does attack, the SLM will “demand that the negotiations be suspended until the government abides by its international pledges and [U.N.] Security Council resolutions.”

Fighting has raged in Darfur since February 2003, when local groups began a rebellion in the name of the region’s black African tribes, claiming marginalization by Khartoum’s Arab-dominated government.


Mbeki accused of secret arms talks

CAPE TOWN — The opposition Democratic Alliance accused President Thabo Mbeki yesterday of holding secret meetings with a French arms firm before it won a multibillion-dollar arms deal at the heart of graft charges against his former deputy.

The alliance made the charge hours before Mr. Mbeki announced a successor to his former deputy, Jacob Zuma, fired last week after being implicated in corruption involving the arms sale.

Eddie Trent of the Democratic Alliance told Parliament the party has a copy of an encrypted fax suggesting Mr. Mbeki promised the French arms company a subcontract two years before the deal was signed. Mr. Trent said the party has another encrypted fax that suggests Mr. Mbeki met executives from the company in December 1998, in violation of tender procedures.


Gardener kills leopard with bare hands

NAIROBI — A man used his bare hands to rip out the tongue of a leopard attacking him, killing it, the Standard newspaper said yesterday. The Kenya Wildlife Service confirmed the incident.

Daniel M’Mburugu, 73, was working in his potato garden near Mount Kenya in the center of the country when the animal rose from nearby grass and charged at him. Mr. M’Mburugu dropped the machete he was carrying and thrust his hand into the leopard’s mouth. “A voice, which must have been from God, whispered to me to drop the panga and reach into its wide open mouth. I obeyed,” he said, adding that the big cat sank its teeth into his wrist, but he would not let go.

As the struggle continued, Mr. M’Mburugu realized that the animal’s “breathing was labored,” prompting him to keep pulling the tongue. Villagers approached only when the animal lay dying, and he gained instant status as a village hero, the paper said.

Weekly notes …

Two former presidents of Guinea-Bissau, Malam Bacai Sanha and Joao Bernardo Vieira, are leading after the first round of a presidential election, the national vote panel announced yesterday. “Mr. Sanha is leading with 158,276 votes, ahead of Mr. Vieira with 128,918 votes and Kumba Yala with 116,606 votes,” said Malam Mane, head of the National Electoral Commission. Sunday’s turnout exceeded 80 percent of registered voters. … A group of African clergy infected with HIV/AIDS is urging the faithful to test for the virus and acknowledge their status to help fight the stigma hampering efforts to halt the deadly disease on the worst-affected continent. “HIV is a virus, not a moral condition,” said South African Anglican priest Jape Heath, 41, who tested positive for the virus in May 2000.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide