- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 29, 2005

RWANDA

Belgium trial rules 2 guilty in massacres

BRUSSELS — The prosecution in a Rwanda war-crimes case demanded life terms for two Rwandan businessmen yesterday, a day after they were found guilty of planning massacres at a church and nearby municipal hall where moderate Tutsis and moderate Hutus met during the 1994 genocide in their Central African nation.

The jury found Etienne Nzabonimana, 53, guilty late Tuesday on 56 counts and his half-brother, Samuel Ndashyikirwa, 43, guilty on 23 counts of aiding and abetting in the slaughter of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in their home region of Kibungo, southwest of the Rwandan capital, Kigali.

ZIMBABWE

Mugabe defends demolition of slums

HARARE — President Robert Mugabe defended yesterday the government-driven blitz on shacks and other unauthorized buildings that has left hundreds of thousands homeless, saying the campaign was planned well in advance. Opposition parties say as many as 1.5 million people were left homeless.

“It had been on our books for a long time,” Mr. Mugabe told reporters after meeting Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, executive director of U.N.-Habitat, who arrived Sunday on a fact-finding visit to assess the humanitarian impact of the demolitions.

For the past six weeks, police have used bulldozers and sledgehammers to demolish “illegal structures,” shop stalls and market areas and fined more than 46,000 people for operating illegally or resisting the demolitions.

IVORY COAST

August deadline set to dismantle militias

PRETORIA, South Africa — Ivory Coast leaders agreed yesterday to set an Aug. 20 deadline to dismantle pro-government militias as part of a renewed commitment to a peace accord brokered by South Africa.

“The meeting noted that the actual disarmament and dismantling of the militia has not yet commenced,” said a statement issued at the end of two days of talks here mediated by President Thabo Mbeki. “In this regard, it was agreed that this process will commence immediately and end by 20 August 2005,” it said.

The Pretoria accord, signed on April 6, ran into a major hurdle this week when rebel forces made clear they would not abide by the June 27 deadline to disarm unless pro-government militias were taken out of action

Weekly notes

Nigerian police have released a cow they “arrested” after it trampled a bus driver to death, but have charged the animal’s owner with criminal negligence, authorities in Lagos said yesterday. “The cow has been released after its owner appeared. He has been charged in court with negligence and a dangerous act. He will need to prove his innocence in court,” said spokesman Olubode Ojajuni. … The deciding second round of Guinea-Bissau’s presidential elections will be held July 24, the head of the country’s national electoral commission, Malam Mane, said yesterday. It will pit two former presidents, Malam Bacai Sanha and Joao Bernardo “Nino” Vieira, in polls that it is hoped will restore stability and democracy to the coup-prone West African country.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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