- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 23, 2005

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

President leads in vote count

BANGUI — The leader of the Central African Republic was ahead in a presidential election that would legitimize his rule, with more than half the votes counted, but his tally was falling short of the outright majority needed to avoid a second round.

Figures published by the independent electoral commission late Tuesday showed President Francois Bozize, a former army head who seized power in a coup in March 2003, had 44.6 percent with ballots counted from 2,323 of 4,145 polling stations.

ZIMBABWE

Appeal made to block candidate

HARARE — Zimbabwe’s election authority has appealed an Electoral Court ruling that allows a jailed white opposition member of parliament to run in this month’s parliamentary elections, the legislator’s attorney said.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s appeal to the Supreme Court could overturn the Electoral Court’s ruling and reinstate an election next Thursday in the eastern district of Chimanimani, which had been postponed to allow parliament member Roy Bennett to campaign.

UGANDA

Rebels mutilate, kill dozens

GULU — Ugandan rebels have killed, kidnapped and mutilated dozens of civilians in the north, where the rainy season is bringing fears of fresh atrocities, aid workers and residents said.

Nineteen years of fighting between the government and guerrillas from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) have uprooted 1.6 million people in the north. Since the failure of talks in December, one of the world’s most neglected conflicts appears to be intensifying.

KENYA

Reform brings fewer bribes

NAIROBI — Kenyans are paying fewer bribes to officials because of the government’s reform of state institutions and its calls for an end to corruption, says a report released by an anti-graft group.

The report was a rare sign of encouragement for the anti-graft efforts of President Mwai Kibaki, who has come under fire from Kenyans and donors over his perceived failure to stamp out high-level corruption since he was elected in 2002.

KENYA

Suspects tortured during investigation

NAIROBI — Kenyan and foreign security officers tortured and abused suspects during the country’s investigations into the suicide bombing of a hotel in 2002, Amnesty International said.

The human rights group said some suspects were arrested without warrants, held incommunicado for as long as 48 days without access to attorneys and shuffled between police stations to frustrate efforts to free them.

FRANCE

Wolfowitz pledges Africa visit

PARIS — Paul Wolfowitz said he would like to travel to Africa soon if approved as World Bank president, leaving open exactly when he would meet critical leaders from the European Union.

Asked when he would go to Brussels, Wolfowitz told the French daily Le Monde he had been asked to visit many places. “If my nomination is approved, one of the first places I would like to go to for a big trip is Africa,” he said. “It does not mean Africa, rather than Brussels or Europe. But I repeat that Africa should be my main concern if I become president.”

SOUTH AFRICA

Inquiry requested in laureate’s death

JOHANNESBURG — The daughter of South Africa’s first Nobel Peace laureate has called for an official investigation of his death, nearly 40 years ago.

Apartheid authorities said Chief Albert Luthuli was hit by a train in July 1967 near his home in the eastern province known as KwaZulu-Natal, a claim long disputed by the family.

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