- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 11, 2005

IVORY COAST

Opposition parties to seek unity in Paris

ABIDJAN — Ivory Coast’s main opposition parties are to sign a political accord next week in Paris, a spokesman for the seven-member coalition said yesterday, in what could be a prelude to fielding a joint candidate in presidential elections set for October.

Alphonse Djedje Mady of the former ruling Ivory Coast Democratic Party told reporters that the accord would establish a platform for the heirs to post-independence icon Felix Houphouet Boigny, but declined to elaborate.

Missing from the announcement was any mention of the three political parties formed by rebels who rose in September 2002 to oust President Laurent Gbagbo, provoking a civil war, who also are members of the coalition. “May 18 will be a great day for the sons and daughters of our country, who are passionate about peace,” Mr. Djedje Mady declared.

SOMALIA

Warlords to reduce forces in capital

MOGADISHU — Somalian militias plan to withdraw hundreds of gunmen from this chaotic capital this week to boost security and persuade a fledgling government to install itself here, warlords said yesterday.

An internal row over where to base President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed’s government has exposed deepening power struggles within his troubled administration, which has worked from offices in Kenya since being formed there at peace talks last year.

Three prominent warlords from the big Hawiye clan who hold Cabinet positions plan to pull out 85 flatbed trucks mounted with heavy machine guns or anti-aircraft cannons and about 850 gunmen from Mogadishu by Saturday, aides said.

KENYA

First lady lodges press complaint

NAIROBI — Outspoken first lady Lucy Kibaki filed a formal complaint yesterday with the national media watchdog against two Nairobi newspapers for their coverage of incidents that have brought her global attention.

The influential wife of President Mwai Kibaki accused the Nation and the Standard groups of using “cheap, crowd-pleasing stereotypes” to smear her and her family for political gain.

Her four-page, 3,600-word complaint seeking unspecified redress was lodged with the Media Council of Kenya a day after a television cameraman she purportedly slapped last week in a tirade against the press asked police to pursue assault charges against her.

Weekly notes

Opposition parties yesterday criticized a ruling by Guinea-Bissau’s Supreme Court to clear two former presidents to run in June 19 elections, despite a ban on their participation in political activity. The court ruled Tuesday that former Presidents Kumba Yala and Joao Bernardo Vieira would be among 14 candidates in an election intended to close the book on decades of coups and chaos in the former Portuguese colony. … Mystery yesterday shrouded a campaign to recruit thousands of Ugandans to work as guards at American facilities in Iraq and elsewhere, after the U.S Embassy in Kampala called it a hoax. Several hundred university graduates, school dropouts and army veterans began training in a city park after Askar Security Services, a local firm, said it had been hired by “international partners” to recruit Ugandans for work at public and private installations in Iraq and other countries.

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