Kibaki fires Cabinet after charter failure
NAIROBI — President Mwai Kibaki dismissed his entire Cabinet yesterday, two days after Kenyans rejected a draft constitution he had supported. Mr. Kibaki said on national television that he would announce a new Cabinet in two weeks.
“Following the results of the referendum, it has become necessary for me, as the president of the republic, to reorganize my government to make it more cohesive and better able to serve the people of Kenya,” he said. Seven of his 28-member Cabinet had opposed and campaigned against the draft charter.
Fuel-starved airline resumes some flights
HARARE — The national airline has resumed some flights after a lack of fuel grounded its planes for more than a day, a spokesman said yesterday.
“Fuel has been made available and we had flights to Johannesburg and Bulawayo,” Air Zimbabwe spokesman David Mwenga announced.
“The London and Dubai flights are going ahead, though we still have to advise passengers of the rescheduled timetables. We are finalizing arrangements to resume the Victoria Falls flights.”
West Africans agree to protect elephants
NAIROBI, Kenya — A dozen West African countries have signed a wide-ranging accord to conserve dwindling elephant populations devastated by poaching, conflict and habitat loss, the United Nations said yesterday.
The 12 nations, which now have fewer than 13,000 elephants, signed the pact during a conference at the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP).
“Urgent, wide-ranging action is needed because of the perilous state of many of the region’s elephant populations,” UNEP said at the meeting of parties to the Convention on Migratory Species. Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo agreed to enact measures to protect elephants, like improving natural habitats, creating cross-border migratory paths, banning unsustainable logging and reducing farming, mining and hunting in national parks, UNEP said.
Weekly notes …
Guinea-Bissau’s new president, Joao Bernardo “Nino” Vieira, said yesterday his government will step up the fight against poverty in the West African nation, one of the world’s 10 poorest. “It is poverty that helps AIDS to spread, destroys our forests, kills our fauna and erodes our soils,” Mr. Vieira, said. … A Zambian coalition of civic and religious groups said yesterday it will organize a rally next month to press for a new democratic constitution before next year’s general and presidential elections. The Oasis Forum said it has notified police of the December rally.
From wire dispatches and staff reports