- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Katrina donation stirs mixed feelings

NAIROBI — Torn between the desire to help and the desperate need at home, perennial aid recipients in Africa have experienced conflicting emotions regarding the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in the wealthy United States.

For a continent battling massive poverty, hunger and disease, the question of sending donations to the largely black victims of the storm and ensuing floods that caused havoc on the U.S. Gulf Coast has provoked a tempest of debate.

At least five African nations, three of them in highly undeveloped and disaster-prone sub-Saharan Africa, have contributed cash to U.S. hurricane relief efforts, but some ordinary citizens in Africa have mixed feelings about it.

“This is a case of misplaced priorities,” said Nairobi resident Mbithi Musyoki after Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki donated the equivalent of $100,000 to hurricane victims. He noted that Kenya fell 20 places lower in the annual United Nations Human Development Index issued last week.


African student dies in racist attack

MOSCOW — A Congolese student died yesterday in St. Petersburg after being attacked, said a spokeswoman for the Russian city’s prosecutor.

The death provoked a protest in the city by about 30 students of African origin. The victim, a 29-year-old student at the city’s Forestry Academy, was attacked by assailants Sept. 9 and hospitalized, spokeswoman Yelena Ordynskaya told Agence France-Presse.


Government signs anti-graft pledge

MONROVIA — The government announced yesterday that it has signed an anti-corruption document that donors insisted must be accepted to get financial backing for the West African state, which is heading for elections after years of civil war.

“The government is pleased to announce that together with our international partners, we have agreed that [the financial-assistance plan] is indeed what our country needs,” said Information Minister William Allen.

In signing the anti-graft text on Tuesday, the transitional government reversed its stance after Chairman Gyude Bryant of the interim government rejected it. “I will not sign that document,” Mr. Bryant told reporters Friday at Monrovia’s airport as he was set to leave for the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York this week.

Weekly notes

Sudanese government and rebel delegates are due in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, today for what African leaders hope will be a final round of peace talks aimed at bringing an end to slaughter and starvation in the war-torn Darfur region. Previous sessions of the African Union-sponsored conference have made limited progress, but AU officials are publicly confident that an agreement on power sharing and demobilization of warring militias finally can be worked out. … Malawian police jailed a veteran opposition figure on charges of insulting President Bingu wa Mutharika, who reputedly was called a “drunk” and a “brute” in a radio interview, the man’s attorney said yesterday. “Gwanda Chakuamba surrendered to police this morning when he heard that there was a warrant of arrest for him,” said Viva Nyimba, who said his client faces a $20 fine or two years in jail.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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