- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 7, 2006

SUDAN

Janjaweed kills 3 Darfur students

KHARTOUM — Pro-government Janjaweed militiamen killed three students in a northern Darfur city, as rebel groups massed nearby in preparation for a possible attack against the forces, U.N. officials said yesterday.

Outside the same city, El Fasher, civilians and refugees rioted against the African Union peacekeeping mission for not doing enough to protect them from attacks.

A coalition of Darfur rebels warned Tuesday that it could attack the Janjaweed fighters, a day after the militia looted the city’s main market. A U.N. official said by telephone that the rebels were gathered about six miles outside El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur province.

SOUTH AFRICA

2 ANC lawmakers plead guilty to fraud

CAPE TOWN — Two more lawmakers from the African National Congress (ANC) party pleaded guilty yesterday to participating in a vast travel-voucher fraud, one of the biggest scandals involving parliament since the end of apartheid white rule a decade ago.

Jabu Sosibo admitted defrauding Parliament of about U.S. $34,000 and was fined about $14,000 or five years in prison. Elizabeth Ngaleka was fined about $2,800 after pleading guilty to the theft of about $5,200. The trial of 10 remaining accused begins in February.

Prosecutors have entered into plea agreements with 30 current and former members of Parliament and one travel agent for siphoning off about $3.4 million from the parliamentary travel-voucher system. The scam, unearthed in 2004, involved MPs colluding with travel agents to make false claims to cover luxury car rentals and hotel accommodations.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

Opposition decries French intervention

BANGUI — The main opposition coalition yesterday condemned France’s military intervention against rebels in the northeast of its impoverished and unstable former colony.

Over the weekend, government troops, backed by the French, recaptured the towns of Sam Ouandja and Ndele, 310 miles northeast of this capital, according to the military. The rebels now hold only one major town, Ouadda Djalle, about 500 miles northeast of Bangui.

The French intervention, part of an offensive begun late last month, appears to have paid a key role in driving the rebels back. Their leader said they pulled back because they could not defend themselves against bombing by Mirage F-1 fighters.

Weekly notes …

South Africa’s national police commissioner, Jackie Selebi, was placed under investigation this week for purported links to organized crime. As the current president of Interpol, Commissioner Selebi is one of the world’s most senior police officers, but he has admitted being a “friend” of Glen Agliotti, reputedly a senior figure in South Africa’s underworld, arrested last month in connection with the slaying of Brett Kebble, a millionaire mining magnate. It has emerged that Mr. Agliotti and Commissioner Selebi met regularly and that the reputed crime boss called the police chief within minutes of the Kebble killing. … Latvian airline AirBaltic has opened new routes to 14 destinations in Africa and will soon offer seasonal flights to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, as it spreads its wings to cater to an increasingly affluent clientele, officials said this week. Passengers will now be able to fly from AirBaltic’s hubs in Riga, Latvia, and Vilnius, Lithuania, to 14 cities in Africa, thanks to a cooperation agreement with Belgium’s SN Brussels Airlines.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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