- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 12, 2006

SOMALIA

Islamists kill man in protest over taxes

MOGADISHU — Somalia’s newly dominant Islamists fatally shot a man yesterday after he protested the imposition of new taxes by the group that has rapidly consolidated power in strategic areas of the country.

The Islamists, who were financed by businessmen looking to improve security, took over the international airport last week and said yesterday that they had taken control of the main seaport of the capital, Mogadishu.

The new taxes on businessmen and small-scale traders sparked a protest by about 100 people in Jowhar, a city the Islamic militias seized last month after they outgunned U.S.-backed warlords to take the capital.

About 40 young men with plastic bags to collect cash began levying the taxes on the orders of a new administration that the Islamist movement, which sprang from Shariah courts in Mogadishu, established in the town 56 miles north of the capital.

ALGERIA

Islamists kill five in coastal campsite

ALGIERS — Islamic militants fatally shot five municipal guards at a campsite in an Algerian coastal town, weeks before an amnesty aimed at ending years of strife expires, newspapers reported yesterday.

The five victims were ensuring security for about 50 families at the campsite in Larhat, near Tipasa, 80 miles west of the capital, Algiers, on Monday night when the assailants struck.

The newspapers did not identify the attackers, but security analysts usually blame such killings on the al Qaeda-aligned Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, which opposes the amnesty offered by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

ANGOLA

Cabinda separatists ready to sign truce

BRAZZAVILLE, Republic of Congo — Separatists in Angola’s oil-producing province of Cabinda are ready to abandon their armed independence struggle in favor of obtaining special status from Luanda, a separatist leader said this week.

Cabinda, where international oil companies such as Chevron produce more than half of Angola’s crude oil output from offshore fields, is separate from the rest of Angola, sandwiched between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Congo.

Cabindan separatists, led by the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda, have fought a guerrilla war for independence for the territory since Angola became independent from Portugal in 1975. Angola’s Marxist first post-independence government sent Cuban-backed forces to Cabinda.

But the government in Luanda is now offering a cease-fire and special status for Cabinda to the separatists.

Weekly notes …

Ivory Coast yesterday officially began a long-awaited plan to provide identity papers to the country’s many undocumented citizens, a vital step toward crucial elections scheduled for late October. The United Nations has set a deadline of Oct. 31 for presidential and parliamentary elections. … At least one person was injured yesterday when a U.N. cargo plane with five crew members crash-landed in western Tanzania. The Lockheed Hercules was heading to the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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