- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Plane fuels rumors of Eritrean arms aid

MOGADISHU — Somalia’s virtually powerless government said a cargo plane that landed at the capital’s airport yesterday was carrying weapons for Islamic militants who have seized control of much of southern Somalia.

The Ilyushin-76 was only the second aircraft to land at Mogadishu International Airport in more than a decade of anarchy here.

A spokesman for the country’s official government, based in Baidoa, 150 miles northwest of Mogadishu, said the plane was carrying land mines, bombs and long-range guns from Eritrea for the Islamic militia that controls Mogadishu.

Witnesses say neighboring Ethiopia has sent troops here to protect the government.


Islanders to begin voting this weekend

VICTORIA — Seychelles voters go to the polls this weekend for presidential elections predicted to be the tightest race to date for leadership of this remote and idyllic Indian Ocean archipelago.

The nation’s fourth presidential contest since multiparty politics was restored in 1992 pits an activist priest, Wavel Ramkalawan, against President James Michel. Mr. Michel’s Seychelles People’s Progressive Front has ruled the 115-island nation, about 1,000 miles east of Kenya, since 1977.

Voting begins tomorrow in outlying islands and concludes Sunday on the three main and most populated ones — Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. Results are expected Sunday night.


Suspect electrocuted, rights group says

KAMPALA — Ugandan anti-terror forces electrocuted a suspect at a secret detention center in the capital, a human rights group said yesterday.

Government officials were not available to comment on the report by Human Rights Watch, which said the 55-year-old businessman died May 4 during interrogation about suspected links to rebels operating in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Abdu Semugenyi had been arrested near the border in remote western Uganda, the New York-based group said, before being taken to be tortured at a so-called “safe house” run by counterterrorism agents in Kampala’s richest suburb, Kololo.

Weekly notes …

The presidential mansion in Liberia caught fire yesterday while the leaders of Liberia, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone met inside, and all four escaped unharmed. The West African leaders had gathered in Monrovia for a ceremony to mark the restoration of electricity to parts of the dilapidated capital for the first time in 15 years. … South African police and wildlife officials are hunting for at least two crocodiles south of Johannesburg. Wild crocodiles are not found naturally in the region, leading to speculation that the reptiles have escaped from farms or zoos.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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