- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 14, 2006

SOUTH AFRICA

Apartheid ghosts haunt Afrikaners

JOHANNESBURG — One of the bloodiest chapters of apartheid is being remembered in South Africa this week amid renewed debate over whether whites should own up to the atrocities of the former regime.

Police killed hundreds of black youths during protests against the enforced use in schools of Afrikaans that began on June 16, 1976, in Soweto township. Afrikaans is rooted in 17th-century Dutch. A 1925 law made it South Africa’s official language, and after 1948 it was the language of minority white rule under apartheid.

The 1976 protests were a turning point in the anti-apartheid struggle and the brutal police response set international public opinion against the white regime. The 30th anniversary is being commemorated amid a firestorm set off by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who said in April that white South Africans showed insufficient gratitude for the magnanimity of blacks.

CONGO

Rwandan Hutus said to kidnap 6, kill infant

BUKAVU — A 2-month-old baby was killed and six persons were kidnapped in Congo, authorities said yesterday.

“Several homes were attacked by armed men around 10 p.m. [Tuesday] in Kaniola district, Sud-Kivu province,” local administrator Deo Kabike told Agence France-Presse. The attackers, who fled into the forest after looting several houses, also shot and injured a villager, Mr. Kabike said.

“The attack was carried out by the Interahamwe [Rwandan Hutu militia],” he added, citing residents. Rwandan Hutu rebels have been living in the forests of eastern Congo for a dozen years, and are considered a threat to peace in Africa’s Great Lakes region.

Rwandan authorities accuse the rebels of taking part in the country’s 1994 genocide, in which the United Nations has said more than 800,000 people died.

NIGERIA

Bloc urges end to Liberia sanctions

ABUJA — The 16-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) called yesterday for an end to sanctions against Liberia to help consolidate peace, a day after the United Nations eased an arms embargo but left other sanctions in place.

ECOWAS foreign ministers said at a meeting here that lifting sanctions against Liberia would “help consolidate post-conflict development and peace.” Impoverished Liberia began emerging from a brutal 14-year civil war in 2003 when former President Charles Taylor fled to exile in Nigeria.

The U.N. Security Council imposed a ban on Liberian timber and diamond exports and reinforced an arms embargo during Mr. Taylor’s final years in power after accusing him of fueling conflict through an illicit trade in arms for diamonds.

Weekly notes …

Talks to restore stability in troubled eastern Sudan resumed yesterday in Asmara, Eritrea’s capital, with government and rebel negotiators working on a peace agenda. “This week, the two parties will try to define a framework, a declaration of principle for the negotiations,” said an official with the rebel group led by Musa Mohamed Ahmed. … Former South African President F.W. de Klerk was better yesterday after having a tracheotomy to help him breathe more easily through a ventilator, his spokesman said. Mr. De Klerk, 70, underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his colon 12 days ago and developed respiratory problems. He remains in intensive care at Cape Town’s Panorama Medi-Clinic, but doctors describe his condition as “stable.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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