- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 28, 2006

SOMALIA

Muslim leader seeks talks with Ethiopia

MOGADISHU — Influential Muslim leaders suggested talks with archfoe Ethiopia to resolve a lingering territorial dispute that has caused much animosity between the two poor Horn of Africa nations.

Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, supreme leader of Somalia’s Council of Islamic Courts, said yesterday that he is ready to negotiate on the status of the Ogaden, a region seized by Ethiopia three decades ago with the help of Cuban troops and Russian arms.

GAMBIA

Foreign ministersset for regional summit

BANJUL — African foreign ministers began two days of talks here yesterday in preparation for this weekend’s annual summit here. Gambia’s foreign minister, Lamin Kabba Bajo, said “harmonizing and synchronizing” the activities of regional economic and political blocs will be a focus of the meeting.

Diplomats said the aim is to reduce the number of regional groups from eight to five to speed the integration process.

MOROCCO

3 die, 13 missing trying to reach Spain

RABAT — Three Moroccans died and 13 persons were missing after their boat sank off the northwest African coast as they tried to illegally reach Spain’s Canary Islands on Tuesday night, police here said yesterday.

The bodies of the three men were found on a beach in southern Morocco, and one passenger made it to shore. All the would-be migrants were from Tan-Tan, a town in southern Morocco.

Weekly notes …

With just days to go before campaigning begins, the crowded lineup of presidential hopefuls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been finalizing coalitions for the country’s first free elections in more than 40 years. Thirty-two have signed up to challenge President Joseph Kabila on the July 30 ballot, which is meant to help the country move on after the 1998-2003 war that killed 4 million people. … Voters in Mauritania overwhelmingly approved a new constitution that reduces the length and permitted number of presidential terms, final official results showed yesterday. The Interior Ministry announced that 96.96 percent of voters on Sunday approved the constitution that is to set the tone for major democratic reforms.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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