- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 29, 2006

KENYA

2 women arrested with bomb materials

NAIROBI — Police yesterday announced the arrests of two persons and the seizure of vast amounts of bomb-making materials Tuesday from two houses in a suburb of the capital.

Officers of the Special Crimes Prevention Unit recovered 55 pounds of ammonium nitrate, used to make bombs, 650 detonators and many other components from the houses in Nairobi’s Njiru residential district, they said. “We arrested two women in the raid,” a top police official said.

“All my men are on red alert,” said Joseph Kamau, head of the Criminal Investigations Department. “We want to establish the exact motive of these suspects. We want to establish the source of these explosive materials and all those involved.”

In August 1998, near simultaneous bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and in Tanzania’s capital, Dar es Salaam, killed 224 persons and injured about 5,000. In November 2002, a vehicle packed with explosives was detonated at an Israeli-owned hotel near the Kenyan port of Mombasa, killing 15 persons and the three presumed suicide bombers.

SOMALIA

More violence feared as militia talks fail

MOGADISHU — Talks between militias that undertook the worst clashes in years in this capital collapsed yesterday, raising fears that last week’s combat could resume and spread to the seat of government.

An Islamic militia seized a seaport and airstrip formerly controlled by warlord Bashir Raghe in four days of clashes with the capital’s most powerful warlords. Between 70 and 90 people are thought to have been killed.

Since the fighting ended Sunday, religious leaders and elders had been trying to broker a cease-fire, but the warlord alliance — which calls itself the “Anti-Terrorism Coalition” — has not taken part. “The talks have collapsed since they have failed to attend meetings,” militia leader Siyad Mohamed told Reuters. “It looks like they are ready for new fighting.”

JAPAN

Koizumi plans trip to Ethiopia, Ghana

TOKYO — Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi planned to leave for Africa yesterday to visit Ethiopia and Ghana and deepen ties with Africa, the government announced.

“Africa and Japan are geographically apart, but development of Africa is necessary for development of the world, so Japan also thinks assistance for African development is necessary,” Mr. Koizumi told reporters.

Ethiopia, where the African Union headquarters is located, and Ghana would be the first sub-Sahara states visited by a Japanese prime minister since Mr. Koizumi’s predecessor, Yoshiro Mori, went to South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria in January 2001.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe said the prime minister plans to continue on to Sweden to learn about its welfare policies.

Weekly notes …

Judge Willem van der Merwe in Johannesburg refused yesterday to dismiss charges against former Deputy President Jacob Zuma in the reputed rape of an HIV-positive woman, rejecting his plea that there was insufficient evidence and arguments that Mr. Zuma had consensual sex with the 31-year-old AIDS activist at his Johannesburg home on Nov. 2. The trial is set to resume Monday. … Singing of sex and domestic violence, Bi Kidude pounded her drum and shouted ancient Swahili lyrics, delivering a nonstop 40 minutes of African tradition with a hip-hop flavor in Zanzibar, Tanzania. An impressive performance by any standard, and all the more so from a 93-year-old, Mrs. Kidude mixed once-secret bridal initiation songs as one of the highlights of “Sauti za Busara,” (Sounds of Wisdom), as part of a five-day music festival.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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