- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 20, 2006

IVORY COAST

66 hospitalized in toxic-waste case

ABIDJAN — The number of people reportedly affected by a toxic waste scandal in Ivory Coast rose sharply yesterday when the United Nations said 66 victims had been hospitalized and doctors had received 44,000 requests for medical help.

Last week, the Ivorian authorities said seven persons, four of them children, had died since the noxious mix of toxic oil residue and caustic soda was placed in 14 open-air rubbish dumps in Abidjan.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said yesterday that the number of persons reported killed by the toxins remained at seven, but it was more circumspect about the causes of their deaths.

SOUTH AFRICA

Zuma is cleared in corruption trial

JOHANNESBURG — Former South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma is an anti-apartheid veteran whose presidential ambitions have been resurrected after his exoneration in a sensational corruption case.

Mr. Zuma, who narrowly escaped political oblivion in May when he was acquitted of the rape of a young AIDS activist, got a second lease on his political life yesterday when a judge threw out a graft accusation linked to a 1999 arms deal.

The charismatic 64-year-old, who was fired by President Thabo Mbeki last year, had faced charges of complicity to accepting a bribe through his financial adviser.

SOMALIA

Students to train to fight peacekeepers

MOGADISHU — The Islamic militia that controls much of southern Somalia said yesterday it will train students for holy war against foreign peacekeepers, an ominous development because of fears that a Taliban-style regime is emerging in the country.

Last month, seven African countries, known as the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, agreed to send 3,500 troops from Uganda and Sudan to Somalia to support the weak government based in Baidoa, a town 150 miles from Mogadishu, the capital.

Weekly notes …

Gambians go to the polls tomorrow in a presidential vote expected to give incumbent Yahya Jammeh a third term as head of this tiny West African state. It is the third presidential election organized by Mr. Jammeh since he seized power in a coup in 1994, and opposition is weak. Legislative elections are scheduled for December. … The Economic Community of West African States expressed its sympathy to Nigeria yesterday after 13 persons, including 10 army generals, died in an air crash. The plane crashed minutes before its scheduled arrival in Obudu in southern Cross Rivers State, apparently because of bad weather.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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