- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 7, 2007


Illegal arms sought in urban areas

NAIROBI — President Mwai Kibaki yesterday ordered security forces to begin a major hunt for illegal arms in urban areas as insecurity surged across this East African nation.

The U.S. Embassy warned American citizens to exercise caution, and Mr. Kibaki said the government is capable of dealing with the rise in violent crime, here in the capital. His office said Mr. Kibaki “instructed security forces to begin a major mop-up operation, especially in urban centers where illegal arms are in the hands of criminals.”

The U.S. Embassy issued a security alert two weeks after gunmen fatally shot two American women in Nairobi and hijacked a U.S. Embassy vehicle. Hours later, Geoffrey Chege, East and Central Africa director for the charity CARE, died during another attempted carjacking.


Network bolsters battle on terrorism

DAKAR — Military chiefs from the United States and nine African countries met here yesterday to seek ways to strengthen the battle against terrorism, Senegalese army Col. Antoine Wardini told Agence France-Presse.

The meeting is being held under the aegis of the Trans-Saharan Counter-Terrorism Partnership, a counterinsurgency network grouping of the United States and nine countries in Africa’s Sahel and Maghreb regions.

On Tuesday, Washington announced that it was setting up a regional command for Africa to oversee U.S. military activities — a move seen as reflecting Washington’s fears that some nations may be harboring suspected terrorist groups.


French diplomat slain in home

ABIDJAN — A French diplomat with the European Union was fatally shot in his home overnight, a spokesman for the French Embassy said yesterday.

Michel Niaucel, who was in charge of West Africa security operations for the bloc, had been shot with his own gun by unknown assailants and died in his home.

Weekly notes …

Twenty-two women who took part in trials for a gel designed to prevent HIV infection during intercourse have contracted the virus, the South African Health Ministry said yesterday. The number of infections was announced a day after Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang ordered an investigation into the microbicide clinical trials in the eastern KwaZulu Natal province. … Sixty Zimbabwean junior doctors have been fired from the capital Harare’s main hospital after going on strike in December demanding salary increases, their union chief said yesterday. The doctors had been demanding a big increase in their salaries of $224 a month, whose value is being eroded by rampant inflation.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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