- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 28, 2007


U.N. pact ensures aid access to Darfur

ABECHE, Chad — Sudan and the United Nations signed an agreement yesterday to guarantee humanitarian access to refugees in Darfur, where violence and government restrictions have prevented aid from reaching victims of a bloody conflict.

The agreement ensures unrestricted travel by international aid workers throughout Sudan, including Darfur, upon notifying the central government of plans. “I am cautiously pleased that this agreement has been signed and publicized,” U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes said while touring Darfur refugee camps in neighboring Chad. The “important thing is whether they will actually implement what they say.”

Last week, Mr. Holmes warned that obstruction from Sudan’s government and insecurity had created a fragile environment in Darfur that could cause aid workers to leave.


Gitmo detainee’s kin seek trial at home

NAIROBI — The family of a man suspected of 2002 terrorist attacks in Kenya and recently transferred to U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, asked yesterday for him to be returned to Kenya for trial.

The sister of Abdul Malik, a Koranic teacher in Mombasa, said the family learned of his transfer to the U.S. base after the Pentagon announced it on Monday. “We as a family are so saddened by his transfer to Cuba without him being tried here in Kenya … [and] ask that he should be returned to the country,” Myriam Mohamed Ali told a press conference at the Jamia mosque here.

Mr. Malik’s attorney, Harun Ndubi, said at the same press conference that since January, “the governments of Kenya, Ethiopia and the United States and the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia have engaged in systematic and sustained renditions of persons arrested in Kenya … without any process of law, access to lawyers or contact with family.”


Opposition chief needs medical care

KINSHASA — Opposition leader Jean-Pierre Bemba, who sought shelter in the South African Embassy during heavy fighting in Kinshasa last week, could be flown to Portugal for medical treatment, diplomatic sources said yesterday.

Mr. Bemba whose militia was routed by the army over two days, needs treatment for an injury sustained when he fell down stairs in December, a diplomat told Agence France-Presse.

About 2,000 government troops overcame 700 fighters loyal to Mr. Bemba in the Gombe district of Kinshasa last week. On Friday, President Joseph Kabila’s government issued a warrant for his arrest on charges of treason and maintaining a militia.

Weekly notes

French prosecutors asked yesterday that Jean-Christophe Mitterrand, the son of the late president, former minister Charles Pasqua and 40 other defendants stand trial in “the arms-to-Angola case,” judicial sources said. In a 500-page summary of a case that dates to 2000, the Paris prosecutor’s office said all 42 defendants were suspected of taking bribes from businessman Pierre Falcone, who organized arms deliveries from Eastern Europe to Angola. … Congolese President Joseph Kabila left for Tanzania yesterday to take part in a two-day regional summit examining the crises in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zimbabwe. Mr. Kabila was accompanied by Antipas Mbusa Nyamwisi, his minister for foreign affairs and international cooperation.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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