- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 7, 2007


Presidential hopeful treated in Germany

LAGOS — The presidential candidate of Nigeria’s ruling party is in Germany for medical care and suffering from stress, but will return shortly to resume the campaign, his spokesman said yesterday.

Umaru Yar’Adua, 56, left Nigeria unexpectedly on Tuesday, raising concerns about his candidacy to lead Africa’s most populous nation and about elections next month. Mr. Yar’Adua has suffered from a kidney condition, and his speech is interrupted by a persistent cough.

Campaign spokesman Ndu Ughamadu said he spoke with the candidate yesterday afternoon and quoted Mr. Yar’Adua as saying, “I want to assure [my supporters] that I am quite fine and will be back on the campaign trail shortly.”


Rockets fired at peacekeepers

MOGADISHU — Witnesses said gunmen fired rockets near the airport here in the capital yesterday, apparently targeting African Union peacekeepers who began arriving to help the interim government restore order.

Hospital sources said one civilian was killed and at least four were wounded by rockets and grenades fired at a white AU armored car and two trucks carrying Ethiopian soldiers loyal to the government.

A senior AU official said no peacekeepers were hurt. “When the attack happened, they had already passed and were not involved,” he told Reuters.

A witness said AU troops returned fire after two rocket-propelled grenades launched at them hit a nearby restaurant.


Militia fighters surrender to army

KINSHASA — About 370 members of local militias surrendered to the army in the Democratic Republic of the Congo under a demobilization plan this week, the U.N. mission said yesterday.

Most of the fighters surrendered at Kanyabanyonga, north of Goma, the restive regional capital of North Kivu region, military spokesman Lt. Col. Didier Rancher told reporters.

Congo emerged in 2003 from a five-year civil war that left 4 million people dead.

Weekly notes …

Rival Nigerian politicians are arming militias, hoping to control the outcome of elections next month and to gain control of millions of dollars in oil revenue. Dozens of foreign workers have been kidnapped since the beginning of the year, and a Lebanese worker was fatally shot. Last month, militants shot their way into the heart of Port Harcourt to free a jailed commander. … The State Department has hired a major military contractor to help equip and provide logistical support to international peacekeepers in Somalia, giving the United States a significant role in the critical mission without assigning combat forces. DynCorp International, which also has U.S. contracts in Iraq, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Afghanistan and Iraq, will be paid $10 million to help the first peacekeeping mission in Somalia in more than 10 years.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide