- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 16, 2007


U.N. force to stay until end of the year

KINSHASA, Congo — The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Tuesday to keep its 17,000 peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo until the end of the year. The 15-nation council also called on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to submit by mid-November a timetable for the gradual reduction of the force, the largest the United Nations maintains anywhere.

Congolese President Joseph Kabila won elections last October aimed at restoring peace to Africa’s third-largest country following a devastating 1998-2003 war that cost the lives of nearly 4 million people, mostly from hunger and disease. But violence has continued in the turbulent east.

The eight-page French-drafted resolution deplored the continued clashes, human rights violations and illegal arms trafficking in Congo and called for disarming, demobilizing and resettling of armed groups.


Most of economy still in white hands

JOHANNESBURG — After years of affirmative action to correct racial inequalities left by decades of apartheid, management of the South African economy remains largely in white hands, a report said this week.

Corporate compliance with equity legislation is at an “all-time low,” the newspaper Business Day quoted a government commission as saying. Black people are mainly put in support functions in areas like human resources, corporate affairs and government liaison, according to a report by the Commission for Employment Equity.

“The pace of transformation has been painfully slow,” commission Chairman Jimmy Manyi was reported as saying.

The number of blacks in top management rose by a “very shocking” 9.5 percent from 2000 to last year.

The number of professionally qualified blacks employed by South African companies declined by 7.6 percent, while that of whites rose 6.1 percent.

The top management representation of white women, who qualify for limited affirmative-action promotion, grew from 4.5 percent to nearly 15 percent — three times their percentage of the economically active population.

This reflected “racist” preferences of white male managers, Mr. Manyi said.


Occupied oil site disrupts output

LAGOS — Protesters have occupied an oil facility in southern Nigeria, causing oil-production cuts of 170,000 barrels per day in the latest disruption to hit Africa’s biggest producer, a spokesman for Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Tuesday.

Precious Omuku said the company had started negotiations with the protesters at the facility in Ogoniland, in restive southern Nigeria after youths took over an oil-pipeline manifold. “We don’t know what their grievances are,” he said.

Weekly notes …

South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Diamini-Zuma will visit Beijing, Pretoria’s main Asian trading partner, for comprehensive talks this weekend with her new Chinese counterpart. She is to meet Yang Jiechi on Sunday for discussions to boost political, economic and trade ties. Mr. Yang, a former ambassador to Washington, succeeded former Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, who stepped down last month. … African lawmakers voiced reservations this week about creating a pan-African government for the continent. “There are many serious obstacles we have to surmount before its formation,” Ghanaian lawmaker Mahama Dramani John told the Pan-African Parliament convened in Midrand, South Africa, this week. The topic is to top the agenda at a June African Union summit in Ghana.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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