- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 17, 2008

ETHIOPIA

Opposition party pulls out of elections

ADDIS ABABA — A second opposition party in Ethiopia pulled out of ongoing council and parliamentary elections yesterday, accusing the ruling party of intimidating its agents during the first round of voting.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s party is expected to record a big win in the elections, which are the country’s first since deadly postelection demonstrations three years ago. First ballots were cast Sunday and the second round is due this Sunday.

Bulcha Demeksa, chairman of the opposition Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement, which has nine seats in parliament, said grave procedural and legal flaws marred the first round.

KENYA

Gang threat keeps buses off roads

NAIROBI — A threat to behead anyone driving or taking public transportation in parts of the Kenyan capital, part of a terrorist campaign waged by a notorious criminal gang, kept minibuses stalled yesterday.

Minibus drivers largely avoided eastern Nairobi roads, forcing commuters to walk for miles to get to work, after the Mungiki gang warned Tuesday that they would behead drivers, conductors and passengers who violate their orders to stay off the streets.

The gang is protesting the killings of their imprisoned leader’s wife and the acting leader’s brother last week. They accused police of complicity, a charge the government denies.

CHAD

President fires prime minister

N’DJAMENA — Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno yesterday fired his prime minister, Delwa Kassire Koumakoye, and replaced him with diplomatic adviser Youssouf Saleh Abbas, national radio reported.

The new prime minister, who will name his own Cabinet, hails from Ouaddai, in the east of Chad and the base of some of the rebel groups hostile to the president, including the National Alliance, led by Gen. Mahamat Nouri.

Mr. Saleh Abbas was Chad’s special representative to the United Nations and special liaison with the European Union’s peacekeeping force in the region.

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

Opposition leader detained in Spain

MADRID — A Spanish judge yesterday remanded into custody Equatorial Guinea’s exiled opposition leader, Severo Moto Nsa, two days after his arrest on charges of arms trafficking to the oil-rich African nation.

National Audience Judge Fernando Andreu cited evidence that Mr. Moto, who has lived in Spain since 1982, and three others planned to send weapons to Equatorial Guinea, a former Spanish colony.

Mr. Moto was arrested Monday in Toledo, near Madrid, in connection with a police operation carried out in the first week of March in the eastern Spanish port of Sagunto. Officers there found three combat weapons and munitions in a used car bound for Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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