- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 30, 2009


Army ammo dump explodes, sets fires

ARUSHA | Huge blasts rocked an ammunition dump at an army camp in Tanzania’s commercial capital Wednesday, officials said.

Several people were feared dead, police spokesman Mohamed Mhina said. The blasts lasted for about two hours and fires were still burning two hours after that, he said.

Local news reports said houses around the base were on fire and several people had been injured. The blast rattled windows in houses 37 miles away, resident Kate Esmail said.

The Bagala Army Camp is surrounded by civilian homes but is far from Dar es Salaam.


Coup leaders seek recognition

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia | A high-level delegation from Madagascar’s transitional regime, which is not recognized by the international community, is in Addis Ababa for talks, diplomats said Wednesday.

“A delegation led by the High Transition Authority’s foreign minister, Ny Hasnia Andriamanjato, arrived in Addis Ababa on Monday for consultations with various diplomatic representations,” an African diplomat told Agence France-Presse.

Former Madagascan opposition leader Andry Rajoelina ousted the Indian Ocean island’s elected president, Marc Ravalomanana, with army backing March 17.

His takeover was described as a coup the international community, which has called for the return of constitutional order.


Hostage gorilla saved from poacher

GOMA | Authorities in eastern Congo saved a baby gorilla from an animal trafficker who took it on a plane hidden in a bag.

Officials at Virunga National Park said Tuesday that the gorilla suffered from dehydration after being put in the bag for more than six hours.

Authorities arrested the trafficker Sunday at Goma International Airport.

Park director Emmanuel de Merode said there has been a “significant upsurge” in the trafficking of baby gorillas in recent months. He says they can be sold for up to $20,000 each.

There are only about 720 mountain gorillas left worldwide.


Tsvangirai urges government unity

BULAWAYO | Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday sought to overcome worries about the country’s unity government insisting that restoring the rule of law was a top priority.

“Only through restoration of the rule of law can we remove the uncertainty of doing business in Zimbabwe and restore investor confidence,” Mr. Tsvangirai told a gathering of executives on the sidelines of a trade show in the city of Bulawayo.

His speech was part of a major push to ease doubts about the power-sharing deal with President Robert Mugabe, as Finance Minister Tendai Biti headed to Washington for an International Monetary Fund meeting on Zimbabwe next week.

The government is seeking $8.5 billion over three years to revive the economy that has been shattered by a decade of hyperinflation, but major donors have said they want Mr. Mugabe to enact concrete reforms.


Flu threatens soccer tournament

JOHANNESBURG | World soccer’s governing body said Wednesday that it is monitoring the outbreak of swine flu that has sparked alerts around the globe just six weeks before the Confederations Cup.

“We are monitoring the situation, and we hope it will be under control before the seven teams are moving from their countries to South Africa for the Confederations Cup,” said FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke.

Countries have the right to bar their teams from traveling to South Africa from the Confederations Cup, which runs from June 14 to 28.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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