- - Wednesday, March 21, 2012


U.N. accuses Congo forces of violations during elections

KINSHASA | Congo’s security forces committed serious human rights violations - including killings, acts of torture and arbitrary arrests - surrounding the country’s tense national elections last year, the U.N. said in a report released Tuesday.

Investigations by the U.N. Joint Human Rights Office in Congo found that at least 33 people were killed in the capital, Kinshasa, by security forces in November and December, and at least 83 people were wounded, mostly by bullets.

The investigation also found more than 265 people were arrested, the majority of them detained arbitrarily, the report said.

Government officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

The U.N. report said the government had opened an investigation into the violations in December.

Presidential and legislative elections were held Nov. 28. Results showed President Joseph Kabila winning 100 percent of votes at some balloting stations, and more than 100 percent of registered voters participating at other stations where he won.

Congo’s Supreme Court - which Mr. Kabila loaded with his supporters last year - said the incumbent won another five-year term, with 48.95 percent of votes.


Kidnapped British woman freed in Somalia

MOGADISHU | A British tourist snatched by Somali gunmen from a resort island in Kenya was freed Wednesday after more than six months in captivity, Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office said.

Judith Tebbutt was taken in September. Gunmen killed her husband, David Tebbutt, during the attack. But the kidnapped woman told BBC that she did not know of her husband’s death until two weeks after her capture.

An official with the Somali militia Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama who asked not to be named said a ransom was paid to pirates for Mrs. Tebbutt’s release. No figure was given.


Army launches crackdown on rebel activity

KAMPALA | The Ugandan military has launched a crackdown on Ugandans suspected of supporting a resurgent rebellion, opposition politicians said Wednesday, warning that the military operation could soon target politicians opposed to the government.

The Uganda People’s Congress, one of the country’s oldest political parties, said 86 Ugandans have been detained at secret locations around the country as the army moves to combat what it views as a resurgent rebel group - the Allied Democratic Forces - in central and eastern Uganda.

The army said it is holding 60 people and denies its methods are violent.


Niger arrests rebel who fought for Gadhafi

NIAMEY | A Tuareg rebel leader who belonged to Moammar Gadhafi’s inner circle and led the last Tuareg uprising in the West African nation was arrested overnight in Niger’s capital, a family member said Wednesday.

Aghali Alambo led a Tuareg rebellion against the government of Niger from 2007 to 2009. The peace accord was brokered by Gadhafi.

After the end of the fighting, Mr. Alambo exiled himself to Tripoli, where he became one of Gadhafi’s trusted aides, staying at his side until just before the fall of the capital last year.

Ahmad Ahlawey, a relative of Mr. Alambo’s, said the government is accusing Mr. Alambo being linked to an explosives-loaded three-car convoy that was stopped trying to cross into Niger from Libya recently.


Police arrest son of former president

BLANTYRE | Police this week arrested the son of the former president who is also a candidate for the same office his father held, officials of his United Democratic Party said this week.

Austin Atupele Muluzi, 34, was arrested Tuesday as he drove his car toward Blantyre, the commercial capital. Mr. Muluzi is the son of Malawi’s former president Bakili Muluzi.

Police said the arrests of Mr. Muluzi and two others followed investigations into violent disturbances at a political rally they organized Sunday.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports

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