- - Wednesday, September 19, 2012

United Nations

UNITED NATIONS — West Africa nations this week appealed to the Security Council to approve fighter jets and other international military support to defeat Islamic terrorists who seized northern Mali.

Security Council members, however, gave no immediate sign they would approve an intervention force.

There is growing international concern over the al Qaeda-linked Islamists who asserted control over northern Mali after a military coup in March unleashed chaos in the country.

The Islamists imposed harsh Shariah law in the territory and desecrated the shrines of Muslim saints in acts that have drawn international condemnation.

The United Nations has warned that the region could become a “safe haven” for terrorists because the national government based in southern Mali has been unable to crush the rebellion in the north.

The Economic Community of West African States has proposed sending a 3,300 strong intervention force to Mali to support the interim government and eventually to reconquer the rebel-held areas.

Youssoufou Bamba, Ivory Coast’s ambassador to the United Nations, speaking for the economic community, told the Security Council the military campaign “requires a lot of combat assets, including fighter jets, for the conduct of the operations.”

South Africa

Zuma presses Europe for trade agreement

BRUSSELS — South African President Jacob Zuma this week urged European leaders to break the deadlock in talks for an economic partnership with southern African nations.

“I expressed my concern that several key issues in the negotiations remain still to be resolved,” Mr. Zuma said after talks Tuesday with Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council and Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission.

Negotiations are stalled over a bid to increase access to the European market by the 15 countries of the Southern African Development Community, which includes some of the world’s poorest nations.

The European Union is South Africa’s largest trading partner, accounting for nearly a third of the country’s trade in 2010. Europe also is South Africa’s most important donor, providing some 70 percent of foreign aid.

Since 2004, trade between the EU and South Africa has increased by 128 percent and the 27 nations of the EU account for three-quarters of foreign investment in the country.


Teenager wins father’s seat in Parliament

KAMPALA — A teenaged girl fresh out of high school has won a seat in Uganda’s Parliament, adding to the ruling party’s majority but embarrassing some who say her success lowers expectations of lawmakers in the East African country.

Proscovia Oromait, who is 19 and a college hopeful, contested elections deep in eastern Uganda to fill the seat left vacant by her father’s death. President Yoweri Museveni’s ruling party had been desperate for a win there, having lost seven in eight parliamentary by-elections this year.

The elections have come to be widely seen as a test of Mr. Museveni’s popularity, and some party bosses calculated that she would win with a sympathy vote. The result was Uganda’s youngest lawmaker ever — and a boost for Mr. Museveni’s party.


Police arrest three in Ivory Coast plot

ACCRA — Police arrested three armed men this week on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the Ivory Coast government.

Two Ivorians and one Ghanaian possessing AK-47 rifles were arrested in the town of Cape Coast, said Frank Kwofie, director of Operations of Criminal Investigations.

He said the three suspects were arrested because they were planning to overthrow the government in Ivory Coast. He said the suspects were on their way to Accra, the Ghanian capital.

Ivory Coast was brought to the brink of civil war after former President Laurent Gbagbo refused to concede defeat to Alassane Ouattara in a 2010 election. Mr. Gbagbo was arrested in 2011 and awaits trial before the International Criminal Court for war crimes, but some Gbagbo loyalists have continued to stage attacks against Mr. Ouattara’s government.


New prime minister takes office Friday

ADDIS ABABA — Ethiopia’s new prime minister is scheduled to be sworn into office Friday.

Hailemariam Desalegn is the hand-picked successor of former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who died Aug. 20 after ruling Ethiopia for more than two decades. Mr. Hailemariam is a former deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister under Mr. Meles.

Mr. Hailemariam’s ascension to prime minister has been delayed for at least a month after an emergency meeting of parliament was canceled last month.

Shimeles Kemal, communications state minister, said Tuesday that Mr. Hailemariam will take the oath Friday morning.

The leadership of the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front on Saturday named Mr. Hailemariam party leader. The party controls 545 of the country’s 547 parliament seats, ensuring Mr. Hailemariam will be approved Friday.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports

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