REBELS KILLED IN BURUNDI CIVIL WAR
BUJUMBURA- Twenty rebels have been killed in Burundi in heavy fighting between government troops and the rebel Forces for National Liberation (FNL) on the outskirts of the capital of Bujumbura.
The army says it had led an offensive against FNL positions at Nyabibondo in Kanyosha commune. No government troops were killed. An FNL spokesperson says this is a revenge attack by the army for an FNL attack on Friday against government forces and forces of the former rebel Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD).
Burundi's decade-long war has seen rebels from the Hutu majority fighting to end the traditional and military dominance of the minority Tutsi community. Hopes for peace in Burundi were lifted in November last year when the main FDD rebel group joined the government.
Peace talks between the FNL and President Domitien Ndayizeye ended last month with Hutu rebels refusing to join the power-sharing government. -Reuters
HIGH PROFILE CASE RESUMES IN KENYA
NAIROBI- The trial of four Kenyans accused of involvement in simultaneous attacks on an Israeli-owned hotel and charter jet has resumed in the Nigh Court of Nairobi.
The suspects are charged with causing the deaths of 12 Kenyans and three Israelis when they allegedly bombed the Paradise Hotel near Mombasa on November the 28th in 2002. Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network has claimed responsibility for the attack on the hotel and a simultaneous failed attempt to shoot down an Israeli passenger jet shortly after take-off from Mombasa airport.
Kenya has come under international pressure to find and prosecute people involved in the attacks, which badly damaged Kenya's important tourism industry. -Sapa
NIGERIAN OIL WORKERS KIDNAPPED
ABUJA- Armed militants have kidnapped two Nigerian oil workers, a navy sailor and a supply barge working in the troubled Niger Delta.
Jerry Omodara, a naval spokesperson, and the oil giant Shell say the gang struck in the early hours at the weekend. The gang allegedly kidnapped the men, two of whom worked for Shell sub-contractor Daywood Continental and stole a boat.
Omodara says two of their men were injured and one was taken hostage, along with two workers. He says the injured men have been treated and their wounds are not serious.
The police are striving to engage in dialogue with the kidnappers. Sapa-AFP
FORMER US PRESIDENT RAISES AWARENESS ON WORM DISEASES
LOME- Jimmy Carter, the Former American President, has arrived in Togo at the start of a three-nation tour of West Africa to raise awareness of Guinea worm disease.
Carter and his wife Rosalynn will spend two days in Togo before travelling on to Mali and Ghana and among the 13 African states where many cases of the burrowing parasite are reported each year.
Guinea worm is contracted when people consume water that is contaminated by water fleas carrying ineffective larvae. Stomach acid digests the water flea but not the larvae, which can grow to up to a meter-long over the course of a year before it emerges through painful blisters in the skin, normally on lower limbs.
The Carter Center has, since 1986 when an estimated 3.5 million people were infected, worked in conjunction with the UN Children's Fund, the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to eradicate the disease.
The UN health agency's director, Lee Jong-Wook, and Kul Gautam, the deputy director of the UN children's agency, will join Carter. -Sapa-AFP
MDC WILL RESTART ECONOMY ON ITS TERMS
HARARE- Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party says if it is going to engage with institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, it will do so on its own terms.
The party has launched a proposed rescue package for the crumbling Zimbabwean economy. The party's blueprint for economic change, dubbed RESTART, stands for Reconstruction, Stabilisation, Recovery and Transformation. It calls for Zimbabwe's troubled land question to be resolved by negotiation, among other issues. -SABC
KENYA UPS ITS GAME
TUNIS- Kenya has won its first African Cup of Nation's match with a 3-0 romp over Burkina Faso.
Kenya's win ended Burkina Faso's slim hopes of reaching the quarterfinals.
Mali and Senegal drew one all in the other Group B match and both advanced to the knockout stage with Mali topping the group on seven points. Senegal is second with four points, Kenya has three points and Burkina Faso one. -Sapa
RACING GETTING ON TRACK
JOHANNESBURG- A 72 hour quarantine that was imposed on jockeys visiting KwaZulu-Natal Province in South Africa has been lifted. The quarantine was imposed in an attempt to reduce the risk of the equine flu virus being transmitted in the province of KwaZulu-Natal.
The only outstanding quarantine still in place is that for horses moving from an area that was infected by the virus during the recent outbreak into a KwaZulu-Natal training facility. This control will be lifted on Saturday. -Sapa http://www.channelafrica.org/