U.N. tribunal moves to speed up trials in '94 Rwanda...

Foreign Digest

February 23, 1999

U.N. tribunal moves to speed up trials in '94 Rwanda genocide

ARUSHA, Tanzania -- Hoping to speed up its work, the U.N. tribunal trying suspects in the 1994 Rwandan genocide opened a third courtroom yesterday and swore in three new judges.

The addition brings to nine the number serving the tribunal, established in November 1994 to bring to justice those responsible for the slaughter in which at least 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed.

Rwandan authorities and human rights groups have accused the court -- which has completed work on four cases -- of incompetence.

3 Israelis killed, 4 hurt in clash with guerrillas

RASHAYA, Lebanon -- Three Israeli soldiers were killed and four others wounded in a clash with Lebanese guerrillas early today, Lebanese security officials said.

Israeli military aircraft attacked targets along the front line in southern Lebanon in retaliation. There was no immediate comment from Israel on the overnight fighting. The deaths were the first Israeli fatalities this year in southern Lebanon. The security officials said three Israeli soldiers were killed and four others wounded in the gun battle that preceded airstrikes by Israeli jet fighters and helicopters. But the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah said its fighters injured 12 Israelis.

Annan scheduled to meet with key U.S. officials

UNITED NATIONS -- U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan goes to Washington today and tomorrow for meetings with key Clinton administration and congressional leaders, his spokesman Fred Eckhard said.

With an unpaid U.S. debt to the United Nations of more than $1.6 billion, mainly for peacekeeping arrears, Annan is bound to raise the issue in his talks.

Mubarak frees man held over disrespectful telegram

CAIRO, Egypt -- Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak freed a man detained for a month after a post office clerk decided that his telegram to the president was insulting.

Security sources said Mahmoud Taifour, in his 20s, was released yesterday after the president read a report about his case in a newspaper Sunday.

Taifour had tried to send a telegram to Mubarak from his home town of Damanhur complaining that his father had failed to obtain his rights in a land dispute. The telegram said there was no justice under Mubarak's rule and he should be denied another presidential term. Instead of sending the telegram, the clerk handed it to security police.

Netanyahu, King Abdullah to confer in Jordan Sunday

JERUSALEM -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday he would go to Jordan Sunday for talks with King Abdullah.

Georgia seeks extradition of assassination suspect

TBILISI, Georgia -- Georgia's president harshly criticized Russia yesterday for failing to extradite a man suspected of trying to kill him in 1995.

Eduard A. Shevardnadze said the issue was "casting a cloud" over relations with Russia, which has said it cannot locate Igor Giorgadze, Georgia's ex-security chief.

Giorgadze, a former official in the Soviet KGB, fled to Moscow after Georgian officials charged him with organizing the 1995 bombing of Shevardnadze's motorcade. Shevardnadze also narrowly survived an assassination attempt in February 1998, when up to 20 gunmen showered his motorcade with grenades and automatic gunfire.

Ruling party in Mexico retains two governorships

CHETUMAL, Mexico -- Election results yesterday showed Mexico's ruling party retaining two state governorships. The Institutional Revolutionary Party, in power since 1929, has now won 10 of 14 governor's races over the past year even though it lost control of Mexico's congress in 1997. From wire reports

Pub Date: 2/23/99

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