AFRICA Passengers rescued from Nigerian ship off Ghana
By Nicholas Phythian
ABIDJAN, June 15 (Reuter) - Several hundred passengers on a
Nigerian ship that went adrift off Ghana have been rescued by other
vessels which rushed to its aid, maritime officials said.
Port officials in the Togolese capital Lome told Reuters by
telephone that the ship, the Princess Olayinka, had arrived off
Togo late on Wednesday and would be towed into dock on Thursday.
They quoted the captain as saying that 94 passengers and crew were
still on the vessel and added they would spend the night on board.
Three hundred passengers were on a ship bound for the Benin capital
Cotonou and another 200 were on a ship heading for Nigeria, one
The ship had been travelling from Nigeria to Liberia when it
developed engine trouble on Tuesday.
Guy Wonegou, operations manager of AMATO (Atlantic Maritime Agency
of Togo), told Reuters in Ivory Coast earlier that a tug had
started towing the stricken vessel to Togo.
Port officials in Lome said later that most of those on board had
been transferred to other vessels who had been standing by since
hearing the ship's distress call.
Maritime officials in Ghana said rescue operations had apparently
started early on Wednesday about 10 miles off the town of Keta,
where the Princess Olayinka had dropped anchor after drifting for
more than two days with engine problems.
Captain Christian Pupulampu of Ghana's naval command said bad
weather had hampered efforts to begin rescue work on Tuesday
Fierce storms are common at this time of year in West Africa.
Port officials in Togo and Ghana and other maritime sources had
initially put the number of people on the ship at over 700 but Lome
port officials revised the figure to under 600.
The Lome officials had no immediate details about the identity of
Ghanaian sources said they were refugees returning to Liberia and
traders who shuttle along the West African coast.
Nigeria provides the backbone of an African peacekeeping force in
Liberia, which has been ravaged by five years of civil war.
Transmitted: 95-06-14 17:23:38 PDT
AFRICA Cash-strapped OAU says threats to debtors pay off
ADDIS ABABA, June 14 (Reuter) - The Organisation of African Unity
said on Wednesday member states were settling their arrears, a week
after it threatened to bar heads of state whose countries are in
debt from taking the floor in an OAU summit.
The 53-nation OAU said last week it had slapped sanctions on 34
member states owing it $58.3 million in arrears.
The stiffest penalty bars heads of state whose countries are in
debt to the OAU from taking the floor at the June 26-28 summit in
the Ethiopian capital.
But OAU spokesman Ibrahim Dagash told reporters the response on
arrears was encouraging and some 25 African heads of state had
confirmed they would attend the annual summit.
``Apart from confirmation of attendance of a large number of
African leaders, many states have also paid their arrears owed to
the organisation,'' he said.
``The response is most encouraging and we hope that many more
leaders would also confirm their attendance of the summit in which
major issues affecting the continent would be discussed,'' he
Dagash said more than $5 million had been paid by some member
states since the sanctions were announced last Thursday. Ivory
Coast paid two million out of the $2.5 million it owed and the
number of countries now in arrears fell to 18 and the sum owed fell
to $53 million.
Sudan and Zaire have traditionally headed the OAU's bad debtors'
list, owing $8.5 million between them.
Transmitted: 95-06-14 12:49:51 PDT
RWANDA Zambian U.N. troops nominated for Rwanda medals
KIGALI, June 14 (Reuter) - Zambian U.N. troops have been nominated
for medals for their conduct during slaughter at a Rwandan Hutu
camp in April, a U.N. military spokesman said on Wednesday.
Major-General Guy Toussignant, Canadian commander of the U.N.
Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR), wrote to Zambia's chief of
staff recommending medals for 40 Zambian troops for their
discipline and courage under fire at Kibeho camp, he added.
While thousands of Hutus were shot, macheted and trampled to death,
the Zambians helped wounded to safety, maintained their positions
and calm under fire and helped restore order, he said.
``These countless acts of valour and devotion to duty shown by the
Zambian platoon soldiers in the presence of automatic weapons fire
and machete attacks is worthy of recognition by the award of the
Zambian equivalent of the Canadian medal of military valour,''
The Zambian troops did not fire a shot during the violence.
Transmitted: 95-06-14 12:34:40 PDT
mukiri w githendu
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