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Archive for Monday, May 27, 2002

Briefly

May 27, 2002

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Yugoslavia: Serbian police arrest war crimes suspect

Serbian police have arrested a Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect wanted by the United Nations war crimes tribunal, state-run Tanjug news agency reported Sunday.

The arrest of Ranko Cesic, suspected of mistreating and beating victims in Bosnia so badly that some died, was the first arrest by Serb police of a suspect included on a list of Serbs wanted by the war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.

Six of the 24 Serbs on the list have surrendered voluntarily, and the Belgrade government has promised to pursue the rest.

Those still at large include the two most-wanted: former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his wartime commander, Gen. Ratko Mladic. Yugoslav authorities claim they are not in the country.

Cesic is being detained in Belgrade.

Colombia: Venezuelan coup leader given diplomatic asylum

Colombia announced Sunday it has granted asylum to Pedro Carmona, who was briefly installed as president of Venezuela during a short-lived coup last month.

The Colombian Foreign Ministry said in a communique that it "has decided to grant diplomatic asylum" to Carmona, who on Thursday slipped away from house arrest in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas and fled into the residence of the Colombian ambassador.

Colombia stood virtually alone among Latin American nations in applauding the ouster of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on April 12. Chavez was reinstalled only two days later amid widespread protests in Venezuela and a split in the military into pro- and anti-coup factions.

Carmona was facing a trial in neighboring Venezuela for rebellion and conspiracy for his role in the coup and could have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Malawi: Hippo upsets canoe, killing 11 people

A hippo attacked a canoe carrying women and children back from an excursion to buy fish at a nearby island, drowning 11 people in Lake Malawi.

When the dug-out canoe was within two miles of shore, the hippo rose from the water and capsized the vessel, police spokesman George Chikowi said Sunday.

The women, many of whom had babies strapped to their backs, were thrown into the lake.

Five women, five children and the man who was steering the canoe drowned.

Three women including one with a 2-year-old child strapped to her back managed to swim to shore in the central district of Nkhota Kota, where they were sent to a hospital.

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