Also today: Darfur tribe says it was attacked by south Sudan army; Editor dies in Cameroonian jail; Kidnappers release Germans in Niger Delta region; Illicit Ugandan brew causes mass deaths.
Africans run away with London Marathon
Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia won the London Marathon, beating Kenya’s Emmanuel Mutai and another Kenyan, world champion Abel Kirui, who came fifth. The Kenyans have dominated the event for six years, but this time Kebede finished in two hours, five minutes and 19 seconds, which was nine seconds outside the course record and the third-fastest time in the 30-year history of the race. He finished second on debut last year, but took this year’s honours after defending champion Sammy Wanjiru of Kenya pulled out during the race with a knee problem. Morroco’s Joaurd Gharib came third.
Photo: Olympic bronze medallist Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia crosses the finish line to win his seventh successive London men’s marathon title in London April 25, 2010. Kebede ran an untroubled victory in an unofficial two hours five minutes 18 seconds. Kebede, who finished second to Olympic gold medallist Sammy Wanjiru last year after a fierce battle over the final stages, was grouped with two other Kenyans Abel Kirui and Emmanuel Mutai at the 35 kms mark. REUTERS/Andrew Winning
Darfur tribe says it was attacked by south Sudan army
Shortly after polling ended in Sudan’s first multiparty elections in 24 years, a tribe from the country’s western province of Darfur says up to 55 of its members have been killed and some 85 wounded in a clash with south Sudan’s army. The claim comes barely two months after the current northern-based Sudanese government in Khartoum declared the war in Darfur was over, and subsequently attacked a rebel group there. Sudan’s election results have been delayed after parties big and small boycotted the polls over allegations of vote rigging. The elections are a key element of a 2005 peace deal between Khartoum and south Sudan, which fought a 22-year civil war. A spokesman for the Darfuri tribe said the group was looking for new pastures for its cattle when it clashed with troops near the south Sudan boundary.
Editor dies in Cameroonian jail
A Cameroonian newspaper editor has died in prison after being detained in March on charges of fraud and using false documents. The Cameroonian journalists’ union said Germain Ngota, who was managing editor of the Cameroon Express, was not given any medical treatment during his detention in the capital Yaounde, despite reportedly suffering from high blood pressure. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists says authorities failed to provide Ngota with treatment despite repeated requests by his family members and colleagues, after he’d been investigating corruption allegations involving a presidential advisor and the state-run oil company at the time of his arrest. Cameroonian newspapers are subject to many official restrictions, with journalists regularly being arrested.
Kidnappers release Germans in Niger Delta region
Two Germans kidnapped by gunmen in the oil-producing southeast of Nigeria have been freed after six days, but no group has claimed responsibility for the abduction. Foreigners are regularly kidnapped for ransom in the Niger Delta, home to Africa’s biggest oil-and-gas industry, both by bandits and rebels fighting for more government funds in a region that’s suffered huge environmental damage and economic neglect over decades of oil production. Thousands of militants laid down arms last year in a presidential amnesty, but that process later became unwound during a protracted period of political in-fighting over the health of Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua.
Illicit Ugandan brew causes mass deaths
At least 80 people have died in Uganda over the past three weeks after drinking home-made banana gin laced with methanol. The illegal brew, known as waragi, is widely consumed throughout Uganda, mostly by those who can’t afford regular alcohol. One official says so many people died because relatives wouldn’t admit that people had been drinking the gin after they became blind and subsequently suffered fatal liver and kidney failure. Deaths from drinking the alcohol are common, but so large a number of people haven’t died at one time for many years. Officials are conducting house-to-house searches, having seized some 120 jerrycans of waragi so far.