War criminal given 45 years
A court on Friday convicted a Montenegrin man of multiple counts of murder, torture, rape and looting during the country’s 1992-1995 war, and sentenced him to 45 years in prison — the highest sentence ever issued in the country. Judge Zoran Bozic said that Veselin Vlahovic, killed 31 people, raped a number of Bosniak and Croat women and tortured and robbed non-Serb residents of a Sarajevo suburb while fighting for the Serbs. Among other crimes, the judge described how Vlahovic cut the throats of two brothers in front of their mother, then killed her and raped the men’s wives. During the trial some of the 112 witnesses described the rape of women late in their pregnancies and mothers being raped in front of their children.
Building collapse kills 17
The death toll from the collapse of a building in the country’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, has climbed to 17, a senior government official said yesterday. The building of more than 12 stories, which had been under construction, collapsed on Friday morning near a mosque in the Kariakoo District around the city center. Several cars were crushed by falling masonry. The country’s buoyant economy has fueled a building boom, especially in Kariakoo and the city center, but the speed of construction has raised concerns about standards.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Bozize seeks exile in Benin
Ousted President Francois Bozize is requesting exile in the tiny West African nation of Benin days after rebels invaded and overthrew his government of a decade, officials said. Bozize has made a request to reside in Benin, Benin Minister of Foreign Affairs Nassirou Arifari Bako confirmed late on Thursday. “It is true that he has asked Benin to welcome him, but nothing has been decided yet,” Bako said. “It’s a delicate subject.” Thousands of armed rebels invaded the capital of the country last weekend, and Bozize and his family fled to neighboring Cameroon amid the chaos.
Police chase cow herd
Police and firefighters have taken on the role of urban cowboys in a two-day round-up of a herd of cows that broke out of a fenced-off pasture and decided to go into town. A police statement says the 43 animals defied attempts by police and volunteer firefighters to recapture them after wandering off on Thursday and heading toward the Upper Austrian town of Freistadt. After being chased away from the railway station, they endangered motorists by stampeding onto a two-lane highway before running into a town suburb. Eighteen cows remained on the loose on Friday.