In the World

A Malian officer closes the door to a cell where suspected rebels are held in Gao.
A Malian officer closes the door to a cell where suspected rebels are held in Gao. (JEROME DELAY / AP)
Posted: February 12, 2013

U.N. envoy asks Iraqi tolerance

BAGHDAD - Iraq's Shiite-led government should do more to address complaints by the country's disaffected Sunni minority about human-rights violations and lack of due process, the U.N. envoy to the country said in an interview Monday.

Sunnis have staged mass rallies in recent weeks to protest what they see as unfair treatment of their sect by the government of Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite accused by critics of monopolizing power.

The protests, along with a recent spike in attacks by suspected Sunni insurgents, have revived fears that sectarianism could tear apart Iraq's fragile national fabric. The country is home to a Shiite majority and sizable Sunni and Kurdish minorities.

Late Monday, a suicide attacker detonated an explosives-laden truck at the gate of a military base in the northern city of Mosul, killing four soldiers and wounding seven, a police officer and a health official said. - AP

Malian troops securing Gao

GAO, Mali - Malian soldiers scoured the city of Gao on Monday for remnants of the radical Islamic fighters who invaded the town and engaged in an hours-long fight with soldiers before French and Malian forces regained control.

Sunday's brazen assault marked the first time the jihadists had penetrated the city of mud-walled buildings since they fled two weeks ago. The attack also showed the al-Qaeda-linked militants' intent to fight for control of Gao, which they had ruled for nearly 10 months.

Lt. Col. Salihou Maiga with the national police said Monday that at least 14 suspects had been arrested following searches in the area and would be transferred to Bamako, the capital. "People were terrorized by Sunday's attack, but all the people have returned to the city now," Maiga said. "Calm has been restored." - AP

Kenyan hopeful, downplays case

NAIROBI, Kenya - A leading candidate insisted Monday during Kenya's first presidential debate that the crimes-against-humanity charges he faces at the International Criminal Court won't hinder his ability to run the country.

The charges against Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate, William Ruto, relate to violence that killed more than 1,000 people after the last elections in 2007. Kenya's next presidential election is set for March; Kenyatta's and Ruto's cases will start in April and could last years.

During the live, widely aired debate, moderators - as well as other candidates - raised questions about Kenyatta's ability to be president. "If the people of Kenya do decide to vote for me as their president," Kenyatta said, "I will be able to handle the issue of clearing my name, while ensuring the business of government continues and our manifesto and agenda for Kenya is implemented. " - AP

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