WORLD IN BRIEF
Saturday, July 3, 2004; Page A24
Sudan's President Says He Will Stop Militias
KHARTOUM, Sudan -- Sudan's president promised to send troops to stop militia violence that has forced more than 1 million people from their homes in the western state of Darfur, a Sudanese official said Friday after a meeting with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.
Annan arrived in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, after visiting Sudanese refugees at a camp in Chad on a tour aimed at pressing the government of Lt. Gen. Omar Hassan Bashir to end the 16-month conflict.
In particular, the U.N. chief wanted Bashir to make good on promises to disarm the Janjaweed, an Arab militia blamed for attacks on thousands of African villagers in Darfur.
"My message is simple, violence must stop," Annan told reporters after meeting Bashir in Khartoum's heavily guarded military headquarters. "The Janjaweed must be stopped and a cease-fire must be respected by all."
Annan described his talks with the Sudanese leader as "very constructive discussions, very important political talks" on the "deplorable" situation in Darfur.
• ROME -- Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti resigned following a meeting of senior coalition partners, Italian government sources said Saturday.
The decision to quit Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's cabinet came after weeks of fighting within the coalition over economic policy. The fighting has threatened to tear apart the center-right administration. A government source said that Berlusconi was taking over the role of economy minister on an interim basis.
• DINANT, Belgium -- A suspected French serial killer admitted on Friday to killing two more girls, bringing to nine the number of victims in what prosecutors said was a methodical confession that prompted police to reopen decades-old cases.
Belgium said it was willing to send Michel Fourniret, 62, back to France this weekend to help French police as they begin digging for bodies at Fourniret's former chateau near Sedan, more than 60 miles northeast of Paris.
Fourniret, who has been in custody in the Belgian town of Dinant since last year for trying to kidnap a girl, began confessing this week to a string of murders after his estranged wife said he told her he was going out hunting for virgins.
• HONG KONG -- Rejecting Hong Kong's demands for full democracy, China said Saturday it will stick by a decision made in April ruling out the direct election of the territory's next leader.
"The National People's Congress had made a final decision," said Li Gang, deputy head of Beijing's liaison office in Hong Kong, responding to a massive, peaceful pro-democracy march held in Hong Kong on Thursday. "As the top judicial authority, its decisions cannot be changed, so to try to attempt something that's impossible is irrational."
© 2004 The Washington Post Company