Famine imminent in Mozambique Mozambique will need more than a million tons of food aid next year to avert mass starvation, according to the government and the United Nations.

A report presented to the World Bank said ``massive, direct emergency assistance is required now.'' Half the country's estimated 16.3 million population faces starvation or serious deprivation, it said.

Nearly 2 million of those people needing food aid are displaced within the country as a result of Maputo's 15-year-old bush war against rebels of the right-wing Mozambique National Resistance Movement, who have been fighting to topple the government. The rest of those threatened with starvation are urban and rural people with money to spend but little or no food to buy, the report said.

Somalian talks postponed indefinitely

Peace talks between the Somalian government and five rebel groups scheduled to start in Cairo Dec. 11 have been postponed indefinitely, Egypt said last weekend.

Leaders of the rebel groups said in Rome last week that they would boycott the talks because of a crackdown by their government's military.

``In light of contacts with Somalian parties, in which they expressed their desire for a postponement, it was agreed with Italy they should be postponed,'' Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Boutros Boutros Ghali told reporters.

Egypt and Italy (the former colonial ruler of Somalia), were due to have mediated in the talks aimed at ending 12 years of civil war in Somalia. The government of President Mohammed Siad Barre ordered a crackdown last week to combat unrest in Mogadishu, the capital. Somali hospital sources said last week more than 50 people had been killed in five days of fighting between rival clans.

Angola moves toward multiparty rule

Angola's ruling party endorsed proposals on Dec. 8 to bring in multiparty rule after 15 years of government by the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the state news agency reported. The MPLA's 700-member party congress, meeting this week to discuss proposals by the Central Committee, approved a plan to revise the Constitution to institute a multiparty state.

President Jose Eduardo dos Santos would continue as head of state and MPLA party leader until a law allowing the formation of political parties was agreed upon, the news agency said. The law should be ready by next March.

The United States-backed National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), which has fought the Luanda government since independence from Portugal in 1975, said this week it would sign a cease-fire if the party congress approved multiparty rule. Mr. dos Santos acknowledged errors in 15 years of Marxism and said he was convinced the party would embrace democracy.

New ruler consolidates control of Chad

Iddriss Deby, Chad's new military ruler, declared himself president on Dec. 4, three days after chasing out the government of President Hissene Habr'e.

Mr. Deby, the former Chadian military commander who invaded the central African desert state Nov. 10, said that the executive committee of his Libyan-backed Patriotic Salvation Movement had become the Council of State and that he had become president of the Council.

On national radio, Deby described Habr'e's seven-year rule as a dictatorship under which ``people did not have the right to think.''

France was accused by a former Habr'e minister of plotting to overthrow the Habr'e government. On Dec. 3, Deby dissolved the National Assembly and suspended the Constitution.

In Paris, French Defense Minister Jean-Pierre Chev`enement said 40 percent of the equipment used by rebels to take control of the country over the weekend was supplied by Libya.

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