1,000 Tanzanians cheer on Olympic torch during flame’s stop in Africa

>DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (AP) – About 1,000 people cheered and marched with a team of 80 athletes and a Cabinet minister participating Sunday in the Tanzania leg of the Olympic torch relay, the flame’s only stop in Africa.

Officials have said that they do not expect any of the disruptions that have hit other torch runs in the world. Kenyan Nobel Peace laureate Wangari Maathai, however, pulled out of the relay in Tanzania to protest China’s human rights record.

Vice President Ali Mohamed Shein lit the Olympic torch, passing it on to Cabinet minister Mohamed Seif Khatib, who led the relay team from the city’s main train station the main stadium, about three miles away.

The crowd that marched behind the relay team waved miniature Olympic flags and chanted in the national language Kiswahili, “We are happy the torch came to Tanzania,” and “We are glad to receive it.”

The torch’s 85,000-mile, 20-nation global journey is the longest in Olympic history, and is meant to build excitement for the Beijing Games. But it also has been targeted by activists angered over China’s human rights record.