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Togo votes for a new president LOME: Togo votes for a new president on Saturday, with the incumbent Faure Gnassingbe seeking a third term in office to extend his family's grip on power into a second half-century.Polling stations in the tiny West African nation open at 0700 GMT, with some 9,000 police and soldiers on patrol, and with borders shut until Sunday morning for security reasons.Gnassingbe, 48, has been in power since the death of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, in 2005, winning contested elections that year and five years later.Fears of election-linked violence are still fresh in the memory in Togo after some 500 people were killed and thousands more injured in the disputed 2005 vote, according to the UN.The government announced the closure of land borders from 2100 GMT on Friday until 0600 GMT on Sunday "to ensure optimal security conditions" for the elections.Armoured military vehicles were seen in the streets of the capital, Lome, ...
Ebola retreat brings cheer to Sierra Leone chimps FREETOWN: In the rising afternoon humidity 30-year-old Tom sits in the shade, picking fleas off his neighbour, unaware of how close he came to losing his home to Ebola.Tom is a chimpanzee -- one of around 5,500 in Sierra Leone for whom the tropical fever poses as deadly a threat as it does to humans.His rainforest sanctuary in the verdant hills around the capital Freetown suddenly found itself forced to close in August last year ...
South African anti-immigrant attacks spread to downtown Johannesburg JOHANNESBURG: Twelve people were arrested overnight as anti-foreigner attacks in South Africa spread to parts of downtown Johannesburg, police said Friday."Twelve suspects were arrested for trying to break into foreign-owned shops," said police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini. It was the latest incident in a wave of immigrant-targeted violence that began earlier this month in the port city of Durban, leaving at least six people dead.According to local reports, the protesters from a local hostel ...
Billion dollar wildlife and gold trade fuelling DR Congo war: UN NAIROBI: Smuggling of ivory, gold and timber worth over a billion dollars a year is fuelling war by funding dozens of rebel groups in Democratic Republic of Congo, a UN report warned on Friday."Militarised criminal groups with transnational links are involved in large-scale smuggling" of "gold, minerals, timber, charcoal and wildlife products such as ivory" of up to $1.3 billion (1.2 billion euros) each year from eastern DRC, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said.The revenues ...
Somali Shebab kill 15 in education ministry attack MOGADISHU: Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militants on Tuesday blasted their way into the higher education ministry with a car bomb before storming the building, killing 15 people.Police and witnesses said the car bomb caused a huge explosion which allowed the gunmen to force their way into the fortified building.Ambulance officials said at least 15 people were killed and 20 wounded in the attack.Six Shebab gunmen were also killed, with two of those blowing themselves up, internal ...

 





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