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Somali Puntland worried Islamists may move its way NAIROBI: An expected drive to purge Islamist rebels from southern Somalia risks pushing them north into an area at the tip of the Horn of Africa better known for its coastal pirates than al Shabaab insurgents. Semi-autonomous Puntland state, where one-third of Somalia's population lives, needs help from the African peacekeeping force AMISOM to secure its border with southern provinces, its regional president Abdiweli Mohamed Ali said on Wednesday. A new push to rout al Shabaab militants from urban redoubts in southern Somalia has been expected since Ethiopian troops joined AMISOM earlier this year, but it has not yet come. "It is obvious that some (al Shabaab) will seek refuge in the very difficult terrain in Puntland, particularly the Galgala mountains," Ali told Reuters by telephone. He was referring to a small range of mountains where some fighters are operating. Reeling from militant attacks on its doorstep, the central government ...

South African platinum firms reject union revised wage demands JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's platinum producers on Tuesday rejected a revised wage demand from unions now into the sixth week of a crippling strike in Africa's top economy.The radical AMCU union, which represents tens of thousands of platinum workers, had earlier Tuesday appeared to soften their position, saying their hoped-for wage demand could be spread over three years.The 12,500 rand ($1,125) minimum monthly wage "can now be achieved over the three years, not at once," said ...
Rains bring further misery for Central Africa displaced BANGUI: An early start to the rainy season in Central African Republic has worsened the plight of hundreds of thousands of people sheltering from religious violence in makeshift camps, raising the risk of malaria and dysentery, aid workers said on Tuesday. The former French colony has been torn apart by violence that has killed thousands since Seleka, a coalition of mostly Muslim northern rebels, seized power a year ago. Attacks intensified in December when militias ...
Egypt border suspicions hit Tobruk trade TOBRUK: Mutual suspicion with neighbour Egypt threatens to halt a revival in the fortunes of Libya's eastern port of Tobruk, officials there said. New restrictions on travellers and goods passing the nearby land border are hitting container volumes, said Nasser Zgogo, operations manager at the port. "This will have a negative impact," he said. Both countries have sought to limit travellers passing the land border. Egypt is worried that Islamist militants smuggle weapons over the ...
Tunisia's economic woes could become 'catastrophic': PM TUNIS: Tunisian Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa warned Monday that the country's economic woes could become "catastrophic," saying that people will have to make sacrifices. Tunisia's economic recovery since its 2011 "Arab Spring" revolution has been hampered by political instability, social unrest and militants violence."Frankly, the situation is more difficult than we thought," Jomaa said in an interview aired on public television a month after becoming prime minister."We will have to make sacrifices. You can ignore ...
Militants kill 31 more in northeast Nigeria MAIDUGURI: Insurgents have killed at least 31 people in attacks on a village in northeast Nigeria, a state lawmaker said on Monday, a day after 85 were killed in a wave of attacks by suspected militants nearby. Gunmen stormed Mafa village in Borno state at around 8 p.m. (1900 GMT) on Sunday, shooting fleeing civilians and throwing explosives at occupied houses, witness Auwalu Gunda said. Senator Ahmed Zannah said 29 civilians ...
Bouteflika registers for April election ALGIERS: Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the ageing independence veteran who suffered a stroke last year, has registered his candidacy for April's election, the state news agency APS said on Monday. Bouteflika's registration at the Constitutional Council a formal step for his candidacy ended months of speculation over his intentions. But opposition leaders say they believe the president, who just turned 77, is still too ill to govern. Algeria's prime minister had already announced a week ...


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