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Mali hotel siege ends, hostages freed BAMAKO: Malian special forces backed by French soldiers ended the siege of a hotel in central Mali early on Saturday, freeing four hostages being held there by suspected militants, a defence ministry spokesman said."It seems to be over and it has ended well," said Colonel Diaran Kon?. "We freed the four hostages. But unfortunately we also found three bodies at the site."He did not give the nationalities of the freed hostages or the dead. Ukraine and Russia previously confirmed that their citizens were among the hostages. On Saturday Russian news agencies, citing a press attache at Moscow's embassy in Mali, said a Russian hostage who works for the airline UTair was among those freed.South African and French nationals are also believed to be staying at the hotel, Malian military officials have said.Gunmen attacked the Byblos Hotel used by UN staff in the town of Sevare, around 600 km (400 miles) ...

Ivory Coast election to be 'peaceful', vows president ABIDJAN: Ivory Coast's presidential election will take place in a "peaceful climate", President Alassane Ouattara said Thursday in Abidjan, ahead of October 25 polls seen to be crucial for stability after a decade of political and military crisis."I am committed to ensuring that these elections be free, open, transparent and democratic," Ouattara said in a national address on the eve of celebrations set for Friday marking the 55th anniversary of independence from France. "I will ...
S.Africa's mining sector in trouble, economics minister says JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's mining sector is in "trouble" as it struggles with widespread job losses and lower commodity prices, Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel said on Wednesday.President Jacob Zuma's government was due to hold an urgent meeting with mining houses and trade unions later in the day after companies announced they would have to retrench workers to counter high costs."The mining industry is in trouble," Patel said on Talk Radio 702, citing the recent ...
Breakthrough in quest for Ebola vaccine PARIS: An Ebola test vaccine provided blanket protection in a field trial in Guinea, researchers said on Friday, possibly heralding "the beginning of the end" for the devastating West African outbreak that has killed thousands.The serum was 100 percent effective after a week in more than 7,600 people inoculated, according to results published in The Lancet medical journal and hailed as "extremely promising" by World Health Organization (WHO) chief Margaret Chan.The world was "on the ...
Female suicide bomber blows herself up in NE Nigeria market KANO: A female suicide bomber blew herself up Friday at a big market in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri, a vigilante and a witness said."There had been a suicide attack on Gamboru market this morning. It was a female suicide bomber. The attack happened around 6:30 am (0530 GMT) as the grocers were arriving in the market which starts early," said the vigilante, Babakura Kolo.There is no immediate information on the number of victims, ...
Boko Haram fighters behead three in Cameroon raid YAOUNDÉ: Three villagers were beheaded during weekend raids in Cameroon by Boko Haram insurgents from neighbouring Nigeria, who killed another four people in a separate raid overnight, security forces said Monday.The first attack took place on Sunday in the neighbouring villages of Tchebe-Tchebe and Dzaba, about 10 kilometres (six miles) from the Nigerian border, said a security agent based in the region.The beheadings took place in Tchebe-Tchebe.The assailants also set fire to land owned by ...
Burundi presidential vote not credible: UN observers UNITED NATIONS: A United Nations observer mission said Monday that last week's presidential elections in Burundi were relatively peaceful but had not been "an inclusive, free and credible" vote.In a preliminary report, the observers said the vote, which saw President Pierre Nkurunziza re-elected, was marred by violence and obstacles to freedom of expression and the press. Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015 ...


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.378 bln
Exports $2.016 bln
Imports $4.394 bln
WeeklyAugust 27, 2015
Reserves $18.509 bln