Africa

Saif al-Islam: Libya gave money to Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign

The son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi says Libya helped finance the campaign of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and now wants the money back. Saif al-Islam Gadhafi has told France-based Euronews television that Libyan funds were poured into Sarkozy's 2007 campaign so France could help the Libyan people. But he said Sarkozy has disappointed them. Gadhafi said Libya has documentary evidence of the contributions and is ready to reveal everything

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Nigeria warned over rise in pre-election violence

Amnesty International has urged the Nigerian authorities to act to stem a rising tide of political, ethnic and religious violence that risks threatening the stability of April elections. The short report entitled Loss of life, insecurity and impunity in the run up to Nigeria’s elections highlights how hundreds of people have been killed in politically-motivated, communal and sectarian violence across Nigeria ahead of presidential and parliamentary polls

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Nigeria: MEND takes responsibility for blast in delta

Nigerian militant group Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta has claimed responsibility for an attack Tuesday on an oil facility in the Niger Delta. MEND, which is the main militant group in southern Nigeria, said in a statement e-mailed to the media Wednesday that its fighters had carried out the attack on the Clough Creek oil platform

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Ivory Coast: Aid Agencies Struggle to Help Displaced

It’s estimated that between 300,000 and 400,000 people have been displaced by the political turmoil and fighting in Ivory Coast. Humanitarian agencies and NGOs are stretched thin trying to help. Tens of thousands of refugees have crossed the border into Liberia, seeking shelter in villages and camps run by the United Nations. Tuesday, the aid agency Oxfam flew in emergency supplies to help Ivorian refugees there

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Liberia: Prince Johnson Back on Campaign Trail

Liberian Senator Prince Y. Johnson, one of the leading candidates in this year’s presidential election, says he’s back on the campaign trail after reports indicated he had been nearly paralyzed from a stroke. Johnson, noted for the capture and murder of President Samuel Doe during Liberia’s civil war, says the issue of his illness was exaggerated by the local press

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HRW, Nigerian Lawyers Seek Crackdown on Political Violence

Violent, rigged elections have been the norm in Nigeria since 1999 when the country moved from military to civilian rule. Election-related violence killed at least 300 people during the last nationwide poll in 2007, which was so marked by voter intimidation and ballot stuffing that it was rejected by many national and international observers

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US Chamber of Commerce Sees Investment Opportunities in Africa

Ethiopia, Kenya and Ghana all have investment opportunities for the U.S. business community, according to Scott Eisner of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Eisner, who heads the group’s Africa Business Initiative, led a delegation to the three countries in early March. He says the countries all offer market potential for infrastructure investments

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Ethiopia Charges 130 Muslims in Church Burning Incidents

Police in Ethiopia have arrested 130 people described as religious extremists in connection with a series of church burnings in a Muslim-majority area. Tensions are simmering in a region where Muslims and Christians have lived side by side for generations. Several U.S.-based Christian websites say Muslim extremists burned dozens of churches near Jimma town in the western Oromia region over the past several days

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Charles Taylor Defense Says War Crimes Trial Politically Motivated

Defense attorneys for former Liberian president Charles Taylor say his war crimes trial is politically motivated and should include Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Taylor's defense has begun its closing arguments in a trial that has lasted more than three years. Defense attorney Courtenay Griffiths says Taylor is the victim of "selective prosecution" for his alleged role in helping to arm rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone because Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was equally involved

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ICC Summons 6 Kenya Violence Suspects

The International Criminal Court says it will summon six suspects accused of planning the deadly violence that followed Kenya's disputed presidential election in 2007. ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo named the six suspects in December and asked them to appear voluntarily at the Hague-based court. The six include three government ministers and a former police chief

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Liberia Peace Threatened by Ivory Coast Conflict

An official of a US-based non-profit group says her organization and Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf are concerned the escalating violence in Ivory Coast and the refugees it generates could undermine Liberia’s fragile peace. The number of refugees flowing into neighboring Liberia increased dramatically last week from 40, 000 to 70,000, according to UN and aid agencies sources

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British soldiers captured in Libya

Britain'sSunday Times reports Libyan rebel forces have captured as many as eight British special forces soldiers and a junior diplomat in the east of the country, TheTimes said the unit was on a covert mission to put the diplomat in touch with rebel leaders. The British Foreign Ministry would “neither confirm not deny” the report

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Somalia Goverment Claims Control of Border Town

Somali officials say pro-government forces have retaken control of a border town from al-Shabab militants, after several hours of heavy fighting. The officials said Saturday that security forces and government-friendly militia have seized Belet Hawo on the Kenyan border. A military official told the Reuters news service that 20 militants were killed in the fighting

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Ivory Coast: Ouattara to Attend AU Meeting in Ethiopia

Ivory Coast's internationally recognized leader, Alassane Ouattara, says he will attend an upcoming meeting of African Union leaders in Ethiopia in the latest bid to resolve the country's political crisis. Mr. Ouattara said Saturday he has accepted an invitation to travel to Addis Ababa for the meeting on Thursday

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