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Nigerian Militants Deny Role in Abuja Bombing

Militants in southern Nigeria say they had no role in the bomb that killed at least four people in the capital, Abuja, on New Year's eve.The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, or MEND, denied any involvement in the attack, in a statement e-mailed to reporters late Saturday.MEND had claimed responsibility for another bombing in Abuja...

4 Killed in Blast in Nigerian Capital

Officials in Nigeria say a bomb has exploded at a popular market near an army barracks in the capital, Abuja. A police spokesman said four people died in the blast, while at least 13 were wounded. Nigerian television is reporting some 30 people died in the explosion.  The report has not been confirmed.  Officials say the bomb exploded at the...

Reports: 30 Killed in Blast in Nigerian Capital

Officials in Nigeria say a bomb has exploded at a popular market inside an army barracks in the capital, Abuja. Nigerian television is reporting that at least 30 people died in the explosion.  Police have not confirmed that figure. Officials say the bomb went off inside Mammy market where people were eating and drinking to celebrate New Year's Eve...

UN Says Emergency Levels of Malnutrition in Niger

The United Nations says malnutrition rates in Niger remain above emergency levels despite stronger rains and better harvests. In a country where nearly two-thirds of people faced severe food shortages earlier this year, better rains have led to bigger cereal harvests. But so many subsistence farmers were so deep in debt from last year's failed...

Nigerian Presidential Advisor Resigns to Run for Governor

In Nigeria, an advisor to President Goodluck Jonathan on the volatile Niger Delta region has resigned. Nigeria’s presidency announced Thursday that Timi Alaibe resigned because he wants to run for governor of Bayelsa State, the home state of President Jonathan. Alaibe had been in charge of running the federal government’s amnesty program for...

Media Watchdog Says 2010 Dangerous Year for Journalists

2010 marked another difficult year for the media, with 57 journalists killed and a sharp rise in kidnapped journalists. Our reporter in Paris has more on a new report by media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders. Paris-based Reporters Without Borders says the number of journalists killed in 2010 actually declined 25 percent compared to 2009....

Nigeria’s Niger Delta Called Pacified

As the Nigerian military tries to quell the religious and ethnic violence in Jos in Plateau State, the situation in the Niger Delta is very different.  The oil-rich region known for its violence and kidnappings is now relatively peaceful. VOA reporter Chinedu Offor is on assignment in Nigeria.  From Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, he...

Niger to Begin Campaigning Ahead of January Elections

A prominent member of Niger’s Consultative Council said the country’s political parties will soon begin official campaigning ahead of next year’s presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for 31st January. Bazoum Mohammed, who is also vice president of the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS-Tarayya), the country’s biggest...

Nigeria Drops Bribery Charges Against Former US Vice President

A spokesman for Nigeria's anti-graft agency says the country has dropped bribery charges against former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, for his alleged actions as a top official at energy company Halliburton.The spokesman for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Femi Babafemi, says the charges against Cheney and other executives were...

Niger Looks Toward January Elections After Kidnappings

Insecurity brought on by al-Qaida kidnappings in Niger is threatening to compromise the country's elections, set for January, and its  return to civilian rule.  Elections scheduled for January are meant to return Niger to democratic rule following this year's military coup, but recent al-Qaida terrorist acts have raised security concerns in...

Nigerian Military Says Delta Militant Leader has Handed Over Refugee Camps to Authorities

The Nigerian military says a militant leader in the oil-rich Niger Delta has handed over eight camps to authorities.  Ateke Tom reportedly surrendered the camps in Rivers State over the past few days.  Ateke is one of several militants who have accepted a government amnesty aimed at pacifying the region. Lt. Col Timothy Antigha is spokesman for...

WikiLeaks Revelations Could Have Serious Consequences for Africa, says Analyst

The WikiLeaks website is continuing to publish thousands of United States government secrets on the internet. The classified documents reveal secret correspondence between the US State Department in Washington, DC and its 270 embassies across the globe. The revelations are embarrassing and angering Washington and governments and political leaders...

Gbagbo Rejects Pressure to Leave Power in Ivory Coast

West African leaders are calling on Laurent Gbagbo to step down as president of Ivory Coast, in favor of a former prime minister who won a vote that was certified by the United Nations. Mr. Gbagbo appears determined to hold on to power in the face of international pressure.Gbagbo spent much of the last decade joining fellow West African heads of...

New, Affordable Meningitis Vaccine Debuts in Africa

Health officials say a new, affordable vaccine launched this week in Burkina Faso could eliminate recurring meningitis-A epidemics that have plagued the continent for the past century. Health workers say Meningococcal-A epidemics that hit sub-Saharan Africa every seven to 14 years could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a new, affordable...

WHO Begins Mass Meningitis Vaccination in Burkina Faso

The World Health Organization is introducing a new meningitis vaccine in the West African nation of Burkina Faso.The new vaccine, called MenAfriVac, provides 10 years of immunity against meningococcal A, a potentially fatal disease that infects the lining around the brain and spinal cord. The WHO says the vaccine is the first designed specifically...