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Gbagbo Adviser: AU Investigation of Ivorian Crisis Welcomed

A special adviser to embattled Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo said the arrival of African Union (AU) experts to investigate and find ways to resolve the crisis shows, in his words, an indictment and failure of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to end the political impasse. Ambassador Yao Gnamien, who is in New York to seek...

ECOWAS: S. Africa Undermining Ivory Coast Mediation

The president of West Africa's regional alliance says South Africa is undermining efforts to resolve the political crisis in Ivory Coast. South Africa is part of an African Union mediation team that is trying to end the standoff between Ivory Coast's rival presidents by the end of the month.The Economic Community of West African States says...

ECOWAS Spokesman: Divisions Undermine Ivorian Peace Efforts

An official of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has expressed concern that growing divisions among African leaders are undermining the sub-regional body’s efforts to resolve the ongoing crisis in Ivory Coast. Sonny Ugoh, communications director of ECOWAS, said his organization is consulting with its international partners to...

Ethiopian Asylum Seekers Suffocate in Truck in Mozambique

The United Nations refugee agency said it has just recently learned that eight Ethiopian asylum seekers died February 2 from suffocation aboard a closed container truck in Mozambique. The UNHCR reported the men were among a group of 26 young Ethiopians trying to reach South Africa. The UN refugee agency said the Ethiopian asylum seekers had been...

Zimbabwe Economy Hurt by Uncertainty About Indigenization Law

Protests this week in Zimbabwe's capital saw small Nigerian-owned shops looted by President Robert Mugabe’s loyalists, who say their demonstrations were in support of so-called indigenization laws. Politicians and economists say the uncertainty about the laws is harming Zimbabwe's slow economic recovery.A year ago, new laws were published that...

UN Warns Floods Could Lead to Food Shortages in Southern Africa

Heavy rainfall and flooding in of southern Africa have damaged large areas of farmland and crops, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today, warning that communities in poorer parts of the region could experience food shortages in the coming months. "Food insecurity levels are already critical in the affected areas of...

It’s Lesbians vs Police in South African Township

A group of women sing and gyrate outside a police station in Vosloorus, an impoverished township to the east of Johannesburg.  Perspiration pastes the T-shirts they’re wearing to their ebony skins.  The fiery sun reflects off the placards they’re waving, some of which read, “END POLICE HOMOPHOBIA” and “LESBIANS ARE PEOPLE, TOO.” Phumzile Nkosi, a...

Southern Africa May Face Worst Flooding in Decades

In the coming months, parts of southern Africa may experience the worst flooding in the last 20 or 30 years.  That’s the warning Monday from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It says the La Nina weather phenomenon has brought heavier than normal rainfall, destroying thousands of hectares of agricultural land and crops so far.  The...

Kampala’s Haven from Homophobia

In a balmy suburb of Kampala, gay couples gather in a nightclub to escape the tensions of their everyday lives.  They laugh, they hold hands, they embrace, they kiss, they dance under flashing, multicolored strobe lights, they dig into plates of fatty fried chicken. It’s like any other club…except that the patrons are with partners who are of the...

Egypt: Analyst says Long-term Rulers Should Take Heed

The popular uprising in Egypt should serve as a warning to long-time Arab and African leaders, says a University of South Africa professor. Shadrack Gutto, director of the university’s Institute for African Renaissance Studies in Pretoria, says, “One would have wished that the leadership in Egypt took a cue from what happened in Tunisia to be able...

Embassies' Diplomatic Efforts Extend into US Schools

Embassy representatives in Washington, D.C., work regularly with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and U.S. officials at the State Department. Nearly four dozen of them also extend their diplomatic efforts into city schools. They visit hundreds of 5th and 6th graders in D.C. classrooms, as part of the Embassy Adoption Program.Getting to know youIn one...

Africans Debate Wisdom of Expected Secession of Southern Sudan

For some Africans, southern Sudan’s expected independence is a cautionary tale; others see it as a pathway for their regions to gain full sovereignty. According to Bloomberg News, Somaliland’s foreign minister, Mohamed Omar, says his government plans to take a “more aggressive policy toward the African Union in its efforts to gain international...

Technology Catches Up With Rhino Poachers in South Africa

A rhino DNA sample kit is expected to help prosecutors be even tougher on those caught with rhino horns. If DNA tests positively link a horn to a specific rhino carcass, suspects will no longer get away with only a charge of possession, they will also be charged with the illegal hunting of rhino and theft. "DNA evidence can now be used to link...

Former President Nelson Mandela Discharged From Hospital

Former President Nelson Mandela Discharged From Hospital The medical panel attending to former President Nelson Mandela is satisfied with the progress the elder statesman has made to the extent that he has been discharged from hospital. South African National Defence Force Surgeon General Vejaynand Ramlakan announced on Friday that the 92-year-old was in good spirits, and could return to his Houghton...

Ugandan Woman Claiming to be Gay Faces Deportation from Britain

A Ugandan woman who says she's a lesbian is facing deportation from Britain on Friday in the same week that a gay rights activist, David Kato, was murdered in her country.Brenda Namigadde says she’s a lesbian and has sought asylum in Britain. But Britain’s Home Office says she’s “not homosexual” and so doesn’t have a valid claim. She’s do to fly...