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Togo

Higher Fuel Taxes Driving Togolese Motorists to Black Market

Higher fuel taxes in Togo are driving motorists to the black market for gasoline and diesel as service stations lose customers to the illegal trade. A five percent increase in Togolese fuel taxes has created a thriving black market for motorists unwilling to pay the equivalent of $1.24 for a liter of unleaded petrol when that same fuel was...

In Nigeria, Last Main Militant Group in Niger Delta Offers Truce in Exchange for Amnesty

In Nigeria, the last significant militant group in the oil-rich Niger Delta has called for a truce with the government, offering to disband and disarm in exchange for amnesty from prosecution. The Nigeria Delta Liberation Force is a breakaway faction of the main group, MEND, and has been fighting government forces since its leader, John Togo,...

Libya Conflict Could Create Crisis to the South, Analysts Say

Libya's southern neighbors appear ill-equipped to deal with the wave of refugees, mercenaries, and unemployed men that analysts fear is likely to come from the fighting in Libya.  The Niger desert town of Dirkou sits more than 1,600 kilometers due south of Libya's coastline where rebels are fighting with Western support to oust Libyan leader...

Western Ivory Coast Fighting Strands Thousands

As fighting and violence spread in Ivory Coast, areas of safe haven are shrinking. Humanitarian agencies are finding it harder to provide aid or help frightened civilians evacuate to neighboring countries. Many displaced people are now stranded in the west of the country, says Jemini Pandya, spokesperson for the International Organization for...

US Group Helps Africa's War-Affected Women

The Maryland-based group Women for Democracy and Peace in Africa states as its goals helping African women displaced by violence and encouraging them to take part in politics and peacemaking.Member Rebecca Affi is from Ivory Coast. She is nervously following the intensifying violence in her divided home country, where two men are claiming the...

West Africa Stock Exchange Suspends Ivory Coast Trading

West Africa's regional stock exchange has suspended operations in Ivory Coast because of the country's political crisis. It is the latest in a series of financial closures that deepen the economic impact of the standoff between rival presidents.The regional bourse [stock exchange] is suspending all operations until further notice at its Abidjan...

Mauritania Increasing Attacks Against Suspected Terrorists in Mali

Mauritania says it is stepping up attacks against al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists across the border in Mali after this week's killing of three suspected militants outside the Mauritanian capital. Defense Minister Hamady Ould Hamady says all of the suspected terrorists captured and killed outside Nouakchott this week crossed the border from Mali....

Al-Qaida Claims Kidnapping of French Nationals in Niger

Al-Qaida's North African branch has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping in Niger last week of two French nationals, later found dead in a failed rescue attempt.Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb issued the claim Thursday in an audio message distributed to various media outlets.The group said fighters kidnapped the two Frenchmen from a secured...

Gbagbo Aide Sees New US Sanctions as Unhelpful in Resolving Ivorian Crisis

A special adviser to Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo has described as unfortunate the U.S. decision to freeze the accounts of the embattled leader and his close associates. Ambassador Yao Gnamien told VOA the account freeze will not help resolve the country’s political crisis, which began after the 28th November presidential run-off vote. “It is...

Togo Soccer Team Attacker Sentenced to 24 Years

A court in Angola has sentenced a man accused in a deadly gun attack on the Togolese football team to 24 years in prison.Joao Antonio Puati was convicted Wednesday on charges of armed rebellion in connection with the attack against the team's bus.A second man, Daniel Simba, was acquitted of involvement in the shooting, which killed two team...

Nigerian Military Acknowledges Possible Civilian Casualties in Niger Delta Campaign

A spokesman for Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan told VOA the president is committed to the amnesty program for militants in the Niger Delta. This comes as the Nigerian military acknowledged Sunday that civilians may have been killed during the recent military operation against militants in the oil-rich southern region. Ima Niboro, spokesman...

French Government in Contact with al-Qaida in Mali

A French minister said Tuesday the country is in contact with the kidnappers of seven hostages held by al-Qaida's north African wing in Mali. French Defense Minister Alain Juppe was speaking on French RTL radio. He said there is contact with the kidnappers but he said the best way to make negotiations fail would be to make the contact public....