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Health

South Sudan Hopes Needs Will Be Met by New Government

Southern Sudanese are eagerly awaiting the official results from a referendum earlier this month that is expected to bring independence to the region after five decades of struggle.  The autonomous regional government that is part of a six-year-old peace agreement with the north has begun reconstruction, but south Sudan's needs are immense.  One...

Somalia Called Chronic Catastrophe

Somalia has been mired in conflict for the past 20 years.  It is home to one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters, with millions needing food assistance and hundreds of thousands displaced. U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Mark Bowden is visiting the country this week, stopping Tuesday in Garrowe, capital of the Puntland region. He...

South African Lesbians Targeted for Rape and Violence

In South Africa, lesbians are often targeted for rape and violence in a phenomenon some perpetrators call corrective rape – indicating they believe a lesbian’s sexual orientation can be changed through rape and violence.In April 2008, Eudy Simelane, star of Banyana Banyana, South Africa’s female national soccer squad, was gang raped, beaten and...

Mugabe: Reports of Health Problems 'Naked Lies'

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe said reports that he had surgery in Malaysia are, in his words, "naked lies" put forth by Western-sponsored media.The president, who turns 87 next month, returned to Harare from a trip abroad late Sunday.During an interview with state television, Mugabe said he had been on an annual vacation in Singapore, and...

Southern Sudanese Returning From North Challenge Regional Government, Aid Groups

As vote tabulation nears an end in southern Sudan, preliminary results indicate voters are likely to choose overwhelmingly to separate from the rest of Sudan in order to form an independent state.  Whatever the outcome, southern Sudanese leaders face many challenges.  One is the arrival of thousands of southern Sudanese from the north.  River...

UNICEF Targets Yellow Fever in Ivory Coast

The United Nations Children's Fund is kicking off a yellow fever vaccination campaign in Ivory Coast  despite growing instability and hostility to U.N. staff following a disputed presidential election in November. UNICEF plans to vaccinate more than 800,000 adults and children in north-central Ivory Coast against yellow fever over the next week....

WikiLeaks: U.S. Ambassador Condemned Evictions of Botswanan Bushmen

A human rights group says WikiLeaks has released information showing the U.S. ambassador to Botswana condemned the eviction of Bushmen from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Survival International says in 2005, Ambassador Joseph Huggins sent cables to Washington sharply criticizing the Botswanan government, calling the evictions a “special...

Guineans Upbeat over Future with New Leader

As Guinea's first freely-elected president gets to work, hopes are high that his government will tackle the power cuts, lack of running water and rising food prices that continue to make life daily difficult for many Guineans. The election of Guinea's new president, veteran opposition leader Alpha Conde, on Nov. 7 was billed as the country's first...

Nigerian Presidential Candidates Campaign on Economy

Presidential candidates in Nigeria are promising to create more jobs and attract more outside investment by improving infrastructure. Unemployment is a big issue in Africa's most populous nation. So presidential candidates are campaigning hard on the economy with opposition parties criticizing the government for failing to use Nigeria's vast oil...

Niger Malnutrition Remains High, Despite Record Harvest

-- In Niger, a country that has faced food crises in recent years, has had a recorded harvest.  However, despite that good news, a new report says malnutrition rates remain very high. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Program have issued a joint assessment on Niger.  It follows a massive humanitarian operation last year...

Kenya Benefits from $100 million Health Project

Health Services in eastern and central Kenya are getting a big boost through a new $100 million dollar program.  The U.S. development agency, USAID, has awarded the funds to an international non-profit organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University. For the past four years, Jhpiego has led a nearly $34 million program in eastern Kenya...

Niger Former President Tandja Mamadou Jailed

Niger Former President Tandja Mamadou Jailed As Niger launched campaigning ahead of presidential and legislative elections on January 31, the ruling junta revealed that former president Mamadou Tandja has been jailed on allegations of corruption. Radio France Internationale reports that Tandja has been accused on many counts of embezzlement of public funds and was transferred to prison on...

Tunisian Analyst: Crisis Opportunity for Fresh Start to Democracy

A program manager at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at California’s Stanford University told VOA many Tunisians see the ongoing crisis as an opportunity to make a fresh start towards democracy after years of dictatorship. Lina Khatib, manager of the Program on Good Governance and Political Reform in the Arab World said...

Tunisia's Interim President, PM Quit Ruling Party

State media reports from Tunisia say the country's interim president and prime minister have resigned from the ruling party of ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The reports say President Fouad Mebazza and Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi quit the Democratic Constitutional Rally party but will retain their posts in running the country. The...

Sudan: Blue Nile State Weighs its Future

Sudan’s Blue Nile State did not take part in the just completed independence referendum in Southern Sudan.  Technically part of the north, its sympathies often sided with the south during the long civil war.  Now, its residents are wondering what their relationship with the Khartoum government will be if the south breaks away. Irish Journalist...