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Ministers Resign From Tunisia's New Government

Three ministers have resigned from Tunisia's day-old coalition government.Officials with the country's main labor union, the UGTT, announced Tuesday that the group's three ministers were withdrawing because the union has decided it will not recognize the new government. One resigning minister had been appointed to head training and employment. The...

Zimbabwe’s Justice System Again Under Scrutiny

Zimbabwe Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku last week warned the executive to desist from trying to interfere with the judiciary. Judge Chidyausiku’s remarks, at the opening of the 2011 legal calendar, has caused concern in Zimbabwe’s legal fraternity as many say the public does not regard higher court judges as impartial. Lawyers say Judge...

South Sudan Officials Prepare for Referendum Result

As vote tabulation proceeds in southern Sudan’s independence referendum, its leaders are preparing for the day when the final results are in. Officials say whether the region chooses to separate or remain part of Sudan they face vast challenges. The head of United Nations in southern Sudan, David Gressly, arrived in the region before the north and...

New Tunisian Government to Form, Despite Violence

Tunisia's prime minister is expected to announce a new coalition government Monday, a day after the country's special forces fought heavy gunbattles with loyalists of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.In a brief statement on state television Sunday, Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi said a new national unity government would "most certainly...

Zimbabwe President Undergoes Prostate Surgery

Diplomats and Zanu-PF sources say Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, who turns 87 next month, is in a hospital in Malaysia after a prostate operation.According to diplomatic and political sources in Harare, Mugabe had medical examinations while on his annual holiday earlier this month in Malaysia. He returned home to Harare, but his prostate...

North and South Sudan: Challenge of Forming Cooperative Ties

    A political expert on Sudan compares the formal break-up of the country to a delicate medical operation. "The situation between north and south is like [separating] Siamese twins. Any surgical mistakes could destroy both of them, " says El Moiz Abunura, a political consultant on Sudan and former senior economist in the Ministry of Energy....

South Africa Delays Deportation of Zimbabwean Migrants

The South African government says it is extending its deadline for deporting irregular Zimbabwean migrants until July 31. The Geneva-based International Organization for Migration says it welcomes this extension and is ready to assist Zimbabweans who are forced to leave South Africa. South Africa says the moratorium for deporting irregular...

Juba University Struggles to Build Capacity for Southern Sudan’s Reconstruction

Southern Sudanese are voting this week in a referendum that will decide whether the south will secede from Sudan and become a new nation. No matter what the decision is, the authorities in the vast territory face the staggering task of reconstruction after decades of war and neglect. VOA reports from the University of Juba on the challenges facing...

UN Warns Sudan Referendum Puts Children at Risk

The U.N. Children’s Fund warns Sudanese children are at high risk of becoming separated from families who leave their homes to take part in southern Sudan’s independence referendum.  UNICEF says children are particularly vulnerable during large-scale population movements such as the one occurring right now in the Sudan. The UN Children’s Fund...

UNICEF Appeals for Children and Women in Ivory Coast

The United Nations Children’s Fund is appealing for more than $20 million to provide life-saving assistance to tens of thousands of children and women affected by the post-election crisis in the Ivory Coast and five neighboring countries.  The funds will support humanitarian operations in the region over the next three months. The United Nations...

As Referendum Nears, Thousands Face a Difficult Path Home to Southern Sudan

Hundreds of southerners are stranded in camps near the edge of Khartoum. They’ve been stuck there for more than three weeks waiting for the Government of Southern Sudan to provide them with transport to go back home ahead of the independence referendum next week. Those stranded near the town of Mayo, 25 km south of Khartoum, say that they don't...

Sudan: Humanitarian Crisis Worsens in South

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) says the humanitarian crisis in southern Sudan is growing worse, as the referendum for independence nears. The group says there’s been a steady stream of southern Sudanese returning home from the north and neighboring countries.  But they’re often settling in areas already facing shortages of basic...

Nearly 22,000 Ivoirians Have Fled to Liberia

Almost 22,000 people have now fled Ivory Coast for neighboring Liberia.  Most have crossed the border into Nimba County.  Refugees began leaving Ivory Coast in late November as the political crisis in their homeland worsened. The U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) says it’s stepping up efforts to help them. “The influx is still going on,” says Ibrahima...

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...