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Zimbabwe lifts ban on international aid groups

Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe has lifted a ban on aid groups working there, imposed ahead of the country's controversial presidential run-off election. President Robert Mugabe's government ordered a suspension on all field operations by international humanitarian agencies and private volunteer organizations working in the southern African country nearly...

Joint Navy warships start patrols off Somali coasts

USA: The US Naval Central Command has ordered Coalition naval forces to establish a 'Maritime Security Patrol Area' in the Gulf of Aden to protect merchant shipping. Navy warships will patrol the area with aircraft support, under the command of Commodore Bob Davidson of the Canadian Navy. The move comes following last week's spate of hijackings...

Australia police begins hunt for journalist in Somalia

Australia: Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Foreign Affairs staff have arrived in Nairobi to help consulate staff trying to free Australian photojournalist Nigel Brennan, who was kidnapped in Somalia on Saturday. A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said the Australian government was pursuing all appropriate...

Philippines plans to ban seaman's movement in prone areas

Manila: The Philippines is looking into the possibility of banning Filipino seafarers from boarding ships that will pass through "pirate-prone" areas, the country's foreign secretary said on Tuesday. The Department of Foreign Affairs might review the contracts of seamen who board on vessels that are vulnerable to sea robberies, Secretary...

Somali president vows to free foreign journalists

Addis Ababa: Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed said Tuesday all steps were being taken to free two foreign journalists and their local fixer seized in the war-riven country at the weekend. "We are undertaking every possible measure for their release, including negotiations. We are confident that they will be released very soon,"...

Piracy off Somalia coast difficult to stop: DFA

Philippine: A ranking official of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) admitted Monday that the abduction of Filipino seamen in Somalia is difficult to stop but the Philippine government is now looking for ways to avoid kidnappings. The admission came amid reports that one of the Filipino seamen aboard a Malaysian vessel hijacked last week off...

Central Somalia needs urgent aid: UN

Nairobi (Kenya): The UN children's fund (UNICEF) said on Saturday that a recent conflict in the town of Belet Weynein central Somalia needs humanitarian response due to massive displacement of people. UNICEF said in a statement that over the past several weeks, fighting intensified in Belet Weyne between the Ethiopian forces and anti-government...

AU welcomes Somali deal, fighting continues

Somalia: The African Union said on Thursday a pact between Somalia's government and some opposition figures was a very significant step, but fighting in the southern port of Kismayu dented hopes of a breakthrough. President Abdullahi Yusuf's interim administration signed the peace agreement on Monday at U.N.-led talks in Djibouti. The deal, which...

Somali insurgents threaten to kill foreigners

Somalia: Somali rebels threaten to launch deadly raids against foreign troops, slamming a peace accord between opposition leaders and the government. Al-Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Mukhtar Ali Robow Abu Mansur told reporters that his men were planning heavy attacks on Ugandan and Burundi soldiers in Mogadishu, Press TV report said. Mukhtar said his...

Britain ready to venture with Nigeria in energy sector

Lagos: Britain has expressed its readiness to collaborate with Nigeria for the development of the nation's energy sector, reported by Channels TV news on Wednesday. Malcolm Wicks, British secretary of Energy, stated this in Abuja on Tuesday at meeting with Nigeria's minister of energy Odein Ajumogobia and observed that many countries around the...

Turkey slams terror attack in Algeria

Ankara: Turkey on Wednesday strongly condemned the abhorrent terrorist attack in Algeria which took place on Tuesday and claimed more than 40 lives and left many others wounded. Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement, "in all its contacts at multilateral, regional and bilateral levels, Turkey has been stressing in the strongest terms...

Kenya to tie with US in anti-terror war

Nairobi: The Kenyan government said on Wednesday it will partner with the United States in the fight against terrorism, saying the global war against the vice can only be combated through intelligence sharing. Internal Security Minister George Saitoti said the east African country which has twice been hit by terror attacks will strengthen ties...

EU, US condemn suicide attack in Algeria

Brussels: The European Union's French presidency condemned on Tuesday bomb attacks in Algeria as "wanton and barbarous terrorist attacks." Meanwhile, the United States condemned on Tuesday a suicide bombing attack near a military school at Issers in eastern Algeria, in which 43 people were killed, and 45 others wounded. "The...

Somali pirates hijack Malaysian tanker

Kuala Lumpur: Armed pirates have seized a Malaysian tanker carrying palm oil and more than 20 crew members in the Gulf of Eden off the coast of Somalia, the fourth such hijacking in a month, a global maritime watchdog said Wednesday. Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur, said the center...

SADC eye new economic era, launches Free Trade Area

Johannesburg: The Southern African Development Community (SADC) officially launched here on Sunday the Free Trade Area (FTA), ushering in a new era of economic integration in the region. FTA was launched under the theme "SADC Free Trade Area for Growth, Development and Wealth Creation." The launch is supposed to lead to the...