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Somalia's Birthday Gift: A Night Without Violence

Somalia marked 51 years of independence late Thursday with a midnight flag-raising ceremony at the presidential palace in Mogadishu. The government says it was the most peaceful independence ceremony it has ever held, while Somalis in Nairobi ask what there is to celebrate. <!--IMAGE--> July 1 marks the day when two Somali regions, formerly...

Sudan after Comprehensive Peace Agreement

On July 9, Sudan splits in two, with the south becoming an independent nation. Once that happens, how should the international community interact with northern and southern Sudan? A new report from 22 international NGOs tries to answer that question. Beyond the Pledge: International Engagement after Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement was...

Hundreds of Protesters Converge on Cairo's Main Square

Hundreds of protesters are rallying in Cairo's Tahrir Square demanding quick trials for ousted figures from the former regime of President Hosni Mubarak.Egyptian media say organizers are calling the gathering "Friday of Retribution'' - a reference to their perceived slow pace of justice in Egypt under interim military rulers.The demonstrations...

Libyan Rebel Strategy Depends on Outside Military Help

The admission by French officials that they have supplied weapons to rebels in western Libya could help explain the opposition's recent territorial gain. The advance has been one of the few breakthroughs in the rebels' fight against the government's professional army.  The rebel leadership has spent four months trying to form a cohesive plan to...

Senegal Child Help Hotline Offers Safety for Victims of Abuse

A child help hotline in Senegal provides around-the-clock counseling and protection for young people suffering physical or emotional harm. The free phone service is working to help vulnerable children from across West Africa.At Dakar’s Ginddi Center for children in difficulty there has not been electricity for most of the week, something of the...

The Case of Rachid Nini: A Test of Press Freedom in Morocco

A leading Moroccan rights lawyer was recently in Washington to bring U.S. attention to the case of a controversial newspaper publisher now serving a one year jail sentence apparently for exposing alleged government corruption and repression. The case coincides with an upcoming constitutional referendum, part of reforms promised by King Mohammed VI...

Crowdmapping Arab Spring: Next Social Media Breakthrough?

VOA Middle East Voices: Behind the Wall- Syria crowdmap Six months ago, if someone told you that activists in the Middle East would use social media platforms to revolutionize - literally - the way information is used and disseminated, you probably would have been skeptical. Six months later, Twitter and Facebook have played a crucial role in...

China Hosts Alleged War Criminal, Sudanese President Bashir

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir is visiting China for talks with top officials. In a news conference after his arrival Tuesday, Chinese officials defended the visit by a leader wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir arrived in Beijing early Tuesday morning, nearly one day later than...

Eastern Zimbabwe Plantations Face Grim Future

Zimbabwe’s eastern Manicaland Province may have taken the hardest blows from President Robert Mugabe’s 11 years of seizures of land from white farmers.  .  In eastern Zimbabwe, years of neglect have left many plantations that once produced avocados, macademia nuts, coffee and timber in a pitiful state. These crops take up to 12 years from planting...

Sudan's President Praises China Ahead of Delayed Visit to Beijing

China says a controversial visit to Beijing by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has been delayed, forcing the postponement of a scheduled meeting Monday with President Hu Jintao.The planned four-day visit has been condemned by human rights groups because of China's refusal to arrest Mr. Bashir on warrants issued by the International Criminal...

Cameroon Electoral Chief ‘Impressed’ With Voter Registration

The chairman of the Electoral Board of Elections Cameroon [ELECAM] says he is impressed with the number of voters registered for next October’s general elections, despite what he called a “timid” start. Samuel Fonkam said the electoral body is continuing to look for better ways to compile a credible voter list, a process that’s scheduled to end on...

Zimbabwe Legislator Accused of Infecting Journalist With HIV-AIDS

A Zimbabwe legislator was arrested Tuesday, accused of infecting a state journalist with HIV-AIDS.Legislator Siyabonga Malandu Ncube turned himself in Tuesday at the Bulawayo Central Police Station, accompanied by his lawyer, Mlweli Ndlovu.Earlier, reports emerged in Zimbabwe media that a journalist working for the pro-Zanu-PF Chronicle newspaper...

China, Libyan Rebels Hold More Talks

Libya National Transitional Council Chairman Mahmud Jibril arrived in Beijing at noon Tuesday for two days of talks with anxious Chinese leaders keen to see an end to the bloody conflict.Beijing has important economic interests in the North African state, including much needed oil that helps keep China's economic boom going.Jibril is expected to...

Libya Says Civilians Killed in NATO Confirmed Airstrike

NATO said Monday it carried out an airstrike on a "high-level" command center in Libya, while the government said the strike destroyed a large family compound belonging to a close associate of leader Moammar Gadhafi.The alliance had at first denied the strike, saying it had not conducted any recent operations in the area of Surman, about 65...

Corruption Puts Kenya’s Educational Funding at Risk

With tens of millions of dollars already missing in Kenya’s Ministry of Education, the corruption scandal currently rocking Kenya’s schools threatens to cost the country millions more. With efforts to reform Kenya’s notoriously corrupt public sector ongoing, 2011 has already seen its share of scandals ripple through Nairobi and the halls of the...