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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...

Internet Powers Tunisian Protests

The grassroots demonstrations that ousted Tunisian strongman Zine el Abidine Ben Ali were fueled by a young, Internet-savvy generation of bloggers. But can this so-called cybernet revolt be a model for the Arab world?  It is being called the Jasmine Revolution; but some call it the Facebook Revolution. Tweets, e-mails and blog posts mobilized...

Western Zambian Province Said Calm after Secessionist Clashes

The minister for Zambia’s Western Province told VOA the situation in the region is calm following Friday’s deadly clashes between police and activists, who were demanding secession because they say the Zambian government has not done enough to respect some provisions of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964. That agreement brought Northern Rhodesia...

Former Tunisian President Arrives in Saudi Arabia

Tunisia's president fled the country Friday following days of violent protests.  Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi says he has taken over as interim president. Saudi Arabia confirmed early Saturday that Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family had arrived in the kingdom.Mr. Ben Ali was Tunisia's president for 23 years.  He left the country after...

Tunisian President Dismisses Government Amid Protests

Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has dismissed his government and called for early elections in the wake of the country's worst rioting in decades. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports from Tunisia: Tunisia's officialTAP  news agency reported the president's plans Friday, saying Mr. Ben Ali wanted new elections to be held within six months. Fresh...

Tunisian Protesters Challenge President's Grip on Power

A political drama continues to unfold in Tunisia, where thousands of demonstrators marched through the capital Friday demanding the president's resignation. The demonstrations come a day after the president sought to tamp-down the political unrest by pledging not to seek another term in office and to push through political and media reforms. The...

Tunisian Leader Vows to Step Down in 2014

Tunisia's president, struggling to contain deadly riots that have destabilized his authority, has made sweeping pledges for political and media reform and said he will leave office when his term ends in 2014.President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali Thursday also ordered security forces to stop using firearms against demonstrators and slashed prices for...

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...

Nigerian Ruling Party to Choose Presidential Candidate Thursday

An official of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) told VOA the electoral body will monitor the presidential primary of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) scheduled for Thursday ahead of the April presidential vote. Nick Dazan, deputy director for public affairs, said the commission is mandated to monitor the...

Malawi Journalist Reports His Own Arrest

A Malawi journalist who works for a newspaper that publishes scandals involving public figures has confirmed his own arrest.Kandani Ngwira contacted media outlets on Tuesday, saying he had been taken into custody and not told why.Ngwira works for the Weekly Times, a newspaper that the Malawian government tried to ban in November of last year....

Ouattara Offers Ivory Coast Unity Government If Gbagbo Steps Down

Ivory Coast's ambassador to the United Nations says presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara would form a unity government with members of incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo's party, if Gbagbo steps down first.Youssoufou Bamba told British radio Monday that Mr. Gbagbo should recognize Mr. Ouattara as the country's legitimate president. Bamba said...

2 Killed, Hundreds Injured in Algerian Food Riots

Algerian state media says at least two people have been killed and 300 have been injured in rioting over soaring food prices.The country's official press agency reported the deaths Saturday, the first since rioting began late Thursday and Friday.  The news came as fresh rioting erupted across the county and as government officials were due to meet...

Ghana’s President to Take Questions from the Press Friday

A top official said Ghana’s President, John Atta-Mills, will meet members of the media Friday as part of a campaign pledge he made before he was elected two years ago. Korku Anyidoho, communications director of the Office of the President, told VOA President Atta-Mills will address questions about the state of the nation, his governance style, as...

Ivory Coast Crisis Creates Diplomatic Paralysis

The deadlock in Ivory Coast is taking its toll overseas.  Several countries, including France, no longer recognize ambassadors appointed by embattled President Laurent Gbagbo. It is a bitterly cold afternoon.  A few blocks from the Champs Elysees, about 20 Ivorians are crowded in front of a building guarded by French police.  This building is...