December 30th, 2013
01:10 PM ET

South Sudan President: Africa should have helped

African nations should have acted quickly to help avoid the bloody fighting that has consumed parts of South Sudan this month, the President of the new country told CNN on Monday.

As soon as an attempted coup took place and violence broke out, "the original leaders and all African leaders should have come in with military support," so that the rebels would be "crushed once and for all," President Salva Kiir said.

However, he said, he did not ask them for help.

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December 18th, 2013
10:30 PM ET

Group: Nearly 1,000 killed in Central African Republic

Nearly 1,000 men were killed over a two-day period this month in the Central African Republic, according to Amnesty International.

The human rights group said Wednesday that war crimes and crimes against humanity are being committed in that country.

"Crimes that have been committed include extrajudicial executions, mutilation of bodies, intentional destruction of religious buildings such as mosques, and the forced displacement of massive numbers of people," said Christian Mukosa, Amnesty International's Central Africa expert.

The country has seen violence and chaos since the Muslim-backed Seleka militia and other rebel groups from the marginalized northeast seized the capital Bangui in March. President Francios Bozize fled to Cameroon, and Michel Djotodia, who had been one of the Seleka leaders, made himself President.

Djotodia later officially disbanded the Seleka, but as many as 15,000 kept their arms and instead continued to wreak havoc in Bangui and elsewhere. They mainly targeted Christian communities, which in turn formed their own vigilante group, the anti-balaka (literally "anti-machete").

Anti-balaka forces staged an early morning attack in the capital on December 5, going door to door in some neighborhoods and killing approximately 60 Muslim men, Amnesty International said.

De facto government forces, known as ex-Seleka, retaliated against Christians, killing nearly 1,000 men over a two-day period, according to the rights group. A small number of women and children also were killed.

In a statement, Amnesty International called for the deployment of a "robust" U.N. peacekeeping force, with a mandate to protect civilians, and enough resources to do so effectively.

"The continuing violence, the extensive destruction of property, and the forced displacement of the population in Bangui are feeding enormous anger, hostility and mistrust," said Mukosa.

"There can be no prospect of ending the cycle of violence until the militias are disarmed and there is proper and effective protection for the thousands of civilians at risk in the country.

Residential neighborhoods must be made safe as an urgent priority in order to allow people to go back to their homes and resume their normal lives."

The Central African Republic is about the size of France and a country rich in resources, including diamonds, gold, timber and ivory. The former French colony has rarely seen political stability or economic growth in the 53 years since it gained independence.

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Filed under: Africa • Central African Republic
December 10th, 2013
11:44 AM ET

Obama, world leaders praise 'giant of history' at Mandela memorial

They gathered in the tens of thousands - presidents, prime ministers, royals, celebrities and ordinary South Africans - all united to say farewell to a man hailed as a global symbol of reconciliation.

In what has been billed as one of the largest gatherings of global leaders in recent history, representatives from around the world joined street sweepers, actors and religious figures to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela.

From President Barack Obama to Cuba's Raul Castro, praise came from all sides in a four-hour memorial service at Johannesburg FNB stadium for the revered statesman, who died Thursday at age 95.

"We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again," Obama said in a speech to roaring cheers.

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Filed under: Africa • World
March 28th, 2013
06:26 PM ET

U.N. to send peacekeepers to DRC

The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Thursday to deploy about 3,100 peacekeepers to a restive region in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the U.N. announced.

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Filed under: Africa • Democratic Republic of Congo • United Nations • World
March 28th, 2013
04:49 PM ET

France to reduce force in Mali

France will cut its troop levels in the west African nation of Mali from 4,000 service members to about 1,000 by the end of the year, French President Francois Hollande said Thursday evening during a live interview with CNN affiliate France 2.

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Filed under: Africa • France • Mali • World
What's behind Central African Republic unrest
March 25th, 2013
03:39 AM ET

What's behind Central African Republic unrest

In just over a day, rebels seized the Central African Republic's capital, forced the president out of the country and declared the nation had "opened a new page in its history."

But no one knows what the next page will say.

Rebels say their takeover opens a bath for peace and democracy.

Yet questions abound over the future of impoverished, landlocked country - and what this uprising means for its 5.1 million residents.

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Filed under: Africa • World
March 24th, 2013
06:34 AM ET

Violence erupts in Central African Republic

The brewing tensions between rebels and the government in the Central African Republic culminated Sunday with the sounds of gunfire the nation's capital.

"We can hear gunfire, and it has been going on for about four hours," U.N. Spokeswoman Uwolowulakana Ikavi said from the U.N. compound in Bangui. "The shooting is apparently fierce. I can't tell if it is the rebels shooting or the government troops."

The country has been on edge since rebel fighters pushed their way into the capital of Bangui and put the government to the brink.

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Filed under: Africa • World
March 19th, 2013
08:55 PM ET

Report: French hostage killed in Mali

A French hostage held in Mali has been executed by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Mauritania's ANI news agency reports.

The agency attributed the information to an AQIM spokesman.

Six other French hostages are still being held in Mali.

French and allied forces, including Malian and Chadian troops, have made significant inroads in recent weeks combating Islamist extremist fighters.

Islamist extremists carved out a large haven in northern Mali last year, taking advantage of a chaotic situation after a military coup by the separatist party MNLA. The militants banned music, smoking, drinking and watching sports on television. They also destroyed historic tombs and shrines.

French involvement in the conflict began on January 11, the day after militants said they had seized the city of Konna, east of Diabaly in central Mali, and were poised to advance south toward Bamako, the capital.

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Filed under: Africa • France • Mali • World
March 16th, 2013
06:06 AM ET

Supporters of defeated Kenyan contender gather outside court

Kenyan police fired teargas Saturday to disperse supporters of Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who lost the presidential election and is expected to file a petition to challenge the poll outcome.
The supporters gathered outside the supreme court in Nairobi, where he is expected to submit his challenge.

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Zimbabweans vote on new constitution before elections
March 16th, 2013
06:04 AM ET

Zimbabweans vote on new constitution before elections

Zimbabweans voted Saturday for a key referendum on a new constitution that limits presidential terms for the first time in the African nation.

Robert Mugabe, 89, has been in power for decades, first serving as prime minister in 1980 and taking over as president seven years later.

"This is a Zimbabwean document to replace a British one. That is why I voted for it," said Babra Mheno, 34, a university student, referring to the nation's former colonial rulers.

If approved, which is highly likely, the constitution will give more powers to the parliament and limit the president's. It also introduces a two-term limit of five years each for a president.

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Filed under: Africa • World • World Update • Zimbabwe
February 2nd, 2013
06:27 AM ET

Hollande visits Mali to thank French troops battling militants

(CNN) - French President Francois Hollande arrived in Mali on Saturday, where his nation's troops are battling Islamist militants alongside African forces.

France is leading an offensive against militants it its former colony. The three-week ground and air campaign has sent militants who had seized the northern region fleeing into the vast desert.

Hollande landed in Sevare accompanied by his defense and foreign ministers, CNN affiliate BFMTV reported.

From there, he joined Malian interim President Dioncounda Traore for a visit to the fabled city of Timbuktu. French-led forces liberated the historical city this week after a yearlong grip by Islamist militants.

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Filed under: Africa • Europe • France • Mali • World
January 27th, 2013
03:08 PM ET

Egypt's Morsy imposes curfew

With violence continuing in pockets of Egypt, President Mohamed Morsy on Sunday night invoked emergency powers by declaring curfews from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. in Port Said, Ismailia and Suez.

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Photos: Mali military battles Islamist insurgents
January 16th, 2013
08:38 AM ET

Germany, Italy to aid French mission in Mali

Germany will contribute two transport planes to the French-led military offensive against Islamist rebels in Mali, the German Defense Ministry announced Wednesday.

Italy also is ready for "a logistical support operation" in the West African nation, Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said, according to the state-run ANSA news agency.

Read more: France vows to halt jihadist charge in Mali

What's behind the fighting?

U.S. weighs Mali policy options

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Filed under: Africa • Mali • World
January 15th, 2013
01:29 PM ET

French president on Mali: We needed to stop the rebels

[Updated at 1:29 p.m. ET] Islamist rebels would have taken Mali's capital had France's military not intervened in the African nation in the last few days, French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday.

"If we had not taken up our responsibility and if on Friday morning we had not acted with this intervention, where would Mali be today?" he asked.

The French defense minister told CNN that up to 800 troops are in Mali to help Malian forces in an offensive against Islamist militants, and that up to 1,700 total French forces including the 800 in Mali are involved in a variety of capacities, such as offering logistical support from various French military bases across Africa.

Hollande, speaking on a visit to the United Arab Emirates, said France intends to "make way as quickly as possible" for an African force.

Read more about France's military intervention, which began Friday.

December 21st, 2012
04:33 AM ET

Tribal clash with machetes kills 30 in Kenya

Two rival communities armed with arrows and machetes clashed at dawn today, leaving 30 people dead in southeastern Kenya .

It's unclear what triggered the latest clashes, but the two groups have fought for years over grazing rights, land and water sources.

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Filed under: Africa • Uncategorized • World
December 14th, 2012
07:41 AM ET

Kidnappers free mother of Nigerian finance minister

The mother of Nigeria's finance minister has been released by her kidnappers, five days after she was seized from her home, Nigerian police said Friday.

Kamene Okonjo is well and in good health, police spokesman Frank Mba told CNN.

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December 11th, 2012
03:31 AM ET

Mali's prime minister abruptly resigns

Mali's prime minister abruptly resigned Tuesday, announcing on state television that his entire cabinet was also stepping down.

Cheick Modibo Diarra did not offer a reason for his decision, except for a vague statement that he solemnly delivered.

"Our country Mali is going through the most difficult period in its history," he said. "During this time of crisis, the men and women of this country - uncertain of what is going to happen to their country - find themselves in an unfortunate situation.

"That's why I, Sheikh Modibo Diarra, have resigned with all my government, on this day, Tuesday, 11 of December of 2012. I apologize to all of the Malian people who are suffering from this crisis in every way and at all levels. I thank all the members of the government as well as their contributors for their efforts on the economic front. I wish the next government best of luck."

The development is another blow to the stability of a country once hailed as a model of democracy in Africa, but one derailed by a coup and an uprising of Islamist militants.

Read more: What's behind the instability in Mali?

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Police fire tear gas as striking platinum miners protest in South Africa
Some of the 12,000 miners sacked by Anglo American Platinum protest their dismissal this month in Rustenberg, South Africa.
October 30th, 2012
09:03 AM ET

Police fire tear gas as striking platinum miners protest in South Africa

Police in Rustenberg, South Africa, clashed Tuesday with more than 1,000 striking miners who were barricading public roads near the Anglo American Platinum mine.

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters, and sporadic scuffles continue, Capt. Dennis Adrio with the North West police told CNN.

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Raid, grenades, gunfire: Three dead in Kenyan tourist city
A Kenyan police officer guards the house where the attack took place.
October 17th, 2012
09:38 AM ET

Raid, grenades, gunfire: Three dead in Kenyan tourist city

Police knocked on the door in the middle of the night, giving whoever was inside a chance to open it.  But the anti-terrorism squad had come prepared for a raid.

When the militant suspect inside refused to let them in, the officers broke down the door - and were met by a grenade flying straight at them.

The blast injured three officers and killed a suspected criminal who had led them to the home in Mombasa, Kenya's second-largest city and a popular tourist destination.  Police had arrested the suspect earlier, and got him to take them to what he said was a home containing an illegal weapons cache, according to regional police chief Aggrey Adoli.

As the grenade exploded, police began shooting into the doorway, killing the suspected militant who had hurled the explosive at them.

As he fell, he dropped a second grenade he'd been holding. That blast injured five policemen - one of whom who later died due to his injuries.

Inside the house, police recovered two more grenades, a pistol, and 15 rounds of ammunition, Adoli said.

The suspects - both the one who took police to the home and the one who pitched the grenade at them - had no identity cards, Adoli said.  "We cannot rule out that they are enemies from Al-Shabaab who were planning an attack following the fall of Kismayo” in neighboring Somalia, he added.

The al Qaeda-linked militant group Al-Shabaab is trying to overthrow the Somali government, and has also been blamed for violence in Kenya.

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Filed under: Africa • Kenya • Somalia • World
September 17th, 2012
10:48 AM ET

Floods in northern Cameroon kill nearly 30 people

Flooding in Cameroon's Far North Region has killed nearly 30 people and affected more than 26,000 others, officials said Monday.

More than 4,000 people in the Logone and Shari division were displaced, and more than 22,000 people in the region of Maga, Mayo-Danay division, also have been affected.

Communication Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary described the flooding as "a calamity," and he called for urgent action to save lives, livestock and property. Dana FM, a local radio station, said the death toll will grow as bodies are collected and identified. For the past few weeks, there has been no sign of the flood easing.

The floodwaters have submerged areas like Benoue, Faro, Louti and Mayo. Homes, crops and barns have been destroyed and herds of livestock killed. Heavy rainfall that has lasted nearly a month has fractured the Lagdo Dam, causing the Benoe River to flood nearby villages.

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