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Africa Forum on SSR 1st Progress Report of the Commission of the African Union on the situation in the Central African Republic and the activities of the Afican-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic AMANI AFRICA II Cycle Women and children in armed conflicts/ Gender mainstreaming AU Policy Framework on Security Sector Reform (SSR) The African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA)

Situation Room

Africa Brief - Compiled by situation room

Thursday 18 December 2014
AFP Policemen arrest a man protesting the passing of a controversial new security legislation that would crack down on terror suspects and curtail journalists' freedoms if they're deemed to "undermine" investigations, on December 18, 2014 in Nairobi. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA Nairobi - Kenyan opposition lawmakers disrupted a vote on Thursday to authorise tough terrorism-related measures that rights activists say threaten civil liberties and free speech, forcing the parliamentary speaker to postpone the session. Television footage showed members of the opposition yelling, tearing up papers and....

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Thursday 18 December 2014
Freetown The Africa Union has aided Sierra Leone with 101 Ethiopian Medical personnel in the fight against Ebola. The medical team comprised Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists, Epidemiologists, Public Health Officers, and Information and Communication Specialists.. Welcoming the Medical team on arrival at the Freetown International Airport, Deputy Health and Sanitation Minister I, Mr. Foday Sawi Lahai, on behalf of the Ministry, the government and people of Sierra Leone, expressed gratitude and appreciation over the visit, describing the Medical team as brave men and women of Africa.

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Thursday 18 December 2014
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria: Boko Haram militants killed 32 people and kidnapped scores of others, including women and children, in a brutal attack on a village in the northeast area of Nigeria, officials and a witness said on Thursday. In neighbouring Cameroon, the Islamic extremists launched a raid on army base in the border town of Amchide, but were repelled in a fierce gun battle with troops that left 116 insurgents dead, according to Cameroon's defence ministry. Separately, a Nigerian court martial late Wednesday sentenced 54 soldiers to death for mutiny after they refused to deploy for an....

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Thursday 18 December 2014
ABUJA, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Nigeria has sentenced 54 soldiers to death by firing squad for mutiny while fighting against insurgents in the northeast, their lawyer said on Thursday. Another five were acquitted and discharged in the secret trial, lawyer Femi Falana said. They were the first batch of 97 soldiers being court martialed for offences including mutiny, assault, absconding, house breaking and disorderly behaviour. Low morale, partly linked to a dearth of adequate equipment and weapons in the face of a determined Boko Haram Islamist insurgency, has led to a series of desertions in the northeast and at least one mutiny.

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Thursday 18 December 2014
Nigeria on Wednesday sentenced 54 soldiers to death for mutiny, assault, cowardice and refusing to fight Islamic extremists. The court-martial charges all were connected to the soldiers' refusal to deploy to recapture three towns seized by Boko Haram in August, according to the charge sheet. The lawyer for the condemned men, Femi Falana, said the 54 soldiers were convicted and sentenced to death by firing squad. He said five soldiers were acquitted. They all were accused of 'conspiring to commit mutiny against the authorities of 7 Division, Nigerian Army,' which is on the front line of the fighting in the northeast of the West African nation.

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Thursday 18 December 2014
YAOUNDE (Reuters) - Cameroon's army killed 116 Boko Haram militants on Wednesday when they attacked a base in the far north of the country, said defense ministry spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Didier Badjeck. "On the militant side, there were 116 deaths in Cameroonian territory and unknown damage on the Nigerian side (of the border) after the vigorous riposte of our artillery," he said. There was no independent confirmation of the exchange. (Reporting by Tansa Musa; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Larry King) ....

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Thursday 18 December 2014
Tunis: Islamist militants who have since joined Daesh claimed twin murders of secular politicians that plunged Tunisia into crisis in 2013, in a video posted online Thursday. “Yes, tyrants, we’re the ones who killed Shukri Belaid and Mohammad Brahmi,” Abu Mouqatel, a militant wanted by the authorities for their murders, said in the video in which he appeared with several others. It was not clear where the video was filmed but Abu Mouqatel claimed they were in an area under the control of Daesh, which has seized swathes of Syria and Iraq. “We are going to come back and kill several of you.

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Thursday 18 December 2014
. A official says clashes in Central African Republic have killed 28 and left dozens wounded. A pastor in Mbres, in the country's center, said Thursday the fighting began Tuesday when a member of a Christian militia was killed by a grenade thrown by a group of Muslims. The fighting escalated when Christian fighters counter-attacked and other Muslims arrived. Gunfire could still be heard on Thursday morning. The Red Cross official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. The pastor also refused to be cited by name because of fear for his safety.

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Thursday 18 December 2014
Prince Harry has for the first time published his own photographs taken on a visit to Lesotho to see a centre being built by his Sentebale charity Prince Harry swings young three year old orphan boy called Lerato in this photograph taken with the help of a three year old blind girl called Karabo during a visit to Phelisanong Children's Home in Maseru Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images.

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Thursday 18 December 2014
MOSCOW, December 18 (Sputnik) The World Health Organization (WHO) has noted an improvement in the situation with the Ebola virus in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, which demonstrates effectiveness of efforts taken to contain the deadly virus, Russian health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said Thursday. "According to WHO estimates, there are signs of reduction of the intensity of the epidemic process in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, which is a favorable trend demonstrating the effectiveness of efforts in combatting Ebola," the statement read. The watchdog praised response and disease control....

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Thursday 18 December 2014
Bloomberg : The World Bank approved a $200 million loan for Kenya ’s government to finance a dam and improve access to clean water in the country’s coastal region. The financing, part of a nationwide project seeking to help areas protect their water supplies, will go toward building the Mwache Dam in Kwale county, the bank said today in an e-mailed statement from Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The project will also make investments in sanitation and irrigation for the county’s mainly rural communities, it said. Kenya’s coast, home to about 3.3 million people, is hit by periodic droughts and flooding caused by seasonal weather variations.

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Thursday 18 December 2014
Angie Billing had been desperately hoping to return to South Africa with daughters Pamela (4) and Cornie (2) for Christmas. Friends of the young woman told today how Angie had lived for her children and had been desperate to bring them home to her mother in South Africa. “It’s all she talked about. She would tell her mother on the phone she would be home by Christmas. She loved it here but she had no money. In South Africa, she had lived on a farm and she wanted her children to grow up there,” said one neighbour. Angie and her husband Cornelius had moved to the village of Kildysart in Clare about nine months ago.

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Thursday 18 December 2014
Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, has threatened to attack the Emir of Kano, Muhummadu Sanusi II, in retaliation for the Emir's call on Kano residents and other Nigerians to arm and defend themselves against the terror organization. In a new video released weekend, Mr. Shekau said his group does not consider Mr. Sanusi a true Muslim, and will attack him whenever an opportunity presents itself. The Emir had earlier issued a call to arms after a series of deadly attacks by suspected Boko Haram militants in Kano. Speaking at Kano's central Mosque in October, the Emir charged the people of Kano....

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Thursday 18 December 2014
REUTERS President Jacob Zuma on Thursday congratulated newly elected Mauritius Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth. File picture: Siphiwe Sibeko Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma on Thursday congratulated newly elected Mauritius Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth, who assumed office at the weekend. In a statement issued by South Africa's international relations and co-operation department, Zuma also congratulated Mauritians on conducting what he called peaceful, credible, free, and fair elections. “The successful elections in Mauritius attest to the stability and strength of democracy in this southern African country.

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Thursday 18 December 2014
SOUTH Africa on Thursday hailed US President Barack Obama’s announcement of moves to "normalise" his country's diplomatic ties with Cuba. "The South African government welcomes the release of the remaining three of the Cuban Five, and the intention by the US to normalise diplomatic relations with Cuba," the Department of International Relations and Co-operation said. The Cuban Five are five Cuban intelligence who were officers imprisoned in the US. One was released in 2011, one earlier this year, and the remaining three on Wednesday. The final release follows an agreement — also announced on....

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Thursday 18 December 2014
Kenya’s coffee output will rise 22 percent to about 60,000 tonnes in the next two crop years (Oct-Sept), thanks to new varieties and increasing area under cultivation, a senior government official said on Thursday. Sicily Kariuki, principal secretary at the Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Ministry, told a news conference the aim was to raise production from about 49,000 tonnes in 2013/14, by introducing higher yielding coffee varieties and encouraging more farmers to take up the crop. Kenya is a comparatively small coffee grower, producing less than 1 percent of world output in the....

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Thursday 18 December 2014
Delegates representing President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar sat down together to hammer out a peace deal under the sponsorship of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an East African regional grouping, World Bulletin reported. Thursday's meeting was chaired by IGAD Special Envoy Gen. Lazarus Sumbeiywo of Kenya. Representatives of South Sudanese political parties, NGOs, former detainees and prominent personalities also attended the opening of the meeting, along with representatives of the African Union, the UN, the EU and the "Troika" (the US, UK and Norway). Gen.

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Thursday 18 December 2014
press release. Two out of five children urgently needing humanitarian aid in Central African Republic are without it, thanks to a critical lack of funding and continued conflict, a year after extreme violence tore through the country, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has said today. "Children in the Central African Republic (CAR) are no longer making headlines, but over 2.5 million of them continue to live in constant fear," said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa. "They have little access to essential services and rely entirely on humanitarian aid.

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Thursday 18 December 2014
press release. Washington The World Bank Group's Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$30 million grant to support the Government of Sierra Leone in its efforts to respond to the unprecedented challenges posed by the Ebola crisis. Today's financing includes a US$10 million grant from the World Bank Group's International Development Association's (IDA)* Crisis Response Window (CRW), which is designed to help low-income IDA countries recover from severe disasters and crises. The Emergency Economic and Fiscal Support Operation will support Sierra Leone as it seeks to bring the Ebola....

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Thursday 18 December 2014
It added: "The last confirmed case tested negative for the second time on December 6, and was discharged from hospital on December 11. Picture: Getty Images. Mali has not had a case of Ebola for three weeks, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, completing one of the two incubation periods the country needs to be declared free of the virus. "No new cases have been reported in Mali since 24 November," the UN agency said in its latest situation report on the outbreak focused on west Africa. It added: "The last confirmed case tested negative for the second time on December 6, and was discharged from hospital on December 11.

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Thursday 18 December 2014
The South African government has been holding vendor workshops with countries it could potentially partner with for its nuclear build programme, the Presidency said in a statement on Wednesday. This marks "significant progress" for the government in its engagements with various prospective nuclear vendor countries as part of the process towards the implementation of the expansion in the nuclear new build programme, the statement said. Intergovernmental framework agreements have been signed with Russia, France, China, South Korea and the US, marking the "initiation of the preparatory stage for the procurement process", the Presidency said.

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Thursday 18 December 2014
SUPPLIED File photo: Supplied Cape Town - South Africa is one of the countries in the world where life expectancy has dropped in the past two decades, seeing citizens dying at younger ages. A cause of death study published in The Lancet journal on Thursday revealed that South Africa is one of 11 countries worldwide where life expectancy fell in the period between 1990 and last year. In this 23-year period, life expectancy for men fell from 60.5 to 57.7 years, and women from 68.9 to 63 years. That’s an average of 4.3 years lost since 1990. These figures are in sharp contrast to the global average of people living 6.

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Thursday 18 December 2014
Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba has named a provisional 34-man squad for the CAF Orange Africa Cup of Nations (Equatorial Guinea 2015) tournament which starts next month. Mashaba has kept the bulk of the team that played in AFCON qualifiers where they went unbeaten in six matches. He has named four goalkeepers, 10 defenders, 15 midfielders and five strikers. The squad will be trimmed down to the required 23 for the tournament on Tuesday, 30 December after a mini-training camp that will be held in Johannesburg from 26 - 30 December. "The bulk of the boys in the squad are the ones who helped....

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Thursday 18 December 2014
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced he will leave today for the countries hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak "to show my solidarity with those affected and urge even greater global action" to fight the epidemic, which two United Nations food agencies said could push the number of people facing food insecurity to more than one million by next spring. "The disease's impact is potentially devastating in the three countries already coping with chronic food insecurity," according to a press release issued by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

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Thursday 18 December 2014
The Fed offered a strong signal that it was on track to raise interest rates sometime next year, altering a pledge to keep them near zero. Xolo, Xiaomi, Gionee, Lenovo and Microsoft Devices have launched affordable 4G phones in the country in the Rs 8,000-15,000 range range. Top executives from global airlines say the troubles at the SpiceJet aren’t new in the sector and won’t hurt the image of the Indian market. The government has inserted online taxi aggregators into a proposed new road safety law that will acknowledge the existence of these firms.

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Thursday 18 December 2014
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) - Suspected Boko Haram gunmen kidnapped more than 100 women and children and killed 35 people during a Sunday raid on the remote northeast Nigerian village of Gumskiri, a security source and resident said on Thursday. News from remote parts of Nigeria that are cut off from mobile communications sometimes takes days to travel. The five-year-old campaign for an Islamic state by Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is sinful", has become the greatest menace to the security of Africa's biggest economy and top oil producer.

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Thursday 18 December 2014
MARRAKECH, MOROCCO – Real Madrid’s opponents in the Club World Cup final will be San Lorenzo after the South American champions ended a storybook run by amateur side Auckland City with a labored 2-1 semifinal win on Wednesday. Madrid will be heavily favored to win its first Club World Cup on Saturday after San Lorenzo, Pope Francis’ favorite team, needed extra time to overcome Auckland’s semi-pros and amateurs who fit soccer around day jobs. Given their meager resources, it could have been the ultimate David vs. Goliath story had the Oceania champions advanced to face the world’s richest team.

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