Africa

Senegal soldiers take part in the opening ceremony of Flintlock, anti-terrorism training in Thies, Senegal, Feb. 8, 2016.
African forces began a U.S.-led counter-terrorism training program Monday in Senegal, amid what a U.S. commander said were rising signs of collaboration between Islamist militant groups across north Africa and the Sahel.The annual "Flintlock" exercises started only weeks after an attack in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou left 30 people dead. The assault on a hotel used by foreigners raised concerns that militants were expanding from a stronghold in north Mali toward stable,…
South African peacekeepers patrol the streets of Goma in the eastern portion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dec. 2, 2015.
At least 21 people were killed, 40 wounded and dozens of houses burned in weekend attacks aimed at Hutus in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, which has been the scene of heightened ethnic tensions in recent weeks. The United Nations said Monday it was "alarmed by reports of escalating inter-communal violence" in the area. U.N. spokesman Amouzoun Codjo Martin said the weekend attacks were carried out by members of two militias, the Nande-dominated…
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Mon, 02/08/2016 - 20:40
Farmer Ruth Mylroie witnesses a chicken laying an egg with a young visitor during a school tour of New Harmony Farm
Fresh spring water bubbles up from the ground and nourishes New Harmony Farm in the shadow of the Magaliesberg Mountains, north of Johannesburg.   Farmer Ruth Mylroie says when she bought the land almost six years ago it was "filthy with scrap metal," and overgrown with weeds.     "It took us six months to clean it," she recalls.  But now her farm is producing some of the best chicken in South Africa.Mylroie, barefoot and her skin…
Darren Taylor
Mon, 02/08/2016 - 18:30
Uganda police refute charges their enforcement tactics are dictated by the government or the ruling party. On March 28, 2012, they detained a supporter of opposition leader Kizza Besigye.
Uganda has bought anti-riot gear ahead of a Feb. 18 election in a move which police say will bolster security during voting but which critics say aims to intimidate opponents of President Yoweri Museveni, who is seeking to extend his 30-year rule. Museveni's two major rivals, Kizza Besigye and Amama Mbabazi, a former prime minister and secretary general of the ruling party, have both attracted large crowds and analysts say Museveni faces his toughest challenge yet.
Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari gives an interview to Agence France-presse at his hotel during the 25th African Summit on June 14, 2015 in Johannesburg.
Last week, the National Bureau of Statistics released a 41-page report predicting the state of Nigeria's economy through President Muhammadu Buhari's term. "The Nigerian Economy: Past, Present and Future" reviews current conditions and aims to provide policymakers and investors with the likely trends of key macro-economic indicators in future years, with a focus on Gross Domestic Product (GDP), inflation and trade. While there are some obvious near-term…
Jill Malandrino
Mon, 02/08/2016 - 16:49
In this Nov. 5, 2014 photo, relatives of 13-year-old Soheir al-Batea who died undergoing the procedure of female genital mutilation walk in front of her home in Dierb Biqtaris village, some 120 kilometers (75 miles) northeast of Cairo, Egypt.
The United Nations warned Monday that millions of girls remain at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The practice, which involves removing all or part of a girl’s external genitalia, has no health benefit and can cause severe bleeding, infection, pain, and later, complications in childbirth. It is often performed in unsanitary conditions with unsterilized instruments. Some girls die from the procedure. Colombian lawyer and anti-FGM activist…
Margaret Besheer
Mon, 02/08/2016 - 15:36
Displaced people draw water from a hole dug in the ground, in the United Nations camp for displaced people in the capital Juba, South Sudan, Jan. 19, 2016.
The United Nations warned Monday that a sharp rise in food insecurity across South Sudan could result in catastrophic levels of hunger for at least 40,000 civilians.This warning follows the release of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report which estimates at least 2.8 million people, or 23 percent of the population, will face acute food and nutrition insecurity between…
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Mon, 02/08/2016 - 15:24
Ebola survivor Finda Fallah sits in front of her new room in West Point, Monrovia. (Benno Muchler/VOA)
Huddled together in the bedroom of their mud-brick home in rural Liberia, Marthaline Sweet's children stare at her hungrily as she picks up her 1-month-old baby. Sweet, an Ebola survivor and mother of five, chokes back tears as she recalls contemplating an abortion after the virus killed her husband -- leaving her alone to fend for their children. "We don't have a good home, we have no food and we must beg other people for help," Sweet said,…
A Zimbabwean subsistence farmer holds a stunted maize cob in his field outside Harare, Jan. 20, 2016.
Zimbabwe Monday appealed to domestic and international funders for assistance as more than a quarter of its population faces hunger. The United Nations says President Robert Mugabe’s government must invest in irrigation to avert the perennial food shortages. Zimbabwe says nearly 2.5 million people are facing starvation and blames the problem on the El Nino weather phenomenon that has caused drought in southern Africa. Zimbabwe’s public works minister…
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Mon, 02/08/2016 - 12:33
Villagers collect their monthly food ration provided by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in Masvingo, Zimbabwe, Jan. 25, 2016.
Shylet Mutsago, a 63-year-old who lives near the diamond fields of Marange, cannot hide her anger over how mining in this gem-rich part of eastern Zimbabwe has failed to improve the lives of local people. From a distance she watches as companies turn the ground over in search of the alluvial diamonds, releasing clouds of red dust into the sky. "Our hopes of benefiting from the diamonds are gone," she said. "And with this severe drought we are now placing…
Australian Jocelyn Elliott, left, who was freed by al-Qaida captors, meets Burkina Faso President  Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, right,  at the presidential palace  in Ouagadougou,  Burkina Faso, Feb. 8, 2016.
An Australian woman who was freed by al-Qaida after three weeks in captivity said on Monday her husband who was seized with her in Burkina Faso was still alive and she hoped he, too, would be released soon. Jocelyn Elliott, 76, gave no further details of the couple's captivity but her comment provided the first confirmation that her husband, Dr. Ken Elliott, 81, was still alive. The couple were seized on Jan. 15 from the town of Djibo near Burkina Faso's…
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The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
Shukri Abasheikh, owner of Mogadishu Store, speaks with a customer in Lewiston, Maine, Jan. 26, 2016.
USA
The arrival of thousands of Somali refugees in this former mill city in the nation's whitest state sparked a backlash at first, complete with a rally of white supremacists and a pig's head rolled into the local mosque.Fifteen years later, the Somali newcomers are solid members of the community, as evidenced by its proliferation of shops, restaurants and mosques -- and a championship-winning high school soccer team featuring players from Somalia and other African countries.
FILE - the mosque that was used by Imam Alioune Badara Ndao in Kaolack, Senegal, Nov. 20, 2015. Dozens of armed security forces descended on the Quranic school at night, arresting an imam suspected of having links to Islamic extremists in Nigeria.
Dozens of armed security forces descended on the Quranic school at night, arresting an imam suspected of having links to Islamic extremists in Nigeria. As the forces encircled the home of Imam Alioune Badara Ndao, 300 boys from his boarding school ran into the dirt courtyard, panicked at the sudden appearance of the gendarmes in this peanut-industry town.   More arrests were carried out in the weeks that followed, including of three other imams accused…
President Paul Biya, who has been in power for nearly 30 years, is expected to run for re-election in October.
There have been continuing calls from his supporters for Paul Biya, the 83-year-old president of Cameroon who has been in power for more than three decades, to stand again as candidate for president. The calls, which opposition parties are strongly condemning, are also asking Biya to call early presidential elections. The president's opponents say each time Biya wants to organize elections he orders his supporters to invite him to run to give an impression he is loved by the…
Moki Edwin Kindzeka
Mon, 02/08/2016 - 04:56