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     Home > Politics  >  2013-08-21 17:07:33
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Read our pick of African news from the news agencies on Wednesday

The medical aid group Doctors Without Borders says that around 90,000 people are still missing and likely hiding in fear after ethnic violence last month in South Sudan. MSF, as the group is known by its French acronym said Thursday it is concerned that that its doctors have seen very few cases of men wounded in the fighting. The group said that patients tell them that wounded men fear potential attacks from government soldiers or an enemy ethnic group. Fighting in July saw the Lou Nuer ethnic group attack the Murle ethnic group. No official death toll has been released, but a Murle leader said at least 328 of his tribe died.

A court in Egypt has ordered the release of former President Hosni Mubarak on charges of corruption. Reports from Cairo suggest he may be freed from prison on Thursday, but the prosecution may still appeal. The decision Wednesday comes in a hearing on charges against Mubarak of accepting gifts from a state-owned newspaper. The 85-year-old is also being retried on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during the uprising that led to his overthrow in 2011. He was sentenced to life in prison last year for failing to prevent the killing of demonstrators. But a court accepted his appeal earlier this year and ordered a retrial.

Six men suspected of being part of an international child pornography ring have been arrested by police in South Africa. The arrests were made following raids on 15 properties in 5 of the country’s 9 provinces, police said. The suspects are believed to have links with the US, Canada, the UK and other European countries, reports say. The six include teachers and a legal officer.

Cameroon has closed its shared border with the Central African Republic following a confrontation between border police and fighters loyal to Central African Republic's new president. Governor of Cameroon's East Region, Ivaha Dieudonne, said the border was closed in response to the altercation late Monday in the town of Toktoyo, which resulted in the death of a Cameroonian police official. Witnesses said the incident was triggered by a dispute between the official, Felix Ndalle Ngando, and an army lieutenant from Central African Republic who claimed border officials had stolen his badge. The lieutenant was a member of the Seleka rebel coalition that deposed former Central African Republic President Francois Bozize in March. Cameroon has consistently complained about cross-border incursions by Seleka fighters targeting border posts and seizing weapons.

Sierra Leone's army arrested nine soldiers over the weekend for planning a protest during a visit by President Ernest Bai Koroma to his hometown. A presidential spokesman said Mr. Koroma decided to cancel his weekend trip to Makeni, about 140 km north of the capital Freetown, at the last minute, but would not confirm if it was because of a security threat. A statement from the ministry issued late Tuesday said the arrests occurred at a barracks in the northern town of Makeni. The statement said the incident ``is believed to be an alleged planned mutiny'' and that the arrests were made ``purely on the basis of suspicion and illegal gathering.''

Mali's constitutional court has confirmed Ibrahim Boubacar Keita as the winner of Mali's presidential election runoff on Aug. 11 with 78 percent of the vote. The former prime minister is expected to be sworn in by Mali's supreme court on Sept. 4. Also Tuesday, US President Barack Obama congratulated Mali on holding a "peaceful, inclusive and credible" election this month, a step toward resuming U.S. aid to the West African nation. In a statement, Obama urged the country to accept the results and use the election to make progress on national reconciliation and democracy. Keita faces the daunting challenge of rebuilding and reuniting Mali after a 2012 coup that was followed by an Islamist takeover in the north.

The former leader of a rebel group in Liberia’s civil war has said his movement received support from the government of neighboring Guinea. Sekou Damate Conneh’s Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) was accused of committing massacres as it fought with Charles Taylor’s former National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) rebels for control the capital, Monrovia. Conneh’s comments came as Liberia observed a decade of peace since the 2003 signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord that ended the country’s 14-year civil war. He said the Guinean government at the time supported him because Conakry and the sub-regional group Mano River Union believed cross-border attacks by Mr. Taylor’s rebels made the region unstable.

Authorities in Egypt on Wednesday continued their crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies by arresting two more high-profile Islamist figures. The arrested Islamists include a preacher known for his fiery sermons at Muslim Brotherhood gatherings and a spokesman for Brotherhood said to be on his way to catch a flight out of the country. They are the latest allies of President Mohammed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood, to be arrested. On Tuesday authorities detained the Brotherhood's supreme leader and spiritual guide, Mohammed Badie.

In another development, Egypt's former interim vice president, Mohamed ElBaradei, is being sued for a “betrayal of trust” over his decision to leave the army-backed government in protest at its bloody crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood a week ago. ElBaradei's case, brought by an Egyptian law professor, will be heard in a Cairo court on Sept. 19, judicial sources have said. ElBaradei, the former head of the U.N. nuclear agency and co-leader of the secular National Salvation Front (NSF) grouping, was the most prominent liberal to endorse the military's overthrow of Morsi on July 3 following mass protests.


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