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     Home > Justice & Peace >  2013-11-26 17:48:33
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Read our pick of African news from the news agencies (Nov. 26)

France has announced plans to increase its force in Central African Republic to at least one thousand soldiers after a U.N. resolution expected next week. Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian confirmed Tuesday an earlier announcement made by the French Foreign Minister. The confirmation came a day after a top U.N. official warned of mass atrocities and possible civil war in CAR. He country has been in turmoil since rebel groups joined forces in March and overthrew the president. The rebels have been accused by rights groups of committing scores of atrocities including killings, rapes and conscription of child soldiers. In addition to the French troops in the country, there is a 2,500-strong regional force deployed by the Economic Community of Central African States ECOWAS. The African Union is due to take charge of that force in December and boost its size.

A top human rights lawyer in Zimbabwe was acquitted Tuesday on charges of obstructing justice and being unruly to police officers. Beatrice Mtetwa was arrested in March on charges of using abusive language toward officers who were searching the house of an official from the opposition party of former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Mtetwa, who has been on trial since June denied any wrongdoing saying she merely asked for a search warrant from the police after they failed to show her one. A Harare magistrate declared Mtetwa not guilty and ruled that there is no evidence of the charges against her.

Opposition parties in Algeria have signed a statement calling for April's presidential elections to be supervised by an independent commission. Elections in Algeria are run by the Interior Ministry which is headed by a presidential appointee. Opposition parties, including both secular and Islamist groups, accuse the ministry of being in favour of the ruling parties. The statement signed late Monday called for a national commission independent from the government to organize and supervise the elections. The ruling National Liberation Front, which took a majority of the seats in parliamentary elections in May last year, has nominated President Abdelaziz Bouteflika for a fourth term despite his poor health.

At least one person was killed and several wounded on Monday during a protest in Guinea over the results of recent parliamentary elections, a witness and a security official said. The opposition had declared a general strike Monday in the capital Conakry to express their anger with the outcome of the September 28 legislative elections. Security forces fired tear gas at demonstrators in the Hamdallaye neighborhood where protesters had lit tires on fire to block traffic. Official results released weeks after the election show President Alpha Conde's party won 53 of 114 parliamentary seats, while the main opposition party took 37.


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