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Why Mali has opted for dialogue with jihadists

Bamako, Mali | AFP |  Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has opened the door to talks with jihadists to defuse mounting violence in the West African country, in a break with long-held tradition. Despite the presence of foreign troops, Mali has been struggling to contain a jihadist revolt that broke out …

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Cairo’s green lung razed for roads to new desert capital

Cairo, Egypt | AFP |  In the traffic-choked megacity of Cairo, the historic Heliopolis district has long stood out for its leafy boulevards, but now construction crews are cutting new highways through it and uprooting its century-old trees. As Egypt with its burgeoning population nears the milestone of 100 million people, …

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No more delays to South Sudan peace deal, East Africans warn

Addis Abeba, Ethiopia | AFP | East African nations said Sunday there could be no more delays in forming a power-sharing government in war-torn South Sudan, despite talks between rival leaders ending in deadlock. President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar, whose fall out in 2013 sparked a conflict …

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Long road home for Cape Town’s apartheid dispossessed

Cape Town, South Africa | AFP | “It was just here. My house was number 41 Clifton Street,” said Cassiem Morris, his voice catching as he points to where his Cape Town home was razed to enforce apartheid. Morris, a South African of Malay origin, took his first baby steps 56 …

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Port chaos leaves Liberian fuel pumps dry

Monrovia, Liberia | AFP |  Liberians have faced long queues at petrol pumps for nearly two weeks as sloppy bookkeeping and poor port infrastructure have triggered economically damaging fuel shortages. Incorrect fuel-reserve figures in the impoverished West African country partly led to the shortage, which has dragged on since late January, …

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Cameroon elections overshadowed by violence, boycott

Yaoundé, Cameroon | AFP |  Cameroon votes Sunday in polls overshadowed by separatist violence which has displaced hundreds of thousands of people, and a partial opposition boycott. Elections for the central African country’s legislature and local councils are taking place for the first time in seven years, after two postponements. Despite …

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Fear grips Cameroon’s anglophone regions ahead of voting day

Buea, Cameroon | AFP |  Long-delayed elections are due to take place in Cameroon on Sunday, but in the country’s violence-torn English-speaking areas, the fear is almost palpable. “Everyone is holed up at home,” a civil servant said in Buea, capital of the Southwest Region, one of two provinces gripped by …

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Malawi’s Rastafarians win landmark dreadlock ruling

Blantyre, Malawi | AFP |  Makeda Mbewe was just six years old when she was kicked out of her primary school in Malawi for wearing her hair in the dreadlocks of her Rastafarian religion. Two years later, she is back in the playground, thanks to a landmark court ruling in January forcing …

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Roadshow to help Rwandan businesses tap into AfCFTA

  Kampala, Uganda  | THE INDEPENDENT | The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has announced a roadshow in Kigali to show the Rwandan private sector how it can become a primary beneficiary of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which will provide significant opportunities to access the largely untapped markets and …

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