Ade Obisesan

Tsvangirai set for Mugabe showdown

Zimbabwe's opposition leader looked set on Sunday to return home from South Africa to face Robert Mugabe in a presidential run-off poll despite a risk of "more violence, more gloom, more betrayal". Morgan Tsvangirai had previously refused to say whether he would take part in the run-off, even though failure to do so would have handed victory to Mugabe.

Zimbabweans defy death to flee into South Africa

It took two days of trekking through the bush, before navigating a crocodile-infested river and then scrambling underneath a barbed wire fence for Peter Nkomo and his family to make good their great escape from the meltdown of Zimbabwe to South Africa.

Zim exiles in SA doubt Mbeki will prevail

Zimbabweans who have fled to South Africa marked the International Day against Torture on Tuesday by recounting their experiences at the hands of President Robert Mugabe's security services. Few were convinced that South African President Thabo Mbeki's efforts to mediate in their homeland would bear fruit.

Nigerian separatists threaten new oil attacks

Nigerian armed separatists holding four foreign oil workers on Sunday threatened more attacks on oil facilities, while authorities sought five Chinese telecommunications workers also kidnapped in the Niger Delta. Shortly after the announcement, the Nigerian military said one of its lieutenants had been abducted in the region.

Nigeria’s ‘evil genius’ enters 2007 presidential race

General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, the former military dictator better known as ''IBB'' who ruled Nigeria with a rod of iron for eight years and who once dubbed himself ''the evil genius'', is determined to contest the 2007 elections and to win back the presidential seat he occupied from 1985 to 1993.

Four foreign oil workers kidnapped in Nigeria

Armed men on Monday kidnapped four more foreign oil workers in Nigeria's southern oil city of Port Harcourt but released three Filipinos abducted more than 10 days ago in the latest of a series of incidents in volatile Niger Delta. ''The situation is becoming worrisome,'' a River state police spokesperson said.

Liberia to light up for Independence Day

Liberia will celebrate its independence anniversary next week with something of a light show when Monrovia's street lights are turned on for the first time in 15 years, officials said on Wednesday. Officials made the announcement to delegates at a United States-backed investment conference, hoping to underline progress since the election of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in November.

Africa urged to look inwards for economic progress

Officials from the United States and African diaspora on Tuesday urged African countries to look inwards to find economic breakthroughs and much-needed investments. Florizelle Liser, a senior official in the US Trade Representative Office, said African nations had advantages they could learn to exploit.

Africa is open for business, summit hears

Stressing gains in financial stability and democratisation, African heads of state meeting hundreds of foreign business leaders in Abuja, Nigeria, called on Monday for stepped-up investment in the continent. ''Africa is changing. Both economic and political landscapes are improving,'' said Nigerian Foreign Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

African leaders meet in Abuja to tackle food penury

African leaders, farmers and heads of international development agencies will meet in Lagos on Friday hoping to bring a new lease of life to the continent's degraded soil and so tackle food shortages affecting over 200-million Africans. The theme of the summit, which runs from June 9 to 13 is "Nourish the soil, feed the continent."

Darfur peace inches closer as rebel group signs accord

The drive for peace in the devastated Sudanese region of Darfur took a tentative step nearer success on Friday with one rebel faction agreeing to sign a peace deal, although another still refused. The African Union's year-old drive to bring peace to Darfur with a comprehensive package had begun the day in crisis with continued refusal by the rebels to sign a deal to end the three-year-old civil war.

US, UK press rebels to accept Darfur peace deal

The United States and other international mediators battled on Thursday to strong-arm Darfur's rebel leaders into accepting a peace deal to end three years of slaughter in their devastated region in western Sudan. US Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick and British International Development Secretary Hilary Benn added their weight to African Union peace talks after the warring parties failed to meet a deadline for an accord.

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