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Darren Taylor

Darfur threatens Sudan peace

The latest round of talks to secure a lasting peace in southern Sudan began at Naivasha in Kenya on Thursday, amid fears that ''delaying tactics'' would result in their suspension -- an outcome analysts predicted would have ''tragic consequences'' for the entire war-ravaged region. An estimated two million people have died, and about four million have been displaced, in more than two decades of conflict.

Gays defy Zanzibar sex ban

From the permanent prison of a poster-sized photograph high on a pale wall, Freddie Mercury gazed down on a lesbian couple embracing in the haze of a bright red light. Gay icon and pop superstar Mercury took his first uncertain steps in the gardens near this bar on Zanzibar's Stone Town's waterfront in 1946. There is a definite lack of spice in these islands, unless you're straight.

Sacrificial lambs

''This is a war [in Iraq] which is splitting the world along religious lines ... but the human race must not allow this to happen,'' said Sheikh Mohammed Idriss, the leader of Kenya's Council of Imams, a group with influence throughout East Africa -- a region home to millions of Muslims. But while Idriss preached tolerance, African Muslims are being targeted in the war against terror.

Kenya in a political void

The prospect of more violence in Kenya has escalated following the call for another rally, in Mombasa on July 24, in support of constitutional reform. Supporters of President Mwai Kibaki have threatened the organisers of the rally with "unfortunate consequences" should it go ahead. At least two people were killed and several others arrested during demonstrations earlier this month.

The end of the rainbow

Political tension is threatening to split the 18-month-old Kenyan government of national unity as constitutional reform activists gear up for another weekend of street protests. It is reported that police shot eight people (including two primary school pupils) in Kisumu in western Kenya, after a clash with demonstrators at Saba Saba celebrations last week.

‘Come back, Mr America’

Scores of international tourists are leaving Kenya's coast as the high season ends and the long rains set in. But this year there are very few Americans among them. Shortly before the Easter holiday period, the United States government warned that the threat of terrorist attacks remained greater in Kenya and Tanzania than anywhere else in Africa.

End of a fairy tale

When Mwai Kibaki became Kenya's third president little more than a year ago, a Gallup International survey found that the country's people were the ''most optimistic'' in the world. Euphoria had greeted Kibaki's victory over the autocratic Daniel arap Moi, who had ruled the country with an iron fist since Jomo Kenyatta's death in 1978. But the elation has faded.

A ‘bittereinder’ in Kenya

Eldoret could've been any dorpie on the platteland in the 1930s. The Afrikaner trekkers who'd settled here in Kenya's western highlands played jukskei in the dusty streets; they baked koeksisters and melktert and braaied under acacia trees. The M&G tracked down the last remaining Afrikaner farmer in the East African country.

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