Sudan's government declared an immediate unilateral ceasefire at the opening of Darfur peace talks on Saturday, but the absence of key rebels cast doubt on whether the move could produce meaningful progress. One rebel leader who did attend the gathering in the Libyan town of Sirte voiced reservations about Khartoum's move.
Disarray in both government and rebel ranks makes quick progress unlikely in Darfur peace talks billed by the United Nations as a ''moment of truth'' to stop four-and-a-half years of violence in western Sudan. The best that can be hoped at the gathering in Libya, which begins on Saturday, is agreement to meet again.
The European Union has warned Morocco of the ''almost certain probability'' of terrorist attacks in the North African country and urged more security at Western embassies and tourism sites, a newspaper said on Monday. On Friday, Morocco raised the security alert level to the highest rating of ''maximum'', suggesting a terror strike was imminent.
Two suicide bombers killed themselves in an attack on United States diplomatic offices in Morocco's commercial hub Casablanca on Saturday in the first such targeted bombings in four years, witnesses said. Two suicide bombers killed themselves in an attack on United States diplomatic offices in Morocco's commercial hub Casablanca on Saturday in the first such targeted bombings in four years, witnesses said.
Morocco said on Monday it was investigating whether an overnight blast was a militant suicide attack after a man with explosives under his clothes was blown up and three others were wounded at a Casablanca internet cafe. The Sunday night blast occurred in the commercial capital's Sidi Moumen slum, home to 13 suicide bombers who killed 32 people in Casablanca in 2003.
President Vladimir Putin visited Russia's main African trading partner, Morocco, on Thursday, seeking to widen his sphere of political influence on the continent beyond Moscow's traditional Cold War allies. The visit followed a two-day trip to South Africa where Putin pledged billions of dollars of investment.