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French victory ends long asylum battle of Afghan interpreters

Paris - They served the French army on the frontlines in Afghanistan, sometimes bearing arms during operations by international forces against the Taliban.

As time runs out, Washington ready to help with jihadist repatriation

Washington - The United States is ready to help countries repatriate Islamic State jihadists detained in Syria but time is of the essence and Washington insists that ultimately it is up to their home governments to come up with solutions.

Fear and trauma haunt Congolese massacre survivors

Kindu - Wounded in the head and chest and with her children in tow, Miniunga Bonkita fled to the haven of an island in the Congo River, a sliver of land between two nations."I stumbled across the assailants as I was returning home," the young mother told AFP.

French guns on Iraq border aim to pin down IS diehards inside Syria

Sulaymaniyah - French howitzer-guns deployed in the Euphrates Valley desert just inside Iraq stand ready to pour fury on Islamic State group diehards in their last holdout across the border in Syria.

Fake eyelashes from N.Korea cost US cosmetics firm $1 mln fine

Los Angeles - California firm E.L.F. cosmetics has agreed to pay a nearly $1 million fine for importing fake eyelashes containing materials from UN-sanctioned North Korea, the US Treasury Department announced.

First face-to-face meeting in C. Africa peace talks

Libreville - Central African Republic's government and militias who control most of the country held on Friday their first face-to-face talks since the country's crisis erupted in 2012, as fresh violence claimed 13 lives.

French defence minister in Jordan to visit troops fighting IS

Apo - France's defence minister arrived in Jordan on Monday to visit troops battling the Islamic State group, showing Paris's determination to continue the fight after a shock US decision to withdraw from Syria.

Macron takes champagne and foie gras to French soldiers in Chad

Ndjame - French President Emmanuel Macron paid a pre-Christmas visit to French soldiers in Chad on Saturday, bringing enough champagne, foie gras and chocolate for 1,300 troops along with him.

Yemeni rebels say UN resolution 'important step'

Dubai - Yemeni rebels have welcomed a UN Security Council resolution authorising the deployment of ceasefire monitors to the flashpoint port city of Hodeida, calling it an "important step".

UN Council votes to send observers to Yemen

New York - The UN Security Council on Friday unanimously approved a resolution that authorizes the deployment of observers to war-torn Yemen to oversee a fragile truce in the strategic Red Sea port of Hodeida.

Has IS been beaten on the ground in Syria?

Beirut - US President Donald Trump announced this week that he has decided to pull American troops out of Syria because the Islamic State group is now "defeated".

US defense chief quits as Trump pulls from Syria, Afghanistan

Washington - US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned Thursday, leading a chorus of protests at home and abroad after President Donald Trump who ordered a complete troop pullout from Syria and a significant withdrawal from Afghanistan.

UN authorizes Syria aid deliveries for another year

New York - The UN Security Council on Thursday approved a one-year extension of humanitarian aid deliveries across war-scarred Syria.The move came despite reluctance from Russia, which called to amend the period to six months.

UN seeks $4 bn for Yemen

New York - The United Nations said Monday it was seeking $4 billion to provide humanitarian aid to some 20 million Yemenis next year -- or about 70 percent of the war-stricken country's population.

Yemen on brink of 'major catastrophe': UN aid chief

Aden - UN aid chief Mark Lowcock warned Saturday that Yemen was "on the brink of a major catastrophe", as the world body pushes for peace talks in the impoverished and war-wracked country.

Winter risks 'dire' for 1 mln children in MENA region: UNICEF

Apo - The UN children's fund warned Tuesday that a funding gap and the start of winter could leave nearly one million children "out in the cold" in the Middle East and North Africa.

UN humanitarian chief seeks extension of aid to civilians in Syria

New York - The United Nation's top humanitarian affairs official appealed to the Security Council Monday for continued aid deliveries to Syria's civilian population across borders and through front lines, despite Russia's growing opposition.

'Ongoing genocide' underway against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims: UN

New York - A genocide is still underway against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, a UN fact-finding team said Wednesday as it presented a report at the Security Council calling for the matter to be referred to the International Criminal Court.

UN warns of danger of widespread famine in Yemen

New York - The United Nations warned Tuesday that Yemen was on the verge of widespread famine. "There is now a clear and present danger of an imminent and great big famine engulfing Yemen," UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock said.

Israeli missiles target Damascus airport: state media

Damas - An Israeli missile attack targeted the Syrian capital's airport late Saturday, activating air defences which shot down a number of the projectiles, state news agency SANA reported.

UN's Yemen envoy pushes for new peace talks as fighting continues

Sanaa - The UN's Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths has met the country's Huthi rebels in a push for new peace talks, as fighting continued Friday around the strategic port city of Hodeida.

Libya re-opens main border post with Tunisia

Tripoli - Libya has reopened its main border post with Tunisia after closing it for more than six weeks amid tensions over smuggling, Tripoli's interior ministry said on Saturday. The border at Ras Jedir was re-opened to "facilitate...

US cut in aid amounts to 'cheap blackmail': Palestinians

Ramallah - US President Donald Trump's administration is resorting to "cheap blackmail" against the Palestinians, revealing its true intentions by cutting more than $200 million in aid for the West Bank and Gaza Strip, senior Palestinian officials said Saturday.

Mali opposition leader 'categorically rejects' election result

Bamako - The main opposition candidate in Mali's contested election said on Thursday that he "categorically rejects" the results of the presidential run-off that handed a second term to Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Colombian peace allows cultural jewels to re-emerge

San Jos - Deep inside the lush green and humid Amazonia jungle, a sinewing path stops abruptly in front of a giant rock face decorated with ancient paintings of anacondas, jaguars and tortoises.

France girds for long fight against Islamists in Africa's Sahel

Paris - Days before French President Emmanuel Macron visited West and Central African leaders this week to talk security, Islamist fighters sent a defiant message -- a suicide attack on the headquarters of a five-nation force that is supposed to take the lead ...

Cellist brings sounds of 'peace, coexistence' to ruins of Iraq's Mosul

Mosul - Iraqi cellist and conductor Karim Wasfi has played a concert for "peace and co-existence" amid the ruins of Mosul, almost a year after Iraqi forces ousted the Islamic State group from the capital of its self-declared "caliphate".

Libya navy bemoans lack of EU support over migrants

Tripoli - The Libyan coastguard, charged with patrolling the frontline of Europe's efforts to halt irregular migration, has only three working patrol boats, which often stay in port for lack of fuel.

Displaced mothers from Yemen's Hodeida find shelter in Sanaa school

Sanaa - Travelling by bus or taxi with children in tow, scores of mothers have fled fighting in Yemen's key port city of Hodeida in recent weeks, finding shelter at a school in the rebel-held capital Sanaa.

UAE says ready to back efforts for peaceful Yemen rebel pullout

Abu Dhabi - The United Arab Emirates, whose troops have played a major role in a Yemeni government offensive against the port city of Hodeida, said Saturday that it was ready to support diplomatic efforts to secure a rebel withdrawal.
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