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C.African city briefly seized by rebels now a ghost town

Bangassou - When the rebels came to the Central African Republic city of Bangassou, the area's top official Pierrette Benguere was forced to hole up in a UN base for a month.

Overshadowed by war, aid groups in the Sahel soldier on

Paris - Aid groups in the Sahel have spent years in the shadows fighting the region's poverty and humanitarian crises, squeezed by a war that has monopolised the world's attention and made their lives even more difficult.

UN peacekeeper killed in Central African Republic

Bangui - A Burundian peacekeeper was killed Friday during an ambush by rebels in the Central African Republic, the United Nations said, the fifth soldier killed since a rebel offensive began.

Niger museum is eclectic national 'mirror'

Niamey - There can be few museums in the world to rival the National Museum of Niger.It has displays covering art, history, dinosaurs, nuclear energy, craftwork and music as well as live animals, for it is also a zoo.

Niger's outgoing president warns against 'fiddling' with constitution

Niamey - Niger is battling two jihadist insurgencies and a population explosion and, by a key UN benchmark, is the poorest nation in the world.

Nigerian kidnappings a sign of Boko Haram expansion, say experts

Lagos - Nigeria's dreaded Boko Haram has sounded a grim warning in claiming responsibility for a mass kidnapping in the country's northwest, analysts say.Hundreds of students were seized by gunmen last Friday from a school in Katsina state.

Ex-Colombian rebel heading for paralympics in Tokyo

Granada - Maimed in a horrific bombing, Colombian athlete Juan Jose Florian emerged from South America's longest conflict with three missing limbs and one clear goal -- to win gold at next year's Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Karabakh residents return to homes destroyed by war

Stepanakert - Housing, livestock, crops: they had to give up everything.In Stepanakert, the main city of disputed Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenians displaced by the conflict with Azerbaijan return to destroyed homes and an uncertain future.

Colombian ELN rebel commander killed in military operation

Apo - Commander Uriel, one of the main leaders of Colombia's left-wing National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels, was killed during a military operation, President Ivan Duque announced on Sunday.

Doctors in Karabakh hospital basement feel frontline effect

Stepanakert - In the basement of a hospital in Nagorno-Karabakh, nurses take off the jacket of a young soldier with a bandaged hand, his gaze empty. Nearby, another lies on a bed, his foot dressed in a bloody gauze.

In war-hit Karabakh capital, residents inspect destroyed homes

Stepanakert - Guennadi Avanessian had a big two-storey house at 28 Saroyan Street, with a wooden terrace and vines laden with dark grapes.

Karabakh capital mobilises discreetly to support soldiers

Stepanakert - At first sight, the city appears to be almost deserted.But underground, in cellars, garages and depots hidden from sight, Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh is fully mobilised to support troops fighting Azerbaijani forces at the front.

Defiance amid the bombs in Nagorno-Karabakh

Martuni - Next to a huge painted portrait of a smiling Monte Melkonyan, an Armenian "national hero" of the 1990s war against Azerbaijan, Soviet era red plastic letters spell out the town name -- Martuni.

'Mama Sophie', kidnapped Frenchwoman who spent years feeding Malian children

Bordeaux - Frenchwoman Sophie Petronin, freed in Mali on Thursday after a long kidnap ordeal, dedicated years of her life to running a charity for malnourished children in the conflict-ridden Sahel state."She handed out food supplies.

Canada suspends weapons sales to Turkey

Ottawa - Canada announced Monday the suspension of arms exports to NATO ally Turkey as Ottawa investigates the alleged use of its military technologies in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.

Karabakh cathedral repurposed as bomb shelter

Stepanakert - A candle lights the strained faces of civilians huddled in the basement of Holy Mother of God cathedral in Nagorno-Karabakh's main city Stepanakert, where they have sought refuge from fighting that erupted a week ago over the disputed region.

Int'l 'consensus' that C.Africa vote must be held in Dec: UN official

New York - The international community supports the staging of elections in the war-wracked Central African Republic as planned in late December, the UN under secretary-general for peacekeeping, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, told AFP Thursday.

UN Security Council calls for more women peacekeepers

New York - The Security Council on Friday unanimously adopted a resolution calling on UN members to boost the numbers of women peacekeepers, diplomats said, seeing the move as a way to improve the effectiveness and credibility of the missions.

Former C.Africa president to run in December election

Bangui - Controversial former Central African Republic head of state Francois Bozize on Saturday announced he is running in the December presidential election, a high-risk vote in a country ravaged by civil war since his ouster in 2013.

Malian opposition calls off high-risk protest

Bamako - The Malian opposition alliance that demands President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita step down has called off a high-risk protest, a spokesman said Wednesday.

UN fails to find consensus after Russia, China veto on Syrian aid

New York - The UN Security Council failed to find a consensus on prolonging cross-border humanitarian aid to Syria on Friday after Russia and China vetoed an extension and members rejected a counter proposal by Moscow.

Militia ambush kills 11 in DR Congo's troubled Ituri region

Bunia - Gunmen killed 11 people including military and local officials in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, officials said Sunday, an ambush attributed to a militia accused of a string of massacres.

UN accuses multiple countries of quietly sending arms to DR Congo

New York - DR Congo's military is receiving weapons and training from multiple countries without notifying the United Nations as required by a 2004 resolution, according to a recent report to the Security Council.

Europe tries to reassure Russia over Libya arms embargo mission

New York - Europe tried to reassure Russia during a UN Security Conference video call Tuesday after a French warship intercepted an oil tanker off the coast of Libya under an operation to halt the flow of arms to the North African country.

Confessions of a Colombian extrajudicial killer commander

Apo - During Colombia's interminable battle against left-wing guerrillas, extrajudicial killings by the armed forces became the norm, according to former colonel Gabriel de Jesus Rincon.

Belarus holds Victory Day parade despite coronavirus threat

Minsk - Thousands of troops paraded before crowds of spectators in Minsk Saturday to mark 75 years since the defeat of Nazi Germany as Belarus held a celebration of Victory Day despite the coronavirus pandemic.

After criticism, segment of UN Security Council meet made public

New York - The UN Security Council made its video-conference-only meetings public Tuesday for the first time in nearly a month, after criticism of what was called a lack of transparency as it tried to play safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Slovak minister tipped to be next UN envoy for Western Sahara

New York - Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak, who once served as the president of the UN General Assembly, is expected to be named the world body's new special envoy for disputed Western Sahara, diplomats said Wednesday.

Kushner says UN must break 'habits' as he defends Middle East plan

New York - Donald Trump's son-in-law and architect of the new US peace plan for the Middle East, Jared Kushner, has called on the UN Security Council to break its "habits" and solve the "hardest problem in the world", in a rare interview.

Russia obtains ease on C.Africa arms embargo at UN Security Council

New York - The UN Security Council on Friday approved a slight relaxation of the arms embargo on the Central African Republic, an issue that has been a source of friction between France and Russia.
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