NAIROBI (Reuters) – A hail of U.S. missiles aimed at the leader of Somalia’s al Shabaab militants may have left a gaping hole in the group’s leadership, potentially the biggest challenge to its unity since it emerged as a fighting force eight years ago.
Washington believes its laser-guided attack on Monday killed Ahmed Godane, who aligned al Shabaab with al Qaeda and authorized the group’s deadly raid on a Nairobi shopping mall last year.
NAIROBI, Aug 1 (Reuters) – South Sudan’s oil fields have
become a battleground in the struggle for power in Africa’s
newest nation, encouraging Western nations and regional
mediators to consider international monitoring of crude revenues
as a way to remove a major bone of contention from such
South Sudan sits on Sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest crude
reserves, and its oil fields were early targets in fighting that
erupted in December and has rumbled on despite two ceasefire
deals and U.N. warnings that a man-made famine looms.
NAIROBI (Reuters) – Nigeria could cut the number of polio cases to zero next year and be declared free of the disease in 2018 even though a national eradication campaign has had to contend with an insurgency in the north, Bill Gates told Reuters.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supports the global initiative to wipe out polio, which includes a campaign in Nigeria, one of three nations where the crippling virus is still endemic. The other two are Pakistan and Afghanistan.
NAIROBI (Reuters) – Religious leaders in Kenya have urged calm ahead of an opposition rally next week that threatens to stoke tension in a nation scarred by political violence in the recent past.
Raila Odinga, the main rival Uhuru Kenyatta defeated in last year’s presidential election, has set a deadline of Monday for the government to meet a demand for dialogue over militant attacks, corruption, a slow economy and other grievances.
NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s veteran opposition leader demanded on Tuesday a national dialogue by July 7 and sought a timetable to pull Kenyan troops out of Somalia, hours after a fresh attack on the coast killed five people.
Raila Odinga, who was President Uhuru Kenyatta’s main challenger in last year’s election, has called for nationwide rallies next month over what he said were public worries that include security failings, corruption and rising living costs.
NAIROBI Kenya (Reuters) – Kenya’s president shifted blame to domestic rivals on Tuesday for two attacks that killed 65 people on the coast and he dismissed claims of responsibility by Somali Islamist militants, which Nairobi usually fingers for such assaults. Somalia’s al Shabaab militant group has said its gunmen carried out the attacks on the town of Mpeketoni on Sunday night and on a nearby village early on Tuesday morning.
In comments that could further stoke political tensions in a country where allegiances generally run along ethnic lines, President Uhuru Kenyatta instead pointed the finger at rivals he described as “hate-mongers”, though he did not name anybody.
NAIROBI, May 11 (Reuters) – East African leaders and China
formally signed agreements on Sunday related to the construction
of a new multi-billion dollar railway to run from the Kenyan
port of Mombasa to Nairobi and on to neighbouring states.
The deals were signed in Nairobi on the last stage of an
Africa tour by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, although Kenya’s
president, Uhuru Kenyatta, had already signed up to the deal
during his state visit to Beijing last year.
MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Somalia needs help airlifting basic supplies to towns recently retaken by African Union-led forces because Islamist insurgents who were driven out from those areas are blocking aid convoys, the president told Reuters in an interview.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud accused the Al Shabaab militants of trying to create food shortages in newly “liberated areas” to turn locals against the state – and said the aid would show people the benefit of returning to government control.
NAIROBI (Reuters) – International mediators have called on South Sudan’s rebel leader to meet his rival President Salva Kiir to prevent an ethnic-fuelled conflict turning into a civil war or genocide, one of the envoys who met Riek Machar last week said on Monday.
EU envoy Alexander Rondos said such a face-to-face between the rivals, which would be the first since fighting erupted in mid-December, was essential to end the “cycle of vengeance” and killings that has left a ceasefire agreed in January in tatters.
DAR ES SALAM (Reuters) – Tanzania aims to hike cargo volumes through its main Dar es Salam port in 2015 by almost 40 percent over 2013 levels, part of plans to expand and build new transport links and become a regional hub, the president said on Friday.
President Jakaya Kikwete said bureaucratic hurdles had delayed plans by a Chinese firm to build a new port at Bagamoyo, 75 km north of Dar es Salam, but those were now resolved.