French Mali offensive moves on to Timbuktu

African Union considers sending more troops, US to provide air refueling GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The French offensive against Islamists in Mali is focusing on securing the main cities: Goa in the north was under French-led troops by Sunday morning 27 January, the largest of six cities seized by the French-Malian forces, and the fight was […]

Algerian hostage death toll rises, urgent hunt for missing

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The number of hostages who were killed in last week’s raid on a gas plant in Algeria remains unclear, with Reuters reporting at 09:30 Monday 21 January that the number is up to 60, with confirmation from the Japanese government that 12 of its citizens died. The BBC was reporting Monday morning […]

Mali conflict spills over to Algeria, with hostages seized (update)

Algerian troops surround factory Some 50 of the hostages are reported to have escaped – details sketchy Update 13:30  GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Some 50 of the hostages are reported by French and Algerian media to have escaped from the gas plant in Algeria that is under siege. A number of foreign workers at a gas […]

France faces African role: Mali intervention, Somalia failure

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – France’s new government under President Francois Hollande had barely announced it intended to reduce its role in Africa, when it sent warplanes to its former colony Friday 11 January to support the government and stop the advance of Islamists who have building strength since April 2012. Britain is sending air reinforcements to […]

Egypt sentences 14 Islamists to death for 2011 Sinai attacks

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – An Egyptian court  sentenced 14 Islamist militants to death Monday 24 September over attacks in the Sinai peninsula that killed seven people last year. The court in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya charged the men, members of a militant group called Tawheed and Jihad, for attacks on the police and army in June and July […]

Gunmen kill 21 in separate church attacks in Nigeria

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – At least 21 people were killed in two separate attacks on Christian church services Sunday 29 April, in northern Nigeria. In a first attack at a university campus in Kano, Nigeria’s second largest city, gunmen killed at least 16 worshippers congregating at a lecture hall, using explosives and gunfire, as people attempted to […]

Widening crisis in Mali sees country split as rebels gain force

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Rebel forces in Northern Mali advanced their control over vast areas in an effort to consolidate a Saharan state, taking advantage of the political upheaval left  from last month’s military coup in the capital, Bamako. The fighters are an alliance of Touareg and Islamic rebels seeking to establish a homeland for the […]

French presidential campaign halted, manhunt on for schoolchildren killer

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Candidates in the French presidential election suspended their campaigns following the killing Monday of four people at a Jewish school in Toulouse, as authorities began their search for the assassin. The country was put on the highest level of alert as authorities began looking for what was probably a single gunman, also […]

Elections: Russians out of love with Putin, Egyptian runoffs begin

High turnout in Egypt, with new Islamist group taking 24% GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Russians appear to be falling out of love with former leader Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party and turnout has been high, 62 percent, in Egyptian voting as parts of the country move into runoffs in a complex voting system. Vladimir Putin’s United […]

Tourists among 14 killed by bomb at Marakesh cafe

A huge blast Thursday 28 April at the popular Argana two-storey cafe in Marrakech’s Place Jamaâ El Fna, a Unesco World Heritage site, killed 14 people and injured another 20, according to initial figures released by the Moroccan government. Reuters says it was told initially that gas cannisters might have caused the lunchtime blast, but […]