- Rebels in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have extended attacks against government army and UN peacekeepers in largest offensive in two months of fighting in eastern North Kivu.
Ethnic Tutsi rebels loyal to renegade General Laurent Nkunda today attacked in several areas between Kibumba and Rutshuru towns, 25 kilometers (16 miles) and 70 kilometers north of North Kivu province's capital, Goma, respectively, provincial army commander General Vainqueur Mayala said.
"Fighting is continuing in those areas,'' Mayala said by telephone from Goma, some 1,570 kilometers east of Kinshasa, the capital.
Meanwhile, prime minister Adolphe Muzito has had to postpone his trip to Goma today because of fighting in area, according to his spokesman, Patrick Muyaya.
Reports show that president Joseph Kabila has dismally failed to establish peace in North Kivu after end of two civil wars in 2003, in which as many as 5 million people have died.
Congo, which is Africa's largest tin producer, exports three quarters of its shipments of metal from Goma.
Peacekeepers of UN Mission in Congo, known as Monuc, were also reportedly engaged in deadly fighting with Gen Nkunda's National Congress for the Defense of the People, (CNDP).
Rebel spokesman Bertrand Bisimwa said, "Monuc is behaving like a belligerent. They are coming with their helicopters and tanks. We have to defend ourselves,'' he said.
UN is preparing to evacuate about 50 international and Congolese aid workers from Rutshuru, according to Gloria Fernandez, head of UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Congo.
"Security situation has been uncertain for last few days,'' she told media today in a telephone interview from capital Kinshasa.
Monuc's military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Samba Tall was said to have not been available for comment, while the mission's commander, Lieutenant-General Vicente Diaz, reportedly resigned yesterday, citing personal reasons.
Peacekeeping mission comprises about 16,475 soldiers, with largest contributions from Pakistan, India, Uruguay and Bangladesh. Lt Gen Diaz took command last month. Spanish general's posting was expected to last about a year.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.