November 16, 2010 |
After decades of war, ruin and dashed aspirations, southern Sudan moved a step closer to independence Monday as thousands registered to vote in a referendum that early next year could split Africa's largest country in two. The voter registration drive, marred by delays and political wrangling, began at about 2,700 centers around Sudan. The bulk of the turnout was in the semiautonomous south, dominated by animists and Christians, which on Jan. 9 is expected to secede from the mostly Muslim government in the north controlled by President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir.
July 1, 2010 |
Dressed in camouflage and hunkering among his soldiers, Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed appeared on the front lines Thursday in an offensive against Islamic militants in his country's shattered capital of Mogadishu, witnesses and government officials said. Fierce firefights rumbled across the city on the 50th anniversary of Somali independence, a landmark spoiled by years of civil war, a refugee crisis and the rise of an Al Qaeda-linked Islamic group that controls all but a few of Mogadishu's streets.
May 13, 2010 |
On streets and alleys whittled by gunfire, Col. Abdi Bashir Dhagol is arming for a new battle amid the fleeing families, bloodied markets and boy soldiers of Mogadishu. Somali troops, supported by U.S.-funded weapons and training, are preparing to retake the capital from Al Qaeda-backed militants in an offensive to shift the balance of power in the Horn of Africa. But like many plans in a country ravaged by years of conflict, success lives half a breath away from failure. Even soldiers have doubts.
September 18, 2009 |
In swift retaliation for the U.S. killing this week of a suspected Al Qaeda fugitive in Somalia, insurgents attacked the main African Union peacekeeping base in Mogadishu with twin truck bombs Thursday, killing at least nine people, including four AU soldiers. Suicide bombers attempted to infiltrate the heavily guarded seaside base by impersonating U.N. personnel, AU officials said. Among the wounded were unidentified senior Somali government officials, who were visiting the base, and the newly arrived African Union force commander, Ugandan Maj. Gen. Nathan Mugisha, who suffered minor injuries, AU and government officials said.
September 10, 2009 |
Even in a country that has endured so much suffering, few images could more tragically convey the senseless violence gripping Somalia today than the expressionless stare of a 5-year-old boy named Omar. As he slept next to his mother one recent morning, a stray bullet from a nearby gun battle struck him in the back of the head. He made no movement or sound, so his family members didn't even notice at first. Later they saw blood oozing from a small hole in his head and thought it was a snakebite.
August 29, 2009 |
When a mystery illness swept through the African Union peacekeeping mission here, killing six soldiers and sickening dozens, doctors were stumped. With help from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they ruled out swine flu, tropical infection, rat-borne bacteria and even deliberate poisoning, as claimed by Somalia's insurgents. But the culprit, doctors fear, is just as alarming: beriberi, a vitamin-deficiency disorder typically seen only in famines. Simply put, African Union soldiers appear to have died from a form of malnutrition.
February 23, 2009 |
A suicide car bomb attack against African Union peacekeepers in Somalia on Sunday killed 11 Burundian soldiers and wounded 15, the deadliest attack against AU troops since their deployment two years ago. Insurgents from the Shabab militia, which claims links to Al Qaeda, took responsibility and vowed to continue assaults against AU soldiers who have been helping shore up Somalia's shaky transitional government.
January 31, 2009 |
The African Union urged the International Criminal Court on Friday to suspend its indictment of Sudan's president on genocide charges, saying it could jeopardize any peace process in Darfur. The court's chief prosecutor has accused President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir of committing genocide and crimes against humanity in a campaign against tribes in Darfur involving killings, rape and deportation.
December 30, 2008 |
The African Union suspended Guinea from the bloc and threatened further sanctions unless young soldiers who seized power last week restore constitutional rule. That seemed unlikely in the immediate future, however, as many in Guinea appeared to welcome the bloodless coup that followed the Dec. 22 death of longtime dictator Lansana Conte.
November 21, 2008 |
The International Criminal Court prosecutor at The Hague requested arrest warrants for three Darfur rebel commanders, accusing them of storming an African Union camp and killing 12 peacekeepers. Chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who also wants to put Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir on trial over the conflict in his nation's Darfur region, said rebel attacks on peacekeepers last year were considered war crimes under the court's statute. About 1,000 fighters led by the rebel commanders, whose names were not made public, attacked and overwhelmed the camp without warning, African Union officials said.