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Sahara Desert

August 5, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
The African Union suspended Mauritania after army officers seized power in an apparently bloodless coup. The 53-nation African Union firmly denounced the coup and demanded the "restoration of constitutional order." The United Nations, former colonial power France and the United States have all condemned Wednesday's takeover. The U.S. has been training Mauritania's troops to fight Islamic militants thought to be operating in the Sahara desert.
August 2, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
Kidnappers who have held 14 European tourists hostage in the Sahara desert for five months are demanding a ransom of $5.14 million for each of them, German television reported. The nine Germans, four Swiss and one Dutch national were among 32 European tourists seized by armed rebels in Algeria. Algerian commandos freed 17 hostages in May. Another reportedly has died from heatstroke.
May 15, 2004 | Don Shirley
A revival of former Czech president Vaclav Havel's "Temptation," staged by the prickly Los Angeles director Charles Marowitz, opened Thursday in a Czech National Theater production in Prague. Marowitz used the occasion to denigrate L.A. in a Prague Post interview, calling it "the Sahara Desert with neon lights .... It's a barren place, intellectually and culturally." He also said he was contemplating a move to France or Scandinavia. -- Don Shirley
May 5, 2003 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
About 30 European tourists who disappeared in the Sahara Desert are alive, and Algerian authorities are in talks with their captors, an official said. Mohammed Guerrout, president of a parliamentary commission on tourism and culture, spoke to Algerian radio after talks with Tourism Minister Lakhdar Dorbani. He did not provide information on the identity of the abductors. The travelers, who had set off in seven groups, disappeared starting in mid-February.
September 2, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
Mauritania appealed for tens of thousands of tons of emergency food aid to help stave off famine in drought-stricken rural areas. The nation's fertile coastline on the Atlantic Ocean is 300 miles long and narrow, with the bulk of the country stretching far east and north into the Sahara desert. Interior Minister Lemrabott Sidi Mahmoud Ould Sheik Ahmed said rain had been insufficient, reservoirs were empty, the Senegal River was low and "we fear more and more animals will die."
May 13, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
The United Nations has received only 15% of the $92 million it needs this year to help save about 300,000 children from starvation in the arid Sahel belt, an official said. The world body launched an appeal in March to help feed more than 5 million people at risk of malnutrition in four countries bordering the Sahara desert: Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso and Mauritania. "In 2006, malnutrition will kill some 300,000 children unless urgent action is taken," Esther Guluma of UNICEF said.
April 6, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
Eight Austrian tourists have disappeared, bringing to 29 the number of foreigners who have vanished recently while on vacation in the north African country, relatives said. The eight, who were traveling in the Sahara Desert, were reported missing after they failed to board a ferry in the Tunisian capital of Tunis as planned. The tourists' relatives had not heard from them for days. Sixteen Germans, four Swiss and a Dutch national have also disappeared in Algeria since the end of February.
June 28, 1991 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A French magazine and television station said a magistrate investigating the 1989 bombing of a French airliner over Chad is about to file charges against top Libyan government officials. The weekly L'Express said that Libyan Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Moussa Koussa and Abdullah Senoussi, Libyan intelligence's second-in-command and leader Moammar Kadafi's brother-in-law, are facing charges in connection with the bombing. The state-owned channel Antenne 2 said it has confirmed the claims.
August 7, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
NIGER * Forces loyal to Niger's government overran one of two garrisons where mutinous soldiers were holding out, driving them to a single outpost amid the blistering dunes of the Sahara Desert, officials said. President Mamadou Tandja urged mutineers, who are demanding back pay and better conditions, to return to their units. But after two mutinies in a week, he vowed that ringleaders would be punished as a warning to others.
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