Today 12 December
Brutal communal violence is being perpetuated in central Nigeria because of a failure to tackle the root causes of the bloodshed and prosecute those responsible, Human Rights Watch said Thursday. Instead, it called on the authorities -- from the police to the state and federal governments -- to take urgent action, warning that the bloody cycle of violence would continue if left unchecked. "Witnesses came forward to tell their stories, compiled lists of the dead and identified the attackers, but in most cases nothing was done," said Human Rights Watch's Africa director Daniel Bekele. "The authorities may have forgotten these killings, but communities haven't.
Kinshasa and the M23 rebels signed documents officially burying the hatchet Thursday in Nairobi, a month after the end of the fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. "The DR Congo government and M23 have respectively signed declarations" including the "decision by M23 to end rebellion and transform itself into a legitimate political party," read a document signed by key broker, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. Malawian President Joyce Banda also signed the document in Nairobi, on behalf of the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Nelson Mandela "drew his last breath and just rested", his ex-wife Winnie said Thursday in her first public comments on his death. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said she rushed to the former South African president's bedside for his final moments, in an interview with Britain's ITV television.
Nelson Mandela was reclaimed by ordinary South Africans who queued in huge numbers in the hot sun Thursday to file past his open casket on a day reserved for the public. As Mandela lay in state for a second day, a row deepened over a sign language interpreter at his memorial service, who responded to charges he was a fraud by insisting that a schizophrenic episode had caused him to gesticulate nonsensically. The long lines were reminiscent of the snaking queues of voters who waited to cast their first ballots in a democratic South Africa in 1994.
They fled air strikes and shelling, but many of Syria's three million refugees have found little comfort elsewhere, suffering in squalid camps and risking death to reach Europe's shores. In Lebanon, many crowd into makeshift shelters in agricultural fields that will soon be blanketed in thick snow, and in Egypt they have faced government crackdowns and deportation. A lucky few have found asylum in Sweden or Germany, but many more have ended up in the EU's poorest nation Bulgaria, held in overflowing shelters. Some of the estimated three million Syrian refugees are treading paths well-worn by economic migrants from Niger, Eritrea and elsewhere -- people fleeing poverty as much as conflict.