Today 21 December
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Rebel fire hit two U.S. military aircraft responding to the outbreak in violence in South Sudan on Saturday, wounding three U.S. service members and heavily damaging at least one of the aircraft, officials said. South Sudan blamed the attack on renegade troops in control of the breakaway region.
By Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete has sacked four government ministers following accusations of abuses committed by security forces during a huge operation against wildlife poaching. The dismissals, which did not affect the key finance and energy portfolios, come after reports of arbitrary murder, rape, torture and extortion of innocent civilians by members of the anti-poaching crackdown dubbed "Operesheni Tokomeza" ("Operation Destroy"). Kikwete dismissed Defense Minister Shamsi Vuai Nahodha, Home Affairs Minister Emmanuel Nchimbi, Tourism and Natural Resources Minister Khamis Kagasheki and Livestock Development Minister David Mathayo. "The president has agreed to nullify the appointments of all four ministers," Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda announced in parliament late on Friday to applause from lawmakers.
Somalia's parliament on Saturday approved as the new prime minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, a political newcomer and economist who faces tough challenges in the war-torn nation. All but three lawmakers in parliament voted to approve President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud's nomination of the economist who has worked with several international organisations and banks. Ahmed, 54, faces a giant task to rein in corruption, crush Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents battling to topple the central government, and rebuild the troubled Horn of Africa nation. He replaces Abdi Farah Shirdon, ousted by parliament after just over a year in the post amid fierce power struggles within the internationally-backed government.
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Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) - More than 30 people including a Chadian peacekeeper have been killed in a fresh outbreak of brutal sectarian violence in the Central African Republic capital, sources said Friday. The Central African Red Cross said it had retrieved 29 bodies from the streets of Bangui after heavy fighting broke out overnight, continuing into early Friday. The victims were "shot or hacked to death with machetes," said a Red Cross official who asked not to be named, and who said the overall toll was likely to be higher. Doctors Without Borders said around 40 victims had been taken to a community hospital Friday, most of them with gunshot wounds, and three had died of their injuries.
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