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BREAKING NEWS:Kenyan troops to leave the Somali town of Kismayo

kiiniya_armyNAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Most Kenyan troops will soon leave the port city of Kismayo which they took control of more than a year ago after ousting al-Qaida-linked militants, a Kenyan military spokesman said Friday
The Kenyan army command will leave Kismayo "soon," said Col. Willy Wesonga. Sierra Leonean troops will replace Kenyan forces that will move to the Gedo region, he said. Only small Kenyan units will remain in Kismayo, Wesonga said.
The announcement comes as Kenyan forces are accused of misconduct including of backing one Somali militia against others in Kismayo, an issue that led the Mogadishu-based Somali government to demand a more neutral force in Kismayo.
Kenya is one of several African countries that have troops in Somalia, as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia or AMISOM, which is backing the country's weak government against an onslaught by the Islamic extremists of al-Shababs.
 

British Prime Minister David Cameron holds working lunch with French President Francois Hollande in one of his local country pubs (VIDEO)

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British Prime Minister David Cameron holds working lunch with French President Francois Hollande in one of his local country pubs

 

South Sudan: MSF workers 'flee into bush'

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The medical charity MSF says 240 of its staff have been forced to flee into the bush in South Sudan because of continuing insecurity.

MSF said the workers were among thousands of people trying to escape fighting in Unity State between government forces and rebels.

Violence broke out in the world's newest state on 15 December, starting as fighting between rival army factions
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It has now killed thousands of people and displaced around 700,000.

A fragile ceasefire was agreed last week ahead of a second round of peace talks due to start on 7 February.

Rebel leader Riek Machar denies plotting a coup, but says he wants President Salva Kiir to resign.
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The former vice-president told Reuters on Friday that government attempts to charge him with treason were an effort to derail the ceasefire

Rebel leader Riek Machar spoke to Reuters from his hideout in Jonglei State

MSF head of mission Raphael Gorgeu said local staff had continued running the hospital in the town of Leer for as long as they could, "despite incredibly challenging circumstances".

"However in the past three days, the situation became too unstable and the only way to provide medical care was to take patients out of the hospital and to flee with the population into the bush."

The agency said the hospital, where it has worked for 25 years, was now empty of patients and staff

 
 

Snowden nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

spnoOSLO: A former Norwegian minister nominated fugitive US intelligence leaker, Edward Snowden, for the Nobel Peace Prize on Wednesday in a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

"He has contributed to revealing the extreme level of surveillance by nations against other nations and of citizens," former Socialist Left Party minister Baard Vegar Solhjell told AFP, explaining his move.

"Snowden contributed to people knowing about what has happened and spurring public debate" on trust in government, which he said was "a fundamental requirement for peace".

In a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee obtained by AFP, Solhjell and his party colleague Snorre Valen said that they do not necessarily condone or support all of Snowden's disclosures but praised him for revealing the "nature and technological prowess of modern surveillance".

"The level of sophistication and depth of surveillance that citizens all over the world are subject to have stunned us, and stirred debate," they wrote in the nomination letter.

They added that Snowden's actions have "led to the reintroduction of trust and transparency as a leading principle in global security policies".

US National Security Agency documents leaked by Snowden in 2013 revealed widespread surveillance of individuals and institutions in the United States and around the world.

According to the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, Snowden, who is currently living in Russia, applied for asylum in several countries, including Norway, last summer.

Solhjell, who was environment minister until Norway's left-wing government lost power last year, told AFP that he was aware of Snowden's reported request for asylum and that it should be handled according to normal procedures.

"This matter has not affected our decision to nominate Snowden for the peace prize," Solhjell said.

The deadline for submitting nominations for the 2014 peace prize is February 1.

Among those eligible to forward nominations are politicians and barristers around the world, as well as university professors from certain disciplines.

In July 2013, a Swedish sociology professor, Stefan Svallfors, nominated Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize after the deadline had passed but the nomination is still valid for 2014.
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- AFP

 

Somali community protests over lesbian adoption Outside Harrow Civic Centre

UK_POLICEMore than 50 women from the Somali community took to the streets outside Harrow Civic Centre to protest against an adoption decision they say goes against their religious beliefs.
The women gathered outside Harrow Borough Council's offices in Station Road as the child put up for adoption was due to go to its new family today.
According to the group, the child was due to be adopted by a lesbian couple, which protesters say is against their religious beliefs.
They say the mother and child’s religious beliefs and ethnicity have been ignored by placing the child in the home of the couple.
Protesters say the toddler was taken into care by social services just over a year and a half ago due to the mother's health issues and was put up for adoption in last year.
They are calling for the council to delay the adoption to reconsider the move.
 
 

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