Israeli Delegation Visit to Sudan Aims to Improve Relations

KHARTOUM – A delegation from Israel visited Sudan Monday for talks aimed at advancing a U.S.-brokered deal to establish formal relations. Sudan is the third Arab government looking to improve relations with Israel with Washington’s support. Israel said it sent its official delegation to Sudan to firm up the U.S.-backed normalization deal. According to Israeli media, the delegation is part of a small group of officials who are preparing higher level visits scheduled to take place in a few weeks. A government source told VOA that the Israeli delegation held…

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UN, Rights Groups Urge Ethiopia to Protect Civilians

International rights groups urged Ethiopian forces to prioritize the safety of civilians in the Tigray region Monday as a 72-hour deadline for regional forces to surrender loomed. On Sunday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed gave a 72-hour deadline to Tigrayan forces to surrender or face a military offensive from the central government, escalating a weeks-long conflict that has left hundreds of people dead. “As Ethiopian federal troops begin preparations to encircle Mekelle, Amnesty International reminds all parties that deliberately attacking civilians and civilian objects is prohibited under international humanitarian law,…

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Cameroon Begins Election Campaign amid Separatist Violence

YAOUNDE – Cameroon has begun the campaign season for its December 6 regional council elections amid threats and attacks from separatists fighting to create an English-speaking state in the French-majority country. The separatists, who have vowed to disrupt the polls, attacked several military convoys dispatched to protect voters. The government is pleading with citizens to help recently deployed troops by denouncing suspects. Councilor Emile Ngalla, 47, said he fled from Bui to Mezam, both administrative areas in Cameroon’s English-speaking Northwest region on Saturday. He said separatist fighters came to his…

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Cameroon Activists March for Toilets, Improved Sanitation

YAOUNDE, CAMEROON – Activists in Cameroon held events and marches for Thursday’s World Toilet Day, calling on authorities to provide more public bathrooms. Cameroonian authorities say 60% of its 25 million people lack toilets, fueling the spread of diseases such as cholera and dysentery. School authorities at Yaoundé’s Government Primary School Efoulan say they have close to 2,000 children and teachers but only five toilets, which are often unusable as they run short of water and toilet paper. The Cameroon Association to Improve Hygiene organized this and similar events in…

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Cameroon-Chad Border Flooding Leaves Thousands Homeless, Hungry

KOUSSERI, CAMEROON – Cameroon says at least 15,000 people have been made homeless or displaced by floodwaters along its northern border with Chad. Government and aid groups are on the border to help those in need, but flood victims say food and medicine are scarce. Cameroon authorities say heavy rains that began in September and worsened this week forced the Logone River to burst its banks. In the town of Kousseri, farmer Ali Khadil said on Friday morning his house and 15 others were destroyed by floodwaters. He said at…

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UN: 200,000 Refugees Could Flee Ethiopia for Sudan Over Next 6-12 Months

The United Nations says up to 200,000 refugees could cross into Sudan from Ethiopia in the next six to 12 months, fleeing conflict in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray. The U.N. said 1,896 refugees crossed the border Wednesday, with a total of 33,000 since the conflict erupted two weeks ago. Among the refugees are Guesh Weldemhret, his wife and two young children, who were forced by heavy shelling to flee their home in the western Tigray community of Humera. “People were running for their lives,” the day laborer told…

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Security Tightened in Cameroon’s Capital After Bombing Attacks

YAOUNDÉ – Cameroon authorities have deployed troops in the capital Yaoundé to fish out armed men they say are trying to destabilize the government.  Several bombs have exploded in Yaounde over the past two months, injuring at least 22 people. Some officials are implying that opposition parties are behind the attacks. Cameroon’s 10 regional governors, at a meeting Monday in the capital, agreed that increasing incidents of bombings in the city must be addressed. Naseri Paul Bea is governor of Cameroon’s Center Region, which includes Yaoundé. He said for the past…

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UN Releases $100M in Bid to Prevent Famine in 7 Countries

NEW YORK – The United Nations released $100 million from an emergency fund Tuesday in a bid to avert famine in seven at-risk countries. “Famine can be prevented, but we have to act in time to make a difference,” U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said in a statement announcing the disbursement, which is to-date the single largest allocation from the Central Emergency Relief Fund. Before the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe, bringing socio-economic shocks with it, there were already 135 million people facing serious food insecurity in 55 countries, according…

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