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Reuters Africa Highlights 1500 GMT Jan 21
Reuters Africa Highlights 1500 GMT Jan 21
The Movement for Democratic Change said last week that during the protest it would demonstrate against a crumbling economy and call for a new constitution it said will guarantee that elections scheduled for March are free and fair.
Tuesday, January 22,2008 02:50

KINSHASA - Democratic Republic of Congo"s government and warring rebel and militia factions will sign a deal on Tuesday to end fighting in the country"s conflict-torn east, government officials and diplomats said on Monday.

The agreement, which will include a ceasefire, was announced following more than two weeks of talks in Goma, capital of eastern North Kivu province, that brought together government officials, local leaders and rival armed factions.

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HARARE - Zimbabwe"s police have banned an opposition MDC protest march planned for Jan. 23, but the party said on Monday it would press ahead with the demonstration against President Robert Mugabe"s government.

The Movement for Democratic Change said last week that during the protest it would demonstrate against a crumbling economy and call for a new constitution it said will guarantee that elections scheduled for March are free and fair.

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NAIROBI - Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki"s government went on the offensive against critics on Monday, condemning opposition economic boycott plans as "sabotage" and summoning the British ambassador for a ticking off.

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga returned to the opposition stronghold of Kisumu, for the first time since the disputed election of Dec. 27, to a rapturous welcome from supporters at a memorial for those killed in unrest.

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KISUMU, Kenya - Fanatical supporters of Kenya"s opposition leader Raila Odinga banged drums, danced and blew whistles on Monday as the former political prisoner returned to his western stronghold of Kisumu.

The veteran politician is fighting the toughest battle of his turbulent career to try to win back what he considers his stolen victory in Dec. 27 polls, a disputed vote which saw President Mwai Kibaki re-elected.

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LUSAKA - Seventeen people drowned in a man-made lake in Zambia when their canoe capsized due to heavy rains, officials said on Monday, adding that flooding in the country was expected to get worse.

Ackimson Banda, junior minister for Zambia"s Central Province, said 13 of the victims were members of one family who were canoeing to a village to attend a funeral on Friday night.

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ADEN - At least 16 people including six children drowned in the Gulf of Aden while trying to cross from Somalia to Yemen, Yemeni media said on Monday.

One person was missing while 11 people including two women made it to Yemen"s shores after their boat sank near the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula country late on Saturday, al-Ayyam newspaper said.

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CAIRO - Egyptian police detained 26 members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood on Monday, including prominent activist Ibrahim Zaafarani and two candidates for parliamentary elections, the Brotherhood said.

Police took them from their homes at dawn and searched their houses for documents on the activities of the Islamic group, which the government calls a banned organisation.

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LUANDA - Pilot error caused a chartered light aircraft to crash into a mountain in Angola, killing all 13 people aboard, a senior government official said.

Angolan investigators have spent two days scouring a mountaintop outside Huambo, some 450 km (280 miles) southeast of the capital Luanda, for clues to why the twin-propeller Beechcraft King Air B200 crashed early on Saturday morning.

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KHARTOUM - Rising oil revenues mean Sudan will give free healthcare to children under five and waive fees for caesarean sections from Feb. 1 in a move that will cost $20 million a year, a senior health official said on Monday.

After decades of north-south civil war ended in 2005, oil revenues have increased and the economy has boomed despite conflict in Darfur.

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NAIROBI - Kenya defended on Monday its decision to sign a new trade deal with the European Union that will see the east African nation eventually open its markets to tariff-free products from the rich bloc.

Kenya, as part of the East African Community (EAC), signed in November an interim pact to replace the Cotonou Agreement that governed trade between the EU and some 80 ex-colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP).

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