- - Wednesday, July 7, 2010

NIGERIA

Militants: Amnesty deal overlooked them

GWAGWALADA | Almost 1,000 militants from Nigeria’s oil-rich and restive southern delta are protesting an amnesty deal they say left them out.

The militants gathered near Nigeria’s capital of Abuja on Wednesday to call for the removal of the government minister in charge of the amnesty deal. They say they weren’t able to register for the amnesty, which is offering cash payouts and retraining for militants.

The protest ended peacefully after authorities promised to register them.

Militants have fought against foreign oil majors and government troops since an insurrection began in the delta in 2006. Violence has waned in recent months after the amnesty deal.

Nigeria is one of the top crude oil suppliers to the U.S.

SOMALIA

Shebab vow to step up jihad

BELEDWEYN | Hundreds of Shebab supporters vowed Wednesday in the central Somali town of Beledweyn to intensify the al Qaeda-inspired group’s jihad against African Union troops.

The demonstration was the Islamist insurgent group’s reply to a pledge made Monday at a summit of regional states for 2,000 more troops to beef up the beleaguered African Union mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

“The enemies of Allah met in Ethiopia days ago and agreed to fight against the Holy Koran of Allah,” Sheik Yusuf Said Ugas, Shebab leader for Somalia’s Hiran region, told the crowd.

“Now we are meeting to unite and fight against them. We will fight to death, until we raise the Islamic flag over this country and establish the greater Islamic state.”

The six-member Inter-Governmental Authority on Development announced Monday in Addis Ababa it had decided to rapidly deploy the 2,000 extra troops still needed for AMISOM to reach its intended strength of 8,100.

SUDAN

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