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Briefly

- - 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

Security personnel detain youth activists

KHARTOUM | The Sudanese security service detained three youth activists in the latest sign of a clampdown six months ahead of a sensitive referendum on southern independence, their group said Wednesday.

Police arrested three young men from the group Girifna — Arabic for "we are fed up" — as they distributed campaign newspapers in a Khartoum market late on Monday, a spokesman from the organization said.

"The security men took them from the police and they beat them," said group founder Nagi Musa, who told Reuters he visited one of the men in the police station where they were still held.

Mr. Musa said Girifna campaigned for democratic change but did not advocate the violent overthrow of Sudan's government.

BURKINA FASO

Americans leave after terror warning

OUAGADOUGOU | Americans working in northern regions of Burkina Faso have been evacuated to the capital Ouagadougou after a terrorism warning, a U.S. Embassy source in Ouagadougou said.

"There was information on a possible terror threat. As a precautionary measure, we chose to withdraw persons in northern areas," the source told Agence France-Presse, without giving numbers involved.

On July 1, the U.S. State Department issued a warning that al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) was planning to kidnap an American in the north of Burkina Faso.

Americans working in areas near the Mali border were evacuated in vehicles organized by the embassy on July 3, a Burkinabe security source said.

There are about 250 Peace Corps volunteers in the West African country.

AQIM is holding two Spaniards and a Frenchman as hostages.

RWANDA

South African diplomat summoned over probe

KIGALI | Kigali has summoned South Africa's ambassador to voice concern over the probe into the shooting last month in Johannesburg of a Rwandan general, Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo told Agence France-Presse late Tuesday.

Dissident Rwandan general Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa survived an assassination attempt in South Africa on June that his wife and some opposition media in Rwanda have blamed on President Paul Kagame's regime.

"I have summoned the South African ambassador [Gladstone Dumisani Gwadiso] on Tuesday to convey the concern of the Rwandan government over the way the investigation is carried out," Ms. Mushikiwabo said.

"Some insinuations emanating from official circles in South Africa and carried in the media appear to be pointing a finger at the Rwandan government," she said.

"Naturally, there is no truth to this. We find these insinuations very alarming," the foreign minister added.

Earlier this month, the South African foreign ministry suggested foreign agents might have been involved in the assassination attempt but did not elaborate as to which country they were from.

EGYPT

Eritrean migrant killed at Israeli border

EL-ARISH | Egyptian police shot and killed an Eritrean migrant as he tried to cross the border illegally into Israel, a security official said.

Police had warned the 36-year-old man to stop and when he refused they fired shots, the official said.

He was shot in the pelvis and died from internal bleeding. His body was then taken to the nearby El-Arish hospital, the official added.

The man's death brings to 20 the number of African migrants killed so far this year when attempting the crossing in search of a better life and job prospects in Israel.

Cairo has rejected harsh criticism from human rights groups of its policy of using potentially lethal force against the migrants along the 150-mile border.

From wire dispatches and staff reports