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Briefly

- - Wednesday, December 7, 2011

SOUTH SUDAN

China tries to mediate Sudan oil impasse

JUBA | China is inserting itself into the fight over oil between Sudan and its former territory South Sudan, sending a special envoy to try to break a deadlock between two rivals.

South Sudanese Minister of Petroleum and Mining Stephen Dhieu Dau told the Associated Press that Chinese diplomat Liu Guijin arrived in Juba on Wednesday.

His arrival comes one week after China's Foreign Ministry publicly asked Sudan and South Sudan to resolve the issue through "friendly consultations."

China is a major buyer of and investor in Sudanese oil. It owns one of two pipelines running through Sudan and has dozens of workers in the region's oil fields.

Mr. Guijin will be in Khartoum, Sudan's capital, on Thursday for more talks.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Troops on standby as vote result delayed

KINSHASA | Troops patrolled Kinshasa Wednesday as Congo faced two more days of waiting for the full results of a presidential election that has sparked protests abroad and raised fears of a fresh explosion of violence.

President Joseph Kabila, in power since 2001, looked on track for another five-year term in the single-round race. He was leading top rival Etienne Tshisekedi, 49 percent to 33 percent, in results announced Tuesday and based on 89 percent of polling centers.

The Independent National Electoral Commission said late Tuesday it needed more time to compile final results from around the country. It promised a full count within 48 hours.

UGANDA

Fears for Rwandan reporters in Uganda after death

NAIROBI, KENYA | Human Rights Watch is urging Uganda's government to conduct a "transparent" investigation into the murder of a Rwandan journalist.

The group said in a statement Tuesday that Uganda's government should provide protection for Rwandan journalists and other critics of Rwanda's government living in Uganda.

Charles Ingabire, the editor of an online publication and a frequent critic of Rwanda's government, was shot and killed in Kampala last week.

Critics of the government of Rwandan President Paul Kagame have been killed under mysterious circumstances over the years. Rwanda's government always has denied any involvement in such deaths.

NIGERIA

Seven killed in explosion at auto-parts market

KADUNA | Emergency officials said at least seven people were dead after an explosion in an auto-parts market in a central Nigerian city.

A spokesman for Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency, Yushau Shuaib, said the dead included a 3-year-old child.

Officials said the explosion happened Wednesday morning in Kaduna, the capital of Kaduna state.

Kaduna state Police Commissioner Bala Nasarawa said investigators were looking into the cause of the blast, which occurred near cylinders of natural gas.

Kaduna, on Nigeria's dividing line between its largely Christian south and Muslim north, was at the heart of post-election violence in April.

ZIMBABWE

U.S. protests arrests of journalists, acitvists

HARARE | The United States on Wednesday protested the increasing number of arrests of journalists and civic activists ahead of the completion of constitutional reforms and proposed elections in Zimbabwe.

Andrew Moyse, head of an independent media monitoring group, was freed from jail late Tuesday after police raided his offices and seized CDs and DVDs alleged to contain subversive material.

Three of his staff arrested Monday remained in custody in western Zimbabwe. In a new crackdown by police, four other independent journalists have been arrested since Nov. 15.

In a statement Wednesday, the U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe criticized the selective targeting of media figures. It said this is an "important year" in Zimbabwe for constitutional and electoral reform meant to guarantee free expression after years of sweeping media curbs enforced by President Robert Mugabe's party and loyalist police and security forces.

UGANDA

U.S. troops deploy in LRA rebel hunt

ENTEBBE | U.S. troops have begun a regionwide hunt for fighters from the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a Ugandan-born group that has been killing, raping and looting for years, the Ugandan army said Tuesday.

President Obama in October sent 100 special forces soldiers to help Uganda track down LRA chief and international fugitive Joseph Kony, who has wreaked havoc over four nations for more than two decades.

"[U.S. troops] are there, and they are setting up their bases," said Ugandan army spokesman Felix Kulayigye.

U.S. troops had deployed to Obo in the Central African Republic and Nzara in South Sudan, where Uganda's army has forward bases to battle the rebel group, Mr. Kulayigye said, but gave no details of the numbers of troops sent.