- - Wednesday, July 20, 2011

NIGERIA

Faction emerges from radical Muslim sect

MAIDUGURI — A Nigerian military official said the emergence of a breakaway group within a feared Muslim sect is a sign that the radical sect is weakening.

Joint Security Task Force spokesman Lt. Col. Hassan Mohammed said Wednesday that his officers had seen statements announcing that a faction had split from a sect locally known in Nigeria’s restive northeast as Boko Haram.

A group that calls itself the Yusuffiya Islamic Movement said in unverified statements that “people with evil motives have infiltrated our genuine struggle.”

Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is sacrilege” in the local Hausa language, is responsible for a rash of killings targeting security officers, local leaders and clerics in the area in the last year.

SOUTH SUDAN

Peace minister resigns to make way for youth

KHARTOUM — South Sudan’s minister for peace has resigned to make way for the new generation but will remain secretary-general of the ruling party and chief negotiator with the north, his assistant said Wednesday.

Pagan Amum’s “resignation as minister of peace … has been accepted by the government. But his resignation as secretary general of the [Sudan People’s Liberation Movement] has been turned down,” Atif Keer, a senior staffer on the secretary-general’s team, told Agence France-Presse.

“He thought it was the right time to step aside and free the stage for the new generation.

“This is not a sign of weakness or defeat. He chose to do this when we had our moment of victory. … One of our weaknesses as individuals [is that] most of the people stay in their positions for a long time.”

South Sudan became a nation July 9. Corruption among politicians is one of the main challenges the fledgling nation faces.

MALAWI

One person killed during violent riots

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