- - Wednesday, October 24, 2012

MALI

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — African Union officials are discussing the logistics for the deployment of an African-led international force against Islamist militants in Mali.

A top African Union official, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said at the beginning of a security council meeting Wednesday that the force would help Mali recover occupied territories in its north.

Ms. Dlamini-Zuma said the AU also would leave the door open for those willing to participate in negotiations.

She urged African leaders to help the country “restore in earnest state authority over the northern part of the country.”

The March coup in Mali has led the northern region of the country to fall under the control of armed Islamist extremists that are allied to al Qaeda.

The top U.S. official on Africa has said military action to oust the militants is inevitable.

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

Rights lawyer missing after visit to a prison

JOHANNESBURG | Rights groups said Wednesday that a prominent human rights lawyer in Equatorial Guinea went missing two days ago during a visit to a prison, raising concerns he may be unlawfully detained.

Human Rights Watch and EG Justice called on the government to investigate Fabian Nsue Nguema’s disappearance. The groups said Mr. Nguema is active with the opposition party and has been harassed by the government before.

Human Rights Watch said Mr. Nguema went to Black Beach prison on Oct. 22 to meet with a client and did not return home. It said one family member reported they saw him in detention there.

Equatorial Guinean law prohibits secret and warrantless detentions, and stipulates that charges must be filed within 72 hours of an arrest. Authorities have violated these laws in recent months.

SOUTH AFRICA

Gold mine to fire 12,000 striking workers

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