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01 Apr 2015 description

Source: Reuters - Tue, 31 Mar 2015 15:14 GMT

DAKAR, March 31 (Reuters) - Broadening access to contraceptives in Africa's arid Sahel region and improving women's sexual health are key parts of a $200 million World Bank project in the conservative Muslim region, its coordinator said.

Read the full article on Reuters - AlertNet

15 May 2014 description
  • Africa launches its first sovereign risk insurance pool

  • Fund targets drought-prone countries first

  • Climate change seen major risk to Africa

By Wendell Roelf

CAPE TOWN, May 15 (Reuters) - In the 1980s images of skeletal Ethiopian babies and their parents, dying from hunger during a devastating famine, helped galvanize global humanitarian and financial aid to drought-ravaged African countries.

Read the full report on AlertNet.

22 Mar 2013 description

By Laurent Prieur

MBERA, Mauritania, March 22 (Reuters) - Fears of ethnic reprisals by government troops in Mali have driven thousands of Arabs and Tuaregs in the country's north to abandon their homes and flee to Mauritania, undermining efforts to reunite their war-torn homeland.

Read the full report

14 Mar 2012 description

BAMAKO, March 14 (Reuters) - Mauritania dispatched its top diplomat to neighbouring Mali on Wednesday to counter media reports that it was backing Malian rebels fighting for independence in the desert north.

The Mauritanian foreign minister expressed his country's support for Mali's authorities. His visit came as rebel fighters arrived within 135 km (80 miles) of Timbuktu, the capital of one of three northern regions they want to annex to create a new state on the edge of the Sahara.

22 Feb 2012 description

DAKAR, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Some 120,000 people have been forced from their homes in Mali since Tuareg-led rebels launched an independence bid last month in the country's desert north, United Nations figures showed.

The conflict, which has seen rebels bolstered by fighters and weapons from Libya's conflict launch a wave of attacks on military outposts, comes as the Sahel region grapples with a food crisis that aid agencies say will leave more than 10 million hungry this year.

08 Feb 2012 description

By Richard Valdmanis

DAKAR, Feb 8 (Reuters) - A cloud of Saharan dust stretching thousands of kilometres dimmed the sun and grounded flights across the western edge of Africa, the region's worst sand storm in two years.

A NASA satellite image showed a yellowish-brown plume stretching north from Western Sahara and inland to Mali.

Read the full report on AlertNet.

04 Feb 2012 description
  • Heavy weapons fire heard around key northern town

  • Thousands flee across Mali and beyond (Adds refugees, background)

By Adama Diarra

KIDAL, Mali, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Sporadic heavy weapons fire rang out in the northern Malian town of Kidal overnight and on Saturday, in a sign that a Tuareg-led rebellion was nearing its most significant target to date after two weeks of fighting.

Read the full report on AlertNet

27 Jan 2012 description
  • UNICEF seeks funds to save lives in 8 Sahel countries

  • Sahel instability fueled by al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, compounds crisis

GENEVA, Jan 27 (Reuters) - More than 1 million children in the Sahel are at risk of severe malnutrition and urgent action is needed to avert starvation akin to that in Somalia, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned on Friday.

12 Apr 2011 description

BRUSSELS, April 11 (Reuters) - Donors' decision to suspend $180 million of aid to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria could hit efforts to combat the diseases, the fund's chief said on Monday.

Germany, Spain and Denmark temporarily stopped payments to the Geneva-based fund earlier this year after hearing reports donations had been misused.

Read the full article on Reuters-Alertnet.

26 Aug 2010 description

26 Aug 2010 00:01:05 GMT

Source: Reuters

* Drought tolerant maize boosts yields up to 25 percent

* Gains from full adoption: $907 million - $1.53 billion

* Africa suffers worsening drought linked to climate change

By Tim Cocks

ABIDJAN, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Distributing new varieties of drought tolerant maize to African farmers could save more than $1.5 billion dollars, boost yields by up to a quarter and lift some of the world's poorest out of poverty, a study found.

The study published on Thursday by the Mexico-based International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre …

23 Aug 2010 description

23 Aug 2010 19:39:00 GMT

* Release ends longest kidnapping in Sahara desert

* Arrive in Burkina capital smiling

* Due back in Barcelona on Monday night

* EU to draft U.N.

23 Aug 2010 description

23 Aug 2010 19:39:04 GMT

Source: Reuters

* Release ends longest kidnapping in Sahara desert

* Arrive in Burkina capital smiling

* Due back in Barcelona on Monday night

* EU to draft U.N.

12 Mar 2010 description

MADRID, March 12 (Reuters) - Al Qaeda is seeking a $5 million ransom and the release of imprisoned Islamist fighters as conditions to free two Spanish hostages kidnapped in Mauritania, newspaper El Pais said on Friday, citing sources familiar with the negotiations.

El Pais published an exclusive statement from the Islamist fighter group in which it asked the Spanish government to meet its "legitimate demands" following the release of a third Spanish aid worker, Alicia Gamez, earlier this week.

The communique did not specify what the demands were, but El Pais quoted sources …

11 Jan 2010 description

Jan 11 (Reuters) - Al Qaeda's North African wing have threatened to execute a French hostage if four al Qaeda prisoners being held in Mali were not released within 20 days.

Here are details about foreigners held throughout Africa:

* CHAD:

November 2009 - Frenchman Laurent Maurice, an agronomist, was kidnapped on Nov. 9 near the border with Sudan, while working for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Chad. The ICRC suspended its activities in the region on Nov.

22 Dec 2009 description

NOUAKCHOTT, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Mauritanian security forces have arrested a Malian suspected of involvement in the kidnapping of an Italian couple near the Mali-Mauritania border, security sources said on Tuesday.

Abderrahmane Ben Meddou, who was arrested in Mauritania's eastern town of Kobenni on Monday, is suspected of having helped identify and follow the Italian couple in return for promises of thousands of dollars, Mauritania's news agency reported.

The kidnapping is the latest in a string of seizures of foreigners by armed groups in West Africa, some of whom have links …

19 Dec 2009 description

Dec 19 (Reuters) - An Italian couple were missing and their bullet-riddled car was found abandoned on Saturday in eastern Mauritania, near the border with Mali.

The vehicle was found in an area where armed groups with links to al Qaeda are known to operate, and a local journalist said they had probably been kidnapped.

Here are details about foreigners held throughout Africa:

CHAD:

November 2009 - Frenchman Laurent Maurice, an agronomist, was kidnapped on Nov.

17 Dec 2009 description

Dec 17 (Reuters) - Mali believes three Spanish aid workers who went missing in Mauritania last month are being held on its territory by al Qaeda's wing in North Africa, a source close to efforts to free them said.

Here are details about foreigners held throughout Africa:

CHAD:

November 2009 - Frenchman Laurent Maurice, an agronomist, was kidnapped on Nov. 9 near the border with Sudan, while working for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Chad. The ICRC suspended its activities in the region on Nov.

30 Nov 2009 description

Nov 30 (Reuters) - Three Spanish aid workers who disappeared in Mauritania on Sunday appear to have been kidnapped by a group linked to al Qaeda, Spain's Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said.

Here are some details about foreigners held throughout Africa:

* CHAD:

November 2009 - Frenchman Laurent Maurice, an agronomist, was kidnapped on Nov. 9 near the border with Sudan, the International Committee for the Red Cross said. The ICRC suspended its activities in the region on Nov. 10.

* MALI:

November 2009 - Pierre Kamat, a Frenchman, was kidnapped on Nov.

26 Oct 2009 description

PARIS, Oct 26 (Reuters) - The visit to France this week by Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz puts relations between the two countries back on track after the July elections, the French foreign ministry said on Monday.

Aziz, who became president after ousting Mauritania's first democratically elected leader in a coup last year, is due to meet President Nicolas Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner during the three-day trip.

"This visit marks the normalisation of relations between Mauritania and France after the presidential elections held on July 18," …

20 Oct 2009 description

PARIS, Oct 27 (Reuters) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday promised to support Mauritania in its efforts to unlock international aid suspended last year in protest at a coup by the Islamic state's current president.

Sarkozy emphasised Mauritania's "major strategic importance in the fight against terrorism" after meeting with President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, whose visit to Paris marks a normalisation in relations, Sarkozy's office said.

Sarkozy also proposed a bilateral deal to convert 17 million euros ($25.30 million) of Mauritania's debt …