Today 05 December
By Patrick Markey TRIPOLI (Reuters) - On a dusty parade ground outside Tripoli, young recruits march and bark out slogans for the new Libyan army that Western powers hope can turn the tide on militias threatening to engulf the North African country in anarchy. Their boots are new and their fatigues pressed, but Libya's army recruits will need more than drills to take on the hardened militiamen, Islamist fighters and political rivalries testing their OPEC nation's stability. Two years after NATO missiles helped rebels drive out Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is under siege from former rebel fighters who now flex their military muscle to make demands on the state, seize oilfields and squabble over post-war spoils. With Libya's army still in the making, Western powers are keen to halt chaos in the key European oil supplier and stop illicit arms spilling across North Africa.
Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) - Vigilantes hacked 12 civilians to death north of Bangui as communal tensions rose ahead of a UN vote authorising force to stop the Central African Republic's descent into chaos. On the eve of the expected adoption by the UN Security Council of a resolution giving French and African troops the go-ahead, a military source said Wednesday that Christian militiamen had attacked Muslim herders. "Among the victims were children and a disembowelled pregnant woman," the source told AFP, adding that at least 10 other children were hospitalised in Bangui with deep gashes. We've never seen anything like this in Central Africa before."
The draft anti-prostitution law was approved by the lower-house National Assembly with 268 deputies voting in favour, 138 voting against and 79 abstaining. It was sponsored by women's rights minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, who hailed Wednesday's vote as "the end of a long road strewn with pitfalls". "France has placed itself at the side of those who prostitute themselves, against those who take advantage of their vulnerability," campaign group the Mouvement du Nid said in a statement. Critics, who include some of France's most prominent celebrities, say the legislation will simply push prostitution further underground and make the women who earn their living from it more vulnerable to abuse.
A French court on Wednesday ruled against extraditing a businessman implicated in a plot to kill Benin's President Thomas Boni Yayi. Patrice Talon, a successful Beninese businessman and one-time ally of the president, was accused in October 2012 of trying to kill Boni Yayi by switching his medication for poison. Three people were arrested in Benin last year in connection with the alleged assassination plot: the president's niece, his doctor and a former minister. The case was later dismissed but the three are still in detention after Boni Yayi launched an appeal.
Arcady Gaydamak, the wealthy Franco-Israeli businessman wanted in France over alleged involvement in an Angolan arms sales scandal, has been freed after two weeks in a Swiss prison, a report said Wednesday. The 61-year-old tycoon had been arrested for not paying 400,000 euros ($542,000) to Luis Fernandez, a former French footballing international and the ex-coach of Betar Jerusalem, a club he once owned. Swiss prosecutors got involved because the money reportedly was meant to be paid via Geneva, but Fernandez allegedly never received it. "Angolagate" implicated members of the French political elite including former interior minister Charles Pasqua and ex-president Francois Mitterrand's son, Jean-Christophe Mitterrand.