Today 04 December
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 to heads and limbs. We've never seen anything like this in Central Africa before."
Nigeria's army said on Wednesday it had identified more than 500 suspected Islamist militants - including members of the security forces who had supported the insurgents - and called for them to be tried on terrorism charges. The army said the suspects were detained during a crackdown in the northeast, where soldiers are trying to end a 4-1/2 year insurgency by Islamist sect Boko Haram. "Among those recommended for trial are a medical doctor, paramilitary or service personnel who were fighting on the side of the terrorists and other individuals who offered direct logistics support to the terrorists," Defense Headquarters spokesman Chris Olukolade said. Suspected members of Boko Haram stormed the air force base and several other military locations in an apparently coordinated attack in the northeast town of Maiduguri on Monday, underlining the sect's continued threat to security in Africa's top oil producer.
Ashegoda (Ethiopia) (AFP) - From the sky, the 84 glimmering white turbines at Ashegoda wind farm shoot up from the ground like massive spokes, standing out high amid vast expanses of yellow wheat. Ethiopia's northern Tigray region, mostly populated by cattle farmers who grow the country's staple grains, is an unlikely site for a modern French-run wind farm, let alone sub-Saharan Africa's largest. With its multi-billion dollar projects in wind, hydropower, solar and geothermal energy, Ethiopia's pioneering green energy efforts aim to supply power to its 91 million people and boost its economy by exporting power to neighbouring countries. "Ethiopia stands alone in Africa as using green energy for transformative growth," said Ahmed Soliman, from Britain's Chatham House think tank.
OPEC agreed on Wednesday to hold its crude production ceiling at 30 million barrels per day despite oversupply concerns and competition from cheaper shale oil. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which pumps out about one third of the world's oil, failed again to decide on a new secretary-general amid group tensions, instead keeping Libya's Abdullah El-Badri as its administrative head for 2014. And Libya, where output of crude oil has fallen sharply on unrest in the country, will assume the cartel's rotating presidency for next year, OPEC added in a communique. The cartel, which could see higher production from its members Iran, Iraq and Libya in coming months, nevertheless faces competition from non-OPEC producers of shale oil.
Tozeur (Tunisia) (AFP) - Tunisia's southern Tozeur region ground to a halt on Wednesday, as the latest in a growing number of strikes around the country was called to protest a lack of development. "This movement is taking place because the authorities have ignored our demands," the UGTT trade union confederation's regional chief, Haroun Bouagga, told AFP. The strike organisers, who include the Utica bosses' organisation as well as the UGTT, estimated that 98 percent of public offices, shops and businesses observed the strike in Tozeur, some 450 kilometres (280 miles) southwest of Tunis. The UGTT and Utica are demanding state aid to develop the tourism and agriculture sectors, the two main employers in the oasis town, which lies on the edge of the desert, not far from the Algerian border.