Africa News Roundup: Sahelian Kidnappings, Somalia Fighting, Abyei Clashes, and More

The French company Areva hopes to soon free four of its employees held by AQIM in Niger (or possibly Mali). Three of the original seven hostages were recently released. Meanwhile, the French government will publish documents related to a failed rescue attempt in January in Niger.

Cote d’Ivoire’s largest city Abidjan is near, or already in, a state of civil war.

Parts of Ivory Coast’s main city of Abidjan resemble a “war zone”, the UN refugee agency head in the West African nation, Jacques Franquin, told the BBC.

The UNHCR has suspended plans to open a camp in the west for those fleeing the violence because of safety concerns.

“The situation is deteriorating rapidly,” Mr Franquin said.

Benin has postponed its presidential election to March 13.

VOA: “Somalia Fighting Forces Thousands of Refugees into Kenya.”

Time looks at the fighting in Abyei, Sudan.

New talks on Western Sahara will begin on Monday.

Delegations of the parties to the Western Sahara dispute, Morocco and the Frente Polisario, and the two neighbouring States, Algeria and Mauritania, will gather in Malta on Monday for two days of United Nations-backed informal meetings as agreed during their last round of talks in January.

The meetings will take place at the invitation of the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, within the context of the UN Security Council mandate, the spokesperson of the Secretary-Council announced today.

What else is going on today?

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