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Libya Talks Aimed At Unified Government To Begin

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Weeks after Libya’s warring factions signed a ceasefire agreement, talks between the two sides will hold today in neighbouring Tunisia as part of a continuing peace process.

Last month, the Government of National Accord based in Tripoli and the eastern parliament led by Gen Khalifa Haftar both signed a ceasefire deal to enable them start negotiations on forming a single government with the aim of holding elections.

The head of the United Nations mission, Stephanie Williams, said there had already been significant progress and these latest talks offered Libyans a unique opportunity.

Seventy-five persons will take part in the talks, selected by the UN to represent Libya’s political, military and social factions.

Few weeks back, Libya`s largest oil field resumed operation following nearly nine months of suspension as warring factions in the country scuffle for power. Gen Haftar’s forces imposed the blockade in January when they were still besieging the capital, Tripoli, but agreed to lift it in September.

Libya’s economy is dependent on oil.

Libya was plunged into chaos when a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 toppled and killed longtime ruler Mohammar Gadhafi. The country has since split between rival east- and west-based administrations, each backed by armed groups and foreign governments.

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Suspected Boko Haram Attack Kills Four Chadian Soldiers

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Four soldiers have been reported killed in south-west Chad when a boat exploded. Dozens others were said to have been injured when an explosive device placed at the bottom of the boat exploded.  The device was thought to have been an improvised bomb.

The blast happened on Tuesday night near Ngouboua, around 25km from the Nigerian border.

A district administrator said authorities are trying to find out if this is a new technique of Boko Haram.

The Boko Haram insurgency began in north-eastern Nigeria more than a decade ago. The UN says violence has spread to neighbouring countries, killing more than 30,000 persons and forcing two million from their homes.

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Ethiopia ‘Begins Final Stage’ Of Tigray Assault

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Ethiopia`s government has progressed with its offensive operation on the northern Tigray region. Many countries, Africa Union, European Union and the United Nations have all called for de-escalation but prime minister Abiy Ahmed has said federal troops have begun the final phase of assault operation on the northern Tigray state.

At least 600 persons are reported to have been killed in the ongoing conflict that has lasted three weeks. Thousands more have abandoned their homes and fled to neighbouring Sudan.

In a statement, prime minister Abiy Ahmed said “great care” would be taken to protect the residents of the region’s capital, Mekelle, from harm as his troops head there. But he also warned residents to stay indoors.

He said thousands of Tigrayan forces and militia had surrendered in compliance to the 72 hours ultimatum. Tigray officials are yet to respond to the claim. It has been difficult to verify claims from either side because of a communications blackout. Abiy had given Tigray forces a deadline to peacefully surrender which ended on Wednesday.

Abiy Ahmed has continued to reject international intervention in Ethiopia’s internal conflict and said the Tigray situation would be resolved in accordance to laws and international obligations.

The un had asked the Ethiopian government to protect civilians as it expresses fears about their safety and welfare.

Meanwhile, Africa Union mission has arrived in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, to try to mediate between the federal government and the northern Tigray state after three weeks of conflict.

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Kenya: President Kenyatta Reveals Why He Left Twitter

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It appears negative comments on twitter have driven Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta to his limit. Stating the reason he closed his account on the social media app, Kenyatta said he was angered by insults on twitter, so he shut down his personal Twitter account.

He said insults keep him up at nights causing him to lose sleep.

The head of state’s deactivated personal Twitter account had more than three million followers. His administration now uses a state house account, which has around one million followers.

The communication team did not at the time reveal the reason for deactivating the president’s account.

Kenyans on Twitter are known for expressing themselves on the platform often leading to online fights with tweeters from other countries.

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