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Alan Boswell

Darfur Truce Follows Chad-Sudan Rapprochement

The most powerful Darfur rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement, is scheduled to sign a truce with Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir Tuesday in Doha, Qatar. The deal, negotiated in the Chadian capital N'Djamena, was spurred along by the recent pledge from Sudan and Chad to quit fueling the proxy war on their border. The cease-fire is supposed to lay the groundwork for a formal peace deal to be completed by March 15, though a Justice and Equality Movement spokesman told Reuters that such a deadline was unrealistic.

Kenya's Two Leaders Fail to Meet to End Impasse

Kenya's two warring leaders failed to meet Sunday, despite an earlier pronouncement that they would, as the nation's political impasse drags on. Prime Minister Raila Odinga returned to Kenya on Sunday.  His office had earlier announced he would meet with President Mwai Kibaki to discuss a resolution to the country's weeklong political spat, but Mr. Kibaki's aides later denied the meeting had been set. Instead, Mr.

Al-Qaida Group in Yemen Reaches Out to Somali Rebels

A Yemen-based al-Qaida group is calling for regional coordination with rebels in Somalia.  The governments of both countries are facing powerful insurgencies from Islamist forces. The deputy commander of the militant group known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, Said Ali al-Shihri, has issued an audio statement urging the Somali al-Shabab militants to join with his group in blocking U.S. maritime shipments to Israel. Yemen sits only 30 kilometers across the ocean from Somalia's smaller northern neighbor Djibouti.

Al-Shabab Attacks Peacekeeping Hospital in Somalia

Somali Islamist militant group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for an attack on a hospital run by the African Union peacekeeping force.

Record Ransom Frees Hijacked Tanker off Somali Coast

A record ransom payment has secured the release of a massive oil tanker seized in November by Somali pirates.  Piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia nearly doubled in 2009 from the previous year. The Maran Centaurus was the second-largest vessel ever captured and was carrying an estimated $2 million barrels of oil. The pirates claim they received $5.5 million for the ship's freedom, but a separate figure places the amount dropped on the ship at $7 million.  Both are believed to exceed any previous figure paid to the Somali sea bandits. Andrew Mwangura of the Kenya-based East Africa

As Year Closes, Sudan Peace Deal Faces Final Test

In early December, crowds gathered outside the police station in Khartoum to protest the detention of senior Southern party officials. The South's ruling party, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, had organized a political rally with Northern opposition groups.

Al-Shabab Denies Responsibility for Deadly Bombing

Militant Islamist group al-Shabab has denied responsibility for a deadly suicide blast Thursday that killed at least 22 people, including 3 government ministers and a number of Somalia's educated elite.

Rwanda Praises German Arrest of Hutu Rebel Leader

The Rwandan government is praising the arrest Tuesday of a Hutu rebel leader and his deputy who were living in Germany.

'Assassination' of Kenyan Gang Spokesman Condemned

A Kenyan human rights body is calling for an investigation into the killing of the spokesman of a major Kenyan gang, saying the leader told the group a few weeks prior that his life was in danger from a government hit squad.