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SOF World Report

Angolan Leader to Delay Presidential Vote

Angola's president says the country's first post-war presidential election will likely be delayed for another three years. President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who had previously said the vote would take place in 2009, says he wants his MPLA party to complete the mandate it won in last year's parliamentary elections.   That suggests the presidential vote would take place at the same time or after the next legislative polls in 2012. Mr.

Somali Pirates Release Greek-Owned Ship

Somali pirates have released a Greek-owned cargo ship and its 24 Ukrainian crew members after seven months in captivity. The director of Greek shipping firm Alloceans Shipping , Spyros Minas, says pirates freed the Ariana Thursday, after the company paid a ransom. In Kiev, Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko also announced the crew's release. The shipping company did not reveal the size of the ransom, but pirates told reporters the amount was more than $2.5 million. Pirates have continued to hijack vessels despite the presence of foreign naval patrols near Somalia. They are st

Zelaya Apparently Set to Leave for Mexico

Officials with the Honduran interim government have confirmed reports that it will allow ousted President Manuel Zelaya to leave the country after spending three months confined at the Brazilian Embassy. Mr. Zelaya is seeking safe passage to leave the embassy and travel to another country without being arrested on corruption charges brought by the interim government. The Mexican government has sent a plane to the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa to pick up Mr.

Gunmen Seize at Least 75 Hostages in Philippines

The Philippine military says gunmen have seized at least 75 people, most of them schoolchildren, after a raid on a remote elementary school in the southern Philippines. Military officials say the gunmen abducted the residents of a village on Mindanao island on Thursday. Police said 15 of the children were later released. The southern Philippines is plagued by banditry, loosely supervised government-armed militias, and Muslim and communist insurgents. Officials say police are pursuing the gunmen who appear to be using the hostages as human shields to escape. Last month, 57 people

Guinea Pulls Out of Mediation Talks

The minister for democracy and development, Colonel Moussa Keita, said the government is withdrawing from the negotiations being held in Burkina Faso until Captain Moussa Dadis Camara has recovered enough to return to work in Guinea. During an address on state television, Keita assured Guineans the military government is not giving up on regional dialogue aimed at resolving the country's political crisis. One opposition leader accused the government of withdrawing from the talks to stay in power longer.  Mamadou Bah Baadiko of the Union of Democratic Forces (UFD) called for the negotiati

Philippine Police Seek 161 Suspects in Massacre

Philippine police say they have identified and are seeking 161 people, including government militiamen, for involvement in last month's gruesome massacre of 57 people. National police chief Jesus Verzosa says witnesses identified Andal Ampatuan Jr., a local mayor, as the person who led the killings.  He is accused of leading the group to stop supporters of a rival politician from registering him for next year's provincial governor elections in Maguindanao.  Ampatuan Jr.

Nigerian Police Deny Amnesty Report Alleging Extra-Judicial Killings

Nigerian police deny Amnesty International's report alleging extra-judicial killings by officers. The rights group's three-year inquiry details cases of prisoners tortured to death and shootings at roadblocks. Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer Frank Mba denied the alleged killings.

Al-Qaida Affiliated Groups Claim Responsibility for Kidnappings in West Africa

A terrorist group affiliated with al-Qaida is claiming responsibility for last month's kidnapping of three Spanish aid workers in Mauritania and a Frenchman in Mali.   The Algerian-based group al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb made the kidnapping claim in an audio tape given to the Al Jazeera television network. A man identifying himself as Saleh Abu Mohammad says that France and Spain will be informed later about the kidnappers' demands. Spain says it can not confirm the validity of the claim, but is investigating the report. Three Spanish aid workers were kidnapped November 29 sout

UN Launches 2010 Appeal for Aid to Zimbabwe

The United Nations has launched its 2010 Consolidated Appeal Process for humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe. Speaking at the launch, U.N. Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Catherine Bragg, said the money asked for is much less than the $719 million requested for this year. "The CAP 2010 already outlines lesser needs than any other CAP launched in Zimbabwe," said Catherine Bragg. "At a total of $378 million, almost 50 percent less than the year before." Brag, who is also the U.N.