West hopes Guinea Bissau elections will quell cocaine trade

Kenya NairobiNairobi/Bissau - Guinea Bissau goes to the polls Sunday in parliamentary elections the international community hopes will help turn the tide on South American cocaine-traffickers using the tiny West African nation as a hub to bring their drugs into Europe.

The nation has struggled with coups and uprisings since its independence from Portugal in 1974, and is still recovering from the 1998-9 civil war that took out much of its infrastructure.

BSNL Plans Overseas Foray; Open To Overseas Acquisitions

BSNL Plans Overseas Foray; Open To Overseas AcquisitionsBharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), a leading state run telecom operator, has announced that it is considering acquiring companies in Africa and Middle East.

While commenting on the proposals, Mr. Kuldeep Goyal, BSNL chairman and managing director stated, “We are looking at developing economies such as Africa and Middle East countries.”

The company is proposing expansion in mobile and broadband sectors in the countries where telecom density is low.

Dozens killed in suspected massacre in eastern Congo, reports say

Nairobi/Goma - Forces of rebel general Laurent Nkunda were suspected in a massacre of dozens of young men in the eastern Congo town of Kiwanja, BBC reported Friday morning.

BBC said the United Nations was looking into reports, coming after the rebel forces recaptured the town which pro-government Mai-Mai militias had briefly taken control of.

The report cited relief organisation workers as saying taht they found dozens of corpses of young men believed to have been Mai-Mai fighters, in the town.

Meanwhile the aid organisation Save the Children reported a massive rise in forced recruitment of child soldiers amid the heavy fighting in eastern Congo.

Thousands more civilians flee Congo clashes despite ceasefire

Nairobi/Goma - Thousands of civilians have been forced out of a town in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo after fighting between rebels and a pro-government militia, which came despite a ceasefire.

The UN said that rebel general Laurent Nkunda's National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) clashed Tuesday and Wednesday with the pro-government Mai-Mai militia.

The CNDP then forced thousands of civilians out of Kiwanja, northeastern DR Congo under the pretext of searching for remaining militia, a BBC correspondent in the town said.

Aid agencies say that renewed fighting between the CNDP and government forces has displaced at least 250,000 people since late August.

Vatican and Botswana establish diplomatic ties

Italy ElectionsVatican City - The Vatican ann

Zimbabwe gold mines face collapse as central bank withholds pay

ZimbabweHarare - Zimbabwe's gold mining industry, Africa's third biggest nine years ago, is on the brink of "total collapse" because the country's central bank refuses to pay for the gold it buys from the mines, the mines' representative body said Monday.

An angry statement issued by the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe accused the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) of "deliberately" ruining the industry.