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South Africa: Lootings, stone throwing and hate increases in the latest xenophobic attacks

(By Estera Popowska)
Latest in a series of xenophobic attacks in South Africa, foreign-owned shops have reportedly been attacked and looted in east Johannesburg, BBC reported.
A standoff is ongoing in Johannesburg, with police forming a barrier between an angry crowd and foreign-owned shops.

South African president Jacob Zuma. On Thursday held a ralley against xenophobia in the coastal city of Durban in which he condemned the violence against foreigners. But this has done little to quell the increasing xenophobic attacks.

South Africa: Malawi to repatriate nationals as xenophobic violence increases

(By Estera Popowska)
Following an upsurge in xenophobic violence, Malawi says it will repatriate its nationals from South Africa. According to reports, at least five foreigners, including a 14-year-old boy, have been killed in attacks in South Africa's coastal city of Durban since last week.

At least 200 South Africans on Tuesday attacked foreign-owned shops, on Dr Pixley KaSeme Street (West Street), prompting riot police to shut down the area, Times Live reported Wednesday adding that foreigners took up arms to fight back.

Sudan: Voting extended by one day due to low turn out, opposition boycott

(By Estera Popowska)
Following a low voter turnout , Sudan has extended nationwide elections by one day Wednesday; a move opposition reportedly said reflected apathy towards President Omar al-Bashir.

In addition to the extra day of voting, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) had already extended Wednesday poll opening by an hour, to 1600 GMT. Polls will close at the same time on Thursday.

Congo: Rebels kill 5 in a machete attack in the east

(By Estera Popowska)
In what is suspected to be the work of Islamist Ugandan rebels, officials have said at least five people were beheaded in a machete attack in an eastern area of the Democratic Republic of Congo, New Vision reported Thursday morning.

Amisi Kalonda, the area administrator of the town of Beni, reportedly said “five civilians were killed by machete in the Mbau area, ” adding that the army was alerted by a resident of the village who managed to escape. The victims were killed "as they were going to work in the fields this morning", Kalonda told AFP.

South Africa: Over 200 South Africans attack foreigners in Durban as violence and hate mounts

(By Estera Popowska)
About 200 South Africans on Tuesday attacked foreign-owned shops, on Dr Pixley KaSeme Street (West Street), prompting riot police to shut down the area, Times Live reported Wednesday adding that foreigners took up arms to fight back.

According to reports, the fights erupted within an hour of South African Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba assuring diplomats from Nigeria, Somalia, Malawi, Mozambique and Ethiopia that their citizens would be protected.

Nigeria: ‘We do not know if the Chibok girls can be rescued’ -says President elect

(By Estera Popowska)
As Nigeria marked the first anniversary of the abduction of 219 school girls by Boko Haram rebels, Nigeria’s president-elect Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said he could not make promises on their return, AFP reported.

Nigeria’s newly elected leader said there was a need for “honesty” in his new government’s approach to the girls’ abduction, with nothing seen or heard from the students since last May when they appeared in a Boko Haram video.

Nigeria: Boko Haram rebels kidnapped 2,000 women, girls-Amnesty International

(By Estera Popowska)
Amnesty International said on Tuesday that Nigeria’s rebel group, Boko Haram has kidnapped at least 2,000 women and girls since the beginning of last year. The New Vision says the kidnapping of the teenagers from Chibok, in the northeastern state of Borno, on April 14 last year brought unprecedented world attention to the brutality of the insurgency.

Nigeria: 800,000 children homeless due to conflicts in northeast Nigeria -UN

(By Estera Popowska)
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Monday that the conflict in northeast Nigeria between Boko Haram, Nigeria’s military forces and civilian self-defense groups have forced some 800,000 children to flee their homes.

According to UNICEF’s report titled “Missing Childhoods” the “number of children running for their lives within Nigeria, or crossing over the border to Chad, Niger and Cameroon, has more than doubled in just less than a year.”

Sudan: Voting opens Monday amidst opposition protests

(By Estera Popowska)
In an election expected to extend the 25year rule of incumbent Omar al-Bashir, voting opened on Monday in Sudanese presidential and parliamentary elections amidst opposition boycotts.

According to press reports, the mainstream opposition is boycotting the elections and has called on voters to stay away, saying that the conditions in the country are not right for free and fair polls.