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Kenya Westgate investigations, a month after attack

Four weeks since Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels stormed Nairobi's Westgate mall, killing at least 67 people in a four-day siege, multiple questions remain. Here is an update based on security sources involved in the ongoing investigation. - CASUALTIES Several bodies are reported to have been pulled from the wreckage of the mall, but the official toll remains at 67. Kenyan Red Cross lists 23 people as missing.

Maybe don't give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses

By John Lloyd As we saw last week, Africans are desperately risking, and losing, their lives in the struggle to get into Europe. They come above all from the war-afflicted states of Eritrea, Somalia and Syria. They trek to Libya (itself now increasingly in bloody turmoil, a Spring long gone) or Tunisia, and from there seek a boat to the island of Lampedusa, the southernmost piece of Italian soil, nearer to the north African coast than it is to Sicily.

Eritrean dies in refugee riots after Lampedusa vigil

An Eritrean in a refugee camp in Ethiopia died when demonstrations calling for resettlement turned violent, the UN said Tuesday, following a vigil for hundreds of compatriots who drowned trying to reach Europe. "We got reports of one person killed -- one refugee -- and six refugees injured," Kisut Gebre Egziabher, spokesman for the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR), told AFP.

Ethiopia parliament elects Mulatu Teshome as new president

Ethiopia's parliament elected Mulatu Teshome to be the country's new president Monday, for a six-year term in a largely symbolic and ceremonial post. "Following the opening of the new parliament, a joint session of the House of Representatives and House of Federation elected Ambassador Dr. Mulatu Teshome as the President of Ethiopia," the foreign ministry said in a statement. While officially head of state, real power rests in the hands of the Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

Shebab says British, Turkish special forces attack Somali base

Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab said Saturday British and Turkish special forces staged a nighttime sea and air attack on one of its bases, but Britain denied any involvement. Leaders of the Islamist insurgents in the southern Somali port of Barawe said commandos rappelled from a helicopter and tried to storm a house belonging to a senior Shebab commander, but the assault failed. The assault comes two weeks after Shebab gunmen attacked Kenya's Westgate shopping mall, massacring 67 people in a four-day siege. Six Britons were among the dead.

Somalia, Eritrea mourn migrant boat tragedy off Italy

Somalia and Eritrea offered condolences Saturday for the hundreds of their citizens feared drowned in the tragic sinking of a boat crammed with asylum-seekers off the Italian coast. So far, 111 African asylum-seekers have been confirmed dead but scores more are missing. Many of the victims are believed to be from Somalia -- riven by over two decades of war, as well as recent famine and drought -- as well as from Eritrea, where thousands flee a repressive government and seek jobs abroad.

Kenya vows to keep up war against Shebab in Somalia

Kenya's interior minister said Friday the country would not bow to Shebab demands to pull troops out of Somalia following a devastating mall attack in Nairobi by the Al-Qaeda-linked insurgents. "We went to Somalia because Al-Shebab was a threat to national security... We will continue to take action on that front until our security and interests in the country are protected," Joseph Ole Lenku told reporters.

Kenya vows to keep up war against Shebab in Somalia

Kenya's interior minister said Friday the country would not bow to Shebab demands to pull troops out of Somalia following a devastating mall attack in Nairobi by the Al-Qaeda-linked insurgents. "We went to Somalia because Al-Shebab was a threat to national security... We will continue to take action on that front until our security and interests in the court are protected," Joseph Ole Lenku told reporters.

Nairobi's 'little Mogadishu' fears post-attack backlash

Abdurahman Issa Mohammed, a Somali refugee in his sixties dressed in a smart shirt and blazer, says he has "not one grain of support" for the Islamist attackers from his country behind the Westgate Mall massacre. But he is scared of what may come next. "What makes us afraid though is that we are punished for the acts of those who displaced us and who killed our family members," he told AFP in a cafe in Nairobi's Eastleigh district, often known as the capital's "Little Mogadishu." "We are mourning the victims of the attack. We are crying for them," he said.

UN envoy calls for intensified campaign against Shebab

The UN special representative for Somalia on Tuesday called for a redoubling of efforts in battling the country's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab behind the deadly mall siege in neighbouring Kenya. "The UN approach and my approach to Shebab in Somalia is we need to intensify our campaigns," Nicholas Kay told reporters in Geneva. "It must be military, but also political and practical... On all three, we need to redouble our efforts."
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