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Central Africa leader fate to be decided at Thursday summit: France

PARIS (Reuters) - Central African leaders will meet on Thursday to decide the future of Central African Republic's interim President Michel Djotodia whose leadership has failed to restore stability, France's foreign minister said on Wednesday. French and African troops deployed in the country have struggled to stop tit-for-tat violence between Muslim Seleka rebels, who seized power in March, and Christian self-defense militias. More than 1,000 people died in clashes in December.

South Sudan's terrified huddle in 'town' within city

South Sudan's capital has three towns: the first is the dusty streets of Juba, largely calm but where the crackle of gun fire still rings out at night after three weeks of violence. But the other two are foul smelling camps totalling some 30,000 people squeezed in the grounds of United Nations bases, an enclave crowded so tight that people have to take turns to sleep on the ground in flimsy shelters made of cardboard or ragged cloth.

UN to speed up Central Africa peackeeping force

The United Nations said Friday it would speed up planning for a possible UN peacekeeping force in Central African Republic, where deadly strife is spreading. Consultations with the Security Council and the African Union "will be expeditiously undertaken" in coming days, it said, after talks between UN leader Ban Ki-moon and French President Francois Hollande.

Opposition censures military for receiving ammunition aid from Japan

SEOUL, Dec. 26 (Yonhap) -- The main opposition Democratic Party strongly censured the military Thursday for receiving Japanese ammunition aid for defense of the country's military contingent in South Sudan, demanding punishment of those responsible for the decision. The military has been under criticism following revelations that the Hanbit unit of engineers and medics stationed in the African nation on a U.N. peacekeeping mission recently received 10,000 rounds of ammunition from Japan's camp in an emergency measure to beef up its defense against possible rebel attacks.

UN Council approves 6,000 more S.Sudan peacekeepers

The United Nations Security Council agreed on Tuesday to almost double the size of the peacekeeping force in troubled South Sudan, adding nearly 6,000 more soldiers and police. UN chief Ban Ki-moon had called for the UNMISS force to be increased to counter a major outbreak of violence, and member states agreed to increase the military contingent to 12,500 troops. The police deployment will reach 1,323. avz/dc/sst

UN fears civilians slaughtered in South Sudan attack

The United Nations fears that 36 civilians sheltering in a UN base in South Sudan were killed in an attack in which two Indian peacekeepers died, diplomats said. "We fear that they have been killed," Edmond Mulet, assistant secretary general for UN peacekeeping told an emergency UN Security Council session on the South Sudan crisis, according to diplomats at the meeting. tw/jm

Retroactive immunity for the consul? Frankel

By Alison Frankel NEW YORK (Reuters) - The December 12 arrest of Devyani Khobragade, a deputy consul general at India's consulate in Manhattan, has precipitated quite a diplomatic brouhaha.

India prime minister, lawmakers slam U.S. treatment of diplomat

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday deplored the treatment meted out by U.S. law enforcement authorities to an Indian diplomat arrested last week in New York, in a case that has ballooned into a serious diplomatic row. "This is deplorable," Singh was quoted by the Press Trust of India as telling reporters outside Parliament where lawmakers across party lines condemned the alleged ill-treatment of 39-year-old Devyani Khobragade, India's deputy consul general in New York, and demanded an unconditional U.S. government apology.

India prime minister, lawmakers blast U.S. treatment of diplomat

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday deplored treatment meted out by U.S. law enforcement authorities to an Indian diplomat who was arrested last week in New York on suspicion of visa fraud and paying her maid a below-minimum-wage salary.

Germany, Britain mull troops for C. Africa: French minister

Germany and Britain are considering sending troops to the crisis-hit Central African Republic, a French minister said Wednesday, as Paris pushes hard for help from its European allies. The comments by European Affairs Minister Thierry Repentin came a day after Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced other European nations would "soon" deploy troops to Central Africa, where France already has a 1,600-strong force attempting to quell deadly sectarian violence.
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