Pambazuka News 269: Ivory Coast: Dynamics of mediation

Deputy Ugandan rebel leader Vincent Otti has warned there will be no peace deal unless international indictments for the top rebels are dropped. Mr Otti and three other Lord's Resistance Army commanders, including leader Joseph Kony, are wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In an apparent widening of its military offensive against rebels in North Darfur State, the Sudanese military have used Antonov planes to bomb another seven villages in the volatile region, sources in the region say.

The government has all but banned a political party wanting self-rule for the Caprivi Strip in northeastern Namibia, drawing strong criticism from human rights organisations on the grounds that this is "unconstitutional". "No UDP [United Democratic Party] meetings will be allowed in the Republic of Namibia from 1 September.

Killings, harassment or jailing of journalists have risen to an alarming level across Africa and could undermine the continent's drive for better governance, foreign media groups said. "In the past few months journalists working in Africa have been charged with espionage, murdered, harassed by government officials, and jailed for defamation and for publishing 'false news'," said a joint statement by the Foreign Correspondents' Association of Southern Africa and its East African counterpart.

When 45-year-old farmer Fefe Dari decided to perform genital excision on three girls in 2003, with the consent of their parents, little did she know that the tradition would land her a five-year jail sentence. Few of those who perform excision have been jailed under Ghana's 1994 law against the practice - as is the case in other African countries where excision is outlawed.