The Djibouti government aims to get all its boys and girls in school by the end of this decade. That target, most observers agree, is likely to prove much easier in the capital, Djibouti City, and provincial towns than in the hamlets that dot the arid countryside, where the challenges to universal primary education are strongest.

As a new deadline looms for illegal immigrants to leave Djibouti, the UN refugee agency is to begin training government officials to sit on eligibility commissions that will determine who is entitled to refugee status in the tiny nation in the Horn of Africa.

The government in Djibouti has extended the deadline for the departure of illegal immigrants from the East African country, where the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been struggling to cope with thousands of people who thronged a transit centre in a last bid to apply for asylum and legalize their stay.

Amnesty International has called for the immediate and unconditional release of Daher Ahmed Farah, an opposition party leader and director of his party's newspaper. Daher Ahmed Farah, a prisoner of conscience, has been repeatedly arrested because of his peacefully-held political opinions.

The Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN has welcomed the release of Daher Ahmed Farah, editor of the newspaper Le Renouveau and leader of the Movement for Democratic Renewal and Development. Farah was released on 23 June 2003 when the presiding judge at his hearing ruled that no crime had been committed and that the defendant was therefore not guilty. He had been accused of libel and had been detained since 20 April 2003.