Women and children hardest hit among Congo refugees: UNICEF

Women and children hardest hit among Congo refugees: UNICEF Cologne, Germany - Women and children caught up in the fighting in eastern Congo are in urgent need of help, the UN Children's Fund UNICEF said Friday.

More than a quarter-of-a-million refugees had fled the fighting in recent days between the Congolese army and rebels under the leadership of General Laurent Nkunda.

Many children had been separated from their parents, making them

more vulnerable to abuse, UNICEF said. There was also a danger of young boys being forcibly recruited by armed groups when they are displaced.

Experts urge African nations to take precautions in finance crisis

Kampala - International economists and policy experts on Thursday warned that Africa could be devastated by the current global credit crisis if governments fail to take serious precautions.

Dangers include: a dwindling of aid from the United States, Europe and other developed countries; a downturn in tourism; and losses of revenue from the export of oil and other commodities. These dangers could disrupt national economic plans, warned experts meeting at a one-day summit hosted by the Copenhagen-based Africa Commission.

"We might see a downward trend for commodity prices. ... The crisis is already affecting oil revenues," said Greg Mills, director of the Brent Hurst Foundation and chairman of the conference.

UN chief in Congo calls for more troops as battle rages

Nairobi - The top United Nations envoy to the Democratic Republic of Congo has appealed for more soldiers as rebel forces threaten to overwhelm government and UN peacekeepers in the eastern part of the Central African nation.

UN helicopter gunships and armoured vehicles have been supporting Congolese troops north of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, as renegade Tutsi general Laurent Nkunda's troops press toward the town.

Nkunda's National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) has reportedly driven the Congolese army back from the town of Kibumba, which lies about 20 kilometres north of Goma.

ZTE Pockets Exclusive WiMAX Deal In Africa

ZTE Pockets Exclusive WiMAX Deal In AfricaZTE Corporation, a leading worldwide provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions, announced that it has pocketed an exclusive contract from Chinguitel, a telecom carrier under Expresso Telecom Group (ETG) to assist Mauritania build its first 2.5GHz Mobile WiMAX commercial network.

Under the deal, ZTE will be offering up core network equipment, wireless access devices, plus various communication terminals for indoor and outdoor use.

Flooding cuts off Spanish exclave in North Africa

Madrid - Flooding triggered by heavy rainstorms has put parts of the Spanish exclave of Melilla in northern Africa under water and cut the city off from the outside, reports said Sunday.

Pope to visit Cameroon, Angola in first Africa trip

Vatican City - Pope Benedict XVI will visit Cameroon and Angola next March on what will be his first visit to Africa since becoming pope, it was announced Sunday.