African Union fails to reach consensus on "United States of Africa"

African Union fails to reach consensus on "United States of Africa" Nairobi/Addis Ababa  - The African Union (AU) extended its three-day summit after it failed to reach a consensus on newly elected chairman Muammar Gaddafi's plans for a "United States of Africa."

Leaders talked into Tuesday night at a summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, but failed to reach a consensus.

The Libyan leader wants countries to integrate to better help the continent develop, but many nations, such as the economic powerhouse South Africa, see little point in the union.

S.Africa's ANC attempts to calm fears over election violence

Africa, ANCJohannesburg - South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday attempted to soothe fears over rising political violence in the run-up to elections, saying it predicted a peaceful ballot.

"We are going to have a peaceful election, I can predict that," ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe was quoted by the South African Press Association (SAPA) as telling reporters after a weekend of attacks on politicians that left at least nine injured.

UN Mediator: Darfur clashes undermining chances of peace

Darfur rebels say Sudanese forces on major offensive Nairobi/Khartoum - The chief conflict mediator for a joint United Nations-African Union mission in Sudan's restive Darfur province warned Thursday that a recent upsurge in fighting is undermining the chances of peace.

The UN says more than 9,000 people have fled their homes in south Darfur in recent weeks as Sudanese government aircraft bombed rebel positions and ground battles raged between the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and government forces.

Four European tourists kidnapped in Mali

Four European tourists kidnapped in MaliNairobi/Bamako  - Four Europe

"Way past time" for African Union to intervene in Zimbabwe

ZimbabweJohannesburg - International rights watchdog, Human Rights Watch, on Thursday, said it was "way past time" for the African Union to intervene in Zimbabwe's political and economic crises.

New York-based HRW made the appeal on the eve of an AU summit beginning in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Monday.

On Monday, southern African leaders will also be holding their third crisis summit on Zimbabwe in under a year.

Mozambique: Africa losing over 1 billion dollars to illegal fishing

Maputo Maputo- Sub-Saharian African countries are currently losing more than 1 billion dollars yearly due to illegal fishing in their waters, a senior government official in Mozambique revealed this week.

Mozambique Deputy Fisheries Minister Victor Borges said that foreign fishing vessels were regularly spotted fishing illegally in African waters, depleting fish stocks.

"Our countries are witnessing without acting the destruction of fisheries in the region. Every year, we estimate that we lose over one billion dollars to illegal fishing."