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Nigerian gunmen seek talks after abducting dozens, families say

Nigerian gunmen seek talks after abducting dozens, families say

GUNMEN who abducted 105 people in northwest Nigeria last week are not after ransom payments but negotiations with the Zamfara state government, five families of the victims who were contacted by the armed men said on Monday. Armed gangs continue to terrorise northern Nigeria, abducting villagers, students and motorists for ransom. The gunmen attacked the villages of Gora, Madomawa and Jambuzu in Zamfara's Birnin-Magaji local government area on Friday night, seizing dozens of residents. Bello Mohammed, whose wife, three children and young brother were among those taken from Gora, said he received a call on Saturday night from people who said they…
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Ghana seeks to speed up debt restructuring negotiations

Ghana seeks to speed up debt restructuring negotiations

GHANA wants to speed up remaining debt restructuring negotiations, its finance minister said, as the government pushes for a deal to rework over $13 billion of international bonds. The West African country has been overhauling its debts as it tries to emerge from its worst economic crisis in a generation with the help of a $3 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme. The government reached a deal in principle in January to restructure $5.4 billion of loans with official creditors. It has since started formal talks with one bondholder group under non-disclosure agreements, Reuters reported about two weeks ago, citing sources familiar…
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Pope says Ukraine should have ‘courage of the white flag’ of negotiations

Pope says Ukraine should have ‘courage of the white flag’ of negotiations

POPE Francis has said in an interview that Ukraine should have what he called the courage of the "white flag" and negotiate an end to the war with Russia that followed Moscow's full-scale invasion two years ago and that has killed tens of thousands. Francis made his comments in an interview recorded last month with Swiss broadcaster RSI, well before Friday's latest offer by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to host a summit between Ukraine and Russia to end the war. Erdogan made the fresh offer after a meeting in Istanbul with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Zelenskiy has said while he wants peace he…
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Why Rwanda freed “Hotel Rwanda” hero

Why Rwanda freed “Hotel Rwanda” hero

THE release of Paul Rusesabagina from a Rwandan prison was the result of months of negotiations between Washington and Kigali, with both eager to draw a line under what they described as an "irritant" to their relationship. Two U.S. officials - one from President Joe Biden's administration and a Congressional aide - said no concrete concessions were made to secure the release of Rusesabagina, a U.S. permanent resident made famous by the 2004 film 'Hotel Rwanda,' about his role in saving Tutsis during the 1994 genocide. He was detained in 2019 and subsequently convicted on eight terrorism charges stemming from his leadership…
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Freed ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero Rusesabagina leaves Kigali, reaches Qatar

Freed ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero Rusesabagina leaves Kigali, reaches Qatar

IMAD CREIDI and PHILBERT GIRINEMA PAUL Rusesabagina, who was portrayed as a hero in the film "Hotel Rwanda" about the 1994 genocide, has arrived in Qatar after being released from prison in Rwanda last week, Rwanda's government spokesperson said. Rusesabagina, a U.S. permanent resident, was sentenced in September 2021 to 25 years over his ties to a group opposed to Rwandan President Paul Kagame that has an armed wing. He was released on Friday after his sentence was commuted following months of negotiations between Washington and Kigali. Washington's historically close ties with Rwanda have been strained by Rusesabagina's detention and by U.S.…
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Biden not planning to speak to Putin for now

Biden not planning to speak to Putin for now

PAVEL POLITYUK U.S. President Joe Biden does not intend to speak to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, about ending the Ukraine war as conditions for such discussions currently do not exist, the White House said. "We're just not at a point now where talks seem to be a fruitful avenue to approach right now," national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters. His comment underscored the chasm between Ukraine and its main backer and Russia on negotiations more than nine months into the war ignited by Putin's invasion that has killed tens of thousands, uprooted millions and destroyed cities and towns.…
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Brexit goes down to the wire: EU and UK say big differences remain

Brexit goes down to the wire: EU and UK say big differences remain

GABRIELA BACZYNSKA and GUY FAULCONBRIDGE THE  European Union and Britain said on Friday there were still substantial differences over a Brexit trade deal as the EU chief negotiator prepared to travel to London in a last-ditch attempt to avoid a tumultuous finale to the five-year Brexit crisis. With just five weeks left until the United Kingdom finally exits the EU's orbit on December 31, both sides are calling on the other to compromise on the three main issues of contention - fishing, state aid and how to resolve any future disputes. The two sides will shortly resume face-to-face negotiations after…
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