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Lebanese-Belgian Businessman Kidnapped in Angola Released

A Lebanese-Belgian businessman who was kidnapped in Angola earlier this week was released on Sunday.

Acting charge d'affaires at the Lebanese embassy in South Africa Ara Khatchadourian announced that Michel Rizk was released by his captors after being abducted on Tuesday.

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Angola Regime Rules in Brutal Apartheid Style, Says Activist

From beating women to unleashing dogs on protesters, Angola's government runs the oil-rich nation with an apartheid-style iron fist, says maverick activist Rafael Marques de Morais.

"Some of the methods the Angolan regime uses are reminiscent of what the apartheid regime used here in South Africa against the majority of the people," Marques told AFP in an interview in Johannesburg.

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Angola Arrests 13 Dissident Youths, Including Rapper

Angolan police have arrested at least 13 young opposition activists, including rapper Luaty Beirao, who have campaigned against President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, the interior ministry said Sunday.

Activist groups, among them the Angolan Revolutionary Movement, claimed on social media platforms that as many as 20 people had been arrested when police raided a youth meeting in the heart of the capital Luanda on Saturday.

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Angola Opposition Accuses Police of 'Killing 1,000' in Sect Raid

Angola's opposition party Unita said on Thursday that more than 1,000 people had been killed in a police operation against a Christian sect, though the authorities insisted only 22 people died.

According to official figures, 13 civilians and nine policemen died two weeks ago when police raided a village in the central region of Huambo to arrest Julino Kalupeteca, the leader of the Seventh Day Light of the World Church.

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Rights Group Says Angola Cracking Down on Activists

Human rights activists and journalists are increasingly being targeted by the regime of Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, a rights group said in a report Thursday, days after two activists were arrested in Africa's second-largest oil producer.

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) who published the report along with an Angolan rights group AJPD, accused the government of resorting to harassment and intimidation to tackle any opposition.

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Angola Storm Death Toll Rises to 69, Half Children

The death toll from torrential rains that pounded the Angolan town of Lobito has risen to 69, including 36 children, officials said Saturday as search efforts for bodies continued.

Heavy storms hit Lobito late Wednesday, sending torrents of water rushing from surrounding hillsides into the town that sits on the coast of the south Atlantic ocean, some 500 kilometers (300 miles) south of the capital Luanda.

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Tanzania Backs Offensive against Rwanda Rebels in DR Congo

Tanzania will back a U.N. military offensive against Rwandan rebels in lawless eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, President Jakaya Kikwete has said, dismissing accusations he favored the insurgents as "preposterous."

United Nations peacekeepers are preparing a military offensive against the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) -- an ethnic Hutu group, some of whose members took part in atrocities in the 1994 Rwandan genocide before crossing into DR Congo -- after they ignored a January 2 deadline to surrender.

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Amnesty Accuses Angola of Killing, Torturing Opponents

Amnesty International on Thursday accused Angolan security forces of extrajudicial killings and the use of excessive force in suppressing dissent against the government of veteran ruler Jose Eduardo Dos Santos.

The rights watchdog released a report cataloguing over 20 protests that have been put down with disproportionate force over a two-year period.

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Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Venezuela Elected to U.N. Council

Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Venezuela won coveted seats at the U.N. Security Council on Thursday, but Turkey suffered a humbling defeat in its bid to join the world's "top table."

The five countries garnered the required two-thirds support from the 193 countries of the U.N. General Assembly during three rounds of voting that ended with Turkey picking up only 60 votes.

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Last Angolan Refugees Begin Return from DR Congo

Tens of thousands of Angolans living in the Democratic Republic of Congo were set to return home, for some after more than 50 years in exile, the U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday.

A first group of 500 people left Kinshasa by train during the day and would stay overnight at a transit center in Kimpese in the southeast on the way to the border, Celine Schmitt, spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told Agence France Presse.

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