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Kerry Heads on Africa Tour amid Fears over S. Sudan War

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry left late Tuesday on his first major tour of Africa focused on some of the continent's most brutal wars including the bloodshed in South Sudan. 

The trip, which will take in Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola, will seek to "encourage democratic development, promote respect for human rights, advance peace and security," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki has said.

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Angola Opposition Denounces Backslide in Democracy

Angola's main opposition party Unita expressed concern Wednesday about what it called the deteriorating state of democracy in the oil-producing southern African country, after a rare meeting with its longtime president.

The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unita) said it feared a reversal in progress made since a devastating civil war with its rival the ruling MPLA party ended more than a decade ago.

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UK Guards Charged over Death of Angolan Deportee

British prosecutors said Thursday they would bring manslaughter charges against three guards from private security firm G4S over the death of an Angolan man while he was being deported.

An inquest last year found that Jimmy Mubenga, 46, was unlawfully killed after he was restrained with "unreasonable force" by the guards in October 2010 on a British Airways flight to Angola.

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Greek-Owned Tanker Missing in Angola

A Greek-owned oil tanker has disappeared in Angola in a suspected piracy attack unusual for the area, the operating company said Wednesday.

Athens-based Dynacom Tankers Management said it had lost communication with the tanker Kerala, which has a crew of 27 Indians and Filipinos, since Saturday.

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OPCW: S. Sudan, Angola, Myanmar Close to Joining Chemical Arms Convention

Three of the six countries not covered by the Chemical Weapons Convention are close to joining the agreement, the head of the world's chemical watchdog said Wednesday.

Speaking in Oslo the day after the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) formally received the Nobel Peace Prize, director general Ahmet Uzumcu said Angola, Myanmar and South Sudan "are very close."

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Missing Mozambique Plane Wreck Found in Namibia, 33 Dead

Police on Saturday found the burned wreckage of a Mozambican Airlines plane the day after it went missing in northeastern Namibia, saying none of the 33 people aboard had survived.

The crash in the remote, swampy terrain of Namibia's Bwabwata National Park killed victims from several countries and is one of the worst accidents on record in Mozambique's civil aviation history.

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Mozambique Passenger Plane Carrying 34 Missing

A Mozambican Airlines airplane carrying 28 passengers and six crew members went missing en route from Mozambique to Angola on Friday, the airline said.

Flight TM470 took off from Maputo at 09H26 GMT and had been due to land in the Angolan capital Luanda at 13H10 GMT, but never arrived, the airline said in a statement.

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Angola Denies President Cancer Report

Angola's government denied Friday a report that long-time President Jose Eduardo dos Santos is undergoing cancer treatment in Barcelona.

"President Dos Santos is in good health. He is on a private holiday visit to Spain," Foreign Minister Georges Chikoti told journalists in Luanda.

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Angola Police on Standby as Hundreds Attend Activist's Funeral

Angolan police on Wednesday mobilized water cannons and helicopters to try to stop the funeral of an opposition activist killed by security services at the weekend, an Agence France Presse journalist saw.

Nearly 1,000 mourners, mostly supporters of the opposition Casa party, converged in downtown Luanda for a funeral procession to a cemetery on the outskirts of the capital.

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Angola Denies Banning Islam after Outcry

Angola's government on Tuesday denied it had banned Islam and close mosques in the country, after speculation that sparked outrage among Muslims worldwide.

"There is no war in Angola against Islam or any other religion," said Manuel Fernando, director of the National Institute for Religious Affairs, part of the ministry of culture.

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