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Pope: Anti-Christian Attacks in Nigeria Show Peace Still Elusive

Pope Benedict XVI on Monday said peace and reconciliation in Africa remained a "distant" goal, pointing to anti-Christian attacks in northern Nigeria that have killed dozens of people in recent days.

"On the continent of Africa ... it is essential that cooperation between Christian communities and governments favor progress along the path of justice, peace and reconciliation, where respect is shown for members of all ethnic groups and all religions," the pope said in a speech at the Vatican.

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Sudan Rebels Tell Libya to Arrest Bashir

A "revolutionary front" of Sudanese rebels seeking to overthrow President Omar al-Bashir asked Libya to arrest the accused war criminal during his visit to Tripoli that began on Saturday.

Bashir arrived in the Libyan capital for his first visit since the country's long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown and killed last year.

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Sudan's Bashir Arrives in Libya, Slams Gadhafi

Moammar Gadhafi caused great suffering among the Sudanese people, Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir said Saturday on his first visit to Libya since Gadhafi was overthrown and killed.

Wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of genocide and war crimes in Sudan's war-torn Darfur region, Bashir said that after Libya, Gadhafi inflicted the most damage in Sudan, the official WAL news agency reported.

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Over 3,000 Killed in South Sudan Massacre

More than 3,000 people were killed in South Sudan in brutal massacres last week in bloody ethnic violence that forced thousands to flee, the top local official in the affected area said Friday.

"There have been mass killings, a massacre," said Joshua Konyi, commissioner for Pibor county in Jonglei state.

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U.N. Reinforces Peacekeepers in Flashpoint S. Sudan Town

The United Nations has reinforced its peacekeepers in the flashpoint South Sudan town of Pibor and is airlifting food to the region, where tribal violence has prompted thousands to flee, a senior U.N. official said Saturday.

"We have deployed a battalion-sized force in Pibor to support the government to protect civilians," Lise Grande, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan, told Agence France Presse, adding that the provision of food aid was an "urgent step.”

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Six Dead in Sudan Chopper Crash

All six crewmen aboard a Sudanese military helicopter were killed when it crash-landed and burned in North Kordofan state on Friday, the army said.

Fire broke out because of a "technical problem" aboard the Russian-made aircraft three minutes after takeoff from a base at El Obeid, the state capital, army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad told Agence France Presse.

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Haniya, Hamas Leaders Meet Sudan's Bashir

Gaza's Hamas premier Ismail Haniya held talks with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir Thursday on his first official regional tour since the Islamists' 2007 power seizure in the Palestinian enclave.

Haniya, who arrived in Khartoum on Tuesday, was joined in the meeting by other high-ranking Hamas leaders -- the first time they had met as a group with Bashir, whose country has close ties with Hamas.

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South Sudan Says 17 Killed in Sudanese Air Raids

Sudanese air raids killed 17 people in the South Sudan border state of Western Bahr al-Ghazal on Thursday, the second day of stepped-up bombing along the northern frontier, Juba's military spokesman said.

Khartoum dismissed the allegations as "incorrect."

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Haniya to Leave Gaza for First Time since 2007

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya will begin a tour on Sunday, his office said, his first exit from Gaza since Israel and Egypt imposed a siege in 2007.

Sources in his office told AFP that Haniya would visit Egypt and Sudan, after which he plans to go to Qatar, Turkey, Tunisia, and Bahrain.

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Sudan's Army Kills Darfur Rebel Leader

Sudan's army killed a key rebel leader from the Darfur region Sunday, state media reported, three days after anti-government forces said they had begun advancing on the capital Khartoum.

"The Sudanese army announced that they killed Khalil Ibrahim in fighting today in west Wadbanda, North Kordofan," the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) said.

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