News in brief

Libya: Southern borders to close

A spokesman for the Libyan parliament has confirmed that the government has ordered a temporary closure of the country’s southern borders. The move has also seen seven regions of southern Libya declared as “closed military zones to be ruled under emergency law”.

Libya has faced continual problems along its southern border since the removal from power of Colonel Muammar Gaddaffy in 2011. The problem is thought to have worsened over recent months, prompting the European Union to offer to help train Libyan troops in the area.

Libya’s southern border is shared with Chad, Niger, Sudan and Algeria. The government is yet to say how long the border will remain closed.

South Africa: Jacob Zuma re-elected in landslide victory

South African president Jacob Zuma has been re-elected leader of his party, the governing African National Congress.

Mr Zuma won a significant majority of the 4000 votes cast by delegates at a party conference, with 2,986 voting in his favour. The delegates also voted for veteran anti-apartheid campaigner Cyril Ramaphosa as the new deputy president, replacing the incumbent Kgalema Motlanthe, who had himself challenged Mr Zuma for overall leadership of the ANC.

Speaking after his win, Mr Zuma said:  “We can boast that we’re a leader of our society, that therefore we have something to contribute to the democratic life of this country, to this democratic Republic of South Africa. We are certain that at this course in our democracy we are correct, that what we do at all material times, it is in the interest, not just of our organisation, but of our country and its people.”

Nationwide elections are due to take place in 2014, at which the ANC is expected to be re-elected.

Central African Republic: Chad sends troops to help rebel fight

Soldiers from Chad have entered neighbouring CAR in a bid to assist government forces in overcoming rebels who have taken control of an important diamond mining town.

Chad was reportedly responding to a request from the CAR President Francois Boizize after CAR troops were unable to repel the rebels themselves. The mission is the latest in a string of interventions by Chad in the CAR, who have faced numerous rebellions since independence in 1960.

The Seleka rebels say that President Boizize has broken a pledge he made to release political prisoners and pay rebel fighters who gave up their weapons. The group has threatened to overthrow the government if it does not negotiate.

A senior government official reportedly told the Reuters news agency: “We couldn’t stand there doing nothing in front of this rebel advance.The president contacted his counterpart in Chad, who immediately agreed to help us put a quick end to this adventure.”

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