Today 07 December
By Emmanuel Braun BANGUI (Reuters) - The Central Africa Republic's shaky interim authorities on Saturday ordered all forces except foreign peacekeepers and the presidential guard off the streets of Bangui, where gunfire has eased but attacks on civilians have continued. A senior U.N. aid official said French and African peacekeepers must push into neighborhoods where "senseless" Muslim-Christian killings are rife, not just control the main roads of the capital. Clashes resumed in Bossangoa, about 300 km (190 miles) north of Bangui, a day after an African peacekeeper was killed there, a witness there said. The order for gunmen to return to barracks in Bangui, read on national radio, came as France dispatched 1,200 troops to the country, where at least 300 people have died in two days of violence in which rival militias clashed and then wholescale killings between Muslims and Christians began.
South Africa prepared Saturday a sweeping, emotional farewell to Nelson Mandela -- a funeral that will draw an unprecedented gathering of world leaders and luminaries, reflecting the anti-apartheid icon's transcendent influence. Presidents, heads of government and royalty from every corner of the globe will be among those seeking to pay their respects to modern South Africa's founding father, who died late Thursday aged 95, surrounded by friends and family. The government announced Saturday that his coffin would be taken in a cortege through the streets of Pretoria each morning, giving the millions of South Africans still coming to terms with the death of their first black leader an opportunity to say a final farewell. Large numbers of mourners, carrying candles, flowers and messages of respect have turned up every day outside Mandela's residence in Johannesburg and in the once blacks-only township of Soweto.
By Ed Stoddard and Ed Cropley JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Sports-mad South Africa saluted Nelson Mandela on Saturday with smiles and moments of silence in honor of the late anti-apartheid leader, who inspired people to pursue the impossible from politics to the playing field. The tributes stretched across the sporting spectrum, from club cricket and fun runs to top fixtures such as a League Cup final between Platinum Stars and Orlando Pirates, the Soweto giants believed to have been Mandela's favorite soccer side. Saturday's Cup final will be preceded by a ceremony in honor of South Africa's first black president, whose early sporting prowess, particularly boxing and soccer, was cut short when he was jailed for 27 years by the apartheid government. On Saturday, many recalled Mandela's central role in arguably South Africa's greatest sporting triumph - winning the 1995 rugby World Cup just one year after the multi-racial elections that ended decades of white-minority rule.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa is readying itself for the arrival of a flood of world leaders for the memorial service and funeral for Nelson Mandela as thousands of mourners continued to flock to sites around the country Saturday to pay homage to the freedom struggle icon.
South Africa's defence force on Saturday ordered soldiers on leave to report back for duty to provide support for Nelson Mandela's mourning and funeral activities. The "urgent message" was issued by the South African National Defence Force recalling all soldiers in units that have been assigned support duties. "Members must report back to their units, bases or stations by at the latest 12 o' clock midnight on 7 December 2013," the defence force said in a statement. The government has declared a state funeral and week of mourning with multiple events expected to draw masses of people to the streets and leaders from around the world.