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Kenyan Election Official Resigns, Citing Doubts About Re-vote

A member of Kenya's election commission has resigned just a week before the presidential re-vote, adding another layer of political turmoil in the East African nation.

Roselyn Akombe issued a statement from New York Wednesday saying the planned October 26 re-vote "cannot meet the basic expectations of a credible election." Akombe says the embattled electoral commission, known by its acronym IEBC, is "under siege" from infighting and political intimidation.

Med Student Close to Fulfilling Dream Among Dead in Somalia Blast

After six years in medical school, Maryan Abdullahi Gedi was on the verge of fulfilling a lifelong dream.

One of the top students in Benadir University's medical and surgery department, Gedi was about to graduate and become a doctor. In that role, she would meet a vital need in Somalia, where the number of physicians per capita is among the lowest in the world.

Former Al-Shabab Leader: Mogadishu Blast Was 'Barbaric'

A former top leader of militant group al-Shabab has condemned the massive explosion that killed at least 276 people in the Somali capital on Saturday.

Mukhtar Robow, al-Shabab's former deputy emir, spoke Monday after visiting Medina Hospital in Mogadishu to donate blood. He said the attack was "barbaric" and "a massive tragedy."

"Those who are behind this, whose fingerprints are on this, must refrain from shedding the blood of Muslims and repent. You are not going to go to paradise by killing innocents," he told reporters.

Deadly Truck Bomb Rips Main Intersection in Mogadishu, Flattens Buildings

The death toll from Saturday's massive truck bombing in the Somali capital Mogadishu has risen to more than 230, the deputy speaker of Somalia's upper house of parliament Abshir Mohamed Ahmed tells VOA.

More than 200 people were wounded in the blast, near, Zobe, a busy intersection, may have been a suicide bomber, a police official told VOA. Witnesses said the blast occurred during a traffic jam.

A VOA reporter at the scene of the blast counted at least 25 bodies as they were transported by the city’s emergency Amin ambulance service.

Conditions Improving at Once-isolated Kenyan Refugee Camp, Residents Say

Residents of a Kenyan refugee complex, who said their camps lacked adequate water, shelter, healthcare, and other necessities, say they have seen significant improvements since they aired the grievances three months ago.

VOA first reported on the situation at the three Kalobeyei camps in Kenya's Turkana County in late July. Inhabitants of the camps, many of whom are Ethiopian refugees, said that in addition to poor facilities, the camps were set up in isolated areas far from local markets and were not receiving sufficient attention from the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR.

Kenya Bans Protests in Large City Centers

NAIROBI — As Kenya's opposition party vows to hold protests demanding electoral reforms ahead of a repeat presidential election, the government has issued an order banning such demonstrations in three major cities.

Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i issued the order on Thursday, banning protests in the central business districts of Mombassa, Kisumu, and the capital, Nairobi, citing a "clear, present and imminent danger of breach of peace." 

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