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The Africa Report: 29 April

EWN's Africa Correspondent, Jean-Jacques Cornish, reports on the day's top African news

File: Rebels near Timbuktu, Mali. Picture: AFP

MINOR STROKE CURBS ALGERIAN PRESIDENT'S POLITICAL AMBITIONS

Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika suffered a mini-stroke on Saturday.

The stroke was apparently brought on by the blockage of a blood vessel, and has left no permanent damage and no motor or sensory problems.

The longest-serving Algerian president - who won elections in 1999, 2004 and 2009 - was flown to Paris for medical treatment and is reportedly responding well.

The question has now arisen as to whether the 76-yea-old will be able to stand for elections in the 2014 presidential race.

The answer to this is one which many await with bated breath as the inability of Bouteflika to remain incumbent could signal instability in Africa's largest nation.

During Bouteflika's incumbency, Algeria's economy has stabilised, supplying Europe with 20% of its gas.

Algeria is also recognised as experts in dealing with anti-terrorism that appeases both Western nations and "anti-West" countries such as Iran.

LIBYAN GUNMEN SURROUND THE FOREIGN MINISTRY

On Sunday, gunmen surrounded Libya's Foreign Ministry, demanding the end to the appointment of anymore officials who had served under deposed dictator, Muammar Gaddafi.

This follows just days after the French embassy in Tripoli was bombed.

The armed protest, marked by guns stacked on top of vehicles, has raised fresh security fears, prompting the Libyan Prime Minister, Ali Zeidan, to plead for patience and faith in the new administration.

This is an indication of how Libya still teeters on the brink of disorder.

FRENCH TROOPS PULL OUT OF TIMBUKTU

French troops have withdrawn from the northern Malian town of Timbuktu, after completing a successful military operation.

French Colonel Cyrille Zimmer said that soldiers have been relocated to Gao in the north-east and France will not be withdrawing all of the troops; 1000 will remain until year's end.

The question is whether Al Qaeda forces who were driven out of northern Mali will return.

French troops will be replaced by troops from Burkina Faso.

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