The Africa Report: 10 September

EWN’s Africa correspondent Jean-Jacques Cornish reports on the day’s top African news

Central African Republic President Francois Bozize arrives before the round table of the partners of the Central African Republic held in Brussels on June 17, 2011. Picture: AFP

GAS FOUND IN ALGIERS

Algeria's Energy Minister, Youcef Yousfi, has announced the discovery of some "very important" natural gas reserves and denied speculation that the African state's local consumption may halt its export capacity.

On Monday, Yousfi made the announcement amid the country's declining export of natural gas, an important source of income for Algeria.

Algeria is the third largest supplier of natural gas to the European market but there is a growing sense that the local consumption of natural gas will soon overtake its ability to export.

In 2012, an estimated $76.84 billion in income was made through the exportation of petroleum, natural gas, and petroleum products.

Yousfi, however, claims the state-run energy giant, Sonatrach, has made a substantial find and that the country's natural gas finds are not nearing depletion.

He did not give any details on the amount or location of the new finds, saying Sonatrach would release details of this in due time.

Algeria is an OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) country with gas reserves of around 4 trillion cubic metres and a production capacity of 80 billion cubic metres per annum, falling behind Russia, Norway, Canada, and Qatar.

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DEATH TOLL MOUNTS IN THE CAR

Over the weekend, at least 60 people have been killed in clashes in the Central African Republic (CAR) between Seleka rebels and fighters loyal to ousted president, Francois Bozizé.

The Seleka rebels have been in power in the region since March following the toppling of Bozizé and this most recent clash between the incumbents and his supporters has been the first since his overthrow.

The fighting, that reportedly claimed the lives of five Seleka rebels, happened around Bossangoa and the pro-Bozizé fighters have seized control of Bouca, a town north of the capital city of Bangui.

Whilst the African Union has not yet responded to the violent clashes, the Economic Community of Central African States has vowed to intervene and the United Nations has warned that the CAR could become a failed state.

A third of the CAR's 4.5 million people are dependent on emergency aid which includes food, shelter, and healthcare.

After fleeing to Cameroon where he and his family were granted temporary refuge, Bozize is currently in France.

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UN REQUESTED TO REOPEN INQUIRY ON UN CHIEF'S DEATH

Investigators have called upon the United Nations (UN) to reopen an investigation into the 1961 death of then UN Chief, Dag Hammarskjold, following the unearthing of "persuasive evidence" from the United States' National Security Agency (NSA).

In 1961, Hammarskjold was en-route to cease-fire negotiations between UN forces and fighters loyal to Soviet-backed Congolese politician, Moise Tshombe, when his plane crashed near what is now Zambia.

The subsequent investigation the following year found no evidence of foul play but new evidence suggests an assassination.

The investigators leading the inquiry have called on the NSA to release cockpit recordings, anticipating that it will confirm that a fighter jet had shot down Hammarskjold's plane.

The UN believes Hammarskjold, the only UN secretary-general to die during his incumbency, did an enormous amount for peace at the time and argues the "crash" deserves to be properly investigated.