The Africa Report: 24 February

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

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Algerian President seeks fourth term

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's office has announced that he will be running for a fourth term in office on April 17 this year.

Bouteflika has been in power since independence in 1999, and is one of the country's few remaining veterans.

The president suffered a stroke last year and has not publicly addressed the Algerians in three years. Critics fear that his persistent health problems mean that the president is unfit to take on another term. This month, a retired senior general urged him to step down "with dignity" and not to stand for re-election.

One opposition figure called on the president to publish his medical records before seeking office again.

Bouteflika appears rarely on television and always in a wheelchair since returning from a four-month convalescence in Paris after his stroke.

Analysts last week said that despite his ill-health, if Bouteflika pursues another term he would probably win the election.

Peace Keepers thwart rebels in CAR

The 'anti-balaka' militia attempted to break out of a prison in Bangui to seek revenge on their enemies on Sunday night but the attempt was thwarted by peace keepers.

Sources say that the rebels had the help of prison officials in planning their escape. The group attempting the jailbreak was arrested in a mop-up operation carried out by the peacekeepers on February 15 in Bangui.

Other leaders of the mainly Christian militia which has been terrorising the country's Muslim minority said that the prisoners have been complaining about the lack of food.

(Edited By: Babalwa Nyembezi)