The Africa Report - 24 February

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

The Christian 'anti-balaka' militia, who have been terrorising Muslims, tried to break out of a Bangui prison this weekend.

Algerian President seeks fourth term

PRETORIA - Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's office has announced that he will be running for a fourth term in office on 17 April 2014.

The president has been in power since independence in 1999.

He is one of the country's few remaining veterans.

Bouteflika suffered a stroke last year and has not publicly addressed 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 Bouteflika 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 is always in a wheelchair since returning from a four-month recovery in Paris, France, after his stroke.

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

Peacekeepers thwart CAR rebels

Anti-balaka militia on Sunday attempted to break out of a prison in the Central African Republic (CAR) in order to seek revenge on their enemies.

But their attempt was thwarted by peacekeepers in the capital, Bangui.

Sources say the rebels had help from prison officials in planning their escape.

The group attempting the jailbreak was arrested in a mop-up operation carried out by the peacekeepers on 15 February.

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

(Edited By Babalwa Nyembezi)