The Africa Report: 5 March

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

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Picture: AFP.

Tunisia strengthens relationship with European Union

In his first international visit, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi met with Tunisian leaders to push for closer co-operation on trade and immigration.

Speaking at a press conference in Tunisian capital Tunis, Renzi said "I chose Tunisia for my first foreign visit as prime minister to show the centrality that Italy attaches to the Mediterranean".

Renzi said he'd chosen Tunisia for his first foreign trip since taking office last week "to demonstrate that the Mediterranean must be at the heart of Europe, not its border"'

After the European Union and Tunisia signed an agreement, on Monday, which includes greater openness to legal immigration in exchange for the fight against illegal immigration, Renzi met with Tunisian Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa and President Moncef Marzouki on Tuesday.

Renzi says relations with Mediterranean countries will be the "fundamental axis" of Italy's presidency of the European Union later this year.

Rebels kill four border police in Mozambique

Suspected members of Mozambique's ex-rebel movement turned opposition, Renamo, killed four policemen and wounded five others at the weekend.

A local report reveals that four members of the border police died and five were wounded as a result of an attack by armed men from Renamo on Sunday morning in the district of Gorongosa.

Rebel leader Afonso Dhlakama is believed to have sought refuge in these mountains. Renamo supporters have fought a low-level insurgency against government troops, attacking public infrastructure and killing civilians and soldiers in the past months.

Renamo and government negotiators are in new series of talks to ease tensions in Maputo ahead of the October general elections. The talks are aimed at ending the armed conflict, including the disarmament of Renamo guerrillas.

(Edited By: Babalwa Nyembezi)