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AFRICA UPDATE

By Compiled from wire services / January 7, 1991



Foreigners evacuated from Somalia Over the weekend, Italy and the United States evacuated foreigners from Somalia's capital Mogadishu, as fighting continued between guerrillas and government forces.

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The Italian Foreign Ministry said it managed to fly 189 people from Mogadishu, but a fresh outbreak of fighting prevented further evacuations. The US said it had transported 250 Americans and other foreign residents, including the Soviet ambassador, by helicopter to the offshore aircraft carrier Guam.

Telephone and telex links have been cut with Mogadishu for almost a week, making it unclear who has had the upper hand in the week-long fighting in the city.

African famine alert

In Geneva last week, relief agencies said that millions of people may die because the world is sending massive aid to Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union while neglecting Africa's famine regions. ``About 20 million people in Africa will face starvation this winter unless food aid is provided immediately,'' the agencies said. Aid has been sent to Eastern Europe with the downfall of communism and now increasingly to ease the domestic troubles facing Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

``There is no doubt need in the Soviet Union, but we have not found any trace of famine in the Soviet Union,'' said Paer Stenbaeck, secretary-general of the Red Cross League.

Officials listed the most critical areas:

Ethiopia, where 2.5 million are at increasing risk of starving or dying of thirst. Civil war severely hampers aid deliveries and crop plantings.

Sudan, where several million will face hunger in the next year since autumn rains failed. The harvest has failed for two years running. Civil war has disrupted planting and distribution.

Liberia, where civil war sent 700,000 outside the country and displaced up to 1 million more inside the country. Monrovia, the capital, faces severe shortages of food and water.

Angola, where an estimated 1.9 million face starvation because of civil war and drought. The central and southern provinces have had four years of erratic rainfall.

Mozambique, where civil war has displaced 2 million of the 15 million people within the country and 1 million have fled to neighboring countries.

Partial cease-fire in Mozambique

A partial cease-fire went into effect Saturday in Mozambique's 14-year-old civil war, and President Joaquim Chissano called it a ``first step on the road to a general cease-fire.''

The cease-fire came after Zimbabwean troops agreed to remain in two narrow corridors that link Zimbabwe to Mozambique's Indian Ocean ports.

Right-wing Mozambique National Resistance Movement rebels had frequently attacked railway lines as part of their campaign to destabilize the country's formerly Marxist government.

The partial cease-fire will be monitored by an eight-nation team that includes US and Soviet officials. More than 150,000 people have been killed in Mozambique's civil war.