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This Week in the Great Lakes: Congo and UN tango over child soldiers while US preaches engagement

A holiday season roundup of this week's news from Africa's Great Lakes region: women march in the Congo for more legal action against rapists, Rwandan journalists petition for changes to defamation laws, and Al Shabab remains a threat in Burundi.

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Inflation rises nearly 1 percent this year. Egypt courts Burundi’s cooperation on Nile water management with investment and aid. A UK non-governmental organization brings youth from post-conflict countries to teach conflict resolution techniques inner-city London.

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A Ugandan military official says the country’s troops will remain in the DRC and South Sudan until Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army rebel group, is captured. Climate change reroutes the river between Uganda and Congo, wreaking havoc on farms.

Kenya says it has foiled planned attacks by Al Shabab, including on the US Embassy and AU headquarters in Nairobi. A Kenyan writer argues that stolen elections are good for Africa.

China's first white paper on its economic engagement with the continent declares, "China shows great concern for the livelihood of African people." Two Chinese mine managers face trial on charges of shooting 12 Zambian miners in October.

An exotic animal smuggling ring, moving everything from leopard skins to live animals across four central African countries, is broken. The mountain gorilla population has grown 25 percent since 2003.

Leaked American diplomatic cables allege attempted uranium sales in the region. The Republic of Congo’s polio outbreak hits 200 fatalities.

Jina Moore is a freelance reporter based in Kigali, Rwanda who blogs here.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of Africa bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here.

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