Today 11 December
By Ed Cropley JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A fake sign language interpreter took to the stage during a mass memorial for anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, gesticulating gibberish before a global audience of millions and outraging deaf people across the world. DeafSA, South Africa's leading deaf association, condemned the presence of the unknown man at the memorial, which was attended by President Jacob Zuma and scores of world leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama. Besides the bizarre twist to an event that also saw Zuma booed and jeered, the man's presence on the stage within yards of Obama and Brazil's Dilma Rousseff raised awkward security questions. He just invented his signs as he went along," said Delphin Hlungwane, an official sign language interpreter at DeafSA.
BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — In just the last three years in Africa, French forces pummeled Moammar Gadhafi's troops, helped topple Ivory Coast's holdout ex-president and ousted al-Qaida-linked militants from the rocky Malian desert.
Goma (DR Congo) (AFP) - UN and Congolese troops have launched an offensive in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo against a Rwandan rebel group linked to the 1994 genocide, the UN command said Wednesday. The move comes a month after the UN peacekeeping mission's special intervention brigade helped the DRC military seal a historic victory against the M23 rebel group in the same region. "MONUSCO's intervention brigade launched operations against the FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) yesterday, Tuesday, in Kalembe, in the Masisi region," the mission said on Twitter. Force commander Carlos Alberto Dos Santos Cruz told reporters that the operation was taking place some 90 kilometres (50 miles) northwest of the regional capital Goma.
South Africa's deaf community on Wednesday accused the sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial of being a fake who had merely flapped his arms around during speeches. "He's a complete fraud," Cara Loening, director of Sign Language Education and Development in Cape Town. The interpreter, who translated US President Barack Obama's speech, looked as if he was "trying to swat a few flies away from his face and his head". "The deaf community in South Africa are completely outraged and nobody knows who he is," said Loening.
Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) - The father of a slain French soldier has described how disarmed Muslim fighters in the Central African Republic were lynched by a Christian mob in harrowing testimony that raised the spectre of a new wave of sectarian killing in the troubled state. President Francois Hollande said France's intervention in CAR was "essential in the face of abuses and massacres", vowing the mission would continue until African forces could take over. "To not intervene would be to stand idly by and count the dead," Hollande told ministers after returning from a brief stopover in CAR on Tuesday, his spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said. Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian admitted however that the mission represented a much more difficult task than France's military intervention against Islamist rebels in Mali earlier this year.