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  1. UN chief lauds Ethiopia's effort to make peace

    Soldiers walk on the streets in northern Ethiopia
    Image caption: The UN has in the past called for peace in Ethiopia

    UN Secretary General António Guterres has said there is "demonstrable effort to make peace" in Ethiopia after more than a year of civil war.

    Mr Guterres spoke to the African Union (AU) chief envoy to the Horn of Africa Olusegun Obasanjo who briefed him on the peace efforts.

    Mr Obasanjo has been meeting officials in the federal government and from the rebel Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).

    The UN chief said the AU envoy "expressed optimism that there is now a real opportunity for political and diplomatic resolution of the conflict".

    Federal troops have been fighting rebels in the north of the country for more than a year now, in a war that has ended thousands of lives.

    Clashes on the ground between the two sides had stopped but recently there have been reports of renewed fighting.

  2. Algeria closes schools amid rise in Covid cases

    A medical worker prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Algiers, Algeria, January 17, 2022.
    Image caption: Algeria has recorded more than 220,000 cases of coronavirus infections

    Algeria has closed schools for 10 days and enhanced screening at airports and other control measures following a rise in coronavirus cases.

    It has also encouraged people to get vaccinated to counter the spread of the virus.

    The decision by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune to shut schools starting from Thursday followed an emergency meeting of ministers, top health and security officials.

    A statement from the presidency however said that it was up to the universities to determine whether to close or reschedule their classes.

    The country has recorded more than 220,000 coronavirus cases and over 6,000 deaths since the pandemic began.

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