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By Emmanuel Braun and Paul-Marin Ngoupana BANGUI (Reuters) - France said it will start disarming fighters in the Central African Republic by force if necessary on Monday, as relative calm returned to the capital Bangui following three days of heavy fighting between Christians and Muslims. Residents reported sporadic gunfire from some Bangui neighbourhoods on Sunday after the violence in which the Red Cross said at least 394 people had died. Despite a government order for gunmen to return to their barracks, a Reuters reporter saw soldiers in camouflage fatigues driving around in pickup trucks near the presidential palace and in clear view of French troops, deployed to the country under United Nations authorisation. Central African Republic has slid into chaos as interim president Michel Djotodia struggled to control his loose band of Seleka fighters, who have attacked members of the Christian majority and prompted them to organise militias.
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - More than 70 heads of state and government are expected in South Africa this week to attend funeral events for former president Nelson Mandela, with most due to attend a huge memorial service in Johannesburg on Tuesday, officials said. "The whole world is coming to South Africa," foreign ministry spokesman Clayson Monyela said. After what has been billed as one of the largest gatherings of global leaders in recent history, only a handful of dignitaries would go to Sunday's state burial in Mandela's ancestral home of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, he added. ...
North Korea confirmed Monday that the powerful uncle of the nation's young leader Kim Jong-Un has been purged, accusing him of being a corrupt, drug-using womaniser in a move analysts said cements Kim's grip on power. Jang Song-Thaek, once seen as his nephew's mentor and the power behind the throne, has been stripped of all his posts for committing criminal acts and leading a "counter-revolutionary faction", state media said. Analysts said that Jang's main role had been to ensure a smooth transition after the inexperienced Kim Jong-Un succeeded his father in 2011, and that he had become increasingly resented by the leader, who is around 30 years old. "Jong-Un has built a solid power base for the past two years, and he no longer needed a regent who appeared to be increasingly powerful and threatening," said Paik Hak-Soon, a researcher at the South's Sejong Institute think tank.