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By Aaron Ross KINSHASA (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila made a long-anticipated public call on Saturday for a national dialogue to prepare for elections next year, an idea regarded with suspicion by his opponents. A successful presidential election in 2016 would mark Congo's first-ever peaceful transition of power after decades of autocratic rule and civil conflict since independence from Belgium in 1960. In an address to the nation, Kabila announced the creation of a preparatory committee but did not specify who would serve on it, nor when the dialogue itself would begin.
By Tiemoko Diallo BAMAKO (Reuters) - Unknown attackers fired rockets at a United Nations peacekeeping base in northern Mali on Saturday, killing three people inside, the U.N. said, in the latest sign that the West African country's Islamist insurgency is intensifying. French troops and the 10,000-strong U.N. force, known as MINUSMA, are struggling to stabilise the former French colony. Islamist militants attacked a hotel in the capital Bamako on Nov. 20 and killed 20 people, in their bloodiest attack yet in the country's south.