Top of the Morning: UN Office in Somalia Attacked

Top stories from DAWNS Digest

UN Office in Somalia Attacked

“A suicide bomber and several gunmen attacked a United Nations compound in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Wednesday, police and witnesses said, in a strike that bore the hallmarks of al Qaeda-linked militants. The bomber set off his explosives outside the gate of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) base before attackers ran inside and opened fire on security guards, a senior police official told Reuters.” (Globe and Mail

Mali Government Reaches Peace Accord With Tuareg Separatists

The timing is key, as elections are approaching and peacekeepers are set to deploy in July. “Mali has reached a deal with Tuareg separatist rebels paving the way for Malian government troops to return to the rebel-held northern town of Kidal ahead of planned elections in July, Mali’s chief negotiator said on Tuesday. ‘The accord is ready to be signed,’ Tiebile Drame told Reuters in the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou where talks have been taking place for over a week. ‘I can tell you that the interim accord will be signed this afternoon.’ Mediators said a week ago that both parties had reached an agreement ‘in principle’. However, Mali’s interim President Dioncounda Traore, sworn in after a military coup last year, had baulked at a deal imposing conditions on the army’s return to Kidal.” (Reuters

G8 Agree on Tax Transparency

In non-Syria news: “The measures are designed to combat illegal evasion of taxes, as well as legal tax avoidance by large corporations that make use of loopholes and tax havens. The summit in Northern Ireland also saw the launch of free trade negotiations between the EU and US, which UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who was hosting the summit, dubbed ‘the biggest bilateral trade agreement in history’. Tax, trade and transparency – dubbed ‘The Three Ts’ – were placed at the top of the UK’s agenda for its presidency of the G8, which consists of the UK, US, Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Canada and Japan.” (BBC