Top stories from the Development and Aid World News Service — DAWNS Digest.

Breaking News: US Seals Free 2 Aid Workers in Overnight Somali Raid

Plenty of people were joking about US Vice President Joe Biden spending more time on his phone than paying attention to President Obama’s State of the Union Address  last night. Now it appears that it was for good reason as US Navy Seals successfully freed Jessica Buchanan and Poul Hagen Thisted from Somali kidnappers last night. “The American soldiers swooped in by helicopter, killed nine pirates and captured several others, before spiriting away the hostages, who were not harmed, Western officials said…According to local leaders in Galkaiyo, dark helicopters began circling over the area late on Tuesday night. Sometime around 3 a.m., the American commandos landed near a small village called Hiimo Gaabo, south of Galkaiyo and a firefight erupted. The commandos freed the hostages and the helicopters took off. By dawn, after morning prayers, the bodies of the nine pirates killed in the raid were brought back to Hiimo Gaabo.” (NYT http://nyti.ms/wX7ppT)

#Jan25, 1 Year Later

One year ago today thousands of protesters began camping out in Tahrir Square. #Jan25 was as much a Twitter hashtag as international rallying cry for the Arab Spring. To mark the anniversary, Egypt’s military rulers are releasing thousands of prisoners. “Egypt’s military rulers have pledged to release more than 1,900 people tried in military courts to mark the first anniversary of the start of a revolution that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak. The pledge came Wednesday after Egypt’s military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi decreed on national television Tuesday night that the nation’s hated emergency laws would be partially lifted on the anniversary day, but said the strict measures will remain applicable to crimes committed by “thugs.” Tantawi’s decision to partially lift the decades-old laws, which give police far-reaching powers, will likely not satisfy rights groups that have objected to the repeated use by the military of the term “thugs” to justify crackdown on protesters. (CBC http://bit.ly/wHipZ8) BBC previews the expected protests by “tens of thousands” in Tahrir today. (BBC http://bbc.in/wzSrYm)

South Sudan Refugee Camp Bombed

Bombings by air crafts continue to be traded back and forth between the governments of Sudan and South Sudan.  The latest incident involves a refugee camp in South Sudan.  AlertNet reports: “Aircraft bombed a South Sudan camp containing 5,000 refugees near the border with Sudan on Monday, injuring one boy and leaving 14 missing, the United Nations refugee agency said. Several bombs were dropped on Elfoj, a transit site less than 10 km from the border in Upper Nile state, at 10 a.m. local time, U.N. spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said in a statement on Tuesday.”  The culprit is undetermined at the present time, but accusations will undoubtedly come from both governments. (AlertNet http://bit.ly/wnmV5j)

Photo Credit: rouelshimi

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