Top stories from DAWNS Digest

Assad Casts Doubt on Peace Talks

The US and rebel groups cannot count on keeping Assad on board. “The Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, has said that ‘factors are not yet in place’ for peace talks despite efforts by world powers to convene a meeting next month. In an interview with on Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen television, broadcast on Monday, Assad also said he desired a third term as president and had not ruled out running for re-election in 2014. His comments came as the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, who has been pushing for a peace conference next month in Geneva, said any attempt by Assad to be re-elected would extend the country’s civil war.” (Al Jazeera http://aje.me/1h2lJjs)

Tensions Running High in Mombasa

 There is increasing worry of an outbreak of sectarian strife in Kenya’s second largest city, where five Muslim clerics have been killed in the past year, and a Christian cleric was shot to death on October 19. “Kenyan security forces accused clerics at the mosque of recruiting for Somali militant group al-Shabab, which claimed responsibility for last month’s massacre at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi…Mombasa’s Christian community has not been spared from violence either.  Late on Saturday, unidentified gunmen stormed the church of Pastor Charles Mathole and killed him while he was praying.  According to family members, the late pastor had received death threats ahead of the shooting. (VOA http://bit.ly/1h2knVO)

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