Friday, April 8, 2011.
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Jessica Hannah.
South African Reserve Bank deputy governor Daniel Mminele says the Bank will base its future policy action on its assessment of second round effects of higher oil and food prices on inflation.
Mminele also said in a speech that any speculation that the bank may currently have a preference for a stronger rand, or may have been selling foreign exchange reserves, was misplaced.
The bank raised its inflation forecasts at its March policy meeting, and said oil and food prices were the main upside risks to the inflation outlook.
Inflation has been inside the central bank's target of between 3% and 6% since February 2010, and is expected to stay in that band until the end of 2012.
A senior US general said on Thursday that Libya's civil war is reaching stalemate, while rebels fighting to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi said a NATO air strike had killed five of their fighters.
Wounded rebels being brought to a hospital in Ajdabiyah in rebel-held east Libya said they were hit by a NATO strike on their trucks and tanks outside the contested port of Brega.
The rebels have been fighting to seize control of Brega from forces loyal to Gaddafi for a week in a see-saw battle along the Mediterranean coast.
UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon expressed concern about deteriorating conditions for civilians in Misrata and Zintan in the west, and Brega in the east.
Meanwhile, United Nations peacekeepers have surrounded the "last defenders" of Ivory Coast incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, after a week of heavy fighting to unseat him.
Forces loyal to rival presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara have been waging an offensive in Abidjan to topple Gbagbo, who has refused to cede power after losing last November's election to Ouattara, according to results certified by the UN.
A UN spokesperson in Abidjan told Reuters that the UN had sent forces into the Cocody neighbourhood, where Gbagbo is believed to be holed up in his heavily defended compound, but didn’t plan to intervene.
Earlier, French forces hit military vehicles belonging to troops loyal to Gbagbo during a helicopter-borne mission that rescued Japan's ambassador to the West African country.
Also making headlines:
Nigeria postpones parliament polls in some areas.
Sudan's Foreign Ministry says it will report Israel to the UN Security Council about a missile attack on its east coast that killed two people.
And, Ivory Coast's Alassane Ouattara says that he’s asked for EU sanctions on the main ports and other businesses to be lifted as a first step to bring the country back to normal.
That’s a round up of news making headlines today.