- Morocco and the Polisario Front are back on the negotiations table to resolve the long dragging dispute over the Western Sahara.
The two day meeting backed by the United Nations, resumed Wednesday but no breakthrough is expected, according to critics.
More than three decades after the conflict started, Rabat and the Polisario Front introduced new proposals three years ago, but formal negotiations broke down after less than a year. A bid to revive them last year was held up by fresh tensions.
Reports said representatives from the two sides will meet behind closed doors at the IBM Learning Center in Armonk in New York state.
Diplomats said the meeting, modelled on a similar informal session held in Austria last August, aims to clear the way for a fifth round of formal talks between the parties.
Four previous such rounds held in the New York suburb of Manhasset since June 2007 have failed to resolve the dispute over the phosphate-rich territory annexed by Morocco in 1975 after colonial power Spain withdrew.
Polisario has been in row with Morocco since the annexation of the northwest African territory in 1975 and is now offering it autonomy, but Polisario, which fought a guerrilla war until 1991, demands a referendum on the future of the former Spanish colony with independence as one option.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.