Page last updated at 16:06 GMT, Monday, 29 December 2008

Africa year in pictures: 2008

A Kikuyu man from Nairobi's Kibera slum walks in a bloodied shirt from police during ethnic clashes (Photo: Simon Maina/AFP - 29 January 2008)

The year erupted with deadly ethnic clashes in Kenya following disputed elections. More than 1,500 people were killed and some 300,000 displaced before a power-sharing deal was reached.

Mali supporters cheer in the stands in match between Mali and Nigeria (Photo: Issouf Sanogo/AFP - 25 January 2008)

The rest of the continent was caught up in watching the Nations Cup taking place in Ghana, where defending champions Egypt beat Cameroon in the February final to win their sixth title.

A UN-AU peacekeeper in Darfur sips sweet tea offered to him by Arab nomads (Photo: Stuart Price/AFP - 16 March 2008)

A joint United Nations and African Union peacekeeping mission took over in Sudan's troubled Darfur region this year, but by March the force remained unchanged at 9,000.

A party worker for Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change awaits treatment at a clinic in the capital, Harare. (Photo: John Moore/AFP - June 26, 2008)

Zimbabweans spent the whole of April waiting for the results of March's presidential poll. When the results were finally released, they said a run-off was needed in June, which was marred by violence.

Policemen attend to a man that was set alight in Reiger Park in Johannesburg during xenophobic clashes. (Photo: AFP - 18 May 2008)

In May, South Africa was hit by a wave of xenophobic violence in which 60 people died when armed groups attacked foreigners, who are often accused of taking jobs and fuelling crime.

A Somali fisherman carries his catch in the capital, Mogadishu (Photo: Mohamed Sheikh Nor/AP - 22 November 2008)

In June, the UN warned it would cut food aid to Somalia if it did not receive more naval protection against pirates, many of whom are ex-fisherman whose livelihoods have been affected by foreign trawlers.

Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend) fighters in Nigeria raise their riffles to celebrate news of a successful operation (Photo: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP - 17 September 2008)

In July, Nigeria's oil militant group, Mend, ended its ceasefire after UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the UK would help train the Nigerian military amid efforts to tackle violence in the Niger Delta.

Nelson Mandela at an event at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria to celebrate his birthday with his wife Graca Machel (l) and his ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. (Photo: Michelly Rall/AFP)

Months of events to celebrate Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday culminated in August in an ANC celebration attended by his wife Graca Machel (l) and his ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Girls hold hands to keep their balance as they walk the rails of flooded train tracks in Thiaroye Sur Mer, on the outskirts of Dakar, Senegal. (Photo: Rebecca Blackwell/AP - 10 September 2008)

Heavy downpours hit West Africa for a second year, displacing thousands. According to the Red Cross, Senegal's capital, Dakar, received twice its usual rainfall for September in just four days.

Civilians at a displacement camp watch a UN helicopter land in Kiwanja, DR Congo (Photo: Uriel Sinai/Getty - 7 November 2008)

An upsurge in fighting in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo between Laurent Nkunda's fighters and the army displaced 250,000 people by October. The year ended with UN-brokered talks.

Sarah Obama (pictured in red) hugs members of her family in Kogelo, Kenya, when she hears that her step grandson has been elected US president. (Photo: Matt Dunham/AP - 5 November 2008)

In November, the election of Barack Obama to the White House saw celebrations across Africa, especially in Kenya where his step-grandmother (centre) was the centre of media attention.

Women and children wait to get water from an underground source, following a water cut in Harare. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP - 1 December 2008)

In December, the world's attention was once again focused on Zimbabwe, where chronic water shortages led to a deadly cholera outbreak which has spread across her borders.

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