West & Central Africa Correspondent, Dakar
Bate's Feed
Apr 5, 2012

Separatist Mali rebels say military operations over

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Mali’s MNLA separatist rebels announced they had ended their fight to create an “Azawad” state on the edge of the Sahara on Thursday after achieving their goal amid a political crisis that has paralyzed southern capital.

The ceasefire was announced ahead of a meeting of army chiefs from West Africa’s ECOWAS bloc in Ivory Coast, where they will try and hammer out a plan for military intervention in Mali, which experts fear has become a security vacuum for al Qaeda cells and smugglers to exploit.

Apr 5, 2012

Mali postpones talks, Qaeda stokes fear

PARIS/BAMAKO (Reuters) – Mali’s military rulers on Wednesday postponed a national convention to end a crisis sparked by a coup, which has led to international isolation and allowed rebels to seize control of the northern half of the country.

Colonel Moussa Coulibaly, an adviser to the head of the junta, said the talks, which political parties and civil society groups had earlier said they would boycott, were postponed to provide more time for preparations.

Apr 4, 2012

Mali parties reject junta talks, Qaeda stokes fear

PARIS/BAMAKO (Reuters) – Mali’s political parties on Wednesday rejected the army’s plan to hold a national convention to end a crisis sparked by a coup, which has led to international isolation and let rebels seize control of the northern half of the country.

France and the United Nations warned that the seizure of northern Mali by rebels was playing into the hands of local al Qaeda units, and former colonial power France urged Algeria and other neighbors to do more to tackle the threat.

Apr 4, 2012

Qaeda using Mali crisis to expand, France warns

PARIS/BAMAKO (Reuters) – France warned on Wednesday the seizure of northern Mali by a Tuareg-led rebellion was playing into the hands of local al Qaeda units, urging neighbors including Algeria to do more to tackle the threat.

For long one of the most stable democracies in West Africa, Mali has plunged into turmoil since a widely condemned March 22 coup that emboldened Tuareg rebels in their quest for a northern homeland.

Apr 4, 2012

Timbuktu: from city of myth to rebel stronghold

April 4 (Reuters) – When turban-swathed Tuareg rebels swept
into Timbuktu on Sunday to plant the flag of their northern Mali
homeland, they found very few tourists in the bars, hotels,
museums, mosques and libraries of the fabled and ancient Saharan
trading town.

Local guides say numbers of foreign visitors had already
fallen off after a Dutchman, a South African and a Swede were
seized by gunmen in the historic Malian city in November. A
German citizen was killed in the abduction claimed by al Qaeda.

Apr 3, 2012

Mali junta defies deadline for handing over power

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Mali’s junta ignored a demand by neighbors for an immediate exit from power on Tuesday, instead simply repeating its offer to hold open-ended talks on a future transition to civilian rule.

Malians rushed to stock up on petrol and cash after the 15-state ECOWAS West African bloc launched trade and diplomatic sanctions aimed at forcing the leaders of last month’s coup to stand down.

Apr 3, 2012

Malians stock up before anti-junta sanctions bite

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Malians rushed to stock up on petrol and cash on Tuesday after neighbors went ahead with trade and diplomatic sanctions aimed at forcing the military junta to hand over power.

For long one of the most stable democracies in West Africa, Mali has plunged into turmoil since a widely condemned March 22 coup that emboldened Tuareg rebels to seize half the country in their quest for a northern homeland.

Apr 3, 2012

Malians queue for fuel as anti-junta sanctions begin

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Malians queued to stock up on petrol at garages around the capital Bamako on Tuesday after neighbors launched trade and diplomatic sanctions aimed at forcing the military junta to hand over power.

For long one of the most stable democracies in West Africa, Mali has plunged into turmoil since a widely condemned March 22 coup that emboldened Tuareg rebels to seize half the country in their quest for a northern homeland.

Apr 2, 2012

Neighbors hit Mali junta with border shutdown

BAMAKO/DAKAR (Reuters) – Mali’s neighbors agreed to shut their borders with the West African country on Monday as part of tough sanctions aimed at forcing the leaders of last month’s coup to step down.

Leaders of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, also announced they would “activate” the region’s standby military force, though it was unclear when any troops would deploy and with what mandate.

Apr 2, 2012

Islamists push for sharia law in northern Mali

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Islamists moved to impose sharia law in northern Mali after helping Tuareg separatists seize key towns, ransacking bars and banning Western-style clothes and music, residents said on Monday.

A lightning 72-hour advance by rebels over the weekend, which exploited the chaotic aftermath of a military coup in the distant capital, is the latest threat to stability in West Africa, whose leaders met for crisis talks in Senegal.

    • About Bate

      "Bate Felix is a Dakar-based West & Central Africa Correspondent. He joined Reuters in 2007 as a graduate trainee and has worked in Johannesburg, London, Brussels, Paris and Amsterdam. He now covers economics, politics and general news stories in over a dozen countries in West & Central Africa."
      Joined Reuters:
      2007
      Languages:
      English, French
    • More from Bate

      Publications:
      Advertising In The News: Paid-For Content And The South African Print Media, HSRC Publishers, 2008
    • Contact Bate

    • Follow Bate