West & Central Africa Correspondent, Dakar
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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.

Apr 2, 2012

Mali sanctions loom, rebels seize north

BAMAKO (Reuters) – West African leaders will decide on Monday whether to impose sanctions on Mali after leaders of a military coup said they would return power to civilians in a bid to avert diplomatic and economic isolation.

A 72-hour deadline, set by West African bloc ECOWAS, for soldiers to start returning to barracks expired overnight as northern separatist rebels said they had completed a lightning push south, seizing three regional capitals in as many days as Mali’s army units retreated.

Apr 2, 2012

Mali sanction deadline expires, rebels seize north

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Mali braced for possible sanctions on Monday after its military rulers pledged to start returning power to civilians but no concrete moves were taken and it was not clear if neighbors would lift threats of isolation.

A 72-hour deadline, set by West African bloc ECOWAS, for soldiers to start returning to barracks expired as northern separatist rebels said they had completed a lightning push south, seizing three regional capitals in as many days as Mali’s army units retreated.

Apr 1, 2012

Mali junta backs down as rebels seize Timbuktu

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Mali’s junta yielded to the threat of sanctions on Sunday, pledging to start handing power back to civilians before a midnight deadline, while in the north, separatist rebels seized the ancient trading post of Timbuktu.

Amadou Sanogo, an army captain who led a March 21 coup, pledged to reinstate the constitution and all state institutions before transferring power back to civilians via elections. His promise followed last week’s threat by West African regional bloc ECOWAS to impose sanctions, including the potentially crippling closure of borders around the land-locked state.

Apr 1, 2012

Mali junta pledges to cede power, rebels advance

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Mali’s junta leader promised to reinstate the constitution from Sunday, hours before a deadline set by West African neighbors to start handing over power, and as rebels encircled the ancient trading post of Timbuktu.

Amadou Sanogo, who led a military coup on March 22, also pledged to re-establish all state institutions before organizing a transfer of power back to civilians through democratic elections.

Mar 26, 2012

Senegal wakes to new era after Wade bows out

DAKAR (Reuters) – Residents of Senegal woke up to a new future on Monday after challenger Macky Sall defeated long-serving leader Abdoulaye Wade in elections, widely praised for cementing the country’s reputation as West Africa’s most stable democracy.

Excited residents gathered at tea shops as boys hawked newspapers splashed with headlines like ‘Wade Knocked Out’, after a night marked by fireworks, honking horns and singing in parts of the capital Dakar.

Mar 26, 2012

“Senegal wins” as president admits election defeat

DAKAR (Reuters) – Senegal’s long-serving leader Abdoulaye Wade admitted defeat in the presidential election, congratulating his rival Macky Sall, a move seen as bolstering the West African state’s democratic credentials in a region fraught with political chaos.

Thousands of residents of the capital Dakar poured onto the streets overnight, honking car horns, beating drums and singing in celebration after state television reported that Wade had telephoned Sall to concede the country’s most contentious election in recent history.

Mar 25, 2012

Senegal’s Wade concedes election to rival

DAKAR (Reuters) – Senegal’s President Abdoulaye Wade admitted defeat in Sunday’s election, state television reported, ending his bid for a third term that had sparked deadly clashes in the normally peaceful country.

The octogenarian leader phoned rival Macky Sall to congratulate him, state broadcaster RPS reported late on Sunday, an announcement greeted by celebrations across the capital Dakar.

    • 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
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