West & Central Africa Correspondent, Dakar
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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.

Mar 25, 2012

Senegal votes in cliffhanger run-off election

DAKAR (Reuters) – Senegal voted in a run-off election on Sunday pitting octogenarian President Abdoulaye Wade, whose bid for a third term has triggered violent protests, against former ally and prime minister Macky Sall.

The vote in the usually peaceful nation is a test for democracy in West Africa where polls have been marred by fraud and bloodshed and where a military coup toppled the government of Mali last week.

Mar 25, 2012

Wade faces tough fight in Senegal presidential race

DAKAR (Reuters) – Octogenarian President Abdoulaye Wade, whose bid for a third term has brought violent protests to Senegal, faces a tough challenge from former ally and prime minister Macky Sall in the second round of voting on Sunday.

Wade fell short of a majority in the February 26 vote with 34.8 percent. Sall came second with 26.6 percent. The first-round candidates have now united behind Sall as has civil society group M-23, which has been calling on Wade, 85, to step down.

Feb 28, 2012

Outright win for Senegal’s Wade “improbable” – EU

DAKAR, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Senegalese President
Abdoulaye Wade is unlikely to have won Sunday’s first-round
presidential vote, the head of the EU observer mission said on
Tuesday, adding to expectations Wade will have to fight a tough
run-off to secure a third term.

“There will probably be a second round as any other outcome
seems improbable, according to what we have heard so far,” Thijs
Berman told a news conference in Dakar as partial returns showed
Wade in the lead with about a third of the vote – well short of
the more than 50 percent needed to secure a first-round win.

Feb 15, 2012

BHP not to build Congo plant, setback for hydro plan

KINSHASA, Feb 15 (Reuters) – BHP Billiton’s
decision to abandon plans for an aluminium smelter in the
Democratic Republic of Congo could create problems for the
planned Inga 3 hydro power project, the energy minister said on

“The problem is real but there are alternative solutions,”
Energy Minister Gilbert Tshiongo told Reuters, but added the
government was confident of finding other backing for the

Jan 30, 2012

Wade bid poses risk to Senegal stability – U.S.

DAKAR (Reuters) – Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade’s bid for a third mandate in next month’s election, which has triggered protests across the capital, could endanger his country’s record of democracy and stability, the United States warned on Monday.

One policeman died as protesters hurled rocks, overturned cars and set fire to tyres in the streets of Dakar on Friday after Senegal’s top legal body said Wade could stand despite complaints it breached rules setting a two-term limit.

    • 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:
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