West & Central Africa Correspondent, Dakar
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Jan 14, 2013

France bombs Islamist strongholds deep in north Mali

BAMAKO/PARIS, Jan 13 (Reuters) – French fighter jets pounded
Islamist rebel strongholds deep in northern Mali on Sunday as
Paris poured more troops into the capital Bamako, awaiting a
West African force to dislodge al Qaeda-linked insurgents from
the country’s north.

The attacks on Islamist positions near the ancient desert
trading town of Timbuktu and Gao, the largest city in the north,
marked a decisive intensification on the third day of the French
mission, striking at the heart of the vast area seized by rebels
in April.

Jan 13, 2013

Malians line up to give blood to war effort

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Hundreds of Malians lined up on Sunday to donate blood destined for their troops locked in a fierce battle against Islamist rebels occupying the northern two-thirds of the poor West African country.

Faced with a long and bitter war to dislodge the al Qaeda-linked rebel fighters, interim President Dioncounda Traore had appealed on Friday for everyone, including mining and telecoms firms, to contribute whatever they could.

Jan 13, 2013

France bombs Islamist stronghold in north Mali

BAMAKO/PARIS, Jan 13 (Reuters) – French fighter jets pounded
an Islamist rebel stronghold in northern Mali on Sunday as Paris
poured more troops into the capital Bamako, awaiting a West
African force to dislodge al Qaeda-linked insurgents from the
country’s north.

The attack on Gao, the largest city in the desert region
controlled by the Islamist alliance, marked a decisive drive
northwards on the third day of French air strikes, moving deep
into the vast territory seized by rebels in April.

Jan 13, 2013

France bombs Mali rebels as more troops arrive in Bamako

BAMAKO/PARIS, Jan 13 (Reuters) – French fighter jets bombed
Islamist rebels in Mali for a third day on Sunday as Paris
poured more troops into the capital Bamako, awaiting the arrival
of a West African force to dislodge al Qaeda-linked insurgents
from the country’s north.

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France’s
dramatic intervention on Friday to bomb a convoy of heavily
armed Islamist fighters sweeping southwards had stopped them
from seizing Mali’s capital Bamako within days.

Jan 13, 2013

France bombs Mali rebels, African states ready troops

BAMAKO/PARIS (Reuters) – French aircraft pounded Islamist rebels in Mali for a second day on Saturday and neighboring West African states sped up their plans to deploy troops in an international campaign to prevent groups linked to al Qaeda expanding their power base.

France, warning that the control of northern Mali by the militants posed a security threat to Europe, intervened dramatically on Friday as heavily armed Islamist fighters swept southwards towards Mali’s capital Bamako.

Jan 12, 2013

West African states poised to send troops to fight Mali rebels

BAMAKO/PARIS (Reuters) – West African states prepared to send troops to Mali and French aircraft bombed Islamist fighters there, as an international campaign to crush rebels who have seized the north of the country gathered pace.

A French pilot died on Friday when his helicopter was shot down near the central Mali town of Mopti. Hours later, in Somalia, a bid to rescue a French hostage held by Islamists failed and Paris said it believed the man had died in the raid.

Jan 11, 2013

Malian army beats back Islamist rebels with French help

PARIS/BAMAKO, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Malian government troops
drove back Islamist rebels from a strategic central town after
France intervened on Friday with air strikes to halt advances by
the militants controlling the country’s desert north.

Western governments, particularly former colonial power
France, had voiced alarm after the al Qaeda-linked rebel
alliance captured the town of Konna on Thursday, a gateway
towards the capital Bamako 600 km (375 miles) south.

Jan 11, 2013

France launches air strikes in Mali against Islamist rebels

PARIS/BAMAKO (Reuters) – France carried out air strikes against Islamist rebels in Mali on Friday as it began a military intervention intended to halt a drive southward by the militants who control the country’s desert north.

Western governments, particularly former colonial power France, voiced alarm after the al Qaeda-linked rebel alliance captured the central Malian town of Konna on Thursday, a gateway towards the capital Bamako 600 km (375 miles) further south.

Dec 11, 2012

Poverty in Guinea as mine wrangle stalls bonanza

CONAKRY/LONDON, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Hidden under the lush
forests of southern Guinea is the world’s largest untapped
deposit of iron ore, a resource so rich it covers dirt roads,
trees and just about everything above it in a burnt, rust red
dust.

The Simandou deposit has some of world’s highest grade,
lowest impurity ore, enough to satisfy 12 percent or more of
global seaborne demand for steel-making iron ore, and transform
one of the world’s poorest countries into a major producer.

Jun 15, 2012

U.S. prosecutors add charges in Equatorial Guinea graft case

DAKAR (Reuters) – Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, son of the president of Equatorial Guinea, spent more than $300 million during a decade of high living financed by bribes and embezzlement, according to a new filing by U.S. prosecutors.

The filing this week came after a judge told prosecutors in April they must provide more evidence of wrongdoing to be able to seize assets including a $30 million Malibu estate, private jet and Michael Jackson memorabilia collection.

    • 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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