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May 18, 2015

Guinea opposition vows more protests unless president backs down

DAKAR (Reuters) – Guinea’s opposition leader pledged to continue the protests in which at least four people have been killed unless President Alpha Conde allows prompt local elections.

Cellou Dalien Diallo said Conde had broken a 2013 U.N.-brokered deal with the opposition to organize long-overdue municipal polls before a presidential vote set for October.

May 15, 2015

Desert as deadly as sea for surge of Europe-bound migrants

DAKAR (Reuters) – At least as many migrants may be dying of hunger and thirst in the Sahara as are drowning in the Mediterranean during this year’s huge surge of human trafficking from Libya to Europe, the International Organization for Migration said on Friday.

The number of people traveling through Niger’s vast desert wastes to reach North Africa and Europe could more than double this year to 100,000, the global migration body’s Niger office said. The migrants are often abused by traffickers who abandon them to die in the desert if they run out of money.

Apr 24, 2015

Weary of poverty, Senegalese migrants head for Europe

THIAROYE-SUR-MER, Senegal (Reuters) – After being repatriated to Senegal on a Spanish military plane having risked his life on a perilous sea crossing to the Canary Islands in 2006, Moustafa Diouf founded an association to warn young Africans of the dangers of illegal migration to Europe.

Last week, the secretary-general of his group gave up and took a bus to Morocco from where traffickers smuggled him to Spain aboard a fishing vessel. He was fed up at working without pay because donors did not provide the support they hoped for.

Apr 13, 2015

Nigeria election raises hope of peaceful West African polls

DAKAR (Reuters) – Nigeria’s relatively peaceful elections have set the bar high for a string of votes this year across West Africa, though tensions in Guinea remain a concern, the United Nations’ top regional official said.

Last month Muhammadu Buhari ousted an incumbent president democratically for the first time in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy and most populous country. The results of Nigeria’s governor elections also showed a swing toward Buhari’s party on Monday.

Apr 2, 2015

Analysis – Buhari win means Nigeria, not Chad, to lead Boko Haram fight

DAKAR (Reuters) – When Chadian troops occupied parts of northern Nigeria in the 1980s, Nigerian Major-General Muhammadu Buhari chased them back across the border in a show of strength months before he seized power in a military coup.

    Thirty years later, the 72-year-old former strongman has returned as head of state, defeating incumbent Goodluck Jonathan at the ballot box this week, and once again seems determined to end Chad’s presence on Nigerian soil.

Apr 2, 2015

Buhari win means Nigeria, not Chad, to lead Boko Haram fight

DAKAR (Reuters) – When Chadian troops occupied parts of northern Nigeria in the 1980s, Nigerian Major-General Muhammadu Buhari chased them back across the border in a show of strength months before he seized power in a military coup.

    Thirty years later, the 72-year-old former strongman has returned as head of state, defeating incumbent Goodluck Jonathan at the ballot box this week, and once again seems determined to end Chad’s presence on Nigerian soil.

Mar 25, 2015

Insight – Glimmers of hope in Central Africa Republic but peace elusive

YALOKE, Central African Republic/DAKAR (Reuters) – Hunted through the bush of Central African Republic by Christian militiamen, hundreds of half-starved Muslim herders found sanctuary with U.N. peacekeepers in the town of Yaloke. For months they dared not set foot outside the camp.

Now, after months of talks with local leaders, the frightened Fulani herders have finally ventured outside their small compound into the half-empty town, once home to an estimated 10,000 Muslims.

Mar 25, 2015

Glimmers of hope in Central Africa Republic but peace elusive

YALOKE, Central African Republic/DAKAR (Reuters) – Hunted through the bush of Central African Republic by Christian militiamen, hundreds of half-starved Muslim herders found sanctuary with U.N. peacekeepers in the town of Yaloke. For months they dared not set foot outside the camp.

Now, after months of talks with local leaders, the frightened Fulani herders have finally ventured outside their small compound into the half-empty town, once home to an estimated 10,000 Muslims.

Mar 17, 2015

Senegal’s Sall says to ‘set an example’ in Africa by reducing term

DAKAR (Reuters) – Senegal’s President Macky Sall said on Tuesday he would hold a referendum next year to reduce the presidential term to five years from seven, seeking to “set an example” at a time when some African leaders want to lift their term limit.

Sall declined to say whether he would seek a second term in his West African country, regarded as a bastion of democracy in a turbulent region, though he is widely expected to do so.

Mar 3, 2015

Insight – Nigeria stalls Chad, aims to beat Boko Haram before election

DJAMENA/YAOUNDE (Reuters) – When battle-hardened Chadian troops overran a Boko Haram camp in northern Nigeria last week, they wanted to press deep into territory controlled by the Islamist group but Nigeria refused to let them.

Having defeated al Qaeda in Mali two years ago, Chad’s military believes it could finish off Boko Haram alone. It has notched up victories that have pushed the Nigerian militants back from the Cameroonian border.