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Aug 12, 2013

Cisse concedes, congratulates Keita for winning Mali vote

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Soumaila Cisse on Monday conceded defeat in Mali’s presidential election runoff, congratulating his rival Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on winning a vote meant to draw a line under more than a year of turmoil in the West African nation.

Cisse’s concession, hours after he complained the election had been marred by fraud, will deepen optimism for Mali’s recovery. Keita, a former prime minister, inherits a broken nation and must still negotiate peace with northern rebels.

Aug 12, 2013

Mali vote a success, major step for war-torn nation: observers

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Election observers on Monday hailed a weekend presidential runoff in Mali as a success as results trickled in from across the West African country from a vote meant to draw a line under more than a year of turmoil.

Although official figures are not expected until Tuesday at the earliest, Malian media cited partial vote counts from across the vast, landlocked former French colony that put ex-prime minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita firmly in the lead, particularly in the populous south.

Aug 11, 2013

Tuareg of northern Mali say election alone will not bring peace

KIDAL, Mali (Reuters) – In the birthplace of a Tuareg revolt that nearly tore Mali apart last year, residents said Sunday’s election would not bring lasting peace unless a new president in the distant south gave them more freedom.

The desert region of Kidal in Mali’s desolate northeast has produced four rebellions since independence from France in 1960. Its light-skinned Tuareg people say successive black African governments in the capital Bamako have excluded them from power.

Aug 11, 2013

Former PM favourite for president in run-off vote to heal Mali

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Poll workers in Mali began counting votes in Sunday’s high stakes presidential runoff, with former Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita tipped to claim the difficult job of stabilising the West African nation after more than a year of turmoil.

The winner of the vote will be able to draw on more than $4 billion in foreign aid promised to rebuild the country after a French-led military intervention in January routed al Qaeda-linked rebels occupying the desert north.

Aug 11, 2013

Former PM favorite for president as Malians vote to end crisis

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Former Prime Minister Ibrahima Boubacar Keita was the favorite to win a presidential election on Sunday that Malians hope will restore stability in a country torn apart by last year’s coup and Islamist insurgency.

The winner of the run-off ballot will oversee more than $4 billion in foreign aid promised to rebuild the West African nation, after France sent thousands of troops in January to break the grip of al Qaeda-linked rebels over its desert north.

Aug 11, 2013

Tough-talking ex-PM favourite as Malians vote to turn page on turmoil

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Malians vote on Sunday in the second round of a presidential poll with a tough-talking ex-prime minister the favourite to win an election meant to offer the country a fresh start after a coup and Islamist rebellion last year.

The victor in Sunday’s ballot will oversee more than $4 billion (2.58 billion pounds) in foreign aid promised to rebuild the West African nation, after France sent thousands of troops in January to break the grip of al Qaeda-linked rebels over its desert north.

Aug 9, 2013

Frontrunner in Mali election runoff pledges to reinforce peace

BAMAKO (Reuters) – The frontrunner in Mali’s presidential election wound up his campaign on Friday with a promise to restore peace and dignity to the West African country scarred by a coup and Islamist uprising last year.

Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, 68, an ex-prime minister with a reputation for toughness, won last month’s ballot with nearly 40 percent of the vote – but fell short of a majority. He will face ex-finance minister Soumaila Cisse in a runoff on Sunday.

Jul 21, 2013

China brings goods and roads, now Africa wants jobs

DAKAR, July 21 (Reuters) – China has brought cheap consumer
goods, roads and schools to many parts of Africa over the last
decade but the continent’s leaders are increasingly pushing for
it to provide more of what many Africans want most: jobs.

From Pretoria to Abuja, governments have begun voicing
frustration that China’s use of Africa as a source of natural
resources and a market for its goods may be hindering the
continent haul its billion people out of poverty.

Jul 4, 2013

U.N. seeks $1 billion to feed Sahel, says Syria distracting

DAKAR (Reuters) – The United Nations appealed on Wednesday for more than $1 billion to help feed 11 million people at risk across Africa’s arid Sahel belt, warning that the crisis in Syria was distracting donors from the humanitarian situation there.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that this year’s war in northern Mali, where a French-led military campaign destroyed an Islamist enclave, had worsened annual food shortages across the region.

Jun 28, 2013

Senegal president asks Obama for more help against Islamists

DAKAR (Reuters) – Senegalese President Macky Sall said on Friday he had asked U.S. President Barack Obama to provide more help to African nations fighting an Islamist threat in the Sahara, particularly in the sphere of military training, hardware and intelligence.

Sall, who held talks with Obama in Dakar on Thursday on the first leg of a three-nation African tour, said they had discussed the menace from al Qaeda-linked groups in the vast and lawless desert region, which runs east to west across Africa.