West and Central Africa Correspondent
David's Feed
May 1, 2015

Insight – Connected and angry, African youth groups push for democracy

DAKAR/KINSHASA (Reuters) – Four years after launching a campaign to get young Senegalese to vote, journalist Fadel Barro found himself in a dark prison cell over 4,000 km (2,500 miles) from home in Democratic Republic of Congo, accused of fomenting insurrection.

His journey and brief incarceration in March show how youth movements have linked up across francophone Africa to push for change in a region still dominated by “Big Men” leaders, and how some deeply entrenched governments are resisting.

May 1, 2015

Connected and angry, African youth groups push for democracy

DAKAR/KINSHASA (Reuters) – Four years after launching a campaign to get young Senegalese to vote, journalist Fadel Barro found himself in a dark prison cell over 4,000 km (2,500 miles) from home in Democratic Republic of Congo, accused of fomenting insurrection.

His journey and brief incarceration in March show how youth movements have linked up across francophone Africa to push for change in a region still dominated by “Big Men” leaders, and how some deeply entrenched governments are resisting.

Apr 27, 2015

Early Togo election results give president lead; rival cries foul

LOME, April 27 (Reuters) – Togo’s main opposition candidate
complained on Monday of widespread irregularities in Saturday’s
presidential election and called for the announcement of results
to be halted.

Results issued earlier on Monday from six of 42 voting
districts put President Faure Gnassingbe ahead with 64 percent
of the vote and his nearest rival, Jean-Pierre Fabre, on 33
percent. The remaining votes were shared between the three other
candidates.

Apr 26, 2015

Togo’s ASKY seeks new investors, more regional cooperation -chairman

LOME, April 26 (Reuters) – Togo-based ASKY airline is in
talks with potential investors to strengthen its operations
bfargeut leaders should bury pride and ambition to create a
regional carrier serving West and Central Africa, its chairman
said.

ASKY was set up in late 2007 in partnership with Ethiopian
Airlines and seeks to help fill the void created by
the collapse in 2002 of Air Afrique, a regional operator
controlled by Francophone African governments.

Apr 26, 2015

Togo election peaceful, with turnout low, observers say

LOME (Reuters) – Togo’s presidential election took place without major incidents, although turnout appears to have been just over 50 percent, West African and local election observers said on Sunday.

No results have yet been published, but incumbent Faure Gnassingbe is widely expected to win a third term. The vote on Saturday pitted Gnassingbe against four challengers, led by Jean-Pierre Fabre.

Apr 25, 2015

Togo votes in delayed presidential election

LOME (Reuters) – Togo began voting on Saturday in an election expected to give President Faure Gnassingbe a third term in power, facing a divided opposition and controversy over how results are tallied and announced.

Gnassingbe has been president since 2005 when his father died after 38 years in charge. Campaigning has been largely peaceful and there are no signs of the tensions that led to violence in 2005, when hundreds died after the election.

Apr 23, 2015

Veteran Togo leader seen winning third term, extending family rule

LOME, April 23 (Reuters) – Togo’s President Faure
Gnassingbe, unshackled by term limits and facing a divided
opposition, looks set to win a third term in Saturday’s
election, extending his family’s leadership of the tiny West
African nation to more than half a century.

The opposition has lodged last-minute complaints over the
system of tallying results from the election, which was delayed
by 10 days to clean up voter lists, but tensions are well below
the levels of 2005 when hundreds died in post-election violence.

Mar 29, 2015

Insight – Hardline Mali rebel demands stall hopes for peace

DAKAR (Reuters) – Mediators in northern Mali’s conflict underestimated the radicalisation of a new generation at the heart of a separatist movement, a misstep that left the peace process in tatters after rebels refused to sign a proposed deal.

Gambling on pushing through an agreement, Algerian mediators organised only a handful of face-to-face meetings between the government and the Tuareg-led insurgents, participants said; too few to overcome the mutual mistrust accumulated by four rebellions in the desert north since independence in 1960.

Mar 29, 2015

Hardline Mali rebel demands stall hopes for peace

DAKAR (Reuters) – Mediators in northern Mali’s conflict underestimated the radicalization of a new generation at the heart of a separatist movement, a misstep that left the peace process in tatters after rebels refused to sign a proposed deal.

Gambling on pushing through an agreement, Algerian mediators organized only a handful of face-to-face meetings between the government and the Tuareg-led insurgents, participants said; too few to overcome the mutual mistrust accumulated by four rebellions in the desert north since independence in 1960.

Mar 12, 2015

Nigeria drafts in foreign mercenaries to take on Boko Haram

JOHANNESBURG/DAKAR (Reuters) – Nigeria has brought in hundreds of mercenaries from South Africa and the former Soviet Union to give its offensive against Boko Haram a shot in the arm before a March 28 election, according to regional security, defense and diplomatic sources.

Rumors about the use of foreign “soldiers of fortune” against the Islamist militant group gained substance this month when pictures surfaced on Twitter showing armored vehicles rumbling along a street in what was said to be Maiduguri, the regional capital of Nigeria’s Boko Haram-hit northeast.