DAKAR (Reuters) – A complex mosaic of nations, tribes and militants is hampering strategies by African and Western nations to staunch the flow of weapons and fighters south from the civil war in Libya into the Sahara-Sahel region.
Libya’s civil war and the end of Muammar Gaddafi’s rule has pumped more weapons and men into an already volatile mix of local rebels, cross-border criminals and Islamists in the remote desert regions of Mali, Niger and Mauritania.
KINSHASA (Reuters) – Congo’s lofty expansion plans for copper output risk remaining on paper as a Chinese infrastructure deal has yet to fall into place and the government struggles to secure partnerships with mining firms to revamp railways and power stations.
Kinshasa has revived mining since the end of a devastating civil war, expanding copper output fivefold, but is still operating well below its massive potential from some of the world’s biggest mineral reserves.
LUBUMBASHI, Congo, Oct 11 (Reuters) – Few in Congo’s Katanga
copper belt are happy with local provincial governor Moise
Katumbi’s decision to return to business after five years in
Known for his trademark cowboy hats and ownership of one of
Africa’s top soccer clubs, Katumbi is seen as a guardian of
mining firms’ interests and the relative stability which sets
this southeastern province apart from much of Congo.
LUBUMBASHI, Democratic Republic of Congo, Oct 6 (Reuters) -
A proposed audit by Democratic Republic of Congo’s state mining
firm of its joint venture partnerships should not be mistaken
for a new mining contract review, the governor of Congo’s
minerals-rich Katanga province said on Thursday.
The central Africa state holds some of the world’s largest
reserves of cobalt, copper and other minerals but fears over
contract security after a 2008-2010 mining review and rebel
activity in the eastern provinces have held back investment.
KINSHASA, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Democratic Republic of Congo
must rapidly diversify its economy to create jobs for its
rapidly-growing population, the country’s planning minister said
Congo is a treasure trove of minerals but the Central
African giant of 71 million people has been crippled by decades
of misrule and years of conflict. It will hold its second
post-war elections next month with President Joseph Kabila
facing some ten rivals seeking to tap into simmering
DAKAR (Reuters) – The bombing of a U.N. office in Nigeria has deepened fears that al Qaeda’s influence on militant groups in sub-Saharan Africa is growing, although the extent of its involvement remains murky.
Experts say increasing numbers of Nigerians are training with fighters linked to al Qaeda in the desert, potentially adding black African recruits to ranks still mostly dominated by Arab faces, and broadening al Qaeda’s regional influence.
DJAMENA (Reuters) – As Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s rule crumbles, fears over the whereabouts of his remaining weapons, especially surface-to-air missiles, are topping the fears of neighboring nations in the Sahel region he had for long held sway over.
Governments who had lucrative but often tricky ties with Gaddafi and stood on the sidelines during months of fighting, are increasingly adopting realpolitik in recognizing the rebels, probably in the hope that, once in power, they will help boost regional security threatened by groups linked to al Qaeda.
DAKAR (Reuters) – Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Senegal on Saturday to urge President Abdoulaye Wade to abandon plans to stand for re-election next year, hours ahead of a planned rally by his supporters.
There were fears of a repeat of violence after anti-Wade riots last month but crowds gathered peacefully in the capital Dakar, chanting and whistling under the gaze of riot police.
When Ivory Coast’s election last year left the country with two men claiming to be president and a flood of warnings of the threat of civil war, the world’s diplomatic and media interest was unprecedented.
After a turbulent four months, which have seen two North African revolutions, a tsunami and near nuclear meltdown in Japan, and Libya’s ongoing war, how that has changed. The West African nation’s crisis is grizzly but also in a slow-burn mode and hardly getting a look in with all the drama elsewhere.
ABIDJAN (Reuters) – News that Ivory Coast’s President Laurent Gbagbo and his veteran rival Alassane Ouattara will face each other in a run-off will ease tensions in the short term, but paves the way for a hotly-contested vote later this month.
According to provisional results announced on Thursday, Gbagbo took 38.3 percent of the vote. With no absolute majority, he will take on Ouattara, who came second with 32.08 percent.