West and Central Africa Correspondent
David's Feed
Jan 31, 2014

Surge in cocaine trade undermines Conde’s bid to revive Guinea

CONAKRY, Jan 31 (Reuters) – A surge in cocaine trafficking
has transformed Guinea into West Africa’s latest drug hot spot,
jeopardizing President Alpha Conde’s efforts to rebuild state
institutions after a military coup and attract billion of
dollars in mining investment.

Locals and Latin Americans long-accused of smuggling are
operating freely in the country, some with high-level protection
from within Conde’s administration, according to Guinean and
international law enforcement officials and internal police
reports seen by Reuters.

Nov 14, 2013

Insight: Revival of Islamists in Mali tests French, U.N. nerve

DAKAR/NOUAKCHOTT (Reuters) – Nine months after they were scattered across the Sahara by waves of French air strikes, Islamists in Mali are making a comeback – naming new leaders, attacking U.N. peacekeepers and killing two French journalists.

Their return is making it harder for the west African country’s new president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and his foreign backers to stabilize the northern desert despite the incentive of more than $3 billion in international aid for the area.

Nov 14, 2013

Revival of Islamists in Mali tests French, U.N. nerve

DAKAR/NOUAKCHOTT, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Nine months after they
were scattered across the Sahara by waves of French air strikes,
Islamists in Mali are making a comeback – naming new leaders,
attacking U.N. peacekeepers and killing two French journalists.

Their return is making it harder for the west African
country’s new president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and his foreign
backers to stabilise the northern desert despite the incentive
of more than $3 billion in international aid for the area.

Sep 26, 2013

Guinea braces for long-delayed parliamentary vote

CONAKRY, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Parliamentary elections in
Guinea on Saturday officially cap the mineral-rich West African
country’s return to civilian rule after a 2008 coup, but many
fear that the vote could reignite violence that killed dozens of
people earlier this year.

The contest, two years overdue, is ostensibly for the 114
seats to Guinea’s National Assembly, but with no single party
expected to command an outright majority, political deal-making
is sure to follow.

Sep 21, 2013

Guinea’s legislative election postponed to September 28: mediator

CONAKRY (Reuters) – Guinea’s long-delayed legislative election scheduled for Tuesday has been postponed by four days to September 28 following talks between the opposition and government on Saturday in Conakry, a U.N. mediator said.

Guinea’s main opposition leader had threatened to call supporters into the streets if authorities pushed ahead with the election without fully addressing complaints over preparations. He said he was satisfied with the delay announced on Saturday.

Sep 21, 2013

Guinea’s legislative election postponed to Sept. 28 -mediator

CONAKRY, Sept 21 (Reuters) – Guinea’s long-delayed
legislative election scheduled for Tuesday has been postponed by
four days to Sept. 28 following talks between the opposition and
government on Saturday in Conakry, a U.N. mediator said.

Guinea’s main opposition leader had threatened to call
supporters into the streets if authorities pushed ahead with the
election without fully addressing complaints over preparations.
He said he was satisfied with the delay announced on Saturday.

Sep 20, 2013

Insight: U.S. and allies target Hezbollah financing, ties in Africa

DAKAR (Reuters) – The United States and its allies are clamping down on suspected Hezbollah activity in West Africa, which Washington says is a major source of cash for the Lebanese group as its patron Iran feels the pinch of sanctions.

The push coincides with Hezbollah’s deepening role in Syria, where it has dispatched thousands of fighters to back President Bashar al-Assad. It also comes in the wake of attacks outside Lebanon linked to Hezbollah that Western experts say are part of global campaign that could soon include Africa.

Sep 19, 2013

Guinea opposition leader seeks poll delay, threatens protests

CONAKRY (Reuters) – Guinea’s main opposition leader on Thursday threatened to call supporters onto the streets if authorities push ahead with a parliamentary election due on Tuesday without fully addressing complaints over preparations.

Cellou Dalein Diallo, leader of the largest opposition party and arch rival of President Alpha Conde, said it would be impossible to fix problems linked to voter lists and polling stations on time so a delay of a few weeks was needed.

Aug 23, 2013

UN’s Mali task is state-building as much as peacekeeping

BAMAKO/KIDAL, Mali (Reuters) – The U.N. is being dragged into a mission in Mali likely to involve state-building as much as peacekeeping, as France looks to reduce its military footprint in the vast and poor Sahel state after defeating an Islamist rebellion.

The day Mali elected a new president this month, the French general who led the military campaign to push the rebels from its desert north flew back home, his job done.

Aug 23, 2013

Insight: U.N.’s Mali task is state-building as much as peacekeeping

BAMAKO/KIDAL, Mali (Reuters) – The U.N. is being dragged into a mission in Mali likely to involve state-building as much as peacekeeping, as France looks to reduce its military footprint in the vast and poor Sahel state after defeating an Islamist rebellion.

The day Mali elected a new president this month, the French general who led the military campaign to push the rebels from its desert north flew back home, his job done.