West and Central Africa Correspondent
David's Feed
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.

Aug 11, 2013

Mali scrambles to be ready for Sunday’s ‘fresh start’ vote

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Malian election officials scrambled to distribute voting material for an election on Sunday intended to provide a fresh start to a country divided by a coup and a war in its desert north.

Candidates wound up campaigns promising reconstruction and reconciliation but, underscoring security fears despite a successful French offensive against al Qaeda-linked fighters, an Islamist group threatened to attack polling stations.

Aug 7, 2013

Mali election frontrunner’s nationalist stance strikes popular chord

BAMAKO (Reuters) – A glance at billboards on the scruffy streets of Mali’s capital Bamako says much about the difference between the rivals for the presidency in Sunday’s runoff vote, and the prospects for peace in the West African country.

Wearing a construction hat with his sleeves rolled up, Soumaila Cisse – a former finance minister portraying himself as an experienced technocrat – promises education reform, an overhaul of the army and a plan to create 500,000 jobs.

Aug 2, 2013

Ex-PM Keita to face Cisse in Mali election run-off

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Mali’s postwar election produced no clear winner and former Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita will face ex-Finance Minister Soumaila Cisse in a run-off due on August 11, the government said on Friday.

Provisional results gave Keita 39 percent of votes cast in the July 28 poll, well ahead of Cisse’s 19 percent. But the third and fourth placed candidates may now rally behind Cisse, with whom they have been in coalition.

Jul 30, 2013

Ex-prime minister Keita holds wide lead in Mali vote

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Malian former Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita holds a comfortable lead and could win an outright first-round victory in the West African nation’s high-stakes presidential election, the minister of territorial administration said on Tuesday.

The announcement of partial results will likely fuel tensions between Keita’s supporters and his rivals, who say they will challenge the results if there is no second round.

Jul 29, 2013

Mali counts votes, cheered by high turnout in presidential race

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Mali cheered the robust turnout and lack of violence in its high-stakes election on Monday as proof Malians were eager to turn the page on more than a year of turmoil, war and an army coup.

Election officials were still counting ballots on Monday and results were not expected until Tuesday, but local newspapers lauded the vote, with state-run L’Essor saying the turnout was “exceptional”.

Jul 28, 2013

Malians flock to vote in bid to rebuild broken nation

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Ballot counting began in Mali after voters turned out in large numbers on Sunday for a presidential election they hope will provide a fresh start for the West African nation after more than a year of turmoil, war and an army coup.

Polling ended at 12.00 p.m. ET and, as night fell, officials started tallying results. Election officials at a school in Bamako used electric lamps to check ballot papers for thumbprints and witnesses sat at wooden students’ desks jotting down results using mobile phones for light.

Jul 28, 2013

Malians vote in ‘fresh start’ election

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Malians voted on Sunday in a presidential election it is hoped will provide a fresh start for the West African nation after more than a year of turmoil, war and an army coup.

Candidates wound up campaigns promising reconstruction and reconciliation. But, underscoring security fears despite a successful French offensive against al Qaeda-linked fighters, an Islamist group threatened to attack polling stations.

Jul 28, 2013

Mali heads to polls for ‘fresh start’ vote

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Voters in Mali headed to the polls on Sunday in a presidential election it is hoped will they provide a fresh start to a country divided by a coup and a war in its desert north.

Candidates wound up campaigns promising reconstruction and reconciliation but, underscoring security fears despite a successful French offensive against al Qaeda-linked fighters, an Islamist group threatened to attack polling stations.

Jul 28, 2013

Mali scrambles to be ready for Sunday’s ‘fresh start’ vote

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Malian election officials scrambled to distribute voting material for an election on Sunday intended to provide a fresh start to a country divided by a coup and a war in its desert north.

Candidates wound up campaigns promising reconstruction and reconciliation but, underscoring security fears despite a successful French offensive against al Qaeda-linked fighters, an Islamist group threatened to attack polling stations.