West and Central Africa Correspondent
David's Feed
Jul 21, 2012

U.S. cuts military aid to Rwanda over Congo

ABIDJAN/DAKAR (Reuters) – The United States said on Saturday it would cut military aid to Rwanda for this year because of evidence by U.N. experts that Kigali was supporting rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The U.S. decision was widely seen as a significant shift in policy because Washington has stood by Rwanda in the past despite the tiny nation’s long history of involvement in wars in vast neighbouring Congo.

Jul 17, 2012

Fix Mali political crisis before taking on rebels-ICG

DAKAR, July 18 (Reuters) – Any efforts to tackle the crisis
in Mali must focus on rebuilding a central state authority
before trying to recapture northern desert zones now mainly in
the hands of al Qaeda-linked Islamists, the International Crisis
Group said.

Foreign powers should resist mounting pressure for a
military operation to tackle the north as any such move
underestimated the complexity of the situation and risked
fomenting “terrorism” and ethnic conflict, the think tank warned
in a report released on Wednesday.

Jul 12, 2012

Military intervention in Mali “probable” – French formin

PARIS/DAKAR (Reuters) – Foreign powers will probably intervene militarily in Mali after al-Qaeda-linked militants took control of territory in the north of the West African country, France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Thursday.

Regional and Western governments have compared the situation in Mali to Afghanistan, as a mix of local and foreign Islamists have hijacked a rebellion initially launched in January by secular Tuareg separatist rebels.

Jul 12, 2012

Military intervention in Mali “probable”: French foreign minister

PARIS/DAKAR (Reuters) – Foreign powers will probably intervene militarily in Mali after al-Qaeda-linked militants took control of territory in the north of the West African country, France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Thursday.

Regional and Western governments have compared the situation in Mali to Afghanistan, as a mix of local and foreign Islamists have hijacked a rebellion initially launched in January by secular Tuareg separatist rebels.

Jul 12, 2012

Mali to seek ICC probe into rebel crimes in north

DAKAR (Reuters) – Mali plans to ask the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate killings, rapes, torture, and attacks on cultural sites in its rebel-controlled north, the country’s justice minister said on Thursday.

Justice Minister Malick Coulibaly did not say when the request would be lodged, but RFI, the French radio station that interviewed him, said a Malian government delegation would go to The Hague-based court to file the request in the coming days.

Jun 21, 2012

Dakar glamour show rides wave of African fashion

DAKAR, June 21 (Reuters) – When Adama Ndiaye quit banking in
Europe for life as a young clothes designer back home in
Senegal, there was no show in town at which she could show off
her wares. So she decided to put on one of her own.

“We offered a ticket, we were renting boats, we were renting
camels,” she said, explaining how she lured other designers to
the dusty, vibrant city of Dakar jutting out into the Atlantic
Ocean. “It was one day of shows and three days of fun.”

Jun 4, 2012

Analysis: Mali: the world’s next jihadi launchpad?

DAKAR (Reuters) – When Mali’s Tuareg nomads launched a rebellion in January, many in Africa thought it would be just the latest in a long line of desert uprisings to be swiftly placated with offers of cash and jobs.

Some optimists mused that the indigo-turbaned northerners might even take on the local arm of al Qaeda, which was plying a disruptive trade in Western hostages and trafficked goods.

May 27, 2012

No strict sharia in Mali’s independent north: MNLA rebels

DAKAR (Reuters) – Malian rebels who declared an independent Islamic state in the country’s north said on Sunday they would impose sharia but not in a strict form.

The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), which has fought to make Mali’s northern Azawad region an autonomous state, on Saturday signed an agreement to merge with Islamist Ansar Dine rebels seeking to impose sharia across Mali.

May 24, 2012

Qaeda leader tells fighters to support Mali rebels

DAKAR (Reuters) – The leader of al Qaeda’s North African wing has put his group’s fighters in Mali’s north at the disposal of Ansar Dine rebels seeking to impose Islamic law across the West African state, the first public comments officially linking to two groups.

Fighters should impose sharia only gradually and look to collaborate, not clash, with separatist rebels also operating in Mali’s north, the head of AQIM said in speech posted on the internet and translated by the SITE jihadist monitoring service.

Apr 27, 2012

Mali junta rejects West African troop deployment

DAKAR (Reuters) – Mali’s junta said on Friday it would resist any deployment of West African soldiers in the country and treat foreign forces sent there under a regional plan as “the enemy”.

The comments came a day after regional bloc ECOWAS said it would send troops to Mali and Guinea-Bissau to tackle the aftermath of coups that, in the case of Mali, has left more than half the country in rebel hands.