White House Correspondent, Washington, DC
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Jul 28, 2015

Second-term Obama tells Africa’s ‘Big Men’ to quit when time is up

ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) – Judging by the applause at the African Union headquarters, Barack Obama hit a chord when he took aim at the continent’s ‘Big Men’, telling them they should quit when their time was up – especially since most have the cash to retire comfortably.

In joining African reformists who demand term limits be observed, the U.S. president was lining up squarely against entrenched leaders from Congo Republic to Rwanda and Burundi who are intent on extending their years in power.

Jul 28, 2015

Obama tells Africans to build democracy, create jobs to thrive

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Barack Obama told African nations on Tuesday they needed to respect democratic rules and create jobs to avoid a slide into disorder.

In the first speech by a serving U.S. president to the 54-nation African Union, he said violence unleashed in Burundi by the president’s bid for a third term in office showed the risks of ignoring constitutional rules.

Jul 28, 2015

Obama heads to African Union at end of tour to build ties

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Barack Obama toured a U.S.-supported food factory in Ethiopia on Tuesday on the last leg of an Africa trip, before winding up his visit at the African Union where he will become the first U.S. president to address the 54-nation body.

Obama has used his trip to Kenya, his father’s homeland, and Ethiopia to discuss security cooperation with states battling Islamist militants in Somalia, democracy and trade with a continent boasting some of the world’s fastest growing economies.

Jul 27, 2015

Obama meets Lucy, an ancient ‘ancestor,’ in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Barack Obama came to Africa partially to connect with the continent of his forefathers.

On Monday, he met an ancestor of an altogether different kind: “Lucy,” the 3.2 million-year-old partial skeleton of a hominid discovered in Ethiopia.

Jul 27, 2015

Obama knocks Huckabee, Trump for slide in Republican rhetoric

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – President Barack Obama criticized Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump on Monday for their blunt rhetoric about the Iran nuclear agreement and other issues, saying it was damaging to political debate.

Huckabee, one of more than a dozen candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination, denounced a deal with world powers over Iran’s nuclear program by saying Obama was marching Israelis “to the door of the oven,” a reference to the Nazi gas chambers that killed millions of Jews in the Holocaust.

Jul 27, 2015

Obama says more political openness would strengthen Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama told Ethiopia’s leaders on Monday that allowing more political freedoms would strengthen the African nation, which had already lifted millions out of a poverty once rooted in recurring famine.

Obama was speaking after talks with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on the first trip by a U.S. president to Ethiopia, one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, which is often criticised for its rights record.

Jul 27, 2015

South Sudan should face extra pressure if misses August peace deadline -Obama

ADDIS ABABA, July 27 (Reuters) – South Sudan’s warring
factions may face further international pressure to end their
conflict if they do not reach a peace deal by Aug. 17, U.S.
President Barack Obama said on Monday.

Obama, in Ethiopia on a two-nation Africa tour, met regional
African leaders on Monday in Addis Ababa to discuss the conflict
that flared in December 2013, pitting troops loyal to President
Salva Kiir against rebels commanded by Riek Machar.

Jul 27, 2015

Obama in Ethiopia on Africa tour to boost security, other ties

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Barack Obama met the Ethiopian prime minister on Monday on the first visit by a serving U.S. president to a nation with one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa but which has often been criticized for its rights record.

Talks with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn are expected focus on security and the threat of the Islamist militant group al Shabaab in Somalia. Obama, who arrived from Kenya on Sunday, also wants to boost business ties with Africa.

Jul 26, 2015

Obama to discuss a ‘Plan B’ for South Sudan ahead of August deadline

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will discuss a “Plan B” for South Sudan with African leaders on Monday that could include sanctions or other penalties if the country’s warring parties do not forge a peace deal by mid-August, a U.S. official said.

Speaking to reporters on Air Force One as Obama traveled to Ethiopia from Kenya, the official said Monday’s meeting was not expected to lead to a breakthrough to halt the country’s civil war, which has raged since December 2013.

Jul 26, 2015

Obama tells Kenyans they can succeed, sees challenges

NAIROBI, July 26 (Reuters) – Barack Obama told Kenyans on
Sunday on his first presidential trip to his father’s homeland
that there was “no limit to what you can achieve” but said they
had to deepen democracy, tackle corruption and end exclusion
based on gender or ethnicity.

After political talks on Saturday with President Uhuru
Kenyatta on security and business, his speech to a packed sports
hall in Nairobi struck a personal note, talking of his own
experience and Kenya’s in the five decades since independence.

    • About Jeff

      "Jeff Mason covers the White House for Reuters. He was the lead correspondent for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and has been posted in Washington since 2008, when he covered the historic race between Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain, traveling with all three candidates. Jeff has also been posted in Frankfurt, Germany, where he covered the airline industry and Brussels, Belgium, where he covered climate change and the European Union. He has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, BBC, and NPR. Jeff is a graduate of Northwestern University and a former Fulbright scholar."
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