BISSAU (Reuters) – Guinea-Bissau’s caretaker President Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo may have one of the world’s toughest jobs – leading a country where cocaine smuggling is out of control, the economy is in freefall and violence is the top means to political ends.
But his biggest challenge is also the most fundamental: nearly seven months into his tenure, the European Union – once a source of hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the state – refuses to recognize his administration.
DAKAR, Oct 12 (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Stephen
Harper said on Friday that his country wants a growing
relationship with China, but that its investments must be
scrutinized from a national security perspective.
Ottawa has indicated it will exclude Chinese
telecommunication equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd
from helping build a secure government communications
network because of possible security risks, and is also in the
midst of reviewing a controversial $15.1 billion Chinese bid for
Canadian oil and gas explorer Nexen Inc <NXY.T O>.
BAMAKO, Sept 17 (Reuters) – In the afternoon of March 21,
army mutineers stormed the office of Mali’s national cotton
company CMDT in central Bamako and fired AK-47 rounds into the
When the dust cleared, the soldiers – who were angry about
how the government was handling a northern rebellion – realised
they had made a mistake: they’d meant to take over the state
television headquarters next door. And so they left.
By Joe Penney
When I went to Mali to do a story on how its economy is faring, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The landlocked West African country is currently facing the biggest challenges of its 52-year existence: Jihadist rebels, many of them foreign, occupy its northern two-thirds, while politicians associated with the former regime and ex-coup military leaders squabble over power in the south.
If you just read the headlines, you might think the world has turned upside down in Mali. And indeed in the north of the country, it has: nearly 450,000 people have fled the violence there and now eke out a precarious existence in the south as well as in refugee camps in neighboring Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Niger, according to UN figures. Yet despite the political turmoil, to my pleasant surprise I found out that economically speaking Mali’s lower third — where the vast majority of its 15 million people live — is actually doing quite well.
By Joe Penney
By the time the aid workers arrive at Mbera refugee camp at 7am after crisscrossing a 15 km (9 mile) trail through sand dunes from the adjacent town in a convoy of white Land Cruisers, Malian refugee and mother Zeinab Mint Hama has already been up for at least an hour.
As she did back home in Lere, Mali, Zeinab starts her days early to avoid the blazing midday Saharan sun, with temperature reaching up to 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit). She and the 64,000 other Malians who have fled violence in their home country to settle temporarily at Mbera, a United Nations-run camp about 40 km (25 m) from the Malian border in neighboring Mauritania, are persevering to establish a sense of normalcy to their new lives.