Deputy Editor, Europe, Middle East and Africa
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Jun 13, 2012

Analysis: Syria firestorm proving too fierce for Annan’s cooling touch

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Scarred by his failure to stop Rwanda’s genocide nearly two decades ago, Kofi Annan faces another bloody debacle on his watch as his mediation efforts founder in Syria.

Steeped in a culture of seeking consensus even when it looks unlikely, the soft-spoken former U.N. secretary-general is again at the point where his diplomatic efforts are being overtaken by mass killings rather than being seen as a step to peace.

Jun 12, 2012

Syria firestorm proving too fierce for Annan’s cooling touch

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Scarred by his failure to stop Rwanda’s genocide nearly two decades ago, Kofi Annan faces another bloody debacle on his watch as his mediation efforts founder in Syria.

Steeped in a culture of seeking consensus even when it looks unlikely, the soft-spoken former U.N. secretary-general is again at the point where his diplomatic efforts are being overtaken by mass killings rather than being seen as a step to peace.

Oct 28, 2011
via Africa News blog

Could Islamist rebels undermine change in Africa?

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Creeping from the periphery in Africa’s east and west, Islamist militant groups now pose serious security challenges to key countries and potentially even a threat to the continent’s new success.

The biggest story in Africa south of the Sahara over the past few years hasn’t been plague, famine or war but the emergence of the world’s poorest continent as one of its fastest growing – thanks to factors that include fresh investment, economic reform, the spread of new technology, higher prices for commodity exports and generally greater political stability.

Aug 31, 2011
via Africa News blog

Has the African Union got Libya wrong?

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The joke always used to be that the ‘U’ in the African Union’s predecessor, the OAU, stood for useless. After the hopeless failure of African diplomatic efforts to bring a peaceful end to Libya’s rebellion against Muammar Gaddafi, and even more since the bloc held back on recognising the new Libyan rulers, critics suggest the African Union could be making itself irrelevant.

But is the African Union wrong to treat the anti-Gaddafi forces with more caution than their Western allies and the Arab world has done even if the former rebels seem to have widespread support for ending an autocrat’s rule?

Jun 2, 2011
via Africa News blog

Prestigious opportunity for young African journalists

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It is the time again when we seek entries for the prestigious FitzGerald prize for young African journalists.

This offers a scholarship for a promising, young (under 30) African journalist or aspirant journalist to do a post graduate BA hons degree at the University of The Witwatersrand ’s Journalism Programme in Johannesburg, starting in early 2012, and to join Reuters thereafter for a period of work experience.

May 8, 2011
via Africa News blog

Who are Gaddafi’s on-screen supporters?

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Mine has been the least glamorous part in helping cover the war in Libya – assisting correspondents in filing stories from the field and from monitored news reports. 

Of course Reuters has reporters on both sides of the front line, but from Tunis I have been keeping an eye on Libyan television too – partly because it has scrolling headlines in English about the latest crusader, colonial and al Qaeda atrocities which might carry some news but also, I have to admit, from a fascination with the procession of people voicing their support for the Brother Leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

May 8, 2011

Tunisian police break up fourth day of protests

TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisian police used tear gas on Sunday to break up a fourth day of anti-government protests by scores of youths in the center of Tunis.

The North African country has struggled to restore stability since leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was ousted earlier this year in a revolution which inspired uprisings across the Arab world.

May 8, 2011

Tunisia declares curfew after renewed protests

TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisia’s government ordered an overnight curfew on Saturday after three days of forcefully suppressed protests and sacked an influential figure whose comments on a possible coup sparked the demonstrations.

The new troubles in the North African country, where the Arab world’s tide of unrest began, are rooted in fears the interim administration will renege on its commitment to democracy after the ousting of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in January.

May 7, 2011

Tunisian police battle renewed protests

TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisian police wielding batons and firing teargas scuffled on Saturday with hundreds of protesters demanding the departure of the government and angry at a heavy handed response to demonstrations this week.

The new protests in the North African country, where the Arab world’s tide of unrest began, are rooted in fears an interim administration will renege on its commitment to democracy after the ousting of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in January.

May 6, 2011

Europe failing Tunisia, says regional lender

TUNIS (Reuters) – Europe should be doing more to support Tunisia to ensure swift reforms that will set an example in the rest of North Africa, the regional head of the Tunis-based African Development Bank said.

The bank is a key lender to Tunisia and the $500 million (304 million pounds) it is giving in emergency budget support matches help from the World Bank. About another $200 million is coming from Europe, nearly half of that from former colonial power France.

    • About Matthew

      "Deputy Editor, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Most of my career has been spent covering Africa, but I have also reported from other parts of the region. I joined Reuters in 1995 after starting out as a reporter with BBC radio and for a local newspaper in Sierra Leone. I have been posted in Lagos, Abidjan, Kinshasa and Johannesburg - from where I led Reuters African coverage from 2009 to 2011. I spent three years as bureau chief for Israel and Palestinian Territories, based in Jerusalem."
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