Bureau Chief, Southeastern U.S. and Caribbean
Pascal's Feed
Jul 31, 2012

Food cost, trade “double whammy” could hit Africa

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Rising food prices could hit commodity producers in Africa with a dangerous “double whammy” when combined with an economic slowdown in Europe and China reducing African exports of oil and raw materials, a leading African economist said on Tuesday.

Mthuli Ncube, Chief Economist and Vice President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), saw the threat of a food price spike casting a shadow over an otherwise positive growth outlook for Africa that will outpace much of the rest of the world.

Jul 16, 2012

AU urges Mali Ansar Dine rebels to break with Qaeda

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Malian Islamist rebel group Ansar Dine can be part of a negotiated political solution to reunite the divided West African country if it breaks with al Qaeda and its allies, a senior African Union official said on Monday.

African leaders at an AU summit in Addis Ababa are backing negotiations to try to form an inclusive national unity government in Mali, where a March 22 military coup in the southern capital Bamako triggered the seizure of the north of the nation by a mix of Tuareg separatists and Islamist rebels.

Jul 16, 2012

Malawi says aid flowing back with IMF backing

ADDIS ABABA, July 16 (Reuters) – Aid from major donors is
flowing back to Malawi after the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) backed the southern African country’s economic policies
and efforts to seek financing, Malawian ministers said on
Monday.

The IMF issued a so-called “letter of comfort” for the
impoverished nation last month, giving a thumbs-up to its
efforts to seek financial aid and loans.

Jul 15, 2012

Congo, Rwanda presidents sign up to anti-rebel pact

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – The presidents of Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda on Sunday threw their weight behind a regional pact to eliminate armed rebels in eastern Congo, signing the document and holding rare face to face talks.

Along with other leaders from the Great Lakes region, Congo’s Joseph Kabila and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame put their signatures to an accord that foresees the creation of an international military force to take on multiple insurgencies in the eastern Congolese provinces of North and South Kivu.

Jul 15, 2012

African Union leadership deadlock risk dividing Africa – chair

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Failure by the African Union to resolve a bruising leadership contest between candidates from rival English- and French-speaking blocs will divide the continental body and undermine its credibility in the world, the AU’s chairman said on Sunday.

Meeting at a summit in Addis Ababa, leaders seeking to defuse post-coup crises in Mali and Guinea-Bissau have faced the distraction of an internal battle over who will head the AU Commission, its main steering body and voice outside Africa. This has dragged on since last year.

Jul 14, 2012

Sudans commit to talks as AU advances plan on Mali

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – African leaders brought together the presidents of feuding neighbors Sudan and South Sudan on Saturday and fleshed out a plan for military intervention in northern Mali where they said al Qaeda-linked rebels threatened the continent’s security.

Sudanese leader Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his southern counterpart Salva Kiir did not shake hands at the African Union Peace and Security Council summit in Addis Ababa, but they did commit to resolving differences through dialogue, not conflict.

Jul 14, 2012

North Mali “terrorist” haven threatens Africa -leaders

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Africa faces a serious threat from al Qaeda and its allies trying to set up a sanctuary in northern Mali, African leaders said on Saturday as they pondered political and military strategies aimed at reuniting the divided West African state.

The leaders meeting at the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa are seeking to resolve messy aftermaths of military coups this year in Mali and Guinea-Bissau which have put blots on the continent’s democratic credentials after advances in stability and governance in recent years.

Jul 13, 2012

AU sees Mali military intervention as “last resort”

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – African nations are giving priority to finding a peaceful political solution to the problem of divided Mali but are preparing for a military intervention as a last resort, the African Union’s top peace and security official said on Friday.

AU heads of state meeting in Addis Ababa this weekend will discuss Mali, where a mix of al Qaeda-linked local and foreign jihadists are controlling the north of the largely desert Sahel state after hijacking a rebellion by secular Tuareg separatists earlier this year.

Jul 12, 2012

Congo and Rwanda agree on plan for anti-rebel force

ADDIS ABABA, July 12 (Reuters) – Democratic Republic of
Congo, Rwanda and neighbouring states called on Thursday for the
creation of an international military force to eliminate armed
rebels in turbulent eastern Congo.

Their agreement, signed on the sidelines of an African Union
summit in Addis Ababa, proposes an internationally-backed
military response to an offensive by rebels in Congo’s North
Kivu province, a political and ethnic tinderbox.

Jul 8, 2012

South Sudan rebel now president takes on poverty, graft

By Pascal Fletcher

(Reuters) – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, who fought as a rebel chief in one of Africa’s longest civil wars, has confronted those two old and deadly enemies of development – poverty and corruption – in his first year as head of the world’s newest state.

The guerrilla fighter turned president, who likes to wear wide-brimmed cowboy hats, has also faced persisting hostility from South Sudan’s arch-foe to the north, Sudan, from whom it wrested independence last year after a secession vote that followed the end in 2005 of more than two decades of civil war.

    • About Pascal

      "I am based in Miami, heading the editorial reporting team covering the southeastern United States and the Caribbean. This includes Cuba and Haiti and we are also in charge of covering the annual Atlantic hurricane season and Space missions from Cape Canaveral. Previously, I was Chief Correspondent for West and Central Africa, and chief correspondent, Venezuela, following earlier postings in Cuba, Brazil, southern Africa, Portugal and Spain."
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