Bureau Chief, Southeastern U.S. and Caribbean
Pascal's Feed
May 28, 2012

South Sudan independence still comes at a price

JUBA, May 28 (Reuters) – South Sudan’s citizens who paid in
blood for their independence in a long liberation war are being
told freedom carries its own price – in hardship.

An oil shutdown from January by the former bush rebels who
now run the world’s newest nation has strangled the flow of
dollars into an economy that produces almost nothing else, and
sent the South Sudanese pound tumbling against the greenback.

May 24, 2012

South Sudan’s history emerges – from a tent

JUBA (Reuters) – South Sudan’s independence last July was forged through years of hard-fought rebellion in the bush, so it seems fitting that the world’s newest nation still keeps much of its history in a tent.

The weather-beaten brown tent in a roadside government compound in the capital Juba goes unnoticed by most passing drivers and pedestrians. Musty papers, files, books and photos, some honeycombed with termites, litter its stifling interior.

May 18, 2012

South Sudan calls for U.N. sanctions on Khartoum

JUBA (Reuters) – The United Nations should impose sanctions on Sudan for failing to obey a Security Council resolution calling for an end to hostilities and renewed negotiations with South Sudan over oil and border disputes, South Sudan’s negotiator said on Friday.

Pagan Amum told Reuters Khartoum had not complied with the May 2 resolution giving neighbours Sudan and South Sudan, under threat of sanctions, two weeks to resume talks over their differences, which boiled over into border clashes last month.

May 10, 2012

Sudan and South Sudan at odds over talks after fighting

JUBA/KHARTOUM (Reuters) – South Sudan said on Thursday it was ready to reopen negotiations “any time” on a range of disputes with its northern neighbor Sudan after a spasm of fighting, but Khartoum said there could be no such talks unless the two sides settled security issues.

The two countries have been at loggerheads over oil, security and frontier disputes that ignited border clashes last month and for a while raised fears of full-blown war in one of Africa’s most significant oil regions.

Apr 24, 2012

Cowboy-hatted Kiir, ex-rebel now nation builder

By Pascal Fletcher

(Reuters) – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, who spent much of his life as a rebel commander fighting in one of Africa’s longest and deadliest civil wars, says it will take another lifetime to make his newborn country prosperous, secure and self-sufficient.

For now it is locked in fighting with its arch foe Sudan, the worst violence since South Sudan became independent under a 2005 peace agreement with Khartoum.

Apr 24, 2012

Bashir wields stick to lead Sudan shorn of south

By Pascal Fletcher

(Reuters) – Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir likes to wave a stick when he speaks in public, and he does not speak softly.

Whether rallying his armed forces against internal rebels and the army of newly-independent South Sudan, or defying a war crimes arrest warrant from The Hague, the leader of mostly Muslim Sudan projects a career soldier’s voice of command.

Apr 24, 2012

Newsmaker: Cowboy-hatted Kiir, ex-rebel now nation builder

By Pascal Fletcher

(Reuters) – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, who spent much of his life as a rebel commander fighting in one of Africa’s longest and deadliest civil wars, says it will take another lifetime to make his newborn country prosperous, secure and self-sufficient.

For now it is locked in fighting with its arch foe Sudan, the worst violence since South Sudan became independent under a 2005 peace agreement with Khartoum.

Apr 24, 2012

Newsmaker: Bashir wields stick to lead Sudan shorn of south

By Pascal Fletcher

(Reuters) – Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir likes to wave a stick when he speaks in public, and he does not speak softly.

Whether rallying his armed forces against internal rebels and the army of newly-independent South Sudan, or defying a war crimes arrest warrant from The Hague, the leader of mostly Muslim Sudan projects a career soldier’s voice of command.

Apr 11, 2012

Timbuktu librarians protect manuscripts from rebels

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Malian scholars, librarians and ordinary citizens in the rebel-occupied city of Timbuktu are hiding away priceless ancient manuscripts to prevent them from being damaged or looted, a South African academic in contact with them said.

Cape Town University’s Professor Shamil Jeppie said he was in daily contact with curators and private owners safeguarding tens of thousands of historic texts in Timbuktu, the fabled desert trading town and seat of Islamic learning overrun by Tuareg-led rebels on April 1.

Apr 4, 2012

Timbuktu: from city of myth to rebel stronghold

April 4 (Reuters) – When turban-swathed Tuareg rebels swept
into Timbuktu on Sunday to plant the flag of their northern Mali
homeland, they found very few tourists in the bars, hotels,
museums, mosques and libraries of the fabled and ancient Saharan
trading town.

Local guides say numbers of foreign visitors had already
fallen off after a Dutchman, a South African and a Swede were
seized by gunmen in the historic Malian city in November. A
German citizen was killed in the abduction claimed by al Qaeda.

    • 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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