Bureau Chief, Southeastern U.S. and Caribbean
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Mar 10, 2014

Insight – Equatorial Guinea seeks to shake off ‘oil curse’ image

MALABO (Reuters) – On land cleared of tropical forest, gleaming new office towers, apartment blocks, homes and highways dazzle the eye in Equatorial Guinea, Sub-Saharan Africa’s No. 3 energy producer where oil and gas revenues have fed a frenzy of construction.

But cutting away the jungle is proving easier for President Teodoro Obiang Nguema than shedding his central African nation’s dark image as a reclusive, repressive and graft-ridden poster child of the “resource curse”.

Mar 10, 2014

Equatorial Guinea seeks to shake off “oil curse” image

MALABO, March 10 (Reuters) – On land cleared of tropical
forest, gleaming new office towers, apartment blocks, homes and
highways dazzle the eye in Equatorial Guinea, Sub-Saharan
Africa’s No. 3 energy producer where oil and gas revenues have
fed a frenzy of construction.

But cutting away the jungle is proving easier for President
Teodoro Obiang Nguema than shedding his central African nation’s
dark image as a reclusive, repressive and graft-ridden poster
child of the “resource curse”.

Mar 7, 2014

South Africa, Rwanda expel diplomats in row over Rwandan exiles

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa expelled three Rwandan diplomats it linked to a raid on an exiled Rwandan general’s Johannesburg home, and Rwanda has retaliated by ordering out six South African envoys, officials said on Friday.

The row strained ties between two African states involved in efforts to bring peace to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where South Africa has troops in a U.N. brigade that fought last year against rebels whom U.N. experts said received support from Rwanda. Kigali denied backing the Congolese rebels.

Mar 7, 2014

South Africa, Rwanda expel diplomats over attack on dissident Rwandan general

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa expelled three Rwandan diplomats it linked to a raid by gunmen on a dissident exiled Rwandan general’s home and Rwanda ordered out six South African envoys in retaliation, a diplomatic source said on Friday.

Late on Monday, armed men broke into the Johannesburg home of former Rwandan army chief General Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, an exiled critic of Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Feb 21, 2014

Sanusi suspension: oil-polluted politics cloud Africa anti-graft efforts

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Oil and politics make a
turbid mix, and the suspension of Nigeria’s central bank chief
and anti-graft whistleblower Lamido Sanusi is a cautionary tale
for newer African oil producers trying to avoid the “resource
curse”.

President Goodluck Jonathan suspended Sanusi on Thursday,
citing “acts of financial recklessness”, only weeks after the
internationally respected bank governor had publicly upbraided
state oil company Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)
with allegations that it had failed to remit $20 billion owed to
federal government coffers.

Feb 4, 2014

Help us develop economy, Equatorial Guinea leader asks investors

MALABO, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Equatorial Guinea wants
international investors and financial institutions to help open
up and diversify its energy-dependent economy, its president
said on Tuesday, while insisting the nation’s oil and gas wealth
was a “blessing and not a curse”.

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema told a small group of
foreign journalists in a rare interview that the small African
nation’s reputation in the West as a secretive autocracy was
undeserved, although he recognised his government’s failure to
provide hard economic and social statistics for analysis.

Feb 3, 2014

Equatorial Guinea puts up $1 bln for diversification drive

MALABO, Feb 3 (Reuters) – African oil and gas producer
Equatorial Guinea said on Monday it would allocate $1 billion
over three years to support foreign investment aimed at
diversifying its energy-dependent economy into new areas, such
as farming, petrochemicals and mining.

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema’s government announced the
co-investment fund of 500 billion CFA francs ($1 billion) as it
hosted a two-day conference in Malabo showcasing opportunities
for foreign investors in sectors beyond oil and gas.

Jan 11, 2014

Facing tough elections, South Africa’s Zuma vows to crush corruption

NELSPRUIT, South Africa, Jan 11 (Reuters) – South African
President Jacob Zuma announced a crackdown on corruption on
Saturday, presenting his ruling ANC’s manifesto for elections
this year that will give the party its toughest political test
since the end of apartheid.

Zuma, who has ruled Africa’s biggest economy since 2009 and
himself faces allegations of graft and abuse of power, announced
the measures at a packed African National Congress (ANC) rally
in the eastern province of Mpumalanga.

Dec 20, 2013

Riek Machar: South Sudan’s divisive pretender for power

By Pascal Fletcher

(Reuters) – On a trip to New York last year, South Sudan’s then Vice-President Riek Machar dismissed fears of a military coup in his newborn country, saying such a move would be “unwise”.

“We don’t want to start a new state with a rebellion,” Machar said. A year later, this former bush rebel turned politician is being accused by his former boss President Salva Kiir of attempting just such a power grab in the world’s newest state, which split from Sudan two years ago.

Dec 19, 2013

“Ghost of Rwanda” haunts as US envoy visits C.African Republic

BANGUI/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Neighbour turning on neighbour, villages razed to the ground, hundreds of victims shot or hacked to death with machetes.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, visited violence-racked Central African Republic on Thursday, where she will feel the shadow of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide looming over this latest challenge to the world’s conscience and capacity to stop slaughter.

    • 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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