Bureau Chief, Southeastern U.S. and Caribbean
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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.

Dec 19, 2013

‘Ghost of Rwanda’ haunts as U.S. envoy to visit Central African Republic

BANGUI/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Neighbor turning on neighbor, 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, is due to visit 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.

Dec 16, 2013

Quarter of Central African Republic’s population risks hunger: WFP

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Up to a quarter of the population of Central African Republic risks going hungry because of fighting between Christian and Muslim militia, and this number could increase, the chief of the U.N. World Food Programme said on Monday.

WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin told Reuters that security in the capital Bangui, which has seen a wave of killings and reprisals in the last two weeks, and in the rest of the country was still not guaranteed despite the presence of 1,600 French troops and an African peacekeeping force.

Dec 10, 2013

Handshake stirs old revolutionary ghosts at Mandela memorial

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A handshake between U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuba’s Raul Castro stole the show at South Africa’s memorial for Nelson Mandela on Tuesday, a resonant tribute to a man who brought old enemies together and straddled ideological divides and eras.

The gesture will not exorcise the Cold War ghosts haunting the Florida Straits, but it would have delighted Mandela, who was nothing if not loyal to old revolutionary allies like Raul’s retired elder brother Fidel, who at 87 was too old to attend the memorial.

Dec 9, 2013

Friend and foe, world leaders coming together for Mandela

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – More than 70 leaders from across the world, some of them locked in enmity, are flying to South Africa for memorials to Nelson Mandela that will hail one of humanity’s great peacemakers, officials said on Monday.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Raul Castro from Cuba, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and Britain’s David Cameron will be among those attending Tuesday’s main send-off in Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium, reflecting the global appeal of South Africa’s first black leader, who died on Thursday aged 95.

    • 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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