Bureau Chief, Southeastern U.S. and Caribbean
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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.

Dec 6, 2013

South Africans, some fearful, mourn Mandela

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 6 (Reuters) – South Africans united in
mourning for Nelson Mandela on Friday, but some feared the
anti-apartheid hero’s death could leave their country vulnerable
again to racial and social tensions that he did so much to
pacify.

As dawn broke and commuters headed to work, many expressed
shock at the passing of a man who was a global symbol of
reconciliation and peaceful co-existence.

Dec 6, 2013

South Africans, some fearful, wake to life without Mandela

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africans woke on Friday to a future without Nelson Mandela, and some said they feared the anti-apartheid hero’s death could leave their country vulnerable again to racial and social tensions that he did so much to pacify.

As dawn broke and commuters headed to work in the capital, Pretoria, the commercial hub, Johannesburg, and Cape Town in the south, many were still in shock at the passing of a man who was a global symbol of reconciliation and peaceful co-existence.

Dec 5, 2013

South Africa, world mourn ‘giant for justice’ Mandela

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela died aged 95 at his Johannesburg home on Thursday after a prolonged lung infection, plunging his nation and the world into mourning for a man hailed by global leaders as a moral giant.

Although Mandela had been frail and ailing for nearly a year, Zuma’s announcement late on Thursday of the death of the former president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate shook South Africa.

Nov 20, 2013

In Mozambique’s forest heart, war fears haunt local election

GORONGOSA, Mozambique, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Mozambicans voted
on Wednesday in local elections, haunted by nagging fears of
conflict as the ruling Frelimo party confronts an emerging
political rival and an old civil war guerrilla chief who has
taken his fight back to the bush.

In Gorongosa, a village in central Mozambique, voters lined
up at two schools, some clearly nervous after opposition Renamo
guerrillas in the surrounding hills left pamphlets threatening
to disrupt the polls.

Nov 17, 2013

Clashes stoke tension before Mozambique local election

MAPUTO (Reuters) – Clashes in Mozambique’s second city of Beira between rival party supporters and riot police injured more than 20 people and stoked tension ahead of local elections this week that will test opposition to the Frelimo government.

In the municipal elections on Wednesday, the Frelimo party which has ruled the southern African state since independence in 1975 faces an emerging challenge from the smaller Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), after the main opposition party and former rebel group Renamo decided to boycott the vote.

Nov 4, 2013

African leaders call for Congo peace as army, rebels clash

MBUZI, Democratic Republic of Congo/PRETORIA (Reuters) – African leaders and international envoys appealed to Congo’s government and M23 rebels on Monday to stop fighting and embrace a peace deal after the two sides bombarded each other near the Ugandan border.

The appeals were made as United Nations and U.S. envoys said the elements of an accord to end the 20-month insurgency in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo were broadly agreed and only required public commitments to end the hostilities.

Oct 24, 2013

Back to the bush: Dhlakama’s high-risk gamble in Mozambique

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – At the age of 60, Mozambique’s former rebel leader Afonso Dhlakama is hiding out in the bush again, not backing down in a struggle between old foes that has donors and investors fretting about stability in the budding energy producer.

A year ago, the leader of the country’s biggest opposition party Renamo quit his life in the city and returned to the remote Gorongosa forest from where he once directed a 16-year civil war fought by his guerrillas which ended in 1992. Dhlakama says he does not want another 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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