Bureau Chief, Southeastern U.S. and Caribbean
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Nov 19, 2012

Observers hail smooth Sierra Leone vote, urge peaceful result

FREETOWN, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Sierra Leone’s elections were
generally well conducted, saw a large turnout, and will help
consolidate democracy in the West African state if the eventual
results are accepted peacefully by the contenders, European and
U.S. observers said on Monday.

While praising Saturday’s voting as largely calm and
peaceful, the 100-strong European Union observer mission said
however it noted “some shortcomings”, including an “unequal
playing field” during pre-election campaigning that favoured the
ruling party of President Ernest Bai Koroma.

Nov 17, 2012

Sierra Leoneans vote amid hopes of minerals boom

FREETOWN (Reuters) – Sierra Leoneans thronged polling stations on Saturday to vote in a close-fought election they hope can rebrand their poor, war-scarred West African state as an emerging democracy with the potential for fast growth from mining and oil.

Election officials and observers reported a large and enthusiastic turnout in the presidential and parliamentary polls, with eager crowds of voters overwhelming polling stations from the moment they opened in the steamy seaside capital Freetown and across the nation.

Nov 17, 2012

S. Leoneans rush to vote with hope set on minerals boom

FREETOWN, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Sierra Leoneans crowded polling
stations to vote on Saturday, saying they wanted to elect
leaders who would bring prosperity to the poor, conflict-scarred
West African state after a decade of recovery from civil war.

The presidential and parliamentary polls, the third held
since the end of the 1991-2002 conflict, pit President Ernest
Bai Koroma and his ruling All People’s Congress (APC) against
challenger Julius Maada Bio, a former junta leader who
represents the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP).

Nov 16, 2012

Close Sierra Leone vote carries high hopes for growth

FREETOWN, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Sierra Leoneans vote on
Saturday in elections they hope can propel the small West
African state into an era of prosperity based on mining and oil
after a decade of difficult recovery from civil war.

The presidential and parliamentary polls, the third held
since the end of the 1991-2002 conflict, pit President Ernest
Bai Koroma and his ruling All People’s Congress (APC) against
challenger Julius Maada Bio, a former junta leader who
represents the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP).

Nov 7, 2012

Angola sees iron ore production from 2014 or 2015

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 7 (Reuters) – Angola aims to start up iron
ore production in the next two to three years through a state
company partnership with private operators including leading
international trading house Trafigura, an Angolan industry
official said on Wednesday.

Diamantino Pedro Azevedo, president of state-owned
Ferrangol-EP, told Reuters the integrated iron ore/manganese and
steel project would extract ore from two mining areas -
Kassala-Kitungo in Kwanza Norte province and Cassinga in
southern Huila province.

Oct 24, 2012

South Africa labor hero urged crackdown on “criminal” strike

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African millionaire businessman and one-time anti-apartheid hero Cyril Ramaphosa urged ministers to crack down on a violent platinum miners’ strike the day before 34 miners were killed by police, according to emails revealed this week.

The emails cited on Tuesday by a lawyer for miners arrested over the August 16 “Marikana Massacre” are the latest evidence of a reversal of historical roles for the 59-year-old, who himself led a historic miners’ pay strike under apartheid in 1987.

Sep 13, 2012

South African miner threats pressure ANC

RUSTENBURG, South Africa (Reuters) – Striking South African platinum miners delivered much higher pay demands on Thursday and threatened to spread industrial action further, deepening a crisis that is becoming the biggest threat to the ruling ANC since the end of apartheid.

In the face of the spiralling labour unrest in Africa’s biggest economy, President Jacob Zuma said the government would crack down on anybody stirring up trouble.

Sep 13, 2012

South African miners pressure ANC with new strike call

BLESBOK, South Africa, Sept 13 (Reuters) – The leader of a
major protest by South African platinum miners called on
Thursday for a national strike in the sector, deepening an
industrial crisis that is evolving into the biggest threat to
the ruling ANC since it came to power in 1994.

“On Sunday, we are starting with a general strike here in
Rustenburg,” demonstration leader Mametlwe Sebei told several
thousand workers at a soccer stadium in the heart of the
platinum belt near Rustenburg, 100 km (60 miles) northwest of

Sep 10, 2012

Analysis: Pressure from below strains Angola MPLA monolith

LUANDA (Reuters) – Angola’s showcase Kilamba Kiaxi housing development rises up from an ochre-red African plain, clustered pods of neat apartment blocks in eye-catching pastel shades of light blue, yellow and grey stretching from horizon to horizon.

The impressive Chinese-built project, inaugurated last year by President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, is one of the biggest in Africa, touted by Angola’s leadership as an example of how it is using oil wealth to better the lives of its people.

Aug 2, 2012

Turkcell says MTN case may not get fair trial in S.Africa

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 2 (Reuters) – Turkish mobile operator
Turkcell said its $4.2 billion lawsuit against rival
MTN Group may not get a fair hearing in a South African
court, given its opponent’s longstanding ties to the ruling
African National Congress.

Turkcell also claimed in U.S. court documents filed on
Thursday that its witnesses could face intimidation from MTN if
the case were heard in South Africa.

    • 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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