Senior Andean Correspondent
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Dec 19, 2013

Caretaker Tunisia premier faces turbulence

TUNIS, Dec 19 (Reuters) – A year ago, Mehdi Jomaa was
running a successful international business from Paris, making
high-tech aerospace components designed to take the danger and
discomfort out of flying.

Now that the Tunisian engineer has been named his country’s
caretaker prime minister, he may need the skills of a career in
safety seals and shock absorption to keep the nation that
launched the Arab Spring from shaking itself apart before he can
steer it through elections intended to cement democracy.

Dec 5, 2013

Anarchy at door, West starts to rebuild Libyan army

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – On a dusty parade ground outside Tripoli, young recruits march and bark out slogans for the new Libyan army that Western powers hope can turn the tide on militias threatening to engulf the North African country in anarchy.

Their boots are new and their fatigues pressed, but Libya’s army recruits will need more than drills to take on the hardened militiamen, Islamist fighters and political rivalries testing their OPEC nation’s stability.

Dec 2, 2013

Libya oil exports sink as protests, refinery demand bite

TRIPOLI, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Libya is exporting 130,000
barrels per day (bpd) of oil as strikes at its main ports and
fields coupled with domestic refinery demand keep shipments at a
fraction of July’s levels, the country’s deputy oil minister
said on Monday.

A mix of militias, tribesmen and political minorities
demanding a greater share of Libya’s oil wealth and more
political power have shut most oilfields and ports, cutting oil
output from 1.4 million bpd five months ago.

Nov 25, 2013

Insight: Tunisia stumbles to democracy in a troubled neighborhood

TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisia offers perhaps the last hope for Arab Spring democracy; only in the small nation that inspired revolts from Cairo to Tripoli has the negotiating table won out over the gun, so far.

After months of crisis, Islamists and their secular opponents are bargaining over forming a caretaker government, a new constitution is a few penstrokes from completion and a second free election is around the corner.

Nov 25, 2013

Tunisia stumbles to democracy in a troubled neighbourhood

TUNIS, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Tunisia offers perhaps the last
hope for Arab Spring democracy; only in the small nation that
inspired revolts from Cairo to Tripoli has the negotiating table
won out over the gun, so far.

After months of crisis, Islamists and their secular
opponents are bargaining over forming a caretaker government, a
new constitution is a few penstrokes from completion and a
second free election is around the corner.

Nov 18, 2013

Libya militia withdrawal tests Tripoli after clashes

TRIPOLI/TUNIS (Reuters) – Militia fighters blamed for the worst unrest in Tripoli since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi pulled out of the capital on Monday with Libyan army units taking up positions around the city.

More than 40 people were killed in street battles between rival militias in Tripoli last week, highlighting Libya’s struggle to curb fighters and hardline Islamists who refuse to disarm two years after ousting Gaddafi.

Nov 18, 2013

Insight: Tunisia Islamists seek jihad in Syria with one eye on home

ZARGHOUAN, Tunisia (Reuters) – Aymen Saadi’s brief call to jihad began with dreams of fighting for an Islamic state in Syria and ended with a botched suicide bombing attempt in a crowd of foreign tourists in Tunisia.

Guards tackled the Tunisian teenager before he detonated his bomb at a presidential mausoleum last month south of Tunis. Minutes earlier, a fellow bomber had blown himself up into a bloody mess across the sand at a popular beach resort a few kilometers away.

Nov 18, 2013

Tunisia Islamists seek jihad in Syria with one eye on home

ZARGHOUAN, Tunisia (Reuters) – Aymen Saadi’s brief call to jihad began with dreams of fighting for an Islamic state in Syria and ended with a botched suicide bombing attempt in a crowd of foreign tourists in Tunisia.

Guards tackled the Tunisian teenager before he detonated his bomb at a presidential mausoleum last month south of Tunis. Minutes earlier, a fellow bomber had blown himself up into a bloody mess across the sand at a popular beach resort a few kilometres away.

Nov 3, 2013

Militants test Tunisia’s new democracy

TUNIS, Nov 3 (Reuters) – When protesters stormed the U.S.
embassy in Tunis last year, they hoisted a black jihadist flag
that exposed the militant Islamist undercurrent in one of the
Muslim world’s most secular societies.

An attack on a tourist resort last week by a suicide bomber,
and recent gun battles with Tunisian police, revealed how deeply
that fervour, fostered worldwide by al Qaeda, has taken root in
the country where the Arab Spring began.

Oct 24, 2013

Tunisian police battle militants, talks delayed

TUNIS (Reuters) – Seven Tunisian policemen were killed in clashes with militants on Wednesday as the government cracked down on Islamist fighters using the chaos in neighboring Libya to get weapons and training.

The violence, some of the worst since Tunisia’s 2011 uprising, unsettled the start of negotiations between the Islamist-led government and opposition to end a crisis over the country’s transition to democracy.

    • About Pat

      "Patrick Markey is the Senior Andean Correspondent for Reuters, based in Bogota, Colombia. For the last nine years he has covered and helped manage coverage across the Andean region, including Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador. He has also reported on top stories across Latin America, including more recently the Honduras coup and Haiti's earthquake."
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