Deputy Chief Correspondent, West & Central Africa
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Apr 18, 2013

U.S. accuses Bissau army head in Colombia drugs, weapons plot

DAKAR (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Justice has accused Guinea-Bissau’s top military official of plotting to traffic cocaine to the United States and sell weapons to Colombian rebels, according to court documents seen by Reuters on Thursday.

The accusation against General Antonio Indjai – widely seen as the coup-prone West African nation’s most powerful man – is the first official signal that criminality may go straight to the top in what has for years been labeled a ‘narco-state’.

Apr 17, 2013

U.S. drugs sting misses Bissau army chief – sources

DAKAR (Reuters) – U.S. anti-drugs agents who snared Guinea-Bissau’s former Navy chief in a high-seas sting last week were also targeting the head of the West African state’s army, sources familiar with the operation told Reuters.

Guinea-Bissau General Antonio Indjai – widely seen as the coup-prone nation’s most powerful man – declined to meet undercover agents in international waters where he had been told he could seal a lucrative deal to smuggle cocaine and supply weapons to Colombian rebels, sources said.

Apr 17, 2013

Drugs sting misses Bissau army chief : sources

DAKAR (Reuters) – U.S. anti-drugs agents who snared Guinea-Bissau’s former Navy chief in a high-seas sting last week were also targeting the head of the West African state’s army, sources familiar with the operation told Reuters.

Guinea-Bissau General Antonio Indjai – widely seen as the coup-prone nation’s most powerful man – declined to meet undercover agents in international waters where he had been told he could seal a lucrative deal to smuggle cocaine and supply weapons to Colombian rebels, sources said.

Apr 8, 2013

Bissau president implicated in U.S. drugs case

DAKAR (Reuters) – Guinea-Bissau’s caretaker president may have cooperated with the planners of a doomed cocaine-and-weapons smuggling scheme meant to arm Colombian rebels, according to U.S. court filings reviewed by Reuters on Monday.

The documents cast a shadow on international efforts to restore order in the tiny West African state, which has suffered a string of coups since 1974 independence and which has since become a transhipment hub for narcotics bound for Europe.

Apr 5, 2013

U.S. agents seize suspected Bissau drug kingpin at sea

DAKAR/PRAIA (Reuters) – U.S. anti-narcotics agents have arrested the former navy chief of Guinea-Bissau, wanted by Washington as a suspected kingpin of the international drugs trade, in a sting operation off the coast of West Africa, sources familiar with the operation said.

Rear Admiral Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto was detained by anti-narcotics officers along with four other Guinea-Bissau citizens on a boat in international waters on Tuesday, the sources told Reuters.

Apr 4, 2013

U.S. agents seize Bissau “drug kingpin” at sea

DAKAR/PRAIA (Reuters) – Undercover U.S. agents have arrested the former navy chief of Guinea Bissau, wanted by Washington as a kingpin of the international drugs trade, in a sting operation off the coast of West Africa, two sources familiar with the operation said.

Rear Admiral Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto was detained by anti-narcotics officers along with four other people on a boat in international waters on Tuesday, the sources told Reuters.

Mar 22, 2013

Largest Liberian palm oil project is failing locals -study

DAKAR, March 22 (Reuters) – Liberia’s largest palm oil
company, Golden Veroleum, needs to review its social and
environmental policies after its workers damaged graves, cleared
existing crops and polluted creeks, according to an independent
study it commissioned.

The findings from The Forest Trust (TFT), a non-profit
environmental consultancy, follow complaints from activists that
the Singapore-controlled firm is violating commitments it made
as a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a
global certification body for the industry.

Mar 18, 2013

Embassy surrender is end of line for Congo’s “Terminator”

By Pascal Fletcher and Richard Valdmanis

(Reuters) – It was a surprisingly meek end of a career for “The Terminator”, one of the world’s most wanted war crime fugitives.

Bosco Ntaganda, the Rwandan-born Tutsi rebel sought by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and an alleged leader of the M23 revolt in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, walked into the U.S. embassy in Rwanda on Monday and handed himself over, the U.S. government said.

Mar 8, 2013

Liberia says to ink oil deal with Exxon, COPL

DAKAR, March 8 (Reuters) – Liberia will sign off on a deal
giving oil major Exxon Mobil and its partner Canadian
Overseas Petroleum Limited rights to develop an offshore
oil block, a presidential spokeswoman said on Friday.

Landing the world’s largest private sector oil company will
add heft to Liberia’s nascent oil industry. The deal comes as
the impoverished West African state is seeking to overhaul its
petroleum policy and bolster transparency.

Feb 2, 2013

Mali hails “savior” Hollande, he says fight not over

TIMBUKTU, Mali/BAMAKO (Reuters) – Cheering, grateful Malians mobbed French President Francois Hollande on Saturday as he visited French troops fighting Islamist jihadist rebels, and he pledged France would finish the job of restoring government control in the Sahel state.

In a one-day trip to Mali accompanied by his ministers for defense, foreign affairs and development, Hollande was hailed as a liberator in the ancient northern city of Timbuktu, which French and Malian forces retook from the rebels six days ago.

    • About Richard

      "Richard is based in Reuters' Dakar bureau where he has helped lead coverage of two dozen countries in West and Central Africa since September 2009. He previously ran Reuters' energy coverage in the Americas as a senior editor based in New York."
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