Deputy Chief Correspondent, West & Central Africa
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May 1, 2013

Resource deals audit overshadows Liberia anti-graft push

DAKAR, May 1 (Reuters) – Almost all the $8 billion worth of
resource contracts signed by Liberia since 2009 have violated
its laws, according to a draft audit report commissioned by the
government, casting doubt on anti-graft and good governance
efforts under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, has said the billions
of dollars in foreign investment she has drawn since becoming
Africa’s first freely-elected female president in 2006 should
help ordinary Liberians to climb out of poverty.

Apr 19, 2013

U.S. drugs sting muddies Guinea-Bissau transition

DAKAR (Reuters) – A U.S. drugs sting targeting Guinea-Bissau’s top military brass may freeze cocaine smuggling through the tiny West African state in the short term but could jeopardize efforts to restore order after a 2012 coup.

The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday accused Armed Forces Chief General Antonio Indjai of plotting to traffic cocaine to the United States and sell weapons to Colombia’s FARC rebels, after a months-long undercover operation that has also ensnared a former navy chief.

Apr 18, 2013

U.S. accuses Bissau military chief 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 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.

    • 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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