Deputy Chief Correspondent, West & Central Africa
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May 31, 2013

Boston rockers play fundraiser for bomb victims

BOSTON (Reuters) – A succession of all-star bands from Aerosmith to Jimmy Buffet rocked a packed house at Boston’s TD Garden on Thursday night in a mostly raucous fund-raiser for the victims of last month’s marathon bombing.

Tickets priced between $35 and $285 sold out fast at the 17,500-seat venue, with net proceeds to be donated to The One Fund, a reserve established by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick that has so far received more than $37 million in donations to compensate victims of the April 15 bombing.

May 24, 2013

Bail denied to Massachusetts teen accused of Facebook terror post

BOSTON (Reuters) – A judge denied bail on Friday to a Massachusetts teenager who was arrested on terrorism charges after posting lyrics on his Facebook page suggesting he could do worse than the Boston Marathon bombers.

Cameron D’Ambrosio, an 18-year-old aspiring rapper from Methuen, about 30 miles north of Boston, was arrested on May 1 after he posted a note on his Facebook page that included the words “a boston bombinb wait till u see the shit I do.”

May 1, 2013

Exclusive: Resource deals audit overshadows Liberia anti-graft push

DAKAR (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.

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.

    • 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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