Stories written by Lansana Fofana

POLITICS-SIERRA LEONE: “I Don’t Have Any Case to Answer Before This Court”

"I will be defending myself because as far as I am concerned, I don't have any case to answer before this court," said Sam Hinga Norman, Monday.

ELECTIONS-SIERRA LEONE: An Election 30 Years in the Making

Local elections aren't a rarity, some would claim. But, they are if you live in Sierra Leone and have not had a say about local councillors in three decades.

RIGHTS-SIERRA LEONE: ‘Putting People on Trial May Ignite Fresh Conflict’

Sierra Leone's war crimes court has opened in the capital Freetown to try persons who bear the greatest responsibility for the atrocities committed during the country's 1991-1999 conflict.

HEALTH-SIERRA LEONE: Strong Medicine for Fake Doctors

Authorities in Sierra Leone have started a campaign to rid the country of its so-called "pepper doctors": people who practice medicine under false pretences.

ECONOMY-SIERRA LEONE: Disillusionment, As Cost Of Living Skyrockets

Three years after the end of Sierra Leone's devastating civil war, the living conditions of the majority of the people is getting worse by the day, as the economy shows no signs of picking up.

ECONOMY-SIERRA LEONE: Police Clamp Down on Hawkers

A seemingly intractable dispute is underway in Sierra Leone between hawkers, and those who're tired of weaving their way through the teeming roadside markets that have sprung up in the capital.

POLITICS-SIERRA LEONE: Disarmed, Demobilised – and Desperate

A lengthy disarmament programme has wrapped up in Sierra Leone, with organisers giving themselves a pat on the back: "I think that the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of ex-combatants have been a success," says Francis Kaikai, Executive Secretary of the programme.

POLITICS-GUINEA: What Future for the Opposition?

"The elections were fixed. We know that Lansana Conte was re-elected through fraudulent means and so his tenure cannot be legitimate," remarks Ba Mamadou, Chair of the Revival Front for Democratic Change: a coalition of opposition parties that boycotted last month's presidential poll.

POLITICS-GUINEA: Poll Marred by Boycott and Low Turnout

"These elections had been fixed even before actual polling; they are fraudulent," cried Mamadou Boye Barry of the opposition Union for National Progress. Boye Barry was one of only two candidates in Guinea's presidential election, held on Sunday. The other was incumbent President Lansana Conte.

POLITICS-SIERRA LEONE: Corruption Hits the Pop Charts

It is a measure of the frustration people in Sierra Leone feel about corruption, that a rap album which deals with this subject has topped the country's music charts.

POLITICS-GUINEA: Disillusion Plagues Run-Up to Presidential Poll

Guinea’s Supreme Court has disqualified almost all parties from contesting the upcoming presidential election, scheduled for Dec. 21.

POLITICS-LIBERIA: Fresh Violence Threatens Fragile Peace

Liberia's president Moses Blah has blamed the UN peacekeepers for failing to prevent this week's shooting incident in which at least three persons were killed in the capital Monrovia.

POLITICS: UN Troops Start Liberia Mission

The UN Mission in Liberia officially began Wednesday as most of the 200 American troops deployed in the West African country had pulled out.

GUINEA BISSAU: Military Coup ‘Because Gov’t Abusing Constitution’

"The military of Guinea Bissau has taken this action because the government is abusing the constitution and seems incapable of resolving the country's mounting political and economic problems," says Verissimo Correia Seabre, the army General who led Sunday's coup.

POLITICS-GUINEA BISSAU: Military Coup Derails Democratic Process

"The military of Guinea Bissau has taken this action because the government is abusing the constitution and seems incapable of resolving the country's mounting political and economic problems," says Verissimo Correia Seabre, the army General who led Sunday's coup.

POLITICS: Peacekeepers Secure Liberian Town, Warn All Fighters to Leave

West African peacekeepers from Guinea Bissau Wednesday said they were now in full control of the Liberian city of Kakata after days of sporadic battles between government forces and the main rebel group, the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Development (LURD).

RIGHTS: War Crimes Court Hunts Exiled Liberian Leader

"The indictment served against Mr. Taylor still stands no matter where he goes or how long it takes. Charles Taylor is a war criminal and he must face justice," says the American-born Prosecutor of the Special Court David Crane.

POLITICS: Peacekeepers Tread Carefully in Liberian Capital

West African peacekeepers, who deployed in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, this week, say they will start to enforce a cease-fire and clear the way for humanitarian aid soon.

/ARTS WEEKLY/FILM-AFRICA: Camera, a Powerful Tool in the Fight against AIDS

"I am determined to push through my message, that we must tackle urgently the danger that faces us all, and that is the HIV/AIDS epidemic," says Adams Sie, a 24-year-old Sierra Leonean filmmaker, who lives in the Senegalese capital of Dakar.

POLITICS-SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE: Coup Leaders Warn Foreign Powers to Stay Out

Coup leaders, who seized power in the tiny West African island state of Sao Tome and Principe on Wednesday, have warned foreign powers to stay out of the island's problem, as rumours of military intervention to restore the ousted government intensify.

POLITICS: Military Coup in Sao Tome and Principe

Army officers seized power in the tiny West African state of Sao Tome and Principe Wednesday, while President Fradique de Menezes was away on a private visit to Nigeria.

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