Regional leaders meeting in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, on May 3 appeared to slightly retreat from their positions against coup leaders in Guinea-Bissau and Mali, but the Economic Community of West African States continues to press for a speedy return to constitutional rule in both countries.
It was tough for Hassan Toure to decide to stay in his small town on the outskirts of Kidal, in northern Mali. The government troops had withdrawn on Mar. 30, and several armed groups, including militias and bandits, were operating in the region.
Civil society groups are calling on the United Nations peacekeeping mission to withdraw support from a disarmament programme they say could spark further violence in South Sudan’s volatile Jonglei state.
Since January, various groups of Tuareg rebels in Mali have come together in an attempt to administer a new northern state called Azawad.
As thousands of people flee the conflict in South Sudan’s northern border states, increasing numbers have also been forced to leave their homes and towns in search of affordable food.
Rebel leaders in Guinea-Bissau have released the country's prime minister and interim president, who were arrested in the country's Apr. 12 coup, and have flown them to Côte d'Ivoire.
Saffa Momoh Lahai was just two years old when his father was killed during Sierra Leone’s civil war. Rebels attacked their family home in Kailahun District, in the eastern reaches of the country, and shot Lahai’s father when he tried to resist.
When the verdict against Liberia’s former President Charles Taylor for war crimes in Sierra Leone is handed down on Thursday, it will be of no help to the many former combatants of the country’s brutal civil war who have not been reintegrated into society. Instead, they will continue to pose a threat to Sierra Leone’s future stability.
It was the middle of the day when Tabisou, 72, suddenly saw people from her town of Amderamboukane in Mali fleeing for their lives. Her family had no time to pack their things; the fighting had already begun.
Six West African heads of state will attend a regional summit in Guinea on Monday, to discuss the situation in neighbouring Guinea Bissau, where an Apr. 12 coup d'état aborted presidential elections.
When war-torn Somalia was also ravaged by a drought-induced famine last year, which killed tens of thousands and displaced over a million people, international media was quick to blame the Islamist Al-Shabaab for blocking humanitarian assistance from reaching its zone of control in southern Somalia.
Cheick Modibo Diarra has been named interim prime minister of Mali as a transitional administration takes shape, to guide the country back to full constitutional government. But despite agreeing to hand power back to civilians, the military junta intends to retain an oversight role in the transition.
In the eastern Sierra Leonean community of Lambayama, rice paddies are carved far into the landscape before being abruptly halted by distant hills. Aside from a paved road that draws a grey line through the green, swampy valley, it looks much as it did a century ago.
As the process of reintegrating South Sudan’s child soldiers into their old lives begins soon, the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army renewal of its lapsed commitment to release all child soldiers from its ranks in March could mean that within two years children will no longer constitute part of the country’s militia groups.
As Western forces step up their military presence in Somalia, locals and experts are worried that the country – struggling under multiple crises from piracy, to drought – is doomed to churn in a cycle of violence that fails to acknowledge root causes of the problems.
As armed groups have captured Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu, the three largest cities in northern Mali, the differences within the alliance have begun to emerge. There are reports of rape and looting in Gao, while in Timbuktu an Islamist faction, Ansar Dine, has announced the imposition of sharia law.
A spokesman for the main Tuareg rebel group, which recently seized the three largest areas in Mali's north, says it has declared a ceasefire, one day after the United Nations Security Council called for an end to violence in the West African nation.
West African heads of state meeting in Côte d'Ivoire have given Mali's military junta three days to restore constitutional order and step down – or face a range of diplomatic and economic sanctions.
Analysts say that Senegal’s outgoing President Abdoulaye Wade was made to pay for his failure to respond to popular demands, particularly arising from the high cost of basic commodities, a lengthy strike by teachers, and high youth unemployment, by losing his bid for a third term of office.
Hamid Yussef Bashir said he walked for 17 days with his wife and five children to get to a refugee camp in South Sudan. Here in Jamam, they joined about 37,000 other people who fled from the war across the border in Sudan’s Blue Nile state.
A majority of political representatives have so far maintained their distance from the leaders of a coup that toppled the government earlier this week, but several religious and political personalities have already shown a willingness to work with the new regime.