The West Africa Connection: how drug cartels found new routes

The Times of London
Nairobi, Kenya

O.C. was untouchable. For years the stocky man with pockmarked skin and heavy-lidded eyes had run a cocaine-trafficking network on the coastal plains of northern Guinea. Planeloads of cocaine were flown into Boke airport from neighbouring Guinea-Bissau, the country that became known as Africa’s first narco-state.

It was said that O.C.’s operation was protected by a contingent of elite Red Berets he had commandeered from his father, the late President Conte. Continue reading The West Africa Connection: how drug cartels found new routes

Kenyan troops trained by British are condemned for ‘death’ campaign

The Times of London
Nairobi, Kenya

The Kenyan Army, which receives training and support from Britain, was accused yesterday of torture and murder by a United Nations investigator.

Speaking at the end of a ten-day visit to the country Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions, said that Kenyan soldiers were responsible for the deaths or disappearances of 200 people in the Mount Elgon area during a police and army operation that began in March last year. Continue reading Kenyan troops trained by British are condemned for ‘death’ campaign

Congo’s maverick warlord who kills in the name of Christianity

The Times of London
London, UK

General Laurent Nkunda is a contradiction. An urbane jungle-dweller; an evangelical Christian warlord; a cerebral military strategist who unleashes awful brutality; a tribal protector and father of six who recruits children into his ranks; a patriot who wages war and steals the resources of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Continue reading Congo’s maverick warlord who kills in the name of Christianity

Private sector approach to solving the problems of Sierra Leone

The Times of London
Freetown, Sierra Leone

Like many of the foreigners in Freetown, Niall O’Cathasaigh came here to do good.

Aged 28 and with an accountancy background, he spent 12 months running the finances of an Irish aid agency. It was a good year, spent helping Sierra Leone to emerge from the ruins of a decade-long civil war. Continue reading Private sector approach to solving the problems of Sierra Leone

Rappers blast out their message of peace

The Times of London
Freetown, Sierra Leone

In his spotless trainers, baggy jeans and tight white T-shirt, Haroun Dumbuya, aka Wahid, is every inch a modern rap star. But rather than rapping about drugs and violence Wahid is drawing the crowds with his message of peace and democracy in the run-up to crucial elections today. Continue reading Rappers blast out their message of peace