Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma on Friday embarked on his first foreign trip since taking office this week, heading to neighbouring Guinea and Liberia to promote ties damaged by more than a decade of war. The former insurance executive was sworn in on Monday within hours of being declared winner of a run-off election.
Guinea will start talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency on a nuclear energy programme after the discovery of uranium this month, becoming the latest African state seeking a nuclear solution to power shortages. The poor West African nation announced at the start of August that Australian miner Murchison United had discovered commercially viable deposits of uranium.
The presidents of Liberia and Sierra Leone flew to neighbouring Guinea on Tuesday for talks on how to prevent its violent political unrest from destabilising their own states. Liberian head of state Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of Sierra Leone were due to meet Guinean President Lansana Conte.
Up to a week ago, Guinea's private radio stations were broadcasting dramatic first-hand accounts of violent street clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces. But since President Lansana Conte decreed martial law on February 12, non-government broadcasters are either off the air or playing innocuous music.