Todd Pitman

Liberians vote, pray for peace

War-ravaged Liberia voted to choose its first post-war president in a heated run-off pitting an international soccer star who dropped out of high school against the country's Harvard-educated top female politician. With United Nations helicopters buzzing over the bombed-out capital, many prayed the vote on Tuesday would herald an era of peace.

Liberia’s election: Brains or brawn?

A soccer star vying to become Liberia's first post-war president vowed to work for peace as he voted on Tuesday in a presidential run-off that many hope will herald a new era after a quarter-century of coups and conflict. George Weah and former finance minister Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf finished first and second, respectively, in the October 11 first round, which weeded out 20 other presidential candidates.

Obasanjo on peace mission to Côte d’Ivoire

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo was expected in Côte d'Ivoire on Friday on a mission to help resolve this war-divided West African nation's latest crisis. On Monday, Côte d'Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo began a United Nations-backed extended year in office that has been opposed by opposition leaders and rebels.

Ebola virus threatens Central Africa’s apes

Conservationists say the dreaded Ebola virus, along with decades of hunting and logging, is putting some ape species on the brink of extinction in Central Africa. Most at risk are western lowland gorillas and the Central African chimpanzee, both of which inhabit the dense rainforests of Central Africa.

Who is Ivorian?

Two years after Ibrahim Kone applied to renew his national identity card, he found it by chance -- floating down a river in Bouake, a rebel-held Côte d'Ivoire town. Kone believes the laminated document was dumped there with a box full of others by authorities who doubted he was Ivorian, and ''never had any intention of issuing it''.

Côte d’Ivoire: ‘Everybody is afraid, very afraid’

Appiah Kabran whipped a shiny 9mm pistol from a holster at his waist and explained why a bespectacled lawmaker like himself might need it in war-divided Côte d'Ivoire. ''To kill rebels,'' the cigar-smoking politician said bluntly. ''I don't trust anything but this.''

US toll in Iraq tops 1 500 as govt talks falter

The number of United States troops killed in Iraq has topped 1 500, an Associated Press count showed on Thursday after the military announced the deaths of three Americans, while car bombs targeting Iraqi security forces killed at least four people in separate attacks. Meanwhile, talks aimed at forging a new coalition government faltered on Wednesday.

DRC dinner can be hard to swallow

Crocodile, boa constrictor, tortoise and antelope top the menu, served up in banana-leaf sacks with potato chips on the side. And for the willing, there's one dish that would make most carnivores squirm: monkey meat. At Mama Ekila's Inzia restaurant, African bushmeat is flown in -- and fried up -- for discerning diners looking to put a bit of adventure on their plate.

‘A lot of work’ to train DRC’s new army

Questions about pay in the new army's first and only brigade prompt chuckles among the men. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), soldiering on a steady salary has never been part of the deal. Less humorous are the former child combatants and illiterates among the ill-trained guerrilla fighters and government soldiers.

Ivory sales flourish in Africa

More than 4 000kg of illegal ivory is on sale in Nigeria, Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal -- three countries singled out for failing to regulate a trade that is fueling poaching and threatening the survival of elephants, wildlife advocacy groups said in a new report.

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