Western Africa

Government indifference compounds Ebola disaster

By Kate Randall, 18 October 2014

A UN trust fund for Ebola has only $100,000 on hand, a fraction of the nearly $1 billion the world body says is needed to contain the spread of the deadly virus.

US exploiting West Africa Ebola outbreak to establish military foothold

By Niles Williamson, 4 October 2014

More than 7,000 have fallen ill and more than 3,300 have died in the current epidemic, the most widespread outbreak since the disease was first identified 28 years ago.

Ebola outbreak grows exponentially

By David Brown, 25 September 2014

International health agencies predict the Ebola outbreak in West Africa could affect hundreds of thousands.

Ebola outbreak grows

By David Brown, 13 September 2014

The ebola outbreak in West Africa continues to overwhelm health care workers.

Ebola epidemic highlights poverty in Africa

By David Brown, 1 August 2014

Sierra Leone has mobilized its military and Liberia has closed its schools in response to the uncontained Ebola outbreak.

Ebola outbreak kills hundreds in West Africa

By David Brown, 29 July 2014

Liberia has closed most of its borders in response to an Ebola outbreak that has killed one doctor and infected two others.

Ebola outbreak spreads in West Africa

By John Rowe, 9 July 2014

International agencies say that the deadly Ebola virus is spreading out of control in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Washington sends military personnel to Nigeria

By Bill Van Auken, 8 May 2014

The Obama administration has seized upon the vicious kidnapping of Nigerian school girls to provide the cover of a “moral crusade” for an escalating US and European military intervention in Africa.

The role of Germany in the war in Mali

By Wolfgang Weber, 12 February 2013

Germany is expanding its participation in the French colonial war in Mali from week to week.

Britain, US escalate war aid as France advances into northern Mali

By Alex Lantier, 29 January 2013

Britain has pledged to deploy troops to Mali and the US is planning a base for drones as the imperialist intervention in the Sahara escalates.

Reports of atrocities emerge as France escalates Mali war

By Ernst Wolff, 24 January 2013

Thirteen days after starting a war in Mali, France is boosting its military presence amid reports of civilian and ethnic-based killings by French and allied forces.

Imperialist powers escalate war in Mali

By Ernst Wolff, 22 January 2013

Amid the French offensive in Mali, the imperialist powers are laying out plans for a lasting neo-colonial intervention in all of Western Africa.

French Left Front promotes war in Mali

By Kumaran Ira, 22 January 2013

France’s Left Front is supporting President François Hollande’s decision to launch a war in Mali, while issuing tactical criticisms of his policies.

Standoff continues in Algerian hostage crisis

By Alex Lantier, 19 January 2013

The standoff at the Tinguentourine natural gas site in Algeria has continued amid mounting international tensions over France’s war in Mali.

France escalates Mali war amid Algerian hostage crisis

By Kumaran Ira, 18 January 2013

France has increased its troop deployment in Mali to 1,400, amid a hostage crisis after Islamist militants seized an Algerian natural gas complex to protest the war.

France launches ground offensive in Mali

By Ernst Wolff, 17 January 2013

French ground troops have attacked rebel forces holding the small town of Diabaly, near the border with rebel-held northern Mali.

France continues to bomb Mali as Islamist opposition forces advance

By Alex Lantier, 16 January 2013

French warplanes continued to bomb Mali yesterday as French ground forces entered the country to protect the military junta of Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo.

Junta forces Malian prime minister to resign

By Ernst Wolff, 15 December 2012

Mali’s Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra was arrested and forced to resign by the country’s military junta on Monday night.

West African states prepare intervention in Mali

By Ernst Wolff, 17 November 2012

The Economic Community of West African States has reiterated its readiness to deploy 3,300 soldiers to the north of Mali before the start of the rainy season.

Clinton visit to Algeria prepares war in Mali

By Kumaran Ira, 3 November 2012

Hillary Clinton visited Algiers Monday to secure Algerian support for an imperialist intervention in Mali, as a conference to plan for war opened in Bamako.

EU and the US prepare military intervention in Mali

By Ernst Wolff, 26 October 2012

European and US diplomats and military experts are preparing for a military intervention in Mali.

France, US step up pressure for military intervention in Mali

By Kumaran Ira, 2 October 2012

France and the United States are urging UN Security Council to approve a West African-manned military intervention in Northern Mali.

UN prepares French-backed intervention in Mali

By Ernst Wolff, 25 September 2012

The West African Economic Community and the government of Mali have agreed on the conditions of a military operation in northern Mali.

Western powers preparing intervention in Mali

By Ernst Wolff, 17 July 2012

Just as the international intervention in Libya was aimed in part at denying China access to North African oil, a military intervention in Mali either led by the US or in cooperation with Washington would target Chinese influence in the country.

Safety concerns after Lagos plane crash kills 170

By Trevor Johnson, 8 June 2012

Just before 4 p.m. on June 3, a passenger plane crashed into a built-up area of Lagos, Nigeria, killing all 153 people on board.

France threatens to back intervention in Mali

By Johannes Stern, 10 April 2012

Amid ongoing fighting in Mali, France and the US are threatening to organize a military intervention in the country.

France pledges to back action to crush Mali army revolt

By Antoine Lerougetel, 5 April 2012

France is signaling it will back military action to crush an army revolt that deposed Malian President Amadou Toumani Touré.

Military launches coup in Mali

By Olivier Laurent, 28 March 2012

Mutinous soldiers led by Captain Amadou Sanagou seized power last Thursday in Bamako, the capital of Mali.

Mounting attacks on Nigerian workers

By Robert Stevens, 23 February 2012

Workers in Nigeria face escalating attacks on their livelihoods following the betrayal of last month’s national general strike against the regime of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Nigerian government uses terror bombing to justify clampdown

By Robert Stevens, 25 January 2012

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is using a spate of terrorist bombings to justify measures aimed at growing working class opposition to his rule.

The betrayal of Nigeria’s general strike

By Robert Stevens, 21 January 2012

The betrayal of the nationwide general strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) provides crucial lessons for workers and young people the world over.

Nigerian unions suspend general strike as army deploys in cities

By Robert Stevens, 17 January 2012

Nigeria’s two main trade union federations have called off the general strike against President Goodluck Jonathan as army units moved into cities around the country.

Strikes resume in Nigeria after collapse of talks between unions and government

By Robert Stevens, 16 January 2012

Action against the Nigerian government of President Goodluck Jonathan continues as the Nigeria’s main trade union federations failed in their attempt to halt the general strike.

Nigerian unions suspend general strike

By Robert Stevens, 14 January 2012

Nigeria’s two main trade union federations suspended strike action, on the fifth day of a general strike against the government of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Nigerian general strike escalates as government steps up repression

By Robert Stevens, 12 January 2012

Hundreds of thousands have demonstrated throughout Nigeria over the past three days in an escalating general strike against the government of President Goodluck Jonathan.

General strike over fuel hike paralyzes Nigeria

By Bill Van Auken, 10 January 2012

Tens of thousands of Nigerians took to the streets Monday at the start of a nationwide general strike against the government’s lifting of subsidies, resulting in the doubling of fuel costs overnight.

General strike called as protests spread in Nigeria against gas price hike

By Niles Williamson, 6 January 2012

As protests spread against cuts to state oil subsidies, Nigerian labour unions have called a general strike starting Monday if the cuts are not rescinded.

Bomb blast in Nigerian capital kills at least 18

By David Walsh, 27 August 2011

A massive explosion ripped through the United Nations complex in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, Friday morning.

Death squads reportedly assassinating Libyan regime figures in Benghazi

By Patrick O’Connor, 12 May 2011

The New York Times yesterday reported on a wave of execution-style murders of former Libyan government internal security personnel in Benghazi.

Burkina Faso shaken by widespread protests

By William Whitlow, 26 April 2011

The West African country of Burkina Faso has been hit by growing popular protests as well as dissent in the army.

Nigerian vote leaves country deeply divided

By Susan Garth, 20 April 2011

President Goodluck Jonathan’s electoral victory has left Nigeria divided along regional, political and class lines.

WikiLeaks documents show Shell Oil domination of Nigeria

By Patrick Martin, 10 December 2010

A Shell executive told the US embassy that the oil company had infiltrated agents into all the main ministries of the Nigerian government.

State of emergency declared in Guinea after elections

By Trevor Johnson, 20 November 2010

Three days after the announcement of the presidential election results, a state of emergency was declared in Guinea when clashes between angry demonstrators and security forces led to several deaths and scores of wounded.

Lead poisoning kills hundreds of children in Nigeria

By Barry Mason, 19 October 2010

More than 400 children have died from the effects of lead poisoning in the northern Nigerian state of Zamfara.

Paris seizes on Niger kidnapping to sow “war on terror” panic

By Kumaran Ira, 28 September 2010

In recent weeks, French authorities have warned of a major risk of terrorist attack in France being prepared by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which recently claimed responsibility for kidnapping seven workers at French mining companies in Niger.

France steps up military intervention in Sahel

By Kumaran Ira, 2 September 2010

France has seized upon reports of the execution of a French aid worker by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in July to escalate its military intervention in its former colonies in the strategic Sahel region of Western Africa.

Worst famine and flooding in Niger’s history

By Trevor Johnson, 1 September 2010

Niger in Western Africa has been hit by double disaster. According to the United Nations, more than 110,000 people have been affected by the severe rains in the second week of August and the flooding that followed.

Trafigura found guilty in Ivory Coast waste-dumping case

By Barry Mason, 5 August 2010

Last month the Amsterdam Central Criminal Court found the Trafigura oil trading corporation guilty of offloading waste from the ship Probo Koala, despite knowing it to be toxic.

Global corporations compete for West African minerals

By Trevor Johnson, 1 July 2010

West Africa has become the scene of intense competition between international mining companies as the price of minerals has risen after the recession of 2009. At the centre of this development is a region that covers parts of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, recognised as the biggest of the world’s remaining undeveloped minerals deposits.

Claims of African economic growth hide stark divisions of rich and poor

By Barry Mason, 25 June 2010

Recent reports show growth of a stark divide between rich and poor in Africa.

China signs $23 billion oil deal with Nigeria

By Trevor Johnson, 28 May 2010

China has signed a $23 billion deal with the new government of Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria to build three oil refineries and a petrochemical plant.

Liberian students protest increase in university fees

By our correspondent, 19 April 2010

On March 31 and April 1 thousands of students at the University of Liberia—the nation’s highest institution of learning—protested against the hiking of tuition fees by 148 percent.

Tensions over Togo election

By Barry Mason, 17 March 2010

Demonstrators took to the streets of Togo’s capital, Lomé, in West Africa last weekend to protest the recent election results.

Hundreds die as factions struggle for power in Nigeria

By Ann Talbot, 16 March 2010

As many as 500 people may have died in the latest round of communal violence in Nigeria’s Plateau State.

Military coup in Niger

By Barry Mason, 24 February 2010

The military have carried out a coup in the West African state of Niger, ousting incumbent President Mamadou Tandja in this former French colony.

Political and social crisis grows as Clinton condemns Nigeria

By Trevor Johnson and Ann Talbot, 3 February 2010

Hundreds of people have been killed as communal violence broke out in the Nigerian city of Jos and surrounding areas last month. The official death toll stands at 326 but it is thought to be higher.

France accused of attempted assassination in Guinea

By John Newham, 11 January 2010

Following an attempt on the life of the president of Guinea, Captain Moussa “Dadis” Camara, on December 3, the Guinean communications minister, Idrissa Cherif, has accused the French government of being complicit in the attack.

British High Court rules that Liberia must pay debt

By John Newham, 14 December 2009

The British High Court has ruled that Liberia, one of the poorest countries in the world, must pay a 30-year-old debt now amounting to £12 million ($20 million) to two “vulture funds”. Liberia had claimed that repayment of the debt would be a violation of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.

Pregnancy ends in death for one in eight mothers in Sierra Leone

By Barry Mason, 7 October 2009

An Amnesty International report shows that women in Sierra Leone have a one-in-eight chance of dying from the complications associated with pregnancy and childbirth.

Military regime massacres protestors in Guinea

By Ann Talbot, 1 October 2009

Repression continues in the aftermath of the massacre of an estimated 157 people attending an opposition rally outside a football stadium in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, on Monday.

London hearing in Ivory Coast toxic dumping lawsuit

By Barry Mason, 22 May 2009

After thousands of people became ill in the West African country of Ivory Coast following the dumping of toxic waste, one of the companies alleged to be involved is indicted in a British court.

Hijacking of US ship raises threat of intervention in Somalia

By Bill Van Auken, 10 April 2009

As the hostage drama off the coast of Somalia continued into its second day Thursday, there were indications that the Obama administration may be preparing yet another military intervention, this time in the Horn of Africa.

Guinea Bissau: President assassinated in impoverished West African country

By Patrick O’Keefe, 17 March 2009

On March 2 President João Bernardo Vieira of Guinea Bissau was assassinated by soldiers loyal to army chief of staff.

Italy: Berlusconi decree legalises anti-immigrant vigilantes

By Marianne Arens, 27 February 2009

The Italian government has passed a decree permitting vigilante squads to patrol Italian cities, legalising the activities of the groups of racist and fascist thugs who have intensified their attacks on immigrants in recent weeks and months.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

7 November 2008

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Instability threatens Guinea after presidential election

By Trevor Johnson, 6 February 2004

There are growing concerns that Guinea in West Africa could fall prey to the same instability as Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire).

Liberia: US puts a bounty on Charles Taylor’s head

By Chris Talbot, 13 November 2003

In a provocative move the Bush administration has made available a $2 million reward for the capture of ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor and for bringing him before the Special Court on war crimes that is being set up in Sierra Leone.

Police murder French journalist in Ivory Coast

By John Farmer, 29 October 2003

The West African country Ivory Coast was taken nearer to the resumption of civil war when on October 21 Radio France International’s (RFI’s) veteran African correspondent, Jean Helene, was shot dead. A police sergeant shot Helene while he was waiting outside police headquarters to interview opposition politicians being released after four days of incarceration. The policeman was disarmed by his fellow officers, arrested and charged with murder.

Liberia faced with continuing instability as UN agrees 15,000 troops

By Chris Talbot, 1 October 2003

Aid workers in Liberia are reporting continued fighting, as well as attacks on civilians including looting, rape and summary executions throughout the north and central regions of Liberia. The attacks on civilians were carried out by both government troops and rebels from the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) group.

US and UN give tacit backing to Guinea Bissau coup

By Brian Smith, 27 September 2003

A successful coup d’état in Guinea Bissau in West Africa has ousted President Kumba Yala and his Prime Minister Mario Pires. Yala later resigned to give the process a gloss of legality.

US force enters Liberia as former president goes into exile

By Chris Talbot, 18 August 2003

Charles Taylor, Liberia’s president since 1997 meekly travelled into exile on Monday August 11.

West African military force enters Liberia

By Chris Talbot, 7 August 2003

The first detachment of Nigerian troops from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has been airlifted from Sierra Leone to Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, part of a “vanguard interposition force” that is intended to separate Liberian government forces from the surrounding rebels.

US, Europe intervene to protect oil interests

West Africa: Coup aborted in São Tomé and Principe

By Brian Smith, 29 July 2003

A coup in the Atlantic islands of São Tomé and Principe, off the coast of West Africa, has ended in international mediation after just one week and President Fradique de Menezes returning from Nigeria to a red carpet treatment.

Liberian war restarts

By Chris Talbot, 21 July 2003

Liberia’s capital Monrovia is once again under attack by rebel forces of the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD). Latest news is that they have reached the Gabriel Tucker Bridge on the edge of the city centre. This is the third time that the rebels have attempted to take Monrovia and blows apart the attempts at a US-brokered peace deal being negotiated in Ghana.

Blair’s neocolonialist vision for Africa

By Chris Talbot, 16 February 2002

In a four-day visit to West Africa, British Prime Minister Tony Blair set out his agenda for future imperialist intervention in the continent. He did so in his characteristic style, which increasingly resembles that of a colonial missionary. With moralizing zeal Blair took up the theme he raised several times last year that Africa is a “scar on the conscience of the world,” and suggested that with an African child dying every three seconds, “no responsible world leader can turn their back on Africa.”

Who is responsible for the oil explosion in Nigeria?

By Jerry White, 21 October 1998

Several hundred bodies, charred beyond recognition, were buried in a mass grave in southern Nigeria Monday after the explosion this weekend that killed at least 500 villagers.

Nigerian military topples Sierra Leone junta

By Bill Vann, 21 February 1998

Following a nine-day offensive and a bombardment of the city of Freetown, Nigerian military forces succeeded in toppling the military junta which seized power in the West African state of Sierra Leone in May of last year.