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Broadcast Journalist and Multimedia Producer based in Paris, France

Posts Tagged ‘africa

Interview: Confessions of a People Smuggler

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23 Jan 2014

We often hear about the plight of illegal migrants and in particular Africans making the journey across the Mediterranean Sea to the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa. But we do not often consider the other side of the story, the criminals who make big profits from what is described as “the most ruthless travel agency on the planet”. A new book coming out in Italy on Friday does just that – we meet the men who illegally smuggle migrants into Europe, making big money, taking big risks to transport tens of thousands of desperate people. RFI’s Daniel Finnan speaks to one of the authors of Confessions of a People Smuggler, Giampaolo Musumeci.

Confessioni di un Trafficante di Uomini

Radio France Internationale’s English service

Caught between ‘The Ringtone and the Drum’

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The Ringtone and the Drum

The Ringtone and the Drum

Images of Africa in the western media are often characterised by famine and conflict. The discussion of poverty in African countries often overlooks the facts of everyday life. A new book The Ringtone and the Drumsets out to change this. Its author, an expert on development policy, presents the fast-changing politics and culture in three of the world’s poorest and least visited countries – Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau and Burkina Faso.

Interview: Mark Weston, author, The Ringtone and the Drum

Why did you decide to travel around three of the world’s poorest countries?

I’ve worked in international development for quite a long time now, trying to work out what’s gone wrong in the world’s poorest countries. What can be done to help improve the lives of people living there? But although I’d spent time in Africa before, and in Asia on short trips, I felt as that I hadn’t really got under the skin of what it’s like to live in poverty. I wanted to find out what the people who lived in the world’s poorest countries talk about. What do they do every day? How are they adjusting to the onrush of modernity and globalisation that’s transforming so much of the developing world?

Radio France Internationale

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Africa’s first coup d’état? A history of Niger’s Sawaba movement

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The Yearning for Relief by Klaas van Walraven

In a new book on Niger, Dutch author Klaas van Walraven charts the history of what he calls Africa’s first coup d’état. The Sawaba movement, formed in 1954, was opposed to French colonial rule and pushed for independence. It developed into a militant social movement, aligned with Eastern bloc states, as well as Algeria and Ghana. But it was stopped in its tracks, repressed by France’s fifth republic. Can we really call this Africa’s first coup?

Radio France Internationale

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Written by Daniel Finnan

24 February 2013 at 13:45

Protest outside Tunisian embassy in Paris after shooting of opposition leader Chokri Belaid

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The shooting of Tunisian opposition leader Chokri Belaid on Wednesday sparked protests in Paris, as well as across Tunisia itself. Around 200 demonstrators gathered near the Tunisian embassy in the French capital, shouting slogans and carrying placards reading, “in Tunisia, the Islamists kill”.

Radio France Internationale

Written by Daniel Finnan

6 February 2013 at 20:16

Mauritania’s oil minister discusses Mali conflict fallout

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Taleb Ould Abdi Vall. Photo: Agence Mauritanienne d'Information.

Taleb Ould Abdi Vall. Photo: Agence Mauritanienne d’Information.

As the French military intervention in northern Mali continues, many countries in the region have been affected by the fallout. Mauritania, which shares a 2,000-kilometre border with Mali, has seen the arrival of thousands of refugees and has increased military patrols to try and stop Islamist armed groups from penetrating its territory.

Interview: Taleb Ould Abdi Vall, Mauritania’s Minister of Oil, Energy and Mining, at Ifri think-tank

Radio France Internationale

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Written by Daniel Finnan

6 February 2013 at 18:04

Eritreans protest outside Paris embassy

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A group of Eritean political refugees protested outside Eritrea’s Paris embassy on Friday in a demonstration against President Isaias Afewerki. There have been similar demonstrations at Eritrea embassies in other European capitals in recent days, including London and Rome. This comes following a recently reported army mutiny in the Eritrean capital Asmara, when some 200 Eritrean soldiers briefly occupied the country’s Information Ministry.

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Written by Daniel Finnan

1 February 2013 at 17:47

France Info – Mali et Algérie dans la presse européenne

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France InfoL’intervention française au Mali et la situation au Sahel ont réellement été le principal sujet d’actualité de la semaine selon les deux invités : Gero von RANDOW de l’hebdomadaire allemand “Die Zeït” et Daniel FINNAN, journaliste britannique à RFI (Radio France International).

La presse allemande a été critique sur la réaction du gouvernement de Mme Merkel ; il a affiché sa solidarité avec la France mais a passé plus de temps à expliquer qu’il ne pouvait agir plus loin. Les allemands ont-ils compris l’importance du Sahel ?

Réaction différente dans la presse britannique car comme la France, le Royaume-Uni a une longue histoire de guerres en Afrique. Londres apporte son soutien à la France.

Jeudi à Bruxelles, les 27 ministres des Affaires étrangères ont approuvé l’opération Serval, et certains ont annoncé un appui logistique. Tous sont tombés d’accord sur la nécessité d’envoyer vite des instructeurs européens pour la formation de l’armée malienne. Mais cela est-il suffisant ?

France Info

Written by Daniel Finnan

20 January 2013 at 08:50

Ban on Uganda’s critical State of the Nation play has no legal basis, says co-director

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Poster for State of the Nation play. Afri-Talent.

Poster for State of the Nation play. Afri-Talent.

The co-director of a play banned in Uganda has told RFI he’s concerned about the repercussions of continuing to stage his production. But he believes Uganda’s Media Council is on shaky legal ground. John Ssegawa, co-author of State of the Nation, says the Ugandan authorities are limiting freedom of expression.

Radio France Internationale

Interview: John Ssegawa, Co-Director, State of the Nation

Could you describe the play? What is it about?

The play is all about the history of Uganda from 1962, from independence, up to today. We talk about the political journey and what we thought would be, and what is not today.

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Written by Daniel Finnan

1 November 2012 at 23:50

Muslim Brotherhood to face Mubarak-era prime minister in Egypt’s presidential run-off

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The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Moursi will face off against Mubarak-era prime minister Ahmed Shafiq in the second round of Egypt’s presidential election, according to unofficial results Friday. A statement issued by the Muslim Brotherhood mid-morning on Friday said the party’s candidate had won, according to their estimates.

Radio France Internationale

Moderate Islamist Moursi is thought to have garnered around 27 per cent, with Shafiq, who was premier for a time under deposed president Hosni Mubarak, securing 23 per cent, according to unofficial independent results.

Liberal Islamist Abdel Moneim Aboul Foutouh and Nasserist/leftist candidate Hamdeen Sabahi tie for third place with about 18 per cent. While former foreign minister Amr Moussa comes in fifth, in counting done by Iyad El-Baghdadi.

Figures show a turnout of around 50 per cent, ranging from 29 per cent in the Upper Egypt governorate of Aswan, to as high as 54 per cent in Suez, according to Al-Ahram newspaper.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s performance in the polls is unlikely to surprise many but Shafiq’s support will be seen as more of a shock.

In Minoufiya, a governorate with a majority population of low-income farmers, Shafiq is thought to have taken more then half the vote, maybe an indication of his campaign’s appeal to stability and security.

Amr Moussa did not win the support he was expected to get in Upper Egypt. Instead the Muslim Brotherhood seems to have won over voters, taking just over a third of ballots, with Shafiq securing 27 per cent.

In the city of Alexandria, experienced politician Sabahi, who claims to defend the legacy of nationalist former president Gamal Abdel Nasser, seems to have topped the polls. While in Suez the picture is more mixed, with Mousri just edging his rivals, and Shafiq coming fifth.

Cairo results are yet to be finalised.

Following early results Shafiq thanked his supporters on Facebook, according to Al-Ahram. He also saluted Sabahi and said he would not be “upset” if the third-placed candidate won, because he is a “patriotic” man.

In an interview on Thursday, Shafiq’s campaign spokesperson Ahmad Sarhan told RFI that he thinks it is unlikely that Egypt’s revolutionary youth will take to the streets.

“Many of the revolutionary youth comes here to the headquarters and talks to him [Shafiq] about the future,” Sarhan said, from the relatively elegant campaign office in the Dokki district of the capital.

“He opened his heart to them [the youth] and tried to listen to them. He told them clearly, the Muslim Brotherhood, they took it [the revolution] away from you,” Sarhan added.

The sentiment amongst youth is likely to be the most significant measure of possible challenges to the results and potential protests. Many see Shafiq as the chosen candidate of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and representative of the remnants of the Mubarak regime.

Sabahi’s surprise late increase in popularity can be attributed in some part to support from the revolutionary youth. On Thursday his campaign gave RFI the most accurate assessment of the outcome, given Friday’s early results. Putting Sabahi in the top three, the most modest prediction we have received from any of the contenders’ camps.

“He’s been changing position with Amr Moussa and Mohamed Moursi, in some areas. While in others it is between him and Ahmed Shafiq and Moursi,” said Sayed El-Toukhy a member of Sabahi’s campaign committee.

If necessary a second round runoff poll will take place on 16/17 June.

Written by Daniel Finnan

25 May 2012 at 13:31

Overview: London conference on Somalia

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"Kenya stop violating our sea coast" - protesters at the London conference on Somalia

“Kenya stop violating our sea coast” – protesters at the London conference on Somalia

Interview: Adjoa Anyimadu, Somalia researcher, Chatham House

“Scepticism understandable”

Interview: Benedicte Goderiaux, Somalia researcher, Amnesty International

“Foreign armies and proxy militias in Somalia must be held accountable”

Interview: Ali Rooble, protester

“London conference on Somalia aims to conquer the country”

Ambience: Protest at London conference

“Hands off Somalia!”