Alex Duval Smith

Alex Duval Smith is a freelance foreign correspondent based in South Africa

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Focus: Carving a brighter future in Mozambique

ISMAEL JOSE carves elephants from the wood of the Mozambican mafourera tree. It is a humble craft but ever since the earth movers rolled on to his ancestral land last year, Mr Jose, 24, has felt like a lottery winner. "I have moved my family from a reed hut to a brick house with glass in the windows and burglar bars,'' he said.

Letter from Johannesburg: Crime shadow over Games

IN A burst of sound and laser light, South Africa launched its bid for football's 2006 World Cup. Well, not officially. The impressive Johannesburg Stadium extravaganza on Friday was the opening ceremony of the seventh All Africa Games - 6,000 athletes from 51 nations gathered for 10 days of competition.

Frontline: Freetown: Curfew time in `a world of tin roofs'

EVERY DAY at 7.30pm, the capital of Sierra Leone becomes frantic. There are dinners to eat and friends to run home - all in the half hour before the road-block sand bags go up and freedom of movement becomes reserved to well-connected prostitutes and a few privileged military who know that night's curfew password.

Trapped in the devil's lair

Alex Duval Smith in Freetown on the savage politics that led to the seizing of the British hostages

Five Britons are seized in Sierra Leone

Alex Duval Smith reports from Freetown as rebels abduct soldiers on a UN mission to rescue child hostages

Return of the rebels

The war in Sierra Leone has claimed 50,000 lives and ruined countless others. So why is the leader whose forces have torn the country apart being returned to power? And why is the British Government backing the deal?

40,000 women fight in bloody war of attrition

FRONTLINE: TSORONA, ERITREA-ETHIOPIA BORDER

Zimbabwe in crisis as Nkomo is laid to rest

THE GOVERNMENT of Zimbabwe used the burial yesterday of Vice-President Joshua Nkomo to deflect attention from the worst crisis facing the country since independence 19 years ago.

Congo peace role for Mandela

THE FORMER South African president, Nelson Mandela, is next week expected to make his first appearance in the unofficial role of international peace-broker at a summit in Zambia aimed at ending the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Successor Mbeki's Communist roots

PRESIDENT NELSON Mandela has been described as the hardest act to follow since Abraham Lincoln. The man chosen by the ANC for the task is Thabo Mbeki, 56, who has the anti-apartheid struggle in his blood and a Sussex University economics degree on his CV.
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