News Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's motorcade commander has been arrested for allegedly smuggling 300kg of cannabis

The commander of the Liberian President’s motorcade has been arrested for allegedly smuggling 300kg of cannabis.

Massacre on the streets of Ivory Coast

More than 1,000 shot and hacked to death in one town as the battle to install democratically elected president escalates in the West African country

Ivory Coast war intensifies as battle for capital looms

Ivory Coast has been plunged back into civil war after a slow-burning election crisis developed into violence with forces loyal to the internationally recognised president-elect, Alassane Ouattara, poised to take the capital.

Taylor's Sierra Leone war crimes trial ends

The war crimes trial of the former Liberian president, Charles Taylor, ended yesterday with judges expected to take months to reach a verdict on whether he can be linked to murders and amputations during Sierra Leone's civil war.

Six women shot dead at protest as 'illegal' Ivorian leader clings on

Troubled West African nation sliding back towards another civil war.

'Even the middle classes are hit by war'

Warwick Prize shortlisted author Aminatta Forna tells Matthew Bell why she keeps returning to the conflicts of her past

Liberian war crimes trial delayed again

The former Liberian president Charles Taylor and his lawyer, who boycotted the West African ruler's war crimes trial for a third day yesterday, have been granted the right to appeal over key documentation.

Ivory Coast poll dispute sparks exodus as fears of civil war loom

About 14,000 people have fled Ivory Coast for Liberia, the UN said yesterday, amid fears that a dispute over the 28 November election will rekindle a civil war.

Civil war looms as foreigners are warned to leave Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast appeared to be sliding back into civil war yesterday as foreign nationals were warned to leave the country, while government-backed "death squads" were reported to be abducting opposition supporters.

Mancini hopes to resolve Tevez issue 'in two days'

Juventus 1 Manchester City 1

Power struggle over poll leads to armed clashes in Ivory Coast

Street gun battles in Ivory Coast's main city, Abidjan, left at least four dead yesterday as supporters of the man widely recognised as the winner of last month's presidential poll tried to wrest control of key state institutions from the incumbent, Laurent Gbagbo.

As President Kennedy put it: Viva Costa Rica!

The phrase 'pure life' is on everyone's lips in this exotic Central American haven. Welcome to a nature-lover's paradise, says <b>Richard Arghiris</b>

Liberian President sacks ministers in run-up to poll

Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf dismissed her cabinet on Wednesday in a move that will provide her with a "fresh slate" for the next phase of her administration, her office said in a press release.

Chasing the Devil: The Search for Africa's Fighting Spirit, By Tim Butcher

It's not unusual in West Africa to see dancing "devils" entertaining a crowd of amused local people. Tim Butcher encountered one shortly after crossing the border between Sierra Leone and Liberia, and he describes it in his new book as a masked figure – the headpiece carved from a single piece of jet-black wood – with a floor-length raffia skirt. Everyone knows there's a human being underneath, but the "devil" is accompanied by a young man who keeps brushing its skirt flat to maintain the illusion.

Book Of A Lifetime: Journey Without Maps, By Graham Greene

I rather think Graham Greene, an eager war correspondent himself, would have approved of the setting when I first read 'Journey Without Maps'. I was locked down after curfew in a dank hotel in Monrovia, Liberia's capital, trying as a reporter to work out whether noises outside were thunderclaps from rainy-season storm clouds or mortars going off as rebels circled the dying regime of the West African warlord, Charles Taylor. The only book I could find on the country was Greene's first travel book, the account of his 1935 journey by train and truck through Sierra Leone and then on foot for 350 miles through Liberia and Guinea.

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