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West Africa

African governments learn to block the internet, but at cost

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — The mysterious Facebook blogger kept dishing up alleged government secrets. One day it was a shadowy faction looting cash from Uganda’s presidential palace with impunity. The next was a claim that the president was suffering from a debilitating illness. For authorities in a country that has …

Uganda seizes ton of ivory, arrests 2 West African suspects

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Ugandan authorities seized a ton of illegal ivory and arrested three West Africans they believe were plotting to ship it abroad, an official said Saturday. The seizure happened late Friday at an “opulent, expansive house” in a suburb of the capital, Kampala, where law enforcement officials …

Gambia’s defeated leader leaves country, ends standoff

BANJUL, Gambia (AP) — Gambia’s defeated leader Yahya Jammeh and his family headed into political exile Saturday night, ending a 22-year reign of fear and a post-election political standoff that threatened to provoke a regional military intervention when he clung to power. As he mounted the stairs to the plane, …

Fake US embassy in Ghana shut down after ‘about a decade’

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — A fake U.S. embassy that operated for “about a decade” in Ghana’s capital issuing counterfeit and fraudulently obtained visas has been shut down, the U.S. State Department announced. The scam was orchestrated by “Ghanaian and Turkish organized crime rings” and a Ghanaian attorney, a statement said. …

Cambodia’s zeal for rubber drives ethnic group from land

BOUSRA, Cambodia (AP) — For generations, the indigenous Bunong were famous as the great elephant keepers and masters of the forests in eastern Cambodia. They called the fertile, rolling hills of their ancestral homeland “meh ne,” or mother — a source of food, livelihoods and self-identity. From its rich red …