An experienced field reporter, Bagassi Koura serves as Managing Editor of Voice of America’s Bambara service since 2012. Defying considerable danger, Koura provided extensive coverage of the July 2013 elections in Mali with daily radio and video pieces and a detailed multimedia blog. His reporting from Mali also included the peace treaty between Tuaregs and the Malian government and was recognized with the David Burke Award in 2014.
Prior to VOA, Koura worked as a correspondent in Africa, Europe and the United States, covering international news for major global media networks. His stories have appeared on PBS Frontline/World, Agence France Presse, the Deutsche Welle, Reuters Television, Die Tageszeitung, Panos Institute West Africa, Afrikanet.info, and Afrik.com. In addition, his short documentary “The Stinking Ship” that chronicles the odyssey of an oil toxic waste shipment in the Port of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, won several awards in 2010. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley School of Journalism.
In September of this year, Burkina Faso was thrown into chaos when an attempted coup left 14 people dead and hundreds wounded. One of the wounded was Safiatou Ouedraogo, a pregnant woman who miraculously survived with her then-unborn baby, despite being struck in the stomach. Boinzimwende, "God is above all" in the Mossi language, is the infant's name. Bagassi Koura has more in this report narrated by Brian Allen.
Burundi's political woes have unleashed a refugee deluge: More than 144,000 people have fled to neighboring countries in the three months since President Pierre Nkurunziza's announcement that he would stand for a third term sent opposition protesters into the streets and the country lurching toward chaos and collapse. For the 30,000-plus refugees at the Mahama camp, life is a daily grind.