The main opposition party, the Resistência Nacional Moçambicana, wants its share of the riches currently benefiting the ruling Frente de Libertação de Moçambique and its senior members. Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama wrote to Frelimo on 26 April complaining that his party ‘remains purely and simply excluded from the use of the riches that are the fruit of the peace which it helped to win and maintain during the past 20 years’.
Partisan politics is back as the Bamako establishment focuses on the presidential election promised for 7 July. The transitional government of President Dioncounda Traoré, encouraged by the United States and some European officials, is now committed to early elections, despite the continuing security crisis in the north and lack of readiness in the south. The restoration of basic services and administration to liberated northern towns has barely begun.
A meeting with financial institutions, regional neighbours and external partners in Brussels, Belgium, on 15 May is the next main focus for the accelerating international drive to help to rebuild a stable and united Malian state.
Africa Confidential has discovered the whereabouts of one of the key financiers and middlemen who worked for the Liberian ex-President and convicted war criminal, Charles Taylor, during the Sierra Leonean civil war. Ibrahima Bah, aka General Abraham or Ibrahima Balde, is residing in, travelling from and freely conducting business in Freetown, in spite of being under a United Nations-mandated assets freeze and travel ban since 2003.
Transcripts from the Special Court on Sierra Leone’s trial of Charles McArthur Ghankay Taylor contain copious evidence about the central role of Ibrahima Bah in diamond trading and arms supply, under the heading ‘The Role of Intermediaries’.