CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
The few hours that President François Hollande spent in Bangui on 1 March were intended to prove that the capital was now quiet, almost back to normal. The cameras failed to spot the platoons of bodyguards protecting the French President on his short walk through the city streets. Yet it was not all show. The patterns of violence in Bangui are changing. One month ago, most of the killing was carried out by gangs attacking civilians in numbers but now the lynch mobs have largely gone. Instead, targeted killings have become the norm and as a result, there are fewer corpses on the streets.
KENYA | UNITED STATES
When a few thousand demonstrators marched in Nairobi in mid-February to protest about bad government, corruption and insecurity, nobody was surprised. These complaints are, say many, a growing hallmark, of President Uhuru Kenyatta's rule. His Jubilee Alliance has taken an increasingly confrontational position towards opposition parties and the media. There had to be a public reaction. More remarkable than the protest – called by a group of civil society organisations and known as 'State of the Nation' – was the government's reaction.
Some in Nairobi speculate that when Francis Kimemia accused the United States Agency for International Development of attempting to destabilise the government, he was speaking out of turn.
Zimbabwe has confiscated the platinum and copper interests of Hsieh Ping-sung without compensation after he fell out with President Robert Mugabe and his family, Africa Confidential has learned. Mugabe and Hsieh, a Taiwanese-born South African, are locked in a legal battle in Hong Kong over a flat which Mugabe claims was held in trust by Hsieh's company, Cross Global, but which Hsieh says he owns. Hsieh was also involved in a legal dispute with First Lady Grace Mugabe over the delivery of some lorries three years ago (AAC Vol 4 No 11, Vanishing truckers).
The much-postponed general elections are now scheduled for 16 April but there is little chance of resolving the political crisis or even that the polls will take place on time. This is the third postponement since the elections were originally planned for April 2013, but preparations have been going well and the compilation of a new electoral register is under way. The transitional government has tried to influence the process in favour of ex-President Kumba Yalá’s Partido de Renovação Social (PRS), we hear, but without success.