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Published 23rd July 2015

Vol 56 No 15


Nigeria

Coming to America – the sequel

Image © Evan Vucci / AP/Press Association Images
Presidents Muhammadu Buhari and Barack Obama in Washington Image © Evan Vucci / AP/Press Association Images

After three days of meetings with President Obama and his government, President Buhari has repaired the ailing relationship

It was organised rapidly but President Muhammadu Buhari’s first official visit to the United States on 19-22 July made serious progress on security, anti-corruption and energy agreements.

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Southern discomfort

The regime is on the defensive as protests in the south compound a major renewed threat from Islamists

Details are scant, but reports suggest that terrorists launched a rocket attack on President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s seaside home at Zeralda, outside Algiers, at dawn on 16 July. No...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

After two decades of obstruction, the trial of Chad’s ex-President, Hissène Habré, for crimes against humanity got under way this week in Dakar. The Special Court, jointly set up by the government of Senegal and the African Union, offers another forum for the prosecution of leaders accused of atrocities. It comes as several AU leaders, including South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, criticise the International Criminal Court for ‘targeting Africa’. In fact, setting up Special Courts and working in para...
After two decades of obstruction, the trial of Chad’s ex-President, Hissène Habré, for crimes against humanity got under way this week in Dakar. The Special Court, jointly set up by the government of Senegal and the African Union, offers another forum for the prosecution of leaders accused of atrocities. It comes as several AU leaders, including South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, criticise the International Criminal Court for ‘targeting Africa’. In fact, setting up Special Courts and working in parallel with African justice systems is well within the remit of the ICC, which was meant to reinforce, not replace them. Some argue that the ICC should set up an adjunct or Special Court in South Africa or another state with a credible judiciary. Without the matchless determination of Chadian lawyer Jacqueline Moudeina, herself a victim of a grenade attack in 2001, the trial might never have happened. Habré used his close relations with Cold War leaders such as Ronald Reagan and François Mitterrand in the 1980s to give him cover to obliterate his guerrilla opponents and civilian allies. It helped that some of them were backed by Reagan’s arch enemy Colonel Gadaffi. Chad’s current President, Idris Déby Itno, came to power by overthrowing Habré with backing from Sudan. But until he seized power, Déby was Habré’s head of military intelligence and a key part of his security apparatus. Habré’s defence team must be tempted to call Déby as a witness, if only to embarrass him.
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CCM springs surprise

The governing party has found a presidential candidate with managerial skills and a reputation for getting things done

In a move reminiscent of the ‘rise without trace’ in 2010 of Nigeria’s ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in 2010, Tanzania’s governing party, Chama cha Mapinduzi, has nominated a virt...


Hack exposes state spies

A leak of over one million emails has exposed African governments’ purchase of software to spy on and disrupt dissidents

For years, the governments of Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sudan and Uganda have been cracking down on dissent, intimidating opposition leaders, arresting journalists and even firing ...


Goalfest in Addis

A UN conference on how to replace the expiring Millennium Development Goals with a new programme looked mostly at money

Populated by sleep-deprived politicians and their entourages, non-governmental organisation activists and assorted policy wonks, the United Nations Financing for Development meetin...


Ruling and unruly parties

The factions in ZANU-PF are providing most of the interest in September’s bye-elections, as the opposition continues to implode

Splits in the ruling party keep on growing as its factions thrive, even though President Robert Mugabe supposedly banned them.


An offering to Obama

Kenya and Ethiopia want to present the US President with a victory against the Islamists in Somalia as Amisom’s funding is threatened

The Ethiopian and Kenyan military hope to welcome President Barack Obama to Kenya by capturing the town of Bardhere from the Somali Islamist militia Al Haraka al Shabaab al Mujahid...


Condé pushes for new mine

The President wants at least one new mining project up and running by the time of this year’s presidential election

In his haste to make new mining deals with Chinese bauxite companies, President Alpha Condé has stepped on some toes, including those of the British government.


Sall and the separatists

Casamance has long been one of the government’s worst headaches. A new approach promises change

President Macky Sall prides himself on his regional profile and holds the presidency of the Economic Community of West African States to prove it. The antithesis of the grandstand...



Pointers

Fifteen on file

What lies behind last month’s arrest of 15 young Angolans charged with plotting regime change and threatening public order?


Seeing red on Zuma

The supporters of President Jacob Zuma in the South African Communist Party leadership have narrowly averted a split with the governing African National Congress.


Guards old and new

The latest round of the angry confrontation between ex-President Blaise Compaoré’s elite bodyguards, the 1,300-strong Régiment de sécurité présidentielle, and its former deputy com...