This time the deadline for a peace and power-sharing agreement is serious, runs the message from regional and international officials. On 25 August, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which is mediating between government and rebels, gave the warring parties 45 days to settle before imposing sanctions.
Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has returned to Maseru after fleeing the country after a claimed attempt by Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli, the army chief he had just sacked, to take power on 30 August. South African President Jacob Zuma escorted Thabane to Maseru under South African Police Service guard. SAPS has stayed on to protect him. Zuma’s forces, however, have no mandate to intervene. Members of the Southern African Development Community, which met in Pretoria on 1 September, want Lesotho’s Parliament, suspended since June, reconvened.
The 2016 presidential election campaign has already begun in Libreville. President Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba is trying to explain away his government's glacial progress in fighting corruption and raising the living standards of the average citizen. Meanwhile, the oppositionist and former African Union Commission Chairman, Jean Ping, faces criticism that he does not offer a real alternative to the ruling Parti démocratique gabonais (PDG) because he was a top political baron under the four-decade 'big man' rule by the late President Omar Bongo Ondimba .
The failure of its last dry season offensive in the Nuba Mountains has left the Sudanese regime with little room to manoeuvre against more effective and united opposition groups. Combined with economic and foreign pressure on Khartoum, this has breathed new life into the National Dialogue process. The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) started the process but the opposition, armed and unarmed, has now managed to seize some of the initiative. In turn, oppositionists have won more credibility, at home and abroad.
The photographs show a beaming Malik Agar Eyre, head of the Sudan Revolutionary Front, and a grim-faced Ghazi Salah el Din el Atabani, veteran Islamist former minister, sitting with their colleagues and, in the middle, South Africa's ubiquitous ex-President, Thabo Mbeki. The signing in Addis Ababa on 4 September of a declaration of principles between the SRF and National Umma Party on one hand and on the other, representatives from Khartoum, is an important step in the long dialogue backed by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel.
Bridgette Radebe, Chairperson of Mmakau Mining, President of the South African Mining Development Association which represents black-owned mining companies and self-styled 'Mining Queen' is using the transfer-pricing issue to try to force a major shift in mine ownership. She is working all her political connections in the African National Congress (ANC) and Parliament to push for legislation, warning that the country risks 'another Marikana massacre' unless urgent action is taken.
As bidding opens on four offshore oil exploration blocks and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf signals that long-awaited petroleum legislation is imminent, the National Oil Company of Liberia again comes under unwelcome scrutiny. State-owned Nocal stands accused of poor accounting, internal corruption and failing to track down revenue from key partners.