Another round of regional negotiations has failed, a credible election is impossible by the deadline of 31 October and the international and regional organisations look increasingly ineffectual. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has endorsed an extension of President Laurent Gbagbo's time in office by another year and nothing useful is expected from the African Union's crisis meeting on Côte d'Ivoire which started on 17 October.
Diamonds slip through the export ban imposed on Côte d'Ivoire last year. Many are now routed through Ghana. Production is estimated at between 114,000 and 214,000 carats, compared with 300,000 carats pre-war.
Kenya and South Africa are in heated dispute over the control and cost of a crucial African development project - a fibre-optic cable to surround the continent and link it to the world by 2008. One of its main components, the East African Submarine System (EASSy), would place 9,900 kilometres of fibre beneath the sea, between Port Sudan in the north and Mtunzini in South Africa; it would link up with the SAT3 cable which starts in Portugal and connects West, Central and Southern Africa with Madagascar, India and Malaysia.