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Published 16th March 2012

Vol 53 No 6


Nigeria

Oil cuts as Delta erupts

Niger Delta: Chevron LPG installations lit up at night. Oil pollution in the Delta is causing tremendous problems for the local community. Petterik Wiggers / Panos
Niger Delta: Chevron LPG installations lit up at night. Petterik Wiggers / Panos

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

Piracy and militant attacks are cutting oil production in the Niger Delta as the government struggles with northern insurgents

As the government contends with a Boko Haram militia determined to make the north ungovernable, a new round of attacks has erupted in the oil-producing Niger Delta. Apart from the financial damage of a new Delta crisis, it adds to the government’s credibility problem. As a government led by Niger Deltans, it was expected to pacify and then start developing the region.


Abacha’s ghost and Boko Haram

Security agents trying to disentangle the roots and widening network of the Boko Haram militia have identified links with a group of senior military and police officers who held po...


Empire-building in Addis

A fast-growing economy, grand hydropower schemes and one of Africa’s biggest armies all reinforce Ethiopia’s regional dominance

Leaders from China, India, Europe, Japan, Turkey, the United States and across Africa are expected at what the government plans as a show of Ethiopia’s regional leadership. The Tan...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

Has the International Criminal Court, as Paul Kagame charged, ‘been put in place only for African countries’? Having spent hundreds of millions of dollars, only securing its first conviction on 14 March, it might also be thought a shameful waste of resources. All that effort, just to convict Thomas Lubanga Dyilo for recruiting children as soldiers nearly ten years ago.

Prosecuting criminals w...

Has the International Criminal Court, as Paul Kagame charged, ‘been put in place only for African countries’? Having spent hundreds of millions of dollars, only securing its first conviction on 14 March, it might also be thought a shameful waste of resources. All that effort, just to convict Thomas Lubanga Dyilo for recruiting children as soldiers nearly ten years ago.

Prosecuting criminals with vast resources at their disposal, however, is neither cheap nor easy – some of them are heads of state, after all, and have vast funds with which to fend off justice. This was also the court’s first case. It needed to be a success.

So much for the resources. And the fairness? ‘Why not Argentina, why not Myanmar, why not Iraq?’ Jean Ping complained. The court’s answer was, because most of the cases were themselves referred by Africans. They knew their own countries were too fragile to bring to justice villains of such magnitude.

Which, lest we forget, the ICC did. Lubanga was a frequent visitor to these pages in 2002 and 2003 during the worst of the Congo-Kinshasa bloodbath, a cruel, greedy warlord with the blood of tens of thousands of Congolese civilians on his hands. There were many like him. Indeed, in the lonely years to come, he may echo Ping’s words and ask, ‘Why me?’ Why not those who gave him orders, sponsored, condoned and collaborated with him, such as first the Ugandan, and then the Rwandan, governments?

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Opposition turns up the heat

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Dead banker tweeting

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Constitutional reform blow

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Getting out of the bush

Accountants and managers at the BBC are calling time on the African service and cutting British influence on the continent

The British Broadcasting Corporation’s decision to eviscerate its highly successful African Service looks counterproductive. It is all the more surprising given that Africa is bein...



Pointers

Friends reunited?

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Gomes in the lead

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Euro-Right backs Boers

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