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Egypt EGYPT
EGYPT: Aerial view of the Red Sea coastline. Here the Sinai desert meets the ocean, with a coral reef at the seam. Fredrik Naumann / Panos
EGYPT: Aerial view of the Red Sea coastline. Here the Sinai desert meets the ocean, with a coral reef at the seam. Fredrik Naumann / Panos

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

High stakes in the Sinai fight

The Islamist revolt in the peninsula grew rapidly after Mubarak’s fall. Now, neither government forces nor their jihadist foes can control the area

Over the last ten years, radical Islamists have gained a foothold among the disaffected tribes of the Sinai peninsula and now a full-blown insurgency is in progress. The slow-burning conflict, marked by almost daily killings and occasional major violent convulsions, is likely to persist without either the state or the rebels tipping the balance decisively.Now, northern Sinai changes hands daily – the jihadists mounting checkpoints in order to uncover informers at night. When day breaks, the army emerges to erect its own checkpoints, sometimes launching raids backed by Apache attack helicopters and tanks on what it believes to be rebel safe-houses. This is the broad pattern of the government's conflict with Islamist militants in northern Sinai, the wilderness sandwiched between the Suez Canal and the Israeli border.

ZAMBIA

Sata sacks Kabimba

Bitter feuding in the Patriotic Front has led to dismissal of the President's preferred successor – from both party and government

President Michael Sata's shock dismissal of Wynter Kabimba as Justice Minister and Secretary General of the governing Patriotic Front leaves the succession still unclear. After mou...

NIGERIA

Oil, the political lubricant

A spate of oilfield sales ahead of next year’s elections is conveniently timed for some expensive campaigning

The news that Western oil companies have finally offloaded over US$6.5 billion of assets to a fast-growing coterie of Nigerian oil and gas companies only six months before the ele...

NAMIBIA

Geingob goes for broke

The Premier rushes through laws to give SWAPO more seats in Parliament and allow more political appointments

Prime Minister Hage Geingob is pushing through wide-ranging constitutional changes which will increase his power when he becomes Namibia's next President. Geingob, who is also Vice...

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

Allies lose faith

Friends abroad worry increasingly about the probity and effectiveness of the interim government but wonder what to do

Interim President Catherine Samba-Panza's surprise choice of Mahamat Kamoun as the new Prime Minister, along with a cabinet of 31, has dismayed Central African Republic's internati...

SOUTH AFRICA

Crunch time for the unions

The ANC struggles to hold the union federation together as an anti-Zuma faction threatens to form a leftist splinter

Africa's largest trades union federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions, celebrates its 30th anniversary and its twelfth congress next year. Yet many believe Cosatu is...

SOUTH AFRICA

New ANC Youth League is Zuma's own

The new leadership of the African National Congress Youth League, which is standing for election on 24-26 September in Gauteng, will have the blessing of President Jacob Zuma and w...

LIBYA

Parliaments at sea

Egypt and its new ally the UAE join battle against jihadist fighters while two parliaments compete for power on the ground

After Tripoli International Airport fell to Islamist-led forces from Misurata on 23 August, the victors were quick to announce that they would resuscitate the country's former Parl...

UGANDA

Refinery deal struck

The agreement with the main oil companies gives investors 60% and paves the way for the export of crude oil

After nearly three years of back-and-forth negotiation with oil companies, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has finally caved in. He has agreed to a much smaller oil refinery than ...

GUINEA

Capital flight

A storm broke over President Alpha Condé's government after Senegalese customs seized US$8 million in US dollar and euro banknotes from a small aircraft that had flown from ...

RWANDA

Kagame's purge

The arrest of senior government and army members considered pillars of the regime has caused surprise

The former head of the Republican Guard, Colonel Tom Byabagamba, was arrested on suspicion of 'crimes against state security' on 23 August on his return from the United Nations Mis...

MOZAMBIQUE

Inching towards peace

The latest ceasefire holds the best chance yet for a conflict-free election and perhaps lasting peace

In a deal that is widely expected to hold, the Frente de Libertação de Moçambique government and the Resistência Nacional Moçambicana formally sig...

SOUTH AFRICA

Juju versus Zuma Round 2

When the red boiler-suited Julius Malema took his parliamentary seat in May as leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), everyone knew the political scene had changed for ever...

ZIMBABWE

Women and children first

As the party admits Grace Mugabe to its pantheon, the ZANU-PF Women’s and Youth Leagues have muddied the succession

The outcome of the governing party's all-important elective congress in December looks no clearer after the rival factions jostled for positions at the Youth and Women's Leagues co...

CAMEROON

Biya's answer to Boko Haram

The military's reorganisation to cope with the jihadist threat leaves unanswered the charge that the country is a soft touch for kidnappers

As further details emerge about Boko Haram's 27 July attempt to capture Amadou Ali, one of President Paul Biya's top ministers and confidants, questions remain about the adequacy o...

SENEGAL

Taking a chance on Casamance

Armed with a development plan and secretive mediators, the President thinks he can pacify the troubled region

The fractious politics of Casamance are holding up President Macky Sall's grand economic plans as he tries to relaunch his battered government. He believes that a breakthrough in t...

MALAWI

Brother with a difference

Nearly three months into his term of office, the new President promises a radical departure from the practice of his predecessors

WEST AFRICA

The Ebola epidemic

The crisis might have been contained if politicians had acted more quickly and health services were not neglected

EGYPT | SUDAN | EAST AFRICA | UNITED STATES

The mystery men and the embassy bombings

Two men played key roles in the double attack: one using Sudan as his springboard, the other under the noses of the US army, CIA and FBI

MOROCCO

Not waving but drifting

Some see the kingdom as a star in this troubled region but a political vacuum at the top and a lack of ideas are holding it back

MOZAMBIQUE

The coal train derails

China's demand for coal drew big mining companies to Mozambique's world-class reserves but now they are frantically revising their forecasts

ZIMBABWE

Coup de Grace

The succession battle is in turmoil after the President’s wife is proposed for a top ZANU-PF post

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U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit 2014

AFRICA | UNITED STATES

Dollars, security and a few surprises

President Obama and the promise of trade and investment drew the leaders to Washington’s summit but the results will emerge only slowly

MOZAMBIQUE | ITALY

Gas, cash and votes

As elections approach, money and favours change hands and the gas boom unleashes a torrent of competing companies and politicians

KENYA

Who owns what?

Vast sums of money and political loyalties are at stake as the land clashes spread

SUDAN | EAST AFRICA | UNITED STATES | IRAN

A moral victory

A US judge finds Sudan and Iran guilty of the 1998 US embassy bombings, revealing new details of their involvement

SOUTH AFRICA

Jobs for the boys – and girls

The appointment of Zuma's daughter to a key ministry raises questions about nepotism, again

SOMALIA

Politicians as targets

The latest round of murderous attacks contradicts President Hassan’s claims to have stabilised the country

TUNISIA

Heading for the hills

The government is rallying the people behind a major campaign against the jihadists despite weak economic indicators

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