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Kenya KENYA
NAIROBI: Central business district. Crispin Hughes / Panos
NAIROBI: Central business district. Crispin Hughes / Panos

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

Security changes mark a sombre anniversary

A year after the Westgate Mall siege, President Kenyatta is reorganising the security services as Somali and local jihadists continue their attacks

The wide-ranging calls for a full inquiry into the handling of the attack by Al Haraka al Shabaab al Mujahideen on the Westgate Shopping Mall a year ago have been met with a confusing silence. Amid claims of debilitating inter-service rivalries, unheeded intelligence warnings and crass criminality by security officers, the public’s concerns have been left unanswered. The government flatly rejected the idea of a public enquiry, like the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission). Nor, we hear, has it launched a far-reaching internal investigation of what went wrong and why.

AFRICA | UNITED NATIONS

The fire this century

Demonstrations, rhetoric and technological innovation in Africa all help but the political will is missing in negotiations for a new climate treaty

At least it started well. Three days before the world's leaders gathered on 23 September at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to debate the urgent measures needed to stop...

MOZAMBIQUE

Frelimo turns the screws

As election campaigning intensifies, the ruling party takes full advantage of its control of the state

Violence is rising in the run-up to the presidential and parliamentary elections on 15 October, as police and judiciary openly express their partiality for the governing Frente de ...

SOMALIA

Al Shabaab shake-up

Militia leaders make overtures to their enemies while the government is mired in financial scandal

In an attempt to terminally weaken Al Haraka al Shabaab al Mujahideen, the Somali and United States governments are both trying to exploit the killing of its leader, Ahmed Abdi God...

TANZANIA

Power fraud unravels

How the government handles the latest power sector scam could have a major impact on President Kikwete’s political legacy

Heads may be about to roll after revelations about the contested transfer of 200 billion Tanzania shillings (US$124 million) from an escrow account in the central bank, the Bank of...

EGYPT

Calling all investors

Multinationals are starting to see Egypt’s potential as a strategic hub but there few signs of a major revival in foreign interest

Egypt is taking halting steps towards dismantling obstacles in the way of attracting foreign investment, However, it looks as though it will continue to be dependent on support fro...

GUINEA BISSAU

Saying no to the narco-state

A new civilian government is trying to guide the country back to legality, handling the military carefully and promising no prosecutions

No elected government has yet served out a full term but Prime Minister Domingos Simões Pereira has formed a broad coalition to get Guinea Bissau back on the path to constit...

UGANDA

Putting US aid to other uses

Museveni uses Obama's security assistance for the fight against Al Shabaab to crack down on the opposition as well

United States' military aid and training in surveillance techniques is helping President Yoweri Museveni's government to crack down on the opposition, say political sources in Kamp...

CONGO-KINSHASA

Kabila for ever

The President wants the constitution changed to allow him to stay in power after 2016 but opposition is mounting

Faced with fierce opposition to amending the constitution so that he can run for a third term, President Joseph Kabila is pushing for a new one. He has assigned the task of draftin...

CONGO-KINSHASA

Reshaping the army

President Kabila is restructuring the army and putting his loyalists in command. It is a sign he means to stay on, come what may

A sweeping restructuring of the army command is the strongest sign yet that President Joseph Kabila Kabange plans to ignore the constitution and seek re-election for a third term i...

ANGOLA

Changing faces

It looks as if the one-time external security boss, General Fernando Garcia Miala, is being groomed for a key role in the Palace. Sacked in 2006 from the Serviços de Intelig...

GUINEA

Never give it up

Tycoon Beny Steinmetz is using every device he can to contest the Conakry government's decision to take away his iron-ore mining licence. Steinmetz, who is under investigation, alo...

MALI

MINUSMA minus one

Albert Gerard 'Bert' Koenders, the United Nations Secretary General's Special Representative in Mali, may soon be en route to the Hague, where he is seen as the favourite for Nethe...

SOUTH AFRICA | RUSSIA

Nuclear secrets

A US$50 billion agreement with Russia to build up to eight nuclear reactors has raised the alarm in South Africa about the speed and secrecy with which the 'strategic partnership' ...

CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE

Poor prospects ahead

The IMF predicts 6% growth but poverty still rises. Sassou has high hopes for Special Economic Zones as the end of oil looms

Between the lines, the International Monetary Fund's latest analysis of Congo-Brazzaville's economy reveals a meagre record of economic achievements for the decades of rule by Pres...

ZIMBABWE

A bail-out for Beijing's sake

The ruling party is paying back its top members' debts to China in the hope that President Xi Jinping will turn the money tap on again

Opposition politicians are outraged that President Robert Mugabe's government has used scarce public funds to pay off a US$80 million debt to a Chinese supplier which had been rack...

FREE article
MAIDUGURI: JTC Youth Vigilante Group member during a patrol through the deserted outskirts of Maiduguri. The civilian civil defence group are armed with old hunting rifles and homemade weapons to try and defend themselves against attacks by Boko Haram. Credit: Sven Torfinn / Panos

NIGERIA

How terror twists the vote

Accusations that a former state governor and army chief have been sponsoring the Islamist insurgents have fired up the election campaign

SOUTH SUDAN

A deadline for the deadline

Regional officials are finally running out of patience with obfuscation from both warring parties and could impose sanctions next month

SUDAN: Rains allow SPLA-N to swap AKs for farm tools. Pic: Peter Moszynski

SUDAN

More calls for Nuba talks

After pushing back Khartoum’s offensive this year, fighters in the Nuba Mountains are talking about self-determination

LIBERIA

Oil blocks and shocks

Questions are arising about irregularities in contracts and the state’s fitness to manage the hydrocarbons sector

SOMALIA

Reports of his death… the UPDATE

Godane has fallen to a US air strike, contrary to our earlier information. Choosing a new chief may be problematic but no strategic change is likely

CAMEROON

Bickering over Boko Haram

The political class falls out over the Islamists while the military claims a 'stinging setback' against them

LESOTHO

Trouble in the neighbourhood

South African forces are back in Maseru after what may have been an attempted coup but have no mandate for military action

UGANDA

President versus PM

Feverish plotting is already in progress over the 2016 election now that Museveni’s decision to stand is final

ZIMBABWE

Rescue for bigwig debts

The central bank has set up a company to buy up bad loans. Many of the worst of them were to to ZANU-PF officials and friends

MALAWI

‘Cashgate’ crisis continues

Steps are being taken to protect the ‘big fish’. But donors know who they are and may not restore budget support unless the law is applied

GHANA

Popping the gas balloon

Opacity and mismanagement in the oil and gas sector have turned financial problems into a much deeper economic crisis

GABON

Electioneering begins

Tension between the government and opposition is already mounting before the presidential election in 2016

SOUTH AFRICA

Dividing the spoils

The 'Mining Queen' and Julius Malema are using transfer-pricing in the mining industry to force profit-sharing and further BEE

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

Disagreements over dialogue

President Obiang says he wants to open up politics to the opposition but most parties are setting conditions for taking part

ZIMBABWE

Mice at play

ZANU-PF factions bickered when Mugabe was away in China and suffered the full force of his frustration when he returned empty-handed

CAMEROON

Ransom claims dog Biya

More reports say Yaoundé is negotiating with Boko Haram, as a prominent MP reports on the condition of the hostages

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