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Nigeria

Juicier carrots, heavier sticks

Niger Delta Map Copyright © Africa Confidential 2016
Niger Delta Map Copyright © Africa Confidential 2016

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The deepening crisis in the Niger Delta is now the most serious threat to the government's plans for economic revival

This month's announcement that the government is to resume payments to former militants in the Niger Delta is by any measure a victory for the myriad gangs and activists who have been attacking oil production facilities this year. The arithmetic is straightforward. The government had been planning to cut in half the US$200 million a year amnesty programme for ex-militants, launched by the previous government under President Goodluck Jonathan. It was then to end the payments entirely in 2017. Yet a full-scale revival of militant attacks in the Delta could cost the government several billion dollars in lost revenue and other costs.

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The scramble for the spoils

Western policy looks confused and contradictory, while the UN stands accused of giving in to blackmail 

The political process set up by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has buckled under the weight of the country's multiple divisions, leaving Western governments c...


Unending flow of Cashgate

More and more prominent names are coming into prosecutors' sights but their political masters are applying the brakes

The conviction on 21 July of former Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara for conspiracy to murder is not just a victory for Malawian justice but a major morale boost for those prosecut...


Racing to the finish

While the President cracks down on critics, defectors back his rival and try to bring their ethnic support with them

The electoral return match on 11 August between President Edgar Lungu of the governing Patriotic Front (PF) and Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UPN...


Riek rival boosts Salva

An internal party coup against Riek Machar complicates efforts to get the peace deal back on track

The replacement of First Vice-President (FVP) Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon by his former chief negotiator with the government, Taban Deng Gai, on 23 July has thrown regional and intern...


Fear stalks the law

The recent extrajudicial killings intimidate lawyers and seems designed to deter law suits over police brutality

The gruesome murder of human rights advocate Willie Kimani, his client Josphat Mwenda, a victim of police abuse, and their taxi driver, Joseph Muiruri, has added lawyers to the lon...


Signing bonus

Kenya is urging its East African Community counterparts to return to the table in a bid to rescue the EAC's proposed Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union. T...


Nkosazana's trial balloon

The Youth League of the African National Congress in KwaZulu-Natal has fired the first salvo in the 2017 ANC succession race. It has publicly backed the outgoing African Union Comm...


Run-off wrangle

For the first time since the country's democratic transition in 1991, the losers of an election have claimed the vote was rigged and refuse to recognise the official results. The s...


It's fine by the AU

The man who was Guinea's Acting President before the 2010 elections that brought Alpha Condé to office, General Sékouba Konaté, has kept an important African Union job despite bei...


Dollar crisis puts opposition on the streets

Zimbabwe's economic rollercoaster from 1990-2015 – Chart Copyright © Africa Confidential 2016

Economic meltdown and political anger raise doubts about the International Monetary Fund debt deal

When the government failed to pay army salaries on time on 14 July, it sparked fresh argument among ministers and ruling party barons about the way out of the economic morass. Army...

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Finally, the AU moves in

Although backed by the UN and regional organisations, AU plans to send an intervention force to Juba are fraught with peril

African leaders' plans to send a rapid intervention force to South Sudan to boost security and protect civilians will put them on a collision course with the government of Presiden...


Kaizar the kingpin

Presidential advisor Kaizar Zulu is the architect – or is blamed for – a ruthless re-election strategy


Lungu's media vendetta

The President is determined to keep an opposition-supporting newspaper off the streets, seemingly at any cost