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Vol 41 No 25

Published 22nd December 2000


Botswana

Diamonds and danger

Neither jewels nor stability pay a cure for HIV-AIDS

Botswana's famously democratic politics are as stable as usual but they cannot solve all the problems. First, the politics. A year into President Festus Mogae's first five-year term, the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is firmly in the saddle, while the opposition Botswana National Front (BNF) recovers from the electoral pounding it took in October 1999. Mogae is backed by Vice-President Ian Seretse Khama, paramount chief of the Bamangwato, the largest of the eight main ethnic groups. Yet Khama, surprisingly, is taking a year-long sabbatical, while Mogae's low-key style unwinds the tensions between the party's two main factions.

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