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Vol 49 No 1

Published 11th January 2008

A slow road to travel

African peacekeepers, Western financiers and local negotiators will struggle to dampen the regional fires

Keeping a grip on the chaotic political system will test Congo-Kinshasa’s President Joseph Kabila’s skills to the limit in 2008. Key provinces in the east and west have seen violent opposition to his rule, despite his 2006 electoral win and international acceptance of it. Kabila’s two big tasks are to balance the competing political claims from the country’s disparate power centres and to preside over serious reform of the mining sector, which desperately awaits the results of a year-long review of mining contracts. Many Congolese fear Kabila will disappoint in both areas.

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