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Vol 52 No 3

Published 4th February 2011

Summitry in a time of revolution

Journalists at the African Union conference centre in Addis Ababa determinedly intruded on private grief as they quizzed the Egyptian Foreign Minister's press officer about just how many more days President Hosni Mubarak would survive in office. The timeframe got shorter as the conference wore on. It was a summit against a background of insistent democratic change, so it was with a bizarre sense of timing that the AU delegates decided to elect as their Chairman Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, a leader who shot his way to power in 1979 and has held power ever since through a combination of force of arms, rigged elections and cooption.

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