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Vol 54 No 12

Published 7th June 2013


Protests fuel political crisis

Clashes over the lack of local benefits from the booming gas industry challenge President Kikwete’s government

Two days of clashes in Mtwara following the general strike on 22 May have turned into one of the most serious political crises since Independence in 1961. At heart, this concerns the government’s accountability and integrity, as well as how much local people will benefit from the country’s fast-growing oil and gas industry. The crisis has unnerved foreign energy companies involved, such as British Gas. It also complicates the work of United States’ diplomats preparing for President Barack Obama’s visit later this month. Some see this trip as Washington’s response to the new Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first Africa visit: his first stop was in Dar es Salaam on 23 March.

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