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Vol 39 No 14

Published 10th July 1998


The allies fall out

A year ago, as Mobutu Sese Seko was being chased from power by a coalition of allied governments and rebel movements, Africa Confidential (Vol 38 No 10) highlighted the importance of this new cross-border alliance. The active members included Angola, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Uganda, while South Africa (whose Deputy President Thabo Mbeki enthuses about an ‘African renaissance’) supported from the sidelines. Now that alliance has been badly holed: Eritrea and Ethiopia are at war; Uganda, Rwanda and Angola have lost faith in their protégé Laurent Kabila; South Africa has become more engrossed in its internal problems, including that of the crashing rand, a year before general elections. Yet the idea of a cross-border alliance for political ends lives on.

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