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Published 14th June 2019

Vol 60 No 12


Sudan

Freedom under fire

Protesters outside military HQ, Khartoum. Pic: Xinhua/Mohamed Khidir
Protesters outside military HQ, Khartoum. Pic: Xinhua/Mohamed Khidir

As it tries to shoot down the democracy protests, the junta underplays the deepening splits in its own ranks

Such was the horror wreaked by the Rapid Support Forces' (RSF) massacre squad on 3 June that the tentative steps towards dialogue this week between the pro-democracy protesters and the junta have been greeted with some relief but low expectations in Khartoum.

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Oando chief takes on his foes

The company's management is fighting the regulator's orders to quit amid threats of fresh investigations

A reckoning is due in the battle for Oando, one of the country's biggest independent oil companies, after the market regulator barred its CEO and his deputy from holding directorsh...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

Whether the aims behind President Paul Kagame's closure of Gatuna (Ugandans call it Katuna), Rwanda's busiest border crossing with Uganda in February, were diplomatic, commercial or security, it seems to have failed on all counts. Although Kagame complained at length to diplomats and journalists about Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's 'betrayal' and his government's alliance with oppositionists such as tobacco magnate Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa and former chief of staff of the Rwandan Army, ...

Whether the aims behind President Paul Kagame's closure of Gatuna (Ugandans call it Katuna), Rwanda's busiest border crossing with Uganda in February, were diplomatic, commercial or security, it seems to have failed on all counts. Although Kagame complained at length to diplomats and journalists about Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's 'betrayal' and his government's alliance with oppositionists such as tobacco magnate Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa and former chief of staff of the Rwandan Army, General Kayumba Nyamwasa, Museveni has dismissed them as non-issues. Rujugiro and Nyamwasa are both linked to the Rwandan National Congress which wants to overthrow Kagame (Pointer, Enemies without, and within).

Commercially, the border closure has hurt Rwanda far more than Uganda. It also disrupted regional trade routes from Kenya's Mombasa port through Uganda and into Burundi and Congo-Kinshasa. As current chairman of the East African Community and an avid backer of a pan-African free trade zone, Kagame's move disrupted the regional economy, as well as weakening his own country's economy.

On 10 June, Rwanda's announcement that it would reopen the border for 12 days looks like an admission of defeat. Kigali says it will still ban its nationals from crossing into Uganda to protect them from harassment by Museveni's security agents. But officials in Kampala insist this is to stop a growing number of Rwandan dissidents from seeking sanctuary.

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Missing you already

The grand old man of Congolese politics gets a state send-off, and the funeral offers a chance for political manoeuvres

Two years and four months after the old man passed away, the body of veteran Congolese politician Étienne Tshisekedi finally returned from Brussels to Congo-Kinshasa on 30 May. Tho...


Seeds of instruction

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Washington stirs the UN pot

State Department choices prompt a resurgence of anti-US sentiment as oil goes up for grabs

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A tale of two ANCs

The ruling party at war with itself searches for answers to a looming recession, spiralling unemployment and failing parastatals

Two wings of the African National Congress – the constitutional and the rent-seeking – are engulfed in a civil war which could turn the country's economy into a pariah shunned by a...


An oily threat to Sall

Hotly-denied suggestions that officials were paid for awarding oil concessions are causing trouble for the President

Ever since BBC television's Panorama current affairs programme revealed apparent evidence that controversial British-based Australian/Romanian businessman Vasile Frank Timis made m...



Pointers

Cocoanomics

Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana are threatening to suspend the sale of cocoa beans to the open market for the 2020/21 crop season in a bid to secure higher prices for their farmers. ...


Chaos helps Mutharika

Malawi's defeated oppositionists are taking different attitudes to May's disputed presidential polls, and that appears to be playing into newly re-elected President Peter Mutharika...


Enemies without, and within

UN peacekeepers and other security sources confirm that units from at least two battalions of the Rwanda Defence Force have taken positions inside Congo-Kinshasa, to hunt down grou...