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Published 13th December 1996

Vol 37 No 25


Border brothers

As Zaïre's conflict spreads, Kampala is now fighting or backing rebels on three borders

The chaos in Zaïre was bound to spill across Uganda's dangerous western border and reignite some old rebellions. The latest flash-point is in Uganda's south-western corner, where it meets Zaïre and Rwanda amid wild and remote mountains. In November, rebels calling themselves the Allied Democratic Forces occupied the three Ugandan villages of Bwera, Mpondwe and Karambi; in September, they had seized a border post on the Rwandan frontier. They held the post for only a day, the towns for a week. Kampala says the fighters came over from Zaïre. Local people say the men who drove them back wore not Ugandan army uniforms but Rwandan army uniforms; Kampala denies this.

Low key in Ouaga

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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The Francophone summit was a pale shadow of times past and it achieved little on Zaïre

President Mobutu Sese Seko was detained elsewhere but everybody in Ouagadougou wanted to know what was happening to his country. The Rwandan and Zaïrean delegations had hardly tou...

Mining for trouble

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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As Zaïre's rebels capture mineral-rich lands, mining companies may have to pay up

The rebels keep advancing. One of their techniques is to announce the capture of a town before they attack it, causing panic and disorder among their enemies, as well as the reside...

Voting amid terror

The referendum is over, the generals are entrenched but the terror continues

Officially, the turnout was just under 80 per cent. The government claimed that, of those who voted, just over 85 per cent voted 'Yes'. Even the regime's closest European supporter...

What's left of the left?

An important battle looms over policy and tactics

After two and half years of African National Congress rule, the political forces of the left are in disarray. In the face of the government' s determination to push ahead with a to...

Nuts to the Bank

A privatised business lobby is challenging the free-marketeers from Washington

Cashew nuts are the kernel of a battle between Mozambiques emerging private sector and the World Bank. Cashews are the countrys second export (after prawns), grown by thousands of ...

Return match

Two former presidents face each other again

Two failed ex-presidents will compete in the second round of the presidential election, on 29 December. In the first round on 3 November, only 58 per cent of the electors voted. Ni...

Strikes and successions

ZANU faces factional infighting among would-be successors to Nkomo and a rash of public service strikes

Two issues dominate the political landscape – the government' s much criticised handling of the doctors' and nurses' strike and who is going to succeed the ailing Joshua Nkom...


In suspense

Foreign and local businesses are stepping up pressure on Western donors to resume aid to Frederick Chiluba' s government after the disputed 18 November elections. They say Chiluba'...

Costly deals

The tensions between the government' s offensive and its hardline reality are epitomised by the release of three International Committee of the Red Cross hostages on 8 December. Th...

Hope Springs

Hopes of a reconciliation conference have risen with faction leaders' 8 December announcement that they will set up a 'national coordinating council' as the first stage of a transi...