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Published 29th November 1996

Vol 37 No 24


Dissonant voices

Faced with the Kivu crisis, foreign powers are as divided as Kinshasa's politicians

Events in eastern Zaïre continue to outpace the West's diplomatic response. There is relief in several Western capitals that some 600,000 refugees have returned to Rwanda without the deployment of an international intervention force. So Rwanda has a much stronger hand now, while Zaïre's leverage is slipping by the day. Any multilateral intervention will need Rwanda's blessing. That means it will have its military headquarters in Uganda or Rwanda and will not require the setting up of a major logistics base in Zaïre with heavy forces. Plans for the intervention force to seize Goma and Bukavu airports from opposition forces led by Laurent-Désiré Kabila and the Banyamulenge rebels seem to have been shelved – and with them, President Mobutu Sese Seko's hopes that a military-backed humanitarian mission might help break the opposition hold on Kivu.

Echoes of Zaïre

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Bangui's latest mutiny sends a worrying message to its southern neighbour

Bearing little comfort from his Paris trip, President Ange-Félix Patassé flew home on 25 November to an army mutiny in its eleventh day, with French troops holding a fragile peace ...

No confidence

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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A dubious win, summary arrests, an empty treasury – Chiluba's second term begins

As soon as the elections were over, police went into the offices of Zambia's own election monitors, the leaders of the party that came second went into hiding and the President pla...


A tough leader indispensable to outside interests. You're in Nairobi not Kinshasa

After the World Food summit in Rome, where he met fellow East African Presidents Yoweri Museveni and Benjamin Mkapa, President Daniel arap Moi stopped off unexpectedly in London. M...

Africa's loss

Africa has lost three of its favourite sons this year – Claude Ake, Mohamed Amin and Mohammed Abdul Rahman Babu. Each made his own remarkable contribution to the continent; t...


The real thing

Coca-Cola has been given a taste of the 'real thing' in its two-year bid to open a bottling plant near Luanda: it has been asked to hand nearly a third of its venture to a company ...

Sankoh signs up

Foday Sankoh's Revolutionary United Front has been badly damaged, with 'spontaneous demobilisations' in the east. So it was expected to sign the draft Peace Agreement in Abidjan on...