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Published 5th January 1996

Vol 37 No 1

Strategic, and shaky

Map Copyright © Africa Confidential 1996-2016
Map Copyright © Africa Confidential 1996-2016

African leaders are openly pointing to Sudan as the main obstacle to stability in this troubled region

Geography makes them strategic, recent history has made them poor. Among the states around the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia has had its revolution and is trying to make decentralisation work. The way ahead is less clear for its smaller neighbours. Warlords are still fighting in both parts of what was once Somalia. Civil war rages in Sudan, while Khartoum's Islamist-military regime is uniting most of its neighbours against it. Eritrea, leading battle calls against Khartoum, is desperately short of food and struggling to work out its constitutional future, borrowing ideas from Uganda. Kenya and tiny Djibouti are caught in political crises, with problems of succession. Of the three imperatives for the region - economic growth, human rights and democracy - aid donors say that growth comes first. It is only in Sudan, where dictatorship and militarism have caused economic stagnation, that Western diplomats and donors indulge in much strategic thinking.

Power to the provinces

The regionalisation strategy is facing its biggest test this year - can it reduce poverty?

Winning elections has proved easy for Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and his colleagues. Unsurprising, say his critics, given that the opposition is too divided to put up a credible f...

Press on the button

KANU has responded to demands for political pluralism by buying up the media

Once among Africa's liveliest, Kenya's newspapers are increasingly in the thrall of the ruling Kenya African National Union. Although President Daniel arap Moi won multi-party elec...

Chimwenje or chimera?

A group of armed dissidents in the Manica region offer a helpful diversion to Harare

Reports that armed Zimbabwean dissidents are operating in Mozambique are being taken seriously by the authorities in Harare and Maputo. Both governments seems to lack reliable info...

Oily enclave

The MPLA government hopes to sort out Cabinda's future by the year 2000. Perhaps

Worried that instability in Cabinda could divert resources from its confrontation and negotiations with Jonas Savimbi's rebels, the Luanda government has spent several months tryin...

Improbable poll

Prospects that the elections will be held, as scheduled, on 26 February are diminishing. The major parties contesting the poll remain in confusion, much of the logistical work is i...


Pushing Sylvestre

Tutsi opposition groups allied to the military are trying to oust beleaguered Hutu President Sylvestre Ntibantunganya. The coalition led by Ntibantunganya has so far staved off the...

Exeunt UN

It looks increasingly doubtful that the United Nations will extend its Western Sahara mandate which expires on 31 January, Security Council sources tell us. And tension over Wester...