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Published 29th August 2003

Vol 44 No 17


Rwanda

A victory foretold

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Kagame defeats ethnic arithmetic in the first presidential poll since the genocide of 1994

General Paul Kagame was right when, a few days before the presidential election on 25 August, he told Africa Confidential: 'Most likely I am going to win. RPF is going to win.' The big question is what he does with his landslide victory, amounting to 95 per cent of the votes cast (turnout was over 80 per cent). He says the resulting 'increased legitimacy' would give the ruling Front Patriotique Rwandais 'more confidence' - something it has not seemed in need of. Abroad, the result will not deflect mounting criticism of the FPR's authoritarianism at home and continued meddling in Congo-Kinshasa. Not a natural campaigner, Kagame made wooden attempts at populism, awkwardly leading election rallies in party chants and swapping military fatigues and sober suits for baseball caps, polo shirts and designer tie-dye shirts fresh from the packet. With regimental efficiency, his campaigners distributed Kagame umbrellas, tee-shirts and hats, and his beaming portrait gazed down from election posters across the country. 'I think that it's going to be pleasant to get a feeling that the majority of the people of this country support our leadership, support what RPF has ushered in,' he enthused.


Winning hearts and budgets

Doubts about President Paul Kagame's landslide election victory are unlikely to bring a fall in Western aid to Kigali but funding will come under heavier scrutiny as concern grows ...


Basri's heirs

A new generation of security chiefs responds to the Islamist challenge

A new security elite has finally risen to the top in Morocco, buoyed up by popular demands for security and more incisive government. This comes three and a half years after King ...


Crises to come

Whoever governs Morocco faces daunting social problems and the challenge of creating a more responsive political system. In two decades, Fes has fallen from third-ranked economic...


Background to Brenthurst

In 2002, the draft of government legislation on a mining charter was leaked to reveal that 51 per cent of the mining industry was earmarked for black ownership by 2014. This cau...


Mob rule

Mafia-style politics in the south-east raise more doubts about President Obasanjo's election victory

The kidnapping of Anambra State Governor Chris Ngige and the subsequent impunity of those involved have dealt another blow to the credibility of President Olusegun Obasanjo's post-...


Friends new and old

Jammeh must keep new friends in D.C. away from old mates in Tripoli and Monrovia

In recent years, President Yahya Jammeh has quietly established himself as one of former Liberian President Charles Taylor's best allies in West Africa. Their relationship seemed ...


Busy bees

The Oppenheimer mining dynasty clambers on to the black empowerment bandwagon

Steam is building in the empowerment debate. Now the Oppenheimer family, which for 100 years has dominated South African gold and diamond production, has made another of its 'str...



Pointers

Peace or what?

After collapsing on 24 August, peace talks will resume on 10 September, with 'final agreement' due on 20 September. As the National Islamic Front tries to sabotage the talks and t...


Paris plotters

As relations worsen between President Laurent Gbagbo and Prime Minister Seydou Diarra, a coup plot is no great surprise. But the plotters, a group of mercenaries led by veteran tr...


No French leave

After weeks of denials, the French-led Interim Emergency Multinational Force is to stay in Congo's north-east Ituri district past its declared exit date of 1 September to assist Un...