Jump to navigation

Published 2nd February 1996

Vol 37 No 3


Who's killing who?

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

Bombings and arms caches mean that both sides are upping the stakes in the political crisis 

The rumblings are getting more ominous. General Sani Abacha's son killed in a plane crash, bombings in the north, tons of guns and ammunition found on the Benin border, South Africa and Burkina Faso accused of arming the opposition; all these are raising the stakes in Nigeria's political crisis. It pushes the prospect of a peaceful transition to civil rule further into the distance. Nigerians are sceptical enough to wonder who is behind the terror campaign: government or opposition? The answer is probably both. Those elements in the security forces who vigorously oppose any dialogue with civilian political groups and democracy activists have been bolstered by the climate of fear engendered by the bombings. Equally, there are civil and military opponents of Abacha who have been making common cause to unseat him, by military means if necessary. Disturbingly for Abacha, his increasingly fractious security network has been unable to counter either threat effectively.

Big sister's olive branch

Brigadier Maada Bio wants a family reconciliation to help end the rebel war

Freetown may be stumbling into a peace deal of sorts with the rebels it has been fighting for the last four years. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio and his friends who seized power on 16...

A cloudy dawn

Bandits and corrupt politicians are more of a threat than guerrillas

From outside looking in, Mozambique seems a triumph of conflict resolution and reconciliation. A newly arrived diplomat like Britain's High Commissioner Bernard Everett can claim t...

Septuagenarian struggle

The old guard's time is almost over but nobody knows who will clear up after them

Nobody doubts that President Robert Mugabe will win a fresh six-year term of office at the presidential election on 16-17 March. The real question is how much of the term he wants ...

Trumping the King

A feudal regime is finding it hard to survive to the big new democracy next door

Swaziland is now the only country in Southern Africa in which political parties are now banned. The People's United Democratic Party, the main opposition movement, is therefore ill...


The clocks go back

Africa's second coup of the year in Niamey had been brewing as long as its first in Freetown. Lieutenant Colonel Ibrahim Barré Mainassara, the former army Chief of Staff, ousted th...

Early retirement

Kim Jaycox's retirement as Vice-President for Africa at the World Bank presages further changes in the Bank's organisation and policy. Bank President James Wolfensohn told staff Ja...

Reigning again

The omens are not good for Crown Prince Letsie David Mohato's second coming to the Basotho throne. His first reign started an effective coup when he dissolved the elected governmen...

Paris calling

The Djibouti government has still not signed the letter of intent that it should have sent to the International Monetary Fund in early January. Nobody really expected the governmen...