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Published 18th March 2016

Vol 57 No 6


Libya

Drawing a line in Libya



The West's military and political leaders are pondering a major new armed intervention as Da'ish's momentum builds

Signs are emerging that another major Western intervention in the Arab-African world is on the horizon. United States President Barack Obama is telling his National Security Council to consider all options to counter Da'ish (Islamic State in Syria and the Levant, ISIL) in Libya. US aircraft have already carried out an air raid on a Da'ish training camp at Sabratha, west of Tripoli, and are being readied at British and Italian air bases to carry out more, some possibly elsewhere in North Africa.

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The power struggle after Hassan el Turabi

Hassan el Turabi adjusts the tie of Amin Hassan Omer, now in charge of Darfur. This picture has been doing the rounds on Sudanese social media with the caption: 'He taught them everything, even to tie their ties'.

Ideological rivals and political foes are trying to exploit the death of the architect of Sudanese Islamism

When Hassan Abdullah el Turabi, the man who had presided over the Islamist movement in his country for five decades, died on 5 March, his dream of a Sudanese Islamic state may have...


Oromia erupts

Mass protests in Oromia have escalated into a major challenge to the government, which shows no sign of compromise

Unrest in Oromia flared last November, and then died away. Many thought it a flash in the pan, but this February protests re-ignited across the region. The spark came in a rural pa...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

It was Kenya's graft-buster-in-chief in 2002, John Githongo, who observed that anti-corruption was good politics. And so it proved until he stumbled on the wrong political skeletons in the closet. President Mwai Kibaki did nothing to defend Githongo, who fled abroad. Today, he is back home, promoting grassroots political organisations while his old enemies have fad...

It was Kenya's graft-buster-in-chief in 2002, John Githongo, who observed that anti-corruption was good politics. And so it proved until he stumbled on the wrong political skeletons in the closet. President Mwai Kibaki did nothing to defend Githongo, who fled abroad. Today, he is back home, promoting grassroots political organisations while his old enemies have faded into the shadows. Just as Githongo was chasing down bribe-givers and takers and assorted contract ten-percenters, Nuhu Ribadu was doing the same in Nigeria and also winning plaudits. He also had to leave the country in a hurry but is now back home with a political career.

One big difference between Nigeria and Kenya is that President Muhammadu Buhari was elected because people thought him honest and tough enough to tackle corruption; few Kenyans saw Uhuru Kenyatta as leading a serious anti-corruption campaign. Now the two presidents' legacy will depend on some success in stopping the rampant criminalisation of the states over which they preside. Buhari still scores highly in opinion polls for tackling corruption but is losing support on other fronts because of fuel and power shortages and the tumbling value of the naira. As the Auditor General in Abuja announces that another US$16 billion is missing from the state oil company's accounts, Buhari's government is under pressure to extract some politically positive news from its crackdown on ill-gotten gains.

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Gordhan and Zuma slug it out

When the Finance Minister went on an investment tour the President arranged for a nasty surprise to meet him on his return

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan went to London, Boston and New York from 7-11 March to persuade investors, ratings agencies and the world that South Africa is still a safe bet. The...


Can't stay, can't go

The number of African migrants into Europe increases because few are deported and their home governments do not want them back

Europe and Africa are locked in a diplomatic impasse: the European Union wants to deport illegal immigrants but their governments won't take them back. December's Valletta Summit c...


Bye-election fever

Two crucial polls reveal the strategies of the major parties. Politics as ethnic loyalty is the main theme for both

Two bye-elections on 7 March were make-or-break events for two big political leaders: Raila Amolo Odinga of the opposition Coalition for Reform and Democracy and Deputy President W...


Nyusi's resolve in doubt

The President may yet impose his authority on Frelimo, but many are wondering if the new broom is now back in the cupboard

A crucial series of Frelimo Central Committee meetings are due to take place between 21 and 24 April; they are President Filipe Nyusi's last chance to show party members and the pu...



Pointers

Terror on the beach

The nation's first jihadist terrorist attack claimed 22 lives on 13 March as politicians on all sides tried to use it to score points against each other. The initial target for Al ...


The meaning of 'aid'

Members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development are quietly reconsidering the definition of aid to developing countries, what it calls Official Development Ass...


Grand Comore's turn

The presidential election in Comoros is heading for a run-off on 10 April after a disputed round of primaries on 21 February. Three candidates now compete to succeed outgoing Presi...