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Published 8th October 2004

Vol 45 No 20


Day of the locusts

Asari and his foes have pulled back from the brink in the Niger Delta but the threat remains

Mujahid Dokubo Asari's 'Operation Locust Feast' was supposed to begin on Independence Day, 1 October, and was effectively a declaration of war on President Olusegun Obasanjo's government and oil companies working in Nigeria (AC Vol 45 Nos 18 & 19). Prospects of the Niger Delta clashes escalating to an all-out conflict between militias and government troops helped to send world oil prices soaring above US$50 a barrel. It certainly concentrated minds in Abuja. Thousands of people would have been killed and onshore oil production would have been completely knocked out. For now, there is a chance that the shaky ceasefire will hold as a prelude to serious political negotiations.

That golden moment

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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A foreign take-over of a local bank could mean the end of exchange controls

Barclays' planned purchase of ABSA (Amalgamated Banks of South Africa) is set to be the biggest foreign investment in post-apartheid South Africa. It cheers economic liberals, who ...

Millennial crisis

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Rich countries cannot agree on policies to boost African economies

African economies will still fail to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on poverty reduction, health and education, according to the latest analysis released at the Inter...

The timetable slips

Politicians scramble for power as the transition's end draws near

The transitional government is due to step down on 1 November and - unless swift action is taken - a dangerous power vacuum looms. The 20 October referendum and 1 November general ...

Seven more years

There's little doubt that President Biya will win another seven-year term in the 11 October election

The shortcomings of Cameroon's electoral process are becoming glaringly obvious as polling day approaches. The combination of an ill prepared and divided opposition and a lack of i...


Democracy in action

The appointment of Damião Vaz d'Almeida as Premier on 18 September marks the impoverished archipelago's sixth change of government in three years. It also calls a halt, at l...

In the IMF fold - just

Nerves were calmed in the coalition government on 24 September when the International Monetary Fund agreed to release the second part of a US$36 million loan. The cash had been del...

Gullible's travels

'African Voices' is the trendy title of the Commission for Africa (CFA) meeting in Addis Ababa on 7-8 October. Chaired by UK Premier Tony Blair, who launched the CFA in February, t...