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Published 19th December 1999

Vol 40 No 23

Postponing the new order

Commonwealth heads have suspended Pakistan's military regime but balked at tougher action against others - until the next summit

Efforts to advance good governance and human rights ended in a Commonwealth fudge at the Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Durban, South Africa on 12-15 November. Calls for radical action against member governments which suppress opposition movements, steal state funds and gaol journalists ended in a 'high-level review' of the Commonwealth, to advise 'how best it could respond to the challenges of the new century.' The review committee, to report to the next CHOGM in Canberra in 2001, balances modernisers (Australia and Britain, favouring tougher measures on governance), non-interventionists (Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago), and nationalists (India, Singapore and Zimbabwe).

Presidential accounts

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Between the banks and the ruling families, Africa's money runs out

President Bill Clinton's government wants to crack down on the private-banking departments of some major US banks through which, it is alleged, corrupt foreign officials have laund...

Broom sweeps Basri

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The new King sacked his security chief - and may even have a new Sahara policy

King Mohammed VI affirmed his new authority with the summary dismissal of Driss Basri, the late King's veteran Minister of State for the Interior. Four months after the death of Ki...

Chiluba and after

The President, tempted by another term, would face rivals within his own party

President Frederick Chiluba has had a surprisingly good six months. He brokered a seemingly impossible peace deal for the Democratic Republic of Congo, signed in July and now under...

Gunmen at the gate

KK's aspiring politicial son, Wezi, was murdered. On whose orders?

Four unknown gunmen at the gate of his house fired four shots and then disappeared. After a few hours in intensive care at the government hospital, he was pronounced dead. Major We...


A gambit too far

The National Islamic Front's bid to smash the opposition while convincing outsiders it seeks reconciliation has provoked the normally taciturn Saudi Arabian government into denying...