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Published 24th September 1999

Vol 40 No 19


The UN tries again

After its spectacular failure, the UN is back - helped by smarter sanctions but facing the same political problems

United Nations' attempts to keep a presence in Angola are being frustrated by the United States Congress. Jonas Savimbi's União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola has for decades enjoyed special access to some senators and congressmen, notably the veteran isolationist, Senator Jesse Helms (Democrat, South Carolina). Now Michael Westfal, one of Helms's aides, leads a group of four congressional staff members who have blocked progress on a draft UN resolution, drawn up by diplomats of the Angola 'troika' (USA, Portugal and Russia) at the UN and circulated on 26 August. Westfal says that the proposed 30-strong UNOA (UN Office in Angola) is not a peacekeeping operation and should not get US funding.


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Worried about a re-run of its disastrous December offensive, the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola government is deliberately downplaying its latest military ...

Phone sects

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Powerful politicians are making sure the wrong people don't pick up the phones

A major row is brewing over the political independence of the Communications Commission of Kenya, the regulatory body meant to oversee the privatisation of Kenya's beleaguered tele...

Blow up

As the opposition attacks Khartoum's new pipeline, Colonel Gadaffi tries to mediate

The opposition fighters who blew a hole in the government's new oil pipeline on 19 September also blew apart its campaign to convince the world that it has security under control a...

Pipe bombs

The 19 September attack on the brand new, 1,600-kilometre export pipeline proves two points: firstly, the falsehood of the claim by the National Islamic Front government that the a...

Building blocks

Reconstructing the state step-by-step is showing results - but outsiders stay sceptical

Countless peace conferences have failed to pacify Somalia, including the latest, in Cairo in December 1997, whose collapse seemed to condemn the country to yet more clan wars and f...


Busting the busters

A combination of new surveillance technology and pressure on the United Nations to do more to clamp down on weapons flows to rebel movements in Africa is making life more difficult...

Unmoved movers

Although dominated by trades unionists, the Movement for Democratic Change, launched on 11 September, is a formidable coalition: lawyers, war veterans, students and activists from ...

Another Euroland

Prospects for economic union in West Africa, at least among the CFA Franc Zone countries, are looking up. The Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest-Africaine is pushing ahead ...