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Published 29th April 2005

Vol 46 No 9


Double Wamco

Six months before elections, ministers have signed a deal on a trade in banned diamonds

A secret deal signed in February by government ministers in Monrovia would give a mysterious mining company a ten-year monopoly on Liberia's diamond production, according to contract documents obtained by Africa Confidential. The involvement of the Liberian ministers, who face elections in October, was made public by last month's report by a special investigation panel to the United Nations Security Council. The UN banned diamond trading in Liberia, once a main source of income for the region's warlords, in 2001.

Warlord on the loose

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Charles Taylor, Liberia's exiled warlord, stands accused of crimes across the region. A 30-page confidential report to the internationally financed Special Court in Sierra Leone al...

Oil bubble

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Spectacular launches on London's second-tier stock market rely on odd claims about assets in Africa

White Nile, an oil company set up in London late last year and with a single, disputed, Sudanese asset to its name, tempted eager London Stock Exchange (LSE) punters. The price of ...

Democracy's a luxury

The economy is failing and running out of food as King Mswati buys a $500,000 limousine

Swaziland has become synonymous with royal extravagance, in an absolute monarchy whose sovereigns have long resisted local and international pressure for democracy. The ruling clas...

Banking bust-up

Egypt wants its own man to run an all-Africa bank everyone else is angry

Leadership in Africa is an old Egyptian dream. It looks a lot less solid since President Hosni Mubarak's government expelled Jean-Louis Ekra, the new Ivorian president of Afreximba...

Merci, Papa

People take to the streets in Lomé to protest against Faure Gnassingbé's victory in the polls

'If they declare Faure the winner, this place is going to go up in flames', predicted a much quoted opposition supporter in Lomé. And right on cue, the barricades went up on...

Race for the presidency

The race to choose a new president for the African Development Bank is becoming increasingly bitter and political ahead of its annual meeting, due in Abuja, Nigeria, on 17-19 May. ...

Biwott is back again

Three anti-corruption campaigners have left the scene as Total Man returns

The drive against corruption has run out of steam. President Mwai Kibaki's National Rainbow Coalition was elected in January 2003 on a straightforward anti-corruption platform (AC ...


Parliament comes alive

The government has failed to push a crucial bill through a parliament full of loyal members (AC Vol 46 No 8). The bill would have authorised a referendum on the return to multipart...

Lost and found

Reports that Severo Moto Nsa, self-styled leader of Equatorial Guinea's Madrid-based government-in-exile, has surfaced in Croatia, are unlikely to stop the feverish speculation abo...

Back to DC

Washington's newish, enthusiastic Ambassador to South Africa, Jendayi E. Frazer, is heading back to base to take over as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, we hear. ...

Hunger and hullaballoo

Parliament's tumultuous, short April session was the first since President Bingu wa Mutharika bailed out of the United Democratic Front and the first since he launched the Democrat...