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Published 16th December 2005

Vol 46 No 25


Generals, gems and graft

Three reports on the looting of state assets raise new fears for the success of next year's elections

The 18 December referendum is meant to establish a new constitution, prepare for national elections in 2006, signal the end of the traumatic civil war and speed economic recovery. Yet there are few signs that politicians are ending their quarrels or that elections will hamper the leaders and officials who loot state assets. Most of the 24 million registered electors do not seem to care. The usually reticent President Joseph Kabila told journalists last week that he was really worried about voter apathy. A No vote or a very low referendum turnout could increase that apathy at election time.

Cinderella and the generals

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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European Union envoy Aldo Ajello calls its the 'Cinderella effect'. Congo's well-heeled generals and politicians fear that the elections - like the chimes of midnight for Cinderell...


Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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The ruling party, ahead of its national congress, denies corruption by those seeking to lead it

The ruling New Patriotic Party, with its national congress due on 17 December, is torn by claims of financial abuses by its Chairman, Haruna Esseku (AC Vol 46 Nos 12 & 19). The...

Democracy with fangs

The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood emerges as a serious contender for power

The parliamentary elections over the past month give new meaning to the late President Anwar al Sadat's warning to rioters in 1977 that 'democracy has fangs and claws'. His success...

Not so sweet

African sugar-producing members of the 78-member African-Caribbean-Pacific group are threatened by the European Union's attempts to liberalise its sugar industry, which it has long...

Another front, another deal

As anger grows in the east, rebel groups are due to talk to the Khartoum regime next month

On 15 January, Libya is to host talks between Khartoum's Islamist government and rebels grouped in the Eastern Front organisation. Last month, the Front attended a workshop at its ...

Mwai's muddle

President Kibaki's authority hangs by a thread after a botched government reshuffle

Facing total disaster after a reshuffle fiasco last week in which a third of the new ministers turned down their appointments, President Mwai Kibaki has managed to entice Musikari ...

A failing finale

The year of Africa's big economic push is ending with bad tempered negotiations in China

African governments wanted the World Trade Organisation's ministerial meeting in Hong Kong on 13-18 December to cut rich-country subsidies on cotton, rice and sugar, while those ri...


Mr and Mrs

Not content with being the Mother of the Nation and the leading pro-abstinence and anti-condom campaigner, Uganda's First Lady Janet Museveni is penetrating the political arena. Ma...

Teflon Jammeh

Accusations of gross humans rights abuses and corrupt deals with the late Nigerian military leader, General Sani Abacha, barely worry President Yahya Jammeh. The Commonwealth and o...

Political petroleum Inc.

Oil magnate Wale Tinubu, 37, and Oando PLC have made a big splash with the company's listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange last month. Oando's 3 billion Rand capitalisation is...