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Published 4th August 2006

Vol 47 No 16


Two elections, one country

Voting and political sentiment is more divided than ever between the east and west of the country

Two figures - President Joseph Kabila and Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba - are dominating Congolese politics after the 30 July elections, which have been hailed as a success by United Nations (UN) and the United States' Carter Center, despite huge organisational problems. More serious than the logistics is the evident rift between voters in the east, who have strongly backed Kabila, and those in the west, especially in the capital Kinshasa, who have strongly backed Bemba. By most counts, Kabila and his party, Parti du Peuple pour la Réconstruction et la Démocratie, were ahead after three days of counting, although Bemba insists that he is going to win and accordingly convinced thousands of his supporters in Kinshasa.

Courts without authority

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Clan rivalries still outweigh the hope of a national government, as the neighbours look on nervously

Somalia's domestic strife is nowhere near its end. The rival authorities, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Baidoa and the Supreme Islamic Courts Council (SICC) - until ...

After Darfur's deal

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The Western-backed peace agreement has led to more fighting, much to Khartoum's delight

The Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) is in tatters, two months after it was signed in the Nigerian capital, Abuja. The two signatories, the Sudan government and Minni Arkou Minnawi's w...

Flirting with the enemy

Britain's Foreign Office is divided over relations with Islamists in Africa and the Middle East

Secret documents from Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) reveal an established policy of engaging with Islamists and suggest that regimes in Africa should not expect m...

Budget bludgeon

Premier Ramgoolam's government faces up to European subsidy cuts and Chinese competition

The poorer Hindu voters who brought Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam's Labour Party to power last year see little to celebrate in his government's tough and reform-minded budget offi...


Democratic deficits

After spending US$22 million on the African Union (AU) summit last month, President Yahya Jammeh has called a snap election on 22 September. With only six weeks to register voters,...


Blantyre is reeling from reports of the arrest of former President Bakili Muluzi on corruption charges on 27 July. Within hours, Muluzi was released on unconditional bail; a day la...