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Published 27th August 1999

Vol 40 No 17


Nigeria

Obasanjo's one hundred days

President Obasanjo moves with surprising speed against patronage but the inevitable clouds loom

For now, it is no longer business as usual in Nigeria. In just three months, President Olusegun Obasanjo's whisk broom of reform has swept away the notoriously parasitical middlemen from crude oil sales, last-minute prospecting licences farmed out to cronies of General Abdulsalami Abubakar's government and a billion dollars' worth of miscellaneous contracts awarded in the last five months of military rule (AC Vol 40 No 12). Even Abubakar - who won worldwide applause for bringing his transition programme to a successful conclusion - may face public scrutiny. The Senate is seeking an explanation for US$2.5 bn. of spending under his authority for which there are few records at the Central Bank of Nigeria. The government has also sent an anti-corruption bill to the National Assembly, set up committees to probe political and economic misdeeds during military rule and allowed World Bank auditors into the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.


Clearly confusing

Three months on, the economic policy of General Olusegun Obasanjo's government remains opaque. While the price of oil, which at US$20 a barrel is nearly twice that of the beginnin...


Not for turning

Trades unionists and Communists try to roll back the free market bandwagon

South Africa's trades unions chose to confront the country's new President, Thabo Mbeki, just after his inauguration and before he'd had time to find his feet (AC Vol 40 Nos 12 &am...


Old unions, new ANC

The public servants' challenge to President Thabo Mbeki's government involves over twelve unions with 800,000 members from all races and all shades of political opinion. Three con...


On the fringe of a war

Mishake Muyongo leapt out of the obscurity of his Danish exile on 2 August when Caprivian separatists attacked Katima Mulilo. He says the raid on Caprivi's capital opens a struggl...


Manège à trois

Mysterious documents are doing the rounds in Paris claiming that Sassou wants to retire

To judge by the increasing desperation of the contestants, the power struggle in Brazzaville is entering a new phase. President Denis Sassou-Nguesso, who overthrew the elected Pre...


A hammer to a nut

Caprivian rebels and the government both wield weapons to disturb the peace

The Namibian government reacted with a heavy hand in early August when Caprivian secessionists mounted an armed raid on the region's capital, Katima Mulilo. The Caprivi Strip has ...



Pointers

Gas mask

Ten years after the National Islamic Front government agreed that the United Nations could carry relief to all 'war-affected populations', the UN's Operation Lifeline Sudan has tak...


ADO ado

The normally placid holiday season is the scene of frantic government activity. The reasons are ADO and the IMF. The scandal over the embezzlement of 18 billion CFA francs of Europ...


No jogging

Even Bujumbura's early morning groups of joggers are being stopped and searched by gendarmes posted around the city by order of Burundi's ruler, Major Pierre Buyoya (AC Vol 40 No 2...