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Published 6th August 1999

Vol 40 No 16


Morocco

Our friend, the new king

Young King Mohammed VI faces a tide of economic and social problems bequeathed by his father Hassan II

The mass outpouring of grief after the death of King Hassan II, one of Africa's most ruthless and canniest rulers, is fast being overtaken by worries about the future, particularly the shaky economy. A week after his father's sudden death from a heart attack on 23 July, King Mohammed VI went to Fez to lead Friday prayers. This was a critical signal of political and religious continuity. Surrounded by the Makhzen (the Palace-run political establishment) Mohammed VI took over as Al Amir al Mouminin (Commander of the Faithful), Morocco's spiritual head. Mohammed had accepted the Ba'ya (oath of allegiance) from his subjects immediately after Hassan II's death.


Problematic peace

Charles Taylor's support is critical to end the war – the other problem is lack of finance

As battle-hardened rebels saunter into Freetown, guns slung over their shoulders, Sierra Leoneans are arguing about the price of their hoped for peace. A month after the 7 July pe...


Leakey's big game

Unexpectedly, President Moi has appointed an old adversary to run the civil service

Once more, President Daniel arap Moi has confounded his critics and surprised everyone else. On 23 July, he appointed his political adversary, palaeontologist and wildlife enthusi...


U-turns, screw turns

The ruling party dreams the IMF could help it win the next election

The latest international plan for turning Zimbabwe's economy around looks sound, in narrow economic terms. In narrow political terms, though, it ignores reality, including next ye...


Too close to call

Incumbent President Patassé is favourite to win the elections as the UN prepares to leave

Whoever wins the presidential election starting on 29 August faces a huge task in keeping order. Incumbent President Ange-Félix Patassé is the favourite, though prob...



Pointers

Presidential field

The arrival of a contingent of Legionnaires in the latest French troop rotation raised eyebrows in Dakar. A presidential election is due next February and the country has a histor...


Gerald's jeep

Britain's 23 July expulsion of senior Liberian diplomat Gerald Cooper is an early blow to President Charles Taylor's efforts to improve relations with the West.


Out of Africa

Peter Hain's appointment as Britain's Minister of State for Africa is likely to push African concerns a few notches higher up the Whitehall totem pole.


Jacques' jaunt

President Jacques Chirac's four-country hurtle round West Africa (21-24 July) was a damp squib. He lacks the verve of his more cerebral predecessor François Mitterrand who ...