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Published 19th October 2007

Vol 48 No 21


Sudan

Salva and the Salvation regime

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Southern anger at Khartoum’s violation of the 2005 peace accord explodes as the regime prepares for talks on Darfur

For the first time since the United States forced it to the negotiating table in early 2003, the ruling National Congress (aka National Islamic Front) is under serious internal pressure, from both South and West. The 11 October decision by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement to pull out of the national government broke just as the NC was preparing for talks with the Darfur armed groups, due to open in Sirte, Libya, on 27 October. Instead, as Africa Confidential went to press, seven of the Darfur groups were in Juba talking to each other and to their hosts, the very SPLM which had just walked out of the Government of National Unity, accusing it of systematically breaking 2005's Comprehensive Peace Agreement, under which the GNU was set up.


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The privatisation of East Africa’s biggest cellphone company unveils a political and corporate scandal

The government desperately wants to sell a 25% stake of Safaricom, its joint venture with Britain's Vodafone on the Nairobi Stock Exchange, before this year's elections. President ...


Bad history

Those planning a UN peacekeeping mission to Somalia are haunted by the disasters of 15 years ago

Ethiopian and Ugandan troops in Somalia are due to welcome a new contingent of peacekeepers this month. Two battalions of soldiers from Burundi, with 1,750 men, should arrive in Mo...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

Revolution – more Kerensky than Bolshevik – is in the air at this week’s annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC. Both institutions have new leaders, Robert Zoellick at the Bank and Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the IMF, who have taken over from their embattled predecessors at a time of plunging staff morale and growing external criticism. In the West, both conservatives and radicals argue for revolutionary change in the institutions – or their clos...
Revolution – more Kerensky than Bolshevik – is in the air at this week’s annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC. Both institutions have new leaders, Robert Zoellick at the Bank and Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the IMF, who have taken over from their embattled predecessors at a time of plunging staff morale and growing external criticism. In the West, both conservatives and radicals argue for revolutionary change in the institutions – or their closure. In developing countries, an even greater threat looms: that the Bank and Fund are becoming irrelevant, eclipsed by single-issue aid funds, changes in capital markets and the growth of Asia’s mega economies as a source of investment and trade. This year the Bank is struggling to raise funds for its soft loan fund. Developing countries are furious about the way that the US and Europe railroaded their candidates into the Bank and Fund leaderships this year without any commitments on governance reform or accountability. Promises proliferate: Zoellick, prompted by Norway, has agreed to research capital flight and tax evasion; Strauss-Kahn is proposing a double majority decision-making system at the IMF which should mean poorer countries are better represented. Both the chiefs talk about ‘rebuilding legitimacy’ and this year may be their best chance.
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Fall out at the top

The rift between President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi is in full swing. The latest twist came when Attorney General Abdullahi Dahir ordered the arres...


A king's ransom

The King of the Zulus, Goodwill Zwelithini, has been allocated 30 million rand (US$4.4 mn.) by the state for the 2006/2007 financial year. There are fears that he could overspend b...


Trading places

There is no agreement on revising Europe’s trade deal with Africa, so an agreement may be imposed

African, Caribbean and Pacific states are trying to negotiate new cooperation agreements by the end of the year with the European Union, but the lengthy negotiations are going badl...


Comprehensively breached

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement withdrawal from the Government of National Unity (GNU) on 11 October followed months of warnings by the SPLM that the National Congress was b...


Zuma, Buthelezi and the Zulu nation

The exit of Inkatha leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi from politics and the rise and rise of Jacob Zuma as a national leader with an unassailable base in KwaZulu-Natal is a moment of truth for South Africa’s Zulus.

The Inkatha Freedom Party, so long dominant in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), is losing its grip and risks disintegration. Its leader, Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, told its national conferenc...


The new man picks his team

President Koroma wants to run the country as a business, but its managers are mostly politicians

Sierra Leone's promised turnaround is beginning to take shape. Incoming President Ernest Bai Koroma of the All People's Congress (APC) has appointed 20 ministers to his new cabinet...



Pointers

Renaissance woman

Renaissance Capital has a new Chairperson for its advisory committees on Nigeria and Africa. The World Bank has a new Managing Director. And both institutions have secured the serv...


Bond bonanza

Fresh from celebrating their successful floating of a US$750 million Eurobond last month, President John Kufuor and Finance Minister Kwadwo Baah Wiredu face growing scrutiny over t...


The Mo Laureate

The great and good have met and argued vigorously over which African head of state should be the first to receive the Mohammed Fathi Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leader...