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Published 11th September 2009

Vol 50 No 18


Sudan

Khartoum pressures Southern Sudan over oil

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Oil figures suggest that Khartoum is cheating the South of revenue and threatening the increasingly fragile peace

Concern is growing about the economic and political conflicts which threaten the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in January 2005. Many of these conflicts stem from the opacity of the Government of National Unity, set up under the CPA and in which the National Congress Party (aka National Islamic Front) was meant to share political power and the country's oil wealth with the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM). In practice, the NCP domination of the GNU severely limits the agreed sharing of power and money. A 7 September report by UK-based resource lobbying group Global Witness* reveals serious inconsistencies in the oil production and revenue data published by the Khartoum government and a general lack of financial accountability. Both are undermining the peace deal.


Khartoum and Beijing disagree

There are mismatches between Khartoum's oil figures and those of the CNPC

Global Witness found mismatches between the Sudan government's figures and those of the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and other company figures on oil production fo...


After the bank purge, back to the politics

Taken aback by the seriousness of the Central Bank’s efforts to reform the financial sector, some politicians and debtors are plotting their revenge

The targets of Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Lamido Sanusi's banking purge are beginning to fight back. Four bank chief executives have been arraigned on criminal charges and a ...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

With the words ‘I am my father’s son but I am not my father’, Gabon’s victorious presidential candidate Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba tried to make his personal ‘rupture’ with the past amid a bitterly contested election and its bloody aftermath over the past two weeks. Son of the late President Omar Bongo Ondimba and former Defence Minister, Ali Bongo started with the advantages of incumbency, election financing from his sister Pascaline and the public relations services of Britain’s Bell Pottinger...
With the words ‘I am my father’s son but I am not my father’, Gabon’s victorious presidential candidate Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba tried to make his personal ‘rupture’ with the past amid a bitterly contested election and its bloody aftermath over the past two weeks. Son of the late President Omar Bongo Ondimba and former Defence Minister, Ali Bongo started with the advantages of incumbency, election financing from his sister Pascaline and the public relations services of Britain’s Bell Pottinger. Rival presidential candidates André Mba Obame and Pierre Mamboundou are challenging Ali’s win in the courts but they failed to rally their supporters on the streets. Despite an impressive showing in the oil city of Port Gentil and feisty campaigning in the private media, the opposition was too divided to face down the Bongo dynasty. Few believe that the Libreville supreme court will annul the result before the inauguration on 20 September. So what sort of rupture does Ali Ben have in mind? He insists he is serious about reform. The first target is likely to be Libreville’s unwieldy government. There is talk about Gabon’s poor contracts on the Belinga iron ore project; then there is the poisonous aftermath of the uranium exploitation by France’s Areva, which may be the subject of another class action. In January next year, Gabon is tipped to be one of the African non-permanent members of the UN Security Council: so what chance a push for political and corporate accountability?
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Food crisis

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In this week's issue...

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The flag follows the trade

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Nkurunziza's formula for victory

Election rules seemed to have been agreed but the President wants new ones to make sure he wins

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Pointers

Sodom and tomorrow

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Trafigura and the toxic waste

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Glass houses

Questions have arisen about the financing of President Bingu wa Mutharika's palace and mausoleum in Thyolo District. The contractor is Portugal's Mota-Engil (AC Vol 50 No 16), whic...