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Published 8th October 2010

Vol 51 No 20


Sudan

A New York divorce

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Positions are hardening in both Washington and Khartoum in the lead up to the referenda in the South and Abyei, due in January

Within days of the United Nations' New York meeting on Sudan, the 15-member UN Security Council set off for Kampala, Juba and Khartoum. The 4-10 October trip, led by Britain's UN Ambassador, Sir Mark Lyall Grant, and his counterpart from the United States, Susan E. Rice, signals serious concerns about a return to war in Sudan over the referenda due next January. The tour was meant to send a strong message - at least from Britain, France and the USA - about Khartoum's efforts to obstruct the vote in the South and Abyei.


SWAPO suffers bee stings

Elections next month and rumbling financial scandals around SWAPO-linked businesses could boost support for the opposition

The opposition was cheered by a legal victory last month, when the Supreme Court overturned the Windhoek High Court's dismissal of an application by nine opposition parties to have...


Buttering up Zuma

In trying to sort out its relations with Africa, Brussels takes care to befriend its main trading partner on the continent

South Africa is the European Union's leading trade partner in Africa and the 27 EU countries form its most important trading bloc. Both parties are well aware of the changing balan...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

Breaking bread with South African President Jacob Zuma can be expensive but enlightening. The going rates before the African National Congress’s council meeting in Durban last month ranged from 100,000 rand (US$13,700) to 500,000 rand, depending on one’s proximity to the leader.   The Chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, Patrice Motsepe, one of South Africa’s wealthiest businessmen, huddled close to Zuma, perhaps urging him to resist ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema’s calls to nationali...
Breaking bread with South African President Jacob Zuma can be expensive but enlightening. The going rates before the African National Congress’s council meeting in Durban last month ranged from 100,000 rand (US$13,700) to 500,000 rand, depending on one’s proximity to the leader.   The Chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, Patrice Motsepe, one of South Africa’s wealthiest businessmen, huddled close to Zuma, perhaps urging him to resist ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema’s calls to nationalise the mines. Motsepe may also worry about trade union calls for a new tax on the ‘super rich’. Zuma opposes nationalisation and has no qualms about friends and family, such as nephew Khulubuse, taking advantage of new opportunities. Khulubuse has just taken a couple of oil blocks in Congo-Kinshasa, thanks to commercial diplomacy from President Joseph Kabila. That makes Zuma’s encounter with United States President Barack Obama in New York somewhat puzzling. Zuma deliberately departed from his talking points, we hear, to tell Obama that Kabila’s political days might be numbered. Zuma said that Kabila’s popularity had nosedived, while Congolese oppositionists such as Vital Kamerhe, Kalaa Mpinga and Jean Pierre Bemba (currently detained by the International Criminal Court) would win a free and fair election. They may not have expected to, but it seems that US and South African officials agree about President Kabila’s mounting problems.
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The politics takes over again

Bold reform plans are put on hold as the battle for Aso Rock intensifies

The brief interest shown by President Goodluck Jonathan's government in economic reform seems to be waning in favour of a concentration on short-term tactics that might help his el...


Massaging the message

UN officials believe their edited investigation has persuaded Uganda and Rwanda not to withdraw their peacekeepers

At the opening of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 23 September, Rwandan President Paul Kagame did not look like a man leading a government condemned for human ri...


Tobacco and the forex puzzle

Better prices alone for the tobacco crop will not address the worsening economic crisis

To judge by his speech, delivered in stentorian tones to the United Nations General Assembly on 23 September, President Bingu wa Mutharika is presiding over a new economic miracle....


The car bomb whodunit

Whoever was responsible for the car bombs that killed 12 people in Abuja during the 50th anniversary of Nigeria's Independence on 1 October and whatever their motives, they have su...


How Kibaki blocks the ICC

The International Criminal Court is blocked at every turn as it tries to investigate political violence

At last President Mwai Kibaki's bluff has been called. The pious hopes in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly last month about peace, democracy and development belie ...


The IMF asks the 5 billion euro question

Fund officials in Washington want more reforms at Central Africa's regional bank after uncovering billions of dollars of unauthorised dealings

Central African finance ministers will face more awkward questions about fraud at their central bank, the Banque des états de l'Afrique centrale, at the annual meeting of th...


Buy now, vote later

Island states with small populations are among the best run; many of the bigger countries are getting richer but more oppressive

The latest Index of African Governance from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation does not explain whether African economies are doing better in spite of or because of more authoritarian, head...


In search of policy

As outsiders worry about terrorism and piracy, social breakdown in Somalia gets worse

Nobody knows what to do about Somalia. In Madrid in September, the International Crisis Group held the latest of a series of international meetings that included the United Nations...



Pointers

The Quito question

Arms smuggling, drug trafficking and questionable clergymen all provide clues as to why President Robert Mugabe was planning a foray to Ecuador after his annual trip to the opening...


Odds now on Condé

Former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo is no longer the favourite to win the second round of the presidential elections, due on 24 October, after several sackings at the Commis...