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Published 17th December 2010

Vol 51 No 25


Kenya

Ocampo names six suspects

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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President Mwai Kibaki’s government is in turmoil following the naming of some of its ministers as responsible for the post-election violence in 2008

Two days before the International Criminal Court’s Prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, named the six men he wants to prosecute for their role in the political violence, President Mwai Kibaki convened an emergency cabinet meeting to chart a common position on the looming announcement. The cabinet was split down the middle. Pro-Kibaki politicians pushed for a denunciation of the Court and the creation of a local tribunal as an alternative. Some wanted to send Attorney General Amos Wako and Chief Justice Johnson Evan Gicheru to the Hague to try to stop the ICC from proceeding. Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s allies rejected such proposals, dismissing them as a pointless attempt to protect the suspects: all of them bar one are political foes of the Premier.


Don’t be vague, let’s go to the Hague

A day after Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo’s 15 December naming of the six people wanted by the International Criminal Court, Kenya’s Parliament was debating a private member’s bill...


New guns on the block

A military company run by President Museveni’s brother and some South African mercenaries is being financed by a mystery donor in the Gulf

Saracen International, a Ugandan-based private security firm, is the latest armed party to intervene in Somalia’s civil war. Speculation abounds about its true role. Just as intr...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

Former United States Vice-President Dick Cheney’s brush with Nigerian justice and the ensuing desperate plea bargain negotiations over the past week are unlikely to end the great gas scandal, acknowledged by the US Department of Justice to be its biggest ever international corruption case.

Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission filed charges in the Nigerian courts against Cheney, the former Chairman and Chief Executive of the USA-based Halliburton, and eight others over ...

Former United States Vice-President Dick Cheney’s brush with Nigerian justice and the ensuing desperate plea bargain negotiations over the past week are unlikely to end the great gas scandal, acknowledged by the US Department of Justice to be its biggest ever international corruption case.

Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission filed charges in the Nigerian courts against Cheney, the former Chairman and Chief Executive of the USA-based Halliburton, and eight others over corrupt procurement contracts for a US$7 billion gas export plant in the Niger Delta.

In a plea bargain in September 2008, Halliburton subsidiary KBR paid fines of $579 mn to the DoJ after its Chief Executive Albert Jack Stanley, appointed by Cheney, admitted to organising corrupt payments linked to the gas contract. France’s Technip and Italy’s Snamprogetti – in the consortium with Halliburton – have also paid the USA hundreds of millions of dollars in plea bargain deals.

After Nigeria filed charges against Cheney, Halliburton offered to pay $120 mn. in fines and repatriate another $130 mn. of corrupt payments from Switzerland. However, investigators estimate the consortium may have siphoned another billion dollars out of the procurement contract. They also claim that Nigeria is exporting the gas at well below world prices through a third party entity in which both Nigerian and Western officials have a highly profitable stake.

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The war against the amnesty

The presidential election, the oil trade and community peace deals are at risk in the latest Niger Delta conflicts

Leaders of the Ayakoroma community in Delta State saw the violence coming. They warned the military Joint Task Force in mid-November that their town was in the crossfire between t...


The wiles of a crocodile, the memory of an elephant

The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front will put on a show of unity and loyalty to President Mugabe at this week’s congress in Mutare. Despite the protestations, the party is divided over who should succeed eventually Mugabe as leader. Most activists support Vice-President Mujuru but the securocrats back Defence Minister Mnangagwa. Mugabe, however, knows that he will be the party’s presidential candidate yet again in the 2011 elections.

The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front has assembled in Mutare in full battle array for its annual party congress on 15-18 December. General mobilisations, once starte...


The bombing of Kiir Adem

Khartoum’s deadly bombardment of a border village shows growing desperation at the prospects of Southern succession next year

Three weeks before the referendum on Southern Sudan, it is clear that the scheduled simultaneous vote on the Abyei area’s future will not go ahead on 9 January. This is a significa...


General John Togo and all his enemies

The self-styled General of the Niger Delta struggle, warlord John Togo, emerged from the Itsekiri/Ijaw ethnic war of 2003, when rival tribal groups from Delta State spawned death, ...


One farm good, four farms better

The 2011 elections are billed as the fourth and final Chimurenga (revolutionary struggle) to consolidate the gains of the revolutionary process. Nowhere have the gains been more su...


Amid the chaos, a sort of vote

Rebels, dissidents and their allies from across the region could turn the coming elections into a protracted battle for power

Seven months late, national elections are due on 23 January, amid accusations of cheating and fraud, and with insecurity bringing hunger to more than half the country. The capital,...


Iron constitutions required

A Chinese-British consortium exploiting massive iron ore reserves at Tonkolili prompts opposition from villagers and anti-corruption campaigners

One of the wealthiest and most controversial businessmen in Britain, Vasile Frank Timis, has brought over $300 million of Chinese finance to Sierra Leone’s Tonkolili district to e...


Two presidents, one crisis

Violent clashes on the streets of Abidjan for control of state broadcasting escalate the post-election conflict

Whether Côte d’Ivoire erupts into a fresh conflict or joins a new world of parliamentary democracy depends mainly on money, the military and regional solidarity. As Africa Confiden...


Diplomacy overheard

Stripped of polite posturing, the leaked cables offer both predictable assessments and occasional insights into US thinking on the continent

Of the 251,287 United States State Department cables leaked to Wikileaks, 1700 or so have been published, most through The New York Times, The Guardian and Der Spiegel but some onl...



Pointers

Careless cables cost lives

Wikileaks, or its helpers in the mainstream press, have failed in at least five instances to protect sensitive sources quoted by United States’ diplomats in cables that they have p...


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