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Published 18th December 1998

Vol 39 No 25


The man who would be king

Gen. Obasanjo's presidential hopes have taken a beating after the local government polls

The local government elections on 5 December were good news for Nigeria and bad news for the presidential frontrunner and former military leader, General Olusegun Obasanjo. There was a high turnout and little evidence of malpractice or violence (outside of the troubled oil town of Warri where Ijaw and Itsekiri groups have been fighting over local government boundaries). The poll got the democratic imprimatur of monitoring groups from the Commonwealth, and others.

As bad as it gets

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Political power in Nigeria grows out of a barrel of oil but the industry is in big trouble

If General Abdulsalami Abubakar’s government cannot sort out the oil business, its brokering of a political transition may not amount to much. Six months ago,when Gen. Sani Abacha ...

Millionaire debtors

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As Nairobi's failing banks call in their loans there is a nasty smell of cronyism

Delinquent debtors owe millions of shillings to more than a dozen troubled banks in Kenya. The list includes names from President Daniel arap Moi’s immediate family, that of his lo...

Khama country, again

The ruling duo of Mogae and Khama is consolidating ahead of next year's elections

When President Festus Mogae took office in April on Sir Quett Ketumile Masire's resignation, he proclaimed his government's commitment to human rights. Yet this seems to bypass the...

No nation, new regions

New regional adminstrations and a police force haven't stopped the clan conflicts

A peace settlement still seems as far away as ever in Somalia, with no firm indication that any promised national reconciliation conference will take place in the foreseeable fut...


David and Goliath

Even as it suffers military setbacks in Congo- Kinshasa and Congo-Brazzaville and back home in the central highlands, the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola is pressing ahea...

Rebel terror

The Revolutionary United Front rebels and the remnants of the deposed military junta are bringing their terror campaign towards Freetown again. They are now striking along a 200 mi...

December surprise

West African leaders meeting, on 14 December in Lomé, Togo, to talk about Guinea Bissau have had a surprising success. They have brokered a power-sharing deal between President Joã...