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Published 4th December 1998

Vol 39 No 24


Fighting rebels at home and abroad

After shopping for arms in Cairo and Christmas presents in London, President Mugabe faces a harsh homecoming

Created in 1980 from two of Africa’s most effective guerrilla forces, Zimbabwe’s national army is struggling in Congo-Kinshasa. Zimbabwean troops have tried five times to retake the strategic south-eastern town of Kabalo from local rebels and Ugandan troops. Each time, the better armed Zimbabwean forces repeated the same failed strategy; each time, they were repulsed.

First the provinces, then the presidency

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Factionalism is alive and well in ZANU-PF ahead of its national conference in Gweru on 9-12 December. The internecine disputes played out in the provincial party elections of 28 N...

Ending an embargo

Hopes for peace rise as ethnic politics give way to a new power-sharing deal

International pressure is growing to lift the embargo imposed on Burundi by its neighbours. Until now Tanzania and Uganda have been the main backers of the sanctions which were imp...

An election foretold

There is evidence of wide-ranging attempts to rig the forthcoming elections

By fair means or foul, President and General Lansana Conté is determined to 'win' the 14 December elections. His impressive opponents, who include a World Bank economist, a ...

Asking the people

Yoweri Museveni is far ahead of his political rivals but criticisms of the NRM are growing

Two years before the referendum asking Ugandans whether they want to return to multi-party politics, the ruling National Resistance Movement is taking no chances. It seems to have ...


The Pinochet factor

Congo-Kinshasa President Laurent-Désiré Kabila was the first African leader to feel the effects of Britain's landmark ruling that Chilean dictator General Augusto P...

Best friends

The world's largest diamond producer by value stands ready to see off rivals as world recession slashes gemstone demand, especially from east Asia. The Debswana Mining Company, whi...

False amnesties

Overseas non-governmental organisations have been complaining that the government is trying to undermine them. Amnesty International and Médecins sans Frontières both...


An attempt by Libya to obtain rocket guidance systems has signalled that Colonel Moammar el Gadaffi's Al Fateh missile scheme may be quiescent but is not, as many believed, dead.