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Published 20th November 1998

Vol 39 No 23


The wages of war

As the regional combatants prepare for a showdown in the diamond capital of Mbuji Mayi, President Kabila has arranged some pay-offs

Four months on, the battle for economic and political power in Congo-Kinshasa has become Africa’s most African war this century. The key protagonists and their armies are all African, the economic spoils are majority-owned by Africans, the diplomatic efforts to stop the war are being run through regional organisations - only the weapons (and the occasional military ‘advisor’) are provided from outside. Western countries are standing back, leaving the core diplomacy to the Southern African Development Community and the Organisation of African Unity. Countries outside the immediate arena of battle, such as Nigeria and South Africa, hope desperately that the SADC and OAU peace initiatives under the chairmanship of Zambian President Frederick Chiluba will make some progress at a new round of talks on 21-22 November. Yet the omens look bad.

Facing up to Savimbi

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Abel Chivukuvuku takes on UNITA's leader from within his own party and people

Chivukuvuku’s first steps as an independent politician have faltered. He tried to recruit Savimbi’s former economics spokesperson, Fatima Roque, who is white and married to Portugu...

Who comes next?

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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The parties are fighting internally - before fighting each other

The election season has come early. National elections are two years away but the two main parties - the ruling National Democratic Congress and the opposition New Patriotic Party ...

Before the storm

The recent political calm conceals the contest for Moi's inheritance

A great campaign of historical revisionism has begun. Led by President Daniel arap Moi and his sons, it presents Moi as a caring statesman who did great things for his country du...


Bongo rebounds

President El Hadj Omar Bongo will be one of the grimmer-faced heads of state attending the Francophone Summit in Paris on 26-28 November. He is still favoured to win the presidenti...

Business front

Rebel gains on the eastern front, bordering Ethiopia, now threaten business interests crucial to the National Islamic Front regime. The local Sudan People’s Liberation Army command...

Twin peaks

Contract-chasing companies, local politicians and many of Casablanca’s four million or so residents will focus, on 21-28 November, on the tenth anniversary of the city’s twinning w...