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Published 6th November 1998

Vol 39 No 22

Annan and Africa

African wars and American funds top the list of the Secretary General's problems for the next three years

Nearly two years into the job, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has implemented tough cost-cutting reforms while winning back some of the organisation’s diplomatic kudos. Yet sadly for the 60-year-old Ghanaian diplomat, the UN’s worst problems – in terms of wars and failed economies – are still in Africa. In the longer term, Annan’s success in carving out a more effective role for the UN in Africa will be a key yardstick of his tenure. The UN role in successful African operations (the restoration of an elected government in Sierra Leone and a preventive peacekeeping deployment in Central African Republic) is far outweighed by the unresolved conflicts in which the UN is under pressure to intervene, such as Burundi, Congo-Kinshasa, Sudan, Ethiopia-Eritrea and Rwanda.

From the 38th floor

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Among the staff, Kofi Annan is the most popular Secretary General to date. Helped by his open manner and attention to detail, Annan's rapport with staff stems from his 30-year ri...

Turning the tide

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The rebels are winning battles and learning from Kabila's mistakes

The fall of Kindu on 12 October was a turning-point. Firstly, it demonstrated the rebels’ military superiority. The Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie (RCD) deployed about...


Obasanjo encore

Former military leader General Olusegun Obasanjo’s bid for the Presidency in February’s elections has attracted a strange coalition of supporters: genuine patriots fearful of the ...

Dinosaur encore

The summit of the Economic Community of West African States in Abuja on 30-31 October made several agreements, none of them noticeably economic.

The right's embrace

A new pan-African alliance of non-socialist parties, the Union of African Parties for Democracy and Development (UAPDD), has been launched with the backing of the main right-wing g...

Severed supplies

As Eritrea and Ethiopia prepare for the much postponed Organisation of African Unity meeting to discuss their border conflict, in Ouagadougou on 7 November, a convoy of Ethiopian l...