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Published 9th October 1998

Vol 39 No 20


Strings attached

The MPLA is trying to carve a puppet UNITA but this doesn't tackle the issue of Savimbi's troops

In one month, the government has transformed the Angolan political situation. Its intrigues became visible on 31 August, when it suspended ministers and parliamentarians belonging to the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola. It is seeking to isolate Jonas Savimbi and his movement’s military wing (AC Vol 39 Nos 10 & 16) and to forge a new, malleable UNITA in the capital under the leadership of Hotels and Tourism Minister Jorge Valentim. The ruling Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola may hope that if it can wipe out Savimbi’s military capabilities, Valentim’s UNITA Renovada (Renewed) will become just another toothless opposition party.

Mining and undermining

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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As UNITA responds to the MPLA's 'final push', diamonds will be crucial

Jonas Savimbi’s União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola is sometimes reported to have recently recaptured most of the diamond-mining areas from which it had been ousted...

Gunning for prawns

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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A row over a prawn farm and arms supply contract tests government accountability

Pressure is mounting on President Benjamin Mkapa to reconsider cabinet approval for a 10,000-hectare prawn farm in East Africa’s biggest expanse of mangrove forest. Most controvers...

Entrenched and overstretched

The neighbours say they want peace but more are joining the fray

Though the war has broadened out, geographically and especially in the number of governments involved, the rainy season has brought a lull in hostilities; both the government and t...

To a little kingdom

As SADC allies go to war in Congo, Pretoria stumbles into an insurrection nearer home

The military intervention in Lesotho was meant to be a show-case for the new South African National Defence Force (SANDF). It turned into a political-military fiasco. Lesotho’s opp...


Political chemistry

A leading advocate of sending an ‘independent team’ to investigate the bombed El Shifa pharmaceutical factory works out of Sudan’s London mission. Since the United States’ attack o...

Usman Optimism

After four years as a virtual pariah, Nigeria was feted at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meeting as a rare bright spot on a sea of almost unremitting gloom....

Trading standards

Negotiations for the Lomé Convention’s successor opened in Brussels on 30 September. The deafening lack of publicity reflected the climate of doom: many see this as the end of the ...