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Published 21st June 2013

Vol 54 No 13


Kenya

The long, long vote count

KENYA Kitale: A 2013 campaign rally by Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto. Sven Torfin / Panos
KENYA Kitale: A 2013 campaign rally by Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto. Sven Torfin / Panos

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

The failure of the electoral commission to release the full results of all six elections is prompting more suspicion of foul play

Although Kenya’s Supreme Court and international observers formally accept the legitimacy of the presidential election, government officials and activists are raising fresh doubts about the number of valid votes cast in the polls on 4 March. For the sceptics, the most glaring flaw is the failure of the Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission to release the full set of results for all six elections contested on that day. Critics say that the results do not add up and that the IEBC is desperate to reconcile or massage them before making them public.

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New investors, armed and dangerous

Juba's search for investment dollars has attracted disgraced European politicians and American military entrepreneurs

Now styling himself an 'independent financial analyst', Dominique Strauss-Kahn arrived in Juba on 14 May to help highlight the launch of the National Credit Bank. Before falling fr...


A bumpy ride to the polls

A fraught registration of electors before the local polls and growing civil society interest compound Renamo’s dispute with Frelimo

Civil society, the media and all Mozambique’s political parties are heavily engaged in scrutinising and politicking over the new electoral register. The register should be co...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

In a strange historical twist, the Group of Eight, the rich countries’ club, has been reinvigorated by the event that threatened to close it, 2008’s financial crisis. Britain’s then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, insisted the crisis demanded a new, more representative body, the Group of 20, to include China, India,

In a strange historical twist, the Group of Eight, the rich countries’ club, has been reinvigorated by the event that threatened to close it, 2008’s financial crisis. Britain’s then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, insisted the crisis demanded a new, more representative body, the Group of 20, to include China, India, South Africa and Saudi Arabia. The G-8 would fall by the wayside.

Five years later, it met in Northern Ireland on 17-18 June and pushed an anti-tax evasion agenda to shore up treasuries drained by the 2008 crisis. Advised by development economist Paul Collier, Britain’s Premier David Cameron set out a plan to ‘mark a turning point in the battle against tax evasion and avoidance’ and called on governments to ‘break down the walls of corporate secrecy’.

For the first time, G-8 countries pledged to make multinational companies disclose the taxes they pay on a country-by-country basis and demanded greater disclosure about offshore companies and trusts in tax havens, many of them British dependencies. The G-8’s exhortations put it a little ahead of the G-20, which plans to make multinationals pay more tax, especially in developing countries.

Experts such as Global Financial Integrity welcomed the declaration against tax evasion. The UK and United States have shifted from their ardent defence of financial secrecy but critics still want tougher disclosure rules on the anonymous shell companies used for tax avoidance, so that the beneficial owners can be identified.

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Attack dents Niger’s image

The jihadist challenge is increasing and some militants seem to have friends inside the regime

Jihadists launched an abortive attempt to break into a gendarmerie base in Niamey on 11 June. Alert guards chased away the small group of assailants and suffered no casualties but ...


Unhappy anniversary

This time Khartoum turns off Juba's oil taps in a move that will damage both countries' economies and escalate tensions across the border

The meeting between Khartoum's hawkish Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Kurti and China's Africa envoy Zhong Jianhua on 16 June over Sudan's plans to cut South Sudan's export pipeline sh...


The real power politics

The latest plan to harness the Congo River is gigantic, internationally important, expensive and politically driven

A meeting of officials and investors in Kinshasa, hosted on 17-18 June by Energy Minister Bruno Kapandji Kalala on financing the Inga III Dam signals the government’s new ser...


The Nile in numbers

Some 95% of the water that Egypt relies upon comes from the Nile

Some 85% of the Nile waters originate in the Ethiopian Highlands, flowing down the Blue Nile and two smaller tributaries. The remaining 15% comes down the White Nile from the Great...


Mugabe wins voting day drama

In a piece of political theatre, President Mugabe asks the Constitutional Court to reconsider its decision on the election date but the vote will still go ahead

Although it now seems likely that the Constitutional Court will bow to pressure and postpone the election for a few weeks beyond 31 July, the beneficiaries of any Court review are ...


Dam good connections

South Africa’s financial and political commitment to the Inga III Dam and the international support has galvanised and given new life to this pet project of successive Congol...


Abdel Aziz's uncertain grip

The President has tried to help the West while not riling his own public. He faces plenty of opposition, but it is unfocused

President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz returned to Nouakchott in the second week in June, following yet another medical check-up in France after being wounded in the stomach in October ...


Turning the oil taps on and off again

Khartoum's latest threat to shut down South Sudan's oil pipeline may look like political retaliation against the Juba government but it was prompted by a growing internal crisis in Sudan

Just as oil had just started to flow again from South Sudan to Sudan, after months of negotiations and external pressure, Sudan's President Omer Hassan Ahmed el Beshir ordered the ...


Condé takes on Steinmetz

The President claims mining interests lie behind the increasingly effective opposition campaign in Conakry

President Alpha Condé has escalated his government’s row with Geneva-based Beny Steinmetz Group Resources over the legitimacy of its stake in the Simandou iron ore mine.


Dam and blast it

Cairo has backed down from threats of war over Ethiopia’s dam on the Nile but has failed to resolve any of the serious environmental issues

Egyptian Foreign Minister, Mohamed Kamel Amr, was trying to calm tension over the control of the River Nile, after a meeting his Ethiopian counterpart, Tewodros Adhanom, in Addis A...



Pointers

Presidential exports

Foreign trips seem to hold a special magic for President John Mahama, who has spent most of his first six months in office struggling with chronic power and water shortages while t...


Transparency's clear win

Anti-corruption activists are celebrating the introduction of tougher rules on corporate accountability. The European Parliament passed EU Accounting and Transparency Directives on...


MNLA cedes Kidal

Bamako has signed a deal with the Mouvement national pour la libération de l’Azawad (MNLA) that will allow its army and civil servants to enter Kidal for the first tim...


Tullow wins tax tussle

Heritage Oil and Gas faces a US$313 million bill after its battle with Tullow Oil in London's High Court

Tullow Oil has won its bid to recover US$313 million from Heritage Oil and Gas, following their dispute over a $434 mn. Ugandan tax bill. Tullow shared ownership of two blocks in t...