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Published 20th September 2013

Vol 54 No 19


Uganda

Museveni on the defensive

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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It is becoming clear that the President wants yet another term of office, possibly for his son, but he has major legal and political obstacles to overcome first

Uganda’s next election may only be in 2016 but President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who is almost certain to run again, has set out an early agenda. He is mobilising support amongst the armed forces and veterans – and moving to quash all dissent in the governing National Resistance Movement (NRM). With the Public Order Management Bill, which has been widely criticised for restricting free speech, having passed into law in May, police now have discretionary powers to break up meetings of three people or more that they believe to be political. Museveni may also be seeking to raise the constitutional age limit for a president above 75.

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Millions diverted in 2012

The information may be technically public, but many Ugandans are unaware that the Auditor General has reported epic plunder of the public purse

Up to US$100 million was diverted from government funds in the year ending 30 June 2012, according to the Auditor General. John FS Muwanga announced the loss in audits and value-fo...


Legacy of war

More accusations of human rights abuses in Jonglei challenge Salva's new government and its army

The Sudan People's Liberation Army stands accused again of widespread violations against civilians in its attempts to suppress a rebellion in Jonglei State. On 12 September, Human ...



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THE INSIDE VIEW

The inauguration of Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta on 19 September in Bamako was conveniently timed for visiting French President François Hollande. It allowed Hollande to talk up the success of his Mali mission ahead of the United Nations General Assembly session opening on 24 September. Hollande wants the UN's Peacekeeping department to find more troops for its planned 12,600-strong mission to northern Mali. So far, there are just 5,000 UN troops.

France is to cut its own...

The inauguration of Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta on 19 September in Bamako was conveniently timed for visiting French President François Hollande. It allowed Hollande to talk up the success of his Mali mission ahead of the United Nations General Assembly session opening on 24 September. Hollande wants the UN's Peacekeeping department to find more troops for its planned 12,600-strong mission to northern Mali. So far, there are just 5,000 UN troops.

France is to cut its own troops there from current levels of 3,200 to 1,000 special forces by the year's end and the European Union mission to retrain two batallions of Malian troops has been dragging its feet. After France's military intervention retook control of northern Mali's three giant provinces and a ceasefire agreement allowed a credible election to be held, many believe that Keïta has a chance to rebuild national security. But there are some warning signs, with serious clashes in western Mali near the Mauritanian border between government soldiers and fighters loyal to the Mouvement national pour la libération de l'Azawad (MNLA) last week.

That will, at least concentrate minds. Keïta's government has just 60 days from the date of the elections to negotiate a lasting accord with the MNLA and other Tuareg and northern groups. For the first time, the Bamako government has created a Ministry for Reconciliation and Development of the Northern Regions; Keïta appointed Zahabi Ould Sidi Mohamed, a veteran Arab opposition politician to the post. Much harder to achieve will be Keïta's aim to put a definitive end to the northern rebellions that have punctuated Mali's history since Independence in 1960.

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Sakunda fuels rumours

Takeover rumours surround the well-connected energy company Sakunda as its role in supporting ZANU-PF comes under ever greater scrutiny

Sakunda Energy, the fuel import and distribution company linked to the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, may be about to be taken over by the major international oil...


Punching out the PDP

The President’s failure to bring together the rival factions in his party has chronically weakened his government’s standing, nationally and regionally

The open brawl between rival factions of the governing People’s Democratic Party in the National Assembly on 18 September pointed dramatically to the failure of party leaders...


A gamble on secession

A private company claiming to have bought oil licences from three governments in exile is looking for investors. Several prominent secessionists sit on its advisory board

Kilimanjaro Capital is not the first company to try selling mineral rights in territories claimed by secessionist movements but it must be one of the most bizarre. It claims to hav...


Reshuffle may not help Jonathan's chances

The President sacked nine ministers on 11 September, many of whom are linked to his opponents

The first major reshuffle of Goodluck Jonathan's presidency on 11 September looked more like a panic reaction to political revolt inside his party rather than a strategic move to s...


Head rolls in bank row

The Bank of Somalia’s argument with the UN Monitoring Group has cost its boss his job as the President placates the donors at Brussels

The Governor of the Bank of Somalia, Abdusalam Omer, has lost his job in a row between the United Nations and the government over corruption at the BOS (AC Vol 53 No 5, Cashing in ...


Boutef's miracle return

After reshuffles to the intelligence services and government, the President is unexpectedly back from the dead

Enfeebled by an illness that hospitalised him in Paris between April and July, and limited public appearances to stage-managed photo-shoots, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika began th...


Regional risks rising

Fighting in the northwest threatens to spiral outwards through the country and possibly the region as the new AU force arrives

Throughout September violence has been on the increase in Central African Republic. In one week alone about 100 people were killed in skirmishes and many properties were destroyed ...


Boardroom battles hit Ecobank

Tough decisions face one of Africa’s most respected banks: its Chairman and Chief Executive are under scrutiny for claimed malpractice

Directors of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), Africa’s biggest cross-border lender, are due to hold another emergency meeting on 20 September to resolve the crisis o...


Kabimba loses his footing

The PF Secretary General looked ready to succeed Sata but determined opposition could dash his ambitions and the President’s wishes

A campaign to endorse President Michael Sata as the Patriotic Front’s candidate in the 2016 general elections has turned into a major battle between two of the PF’s mos...


Mugabe shuffles the pack, again

The new cabinet is ill-equipped to face the economic and diplomatic challenges ahead but promotes some moderates and brings in some youthful talent

It took President Robert Mugabe and his advisors the best part of a month to name a cabinet that mainly redistributes the top jobs to the old political elite, sidelines some of the...



Pointers

The unforgiven

To the relief of many seeking a restoration of democracy, law and order, on 10 September parliament failed to pass a law granting amnesty to the leaders of the April 2012 coup. For...


A family divided

Two weeks before the legislative and local elections on 30 September, the ruling Rassemblement démocratique du peuple camerounais (RDPC) has caused a shock by recruiting Ami...


Eclipse of the son

The pressure would not let up. Human Rights Watch, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General Karin Landgren and a chorus of domestic voices clamoured for Presi...


Total loss

Hopes of oil wealth seem to be in ruins now that oil company Total has decided to abandon Block 1 of the Joint Development Zone (JDZ) with Nigeria. France’s Total took over C...