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Published 10th July 1998

Vol 39 No 14


The President who never was

Hopes for a credible and popular transition to civil rule have been shaken by the death of the gaoled winner of the 1993 election

Although the sudden death of Chief Moshood Abiola (60) happened in the presence of a visiting United States’ delegation on 7 July, it has nevertheless raised suspicions of foul play among his supporters and doused hopes that the country's new military leader General Abdulsalaam Abubakar might be able to usher in a new climate of popular political reform. News of Abiola's death was quickly followed by militant protests in Lagos, Ibadan and Abeokuta in the south-west of the country. If anything, his death emphasised Abiola's centrality to political developments in the country and his emergence over the past five years as a symbol for its pro-democracy movement. Reacting to news of Abiola's death, one activist said, ' Now we are leaderless, headless... and that's dangerous'.

Long war, quick fix

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Outsiders contemplate a north-south peace that helps the NIF and weakens its opponents

Western governments have a plan for the independence of southern Sudan. The proposals have the blessing of the Sudan government but bypass Sudan's neighbours in the Inter-Governmen...

Standing on the south

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Since conflict erupted on 31 December 1955, the day before Sudan’s Independence, several million people have died in the war in the south.It’ shard,therefore,tofindasou...

Surprise guests

President Moi says relations with the USA are warming but economic aid remains on hold

A surprise guest turned up at the United States’ Independence Day festivities in Nairobi’s Ruaraka suburb on 4 July: President Daniel Arap Moi. His presence reflected h...


Mortgaged future

A new deal with Swiss oil trader Glencore has mortgaged virtually the last barrel of the government’s own oil allocation in exchange for up-front payments of some US$900 mill...

Stolen votes

In Israel for medical treatment this week, President Gnassingbé Eyadéma faces unprecedented foreign pressure over the stolen 21 June presidential election. Eyad&eacut...

Mane fights on

Amid the shelling and the frantic efforts of over 200,000 displaced Guineans to find food and shelter, President João Bernardo ‘Nino’ Vieira’s mandate expi...