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Published 26th June 1998

Vol 39 No 13


Nigeria

Abubakar meets Abiola

After releasing some political prisoners and negotiating with the gaoled winner of the 1993 elections, Abuja breaks the political ice

For a regime which proclaims continuity with its predecessor, the new order in Abuja under General Abdulsalaam Abubakar is making some major changes to the political script written by the late Gen. Sani Abacha’s advisors. On 22 June, government sources in Abuja were insisting that substantive talks with the gaoled winner of the 1993 elections, Moshood Abiola, were proceeding. The aim was to agree a formula for his release. This would follow the release of 14 political prisoners in the previous week and promises of more to come. But at least one leading member of Abiola’s family remained sceptical about the politician’s unconditional release: ‘He won a national election and spent four years in gaol - he must take the ultimate decision on his mandate,’ Africa Confidential was told. Meanwhile, a New York debt trader said, ‘There’s nothing like an Abiola release story to push up the value of Nigeria’s Brady Bonds’.


Revolving doors in Abuja

Abuja’s hoteliers are among the most obvious beneficiaries of General SaniAbacha’ sdemiseon8June.Sincethen,theinlandcapital’ s hotels and guest houses have been f...


Mane's men

An army mutiny has quickly become a security problem for the neighbouring states

Demoralised troops, Casamance and cannabis smuggling have all fanned the flames of Guinea Bissau’s army mutiny. It has now engulfed the sub-region in the crisis, drawing Sene...


Twilight Zone

Europe's new money has no room for favours to Francophone Africa

The Paris-backed CFA Franc Zone is under pressure in Africa again as eleven European Union nations brace themselves for their new common currency, the euro (AC Vol 39 No 11). While...


Pipeline jitters

There are still doubts about the huge plan to pump oil from Chad to the Atlantic

Southern-based rebels and environmentalists are losing their battles toscupperPresidentIdrissDéby’ splanstoturnChadintoAfrica’ s latest oil emirate. The Dé...


Politics for sale

Big companies with powerful friends dominate the newly privatised economy

Economic reform and party funding make uneasy bedfellows in Abidjan, where President Henri Konan-Bédié’s government is torn between the demands of financial rec...



Pointers

Short changed

There is a growing rift between Secretary of State for International Development Clare Short and British-based aid agencies which have in recent years become increasingly dependent...


Access denied

Amid massive publicity for Sudan’s famine, the Khartoum government agreed in May to full access for the United Nations’ Operation Lifeline Sudan. Foreign Minister Musta...


More gems

Namibian mining companies owned by Branch Energy, of which Sandline International Chairman Anthony Buckingham is Chief Executive, are seeking to evict small-scale miners from the N...