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Published 1st May 1998

Vol 39 No 9


Marking time

The government is buying time, the opposition is wasting it and the human costs are mounting

The opposition National Democratic Alliance has spent months giving a free run to the ruling National Islamic Front. But this is a lull in the conflict, not a stalemate. The government tells Western and Arab companies and governments that it's staying in power and is open for business. The NDA spoils its own chances by appearing to be about to do a deal with the NIF and by failing the political and military tests of a government-in-waiting.

Famine strikes

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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This month, as the international media began noticing the famine in Bahr el Ghazal, the SPLA leader, Colonel John Garang, was touring in Eastern Equatoria. Bordering Kenya and Ugan...

Army arguments

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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The coup plot trial has brought some military divisions to the surface

The death sentences handed down on 28 April to six convicted coup plotters - all from the Yoruba south-west - will do little to settle the unease in the military about General Sani...

Blair-ites in the desert

King Hassan's liberalisation provides more space for Islamists and infuriates Algiers

Old animosities between Algiers and Rabat are re-emerging. This time it's over Islamist infiltrators and the planned referendum on Western Sahara (see Box). Algeria's still powerfu...

The China syndrome

President Mkapa has learned some new lessons from old Chinese masters

When Tanzania's founding President, Julius Nyerere, went to China in 1965, he came home and tried to build his country on Chairman Mao Tse Tung's model. The result was economic col...

A voting mirage

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan risks losing face in the Western Sahara. The referendum planned for 7 December - to decid.e at last whether the territory joins Morocco ...

Uglier turns

Ambushed by civilian politicians, General Mai¨nassara starts to hit back

Niamey's political violence took an uglier turn on 20 April when unidentified gunmen launched a professional-looking attack on the home of the coordinator of the opposition Front p...


Patriot games

The arrest of over 100 members of 'patriot' militias, including the Presidents of the Relizane and Djidiouia Assemblées Populaires Communales, for involvement in 'extra-judicial ex...

Lumpen logic

The 19 April election of Alhaji Nasser Sebaggala as Mayor of Kampala tests President Yoweri Museveni's tolerance of dissent (AC Vol 38 No 23). It will be a delicate matter handling...

Long shot

An astute change of strategy by President Jerry Rawlings to secure victory for his National Democratic Congress in the 2000 elections owes something to American history. The plan i...

Oil slick

The appointment of Federal Capital Territory Minister Lieutenant General Jerry Useni as head of a taskforce to tackle the chronic gasolene and diesel shortage is having little effe...