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Published 8th March 2002

Vol 43 No 5


Angola

Death, not peace

After four decades of war, the killing of 'O Mais Velho' Jonas Savimbi makes peace possible but not certain

The government sent a message of reconciliation. After the death in combat of Jonas Savimbi in late February, President José Eduardo dos Santos said the army was working towards local truces, with a view to a general ceasefire. The aim, presumably, is to placate the foreign observers who want the government to focus on development rather than war ­ and perhaps to coax the remaining fighters of Savimbi's União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola out of the bush and into Luanda politics. There is, the authorities tell them, 'nothing to be afraid of any more'. The necessary compromises could take time to achieve, though. It is by no means clear who will lead UNITA's forces after Savimbi's death. The first post-Savimbi contender, António Sebstião Dembo, has just been killed in unexplained circumstances; some say by the government, others by UNITA rivals. Dembo has not been replaced by the harder line UNITA Secretary General, General Paulo Lukamba 'Gato'. Dos Santos has said it would be absurd for the army to declare a unilateral ceasefire. There are still reports of limited rebel attacks, though it is, as usual, rarely clear whether the attackers were UNITA fighters, renegade government soldiers or 'armed bandits', a vague but comprehensive term. Would-be peacemakers, such as Dom Zacarias Kamuenho, of the Comité Inter-Eclesial para a Paz em Angola (Inter-Church Committee for Peace in Angola, Coiepa), say they are deeply disappointed by Dos Santos' position.


How many UNITAs?

The most important of the post-Jonas Savimbi factions of the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola is the armed wing which was under António Dembo...


Good news for some

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Election arithmetic

Robert Mugabe's last stand is a key test of Africa's political resolve

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African energy

Western concerns about instability in the Middle East send oil companies south

The United States and its allies have discovered Africa again. After 11 September, and with the Middle East on the boil, African oil and gas encourage Western powers to believe the...


Oilfield, battlefield

The opposition regroups and threatens Khartoum's control of the oilfields

The National Islamic Front (or National Congress) government has mounted a massive air and ground offensive in oil-rich Western Upper Nile to counter the regrouping of opposition g...



Pointers

Blitzing the banks

In its attempt to clean up the banks, the Central Bank of Nigeria risks sparking a crisis. It wants to deter banks and multinationals from dealing on the parallel market and blames...


Branch office

The European Commission is contemplating yet another development bank, this time to boost the integration of North Africa's economies into the European-Mediterranean market ­ a...


Money for mercs?

The French immigration authorities have created a huge row in Guinea, by deporting there a group of 18 Liberians who gave evidence last year in the trial of Guinean opposition lead...


The other Tanzanite

France's first military exercise in English-speaking Africa, Tanzanite III on 11-22 February, got top marks in public, while its sponsors carried on bickering about what to 'do' ab...