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Published 3rd April 1998

Vol 39 No 7


Nigeria

Room at the top

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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As the coup plot trials near their conclusion, a sweeping military reshuffle looms and a new civilian presidential candidate emerges

True to his word, his supporters say, General Sani Abacha is determined to hand over to a civilian successor in October - himself. A year ago, that script looked quite plausible. With a formidable war chest (foreign reserves of over US$7 billion) Abacha's supporters would build a huge national political organisation and the military would be delighted that their man was planning to stay as civilian president and protect their interests. Meanwhile, a massive public investment programme was to have taken off to reverse the collapse of the education and health services, and cut the chronic unemployment and crime rates in the cities. None of that has happened. Instead, a covertly-funded campaign backing Abacha's presidential ambitions is under way, run by such luminaries as Daniel Kanu, Godwin Daboh and Bukar Mandara. Last year, Chief of Army Staff Major Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi described the Abacha lobbyists as 'doubtful characters'.


From the shadows

Universally known as 'MD', former spymaster and police chief Alhaji Muhammadu Dikko Yusufu (66) has emerged as the most credible challenger to General Sani Abacha's as yet unannoun...


Clinton likes it

There's still lots of interest but little foreign money going into Kabila's new order

'Clinton likes the Congolese revolution,' President Laurent- Désiré Kabila exclaimed on state television on 26 March, after meeting in Uganda with the United States' President duri...


Southern rivals

Economic and military competition is growing between Windhoek and Gaborone

That some Namibian government loyalists are still bristling in the wake of President Bill Clinton's visit to Botswana shows the depth of animosity between these two Southern Africa...


Starting small

Bankers are eyeing Africa for signs of the promised economic renaissance

African finance ministers are frustrated by the speed at which international financial institutions have moved to help bail out ailing East Asian economies, comparing this to the l...


Kicking off

A fight for the FIFA Presidency points to divisions among Africa's officials

African soccer is in decent if not spectacular form. Leading the pack into the World Cup tournament in France this June are Nigeria's talented Super Eagles, ahead of the other Afri...



Pointers

Khmercenaries

As French troops prepare to quit on 15 April, mercenaries are hovering - or so President Ange- Félix Patassé told the French daily Libération of 10 March: 'Mercenaries are being ...


Cross-border

Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin chose an odd day to condemn outside interference in Somalia: 18 March, the day Ethiopian troops again crossed into Somalia's Gedo Region to...


Not Alaafin matter

The detention at London's Gatwick airport on 24 March of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, and his family after it was claimed that drugs valued at £1.5 million (US$2.5...


Freed-up funds

Zimbabwe and the International Monetary Fund want to kiss and make up. In 1995, the Fund cut Zimbabwe out of its books, for failing to keep the promises behind 1991's structural ad...