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Published 7th November 1997

Vol 38 No 22


Enunciations from Edinburgh

Prime Minister Blair and Secretary General Anyaoku's attempts to reshape the Commonwealth were marred by political irresolution

In the confusion about the Commonwealth's role as democratic policeman during the Heads of Government meeting in Edinburgh (24-27 October), two significant voices encapsulated the issues. Firstly, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni told activists in Edinburgh that they should not expect much help from the international community: 'If you think you don't have democracy then you should fight for it, instead if pinning your hopes on international organisations'. When he was asked about the Commonwealth' failure to promote democracy in Nigeria, Museveni retorted: 'These political activists need to wake up. The Commonwealth won't give you freedom. You have to carry the pregnancy and the Commonwealth is like a mid-wife that can help you to deliver'.


Captain Solo speaks

An amateurish coup attempt strengthens the hands of the MMD hardliners

A failed coup attempt by a group of drunken soldiers, on 28 October, made Zambians worry and pitched their political leaders into a familiar shouting match of accusation and counte...


The General's transition

As Sani Abacha makes his political plans there is growing disquiet in the military

No one who has visited the Presidential complex at Aso Rock in recent weeks doubts that General Sani Abacha, encouraged by his wife Maryam and his 'kitchen cabinet', intends to sta...


Winning against Winnie

The former Mrs. Mandela may lose her bid for power but she still alarms ANC leaders

The President's ex-wife scares the African National Congress establishment. Their nightmare is that Winnie Madikizela- Mandela will be elected deputy president of the ANC at its na...


Democratic drought

Attempts at political openings have turned sour despite some economic progress

The Sahel's tentative move towards democracy seems to be stalled. From Dakar to Ndjamena, ruling parties increasingly dominate the political landscape and opposition figures are po...



Pointers

On fire

There have been rebellious stirrings again, enough to send President Idriss Déby scurrying off to Taiwan in search of a reward for recognising China's rival last June. A few...