Jump to navigation

Published 24th October 1997

Vol 38 No 21


A dictator returns

General Sassou fights his way back to power in Brazzaville and gets a tacit welcome from Paris and perhaps Washington

Fresh from his military defeat of the elected President, Pascal Lissouba, on 15 October, General Denis Sassou Nguesso told Africa Confidential that he would follow a policy of ouverture and national reconciliation. Yet he is far from being Congo's most popular politician and his conflict with Lissouba has reinforced the traditional north-south divisions on which it was largely based. Lissouba's failures were many but the Congolese fought hard for the election in 1992 which brought him to power and that fight was against the then President – Sassou Nguesso (who had won just 15 per cent of the votes).

Clearing out

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

View site

Uncertainties about General Abacha's health have prompted a rush for oil profits

Nobody knows whether General Sani Abacha will take off his uniform and try to win an election as his own civilian successor in August 1998. Moreover, he may be suffering (depending...

A sudden conversion

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

View site

Almost overnight, KANU’s top brass have discovered the value of political reform

Using whips and clubs and firing teargas canisters, police broke up another demonstration demanding constitutional reform, this time at Nyahururu on 19 October. It was the latest i...

Biya's bad joke

The opposition’s boycott handed the ruling party a landslide

It took the government three days to produce partial preliminary results for the presidential election of 12 October. The only surprise was the scale of the victory claimed for Pre...

King to move

The opposition to King Mswati’s traditional government is split – and losing hope

The trades union movement has tried and failed to bring down the government of King Mswati III. Jan Sithole, Secretary General of the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions, called a...


Oromo talks

Talk of improved relations between the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front and the main Oromo opposition party, the Oromo Liberation Front, looks overblown. On...

Junta versus junta

Major Johnny Paul Koroma's junta is increasingly personalising what it calls its 'dispute' with General Sani Abacha. In this way, it hopes to divide West African opinion over Niger...

Not at ease

The government's reshuffle of top army posts is widely considered a bid to be seen to be doing something amid rising protest against the pressganging of teenagers for the war front...