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Published 1st August 1997

Vol 38 No 16


Saba saba

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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The campaign to demand constitutional reform has turned into a full-frontal assault on an increasingly desperate President Moi

This is a bad year for authoritarian governments. The dean of despots, Mobutu Sese Seko, was chased out in May, Sudan's Hassan el Turabi faces coordinated military opposition from north and south, Presidents Pascal Lissouba and Ange-Félix Patassé are grimly holding on against armed uprisings, and even Nigeria's coup veteran General Sani Abacha has to think twice about plans to win his own presidential election next year. The anti-authoritarian mood is taking hold: demonstrations, strident press criticism of corruption, denunciations of mismanagement and perhaps most significantly, the public ridicule of authoritarian leaders. All this is a delicate subject at State House in Nairobi, where President Daniel arap Moi has been incensed by watching footage of jubilating students marching a few miles away chanting 'Moi-butu, Moi-butu out!'

Blood under the bridge

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Taylor threatened war if he lost the poll - now it's reconciliation with no questions asked

The surprise was not Charles Taylor's victory in the 18 July elections but the scale of it: he won over three-quarters of the votes; his nearest rival, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, won l...

Museveni's backyard

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Sweeping changes in the region have not ended the rebellions against Kampala

After helping to bring major changes to neighbouring Congo-Kinshasa and Southern Sudan, the Ugandan armed forces have now escalated their attempts to stamp out Uganda's own rebel m...

Payback time

The backers of Kabila's war now want a return on their investment

Congo-Kinshasa's neighbours and foreign investors had high hopes of business gains following the overthrow of Mobutu Sese Seko but the old dictator's legacy of institutional collap...

Changing gear slowly

President Mubarak's cautious reshuffle disappoints reformers and foreign investors

Prime Minister Kamal el Ganzouri has acquired more real power than any previous occupant of what has been a largely ceremonial post. By centring power on the Premier's office, Pres...

White ops...

Reaction to the launch of the USA's new crisis response is mixed

In a week when France announced 40 per cent cuts in its military presence in Africa, it was galled to see United States troops land in Senegal and Uganda to launch Washington's Afr...


Still inside

In AC Vol 38 No 15, we said that Ethiopian Teachers' Association President Taye Wolde Semayat had been freed: we learn that he was released from chains but not from gaol. His trial...

You didn't hear this

'Ignore statements made in the next two months by the US Ambassador to Khartoum'. This is the extraordinary advice which US officials have given (discreetly and verbally) to Washin...

New Nacfa

Asmara's introduction of its own Nacfa currency and dropping of the Ethiopian Birr (with which, for now, it has exchange rate parity) rang some alarms in Addis Ababa. But the probl...