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Published 5th April 2002

Vol 43 No 7


Sierra Leone

Heading for the door

Problems with the election timetable and organisation undermine the huge peacekeeping mission

President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah seems sure to win Sierra Leone's presidential election on 14 May. He has support from Sierra Leoneans relieved that peace has come at last and from an international community (led by Britain) which sees him as the candidate most likely to follow its agenda. They hope that a second Kabbah presidency will at least reduce corruption and bring in new blood. His running mate, Attorney General Solomon Berewa, dismisses as 'wild rumours' talk that 70-year-old Kabbah has offered to step down after two years. Donors had hoped a new Kabbah government would have a stronger mandate than the present one, which was elected in 1996 in a poll that could not be held everywhere and whose term of office officially ended a year ago. The main opposition is missing, though. Leaders of the Revolutionary United Front met on 1 April and threatened not to participate in the presidential and parliamentary elections. Foday Sankoh, whom they want as their presidential candidate, is on trial for murder, sick and in any event ineligible because he is not a registered elector. RUF Secretary General Pallo Bangura, close to Sankoh, has been insisting, along with the RUF rank and file, on Sankoh's right to stand. So by the deadline on 2 April, the RUF had not registered any candidate for the presidential poll; the deadline was immediately extended as almost everyone hopes the RUF will reconsider. If the RUF stays out of the elections, it risks undermining the peace declared ­ just two months ago ­ between government and rebels.


Whose best friend?

The slaughter in Sierra Leone was mainly about resources and most people's lack of them. For decades, the Freetown elite and its foreign friends kept the spoils of the diamond busi...


Chairman Moi

New KANU moves the country back to the one-party state

The dynamic duo, President Daniel arap Moi and his Trade Minister, Nicholas Kipyator Biwott, dominate Kenyan politics more completely than they have for a decade (AC Vol 43 Nos 1 &...


Grabbing at growth

Political troubles mean the government has to do better with the economy

Suddenly Ghana is in political crisis. For the last decade, the country's development of a constitutional democracy and political stability amid the turbulence of West Africa was a...


Stalemate

Shrinking credibility and economic chaos push Mugabe towards the negotiating table

In a brutal game of political chess with his opponents, President Robert Mugabe now seems to be stalemated. Chronic shortages of food and fuel are forcing Mugabe and his ruling cli...


Politics before economics

After consolidating his power, President Issayas will turn to the anaemic economy

The six-week delay, until 13 April, in the United Nations' verdict on the border dispute with Ethiopia may have further damaged the economy but by keeping the country on a war-foot...



Pointers

Pax Luanda

Government and rebels were set to sign a comprehensive ceasefire on 4 April some ten years after a similar deal which saw the two sides merge their armies, fight an election and......


Enemy's enemy

French troops may have withdrawn from Central African Republic but their barracks are now being taken over by Libyan and Sudanese troops. Even more bizarrely, some Paris officials ...


City under siege

Tension is rising as the standoff between the country's parallel presidents continues, veering between good-natured though fervent protest (especially by Marc Ravalomanana's suppor...