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Published 11th April 1997

Vol 38 No 8


Sudan

The frontlines grow longer

Attacking from the east, the opposition is capturing territory and winning new recruits; and in the south it's threatening Juba

The collapse of the government army's operations against fierce opposition attack in the south and east has thrown the ruling National Islamic Front into confusion. It is no longer able to count on the armed forces' military or political support to shore it up. Opposition gains on both fronts suggest to civilian activists that the time for a 'protected intifadha' (uprising) is drawing nearer. The government response is unconvincing: the titular Head of State, Lieutenant General Omer Hassan Ahmed el Beshir, first told the Sudanese that he would countenance negotiations with the opposition 'only through the barrel of a gun'; then in the wake of massive government losses, he invited exiled Umma Party chief El Sadig el Sadeeg el Mahdi back to Khartoum to negotiate. For several days, government spokesmen denied there was any serious fighting on its southern border with Uganda; then, without explanation, a spokesman announced the 'huge success' of a government counter-offensive in the same area.


Marching to Juba

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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On the ground, the Sudan People's Liberation Army looks competent and confident of taking Juba. Its rout of government forces is unparallelled since the 1991 split. Under the overa...


Baby Tiger

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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At last some good economic news to bolster President Mkapa's multi-party democracy

Tanzania may not be an economic tiger yet but visitors to Dar es Salaam (population: 3 million and growing fast) can easily see that the sleepy days are over. Everywhere buildings ...


Trouble next door

Luanda hopes to benefit from the demise of its old enemy Mobutu

Zaïre's slow-burning revolution has made a quick impact on Angola. President José Eduardo dos Santos is cheering on Laurent-Désiré Kabila's forces and has...


Kabila yaka!

A bizarre coalition of money and Marxism lies behind the AFDL's phenomenal success

Several 'companions of the road' have given their support to 59 year-old Laurent-Désiré Kabila's political struggle. They are an odd bunch, from Maoist guerrillas to ...


Cabinda to Kinshasa

On 10 March, all the senior leaders of Frente de Libertação do Enclave de Cabinda-Renovada, Antonio Bento Bembe, Artur Tchibassa and Mirracio Armando N'zoulou, were t...


Nimble in Ndjamena

Déby is getting domestic politics under control and is giving his neighbours a hand

Yet another of Africa's military leaders who has swapped khaki for boubou or danshiki, President Idriss Déby Itno has spent the last three months getting domestic politics u...



Pointers

Across the lake

Burundian rebels may have lost part of their Zaïrean safe-haven but they fight on and have even acquired a navy. On 25 March, the Hutu hardline Forces pour la Défense d...


Across the river

Money is sloshing around Brazzaville. The Kinshasa bourgeoisie (new and old) has fled across the river and is making its presence (and its money) felt. So are the serried ranks of ...


Boeing bellyflops

A forced landing by a Ugandan chartered Boeing 707 at Harare International Airport on 14 March is arousing interest among diplomats and business people tracking the huge increase i...