Jump to navigation

Published 6th March 2015

Vol 56 No 5


Libya

More war, more talks

LIBYA Tobruk 2011: A man and a child stand on the roof of the destroyed police station. Mads Nissen / Berlingske / Panos
LIBYA Tobruk 2011: A man and a child stand on the roof of the destroyed police station. Mads Nissen / Berlingske / Panos

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

The impact of jihadists claiming allegiance to IS has increased and General Haftar seems set on a military solution

The escalation of violence by 'Islamic State' in Libya over the past month has contributed fresh horror to an already bloody conflict. However, the prospect of IS succeeding in establishing a new branch of its 'caliphate' in North Africa is far from certain. The Geneva talks process led by the United Nations in Morocco is in tatters, against a background of trademark spectacular murders of captives by IS. Yet further talks could take place.

READ FOR FREE

On the waterfront

When gunmen opened fire on an opposition rally in the First Lady’s home town, they were sending a clear message

Election campaigning for the opposition All Progressives Congress in the Niger Delta, the home base of President Goodluck Jonathan, was always going to be fraught. However, even th...


Welcome back, General

Addressing a packed auditorium at Chatham House in London on 26 February, General Muhammadu Buhari may have mused about his last big encounter with the British establishment. Thirt...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

The chaotic conference on the Ebola crisis at the European Union’s Palais d’Egmont in Brussels on 3 March reflected the confused, ad hoc response to the emergency from national governments and international organisations. It wasn’t a fund-raising meeting: that is due in May under United Nations auspices. Neither was it a meeting to draft the regional recovery plan that the finance ministers of the three most affected countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – say is essential. That is to ...

The chaotic conference on the Ebola crisis at the European Union’s Palais d’Egmont in Brussels on 3 March reflected the confused, ad hoc response to the emergency from national governments and international organisations. It wasn’t a fund-raising meeting: that is due in May under United Nations auspices. Neither was it a meeting to draft the regional recovery plan that the finance ministers of the three most affected countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – say is essential. That is to be hammered out at meetings starting next week in Freetown and then at the Spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington in April.

The World Health Organisation should have led the response but it has no money. Some 75% of its funds come from voluntary contributions and in its 2014/15 budget the WHO has cut allocations for health crises by over half, to $228 million. This followed a $500 mn. cut to its total budget of $4.5 bn. in 2013/14.

Untangling such crossed wires over money and strategy is harder still after reports of the theft of Ebola funds in Sierra Leone, now under investigation by Parliament in Freetown. The governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone announced their goal to reach ‘zero Ebola’ – no new cases – by April, but much work remains to be done. The clearest message from Brussels came from a non-governmental organisation, Médecins sans frontières: the Ebola outbreak is not under control and the crisis is not yet over.

Read more

A dream deferred

The economic slowdown, low steel demand and law suits block the development of the world’s largest iron ore deposit

Potential can be a heavy burden. That is the feeling in Conakry as President Alpha Condé and his advisors watch the prospects of economic development financed by minerals re...


Museveni gets his refinery

Doubts surround both the Russian contract and the supposed benefit and even viability of the oil discoveries

A Russian state company under European Union sanctions has won the contract to build an oil refinery on the shore of Lake Albert. The contract is symptomatic of the growing closene...


Complicated confiscation

Some of the assets of people most involved in Ben Ali’s business-based patronage are proving hard to reach

New Finance Minister, Slim Chaker, has been warned against confiscating assets from members of the inner circle of ex-President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali's regime, Africa Confidentia...


A test of everyone’s will

After 14 months of civil war, the two sides are in last-chance talks with the threat of international sanctions hanging over them

Talks between the Juba government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-in-Opposition, plus the group of former detainees, continued as Africa Confidential went to press. The ...


Oil interrupted

Major deposits of commercially viable oil were first discovered in Uganda’s Albertine Graben in 2006 and estimates of total reserves now stand at 6.5 billion barrels. It was ...


No-fly zone for legal eagles

The presidency is working to remove police and prosecutors who refuse to suspend actions against highly influential people

The decline in independence of South Africa's top criminal justice institutions is accelerating as President Jacob Zuma redoubles his efforts to immunise himself and his entourage ...


To vote, talk or fight

As the regime starts election campaigning, opposition parties boycott en masse and plan for political change

As President Omer Hassan Ahmed el Beshir launched his re-election campaign at Merrikh football stadium in Omdurman on 24 February, police were breaking up protests across the Nile ...


The politics of dumsor-dumsor

Power cuts, job losses and an IMF deal show the limits of government promises of economic change

Almost every African country has its power crisis. Lack of electricity from Angola to Zimbabwe holds back economic growth, education and health services. In some states such as Gha...


The mighty fall

ZANU-PF’s purge of the Mujuru faction is far from complete and the succession no clearer as Mugabe turns 91

Having removed Joice Mujuru from the leadership of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, the party seems unable to decide what to do next. Mujuru enjoyed strong popu...



Pointers

Damming evidence

The three major countries affected by US$4.8 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) are about to appoint a consultant to report on its environmental and social impact. The ...


Truce trouble

Leaders of the Tuareg armed groups fighting for the recognition of northern Mali as an autonomous or independent Azawad face the challenge of keeping supporters on board following ...