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Published 29th June 2001

Vol 42 No 13

Sierra Leone

Precarious calm

The fighters are disarming and demobilising fast but the much tougher job of building the peace remains to be done

Has Sierra Leone's war run out of steam? Many rebel fighters, as well as their opponents, want a break, if not an end to the war. Their warlord commanders, inside and outside the country, find the current tentative ceasefire and demobilisation convenient but not wholly to their liking. The changing fortunes of President Charles Taylor's regime in Liberia - from rebel sponsor to rebel target - are behind the new mood. Significant rebel territory is being ceded to the United Nations peacekeepers, then to President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah's government. Valuable diamond areas such as Tongo Field are now under UN control but the UN peacekeepers' real test, to bring the richest diamond fields in Kono District back under government control, is yet to come. Three battalions of Pakistani troops are landing in Freetown in shifts and will be sent up to establish UN control of Kono in July and August. If they succeed, the rebel Revolutionary United Front - and its sponsors in Liberia and Burkina Faso - will have lost its biggest source of funds.

Minimal contracts

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Ukrainian businessman Leonid Minin, named by Africa Confidential and the United Nations sanctions committee as a leading arms supplier to the Revolutionary United Front, was rearre...

Drive my tractor

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Moi's new coalition government, the first since 1963, is meant to scare the Kikuyu

The government's announcement of its new coalition took even some of its members by surprise. On 11 June, the radio announced that Raila Amolo Odinga and his colleagues in the Nati...

Financial squeeze on KANU bosses

It's not just on the political front that the ruling elite of the Kenya African National Union and its cronies are facing financial problems:

Kagame under siege

The Kigali regime has lost the foreign friends that it needs

President Paul Kagame made his name as a military strategist, the successful head of Uganda's military intelligence until 1990, then leader of the forces that conquered his own cou...

Following Festus

The party congress season unleashes some political tensions

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Refugee voices

'Don't you know what they've done in Burundi? They have burnt down the bridges of tomorrow.' Ethiopia, Liberia, Somalia... The litany is long. 'Freedom Soldiers' is the song; 'Buil...

Too many defects

Having failed to secure an unconstitutional third term (AC Vol 42 No 10), President Frederick Chiluba lacks a successor since he sacked the former front-runners from his ruling Mov...