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Published 11th October 2002

Vol 43 No 20


Angola

Neutering UNITA

President Dos Santos' ruling MPLA is glad of victory in the war against UNITA but resists other kinds of change

Eight months after the violent death of Jonas Malheiro Savimbi, the oil-financed élite of the ruling Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola is neutering his União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (AC Vol 43 Nos 8 & 12). The UNITA-Renovada splinter group, formed by Eugenio Manuvakola in 1998 to rival Savimbi's UNITA, was badly weakened when Manuvakola stepped down on 30 July. His successor, Jorge Alicerces Valentim, has a big mouth, little charisma and no real support. The MPLA has put most other UNITA leaders into a gilded cage. Mainstream UNITA still has strong popular support, mainly but not entirely among the highland Ovimbundu people ­ although its interim leader, General Paulo Lukamba 'Gato', does not command the same fear-filled affection as his late predecessor. A party congress, possibly in mid-2003, will elect a new leader. There is talk of links with smaller parties, including the northern, Bakongo-dominated, Frente Nacional para a Libertação de Angola, whose veteran chief, Holden Roberto, is old, tired and undermined both by state propaganda and by his aspiring successor, Lucas Ngonda. Another possible ally is the Partido do Renovação Social (PRS), strong in the north-eastern diamond regions.


Clinging to the cash box

For once, donor money may influence Angola's oil-rich leaders. At present, the country receives humanitarian funds, channeled through the United Nations and collected through a con...


Whose army?

The rebels are winning more territory and the government is losing more friends

Three weeks after the start of Côte d'Ivoire's armed uprising, its leaders have still not identified themselves. The rebel soldiers are overwhelmingly junior but someone clearly or...


The terror factor

The fear of more failed states may scare the West into increasing aid for Africa

Rich countries have made grand promises at no fewer than three summit meetings this year – in Monterrey, Kananaskis and Johannesburg. However, their African counterparts did not ex...


Scrambling for Africa

Business hopes that President Mbeki's pan-African vision can produce some profits too

As Pretoria flexes its diplomatic muscles in Africa, championing the New Partnership for Africa's Development and sending peacekeeping troops to Burundi and Congo-Kinshasa, its com...


Cottoning on to the WTO

Africans may ally with Brazilians against the USA to seek a fair deal for cotton experts

Encouraged by Brazil, African cotton producers are opposing the subsidy proposals in United States President George W. Bush's Farm Bill. Several West and Central African countries,...


Nigeria's rag trade

On 2 October Nigeria banned imports of all textiles in a bid to revive its own ailing industry. It now depends on imports from Asia, some of them produced with Nigerian cotton sold...



Pointers

Horse-trading

Islamist politicians and Francophone analysts agree on one thing, at least: the longer the outgoing coalition partners, the Union Socialiste des Forces Populaires and Parti de l'Is...


Not too smart

More international criticism greeted President Robert Mugabe's landslide in the 28-29 September local elections but 'smart sanctions' imposed on him and his officials are having al...


Going for Glencore

Swiss-based oil and commodities trader Glencore has become entangled in France's Angolagate scandal. Paris sources say an arrest warrant has been issued for one of the company's le...


Millennial

US government departments are fighting for control of President George W. Bush's trumpeted Millennium Challenge Account, eventually worth US$5 billion a year.