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Saïed lashes out

Kaïs Saïed. Pic: Khaled Nasraoui/dpa/Alamy
Kaïs Saïed. Pic: Khaled Nasraoui/dpa/Alamy

Public delight greeted the president's sudden suspension of parliament and dismissal of the premier, but taking the reins himself may spell trouble

President Kaïs Saïed's decision to sack his prime minister, Hichem Mechichi, after the massive anti-government protests on Republic Day (25 July) took few by surprise. They had been at loggerheads for months. The government has failed to deal with relentless inflation and increasing unemployment, and the country boasts the highest per capita death rate from Covid-19 in Africa.


Election programme stutters

Mohamed Hussein Roble. Pic: Feisal Omar / Reuters / Alamy
Mohamed Hussein Roble. Pic: Feisal Omar / Reuters / Alamy

Prime minister Roble gets blamed for the latest hiccup in the elections while President Farmajo exploits clan rivalries in his bid for another term

On Sunday 25 July scheduled elections to the upper parliamentary house were dramatically postponed because of a failure of some committees to form and for others to produce candida...


Funding boost needed to bridge two-track recovery

Kristalina Georgieva meets with Democratic Republic of the Congo President Félix Tshisekedi at the Four Seasons Hotel George V. Pic: IMF Photo/Cyril Marcilhacy
Kristalina Georgieva meets with Democratic Republic of the Congo President Félix Tshisekedi at the Four Seasons Hotel George V. Pic: IMF Photo/Cyril Marcilhacy

Multilaterals change rules to boost loans to Africa, to startclosing a $425 billion finance gap

Africa will be the main beneficiary of a new plan by the International Monetary Fund to boost cheap loans for countries hardest hit by the pandemic in what officials hope will be a...


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Nasa heads for crash landing

Cast aside by Raila Odinga, his former allies plan to join a rival alliance ahead of next year's elections

The collapse of Kenya's National Super Alliance, the opposition coalition that lost the 2017 election, looks certain after three of the party leaders involved – Amani Nation...

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Fighting escalates as federal ties fray

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021

As Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed calls for a national war, Tigrayan forces mobilise on three fronts

As fighting was spreading eastwards to Afar Region, on 18 July Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared a total war on the Tigray People's Liberation Front, bringing in soldiers from mos...


No good options on the table

Abiy Ahmed. Pic: Tiksa Negeri / Reuters / Alamy
Abiy Ahmed. Pic: Tiksa Negeri / Reuters / Alamy

With a lack of credible mediators and both sides ruling out political negotiations, the likeliest outcome is an intensifying conflict

All sides have to make some tough decisions on strategy as the eight-month fight for control of Tigray escalates, dragging in surrounding regions. Judging by the declarations of Pr...


Who runs KwaZulu-Natal?

High Court, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal. Pic: Alexandre Rosa / stock.adobe.com
High Court, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal. Pic: Alexandre Rosa / stock.adobe.com

Our correspondents look at the leading politicians and their parties in the country’s most volatile and second most populous province

The African National Congress is dominant in KwaZulu-Natal, with 44 seats in the 80-seat provincial legislature, while its nearest rival, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has just 1...


Anatomy of a failed insurrection

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021

Recovery from the violence, looting and sabotage is likely to be slow amid spiralling joblessness and with the ringleaders apparently still at large

A confluence of widespread economic despair, hunger and protest sparked by the jailing of former South African President Jacob Zuma, began with a deliberate act of sabotage. On 9 J...


Between money and the military

Abdalla Hamdok. Pic: IHA (CC BY 2.0)
Abdalla Hamdok. Pic: IHA (CC BY 2.0)

After negotiating a new round of credits, Khartoum’s respected prime minister warns that the old guard wants to derail the transition

The latest deal for debt relief and the signing of a US$2.5 billion credit with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are necessary but far from sufficient to keep the country's tr...

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Khartoum's fractious neighbours

General Abdel Fattah Burhan. Pic: Mohamed Khidir/Xinhua/Alamy
General Abdel Fattah Burhan. Pic: Mohamed Khidir/Xinhua/Alamy

The conflicts in Chad and Ethiopia are redrawing local and regional politics

Regional alignments have changed radically since the ousting of Omer Hassan Ahmed el Beshir and the National Congress Party regime in April 2019 and its replacement by a transition...


Macron's man

Mohamed Bazoum and Emmanuel Macron, Elysee Palace, 9 July 2021. Pic: Stephane de Sakutin/Reuters/Alamy
Mohamed Bazoum and Emmanuel Macron, Elysee Palace, 9 July 2021. Pic: Stephane de Sakutin/Reuters/Alamy

After a baptism of fire, President Bazoum is positioning himself as France’s main security ally in the Sahel

Just three months after taking office, President Mohamed Bazoum has emerged as a central figure in the struggle to restore security to the Sahel.


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Ambitious Ruto parks his tanks on Kenyatta's lawn

By beating the ruling party in the Mount Kenya region, Deputy President Ruto has scored a palpable hit against the President

Deputy President William Ruto notched up another success in his bid to win next August's presidential election after his personal political vehicle, the United Democratic Alliance,...

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Third wave cases mount as tourism jobs crash

For the second year running, many of the continent's most popular tourist attractions have been shuttered by the pandemic

While case numbers and deaths from Covid-19 continue to rise across Africa, the devastating costs of the travel restrictions that have been imposed on visitors as a consequence con...

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Relief as Zuma surrenders

Jacob Zuma speaks to supporters in Nkandla, 4 July 2021. Pic: Rogan Ward / Reuters / Alamy
Jacob Zuma speaks to supporters in Nkandla, 4 July 2021. Pic: Rogan Ward / Reuters / Alamy

After organising a mass rally to back his defiance of the Constitutional Court, ex-president Zuma was arrested on 7 July


Paris makes up with the junta

Colonel Assimi Goita at his swearing in ceremony, Bamako, 7 June 2021. Pic: Habib Kouyate/Xinhua/Alamy
Colonel Assimi Goita at his swearing in ceremony, Bamako, 7 June 2021. Pic: Habib Kouyate/Xinhua/Alamy

France resumes joint operations against jihadists as familiar civilian politicians line up to 'receive' power from the military – eventually


A last bid for oil investors

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021

After 20 years of politicking, the National Assembly has passed a landmark law to reform the country’s oil and gas industry


Digging deeper into debt

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021

Debt and spending have mushroomed, but vested interests will fight attempts to rein in the elite’s cash cows


President bids to postpone poll

Kenneth Kaunda. Pic: Mike Hutchings / Reuters / Alamy
Kenneth Kaunda. Pic: Mike Hutchings / Reuters / Alamy

Political violence, Lungu's ill-health, rows about Kaunda's burial, and rampant Covid make for a grim backdrop ahead of the general election


Burkina without Barkhane

Roch Marc Christian Kaboré. Pic: Zohra Bensemra / Reuters / Alamy
Roch Marc Christian Kaboré. Pic: Zohra Bensemra / Reuters / Alamy

The army needs French support to handle the jihadist challenge but public confidence in their security forces is weak


Why the dynasties fear Ruto

Pic: @WilliamsRuto Twitter
Pic: @WilliamsRuto Twitter

With his rivals mired in litigation and squabbling over who will be their candidate, the Deputy President is again the man to beat


Battles for the polls resume

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021

An uneasy calm reigns in the capital as the prime minister's shaky consensus on the elections moves forward