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Mogadishu lashes out

Hidden frustrations broke surface when Farmajo expelled the UN envoy, underlining major differences with the international community on the way forward

The expulsion of Nicholas Haysom, the UN Secretary General's Special Representative in Somalia, has opened a rift with the powers backing the federal government and financing the military effort to defeat the Al Shabaab insurgency. Many are scaling back their support. President Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed 'Farmajo''s administration declared Haysom persona non grata on 1 January after he asked for an explanation for the arrest and detention of Mukhtar Robow Ali 'Abu Mansur', a former Al Shabaab commander, by Ethiopian troops five days before he was due to stand in the presidential election in South West State, one of Somalia's devolved federal member states.

Goodbye to all that

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President Lourenço’s long honeymoon will come to an end as public focus shifts to the economy

JH Mensah, 1928-2018

JH Mensah

His formidable intellect and tough independence of spirit made Joseph Henry Mensah an improbable candidate for the hurly-burly of partisan politics. Yet it was those qualities, along with his personal integrity and sense of humour, that marked his contribution to public service and government in Ghana and several other African countries over six decades.


Election bored game

Two familiar veteran candidates are failing to strike a chord with the voters ahead of a critical presidential race next February

Taking the heaviest of tolls

The leak by a concerned government insider has exposed another costly procurement deal which never went to tender

Fighting fear with freedom

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Abiy Ahmed calculates that a new era of democracy and respect for civil rights could counter any backlash to his reforms

John Howe, 1938-2018

John Howe. Pic: Larry Sider

A long-standing friend of Africa Confidential, John William Alan Raymond Howe was a remarkable reporter, columnist, translator, poet and short story writer. Best known for his reporting on Chad, Algeria and the Western Sahara in the British and French press, John's first trip to Africa was to Nigeria where he was hosted by Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the Afrobeat music star, in 1973. That gives a measure of the man.


Mnangagwa wants his pipeline

A new oil supply route from Beira could relieve the country from dependence on Trafigura and ease shortages, the President believes

A poll without passion

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The party-political system is failing the country amid preparations for national elections in February and state elections in March

The people's spring against Beshir

Long-standing opposition groups and former regime allies are demanding the President's exit in the biggest protests since he seized power 30 years ago

Kofi Annan (1938-2018)

Kofi Annan, 4 June 2008, Rome, Italy. Pic: Di Loreti/Emblema/Ropi/Zuma Press/PA Images

In an era when narrow nationalism and populism are taking on the international system, the career of Kofi Annan showed where the battle lines were drawn. Described by colleagues as a 'diplomat's diplomat', Annan spent his professional life in the United Nations, becoming one of its most powerful advocates, reshaping the organisation, pushing it to do more to fight poverty, injustice and oppression.


The forgotten army

The G5 force is mired in problems. It is all supposed to go right in the new year but there are still doubts