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Published 23rd June 2017

Vol 58 No 13


South Africa

Factional fireworks threaten party

Chart Copyright © Africa Confidential 2017
Chart Copyright © Africa Confidential 2017

Next week's policy conference promises to bring all the party's problems together in an explosive combination

Senior African National Congress leaders are deeply worried that the stresses within the governing party could tear the ANC apart as they look forward to next week's policy conference, which takes place every five years. Never before have so many fundamental political issues combined with such serious electoral and governance challenges, they warn. They also promise fireworks for the elective conference in December.


Trafigura aims for gas prize

The giant commodities firm hopes to help its politically favoured partner, Sakunda Holdings, to cash in on an expected gas boom

Multinational commodities trader Trafigura is expanding into power generation and natural gas, including liquefied natural gas (LNG), via its local Zimbabwean ally and partner, Sak...


Mugabe the juggler

Robert Mugabe, June 2017 Pic: Zhang Yuliang/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Harare is abuzz with speculation about upheavals in the ruling party which could change the succession game

A vital meeting of the Politburo of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front was due to take place as Africa Confidential went to press. Such is the turmoil in the highe...

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BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

The storm in Congo-Kinshasa has been gathering for a year and the next six months are likely to prove critical. Warning of grave danger, the former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, together with former presidents of South Africa and Nigeria, Thabo Mbeki and

The storm in Congo-Kinshasa has been gathering for a year and the next six months are likely to prove critical. Warning of grave danger, the former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, together with former presidents of South Africa and Nigeria, Thabo Mbeki and Olusegun Obasanjo, and seven other former Presidents, has called for credible elections as soon as possible.

Annan, Mbeki and Obasanjo have a special interest in Congo-K's stability: they played a key role in brokering and guaranteeing the pact in 2002 that set up a power-sharing government in Kinshasa, which was headed by Joseph Kabila. Now, he refuses to listen to them. However, African Union leaders have, so far, failed to register even mild concern about Congo's mounting chaos. Political dialogue has ground to a halt with the opposition accusing Kabila of sabotaging the election calendar.

Now there are signs that Angola's government is losing patience. Luanda's veteran foreign minister Georges Chikoti has openly criticised Kabila's handling of the rebellion in Kasai, which is driving refugees across the border into Angola. In December, Angola withdrew its military trainers from Congo, sending a signal it was no longer willing to prop up Kabila militarily. Sindika Dokolo, a Congolese businessman and President José Eduardo dos Santos's son-in-law, went further still, urging demonstrations against Kabila and openly backing Moïse Katumbi, the exiled Congolese opposition leader.

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Opinion polls in question

Although opinion surveys are losing credibility in the West, they are still taken seriously in Kenya. We look at the risks

Should we take opinion polls seriously after their serial failures to forecast elections in the United States and the United Kingdom? This is a question of critical importance ahea...


UK vote stalls trade talks

The British government's failure to get a mandate for a 'hard Brexit' leaves its plans for increased African trade on the back burner

The United Kingdom's shock election result on 8 June, which deprived Prime Minister Theresa May of her governing majority, is likely to alter radically her Conservative government'...


Risks for all in mining row

The escalating conflict with Acacia may define both Magufuli's presidency and the future of the extractive industries

Now that the second committee appointed by President John Magufuli to look at Acacia Mining's exports of gold-copper concentrate has largely backed the findings of the first, the b...


The ghost of elections past

Suspecting a plot to rig the presidential election, the opposition has mobilised huge crowds

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Chill in the air for Chenge

The former Attorney General and political fixer may be moving into the President's cross-hairs

Former senior government official Andrew Chenge, who was involved in the British Aerospace military radar affair, has survived several upsets and been regarded as untouchable. Howe...



Pointers

Friends in African places

Israel is working harder on improving relations in Africa than at any time since its 1970s' diplomatic push which was designed to isolate its Arab enemies. Prime Minister Benjamin ...


UN joins G-5 force

The intervention of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and last-minute wording tweaks finally enabled France to overcome United States and British caution and...


Split threatens food supplies

As the pre-harvest hunger gap begins and cholera spreads in Sudan and South Sudan, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North split threatens the sporadic food and medical suppli...