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Insurgents turn up the heat

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021

A well-planned attack on Palma in Cabo Delgado cost dozens of lives, raising questions about the future of the $20 billion gas project nearby

Although government forces claimed definitive victory on 27 March over the Ahlu Sunna Wal Jammah (ASWJ) fighters who had seized control of Palma, on the northern tip of Cabo Delgado province, just four days earlier, clashes around the city were continuing as Africa Confidential went to press.

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Kingdom in peril

King Goodwill Zwelithini in September 2007. Pic: Rogan Ward / Africa Media Online / Alamy
King Goodwill Zwelithini in September 2007. Pic: Rogan Ward / Africa Media Online / Alamy

The death of the Zulu king, Goodwill Zwelithini, promises turmoil for the already volatile province of KwaZulu-Natal

The death of King Goodwill Zwelithini, 72, from Covid-19 complications on 12 March, without agreement on how the succession should be managed will complicate the kingdom's already ...


PF bets it all on the polls

Pic: johan10 / stock.adobe.com
Pic: johan10 / stock.adobe.com

Election season starts soon as lenders hang on to their funds and watch the ruling party take increasingly desperate measures to raise money

Contrary to some optimistic reports, Zambia is 'very far' from securing a bail-out deal from the International Monetary Fund, banking and official sources have told Africa Confiden...


Gutting the opposition

Tendai Biti, September 2016. Pic: Philimon Bulawayo / Reuters / Alamy Stock Photo
Tendai Biti, September 2016. Pic: Philimon Bulawayo / Reuters / Alamy Stock Photo

ZANU-PF's manipulations have rid parliament of dissent and silenced criticism of high-level corruption

The expulsion of six MPs from Zimbabwe's parliament after a strange ruling that they no longer belonged to their own party deals a harsh blow to the opposition, which President Emm...


How not to win friends

Uhuru Kenyatta adresses the United Nations General Assembly. Pic: Igor Golovnov / Alamy
Uhuru Kenyatta adresses the United Nations General Assembly. Pic: Igor Golovnov / Alamy

Regional disputes will limit Nairobi's chances of using leadership roles for influence beyond national borders

In 2021 Kenya holds one of two African seats at the United Nations Security Council, the chair of the African Union Peace and Security Council, and for the next five years, the sec...


Life after the bulldozer

Samia Suluhu Hassan. Pic: Instagram
Samia Suluhu Hassan. Pic: Instagram

The new president needs to make changes at the top of government to consolidate her position as factions vie for favour

Only two days elapsed between the announcement of late President John Magufuli's death and the swearing in of President Samia Suluhu Hassan, quelling fears that Magufuli loyalists ...


Abiy gives first ground

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

Prime Minister Abiy has finally admitted to an open secret about Eritrean troops, but the guerrilla war in Tigray rumbles on

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has finally, if grudgingly, admitted to Ethiopia's House of People's Representatives on what everybody has known for months: Eritrean troops are operating...


Dubaiba's honeymoon

Abdel Hamid Dubaiba. Pic: Hazem Ahmed / Reuters / Alamy Stock Photo
Abdel Hamid Dubaiba. Pic: Hazem Ahmed / Reuters / Alamy Stock Photo

The new unity government is being courted internationally, but it’s threatened by rivalry between myriad armed factions

Libya's new Government of National Unity (GNU), sworn into office on 15 March, is now widely accepted, despite accusations of vote-buying at the UN-organised Libyan Political Dialo...


Tema players

Calls from transport and logistics experts are growing for a renegotiation of the terms of business between Meridian Port Services and the government in the wake of Africa Confiden...


Ramaphosa rallies ANC against the Zuma-Magashule axis

Ace Magashule speaks at an ANCYL rally in Pietermaritzburg, January 2018. Pic: Rogan Ward / Reuters / Alamy
Ace Magashule speaks at an ANCYL rally in Pietermaritzburg, January 2018. Pic: Rogan Ward / Reuters / Alamy

After a marathon meeting, the party's National Executive backed Ramaphosa's call for action against ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule

The rival factions of the governing African National Congress are edging towards a final showdown after its National Executive Committee meeting on 27-29 March decided that the par...


SPECIAL REPORT: How Vincent Bolloré won control of Ghana's biggest port

French billionaire Vincent Bolloré added Tema to the 15 West African ports he already controlled by ripping off the country, a secret report says. By Andrew Weir

The French ports-to-media conglomerate, Bolloré Africa Logistics, partnered by the Danish shipping giant Maersk's ports arm, APM Terminals, opened a hugely profitable, state-of-the...

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Sparring for a jab

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021

Trade and production deals may help the region’s vaccination drive in the short term more than lobbying for changes to the IP and patent laws

The challenge to access vaccines against Covid-19 is not just an African problem, it is a global battle. But it has shone a spotlight on the complexities that Africa faces when it ...

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The plot against Cyril

Ace Magashule supporters at Bloemfontein high court, November 2020. Pic: Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters / Alamy
Ace Magashule supporters at Bloemfontein high court, November 2020. Pic: Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters / Alamy

The President’s foes in the ruling party are building a credible coalition to depose him and return supporters of Zuma to power

Former President Jacob Zuma and the African National Congress Secretary-General Ace Magashule, who are both facing multiple corruption charges, have launched an open, brazen campai...


Raila's weak grip

Raila Odinga, Nairobi, February 2021. Thomas Mukoya / Reuters / Alamy
Raila Odinga, Nairobi, February 2021. Thomas Mukoya / Reuters / Alamy

The perennial presidential candidate wants his 'handshake' to propel him into State House. But others have their eyes on the prize


Macky Sall buys some time

Supporters of Ousmane Sonko attend a demonstration in front of the court in Dakar, 8 March 2021. Pic: Zohra Bensemra / Reuters / Alamy
Supporters of Ousmane Sonko attend a demonstration in front of the court in Dakar, 8 March 2021. Pic: Zohra Bensemra / Reuters / Alamy

Youth unemployment, corruption rumours and Ousmane Sonko's detention trigger an outburst of anger and hunger for change


Blaise plots comeback

Happy Birthday Blaise Compaoré. Crystalrose Web Prod, YouTube
Happy Birthday Blaise Compaoré. Crystalrose Web Prod, YouTube

The former dictator is testing the water for a possible return home, but there is a lot to forgive before that can happen


Frosty formality

Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden meet with US Army soldiers at the airport in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, June 2010. Official White House Photo by David Lienemann
Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden meet with US Army soldiers at the airport in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, June 2010. Official White House Photo by David Lienemann

The US administration is pressuring Egypt over human rights, but maintains its arms sales


The opposition plans its pushback

Bobi Wine. Pic: Luke Dray / Alamy Stock Photo
Bobi Wine. Pic: Luke Dray / Alamy Stock Photo

President Museveni is maintaining heavy security on the street as concern mounts over treatment of detainees


Mutual distrust

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. Pic: Farouk Batiche /dpa/ Alamy
President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. Pic: Farouk Batiche /dpa/ Alamy

Algeria is unlikely to help in counter-terror efforts, and Russia is ahead in Covid diplomacy


Marred meeting of minds

US President Joe Biden. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)
US President Joe Biden. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Relations warmed by green policies and economic management are undermined by Rabat's jailing of dissidents


Many shoes to fill

The coffin Hamed Bakayoko, pictured during its return from Germany at the Felix Houphouet Boigny international airport, Abidjan, 13 March 2021. Pic: Luc Gnago / Reuters / Alamy
The coffin Hamed Bakayoko, pictured during its return from Germany at the Felix Houphouet Boigny international airport, Abidjan, 13 March 2021. Pic: Luc Gnago / Reuters / Alamy

The death of the prime minister leaves the race to be Ouattara's political successor wide open