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Beshir's trials begin

Khartoum 12 April 2019: Sudanese soldiers and demonstrators sit on top military vehicles, outside the Defence Ministry a day after the arrest of Omer el Beshir. Pic: Ala Kheir/DPA/PA Images
Khartoum 12 April 2019: Sudanese soldiers and demonstrators sit on top military vehicles, outside the Defence Ministry a day after the arrest of Omer el Beshir. Pic: Ala Kheir/DPA/PA Images

Although the government has opened talks with the ICC, that doesn’t mean the ousted leader will face trial in the Hague any time soon

Reports that the Khartoum transitional government has approved cooperation with the International Criminal Court in the Hague came on 11 February after a flurry of diplomatic initiatives, mostly aimed at getting Sudan removed from the United States' list of state sponsors of terror. The ICC has had a warrant out for Omer el Beshir on three counts of genocide for nearly 10 years.

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Generals on the run

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

The army is in retreat before the Islamist insurgents. Corruption, indifference and a lack of resources are blamed

Speaking to journalists on 7 February, the army's theatre commander for north-eastern Nigeria, Major-General Olusegun Adeniyi, repeated the government's frequent assertion that Bok...


Opposition in flux

Union Buildings Of South Africa. Pic: JJ / stock.adobe.com
Union Buildings Of South Africa. Pic: JJ / stock.adobe.com

With the main opposition party in turmoil, political players old and new are gearing up to form new political movements

The main South African opposition parties are in an unprecedented state of flux after the resignation of two black leaders rocked the Democratic Alliance late last year. Now that P...


Ramaphosus interruptus

State of the Nation 2020. (Pic: GCIS)
State of the Nation 2020. (Pic: GCIS)

Punctuated by protests, the President gave an eloquent statement but he is leaving the heavy lifting to the finance minister

In the first of two last-chance bids by government to forestall a ratings downgrade on the country's credit rating to junk status, President Cyril Ramaphosa failed to convince the ...


Spoiling for a fight

Pic: Adwo / stock.adobe.com
Pic: Adwo / stock.adobe.com

The President wants to shake up governance of the mining sector, but the companies are pushing back

President Julius Maada Bio put firms operating in the countrys mining sector on notice when he outlined a reform programme at the annual Mining Indaba in Cape Town earlier this mon...


'Eco'-logical concerns

Pic: Akinola / stock.adobe.com
Pic: Akinola / stock.adobe.com

The mooted new West African currency stands no chance of success unless its architects persuade Abuja to join

Francophone West African countries' decision to convert their CFA franc into a first version of the 'eco', a planned single currency for the whole region, has sparked furious criti...


Territorial armies

Sahrawi flag. Pic: Pic: natanaelginting / stock.adobe.com
Sahrawi flag. Pic: Pic: natanaelginting / stock.adobe.com

An unresolved but dormant decolonisation dispute risks flaring up into renewed violence, threatening a 29-year-old ceasefire

Forty-five years into the conflict over Western Sahara, Morocco remains implacable in its determination to retain what it argues is its historical sovereignty over the disputed for...


Terrorists at the table

Mali flag on military uniform. Pic: Bumble Dee / stock.adobe.com
Mali flag on military uniform. Pic: Bumble Dee / stock.adobe.com

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta says his envoy Dioncounda Traoré had his full authority to initiate talks with jihadist chiefs Iyad ag Ghaly and Amadou Koufa – after years of gove...


Itula has another go

Pic: niyazz / / stock.adobe.com
Pic: niyazz / / stock.adobe.com

Namibia's Supreme Court in Windhoek may have refused on 5 February to order a rerun of last November's presidential election but opposition political parties are still claiming vic...


Unhealthy bank balance

Sukhoi 100. Pic: art_zzz / stock.adobe.com
Sukhoi 100. Pic: art_zzz / stock.adobe.com

Finance Minister Bwalya Ng'andu's January request for a funded programme from the International Monetary Fund may be in danger from continued borrowing beyond the Treasury's contro...


Wildlife targets

Elephants at Chobe National Park. Pic: Janelle / stock.adobe.com
Elephants at Chobe National Park. Pic: Janelle / stock.adobe.com

Botswana has authorised the resumption of licensed elephant hunting, auctioning licences to shoot 60 elephants worth US$2.34 million. It's the first such sale since President Mokgw...


The state of Cyril Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa. Pic: Kay Nietfeld/DPA/PA Images
Cyril Ramaphosa. Pic: Kay Nietfeld/DPA/PA Images

The President's speech to parliament on 13 February will say more about his fragile coalition of reformers than about the country he governs

For the past three decades each State of the Nation speech has been billed as the most important ever. Most – with the honourable exception of Nelson Mandela's epic performance aft...


Revenues and resources are the key

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

Governments will have to raise far more revenue and staunch capital flight if they are to boost growth and investment this year

Africa will be thrown back on its own resources and internal revenue-raising capacity, at least for the short term, as the economies of major trading partners in Asia and Europe sl...

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Shock ruling resets poll

Peter Mutharika is sworn at the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre, 28 May 2019. Pic: Peng Lijun/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images
Peter Mutharika is sworn at the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre, 28 May 2019. Pic: Peng Lijun/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

The Constitutional Court has nullified the presidential election and re-set the political landscape

The Constitutional Court has ordered a fresh presidential election, saying the Malawi Electoral Commission's (MEC) failure to follow its duties under constitutional and electoral l...


Over the rainbow

11 February 1990: Nelson Mandela celebrates with Winnie Mandela as he is released from Victor Verster prison. Pic: Graeme Williams/DPA/PA Images
11 February 1990: Nelson Mandela celebrates with Winnie Mandela as he is released from Victor Verster prison. Pic: Graeme Williams/DPA/PA Images

Ramaphosa grapples with economic crisis, corruption prosecutions and power shortages on a historic anniversary

The 30th anniversary of then-President FW de Klerk's announcement on 2 February 1990 of the release of Nelson Mandela nine days afterwards passed quietly as investors gathered to s...


A game of many nations

Kyriakos Mitsotakis meets with Khalifa Haftar in Athens 17 January 2020. Pic: Marios Lolos/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images
Kyriakos Mitsotakis meets with Khalifa Haftar in Athens 17 January 2020. Pic: Marios Lolos/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Turkey's agreement to support the UN-recognised government has upsets the geopolitics of the eastern Mediterranean

The political backing of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey for the UN-recognised regime in Tripoli is well-known, but less so are the subsidiary clauses in the pact which ma...


Lourenço faces the crunch

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

The campaign to recover loot is popular, and the IMF is supportive, but the numbers are terrible

The pursuit by investigative journalists and Luanda's prosecutors of Isabel dos Santos offers a temporary distraction from the country's economic meltdown. Enthusiasm to see Isabel...


King for a year

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

President Buhari will push through more economic nationalist policies. Beyond that, the picture gets cloudy

As he wrestles with mutually reinforcing economic and security problems, President Muhammadu Buhari can no longer blame an uncooperative national assembly or opposition state gover...


Beyond a hundred days

Hopes dim and donors lose patience as factions come no closer to a lasting agreement

Despite the prodigious efforts of various diplomats, regional organisations and assorted church groups to push for the formation of a government of national unity, there is increas...


Soro sounds off

Prevented from re-entering his country, Guillaume Soro remains determined to stand in the presidential election. He announced at a 28 January press conference in Paris law suits in...


Putschist walks free

The leader of the 2012 failed military coup, and suspect in the torture and murder of multiple Red Beret paratroopers opposed to his putsch, Amadou Haya Sanogo, has been released ...


Mining for clarity

Mining companies, already under pressure from the resource nationalist offensive of President John Magufuli's first presidential term, are complaining that the government's vaguene...


The fight over the missing billions goes global

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

The Lourenço government expands its search for stolen assets, launching an international campaign against the Dos Santos clan

In what is set to be a gargantuan legal battle stretching over many years, the government of President João Lourenço is stepping up action to recover several billion dollars in ass...