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Sahel summit's fighting talk

Press conference at the G5 Sahel summit on the situation in the Sahel region in Pau, France, 13 January 2020. Pic: Top Quentin/Pool/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images
Press conference at the G5 Sahel summit on the situation in the Sahel region in Pau, France, 13 January 2020. Pic: Top Quentin/Pool/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

The meeting of West Africa's most jihadist-affected states and France has laid out a new military strategy against the local IS affiliate

The message was unambiguous. 'We are going to prioritise the need to fight against Islamic State in the Greater Sahara in the three frontiers,' Burkina Faso's President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré announced after three hours of talks at the 13 January G5 Sahel-France summit in Pau, southern France. The 'three frontiers' – where the borders of Mali, Burkina and Niger meet – has endured a dramatic acceleration in murderous assaults by ISGS, leaving the affected nations floundering for a response.


African spring, economic winter

April 2019. People celebrate outside Army HQ in Khartoum. Pic: Ala Kheir/DPA/PA Images
April 2019. People celebrate outside Army HQ in Khartoum. Pic: Ala Kheir/DPA/PA Images

Fresh from signal victories in Khartoum and Algiers, youthful mass movements are demanding jobs, opportunities and accountability as financial uncertainty grows

Two developments in the past year will be of seismic importance in 2020: the revolutionary movements in Algeria and Sudan and the start of the African Continental Free Trade Agreem...

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Finally, Cyril picks up the pace

Cyril Ramaphosa. Pic: Victoria Jones/PA Images
Cyril Ramaphosa. Pic: Victoria Jones/PA Images

The stage is set for the clash between state prosecutors and Ramaphosa’s ANC enemies. The first trials will open soon

Sympathisers with President Cyril Ramaphosa's project to clean up governance are frustrated with his agonisingly slow strategy. He needs to speed up the suffocation of his opponent...

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Jockeying for position

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

Elections may be two years away but the race to form new electoral alliances already dominates national politics

Kenya began 2020 with erratic and intractable factional politics as the top two candidates for the next presidential election – William Ruto and Raila Odinga – counter each other's...


Back to the one-party state

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

Civil and political rights will remain constrained as Magufuli seeks a landslide in the general election to endorse his statist vision

The prospect of the October general election will dominate 2020. Last year, pre-poll government interference in the local elections saw up to 90% of opposition candidates being dis...


Point of no return

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

Public finances head south while the Patriotic Front clamps down on dissent ahead of next year’s election

The ruling Patriotic Front's continued state of denial about the country's dire debt situation sees the year begin with loan defaults, dwindling state revenues, disintegrating publ...


Portents over the presidency

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

Rumours swirl around who the candidates will be and whether any of them can quell simmering public resentment

Ivorians go to the polls in October in what promises to be a no-holds-barred battle for the presidency. The main contenders are familiar – possibly too familiar to satisfy a restiv...


Presidential action replay

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

The odds favour the incumbent in this year’s presidential elections – a return match of 2016 – but by a much-reduced margin

Eleven months ahead of national elections, the best guess is that President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo will win more narrowly than he did in 2016 and his New Patriotic Party's (NPP) parl...


Advantage jihadists

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

Domestic political jockeying and stop-start funding for peacekeeping leave Bamako a sitting target for the Islamist insurgents

For President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta the new year brings renewed diplomatic pressure – and not just from an international community exasperated by the lack of progress in implement...


Polls, poverty and protest

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

Economic policy aims to spur growth and investment, while the regime keeps an iron fist in reserve for mass unrest

President Abdel Fattah el Sisi's government hopes this year to build on the stabilisation of Egypt's macro-economy over the past three years to deliver tangible improvements to liv...


Pouring cold water on the mega dam

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2019
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2019

Behind closed doors, the fight over the scale of the Inga dam could be edging towards resolution

Félix Tshisekedi's arrival in the presidential palace has brought new complications to Inga III, the gargantuan planned hydroelectric dam on the Congo River, but may yet giv...

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Not yet, Generalissimo

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2019
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2019

The lack of trust between government and activists over civil rights reflects the country’s deepening security crisis

It was Muhammadu Buhari's military credentials that persuaded many Nigerians to trust him on security issues in 2015, at a time when insurgents had taken over more than 20 local go...


In search of allies

President Macron presides over tributes to the 13 French soldiers who died Mali. Pic: Julien Mattia / Le Pictorium / Maxppp/ PA Images
President Macron presides over tributes to the 13 French soldiers who died Mali. Pic: Julien Mattia / Le Pictorium / Maxppp/ PA Images

France is holding the line against the jihadis as casualties increase and hostility to its mission grows, and political backing for it shrinks

On 15 December, the heads of state of Mauritania, Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger – the members of the G5 military coalition – gathered in Niamey to mourn the deaths...


Peace deal wheelspin

Salva Kiir Mayardit. Pic: Valery Sharifulin / Tass / PA Images
Salva Kiir Mayardit. Pic: Valery Sharifulin / Tass / PA Images

Another extension prevents the peace deal from collapsing but there is little sign that the impasse can be broken despite a new US gambit

The latest peace deal is on life support despite the two leaders agreeing to form a unity government by February. Opposition leader Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon had refused to return t...


Activist King vs the activists

The government is split between Islamist and secular factions as M6 becomes more hands-on as a ruler and in business

Huge real-estate developments continue to employ dozens of cranes all over Morocco's commercial hub, Casablanca, the administrative capital, Rabat, and a revived Tangier. Tangier i...


The son also rises

The man standing in for the President looked like he might be settling in, so the ruling clan swept him away and has appointed a dauphin

With the installation of his son Noureddin Bongo-Valentin as the 'general coordinator of presidential affairs', recuperating stroke victim President Ali Bongo Ondimba – or th...


Another day of reckoning

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2019 | Libya
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2019 | Libya

For a few hours on 12 December and then the following day, there was panic and eager expectation across Libya as the civil war between the internationally-recognised Government of ...


First among unequals

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2019 | Algeria
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2019 | Algeria

The gap between Abdelmadjid Tebboune and his rivals in the 12 December presidential election was sufficient to give the 73-year-old a big win, with 58.14% of the vote, according to...


Talons on display

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2019 | Benin
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2019 | Benin

Although final details of a controversial constitutional reform are yet to be confirmed, President Patrice Talon has maintained a hardline stance on controversial constitutional re...