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Central African Republic

Moscow tilt poses risks

Faustin-Archange Touadera. Pic: Alexander Shcherbak/TASS/Alamy
Faustin-Archange Touadera. Pic: Alexander Shcherbak/TASS/Alamy

The president increasingly relies on Russia but it may not be able to protect him against a possible cut in funds over human rights abuses and aid theft

President Faustin-Archange Touadéra is doubling down on his dependence on all things Russian – from cyberwar to propaganda, to Wagner Group mercenaries, and even the diamond trade. But analysts in Bangui believe he is jeopardising continued support from the European Union and the UN, two of the biggest funders of governing structures and emergency aid which are investigating extensive diversions of funds.


Junta opens transition talks

Mamady Doumbouya after meeting Ecowas envoys, Conakry, 10 September 2021. Pic: Reuters /Saliou Samb / Alamy
Mamady Doumbouya after meeting Ecowas envoys, Conakry, 10 September 2021. Pic: Reuters /Saliou Samb / Alamy

Lt Col Doumbouya launches consultations as mining companies fret and fears grow of a new military era in the region

The country's latest military junta, led by former French legionnaire Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, promises it will form a national unity government , without specifying a ...


Sidelined legionnaire grabs the reins

Alpha Condé in Paris, November 2018. Pic: Bernard Menigault/Alamy
Alpha Condé in Paris, November 2018. Pic: Bernard Menigault/Alamy

Fights over military organisation and President Condé's tumbling legitimacy set the stage for Colonel Doumbouya's putsch

A decade after being sworn into office by judges in vermilion and ermine, President Alpha Condé of Guinea became the prisoner of an elite military unit that stormed the presidentia...

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Adieu Saad Eddine el Othmani, bonjour Aziz Akhannouch

The parliamentary elections have strengthened the authority of King Mohammed VI and the Makhzen

The crushing defeat of the Islamist Parti de la justice et du développement in the parliamentary elections on 8 September shakes up the political scene with a coalition led by the ...


Fighting for the fiscus

Nyesom Wike. Pic: http://riversstate.gov.ng
Nyesom Wike. Pic: http://riversstate.gov.ng

A high court ruling in favour of local tax collectors could threaten the federal government's authority more than insurgents and kidnappers

A federal court ruling on 7 September backing the right of Rivers State to collect Value Added Tax (VAT) on commodities sold within its borders is a critical victory for its govern...


Raila takes to the pulpit

Raila Odinga, February 2021. Pic: Thomas Mukoya / Reuters / Alamy
Raila Odinga, February 2021. Pic: Thomas Mukoya / Reuters / Alamy

Former radical firebrand Odinga tries to woo Kikuyu voters in their churches as President Kenyatta focuses on attacking his ambitious deputy

The dismissal of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) by the High Court may yet derail veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga's fifth presidential bid but in the meantime, while h...


Lies, damned lies and statistics

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021

Reports of worsening famine conditions far eclipse direct casualties of the fighting. Few expect much progress from the mediator

With regional and international organisations focusing on a multitude of other crises, the war between Tigray's forces and Federal forces, backed by Eritrea, is set to drag on for ...


Ill fares the ANC

Justice Raymond Zondo. Pic: GovernmentZA (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Justice Raymond Zondo. Pic: GovernmentZA (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Cyril Ramaphosa's popularity is growing as the ruling party sinks deeper into infighting, bankruptcy and paralysis

President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned the African National Congress that a judicial commission headed by Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo – which enjoys the support of the P...


Mega fraud trial grips nation

Filipe Nyusi 10/2014. Pic: Adrien Barbier (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Filipe Nyusi 10/2014. Pic: Adrien Barbier (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A live stream of the court hearings on the $2 billion hidden loans scandal yields drama and spotlights a distinctly uncomfortable President Nyusi

The criminal trial in Maputo of many of the state and ruling party officials accused of involvement in the creation and theft of part of the US$2 billion borrowed to finance bogus ...


Hedging the Eagle and the Bear

Mariam Sadiq al-Mahdi and Sergei Lavrov, Moscow, July 2021. Pic: Russian Foreign Ministry/TASS/Alamy
Mariam Sadiq al-Mahdi and Sergei Lavrov, Moscow, July 2021. Pic: Russian Foreign Ministry/TASS/Alamy

Khartoum is hesitating over plans for a Russian naval base as it steers a delicate course between Washington and Moscow

As the United States' Afghanistan withdrawal signals a new isolationism, its competitors on the world stage are moving in the opposite direction. Russian plans to build a navy base...


Presidents trade more blows

Ian Khama. Pic: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (CC BY 2.0)
Ian Khama. Pic: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (CC BY 2.0)

The row between the present and former president shows no sign of abating as they clash over Covid-19 vaccines

A charitable foundation linked to ex-President Ian Khama claimed on 9 August it had secured 4 million doses of the Pfizer and Astra-Zeneca Covid-19 vaccines and was offering them t...


Refining brand Weah

George Weah. Pic: @GeorgeWeahOff
George Weah. Pic: @GeorgeWeahOff

Amid concerns that relations with the United States have cooled during his presidency, resulting in a loss of financial support, President George Weah has hired three US lobbying a...


Trovoada gets his man

Pic: ohaiyoo / stock.adobe.com
Pic: ohaiyoo / stock.adobe.com

As expected, on 5 September, Carlos Vila Nova, candidate of the opposition Acção Democrática Independente (ADI) won the presidential run-off with (57.5%), according to the provisio...


Samia the securocrat

Samia Suluhu Hassan. Pic: Monicah Mwangi / Reuters / Alamy
Samia Suluhu Hassan. Pic: Monicah Mwangi / Reuters / Alamy

The new president supports her security establishment’s policies on the Mozambican insurgency as well as harsh repression of the civil opposition


French lessons from Kabul

French Operation Barkhane soldiers on patrol in Inaloglog, Mali. Pic: Benoit Tessier / REeuters / Alamy
French Operation Barkhane soldiers on patrol in Inaloglog, Mali. Pic: Benoit Tessier / REeuters / Alamy

The West's debacle in Afghanistan may force France to rethink its military stance and diplomacy in West Africa

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Cyril names a half-new cabinet

Cyril Ramaphosa. Pic: GCIS (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Cyril Ramaphosa. Pic: GCIS (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The President has used the fall-out from the failed insurrection to boost his control over the ruling party, boosting his chances of a second term


Allies prove a trial for the President

Lazarus Chakwera. Pic: Joseph Mizere / Xinhua / Alamy
Lazarus Chakwera. Pic: Joseph Mizere / Xinhua / Alamy

After a year in office the head of state is losing the faith of the public as allies, friends, relations and ministers generate scandal


Doubts on elections multiply

Khalifa Haftar. Pic: Esam Omran Al-Fetori / Reuters / Alamy
Khalifa Haftar. Pic: Esam Omran Al-Fetori / Reuters / Alamy

The power-sharing government has named a new premier and agreed to reunify the country but the transition is well behind schedule


Glencore signals new virtue

The trader pledges action on climate change and corruption, but it profits vastly from fossil fuels and faces multiple bribery investigations


First steps on the elections roadmap

Mohamed Abdallah Mohamed 'Farmajo', May 2021. Pic: Hassan Bashi/Xinhua/Alamy
Mohamed Abdallah Mohamed 'Farmajo', May 2021. Pic: Hassan Bashi/Xinhua/Alamy

Electioneering is in now in full swing for the parliamentary upper house, the first stage in a complex process culminating in the presidential poll in November


Reconciliation and a reckoning

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021

The new President has drawn a line under his bitter history with Edgar Lungu, but the profiteers of the last six years can expect to be held to account


The bridge collapses

Lawyers on break during the ruling of the BBI case, Nairobi, 20 August 2021. Pic: Monicah Mwangi / Reuters / Alamy
Lawyers on break during the ruling of the BBI case, Nairobi, 20 August 2021. Pic: Monicah Mwangi / Reuters / Alamy

The courts have administered the last rites to the 'handshake' duo's constitutional reform project


In need of a spark

Gwede Mantashe shares a light moment with Cyril Ramaphosa after taking his oath of office, 27 February 2018. Pic: GCIS (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Gwede Mantashe shares a light moment with Cyril Ramaphosa after taking his oath of office, 27 February 2018. Pic: GCIS (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Electricity supply is on the front line of the economic policy struggle as power cuts rise, investment sources shrink and a low-carbon future looms