Jump to navigation

Somalia

Testing time for elections

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (R) and Mohamed Abdullah Mohamed 'Farmajo' (L), February 2017. Pic: Faisal Isse/Xinhua/SIPA USA/PA Images
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (R) and Mohamed Abdullah Mohamed 'Farmajo' (L), February 2017. Pic: Faisal Isse/Xinhua/SIPA USA/PA Images

The opposition is furious with the dual role of the secret police chief as Farmajo's campaign manager and monitor of election candidates

After months of haggling and bitter verbal conflict, parliamentary elections should take place next month, followed by the presidential election in February. Yet it is becoming increasingly clear that President Mohamed Abdullah Mohamed 'Farmajo' will not give up power easily.


Citadel falls but the war goes on

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

Tigray leaders vow guerrilla war against the Federal government as they withdraw to the hills

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed may have declared success for his 'law and order operation' with the fall of Mekelle, the Tigrayan capital, on 28 November, but it is far from clear that ...

READ FOR FREE

War resets the region

African Union HQ. Pic: Hiroo Yamagata (CC BY-SA 2.0)
African Union HQ. Pic: Hiroo Yamagata (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Federal government’s war with Tigray upsets geopolitics throughout the Horn, and puts Eritrea centre-stage

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's refusal to consider a ceasefire or even mediation continues to attract widespread condemnation. His unflinching stance was underlined when he met an Afr...


Akufo-Addo keeps his lead

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

The President is more popular than the governing NPP, which could still lose its majority in parliament

With jobs and education topping the list of voter concerns the incumbent, Nana Addo Akufo-Addo, goes into the presidential elections on 7 December with a clear margin over his main...


Protest, what protest?

Lekki toll gate. Pic: Olukayode Jaiyeola/NurPhoto/PA Images
Lekki toll gate. Pic: Olukayode Jaiyeola/NurPhoto/PA Images

Official denials over the Lekki shootings fail to stand up against the mounting evidence, while activists are targeted in a clampdown

Nigerian government officials continue to downplay the army shootings at youth-led protests against the rogue Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) police unit in October, and are doub...


Not so Roch solid

Roch Marc Christian Kaboré. Pic: Simone Kuhlmey/Pacific Press/SIPA USA/PA Images
Roch Marc Christian Kaboré. Pic: Simone Kuhlmey/Pacific Press/SIPA USA/PA Images

President Kaboré has secured another term but many doubt the security forces’ ability to contain the jihadist insurgents

On 26 November, shouts of 'Un coup, KO!', started ringing around the capital, Ouagadougou. The Commission électorale nationale indépendante (CENI), led by former journalist Newton ...


An uncivil union

Ursula von der Leyen. Pic: Pedro Fiuza/NurPhoto/PA Images
Ursula von der Leyen. Pic: Pedro Fiuza/NurPhoto/PA Images

The EU and the AU are pressing ahead with plans for a 'strategic partnership' but the rhetoric masks serious disagreements

Closer agreement on development assistance and its goals between the European Union and Africa was one of the first foreign policy initiatives to come out of President Ursula von d...


Museveni falls back on force

Bobi Wine. Pic: Sally Hayden/SOPA Images/SIPA USA/PA Images
Bobi Wine. Pic: Sally Hayden/SOPA Images/SIPA USA/PA Images

The President seems to have run out of subtle tactics for dealing with Bobi Wine’s electoral threat and is resorting to brute force

The dozens of killings by security forces in recent opposition protests indicate the Ugandan authorities intend to rely on brutal repression to cow the population, intimidate voter...


The Hague’s unexpected guest

Paul Gicheru. Pic: ICC
Paul Gicheru. Pic: ICC

What lies behind the arrival of Paul Gicheru at the ICC after years defying an arrest warrant for alleged witness-tampering?

Weeks after Kenyan lawyer Paul Gicheru handed himself in to the International Criminal Court to face witness-tampering charges, the speed with which he has been processed through t...


Tshisekedi’s moment of truth

Félix Tshisekedi. Picture by: Cyril Ndegeya/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images
Félix Tshisekedi. Picture by: Cyril Ndegeya/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

The President faces a fork in the road, after national consultations aimed at breaking a tense impasse with his predecessor fizzle out

President Félix Tshisekedi faces an expectant nation. He has split up the coalition with former President Joseph Kabila's Front Commun pour le Congo (FCC) and finished a mon...


The long arm of Addis

Pic: daniel0 / stock.adobe.com
Pic: daniel0 / stock.adobe.com

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is known for tolerating little dissent in his cabinet, but less well known for being able to decide the fate of ministers in other countries' cabinets. Th...


Pre-election jitters

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

The funeral of Maryse, the late wife of Jean-Serge Bokassa, son of the former Central African Republic 'Emperor' Jean-Bedel Bokassa, witnessed a serious incident which disrupted th...


Long-distance leader

Patrice Trovoada. Pic: Li Xueren/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images
Patrice Trovoada. Pic: Li Xueren/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

São Tomé's government-controlled Constitutional Court has denied recognition of veteran politician Patrice Trovoada's unopposed election in absentia as leader of the opposition Acç...


SWAPO swept away

Hage Geingob. Pic: Tirivangani Masawi/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images
Hage Geingob. Pic: Tirivangani Masawi/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

The electorate dealt a stunning blow to the ruling SWAPO Party in the 25 November municipal elections, costing it its majority in four of the country's 14 regions. Disaffection amo...


Echoes of the dark days

Ouattara supporters. Pic: Yvan Sonh/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images
Ouattara supporters. Pic: Yvan Sonh/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

The president's re-election has revived some of the deadly rivalries of the civil war era. His opponents say that his gestures towards reconciliation lack conviction

It was only hours after the Constitutional Court confirmed President Alassane Ouattara's overwhelming win at the 31 October presidential elections on 9 November that the victor ext...


Economy running on fumes

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

Tumbling oil revenues have severely dented government finances, as debts mount and donors baulk at picking up the bill

South Sudan's economy is dead on its feet. Falling oil prices have squeezed government revenues, sending hard currency reserves tumbling and inflation soaring. Political stability ...


Creditors fume as the beat goes on

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

After the default, the bondholders and Chinese creditors are jostling for priority but secrecy and local politics are blocking a credible solution

National politics and geopolitics are set to scupper any attempts to resolve the crisis over Zambia's more than US$12 billion foreign debt. There is little sign that President Edga...


Hard choices ahead in Addis

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

The Prime Minister's attack on Tigray and his push for a unitary state raises concerns about political autonomy in other regions

It is the beginning of the end, insisted Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on 17 November as federal forces started marching on Mekelle, the regional capital of Tigray. The previous day, A...

READ FOR FREE

Risks on all fronts

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

The Prime Minister’s stonewalling of peace overtures is winning him few friends as disputes beyond Tigray are confronting Addis

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been steadfast in rejecting widespread calls for negotiations since fighting broke out with Tigray on 4 November, ignoring appeals from the United Nat...


Ace arrest boosts Cyril

Ace Magashule. Pic: Instagram
Ace Magashule. Pic: Instagram

The pro-Zuma ANC leader is standing his ground in the face of corruption charges, but his position weakens as pressure mounts

The 10 November arrest of the second most powerful politician in the ruling African National Congress on charges of corruption, following more than 100 graft-related arrests in rec...


Gunfight ends 30-year calm

Smara refugee amp, Algeria. Pic: Ammi Louiza/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images
Smara refugee amp, Algeria. Pic: Ammi Louiza/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

Polisario's efforts to stymie Morocco's growing trans-African trade may have yielded more results than decades of talk

While Morocco was congratulating itself on persuading an emerging regional power, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to open a consulate in El Ayoun (known to Moroccans as Laâyoune), ...


A divisive plan for unity

September 2017. Odinga supporters celebrate after the Supreme Court declared the 8 August presidential election null and void. Pic: Li Baishun/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images
September 2017. Odinga supporters celebrate after the Supreme Court declared the 8 August presidential election null and void. Pic: Li Baishun/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

A new report is supposed to be the blueprint for sweeping reforms but it has deepened the split between the president and his deputy

Three years after President Uhuru Kenyatta won re-election in polls boycotted by opposition leader Raila Odinga, the two erstwhile rivals sat on a red-carpeted podium at the Bomas ...


Competing on competence

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

The opposition struggles to persuade voters that it could handle the economy, but the administration is floundering too

With just weeks to go until presidential elections on 7 December National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate, former president John Dramani Mahama, is still struggling to alter pu...


Too low, says Mo

African governance is in decline and Covid-19 is likely to make it worse, according to The Mo Ibrahim Foundation's 2020 Index of African Governance published on 17 November.* The '...

READ FOR FREE

Shooting and fishing

Elephants in Chobe National Park. Pic: Letizia Barbi (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Elephants in Chobe National Park. Pic: Letizia Barbi (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Relations between neighbours Botswana and Namibia have hit a new low following the shooting dead of four Namibians by the Botswana army along the Chobe river frontier on 5 November...


By-election bust-up

Pic: Rawf8 / stock.adobe.com
Pic: Rawf8 / stock.adobe.com

President Lazarus Chakwera's Malawi Congress Party won a narrow victory over its coalition partner, the United Transformation Movement, in the bitterly contested Karonga Central by...


Anti-corruption boss 'no poodle'

Pic: demerzel21 / stock.adobe.com
Pic: demerzel21 / stock.adobe.com

Ghana's independent Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, resigned his post on 16 November after experiencing government interference in his job, he said in a letter to President Nana ...


Mounting protests face police violence

João Lourenço. Pic: Valery Sharifulin/Tass/PA Images
João Lourenço. Pic: Valery Sharifulin/Tass/PA Images

Young activists are demonstrating against rocketing prices, worsening unemployment  and double-standards on corruption

President João Lourenço faces deepening public anger over the country's economic implosion and accusations that his anti-corruption campaign is replacing one set of dishonest offic...


Fears mount of all-out civil war

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2020

Talks are spurned and both sides dig in as federal forces take on Tigray's regional government

With air strikes and more troops, on 8 November Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed stepped up the federal government's campaign to drive the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) from pow...


Stress test for the Tonse Alliance

Houses of Parliament, Lilongwe. Pic: robnaw / stock.adobe.com
Houses of Parliament, Lilongwe. Pic: robnaw / stock.adobe.com

The ruling coalition parties are fighting each other in by-elections amid the challenges of turning a new page in a time of austerity

Campaigning for the by-election in the northern seat of Karonga Central on Tuesday 10 November has been exposing the widening cracks in the ruling coalition, especially between the...