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Somalia

Why the killing of a spy is shaking the state

Ikran Tahlil Farah. Pic: Esmail Abdille, Facebook
Ikran Tahlil Farah. Pic: Esmail Abdille, Facebook

Farmajo's intelligence chief has been sacked over the cover-up of a secret agent's murder and a programme to send Somalis to fight in Tigray

President Mohamed Abdullah Mohamed 'Farmajo' now appears to have accepted that his right-hand man, Fahad Yasin, the Salafist former Al Jazeera journalist who became Qatar's unofficial representative in Mogadishu, will not now be restored as director of the apex security body, the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), after Premier Mohamed Hussein Roble sacked him on 6 September. Farmajo has tried to maintain Yasin's influence in the security system by naming him National Security Advisor.

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A win for the Makhzen

Aziz Akhannouch. Pic: Alexander Demianchuk/ITAR-TASS/Alamy
Aziz Akhannouch. Pic: Alexander Demianchuk/ITAR-TASS/Alamy

The victory for Aziz Akhannouch’s loyal liberal party promises a government the king can count on

When King Mohammed VI (M6) asked billionaire businessman Aziz Akhannouch to form a government, their meeting on 10 September formalised the victory of secular over Islamist faction...


Why the Vatican vote counts

Pic: Eric Vandeville / Abaca Press / Alamy
Pic: Eric Vandeville / Abaca Press / Alamy

In Anambra state, the Catholic Church’s blessing could prove crucial for a business executive running for governor

A proxy war between the Catholic Church and the Church of England has become one of the main subplots in the governorship election in a commercial hub on the banks of the River Nig...


State taxes boost devolution

Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Pic: supremecourt.gov.ng
Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Pic: supremecourt.gov.ng

A push for regional states to collect and spend their own VAT is gathering steam, as Lagos passes its own new tax law

Nigeria's Supreme Court is set to rule on the right of states to individually collect and spend value-added taxes in their domain in a landmark case that could dramatically alter t...


Who runs the Western Cape?

Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021
Copyright © Africa Confidential 2021

The province is the only opposition stronghold. The ANC shows no sign of making inroads in the coming local elections

The Western Cape is the only province in the country on which the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) has secured a solid grip – one that the African National Congress (ANC) ...


Deepwater oil deal hits a glitch

Pic: lukoil.com
Pic: lukoil.com

A Russian partner expresses concern at government plans to buy into oil licence

Lukoil, a Russian energy company, has written to Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Ghana's Minister of Energy, to express concern about the government's plans to buy into Deepwater Tano/Cape ...


Who judges the judges?

Supreme Court of Ghana. Pic: Guido Sohne 2006 (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Supreme Court of Ghana. Pic: Guido Sohne 2006 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Activists and oppositionists say political loyalties are undermining the independence of the Supreme Court

Six months on from the decision of Ghana's Supreme Court to uphold the victory of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in December 2020's presidential elections, controversy is growing over...


Doublethink in Ecowas

Pic: U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Candace Mundt/Released
Pic: U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Candace Mundt/Released

Under fire from putschists and civilian dissidents, the regional body is trying to draw up new rules on term limits

Two coups in Mali in less than 10 months, a failed putsch on the eve of the inauguration of Niger's President in April, and now the overthrow of Alpha Condé in Guinea. These are th...


The President did it

Filipe Nyusi. Pic: Mikhail Metzel/ITAR-TASS/Alamy
Filipe Nyusi. Pic: Mikhail Metzel/ITAR-TASS/Alamy

The trial of 19 state officials and ruling party members accused of corruptly benefiting from the US$2 billion hidden loans scandal continues to grip the country and embarrass Pres...


Capital crimes

Pic: Oleksii / stock.adobe.com
Pic: Oleksii / stock.adobe.com

The assassination of the exiled Rwandan businessman Revocant Karemangingo in a hail of bullets in Maputo on 13 September has shocked the country and prompted strong international p...


A trial on trial

Lecture by Paul Rusesabagina, as part of the IPC commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, March 2014. Pic: Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy University of Michigan (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Lecture by Paul Rusesabagina, as part of the IPC commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, March 2014. Pic: Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy University of Michigan (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The trial of Paul Rusesabagina, 67, the subject of the Hollywood film 'Hotel Rwanda' which depicted him sheltering victims of the 1994 genocide, has prompted criticism from interna...


The Wagner act

Yevgeny Prigozhin. Pic: Mikhail Metzel/TASS/Alamy
Yevgeny Prigozhin. Pic: Mikhail Metzel/TASS/Alamy

The Kremlin was categorical on 15 September when its spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told media that there were no talks ongoing between Russia and Mali about military cooperation or an...


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 d...


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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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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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