Not long ago, the hashtag #WhatWouldMagufuliDo? became a rallying cry across East African and continental social media, as ordinary African citizens hailed the astonishing first 100 days of Tanzania’s new President John Magufuli. Has he managed to maintain this impressive streak of leadership or are his ‘true colours’ becoming evident?
While Africa’s attention was focused on election-rigging in Gabon and Zambia, on the mainland, a rather rare victory for democracy on a tiny speck of land in the middle of the Indian Ocean – 1 800 km due east of Mombasa – went barely noticed. After a successful election, the Seychellois voted for change, but how long will the peace last?
The internationally mediated new peace talks between the ruling Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) and the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) – its official parliamentary opposition as well as its enemy on the battlefield – began with great fanfare in Maputo on Thursday last week, but were suspended indefinitely just two days later.
For 30 years, Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) have been spreading appalling terror in northern Uganda, eastern Central African Republic (CAR), western South Sudan and the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Is it possible they will rise again to cause more destruction?
Mozambique, which was poised to take off as the world’s third-biggest natural gas producer, is instead now teetering on the brink of a major sovereign debt default, which is threatening to jeopardise its eagerly anticipated gas-fired boom.
The most charitable interpretation one can put on Benjamin Mkapa’s Burundi peace talks is that they are a desperate grope in the dark for a resolution to the year-long crisis. The danger of such desperation though, is that it might do no more than further weaken President Pierre Nkurunziza’s political opponents.