South African President Thabo Mbeki's mission to resolve the crisis across the border in Zimbabwe faces slim prospects of success due to deep-rooted suspicion between the protagonists, analysts say. Mbeki was entrusted with the task by fellow Southern African leaders at a summit last month.
A defiant Robert Mugabe openly acknowledged an assault on Zimbabwe's opposition leader on Friday as he sought his ruling party's nomination to stand once again in next year's presidential election. The veteran president told supporters he had not received one word of criticism from his fellow Southern African leaders at a summit the day before.
Zimbabwe's ruling party was expected to pick Robert Mugabe again as its candidate on Friday for next year's presidential election after the beleaguered leader won strong public backing from his peers. The central committee of the Zanu-PF was to meet in Harare where it was set to rubberstamp a decision by its politburo earlier this week to extend Mugabe's tenure.
Pressure from the international community, NGOs and civil society led to the acquittal recently of five alleged coup plotters imprisoned in Burundi in August this year. The men were arrested and charged with plotting to overthrow the government, but the accusations were widely believed to have been fabricated by elements in the government.
After a spate of arrests of members of the media over the past six months, Burundian authorities recently released three journalists who had been detained for more than a month. The Mail & Guardian spoke to them on a recent visit to Burundi. ''Everything is still in a blur,'' says Domitile Kiramvu. ''I still ask myself questions. It is too good to be true.''
Zimbabwean newspaper owner Trevor Ncube is set to contest the stripping of his citizenship in a High Court application. The case has drawn condemnation from international press bodies such as the International Press Institute, the World Association of Newspapers and the World Editors Forum.
Zimbabwean newspaper owner Trevor Ncube -- publisher of the Standard and the Zimbabwe Independent in that country and the Mail & Guardian in South Africa -- will contest the stripping of his citizenship in a High Court application once a date is allocated. He spoke to the M&G about the case.
Nearly four months after tons of toxic chemical waste were dumped in CÃ´te d'Ivoire's teeming economic capital of Abidjan, poisoning hundreds, residents are haunted by fears of long-term health complications. Poisonous fumes emitted by the petroleum waste were blamed for the deaths of 10 people out of the scores sickened by the discharge from a ship chartered by a European company.
Efforts by Africans to seek a better life in Europe were brought to the fore on Wednesday as African foreign ministers started meeting ahead of a summit of heads of states. The Gambian Vice-President Isatou Njie-Saidy and African Union Commission president Alpha Konare urged the ministers to come up with a common strategy on the ''vexing'' issue of international migration.
The poorly equipped African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur is set to quit the troubled western Sudanese region by end of September due to a lack of funds, the AU's security organ said on Tuesday. ''Whatever happens, our mandate ends on September 31 unless there are new developments,'' South Africa's Minister of Foreign Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said.
Post-war stringent diamond mining rules have bolstered export earnings in Sierra Leone, but the country's nationals, rated among the poorest in the world, are yet to benefit from the boom. Diamond exports, the West African country's major source of hard currency earnings, have increased fivefold in as many years.
Former West African warlord Charles Taylor received his first private visitors on Wednesday, exactly a week after he was arrested, as an international rights group said he must be treated humanely and given a fair trial for crimes against humanity.