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Threat of Sudan oil shutdown rises as rebels take strategic Upper Nile town of Malakal

On 17 February, opposition troops drove government forces out of the Upper Nile state capital Malakal, about 500km north of Juba near the border with Sudan. Malakal is less than 150km from major oil production facilities in the state, but output...

Latest SA energy crisis brings political backlash

Eskom declared a power supply emergency during peak demand hours on 20 and 21 February, allowing the utility to compel key energy intensive customers to reduce power consumption by 10%. Although Eskom published a provisional load shedding...

Power riots kill two in Guinea as government struggles with repairs

Violent protests have again broken out in Conakry over power cuts as the government struggles to fund badly needed repairs to generation and transmission infrastructure. State utility Electricité de Guinée (EDG) said the latest problems were...

NGOs and US Congress shun DR Congo’s Inga scheme, threatening big hydropower projects

With the World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB) lining up behind a public/private partnership structure, it seemed possible that the elusive Inga dam development – now promoted by the African Union as a cornerstone of its initiative to...

Chastened Qataris look to Ankara

With Turkey and Qatar at political odds with much of the region, Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani’s visit to Ankara and Istanbul on 14 February was a timely attempt to turn that isolation to their advantage, and firm up an alliance based on a...

Yemen: More tensions within GPC

Following rumblings about possible sanctions against those trying to obstruct Yemen’s transition, tensions have again flared between President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the General People’s Congress (GPC) – the party Hadi belongs to, but which...

United Arab Emirates: UN condemns executive interference in judiciary

The United Nations special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers delivered a damning verdict on the state of the UAE judiciary, following a 28 January-5 February visit. Gabriela Knaul is not due to present her written report to the...

Iran: IMF report highlights Tehran’s economic challenges

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has issued a downbeat assessment of Iran’s economy and urged wide-ranging reforms, following a visit to Iran earlier this year. A full report is due to be published in late March, but the fund’s interim...

Oman: More corruption convictions

Muscat’s criminal court has sentenced 23 people, including former government officials, to between one and three years for their part in a scandal involving the misappropriation of land in Duqm. According to Omani press reports, on 16 February, a...

Burkina Faso: Court promises long-awaited judgements

Amid rising social tensions and opposition to President Blaise Compaoré’s plans to stand for another term as president, public accounts court senior judge Noumoutié Herbert Traoré has promised that judgements on three long-running cases will soon...

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