Angolan rebels court Western donors
On the eve of Angola's first multiparty elections, the main opposition group, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), had already begun negotiating with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Fatima Roque, UNITA's designated finance minister, said that if the rebel movement wins the two-day vote today and tomorrow, its priorities would be to restructure the $8.6 billion foreign debt and rebuild the war-ravaged economy.
Angola has the diamond, oil, land, and fishing riches to become one of Africa's wealthiest countries, but 17 years of civil war and mismanagement have damaged the economy and infrastructure. Over the past five years the government has been dismantling its state-controlled economy, especially since it joined the IMF in 1989. Ms. Roque said Angola must revitalize agriculture to decrease food imports and stem mass migration to the cities. Repairing destroyed bridges, roads, and communications was another UN ITA priority.
Little separates the economic program of UNITA and the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, economists say. Whoever wins the Sept. 29-30 election will need to arrange concessionary finance and a flexible response from creditors to cushion the process of reconstruction and maintain political stability. Togo votes for democratic reforms
Togo's new multiparty constitution won a landslide "yes" vote in a referendum, signaling the end to 25 years of military rule. Early results showed yesterday that between 80 and 90 percent had voted in favor of the new constitution.
At least 75 percent of the 1.9 million electorate voted in Sunday's referendum after both military President Gnassingbe Eyadema and the opposition called for a big turnout. The new constitution, replacing one that gave General Eyadema supreme powers, paves the way for the first free elections since Togo won independence from France in 1960. Sudanese rebel holds private peace talks
Sudan's rebel leader John Garang held secret talks over the weekend with Nigerian mediators in the country's nine-year civil war ahead of proposed peace talks next month, Ugandan government sources said yesterday. The sources said the talks dealt with the question of resuming peace talks between two factions of the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and the government in Khartoum.
Nigeria played host to an inconclusive first round of talks in June. Last week, Sudan's chief peace negotiator told Nigerian mediators that the government was ready to resume talks at any time, but would stand by its policy of national unity. The rebels, based in the mainly non-Muslim south, are fighting for greater autonomy and an end to state-imposed Islamic law. Kenya, Malawi lobby for new aid
Kenyan Finance Minister George Saitoti said yesterday that the West was poised to resume the aid that it suspended last November to force the government to make radical political and economic reforms. Mr. Saitoti, who is also vice president, returned from Washington to report that the World Bank and IMF were satisfied with Kenyan reforms.
There was no immediate comment from Kenya's Western donors. Diplomats said they were waiting to hear what the IMF and World Bank thought of the steps Saitoti has taken to liberalize the economy before deciding whether to restore balance-of-payment support worth $40 million a month.
Mr. Moi allowed multiparty reforms last November and is required by the Constitution to hold elections by March 1993. The government has put its stake in more than 100 companies up for sale and says it has launched a war against corruption and waste. Some Western donors believe Moi may call the poll next month as the Paris Club meets to assess the pace of reform.
Meanwhile, in another country were aid has been suspended pending democratic reforms, Malawi President Kamuzu Banda has urged international aid donors to restore aid suspended in May over the central African country's human rights record.
Mr. Banda said Malawi had relaxed strict laws on press freedom and given detainees the right to take their cases to court.