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Africa 2008 reviewed: News highlights [Jan - Jun].

Last Updated: 1/3/2009 4:21:46 PM

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As usual the year gone by has been a busy news year for Africa from the chaos of the Kenyan elections through athletic triumphs at the Olympics to the military coup in Guinea we review the news from Africa in 2008.....

African News Review
African News Review

January : The year kicked off with all eyes focused on Kenya where the disputed results from the Presidential elections had begun to trigger violence across the country. Raila Odinga was steadfast in rejecting the declared electoral victory of incumbent President Mwai Kibaki.

Across the continent in Ghana the biennial festival of football that is the African Cup of Nations was kicking off and all the ‘big boys’ were at the party. Egypt, Nigeria, Cameroon, Tunisia, South Africa and hosts Ghana joined ten other countries to challenge for Africa’s most sought after sports accolade.

February : The first weeks of February sees violence spawned by the elections in Kenya spread across the country and become increasingly ethnically based. A Kofi Annan brokered peace agreement at the end of the month which saw the Odinga and Kibaki agree to a power sharing agreement enabled the Kenya end its descent into violence and chaos.

In Ghana Egypt beat Cameroon 1-0 in the finals of the African Cup of Nations to win a record breaking six championships.

March : An armed rebellion on the Comoros island of Anjouan was crushed by a joint operation of AU and Comoros federal troops. The 300 or so rebel troops put up little resistance and the attempted secession was quickly squashed with coup leader Mohammed Bacar fleeing (dressed as a woman) to the neighbouring French dependency of Mayotte.

Security aides of the Libyan leader Muammar Ghaddafi are involved in a very undiplomatic scuffle on a state visit to Uganda

April : More Elections and more uncertainty as this time Zimbabwe goes to the polls. but the Presidential election proves more contentious as results are inexplicably delayed before the electoral commission declares neither Mugabe nor Tsvangirai has won a clear majority and sets the date for a second round of voting.

In a rain swept London Kenya’s Martin Lel swept to record third victory in the annual London Marathon in a course record of 2 hours 5 minutes and 5 seconds.

May : Unrest in South Africa as xenophobic violence sweeps across most of Guateng province leaving thousands of African immigrants homeless and many dead. The aftermath of the violence saw thousands of immigrants return home to their native countries

One of Nigeria’s most celebrated footballers Nwankwo Kanu adds another feather to his cap as he leads Portsmouth FC to their first ever victory in the English FA cup competition scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Cardiff FC.

June: The credit crunch may have already set in but obviously it had not reached all parts of Cape Town as Africa’s most expensive apartment went on sale at the Victoria & Albert waterfront of Cape Town for a princely sum of US$14 million.

Zimbabwe Presidential run-off election descends into farce as opposition leader Tsvangirai withdraws leaving Mugabe as the sole contestant and as a consequence the inevitable winner.

>>News in Review : Jul - Dec 2008


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