Alex Duval Smith

Alex Duval Smith is a freelance foreign correspondent based in South Africa

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Sudan president's rival denounces state of emergency as `coup d'etat'

OMAR EL-BASHIR, president of Sudan, said yesterday he had declared a state of emergency to control an internal power struggle. But the country's parliamentary speaker accused the president of staging what amounted to a coup.

United front: Eritrea

In Africa's biggest but least-known war, men and women are fighting, and dying, side by side in the trenches, reports Alex Duval Smith.

Frontline: Cape Town: Deadly groups cause mayhem in Junkie Funky gang wars

IN WEST SIDE Story, The Jets take on The Sharks. In the latest instalment of the far less lyrical Western Cape Story, The Americans, regarded as one of the most powerful gangs in South Africa, have a new challenger, the British Citizens.

Drag queens outrage Africa

The Miss Gay SA contest is challenging bitter homophobia across the rest of the continent, reports Alex Duval Smith

South Africa may lift ban on British beef talks

BRITISH BEEF may soon return to South Africa, where there is currently a ban, after a "positive" discussion between President Thabo Mbeki and Tony Blair, who was at the retreat weekend of the Commonwealth Heads of Govern- ment Meeting in Durban.

Fine words - but cruel deeds

The Commonwealth may be a `gentleman's club', but it does not bar torturers and despots, writes Alex Duval Smith in Durban

Britain urges action as Commonwealth shown to have 60% of all new Aids cases

BRITAIN YESTERDAY called on the Commonwealth to put the fight against Aids at the top of its agenda, pledging pounds 22.7m to fighting the disease in southern Africa, and earmarking two-thirds of the funds for vaccine development.

Commonwealth countries have 60% of the world's new Aids cases, says report

BRITAIN CALLED on the Commonwealth to put the fight against Aids at the top of its agenda yesterday, pledging pounds 22.7m to fighting the disease in southern Africa, and earmarking two-thirds of the funds for vaccine development.

Commonwealth Summit: Cook warning over show trial for Sharif

THE CREDIBILITY of the Commonwealth was in jeopardy last night with diplomats in Durban engaged in frantic lobbying over the fate of Pakistan, suspended and facing expulsion, after its junta laid treason charges against the deposed prime minister.

`Zimbabwe has declared war on gay community'

CHESTERFIELD SAMBA, a gay man in Harare, feels the citizen's arrest on President Mugabe was "a good thing because it got people talking''. Mr Samba, an accountant aged 24, said yesterday that even though homosexuality is not illegal in Zimbabwe - only sodomy is - the prevailing climate is hostile because of President Mugabe's rhetoric.
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