Here is the news - of 1994: Africa

MOST people outside Africa will continue to wish or pretend the continent did not exist because it will produce another crop of horror stories next year.

The elections in South Africa will go ahead despite random killings. Inkatha will stand, lose badly, and claim everyone else is cheating. No one will be holding their breath for the result as Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress will sweep to power. De Klerk could be beaten into third place. Mandela will then have to turn on Inkatha, white extremists, and supporters who feel he is not going fast enough, but that may be too much for one year.

Zaire and the central region of Africa will provide horror stories of starvation and death early in the year and these will be followed by hunger in Sudan which could lead to political unrest.

In Angola, Jonas Savimbi will continue to play the war and peace double game and many more people will die. And the world will be puzzled by a sudden upsurge of violence in Ivory Coast, once France's model African state but now leaderless with the death of Felix Houphouet Boigny.

Everyone will be watching Somalia at the end of March when the US troops finally leave. How long can the UN hang on without them? Not long, but Somalia will defy logic again and fail to descend immediately into chaos and clan warfare, although we will see President Mohammed Farah Aideed on the White House lawn after a decent interval.

In Nigeria, President Sanni Abacha will keep the chattering classes happy with his constitutional conference in January but be less successful with the economic realities which affect Nigerians far more than politics and may explode by mid year.

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