Africa: A scar on the conscience of the world

Three years ago, Tony Blair appealed to the world to heal the wounds of Africa. As Jack Straw prepares to fly to Sudan, the continent is still riven by strife, war and famine

"The state of Africa is a scar on the conscience of the world. But if the world as a community focused on it, we could heal it. And if we don't, it will become deeper and angrier."
Tony Blair, 2 October 2001

IVORY COAST: REBELLION

What is going on? The country, which produces 40 per cent of the world's cocoa, is effectively split between north and south following a rebellion two years ago by Muslim northerners over national identity and land ownership.

What is Britain doing to help? Biirtain is taking a low profile with no direct aid. The African Union, is attempting to organize elections in October to end the standoff.

What is the solution? No signs of early resolution to stalemate

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: WAR

What is going on? Sporadic fighting continues despite 2002 peace agreement. Congolese Tutsi rebel soldiers occupied eastern town of Bukavu for a week in June

What is Britain doing to help? Britain backs the UN peacekeeping mission and is also pressing Uganda and Rwanda to end any involvement, which they deny

What is the solution? Conflict expected to continue

ZIMBABWE: TYRANNY/FAMINE

What is going on? Political crackdown continues ahead of elections next year

What is Britain doing to help? Britain hopes South Africa will intercede with President Mugabe to resolve standoff

What is the solution? Stalemate will only be removed when Mugabe leaves power - quietly, it is hoped

SUDAN: ETHNIC CLEANSING/FAMINE

What is going on? Rebellion in Darfur provoked government crackdown leaving 1.2 million homeless and 50,000 dead

What is Britain doing to help? Largest single cash donor having provided £63m in humanitarian aid. Backs African Union efforts and UN

What is the solution? No easy answer. Sanctions could prove disastrous

UGANDA: REBELLION/AIDS

What is going on? Mystical Lord's Resistance army has terrorised northern Uganda for years with vicious campaign that has forced 1.5 million people from their homes

What is Britain doing to help? Britain has supported President Museveni with £740m in development aid since he came to power

What is the solution? Negotiations with Sudan-based leader Joseph Kony doomed to failure, miltary solution seems inevitable

RWANDA: ETHNIC STRIFE

What is going on? Rwanda continues to deny Congolese accusations that it has its soldiers in Congo in violation of a peace agreement. Ethnic tensions in Rwanda still strong after 1994 genocide.

What is Britain doing to help? UK is largest single donor, providing nearly £33m last year. But government rejects calls to use aid to pressure President Kagame

What is the solution? Peace in Rwanda depends on solution for Congo

BURUNDI: CIVIL WAR

What is going on? 160 Tutsis were the victims last week of low level civil war

What is Britain doing to help? Britain is stepping up aid with £8m budgeted for 2004-5. UN just set up political mission

What is the solution? Solution depends on settlement in DR Congo

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