Items of Interest: March 25

The following items from March 25 may emerge to become significant factors impacting geomarket developments in Africa:

Angola: José Filomeno dos Santos, together with his business partner Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais was released from Angolan detention March 24 and March 22 respectively, following the recovery by the Angolan state of a reported $3.35 billion in allegedly fraudulently externalized government assets. 

Significance: The recovery of the $3.35 billion, proceeds of the government’s $5 billion sovereign wealth fund that had been administered by dos Santos and de Morais, is the first disclosed amount of financial assets recovered by coercive measures adopted by the Angolan government. The release from detention of dos Santos, the son of former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, is a step to reduce tensions between the former president and current President João Lourenço over whether Lourenço-led political and economic reforms are politicized to penalize the prior first family.

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Chad: Chadian President Idriss Déby reshuffled the chiefs of the armed forces and the air force. 

Significance: The reshuffles follow the March 21-22 suspected Boko Haram attack near Lake Chad in which 23 Chadian soldiers were killed, and the unexplained March 13 crash of a Chadian military helicopter near Faya-Largeau. Reshuffles at senior levels of the Chadian regime reveal an urgent concern for the country’s national security as well as personal accountability to the Chadian president.

Related analysis:

Nigeria: Akpo Bomba Yeah, the African Action Congress party deputy governor candidate for Rivers State, defected to the People’s Democratic Party.

Significance: Yeah cited political interference by the All Progressives Congress party, Nigeria’s dominant political party at the federal level, in the on-going state governorship election review process in his decision to defect. The collating of Rivers State gubernatorial voting will resume on April 2, following its suspension by the Independent National Electoral Commission over polling booth violence. The defection reveals the degree of political tensions between the All Progressives Congress and the People’s Democratic Party to control the oil and gas producing state, and that the tensions remain on a political level and absent of Niger Delta militant violence. 

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