Tom Masland

Promising Too Much?

Protection for victims of ethnic strife in Darfur finally is on the way, it would seem. Last week Sudan agreed to permit 3,500 African Union troops and police officers to deploy in the troubled region.


Cleanup crews are used to thankless tasks. But when maintenance men at the Sao Paulo Electrical Co. (CESP) descended to the bowels of the huge Sergio Motta hydro- electric plant on the Parana River earlier this year, they couldn't believe what they saw.

Malaria Malpractice

Irene's 40-degree fever hadn't budged for days. Burrowed under blue blankets at Mbagathi district hospital in Nairobi, the girl lingered on the edge of consciousness, able only to murmur "Mama." "This is not good," said nurse Abigael Owila. "Resistant malaria." Two different drugs had failed to dent the fever.

On The Road To Nowhere

Mornay is what passes for a safe haven in western Sudan. For 14 months, the government has fought a merciless war against rebels in the remote Darfur region.

Liberia: 'Thank You, George Bush'

It was premature to believe that Liberia had turned a corner toward lasting peace. But still, it was breathtaking to see the calming effect of a calibrated show of U.S. might.


InspectionsSaddam's Next StepsWhen it comes to Iraq and U.N. Security Council resolutions, nothing is ever quite what it seems. Saddam Hussein pretended to be furious last week, but just before the deadline to accept the resolution on weapons inspections, he did.

No End To Their Woes

More than a year ago, officials from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees agency looked on as women in a Zimbabwe camp called Tongogara depicted daily life: girls kissing and cuddling with aid workers in order to be allowed to go to school.


This seed corn is tall and lush, growing under irrigation. The soybeans flourish in the care of diligent field hands. More than 150 head of fat brown steers fill a pen, and the newly renovated piggery has grown to 113 sows and seven boars.

'The Grievance Of All Grievances'

His Press Secretary tried to cut off the interview, but Robert Mugabe would not be silenced. Back home in Harare after a campaign swing last week, the 78-year-old President seemed tired and touchy--and fed up with Zimbabwe's white inhabitants. "I am a proud African.

Turbulence At The Polls

Welshman Ncube may simply have been running for safety. Or he may have been planning to set up a government in exile, convinced that Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe--not content to defeat his political opponents at the polls--plans to jail them, too.


Scenes from a guerrilla war. An old blue bus, with a sign on the windshield declaring its destination to be hard times, rattles down a highway in eastern Zimbabwe.

An Ugly Start To Presidential Elections

The waiting crowd seethed. Five hours after their polling place opened in Highfields, a middle-class black neighborhood of Harare, only 280 people had voted for the next president of Zimbabwe.

South Africa's Lonely Rebel

Thabo Mbeki long has savored this moment in the day. Just after the close of office hours, when the 9-to-5 workers have departed, he summons his close companions for a sundowner.

Sacrifices Of A Street Fighter

She was lost in the crowd of protesters outside Parliament last week. As township activists shouted under the noonday sun, not afraid to stand up to demand that President Thabo Mbeki launch an all-out war against AIDS, Thandeka Mantshi stood quietly in the throng with her daughter Okuhle, 4.

Studying A Dark Future

"Use my name--it doesn't matter, I'm on the run anyway," says Tapera Kapuya, 21. "There's a warrant out for my arrest." His crime: helping organize student demonstrations last year at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare.

Flying The 'Big Bad Dog'

The control tower at Cape Town International Airport knows the black Electric Lightning fighter jet as Bravo Bravo Delta. That's an inside joke--its pilots call the British Mach 2 interceptor the Big Bad Dog.

Terror Hot Spots: Somalia -- Kids In The Cross Ha

Somali fundamentalists didn't figure anybody would mind when they took over a looted and abandoned high school in downtown Mogadishu. They weren't building a bomb factory or training terrorists.

The Promise, The Peril

How do you build a nation? Leaders have asked that question for literally thousands of years. From Shaka Zulu to Bismarck, military rulers did it by uniting disparate clans through the conquest of land and the cultivation of "national" pride.

The Rape Of Paradise

Legend has it that the king of one of the warring Betsimsaraka clans climbed a mountain peak in what is now southern Madagascar and spoke with the gods, who ordered him to sacrifice a son.

Bottom Of The Heap

It's not just the poverty that's so appalling in Luanda. Africans have a saying: when a politician takes power, he and his cronies get "to eat"--to enjoy the spoils of office through corruption, perks or patronage.

Growing Up In Africa's Cruelest War Zone

It's terrible to be a child anyplace without adequate food, shelter or access to education. Add war, and society's youngest members face a life of relentless horror and uncertainty.

Botswana's Hope

A sign at the entrance of a freshly painted bungalow near the center of Gaborone says MAKE A NEW START TODAY. And people are getting the message. Every morning there's a line at the door: a prick of the finger, a quick visit with a counselor and within an hour you're on your way again.

Plight Of The 'Child Slaves'

In the poorest villages of West Africa, sending a youngster out into the world to seek a better life hasn't always been considered shameful. Child labor is a hard fact of life in the region; about 40 percent of boys and girls under the age of 14 work.

South Africa: Fallout From A Stampede

South African President Thabo Mbeki sometimes uses soccer, the country's most popular sport, as a metaphor for the difficulty his country faces in adjusting to postapartheid realities.

Soldiers Of Christ

For the first time in seven months, a plane with supplies from the outside world stood on the guerrilla leader's dirt airstrip. The Americans had brought corn, soap, medicine and boxes of Bibles printed in the local language, Nuer.

The Grass-Roots Battle

At first she struggled to raise the nearly $1,000 a month she needed for an AIDS treatment regime to keep her alive. Once she nearly died from the medicine's side effects, and briefly she had to stop taking any drugs because she couldn't afford a more costly alternative.

Death Of A Dictator

The cream-colored Marble Palace is a typically grandiose relic of the former Congolese dictator, Mobutu Sese Seko. Guards in blue tunics and plumed helmets are posted out front, and the interior is adorned with enormous mirrors and overstuffed Louis XIV-style furniture.

Mbeki's Arms Ache

They first met secretly in June 1998, in a Cape Town coffee shop a few blocks from South Africa's Parliament buildings. Terry Crawford-Browne, a banker turned peace activist, expected questions about his campaign to redirect the new black government's hefty defense budget toward building schools and houses.

Will The 'Dark Continent' Still Matter?

Africa matters," American U.N. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke declared a year ago. "Its problems must be addressed or they will get worse." As president of the Security Council last January, he backed up those words by staging an unprecedented "month of Africa" devoted to the troubled continent's most pressing crises.

The Anc's Nasty Wake-Up Call

South Africa makes a habit of breaking the mold. For decades after the sun had set on European colonialism in Africa, descendants of the Dutch settlers who founded Cape Town fought an ugly rear-guard action against democracy.