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SUPPORTING THE SUPPORTERS

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African Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship can often be a lonely career path, particularly at the start. This is particularly the case in modern tech-enabled businesses where software takes care of many admin tasks that used to require interaction with colleagues.

And yet a big part of entrepreneurship is constant learning while building relationships with partners and clients. Learning everything from being a leader and risk taker to managing minor but essential admin tasks and raising funds for your idea. One of the ways many tech entrepreneurs around the world overcome these hurdles is to join or collaborate with local tech hubs or early-stage incubator programs. There they get to meet other entrepreneurs and investors and find themselves exchanging ideas with like-minded individuals which helps to sharpen their own plans for their business.

Hubs like these have been vital to the rapid evolution of African tech ecosystems around the continent and now more attention is being paid on how to make them better and even more effective. Research by Village Capital reframes how to think about these hubs by referring to them as entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs).

The idea is for the acronym to act as a catch-all which includes everything from simple co-working spaces for solo entrepreneurs to full-fledged accelerator programs for young companies backed by major investors or partners. But as VilCap observes: “Entrepreneur support has become an industry in Africa. But deal flow remains stubbornly low, especially for early stage companies.”

The research, which was based on interviews with nearly 80 ESOs and engagement with 1,000 stakeholders, highlights key takeaways to improve ESOs such as having them specialize more rather being open to all comers, which is something we’ve discussed here before. A few other pointers include encouraging collaboration among peers, getting strong program partners for your ESO, making time for mentoring entrepreneurs and building sustainable business models for your ESO.

There is plenty of good specific advice in this 40-page report, but the point of all this is that improving the ESOs will ultimately improve local tech startup ecosystems. Improving African startup ecosystems, as Village Capital sees it, will help unlock more funds coming into these markets to back startups.

— Yinka Adegoke, Q-MHI Africa editor

STORIES FROM THIS WEEK

Ethiopia’s garment workers make clothes for H&M, Levi’s and Tommy Hilfiger but are the world’s lowest paid.

While seeking to position Ethiopia higher up the global textile supply chain, the government has not done enough to ensure conducive working conditions for its labor force. As Abdi Latif Dahir explains, despite making clothes for global brands, Ethiopian garment workers are the world’s lowest paid.

Chart from TheAtlas.com

Under prime minister Abiy Ahmed, the government has also initiated a series of unprecedented reforms aimed at enhancing economic growth, improving competitiveness, and creating employment opportunities.

Regional neighbors like Rwanda and Kenya have also been competing to expand their manufacturing sectors, with Kigali especially adamant about moving from dressing in secondhand hand-me-downs donated from Western nations.

Yet in this pursuit of bold social experiments, low wage levels have persistently come up as an issue in Ethiopia. Another recent survey of more than 1,000 textile and apparel workers across 52 factories in three regions found 65% earn less than $70 a month. As the Horn of Africa nation situates itself as the “New China,” the authors say the challenge will be if they will be able to learn from the past mistakesof nations like China, Bangladesh, and Cambodia to build a sustainable manufacturing model.


Ghana and Madagascar debut at the Venice Biennale.

The 2019 biennale opened in Venice this weekend with the renowned global art exhibition welcoming the two African nations’ debut national pavilions, writes Kwasi Gyamfi Asiedu. The seven month-long exhibition will also see a total of eight African countries with pavilions.

Ghana’s pavilion has been designed by Ghanaian-British architect Sir David Adjaye using soil, imported from Ghana. Adjaye is well known for designing the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC.

Curator Nana Oforiatta Ayim has brought together six artists that cross gender, generational and geographic divides. The artists includes those living and working in Ghana and those of Ghanaian ancestry in diaspora (like British- Ghanaian filmmaker John Akomfrah), especially poignant as the country marks 2019 as the Year of Return to encourage a return home of its own diaspora and the descendants of enslaved Africans around the world.

“Ghana has a cosmopolitan history. People went out to study, for work and some went for political reasons, in exile, so this idea of diaspora is very much part of what our nation is,” says Ayim.

Madagascar’s pavilion will feature work from only Joël Andrianomearisoa, a mixed-media artist, under the themed “I have forgotten the night.”

Curators Rina Ralay Ranaivo and Emmanuel Daydé hope its participation [pdf p.3] will project a more positive image of the island nation to the world.

“It is a sign of dynamism and modernity for the Malagasy nation. It reflects a positive image of the country at national and international levels, despite the all too frequent pre-dominance of either exotic or miserable images associated with it,” they say in the press statement.”It is a message of hope and willingness to put the creative forces  of Madagascar in the mainstream of the world.”

But the world famous contemporary art fair has struggled to attract black and African artists to its event despite recent global interest in African art. In Africa, only Egypt and South Africa have a permanent space at the biennale.

An attempt to redress the historical absence of African artists at the biennale led to the creation of an African Pavillion in 2007 which ultimately received widespread criticism for bundling up an entire continent into a monolith.

The Kenya Pavilion has on two consecutive occasions (2013 and 2015) been made up of majority Chinese artists, drawing condemnation from the Kenyan government. After a strong first pavillion showing in 2017, Nigeria will not return to this year. Its previous unsuccessful attempt in 2015 at being at Venice was blamed on ‘election year’ uncertainties affecting funding.

African artists’ inability to fund participation in fairs outside the continent, has given rise to homegrown art fairs and cultural institutions seeking to fill the void; bringing the international art world closer to home.

They include the Dakar Biennale (Dak’art) in Senegal which was started in the 1992, Art X in Lagos, the Lagos Biennale and the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town which opened in 2017.


Breast ironing is a harmful practice to young girls that isn’t getting sufficient attention.

Compared to widely condenmed practices like female genital mutilation and forced or child marriage, breast ironing, a practice aimed at preventing early development of a woman’s breasts at puberty, is not yet subject of global urgency.

According to the United Nations, 3.8 million teenagers worldwide have been affected by breast flattening. It’s estimated that about 1,000 girls from West African communities across the UK have been subjected to the practice, but the figure could be much higher.

While reports on the horrors of female genital mutilation, forced marriage and so-called honour killings are common, people are perhaps less aware of the practice where young girls, as puberty sets in, have their breasts ironed flat.

I have established this during 15 years of research into “harmful cultural practices” around the world. The practice mirrors ugly misogynistic beliefs and values that underpin other abusive practices. It is ultimately reflective of a power dynamic that demands female submissiveness and complete control over the sexuality of women and girls.


Malawi is worried about fake news in the build-up to its elections.

Despite an internet penetration rate of just 14%—lower than the sub Saharan Africa average, misinformation and fake news is flowing from the internet to the mass populace in Malawi ahead of its May 21 elections, Rabson Kondowe reports.

There are seven candidates competing for the highest public office in the country but the main candidates are three which are: the incumbent president Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party, the main leader of opposition Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party and the current vice president Saulos Chilima who’s running against his boss and formed his United Transformation Movement.

The former president Joyce Banda pulled out from the elections and endorsed Lazarus Chakwera. The vote will take place amid extreme poverty that the country still faces and the never ending corruption issues in the country. Dissatisfaction regarding corruption is high with Mutharika himself refuting allegations he pocketed a $4 million government food contract.


Zimbabwe’s mobile operators data price hikes show the true value of its RTGs dollar.

Zimbabwe’s three major mobile operators hiked mobile internet prices by some 250% in the past couple of weeks in response to the tumbling value of the RTGs dollar. Farai Shawn Matiashe in Harare finds this may be a truer reflection of the young currency’s value.

Over the last few weeks as currency uncertainty has mounted, Zimbabwe’s mobile operators—part of one of the few stable and growing industries in a struggling economy—have had to take matters into their own hands. Econet, Netone and Telecel all hiked their data tariffs to keep up with the benchmark US dollar as the RTGs dollar value keeps falling .

On Apr. 30, Econet Wireless, the country’s biggest operator, introduced an internet data package called “data bouquet” which came with price increases of 250%, which set off customer protests on social media. It was following in the wake of its smaller rivals who had already introduced price increases days earlier.

An Econet Wireless spokesman said the adjustment of the telco’s data prices was in response to the rise in direct costs for telcos in the country and the rise in the cost of doing business in Zimbabwe. He blamed “the devaluation of the local currency by over 300%, the three-fold increase in fuel prices, the high cost of debt and the scarcity of vital foreign exchange” for the need to raise prices.

Without adequate foreign currency reserves, meaningful foreign direct investment and lines of credit in Zimbabwe’s economy, the RTGs dollar was always expected to struggle against the US dollar. Apart from currency reserves, confidence in the new currency remains very low owing largely to policy inconsistencies on the part of president Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government and the country’s recent history over the last decade that has seen the value of deposits and savings being decimated at the height of hyperinflation.

Rising prices

“The actual average cost of mobile data in US dollar terms is around $15 to $20 which translates to between RTGs$45 to RTGs$70 depending on the value of the exchange rate use,” according to Media Institute of Southern Africa-Zimbabwe Chapter.

Local regulator Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) says mobile network operators could legally charge up to 0.05 RTGs cents per megabyte or RTGS$50 per gigabyte before tax.

For a RTGS$5, Econet mobile internet users can now buy 1GB daily data bundle, a sharp rise from RTGS$2 for the same package while 2GB daily data bundle which previously costed RTGS$3 is now going for RTGS$8.

Zimbabwe’s second biggest mobile operator Netone also hiked its data tariffs to match with the US$:RTGs rate with its popular one fusion for RTGs$10 offering just 180 MB of data. Netone said it price increases have been approved and regulated by Potraz.


South Africa’s election: reluctant young voters and a growing shift to populism.

As South Africa went to polls 25 years after its first democratic election, frustrated “twenty somethings” stayed away as a mark of protest against the government. Social media trends aren’t a broad enough barometer of the public sentiment, though. The wave of protests that gripped the country in the weeks leading up to the election were a clear measure of boiling frustrations. Disgruntled impoverished communities across the country organized shutdowns, barricading main roads and marching. Many of the marchers were young people. On Wednesday, pockets of protests flared up again, though voting stations were spared. While community demands have differed, the sentiment has been the same, voting has brought no change.

“You’ll be protesting against the same people who you left in power,” says Tebogo Shuping, a youth election observer for Activate, a youth leadership programme. Shuping, 35, is worried about the voter turnout she’s observed at polling stations around Johannesburg. The grey skies aside, she’s not seen as many young people as she’d hoped.

Chart from TheAtlas.com

“It’s important for young people to be a part of the whole electoral process, not just the voting,” Shuping said. Activate has also put together a manifesto, one they hope will teach communities how to keep their officials accountable after election day. Shuping concedes that this particular poll has been difficult, marking the generational shift between parents and children.

The consistency that has ensured South Africa’s relative socio-economic  stability may now be its downfall. Even with a longer ballot, the ANC-dominated landscape is likely to remain unchanged. Even with a new face as president, Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC faces many of the same issues that Jacob Zuma’s regime did. The margins may be lower, but frustrations may be higher.In the end president Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC won as expected and seemed to have stemmed the decline for now.

But there was a rude awakening as Julius Malema’s populist EFF party gained more seats as the liberal Democratic Alliance declined.Despite their victory, this is the ANC’s worst performance yet. At 57.5% of the national vote, the ANC continues a steady decline. Despite president Cyril Ramaphosa’s promises of a new dawn, the party couldn’t shake its darker recent past of corruption, slow economic growth and factional fighting. Ramaphosa’s focus on land redistribution and anti-corruption did not quite yield the results the party had hoped and it struggled to hold on to the economic hub, Gauteng.

Chart from TheAtlas.com

Its nearest rival, the Democratic Alliance, did not fare much better, earning 20,7% of the national vote, down from 22,23% in 2014. The liberal party maintained its stronghold in the Western Cape, but for the first time since 1994, failed to grow its support. The party’s first black president, Mmusi Maimane, may be out of a job soon, analysts said.

Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters party looks set to become the official opposition by the next election, growing its share of the national vote from 6.35% in 2014 to 10,79%. With its leftist policies and the impatient slogan, “Our Land and Jobs, Now!” the EFF not only tapped into the frustration of disenfranchised youth, but peri-urban communities throughout the country.

Ahead of the vote, pollsters analyzed that the Democratic Alliance would bleed conservative votes, to the Freedom Front Plus. The DA itself conceded that the loss of this constituency was “inevitable,” yet the growth of this hitherto fringe party has shocked many in the country.

South Africa is the latest country to see a democratic

“It’s part of the repositioning of the party and we will have to learn the lessons from this election,” a member of the DA’s leadership.The contrasting fortunes of the liberal Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) speak to a paradigm shift among voters both in South Africa and globally. As we saw with the US election that delivered Donald Trump to power, liberal voices perceived as elite are increasingly rejected by voters who have to contend with worsening economic conditions.

The votes have been counted and the final result is ready to be announced in South Africa’s general election held this week – delayed only by objections from smaller parties that are currently being dealt with. After the majority’s sixth time choosing national leadership since Nelson Mandela first ran in 1994, the most major shifts weren’t to the monolith ANC that was his political home.

ANC, the liberation party, retained a comfortable margin with 57.5% of the vote and arrested its declining support—for now. This was thanks in large part to the party’s leader and current South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, who is on a cleanup drive after nearly a decade of ruinous rule under his predecessor Jacob Zuma.The most interesting story of political shift was in the opposition benches.

CHART OF THE WEEK

Jumia endured a horror week on the New York Stock Exchange amid fraud claims.

After a bullish run that saw its share price more than triple since launching its initial public offering on Apr. 12, Jumia endured a six-day decline on the New York Stock Exchange this week. The stock slide comes amid claims of fraud by a US activist short seller, writes Yomi Kazeem.

OTHER THINGS WE LIKED

Living in translation.

For African Arguments, author Nanjala Nyabola edited a series of articles by different writers looking at how Africa and Africans navigate the heritage of colonial languages, local lingua franca and vitality of creoles. The series looks at Kiswahili in South Africa, pidgin in Nigeria and Amharic in Ethiopia among others.


Skin lightening is Africa’s multibillion-dollar post-colonial hangover.

Lighter skin is still perceived as superior beauty and higher economic status and the roots of this type of thinking can be traced back to colonialism, writes Wana Udobang for Brightmagazine. With deeply ingrained attitudes, what will it take to get African women   to stop bleaching their skin?

Today, the global skin lightening industry is estimated to be in the multibillion dollar range. In Africa, Nigeria is the largest consumer of skin lightening products. While there is no substantial data on the use of skin lightening products around the world, a World Health Organization report claims that 77 percent of Nigerian women use them on a regular basis. Countries like Togo, South Africa, and Senegal are not lagging too far behind.

Skin lightening, however, is not limited to Africa. In 2017, according to Future Market Insights, Asia-Pacific made up more than half of the global market for skin lightening products, with China accounting for about 40 percent of sales, Japan 21 percent, and Korea 18 percent.

In Africa, there is no documented history of when skin lightening took off, but Yaba Blay, who teaches black body politics and gender politics at North Carolina Central University, believes that it began as African countries gained their independence.

In a 2018 interview with the online publication Byrdie, Blay says that white women have historically used their whiteness as a way to communicate purity. This belief was exported to Africa, and around the time of independence, skin lightening began “exploding.”

With attitudes as deeply ingrained as this, what would it take to get Nigerian women — and women across the continent — to stop bleaching their skin?

The debate around skin bleaching has recently resurfaced. Cameroonian singer Dencia launched a skincare line called Whitenicious in 2014 to much controversy. In 2018, the American reality television star Blac Chyna launched a skin lightening product under a brand called “Diamond Illuminating & Lightening Cream” here in Lagos, priced at $250 a jar. There was also the infamous Nivea advertising campaign, “White is Purity.” All of these campaigns elicited heavy social media criticism and think pieces that attributed the desire for lighter skin to self-hate for brown skin.

Feminist and publisher Bibi Bakare-Yusuf has done extensive research on skin bleaching among Nigerian women. She believes it is too reductive to blame this “post-colonial phenomena” simply on white supremacy. “In the context of Nigeria, at least when I started working on the research,” she says, “people were very disdainful of white skin.”


The hidden worth of the global African diaspora.

Money in Johannesburg, South Africa

The importance of Africa’s diaspora population has been shown by the growing contribution of remittances to GDP since the turn of the millennium. But as Behailu Shiferaw Mihirete argues in Africa at LSE, beyond billion-dollar remittances from African diaspora, governments must also become more invested in utilizing their brain power.

Diaspora-ness is a tricky state of being. In their adopted homes, diasporas are referred to as ‘immigrants’, a term that often elicits a sense of unwelcomeness. In their original homes they are thought of as ‘runaways’ who want the best of both worlds – the first to trace their roots when it’s convenient and exotic but also the first to pack and leave when the going gets tough.

But these same diasporas, by some miracle, are expected to make a contribution both in their adopted and original homes. Hypocrisy arises because no matter how much their adopted homes look down on them, for instance, they do not waive their taxes. And even when they are referred to as ’them’ in the third person, the original homes do not refuse their remittances. By their adopted and original ‘homes’ alike, diasporas are treated as resources that should be carefully tapped rather than embraced.

They are resources, of course. Remittance flows to developing countries are larger than the official development assistance received from the West and more stable than private capital flows. And in some countries, even the ones that have respectable economies, the contribution of remittances to GDP is growing. During the period from 2004 to 2017, it grew from 0.93% to 7.47% in Ghana, from 12.31% to 18.70% in Liberia, from 2.59% to 5.85% in Nigeria, from 7.88% to 13.67% in Senegal and in Egypt from 4.24% to 10.06%.

In most African countries, the diaspora’s economic contribution is rarely spoken of openly, because most leaders do not want to concede on them financial dependence. Many governments actually either underreport the contribution of the remittances to GDP or ‘fail’ to report it for fear of the figure empowering diasporas to influence local politics. Even in countries such as Somalia, where a quarter of GDP comes from remittances, this barely figures in any reports.

But while diasporas may be resources, it is problematic to look at them as just that – resources – and nothing more. Why do we cut down their worth to the few hundred dollars they send to their families every month? They are and they can be so much more, especially when diasporas have achieved great things for the human race. Why can’t their potential gained from exposure, experiences and education overseas be brought back home encouragingly and be deployed for the betterment of their homelands, so that the next generation of Africans and the generations after them will not have to leave home to find better education elsewhere?


How the United States became a haven for Liberian war criminals.

Several victims of Liberia’s brutal civil wars remain unable to get justice after decades even while their alleged perpetrators live freely in the United States. As Annie Hylton explains in The New Republic, given its inadequate laws, war criminals can escape punishment at home and live in the United States.

In May 2014, 73-year-old Philadelphia resident Jucontee Thomas Woewiyu—the articulate, well-dressed spokesperson, co-founder, and for several years defense minister of Charles Taylor’s infamous National Patriotic Front of Liberia—became one of the few Liberian leaders to be arrested in the United States and charged with multiple counts of immigration fraud and perjury. After a trial last June featuring testimony from Liberian victims, including Marie and Isaac, who had never before testified in a criminal proceeding about the NPFL’s crimes, he was convicted in July 2018 on eleven counts of immigration-related perjury and fraud related to lying about his violent past. His sentencing has been postponed multiple times, most recently having been scheduled for April 30. It is now expected to take place sometime in May.

Prosecutors in the U.S. and human rights groups in Liberia have celebrated the case as a victory. But the nature of the charges—immigration fraud rather than rape, murder, child-soldier conscription, or other war crimes; and nearly three decades after the offenses rather than one or two years—have also highlighted the U.S. government’s inadequate legal tools in cases like these, allowing human rights violators to live freely in the U.S. for years, even decades. Between under-resourced departments for identifying and tracking perpetrators, and the absence of robust laws permitting prosecutors to charge individuals with human rights abuses committed abroad, the United States has become, ironically, one of the more attractive locations for fleeing war criminals, who, depending on their offense, may only face prosecution on a technicality of having lied on their immigration forms—a so-called Al Capone prosecution—or deportation, rather than a prison sentence.In recent years, efforts to introduce or amend legislation that would make it easier to prosecute or remove war criminals for their original crimes have become politically divisive, caught between a Republican Party wary of international human rights law, and a Democratic Party that’s grown increasingly receptive to calls to abolish the agency largely responsible for investigating and prosecuting such cases: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Woewiyu, born in Liberia in 1946, traveled from the U.S. to Liberia and neighboring countries leading up to and during the Liberian Civil War of 1989-1997. In 1997, he became a minister in President Charles Taylor’s government. All the while, he maintained a quiet life in the U.S., where, in 1972, he’d become a permanent resident, eventually settling in the Philadelphia area amid upwards of 15,000 Liberians who fled their war-torn country in the 1990s. “Frequently, it is the case that you have alleged perpetrators walking among or living within some proximity to the people of the communities whom they victimized,” said Nelson Thayer, Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the case against Woewiyu with co-counsel, Linwood C. Wright.

In the past few decades, perpetrators from conflicts in Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Vietnam have been identified in the U.S., sometimes by the very people they victimized, in everyday settings—a café, a church, or a mom-and-pop convenience store. In the early 1990s, Ethiopian immigrant Edgegayehu Taye, who worked as a waitress at an Atlanta hotel, was riding the service elevator when the doors opened to reveal a bellhop, whom she recognized as a former Ethiopian government official. The man, she claimed, had supervised her interrogation and torture in an Addis Ababa jail in the late 1970s during the country’s Red Terror—when she was bound, gagged, and hung upside-down. Taye and two other women successfully sued the man, named Kelbessa Negewo, in a civil suit.

Woewiyu’s defense team hasn’t denied his leadership in a notoriously ruthless rebel group. Instead, they argued at trial that the U.S. government knew about Woewiyu’s past: While he marked “no” on his primary immigration form (Form N-400) in response to questions about membership in an organization, participation in violent rebellion, and persecution of minorities, he did mention the NPFL elsewhere in his application process, alongside membership in church groups. And he’d previously been contacted by American officials about a separate matter while acting as spokesperson for the NPFL. “Our government knew who he was,” his attorney told the jury.

The constitution for this segregated state was drafted at Harvard, and the republic’s national flag was a near-replica of America’s. English was widely spoken, and people adopted American names. American companies began to exploit the country’s natural resources, starting with the Firestone Tire and Rubber plantation in 1926. By the mid-twentieth century, Liberia had become a strategic base through which the U.S. could fight the spread of communism in Africa: establishing military bases, training facilities, and the largest U.S. embassy on the continent. Commercial partnerships continued as well, the Firestone site becoming one of the world’s largest rubber plantations, fueling the civil war and propping up Taylor’s war efforts. A 2014 report by ProPublicaand Frontline exposed the American corporation’s complicity in Taylor’s murderous rule.

Taylor’s rise came in response to an unlikely Liberian uprising nearly forty years ago. On the morning of April 12, 1980, an indigenous man named Samuel Doe, of the Krahn peoples, led a ragtag group of armed men in a coup, killing then-president William R. Tolbert Jr., a member of the Americo-Liberian elite, and announcing on national radio that a military junta, named the People’s Redemption Council, had taken power.

The U.S. recognized Doe, funneling millions of dollars to Liberia that accounted for roughly one-third of his government’s spending until 1985. That year, as Doe became more oppressive and corrupt, pocketing foreign aid and turning his birthday into a national holiday, the U.S. government funded an election it hoped would produce a civilian government. In what was widely considered to be a rigged election, Doe became president, and the U.S. government publicly supported the results.

Meanwhile, in 1969, Woewiyu traveled to America on a student visa and became a lawful permanent resident in 1972, according to court documents. In 1987, Woewiyu and Charles Taylor met and founded the NPFL in Ivory Coast, with the stated intent of getting rid of Doe. They began looking for training and arms support. Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi provided training bases for NPFL rebels and hundreds of thousands of dollars in financing; Burkina Faso facilitated weapons transfers; and Ivory Coast supported the NPFL’s incursion into Nimba County on Christmas Eve, 1989—the day that would officially spark the civil war.

In response, Doe’s forces conducted a vicious counterinsurgency campaign, indiscriminately killing, torching villages, raping women, and looting, according to a 1994 Human Rights Watch report. Doe’s forces targeted the Mano and Gio peoples; the NPFL in turn targeted ethnic Mandingo and Khran people, whom they suspected supported Doe. The NFPL slaughtered civilians and plundered villages. With no prospect of a U.N. or U.S. intervention, in August 1990, a peacekeeping force known as the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group, ECOMOG, arrived with a mandate to impose a ceasefire and install an interim government. But there was no peace to be found, and ECOMOG was propelled to fight against the NPFL.


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