31 JANUARY 1941, Page 1

The African Scene The question, raised by the victory at

Tobruk, whether General Wavell would decide to push on to Benghazi is already answered. He has pushed on. Derna has been reached and invested, and so has the important centre of Mekili, situated at a road-junction some eighty miles farther south. As m the case of Bardia and Tobruk, General Wavell is proceeding sys- tematically against Dema, with a view to keeping casualties at the incredibly low level at which they so far stand. The Italians- are now being vigorously attacked on four fronts in Africa—in Libya, Eritrea, Somaliland and Abyssinia,- and in addition a Free French force from Chad Territory has enlivened matters by a dramatic and successful raid from the south against the Italian post of Murzuk in South-West Libya. The Eritrean operations are going particularly well, Biscia, at the head of the railway running to the sea at Massawa, being already occupied, and the important centre of Agordat about to fall. In Abyssinia the Italians are being dealt with by bands of native "patriots," inspired by their Emperor Haile Selassie, and organised to some extent by British officers. The complete expulsion of Italy from her African territories appears to be in sight. News of the disturbances which these reverses have caused in Italy itself, particularly the industrial north, must be treated with reserve pending further confirmation, but there is clearly some substance in them.