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Back Issues

Pambazuka News 223: What price human rights?

The authoritative electronic weekly newsletter and platform for social justice in Africa

Pambazuka News is the authoritative electronic weekly newsletter and platform for social justice in Africa providing cutting edge commentary and in-depth analysis on politics and current affairs, development, human rights, refugees, gender issues and culture in Africa.

To view online, go to http://www.pambazuka.org/
Want to get off our subscriber list? Write to [email protected] and your address will be removed

CONTENTS: 1. Action alerts, 2. Features, 3. Comment & analysis, 4. Advocacy & campaigns, 5. Pan-African Postcard, 6. Books & arts, 7. Letters & Opinions, 8. Women & gender, 9. Human rights, 10. Refugees & forced migration, 11. Elections & governance, 12. Corruption, 13. Development, 14. Health & HIV/AIDS, 15. Education, 16. Racism & xenophobia, 17. Environment, 18. Land & land rights, 19. Media & freedom of expression, 20. News from the diaspora, 21. Conflict & emergencies, 22. Internet & technology, 23. eNewsletters & mailing lists, 24. Fundraising & useful resources, 25. Courses, seminars, & workshops, 26. Global call to action against poverty

Support the struggle for social justice in Africa. Give generously!

Donate at: http://www.pambazuka.org/en/donate.php



Action alerts

In this edition

2005-09-29

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/action/29617

EDITORIAL: There’s lots of rhetoric but little cash for human rights, notes Vinodh Jaichand
COMMENT&ANALYSIS: Three inspiring stories from the DRC, Argentina and The Philippines on how SMS is being used to confront power
- Issa Shivji critiques the myths behind the arguments for privatisation
- Human rights standards need to be applied in the US response to Hurricane Katrina, says Khalil Tian Shahyd in response to Mukoma Wa Ngugi’s article two weeks ago
PAN-AFRICAN POSTCARD: Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem remembers two Nigerian activists who died during September
CONFLICT&EMERGENCIES: Warning over DRC tension; Sudan peace efforts slammed
HUMAN RIGHTS: Adoption of an international treaty against forced disappearances a step forward, says rights groups
REFUGEES&FORCED MIGRATION: UNHCR helps South Africa tackle huge asylum backlog
ELECTIONS&GOVERNANCE: Somaliland elections go unnoticed
WOMEN&GENDER: Groups dismayed by “shameful lack of political will” at UN summit
DEVELOPMENT: EU Urged to Halt Regional Agreements
HEALTH&HIV/AIDS: ARV’s and the big pharmaceutical party in Africa
EDUCATION: Free schooling starts with huge logistical problems
ENVIRONMENT: Kenyan MP wary of GM crop trials
MEDIA&FXI: Free expression groups to mark global right to know day
PLUS…News about the internet, advocacy campaigns, courses, jobs and books and art.




Features

What price human rights?

Vinodh Jaichand

2005-09-29

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/features/29612

Compared to the verbal commitment of world leaders to human rights issues, the amount of money actually allocated to human rights within the United Nations system is pitiful. “If the role of the United Nations, through the work of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, cannot be sustained, then any other system is also doomed to failure, irrespective of what form the ‘new and improved’ UN is going to take,” writes Vinodh Jaichand.




Comment & analysis

Cell phones: Connections for change

Patrick Burnett

2005-09-29

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/comment/29613

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) SMS is being used to monitor child rights violations. In Argentina indigenous communities are using SMS to halt the bulldozers that destroy their forest livelihoods. And in the Philippines, angry activists have used SMS to hold government to account. The power of cellular technology is no longer up for debate; what remains to be discussed is how to maximize it for social good. Mobile Active Convergence, held recently in Canada, did just this.


Privatisation or piratisation of our forests?

Issa G Shivji

2005-09-29

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/comment/29614

“You have to be a genius to make a loss in a beer business,” writes Issa Shivji as he critiques the false logic behind privatization on the African continent. The first entities to face privatization were those that were most successful, he notes, with the subsequent argument for further privatization pushing the line that privatization led to a quick turnaround in the fortunes of ailing state enterprises.


The "Third World" syndrome, Hurricane Katrina and human rights

Khalil Tian Shahyd

2005-09-29

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/comment/29615

Two weeks ago in Pambazuka News 221, Mukoma Wa Ngugi expressed disappointment with the constant comparison of New Orleans to the Third World in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a compliment to that article Khalil Tian Shahyd argues that the application of human rights standards in relation to the debate over the terms ‘refugees’ and ‘internally displaced persons’ could help America deal with the crisis.




Advocacy & campaigns

24 hours of global feminist action

2005-09-28

http://www.worldmarchofwomen.org

On October 17, organize World March of Women actions where you live! Last December the World March of Women adopted a Women's Global Charter for Humanity which describes the world that we as women want to build, based on five key values: freedom, equality, solidarity, justice and peace. (You will find the Charter at: http://www.worldmarchofwomen.org) Since March 8 of this year, the Charter has traveled around the world, and women have organized actions to raise awareness of its content, challenge decision-makers in their countries, organize debates and support their daily campaigns. During this World Relay, a solidarity patchwork quilt was constructed with a cloth square from each country. You can see this quilt and monitor the Relay 's progress by logging on to a new 2005 section of the World March of Women web site: http://mmf.lecarrefour.org


Action for Haiti

2005-09-28

http://www.haitiaction.net/News/LPA/9_10_5.html

September 30 is International Day of Solidarity with Haiti. The September 30th Foundation calls on people to mark the day by:
1. Make September 30, 2005 an international day of solidarity with the Haitian people.
2. Organize activities in the major cities of the world on Friday, September 30, 2005, denouncing the dictatorship and the repression in Haiti.
3. Denounce and condemn the dictatorship and the US/UN repression in Haiti.
4. Put in place an International Coalition to work for the return of democracy in Haiti, and for the return of the President elected by the people.
5. Establish a fund, administered by the September 30th Foundation, to support the victims of the repression in Haiti.


Africa: International Day for Older Persons

2005-09-28

http://www.helpage.org

This year, the International Day of Older Persons (October 1st) comes at a time when a lot has been achieved for and by older people in Africa. Older people have asked to be recognised as effective agents of change and contributors to the aims and aspiration of Millennium Development Goals. Indeed, if the poorest of the poor, including older people, are not targeted for assistance in the quest to halve poverty by 2015, the MDGs may not be achieved.


Global: Mass lobby for trade justice

2005-09-28

http://www.globalmasslobby.org.

National campaigns and coalitions in Senegal, Australia, the UK, India, Germany, Ireland, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and many other countries are mobilising to lobby their ministers and parliamentarians ahead of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial meeting in Hong Kong this December. Plans include a European lobby in Brussels, and mobilisations at the Summit of the Americas in Argentina and at the WTO General Council meeting in Geneva.




Pan-African Postcard

Remembering a spirit of struggle

Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem

2005-09-29

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/panafrican/29595

September was a bad month for Nigeria. First Chima Ubani, 42, director of the country's premier human rights NGO, the Civil Liberties Organisation, died in a car crash. Then, veteran activist Dr Yusuf Bala Usman died on September 24. Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem remembers the lives of two extraordinary activists and calls for their spirit of struggle to be remembered.




Books & arts

Africa: Genocide in Central Africa (Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda) with a focus on the International Criminal Court in the DRC

2005-09-28

http://www.brill.nl/m_catalogue_sub6_id18491.htm

Please find below details of a new publication:
Title: Genocide in the African Great Lakes States. Challenges for the International Criminal Court in the Case of the Democratic Republic of Congo
Author: Kalere, Jean Migabo
Source: International Criminal Law Review, Volume 5, Number 3, September 2005, pp. 463-484(22)
Publisher: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers


South Africa: 9th Poetry Africa: International Poetry Festival

Durban: 10 - 15 October 2005

2005-09-28

http://www.cca.ukzn.ac.za

The 9th Poetry Africa International Poetry Festival hosted by the University of Kwa- Zulu Natal's Centre for Creative Arts takes place in Durban from 10 - 15 October 2005. Thirty poets from fifteen different countries will descend on Durban for a groundbreaking experience of words and rhythms. The participants represent a diversity of poetic styles ranging from the lyrical genius of Lemn Sissay (UK) to the 2005 Daimler-Chrysler Award-winner for South African Poetry, Gabeba Baderoon. Fellow Daimler-Chrysler Award nominee and editor of Timbila, Vonani Bila is included in the South African line-up of poets, together with Sunday Independent Arts Editor, Robert Greigand former editor of New Coin, Joan Meterlekamp.


Towards a New Map of Africa

Edited by Ben Wisner, Camilla Toulmin and Rutendo Chitiga

2005-09-28

http://shop.earthscan.co.uk/ProductDetails/mcs/productID/619

This ground-breaking book with a foreword by Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and UN human rights commissioner, uniquely distils the complex issues surrounding Africa as it enters the 21st century. A substantial introductory essay by the editors measures the distance Africa has travelled and the lessons it has learned since Africa in Crisis, the classic Earthscan book, was published in 1985.


Zimbabwe: Skinning the Skunk

Mai Palmberg and Ranka Primorac (Eds)

2005-09-28

http://www.nai.uu.se/publ/publeng.html

Skinning the Skunk refers to a saying in Shona, kuvhiya kadembo. The Zimbabwean writer Stanley Nyamfukudza uses it here to illustrate how important problems, like the legacy of violence, are avoided in Zimbabwean public discussion. Terence Ranger writes on the new policy of rewriting the history of Zimbabwe, in the name of "patriotic history", through which the Zanu-PF government tries to assert hegemony and achieve "a total change of the mindset". To talk about Zimbabwe today also means to talk of the large diaspora. Beacon Mbiba presents a study on what is colloquially called "Harare North", that is London (and the rest of the UK).




Letters & Opinions

Congratulations

Aso Balan

2005-09-29

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/letters/29611

To all at Pambazuka - most definitely well deserved for winning the non-profit category of the sixth annual Highway Africa awards.


Walking the Talk -Global Call to Action against Poverty

Zukiswa Wanner

2005-09-29

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/letters/29625

Bantubonke Biko once said, "it is better to die for an idea that will live than to live for an idea that will die.” In the noughties/zeroes/post-nineties  I believe the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) is that idea. It is what the Anti-Apartheid Movement was to the eighties. While no-one is calling on anyone to die (since enough people are dying because of poverty anyway), the Call is certainly an idea that should bring all global citizens, across the economic barriers, to action. While there is no doubt that GCAP is a brilliant idea, there definitely have been some questions on whether GCAP as a campaign should continue.
 
Like all great revolutions in recent memory, GCAP is an idea that was articulated by the middle class. Using the very minimalist Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), GCAP activists have pushed so that the upper classes, as personified by the global political and economic leaders, can make the end of poverty a reality. However, GCAP is in danger of becoming just another cool thing for the middle class symbolized by the very cool-looking white band unless and until we get the lower classes and the people affected on a day to day basis by poverty involved. The poor people, do, after all, constitute the majority of the world’s population.
 
It is true that coalitions in countries such as Bangladesh and Kenya have managed to take the MDGs to the people but much more needs to be done globally. Again to give comparison to the Anti-Apartheid Movement, being an anti-apartheid activist at that time meant death, jail time, or constant watch by the Special Branch and therefore a sacrifice of one’s self or freedom if one was in South Africa. To those that were elsewhere it meant being in constant danger of receiving a parcel bomb and boycotting the very tasteful South African wine (and other South African goods)  in order to bring the South African economy to heel. It was the combined actions in South Africa and abroad together that managed to bring about the end of apartheid. Somehow I do not see the same sacrifices being made by GCAP activists and yet I feel that, if GCAP is to be successful and to continue, we need to do the same. It is true that many of us have participated in marches globally but when one marches and places their feet in a  foot spa at the end of the march, they cannot really relate to a woman who has to walk ten miles back and forth to fetch water daily and feed her family. 
 
Granted we live in a different world than the one that existed two decades ago yet it seems that much more was done then and more needs to be done now. We need to sensitise ourselves to poverty through working with the poor and thereafter we can better appreciate this very noble cause that we claim to be working for. For instance my comrades in the north can volunteer an hour at the soup kitchens or be a mentor to some child in a children’s home while we in the south can take time to volunteer with the ground organisations in the tents of Manila, the favelas of Sao Paolo, or the mkhukhus of South Africa. That way, when we tell Bretton Woods institutes to cancel the debt, when we tell them that 1.2 billion people are living on less than a dollar a day, we will be saying it with conviction because we would have walked the talk. An additional bonus is that we will no longer be talking for the poor people. They will be able to talk for themselves when they have been politicized to their poverty. As it is, while we sleep in five-star hotels and ask for an increase in aid on their behalf – they have absolutely no idea what the MDGs are and probably could not care because nobody has cared to communicate with them and show them their importance to the cause.
 
It is up to us, we who are living in these times to become that great generation that is revolutionary enough to ensure that the Global Call to Action against Poverty becomes, “an idea that will live." Together, across the economic barriers, we can!


Where's the French edition?

Claudy Vouhé

2005-09-29

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/letters/29616

Hello, I work on gender, Pambazuka News is great for me as a speaker of English, but we are very short of information in French on gender. We have created a Francophone network (www.genreenaction.net) to try and remedy this. Could you say something about it in your newsletter/site?

Pambazuka News replies: Thanks for your email. Readers of Pambazuka News - especially French readers - will be pleased to know that we have plans for a French edition of the newsletter in the near future. Watch Pambazuka News for details in the coming weeks.




Women & gender

Global: Women's take on UN Summit

2005-09-14

http://www.choike.org/nuevo_eng/informes/3350.html

After months of pressuring governments on women's rights, advocates from around the world have achieved some gains on gender equality in the World Summit outcome document, despite the lack of meaningful action on the total package under debate. However, women's groups have been dismayed by a shameful lack of political will on the part of governments to tackle poverty, foster peace, and ensure human rights. The grand bargain envisioned for the World Summit has failed. This bargain called for a serious commitment to trade reform, debt relief and financial resources for development in exchange for a Human Rights Council, Peace-building Commission, and UN management reform. Instead, countries deferred these issues to the General Assembly, where the same political divisions prevail.


Mauritania: Mauritania union doubles number of female members

2005-09-29

http://www.icftu.org/displaydocument.asp?Index=991222817&Language=EN

The General Confederation of Worker's in Mauritania (CGTM) has increased its female membership from 15 to 30% through a massive recruitment of women in the informal sector. 'The aim [of recruiting informal workers] is not only to ensure an improvement in the working conditions of these women but also in their living conditions, which will benefit their families too,' says Abdallahi Ould Mohamed, CGTM General Secretary. 'The women flooded to our union because they were carried by the hope of an improvement - however small - in their extremely difficult conditions.


Sudan: Women define the development agenda for the new Sudan

2005-09-24

http://www.unifem.org/news_events/story_detail.php?StoryID=313

A new publication shows how Sudanese women, in their diversity and spirit of unity, are defining the critical development agenda for the country in the coming decade. "Towards Achieving the MDGs in Sudan: Centrality of Women's Leadership and Gender Equality" endeavors to provide a permanent record of some of the historic actions by Sudanese women on the agenda for peace and development, within the spirit of global partnership.


Swaziland: Poverty-stricken AIDS widows pin hopes on new constitution

2005-09-26

http://tinyurl.com/9qxgr

A new association of widows in Swaziland hopes to raise greater awareness of the plight of women who have lost their husbands to AIDS. "We grow in numbers daily - the epidemic is creating a nation of widows," said Lindiwe Vilakati, a member of Litsemba Lebafelokati (SiSwati for "Hope of the Widows") Association. "In a sense, we are the worst sufferers of AIDS," said the chairwoman, Nonhlanhla Nene. "The main activity of our association thus far has been the burial of our members." Sandwiched between its giant neighbours, South Africa and Mozambique, the small kingdom of Swaziland has the world's worst HIV/AIDS rate, with close to 40 percent of adults infected. Widows who do not succumb to AIDS contracted from their husbands often live out their lives in dire poverty.


Zimbabwe: Mugabe gets wife-battering official off hook

2005-09-25

http://www.zwnews.com/issuefull.cfm?ArticleID=12815

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe had wife- battering charges against his spokesman George Charamba thrown out to avoid damaging his office's reputation, it has emerged. Government officials said Mugabe's office covered up charges that Charamba had allegedly assaulted his wife, Rudo, during a row over a missing gun on February 24 last year. The incident allegedly took place at the couple's Mandara home in Harare. Charamba is said to have a black belt in karate. The officials said the case was dropped against the will of police commissioner Augustine Chihuri after Mugabe intervened.




Human rights

Global: Countries should push for treaty's worldwide adoption and ratification

2005-09-27

http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/09/26/global11785.htm

The adoption of an international treaty against forced disappearances at the United Nations is a great step forward in the fight against this crime, said Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists, the International Federation of Human Rights and Human Rights Watch. The four human rights organizations called on all U.N. member states to ensure that the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance is quickly adopted by consensus in the U.N. General Assembly. All countries should ratify the treaty as soon as possible.


Global: Poverty and human rights

2005-09-29

http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/rdr.cfm?doc=DOC19678

The first millenium development goal - to halve global poverty by 2015 - has become an unlikely prospect. If poverty is to be significantly reduced, its terms of definition, measurement, explanation and resolution need to be re-examined and reformulated. The new human rights instruments need to play a vital role in this process. They can have a huge impact on the measurement of poverty, deprivation, exclusion, and development.


Uganda: Make torture the crime it is

2005-09-28

http://www.monitor.co.ug/oped/oped09281.php

The 2004 Uganda Human Rights Commission report is out and its major recommendation is that torture should be criminalised. According to the report, torture in the country is very serious and is not even declining significantly. While calling upon the state to ensure that all acts of torture falls under criminal law, the report also urges that they should be punished by appropriate penalties. Operatives of security agencies are viewed as major offenders in this regard.


Uganda: Rights watchdog accuses army of abuses

2005-09-29

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=49283

Ugandan army soldiers fighting a 19-year insurgency by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in the north of the country torture civilians as a method of enforcing discipline and extracting information from suspected criminals during interrogations, the Ugandan government human rights watchdog has said. "In 2004, the commission received 108 complaints alleging torture by soldiers of the UPDF [Uganda People's Defence Forces, the national army]," the Uganda Human Rights Commission said in its annual report for 2004, released on Tuesday.


Zimbabwe: International Peace Day demonstration

2005-09-25

http://tinyurl.com/avpby

On International Peace Day, Wednesday September 21, the feisty protest group, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), staged a peaceful demonstration in Harare, demanding "Peace not Poverty". Until the riot police intervened with batons it was an entirely peaceful, orderly and good-natured protest. A short distance from Town House the protesters were intercepted by baton-wielding riot police who lashed out at them without mercy. Most of them managed to escape arrest on this occasion, though not to avoid bruises and cuts from the police batons. It is believed however than three of their number were detained by the police. Human rights lawyers are seeking to establish the whereabouts of the three and the nature of any charges brought against them, but at the time of filing this report the lawyers had not been able to make contact with them.




Refugees & forced migration

Africa: Scaling the Fences

2005-09-29

http://www.ipsnews.net/africa/nota.asp?idnews=30439

Some 100 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa made it Tuesday over the high fences separating Morocco from the Spanish enclave of Melilla on the southern coast of the Mediterranean sea, while another 400 were kept out by the Civil Guard. The storming of the border occurred just a few hours before the media in Spain aired a video filmed by the children's rights organisation PRODEIN, which shows Civil Guard agents in riot gear violently repelling a similar concerted attempt by migrants on September 20.


Angola: Fourth phase of repatriation from Congo Brazzaville postponed

2005-09-26

http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/HMYT-6GLRP4?OpenDocument

The fourth and last phase of repatriation of Angolan refugees in Congo Brazzaville, that was to start on the 26th of September, has been postponed, due to technical reasons, a source with the Social Welfare Ministry (MINARS), announced. A MINARS press note delivered to Angop says that 112 Angolan citizens coming from that African country were expected today at Cabinda's Massaby border station. The organised repatriation of about 3.000 Angolan refugees living in Congo Brazzaville started in the middle of this year, in an operation that has already repatriated 286 national citizens, most of whom born in northern Cabinda province.


Rwanda: Evictees cry foul

2005-09-23

http://allafrica.com/stories/200509230515.html

Thousands of people evicted from Gishwati forest and relocated to Gaseke district in Gisenyi province are seriously in need of a hospital and health centres to improve on the looming health crisis. "The government gave us houses and plots for farming, but we are facing a great problem concerning lack of a hospitals," a resident claimed. The residents say contagious air and waterborne diseases are now common due to lack of appropriate health services. Residents also lack schools for their children, since those available are not enough for hundreds of children in the communal settlement.


South Africa: UNHCR helps South Africa tackle huge asylum backlog

2005-09-27

http://www.unhcr.ch/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/news/opendoc.htm?tbl=NEWS&id=4339692b4

The UN refugee agency has been conducting training sessions for state officials hired as part of the South African government's drive to improve its capacity to tackle the huge backlog of asylum seekers. Although the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), which determines who is a refugee using criteria agreed by UNHCR, has been processing more asylum cases in recent months, this increase has been outstripped by the number of new applications, which totalled 32,558 in 2004. By the start of this year, the number of pending cases had climbed to some 115,000. The record number of pending asylum applications - far in excess of what the DHA staff could handle - prompted the government to launch a strategy that included dramatically improving its ability to tackle the backlog. UNHCR is providing training, advice and materials to support this effort to raise the capacity both of staff and their equipment.


Uganda: More internally displaced people identified in the North

2005-09-29

http://www.iom.int/en/news/PBN270905.shtml#item2

Fighting in northern Uganda has displaced just over 41,000 people in one district alone in the past year, according to an IOM-Danish survey just finished. Attacks by the rebel Lords Resistance Army (LRA) on refugee settlements and villages in Adjumani district which adjoins the more conflict affected region in Northern Uganda, have become more frequent over the past 18 months and has led to a permanent insecure living environment. However, the exact number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Adjumani district has been unclear as has a true picture of the humanitarian situation there.




Elections & governance

Burundi: Electoral process ends with local poll

2005-09-26

http://tinyurl.com/bhmn5

Burundi's electoral process for 2005 ended on Friday with elections for local heads of villages. The country's electoral calendar began in February with a referendum on the post-transition constitution during which an overwhelming majority voted for the draft document. The head of the National Electoral Commission, Paul Ngarambe, said voters went to polling stations countrywide on Friday to elect 14,560 local leaders out of 44,724 candidates who were all contesting as independent candidates. The voting marked the first village-level elections in the country's history.


Egypt: First multiparty elections

2005-09-29

http://www.saiia.org.za/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=296

Egypt's first multiparty elections early this month did not yield any surprises as incumbent President Hosni Mubarak retained his position. Despite being declared far from free and fair, the poll was still described as a step forward for a country where opposition candidates have never been given room to operate. “There are violations but in comparison to before, it's much better than we expected,” said Gasser Abdel Razeq, of the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights and a vocal government critic. At different polling stations, Mubarak supporters were seen standing over voters as they cast their ballots, while at one polling station, the only person in charge was a party representative sporting a Mubarak button.


Ethiopia: Main opposition coalition merges to form party

2005-09-29

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=49284

The four parties that make up Ethiopia's largest opposition alliance, the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) have merged to form one party, an official of the coalition said last Thursday. The All Ethiopia Unity Party, the Union of Ethiopia Democracy Party, Rainbow Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Democratic League announced their unification on Saturday. It elected Hailu Shawel to continue as chairperson of the new party and Birtukan Mideksa to serve as vice-chair.


Somaliland: Worthy try in Somaliland

2005-09-29

http://www.saiia.org.za/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=296

One of Africa's unrecognised countries, Somaliland, held parliamentary elections at the end of September - it's third since it seceded from Somalia and declared independence in 1991. The major setback for the otherwise peaceful state has been lack of international recognition, which has been reserved for fear it might trigger instability in the region. “Please give us credit for being disciplined, self-administering people. It is unfair to keep us away from the world until the warlords in Somalia agree on something. Bringing back Somaliland to former Somalia is like attempting to bring back the former Soviet Union,” said Awil Ali Duale, the finance minister.


Tanzania: Zanzibar electoral body says voter lists are faulty

2005-09-21

http://tinyurl.com/748bg

At least 700 people have registered more than once to vote in Tanzania's semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar, the head of the local electoral body said on Tuesday. "More names are likely to be discovered," Masauni Yussuf, the chairman of the Zanzibar Electoral Commission, said in the statement. "We are still going on with the verification exercise.". On 30 October, Tanzanians are to elect a new national president, parliament and ward councillors. Voters in Zanzibar and the neighbouring island Pemba will also choose a local president and parliament.


Zimbabwe: MDC to contest senate elections

2005-09-25

http://www.newzimbabwe.com/pages/senate26.13198.html

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says it will take part in the Senate polls due to be held before the end of the year, The Standard can reveal. Professor Welshman Ncube, the MDC secretary-general told The Standard that there were differences between circumstances leading to the Senate elections and the 31 March Parliamentary elections. "There are fundamental differences between the March Parliamentary elections and the position we are in right now. It is very clear that the national council lifted the suspension on election participation and that position has not changed. The operative resolution of the council is that we are in the elections," Ncube said.




Corruption

Liberia: Corruption watchdog group challenges Bryant

2005-09-27

http://www.analystnewspaper.com/corruption_watchdog_challenges_bryant.htm

A local consortium of pro-democracy and human rights organizations, under the aegis of Coalition Against Corruption (CAC), has challenged the Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia, Charles G. Bryant, to face Liberia’s corruption pandemic squarely by inaugurating domestic mechanisms. In a letter to Chairman Bryant, CAC said: “We want to encourage you to go beyond this courageous act, by ensuring that the needed domestic anti-corruption mechanisms are put into place: a National Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office, a Law on Access to Public Information and a Special Anti-corruption Law, making corrupt practices in the public and private sectors felonious.”


Malawi: US cash injection to fight corruption

2005-09-27

http://tinyurl.com/8d64f

The US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the Malawi government have announced the launch of a US $20.92 million programme aimed at fighting corruption and spurring long-term economic growth and development in the southern African country. MCC vice-president Charles Sethness and Malawi's finance minister, Goodall Gondwe, announced the signing of a Threshold Country Plan (TCP) in Washington on 23 September, according to a US government press release. The MCC, a US government corporation launched last year to work with some of the poorest countries in the world, is based on the principle that aid is most effective when it reinforces good governance, economic freedom, and investments that promote economic growth and eliminate extreme poverty.


Mozambique: Rights groups dismayed by dismissal of corruption fighter

2005-09-21

http://tinyurl.com/c56cb

The surprise axing of the head of Mozambique's Anti-Corruption Unit, Isabel Rupia, has been sharply criticised by human rights groups as undermining the government's anti-graft message. "We need to know the reason why Isabel Rupia was removed - it is people's right to know. When they don't know, then it leads to speculation," said Carimo Abdul of the anti-corruption NGO, Etica Mozambique. Government officials were unavailable for comment. Rupia's agency was wound up last week and replaced by a new Central Office for Combating Corruption (GCCC). But while that move was expected - the unit was a stopgap measure - her removal was not. Rupia's assistant, Rafael Sebastião, has been made chief of the GCCC.


Nigeria: Fraud cases rise in banks

2005-09-26

http://allafrica.com/stories/200509270051.html

Frauds and forgeries in banks between April and June 2005, rose sharply by 48 per cent or 107 cases to 329 cases compared to 222 cases recorded in the preceding quarter. Vice Chairman/Chief Executive of Intercontinental Bank Plc Dr Erastus Akingbola citing reports from the Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC) said the amount involved went up by 25.6 per cent, from N1.15 billion to N1.47 billion.


Zimbabwe: Zimbabwean oil firm staff stole for black market

2005-09-26

http://www.capetimes.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=272&fArticleId=2890835

Seventeen employees of Zimbabwe's state-run oil procurement company have been suspended following investigations into the theft of tens of thousands of litres of fuel, the Sunday Mail has reported. The state-run newspaper, quoting unnamed sources, said 38 000 litres of petrol and diesel had disappeared on one day recently and that millions of litres could have been stolen since the beginning of the year. The oil depot has had to cancel night shifts in an attempt to prevent theft. The stolen fuel had supplied the black market, where it sold for prices way above those set by the government, the newspaper said. It had also been smuggled into neighbouring countries




Development

Global/Africa: EU Urged to Halt Regional Agreements

2005-09-27

http://www.ipsnews.net/africa/nota.asp?idnews=30435

As European Union trade chief Peter Mandelson prepares to kick off a new phase of trade negotiations in the Caribbean this week, trade groups are asking the bloc to shelve regional agreements in order to avoid a "development disaster". The Britain-based Traidcraft and the Kenya-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) EcoNews Africa say the bloc's current proposals would require developing countries to open up their markets rapidly to European corporations, threatening jobs, industries, government revenues and public services in some of the poorest countries in the world. Both organisations are members of a 'Stop EPA' campaign launched in October last year.


Global: Food relief ‘not cost-effective’

2005-09-27

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/4288804.stm

Sending aid in the form of food is generally a very inefficient way of providing international assistance, a study has found. A study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found it costs on average 30% more than providing money to buy food. This can be done either locally or in an appropriate third country. The USA and EU produce more food than their citizens need. In Africa, meanwhile, children are starving. Using the surpluses to feed the hungry seems simple good sense. But this study reveals direct food transfers as slow, cumbersome and expensive - an inefficient way of getting the right food to the right place at the right time.


Global: Human Development Report 2005: International cooperation at a crossroads – aid, trade and security in an unequal world

2005-09-26

http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/rdr.cfm?doc=DOC19628

Will the MDG targets be met if current development trends continue? Not according to the 2005 Human Development Report (HDR), which cites inequality as the issue of prime concern in the fight against poverty. The report argues that economic development alone will fail to produce sustained poverty reduction. The focus needs to be redirected towards improving equality - narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor, men and women and eliminating regional disparities.


Global: Is aid working for the poor?

2005-09-28

http://www.oneworld.net/link/gotoarticle/addhit/119080/8/37815

While development aid is often vital for combating poverty, is it really being invested in local communities to change the circumstances of the poor? OneWorld concludes this month's "IN-DEPTH" series from its new treeless magazine, Perspectives, which
offers more background and context on the issue, viewpoints from non-profit organizations, and ways for individuals to get involved.


Global: Partnerships for poverty reduction - rethinking conditionality

2005-09-29

http://www.comminit.com/strategicthinking/st2005/thinking-1149.html

This paper seeks to show how donors from the UK can support policy leadership in developing countries without imposing their own views. The contention is that, when donors and developing country governments agree on the purpose of the aid, both parties will have a shared understanding of how aid will help reduce poverty, and how they can be held publicly accountable for delivering on their commitments.


Global: Reducing poverty by tackling social welfare

2005-09-28

http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/rdr.cfm?doc=DOC19724

This paper produced by DFID argues that social exclusion deprives people of choices and opportunities to escape from poverty and denies them a voice to claim their rights. This policy paper describes how DFID intends to build upon the work it has undertaken tackling social exclusion in Latin America and Asia, and ways it can enhance the work it has recently begun in Africa. The paper looks at the challenges posed by social exclusion, and the ways governments, civil society and donors can help to tackle them.


Global: The big letdown - UN summit shortchanges the poor

2005-09-28

http://www.civicus.org/new/content/monthcolintro16.htm

The events that took place at the UN during the weeks leading up to the UN World Summit in New York were a disgrace - an ugly diplomatic spectacle. The majority of Member States saw their carefully drafted 'Outcome Document' blow up before their eyes, and the entire process of delicate inter-governmental negotiations was held hostage to a small minority pulling in opposite directions. After juggling around with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which are literally a life or death matter for hundreds of millions of people living in extreme poverty, we have now landed up with an insipid declaration that is long on generalities and short on actions.




Health & HIV/AIDS

Africa: Have pharmaceutical companies come to party in Africa?

2005-09-27

http://www.health-e.org.za/news/article.php?uid=20031304

Bowing to huge international pressure, major pharmaceutical companies have made significant efforts to make their patented antiretroviral drugs available in Africa while ensuring that they – not generic manufacturers – maintain market control in the continent. Globally, the ARV market accounts for less than 3% of pharmaceutical sales worldwide and Africa’s portion of this has been negligible. However, with the World Health Organisation’s campaign to get three million people on ARV treatment by the end of this year (the 3-by-5 campaign), there has been a scramble to ensure improved supplies. The US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has also made cash available for some of the continent’s poorest nations to buy ARV drugs.


DRC: Anti-polio drive overcomes logistics hitch

2005-09-29

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=49263

A polio vaccination campaign in remote areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which was initially to start on 24 September, finally got underway on Tuesday after the project overcame logistical problems. The administrator of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) vaccination project, Dr John Agbor, said the three-day campaign was aimed at some 10 million aged under five years in six provinces in the northern and southern parts of the country.


Global: Missing the target: Why efforts to meet health and development goals fail the poorest

2005-09-29

http://www.eldis.org/healthsystems/dossiers/v_poor/

Who are the very poor and is health policy in developing countries leaving them behind? What strategies are there for reaching the very poor within the health sector and what are the challenges? Can strategies outside the health sector work better? "Meeting the health-related needs of the very poor", a new dossier from the HRC/Eldis Health Systems Resource Guide addresses these key questions by bringing together the perspectives of health policy, social protection, and poverty reduction.


Global: Research and development: Reproductive health needs of developing countries

2005-09-29

http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/rdr.cfm?doc=DOC19669

This paper examines the role of public and private sectors in the development of contraception and other pharmaceutical products. It also explores the obstacles to availability of these products in developing countries, as well as further research needs. The paper finds that, despite growing private sector involvement, the public sector is the main supplier of contraception in developing countries. Funding from bilateral agencies and foundations to public sector Research and Development (R&D) programmes has resulted in expansion of contraceptive choice for developing countries. With the exception of China, Brazil and India, there has been little R&D of products for reproductive health (RH) in developing countries.


South Africa: Treating severe malnutrition: implementing clinical guidelines in South African hospitals

2005-09-29

http://www.id21.org/health/h9aa4g1.html

According to the World Health Organisation malnutrition is associated with about 60 percent of deaths in children under five years old in the developing world. The WHO has developed guidelines to improve the quality of hospital care for malnourished children in order to reduce deaths. The guidelines suggest ten steps for routine management of severe malnourishment. These will require most hospitals to make substantial changes.


South Africa: Vavi and Manto square off

2005-09-27

http://www.health-e.org.za/news/article.php?uid=20031306

Cosatu secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi fired a broadside at Health Minister Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and President Thabo Mbeki at the weekend, accusing them of failing to provide leadership in the fight against HIV. The minister's spokesperson has in turn accused Vavi of being irresponsible and ignorant. Follow the link to read the full speech given by Vavi to the Treatment Action Campaign Congress.


West Africa: Cholera death toll in West Africa tops 800

2005-09-29

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L27554313.htm

At least 800 people have been killed in a cholera epidemic which has struck nearly 50,000 in West Africa, many since mid-year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday. Outbreaks of the water-borne disease were triggered by a particularly heavy rainy season, compounded by increased population movements, according to Claire-Lise Chaignat, WHO's global cholera coordinator.


Zimbabwe: Doctor pay hikes worth three loaves

2005-09-29

http://www.zwnews.com/issuefull.cfm?ArticleID=12839

Zimbabwean doctors, who routinely strike for more pay, are bitter that President Robert Mugabe's government has awarded them paltry monthly salary increases equivalent to the price of three loaves of low-quality bread. The Hospitals Doctors Association (HDA) said it was now consulting its membership with a view to staging more industrial action.




Education

Africa: US$200 million pledged for African universities

2005-09-28

http://tinyurl.com/dg5yb

Six major US foundations have pledged US$200 million to strengthen higher education institutions in seven African countries. The money will be spent over the next five years in Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. Part of the initiative is an effort to dramatically increase access to the Internet in universities there. The commitment signals the re-launch of the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa, set up in 2000 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Ford, MacArthur, and Rockefeller Foundations.


Burundi: Free schooling starts with huge logistical problems

2005-09-19

http://tinyurl.com/cbpbj

Teachers and administrators of Burundi's primary schools faced logistical problems on Monday as hundreds of thousands of primary school students lined up to enroll for the first time for the 2005-2006 school year which the president promised would now be free. "We will not be able to cope with the increases," Donat Hatungimana, a primary school teacher in the capital, Bujumbura, said. The ministry projects that some 2,400 extra teachers and 2,400 new class rooms will be needed.


Global: Improving Impacts of Research Partnerships

2005-09-28

http://www.comminit.com/strategicthinking/st2005/thinking-1057.html

Based on analyses of case studies, this report explores research partnerships between institutions in high-income countries and those in middle- or low-income countries. The claim is that the impacts of these relationships extend beyond scientific advancement to include "attitudinal changes", capacity strengthening, and impacts on society or on decision-makers. Participation is considered key in successful partnerships, which "should be based on mutual interest, trust, understanding, sharing of experiences, and a two-way learning process."


Global: Learning in Partnerships

2005-09-28

http://www.comminit.com/strategicthinking/st2005/thinking-1031.html

The paper describes a trend toward including "unheard voices" and diverse groups in international development. Learning "is increasingly recognised as an active and ongoing process....This contrasts with traditional notions of teaching that emphasise the 'transfer' of technology or knowledge." Furthermore, partnerships no longer revolve around discrete project funding; social and economic life is organised through "global flows of information, financial resources, and power in a 'network society'."


Zambia: Zambian science academy launched

2005-09-28

http://tinyurl.com/cgpru

The Zambia Academy of Science, launched on September 16, will promote excellence in research and strengthen the country's capacity for science-led development, says its president. "The academy will also provide advice on specific scientific problems presented to it by the government and its agencies as well as the private sector," added Mwananyanda Lewanika in an interview with SciDev.Net.




Environment

Africa: Carbon trading - a new source of African finance

2005-09-28

http://www.saiia.org.za/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=296

By all accounts, the Bisasar Road Landfill in Durban is an unsavoury place. Plunked in the middle of an Indian suburb more than 20 years ago, the site spreads the odour of rotting garbage over the surrounding community and emits thousands of tonnes of harmful methane gas into the atmosphere each year. Strange as it may seem, though, the stench may turn out to be the smell of money - if a controversial carbon financing deal signed last year between the city and the World Bank gets off the ground. At the inaugural Carbon Expo held in Cologne last June, Durban's Landfill Gas to Energy project became the first in Africa to be financed through an emerging global market in carbon credits.


Africa: Hotter Sahara could mean more rain for Sahel

2005-09-20

http://tinyurl.com/cznpw

Rising temperatures in the Sahara desert could reduce drought in the Sahel region immediately south of it, say researchers. The findings, published in Geophysical Research Letters this month (10 September), add to a growing body of research on how climate change might affect the continent. Reindert Haarsma and colleagues of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute used a computer model to predict the effects of rising temperatures on rainfall over Africa. They say their study is the first to consider the roles of both land and sea surface temperatures. The model suggests that if emissions of greenhouse gases are not reduced, higher temperatures over the Sahara would cause 1-2 millimetres of extra daily rainfall in the Sahel by 2080 during the months from July to September.


Cameroon : Action needed on deadly lakes

2005-09-27

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4285878.stm

More work is needed urgently to prevent potentially fatal releases of gas from two lakes in Cameroon, scientists say. Lakes Nyos and Monoun contain high concentrations of dissolved carbon dioxide. In the 1980s, thousands died when the gas was suddenly released. Pipes have been installed to remove CO2 from the bottom of the lakes, but new research shows they are not enough. Scientists warn more pipes must be put in place to avert the danger of further catastrophic releases of gas. "With one pipe in each lake, we are currently removing more gas than comes in each year," said George Kling, from the University of Michigan, US.


Kenya: MP wary of GM crop trials

2005-09-28

http://www.eastandard.net/hm_news/news.php?articleid=29616

An MP has asked the Government to suspend trials on Genetically Modified (GM) crops, pending development of strong biosafety policies and legal framework. Mr David Nakitare (Saboti) also said further field trials on genetically engineered crops should be stopped until the technology was proved safe to the environment. He said many people in Africa would be affected if the technology was found dangerous to man and the environment. "At least 85 per cent of people in the continent practice small-scale agriculture. This is why it is important to tread cautiously on GMO crops," he said.


Namibia: Eco-groups say uranium mine brings new hazards

2005-09-21

http://tinyurl.com/7gd9y

Namibia has commissioned a second uranium mine despite strong opposition from human rights and environmental groups who fear it could pose an ecological hazard. The Langer Heinrich Mine, 80 km east of the coastal town of Swakopmund in the protected Namib Naukluft Park, was officially opened last Thursday. The mine is wholly owned by Australian exploration and development company Paladin Resources, which got a government go-ahead last month after being awarded a 25-year mining licence by the Ministry of Mines and Energy.




Land & land rights

Kenya: Understanding the impact of changing land ownership in Kenya

2005-09-28

http://www.id21.org/society/r1dh1g1.html

Advocates of changes to land ownership in African countries often promote increased privatisation of land rights, giving ownership to individuals. This contrasts with traditional tenure systems which keep key land rights, including the right to sell, in the community.


Namibia: Land tax could hamper property market

2005-09-21

http://www.namibian.com.na/2005/September/national/05D9AA4916.html

The Namibian Economic Policy and Research Unit (Nepru) has warned that the newly-introduced tax on farmland could have an unforeseen and long-lasting impact on the property market. Nepru says in its quarterly economic review that the land tax has two primary aims: raising funds for land redistribution and discouraging foreign ownership and multiple ownership of farms. A closer look at the concept showed that the implementation of the tax could place farmers in a tight corner, prompting them to do away with less profitable farming operations.


South Africa: Connecting economies - agrarian reform and rural poverty in South Africa

2005-09-28

http://www.id21.org/society/n5bc1g1.html

The economy of post-apartheid South Africa continues to grow. Yet between 45 and 55 percent of the population remain in poverty. This inequality is most obvious in rural areas, where over 70 percent of poor people live. Policymakers are increasingly recognising the importance of rural land reform to poverty reduction.


Zimbabwe: New wave of farm evictions sweeps Eastern Zimbabwe

2005-09-28

http://www.zwnews.com/issuefull.cfm?ArticleID=12808

A new wave of land seizures has hit Zimbabwe as the government enters the final stage of a campaign to evict the last remaining white commercial farmers from their properties after nationalising the country's land. The latest wave has hit eastern Zimbabwe, especially Chipinge district, where farmers are now being forced out. Gangs of Zanu PF militia backed by police overran at least two farms this week, beating and threatening farmers and managers before chasing them off the land.




Media & freedom of expression

Africa: Africa water journalists network

2005-09-28

http://www.africawaterjournalists.org

The Africa Water Journalists Network seeks to promote dialogue, information exchange and coverage about water issues among African journalists. Its website provides news and information, and a database of more than 1,000 journalists who have joined the network. A blog allows journalists to share comments and opinions on various water-related issues.


Gambia: Journalist wins JCFE press freedom award

2005-09-28

http://cjfe.org/releases/2005/20092005ipfa.html

A fearless newspaper editor in Gambia has been selected as the winner of the 2005 CJFE International Press Freedom Awards. Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) has announced that it will honour Alagi Yorro Jallow of Gambia and Mykola Veresen of Ukraine at its awards dinner in Toronto on 1 November 2005, in recognition of the journalists' courage in defending press freedom. Jallow, the managing editor of the daily "Independent", was chosen for his courageous efforts to defend press freedom in Gambia, despite numerous obstacles


Global: Free expression groups to mark global right to know day

2005-09-28

http://www.foiadvocates.net/index_eng.html

On 28 September 2005, free expression advocates in dozens of countries around the world will mark the third annual International Right to Know Day to call attention to the importance of access to information in democratic societies. Founded by the Freedom of Information Advocates (FOIA) Network, an umbrella group of 90 civil society organisations, International Right to Know Day aims to raise awareness about the need for governments to respect the right of citizens to access information held by public bodies. Access to information, or freedom of information, is seen by many as the key to strengthening participatory democracy and ensuring people-centred development. Thanks largely to the efforts of civil society organisations, more than 60 countries have enacted access to information laws, more than half of them in the last decade.


Sierra Leone: Traditional chiefs threaten and humiliate radio journalist

2005-09-28

http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/69319/

Reacting to the intimidation and humiliation of a radio journalist by tribal elders in Kakua, the capital of the southern district of Bo, RSF has urged the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) to uphold the rule of law and remind traditional chiefs that the country is meant to be reconstructing along democratic lines. "Kakua's traditional chiefs are not supposed to have police or judicial powers," the organisation said. "Radio Kiss 104 FM's ordeal shows that political party influence over tribal structures poses a danger to democracy. UNAMSIL's mandate includes protection of human rights so it should ensure that the rule of law is respected throughout the country and that journalists do not have to submit to local clans."


Tunisia: Freedom of expression experts question credibility of UN World Summit on the Information Society in Tunisia

2005-09-28

http://campaigns.ifex.org/tmg

"Tunisia is not a suitable place to hold a United Nations World Summit" according to the latest report of the Tunisia Monitoring Group (TMG) released two months before the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), scheduled to take place in Tunis, 16-18 November 2005. The 18-page report is an update of TMG's first report "Tunisia: Freedom of Expression Under Siege" published in February of this year in preparation for the World Summit. The report highlights serious deterioration in conditions related to freedom of expression in Tunisia, particularly with respect to attacks on independent organisations, harassment of journalists and dissidents, and the independence of the judiciary. It also calls attention to the imprisonment of the human rights lawyer, Mohamed Abbou.


Uganda: Sedition law must be abolished

2005-09-26

http://www.article19.org

The law of sedition should be obsolete in democratic societies, warns ARTICLE 19, who supports the petition submitted last week to Uganda's Constitutional Court by journalist Andrew Mwenda which challenges the constitutionality of the country's sedition law. The law of sedition is the crime of speaking words against the state, its basic premise being that it is wrong to criticize public figures or institutions. Mwenda, Political Editor at the Daily Monitor, is currently on trial for using words with an intention of bringing "into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the person of the President, the government as by law established or the Constitution" during his live talk show "Tonight With Andrew Mwenda" on 93.3 KFM on August 10.




News from the diaspora

CODESRIA multinational working groups: Call for proposals

2005-09-28

http://www.codesria.org

The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) invites proposals from researchers for possible inclusion in its new multinational working group (MWG) on the theme of Africa and its Diasporas. The changing composition and geography of Africa's Diasporas, and the shifting re-composition of all aspects of the linkages between these diasporas and the continent, is one of the thematic areas at the core of the current intellectual agenda of the Council. The MWG is the flagship research vehicle employed by CODESRIA for the promotion of multi-country and multidisciplinary reflections on critical questions of concern to the African social research community.




Conflict & emergencies

Chad: Government says Sudanese insurgents killed 36 herders in east

2005-09-27

http://tinyurl.com/b6w4p

A group of unidentified armed men in military uniform crossed into Chad from Sudan early on Monday, killing 36 herders and stealing livestock, the Chadian government said. In a statement on Tuesday, the government said the attack took place in the village of Madayouna in the Ouaddai region of eastern Chad. "The riposte by the armed forces stationed in the region was rapid," the statement said. Seven of the assailants were killed and eight detained, one of whom later died in detention, it added. Two Chadian soldiers were killed and five injured.


Congo: Deal with the FDLR Threat Now

2005-09-29

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/conflict/29582

The world must address once and for all the grave security threats posed by the Forces Démocratiques de la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, says the International Crisis Group. In letters to regional and international leaders Crisis Group President Gareth Evans urged them to agree on a dual track approach to the FDLR, offering members - apart from those clearly guilty of the most serious crimes - real incentives for repatriation to Rwanda while simultaneously threatening military action against those that refuse.


Darfur: Abduction and Rape in Nyala

2005-09-29

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/conflict/29583

On 16 September 2005, armed militias in military uniform, allegedly the Janjaweed, attacked and raped one girl and a woman, 2 km West of Kalma Internally Displaced (IDP) Camp in Nyala. During the attack, the women were flogged before being raped, says the The Sudan Organisation Against Torture (SOAT). SOAT has strongly condemned the continual attacks and sexual violence against women and girls in Darfur. "In light of evidence that attacks on civilians have subsided in the areas where African Union (AU) observers have been deployed, SOAT is particularly concerned that women and girls continue to venture outside IDP camps to undertake their regular tasks including fetching firewood and water without protection by AU observers stationed inside these camps."


DRC: Amnesty sounds warning over tensions

2005-09-29

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=30456

Human rights watchdog Amnesty International has expressed concern over mounting political and ethnic tensions in the North-Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) - warning that this might spark renewed conflict in the country. In a report issued Wednesday, the group says additional fighting could undermine the DRC's uncertain peace process, and lead to human rights abuses in a region that has already become a byword for violations.


Ivory Coast: New peace effort under way but Gbagbo refuses role for West Africa

2005-09-29

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=49279

As African leaders gear up for two successive summits to salvage peace efforts in Cote d'Ivoire, the country’s president Laurent Gbagbo has ruled out any mediation role for his fellow West African leaders. The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has invited heads of state from across the region to the Nigerian capital, Abuja, on Friday for “talks on the situation in Ivory Coast.”


Liberia: Youths crave for peaceful co-existence

2005-09-27

http://allafrica.com/stories/200509270207.html

Following two separate violent demonstrations, youths of the county have resolved to pursue peaceful co-existence by committing themselves to ensuring that the county remains peaceful. According to a release, the Bong County Youths made the promise at the end of a six- month Community Training Program in Gbarnga. The training program was implemented by the Development Education Network of Liberia, DEN-L, and funded by United States Aid for International Development (USAID) and the Liberia Transition Initiative, (LTI).


Sierra Leone: Disentangling the determinants of successful demobilization and reintegration

2005-09-22

http://www.cgdev.org/content/publications/detail/4155/

Since the end of the Cold War, international efforts to end civil conflict in Africa, Latin America and Asia have included efforts on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of former combatants. Successful DDR programs have been seen as an important component of peace-building to reestablish legitimate governance and to prevent the recurrence of future conflict. In this working paper, CGD Non-Resident Fellow Jeremy Weinstein, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, analyzes for the first time what determines the success of post-conflict demobilization and reintegration.


Sudan: Culture of impunity in Darfur

2005-09-26

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4283956.stm

A senior United Nations official has given a damning assessment of the Sudanese government's efforts to bring peace to Darfur. Special UN advisor on preventing genocide Juan Mendez said Khartoum had done little to disarm militias or end the "culture of impunity" there. He said Sudan's authorities remained in denial about the extent of the problem. Mr Mendez was speaking after his second trip to Darfur, where the conflict has displaced more than two million people.


Uganda: Government, UN destroy 3,000 small arms

2005-09-27

http://tinyurl.com/7ptwh

An effort to rid Uganda of some 50,000 small arms began on Monday with the burning of about 3,000 weapons at a ceremony in the capital, Kampala. Internal Affairs Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said: "Weapons destruction is intended to ensure that weapons seized, collected or deemed excess to national security requirements do not find their way back into illegal circulation or recycled into neighbouring conflict areas," Rugunda told the audience of mainly government officials and diplomats. The UN Development Programme funded the arms destruction.




Internet & technology

Africa: African governments half-heartedly liberalise telecom industries

2005-09-28

http://www.mmegi.bw/2005/September/Thursday8/9332070451392.html

African governments are half-heartedly liberalising their telecom industries and will stymie investment and innovation in the world's fastest-growing markets unless they change their ways, industry experts said. Africa's cell phone industry is booming, with subscriber numbers expected to hit 100 million by the end of the year from 40 million in 2002, and is arguably the continent's biggest business success story since gold was discovered in the 19th century. But with less than one in 10 people owning a phone and much fewer surfing the web, the poorest continent still lags behind the rest of the world and experts say fully-fledged competition is crucial to bridge the gap.


Ethiopia: Ethiopia to introduce Development Gateway system

2005-09-28

http://www.ictworld.co.za/EditorialEdit.asp?EditorialID=24360

The Government of Ethiopia is to deploy the Development Gateway Foundation's Aid Management Platform (AMP), a Web-based information-sharing tool that aims to help to improve the co-ordination and harmonisation of international development aid to ensure greater results for people in developing countries. AMP is an e-government solution designed to address the administrative challenges faced by developing country governments and their donors in tracking and reporting on international aid flows and programmes. By enabling access to standardized information about aid activities within a country, it is intended to facilitate the improved planning, allocation, disbursement and general management of aid resources.


Networking activities in Digital Arts for Africa and future developments

2005-09-28

http://www.unesco.org/culture/digiarts/africa

A one day workshop on networking opportunities in digital creative practices in Africa was held on 4 September 2005 at Arts Electronica 2005 (Linz, Austria). Discussions focused on pilot projects to support and develop creative practices in Africa through the use of information and communication technologies. Furthermore, an Africa Infopack, was also launched in the Electrolobby on 5 September 2005. This Infopack is a tool to find people to join the network of DigiArts Africa and to contribute, participate and gain from the network of key network agents.


South Africa: African software gains global popularity

2005-09-28

http://allafrica.com/stories/200509090603.html

A decade ago, Ubuntu was a word that shook apartheid South Africa. Today, it is a word that may be keeping Bill Gates awake at night. Ubuntu is an African word that is one of the founding principles of the new South Africa, and it also is the name of a new computer operating system developed by South African Mark Shuttleworth and his company Canonical. The word "Ubuntu is very difficult to render into a Western language," writes Archbishop Desmond Tutu in "No Future Without Forgiveness." It means "you are generous, you are hospitable, you are friendly and caring and compassionate. You share what you have." Ubuntu Linux calls itself the "Linux for human beings.


Uganda: Africa Source II

January 8th to January 15th, 2005, Kalangala, Uganda

2005-09-28

http://www.tacticaltech.org/africasource2

Africa Source II will seek to foster the growth of FOSS expertise amongst technical support professionals working in Africa and facilitate knowledge sharing and exchange around successful implementation of FOSS. The aim of the event is to facilitate learning and exchange between these communities, in particular around the practical deployment of Free and Open Source Technologies. The intention is to move beyond conceptual discussions of the benefits of FOSS and technology in general, and to test out these ideas and focus on practical skill sharing between technology implementers in the region. The workshop will focus on learning by doing, rather than by listening.




eNewsletters & mailing lists

EADI launches insecurityforum.org

2005-09-28

http://www.insecurityforum.org

EADI, the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes has launched a portal on insecurity and development called www.insecurityforum.org This web portal is closely linked to the 11th EADI General Conference in Bonn, Germany from 21-24 September 2005, which took stock of the state of the art regarding issues related to insecurity and development.


Global HRE Forum

2005-09-28

http://www.hrea.org/lists/hr-education/markup/msg01958.html

From Thursday, 29 September until Wednesday, 26 October there will be an on-line Global Forum involving the Global HRE listserv and six regional listservs. The topic will be the position of human rights education (HRE) vis-à-vis other "educations", such as education for democratic citizenship, peace education and global education.




Fundraising & useful resources

12th Eastern Africa Regional Fundraising Workshop

2005-09-28

http://www.resource-alliance.org/page.php?sectionid=6&subsectionid=21&pageid=647

The Resource Alliance and the Kenya Association of Fundraising Professionals are proud to announce that the 12th Eastern Africa Regional Fundraising Workshop will be held in Mombasa, Kenya, 6th - 9th December 2005. The Workshop offers an unparalleled opportunity to examine the latest techniques and strategies in resource mobilisation and to explore alternative trends and challenges in sustainability and capacity building.


Martin Ennals award for human rights defenders

2005-09-28

http://www.martinennalsaward.org

The Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders (MEA) is a unique collaboration among eleven of the world's leading non-governmental human rights organizations to give protection to human rights defenders worldwide. The Martin Ennals Foundation now calls for nominations for the 2006 Award. For more details, see www.martinennalsaward.org, where you can also submit nominations online.


Shuttleworth Foundation - Unlocking creative potential

2005-09-28

http://www.tsf.org.za

South African entrepreneur, Mark Shuttleworth, established the Shuttleworth Foundation in October 2000 with the belief that education is the key to unlocking the creative and intellectual potential of South African youth, allowing them to live the dream that ‘anything is possible’. The foundation’s main goal is to improve the quality of education in South Africa by investing in projects which offer unique and innovative solutions to educational challenges in an African society with a focus on science, technology, entrepreneurship and maths.




Courses, seminars, & workshops

Mango Training

2005-09-28

http://www.mango.org.uk/training/calendar.asp

Mango is extending training to several new countries for the first time, including: Pakistan, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Sierra Leone. Each course is designed to meet the needs of different groups of NGO staff - some for financial staff, some for managers. More detailed course outlines for each of our core courses are available on request.


Oak Human Rights Fellow: The environment and human rights

2005-09-28

http://www.colby.edu/oak

The Oak Institute for the Study of International Human Rights in the US was established in 1998 by a generous grant from the Oak Foundation. Each year, it hosts an Oak Human Rights Fellow to teach and conduct research while at residence in the College and organizes lectures and other events centered around the fellow's area of expertise. The purpose of the fellowship is to offer an opportunity for prominent practitioners in international human rights to take a sabbatical leave from their work and spend a period of up to a semester as a scholar-in-residence at the College.


Online Training Resource Centre for Development Professionals

2005-09-28

http://www.sharedlearning.org.uk

This resource includes a huge range of free training and self-study materials on a range of topics, both field-related and managerial. All materials are categorised, and updates are added two - three times a month. Topics include: General Communication Skills (Basics of Organisational Communication; Cross-Cultural Communication); Written Communication Skills (Clarity - The Fog Index; Clarity - Making your Point; Organisation - Formatting and Layout; Style - E-mail and Netiquette); Oral Communication; Project Proposal and Report Writing; and Data Gathering, Analysis and Evaluation Skills.




Global call to action against poverty

Africa: UN Millennium + 5 Summit: Neither a Review nor an Expression of Political Commitment

African civil society statement

2005-09-29

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/gcap/29623

"As the UN Heads of State and Government gather in New York for the UN Millennium +5 Summit key issues of concern to civil society organizations working in Africa continue to emerge. The Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) in Africa is deeply concerned that the draft outcome document is a betrayal of the world’s poor, particularly those in Africa. The declaration neither reviews progress nor addresses the challenges faced by governments in their efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. It does not make any clear commitment to accelerating flow of resources neither does it demonstrate the political commitment that is required to do this."


Liberia report back on white band day 2

2005-09-29

http://pambazuka.net/en/category/gcap/29624

The Liberia Democratic Institute in collaboration with other community-based grassroots groups on Saturday, September 10, 2005, on World White Band Day II joined the global community in the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) to pressurize the world richest countries to make their promises authentic and eradicate poverty. The march climaxed the series of activities that started on Tuesday, September 8, 2005. The White Band Day observation, the first of its kind in Liberia was launched not only to call the world riches nations attention to the acute poverty and hardship experienced by poor countries around the world but also to set the stage for positive mass citizen’s movement informed by calls for effective good governance practices in Liberia.


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