Pambazuka News 484: Israel and the Flotilla: Piracy on the high seas
The authoritative electronic weekly newsletter and platform for social justice in Africa
Pambazuka News (English edition): ISSN 1753-6839
CONTENTS: 1. Action alerts, 2. Features, 3. Announcements, 4. Comment & analysis, 5. Advocacy & campaigns, 6. Books & arts, 7. Emerging powers in Africa Watch, 8. Highlights French edition, 9. Zimbabwe update, 10. Women & gender, 11. Human rights, 12. Refugees & forced migration, 13. Social movements, 14. Emerging powers news, 15. Elections & governance, 16. Corruption, 17. Development, 18. Health & HIV/AIDS, 19. Education, 20. LGBTI, 21. Environment, 22. Land & land rights, 23. Food Justice, 24. Media & freedom of expression, 25. Conflict & emergencies, 26. Internet & technology, 27. eNewsletters & mailing lists, 28. Fundraising & useful resources, 29. Courses, seminars, & workshops
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Highlights from this issue
– Call from Gaza for global response to killings on the flotilla
– Rwanda: Advocates demand immediate release of US Attorney Erlinder
– Statement on GALZ for international partners
- Vote for Sokari Ekine in the Nigerian Blog Awards!
- Celebration of Tajudeen's life and ideas - 17 June
– Horace Campbell: Israel and the Flotilla: Piracy on the high seas
– Dana Wagner: Africa condemns Israel’s strike on Gaza-bound aid
– Mahmood Mamdani: Beware bigotry: Free speech and the Zapiro cartoons
– Alemayehu G. Mariam: Of elections and diapers in Ethiopia
– Khadija Sharife: Egypt: Between a pyramid and the Empire State Building
– Chris Zambelis: A war of words in the new Middle East Cold War
COMMENT & ANALYSIS
– Savitri Taylor and Brynna Rafferty-Brown: African refugees in Indonesia: An uncertain future
– Karly Curcio: Africa's illicit financial outflows
ADVOCACY & CAMPAIGNS
– Presidential pardon for Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza: Statements from SAMWU/SADC Lawyers Association
– People's voices must be heard in climate negotiations
BOOKS & ARTS
- Africa's Liberation: The Legacy of Nyerere
– Imruh Bakari: 'Welcome to Lagos' and other adventures
EMERGING POWERS IN AFRICA WATCH
– Adams Bodomo: Africans in Yiwu, China’s largest commodities cityZIMBABWE UPDATE: Friction in government over IMF monitoring proposals
WOMEN & GENDER: Accessing the Pill: Every woman counts
CONFLICT AND EMERGENCIES: Civilians killed in Somalia fighting
HUMAN RIGHTS: Human rights activist found dead in Kinshasa
REFUGEES AND FORCED MIGRATION: UN warns of lack of funds for DRC displaced
EMERGING POWERS NEWS: Emerging powers news roundup
SOCIAL MOVEMENTS: Landless People’s Movement under attack in South Africa
ELECTIONS AND GOVERNANCE: Burundi opposition alleges election fraud
CORRUPTION: UN Chief declares end to ‘age of impunity’
HEALTH & HIV/AIDS: African mining makes TB epidemic worse
DEVELOPMENT: African rice gets status upgrade
EDUCATION: Free education becomes a reality in Swaziland
LGBTI: Malawi couple could face further harassment
ENVIRONMENT: World Environment Day
LAND & LAND RIGHTS: Botswana Bushmen take government to court over water rights
FOOD JUSTICE: Fallout from Niger food crisis
MEDIA AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: Ethiopia’s independent media gagged around elections
INTERNET & TECHNOLOGY: Ghanaian boy wins Google top prize
PLUS: Jobs, Fundraising & useful resources, publications, courses, seminars and workshops
*Pambazuka News now has a Del.icio.us page, where you can view the various websites that we visit to keep our fingers on the pulse of Africa! Visit http://del.icio.us/pambazuka_news
Call from Gaza for global response to killings on the flotilla
Rwanda: Advocates demand immediate release of US Attorney Erlinder
Statement on GALZ for international partners
GALZ (Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe)
Israel and the Flotilla: Piracy on the high seas
Who is above international law?
Africa condemns Israel’s strike on Gaza-bound aid
Beware bigotry: Free speech and the Zapiro cartoons
Of elections and diapers in Ethiopia
Alemayehu G. Mariam
Egypt: Between a pyramid and the Empire State Building
A war of words in the new Middle East Cold War
The Hizbullah trial in Egypt
The fight for the full inclusion of everyone
Land investments are wholesale sell-outs for women farmers
South Africa: The return of state repression
World Cup 2010: Fifa's gordion knot
Challenges for integration
East African Community: A people, market or state-driven regionalisation project?
Maina Kiai to head International Council on Human Rights Policy
ICHRP: Change of direction
Maina Kiai, former Chair of the National Human Rights Commission of Kenya, will succeed Robert Archer as Executive Director of the International Council as of 15 July. Kiai will bring to the Council a tremendous reputation as an advocate of human rights in Kenya, and formidable communication skills. He will contribute a new voice and fresh energy to the Council's direction.
Speaking Truth to Power
A celebration of the life and ideas of Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem
Sokari Ekine nominated for Nigerian Blog Awards
African refugees in Indonesia: An uncertain future
Savitri Taylor and Brynna Rafferty-Brown
Plugging Africa's leak
The development paradigm and illicit financial outflows
Kenya: 36 reasons why we needed a new constitution
The ‘Yes’ camp has it right
Why voting ‘No’ in Kenya's referendum is not a good thing
Samuel N. Omwenga
SADC Lawyers Association statement on Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza
SADC Lawyers Association
SAMWU statement on release of Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza
People's voices must be heard in climate negotiations
Africa's Liberation: The Legacy of Nyerere
Edited by Chambi Chachage and Annar Cassam
Celebrating Mwalimu Nyerere: The epitome of servant leadership
'Welcome to Lagos' and other adventures
Africans in Yiwu, China’s largest commodities city
Adams Bodomo and Grace Ma
Pambazuka News 148: Les logiques de la Françafrique après 50 ans d'indépendances
Chinese Communist Party delegation meets with Mugabe, Tsvangirai
A delegation of the Chinese Communist Party officials in Harare for a three-day visit at the invitation of the ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe has met with him and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. The delegation signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday with ZANU-PF Chairman Simon Khaya Moyo and hailed the close ties between the two countries, sources informed on the meeting said.
Friction in government over IMF monitoring proposals
The MDC and ZANU PF parties in the coalition government are reported to be divided over how to respond to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) proposal for a ‘staff monitored program’ that will allow the institution to directly monitor projects that it is funding. A Voice of America report says ZANU PF is opposed to the concept, arguing it would erode the country’s independence, while those in the MDC are embracing the idea.
Weekend violence reported ahead of constitutional outreach
The MDC has accused ZANU PF supporters of embarking on an orgy of violence against its members, in various parts of the country, including an abduction, an arson attack and a disrupted rally. In Manicaland, Makoni South MP Pishai Muchauraya was also summoned to appear in a Buhera court on Friday, for allegedly making statements that were ‘derogatory to the office of the President’, before the 2008 elections.
Burkina Faso: Young girls at risk as they join exodus to cities
Migration in search of work has long been common in Sourou Province, northern Burkina Faso, but the trend is increasingly for younger girls to join the exodus, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the NGO Terre des hommes (Tdh). “Migration is after all a method of survival,” Herman Zoungrana, head of Tdh’s protection programme in Burkina Faso, told IRIN. He said traditionally after the harvest people would fill up their granaries then set out to find work until the next planting season.
Côte d'Ivoire: Zero tolerance of FGM/C
Progress on a "Zero Tolerance" national campaign in Côte d'Ivoire to eliminate female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C) by the end of 2010, has been slowed down by health and education infrastructure, aid groups said. Since the campaign began, 180 villages in Marandallah prefecture, in the north-central Worodougou region, no longer practise FGM/C and the aim is to double this by the end of the year
Egypt: Women between injustice of law and injustice approval by community
New report by the Land Center
This report is the number "80" of series of economic and social rights that addresses some of the manifestations of violence against women in legislation and the Egyptian laws, which takes place as a result of the gap between law making and enforcement. The report contains an analysis of this gap and the reasons that led to the occurrence.
Global: Accessing the Pill: Every woman counts
Contraceptives should be taken out to women at their homes. Health Centres should be use to store these contraceptives but not act as distribution centres. Most healthy centres are far located from some people and only access them when there is a very serious illness. Most people even fail to get transport to access these centres when they are sick so image! Can such women access healthy centres for contraceptives which seem to be luxurious?
Namibia: HIV women sue over forced sterilisation
Three women in Namibia are suing the state for allegedly being sterilised without their informed consent after being diagnosed as HIV positive. The women say the doctors and nurses should have informed them properly about what was happening. The rights group representing them, the Legal Assistance Centre, says it has documented 15 cases of alleged HIV sterilisation in hospitals since 2008.
Uganda: Women demand answers and action from ICC
With the first Review Conference of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) under way in the Ugandan capital Kampala, women are crying out for justice for gender-based violence inflicted upon them during the civil conflict in the country’s north. "Women who were raped, those who were once abducted and have since come back with children, as well as those who have lost property during this conflict are all crying out for some form of justice," says Jane Adong, Legal Officer of the Hague-based Women’s Initiative for Gender Justice (WIGJ).
Africa: Human rights situation in parts of DRC extremely serious
The human rights situation in key parts of DR Congo remains extremely serious, according to a report by UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions Philip Alston. The expert warned that killings, rapes, mutilation, village burnings and displacement would continue to take place unless civilian protection measures are urgently improved.
Cameroon: 4,000 children sexually exploited in Cameroon annually
Four thousand children are exploited sexually every day in Cameroon, according to an investigation by the Coalition, "Let's Protect our Children". The Coalition organizes an advocacy campaign against the exploitation of children for sexual purposes, Pastor Blaise Kemogné, one of the organizers of the campaign, told PANA.
DRC: Human rights activist found dead in Kinshasa
A leading rights activist in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been found dead in the capital, Kinshasa. Floribert Chebeya's body was discovered, partially clothed, on the back seat of his own car. Rights group Amnesty International says oppression of activists in DR Congo is growing.
Egypt: Extension of law becomes an emergency
The government's decision to renew Egypt's longstanding Emergency Law has drawn furious reactions from opposition figures and rights advocates. While government spokesmen say the law will only be used against terrorism and drug trafficking, critics say it is aimed primarily at stifling political dissent. Egypt voted in elections to the upper house of its parliament Tuesday with many denied the right to contest because of the Emergency Law.
Somalia: UNICEF calls for release of child soldiers
As reports warn of an alarming rise in the recruitment of child soldiers in Somalia, UNICEF and the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict are calling on all parties to put an immediate end to this criminal practice.
Uganda: ICC to investigate allegations of army atrocities
The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said on 3 June the ICC was assessing information accusing the Ugandan military of war crimes and atrocities committed in the 20-year civil war in the north of the country.
Zimbabwe: End persecution of activist group
Civil Society organizations, including Global Witness, Human Rights Watch, and Partnership Africa Canada, have condemned the state-sponsored harassment and intimidation of a Zimbabwean nongovernmental organization, the Centre for Research and Development (CRD). The group has been instrumental in exposing ongoing human rights abuses in Zimbabwe's notorious Marange diamond fields.
Zimbabwe: No hope yet for the homeless
In Hopley Farm, a resettlement camp about 10km south of Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, Simon Dhewa's chicken coup has been converted into a bedroom for his three daughters, the eldest of which also uses it as a venue for her commercial sex activities. The 20-year-old is the sole bread winner for her 45-year-old widowed father, her two sisters and two brothers. The residents of Hopley Farm have nicknamed her "chicken".
DRC: UNICEF warns a lack of funding hinders efforts to assist displaced
Nearly 1.9 million people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – half of them children – continue to live away from their homes after having been displaced by armed conflict, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has reported, adding that a lack of funds was hindering efforts to continue assisting them.
Libya: Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers are the invisible people on this planet
We have seen great tragedy these days where around 80 Eritrean asylum seekers who departed to claim asylum in Italy, perished in the sea. Only five of them survived to tell the tragedy. They floated on the deep seas for more than 20 days on 12- meter rubber boat with no rescue.
Western Sahara: Refugee Film Festival joins independence struggle
During the 1960s, when decolonization movements were sweeping the world, it was joked that after achieving independence a country had to do three things: design a flag, launch an airline and found a film festival. Western Sahara has a flag but no airline and despite a 35 year struggle has yet to achieve independence. The closest it comes to its own film festival is the Festival Internacional de Cine del Sahara (known as FiSahara), the world's most remote film festival, which had its seventh annual gathering this week in a refugee camp deep in the Algerian desert.
Global: Canada’s foreign aid community risks losing strong voice for world’s poor
CIDA funding to the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC), Canada’s pre-eminent coalition to end global poverty, is in doubt. A critical and well-respected voice for the world’s poor risks being silenced if funding to CCIC is cut off. CCIC’s three-year contract with CIDA ended on March 31, 2010. Two months into a three-month temporary extension of CCIC’s contract and no word yet from CIDA on the contract’s renewal. In July, CCIC will start operating with no CIDA funds.
The attack on the LPM Continues - 5 More Arrests in Protea South
On the night of 3rd June 2010, the police went from door to door with an informer in the shacks of Protea South, Soweto. They arrested five members of the Landless People’s Movement (LPM). Three of the people that they arrested are children of Maureen Mnisi, chairperson of the LPM in Gauteng. The other two are her neighbours. Since the current wave of repression began when the LPM was attacked in Protea South by the Homeowner’s Association on 23 May 2010 two people have been killed. One was shot dead by the Homeowner’s Association in Protea South and one was shot dead by the police in eTwatwa. Other people have been beaten, shot, arrested and threatened with having their homes burnt down. Two people have had their homes burnt down in eTwatwa. There are now seven LPM members in jail in Protea South and thee LPM members in jail in eTwatwa.
Emerging Actors in Africa news round-up
In this week's roundup of emerging actors in Africa news, Industrial and Commercial Bank mulls acquisitions in Middle East and North Africa, France pushes for African presence on UN Security Council, presidents of Seychelles and South Africa set to visit India, and Kenya reaps billions from Sudanese separation plan.
Burundi: Ex-rebel leader Agathon Rwasa quits elections
Five opposition candidates have withdrawn from presidential polls in Burundi due to take place on 28 June. They include the former rebel leader Agathon Rwasa, who was widely thought to be the key challenger to the current President Pierre Nkurunziza. All had called for the resignation of Burundi's electoral commission following local polls last month, which they say were fraudulent.
Burundi: Opposition alleges election fraud
The first in a series of elections has brought simmering discontent with Burundi's electoral commission to the boil. Just over a week after the May 24 communal elections, five opposition presidential candidates have demanded the resignation of members of the National Electoral Commission and announced that they will boycott the presidential poll scheduled for June 28.
Kenya: Government releases Sh553m for voter education
The voter education on the referendum has received a shot in the arm after the government announced the release of Sh553 million to the Committee of Experts, ending weeks of bickering between the two parties. The money is not in the budget, but has had to be reallocated from other ministries and will be regularised in next week’s budget, which will cater for all constitution review needs.
Madagascar: EU to extend aid suspension
The EU will extend next week the suspension of 600 million euros of development aid to Madagascar for 12 more months for failing to return to democracy after a March 2009 coup, a draft statement showed. The European Union, the island's largest donor, suspended the aid last year in response to the army-backed overthrow of Marc Ravalomanana's government.
Nigeria: Lawmakers back changes to succession rules
Nigeria's parliament approved a constitutional amendment on Thursday on transferring presidential powers, aimed at avoiding a repeat of a crisis when the late President Umaru Yar'Adua fell seriously ill last year. Under the amendment, when the president is absent or unable to discharge his duties, he must inform parliament that he is handing over power to the vice president. If the president fails to send a letter within 21 days, parliament can designate the vice president as acting president by a majority vote.
Global: Ban declares end to 'era of impunity'
More than one decade after the International Criminal Court (ICC) was set up, a new “age of accountability” is replacing the “old era of impunity,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has underlined. Twelve years ago when world leaders gathering in Rome for its establishment, “few could have believed, then, that this court would spring so vigourously into life,” Mr. Ban said at the first-ever review conference of the ICC held in Kampala, Uganda.
Africa: A changed Africa 'still needs our help to grow'
Five years ago, the Commission for Africa argued that supporting the continent’s quest for growth and development was not only a moral imperative but also enlightened self-interest. As the finance ministers of the Group of 20 leading nations meet this week, Nicholas Stern argues for the need to recognise that the futures of the rich world and Africa are ever more closely intertwined.
Africa: African rice gets a status upgrade
Africa's indigenous rice varieties are to be granted 'elite' status by scientists in the hope that they will play a central role in making farmers' crops more resilient. Elite rice varieties are recognised to be high-yielding and include Asian rice, which has sometimes been improved with individual traits taken from lower-yielding African rice. Now scientists have shown that African varieties are resilient and high-yielding in their own right.
Africa: Despite recovery, Africa needs more jobs, says ECA
This year Africa’s economies will generally perform better than in 2009. According to the just-published Economic Report on Africa, the continent’s average growth rate will reach 4.3 per cent, up from less than 2 per cent last year — a period marked by devastatingly bad performances worldwide following the global economic slowdown.
Africa: Nations turn to South Africa for agricultural expertise
African nations are increasingly turning to South Africa to improve their own agricultural production and skills, according to industry group Agri SA. About 20 countries from across Africa have approached Agri SA, South Africa’s largest farmers’ association, seeking to recruit commercial growers or learn skills from their neighbor on the continent’s southern tip.
Africa: Replace aid with trade, rich countries told
Rich countries need to change the way they deal with Africa, shifting from aid to trade if they are to avoid losing ground to the emerging economic players of Asia and South America, a top think-tank has said. In a report by the Royal Institute of International Affairs at London’s Chatham House analysing Africa’s small but evolving influence, the Western perception of Africa as a hopeless case was challenged, painting the continent rather as home to a billion people and up to 40 percent of the world’s natural resources.
Global: Cautious welcome for new UK aid commitments
Aid analysts have welcomed some of the international development priorities of Britain’s new coalition government, particularly the commitment to stick to the previous government’s pledge to boost aid spending to 0.7 percent of national income by 2013. But they also worry that the independence and impartiality of aid may be eroded under a new “coherence” push.
Global: Developing nations can help global recovery: W.Bank
Giving developing countries a bigger say in global economic governance could help the world economy recover more quickly from the crisis, the World Bank said on Friday. The Group of 20, bringing together the world's top developed and emerging economies has emerged as the leading global forum, representing over 80 percent of the world's economic activity, but over 170 poorer countries feel left out.
Global: Doubts over global economy return as G20 meets
Leading policymakers expressed concern on Friday about the health of the world economy even as they closed ranks behind the euro zone's efforts to tackle a debt crisis that has rattled global markets. Speaking before two days of talks bringing together the world's top 20 developed and emerging economies, South African Planning Minister Trevor Manuel said he could not think of a more challenging time than the present for the Group of 20.
Global: ILO discusses global employment challenges
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) opened its 99th annual conference, with a focus on employment issues following the global economic crisis. A statement by the ILO, stated that the conference, ending 18 June, would deliberate on a number of issues affecting employment opportunities and workers' well-being globally.
Global: World Bank urges Africa to lift trade
African countries are not doing enough to address the infrastructure backlogs hampering trade and regional economic integration World Bank chief economist for Africa Shantayanan Devarajan said. Devarajan is in South Africa to consult with policy makers and civil society organisations on a new World Bank strategy for Africa.
Kenya: Political economy analysis
How can donors contribute to governance reform in Kenya? What role can they play in strengthening state-society relations in particular? This report, published by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), makes recommendations for Norway’s strategic approach to governance in Kenya based on a political economy analysis of the country. More focus on state-society relations is needed, particularly at local government level. For example, donors could support CSOs that represent the interests of local groups. Systematic learning, analysis and social dialogue should also be emphasised.
Africa: Experts convene to discuss impact of influenza
African health ministers and representatives of international agencies have gathered today in Marrakesh, Morocco, at a meeting organized by the United Nations and its partners to discuss the impact of influenza on the continent. “We know that influenza has a significant impact on morbidity and mortality throughout Africa, but unfortunately, we don’t have a great deal of data that shows this,” said Keiji Fukuda, Special Adviser on Pandemic Influenza to the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Africa: Mining industry is making TB epidemic worse
The presence of a large mining sector in African countries is a strong influence on the severity of a country’s TB epidemic, especially in countries with a high HIV prevalence, and more needs to be done in the mining industry to control TB, a new Oxford University-led study has found.
Global: Laboratory monitoring of ART could be cost-effective for many countries
Laboratory monitoring to determine when to switch to second-line treatment may be cost-effective for many countries and could substantially improve life expectancy, April Kimmel and colleagues reported in a modelling study using 1999 to 2008 data from the Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) published in the advance online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
Lesotho: 630,000 children to be immunized against measles
The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is giving $646,000 to immunize hundreds of thousands of children in Lesotho, the Southern African country which since January has been grappling with a deadly outbreak of the disease.
South Africa: Green light for increased HIV testing
An amendment to the Health Act allowing counselors to draw blood for HIV testing will see more people being tested. Head of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society, Dr Francois Venter said unclear policy on whether counselors could test for HIV meant there were less people allowed to conduct the testing and less people being tested.
South Africa: Patients with higher BMIs have reduced risk of death and TB
HIV-positive individuals who are obese or overweight are less likely to die or develop tuberculosis than people with HIV who are of normal weight, South African investigators report in the online edition of AIDS. “Our findings show a clear protective effect…of increasing BMI [body mass index] on both all-cause mortality and incident TB [tuberculosis] in a South African cohort”, comment the investigators, “person with obese and overweight BMI have a significantly decreased risk of both mortality and TB.”
South Africa: World Cup HIV prevention plans fall short
The excitement over the FIFA World Cup is not just about football, it's also about the party. Large quantities of alcohol are sure to be consumed as foreign football fans rub shoulders with locals, and inhibitions are likely to fall away. The World Cup has long been associated with boom times for the sex trade, but in a country where one in five adults is living with HIV, the price of throwing caution to the wind and having unprotected sex with a local, let alone a sex worker, could be extremely high.
Uganda: When do we tell children they are HIV positive?
A Ugandan draft policy recommending that HIV-positive children be informed of their status by the age of 10 has drawn mixed reactions from health workers. The previous policy required parental consent to tell children under the age of 12, but the new policy allows health workers - with the support of parents and guardians - to disclose HIV status after the child has been prepared and an assessment of their ability to understand and deal with the condition has been made.
CAR: Education for nomadic families
Fatima Yadik, a mother of 12 and grandmother of 18, recently settled in the Central African Republic town of Yaloké after 60 years with her nomadic community. Her camp of Peuhl nomads was attacked by bandits who killed all the men and stole their cattle. Peuhl people are often targeted by bandits because of the relative wealth of their livestock. Fleeing to safety, Ms. Yadik and her family joined the growing number of nomadic peoples across Africa’s interior who are escaping poverty and insecurity in the countryside in favour of life in towns and cities.
Swaziland: Free education becomes a reality
At sundown, Thulani Gama tells his 10-year-old twin siblings to collect firewood while he grinds corn for their supper. At sunrise, he wakes the twins and tells them to wash. Without breakfast, all three children begin their hour-long walk to school in rural Swaziland. Thulani, 13, is the head of his small household. He and his siblings Samkelo and Samkelisiw look after one another since, like many parents, their widowed mother left home to look for work in Mbabane, Swaziland’s capital. Thanks to a new programme supported by UNICEF and the Government of Swaziland, Thulani and his siblings are now able to attend school.
Burundi: How religious leaders fuel homophobia
Religious leaders and organisations have greatly fuelled homophobia in Burundi. These are the findings of a report titled Religion and homophobia, released recently by the Movement for Individual Freedoms (MOLI), a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) organisation in Burundi.
Malawi: Couple could face further harassment
Amnesty International has warned that a Malawian couple given a presidential pardon following their conviction of “gross indecency” and “unnatural acts” could face further harassment unless the law is changed. Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga were released from prison on 29 May 2010 after President Bingu wa Mutharika pardoned them on humanitarian grounds.
Malawi: Gay couple risk re-arrest
While the two Malawian gay men Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga have been granted a presidential pardon on “humanitarian grounds”, annulling a 14 year sentence for “gross indecency and unnatural acts”, speculation is mounting on the exact conditions of their release.
Uganda: Museveni says Ugandans 'opposed to homosexuality'
President Museveni has said Ugandans are opposed to homosexuality because it is not part of African culture. Speaking to Christians who gathered to mark the Uganda Martyrs Day at the Anglican shrine in Nakiyanja, President Museveni castigated Europeans for imposing what he called western culture onto African countries.
Africa: Indian Ocean Commission launches agro-ecology project in Mauritius
The Indian Ocean Commission (COI) on Tuesday launched the "Agro-ecology" project, which is a regional initiative for the adaptation of small-scale agriculture to climate change in the Islands of the Indian Ocean, PANA reported. The COI is comprised of five member countries -- Mauritius, Madagascar, Reunion, Comoros and the Seychelles.
Africa: Nigeria's agony dwarfs Gulf oil spill, but US and Europe ignore it
The Deepwater Horizon disaster caused headlines around the world, yet the people who live in the Niger delta have had to live with environmental catastrophes for decades
Cote d'Ivoire: Trafigura accused over toxic waste
Dutch prosecutors have accused multi-national oil trading firm Trafigura of illegally exporting hazardous waste to Ivory Coast in 2006. The allegations came at the start of a trial in which the firm is accused of breaking Dutch export and environmental laws and forging official documents. Tens of thousands of people in Ivory Coast said the waste made them ill.
Global: Activists protest Energy Strategy consultation in Brussels
Activists have staged a protest at the Energy Strategy consultation in Brussels The protestors, led by Friends of the Earth Europe, gathered peacefully outside of the meeting where they demanded an end to the World Bank's financing of fossil fuel projects. Outside the building, the protestors held signs, chanted, and put on several acts of street theater, including handing out mock contracts for coal and a "black comedy" representation of the World Bank's continued financing of dirty energy
Global: Fouls and goals for climate change at World Cup
South Africa, where the FIFA Football World Cup is to kick off Jun. 11, has introduced cleaner transportation, while Brazil is planning ecological stadiums for the championship it will host in 2014. But these and other initiatives clash with the countries' overall environmental performance. The first FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) World Cup to take place on the African continent will leave a carbon footprint more than eight times greater than the 2006 World Cup in Germany, according to a study conducted in February 2009 at the request of the South African government and the Norwegian embassy in that country.
Global: World Environment Day
World Environment Day, commemorated on 5 June since 1972, is one of the ways in which the United Nations focuses world attention on the environment and encourages political action. Since its inception, hundreds of thousands of people from countries all over the world have mobilized for individual and organized environmental action. Activities involve all sectors of society – governments, non- and inter-governmental organizations, businesses, industries, civil society, media and schools.
South Africa: New coal plant seeks emission credits for "cleaner" coal
On the heels of winning a $3.75 million loan from the World Bank, South African utility Eskom is now seeking carbon credits from the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism. Environmentalists are outraged that one of the largest coal plants in the world could receive public funds from both the World Bank and the CDM.
Botswana: Bushmen take government to court over water rights
Kalahari Bushmen are taking the government of Botswana to court over its refusal to allow them access to a water borehole on their land. The case is due to be heard at Botswana’s High Court in Lobatse on 9 June 2010.
South Africa: South Africans fight eviction for World Cup car park
For six families living in derelict changing rooms next to one of South Africa's official training venues in Cape Town, the prospect of the football World Cup has turned from a dream to a nightmare. The families who comprise 24 people, half of them children, are facing eviction to make space for the parking area next to the Athlone Stadium which has been upgraded to the tune of 406m rand ($53m, £36m) to bring it up to Fifa standards.
Global: FAO report says global food prices fall
A report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said Thursday that international prices of key food staples dropped in the first five months of this year. The report stated that the development was driven largely by plummeting prices of cereals and sugar. It said: "The FAO Food Price Index' the average of commodity prices, including meat and dairy, averaged 164 points in May, down from 174 in January and subst antially less than its peak of 214, reached in the spring of 2008."
Nigeria: Fallout from Niger food crisis
Stocks of millet and sorghum in northern Nigeria's markets are dwindling as traders buy them up to export across the border to Niger, where some 10 million people face food insecurity. Grain merchants from Niger head to Dawanau market in Kano - West Africa's largest grain market – to buy truck-loads of millet and sorghum, locally known as Guinea corn, to bolster declining food stocks.
Africa: FAJ hails World Congress outcomes
The Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), the African regional organisation of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), have welcomed the conclusions and outcome of the 27th World Congress of the IFJ, held from 24th - 28th May, in Cadiz, Spain.
Angola: Censorship shrouds journalist’s killing
On January 8, while Angola was hosting the African Cup of Nations, the country made worldwide headlines after a deadly attack on the Togolese national soccer team, which left a coach and a journalist dead. With international attention turning to the story, a shroud of state censorship and self-censorship by the Angolan media obscured the factual circumstances of the attack and its aftermath
Ethiopia: Independent media gagged around elections
Last week's Ethiopian presidential election result was no surprise, with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's governing party winning nearly every seat. Harassment and intimidation of voters and journalists, and the absence of a free, independent media was behind this smooth victory, report Human Rights Watch and the International Press Institute (IPI).
Zambia: Post newspaper, editor in chief convicted over contempt of court charges
On 3 June 2010, The Post newspapers and its editor in chief, Fred M’membe were found guilty of one count of contempt of court, a charge arising from an opinion article authored by United States of America-based Zambian Law Professor, Muna Ndulo and published by the newspaper on 27 August 2009. However, presiding Magistrate Simausamba reserved sentence to 4 June 2010. Meanwhile, M’membe’s lawyer, Remmy Mainza said the case in which his clients were convicted of was a misdemeanor which attracted a sentence of six months or a fine. He prayed to the court to give his clients a non- custodial or suspended sentence because the two were first offenders who had no track of a criminal record.
DRC: 19 killed in rebel attack
At least 19 people including five soldiers killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo's volatile east after the Hutu rebels attacked an army post, the army reported. About 150 fighters from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebel group staged a pre-dawn attack Wednesday on a military position in Nord-Kivu province, Vianney Kazarama, the army spokesman in the region said.
Kenya: Bumper maize harvest contaminated by toxins
There is growing alarm among Kenyan farmers about a government announcement that 2.3m bags of maize were unfit for human consumption. Health experts say the maize contained high levels of lethal aflatoxins, which have killed at least one child. The government has pledged to buy and destroy the contaminated maize.
Libya: Executions of foreigners are condemned
Human rights campaigner group Amnesty International has condemned the reported execution of 18 people in Libya. The 18, some from Chad, Egypt and Nigeria, were executed on Sunday in Tripoli and Benghazi, Libyan media reported. Amnesty International said they feared the accused had not had fair trials.
Somalia: Civilians killed in fighting
At least 17 civilians have been killed after Somali government forces, supported by African Union peacekeepers, launched attacks against fighters from al-Shabab, the armed anti-government group, in Mogadishu. Among the dead are six women and a family of five whose home was destroyed by shelling, Ali Muse, the head of the city's ambulance service, said on Thursday.
Somalia: Troops fight al-Shabab militants in Mogadishu
Clashes between Somali government forces and Islamist militants have killed at least 28 people and wounded about 60 in the capital Mogadishu. The fighting appears to be the start of a government offensive using troops trained in Ethiopia, analysts say.
Sudan: Government shelves peace talks with JEM
The Sudanese government has said it will no longer engage in peace talks with the Justice and Equality Movement (Jem), Darfur's main anti-government group, saying instead its leaders will be prosecuted. Ghazi Atabani, chief negotiator of the talks, said mediators had been notified of the government's decision.
Ghana: Boy, 12, wins Google top prize
A 12-year-old Ghanaian student Kwabena Asumadu has been crowned the national winner of the Doodle 4 Google 'Love Football' competition. The competition was for students to design a Google Doodle - the interpretation of the Google logo, around the theme 'Love Football'. Asumadu is now one step closer to being a global winner and will have his logo uploaded on the Google Ghana homepage - www.google.co.gh - for a day. For his prize he would receive a laptop, dongle, printer and a framed copy of his winning doodle.
South Africa: Israel/Apartheid Connections
AfricaFocus Bulletin May 31, 2010 (100531)
"Polakow-Suransky puts Israel's annual military exports to South Africa between 1974 and 1993 at $600 million, which made South Africa Israel's second or third largest trading partner after the United States and Britain. ... He puts the total military trade between the countries at well above $10 billion over the two decades." - Glenn Frankel in review of new book "The Unspoken Alliance". Polakow-Suransky's book The Unspoken Alliance: Israel's Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa (http://www.africafocus.org/books/isbn.php?0375425462), is hardly the first to outline the open secret of Israel's military relationship with apartheid South Africa (see books listed below). But it is certainly the most well-documented and will arguably be the most influential.
Call for entrants: RFI Discoveries Award 2010
France’s international public service radio station RFI (Radio France Internationale) has launched this year’s Prix Découverte RFI (RFI Discoveries Award). Since 1981 RFI has organised this award for singers and musicians which is open to entrants living in Africa, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean islands
The New Path: African Forum for Intellectual Thought
Call for articles
The NEW PATH: AFRICAN FORUM FOR INTELLECTUAL THOUGHT is published quarterly by the African Research and Resource Forum (ARRF) and provides a forum for innovative thinking about our common future and about how we need to tackle the most intractable problems facing Africa today – focusing on Eastern Africa. The editor invites your articles (opinion and analysis) for the June 2010 edition. This edition of 'New Path' will cover Elections management in EAC Member States: Focus on upcoming elections in Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania
Human Rights Advocates Program, Columbia University
The application for the 2011 session of the annual Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP) at Columbia University is now available. We would like to ask you to disseminate this announcement to eligible human rights activists and organizations. The application is available online. This web-based format is the only version of the 2011 application.
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