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Pambazuka News

Pambazuka News Pambazuka News is produced by a pan-African community of some 2,600 citizens and organisations - academics, policy makers, social activists, women's organisations, civil society organisations, writers, artists, poets, bloggers, and commentators who together produce insightful, sharp and thoughtful analyses and make it one of the largest and most innovative and influential web forums for social justice in Africa.

The Inagural 2016 Pan African Colloquium, Barbados

Latest titles from Pambazuka Press

African Sexualities

Earth Grab A Reader
Sylvia Tamale
A groundbreaking book, accessible but scholarly, by African activists. It uses research, life stories and artistic expression to examine dominant and deviant sexualities, and investigate the intersections between sex, power, masculinities and femininities
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Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya

From Citizen to Refugee Horace Campbell
In this elegantly written and incisive account, scholar Horace Campbell investigates the political and economic crises of the early twenty-first century through the prism of NATO's intervention in Libya.
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Queer African Reader

Demystifying Aid Edited by Sokari Ekine, Hakima Abbas
A diverse collection of writing from across the continent exploring African LGBTI liberation: identity, tactics for activism, international solidarity, homophobia and global politics, religion and culture, and intersections with social justice movements. A richness of voices, a multiplicity of discourses, a quiverful of arguments. African queers writing for each other, theorising ourselves, making our ...more
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China and Angola

African Awakening A Marriage of Convenience?
Edited by Marcus Power, Ana Alves
This book focuses on the increased co-operation between Angola and China and shows that although relations with China might have bolstered regime stability and boosted the international standing of the Angolan government, China is not regarded as a long term strategic partner.
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How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

To Cook a ContinentWalter Rodney
Rodney shows how the imperial countries of Europe, and subsequently the US, bear major responsibility for impoverishing Africa. They have been joined in this exploitation by agents or unwitting accomplices both in the North and in Africa.
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Pambazuka broadcasts feature audio and video content with cutting edge commentary and debate from social justice movements across the continent.

See the list of episodes.


This site has been established by Fahamu to provide regular feedback to African civil society organisations on what is happening with the African Union.

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Back Issues

Pambazuka News 557: Wall Street, warmongers and North Africa transitions

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

Pambazuka News (English edition): ISSN 1753-6839

CONTENTS: 1. Features, 2. Comment & analysis, 3. Advocacy & campaigns, 4. Obituaries, 5. Books & arts, 6. Letters & Opinions, 7. Blogging Africa, 8. Podcasts & Videos, 9. Zimbabwe update, 10. African Union Monitor, 11. Women & gender, 12. Human rights, 13. Refugees & forced migration, 14. Emerging powers news, 15. Africom Watch, 16. Elections & governance, 17. Corruption, 18. Development, 19. Health & HIV/AIDS, 20. Education, 21. LGBTI, 22. Racism & xenophobia, 23. Environment, 24. Land & land rights, 25. Food Justice, 26. Media & freedom of expression, 27. Social welfare, 28. News from the diaspora, 29. Conflict & emergencies, 30. Internet & technology, 31. Fundraising & useful resources, 32. Publications


Why the attempted remilitarisation of Africa will fail

Lessons from the deployment of Kenyan troops into Somalia

Horace Campbell


cc E I
Kenya’s foray into Somalia, led from behind by US Africa Command (AFRICOM), ‘represents a heightened threat to peace and reconstruction in Africa, especially East Africa’, argues Horace Campbell. AFRICOM’s attempts at remilitarisation will not solve Africa’s problems, says Campbell, when 'the root cause' of the ‘threats to stability and security challenges’ across the continent is ‘the exploitation and plunder’ of its resources.

On Kenya's war against Al-Shabaab

Somalia needs international help, not another war

Abena Afia


cc Amnesty
In light of 2012 elections, Kenya’s decision to defend its borders may be seen as a bold statement on security to win popularity, writes Abena Afia. But at this time of extreme famine and internal turmoil, Somalia needs the support of the international community, not another war.

Kenya: Perfect breeding ground for Al-Shabaab terrorists

Rasna Warah


cc Hussean
Rasna Warah cautions that, if Kenyans cannot see the link between government failure and the rise of home-grown terrorism, then the military project of eliminating Al-Shabaab in the country and across the border in Somalia will go nowhere.

On seeds: Controlling the first link in the food-chain

Nidhi Tandon


Thanks to the US’s 2009 Global Food Security Act, food aid policy for the first time mandates the use of genetic modification technologies. Nidhi Tandon looks at how this legislation helps biotechnology companies monopolise the seed industry at the expense of farmers, and explores some of the dubious links between these corporations, the Gates Foundation and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.

The long shadow of Algeria on the Arab Autumn

David Porter


cc US Army
The political situation in North Africa remains complex even after the events of the Arab Spring. David Porter attempts to draw lessons for the region from Algeria’s experience two decades ago.

Challenges of transition

Egyptian election a test for Arab Spring movements

Atul Aneja


cc Kallioph
Egypt faces many challenges as it heads for elections on 28 November, writes Atul Aneja. Will democracy endure? Can another military coup to bring back ‘stability’ be ruled out? Will the country slide into a theocracy?

Western Sahara kidnappings: Unpacking Moroccan propaganda

Malainin Lakhal


cc M B
Two Spaniards and an Italian working at a refugee camp in western Algeria were kidnapped in October. Malainin Lakhal

 writes about how Morocco has used the kidnappings in their propaganda against The Polisario Front.

Libya’s Liberation Front organising in the Sahel

Franklin Lamb


cc P P
Following the fall of Tripoli and the rise of the National Transitional Council, a rejuvenated national resistance has begun on Libya’s borders, writes Franklin Lamb.

Libya: Smuggling war as human rights?

Khadija Sharife


cc L A
‘Was Gaddafi the most threatening figure on the African continent? Or was he convenient as a pretext to push through military missions vying to establish bases in Africa,’ asks Khadija Sharife.

The need for the ‘Global African Worker’

Bill Fletcher, Jr


cc T T
Placing workers at the heart of 21st struggles for social, economic and political emancipation is the objective of the newly launched ‘Global African Worker’. Bill Fletcher, leader of the project, sets out the importance of building ‘real links between individuals and social movements who are conducting similar and sometimes overlapping struggles against racism and global capitalism.’

Rebels on the street: the Party of Wall Street meets its nemesis

David Harvey


cc M S Y
The Party of Wall Street has raged on for decades, writes David Harvey, academic and renowned teacher of Karl Marx's 'Capital'. Now is the time for the values of the Occupy Movement to rise up.

Financial secrecy: We really are in it together

Charles Abugre


cc T K
Lack of transparency, resulting in inadequate regulation, underpins the current global financial crisis, argues Charles Abugre. The secrecy ultimately hurts the poor and erodes the social contract that underpins government accountability to deliver to citizens.

Capitalism and memory: of golf courses and massage parlors in Badagry, Nigeria

Pius Adesanmi


cc J T
In this keynote lecture delivered at the annual conference of the Stanford Forum for African Studies in Palo Alto, California, on 29 October Pius Adesanmi explores how capitalism has organised human history and experience in the pursuit of profit. The full lecture is available here.

Disaster capitalism’s dollars fail to rebuild Haiti

Sokari Ekine


cc M H
Returning to Haiti a year later, Sokari Ekine hopes to see ‘some positive change in the lives of people’, but instead she finds a ‘continuation of the slow and aggressive violence against the 99 per cent.’

The right to education

Samir Amin


cc M K
‘The right to education is a fundamental human right, inseparable from people’s aspirations to a full and a wholly authentic democracy,’ argues Samir Amin.

The Marange diamond fields of Zimbabwe: An overview



cc Fdecomite
The controversy over Marange diamond fields in Zimbabwe has received much global attention. This new report by Sokwanele brings together a wide-ranging overview of events, meetings, human rights abuses and environmental degradation rampant in the mineral-rich area.

Comment & analysis

Swaziland: The time to cross the Rubicon is upon us

Bongani Masuku


cc Salym Fayad
Bongani Masuku believes that Swaziland has reached a point of no return. The momentum towards democracy and a society free of corruption and royal abuse in the name of culture is irreversible.

Advocacy & campaigns

Imprisoned Swazi political prisoner: Don’t mourn over me

Peter Kenworthy


Maxwell Dlamini, president of the Swaziland National Union of Students, remains in prison following his detention before the April uprising earlier this year. Dlamini is unable to stand trial thanks to a lawyer boycott against the country’s lack of judicial independence and rule of law, reports Peter Kenworthy for Africa Contact.

The Popular Campaign to Drop Egypt’s Debts

Founding Statement

The Popular Campaign to Drop Egypt’s Debt


'A group of civil society organisations and individual Egyptians concerned with the public good and with the future of social justice in the country have decided to launch a public campaign to pressure lending countries and institutions, both locally and internationally to drop Egypt’s debts.'

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine: Cape Town Session

Summary of Findings, 7 November 2011

Russell Tribunal on Palestine


‘Israel subjects the Palestinian people to an institutionalised regime of domination amounting to apartheid as defined under international law,’ a jury at the Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RToP) has found, following a series of hearings from 5-6 November. The tribunal is calling on Israel to dismantle the system and ‘to cease forthwith acts of persecution against Palestinians’.


Dani Wadada Nabudere: A great son of Africa


Yash Tandon


Dani Nabudere has passed on, and with him has passed a piece of Uganda, a piece of the continent, a part of humanity, writes Yash Tandon.

Dani Wadada Nabudere: ‘Keeper of Traditions’


Baba Buntu


Dani Nabudere’s ‘undying commitment to practical Pan-Afrikanism on grassroot level leaves us all with an enormous challenge in continuing his legacy and insist that all his sacrifices and achievements must never be in vain,’ writes Baba Buntu.

Books & arts

Music, language and human rights in Cameroon

The voices of Elwood, Valsero and Lapiro

Peter Wuteh Vakunta


Peter Wuteh Vakunta celebrates the works of three dissident Cameroonian musicians who are unafraid to tell President Paul Biya to his face about the sufferings of the people under his very long rule.

State of the nation, according to Kudzi Chiurai

Charles Nhamo Rupare


Armed with a brush and a strong desire for change, exiled Zimbabwean artist Kudzi has become something of a legend in the niche world of pan-African urban culture, writes Charles Nhamo Rupare.

Letters & Opinions

Elected vice-president of the AU's ECOSOCC

Mama Koité Doumbia


I'm writing to inform you that I was elected vice president of the African Union’s ECOSOCC at its fourth General Assembly, on 1 November 2011 in Nairobi.

This election is certainly an honour, but it is also a great responsibility and I invite you all to join me to ensure the mission’s full success!

The challenges in Africa are enormous and we need as a society to play our part in the construction of our continent. Africa needs all her daughters and sons!

Blogging Africa

Africa: Getting ready for business amidst political uncertainty

Dibussi Tande


Sub-saharan Africa’s business regulatory environment, Cameroon and Liberia’s wasted potential, Eritrean politics and appropriate state models for Somalia are among the topics featured in this week’s review of African blogs, by Dibussi Tande.

Podcasts & Videos

Global: Africa Today interview with Gerald Horne


In this interview, Africa Today's Walter Turner speaks with Gerald Horne on his life's work, his writings, and African Americans in the contemporary period.

Zimbabwe update

Zimbabwe: MDC-T, MDC-N and ZANU PF to meet over violence


Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has told journalists that the national executives of all three political parties in the inclusive government will meet to discuss the worsening political violence in the country. ZANU PF Central Committee members and their counterparts from the national executive councils of the MDC-T and MDC-N are expected to attend. The meeting follows the violent disturbances witnessed when members of the notorious ZANU PF Chipangano gang attacked MDC-T supporters preparing for a rally at Chibuku Stadium in Chitungwiza.

African Union Monitor

Mozambique: The ARPM process, then and now


The report tracks Mozambique’s progress since it acceded to the APRM process in March 2003 up to when it was eventually peer reviewed in June 2009. The authors urge the government of Mozambique to show political will and act upon the pronouncements made in their National Programme of Action document to ensure that governance is strengthened and democracy is deepened, by addressing corruption, and promoting plural participation in public institutions and processes as well as reducing over dependency on foreign aid.

Women & gender

Africa: African women’s organising for the ratification and implementation of the Maputo Protocol


The Maputo Protocol is a ground-breaking women’s rights legal instrument that expands and reinforces the rights provided in other human rights instruments. The Protocol provides a broad range of economic and social welfare rights for women. Importantly it was produced by Africans and pays attention to the concerns of African women. AWID interviewed Faiza Jama Mohamed, director of Equality Now about the Solidarity for African Women's Rights (SOAWR) campaign for the ratification and implementation of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women also known as the Maputo Protocol or the African Women’s Protocol.

Global: Controlling technology to end violence against women


Take Back The Tech! is a collaborative campaign that takes place during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence (25 Nov - 10 Dec). It is a call to everyone - especially women and girls - to take control of technology to end violence against women. Visit the Take Back The Tech! website to find out more.

Global: Some gender gaps for world’s women closing but chasms remain, says report


Many of the world’s women are moving closer to gender equality, but substantial gaps remain between men and women in health, education and, particularly, political and economic participation in a number of countries, including some of the most developed, according to a new global report. Measuring against 2010 rankings, for example, the Sixth Annual World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2011 found that New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom showed slight declines in their overall gender equality rankings, while Brazil, Ethiopia, Qatar, Tanzania and Turkey posted gains.

Kenya: The representation of women at public universities


The findings of this study published by the Organisation for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA) revealed that there has been a steady increase in overall student enrolment from the academic years 2000/2001 to 2006/2007 in selected universities. There was variation in female student enrolment during this period, but in all cases it was below 50 per cent. Data regarding student enrolment in the various faculties/schools by gender from Kenyatta and Egerton universities revealed that female students were concentrated in the humanities and social sciences. Women academic staff were found to be underrepresented in the universities. Women staff were found to be missing from the senior university management positions.

Human rights

Burundi: Rumoured hit list frightens opposition


Many teachers in the eastern Burundian provinces of Ruyigi and Cankuzo have fled their homes, fearing for their lives. Rumour has it that a plan, codenamed ‘Safisha’ and allegedly being carried out by the ruling CNDD-FDD party, aims to eliminate all opposition members. In the local dialect, ‘safisha’ means ‘to cleanse’.

CAR: Country no 'no rights black hole', says government


The Central African Republic has hit out at an Amnesty International report that deemed the country a human rights 'black hole', saying much had been done to protect its citizens. The government spokesperson said it was 'extreme' to maintain, as AI did last month, that a justice vacuum in CAR was preventing an end to human rights violations.

Gambia: Rights group urges Gambia to free two activists


A global human rights body, ‘Front Line’, has urged the Gambian authorities to 'immediately drop all charges' against Dr Isatou Touray and Amie Bojang, two leading rights activists. Dr. Touray and Bojang, Director and Programme Coordinator respectively of The Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (GAMCOTRAP), are facing charges of 'theft' which they continue to deny. In a statement obtained by PANA, Front Line said the duo’s 'continued prosecution is solely motivated by their legitimate and peaceful work in defence of human rights'.

Nigeria: 10 extra-judicial killings per week


Nigeria records 10 extra-judicial killings per week, and 95 per cent of such killings are unresolved, the local media quoted the non-governmental organisation Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) as saying. LEDAP also said about 2,800 unlawful killings are recorded annually in Nigeria, with most of the killings carried out by criminal gangs. 'About 16 per cent are done by state agents and most of them are not resolved and perpetrators punished,' LEDAP National Coordinator Chino Obiagwu was quoted as saying.

Nigeria: Amnesty urges Shell to pay for Nigeria spills


Amnesty International has called on Shell to pay $1bn to start cleaning up two oil spills in Nigeria's Niger Delta which it says caused huge suffering to locals whose fisheries and farmland were poisoned. The report by the human rights group to mark the 16th anniversary of the execution of environmental activist Ken Saro Wiwa by Nigerian authorities said the two spills in 2008 in Bodo, Ogoniland, had wrecked the livelihoods of 69,000 people.

South Africa: SA justice minister calls for investigation into Zim rendition reports


South Africa’s Justice Minister has called for an investigation into reports that the country’s priority crimes unit and the police are involved in an illegal ‘renditions’ deal with Zimbabwe. Minister Jeff Radebe is reportedly on a 'collision course' with his colleague, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, after demanding answers over the report. Radebe told South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper that the rendition claims were 'very worrying', especially considering the allegations 'were levelled not only against organs of state, but one that is responsible for law enforcement and security.'

Zimbabwe: Amnesty highlights Murambatsvina


The 50th African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights ended recently in Banjul, Gambia with Amnesty International voicing its concern over the continuing struggle that victims of Operation Murambatsvina face. AI said it was concerned about the failure of the government to provide effective solutions to the problems faced by those who were forcibly evicted from their homes in 2005. A few of the victims were allocated incomplete housing structures or un-serviced plots of land under the government’s re-housing programme, known as Operation Garikai.The majority of the victims were forcibly settled in rural areas while those who remained in urban areas moved into existing housing set ups, leading to overcrowding.

Refugees & forced migration

Global: Governments must plan for migration in response to climate change, researchers say


If global temperatures increase by only a few of degrees by 2100, as predicted by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, people around the world will be forced to migrate. A consortium of 12 scientists from around the world gathered last year at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center to review 50 years of research related to population resettlement following natural disasters or the installation of infrastructure development projects such as dams and pipelines. The group determined that resettlement efforts in the past have left communities in ruin, and that policy makers need to use lessons from the past to protect people who are forced to relocate because of climate change.

Global: Protecting Sahrawis and Palestinians displaced by the 2011 Libyan uprising


At the outbreak of the Libyan conflict, it was estimated that over 900 Sahrawi children and youth, 100 Palestinian students, and up to 70,000 Palestinian migrant workers were based in Libya. Their presence in Libya, and both the challenges they have faced since February 2011 and the nature of international
responses to these challenges, highlight a range of issues, which this paper, produced by the UN Refugee Agency, explores.

South Africa: Refugees 'barred' from schooling


Many refugee Somali parents are not sending their children to South Africa's public schools because they are intimidated by the official processes required to get their children into school and because of the discrimination foreign pupils frequently experienced there. Abdulkadir Khaleif, a representative of the Somali Association of South Africa in the Western Cape, told the Mail & Guardian that the documents schools required before admitting Somali children had often 'been lost because of the war' back home. He was one of about 80 participants at a two-day workshop in Cape Town held by the University of Johannesburg's Centre for Education Rights and Transformation.

South Africa: Refugees still fear for their lives


Nearly three years after the xenophobic violence in South African townships, some foreigners are still living in what was meant to be temporary shelters because they are afraid of going back to their former communities. Two groups of refugees - one near the De Deur police station in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg, and the other at the Rural Institute for Education and Training (Riet) family guidance centre in Randfontein - seem to have slipped through the cracks. The Gauteng department of social development said all camps it was responsible for had been closed down.

Zimbabwe: Deportees tell of harsh life in South Africa


About 1,841 Zimbabweans who were living in South Africa illegally had last week trickled back into the country as the first batch of those deported arrived. Most of the deported Zimbabweans spoke out about their chilling experience at the hands of South Africans. 'Life in South Africa is very difficult for foreign nationals. Every day I was constantly reminded that I was a foreigner and most of the South Africans call us makwerekwere, a derogatory term used to mock foreigners,' said Alson Mhiri, a deportee.

Emerging powers news

Latest edition: emerging powers news roundup


In this week's edition of the Emerging Powers News Round-Up, read a comprehensive list of news stories and opinion pieces related to China, India and other emerging powers...

Africom Watch

Africa: Global NATO seeks to recruit 50 new military partners


A recent article in Kenya’s Africa Review cited sources in the African Union (AU) disclosing that the 28-member North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is preparing to sign a military partnership treaty with the 53-nation AU. The author of the article, relaying comments from AU officials in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where the AU has its headquarters, wrote that although 'the stated aim is to counter global security threats and specifically threats against Africa, some observers read the pact as aiming to counter Chinese expansion in Africa'.

Lesotho: 30 African nations gather for war games conference


Defense representatives from more than 30 African nations joined together in Maseru, Lesotho, 7-11 November to participate in the initial planning conference for next year's Africa Endeavor. Africa Endeavor is an annual US Africa Command-sponsored communications exercise focused on building interoperability and information sharing among African nations.

Elections & governance

Burundi: Six fired for poor performance


Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza has sacked six ministers from his cabinet for poor performance, his spokesman said. When he was sworn in for his five-year second term, President Nkurunziza said that each government official will report on tasks accomplished every six months, adding that those who failed to do so would be fired.

Equatorial Guinea: An overview of the government's efforts to reform the constitution


Equatoguinean president Teodoro Obiang has proposed several changes to the constitution of Equatorial Guinea, including establishing a limit of two terms of seven years on the presidency, creating the office of vice-president, adding a second chamber to parliament, and creating a 'Court of Auditors' to oversee government programs, contracts and expenditures. This post lists the proposed changes.

Equatorial Guinea: Equatorial Guineans vote in constitutional referendum


Equatorial Guineans voted Sunday in a referendum on a new constitution that would limit presidential terms to two and strengthen the small oil state's democracy. The opposition has branded the vote a 'masquerade' because the text does not make clear whether President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Africa's longest-serving leader, will have to step down when his term ends in 2016. Obiang, who currently chairs the African Union, is on an offensive to win himself a clean bill of health on the international scene and reverse his country's reputation as one of Africa's most corrupt and autocratic.

Gabon: Court sends Gabon to the polls as planned


Gabon's constitutional court has ruled that parliamentary elections will take place on 17 December as planned, despite opposition demands for a delay in the poll to introduce biometric voters cards, officials said. Gabon's opposition has been campaigning for months to delay the elections in order to introduce the biometric system, which has been implemented in many countries for digital chips in passports and electoral cards, using individual biological data such as fingerprints or eye retina scans to combat fraud.

Gambia: Opposition parties name unity candidate


Four opposition parties in the Gambia have coalesced and named Mr Hamat Bah as their presidential candidate for elections set for later this month. The coalition candidate is the standard bearer of the National Reconciliation Party, a long-time challenger to President Yahya Jammeh, who came to power through a military coup in 1994 and is hoping to remain in power for life.

Global: UN peacekeeping electoral assistance map


This map shows where UN Peacekeeping is currently assisting with elections and where they have recently assisted.

Liberia: Opposition leader demands a fresh run-off


Liberia’s main opposition leader has rescinded his decision to work with the newly-elected government of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and called for a rerun of the runoff. Mr. Winton Tubman told a press conference in Monrovia on Saturday evening that his party refuses to recognise the results of the second round polls which he described as a 'political masquerade'. The surprise declaration comes barely two days after he pledged to work with the newly-elected government of President Sirleaf 'in the interest of national unity'.

Madagascar: New premier takes office


Malagasy's new Prime Minister Jean Omer Beriziky has been sworn in at a ceremony in the capital, Antananarivo. Mr Beriziky was chosen by the Indian Ocean island nation’s four main political parties through consensus.

South Africa: Beware the young lions, warns Tokyo


Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has warned the ANC leadership not to underestimate the power and influence of the youth wing president Julius Malema and his executive. Sexwale, who testified for Malema during the disciplinary hearings into his conduct, was speaking at a gala dinner in Eastern Cape organised by the Dr AB Xuma Foundation. In what appeared to be a thinly veiled attack on President Jacob Zuma, Sexwale warned that no one was guaranteed re-election to a party position, the Times reported. The ANC's national disciplinary committee announced last week that Malema had to vacate his position as youth league leader after an effective suspension of five years.

Sudan: 'Leader of southern political party arrested'


The government of South Sudan has arrested the Chairman of the United Democratic Forum (UDF), Mr. Peter Abdurrahman Chule, whom it accused of attempting to recruit youths for a rebellion against the government in Juba. Radio Miraya, a UN-funded radio reporting from Juba, capital of South Sudan, reported that Mr Chule was arrested last week at his hideout in Western Equatoria State. Ironically, Mr Chule was one of the most ardent advocates for separation before independence in 2011, and was even against the moderate line of giving unity and separation equal chances as stipulated by the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

Tanzania: Opposition chief surrenders to police after demo


A Tanzanian opposition leader surrendered to police Wednesday (09 November) after leading a protest calling for the release of one its members and the resignation of President Jakaya Kikwete. Freeman Mbowe, who heads the CHADEMA party, and scores of supporters staged a demonstration Monday in the country's northern town of Arusha demanding the release of one of its officials and that Kikwete steps down. The party accuses the president of using security forces to disrupt its activities.


Southern Africa: SADC protocol against corruption idles


The ninth Southern African Forum Against Corruption (Safac) annual general meeting which took place in Windhoek made an urgent call on SADC members to implement the SADC Protocol Against Corruption. Safac chair Dr Edward Hoseah blamed the non-functioning SADC Committee on Corruption (SACC) for the delay in the implementation of the protocol at the opening of the event. 'The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol Against Corruption and its implementation is our litmus test for effective measures in our region. The willingness of our political masters to heighten and fast-track the implementation of the SADC Protocol is extremely fundamental to manage our citizens’ expectations,' he stressed.


Global: 'Debtocracy', seeking the causes of the debt crisis


'Debtocracy' is a 2011 documentary film by Katerina Kitidi and Aris Hatzistefanou. The documentary mainly focuses on two points: the causes of the Greek debt crisis in 2010 and possible future solutions that could be given to the problem that are not currently being considered by the government of the country. The makers resorted to crowd-funding and collected 8,000 euros in just 10 days.

Global: Economic, political paralysis threatens Italy


The situation in Italy has become critical as investors lose faith in the eurozone's third-largest economy and charge more to lend it money, says this Associated Press article. 'Italy is too big to be bailed out like Greece, Ireland and Portugal were. A default on its euro1.9 trillion ($2.6 trillion) in debt would threaten the euro and the global financial system with collapse.'

Global: IMF chief warns of a 'lost decade' for global economy


The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, has warned that the global economy is at risk of being plunged into a 'lost decade'. Lagarde said the ongoing debt crisis in Europe has resulted in an uncertain outlook for the global economy. The IMF chief added that whilst efforts to solve the crisis were heading in the right direction, more needed to be done to restore confidence.

Global: The debtors revolution


Are debt strikes, the next logical step in the fight against Big Finance's domination of the 99 percent? asks this article from 'One of the fascinating things about the media dominance of Occupy Wall Street has been how the conversation has shifted away from the deficit-obsession of the last few years. Suddenly the debt that everyone is talking about is personal, individual debt - student loans, mortgages, credit cards and other ways the big banks control our lives.'

Nigeria: Main opposition party rejects planned fuel subsidy removal


As the controversy over the plan by the Nigerian government to remove fuel subsidy deepens, the main opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) rejected the plan. In a statement issued in Lagos and obtained by PANA, ACN called the proposal to withdraw fuel subsidy 'the handiwork of those propelled by the philosophy of the 'Washington Consensus' of rolling back the frontiers of the state.' Under the plan announced by the government, the price of a litre of fuel will go up from 65 naira (4 US cents) to as high as 150 naira (about US$1) from next year.

Health & HIV/AIDS

Africa: Focus on human experimentation in Africa by drug companies


A new policy brief faults prominent institutions and drug companies like Pfizer, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, and Population Council, for their involvement in unethical and illegal human experimentation in Africa. The report is titled 'Non-Consensual Research in Africa: The Outsourcing of Tuskegee' in reference to the illegal human experiment conducted in Tuskegee, Alabama, between 1932 and 1972 by the US Public Health Service. In that experiment, some 600 impoverished African-American men were observed in a study on the progression of untreated syphilis. Some of the men were intentionally infected with the disease and all of them were denied the cure.

Kenya: Abortion debate heats up


Some 21,000 Kenyan women are hospitalised every year because of complications from unsafe abortions. According to Kenya’s Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society, 2,600 die from procedures carried out by untrained 'professionals' in back alleys and people’s homes, well away from proper health facilities where women can be reported to the police and jailed for up to 14 years if convicted of terminating a pregnancy.

South Africa: Wits scientists working towards neutralising HIV


South African scientists are at the coalface of understanding whether HIV can be eradicated from an HIV-positive individual, essentially curing the person. A complex field of study, Professor Caroline Tiemessen is attempting to understand why some individuals – referred to as elite controllers – are able to be HIV infected, but successfully suppress virus replication to undetectable levels. This is achieved in the absence of antiretroviral treatment and the immune system response is maintained at an optimal level for many years.


Kenya: More varsities set to close as strike enters sixth day


The strike by lecturers in public universities enters its sixth day Monday with a possibility of more institutions shutting down. At the weekend, students at Chepkoilel University College in Eldoret were sent home indefinitely. The constituent college of Moi University followed Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology in Kakamega and Egerton University in Nakuru in shutting down after lecturers and non-teaching staff downed their tools to demand increased salaries.

Malawi: Main university college to finally re-open


The University Council has announced that Chancellor College, the main constituent college of the University of Malawi, at the centre of a protracted academic freedom wrangle, will be finally re-opened 14 November. Zomba-based Chancellor College has been in a lock-down since 16 February when lecturers started protesting Inspector General of Police Peter Mukhito's summoning of associate political science professor Blessings Chinsinga on 12 February, to quiz him over a classroom example he gave his public policy class. The youthful lecturer had reportedly likened the insurrections that toppled governments in Tunisia and Egypt to Malawi's current fuel and foreign exchange reserves shortages.

Zimbabwe: Thousands of girls forced out of education


Poverty, abuse and cultural practices are preventing a third of Zimbabwean girls from attending primary school and 67 per cent from attending secondary school, denying them a basic education, according to a recent study which found alarming dropout rates for girls. 'Sexual harassment and abuse by even school teachers and parents, cultural issues, lack of school fees, early marriage, parental commitments and early pregnancies are some of the contributing factors to the dropout by the girl child,' said the authors of 'Because I am a Girl' by Plan International, a nonprofit organisation that works to alleviate child poverty.


Global: Mixed news for LGBTI persons from CHOGM meetings


While the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Australia included no commitment to oppose homophobic persecution and to protect the human rights of LGBTI persons, Commonwealth of Nations Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma did speak out against homophobic persecution. In addition, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) will be empowered to deal with serious or persistent human rights violations by member states, which could include action against countries that perpetrate homophobic persecution.

Uganda: 30-year sentence in Kato murder case


A Ugandan court on Thursday 10 November sentenced the man suspected to have murdered a gay rights activist in January this year, to 30 years in prison. The 30 year sentence was passed by Justice Joseph Mulangira after the man admitted to have murdered David Kato 46, on 26 January 2011. This verdict was passed based on the evidence produced in court by the lead state prosecutor, Ms. Loe Karungi.

Racism & xenophobia

South Africa: Russell Tribunal calls for Israeli sanctions


After sitting in Cape Town at the weekend, where it heard evidence from a range of witnesses, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine declared that Israel was guilty of practising apartheid and called for it to be isolated. The tribunal called on world governments to institute sanctions against it and break off diplomatic ties.


Congo: Reforestation programme launched


Congo's President Denis Sassou Nguesso has launched the national afforestation and reforestation programme (PRONAR) that will cover one million hectares over 10 years. President Nguesso launched the programme on Sunday in Yie, some 60km north of Brazzaville, the nation's capital.
The programme, to be financed by the government and the private sector, aims at reducing human pressure exerted on natural forests by reducing deforestation and soil degradation.

Nigeria: Oil thefts, subsidies and the cost of crude


With reference to the fuel subsidy debate in Nigeria, where government plans to scrap fuel subsidies, resulting in a substantial increase in the price of fuel, Nnimmo Bassey argues in The Guardian of Nigeria that the real debate should be on the true cost of crude oil. 'And this is not just about how much is currently spent in refining a litre of petrol in a Nigerian refinery or whether we can justify any plan to raise the pump price of a litre of petrol to N144 or more. The true cost of oil must include the environmental costs that have been externalised and dumped on the poor communities of the Niger Delta.'

Land & land rights

Global: Barza, the online community of radio broadcasters


Barza, the online community for radio broadcasters has been launched. The site wants to make available to rural radio broadcasters useful resources like radio scripts, audio clips and advice from peers with the click of a mouse. Through the online community, it aims to increase the extent to which rural radio helps African small-scale farmers meet their food security, farming and livelihood goals.

Tanzania: The forgotten villages

Land reform in Tanzania


Tanzania's 1999 land reform has decentralised land administration to the rural local village governments, but implementation so far has been slow and uneven. The local authorities rarely get the support they need to make it work. As a consequence, the benefits promised by the reform - economic growth and improved tenure security - do not happen. There has already been an abundance of donor driven projects to implement the reform, but they have been short-sighted and have tended to forget the local authorities that carry out the actual implementation. Much could be achieved if higher level authorities and NGOs systematically strengthened the village authorities and enabled them to deliver their services.

Tanzania: UK firm's failed biofuel dream wrecks lives


'People feel this is like the return of colonialism,' says Athumani Mkambala, chairman of Mhaga village in rural Tanzania. 'Colonialism in the form of investment.' A quarter of the village's land in Kisarawe district was acquired by a British biofuels company in 2008, with the promise of financial compensation, 700 jobs, water wells, improved schools, health clinics and roads. But the company has gone bust, leaving villagers not just jobless but landless as well. The same story is playing out across Africa, as foreign investors buy up land but leave some of the poorest people on Earth worse off when their plans fail.

Food Justice

Global: Clooney coffee ad gets spoofed


George Clooney gets clobbered in an activist takedown of his advertisements for Nescafe’s Nespresso brand, reports 'The advertisement – featuring a Clooney lookalike – is aimed at getting Nescafe to commit to using only fairly traded coffee throughout its Nespresso and other product ranges. They were commissioned by Swiss non-profit Solidar Suisse, which undertakes humanitarian and development work in 12 countries.' Watch the advert through the link provided.

Media & freedom of expression

Africa: Nigerian editor and two reporters scoop FAIR awards


Nigerian newspaper NEXT shone like a million stars on 1 November as one of its editors and two of its reporters scooped two of the three awards on offer at the FAIR (Forum for African Investigative Reporters) African Investigative Journalism Awards in Johannesburg, South Africa. Pambazuka News contributor Khadija Sharife’s untangling of pharmaceutical medicines pricing, with devastating consequences for young children in need of anti-diarrhoea treatment, which she did for Al Jazeera Africa, received a special mention from a number of judges.

Egypt: Military extends blogger's detention


Egyptian military prosecutors have extended the detention of a prominent activist and blogger, pending investigations into accusations that he incited violence and attacked military personnel during deadly protests. The extension will add 15 days to Alaa Abd El Fattah's previous sentence of 15 days, which was handed down on 30 October after he refused to be interrogated by a military prosecutor.

Liberia: Oldest radio station set ablaze


One of Africa’s oldest radio stations, the Monrovia-based Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA) has been burnt by unknown arsonists, sources said. ELWA is an American-owned Christian station that was not among the four that were ordered closed by the government. Information about the burning of the station was still scanty, but its neighbours explained that it was set ablaze early Wednesday by unknown arsonists, who had not claimed responsibility for the act.

Liberia: Opposition radio and TV stations closed down


Liberian opposition radio and TV stations were shut down by the authorities on 8 November 2011 on the orders of a criminal court in Monrovia. The stations are being accused of spreading messages that the authorities said could incite violence. The stations, Kings FM belonging to the Congress for Democratic Change’s (CDC) Vice Presidential Candidate, George Weah; Love FM and TV owned by Benoni Urey, a known sympathiser of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) which has entered into an alliance with the CDC and Power FM and TV. The Media Foundation for West Africa’s (MFWA) correspondent reported that the affected stations would remain closed until their representatives appeared before the court on 10 November.

South Africa: ANC may consider Info Bill amendment


Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has suggested the ruling party may yet heed calls from the media to write a public interest defence into the contested Protection of State Information Bill. Media organisations and civil rights groups have vowed to launch a Constitutional Court challenge to the legislation if it were passed in its present form.

South Africa: Right2Know Campaign supporters to protest parliamentary vote

Right2Know Statement


Right2Know is calling on all supporters to come to Parliament on Wednesday 13h00 for a protest. This follows the move to bring the Secrecy Bill back to National Assembly for further deliberations as confirmed by the Office of the ANC Chief Whip last week.

South Sudan: Two journalists detained


Two South Sudanese independent journalists have been imprisoned over a column critical of President Salva Kiir, according to local journalists and news reports. On 1 November South Sudan National Security Services (NSS) agents in the temporary capital of Juba arrested Peter Ngor, editor of the private daily Destiny, and ordered the indefinite suspension of his newspaper for running an 26 October opinion article by columnist Dengdit Ayok, news reports said. The article, titled 'Let Me Say So', criticised the president for allowing his daughter to marry an Ethiopian national and accused him of 'staining his patriotism', news reports said.

Social welfare

Global: UN panel calls for global ‘protection floor’ with income security and health services


With more than five out of every seven people in the world lacking adequate social security, a high-level United Nations panel has called for guaranteeing basic income and services for all, not only as a means to ensure peace and stability but also to boost economic growth. Measures providing income security and scaling up essential health services are affordable even in the poorest countries, costing as little as one to two per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), although international support is needed for some low-income countries, with donors providing predictable multi-year financial aid, according to the panel’s report, 'Social Protection Floor for a Fair and Inclusive Globalization'.

Malawi: Fuel price hiked by average 27 per cent


Malawi has increased fuel prices by an average 27 per cent, a move likely to trigger broader inflation in the southern African nation that has already seen violent protests this year because of the dire state of the economy. Fuel shortages and the soaring cost of imported goods caused unprecedented demonstrations in July against President Bingu wa Mutharika, whose security forces killed 20 people in an ensuing crackdown.

Malawi: No social safety nets for the poor


Reflecting on the fact that significant segments of the population are fundamentally excluded from society due to poverty and inequality, the 2010 Ibrahim Index of African Governance recently handed Malawi an abysmal score of two out of 10. There is legislation aimed at protecting families from falling on hard times, such as the Employment Act and the recently amended Pension Bill. However, according to a 2010 report by the International Labour Office in Geneva, 90 per cent of Malawians - more than 13 million people – work outside the formal economy.

Swaziland: Struggling to pay salaries, says finance minister


Cash-strapped Swaziland will struggle to pay civil servants' salaries this month, Finance Minister Majozi Sithole told AFP, as the tiny kingdom slips deeper into crisis. 'We will do our best to pay at the end of November but it is difficult. We have serious fiscal challenges right now,' Sithole said. Swaziland fell into crisis after losing 60 per cent of its revenue from a regional customs union last year.

News from the diaspora

United States: Extreme poverty at record levels in US


According to the US Census Bureau, a higher percentage of Americans is living in extreme poverty than they have ever measured before. In 2010, we were told that the economy was recovering, but the truth is that the number of the 'very poor' soared to heights never seen previously. Back in 1993 and back in 2009, the rate of extreme poverty was just over six per cent, and that represented the worst numbers on record. But in 2010, the rate of extreme poverty hit a whopping 6.7 per cent. That means that one out of every 15 Americans is now considered to be 'very poor'.

US: Cynthia McKinney offered protection after assassination threat


2008 US Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney was offered 'victim witness' special protection by the FBI after the indictment of four men in northern Georgia for plotting to kill McKinney, Attorney General Eric Holder, and, according to FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Brian Lamkin of the bureau's Atlanta office, President Barack Obama.

Conflict & emergencies

Eritrea: Eritrea appeals to UN in bid to prevent sanctions


Eritrea’s president has asked for a personal hearing before the UN Security Council in a bid to head off new sanctions over alleged support for Somalia’s Islamist rebels, diplomats said. Rival Ethiopia has been calling for tougher action against Eritrea for several months after its neighbor was linked to a plot to bomb an African Union summit in Addis Ababa.

Global: Supranational governance, a challenge to building resilient states and peace


This report discusses supranational governance and public authority in five issue areas: financial systems, security/ small arms, migration, extractive industries and obnoxious goods. Public control in all five is weak, although a few initiatives in supranational governance are showing promise. For each issue area, the report outlines existing international rule and enforcement systems or regimes; the interests steering or blocking them; and the resulting deficits in democratic supervision, coherence and compliance. The report concludes by suggesting ways in which supranational public authority may be better developed in order to promote state resilience and peacebuilding.

Global: US military training to crush Boko Haram


The US army provided counter-insurgency training to Nigerian troops battling a rise in attacks by Islamist militants, the Nigerian military has revealed. More than 100 people have been killed in recent days by the radical Muslim sect Boko Haram, dubbed the 'Nigerian Taliban', in Nigeria's north-east. Nigeria has sought to crush the group with military force but faces criticism from human rights activists for alleged extra-judicial killings. The military said some battalions had received training in the US.

Libya: Deadly factional clashes erupt


At least two men have been killed in a second day of clashes as fighters from Zawiya set up roadlocks to prevent rivals from the nearby town of Wershefana entering their territory. There are conflicting reports about what triggered the confrontation on Saturday near a military camp. The reports of the clashes came as production resumed at Italian energy company Eni's largest oilfield in Libya.

Niger: Country faces Gaddafi quandary


Niger, where Libya's fugitive Saif al-Islam Gaddafi may be headed, risks a backlash from nomad Tuaregs in its north if it follows through on its obligation to hand him over to the International Criminal Court. Libya's aid-reliant southern neighbour has vowed to respect commitments to the ICC, but knows that could spark unrest in Saharan areas where a string of past rebellions against the capital were nurtured by Muammar Gaddafi, feted by many in the desert as a hero. The Hague-based ICC said Gaddafi's 39-year-old son Saif al-Islam was in contact via intermediaries about surrendering for trial, but it also had information that mercenaries were trying to spirit him to a friendly African nation.

Niger: Niger grants asylum to Saadi Gaddafi


Muammar Gaddafi's son Saadi has been granted asylum in Niger on humanitarian grounds, the country's president confirmed. Mahamadou Issoufou insisted he knew nothing of the whereabouts of another of the slain Libyan leader's sons, Saif al-Islam, who is wanted by the international criminal court (ICC). 'We have agreed on granting asylum to Saadi Gaddafi for humanitarian reasons,' Issoufou said during a visit to Pretoria in South Africa.

Nigeria: Residents flee Nigerian city


Residents have begun to flee a northeast Nigerian city where a radical Muslim sect launched attacks that killed more than 100 people. Rev. Idi Garba said Tuesday 8 November that nearly all the Christians and non-natives of Yobe state had fled their homes in Damaturu, the state capital. Garba said streets remained deserted, without soldiers or police protection.

Sahel: France cashes in on arms sales


Sahel states Mauritania, Mali and Niger are enhancing their military might through arms deals with France. The arms sales were detailed in a report presented by the French government in front of parliament on 26 October. The presentation did not specify the quantity or quality of weaponry, but did mention an annual contract. The French government is linked with ten African countries in a series of arms sale contracts.

South Sudan: 18 killed, scores injured in fighting


At least eighteen people are dead and scores wounded in a fierce fighting between the army and the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) in South Sudan Friday, the military has said. 'Heavily-armed' SAF forces attacked Kuek area in Upper Nile state along the borders with Sudan’s White Nile state, leading to death of five of his soldiers and 13 of the attackers, said The SPLA spokesman, Col. Philip Aguer Panyang. At least 26 were wounded on the side of the SPLA and 47on the SAF side, according to Aguer.

South Sudan: Khartoum warns of return to war


Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has warned that his country was ready to return to war with the southern neighbour in light of recent rebel attacks in border states, the Sudan Tribune, an online news website based in France, has reported. According to the website, he was speaking at a rally in Kurmuk in Blue Nile State in celebration of the Sudanese army's regaining control over the town after battles with the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM)- North Sudan faction that lasted over two months.

Sudan: Rebels form alliance to oust president


Rebels in Sudan's Darfur region and in the troubled border states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan have formed an alliance to overthrow the government of President Omar al-Bashir, a statement released by the rebels said. The alliance, called the Sudanese Revolutionary Front, is bent on 'toppling the regime of the [Sudan's ruling] National Congress Party with all possible means' and replacing it with a democratic system, the groups said in the joint statement sent to the Reuters news agency on Saturday.

Uganda: US military intervention, the LRA and big oil


Writing about the decision by US President Barack Obama to send 100 troops to Uganda in order to combat the Lord's Resistance Army, Steve Horn, a researcher and writer for DeSmogBlog, concludes: 'Do not be surprised if, months from now, ExxonMobil or another US oil industry superpower walks away with drilling rights in the Lake Albert region and CNOOC, the current main possessor of Uganda's Lake Albert oil resources, is sent packing.' These are not only likely scenarios, but probable ones, he states. 'Joseph Kony and his LRA allies might be taken down, but the people of Uganda, on the whole, will not benefit...'

Internet & technology

Africa: Mobile phone industry 'booming'


Africa is the fastest-growing mobile market in the world, and is the biggest after Asia, an association of worldwide mobile phone operators has said. The number of subscribers on the continent has grown almost 20 per cent each year for the past five years, the GSM Association report on Africa says. It expects there will be more than 735 million subscribers by the end of 2012.

South Africa: Social media growing strong


Social media has gone mainstream in South Africa, with both individuals and businesses embracing the available platforms and the average age of users steadily increasing as more people become connected and networks mature. These and other findings were released in a study by Fuseware and World Wide Worx, titled South African Social Media Landscape 2011. Homegrown messaging application MXit and Facebook are the most popular choices of individual internet activity, while Twitter has seen the most growth in the past year.

Fundraising & useful resources

Global: 'Global Crisis, Rethinking Economy and Society'

Webcast recordings available


In December 2010, the Economic Performance and Development programme of the HSRC, with the support of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (RLF) and OSISA, coordinated a live webcast of the international conference, ‘Global Crisis, Rethinking Economy and Society’, hosted by the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory at the University of Chicago. The fascinating presentations and debates at this gathering, where world renowned intellectuals shared their views, are available through the link provided.

Global: Research Grants: John Hope Franklin Research Center, Duke University


The John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture, part of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University, announces the availability of travel grants for research travel to our collections. The John Hope Franklin Research Center seeks to collect, preserve, and promote the use of printed and manuscript materials bearing on the history of Africa and people of African descent. Research grants are available to any faculty member, graduate or undergraduate student, or independent scholar with a research project requiring the use of materials held by the Franklin Research Center.

South Africa: Making local government work

An activist guide


'The challenge to end economic, geographic, gendered Apartheid is huge. Much of this challenge exists at a local level. But, as this guide shows, the Constitution empowers communities to claim their rights. Activists must connect the dots and ensure that Government prioritises the rights of people. We encourage you to use this guide to do that!' - Pregs Govender, deputy chairperson, South African Human Rights Commission, in the Forward to 'Making local government work: an activist guide.'


Veneration and Struggle: Commemorating Frantz Fanon

The Journal of Pan-African Studies


This issue includes:
- The 50th Anniversary of Fanon: Culture, Consciousness and Praxis
- Frantz Fanon: Existentialist, Dialectician, and Revolutionary
- Revisiting Fanon, From Theory to Practice: Democracy and Development in Africa
- Hegel and Fanon on the Question of Mutual Recognition: A Comparative Analysis
- Fanon Now: Singularity and Solidarity
- Reading Violence and Postcolonial Decolonization Through Fanon: The Case of Jamaica.

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