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Pambazuka News 607: The tragedy of Goma, Gaza and crony capitalism

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

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Pambazuka News (English edition): ISSN 1753-6839

CONTENTS: 1. Features, 2. Comment & analysis, 3. Advocacy & campaigns, 4. Books & arts, 5. Letters & Opinions, 6. African Writers’ Corner


The tragedy of Goma

Shame on UN and Rwanda’s Western allies

Theogene Rudasingwa


cc P K
It is a big shame that UN peacekeepers could not protect the Congolese in Goma from the onslaught of Rwandan-backed rebels M23. Washington and London, Kagame's allies, have made him more intransigent.

The new Obama Doctrine: From Gaza to Goma

Vijay Prashad


cc U 2
Obama’s second term opens with the worst kind of display of US power – backing two clients, Rwanda and Israel, who are hell-bent on creating mayhem against their neighbours. UN will do nothing against these two.

Gaza: Israel’s big trophy for the holocaust

Abdulrazaq Magaji


cc A R
The ongoing Israeli onslaught on Palestinians should be a major source of frustration for peace-loving individuals and groups who envisage a peaceful resolution to the Middle East crisis.

Hurricanes and Individualism: lessons from historic Sandy

Horace G. Campbell


cc T R
Hurricane Sandy, coming fast and furious after the numerous storms of this century, is one more wake-up call for humans to retreat from the wrong headedness of private accumulation of wealth.

Liberal capitalism, crony capitalism and lumpen development

Samir Amin


cc S A
Liberalism creates nothing, in the peripheries of the Global South that agree to submit to it, other than a crony capitalism based on a Comprador State in opposition to the National State committed to sustainable economic and social development.

IGAD strategy for Jubbaland breaks up Somalia

Mohamud M Uluso


cc A W
Designated a ‘failed state’ Somalia’s problems lie partly in the geopolitical strategy of Somalia’s neighbours for managing the liberated areas from Al Shabab, which compartmentalizes the Somali territory, politics and devalues citizenship.

ANC lacks internal democracy

William Gumede


cc K M
Democratic participation by the rank and file of the ANC in the December national leadership conference is a charade. A genuinely open system in which members are able to choose quality candidates must be introduced.

Randela: Coining the icon

The new bank notes bring the legacy of Nelson Mandela full circle

Jared Sacks


cc G P
Many people who are critical about the legacy of Nelson Mandela have beeb outraged by the South African Reserve Bank's decision to place his iconic image on the South African paper currency. Some say Madiba is being appropriated by capitalists and government officials.

A stream cannot rise above its source

Financing of Africa’s regional integration

Janah Ncube and Achieng Maureen Akena


cc E W
Who funds the African Union? Africans can not champion their own solutions when they can’t pay for them. Financing Africa’s unification by outside sources endangers genuine development and self-respect.

Namibia: Bridging the gap in healthcare provision

Moses Magadza


cc M L
The new health extension worker programme has been successfully implemented in several countries and its supporters are optimistic that it will help Namibia fill gaps in its over-stretched health system.

Comment & analysis

Africa? Obama was preoccupied with too many other things

Sam Schramski


Though Africa did not feature much in Obama’s campaigns, it does not mean his administration has no interest in the continent of his father’s birth. But that interest has little to do with the wellbeing of Africans themselves.

Resistance to Martelly regime continues to grow in Haiti

Ben Terrall


Haitian President Michel Martelly has managed to inspire popular opposition to his regime almost since his election in May 2011.

Power of words

Developing a culture of reading will unlock Liberia’s consciousness

Robtel Neajai Pailey


Reading unlocks the imagination, but it also unlocks the soul of a person. It has the potential to unlock the soul of a nation like Liberia struggling so desperately to find and define itself.

Islamist radicals abusing Somaliland’s democracy

Abdirahman M. Dirye


Having failed to forcibly impose a radical theocracy in Somaliland, militants have now turned to funding political parties to pursue their agenda.

Advocacy & campaigns

Ghanaian Socialists condemn Israel

Socialist Forum of Ghana


Statement on Israeli aggression on Gaza read at a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Obafemi Awolowo University needs urgent reform

Demmocratic Socialist Movement


Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife is run in an undemocratic manner, with students and other members of the institution excluded from critical decision-making. The 50-year-old university should embark on reform by first restoring the banned students union.

Books & arts

'Restless City' wins at Colours of the Nile International Film Festival

Kevin Kriedemann


While the films dealt with diverse subject matter, the jury was struck by a common thread – that of the displacement involved in migrant and immigrant lifestyles.

Letters & Opinions

Gen. Ham continues to serve as Commander of U.S. Africa Command

Benjamin Benson


Your article ‘Libya all in? Failed Nato mission exposes US generals’ of 15 Nov. by Horace G. Campbell ( contains a significant factual error. Gen. Ham has not been removed, and continues to serve as Commander of U.S. Africa Command. I urge you to correct this error following basic standards of journalism.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta’s announced intention to nominate Army Gen. David M. Rodriguez to succeed Army Gen. Carter F. Ham as the commander of U.S. Africa Command followed long planned leadership succession deliberations. The leadership transition at this important command has nothing to do with the attack on American personnel in Benghazi.

General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, noted "The speculation that General Carter Ham is departing Africa Command (AFRICOM) due to events in Benghazi, Libya on 11 September 2012 is absolutely false. General Ham's departure is part of routine succession planning that has been ongoing since July. He continues to serve in AFRICOM with my complete confidence." See

Benjamin Benson, Media Engagement, Chief
U.S. Africa Command, Public Affairs (J035)
Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart-Möhringen, Germany

Gen. Ham: A response to AFRICOM

Horace G. Campbell


The response of the Public Affairs Officer of AFRICOM shows that AFRICOM takes its media management seriously. The fact is that the retirement of General Carter Ham was announced on October 18 in the context of a review by the Pentagon of the events of September 11/12, 2012 in Benghazi, Libya.

The fact that the Department of Defense issued a press release on October 31 on the status of Carter Ham does not change the fact that the General will be replaced if and when David Rodriquez is confirmed.

The progressive scholarly community and the peace movement takes no comfort that Carter Ham is to be replaced by Army Gen. David M. Rodriguez. The historic close relationship between David M. Rodriquez and retired General Petraeus (as revealed in the biography of Petraeus, ‘All in: the Education of David Petraeus’) should elicit close scrutiny if the U.S. Congress does its work. Ultimately, whether General Carter Ham is retiring because of ‘long planned leadership succession deliberations’ or he was strongly advised to retire does not change the realities of the insecurity in Libya after the NATO intervention.

This author will accept the word of Benjamin Benson of the media management division of AFRICOM that Carter Ham was not, 'removed.' Whether removed or retiring because of 'succession deliberations' we await the full audit from General Ham of what happened in Libya and how AFRICOM contributed to the present lawlessness in Libya by this intervention.

Horace G Campbell
Professor of African American Studies and Political Science at Syracuse University

African Writers’ Corner

Fifty years of whining!

Uwineza Mimi Harriet


Where are we now?
Guinea pigs of slavery
Murderers of our own blood
while we sing of freedom!

Now complacent and helpless
Pretense of humanity

Suffocating Pluralism

Covering to suppress

How we whine!

Of foreigners’ deeds
Decorations of covered crimes?

What are we doing different?

How they turn into their graves!
The great heroes of motherland
Who fought through mountains and valleys!
Thinking it will come to pass!

* The poet Uwineza Mimi Harriet, is a M.A Candidate in Peace and Conflict Studies at Makerere University, a blogger, an author and activist. She has co-founded a think-tank called Peace Associates Network Africa and works with a human rights organization in the Horn of Africa.

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