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Pambazuka News 617: The scourge of violence: Kenya, Mali, South Africa and Haiti

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. Letters & Opinions


Kenya: Fears of poll violence as Mungiki re-emerges

Henry Makori


cc P C
There are rising fears that Mungiki is regrouping to possibly unleash another orgy of deadly violence should their preferred candidate, Uhuru Kenyatta, lose the presidential contest.

Threats, harassment of Kenya's top judge ahead of elections

Statement by Chief Justice/President of Supreme Court

Willy Mutunga


cc C FM
Days to the March 4 elections a gang purporting to act in the interest of Jubilee Coalition presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta threatens the Supreme Court president, who also complains of harassment by the all-powerful Head of the Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet, Francis Kimemia

The scourge of gender based violence in South Africa

Azwifaneli Managa and Bertha Chiroro


cc N P
South African women are regularly confronted with systemic sexual harassment, violence, and murder as the recent cases of Shrien Dewani, Anene Booysen and Reeva Steenkamp illustrate. Sustainable development will be unobtainable when women and children are brutalized by violence and any other form of gender based discrimination of which the state has a duty to prevent.

Big Oil, human rights and sustainable development in Africa

Implications of SERAP vs. Federal Republic of Nigeria (ECOWAS Court) 2012

Olivia Kokushubila Lwabukuna


cc E M
The latest court case represents a novel attempt by a regional tribunal to indirectly ensure that businesses carried out in Africa are socially conscious and responsible for the environment and economic as well as social development of the communities within which they operate

Mali, France and the war on terror in Africa

Is there an imminent threat of terrorism from West Africa?

Horace G. Campbell


cc N E
Africa has been demonized in the West for decades. To justify military intervention and imperialist expansion, Africa is today being depicted again as the scene of instability, violence and terrorism. The progressive forces for peace and social justice should mobilize against this planned remilitarization of the continent

An African chapter in the failed war on terror

The pitfalls of French military action in Mali

Joan Nimarko


cc L M
In the context of the crisis in Mali, the US intends to deploy military drones in neighbouring Niger suggesting that Europe and the US have not learnt from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Another protracted war involving innocent Malians looks likely, unless a viable regional solution can be implemented.

The West’s war against African development continues

Dan Glazebrook


cc L J
Tax havens, rising debt-extortion, loans to African military dictators, capital flight, unfair trade prices, militarization of Africa through AFRICOM are the many ways in which the West’s war against African development continues. The recent crisis in Mali and Algeria are being used by the West to further its domination over Africa.

Cholera and healthcare in Haiti

Sokari Ekine


cc B L
The problem with healthcare in Haiti is that there is no system, no structures, no plan - at least not one that has been implemented. The healthcare facilities are wholly inadequate

Comment & analysis

Angola: Is this the country Agostinho Neto dreamt of?

Abdulrazaq Magaji


The southern African nation is now peaceful and petro-dollars are pouring in. Yet the greatest beneficiaries are the United States, Great Britain and Portugal, the evil triad that laboured in vain to abort the Angolan dream

Two years later uprisings continue in Tunisia and Egypt

Neo-colonialism and the struggle for genuine democracy and national unity

Abayomi Azikiwe


The current struggles in Egypt and Tunisia must take into account the historical lessons of imperialist intervention and destabilization to create the conditions for genuine political and economic independence

Advocacy & campaigns

Africa Contact condemns severe punishment of Saharawi human rights activists

Africa Contact


Africa Contact strongly condemns the harsh and unjust sentences given February 17 by a Moroccan military court to 24 Saharawis - Western Sahara's indigenous population - just for demanding the right to live in their own country without Moroccan occupation and discrimination

Breakthrough enables individual complaints on economic, social and cultural rights


The Protocol makes a strong and unequivocal statement about the equal value and importance of all human rights and the need for strengthened legal protection of economic, social and cultural rights in particular

British MPs: Sentencing of Western Sahara activists “travesty of justice”


Several British MP’s have joined prominent campaigners including film director Ken Loach in condemning the sentencing of 24 Saharawi activists by a military tribunal in Morocco at the weekend. In a letter published in the Guardian newspaper, the Members of Parliament describe the sentences, most of which ranged from 20 years to life imprisonment as “a travesty of justice”.

Burundian government must stop harassing civil society and media



CIVICUS, the global civil society network, and the Ligue des Droits de la personne dans la région des Grandes Lacs (LDGL), warn about rising levels of harassment of civil society activists and journalists in Burundi. They urge the Government of Burundi to respect its constitutional and international law obligations on human rights.

Eradicating dissent in post-Mubarak Egypt

Civil society face new repressive laws


International NGOs would not be allowed to settle and activate in Egypt without prior authorisation. Receiving foreign government funding, directly or indirectly, would be flatly prohibited

Statement concerning assassination of Chokri Belaid


This assassination aims at silencing voices fighting for dignity, freedom and social justice; it aims to create a climate of fear and hatred and to push Tunisia towards a cycle of violence

Letters & Opinions

Zuma targets protesters while taking no serious action on violence against women

Unemployed People’s Movement


Our country is reeling with shock at the ongoing rape and violence against women, rich women and poor women, white women and black women, by men of all races and classes. And our country is reeling in shock at the levels of corruption. The trial of the Mpsiane's in KwaZulu-Natal has shown just how extreme the situation has become in terms of government corruption. But we are also reeling in shock from the corruption scandals around MTN, the construction cartel and other big corporates that have even go so far as to fix the price of bread.

We would have expected a decent President to announce special courts to deal with rape and violence against women. We would have expected a decent President to announce special courts to deal with corruption. Instead we get special courts for protesters!

Zuma is more like Ben Ali or Mubarak than a true representative of the people. His conduct in his own rape trial was shocking. No one could ever say that he is a leader that has the moral authority to take a stand against corruption. He has militarised the police and said nothing when poor people's movements are openly repressed by the police and the ANC. Now he pretends that violence is coming from protesters when we all know that in most cases it is the police that bring violence into the equation. There is a very long list of protesters that have been killed by the police since 2000. In fact the number stands at more than 70! What kind of democracy is this where the police can kill more than 70 protesters?


Ayanda Kota 078 625 6462 (Spokesperson, UPM Eastern Cape)

Motsi Khokhoma 073 490 76 23 (Spokesperson, UPM Free State)

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