Winds of change, governance deficits and the way forward for Africa
2011-07-13, Issue 539
© IRINThe social unrest that has swept through Africa in 2011 has its roots in the stripping of African economies by international finance, argues Pambazuka News editor-in-chief Firoze Manji, in a speech delivered for the Beyond Juba Distinguished Lecture on 22 June. Now is the time to map out a path towards emancipation, he writes.
2011-05-25, Issue 531
cc WikimediaReflecting on the availability of documentary sources, Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe discusses the history of the Igbo genocide.
2011-05-19, Issue 530
cc Wikimedia29 May 1966, the Igbo Day of Affirmation, marks both the start of the 1966 genocide against the Igbo people and the day they decided to survive the violence unleashed against them, writes Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe.
A conversation with Obang Metho
Alemayehu G. Mariam
2010-12-16, Issue 510
cc TurkairoIn conversation with Obang Metho, executive director of the Anuak Justice Council and the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia, Alemayehu G. Mariam discusses the forgotten genocide of the Anuak, ‘in solemn anticipation of the seventh anniversary’ of the massacres over the period 13–16 December.
2010-11-18, Issue 505
cc hoteldephilFollowing concerted efforts to deny the Rwandan genocide from Edward Herman & David Peterson, Adam Jones urges Pambazuka readers to ‘do what they can to spread word of Herman & Peterson's denialist enterprise’.
2010-10-21, Issue 501
cc U.S. Air ForcePerspectives on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Tanzania’s forthcoming election and a new report accusing British banks of complicity in Nigerian corruption are among the topics in this week’s round-up of the African blogosphere, by Dibussi Tande.
2010-01-21, Issue 466
cc WikimediaDebate over who was behind the assassination of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana has raged for nearly 16 years, writes Gerald Caplan. But a new report, prepared by an ‘Independent Committee of Experts’ appointed by the government of Rwanda, makes ‘a major contribution to settling the great question of who was responsible’ for Habyarimana’s death on 6 April 1994, two days before the genocide began.
African Union says only 1,500 Darfuris died in 2008
Bruce A. Dixon
2009-07-16, Issue 442
Stopping genocide is apolitical, purely a matter of conscience and goodwill. At least, that's what the Save Darfur campaign would have us believe, says Bruce A. Dixon. While Save Darfur's good-vs-evil battle has consistently touted a total figure of 400,000 dead in Darfur, sources on the ground indicate that there were actually around 1,500 deaths last year. That people are dying is not to be minimised or downplayed, Dixon contends, but the notion that the US's global might is needed to slay a unified evil is increasingly revealing itself as purely a means to establish domestic consent for military intervention in Africa.
2009-07-02, Issue 440
cc Murky1With the US Senate approving a resolution formally acknowledging the historic injustice behind slavery and the country's 'Jim Crow' laws on 18 June, Horace Campbell asks 'Why now?' Coming in the same week as a call for a new, multi-polar world order from the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, the timing of the apology from a US Senate edgy about the internationalisation of reparations claims is no coincidence, Campbell argues. But with the Senate clear that the resolution offers no scope for any 'claim' against the United States, Campbell situates such action within an established tradition of pre-emptive apologies designed to inhibit further action. With political circles in the US keen to ensure the country's access to Africa's abundant resources, resolutions such as the US Senate's represent an attempt to replace crude conservative tactics with a more nuanced approach to imperial expansion, Campbell contends, an approach which must be countered by sustained will from progressive forces around the world to see reparative justice fulfilled.
2009-06-11, Issue 437
cc flickr.comIn an interview with British television producer Colette Valentine and media consultant Ali Gunn following their visit to Sudan, Afshin Rattansi discusses Western media distortions of actual conditions in the Darfur region. Emphasising that they saw no evidence of genocide and were free to talk to whomever they chose within government camps, Valentine and Gunn state that much of the media's reporting on Darfur is 'cheap and lazy'. The interviewees also report that the International Criminal Court's (ICC) indictment of President Omar al-Bashir has actually increased the president's popularity among the electorate, and that they themselves were confronted over the international media's portrayal of Darfur.
IBUKA, AVEGA and AERG
2009-06-11, Issue 437
cc D ProfferIn response to a 1 June Human Rights Watch letter calling for the transfer of Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) soldiers to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the umbrella organisation IBUKA expresses concern over the absence of measures to bring Western parties complicit in Rwanda's 1994 tragedy to task. While broadly applauding Human Rights Watch's commitment to justice, IBUKA and its associates AVEGA and AERG take issue with the letter's suggestions that RPF soldiers should be tried in the same manner as genocidaires. Missing from the discussion, IBUKA contends, is the role of Western governments in the genocide, an omission which needs to be swiftly rectified if rich countries are not simply to be immune from international justice.
10 years, 10 lessons
2009-05-21, Issue 433
cc David BlumeHaving been asked in 1998 to write a report on Rwanda's 1994 genocide by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), Gerald Caplan outlines a series of 10 broad lessons about genocide. Stressing his conviction that the ultimate purpose of knowing about genocide should be to have something to say about its prevention, the author argues that there should be no hierarchy when considering genocides committed around the world. Citing the ultimate conclusions of Primo Levi, a Jewish–Italian survivor of Auschwitz, Caplan underlines the troubling reality that rather than increasing the resolve not to see history repeated, the existence of one genocide merely affirms the possibility of future tragedy elsewhere in the world. While history suggests that there is ample reason for cynicism, Caplan concludes however that committed action on the part of the public and civil society represents a genuine means of forcing the UN Security Council to put the welfare of those suffering above its members' interests.
Kwesi Kwaa Prah
2009-04-30, Issue 430
cc Andrew HeavensIn response to Mahmood Mamdani's article 'Beware of human rights fundamentalism', Kwesi Kwaa Prah questions Mamdani's grasp of history. Taking issue with Mamdani's contention that 'Arabs never constituted a single racial group' in Sudan, Prah argues for the people of Southern Sudan's self-rule and a halt to the 'Arabisation' of Africans.
How the ICC’s “responsibility to protect” is being turned into an assertion of neocolonial domination
2008-09-17, Issue 396
On July 14, after much advance publicity and fanfare, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court applied for an arrest warrant for the president of Sudan, Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, on charges that included genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Important questions of fact arise from the application as presented by the prosecutor. But even more important is the light this case sheds on the politics of the “new humanitarian order.”...
Jegede Ademola Oluborode
2008-09-10, Issue 396
(We) are unable to forgive what (we) cannot punish and (we) are unable to punish what has turned out to be unforgivable - Hannah Arendt  INTRODUCTION The granting of amnesty  is by no means new in history. Religious testaments, notably th...
2008-07-30, Issue 391
1. AU MEMBER STATES MUST STRENGTHEN CAPACITY OF THE AU COMMISSION AND ASSEMBLY OF HEADS OF STATES TO COPE SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH LONG-TERM DEVELOPMENT GOALS, AND ‘EMERGENCY’ ISSUES SUCH AS ZIMBABWE:...
Communist Party of Sudan
2008-07-30, Issue 391
Statement of the Communist Party of Sudan The inclusion of the name of the President of the Republic of the Sudan among those wanted for justice by the International Criminal Court, increases the complications engulfing the crisis prevailing in th...
International Crisis Group
2008-07-24, Issue 390
The application by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for a warrant of arrest for Sudanese President Omar Bashir for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur creates both big opportunities and big risks for peace in Sudan. These are the first charges of genocide and the first charges against a head of state to be brought before the ICC. The judges will now have to weigh the Prosecutor’s evidence and decide – a process that could take some months– whether to issue the arrest warrant.
2008-07-14, Issue 388
It is now fashionable in academic and activist circles to speak of transitional justice in normative, inflexible terms that suggest a utopian certainty, writes Makau Mutua. Nothing could be further from the truth. At the outset, we need to understand that transitional justice concepts are experimental – good experiments to be sure – but that they do not offer us tested panacea because they are essentially works in progress. This is not meant to diminish the utility of the concepts or to throw cold water on them as a beachhead for recovering societies with a legacy of traumatic conflict. Rather, it is to recognize their limitation so that we do not stampede to the temple only to find it empty of the goddess of truth.
2008-06-05, Issue 378
Although often overlooked amidst the shocking images and stories emanating from the xenophobic attacks of the last two weeks, there is a gendered face of xenophobia, says Romi Fuller. Foreign women face the double jeopardy of belonging to and being at the intersection of two groups so vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and violence. This something the country must consider as it moves towards healing and responding to the needs of the injured and displaced.
2008-05-22, Issue 374
In the Congo, where tens of thousands of women are brutally raped every year, Dr. Denis Mukwege repairs their broken bodies and souls. Eve Ensler visits him and finds hope amid the horror.
2008-04-03, Issue 359
François-Xavier Nsanzuwera reflects about Captain Diagne Mbaye, a true exemplar of Pan-Africanism who dies in Rwanda as he fought against the 1994 genocide
2008-03-13, Issue 356
Hillary Kundishora looks at the state of electronic and print media in Zimbabwe and argues that far from the media being the people's watchdog, it is the propaganda arm of the state machinery. With independent media harassed or banned, the promise of democracy has already been undermined
2008-03-12, Issue 354
Blessing-Miles Tendi argues that If Mugabe is to stand trial for crimes against humanity, he must do so as close as possible to the site of his crimes - Zimbabwe
Yitiha Simbeye & Chidi Odinkalu
2007-12-12, Issue 332
The authors of the article argue that giving Africans ready access to the kind of information contained in the archives will play a part in fighting the apathy that catapulted events in Rwanda from civil strife to genocide.
An interview with the special rapporteur on refugees and displaced persons in Africa
2007-11-13, Issue 328
Bahame Tom Mukirya Nyanduga, commissioner responsible for upholding the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ rights talks to Hakima Abbas about Africa’s commitment to protecting refugees and his belief that democratic states that tolerate diversity do not experience the conflict that generates the displacement of their citizens.