23 March 2012 — Pambazuka
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Pambazuka News (English edition): ISSN 1753-6839
CONTENTS: 1. Features, 2. Announcements, 3. Comment & analysis, 4. Advocacy & campaigns, 5. Letters & Opinions
CONGOLESE VOTE, BUT WHO DECIDES?
Given the importance of DRC as a land of considerable natural wealth, the major powers prefer leaders with no national constituency who are easy to manipulate like Joseph Kabila to those like Etienne Tshisekedi who are unapologetically nationalist.
SENEGALESE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS: A MISSED OPPORTUNITY
The electoral campaign has been about interpretation of the constitution, the age of the incumbent, his son’s future, and so on. But the underlying problems of underdevelopment have not been addressed.
INVESTIGATIONS AROUND LIBYA
NATO’S craven cover-up of its Libyan bombing
A new UN report strongly suggests that the rush to a NATO ‘humanitarian intervention’ might have been made on exaggerated evidence, and that NATO’s own military intervention might have been less than ‘humanitarian’ in its effects.
KONY2012: MILITARIZATION AND DISINFORMATION BLOWBACK
‘This Kony2012 video has reinforced my own conviction that demilitarization and peace in Africa is intricately connected to demilitarization and peace in the United States.’
WHITE SAVIOURS, BLACK VICTIMS: AN OLD STORY
What is really disturbing about Invisible Children is, if a group of Africans had made the Kony2012 film would it have got the publicity from around the world? Would they have been able to raise the funds to make the video in the first place?
SELF-DETERMINATION OF THE INTERSEX CHILD
Implications for homosexual adults living in a homophobic world
Akinyi M. Ocholla
Intersex individuals must be afforded the right to self-determination, dignity, and privacy from childhood through adulthood.
CREATING VIOLENCE-FREE CHILDHOODS: WHAT WILL IT TAKE?
Violence against children is a complex problem that requires a holistic solution. In this article, Uganda-based Raising Voices explains the different elements that are needed to add up to sustainable change.
THE LONDON CONFERENCE ON SOMALIA: RHETORIC AND REALITY
Will the rhetoric at the London meeting change the reality on the ground in Somalia? Maybe. But the motives of Prime Minister David Cameron and other world leaders, especially those from eastern Africa, are not above suspicion.
SUDDEN INTEREST IN SOMALIA POINTS TO SUSPECT WESTERN CORPORATE INTERESTS
Even if the London Conference on Somalia hosted by the UK government last month may not have been yet another business opportunity for Western governments and companies, the timing is certainly suspect.
HAVE POLITICIANS JOINED WARLORDS AND PROFITEERS IN THE PLUNDER OF SOMALIA?
Somalia’s transitional administration is mired in corruption. Like other players in the lawless nation, the government has contributed to the suffering of its own people.
WHY CLIMATE-SMART AGRICULTURE WON’T WORK
Much of the energy expended by official ‘world-savers’ – governments, policy wonks, multilateral institutions and the like – is devoted to devising news ways to cash in on the next ‘development’ era.
UN BODY ‘APPALLED’ BY ISRAEL’S RACIAL SEGREGATION POLICIES
Adri Nieuwhof and Mireille Fanon Mendes-France
Israel is criticised for violating the right to equality in a new report by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The committee underscores its unease at allegations of ongoing discrimination against Ethiopian Jews.
THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN NATION-BUILDING IN SOUTH SUDAN
The challenge of gender parity in South Sudan is less in the provisions of the constitution but more in implementation of the rights provided for at the state and local levels.
WHAT DO THE NEW WORLD BANK POVERTY STATISTICS REALLY TELL US?
Robin Broad and John Cavanagh
The statistics upon which most poverty elimination strategies are based are extremely misleading and often steer experts toward the wrong solutions.
MODERN SLAVERY OF ETHIOPIAN WOMEN
Bilene Seyoum raises critical points concerning the safety of Ethiopian domestic workers in the Middle East, suggesting that governments in the region could be institutionalizing a form of modern day slavery.
SIEMENS MAKES ILLEGAL WINDMILL DEAL IN OCCUPIED WESTERN SAHARA
According to international law, it is illegal to trade or dispose of resources in occupied Western Sahara without the consent of Western Sahara’s indigenous population who also have to benefit from any such dealings.
CONVERSATIONS WITH MY STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS (2)
Remembering Alex Ibru
Violence has been visited personally on some of the most illustrious sons of the country in recent years.
REDRESS TO MARK 20 YEARS WITH LITERARY EVENT
REDRESS helps torture survivors to obtain justice and reparation.
3 Comment & analysis
LOOPHOLES IN GHANA’S BUDGETARY PROCESS
Parliament is supposed to play a key oversight role in budgeting, but that is not the case in Ghana. This is one of the areas of institutional reform that need urgent attention.
NIGERIAN DENIERS OF BIAFRA GENOCIDE
The deniers of the Nigerian genocide may deny it as much as they like, but their denial will never erase the fact that this heinous crime occurred.
SEX TOYS TO SAVE ZIMBABWE’S HOMOSEXUALITY IN PRISONS
If there is any meaningful change it should be providing condoms, which the government has refused to do.
4 Advocacy & campaigns
OAKLAND INSTITUTE’S OPEN LETTER TO THE GOVERNMENT OF ETHIOPIA
The Oakland Institute, which has been producing some critical reports on land grabs in Africa, reports how the Ministry of Agriculture in Ethiopia has suspended land allocations to take time for assessment.
PETITION CAMPAIGN ON BEHALF OF CHAGOS ISLANDERS
Human rights group wants Obama administration to remedy the harms that Chagosians have been suffering.
SIGN ON TO PROTECT THE RIGHT TO WATER
Efforts are being made to remove the human right to water and sanitation from the Rio+20 negotiating text.
UGANDAN LGBT PERSONS SPEAK OUT
Uganda Universal Periodic Review session 19th Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland. 16 March 2012.
WORLD WATER FORUM PAVES WAY TO PRIVATIZE NATURE, UNDERMINE RIGHT TO WATER IN RIO+20
Statement by Maude Barlow, Chair, Council of Canadians, and Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch
The World Water Forum held in Marseille, France was an opportunity for multinational water companies to make money out of nature.
5 Letters & Opinions
CONTAMINATED JAPANESE FOOD FOR AFRICA
I just got information that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan has agreed with the World Food Programme to export canned fish, including that produced in disaster-affected areas to the following countries: Ghana, Congo, Senegal, Cambodia and Sri Lanka.
MAMDANI’S ARTICLE ON KONY VIDEO AN EYE OPENER ON RWANDA
Professor Mamdani’s article ( http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/80787 ) on the Kony video is an eye opener for the situation in Rwanda as well. He writes: ‘The solution is not to eliminate the LRA physically…At its core the LRA remains a Ugandan problem calling for a Ugandan political solution.’
By analogy, the solution in Rwanda is not to eliminate the Hutu physically…At its core the Hutu problem remains a Rwandan problem calling for a Rwandan political solution.
We Congolese have had enough to bear the brunt of the Ugandan and Rwandan internal problems which they export into our country.
SIMONE GBAGBO: IT IS TIME FOR PROGRESSIVE WOMEN TO SPEAK OUT
Simone, wife of President Laurent Gbagbo of Cote d’Ivoire, is a political prisoner. The only reason why she’s in prison today is because her husband was overthrown in a military coup by the forces of the man under whose order she’s currently languishing in jail. Simone didn’t commit any crime. Indeed she won her parliamentary seat handily in the 2010 elections, and unlike the presidential election, that election result wasn’t contested by opposing parties. As women around the world celebrate International Women’s Day, and given that the month of March is dedicated to attracting attention to women’s issues, one needs to ask why there’s silence from all quarters about the ignoble treatment Simone Gbagbo is being subjected to.
THE GUISE OF GROWTH
I’m involved in the Occupy movement, so I absolutely agree that capitalism is the system perpetuating these problems. My question is, what, if anything, can American activists do that will be to Africa’s greatest benefit? Sorry if this question is vague, naive, or frustrating – it seems your article is suggesting that what the western world needs to do is in fact to stop meddling with Africa – but one thing activists can do is to agitate to stop such meddling, both in the form of exploitation and in the form of creating dependence.
Fahamu – Networks For Social Justice
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End of Pambazuka-news Digest, Vol 216, Issue 3