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Category Archives: Africa

Panthers in Algiers

In 1951 I left the US for Europe. I was working as a translator and interpreter in the new postwar world of international organisations: UN agencies, trade-union bodies, student and youth associations. My plan was to visit France briefly, but I stayed nearly ten years. For anyone living in Paris, the Algerian war was inescapable. Where did your sympathies lie? Which side were you on? In 1960 at an international youth conference in Accra, I struck up a friendship with the two Algerian representatives: Frantz Fanon, a roving ambassador for the Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic, and Mohamed Sahnoun of the exiled Algerian student movement. After the conference, I flew to New York, where I met Abdelkader Chanderli, the head of the Algerian Office, as the unofficial Algerian mission at the UN was known. Chanderli invited me to join his team, lobbying UN member states to support Algerian independence.

Source: Elaine Mokhtefi · Diary: Panthers in Algiers · LRB 1 June 2017

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2017 in Africa, North America

 

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Weg mit den Rettern

Der Anfang scheint gemacht. Am Wochenende stellten die Organisationen Ärzte ohne Grenzen und Sea-Eye ihre Rettungsaktionen für schiffbrüchige Flüchtlinge im Mittelmeer bis auf Weiteres ein. Andere werden wohl folgen. Denn Libyen hat eine nationale SAR-Zone (abgeleitet von “Search and Rescue”, deutsch: “Suchen und Retten”) ausgerufen, die weit über die libyschen Hoheitsgewässer hinausreicht. Und die Regierung in Tripolis, die im Land selbst kaum etwas regiert, hat die privaten Helfer ausdrücklich gewarnt, diese Zone zu befahren.

Die Drohung ist ernst zu nehmen, denn zu Wasser ist Libyen gut bestückt. Man hat aus Europa moderne Schiffe für die Küsten- und Seekontrolle bekommen, dazu viel Geld und Ausbildungskurse und was man sonst noch so braucht für den kleinen Seekrieg vor der Haustür.

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/italien-weg-mit-den-rettern-a-1162725.html

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2017 in Africa, European Union

 

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Libyan Camps for Refugees Are Not the Answer

The confidential report that European Union diplomats sent to Brussels following their visit to a refugee camp in Libya didn’t mince words. “The conditions … conform to expectations,” the diplomats wrote, “poor sanitation, space and overall hygiene: unfit to host over 1,000 migrants in detention.” The report, labeled “EU restricted,” went on to note that the living conditions were “squalid” and “the small medical dispensary (was) a miserable sight.”

http://m.spiegel.de/international/world/eu-seeks-solution-to-trans-mediterannean-refugee-crisis-a-1161436.html

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2017 in Africa

 

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Trump’s Flirtation with Violence

Some people might have dismissed Donald Trump’s recent tweet of a video clip showing him punching the face of a man with a CNN logo on his head as yet another example of the US president’s vulgar buffoonery – unseemly, perhaps, but par for the course. But others have pointed to something more sinister – and for good reason.Trump has consistently denigrated press coverage that is critical of his administration as “fake news,” just as he has sought to undermine the authority of the independent judiciary by branding those who disoblige him as “so-called” judges. He is in the habit of tweeting these offensive epithets directly to “the people,” a type of communication he calls “modern day presidential.” In fact, the act of undermining democratic institutions by abusing them in front of braying mobs is not modern at all. It is what aspiring dictators have always done.

Source: Trump’s Flirtation with Violence by Ian Buruma – Project Syndicate

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2017 in Africa, North America

 

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The Anti-Cairo

The new capital of Egypt has no residents. It doesn’t have a local source of water. It just lost a major developer, the Chinese state company that had agreed to build the first phase. You might say the planned city in the desert 45 kilometers east of Cairo doesn’t have a reason to exist. Urban planner David Sims told the Wall Street Journal, “Egypt needs a new capital like a hole in the head.” 1What the project has going for it is a president who likes to talk big. Five million inhabitants big. An amusement park “four times the size of Disneyland” big. Seven hundred hospitals and clinics, 1,200 mosques and churches, 40,000 hotel rooms, 2,000 schools — that kind of big. 2 Yes, and fast, too. Standing with the Emir of Dubai beside a model of the new city, in March 2015, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi declared that construction would proceed immediately. “What are you talking about, ten years?” He turned to his housing minister. “I’m serious. We don’t work that way. Not ten years, not seven years. No way.” 3

Source: The Anti-Cairo

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2017 in Africa, Reportages

 

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China’s Appetite Pushes Fisheries to the Brink 

Once upon a time, the seas teemed with mackerel, squid and sardines, and life was good. But now, on opposite sides of the globe, sun-creased fishermen lament as they reel in their nearly empty nets.

“Your net would be so full of fish, you could barely heave it onto the boat,” said Mamadou So, 52, a fisherman in Senegal, gesturing to the meager assortment of tiny fish flapping in his wooden canoe.

A world away in eastern China, Zhu Delong, 75, also shook his head as his net dredged up a disappointing array of pinkie-size shrimp and fledgling yellow croakers. “When I was a kid, you could cast a line out your back door and hook huge yellow croakers,” he said. “Now the sea is empty.”

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/30/world/asia/chinas-appetite-pushes-fisheries-to-the-brink.html?referer=

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2017 in Africa, Asia

 

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The Tunisia emergency: From Arab Spring ideal to military poster child

In a now-signature move, the government of Tunisia on 16 May again extended the state of emergency that has been in place since a series of deadly attacks carried out by Islamic State (IS) in 2015.The Los Angeles Times explains that Tunisia’s emergency law “gives the government stepped-up powers to deal with suspected terrorists but also curtails to a degree the rights of ordinary citizens”, such as freedom of assembly.

Source: The Tunisia emergency: From Arab Spring ideal to military poster child | Middle East Eye

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2017 in Africa

 

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We must look to the past, not Isis, for the true meaning of Islam 

After the Manchester massacre… yes, and after Nice and Paris, Mosul and Abu Ghraib and 7/7 and the Haditha massacre – remember those 28 civilians, including children, killed by US Marines, four more than Manchester but no minute’s silence for them? And of course 9/11…Counterbalancing cruelty is no response, of course. Just a reminder. As long as we bomb the Middle East instead of seeking justice there, we too will be attacked. But what we must concentrate upon, according to the monstrous Trump, is terror, terror, terror, terror, terror. And fear. And security. Which we will not have while we are promoting death in the Muslim world and selling weapons to its dictators. Believe in “terror” and Isis wins. Believe in justice and Isis is defeated.

Source: We must look to the past, not Isis, for the true meaning of Islam | The Independent

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2017 in Africa

 

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To prevent another week of terror, our state must not become a vast Isis recruiting sergeant 

The massacre in Manchester is a horrific event born out of the violence raging in a vast area stretching from Pakistan to Nigeria and Syria to South Sudan. Britain is on the outer periphery of this cauldron of war, but it would be surprising if we were not hit by sparks thrown up by these savage conflicts. They have been going on so long that they are scarcely reported, and the rest of the world behaves as if perpetual warfare was the natural state of Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, South Sudan, North-east Nigeria and Afghanistan.It is inevitable that, in the wake of the slaughter in Manchester, popular attention in Britain should be focussed on the circumstances of the mass killing and on what can be done to stop it happening again. But explanations for what happened and plans to detect and neutralise a very small number of Salafi-jihadi fanatics in UK, will always lack realism unless they are devised and implemented with a broad understanding of the context in which they occur.

Source: To prevent another week of terror, our state must not become a vast Isis recruiting sergeant | The Independent

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2017 in Africa, Europe

 

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The region in Niger quietly piloting a Boko Haram amnesty 

In mid-December 2016, in rural Diffa region on Niger’s southern border with Nigeria, fourteen men gave themselves up to authorities. The group said that they were former fighters of Boko Haram and that they had abandoned their weapons in the bush.

News of this impromptu surrender from the Islamist militant group responsible for tens of thousands of deaths and millions of displacements came as a surprise to most in the area. But not to regional authorities.

Since late last year, they had been quietly testing a tactic of asking families whose children have joined Boko Haram to spread word of an amnesty. If they surrendered, fighters were told, they would be pardoned and assisted in rejoining their communities.

http://africanarguments.org/2017/04/20/region-niger-quietly-piloting-boko-haram-amnesty/

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Africa

 

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