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Category Archives: Africa

‘It’s life and death’: how the growth of Addis Ababa has sparked ethnic tensions

Drive out of Addis Ababa’s new central business district, with its five-star hotels, banks and gleaming office blocks. Head south, along the traffic-choked avenues lined with new apartment blocks, cafes, cheap hotels and, in the neighbourhood where the European Union has its offices, several excellent restaurants. Go past a vast new church, the cement skeletons of several dozen unfinished housing developments, under a new highway and swing left round the vast construction site from which the new terminal for the Ethiopian capital’s main international airport is rising.Here, the tarmac gives way to cobbles and grit and the city loosens its hold. Goats crop a parched field beside corrugated iron and breezeblock sheds, home to a shifting population of labourers and their families. Children in spotless uniforms neatly avoid fetid open drains as they walk home from school. Long-horned cattle wander. Beyond the airport, the road splits into a series of gravel tracks that quickly become dusty paths across fields, which take you to the village of Weregenu.There is nothing remotely exceptional about Weregenu. It is just another cluster of flimsy homes like many others around, and within, Addis Ababa. Nor is there much exceptional about the series of demolitions here over recent months. As the Ethiopian capital expands, it needs housing, rubbish dumps, space for factories. All land is theoretically owned by the government, merely leased by tenants, and when the government says go, you have to go. So Weregenu’s thousand or so inhabitants know they are living on borrowed time. All have been warned that the bulldozers will come back.

Source: ‘It’s life and death’: how the growth of Addis Ababa has sparked ethnic tensions | Cities | The Guardian

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2017 in Africa

 

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‘We All Live in Fear’: How Climate Change Is Devastating to Refugees

“I had 120 animals,” Amina Abdul Hussein, a mother of three tells me as we sit inside her ragged cloth tent in Maxamad Mooge camp, temporarily shielded from the midday glare of the sun. “But the drought killed all of them.”Dozens of unofficial camps like this are scattered across the outskirts of Hargeisa, the capital of the self-declared independent state of Somaliland in East Africa. The UNHCR reports that nearly 40,000 people have already been forced out of their native rural villages by drought in the last three months. Trigged by El Niño, the drought has been worsened by climate change, according to a new study published by the American Meteorological Society.

Source: ‘We All Live in Fear’: How Climate Change Is Devastating to Refugees – Vice

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2017 in Africa

 

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Isis has finally reached central Egypt – but that’s not even al-Sisi’s biggest problem

So it’s back to Egypt’s ghastly prisons, no arrest warrants, fearful interrogations, and a presidential state of emergency which brings the army back onto the streets. But it’s also a frightening prospect for President al-Sisi in the aftermath of the church attacks and the slaughter of 45 Coptic Christians – for it means that Isis has “crossed the canal”, something which his army has been trying to prevent for months.

Donald Trump may think that al-Sisi has done “a fantastic job in a very difficult situation” but in fact he’s done a deplorable job, presiding over multiple disappearances of anyone the police don’t like, allowing torture to resume in police stations (we should not forget the Italian student found tortured and murdered beside a highway outside Cairo), and pretending that the Muslim Brotherhood, whose government he overthrew in a coup d’etat, is Isis.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/isis-egypt-cairo-coptic-christians-murdered-president-al-sisi-emergency-laws-a7675936.html

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2017 in Africa

 

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Sul genocidio del Ruanda ci sono ancora molte domande aperte 

A distanza di 23 anni, la conoscenza del genocidio compiuto dagli estremisti hutu contro i tutsi – di cui sono state vittime anche numerosi tra i cosiddetti hutu moderati – non è ancora diventata patrimonio comune. Il trascorrere del tempo, in teoria, potrebbe avere una funzione positiva: l’enormità del massacro, la sua dinamica complicata, la storia precedente e le cronache successive, richiedono studi e analisi approfondite. Ma la sensazione è che il passare degli anni giochi contro la costruzione di una memoria collettiva di quel genocidio. La stessa giornata istituita dalle Nazioni Unite per ricordarne l’inizio, il 7 aprile, sembra appassionare sempre meno.

Source: Sul genocidio del Ruanda ci sono ancora molte domande aperte – Daniele Scaglione – Internazionale

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2017 in Africa

 

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The Guardian view on South Sudan: don’t punish the starving 

Even in the context of years of obscene crimes against its citizens, the news that South Sudan’s government is threatening to hike the cost of work permits for foreigners a hundredfold, from $100 to as much as $10,000, is horrifying. Without permits, aid workers trying to feed civilians who are starving in a famine caused by three years of vicious conflict cannot operate. What began with a rift between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar, has fractured the country along ethnic lines. Atrocities have been committed by all parties; civilians and their livelihoods have been deliberately and repeatedly targeted. In December, the chair of the UN commission on civil rights in South Sudan warned that the country stood on the brink of an all-out ethnic civil war. Aid workers already face harassment and attacks and are blocked from areas in desperate need. Now the government is trying to profiteer from efforts to save the lives put in peril through its own self-interest.

Source: The Guardian view on South Sudan: don’t punish the starving | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2017 in Africa

 

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‘It’s life and death’: how the growth of Addis Ababa has sparked ethnic tensions

Drive out of Addis Ababa’s new central business district, with its five-star hotels, banks and gleaming office blocks. Head south, along the traffic-choked avenues lined with new apartment blocks, cafes, cheap hotels and, in the neighbourhood where the European Union has its offices, several excellent restaurants. Go past a vast new church, the cement skeletons of several dozen unfinished housing developments, under a new highway and swing left round the vast construction site from which the new terminal for the Ethiopian capital’s main international airport is rising.

Here, the tarmac gives way to cobbles and grit and the city loosens its hold. Goats crop a parched field beside corrugated iron and breezeblock sheds, home to a shifting population of labourers and their families. Children in spotless uniforms neatly avoid fetid open drains as they walk home from school. Long-horned cattle wander. Beyond the airport, the road splits into a series of gravel tracks that quickly become dusty paths across fields, which take you to the village of Weregenu.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/mar/13/life-death-growth-addis-ababa-racial-tensions

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2017 in Africa

 

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Facing Famine, 20 Million People Need Food, Not Bombs

By Amy Goodman and Denis MoynihanDemocracy NowThe world is facing the most serious humanitarian catastrophe since the end of World War II. Twenty million people are at risk of starving to death in Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria and South Sudan.

Source: Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan: Facing Famine, 20 Million People Need Food, Not Bombs

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Africa, Middle East

 

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Libya, not Syria, will be the foundation on which Trump and Putin build their new world order

The focus of Nato’s conference in Brussels, the first since Donald Trump got to the White House, was on the message he sent to an organisation of Western allies he had called “obsolete” while speaking of his admiration for Vladimir Putin.

The message, a veiled threat, conveyed by US defence secretary James Mattis, was that the continuing failure of the alliance to pay its share on security would lead to the US reevaluating its commitment to the defence of Europe. That and the continuing fallout over Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn’s departure after clandestine contacts with the Russians, were the sources of fascination and foreboding here.

Source: Libya, not Syria, will be the foundation on which Trump and Putin build their new world order

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2017 in Africa

 

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Europe’s migration trade with Egypt

Long before the advent of the “migration crisis,” Italy signed a series of deals with Libya’s Colonel Muammar Qadhafi designed to stop thousands of mostly African migrants from reaching the shores of Europe.Between 2006 and 2011, Qadhafi took billions in development money and, in return, enforced Europe’s borders. Tens of thousands of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants were held in detention facilities where human rights groups reported physical abuse, torture and, in some cases, the use of lethal force.

Source: Europe’s migration trade with Egypt | MadaMasr

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2017 in Africa, European Union

 

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EU sets out €200-million plan to combat illegal Mediterranean migration from Libya

EU leaders have approved a deal to step up training, the supply of equipment and other support for the Libyan coastguard, following a summit in Malta today that was backed by Presidency Council head Faiez Serraj.

The move is part of a wider, new €200-million plan to stem the flow of migrants from Libya across the Mediterranean. This also includes upgrading migrant camps in Libya, along with the IOM and UNHCR, and funding to the IOM to help the repatriation of migrants who do not have a case for asylum.

Source: EU sets out €200-million plan to combat illegal Mediterranean migration from Libya

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2017 in Africa

 

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