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Category Archives: Africa

Still Becoming: At Home In Lagos

Lagos will not court you. It is a city that is what it is. I have lived part-time in Lagos for 10 years and I complain about it each time I return from my home in the US — its allergy to order, its stultifying traffic, its power cuts. I like, though, that nothing about Lagos was crafted for the tourist, nothing done to appeal to the visitor. Tourism has its uses, but it can mangle a city, especially a developing city, and flatten it into a permanent shape of service: the city’s default becomes a simpering bow, and its people turn the greyest parts of themselves into colourful props. In this sense, Lagos has a certain authenticity because it is indifferent to ingratiating itself; it will treat your love with an embrace, and your hate with a shrug. What you see in Lagos is what Lagos truly is.

And what do you see? A city in a state of shifting impermanence. A place still becoming. In newer Lagos, houses sprout up on land reclaimed from the sea, and in older Lagos, buildings are knocked down so that ambitious new ones might live. A street last seen six months ago is different today, sometimes imperceptibly so — a tiny store has appeared at a corner — and sometimes baldly so, with a structure gone, or shuttered, or expanded. Shops come and go. Today, a boutique’s slender mannequin in a tightly pinned dress; tomorrow, a home accessories shop with gilt-edged furniture on display.

https://www.esquire.com/uk/culture/a27283913/still-becoming-at-home-in-lagos-with-chimamanda-ngozi-adichie/

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Posted by on August 12, 2019 in Africa

 

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Revolution in Sudan: On the verge of civilian rule

In Sudan, the popular uprising that brought an end to Omar al-Bashir’s thirty-year despotic reign in April finds itself still fighting against the military junta that took his place. But after a turbulent three months, an agreement may have finally been reached. Much debate surrounds the still-budding accord, and with internet connectivity restored to the country, the Sudanese people’s revolution seems to be at a crossroads.

Talks between the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) have been underway since late April, mired by disagreements between the two parties and repeated violence inflicted by TMC forces on peaceful protesters. But continued pressure brought on by popular outrage and international condemnation — especially following the harrowing events of June 3, when TMC forces violently dispersed the Khartoum sit-in, killing over 100 people and injuring many more — seems to have compelled the TMC to return to the negotiation table.

https://afropunk.com/2019/07/revolution-in-sudan-on-the-verge-of-civilian-rule/

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2019 in Africa

 

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Atbara, berceau des révolutions soudanaises

Si Badreddine Hussein devait garder en mémoire un seul jour de la révolution de 2019, quelle qu’en soit son issue, ce serait celui-là : le 23 avril 2019, quand les cheminots ont fait partir un train de passagers d’Atbara pour Khartoum. Le quadragénaire a eu du mal à y trouver une place. Même lui, opposant de longue date au régime d’Omar Al-Bachir et dirigeant clandestin du Parti communiste de la capitale du chemin de fer. Tout le monde voulait en être, de ce voyage ! Tout le monde a voulu le voir passer, ce train. Tout au long des 300 km de voies ferrées, le convoi est accueilli par les youyous des femmes, les doigts tendus en forme de V, les « thawra ! thawra ! » révolution »). À l’orée de Khartoum, il est pris d’assaut. Des centaines de personnes grimpent sur le toit des voitures, se perchent sur les marches-pieds. La locomotive diesel traverse lentement le quartier de Bahri, franchit le Nil et pénètre dans l’immense espace face au quartier général de la police où est installée l’agora politique connue sous le nom de sit-in ou « Qiyadah ». Dans le train, Badreddine et tous les passagers dansent et exultent.

https://orientxxi.info/magazine/atbara-berceau-des-revolutions-soudanaises,3160

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2019 in Africa, Reportages

 

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Key steps needed for Cameroon peace talks

The conflict in Cameroon has engulfed the country’s English-speaking northwest and southwest regions since late 2016. It is one of the world’s most neglected crises, despite a magnitude of violence, inflicted by both military and armed separatist groups, causing unimaginable suffering. The military has committed crimes against humanity against civilians in the English-speaking regions, as documented in a report co-authored by the Cameroon-based Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (CHRDA) and the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights (RWCHR) in Canada.

Soldiers routinely torch entire villages to the ground — this has become an established and systematic military tactic. They indiscriminately shoot at civilians, at times leaving bodies piled in the streets. Astonishingly, more than 200 villages have been set ablaze, with a continuously increasing pace of attacks. As a result, many people are burned alive in their homes, such as a 70-year-old man who did not hear his neighbors’ warnings due to a hearing disability.

Civilians, including journalists covering the crisis, have been rounded up, arbitrarily detained and tortured, without charge or access to lawyers. Sexual and gender-based violence has also become rampant, often targeting girls below the age of 18.

https://www.dw.com/en/opinion-key-steps-needed-for-cameroon-peace-talks/a-49618927

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2019 in Africa

 

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Mauritius Leaks

Key findings
New leak reveals how multinational companies used Mauritius to avoid taxes in countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas
Law firm Conyers Dill & Pearman and major audit firms, including KPMG, enabled corporations operating in some of the world’s poorest nations to exploit tax loopholes
A private equity push into Africa backed by anti-poverty crusader and rock star Bob Geldof benefited from Mauritius’ treaties that divert tax revenue away from Uganda and elsewhere
Multi-billion dollar U.S. companies Aircastle and Pegasus Capital Advisers cut taxes through confidential contracts, leases and loans involving Mauritius and other tax havens
Officials from countries in Africa and Southeast Asia told ICIJ that tax treaties signed with Mauritius had cost them greatly and that renegotiating them was a priority

https://www.icij.org/investigations/mauritius-leaks/

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2019 in Africa, Economy

 

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Libye : des jeunes combattants envoyés au front face à Haftar dans la bataille de Tripoli

https://www.jeuneafrique.com/mag/799310/politique/libye-des-jeunes-combattants-envoyes-au-front-face-a-haftar-dans-la-bataille-de-tripoli/

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2019 in Africa

 

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Reportaje: Libia: fragmentos de un Estado fallido

El puño dorado aprieta un avión F-111 estadounidense hasta partirlo. Muamar el Gadafi mandó construir esta escultura tras sobrevivir en 1986 a un bombardeo americano
y la plantó a la puerta de su residencia y fortín militar en Trípoli,
la capital libia. Este complejo fue uno de los últimos reductos del
autócrata. Fue bombardeado de nuevo por la OTAN y los rebeldes lo
tomaron en agosto de 2011, cuando ya se habían desatado los demonios de
las primaveras árabes
y el país se había transformado en un campo de batalla internacional.
Dos meses después, el sátrapa fue hallado en Sirte escondido en una
tubería. Fue ejecutado por una turba.
Y la escultura viajó como un trofeo a Misrata, una ciudad costera al
este de Trípoli cuyas milicias fueron clave en el derrocamiento del
dictador. Es uno de los atractivos del Museo de la Guerra, un despliegue
de parafernalia bélica abandonada sobre la acera de una avenida
grisácea. También hay tanques, tanquetas, misiles, municiones, cascos,
cientos de casquillos desperdigados por el suelo; hasta un escenario que
el Estado Islámico usó para sus ejecuciones.

https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/05/14/eps/1557832666_039047.html

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2019 in Africa

 

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Morsi’s death marks the demise of Egyptian democracy too

Mohamed Morsi’s death was utterly predictable, truly outrageous and, in my view, arguably a case of murder.

To me, when you die in a dictator’s prison – even if you are not Egypt’s only elected president – then you are, in some sense, murdered. It doesn’t matter if it’s the solitary confinement, the lack of medical treatment or the isolation. It is of no relevance that the court is unfair, the charges frivolous, the sentence mortifying. A prisoner residing in such circumstances awaits death every day, unless the gates open, which they were never going to do for President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt.

I use his official title because a president overthrown in a military coup remains an elected president. Just as the man who staged the coup must now also be called President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. The first title represents honour. The second title represents reality.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/morsi-death-egypt-sisi-democracy-a8963861.html

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2019 in Africa

 

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The West is silent over the death of former Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi

Ye Gods, how brave was our response to the outrageous death-in-a-cage of Mohamed Morsi. It is perhaps a little tiresome to repeat all the words of regret and mourning, of revulsion and horror, of eardrum-busting condemnation pouring forth about the death of Egypt’s only elected president in his Cairo courtroom this week. From Downing Street and from the White House, from the German Chancellery to the Elysee – and let us not forget the Berlaymont – our statesmen and women did us proud. Wearying it would be indeed to dwell upon their remorse and protests at Morsi’s death.

For it was absolutely non-existent: zilch; silence; not a mutter; not a bird’s twitter – or a mad president’s Twitter, for that matter – or even the most casual, offhand word of regret. Those who claim to represent us were mute, speechless, as sound-proofed as Morsi was in his courtroom cage and as silent as he is now in his Cairo grave.

It was as if Morsi never lived, as if his few months in power never existed – which is pretty much what Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, his nemesis and ex-gaoler, wants the history books to say.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/morsi-death-egypt-al-sisi-middle-east-arab-democracy-donald-trump-a8967141.html

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2019 in Africa

 

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La lenta esecuzione di Mohamed Morsi

Mohamed Morsi è stato il primo presidente democraticamente eletto dell’Egitto post rivoluzione. La sua presidenza, cominciata nel 2012, è durata poco più di un anno, interrotta dal golpe militare orchestrato dall’attuale presidente Abdel Fattah al Sisi nel giugno del 2013. Morsi è stato accusato di spionaggio per l’Iran, il Qatar e Hamas, di insulto all’autorità giudiziaria, nonché di organizzazione di attacchi terroristici. Dopo sette anni di prigione in stretto isolamento per 23 ore al giorno, è morto la sera del 17 giugno in tribunale. Aveva 67 anni, era diabetico e non ha mai avuto cure adeguate. In sette anni ha potuto ricevere solo quattro visite dai familiari.

Nel 2017 un articolo di Peter Oborne sul Middle East Eye intitolato “Morsi potrebbe morire in una prigione egiziana” avvertiva: “L’ex presidente sviene frequentemente ed è entrato due volte in coma. La sua salute è seriamente deteriorata e mi dicono che ci sono tutte le ragioni di temere per la sua vita. La settimana scorsa la sua famiglia ha potuto visitarlo per la prima volta dopo quattro anni e sono rimasti scioccati da quello che hanno visto – come dovremmo esserlo tutti”.

https://www.internazionale.it/bloc-notes/catherine-cornet/2019/06/18/morte-mohamed-morsi

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2019 in Africa

 

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