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Africa and the World

Burundi defies the Imperial Criminal Court, an interview with John Philpot

November 16, 2017

The International Criminal Court (ICC) propagates injustice as stark as slavery or South African apartheid. It’s a Western court that prosecutes Africans exclusively. In June 2011, the ICC indicted Libyan President Muammar al-Qaddafi and his son Saif al-Islam Qaddafi. Now, six years later, Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has announced that she will investigate Burundian officials for crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the country’s past three years of civil unrest.

Judicial sovereignty: Victoire Ingabire and the African Court

November 10, 2017

Friends and supporters of Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire are still waiting for the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights to rule on her appeal. In 2010, Victoire attempted to run for president against military dictator Paul Kagame and went to prison instead. Many Rwandans describe their country as a tinderbox, an earthquake fault, or a smoldering volcano because of its brutal oligarchy, unresolved ethnic polarization, and repressed memories of violence and loss.

ISIS of Central Africa a new cover for plundering Congo

November 5, 2017

A video calling for an Islamic State jihad in the Democratic Republic of the Congo appeared online and in a few news reports last week. It was purportedly made in Beni Territory, within Congo’s North Kivu Province, where a phantom so-called Islamist militia, the Allied Democratic Forces, has been blamed for massacres of the indigenous population that began in October 2014. I asked Boniface Musavuli, a native of Beni and author of “The Massacres of Beni: Kabila, Rwanda, and the Fake Islamists” to help contextualize the so-called news.

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Burundi exits the ICC, an interview with David Paul Jacobs

November 2, 2017

Last year the African Union resisted Western pressure to intervene militarily in Burundi. On Oct. 26, Burundi officially completed its withdrawal from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) without being indicted. Western powers, NGOs and press have accused Burundi of human rights abuse within its own borders but not of invading another country. I asked Canadian lawyer David Paul Jacobs, an expert in international law, to contextualize this distinction.

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Remembering Muammar Qaddafi and the great Libyan Jamahiriya

October 20, 2017

Oct. 20, 2017, marks the sixth anniversary of the martyrdom of Muammar Qaddafi, revolutionary Pan-Africanist and champion of the Global South. This day also marks the sixth anniversary of the historic battle of Sirte, where Qaddafi, along with a heroic army, including his son, Mutassim Billal Qaddafi, and veteran freedom fighter Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr, fought until their convoy was bombed by French fighter planes. Wounded and demobilized, they were captured by Qatari scavengers and executed by Al-Qaeda operatives.

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Ingabire Day: We are all Victoire and Victoire is all of us

October 18, 2017

Oct. 14 marked the seventh anniversary of Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire’s arrest shortly after she attempted to run for president against Rwanda’s military dictator, President Paul Kagame. The Brussels-based International Women’s Network for Democracy and Peace commemorates Oct. 14 as Ingabire Day, a day of solidarity with Victoire Ingabire and all political prisoners. I asked Claude Gatebuke, Rwandan genocide survivor and founder of the African Great Lakes Action Network, to explain Victoire Ingabire’s message.

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Solidarity Uganda: Rural Ugandans resist land grabbing and US-backed dictatorship

October 11, 2017

Eighty-four percent of the population of Uganda are rural subsistence farmers. They are resisting both rampant land grabbing and U.S. ally Gen. Yoweri Museveni’s attempt to rule for life. I spoke to Phil Wilmot, an American-born activist who now lives in rural Uganda. Land grabbing is one of the manifestations of dictatorship in northern Uganda. In 2012, we started Solidarity Uganda to resist evictions and land grabs.

U.S.-backed dictator Paul Kagame risks another violent implosion by tightening his grip on Rwanda

October 4, 2017

Since seizing power in Rwanda in 1994, dictator and U.S. military partner Paul Kagame has ruled the tiny East African nation with an iron fist that includes a complex nationwide network of spies and surveillance technology. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, leader of the FDU-Inkingi Party, has been in prison since 2010, when she tried to run for president against Kagame. Now another woman, Diane Rwigara, who attempted to run against Kagame in this year’s election, has been arrested.

Life of Bobi Wine, Ugandan singer and parliamentarian, threatened for protesting Museveni’s attempt to rule for life

October 2, 2017

A grenade has for the second time in two days been thrown at my house and exploded. I have been receiving death threats on an almost daily basis. Reason? Opposing the removal of age limits in the Ugandan Constitution to allow General Museveni to be “president” for life. Anonymous calls are targeting not only me but my family as well. WE SHALL NOT BE INTIMIDATED.

Pentagon Human Rights Auxiliary pushes ICC to indict Burundi

September 22, 2017

In October 2016, the tiny East African nation of Burundi made history by raising an independent head against U.S. empire. Its legislature voted to withdraw from membership in the International Criminal Court, a tool that the U.S. and its Western allies use to discipline unruly African leaders – especially those who sign resource extraction contracts with Russia or China and/or those who try to do anything for their own people. The Burundian government fits both descriptions.

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Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s ‘The Vietnam War’ mandates we examine ourselves, our nation

September 21, 2017

“The Vietnam War” provides us a new opportunity to examine the history of the war and to examine ourselves and our nation. Burns’ and Novick’s documentary will be evaluated based on the historiography they employ, the balance and fairness of their approach, whether they give equal weight to the Vietnamese voices as to the American voices, and their objectivity. Let us not forget the Vietnam War. Let us not, in the name of misguided foreign policy, allow the government to send our young men and women abroad to kill and to be killed.

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Kagame cracks down hard in Rwanda, Victoire Ingabire in danger

September 9, 2017

Starvation is the danger Victoire Ingabire is facing now in her seventh year in prison. Starvation! She requires a special diet which has been provided by our staff since her arrest. Two people have been authorized to see her, but they have both been arrested. No one else is allowed to see her. Kagame is facing growing dissent within his own party, his relations with neighbors are souring and his plan to oust Burundi’s leadership has failed. He fears retaliation.

Bill Clinton’s favorite African, Paul Kagame, wins re-election by 99 percent, arrests opponent

September 8, 2017

How much longer can Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Benjamin Netanyahu, AIPAC and associated Zionist organizations cover for Rwandan President Paul Kagame? How much longer can they claim that he was Rwanda’s savior, that he stopped a genocide recalling the Holocaust, then helped Rwanda rise from the ashes? This week another woman who dared to challenge him for the presidency says he has taken vengeance on her and her family.

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Sens. Cory Booker, Al Franken and Elizabeth Warren propose that the U.S. ‘prevent genocide’

September 2, 2017

How goddamn dumb do Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Al Franken, D-Mich., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., think we are? All three Democratic presidential hopefuls are “initial co-sponsors” of an Orwellian bill to “enhance” our government’s ability to “prevent genocide and mass atrocities” with military force: Senate Bill 1158, the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act of 2017. Will anyone call to tell these senators that WAR IS NOT PEACE, THE U.S. DOES NOT PREVENT GENOCIDE and there’s no way they could honestly believe the BS in this bill?

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Negotiations, not Trump’s ‘fire and fury’ saber-rattling, can bring peace to Korea

August 18, 2017

The situation regarding the escalating tensions between North Korea and the United States must be addressed with negotiations with North Korea and peaceful diplomacy through the United Nations, not by saber-rattling, threats of war against North Korea, threats of pre-emptive strikes, and words by President Trump threatening North Korea with “fire and fury, like the world has never seen.”

Killing the Congolese people, an interview with Sylvestre Mido

August 9, 2017

Genocost, a U.K.-based Congolese advocacy group, commemorated Congo Genocide this week on Aug. 2. Aug. 2 is the day that U.S. allies Rwanda and Uganda invaded the Democratic Republic of the Congo, starting the Second Congo War in 1998. Though a peace treaty was signed in 2003, the violence, displacement and mass killing continue. Genocost asks that nations formally recognize Aug. 2 as Congo Genocide Commemoration Day. I spoke to Genocost spokesperson Sylvester Mido.

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Will the CIA obey a Trump order to stop funding terrorists?

July 27, 2017

Late last week, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump will end covert support of militias attempting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. I spoke to Rick Sterling, investigative journalist for Consortium News and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement, about the report. Rick Sterling, what’s your first reaction to the Washington Post’s claims? The White House has refused to confirm the Washington Post report. If it is true, why do you think Trump won’t confirm?

Tens of thousands join pro-Labour, anti-Tory, anti-austerity march through London streets

July 5, 2017

Supporters of the British Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn marched through London streets on Saturday, from the BBC headquarters to the Parliament Building at Westminster. KPFA’s Ann Garrison filed this report. The London-based Independent reports that tens of thousands joined the “Not One More Day” march against the Conservative Tory government and its austerity policies. Jeremy Corbyn addressed the crowd upon their arrival outside Parliament.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party and the UK’s socialist surge

June 23, 2017

Great news when Theresa May’s Conservative Party lost their Parliamentary majority in the U.K.’s June 8 snap election and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party surged, adding 30 seats to their total. Pollsters, who predicted a Conservative Party victory, were way off, but for what it’s worth, they’ve since reported that Corbyn’s popularity continues to rise.

Jeremy Corbyn wants to lay the white man’s burden down

June 13, 2017

I did a Google search for “Jeremy Corbyn” and “Rwanda” on the unlikely chance that Britain’s Labor Party leader had ever said anything about that tiny, tortured East African nation. The one and only result was unsurprising because, in the West, Rwanda is largely forgotten except as an excuse to go to war – to “stop the next Rwanda” – meaning the country’s 1994 bloodbath.

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