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Africa and the World

Japan is on course to be 100-percent solar powered by 2041.

Four years after Fukushima, Japan is solar-powered

April 29, 2015

In the week before the March 11, 2011, earthquake at Fukushima, one person, Prime Minister Naoto Kan, did an extraordinary act that set Japan’s energy course in history for the next 100 years. He was able to convince the Japanese Parliament to pass a solar payment policy. This one policy shift is now making Japan one of the leading solar powered nations on earth – far ahead of California or the U.S. Number one in solar generation in 2014 was Germany.

Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza accepts his party’s nomination for a third term, on April 25, 2015.

Increasing instability and political repression in African Great Lakes Region

April 28, 2015

Instability and political repression are increasing in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, as the presidents of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda seek to remain in power beyond constitutional term limits. Rwandan and Ugandan troops crossed into the Democratic Republic of the Congo this week, sparking fears of another catastrophic regional war. Burundi is another pressure point further destabilizing the region.

Mark Williams says of his friend and comrade Malcolm Shabazz, “You would only see him get hyped about something when he was really passionate about it or if he was able to help people.”

Two years, still not enough answers: Remembering Malcolm

April 27, 2015

Malcolm Shabazz was killed two years ago in Mexico City in a case where all the facts still have not become clear. Within the last few months, Mexican authorities convicted a man, who they claim was responsible for Malcolm’s murder, but a lot of questions remain about what happened to Malcolm after he crossed the California border into Mexico. Here is Mark Williams of Lemark Films talking about life wit’ his homeboy and comrade Malcolm Latif Shabazz.

'Enduring Lies' cover

Kibeho and Srebrenica: Ed Herman on the politics of genocide

April 27, 2015

This week marked the 20th anniversary of the 1995 Kibeho Massacre in Southwestern Rwanda, where an estimated 8,000 Rwandan Hutu people were killed by Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Army. The same number of people were killed in Bosnia, also in 1995. Professor Ed Herman explains the politics of genocide manifest in media coverage of the 1995 massacres in Kibeho and Srebrenica.

U.N. troops carry a victim away on a stretcher. Most troops were combat medics and they were too outnumbered to have stopped the massacre. – Photo: George Gittoes

Rwanda: No justice for Kibeho Massacre victims 20 years later

April 23, 2015

On April 22, 1995, 4,000 to 8,000 Rwandan Hutu people, maybe more, were massacred at the Kibeho Camp for Internally Displaced Persons in Southwestern Rwanda. The Kibeho massacre is one of many committed by the Rwandan Patriotic Army in Rwanda and DR Congo, but it is one of the most shocking because it was witnessed by U.N. Peacekeepers and well documented by at least two photographers, but no one was ever prosecuted for the crime.

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In 2016, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni will be entering his 30th year in power.

Uganda’s Museveni to seek re-election in his 30th year in office

April 20, 2015

Three presidents in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Burundi’s Nkurunziza, DR Congo’s Kabila and Rwanda’s Kagame, are all doing their best to stay in office beyond constitutional term limits. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, however, doesn’t have to overcome term limits because Uganda’s Parliament abolished them in 2005. He has already announced that he will run again in 2016, his 30th year in office.

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The Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard placed prisoners and others in a bomb shelter during exercises simulating a nuclear attack. – Photo courtesy TimePix

Less than one lifetime: Eyewitness to nuclear development, from Hunters Point to Chernobyl and Fukushima, issues a warning

April 17, 2015

While sorting through papers, correspondence, news clippings, records etc., I realized that nuclear bomb and nuclear power development has occurred within my lifetime. It was July 16, 1945, when Trinity, the first atomic bomb, was detonated at Alamogordo nuclear site in New Mexico, followed by the uranium bomb dropped on Hiroshima and the hydrogen bomb on Nagasaki in August.

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Dr. Edmund Lubega, seen here with his niece, says that Africa’s emergency response to the West African Ebola epidemic makes him think the continent’s future is bright.

A Ugandan doctor describes the real ‘Ebola Hot Zone’

April 8, 2015

In a recently published open letter to 60 Minutes, the CBS TV news magazine, former New York Times Africa correspondent Howard French expressed concern about the program’s “frequent and recurring misrepresentation of the African continent.” Dr. Edmund Lubega says, “As Africans, it would be good if we could organize ourselves and try to find means by which we can share and broadcast our stories in our own way, in our own words.”

University of Quebec Professor Emmanuel Hakizimana, a member of the Rwandan National Congress, is among those threatened in Montreal.

Rwanda: Critics ask Canada to protect them from Kagame’s assassins

April 2, 2015

Rwandan exiles in Canada and their Canadian allies, all of whom are well-known critics of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, held a press conference earlier this week in Montreal to call on Canadian authorities to protect them from attacks by Rwandan government agents. The dissidents said they’d been warned by allies within the Rwandan government that so-called diplomats assigned to Rwanda’s embassy in Canada were actually there to intimidate or assassinate dissidents.

In the 60 Minutes story “The Ebola Hot Zone,” broadcast Nov. 9, 2014, Lara Logan watches as American virologist Joseph Fair instructs Liberian gravediggers at a graveyard adjacent to an Ebola treatment unit. No African voice is heard in the 15-minute segment except that of the African American doctor who heads the clinic and speaks a few words. – Photo: 60 Minutes screenshot

How does Africa get reported? A letter of concern to 60 Minutes

March 25, 2015

The following open letter was sent by email to CBS 60 Minutes Executive Producer Jeff Fager: We, the undersigned, are writing to express our grave concern about the frequent and recurring misrepresentation of the African continent by 60 Minutes. In a series of recent segments from the continent, 60 Minutes has managed, quite extraordinarily, to render people of Black African ancestry voiceless and all but invisible.

Rene Mugenzi

UK Foreign Office calls on Rwanda to restore BBC Gahuza

March 17, 2015

The U.K. Foreign Office called on the Rwandan government to lift the ban on its BBC broadcast in Rwandans’ native language. The government banned the native language broadcast after the BBC broadcast “Rwanda’s Untold Story,” a documentary which upends conventional belief about the Rwandan massacres of 1994.

A young Canadian protests the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2015 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on March 14, 2015.

A terrorist under every bed in Canada

March 16, 2015

Canadians gathered in 50 cities across Canada today to protest pending legislation known as C-51, or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2015. The bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons in late February, and the government of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper is now rushing to pass it with minimal debate. Retired Professor Michael Keefer was among the bill’s critics.

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The local children wanted their picture taken with the four young Chicago bucket drummers – here they’ve been loaned African drums – on the beach in Senegal.

‘Drum Beat Journey’: an interview wit’ organizer and filmmaker Elilta Tewelde

March 3, 2015

Ever since I have known Elita Tewelde, she has been a Pan African organizer in one way, shape or form, teaching Africans born in the Americas about our brothas and sistas from the continent, and vice versa. She recently took a group of young Black male bucket drummers from the hood to Senegal, West Africa. She filmed the whole experience and is fundraising to get the documentary, “Drum Beat Journey,” made.

Rwanda: Free Victoire! international webcast

February 26, 2015

Over the weekend the organization Friends of Victoire hosted an international webcast to strategize about how to free Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza. Ingabire has become an icon of freedom, democracy and peace since returning to Rwanda in 2010 to attempt to stand for the presidency against incumbent Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

A Zimbabwean in Harare reads the state-owned Herald on President Mugabe’s 91st birthday, Feb. 21, 2015, also the anniversary of the assassination of another pan-Africanist, El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz  - Malcolm X – who was gunned down at 39. He would have been 89 today. – Photo: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, AP

At 91, President Mugabe leads Zimbabwe, SADC and African Union – with vigor

February 24, 2015

As Zimbabweans and their loving neighbors in the Southern African Development Community region celebrate President Mugabe’s 91st birthday Feb. 21, it is in fact, every African’s cause for celebration. President Mugabe’s pan-Africanist and internationalist vision makes him connect with Africans at home and abroad. It is now time to turn our attention to this impressive club of Africans who lived into their 90s that President Mugabe belongs to.

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Rwanda: Deplorable prison conditions for Victoire Ingabire

February 19, 2015

On Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, in Rwanda’s capital city Kigali, Ambassador of the Netherlands Ms. Leoni Cuelenaere paid a courtesy visit to political prisoner and president of FDU-Inkingi Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza in her cell in the Kigali Central Prison. The visit took place after a long struggle by the ambassador, who wanted to see for herself the prison conditions of Ms. Ingabire. They have deteriorated since the change in leadership at the central prison.

Loretta Lynch

Loretta Lynch’s Rwanda ‘credential’

February 16, 2015

Loretta Lynch, Obama’s nominee for attorney general, has cited her service as special counsel to the prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda as a credential, unlike her controversial 2012 settlement with the HSBC bank after the bank admitted to facilitating money-laundering by Mexican drug cartels. Critics of the International Criminal Court and the dominant narrative about the Rwandan massacres dispute the account.

A call for truth and justice in the African Great Lakes Region

February 6, 2015

On Oct. 1, 2014, BBC2 broadcast a documentary, “Rwanda’s Untold Story,” on the tragedies which have devastated the Great Lakes Region of Africa since 1990. The signatories of this appeal wish to congratulate and express their support to the BBC journalists and management who have significantly contributed to establishing the previously ignored historical truth.

Making torture legal

January 29, 2015

In the wake of the Senate Intelligence Select Committee’s report on CIA torture of terror suspects, we are reminded how little Americans know about how the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency rolls in the real world. So, did they torture people? Yup. Did they kill people? Yup. Did they violate laws? Yuuuup. But guess what? Under the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2001 they’re immune from prosecution.

'Non Kabila Rwandais' graffiti Kinshasa 0115 by Reuters

Congolese protest election delay: ‘Non Kabila Rwandais’

January 26, 2015

A widely feared and anticipated military attack by U.N. and Congolese troops on the FDLR has not materialized, despite U.N. Special Envoy Russ Feingold’s repeated urgings. Instead, this week, the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo rose up in the streets to demand that their Parliament not pass legislation allowing Congolese President Joseph Kabila to extend his stay in office beyond constitutional term limits. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has the story.

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