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Africa and the World

Burundian Foreign Minister Alain Nyamitwe – Photo: VOA

Burundi’s tense northern border with Rwanda

July 26, 2015

The Burundian army has been engaged by troops near its northern border with Rwanda and this week Aljazeera reported that young men in Rwandan refugee camps are being recruited to join a rebel force to fight in Burundi. Burundian Foreign Minister Alain Nyamitwe, speaking to The Voice of America, said that the Burundian government had asked the Rwandan government to prevent any action threatening Burundi’s security.

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Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza

Rwanda and Burundi: Who’s ‘promoting instability through violence’?

July 22, 2015

As Burundian voters went to the polls on Tuesday, the U.S. State Department warned that “elections held under the current conditions in Burundi will not be credible and will further discredit the government.” It also said it planned to suspend partnerships that it hasn’t already suspended with “anyone promoting instability in Burundi through violence.” Will those “promoting instability through violence” include the renegade Burundian military officers who staged a failed coup attempt in May, then fled to Rwanda and declared war on Burundi? Will it include Rwandan military and political support for a rebel force?

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The young leaders who have been studying and fundraising all year for their trip to South Africa are scheduled to leave in a few days but have not yet raised all the money they need. Please help as generously as you can.

West Oakland youth are going to South Africa

July 16, 2015

Over the years, Kharyishi Wigington has been a tireless advocate for empowering West Oakland youth at McClymonds High School. She is at it again, this time taking a group of students on a cultural exchange to South Africa. The young leaders who have been studying and fundraising all year for their trip to South Africa are scheduled to leave in a few days but have not yet raised all the money they need. Please help as generously as you can.

Open letter to Rwanda prisons director protests intensified isolation of presidential contender Victoire Ingabire

July 13, 2015

Since Friday, July 10, the management of the central prison in Kigali has decided to severely tighten the prison regime of Victoire Ingabire, Rwandan opposition leader and chair of FDU Inkingi, refusing her access to her attorney or to visitors and removing all her books. For someone already detained in solitary confinement, these measures amount to mental torture in violation of the International Convention Against Torture.

Trinity, destroyer of worlds

July 7, 2015

Just 70 years ago, on July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb was detonated at the Alamogordo Nuclear Site in New Mexico. Trinity was the name chosen by J. Robert Oppenheimer, who later recalled that the explosion had reminded him of a line from the Bhagavad-Gita: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” The terrifying destructive power of atomic weapons was to haunt many of the Manhattan Project scientists for the remainder of their lives.

Emmanuel Karenzi Karake

Rwanda: Kagame’s spy chief Karake arrested in UK

July 2, 2015

Rwandan intelligence chief Emmanuel Karenzi Karake was arrested last Saturday in London on a European arrest warrant. The warrant was based on a Spanish court’s 2008 indictment of Karake and 39 other top Rwandan officials for genocide – that is, the massacre of Rwandan Hutu civilians and refugees in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has the story.

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Rwandan American lawyer and former National University of Rwanda professor Dr. Charles Kambanda

The voice of reason regarding Burundi

June 22, 2015

Dr. Charles Kambanda’s essay, which was first posted to the Facebook forum Friends of Reason brought reason to the discussion of presidential term limits in Burundi, which had been overwhelmed by propaganda and fearmongering about the renewal of ethnic violence between Hutus and Tutsis in the tiny East African nation. KPFA’s Ann Garrison, who studies and participates in the Friends of Reason Facebook forum, spoke to Dr. Kambanda.

Would Hillary Clinton change new US policy on Rwanda?

June 12, 2015

The new U.S. policy toward Rwanda, opposing constitutional change to allow President Paul Kagame to stay in power, has garnered wide attention. Friends of the Congo’s Maurice Carney warns that it might well change if Hillary Clinton becomes the next U.S. president.

Dr. Charles Kambanda

Coup plotters sheltered by Rwanda declare war on Burundi

June 9, 2015

Rwanda is the official “hideout” for the Burundian government’s armed and unarmed “rebels” and/or opposition. Some Burundians in Rwanda, under Rwanda government protection, have openly declared war against the government of Burundi. Is Kagame capable of ruining Burundi the same way he ruined DRC, especially North and South Kivu?

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza and supporters in rural Burundi. – Photo: AFP

Challenging the Western consensus on Burundi

June 5, 2015

The U.S., the E.U. and Western media continue to castigate Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza for seeking a third term in office, despite violent street protest and a failed coup détat. Nkurunziza, who was elected by Burundi’s Parliament in 2005, claims that the Burundian Constitution gives him the right to run for election twice by universal suffrage.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame with the Rwandan Defense Force

US will not support third term for Rwanda’s Kagame

June 4, 2015

Rodney F. Ford, spokesman for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs, has said, in no uncertain terms, that the U.S. will not be supporting a third term by sitting Rwandan President Paul Kagame: “We are committed to support a peaceful, democratic transition in 2017 to a new leader elected by the Rwandan people.”

California’s 37th District Congressional Representative Karen Bass

Rwanda: US Congress asks whether President Kagame hires assassins

May 28, 2015

Earlier this week, California Congresswoman Karen Bass and New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith heard testimony and queried witnesses in a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on U.S. relations with Rwanda. The central question under consideration was whether or not the U.S. should be supporting the Rwandan government with foreign aid and military assistance despite allegations of egregious human rights violations.

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African Hebrew Israelites and visiting African Americans are invited for tea by Sheikh Ali of the unrecognized Bedouin village of Abu Washiba. Because it is not recognized by the Israeli government, the village has no permanent infrastructure and is denied the permit required to build. – Photo: David Sheen

African communities in Israel escalate anti-racist struggles

May 26, 2015

As activists across the United States struggle to keep the topic of systemic discrimination against Black people on the national agenda, African communities in Israel are also increasingly speaking out against state racism. For the last month, Ethiopian-Israelis – Jewish citizens of African descent – have rallied across the country, demanding an end to racial profiling and police brutality.

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Demonstrators in the Solomon Islands, which lie east of Papua, show solidarity with West Papua’s bid to join Melanesian Spearhead Group. Melanesia, consisting according to Wikipedia of Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Maluku Islands and West Papua, is named for the melanin that shows the people’s original home was in Africa.

West Papua’s rightful place

May 25, 2015

In one month’s time, the eyes of the Pacific will turn to Melanesia as our leaders gather in Honiara (national capital of the Solomon Islands, located on the island of Guadalcanal) to decide on West Papua’s membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group. For more than 50 years, my people have suffered a creeping genocide under a repressive Indonesian military occupation that is estimated to have claimed 500,000 West Papuan lives. Next month’s meeting is a critical opportunity to give my people a voice and to allow us to take our rightful place in the Melanesian family.

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Rwandan President Paul Kagame

No way to escape the eye of the state in Rwanda

May 24, 2015

On May 21, 2015, David Himbara told a U.S. Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing on U.S. relations with Rwanda that “the smallest administrative unit is 10 houses, and every 10 houses is watched by one individual, and as you move on, the whole state machinery driving fear is very well established.” KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke to David Himbara, a Rwandan exile in Canada, who addressed the House subcommittee about how this climate of fear is created.

U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice greets Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in New York City on May 5, 2015.

Rice and Museveni shake hands on crimes in Central Africa

May 22, 2015

During the first week of May, President Obama’s National Security Council (NSC) Advisor Susan Rice met with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in New York City. NSC spokesperson Bernadette Meehan then released a statement about their conversation. Ugandan American journalist Milton Allimadi, writing in the New York City-based Black Star News, called the NSC release “newspeak on steroids.” This is a conversation with Milton Allimadi.

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At the heart of the June 2014 concert for the Cuban 5 in Washington, D.C., were Obi Egbuna, Stic Man, Mistress of Ceremonies Chioma Iwuoha, M1 and a background singer with Roots Radics. – Photo: Amoa Salaam

The third edition of the ‘Monumental Battle Cry for Cuba and Zimbabwe’ has been released

May 21, 2015

Writer, reporter and Pan Africanist Obi Egbuna, the U.S. correspondent to the Zimbabwean national newspaper The Herald, recently finished, alongside co-executive producer M1 of dead prez, the third volume of the “Battle Cry for Cuba and Zimbabwe” compilation, which is a cultural protest against how the two countries have been unfairly sanctioned by the U.S. government. Check out Obi Egbuna in his own words.

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President Pierre Nkurunziza accepted his party’s nomination for a third term in April. – Photo: AFP

Coup attempt defeated in Burundi, US continues to recognize Nkurunziza

May 19, 2015

A coup attempt prevented Burundi’s President Nkurunziza from flying home from Arusha, Tanzania, earlier this week, but Nkurunziza now seems to be firmly back in control. The U.S. has called on Nkurunziza to step down and not seek a third term in office, but they do not appear to have supported the aborted coup. On Thursday, the U.S. State Department issued a statement saying that it continued to recognize Nkurunziza as the country’s president.

Stop Rwanda and Uganda in DR Congo; implement Obama’s Congo bill

May 17, 2015

In accordance with President Obama’s Congo bill, the U.S. should withhold aid to Rwanda and Uganda and impose sanctions on its presidents and other government and military officials, whose culpability for cross border wars of aggression and illegal resource extraction in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have long since been documented.

Supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal marched to stop his execution by medical neglect in Berlin in April 2015. – Video: Anton Mestin

German Solidarity Address for the May 13, 2015, MOVE Commemoration

May 13, 2015

At this 30th anniversary of the MOVE massacre in Philadelphia, we here in Germany feel very close to you even despite the physical divide of more than 4,000 miles. The daily incidents of brutal police violence against African Americans but also poor white folk in recent months have shocked millions of people in Europe and Germany out of ideas that were perhaps somewhat naïve before into reality.

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