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Africa and the World

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.

M23 commander Sultani Makenga, during M23’s occupation of the eastern Congolese city of Goma in 2013

Will the world remain silent with Rwanda and Uganda in DR Congo again?

May 5, 2015

Rwandan and Ugandan troops have been reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the past two weeks, but reporting is scant and neither the U.S., the U.N. Security Council nor any other members of the international community have spoken to this, the latest Rwandan and Ugandan violation of Congo’s sovereignty. The international community has instead been focused on the constitutional crisis in Congo’s neighbor, Burundi.

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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.

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