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Africa and the World

Paris activists clash with police following a ban on pro-Palestinian rallies.

From Gaza with pain – and dignity

July 23, 2014

It is hard not to cry watching the unfolding horror in Gaza – children with heads blown off, a pregnant woman with her body torn by a shell, babies with missing limbs, targeting of playing children, targeting hospitals, targeting ambulances and even a handicap center, killing two handicapped children. Israeli forces then ratcheted up their attacks committing large scale massacres in places like Shujaia and Beit Hanoun.

A Palestinian boy inspects the damage following overnight Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City. – Photo: Mohammed Omer

Gaza: Nowhere to run

July 12, 2014

I am writing this as ambulance and rescue crews continue to search for bodies. Gaza is currently enduring one of Israel’s heaviest bombings. In the last hour, during and after Iftar, the meal breaking the daily Ramadan fast, 80 air strikes were launched on Gaza, according to Israeli sources. These strikes targeted homes, streets, schools, mosques, governmental buildings, greenhouses and agricultural fields.

The African Development Bank uses this photo to illustrate its call for “concrete action to mitigate famine in the Horn of Africa” during its 50th anniversary meeting in May.

Africa’s betrayal by African leaders

June 8, 2014

Africa’s elite and the elite internationally have concluded the African Development Bank’s 50th anniversary celebrations and annual meeting under the theme: “The Next 50 Years: The Africa We Want.” Over 3,500 delegates, seven African heads of state, the governor of the Central Bank of China and the U.S. deputy secretary of treasury were among the dignitaries. Beneath the confident calm, Africa is on edge, and the participants in Kigali were aware.

Open letter to American universities that invited Kagame to speak

May 30, 2014

As a coalition of Africa-focused human rights and peace organizations representing a broad range of individuals, we write to express our dismay at your decision to welcome President of Rwanda Paul Kagame to your universities. We regret to inform you that your invitation of Paul Kagame to your institution co-signs his repressive practices inside Rwanda and his aggressive interventions in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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On strike since Marikana Massacre, hungry workers cut production of world’s platinum by nearly half

May 27, 2014

Nomfanelo Jali stirs porridge she hopes will quell her children’s chronic hunger. Food has been scarce since her husband joined 80,000 workers on strike with South Africa’s main mineworkers’ union, AMCU. The strike, now four months long, is the longest – and costliest – in the nation’s history. Platinum production in the country accounts for 40 percent of the global market, and the work stoppage has pushed up the price of the metal worldwide.

People gather at the Chapel Mbeyo in Mbeyo, Rwanda, on April 6, 2014, the eve of the 20th anniversary of the 1994 genocide. – Photo: Chip Somodevilla, Miami Herald

Rwanda: Absolute power at any price

May 16, 2014

Gen. Paul Kagame ordered the shooting down of the plane in which President Habyarimana and President Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi, French citizens, and all others on board were killed on April 6, 1994. This assassination triggered the genocide. Since then President Kagame has imposed a reign of terror to keep himself and the ruling party in absolute power.

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Girls abducted by Boko Haram on April 14 recite Muslim prayers in a video released May 12.

Nigeria: Abduction of students sparks outrage while imperialists pour in

May 12, 2014

A video purportedly released by the armed Boko Haram sect based in northeastern Nigeria showed what was said to be school girls who have been held by the group for a month. The Boko Haram leader said that the young women could be released in exchange for the prisoners belonging to their organization being held by the Nigerian government.

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Rwandan President Paul Kagame receives honorary doctorate William Penn University 051212

Kagame’s charm offensive in American universities

April 29, 2014

Paul Kagame has been touring top American universities giving speeches about what he calls accomplishments of his reign: peace, human rights, democracy, development etc. This is vintage Kagame. He has the whole Rwandan population under lock and key, assassinates and imprisons dissenting voices, and then goes to the land of his benefactors to taunt the West as if to say, “I do what I want; you can go to hell!”

Ayanda Kota with Steve Biko pic

South Africa: Don’t vote for these messiahs

April 27, 2014

Elections should be the season of hope. Steve Biko declared that our fight was for an open society, a society where the color of a person’s skin will not be a point of reference or departure, a society in which each person has one vote. We have the vote – but the political parties do not represent the aspirations of the people. Millions of Black people remain poor and oppressed. When we organize outside of the ANC, we are violently repressed.

Kagame visit should not go without scrutiny

April 24, 2014

Rwandan President Paul Kagame visited Tufts April 22 to speak on his country’s recovery from genocide, but it’s important to remain aware of the darker parts of Kagame’s tenure. On Friday, April 25, he’s coming to Stanford, and students of Stanford STAND are calling a protest for 11 a.m., prior to Kagame’s speech at the Stanford Graduate School of Business 12-1 p.m. in CEMEX Auditorium. Join them!

The peace that wasn’t: Rwanda 20 years after the genocide

April 24, 2014

I woke up on the morning of April 7, 1994, from a fretful slumber. I managed to walk to the gate of my house. I had to know if there were any other houses left standing. What were all of those screams I heard throughout the night? What would happen now that the president was dead? I was benumbed with fright, but I made it to the gate. I had to know what was left of our neighborhood.

Paul Kagame

France and Rwanda hostile after Kagame accuses France of genocide planning

April 22, 2014

An international argument between French and Rwandan officials broke out this week after Rwandan President Gen. Paul Kagame accused the French of playing a direct role in the political preparation of genocide in an interview with Jeune Afrique. Justice Minister Christiane Taubira canceled her plan to attend the genocide commemoration in Kigali, but then the Rwandan government announced that they had canceled her invitation anyway.

Rwanda 2014: 24 years after the Ugandan invasion

April 17, 2014

Twenty-four years after the Ugandan invasion of Rwanda in October 1990, both the history of the four-year war that followed and realities of life on the ground in Rwanda today are fiercely disputed. Claude Gatebuke survived the violence and founded the African Great Lakes Action Network (AGLAN) to promote truth and reconciliation in Rwanda and the rest of the Great Lakes Region of Africa.

Rwanda Genocide, 1994

Who killed the Hutu? Remembering the Rwandan Genocide

April 7, 2014

WBAI AfrobeatRadio spoke to St. John’s University Law School Professor Charles Kambanda on April 9, 2011, during the first week of Rwanda’s 17-year commemoration of the 1994 genocide. Pacifica and AfrobeatRadio producer Ann Garrison and Professor Kambanda asked us to republish the audio archive and transcript as the 20th Anniversary Commemorations of the Rwandan Genocide begin.

Rwandan Genocide Commemoration clouded by Rwandan president’s criminality

April 6, 2014

Kagame denies responsibility for the assassination attempts even as he welcomes their success, as he did that of his former intelligence chief Patrick Karegeya, who was strangled by multiple assassins. Shortly thereafter, Kagame told a Rwandan audience, mostly in their own language, Kinyarwanda, that you can’t betray Rwanda without being punished.

Exchanging her wheelbarrow for a wheelchair, Eunice Atim in Uganda finds education still out of reach

April 5, 2014

On Sept. 26, 2013, an article with the title “Disabled and riding a wheelbarrow: a father’s love” explained how Eunice Atim and Sarah Atiano of Uganda, Africa, lacked wheelchairs that could enable them to get around and go back to school. Though the article indicated that Eunice Atim greatly doubted that she’d receive a wheelchair, this happened opposite to what she thought.

Rwanda’s ambassador to bring legally enforced history to Sonoma State University

March 23, 2014

Rwanda’s U.S. ambassador, Mathilde Mukantabana, is on her way to Sonoma State University to give a talk titled “Rwanda 20 Years After Genocide” this coming Tuesday, March 25, as part of the university’s Holocaust and Genocide Lecture Series. “Genocide against the Tutsi” is the legally enforced description in Rwanda, where it is a crime to say “Rwandan Genocide.”

Marikana mother, baby violently evicted 050113 by Jared Sacks, Abahlali

Marikana Land Occupation wins important victory in Cape Town High Court

March 20, 2014

A landmark ruling for our comrades in the Marikana Land Occupation in Cape Town issued March 20 will help us and shack dwellers all over South Africa to stop the municipalities’ relentless demolitions of poor people’s homes. These demolitions are unconstitutional, illegal and often violent. Judge Gamble’s progressive order requires that the City of Cape Town not only stop destroying people’s homes but that they must actually rebuild the homes they destroyed.

Obi Egbuna Jr. & Sr. in Nigeria

Looking at the life of freedom fighter Obi Egbuna Sr.

March 10, 2014

My comrade Obi Egbuna’s father, with the same name, recently passed, and it was not until his old man died that I became aware of Senior’s well-documented history in the Pan African Movement. I am honored to salute the life of his father, Obi Egbuna Sr., and to enlighten our readers on some Pan Afrikan history. Here is Obi Egbuna Jr. in his own words …

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A global threat: Fukushima fallout damaged the thyroids of California babies

February 28, 2014

A new study of the effects of tiny quantities of radioactive fallout from Fukushima on the health of babies born in California shows a significant excess of hypothyroidism caused by the radioactive contamination travelling 5,000 miles across the Pacific. The Fukushima catastrophe has been dismissed as a potential cause of health effects even in Japan, let alone as far away as California. And on what basis? Because the “dose” is too low.

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