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Africa and the World

Nelson Mandela, Cuba and the Terror List

December 30, 2013

In a statement at the White House, President Obama paid tribute to Nelson Mandela who died Dec. 5 at age 95. As the world focuses on the historic handshake between President Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro, we look back at the pivotal role Cuba played in ending apartheid and why Castro was one of only five world leaders invited to speak at Nelson Mandela’s Dec. 10 memorial in Johannesburg.

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Democratic Republic of the Congo: Resource politics behind the UN Force Intervention Brigade

December 29, 2013

Earlier this week, in the northeasternmost province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or DRC, which borders Central African Republic, South Sudan and Uganda, the U.N.’s special combat intervention brigade, which includes South African troops, used South African helicopter gunships to fire on the ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) militia.

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Samantha Power’s latest crusade: Central African Republic

December 25, 2013

Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, spoke yesterday in Bangui, the capital of the war torn Central African Republic, on the border of the northern Democratic Republic of the Congo this week. Power announced that the U.S. will spend $100 million to support the French military intervention now underway in the Central African Republic, where 1,000 people were killed on one day, Dec. 6, in the country’s capital city.

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Gore-Mbeki Commission: Eyewitness to America betraying Mandela’s South Africa

December 22, 2013

As the executive secretary for the Gore-Mbeki Commission Environment Committee, I sat at the negotiating table while the newly elected government of Nelson Mandela formulated its environmental policies. This position provided a unique vantage point for an African-American woman who had marched in front of the South African embassy against apartheid.

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Mandela, sanitized

December 21, 2013

He was born Rolihlahla in July of 1918, in a nation of which he was not truly a citizen, into a country called the Union of South Africa, a part of the British Empire. The world would come to know him as Nelson, a name given him by a grade school teacher: Nelson Mandela. At long last, after 95 years of life, Mandela has returned to his ancestors. Between birth and death he has blazed an amazing life of love and revolution, of struggle and resistance, of prison and isolation, of freedom – and now death.

Winnie and Nelson: Forever linked to freedom struggle

December 19, 2013

It is imperative to also lift up Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Madiba’s former wife, who helped hold the anti-apartheid movement together during his unjust imprisonment for 27 years. When her husband’s image and voice were banned, she represented him to the world – and she suffered for her bold action.

Why the West loves Mandela and hates Mugabe

December 17, 2013

In the wake of Nelson Mandela’s death, hosannas continue to be sung to the former ANC leader and South African president from both the left and from the right. But the right’s embrace of Mandela as an anti-racist hero doesn’t ring true. Is there another reason establishment media and mainstream politicians are as Mandela-crazy as the left?

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Victoire Ingabire: the woman who challenged Rwanda’s Paul Kagame

December 16, 2013

While Rwandan President Paul Kagame was in South Africa to pay his last respects to Nelson Mandela, the Rwandan Supreme Court upheld the conviction of imprisoned opposition leader Victoire Ingabire and extended her sentence from eight to 15 years. As she left the courtroom, Ingabire gave her usual thumbs up salute and urged her supporters not to be afraid, because, she said, time and history are on their side.

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Mandela, America, Israel and systems of oppression

December 14, 2013

In the 23 years since Nelson Mandela walked from his notorious Robben Island prison cell, leaving behind the rotting corpse of South Africa’s system of racial and economic oppression known as apartheid, a new generation has grown into adulthood there, literally unaware of the cruel exploitation and indignities the tiny White minority population inflicted on the masses of that country’s people.

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Rwanda: Opposition leader Victoire Ingabire’s sentence increased from 8 to 15 years

December 13, 2013

Today, as President Paul Kagame has finally decided to go to pay his last respects to the freedom and reconciliation hero Nelson Mandela, his Supreme Court sentenced political prisoner Madam Victoire Ingabire to 15 years in prison on final appeal, almost double the eight-year High Court sentence of Oct. 30, 2012. This is a very strong message to the whole opposition.

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Shack dwellers protest in Cato Crest in honor of Nelson Mandela

December 12, 2013

Nelson Mandela fought for justice, democracy and freedom for all. He did not say that the poor were excluded. He did not say that people from some provinces were excluded. We remain committed to the vision of justice, democracy and freedom for all. We will continue to take Mandela’s struggle forward. Mandela went to jail saying that he stood for a “revolutionary democracy in which poverty, want and insecurity shall be no more.” The struggle for a revolutionary democracy, a democracy in which every person counts, continues.

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Mandela, pacifist or rebel?

December 12, 2013

Perhaps it’s a false contradiction. But today there are many who stress the pacifist message with which South Africa’s Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) emerged from prison in 1990, while few put an emphasis on his rebellion against apartheid, including armed rebellion, which landed him in prison. Mandela was a political activist and a revolutionary at least since 1942.

Kampala ‘declaration’ would contract DRC to concede to M23 (with French translation)

December 11, 2013

At the end of November, headlines around the world announced the Congolese Army’s defeat of the M23 militia, with the help of U.N. intervention forces. Since that time, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been under pressure from Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and his so-called mediators, and from US Envoy Russ Feingold and U.N. Envoy Mary Robinson, to sign an agreement with M23.

Mandela’s legacy extends from South Africa, the continent to the world

December 11, 2013

Nelson Mandela’s passing has drawn responses from throughout the U.S. and the world. To oppressed and working people, Mandela was a symbol and example of self-sacrifice and lifelong commitment to revolutionary change. Although the struggle inside South Africa and throughout the region is by no means complete, the legacy of Mandela through the ANC, SACP, COSATU and other affiliated organizations will live on.

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Legacies: Michael Hourigan and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

December 9, 2013

Australian lawyer and U.N. war crimes investigator Michael Hourigan was given the task of investigating the assassination of the Rwandan and Burundian presidents by shooting their plane out of the sky over Kigali on April 6, 1994. His evidence that Gen. Paul Kagame had ordered the assassinations was suppressed. Hourigan’s death this week went unnoted by the press.

Alima Olga Kasongo, the Boondocks and the Congo

December 7, 2013

Twenty-six year-old Congolese American science student Alima Kasongo should inspire anyone facing enormous odds, most of all her own Congolese people, who have faced the most enormous odds thrown at any people in the world for so many years. For good reason, many have said that if there were peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), there would be peace on earth.

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Democratic Republic of Congo: A prescription for lasting peace and stability

November 25, 2013

The 17-year quest for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo has taken a significant step in the right direction; however, many concerns remain. Last week the Congolese military routed the Rwanda- and Uganda-backed M23 and declared an end to its reign of terror against the Congolese people.

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M23’s creators and commanders are in Rwanda and Uganda

November 11, 2013

The Congolese army, with the help of the UN Force Intervention Brigade, decisively defeated the M23 militia in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s eastern Kivu Provinces this week, but many Congolese, Rwandans, and Ugandans, are asking why the Democratic Republic of the Congo is now engaged in peace talks with the M23, and not with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

Letter to my Rwandan, Ugandan and Congolese brothers and sisters celebrating M23’s defeat

November 10, 2013

Rwanda’s M23 has finally been defeated in DR Congo, but what are we to make of DR Congo negotiating with M23, not Rwanda’s Kagame and Uganda’s Museveni? M23 was commanded by Rwanda’s top military officers and officials, but its collaboration with Uganda is clear to anyone who gives the Great Lakes Region any attention, as is Rwanda and Uganda’s collaboration with the Western powers.

Syria, Congo and the ‘Responsibility to Protect’: the US double standard

November 9, 2013

Earlier this year, President Obama asked how one might weigh the “tens of thousands who’ve been killed in Syria versus the tens of thousands who are currently being killed in the Congo.” But as tragic and devastating as the Congo conflict is, Congolese are not asking for the United States – or the international community – to militarily intervene.

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