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Western press and officials now warn that the Rwandan massacres of 1994 are close to a replay in Rwanda’s neighbor Burundi, which shares its Hutu-Tutsi-Twa demographic. In “Burundi’s dangerous neighbor,” a letter to the Washington Post, former U.N. official Jeff Drumtra argues that the Rwandan government’s conscription of Burundian refugees to fight in a new, so-called “rebel force” is a grave danger that the international community should recognize before it’s too late.
Reports of violence in Haiti are largely disinformation. For centuries Haiti has been portrayed as a dangerous country filled with volatile and threatening people, unsafe for foreigners. This supposition, this fear and misunderstanding, has very deep implications for foreign aid and cross-cultural understanding.
As an African-American farmer, I am calling on the first African-American president of the United States to lead us quickly away from this deepening crisis. Demand, President Obama, that Congress and your own administration begin without delay the process of reforming our farm and food policies. Start now by correcting the omission in your economic stimulus and recovery act that prevented significant spending on creating new and sustainable jobs for the poor in our urban centers as well as rural farm communities.