October 18, 2017
Oct. 14 marked the seventh anniversary of Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire’s arrest shortly after she attempted to run for president against Rwanda’s military dictator, President Paul Kagame. The Brussels-based International Women’s Network for Democracy and Peace commemorates Oct. 14 as Ingabire Day, a day of solidarity with Victoire Ingabire and all political prisoners. I asked Claude Gatebuke, Rwandan genocide survivor and founder of the African Great Lakes Action Network, to explain Victoire Ingabire’s message.
June 30, 2017
On Tuesday, June 20, more than 500 Stop Urban Shield activists became ungovernable at the end of a six-hour Berkeley City Council meeting once it was clear that the Council would not pull the Berkeley police out of Urban Shield 2017. As Mayor Jesse Arreguin and other councilors discussed tepid motions and then began voting, the crowd drowned them out chanting, “Shame! Shame! Shame!”
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.”
September 22, 2014
The City of Atlanta hosted the fourth international Rwanda Day on September 20, 2014. Rwanda Day celebrations were held in Chicago in 2011, Boston and London in 2012, and Toronto in 2013. Rwandan and Congolese exiles and refugees have appeared to protest each time, as they did again in Atlanta. Bruce Dixon, Atlanta resident and managing editor of the Black Agenda Report, attended the protest.
August 11, 2014
Mike Parker has withdrawn from the Richmond mayor’s race so as to avoid splitting the progressive vote between himself and City Councilor Tom Butt, resulting in a victory for City Councilor Nat Bates, the candidate backed by Chevron, the corporation that for so many years claimed Richmond as a classic company town. KPFA’s Ann Garrison filed this report.
August 5, 2014
It’s common for all the members of a city council to vote unanimously to move forward with good will, no matter how long they have wrangled to reach a compromise that has majority support. That did not happen at the Richmond City Council this week, when the council approved Chevron’s complex oil refinery expansion permit. Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles abstained on the final midnight vote.
May 19, 2014
This weekend was the conference on Dirty Energy and Clean Solutions. Ironically, the conference in San Francisco came at the same time that San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee proposed to cut the entire $19 million dollar budget that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors had set aside to create a renewable power option for city residents looking for an alternative to PG&E power.
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.
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.
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.”
February 8, 2014
This week’s mining and business headlines reported that Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler turned a nearly 30,000 percent profit by buying the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s oil rights in waters off its Atlantic Coast in 2006, then selling the same rights back to them six years later. KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke to anti-corruption and resource theft watchdog Global Witness and filed this report.
January 23, 2014
The Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan all share borders. Each of these three countries is now engulfed in tribal or religious sectarian violence, and Uganda, a longtime U.S. military partner, has troops in both the Central African Republic and South Sudan. U.S. Special Forces have been on the ground with Ugandan troops in both countries since 2011.
January 7, 2014
The South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy is based in both Juba and Kampala, the capitals of South Sudan and Uganda. In a statement published in the New York City-based Black Star News, they called South Sudan’s President Kiir and Uganda’s President Museveni an unholy alliance and called on the international community not to let Museveni destroy South Sudan.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
November 18, 2013
Amnesty International has announced that, for the first time, it has put a U.S. prisoner on the list of 10 cases that it will ask people around the world to advocate for in their Write for Rights Global Write-a-thon on International Human Rights Day, Dec. 10. The U.S. prisoner is 68-year-old Albert Woodfox, the final member of the Angola 3 still in solitary confinement in a Louisiana state prison.
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.