I answered some heartbreaking calls from Dr. Léopold Munyakazi phoning from an Alabama jail this week. Dr. Munyakazi is a gentle Rwandan born scholar, with a PhD in linguistics and further advanced degrees in French and African linguistics. He has lost his immigration case in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and will all but certainly be deported to Rwanda to face prison or worse.
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.”
On Thursday a U.K. Parliament Select Committee held the first of two hearings to reconsider budget support to Rwanda. The committee scheduled the hearings in response to U.N. investigators’ reports that Rwanda is arming, sending soldiers and even commanding the M23 militia fighting in eastern Congo.
Imprisoned Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire and her supporters await a Kigali court’s verdict in her case this coming Friday, Sept. 7. Ingabire has been in prison for nearly two years, charged with giving financial support to a terrorist group, planning to cause state insecurity, and divisionism, a violation of Rwanda’s “genocide ideology” statute.
On Aug. 17, Rwandans, Congolese and international criminal attorney Christopher Black delivered a complaint and documentary evidence to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, calling for Rwandan President Paul Kagame to be investigated for war crimes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Congo conflict and human catastrophe has continued despite a 2003 peace treaty. It entered a new phase with the Rwandan backed CNDP rebellion in the Kivu Provinces in April 2012. Ugandan reporter, television producer and broadcaster Paul Ndiho told KPFA that everyone knows who is doing what in Congo, but that regional and international powers are unwilling to stop it.
On May 12, Sonoma State University awarded honorary doctorates in humane letters to former Citigroup CEO Sanford Weill and his wife Joan, paid for with a $12 million “donation.” On the same day, William Penn University awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, despite his army’s atrocities in Rwanda and Congo.
Why would Voice of the Cape, the Islamic community radio station of rural South Africa, be blocked on Facebook? The feature story that day was about the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, but there were stories all over my friends’ Facebook pages about the Gaza Flotilla that day. When Voice of the Cape was still banned two days later on July 6, I scanned the featured stories on its home page.
Congressman Barney Frank has amended the financial services bill to discourage development banks supported by the U.S. not to assist nations engaging in gross human rights violations.
On Tuesday the House Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on the Democratic Republic of Congo, the most lethal conflict in the world since World War II, killing over 6 million. No one from the Congo or anywhere in Africa was called to testify.
On Jan. 20, Rwanda’s High Court once again rejected the bail appeal of Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, chair of Rwanda’s FDU-Inkingi coalition of opposition parties.
Opponents of biofuels planting projects, in Africa and other parts of the global South, argue that cropland should be used to grow food to feed people, not to grow more combustible fuel, especially not fuel for the U.S. military.
Much of the world focuses on family and creating safe and loving environments for children during the holidays, but many of the world’s children suffer extreme deprivation and abuse of their human rights. Acholi children living in an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Kitgum, Northern Uganda, “think that a refugee camp is home.”
The Kagame regime arrested opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza 15 days after the release of the U.N. report documenting the regime’s war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocidal massacres of Hutu civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and she has remained behind bars ever since.
Arlit, Niger, in the Sahara Desert surfaced in international news in January 2003, when George W. Bush, in his State of the Union address, said what came to be known as “the 16 words” that became a central pretext for the Iraq War: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”