Author Topic: Africa Speaks to You.  (Read 80207 times)

Offline Wise Son

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Re: Africa Speaks to You.
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2006, 02:21:24 am »
Mugabe extends term to declare himself the 'President-for-life' (complete story in link)
Quote
By Our Special Correspondent in Harare
Published: 15 December 2006

Robert Mugabe has effectively appointed himself as President-for-life in Zimbabwe after extending his present term by two years until 2010. The ruling ZANU-PF party will this week endorse a controversial amendment that would maintain the 82-year-old's grip on power and prolong his country's status as an international pariah.

....

The extension will take Mr Mugabe's rule up to 30 years, and put him among the select few of Africa's longest-serving despots - while scotching earlier hopes that he would step down in 2008 in order to concentrate on writing his memoirs. Under the leadership of the former school teacher, Zimbabwe has suffered a precipitous slide in living standards, life expectancy and economic output that has rooted the country at the bottom of global quality-of-life indices.

Local press has reported that some ZANU-PF officials were unhappy with the extension because they wanted a new leader in 2008 in a bid to rebuild bridges with Western donors who have suspended aid.

But analysts believe Mr Mugabe could well go on beyond 2010, particularly if the country's economic woes continue, which they are bound to for the foreseeable future amidst sky-rocketing inflation - currently at 1,098 per cent - and widespread food shortages.

Last week, Didymus Mutasa, the minister for land and land reform, suggested that Mr Mugabe should be given an official lifetime presidency - though this would only serve to confirm what many Zimbabweans believe to be true already.

But it is a sentiment Mr Mugabe himself echoed in a recent interview. "I will retire, of course, someday, but it all depends on the circumstances. I can't retire if my party is going to be in a shambles," Mr Mugabe was quoted as saying in the state-run Herald newspaper.

Officially, the proposed extension is touted as a cost-saving measure, so both presidential and parliamentary polls can run together in 2010. But critics say it gives Mugabe a chance to avoid the voters' wrath in 2008 amidst a collapsing economy.

"He doesn't want to fight an election in 2008 - he doesn't want to put people's anger to the test," the Harare-based political analyst John Robertson said. Government policies, such as the seizure of white-owned commercial farms for distribution to landless blacks, have been blamed for a 40 per cent contraction in gross domestic product (GDP) since 1998.

Mr Mugabe has denied the charges, blaming the country's woes on Western economic sanctions orchestrated by the former colonial power, Britain.

"Children, if you are tired, keep going; if you are hungry, keep going; if you want to taste freedom, keep going."
-Harriet Tubman
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Offline Wise Son

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Re: Africa Speaks to You.
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2006, 02:29:39 am »
France admits air raids on Darfur neighbours
Full story in above link - has anyone else heard about this?
Quote
By Alex Duval Smith
Published: 15 December 2006

France yesterday defended recent fighter jet raids on towns bordering Sudan's Darfur region by claiming the aggressive action was aimed at preventing regional chaos.

In the past two weeks, with minimal publicity, Mirage F1 jets have attacked and scattered a rebellion in north-eastern Central African Republic (CAR). But reports from the ground say the operation has had a devastating impact on civilians.

A French Defence Ministry spokesman said the action - which included regular Mirage sorties in neighbouring Chad where tens of thousands of refugees from Darfur are living - was in line with international calls to stabilise the region.

He claimed that without action there was a danger of a "Somalisation" of the region."We want to ensure that the Darfur crisis does not take on a further dimension. The region is crucial if we want to put a peace force in Darfur," he said.

After opposition from the Sudanese President Omar El Beshir, plans to send 20,000 United Nations peacekeepers to Darfur have been axed. Mr Beshir will only accept a beefed-up African Union force with UN logistical support.

The French operations in CAR have been centred on repelling rebels which the government claims are - like the Darfur militias - backed by the Sudanese regime. Others say the rebels of the Union des Forces Démocratiques pour le Rassemblement (UFDR) are disgruntled allies of CAR President François Bozizé who helped him come to power in a 2003 coup and are dissatisfied with his ruling of the country along ethnic lines. Both the rebels and Sudan deny they have any links.

.....

According to the UFDR, the raids over several days at the start of December included an attack on Birao with six Mirage F1 fighters and four helicopter gunships. It claims the attack forced thousands of civilians to flee towards Darfur and southern Chad.

A French armed forces spokesman yesterday refused to give details of whether bombs, missiles or machinegun-fire had been used by the jets.

Humanitarian groups have not yet succeeded in reaching Birao but in phone calls to residents they have heard reports of executions and rapes by the CAR army.

The rebellion, according to the CAR army, was finally crushed on Monday with the capture of Ouadda-Djalle. However, there are fears that the rebels, who have scattered, will relaunch their offensive.

Nganatouwa Goungaye Wanfiyo, president of the Central African Human Rights League, said France's intervention on the side of the CAR army had been out of all proportion and may have increased the risk of a Darfur-style ethnic conflict. "They have just delayed the problem and worsened it. The opposition wants dialogue with Bozizé, that's all."

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Offline Wise Son

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Re: Africa Speaks to You.
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2006, 02:41:43 am »
Man, OpenPalm, you take a quick look at the latest Africa stuff, and there's important stuff going on everywhere.
Mengistu found guilty of Ethiopian genocide

Quote
By Steve Bloomfield Africa Correspondent
Published: 13 December 2006


Ethiopia's former dictator, Mengistu Haile Mariam, who killed thousands of political opponents and ignored a famine which killed one million people, has been found guilty of genocide in an Ethiopian court.

The self-proclaimed Marxist was tried in his absence at the 12-year hearing, having fled to Zimbabwe after the collapse of his rule in 1991. Human rights groups said there were concerns over the fairness of the trial but said it was important that victims felt justice had been done.

Mengistu came to power in 1974 after his Derg party overthrew Emperor Haile Selassie. He soon instigated a purge of political opponents known as the " Red Terror". Suspects were rounded up, some shot, others garrotted. The bodies were thrown on the streets.

The verdict comes as African leaders accused of terrorising their people have begun to find justice is catching up with them.

The former Liberian president, Charles Taylor, whose reign of terror saw him lead rebel movements in Liberia and neighbouring Sierra Leone in the 1990s, never expected to end up in a cell in The Hague, awaiting trial.

When he left Liberia in 2003 for a life of luxury in exile in Nigeria, Taylor departed to the sound of a gospel choir singing his praises while he waved to supporters from a velvet throne. But after elections in Liberia, the new President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, called for him to be extradited and brought to the UN-backed court set up in Sierra Leone to try the country's warlords.

The former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré, ddescribed as " Africa's Pinochet", is also set to be brought to trial. He will be tried in Senegal where he has been living in exile after the African Union called for his prosecution "in the name of Africa". A Belgian judge issued an international arrest warrant last year, charging the former president with crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture during his rule from 1974 to 1991.

...

Although the Red Terror affected thousands, it was Mengistu's dismissive response to events in 1984 which arguably caused most deaths. An estimated one million people died in a desperate famine which grabbed the world's attention. News footage, shot by the cameraman Mo Amin, spawned LiveAid and a global fundraising drive. Yet through it all, Mengistu was consumed with preparations for the 10th anniversary of the revolution. Dawit Wolde Giorgis, the member of Mengistu's central committee responsible for drought relief, claimed in his memoirs that Mengistu referred to the prospect of a serious famine as "petty human problems".

During his 17-year reign, tens of thousands of people were killed, tortured or detained and about 700,000 peasants were forcibly resettled in an effort to cut off support for rebels in the north. Those rebels, led by Meles Zenawi, took power in 1991 and Meles remains prime minister after winning a third term last year in disputed elections.

Although Mengistu is expected to be given the death penalty when sentenced on 28 December, the former dictator is likely to live the rest of his days in relative luxury in Zimbabwe.

"Mengistu is very comfortably living under the protection of Robert Mugabe," Mr Brody said. "The world is getting to be a smaller place for people who commit atrocities but there are still places they can go."

More in link at top.

"Children, if you are tired, keep going; if you are hungry, keep going; if you want to taste freedom, keep going."
-Harriet Tubman
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Offline Open palm

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Re: Africa Speaks to You.
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2006, 04:40:50 am »
I'm trying to post as much good news as possible. The problem with the Megitsu case is he's hiding in Zimbabwe.  And we know that country's in the sh*tbox now. :-[  So even though he's been convicted in absentia, he won't be extradited soon. Charles Taylor's case is more hopeful because he's already in custody now, awaiting trial. A Rwandan priest has been convicted for his part in the Rwandan genocide, in case I didn't mention that.

I wouldn't call the French attacks a significant improvement of the Darfur Crisis. When something bigger happens I'll post it.

There's also a recent story involving the malaria-related deaths. But in view of the last reports I posted, I'm waiting for another positive progression in the fight against it. So far, the last good news I've mentioned are improved mosquito nets from Asia and a new cure that's being tested.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2006, 04:43:30 am by Open palm »
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Offline Wise Son

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Re: Africa Speaks to You.
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2006, 04:46:28 am »
I'm trying to post as much good news as possible.
That's good. I just got surprised that I found several significant stories all in one day.

I wouldn't call the French attacks a significant improvement of the Darfur Crisis. When something bigger happens I'll post it.
I don't know if it is positive, I was just surprised I'd heard so little about it. The article says 'with little publicity', but you would have thought a major world power carrying out bombing raids would at least make a ripple. At least, it should.
There's also a recent story involving the malaria-related deaths. But in view of the last reports I posted, I'm waiting for another positive progression in the fight against it. So far, the last good news I've mentioned are improved mosquito nets from Asia and a new cure that's being tested.
Here's hoping.

"Children, if you are tired, keep going; if you are hungry, keep going; if you want to taste freedom, keep going."
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Offline Open palm

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Re: Africa Speaks to You.
« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2006, 09:58:42 pm »
I've been bugging you guys about this programme and I'll do so again. Africa: Open for Business has been chosen as one of this year's Best Documentary by the BBC. If you were lucky enough to catch it in the States that's great. It shows how native Africans are creating their own businesses or taking business into their own hands.

Furthermore, there's also a special programme headed by South African Archbishop, Desmond Tutu. He brings together the victims and perpetrators in Northern Ireland's bloody conflict.

And on a historical note, I've learned that Christianity has been in Africa as early as the 1st century. It was brought in by Mark (one of the apostles?) and spread in from Egypt. But today African Christian leaders want to preach an African interpretation of Christianity. I don't know if Westerners approve but I don't give a d@mn. Merry Christmas to Africa!  ;D

Update: it seems a Western preacher (Davis) doesn't like any African interpretation or adaption of Christianity. But I still don't give a d@mn. If they decide to portray Jesus as a Black man, all the power to them! Can I get an 'Amen'?  ;D
« Last Edit: December 24, 2006, 12:51:18 am by Open palm »
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Offline Stringer

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Re: Africa Speaks to You.
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2007, 09:47:33 pm »
Top Chinese official continues African tour
China is keen to gain access to Africa's massive raw material reserves
to feed the breakneck growth seen in its own economy.

The full story can be found at:
http://www.businessinafrica.net/news/west_africa/646346.htm


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Re: Africa Speaks to You.
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2007, 09:54:43 pm »
Gambia: Cut the Hypocrisy - Prostitution is Part of Our Society!

The Gambia Journal (Banjul)

December 24, 2006

Bubacarr Sankanu

Sex is mankind's oldest medium of exchange and Africa is said to be the birthplace of mankind. Therefore addressing the subject of the sex trade pragmatically should be not misinterpreted as "importation of decadent western ideal!" Prostitution was, is and will, always be part of our human society and no amount of moral dictatorship can eliminate it!

The practice of sex in exchange for food and security as in the rural areas, camps, trouble zones or in the "civilised cities" where parents "sell" their daughters to wealthy suitors, is as old as Africa itself - long before the European slave traders arrived! It is always easy to blame western television and materialism for "corrupting our holy African cultures!"
 
The painful truth is that our compatriots have long been exchanging sex for jobs, for contracts and all kinds of goods and services depending on the sector involved. We are seeing students sleeping with teachers for good results, junior staff sleeping with their bosses for promotion, doctors sleeping with their patients, lawyers sleeping with their clients and even prisoners sleeping with their wardens. All these are qualified applications of sex as medium of exchange in our midst!

As the Sarahule (Soninke) saying goes "if you have a sickness which is refusing to be cured, do not worry much as it will share the same grave with you." We should stop hiding behind the masks of morality and start addressing this issue of prostitution with common sense as it will exist till the end of mankind.

Before our African political and religious class start ordering the harassments of prostitutes and sexuality rights activists at gun-points, they should allocate part of their defence and extravagant celebration budgets to economic empowerment programmes for young adults and abandoned mothers.

Prostitution is primarily about SURVIVAL and not promiscuity! I interviewed a lot of prostitutes and they do not have fun in allowing all kinds of "dirty sperms into their womanhoods" - sorry for my language - if men are not paying for their services, the prostitutes will never sell their bodies. Period!

Sex Tourism

I remember very well when the former finance minister Bakary Bunja Darboe warned that "we should not put all our economic eggs in the basket of tourism", many people did not take heed. Most of the pen-pushers in our government around the "quadrangle gangs" were obsessed with the transformation of our Gambia "into a service-based economy" and care the least.

It is an open secret that tourism stimulates the sex trade. All the countries that bank on tourism - Malaysia, Ghana, France, Holland, Brazil, Thailand, Cameroon, Kenya, South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, etc - are all facing the sexual exploitations of their people day in and day out by tourists!

The difference is that some of these affected countries like Holland and Malaysia tried to address it by either legalising it or creating semi-legal mechanisms that enable sex workers maintain comfortable standard of living and pay taxes like the normal bankers, civil servants or trader.

We in the Gambia should wake up for this state of denial. We cannot eat out cake and have it. We say we want tourism we should therefore not be surprised when our Tourism Development Area has become "sex trade development area!"

Recently, the German TV station RTL made a documentary about middle-aged European women who fly to the Gambia on short holidays to have sex with "young, healthy black men." One of the effected young men told the reporter that his Islamic religion and family background are opposed to male prostitution but insist he had no other income generating alternative. I sympathised with the young man for he could only speak openly with the assurance that the report will not be shown in the Gambia and his family would not know of his double life.

It is important to note that while most of the female prostitutes in our streets and clubs are from sister ECOWAS states, the male prostitute sleeping with European sex tourists of their grandmothers' age are Gambian men!

We must also not narrow our understanding of sex trade to the poor street workers. Every class of our society has prostitution defined in its own terms. The practices of "sugar-daddysm" and "sugar-mammysm" are other forms of prostitution where the well-established party shower the younger (or weaker) party with material wealth in exchange for sexual comfort."

The "first class" prostitutes on the other hand stay in their self-contained houses or hotel rooms where their clients visit them. Others specialise in comforting diplomats, expatriates and the so-called "very important persons" of our society who, during the day preach morality and when the sun sets, patronise sex workers!

If I were to choose between American Playboy guru Hugh Hefner and our so-called moral apostles, I will go for Hefner because he is not hypocritical!

 Read the rest at:  http://allafrica.com/stories/200612260104.html

Offline Open palm

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Re: Africa Speaks to You.
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2007, 01:50:15 pm »
I found this BBC post interesting:

Here, the BBC's Kwaku Sakyi-Addo describes who he is.

I am African.
I am Ghanaian.
I am Akan.
And I am human.
Yet when I am in America, I am nothing except African.

Who, in South Dakota, cares whether you are a Nubian or a Libyan; Omotswana or Omoitsikere?

You all look and sound the same... and carry the same illness.

If I am in Europe, I am first an African - then I am Ghanaian second.

Europeans tend to appreciate the subtle differences among people from my continent.

And when I am in another African country - I am Ghanaian-African.

I like to express my Africanness through the uniqueness of being Ghanaian.

21st century reality

But at home, I am Ghanaian first, and then I am Akan.

Sure, Ghana is the artificial construction of 19th century European political draftsmen who sketched haphazardly, and artisans who laid their bricks rather randomly.

But I live in 21st century reality.

I am sustained by Akan blood. But I cannot present that in a vial to the immigration desk at Heathrow.

"Passport please!"

As for being African at home, that is as the stripes of the zebra. It is a given.

More like Wole Soyinka's tiger and its tigritude, as against Leopold Sedar Senghor's Negro who waxes into poetry over his negritude, the zebra need not pronounce on its zebritude. It simply stripes!

My full lips speak eloquently enough of my equatorial ancestry: of my place in the tropical sun; of what and who I am.

But for the avoidance of doubt, I shall say it one more time: I am African; I am Ghanaian; I am Akan and I am human.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6219603.stm


'A zebra does not pronounce its zebritude. It simply stripes!'

Wonderful!  :D
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Offline Open palm

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Re: Africa Speaks to You.
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2007, 04:41:15 am »
BBC Hardtalk programme on January 8th:

Monday 8th January:
South Africa is the richest country in Africa, but more than a quarter of all South Africans are unemployed; a brain drain is robbing the country of some of its brightest talents. Barney Pityana is a liberation struggle veteran. After 12 years of multiracial democracy, Stephen Sackur asks, is South Africa fulfilling the dreams of those who fought apartheid?
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Re: Africa Speaks to You.
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2007, 09:12:06 am »
Having many military personnel in my family and extended family members in the regions in about and of these areas (notice my name--Ras--is mentioned in this article,as the language that my name is derived from is spoken in one of the affected areas)  and a very deep suspicion regarding the general LACK OF GOODWILL that armed imperialists have when around non-imperialists,I decided to drop this in here:




By MOHAMED OLAD HASSAN, Associated Press Writer
8 minutes ago
 


MOGADISHU, Somalia - U.S. helicopter gunships launched new attacks Tuesday against suspected al-Qaida members, a Somali official said, a day after American forces launched airstrikes in the first offensive in the African country since 18 U.S. troops were killed there in 1993.

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The latest attacks killed at least 27 civilians in the town of Afmadow in southern Somalia, lawmaker Abdiqadir Daqane told The Associated Press.

At least one AC-130 gunship carried out an airstrike Monday evening against targets in the town about 220 miles southwest of the capital of Mogadishu, Somali officials said. It was not immediately clear how many people died in those attacks, but Somali officials said there were reports that many were killed.

The U.S. attacks were targeting Islamic extremists, said a Somali Defense Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak. Earlier, Somalia's president had said the U.S. was hunting suspects in the 1998 bombings of the two U.S. embassies in East Africa, and had his support.

The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower arrived off Somalia's coast and launched intelligence-gathering missions over Somalia, the military said. Three other U.S. warships are conducting anti-terror operations off the Somali coast.

U.S. warships have been seeking to capture al-Qaida members thought to be fleeing Somalia after Ethiopia invaded Dec. 24 in support of the government and drove the Islamic militia out of the capital and toward the Kenyan border.

The Islamic extremists are believed to be sheltering suspects in the embassy bombings, and the raids are designed to keep the militants from posing a new threat to the government.

The White House would not confirm the attacks, nor would the        Pentagon.

A U.S. government official said at least one AC-130 gunship was used Monday evening. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the operation's sensitivity.

It was the first U.S. offensive in the Horn of Africa country since the Americans led a U.N. force in the 1990s that intervened in Somalia in an effort to fight famine. The mission led to clashes between U.N. forces and Somali warlords, including the "Black Hawk Down" battle that left 18 U.S. servicemen dead.

Witnesses said at least four civilians were killed Monday 30 miles east of Afmadow, including a small boy. The claims could not be independently verified.

"My 4-year-old boy was killed in the strike," Mohamed Mahmud Burale told the AP by telephone. "We also heard 14 massive explosions."

Government spokesman Abdirahman Dinari said it was not known how many people were killed, "but we understand there were a lot of casualties. Most were Islamic fighters."

Witnesses said that in Tuesday's attack, the helicopters opened fire on the road that leads to the Kenyan border. They said they could not clearly make out the markings on the aircraft.

Daqane said two newlyweds were among the dead Tuesday.

The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi reissued a terror warning Tuesday to Americans living in or visiting the Horn of Africa.

Monday evening's airstrike came after the suspects were seen hiding on a remote island on the southern tip of Somalia, close to the Kenyan border, Somali officials said. The island and a site near the village of Hayi, 155 miles to the north, were hit.

The main target was Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, who allegedly planned the 1998 attacks on the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, that killed 225 people.

He is also suspected of planning the car bombing of a beach resort in Kenya and the near simultaneous attempt to shoot down an Israeli airliner in 2002. Ten Kenyans and three Israelis were killed in the blast at the hotel, 12 miles north of Mombasa. The missiles missed the airliner.

Fazul, 32, joined al-Qaida in        Afghanistan and trained there with        Osama bin Laden, according to the transcript of an        FBI interrogation of a known associate. He came to Kenya in the mid-1990s, married a local woman, became a citizen and started teaching at a religious school near Lamu, just 60 miles south of Ras Kamboni, Somalia, where one of the airstrikes took place Monday.

Largely isolated, the coast north of Lamu is predominantly Muslim and many residents are of Arab descent. Boats from Lamu often visit Somalia and the Persian Gulf, making the Kenya-Somalia border area ideal for him to escape.

President Abdullahi Yusuf told journalists in the capital, Mogadishu, that the U.S. "has a right to bombard terrorist suspects who attacked its embassies." Deputy Prime Minister Hussein Aideed told The Associated Press the U.S. had "our full support for the attacks."

But others in the capital said the attacks would only increase anti-American sentiment in the largely Muslim country.

"U.S. involvement in the fighting in our country is completely wrong," said Sahro Ahmed, a 37-year-old mother of five.

Already, many people in predominantly Muslim Somalia had resented the presence of troops from neighboring Ethiopia, which has a large Christian population and has fought two brutal wars with Somalia, most recently in 1977.

The U.S. Central Command reassigned the Eisenhower to Somalia last week from its mission supporting        NATO-led forces in Afghanistan, said        U.S. Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Charlie Brown in Bahrain, where the Navy's Fifth Fleet is based.

"Eisenhower aircraft have flown intelligence-gathering missions over Somalia," Brown told The Associated Press.

The spokesman said the Eisenhower was the only U.S. aircraft carrier in the region. The vessel is carrying approximately 60 aircraft, including four fighter jet squadrons, he said.

Ethiopia forces had invaded Somalia to prevent an Islamic movement from ousting the weak, internationally recognized government from its lone stronghold in the west of the country. The U.S. and Ethiopia both accuse the Islamic group of harboring extremists, among them al-Qaida suspects.

Ethiopian troops, tanks and warplanes took just 10 days to drive the Islamic group from the capital, Mogadishu, and other key towns.

Ethiopian and Somali troops had in recent days cornered the main Islamic force in Ras Kamboni, a town on Badmadow island, with U.S. warships patrolling offshore and the Kenyan military guarding the border to watch for fleeing militants.

The AC-130 is armed with 40 mm guns that fire 120 rounds per minute and a 105 mm cannon, normally a field artillery weapon. The gunships were designed primarily for battlefield use to place saturated fire on massed troops.

U.S. officials said after the Sept. 11 attacks that extremists with ties to al-Qaida operated a training camp at Ras Kamboni and al-Qaida members are believed to have visited it.

Leaders of the Islamic movement have vowed from their hideouts to launch an        Iraq-style guerrilla war in Somalia, and al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden's deputy has called on militants to carry out suicide attacks on the Ethiopian troops.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said in an interview published Tuesday in the French newspaper Le Monde that suspected terrorists from Canada, Britain, Pakistan and elsewhere have been among those taken prisoner or killed in the military operations in Somalia.

Somalia has not had an effective central government since clan-based warlords toppled dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991 and then turned on each other, sinking the Horn of Africa nation of 7 million people into chaos.

A U.N. peacekeeping force, including U.S. troops, arrived in 1992, but the experiment in nation-building ended the next year when fighters loyal to clan leader Mohamed Farah Aideed shot down a U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter and battled American troops, killing 18 servicemen.

At least 13 attempts at government have failed since then. The current government was established in 2004 with U.N. backing.

___




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Offline Open palm

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Re: Africa Speaks to You.
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2007, 12:41:30 am »
Hunting Al-Qaeda in Somalia is a good way for Bush to win brownie points. He doesn't promise any permanent troop presence. The target is related to actual terrorists. Neighboring African countries are already supplying the current forces. It's a safe bet for Bush.
Do you prefer a hero who will confirm your deepest fears? Or a hero who will inspire faith in humanity and goodness?

Offline Open palm

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Re: Africa Speaks to You.
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2007, 07:46:01 pm »
Let's look at the recent carriage of justice:

Exiled former Ethiopian ruler Mengistu Haile Mariam has been sentenced to life in prison on genocide charges.
Exiled former Ethiopian ruler Mengistu Haile Mariam has been sentenced to life in prison on genocide charges.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6251095.stm

Preacher to hang for sin burnings
A Nigerian high court has sentenced a Lagos preacher to death by hanging for setting fire to members of his congregation, killing one woman. 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6252463.stm
« Last Edit: January 11, 2007, 07:47:48 pm by Open palm »
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Offline Stringer

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Re: Africa Speaks to You.
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2007, 02:19:15 pm »
Africa Aims to Turn Natural Resources Into Arsenal for Development


Southern African News Features (Harare)

January 11, 2007

Joseph Ngwawi
Harare

Science, technology, climate change and football will top the agenda when African leaders meet in Ethiopia from 29-30 January for the African Union (AU) summit.

Strategies on how to turn the continent's vast natural resources into an arsenal for development will dominate proceedings when African Heads of State and Government converge in Addis Ababa for the Eighth Ordinary Session of the AU.

 
Africa is one of the world's richest regions in terms of natural resources, yet has seen little of the profits from their exploitation.

The continent is endowed with vast mineral wealth, great agricultural capacity and rich diversity of plants and animals.

Yet, due to instability in prices of these commodities, Africa will need to stimulate the manufacture of value-added products to compete in an increasingly technological market place.

Science and technology capacity in Africa varies greatly from country to country. A relatively small extra investment in some countries, such as South Africa, Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya and Zimbabwe, which already have relatively sophisticated science and technology bases, could establish world-class facilities that can help pull up the region as a whole.

Challenges faced by the continent include reduced investment in research and development, the loss of researchers and scientists to developed countries, obsolescence and dilapidated infrastructure, and participation of women in science and technology issues.

Although no official statistics are available on the extent of the brain drain, it is estimated that millions of highly qualified Africans are living outside Africa, depriving the continent of vital skills, while sending home valuable revenue in significant quantities.

Students who are able to find employment abroad leave, while some of those trained abroad never return. Poor salaries and prospects in universities mean that trained scientists and engineers often move to the private sector or abroad.

Training curricula and science facilities in most African countries lag behind those in other parts of the world. It is common in Africa to see science classes with students taking turns to use a handful of microscopes and other instruments. In some cases students have to pay for essential materials themselves.

The AU Summit will also focus on how to mitigate the effects of climate change, which has influenced rainfall patterns in Africa over the last decades.

The past six agricultural seasons in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have been characterised by mostly dry periods interspersed by wet spells.

Flooding has caused considerable structural damage, destroying schools, telecommunications and roads in the SADC while in some places whole villages are flooded prompting the relocation of people and livestock to higher ground.

Another outcome of the Eighth Ordinary Summit of the AU will be the launch of 2007 as the International Year of African Football in recognition of the significant contribution that the continent has made to the development of the world's most popular sport.

Past and present African football stars such as Liberia's George Weah and Didier Drogba, of Cote d'Ivoire and English champions, Chelsea, have added to the excitement and development of soccer.

The decision to declare 2007 as the International Year of African Football comes three years before the continent hosts its maiden FIFA World Cup finals to be held in South Africa in 2010.

The African leaders are expected to use the Addis Ababa summit to put their weight behind the improvement of the competitiveness of teams from the continent as 2010 beckons.

The summit will be held under the themes "Science, Technology and Scientific Research", and "Climate Change in Africa". sardc.net

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Re: Africa Speaks to You.
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2007, 05:10:59 am »
Another cool post, Stringer. I wasn't sure what to make of you at first, but you've been on point with the articles you keep posting. Any chance of a word from you, yourself, though? Just to say 'hello'? ;D

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