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PAMBAZUKA NEWS 142: RWANDA TEN YEARS AFTER THE GENOCIDE: SOME REMINDERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO THE CRISIS

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Features

Rwanda ten years after the genocide: Some reminders of the international response to the crisis

Gerald Caplan

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/features/19891

Around the world, commemorations of the 10th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide are about to be launched. The central actors responsible for allowing Hutu extremists to perpetrate the genocide are well known: the government of France, the United Nations Security Council led by the USA with British backing, the UN Secretariat, the government of Belgium, and, by no means least, the Roman Catholic Church. The Organization of African Unity also refused to condemn the genocidaires and proved to be largely irrelevant throughout the crisis. As a consequence of these acts of commission and omission, 800,000 Tutsi and thousands of moderate Hutu were murdered in a period of 100 days. Reviewing the events of those days, I find myself thinking not once but repeatedly: It's almost impossible to believe that any of this actually happened. The following is a selection of some of those events. They, and the lessons they suggest, are worth bearing in mind as we who refuse to let the memory of the genocide dissipate begin our commemorations of the 10th anniversary.

1. Time and again in the months prior to and during the genocide, the Commander of the UN military mission to Rwanda (UNAMIR) pleaded with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York to expand his very limited mandate. The only time his request was ever approved was in the days immediately after the Rwandan president's plane was shot down, triggering the genocide. UNAMIR was then authorized to exceed its narrow mandate exclusively for the purpose of helping to evacuate foreign nationals, mainly westerners, from the country. Never was such flexibility granted to protect Rwandans.

2. Heavily armed western troops began materializing at Kigali airport within hours to evacuate their nationals. Beyond UNAMIR's 2500 peacekeepers, these included 500 Belgian para-commandos, 450 French and 80 Italian troops from parachute regiments, another 500 Belgian para-commandos on stand-by in Kenya, 250 US Rangers on stand-by in Burundi, and 800 more French troops on stand-by in the region. None made any attempt to protect Rwandans at risk. Besides western nationals, French troops evacuated a number of well-known leaders of the extremist Hutu Power movement, including the wife of the murdered president and her family. All non-UNAMIR troops left within days, immediately after their evacuation mission was completed.

3. From the beginning of the genocide to its end, no government or organization other than NGOs formally described events in Rwanda as a genocide.

4. From beginning to end, all governments and official bodies continued to recognize the genocidaire government as the legitimate government of Rwanda.

5. The months of the genocide happened to coincide with Rwanda's turn to fill one of the non-permanent seats on the Security Council. Throughout those 3 months, the representative of the government executing the genocide continued to take that seat and participate in all deliberations, including discussions on Rwanda.

6. Almost all official bodies remained neutral as between the genocidaires and the Rwandan Patriotic Front, the mostly Tutsi rebels in the civil war that was being fought at the same time as the genocide. As if they were morally equivalent groups, both the genocidaire government and those fighting to end the genocide were called upon by the UN, the Organization of African Unity and others to agree to a cease-fire. They did not call on the genocidaires to stop the genocide. Had the RPF agreed to a cease-fire, the scale of the genocide behind governemtn lines would have been even greater.

7. Only days after the genocide began, 2500 Tutsi as well as Hutu opposition politicians crowded into a Kigali school known as ETO, where Belgian UN troops were billeted; at least 400 of them were children. They were seeking protection against menacing militia and government soldiers outside the compound. In the midst of the stand-off, the Belgian soldiers were ordered to depart ETO to assist in evacuating foreign nationals from the country. They did so abruptly, making no arrangements whatever for the protection of those they were safeguarding. As they moved out, the killers moved in. When the afternoon was over, all 2500 civilians had been murdered.

8. After 10 Belgian UN soldiers were killed by Rwandan government troops the day after the Rwandan President's plane was shot down, Belgium withdrew all its troops from the UN mission. So that Belgium would not alone be blamed for scuttling UNAMIR, its government then strenuously lobbied the UN to disband the mission in its entirety.

9. Two weeks after the crisis had begun, with information about the magnitude of the genocide increasing by the day, the Security Council did come very close to shutting down UNAMIR altogether. Instead, led by the USA and the United Kingdom, it voted to decimate the mission, reducing it from 2500 to 270.

10. After the deaths of 18 American soldiers in Somalia in October 1993, the United States decided to participate in no more UN military missions. The Clinton administration further decided that no significant UN missions were to be allowed at all, even if American troops would not be involved. Thanks mostly to the delaying tactics of the US, after 100 days of the genocide not a single reinforcement of UN troops or military supplies had reached Rwanda.

11. Bill Clinton later apologized for not doing more to stop the genocide. However, his claim that his administration had not been aware of the real situation was a lie.

12. French officials were senior advisers to both the Rwandan government and military in the years leading to the genocide, with unparalleled influence on both. Virtually until the moment the genocide began, they gave unconditional support as well as considerable arms to the Hutu elite. Throughout the 100 days and long after, French officials and officers remained hostile to the “anglo-saxon” RPF, whose victory ended the genocide. To this day the French have never acknowledged their role nor apologized for it.

13. After 6 weeks of genocide, France, which offered no troops to the UN mission, suddenly decided to intervene in Rwanda. Within a week of the decision, Operation Turquoise was able to deploy 2500 men with 100 armored personnel carriers, 10 helicopters, a battery of 120 mm mortars, 4 Jaguar fighter bombers, and 8 Mirage fighters and reconnaissance planes---all for an ostensibly humanitarian operation. The French forces created a safe haven in the south-west of the country which provided sanctuary not only to fortunate Tutsi but also to many leading Rwandan government and military officials as well as large numbers of soldiers and militia---the very Hutu Power militants who had organized and carried out the genocide. Not a single person was arrested by France for crimes against humanity. All were allowed to escape across the border into then-Zaire, entirely unrepentant and often still armed. Predictably, these genocidaires were soon launching murderous excursions back into Rwanda, beginning a cycle that led to the subsequent bloody conflict that destabilizes central Africa still.

14. France long remained hostile to the post-genocide government in Rwanda and sympathetic to the previous French-speaking Hutu regime. Many of the leaders of the new government were from English-speaking Uganda and were considered the “anglo-saxon” enemy by the French government. In November 1994, barely four months after the end of the genocide, Rwanda was deliberately excluded from the annual Franco-African summit hosted by France. Zaire's President Mobutu, who had been ostracized by the French government in recent years, was invited, as was Robert Mugabe, the anglophone president of anglophone Zimbabwe.

15. The Roman Catholic Church in Rwanda was the largest and most influential denomination in the country, with intimate ties to the government at all levels. It failed to denounce the government's explicit ethnic foundations, failed to denounce its increasing use of violence against Tutsi, failed to denounce or even name the genocide, failed to apologize for the many clergy who aided and abetted the genocidaires, and to this day has never apologized for its overall role. The Pope has refused to apologize on behalf of the Church as a whole.

16. Within months of the end of the genocide, relief workers and representatives of the international community in Rwanda were telling Rwandans they must “Quit dwelling on the past and concentrate on rebuilding for the future” and insisting that “Yes, the genocide happened, but it's time to get over it and move on.”

17. George W. Bush, during the campaign for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination, was asked by a TV interviewer what he would do as president if, “God forbid, another Rwanda” should take place. He replied: “We should not send our troops to stop ethnic cleansing and genocide outside our own strategic interest. I would not send US troops into Rwanda.”

18. The new Rwanda Patriotic Front government inherited a debt of close to $1 billion, some of it incurred by the previous government in genocide preparations---expanding its army and militias and buying arms. After the genocide, the RPF was obligated to repay in full the country's debt to its western lenders.

19. Following the genocide, the World Bank was left with a $160 million program of aid to Rwanda that it had extended to the previous government. . Even though the new government was penniless, the Bank refused to activate that sum until the new government paid $9 million in interest incurred by its predecessor. A Bank official told a UN representative: “After all, we are a commercial enterprise and have to adhere to our regulations. “ The sum was eventually paid by some donors.

20. In the first nine months after the genocide, the donor community provided $1.4 billion in aid to the Hutu refugee camps in eastern Zaire and Tanzania. Since, as was universally known, genocidaires had taken over the camps, a good part of these funds went to feed and shelter them and to fund their re-training and re-arming as they planned cross-border raids back into Rwanda. For Rwanda itself, while donor funds for reconstruction were generously pledged, in the first year after the genocide only $68 million was actually disbursed. To this day, Rwanda has never received reparations remotely commensurate with the damage that the international community had failed to prevent.

21. Once the genocide ended, the UN military mission was finally expanded. As UNAMIR II, it remained in Rwanda for almost two more years as a peacekeeping force, costing the UN $15 million a month. But the main challenge had become less one of peacekeeping and more one of peace-building--- the reconstruction of a totally devastated country. UNAMIR had the equipment, the skills and the will to play a major role in reviving the country's shattered structures. What it lacked was the mandate and modest funding from the Security Council to perform such a role. But UN headquarters never sought such authorization from the Security Council, nor did the Council ever initiate such a move.

22. When a UN mission leaves a country, it follows a formula to determine how much of its equipment should be left behind. UNAMIR owned much desperately needed equipment, from computers to vehicles to furniture. When the mission wrapped up in April 1996, both UN officials in Kigali and members of the Security Council urged UN headquarters to interpret the formula with maximum generosity and flexibility; they believed that 80% of all non-lethal equipment should remain in Rwanda. UN headquarters announced that 93% of all equipment was to be transported out of the country for storage or use elsewhere . After much pressure was applied, the UN bureaucracy decreed finally that 62% of all equipment be removed.

23. So far as is known, not a single person in any government or in the UN has ever been fired or held accountable for failing to intervene in the genocide. In fact, the opposite is true. Some careers flourished in the aftermath. Several of the main actors were actually promoted. We can consider this the globalization of impunity.

24. Despite the unanimity of every major study undertaken and in the face of the testimonies of survivors and the first-hand accounts of international humanitarian workers in Rwanda at the time, denial of the genocide persists. Deniers include Hutu Power advocates, many of them still active in western countries, as well as lawyers and investigators working for Hutu clients at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Denying the Rwandan genocide is the moral equivalent of denying the Holocaust.

* Gerald Caplan is the author of Rwanda: The Preventable Genocide (2000), the report of the International Panel of Eminent Personalities appointed by the Organization of African Unity to investigate the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, and the founder of "Remembering Rwanda: The Rwanda Genocide 10th Anniversary Memorial Project".

* Send comments on this editorial - and other events in Africa - to [email protected]

NOTE FROM PAMBAZUKA NEWS EDITORS: This year is the 10th Anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda, an event that, as Gerald Caplan so succinctly summarises, was marked by the failure of the international community, complacency, neglect and, in some cases, outright collusion. An international campaign is underway to mobilise to mark this anniversary - "REMEMBERING RWANDA". As our contribution to this campaign, we will be featuring a section called Remembering Rwanda (see below). We also plan to publish a special issue on Rwanda in April 2004. Get involved! Organise an event in your institution, town, village or city. Send us information about what you are doing to commemorate the anniversary and to provide solidarity to the rebuilding of Rwanda."

* NOTE FOR EDITORS: Please note that this editorial was commissioned from the author for Pambazuka News. While we are pleased that several print publications have used our editorials, we ask editors to note that if they use this article, they do so on the understanding that they are expected to provide the following credit: "This article first appeared in Pambazuka News, an electronic newsletter for social justice in Africa, www.pambazuka.org" Editors are also encouraged to make a donation.




Comment & analysis

Monsanto pushes GM wheat to secure future access to lucrative African markets

Mariam Mayet

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/19892

On the 19th January 2004, Monsanto SA (Pty) Ltd stunned South Africans when it announced that it was seeking a food and feed safety clearance for its genetically modified (GM) Roundup Ready wheat to expedite future imports. This application must be seen against the backdrop to the fact that GM wheat is not grown commercially in any part of the world and is years away from regulatory approval in Canada and the United States of America (US) where research and experiments are still continuing and no approval has yet been granted.

Once Monsanto obtains such approval, the legislative weakness in the South African biosafety law expressly excludes future importers of Roundup Ready wheat from the need to obtain import permits. Biosafety oversight will in that event, effectively cease to exist. Such future importers of the Roundup Ready wheat would then have carte blanche to import the Roundup Ready wheat into South Africa, and thereby not have to comply with the biosafety oversight procedures in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (Biosafety Protocol). Crucially, approval from the South African authorities will provide Monsanto with an enormous political coup to convince other African countries that its Roundup Ready GM wheat is “safe”. It will also go a long way towards laying the groundwork for control over the very lucrative wheat market in Africa.

In this context it is worth noting that Africa imports approximately 30 million tons of wheat per year. The US government has targeted Africa as a major market for its wheat, especially since competition from the European Union (EU) and Russia is not as fierce owing to dwindling wheat exports from these countries. The US expects its exports to climb to 30 million tons during 2004, an 8-year high, and “sales to Africa will be a major reason.”

Monsanto's Difficulties with obtaining approval in Canada and the US

Monsanto Canada and Monsanto Corporate have applied for regulatory approval for its Roundup Ready GM wheat in both the USA and Canada. However, to date, neither the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, nor Health Canada, have granted approvals for general cultivation and human safety respectively. Monsanto Canada's failure to obtain such approval is partly due to the groundswell of resistance from farmers and farmer organisations in Canada. Two years ago, the organic farmers of Saskatchewan filed a class action lawsuit to stop Roundup Ready wheat. On 27th May 2003, the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB), a farmer-controlled grain marketing agency called on Monsanto Canada to withdraw its environmental safety assessment. Recently, Agriculture Canada announced that it was abandoning its long running project involving GM wheat it had been developing in partnership with Monsanto. Jim Bole from the government Department of Agriculture Canada said that this decision reflected the concerns of Canada's wheat customers.

In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is still in the throes of conducting a voluntary safety review of Monsanto Corporation's Roundup Ready wheat for human and animal consumption. Monsanto Corporation is still awaiting approval from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.) The FDA, USDA and EPA share regulatory oversight for GM crops in the US where there is no overarching comprehensive biosafety legislation.

Paying Lip Service to Biosafety

The central question that the South African government must answer, is what data exactly, will it use to consider, assess and evaluate Monsanto's application, particularly since the field trials and safety evaluations are still taking place in the US and Canada? Why is it that Monsanto is so confident so as to seek a food and feed safety clearance from the South African government? South Africa's bias in favour of GMOs is well documented. Its biosafety laws pays lip service to the notion public biosafety concerns. It has long since been described by environmental and development lawyers as showing “a cynical disregard for contemporary international and national environmental principles, as well as for the development imperatives of South Africa”. Monsanto's application also has implications for the integrity of the Biosafety Protocol. The First Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol will take place in Malaysia from 23rd to 27th February, a momentous event in global genetic engineering regulation since the Protocol entered into force only on 11th September 2003.

South Africa is a Party to the Biosafety Protocol but it has not yet revised its GMO Act, to give effect to the Biosafety Protocol. South Africa's Constitution does, however, make it clear that the Biosafety Protocol is binding on South Africa.

However, the safety approval sought by Monsanto is in respect of non-existent GM wheat, whereas the Biosafety Protocol applies to real situations of cross border trade in genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and not to speculative trade in respect of non existent GMOs. An early decision now in favour of the import of Monsanto's GM wheat, relieves South Africa of the obligation later, to abide by the regulatory requirements of the Biosafety Protocol, including its critically important Precautionary Principle. Such a pre-emptive move by Monsanto is clearly calculated to undermine the spirit, intention, principles and objectives of the Biosafety Protocol.

Pre-emptive Bid For Control Over Lucrative African Wheat Market

Monsanto Corporation needs the lucrative African wheat market. Its loss widened to $97 million it its fiscal first quarter in 2003, and this excludes its $69 million goodwill write off related to its global wheat business. North Africa imports approximately 18 million tons of wheat per year, and Sub-Saharan Africa approximately 10 million tons. South Africa itself is a net wheat importer, having imported 1.2 million tons of wheat during 2003, owing to the worst crop in a decade. The provision of wheat as food aid is also an important factor for the push for the African wheat market. For instance, Ethiopia, the centre of diversity of wheat, imported 600, 000 of wheat last year as food aid from the US and EU.

Safety clearance will greatly assist Monsanto to convince key African importers who have already voiced concern over GM wheat, to accept it as being safe. Consider for example the following statements:

“On January 5, Algeria, which imports large amounts of durum wheat from the United States, announced that it would not import any genetically modified wheat. Egypt and Saudi Arabia are taking a similar tack with respect to wheat”

“If you have just one grain in a thousand which is genetically modified, the consumer is going to refuse it.”

Thus, it is evident from the above that the granting of the application sought by Monsanto will greatly assist it to capture the African wheat market. South Africa is hence, the entry point for the export of GE wheat into the rest of Africa that will be forced to succumb in a domino effect.

* Mariam Mayet is an environmental lawyer, with a BA, LLB, LLM (Wits) and heads the African Centre for Biosafety.

* Send comments on this editorial - and other events in Africa - to [email protected]


WSF: In search of a deeper dialogue beyond Addis and Bamako

Thomas DEVE

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/19929

The African Social Forum has grown in stature and can now meet IC criteria required for an entity to be seriously considered to play a leading role in the convening of the annual global meeting that parallels the Davos World Economic Forum. In my opinion, the main one was the ASF role in strengthening and mobilising social movements in Africa to participate in WSF as part of the process leading to consolidation of the world social movement. Its processes saw the building of an African space for the formulation of concerted alternatives to neo-liberal globalisation, based on a diagnosis of the latter's social, economic and political effects. The Forum helped define social, economic and political reconstruction strategies, including a redefinition of the role of the State, the market and citizens' organisations.

Armed with two basic documents crafted in Bamako (Mali) in 2002, and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) in 2003, those pursuing anti-capitalist struggles within the framework of WSF will acknowledge that ASF has opened new avenues to define citizen control procedures to ensure that political change promotes the expression and implementation of alternative, credible and viable responses to corporate-led globalisation. The Mumbai Africa meeting failed to consolidate this foundation and found itself bogged down in process issues that should have been addressed before all proceedings. In my reading of the programme, some of the concerns should have been captured in the first session. We would have been briefed of developments in the IC and what issues Africa was chasing in the context of Mumbai.

This would have been the moment to emphasise that after Addis, the ASF recommendations, placed emphasis on the following working themes and strategies: promoting national, sub-regional and thematic forums and making sure that these spaces, initiated in a decentralised and autonomous way, are organised by national and sub-regional social and grassroots movements. Secondly, it would have been prudent to reiterate that emphasis was now being placed on promoting the participation of organisations of the African social movement in the World Social Forum through activities, alliances and a marked presence, and finally, encouraging alliances between components of the African social movement and international social movements, especially those in the south. Thirdly, we should also have been told that the African social forum activities being held in the context of Mumbai 2004 have resulted from a number of processes on the continent and scenarios had emerged after organising two Forums in Africa, that our context (distance, local priorities of the movements, multiplicity of agendas both at continental and international levels, poverty) compels us to define a more appropriate pace to link up with the global movement without competing with continental and regional priorities. Fourthly, the organising committee of the African Social Forum should have outlined how it had come to the conclusion that it was preferable for the global forum to serve as a space for the convergence of decentralised and autonomous initiatives rather than a repetition of continental events.

* Read the rest of this article by clicking on the link below. Please send comments to [email protected]
Africa in search of a deeper dialogue beyond Addis and Bamako

Reflections on Africa and the Mumbai 2004 World Social Forum

By Thomas DEVE*

Introduction
The African presence at the World Social Forum (WSF) in India remarkably
improved the continent's chances of becoming a leading and formidable bloc
in the global justice movement mobilising under the slogan "Another world is
possible".

Armed with two big banners "Africa is not for sale" and "solutions to
Africa's problems are in Africa" the African Social Forum (ASF), which is
the prime mobilizing entity for African participation in WSF, joined
thousands of other activists who thronged Mumbai to register their protests
against neo-liberalism and proudly proclaim that the World Social Forum is
not an organisation, not a united front platform, but "...an open meeting
place for reflective thinking, democratic debate of ideas, formulation of
proposals, free exchange of experiences and inter-linking for effective
action, by groups and movements of civil society that are opposed to
neo-liberalism and to domination of the world by capital and any form of
imperialism, and are committed to building a society centred on the human
person". (From the WSF Charter of Principles).

This must be viewed against the background that next to the WSF venue,
another group known as Mumbai Resistance (MR) was organising a parallel
forum in the Bhagat Singh veterinary college, and had announced
"...Critiques of the World Social Forum and its antiglobalisation conference
have taken an organisational form."

Calling for more militant resistance, as part of their strategy to sharpen
the anti-imperialist struggle worldwide, the group reduced WSF to a puppet
of the bourgeois state and big business, simply because its charter excludes
representatives of national liberation movements.

Most major roads to Nesco grounds, the venue of mainstream WSF activities
and all bridges in Goregoan were visibly endowed with MR graffiti and the
most appealing of these writings on the wall was "Debate alone cannot change
this world".

This expose was an interesting entry into Mumbai and will definitely affect
our debates in Africa on the future and role of the Social Forum.

Having been energised and nourished by anti-capitalist sentiments and
resolutely positioned to fight neo-liberalism, most popular forces and
progressive organisations under the auspices of the African Social Forum who
managed to come to Mumbai will have a lot to discuss and write on, given the
two tendencies they confronted in India.

But most importantly, they have to put in place concrete programmes of
action and instigate debate on what is required for Africa to bid for
hosting the World Social Forum in the near future regardless of the fact
that MR 2004 now caricatures the global forum as W$F.

Reviewing the Agenda
The challenges for Africa became clear during the African seminar which was
occasionally punctuated by heated debates and fireworks in which delegates
sought for a deeper dialogue beyond Addis and Bamako declarations.
The first of these challenges arose when Oupa Lehulere from South Africa's
Khanya College requested that the agenda be amended so that the meeting
concentrates on how Africa could turn its perspectives against
neo-liberalism into practical programmes of action to mobilize and build
movements on the ground.
The circulated agenda covered the following:
Overview and objectives of the African seminar by Taoufik Ben Abdallah.
1) NEPAD and the African Union (Mohau Pheko and Yash Tandon)
2) Cancun and beyond (Dot Keet)
3) Debt and International Financial Institutions' policies (Demba
Moussa Dembele)
4) The farming issue (Ibrahima Coulibaly)
5) Peace and conflicts (Bakary Fofana)
6) Culture (Aminata Traore)
7) The gender issue (Sara Longwe & Elizabeth Eilor)
8) Activities of ASF membership (overview of national and sub-regional
initiatives undertaken in 2003 or planned for 2004)
9) Seminar on the relationships between social movements in Africa,
Asia and Latin America with Samir Amin, Mohau Pheko, Aminata Traoré, Walden
Bello, Vandana Shiva and Roberto Bissio billed to be some of the speakers.
10) And finally, an exchange of views on "the African social movement
and the WSF" where WSF organising committee members from India and Brazil
would interact with the ASF.
Lehulere argued that this programme should create room for a special
discussion of exactly how Africa organises itself, its networks and give
each other support in-between the international meetings, World and African
Social Forum meetings.
Efforts to debate the issue in the 300-seater hall which was packed to
capacity were thwarted by trade unionist Hassan Sunmonu who argued that an
agenda presented before him provided the basis for approaching the Mumbai
seminar and any other issues people were raising should be restricted to an
"African" audience only, adding that preferably, such matters have to be
discussed on the African soil.
But some delegates were not satisfied with this response and indicated that
Mumbai had attracted a big number of Africans and no such opportunity was
available in the near future on the continent, an argument that forced some
Steering Committee members to caucus and establish if a venue could be found
in Mumbai for such a meeting.
Before this exercise was completed, George Dor from Jubilee South Africa,
sought clarification on the matter, but was ruled out of order by Sunmonu,
who in turn attracted the wrath of some delegates who felt that he was being
too harsh.
Arguing that a chair could not be ruled out of order by the public led to a
temporary disruption of the meeting's proceedings, as there was some
heckling and walkouts.
"If we cannot be heard here in an open forum, where else do you want us to
speak?" murmured some delegates.
One delegate from Kenya jumped to the podium and bawled out "African issues
cannot be discussed in Mumbai!!!"
His sentiment resonated with those of the chair and was not ruled out of
order despite the agreement that all issues to be raised from the floor were
now directed at the ongoing discussion on NEPAD and the African Union.
Mondli Hlatshwayo another delegate from South Africa who had been noted as a
contributor to the NEPAD debate by the chair never got round to speak,
leaving many wondering whether the chair was panicking over the enthusiasm
of South Africans to intervene.
Ironically, the lead resource persons, Mohau Pheko and Yash Tandon on the
NEPAD panel were from Southern Africa.
Their presentations and barrages on NEPAD not only exposed weaknesses of the
development paradigm the programme is rooted in, but also proceeded to state
what should be done.
Solutions offered and action they proposed, ranged from slowing down
Africa's integration into the global economy to reorienting economies of the
continent so that they satisfy basic needs of the people before placing
emphasis on linking economic growth to export performance.
The controversial NEPAD is closely associated with South African President
Thabo Mbeki.
"What is wrong with you South Africans?" quizzed one journalist from Kenya.
Efforts to influence the agenda of Mumbai had started well before getting to
India.
It has been learnt that Trevor Ngwane from South Africa had written to the
African Social Forum Secretariat suggesting that the Mumbai Africa seminar
considers some of the main issues that came about during the campaign
against the World Summit on Sustainable Development that was held in
Johannesburg, South Africa in August 2002.
In addition to his request, he endorsed the strategic proposals made in
Maputo, Mozambique binding the African Social Forum to hold a meeting that
could deliberate on some of the thorny issues related to mobilising Africa.
" We fully endorse the decision of the Maputo meeting (held in December
2003) that the ASF should, in addition to the seminar, have a meeting to
discuss organizational and programmatic issues, namely, the structure and
function of the ASF, the role of regions, the role of the Secretariat,
programmes to build and support social movements, etc.
"We suggest that this meeting is very important and should be
well-advertised to the relevant comrades and be given enough time to deal
with ASF matters. This is especially so in the light of the failure of the
annual ASF meeting to sit in 2004. We feel that it is very important to
discuss how we will practically build the struggle to defend the African
masses from neo-liberal attacks in between the international meetings we
attend," the letter noted.

A response from the Secretariat noted the concerns, but highlighted that it
was too late to make any amendments because this was an agenda that would be
reflected on the registered events and printed version of WSF programme.

Part of the note read, "Regarding the Seminar, as you know, the agenda was
discussed in Maputo. We ask speakers to focus on activities that took place
on the ground.
As for a discussion on the future of the ASF, it was decided in Maputo to
have a special meeting on it next April. I agree that these are important
issues that we should discuss."

It is interesting to note that the framework document for the Mumbai meeting
spells out clearly that the purpose of the African seminar was "to enable
African participants to express their opinions on issues of concern to the
continent and exchange their views and experiences. It also aims to make
African issues more visible to the media and other components of the world
movement."

The above pronouncement and call to Africa sounded fine before the "washing
of dirty linen in public" doctrine was invoked as a way of defending the
programme.

Inside the seminar, the presentations proceeded as outlined in the programme
and the African seminar was once again running as a "festival of good
intentions" which Outtara Diakalia, a delegate from Cote d' Ivoire, felt was
stuck in some routine discourse that seemed not to be changing.

"We seem to be having the same discourse. What happened to our action
programme and resolutions?" he noted.

If one constantly attends some of these meetings and is exposed to the same
speakers all the time, there is need to listen to them much more closely.

When something new comes out, one might miss it because you think you have
heard it all before.

As much as the presentations sounded like another round of Addis and Bamako
and even the 2003 African seminar in Porto Allegre, they recognised the new
issues and challenges coming out of the struggles versus neo-liberalism, the
latest triumph being the resistance in Cancun.

There were open calls to set up democratic institutions, challenge
dictatorships and most importantly, resist imperialist manipulation of
Africa's political leaderships through processes like the African Peer
Review mechanism in NEPAD.

For the latter intervention, South Africa was cited as being manipulated by
the British and Americans in its handling of the political crisis in
Zimbabwe.

Beyond the Issues
The second day of the African seminar proceeded without any incidents.

The seminar focussed peace and conflicts, culture and gender. There was not
enough time to deal with report backs which were deferred to day three.

In terms of developing correct and compelling analysis on global trends and
neo-liberalism, the ASF has demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that it is
a powerhouse and has the resources that can be competently deployed to any
space in WSF.

The big challenge it has to confront relates to the leadership issues,
mandates and representation of its various entities. This becomes an urgent
matter when one considers the fact that it has been accepted that social
movements in their diversity should be mobilized with the view of making
them a significant player in the process of building "Another world."

The ASF must now demonstrate its willingness and capacity to mobilise mass,
people's and social organisations to articulate and work for vibrant
progressive political processes through nurturing worker, peasant, youth,
cultural, women's movements and dialogue about these ideas with people from
across the world.

This process has started and the Secretariat has something to boast of in
this respect, but it will always be confronted by representatives of social
movements who have openly voiced their disapproval of NGOs playing a leading
in the WSF process.

In the few instances that I have witnessed activists discussing this
question, one was left in no doubt that Taoufik Ben Abdallah who has offered
to house the Secretariat in Enda, Senegal will be subjected to sniper-type
attacks and plots until such a time that the ASF is decentralised to an
extent that he will no longer be the sole reference point for the
pan-African processes.

This explains why a plethora of documents and analysis on ASF will float
around and attract no response from the Secretariat because they will have
been read as consisting "personal attacks", a myth which we now seek to
debunk as we challenge each other to come out in the open and voice our
concerns without fear or favour.

Related to this, it is anticipated that the Secretariat will be mandated and
empowered to have enough personnel that can power communication,
systematically collect and organise material from various national forums,
disseminate alternative analysis, proposals and strategies of resistance to
neo-liberalism that have come out of the forums.

The above will be difficult to achieve if our emphasis is placed on fussing
and fighting with each other. We need to spend less time on agonising and
start to organise. This will be a major challenge to my compatriots in
Southern Africa who have remained outside the ASF process, but are always
present in the annual WSF.

Hosting WSF in Africa
Inspired by the presence of more than three hundred delegates in Mumbai,
brutally frank and explosive exchanges on Africa's position in the global
struggle, some members of the India organising committee and World Social
Forum International Council (IC) found it appropriate to declare their
readiness to support the continent in the event that its delegates seek to
bid for hosting the world event in the near future.

These commitments were made against the background that Mumbai, the venue
for WSF 2004, is a cradle of the Dalit (Untouchables) and left movement in
India growing out of the bustling streets of the city that have for long
provided a platform for democratic ideas, not withstanding the fact that the
same city has experienced attempts by fundamentalist parties to erode the
social fabric.

In the words of Brazilian activist, Candido Grzybowski, the world needs a
world social forum with an African face, guided by democratic processes and
free from governments and other forces that might seek to manipulate the
exercise.

Grzybowski had the opportunity to seat in a session where African delegates
were receiving reports on continental activities inspired by the spirit of
the Addis Ababa consensus document which is closely linked the Bamako
declarations, embodying the spirit of Africa's anti-globalisation activism
and foundations for launching a struggle versus neo-liberalism.

For a number of activists who have been closely associated with the world
and continental Forum processes, the issue of bidding should not be raised
within our ranks. They argue that our social movements have not developed
the requisite linkages and vibrancy that would match the energy often
associated with Porto Alegre and now Mumbai.

Some even fear that Africa's organisational weaknesses will be exposed and
cripple the growth of the process in Africa.

Entertaining these fears would have made sense before going to Mumbai, but
now it is too late because some social movements and anti-globalisation
activists see Africa as another bloc that can move and shake the imperial
forts now being spawned the world over.

Why?

The issue had been discussed in the mid-December 2003 Maputo meeting where
it was resolved that Profs.Edward Oyugi and Yash Tandon, Sara Longwe and
Taoufik Ben Abdallah initiate the discourse in Africa. While some felt that
it was too early to take firm positions on the matter, others retorted that
the continent must have some direction on how to tackle the subject in case
it is raised in Mumbai.

As an initial step to review Africa's capacity, the Secretariat advised that
it was working tirelessly to strengthen the continent's representation in
the IC. All present agreed with this approach and recommended that many
organisations as possible should familiarise themselves with the principles
guiding the IC and participate in its meetings so that Africa's voice is
strengthened.

It was noted that while a number of people in the ASF steering committee
were expected to serve in the IC, many had not attended the organ's planning
meetings consistently.

Recognising this weakness, the Secretariat decided to develop south-south
linkages whose labour bore fruits when Candido Grzybowski decided to jostle
Africa into the hosting bid.

The same concern was addressed in Maputo with specific reference to Africa's
social movements representation in the European Social Forum for example.

It was anticipated that further dialogue on this issue was going to be held
in Mumbai and iron out some of the problems the Secretariat had identified.

Missing links in the African Seminar

In the presentation, "Overview and objectives of the African seminar",
Taoufik Ben Abdallah rushed through his notes and missed the opportunity to
present on behalf of the Secretariat "The state of the African Social Forum"
and why it was not possible to hold a continental meeting as has been the
case during the last two preparations for WSF.

The information was there. Some of the arguments were put in the document
outlining the logic of the African seminar in Mumbai. In practical terms,
this was what formed the basis for organising the seminar on the third day
and explains to a large extent why the issues that were thrown out on the
first day found their way back.

Unfortunately for day one of the African seminar, most of the "matters
arising" were often sneaked into panel discussions as either "points of
order" or "process issues". In the end, it appeared like most session chairs
did not have the capacity to manage the divergences because they resorted to
technicalities to dismiss "dissenting voices" when in fact this was a well
orchestrated political programme as was demonstrated on day three.

This gave an initial impression that ASF was heavily divided and a certain
group of people were in Mumbai to create chaos and confusion.

Subsequently, those who felt they were being shut out, sought to organise
politically against the technical knockouts resulting in a more spirited
engagement on day three.

Logistical challenges and space for Africa

Other important things to note at this stage were the logistical challenges
encountered by the ASF Secretariat in India.

Despite the fact that there was an advance party in Mumbai to deal with
logistics, the hosts left some ends too loose to the extent that at the last
minute, Taoufik Ben Abdallah found himself running round like a headless
chicken in his efforts to sort out issues like equipment for simultaneous
translation which the organisers had promised would be put in place at the
earmarked venues.

Absence of translation facilities disrupted the set time schedules and gave
the impression that time management was poor.

On two occasions, proceedings had to stop abruptly because the ASF had
overshoot its time limit and other groups were demanding to use the same
venue.

At the media centre where the Secretariat had secured space to house the
editorial team that produced Flamme d' Afrique, the ASF daily newspaper,
everything was again loaded onto Taoufik's shoulders and all efforts to
offload some of these responsibilities proved futile as the organisers
insisted that they needed his physical presence in order for some of the
team's requests to be met.

In future, Africa should just secure its own space and make sure that all
facilities are specified and secured well in advance to suit their
requirements.

Similar challenges were encountered in Brazil in 2002 where proceedings took
longer when we failed to secure simultaneous translation for the three
working languages, English, French and Portuguese.

The Action Aid team from Africa had warned us in December during the Maputo
strategic planning meeting and insisted that Africa must have its own tent
and guaranteed spaces.

And even in Mumbai, they were still asking, " where is the Africa solidarity
tent?"

But now with the benefit of hindsight, one does not hesitate to recommend
that in future, we must secure our own space for the duration of the Forum
in addition to the display stand, which by the way served as a very
important reference point for Africa in Mumbai.

What should have been done?
Since we had many people from Africa attending WSF for the first time in
Mumbai who were not sponsored by ASF, it would have been prudent to give
them a brief history and organisational structure of the ASF on the first
day of the seminar.

And for those who were not privileged enough to have a continental picture
of ASF activities but were involved since Bamako or Addis, early
interventions in this area would have helped those present to appreciate the
context in which one section of the Forum was demanding a change in the
programme and requesting that the meeting deals with ways of enhancing
accountability on the part of the Secretariat and the Steering Committee.

These are not new issues in the history of the Forum.

If we look back to the July 2002 Report of the Steering Committee of the
African Social Forum meeting held in Port Shepstone, South Africa, some of
these issues were raised and an action-oriented programming guideline was
spelt out.

The meeting spelt out criteria and governance issues the ASF is supposed to
deal with and how the thematic representatives are expected to feed back to
their respective constituencies.

In the hosting of the pan African meeting before going to any World Social
Forum, several criteria were outlined for the selection of the organising
country and these were stated as:
- "The existence of an organised and dynamic local civil society
- Possibilities for the African Social Forum to interact with the
local social movement and strengthen it.
- The existence of good quality logistic conditions
- Access facility by air and affordable transport costs
- And favourable political context that will facilitate, in
particular, the organisation of peaceful public events."

On financing the Forum and participating in World Social Forum: the
Secretariat will continue to deploy efforts to mobilise the resources
necessary for the organisation of the African Social Forum and support
participation to the World Social Forum. However, sub-regional and thematic
representatives should take the responsibility of mobilising most of the
funds required for that purpose.

Those serving in the organising committee should report on the state of
mobilisation and use of funds before rank and file members, their
organisation and their financial partners. They should also provide the same
information to the Committee.

On organisation of the Forum, it was reiterated that this should be highly
decentralised at the level of sub-regions and networks. The sub-regional and
thematic heads within the Committee should take their responsibility in the
organisation of the next Forum. At the same time, the local social movement
should be largely associated with the various preparatory phases.

On mobilising participants to the Forum, this should be done on the basis of
an enhanced balance between actors of social movements, sub-regions, and the
various thematic networks.

The parameters spelt out here set the foundation for the positions that
sealed the 2003 Addis Ababa consensus document where it is acknowledged,
"the Charter of Principles and Values ...will be the philosophical and moral
basis of our movement. It (The Addis Forum) has also proposed a number of
organisational mechanisms with the view to building a more democratic
African social movement."

It is on the basis of these vague "organisational mechanisms" that the
Southern African Social Forum almost failed to resolve how to deal with the
"delinquent" Addis Ababa six who were nominated to serve on the continental
steering committee as the engine of mobilising the region.

The Addis meeting deliberated on a document entitled "African Social Forum -
draft operational framework" which was meant to stimulate broad discussions
on the frequency of the Forum, governance through a regional committee,
which in turn would be serviced by an organising committee backed by a
Secretariat.

Among other things, it was proposed that the African Social Forum would
consist of:
-Conferences: to be organised by ASF structures
-Thematic workshops and seminars: to be organised by stakeholders
-Cultural events
-Events for specific groups: e.g. youth, women etc.

It would be greatly appreciated if the Secretariat could circulate a full
report from Addis or at least portions of it relating to this discussion
because this will help us root our post-Mumbai Africa-focussed discussions
to articulate what we deem constitutes "organisational mechanisms" referred
to in the Addis Ababa declaration.

Unfinished Debates
It should be recalled that in 2003, Mondli Hlatshwayo circulated his
reflections on ASF in a piece entitled "The African Social Forum-A tale of
two forces" wherein he concluded that:
"...The ASF has two distinct forces. There are those forces that are radical
in character. These forces are largely from Southern Africa. They have
attracted very few individuals and organizations in Kenya and Ethiopia. It
has to be said that these progressive forces were the minority in the ASF.

"Therefore there is a need to strengthen these forces in other regions of
Africa particularly in Francophone countries. The other forces are led by
NGOs that are not articulating the interests of the toiling masses. These
forces were in the majority in the ASF and they often used undemocratic
maneuvers to influence the political direction of the ASF. They want to
orientate the ASF towards the AU and other government type structures."

Guess who dared to challenge this?

It was Oupa Lehulere.

And it is instructive to note that he is the one who was perceived to be
"pelting" Taoufik Ben Abdallah in Mumbai and very few people knew that he
had issues with the ASF Secretariat arising from the way the Addis discourse
was handled.

He had sounded the warning shots long back, but unfortunately, his
sentiments were wished away and it never occurred to many that he would live
to resume the dialogue.

Oupa had this to say early last year,


"Let us not label each other and call each other names. Our mission is
clear. It is for the development of African peoples. There are many ways of
doing that and so there will always be people from different perspectives.

"To believe that the African Social Forum will be full of grassroots people,
only anti-globalization people, only anti-capitalists is to misunderstand
the complexity of Africa. So, Let us focus on ideas and how we can move the
ideas forward. Yes, of course it is a tale of two forces. Who will win and
why? Let us sharpen the discussions from each side and move towards a
consensus as in the Calabash African style and not in the roman winner take
all!
Let us plan well for the next regional ASF focusing on ideas, issues and
consensus on discussions between the different forces (or whatever you want
to call them)."

It is clear that he and other like-minded activists would be aggrieved
parties if Africans fail to hold the ASF as this is the Forum where they had
mobilized their forces to use as a battle ground for winning hearts and
minds around political choices and action they are articulating.

As Southern Africans prepared for the Zambia-hosted regional Social Forum
which was subsequently held in November 2003, they found themselves
confronting the politics of organizing the ASF and indirectly reviving the
unfinished business from ASF 2003.

Davie Malungisa from the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development
cautioned stakeholders to plan within the context of WSF principles and
noted what he thought was wrong with ASF.

"We need to give due attention to the issue of defining the agenda. It is my
belief that the Zambian team only constitute the hosting country and there
is need for their decisions to be take in the context of policy definition
through the team that was chosen in Addis and ensure that we are not
starting an entirely new process divorced from the World and Africa Social
Forums. ...I also hope that the Southern Africa Social Forum is not a
proposal about hosting a Conference, like what the Africa Social Forum has
been doing in the past two years. Let's have a real PEOPLE-BASED regional
Social Forum that might one day form the basis of a World Social Forum
hosting."

He argued further that "The Forum, of necessity, must be openly planned for
and avoid the cheap and narrow politicking that we are seeing at the Africa
Social Forum; we need a sound process that will address our agenda for the
NEPAD/AU debate and how we inform and engage our solidarity partners on the
way forward. The counting that we need to do is; how many thousands will
attend the Forum; mass mobilization, creativity and ideological clarity must
define the nature of our forum and its uniqueness will be defined by how we
make it a truly Southern Africa Social Forum with some clear messages to the
SADC leaders and tell them that never again are we going to sleep whilst
they peer review each other and legitimizing human butchery in the region. I
will throw in some issues and contradictions in the movement. Solidarity,
mobilization and principles is our only way forward. Thanks to Thomas and
EPP for introducing this debate, it is better to debate and fail to resolve
an issue than resolving an issue without debate; we leave the latter to
Mafia and Bushmasters.

"Comrades, let us be brutally honest to offer clear class issues so that we
polish contentious points, avoid experimenting while the people we purport
to represent are dying from preventable diseases!" concluded Malungisa.

These are very tough and mean words, but ironically coming from people and
forces that were to drive serious processes that saw Southern Africa
becoming the only region which hosted a regional forum in Africa. It is also
interesting to note that their forum broadly identified the Addis Ababa
recommended governance structures as inadequate when it comes to responding
to the need to build another Africa within another world order. Hence the
deviation from "Another Africa is possible" to "This is our time. Another
Africa is in the making!!! in their Forum communiqué.

Back to the African Seminar

Reports on the final day of the African seminar in Mumbai were meant to
reflect on social forum experiences of Southern Africa, Niger, Morocco,
Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Guinea Conakry, Kenya, Mozambique, Mauritius, Senegal,
Sudan and Egypt.

The session was intended to get a sense of how Africa was organising its
social forces, relating with the African Social Forum Secretariat processes,
mobilisation strategies, and framework of ideas versus those in the World
Social Forum charter.

These issues were all going to dovetail into matters related to
organisational space and lessons learnt.

Not everybody managed to present.

Realising that time was not on his side, the chair Prof. Edward Oyugi from
Kenya, sought guidance from the floor on how best the programme could be
changed in order to accommodate guest speakers from India and Brazil who
could not stay for long as they had commitments elsewhere.

The good intention backfired.

Others wanted all reports to be made first while others felt that a pattern
had emerged from earlier interventions and any other reporting was not going
to change the issues, a situation that created chaos.

Finally, the chair managed to create space for the guests to speak.

It was at this point that Grzybowski dropped the bombshell for Africa "Are
you ready to host the WSF in 2006?"

After his departure, the subsequent debate on process issues pitted the
"South African voice" and their allies against a visibly defined West
Africa, but predominantly Francophone bloc.

They accused the Secretariat of being undemocratic and alleged that its
programme for Mumbai had veered from the positions and recommendations
developed during a consultative process that was held during December in
Maputo, Mozambique.

An intervention on the Maputo issues by Thomas Deve helped chart a way
forward as he noted that the Maputo process had deliberated on strengthening
the African Social Forum and recommended that a post-Mumbai meeting be held
specifically for the steering committee, strategic partners and any other
stakeholder in the forum process. This is where issues of ASF frequency,
Secretariat and other processes were to be scrutinized.

Dubbed the Africa-wide consultation meeting, the proceedings in Maputo
covered "The African Social Forum in the context of Mumbai", Country and
Regional Social Forum Reports (Mozambique, Southern Africa, East Africa,
West Africa, North Africa, Central Africa),
"Challenges of organising social movements, CSOs and social mobilisation
within the African Social Forum", review of the Bamako Declaration by
Charles Mutasa, Addis Ababa Consensus Document by Trevor Ngwane and "Life
after Cancun" with special reference to issues arising from the Africa Trade
Network 6th Annual Review and Strategy meeting held in Accra, Ghana; Views
from India by Pik Murthy,
"Collaborative Framework for African CSOs, Social Movements and cooperating
partners in Mumbai" and finally, Logistics for the World Social Forum.

Some semblance of order emerged when it was announced that the ASF
Secretariat will organise a special meeting in Africa to address these
issues some time in April. On a related note, a Mozambique-based association
of farmers, UNAC offered to host a southern-Africa review meeting to deal
with the same issues in early March.

Whither Africa?
The African Social Forum has grown in stature and can now meet IC criteria
required for an entity to be seriously considered to play a leading role in
the convening of the annual global meeting that parallels the Davos World
Economic Forum.

In my opinion, the main one was the ASF role in strengthening and mobilising
social movements in Africa to participate in WSF as part of the process
leading to consolidation of the world social movement.

Its processes saw the building of an African space for the formulation of
concerted alternatives to neo-liberal globalisation, based on a diagnosis of
the latter's social, economic and political effects.

The Forum helped define social, economic and political reconstruction
strategies, including a redefinition of the role of the State, the market
and citizens' organisations.

Armed with two basic documents crafted in Bamako (Mali) in 2002, and Addis
Ababa (Ethiopia) in 2003, those pursuing anti-capitalist struggles within
the framework of WSF will acknowledge that ASF has opened new avenues to
define citizen control procedures to ensure that political change promotes
the expression and implementation of alternative, credible and viable
responses to corporate-led globalisation.

The Mumbai Africa meeting failed to consolidate this foundation and found
itself bogged down in process issues that should have been addressed before
all proceedings. In my reading of the programme, some of the concerns should
have been captured in the first session. We would have been briefed of
developments in the IC and what issues Africa was chasing in the context of
Mumbai.

This would have been the moment to emphasise that after Addis, the ASF
recommendations, placed emphasis on the following working themes and
strategies: promoting national, sub-regional and thematic forums and making
sure that these spaces, initiated in a decentralised and autonomous way, are
organised by national and sub-regional social and grassroots movements.

Secondly, it would have been prudent to reiterate that emphasis was now
being placed on promoting the participation of organisations of the African
social movement in the World Social Forum through activities, alliances and
a marked presence, and finally, encouraging alliances between components of
the African social movement and international social movements, especially
those in the south.

Thirdly, we should also have been told that the African social forum
activities being held in the context of Mumbai 2004 have resulted from a
number of processes on the continent and scenarios had emerged after
organising two Forums in Africa, that our context (distance, local
priorities of the movements, multiplicity of agendas both at continental and
international levels, poverty) compels us to define a more appropriate pace
to link up with the global movement without competing with continental and
regional priorities.

Fourthly, the organising committee of the African Social Forum should have
outlined how it had come to the conclusion that it was preferable for the
global forum to serve as a space for the convergence of decentralised and
autonomous initiatives rather than a repetition of continental events.

Good arguments existed to back their decision for not holding the annual
meeting, but were not communicated to the rank and file, raising serious
questions about how members of the Steering Committee relate with their
various constituencies in terms of sharing information and finalising
strategies.

While it makes sense to argue that meeting at the global forum in Mumbai
minus the continental meeting would meet the goal of strengthening national
forums and reflect better the wealth of the social movements of the
continent, the Secretariat should have anticipated that others might
interpret that to mean that governance structures of ASF must be reviewed to
establish whether they were still relevant for the above task.

For those who did not read or see the Secretariat position with regard to
mobilising for India, it was outlined that: "Like the 2002 and 2003
editions, African Social Forum activities in Mumbai are intended to
consolidate the African expression in the World Forum and give greater
visibility to African organisations and movements."

Further, it was hoped that Mumbai will see African visions and perceptions
of another world being integrated in discussions on alternatives to
neo-liberalism and this also entailed strengthening alliances built with
Brazilians, Latin-American movements and most importantly, give Africa an
opportunity to express solidarity with the Asian people and movements in
their struggle against neo-liberalism.

As the Mumbai WSF demonstrated, these alliances are now essential since the
international context is characterised by the revival of south-south
alliances within the framework of international trade talks for example, and
by a situation in which multi-lateralism is being questioned.

An interesting development worth noting about Mumbai, was the relatively
large presence and role of Africans who were not mobilised under the ASF.
Most of them found politics of how the African Social Forum is being
organised more exciting than what issues Africa sought to mainstream in WSF.

The WSF organised panels recognised the role ASF has played in the fight to
rebuild another world and actively stalling neo-liberal ascendancy.
Literally, every African participating in the WSF panels is closely
associated with the ASF. The big challenge for such comrades, who are now
seen as Africa's ambassadors, is to translate that individual recognition
into organic links with mass movements that are active on the ground.

This will help us shape the discourse on the role of intellectuals, NGOS and
social movements and perhaps reduce the tension arising from fears that some
cooperating partners are now hijacking WSF through sponsoring our
ambassadors and placing less emphasis on social movements who in most cases
are not well structured to secure adequate funding from cooperating partners
or NGOs for that matter.

Finally, in our search for consolidating and entrenching democracy in the
African Social Forum, we must make sure that the latter's operations conform
with the realistic set of procedures that guide for example, the IC whose
work is now organised around six commissions that deal with strategies,
content, methodology, expansion, communication and finances respectively. It
has been recognised that as the WSF process expands, this opens new
opportunities and creates new challenges, which require changes in the
linkages and planning of activities. The ASF should embrace new ways of
organising and adopt a framework that is necessary to guarantee that it
operates and fulfils its responsibility as an open space.
End
(2.2.2004)

*Thomas Deve ([email protected]) coordinates the Economic Policy Project
at MWENGO(www.mwengo.org), an organisation whose mission is to nurture a
community of values by strengthening and mobilising African human resources
in support of organisations fighting for social justice.


WSF: Putting the ASF in order

Charles Mutasa

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/19930

The World Social Forum is one of the most significant civil and political initiatives of the past several decades. Since the first World Social Forum (WSF) was held in Porto Alegre in January 2001 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, as a counterpoint to the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, its call for ‘Another World is Possible!’ has been echoing as an alternative to challenge the neoliberal order. This year’s gathering in Mumbai, India, between 16-21 January was the fourth edition.

Official statistics estimate that about 80 thousand people represented by 2 660 organisations from 132 countries participated. Others put the number of participants at 150 000. The Mumbai gathering was different from the previous WSF meetings. First, Mumbai as a venue was no place to romanticize about poverty, unlike Porto Alegre, where poverty can be hidden. Despite the fact that it is India’s financial capital, two-thirds of Mumbai's people live in indescribably dirty shantytowns, where there are no water, taps or toilets in most homes. Taking a walk through Mumbai, one could not afford to ignore the signs of a sick economy.

Secondly, bringing the WSF to India afforded an opportunity for most poor Asians who could not in the past meet the cost of flying and living in the rather posh Brazilian city of Porto Alegre to have a feel of what happens at such world jamborees. One can safely say the majority of those who attended were from India and its neighbouring countries. Besides the usually refined criticism about the lack of transparency and democracy in the World Trade Organisation, International Monetary Fund and World Bank that characterizes these meetings, this time the majority, mostly Asian delegates, came, spoke, sung, danced, marched and denounced problems associated with the caste system, war, cultural imperialism, deep social and economic injustices and capitalism. They condemned the “Bushes and Blairs” of this world for the allied forces’ presence in Iraq, hailed socialism/communism and condoned Dalitism, as well as denounced the apartheid regime of Israel. Issues about dwelling rights and liveable cities, the caste system and “untouchable” Indians, the unsustainable situation of debt in poor countries of the world, and the coercive use of force by governments, multinational corporations and international financial institutions dominated the discussions.

The third difference was the African Social Forum (ASF) scenario. Of prime importance, Africans made a break-through in terms of their numbers at the WSF. Compared to the past three gatherings I attended, the Mumbai edition recorded the highest attendance of African civil society activists in the history of the WSF. I think around 350 to 400 Africans residing and working in Africa were in Mumbai. This was a big enough group to put the continent’s problems across. The ASF under the leadership of its secretariat in Senegal produced a daily paper, Africa Aflame, that captured and took into consideration Africa’s uniqueness and issues.

* Read the rest of this article by clicking on the link below. Please send comments to [email protected]
Putting the ASF in order
By Charles Mutasa
The World Social Forum is one of the most significant civil and political initiatives of the past several decades. Since the first World Social Forum (WSF) was held in Porto Alegre in January 2001 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, as a counterpoint to the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, its call for ‘Another World is Possible!’ has been echoing as an alternative to challenge the neoliberal order. This year’s gathering in Mumbai, India, between 16-21 January was the fourth edition.

Official statistics estimate that about 80 thousand people represented by 2 660 organisations from 132 countries participated. Others put the number of participants at 150 000. The Mumbai gathering was different from the previous WSF meetings. First, Mumbai as a venue was no place to romanticize about poverty, unlike Porto Alegre, where poverty can be hidden. Despite the fact that it is India’s financial capital, two-thirds of Mumbai's people live in indescribably dirty shantytowns, where there are no water, taps or toilets in most homes. Taking a walk through Mumbai, one could not afford to ignore the signs of a sick economy.

Secondly, bringing the WSF to India afforded an opportunity for most poor Asians who could not in the past meet the cost of flying and living in the rather posh Brazilian city of Porto Alegre to have a feel of what happens at such world jamborees. One can safely say the majority of those who attended were from India and its neighbouring countries. Besides the usually refined criticism about the lack of transparency and democracy in the World Trade Organisation, International Monetary Fund and World Bank that characterizes these meetings, this time the majority, mostly Asian delegates, came, spoke, sung, danced, marched and denounced problems associated with the caste system, war, cultural imperialism, deep social and economic injustices and capitalism. They condemned the “Bushes and Blairs” of this world for the allied forces’ presence in Iraq, hailed socialism/communism and condoned Dalitism, as well as denounced the apartheid regime of Israel. Issues about dwelling rights and liveable cities, the caste system and “untouchable” Indians, the unsustainable situation of debt in poor countries of the world, and the coercive use of force by governments, multinational corporations and international financial institutions dominated the discussions.

The third difference was the African Social Forum (ASF) scenario. Of prime importance, Africans made a break-through in terms of their numbers at the WSF. Compared to the past three gatherings I attended, the Mumbai edition recorded the highest attendance of African civil society activists in the history of the WSF. I think around 350 to 400 Africans residing and working in Africa were in Mumbai. This was a big enough group to put the continent’s problems across. The ASF under the leadership of its secretariat in Senegal produced a daily paper, Africa Aflame, that captured and took into consideration Africa’s uniqueness and issues.

The heavy presence of Africans at the WSF in Mumbai was also taken by others to be a time to put the ASF house in order, with a feeling that greater democratisation of the ASF secretariat was needed. What made issues tense for the ASF camp was not the lack of brilliant and contemporary issues to talk about. It was the mere absence of good organisation and recognition of various talents among colleagues. The failure by the secretariat based in Senegal to host a regional ASF meeting prior to Mumbai was in itself a blunder as it left the camp disorganised and exposed the lack of transparency and accountability on the part of the secretariat and the non-functioning of a Steering Committee supposed to check on the secretariat. Although the secretariat managed to send some delegates to Mumbai, there was no transparent and accountable means of selecting the delegates. The workshop speakers have been the same since the first meeting in Bamako, thrice in Porto Alegre and once in Addis Abba.

What was and is still mind-boggling is the pessimism among colleagues that Africans cannot host the WSF in 2006. This of course emanates from some quarters where people feel that there are more cracks within the African camp than necessary. The ASF Steering Committee has also not been very active in mobilising regional and national meetings in the continent, which need to become popularised.

Needless to say that the ASF needs to have its priorities right and needs a more legitimate leadership. There is a lot of opportunity for social movements to push for political and economic changes in Africa that many of us believe will not come on a silver plate. Whoever thinks that he has Africa at heart in the ASF must lead by ensuring that national forums and regional forums are the bases upon which the voice of the voiceless is heard.

* Charles Mutasa is a Research & Policy Analyst with AFRODAD, a research lobby and advocacy regional organisation seeking to secure positive policy changes to redress Africa's Debt and development crisis. Mutasa attended the WSF as a ASF delegate and is a facilitator of the Southern Africa Social Forum(SASF).




Advocacy & campaigns

March 20 is global day of action against Iraq occupation

2004-02-05

http://www.focusweb.org/index.php?option=news&task=viewarticle&sid=154

The General Assembly of the Global Anti-War Movement has called on the world to fill the streets on March 20 to demand an end to the occupation of Iraq. The General Assembly of the Anti-War Movement convened on January 19 at the World Social Forum (WSF) in Mumbai, India. Meeting for the whole day, the Assembly began with an assessment of the current political situation, followed by reports from various activists involved in various anti-war movements around the world. The Assembly ended with the call for an International Day of Action on March 20, the anniversary of the attack on Iraq. It calls for all movements in all continents to organize mass protests on that day to demand the end of the occupation of Iraq.


RR10 list of local endorsements, initiatives and committees

2004-02-05

http://www.visiontv.ca/RememberRwanda/LocalInitiatives.htm

Visit the link provided for a listing of events related to the Remembering Rwanda campaign.


RR10 update of activities

2004-02-05

http://www.visiontv.ca/RememberRwanda/ProgressReport2003.htm

In Rwanda, a National Steering Committee has been formed to plan the commemoration for the 10th anniversary of the genocide in April. The Committee includes the government, Ibuka (the survivors’ association), Avega (the association of genocide widows), Africa Rights, Never Again (a students’ group), and Remembering Rwanda. The theme chosen for this year’s commemoration is “Preventing and abolishing Genocide through effective universal solidarity”. Remembering Rwanda is recommending that all its supporters adopt this theme as well, to signal our solidarity with the Rwandan Steering Committee. In Rwanda, April 7 is the date on which the 10th anniversary officially begins, and the subsequent week will be spent in a series of events of commemoration.




Books & arts

'Fatal Indifference: The G8, Africa and Global Health' by Ronald Labonte and Ted Schrecker; David Sanders and Wilma Meeus

2004-02-05

http://www.spheru.ca/PDF%20Files/Fatal%20Indifference%20flyer1.pdf

The G8 (the United States, England, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Russia, the European Union, and Canada) represents the major political driver of contemporary globalization. It is also the most powerful political force behind the multilateral institutions that are shaping global economic practice and governance. The aid, trade, and investment policies and practices of G8 member nations largely shape the development possibilities of poorer countries around the world. This book provides a “report card” of commitments over the past three G8 summits (1999, 2000, and 2001) with a preliminary assessment of the most recent 2002 summit in Kananaskis, Canada. It presents findings from the G8 Research Centre at the University of Toronto (Canada), which has been tracking compliance on G8 commitments for a number of years. Based on research funded by IDRC, the book extends these assessments of compliance to an examination of how adequate G8 commitments are to global development needs.


'Poets’ diaries', Julius Chingono

2004-02-05

http://www.kubatana.net/html/archive/poetpr/031211jc.asp?sector=POETPR

"A small blasting job is required in Bluff Hill, fix and supply: $4 million. I try to get hold of the client, Mrs Shambare, over the phone for a quotation. I spend two hours in the office. Waiting can be trying. I chat with the receptionist. Mr Mukamba, the engineer for CPG, comes to inform me that he can only manage to buy explosives next week. I walk out resignedly." Zimbabwean poet Julius Chingono works as a rock-blasting contractor in daily life to support his family. He is also a Mufundisi – pastor – in the Tsitsi dzaMwari Apostolic Church. This posting on the website of Kubatana.net reproduces the poet's diaries, which give a fascinating insight into life in Zimbabwe.


Kwani? appeal for book donations

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/books/19774

We at Kwani? kindly request you to donate children's books, particularly by African writers, to the libraries in Mathare North and Eastleigh, run by MYSA (Mathare North Youth Association). Mrs. Anne Moore ([email protected]) is a librarian and has worked very hard to get these libraries organised. The official opening of the Mathare North MYSA Library will be on Sat 27th Feb and will be presided over by Ms Beverly Naidoo, ([email protected]), a children's author from the UK, and Yvonne Adhiambo, Winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing, 2003 (www.kwani.org).
Dear Friends,

We at Kwani? kindly request you to donate children's books, particularly by African writers, to the libraries in Mathare North and Eastleigh, run by MYSA (Mathare North Youth Association). Mrs. Anne Moore ([email protected]) is a librarian and has worked very hard to get these libraries organised.

The official opening of the Mathare North MYSA Library will be on Sat 27th Feb and will be presided over by Ms Beverly Naidoo, ([email protected]), a children's author from the UK, and Yvonne Adhiambo, Winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing, 2003 (www.kwani.org).

Kwani? visited this library on Wed 17th Dec 2003. We did give them a few of our books (Kwani? and Discovering Home), but felt that they needed books meant for younger children as well. The children's ages range from 3 years to young adults. More importantly, we gave them some pencils and notebooks to write a story on our visit...and I am proud to report that we have some award winning potential writers out there! We are now planning a visit to the Eastleigh library on Sat Feb
7th, so bring on the (literary) goodies.

We will gladly receive your donations at our offices (see address below), but feel free to get in touch with Anne Moore directly for more information on this.

June Wanjiru Marketing Manager Kwani Trust Email: [email protected] http://www.kwani.org Phone: +254 20 316719 Cell: +254 733 526358 / +254 721 934807 Rm 9A, 2nd Floor Queensway House Kaunda Street P. O. Box 75240 Nairobi 0200


New book highlights the plight of more than a million Ugandans

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/webspecials/northernuganda/default.asp

Michael, aged 25, was abducted by Lord's Resistance Army rebels in northern Uganda. His captors beat him on the head with rifle-butts when he was no longer able to carry their loot and left him for dead. Government soldiers found him a week later. "Termites had started eating me alive," he recalls. "They had begun building an anthill on my body." Michael's is one of many personal testimonies published in "When the sun sets, we start to worry...", a book launched by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in conjunction with its Integrated Regional Information Networks.


Review of African political economy

Volume 30 Number 98/December 2003

2004-02-05

http://journalsonline.tandf.co.uk

This issue contains:
* Zimbabwe out in the cold? by Ray Bush;
* Military corruption & Ugandan politics since the late 1990s by Roger Tangri, Andrew M Mwenda;
* The Bush administration & African oil: the security implications of US energy policy by Daniel Volman;
* Briefings Liberia: an analysis of post-Taylor politics by Thomas Jaye.




Letters & Opinions

Exemplary Advocacy

Rex Chapota

Institute for Advocacy on Children and Youth Affairs (IACYA), Malawi

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/letters/19889

This generation has seen a mushrooming of the so called ‘Good Will Ambassadors and Advocates’ on issues of both national and international concern. These people have been people of high standing as regards their offices like Presidents, Ministers, Members of Parliament and indeed are a sort of celebrity.

Malawi has also witnessed this trend and recently UNICEF-Malawi office accorded the current ‘Miss Malawi’ and our great musician from ‘Zembani Band’ to be their advocates for this good cause: a fight against HIV/AIDS to encourage behaviour change among youth.

What is of concern to me is that most, if not all, times these so called celebrities and top officials have ‘good rhetoric babblings’ on the issues BUT needless to say that they do not practice what they preach. If we talk about behaviour change amongst youth it is not just a song but a life that those who are on the platform have to start living like that. Remember people see. Let the youth not be taken for granted!

This has not only affected the HIV/AIDS cause, but even issues of child labour. We hear advocates calling for a halt in employing under aged children on a job, but their estates are full of the same.

The message is let us be exemplary in our advocacy attempts: Advocacy without action is a noise of an empty tin.


Helpful contribution for writers

Mike Butscher

Sierra Leone PEN Centre

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/letters/19890

We would like to receive regular editions of your respectable news bulletin. We are a writer’s association and believe your publication will be an invaluable collection to our writers, who include journalists. Please keep us informed also about coming events relating to journalism, development conferences and everything worthy.




Women & gender

Africa/Global: Anti-Aids measures 'fail women'

2004-02-05

http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1137435,00.html

Efforts to fight the HIV/Aids epidemic are failing because they are not reaching women and girls, who are most affected in the poorest countries, according to Peter Piot, Executive Director of the United Nations Aids Programme. Dr Piot was speaking at the launch of a new body called the Global Coalition on Women and Aids, which aims to take up the cause of women in Africa and Asia who do not have status or economic power, and are so subordinate to their man that they cannot negotiate even the use of a condom within marriage.


Africa: More African women being abducted

2004-02-05

http://www.sundaytimes.co.za/2004/02/01/news/news08.asp

The abduction of women and children in African military conflicts is on the rise, according to a United Nations report released last week. "Young girls are being taken hostage and abducted for marriage to military commanders and long-haul truck drivers," said the Economic Commission for Africa , a UN body based in Ethiopia .


Africa: New Report Documents Vast Benefits of Investing in Sexual and Reproductive Health Care

2004-02-05

http://www.planetwire.org/details/4513

Gaps in sexual and reproductive health care account for nearly one-fifth of the worldwide burden of illness and premature death, and one-third of the illness and death among women of reproductive age. These gaps could be closed and millions of lives saved with highly cost-effective investments, according to Adding It Up: The Benefits of Investing in Sexual and Reproductive Health Care, a new report released by The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. Policy makers, governments and donor agencies have vastly undervalued the diverse returns - economic and social as well as in health - such investments would bring, the report stresses. It calls for improvements in reproductive and sexual health essential to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals set by world leaders in 2000.


Ethiopia: Fistula makes Social Outcasts of Child Brides

2004-02-05

http://www.ipsnews.net/africa/interna.asp?idnews=22242

Meseret, from the Lalibela district in northern Ethiopia, was only 13 when she became pregnant. Married at 12, her underdeveloped body was not ready for the stress of giving birth. After six days of gruelling labour her child was finally born, but it was dead. As a result of the long labour, Meseret suffered crippling injuries.


Ghana: Women Call For Stiffer Female Circumcision Laws

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=39247&SelectRegion=West_Africa&SelectCountry=GHANA

Ghanaian women's rights groups have called for stronger laws against female genital mutilation (FGM) following two landmark rulings in northern Ghana against the traditional practice.


Horn of Africa: Stop violence campaign to be launched

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/wgender/19832

Representatives of women’s organisations from Djibouti, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, met in Djibouti from 22 to 26 January to develop plans for a “Stop Violence against Women” campaign. The workshop, funded by Novib and attended by representatives from Oxfam GB and Amnesty International, provided training to the participants on campaigning. Regional and national plans focusing on different issues related to the main campaign, such as female genital mutilation (FGM), discriminatory laws, conflict-related violence against women and abduction of women and girls, were developed during the workshop and activities will start in February. Amnesty International is launching a global campaign on the same subject on 5 March in New York. The Somali campaign, coordinated by three women networks (COGWO, NAGAD and WAWA), will focus on FGM and be launched on 8 March this year. The activities will include research, a launching event, public awareness and media activities and education, among others. This information comes from the Novib weekly situation report on the Somalia National Reconciliation Conference in Kenya.
NOVIB SOMALIA
SOMALIA NATIONAL RECONCILIATION CONFERENCE
MBAGATHI, KENYA
Supported by:

EC Somalia Unit n (o) vib
Oxfam Netherlands
_____________________________________________________________

Weekly Sitrep. 48 (Covering from 24th to 30th January, 2004)


Contents: Political developments, Security,
IGAD and the International Community, Civil Society,
Core groups and Issues for discussion.

Prepared by: Khalif Hassan Ahmed
Information and Documentation officer


Priority: External

Addressees: Novib, EC Somalia Unit, Local and
International Partners, Media Houses,
Websites, Core groups in Somalia and
Diaspora


Means: By Email

Highlights
· Conference progress and political differences
· Somali Leaders commitment to comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement
· UN condemns abduction of a Staff Member
· Annan appoints monitors for Somali Arms Embargo
· Increased level of involvement garners an agreement
· Kenyan MP’s visit venue of Somali Leaders consultation
· Annan welcomes the Somali Leaders agreement
· British MPs meet Somali groups at the talks
· UNHCR calls for increased support for Somalia
· Representatives of women’s organizations in the region meet in Djibouti

Political Developments
Conference progress
The harmonized position on the charter agreed upon by the Somali leaders was formalised in a ceremony held at State House in Nairobi on January 29 and witnessed by the Kenyan President, H.E Mwai Kibaki. The Kenyan Foreign Minister, the IGAD Facilitation Committee and the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF) held intense consultations with the Somali groups to develop this harmonized position. One of the major issues of contention during these consultations was the inclusion of the National Salvation Council in Article 30 of the harmonized document. The ceremony held at the State House was largely a symbolic gesture and 8 of the 39 Somali leaders signed the text and included Mohamed Abdi Yussuf (TNG prime minister), Abdullahi Yussuf Ahmed (Puntland president), Mohamed Qanyare (USC/G8), Musse Sudi Yalahow (Chairman, USC/SSA/National Salvation Council) Adan Mohamed Nur “Madobe” (RRA/SRRC), Mohamed Dhere (Chairman, Jowhar Administration), Sharif Salah and Asha Haji Elmi (Civil Society).

All of the leaders gave speeches (except for the civil society representatives) and affirmed their commitment to the remaining phase of the process. The leaders embraced and committed themselves to working together. The adoption of the harmonized agreement by the plenary was scheduled for 31 January. The Somali leaders who spoke at the ceremony assured all those involved in the mediation that they would move with speed into phase III - the final leg of the conference. This phase entails, among other issues, the formation of the Transitional Federal Government of the Somali Republic. According to the Kenyan Foreign Minister, it is expected that within a month, all the clans will have submitted the names of their nominees for the Transitional Federal Parliament.

The articles of note in the declaration signed at State House include Article 30, which deals with the selection of the parliament and gives the power of selection to Somali political leaders that were invited to the retreat (TNG, NSC, SRRC, G8, civil society and the regional administrations). The endorsement of these decisions will be left to traditional leaders. The harmonized declaration also committed the leaders to take the document to the plenary for endorsement, followed by an endorsement by the Transitional National Assembly (TNA) in Mogadishu. The leaders also committed themselves to coming up with a comprehensive ceasefire agreement that would be signed shortly.

TNG Delegation left Somalia to ratify the Amended Charter
The TNG delegation led by Abdiqassim Sald Hassan left for Mogadishu on Saturday 31st to finalise ratification of the amended charter by the TNA. The third phase will begin after the amended charter is adopted by the plenary in Mbagathi and ratified by TNA in Mogadishu.

Political differences:
Somali delegates turned down the plenary session to be held in Safari Park
Plans to hold the plenary meeting at the Safari Park Hotel, where the retreat was being held, were rejected by delegates at Mbagathi. The Mbagathi group (leaders) was summoned by the delegates in Mbagathi to discuss the commitment signed both at Safari Park and State House. In what was thought to be a retraction from the agreement signed, the leaders seemed to be distancing themselves from their own actions. According to an observer: “after committing themselves, the leaders are claiming to be unaware of their commitment. For fear of being in the losing end, the leaders seem to be fighting back through the delegates”, added the observer. The Kenyan Foreign Minister met the groups in Mbagathi and after consultations, it was agreed that the plenary would be held at Mbagathi on February 3. Contentious issues include again the number of signatories as well as the level of political leaders’ influence in the selection of the parliament. Consultation among the group is ongoing and the details of their discussions are not yet public.

Security
Somali leaders’ commitment to comprehensive ceasefire agreement
Although nothing was signed at the ceremony, some of the political leaders, including Abdiqassim (TNG) and Abdullahi Yussuf (Puntland), agreed to the importance of upgrading the Eldoret declaration (cessation of hostilities) into a ceasefire agreement to avoid any sort of aggression among the contenders.

UN condemns abduction of staff member
The United Nations strongly condemned the abduction of a UN staff member, Rolf Helmrich (German national) and has called for his immediate and unconditional release. According to a UN report, the staff member was abducted on the outskirts of Kismayo, approximately 45 kilometres north of the seaport. According to the UN Resident Representative/Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Maxwell Gaylard, the UN mandate is to support the Somali people in development and peace building efforts and in executing their duties the staff members’ safety have to be ensured.

Mr. Gaylard also condemned the recent murders of innocent women and children in clan-related conflicts in Southern Somalia. The Humanitarian Coordinator visited the Bakool region and several shocking incidents making women victims of reprisal were confirmed to him. The local human rights organizations also reported cases of abduction and rape of women and children. The UN chief called upon Somali leaders to take all possible steps to end the cycle of violence, in particular to safeguard the security and welfare of unarmed civilians, including women and children and to bring to justice to those who had committed crimes.

Annan appoints monitors for Somali arms embargo
According to the UN News Agency, the United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, responding to a Security Council request, has appointed a panel of four experts to monitor violations of the arms embargo against Somalia for the next six months as a follow up to the second panel of experts which presented its report to the council back in October last year. The panel will be based in Nairobi.

IGAD and the International Community
Increased level of involvement garners an agreement
In an interview with the Novib Discussion Platform, the Kenyan Ambassador to Somalia, Mohamed Abdi Affey stated that Ethiopia was supportive of the peace conference and its outcome. Ambassador Affey said that although Ethiopia was absent from the function physically, it was for logistical reasons but they were with them in spirit. In his visit to Kenya, the Ethiopian Foreign Minister confirmed their support to the Somali peace conference and its outcome to his Kenyan counterpart.

Kenyan Parliamentarians visit the venue of the Somali Leaders Consultation
A group of Kenyan MPs visited the venue of the Somali Leaders retreat to show solidarity with the Somali leaders. In an interview with Novib Discussion Platform, Billow Kerow, a KANU MP, stated that the restoration of peace in Somalia was a priority for them and they would be pleased to take an active role if the management of the conference made such a decision. The MPs were pleased by the agreement reached by the Somali leaders and they advised them to build on this achievement and move forward to the remaining phase of the peace conference.

Annan welcomes the agreement by Somali leaders
In a statement released by his spokesperson, the UN Secretary-General welcomed the agreement reached by the Somali leaders on the transitional charter. He encouraged the Somali leaders to build on the progress achieved and swiftly conclude the Somali National Reconciliation Conference with the establishment of an inclusive government. The Secretary-General warmly commended President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, the other leaders of the Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and international supporters of the Somali National Reconciliation Conference for their perseverance in helping Somalis work towards reaching national reconciliation.

British MPs meet the Somali Groups in the talks
A group of British MPs on a fact-finding mission met with Somali groups to discuss the progress of the peace talks. According to the Somali groups, the British team were on a humanitarian fact-finding mission. The same group visited Somaliland. In a discussion with Novib Discussion Platform, some of the Somali groups who met the team expressed scepticism over the mission and its nature.

UNHCR calls for increased support for Somalia
Senior UNHCR officials called for a drastic increase in support for UN programmes in Somalia as the country entered a critical transition period. A UNHCR team, led by Geneva-based Inspector General Dennis McNamara, concluded a 20-day mission to Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia. The mission reviewed UNHCR’s operations in Somalia, with particular focus on refugees and returnees. It will make a number of proposals to the UNHCR headquarters on the future direction and objectives of this programme and how it can work with other agencies to promote sustainable reintegration of refugees. According to their report, there are still approximately 200,000 Somali refugees in the region, including over 130,000 in Kenya and other large groups in Yemen, Djibouti and Ethiopia. The report stressed that there was now an opportunity to return up to 30,000 refugees to Somaliland and Puntland – in particular from these four countries.

Civil Society and Core Groups
Representatives of the women’s organizations in the region meet in Djibouti
Women’s organisations representatives from Djibouti, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, met in Djibouti from 22 to 26 January to develop plans for a “Stop Violence against Women” campaign. The participants were all members of the regional SIHA network.

The workshop, funded by Novib and attended by representatives from Oxfam GB and Amnesty International, provided training to the participants on campaigning. Regional and national plans focusing on different issues related to the main campaign, such as female genital mutilation (FGM), discriminatory laws, conflict-related violence against women and abduction of women and girls, were developed during the workshop and activities will start in February. Amnesty International is launching a global campaign on the same subject on 5 March in New York. The campaign wants to draw attention to all kinds of violence against women in the world. The Somali campaign, coordinated by three women networks (COGWO, NAGAD and WAWA), will focus on FGM and be launched on 8 March this year. The activities will include research, a launching event, public awareness and media activities and education, among others.

Issues for discussion
Even though they have signed an agreement over the charter, the Somali factions still face challenges. In your opinion, what is the best way of avoiding backtracking among the Somali political leaders?





Please respond to: [email protected]


Kenya: Rights group, parents clash over missing girls

2004-02-05

http://www.eastandard.net/headlines/news3001200401.htm

Parents of 40 girls who fled from their homes in Marakwet District to escape female genital mutilation (FGM) are locked in a dispute with a human rights organisation. And now the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (CHRD) is strongly protesting against the alleged harassment of its staff by the girls’ parents, who are demanding their daughters back. The centre’s executive director, Mr Ken Wafula, has told a news conference that his staff had been threatened with unspecified consequences if they do not return the girls to their homes.




Human rights

Africa/Global: Fireworks Erupt Over US Role at Genocide Conference

2004-02-05

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0130-07.htm

The first intergovernmental conference on genocide to be held since 1948 ended this week in Stockholm with political fireworks when the United States was sharply criticized by an Australian diplomat. Before representatives from 55 nations, former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans said U.S. officials had been using the conference to lobby against the International Criminal Court (ICC), the very body created to try crimes against humanity - like genocide. The United States has withdrawn from the Rome Treaty of 1998 that created the ICC. "I'm distressed to hear that the same old squeeze has been put on the national delegations all over again at this conference," Evans said. "And in the otherwise admirable declaration we have emerging from it there is no mention of the International Criminal Court...this is just indefensible."


Africa: OMCT calls for priority on impunity

2004-02-05

http://www.omct.org/pdf/PP04.pdf

In spite of many recent advances such as the creation of the International Criminal Court, impunity is still one of the most crucial issues facing the international community and national governments in the pursuit of the respect for international human rights and humanitarian law, says the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) in a position paper prepared for the 2004 United Nations Commission on Human Rights 60th session to be held March 15 - April 23 in Geneva. With regards the situation in the DRC, OMCT said that though much progress had been made, grave violations of human rights and humanitarian law had continued, notably in the east of the country. "OMCT remains gravely concerned about support (arms, logistics and human resources) that is being provided to the belligerent groups perpetrating the afore-mentioned violations. This support comes from nearby regional powers, notably from Uganda and Rwanda." Sections of the paper deal with Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism, Torture and Ill-Treatment, The Right to Reparation, Human Rights Defenders and Violence against Women. The situation in the DRC, Sudan and Togo are also highlighted.


Angola: Cabinda activists complain of harassment

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=39277

Civil rights activists in Angola's Cabinda province on Tuesday complained of ongoing harassment by the authorities in the troubled oil-rich northern enclave. Over the weekend some 1,500 activists were prevented from launching an organisation that would call for a peaceful solution to ongoing hostilities in the region and monitor alleged human rights abuses.


Ethiopia: Human Rights Watch accuses government of continuing abuses

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=39253

An international advocacy group has criticised Ethiopia for its continuing human rights abuses and condemned foreign donors for failing to help prevent them. Human Rights Watch (HRW) says the government "continues to deny" its citizens their basic human rights while the international community takes no action. In its 2004 World Report, the New York-based group said foreign donors who were pouring about US $1 billion into Ethiopia each year were focused on other issues.


Gambia: Core labour rights violated

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/rights/19905

A new report by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions on core labour standards in Gambia, produced to coincide with the trade policy review of Gambia at the WTO, criticises Gambia's lack of compliance with the eight ILO conventions known as "Core Labour Standards". The report notes legal restrictions on the right to organise and, furthermore, that civil servants cannot exercise this right. The Labour Act imposes general restrictions on the right to strike, and civil service employees are completely denied the right to strike. More than half the workforce is employed in the informal economy, depriving workers of necessary protections and making existing legislation hard to enforce.
INTERNATIONAL CONFEDERATION OF FREE TRADE UNIONS (ICFTU)

ICFTU OnLine...
020/040204

New ICFTU report submitted to the WTO:

VIOLATIONS OF CORE LABOUR RIGHTS IN GAMBIA


Brussels, 4 February 2004 (ICFTU Online): A new report by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions on core labour standards in Gambia, produced to coincide with the trade policy review of Gambia at the WTO, criticises Gambia's lack of compliance with the eight ILO conventions known as "Core Labour Standards".

The report notes legal restrictions on the right to organise and, furthermore, that civil servants cannot exercise this right. The Labour Act imposes general restrictions on the right to strike, and civil service employees are completely denied the right to strike.

More than half the workforce is employed in the informal economy, depriving workers of necessary protections and making existing legislation hard to enforce. The government must act urgently to extend adequate regulation to this unprotected and usually exploited workforce.

With regard to discrimination, the report notes that there is a lack of employment opportunities for women whose employment is generally restricted to occupations such as selling food or subsistence farming. Women are subject to discrimination in education and employment. The female literacy rate is extremely low at 32.8%.

Child labour is prevalent in Gambia. Some 49,000 children between 10 and 14 years were economically active in 2000, representing 33.83% of this age group. There are not enough secondary schools and enrolment of girls in school is low, particularly in rural areas. Many children in rural areas assist their families in farming activities and there is no protection from exploitation for children on family farms.

Furthermore Gambia is a country of origin and destination for trafficked women and children, including those exposed to sexual exploitation. There are reports of child sexual exploitation in the tourism sector.

The ICFTU calls upon the government of Gambia to apply the core labour conventions it has ratified. Legislation must be brought into line with ILO Conventions No. 87 and No. 98 and the right to organise, collective bargaining and to strike must be extended to civil servants. Restrictions on the right to strike for private sector workers need to be removed. The government must take active measures to improve access of women to education and training opportunities. It is paramount that further progress is made to effectively eliminate child labour and to improve access to education, in particular for girls. The international trade union movement demands that the Gambian government takes urgent and comprehensive measures to stamp out forced commercial sexual exploitation and the trafficking of women and children.

To read the full report, click here: http://www.icftu.org/displaydocument.asp?Index=991218941&Language=EN

* Editorial note: This report evaluating Gambia's adherence to internationally-recognised core labour standards is part of a series produced by the ICFTU since the Ministerial Declaration adopted at the first Ministerial Conference of the WTO (Singapore, December 1996) and re-affirmed on November 4, 2001 in Doha, by which all WTO members stated their commitment to respect core labour standards. It is submitted to the WTO trade policy review board.

The ICFTU represents over 151 million workers in 233 affiliated organisations in 152 countries and territories. ICFTU is also a member of Global Unions: http://www.global-unions.org

For more information, please contact the ICFTU Press Department on +32 2 224 0232 or +32 476 621 018.


Liberia: Human rights must be priority at International Reconstruction Conference, Amnesty says

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/rights/19895

As the international community meets in New York on 5 and 6 February to discuss post-conflict reconstruction in Liberia, Amnesty International has urged that good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights are given the highest priority. "Protracted conflict has not only destroyed the social and economic fabric of Liberia, it has also eroded the most fundamental human rights," Amnesty International said. "Unwavering political commitment and prompt, generous and sustained funding are needed to meet the ambitious plans for the next two years - not least for the protection and promotion of human rights," Amnesty International added.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
PRESS RELEASE
AI Index: AFR 34/003/2004 (Public)
4 February 2004

As the international community meets in New York on 5 and 6 February to
discuss post-conflict reconstruction in Liberia, Amnesty International
urges that good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights
are given the highest priority.

"Protracted conflict has not only destroyed the social and economic fabric
of Liberia, it has also eroded the most fundamental human rights," Amnesty
International said. "Unwavering political commitment and prompt, generous
and sustained funding are needed to meet the ambitious plans for the next
two years - not least for the protection and promotion of human rights,"
Amnesty International added.

Despite the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in August 2003,
hostilities have continued and civilians have continued to be killed,
raped, beaten, used as forced labour and driven from their homes by all
parties to the conflict: the former government of Liberia, the Liberians
United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and the Movement for
Democracy in Liberia (MODEL). All three groups are now represented in the
National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL).

"A strong message must go out to the signatories to abide by the peace
agreement - including a commitment to end human rights abuses," Amnesty
International said.

Durable peace will not be achieved in Liberia unless those responsible for
crimes against humanity, war crimes and other serious violations of
international law are held accountable and justice is achieved for the
victims. The peace agreement provides for a Truth and Reconciliation
Commission but also says that a recommendation for amnesty will be
considered by the NTGL.

"The UN, which is co-hosting the conference, must state explicitly that
there can be no amnesty for crimes under international law and impress
upon those participating in the conference the obligation and imperative
to bring perpetrators of these crimes to justice," Amnesty International
said.

While the initial pace of deployment of troops of the UN Mission in
Liberia (UNMIL) was slow, recent weeks have seen significant progress.
Deployment in areas where civilians remain at risk, however, is as yet
only rudimentary.

"The full complement of 15,000 peace-keeping troops, with adequate
logistical support, must be achieved as soon as possible," Amnesty
International said. "Swift deployment throughout the country and effective
implementation of UNMIL's mandate to protect civilians are crucial."

Consolidation of peace, security and the rule of law is dependent on
successful completion of the disarmament, demobilization, reintegration
and rehabilitation program. Of particular concern is the large number of
children associated with fighting forces. It is planned to reunite with
their families or place in community-based care some 15,500 former child
combatants by the end of 2005.

"Adequate resources must be given to the rehabilitation of former child
combatants, including addressing their particular social, psychological
and material needs, in order to ensure early and effective reintegration
into their families and communities," Amnesty International said.

Amnesty International welcomes proposals which aim to protect the rights
of women and girls, including support for those affected by sexual
violence during the conflict.

The Armed Forces of Liberia and elite paramilitary personnel, as well as
loosely defined militia, have been responsible for serious human rights
violations, as have LURD and MODEL combatants, and the police force,
riddled with endemic corruption, has operated as an instrument of
oppression.

"Restructuring and training of the armed forces and the police must
include training in international human rights standards in law
enforcement," Amnesty International said. "There should also be effective
and fair screening programs of recruits to ensure that those alleged to be
responsible for human rights abuses are not absorbed into the new armed
forces and police service."

Judicial institutions throughout Liberia have collapsed; most courts no
longer function and much of the infrastructure has been destroyed and
looted. Corruption and political interference have undermined public
confidence in the judiciary.

"Rehabilitation of the judicial system - both physical infrastructure and
personnel - must be a priority. Adequate and sustained commitment is
needed to ensure the creation of a professional, independent and credible
judiciary," Amnesty International said.

The entire population of Liberia has been affected by the conflict. There
are an estimated 500,000 internally displaced people and several hundred
thousand refugees in neighbouring countries. These groups have been
particularly vulnerable to human rights abuses.

"Ambitious plans to facilitate safe, voluntary and sustainable return of
Liberian refugees and internally displaced people to their homes will
require substantial and long-term injection of resources, including to the
UN High Commissioner for Refugees and non-governmental organizations,"
Amnesty International said.

For further information, please see "Liberia: Recommendations to the
International Reconstruction Conference, New York, 5 and 6 February 2004"
(AI Index: AFR 34/002 /2004)


Sudan: Massive abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law in Darfur

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/rights/19823

As fighting and displacement of civilians intensifies in Darfur, western Sudan, Amnesty International has requested all parties to the conflict to respect international human rights and humanitarian law at all times. Massive abuses of human rights in the region are documented in a new 43-page report entitled: Sudan: Darfur: "Too many people killed for no reason". In an attempt to end the escalating armed conflict in Darfur, Sudanese government forces and government-aligned militia (the "Janjawid") are threatening the lives, liberty and property of hundreds of thousands of civilians through indiscriminate bombings, killings, torture, including rape of women and girls, arrests, abductions and forced displacement.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
PRESS RELEASE


AI Index: AFR 54/010/2004 (Public)
News Service No: 023
3 February 2004

Embargo Date: 3 February 2004 00:01 GMT


Sudan: Massive abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law in Darfur
As fighting and displacement of civilians intensifies in Darfur, western Sudan, Amnesty International is requesting all parties to the conflict to respect international human rights and humanitarian law at all times. Massive abuses of human rights in the region are documented in a new 43-page report entitled: Sudan: Darfur: "Too many people killed for no reason".
In an attempt to end the escalating armed conflict in Darfur, Sudanese government forces and government-aligned militia (the "Janjawid") are threatening the lives, liberty and property of hundreds of thousands of civilians through indiscriminate bombings, killings, torture, including rape of women and girls, arrests, abductions and forced displacement.
Since the start, in February 2003, of the conflict between the Darfur-based Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the government in Khartoum, hundreds of thousands have either been displaced within the region or sought refuge across the border in Chad.
During a visit to the refugees in eastern Chad in November 2003, Amnesty International delegates recorded numerous testimonies from Sudanese refugees. They reported attacks on villages and towns by both government-aligned militia and government soldiers. The nature of the killings committed by government soldiers and by the Janjawid point to a pattern of extrajudicial executions and unlawful killings.
"There is clear evidence of cooperation between government forces and government-aligned militia. The Sudanese government should cease all support and supplies to the Janjawid or establish a clear chain of command and control over them, including making them accountable for abuses of international humanitarian law," Amnesty International said.

The Sudanese authorities have neither condemned the numerous cases of grave human rights abuses committed in Darfur, nor conducted transparent and impartial investigations into them.
"By its silence in the face of abuses, the Sudanese government is condoning or encouraging further abuses. Government forces and its aligned militia must immediately end the targeting of civilians," Amnesty International said.
Civilians seeking refuge internally or across the border in Chad have also been attacked. In Darfur, the humanitarian crisis is growing, as access to the displaced and the victims of the conflict remains very limited for humanitarian organizations, due to insecurity and government restrictions. Humanitarian assistance to the refugees in Chad is not only hampered by harsh living conditions and the remoteness of the region, but also by insecurity. On 29 January, bombs were dropped by the Sudanese government in the Chadian town of Tina, killing at least three civilians and wounding twelve others.
Amnesty International is also calling on the government-opposed armed political groups the SLM/A and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and on the government-aligned militia to respect at all times international humanitarian law binding on all parties to internal armed conflicts and to respect and protect the lives and livelihoods of civilians in all areas under their control.
Amnesty International repeats its calls for urgent and unrestricted humanitarian access to Darfur, for human rights monitors to investigate attacks on civilians in the region and for an independent and impartial Commission of Inquiry into the complex human rights situation in the region. The organization is calling for the grave human rights abuses committed in the region to be addressed in any future peace negotiations on Darfur.
For the full report in English, please go to: http://www.web.amnesty.org/library/index/engafr540082004



Public Document
****************************************
For more information please call Amnesty International's press office in London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566
Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW. web: http://www.amnesty.org

For latest human rights news view http://news.amnesty.org


Uganda: ICC Accepts Ugandan Referral

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/rights/19769

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has taken an important step toward opening its first investigation, the Coalition for an International Criminal Court (Coalition) has said. Following the referral by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni of the situation concerning the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo announced that there is sufficient basis to "start planning for the first investigation." Several steps are required for a formal investigation to be launched. "Today's announcement by Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo is extremely important; it is now the duty of the Prosecutor to search for the truth about atrocities committed in northern Uganda," said David Donat Cattin, Legal Advisor for the International Law and Human Rights program at Parliamentarians for Global Action. "Other states facing similar situations should follow Uganda's precedent in welcoming ICC proceedings," he said.
International Criminal Court Accepts Ugandan Referral
Prosecutor Determines Sufficient Basis to Plan for Investigation

(New York, January 29, 2004) - The International
Criminal Court (ICC) has taken an important step
toward opening its first investigation, the
Coalition for an International Criminal Court
(Coalition) said today. Following the referral by
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni of the
situation concerning the Lord's Resistance Army
(LRA), ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo
announced that there is sufficient basis to
"start planning for the first investigation."
Several steps are required for a formal
investigation to be launched.

"Today's announcement by Prosecutor Luis Moreno
Ocampo is extremely important; it is now the duty
of the Prosecutor to search for the truth about
atrocities committed in northern Uganda," said
David Donat Cattin, Legal Advisor for the
International Law and Human Rights program at
Parliamentarians for Global Action. "Other states
facing similar situations should follow Uganda's
precedent in welcoming ICC proceedings," he said.

For nearly two decades, conflict between the
Ugandan government and the LRA has resulted in an
extensive pattern of serious human rights abuses.
The ICC has received reports of summary
executions, torture and mutilation, recruitment
of child soldiers, child sexual abuse, rape,
forcible displacement, and looting and
destruction of civilian property. Reports by
non-governmental organizations detail the heavy
toll this conflict has taken on children, who are
abducted from villages to serve as child soldiers.

"State cooperation is critical to the success of
the Court," said William Pace, convenor of the
Coalition. "This referral demonstrates that the
Court will be able to function effectively in one
of the regions where human rights abuses are at
their worst," he said. A case can be brought
before the ICC either through a referral by an
ICC State Party, a referral by the Security
Council, or a proprio motu investigation by the
Prosecutor. The referral by Uganda is reportedly
the first from any of the ICC's 92 States Parties.

"This step by the Prosecutor gives the potential
for the ICC to obtain justice for victims of the
most horrible crimes," said Dr. Frances D'Souza,
executive director of Redress, the London-based
victims' rights organization. "We will be closely
monitoring this important development and the
impact it will have on the many victims in Uganda
and elsewhere," she said.

This announcement by the Prosecutor follows
reports that the ICC is monitoring alleged abuses
in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of
Congo.

# # #

Note to the Editor:
The ICC press release and background information
can be found at:
http://www.icc-cpi.int/php/news/details.php?id=29


About the NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court
The NGO Coalition for the International Criminal
Court (Coalition) is a global network of over
2,000 civil society organizations working
together in support of an permanent, fair and
effective International Criminal Court.
Established in 1995, the Coalition is the leading
online provider of information on the ICC. For
more information, please visit
http://www.iccnow.org

PRESS RELEASE No.: pids.001.2004-EN
29 January 2004

THE PRESIDENT OF UGANDA REFERS THE SITUATION CONCERNING THE LORD'S RESISTANCE ARMY (LRA) TO THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT

In December 2003 the President Yoweri Museveni took the decision to refer the situation concerning the Lord's Resistance Army to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. The Prosecutor has determined that there is a sufficient basis to start planning for the first investigation of the International Criminal Court. Determination to initiate the investigation will take place in the coming months.

President Museveni met with the Prosecutor in London to establish the basis for future co-operation between Uganda and the International Criminal Court. A key issue will be locating and arresting the LRA leadership. This will require the active co-operation of states and international institutions in supporting the efforts of the Ugandan authorities.

Many of the members of the LRA are themselves victims, having been abducted and brutalised by the LRA leadership. The reintegration of these individuals into Ugandan society is key to the future stability of Northern Uganda. This will require the concerted support of the international community - Uganda and the Court cannot do this alone.

In a bid to encourage members of the LRA to return to normal life, the Ugandan authorities have enacted an amnesty law. President Museveni has indicated to the Prosecutor his intention to amend this amnesty so as to exclude the leadership of the LRA, ensuring that those bearing the greatest responsibility for the crimes against humanity committed in Northern Uganda are brought to justice.

According to the Rome Statute, the Prosecutor has to inform all States Parties to the Statute of the formal initiation of an investigation. Following this the Prosecutor may seek an arrest warrant from the Pre-trial Chamber. To take this step, the Prosecutor must determine that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation. The Prosecutor will work with Ugandan authorities, other states and international organisations in gathering the necessary information to make this determination.

President Museveni and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court will hold a press conference on Thursday 29 January 2004 at 18:00 at the Hotel Intercontinental Hyde Park, London.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
No.: pids.001.2004-EN
29 January 2004 The current conflict has persisted for seventeen years, during which time civilians in northern Uganda have been subjected to regular attacks. Tensions began soon after the President Yoweri Museveni took power in 1986. Not long thereafter, a rebel group, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), was formed from several splinter groups originating from the former Ugandan People's Democratic Army.

According to different reports given to the Office of the Prosecutor, the situation has resulted in a pattern of serious human rights abuses against civilians in the region, including summary executions, torture and mutilation, recruitment of child soldiers, child sexual abuse, rape, forcible displacement, and looting and destruction of civilian property.

The LRA base of combatants is drawn largely from abducted villagers, particularly children, mostly aged between 11 and 15, though children younger have been taken. According to the reports over 85% of the LRA's forces are made up of children, used as soldiers, porters, labourers and sexual slaves in the case of girls. As part of initiation into the rebel movement, abducted children are forced into committing inhuman acts, including ritual killing and mutilations. The total number of abducted children is reported to be over 20,000. Children are reported frequently beaten and forced to carry heavy loads over long distances, loot and burn houses, beat and kill civilians and fellow abductees, and abduct other children.

The reports mention that in order to evade capture, thousands of children have become "night dwellers", walking large numbers of kilometres to regroup in centres run by non-governmental organisations, on the streets, on shop verandas, on church grounds, and in local factories heading back to their villages at dawn After abduction, many younger girls are reported to be assigned as servants to commanders, enduring gruelling domestic work, with long hours and continuous beatings. Older female captives are forced to become the "wives" of senior soldiers or are given as a sexual reward for obedient boy soldiers, and hence are subjected to rape, unwanted pregnancies and the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

Another report stated that attacks by the LRA in the mid 1990s have forced approximately three-quarters of the Acholi population to flee their homes in Gulu and Kigum/Pader districts in the north. In the past year, intensified LRA activities have led to a doubling of the population of the camps, from approximately
400,000 to 800,000.

It has also been reported that as part of the violence pattern to terrorise the population includes body mutilations, cutting of hands, ears or lips of villagers suspected of government sympathies. In addition, during the course of the conflict, the LRA burned at least
1,946 houses and 1,600 storage granaries, looted at least 1,327 houses, 116 villages, and 307 shops.

The alleged crimes being committed in the region (e.g. conscription or enlisting of children under 15 years into the army, wilful killing, rape, sexual slavery, forced pregnancy, and forced displacement of civilians) may constitute crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute.

The ICC has jurisdiction over the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole committed after the 1st July 2002: genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, all of which are defined in the Rome Statute. States Parties as well as the Security Council can refer situations to the Prosecutor for investigation. The Prosecutor also has the power to initiate investigations on his or her own on the basis of information received from reliable sources with the authorisation of the Pre-Trial Chamber.

The Hague, 29 January 2003

ICC AT GLANCE
Historical introduction
The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court on 17 July 1998, when 120 States participating in the "United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court" adopted the Statute. This is the first ever permanent, treaty based, international criminal court established to promote the rule of law and ensure that the gravest international crimes do not go unpunished. The Statute entered into force on 1 July 2002. Anyone who commits any of the crimes under the Statute after this date will be liable for prosecution by the Court.

Jurisdiction Once a State becomes a party to the Statute, it accepts the Court's jurisdiction with respect to crimes under the Statute. For the Court to exercise its jurisdiction, the territorial State (the State on whose territory the situation which is being investigated has taken or is taking place), or the State of nationality (the State whose nationality is possessed by the person who is being investigated) must be a party to the Statute.

National Court The ICC will not replace national courts, but will be complementary to national criminal jurisdictions. The Court will only investigate and prosecute if a State is unwilling or unable to genuinely prosecute. This will be determined by the judges. Unjustified delays in proceedings as well as proceedings which are merely intended to shield persons from criminal responsibility will not render a case inadmissible before the ICC.

Subject Matter The Court's jurisdiction will be limited to the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole. It will therefore have jurisdiction with respect to the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, all of which are fully defined in the Statute and further elaborated by the Elements of Crimes.

Personnel The Court only has jurisdiction over natural persons aged 18 and above. Official capacity as a Head of State or Government, a member of a Government or parliament, an elected representative or a government official does not exempt a person from criminal responsibility.
Commanders and superiors will also be held liable for criminal offences committed by forces under their effective command and control or effective authority and control.

Preconditions to the exercise of jurisdiction The Court may exercise its jurisdiction with respect to the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes either when the situation is referred to the Prosecutor by a State Party or by the Security Council, or when the Prosecutor decides to initiate an investigation his or her own decision and on the basis of information received. However, in this last case, the Prosecutor must seek the authorization of the Pre-Trial Chamber before proceeding with the investigation.
When the situation is referred to the Prosecutor by the Security Council, the Court may exercise its jurisdiction in all cases and no preconditions are applicable.
However, in the two other cases, when the Prosecutor decides to initiate an investigation on his or her own decision with the authorization of the Pre-Trial Chamber, or when the situation is referred to the Prosecutor by a State Party, strict preconditions shall be met before the Court can exercise its jurisdiction.
Indeed, in those two cases, the Court may exercise its jurisdiction only if either the State on the territory of which the suspected crime occurred (State of territoriality), or the State of which the person suspected of having committed the crime is a national (State of nationality of the suspected person), is a State Party to the Statute.
If neither of these two States is a State Party to the Statute, the Court will not be in a position to investigate the suspected crimes, except if either the State of territoriality or the State of nationality of the suspected person accepts the exercise of jurisdiction of the Court by declaration lodged with the Registrar. Such a declaration may be made for all suspected crimes committed after 1 July 2002 (taking into consideration that crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court are not subject to any statute of limitations).
Thus, if nationals of States Parties to the Statute are victims of suspected crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court in the territory of a State which is not a Party to the Statute committed by persons who are not nationals of a State Party, the Court wouldn't be in a position to investigate except if either the State of territoriality or the State of nationality of the suspected person accepts the jurisdiction of the Court, or if the situation is referred to the Court by the Security Council.

---------------------------------------------------

Maanweg 174, 2516 AB The Hague, The Netherlands / Post Office Box 19519, 2500 CM The Hague, The Netherlands Maanweg 174, 2516 AB La Haye, Pays Bas / Boîte postale 19519, 2500 CM La Haye, Pays Bas Tél. : +31 70 515 85 15 * Fax : +31 70 515 85 55 * http://www.icc-cpi.int


Uganda: Peace groups and government officials worried about ICC probe into LRA

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=39225

Peace groups and officials from the government’s Amnesty Commission have warned that the impending probe by the International Criminal Court (ICC) into war crimes committed by Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels could make a peaceful settlement of the 18-year conflict impossible. "Certainly, this is going to make it very difficult for the LRA to stop doing what they are doing. They have already been branded ‘terrorists’, which isn’t going [to help] to easily persuade them to come," the Amnesty Commission spokesman, Moses Saku, told IRIN.




Refugees & forced migration

Africa/Global: Local Integration: The Forgotten Solution

2004-02-05

http://www.migrationinformation.org/Feature/display.cfm?ID=166

Most refugees spend years living in border zones, in unsatisfactory and unsafe circumstances, with few means to support or educate themselves and their children, and few prospects. Their legal status in the host country is uncertain. They are not granted full asylum, nor are they likely to be resettled in a third country. These protracted refugee situations are characterized by a "care and maintenance" or "warehousing" model of assistance in countries of first asylum, meaning that the basic needs of refugees residing in camps are met. Local integration is a currently neglected, long-term solution that presents an alternative to refugee camps.


Africa/Global: Refugees International focus on Peacekeeping

2004-02-05

http://www.refugeesinternational.org/cgi-bin/ri/other?occ=00808&spotlight=1

There is a direct relationship between armed conflicts and the world’s 35 million displaced people. The overwhelming majority of displaced people have been forced from their homes and countries due to the direct and indirect impacts of war and conflict. Many times, it is the actual gunfire and imminent threat of death that drives them away. All too often, it is the indirect consequences of conflict, such as fear of atrocities, kidnappings, rapes, looting and other human rights violations that force them to seek refuge. And if these are not enough, conflict can result in a lack of food, health care, sanitation, education and the ability to work and provide for families, driving people to leave and seek opportunities that no longer exist in their villages and countries.


Africa/Global: UNHCR and NGOs: Competitors or Companions in Refugee Protection?

2004-02-05

http://www.migrationinformation.org/Feature/display.cfm?id=200

The international protection of the majority of the world’s refugees has traditionally been the domain of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). For some time, however, several operational humanitarian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have claimed territory in this area as well. They have developed protection policies and/or designated protection capacities within their offices and field teams. The question is, as a result, are these NGOs and UNHCR working as competitors or companions?


Angola/DRC: Thousands of illegal diamond miners expelled

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=39224

At least 10,000 Congolese, mostly illegal miners, have been expelled from Angola since December 2003 under inhumane conditions, a Congolese human rights organisation said on Thursday. "They were forced back by the military and hundreds of others have been arrested and detained in subhuman conditions," Dolly Ibefo, vice-president of the rights body, Voice of the Voiceless (Voix des Sans Voix), said.


Chad: Relocation to begin as UN refugee agency ends registrations in Chad border town

2004-02-05

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=9641&Cr=chad&Cr1=sudan

United Nations refugee agency staff and their counterparts from Chad have finished registering almost 5,000 Sudanese refugees in and around the border town of Tine ahead of their urgent relocation to safer positions further inside Chad. A spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said the agency wants to move the refugees as quickly as possible after several bombs exploded near Tine last Thursday.


DRC/Rwanda: Rebel group denies preventing returnees from leaving Congo

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=39244

A Rwandan rebel movement based in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Forces democratiques de liberation du Rwanda (FDLR), has dismissed as unfounded reports that it had prevented some 3,000 former combatants and civilians from returning to Rwanda. "The FDLR has always supported the right of any Rwandan refugee to return freely to his homeland," Augustin Dukuze, the FDLR spokesman, said on Saturday.


DRC: Stabilisation of political situation raises hope for millions of displaced people

2004-02-05

http://www.db.idpproject.org/Sites/idpSurvey.nsf/wViewSingleEnv/Democratic+Republic+of+the+CongoProfile+Summary

Since the mid-1990s, millions of Congolese have fled their homes to escape fighting between rebel groups and the national government in a complex conflict which has, at times, involved as many as nine neighbouring states. The UN estimates that 3.4 million people currently remain displaced, although the figure could be much higher since many of the displaced are not registered. Violence flared in May and June 2003, with hundreds of thousands fleeing fighting in the north-eastern district of Ituri. The situation stabilised in the second part of the year, following the establishment of a transitional government which incorporated several rebel groups; and the strengthening of international peacekeeping operations. As a result, IDPs got better access to assistance and many thousands started to return home.


Uganda: Army Implicated in IDP Rape Cases

2004-02-05

http://allafrica.com/stories/200402030593.html

UPDF soldiers have been named among the people who are raping girls in internally displaced people's (IDPs) camps in Kitgum district, Northern Uganda. The claims were made by a group of MPs following a fact-finding visit to the district last week.They said reports showed that girls were raped by their peers, men from the camps, rebels and UPDF soldiers. However, Army spokesman Maj. Shaban Bantariza said that the report needed to be looked at critically.


Uganda: Row over fire and arrests at IDP camp

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=39267&SelectRegion=East_Africa&SelectCountry=UGANDA

A row has broken out between the army and residents of Uganda's biggest Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) settlement, Pabbo camp, in the northern Gulu District, with the army claiming that the camp harbours rebel collaborators and the IDPs accusing the army of starting a fire which destroyed much of the camp during an operation to arrest suspects. Pabbo houses over 62,000 people fleeing Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) operations in northern Uganda. They are part of at least 1.2 million Ugandans who have been forced to take refuge in camps.




Elections & governance

Africa: Africa set for a spate of crucial elections in 2004

2004-02-05

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/444688.cms

Africa will witness several key elections this year, with some constituting a litmus test for nations emerging from war and unrest and others marking a milestone, as in South Africa which fetes the 10th anniversary of the end of apartheid. In nations such as Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia, the polls will see veteran rulers stepping down - a sign that things are changing in a continent where democracy often carries less clout than in other parts of the world. The most important polls in terms of the number of voters will be those in Algeria and South Africa, two economic powerhouses located on the northern and southern extremities of the continent.


Cameroon/Nigeria: Meeting over border dispute

2004-02-05

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=86&art_id=qw1075545361807U526&set_id=1

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan was due to meet the leaders of Nigeria and Cameroon in Geneva on Saturday to review progress on their deal to end a long-standing border dispute and to dampen tensions between the two countries. The meeting will be the third between Annan, President Paul Biya of Cameroon and his Nigerian counterpart Olusegun Obasanjo since the UN chief stepped in to encourage the west African neighbours to follow an International Court of Justice ruling in 2002.


South Africa: Mbeki warns against election violence

2004-02-05

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/CH3163265.htm

President Thabo Mbeki wrapped up a tour of the opposition stronghold of KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday by warning that any violence around South Africa's coming elections would be stamped out. Fighting between activists from Mbeki's African National Congress (ANC) and the province's dominant Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) killed 20,000 people in the 1980s, and after a decade of relative calm, tensions have risen since election campaigning began this month.


Uganda: I'll Hand Over in Good Faith, Says Museveni

2004-02-05

http://allafrica.com/stories/200402020081.html

President Museveni has said he is ready to hand over power in an orderly manner. "Let the opposition relax; I will hand over power when there is a good arrangement," Museveni said on Friday during the 10th graduation ceremony at Mbarara University of Science and Technology. Museveni's last term of office ends in 2006. Although he has not publicly stated any intention to seek another term, critics have accused him of not clarifying his stand on the matter in light of calls from some of his supporters to lift the two-term constitutional limit.


Zimbabwe: Election violence continues

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/elections/19766

It is deplorable that Zimbabweans should continue to be displaced from their homes on the basis of their political opinions and beliefs in violation of the Constitution which guarantees every individual's “right to assemble freely and associate with other persons and in particular to form or belong to political parties”, says the latest report from the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum on political violence for December 2003. The report said violence continued in Kadoma Central into December 2003 following the holding of a by-election over the weekend of 29-30 November 2003. "Members of the opposition party, MDC, reported being abducted, threatened and assaulted while votes were being counted. A number of incidents reflected a lack of political tolerance between supporters of the two contesting political parties with MDC supporters claiming that they were abducted to a Zanu PF base at a school in the area where they were beaten."
ZIMBABWE HUMAN RIGHTS NGO FORUM
POLITICAL VIOLENCE REPORT
DECEMBER 2003
28 January 2004
A report by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum

OVERVIEW
Violence continued in Kadoma Central (MIDLANDS PROVINCE) into December 2003 following the holding of a by-election over the weekend of 29-30 November 2003. Members of the opposition party, MDC, reported being abducted, threatened and assaulted while votes were being counted following the conduct of the election. A number of incidents reflected a lack of political tolerance between supporters of the two contesting political parties with MDC supporters claiming that they were abducted to a Zanu PF base at a school in the area where they were beaten. TC, an MDC supporter, was reportedly hit with a stone on the forehead by ZANU PF supporters while at the vote-counting centre in Kadoma Central. He suffered severe injuries to the head. In a related incident, JC was also at the centre where votes were being counted when he was reportedly kidnapped by ZANU PF youths, taken to their base in the area, and assaulted with planks on the buttocks and arms. He fractured his right forearm. KM, another MDC supporter, alleges that he and his colleagues were barred from entering the vote-counting centre by ZANU PF youths.
It is deplorable that Zimbabweans should continue to be displaced from their homes on the basis of their political opinions and beliefs in violation of s21 of the Constitution which guarantees every individual’s “right to assemble freely and associate with other persons and in particular to form or belong to political parties”. SJ of Zaka (MASVINGO PROVINCE) purports that he was dislodged from his home in Zaka for the second time, which was destroyed in his absence by ZANU PF supporters. He had returned to his rural home in Zaka having been displaced and forced to settle in Harare. In St. Mary’s, (HARARE PROVINCE), AM claims that he was assaulted by ZANU PF youths and was given notice to vacate his home. He is the MDC Chairman of the Branch Restructuring Committee. In Makoni North (MANICALAND PROVINCE), Cephas Jena, Khumalo Tsoka and other ZANU PF supporters reportedly assaulted TG and his sisters, forcing them to move to another area. The youths had arrived wielding machetes, sjamboks, and iron bars.
CG from Makoni North (MANICALAND PROVINCE) claims that ZANU PF youths burnt his mother’s house, his brother’s house, stole from his house the following day, and then threatened the three with death. He purports that Assistant Inspectors Mbwembwe and Ncube who were handling the case, were seen later in the day travelling in the ZANU PF truck that the youths had allegedly used when robbing his home. One Constable Mafira is alleged to have urged CG to withdraw the case saying, "munofira mahara” meaning “you will die for no reason”. The apparent lack of separation between the state and the political party, ZANU PF, is a serious cause for concern. If the rule of law is to be upheld it is imperative that some members of the police are not perceived to have a bias towards any political party and for the lines between party and state to become clear.
Civil society activists remain unable to peacefully demonstrate and express themselves, being subjected to arrests whenever attempts to do so are made. 19 members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) were arrested in Bulawayo on 3 December 2003 when they attempted to stage a march against food scarcity and the escalating price of food. The marchers gathered at St. Patrick’s church in Makokoba and marched to the OK Zimbabwe Supermarket. As they were about to leave the Mall where the supermarket in located, they were reportedly surrounded and arrested. Of the total 19 persons arrested, 5 were immediately released. The remainder were detained for two nights and later released without charges having been preferred against them.
The Human Rights Forum deplores the ongoing harassment of Zimbabwean citizens through frivolous arrests that are intended to prevent them from exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly. This trend has prevailed throughout the year 2003 with arrests initially being made under the pretext that the demonstrators had violated the Public Order and Security Act (POSA). However more often that not, as was the case with the arrest of 19 members of WOZA and journalists who were covering the story, those arrested are later released without charges being preferred against them or alternatively charges are dropped before plea.

Contact [email protected] for the full report.


Zimbabwe: MDC says voting rigged in Zanu-PF stronghold

2004-02-05

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=84&art_id=qw1075809252300B251&set_id=1

State radio said voter turnout was heavy in a parliamentary by-election in southern Zimbabwe where the opposition said balloting was marred by intimidation and vote rigging. The two-day poll ends on Tuesday in the ruling party stronghold of Gutu 240km south of Harare to fill the seat left vacant by the death of vice-president Simon Muzenda last September.




Corruption

Africa: Former prime minister Juppé convicted on corruption charges

2004-02-05

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/feb2004/jupp-f03.shtml

France’s entire political establishment was rocked with a “seismic shock” on January 30 when Alain Juppé, chairman of France’s ruling party, the UMP (Union pour un mouvement populaire - Union for a Popular Movement) mayor of the city of Bordeaux and former French prime minister, was convicted in the Nanterre law court in Paris for “the use of public office for personal ends.” He received an 18-month suspended jail sentence and loss of civic rights for five years, which automatically bars him from holding or running for public office for 10 years. The Juppé verdict reveals a deep-going culture of corruption in political life at the highest levels dating back to the Mitterrand years and beyond and spreading over into foreign policy, particularly in Africa.


Benin: Government Tries Its Judges for Corruption

2004-02-05

http://allafrica.com/stories/200401290532.html

The government of Benin has put on trial 27 of its own judges on charges of embezzling millions of dollars of state funds. They form part of a group of 99 court and finance ministry officials charged with illegally pocketing more than US$15 million of state funds over a period of four years.


Liberia: Johnson Sirleaf rejoins the political fray

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=39234

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a veteran Liberian politician and former UN official, has taken on a task which many regard as impossible - ridding her country of its deeply ingrained and all pervasive corruption. Johnson Sirleaf, who came a poor second to Charles Taylor in the 1997 presidential election, has just been appointed chairman of a Commission on Good Governance by Liberia's transitional government.


Rwanda: Crack down on corruption

2004-02-05

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3456739.stm

Politicians and civil servants in Rwanda have been asked to declare their wealth in a campaign against corruption in government. Rwanda's newly appointed Ombudsman Tito Rutaremara has told the BBC those who do not comply will be prosecuted. Starting this week, leaders, who include President Paul Kagame, will fill in forms stating what they own.


South Africa: Zuma's advisor to face court

2004-02-05

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=13&art_id=qw1075722301839B263&set_id=1

Schabir Shaik, closely associated with Deputy President Jacob Zuma, is to face fraud and corruption charges in the Durban High Court in October, SABC radio news reported. The trial is set to start on October 11. Shaik faces charges of corruption, fraud, theft of company assets, tax evasion and money laundering related to the government's arms deal.


Zambia: Chiluba misused public funds to pay private legal bills, says judge

2004-02-05

http://www.transparency.org/cgi-bin/dcn-read.pl?citID=100134

The Lusaka High Court has ruled that it was wrong for former president Frederick Chiluba to award houses bought with public funds to lawyers Vincent Malambo and Eric Silwamba after they represented him in the 1996 presidential election petition. Judge Christopher Mushabati said this in the case in which Malambo and Silwamba were contesting the seizure of their houses by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).


Zimbabwe: Minister embroiled in loan scandal

2004-02-05

http://zwnews.com/issuefull.cfm?ArticleID=8537

Zimbabwe's Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister July Moyo has been accused of using cash from his own department as collateral for a Z1-billion loan for a company owned by two close associates. Moyo's ministry is said to have deposited the money into a First Bank account to secure a loan for Smoothnest Investments. Smoothnest is partly owned by National Social Security Authority (NSSA) chairman Edwin Manikai, who was appointed by Moyo to head up the NSSA public and private sector pension fund.




Development

Africa: Extractives report tables harsh criticism, many suggestions

2004-02-05

http://www.brettonwoodsproject.org/article.shtml?cmd[126]=x-126-35149

Three years ago World Bank President Wolfensohn agreed to commission an Extractive Industries Review (EIR) to examine its controversial support for the oil, gas and mining industries. In mid-January the report of the review was tabled, containing many strong criticisms of the Bank's record in this sector and a series of detailed recommendations, reports the latest edition of the Bretton Woods Update. Nur Hidayati of WALHI, an Indonesian environmental NGO, commented: "The review acknowledges that the benefits of oil, mining and gas projects are often questionable and that there is much evidence that the extractive industries violate indigenous peoples' rights and are associated with loss of livelihoods and climate change."


Africa: Nepad not unrealistic, says Nkuhlu

2004-02-05

http://www.bday.co.za/bday/content/direct/1,3523,1533509-6078-0,00.html

The vision that drives the New Economic Programme for Africa's Development is not unrealistic, chairman of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) steering committee Wiseman Nkuhlu said on. Opening the first-ever African ministerial conference on open learning and distance education, he said Nepad was driven by a "people's vision" of African recovery, renewal and renaissance. "In my official duties I have travelled enough to see that this vision is catching fire and catching hold all over the African continent and throughout the African Diaspora.”


Africa: Slim world trade share for Africa

2004-02-05

http://www.sarpn.org.za/newsflash.php#1078

Africa's share of world trade fell further in 2002, according to a new trade report, prompting renewed calls for the revival of global trade negotiations that, it is hoped, will increase developing countries' participation in world trade. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) International Trade Statistics 2003 report shows that African merchandise imports and exports grew 2%. This is half the sluggish rate of world trade growth at 4% that year. This pointed to "a further loss in Africa's share of world trade", said the report, which was released at the weekend. Foreign direct investment on the continent also dropped sharply in 2002.


Africa: The time to act is now

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/development/19924

The World Social Forum (WSF) must continue to expose the fraud in the present international economic system, says this article in the latest edition of the SEATINI Bulletin. "The current economic system where development is made hostage to free trade is untenable. The way forward for Africa is a gradual and systematic disengagement from the current model of economic order that is driven by purely commercial interests. This disengagement is with a view to re-linking with the rest of the world when Africa is united and stronger. This is long term. In the short term we need to delay the process of further integration so that we have time to reflect. This means that delaying and even refusing to continue with Cotonou and WTO negotiations."
World Social Forum – The time to act is now
Percy Makombe

The World Social Forum (WSF 2004) was for the first time since its inception in 2001 held in Asia. That the WSF was taken to India in January this year meant that the Forum ceased to be a Latin-American-European Affair. And there are indications that the Forum will head to Africa in 2006. That is as it should be.

For those who believe in numbers, the Forum has not been short of increasing figures. In 2001 it had 20 000 participants, 2002 recorded 50 000, the following year had a whooping 100 000 while this year reports indicate that 150 000 people attended the Forum in India. By any account these are good figures, for when the future of the human race is in jeopardy there is no better way to deal with problems than to start by galvanising public opinion.

Yet the WSF is not just a numbers game for even if only a few hundred people attended its sessions it would still have significance. Nor is the Forum a geographic affair that can just gain legitimacy by being moved from one region to the other. Nothing beats the WSF as a space for discussion and debate. Nothing rivals the Forum as a space for education. The greatest achievement of the WSF is its ability to articulate the public voice especially in an era when economic globalisation is presented as inevitable.

The WSF has in its short time of existence been able to foster a culture of public debate on divergent issues from democracy, human rights and peace to environment, modernity, gender and trade. It provides an open space for discussing alternatives to neo-liberalism, its slogan proudly proclaims that, “Another World is Possible.”

While the curtain was coming down on the WSF, the World Economic Forum (WEF) was beginning its meeting in Davos to strategise on how to further open up markets. WEF has always said that there is no alternative to economic globalisation. Preachers of economic globalisation in WEF believe that the future of the world economy lies in giving transnational corporations a free reign in deciding what is good for national economies.

WEF is assisted in articulating its policies by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation. These structures transform WEF policy into action. The World Social Forum has no such structures. In fact, the WSF does not even issue political statements. It is guided by the belief that political action should be the responsibility of individual organisations. It is against this background that organisers of the WSF have shied away from issuing declarations supporting any one political process. Yet no one can stand apart from political action, because even to say that you are apolitical is to utter a political statement.

The World Social Forum is against neo-liberal policies. It issues clear and unequivocal statements/declarations opposing any programme or action that seeks to promote neo-liberalism. True there are divergent voices in the WSF, but what unites these groups is more than what divides them. Legitimate concerns have been raised about the problems associated with issuing declarations that purport to represent the WSF views. The question has been raised on who has the right to issue a declaration on behalf of WSF's multitude social movements. This is a valid concern and perhaps the way to deal with it is to come up with internal procedures for consensus building. It has also been suggested by others that to be more effective and to help with consensus building, the WSF should become a delegate event. This means that rather than the over 100 000 people who attend the Forum it would be attended by maybe 10 000 people who have been selected by regional forums. It is not going to be an easy thing trying to come up with mechanisms for popular will formation but we must begin from somewhere.

The WSF might not have the benefit of such instruments like IMF, WB and WTO to support its policies, but it has the people. When the peoples of the world stand up for themselves, they can persuade their leaders to take them seriously. The crisis of international capitalism has shown that we need an alternative development paradigm.

Transnational corporations continue to run and manage the international monetary system. This way they are able to define the terms of trade and impose these terms on developing countries generally and Africa in particular. Thus long term development is ignored and emphasis is shifted to short-term demands of dealing with things like balance of payments. The IMF then comes in and calls for reduction in spending on social services if it is to support the affected country.

Development can never be development if it is not for the people. Where there is no response to people's needs we cannot talk of development. The WSF must continue to expose the fraud in the present international economic system. The current economic system where development is made hostage to free trade is untenable. The way forward for Africa is a gradual and systematic disengagement from the current model of economic order that is driven by purely commercial interests. This disengagement is with a view to re-linking with the rest of the world when Africa is united and stronger. This is long term. In the short term we need to delay the process of further intergration so that we have time to reflect. This means that delaying and even refusing to continue with Cotonou and WTO negotiations. It also means we should only accept external expertise and resources only when the local is inadequate or does not exist.

The world today is confronted with many problems which have resulted in million conferences and seminars on development. True positive ideas have come from these, but we cannot prevaricate any more. We cannot skirt the issues by trying to be politically correct. The time to act is now. The WSF because of its popular support, massive organisation and intellectual strength can provide the leadership needed to another world. A world where there is justice and equity. A fair world where the concerns of peoples of the world are not subordinated to corporate profits. A world where transnational corporations are not allowed to wreak havoc in peoples lives. As the slogan of the WSF goes: Another World is Possible.

Percy Makombe is the Assistant Editor of SEATINI Bulletin.

This article is sourced from the latest edition of the SEATINI Bulletin. Produced by SEATINI Director and Editor: Y. Tandon; Advisor on SEATINI: B. L. Das,
Assistant Editor: Percy F. Makombe
Editorial Board: Chandrakant Patel, Jane Nalunga, Riaz Tayob, Percy Makombe and Yash Tandon
For more information and subscriptions, contact SEATINI, Takura House, 67-69 Union Avenue, Harare, Zimbabwe, Tel: +263 4 792681, Ext. 255 & 341, Tel/Fax: +263 4 251648, Fax: +263 4 788078, email: [email protected], Website: www.seatini.org


Tanzania: Africa should have more say in the IMF

2004-02-05

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L03379133.htm

Sub-Saharan Africa should have more say in the decisions of the International Monetary Fund, Tanzania's finance minister told a seminar on Tuesday. The minister, Basil Mramba, said African nations, including some of the poorest countries in the world, had less and less influence over the workings of the world finance body. "It is still of major concern that we from sub-Saharan Africa are represented by only two chairs on the Fund's Executive Boards while also our quota share and voting rights continue to decline," he said in the commercial capital of Dar es Salaam.


WSF 2004: Call of the Social Movements and Mass Organisations

Final Statement

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/development/19921

"We the social movements united in Assembly in the city of Mumbai, India, share the struggles of the people of India and all Asians. We reiterate our opposition to the neoliberal system which generates economic, social and environmental crises and produces war. Our mobilisation against war and deep social and economic injustices has served to reveal the true face of neoliberalism. We are united here to organise the resistance against capitalism and to find alternatives. Our resistance began in Chiapas, Seattle and Genoa, and led to a massive world-wide mobilisation against the war in Iraq on 15th February 2003 which condemned the strategy of global, on-going war implemented by the United States government and its Allies. It is this resistance that led to the victory over the WTO in Cancun. The occupation of Iraq showed the whole world the existing links between militarism and the economic domination of the multinational corporations. Moreover, it also justified the reasons for our mobilisation. As social movements and mass organisations, we reaffirm our commitment to fight neoliberal globalisation, imperialism, war, racism, the caste system, cultural imperialism, poverty, patriarchy, and all forms of discrimination - economic social, political, ethnic, gender, sexual including that of sexual orientation and gender identity. We are also against all kinds of discrimination to persons with different capacities and fatal illnesses such as AIDS."
WSF 2004: CALL OF THE SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND MASS ORGANISATIONS

Mumbai, India, January 2004

We the social movements united in Assembly in the city of Mumbai, India,share the struggles of the people of India and all Asians. We reiterate our opposition to the neoliberal system which generates economic, social and environmental crises and produces war. Our mobilisation against war and deep social and economic injustices has served to reveal the true face of neoliberalism.

We are united here to organise the resistance against capitalism and to find alternatives. Our resistance began in Chiapas, Seattle and Genoa, and led to a massive world-wide mobilisation against the war in Iraq on 15th February 2003 which condemned the strategy of global, on-going war implemented by the United States government and its Allies. It is this resistance that led to
the victory over the WTO in Cancun.

The occupation of Iraq showed the whole world the existing links between militarism and the economic domination of the multinational corporations. Moreover, it also justified the reasons for our mobilisation.

As social movements and mass organisations, we reaffirm our commitment to fight neoliberal globalisation, imperialism, war, racism, the caste system, cultural imperialism, poverty, patriarchy, and all forms of discrimination - economic social, political, ethnic, gender, sexual ­ including that of sexual orientation and gender identity. We are also against all kinds of discrimination to persons with different capacities and fatal illnesses such as AIDS.

We struggle for social justice, access to natural resources ­ land, water and seeds- human and citizens' rights, paticipative democracy, the rights of workers of both genders as guaranteed in international treaties, womens' rights, and also the people¹s right to self-determination. We are partisans of peace, international cooperation and we promote sustainable societies that are able to guarantee access to public services and basic goods. At the
same time, we reject social and patriarchal violence against women.

We call for a mass mobilisation on 8th March, International Women's Day.

We fight all forms of terrorism, including state terrorism. At the same time we are opposed to the use of terrorism which criminalises popular movements and restricts civil activists. The so-called law against terrorism restricts civil rights and democratic freedom all over the world.

We vindicate the struggle of peasants, workers, popular urban movements and all people under threat of losing their homes, jobs, land or their rights. We also vindicate the struggle to reverse privatisation in order to protect common, public goods, as is happening with pensions and Social Security in Europe. The victory of the massive mobilisation of the Bolivian people in defense of their natural resources, democray and sovereignty testifies to the strength and potential of our movements. Simultaneously, peasants across the globe are struggling against multinationals and neoliberal corporate agricultural policies, demanding sovereignity over food and democratic land reform.

We call for unity with all peasants on 17th April, International Day of Peasants Struggles.

We identify with the struggle of the mass movements and popular
organisations in India, and together with them, we condemn the political and ideological forces which promote violence, sectarianism, exclusion and nationalism based on religion and ethnicity. We condemn the threats, arrests, torture and assassinations of social activists who organised communities in order to struggle for global justice. We also denounce
discrimination based on caste, class, religion, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity. We condemn the perpetuation of violence and oppression against women through cultural, religious and traditional discriminatory practices.

We support the efforts of mass movements and popular organisations in India and Asia which promote the struggle for justice, equality and human rights, especially that of the Dalits, Adivasis, and the most oppressed and repressed sectors of society. The neoliberal policy of the Indian government
aggravated the marginalisation and social oppression which the Dalits have suffered historically.

For all these reasons we support the struggle of all the marginalised throughout the world, and urge everyone worldwide to join the call of the Dalits for a day of mobilisation for social inclusion.

As an escape from its crisis of legitimacy, global capitalism is using force and war in order to maintain an anti-popular order. We demand that the governments put a stop to militarism, war, and military spending, and demand the closure of US military bases because they are a risk and threat to humanity and life on earth. We have to follow the example of the people of Puerto Rico who forced the US to close its base in Vieques. The opposition
to global warfare remains our main object of mobilisation around the world.

We call on all citizens of the world to mobilise simultaneously on 20th March in an international day of protest against war and the occupation of Iraq imposed by the United States, Great Britain and the Allied Forces.

In each country, the anti-war movements are developing their own consensus and tactics in order to guarantee as wide a participation and mobilisation as possible. We demand the immediate withdrawal of all occupying troops and support the right of the Iraqi to self- determination and sovereignity, as well as their right to reparation for all the damages caused by the embargo and war.

The struggle against terrorism not only acts as a pretext for continuing the war and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, but it is also being used to threaten and attack the global community. At the same time, the US is maintaining a criminal embargo against Cuba, and destabilising Venezuela.

We call upon all people to give maximum support this year to the
mobilisation for the Palestinian people, especially on 30th March,
Palestinian Land Day, against the building of the wall of apartheid.

We denounce imperialist forces that are generating religious, ethnic, racial and tribal conflicts in order to further their own interests, increasing the suffering of the people and multiplying the hate and violence between them. More than 80 per cent of the ongoing conflicts in the world are internal and especially affect African and Asian communities.

We denounce the unsustainable situation of debt in poor countries of the world, and the coercive use by governments, multinational corporations and international financial institutions. We strongly demand the total and unconditional cancellation and rejection of the illegitimate debts of the Third World. As a preliminary condition for the satisfaction of the fundamental economic, social, cultural and political rights, we also demand the restitution of the longstanding plunder of the Third World. We especially support the struggle of the African peoples and their social movements.

Once again we raise our voices against the G8 Summit and the meetings of the IMF and World Bank, who bear the greatest responsibility for the plunder of entire communities.

We reject the imposition of regional and bilateral free-trade agreements such as FTAA, NAFTA, CAFTA, AGOA, NEPAD, Euro-Med, AFTA and ASEAN.

We are millions of persons united in the struggle against our common enemy:the WTO. The indigenous people are struggling against patents on all kinds of life-forms and the theft of biodiversity, water, land. We are united in fighting the privatisation of public services and common goods.

We call upon everybody to mobilise for the right to water as a source of life that cannot be privatised. We are endeavouring to recover control over public, common goods and natural resources, previously privatised and given to transnational enterprises and the private sector.

In the victory at Cancun, the death of Lee symbolised the suffering of millions of peasants and poor people all over the world that are excluded by the "free market". His immolation is a symbol for our struggle against the WTO. This proves our determination to oppose any attempt to revive the WTO.

WTO out of agriculture, food, health, water, education, natural resources and common goods!

With this determination in mind, we call upon all the social movement and mass organisations of the world to join the mobilisation in Hong Kong or in any other place where the WTO ministerial will be held. Let us join our efforts to struggle against privatisation, in defense of common goods, environment, agriculture, water, health, public services and education.

In order to achieve our objectives, we reiterate our strong desire to
reinforce the network of social movements and our capacity for struggle.

GLOBALISE THE STRUGGLE! GLOBALISE THE HOPE!




Health & HIV/AIDS

Africa: Aids quick-fix won't save Africa

2004-02-05

http://www.scienceinafrica.co.za/2004/january/aids.htm

Short-term relief followed by long-term disaster is not sound policy. Nonetheless, that could be a result of the Aids strategy being contemplated by the World Health Organisation, which on December 1 - World Aids Day - announced a plan to treat 3-million people with HIV/Aids by 2005. The WHO is proposing that billions of dollars be spent on increasing access to anti-retroviral drugs. That is a noble intention. However, it may not be the most cost-effective way to stem the tide of HIV/Aids: it may even be counterproductive. Let's be clear. Reducing the cost and increasing the supply of medicines to the poor is a good thing. But on its own it is not enough. Nor should it be today's priority. The roots of Africa's health care crisis run far deeper and broader than a mere shortage of drugs.


Africa: Low funding levels for health, human development

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/hivaids/19904

The 2005 budget submitted to Congress this week includes far lower levels of funding for HIV/AIDS programs in Africa and globally than what is needed, and what was earlier promised by the President, lobby group Africa Action has noted. The White House's request for next year includes only $2.8 billion for programs to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria globally, with only a portion of this money going to Africa. In his 2003 State of the Union address, President Bush had promised $3 billion per year on an emergency basis to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean. Salih Booker, Executive Director of Africa Action, said: "Bush's budget request reveals the misplaced priorities of the current Administration. AIDS represents the greatest threat to human security in the world today, but while the President requested more than $400 billion for military defense, he asked for less than 1% of this amount to fight the deadly global threat of HIV/AIDS."
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ann-Louise Colgan (202) 546-7961

Bush's Budget undermines AIDS Fight;
Africa betrayed by low funding levels for health, human development

Wednesday, February 4, 2004 (Washington, DC) - The 2005
budget submitted to Congress this week includes far lower levels of
funding for HIV/AIDS programs in Africa and globally than what is
needed, and what was earlier promised by the President, Africa
Action noted today. The White House's request for next year
includes only $2.8 billion for programs to fight HIV/AIDS,
tuberculosis and malaria globally, with only a portion of this money
going to Africa. In his 2003 State of the Union address, President
Bush had promised $3 billion per year on an emergency basis to
fight HIV/AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean.

Salih Booker, Executive Director of Africa Action, said today,
"Bush's budget request reveals the misplaced priorities of the
current Administration. AIDS represents the greatest threat to
human security in the world today, but while the President requested
more than $400 billion for military defense, he asked for less than
1% of this amount to fight the deadly global threat of HIV/AIDS."

Africa Action notes that the budget request also severely cuts
funding for the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and
malaria, a crucial vehicle to the fight against these diseases in poor
countries, especially in Africa. The President has asked for only
$200 million for the Global Fund for 2005. This is considerably less
than the $550 million that Congress appropriated for 2004, and less
than the U.S. fair share for 2005.

Similarly, at the domestic level, the budget requests only a minor
increase ($35 million) for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program
(ADAP), while ignoring the growing need for access to essential
treatment and care, and for proven prevention programs. Booker
noted, "Instead of supporting the fight against HIV/AIDS here at
home by increasing funding for effective prevention and treatment
programs, the Bush Administration prioritizes the promotion of
abstinence. This supports the agenda of a narrow, conservative
base, while rejecting the needs of those living with HIV/AIDS, and
those most at risk."

Africa Action emphasizes that the 2005 budget fails to provide the
necessary funding to support African efforts to fight HIV/AIDS and
promote human development. The request for two new Bush
Administration initiatives - the Global AIDS Initiative and the
Millennium Challenge Account - include lower funding levels than
originally promised by the President. These initiatives also cover
only a handful of African countries.

Booker noted today, "The Bush Administration's selective approach
to Africa blocks the emergence of a real and comprehensive
response to the challenges of HIV/AIDS and poverty. Africa needs
billions of dollars NOW to save lives and defeat AIDS. Bush
promised U.S. support, but instead his inadequate funding requests
and proposed cuts in essential child survival programs will cost
millions of African lives next year."

####


Africa: WHO, AMREF, Africare, Medilinks plan for Africa Health Day

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/hivaids/19908

In observance of Africa Health Day, the World Health Organisation (WHO), in partnership with the African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF), Africare and Medilinks, is organising an exhibition and a panel discussion on 19 February 2004 in New York highlighting health and development issues in Africa. Although Africa is the richest continent in the world, it has historically been perceived as a continent of relentless humanitarian emergencies caused by political instability, disease, famine and war. This perception fails to recognize the many positive development initiatives in Africa that have succeeded and flourished and resulted in improved health conditions for the children, women and men of Africa. Africa Health Day will aim to raise public awareness of these positive health programs in the Region and offer opportunities to further explore how to build a bridge to sustainable development.
Africa Health Day
-----------------

World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa
P.0. Box 06 ­ Brazzaville, Congo

PRESS RELEASE
PR/05/ 3 February 2004

WHO, AMREF, Africare, Medilinks plan for Africa Health Day

New York, 3 February 2004 -- In observance of Africa Health Day,
the World Health Organization (WHO), in partnership with the Af-
rican Medical Research Foundation (AMREF)[1], Africare[2] and
Medilinks[3], is organizing an exhibition and a panel discussion
on 19 February 2004 in New York highlighting health and develop-
ment issues in Africa.

Although Africa is the richest continent in the world, it has
historically been perceived as a continent of relentless humani-
tarian emergencies caused by political instability, disease,
famine and war. This perception fails to recognize the many
positive development initiatives in Africa that have succeeded
and flourished and resulted in improved health conditions for
the children, women and men of Africa.

Africa Health Day will aim to raise public awareness of these
positive health programs in the Region and offer opportunities
to further explore how to build a bridge to sustainable develop-
ment.

The public centerpiece of Africa Health Day is the exhibition to
be launched during a reception on 18 February in Vanderbilt Hall
at the Grand Central Terminal in New York by WHO Regional Direc-
tor for Africa, Dr Ebrahim Malick Samba. Dr Samba, who has
greatly contributed to the development of health in Africa, will
be joined by the US Ambassador to the UN Economic and Social
Council, H.E. Mr Sichan Siv, Botswana's Ambassador to the UN,HE
Mr Alfred M.Dube as well as celebrities such as actor Danny
Glover and basketball star Dikembe Mutombo to launch the exhibi-
tion.

"It is not all gloom and doom in Africa," says Dr Samba. "There
are numerous concrete examples of good programmes, success sto-
ries and best health practices in our Region . and Africa Health
Day will serve to put all these in very bold relief for all to
see. We also hope it will spur Africa's development partners in
the US to further action in favour of health development in the
African Region."

More than 50 US-based organizations including NGOs, institu-
tions, foundations and other private sector bodies will partici-
pate in the exhibition which will feature some of the wide-
ranging best practices and programmes in the areas of HIV/AIDS,
malaria, tuberculosis, child and maternal health, water and
sanitation, and poverty alleviation that are flourishing and
succeeding throughout the African continent.

Events planned for 19 February include a panel discussion on
"Collaboration with Civil Society and Private Sector to Make a
Difference in Health Development in Africa" to be hosted by WHO
at the United Nations. The panel will be moderated by H.E. Am-
bassador Martin Anjaba of Namibia. Panelists include Mr Julius
E. Coles, President, Africare; Mr Stephan Hayes,President Corpo-
rate Council for Africa, Dr Stephen Joseph, AMREF USA Board Mem-
ber; Mrs Mora McLean, President, African American Institute; Mr
Raymond V. Gilmartin, CEO, Merck and President, International
Federation of Pharmaceuticals Association and; Dr Samba. The
panel discussion will take place on 19 February 2004 in Confer-
ence Room 5 at the United Nations.

The Africa Health Day exhibition is expected to attract thou-
sands of commuters at the Grand Central Terminal, the busiest
transit hub in metropolitan New York.

--
[1] AMREF, based in Nairobi, Kenya, is a health development or-
ganization with the mission to improve the health of disadvan-
taged people in Africa as a means for them to escape poverty and
improve the quality of their life.

[2] Africare is a leading charitable U.S African American insti-
tution which specializes in assisting Africa. It is based in
Washington D.C

[3] Medilinks is a website and a source of accurate, relevant
and concise medical and health-related information on Africa. It
is aimed at doctors, healthcare professionals, policy and deci-
sion makers in health related fields and all groups of people
who have a need or interest to keep informed and up to date
about multiple areas of medicine and public health concerning
Africa.

For further information, contact:

Dr Teguest Guerma
WHO Office at the United Nations
2 UN Plaza, 9th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10017, USA
Tel. +1-212-963-4394; 963-4388
mailto:[email protected]


Africa: Why Africa's AIDS therapy must be handled with care

2004-02-05

http://www.scidev.net/Opinions/index.cfm?fuseaction=readOpinions&itemid=234&language=1

Cheap and widely available antiretroviral therapy for treating HIV and AIDS may seem like the solution to Africa's AIDS epidemic. But if not carefully planned and carried out, any programmes to administer the drugs could be disastrous. In this article, Warren Stevens, Steve Kaye and Tumani Corrah of the Medical Research Council Laboratories in Banjul, Gambia, argue that consistent prescription and close monitoring of the drugs are essential to prevent widespread drug resistance.


Angola: Churches urged to join fight against HIV/AIDS

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=39236

The development agency, Christian Aid, is stepping up a campaign to get church and faith leaders to join the fight against the rising incidence of HIV/AIDS in Angola. The UK-based group plans to integrate HIV/AIDS awareness into its current post-conflict food security activities, and believes the church should play a much bigger role in helping people learn about and live with the virus, rather than fuelling the stigma and prejudice that envelops it.


CAR: Anti-polio drive planned for southwestern province

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=39270

Following confirmation on 23 January of a polio case in the southwestern province of Ombella Mpoko, Central African Republic (CAR) health officials have scheduled an anti-polio immunisation drive in the province for 23-28 February. "To avoid other cases, all the children in the region must be immunised," Nestor Nali, the health minister, was quoted as saying on Monday by state-owned Radio Centrafrique.


Ethiopia: First free treatment programme for AIDS patients launched

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=39189

The international medical relief organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the Tigray Regional Health Bureau this week launched the first programme of free anti-retrovirals (ARVs) for the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients in Ethiopia, according to a press statement issued by MSF on Tuesday. The first 13 patients at the Kahsay Abera hospital in the northwestern town of Humera had started receiving their ARVs, it said.


Guinea-Bissau: Hospital strike forces hundreds of patients to go home

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=39229

A strike by doctors, nurses and hospital technicians demanding the payment of salary arrears paralysed government hospitals in Guinea-Bissau for three days this week, forcing hundreds of patients to go home or seek treatment in private clinics if they could afford it. The strike was called by the two main trade unions in the health sector to protest at the government's failure to pay five months of salary arrears and special bonuses and to demand better food for patients.


Kenya: Activists Press for More Debate on Abortion Law

2004-02-05

http://www.ipsnews.net/interna.asp?idnews=22250

The contentious topic of abortion in Kenya was revisited Wednesday, during events to mark African Women's Health and Rights Day. At present, the procedure is banned in the East African country. However, women's groups are urging government to open a debate on this policy.


Kenya: AIDS drugs being sold illegally on market stalls

2004-02-05

http://www.thelancet.com/journal/journal.isa

Drugs distributed as part of Kenya's AIDS medicine programme are being sold on the black market, according to a report. Unscrupulous business people are selling the drugs on the back streets of the capital, Nairobi, at less than US$65 for a monthly cocktail, nearly quarter the normal price. Health minister Charity Ngilu announced last year that selected hospitals would dispense the drugs on strictly prescription-only terms and at subsidised prices. The scheme currently provides antiretroviral drugs to 6000 people infected with HIV.


Mali: 11 more cholera deaths reported in January

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/hivaids/19764

The cholera epidemic in Mali has been brought under control in most of the country, but continues unabated in the Mopti region, where a further 11 people died of the water-borne disease in January, Health Ministry sources said. The sources told IRIN last Thursday that 156 new cases of cholera were reported in the Niger river valley in and around the city of Mopti, 450 km northeast of the capital Bamako, between 1 and 26 January.
MALI: 11 more cholera deaths reported in January

BAMAKO, 30 January (IRIN) - The cholera epidemic in Mali has been brought under control in most of the country, but continues unabated in the Mopti region, where a further 11 people died of the water-borne disease in January, Health Ministry sources said.

The sources told IRIN on Thursday that 156 new cases of cholera were reported in the Niger river valley in and around the city of Mopti, 450 km northeast of the capital Bamako, between 1 and 26 January.

One health worker in Mopti pointed out that the rice harvest was in full swing in the district and the movement of people associated with this was partly responsible for the high number of new cases still appearing there

"The situation is complicated by the ongoing problem of hygiene and by the movements of populations for the rice harvest," he told IRIN.

Between August and early December 2003, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported 1,149 cholera cases in the Koulikoro, Segou and Mopti regions of central Mali which resulted in 78 deaths.

The Niger River, the third largest in Africa, courses northeast through Mali. As it passes through Mopti region it fans out to form a large inland delta.

The river banks are fertile planting ground for rice. However, the swampy conditions are also breeding grounds for a whole array of water borne disease.

Cholera, a potentially fatal form of diarrhoea, is generally spread by contaminated drinking water.

The local authorities in Mopti region have intensifed their information campaign about measures to prevent the disease. Local radios are broadcasting special cholera awareness messages and town criers equipped with megaphones have been sent out onto the streets.

Teams have also been sent to affected villages to treat water supplies and disinfect latrines.

Teachers at government schools and private Koranic schools in this largely Muslim country, are impressing the importance of strict hygiene on pupils.

The cholera awareness campaign began last November.

Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world with around 70 percent of the country living on less than one US dollar a day, according to the World Bank.

Although 62 percent of the population has access to safe drinking water, 20 percent of Malians have no modern water facilities at all.

[ENDS]

IRIN-WA
Tel: +225 22-40-4440
Fax: +225 22-41-9339
Email: [email protected]
[This Item is Delivered to the "Africa-English" Service of the UN's IRIN
humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views
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Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2004


Nigeria: Hopes on polio campaign

2004-02-05

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3444289.stm

The Nigerian Government has said it hopes that a suspended polio vaccination campaign in the north of the country will resume soon. Immunisation was halted in three states last year following fears that the vaccine was contaminated. The World Health Organisation, WHO, has warned that unless the spread of the disease is checked, it would undermine eradication efforts.


Nigeria: Over 14,000 on subsidised AIDS drugs run out of medication

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=39281

More than 14,000 living with AIDS in Nigeria who had been receiving antiretroviral (ARV) drugs subsidised by the government are running out of supplies, an HIV/AIDS activist group said on Tuesday. Nsikak Ekpe, president of AIDS Alliance Nigeria (AAN), an organisation which represents people living with AIDS in Africa's most populous country, said the government had stopped supplying drugs at almost all the 25 treatment centres selected for the programme across the country.


South Africa: Frustration As Government Slashes AIDS Budget by Two Thirds

2004-02-05

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040202/lam154_1.html

AIDS activists from the advocacy group, AIDS Therapeutic Treatment Now, South Africa (ATTN SA) expressed outrage and frustration over the move by the South African government to cut by two-thirds of its AIDS budget. According to the Financial Times (UK) newspaper (2/2/04), "The initial budget of R296m (pounds Sterling 22m, $42m, euro 34m) for the first phase of the roll-out of treatment, up to the end of next month, has been cut to R90m by the Treasury, without explanation."


South Africa: Proposed HIV Law Slammed As 'Rubbish'

2004-02-05

http://allafrica.com/stories/200401280414.html

The proposed criminalisation of people who have sex without telling their partners of their HIV status has been slammed as "rubbish" and a "very dangerous approach". That's the view of Mark Heywood, law and human rights sector representative on the SA National Aids Council, who said the stance had already been opposed by the SA Law Commission after a "lengthy investigation". This follows a proposal on Monday by Johnny de Lange, chairman of the parliamentary portfolio committee on justice, that the transmission of HIV become a separate crime. Heywood responded that the proposal "goes against the recommendations of the World Health Organisation", and that criminalising people with HIV would further stigmatise them.


South Africa: The long road to treatment

2004-02-05

http://www.health-e.org.za/news/article.php?uid=20030924

A man is HIV positive. His doctor prescribes Bactrim, a common anti-biotic used as a prophylaxis (prevention) and for the treatment for pneumocystis carinii pneumonia – a generally treatable condition if the person is HIV negative, but potentially fatal if he or she is HIV positive. At present, the pharmacist, private hospital or doctor who dispenses this patient’s prescription will charge up to R126,94 for 20 adult-strength Bactrim capsules. After May this year, when government enacts the recently-published draft regulations relating to a transparent pricing system for medicines and scheduled substances, the same prescription could cost as little as R46,56. The old pricing structure in South Africa is notoriously complicated, secretive and confusing with incentives, discounts and mark ups hidden along the drug chain. Until now, South African consumers, who pay amongst the highest prices for prescription drugs in the world, have suffered the brunt of these huge markups and profits.


Zambia: Government acts to contain cholera

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=39233

Zambian authorities are considering tough measures to contain a cholera outbreak which has claimed 110 lives, 80 of them in a treatment centre in the capital, Lusaka. Among the measures being considered is the restriction of movement from areas affected by cholera, and the prevention of large gatherings such as weddings and funerals, Central Board of Health spokesman, Dr Victor Mukonka, told IRIN on Friday.




Education

Côte d’Ivoire: Reopening of schools delayed in rebel territory

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=39307

Schools in the rebel-held north of Cote d'Ivoire were supposed to have reopened this week for a belated start to the academic year, but officials said on Wednesday that few classes had started. They predicted that it would be at least another two weeks before lessons began in those schools in the main towns which were able to muster enough teachers to start the new term.


Kenya: Can Government Afford Pay for Dons, Teachers?

2004-02-05

http://allafrica.com/stories/200402020461.html

Uncertainty shrouds the generous pay proposed for university lecturers and the next phase of teachers' salary increment. In an interview with the East African Standard last Thursday, Finance Minister, Mr David Mwiraria, said the Government may find it difficult to convince the IMF to approve further salary hikes following the recent pay increment for police and prison staff.


Swaziland: Government to pay school fees for 60,000 orphans

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=39232

The Swazi government is to pay the primary school fees of 60,000 orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). The Ministry of Economic Planning and Development revealed last Thursday that in the national population of 960,000 people, there were 200,000 OVC.


Uganda: Universal Primary Schooling Succeeds to a Fault

2004-02-05

http://www.ipsnews.net/africa/interna.asp?idnews=22162

Martin Oketch, 13, sat his Primary Leaving Examinations in Uganda late last year. His first choice for secondary education was St Mary's College Kisubi, one of the country's best boys' schools. "I want to become a doctor like Uncle Nathan,” he says, pointing to his relative. However, Martin's exam results - though good - were just shy of the grades needed to gain admission to Kisubi. He was just one casualty of an increasingly fierce competition to get a place in secondary school - this as Uganda's system of universal primary education (UPE) yields record numbers of primary school graduates.


Zambia: Government finances leave 9,000 teachers stranded

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=39275

Zambia's already understaffed schools were dealt another blow this week after the government announced that some 9,000 teachers would not be deployed because of a lack of resources. The education ministry's press officer, Michael Katowa, on Tuesday countered media reports that the failure to employ teachers trained in 2002 and 2003 was due to World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) budget conditionalities.


Zimbabwe: Varsity Staff Give 14-Day Strike Notice

2004-02-05

http://allafrica.com/stories/200402020784.html

University of Zimbabwe's (UZ) lecturers and non-academic staff on Friday gave the Public Service Commission (PSC), through their employer the University Council, a 14-day notice to go on strike following delays in awarding the workers a salary increment as ordered by the court last year. In September last year, the government was ordered by the Labour Court to award the UZ employees salary adjustments of more than 800 percent backdated to July of that year but nothing has been done by the government.




Racism & xenophobia

Angola: Discrimination and dependence - the plight of the San

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=39255&SelectRegion=Southern_Africa&SelectCountry=ANGOLA

Since colonial times and throughout Angola's 27-year civil war, the Angolan San have been invisible, forgotten and abused suffering social exclusion, discrimination and social exploitation. The hunter-gatherer San are the original inhabitants of Southern Africa. Some 4,000 years ago they began losing land to Bantu people migrating from the north. The arrival of white settlers in the 17th century was accompanied by their dispossession, enslavement and slaughter. Today the San number roughly 100,000 across Southern Africa.


South Africa: Government Dismisses Tutu's Apartheid Appeal

2004-02-05

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=6&art_id=vn20040202103359927C945564&set_id=1

The South African Council of Churches (SACC) and apartheid victims' groups have come out in support of Archbishop Desmond Tutu's last-minute appeal to an American court to allow apartheid victims' litigation for compensation against foreign companies to go ahead. But government chief spokesperson Joel Netshitenzhe was dismissive of Tutu's appeal who said that not settling the matter (of apartheid victims) inside South Africa would have "profound implications for the future of the country, for instance for the assessment of the country risk profile, and for investment and job creation."


Southern Africa: Migrants' Rights Grossly Violated

2004-02-05

http://allafrica.com/stories/200402030149.html

The treatment of Zimbabwean citizens and other people from the region who migrate legally and illegally to neighbouring countries mainly Botswana and South Africa is often catastrophic, raising underlying questions about xenophobia. In most cases their human rights are systematically and grossly violated. The question of ill treatment and violent malpractices on illegal migrants has taken on a new urgency in the wake of recent reports on the flogging of some 100 Zimbabweans who illegally entered Botswana.


Zimbabwe: Captain Denies Claims of Racism in Zimbabwe's Cricket Structure

2004-02-05

http://www.thewest.com.au/20040203/sport/cricket/tw-sport-cricket-home-sto119339.html

Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak, while urging Australia to tour his country in May to guarantee the continued success of cricket there, denied the claims of yet another former teammate who said virulent racism was entrenched in Zimbabwe's cricket structure. Writing in Wisden Cricketer magazine this month, former fast bowler Bryan Strang said Zimbabwean children were "learning first hand from coaches and policy-makers that skin colour matters" and that many in the cricket community disagreed with the "politicisation and racialisation of cricket in Zimbabwe".




Environment

Africa: Environmental movements - A political ecology of power and conflict

2004-02-05

http://www.unrisd.org/80256B3C005BCCF9/search/8F344D7B26C12A79C1256DD600575D33?OpenDocument&cntxt=E48ED&cookielang=en#top

This paper produced by the United Nations (UN) Research Institute for Social Development critically examines environmental movements in Sub-Saharan Africa by drawing on two prominent cases: the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People of Nigeria's Niger Delta and the Green Belt Movement of Kenya. Its thesis is that environmental movements in Africa operate within a transformative logic in which struggles for power over environmental resources connect broader popular social struggles for popular empowerment and democracy. It concludes that a conflict between extractive forces and those of popular resistance lies at the heart of on-going struggles for the control of the African environment. Furthermore, it says that African states repress environmental movements that interrogate the exclusion of the majority from effective participation in the management and control of environmental resources.


Kenya: Renewed Fears Over Possible Risks From Modified Foodstuffs

2004-02-05

http://allafrica.com/stories/200402020910.html

Kenyans have been consuming imported foods that were long banned without their knowledge. Many supermarkets in Kenya have stocks of these banned foods, also known as genetically modified (GM) crops, and the Government is helpless because it does not have the capacity to test and detect if the food is unnatural. The most consumed GM food comes into Kenya from import food markets like South Africa and the US. The South African brokers sell maize bought by some local millers because of the low price compared to locally grown maize.


Malawi: Fishing Industry Gets Shot In the Arm

2004-02-05

http://www.ipsnews.net/africa/interna.asp?idnews=22205

Malawi has launched a fishing project that will benefit more than 300,000 people who depend on fishing for their livelihood. The project, known as Lake Malawi Artisanal Fisheries Development Project, aims to improve household income in the lakeshore districts of Likoma, Nkhatabay, Nkhotakota, Salima and Mangochi. It was launched on January 24 and is expected to improve fish stocks as well as catches from Lake Malawi. The first component of the project will include construction of working tables, portable water, drying racks and fish storage facilities.


Mali: GM cotton to invade West Africa

2004-02-05

http://www.grain.org/publications/btcotton-newsrelease-feb-2004-en.cfm

The world's biggest agrochemical companies and the US government are rushing to introduce genetically modified (GM) crops into West Africa, starting with cotton. A new report from GRAIN shows that Monsanto, Syngenta and Dow AgroSciences, supported by USAID, are finalising plans with the Malian government to convert the West African country’s cotton crop to transgenic varieties over the next five years. Cotton is Mali’s number one export. Yet local farmers and the general public are in the dark about this.


South Africa: NGO's slam GM labelling regulations

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/environment/19919

After six years of growing Genetically Modified (GM) crops for animal and human consumption in South Africa without proper public knowledge and consent, the Department of Health (DOH) recently published its belated labelling regulations for GM foodstuffs. "These regulations do not require that GM foodstuff be labelled and effectively defeat the very purpose for labelling of any sort, namely to give the consumer the right to choose. They are totally unacceptable in that they don't require mandatory labelling of any of the major GM crops currently grown in South Africa. The Department of Health has cunningly provided industry with a way out of mandatory labelling by invoking the discredited and scientifically flawed concept of 'substantial equivalence'," said Andrew Taynton of the Safe Food Coalition.
SAFEAGE PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release, no embargo

start
NGOS SLAM SHAM GM LABELLING REGULATIONS.
Cape Town, 1 February 2004. 1200h

After 6 years of growing Genetically Modified (GM) crops for animal and
human consumption(1) in South Africa without proper public knowledge and
consent, the Department of Health (DOH) recently(2) published its belated
labelling regulations for GM foodstuffs.

"These regulations do not require that GM foodstuff be labelled and
effectively defeat the very purpose for labelling of any sort, namely to
give the consumer the right to choose. They are totally unacceptable in that
they don't require mandatory labelling of any of the major GM crops
currently grown in South Africa. The Department of Health has cunningly
provided industry with a way out of mandatory labelling by invoking the
discredited and scientifically flawed concept of 'substantial equivalence'
,(3)" Said Andrew Taynton of the Safe Food Coalition.

The South African market is saturated with GM foodstuff. South Africa grows
GM maize (yellow and white maize), GM soybeans and GM cotton. GM yellow
maize is used in South Africa as an important ingredient in feed rations for
dairy, beef, poultry and egg production(4). It is also a raw material for
the production of starch used in the manufacture of sweeteners, syrups, and
fermentation products. Maize oil is also extracted from the germ of the
kernel. Thus maize products are present in a wide range of processed food
products available on the South African market. White maize on the other
hand is South Africa's most important agricultural product because it is the
staple food of the majority of South Africans, and is exported for this use
throughout Southern Africa(5). South Africa approved GE white maize, a world
first, for commercial growing, and for human and animal consumption during
2001(6).

Cottonseed oil is used routinely in cooking oil, in shortening and salad
dressing, and is used extensively in the preparation of snack foods such as
crackers, cookies and chips. The meal and hulls are an important protein
concentrate for livestock.(7)

A major food use of soyabean is as purified oil used in margarines,
shortenings, lecithin and cooking and salad oils. It is also a major
ingredient in foods such as tofu, tempeh, soya sauce, simulated milk, as
well as in meat and meat substitute products and in animal feed.

"This stunt pulled by the DOH will effectively absolve GM companies such as
Monsanto from carrying out necessary nutritional and toxicological animal
tests to establish safety. It is also a ploy to placate the public with
false notions that GM foods are not inherently different from their
conventional counterparts" Said Mariam Mayet, of the African Centre for
Biosafety.

Spokesperson from SAFeAGE, the SA Freeze Alliance on Genetic Engineering(8),
Glenn Ashton says, "Despite our members' protracted engagement with
government, manufacturers and retailers, the rights of consumers have been
sacrificed in favour of corporate interests. These labelling regulations
display a cynical disregard for consumer rights and will effectively prevent
them from making properly informed choices about the source of their
families food."

Industry opposes labelling as it insists that it will result in increased
food production expense, due to the cost of isolating GM crops from
conventional crops. This is ironic, given their claim that GM technology
will provide cheaper and more plentiful food. Instead these uninvited and
unwanted foods and crops stand to further increase food costs in an already
inflationary food market. It is also remarkable that GM developers such as
Monsanto face no sanction whatsoever when they contaminate conventional food
crops; again, all the costs and risks are borne by consumers.

"Our members and the public have constructively engaged in good faith for
many years but the time has arrived for the gloves to come off, as our
concerns have clearly fallen on deaf ears. It is essential that consumers
now take a stand in this important matter of our food choice," said Ashton.

_____________________

Contact names and addresses

Andrew Taynton; Safe Food Coalition +27 (0) 83 662 0411

Mariam Mayet; African Centre for Biosafety +27 (0)11 646 0699

Glenn Ashton; SAFeAGE +27 (0) 21 789 1751

_______________________

Footnotes;

(1)The National Department of Agriculture approved Monsanto's GM yellow
maize, (MON 801) for commercial growing, food and feed in 1997. That same
year, it approved Monsanto's GM cotton (MON 531/757/1076) for commercial
growing, food and feed. Source: Agbios GM Database
http://www.agbios.com.dbse.php

(2)Govt. Gazette no. 25908, 16 Jan, 2004.

(3)"Substantial Equivalence" is based on the flawed assumption that
genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not new and inherently different
to their conventional counterparts and therefore do not bear unforeseeable
risks. GM foods are evaluated primarily by comparing their compositional
data with those from their non-GM counterparts. If that composition minus
the added gene and protein is the same, the GMO is regarded as substantially
equivalent and no further tests on animals are required. The scientifically
flawed rationale is that side effects of the gene(s) would be picked up in
the chemical composition. However, tests are conducted only of the isolated
gene and the protein, independently from the organism they would eventually
be inserted. Thus the tests and the results are seriously flawed.
"Substantial Equivalence" has been severely criticised as being a
pseudo-scientific concept by eminent scientists and as being nothing more
than a commercial and political judgement masquerading as science. See in
this regard, Millstone, E., Brunner, E. and Mayer, S. (1999) Beyond
substantial equivalence. Nature 401, 525-526.

(4)Trends in the Agriculture Sector 2003 National Department of Agriculture
www.nda.agric.za/doc/Trends2003.Field _husbandry.pdf

(5)Trends in the Agriculture Sector 2003 National Department of Agriculture
www.nda.agric.za/doc/Trends2003.Field_husbandry.pdf

(6)South Africa to produce first GMO white corn 2002-2003
www.monsantoafrica.com/news/africashowlib.ph+ml?uid=6740

(7)Agbios GM Database http://www.agbios.com/dbase.php

(8)SAFeAGE is a broadly representative network of organisations and
individuals calling for a moratorium on the growing, sale, import and export
of GM crops and food until such time as the necessity, desirability and
safety is properly shown for the use of these novel organisms. Please see
www.safeage.org for further information.
end article


South Africa: St Lucia Strives to Unite Conservation, Development

2004-02-05

http://www.ipsnews.net/africa/interna.asp?idnews=22265

Game parks often have an aura of elitism. Those who frequent them generally need money to buy the equipment that allows the wilderness to be enjoyed in comfort - and a stable job so that they can take the time off to do so. This is particularly true of St Lucia in South Africa, long a playground for those with four-wheel-drive vehicles, fishing boats and diving gear. But ever since the area was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999 - and 260,000 hectares of forest, military land and scattered game farms joined to create the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park - playtime in the area has been severely curtailed.


Tanzania: New venture - appeal for notification on interest

2004-02-05

Http://www.africanconservation.org

Investors and likely partner organisations are asked to please contact Terry Harnwell through the email address provided to describe their interest in becoming involved in a brand new conservation project in northern Tanzania. 1200 Acres of virgin bush on the borders of Tarangire National Park (in the Manyara-Tarangire migration corridor) have been acquired to set up the project. Project will comprise a Carnivore Rescue & Rehab Centre, Educational Facility, Research Facility and adjoining Lodge.


Uganda: MPs want Nile pact revoked

2004-02-05

http://allafrica.com/stories/200402020468.html

A Parliamentary committee has asked the government to revoke the Nile Treaty with Egypt. The committee on natural resources says the pre-independence treaties give Egypt monopoly over the Nile waters. It also wants Egypt to pay sh2b for damages by the rising lake levels as per a 1950 agreement. The agreement, signed by the British on behalf of Uganda, allows Egypt to pay for rising water levels caused by its heavy industrialisation along the river.




Land & land rights

Kenya: Regional agricultural information network set up in Nairobi

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=39258

A new initiative to strengthen food security and enhance economic growth in East Africa through a sustainable, long term partnership between governments, traders, producer associations, development and aid agencies has been set up in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Supported by the United States Agency for International Development and the Famine Early Warning System, the Regional Agricultural Trade Enhancement Support and FOODNET projects, the information network aims to gather, analyse and increase access to information about key food commodities such as maize and beans in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.


Namibia: Fears That Land Act Will Spark Strife

2004-02-05

http://allafrica.com/stories/200401300455.html

Some rural communities whose traditional authorities are not recognised fear that the new Land Reform Act may give rise to disputes. The new Communal Land Reform Act requires that people with existing land in communal areas apply for their land to be registered to acquire a land registration certificate from the communal land boards within three years, or risk the land being allocated to others.


Southern Africa: Land tenure systems and sustainable development

2004-02-05

http://www.sarpn.org.za/documents/d0000664/index.php

Land is considered the most fundamental resource to the poor and is essential to enabling them to lift themselves out of poverty. More than 60 percent of the active population in Southern Africa is dependent on land for livelihood. The last three decades have witnessed some land reforms in Southern Africa, some of which were aimed at land redistribution and introducing land titling for customary tenure. While the issue of land tenure reform has not been given sufficient attention, land distribution has tended to be the core issue in many of the Southern African countries’ land policy reforms. However today there is a growing recognition of the centrality of land tenure in sustainable development process in the region as witnessed by a number of regional and national initiatives and meetings.




Media & freedom of expression

Africa: South and Eastern Africa Tolerance Prize

2004-02-05

http://www.ifj.org/default.asp?Issue=TOLERANCE&Language=EN

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Journalism for Tolerance Prize is about promoting tolerance, combating racism and discrimination and contributing to an understanding of cultural, religious and ethnic differences. The Prize is an annual competition among journalists from all sectors of media with a simple objective: to promote better understanding among journalists from all communities of the importance of tolerance and defence of human rights, particularly when it comes to reporting on minorities.


Africa: Web site launched to train, support exiled African journalists

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/media/19872

A specialist Internet training and advocacy portal has been launched to help African journalists work even after they have been forced into exile, or have otherwise been muzzled by oppressive regimes. The African Journalists in Exile (JAFE) Web site seeks to provide persecuted African journalists with a global networking forum by linking to online resources, media freedom advocacy organisations, sympathetic media and self-help groups.
To: IFEX Autolist (other news of interest)
From: Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), [email protected]

MISA Communiqué (Media Support)

February 3, 2004

Web site launched to train, support exiled African journalists

* Source: IJ-Net

* Please note that MISA and the Misanet News Exchange are often not directly
involved in training courses/seminars presented by third parties; we merely
assist in distributing the information in the interest of reaching as many
parties as possible. In such cases, PLEASE reply to the contact person
mentioned in the announcement and not to MISA or Misanet.

A specialist Internet training and advocacy portal has been launched to help
African journalists work even after they have been forced into exile, or have
otherwise been muzzled by oppressive regimes.

The African Journalists in Exile (JAFE) Web site seeks to provide persecuted
African journalists with a global networking forum by linking to online
resources, media freedom advocacy organizations, sympathetic media and self-help
groups.

The site, published in English, French and Arabic, also seeks to help exiled
journalists win asylum as political refugees in "safe" countries, while it
simultaneously campaigns for better protection for journalists still working in
conflict situations.

Recognizing that journalists can work wherever they find themselves, the Web
site also attempts to link exiled writers with international correspondents
covering Africa, to provide the foreign media with additional context, contacts
and insight into events on the continent.

This outreach program includes traveling seminars, conferences, and research
reports. In addition, JAFE seeks to strengthen the voice of its exiled members
by helping to develop their careers with skills training.

Anyone interested in registering with JAFE, obtaining additional information, or
assisting in its programs should visit the organization's Web site at
http://www.jafe.org

Ends

Zoé Titus
Regional Programme Coordinator: Media Freedom Monitoring
Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
Regional Secretariat
21 Johann Albrecht Street
Private Bag 13386
Windhoek, NAMIBIA
Tel: +264 61 232975
Fax: +264 61 248016
Cell: +264 81 128 3919
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: http://www.misa.org

PROMOTING MEDIA DIVERSITY . PLURALISM . SELF-SUFFICIENCY . INDEPENDENCE

**The information contained in this autolist item is the sole responsibility of
MISA**


Ivory Coast: Three journalists assaulted by presidential guardsmen

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/media/19873

A photographer with "Le Patriote", a daily that is close to the opposition, and two other journalists were recently assaulted by members of Ivoirian President Laurent Gbagbo's presidential guard.
ALERT - CÔTE D'IVOIRE

2 February 2004

Three journalists assaulted by presidential guardsmen

SOURCE: Reporters sans frontières (RSF), Paris

(RSF/IFEX) - A photographer with "Le Patriote", a daily that is close to the
opposition, and two other journalists were recently assaulted by members of
Ivoirian President Laurent Gbagbo's presidential guard.

On 31 January 2004, "Le Patriote" photographer Ibrahim Diarra was beaten up
by presidential guardsmen in Yamoussoukro, during a foundation stone-laying
ceremony held at the future location of the presidential residence. Diarra
was taking photographs of security agents when they stopped him and asked
him who his employer was. They then combed through the journalist's personal
documents and found a letter written by him in which he mentioned an
incident that took place when he covered a press conference of the Côte
d'Ivoire Patriotic Movement (Mouvement patriotique de Côte d'Ivoire, MPCI, a
former rebel group). The soldiers then accused Diarra of being an assailant
and beat him up.

Charles Sanga, another "Le Patriote" reporter, and Frank Konaté, of the
daily "24 Heures", were also beaten up after they came to their colleague's
defence.

Diarra was treated for injuries to his head and genitals at the Treichville
(Abidjan) University hospital.

"It is unacceptable that members of the president's security service can,
with total impunity, attack a journalist who is covering an official event.
The head of state must punish these officers and keep his troops in line,"
said RSF. "Such actions reinforce the climate of insecurity that surrounds
the work of journalists in Côte d'Ivoire," the organisation added.

For further information, contact Jean-François Julliard at RSF, 5, rue
Geoffroy Marie, Paris 75009, France, tel: +33 1 44 83 84 84, fax: +33 1 45
23 11 51, e-mail: [email protected], Internet: http://www.rsf.org

The information contained in this alert is the sole responsibility of RSF.
In citing this material for broadcast or publication, please credit RSF.
_________________________________________________________________
DISTRIBUTED BY THE INTERNATIONAL FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
EXCHANGE (IFEX) CLEARING HOUSE
489 College Street, Toronto (ON) M6G 1A5 CANADA
tel: +1 416 515 9622 fax: +1 416 515 7879
alerts email: [email protected] general e-mail: [email protected]
Internet site: http://www.ifex.org/
_________________________________________________________________


Nigeria: Nine state radio journalists suspended over coverage of opposition demo

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/media/19871

Reporters Without Borders has called on a public service radio corporation in the state of Ondo, in southwestern Nigeria, to reinstate nine journalists who were suspended indefinitely on 21 January at the governor's behest because of their coverage of an opposition protest about an increase in the prices of petroleum products. The Ondo State Radiovision Corporation (OSRC) claimed that the decision to suspend the journalists was taken internally, by the corporation's management, because they dedicated too much air-time to the protest by the opposition Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
To: IFEX Autolist (other news of interest)
From: Reporters sans frontières (RSF), [email protected]

PRESS FREEDOM

30 January 2004

NIGERIA

Nine state radio journalists suspended over coverage of opposition demo

Reporters Without Borders today called on a public service radio corporation
in the state of Ondo, in southwestern Nigeria, to reinstate nine journalists
who were suspended indefinitely on 21 January at the governor's behest
because of their coverage of an opposition protest about an increase in the
prices of petroleum products.

The Ondo State Radiovision Corporation (OSRC) claimed that the decision to
suspend the journalists was taken internally, by the corporation's
management, because they dedicated too much air-time to the protest by the
opposition Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

"But according to our information, state governor Olusegun Agagu was behind
the suspension of these journalists, because he did not appreciate their
giving so much importance to an event organised by an opposition party to
protest against an official measure," Reporters Without Borders said.

The nine OSRC employees who have been suspended are news director Seinde
Omokoba, deputy news director Sanya Adeleye, and seven other journalists:
Taiwo Fagbuyi, Akinwale Oshodi, Franklin Olaleye, Daisi Ajayi, Remi
Olagookun, Daiso Ifaleyimu and Bola Akinrunjomu.

--
Bureau Afrique / Africa desk
Reporters sans frontières / Reporters Without Borders
5, rue Geoffroy-Marie
75009 Paris - France
Tel : (33) 1 44 83 84 84
Fax : (33) 1 45 23 11 51
[email protected] / [email protected]
www.rsf.org

**The information contained in this autolist item is the sole responsibility
of RSF**


Rwanda ends state radio monopoly

2004-02-05

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3445309.stm

Rwanda has allowed the first private radio stations to start broadcasting since the 1994 genocide. Five new stations have already been given permission to set up and two more religious stations will be authorised soon, said the information minister.


South Africa: Information Law Not Accessible to Public, says Human Rights Commission

2004-02-05

http://allafrica.com/stories/200402030212.html

The Human Rights Commission had recommended that Parliament consider amending the Promotion of Access to Information Act to make dispute resolution in terms of the act accessible and affordable, commissioner Leon Wessels has said. He said at an international conference that the amendment should also allow the commission to take actions to court and mediate where necessary, giving it the same powers it has in terms of the Promotion of Equality and the Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.


West Africa: Media Foundation For West Africa aims to expand free speech

2004-02-05

http://www.mediafoundationwa.org/

The Media Foundation for West Africa is a regional independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation based in Accra, Ghana. It was established in 1997 to defend and promote the rights and freedoms of the media, and generally, to help expand the boundaries of freedom of speech and expression in West Africa through:
- Advocacy and promotion of Media Rights and Freedom of Expression;
- Monitoring, alerting and publicising violations of and attacks on freedom of thought and expression;
- Defence and support of Journalists, Writers, Artists and other Communicators against intimidation and other controls that could undermine free expression;
- Research into issues affecting Media Rights and Freedom of Expression;
- Training and support for professional practice and media capacity building;
- Promoting and facilitating programmes of informed political debate, civic empowerment and popular participation.


Zimbabwe: ANZ Supreme Court hearing postponed

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/media/19874

Zimbabwe’s Supreme Court postponed to 18 February a hearing on appeals by the Media and Information Commission (MIC) and the Minister of Information Jonathan Moyo to have The Daily News and The Daily News on Sunday shut down again. On 26 January the Supreme Court declined to grant an interdict sought by the MIC barring the newspaper company from publishing. Chief Justice Chidyausiku sitting in chambers, said that he could not issue the interdict sought by the MIC but had no problems with the appeal for the consolidation of these cases pending before the court. Two appeals were pending before the Supreme Court, both seeking an interdict stopping the ANZ from publishing.
MISA-Zimbabwe Alert: ANZ Supreme Court hearing postponed


Media Alert

8 January 2003

ANZ Supreme Court hearing postponed



Zimbabwe’s Supreme Court postponed to 18 February a hearing on appeals by the Media and Information Commission (MIC) and the Minister of Information Jonathan Moyo to have The Daily News and The Daily News on Sunday shut down again.



On 26 January the Supreme Court declined to grant an interdict sought by the MIC barring the newspaper company from publishing. Chief Justice Chidyausiku sitting in chambers, said that he could not issue the interdict sought by the MIC but had no problems with the appeal for the consolidation of these cases pending before the court. Two appeals were pending before the Supreme Court, both seeking an interdict stopping the ANZ from publishing.



Chief Justice Chidyausiku instructed the MIC lawyer, Johannes Tomana, to consolidate the appeals, which according to him were fragmented and difficult to deal with.

“I believe you are not really entitled to the interdict that you seek. It is so untidy to deal with these matters piecemeal. I am sure this is what has caused the confusion. That is why it is important to consolidate all the letters and the appeals be heard as one case.” Said Chidyausiku.



The ANZ lawyers consented to the consolidation of the appeals saying this could provide a proper way forward and avoid further confusion.

On weather The Daily News and The Daily news on Sunday should continue publishing, the Chief Justice Chidyausiku said the newspaper was operating outside the law as he ruled on 11 September 2003. He said this is because the two papers are not licensed by the MIC.

He said the judgements passed by the Administrative Court and the High Court had no effect of suspending the ruling made by the Supreme Court in September 2003. He added that it was upon this basis that the police acted when they moved into the ANZ premises.

END
Rashweat Mukundu
Research and Information Officer
MISA-Zimbabwe
84 McChlery Ave
Eastlea
Box HR 8113
Harare
Zimbabwe
Phone 00 263 4 7761 65
Mobile 00 263 11 602 685
E mail [email protected]


Zimbabwe: Private media exposes abuses

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/media/19870

ZANU-PF is reportedly continuing with its violent campaign against supporters of the opposition, particularly in Gutu North where a parliamentary by-election was scheduled for February 1-2. Not only that, the ruling party is also being accused of using traditional leaders to frustrate the campaign activities of the MDC. "Only the private media revealed these barbaric tactics, which the ruling party has unashamedly employed in every election since the entrance into the political arena of the opposition MDC in late 1999," said the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe in their latest update.
The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
Monday January 19th - Sunday January 25th 2004
Weekly Media Update 2004-03

Contents
* General comment
* Inflation and monetary policy miracles
* Selective interpretation of the law
* Distortions


1. GENERAL COMMENT

Despite persistent claims by South African President Thabo Mbeki and
Nigeria's, Olusegun Obasanjo's that the country's two main rival
political parties were on the verge of resuming formal talks to resolve
the country's crises, the situation on the ground continues to
deteriorate.
For example, ZANU-PF is reportedly continuing with its violent
campaign against supporters of the opposition, particularly in Gutu
North where a parliamentary by-election is scheduled for February 1-2.
Not only that, the ruling party is also being accused of using traditional
leaders to frustrate the campaign activities of the MDC.

Only the private media revealed these barbaric tactics, which the ruling
party has unashamedly employed in every election since the entrance
into the political arena of the opposition MDC in late 1999.
Recently, the police raided the MDC offices in search of what they
described as "subversive" material, The Standard and The Sunday
Mirror (25/1).
Members of civic organisations have not been spared from this
repression. Studio 7 (21/01) The Daily News and The Daily Mirror
(23/01) reported that the police broke up a meeting of Harare residents
organised by the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) to
discuss the increase in rates by Harare City Council by 600 percent.

The government-controlled media predictably ignored these incidents
highlighting the extent of State-tolerated repression in the country.
Instead, ZBC chose to drown its audiences with stories about the
Zimbabwe national soccer team's journey to Tunisia for the African
Nations Cup soccer tournament. For instance, ZTV devoted 30
minutes or 24 percent of its total news time (excluding business,
weather and sport segments) allocated to 8pm bulletins in the week to
soccer. Songs such as Go Warriors Go composed by Information
Minister Jonathan Moyo accompanied some of the news items. In
addition, the station's current affairs programmes such as the 30-
minutes-long Behind the Camera and the-hour-long Face the Nation
discussed soccer. Its Monday evening programming was also
suspended to pave the way for live coverage of the team's departure to
Tunisia.
However, this overly generous devotion to soccer did not translate into
a critical examination of Zimbabwe's preparations for the tournament
but represented mere jingoistic puff pieces for the national team. The
broadcaster ignored the chaos that surrounded the departure of the
national team supporters to Tunisia and the shameful attempts by
ZANU PF functionaries such as the war veterans' leader, Joseph
Chinotimba, to hijack the event into a ZANU PF affair.

It was only the private media that revealed this. For example, The Daily
News on Sunday (25/01) reported that Chinotimba distributed T-shirts
inscribed Sendekera Mwana Wevhu, ZANU PF's latest slogan for the
land reform programme, amongst supporters and announced that
those intending to travel to Tunisia should wear the T-shirts. Perceived
MDC supporters and some journalists working for the private media
were reportedly barred from traveling to Tunisia.
The government Press also turned a blind eye to this. Rather, The
Sunday Mail (25/01) tried to give government mileage out of the
national team's success. Said the paper: "We salute those in
Government who put their heads on the block to pump a lot of
resources into the Warriors' campaign, chartering a plane for the
boys when everyone else was arguing that the money should be
spent on food".

Such immoral attempts to politically hijack a popular sport clearly
demonstrates the extent to which the authorities will go to try and win
the support of Zimbabweans, who are becoming increasingly frustrated
with the government's failure to restore some stability to Zimbabwe's
social, political and economic existence.


2. INFLATION AND MONETARY POLICY MIRACLES

The government-controlled media's enthusiasm to portray the sickly
Zimbabwean economy as finally recovering from its myriad ailments
found expression again this week through its narrow and simplistic
interpretations of the effects the recently announced Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe's monetary policy has had on the country's economy.
A decrease in inflation in December by 20.8 percent to 598.7 percent
from the November rate of 619.5 percent was the latest economic
indicator the government-controlled media used to support its
arguments that the country's economy was on the mend.
Such fixation with the drop in inflation, as if that on its own was the key
to success, without relating it holistically to other yet unresolved
economic fundamentals, deprived audiences of the government media
a greater insight into the complications the economy has to overcome
if it is to recover.
As a result these media devoted most of their time to praising the
Central Bank governor, Gideon Gono, for inducing a drop in inflation
instead of questioning whether government would abandon its
disastrous policies, which have largely been blamed for the country's
economic troubles, to complement the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's
(RBZ) efforts.
Although The Herald (22/1) half-heartedly touched on the subject,
when it noted that "most economic analysts feel it could be still too
soon to predict (the economic) recovery course as more focus
will be on assessing government's credibility and consistency in
its policy implementation", its slant was largely unquestioning as it
sought to present the drop in inflation as an illustration of the
effectiveness of the monetary policy.
Likewise, ZTV (20/01, 8pm) pointed out that the drop in inflation
showed that the "economy has begun to respond positively to the
monetary policy" adding (21/01, 8pm) that this was a clear indication
the "country's economy is on the path to recovery."
However, the private media disputed this. For instance, Studio 7(22/01)
quoted economic commentator Tony Hawkins attributing the drop in
inflation to the fact that prices of goods went up by "11 percent in
December" compared to October and November last year when
prices increased by over 32 percent. He described government-
controlled media's attempts to directly link the RBZ's fiscal policy to the
decline in inflation as "nonsense because figures were compiled
before the monetary policy was even announced."
The Zimbabwe Independent (23/01) agreed, and observed that even
the excitement over the drop in inflation rang hollow because the
country's inflation was still "600 percent higher than our trading
partners".
In its comment, Gono's magic wand won't do the trick, the paper
observed that all the positive publicity about Gono's strategies were
likely to fizzle out because the country was not only failing to attract
tourists and foreign investment, but also lacked badly needed financial
support from key multilateral financial institutions.
Said the paper: "He (Gono) may tinker at the margins" but "sooner
or later he will have to face the hard facts that under the current
regime a mismanaged economy, macro-economic distortions,
corruption and shortages have become a way of life."
The Sunday Mirror (25/01) concurred. It pointed out that leading
economists "remained pessimistic as to whether the problem of
inflation has finally been averted" arguing that unless all
stakeholders are fully committed and collaborate to complement
current central bank efforts "the current 'honeymoon' would soon
hit a brick wall".
The Daily Mirror (21/01) and The Daily News (23/01) shared the same
view.
The government media would still not factor in these aspects in their
reports.
Besides, it also seemed to escape the professional logic of journalists
from these media, as illustrated by The Herald (20/1) and ZBC (20/01,
8pm), that the availability of basic goods, although expensive, was a
result of government abandoning price controls rather than the RBZ's
monetary policy alone.
It was this obsession with promoting the monetary policy as a magic
potion for the economic revival that saw ZBC (20/01, 8pm) claim that
as a result of Gono's measures prices of commodities were tumbling.
There was no attempt to look at other reasons outside the monetary
policy that could have led to prices of some commodities going down.
For example, it is common practice that retailers have clearance sales
in January when business is usually low.
As a result of such simplistic attempts to sell the monetary policy, the
government-controlled media also found themselves glossing over the
effectiveness of the foreign currency auction system, which The
Zimbabwe Independent reported as coming "under fire" from the
same businesses that wanted it introduced because of its "unviable
low" auction prices.
SW Radio Africa (20/01) also quoted Hawkins doubting the success of
the auction system. Commenting on the firming of the local currency
Hawkins said: " This is a very artificial situation because the level
of the amount of transaction in the market is tiny. It's been about
$2million an auction whereas a normal auction would have to be
about $15 million an auction. So you can't read anything into
these figures at this stage".
However, the government-controlled media unquestioningly allowed
government to identify itself with Gono's attempts to revive the
economy, ZBC (21/01, 8pm), The Herald (19/1&22/1) and Chronicle
(23/1).
The Herald (19/1) carried a public relations story in which ZANU PF
tried to own Gono's financial sector clean-up, a move only questioned
and interpreted in the private media as government's way of shoring up
its waning support ahead of the 2005 parliamentary polls.
The Business Tribune (23/1) comment queried why Gono would only
meet ZANU PF MPs and not legislators from the opposition because
"...the MDC cannot be wished away as they represent a large
chunk of voters."
The Standard (25/1) dismissed ZANU PF's purported new crusade
against graft as "cosmetic" meant "to hoodwink voters."
But the government media steered clear of this angle. Instead, The
Herald (19/1) attempted to summarily apportion blame for the country's
financial mess to former RBZ governor Leonard Tsumba, whom it
described as a "textbook economist", while glorifying Gono.
The paper achieved this via a simplistic comparison of the
performance of the two during their tenure at the central bank,
concluding that, "Dr Gono has the full support of Government and
President Mugabe." But it remained silent over whether Tsumba
enjoyed the same support during his tenure.


3. SELECTIVE INTERPRETATION OF THE LAW

The continued selective interpretation of laws by government worsened
by the biased reporting of the same, especially by the media it controls,
threatens to severely compromise the effective delivery of justice in the
country.
A recent example of this happened during the week when ZANU PF
MPs breached Parliamentary procedures to bulldoze a second reading
of the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill despite an adverse report by
the Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC) that the proposed law was
unconstitutional.
The controversial amendment, which would make it easier for
government to seize more land, mainly seeks to make preliminary
notices in the government Gazette as constituting service of notice in
writing upon the owners of the land that government wants to acquire
as compared to the 30-day written notice that presently pertains.
While both sections of the Press reported on the event, especially the
flare-up between MDC and ZANU PF MPs during consideration of the
adverse report, none of the newspapers unequivocally pointed out
what implications the ZANU PF MPs' disregard for parliamentary
procedures meant to the rule of law.
Neither did they reconcile Parliament's role - to make laws that do not
infringe the Constitution and Bill of Rights - with this latest assault on
landowners' liberties.
ZBC was even more unprofessional because it failed to fully expose
the circumstances leading to the Bill going for its second reading. For
instance, ZTV (22/01, 7am) merely quoted the leader of the House,
Patrick Chinamasa as having said, "the land reform programme is a
political exercise that cannot be resolved through the courts"
without analyzing the underlying implications of this statement. This
alarming declaration clearly exposes government's disrespect for the
law and the judicial process on matters that have a bearing on its
political survival.
The Herald (22/1) also carried Chinamasa's comments and tried to
blame the "disorderly conduct" of the MDC MPs for the disturbances
while it remained silent on the racial attacks against MDC MP David
Coltart by Chinamasa. This came after Coltart alleged that some 38
ZANU PF MPs owned farms and should not be allowed to debate the
Bill because under parliamentary procedures, members with financial
interests in matters under debate must declare them and recuse
themselves.
Such double standards were unearthed by SW Radio Africa (22/01),
The Tribune (23/1) and The Zimbabwe Independent (23/1). The
Tribune, for example, also reported how ZANU PF chief whip Joram
Gumbo "crossed the floor to confront Coltart" and "had to be
dragged away by the sergeant-at-arms, Nicholas Marufu".
In the same vein, The Zimbabwe Independent reported that ruling party
MPs had accidentally "voted in favour of the (committee's) adverse
report, which said the Bill breached constitutional provisions on
property, but were asked to vote again when chairman of
committees Lazarus Dokora realized the mistake."
The government-controlled media's selective reporting of issues also
manifested itself in the way they covered the legal battle between the
Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) and Information Minister
Jonathan Moyo in conjunction with the Media Information Commission
(MIC).
The Herald, Chronicle (23/1) and ZBC (23/01, 7am), for example,
merely promoted Moyo's arguments in their stories by endorsing them
as the law in themselves without verifying them independently.
Even arguments in The Herald (23/01) and The Sunday News (25/01)
that the court rulings allowing the ANZ to resume publishing should be
shelved since MIC had appealed against that in the Supreme Court
were simplistic as they lacked independent corroboration on
regulations governing appeals.
In fact, none of the media probed whether MIC, ruled as "improperly
constituted" by the Administrative Court, has any legal or moral right
to take the ANZ to court. In other words how valid are its appeals?


4. DISTORTIONS

Claims by government opponents, especially the opposition MDC, that
the government Press frequently falsifies or distorts their viewpoints
were vindicated this week when High Court judge Justice Paddington
Garwe ordered The Herald to retract a story in which the paper (22/01)
blatantly distorted MDC leader Tsvangirai's testimony in his long-
running treason trial.
Garwe made the ruling after Tsvangirai's lawyer, Advocate George
Bizos, submitted that the newspaper should be found in contempt of
court for misrepresenting the court proceedings, Studio 7 (22/01), ZTV
(22/01, 8pm) The Business Tribune, The Zimbabwe Independent, The
Sunday Mirror, The Standard and The Daily News (23/01).

The High Court judge concurred and noted that the headline,
Tsvangirai implicates US Govt in coup plot, including the first part of
the article implied that Tsvangirai was admitting to the treason charge
to which he had pleaded not guilty.

The private Press quoted Garwe as saying: "For the avoidance of
doubt, the accused denied the existence of such a plot. The
reporter should ensure that a suitable correction of the report is
made and the Attorney General should liaise with the editor of the
paper to correct the misrepresentation."

While the paper carried a retraction the next day (23/1) it did not carry
it with the same page one prominence as the original distortion - and
nor did it tell its readers that the correction was made as a result of a
court order.
Ends

The Media Update is produced and circulated by the Media Monitoring
Project Zimbabwe, 15 Duthie Avenue, Alexandra Park, Harare, Tel/fax:
+263 4 703702, E-mail: [email protected]

Feel free to respond to MMPZ. We may not able to respond to
everything but we will look at each message. Also, please feel free to
circulate this report.




Social welfare

Africa/Global: Women and Children Most Affected by Conflict

2004-02-05

http://www.canada.com/montreal/

War, and peace, aren't what they used to be. In civil wars, the targets are mainly civilians. And when strife erupts in one of the world's dozens of trouble spots, Rosalind Boyd says, all too often it's women and children first - in the worst possible ways. "Men and women experience wars differently," said Boyd, director of the Centre for Developing-Area Studies at McGill University. "Men are primarily the ones who are holding the guns, and women and children are primarily the victims."


Africa: Ending child labour will save money, says ILO

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/welfare/19906

A new study by the International Labour Office (ILO) says the benefits of eliminating child labour will be nearly seven times greater than the costs, or an estimated US$ 5.1 trillion in the developing and transitional economies, where most child labourers are found. What is more, the study, conducted by the ILO International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), says child labour - which involves one in every six children in the world - can be eliminated and replaced by universal education by the year 2020 at an estimated total cost of US$ 760 billion.
ILO Press release
4 February 2004

GENEVA (ILO News) - A new study by the International Labour Office (ILO)
says the benefits of eliminating child labour will be nearly seven times
greater than the costs, or an estimated US$ 5.1 trillion in the developing
and transitional economies, where most child labourers are found.

What is more, the study, conducted by the ILO International Programme on
the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), says child labour - which involves
one in every six children in the world - can be eliminated and replaced by
universal education by the year 2020 at an estimated total cost of US$ 760
billion.

"What's good social policy is also good economic policy. Eliminating child
labour will yield an enormous return on investment - and a priceless
impact on the lives of children and families", says ILO Director-General
Juan Somavia.

The study, entitled "Investing in Every Child, An Economic Study of the
Costs and Benefits of Eliminating Child Labour", is the first integrated
analysis of the economic costs and benefits of eliminating child labour to
be conducted worldwide. It compares costs and benefits - not with a view
to justifying action to eliminate child labour, which is already called
for by the ILO in its Conventions Nos. 138 and 182 - but with the aim of
understanding the economic implications of these international
commitments.

The ILO estimates that some 246 million children are currently involved in
child labour worldwide. Of these, 179 million - or one in every eight
children worldwide - are exposed to the worst forms of child labour, which
endanger their physical, mental or moral well-being.

The ILO/IPEC study applies a model to developing and transitional
economies worldwide and says that globally, the economic benefits of the
fight against child labour exceed costs by a ratio of 6.7 to 1. All
regions of the world would experience large net gains from the elimination
of child labour, although some would benefit more than others. In North
Africa and the Middle East, for examples, the benefits would be the
highest relative to the costs (8.4 to 1), whereas in sub-Saharan Africa
they would be the lowest (5.2 to 1). In Asia, the ratio would be 7.2 to 1,
in transitional countries 5.9 to 1, while in Latin America it would be 5.3
to 1. The global net economic benefits of the hypothetical programme would
amount to 22.2 per cent of aggregate annual gross national income.


Calculating the costs and benefits

According to the study, eliminating child labour would be a "generational
investment" and a sustained commitment to children, both today and
tomorrow. In the first years, the costs would almost certainly exceed
returns. However, net economic flows would turn dramatically positive as
the effects of improved education and health take hold. By 2020, costs
would be far outweighed by the returns, leaving annual benefits of around
US$ 60 billion.

In comparison to other social costs, the average annual cost of
eliminating child labour would be far less than the cost of financing debt
service or the military, the study says. For example, the average annual
cost of US$ 95 billion would amount to about 20 per cent of current
military spending in developing and transitional countries, or 9.5 per
cent of developing countries' US$ 1 trillion debt service.

The study argues that the costs are a "wise investment" as each extra year
of schooling stemming from universal education to the age of 14 results in
an additional 11 per cent of future earnings per year, yielding global
benefits of just over US$ 5 trillion. On the cost side, the supply of
education accounts for nearly two-thirds of the total costs.

Reaping the economic value of expanded education depends on countries'
ability to create new jobs, take advantage of higher levels of human
capital and develop economic policies to stimulate growth, the study
admits. Yet even if the effect of education on future earnings was halved
to 5 per cent, the study estimates that global benefits would still exceed
US$ 2 trillion.

Households affected by the study's programme face another major cost. The
progressive elimination of child labour over the next 20 years deprives
families of the economic value of their children's labour. The study
estimates that a child's contribution to family income is 20 per cent of
an adult's - and that with child labour eliminated, the global opportunity
cost borne by households would total US$ 246.8 billion.

To take account of this, the study factors in the costs of a global
programme of income support to poor households that commit to sending
their children to school. Modelled on the existing successful Bolsa Escola
programme in Brazil, the study costs out a similar form of child benefit
phased in over twenty years which would transfer 60 to 80 per cent of the
average value of a child's labour to poor households.

The study also argues that improvements in children's health, through the
elimination of child labour, will bring tangible economic benefits.
Globally, this benefit is estimated at US$ 28 billion. In comparison to
other benefits, this amount is small. But the health of children is vital
in many ways beyond economic benefits, the study says.

The report draws on a large range of data, including detailed country data
from Brazil, Senegal, Kenya, Tanzania, Ukraine, Pakistan, Nepal and the
Philippines. A second tier of data consisted of 24 additional countries
for whom household surveys, primarily conducted by ILO-IPEC and the World
Bank, have been implemented during the past decade. For the remaining
countries, the study used publicly available demographic, economic and
education data as the basis for extrapolating from those with more
complete information.

National and regional programmes on child labour have flourished under
IPEC, which began with six participating countries in 1992 with a single
donor government (Germany), and has expanded to include operations in 80
countries funded by 30 donors.


Investing in Every Child, An Economic Study of the Costs and Benefits of
Eliminating Child Labour, ILO Geneva, December 2003. ISBN 92-2-115419-X.
http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/ipec/publ/download/2003_12_inves
tingchild.pdf


Liberia: Security at Risk Without Aid for Child Soldiers, According to Human Rights Watch

2004-02-05

http://hrw.org/english/docs/2004/02/02/liberi7150.htm

International donors gathering at the United Nations this week can best help Liberia by pledging funds to rehabilitate its tens of thousands of child soldiers, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released on Monday. The 43-page report, “How to Fight, How to Kill: Child Soldiers in Liberia,” documents how more than 15,000 child soldiers fought on all sides of the Liberian civil war, and that many units were composed primarily of children. The report argues that establishing a firm peace in the West African nation will depend on the successful reintegration of child soldiers into civil society.


Nigeria: Pensioners Become Beggars

2004-02-05

http://www.ipsnews.net/africa/interna.asp?idnews=22245

While African culture may venerate the aged, the continent's pensioners don't always find themselves living out a peaceful retirement. This is nowhere more true than in Nigeria, where the collapse of pension schemes has pushed many former civil servants into poverty. A number of retired government workers have been awaiting pension payouts for periods of between 10 months and two years. Perhaps the worst part of their plight is that many are people who resisted benefiting from the rampant corruption that has characterised Nigeria's government for most of its recent history.


Rwanda struggles with street children

2004-02-05

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3452881.stm

Rwandan authorities have come under fire for forcibly rounding up hundreds of street children in the capital, Kigali, ahead of an African leaders summit. When heads of state arrive later this month for a summit of the New Partnership for African Development (Nepad), they are unlikely to see many of the street children who used to loiter in the city centre, begging and sometimes stealing. Police have launched a wave of round-ups since December aimed at getting the children off the streets. Hundreds have been detained in a transit centre outside the capital.


Somalia: Orphans hit by terror link

2004-02-05

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3454707.stm

The closure of a Saudi-funded charity linked to the al-Qaeda network could have a devastating impact on thousands of orphans in Somalia. The al-Haramain Islamic relief agency has run a number of orphanages in Somalia for years. The centres also provide food and medicines for other children. In Mogadishu crying children were seen in front of some of the closed centres.


South Africa: Children's Bill Has 'Holes'

2004-02-05

http://allafrica.com/stories/200401300569.html

The controversial Children's Bill has been resubmitted to Parliament, but children's rights groups say the Bill still has holes that leave children vulnerable. The Bill involves only national stipulations concerning parental rights and duties, the rights of children, surrogate motherhood, adoption and child courts. Another Bill on implementation within the provinces will be tabled before the new Parliament after elections. "Some steps need to be taken now rather than later," explained Ministry of Social Development spokesperson Mbulelo Musi, adding that the debate on complex implementation issues and cost should not be allowed to delay assistance to children now.




News from the diaspora

*News from the Diaspora notice*

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/diaspora/19888

AFFORD, the African Foundation for Development (http://www.afford-uk.org), will be partnering Pambazuka News in producing News from the Diaspora. If you would like to contribute information to this section, email your news to [email protected]


Africa and its Diaspora: Partnership Issues

Chinua Akukwe and Sidi Jammeh

2004-02-05

http://www.addistribune.com/Archives/2004/01/23-01-04/Africa.htm

“Africa and its people living outside the continent are united through blood ties, cultural affinity and shared history, and to some extent, a common destiny. Since the forced migration of millions of young and able bodied men, women and children of Africa to work in plantations and other early economic activities of the emerging Western frontier in the Western Hemisphere, the quest to establish strong partnerships and linkages between the same people separated by hundreds of years, oceans or environmental circumstances, have remained unabated, although with minimal degrees of success.”


All in the Family: Latin America's Most Important International Financial Flow

Report of the Inter-American Dialogue Task Force on Remittances

2004-02-05

http://www.thedialogue.org/publications/country_studies/default.asp

Taking a close look at remittances flowing into Latin America from US-based migrants, this report’s main recommendation to all governments in the region is to “do no harm”: “To begin with, governments (and nongovernmental organizations as well) need to recognize that these resources are private. They belong to the individuals who earned them, and who have every right to transfer them freely to other family members. No one else has a claim on them. And these resources are certainly being put to good use. Remittances are providing enormous benefits to recipients, their families, and their communities.”


E-quality fund to boost women's work

2004-02-05

http://www.awcfs.org/contentcreation/wsis/wsis13.html

Through its digital diaspora initiative, Unifem is setting up the E-quality Fund for African Women and Innovation. Unifem Director Noeleen Heyzer launched an appeal for an E-quality fund during the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Gender Caucus high level panel.


How African is North Africa?

2004-02-05

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3421527.stm

The African Cup of Nations kicks off in Tunisia, with 16 nations taking part - and all eyes on the continent are looking north. Seen from space, Africa is one huge and undivided landmass. But for some on the continent, however, the widely-held perception is of two very different regions; Africa south of the Sahara desert, or sub-Saharan Africa, and north Africa. This article on the website of the BBC questions the nature of African identity and is followed by comments on the subject from around the world.


Migration for Development in Africa (MIDA)

2004-02-05

http://www.iom.int/MIDA/#mida

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) runs MIDA, a capacity-building programme, which helps to mobilize competencies acquired by African nationals abroad for the benefit of Africa's development. See also “Partnership for Brain Gain and Capacity Building in Africa” http://www.iom.int/africandiaspora/default.htm


New Book: Development, Gender and Diaspora : Context of Globalisation

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/diaspora/19887

"The process of globalisation has been affecting the Indian society in various ways. Though it is primarily an economic phenomenon, its impact in other walks of life is being strongly felt and there seems no possibility of its disappearance. Taking the northwest region of India as the focus of analysis, this volume brings together sixteen contributions made by the scholars working in this area to focus on four issues, namely, identity formation, development, gender and the diaspora.

"Within the large perspective of each aspect that has been examined, various issues and controversies have been provided scholarly treatment. In the backdrop of the fact that globalisation is here to stay, the issue of how to handle it so as to benefit from its positive aspects is a normative one that requires certain policy measures. In the process, the political economy of development and the role of the state have remained the major focus of investigation. The transnationalisation of the Indians has gained recognition in the light of the recent announcement by the Prime Minister that the government was taking into consideration the issue of granting dual citizenship to diasporic Indians. The growth in the studies on the Indian diaspora has also lent credence to the view that diaspora communities are important components of the globalisation process." (jacket)

* Edited by Paramjit S. Judge, S.L. Sharma, Satish K. Sharma and Gurpreet Bal
New Delhi, Rawat, 2003, x, 302 p., tables, $30. ISBN 81-7033-811-5


Remittance Senders and Receivers: Tracking the Transnational Channels

2004-02-05

http://www.iadb.org/NEWS/Display/PRView.cfm?PR_Num=233_03&Language=English

According to IADB, total remittances are due to surpass foreign direct investment as a source of capital for Latin America and the Caribbean in 2003. The total aggregate of remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean during this decade is conservatively projected to reach more than $450 billion. In order to better understand these developments at the micro level, this paper presents findings of research into remittance sending and receiving from some 12,000 individuals in the United States and Latin America.




Conflict & emergencies

Africa: Helping peace or creating the conditions for war? The IMF, World Bank and armed conflicts

2004-02-05

http://www.brettonwoodsproject.org/article.shtml?cmd[126]=x-126-35157

Which interests are being served by World Bank and IMF operations is just one of many questions raised by observers. Others include: Are WB and IMF interventions, creating or recreating the conditions for war? What are the implications of various policy choices, as well as the pace and sequencing of reform in transition from conflict? Are Bank and IMF frameworks and instruments conflict-sensitive? Should they integrate explicitly geostrategic factors in their analysis when allocating assistance and designing their interventions? What are the limits to the Bank's role? Is the Bank the best-placed actor to facilitate and administer donor assistance in reconstruction? The jury is still out on these questions, which could have serious implications for the Bank's and the Fund's mandates and work methods. An article in the latest edition of the Bretton Woods Update explores these questions in depth, with reference to Iraq, Afghanistan and several conflicts in Africa.


Africa: More not less support needed for peacekeeping

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/conflict/19768

African regional institutions are taking increasing responsibility for peacekeeping as well as for diplomatic initiatives. But both African and UN officials note that implementing fragile peace agreements will require more not less support from rich countries and from the UN system. Last week's issue of the AfricaFocus Bulletin examines this issue with a variety of background material and references to UN and African Union (AU) documents, including excerpts from recent statements and data on the current status of peacekeeping operations and plans.
Africa: Peacekeeping Trends, 1

AfricaFocus Bulletin
January 31, 2004 (040131)
(Reposted from sources cited below)

Editor's Note

"The rising demand for UN peace operations risks overstretching not
only our capacity to manage such missions, but also the resources
that Member States are able or willing to make available. ... there
is a manifest imbalance between the 30,000 NATO peacekeepers
deployed in tiny Kosovo and the 10,000 UN peacekeepers deployed in
Congo, which is the size of Western Europe, and where some 3.5
million people may have died as a result of fighting since 1998."
- UN Deputry Secretary-General Louise Frechette.

African regional institutions are taking increasing responsibility
for peacekeeping as well as for diplomatic initiatives. But both
African and UN officials note that implementing fragile peace
agreements will require more not less support from rich countries
and from the UN system.

This issue of AfricaFocus Bulletin contains a variety of background
material and references to UN and African Union (AU) documents,
including excerpts from recent statements and data on the current
status of peacekeeping operations and plans. Another issue sent out
today contains excerpts from an essay from the new Human Rights
Watch World Report on regional intervention and human rights in
African conflicts.

++++++++++++++++++++++end editor's note+++++++++++++++++++++++

27/01/2004 Press Release DSG/SM/212

Excerpts from Keynote Address by United Nations Deputy
Secretary-General Louise Frechette to the Sixth IDSA Asian Security
Conference in New Delhi:

[Full text is available on ]http://www.un.org]

Our mission in Sierra Leone is now downsizing with a view to
withdrawal, after the end of the RUF insurgency and an election
generally acknowledged to have been free and fair as well as
peaceful.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the foreign armies have
now withdrawn, a Government of National Unity has been established,
and the UN mission is helping to stabilize the country as it moves
- still hesitantly - towards lasting peace.

Indeed, almost wherever in Africa there is hope of ending a
conflict - and that is now true in quite a few countries - we find
that the United Nations is called on to deploy its peacekeeping and
peace-building experience. We now have an important mission in
Liberia; discussions are continuing on a possible UN-led operation
in Cote d'Ivoire; we are also likely to be asked to help the
parties implement a peace agreement in the Sudan; and there may
well be calls for a mission in Burundi, if the present hopes of
peace there are fulfilled.

Our ability to meet the peace-keeping demands placed on us has been
strengthened by the response of Member States to the Brahimi
report. Our missions are better integrated, we are able to deploy
more rapidly, and we are doing a better job of ensuring that
lessons are learned for future operations. An important component
of these reforms was the improvement of our stand-by arrangements
and on-call lists of troops and civilian police. As you may know,
the head of our Civilian Police Division is an Indian - indeed,
another Indian woman - Kiran Bedi.

But despite this improvement, the rising demand for UN peace
operations risks overstretching not only our capacity to manage
such missions, but also the resources that Member States are able
or willing to make available. Already there has been a marked shift
in the composition of our peacekeeping forces, with the share
provided by OECD countries declining and that of developing
countries rising.

I would be sorely remiss if I did not here acknowledge the role of
India - which, along with Pakistan and Bangladesh, now provides the
bulk of non-African peacekeepers deployed in Africa, and is thus
one of the few hold-outs against a trend towards the
regionalization of peacekeeping. The nations of this region have
played critical roles in many difficult and dangerous UN missions
-- and their ongoing commitment to peacekeeping is something the
Secretary-General deeply values, and that our Organization sorely
needs.

Regional arrangements for maintaining peace and security are, of
course, envisaged in Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, and it
certainly makes sense for Europeans to take the lead in peace
operations in the Balkans. But the fact is that resources are not
distributed among the world's regions in the same proportion as
needs, and there is a manifest imbalance between the 30,000 NATO
peacekeepers deployed in tiny Kosovo and the 10,000 UN peacekeepers
deployed in Congo, which is the size of Western Europe, and where
some 3.5 million people may have died as a result of fighting since
1998. If the United Nations stands for anything, it must surely be
for greater solidarity between strong and wealthy nations on the
one hand and relatively weak and poor ones on the other.

**************************************************************

Ghana: New Training Centre Opened for African Peacekeepers

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
http://www.irinnews.org

January 28, 2004

Accra

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is Ghanaian, but that's not the
only reason that a new centre for training African peacekeeping
troops, has been opened in the capital of his own country.

Ghana has a long history of support for UN peacekeeping missions
and has built up expertise in how to run them.

The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre on the
outskirts of Accra was built with the help of German aid money and
opened its doors to a first intake of military officers and
civilian officials from 15 different African states in November.

"Participants from the West African regional grouping, ECOWAS, [the
Economic Community of West African States] get the first choice
since the centre is meant to build capacity for the sub-region,"
Brigadier-General Charles Mankatah, the commandant of the new
college, told IRIN.

The peacekeeping centre provides courses lasting two to four weeks
on topics such as conflict management, peace support operations,
governance and election monitoring for peacekeeping operations.

It is aimed at junior and middle ranking officers up to the level
of colonel who have to take operational decisions in the field.

The peacekeeping centre has also been designated to train officers
for a permanent ECOWAS stand-by force, which has yet to be
established.

According to Ghana Defence Minister, Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor, this
force will enable ECOWAS to undertake rapid interventions in future
hot spots in the conflict-prone region.

The first course, on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration,
attracted candidates from as far away as Rwanda and the Democratic
Republic of Congo.

At least 15 more courses are planned between now and the end of
November.

With the Americans and Europeans increasingly stretched in Iraq,
Afghanisan and the former Yugoslavia, African governments are
increasingly being encouraged to find their own solutions to
conflicts on the continent.

Ghana has long been a key contributor to both ECOWAS and UN
peacekeeping forces.

Over the last 40 years, it has taken part in 29 UN missions
worldwide in which 98 Ghanaians have lost their lives. During the
1990's the country played a leading role in ECOWAS military
interventions in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The country presently has several hundred soldiers deployed in
neighbouring Cote d'Ivoire as part of a five-nation West African
peacekeeping force in the country.

There are currently six major UN peacekeeping operations underway
in Africa, the largest of which - Sierra Leone and Liberia - are
both in West Africa, so the new centre has no shortage of
candidates to train.

Germany was the largest single contributor to the establishment of
the college, providing a grant of 3.1 million euros (US$4 million)
to help build it. The official opening was therefore delayed until
last Saturday to coincide with a visit to Ghana by German
Chancellor Gerhardt Schroeder.

"This is what West Africa and Africa needs to solve its conflicts.
This is your own project. Start it and we will continue to support
you financially and with logistics," Henning Scherf, a member of
the German delegation, said at the opening ceremony.

The peacekeeping centre has the capacity to run courses, sometimes
concurrently, for 20 to 40 participants.

However this is set to increase. Britain, Italy, Canada and the
Netherlands are jointly funding an expansion which is scheduled for
completion in May 2004.

The names of all those who pass through the new peacekeeping centre
will be placed on a database, so that organizations such as the UN
can tap in to their expertise in the future.

Course fees range from US$2,400 to $4,200 per head, but the
international community has already provided three-quarters of the
entire training budget for this year.

Mankatah said the new centre in Ghana is designed to complement the
training already provided for African peacekeepers at military
academies in Nigeria and Mali.

The Nigeria War College provides high-level strategic training to
senior political planners and policy makers. While in Koulikoro,
Mali, the French government sponsors a tactical training centre for
non-commissioned officers active at the implementation level.

"This centre" explained Mankatah "will basically complement those
two institutions with training structured for middle-level
management personnel," that is junior to middle ranking officers,
civil servants and civilian middle management.

The concept of the peacekeeping centre in Ghana was first proposed
in 1997. Kofi Annan, after whom it was named, was not present at
the official opening ceremony.

*************************************************************

Africa: A fragile peace on a bloodied continent

Jean-Marie Guéhenno, United Nations Under Secretary General for
Peacekeeping Operations., in International Herald Tribue, January
30, 2004

[Excerpts only, for full article see
]http://www.iht.com/articles/127216.html]

Can the peace hold in Africa? It depends on whether African states
and their supporters continue to be innovative in their search for
political solutions - and whether they build on what they have
learned in recent years.

Seven million people may have died in Africa's three biggest wars,
in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. That is horribly
close to the eight million killed in World War I. But after so many
years of destruction, something new is happening: at last. The
killing has largely stopped.

The war is over in Angola, and reconstruction is underway. In the
Democratic Republic of Congo, the five foreign armies are gone, the
military situation is mostly stable, and a transitional government
has set about its work. In Sudan, final agreement on a mammoth
six-year peace plan may be only weeks away.

One point to note in all this: the peace processes are mostly
home-grown. ...

These settlements have been worked out largely on an inter-African
basis. This is positive, first because inter-African rivalries
sometimes fueled those wars, and, second, because the accommodation
of African strategic interests will in large part determine how
likely the peace agreements are to hold. Post-colonial African
diplomacy has developed under some of the worst imaginable
conditions, yet it has developed and continues to improve.

Nigeria and South Africa, both until recently a part of the problem
rather than the solution, are increasingly confident and positive
players in the African peace process.

Unfortunately, an already poor region hardly has the resources to
build on the peace it has made. Apart from the immense problems of
economic reconstruction, there remain pressing humanitarian and
policing issues.

All three countries are devastated. Life expectancy in Angola and
Congo is under 40, and it's not much higher in Sudan. UN
humanitarian appeals for the three countries still run to $800
million this year just to meet basic needs such as food and
shelter. ...A lapse back into conflict is very possible. ...

Africans are bringing their biggest civil wars to an end. A
pragmatic optimism, based on experience and increasingly resilient,
is taking hold in African politics. The United States, the EU and
the UN Security Council have a range of tools, many of them new, to
extend this precious, and still fragile, progress. They should use
them now, for the chances of peace in Africa have never been
greater.

*************************************************************

Current UN Peacekeeping Operations in Africa
Source: http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko

(1) Liberia - UNMIL

Duration: September 2003 to present

Total authorized strength
Up to 15,000 military personnel, and up to 1,115 civilian police
officers

Strength as of 30 November 2003
5,569 total uniformed personnel

Proposed budget:
1 August 2003 - 30 June 2004: $564.61 million

(2) Democratic Republic of the Congo - MONUC

Duration 30 November 1999 to present

Strength Authorized maximum strength
Military personnel: 10,800, civilian police personnel: 134

Current strength (30 November 2003)
Military personnel: 10,508; Civilian Police personnel: 103;
658 international civilian personnel
and 761 local civilian personnel

Approved budget:
1 July 2003 - 30 June 2004: $608.23 million (gross)

(3) Ethiopia and Eritrea - UNMEE

Duration 31 July 2000 to present

Authorized maximum strength
4,200 troops, including 220 military observers

Current strength (30 November 2003)
4,085 military personnel, including 3,875 troops and 210 military
observers

Approved budget:
1 July 2003 - 30 June 2004: $196.89 million (gross)

(4) Sierra Leone - UNAMSIL

Duration 22 October 1999 to present

Authorized maximum strength
17,500 military personnel, 170 civilian police personnel

Strength as of 30 November 2003
11,278 troops, 241 military observers, 130 civilian police
personnel

Approved budget:
1 July 2003 - 30 June 2004: $543.49 million (gross)

(5) Western Sahara - MINURSO

Duration April 1991 to present

Strength (30 November 2003)
239 total uniformed personnel; supported by some 145 international
civilian personnel and 112 local staff

Approved budget:
1 July 2003 - 30 June 2004: $43.40 million (gross)

Note: Missions are expected to be needed this year in Sudan,
Burundi, and Cote d'Ivoire.

*************************************************************

Contributors of Personnel to UN Peacekeeping Missions
Source: http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko

As of December 31, 2003, African countries currently provide 14,815
of the 45,815 military and civilian police personnel engaged in UN
peacekeeping operations, almost exactly one-third of the total. Of
the 23 countries providing more than 500 personnel, 10 are African.
Nigeria and Ghana rank third and fifth among the countries
contributing personnel, along with Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India
(first, second, and fourth). The U.S., with 518, ranks 22nd, just
ahead of Tunisia with 509.

County and Number of Military and Civilian Police Contributed to UN
Operations, 31 Dec, 2003

Top 25 [for full list of 94 countries see chart on UN site]

1. Pakistan 6,248
2. Bangladesh 4,730
3. Nigeria 3,361
4. India 2,882
5. Ghana 2,306
6. Nepal 2.285
7. Uruguay 1,880
8. Jordan 1,818
9. Kenya 1,788
10. South Africa 1,415
11. Ethiopia 1,064
12. Ukraine 1,061
13. Zambia 910
14. Senegal 789
15. Poland 735
16. Morocco 657
17. Guinea-Bissau 650
18. United Kingdom 563
19. Portugal 562
20. Argentina 554
21. Ireland 534
22. USA 518
23. Tunisia 509
24. Slovakia 497
25. Austria 438

*************************************************************

Arrears on UN Peacekeeping Operations, as of 30 Nov, 2003

Source: Global Policy Forum
http://www.globalpolicy.org/finance/tables/core/un-us-03.htm

Total owed by member states: $1,148 million
Amount owed by US: $482 million
US as percentage of total: 42%


*************************************************************

Background Links for African Union Peace and Security Planning

The African Union website (http://www.africa-union.org) has the
list of countries which has signed the protocol on the peace and
security council, as well as other official documents, communiques,
and speeches. Look under "Official Documents."

In 2003 there was extensive consultation and detailed planning of
the frameworks for the new Peace and Security Council and African
Standby Force, with official implementation to begin this year.
Several detailed documents from this process are available on the
web site of the Institute for Strategic Research in South Africa,
at:

http://www.iss.co.za/AF/RegOrg/unity_to_union/aurep.htm

These documents, developed by African Chiefs of Defence Staff,
project a framework allowing for African Union action and
coordination of efforts with both the United Nations and
sub-regional organizations such as ECOWAS in West Africa and SADC
in Southern Africa.

African Defence ministers met in Addis Ababa on January 20-21,
approving the proposal for creation of an African Standby Force.
The force is projected to include regionally based brigades, with
each country in a region pledging troops and logistical support,
initially to UN missions and later to AU observer missions.


*************************************************************
AfricaFocus Bulletin is a free independent electronic publication
providing reposted commentary and analysis on African issues, with
a particular focus on U.S. and international policies. AfricaFocus
Bulletin is edited by William Minter.

AfricaFocus Bulletin can be reached at [email protected] Please
write to this address to subscribe or unsubscribe to the bulletin,
or to suggest material for inclusion. For more information about
reposted material, please contact directly the original source
mentioned. For a full archive and other resources, see
http://www.africafocus.org

************************************************************


Burundi: Rebels killed in Burundi fighting

2004-02-05

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3452453.stm

At least 30 fighters have been killed in fighting between the last active Hutu rebel group and government forces in Burundi, an army official has said. Burundian army chief Germain Niyoyankana said dozens of weapons were recovered from Forces for National Liberation (FNL) rebels in the clashes.


Chad/Sudan: Sudanese Forces Bomb Chadian Border Town

2004-02-05

http://www.unwire.org/News/328_426_12636.asp

Sudanese government forces bombed the Chadian side of the border town of Tine last week, killing two people as they fought rebels for control of the Sudanese half of the city, News24.com reported. According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, seven explosions rocked an area close to where Sudanese refugees had been gathering. The blasts killed a man and his daughter and left 15 others injured.


Eritrea/Ethiopia: Military coordination committee meets in Nairobi

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=39261

Eritrean military leaders have rejected assertions by the United Nations that the border with Ethiopia is "militarily stable", claiming instead that Eritrean territory is being occupied. Eritrean Brig-Gen Abrahaley Kifle said on Monday that he disagreed with the UN’s assessment that the situation on the 1,000-km long border remained stable. He made the statement at the UN-hosted Military Coordination Committee (MCC) talks held between Ethiopia and Eritrea in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.


Eritrea/Ethiopia: UN special envoy officially appointed

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=39246

Former Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy has been officially appointed UN special envoy to help defuse the standoff between Ethiopia and Eritrea. A statement released by Secretary-General Kofi Annan's spokesman on Friday said Axworthy would help to overcome the current deadlock in their peace process.


Focus on UN tribunal

2004-02-05

http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=39272

In the past two weeks, the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), hidden away in the dusty northern Tanzanian town of Arusha, has received far more attention than it is accustomed. The first week brought Gen Romeo Dallaire, who commanded the UN peacekeeping mission in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide, to testify in the tribunal's most important case, known as "Military I". With Dallaire came international attention. That very same week also saw a judgement delivered against Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda, a former minister of education. The tribunal was basking in the spotlight. "We have never had the press coverage that we have now," Roland Amoussouga, the tribunal's spokesman, told IRIN.


Lessons 'still not learnt'

2004-02-05

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3455881.stm

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has accused the international community of failing to learn from the genocide. He said calls for the UN-backed court in Arusha to investigate his own troops were a deliberate confusion of issues by people employing double standards.


Liberia: Country a UN protectorate, says ICG

2004-02-05

http://www.crisisweb.org/home/index.cfm?id=2496&l=1

Liberia is a collapsed state that has effectively become a UN protectorate, says a report released last week by the International Crisis Group (ICG) ahead of a donors conference. “The 5-6 February donors conference is an opportunity to focus on the long-term strategies, real money and hard thinking required to pull Liberia out of crisis and develop a government that can handle reconstruction. The immediate concern is the security situation, which demands concentrated efforts on disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of fighters (DR)," said the ICG.


Nigeria: Fighting rages between rival militias in Niger Delta turf war

2004-02-05

http://www.enn.com/news/2005-02-04/s_12750.asp

Gunfights raged Tuesday in the third day of fighting between rival armed gangs in Nigeria's volatile oil delta, leaving at least 10 people dead, residents and police said. The violence flared up Sunday in the town of Bukuma in southeastern Rivers State among rival bands within the Ijaw ethnic group and was said to be over control of revenues and jobs granted by the multinational Royal/Dutch Shell Group.


Somalia: Agreement Reached on Transitional Parliament

2004-02-05

http://www.ipsnews.net/africa/interna.asp?idnews=22183

Somalia took an important step towards peace this week when warring leaders agreed to set up a transitional parliament to help rule the tattered nation. The Horn of Africa country has been without central government since 1991, when President Mohammed Siad Barre was deposed. Last Thursday's agreement came after leaders of over 23 factions and Somalia's Transitional National Government (TNG) resolved differences over the number of legislators who should sit in the parliament.


Sudan/Uganda: LRA Victims Hope for a Sudanese Peace Dividend

2004-02-05

http://www.ipsnews.net/africa/interna.asp?idnews=22197

The signing of a wealth-sharing agreement earlier this month between Sudanese officials and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army was hailed an important step towards peace in that country. Now, hopes are growing that the accord might also spell the end of another conflict: that in northern Uganda. Since 1986, this region has been plagued by fighting between government forces and the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Headed by Joseph Kony, the group says it wants to establish a new government in Uganda based on the Biblical ten commandments.


The guardians of Rwanda's dead

2004-02-05

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3430205.stm

The government is trying to drive forward reconciliation but doesn't the memory of the genocide, the bodies in the churches and classrooms hinder the process? "Memory is very important because it is the foundation of the prevention of genocide in the future generation," says Francois Gurambe, the chairman of the national survivor group Ibuka or Remember. " We think that remembrance is important in the construction of a united society because you can't have a united society without justice. Justice means first of all truth and truth is not possible without remembrance."


Zambia: ‘hideous cycle’ of hunger and AIDS

2004-02-05

http://www.alertnet.org/thefacts/reliefresources/107547953921.htm

A “hideous cycle” of food shortages, poverty and HIV/AIDS in Zambia has left about one million children orphaned and a growing class of people destitute, aid agencies say. “The HIV/AIDS pandemic in Zambia deserves to be treated as an emergency which has and will continue to have impact on poverty and food security levels,” Lena Savelli, information officer for the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) in Zambia, told AlertNet.




Internet & technology

Africa/Global: Week of gloom and MyDoom

2004-02-05

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=115&art_id=vn20040202035945545C595875&set_id=1

It's been a week of gloom and MyDoom for computer boffins struggling to battle the world's fastest-spreading email worm.


Global: Are video games breeding killers?

2004-02-05

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3445953.stm

Can extreme, violent video games influence people's actions? Can playing a killer make you a killer?


Kenya: Information technology remains a hurdle to developing countries

2004-02-05

http://www.kentimes.com/business/buns3.html

Too many of the developing world’s populace remain untouched by Information and Communication Technology (ICTs). This “digital divide” threatens to exacerbate the already-wide gaps between the rich and the poor, within and among countries.


Kenya: Kenyan Farmers Discover the Internet

2004-02-05

http://web.idrc.ca/en/ev-47033-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html

Karatina Town seems a long way from Nairobi, Kenya's capital city of three million people. Yet, 100 km away, about a two-hour drive on the country's tattered roads, the town is the food basket of the city. At dawn, while Kenya turns in its sleep, Peter Kimani is awake and on his way to Karatina Central Farmers Market, the largest produce market in Eastern Africa, to dispose of his produce.




eNewsletters & mailing lists

Election talk now available

2004-02-05

http://www.eisa.org.za/PDF/et7.pdf

Election Talk from the Electoral Institute for Southern Africa is available in both electronic format and hard copy. It will now appear fortnightly to give the latest briefing on the forthcoming elections in the SADC region. These policy briefs are written by regional experts to give you a succinct overview on the latest developments in those countries holding elections in 2004.


Third World Network-Africa Publication: African Trade Agenda

2004-02-05

http://www.twnafrica.org

African Trade Agenda is produced by the Political Economy Unit, Third World Network-Africa. TWN-Africa is co-ordinator of the Africa Trade Network. For more info contact: TWN-Africa, Box 19452, Accra-North, GHANA. Tel, 233 21 511189/503669


Women's Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace (WLP) e-news

2004-02-05

http://learningpartnership.org/events/enews/

Women's Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace (WLP) is an international, non-governmental organisation (NGO) that empowers women and girls in the Global South to re-imagine and re-structure their roles in their families, communities, and societies. WLP's quarterly eNewsletter features interviews with prominent women leaders and updates on WLP's programs implemented in cooperation with our partner organisations.




Fundraising & useful resources

2003-2004 RoKS Annual Research Competition

2004-02-05

http://web.idrc.ca/en/ev-47033-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html

The Research on Knowledge Systems (RoKS) initiative of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation (www.rockfound.org) is launching a competition to support research on the social equity and public policy challenges of transformative technologies faced by developing countries.


Africa: CODESRIA Comparative Research Networks

2004-02-05

http://www.codesria.org

Within the framework of the new programme initiatives that are being implemented by the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), proposals are invited for the constitution of Comparative Research Networks (CRNs) to undertake comparative studies on or around a variety of themes. The primary purpose of the CRNs is to encourage the development and consolidation of a comparative analytic perspective in the work of African social researchers. In so doing, it is hoped to establish a strong corpus of comparative studies produced by African scholars and which could help to advance theoretical knowledge and discussion. For the period 2004 – 2005, the Council will be open to receive proposals up to 31 July, 2004. Notification of the result of the selection exercise will be made by 31 August, 2004.


Donors Are Giving Large Gifts Online, says study

2004-02-05

http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20040122005294&newsLang=en

Who says that donors won't give large gifts online? For many nonprofit organisations, donations of $1,000 and up are considered large, or major gifts. So, are these big gifts coming online? A recent study shows that a surprisingly significant number of major donations are coming in online. The study looked at 3,151 fundraising campaigns that collected donations during 2003. There were a variety of campaigns involved in the study, including small to very large, across over 500 cities in the United States.




Courses, seminars, & workshops

Building Effective Organisations

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/courses/19771

Looking to build an effective, efficient and sustainable organisation? Limited resources for attending courses? Need effective training that you can do while working?

Fahamu, in association with the University of Oxford, is offering distance learning courses specifically designed to meet the needs of human rights and civil society organisations. You can be anywhere to do these courses. Using cutting-edge interactive CDROMs, with support from a course tutor via email and an optional workshop, the course methodology is designed for learning at work without the need to take study leave. Those successfully completing the course will be awarded with a certificate from the University of Oxford.

Fahamu – Learning for change – uses information and communication technologies to serve the needs of organisations and social movements that aspire to progressive social change and that promote and protect human rights.

The following courses are available in 2004:

· An introduction to human rights (3 weeks)
· Investigating, reporting and monitoring human rights violations (18 weeks)
· Using the internet for advocacy and research (16 weeks)
· Leadership and management for change (18 weeks)
· Fundraising and resource mobilisation (18 weeks)
· Finance for the non-financial manager (18 weeks)
· JustWrite: an on-line course on effective writing (5 weeks)

The first course begins on 1 March 2004. For course dates, information, fees and registration forms kindly contact Camille Downes in Durban, South Africa on TEL: +27-(0)31-2071144/8360 FAX: +27-31-2078403 EMAIL: [email protected] or Hilary Isaacs in Oxford, UK on TEL: +44-(0)845 456 2442 FAX: +44-(0)845-456-2443 EMAIL: [email protected] http://www.fahamu.org/


III World Congress on Conservation Agriculture

Kenya, Nairobi, 3-7 October 2005

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/courses/19876

Worldwide, partners and stakeholders value the sharing of information and experiences on Conservation Agriculture (CA). This has been demonstrated and achieved in the First and Second World Congresses on Conservation Agriculture (Spain, 2001 and Brazil, 2003). The World Congress on Conservation Agriculture is acknowledged as an effective forum. Hence, the second World Congress gave the mandate to Africa to organize and host the Third World Congress on Conservation Agriculture (III WCCA).
















1st Announcement

Congress theme

“Linking production, livelihoods and conservation”

Introduction

The global call for improved and environmentally sound practices is becoming an important factor in national and global development agenda. There are numerous efforts to develop, promote and up-scale adoption of practices and systems that would ensure high and sustainable productive capacity of natural resources. This is probably more critical to agriculture than any other industry.

Therefore, in the quest for locally viable options for sustainable agriculture, it has become crucial to share information and experiences on conservation agriculture (CA) across disciplines, economic sectors and geographical locations. This will identify emerging information and facilitate its dissemination, hence contribute to enhanced CA development and adoption. The sharing facilitates integrated and holistic approach, underscoring the fact that CA is not tillage, agronomy, marketing, chemical input, or any other aspect considered in isolation. CA weaves all these aspects together in a form and character dictated by the local circumstances.

Worldwide, partners and stakeholders value the sharing of information and experiences on CA. This has been demonstrated and achieved in the First and Second World Congresses on Conservation Agriculture (Spain, 2001 and Brazil, 2003).

The World Congress on Conservation Agriculture is acknowledged as an effective forum. Hence, the second World Congress gave the mandate to Africa to organize and host the Third World Congress on Conservation Agriculture (III WCCA).
The Organising Committee, hence, wish to announce the 3rd World Congress on Conservation Agriculture to be held in Nairobi, Kenya from the 3rd to the 7th October 2005.

Congress objectives

To build and strengthen increased role of CA in the attainment of socio-economic development and sustainable natural resource management (millennium goals), the Congress aims to:

• Facilitate exchange of information and experiences
• Facilitate strategic, multi-disciplinary and cross-sectorial collaboration and partnership in the development and promotion of sustainable farming practices.
• Identify and spotlight the key issues, concerns and trends in the development and implementation of CA support efforts on one end and adoption on the other.
• Show case the impact of CA at farm/community level and also link CA to sustainable development (including food security and the fight against poverty, on one hand, and natural resource resilience, a cleaner environment and healthy food, on the other).

Congress thematic areas

• Empowering farmer participation in the development and adoption of CA.
• Show evidence of CA contribution to development: poverty alleviation, food security, mitigating impacts of HIV-AIDS, natural resource management, and farmers’ prosperity; environmentally friendly farming.
• CA in the application of relief interventions for development.
• Multi-discipline/multi-stakeholder approaches, networking and collaboration (e.g. policies to interest/ facilitate private sector involvement).
• Showcase CA in water management, labour saving/reducing intervention, means for carbon sequestration, and means to reducing overall external inputs into agriculture.
• Highlight Africa’s state of affairs with regard to issues and concerns—including farmers’ priorities—for enhanced adoption of CA practices.
• Link CA with other global initiatives on sustainable agriculture and rural development.

Congress structure

The congress aims to provide a highly interactive process for information exchange. This will be achieved through small thematic group presentations, discussions and reports. An information market will provide a forum for farmer organizations, NGOs, private sector companies, etc. to present their work. The overall Congress synthesis shall highlight a collective Congress thrust highlighting among others the key action areas.

There will be events for accompanying persons, special evening functions or interest group discussions, and post-congress tourist visits to game parks and other natural resource destinations that Africa and Kenya are famous for.

Congress dates and venue

The Congress is scheduled for the 3rd to the 7th October 2005 in Nairobi, Kenya.






Further information

1. Further information please contact:

Martin Bwalya
Congress Secretariat
P.O. Box MP 167, Mt Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe
Tel/Fax: +263 4 334395; Mobile: +263 91 292111; Fax: +263 4 332853
Email : [email protected]
Website: http://www.fao.org/act-network

2. You may also access further information on the Congress web page within the ACT website (www.fao.org/act-network).

3. Pre-registration information shall be available soon.


Your input to the Congress preparations (IMPORTANT)

The Congress Organizers would like to hear from those that may have ideas/suggestions on (i) the content of the Congress and (ii) how best to realize it, i.e. Congress process.

Please complete the attached form and return to the Congress Secretariat with your input.



Social Movements Conference

Final call for papers

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/courses/19877

For the last nine years, Manchester Metropolitan University has hosted a series of very successful annual international conferences on 'ALTERNATIVE FUTURES and POPULAR PROTEST'. A Tenth conference will be held from 6th-8th April 2004. The Conference aim is to explore the dynamics of popular movements, along with the ideas which animate their leaders and supporters and which contribute to shaping their fate.
SOCIAL MOVEMENTS CONFERENCE - FINAL CALL FOR PAPERS


For the last nine years, Manchester Metropolitan University has hosted a series of very successful annual international conferences on 'ALTERNATIVE FUTURES and POPULAR PROTEST'. A Tenth conference will be held from 6th-8th April 2004.


The Conference aim is to explore the dynamics of popular movements, along with the ideas which animate their leaders and supporters and which contribute to shaping their fate.


Reflecting the inherent cross-disciplinary nature of the issues, previous participants (from over 40 countries) have come from such specialisms as sociology, politics, cultural studies, social psychology, economics, history and geography. The Manchester conferences have been notable for discovering a fruitful and friendly meeting ground between activism and academia.


CALL FOR PAPERS


We invite offers of papers relevant to the conference themes. Papers should address such matters as:
* contemporary and historical social movements and popular protests
* social movement theory
* utopias and experiments


* ideologies of collective action
* etc.
To offer a paper, please contact either of the conference convenors with a brief abstract:


EITHER Colin Barker, Dept. of Sociology
OR Mike Tyldesley, Dept. of Politics and Philosophy
Manchester Metropolitan University
Geoffrey Manton Building, Rosamond Street West
Manchester M15 6LL, England
email: [email protected]
Tel: M. Tyldesley 0161 247 3460
email: [email protected]
Fax: 0161 247 6321 (+44 161 247 6321)
(Wherever possible, please use email.)


CONFERENCE PAPERS
Those giving papers are asked to supply them in advance, for inclusion in the bound volumes of papers which will be available from the conference opening.


* Either provide two single-spaced copies, on A4 or US Letter paper, with one inch margins, and with a copy of the text on a DOS disk in MS Word format (if in doubt, please contact one of the convenors in advance). Or send the paper to Colin Barker as an email attachment in Word.


* Word limit 7,000 words (including notes etc.)


* Final date for receipt of abstracts: 8th March 2004


* Final date for receipt of papers: 15th March 2004
* Participants who do not supply their papers by the final date are asked to bring 50 copies to the Conference for distribution. Advance submission is much preferred, since the bound volumes of papers are sent to the British Library but loose papers are excluded.
FURTHER INFORMATION


A selection of papers from the 1995 conference appeared in early 1996 as: Colin Barker & Paul Kennedy (eds.), To Make Another World: Studies in Protest & Collective Action, Avebury, 1996


Manchester University Press has recently published a volume of papers inspired by previous conferences: Colin Barker, Alan Johnson & Michael Lavalette, eds., Leadership in Social Movements (MUP, 2001).


A few recent sets of conference papers (two vols. in each year, £25.00 each set, post free) may still be obtained from Colin Barker. Email to check availability. Cheques with orders, please, to Manchester Metropolitan University.






Remembering Rwanda

Draft UN Resolution to designate April 7, 2004 as the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda

2004-02-05

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/rwanda/19896

"Recognizing that April 2004 is the tenth anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda, the General Assembly:
1. Decides to designate 7 April 2004 as the International Day of Reflection on the genocide in Rwanda,
2. Encourages all Member States, organisations of the United Nations system and other relevant international organisations, as well as civil society organisations, to observe the International Day, including special observances and activities in memory of the victims of the genocide in Rwanda."
International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide
in Rwanda - Draft Resolution


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The General Assembly,

Guided by the Charter of the United Nations and the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

Recalling its resolution 260A (III) of 9 December 1948
by which it adopted the Convention for the Prevention
and Suppression of the Crime of Genocide, as well as
its resolution 53/43 of 2 December 1998 entitled
"Fiftieth Anniversary of the Convention on the
Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide",
and its other resolutions relevant to the issue of
genocide;

Also Recalling the findings and recommendations of the
Independent Inquiry commissioned by the
Secretary-General, with the approval of the Security
Council, into the actions of the United Nations during
the 1994 genocide in Rwanda,

Further recalling Security Council resolution 955
(1994) on the establishment of The International
Criminal Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons
Responsible for Genocide and Other serious Violations
of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the
Territory of Rwanda and Rwanda Citizens Responsible
for Genocide and Other Serious Violations Committed in
the Territory of Neighboring States between 1 January
and 31 December 1994,

Recalling also the report containing the findings and
recommendations of The International Panel of Eminent
Persons, commissioned by the Organization of African
Unity, to investigate the Genocide in Rwanda that
started on 7 April 1994 and the Surrounding Events,
entitled "The Preventable Genocide,"

Noting with concern that many alleged perpetrators of
genocide continue to elude justice,

Recognizing the importance of combating impunity for
all violations that constitute the crime of genocide.

Convinced that exposing and holding the perpetrators,
including their accomplices, accountable, as well as
restoring the dignity of victims through
acknowledgement and commemoration of their suffering,
would guide societies in the prevention of future
violations,

Taking note of the recommendation of the Executive
Council of the African Union, at its Second Ordinary
Session held in N'Djamena from 3 to 6 March 2003, that
the United Nations and the International community
commemorate an international day of reflection on the
1994 genocide in Rwanda and recommitment to the fight
against genocide throughout the world.

Recognizing that April 2004 is the tenth anniversary
of the genocide in Rwanda.

1. Decides to designate 7 April 2004 as the
International Day of Reflection on the genocide in
Rwanda,

2. Encourages all Member States, organizations of the
United Nations system and other relevant international
organizations, as well as civil society organizations,
to observe the International Day, including special
observances and activities in memory of the victims of
the genocide in Rwanda.

3. Further encourages all Member States, organizations
of the United Nations System and other relevant
international organizations, to consider promoting
implementation of the recommendations of the report of
the Independent Inquiry into the actions of the United
Nations during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

4. Calls on all states to act in accordance with the
Convention for the Prevention and Suppression of the
Crime of Genocide in ensuring that there is no
repetition of events of the kind, which occurred in
Rwanda in 1994.


Gacaca: Living together in Rwanda

2004-02-05

http://www.frif.com/new2002/gac.html

This is a film which deals with the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. The film ventures into the rural heart of the African nation of Rwanda to follow the first steps in one of the world's boldest experiments in political reconciliation: the Gacaca (Ga-CHA-cha) Tribunals. A full synopsis of the film is available at the web site provided.


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