US foreign policy on Haiti, sanctions on Libya, Kenyan leaders and the ICC and the murder of David Kato, Ugandan LGBTI activist, are among the topics featured in this week’s round-up of the African blogosphere, compiled by Sokari Ekine.
US hypocrisy knows no bounds as recently spoken by Ben Terrall here on Pambazuka News. Democracy is only democracy if the leadership is approved by the US, which continues to demonise Fanmi Lavalas and oppose President Bertrand Aristide’s return to his homeland. In this narrative, Haitian presidential candidate Michel Martelly gets approval despite his dubious credentials to run a country and his much reported Macoute connections and despite the consensus that last November’s elections were massively fraudulent.
http://www.pambazuka.org/images/articles/519/bloggingafrica/mar03_01_hai...The Haitian Blogger makes a strong argument for cancelling the planned 20 March run-off elections between Martelly and Madam Mirlande Manigat, both who initially protested against the elections results until told by the UN they were in the lead. She calls on President Preval who, for once showed some sign of independent action and issued a new passport to President Aristide, to take this one step further and reject Western interference in Haiti:
‘Haitian government should consider the big picture and reject the control the West is trying to have in Haitian internal affairs and say: Hell with the IHRC! Get out of Haiti MINUSTAH! Eh, get lost Canada! Au voir France!’
http://www.pambazuka.org/images/articles/519/bloggingafrica/mar03_02_jad...Jadaliyya comments on the US/International Community/ UN Security Council’s decision to impose sanctions on Libya which until a month ago, having been brought in from ‘rogue state’ status was embraced by all of the above. In reference to the Resolution’s promise to ‘strengthen its measures’, the writer makes some suggestions on how these measures might look:
‘Recalling the unwillingness of the Security Council and the International Criminal Court to initiate investigations about allegations of war crimes committed by the U.S., the U.K., and other “Great Powers” in Iraq and elsewhere;
- Recalling the illegitimate and undemocratic structure of the United Nations Security Council, which grants permanent seats, and veto rights, to “Great Powers”;
- Underlining that the UN Security Council does not have an authority speak in the name of humanity or the international community;
- Affirming that the citizens of Libya have taken their destiny into their own hands by an uprising against their government, and that they are the legitimate deciders of their future;
- Noting that the threat of war crimes prosecution may create perverse effects and incentives, and that more state violence may be unleashed on Libyan citizens as a consequence;
- Observing that the strengthening of measures by the United Nations Security Council may involve an international intervention justified on the grounds of crimes against humanity;
- Concludes that the UN Security Council Resolution 1970 further exposes the double-standards of this institution which arrogates itself an authority to decide on behalf of humanity.’
http://www.pambazuka.org/images/articles/519/bloggingafrica/mar03_03_kor... of my favorite blogs, is Koranteng’s Toli In this post titled ‘Fallen Angels [Things Fall Apart">’, which apparently was planned some four years ago, he takes us on a guided tour of the ‘Little Green Book’. For those who have forgotten, this is Gaddafi’s contribution to literary gobbledegook. Here is a short excerpt but please do try to read the whole prose:
‘Back home in Ghana at the depth of our despair
When books were scarce, and food shelves were laid bare
‘He of The Little Green Book made a donation
A token of the good Colonel's appreciation
‘A thousand copies of The Little Green Book
Brotherly solidarity, extended to the Ghanaian pocketbook
‘The generosity of his wisdom, to be shared far and wide.
Our universities, the recipients of his vacuous bromides
‘We'd learned heavy lessons about what he called revolution
"Crush the dissent", "Don't brook any opposition".
‘Thus, ever since the Flight Lieutenant's arrival
We'd had to develop a new philosophy of survival
‘At airports, we would fight over corned beef and sardine tins
Throughout I kept asking myself: why are these men laughing?’
http://www.pambazuka.org/images/articles/519/bloggingafrica/mar03_04_mwa...Mwana ba Afrika engages in some light relief on naming in southern Africa. In case there are still some people out there who are not convinced Egypt is in Africa, confirmation is at hand.
‘They like to separate North Africa because this region is sooo different from sub-Saharan Africa, ha! Lies, lies I tell you because the Egyptian man who has named his first-born daughter Facebook has just displayed typical African behaviour by giving his child an inappropriate English word for a name.................In my country people are called Crankshaft, Anybody, Foluteer (a bastardisation of Volunteer) and many other highly inappropriate names. Some names are translated straight from vernacular to English, immediately turning them from normal to inappropriate, as well as made up names that sound English and last but not least English names that are mispronounced and until they are spelt you would have no idea that that Kle-gee is actually called Craig. TIA, gotta love it :)’
http://www.pambazuka.org/images/articles/519/bloggingafrica/mar03_05_bla...The Black List Pub comments on ‘farcical and anarchic’ Nigerian car number plates. He begins by defining the word ‘farce’:
‘A light dramatic work in which highly improbable plot situations, exaggerated characters, and often slapstick elements are used for humorous effect’. And ‘The broad or spirited humor characteristic of such works’. Or ‘A ludicrous, empty show; a mockery: e.g. The Maurice Iwu-conducted 2007 election [the 2007 Nigerian elections"> was a farce.’
He goes on to give examples of Nigerian state number plates – below is a small selection – should we laugh or should we cry ... No beg for revolutionary forces to emerge on this glorious land:
‘Bayelsa “The Glory of All Lands”
‘Thank God, they are not calling it “The Wealth of the Nation”, that would have been too obvious, isn’t it? But what exactly is their glory there? Oil spills, dirty and foul-smelling creeks, gas-flaring and irresponsible governors and local chiefs? All these and the corruption have given the state's slogan a hollow ring.
‘Plateau “Home of Peace and Tourism”
‘Its cool climate and cultural landmarks have always made it an attraction for the rare tourists who make it to Nigeria, but Plateau has been plagued by religious and ethnic violence promoted and sustained by evil, calculating politicians that have killed hundreds. What have they turned one of the most beautiful environments in the world into?”
‘Nassarawa "Home of Solid Minerals"
‘but where are the minerals to complement the oil? Last I heard, those solid minerals are mined by individuals who never make any returns to the Federal Government, and the Federal Government is in full awareness of this but cannot do anything about it because these are powerful illegal miners.”
‘Abia "God's Own State"
‘Yes, indeed. Why not “God’s Own People”? God gave Abia Orji Kalu, and the state has never been the same again. I know of only one God’s own people, and they are not in Abia State. They give Igbos a bad name.
‘Enugu State - “Coal City State”
‘Yes, the last time I heard about coal coming from Enugu was when I was in the primary school in the 1960s. Since then, all the coal must have disappeared into some people’s land and pockets.”
‘And finally, Kebbi “Land of Equity”
‘For a state that used to be part of the Sokoto Caliphate and introduced Sharia laws, I wonder where the Equity is coming from. But we are all here waiting.
http://www.pambazuka.org/images/articles/519/bloggingafrica/mar03_06_dmk...Diary of a Mad Kenyan Woman comments on the proposal by a group of young Kenyans for all Kenyans to sing the national anthem on 28 February. ‘Why? It is a summons to unity, a hail’ - if only things were that simple. DMKW will sing, but not for the requested reasons.
‘These may be uplifting ideas, but I fear that they foreclose necessary reflection and may collude in our burgeoning amnesia: I am not sure that we have much to be proud of in these parlous times.
‘Six of our leading representatives and public figures are under grave suspicion by the International Criminal Court of crimes against humanity, but this apparently does not perturb us. Our internally displaced citizens continue to languish in refugee camps, which disturbs our comfort not at all. Millions of young people are unemployed and frustrated but we would rather not discuss it. Ethnic militias gather force and virulence: still, we are content. A vulgar misogyny accompanied by a homophobia as vile as it is pervasive finds extensive purchase in our collective psyche: we are unflappable. We seem to enjoy all these, or at least not to mind them enough to engage with their implications.’
http://www.pambazuka.org/images/articles/519/bloggingafrica/mar03_07_bl.gifBlack Looks publishes a signed statement by African bloggers on David Kato and Uganda.
‘We the undersigned wish to express our deep sadness at the murder of Ugandan human rights defender David Kato on 26th January 2011. David's activism began in the 1980s as an Anti-Apartheid campaigner where he first expressed a strong passion and conviction for freedom and justice which continued throughout his life. David was a founding member of Sexual Minorities Uganda where he first served as Board member and until his death as Litigation and Advocacy Officer and he was also a member of Integrity Uganda, a faith-based advocacy organization…’
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