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Monthly Archives: March 2012

EU/Africa – Trans-Saharan Pipeline

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  At the beginning of February, Nigeria’s Minister of National Planning, Shamsuddeen Usman, revealed that the Abuja authorities had requested the European Investment Bank (EIB) to finance a feasibility study for the Calabar-Kano gas pipeline which is the domestic segment of the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline (TSGP). This 4,128 km pipeline would transport 30 billion cubic…

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Libya – Far from over

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  The country we now know as Libya has never known territorial unity until 1934; and that was during the Italian occupation. Before the Italians, the area had been controlled by the Ottoman Empire, and before that by a series of colonizers. In short, Libyans have a long history of struggle but no experience of…

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Mali – From coup to coup

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  This is a long story that started back in 1994 when the Italian navy, following a tip off from the British, seized an arsenal of weapons off the Italian coast. 400 missiles, 30,000 AK47’s, 5,000 Katuscha rockets, 11,000 anti-tank rockets and 32million rounds were part of the catch on freighter Jadran Express. The government…

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Senegal – Good news, for a change

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  Senegal has seen its share of political ups and down. Yet, under founding father Léopold Sédar Senghor and his successor Abdou Diouf, the country moved forward and it was spared major social upheaval, unlike some of its bordering nations. The soft conflict in the southern region of Casamance has been the real sore spot…

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South Africa – Farm attacks controversy

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  The Afrikaner and the European far right are mobilizing international attention around the victims of the farm attacks, which they claim is the beginning of a “Boer genocide”. In March, 48 members of the European Parliament from 19 countries have condemned the murders of white farmers in South Africa in a statement of protest…

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Terror timeline

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  In less than a decade, Boko Haram has caused thousands of victims. The violence has meant the destruction of houses, of shops, and of the hopes of many. Tens of thousands were forced to abandon their villages to look for more secure places where to live. Here is a timeline of the terror unleashed…

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Peace at risk

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Last Christmas, many Christian churches were bombed by Boko Haram. John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, archbishop of Abuja, declared to Vatican Radio “we have done much to encourage dialogue with Islam, to promote respect and harmony. We need to hope that, besides events such these, we can continue the journey of dialogue and reconciliation. Most Nigerians want…

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Fundamentalisms

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Boko Haram is an offshoot of Yan Tatsine, a movement active in Kano State in the 1980s under the leadership of Mohammed Marwa, an Islamic scholar who migrated to Nigeria from Cameroon in 1945. Once in Kano, capital of the State by the same name, Marwa became a fanatic, fixated with the idea of purify…

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Nigeria – Repression

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The Federal Government, controlled by the People’s Democratic Party since 1999, has always responded to terror attacks with a display of strength – using the police and the army – to no noticeable result so far. President Goodluck Jonathan is no different from his predecessors. He clearly says there is no space for dialogue and…

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Nigeria – Hot spots

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Nigeria is the real giant of Africa. With 160 million inhabitants, plenty of natural resources, a good school system, Nigeria has the potential to become the new powerhouse of the continent, overcoming South Africa in a short while. Yet, it is profoundly divided by violence. In the past months, some compared it to Sudan, which…

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The rule of violence

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Nigerians are usually proud of their country, always ready to sing the praises of their culture and style. Unfortunately, very few foreigners share the view. The latter point out the many idiosyncrasies they see: people who are always too loud, a penchant for cheating (those who never received a Nigerian hoax email proposing a share…

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Asia – History of dialogue

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  In 635, an East Syrian missionary team, under Alouben, reached Chang’an (now Xian), the T’ang capital of China. The emperor financed the construction of the first Christian church in China. Other churches and monasteries came up in due course. Several Christian works were published, among them “Jesus-Messiah Sutra.” A certain Bishop Adam was known…

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Advocacy

Ezekiel Ramin, a martyr of advocacy.

Advocacy is a process that impacts, in an organized and systematic way, public interest issues. It speaks in defense of human, economical and political rights…

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Baobab

The tortoise and the drum

One day, the tortoise was walking along a forest path when he came across a palm tree that had plenty of palm kernel fruits. The tortoise…

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Youth & Mission

The joy of life

One of the most exciting things about growing up is realizing just how much there is for us in life. “I want it all and I…

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