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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Great Lakes – Conflict minerals

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  In a recent report, American NGO Enough – which campaigns against genocide and crimes against humanity – mentions a 65% drop in profits from conflict minerals like tin, tungsten, and tantalum in Eastern Congo. Such decrease is partly the result of the traceability system put in place in the Great Lakes states to guarantee…

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Sierra Leone – Positive signals

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  In a moment in time when Africa starts to shine, Sierra Leone stands as an example of what went wrong with the continent. Half a century of independence brought about dictatorship, corruption and – during the 1990s – a terrible, blood diamond-soaked war. After the war, the country was so helpless that the first…

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Sudan – Power struggle

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  The long war Khartoum conducted against the people of the south diverted the attention of all but the most sophisticated observers. Journalists had a field day in describing the war as a religious war, Christian vs. Muslims. Few underlined the long standing cultural and social divide between southerners and northerners. Even fewer highlighted that…

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Rwanda – Hard times for the opposition

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  On October 30, 2012, the Kigali High Court found Victoire Ingabire Umohoza, opposition leader and president of the United Democratic Forces-Inkingi (FDU-Inkingi) party, guilty of conspiracy to undermine the Rwandan government and of denying the genocide. She was sentenced to 8 years in prison, a year after her arrest in Kigali. According to her…

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Dossier/5 – Invisible countries

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  Halfway between the coast of East Africa and Indonesia, and 500 km south of the Maldives, lies the Chagos Archipelago. It is a group of seven atolls, 60 tiny islands in all, controlled by Britain since 1814. Following the emancipation of slaves in 1835, little changed in the Chagos. The strict social order –…

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Dossier/4 – Invisible Countries

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  Sudan is not the only country at war in Africa. Last April, the Tuareg of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) declared the independence of Northern Mali. In the 1950s, the Tuareg had wanted independence from French colonizers. However, then French President Charles De Gaulle refused to create an independent nation…

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Dossier/3 – Invisible countries

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  Article 39 of the Ethiopian Constitution says that “every nation, nationality or people in Ethiopia shall have the unrestricted right to self determination up to secession”. Yet, Meles Zenawi, who controlled Ethiopia from the deposition of Menghistu (1991) to his sudden death in 2012, facilitated the secession of Eritrea in 1993, but was not…

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Dossier/2 Invisible countries

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  Zanzibar, an East African large island in the Indian Ocean, is already governed by a President and a local Parliament. The Sultan of Zanzibar was deposed in 1963 and the island joined Tanganyika in 1964 to form Tanzania. The island has known troubled times. While mainland Tanzania has had a peaceful experience of slow…

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Invisible countries

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  The most important principles adopted at the founding of the Organization of the African Unity were promoting the unity and solidarity of African Nations; increase the co-operation between countries; and defend the integrity and territorial unity of member states. The leaders of the newly independent African nations well knew that the borders inherited from…

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Contemplation and Evangelisation

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Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, addresses the Synod of Bishops on The New Evangelization held in Rome last October. Here are some excerpts. The Council was, in so many ways, a rediscovery of evangelistic concern and passion, focused not only on the renewal of the Church’s own life but on its credibility in the world.…

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Chad – Encouraging Perspectives

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  The Diocese of Laï was formed in 1998 with territory taken from the other two dioceses in southern Chad. Comboni Missionary Sebastian Martinez Miguel Angel was called to be the first bishop. Half of the population are Catholic, many follow traditional religions and there are few Muslims. The first missionaries, the Dehonians, arrived 75…

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Malindi – Dialogue and commitment/2

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  This is the second part of an interview with Bishop Emanuel Barbara. See part one here. A major concern is the abuse of young people both by the local population and tourists. What is the diocese doing in this area?The problem of abuses on minor is always before my eyes. When I came, I…

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Advocacy

A Museum for advocacy?

A Museum can surely be an action of advocacy, if it provides awareness towards empowerment. The National Museum of African American History and Culture that ex…

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Baobab

Why the sea is salty.

Long ago, the sea was not salty. People got their salt from the mountain of salt across the sea. One day, the people in the village…

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Youth & Mission

Bennie was the wrong person, in the wrong place at…

Bennie had a thin, hollow face, the picture of malnutrition at 22 years of age, he had never been to school for more than a few…

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