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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Honduras – Risks to taxi drivers

There are several taxi ranks all around the central square of Tegucigalpa, where there is the national monument, the baroque cathedral dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel. Most of them are white-coloured Toyota Corolla cars. “All taxis were produced in the last century and are still ‘proudly’ operating”, says, Manuel smiling.  He owns a ratty…

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Uganda – Museveni’s military interventions

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President Museveni’s intervention in the South Sudan war on the side of President Salva Kiir has underlined the Ugandan leader’s penchant for military interventions in neighbouring countries with sometimes disastrous consequences. In addition to South Sudan, Ugandan troops are deployed in Somalia and Central African Republic. In the past they fought in the Democratic Republic…

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Kenya – Uhuru Kenyatta, Africa and ICC

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On the 5th of November 2009, the International Criminal Court (ICC)  Prosecutor notified the President of the Court of his intention to submit a request for the authorization to start an investigation into the situation in Kenya pursuant to Article 15(3) of the Rome Statute about the 2007-2008 post election violence in Kenya in which…

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Increasing EU interest for Africa’s Raw materials

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The European Union (EU) is showing an increasing interest for Africa’s raw materials in order to secure its supplies and reduce its dependence from China and other Asian countries. Over the next six years until 2020, the European Union will implement a strategic plan to guarantee supplies of “critical minerals” to its industry which is…

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Syria – Christians: Under Siege

In the ravaged country, many religious institutions and buildings, both Muslim and Christian, have been hit, damaged or destroyed. The confessional element of the conflict has been underlined by commentators, especially those, on both sides, blaming the intervention of foreign forces on the battlefield. The Iran-backed Shia militia and party, Hezbollah, gave its support to…

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Soldiers, rebels, jihadists …

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Armed groups in the Syrian war, form, self-dissolve, merge and are many. We present a tentative, complex list of their acronyms that came into existence over the last three years. The Islamic Front was announced on 22 November, 2013. It is likely supported by the Turkish, Saudi and Jordanian intelligence services. It is a coalition…

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Beyond Syria’s battlefield

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Syria is the field where Middle East powers are playing a game that involves regional interests and hegemonies, arms trafficking and funding to militant groups. A struggle far beyond Syria’s battlefield:  the control of the Arab world is at stake. Israel’s concern The ‘Arab Spring’ was a nightmare for Israel. Uprisings led to the collapse…

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Syria – three year-old civil war

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Syria’s civil war has occurred in two phases. The first phase, roughly from January 2011 until March 2012, was largely an internal affair. When the Arab Spring erupted in Tunisia and Egypt in January 2011, protests erupted in Syria as well. In addition to the usual grievances under a brutal regime, Syrians were reeling from…

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Music – Aynur Dogan

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It is not easy to fit Aynur Dogan’s music into a scheme, and not only because she mostly sings in a language the majority of people cannot understand, Kurdish. Let’s take, for instance, her 2010 album Rewend: the first two tracks, had fast, almost hypnotic rhythms; then, Xewn (Ruya) and Kocere (Gocer Kizi) mark a…

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Book Review – Land Grabbing

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When addressing the issue of land deals in Africa, numbers are all that seems to matter to the media. Higher figures mean bigger headlines, and longer reports: but are they accurate? And, most importantly, is the exact amount of land purchased the only relevant issue when talking about the so-called ‘land-grabbing’? In his book The…

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Maasai – Animals used for Peace ceremony

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The Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania are all cattle keepers. The economy of the Maasai is based on their cattle and all the social aspects of the community are based on livestock. During drought or famine the Maasai exchange livestock with other communities such as the Kikuyu, Okiek or Kamba. They give butter in an…

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Mexico – Communality as a way of life and resistance

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The indigenous Zapotec cultural system of living in harmony with nature coincides with the Andean concept of Good Living. In Sierra Juárez, state of Oaxaca, in southern Mexico, people live the experience of communality. “We are communality, the opposite of individuality, we are communal territory, not private property; we are cooperating, not competing; we are…

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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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