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Monthly Archives: September 2019

Togo. Anti-regime music.

The MAET is the movement of singers and musicians who support the change in Togo. These artists often suffer retaliation. MAET is one of the voices of the opposition to President Faure Gnassingbé, ahead of the 2020 vote. The busy city road, which takes to the border with Benin, passes through cement plants, refineries, a…

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Egypt. Being a Christian in an Islamic Country.

What kind of challenges exist for Christians in Islamic countries? How to be a Christian among Muslims? We focus on Egypt. An Islamic country is, by definition, religious. However, Islamic countries differ in their way of ruling, stemming from the Sunni or the Shiīca or the Khawarij, the three early roots of governing. The Sunni…

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Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o: “Prison was a school to me”.

Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o was imprisoned and exiled for his political beliefs. As he became sensitized to the effects of colonialism in Africa, Ngũgĩ turned from writing in English to writing in his native language. Although he goes to visit his country, he lives in the United States, where he is Professor of Language…

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Ethiopia. Meskel. The Feast of the Holy Cross.

There is no feast in Ethiopia, religious or civil, so popular and with such large social and family roots. What is celebrated on the day of Meskel? The New Year begins in Ethiopia on September 12. That date should be the starting point for the activities of the school year. But, although it is officially…

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South Korea and Africa.

Tracing South Korea’s approach to the continent under 4 presidents. During the 1960s, South Korea commenced a diplomatic offensive with countries that had remained neutral during the Korean War. This was done to cement alliances with countries so they would back South Korea should conflict break out again. One of the main regions where South…

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PMC: A tool for Russia and China in Africa.

Private Military Companies (PMC) have become an important  player in geopolitics.  These companies provide military contractors to states and private citizens and companies to train personnel or to protect workers and assets. And they became a useful and flexible tool in the hand of major powers to advance their agenda reducing the risks. But PMCs…

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Ba’ath Party Dominance and Mistakes.

As the Ba’ath increasingly dominated the State, the Communists faced greater restrictions on their activities. By the early 1980’s they had been virtually silenced. Indeed, the Ba’ath Party suppressed all secular opposition. The effect was that all political grievances were increasingly channelled through the Shiite Islamic movement. The Shi’a were poor, but well represented politically…

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Iraq. A Fragile Country.

Iraq, the country established on the land of the Assyrians and Babylonians of ancient Mesopotamia, is one of the most bitter fruits of the Franco-British imperialist nation-building efforts in the post-WW1 scenario that was the ‘Sykes-Picot’ Accord, signed on May 16, 1916. British, French and, to a lesser extent, Russian diplomats decided how the former…

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Hare and the Corn Bins.

In the old days, all the animals used to make farms like men do today. They hoed the ground, planted the seed, harvested the grain and stored it in corn bins which looked like little round huts, only instead of having a door in front they had a circular hole at the top under the…

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Advocacy

10 Ways We Pretend War is Not a Crime.

Advocacy, more than economic interests, is about consciousness and knowledge. It is about building a strong democracy, holding those in power accountable. It is about…

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Baobab

Why the Hippo lives in the Water.

Many years ago the hippopotamus, whose name was Isantim, was one of the biggest kings on the land; he was second only to the elephant. The…

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Youth & Mission

Saving the Planet and Ourselves.

Australia, Philippines, California and Central and South Africa have been recently hit by severe drought and endless forest fires.  Thousands are suffering. Plants and animals perish.…

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