All Articles Tagged "african politics"
(Christian Science Monitor) — Zambia’s new president Michael Sata is known for his fiery speeches, his harsh criticism of Chinese investment in the Zambian copper mining industry, and his fondness for the governing philosophy of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. But in his first major statement since being declared the winner of this week’s presidential elections, the opposition leader struck a gentler line, albeit a still skeptical one. “The rule of law and justice will be the cornerstone of my rule. I hope investors will abide by Zambia’s labour laws.” Mr. Sata said Friday at his inauguration ceremony at the Supreme Court in Lusaka on Friday. However, he also acknowledged that foreign investment is key to Zambia’s future growth and promised that his government would continue to partner with foreign investors during his term in office.
(New York Times) — It is trickier than ever for an author to persuade a publisher to finance a traditional book tour. Brick-and-mortar bookstores are decreasing, travel is expensive, and money for marketing and promotion is increasingly being spent online. So it is striking that Leymah Gbowee, a relatively unknown author of a memoir describing her life as a peace activist in war-torn Liberia, has just embarked on an eight-city tour to promote her book, “Mighty Be Our Powers,” which was released by the tiny Beast Books on Tuesday. The tour is possible because Ms. Gbowee has wrangled an unusual sponsor: Leonard Riggio, the chairman of Barnes & Noble, who is personally covering the costs.
(Christian Science Monitor) — At 87, President Robert Mugabe isn’t the oldest serving president of Africa, nor the longest-serving. But the rumor that Mr. Mugabe may be in ill-health has been an open secret among Zimbabwe’s political elite for years. That secret has been given increasing attention with the release of US diplomatic cables by the whistle-blowing website, WikiLeaks. But perhaps the most surprising aspect of this latest WikiLeaks release is not what has been said, but who is saying it. Members of Mugabe’s own inner circle, including Mugabe’s hand-picked Reserve Bank Governor,Gideon Gono, are shown to have talked regularly with US diplomats, sharing insights into the rivalries within Mugabe’s long-ruling ZANU-PF Party and between the top ministers of Mugabe’s coalition-government cabinet.
(Washington Post) — With the capital now almost completely under rebel control, the Libyan war’s focus is quickly shifting to an all-out manhunt for fugitive leader Moammar Gaddafi. Wild rumors flew around Tripoli on Wednesday: He’s holed up in a network of tunnels linking the Rixos hotel, his Bab al-Aziziya compound and the sea. He’s at his farm near the international airport. He’s hiding among the animals at the Tripoli Zoo, which is located in a park that lies between the compound and the hotel, an area still under loyalist control. Rebel fighters also said they were looking for Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam, who was last seen Monday at the Rixos, confounding rebel claims that he had been captured. Thejournalists who had been held at the hotelby Gaddafi loyalists, virtually as prisoners, were freed and driven to safety Wednesday by the International Committee of the Red Cross. In Benghazi, the rebel government announced a $1.7 million bounty along with amnesty for anyone who provided information leading to Gaddafi’s capture, raising the stakes in the race to find the man who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on a charge of crimes against humanity.
(The Root) — The signs are ominous, and strangely familiar: communal warfare raging in the politically volatile Muslim Northern regions, with supporters of the ruling party stabbed, hacked or shot; churches, mosques and homes burned; and hundreds believed dead and tens of thousands more displaced. That’s the scene so far in parts of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, following its latest round of presidential elections. Gubernatorial elections in at least three Northern states this week were postponed because of the violence. The incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan, of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, has appealed for calm after being declared the winner April 18 with 57 percent of the vote — thus avoiding an expected second round of balloting with his main rival, former Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, who received 31 percent. Buhari is a Fulani from the predominantly Muslim North; Jonathan is an Ijaw from the predominantly Christian South.
(AP) — Mohamed Hassan gets emotional when he hears about the famine devastating Somalia, recalling his own months-long walk from Mogadishu to Kenya two decades ago as a teenager fleeing the civil war. Now Hassan and other Somalis here are digging deep to help. “I’ve lived through starvations, hunger. I’ve lived in a refugee camp,” Hassan said. “Because of my relationship to the people of Somalia back home, but also because of past experiences, I feel the pain. I cannot afford to sit back and watch people go through these experiences.” From Facebook campaigns to car washes and concerts to local collection sites, Minnesota’s Somali community — the nation’s largest at an estimated 25,000 people — is raising tens of thousands of dollars to help the starving masses. Though an overall total isn’t known, Somalis have helped raised roughly $100,000 for the American Refugee Committee, including $47,000 at a single event last week. Another group, Amoud Foundation, reported raising $94,000 from the Twin Cities in less than two weeks.
(Wall Street Journal) — A U.S. aid agency said Tuesday it is halting a $350 million, three-month-old energy project-financing deal with Malawi after the southeast African country’s government responded to protests with a violent crackdown that left 19 people dead. The U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation said it is placing an immediate hold on the project, meant to strengthen Malawi’s electricity infrastructure, because it is “deeply concerned by recent events in Malawi,” the MCC said in a statement. Last week, 19 people were killed after police opened fire to quell looting and protests against President Bingu wa Mutharika. The thousands of protesters accuse Mr. Mutharika of mismanaging the economy, leading to acute fuel shortages, and of trampling on democratic freedoms.
(The Guardian) — Guinea’s president has survived an assassination attempt by gunmen who opened fire on his home, throwing into doubt the stability of the country’s first democratically elected government. President Alpha Condé was woken by the shooting, which erupted around his residence between 3am and 5am. A rocket-propelled grenade landed inside the compound, destroying part of it. One of his bodyguards was killed and several others wounded, said François Louceny Fall, Condé’s chief of staff. Condé, 73, addressed state radio saying his security detail had “heroically fought” until reinforcements arrived. He called on the population to remain calm and said the attack would not derail the promises he made to voters seven months ago when he became the first democratically elected leader in Guinea’s 52-year history.
(New York Times) — The paramedic’s eyes were bloodshot, his features drawn. Pregnant women jammed into the darkened concrete bunker, just as they had yesterday and would tomorrow. The increase in patients had been fivefold, or tenfold. The exhausted paramedic had lost count in a blur of uninterrupted examinations and deliveries. The word was out: it was no longer necessary to give birth at home and risk losing a baby or dying in childbirth. Hadiatou Kamara, 18, waited in the crowd. She had already lost a baby boy and girl. “They both died,” she said quietly. Now, for her third pregnancy, she was at this rural health clinic outside Freetown, the capital. The Sierra Leone government has eliminated fees for pregnant women and children, and Ms. Kamara, like thousands of women in a country where surgery has been performed by the light of cellphones and flashlights, could afford trained medical staff to oversee her pregnancy for the first time. At the Waterloo Community Health Center here, the women were spilling out the door, as they have consistently since the fees were lifted last year.
(Washington Post) — The map of Africa will be redrawn Saturday, as southern Sudan becomes an independent nation through a peace process championed by successive U.S. presidents but still beset by lingering tensions from years of war. President George W. Bush put Sudan at the center of his foreign policy in Africa, helping broker a 2005 peace agreement that ended a conflict that had claimed more than 2 million lives. President Obama has rallied international pressure to rescue that accord as it risked unraveling. U.N. Ambassador Susan E. Rice, who is scheduled to lead the U.S. delegation at the independence ceremony, said in a telephone interview this week that this was “a fraught and fragile moment, but a remarkable one nonetheless.” Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir is expected to attend Saturday’s ceremony. He has promised to accept the oil-rich south’s secession, after initially balking at losing a Texas-size region that had provided much of his government’s revenue.