Africa

A guide to the longest full eclipse of the moon this century, and more

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On July 27th, 2018 most of the world will be treated to an extraordinary evening of activity in the sky. Daniel Cunnama The Conversation First, there will be a total lunar eclipse and although uncommon, this one is special because it’s going to last a lot longer than usual – in fact the longest this century. But that’s not all. Mars will shine brighter than it has in 15 years. Caroline Southey asked Dr Daniel Cunnama to explain the… There’s ... Read More »

Why Nigeria had good reasons to delay signing Africa’s free trade deal

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Much has been made of the embarrassing withdrawal by Nigeria from signing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement earlier this year having initially made the commitment to sign them. Olabisi D. Akinkugbe The Conversation Its decision was criticised by many, including myself. These reactions were justifiable given the historical poor performance of Nigeria and other African states when it comes to their commitment to regional economic integration. But, Nigeria’s decision needs to be evaluated in the light of the reason ... Read More »

Stopping Nigeria’s Spiralling Farmer-Herder Violence

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Rising conflict between herders and farmers in Nigeria is already six times deadlier in 2018 than Boko Haram’s insurgency. ICG To stop the bloodshed, the federal government should improve security; end impunity for assailants; and hasten livestock sector reform. State governments should freeze open grazing bans. What’s new?  Violence between Nigerian herders and farmers has escalated, killing more than 1,300 people since January 2018. The conflict has evolved from spontaneous reactions to provocations and now to deadlier planned attacks, particularly ... Read More »

Revisiting Nelson Mandela’s roots: a photographic exploration

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South African photographer, Bonile Bam, decided that he wanted to tell a different Nelson Mandela story by documenting the landscape and physical setting in which Mandela lived as a boy. Raymond Suttner The Conversation Like Mandela, Bam also grew up in the Eastern Cape province. The entirely black and white photographs will form part of an upcoming exhibition in Johannesburg called Mandela’s Roots (revisited). Raymond Suttner interviewed Bam on his photography and how he came to develop the Mandela exhibition, ... Read More »

Children mining cobalt in slave-like conditions as global demand for battery material surges

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If you have not spared a thought for cobalt since high school science, then it might be time. It is having a boom, and the modern world is increasingly reliant on it — using it to stabilise batteries in phones, computers and electric cars; in fact, it is probably in the device you are using right now. The Signal – By Angela Lavoipierre, Stephen Smiley and Lin Evlin ABC But there is a catch. Cobalt is mined in a string of ... Read More »

Forced Evictees in Northern Uganda Entitled to a Remedy

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Residents in Apaa Seek United Nations Help Oryem Nyeko HRW Over the past week and a half, about 200 people from the northern Uganda village of Apaa have traveled 100 kilometers to the town of Gulu seeking safety – and help – after Ugandan soldiers allegedly torched their homes. They have turned to the United Nations for assistance with their plight, and are camped at the offices of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). In ... Read More »

Losing Egypt to Russia Isn’t the Real Problem—but Collapse Is

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Cairo is no long a prize to be won, but a weak state in need of reform. Andrew Miller and Michele Dunne The National Interest While most attention regarding U.S.-Russian competition in the Middle East is concentrated on Syria and Iran, Russian president Vladimir Putin has quietly been trying to make inroads into Egypt. For instance, a recent article by Anna Borshchevskaya presents an alarming picture in which the United States is on the verge of losing Egypt to Russia. We have ... Read More »

The mega-machines helping China link the world

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China is creating a network of ambitious land- and sea-based transport links to connect its booming economy with those of Europe and Africa. Tom Calver BBC And it’s wasting no time – designing incredible bespoke construction machines to get the job done fast. President Xi Jinping’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), launched in 2013, aims to connect two-thirds of the world’s population across 70 countries through a network of land links (the “belt”) and sea routes (the… Officials talk about lifetime ... Read More »

Burundi: African Union Shouldn’t Tolerate Banning Pregnant Girls from School

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In June, Burundi joined a small group of African countries that ban pregnant girls from continuing with formal education in government schools. Agnes Odhiambo and Elin Martinez allAfrica Burundi’s Education Ministry banned the boys who get the girls pregnant as well as the girls themselves from going to public or private school. Burundi’s ban is contrary to the country’s constitution and many domestic laws , and undermines the state’s education goals . Indeed, Burundi’s law against gender discrimination protects girls’ ... Read More »

‘Politics of fear’: Obama gives Trump sharp rebuke in Mandela address

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Johannesburg: Former US President Barack Obama took aim at “strongman politics” in his highest-profile speech since leaving office, urging people around the world to respect human rights and other values now under threat in an impassioned address marking the 100th anniversary of anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela’s birth. AP WAtoday While not mentioning his successor by name, Obama’s speech in South Africa countered many of President Donald Trump’s policies, rallying people to keep alive the ideas that Mandela worked for including democracy, ... Read More »

DR Congo Rights Abusers Rewarded with Army Promotions

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Appointments Increase Risk of Further Repression, Abuses Ida Sawyer HRW The Democratic Republic of Congo’s president and commander in chief, Joseph Kabila, has promoted two generals long linked to serious human rights abuses. The new appointments, announced on the weekend, heighten concerns of more repression and abuse in the weeks ahead, as Kabila ponders his plans ahead of elections scheduled for December 23. Gen. Gabriel Amisi, known as “Tango Four,” was named the new deputy army chief of staff in ... Read More »

Tanzania’s John Magufuli says prisoners are free labour

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The president of Tanzania has called for prisoners to be made to work long hours, and to be punished if they are lazy. BBC John Magufuli was speaking at the inauguration of a new prisons chief. Rights groups have accused him of growing intolerance. Mr Magufuli has lost his initial huge popularity by clamping down on the media, targeting opposition politicians and calling for pregnant schoolgirls to be banned from… He said inmates should grow their own food in prison… ... Read More »

UN Security Council imposes arms embargo on South Sudan

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South Sudan has been at war since 2013, when President Salva Kiir accused then-deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup. AlJazeera The United Nations Security Council has imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan, almost five years after a ruinous civil war in the country started. A United States-drafted resolution won the minimum nine votes needed, while six member states abstained, wary of voting for the measure amid regional attempts to revitalise the South Sudan peace… US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said ... Read More »

Why the case of Jahi McMath is important for understanding the role of race for black patients

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California teenager Jahi McMath, who suffered catastrophic brain injury as a result of a routine tonsil surgery, died on June 22, 2018. Yolonda Wilson The Conversation Her death came after four years of her family fighting in court to continue her care in California. Eventually, they moved her to a facility in New Jersey, a state that accommodates religious views that don’t recognize brain death. Much of the popular discussion in the case centered on the family’s refusal to accept ... Read More »

Antigua and Barbuda: Barbudans Fighting for Land Rights

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Entitled to Consultation on Communal Ownership (Washington, DC) – A draft law before the Antigua and Barbuda Senate would deprive Barbudans of communal land where they have lived for generations, Human Rights Watch said today. The Antigua and Barbuda government should consult with the people of Barbuda to determine the impact of repealing communal land ownership on their human rights, and to reach an agreement that fully respects and… Since 1834, when the British emancipated their slaves, Barbudans as a ... Read More »

Why do the media demonise African Australians?

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Calling out the media for its biased reporting of crimes committed by African Australians is not about defending criminals or failing to sympathise with victims. Nyadol Nyuon WAtoday No African Australian I know supports criminal activity, thinks it is OK or wishes to excuse it in any way. What we are trying to do, however, is to highlight that the media consistently reports crimes committed by black people vastly differently from the way it reports crimes committed by white people, ... Read More »