tagged w/ Burundi
At least 20 people have been killed after unknown gunmen opened fire at a crowded bar near the Burundi capital, Bujumbura, officials say.
Link : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14968935At least 20 people have been killed after unknown gunmen opened fire at a crowded bar... more
Egypt is a country which does not have the luxury of abundant rains and therefore depends on the Nile for 90% of its sustenance. It is also the spiritual center for the people there as they believe the Gods sent floods during the time of the pharoahs which allowed them food and for the pharoahs to build their tombs. The waters of the great Nile were then seen by Egypt as belonging to no one but them. Religion and politics in the 21st century once again now stands in the way of an equitable agreement that will preserve the Nile's waters for all while also understanding it belongs to none.
Egypt's control of the Nile which amounts to 74% of its waters has been intact since the 1929 agreement with then colonial occupant Britain. This antiquated arrangement which gives Egypt access to the majority of the water simply cannot be sustained in modern times, yet Egypt's Mubarek and Bashir in Sudan have not budged in changing it. The agreement also calls for all upstream projects first needing the consent of Egypt and Sudan in order to go forward, however, Ethiopia which suffers from drought and sees the Blue Nile as sacred has challenged that by building dams for irrigation and a current larger hydropower dam.
Drought now plagues this area as well which has increased demand for water as well as greater demand for energy even though it has been noted that the Aswan Dam in Egypt has hurt the soil's health. Revenge tactics in now building an overabundance of dams that defeat the purpose of equitable sharing will not help any side in this if it does nothing to truly provide water to its people, especially in light of other factors such as climate change contributing to sea level rise.
Last May the upstream countries including Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, and Ethiopia met giving Egypt and Sudan one year to give an answer regarding a more equitable sharing of the Nile's sacred waters. What could give them more clout in coming to an agreement is the independence vote in South Sudan which would see another country on their side in splitting Bashir's influence in Sudan.
There are many geopolitical angles taking shape regarding what has only amounted to a war of words to this point. It will then be interesting to see with South Sudan gaining independence along with the current events in Egypt how this all unfolds in perhaps now working to secure a fair and equitable agreement regarding the waters of the Nile while also respecting its history and sacred traditions in escaping what will otherwise be the beginning of the water wars of the 21st Century.Egypt is a country which does not have the luxury of abundant rains and therefore... more
A recent report from Enough Project ranked the top 21 electronics manufacturers, showing their progress in creating products with conflict-free minerals and the steps they've taken to ensure that. EP estimates that conflict mining is a $185 million business, which is even more shocking when you consider the World Bank says average the average miner makes only $5 a day.
====== report ===================
By Michelle Castillo, TechLand, on December 15, 2010
Many of our electronic devices are made up of minerals like tantalum, used to make the capacitors in most cell phones, and tin, which makes up the inside lining of some cell phones and is used to solder circuit boards. Unfortunately, many of these materials come from conflict-ridden areas of the Congo, where increasing profits from electronic sales help fund the inhumane treatment of people who live and work in the country. The Enough Project, an advocacy group focused on ending genocide and crimes against humanity, estimates that conflict mining is a $185 million business, which is even more shocking when you consider the World Bank says average the average miner makes only $5 a day.
According to Raise Hope for Congo, more than 5.4 million people have died from the continuous wars that ravage the country. The organization urges people to tell companies that they want conflict free products. Congo's minerals are especially attractive to electronic manufacturers because of unregulated mining practices and cheap labor. Minerals from the African nation cost half or a third as much the same materials from other countries, according to the Washington Post. Though the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Act requires manufacturers to identify and get rid of conflict minerals in their products and similar legislation will be mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2011, Congolese mines are often controlled by armed groups and militias. These groups smuggle the minerals out of the country to smelting companies on other continents, which means the origin of the minerals can often be masked even from the company commissioning the product. Even though Congo's president announced a ban on all artisanal mining in eastern Congo last August, the ruling has not been enforced by the country's national military and has even negatively affected the citizens who work in the mines as a main source of income.
A recent report from Enough Project ranked the top 21 electronics manufacturers, showing their progress in creating products with conflict-free minerals and the steps they've taken to ensure that. Leading the pack was HP with an over 30 percent improvement. The company has endorsed anti-conflict mineral legislation and advocates for strong US regulations for all manufacturers. Apple, who uses tantalum not only in their smartphones but in iPods as well, were given a yellow score, which means there is much room for improvement. (Though several of their top executives have spoken out against conflict mineral mining in the Congo, they did not weigh in on key US conflict mineral legislation.) Toshiba received the worst score of the bunch; they have barely made any changes at all according to the study. Enough Project knows it may be hard for the average consumer to tell whether or not they are helping fund a war over natural resources just by looking at a product. Still, the group hopes that especially this holiday season when people are out shopping for the latest gadgets that by being little more knowledgeable about which companies are taking a stand against genocide and human rights abuses, shoppers can judge for themselves whether or not to support these crimes against humanity.
##### ARTICLE HERE ##################
Is Your Mobile Device or Laptop Funding Conflict Mineral Wars?
By Michelle Castillo on December 15, 2010
http://techland.time.com/2010/12/15/is-your-mobile-device-or-laptop-funding-conflict-wars/A recent report from Enough Project ranked the top 21 electronics manufacturers,... more
The United Nations has ordered 900 peacekeepers to a remote region of Democratic Republic of Congo, where the LRA killed more than 1,000 adults and children around Christmas in 2008 and 2009 and kidnapped hundreds more, to head off feared Christmas attacks by Lord's Resistance Army fighters.
===== report ==============
UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations has ordered 900 peacekeepers to a remote region of Democratic Republic of Congo, to head off feared Christmas attacks by Lord's Resistance Army fighters, a spokesman said Tuesday.
UN forces will go to a region where the LRA killed more than 1,000 adults and children around Christmas in 2008 and 2009 and kidnapped hundreds more.
The UN mission in DR Congo is also sending extra humanitarian supplies to the region, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters.
A special operation against the LRA has been launched in the Dungu district of Upper Uele region and would carry on until mid-January because of fears of the "holiday season" attacks, Nesirky said.
The announcement came after the UN Security Council called for greater international action against the LRA, which is led by Joseph Kony who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The LRA sprang out of a rebellion in Uganda in the 1980s but now terrorizes communities in Central African Republic, southern Sudan and DR Congo.
The Security Council welcomed an African Union move to set up a joint task force to fight the LRA and deploy joint border patrols.
"It calls for the countries of the region to enhance coordination and information sharing regarding the the threat posed by the LRA," said a Security Council statement on efforts to bring peace to Central African Republic.
Ugandan special forces currently lead the international hunt for Kony, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
In December 2008, LRA fighters killed 865 men, women and children in the northeastern DR Congo and in southern Sudan, and kidnapped hundreds of others.
A year later 300 people were murdered between December 14 and 17, also in northeast DR Congo.
The United States has promised to support a new effort to catch Kony and halt the conflict generated by the LRA, but in a report titled "Ghosts of Christmas Past," 19 aid agencies said the Security Council should do more.
The report said LRA attacks remote communities in Sudan, Central African Republic and DR Congo almost four times a week.
"These communities await Christmas with fear," added the groups, who include Oxfam, Christian Aid, Refugees International, World Vision and War Child UK, among others.
The UN refugee agency said in October that the rebels had killed 2,000 people since December 2008, kidnapped more than 2,600 and displaced more than 400,000 in DR Congo, the Central African Republic and southern Sudan.
"The acute suffering and mass population displacement the LRA has generated across international borders is undermining stability in an already fragile region, where southern Sudan is preparing to hold a landmark referendum on secession in early 2011," the report said.
The aid groups welcomed recent steps by the United States and the African Union. But it said kidnapped people had to be helped to return home and villages had to be protected.
The aid groups called on the UN Security Council to set up an expert panel as "there is a chronic lack of information about the motivation, composition and location of the LRA."
The LRA began their rebellion in northern Uganda in the late 1980s, but have not carried out an attack there since 2006.
Since south Sudanese-hosted peace talks broke down in 2008, the fighters have roamed the jungles of central Africa and been repeatedly blamed for the slaughter of defenseless civilians.
The African Union has said the LRA should be called "terrorists" rather than rebels.
############# ARTICLE LINK #############
UN peacekeepers to head off Christmas massacre
(AFP) – Dec 13, 2010The United Nations has ordered 900 peacekeepers to a remote region of Democratic... more
Leaders from 11 nations in the conflict-ravaged Great Lakes region of central Africa on Tuesday signed a pledge – partly drafted by a Canadian organization – to stamp out the illegal trade of conflict minerals.
Signed at a summit in the Zambian capital of Lusaka by governments including the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi, the pledge commits signatory states to take steps to implement a regional certification system to track such minerals as they are exported from Africa for smelting in Asia.
The summit was called to address mining practices that have helped to fuel mass rapes and massacres in the eastern provinces of Congo. The illegitimate mining of minerals such as coltan, tungsten, tin and gold, which are used in electronic devices, is widespread in the region and often finances armed groups.
Among the mechanisms to be implemented is a “bag-and-tag” system in which minerals are tagged at their point of origin. The African nations also said they would create a database to make it easier to identify and track minerals that originate in areas of conflict.
The move by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region comes as governments in the United States, Canada and Europe consider legislation that would make roughly 6,000 manufacturers, including BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd., responsible for tracking the minerals used in their products.
PLEASE GO AND READ THE ARTICLE !
IAIN MARLOW AND OMAR EL AKKAD
From Thursday's Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010 2:02PM EST
Last updated Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010 6:57PM EST
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/african-leaders-pledge-to-wipe-out-trade-of-conflict-minerals/article1839121/?cmpid=rss1Leaders from 11 nations in the conflict-ravaged Great Lakes region of central Africa... more
Hundreds of women and children were raped over and over during 3 days in July, another incident reported in August... estimates indicate many thousands of women and girls are brutalized each year on a gross scale ...for the creature comforts of civilized society. Efforts to combat illicit mining of coltan and other minerals are gaining traction, as politicians in Canada and other Western governments look to establish tough penalties against the practice. When we glance at the holocaust in Congo, with about 7 million dead, the clichés of Africa reporting tumble out: this is a "tribal conflict" in "the Heart of Darkness". It isn't. The United Nations investigation found it was a ****war led by "armies of business" to seize the metals*** that make our 21st-century society zing and bling. The war in Congo is a war about you.
(Mash-Quoted from various articles included below. When you see 5.4 million quoted, that is up to 2007, estimates for up to today are at 6.5 to 7 million.)
"Dr. Mukwege [see below] believes the number of women who have been raped since the beginning of the conflict is far higher than the U.N. estimates of 200,000-300,000, saying the real figure is more like half a million."
Over 6,000 rape incidents a year (in recent years) are conservatively estimated based just on what gets reported.
And we do not see the continuing dismemberment and murders (possibly decapitations), nor much footage from the few doctors you may read about working in the tranches.
"Exploited African oil, coltan, chocolate, bauxite, gold, coffee, platinum, chromium, iron, gas, flowers, agriculture and animals are dripping in the blood of African people, making billions of dollars for Europe and America. "
"In the end, it will be consumer education and pressure that will make the difference."
Lets wake up. There's more we can be doing...
Over 10 years, and its still going strong... "The mining industry in that country relies on slave labour, violence and sexual assault. Since the popularity of smartphones has risen, warlords in the country have taken control of the mines to retrieve the precious metal, then sell it on the international market to manufacturers of the gadgets that will ultimately end up under our Christmas trees." more at this link-->
Consider how much of this is about our cell phones and laptops, DVD players, computers, digital cameras, video games, vehicle air bags, jewelry (gold and diamonds), chocolate, and more... all the things so many feel they cannot live without [sic].
And so what can we do? What are we doing? Are we forgetting to keep an eye on this?
The main article prompting me to post is marked as such below. I have included a lot of links to other interesting articles, almost all within the last couple months. There are a couple of key things we all can be doing...
- we need to keep an eye on manufacturers and govt actions behind the statute in the Dodd-Frank bill discussed below
- there's a really provocative video in my third post below, please check it out... the ideas expressed there seem to make very good sense for changing things that matter.
Q&A: DR Congo conflict (first, a little down and dirty overview)
"In November 2009, a report by UN-commissioned experts said UN involvement had done nothing to quell the violence - with rebels continuing to kill and plunder natural resources with impunity and claims the rebels are supported by an international crime network stretching through Africa to Western Europe and North America."
Timeline: Democratic Republic of Congo
Prevalence of Rape in E. Congo Described as Worst in World (sep 2007)
IPS: Activists Slam World's "Grotesque Indifference"
The following are Excerpts - go read the article:
"TORONTO, Canada, Dec 3 (IPS) - International lust for the enormous mineral and resource riches of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) abetted by international indifference has turned much of country into a colossal "rape mine" where more than 300,000 women and girls have been brutalised, say activists."
""Rape is being used as a deliberate tool to control people and territory," said Eve Ensler, a celebrated U.S. playwright and founder of V-Day, a global movement in 120 countries to end violence against women and girls."
"This "blood coltan" - akin to blood diamonds -
**generates billions of dollars of sales every year for electronics manufacturers in rich countries***
****hundreds of millions of dollars to rebels and others who control the coltan-producing regions.****
Coltan is also produced in other countries, and the DRC's "blood coltan" is often transported to those countries to give it a sheen of conflict-free provenance. "
There is a lot of news brewing if you look for it. I am disconcerted to seen almost none of it on Current. So you will forgive me if I post what may seem like to much information... I don't think you can have too much of this information and awareness about this.
What is ailing them is not isolated to "them over there". WE are a strong hand in their lives, and deaths, and suffering, by what we do, and what we fail to do.
Do you think it matters to be making an effort during your news sojourns 'out there' to find and read some news in/on Africa?Hundreds of women and children were raped over and over during 3 days in July, another... more
24 October 2010 Last updated at 03:51 ET
Burundi albino boy 'dismembered'
Albinos in Tanzania have become targets for body-snatchers seeking to sell them to witch doctors
The dismembered body of a young albino boy has been found in a river on the Burundi-Tanzania border, reports say.
The boy, aged nine, was taken from Makamba province in Burundi by a gang that crossed the border, the head of Burundi's albino association said.
Kassim Kazungu told AFP the remains had been recovered from the Malagarazi river and given a formal burial.
Albino body parts are prized in parts of Africa, with witch-doctors claiming they have special powers.
Mr Kazungu told the AFP news agency that Tanzanian police had arrested five people, although there was no official confirmation from Tanzania.
In Tanzania, the body parts of people living with albinism are used by witch-doctors for potions which they tell clients will help make them rich or healthy.
Dozens of albinos have been killed, and the killings have spread to neighbouring Burundi.
In August a court in Tanzania sentenced a Kenyan to 17 years in jail on charges of trying to sell an albino person.
Tanzanian authorities have promised to crack down on albino traffickers, and several people have been sentenced to death in connection with killings.
Photo: Albinos in Tanzania have become targets for body-snatchers seeking to sell them to witch doctors24 October 2010 Last updated at 03:51 ET
Burundi albino boy... more
Scientists: Serengeti on road to ruin
Photo: Conservationists say a proposed new road through the Serengeti National Park will disrupt migratory patterns of wildebeests
Serengeti on road to ruin, scientists warn
By Matthew Knight for CNN
September 21, 2010 11:07 a.m. EDT
London, England (CNN) -- Plans to build a highway through Tanzania's Serengeti National Park will destroy one of the world's last great wildlife sanctuaries, a group of conservation experts has warned.
Writing in the journal Nature, 27 scientists have called for a re-think on a proposed 50 kilometer (31 mile) road which they say will cause "environmental disaster."
Under plans approved by the Tanzanian government earlier this year, the trade route would bisect a northern part of the park, forming part of the 170 kilometer-long Arusha-Musoma highway slated to run from the Tanzanian coast to Lake Victoria, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Construction is expected to begin in 2012.
In "Road will ruin Serengeti," lead author Andrew Dobson, professor at the department of ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton University, says laying a track across the park would disrupt the annual migratory patterns of tens of thousands of zebras and gazelles, and 1.3 million wildebeest.
Using computer simulations the scientists estimate that if the wildebeests' access to the Mara river in Kenya is blocked their numbers "will fall to less than 300,000."
The ecosystem could flip into being a source of atmospheric CO2
--Scientists writing in 'Nature'
"This would lead to more grass fires, which would further diminish the quality of grazing by volatizing minerals, and the ecosystem could flip into being a source of atmospheric CO2," the scientists said.
In addition to simulations, the scientists also cite the experience of other park ecosystems where large mammal migration has been hindered by roads and fences.
In Canada's Banff National Park in Canada, "habitat fragmentation" has led to the "collapse of at least six of the last 24 terrestrial migratory species left in the world."
In Africa, the ecosystems of Etosha National Park in Namibia and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in Botswana have collapsed to "a less diverse and less productive state," the scientists said.
Scientists say a different route running south of the Serengeti should be considered to preserve the 1.2 million hectare UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This alternative route could utilize an existing network of gravel roads and would only be 50 kilometers longer than the proposed northern route, the scientists said.
While they acknowledge that Tanzania needs improved infrastructure to facilitate economic development, they argue that the road would damage wildlife tourism -- "a cornerstone" of the country's economy which was worth an estimated $824 million in 2005.
The Nature article adds weight to the growing pressure on the Tanzanian government to reconsider its position regarding the road.
Last month, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Zoological Society of London voiced their concerns and campaigns against the highway are gaining support on social networking sites Facebook ("Stop the Serengeti Highway") and Twitter ("SaveSerengeti").
Earlier this year, Tanzania's President Jakaya Kikwete tried to placate opponents of the project by announcing that the section of new road running through the Serengeti would not be tarmacked.
"I am also a conservation ally and I assure you I'm not going to allow something that will ruin the ecosystem to be built," President Kikwete said in an address to the nation in July.Scientists: Serengeti on road to ruin... more
Development assistance can offer people an alternative to conflict in countries disabled by war. This report explores the impact that economic development had in several provinces in Burundi during the country's 10-year civil war and the need for continued international support since the war has endedDevelopment assistance can offer people an alternative to conflict in countries... more
3 years ago
After 10 years of civil war, Burundians are ready for lasting peace. This IFAD documentary, co-produced with the Television Trust for the Environment (TVE) for broadcast on BBC World, follows the stories of three people who are attempting to rebuild their lives. Through their stories, the film explores the larger challenges that face the country and the role that international development can play in preventing conflict from re-igniting.After 10 years of civil war, Burundians are ready for lasting peace. This IFAD... more
3 years ago
Development assistance can offer people an alternative to conflict in countries disabled by war. This report explores the impact that economic development had in several provinces in Burundi during the country's 10-year civil war and the need for continued international support since the war has ended.Development assistance can offer people an alternative to conflict in countries... more
3 years ago
Check out this cool, free Mini-mixtape collaboration that was put out in the name of equal rights.
The concept for the mixtape was born after journalist-turned-politician Alexis Sinduhije was illegally incarcerated in November 2008. In response, emcees from Nomadic Wax have collaborated with presidential hopeful Sinduhije's political party, the Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MSD), to present Democracy in Burundi. Sinduhije was released from prison in March 2009; however, the message of this compilation remains relevant as his candidacy in the 2010 presidential elections continues to be highly contested by the Burundian
http://nomadicwax.bandcamp.com/track/democracy-in-burundi-mixtapeCheck out this cool, free Mini-mixtape collaboration that was put out in the name of... more
East African albinos are being slaughtered for their body parts, body parts used by area witchdoctors in the creation of magical potions. The witchdoctors claim potions made with albino body parts will bring those who use them luck in love, life and business. The potions are popular, and sell for large sums.
Given the popularity of such potions it should be no surprise that albinos are becoming scarce in East Africa. Indeed, there has been a surge in albino killings in East Africa since 2007. At least 12 albinos were murdered and mutilated this year in Burundi and more than 40 have been killed since late 2007 in neighbouring Tanzania.
(Read more at link)East African albinos are being slaughtered for their body parts, body parts used by... more
Silvia and Vicenzo, as many young couples these days, met on the social networks MySpace and Facebook.
But their story is slightly different, or should I say more inspiring, than any other I’ve heard before. After two months of virtual communication, they decided to leave everything behind and finally met each other.
Their meeting was eye-opening. They had so much in common that they developed a shared project: to promote Africa through different eyes. This is when Tourists 4 Development was born.
Read more and watch Silvia & Vincenzo's video on Alternative Channel TV.Silvia and Vicenzo, as many young couples these days, met on the social networks... more
The people of Burundi are heading to the polls to elect their first parliament and president since a civil war began in 1993. This report explores how IFAD-initiated Community Development Committees contribute to democratic processes and peace building by putting economic decision-making power in the hands of poor villagers.The people of Burundi are heading to the polls to elect their first parliament and... more
4 years ago
Take a photo journey around some of the world's most dangerous places, from Afghanistan to Sudan to Colombia. Stop in Liberia, Mexico, and Burundi - and see why they're so dangerous.Take a photo journey around some of the world's most dangerous places, from... more
While neighbouring countries struggle to get pregnant women to visit antenatal centres, women in Rwanda seem to be flocking to them. Rwanda manages to reach 72 percent of pregnant women with HIV testing and counselling and other prevention of mother-to-child services (PMTCT), but fewer than 20 percent of Burundi's health centres offer PMTCT services, while Kenya is reaching half its pregnant women.
While neighbouring countries struggle to get pregnant women to visit antenatal... more
Meet Emmanuel, a refugee from Burundi who's now resettled in Atlanta thanks to help of Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta (RRISA).
Video filmed and edited by Dan Goldgeier, with help from Laura Dobson and Rachele Meaders.
See other videos at www.dangoldgeier.comMeet Emmanuel, a refugee from Burundi who's now resettled in Atlanta thanks to... more
4 years ago
Albinos in Burundi have been taking refuge after three of them were killed by gangs apparently seeking to sell body parts in neighbouring Tanzania.
Four albinos were moved to a provincial centre on Thursday in Ruyigi, Burundi, where police were protecting them, the BBC's Prime Ndikumagenge reports.
Authorities have arrested six people in connection with the murder of an albino teenage girl in August.
The attacks follow the killing of 26 Tanzanian albinos in less than a year.
A BBC correspondent's investigation there revealed that witchdoctors were behind the killings.
They sought albino body parts for potions that they claimed could make people rich.
Two of the albinos killed in Burundi - a man and a teenage girl - were reportedly found dead with their legs and arms missing.
Police said the tip of the girl's tongue was also removed.
Neighbours of another teenage albino girl killed in Ruyigi in August chased away her attackers, six of whom were later apprehended as they came to retrieve her body parts.
They are said to have told police that they were planning to sell the body parts in Tanzania.
Our correspondent says that albinos in Burundi - estimated to number around 200 - are now living in fear for their lives.
Albinos in Burundi have been taking refuge after three of them were killed by gangs... more