Brazil: rancher claims land US nun defended

International Herald Times
BRASILIA, Brazil: A Brazilian rancher suspected in the slaying of a U.S. nun now claims he owns land she died trying to defend, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

The action by Regivaldo Galvao appears to cast doubt on one of his alibis in the 2005 slaying of Dorothy Stang: Galvao long insisted he had no motive to kill Stang because he had no interest in the plot of Amazon rain forest he now seeks. Continue reading Brazil: rancher claims land US nun defended

Anger and Hope: Haitian Families Furious Over School Collapse

Common Dreams
“The poorest ones in Haiti cannot continue to live in hazardous conditions, in abject poverty condemned to suffer and die inhumanly. This neighborhood where the school was, Nerrette, is one of the poor areas in the rich city of Petionville. With some sharing from the wealthy Haitians and good will from municipal authorities, the poor ones next door to the rich ones could have had better treatment and greater services. It is unbelievable that alongside the castles and beautiful and well-built schools for the rich residents of Petionville, there lie, without zoning regulations, the shanty towns.” Reverend Gerard Jean-Juste Continue reading Anger and Hope: Haitian Families Furious Over School Collapse

‘They didn’t ask questions. They just shot him’

Mail and Guardian
CHRIS MCGREAL | KIWANGA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – Nov 08 2008 07:20
Jumy Kasereka told his mother the Tutsi rebel soldiers would not harm him. After all, he was a schoolteacher, not a fighter, and they would see he was too sick from malaria to move. Kasereka begged his mother to leave with the tens of thousands of others who Laurent Nkunda’s rebels ordered out of the town of Kiwanga after they seized it from Hutu fighters. Continue reading ‘They didn’t ask questions. They just shot him’

How the mobile phone in your pocket is helping to pay for the civil war in Congo

Telegraph
By Mike Pflanz in Goma

More than 80 per cent of the world's coltan is in Africa, and 80 percent of that lies in territory controlled by Congo's various ragtag rebel groups, armed militia and its corrupt and underfunded national army.
More than 80 per cent of the world

After two hours, drenched in sweat, he tugs on a cord tied to his waist and is pulled back to the surface, carrying with him a 30 kilogram sack of raw columbium-tantalite ore.

Few people have heard of this rare mineral, known as coltan, even though millions of people in the developed world rely on it. But global demand for the mineral, and a handful of other materials used in everything from cellphones to soup tins, is keeping the armies of Congo’s ceaseless wars fighting. Continue reading How the mobile phone in your pocket is helping to pay for the civil war in Congo

Balkanisation and crisis in eastern Congo

Pambazuka News
Ernest Wamba dia Wamba speaks to Pambazuka News
August saw a fresh outbreak of conflict in the DRC. Since then, approximately 250,000 have been displaced in the eastern part of the country. Following a brief cease-fire declared by the forces under the command of General Laurent Nkunda, fighting again erupted on the 4th of November. Ever since the 1994 Rwanda Genocide, and the subsequent wars that raged between 1996 and 2002, the country has hardly seen a moment’s respite. The Kivu region has been the epicentre of the latest round of fighting. In an interview with Firoze Manji, Ernest Wamba Dia Wamba outlines the conditions necessary for a lasting peace in the DRC Continue reading Balkanisation and crisis in eastern Congo

Emergency summit aims to resolve DRC conflict

Mail and Guardian

Losing hope A group of internally displaced people in the Democratic Republic of Congo are seen on a hilltop near the town of Kibati on Wednesday. The humanitarian situation in the region remains dire following clashes between rebels and government forces. (Roberto Schmidt, AFP)
Losing hope A group of internally displaced people in the Democratic Republic of Congo are seen on a hilltop near the town of Kibati on Wednesday. The humanitarian situation in the region remains dire following clashes between rebels and government forces. (Roberto Schmidt, AFP)

Rebels and pro-government militia clashed for a second successive day in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Wednesday, rocking a fragile ceasefire as Kenya announced it would host an emergency summit on the crisis.

“There will be a summit in Kenya on Friday,” Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula said, adding that the presidents of DRC, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and representatives of the United Nations and African Union would attend.

“The agenda will be… the fighting in eastern DRC and how to resolve it,” said Wetangula.

The announcement came as Laurent Nkunda’s rebel forces and Mai Mai militia battled for the second day running in the eastern province of Nord-Kivu, sparking a fresh exodus of displaced people and jeopardising a fragile ceasefire that has held for the past week.

The local Mai Mai said on Tuesday they would take up the fight against Nkunda after his forces routed government soldiers in an offensive that swept several towns last week.

The fighting at Kiwanja near the north-eastern town of Rutshuru forced aid workers and UN agencies to suspend their activities and withdraw staff late on Tuesday, just a day after bringing the first aid convoy in a week to the rebel-held territory. Continue reading Emergency summit aims to resolve DRC conflict