Leaked UN report accuses Rwanda of possible genocide in Congo

guardian.co.uk

A UN Goma camp area in 1994. Two years later, the Rwandan army attacked the Goma camps, which were full of Hutu refugees, forcing hundreds of thousands deeper into Zaire. Photograph: Jon Jones/Sygma/Corbis

An unprecedented 600-page investigation by the UN high commissioner for human rights catalogues years of murder, rape and looting in a conflict in which hundreds of thousands were slaughtered.

A UN Goma camp area in 1994. Two years later, the Rwandan army attacked the Goma camps, which were full of Hutu refugees, forcing hundreds of thousands deeper into Zaire. The United Nations has accused Rwanda of wholesale war crimes, including possibly genocide, during years of conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Continue reading Leaked UN report accuses Rwanda of possible genocide in Congo

Quechua Congresswoman Fights Discrimination in Education

By Ángel Páez

Hilaria Supa in front of signboard of Congress / Credit:Virgilio Grajeda/IPS

LIMA, Sep 1, 2010 (IPS) – Hilaria Supa has broken down many barriers in her life. Now she has overcome another one, in an unprecedented achievement: this Quechua indigenous woman who never went to school is today chair of the congressional education committee in Peru.

And she is clear on what she plans to do in the committee: work to democratise the country’s educational system, which, she says, discriminates against and excludes native people — something she has experienced firsthand.

In her colourful traditional dress, Supa moves comfortably around the legislative palace in the historical centre of Lima, where just a few years ago the security guards would probably have barred her from entering the building, but now she has been unanimously voted to preside over the educational committee by its members. Continue reading Quechua Congresswoman Fights Discrimination in Education

DOJ brings charges in largest US human trafficking case

The Jurist
Matt Glenn
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced Thursday that a Hawaii grand jury has indicted six people on human trafficking charges [press release]. The defendants allegedly enticed approximately 400 Thai nationals to come to the US by falsely promising them job opportunities and then forcing them to work at farms in Washington and Hawaii by threatening economic harm. According to the indictment, the six people, three of whom work for Global Horizons Manpower, charged the Thai nationals high recruitment fees [Honolulu Star-Advertiser report], which the Thai nationals paid by taking out loans secured by their house or land. The defendants told the Thai nationals that if they refused to work on the farms, they would be sent back to Thailand where they would be unable to repay the loans and risk having their houses and land foreclosed on. Prosecutors also claim that some workers were forced to pay $3,750 to keep their jobs. Two defendants were arrested [AP report] Thursday, two are expected to turn themselves in soon and two remain at large, presumably in Thailand. According to the DOJ, this will be the largest human trafficking case ever prosecuted in the US. The defendants face maximum prison sentences ranging from five to 70 years. Continue reading DOJ brings charges in largest US human trafficking case

Protection of Information Bill: Statement by Cardinal Napier

Southern African Conference of Catholic Bishops – Sent by Biddy Rose Tiernan, SND

The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference has serious concerns about the wisdom and the constitutionality of the Protection of Information Bill currently before Parliament, as well as about the need for the establishment of a Media Appeals Tribunal. Continue reading Protection of Information Bill: Statement by Cardinal Napier

How Poor Is Too Poor?

New Internationalist
The world is on track to meet the first of the Millennium Development Goals – to halve the number of people living below the poverty line by 2015. The trouble is that this line – set at a dollar a day – is a deeply flawed and unreliable measure of poverty. David Woodward explains why, and proposes a radical new rights-based measure.

More than a billion people live on less than $1.25 a day. Desmond Boylan / Reuters

How we define poverty is critically important. Poverty is a moral concept: ‘poor’ is something we consider that people should not be. So, by setting our poverty targets according to a particular poverty line, we are saying that it is quite acceptable for people to live at that level of income, just as long as they don’t fall below it.

Millennium Development Goal One defines poverty as having an income below the dollar-a-day line – although actually this is now $1.25 per person per day, at purchasing power parity (PPP), at 2005 prices. This means that it is an income which would buy the same as $1.25-a-day in the US in 2005. Continue reading How Poor Is Too Poor?

Zimbabwe police torch informal settlement

Mail and Guardian

HARARE, ZIMBABWE: Human rights groups on Friday accused Zimbabwean police of setting fire to an informal settlement in Harare, forcing about 250 people from their homes.

Amnesty International said police, some armed and accompanied by dogs, raided the settlement in the Gunhill suburb shortly after midnight on Wednesday, giving residents 10 minutes to leave their homes before setting the squatter camp alight. Continue reading Zimbabwe police torch informal settlement

General Zuma and troops face defeat

Sunday Independent
What is the status of the South African state’s War on Poverty (WoP)? We don’t really know, because it is one of the most clandestine operations in SA history, with status reports kept confidential by a floundering army in rapid retreat from the front. Initially, the WoP appeared as a major national project. Early hubris characterised the wa r, as happens in most, with victory claimed even before then-president Thabo Mbeki officially launched it in his February 2008 State of the Nation speech. Five months earlier, Trevor Manuel bragged to Parliament that South Africans in poverty “dropped steadily from 52.1 percent in 1999 to 47 percent in 2004 and to 43.2 percent by March this year”. Continue reading General Zuma and troops face defeat

Zim’s home-based-care gamble

Zim On Line
by Chris Anold Msipa
HARARE – At Mavise village, 170 km south of Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, Tambudzia Zinyere recalls how one day, two years ago, the three men approached her homestead.

Two of the men, she had never seen before but the third she was sure she had met before. But, for the man’s emaciated and sickly features, she could not, from the distance, immediately tell who he was. Continue reading Zim’s home-based-care gamble