By Beth Tuckey
This article was published by Foreign Policy in Focus on July 23, 2008.
Congress is finally taking up its constitutionally mandated duties of oversight and responsible budgeting – at least on U.S.-Africa policy. From humanitarian relief for northern Uganda to the Jubilee Act on debt relief, Congress is making some very important steps forward on the side of the African people. Although there have been a few major disappointments like the Farm Bill, the legislative branch is beginning to ask the right questions about responsible U.S. engagement with the African continent, particularly with regard to the U.S. military. More
New geological surveys show as much as a fifth of the world’s undiscovered but exploitable gas and oil reserves lie under the Arctic ice. As the ice melts, the pristine wilderness could become ‘the new Houston’. More
Daily Nation – Nairobi
Reports say General Constantine Chiwenga told Mugabe the army was not prepared to honour any arrangement that leaves Mr Tsvangirai as the dominant figure. Gen Chiwenga is the leader of the Joint Operations Command (JOC), which is made up heads of the army, police, prisons and intelligence that has effectively usurped power from Mr Mugabe since Mr Tsvangirai defeated him in the presidential election held on March 29. Another threat came from former liberation war fighters who are said to have ordered the 84 year-old president not to accept any power sharing deal with the opposition. More
Peru has declared a state of emergency in jungle areas where indigenous groups are blocking oil and gas installations in protest at a new land sale law. The measure allows the authorities to send in troops and bans public gatherings for 30 days. Some 65 Amazon tribes say the law will make it easier for big energy companies to buy up their land, parts of which are known to be rich in oil and gas. The indigenous people have been demonstrating for more than a week at hydro-electric dams and oil and gas installations in three different parts of Peru’s Amazon basin.They are angry at a law which they say makes it easier for investors to buy their land because it lowers the bar for consent from two-thirds of a community assembly to a simple majority.
The legislation is one of a number of laws being passed as part of Peru’s free trade agreement with the US. More
By Karen Allen
BBC News, Nairobi
When Raila Odinga and President Mwai Kibaki signed a peace deal on 27 February, ending Kenya’s post-election violence, people took to the streets to celebrate.
The agreement, hammered out by Kofi Annan after weeks of political wrangling, paved the way for a grand coalition government. It was a breakthrough in a part of the world where traditionally winner takes all.
CHILDREN’S Day every year, is devoted to elaborate ceremonies organised by Federal and state governments ostensibly to draw attention to the plight, challenges and future of the Nigerian child but the Nigerian child remains trapped in dire straits. The average Nigerian child is still a victim of socio-cultural prejudices and practices, including child abuse, child labour, child trafficking and exploitation, and the failure of Federal and state governments to put in place, a Child Rights Framework to guarantee the humanity and the future of the Nigerian child. More
“Instead of holding these companies to account for their actions,” says John Hilary, executive director of War on Want, a UK-based anti-poverty group. “Gordon Brown has allowed them to portray themselves as allies in the fight against poverty. The prime minister should be working to address the poverty and human rights problems caused by business, not giving the companies a free ride.” More