CAR: Fighting in the North Forces Thousands to Flee Their Homes
Insecurity in the north of Central African Republic (CAR) has caused thousands of people to flee their homes.
“Villages have been violently destroyed and looted, including some health centers,” says Pablo Marco, head of mission for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in CAR.
Since the end of January, fighting around Gondava and Ouandago, along the border with Chad, has brought instability to the region. The Chadian rebel group, the Popular Front for Recovery (FPR) is fighting against Chadian and Central African forces. Some 3,000 displaced people have arrived in the villages of Farazala, Ouandago, and Nana-Outa, in addition to the 3,000 people already sheltering in Kabo.
“During the first few days of the fighting, some of the wounded were admitted to our hospitals, including two women who had been raped, but now many more cases are being reported,” says Marco. “People [were] left with nothing but the clothes they were wearing, and they are unable to go back to their fields, so there is an urgent need for food and relief items.”
Photo: CAR 2011 © Anna Surinyach A young refugee in the Kabo camp.
This is the largest monument in the world (situated in West Africa. Dakar, Senegal) “The Child is pointing America to us, telling us to come back home.
Been there :)
Home Sweet Home , Its the First Thing You See When You’re Landing at the Airport : )
DAKAR, Senegal — European Union observers on Tuesday questioned why Senegal’s government is not publishing real-time results from a contentious presidential election, saying that in the Internet age there is no reason for the delay.
Sunday’s election pitted the country’s 85-year-old President Abdoulaye Wade, who has refused calls to step down and is seeking a third term, against a field of 13 opposition candidates.
Results from individual polling stations are being relayed on private radio stations and on the website of the state news service, but the government says it won’t issue an official tally until Friday.
Opposition leaders have criticized Wade, who held a press conference Monday to announce that he is ahead with 32.17 percent of votes tallied so far. They said it is not the place of the president, but rather of the election commission to announce results.
“At this very hour, the provisional results are not yet known,” said the head of the delegation of European parliamentarians, Cristian Dan Preda.
“It’s completely regrettable that this lack of information is fueling tension and suspicion. The administration would gain a lot of transparency if it started publishing in real time the information that it has at its disposal,” he said. “In the Internet era it’s inconceivable that the Senegalese will need to wait until Friday to know the official results.”
Based on results issued by private newspapers and by the president, it appears that none of the candidates got the majority needed to avoid a runoff. Wade, however, was handed a humiliating defeat in areas of the country that used to be his stronghold.
In the capital, Dakar, he came in third with 71,930 votes, behind opposition candidates Moustapha Niasse with 72,486 votes and Macky Sall, who was leading with 80,556 of the 326,500 votes cast, according to results published by the state-owned news service.
It’s a long way to fall for Wade, who spent 25 years as the country’s main opposition leader. When elected in 2000, he was so popular that his rallies were attended by hundreds of thousands of people. Even in the polling station where he has voted for decades, Wade was loudly booed on Sunday when he went to cast his ballot .
Many believe that for Wade to maintain power, he needed to win in the first round when the opposition was split. His chances of winning are much slimmer in a runoff when he will be facing a united opposition.
Wade has refused calls from both France and the United States to retire, insisting on running for a third term in contradiction of the term limits he himself introduced into the constitution, but, he says, do not apply retroactively to him. Weeks of protest preceded the vote, endangering the reputation of a nation considered a model of stability.
Thijs Berman, the head of the 90-member observation mission, said that although the campaign leading to the election was marred by violence, the actual vote proceeded peacefully. Few irregularities were noted, among them the late opening of some polling stations and the fact that not all election monitors checked to make sure that voters dipped their fingers in indelible ink.
Wade has appeared disconnected from the growing criticism, telling reporters that he was going to win with a crushing majority and the demonstrations were “nothing more than a light breeze.”
Ibrahima Mbow, a spokesman for the coalition supporting Sall, the leading opposition candidate, used Wade’s words against him during a TV round-table discussion Monday night hosted by private channel Africa-7.
“Seventy percent of Senegalese rejected him,” said Mbow. “He said it was a little breeze? This breeze is now threatening to blow over his throne. He needs to go.”
“He refused to leave via the big door. Now we’ll watch him crawl out the window.”
|—||Hank Green (via warriorsrise)|
Derba Group, an amalgam of three Ethiopian companies owned by Saudi billionaire Mohammed al- Amoudi, said it plans to invest 59 billion birr ($3.4 billion) in seven industrial projects over the next five years.
The company, formed last month, has already invested 12 billion birr of a planned 71 billion birr in agriculture and cement in the Horn of Africa country, Chief Executive Officer Haile Assegide said today by phone from Derba Midroc Cement Plc’s plant near Chancho, about 70 kilometers (44 miles) northwest of Addis Ababa, the capital.
“The balance will be invested in the next five-year period,” said Haile. Derba’s cement, steel, agriculture and transport operations may generate annual revenue of 41 billion birr and create more than 370,000 jobs, he said.
Ethiopian-born al-Amoudi is ranked by Forbes magazine as the world’s 63rd-richest person and was worth $12.3 billion in March. The 66-year-old is close to the Saudi royal family and his construction company, Midroc, built the $30 billion underground oil storage facility in the kingdom in the late 1980s, according to the magazine.
Al-Amoudi’s Saudi Star Agricultural Development Plc, which is primarily growing rice to export toSaudi Arabia, has leased 10,000 hectares (24,711 acres) of land in Ethiopia’s western Gambella region where it plans to build two rice mill factories, Haile said. The company is also in the “process of leasing an additional 290,000 hectares,” he said, without providing further details.
Investment in Saudi Star is projected to be 52 billion birr, of which 3.5 billion has already been spent on agricultural machinery, construction and consulting, according to Haile, a former works and urban development minister. Annual foreign currency earnings from crops, which will also include sugar beet and cereals, may reach 17.3 billion birr, he said.
Derba Midroc Cement, Ethiopia’s largest producer of the building material, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi this month. The factory will make Ethiopia “self- sufficient” in cement, according to Haile.
The five other projects targeted for investment are Derba Transport, Maya PP Bag, Derba Lime and Chemicals, Toussa Steel Mill and Dashen Cement, he said. The government will earn more than 6 billion birr a year from “value-added tax alone” from the seven projects, said Haile.
The group’s other interests include gold mining, trading, construction and cable-manufacturing operations.
|—||- Ama Ata Aidoo (from her short story ‘She-Would-Be-King’)|
Simple stories make for very effective advocacy. The problem with simple narratives, arise, however, when they drive simple-headed policy.
Severine Autesserre takes aim at the Enough project and other activists in a thoughtful new paper:
The dominant narratives have oriented international programmes on the ground toward three main goals – regulating trade of minerals, providing care to victims of sexual violence, and helping the state extend its authority – at the expense of all the other necessary measures, such as resolving land conflict, promoting inter-community reconciliation, jump-starting economic development, ensuring that state authorities respect human rights, and fighting corruption.
Even worse, because of these exclusive focuses, the international efforts have exacerbated the problems that they aimed to combat: the attempts to control the exploitation of resources have enabled armed groups to strengthen their control over mines; the disproportionate attention to sexual violence has raised the status of sexual abuse to an effective bargaining tool for combatants; and the state reconstruction programmes have boosted the capacity of an authoritarian regime to oppress its population.
This is the problem with pushing advocacy agendas. If you are really good, and really lucky, you can get the UN or US to do one thing this year. That’s a big opportunity cost. Surely one had better make sure it’s the right thing?
#The paper the article is referring to is ‘Dangerous Tales:Dominant Narratives on the Congo and their unintended consequenses’ by Severine Autesserre , which judging from the introduction I read should be an interesting , informative read… https://docs.google.com/a/nyu.edu/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B2UvDYLaoo3iYjI3N2MxOGMtNDlkYS00YWFkLTg2NzgtYzhmMGVhM2EyNmMz&pli=1