Monday, February 28, 2011

Khadaffi Sycophancy

A piece of "Khadaffi sycophancy"written yesterday by Hakeem Babalola, an African living in Hungary, who visited Tripoli and attended the "historic meeting of African diaspora" there last month. Two beautiful quotes that could have walked straight out of some of the inspiring stories by one of my favorite journalists on Kigali and Rwanda's visionary leader, Paul Kagame:
"I was impressed to see an African leader being genuinely loved by his people"
"What I found out during my three-day-stay in Tripoli is this: Almost every Libyan has roof over their head. Life expectancy is said to be over 70. Per capital income is about 12,000 dollars. It seems the rich and the “poor” eat the same kind of food. And there’s almost no beggar and homeless in Tripoli."

Friday, February 25, 2011

African Refugees Trapped In Gaddafi's Libya

Update saturday february 26:
RFI Laura Angela Bagnetto writes:
"refugees suffer during Libya protests"
Obviously in an effort to try to please the Dutch Xenophobic electorat which has, for the last decade, been mainly using the polls to express it's total lack of respect for fellow citizens (of foreign origin) and baseless hatred for immigrants, Uri Rosenthal's, Dutch foreign affairs minister, first reaction to the Libyan crisis was twofold:
"Let's get Dutch citizens out of Libya safely and make sure no more immigrants reach Europe."
Italy's government reaction yesterday focused on the:
"threat of massive immigration from Libya"
The UN recently published a report on racism in Libya against the two million Subsaharan migrant workers.

In that context, we read about the fate of thousands of stranded African refugees inside Libya. Adding to their hopeless situation is the cynical use by Kadafi of African Mercenaries. The mercenary story has off course been widely published, and will soon be circulating at highspeed throughout the african blogosphere, Ethiopian, Eritrean and Somalian bloggers have allready geared up in a desperate cry for help.
Yusuf Dirir Ali, a Somalian blogger writes:
"many angry mobs are targeting black Africans after reports that the government was using “African mercenaries” to repress the revolt was transmitted by Western media."
A cry for help, repeated by another Somali blogger: Somali For Jesus.

Europeans will try very hard to keep this story out of the news. Showing pictures of "our" pilots flying European and American citizens to Krete or Cyprus is what they want to see.
Somalilandpress reported the lynching of four Somali immigrants in Libya. In all likelyhood these lynchings were a response to the stories of mercenaries killings in the street of Tripoli.

Europe has a heavy responsability for the wellbeing of refugees in Libya. The reason I say this is obvious, European governments, like the Netherlands, helped Libya to create a buffer against subsaharan African immigrants to Europe. Who does not remember Gaddafi's recent visit to Italy? It seemed funny to see one of the most xenophobic presidents receive Gaddafi, but in reality the visit of Libyan president Gaddafi was in line with European policy to use Libya as buffer to counter immigration.

UNHCR has allready issued this statement

"UNHCR fears for the safety of refugees caught in Libya's violence"

Thanks Schröder, Berlusconi and the rest Europe for your great leadership in support of this visionary leader.
West’s disgraceful handling of Libya and it's irrational leader:
"See that camel-rider over there?” he said. “That camel-rider takes part in the decision-making process in Libya!”
Germany trained Libyan forces as Anthony Loewenstein writes:
"Schroeder was fixing up a deal whereby elite German commandos would train the Libyan security services"

I encourage my fellow bloggers and all my readers to start blogging this story, just like migrantsatsea, and mutually sharing through social media.
"African refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea have told us that just being a black face in Libya is very dangerous at the moment,’ spokeswoman Sybella Wilkes told Reuters….”

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Yoweri Museveni: Revolution Is What We do

The Rwandan civil war that raged from 1990 to 1994 eventually led to a genocide. During that civil war both sides committed warcrimes.
Seneca Doane claims today:
"neighboring countries had kept the RPF going so that it was ready to stop a genocide when no one else would."

Neighbouring countries? There was just one neighbouring country that supported the RPF: Uganda. Considering the fact that Yoweri Museveni was a revolutionary who had become a radical Marxist @ University Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, and that the population of Uganda was not happy that Tutsi officers held important positions inside his army, the reason he supported the RPF were both practical and ideological. It solved an internal problem. And if he had been a rapper like Eminem he would probably have said what the heck “Mpa enkoni mpa enkoni" (you want another rap?: "Revolution is what we do".

Revolutionary armies never solved anything in Africa, they made things worse. To claim that the RPF was supported by Uganda to end a genocide is falsification of history.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Paul Kagame Invited to Denver Dictatorship Conference?

The Denver leadership conference should change it's name to Denver Dictatorship Conference if it won't back away from the invitation of Paul Kagame, a criminal with a lot of blood on his hands. Paul Kagame is responsable, according to several UN reports, of plundering the Congo, supporting armed rebels inside the Congo, crimes against humanity and possibly genocide on an immensely large scale. He butchered a large number of catholic clerics while invading Congo DRC. Clerics that protested against the way the west, especially the US through it's ambassador Susan Rice, looked away while Paul's troops made sure hundreds of thousands of refugees were killed either directly or indirectly.

Paul Kagame is directly responsable for the assassination of archbishop Christophe Munzihirwa of Kivu in 1996.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sense Of Purpose

Gert Schutte, a former Dutch MP for the Dutch political party GPV, once said he admired the socialist party (SP)'s
"ability to combine strong roots in society with the political handwork."

Nico Schipper who wrote a very critical evaluation report of the 2010 parliamentary election for the ChristenUnie, advises the party to move away from a static top-down to a more dynamic bottom-up party organisation.

It must be disappointing for Gert Schutte to read how little the party did with his wise words a decade since he stepped down as party leader of the GPV.

Winning or losing election campaigns hinges on the ability to align grassroot volonteers with diverse and even conflicting objectives. Markos Moulitsas book "Crashing the gate" makes the case that aligning these splinter groups contributed a lot to Barack Obama's victory in 2008.

I am convinced the only way this can be done is by creating a "sense of purpose".

Today George Harinck wrote an article on precisely this inability of Christian political parties in the Netherlands to redefine their sense of purpose.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

African Grassroot Politics In Groningen: David Kinanga Samuel

David Kinanga Samuel, born in Luanda, is running for office as representative at the provincial council in Groningen, a Province in the North of the Netherlands. As multicultural projectlead he has been and still is working hard to reachout to the African diaspora community in the northern provinces now and during the local and national campaign of the ChristenUnie this last year.

He arranged a meeting of Cynthia Ortega Martijn, MP ChristenUnie, with local pastors of migrant churches in order to engage the different communities.

As local municipal candidate in the village Hoogezand Sappemeer in 2010 he explained february 17 2010 why he chose ChristenUnie. Here are two noteworthy quotes:

"The ChristianUnion stands up for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers . In 2006 we have accomplished a general pardon for 26.000 asylum seekers who had lived many years in The Netherlands."
The Dutch society is multicultural. Many political parties nowadays call this a problem. The ChristenUnion stands up for the right of those who came from abroad to live and work in The Netherlands.

On february 25th 2011 a political rally in support of David Kinanga Samuel's candidacy is organized in the University town of Groningen.

One of the predecessors of the ChristenUnie, GPV, has long held a tradition of real grassroot politics (as opposed to the astroturf). The political handwork which David Kinanga Samuel has done sofar can be seen in that context. Determination, tenacity and conviction have allways been at the heart of the antirevolutionary struggle for peacefull transition and democratic development in Dutch society. Just read this valuable article about Pieter Vermeulen. Elected or not David Kinanga Samuel reminds us all again of how Christian democratic politics is bottom-up, not top-down.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Besigye to Ugandans: Eat Money Used to Buy Votes, then Vote Against the Thieves

Yoweri Museveni, Uganda's President for the past 26 years,
and his rival presidential candidate, for the third time,
Dr. Kizza Besigye. 

Ugandans began voting on Friday, February 18th, with the country's Daily Monitor reporting that there are 140,000 dead people, 5000 people 110 years and older, and half a million foreigners on the rolls.

"The dead people might be so appalled," said Ugandan American Newspaper Editor Milton Allimadi, that they might vote for the opposition this time.

Dr. Kizza Besigye urged any Ugandans selling their votes to Museveni and the NRM to eat the money, get a good meal, because it's their money; not anybody else's money. "Eat it," he said, "and then go and vote against the thieves."

The Twitter hashtag for Uganda's election is #Ugandavotes.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tunisia, Egypt . . . Uganda?

KPFA Weekend News, 02.12.2011:

KPFA Weekend News Anchor David Rosenberg:  One of Uganda's three leading opposition presidential candidates, and others, predict that Uganda could become the next Egypt or Tunisia after next Friday's presidential and parliamentary elections, which few expect to be free or fair.   Ann Garrison has more.

KPFA/Ann Garrison:  Last week the world watched Egyptians in the streets of Cairo, and heard voices of the Egyptian revolution on radio, TV, Facebook, Twitter, the blogosphere, and elsewhere on the Internet. They included the voice of this Egyptian street protestor, which nearly two million people have now heard on the Youtube alone:

Egyptian Street Protestor:  We will not be silenced.  Whether you are Christian, whether you are Muslim, or whether you are an atheist, you will demand your goddamn rights, and we will have our rights, one way or the other.  We will never be silenced.

KPFA:  Milton Allimadi, Ugandan American editor of the New York City-based Black Star News says that Egypt's uprising was really a global uprising, with scenes beamed all around the world, and both Egyptians and Mubarak well aware that the rest of the world was watching.   Allimadi also agrees with Dr. Kizza Besigye that Uganda could be next.

He spoke to KPFA from New York City:

Milton Allimadi:  This should be seen as a sequence of events now, so the world will see this as interconnected.  Egypt was seen as connected with Tunisia, so I see this as a possibility in Uganda as well.  Ugandans are very savy; they're very sophisticated consumers of news and they watched developments in both Tunisia and Egypt very carefully.

KPFA/Ann:  The majority of Ugandans are subsistence farmers.  Do you have an idea of what kind of media and Internet access they have?

Milton Allimadi:  The majority of Egyptians are subsistence farmers as well, but the people that are connected to Facebook, the Internet, and to Twitter, live in the large cities such as Cairo.  The same applies to Uganda.  The sophisticated Internet consumers of news live in cities such as Kampala, Entebbe, Jinja, Gulu, Mbara, Masaka, and these are the ones that would likely show their protest in these urban areas and that's where it counts.

KPFA/Ann:  So you think that, if there is an uprising, it will take place in the cities?

Milton Allimadi:  Absolutely; these kinds of uprisings invariably take part in the cities.  That's where most international, as well as local, media, are focussed and concentrated.    And, in Uganda, I think there's a sense by international media that this is a ground changing election, because the BBC, which has traditionally been very apologetic and sympathetic to President Museveni, has now for the first time deployed a major contingent of reporters inside Uganda, so the coverage is going to be very different and very significant this time around.

KPFA:  Do you know of any effort to block the news and or the Internet?

Milton Allimadi:  Not yet, but there may be plans to do that come election time.  And I know there are many organizations inside and outside Uganda who are working on setting up alternative networks to be able to disseminate information.

KPFA:  U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and Under Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson flew into Kampala, Uganda last week to meet with Uganda's three leading opposition presidential candidates, Kizza Besigye, Norbert Mao, and Olara Otunnu, all of whom told them that Friday's elections will not be free and fair.  Steinberg and Carson then went on to meet with Ugandan President Yoweri Museven, who has been one of the U.S.A.'s closest allies and military collaborators since the end of the Cold War. Before leaving, Steinberg gave a speech at Kampala's Makerere University about the importance of free and fair elections, and protecting human rights for all, regardless of race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

For a longer version of this interview with Milton Allimadi and for ongoing updates on Uganda's election, see the websites of the San Francisco Bay View and

For Pacifica/KPFA and AfrobeatRadio, I'm Ann Garrison.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Great Lakes Blogosphere Roundup

Lindy Janssen @lindyjanssen had a discussion on democracy in Rwanda with a Rwandan student. Anneke Verbraeke @anneketanneke makes me aware of the interview of Brian Endless with Theogene Rudasingwa @mbishya on his work for the regime of Paul Kagame during the invasion of Congo in 1996.

Joseph Powell (@josephpowell) writes some Kagame PR piece at the @onecampaign blog. Honestly, I still don't get why an American development agency has to write public relations pieces on African presidents (dubious or not dubious).

Two Rwandan journalists, Agnes Nkusi and Saidath Mukakibibi, were recently given jailterms of 17 and 7 years. Let's not forget them! Cry For Freedom @Rwandankunda writes about this in his last article: jailing journalists on ridiculous charges.

Sunkissed writes about Philip Gourevitch being on the defensive:
"peddling, spinning, attempting to find his way out of a web he’s woven around himself."

Jean-Christophe Nizeyimana writes on the vasectomy campaign in Rwanda.

If you have any other interesting blogposts concerning Rwanda, Congo or Burundi, comment here or on twitter @coloredopinions.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Shlomo Sand George Sorel's best student

Shlomo Sand
"don't mix utopia with politics, it's very important. Utopia has to direct politics, not to replace politics, it's too dangerous."

His parents had communist views. He received an MA in French History and a PhD for his thesis on "George Sorel and Marxism". George Sorgel's notion of the power of myth in people's lives inspired Marxists and Fascists.

As one of Sorel's disciples (Benito Mussolini) said, men do not move mountains; it is only necessary to create the illusion that mountains move. Social myths, says Sorel, are not descriptions of things, but "expressions of a determination to act.

Shlomo Sand claims that Zionism created the myth of the Jewish people. If you look at his communist family background and his PhD on "George Sorel and Marxism" this seems a logical approach. His central claim is that the jews who returned to Israël are not at all biological descendants of the Hebrews.He writes in his book that the jewish religion, the first monotheist religion, had started to spread across the world several hundred years before Christ.