Thursday, May 30, 2013

DR Congo: M23 on the move ?

Charly Kasereka at France 24 reports

Congo rebels show off newly conquered village overlooking Goma

                                                                     An M23 member in Mutaho. ( Charly Kasereka )

A week ago, the small farming village of Mutaho was in the news when violence broke out there between M23 rebels and the Congolese Army. Now in control of part of the village’s territory, the rebels invited journalists to come visit their new outpost, a small ghost town deserted by its inhabitants.
This really pisses me off.
The fighting that broke out on May 20 in Mutaho, 13 km north of Goma, the capital of North-Kivu, was the first clash since rebels retreated from Goma in December 2012.
More than a week later, it still remains unclear which party initiated the hostilities, with each side blaming the other. All of Mutaho’s residents have left their homes, and about 5,000 villagers have fled the surrounding area. After taking shelter in Goma’s schools for several days, they are now being taken to refugee camps west of the city by humanitarian organisations.
This could be Louise's story. I still think about her. I hope she and her son are OK.
This fresh fighting took place not longer after the UN Security Council decided to deploy a MONUSCO intervention brigade. MONUSCO now has an active mandate to fight against armed groups in eastern DR Congo. The brigade will have over 3,000 Tanzanian, Malawian, and South African soldiers.
DR Congo, which has seen two bloody wars over the last two decades, has been plagued by a new cycle of violence since a group of deserting soldiers, the M23, launched an attack against the Congolese army in North Kivu in April 2012. The M23 largely consists of former rebels who, after being integrated into the Congolese army in 2009, staged a revolt. The majority of the fighting has taken place in the North Kivu region, a strategic area given its considerable mineral wealth of gold, cassiterite, coltan, and oil. 

“Several days ago, farmers still lived there”

The M23 invited journalists from Goma to prove to the world that they, in fact, did have control over the small village of Mutaho, which the Congolese authorities claimed to have retaken after some fighting. They brought us there in Jeeps. The part of the village that I visited was indeeded controlled by the rebels. [Contacted by FRANCE 24, a Congolese army spokesman claimed, once again, that the army controlled the entire village’s territory.] On-site, soldiers were absolutely delighted to see us. Some were peacefully cooking, others were joking around as we walked through the village. They particularly insisted on showing us how this village has a view over the city of Goma, given its elevated position. The rebels told us that, from their vantage point, they can see what is going on in each neighbourhood of Goma, and that they can also supervise activity at the airport.
FARDC are once again talking bullshit.
The view of Goma. ( Charly Kasereka )
An abandoned home in Mutaho. ( Charly Kasereka )
There isn’t a single civilian left in Mutaho. Absolutely everyone has fled. You can’t help but be sad when you see these men swaggering around this ghost town as if it belonged to them. Several days ago, farmers still lived here. They were forced to leave right as the bean crop was starting to grow. Now these innocent civilians are on the road, starving. In Goma, there are just so many displaced persons. They can’t find work and they have nothing to eat.
In the village ( Charly Kasereka )

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rwanda: Louise Mushikiwabo does batshit crazy.

New Times ( Rwanda ) reports

‘Kikwete’s remarks on FDLR shocking’

Mushikiwabo says President Kikwete could be just another sympathiser for the group whose ideology is still being fought in Rwanda and worldwide. The New Times/File.

Remarks made by President Jakaya Kikwete on the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels have been described as “aberrant” and “shocking”.

The Tanzanian President suggested - during an AU summit on Sunday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - that Kigali should negotiate with the Congo-based rebels. The Summit tackled security issues on the continent, including instability in eastern DR Congo.

Rosebell Kagumire drew this spat to my attention on facebook this morning.

" And this madness from Rwanda shdnt be allowed by East Africans! Jakaya Kikwete calls for talks between Rwanda and FDLR and we have Rwandan genocide survivors saying he has a plan to exterminate them! why dont we respect history and not misuse these words!! "

Rosebell Kagumire ( Facebook ) 

But in an interview with Radio France Internationale (RFI) on Monday, Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo said Rwanda will not consider negotiating with people who are responsible for the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

There can be little doubt that the perpetrators of the genocide in an ideal world should not be negotiated with. We don't live in an ideal world. Imagine if you can that Nelson Mandela had decided to adopt the same approach to the apartheid regime that preceded the ANC's assumption of power. 

“Those who think that Rwanda today should sit down at the negotiating table with FDLR simply don’t know what they are talking about,” she said adding that it is unfortunate that the rebel group has sympathisers in the region, including President Kikwete himself, should he not retract his comments.

President Kikwete has very legitimate reasons for wanting negotiations Tanzania is leading MONUSCO's Africa brigade. This is to become the offensive arm of the MONUSCO deployment anything that limits the potential casualties that may be inflicted on the Africa brigade should be considered and if that means talking to the FDLR however distasteful that may be, it should be done.

Mushikiwabo told the French broadcaster that she did not expect President Kikwete to suggest that Rwanda negotiate with known terrorists since he has served as a foreign affairs minister for his country and knows the FDLR background.

Which shows Mushikiwabo's geopolitical failings and unsuitability for her role.

Minister Mushikiwabo pointed out that President Kikwete could be just another sympathiser for the group whose ideology is still being fought in Rwanda and worldwide.

Ignorance springs to mind.

“There are many spokespeople for the FDLR. Some are ideologically aligned to the FDLR. We stopped the Genocide but we didn’t stop the ideology,” she added.

That amounts to a major admission of failure on Rwanda's part. Alex Engwete  points out on this issue.

" Mushikiwabo, who has the reputation in the DRC of a mudslinger extraordinaire, is the only person in the region who doesn't see the logic in Kikwete's statement." 

The FDLR is made up of members who are largely responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. The group, named by the UN as a terrorist organisation, has been involved in creating instability in eastern Congo along with several armed militia roaming in the region and it attacked Rwanda twice last year, killing two people.

After 20 years ? I doubt it. Yes they are rebels but most of them would have been children when the 1994 genocide occurred.
Reactions from experts

At the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the African Union- celebrated last weekend in Addis Ababa, a meeting involving parties concerned by the Addis Ababa Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region signed in February was held, during which President Kikwete called for all-encompassing talks with belligerents in the Congo.

Something that would seem very reasonable to me.

He reportedly told participants at the meeting, including Rwandan and Ugandan Presidents Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni, that the recently deployed UN brigade will only be able to help temporarily, essentially calling for all the concerned parties to enter into talks with rebels.

I find that hard to believe. Mind you I wouldn't blame Tanzania one bit for starting to get disheartened given the stupidity both the DR Congo and Rwanda are indulging in at the moment.

The Tanzanian President suggested that Rwanda engages in direct talks with the FDLR and that President Museveni holds talks with the rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces-National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-NALU) that is opposed to his government.

Several experts and analysts in Rwanda reacted to Kikwete’s comments with condemnation.

Professor Pierre Rwanyindo, Director of the Kigali-based Institute of Research and Dialogue for Peace (IRDP) told The New Times yesterday that negotiations with the FDLR are simply impossible and Kikwete seems to “ignore the history”.

“He (Kikwete) should first ask himself how FDLR ended up in Congo since they are not Congolese. The Rwandan government encourages all Rwandan refugees to return home, but the FDLR just want to attack Rwanda because of the crimes they committed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi,” Rwanyindo said.

Foxtrot Foxtrot Sierra. Who is ignoring history here ? Interesting what happens to Rwandans who return home though.

Insult to Rwandans

The Chairperson of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs committee, MP Gideon Kayinamura, also said negotiating with the FDLR is insulting.

“You just don’t enter into negotiations with genocidaires. It’s an insult on Rwandans,” he said.

Alice Umutoni, a survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi said that as Tanzania’s President, Kikwete should know better.

“Given that the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is based in Tanzania, we have no doubt that President Kikwete has been following the court proceedings and should comprehend the threat posed by the FDLR to Rwanda’s and the region’s peace and security,” Umutoni said.

Last month, the United States renewed its staked $5 million (about Rwf3.2 billion) for information leading to the arrest, transfer and conviction of FDLR’s leader Sylvestre Mudacumura.

Rwanda grow the fuck up.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

DR Congo: Goma Fire adds to the devastation.

Charly Kasereka at L'ACTU DU KIVU reports.

 ( Being functionally illiterate in French I have used  Google Translate. The pictures are Charly's ) 

Dilemma in desolation and insecurity in Goma.
                                                7 burned in the Virunga / Q area north of Goma house

 After suffering the effects of the shells fell on goma, a fire was reported last Thursday evening to VIRUNGA district, commune of Karisimbi, City of Goma where many valuables were burned, fortunately there was no loss of lives.

Less than 48 hours after the incident, on the night of Friday and Saturday 25, thieves not otherwise identified armed robbery have raided seven residential houses.

 Money, phones and other property values ​​have been won. Victims of systematic looting were beaten and even hurt. A police officer who lives in the area came to the rescue, but in vain. The attackers vanished into the wild after their package. So far no result.

 Security should be intensified over the whole of the Northern Province - Kivu. The population of the city of Goma led a hard life, with psychosis fights that are reported in the hills and MUJA Mutaho just 13 kilometers north of Goma city center.

                                                          A line to get 20 liters of water after 3 hours of waiting

Not only is this fear especially in the neighborhoods north of downtown. it's been over a week that drinking water does not run during the day to our taps.

 Until then, REGIDESO (public state company responsible for the production and distribution of water) has not yet decided to Gomatraciens can explain the problem that causes the water cut for more than a week.

Girls, boys and parents are forced to wake up very early to get this food became scarce, while the risks are many to many-including sexual violence, harassment and killings for us northerners Goma .

 With unemployment whether youth as with their parents, everyone throws in the informal self-help, and the little that we can win is won by people of ill will to make it poor benefit.

A challenge to relever.nous need a real leader in this country. What day Northern Province - Kivu will be stable? What is the nose is the problem of the Northern Province - Kivu?

One thing that always makes exception in the DRC, the leaders of public companies do not have the culture to resign if they are failed in the execution of their mission to serve the nation.

                                                      A father with his bike to meet the needs of his family

                                                          Looking for a commodity that has become rare in Goma

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Rwanda: Rewarding the rapist. The Ban & Jim Show.

New Times ( Rwanda ) reports

World Bank, UN chiefs hail Rwanda’s gender policies

This was the highest-profile sexual-violence case ever tried in the Central African country, and it brought a landmark verdict in a nation where thousands are believed to be raped each year by soldiers and militia groups that often go unpunished.

UN Secretary General, Ban ki-Moon and World Bank president, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, have hailed Rwanda’s commitment to end Gender Based Violence (GBV).

The two officials made the remarks yesterday after holding talks with President Kagame at Village Urugwiro.

Oh please no. Is Ban-ki Moon that much of a fool. Actually I suspect he is, President Paul Kagame  is the man behind  M23 and much of the rape in the DR Congo. It would seem to me at any rate the man who this week advertised his ignorance of the DR Congo and the Congolese with the clanger " Congolians "   can't even be bothered listening to the advise of his own advisers.

“Conflict-related sexual violence is one of the most urgent ones. It is important to remember that it is not only a UN issue, however, but one which requires the leadership, ownership, and responsibility of the Government of the DRC,” she stated.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura

It was the first time the heads of both institutions travelled together for a common purpose.

Jim said that during his visit, he was impressed by two best practices: a housing project for disabled ex-combatants who include former FDLR militia and the government’s commitment in fighting GBV.

“I have never seen a country approach the issue of Gender based violence as you have. Rwanda demonstrates the best example in women empowerment,” he said.

I am struggling at this point. Kagame might like to explain the situation that Victoire Ingabire finds her self in. GBV along with political repression are of course standard practice for a Crocodile.

“I appreciate your commitment to your people. You are a great inspiration to me,” he said, pledging to continue working with the UN. “I hope many African countries will emulate Rwanda.”

On his part, Ban praised the country’s progress and the leadership of President Kagame.

“I have admiration for President Kagame for his leadership and commitment, not only in the region, but in making his people prosperous,’” he noted.

I really think it is about time the UN turfed this vacuous fool out. The UN are a wast of space in the DR Congo and Moon should fall on his sword for that reason alone although there are many other reasons that occur to me. 

The duo arrived in Rwanda yesterday on a regional tour which has also taken them to Mozambique and DRC. They will then head to Uganda and Ethiopia.

The tour is aimed at coordinating their efforts in building peace and stability in Africa, especially in the Great Lakes Region and reinforcing partnerships between the United Nations and the World Bank towards Africa’s development.

They toured a project for disabled demobilised soldiers in Nyarugunga, Kigali and paid tribute to victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi at Gisozi Memorial Centre.

They also toured Isange One Stop Centre which provides response, care and support to GBV victims, before laying a foundation stone for the Centre of Excellence for the fight against violence against girls and women in conflict situations at the Headquarters of the Rwandan National Police.

I quite like Alex Engwete's take on this.

" Well, for one, in the the DRC, where thousands of women were raped by Rwandan and Ugandan armed goons during the 5-year occupation of the country by Rwanda and Uganda, there's just no way that politicians would be telling people that they'd be emulating the hypocritical and murderous regime of Kagame on any topic--and especially GBV--any time soon."

The centre is an initiative of security organs from thirteen countries in Africa to respond to the global fight to end violence against women and girls.

Speaking after laying the foundation stone,  the UN boss said the new centre will coordinate efforts of Africa’s army and police officers to fight against gender based violence which constitutes a new hope for women and girls still suffering in the continent’s conflict-torn regions.

“This Centre will enhance cooperation between security institutions across Africa,” Ban said. “It will strengthen mechanisms and policies to prioritise prevention and address violence against women and children, especially in conflict.”

The ceremony was attended by Rwanda’s Inspector General of Police Emmanuel Gasana, Minister for Family and Gender Promotion, Oda Gasinzigwa, and Minister for Internal Security, Sheikh Musa Fasil Harerimana.

Citing the one-stop centres where victims and survivors can receive free legal and medical assistance and counselling, community policing, gender desks in the National Police and Defence Forces, and how the country remains Africa’s leading contributor of female police officers to the United Nations peacekeeping missions, Ban concluded that Rwandans “have made a profound difference.”

Rwanda has been registering GBV cases and helping those who are affected through initiatives to reach out to the victims.

About 69 per cent of the GBV victims who are received at the Kacyiru Police Hospital-based Isange One Stop Centre which assists people affected by GBV are women.

At least 5,216 GBV cases have so far been registered at the centre since July, 2009.

With the new centre of excellence against GBV, Rwanda is set to host a continental Secretariat to coordinate efforts by police and army officers to protect women and girls against violence.

Ban and Jim are expected to make a joint pronouncement on their support to Rwanda and the region as a whole and offer tangible, short and medium term financial and technical assistance for the development aspects.

Friday, May 24, 2013

DR Congo: Goma: Charly Kasereka at the DR Congo ground zero.

Charly Kasereka at L'ACTU DU KIVU reports.

 ( Being functionally illiterate in French I have used  Google Translate. I assume that Charley is the " Observer "  and the pictures are his. )


                                               A piece of sheet metal which has undergone the effect of the shell

Clashes since Monday, May 20 in the regular army rebel M23 had hitherto spared Goma. But on Wednesday morning, the capital of North Kivu, in eastern DRC, has been hit by several shelling. Our Observer went to the scene.

The first shell fell around 10 in the district of Kyeshero, located west of downtown Goma, near the FARDC position. It resulted in one death and three injured, according to a preliminary assessment.

At mid-day, other shells hit western town near the school Mikeno Ndosho making new injuries including a 3 year old child seriously affected.
 The victims were taken to a hospital CBCA BETHHESDA Ndosho.
The origin of the shelling was not confirmed by independent sources, but the army accuses the M23.

                                                          A victim of shells fell on Wednesday, May 22 Goma

After six months of relative calm, the region of Goma in eastern Democratic Répubilque Congo, is again the scene of violence. Since May 20, the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) and the rebel M23 confront a few kilometers north of the capital of North Kivu. Our Observer sent pictures of this city where very few journalists are present ourselves.

The fighting broke out early in the morning Mutaho, 10 km north of Goma. Firing with heavy weapons were heard, the Congolese army has used attack helicopters. More than 1,000 people have fled the combat zones to seek refuge in IDP camp Mugunga. After a few hours of calm, fighting resumed on Tuesday around Rusayo and Kibati.

Both sides accused each other of responsibility for the attack. The side of the regular army, we are assured that it is the rebels who started the hostilities. The M23, however, says that it is the FARDC that triggered the fighting. According to the governor of North Kivu, interviewed by Radio Okapi, the attack on the M23 would be to call into question the UN, which is deploying a brigade intervention to secure the area.

Should we fear a new invasion of the town by the M23, as was the case last November? For now, the situation remains unclear. If some people we contacted said they did not feel threatened, others say they feel an atmosphere of fear, especially in outlying areas of the west of Goma.
                 UN peacekeepers secure the IDP camp Mugunga 3 after the departure of its occupants for fear of shells

From Charly  Kasereka Facebook page 

The clashes between Monday, May 20 from the regular army to rebel M23 had hitherto spared Goma.
But on Wednesday morning, the capital of North Kivu, in eastern DRC, has been hit by several shelling.

The first shell fell around 10 in the district of Kyeshero, located west of downtown Goma, near the FARDC position. It resulted in one death and three injured, according to a preliminary assessment.

At mid-day, other shells hit west of the city, making new injuries. The victims were taken to the hôpitalBETHESDA in the same quaartier.
The origin of the shelling was not confirmed by independent sources, but the army accuses the M23. These events came as Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, was heard in Goma.

Report signed Ferdinand Mugisho Mutaani FM

Insecurity is still talked about in North Kivu.

The first quarter of this year 2013 has been caratérise by insecurity in the city of Goma in particular and the entire province of North Kivu in general.

More than two dozen deaths and hundreds of cases of kidnapping were reported in the area of Goma, Beni, and butembo Rutsuru a zoned occupied by the rebel M23 since last year 2012.
At the National Assembly members elected national North Kivu have heckled the interior minister last week to explain to the Assembly on this issue.

Reporting of Ferdinand Mugisho Mutaani FM / Goma

As Pablo suggests one should always triangulate news and I can confirm these reports from Significant Other's family who like Charly live in Goma and reported the shelling to us.

It should be remembered this is occurring with a back drop of the visit to Goma of UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon and  World Bank head Jim Yong Kim.

The BBC reports.

M23 rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have declared a ceasefire for UN chief Ban Ki-moon's visit to the conflict-hit area, a spokesman for the group says.
Mr Ban has arrived in the regional capital Goma, where one person was killed in a rocket attack on Wednesday.
He said he was deeply concerned by the renewed fighting there.
On Wednesday, the World Bank unveiled a $1bn (£660m) aid package to help DR Congo and its neighbours.
World Bank head Jim Yong Kim, who is also visiting DR Congo, said the money would be used for health, education, cross-border trade and hydroelectricity projects.
At least 20 people have been killed since Monday in heavy fighting between government and M23 forces.
UN peacekeeping officer Col Premanku Ghosh said two rockets had exploded in Goma's Ndosho neighbourhood on Wednesday and that civilians were among the casualties.
These have been the first clashes between the two sides since the rebels pulled out of Goma last year, after seizing the city in November.

I am however compelled to draw attention to a comment on Facebook by Rosebell Kagumire  that hardly inspires confidence in Moon.

Today Ban ki Moon calls Congolese Congolians, seriously!! how is anyone to take his visit any serious??? and last year he addressed Kagame ( President of Rwanda ) as the President of Republic of Congo! May be next he can call Obama president of Afghanistan!! This is a person visiting the great lakes region to help find peace in a place he can't learn basics!

Rosebell is of course correct. The UN have been failing to do their job in the DR Congo for years and that Moon as head of the organisation can't be fucked getting properly briefed says it all. We all pay for the UN. Its total lack of effectiveness and accountability is payed for by the people of the Eastern DR Congo with their lives, a far more valuable commodity than money.

Since 1999, about US$ 8.73 billion have been spent to fund the UN peacekeeping effort in DRC. As of June 2010, the total strength of UN peacekeeping troops in DRC exceed 20,000. More than thirty nations have contributed military and police personnel for peacekeeping effort.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Nigera: There is no excuse we have failed you Esther. I am sorry.

Nigera News reports

There is nothing I can really add, other than we are all to blame for this.

Drama as woman bares breasts on court premises

                                                                                          Esther Odozi

In a desperate attempt to draw attention to her misfortune, Esther Odozi, 21, bared her breasts on Monday on the premises of Ikeja Magistrate’s Court as she protested against hunger that was “killing her and the five children” she left back home in Agbor Owanta, Delta State.

Odozi laid half-naked on a road in the court shouting, “Hunger, hunger. Government must do something today. I have not received anything from the plenty crude oil money government is spending in our state. Nigerians are wicked.”

She impeded movement on the premises. Passersby were astonished. One of them, who did not state her name but said she was a lawyer, told our correspondent that Odozi abused the “temple of womanhood.”

Odozi shunned passersby who shouted at her to cover herself as she rolled on the ground. She revealed wounds on her left leg and the right side of her hips; she said she was hit by a car. She refused a N500 given to her by a passerby, saying, “I don’t want your money. I want Fashola to give me N200, 000.”

When our correspondent approached her, she said, “After confronting serious hardship in my state, I was advised by an official of Human Rights Commission in Delta to go to Human Rights Commission in Abuja. I also went to Police Headquarters and NAPTIP (National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons) in Abuja. They all told me to go to Lagos; they said that is where I could get help.”

“My husband, Donald Ogbaja, was a retired policeman before he died of hunger. He married me when I was 17. I bore five children, including twins for him.”

Odozi said she tried to survive on her own by cultivating some crops. She, however, said she was hit by a car and had been hindered by her injury to continue working on her farm.

She said, “I will not leave this court without seeing N200,000 to start business. I want to sell melon and garri. Tell Emmanuel Uduaghan, the governor of my state, and the Federal Government to do something about my condition. They must give me part of the petrol money. I must take care of my five children.”

When she was asked that as a young woman, didn’t she feel ashamed to bare her breast? She answered, “I don’t have anything and I don’t have anything to hide anymore.”

Racial Tolerance: The Cartography of Bullshit

The Washington Post reports

A fascinating map of the world’s most and least racially tolerant countries

Among the dozens of questions that World Values asks, the Swedish economists found one that, they believe, could be a pretty good indicator of tolerance for other races. The survey asked respondents in more than 80 different countries to identify kinds of people they would not want as neighbors. Some respondents, picking from a list, chose “people of a different race.” The more frequently that people in a given country say they don’t want neighbors from other races, the economists reasoned, the less racially tolerant you could call that society. (The study concluded that economic freedom had no correlation with racial tolerance, but it does appear to correlate with tolerance toward homosexuals.)
Unfortunately, the Swedish economists did not include all of the World Values Survey data in their final research paper. So I went back to the source, compiled the original data and mapped it out on the infographic above. In the bluer countries, fewer people said they would not want neighbors of a different race; in red countries, more people did. 
That is so badly worded I had to read it twice to figure it out but if you are blue you are good and if you are red you are not.
Anglo and Latin countries most tolerant. People in the survey were most likely to embrace a racially diverse neighbor in the United Kingdom and its Anglo former colonies (the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and in Latin America. The only real exceptions were oil-rich Venezuela, where income inequality sometimes breaks along racial lines, and the Dominican Republic, perhaps because of its adjacency to troubled Haiti. Scandinavian countries also scored high.
India and Jordan by far the least tolerant. In only two of 81 surveyed countries, more than 40 percent of respondents said they would not want a neighbor of a different race. This included 43.5 percent of Indians and 51.4 percent of Jordanian. (Note: World Values’ data for Bangladesh and Hong Kong appear to have been inverted, with in fact only 28.3 and 26.8 percent, respectively, having indicated they would not want a neighbor of a different race. Please see correction at the bottom of this post.)
Racial tolerance low in diverse Asian countries. Nations such as Indonesia and the Philippines, where many racial groups often jockey for influence and have complicated histories with one another, showed more skepticism of diversity. This was also true, to a lesser extent, in China and Kyrgyzstan. There were similar trends in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
One guy on face book today described this as the cartography of bullshit and I am inclined to agree. The Washington Post then produced another map showing ethnic diversity in nations around the world. 

What the hell ethnic diversity has to do with race is the obvious question. Interestingly the DR Congo is one of the most ethnically diverse in the world where as Australia is ethnically homogeneous.
  African countries are the most diverse. Uganda has by far the highest ethnic diversity rating, according to the data, followed by Liberia. In fact, the world’s 20 most diverse countries are all African. There are likely many factors for this, although one might be the continent’s colonial legacy. Some European overlords engineered ethnic distinctions to help them secure power, most famously the Hutu-Tutsi division in Rwanda, and they’ve stuck. European powers also carved Africa up into territories and possessions, along lines with little respect for the actual people who lived there. When Europeans left, the borders stayed (that’s part of the African Union’s mandate), forcing different groups into the same national boxes.
The problem then becomes not an issue of race but ethnicity or more simply apples being compared with oranges. I can assure you New Zealand is far more racially diverse than the DR Congo. When it comes to ethnic diversity we are middling. 
Batshit crazy ? 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

South Africa: Shark Attack

The Civilian  reports

The Sharks suspended over Muriwai Beach Attack

SANZAR, the multinational body governing the Super XV Rugby competition, has suspended South African team The Sharks from all upcoming matches following last week’s horrific attack on a man at Muriwai Beach, west of Auckland.

Adam Strange, 46, was swimming at Muriwai on February 27th when he was set upon and viciously torn to shreds in an apparent shark attack. He died at the scene. While it was initially understood that Strange was attacked by a single shark, more recent reports have indicated that two sharks were involved in the incident.

Today’s suspension came after a week and a half where police failed to determine which two sharks were responsible for the attack. “While we regret having to suspend an entire team for the actions of just a few” said SANZAR Chief Executive Greg Peters. “We cannot simply stand by and do nothing while rumours continue to swirl around our organisation. The fact of the matter is, people want to know which of our players dragged a man underwater and tore him limb from limb just so they could eat his flesh, and that kind of speculation does nothing but damage to the Super XV brand.”

That damage was most apparent at last week’s face-off between The Sharks and The Stormers, at which the Cape Town stadium failed to reach even half capacity; many ticket-holders expressing that they were simply too afraid to show up.

Stadium-goers weren’t the only ones unnerved. Captain of The Stormers Schalk Burger, who lost to The Sharks in Cape Town, suggested that the outcome may have been influenced by his team’s “crippling fear” of “being mauled to death”. “I think you’re just acutely aware, when you’re out there, of what happened in Auckland last week” he said after the match. “And you think to yourself, ‘God, I better not get too close to Kankowski.’”

Acting Sharks captain Francois Steyn spoke to reporters briefly today. “Look, obviously, we don’t want to talk about this at the moment” he said. “But as you can imagine, the boys are pretty disappointed.” When asked who on his team he thought was most likely to have savagely devoured a man at a public beach, he responded “Probably Mtembu.”

Earlier today, reporters reached out to The Sharks’ Team Manager, Trevor Barnes, but he declined to comment. Instead, he issued a statement which read, in part: “The Sharks are extremely disappointed by today’s decision, and we will be challenging the ruling in due course. We made it very clear to the board that we take this situation seriously, and we have been fully cooperating with police. This decision is completely inexplicable to us.” The statement went on to claim that team management had given police “complete access” to “all our black players”, and would willingly hand them over if suspension were lifted.
As a result of the suspension, The Southern Kings, who were set to face off against The Sharks this weekend, will not have their match rescheduled, and will instead be playing against an empty field. This came as welcome news to the Kings, who feel that they might now have a small chance.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

DR Congo: It's big. reports

DR Congo giant hydro dam work starts 2015
Work on the world's biggest hydroelectric dam will start in October 2015 in the Democratic Republic of Congo after talks between DR Congo and international officials. 

                                                Three Gorges Dam ( China )
Sunday's meeting on the proposed Inga dam on the Congo river also involved multilateral lending institutions.

A statement said the "foundation stone will be laid in October 2015."
"With a production of 40,000 megawatts, the Grand Inga project will eventually provide electricity to half the African continent," it said.

This is less than half of the DR Congo's total hydropower resources, which the World Bank estimates at 100,000 megawatts.

World Bank estimates suggest that if completed and running at full capacity, the complex could provide energy to up to 500 million African households.
The first phase of the project, Inga 3 Basse Chute, will have a capacity of 4800 megawatts.

The Paris meeting follows a deal signed on May 7 between South Africa and DR Congo for co-operation in the energy sector and for South Africa to buy some of the electricity produced.

Plants would need to be rehabilitated and massive new stations built on the powerful Inga falls, which lie in a narrow strip of DR Congo territory through which the Congo River runs down to the Atlantic coast.

Three consortiums are bidding to clinch the contract for the project: China's Sinohydro and Three Gorges Corporation; Spain's Actividades de Construccion y Servicios (ACS), Eurofinsa and AEE; and South Korean firms Daewoo and Posco with SNC Lavalin of Canada.

Three Gorges Dam in China is currently the world's largest hydropower complex, with a capacity of 22,500 megawatts.

There can be little doubt as to why the DR Congo is such an attractive target for balkanisation.

Rwanda: Never ever under any circumstances tell the truth. Batshit crazy is always better

New Times Rwanda reports parrots

Rwanda is not a small country, says Kagame

President Paul Kagame has said that Rwanda is not a small country as some people may think because the country’s people are determined to own it’s development process and choose their destiny.
Okay New Zealand is a small country so lets look at size.

Rwanda 26,338 km2            
New Zealand  268,021 km2
I personally wouldn't trust a word Kagame says but he is right Rwanda isn't a small country it is a tiny country. On the population front Rwanda does better or worse depending on your perspective.
Rwanda 11,689,696
New Zealand  4,451,017
The head of state made the remarks yesterday in London, UK, while addressing about 3,000 Rwandans, most of them living  in the diaspora.
Actually I have to concede 3000 Rwandans turning up to listen is bloody impresive. There must be hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders in the UK and I doubt that 300 would turn up to hear the NZ Prime Minister talk. Maybe 30 on a good day when there was absolutely nothing more interesting available. 
The colourful event that was preceded by performances by Rwandan artists like Intore Masamba, François Chouchou Mihigo and London-based traditional dancers also attracted Rwandan citizens as well as friends of Rwanda.
" Friends of Rwanda"  I was unaware there were any.
“I used to think that Rwanda is small but following the challenges we went through last year, I realised that Rwanda wasn’t small,” Kagame said drawing a loud applause and a standing ovation.
Yes I have noticed a total inability on the part of the Rwandan government to acknowledge the truth on just about any issue so this is no surprise. 
The president emphasized that Rwandans have made their country big. “It’s not about the size of the country; it’s about the people who face challenges and try solving them without blaming others.”
A UN Group of Experts on DRC accused Rwanda of backing the M23 rebels in a report to the UN Sanctions Committee on June 21, 2012, to which Rwanda presented its rebuttal. 
Following the report, some development partners to Rwanda subsequently suspended or froze aid to the country.
More than some, actually all of them did to a degree but. It is what happens when a criminal takes over the government and then silences all legitimate dissent.   
The Rwanda Day 2013 was held under the theme: “Agaciro (self worth): Delivering Prosperity,” and according to the organisers, this year’s focus was on economic development. The event was streamed live on national radio and TV as well as online.
“We have learned that when you are determined to solve your challenges, you succeed. We will not be made to carry the burden of other nations or allow others to decide our future for us,” said the president.
“Nobody can give you dignity if you can’t give it to yourself. Others will respect you after you have respected yourself. Nobody can donate dignity to you,” he added.
“The problems we faced throughout our history taught us to live our own life. Every person should advocate for self-reliance and determination and this shouldn’t be a shared problem with other Africans. Instead, it should be looked at as a solution.
“Rwandans and Africans shouldn’t continue relying on others. First of all we have resources but because of our thinking, they are being taken away by the same people who want to determine our destiny.”
Wow there is a policy change. Not. Rwanda is going to stop stealing every thing it can get its hands on in the DR Congo ?
At the function, the panel consisting of Amb. Claver Gatete, the minister of Finance and Economic Planning; Claire Akamanzi, the acting chief executive of Rwanda Development Board; Andrew Mwenda, a member of the Presidential Advisory Council; and Amin Gafaranga, founder of Shokola Group, explained to the audience Rwanda’s development progress.
Kagame added that Rwandans created the Agaciro Development Fund to promote the country’s self-reliance following the challenges it faced.
The nation’s first solidarity fund that is financed through voluntary donations from Rwandans and friends of Rwanda, was launched last year and has so far raised more than Rwf28 billion. Responding to some of the questions from the audience, the president urged young people to put more emphasis on job creation rather than being job seekers.
Rwf 28 billion is impressive. That is about 43 million US. 
He asked Rwandans why a citizen of another country has an obligation to sustain their livelihood.
The Eastern Congolese have been asking that question for quite some time.
“We Rwandans are determined. We know our problems, we want to own up to those problems. Even through hardships, we can resolve them.”
Kagame thanked Rwandans for what has been achieved despite the fact that the country still has a long way to go and encouraged them to maintain the momentum and develop relations with others while promoting dignity.
“The world is becoming a global village in terms of technology, innovation and creativity. Finances and other means can always be available. If there is correct attitude and ideology, there is no way we can fail. Although some people may choose to fail, I want Rwandans not to fail,” the head of state emphasised. Kagame also talked about the African demonstrators who lined up at the Oxford University Business School in London protesting against his visit.
“The world is becoming a global village in terms of technology, innovation and creativity."  I would go further and say justice is joining that group. Somethin Kagame might want to bare in mind.
“Those protestors should be going to resolve their problems at home, not is a sign of ideological bankruptcy,” he said. The head of state also touched on the progress made regarding the East African Community integration and answered a wide range of questions from the audience.
Grace Hightower De Niro, an American philanthropist, actress and singer who graced the event, hailed Kagame’s leadership and was impressed by the country’s tremendous growth.
Never heard of her. I am guessing she is a mate of the great American Rwandan apologist Susan Rice.
“You are not just a leader, you are visionary and Rwanda is so fortunate to have you. Growth Domestic Product (GDP) does not move you, you move the GDP,” she said.
The Rwanda Day in London follows four similar events that took place in Boston, Chicago, Paris and Brussels.
The events are mainly aimed at facilitating the Diaspora to learn about Rwanda’s progress towards socio-economic transformation.
Kagame is batshit crazy, he is a Crocodile but he is also a hell of a lot worse than that.