Tuesday, July 29, 2014

New Zealand: " Earth rim walker seeks his meals Prepare the funeral pyres "

Radio New Zealand National reports

Therapist faulted over spiritual treatment

                                                          Stupid is as stupid does

A massage therapist has been asked to review her practice and apologise to a 16-year-old patient who she did not properly inform about a Maori spiritual treatment she was referring her for.
Excuse me " ..review her practice ..." Doctors, dentist's, optometrists or outside the medical field say architects have practices. Massage therapists... well I guess the honest ones offer extras that both parties understand at a mutually agreed rate.

Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Theo Baker says the therapist should have been meticulous in the way she informed the girl.
The Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner should have declined jurisdiction and referred the incident to the appropriate authorities who might have had the ability to sanction the " therapist " (a power The Health and Disability Commission doesn't have ) like the police who deal with fraud.

The girl, who is not Maori, went to the massage therapist for help with migraines, period pains and sport injuries.
A GP would I am guessing would have cost a lot less and would have additional advantages such as medical training and the ability to refer to specialists.
A report says the therapist told the girl she had problems with her aura and contacted an iwi healer.
An aura from a medical perspective is: 

" Aura: A sensation perceived by a patient that precedes a condition affecting the brain. An aura often occurs before a migraine or seizure. It may consist of flashing lights, a gleam of light, blurred vision, an odor, the feeling of a breeze, numbness, weakness, or difficulty in speaking.."

Or in other words a reason to call an ambulance and get the person to a hospital ASAP.

The healer diagnosed the girl as having six spiritual entities in her and recommend that she come immediately to a nearby river to be cleansed.
I had no idea that traditional Maori health providers  fucking con men had the ability to diagnose what from this report would suggest such a complex medical condition and such a simple cure over the phone. This clown along with our " massage therapist " have impugned reputable Maori health providers and that is what really pisses me off.
The girl gave her consent and waded in the river, but reported feeling felt rushed and pressured. She has been having nightmares since the incident.
Let's have a real investigation. Invoices, payments and lets have a look at the financial arrangements of this " Massage therapist " particularly as they relate to the Iwi Healer.

The therapist is not registered with any professional body and has not been named in the report.
As I said the The Health and Disability Commission has no place investigating this. This is the problem though... who does ? The police I am sure are the obvious authority but " somebody got wet in a river and is having nightmares about it " is probably not going to inspire any cop to turn on the siren and lights.

Sound stupid ?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Africa: " I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. "

Health Poverty Action blogs

The true story of Africa’s billion dollar losses

Today Health Poverty Action, alongside a number of UK and African NGOs, has released research revealing that Africa is losing $192 billion every year to the rest of the world – almost six and a half times the amount of aid given to the continent.

Or in other words the date has changed but that is about all. Lord Ashcroft a finer example of greed and mans casual inhumanity to man I have yet to discover sees it like this.

A billionaire lord has urged the British government to "turn off the golden taps" of foreign aid and stop pandering to "St Bob and Bono".

Lord Michael Ashcroft, who made his debut on the Forbes billionaire list this year with an estimated worth of $US1 billion, has written an open letter to newly-appointed International Development Secretary Justine Greening, cheekily signing off "Michael xx".

"At a time when libraries are being closed and people with disabilities face benefit cuts, there is growing fury over giving away ever-increasing sums to foreigners," Lord Ashcroft wrote in the letter, published on a conservative blog. "
It would seem that if the " Golden Taps " were turned off it wouldn't be us in the west doing the turning. 

This research is the first attempt to calculate Africa’s losses across a wide range of areas. These include: illicit financial flows; profits taken out of the continent by multinational companies; debt repayments; brain drain of skilled workers; illegal logging and fishing and the costs incurred as a result of climate change.

All fair enough but most are quite difficult to quantify, how do you calculate " brain drain " ? I suspect the figures are far higher than the estimates above. Think about it. Then think about how much of the money flowing in to Africa actually stays in Africa and how much simply clears Africa and moves on to western bank accounts. 

These figures highlight the huge disparity between aid and the resources leaving Africa. Health Poverty Action, along with our partner organisations, are calling on the UK government to reassess its focus on ‘aid’ which paints a misleading picture of the UK’s ‘generosity’ towards Africa, and take urgent action to address Britain’s contribution to Africa’s poverty.

Remember the United Kingdom is the inheritor of an empire, the greatest empire the world has ever known. Historically the wealth of a third of the world was at the disposal of that empire. So just how generous are the Brits. 

" The government ring fenced and raised DFID's budget by 34.2 per cent, to £11.5bn over the next four years. That outruns Britain's current record spend of 0.56 per cent GDP on overseas aid and will see it rise to 0.7 per cent of GDP in 2013."

0.7 per cent and the rest of the wealthy west are running on similar numbers. In other words we stole everything we could steal and our aid commitments wouldn't even begin to pay the interest had we borrowed what we stole let alone repaying some of the capital. But here is the rub... Lord Ashcroft and his ilk 

" In the letter published yesterday, Lord Ashcroft wrote he had spent much of his life travelling in Africa, Asia and South America and saw the "grinding" poverty.

Did he really see it ? I suggest not. Does he care well Wikipedia gives us some insight

"On 1 March 2010, after 10 years of holding his tax status as private, he revealed that he did not pay tax on his overseas earnings in the UK."

So we have a man who avoids paying tax and now wants to dictate where the people who actually do pay tax are able to spend it. He may sit in the House of Lords but he has never faced an election, he represents greed. "

Martin Drewry, Director of Health Poverty Action said:

“These figures expose the gross misconceptions about aid and ‘charity.’ The common understanding is the UK ‘helps’ Africa through aid, but in reality this serves as a smokescreen for the billions taken out. Let’s use more accurate language. It’s sustained looting – the opposite of generous giving – and we should recognise that the City of London is at the heart of the global financial system that facilitates this. As the general election approaches all party leaders must step up, and outline how they intend to take real responsibility and stop this plundering of Africa. And NGOs need to change too. We need to move beyond our focus on aid levels and communicate the bigger truth – exposing the real relationship between rich and poor and holding leaders to account.” 

" It’s sustained looting "  or in the words of Midnight Oil..

" The time has come, to say fair's fair, to pay the rent, to pay our share. "

Hat Tip Rosebell Kagumire

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ireland: RIP Tommy. " May your home always be too small to hold all your friends."

The Limerick Leader reports

Sadness as the ‘Voice of Thomond’ Tommy Creamer passes away

The voice of Thomond Park for over 30 years PA announcer Tommy Creamer, holds up his match tickets from 1978 Munster v All Blacks at Thomond Park and a 1995 world cup ticket Ireland v All Blacks from Ellis Park 

RUGBY fans have been saddened to learn of the passing of Tommy Creamer, regarded as being ‘the voice of Limerick rugby’ for close on 30 years.

I was privileged to meet Tommy during the 2005 Lions tour. I knew of Tommy's fame as the ground commentator at " that match ". Munster remains the  only Irish side to have beaten the All Blacks, what I didn't know was Tommy's incredible resourcefulness, while we were queuing for drinks Tommy appeared almost like magic with Heineken's for all, as the only local in our party I was more than a little impressed.

Life-long Shannon RFC supporter Tommy Creamer was the public address announcer at Thomond Park between 1974 and 2004.

He performed the PA duties for the last time at Munster’s Heineken Cup quarter-final clash with Stade Francais 10 years ago.

Tommy was stadium announcer on the day Munster stunned the All-Blacks in 1978.

I was 11 years old at the time and I must have watched hundreds  of matches since then but I would trade most of those matches to have been able to watch that match. Talking to Tommy about it made up for missing it.

During his rugby playing days, the late Tommy Creamer won a Munster Junior Cup medal with Shannon RFC in 1962. He was also a talented soccer player.

Obviously something I am in no position to comment on. I do however recall a great conversation about Ireland and an involved discussion about Leon Uris and his novel Trinity. Both Tommy and his daughter Jennifer were very generous in sharing their take on the political situation in Ireland. 

         Lions V. All Blacks 2005. From left: Me, A woman who's name I have forgotten, Jennifer, Rob and Tommy. 

He is survived by his wife Martha and daughters Geraldine, Lesley, Susan and Jennifer.

His will repose in Milford Care Centre Mortuary this Wednesday from 5pm, with removal at 6.30pm to St Mary’s Church. Mr Creamer’s funeral will take place on Thursday after 11am Mass to Castlemungret Cemetery.

My thoughts go out to Jennifer and Mathew and the rest of Tommy's family. RIP Tommy

Monday, July 21, 2014

Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda: " Appelle-moi mon cherie, appelle-moi "

Africa Top Success reports

Telephony: Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda adopting a common local rate

Good news for the Rwandan, Kenyan and Ugandan consumers. Up from 1st. September 2014, the communication between these three countries will be charged in local rate. This was the decision that was just taken during the 6th. summit of the “North Corridor Integration“.

This is an excellent initiative.
With the initiative “One-network-aera“, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda removed the telephone communication borders. From 1st. September 2014, the mobile phones users will no more need roaming during their travels in these three countries. The communication costs will be the same as if they were in their country of origin.
As a Vodafone user it pisses me off that I can't avoid roaming charges when traveling in countries that Vodafone operates in.
Vodafone owns and operates networks in 21 countries and has partner networks in over 40 additional countries. Its Vodafone Global Enterprise division provides telecommunications and IT services to corporate clients in over 65 countries. "
The usual way of dealing with the telecom's price gouging is to have a second phone and purchasing an alternate sim card when you arrive at your destination. Phones with multiple sim's are common in Africa although that has more to do with infrastructure reliability.

The South Sudan will join three aforesaid countries before the end of the year, according to a communiqué relayed by Jeune Afrique Magazine. According to the same source, this new initiative will reduce at 60 % the cost of the telephone communication between the signatory countries of the agreement.
The initiative should be expanded to include all the remaining Great Lakes Nations, Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia. It will be interesting to watch the economic benefits that accrue from this, they should be significant.

The Rwandan government indicated that “mobile phone operators will have to renegotiate their bilateral agreements to assure the complete implementation of the agreement within the indicated dates.
A bit ironic for this blog but well done Rwanda. Telecom's are notoriously reluctant to alter their business models, if they won't innovate then I have no issues with a bit of government intervention.

Let us remind that Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda signed several agreements that facilitate the free circulation of their populations. Since 1st. January 2014, three countries have adopted a common tourist visa.
This will certainly complement the visa effort. The challenge will be extending these gains across the remaining Great Lakes member nations and breaking down barriers to growth caused by international borders.

DR Congo: " Forever kissing frogs that think they're princes "

All Africa reports

Africa: Sustained Engagement a 'Paradigm Shift' Boosting Peace Prospects for Great Lakes and Congo

                                                                        Russ Feingold visits the DRC

Washington, DC — I walked into the State Department just over a year ago to take on my new role of U.S. Special Envoy for the African Great Lakes Region and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Part of my eagerness in accepting the job came from the recognition that we were entering a period of unprecedented international commitment to and partnership with Africa, including the Great Lakes Region.
Lets remember that Feingold does seem to view the Great Lakes Region with rose coloured spectacles. 

Russell Feingold, US special envoy to the Great Lakes Region of Africa, said the deal needed to raise the issue of amnesty and reintegration of rebels ( M23 ) into the army to ensure its durability."
Now you could argue that with regard to amnesty and M23's reintegration into the Congolese Army ( FARDC ) that America if not the international community with demands such as that was very much advocating for a continuation of the statuesque. It was a bloody stupid statement and given how things played out, a statement I suspect he regrets making. American exploitation of Congolese resources through the offices of Rwandan President Paul Kagame is not partnership.

Having worked on Africa for over 18 years in the U.S. Senate, on too many occasions I watched the international community swoop into parts of Africa in times of dire crisis, only to swoop back out after the first sign of progress or failure. Today, I believe we are witnessing a paradigm shift in how the international community, and the United States in particular, engages with Africa.
Really. A paradigm shift ? The Intervention ( Africa ) Brigade was an initiative of The International Conference for the Great Lakes Region ( ICGLR ) and specifically ironically proposed by Rwanda and Uganda both nations were some what horrified to discover that there was no room for their troops in the brigade. The Intervention Brigade has been one of the game changers for the region and the US and the International Community had bugger all to do with it.

" It takes a lot for a Kiwi to feel sorry for France but I must say I am starting to think they are getting an unjustifiably hard time. Let us remember the Intervention Brigade concept grew out of a meeting of the ICGLR ( International Conference Great Lakes Region ) and was put forward by Rwanda and Uganda under the Africa Brigade monicker. The ICGLR loved the idea and then decided that the Brigade would be more effective as part of MONUSCO much to Rwanda's horror, how fucking ironic is that. Rwanda was given enough rope and promptly hung themselves. "

The increased commitment of the United States and the international community is already bearing fruit in the Great Lakes. When I was appointed, Secretary Kerry's marching orders were to do everything I could to help the region end the armed rebellion by the M23 rebel group. The tide had begun to turn against the M23 in early to mid-2013, after the international community and the region increased the military and diplomatic pressure on all parties. A key element of that push was the establishment of the UN's intervention brigade within the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC and the negotiation of the Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework, signed by 13 African countries.
Historical revisionism ? The US and the International Community ( excluding African Nations ) had very little to do with the " ..tide turning..." As I point out above Feingold was initially so out of touch with reality he suggested M23 should be reintegrated into FARDC.

These steps helped pave the way for a resolution to the rebellion. In addition to military pressure, the end to the rebellion was achieved via the Kampala Dialogue, facilitated by Uganda, with the active participation of a team of international envoys that included the outgoing UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes, Mary Robinson, and me. In December, the Nairobi Declarations were finally signed by the DRC and the M23, representing the political resolution to a long-running rebellion.
And so we descend into farce. The Kampala talks were a joke, in the end the DRC Government and M23 signed different documents and it occurred in Nairobi ( these were Kampala talks ) after the military defeat of M23. Lets not pretend that the Rwandan backed M23 reached a political agreement with the DR Congo Government.
I am of the opinion that Kinshasa are just going through the motions at the Kampala peace talks and so it would now seem are M23. The real issue is that there is nothing for either side to talk about. This much vaunted political solution has failed yet again, neither side is participating in good faith that leaves a military solution on the table. " 
At that point, we could have declared victory and gone home. Instead, we increased our efforts to help the region fully implement the Nairobi Declarations and the Framework, with the vital goal of achieving sustainable peace and prosperity in the region.
Who could have declared victory ? The US, the International Community ? Lets not bloody well lie to ourselves, we had very little to do with it. The progress that has been made has been made by African Nations not by the West or the US. Is this another colonialism ? Yes. Have we gone home ? I suspect we have.

One of the Framework's core objectives is to eradicate all armed groups. The international community and the region, including the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, currently under the effective chairmanship of Angola, are now demonstrating unprecedented commitment to once and for all neutralize the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a rebel group whose members include individuals responsible for the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
" ...all armed groups " That is how we will be judged.

The FDLR has been active in eastern DRC for years, destroying communities, committing heinous abuses, including sexual violence and the illegal recruitment and use of child soldiers, and causing mass-displacement – without any accountability.
It would seem that like M23 the FDLR will not face any accountability. That is a political reality I hate but the alternatives are worse.

" When it come to crimes against humanity I am very much in the " never forgive , never forget " school. However much this goes against the grain it is probably the only workable solution and the alternatives are far worse."

Again, we are seeing progress, although with much work still to be done. Earlier this year, the FDLR committed to voluntarily demobilize, in part to avoid military action by the DRC military and the UN. Regional governments have since announced a six-month timeline for the FDLR to fully demobilize. This process must be credible and irreversible, and the timeline cannot be an excuse for six more months of predatory behavior or false promises to demobilize by the FDLR.
I think the FDLR will demobilise. It boils down to death or surrender. Let's not forget though, that we in the West had fuck all to do with it.

It's up to all of us in the international community to remain engaged and to help the region ensure that the Nairobi Declarations are implemented and the M23 is permanently demobilized, and that the FDLR is finally and fully neutralized and its leadership held accountable.
Just how are you going to hold the FDLR accountable ? The M23 leadership has not been held to account. They are in Rwanda and Uganda. Feingold would do better to stop talking shit designed for Western consumption. The best we can do at the moment is to stop the killing and yes that is far more important than locking up the genociders in the Hague. The dead will wait for the living.  
Mary Robinson made an enormous commitment to progress in the Great Lakes. While the world will welcome and greatly benefit from her leadership in her new role as UN Special Envoy on Climate Change, she will be missed in Africa.
A separate blog. No she did not and neither have you. She will achieve nothing in her new role. She will not be missed. She did very little and has moved on to a job in which she will achieve less. I am very disappointed with the former Irish politician. We can handle global warming, you had a job to do and you fucked up, you left before you had done it. Mary Robinson you are a lite weight.

To continue building on her work, the UN Secretary General recently announced the appointment of Said Djinnit, former Special Representative of the Secretary General for West Africa, to succeed Robinson. Ambassador Djinnit's appointment is a reassuring and welcomed sign of the UN's sustained commitment to the Great Lakes.
He couldn't be worse.

When President Obama welcomes African heads of state to Washington on August 6, it will represent more than a one-off meeting. It will affirm deepened and sustained U.S.-Africa economic, democratic and security cooperation. It is this type of expanded commitment and cooperation which has allowed us to support marked progress in addressing the conflict in the Great Lakes region.

Russell D. Feingold became U.S. Special Envoy for the African Great Lakes Region and the Democratic Republic of the Congo on July 18, 2013. Throughout his 18 years in the United States Senate (1993 to 2011), he served on and led the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa.
He is starting to understand the job. I would leave him and hope.

Friday, July 11, 2014

DR Congo: FDLR - " Did they expect us to treat them with any respect ? "

Radio Okapi reports ( This is translated from French )

Orientale Province: Jean Bamanisa visit the next transit camp FDLR

Bamanisa Jean, Governor of the Eastern Province, in the process of reviewing the Police (Photo Aliana Alipanagama)

Of all the rebel groups and armed militia that plague the DR Congo I despise the FDLR ( and the ADF  Ugandan Muslim rebels ), the rest I merely hate.  To put it in a western context the FDLR are the equivalent of the the skin head neo Nazi scum that occasionally surface in our communities, the big difference being the moment such scum put a foot out of line we are in a position to smash them. 

The FDLR are the remnants of the of the genocidal regime responsible for the 1994 Rwandan holocaust along with it's civilian Interahamwe adherents. My preference would be that all these pricks face the ICC which can sort out the true believers from the hangers on, but that isn't going to happen. Disarming and disbanding them is not a satisfying result but it is a lot better than having them continue to kill rape and rob with impunity in the eastern DR Congo.  

" Their presence is not to be feared , "said Jean Bamanisa.

Actually I can think of a great many reasons to fear such sick individuals, however disarmed and under I assume the guard of MONUSCO means that they will not constitute a physical threat to the people of the Orientale Province.

The Governor of the Eastern Province also reported that a number of countries have expressed their intention to host the rebels under the search for peace in the region.

Possibly but I am unaware of which countries they are. I suspect that the FDLR are now a Congolese problem and repatriation to Rwanda is not an option.                                                     

In early July, the Economic Community of Southern Africa (SADC) and the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), meeting in Luanda (Angola), granted a period of six months to disarm the FDLR. But socio-political actors both Kivu in Ecuador show their disapproval of the proposed transfer of the FDLR in another province of the DRC.

Who could blame them.

Provincial coordination of civil society in Ecuador was organized on June 14, a march "preliminary" to protest against the relocation of the rebels in the province.

The Congolese government proposes to consolidate the former FDLR who do not wish to return to their country in a military camp in Irebu before transfer to the Training Centre of the Armed Forces of the DRC territory Bikoro (Ecuador).

When it come to crimes against humanity I am very much in the " never forgive , never forget " school. However much this goes against the grain it is probably the only workable solution and the alternatives are far worse.

Rwanda: " And I suffer premonitions confirm suspicions of the holocaust to come. "

New Times Rwanda reports

PM urges prosecutors to expedite terror cases

Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi (L) congratulates Mukarugambwa Mukunzi, one of the prosecutors sworn in yesterday.

Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi has urged prosecution to handle cases related to crimes against the State in earnest.
Which is fine but rather begs the question of what Rwanda's prosecutors have being doing to date ?

The premier, who was swearing in four prosecutors at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kigali yesterday, said there was need to beef up the way such cases are handled in order to “discourage those who want to betray our nation.”
The real issue isn't betraying the Rwandan State, it is both the definition of betrayal and  a lack of consensus on what is the State of Rwanda. From the perspective of the Rwandan political elite they are the state and failure to agree with the " powers that be " amounts to betrayal. In parliamentary democracies there is a fairly simple concept of the loyal opposition a concept that has not been allowed to develop in Rwanda and the nation is far weaker for that. As a consequence Rwanda is forced to increase the coercive power of the state hence the need for more prosecutors. 
" In parliamentary systems of government, the term loyal opposition is a term applied collectively to the opposition parties in the legislature to indicate that the non-governing parties may oppose the actions of the sitting cabinet while remaining loyal to the source of the government's power."
Between January and June, 44 people were arrested in the country in connection with subversive activities, and eight guns and 21 grenades were recovered, Police said on Tuesday.
I obviously don't have any information on who was arrested and how many of them were packing guns and grenades. The government of Rwanda doesn't make this information public in any forum I have seen so I can't judge how legitimate those arrests were, that being the situation one can only look at cases that are on the public record.

"The prosecution of Ingabire for 'genocide ideology' and divisionism illustrates the Rwandan government's unwillingness to tolerate criticism and to accept the role of opposition parties in a democratic society," said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "The courts should not be used for such political purposes."
It is interesting to note that the prosecution  persecution of Victorie Ingabire did not end with her conviction and sentence of 8 years in prison.
The Supreme Court yesterday increased Victoire Ingabire’s jail term to 15 years from eight years earlier ruled by the High Court, after it found her guilty of inciting the masses to revolt against the government, forming armed groups to destabilise the country, and minimising the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi."
Just for the record Ingabire's crime was to ask that there be recognition of the thousands of Hutu Rwandan's who opposed the genocide and were murdered by the genocidal Hutu regime in 1994. ( I should also note that my partner and my four daughters are ethnic Tutsi )

" On her arrival in the country in January 2010, to honour the victims of the genocide, she visited the Gisozi Genocide Memorial Centre. In her speech, she stressed that those who committed Genocide as well as those who committed other war crimes and crimes against humanity should be brought before the courts of justice."

“You cannot cut a branch of a tree you are sitting on; whenever you are pursuing such cases, never be passive,” Habumuremyi said.
Actually you can cut the branch of the tree you are sitting on and Habumuremyi is part of a regime that is doing just that.

" The largest ethnic groups in Rwanda are the Hutus (about 75% of the population), the Tutsis (24%), and the Twa (1%)."
New prosecutors
Of the four prosecutors, three will be handling cases before primary courts and one will be in intermediate courts.
The three prosecutors of primary courts are Michel Nshimiyimana, Mukarugambwa Mukunzi, and Claudette Umutesi.
Bonaventure Habimana, who will be handling cases before intermediate courts, said in the face of terrorism they would do their best to confront the challenge in accordance with the law.
Jean Bosco Mutangana, a national prosecutor and head of international crimes unit, said the public prosecution has the capacity to win convictions.
When the judiciary is as politicised as it is in Rwanda it would be astounding if the prosecution didn't win convictions.   
“We have already strengthened the way we handle terror charges, I find these new prosecutors as a big asset,” Mutangana said.
Habumuremyi urged prosecutors to be able to detect new crimes that are being born.
The government of Rwanda should not surprise us. Orwell predicted it.

" In George Orwell's dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four the government attempts to control not only the speech and actions, but also the thoughts of its subjects, labelling unapproved thoughts with the term thought crime or, in Newspeak, "crimethink".

“As the people evolve and the country grows, crooks also devise new tactics, so you should as well be devising new ways to beat them,” the premier said.
" You stretch the frozen moments with your fear.
And you'll never hear their voices
And you'll never see their faces
You have no recourse to the law anymore."

He thanked the prosecution for having handled a backlog of more than 35, 000 cases since 2001 in different courts.
One wonders how it is possible to have managed to achieve a backlog of that amount. I am guessing it refers to all crime not just political dissension cases but how many innocent people does Rwanda have rotting in gaols ?

Rwanda currently has more than 100 prosecutors at all levels of the judicial system, including in primary courts, intermediate courts, high courts and Supreme Court as well as military and commercial courts. 
It is a great shame Rwanda doesn't have justice. Remember the " betray our Nation " statement at the beginning of this article ? Maybe Habumuremyi would like to explain the Rwandan funding of M23 with regard to the context of his statements here. He is of course just another hypocrite.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

DR Congo: " The child before they broke his heart Our heart, the heart that I believed was lost "

Esther Nsapu at Rafiki blogs: Another African blog and even better from Goma. You can't know how happy that makes me. This is a translation from French and cleaned up by me. All translation errors are mine. As this is Esther' blog I have not made any comments as per my practice with Charly Kasereka and Chantal Faida's blogs.

Shasha: Space "friend to children" Shaping the future of underprivileged children


Child soldiers, victims of war and orphan's studying free courtesy of the  friend child Shasha network. In addition to the lessons learned in the classroom they are also trained in dressmaking and design; we have to prepare a better future.

They are about 500 children from the territories of Walikale, Masisi, Rutchuru aged from 4-16 years. They live, study and are supported by free to friend child space (SAEP) at Shasha, a locality thirty kilometers to the west of Goma, North Kivu, DRC.

Most of these children have lost their parents in the recurrent wars of the region. Some are the result of rape and others are former soldiers conscripted into armed groups. " I feel better here. Here after a few months I can read and write " reports Bonane Bazimaziki, 14, former militiaman.

At the age of 13, K. Baeni like most children accommodated in "Space " , could not count or hold a pen. "His integration was not easy but we are proud of him as of all the others  , " said Clarisse Kasaza the manager of SAEP.

Included in this number, nearly 200 girls are taught the skills of cutting and sewing, while boys learn drawing and painting. " I am proud to be able to sew clothes but also to weave carpets , " says FT, a girl born as a result of rape, never having known her parents and abandoned at birth. 

Even the locals are included 

Although this SAEP project is designed to supervise the children victims of war, the work of this organisation also benefits the local people. Included in the school, there is  ten local children. George Bazibuhe, chief of the town of Shasha observes, this organization is also very beneficial as giving the poor village children the opportunity to study for free.

He is proud and encourages developers and managers of this structure for children. " I can hardly pay my rent and my income does not allow me to educate my three children. Fortunately this center exists if not, I would seem irresponsible "explains Nsimire, who sells mangoes in the village.

According to Clarisse Kasaza since the center was established there two years ago, the progress has been significant: " children who were violent became docile. Tomorrow they will become honest and responsible citizens thanks to the education they have acquired.  " But the fact remains that the stresses on parents are large and numerous a fault authorities of the country are powerless to fix so the center must respond.

OK sort of breaking my comments rule but as I was working on this a friend
Kalume Jon mentioned what he was currently doing.

"...in Northern Uganda where Lord Resistance Army operated by Joseph Kony,... now am in evaluation of children's situation, orphans and child soldiers and vulnerable women affected by war. "

From a global perspective these issues should and are to some degree addressed by the UN. Rehabilitation should become a UN Security Council responsibility, the way out of messes like this is to break the cycle of violence. From a New Zealand perspective we need to win a seat on the council in September and getting Helen Clark into the job as UN Secretary General should be a national priority. We may only be four million people at the bottom of the world but that is not a weakness it is our strength. The NZ Government is by virtue of our size close to constituents. 

In 1994 while New Zealand held the presidency of the UN Security Council the Rwanda genocide happened. We attempted to stop it but we were over ruled by permanent council members.  Most New Zealander's didn't  and don't know the Rwanda genocide happened. Had they known, had they mobilised who knows what the international community would have been forced to do, remember the Springbok tour of '81 and we were divide then. New Zealand is almost unique in the world, when we collectively want our government to do something they had better do it or start looking for new jobs. That is our size advantage, that is our ability to change the world.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Uganda: " Crawling behind a Saracen's hull from the safety of his living room chair "

New Vision Uganda reports

‘Why do you call me minister of miniskirts?’

                      Ethics minister Simon Lokodo is wondering why he has to be nicknamed "minister of miniskirts".

KAMPALA - Rev. Father Simon Lokodo, the state minister for ethics and integrity, has expressed his concern over the nicknames he is being identified with locally and internationally for his spirited fight for moral uprightness in the country.

“Why do you call me a ‘minister of miniskirts’?” he asked delegates during the launch of a new AIDS program.

Clearly I have miss read that and so have you. This is close to sedition but closer still to satire.

 “They now call me a terrible murderer in the West and a minister of miniskirts in Kampala,” he said, adding: “Why do you call me a minister for miniskirts? [Is it] because I talked about your miniskirts and morals?”

Remember this is the Minister responsible for ethics.

" In 2014 Stephen interviewed Lokodo in Stephen Fry: Out There where he was quoted as saying "...men raping girls. Which is natural."

Early this year, President Yoweri Museveni signed a law which criminalizes indecency and promotion of pornography.

This law forbids women from wearing clothes like miniskirts and cleavage-revealing blouses ('tops') that excite sexual cravings in public, unless for educational and medical purposes or during sports or cultural events.

Confused don't be ...

" In February 2014, legislation was passed which enacted a dress code, primarily aimed at women. Clothes that are considered revealing or sexually provocative were to be outlawed; "If you dress in such a way that you irritate the mind and excite the people then you are badly dressed; if you draw the attention of the other person outside there with a malicious purpose of exciting and stimulating him or her into sex," Minister Lokodo stated "

In making his recent remarks, minister Lokodo was launching a sh3.1b HIV/AIDs project funded by the Danish International Development agency (DANIDA) at Imperial Royale hotel in Kampala.

“I want to introduce myself today as Rev. Fr. Simon Lokodo, the state minister of ethics and integrity whose mandate is to empower Ugandans to uphold values and morals and coordinate government efforts in the fight against corruption,” he declared.

And what he forgot to mention...

" Lokodo first entered politics in June 2006, at the age of 49 years, to contest in a special election where the incumbent Member of Parliament had died of natural causes. Prior to that he was the Parish Priest for Kaabong Parish in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kotido. He was ex-communicated from the Catholic Church by Pope Benedict XVI when he joined politics. "
“I hope you have heard this.”

Yup... all before.

Minister Lokodo (left) shakes while Mayor of Rubaga Joyce  Sebugwawo at Imperial Royale on Thursday. Right is Alliance of Mayors and Municipal Leaders on HIV/AIDS in Africa Director John Mugisa. PHOTO/Kennedy Oryema

The 18-month project will be implemented in the five divisions of Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) and Entebbe municipality by the alliance of mayors’ initiative for community action on HIV/AIDS at local level (AMICAALL).

The AMICAALL country director, Dr. John Mugisa, said the project dubbed ADMARPS (AMICAALI-DANIDA most at risk populations) would target sex workers, long distance truck drivers, fisher folks, security guards, boda-boda cyclists, market venders and other high risk groups.

The project will be executed by mayors and other urban leaders.

The Uganda AIDS indicator survey (2012) showed that HIV prevalence rate in urban areas stands as 8.3% compared to 7.0% in rural areas.

As I said.... Satire.

" He is well known for his unequivocal position to fight homosexuality in all forms and recently even raided with the Police, a gay activist workshop where participants were arrested. He immediately blamed foreigners saying "they should go home" and that " He does not support bestiality and lesbianism". Amnesty International condemned the raid. According to the article, he closed down a workshop aimed at Ugandan homosexuals "because it's [homosexuality is] illegal"."

Well, ....  Bat shit crazy.