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Index May 2011

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2011-05-01: Important Update on AWDF’s Grant-Making Processes;
2011-05-02: Is the World Too Big to Fail?
2011-05-03: Ai Weiwei: Deleted from the internet;
2011-05-04: Redefining public goods, for Africa;
2011-05-04: Mutilations: Kolda met un gouvernement scolaire pour sensibiliser les parents;
2011-05-04: Et si on arrêtait d’avoir peur… ;
2011-05-05: Sad Refrain from Bahrain;
2011-05-06: Dialogue on Front Line Watchdogs: Monitoring accountability for human rights;
2011-05-07: 2011 award winner is a gay rights activist from Africa;
2011-05-08: Human tsunamis and the world refugee system;
2011-05-09: Make it Right for Girls;
2011-05-10: South Sudan: Rethinking citizenship, sovereignty and self-determination;
2011-05-10: Atelier des leaders religieux sur les mutilations génitales féminines à Conakry;
2011-05-11: Tunisia: Another country;
2011-05-12: Documentary: Planet for Sale;
2011-05-13: Evictions, social justice and the constitution – The Muthurwa case;
2011-05-14: An African reflection on Tahrir Square;
2011-05-15: Tell no lies, claim no easy victories;
2011-05-16: South Africa’s ministerial handbook uncovered;
2011-05-17: The Role of Spiritual Practice in the Modern World;
2011-05-18: LIBYA: Looming threat of scattered munitions in the east;
2011-05-19: Offensive;
2011-05-20: Reaping tomorrow’s harvest today;
2011-05-20: Le conseil des ministres: La SONABHY et la CNSS ont de nouveaux DG;
2011-05-21: Switzerland: Implementation of the new North Africa strategy;
2011-05-21: Pour échapper au mariage forcé, 14 jeunes filles se réfugient dans une église au Guinée-Bissau;
2011-05-22: The most tragic day of Igbo history: 29 May 1966;
2011-05-22: Collectif Liégeois de lutte contre les MGF;
2011-05-22: Invitation à la Présentation des activités de Graines de Paix;
2011-05-23: Can youth show the way?
2011-05-24: E-learning course: Use of ICTs and Social Media for Human Rights Work;
2011-05-25: Haiti: Reparations and reconstruction;
2011-05-26: Tell Walmart: Intervene Before Labor Activists Are Sentenced to Death;
2011-05-27: New Report: Flip It to Fix It;
2011-05-27: MGF: résolution WHA61.16;
2011-05-28: Black in Latin America – Mexico & Peru: A Hidden Race;
2011-05-28: Le chef du gouvernement patronne la 11ème journée nationale de lutte contre l’excision;
2011-05-29: Read WHO’s Fact sheet no. 125;
2011-05-29: FEMMES-OUGANDA: Un visage féminin à la tête du Parlement ougandais;
2011-05-30: What Price the Fukushima Meltdown? Comparing Chernobyl and Fukushima;
2011-05-30: Affaire DSK: L’indignation sélective des ONG africaines;
2011-05-31: Lessons from the uprisings in the Maghreb;

See also our pages:

(Sorry, but the different pages for the NGO-blog have crashed … but IF a website is published on my NGO blog, you may find it on the first Google Web-search or Google Blog-search Pages).


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Publié dans France actualité, par Lassané resp. Boundi OUOBA (dont articles par Google Web-search), le 23 mai 2011.

Le 20 mai 2011, a été célébréé en différé la Journée nationale de lutte contre la pratique de l’excision à Dori, chef-lieu de la province du Séno. Sous le thème : « Engagement des gouvernements, indispensable pour l’atteinte de la tolérance zéro aux Mutilations génitales féminines (MGF) », ladite Journée a été placée sous le très haut patronage de Son Excellence Monsieur Luc Adolphe Tiao … //

… Sept structures ou ONG ont, à l’occasion de cette journée nationale, reçu des attestations de reconnaissance pour les efforts quotidiens qu’elles mènent dans la lutte contre la pratique de l’excision dans le Sahel.  Continue Reading…

Lessons from the uprisings in the Maghreb

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Gustave Massiah, May 26, 2011.

The revolutionary uprisings underway across the Maghreb region offer five initial lessons, says Gustave Massiah.

The Arab revolutions have taught us more than the various terms used to describe them. They constitute a phenomenon, in the literal sense of the word, hardly predictable, except a posteriori and which opens new horizons. We propose to highlight five lessons from which we can learn.

The first lesson is that the situation can perhaps be described as revolutionary. We already knew that we were in a crisis – a crisis of neoliberalism as a phase of capitalist globalisation, a crisis of the foundations of the capitalist system, a crisis of Western civilisation and its hegemony. The uprisings of the people of the Maghreb and the Mashriq regions show that it was not simply a crisis – in the sense that Lenin and Gramsci give to the definition of a revolutionary situation: ‘When the ones below no longer want to be governed and when those above can no longer govern.’  Continue Reading…

Affaire DSK: L’indignation sélective des ONG africaines

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Publié dans e, par Boundi OUOBA, le 26 Mai 2011.

Cela fait bientôt trois semaines que l’ancien patron du Fonds monétaire international (FMI), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, est sous les feux de la rampe, pour avoir tenté, dit-on, de violer Nafissatou Diallo. Depuis lors, Nafissa … , cette dame dont on dit qu’elle est belle comme une déesse, pieuse comme un ange et vertueuse comme Isis, cristallise sympathies et compassions. Que c’est noble et émouvant de se voir manifester tant de soutien dans un moment aussi préoccupant que celui dans lequel se trouve actuellement Nafissa, cette vénus dont le charme, à ce qu’on dit, éblouit, fascine et subjugue les hommes au point de leur faire perdre la raison … //  Continue Reading…

What Price the Fukushima Meltdown? Comparing Chernobyl and Fukushima

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Published on The Asia-Pacific Journal /Japan Focus, by Matthew Penney and Mark Selden, May 2011.

On April 12, 2011 the Japanese government officially announced that the severity of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster had reached level 7, the highest on the International Nuclear Event Scale. Before Fukushima, the only level 7 case was the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, whose 25th anniversary was marked on April 26. Two and a half months after the 3.11 catastrophe, the first to affect multiple reactors, TEPCO and the Japanese government continue to struggle to bring the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi under control. TEPCO estimates that the problems could be solved in six to nine months now appearing extraordinarily optimistic and plans have been announced to close nuclear power plants deemed of particularly high risk such as the Hamaoka facility.  Continue Reading…

FEMMES-OUGANDA: Un visage féminin à la tête du Parlement ougandais

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Publié dans IPS, le 25 Mai 2011.

Avec un peu de chance, les femmes ougandaises pourront bientôt réclamer la propriété d’une partie des biens de leurs maris. Rebecca Kadaga, la première femme présidente du Parlement en Ouganda, a promis de soumettre un projet de loi en ce sens à l’ordre du jour de l’institution.

La semaine dernière, Rebecca Kadaga Alitwala (55) a pris ses fonctions en qualité de première femme siégeant à la présidence du Parlement ougandais.  Continue Reading…

Read WHO’s Fact sheet no. 125

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Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli EHEC:

Remedy: Basic good food hygiene practice, as described in the WHO Five keys to safer food, can prevent the transmission of pathogens responsible for many foodborne diseases, and also protect against foodborne diseases caused by EHEC. Such recommendations should in all cases be implemented, especially “Cook thoroughly” so that at least the centre of the food reaches 70°C.


Risk assessment of Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) in meat and meat products …;

Prevention and control of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) infections: Memorandum, 11 pdf-pages;

Guide on Safe Food for Travellers.

Le chef du gouvernement patronne la 11ème journée nationale de lutte contre l’excision

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Publié dans le Portail Officiel du Gouvernement du Burkina Faso, le 20 Mai, 2011.

Le Premier ministre Luc Adolphe Tiao a patronné le 20 mai 2011 à Dori, chef lieu de la région du Sahel, la cérémonie commémorative de la journée nationale de lutte contre la pratique de l’excision. Cette 11ème journée nationale de lutte contre la pratique de l’excision, célébrée en principe chaque 18 mai, était placée cette année sous le thème de « engagement des gouvernements, indispensable pour l’atteinte de la tolérance zéro aux mutilations génitales féminine » … //  Continue Reading…

Black in Latin America – Mexico & Peru: A Hidden Race

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Linked on our blogs with Black in Latin-America. – Watch this video, 51.25 min., published on Black in Latin-America.

Professor Gates explores the almost unknown history their significant black populations: the two countries together received far more slaves than did the United States.
• Visit A Hidden Race webpage.

MGF: résolution WHA61.16

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Publié dans /extrait G /pages 13 et 14.


53. Pour donner suite à la résolution WHA61.16, le Secrétariat travaille avec les États Membres, en collaboration avec les partenaires internationaux, régionaux et nationaux, pour parvenir à l’élimination de la pratique des mutilations sexuelles féminines. Le présent rapport met en lumière les progrès accomplis depuis 2008, et le Conseil exécutif en a pris note à sa cent vingt-huitième session.2  Continue Reading…

New Report: Flip It to Fix It

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Published on United for a Fair Economy, by Shannon M., May 25, 2011.

States are facing their largest decline in revenue on record. The response from elected officials has been downright harmful, shortsighted, and economically unsound. Cutting to get out of a deficit is like digging to get out of a ditch. It puts everything we value at risk. And as we state in our new report—Flip It to Fix It: it doesn’t have to be this way.

A new study, released today by the Tax Fairness Organizing Collaborative at United for a Fair Economy, asks the question: What if there was a solution to state deficits that would raise significant revenue, encourage investment, and create jobs—without cutting vital public services? And what if the revenue required by such a solution could be generated solely by making tax systems as fair as most Americans think they ought to be?  Continue Reading…

Tell Walmart: Intervene Before Labor Activists Are Sentenced to Death

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Published on, not dated nor authored.- Petition started by the International Labor Rights Forum.

In Bangladesh, the minimum wage for a garment worker is a mere US$43 per month.  Studies show that this wage fails to cover the cost of the minimum nutritional needs of a single worker, let alone a family.

When workers staged protests demanding a livable wage, Bangladeshi factory owners responded with fabricated criminal charges against three labor leaders from the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, Kalpona Akter, Babul Akhter, and Aminul Islam. These three organizers spent 30 days in jail, during which they were threatened and tortured. They are now free on bail; however, the falsified charges against them remain. If convicted, they face possible life imprisonment or death penalty.  Continue Reading…

Haiti: Reparations and reconstruction

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Horace Campbell, May 19, 2011.


For two hundred years the peoples of Haiti have been struggling to reconstruct their society. Before the Haitian revolution of 1791-1804 could be consolidated, the French and other imperial powers worked to isolate the revolution for fear that the ideas of freedom would be contagious and spread. But they could not turn the tide of freedom. Failing to stem the idea that the African enslaved wanted freedom, the government and political leaders of France demanded reparations from Haiti, thus distorting the essence and meaning of reparative justice for 100 years.  Continue Reading…

E-learning course Use of ICTs and Social Media for Human Rights Work

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Application deadline: 1 June 2011. – Published on HURIDOCS, by admin, May 23, 2011.

The Human Rights Education Associates (HREA) will be offering an e-learning course Use of ICTs and Social Media for Human Rights Work from 15 June-30 August 2011. This e-learning course is intended for staff members of human rights and social justice NGOs and inter-governmental organisations who are responsible for information and communication (i.e. information officers, web editors, communication specialists) within their organisation. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) and social media are a dynamic field where success is dependent upon skill development and practical experience. Participants will be introduced to proven methods of using ICTs and social media to promote their human rights work. They will become equipped with the knowledge and tools to more effectively design and implement web sites, databases, social media like Facebook and Twitter or multi-media for advocacy campaigns, training and information management.   Continue Reading…

Can youth show the way?

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Musa Okwonga, May 19, 2011.

The fall of apartheid in South Africa has not yielded genuine representation and opportunities for the country’s poor majority, writes Zodwa Nsibande. With political parties happy to remain ‘anti-poor’, it falls upon South Africa’s youth to revolutionise wider society in the struggle for equality and opportunities for all, Nsibande stresses.

Can youth show the way? Yes we can. In isiZulu we have a saying that says ‘Inkunzi isematholeni’ – ‘The bull is in the calves.’ If we are talking about the youth that have made a mark in our history we should not end the conversation without talking about the youth of 1976. And then you will ask the question ‘Where are youth of today?’ You will get the answer within the blink of the eye: ‘They are in the taverns.’ Yes some of them are there.   Continue Reading…

Invitation à la Présentation des activités de Graines de Paix

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Date: jeudi 26 mai 2011, de 18h à 20h – Lieu: rue Cornavin 11, CH-1201 Genève, 2ème étage (interphone)

Reçu par e-mail de Graines-de-Paix

Présentation de Graines de Paix:

Pour vous tous qui souhaitez connaître Graines de Paix ou mieux connaître l’avancement de nos activités, nous vous convions à une séance d’information durant laquelle nous vous présenterons l’association, notre nouvelle équipe, nos activités, nos projets en cours et à venir, nos offres de bénévolat, et nous recueillerons vos souhaits et suggestions.

Cette séance est ouverte à tous et sera suivie d’un verre de l’amitié! Pour vous inscrire suivez ce lien doodle.
Nous vous attendons nombreux!

Collectif Liégeois de lutte contre les MGF

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Publié dans Le Forum, Bruxelles: Contre les MGF, par Jacques Chjevalier, le 14 Mai 2011.

Pourquoi en Belgique, en 2011, se préoccuper des mutilations génitales féminines qui sont un phénomène ne concernant que quelques pays essentiellement africains où leur existence même est à la fois interdite par les autorités et constituent dans la population une espèce de tabou ?

Parce que, et cela date d’il y a moins d’un demi-siècle, des femmes originaires des pays où l’on pratique les MGF ont décidé de rompre le fardeau du silence et certaines ont osé dire non à cette tradition bien plus puissante même que les religions, une tradition plusieurs fois millénaire. Continue Reading…

The most tragic day of Igbo history: 29 May 1966

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Published on Pambazuka News, Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, May 19, 2011.

29 May 1966, the Igbo Day of Affirmation, marks both the start of the 1966 genocide against the Igbo people and the day they decided to survive the violence unleashed against them, writes Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe.

For the Igbo, prior to 29 May 1966, three important holidays were high up on their annual calendar: The Igbo National Day, the iri ji, or the New Yam Festival, and 1 October. The latter was the day of celebration for the restoration of independence for peoples in Nigeria after 60 years of the British conquest and occupation. Or, so were the thoughts predicated on this date’s designation … //


The Igbo’s break with Nigeria occurred catastrophically on 29 May 1966. On this day, leaders of the Hausa-Fulani north region (feudal overlords, muslim clergy, military, police, businesspeople, academics, civic servants, other public officials and patrons), who were long opposed to the liberation of Nigeria (there were no comparable clusters of political, cultural, ideational, religious, national or racial groupings anywhere else in the Southern World, during the era, which had a similar, unenviable disposition of hostility to emancipation from the European occupation of their lands as the Hausa-Fulani leadership), launched waves of premeditated genocidal attacks on Igbo migrant populations resident in the north.  Continue Reading…

Pour échapper au mariage forcé, 14 jeunes filles se réfugient dans une église au Guinée-Bissau

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Publié dans AfriScoop, par Agence de Presse Xinhua, le 19 Mai 2011.

Quatorze jeunes filles du département de Catio (sud-ouest de la Guinée-Bissau, à 350 kms de la capitale) se sont réfugiées dans une église de localité pour échapper à un mariage forcé, rapportent deux radios privées locales … //

… Selon un rapport 2011 de l’Institut de la Femme et de l’Enfant, 29% des filles de moins de 18 ans sont soumises au mariage forcé en Guinée-Bissau.

Les mutilations génitales féminines affectent une proportion de 49.8% des femmes âgées de 15 à 49 ans, d’après le même document. (texte entier).


Unicef luxembourg: Nouvelle campagne contre la mutilation génitale féminine, publié dans Nethumanitaires, le 11 May 2011.

Switzerland: Implementation of the new North Africa strategy

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Published on Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC /HomepageNews, not dated.

Switzerland wants to accompany and support the transition in North Africa. The next steps to implement the North-Africa Strategy were at the centre of discussions at the Regional Ambassadors’ Conference on 1 – 3 May 2011 in Tunis. The President of the Confederation Micheline Calmy-Rey (had) declared: “It is in Switzerland’s interests to work together with these countries in order to ensure the political and economic stability of this region.”

Dossier new North Africa strategy: … (full text).

Dossier Libia: … (full text, with fact sheets in english and arabic).

Le conseil des ministres: La SONABHY et la CNSS ont de nouveaux DG

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Publié dans FasoZine, Burkina Faso, par la rédaction, 18 Mai 2011.

Le conseil des ministres s’est tenu le mercredi 18 mai 2011 en séance ordinaire à partir de 09 heures 00 sous la présidence de Son Excellence, Monsieur Blaise COMPAORE, Président du Faso, Président du conseil des ministres. Il a délibéré sur les dossiers inscrits à son ordre du jour, entendu des communications orales, autorisé des missions à l’étranger et procédé à des nominations.

… II.5. Le ministre de l’Action sociale et de la Solidarité nationale a informé le conseil de la commémoration de la journée nationale de promotion de l’élimination de la pratique de l’excisionContinue Reading…

Reaping tomorrow’s harvest today

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Khadija Sharife, May 12, 2011.

The purpose of agricultural futures contracts is to reduce risks for farmers and the people they supply. But as speculators in search of safe investments pour capital into soft commodities markets, they are driving ‘price inflation way beyond the effects of demand and supply pressures,’ writes Khadija Sharife.

This issue of Pambazuka News carries a piece on role of speculation in the cocoa futures market. The futures market is important, chiefly because – prior to unchecked speculation, futures contracts (agreements between buyers and sellers to exchange a certain on a certain day) could be used as a vehicle to diminish risk and volatile curves, caused by lack of information, disinformation, etc across global lines. Prices then reflected several crucial elements, namely three, as regards agricultural or ’soft’ commodities: planting, availability of ‘old crop’, and demand for numerous agri-crops during different growth cycles.  Continue Reading…


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Published on Rantings of a Sandmonkey, by the Sandmonkey, May 10. 2011.

Like many of you, I have been greatly disturbed by the Church Attacks in Imbaba, so much so that I found myself in the middle of Imbaba, at midnight, in front of the 3adrah church , as it stood there burning with people still locked inside. I wanted to see for myself who was behind this, scared shitless of course, envisioning myself arriving there to find myself attacked and surrounded by fundamentalist Islamists who will be less than friendly towards someone like me. What aided that paranoid perception was my Phone call to the Daily News Ian Lee, who-in abated breath-informed me that he was attacked by a mob when he arrived to Imbaba with a number of fellow foreign journalists, and had to escape it with his life. So, here I was, going there, with-mind you- a female activist friend, heading to what I was expecting to be a completely violent situation, in order to get the truth of what’s going on and confronting those nice violent people who did this. Total Insanity on our part, but completely necessary none-the-less.  Continue Reading…

LIBYA: Looming threat of scattered munitions in the east

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Published on IRIN/middle east, by hh/eo/mw, May 16, 2011.

There is so much ammunition and unexploded ordnance UXO scattered across eastern Libya that local people will face a serious threat when they return home. However, it is difficult to determine the exact quantities because of ongoing fighting, experts say.

“In Tabrouk and Benghazi there are munition bunkers that were destroyed by [government] forces prior to the establishment of the no-fly zone,” Tekimiti Gilbert, spokesman for the UN Mine Action Service UNMAS, said. “Gaddafi’s forces bombed the bunkers to deprive rebels of weapons. As a result, a lot of ammunition is spread across a wide area on the surface of the ground.  Continue Reading…

Obiageli Ezekwesili sur la Femme africaine

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Publié dans MADAGATE, le 8 mars 2011.

La femme africaine, un atout pour propulser le continent vers la prospérité.

Il est difficile de rester indifférent face à l’essor économique de l’Afrique. En effet, la forte croissance enregistrée pendant plus d’une décennie a fini de positionner le continent africain comme une destination crédible pour l’investissement. Ce n’est donc pas un hasard si l’Afrique s’est remise de la crise financière mondiale plus rapidement que les autres régions du globe.  Continue Reading…

The Role of Spiritual Practice in the Modern World

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Watch this video on YouTube, 64.02 min.

Link: A Quiz on The Economist: 10 questions: Ten questions from the current edition of The Economist, ranging from America’s debt ceiling to cinema-ticket sales in India.

Mutilations génitales féminines: qu’impose l’immigration aux rites de purification des sexes?

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Quand: Mercredi 18 mai 2011, de 20h à 22h; Lieu: Carpe Diem, rue Van Dijk 47, Bruxelles, à 10.30 h.
Renseignements: Entre deux mondes, ou ici, ou par Tel.: (Belgique) 0472/44 73 86.

Publié dans La Revue Nouvelle / (rédaction), May 8, 2011.

D’un point de vue « ethnopsy », faire face aux MGF requière d’associer les personnes et groupes concernés, en dépassant tant le culturalisme (qui les accepte dans la construction identitaire des cultures où elles ont lieu, sans tenir compte de leurs dégâts) que l’universalisme (qui les condamne comme atteintes à l’intégrité corporelle, sans tenir compte de leurs sens et fonctions culturels et religieux).  Continue Reading…

South Africa’s ministerial handbook uncovered

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Dale McKinley, May  12, 2011.

As the public, we all have a right to know what rules and regulations govern the financial behaviour of our public officials and how they spend our public monies so that we can hold them accountable, writes Dale T. McKinley. So why is the South African government so keen to keep the contents of its ministerial handbook out of the public eye?

Most of us can surely well remember those times during childhood when we were caught eating something that we knew we shouldn’t and our immediate defence was to claim that mom or dad said we could. Well, that about sums up the contemporary behavior of many of our highest political office bearers, only in their case it’s not the sweets meant for the guests but public monies and it’s not parents who are the rationalising crutch but the ministerial handbook. Yes, the little handbook that so many have heard about but have never seen, that senior politician’s ‘bible’ which one South African journalist aptly called, a ‘get-out-of-jail free card’ … //  Continue Reading…

Protection de la femme et de la fille: Mbour rompt avec l’excision

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Publié dans Wal fadjri, par Pape Mbar FAYE, May 9, 2011.

Une déclaration départementale d’abandon de l’excision et des mariages précoces et forcés a été faite hier par 22 communautés dans le cadre de l’accélération du processus d’abandon de cette pratique. Cette déclaration intervient près de quatorze ans après celle de Malicounda Bambara qui marquait le début du processus au niveau national. Le département de Mbour rompt ainsi avec l’excision … //   Continue Reading…

Future Cities 2011 – International Symposium London

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15th and 16th December 2011, Westminster London, UK – Call for Papers and Delegate Registration

Received by e-mail, From: Future Cities 2011, Date 14/05/2011:

The International Journal of Neighbourhood Renewal IJNR is pleased to announce the staging of Future Cities, a New Annual Conference Series dedicated to the sustainable development of our Cities and Urban areas. The first event is being staged in the heart of the global city of London at Westminster and overall details of the event can be found here. Over the 2 day event over 700 delegates from across the globe will listen to a range of presenters and discuss key issues and topics. There are eight streams to the event and Papers are welcome in the following policy themes:  Continue Reading…

Tell no lies, claim no easy victories

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Amilcar Cabral,  MAy 11, 2011.

In these 1965 writings, Amílcar Cabral, the Guinea-Bissau leader assassinated in 1973, discusses the responsibilities of those involved in revolution.

Always bear in mind that the people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in anyone’s head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children.

We should recognise as a matter of conscience that there have been many faults and errors in our action whether political or military: an important number of things we should have done we have not done at the right times, or not done at all.  Continue Reading…

An African reflection on Tahrir Square

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Mahmood Mamdani, May 12, 2011.

While European interpretations of the events of Egypt’s Tahrir Square see the uprising’s roots through a lens of ‘coloured’ revolutions following the decline of the Soviet Union, Mahmood Mamdani instead stresses the resemblance to South Africa’s Soweto in 1976, a struggle ‘identified with the onset of community-based organisation’.

The discussion on justice in this conference focused on two of its forms: criminal and social. There has been little discussion of political justice. My object in this talk will be to look at the events identified with Tahrir Square through the lens of political justice.  Continue Reading…

Evictions, social justice and the constitution – The Muthurwa case

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Yash Pal Ghai and Jill Cottrell Ghai, May 10, 2011.

Kenyans evicted from their homes to make way for new developments routinely have their social and economic rights violated. But these rights are enforceable under the country’s new constitution, which gives people easier access to the courts than ever before. Justice Musinga’s judgement on the Muthurwa case sets ‘the right approach to, and standards of, constitutional interpretation’, write Yash Pal Ghai and Jill Cottrell Ghai.

In October 2010 the Trustees of the Kenya Railways Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme sent in bulldozers before sunrise to destroy the homes of its tenants: a mixture of Railways’ pensioners, and former employees, and statutory tenants. The Trustees had already announced their plans to sell the land (‘the estate’) transferred to it to ensure payment of pensions to former employees entitled to retirement benefits, to developers.  Continue Reading…

Documentary: Planet for Sale

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Published on Food Crisis an the Global Land Grab, by Al Amoudi of ARTE.TV, May 03, 2011.

… The key players: on one side, investors from both wealthy and emerging countries (Japan, China, Gulf States) that are looking to guarantee their country’s food security. On the other side, banks and investment funds that see farmland purchases as a promising new revenue source.

Shot on three continents, our film makes it clear that farmlands are being bought up the world over. Three continents and three examples that tell one and the same story: the story of a gigantic game of Monopoly, and the consequences it could have if nothing is done to protect the interests of small farmers and developing countries.

Below is the 55 minute English version. The full 90 minute version in French can be viewed here. Those requiring a DVD copy can contact us for further information.

Watch the 55 min. video here.

Tunisia: Another country

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Published on Pambahuka News, by Amanda Sebestyen, May 5, 2011.

In Tunisia, the makers of the first Arab democratic revolution are organising for elections. It is not a passive process. Protests are called almost daily and have kept up momentum towards transforming a country rather than ‘just’ evicting a dictator who ruled for 23 years. On the sidelines, the old regime and its angry secret policeman are waiting; on the other side, well-financed religious parties will rise if the hopes of a generation are disappointed. Participating in a solidarity tour to Tunisia, Amanda Sebestyen finds a country of dedicated organisers, heights of suffering and generosity, and a dangerous neglect of the deprived heartlands where the uprising was born … //  Continue Reading…

Atelier des leaders religieux sur les mutilations génitales féminines à Conakry

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Publié dans Le Site d’Information des Femmes Guinéennes (source: FDCK), non daté.

L’atelier des réseaux des leaders religieux africains pour l’abandon des MGF/E a officiellement débuté ce mardi sous le haut patronage de la première dame de Guinée Mme Condé Djènè Kaba, et comme invité d’honneur Mme Chantal Compaoré première dame de la république sœur du Burkina. A noter qu’une forte délégation gouvernementale à la tête, son Excellence M. Mohamed Saïd Fofana premier ministre chef du gouvernement guinéen était de la partie.

Le thème cette année : Participation des leaders religieux à l’accélération de l’élimination des mutilations génitales féminines.  Continue Reading…

South Sudan: Rethinking citizenship, sovereignty and self-determination

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Mahmood Mamdani, May 4, 2011.

Reflecting on the context behind South Sudan’s exercise in self-determination and the potential sources of political violence following the country’s independence, Mahmood Mamdani explores Sudan’s longer-term historical experience – the role of imposed administrative identities under the colonial system, migration, religion, slavery and the emergence of a politicised Islam – and the contemporary challenges around rethinking political citizenship.

Whatever your point of view, it would be difficult to deny that the referendum on South Sudan – unity or independence – was a historic moment. Self‐determination marks the founding of a new political order … //


Make it Right for Girls

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Linked on our blogs with Global Campaign for Education.

Watch this same video, edited in several languages, made by the Global Campaign for Education:

Human tsunamis and the world refugee system

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Tricia Redeker Hepner, Mai 5, 2011.

The dictatorship in Eritrea results in large numbers of people feeling the country. But once they enter the international refugee system their problems are only just beginning, writes Tricia Redeker Hepner.

The world’s attention is understandably fixed on the post-tsunami nuclear disaster unfolding in Japan and the equally seismic political transformations shaking North Africa and the Middle East. Much speculation swirls around the impact of these events regionally and globally. Will fallout reach the shores of Europe and North America? Will more dictatorships be swept aside by swells of democratisation? What role should the international community and the United Nations play?

In at least one country, the answer to the first question is clear, if not the second. And the third is another story altogether. The Northeast African nation of Eritrea marks its 20th year of independence next month. But the festivities will be marred by mourning. President Isayas Afwerki remains firmly entrenched in the seat of power, claiming with alacrity to have foretold the groundswell overtaking his Arab neighbors while banning television coverage of the demonstrations and reorganising the military to pre-empt a possible coup.  Continue Reading…

2011 award winner is a gay rights activist from Africa

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… announces the international human rights movement – Published on HURIDOCS, May 3, 2011.

The Jury of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders (MEA), meeting in Geneva, selects Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera as the Laureate for her work for LGBT rights and marginalised people in Uganda.

Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, a Ugandan woman, is the founder and Executive Director of Freedom and Roam Uganda, a main lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights organization.  Kasha has had the courage to appear on national television in Uganda, she has issued press statements on behalf of the gay community, and spoke on several radio stations. Already in 2007 she was harassed at the World Social Forum in Nairobi, and on many occasions afterwards she was hackled, threatened and even attacked by people for appearing in the media. Since then she has been shifting from house to house, afraid to stay long in the same place. On 26 January 2011 one of her colleagues, gay activist David Kato, was murdered following the publication of a “gay list” by the Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone calling for their hanging; in this black list Kasha Jacqueline’s name also appears.  Continue Reading…

Dialogue on Front Line Watchdogs: Monitoring accountability for human rights

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Published on HURIDOCS, April 28, 2011.

New Tactics and its featured resource practitioners will hold an on-line dialogue on Front Line Watchdogs: Monitoring accountability for human rights from May 18 to 24, 2011.

Front line watchdogs come in all shapes and sizes. They can be seen in courtrooms ensuring fair trials, accompanying threatened human rights defenders, holding vigil outside police stations to prevent torture, protecting election ballot results, testing for discrimination, monitoring development aid projects, investigating toxic waste from companies, etc., etc. While government bodies and corporations are often expected to monitor and regulate themselves, self-regulation does not always successfully uphold rights. Front line watchdogs take on this important citizen role of holding communities, government and corporations accountable … //   Continue Reading…

Sad Refrain from Bahrain

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Published on Dissident Voice, by Dan Lieberman, May 4, 2011.

The media and world bodies have generally ignored the Bahrain protests, making it difficult to know what is happening. Emails from an activist in Bahrain illuminate some of the occurrences and highlight how the struggle has grown from seeking equality in life to receiving a punishing death. It’s a sad and captivating story.

Apr 6: Dear Friends, Hope this email finds you well. To update you on recent events in Bahrain:

Report by the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights: Thousands are subjected to dismissal of work as part of severe clampdown on all who joined or openly supported the protest movement. King’s son says: No escape for opponents of his father:  Continue Reading…

Et si on arrêtait d’avoir peur…

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Publié sur, par Wafa Khlif, le 27 Avril 2011.

Si tout était à refaire, je prendrais le temps d’imaginer une zone ou des femmes, des hommes, des enfants, des vieux, des malades, des moches, des embryons, etc. se rencontrent et décident de vivre ensemble. Ma première pensée va à un ami qui dénonce la peur. La peur de soi et de l’autre qui a faussé, pendant des siècles, cette rencontre et à réguler un vivre ensemble immature, dans le conflit permanent et surtout dans la négation de la réalité.  Continue Reading…

Mutilations: Kolda met un gouvernement scolaire pour sensibiliser les parents

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Publié dans Agence de Presse Sénégalaise APS, par MG/SAB, le 24 avril 2011.

Le consortium Umbrella Support Unit (USU) et le Forum pour un développement durable endogène (FODDE) ont mis à contribution des élèves des établissements primaires de la région de Kolda dans le cadre de la mise en œuvre du Projet de lutte contre les Mutilations génitales féminines (MGF) et les fistules.

‘’Nous avons installé ce jeudi le gouvernement scolaire de l’Ecole élémentaire de Saré Bidji avec un Premier ministre et des ministres (Santé, Justice, Culture et Communication) pour sensibiliser les différents acteurs notamment les parents sur les méfaits de la pratique de l’excision’’, a indiqué Seny Nanko, coordonnateur dudit projet … //  Continue Reading…

Redefining public goods for Africa

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Published on Africa Research Institute, by Jonathan Bhalla, Research Manager, April 5, 2011.

In January I wrote a blog which argued that if internet usage in Africa is going to increase, more local African content is needed online. In the article, I referred to the internet as a ‘public good’. My assertion was based on the reasoning that although the internet is largely a private service, it’s utility extends far beyond any individual into the public realm. A farmer, for example, may decide to put some money aside and invest in going to a cyber cafe. At the cyber cafe the farmer learns about a new method of storing maize which significantly reduces the chance of weevils and other pests from attacking his, or her, harvest. The farmer applies this new knowledge with resounding success. Neighbours of the farmer follow suit, and crop wastage in the community is significantly reduced. Not exactly a widespread occurrence, but feasible nonetheless … //  Continue Reading…

Ai Weiwei: Deleted from the internet

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Linked on our blogs with, and with China news tagged with: Ai Weiwei (130).- Published on /Petition, not dated.

The Chinese government in the midst of the worst crackdown on free speech in at least a decade, has just detained China’s most well-known artist, the activist Ai Weiwei. Afraid that any mention of the “Jasmine Revolutions” sweeping the Middle East right now might lead to similar protests in China, Chinese authorities are cracking down hard. In the past month, dozens of Chinese bloggersand dissidents have been detained “disappeared”, and in less than 24 hours after his arrest, Ai’s name has been virtually erased from the Chinese internet … //

… Sign online the Petition …
… (right column): Bring Ai Weiwei back to life online! Post some of his work on your Facebook, blog, tumblr, or other website … (full text).

Is the World Too Big to Fail?

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The Contours of Global Order – Published on ZNet /ZSpace Page (Source: TomDispatch), by Noam Chomsky, April 22, 2011.

… The Invisible Hand of Power:

Support for democracy is the province of ideologists and propagandists. In the real world, elite dislike of democracy is the norm. The evidence is overwhelming that democracy is supported insofar as it contributes to social and economic objectives, a conclusion reluctantly conceded by the more serious scholarship.

Elite contempt for democracy was revealed dramatically in the reaction to the WikiLeaks exposures. Those that received most attention, with euphoric commentary, were cables reporting that Arabs support the U.S. stand on Iran. The reference was to the ruling dictators. The attitudes of the public were unmentioned. The guiding principle was articulated clearly by Carnegie Endowment Middle East specialist Marwan Muasher, formerly a high official of the Jordanian government: “There is nothing wrong, everything is under control.” In short, if the dictators support us, what else could matter?  Continue Reading…

Important Update on AWDF’s Grant-Making Processes

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Published on African Women’s Development Fund /AWDF Blog, by Theo Sowa, Interim Chief Executive Officer AWDF, 28 April 2011. 8

AWDF will be launching its new 5-year strategic plan 2011 – 2015 shortly. As part of the strategic plan, AWDF is reworking its grant making thematic areas. The six new thematic areas are:

  • Women’s Human Rights
  • Economic Empowerment and Livelihoods
  • Governance, Peace and Security
  • Reproductive Health and Rights
  • Arts, Culture and Sports.

Guidelines are being developed for each of the thematic areas and will be uploaded on AWDF’s website and various communication outlets on completion. A new schedule for grant applications will be published at the same time. Therefore, we are asking potential grant applicants to wait until after the thematic guidelines and the grant processing schedule are published before submitting any further applications. AWDF will not be processing new grants applications until that point. .

Meanwhile we will continue to process applications that we have … (full text).