Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rawlings denies Nigerian funding

Peace FM reports that a spokesman for Jerry Rawlings has denied media reports that the former Ghanaian president helped channel $3.5 million into his National Democratic Congress' 2008 electoral campaign. The $3.5 million allegedly came from the governor of Nigeria's River State, who is under investigation by a Nigerian anti-corruption commission.

Ghanaian law prohibits political parties from receiving money from foreign citizens or institutions.

NDC candidate John Atta Mills, once Rawlings' vice-president, was narrowly elected president in the campaign.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

RFI censored in DRC

RNW's Media Network blog reports that the Democratic Republic of the Congo has suspended FM transmissions of Radio France Internationale in the country. The Congolese regime has been a frequent critic of RFI's reporting. Media Network adds that RFI can still be heard in the DRC via shortwave.

Labels: , ,

Friday, July 17, 2009


This blog will be on hiatus for much of the rest of this month as I will be on vacation.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Evil Scum Taylor begins spewing his lies

Earlier this week, former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor took the stand in The Hague during his trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Taylor, henceforth known here as Evil Scum Who Ought to Rot in Prison for The Rest of His Pathetic Life (Evil Scum for short), denied being responsible for any of the accused offenses.

Evil Scum, who is 'credited' with destabilizing much of West Africa during the 1990s and much of this decade, is charged with 11 counts of murder, torture, rape, sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers and terrorism in his role backing rebels in Sierra Leone's 1991-2002 civil war.

He has not yet been charged for any of the countless crimes he is widely believed to have been responsible for in his native Liberia.

Evil Scum's lawyer was on CBC Radio's As It Happens program earlier this week giving the former warlord's point of view.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, July 13, 2009

Guinean junta warns of invasion, blames cartels

Republished with permission from Friends of Guinea blog

The Guinean military regime has put the armed forces on high alert after claiming to have uncovered a plot to attack the country.

An announcement on state-run national radio said drugs cartels were believed to be behind the plans.

Cocaine cartels have essentially taken over the neighboring Republic of Guinea-Bissau, however the junta in Conakry said that armed men were also amassing along the borders in Senegal and Liberia.

"The ministry of defence was informed by the security services and other credible sources of the preparation of an armed attack on Guinea from its borders with Guinea-Bissau and the region of Casamance [in Senegal]," said a Guinean government statement. "These sources have also indicated that there are armed men regrouping on the border with Guinea Bissau to the north and the town of Foya to the south on the border with Liberia."

The governments of Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and Liberia denied that there were any armed groups along their borders with Guinea.

Update: Guinéenews reports that the African Union has criticized the invasion claims of the Guinean junta and described the CNDD's actions as a 'diversion.' An AU spokesman charged the CNDD with seeking pretexts to postpone the elections scheduled for the end of the year. Radio France Internationale's Afrique Soir program reports that head of state Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara threatened to arrest anyone contradicting the CNDD's claims and spreading 'disinformation.' Guinéenews pointed out that the forest region of Guinea was the victim of an incursion from rebels based in Liberia in 2000 which caused hundreds of deaths and serious destruction.

Labels: ,

Friday, July 03, 2009

Why Africa produces the world's worst leaders

A piece in the Nigerian paper This Day offers explores why on why Africa produces the world's worst leaders.

A Christian minister blamed the dearth of service-driven leadership in Nigeria and Africa on the wrong perception of service, saying it has also created the pervasive problem of intolerance of dissenting views, no matter how progressive they might be; thereby leading "to repression, attacks and elimination of persons who criticise or hold opposing views."


Thursday, July 02, 2009

"Oil Industry Has Brought Poverty and Pollution to Niger Delta"

Amnesty International recently issued a damning report on the manner in which the oil industry has destroyed Nigeria's Niger Delta Region. The title says it all: "Oil Industry Has Brought Poverty and Pollution to Niger Delta."

The Amnesty report notes: The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) describes the region as suffering from “administrative neglect, crumbling social infrastructure and services, high unemployment, social deprivation, abject poverty, filth and squalor, and endemic conflict.” This poverty, and its contrast with the wealth generated by oil, has become one of the world’s starkest and most disturbing examples of the “resource curse”.

Oil has generated an estimated US$600 billion since the 1960s. Despite this, many people in the oil-producing areas have to drink, cook with and wash in polluted water, and eat fish contaminated with oil and other toxins.

“More than 60 per cent of people in the region depend on the natural environment for their livelihood,” said Audrey Gaughran “Yet, pollution by the oil industry is destroying the vital resource on which they depend.”

Oil pollution kills fish, their food sources and fish larvae, and damages the ability of fish to reproduce, causing both immediate damage and long-term harm to fish stocks. Oil pollution also damages fishing equipment.

Oil spills and waste dumping have also seriously damaged agricultural land. Long-term effects include damage to soil fertility and agricultural productivity, which in some cases can last for decades. In numerous cases, these long-term effects have undermined a family’s only source of livelihood.

The destruction of livelihoods and the lack of accountability and redress have led people to steal oil and vandalize oil infrastructure in an attempt to gain compensation or clean-up contracts.

Black Looks blog has written quite extensively on the catastrophe as well...

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

'Which coups count?'

Ethan at My Heart's in Accra muses on the wildly differing international reaction to the protests in Iran, the coup in Honduras and coup in Niger.