Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Che, Lumumba and... Foday Sankoh?

I was in the library last night and noticed in the new arrivals section DVD entitled The Empire in Africa (I won't link to it because I don't want to encourage any one to spend a dime enriching the pockets of its makers). My curiosity piqued, I took a look and was nauseated to discover it was an apologia mythologizing the Revolutionary United Front. The RUF were the Sierra Leonian rebels who became infamous for the forced conscription of children, for the drugging of those child soldiers and for chopping off the hands and arms of women and children.

This was not the invention of some international propaganda campaign, as the 'documentary' implies. I lived in Guinea at the height of the Sierra Leonian civil war and met numerous refugees who fled the RUF's savagery, including a few who had lost limbs.

The Sierra Leonian government and military were filled at the time with brutal and thieving scumbags, no doubt. But no one's dared make an apologia to them. Whatever anti-corporate ideology the RUF might allegedly have had when it formed in the early 90s quickly evaporated. It became nothing more than an unimaginably savage organized crime gang that used ANY means necessary to line the pockets of its leaders.

The documentarian who made this offensive trash owes an apology to all the people killed, maimed and displaced by his sainted RUF.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Repression in Rwanda

The Economist has a piece on strongman Paul Kagame and his regime of paradoxes in Rwanda.

The Facebook group We Support the African Greens has a number of links to stories and resources related to repression by the Rwandan dictatorship against journalists and others.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Torture victims and the US justice system

US National Public Radio had a fascinating piece on whether victims of torture had the right to sue their tormentors in US court. The question is how to reconcile two American laws: the 1991 Torture Victim Protection Act and the 1976 Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

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