Saturday, August 05, 2017

Zimbabwe

Mugabe is old and sick and his wife is hoping to take over when he dies.

In the meanwhile, Trump is cutting funds from groups that push abortion, so a lot of "Family planning" groups will lose money. Of course, they could stop pushing abortion, which in African traditional society is murder, but whatever. the article touts a group that pushed only birth control, and they are outsiders. what about doing this with immunizations, cheap protein supplements, and WHO rehydration fluid? Because only birth control gets the money.

In the meanwhile, Mugabe is being pushed into reforms according to one local paper.

actually, if you read the article they are just continuing Obama's policy.

Congo election update

StrategyPage has an update on what is going on there.

the peacekeepers are trying but only partially sucessful.


 The UN, western donor nations and African nations bordering Congo are concerned that another great Congolese civil war (1996-2003) will erupt if Kabila clings to power. They want to avoid that disaster in which three to five million people died. The high death toll includes people killed in the fighting and "excess mortality" related to the fighting, such as displaced people dying of exposure. A key part of the political settlement ending it was limiting the president to two terms in office. The fighting didn't completely stop in 2003. Bitter fighting continued, much of it ethnic-related. However, UN peacekeepers prevented another outright civil war. An estimated 200,000 more people died in the post-civil war combat and chaos that continued for over a decade (2003-2013). Again, that figure includes "excess mortality." The post-war death toll is debatable, but in 2013 there were still over two million internally displaced people in eastern Congo. (Austin Bay)

Sigh.  another day, another massacre.

In our prayers

A report  of using "witchcraft" to brainwash children into murdering in the Congo.

Congolese refugees told the authors of a UN report that they believed the Kamuina Nsapu militia had magical powers, and militia members believed their magic - including young girls drinking the blood of decapitated victims - would make them invincible."This generalised belief about the powers of Kamuina Nsapu and the fear it triggers among segments of the population in the Kasais may partly explain why a poorly-armed militia, composed to a large extent of children, has been able to resist offensives by a trained national army for over a year."

This dis not, alas limited to Africa: The murders of ISIS is witchcraft (even though they claim it is for Allah( and of course, the Mexican drug lords worship "Saint death", a demon, to get rich.

Death and love of money and egotism and desire of power and of course deception/lies are satanic.

As for the USA and western Europe: They are too civilized to do such things. They only promote killing babies in the womb to empower women, while looking the other way when doctors kill grandmom so their kids don't have to take care of them.

reminds me of when I was in Africa: Our German sisters lamented some of the terrible atrocities by the "freedom fighters" who would torture or beat their enemies to death.

I answered: Yes. The Germans did it more nicely: they just gathered up the Jews and disposed of them quietly.

and then there is the problem of male rape.

one of the reasons Africans are horrified with the west's push to legalize "gay" rights: it is seen as giving an okay to the rapist...

And this, too, is ignored by the west.

Hey, even the Pope said "who am I to judge" (which was interpreted as being pro gay rights)... well, considering all the pedophilia in the church, maybe this is why a lot of us are unhappy with his lack of judgement against sinners.

Except of course those who criticize him. I hear an editor of a Catholic media organization in Colombia was just excommunicated fir this. Priorities I guess...



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

US Special forces in Africa

StrategyPage summary.


May 22, 2017: Since 2007 the United States has created and expanded AFRICOM (Africa Command) to manage all the increasingly numerous American military operations in Africa. Since most of these operations involved special operations forces rather than conventional military forces AFRICOM released little detail on what was where. But in the last few years more of these details have emerged. As suspected most of the 40-50 AFRICOM “bases” detected are not bases in the traditional sense but merely temporary agreements to use existing civilian or military airbases or other facilities in African nations. These are usually countries where AFRICOM is providing assistance in dealing with Islamic terrorist activity or other security threats. 
this is similar to the work of the US in the Philippines: Often supplying information from sophisticated spying, and of course training of local forces.

There is a line, however, on who can be targeted: Going against the local NPA (communist insurgents) is a no no. But the terrorists, especially those with foreign ties, are okay.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mental heath treatment in Africa

Bookmarked for later reading.

Get religion discusses a Harper's piece on mental health problems and hospitals in Ghana (which alas is only readable if you are subscriber).

when I was in Africa, the joke was that all of our schizophrenics spoke English: Many had stress related psychoses from the culture changes.

But we also saw a lot of "conversion" reactions.

How many are demon related? Probably few. However, this is not a Pentecostal belief, because traditionally some people were affected by a spirit at puberty.

Conversion reactions will respond to suggestion and hypnosis, which is why prayer (or the traditional treatment by the local Nganga) works.

But there is also vitamin related problem, infection related problems, post concussion related problems, etc.

In the old days, if you had a spirit you might be revered, but if you were crazy, you would be beaten and thrown out on your own to live (reminds me of the man in the cemetary in the bible). Or you might be poisoned, either accidentally (by giving them herbal medicine to treat the problem.. we had lots of death from accidental poisoning to treat illness), or even deliberately.

This is what people did in the good old days to those who threatened them, before police and the court systems.

My friend in Africa had one of her nieces develop mental problems in puberty, perhaps from the stress of loving her dad to HIV and from school.

My friend cured her by taking her on a pilgrimage to the grave of John Bradburne, where she was healed, although she only lived a few more years. What did she die of? HIV? Infection? I have no idea.


Bradburne was gentle guy, a veteran with PTSS, who found God and who later worked at a leper colony and was martyred. Now, at least 30 of my collegues there were martyred, but the Africans only spontaneously saw him as a saint... I presume because the rest of us were bossy do gooders, and he only was known for his love.


Sunday, May 07, 2017

dictator vs bishop's peace plan in the Congo

StrategyPage has a summary what is going on there.

The local bishops tried to make a peace plan, but evil is still there.

. That was key element in the December Accord, the agreement mediated by Catholic bishops and reached on December 31, 2016. The agreement also specified that Kabila would not to alter the constitution and his government would free all political prisoners. The bishops belonged to the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO), which gave the agreement its backing. Yet in March CENCO said that continuing negotiations with Kabila had collapsed. Why does Kabila want to hold on to power? One obvious reason: Corruption in the government Kabila controls has made his family and associates rich.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

African immigrants and refugees

Most of the controversy is about the Somalis who might bring in terror.



AlJ laments man made famine in Somalia. Want to fix it? Kill the bad guys who are intimidating aid workers and stealing food.

Somalia has been policed since the early 1990's by the UN (as is the Congo civil war). Including well trained soldiers from Kenya trying to keep the peace. The trouble is that peacekeepers keep the peace, they don't kill bad guys.

on the other hand, this explains the little noticed phone call Trumpieboy made to Kenya's president a couple days ago.

Kenya is having trouble with these "refugees" from Somalia, and deporting a lot of them

so the question is, of course, why they can't be settled in these nearby countries, where there are already a lot of Somalian workers. The answer: these countries don't want them because they cause crime and terrorism.

from my main blog. I think refugees need to be helped, and the best way to do this is pacify their countries.

But who will risk invading and doing this (as Britain did in India and was the excuse for colonialism in Africa).

Resettling refugees is good, but does have problems, the main one being you can't resettle all of them, the second is that the problem of assimilation takes three generations. (at least it did for the Irish, Italians, and Jewish immigrants into the  USA).

about ten perdcent of Zimbabwean population has emigrated to find jobs, mostly to South Africa or the UK. Wikipedia article.

There are various conflicting unofficial figures about the number of Zimbabweans in the US. The RAND Corporation estimated in 2000 that there were 100,000 in the state of New York alone.[12] 
it's hard to find later statistics.  Indeed it is hard to find exactly how many Zimbabweans are working or emigrating abroad.

Rough estimates vary from place to place:

However, tacit agreement among nongovernmental organisations is that the Zimbabwe diaspora is spread out mainly in South Africa, Botswana, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, New Zealand and Australia. South Africa is estimated to have the bulk of Zimbabwe’s diaspora community, with an estimated two million to three million Zimbabwean nationals living in that country.
Second to South Africa as a destination of permanent settlement for Zimbabweans is the UK. Community-based organisations estimate the total number of Zimbabweans living legally in the UK to be 200 000, but say it is about 500 000 if one includes undocumented immigrants. 

not many go to the USA: Only 45,000 is the estimate in this article. (2008).

this article states that since 1980 immigrants from Sub Sahara Africa number 1.8 million. into the USA. But few are from Zimbabwe.

and this video frrom the US Library of Congress discusses recent African immigration into the USA.



Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Armyworm devestates crops

DW report on the Armyworm eating the corn crop.

Global warming? No. Imported from South America, probably by an imported plant, and spreading around the continent.

Slow government response, and farmers believe the rumor that pesticides won't work


most farmers are still not aware of what can be done to reduce it's damage. Some farmers in Gokwe district bought all kind of theories about a mysterious worm due to lack of information and clear guidance from the government. As a result some healthy looking crops were left at the mercy of the devouring fall armyworm. Many of the farmers are now counting huge losses....
FAO warned that Zimbabwe is likely to be the hardest hit with 130,000 hectares of maize and corn crops largely affected. So far the fall armyworm has spread in at least 10 provinces in Zimbabwe.
Despite the farmers' concerns, the government sees no urgency or panic regarding the armyworm. The head Plant Protection Research Institute at Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Agriculture, Godfrey Chikwenhere, said the yield reduction obeserved was minimal. "The only issue now is that we are using a substantial amount of money on chemicals," he said."
Though from the casual observer when you see the worm and all the plant being [attacked] you might estimate that the yield is very high," Chikwenhere added.
The caterpillar stage is the dangerous one that eats the crops. Ah, but then it turns into a moth, which is how it can migrate so quickly into new area.





this WIKIHOW is more about how gardeners can control it in rich countries

BBC article:

Why is it such a threat to farming? It is very hungry (and not picky) - This pest targets maize (corn) and other cereal crops, like its African namesake, but it also attacks cotton, soybean, potato and tobacco crops. When it does invade, up to three-quarters of the crop can be destroyed.
Unknown enemy - Governments, communities and farmers have no previous experience of dealing with the new pest, which may be even harder to deal with than its native equivalent.
  • It is fast - According to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), it has taken only eight weeks for the pest to spread to the six southern African countries where there are suspected infestations.
  • It travels far and wide - The caterpillar stage does the damage but "it's the adult moth that migrates long distances and that's how it's managed to get round Africa," says Professor Ken Wilson, an expert on armyworms.
  • It is not just targeting any old crop - Maize is the primary food staple in many of the areas where the pest has been identified.
  • It is hard to find - The fall armyworm burrows right into the stem of maize plants, concealing itself from view and preventing farmers from spotting the problem early.
  • Bad timing - It comes after two years of record droughts, which have already affected more than 40 million people in the region, making 15% less food available, according to the UN.

often outside the crop looks good, until you open the cob.







Gizmodo articcle on efforts to control the pest. They blame global warming of course.

As if the drought/rain cycle was due to global warming, not a normal event that has been going on for years.

Actually all they say is that the moth didn't spread quickly during the drought, but once the rain came and there was a lot of good crops to eat it spread.

Nature article on droughts in Africa:


Our data indicate that, over the past millennium, equatorial east Africa has alternated between contrasting climate conditions, with significantly drier climate than today during the 'Medieval Warm Period' (approx ad 1000–1270) and a relatively wet climate during the 'Little Ice Age' (approx ad 1270–1850) which was interrupted by three prolonged dry episodes.
We also find strong chronological links between the reconstructed history of natural long-term rainfall variation and the pre-colonial cultural history of east Africa4, highlighting the importance of a detailed knowledge of natural long-term rainfall fluctuations for sustainable socio-economic development.
 
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