Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Mugabe: asylum? Money?

South Africa will face a lot of opposition if they allow him asylum.


Maimane said allowing Mugabe into South Africa on political asylum would be in contravention of the Refugees Act.
 Maimane pointed out that the act excludes individuals from asylum if they had committed a crime against peace, a war crime or a crime against humanity, among others. "Mugabe has, like many other leaders on the continent, turned from liberator to dictator, with human rights abuses and crimes against peace being committed under his watch," said Maimane. "As such, he ought to be denied refugee status as per the law," Maimane said. "As long as Mugabe would not face torture or death penalty in Zimbabwe, the South African government must exclude him from asylum."
Ghana is thinking about it though.

the big question no one is asking: who gets the money?

UKGuardian lists his wealth.



According to some estimates, Robert Mugabe has about £1bn-worth of assets, much of it invested outside Zimbabwe.
 2001 US diplomatic cable, later released by the whistle-blowing organisation WikiLeaks, quoted this figure, and said that while reliable information was difficult to find, there were rumours that his assets “include everything from secret accounts in Switzerland, the Channel Islands and the Bahamas to castles in Scotland”.
Grace Mugabe is said to have bought a number of properties in the affluent Sandton suburb of Johannesburg and there are reported to have been property purchases in Malaysia, Singapore and possibly Dubai.

and move over Imelda Marcos:
The first lady is reported to have the sort of designer shoe collection that might be expected of a dictator’s wife and, notoriously, is said to have spent $75,000 (£56,000) on luxury goods on a single shopping spree in Paris.

Mugabe resigns!

BBC reports Mugabe, under threat of impeachment, has resigned.

The ruling Zanu-PF party says former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa will succeed Mr Mugabe, in power since 1980.
Mr Mnangagwa's sacking earlier this month triggered a political crisis.
It had been seen by many as an attempt to clear the way for Grace Mugabe to succeed her husband as leader and riled the military leadership, who stepped in and put Mr Mugabe under house arrest.
After the resignation announcement, lawmakers roared in jubilation.




Monday, November 20, 2017

Mugabe still won't resign

in other news from Zimbabwe: No, Mugabe still refuses to step down despite Sunday's protests.

the locals worry tlat "Gucci Grace" will grab power... instead of the main opposition leader, Vice President Mnangagwa, aka the Crocodile who was fired so Grace could step in and steal his job.


Culling elephants

Zimbabwe Herald points out that elephant conservation actually benefits both the elephants and locals. It means culling the population to prevent overpopulation, stop elephants from roaming and destroying local crops, and of course, is a source of income for the country. Without this income, locals will just look the other way when poachers kill the beasts.



Zimbabwe boasts the world’s second largest elephant herd after Botswana, much of it crowded beyond capacity at the Hwange National Park in the country’s south-west.
A CITES study notes that elephants in Zimbabwe have climbed sharply in the past 40 years due to prudent conservation.
Aerial surveys show there was an estimated 46 000 elephants in the country in 1980; at least 58 600 in 1989; and some 64 000 in 1995. These figures are, however, disputed by other conservationists.
But the Great Elephant Census says the number of elephants in the country dropped 6 000 to 82 000 in the three years to 2014 due to poaching.
The animals have become difficult to manage, often destroying homes and food crops. Deaths from conflict with humans living near conservancies and parks have been reported, as habitat gives way to urban development and agriculture.

more HERE.

  But the rich white American animal lovers are pressuring Trump to stop the cull.

no, I don't hunt: But our area of Pennsylvania closed down on the first day of hunting season... better to hunt the deer carefully than let them die as road kill or from starvation...

Friday, November 17, 2017

what is going on in Zimbabwe

UKTelegraph article is confusing:



Neither Mr Mugabe nor the presumed mastermind of the coup, former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, have issued statements or been seen in public since. The military has not commented since Major General Sibusiso Moyo, Chief of Staff Logistics, denied a coup was underway and appealed for calm in an address on national television in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

One of my friends there, a Mugabe supporter, posted this:

Much Respect to the Zimbabwe Defense Forces for stepping in & giving direction to our country. We where headed into the abyss.

Someone had to STOP Amai Dr. Stop It!!

presumably the problem is that Mugabe is  old, and his younger wife is trying to grab power.

Here is an article about her plans in the Herald, a pro Mugabe paper.


mai Mugabe said President Mugabe was an anointed leader by God and only the Almighty could decide his fate and not some ambitious people who wanted to take leadership positions through unorthodox means. “You are anointed, President. Hakuna anokubvisai. Kana nguva yaMwari yakwana, zvichangotika according to God’s plan,” said Amai Mugabe as she quoted biblical scriptures. She implored people to pray to God and accept that which they could not change in life.
Speaking at the same occasion, Zanu-PF Secretary for Youth Cde Kudzanai Chipanga said events in Bulawayo, where people booed the First Lady, were a result of infiltration by unruly elements.



but the UK Papers are wondering if China had a part in the military's plans.

UKGuardian report.


Those ambiguous comments will do little to dispel suspicions that Chiwenga may have travelled to Beijing to warn China’s leadership of the impending move against Mugabe, or perhaps even to seek its blessing or help. Li Zuocheng, a rising star in China’s 2.3 million-member military, reportedly enjoys close ties to the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping...


“It seems to me that they just realised – like everyone has realised – that the situation in Zimbabwe was increasingly untenable, that a direct succession from Robert Mugabe to Grace Mugabe was a recipe for disaster,” he said. “China doesn’t have necessarily an ideological attachment to democratic government or to non-democratic government. The only thing China is generally really, really focused on is stability.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Zimbabwe miltary coup?




"To both our people and the world beyond our borders, we wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover of government. What the Zimbabwe Defence Forces is actually doing is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country, which if not addressed may result in a violent conflict.
"We call upon all the war veterans to play positive in ensuring peace, stability and unity in the country.
"To members of the defense forces, all leave is canceled and you all to return to your barracks with immediate effect.
"To our respected traditional leaders, you are our custodians of our culture, customs, traditions and heritage and we request you to provide leadership and direction to your communities for the sake of unity and development in our country.
moreHERE

There is growing uncertainty in Zimbabwe.
Soldiers on Wednesday took over the headquarters of the state broadcaster ZBC and blocked access to government offices, but the army says this is not a military take over.
President Robert Mugabe, who leads the ruling Zanu-PF party, is safe, an army spokesman has said.
There was no official word, however, from the Mugabe family as to their whereabouts.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Marburg and Pestis (links only)

Sigh.

Not only Black death/PPestis epidemic spreading from Madagascar to mainland Africa, but now thepress has noticed the Marburg epidemic.

LINK

since Drudge linked to the UK site, it will be noticed.

Ironically, we had to keep an eye out for plague when I worked in New Mexico (a couple cases a year on Indian reservations, usualy from prarie dogs)but this outbreak appears to be pulmonary, which can kill quickly.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Central Africa update

StrategyPage has a long essay on Central Africa.

The good news: Rwanda is at peace and flourishing.



The bad news: The rest of the area still has a lot of problems.

. The key in Africa and throughout the world, is a population where enough people are willing to avoid corruption and violence and basically get on with your life. So simple yet so rare. Kagame may yet wreck the country by refusing to leave office when he can no longer win fair elections. That is common, especially in Africa. But the exceptions to the centuries old chaos and misery that led Central Africa to be dubbed “the heart of darkness” in the 18th century are signs that it does not always have to be that way.



Thursday, October 26, 2017

War in the Sahel

The US MSM just notice it, because they want to use it to remove Trump from office (and any story they can twist will do).

But this story is not new.



AustinBay has a long report on Niger.

West African nations are willing to fight the terrorists, but need help. Given France's military assets in the region and American commitments in Syria and Iraq, the Obama Administration concluded that a small, focused military effort providing training assistance and logistics and intelligence support was an appropriate response.
General Dunford's press conference tells me that he thinks that conclusion was correct. It also says the Trump Administration agreed with the Obama Administration's goals in the region. However, that isn't a point domestic hysterics want to hear.

Italics mine.

That's because the "domestic hysterics" don't care about Africans killed by terrorists, because they want to remove Trump, and any story will do.

As for ignorance of the war there: This is because they don't bother to read the BBC or AlJ where they could find good summaries about what is going on.

BBC notes 4000 French and 12 thousand UN troops are involved. (plus locals).

the US was sent there to help Nigeria and nearby countries to fight the BokuHarem:

  Full report of that conflict here.
2 million refugees, 2000 teachers killed and schools destroyed, 5 million of locals in that area facing starvation, and the "good guys" are corrupt.

notice that part about France's military assets? They have been working with the Sahel governments for quite awhile: ALJ reports on that HERE. 

think tribal civil wars.

part of the backstory is the tribal civil war in Libya.

-------------------------

Monday, October 23, 2017

WHO Removes Mugabe

NYTimes article says the WHO and the UN said "Whoops" and removed their appointment of Mr Mugabe.



Twenty-eight health organizations, including the NCD Alliance — which works with the W.H.O. and other global groups to battle noncommunicable diseases — released a statement expressing “shock” at the appointment.
 Obert Gutu, a spokesman for Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change, said, “It is an insult.”
 He added: “Mugabe trashed our health delivery system. He and his family go outside of the country for treatment in Singapore after he allowed our public hospitals to collapse.”
 Under Mr. Mugabe’s authoritarian rule, critics say, the country’s health care system, like many of its public services, has suffered badly, with hospitals frequently lacking essential supplies and nurses and doctors regularly left without pay.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

yup. The UN is honoring Mugabe.

From the BBC.


The World Health Organization (WHO) has appointed President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe as a "goodwill ambassador" to help tackle non-communicable diseases.
the BBC then adds this in case you thought the appointment made sense:


Imogen Foulkes, BBC News, GenevaThe appointment of 93-year-old Robert Mugabe will cause astonishment among many WHO member states and donors.
A goodwill ambassador may be a largely symbolic role, but the symbolism of giving it to a man whose leadership of Zimbabwe has, critics say, coincided with a collapse of its health service, and major human rights abuses, will be very unpopular. 

Mugabe, after "winning" an election, decided to tear down a lot of middle class areas to punish them for voting against him. He called it "operation take out the trash" and insisted it was slum clearance, but it was not.

UKGuardian article on this from 2005:

The UN's 98-page report concluded that 2.4 million people had been affected, of whom 700,000 had lost their homes or livelihoods or both, in a humanitarian crisis of "immense proportions"....
The language was harsh by UN standards. It said the clearances were a "disastrous venture". It added that the operation, "while purporting to target illegal dwellings and structures and to clamp down on alleged illicit activities, was carried out in an indiscriminate and unjustified manner, with indifference to human suffering, and, in repeated cases, with disregard to several provisions on national and international legal frameworks".

one of the buildings town down was an HIV clinic near Harare, run by Sister Patricia, the public health nurse who worked with me.

Another building torn down was a convent in QueQue, again that housed some of the African sisters who I worked with.

file AFP


And I won't even go into the threats and massacres by his "green bombers"  in the past, or that he has decided to reorganize the group for the 2018 election.

Of course, all sins forgiven because he is an open communist.

--------------------

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Niger (take two)

The Green Berets killed in Niger were fighting the Boko Harum, but the press headlines are the Trumpieboy are that he insulted someone when he called the families.

Because everything must be politicized, you know, to foment Trump hatred.

But why were they there in the first place? Because President Obama sent them there in 2014...

Backstory from before their deaths from Reuters in 2015 HERE.

A Reuters reporter was the first to visit the detachment, which is among about 1,000 U.S. Special Operations Forces deployed across Africa. In Chad, Nigeria, Niger and elsewhere, they are executing Obama’s relatively low-risk strategy of countering Islamic extremists by finding local partners willing to fight rather than deploying combat troops by the thousands. The new approach, which Obama announced in May 2014, is far from being a silver bullet for the United States in its global battle against Islamic militancy. \

the backstory is not just the Boko Harum but the ongoing war in the Sahel, which gets little or no press coverage, partly because most of the special forces types there are French.

StrategyPage discussed this little covered war HERE. and has this note about the ambush:


October 4, 2017: In the northeast, just across the border in Niger four American Special Forces soldiers were killed when the training exercise (a large patrol) they were supervising was ambushed. Four of the Niger troops were killed as well and even more American and Niger troops were wounded...
The attackers were believed to be Islamic terrorists from Mali. In less than an hour French helicopters were in the area to evacuate the wounded and in the next 24 hours French troops and more aircraft from Mali moved to the Niger border to search for the attackers.
Italics mine, because another story had a father of another of the troops wondering why they had no air cover.

The press picked this up and started saying this was "Trump's Benghazi", i.e. implying that he refused to send help for those who were ambushed. Uh, in Benghazi the help was told to stand down for political reasons. Here, the French air support arrived within an hour.

And SP has the backstory:

 The area where the attack took place had never experienced an Islamic terrorist activity before but the border is long and the Islamic terrorists have been known to move around the area without attracting attention because the locals tend to avoid groups of men with guns.
Apparently Islamic terror groups had established a new smuggling route that ran through this areas. The U.S. has 800 troops in Niger, mainly to train Niger troops but some also maintain a number of Reaper UAVs used for surveillance. The smuggling operations often appear (especially from the air) like commercial or aid group traffic.
read the whole thing.

--------------------
AlJ notes that the SJW are not protesting the many killed in a truck bomb in Somalia. Why Not? Racism?

Well, no: because they were killed by Islamic terrorists, and the left loves Islamic terrorists, and most SJW are leftists. Pointing this out is a big no-no.

This is the same reason the SJW ignore the deaths in Yemen: They can't blame the US or the west for what is essentially a fight between the Saudis and the Iranians.

But the failure to notice the many killed or fleeing the war in the Congo is indeed racist. UKGuardian story from January 2017.

Congo’s Catholic church said in a recent report that more than 3,300 people had been killed in Kasai since October. The church blamed government forces, their proxies and the insurgents. More than a million people may have been displaced and were threatened with malnutrition and disease – historically the two biggest killers of civilians during conflicts in the country – it added.
more recent report about nearby Burundi at Crux. (which reports Catholic news).

Later stories are about the murder of wildlife activists, because of course SJW care more about wildlife than black children.

-----------------------

Friday, October 06, 2017

The US is helping Niger ?




In Niger, not Nigeria.

I was under the impression that France was doing a lot of the training in this area.

But not my area of expertise.

The Congo war starts again

Sigh. A long discussion on StrategyPage, 

local warlords behind the violence.

the good news: UN peacekeepers are trying to keep things from going into another full time civil war.

The bad news: They are corrupt.


UN peacekeepers have been in Congo for 18 years and have cost the UN about a billion dollars a year. It is the largest peacekeeping operation the UN has and this year the Congo force had to deal with an eight percent budget cut with more to come. One reason is the growing corruption and other criminal activity among the more hat 20,000 UN personnel in Congo. Corruption and other criminal activity is not unusual in the UN, especially in situations where the UN has been in an area for a long time and had opportunities to develop more relationships with local criminals (often government officials).

Saturday, September 30, 2017

African music




In Africa, singing and drumming has a long history.

Our German sisters who ran our hospital, brought up on classical music, only heard banging and noise, but I could detect the rhythms, because American popular music tends to be a combination of celtic ballads and African rhythms, and I was amazed to find how complicated the rhythmic patterns are: Often different drummers played different rhythm in complementary forms to each other.

The nurses tried to give me a lesson in using one of the smaller drums, but alas I didn't have the time to actually get into the complicated rhythms of traditional songs.

Here is a lecture on African music at the Library of Congress about it: Downloaded for later watching.



The Mbira is another instrument. Usually you see these in craft shops as a single line, but professionals use a larger and more complicated one.

Alex Weeks at English Wikipedia


No, you don't play the melody on it: The melody is sung,  and the mbira is played counterpoint to the song, as can be heard in this film:



People will carry small versions with them and play them in leisure time, but professional musicians have larger versions.

usually the larger version is played inside a gourd or as in this film, with a sounding board.




You can often "buy" one at a craft shop or make your own, but like any instrument, it is part of the musical heritage, so you need to learn not only how to "play" it but the musical forms of Africa.

------------------------
cross posted from my other blog

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Pushing back the Sahara

from the BBC:


Eleven countries are planting a wall of trees from east to west across Africa, just under the southern edge of the Sahara desert.
The goal is to fight the effects of climate change by reversing desertification.



wikipedia page here


Since 2005, the Great Green Wall concept has developed considerably. Lessons learned from the Algerian Green Dam[4] or the Green Wall of China led to understand the need of an integrated multi-sectorial approach for sustainable results.[5] From a tree planting initiative, the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel has evolved to a development programming tool. In 2007, during the eight ordinary session of the Conference of Heads of State and Governments held on January 29 and 30, 2007 in Addis-Ababa (Ethiopia), African Heads of State and Government endorsed the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative with the objective of tackling the detrimental social, economic and environmental impacts of land degradation and desertification in the region.[3]

UKGuardian article (2012).

AlJ video:



Thursday, September 14, 2017

more violence in the Congo coming?

AustinBay has another article on the unrest in the Congo due to the President there deciding not to obey the constitution and trying to stay in power.

Some observers argue the Kasai insurgency illustrates what could happen throughout the country if Kabila continues to illegally remain in office. Yes, another brutal civil war. Kabila maintains power because he controls the security forces and the government's patronage system. His presidential guard unit is the most powerful military unit in the country — with the major exception of the UN's MONUSCO peacekeeping force.
The Angolan government was once a staunch Kabila ally. Kasai's refugees and Kabila's failure to end the conflict have ended the alliance. Angola, Congo's largest and most populous neighbor, now calls Kabila an illegal president. Angola also possesses central Africa's most powerful national army.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Pope Francis: Obey me Minions

there are a lot of fault lines in church history, including if the bishops are devised from below or from above.

If you let the 'people' chose the bishops, it allows a coterie to push their own guy into power (as in the early church) but if you let the Pope/Vatican do it, you can get a person who the locals ( or the locals in charge) don't like. In places where bishops are powerful or governments are tyrannical, that can cause problems. Think of the power struggles of the Anglo Saxon vs the norman bishops who wanted to reform the locals. Hence the Philippines has it's own breakaway church from the Catholics, and of course in history a lot of the reason for Lutheran and Anglican churches had to do more with politics and nationalism than with dogma.

Since an isolated church can easily slide into heresy or nepotism, you can see the problem.

The church is not just spiritual, but has intitutions such as schools and hospitals, and in some places the priest/ minister is the most educated person around. This has changed in a lot of areas today, thanks to universal education and cheap books (and not the internet) but you still see how politics can rear it's ugly head in church matters.

Nor is it a Catholic problem, as we see as churches that are formed around a charismatic leader degenerates as the leader dies and his sons are not as holy as he was. Think Pastor Shuller in the USA or the InaCristo here in the Philippines.

To outsiders, it looks like trivia, but often it is a subtle thing that means a lot to those involved.

Pope Francis' tendency to push people around is not good: The pope is a pastor/shepherd, not a dictator, no matter what the Fundie protestants think.

And his love of power, not sensitivity to culture, is seen in this Vatican power play against a Nigerian diocese that doesn't want an outsider as their leader (even an outsider from the same tribe)...

according to the comments, he is from a different subtribe who speak a different dialect,

The Tribes have their own dialects and see themselves as unique entities from within. However we all see them as Igbo from outside.
The tribes include
-Onitsha
-Ika
-Nsukka
-Ezza
-Mbaise
-Abriba
-Ikwerre
-Oguta
Etc etc etc.
Their (Igbo) ethnology is one of the most interesting in Nigeria.
Sadly, they are misunderstood.

and the writer clarifies the problem in a second comment...
The diocese is rural and largely away from the city but it is dense in terms of the strength of numbers, both parishioners and priests. They’ve literally taken it upon themselves to train and build this diocese. They’ve also supported and trained many priests from around the country of different tribes. These priests number in the thousands. More than any rural diocese in Nigeria.
With this, there are about 1000 possible persons who qualify from the local diocese and probably up to 2000+ priests that qualify from the state.
This is based on their knowledge of the diocese, its peculiarities and difficulties.
Interestingly, out of these numbers from the diocese, not one has ever been made a Bishop anywhere. So the question is why??
Shockingly, it’s nepotism. The church Ij the east was first domiciled in the Anambra axis and even through others in the east have grown. The Anambra axis doesn’t recognize this fact and tends to through their influence dictate to others who may have slightly different views than they have. This to the local priest is unfair and a sort of denial on the part of the church of both the progress they’ve made and the sacrifices they continue to make.

Therefore, the nepotism claim or tribalism is reversed. Let me explain.
In Nigeria today, this Anambra archdiocese accounts for up to 15 Bishops. Many sent to other smaller dioceses. The argument here was that the Ahiara diocese isn’t a small diocese but has successfully run itself with its own priests and schools and hospitals for about 30years.
They therefore see this as a set back and the people I’ve spoken to see it as if the over 1000 priests they have trained and or sponsored are not good enough or are just plain evil people. This is not fair.
Like I said none of them has ever been sent to oversee their fellow priests anywhere in the universal Catholic Church.
Well, I think they should accept the decision since they’ve made their points for those who care to seek the facts. The question is wil their rural people understand why they or their leaders are not worthy of this honor??
I don’t know!!
 this is a local paper and the comment section is quite interesting.

essentially most of the bishops are all from the same diocese, and locals see this as a power play by this outside diocese to make their local church be seen as inferior to the big shot outsiders who want to run all the local churches.

Yup. Local politics is involved, but also a question if the church is universal or local: should the people have input into who leads them?

. More here.

Crux summary here.


Francis lays out his demands, accusing the recalcitrant priests of wanting “to destroy the church,” and saying he’d even considered suppressing the diocese. Instead, he’s demanding they all write to “clearly manifest total obedience to the pope,” including their willingness to accept the bishop he appoints. No matter how you slice it, it’s a dramatic show of papal muscle. Even Francis conceded, “this seems pretty harsh,” but said he was doing it “because the People of God is scandalized, and Jesus reminds us that whoever causes scandal has to face the consequences.
No, I didn't work in Nigeria so am not knowledgible about the ins and outs.

And does the holyman caste have anything to do with this?I don't know.

my work in Africa was in rural Zimbabwe with the Mashona, and in Monrovia Liberia. Yes I worked with Nigerians there but didn't get to know the culture. So I post this as an FYI.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

migrants? not exactly

GetReligion links to several news stories about Nigerian girls being trafficked as prostitutes to Italy, Europe, and Arab countries.

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.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

The Congo peace accord backstory

Awhile back, the Catholic bishops in the Congo backed a peace accord.

 StrategyPage has a summary on the story and what is going on there.


 February 6, 2017: Many Congolese are not convinced the president Kabila will ever comply with the December 31, 2016 agreement brokered by the Catholic Church. That deal (“the December accord”) was made between the political opposition and several senior members of Kabila’s government. However, Kabila himself was not personally a party to the agreement. The agreement stipulated that Kabila could remain in power until national elections are held near the end of 2017.... 

so why does he want to stay in power? follow the money:

Kabila and his family are wealthy and that fortune could be lost or severely depleted if a reform-minded new government decides to recover billions stolen by corrupt politicians. The Kabila clan has extensive mineral interests (including gold, cobalt, diamonds and copper). Many of these family interests are in Katanga province. Corruption in the government Kabila controls has made his family and associates wealthier. It’s an old and wretched story. (Austin Bay)

 read the whole thing.

AlJ has an article on the M23 rebels.


International human rights groups say M23 fighters have been responsible for widespread war crimes, including summary executions, rapes, and the forced recruitment of children. In March 2013, following infighting between two M23 factions, Ntaganda turned himself in to the United States embassy in Rwanda and was extradited to The Hague.
Why the rebellion?The rebels say they started their rebellion because they were not happy with the pay and conditions in the Congolese army. But Congolese government officials and analysts say the mutiny began when the government came under pressure to arrest Ntaganda and hand him over to the ICC.
Given the fact that M23 is a ragtag army, and the vast 1136km distance between Goma and Kinshasa, it is highly unlikely that the rebels can topple the government. But they have continued to fight, sometimes emerging victorious after battles with poorly trained and ill-equipped soldiers. Many say the rebellion is fuelled by the presence of vast mineral resources in eastern DR Congo, claiming the rebels want to win control of them.
again follow the money.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Pedophilia scandal.

The UK Telegraph story of a friend of the Archbishop of Canterbury who is a pedophile. And a murderer.

A previous court case in Zimbabwe was dropped because of irregularities

A lot of our ric criminals get off this way in the Philippines.

I believe Jesus called this a wolf in sheep's clothing, and advised the millstone treatment for such people. (the old fashioned equivalent of the Mafia's cement sshoe treatment)

Sickening.

famine news

I am sending money to a friend in Zimbabwe to help her family (mainly to pay school fees for her nephews and nieces) and I haven't heard from here in several months. I hope she is well: She has high blood pressure and has had a stroke, and the last email said she is having problems getting to a computer or using her cellphone to text me that she received her money. I can't send much: I am on social security, but every little bit helps.

The money crisis there is bad: They had uberiflation which got in the news a couple years ago, but later allowed people to use SARands or US dollars, which did help: I can now send her US dollars by Western Union and know she is getting the amount I sent her, not the amount that was legal by official government exchange, which was much lower than the money was worth.

now, if you know history, the lack of money in hand has caused frustration  and even hardship, so the latest item (VOA) says that the gov't is trying to have the rural folks use debit cards etc. instead of coins.

Zimbabwe has a fairly high standard of education, and when politics and financial collapse occurred (due to Mugabe's socialist policies, but also because of sanctions because Mugabe stole the land from White farmers to distribute to locals, and later to his friends. Of course the white farmers got the land from the people, but never mind).

So the educated skedaddled to get jobs elsewhere: in the UK but mainly in South Africa, often as illegal immigrants, who work to try to support the families back home.

Hollywood teds to blame Trump, but these problems are nothing new, and Hollywood has indeed had films/tv shows that examine the issues under the guise of Science Fiction.  If you saw the sciFi movie District 9, well, that started as a short film satire against the dislike of immigrants. So under Trumpie, will the US be District 9, or Alien Nation, which is about assimilating refugees from outer space?

Well, anyway, this year the rains didn't come again so hunger again is a problem in rural areas. Not getting a lot of publicity in the US MSM. Get Religion links to this story about famine in rural Kenya, which will break your heart.

The point is that governments are trying to cope, but not doing a good enough job. The Red Cross is there, as are many from the "faith communities", but Muslim and Christian, which are on the front line of assistance.

And the article ends with a plea for improving the ability to farm:


Meanwhile, Matolo and other many faith leaders in East Africa continue to stress better farming methods, the use of quality seeds and increased water harvesting. “When I see the people starving, I feel desperate. I also feel disappointed that many of the promises by government officials to deliver water have not been honored,” said Matolo. “If these people can get water for irrigation, the area will become the country’s bread basket. They are doing it in Israel, which is a desert. Here, the soils are very fertile and the people are not lazy.”
The US has responded by increasing aid: Trump just sent 4 million more, on top of the 131 million already sent there since June 2015, which the UN, US and other agencies will use to feed people and work on the infrastructure. (safe water and sanitation).

Relief net has a long article about the various aid agencies helping countries in East and South Africa during this drought.

Aid agencies are often used since money to local governments might just get diverted. China has helped in Zimbabwe when western aid was cut over "human rights" abuses etc. but of course, lots of their money got diverted to keep the Mugabe regime in power.

and they mention that in Zimbabwe, the corn and other crops are being destroyed by the FallArmy worm.  This will need pesticides, and GM crops might help control it.

 CNN Report here.

sigh.

There are huge back stories about why not: From the countries emphasizing modernization in cities instead of farming, to the NGO's that too often oppose GM crops and the green revolution (and influence local governments to ban these modern crops), or NGO's who were more worried about animals than humans, to political instability and tribal politics, where one tribe got the money and the others were neglected. Indeed, in parts of Africa, a lot of the religious conflict is tribal conflict and/or traditional rivalry between farmers and herders.

Zimbabwe doesn't have a lot of religious conflicts, although there is a low grade one between between the Matabele (a warrior tribe and Zulu offshoot) and the Mashona (pacifistic farmers).

These famines are not new: as I said in an earlier post, they had a major one when I was there in the 1970's, and another in the 1990's. Sigh.

but one thing that is often left out of these stories (which in the western press alas often follow the  "westerners aid poor African" meme): that the Diaspora is supporting their families.

This HuffPost story is about remittances sent back from those who migrated to work elsewhere and are sending money home.

According to a report published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in 2013, remittances sent to the world’s poorest countries including 33 African countries have increased to US $27 billion in 2011 from US $3.5 billion in 1990.

South African mining is a big source of these remittances, but then there are a lot of other stories out there about undocumented educated workers who do menial jobs to support their families.

This is the back story of all those Africans trying to sneak into Europe, or my previous post about Africans in China.

There are an estimated 400 thousand illegal black immigrants in the US: Some from Haiti or the West Indies, but many from Africa.

these immigrants have faces, and families. So do we gather them up and send them back, or work to integrate them? District 9 or Alien Nation? Anyone? Anyone?






 
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