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Oct-24-2010 21:37printcomments

Africa: Faces in Words

New weekly update on the breaking stories in the African nations.

Paul and Rachel Chandler, the retired British couple whose yacht was hijacked by pirates near the Seychelles
Paul and Rachel Chandler, the retired British couple whose yacht was hijacked by pirates near the Seychelles in 2009. From the video available at:

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Unseen, unheard; no one should be the bearer of these two words. Unfortunately, Africa is often in the forefront of this association.

Our common humanity should change this; we should never look away because it is too distant. Our commitment to one another, to human rights, and the ability to learn should always keep us connected no matter the severity and complexity of problems.

Important insights from last week, not to be missed:

British couple marks year in Somali Captivity - A retired British couple whose yacht was hijacked by pirates near the Seychelles in 2009 were to mark a year in captivity Saturday, with negotiations for their release at a standstill. Paul and Rachel Chandler were captured on October 23 last year, a day after leaving the idyllic shores of the Indian Ocean archipelago for Tanzania.

Responsibility to Protect? Hardships in the Wake of the UN’s Darfur visit - Immediately following the U.N. Security Council’s recent two-day visit to Sudan’s western region of Darfur, sources on the ground reported that Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services, or NISS, was pursuing a number of people who had met with the Council. The drama that transpired as a result of the U.N.’s high-level visit prompts important questions about how to raise awareness without putting individuals in danger in a volatile place like Darfur.

Kenya: Sex Workers Care for HIV-affected Peers - Shunned by mainstream society, sex workers with HIV-related illnesses in Nairobi are unlikely to receive help from concerned neighbours. Instead, some of them are being cared for by fellow sex workers.

Media Watchdog Condemns Ugandan Paper Exposing Gays - A Ugandan media watchdog is condemning a local newspaper, which published a story that featured the names, photographs, and contact details of 100 alleged homosexuals and called for them to be hanged.

Uganda: Police urged to Quickly probe Death of Journalists - THE Uganda Journalists Union (UJU) has called upon the Police to speed up investigations into the murder of the two journalists who were killed in the line of duty. Top Radio and TV freelance journalist Paul Kiggundu was beaten to death on September 11 as he covered boda boda riders who were breaking a house in Kyotera, while Dickson Ssentogo was found clobbered to death on September 13 as he travelled to read the early morning news at Prime Radio in Mukono

Liberia: Over 600 Women Benefit From UNFPA Fistula Project - As part of her three-day official visit to Liberia, UNICEF and UNAIDS Special Representatives for Children and AIDS Her Royal Highness Princess Mathilde Tuesday inspected the Liberian Fistula Project at the Government Hospital in Tubmanburg, Bomi County. Fistula is an embarrassing and painful illness that causes women to urinate of pass stool on themselves due to abnormal openings in the victims' private part resulting from damages or operations and other labor-related complications.

Kenya: Groups Demand Inquiry on Poll Chaos Rape Cases - Fresh investigations are needed to expose police officers and militiamen who raped women in the 2007 post-election violence. Key speakers at function to launch the State of World Population 2010 report expressed fears that ongoing investigations meant to trace key masterminds of the violence may spare people who executed sexual offences, including youths and neighbors.

Swaziland prime minister threatens to censor columnists - The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by a recent statement from Swaziland's Prime Minister, Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini, announcing his intention to create a law requiring newspaper columnists to seek permission before they write critically about the government.

Africa: Sexual Violence Used to Break the will of Civilians - Modern war is often not about soldier against soldier, but a struggle to "break the will of civilians - women, girls, men and boys" by whatever means possible - including rape - the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) State of the World Population 2010 report published on 20 October states. The term gender-based violence is often used to refer to violence against women, but, as the UN Guidelines for Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings state, "it is important to note ... men and boys may also be victims of gender-based violence, especially sexual violence".

Sudan: Girl kills Herself after being Force to Marry in Lake State - A 17 year old school girl has killed herself in Wulu county of Lakes state last month after being forced to marry a man by her family, according to police and the county Commissioner. Nyikada Ngoki from the Yidula tribe who was forced to married Adal Mangok of the Yiberti tribe shot herself dead using a gun belonging to his in-law after she was left in house by herself.

Alysha Atma spends many hours working on projects that support and benefit the beleaguered people of African nations who spend way too much time off the western media's radar. This writer explains that she is a culmination of all her experiences, most importantly knowledge she says, and all that she still needs to learn; lessons of love, laughter and the extraordinary giving of both young and old. She says she has the enormous fortune of learning from the best; every person around her, and the amazing strength and fortitude of those she has never met but will always strive to listen to. "I continue to work and write because I believe in the power of community and the power of one, both contradictory to each other and yet can move together in a very powerful way. I feel a responsibility to use my place, freedoms and connections here in the US to stand up and yell for those who need my voice and actions. I have seen such strength in my fellow humans that I cannot even begin to comprehend, they have traveled distances, have gone without food, water, shelter and safety for days and weeks at a time. I have a responsibility as a fellow human to put our common humanity before anything else. Everyone deserves to look towards tomorrow, to dream of a safe future and to have a peaceful present." You can write to Alysha Atma at:

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Forceful married in Lakes state October 27, 2010 11:12 am (Pacific time)

Dear, forceful married is part of Dinka cultures and this part had kill number of girls and lastly the ended up in bringing poor children. I was the one who wrote this story above and you can reach me at

Ahmed Mohamed October 25, 2010 6:01 pm (Pacific time)

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Is it any wonder, then, that once, when asked about Goldman Sachs’ incredibly lucrative and yet highly controversial actions in stirring the pot of global finance, Mr. Blankfein stunningly retorted, "I’m doing God’s work." Indeed, he is doing "God’s Work;" that is, if we agree with the famed nineteenth century German Jewish writer and philosopher Heinrich Heine, who wryly observed, "Money is the god of the Jews, and Rothschild is his prophet."

Chad October 25, 2010 12:41 pm (Pacific time)

It’s sickening to think that genocide is still in full force around the world. Thankfully the powerful in the world are trying to help out as much as they can. Uwe Boll’s new film Attack on Darfur is trying to get people to pay attention. It shoves you into the horror that surrounds Sudan and isn’t afraid to show the unbearable. This film hits you hard and doesn’t let up for the sake of brutal honesty. I'm pretty sure the DVD comes out Oct. 26th.

Luke Easter October 25, 2010 1:32 am (Pacific time)

We don't look away because it is too distant we look away because there is no money to be made. It's not cost effective. Capitalistic Prosperity or a lack of in this situation. Sorry, but all the powers that be have one thing in common. Profit!

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.


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