Posts Tagged ‘poverty’

Ben Tavener

Anadolu Agency

RIO DE JANEIRO – Police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets at anti-World Cup protesters who clashed violently with riot police at a rally near the Maracanã stadium in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, as the tournament final between Germany and Argentina was about to kick off.

As well as voicing anger over World Cup spending by the government, protesters also demanded an end to what they see as police repression and denounced the preemptive arrests of 37 protesters ahead of the rally.

The rally was held 1.2km from the stadium, and a mixture of military, riot and mounted police forces heavily outnumbered the 300 protesters present, some of whom identified themselves as from the anarchic “Black Bloc” movement.

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CounterPsyOps

9 juin 2014 – Police locked Sao Paolo metro stations and fired tear gas at protesters as a metro-driver strike paralysed the country, sparking hundreds of miles of traffic jams in major cites presently making final preparations for the World Cup. Over the past year hundreds of thousands took part in massive social unrest at corruption and high prices.

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Dandelion Salad

Dandelion Salad

with Noam Chomsky

videonation – May 6, 2013

Post-9/11 repression pales in comparison to what Americans have had in the past, and we have more ways to make a change than people used to have. So why aren’t we doing anything with them?

“I’ve never seen such fear and anger in the country before,” Noam Chomsky says in this video. “On the other hand, the opportunities are greater than before. There’s much more freedom.”

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Dandelion Salad

Dandelion Salad

PressTVGlobalNews · May 4, 2013

Spanish people are giving life to many schools which have been abandoned for years, forsaken factories, foreclosed and empty buildings and many more places.

The local citizens of Madrid refurbish these abandoned places to express themselves, to fight, to manage the struggle, create new possibilities for the residents and carry out various projects.

They create these spaces to use as social centers, to held social workshops, cultural programs, classes and assembly meetings and also provide services to fellow citizens.

This, as the Spanish society is struggling with double-dip recession, fierce austerity measures and 26% unemployment can create a great refuge for the citizens and social activists.

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CounterPsyOps

Unemployment in Spain already stands at 26%. Crowds scavenge the streets at night for food. And life is about to get tougher still

20130102-185104.jpg
A family prepares to sleep on the street in Madrid. Oxfam says that by 2022, 38% of the Spanish population could be in poverty. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

By Giles Tremlett, The Guardian

Forget, for a moment, the Greek tragedy. The tale of social woe set to play out in Spain this year is both bigger and more important to the world. For the drama of rescuing the euro, or letting it sink, will be played out on Spanish soil.

That is not to say Spaniards will have it worse than Greeks, though Eurostat figures show only Bulgaria and Romania now have a higher percentage of people deemed at risk of poverty. Spain’s economy will shrink, once more, by 1.5% – a dramatic enough figure, though one most…

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Dandelion Salad

Dandelion Salad

Nov 15, 2012 by strugglevideomedia

Alan Akrivos explains the issues in the huge strikes by Greek, Italian, Portuguese and Latin American workers. Nov. 14, 2012 in New York City.

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Silver Lining

by Kian Mokhtari, source

A chatty London cab driver keeps repeating, “Yeah mate, it’s all been sewn up ‘ere in London, we’ll all be movin’ to Mars next mate”. And you can hear the same story over and over again from folk in Europe’s better-off capital cities.

Each nation’s capital city has become so expensive that only very select groups of people can afford to live there: the elite and their servants.

There are no longer any excuses made, no pretense is dispensed and common courtesy is unceremoniously out of the window. The demise of the middle classes in Western Europe is absolute. An unemployed friend, previously an accounting assistant jokes that she has been replaced by an IPhone, and sadly she is not off the mark by much at all.

The middle classes were first relegated to the suburbs to make way for “their betters”. But price fixing and…

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Truth11

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Anthony Gucciardi
Activist Post

In a telling story highlighting the true face of political corruption, corrupt Indian politicians have successfully stolen more than $14.5 billion worth of food from starving poverty-stricken citizens. Looting over 57,000 tons of food intended for the starving poor, the unpunished corrupt lawmakers and politicians are warehousing the mass amount of food supplies in a government-owned storage facility that spans more than five football fields in length.

The blatant corruption has been confirmed in a recent report by mainstream media outletBloomberg, which reports that many of the starving 350 million families whose food has been stripped away by the government are currently ‘surviving’ on less than 50 cents per day. The nefarious government hooligans robbed away the region’s five-decade-old public food distribution system which served as virtually the only way in which the struggling families could survive.

Law still…

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The video below is posted by Syrian Girl.

Syrian Insurgents Force Prisoner to become a Suicide Bomber, This report was done by NY Times and BBC picked it up, both news sites have now removed the video and Syrian Girl has annotated this copy of the original BBC Report for Fair Use.

Comments below are from Syrian Girl Youtube Video Channel.

“This video and story has now been completely taken down by the BBC. It was originally from the new york times. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19342917 I have uploaded it on my channel in the previous video. But have also annotated my own version which is fair use incase they force me to take the other one down.”

“It shows how callous and blood thirsty these NATO/Israel backed warcriminals can be! So much for freedom loving unarmed protesters”

The Extinction Protocol

August 14, 2012PARIS, FR (AP) — Months of tension between police and young people in a troubled district of northern France exploded on Tuesday, with dozens of youths facing off against riot officers in a night of violence. Sixteen officers were injured, a pre-school and public gym was torched, and at least three passing drivers in Amiens were dragged from their cars. While the identity of the rioters and the immediate cause is unclear, the economic picture of the area in question is not. Unemployment skews higher in northern France and among the country’s youth. Less than two weeks ago, the French government declared Amiens among 15 impoverished zones to receive more money and security. The eruption of violence shows how little relations have changed between police and youths in France’s housing projects since nationwide riots in 2005 raged unchecked for nearly a month, leaving entire neighborhoods…

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The Extinction Protocol

August 14, 2012BEIJINGThe armyworm outbreak in China’s key grain producing areas has posed a major threat to the corn and rice crops this year, authorities said Tuesday. The agriculture ministry has warned the local governments to heed to its pest control advice to ensure grain security, the China Daily reported.We haven’t seen such a pest plague in so many places in almost a decade,” a spokesman for the ministry’s crop production department said. To date, at least two million hectares of autumn crops nationwide have been affected. The areas include Hebei, Jilin, Liaoning, Heilongjiang and Shanxi provinces, the Inner Mongolia region and Beijing and Tianjin municipalities. The government will allocate 200 million yuan ($3.5 million) to fight the pests, the official added. –NY Daily

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Who profits from our foreign aid?: carving up the pie, where the little-known dominate | Crikey.

 

Who profits from our foreign aid? Today, continuing Crikey’s special coverage, we carve up the cake to show who’s getting what from Australia’s foreign aid budget.

 

The biggest benefactors are not who you think. Rather than the big NGOs, who actually get very little government aid money to deliver programs, the little-known Coffey International tops the list (we’ll delve into them next week). Here are the key findings:

 

  • Corporations get the majority of Australian aid contracts and nearly 85% of the value of those contracts
  • Six corporations get between them more than half of the value of the contracts
  • The corporate share is even larger when you consider the university sector also is nearly always under pressure to include corporate-style profit margins as they seek to compensate for government funding cuts
  • Coffey International gets the largest share and in one year got 37% of the value of the contracts
  • A dramatic shift from NGOs to corporates took place over the Howard years — before 2003, NGOs got a larger share of contracts
  • The aid budget has increased under the Rudd government but for the most part it has been business as usual
  • The proportion of aid contracts going to corporates has slightly declined under Labor with most of the shift going to individuals rather than aid NGOs
  • Many individuals are also trading as small businesses but if the business only appeared to have one or two individuals, these contracts have been included with individuals
  • Contracts often last for several years so some trends across the years may simply reflect that the companies have plenty of work on the books.

 

Read the full Original Post here at Crikey News.

Chart3

Note: This information is posted under the Copyright “fair use policy”. This information is provided free of charge and no monetary gains will be made by the sharing of this information. it is my belief that this information is important to the Australian citizens.  Original source identified and Website and Author stated.

Ugandan police arrest opposition leader – Africa – Al Jazeera English.

Ugandan police have arrested opposition leader Kizza Besigye ahead of a planned protest over spiralling food and fuel prices in the capital Kampala.

A senior official from Besigye’s party , the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), said he was arrested on Monday as he prepared to go to work.

“Besigye was arrested as he left his house this morning and is being held in Kasangati” police station on the outskirts of Kampala, said Alice Alaso, the secretary general of the FDC.

Besigye, who came a distant second in the February 18 election that was won by Yoweri Museveni, the president, had threatened to stage Egypt-style protests if the election was rigged, but stopped short of staging a protest though he dismissed the vote as fraudulent.

On April 11 Besigye was arrested, along with several opposition politicians, for taking part in a march dubbed “walk to work” where marchers refuse to use their cars and walk to work as a protest against high fuel prices.

Al Jazeera’s Malcom Webb in Kampala said the high prices are an opportunity for the opposition to get people on the streets.

“People are unhappy; people are restless,” he said.

Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba confirmed the arrest and said it was in connection with the planned demonstration.

Besigye, 54, walked to church unobstructed on Sunday but his “walk to work” campaign has been roundly blocked.

Museveni has warned he will deal firmly with any unauthorised demonstrations and mocked Besigye in a press conference on Saturday.

“We made it clear to Besigye that you are not going to demonstrate or to walk. If you want to walk, go somewhere and take a walk,” Museveni said.

Ugandan police on Thursday clashed with protesters in Kampala and several other towns as Besigye appeared bent on opposing the regime.

Protesters say steep prices are due to bad governance, but Museveni, who has ruled the east African country for a quarter of a century, insisted drought and foreign factors were to blame.

“Food prices have gone up because of unreliable rain and the bigger market in the region. Will the world prices go down because Besigye has demonstrated?” he said.

The consumer price index grew by four per cent in March from the previous month and the country’s year-on-year inflation rate stands at 11.1 per cent.

Museveni argued that Besigye’s opposition campaign risked destabilising the economy further and urged Ugandans to act responsibly and use fuel sparingly

10th January, 2011 – Rebecca-Anne Fowler

The second day of referendum voting for Southern Sudanese in Australia has started again at 8am this morning. 

Last night i was invited by one of my Southern Sudanese friends William, to attend a celebration/meeting of Southern Communites after the first day of referendum voting ended.  The night was a mix of speech’s, dancing and celebration for the coming months ahead.

Speech’s were given by elders and leaders, women were dancing and singing and the mood was electric, the theme: A New Sudan. When anyone mentioned a New Sudan the place erupted into cheers, it was amazing to see the Unity of the Southern Sudanese Tribes in this room.   I myself was even called to give a speech. This was totally out of the blue and not expected. I did my best unprepared speech and got a huge round of applause. I felt so welcomed by all who attended.

It was also a great night for me to catch up with a few of my students and others whom i met at the Youth Conference in Sydney in NOV. I got to catch up with the wonderful Mr John Garang (not the late of course) and he was dressed in his military attire. He was happy to pose for a photo with one of his friends. 

After speaking with a few of the attendee’s last night, i got a brief feeling that the general consensus for this vote will be a separation. One of the speakers said “The Late John Garang fought for this freedom for us, our fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers who were killed in the war have fought for this for us, now it is our turn to fight for them by voting in the referendum for separation.” Words than rang so true with most of the attendee’s.

I also spoke with a former “lost boy” who whilst not going into full details of his life, i could see that it had taken a devastating toll on the life of many. This particular gentleman now works for ActionAid and is doing great things here in Australia for his own community and many other communities around the world. It is so inspiring to know that someone who has been tested in the most atrocious  of ways in life, has come through and is now giving back to community. I am inspired and at awe of these wonderful resiliant people who have come through devastating times to find some hope in their future. It simply amazes me.

This Tuesday i will be heading into the referendum centre here in Homebush Sydney and will be speaking with some Southern Sudanese on their hopes and dreams for the referendum. I feel so simply honored to be able to be a part of their lives here in Australia and to share their stories with the world is truly a blessing for me.

This year i hope to start writing a book with a few of my students, their life stories. Its going to be an amazing year for the Southern Sudanese communities and i wish them all the hope and happiness for their futures.

-Freeuganda

 

Speakers and Woman Dancing at Celebration

All Photographs Copyrighted to Rebecca-Anne Fowler. Please DO NOT Distribute WITHOUT Permission

So today is my second last day at the HARDA office for this years African Men’s English Program. Tomorrow we will be having our graduation for 2010 and my students are excited yet aprehensive.

“What will we do for the next 8 weeks?” is a common question that is arising. With both our classes and TAFE classes finished for the year the men seem to be at a loss at what they will do with their time. Alot of them are asking about employment over the holidays, what can they do to gain some casual employment.

I feel troubled by the prospects of them going back to the parks they were sitting in before we were able to gain their attendance.  With all the weeks of nothing ahead (f0r our single students) they are at a loss. It pains me that i can not do more. I feel like i’m sometimes caught between a rock and a hard place. But yet again, i am only one person. I do what i can to make the lifes of those around me better and i guess that is all i can do.

I am looking forward to our graduation ceremony tomorrow morning and i know my students are as well. They have invited their families and i am hoping to see a great turnout in support of them. I have started to receive the tutor reports and am amazed at how well some of them have come in the last 12 months due to our program.  It makes me feel like we are doing something worthwhile and giving back to those who need our help.

I have made some wonderful friends with the Sudanese males that i have been involved with and the stories they can tell, wow they will blow you away.

Just this morning one of my students was telling me that he finally got to speak to his sister last month after 24 yrs of absence. She had no idea he was living in Australia and had not seen him since he was a small boy. I think of my own family and not seeing my sister for 24 yrs and how hard that would be on my family so i can only imagine how hard it has been for him. Living here in Australia with NO family. A Lost Boy, still searching for the life he wants. It pains me to hear his stories, so we made a pact, we will go to Sudan together one day and meet with his family. I myself am not rich, i struggle on financially with my own family and life but somehow, someday, god will help us take this journey together, so i can retrace his steps, meet his family and learn more about how my fellow friends from southern sudan have been forced to live for far too long in unresolved war like conditions. Ipray for nothing more than peace for southern sudan and for my friends to be able to return home to a democractic society that they so enjoy here in Australia.

I have also been trying to get on here and blog about my experience at the Horn of African Youth Conference a fortnight ago but am having issues with my internet cable (kids have tripped over it one too many times and its not working) and then my camera decided it did not want me to print the pics on the SD card when i took it to officeworks. So once i have fixed the “Technical” issues facing me ill have the blog up and the pics of the weekend up as well. (I am blogging from the HARDA office this morn).

Also Please Please Please if you want to do something  for someone this Christmas purchase one of our Shirts or Products from ALL FOR CHARITY STORE and 100% of the profits made are used to support a Child Headed Household in Uganda of 5 Children. Betty the eldest girl is a budding scientist and we would love nothing more than to see her acheive her goals. For more information on Betty and her family, please VISIT HERE

-Freeuganda

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 14 (UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency said Friday it was alarmed at reports of a dramatic rise in the frequency and brutality of attacks by the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) from Uganda against civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR).

Between March 20 and May 6 this year, there were at least 10 LRA raids on villages in southern CAR’s Haut-Mbomou province. Thirty-six people were killed, houses were burned and 10,000 people were uprooted, including 411 who fled across the border into the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The newly displaced are concentrated in the towns of Bangassou, Rafai, Zemio and Mboki.

In the eastern DRC, the latest large-scale LRA attack is reported to have occurred between February 22-26 at Kpanga in Bas-Uele district of Orientale province. The LRA is reported to have killed up to 100 people, including children. This is an area that has repeatedly suffered from LRA violence.

In Sudan, LRA attacks have centred on the Central and Western Equatoria regions, bordering Uganda, DRC and the Central African Republic. Since August 2009, the LRA has carried out renewed incursions, which have forced the relocation of refugees and the displacement of the local population as well as seriously disrupting the movement of humanitarian assistance.

On April 6, the rebel group raided the Ezo Napere refugee settlement in Western Equatoria, killing a male refugee and injuring another. The attack was repulsed by the South Sudan police force.

Roving bands of LRA fighters often prey on villages in remote areas. As a result, some of the group’s atrocities remain unknown for long periods.

The epicentre of LRA atrocities is in the two districts of Haut-Uele and Bas-Uele in Orientale province, where, since December 2008, it has killed more than 1,800 people, abducted some 2,500 and displaced 280,000 people. It has also forced nearly 20,000 Congolese to seek refuge in Sudan and the CAR.

In Sudan, the LRA is said to have caused the deaths of some 2,500 people and forcibly displaced another 87,800, mostly in Central and Western Equatoria.

The LRA sprung up in Uganda in 1986, established its first base in Sudan in 1993 and spread to the DRC in 2005, before moving further north into the Central African Republic in 2009.

In the CAR, the UN Taskforce on IDPs [internally displaced people], of which UNHCR is a member, is making arrangements to deliver aid to the newly displaced in Haute-Mbomou province as quickly as possible. An assessment mission will travel to Zemio this weekend to asses the needs of the internally displaced and refugees.

By Yusuf Hassan in Nairobi, Kenya

via UNHCR – Thousands flee, many killed as Lord’s Resistance Army steps up attacks.

For two decades in northern Uganda, a cult-like rebel group called the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) waged war against the government and local Acholi people, launching horrific attacks on villages, towns and camps for the internally displaced.

At the height of the conflict, the United Nations called northern Uganda one of the world’s most neglected humanitarian crises. Some 2 million people – about 90 percent of Acholiland – were uprooted from their homes and tens of thousands were killed or mutilated.

The LRA kidnapped thousands of children for use as fighters, porters and “wives”. Many were forced to perform terrible atrocities – including killing their families and other children. The rebels were also notorious for slicing off people’s lips, ears and noses or padlocking people’s lips shut.

A Sudanese-brokered ceasefire in August 2006 brought relative peace to northern Uganda. But rebel leader Joseph Kony has repeatedly refused to sign a final peace deal, demanding guarantees that he will not be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), which wants to try him for war crimes.

Kony’s rebels have camped out in remote regions of Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Central African Republic since the peace process started.

During the worst of the conflict in northern Uganda many people fled their homes to live in camps. Others were herded into the camps by the Ugandan army during counter-insurgency operations. The makeshift settlements lacked food and clean water and were vulnerable to rebel attacks.

At one time, almost 1,000 people were dying every week from disease, poor living conditions and violence, according to a 2005 survey of internally displaced in Acholiland by Uganda’s health ministry, New York-based aid agency International Rescue Committee and several U.N. agencies.

Improved security since peace talks has allowed about half of the displaced to return to their villages while about a quarter have moved to transit sites near their homes, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre says. But many people, including the elderly, disabled and orphaned, are still stuck in the camps. Despite relative peace, the problems in the north continue to undermine the country’s gains since the bloodshed and economic chaos of the Idi Amin and Milton Obote years.

Northerners ruled Uganda from independence in 1962 until Yoweri Museveni, a rebel leader from the southwest, seized power in 1986. Some critics accused him of prolonging the conflict to subdue political opposition in the north – an allegation he denies.

WHO ARE THE LRA?


Patrick Odong, 13, whose jaw was smashed by a bullet in 2002 as troops battled rebels in his village.<br> REUTERS/Patrick Olum
Patrick Odong, 13, whose jaw was smashed by a bullet in 2002 as troops battled rebels in his village.
REUTERS/Patrick Olum

Museveni’s seizure of power prompted a number of popular uprisings in the north. The LRA emerged in 1992, comprising northern rebel groups and former Obote troops. At its helm was Kony, a former altar boy and self-proclaimed prophet.

Kony, an Acholi himself, turned resentment towards Museveni into an apocalyptic spiritual crusade that has sustained one of Africa’s longest-running conflicts. Analysts say that aside from rabid opposition to Museveni, the rebels have showed no clear political goals during their insurgency.

Kony has said he is fighting to defend the Biblical Ten Commandments, although his group has also articulated a range of northern grievances, from the looting of cattle by Museveni’s troops to demands for a greater share of political power. A report by World Vision International says Kony’s spiritualism blends elements of Christianity, Islam and traditional Acholi beliefs to psychologically enslave abducted children and instil fear in local villagers.

In 1994, Sudan began backing the LRA with weapons and training and let it set up camps on Sudanese soil. Sudan was getting back at Uganda for supporting its own southern rebels during its 20-year civil war. It also used the LRA as a proxy to fight against the rebels. Sudan’s civil war came to an end in 2005 with a fragile peace deal. Khartoum says it has ended all support to the LRA. In 2002, Museveni launched a military campaign, “Iron Fist”, aimed at wiping out the LRA for good. Kony’s rebels responded by abducting more children and attacking more civilians. Some 10,000 children were seized in about a year. The number of displaced people shot up.

It was then that the phenomenon of “night commuting” emerged. Every evening tens of thousands of children trudged into towns like Gulu to sleep on the streets, rather than risk being kidnapped from their beds by the rebels. No one knows how many children have been abducted overall but the figure is widely believed to exceed 20,000. In October 2005, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Kony and other top LRA leaders, accusing them of multiple war crimes. Sudan agreed to let Ugandan troops pursue the rebels into its territory.

Within months, the LRA leaders sought refuge in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, rekindling historic tension between Kampala and Kinshasa. Operating from camps in Garamba National Park, in northeastern DRC, the LRA has attacked Congolese villages and towns, killed civilians and abducted children. Rebels have also attacked civilians across the border in Sudan.

HOPES FOR PEACE


A Uganda soldier sits on an amoured vehicle while escorting a U.N. convoy from Lira to Pader district, 2005.<br> REUTERS/ Joseph Akena
A Uganda soldier sits on an amoured vehicle while escorting a U.N. convoy from Lira to Pader district, 2005.
REUTERS/ Joseph Akena

South Sudan’s vice president, Riek Machar, himself a former rebel in Sudan’s north-south war, began mediating between the LRA and Museveni after meeting Kony in the bush near the Congolese border in May 2006. The LRA declared a unilateral ceasefire in early August and by the end of the month there was a truce in place.

Rebels agreed to gather in two assembly points in southern Sudan while negotiations continued. However, most rebels drifted away from the assembly points and both sides accused each other of breaking their word. A key obstacle in the negotiations is the fact the ICC global war crimes court wants senior rebels handed over for trial. The LRA has vowed never to sign a final peace deal unless Kampala persuades the ICC to drop the case – something analysts say is unlikely.

Talks between the rebels and the government have frequently stalled since 2006. In January 2008, it was confirmed that the LRA’s deputy commander Vincent Otti was dead following rumours he had been killed in late 2007. Numerous LRA deserters have said Kony shot his number two after accusing him of spying for the government. The news raised fears of a wobble in the peace process because Otti, regarded as the brains behind the group in contrast to the volatile Kony, had been a prime mover behind the LRA joining peace talks.

A possible breakthrough came in February 2008, when the Ugandan government and LRA signed a deal stipulating that Kampala would set up special war crimes courts to handle the gravest crimes, while traditional justice known as mato oput would be used for others.

This homegrown solution has the support of the Acholis, who have borne the brunt of the conflict. But Kony has repeatedly failed to show up to sign a final peace deal. With patience wearing thin, Uganda, DRC and southern Sudan began a major offensive against LRA camps in Garamba in December 2008. A U.S. official said Washington had provided equipment and helped plan the operation.

Semi-autonomous southern Sudan said its troops wouldn’t cross into Congo, but it would block any fleeing LRA rebels. The LRA responded by looting local villages, killing hundreds and displacing tens of thousands. Ugandan troops withdrew in March 2009, and the LRA continue to terrorise parts of Central African Republic, DRC and southern Sudan.

GUNS AND DROUGHT PLAGUE KARAMOJA


A Karamojong warrior at an army disarmament operation, 2007. <br>REUTERS/Euan Denholm
A Karamojong warrior at an army disarmament operation, 2007.
REUTERS/Euan Denholm

Karamoja, a semi-arid region in Uganda’s northeast along the border with Kenya, has been affected by banditry and inter-clan warfare for decades. But the drought-prone area has experienced escalating levels of violence in recent years due to an influx of arms and competition over resources. The Karamojong people are a semi-nomadic pastoral tribe who depend on cattle for their livelihood.

Their way of life has been disrupted by disputes over shrinking water supplies and a flood of cheap semi-automatic weapons trafficked from conflicts in the Horn of Africa. The influx of guns has made frequent cattle raids more deadly. The government has attempted to tackle the widespread possession of small arms through a series of disarmament programmes.

In 2006, after persistent raids, revenge killings and warrior ambushes, it began using a more aggressive approach, in which the army has surrounded villages with tanks and helicopter gunships and forcibly searched for weapons. Dozens of civilians have been killed, and cases of torture reported during the forced disarmament campaign. Houses have been burned down and hundreds of civilians have fled the violence. Traditional nomadic movement patterns have also been disrupted. The number of reported incidents fell in 2008, says Human Rights Watch, but violations continue.

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) says the government’s disarmament approach does not offer a sustainable solution to Karamoja’s insecurity because of the region’s economic and political marginalisation and limited ways to make a living. Karamoja is one of Uganda’s most impoverished regions, and lacks government services and institutions, including civilian policing. The neglect can be traced back to colonial times, when British administrators largely left Uganda’s northern tribes out of the process of modernisation.

Adding to the woes of poverty and violence, the population has been badly affected by successive years of drought. In May 2009 – during the hunger season – the entire population was experiencing food shortages, said the Famine Early Warning Systems Network. The region suffered a severe famine in the early 1980s, and still has the highest malnutrition rates in the country. Its livestock has been decimated by disease since 2007.

According to World Health Organisation figures, the region has very high child and maternal mortality rates compared with the national average. Rights groups are also concerned about forced evictions. In one case cited by the United Nations, a group of women and children were kicked out of their homes on the grounds that they were providing intelligence information to warriors.

Meanwhile, the government has tried to get hundreds of Karamojong who have migrated to the capital Kampala to return to the northeast. Aid agencies are worried that returns have not been voluntary in some cases, and that the government has failed to provide adequate support.

via Reuters AlertNet – Uganda violence.

* Rights group wants phone network and radio stations

* Says U.N. member countries should send in elite military

* U.N. says has not got enough troops, asked to withdraw

By Katrina Manson

KINSHASA, March 28 (Reuters) – The United Nations must boost peacekeeping forces in areas of Africa where Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels operate to stop massacres such as one that killed more than 300 people in December, a rights group said.

The Ugandan rebel group has killed and abducted people on a regular basis for the last 23 years, from Uganda, Sudan, Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo, Human Rights Watch noted in a report.

It said the United Nations has fewer than 1,000 peacekeepers in this vast and and often impenetrable areas where the rebels mount their attacks.

The U.N. says the LRA killed more than 1,200 people in a 10-month period throughout 2008 and 2009, while the rights group puts the death toll in a massacre previously unreported in the remote northeast last December at 321.

“The four-day rampage demonstrates that the LRA remains a serious threat to civilians and is not a spent force, as the Ugandan and Congolese governments claim,” Anneke Van Woudenberg, a senior researcher at HRW, said.

HRW also wants the Congolese government to work with mobile phone companies to bring network coverage to the area.

One witness cycled 60 km (40 miles) to find a telephone to inform the U.N. of the massacre, and villages that were subsequently attacked knew nothing of nearby attacks.

via Troops, cash needed to fight Uganda rebels-group | News by Country | Reuters.

My Opinion

(“Donor aid should come in areas where Uganda needs development not in governance,” Mr Museveni said. “I am already an expert in governance who can again lecture me about governance?”)  – “Honestly who is this guy kidding? he is an expert in governance!? so why is his country full of corrupt politicians and military officials and its countrymen do not know, information is not made public? why do people have no access to clean water? why do you have rebels attacking innocent civilians, why, why, why? oh it must be because you have such great governance skills!

Sheesh, i have not heard such crap before as what i hear from this man repeatedly! Taking into consideration it was this man who abolished term limits for presidents, thus allowing him to be president as long as he wants to.  Acts of intimidation by military and politicians of the opposite party, tortures and abductions, missing people and murder.  Not to mention the current bill going through legislation that will effectively ban “free media”. Without media free from government control, just like Iran, the country will become a dictatorship country.  Museveni YOU ARE a Dictator. You overtook a government with military force (albeit he was a dictator too) and committed crimes against humanity yet you say it was all Dr Obote and his army, I suggest to you that it was NOT all him and that you also, are responsible for mass murder, conscription of children for military use, crimes against humanity and corruption.  Regardless of the crimes committed by  Dr Obote and his army, you sir are just as evil as him. You have dictated to your country men what they need to hear and not what is actually happening. You have twisted your reasoning and bargained your way into a position of power, like Kony, you will not relenquish that power, until you do, Uganda will suffer.

I think the Donor countries have every right to call out Museveni on his lack of governance not his expertise.  Alot of his countries budget is made up from donor funds sent by these countries.  If he has and still is letting down his countrymen by being a dictator, imagine how hard their lives would become if the donor countries pulled their funds, i suggest mass malnutrition and poverty and crime would seriously escalate. Northern Uganda has finally found some kind of peace and people are moving home from the IDP camps. The country is finally coming slowly with stability and yet this man continually pushes the boundaries with his “im holier than thou” attitude. He seems to think that he is superior to his fellow man.

I really hope that for the sake of All Ugandans, Museveni is not re-elected president again, as i feel that the country will stop going forward and rather start heading in reverse. All the things that have been achieved will become like a distant memory. ”

Rebecca Fowler – Freeuganda

The Report

President Museveni has hit back in a continuing row with donors telling them not to ask questions about governance. The President’s comments on Friday came on the same day this newspaper revealed that three senior western diplomats had written to the Electoral Commission over the slow pace of reforms ahead of next year’s election.

Put aid elsewhere

Speaking during the launch of a book on economic reforms in Uganda, President Museveni said donors should not tie development assistance to demands for better governance and democracy. “Donor aid should come in areas where Uganda needs development not in governance,” Mr Museveni said. “I am already an expert in governance who can again lecture me about governance?”

While President Museveni has previously told off donors, his latest comments come amidst growing local and international pressure on his government to improve governance and protect civil liberties.

The United States government, which is a key ally, has made democracy and good governance top of its agenda in Uganda under the Obama administration and is closely monitoring the road to the election.

The US ambassador to Uganda, Mr Jerry Lanier and his counterparts Martin Shearman (UK) and Joroen Verhaul (Netherlands) on March 3 co-wrote to Badru Kiggundu, the Electoral Commission chairman, warning that a failure to carry out reforms could erode confidence in the EC and put the credibility of the 2011 election at risk.

The government has brought four Bills to Parliament in response to calls for electoral reform but donors, the opposition and independent viewers say these are inadequate.

President Museveni’s statement indicates the government’s unwillingness to respond to pressure to implement more radical reforms such as disbanding the Electoral Commission as called for by the opposition.

Donors still fund a third of the national budget but say governance failures are affecting development and national stability. The World Bank resident representative recently issued its strongest statement yet in a scathing criticism of the government’s failure to deal with corruption.

Opposition chips in
While the President wants to keep donors out of the domestic political sphere, the opposition wants more involvement by the international community.

Responding to the envoy’s letter to the Electoral Commission, the acting Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Mr Christopher Kibanzanga (FDC; Busongora South), said: “The donors have the key; they pushed President Museveni to accept multi-partyism [in 2005] and when they called him over the Anti-homosexuality Bill, the President immediately changed his position.”

MP Kibanzanga added: “If the donors tell him to accept the electoral reforms we are pushing for as the opposition, there is no doubt Mr Museveni will accept them within days.”

Information minister Kabakumba Masiko, however, said it was irregular for diplomats to bypass the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and transact business directly with domestic institutions. “They should use the right channel and work with [government] to concretise democratic gains in the country and the achievements so far made by the EC,” she said.

via Daily Monitor: Truth Everyday; Uganda News, Business, Travel, Sports, Elections  – Museveni hits back in row with donors.

NAIROBI (AlertNet)

Written by: Frank Nyakairu

One of Africa’s fiercest rebel organisations, Uganda’s Lords Resistance Army, has denied a report that it has moved into western Sudan’s turbulent Darfur region.

A U.S.-based anti-genocide group, the Enough Project, said Ugandan rebels notorious for mutilating their victims and abducting children had found a safe haven in Darfur. But two senior members of the rebel group’s political wing in the Kenyan capital Nairobi dismissed the claims. “This is part of continued fabrications and guesswork about LRA whereabouts and we would like to dismiss this baseless report with all the contempt it deserves,” Colonel Michael Anywar, who acted as LRA military liaison, told Alertnet in Nairobi.

Led by self proclaimed prophet Joseph Kony, the LRA has fought the Ugandan government since 1987. But following the collapsed of a peace process in 2008, the rebels, who were once supported by Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, have since sought safe havens in DR Congo, Central African Republic (CAR) and Sudan. “It’s true that Khartoum once supported LRA but that kind of support stopped in 2002 after which we chose cut those ties,” said Justine Labeja, who said he is the head of LRA peace delegation.

Analysts say that with political tensions flaring in Sudan, the LRA is likely to strike an alliance with the Khartoum government as a regional mercenary force. The cult-like group, accused of turning boys into child soldiers and girls into sex slaves, seeks to rule Uganda according to the Bible’s Ten Commandments. At the height of Kony’s war, thousands were killed and 2 million Ugandans were forced into precarious camps that dotted northern Uganda and southern Sudan for close to two decades. Both men declined to disclose the whereabouts of LRA leader Kony, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

CALL FOR CEASEFIRE

The rebel representatives also echoed recent calls for peace talks made by a religious leaders’ group from the four countries affected by the LRA activities. “Ugandan forces need to heed to this call for ceasefire so that this war can end once and for all,” said Labeja, who says he coordinates LRA’s external affairs. But the Ugandan army, which has been fighting the LRA in Congo, Sudan and CAR, with little success, insists on a military option. “We gave LRA the best option to talk peace but they decided to squander it,” said Lt. Col. Felix Kulayigye, a spokesman for Uganda’s military.

He said military intelligence indicated the rebels had bases in CAR and southern Darfur but could not confirm any link between the LRA and its former ally, Khartoum. “They are oscillating between CAR and southern Darfur but we have no information that they are receiving any kind of help from anyone,” said Kaluyigye in a telephone interview from the Ugandan capital. Relations between Kampala and Khartoum have always been fraught as Uganda supported rebels now heading the semi-autonomous government in southern Sudan.

COULD DARFUR CRISIS WORSEN?

Darfur’s conflict surged in 2003 when the rebel groups took up arms against Sudan’s government, accusing it of leaving the mostly desert region underdeveloped. If the LRA joins the complex web of Darfur’s conflict, the scale of human suffering could increase, the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) warns. “The LRA has been leaving a trail of devastation from their bases in DRC, South Sudan and CAR. If they go to Darfur, we could seen more displacement there,” said Hassan Yusuf, UNHCR’s regional spokesman based in Nairobi. According to the U.N. refugees agency, the LRA caused most of the displacement in central Africa in 2009 with hundreds of thousands uprooted.

The rebels have looted, killed civilians and abducted children from three countries, forcing many to flee their homes, according to a report by Human Rights Watch. “This is a very unpredictable outfit and it makes it very difficult to plan for humanitarian response,” said Yusuf.

via Reuters AlertNet – Ugandan rebels deny they have moved in to Sudan’s Darfur.

“Calls for ceasefire have been tried and yet the LRA have refused to sign the peace agreements. Kony must realise that now the international conmmunity is involved in this since he spread his war from Northern Uganda to surrounding countries, he will not get the “lifting” of his Warrants by the ICC. The time has come for him to be captured and tried at the hague just like Suddam hussain was tried.

Could Darfur’s crisis worsen? Yes most definately, if the LRA was to gain any support and they choose to stay in the Darfur region, this will likely cause issues, especially with the elections coming to split the nation.  The North will never want to let go of the south and the oil without a fight. This is what it comes down to; power, money and greed. Will the Khartourm give up control of such wealth and power and money? i highly doubt it, i forsee more issues ahead for those of Darfur not only by the LRA but by the political process that will soon take place. ”

Rebecca Fowler – Freeuganda

So i’ve been reading a few books lately and i really need to let people know how amazing these books are.  Stories of real life struggles, survival and courage in the face of hardships.

Cola’s Journey – The story of a young sudanese man’s journey from Sudan, throughout africa and to finally become an Australian Refugee and Citizen. This book amazed me. The courage and strength of Cola (chol) and all that he has survived and lived through totally amazed me, how can one person have so much courage and strength to keep on going? 14 years of travelling, mostly by foot! but its not just one person that has gone through this, there are thousands upon thousands of kids with similar stories that still remain unheard. Cola’s determination, courage and strength inspire me to keep on doing what i do for Human Rights. NO ONE should have to be faced with the life he was dealt. No Human deserves to live in fear, be abducted, forced to do something against their will. No One!

First Kill Your Family – Child soldiers of Uganda and the Lords Resistance Army. This book is a great informational tool. Contains facts and information about the war, theories and stories of those who were abducted.  All that i had suspected previously was confirmed in this book. Peter, thank you for bringing to light the stories of these beautiful children and the Acholi and Langi Tribes of Northern Uganda. Your book has just inspired me to be all i can be and to never give up. None of these children ever gave up on hope, nor will i.

I stand firm with my beliefs and hope that through my work with Invisible Children and other local non profits i can help bring about change. I can help inspire our nation to change the lives of others.

Australians have compassion, love and sympathy, yet sometimes they are lazy. The typical way of “laid back” life for us is someone else’s pain and suffering, when we are “laid back” they are dying, suffering and starving.You don’t need to be a martyr or a genius to help. Each person in this world has their own unique ability, a way in which they can help. Find your ability, find a cause and go on a mission, a mission to change.

I was bought up with parents who have served many years (even still serving) in the local Lions Club organisation. Through my childhood years i spent many hours volunteering in Blacktown with them. Through all i have done, it has given me a renewed sense of life, a greater meaning for me being here. I see myself as “a voice for the voiceless” one whom is willing to stand up when injustice happens and say “NO, this is NOT right!”

Imagine if our beloved country had rebels? Imagine YOUR children being abducted and forced to be soldiers? Imagine our government telling us we had 24 hours to leave our homes and go to displacement camps? How would this make you feel? Find that emotional connection and work with it. I found mine in an ex-child solider called “Jacob”. I connected with his pain as my son is called “jacob”, how easy it is to connect, to make something emotional and personal. Once we make it emotional and personal, we find our lives changing. Open your eyes to the uncomfortable, embrace it, work with it and change your life!

My life, will never be the same, it changed dramatically 3 yrs ago when i was introducted to Invisible Children’s Rough Cut DVD. This is my mission now, to help those who have been “invisible” through this 24 year war of madness. I am a new person, a different person, a fighter and challenger of evil. I will not stop until the day i die. I hope, once my children are older, to be able to take my mission international. To visit and help locally with those who are affected by evil’s, war and poverty.  Be it Africa, Indonesia or any other country that requires help. I have found why i was placed on earth, i challenge you to find your reason for existence.

My father said to me only a few weeks ago “you know you can’t save everyone”. Deep in my heart, i really wish i could, but i am only 1 person in a world of billions. I may not be able to “save” everyone, but i can educate those who will listen.  Education to me is something i never really cared to much about, but as i have grown older, i know that it is the key to everything. At 29 yrs old (pushing 30 next month!) i am only now realising how important education is, i am hoping to apply to university next year (2011) and to continue with my education. Each day i browse the net, looking for information, seeking education, seeking that which is not known and sharing with others. What satisfaction do i get out of this? Not Money or gifts, i get personal and spiritual satisfaction knowing that i CAN CHANGE THE WORLD one person at a time!

Without education, where would humanity be?

– Rebecca Fowler (freeuganda)

YouTube – Koh Reports – Embracing Evaline.

The story of a beautiful young Ugandan lady. I am honored to be a friend of her’s on Facebook and one day hope to meet with Evaline. God bless those still trapped in the bush, may this war have an end soon.  With International pressure we call all lend a hand in ending this war. Visit Invisible Children and see how you can help.