Friday, 31 October 2008

Johann Hari: How we fuel Africa's bloodiest warWhat is rarely mentioned is the great global heist of Congo's resourcesThursday, 30 October 2008Independent. UK

The deadliest war since Adolf Hitler marched across Europe is starting again – and you are almost certainly carrying a blood-soaked chunk of the slaughter in your pocket. When we glance at the holocaust in Congo, with 5.4 million dead, the clichés of Africa reporting tumble out: this is a 'tribal conflict' in 'the Heart of Darkness'. It isn't. The United Nations investigation found it was a war led by 'armies of business' to seize the metals that make our 21st-century society zing and bling. The war in Congo is a war about you.

Every day I think about the people I met in the war zones of eastern Congo when I reported from there. The wards were filled with women who had been gang-raped by the militias and shot in the vagina. The battalions of child soldiers – drugged, dazed 13-year-olds who had been made to kill members of their own families so they couldn't try to escape and go home. But oddly, as I watch the war starting again on CNN, I find myself thinking about a woman I met who had, by Congolese standards, not suffered in extremis.

I was driving back to Goma from a diamond mine one day when my car got a puncture. As I waited for it to be fixed, I stood by the roadside and watched the great trails of women who stagger along every road in eastern Congo, carrying all their belongings on their backs in mighty crippling heaps. I stopped a 27 -year-old woman called Marie-Jean Bisimwa, who had four little children toddling along beside her. She told me she was lucky. Yes, her village had been burned out. Yes, she had lost her husband somewhere in the chaos. Yes, her sister had been raped and gone insane. But she and her kids were alive.

I gave her a lift, and it was only after a few hours of chat along on cratered roads that I noticed there was something strange about Marie-Jean's children. They were slumped forward, their gazes fixed in front of them. They didn't look around, or speak, or smile. 'I haven't ever been able to feed them,' she said. 'Because of the war.'

Their brains hadn't developed; they never would now. 'Will they get better?' she asked. I left her in a village on the outskirts of Goma, and her kids stumbled after her, expressionless.

There are two stories about how this war began – the official story, and the true story. The official story is that after the Rwandan genocide, the Hutu mass murderers fled across the border into Congo. The Rwandan government chased after them. But it's a lie. How do we know? The Rwandan government didn't go to where the Hutu genocidaires were, at least not at first. They went to where Congo's natural resources were – and began to pillage them. They even told their troops to work with any Hutus they came across. Congo is the richest country in the world for gold, diamonds, coltan, cassiterite, and more. Everybody wanted a slice – so six other countries invaded.

These resources were not being stolen to for use in Africa. They were seized so they could be sold on to us. The more we bought, the more the invaders stole – and slaughtered. The rise of mobile phones caused a surge in deaths, because the coltan they contain is found primarily in Congo. The UN named the international corporations it believed were involved: Anglo-America, Standard Chartered Bank, De Beers and more than 100 others. (They all deny the charges.) But instead of stopping these corporations, our governments demanded that the UN stop criticising them.

There were times when the fighting flagged. In 2003, a peace deal was finally brokered by the UN and the international armies withdrew. Many continued to work via proxy militias – but the carnage waned somewhat. Until now. As with the first war, there is a cover-story, and the truth. A Congolese militia leader called Laurent Nkunda – backed by Rwanda – claims he needs to protect the local Tutsi population from the same Hutu genocidaires who have been hiding out in the jungles of eastern Congo since 1994. That's why he is seizing Congolese military bases and is poised to march on Goma.

It is a lie. François Grignon, Africa Director of the International Crisis Group, tells me the truth: 'Nkunda is being funded by Rwandan businessmen so they can retain control of the mines in North Kivu. This is the absolute core of the conflict. What we are seeing now is beneficiaries of the illegal war economy fighting to maintain their right to exploit.'

At the moment, Rwandan business interests make a fortune from the mines they illegally seized during the war. The global coltan price has collapsed, so now they focus hungrily on cassiterite, which is used to make tin cans and other consumer disposables. As the war began to wane, they faced losing their control to the elected Congolese government – so they have given it another bloody kick-start.

Yet the debate about Congo in the West – when it exists at all – focuses on our inability to provide a decent bandage, without mentioning that we are causing the wound. It's true the 17,000 UN forces in the country are abysmally failing to protect the civilian population, and urgently need to be super-charged. But it is even more important to stop fuelling the war in the first place by buying blood-soaked natural resources. Nkunda only has enough guns and grenades to take on the Congolese army and the UN because we buy his loot. We need to prosecute the corporations buying them for abetting crimes against humanity, and introduce a global coltan-tax to pay for a substantial peacekeeping force. To get there, we need to build an international system that values the lives of black people more than it values profit.

Somewhere out there – lost in the great global heist of Congo's resources – are Marie-Jean and her children, limping along the road once more, carrying everything they own on their backs. They will probably never use a coltan-filled mobile phone, a cassiterite- smelted can of beans, or a gold necklace – but they may yet die for one.

Thursday, 30 October 2008


Zimbabwe Vice President Comrade Joyce Mujuru visit to international stalls at Sanganai event in Bulawayo- Zimbabwe - above is the Ethiopia Stand
The nigeria Stand

The Malawi Stand

The Italy Stand

Local exhibitors

Djibouti’s President presses UN for action over Eritrea’s attack on Djibouti
The United Nations Security Council, meeting at the request of Djibouti , yesterday urged Eritrea and Djibouti to resolve their dispute peacefully, with members of the Council warning Eritrea it must comply with the Security Council’s demands of last June. These included a ceasefire, engagement in diplomatic relations and withdrawal to pre-conflict positions. According to a UN fact-finding mission to the region in July, only Djibouti had withdrawn its troops as requested. Eritrea refused entry to the fact-finding mission. President Ismail Omar Guellah told the Council that Djibouti had repeatedly tried to engage Eritrea in dialogue without success. He noted correlation should be established between the current conflict and the one between Ethiopia and Eritrea . Those conflicts shared the same element - namely Eritrea - a country that was involved in all conflicts in the Horn of Africa. He said Eritrea ’s aggression must not be ignored, remain unpunished, “or, even worse, be taken lightly by the Council.” If Eritrea still failed to comply with the Security Council demands within three weeks, then this refusal should trigger sanctions. Eritrea ’s Permanent Representative to the UN did not address Eritrea ’s refusal to pull back its troops or allow the UN fact-finding mission into Eritrea . Despite the photographic evidence to the contrary, he repeated the claim that Djibouti had been the aggressor and that Eritrea had not seized any land belonging to Djibouti . He referred to the issue as a “diversionary and fabricated conflict” but then tried to divert the discussion to Eritrea ’s problems with Ethiopia , while conceding this had nothing to do with the issue under consideration. While most speakers supported further efforts at mediation through the African Union and the Arab League, they also called on Eritrea to withdraw its troops, to co-operate with the UN and regional organizations and to comply with the Security Council’s demands of June 12. Costa Rica , for example, categorized Eritrea ’s position as “a disregard of its obligations and a lack of respect for international law and for the provisions of the Council.” France and the United States both supported the need for action against Eritrea within a clear time frame. France proposed urgent consultations on a Council text to reiterate the demand for Eritrea ’s withdrawal to its previous positions; the US called for “appropriate” action by the Council if Eritrea continued to rebuff its efforts.
In fact, Mr. Jean Ping, the Chairperson of the AU, visited Eritrea last week, but Eritrea appears to have used the occasion of the visit to continue its criticisms of the continental organization. According to an official Eritrean website, President Issayas told the Chairperson that Eritrea had not seen any meaningful accomplishment by the organization, that it had become marginalized, and that none of its original expectations had been fulfilled. The AU needed to be reformed and renewed and restructured beginning with its headquarters. Following this comprehensive denunciation, the President added that he was not saying that the AU lacked principles or even goodwill, but these needed to be translated into action. This is not the first time for Eritrea to make remarks denigrating the AU and its activities. Nor is it a surprise, as Eritrea is one of the difficulties that the AU has faced in the discharge of its mandate in support of peace and stability in Africa . Eritrea openly hosts, organizes and deploys terrorist groups, and has publicly admitted supporting armed groups operating against AU member states, in clear violation of the Constitutive Act of the Union . It has refused to cooperate in the resolution of disputes with its neighbors, most recently with the decision of the Peace and Security Council of the Union, strongly condemning Eritrea ’s military action against Djibouti and demanding its immediate and unconditional withdrawal from the Djiboutian territory it occupied. As President Ismail Omar Guellah said, it is now up to the Security Council to take decisive measures against Eritrea and failure to do so will have ominous consequences for regional peace and security.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008



"Papers Please" -
The Impact of the Government's Civil Penalty Regime on the Employment Rights of Migrant Workers

Tuesday 11th November 2008, from 12 to 1.30 pm
Westminster Palace, Committee Room 6,

Chair: Dr Sonia McKay - Working Lives Research Institute, London Metropolitan University
Jon Cruddas, MP – Chair, Migration Parliamentary Group
Jack Dromey – Deputy General Secretary, Unite the Union
Ruth Grove-White – Migrants' Rights Network

In February 2008 the Government launched its civil penalty regime directed against employers employing undocumented migrant workers. Instant fines of up to £10,000 per worker can now be levied on any employer who is judged to have been lax in checking the immigration status of employees.

MRN's "Papers Please" report considers the impact of this measure on groups of workers. Amongst groups who are already judged to be vulnerable to exploitation and discrimination, the report finds evidence of a deteriorating situation involving the further erosion of the rights of migrant workers.

This event will be of keen interest to individuals and organisations concerned with the employment of migrants. As well as contributions from the platform speakers there will be opportunities for members of the audience to contribute their views and experiences of the way in which the measure is working.

All welcome, but to book your place please email Cristina Andreatta at
c.andreatta@ migrantsrights.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

cultural Tourism In Zimbabwe

About the charity :
UCKG HelpCentre The UCKG HelpCentre is not only a church but a practical help centre where we are committed to helping people discover their potential in life and live life to the full. Our approach and belief is that people can have a new beginning by combining their faith with practical actions. Charity Registration No 1043985
For more info , please visit www.

Ayoub mzee with members of the oldest choir in Bulawayo


Watch swahilidiaries evry Teusday at 10 pm and The dialogue Every Monday from 10 -12 noo to follow the Great Zimbabwe Story

China Returns to Africa : a rising power and a continent embrace'

Book launch with Christopher Clapham ( University of Cambridge ), Chris Alden (LSE), Ricardo Soares de Oliveira ( University of Oxford ), Stephen Chan and Dan Large (SOAS) (followed by drinks reception).

Date: 28 October

Time: 6pm

Place: Brunei Suite, SOAS

Black History Month at downing Street

I was honoured yesterday to be invited by the British Prime minister HON Godon Brown at the Black History Month receiption at 10 DOWNING STREET

Black History Month has been celebrated across the UK every October for over 30 years, each year growing from strength to strength.

Black History Month is a time when we highlight and celebrate the achievements of the black community and uncover hidden history about our communities.

Chief Ebere

HON Meg Hellier MP - Home office minister for immigration

Actor Kwame

Hon Keth Vaz MP and other MPs

Hon Dianne Abbott MP

At no 10 Downing Street

The Mother of Stephen Lawrence

Monday, 27 October 2008


Greetings from the Office of Public Affairs at the American Embassy Dar es Salaam !
We are pleased to invite you to a presentation in the Fulbright Reflections Series on “Are Asians Tanzanian? The Case of the Globalized Ithna Asheris” by Fulbrighter Iqbal S. Akhtar on Thursday, November 6 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the American Embassy in Dar es Salaam .
Since the British era in East Africa , Asians have held an important place in the economic life of the region as traders and intermediaries between blacks and whites. Independence changed that privileged position and the Zanzibari Revolution and the nationalization of properties changed the outlook of Asians toward their fellow Indigenous Tanzanian compatriots. Many left to create Diaspora communities in Dubai and the West. So now what does it mean to be Asian and Tanzanian? How do Indigenous Tanzanians see and treat Asian Tanzanians and vice versa? Is “Tanzanian” a primary or secondary identity, in which cases and to what extent? This presentation will attempt to answer these questions from the perspective of one of the Asian Tanzanian communities, as a culmination of a year-long study among the Ithna Asheri community.
Iqbal Akhtar is currently an Islamic Studies Fulbright Fellow from the University of Denver and the Iliff School of Theology. He is completing pre-dissertation research on the effects of globalization upon the Asian Ithna Asheri community in Dar es Salaam . Previously he taught in the Department of Political Science at the U.S. Air Force Academy as the USNORTHCOM Analyst-in-Residence. Originally from the city of New Orleans , he plans to start his PhD program at the University of Edinburgh upon his departure from Tanzania in January 2009.
To confirm your attendance, please register by emailing with your name or names of people in your office that will be attending the presentation. As we have several events, please be sure to mention the name of this one (Fulbright Reflections Series) in your response. Space is limited and confirmation will on first-come, first-serve basis. Please arrive 15 minutes early to go through security and note that large bags, briefcases, cigarette lighters and electronic items such as cell phones, cameras, and car alarm key rings are among items prohibited at the Embassy.
With best wishes,
Fulbright Program Tanzania

Educational Exchange Programs
Office of Public Affairs, American Embassy
686 Old Bagamoyo Rd., Msasani
Box 9123, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Voice: +255 22 2668001
Fax: +255 22 2668251
Fellowship Programs:

Ayoub mzee with Nigeria actor Mr. Ajibe Asiegbu Ayoub mzee in Harare

This is the capital city of Zimbawe -Harare

Uganda: EAC, SADC, COMESA to rationalise trade relations

As i was leaving Harare Airport i saw this British Airways Plane Landing

Uganda: EAC, SADC, COMESA to rationalise trade

The EAC-SADC-COMESA Summit is considered historic because for the first time since the birth of the AU, key building blocks of the African Economic Community are meeting on how to integrate territories and moving towards deepening and widening integration within the overall Abuja Treaty for the establishment of the African Economic Community.

The Summit is expected to decide on matters related to enhancing cooperation among EAC, COMESA and SADC, including deepening trade, investments, and infrastructure, linking transport corridors, promoting joint projects to boost of industrialization agriculture and food security as well as enabling free movement of people between the three RECs with the ultimate aim of creating a single market and investment area, currently with a combined population of 527 million and combined GDP of $625 billion.

Also to be addressed by the Summit are issues of multiple memberships in the RECs with a view to co-ordinating and harmonizing their regional integration programmes. The tripartite co-operation/arrangement whereby the three RECs will integrate their trade and infrastructure programmes is ongoing and will provide a mechanism that addresses the challenges of multiple membership.

At the end of their one-day summit, leaders of the 26 countries of East African Community (EAC), Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and Common Markets for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), also agreed to start working towards a merger into one economic bloc

The summit comprising of host Yoweri Museveni, Kenya's Mwai Kibaki, Kgalema Montlante of South Africa, Rwanda's Paul Kagame, the current EAC Chairman and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe further approved the expeditious establishment of a free trade area leading to a single customs union.

"Inevitably the integration will seemingly produce losers and winners initially, a consequence of a number of factors, including differences in productivity and economic strengths and individual economies," Kagame, who chaired the first tripartite summit noted

The outcome of the first tripartite summit of Common Markets of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and Southern Africa Development Cooperation (SADC) impact on the rest of Africa, said Kenyan President, Mwai Kibaki.