Category Archives: News from around Africa

Nigerian recounts ordeal in hands of Charles Taylor’s army- And to think that this same country housed him!!! Sad!

Charles Taylor at his court sentencing on Wednesday May 30, 2012

Just watched this video on Channels Television and feel so pained. Before his sentencing to 50 years in prison custody, Chrles Taylor spent a few years in Nigeria, Calabar precisely.

After watching this video I feel so pained that he was housed and given a sense of freedom in a country whose innocent citizens he killed during the war in Sieria Leone in 1999.

See for yourself!

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How Technology is Helping Kony Victims in Uganda

If you watched the viral KONY 2012 documentary, it should come as no surprise that there are more people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in northern Uganda than anywhere else in the world.

One organization, THARCE-Gulu, is offering non-medical integrative therapy, notably filmmaking and computer education, to victims of Joseph Kony in northern Uganda.

The non-profit uses donated Flip cameras and editing software to teach video storytelling techniques. THARCE film students shoot and edit videos about the Gulu community, including one featuring the women of Gulu and another of a Bob Marley flash mob (both below).

“We have a motto here at THARCE, ‘Nothing about us, without us,’” THARCE supporter and actress Eliza Dushku (Bring It OnBuffy The Vampire SlayerDollhouse) told Mashable, explaining how storytelling through film can be therapeutic.

In addition to the film curriculum, THARCE teaches computer skills using 20 donated HP laptops Dushku delivered to Gulu with her boyfriend, actor and former NBA player Rick Fox.

One Gulu community member Dushku feels particularly close to, Rose, comes to the center to check her email, use Facebook and connect to a world she was previously cut off from. The 27-year-old mother of four was abducted as a child and assigned to Joseph Kony’s right-hand man.

“It’s a new shot at life for her and her kids,” Dushku says. “They’re so desperate for tech. I was the CESambassador this year and I would say ‘I know it might sound insane, but send us your old products, you have no idea the effect it will have — they are so savvy and so desperate.”

Following KONY 2012′s rapid spread to become the most viral video ever, much attention has been drawn to the situation in northern Uganda. Despite criticisms of the documentary, Dushku says she quickly retweeted the link.

“When you first hear about the circumstances, you’re blown away thinking how this went on and how nobody talked about it,” she says, noting that KONY 2012 doesn’t best represent the current situation, because Kony may now be in the Congo or Sudan. “What’s far more pressing today, as far as what victims need now, is rehabilitation and rebuilding.”

Dushku says THARCE would love to collaborate with Invisible Children, the organization that created the film, because of their skill at generating buzz around the issue. One of the primary criticisms of Invisible Children has been its allocations of funds, very little of which go toward the people abducted by Kony.

“The focus now is seeing that the money goes to the people that the film was made about,” Dushku says, revealing a potential discrepancy between the two organization’s approaches.

SEE ALSO: KONY 2012 May Be Flawed, But Slacktivism Isn’t the Enemy

Dushku’s mother Judith Dushku, an African politics professor, first visited the region three years ago while she was teaching a class about former child soldiers. She was so moved by the people of Gulu that she decided to work to expand THARCE and is now president of that non-profit organization. She soon got the younger Dushku on board, who has since raised $30,000 for her 30th birthday and $31,000 for her 31st birthday for THARCE.

In addition to computer and film courses, THARCE-Gulu (Trauma Healing and Reflection Center) teaches business, literacy, arts, storytelling and women’s empowerment courses.

Do you think connecting to modern technology is a good tool for healing? Share your reactions in the comments.

More Questions as Boko Haram rules out talks with FG

The 12 Nigerian states with Sharia law

The 12 Nigerian states with Sharia law (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nigerians on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 were awoken with the news that Islamist sect Boko Haram ruled out talks with the federal government.

A purported spokesman for the radical Islamist sect said on Tuesday, the group had “closed all possible doors of negotiation” with a government of “unbelievers” that it cannot trust, and called on Muslims to join the fight against it.

The statement to journalists in the sect’s heartland of Maiduguri in Borno State came two days after a Muslim cleric brokering initial peace talks pulled out, dimming hopes of a negotiated end to the insurgency.

The negotiations were aimed at ending months of bomb and gun attacks by Boko Haram that killed hundreds, mostly in the majority Muslim north, and have at times dominated Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency.

Lagos resident, Precious Ose Idehen who spoke to Reuters said it was not clear what Boko Haram is fighting for, so the group should enter into dialogue and state their demands.

“Their aim is just to destroy the present government, to destabilise Mr. President from getting up to what he has planned for the nation. That is the truth. There is nothing you will give to the Boko Haram that will make them say we are tired. If they want the dialogue, if there is anything they need, they should come out and say it. It’s their own nation, they should come out and say it.”

Success Olawale Martins, an unemployed graduate of Business Administration, said President Goodluck Jonathan had tried to keep peace with the sect long enough.

“For the sake of peace, for the sake of unity of the nation, he has given them a long rope. And at the end of the day, they are not coming. If, I think at this time, if he reacts against them, I don’t think he has done anything wrong.”

And insurance broker, Ambrose Ochonogor went even further to add that the government should openly fight Boko Haram.

“It is high time federal government resorted to jungle justice. If they can’t dialogue with them, then they should resort to other measures. They should fight them openly, make sure they eliminate them.”

Boko Haram has said it wants to impose Islamic sharia law across Nigeria, which is split equally between Christians and Muslims. But with the spate of killings in recent times, has cast a shadow of doubt over the group’s demands, hence the call for dialogue by the Federal Government.

Gaddafi daughter presses UN to probe father’s death- Reuters

Aisha Gaddafi

(Reuters) – Muammar Gaddafi’s daughter has expressed concern that a United Nations commission looking into human rights violations during the Libya conflict is not trying to find out who killed her father.

The circumstances of Gaddafi’s killing on October 20 last year remain unclear. Footage of his last moments, bloodied and dazed as his captors dragged him along a road, marked the grisly success of the revolt against his rule, even though many Libyans said they were glad to see the end of a violent dictator.

In a letter sent to the chairman of the U.N.’s commission of inquiry on Libya, a lawyer acting for Gaddafi’s daughter Aisha questioned whether investigators were meeting their obligation to probe violations by both sides in the conflict.

The letter said Aisha Gaddafi expected the commission to fully explore the killing of her father, and her brother Mo’tassim, who was also killed after he was captured.

“These murders were witnessed by the whole world and have been roundly condemned by those who champion the rule of law. It is inconceivable, therefore, that the commission of inquiry should refuse to investigate these matters,” the letter said.

The lawyer, Nick Kaufman, said the U.N. investigators working for the commission had conducted dozens of interviews but did not seem interested in testimony from Aisha Gaddafi or other family members.

“You will appreciate my concern that the apparent lack of will to involve my clients in the investigative work of your commission may be seen as lacking impartiality,” said the letter, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.

Aisha Gaddafi, her mother Safiya, her brothers Hannibal and Mohammed and other members of the family, fled Libya around the time rebel forces took control of the capital in August. They have since been in neighbouring Algeria.

Gaddafi’s daughter, a trained lawyer who was part of the defence team of executed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, has unsuccessfully asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to investigate her father’s death.

She has also applied to the ICC to let her submit information on behalf of another brother, Saif al-Islam, but the court rejected her application.

Saif al-Islam, the subject of an ICC arrest warrant on rape and murder charges, has been held in the Libyan town of Zintan since he was captured in the Sahara desert in November, disguised as a Bedouin tribesman.

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