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Prosecution of African leaders: Is the ICC anti-African bias?

Posted by AT on August 14, 2010

Africa Today 68
Topic: Prosecution of African leaders: Is the ICC anti-African bias?
Host: Vuiyswa
Guests:

Studio:
1- Mohammed Eltom
Charge d’Affaires, Sudan Embassy

2- Alice Ukoko
Founder and CEO, Women Of Africa

Phone:
3- Géraldine Mattioli-Zeltner
Advocacy Director-International Justice Program, Human Rights Watch

broadcast: 03 Aug. 2010
part 1

part 2

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World Cup in South Africa: What lasting impact will the World Cup have on healing racial and economic divisions

Posted by AT on July 30, 2010

Africa Today 62

Broadcast Date: 22nd June 2010
Presenter: Vuyiswa
Guest(s):
Thamsanqa Zhou
Political Commentator

Nobuhle khanyile
Community Activist

Skype or Phone:

Gillian Saunders
Director, Grant Thornton Strategic Solutions

Andile Mngxitama
Writer and Publisher

Part 1

Description:
When FIFA has packed up and left town, will SA be the better for the experience.? (world cup starts on June 11th, so its timely) or: Is the World Cup papering over the cracks in South Africa’s economic and racial landscape?

Brief:
The imminent FIFA World Cup has brought out the best and worst in us. And while it is important for us to focus on all the amazing things that are happening in our country, to sweep all the embarrassing things under the carpet, even for four weeks, could do us more harm than good.

When the mayor of Cape Town, Dan Plato announced that the toilets that remained exposed after an ANC Youth League-led rampage had been removed I was puzzled. The toilets had stood there uncovered, for years. Why the sudden attack of conscience on the city’s part?

It has been suggested that it did not look good for a city expecting hordes of World Cup tourists and media to have open toilets dotting township landscapes. It made sense to me.

So, in making sure that the world gets the best reception and is not confronted by awkward sights, the city could have muddied further its relationship with the poor.

Part 2

South Africa became the first African country to have won the rights to host the FIFA world cup when FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced the host country on 15th May 2004. Since the collapse of apartheid South Africa is hosting its second major event. Its first was the Rugby world cup in 1995 and the FIFA world cup is the second major sporting event in the country. South Africans received the announcement to host the event with joy due to the immense benefits to the country. Apart from putting the country on the world map, the event has boosted its tourism sector with an expected 40 percent increase. New jobs have been created for some 100,000 people and there has been some significant improvement in infrastructure development. Moreover, the FIFA world cup has been hailed, by many within South Africa, as a tool towards helping healing racial divisions within the country. Africa Today analyses what impact the World Cup might have towards healing racial and economic divisions within the country.

Part 3

South Africa is the largest economy in Africa and hosting the FIFA world cup has cost the country about 5 billion dollars. The country is expected to only rake in about 1.5 billion dollars. Many critics have condemned the government’s decision to host the event after ignoring the plight of ordinary South Africans who continue to live in poverty since the end of apartheid. Many still live in areas once designated for black people and have no direct benefit from the economic opportunities the event will create.

SOUNDBITE (English) Marietta Monagee, Relocation Camp Resident:
“They put us here because of the World Cup, because before they didn’t do things like this to us. So it’s like they want to clean the city and put us here in these areas so that the people don’t see how we struggle in the city areas.”

Meanwhile, security guards went on demonstration after the event got underway over pay and working conditions. They accused the government of negotiating a bad deal for them.

SOUNDBITE (English) Thandi Khlandkla, security worker:
“The money we are supposed to get, they are not giving us the money. So we want that money and we are planning to go on strike until this FIFA WorldCup ends on the 11th of July. We want our money. They are benefiting. They are rich, we are poor, we are not benefiting.

The three main areas organizers hope will transform the country are areas of tourism, investment and healing the racial divide that still hovers around the country. Will the world cup meet all these expectations the South African government is hoping for?

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Israel’s secret relationship with Africa?

Posted by AT on June 16, 2010

Africa Today 61
Topic: Israel’s secret relationship with Africa?
Broadcast: 15th June 2010
Presenter: Henry Bonsu
Guest(s):
1- Thandi Makiwane, Community Activist
2- Richard Millett, Journalist
3- Richard Dowden, Royal African Society

Part 1

Description:
A report in the Guardian uncovers one of Israel’s secret relationship with Africa. It is not known the extent of Israel’s alliance with Africa and Secret documents revealing offer to sell nuclear warheads to South Africa cast fresh light on alliance.
Brief:
It’s the relationship that never was. Kept to the shadows, it was shielded behind secret agreements and disinformation that dressed up military cooperation as mining deals.
But when the spotlight occasionally flickered over one of the most intimate and enduring alliances of the postwar years, Israel was quick to underplay its deep military ties with apartheid South Africa as nothing more than a necessity of survival without a flicker of ideological affinity.
But as is shown by Sasha Polakow-Suransky’s book, The Unspoken Alliance, that relationship went beyond mere convenience.
For years after its birth, Israel was publicly critical of apartheid and sought to build alliances with the newly independent African states through the 1960s.
But after the 1973 Yom Kippur war, African governments increasingly came to look on the Jewish state as another colonialist power. The government in Jerusalem cast around for new allies and found one in Pretoria. For a start, South Africa was already providing the yellowcake essential for building a nuclear weapon.

Part 2

Israel’s relationship with South Africa began after most African governments cut ties with Israel against its 1973 Yom Kippur war. These Africa governments became suspicious about Israel and saw it as another colonialist power. South Africa was already providing Israel Uranium, a key ingredient in building nuclear weapon. Israel on the other hand failed in its attempts to sell South Africa nuclear warheads. However, Israel armed and provided the white minority government with military technology to help sustain its hold on power and its oppression of the black majority over two decades. South Africa subsequently became Israel’s largest weapons buyer. Is South Africa the only country Israel had this secret affair with? Africa Today explores Israel’s covert relationships with other African countries, and asks why some would rather we didn’t know what’s really going on”.

Part 3

Israel’s Africa relationship started long before Israel was founded in 1948. The father of modern political Zionism, Theodor Herzl in 1907 said “once I have witnessed the redemption of the Jews, my people, I wish also to assist in the redemption of the Africans.” This redemption was however shrouded in secret agendas and deals. Formal relations with Africa was established in the 1950’s when Israel opened its first embassy in Africa in Accra, Ghana. However many experts believe that Israel was more interested in political advantages and not economic gains. Its main contributions to Africa have been in the form of military aid such as weapons and training. Israel’s aim was to gain support over its war in the Arab region and also defuse Arab influence in Africa. The extent of this relationship with Africa is unknown but it is believed it goes further than South Africa.

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Has Ethiopian elections reversed the cycle of mistrust in its democratic system?

Posted by AT on June 15, 2010

Africa Today 60
Topic: Has Ethiopian elections reversed the cycle of mistrust in its democratic system?
Broadcast: 8th June 2010
Host: Vuyiswa
Guest(s):
1- Dr. Winston Mano; Editor, Journal of African Media Studies
2- Yosef Haimanot; Central Committee member, EPPF

Part 1

Description:
Ethiopian’s have voted in the first election since a 2005 contest which was marred by protests that led to the deaths of 200 people.
Brief:
Ethiopians voted on Sunday in national elections that are expected to return long-serving Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to power in the first ballot since a disputed poll in 2005 turned violent.
The opposition admits it has little chance of victory but says that is because the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has tightened its grip on power and routinely intimidates and jails its critics.

The EPRDF says it has won popularity during a period of economic growth by building roads, hydropower dams and supplying electricity to villages in a country where nearly 10 percent of the population needed emergency food aid last year.
Mr Thijs Berman, the European Union’s chief observer, said his impression from a visit to a polling station in the capital Addis Ababa was “very positive”. But, one of the main opposition parties, the All Ethiopian Unity Party (AEUP) said its supporters and candidates were beaten, arrested and blocked from their constituency in Eastern and Western Ethiopia

part 2

This was Ethiopia’s first election since 2005. In that election it was reported that about 200 protestors were gunned down by police following a highly contested election in that year. In this year’s election the opposition claimed there had been fraud and irregularities in some areas of the country.   The current sitting prime minister, Meles Zenawi, who won this year’s election, has ruled the country for the past 19years. He has been criticized by the opposition and some international observers for suppressing press freedom, as well as the activities of the opposition parties and human rights groups. The AU commended the election as free and fair. However, United States and European Union observer mission criticized Prime Minister Zenawi for narrowing political space in the country.  As there were no reports of violence this time, Africa Today asks if perhaps, the election has reversed the cycle of mistrust in the country’s democratic system?

part 3

Ethiopia has a population of about 85 million people. The country mainly depends on agriculture which accounts for 60 percent of its foreign income and 80 percent of national employment.  Ethiopia has been plaque by a series of famines and droughts and its worst famine happened between 1984 and 1985 when almost one million people died after severe droughts.  Ethiopia is a strategic partner of the US in its fight against Somali insurgents and its military operations in the Horn of Africa. Mr Meles comes from a region called Tigray which accounts for about 6 percent of the national population and controls all major security institutions in the country. After successive coups Mr Meles stabilized the country after becoming Prime minister in 1995 and since then has tightened his grip on power.

 

Watch the comments on this (EthioTube) website.

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What’s the road ahead after Sudan’s historic elections?

Posted by AT on May 19, 2010

Africa Today 57
Topic: What’s the road ahead after Sudan’s historic elections?
Broadcasting date: 18th May 2010
Presenter: Vuyiswa
Guests:

1- Ahmed Diraige, Former Governor, Darfur

2- Dr Khalid AlMubarak, Media Counsellor, Sudan Embassy

Description:
Many are concerned about Al-Bashir’s legitimacy to rule after disputed elections in April. Now the country faces some tough times ahead to deal with problems in the South of the country and the general feeling among Southerners about Omar al-Bashir’s government.

part 1

Brief:
At least eight people have been killed when mutinous troops attacked an army base in south Sudan following this month’s elections, officials say.
A southern army spokesman said the mutineers backed a former general who ran and lost in a Jonglei state poll.
George Athor denied leading the troops but told the BBC he sympathised with them and said the polls were rigged.
The ex-rebel SPLM party won a landslide victory to retain power in the south, amid widespread claims of intimidation.
The 11-15 April elections were the first in 24 years – and the first since the end of a two-decade conflict between north and south.
The BBC’s James Copnall in Khartoum says there have been intense negotiations for several days to avoid just this sort of problem in Southern Sudan.

part 2

Hear: Sudan now faces some of the toughest times in its history after general elections held this year.

See: SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Dr. Amina Osman, National Congress Party activist:
“The people of Sudan have nominated the National Congress Party to lead this nation towards peace, security and unity.”

Hear: Shortly after the elections there have been reported attacks on an army base in southern Sudan and fighting in West Darfur. The most serious of the recent developments is the attacks on West Darfur which The Justice and Equality Movement, one of Darfur’s biggest rebel groups, blame on the army. The group has decided to boycott peace talks with the government and threatened war if the offensive continued. Recent voting in the country did not take place in large parts of Darfur and Southern Sudan. The government had been working hard to prevent the latest events and this twist highlights the deep divisions within the country. Africa Today now finds out if the recent election results had any effect on resolving the conflicts in the Sudan region.

part 3

VT2

Hear: Sudan’s elections this year was the first in 24years and widely deemed free and fair by African Union observers. President Omar al Bashir of the National Congress Party, who stood against eleven other candidates, was declared the winner with 68.24% of the total vote.
SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Abel Alier, head of Sudan’s National Elections Commission:
“The winner to the position of President of the Republic of Sudan is Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir from the National Congress: 5 million votes with a 68 percent win.”
Hear: In Southern Sudan, which is semi autonomous, Salva Kiir of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement won the presidency with a 93% of the total votes cast there. Even though some opposition members boycotted the elections, it was largely peaceful. Now keeping the peace after the elections is the question on many Sudanese minds and South Sudan’s expected elections for independence, next year.

AF57 Emails and texts

Emails:
Tobechukwu Tobechi -Nigeria

I suggest you reposition away from the usual western media demonization through negative reports on Africa, by emphasizing new developments and transformations on the continent in the field of technology, leadership, higher education, ICT, and industrialization. Western television stations are shunned by most Africans as conspiracy mechanisms. But press TV can make a difference if it wants and people are quietly watching.

Simon Hagos -Asmara

Explicitly the problem in Somalia has traveled from bad to worst. Many innocent people are dying because of malnutrition and children have suffered a lot for nothing, such problem is because of the western intervention like USA on the domestic issue of Somalia. That’s why you should air some programmes by inviting some experts from the region. The issue of Somalia is part and parcel of African issue.
Joseph

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Has Egypt the right to still lay hold of a colonial agreement on the Nile?

Posted by AT on May 19, 2010

Africa Today 56
Topic: Has Egypt the right to still lay hold of a colonial agreement on the Nile?
Broadcasting date: 11th May 2010
Presenter: Vuyiswa
Guests:
1- Dr Wafik Moustafa
Chair, Conservative Arab network

2- Vincent Magombe
Director, Africa Inform International

Watch the whole episode on Press TV website

Description:
Sudan and Egypt’s refusal over revision of 1959 colonial treaty on the distribution and use of the Nile waters.

Brief:
Countries of the Nile Basin Initiative must call Egypt’s bluff. The North African country is threatening to withdraw from the pact if the other Nile Basin partners sign a new Co-operation Framework Agreement.
The new agreement is meant to replace the lopsided colonial-era treaty that gave Egypt extraordinary monopoly over the use of Nile waters, while the countries from which the river originates were starved of the vital resource.
The previous agreement was signed in 1959 between Britain, the dominant colonial power then, and Egypt and Sudan.
Besides Ethiopia, the other countries now part of the pact — Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Congo DR — were still under colonial rule, and at independence, inherited a Nile treaty heavily tilted in favour of Egypt and Sudan.
Egypt, in particular, has over the years employed the language of threats to retain its unjust hold over the Nile waters. Under the prevailing treaty, Egypt claims 55.5 billion cubic metres or 87 per cent of the Nile’s annual flow.
This means the countries downstream cannot tap the water for irrigation, domestic use, hydro-electric power or industrial use without Egypt’s permission.

A fierce tension is rising between Egypt and seven other countries along the Nile Basin over the issue of sharing of the Nile River. Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Congo DR are poised to sign a new pact on equitable use of the water without Egypt and Sudan, the two largest consumers of the Nile basin. The previous agreement signed in 1959 between colonial power Britain, Egypt and Sudan gave Egypt a monopoly over the use of Nile waters which has its source from Ethiopia. Africa Today examines whether Egypt is still justified in maintaining a colonial agreement that gives it the sole use of the Nile waters?

About 300 million people live along the Nile basin, with most living in Egypt. The other countries, except Ethiopia, inherited the 1959 Nile treaty heavily in favour of Egypt and Sudan. A new pact by these countries will however address this problem and allow them to be able to use the water for irrigation, domestic use, hydro-electric power without Egypt’s permission. With some of these countries allies of western powers, will Egypt be looking to Israel, a force in Egyptian politics, for support, in helping it enforce the colonial agreement.

Emails:

Viktor Moadana, Nigeria.

I must say big congratulations to the Tanzanian government for her good gesture towards the refugees’ naturalization. I hope the Tanzanian government will handle this properly.
I will also like to call on the AU (African Union) to support this good integration. It is indeed a mark of unity amongst Africans.

Nomleth Blackstar , South Africa
I am a South African & it is saddening that my country has been affected by division once again. I love my south Africans black or white but it is unfair when things go bad in South Africa, black people will be blamed for the wrong things. Why should we see colour when things go wrong? We are fighting each other instead of fighting the bad government who doesn’t care about the country.

Text:
Innocent, Zambia

I am a refugee living in Zambia. I thank Tanzanian’s government for the good job they have done for refugees. We hope Zambian government will do the same.

Moosa, South Africa
We in South Africa feel embarrassed when reading in the media about our president spending 80 million rand on junkets when the very people who voted him in are hungry and cold. What an embarrassment to the poor.

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Will racial tensions undermine South Africa’s hard won democracy?

Posted by AT on May 1, 2010

Broadcasting date: 27 april 2010
Presenter: Vuyiswa
Guests:
Studio:
1- Gugulethu Mseleku, Managing Director, SAFISO
2- Thandi Makiwane, Community Activist

3- Phone guest from Johannesburg
William Gumede, Wits University Management School

part1

Description:
South Africa’s High Court banned ANC’s youth leader Mr Malema from singing the racially charged apartheid-era song with the words “kill the Boer”. It ruled the song was hate speech, although the ANC is appealing. Now some are blaming his actions motivated the killing of white supremacist Eugene Terreblanche.

Brief:
A call for calm by President Jacob Zuma went unheeded yesterday as supporters of white supremacy figurehead Eugene Terreblanche described his murder as a “declaration of war” by black South Africans on whites.

Terreblanche, the 69-year-old leader of the tiny Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB), was battered and hacked to death as he took a nap at his farm at Ventersdorp, 100km from Pretoria, on Saturday afternoon.
Two farm workers, aged 21 and 15, were arrested almost immediately. Police said they had been upset about unpaid wages and yesterday officers were deployed to protect the farm. AWB secretary-general Andre Visagie told reporters gathered outside the farm: “The death of Mr Terreblanche is a declaration of war by the black community of South Africa to the white community that has been killed for 10 years on end.”

part2

There are fears of a looming racial conflict between White and black South Africans in the wake of the killing of Eugene Terreblanche. Some members of his group, the Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) say the killing was racially motivated and partly blame the leader of the ANC’s Youth league, Julius Malema for singing an apartheid song that stirred up racial hatred.

SOUNDBITE: Andries Visagie, AWB General Secretary:
“For us it is just a continuation of the murder of white people by black people in SouthAfrica.”

SOUNDBITE: Julius Malema, president of the ANC Youth League
“Majority of our songs, we can give you ten songs, they sing about boers, and how boers have brutalized our people.”

Reports estimate that 3,000 white farmers have been murdered since the end of apartheid in 1994 compared to some 50 people, mostly black who are killed every day. With the country deeply divided over these controversies, Africa today examines the impact of recent events on South Africa’s race relations.

part3

The South African Institute on Race Relations estimates that some 800,000 out of a total white population of 4 million have left South Africa since the end of apartheid. Moreover the remaining white farmers in the country have reduced to only about 40,000. A research from the Institute for Justice and reconciliation put new race figures as follows:

Source: Institute for Justice and Reconciliation

24% don’t speak to other races
46% “never socialise” with other races
39% find people of other races “untrustworthy”
59% “difficult to understand the customs and ways” of people of other races

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How credible will Sudans elections be?

Posted by AT on April 20, 2010

Topic: How credible will Sudans elections be?
Broadcasting date: 20 April 2010
Presenter: Vuyiswa

Guests:
Studio:
1- Vincent Magombe, Director, Africa Inform International
2- Dr Khalid AlMubarak, Media Counsellor, Sudan Embassy

Satellite:
Roshan Mohammed Salih, Press TV Correspondent

part1

Description:
Some parties have redrawn from Sudans elections and others are threatening to do so in the country’s historic elections from 11-13 April. This could also affect the peace deal as one of the main parties in the deal Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) – which serves in a coalition at national level with President Bashir – announced it was withdrawing from the presidential election and from polls in Darfur over fraud and security fears.

part2

Brief:
Sudan’s National Electoral Commission has said this month’s national polls will not be delayed, despite a boycott threat by a major opposition party.
The Umma party’s conditions for participating included a delay of four weeks for the creation of a new body to supervise the electoral commission. Many parties have either already withdrawn from the elections or are threatening to withdraw.

part3

This is Sudan’s first multi party elections in 24 years. The country was ravaged with war for two decades until a peace deal was agreed in 2005.

Frequent coup d’états and civil wars between government forces and Sudan people’s liberation movement are among the reasons why elections haven’t been held until now. Other factors include the Darfur crisis and the subsequent arrest warrant by the ICC for the country’s President Omar al-Bashir. Furthermore, a key sticking point in the 2005 peace agreement was broken when an Arab militia and SPLM clashed in Abyei area on north-south divide.

part4

Reasons for national election delays:
From 1958- coup d’états and Civil Wars between the North and South
2003- Darfur crisis
July 2008- Arrest Warrant for Omar-al-Bashir
2008- Clashes reported in Abyei

NCP campaign promises:
Provision of basic services across the whole country
Economic development
The current ruling party National Congress Party led by President Omar al-Bashir has made some key promises to provide basic services across the country and enhance economic development.

Main Parties in Sudan’s elections:
Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir – National Congress Party (NCP)
Salva Kiir Mayardit – Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM),
Hatim al-Sirr Ali – Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)
Sadeq Abdel Rahman al-Mahdi – Umma National Party (UNP
Hear: His main opponent the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement with other parties boycotted the elections in the North but campaigned in the South promising to provide basic services, Health and Education, Protect the South’s right to a state and Deliver the dividends of peace.

Sudan long borders with many other countries:
• Map to show the following: Central African Republic (1 165 km)
• Chad (1 360 km)
• Democratic Republic of the Congo (628 km)
• Egypt (1 273 km)
• Eritrea (605 km)
• Ethiopia (1 606 km)
• Kenya (234 km)
• Libya (383 km)
• Uganda (435 km)

The outcome of the elections are crucial as Sudan is the largest country in Africa and the 9th in the world surrounded by countries at North, Central and Southern Africa. The country’s large oil finds and natural resources has drawn interests from the Chinese and other multi national organizations.

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50 years after the Sharpeville massacre, is South Africa fulfilling the promise of freedom?

Posted by AT on April 8, 2010

Africa Today 51
Topic: 50 years after the Sharpeville massacre which sparked the arm struggle, is South Africa fulfilling the promise of freedom?
Broadcasting date: 6/04/10
Presenter: Vuyiswa

Studio Guests:
Mr Andrew Feinstein, Former ANC MP and author

Mr Leslie Maruziva, Chair, ZG Club

Phone Guest:
Maureen Mnisi,Chairperson, Landless People’s Movement

part1

Description:
Sunday 21 March 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the day that changed the course of South African history. When police opened fire on thousands of unarmed protesters, killing 69 and injuring about 180, they inadvertently provided a catalyst for decades of armed struggle and forced the rest of the world to confront the iniquity of apartheid. White minority rule finally collapsed in 1994. Two years later it was in Sharpeville that the country’s first black president, Nelson Mandela, signed a new constitution.
On 21 March that year the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), a breakaway organisation from the African National Congress, mobilised black people across the country to demonstrate against laws that controlled their movement.
Thousands gathered outside the local police station in Sharpeville, challenging the police to arrest them for being without the pass books, or dompas, they were meant to produce on demand.

Part2

There were violent scenes and protests on the day South Africa marked 50 years since the Sharpeville Massacre. The protestors claimed promises made for freedom under the ANC government had not been fulfilled.

SOUNDBITE (Zulu) Busisiswe Mbuli, resident of Sharpeville township:
“Actually, the service delivery in this place is really not good at all. We cannot live in these shelters, they are right next to the tar road and the gas heating inside the shelter is not safe. And then there are the toilets. They are the worst.”

On 21st March 1960 about 69 people were killed and several injured when police fired on thousands of unarmed protestors in Sharpeville.
See:

SOUNDBITE (English) Reverend Mary Shenkane, eyewitness of Sharpeville massacre:
“The shooting started. All what we could see was people falling down. It was like a storm, when people were shot, bullets were getting into the bodies of the people, tearing actually the trousers and the clothes of people. Then it was taken in section, they would shoot one person first and then I think the command would say, then to the other person.”

Many South Africans living in Sharpeville now feel betrayed and neglected after the sacrifices that led to freedom. Africa Today asks is South Africa fulfilling the promise of freedom?

Part3

21 March 1960-
Black South Africans protest Apartheid laws restricting movement Police fire unprovoked killing 69 and injuring hundreds

1994-
Apartheid rule collapses under armed struggles and international pressure

1996-
ANC’s Nelson Mandela signs a new constitution in Sharpeville

2010-
South Africa Marks 50 years since Massacre

21st of March 1960 saw unarmed black South Africans protest against segregation laws. Apatheid police forces responded aggressively, shooting 69 people dead, and injuring several others. This tragic event was the catalyst that sparked the armed liberation phase of South Africa’s resistance to Apartheid.

In 1994 the apartheid government collapsed after years of armed struggle and international condemnation

The Country’s first Black President Nelson Mandela signed a new constitution in Sharpeville in 1996

50 years since the massacre, many South Africans are remembering those who perished in Sharpeville.

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Why is Nigeria Still Incapable of Averting Religious and Ethnic Conflicts?

Posted by AT on March 31, 2010

Africa Today 50
Why is Nigeria still incapable of averting religious and ethnic conflicts?
 
Broadcasting date: 30 March 2010
Presenter: Vuyiswa
Guests: 

Femi Okutubo, Publisher / Editor-in-Chief, The Trumpet Newspaper 

Mohammed Umar, Writer 

part1 

Description:
About 200 people have been arrested and 49 charged with murder after massacres at three Christian villages at the weekend, police in Nigeria said recently. 

part2
 

The announcement came as more details emerged of the violent outburst in the central Plateau state whose capital, Jos, lies at the faultline between the country’s Muslim north and Christian south.
Up to 500 people were killed — estimates of the number of victims differ — and scores more have fled their homes since the attacks by Muslim gangs on the villages of Dogo Nahawa, Zot and Ratsat.
Survivors told how mobs armed with machetes were waiting for them as they fled their burning homes. The attackers asked people “who are you?” in Fulani, a language used mostly by Muslims, and killed those who did not respond in that language. Women and children bore the brunt of the three-hour killing spree in the early hours of Sunday. 

part3
 

 

About 500 lives were reported to have perished in the second string of attacks since January in Jos. Jos the capital city of central Plateau state in Nigeria lies at the faultline between the country’s Muslim north and Christian south. 

Authorities believe the attacks on three Christian villages in the city were an act of retribution carried out by members of the Muslim Fulani community. 

SOUNDBITE: (English) David Keng, eye witness: (part overlaid by previous shot) “We heard gunshots, then we had some phone calls from the people in this area. By the time we were nearby, we heard the sound of the guns.” 

Ikechukwu Aduba, police commissioner: “We have requested for reinforcements and have been reassured by the special general that reinforcement is on its way.” After ignoring earlier warnings, the security forces have arrested about 200 people and charged 49 with murders. 

The recent clashes in Jos are a very familiar problem in Nigeria. Some 2000 people have been killed in the conflict since 2001. The fighting is mainly religiously motivated between the Muslim North and Christian south. With many blaming the situation on the political wrangling at the top, How will Nigeria be able to change the pattern of power struggle and abuse? A problem that has existed for most of its 50 years of  independence.

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