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NAMIBIA Skulls Repatriated - But No Official German Apology

BERLIN, Oct 4, 2011 (IPS) - A delegation of Namibian government representatives and leaders of the indigenous Herero and Nama people who came to Germany to repatriate 20 skulls of their ancestors were once again disappointed in their hopes for dialogue and an official apology.

The skulls were of victims of the mass murder of 80,000 Herero and Nama between 1904 and 1908, which were stolen by the former colonial 'Kaiserreich' for racial research some 100 years ago.

"When the Great Powers partitioned Africa in 1884, unfortunately we were allotted to the Germans," said Advocate Krukoro of the Ovaherero Genocide Committee, one of the 60 Namibian delegates, during the Sept. 27-Oct. 2 visit to Berlin.

In 1904, some 17,000 German colonial troops commanded by General Lothar von Trotha launched a brutal war of extermination against the Herero and Nama people, after they revolted against the continued deprivation of land and rights. Following their defeat at Waterberg on Aug. 11, 1904, they were hunted, murdered or driven deep into the Omaheke desert where they died of thirst.

Thousands of men, women and children were later interned in German concentration camps, and died of malnutrition and disease. The territories of the Herero and Nama people were seized, their community life and means of production destroyed. The discussion about the mass murder did not start until Namibia gained independence from South Africa in 1990.

Germany's foreign ministry has routinely avoided the use of the term "genocide" in dismissing the Herero and Nama peoples' claims for compensation, using instead vague phrases such as "Germany's historic responsibility with respect to Namibia."

Cornelia Pieper, the minister of state in the German foreign office, did the same this time around. "Germans acknowledge and accept the heavy moral and historical responsibility to Namibia," she said on Sep. 30 at the Charité University in Berlin, which hosted the ceremony in which the skulls of nine Herero and eleven Nama people were handed over to the Namibian delegation.

The remains of four females, 15 males and one child were part of the Charité anatomical collection. They were used by German scientists in research that had the aim of proving the supposed racial superiority of white Europeans over black Africans.

Now, 100 years later, the president of the executive board of the 300-year-old institution, Karl Max Einhaeupl, deplored "the crimes perpetrated in the name of a perverted concept of scientific progress" and said: "We sincerely apologise".

The treatment of the Herero and Nama people in Namibia – mass extermination on the grounds of racism, extermination through labour, expropriation of land and cattle, research to prove the alleged superiority of white people – is widely seen as a precursor to the Holocaust. MORE
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Oscar Pistorius will become the first amputee athlete to compete at the able-bodied World Championships, after being named in South Africa’s squad.

Oscar Pistorius will become the first amputee athlete to compete at the able-bodied World Championships, after being named in South Africa’s squad.

The 24-year-old double-amputee, who competes on carbon fibre legs, will race in the 400m and 4x400m relay

The event begins in Daegu, South Korea on 27 August.

Women’s 800m world champion Caster Semenya, who was cleared to run last year after an 11-month lay-off because of gender tests, is also in the squad.

Pistorius said: "I have dreamt for such a long time of competing in a major championships and this is a very proud moment in my life.

"It will be a great day for me when I set out on the track in Daegu and I hope to do my country proud.

"This will be the highest-profile and most prestigious able-bodied event which I have ever competed in, and I will face the highest-calibre of athletes from across the planet."

An International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) ban was overturned in 2008, allowing Pistorius to compete against able-bodied athletes.

The IAAF's ruling that his "blades" gave him an unfair advantage was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Pistorius clocked a personal best time of 45.07 seconds in Italy last month to qualify just inside the cut-off time.

Continue reading

Via fyeahAfrica which has pics.
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Features:Popular protests in Burkina Faso

Political tensions have been rising in the tiny West African nation of Burkina Faso following the death in police custody of student Justin Zongo on 20 February, which sparked widespread student anger. Authorities initially said the death was due to meningitis, a lie that only amplified the protests, which quickly spread from Zongo’s native town of Koudougou in west-central Burkina Faso to the entire country. Are these protests a mere imitation of developments in north Africa?

Burkina Faso has a vibrant civil society that has managed to resist attempts by successive regimes in the post-colonial period to be co-opted into the single party system or the system of trade union representation that continues to dog the country.

Events in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya certainly have encouraged mobilisation in Burkina Faso, where people also want the current regime ‘out’. From slogans such as ‘Tunisia is in Koudougou’ and ‘Burkina will have its Egypt’[1] to caricatures on Facebook, there are echoes of the Arab spring in the country and some youth groups in Koudougou have even compared Justin Zongo to Mohamed Bouaziz[2]. In contrast to Ben Ali’s Tunisia and Mubarak’s Egypt, Burkina Faso has always had a certain degree of freedom of information and expression and the right to organise. It is easier for young people from underprivileged classes to meet and plan their actions in person[3] rather than on the net[4].
ETA: Uprisings in Southern Africa
Transcript scroll down
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2005 The Housewife theory of History

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Reflections from Detroit: Reflections On An Opening: Disability Justice and Creating Collective Access in Detroit

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Sins Invalid: An Unshamed Claim to Beauty in the Face of Invisibility

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2010: Domestic Workers Organize for Workers Bill of Rights; MUA 20th Anniversary in San Francisco, May 27th

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PDF - Immigrant Women Organizing for Change:Integration and Community Development
by Immigrant Women in the Maritimes

DisAbled Women Network: DAWN ONTARIO Herstory


March 21, 2011 Australia: Lake Tyers Women Holding Blockade Against the Government

For the past two weeks, Indigenous women from the community of Lake Tyers, in East Gippsland, Victoria, have been holding a blockade against the state government's self-imposed rule over their community.

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Jan 2011 Bolivia: People with Disabilities Demanding Rights and Payment

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We Women Warriors

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Maori Women's Welfare League

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2007 New Zealand’s Maori Women’s Welfare League: Working Toward Women’s Rights in Saving Maori Culture

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Arab Women: The powers that be

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Grameen vs Bangladesh

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Q&A: Ela Bhatt on SEWA, Harvard Award

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Survivors of Mumbai Bombings Trained to Recover

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Dalit Women Organize Against Caste, Gender Discrimination

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Vandana Shiva: Environmentalist and founder of Diverse Women for Diversity

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ANF demands release of jailed striking nurses in West Papua

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War declared against domestic worker abuse

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Welcome to Mujeres Libres; a celebration of the struggle of the Zapatista Women (Website)

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1994 Chiapas and the women? free electronic book

2007 Zapatista Women: 'We Are What Holds the Community Together': A Year After the Passing of Comandanta Ramona, Civilian and Insurgent Women Tell of Their Movement Within a Movement

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Zapatismo, a feminine movement

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Indigenous Feminism in Southern Mexico

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2008 The First Zapatista Women's Encuentro: A Collective Voice of Resistance

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2010 Censored Story, Nigerian women act against abuses of Big Oil, Sign on letter to Secretary Clinton

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Nigeria: Niger Delta Demands for Justice Undaunted By Decades of Violence

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2003Hands up or we strip!

Six hundred Nigerian women held a US oil giant to ransom armed with a simple weapon - the threat of taking all their clothes off. And it worked. Tania Branigan and John Vidal explain

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The Guardian: Top 100 Women Campaigners and Activists Ongoing series

Sweatshop Warriors By Miriam Chin Yoon Louie

The Global Women's Movement by Peggy Antrobus Interview with Grenadian Peggy Antrobus 2003
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Has Lesotho bridged the gender gap?

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MOZAMBIQUE Educator in the foothills of her political career

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BOTSWANA: Women in Politics – A House Divided… But Determined

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ECUADOR Trees on Shaky Ground in Texaco’s Rainforest

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EL SALVADOR-HONDURAS Forgotten People of the Border Pact

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EWAMT:Yemeni Women in Protest

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Empowerment of Women Activists in Media Techniques -Yemen

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Deaf seek level field on disability

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The Word on Women - Rehabilitation cuts no ice with India's sex workers\

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A wild weekend of rebellion and repression
Three journalists among those arrested, with deportation proceedings against a La Prensa columnist:Martinelli sends in cops, lashes out at anti-mining protesters

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Preliminary report on human rights violations during the days of protest against mining reform in Panama, January to March 2011 PDF Format

Rival leaders assert claims in the Ngabe-Bugle Comarca

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US citizen remains a political prisoner in Panama:WikiLeaks highlights, worsens US-Panamanian relations

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WikiLeaks: Colombian company, subsidiary of Panamanian company, was doing Plan Colombia and US Defense Department subcontracting despite many reputed drug cartel ties

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No family in Britain will escape George Osbourne's cuts Read more... )Diary of a disability benefit claimant Read more... )

'The medical was an absolute joke'

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SOUTHERN AFRICA: Sharing the Okavango

GABORONE, Apr 23, 2010 (IPS) - Each January, a giant pulse of water from heavy summer rains over the south of Angola enters the Okavango River system and begins a five-month journey through Namibia to a richly biodiverse swamp in Botswana's Kalahari desert. The river is a rarity, scarcely disturbed by human development along its 1,100 kilometre length: shaping its future is the delicate task of the Okavango River Basin Commission.

The Okavango Delta, which expands to three times its permanent size when the water arrives between June and August, is home to a tremendous concentration of wildlife.

There are just under 600,000 people living in the basin's 323,000 square kilometre area, relying on its waters for small-scale agriculture and livestock, fishing, and household use. But aside from evaporation, a few sips drawn off to supply the Namibian town of Rundu and 1100 hectares of irrigation nearby, the water that falls in Angola at the turn of the year arrives in Botswana in mid-winter to recharge the Delta.

"Water usage in Angola and Namibia is minimal, 99.2 percent of the Okavango river water still reaches the delta in Botswana where it is used for tourism," says Chaminda Rajapakse, of the Environmental Protection and Sustainable Management of the Okavango River Basin (GEF-EPSMO) project.

"[It has been] agreed any country that wants to develop their part of the basin have to go through consultation and studies be done to find out if the development will have any effect on the river flow or the ecosystem."

But there is continuous, even growing, pressure on the river. When Namibia faced severe drought in the late 1990s, it considered drawing water off the Okavango to supply its capital, Windhoek, hundreds of kilometres away. Namibia also has a long-standing desire to build a hydroelectric dam on the river at Popa Falls, 50 kilometres upstream of the border with Botswana.

But Botswana opposes any additional use of the water, arguing that it will disturb the fragile ecology of the Delta, leading to lost biodiversity and revenue from tourism.

Rajapakse's project is to analyse the potential harmful impacts to the health of the river and draw up a strategic programme for joint management of the river basin's water that will protect its diversity. He works closely with the Okavango River Basin Water Commission (OKACOM), which was set up in 1994 to, in its own words, "anticipate and reduce those unintended, unacceptable and often unnecessary impacts that occur due to uncoordinated resources development." MORE


WATER: Working together on River Management

WINDHOEK, Mar 11, 2011 (IPS) - Postwar Angola is keen to expand irrigation for much-needed development, Namibia is prioritising clean drinking water and sanitation, while Botswana wants to preserve the integrity of the world-renowned Okavango Delta for tourism.

All three depend on an equitable share of quality water from the Okavango River, the fourth largest in Africa, running 1,600 kilometres from Angola to its inland delta in Botswana.

In other parts of the world, conflicting interests like these, against a backdrop of uncertainty due to climate change, have led several observers to predict water wars might lead to water wars. But the three countries are putting in place a cross-border plan to manage the river.

A trans-boundary diagnostic analysis of the basin led to a strategic action plan which encompasses national priorities. To this end National Action Plans (NAPs) are currently being formulated in the three countries.

"The realisation has dawned that issues in the basin are much larger than just the river that runs through it," says Steve Johnson head of the USAID funded Southern African Regional Program (SAREP) that facilitates the NAPs.

"The topics range from trans-boundary management to biodiversity aspects, to water supply and sanitation, livelihoods, flood preparedness and HIV/AIDS," he said. MORE

Its so awesome when things go right in the world:)
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Burundi opens up rights to use River Nile

Burundi finally appended its signature to water usage from Nile River, providing the Nile Basin Countries with the sixth endorsement which was mandatory to exploit waters from the mystic river. The agreement signed in Kampala, Uganda effectively paves way for the ratification of the long standing Nile Accord, a move likely to strip Egypt of its veto power over rights to the flow from the world's longest river.

A 1929 treaty brokered by former colonial power, Britain, granted Egypt a veto over projects that may alter the flow of the Nile. Another 1959 accord between Egypt and Sudan claimed 90 percent of the Nile’s flow for the two countries.
After a decade of talks, five Nile nations Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya in May 2010 signed a deal that allowed upstream countries to implement irrigation and hydropower projects without first seeking Egypt's approval. A sixth signatory was needed for the CFA to come into force and once it has been ratified by the six national legislatures, a Nile Basin Commission will be created. MORE

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So recently Nicolas Kristof, New York Times columnist who has set himself up as a women's rights crusader, was tackled on the fact that he hinged his stories on whiote poeple who were helping the natives of the various brown citizen majority countries that he reports from: Texas in Africa has the story in white man's burden

Back in May, @viewfromthecave tweeted that The Kristof was taking questions from readers to be answered via YouTube. This is the question I asked:

Your columns about Africa almost always feature black Africans as victims, and white foreigners as their saviors.

There was more to it than that, but I can't find the original post. At any rate, the gist of the question was, "Why not feature more of the work that Africans are doing to solve their countries' problems?"

And, lo and behold, Kristof answered. NYT Picker thankfully has the transcript for those of us on dial-up connections:
This is a really important issue for a journalist. And it's one I've thought a lot about.

I should, first of all, from my defensive crouch, say that I think you're a little bit exaggerating the way I have reported. Indeed, recently, for example, among the Africans who I have emphasized, the people who are doing fantastic work are the extraordinary Dr. Dennis Mukwege in the Congo, Edna Adan in Somaliland, Valentino Deng in Sudan, Manute Bol in Sudan, and there are a lot of others.

But I do take your point. That very often I do go to developing countries where local people are doing extraordinary work, and instead I tend to focus on some foreigner, often some American, who’s doing something there.

And let me tell you why I do that. The problem that I face -- my challenge as a writer -- in trying to get readers to care about something like Eastern Congo, is that frankly, the moment a reader sees that I'm writing about Central Africa, for an awful lot of them, that's the moment to turn the page. It's very hard to get people to care about distant crises like that.

One way of getting people to read at least a few grafs in is to have some kind of a foreign protagonist, some American who they can identify with as a bridge character.

And so if this is a way I can get people to care about foreign countries, to read about them, ideally, to get a little bit more involved, then I plead guilty.

As NYT Picker aptly notes, the persons to whom Kristof refers have either not been mentioned in his print columns or are typically only mentioned briefly.Texas in Africa proceeds to fisk this white liberal racist BS as it deserves

I am extremely pissed at this BS meself, so have a linkspam of women in their own countries, being all awesome without some white saviours anywhere near them.

INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS Women Join Forces for Political Equality

PORT-LOUIS , Jul 14, 2010 (IPS) - "Instead of moaning all the time, why don’t you create your own (political) party?" some men asked Brigitte Rabemanantsoa Rasamoelina, a female politician from Madagascar. She accepted the challenge and in February formed Ampela Mano Politika, a political party which started with only 22 female members and now has over 5,000 female members ... and 10 men.

With female political representation standing at only 3.75 percent in Madagascar, a women’s lot is very precarious, says Rasamoelina.

And so too is the situation for many women in most of the Indian Ocean Islands. Female political representation is a mere three percent in Comoros, 18 percent in Mauritius and 23.5 percent in the Seychelles.

It is one of the reasons why Rasamoelina and 30 other women from the Indian Ocean Islands, gathered recently in Mauritius to identify ways to attain parity among men and women in politics in an event organised by the Indian Ocean Commission and Women in Politics (WIP).MORE

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The Listening Post - The UK election's TV twist

?On The Listening Post this week, how 90 minutes of TV airtime turned the British vote into a three-horse race. Plus, how the murder of one controversial politician opened up a race debate in the South African media.

Anybody in Britain? What do you think about the analysis here? Frankly I think they are too optimistic about the breaking power of the journalists because of the debates. Is it journalists who are asking the questions? If so, consider the choreographed, journalistically-managed nonsense that passed for debate in the US election.


Apr. 13th, 2010 02:05 pm
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Caster Semanya cleared to compete as a woman.

After months of speculation and gender testing, South African runner Caster Semenya is finally being allowed to compete again:

“Semenya’s lawyers told the eNews channel Wednesday that her medical team looked at test results following the 2009 world championships and their own tests and concluded that she was clear to compete.”


Pending official “gender verification” from the track and field’s governing body, the IAAF, Semenya plans to make her return to competitive racing at Spanish competition on June 24.MORE
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SWAZILAND: Help Sex Workers - Senator

MBABANE, Nov 12 (IPS) - It is one of the world's oldest professions, dating so far back that it is even mentioned in the Bible. But in the deeply cultural and religious country of Swaziland, Senator Thuli Msane stirred a hornet's nest when she publicly challenged a new strict bill opposing prostitution.

Msane spoke out against arresting sex workers, when she said government should first address the humanitarian challenges that drive them into the trade.

She was responding to the new proposed legislation, the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Bill, 2009. The Bill imposes a six-year imprisonment on conviction, or a fine of approximately 2,000 dollars, on people who earn a living from sex work.

The Bill, which will be debated in parliament soon, also imposes a maximum sentence of 25 years and a fine of just over 13,000 dollars on those who perpetuate the trade through running brothels and using children as sex workers.

Currently the Crimes Act of 1889 imposes a fine of about 80 dollars or imprisonment for two years to anyone who entices immoral acts.MORe
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South Africa tries to enlist men in AIDS battle
JOHANNESBURG — "There is a new man in South Africa," proclaims a new ad splashed across South African media, aiming to transform ideas about sexuality and to enlist the nation's men in the fight against AIDS. This new South African man's "self worth is not determined by the number of women he can have." He "makes no excuse for unprotected sex" and "respects his woman", the ad reads.
The image of a hard-drinking, fearless seducer still holds powerful appeal for many South African men, posing a major problem to stopping AIDS in a country where 5.7 million of the 48 million population have HIV. Until now, most AIDS schemes have centred on health centres, which are used mainly by women. "It is hard to go to a clinic and acknowledge your vulnerability as a man," said Dean Peacock, coordinator at Sonke Gender Justice Network, one of the groups working to engage men.
But men still hold the upper hand in sexual relations, so the "Brothers for Life" campaign aims to convince men to use condoms while also improving their access to treatment. Currently, women account for three quarters of the HIV tests conducted in South Africa, and two thirds of the anti-retroviral drugs dispensed. What's more, men tend to seek treatment later than women, when their immune systems are already weakened.MORE
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Efforts to prosecute those who may have committed war crimes in Israel's war on Gaza have spread beyond the Middle East.

A lawyer in South Africa has identified 75 South African nationals who he says were fighting with the Israeli army in the war earlier this year.

Feroze Boda, based in Johannesburg and working on behalf of two local pro-Palestinian organisations, says the soldiers should face court action for their involvement.

Imran Garda reports from Johannesburg.


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