Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Thabo Mbeki on Sovereignty and Democracy in Africa

http://blogs.cfr.org/campbell/2012/02/23/thabo-mbeki-on-sovereignty-and-democracy-in-africa/

Mbeki focuses on Libya while acknowledging that intervention in Ivory Coast also carries many of the same lessons. He recalls the adoption by the African Union Peace and Security Council of a roadmap for the resolution of the Libyan conflict, which secured Qaddafi’s agreement. The AU then forwarded its decision to the UN and the Arab league.   However, the UN Security Council ignored the African Union and took as the justification for its actions the positions taken by the Arab League. It adopted Resolution 1973, which provided the justification for NATO “to intervene in Libya to impose a violent resolution to this conflict, centered on regime change—which was not the intention of Resolution 1973.”  Mbeki charges President Obama, Prime Minister Cameron, President Sarkozy, and the UN with imposing their own solution on an African state. (He denies that Qaddafi was intent on making war on his own people.) It particularly sticks in his craw that the UN gave greater weight to the Arab League than to the African Union; in effect, he accuses the UN of detaching Libya from Africa.

Senegal Elections: A First Take

http://blogs.cfr.org/campbell/2012/02/28/senegal-elections-a-first-take/

The experience of Ivory Coast should temper unbounded optimism about the elections, however. The Ivorian 2010 polling — the first in a decade — went well. There was a subsequent runoff between the incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara. But, the runoff was marred by irregularities with both candidates declaring victory, setting up parallel administrations, and there was a low level civil war resolved in the end by the UN and the French. The country now appears superficially calm, but divisions persist.  I am hopeful, even optimistic, that there will be no replay of the Ivory Coast scenario in Senegal. The former was characterized by “big man” rule under Houphouet Boigny that in effect stunted the development of a democratic culture. There was a recent history of civil war and the continued existence of parallel armed forces. There are ethnic and religious divisions often bundled together under the rubrics of “settlers” versus indigenes. Valuable commodities — cocoa, oil — distort politics.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Dublin

POOLBEGavivaBW-1Dublin 25 February 2012Dublin 27 Feb 2012Dublin 27 Feb 2012starting early :)
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Christchurch | LibertiesChristchurch | LibertiesChristchurch | LibertiesCostruita intorno a teHa'Penny Bridge The King's Inns, Dublin
Dublin HarborGrand Canal DocksSmall Dockat Sweeney'smanor street.

Dublin, a group on Flickr.

Africa Plans Free Trade Area

Africa Plans Free Trade Area

Africa's 54 nations have decided to establish a continental free trade area by 2017, speed up infrastructure development and put related policies and laws in place to boost the integration process. 'The Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) should be operationalized by the indicative date of 2017, and enhanced intra-African trade and deepened market integration can contribute significantly to sustainable economic growth, employment generation, poverty reduction, inflow of foreign direct investment, industrial development and better integration of the continent into the global economy,' according to the Declaration on the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa. The document was endorsed at the 18th African Union (AU) summit 23-31 January in the Ethiopian capital.

Theocracy and Its Discontents by Timothy Egan


http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/23/theocracy-and-its-discontents/

American political bedrock — God’s house and the people’s government guiding separate worlds — wasn’t always in place. Reason ultimately won out. But theocracy certainly had its colonies and its advocates; it might have prevailed but for a few outstanding voices.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Social workers do their best for children - Analysis, Opinion - Independent.ie

Social workers do their best for children - Analysis, Opinion - Independent.ie

THIS week the 'Daily Telegraph' ran a story with the headline 'Irish social workers are horrified by their ruthless English counterparts'. In it, we're told how a far more humane approach to issues, including child protection and the aim of keeping families together, exists in Ireland.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Playing a dangerous game in Egypt | Transitions

Playing a dangerous game in Egypt Transitions

In December, the Egyptian authorities raided the offices of 17 humanitarian organizations. The police confiscated documents, money, computers. The government, basing its actions on a shameful and draconian Mubarak-era law, accused the groups of receiving illegal funding from overseas and operating in Egypt without proper registration.

African envoy in Senegal to defuse tension - Africa - Al Jazeera English

African envoy in Senegal to defuse tension - Africa - Al Jazeera English

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has arrived in Senegal to mediate the country's political standoff, while police once again fired tear gas to disperse protesters in the capital.

Senegal's Ndour injured during rally

Senegal's Ndour injured during rally

Dakar - Senegalese music icon and opposition activist Youssou Ndour was injured in the leg on Tuesday after being hit by a projectile at the scene of a banned rally in Dakar, his entourage told AFP.

Failings left 10 migrants homeless

Failings left 10 migrants homeless

TEN PEOPLE ended up homeless because of failings in the social protection system, a report published today claims. The report, which highlights issues facing immigrants applying for welfare in Ireland, finds that 10 of 54 cases examined ended up with the person becoming homeless. It will be published today by Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Darfur rebels 'free UNAMID peacekeepers' - Africa - Al Jazeera English

Darfur rebels 'free UNAMID peacekeepers' - Africa - Al Jazeera English
The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Darfur's largest armed opposition group, told the Reuters news agency earlier on Monday that they had captured 52 members of the UNAMID force. Forty-six of the peacekeepers were from Senegal, including two officers, while there was one each from Yemen, Ghana and Rwanda

Iran Cuts Oil Exports to Franch & UK Firms

http://www.france24.com/en/20120219-iran-cuts-crude-oil-sales-french-british-companies-tehran-controversial-nuclear-programme
Iran has halted sales of crude oil to British and French companies, according to a statement published Sunday on the Iranian ministry of petroleum's website, amid rising tensions over Tehran's controversial nuclear programme.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Children die in West Bank bus crash

Children die in West Bank bus crash
AT LEAST seven Palestinian children and a teacher were killed when a truck lost control in stormy weather and slammed into a school bus, setting the vehicle on fire.

Clinton: 'Cultural Tradition' is No Excuse for Female Genital Mutilation

Clinton: 'Cultural Tradition' is No Excuse for Female Genital Mutilation

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that there is no cultural justification for female genital cutting, a practice that is sometimes referred to as female circumcision.
In many societies, it is often justified as a way to protect a girl's purity and cleanliness. Although Clinton said many cultural differences must be respected, this is not one of them.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

300 children around the globe die every hour from hunger - World News - Independent.ie

300 children around the globe die every hour from hunger - World News - Independent.ie

"A quarter of young children around the world are not getting enough nutrients to grow properly, and 300 die of malnutrition every hour, according to a new report that lays bare the effects of the global food crisis..."

Ireland faces institutional racism claims | Irish Examiner

Ireland faces institutional racism claims | Irish Examiner

"The failure, in particular, by the gardaí to use its Pulse electronic system to monitor crimes against ethic and religious minorities facilitates Islamophobia in Ireland, argues James Carr of University of Limerick..."

The harsh realities of ‘being raped for a living’ | Irish Examiner

The harsh realities of ‘being raped for a living’ | Irish Examiner

A former Dublin prostitute speaks about her seven years working in the Irish sex trade and argues against the idea that legalisation can make the work any safer

World's poor 'cutting back on food'

World's poor 'cutting back on food'

The survey, conducted by the charity in India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru and Bangladesh, provides a snapshot of the hardship that families are facing in countries already experiencing high rates of malnutrition.

Monday, 13 February 2012

For Iraqis, Aid to Rebels in Syria Repays a Debt

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/13/world/middleeast/for-iraqis-aid-to-syrian-rebels-repays-a-war-debt.html

Like Iraq and Afghanistan before it, analysts say, Syria is likely to become the training ground for a new era of international conflict, and jihadists are already signing up. This weekend, Al Qaeda’s ideological leadership and, more troublingly, the more mainstream Jordanian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, called for jihadists around the world to fight Mr. Assad’s government.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Egypt's ruling generals play risky game with US

Egypt's ruling generals play risky game with US

World economy's uncharted territory | The Japan Times Online

World economy's uncharted territory The Japan Times Online
The profound changes to the global economy have contributed to today's crisis and make it harder to resolve. The centre stage role of China, India and Brazil as they're now more than half the world economy and are growing three times faster than the US and other high-income countries is a reality. The fact that the U.S. has moved from the largest-creditor to the largest-debtor nation is also worring.....

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The Contest Over Peace and Security in Africa

allAfrica.com: The Contest Over Peace and Security in Africa

The dominant interventionist approach to peace and security in Africa by-passes the hard work of creating domestic political consensus and instead imposes models of government favoured by western powers

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Hitting rock bottom…(House Prices in Ireland)

Hitting rock bottom…
There is an ongoing debate about the time that property prices are likely to bottom out in Ireland, there are many different timeframes in circulation, but what do YOU think?