10 April 2004
GENOCIDE IS an overused word, but ten years ago it took place in the tiny African country of Rwanda. Throughout 100 days between 800,000 and one million people were murdered in a country of just six million. The media coverage remembering these events conveys the horror. But much of it also accepts two arguments. The first is that there was something inexplicable about what occurred-or that perhaps this is something uniquely "African".
13 December 2003
Observing the Commonwealth Conference over the past week, I can't help feeling a degree of grudging admiration for Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe – for all that I detest him for the devastation he has inflicted on his own people.
22 November 2003
AROUND ELEVEN million people are facing hunger in the African country of Ethiopia in 2003. But the huge multinational Nestlé has caused outrage by demanding $6 million from the Ethiopian government. It is claiming compensation for a company that was nationalised 27 years ago by the military government and later bought by NestlŽ. Nestlé is one of the world's largest food companies. It makes $6 million profit every hour.
27 September 2003
OVER 900 people packed into a World Development Movement meeting in London last Thursday to hear speakers report back from the WTO talks in Cancun. Prof Yash Tandon, an African delegate to the WTO, gave a perspective from the inside. The FT had a report saying that poor countries were "likely to be the biggest losers" from the collapse of the talks. Yash explained how this was completely upside down-no deal was much better than a bad deal.
23 August 2003
THE WORLD Development Movement is holding a public meeting on Thursday 18 September to discuss the outcome of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting which will take place from 10 to 14 September in Cancun, Mexico. Speakers include George Monbiot, Professor Yash Tandon (African delegate to the WTO), Carmen Diaz and Barry Coates.
16 August 2003
THE PHOTOGRAPH on this page is of 16 year old Alhassan Kamara. He is an asylum seeker from war-torn Sierra Leone, West Africa. He did not want his full face photographed for fear of being singled out in the future. Known by his friends and family as "Alaska", this young man escaped a brutal civil war.
09 August 2003
NO SANE person could be unmoved by the terrible suffering of people in the West African state of Liberia. Fourteen years of brutal civil war has seen at least 200,000 people killed out of a population of three million. Many others have been injured or lost their homes.
26 July 2003
FAR FROM being a drain on the economy, workers from abroad keep key industries and services in Britain going. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) showed last week how some parts of the NHS would "cease to function" without nurses from South Africa and the Philippines. Guardian journalist Felicity Lawrence has uncovered how "in food processing there is a hidden army of labour on whom we all depend".
19 July 2003
GEORGE BUSH'S visit to Africa last week was a grotesque spectacle. Nowhere else on earth has suffered so much from the policies he and those he represents push across the world. His visit came as a United Nations (UN) report showed how in over 50 countries, many in Africa, society has been plunged backwards in the last decade.
12 July 2003
"GEORGE BUSH is coming to South Africa with his hands dripping with the fresh blood of Iraqi people. When they roll out the red carpet for him, it will be to hide the bloodstains." That's how Trevor Ngwane, the leading South African anti-privatisation activist, summed up what Bush's tour of Africa means.
21 June 2003
IMAGINE THE outcry if the Home Office gave residency to a Muslim political activist wanted by Interpol in connection with the murder of a policeman. Imagine if that person was found living in luxury and working with children. Now imagine if that person was a racist member of South Africa's fascist Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB), which used extreme violence to oppose black majority rule.
07 June 2003
"TO THE eight who want to rule the world, the world replies - resistance!" The chant was in French, but taken up by people from a dozen or more European countries - and some from Africa, Asia and Latin America too.
07 June 2003
Bob Geldof is 100 percent wrong on Bush and Africa
BOB GELDOF is right to attack the European Union's "pathetic and appalling" response to Africa's human crisis. But he is totally wrong to praise George Bush's policies towards the continent. Bush's administration is the central actor in making sure that debt payments are pumped out of Africa.
31 May 2003
Zackie Achmat is one of the leading figures of the South African movement fighting to get lifesaving drugs made available to everyone living with HIV and AIDS. He was an anti-apartheid activist from an early age. Although he is HIV positive, he is refusing to take antiretroviral drugs until they are made available for everyone in the South African public health system. He is chair of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC).
24 May 2003
Soon after the 11 September attacks George Bush declared that the US and the world were facing "the first war of the 21st century". He was contemptuously brushing aside a war in which almost 3.5 million people have died. This has been going on since 1998 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Central Africa. It still goes on today.
10 May 2003
ALAN MILLER, a steelworker at the Stocksbridge plant in South Yorkshire, was sickened by the news last week of massive job cuts at the plant. Bosses of the Corus steel firm decreed that 1,150 jobs are to go across Britain - including hundreds at Stocksbridge. This was part of their "restructuring" plan to boost profits.
19 April 2003
REMEMBER THE headlines when in January Spanish police arrested 16 North Africans who lived in Barcelona and Girona? "Major Al Qaida Attack Foiled" trumpeted the BBC. Tabloid papers ran lurid tales and the Guardian declared that "the group was poised to launch bomb attacks in Europe".
23 March 2003
GEORGE BUSH is spending at least $140 billion (£87.5 billion), according to his chief economic adviser Larry Lindsey, to unleash terror on the people of Iraq. At the same time 15 million people today face the threat of famine in the Horn of Africa.
25 January 2003
THE MEDIA have whipped up hysteria against refugees from Algeria after last week's killing of a police officer in Manchester. They paint a picture that those coming here from the North African country are all potential killers, linked to a dangerous network of Islamist terrorists. This is racist nonsense. And the real reasons people are fleeing Algeria are rarely even discussed.
04 January 2003
DECADES OF one-party rule in Kenya in East Africa ended last weekend and people came out onto the streets to celebrate. Election results showed that opposition candidate Mwai Kibaki had easily defeated Uhuru Kenyatta. Kenyatta was the candidate of the outgoing leader, Daniel arap Moi. Moi became Kenya's ruler in 1978.