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Following are our archived editorial that our Editorial Board selected as still being timely and worth reviewing. Let us know what your comments are. Send it to The African Times/USA editor-in-chief at:

editor@TheAfricanTimes.com

 

As Africa's Friends Increase

Within a week, two important guests - Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu and India's Narenda Modi - came calling. To underline the importance of the Continent to their two countries, the visits were of the highest diplomatic level and protocol. Netanyahu arrived to Entebbe International Airport in a four-plane entourage, accompanied by cabinet-level ministers and top Israeli military brass with a message from Israel's Parliament that said: "Africa constitutes vast potential for Israel in very many areas. Many countries are seeking to open their gates to Israel and we will realize this desire for the mutual benefit of every partner during the trip." For the Israeli Prime Minister, the Uganda trip had a deeper significance as he had lost his older brother, Jonathan, in the infamous 1976 Entebbe rescue raid in which he was a military commander.

Then along came the Indian Prime Minister with a multi-million-dollar financial package to do business with Africa. Up until now, China has been Africa's largest Asian trading partner, a position which the Indians are spoiling to alter. In a deliberate effort to contrast the Chinese 
business model in Africa, Modi who stopped in Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya said that India's focus will be on "human development through trade, rather the extraction of resources."

In all of these, Africa sits to be the beneficiary of a new climate of positive engagement from the various economic powerhouses of the world.  The days when Africa was either the fertile soil for   unconscionable exploitations or a dumping ground for cheap, inferior and defective products now seem to be far and between.

Africa is truly open for business.

 

Why Term Limits Matter For Africa

Burundi's struggle to institute term limits is emblematic of a broader battle to establish checks on Africa's heads of state. The capacity for perpetuating their stay in office explains why nine current African leaders have been in power for more than 20 years (four of these for more than 30 years). This pattern may however be on the wane. Some 20 African countries of the 54 nation states, now effectively limit their Presidents to two terms. Of note, is Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan who voluntarily conceded power in Africa's largest democracy.

Polls show that 75 percent of Africans favor two-term limits for their heads of state. Moreover, the last successful circumvention of term limits was in Djibouti in 2010. The outcome in Burundi, consequently, has broader implications for Africa's efforts to institutionalize democratic norms and the rule of law.

Historically, pre-colonial Africa was largely made up of kingdoms and vassals ruled by de facto kings and chiefs who served at the pleasure of kingmakers and regents. This monarchical mindset was invariably foisted on the political ruling class even after the various African nation states gained independence from their colonial masters. This has continued to foster a breeding ground for sit-tight leaders such as was experienced during the reign of the late Mobutu Seseko, Jean Bedel Bokassa , Idi Amin, etc.

Consequently, the situation in Burundi again shows the fallacy of the winner-takes-all mentality of some of the remaining despots in Africa such as Marcias Nguema, Robert Mugabe, Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame whose stranglehold on power only ushers in an orgy of death and unwarranted killings – the type that should have no place in today’s Africa.

Thank goodness that the intolerance for despotism all of Africa is on the rise and The African Times-USA believes that the end of the era of totalitarianism is obviously in sight.

We believe implicitly that the two-term limit is essential to the future of Africa. And those who would wish to subvert the climate of democracy are doomed to ultimate disappointment

 

Burnishing Nigeria’s Badly-Battered Image…

The recent national elections in Nigeria that threw up Muhammadu Buhari as President has put one of Africa’s most important nations back in the limelight. And this time, we hope it is for good. It was not at all a surprise that most Nigerians opted for a candidate whose antecedence can be traced back to the dark days of military interregnum but whose record as a military ruler reminds Nigerians of the order and sanity which Buhari foisted on the national psyche in 1983.

This is why expectations are justifiably high on both the domestic and international scenes as the new government in Abuja braces up to tackle the myriad of problems that bedeviled the country.

The African Times/USA sees Nigeria as a nation that has all the propensity for greatness if the Buhari team exercises the will to cut through the imperiled past and align with forces who can assist in re-focusing on tangible deliverables. We have been able to clinically gauge how America views Nigeria from the banking industry, to entertainment and media down to the service sector. The verdict is not flattering. Not even with the over $38 billion US investment in Nigeria’s economy.

We believe that given the beating that Nigeria’s image has taken in the last eight years, the new government in Abuja’s first order of duty should be the swift and immediate rehabilitation of the country’s image while at the same time tackling the other socio-economic issues such as Boko Haram, endemic corruption and inadequate power supply.

We therefore counsel that President Buhari must have a marshal plan not just for Nigeria’s major problems but one that is a highly focused and decisive stratagem for the rehabilitating of her image as a corrupt, inept, politically volatile nation that could morph into another Somalia or Iraq.

Today’s perception becomes tomorrow’s reality. And between the worldwide goodwill garnered by the election of Buhari May 29 and an influential Diaspora community around the world especially in the United States, Nigeria could have finally found the winning key that can unlock a future way beyond her imagination.


Kleptocracy

The U.S. Department of Justice Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative is designed to crack down on corrupt foreign officials who steal money of their country and use it to live the high life in the U.S.

Thus far, this anti-corruption initiative has seized nearly $600 million from corrupt officials of Nigeria, Taiwan, South Korea, Afghanistan, Brazil, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. The largest seizure, $480 million, came against the estate of former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha, who died 16 years ago.

The most recent case breaks with the common pattern of waiting until the official has ended his or her nation's rule before prosecuting them under the Kleptocracy Initiative.

The most recent Kleptocrat is Teodorin Nguema Obiang Mangue, the son and heir apparent to the Equatorial Guinea’s President, now "serving" as the country's Second Vice President. As part of the case resolution, Obiang must sell his lavish Malibu, California mansion, a Ferrari and Michael Jackson memorabilia to raise $20 million, which the U.S. Government will give to a charity working for the people of Equatorial Guinea and $10.3 million to the U.S. which will also be used to benefit the people of Equatorial Guinea.

However, this resolution before an actual trial, missed an opportunity to expose the workings of corruption in the oil-rich nation, putting Obiang on trial would have brought revelations that ... could have been of inestimable value to expose the nature of the corruption system in Equatorial Guinea, as well as the role of lawyers, bankers and other professionals who grease the wheels of abuse.


What to Expect From The US-Africa Summit

The recent White House US-Africa Summit was well attended with the presence of over 50 African Heads of state. The first of its kind. Thanks to President Barack Obama.

There were frank discussions on how to re-energize the rather tepid relationships of the past. The growing Sino-Africa cooperation, The African Times-USA believes has been of recurring concern to Washington, hence the need for a formal dialogue. The hope across the board is that there will be sustainable dividends from the Summit and that the US will not again relapse into a state of inertia when it comes to Africa

Most, if not all aspects of the Summit were well done, especially the Africa Youth Confab which consisted of over 500 youth leaders from across the continent which makes for continuity. To boot, Africa took home from the Summit millions of dollars in direct investment from US businesses. Not Aid.

In our measured opinion, The African Times-USA believes that the Summit finally marks a take off point in the maturing of US-Africa relationship – one that is based on Washington's recognition of Africa's growing influence as a major manufacturing labor resource, with a burgeoning middle class, a political and legal maturity and a vocal civil society that is unprecedented in the history of most of the 54 African nation states.


 

Help Needed With Africa Growing Labor Force

By 2040, Africa's working-age population will be larger than either China's or India's. Africa has more people aged fewer than 20 than anywhere in the world and the continent's population is set to double to two billion by 2040. Sub-Saharan Africa is a region where people aged between 15 and 29 will continue to constitute about half of the population of most countries for the next three to five decades. Currently, the estimated median age in sub-Saharan Africa is under 19.

Those are the answers that now raise more questions.

Will this be a blessing or a big problem? Africa will have the largest labor force in the world. What must Africa do to deal with this demographic explosion that will demand vast amount of education, equipment and other types of enablement over the course of their working lives.

To avoid the most vulnerable being left behind, in particular young people from poorer backgrounds, it is crucial to have policies which foster social inclusion.

It is becoming increasingly clear across Africa that unless political leadership offers young people something to live for, social stresses such as unemployment can make them easy prey to those who offer them something to die for.

It is therefore important that in seeking to harness Africa's demographic dividend, the right leadership and prudent policies are prioritized.

At the moment, in too many countries, that is not the case.

AFRICA 2040 – 2 Billion

China 2040-1.455.057.000 India 2040-1.564.763.000

It Was Twenty Years Ago

It was twenty years ago that all the People of South Africa were holding their first all-inclusive elections that brought Nelson Mandela to the Presidency. Their jubilation was hear worldwide, and celebrated worldwide. To say he and the old regime made a grave and important shift in the future and destiny of South Africa and her People would be an understatement – it was a day and time that South Africa shined and now needs to remember to live up to that legacy.

It was twenty years ago that the world witnessed one of the more staggering genocides – the Hutus of Rwanda killed hundreds of thousands of Tutsis, as the world stood by and did nothing. The horror of this, in terms of human lives was more tragic and horrendous than the World War II Holocaust. Over 800,000 Rwandans were killed by Rwandans, their neighbors, friends and even their own families, in a matter of hours – and Africa and the world did nothing.

These two twenty-year-old times need to be remembered and reflected upon – did Africa and the world learn anything from them – or are these only symbolic, state-holidays?

We hope not – both, South Africa and Rwanda need to remember, reflect and reconcile their twenty-year-old past that gave them a new future.


Nigeria Is Out-Of-Control

That the Nigerian government, its military and the national police have obviously proven themselves unable to resolve the Boko Haram situation has become a sore fact. Not knowing how to tackle this menace has not scored this West African country high on the radar of the global war on terrorism. Recently, we noticed that the blame-game and cover-ups have already started, and by no less an institution than the Nigerian Presidency that wily nilly decided to fire the nation's top military brass.

This is however in contrast to the government's swift and efficient execution of the anti-gay law, which makes it unlawful to be gay in Nigeria.

The government seems to have better records and ability to identify the gays than they have had with Boko Haram. In one day after the signing of the gay law, 34 gays were arrested and prosecuted under the new law.

On the political front, it is obvious to all that the ruling party is in disarray – President Goodluck Jonathan is currently at war with his own People’s Democratic Party (PDP). As a result, five state governors have defected to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), as have 37 members of parliament, depriving the PDP of a House majority.

We realize that with Presidential election coming up next year, there has been posturing and maneuvers. It is also being speculated that President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to run after he is alleged to have assured members of his party that he would not seek another term, after his 2011 election victory, following the death of President Alhaji Umaru Yar'Adua whose term he completed.

What truly troubles The African Times is that with the Nigeria economy set to overtake South Africa as the continent’s largest and with the propensity to grow, the President is currently embroiled in a game of wits with the Governor of the Central Bank who is credited internationally with bringing about the Nigeria recovery from economic abyss. The Central banker’s only sin is that he asked the President’s team to account for the whereabouts of $50 billion USD of oil revenue!

We believe that there is dire need for a political, economic and social re-engineering in Abuja -- if Nigeria’s future is to be assured.


EDITORIAL - September 2013

"The trouble with free elections is
you never know who is going to win."

…this is a classic “stay-in-power” statement made by Leonard Brezhnev, then-Soviet Prime Minister. He knew how to control the outcome of “free elections” - a lesson that Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the newly re-elected President of Zimbabwe and his Harare entourage, including his military chief Gen. Constantine Chiwenga have learned well in preparation for the Zimbabwe elections. Mr. Mugabe’s government colleagues put in the controls to win, including establishing over 2,000 party compounds across Zimbabwe, to serve as bases for the party militias across the opposition areas to guarantee a “conservative” 60% election win and making sure those who would vote for the opposition were “legally” barred from voting, by most estimates about one million voters.

That was step number one, followed by an orchestrated effort during the run-up to the hastily declared election to establish a perception of a “democratic process”. During the election campaign and the election day voting, the orders were to remain calm, peaceful, no disturbances at the polls, no stuffing of the ballot boxes – to make sure the election day and the polling places were peaceful, run smoothly and free of any bias. In short create a perception of absolute, democratically correct election so that the sanctioned observers of the AU, SADC would report and certify “all in order – peaceful and free elections”.

In Zimbabwe this ran almost like a “comic opera” with “impromptu” speaking points provided to key “spokes persons” – the ZANU-PF political arm is vast and far reaching, with about 36% of Zimbabwe voters loyal to the Mugabe party. But it is difficult to give all credit to an 89 year old statesman who has a very strong supporter in his 64 year old, 41 years younger second wife, Grace Marufu-Mugabe. This First Lady serves as a continual positive reinforcement force for his presidency to solidify her own political and economic status quo. Under the circumstances she and the family have more to gain by the 89 year old staying in power.

After this election and under Mr. Mugabe’s next five years, Zimbabwe shall stay as is – desperate, destitute, with no future under the exploitive leadership of an 89 year old and his 64 year old A-personality supporter – “Dis Grace” as his wife is popularly referred to in Zimbabwe.

The new constitution, voted in by the People will be scrapped; power-sharing deal with opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara of the MDC-T and MDC-M opposition party will become null and void; Mr. Mugabe, his wife, and about 94 of the family’s close cronies will remain under EU imposed sanctions  banning them from travelling to participating countries and freezing any assets held there. The United States has similar restrictions in place – China is open for them and it has been reported that Madame First Lady purchased property in Hong Kong “as an escape refuge home for her “family” in the event Mr. Mugabe would be or would have been deposed.

We shall keep you posted… The African Times/USA.

P.S. On 3 August 2013, the Zimbabwe Election Commission announced Mr. Mugabe won his seventh term as President defeating Morgan Tsvangirai with 61 percent of the vote.

P.S.S. You can find more about Mr. Mugabe and his presidency at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Mugabe

 

The Third “New Egypt”

Will Egypt’s current events and political and government changes begin another “New Egypt?”

The “First New Egypt” began when Col. Nasser in 1952 brought Egypt from the monarchy into then-one of the first Islamic republics – the move replaced the leadership, but the basic bureaucracy and set of economic, social and religious problems went on as before – in short the civil society did not receive any benefits from the change.

Its life continued unabated, with demographics and the changes of Egypt’s social fiber festering on a brink till the 2011 Arab Spring that removed President Mubarak and his concept of Egypt’s future.

This was heralded as the “Second New Egypt” – Tahrir Square and the Internet with its social media, reflecting the youthful demographics of Egypt became the bright light for “New Egypt” that the civil society single handedly gave birth to.

With the elation and simpleton believes of a new future and resolutions to Egypt’s pressing problems the underlying political undercurrents that were held in check by previous leaderships – the Brotherhood – was able to come out to the front and become a public and political force and elect President Morsi, a Brotherhood member and candidate as the leader for the “New Egypt.”

However, the Brotherhood and President Morsi forgot the essential governing concept: “The Noblest Motive Is The Public Good” - a motto on California’s San Diego County Seal. The Brotherhood continued it’s believe that they needed to change the social and political fiber of Egypt and make it into a nation of absolute, devoted believers.

Fortunately or unfortunately democracy has several principals that do not match the Brotherhood’s ideology – do not politicize religion and work within democracy’s inclusiveness and ability to absorb all the inputs of the civil society to solve problems and make life better for all.

Egypt now has entered the “Third New Egypt” – however the civil society with its new leadership still has all the problems to solve and resolve - these can be brought down to very simple terms – Egypt needs more money to stay afloat and address some of its governmental responsibilities to the civil society, it needs more wheat to feed the nation since most of the land that used to feed Egypt has been turned to other uses, and recognition of its demographic changes, where the youth, in most cases without a job, is the major portion of the population.

The initial steps of the “Third New Egypt” already show signs of problems – the Brotherhood is being exorcized from “being”- in a democracy all thoughts need to participate, they are a part of civil society, whether those who will govern will like it or not – this is a critical part of the “Third New Egypt”.

In terms of the other two pressing problems “The Money” – the international community should and is addressing this issue, i.e. International Monitory Fund (IMF), and others.

In terms of “The Wheat” we suggest turning to some of the African Union countries to help out – for instance, Ethiopia with its new wheat crops could be a good beginning of AU help, support and cooperation to one of its own members – a credo for Africa’s self-help and AU’s ability to help Africa.

 

EDITORIAL - February 2013

Our Past Should Not Be Our Future

Africa’s past that has brought almost a billion people to the threshold of today, has been turbulent, bloody, and in many ways intolerant of what people seek as their future.

The nineteenth century was a plus and a minus in Africa’s past – it brought a new revitalized reality of being African, as well as the final, and what proved to be the dying edict of Europe – the Berlin Conference dividing Africa into today’s “nation-states” without any respect of the people, their history and their ethnicity.

Many of the problems we are experiencing today can be traced to the arbitrary nation-state boundaries that were imposed on Africa – separating and bringing together cultures and ethnicities that for centuries had their own powerful, very personal history and in most cases a mutual respect of each group’s differences.

The 20th and 21st centuries have brought dynamic changes that in some ways overpowered the damage of the past. Importantly it brought independence, but unfortunately based on the cruel edict of the Berlin Conference with its arbitrary divisions of Africa, leaving the colonial ethnic control tools in place.

Most, if not all of African governments and their “Big Men” have taken advantage of the colonial exploitation of their nation-state’s ethnic divisions, enhancing one group into a superior position over another. Many of today’s “Big Men” be they of the economic and personal abuse kind, or religious, use “hate” of one group over another to control those they wish or need to control. Today we see it in Mediterranean Africa, Mali, Nigeria and most African nation-states.

We hope and believe that Africa’s youth can bring a new reality to Africa’s future – Egypt is a good example of the past believes creating the future. The youth of Egypt, with their Internet savvy brought the “Big Man” down, only to have their efforts over shadowed by religious bigotry and dogma of the past that has no future.

As one young woman said “…our past should not be our future.”

EDITORIAL - October 2012

Since 2008, when we published the below editorial, Africa has almost doubled all proven oil and gas reserves that originally we considered in making the proposal for Africa oil producer countries to form an AOPC, the African Oil Producing Countries consortium. Here is the editorial and The African Times/USA recommendation that we continue to advocate.

All that Oil and All that Gas

Shortly Africa will be supplying over 30% of the world’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). Today the Continent countries are supplying 17%.

In terms of oil, Africa, as of now, has 25% of the world’s proven reserves and approaches the totals of Middle East.

There is no question that Africa is the new petroleum and LNG giant in the world – the U.S. knows it, China knows it, India knows it, France knows it, the world knows it.

The African Times is pleased with recent statistics showing indigenous African oil companies increasingly competing with international oil companies for access to African hydrocarbon resources. African companies currently hold 216 licenses, compared with only 95 licenses 10 years ago.

That leads us to the following observation: As more countries of Africa become oil and LNG producers, currently 18 countries and counting as new deposits are found, Africa needs to manage and coordinate her petroleum and natural gas wealth for her own wellbeing and her future. The African Times proposes that Africa must establish a similar organization to OPEC, which in 1970s turned the Middle East oil production under the market control and benefit of the producing countries.

We realize that Algeria, Libya and Nigeria are OPEC members – three out of an OPEC total of eleven countries - but they are also members of the AU and stand together with Africa in its economic and social struggle to get from under the non-African control. If an organization of African Oil Producing Countries (AOPC) would be formed, they should leave OPEC and join the African group.

The African Times hopes that this message can spur the elected officials and those in management of Africa’s petroleum and LNG business into coordinating and combining their resources to assure the people of Africa and the generations to come, will benefits from what nature gave to Africa.

 

EDITORIAL - September 2012

South Africa 2020 Olympics?

Yes! After London and Rio in 2016, to go to the 2020 Olympics in South Africa would be more than a “blast”. It would be a crowning event of the first quarter of the 21st century for Africa’s position on the world scene.

The competition for the 2020 Olympics is already on and very competitive. Bids are in for Rome, Tokyo and Madrid. We realize that to finance the Olympics is a gargantuan task for any nation, and although South Africa has “officially” made the BRICS economic level to finance the 2020 Olympics would take a large, if not enormous budget. Many would say that such money, millions upon millions, should be spent on South Africa’s social and developmental projects and not just to hear the roar of the international crowds and the sounds of millions of Vuvuluzas.

However, and in our opinion, the ROI (Return On Investment) needs to be analyzed beyond today’s “pressing issues” as the SA government stated in their announcement that SA would not be bidding for the 2020 Olympics.

The African Times/USA disagrees with the announcement and we send our encouragement to SA Sports Minister, Fikile Mbalula who is trying to reverse the announcement and have the matter be considered by the full Cabinet.

We encourage Africa’s private sector to “step up” and provide the encouragement and support to Mr. Mbalula’s efforts and help bring the 2020 Olympics to Africa. We sincerely believe that the ROI would outweigh “today’s pressing issues” and provide both, social and economic accomplishments that South Africa and all of Africa will need in dealing with the second quarter of the 21st century.

Stay tuned - our reporters will keep you posted.

Business with Africa

Africa’s economic momentum was maintained in 2010 with the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, good export business and the resiliency of the continent’s economies to withstand the pressures of the global economic downturn.

2012 tells another story.

In the first quarter, Mediterranean Africa suffered shocks of political change as in other parts of the Middle East, which has had a direct impact on worldwide economy, investments, growth and employment, and changed the economic momentum for the Continent.  While it is still too early to calculate the exact impact of the crisis, Africa, as a market of one billion people with its developing Middle Class is in a good position to override the political and economic shocks that are taking place.

The African Times/USA in partnership with the Africa-US Chamber of Commerce, the Ghana-American Chamber of Commerce, and the Ghana-South Africa Chamber of Commerce hosted a one-day business and investment Summit in Accra, Ghana, under the title "Strengthening Business Relations and Expanding Trade & Investment Opportunities Between Africa and the U.S."

The Summit and break-out workshops took place in conjunction with the 18th Annual Africa Achievement Awards and Africa Day Celebrations.

The business conference program included business and investment questions for both sides of the Atlantic - for the Africa side doing business with America and America doing business with Africa, and Ghana in particular.

Areas covered included very practical considerations for both sides.  From Risk Management to Programming the Supply Chain, Investment Criteria and Working Capital Requirements; the Legal and Accounting Matters on both sides of the Ocean, Innovation, or what to produce or invest in to meet the needs of the Africa’s new Middle Class families.

Following-up for 2013 the Economic Summit and the Africa Achievement Awards celebrations are planned for September 2012 in Lagos, Nigeria.


 

EDITORIAL - July 2012

Africa’s Wealth

Africa’s petroleum and natural gas wealth is starting to overshadow most of the world’s proven reserves; the mineral wealth and rare earth deposits and Africa’s fertile farm lands are all the natural assets that the rest of the world envies and wants to own and control. This new reality has refocused attention on Africa, both political and economic.

The attention comes from the other side of the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. In most cases it is to secure the “others” long terms energy, resource and food futures and thus their own economic and political survival. This new interest and implementation are staring to resemble colonialism - more precisely “economic colonialism” – exploitation of Africa’s natural resources for the benefit of “others” and it is taking place in an uncontrolled environment.

The compensation in all cases involves great sums of money which in most cases are diverted to personal accounts; and heralding the investment project’s national infrastructure benefits – the first comes in primarily as bribes and the second in most cases, if not all, provides the infrastructure for the foreign investor’s projects plus a token big-ego-conference hall or a big-ego-sports stadium.

Africa needs to protect its continent-wide future. Africa needs to show strength in unity, have conviction and understand the “others” operational thrust and not loose control of Africa’s resources

Africa needs to coordinate the exploitation by “others” – three recommendations by The African Times are:

  1. Set up Africa’s own version of OPEC (as The African Times suggested some time ago).

  1. Have the Africa Development Bank review and advice on “others” agreements and contracts.

  1. Have the African Union adopt specific directives to oversee the “others” development strategies.

Africa is rich and the riches need to be protected and conserved for the benefit of Africa and her People!


 

EDITORIAL - May 2012

Ethnicity of Africa

The April 2010 issue of the Africa Security Brief published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies presented a paper by Clement Mweyang Aapengnuo, entitled “Misinterpreting Ethnic Conflicts.” His view of Africa’s ethnicities which are blamed for all the deadly dilemmas of Africa becomes more focused with the ICC trial of Mr. Tailor, the ex-President of Liberia and the upcoming elections in Kenya.

Aapengnuo presented a counter point to the general perception that Africa is trapped in a never-ending cycle of ethnic conflict. Although the Rwandan genocide, Darfur, northern Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, and the violent aftermath of the controversial Kenyan elections, among others, seemingly substantiate this perception.

Just as The African Times, his view is that ethnicity is not the driving force of African conflicts but a lever used by politicians to mobilize supporters in pursuit of power, wealth, and resources. It is true that the ethnic group is the predominant means of social identity in Africa, however most ethnic groups in Africa coexist peacefully with high degrees of mixing through interethnic marriage, economic partnerships, and shared values. Indeed, if they did not, nearly every village and province in Africa would be a cauldron of conflict.

Recognizing that ethnicity is a tool used by the unscrupulous and not the driver of intergroup conflicts should make the policy makers and the general international media reposition the presentation of the conflicts and rewrite the preventive and mitigation efforts.

In this regards we keep watching Kenya and its upcoming elections, where the ethnicity fervor is again being flared by the candidates’ owned media outlets.

Shall we ever learn and stop these unscrupulous, egocentric politico-fiends from broadcasting and spreading their death venom that promotes hatred and destruction for their own gains.


 

EDITORIAL - April. 2012

Senegal – "Y'en ai marre"

The upcoming February 26, 2012 presidential elections in Senegal have thirteen opposition candidates and the forgone conclusion by almost everyone familiar with Senegal and President Wade is resigned to the elections results – President Wade will be re-elected.

Why or how can a President who in his ascendancy in 2000 advocated two term presidency, and now at the end of his second term alter his position and insist to run for the third seven-year-term.

Although Senegal has strong institutions, and is the only country in west Africa never to have suffered a military coup, the orchestrated events leading to this election have generated a dangerous national disunity that will make governing Senegal quite difficult and potentially deadly.

Leading up to the elections, the police forces have been out in full force in opposition to the opposition – when the election results are announced, the firefighting brigades better be ready, as the discontent combined with the “Democratic Spring” movements become more aggressive.

Mr. Wade’s run for the third term has been made “legal” by the Senegal’s Constitutional Court ruling based on the weak legal opinion that the two-term limit does not apply to Mr. Wade, because it took effect after he initially became President in 2000.

This certainly appears to be in violation of the spirit with which term-limits were conceived, and of whatever one makes of opposition accusations that the Court is manipulated by Mr. Wade.

Senegalese newspapers have reported that the five judges on the court, all of whom are appointed by Mr. Wade, have received new cars and their salaries were increased to $10,000 a month ahead of the crucial vote.

One of the opposition candidates summarized the situation by appealing to the international community "to speak sense to Wade, otherwise we'll have a catastrophe in this country".


 

EDITORIAL - March. 2012

2012 Wish – Turning "Big Men" into "Great Men"

Recent elections in Africa, with Zambia as an exception, seem to follow the time-worn pattern of "re-electing" the incumbents over and over. With this trend, there seems to be no hope for the People who get little or no consideration when it comes to reaping the dividends of democracy.

As we approach a new year, the intriguing question comes to mind: "How or why can’t these Big Men become Great Men."

Most of the re-elected and soon to be re-elected "Big Men" are now sufficiently rich, in some cases among the richest people in the world, per the Forbes financial magazine. This would suggest that the power they exert is not to make themselves richer, but only to hold on to power to ensure the status quo. With the support of their "advisors", they have devised devious ways of entrenching themselves in power via economically exploitative rules, laws and measures, most of which are deemed illegal by UN and AU standards or generally accepted morality.

To resolve the "Big Men" entrenchment, The African Times suggests that the most plausible approach to solving this conundrum is for the "Big Men" to adopt corporate management techniques to address the affairs of state, and change their life's purpose to serve the People.

That transition would be dramatic. Successful executives employ the classic "three Vs" strategy. Here re-tailored the "three Vs" for Africa's "Big Men":

Vision – Inspire people to look enthusiastically toward the future and outline the specific strategy you plan to institute to reach the "objectives" otherwise known as "management by objective". In most cases this will mean changing many, if not all the laws and systems that create loop-holes for stealing, and put the economy and the People on top of the "objectives" list.

Visible – Communicate the strategy and tangible objectives, making the vision visible to everyone, and encourage the People and the business communities to become partners in the new strategy.

Value – What does the individual contribution of the citizenry and business mean to bring about the vision; what does the new direction hold for them? In simple terms, how will the People, the nation and the businesses benefit?

This would mean a new style of leadership that would start the transition from the "Big Men" to a "Great Men" era. With such a new approach and the results that would come from such efforts, most of the People will be willing to forgive these "Great Men" even if they overstay their terms.


 

EDITORIAL - Jan. 2012

Africa’s Eco-Apocalypse or “Eco-Lypse”

Two events of ecological and sustainability concerns for Africa took place and the ramifications of one can be viewed as devastatingly uncaring by the governmental and business sectors of our world.

End of last month the United Nations published its report on the 50 year accumulated damage in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. President Jonathan Goodluck requested the report from the United Nations.

The 50 years of operations by petroleum companies, most notably Shell Oil, have produced what some call the Eco-Apocalypse or what The African Times calls “Eco-Lypse.” The report documents the environmental disaster of unimaginable consequences to the people of the Ogoniland and Nigeria nationally. The report also provides the steps needed for a hopeful rebirth of what nature intended the once beautiful Niger Delta to be. It took political courage to ask the UN to do the evaluation – the economic and political forces in Abuja and all the states capitals of Nigeria have a direct stake in the Eco-Lypse, as do all the beneficiaries of the oil consumed by the Western world economies.

The report outlines the recovery costs – $23 billion and 30 years - now the question becomes who and how will this be paid.

This is where the second part of Africa’s eco-Apocalypse comes in. Few months ago in Cape Town, a meeting of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) was held. This is the financing mechanism for developing countries entry into a sustainable development, with emphasis on ecologically principled solutions, including resolutions to eco-devastation. CIF is funded by 14 primarily Western countries and thus far, after two years or so, has amassed contributions of $6.5 billion to projects in 45 developing countries. Of this $2.6 billion has been assigned to Africa. At the conference, Mr. Bobby Pittman, the African Development Bank (AfDB) Vice President in charge of Infrastructure (former US President's advisor on African affairs), presented the bank’s position on CIF, of which the Bank is Africa’s manager. His remarks outlined the Bank’s deep concern as regards the low level of climate finance channeled to Africa.

His and the AfDB concern of funding must be placed in the context of the Nigerian eco-crises.

Simple mathematics makes the point. To cleanup the 50 years of supplying oil to the Western world will cost $23 billion, against the total contributions by that part of the world which used that oil, against the African CIF total of $2.6 billion.

An extremely measurable abyss that needs to be addressed, without waiting the next 30 or 50 years.


EDITORIAL – Oct 15, 2007

Where Are All The Billions?

Per the most recent report by the U.S. government Equatorial Guinea in 2006 received 3.3 Billion dollars in revenue for their oil, and their 550,000 people, 99.99% of the population of Equatorial Guinea continues to live on $1.00 day (when and if they can find it).

The African Times did the math, and rounded of $3.3 to $3 billion –

Income from Oil $3,000,000,000.00

Divided by population of 550,000

If our calculation is correct, that come out to $5,454,000 per person --- that is five million, four hundred fifty four thousand dollars for every man, woman and child in Equatorial Guinea! So where is the money – or as the contemporary saying goes “Show Me the Money”.

All we can say “It is Shameful” for the government and the U.S. companies and government to condone and be part of such blatant THEFT – Shame on You!!! – both Washington and Malabo.

Then there is Zimbabwe, with the great Big Man of brutal past and present – Mugabe (we chose not to use his title President, since in no way does he represent the people of Zimbabwe!). Here is a man and his entourage (all in their Seville Street suits) continuing to live as if there is nothing happening, as their people can’t find enough to eat and be scared of being beaten. The money the government is getting to make things crawl along is coming from selling parts of Zimbabwe piece by piece, primarily to the Chinese interests. The man, who many placed on the pedestal of honor as a freedom fighter, actually has been one of the more brutal and misguided Marxist products. After he and his entourage are gone he will be remembered, or must be remembered, as the man who stole a country from her people, killed a nation and became a disgraced old man who Africa has be ashamed of.

Africa and all of our readers need to wake up and put pressure where pressure is needed. Both, Equatorial Guinea and Zimbabwe need a resolution to the incomparable demise their leaders have caused, so the people – the men, women and children can benefit from the riches Mother Africa provides and not suffer under the remaining hypocrites of Africa, many continue to call the Big Men, we call them Thieves and unfit to be called Africans.

No other hotel in Kenya captures as much of Nairobi's splendid past and exciting present, and few hotels anywhere can claim a more romantic history. It needs to be placed on your African itinerary.


EDITORIAL – September 15, 2011

Zambian Election Gives Hope to African Democracy

In Africa where leaders are often reluctant to give up power, the now-former-Zambian President Banda conceded defeat to President Michael Sata graciously, saying the people have spoken.   

Voters gave the winner President Michael Sata 43% of the total vote, versus 36% to Banda, whose Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) party has run Zambia since one-party rule ended in 1991.  This makes it the fourth time that power has changed hands since Zambia gained independence from Britain in 1964.

In his concession speech he challenged the nation “Now is the time to unite and build tomorrow’s Zambia together.”  But in his reflection, Banda may have been delivering a message to Zimbabwe, Malawi, Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where entrenched leaders have suppressed democracy or used deadly force to crush any opposition.

"My generation, the generation of the independence struggle, must now give way to new ideas; ideas for the 21st century," Banda said.

"Did we become gray and lacking in ideas? Did we lose momentum? Our duty now is to go away and reflect on any mistakes we may have made and learn from them. If we do not, we do not deserve to contest power again," the 74-year-old Banda said, words that should resonate across Africa.

His parting words have put him into an elite class of African statesmen, and The African Times/USA endorses every line of his concession speech; a message that our editorials have relentlessly expressed.

To the people of Zambia and President Sata, we congratulate you.


EDITORIAL - April 15, 2008

They Stopped The Killer Cargo

The good peoples of South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia recently demonstrated an unprecedented show of moral courage for refusing to allow the Chinese freighter An Yue Jiang to unload its deadly cargo which consisted of 77 tons of rockets, mortars and assorted ammunition, manufactured by a Chinese state-owned company, and purchased by the Zimbabwean government of President Robert Mugabe and ostensibly destined to be used for the suppression of opposition elements in the troubled southern African nation.

This is civic responsibility at its finest if one considers the fact that the action of the dockworkers at the Durban port and the legal demand of an Anglican bishop who asked the courts not to allow the weapons to be transported to Zimbabwe not only will help to stem the tide of government-sponsored violence in Zimbabwe but sends a clear and unambiguous message to the powers-that-be in Harare that Africans will no longer sit idly by as injustice and official high-handedness continue unchallenged.

China's role in this incident also needs to be roundly condemned. As a world power and one that wishes to work with Africa in the realization of her dreams, it is unconscionable to imagine that the Chinese could act so irresponsibly in the middle of a political conundrum following an election that is now being hotly contested, and which the incumbent may have lost. The danger in the action of the Chinese could not have been lost on Beijing, more so at a time when China is engaged in major public relations battle over their moral right to host the Olympics.

The African Times applauds the extraordinary action of these ordinary people of southern Africa. To us this represents the new climate being ushered onto the Continent by those who respect justice and fair play in Africa and across the globe.

Above all, their courageous non-violent acts have helped to save African lives. Especially, the innocent ones.


EDITORIAL – January 15, 2007

Is Peace The First Step To Peace?

Peace is what all want and wish for; tranquility and mutual tolerance, where life can be lived in “Peace.” To see how Peace can be achieved, we need to look where Peace is not, and when we look all we see is poverty, no food, no shelter, only misery that turn to hate.

Many of the literati, politicians and the blinded idealists, who speak and promote “Peace” – for Darfur, Somalia, Palestine, Iraq and wherever Peace, tranquility and tolerance do not exist (and that includes the Niger Delta) – view Peace as an utopian condition that can be accomplished by behavior modification with love and understanding.

Unfortunately history shows and should teach us that Peace comes only after other things are taken care of first; poverty is a major one, second is meaningful employment, and next comes the promise of a future. It is only after these basics are in place that the people, the tribe, the nation, can actually endorse and hold on to Peace and not succumb to hate and killings.

Reasons are simple – if there is poverty and hunger; breakdown in law and order, and ultimately violence become functions of survival. If there is only desperation, no future, with nothing to do, and no job, almost anyone or any group who promises anything else will emerge as leaders. And for these self-appointed leaders, sectarian, ethnic and tribal hate becomes the principal message.

The steps to Peace, viewed unemotionally are simpler than they seem – put money into jobs, not guns. Those who have jobs and get paid enough to feed themselves and their families will think of their future and ultimately look for and work for Peace and either not accept or depose the self-anointed demigods who only exist on poverty and hate.

We are sure you have noticed that all those who promote Peace are well off, with full stomach and a future, whereas those who do not – the marginalized, the refugees and the dying, first want something to eat, have shelter and something purposeful to do - a job - and then and only then can they turn to the idea of Peace and turn away from killing those they have been encouraged to hate.

And a final point – love or compassion do not bring Peace unless you have taken care of all the other steps first – to talk “Peace” does not bring Peace.

The African Times works for Peace by stressing and encouraging spending money on jobs, not guns or useless claptrap – be it Somalia, Iraq, Nigeria, Palestine, Afghanistan or Darfur.


EDITORIAL – August 1-15, 2007

Africa in Third Person

Almost every international conference which discusses African issues, African development , African governance, African education, African ethics; how Africa SHOULD do this or that, always speaks of Africa in third person, as if Africa was not there. And in fact in many instances Africa is not there; which may be part of the problem of Africa’s entry into the global flow of development and of so many failed “foreign assistance programs.”

A May 2007 conclave in Berlin, Germany was an outstanding example – discussing Africa in context of the role the EU, U.S. and China should have on Africa’s current course of development and her future. From the total of 44 experts only one was from Africa.

The Policy Brief which the conclave generated and intended for distribution to all the relevant international parties, the World Bank, IMF, UN and of course the G-8 governments, has many “inputs” and “opinions” but none reflect Africa. This means that decisions or actions based on this conclave’s conclusions will be flawed and in general non-workable because Africa input was not there.

There seems to be an industry of foreign experts who are “experting” on Africa. Almost all come to the podium with preconceived agendas and points of view. Unfortunately many decision makers rely on their “opinions” and “expertness” to formulate their actions. In fact the Blair Commission on Africa is an excellent example of a failed enterprise, built on the accumulated wisdom and “expertness” of the non-African experts industry.

Another example of exclusion in Africa’s own circumstances was the recent realization by one of the more active and purposeful conservation non-profits that it would be “grand” and “appropriate” to have at least one senior management member who was born in Africa. Their new president can claim Africa as her home.

It must be that Africans are very “private” people who keep “to themselves” and in many ways it can be claimed as an African behavior trait, one which we, at The African Times feel needs to change if Africa wishes to be in the global mainstream and not relegated to the “third person” position.


EDITORIAL – February 1, 2007

China’s African Visits Started In 1417

In 1417 the Chinese Emperor dispatched his Admiral Zheng He, at the head of a fleet of over 300 huge ships, to make contact with the trading town on the East African coast. Opening of trade routes and establishing trade through the exchange of tributes and gifts was a major goal of the voyage. Grand gifts were exchanged, commercial ties established and Ambassadors exchanged. This historic Chinese visit was repeated in 1421 where the fleet, also under command of Admiral Zheng He, sailed along Africa’s East coast, north; to what today we call the Red Sea. The Europeans arrived on the East coast of Africa some fifty years later, and though exotic, proved a little unimpressive to those who had witnessed grandeur and ambiance or had heard of the earlier Chinese visits.

And now history is repeating its self. Chinas’ President Hu Jintao has embarked on a similar mission, one to cement relationships and develop trade with Africa. He has just finished visiting eight of African’s AU countries and reiterated China’s commitment to work with Africa in harmony and mutual respect.

That much for the formalities – Africa has the minerals and resources China needs in its economic and global growth as a major economic and political player. To achieve this Africa’s resources, especially the raw resources nature has blessed her with China’s needs for prosperity and economic growth, including supporting the expansion of China’s middle and professional class.

In review by The African Times there is nothing sinister in this, as many in the Western media suggest. On the contrary, it repeats what Europe and the United States have done in the previous two centuries, and continue to do so – China’s involvement needs to be welcomed.

The African Times supports China’s recognition of Africa’s economic and resource value, however we trust, in the spirit of the original voyages by Admiral Zheng He, and the commands of the Emperor that this new recognition of Africa will again establish worthwhile trade and cultural (and diplomatic) relationships between the people of Africa and China.


EDITORIAL – December 15, 2003

We Wish You Peace

This was, as most other years have been, a tumultuous year. Despots, in some cases called Presidents, Prime Ministers, War Lords, Rebel Leaders, Big Men, Big Business and even Patriots and Freedom Fighters, down to neighborhood Bullies, again have caused untold social and economic upheaval with starvation and deaths, not only in Africa, but all other parts of the World. It seems that the whole World is managed and orchestrated by those who only have self-interest in mind with total disregard for the People they involve, exploit and ultimately hurt.

These are all “Bad People” who have been allowed to attain power over events and the People to achieve their own selfish, unsavory goals.

This year-end and with the start of the next, The African Times wishes for Peace. We realize it is idealistic and bespeaks of Utopia, but it seems like a reasonable objective to take, work for and wish, not only for Africa, but the World in general.

The problem is to replace those who are causing the suffering and indulge in the selfish and cruel dance of death, turmoil and upheaval.

Our wish is of Peace and for those who can influence events, to do “The Peoples’ Business.”

We Wish You Peace

God Bless Africa and the World


EDITORIAL – March 1, 2003

Peace Through Tourism?

As the world and the tourism industry were held hostage by the prospects of the Iraq War, Geneva, Switzerland hosted the Second Global Summit on Peace Through Tourism, of which The African Times is a media sponsor.

The Summit was organized and presented by the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT) in partnership with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). The IIPT is the same organization which presented last year’s Peace Through Tourism conference in Africa. The African interests at the Geneva conclave were represented by Tanzania Minister of Tourism & Environment, Zakia Hamdani Meghji, currently serving as the President of the Africa Travel Association, plus senior delegations from many African nations. The Summit speakers and delegates were the top tourism leaders - World Tourism Organization’s secretary general, representatives of United Nations, the World Bank, premiers and ministers, and even the UNISEF Goodwill Ambassador, former film-secret-agent-007, Roger Moore. All reflected upon the role tourism has (or had) on keeping the world at peace; however they did not allow themselves to exercise their responsibilities to reflect upon the upcoming and looming world calamity.

The Summit was scheduled well before Iraq War was an issue, but after 9/11 and the Mombasa hotel bombing. Combating terrorism was the rationale of the IIPT founder and executive director Louis D’Amore who while a consultant at Deloitte & Touche documented the need for cultural understanding and poverty elimination through tourism as a way to create understanding of tolerance and peace.

The Summit did cover these issues, with the cloud of Iraq War evident, but not confronted. When the issue of the war and the war’s effect on tourism came up and was introduced as “inconsistent with the aims of tourism” by one of the speakers, she was immediately challenged by a top ranking minister as “a far too political decision” drawing an analogy between the Mideast today and Europe of 1939, after which no other official mention was made of the upcoming demolition of international tourism and world peace.

We assume that the future Peace Through Tourism Summits will address how to keep the war-torn world together and how tourism will be able to assist in the world’s economic and cultural reconstruction of itself. We hoped that the neutral voice and purpose of tourism would have been a player for peace and economic development - but it missed the chance to raise its voice to be heard by our readers in the White House.


EDITORIAL - Oct. 15, 2003

Doing The People’s Business

The African Times will be focusing more and more on the concept of governments, organizations and the world doing “The People’s Business.”

Let us define what we mean by “People’s Business.”

It means that government and organization actions must be based on what the People need and desire, that the “leaders” whether in government, organizations or corporations, are not in their position for their own benefit, but are answerable to the People and not their cronies or associates or dictates.

It means full transparency, the ability of the People, mostly through a free press (that is also where we at The African Times come in) - to see and review what the “leaders” are doing and if they are doing it to benefit the People or themselves.

And who are the People? They are the families, the villages, the clans, the tribes and in greater context the nations and ultimately the continents and the world. Conversely it is each one of these, including ourselves, that must become answerable to each one of us - the People. It means to have more organizations and governments subscribe formally to anti-corruption and accept the concept that their job is to improve the conditions for achieving individual well-being and lifestyle (what and which ever it may be) the individual People aspire to.

That is a start of doing the “People’s Business.”

We appreciate your support and as always, we welcome your views - e-mail them to: editor@theafricantimes.com


EDITORIAL – June 1, 2004

Astonishing Arrogance

May 25th was Africa Day - her worldwide “official day,” celebrating over 600 million people, an entire continent with 53 nations, with skin color and ethnicity from A to Z. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan spoke eloquently at the United Nations on behalf of Africa Day and the current President of the General Assembly Jan Kavan of the Czech Republic acclaimed Africa on her day. Overseas, the African Diplomatic Corps in Japan and the UN University co-hosted an Africa Day Symposium in Tokyo, with President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal as a speaker; South Africa celebrated Africa Day with full gusto; the old OAU and the new Africa Union acknowledged being the forty year celebrants and in the U.S. the acknowledgment of the “Day” was made by only two newspapers.

The two papers were the India Journal, a leading Indo-American newspaper published in Los Angeles and The African Times. No other public mention of Africa Day can be traced in the United States; no universities, no cities, no organizations, no clubs, nor anyone in media mentioned her on her “official day.”

It is not that we were expecting parades and festivals - many of these take place in her name in many places, at different times of the year, however a thoughtful reflection of her BEING on her “official day” of recognition within the world and our community would seem appropriate, but it didn’t happen.

To us at The African Times this neglect shows an astonishing arrogance and underscores the lack of editorial prowess of today’s “information age” reportage. It is sad that Africa can not compete for even one line or a split second on the “good news side” of today’s reality information programming and news coverage.

The African Times is taking this void seriously enough to make it our “cause célèbre,” so that by next year, and thereafter, we can celebrate, acknowledge and recognize Africa Day and share Africa’s BEING on her “official day” with her and the rest of the world.

Join us - join the effort!


EDITORIAL – May 15, 2004

40 Years of Assisting Africa’s Growth

The African Times salutes the African political leaders and development experts who rounded off celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the African Development Bank (ADB) Group this September in Tunis. We wish to join them in acknowledging the Bank's efforts in promoting the economic and social development of the continent. All the speakers affirmed that Africa’s economic indicators have begun to show the impact of deeper reforms at the national levels of most countries of the African Union.

These views were repeatedly expressed at a groundbreaking symposium, "Africa's Development - the Journey So Far And The Way Forward. “ Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Laurent Gbagbo of Côte d'Ivoire, and Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi, representing President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia, were guest panelists. Their speeches ranged from the ADB's role in meeting Africa's challenges, its support for NEPAD, Africa and the challenges of globalization, to Regional Integration and International Economic Relations.

"Clearly, Africa finds itself today at a considerably more favorable historical conjuncture with respect to its development prospects," Mr. Kabbaj, President of ADB, declared and further stated it was now critical for African countries and their development partners to seize this opportunity to boost the region's development efforts, while maintaining economic stability, and saving part of the windfall gains from higher commodity prices for future generations.

In the 40 years the ADB had come a long way from a modest beginning with a subscribed membership of 33 African countries and an authorized capital of 365 million US dollars to become a highly rated multilateral development Bank with a capital base of 31.40 billion US dollars and a global membership of 77 countries spanning Africa, Asia, the America's and Europe.

The African Times extends congratulations and a “Happy Birthday!”


EDITORIAL – June 1, 2005

Africa’s Shame!

Everyone keeps talking, all are absorbed in protocol, the world keeps watching and listening and over 10,000 Africans are dying every month. We have reported on Darfur, Sudan’s area about the size of France, since the day the “Black Book” was distributed – a mimeographed report of the misrepresentation of the various ethnic majorities and minorities of Sudan within the ruling hierarchy in Khartoum. The “Black Book” stirred the status quo and made the ruling level of Sudan uneasy, protective and retaliatory.

That also was in the mist of the North/South struggle, a struggle that finally got agreed upon – or more precisely, where the division of oil revenue and proceeds were agreed upon in Nairobi between the two military dictators of Sudan. During the final stages of the North/South struggle or more precisely “war” the Darfur situation matured to full scale genocide with the janjaweed militia killing at the orders of Khartoum to cleanse Darfur of the indigenous Sudanese.

At first, all, including The African Times, viewed this at the seeming face value of one party wishing to control the other. However, unbeknownst to us, and we believe many at the North/South peace conference, the petroleum industry was working feverishly and guess what. There is OIL in DARFUR. We believe that Khartoum knew this and used the “Black Book” as pretence to achieve full control of the area, as not to repeat what took place in Southern Sudan.

It is interesting to note that since the “formal” announcement of the Darfur oil finds, the North and the South are working in concert to protect their respective revenue positions for the upcoming oil concessions in Darfur.

We think this entire greed fiasco is shameful – with 10,000 innocent people dying each month, with over a 300,000 people having been killed and 2.4 million displaced since Khartoum launched the “cleansing” of Darfur.

The African Times appreciates the African Union-sponsored mini-summit in Tripoli to resolve the problem; however, thus far nothing has come out or seems to be in the works to resolve the problems.

An interesting sideline is that the outright killings have subsided, the reason, most of the people have been killed or are in refugee camps, where we expect they will stay for a very, very, long time!

Shame on all of us!

 

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