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Bulgaria’s revolution at the Cathedral

The Bulgarian people quietly overthrew their Communist rulers in March 1990, a few months after the tide of people power had swept through the rest of Eastern Europe in the autumn of 1989. However, the revolution was incomplete until June 1992, when a peaceful uprising forced the Orthodox church to atone for its sins. My husband Henry and I were lucky enough to arrive in Sofia on the day crowds gathered outside Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Thousands of people held home-made signs, their attention focused on the Byzantine-style building at the far end of the broad piazza in the centre of the Bulgarian capital. An English-speaking local kindly explained the crowd’s demands: they wanted the…

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Drawing a line in the sand: The UN has a responsibility to protect English speakers in Cameroon

Cameroon President Paul Biya attends the Paris Peace Forum, France, Nov. 12, 2019. CHARLES PLATIAU/REUTERS Felix Agbor Nkongho is a Cameroonian human-rights lawyer and president of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa. Rebecca Tinsley is a Canadian journalist and the author of When the Stars Fall to Earth. It is an odd thing to live somewhere gripped by deadly conflict. One may imagine that the pain and challenges of one’s day-to-day life would also weigh heavily on the outside world. But that is not usually the case. In many crises, the rest of the world does not know – or does not want to know. If you live in the English-speaking regions of…

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On the eve of International Day of Education

On the eve of International Day of Education 23 January 2020   ATTENTION Secretary-General of the United Nations Prime Minister of the United Kingdom President of the United States of America Président de la République de France Prime Minister of Canada Secretary-General of The Commonwealth African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security   Dear António, Boris, Donald, Emmanuel, Justin, Patricia, and Smail,   We write to you using your first names because we want you to envision yourselves as schoolchildren, years ago. Think for a moment: what if you had not been educated?   Would you be Secretary-General of the United Nations or the Commonwealth, leaders of the United Kingdom, the USA, France, Canada, and…

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Open Letter to President Macron about Human Rights Abuses in Cameroon

November 12, 2019   Honourable Emmanuel Macron President of the Republic of France Palais de l’Elysée, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré 75008 Paris, FRANCE   Dear President Macron:   We, the undersigned scholars, writers, and human rights advocates, write to plead with France to up its engagement in resolving Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis, described by some analysts as “Rwanda in slow motion”.   Specifically, we respectfully urge France to use its considerable influence with the government of President Paul Biya to encourage Cameroon to openly embrace the Swiss-led peace talks, as a means of ending the killings and atrocities being committed in the North West and South West regions of the country. A lasting solution must come…

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Money down the drain? UK military training overseas is unfit for purpose

One of the casualties of the Brexit saga is that major non-Brexit problems aren’t being examined. Military training overseas is no exception. America’s sudden withdrawal from Syria this month is part of a pattern, leaving local security services to fight the West’s war on terror. As jihadists re-surface in the Levant, local security services are putting their training to the test. Britain spends millions of pounds training foreign armies, but real questions are surfacing. Is the training fit for purpose? Does it deliver value for money? And should the UK categorise it as overseas aid? Britain’s development spending is increasingly given to countries because of their geopolitical military and economic value, rather than the effectiveness…

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Events

All Christians are brothers, and all Muslims are brothers – except when their skin is black

How much empathy do Christians feel for their brothers and sisters in Africa? Why do Muslims lose so little sleep over the elimination of their co-religionists in Darfur? South Sudan refugee camp, 2011. Maximilian Norz/DPA/PA Images. All rights reserved.Judging by the millions protesting against president Trump’s policies on behalf of the vulnerable and voiceless, empathy is alive and well. Or is it? Trump’s recent immigration ban exempts Christians from Muslim-majority countries, recognizing their status as the world’s most persecuted faith. But how much empathy do Christians feel for their brothers and sisters in Africa? And why do Muslims who care about the plight of the Palestinians lose so little sleep over the systematic elimination of their black…

Why is Obama Silent About Meriam?

Last week a woman gave birth while chained to a prison wall in Sudan. But as soon as baby Maya is weaned, her mother will hang for the crime of ‘apostasy’. Meriam Ibrahim considers herself a Christian. Although her father was a Muslim, he abandoned her Christian mother when Meriam was a child. The twenty-seven-year-old Meriam compounded her ‘crime’ by marrying a Christian, a US citizen, and now she faces death. The head of the Anglican Church, Justin Welby, Hillary Clinton and the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, have condemned Meriam’s sentence. But President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are silent . Their failure to join the global chorus of outrage at Sudan’s warped interpretation…

PRACTICAL HELP FOR SURVIVORS OF GENOCIDE

Rebecca believes it isn't enough to be informed about genocide - we need to support the resilient and resourceful survivors of genocide who reject the label 'victim.' That's why she founded Network for Africa, a registered charity in the USA and UK. Please click here to learn about Network for Africa's practical projects offering a helping hand to survivors of the Rwandan genocide, and survivors of the Lord's Resistance Army in northern Uganda. Thank you.

Featured Articles

Bulgaria’s revolution at the Cathedral

The Bulgarian people quietly overthrew their Communist rulers in March 1990, a few months after the tide of people power had swept through the rest of Eastern Europe in the autumn of 1989. However, the revolution was incomplete until June 1992, when a peaceful uprising forced the Orthodox church to atone for its sins. My husband Henry and I were lucky enough to arrive in Sofia on the day crowds gathered outside Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Thousands of people held home-made signs, their attention focused on the Byzantine-style building at the far end of the broad piazza in the centre of the Bulgarian capital. An English-speaking local kindly explained the crowd’s demands: they wanted the…

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Drawing a line in the sand: The UN has a responsibility to protect English speakers in Cameroon

Cameroon President Paul Biya attends the Paris Peace Forum, France, Nov. 12, 2019. CHARLES PLATIAU/REUTERS Felix Agbor Nkongho is a Cameroonian human-rights lawyer and president of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa. Rebecca Tinsley is a Canadian journalist and the author of When the Stars Fall to Earth. It is an odd thing to live somewhere gripped by deadly conflict. One may imagine that the pain and challenges of one’s day-to-day life would also weigh heavily on the outside world. But that is not usually the case. In many crises, the rest of the world does not know – or does not want to know. If you live in the English-speaking regions of…

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Money down the drain? UK military training overseas is unfit for purpose

One of the casualties of the Brexit saga is that major non-Brexit problems aren’t being examined. Military training overseas is no exception. America’s sudden withdrawal from Syria this month is part of a pattern, leaving local security services to fight the West’s war on terror. As jihadists re-surface in the Levant, local security services are putting their training to the test. Britain spends millions of pounds training foreign armies, but real questions are surfacing. Is the training fit for purpose? Does it deliver value for money? And should the UK categorise it as overseas aid? Britain’s development spending is increasingly given to countries because of their geopolitical military and economic value, rather than the effectiveness…

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Eyewitness: Before and after fall of the Berlin Wall

In 1989, millions of Eastern European citizens took to the streets, daring their Communist masters to deploy the security forces against them. Yet, just months before the fall of the Berlin Wall, if you had visited one of its vassal states, you would never have guessed the ramparts of totalitarian power were crumbling. In the autumn of 1988, a pall of pollution and gloom hung over Bratislava, a Czechoslovakian city on the Danube. Bratislava had formerly been a sophisticated Hapsburg town called Pressburg, populated by German-speakers and Hungarians. However, with the defeat of the Astro-Hungarian empire, it was awarded to the newly-created Czechoslovakian state after the Great War. After World War Two, the Communists seized…

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