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Ebola: An African Disease

If ever a disaster represented Africa’s challenges, it is the Ebola outbreak. The crisis has its roots in poor governance, superstition, poverty, ignorance and underlying it all, the ruling elite’s indifference to the woes of the vast majority of their citizens. Yet, at the same time the Ebola epidemic has shown African medical workers at their best, literally sacrificing their lives to save patients, limiting the spread of the much-feared virus. The fact that there is no known cure for a disease that has been around since 1976 also reveals the unpalatable truth about the pharmaceutical industry: there is little incentive to research the diseases killing poor people in the developing world. There’s more profit…

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Westphalia uber alles – is international law a liberal fantasy?

In June an unlikely duo, William Hague and Angelina Jolie, hosted the London summit on rape in conflict. Delegates watched as officials from around the world pledged to improve their nation’s record on sexual violence in war. In many cases, those same officials returned to countries that systematically exclude women from medical care or legal redress in the event of rape, blaming them for surviving their ordeal, rather than dying honourably while fighting off their attackers. Some of the very nations condemning rape allow and even encourage their armed forces to oppress minorities by raping women and girls. Yet, the officials wanted to be seen to be in favour of virtue and against evil. As…

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A Simple Guide to the Roots of the Israel/Palestine Conflict

“Debating Palestine and Israel” by Dan Cohn-Sherbok and Mary Grey Impress Books, Ltd (paper and ebook) This book is both timely and valuable for those who want to understand the roots of the Middle East’s seemingly endless conflict. It takes the form of a conversation between two compassionate and peace- loving people, exchanging letters that illuminate the recent history of the region and the deeply-felt arguments raging still about who is entitled to call the Holy Land home. Many of us mentally turn off when we see reports about Israel/Palestine. If you missed the beginning of the story, you are not inclined to jump into the latest episode. Understandably, people may lack a grasp of…

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If this is what it feels like to be a woman, what does it mean to be a man?

  A mass wedding in Rwanda. Credit: http://network4africa.org/rwanda/dfd/. All rights reserved. Hawa was eighteen-years old when we met in a dusty, barren refugee camp called El Geneina in West Darfur, Sudan. She was one of dozens of women I interviewed in 2004 about their experience of being raped by the Sudanese armed forces and its proxies. In a conservative, rural society like Sudan, women prefer euphemisms for rape like “harassed” or “attacked,” but the meaning was clear when Hawa told me, “My life is over. No man will want me so I have no future.” Rather than finding sympathy after being gang raped, beaten and branded on her breasts like a slave, Hawa was rejected and…

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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…

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Events

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…

A Letter to President Obama

Download a letter to President Obama to encourage him to take action on Darfur. PresidentObama

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

Ebola: An African Disease

If ever a disaster represented Africa’s challenges, it is the Ebola outbreak. The crisis has its roots in poor governance, superstition, poverty, ignorance and underlying it all, the ruling elite’s indifference to the woes of the vast majority of their citizens. Yet, at the same time the Ebola epidemic has shown African medical workers at their best, literally sacrificing their lives to save patients, limiting the spread of the much-feared virus. The fact that there is no known cure for a disease that has been around since 1976 also reveals the unpalatable truth about the pharmaceutical industry: there is little incentive to research the diseases killing poor people in the developing world. There’s more profit…

+

Westphalia uber alles – is international law a liberal fantasy?

In June an unlikely duo, William Hague and Angelina Jolie, hosted the London summit on rape in conflict. Delegates watched as officials from around the world pledged to improve their nation’s record on sexual violence in war. In many cases, those same officials returned to countries that systematically exclude women from medical care or legal redress in the event of rape, blaming them for surviving their ordeal, rather than dying honourably while fighting off their attackers. Some of the very nations condemning rape allow and even encourage their armed forces to oppress minorities by raping women and girls. Yet, the officials wanted to be seen to be in favour of virtue and against evil. As…

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If this is what it feels like to be a woman, what does it mean to be a man?

  A mass wedding in Rwanda. Credit: http://network4africa.org/rwanda/dfd/. All rights reserved. Hawa was eighteen-years old when we met in a dusty, barren refugee camp called El Geneina in West Darfur, Sudan. She was one of dozens of women I interviewed in 2004 about their experience of being raped by the Sudanese armed forces and its proxies. In a conservative, rural society like Sudan, women prefer euphemisms for rape like “harassed” or “attacked,” but the meaning was clear when Hawa told me, “My life is over. No man will want me so I have no future.” Rather than finding sympathy after being gang raped, beaten and branded on her breasts like a slave, Hawa was rejected and…

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Have they healed yet? Western dreams about Rwanda

Shattered societies cannot be mended with pills or analysis or technology or foreign aid. Our need to hear that Rwanda is ‘healing’ tells us more about ourselves than it does about Rwanda. Rwandan genocide survivors listen to the testimony of a fellow survivor in Kigali. Credit: Melissa Musgrove/www.melissamusgrove.com. All rights reserved. For the last ten years I have been involved in development projects in Rwanda. This month, in April 2014, Rwandans are marking the twentieth anniversary of the genocide that killed an estimated 800,000 people, more than one in ten of the country’s population at the time. Non-Africans frequently ask me, “Have the people there healed yet?” As a British woman working on Rwanda, it seems…

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