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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

Too Soon for Sudan’s Christians and minorities to celebrate

Omar al-Bashir Sudan’s leader, Omar al-Bashir, who presided over the destruction of dozens of churches and the deaths of an estimated two and a half million people from religious and ethnic minorities, has been overthrown in a military coup. On Thursday afternoon, the defence minister, General Awan Ibn Auf, announced that a transitional military council would rule Sudan for the next two years. Although he promised elections would follow, civil society leaders and Sudanese diaspora are unconvinced their new military rulers will be any different from Field Marshall Bashir. The 11 April coup follows four months of pro-democracy protests in cities across Sudan. The peaceful demonstrations, organised by the Sudanese Professionals Association, were met with…

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Refugees flood into Nigeria to escape ethnic cleansing in Cameroon

  By: Rebecca Tinsley In an echo of the Vietnam War, entire villages in English-speaking Cameroon are being torched by government soldiers to punish civilians suspected of sympathising with secessionist militias. The United Nations believes 43,000 people have recently crossed the border into neighbouring Nigeria, seeking refuge from the escalating conflict. The international community’s calls for dialogue have been ignored by Cameroon’s Francophone leader, President Paul Biya, who has been in power since 1982. Until recently, diplomats have largely sidelined the deteriorating situation in Cameroon, believing it is an internal matter. The increasingly popular demand for secession is rooted in a contested referendum at independence in 1961. The English-speaking minority (20% of the population) was…

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Helping Forgotten Victims of Violence

                  Please follow THIS LINK to a talk Rebecca Tinsley gave to the Commonwealth Club on the    forgotten victims of violence.

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Thank Goodness a White Man Was Tortured

The moment Phil Cox crossed the border from Chad into Sudan, there was a price on the British journalist’s head. Cox’s mission was to investigate the Khartoum regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons against its own civilians in Darfur. His hazardous journey was prompted by an Amnesty report on more than 30 chemical attacks in the Jebel Marra region of Darfur, where the Islamist Sudanese regime has been ethnically cleansing its non-Arab minority since 2003. Cox knew it would be futile applying for a visa, so he slipped into Darfur illegally. Along the way he was betrayed, and thousands of Sudanese soldiers were mobilized to prevent him unveiling the truth about the regime’s use of…

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