“Jasmine Revolution”
Symbol of peace: Flowers placed on the barrel of a tank
in very much calmer protests than in recent days in Tunisia

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011
Mannoubia Bouazizi, the mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi. "Mohammed suffered a lot. He worked hard. but when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity." (Peter Hapak for TIME)

1 - TUNISIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

How eyepatches became a symbol of Egypt's revolution - Graffiti depicting a high ranking army officer with an eye patch Photograph: Nasser Nasser/ASSOCIATED PRESS

2 - EGYPT Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

''17 February Revolution"

3 - LIBYA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

5 - SYRIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

"25 January Youth Revolution"
Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
(Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)
(Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

"If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening."

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

African Union (AU)

African Union (AU)
African Heads of State pose for a group photo ahead of the start of the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2017 (AFP Photo/ Zacharias ABUBEKER)

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Few words can describe Nelson Mandela, so we let him speak for himself. Happy birthday, Madiba.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Nigeria opposition claims historic election win

Yahoo  - AFP, Ben Simon, Ola Awoniyi, 31 March 2015

Supporters of All Progressives Congress (APC) celebrate on March 31, 2015
in Lagos (AFP Photo/Pius Utomi Ekpei)

Abuja (AFP) - Nigeria's former military leader Muhammadu Buhari claimed a historic election victory in Africa's most populous country on Tuesday, sending thousands of jubilant supporters into the streets chanting "change, change".

Buhari's campaign spokesman said incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan had called the retired general to concede defeat in the most closely fought election in Nigeria's history.

If confirmed, this would be the first ever democratic change of power in Nigeria and cap a remarkable comeback for the 72-year-old, who headed a short-lived military regime in the 1980s.

Main opposition All Progressives Congress 
(APC) presidential candidate Mohammadu 
Buhari holds up his ballot paper prior to 
voting in Daura, in northern Nigeria's
Katsina State, on March 28, 2015 
(AFP Photo/Pius Utomi Ekpei)
With just one state to declare, Buhari is virtually guaranteed victory.

Thousands of jubilant Buhari supporters poured into the streets in celebration, many in northern Nigeria which has borne the brunt of the bloody six-year Boko Haram uprising.

Many brandished brooms to symbolise his promise to clean up corruption in the oil-rich country of 173 million people.

"President Jonathan called at 5:15 (1615 GMT)," his campaign spokesman Shehu Garba said. Asked by AFP if Jonathan conceded, he said: "Yes, and General Buhari has accepted and thanks him for this."

There was no immediate comment from Jonathan, his spokesman or the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP), but Buhari's wife Aisha took to Twitter to celebrate.

"We see this as a trimphant show of democracy, a change for the better," she wrote.

Bukhari had told AFP he was "very confident" of victory as counting of votes showed him pulling well ahead of Jonathan.

With 36 out of 37 results in, his All Progressives Congress (APC) had won 20 states, while Jonathan's PDP was on 15, plus the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.

The final result is awaited from Borno state, the heart of the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency.

"Change, change," chanted opposition supporters in the northern city of Kaduna.

People watch developments in the
 Nigerian election results on a television 
in Lagos, on March 31, 2015 as partial 
results are released by the Independent 
National Electoral Commission (INEC) 
(AFP Photo/Pius Utomi Ekpei)
In Kano, some young men donned black fedoras -- which his rival Jonathan is rarely seen without –- and put suitcases on their heads to mock the president as people chanted "Out of Aso Rock" (the presidential villa).

Buhari won a landslide victory in Kano, Nigeria's second most-populous state, securing more than 1.9 million votes and 89 percent of the vote.

"This is the first time the opposition has voted a government out of power in Nigeria's history," said APC spokesman Lai Mohammed.

Buhari was more than 2.75 million votes ahead of 57-year-old Jonathan, after winning in the northern states of Yobe and Adamawa.

The retired army general won the key prize of Lagos in the southwest but at one point his lead was cut to 500,000 votes after landslide victories for Jonathan in his southern Delta homeland.

Buhari, making his fourth run at the presidency, has been buoyed by frustration over endemic corruption, criticism over Jonathan's handling of the Boko Haram insurgency and a stronger opposition.

Sit-down protest

There was a brief protest by Jonathan's PDP before the count resumed on Tuesday.

A man wears glasses and body paint 
adorned with the logo of Nigeria's main 
opposition All Progressives Congress (APC)
 as residents await results of the 
presidential election in Abuja, on 
March 30, 2015 (AFP Photo/
Pius Utomi Ekpei)
Former Niger Delta minister Godsday Orubebe accused elections chief Attahiru Jega of being "partial" and "selective".

Orubebe claimed Jega had refused to investigate PDP complaints about big wins by Buhari in northern states but had launched a probe into claims by the APC of irregularities in Rivers.

Jega said later: "I don't believe that the allegations are substantial enough to require the cancellation or rescheduling of the elections in Rivers state. We will take the results."

International observers gave broadly positive reactions to the conduct of the vote, despite late delivery of election materials and technical glitches with new voter authentication devices.

Nigeria's Transition Monitoring Group, which had observers across the country, said: "These issues did not systematically disadvantage any candidate or party."

Fear of violence

Violence has often flared in previous Nigerian elections after the winner is announced and the United States and Britain warned against any "interference" with the count.

"So far, we have seen no evidence of systemic manipulation of the process," US Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said in a joint statement Monday.

A man walks past a billboard of the 
main opposition All Progressives Congress 
(APC) presidential candidate Mohammadu 
Buhari in Lagos, on March 31, 2015
(AFP Photo/Pius Utomi Ekpei)
"But there are disturbing indications that the collation process -- where the votes are finally counted -- may be subject to deliberate political interference."

Kayode Idowu, spokesman for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), told AFP that there was "no evidence of political interference".

Jubilant opposition supporters also took to the streets in Kaduna, one of the areas worst-affected by violence four years ago when some 1,000 people were killed in post-election clashes.

Awwal Abdullahi Aliyu, president of the Northern People Unity and Reconciliation Union, warned that places such as Kaduna remained a powderkeg and could "catch fire", particularly if electoral fraud is suspected.

Some 2,000 women protesting against the conduct of the elections were teargassed Monday as they tried to converge on the local electoral commission offices in the southern oil city of Port Harcourt.

The protest over alleged vote rigging by the PDP -- and a counter-protest demanding the results hold -- forced the Rivers state government to impose an overnight curfew.

Related Article:

Obama plans first presidential trip to Kenya, father's homeland

Yahoo – AFP, Andrew Beatty, 31 March 2015

Barack Obama will in July make a first presidential trip to Kenya (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

Washington (AFP) - Barack Obama will make a long-awaited return to Kenya this July, visiting his father's homeland for the first time since becoming US president, the White House announced Monday.

During the much-delayed visit, Obama will attend a summit to encourage entrepreneurship and meet the country's controversial leader Uhuru Kenyatta.

Obama's late father was from a small village near the shores of Lake Victoria. He met Obama's white American mother in Hawaii, where they had a son before divorcing.

America's first black president has visited sub-Saharan Africa four times since taking office in 2009, but political scandal has blocked a presidential visit to his ancestral home.

Barack Obama greets his grandmother 
Sarah Obama at her rural home in Siaya
 near Kisumu in Kenya, on August 26, 
2006 (AFP Photo/Simon Maina)
For much of Obama's time in power, Kenya's president Kenyatta had been under investigation by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Kenyatta was indicted on five counts of crimes against humanity for his alleged role in 2007-08 post-election violence that killed an estimated 1,200 people.

The 53-year-old son of Kenya's founding father protested his innocence until the case was dropped in December.

Prosecutors complained that they had been undermined by a lack of cooperation by the Kenyan government, as well as the bribing or intimidation of witnesses.

A White House official told AFP that Obama and Kenyatta would meet during the visit.

The official, who asked not to be named, said the United States regularly raises "concerns with the Kenyan government about restrictions on human rights and fundamental freedoms."

View galleryBarack Obama greets his grandmother Sarah Obama at …
Barack Obama greets his grandmother Sarah Obama at her rural home in Siaya near Kisumu in Kenya, on  …
"The president's trip will create another opportunity for dialogue with the government and civil society on these issues."

Kenyatta had attended a US-Africa summit in Washington in 2014 but did not hold a bilateral meeting with Obama.

Kenya is seen as a front in the fight against global terror, following a series of deadly attacks that have been claimed by Somalia-based jihadist group al-Shebab.

Many Western governments have since warned tourists against visiting Kenya's stunning coastline, which draws in hordes of visitors and much-needed tourism revenue.

Forefathers and ancestry

The White House hopes that a visit will also do more to cement ties between the United States and the African continent, which has received billions in Chinese investment in recent decades.

"Just as President (John) Kennedy's historic visit to Ireland in 1963 celebrated the connections between Irish-Americans and their forefathers, President Obama's trip will honor the strong historical ties between the United States and Kenya – and all of Africa," White House advisors said in a blog.

Millions of Americans trace their ancestry to the African continent, and more than 100,000 Americans live in or visit Kenya each year, they said.

Obama had visited Kenya multiple times before entering politics and in 2006 as a US senator, when he visited his father's home village Nyang'oma-Kogelo and took a very public HIV test.

The president's heritage has spurred domestic controversy, with some hardline political foes claiming he was not born in the United States and so was ineligible to become president.

Obama allies say this is thinly veiled racism and the president has often made light of the controversy.

"If I did not love America, I wouldn't have moved here from Kenya," he recently joked.

Some Republicans accused Obama of trying to stir up controversy.

"I personally think he’s just inciting some chatter on an issue that should have been a dead issue a long time ago," John Sununu, who served as White House chief of staff for president George H. W. Bush, told Fox News.

On the July visit, Obama is expected to take part in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), which is being held in sub-Saharan Africa for the first time.

"Hosting the GES is an opportunity for Kenya to showcase its economic progress," said the White House official.

"Kenya maintains enormous potential for economic growth, thanks to the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of the Kenyan people."

Related Article:

" .... Africa

Let me tell you where else it's happening that you are unaware - that which is the beginning of the unity of the African states. Soon the continent will have what they never had before, and when that continent is healed and there is no AIDS and no major disease, they're going to want what you have. They're going to want houses and schools and an economy that works without corruption. They will be done with small-minded leaders who kill their populations for power in what has been called for generations "The History of Africa." Soon it will be the end of history in Africa, and a new continent will emerge.

Be aware that the strength may not come from the expected areas, for new leadership is brewing. There is so much land there and the population is so ready there, it will be one of the strongest economies on the planet within two generations plus 20 years. And it's going to happen because of a unifying idea put together by a few. These are the potentials of the planet, and the end of history as you know it.

In approximately 70 years, there will be a black man who leads this African continent into affluence and peace. He won't be a president, but rather a planner and a revolutionary economic thinker. He, and a strong woman with him, will implement the plan continent-wide. They will unite. This is the potential and this is the plan. Africa will arise out the ashes of centuries of disease and despair and create a viable economic force with workers who can create good products for the day. You think China is economically strong? China must do what it does, hobbled by the secrecy and bias of the old ways of its own history. As large as it is, it will have to eventually compete with Africa, a land of free thinkers and fast change. China will have a major competitor, one that doesn't have any cultural barriers to the advancement of the free Human spirit.. ...."

Monday, March 30, 2015

EU observers commend Nigerian elections

Election observers from the European Union have given Nigeria’s general elections a clean bill of health despite delays caused by the malfunctioning of the biometric card readers.

Deutsche Welle, 30 March 2015

 EU election observers in NIgeria

According to the head of the EU observer mission, Santiago Fisas, Nigeria's electoral commission (INEC) performed incredibly well in the wake of difficulties.

"The EU observation mission strongly encourages INEC efforts in difficult circumstances, and in spite of strong tension and criticism to maintain the highest level of impartiality, Fisas told reporters at a press briefing in Lagos.

The vote of confidence by the EU could undoubtedly serve as a morale booster to the commission which received a back lash from a cross-section of Nigerians for having introduced the biometric voting system without having tested it on a smaller electoral process.

The winner of the vote in Africa's most populous and biggest nation could be announced late Monday (30.03.2015) or on Tuesday, electoral officials said. The race between President Goodluck Jonathan and former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari was too close to call, according to analysts.

However the EU observer mission was also quick to add that several lapses were however observed by the mission which Hannah Roberts the deputy head of the observation mission, said there was an overall improvement of the electoral process.

"Generally the voting process may be characterized as disordered and prolonged. Although polling procedures were insufficiently followed, the EU observation mission saw no evidence of systematic manipulations," she said.

"The use of the biometric card readers was problematic resulting in manual voter identification being undertaken. We saw some procedural irregularities during voting and counting with procedures not always followed. For example results at polling units were not always publically displayed," Roberts said.

Other observers have also described the elections as the best ever held in the past 16 years after the return of democracy.

There were confrontations between voters and security personnel in
some states due to delays of voting materials

Fears of manipulation

Despite these positive signs by the EU, the United States and Britain have expressed concerns about vote rigging. US Secretary of State John Kerry and his British counterpart Philip Hammond Monday warned over possible political interference in Nigeria's vote count.

Ordinary Nigerians relied much on
local newspapers for updates
In a joint statement the two said: "We have seen no evidence of systemic manipulation of the process. But there are disturbing indications that the collation process -- where the votes are finally counted -- may be subject to deliberate political interference."

INEC rejected the claims by the two diplomats saying there was no evidence of party meddling in the count.

Nigerians are eagerly waiting for the final results from what is described as the most hotlycontest in its political history. They hope that whoever wins the election will give the country a new political direction. And deal with the issue of insecurity caused by the Boko Haram in the north east of the country.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Arab leaders agree joint military force

Yahoo – AFP, Haitham El-Tabei, 29 March 2015

(Front from L-R) Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Kuwait Emir Sheikh 
Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, Yemeni 
President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and Sudanese President Omar al Bashir 
(middle-C) (AFP Photo/Mohamed Samaaha)

Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt) (AFP) - Arab leaders agreed on Sunday to form a joint military force after a summit dominated by a Saudi-led offensive on Shiite rebels in Yemen and the threat from Islamist extremism.

Arab representatives will meet over the next month to study the creation of the force and present their findings to defence ministers within four months, according to the resolution adopted by the leaders.

"Assuming the great responsibility imposed by the great challenges facing our Arab nation and threatening its capabilities, the Arab leaders had decided to agree on the principle of a joint Arab military force," Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told the summit in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.

The decision was mostly aimed at fighting jihadists who have overrun swathes of Iraq and Syria and secured a foothold in Libya, Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi said ahead of the summit.

On Sunday, Arabi told the meeting the region was threatened by a "destructive" force that threatened "ethnic and religious diversity", in an apparent reference to the Islamic State group.

"What is important is that today there is an important decision, in light of the tumult afflicting the Arab world," he said.

Egypt had pushed for the creation of the rapid response force to fight militants, and the matter gained urgency this week after Saudi Arabia and Arab allies launched air strikes on Huthi rebels in Yemen.

A handout picture made available by the Egyptian presidency shows Egyptian
 President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (C) speaking during a closed session with Arab
 leaders during the Arab League summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm 
El-Sheikh on March 28, 2015 (AFP Photo)

Arabi, reading a statement at the conclusion of the summit, said on Sunday the offensive would continue until the Huthis withdraw from regions they have overrun and surrender their weapons.

Several Arab states including Egypt are taking part in the military campaign, which Saudi King Salman said on Saturday would continue until the Yemeni people "enjoy security".

'Months to create'

Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi at the start of the summit called for the offensive to end only when the Huthis "surrender", calling the rebel leader an Iranian "puppet".

However, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the leaders to find a peaceful resolution in Yemen.

"It is my fervent hope that at this Arab League summit, leaders will lay down clear guidelines to peacefully resolve the crisis in Yemen," he said.

James Dorsey, a Middle East analyst with the Singapore-based S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said that despite support for a joint-Arab force, "it would still take months to create and then operate on an ad-hoc basis.

"I don't think we will get an integrated command anytime soon, as no Arab leader would cede control of any part of their army anytime soon," he said.

"Today we will have a formal declaration that would be negotiated every time during action."

Sisi said in a recent interview that the proposal for a joint force was welcomed especially by Jordan, which might take part alongside Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

Saudi Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri, spokesman of the Saudi-led coalition
 forces, speaks to the media next to a replica of a Tornado fighter jet (AFP
Photo/Fayez Nureldine)

Aaron Reese, deputy research director at the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War, said "each of these countries would bring a different capability.

"The Jordanians are well known for their special forces capability... the Egyptians of course have the most manpower and bases close to Libya."

Before Egyptian air strikes in February targeting the IS in Libya, the United Arab Emirates, which shares Cairo's antipathy towards Islamists, had reportedly used Egyptian bases to launch its own air strikes there.

Cairo had sought UN backing for intervention in Libya, dismissing attempted peace talks between the rival governments in its violence-plagued North African neighbour as ineffective.

Asean peacekeeping force (JG Graphics/Josep Tri Ronggo)

Related Articles:

'Poo protest' topples British imperialist in South Africa

Yahoo – AFP, Lawrence Bartlett, 29 March 2015

A statue of British coloniser Cecil John Rhodes is covered in plastic bags as
 part of a protest by students and staff of the University of Cape Town (UCT)
on March 20, 2015 (AFP Photo/Rodger Bosch)

Cape Town (AFP) - A bucketload of human excrement flung at a statue has toppled a symbol of British imperialism in South Africa, marking the emergence of a new generation of black protest against white oppression.

The senate of the University of Cape Town (UCT) on Friday bowed to student demands that a brooding bronze statue of colonialist Cecil John Rhodes should be removed from the campus.

UCT, the oldest university in South Africa and regularly ranked as the best on the continent, was built on land donated by Rhodes, a mining magnate who died in 1902.

A statue of British coloniser Cecil John
Rhodes is covered in plastic bags as part
of a protest by students and staff of the
University of Cape Town (UCT) on 
March 20, 2015 (AFP Photo/Rodger Bosch)
Many of the students involved in the protests never lived under the injustices of white minority rule, but say they still experience racial discrimination 21 years after the end of apartheid.

The large statue of a notoriously racist Rhodes gazing across an Africa that he coveted for the British empire made them feel alienated on a campus still dominated by white staff, they said.

The "poo protest" was launched by a small group of students earlier this month, sparking a series of demonstrations demanding that the statue be torn down.

On Friday, the university senate voted 181 to one to remove the statue permanently from the campus, after vice-chancellor Max Price acknowledged "the many injustices of colonial conquest enacted under Rhodes' watch".

While the university council still has to endorse the move at a special meeting on April 8, the statue will be boarded up until it is handed over to government heritage authorities, university spokeswoman Pat Lucas said.

"It is certainly a victory for us," said student representative council president Ramabina Mahapa.

"It means we are being heard by the larger community."

A divisive history

But the disappearance of Rhodes is unlikely to end the debate on racial transformation launched by the protest, which gave rise to similar demands for change at two other universities.

In the east coast city of Durban, students at the University of KwaZulu Natal splattered white paint and anti-racism slogans on a statue of Britain's King George V.

Students and staff of the University of
Cape Town (UCT) protest against the
statue of British coloniser Cecil John
Rhodes at the university in Cape Town
on March 20, 2015 (AFP Photo/Rodger
And at Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape, activists want the institution to be renamed.

The protests have also sparked lively debate among academics, historians, politicians and writers of letters to newspapers.

Much of the debate has been surprisingly calm and thoughtful in a country with such a divisive history, but a bitter edge of racism lurks beneath the surface in Nelson Mandela's "Rainbow Nation".

One white letter writer probably spoke for many when he suggested in the Cape Times that the student who threw the excrement at Rhodes should leave UCT and attend a university established by "his own ancestors".

But students have dismissed the argument that Rhodes should be honoured for donating land for the campus, saying he stole it from black Africans in the first place.

The discontent goes beyond symbols to cover admission policies and the racial make-up of the teaching staff.

Eusebius McKaiser, an author and commentator who attended Rhodes University and won a prestigious international Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, summed it up in an opinion piece in the New York Times.

"South African universities remain a testament to the country's colonial heritage in terms of what they teach, who does the teaching, and the morally odious symbols that haunt our campuses or lurk in their very names.

Students and staff of the University of 
Cape Town (UCT) shout slogans during
 a protest against the statue of British 
coloniser Cecil John Rhodes at the 
university in Cape Town on March 20, 
2015 (AFP Photo/Rodger Bosch)
"At Rhodes, 83 percent of senior management staff remain white and 77 percent of 'professionally qualified staff,' a category that includes academic teaching staff, are white," he said.

Mandela legacy

Whites make up about eight percent of South Africa's population of some 54 million.

McKaiser, who is of mixed race, defended the fact that he accepted a Rhodes scholarship, telling a radio interviewer that in moral terms the colonialist's money belonged to "the millions of black South Africans whose rights were trampled on".

He took the scholarship to Oxford "so that I could come back and show the middle finger to his legacy," McKaiser said.

Since the end of apartheid the names of some cities and streets deemed offensive have been changed, but monuments to South Africa's racist white-minority rule remain scattered throughout the country.

Much of that can be attributed to the racial reconciliation policies of liberation hero Nelson Mandela, who became the country's first democratically-elected president in 1994.

Another former Rhodes scholar, Shaun Johnson, wrote in South Africa's Times newspaper of his surprise when Mandela agreed in 2002 to have his name coupled with that of Rhodes in a new charitable organisation.

The Mandela Rhodes Foundation, of which Johnson is now executive director, provides post-graduate scholarships to young Africans.

Students and staff of the University of Cape Town (UCT) march on campus 
during a protest against the statue of British coloniser Cecil John Rhodes at
the university in Cape Town on March 20, 2015 (AFP Photo/Rodger Bosch)

"Mandela told us to expect controversy and embrace it, while remaining certain in the knowledge that what we were actually doing was what mattered," Johnson wrote.

"He said... whenever possible, we had to put history to work for a better future."

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa echoed Mandela's approach in his response to the UCT protests.

"The government's attitude and policy to all heritage sites -- including statues of former imperialists like Cecil John Rhodes, among others -- is based on a national policy of reconciliation, nation-building and social cohesion," he said.

Related Article:

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Zambian Cabinet approves US$65.5mn loan from China

Want China Times, Xinhua 2015-03-28

Zambia's president Edgar Lungu in an interview with Xinhua in
Lusaka, Zambia, March 25. (File photo/Xinhua)

The Zambian Cabinet has approved a loan from the Export-Import Bank of China for the development of the country's Information and Communication Technology (ICT), a government spokesperson said in a statement Friday.

Chief Government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili said in the brief statement that the Cabinet approved the contract of the loan during its meeting on March 25 which will go towards implementation of the Zambia National Information and Technology Development Project.

"The project is an important initiative to implement the country's ICT development planning which will help enhance the overall development of the ICT industry," he said.

The program involves the creation of a national data center as well as the construction of first-class ICT schools to greatly improve the current situation of ICT education in the country, he added.

Arab leaders meet to tackle Middle East radicalism, unrest

Leaders of the Arab League are meeting to discuss measures to deal with growing radicalism in the region and unrest in Yemen. Yemen's President Mansour Hadi has accused Iran of supporting Houthi rebels.

Deutsche Welle, 28 March 2015

Representatives of fourteen Arab countries met on Saturday in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh to discuss solutions for growing radicalism in the region and unrest in Yemen.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in his opening remarks spoke of the spread of violent militancy, calling it a "challenge to the identity of the Arab nation" that compromised national security.

Pan-Arab force proposed

El-Sissi reiterated his proposal of creating a pan-Arab force to tackle militancy in the Middle East. "This force will be a tool to face challenges that threaten Arab national security … The future of this nation hinges on the decisions we will take at this crucial juncture," El-Sissi told leaders gathered in the Egyptian town.

Leaders at Sharm el-Sheikh were also planning to discuss "Islamic State" militants who have expanded heavily into Iraq and Syria. Kuwait's Emir Sabah al-Ahmed demanded a "new course of action" to tackle regional problems. "The situation is getting more complicated," he added.

Syria did not have any representation at the summit this year after a 2011 Arab League decision to suspend Damascus' membership to protest President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on pro-democracy protestors.

'Peaceful solution' to Yemen conflict

UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon referred to the Saudi Arabia-led military operation against Yemen's Houthi rebels and urged Arab leaders to resolve the Yemen conflict peacefully. "It is my fervent hope that at this Arab League summit, leaders will lay down clear guidelines to peacefully resolve the crisis in Yemen," Ban told guests at the meeting.

Meanwhile, Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi blamed Iran for unrest in his country, calling the Shiite Houthi rebels "Iran's puppet," and accusing them of destroying Yemen with their "political immaturity."

Tehran has denied all charges of intervening in Yemen, which has become politically volatile after rebels of the Shiite Houthi militia captured the capital Sanaa, forcing President Hadi to flee to his supporters in the port city of Aden.

mg/sb (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

Beijing to help Africa strengthen post-Ebola health system

Want China Times, Xinhua 2015-03-28

Lin Songtian during a press conference, Oct. 31, 2014. (Photo/CNS)

China will help Africa with its public health system post-Ebola, said a Chinese official on Friday at a China-Africa health roundtable.

Lin Songtian, director of the Chinese Foreign Ministry's African Affairs Department, made the remarks at the three-day Fifth International Roundtable on China-Africa Health Collaboration held in Beijing, which will end Saturday.

Lin said China was studying the support it could offer Africa, adding China will help the African Union build a disease prevention and control center, which would link epidemic surveillance facilities in each member countries.

In terms of capacity building, Lin suggested that more scholarships could be granted to African health professionals and students for them to study in China, as well as more training offered to Chinese health aid workers dispatched to the African continent.

A policy recommendation on China-Africa health cooperation was put forward at the roundtable, which included suggestions such as the two sides should boost cooperation in medicine and vaccine production, diagnostics, health financing instruments, and enhanced dialogues and knowledge exchange.

Ren Minghui, director of the department of international cooperation of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said China had a unique role to play in supporting African health development as it was capable of producing high-quality and low-cost medicines and vaccines.

Related Articles:

Friday, March 27, 2015

Chinese company fights for flamingos in Angola

Want China Times, Xinhua 2015-03-27

Flamingos at a park in Nanchang, Jiangxi province,
March 27, 2003. (File photo/Xinhua)

A Chinese company is actively involved in preserving the wetlands of the southern harbor city of Lobito, Angola a key part of the migration route of flamingos from neighboring Namibia to Kenya.

Thousands upon thousands of flamingos can be seen on the wetlands during the peak time of migration though only hundreds of flamingos stopped by the wetland during the past week due to torrential rains, said Zhang Huaqiang, a project manager of China Harbor Engineering Company (China Harbor).

China Harbor, a key player in the reconstruction of harbors in the formerly war-torn African country, joined hands with local volunteers and governmental environmental protection organizations in safeguarding the wetlands, removed dustbins, and levelled the banks of the two lakes to provide a better environment for the migrating birds.

The Chinese company also organized on-spot awareness campaigns on wetlands to educate local residents and Chinese expats working in Lobito on the breeding, growth and habits of flamingos. The group also joined local volunteers to patrol the area to guard against poaching of the birds, which were a symbol of Lobito city.

Zhang said his company entered Angola in 2006 and constructed or rebuilt 16 harbors there, and the protection of flamingos and conservation of the wetlands in Lobito is part of his company's efforts to shoulder its social responsibilities and pay back to local societies.

China Harbor is not only actively involved in the post-war reconstruction process but also became a part of local society, and his company is willing to share the dividends of economic development with the local population, Zhang said.

China Harbor is now building a new oil tanker terminal in Lobito with an investment of US$120 million from the Angolan government. Before this, it reconstructed the container terminal and the terminal for bulk minerals at Lobito, 550 kilometers south of the capital city of Luanda.